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Having recently turned 30, I came across this article about the 13 money lies you should stop telling yourself by 30. Naturally, the article piqued my interest. These are the 13 questions that it tackles, so rather than copy and paste, I just thought I’d share. Some good insight and life lessons to be learned.

 

1. So long as my job pays well, it’s OK if I hate it.

2. If I turn a blind eye, somehow my finances will figure themselves out.

3. I should get married because it’s the ‘next step.’

4. Banks and bill collectors will get their way no matter what I do.

5. I should buy a home because that’s what grown-ups do.

6. If I start dipping into my savings now, I’ll have plenty of time to make up for it later.

7. I’m too inexperienced to start investing.

8. I’m a failure because I’m not getting paid as much as other people my age.

9. I can still afford to eat like I’m 16.

10. I can still pull off the outfits I wore in college.

11. If I get approved for new credit, obviously I can handle it.

12. I should have kids now because I want them.

13. I’m pretty much invincible.

 

 

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to finish reading a couple book series. One of these series is written by Emily Giffin. She’s the author behind a five book series that all got started with “Something Borrowed,” made into a film with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin. The third novel in the series is “Baby Proof.”

 

It’s one of those tales that makes you realize how true love can defeat anything. Not right away maybe, but it usually wins out in challenging, difficult situations eventually. It doesn’t necessarily makes sense, but like the age-old saying, “if it’s meant to be, it will be.”

 

Without realizing that I was getting this type of true love reinforcement throughout the book, only until the end did it click for me and made me reflect back on my own love life. So without giving away the ending, here are some of the moments in the book that now looking back strike me as hitting the nail right on the ‘love’ head.

I shake my head and say, “I can’t have a baby just to get Ben back.”

“Well then,” he says slowly. “I guess he’s not your soul mate…So that should be a consolation when you’re looking up their future marathon results.”

“Why do you say that?” I ask, feeling oddly defensive. As much as I want to feel okay about Ben in the present, I don’t like the implication that what we had wasn’t, at one time, the real thing.

“Well, because,” Ethan says, “you’d do anything to get a soul mate back, right?…I mean, that’s the nature of soul mates. You know, Romeo and Juliet swallowed poison to be together…So if Ben were really the one for you, don’t you think you’d go ahead and have his baby?”

Excellent point.

Essentially, he was just saying what we’ve all heard a million times — love conquers all.

The most basic, yet often forgotten, principle.

“I realized, almost in an instant, that I no longer bought all the propaganda about relationships ending because of bad timing and incompatibility and outside influences, like wanting or not wanting a baby. A baby is huge — it doesn’t get much bigger than that — but so is religion and age and geography and being married to other people and feuding houses and so many other seemingly insurmountable factors that couple encounter and defeat when love is true.” …

But more likely it’s because she’s finally in the kind of sincere relationship where you follow your own gut about things rather than polling your friends at every turn.

A friend once asked me why I don’t ever vent about my boyfriend with our girlfriends. Without ever thinking about it before, I told her that if there’s something that bothers me, I just talk to him about it. It doesn’t make me feel better to talk about it with friends. The other thing is that I’ve known my boyfriend longer than the majority of my friends, so I can talk to him as my boyfriend and best friend.

We will likely be asked to tell it again tonight. I’m sure we will roll our eyes and say, “Again?” while secretly relishing every part of the story — our story… Perhaps I will imbue it with the literary significance that was never lost on me: There we were in O. Henry’s booth, playing out our own version of the “Gift of the Magi.” Each of us willing to give up something for the other, for love.

Having met my soul mate so young in life, our love has often been questioned, misunderstood, not taken as seriously in the eyes of others. For the longest time, that bothered me. A few years ago, having our own time apart, nothing was more clear to me that our love was worth it. That confidence, in knowing, is all I needed to no longer care what others say or think. We’re building our story our way, and there’s something pretty cool about that.

Have you learned any lessons in love and relationships?

 Baby Proof

The GIft of the Magi

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Sept. 15, 2009 and May 2, 2011. Two times where I reviewed, edited, and updated my list of 35 Things To Do Before I’m 35. Having turned 30 a few months ago, I had a little realization…I have less than 5 years until this list expires. The funny part is that when I first created it, it was the end all, be all. It was a life list that I had to achieve or accept the idea that I failed myself.

 

The funny part is how in creating this list and growing up a bit from 27, I’ve developed a truer sense of what achievement means to me. Failing is just one more part of the adventure. (Honestly, I still struggle with this, but just because I’ve failed at something doesn’t make me a failure. It means I was going out of my comfort zone and challenging myself, and it didn’t work out this time.) Sometimes things work and other times they simply don’t.

I recently talked to my best friend about failure, achievement and setting goals. Goals that are not based entirely on known reality, but instead are more than challenging and as a result, help push you to continue to work harder for it. He said something that struck me, as I was arguing the side for setting realistic goals that could be achieved (which is what I’ve always been taught – can anyone relate?):

 

“If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll still be among the stars.”

 

Good point. Even setting a challenging big life goal and ultimately not reaching it, means you’ve still achieved amazing things by aiming for the lofty goal over settling for a ‘more realistic’ goal that’s easily achieved. Never to be one to settle, I’m going to shoot for the moon for this year’s resolutions/goals (more to come on those) and update my 35 things list once more. But this time, I know some of these things may not be achieved and that’s okay. Striving for them may unlock other things that I hadn’t even thought of, plus I’m going to keep working at bettering myself and LIVING in the moment.

 

35 Things To Do Before I’m 35

1. Buy my own place – completed June 2009

2. Go skydiving – planned for March 2013

3. One big international trip a year –

  • Ireland in 2009;
  • No international trip in 2010, but did travel to: San Antonio, Hollywood/Los Angeles, 2 trips to Washington, D.C., Austin, Madison, Indianapolis, Aspen, Pittsburgh, Columbia, MO and 2 trips to St. Louis);
  • Australia in 2011;
  • No international trip in 2012, but did travel to: Nashville, 4 trips to Chicago, 3 trips to Seattle, Los Angeles, College Station, TX, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Telluride/Mesa Verde/Great Sand Dunes, Oahu, Los Angeles/Anaheim/San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore, Yountville/Napa Valley, New York City;
  • Iceland in 2013;

4. Go to South by Southwest to mingle with bloggers and social media addicts – completed March 2010

5. Start my own social media marketing company – completed March 2012

6. Hike at least one Colorado 14er (that’s a mountain above 14,000 feet elevation!) – completed Quandary Peak August 2011 and Mt. Bierstadt September 2011

7. Learn to snow shoe and go during the winter season – completed March 19, 2011

8. Run a race at least once every year –

  • Bolder Boulder 10K May 2008;
  • Fans on the Field 10K September 2009;
  • Platte River Half Marathon 13.1 miles March 2010;
  • None in 2011;
  • Girls on the Run 5K May 2012;

9. Get married and have a family

10. Go on an annual trip with my girls from college –

  • Chicago August 2007;
  • Lake of the Ozarks September 2008;
  • St. Louis/Kansas City June and September 2009;
  • Columbia/St. Louis October and December 2010;
  • New Orleans July 2011;
  • Memphis June 2012;

11. Complete my family tree with as many pictures as possible – have started this

12. Visit the seven Wonders of the World

13. Vacation in a place like Bora Bora where you stay in a hut above the crystal blue water

14. Paint my own piece – completed January 2011

15. Take on a more minimalist lifestyle decreasing the number of possessions I have, and focus more on relationships and experiences – cleaned out closet December 2012, next up: pantry, linen closet, bookcase

16. Visit the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore

17. Throw a spooky Halloween party

18. Start a personal blog – completed Sept. 13, 2009

19. Get a dog

20. Go backpacking in the Rocky Mountains

21. Learn how to make sushi – completed winter 2010

22. Take a photography class

23. Save $50,000 in savings

24. Read the autobiographies/biographies of key figures in our nation’s history including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King and Thomas Edison

25. Make a Thanksgiving dinner all on my own

26. Read Jane Austen classics including Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion.

27. Tour the Napa Valley wine country with my family – completed September 2012

28. Plant and grow a vegetable garden

29. Make my own pottery

30. Go with a group of friends on a house boat trip to Lake Powell

31. Volunteer at the Denver Art Museum or Denver Museum of Nature & Science

32. Learn about different forms of art by visiting local art galleries and determine what art style I prefer – completed Santa Fe Art Walk Fall 2011 (I’m a huge fan of Impressionism and contemporary pieces, life-like artwork, paintings where gobs of paint color create a work of art)

33. Cut and donate my hair to Locks of Love – still growing :)

34. Write a poem

35. Host a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting party

 

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20-12 wasn’t the year for my blog. Clearly, the year had huge time gaps where I posted nothing at all. But I’d like to think it was because I focused more on LIVING. I did miss the writing though. Capturing the moments through the year that inspired me, drove me, or were just plain cool.

 

So here’s my attempt to do 20-12 right and quickly share the top 12 moments for this year. 12 moments, for 12 months, for the year ’12. It’s never too late, so I’m taking charge and getting it done just under the wire 🙂

Cheers and Happy New Year! See you next year.

 

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu... Giovanni's.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu… Giovanni’s.

Trying something for the first time - sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship :)

Trying something for the first time – sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship 🙂

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh...

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh…

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Another first... letting the Sea World flamingos  nibble my hair! Apparently it's their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly 'honked' while doing it. Classic.

Another first… letting the Sea World flamingos nibble my hair! Apparently it’s their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly ‘honked’ while doing it. Classic.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn't have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn’t have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments...a great ending.

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments…a great ending.

As fun as it is to look back, it's more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

As fun as it is to look back, it’s more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

 

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It’s time to get some insight into what my 2013 will bring. I’ve looked at these in the past, and surprisingly, they’re pretty on for where I’ve been and where I’m going. I’m a firm believer that everyone makes choices for the person they want to be, the relationships they want to have and the career they desire.

I’m still in the process of outlining my New Year’s Resolutions, yes I believe in them! If at the very least they’re a guideline for what your priorities are at this point in time. I found a nice guideline for making New Year’s Resolutions too that I’ll be sure to share.

If you’re interested in seeing your horoscope for this new year, check it out.

My 2013 Overview

Libra

2013 brings you nothing short of a total rebirth, Libra. You can finally bid farewell to the heavy and austere presence of Saturn in your stars since late 2009. You have had enough lessons in love and commitment to last you a lifetime. (Yep, I’m good on those lessons and more importantly, at peace with what I’ve learned. Wouldn’t be the same person, as an individual or as part of a couple, without them. Thanks Universe.) Now you’re ready to put those lessons to the test by pursuing your true calling and passion. No longer will you be satisfied with simply scratching the surface of life. You’re prepared to go as deep as necessary to create something of lasting value. You want nothing less than the truth, and nothing short of profound meaning.

You’ll be putting more attention and importance on finances than you have in a long time now that Saturn has moved on to your money zone. This is the year to finally work on a budget (Let’s do it and stick with one.) and devise sound economic strategies for increasing your income without working yourself to the bone. This is an excellent time to get out of debt as much as you possibly can so that you can save your pennies for the whirlwind of change on deck in 2013. The eclipses will rock your money sectors, so be prepared for sweeping gains and losses, and plan accordingly.

You’ll continue to break out of any codependent relationship ruts with the ongoing influence of Pluto and Uranus sparring in the cosmos. You’ve certainly learned how important it is to value your authenticity and independence in all of your dealings with others. (This has allowed me to realize what a true friend is and how I don’t need to waste time on those that aren’t.) No longer will you fall prey to being too nice. You see how crucial it is to set your limits, draw your lines in the sand and commit without wavering. Saturn taught you to get off the fence and take a firm stand. This is how you gain respect. Your diplomacy and charm will always serve you well, but you realize now that they must be backed by the iron fist in the velvet glove.

 

Okay, it’s been written. Will be fun to see what happens this year!

 

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Friendship can be a tricky thing. It’s like any relationship really. Sometimes it’s a two-way relationship, other times it’s more complicated, and then even more unique, you find those who just “get” you while at the same time, find those who, while you put 100% into the friendship, they just take and rarely reciprocate.

The latter is the one that has me frustrated. I usually think I can pick out people with the kind of character I like to surround myself with. But I can honestly say I’ve been duped. One particular friend, I’ve known for almost five years. We traveled together, even internationally. I was the only one to visit her in a new city when she moved across the country. And I thought we both appreciated each other for our differences, similarities and dreams.

Well, 2011 was quite the telling year. It started slowly, but time did seem to reveal quite a lot. First, it was little things like her distancing herself from our group of friends, but not in the way you might think. She still came to various events and get togethers, but often would come late or not join us when talking together at a party. Through the course of our friendship, she also made certain comments to me that were odd, even cruel, and made me think she was jealous or had reason to not wish me the best in my various endeavors.

Then at my birthday, she acted so odd that it made me question what kind of friend she really was. She had forgotten to wish me a “happy birthday” entirely, and in this day and age with Facebook, birthday reminders and with friends who are important in your life, to not remember at all, when I go out of my way to try and help make her birthdays as special as possible, it was truly eye-opening. Then on the night of my birthday, she made the evening all about her! The following day, she proceeded to text me, asking me if I was mad at her. Keep in mind, she hadn’t even apologized for forgetting my birthday in the first place, then via text, told me how I made her feel left out… on my birthday?!?! Pretty sure that’s the one day I shouldn’t have to worry about anyone else and can just have fun.

After making me feel guilty, I actually apologized to her…for my birthday and not paying as much attention to her as she thought I should have. I was flabbergasted. We then didn’t talk, text, email, or see one another for almost six months. A long time for someone I considered a great, close friend.

But I was so amazed at how she had behaved, that I decided I wasn’t going to make the first move. Over the course of the last six months, I realized our friendship wasn’t two-sided, it was always me making the effort. So once I stopped, our friendship ceased to continue.

Until one day last week, she asked me to go to dinner. The dinner ultimately proved once more that it was all about her. She only asked me one question about my life the entire evening, after I asked her about everything and everyone in her life. Then as we walked back to our cars, she thanked me for meeting her for dinner “since we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in a bit.” In a bit?!?! Almost six months, and she has yet to ask me about my life, my work, my family, and what’s been going on for the last six months. No apology for putting the guilt trip on me on my birthday. She was completely oblivious to her impact on me and our friendship.

It’s sad because what I thought was a great, close friendship – was in fact, a relationship where it was all about her. And after some hard realizations, it’s clear this isn’t the kind of friendship I’m looking for. I’ll be civil and maybe she can be an acquaintance, but I understand now the type of friendship that means the most to me, and it’s someone who cares about me just as much as I care about them. A true, balanced relationship.

A hard lesson in the meaning of friendship, but one that is necessary. Also, one that I felt compelled to share because I’ve been at a loss trying to make sense of it all.

Have you learned anything through your friendships…any lessons? Is it “normal” to have friendships fade over time? I know people change, but it’s been a hard reality to see a friendship disintegrate. But maybe that’s just what happens some times.

{Photo is my own – sun setting in Denver.}
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We don’t say it enough, especially to those who sacrifice so much to fight for freedom, justice, and all that most Americans take for granted… Thank you to all the veterans for what you do. Most of us don’t even realize the hard work you’ve done, so today I’m sending an extra thought of gratitude to you!

<photos of my Grandpa Cornell and Grandpa Stevens, both were veterans of World War II>

 

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