Words to the Young

For my 28th birthday in February, my husband bought us tickets to see Florida Georgia Line, a country duo I have been obsessing over since “Cruise” blew up the radio in 2012. I finally got to experience my birthday present last night, and I must say: I haven’t felt that old in a very long time. The younger crowd didn’t know the lyrics to the Backstreet Boys covers, I was yawning by 8:30 (side note: The concert started at 7:00), and I kept wishing ear plugs would be readily available because my ears would not stop ringing. I also found myself wanting to look at some of the girls in the crowd and say, “Please keep your shirt down and your pants up. No one needs to see that.” Ten years ago, I would have never thought to say that to anyone. After all, I was only 18 at the time, which was roughly the same age most of the concert-goers appeared to be. Anyway, all day I have been thinking about things I want my future daughters to know, not just about themselves, but other people as well. They’ll be 18 one day and then 28 another, and it’s extremely important they keep some basic things in mind whatever age you are.

  1. Seriously. Keep your shirt down and your pants around your waist. I don’t care how if you are an “A” cup or a “D” cup: Keep them covered. Someday, your husband will be asking to see more of them, so save the show for marriage. Oh, and the super low waist pants that were so popular 15 years ago? They aren’t anymore. The high waisted mom jeans are back.
  2. Comfort really is key. I cannot tell you how many times I would laugh at my mom for telling me to bring different shoes, pack a jacket, and wear a comfy pair of pants. Now, her words of wisdom are all coming back, and I was extremely grateful to be in jeans, a casual shirt, and sneakers last night. Do you really think the woman who came out of the bathroom continuously adjusting her romper was comfortable? How about the 5 inch stilettos a girl wore while walking like The Hunchback of Notre Dame because she couldn’t stand up straight? You’ll thank me when you aren’t stumbling around barefoot in the parking garage at 11:30 at night, which yes, we did witness as well.
  3. Cake face is not flattering. I enjoy makeup as much as anyone else who semi knows how to properly apply it, and I do love that my features can be enhanced with some CC cream, eyeshadow, liner, and mascara. However, piling on loads and loads of foundation to the point where there are cracks in it is not flattering, on anyone. It’s okay to learn how to apply it; I’m 28 and still don’t know my undertones or what shade I am. However, do yourself a favor and go light on the makeup. Your skin will thank you when you get older, and you can go through your night not worrying if everything looks right. Trust me, you’re beautiful the way you are.
  4. Stop growing up so fast. I was a teenager once, and kudos to you for being one in today’s day in age. There is pressure from every angle to dress a certain way, have the best smartphone, and fit in with the crowd. You know what? Those who don’t pressure you are the ones worthy of your time, not the ones who want you to be someone you’re not. You will end up falling in love with yourself and be who you truly are, and when you do, I can’t wait to see the person you become.
  5.  Bring ear plugs to live music events. I cannot begin to tell you how important your hearing is, and don’t risk losing it by not bringing something as basic as ear plugs to a concert. If you wear your hair down, no one will even see them in your ears!

I am fairly certain that as time goes on, especially when my husband and I do have children, there will be other advice I want them to learn. My mother was a genius and taped motivational and inspirational quotes to my bedroom door as a teenager. Every time I opened it, I would be reminded of how loved I was and how I didn’t have to be anybody that I wasn’t. Does this mean I didn’t want to impress people? No, definitely not. I spent so much time worrying about what jeans to wear with what shirt that looking back, I realize that things would have been simpler if I had just had a smaller wardrobe.

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t want to be a teenager today. Heck, I struggle enough as an adult who is closer to 30 than her mid-20’s. Social media is much stronger now than it was even 10 years ago when I was 18, and teenagers are hit with pressure to post the perfect Instagram photo or catch that perfect Snapchat. It is okay to not conform to what everyone else is doing and simply be yourself. After all, who can be better at being you but you?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the concert was an incredible birthday present. It was announced that Florida Georgia Line will be touring with the Backstreet Boys later this year, so I just need to find another good excuse for my husband to buy me those tickets….

 

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In honor of being together for six years, here’s a throwback to us after dating for a grand total of 8 days. Talk about being young!!

Rest, Oh Sweet Rest.

What. A. Week. It was one of those weeks where Friday night couldn’t come soon enough. I bet my husband wishes he would have stayed at his rotation dorm all week instead of coming home!

To begin, we were hit with a massive windstorm that took down 1/4 of the humongus pine tree in our front yard. All the limbs are now out of our driveway, but one section of our yard needs a ton of work to clean up the mess. Thankfully, it fell sideways and not backwards…we wouldn’t have a place to live if it had. I went home to PA over the weekend, and although it certainly wasn’t a wasted trip, I was upset I took a day and a half off of work for something that didn’t even happen. Driving is exhausting. Then Monday night around 8pm, our dogs start going nuts, growling, hair on end, etc. A car broke down in front of our house and two young guys’ Subaru let them sit. Matt will back me up that these guys were not with it AT ALL. Can’t say what drug(s) they were on, but it was obvious it was something. They were covered in mud, as was the car. Turns out they were at the river and the car was stuck in a mud hole. I’m shocked they even got the car out of a mud hole as big  as they one they were in! We gave them until the morning to get their vehicle towed out of our yard. Sure enough: We were woken up the next morning at 5am to the sound of a car trying to start and the dogs barking like crazy. They left by 6:00 and we haven’t seen them since. We got the car towed the next day after much arguing with the Sheriff department and towing company about why they should receive a bill and not us. Do they know their car is in the impound lot? Have no clue, but am thankful it’s out of our yard. Now I just hope they don’t come back….. There was usual chaos at work too, but that’s bound to happen when you are working with people.

Having tonight to myself gave me some time to reflect on this past week and how I get so caught up in the business and stress of life that I don’t take time to do nothing and enjoy it. According to John Lennon, time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. I better start taking his advice. My self-care is terrible, and as a Social Worker, that’s one thing that’s so important to teach our clients. I work out and eat healthy, but when it comes to actually relaxing, I need to follow the examples below:

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Ahh, the life of a hound dog. Check out Meadow Mutts and Mew Mews blog for more laughter on this rescued pup!

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Why use a dog bed when the pillows are available?

I have coloring books, board games, cards, my computer, and lots of bath bombs to help me relax, but what are some other ways you turn off your brain?

Control: Who Has It?

It’s the middle of the week, and I am at home hacking my lungs out with a box of tissues on my right and a dog on my left. Oh, and obviously a computer at my front 😉 My arthritic foot has been acting up from the irregular weather patterns and nothing, not even the $40 cream prescribed by the doctor, is working to alleviate the pain. My husband is leaving in two weeks for a month long rotation in Virginia, so I’m trying to mentally prepare myself to hold down the fort alone until the beginning of April. Now that’s what is just going in my immediate household. At work, clients come to me looking for answers. “What can I do with my life?” “I need some direction.” “Can you pay for this or that or the other thing?” In the world around me, I’m nervous for our education system and what may become of it; I’m scared for our Earth if things don’t change; I’m worried about the lives affected as we go backwards towards segregation; and lastly, I fear for the well-being of animals since reporting of cruelty and neglect can no longer be seen on reputable sites like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All these things are in my mind at all times, and it wears me down. But guess what?

I CANNOT CONTROL IT.

I do not have all the answers to life’s questions. I do not know why I had to end up with arthritic foot at 26 (maybe God’s telling me to slow down….) or get sick in the middle of important stuff at work. By the time my (future) children will be going to school, our education system could be better than it ever has been; a (future) mother can dream, right? I can be a part of the movement toward change and show integration to those around me. I can continue to recycle and minimize my waste output as steps towards a cleaner Earth. I can also continue to advocate for animal rights and be a voice for those who don’t have one. Giving up control is hard. As a woman with a Type A personality who would much rather lead than follow, I’m all about control. However, I worry myself sick when I don’t have any, and I shouldn’t. Deep down, I know who truly is in control and thankfully, it’s not me.

WHO IS IN CONTROL?

So often, we forget to count our blessings when things are rough and we felt we have lost control of our lives. That is totally normal, and the One who is in control knows it. He knows our desire to be in charge. After all, we know what’s best for ourselves, right? Ehh, not always. More often then not, things happen to make us slow down so we realize how little we are compared to how big He is. That alone is a blessing when you truly think about it. Did we create our immune systems to fight off the infections we occasionally may get? Did we design our bodies to have arms to hold things and legs to get where we need to go? Did we give ourselves a voice to speak up and be heard? We have so much to be thankful for, and I’m going to try and remember that as I go through my day eating soup, drinking tea, snuggling my pups, and binge watching YouTube videos. I encourage you to do the same, no matter what is going on in your life right now 🙂

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From the book, “Contagious Joy” by the Women of Faith series

A Lesson Learned From a Dog’s View

With all that is going on in our country right now, here is a picture of two creatures who could care less who you voted for, the color of your skin, where you are from, or what your beliefs are. They simply want to be accepted and trust they’ll be led in the right direction, even during periods of unrest. We can learn so much from dogs….<3

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Miner and Leia, two dogs who once unwanted, found their happy place in this world. I couldn’t be more grateful for all they teach me everyday. 

*This is not a political post designed to spark controversy or arguments. Enjoy it for the cute pups in all their glory who absolutely love hamming it up for photos.

A Little Holiday Cheer

In the spirit of the holidays, it is easy to get caught up in the gift-giving (and receiving!), the cookies, the music, the lights, and everything that makes Christmas so exciting. We spend time with friends and family and look forward to what the new year has to bring. However, for those individuals who may not have anyone to celebrate with, the holiday may not seem too bright. If so, this post is for you.

  1. You are loved. There is Someone who wants nothing more than to hold you and tell you everything is going to be okay. Hold close to the One who can make you feel better when no one else can.jer-31-3
  2. You are worth something. You have a purpose, a reason for being here, a reason for living. Treasure every day you have and shine your light on others. quote-there-has-never-been-and-never-will-be-another-you-you-have-a-purpose-a-very-special-marie-forleo-80-84-66
  3. You can make a difference. To the life of a rescued pet, you have changed their world. Even when it seems like no one else needs you, they do. If you choose to shop, please adopt and save a life. Millions of animals are in shelters every day waiting for someone to love them just like you do. 12-30-adopt-with-quote
  4. You will be okay. Stay busy and delight in the little things. Volunteer, go for a walk, or donate to a good cause. Watch football or go see a movie. Do what makes you love and know that at the end of the day, only you choose your own happiness.3353850-everything-will-be-ok-quotes

Now I’m off to spend Christmas with my husband and five furbabies; each rescued, by the way. May your holidays be bright, your smiles wide, and your love shine to everyone. However you choose to spend the holidays, enjoy them!

From us to you, Merry Christmas!!

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Rest and Relaxation

I’m a go-getter. When I am determined to do something, I do it, whether it’s 9am or 9pm. I love checking things off my list and feeling productive. However, doing too many things can cause exhaustion, which I’ve been known to push through. Well, I think God has been trying to tell me to slow down and I’ve avoided Him. Up until last night that is. Matt’s been gone since 6am Tuesday morning, so I’ve had a lot of time to myself (again) this week. I worked all week like usual, along with caring for the pets, the yard, preparing for family visits over the next week, and working out daily. I had full intentions of spending this Saturday at the humane society walking dogs since I haven’t been there in almost a month and make sure Matt has a home cooked meal when he gets home tonight. Poor guy hasn’t had one in weeks and I’ve been living on smoothies because I hate cooking for one. I was invited to go white water rafting (which I’ve never done before) tomorrow with coworkers, so I wanted to get as much done as possible before then.

Apparently God had other plans. I was walking Miner and Leia last night like I do EVERY SINGLE DAY and sprained my good ankle when I stepped on some gravel. I must have looked ridiculous hobbling home with 120 pounds of dog in front of me. Now, for those who don’t know, I injured my left ankle stepping off a friend’s porch last year and my doctor suspects I may have aggravated an old injury, therefore, surgery may be in my near future. My right foot has been my only good foot for a year and now it’s definitely sprained. I woke up this morning with a lump on the side of my foot the size of a golf ball. It’s been wrapped, put in Epsom salts, I’ve taken Ibuprofen and Arnica, and have used ice over the past 18 hours. I literally have done everything I can to keep it at bay so it doesn’t get worse, but I have to spend ALL DAY sitting with it elevated. It’s torture. I have to keep telling myself this is a sign for me to take it easy. The dogs need to be walked today, but there’s no way I could walk half a mile right now (much less two miles). My laundry is not done. The floor isn’t vacuumed and the porch isn’t cleaned off like I wanted it to be. My to-do list is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for Matt to cross items off once he gets home later 😉 I am still planning on rafting tomorrow if at all possible, so I know I have to keep it easy today.

Spending today on the couch was not how I intended to spend my Saturday, but it is important to take it slow sometimes. I rarely, if ever, just stop and absorb things around me. Heck, as I am sitting here typing, I can look up at my living room and see beauty in things I never really noticed before. My snake plant is still alive, which is more than I can say for other things I’ve attempted to plant before. Miner is so peaceful sleeping next to me that it’s wonderful to see him so content. I can see my workout calendar on the wall and realize how fortunate I am to have a body that is strong and complete a PiYo workout in one session. I see my Temple owl on my wall and am thankful I was able to achieve a Master’s degree and pursue an education not everyone gets to experience. I really do have a lot to be thankful for, including much needed rest and relaxation.

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
― Jane Austen

It only took two years to write a second entry…..

As I should have known, it took me two years to 1) remember I started this blog and 2) felt any desire to write something when I rediscovered it. My husband has been harping on me to “find a hobby” (doesn’t he know saving the world one rescue pet at a time is a hobby?!) and “stay busy” while he’s off on rotations. Yes dear, because running a house, caring for five pets, working 40+ hours a week, and trying to stay sane isn’t enough to stay busy. Oh to be a man and have a one track mind. Anyway, I’m promising him (and myself) that this blog will get up and running again. Even if no one reads it, it’s an outlet to express my feelings on this med school journey because, for those who are curious, it sucks in about as many ways as it is awesome. It’s a known fact women like to talk. Here is my talking for those who have a desire to listen. Stay tuned! DSC_0710