Entries Tagged as 'Family'

weekend trips, family and saying goodbye

Posted on: Thursday, October 16, 2014

family

recently, eric and i flew to chicago to meet my parents and two of my three sisters for a weekend trip. the weekend was an absolute blast filled with food {lots of it}, laughter, lazy morning drinking coffee together and crisp fall weather. we watched sunset from an amazing rooftop patio, had the tastiest dinner at my new favorite chicago restaurant, wandered around aimlessly window shopping, went on a food tour, played tourist at the bean, listened to live country music and soaked up each others company. we were also able to squeeze in a visit with my cousin erin and her husband jc {thanks for picking us up at the airport at 11pm!}, grab drinks with three amazing friends of mine from OU and watch my amazing friend caitlin run the chicago marathon. i loved the city and weekend so much that i compiled a few favorite spots {and some on my list to visit next time} in a new chicago adventures pinterest map! this is one of my favorite trips of the weekend of me, mom, kerry and katie – my sister hope was very missed over the weekend!

the weekend, of course, was not perfect. it never is, at least not with my messy, hilariously crazy family. there were mini arguments and hurt feelings and awkward conversations. when i’m around my family, i most often feel loved and accepted like no other. i feel warm and safe and filled with joy. but my parents and sisters know me better than anyone in the world so they know what bothers me, how to annoy me, what things to say and what not to say. and i’m the same with them. it’s not exactly intentional, it’s just that we know each other so well and how and when we push each others buttons. we are imperfect and often hurt each others feelings in little ways. but despite all of that, the weekend was amazingly great. i guess what i’m trying to say is that even when things don’t go perfectly according to plan or someone says something that hits the wrong way, family is a place of safety, unconditional love, joy. i felt like i was walking around all weekend in some sort of blissfully happy cloud – i was with my people. my home. the little things that annoyed me over the weekend quickly fell away when i remembered how great of a gift it was to spend time with them.

when it was time to say goodbye on sunday afternoon and eric and i were about to head to the airport, i got really teary. i’ve lived in san francisco many many miles from home for 3.5 years and before that, lived four hours away in college. i’m used to not being able to see my family as often as i’d like and very well versed in the art of phone call catchups, FaceTime, nonstop text messaging to make up for the loss of hours spent in person. but this trip – something about it – just got to me. i was crying before we even officially said goodbye, i cried the entire way to the airport, through security and while sitting with eric waiting for our separate flights. i always get a little teary when saying goodbye, but this trip was different.

i think it was the mix of this perfectly imperfect weekend spent together in chicago, knowing that it would be another 2.5 months before i saw them again and realizing that it will never be the same. growing up is tough. i was having the realization that as i grow older, life is going to continue to be different than my childhood and in so many good, positive and amazing ways. the weekend kind of reminded me of my childhood: playing {this time at anthropologie and h&m}, laughing hysterically, arguing {about who was going to wear what, naturally} and togetherness. things aren’t going to always look like childhood and i think i was feeling emotional about that and the bittersweetness of it all.

this post is probably a rant and i don’t have any wise, profound or particularly inspiring things to say except soak up moments with people you love as much as you can. if you have the opportunity, pay for the plane ticket to visit in between holidays. embrace the arguments and the drama and the annoying things that make the people you love so lovable in your eyes. spend time just being present in those moments with people you love. the world can be a really lonely place {for me, i find waiting in airports particularly lonely} and growing up and trying to figure out this whole life thing is tough. embrace togetherness – the blissfully happy and good moments and the not-so-good ‘you’re so annoying to me right now!’ moments – in any and all ways you can.

woman game-changer: my mom

Posted on: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

my mom, luna game-changer

when LUNA bar asked me to celebrate their LUNAFEST campaign and share a story of a woman game-changer in my life, i immediately said yes. i love sharing about inspiring and passionate women in my inspiring women series and i love highlighting products, brands and campaigns that are empowering individuals and changing the world in my launch i love seriesLUNAFEST is a film festival happening currently that celebrates films by, for and about women who are game-changers. the purpose is two-fold: to support and nurture the inspiring and often unsung work of talented women filmmakers and to raise funds and awareness for causes that help, empower and give a voice to women from all walks of life. while both are important and truly awesome, the second one really resonated with me. i’m passionate about also supporting causes and campaigns that support and celebrate women and love having the opportunity to share about individuals i look up to, so this is really right up my alley and think it might be up yours too!

so, on to my game-changer story…in a blog post three years ago, i shared how different women defined success. my mom’s answer was: making a difference in the world around me by representing Christ well and helping and influencing people. and that is exactly what she does. to be honest, i don’t know that many people who are actually living out of their life mission in a real, tangible way like she is.

my mom was a stay at home mom throughout my entire childhood and during my freshmen year of college, she decided to follow her dream and her calling and go back to school to get her Masters in family counseling. over the last six years, she’s had three years of school, an extended internship/practicum, a two year full-time job at a high-stress, intense mental health clinic and early this year, jumped ship to do her own thing. she felt called to open her own christian counseling office in our hometown to help youth, adults and families. after several setbacks and other drama, she opened mighty oak christian counseling about a year ago and her business continues to grow and help so many individuals and families in my small hometown community.

in my opinion, my mom is a game-changer. she changed the course of her life by opting to go back to school at 40-something, decided to take a leap and quit her stable counseling clinic job to start her own business. she’s continuing to grow her business while constantly meeting with other people not as a counselor, but as a mentor and friend. literally, i have several friends who go to her for advice, coffee dates and life chats to soak up her wisdom and loving advice. she’s also a game-changer because as a counselor, she’s impacting and helping other people heal from grief, loss or confusion and walk down the path to newness and restoration. i’m thankful to have her as a role model, friend, advocate, a leader in my hometown community and most importantly, as my mom. that’s her up there in the photo, admiring the beautiful glowing sunset at big sur during her last visit to california.

unfortunately, i just missed the san francisco LUNAFEST screening but loved watching the trailer and can’t wait to check out the full films celebrating other female game changers. 100% of all proceeds from LUNAFEST also supports charity: 15% going to Breast Cancer Fund and the other 85% going directly back to the local community where the individual events are hosted.

now i want to hear from you: who is a woman game-changer in your life? and make sure to check to see if there’s a LUNAFEST screening in your city!

*today’s post is sponsored by LUNA. thanks for reading and thanks to LUNA for the opportunity to participate and share!

for my mom

Posted on: Sunday, May 11, 2014

words can’t quite describe how important my mom is to me. i view her as one of my best friends, although when i tell her that she always declares, “i’m not your friend! i’m your mom!” every single person who meets her can see the love and energy she radiates and is inspired and encouraged by her presence. even a few days ago, i woke up early and couldn’t go back to bed and called her. we talked for 45 minutes or so about everything and nothing and laughed and it was so awesome. i don’t have to pre-plan our conversations or our time together, it just falls into place perfectly. putting together a reasons i love my mom is easy because there are many reasons, but it’s also hard because it makes me miss her so much and want to be close to her drinking coffee and spending time together in person. while i’m not home this mother’s day, i’m so so so thankful we’ll get to see each other in a few weeks! happy mother’s day, mom!

mom, i love you
for being a real-life definition of unconditional love
for singing at the top of your lungs while driving a minivan
for believing in the power of transformation and the miracle of metamorphosis. the theological term for that is faith.
for books before bedtime
for going out of your way to love and care about my friends
for always advocating and praying for me
for dealing with my mood swings, my brown-turned-black-turned-blonde-turned red hair and my bad attitude
for believing me
for always being excited for me and excited to talk to me!
for being a referee, a negotiator, a team player
for getting through toddler temper tantrums and teenage attitudes and quarter-life crosses
for your openness to adventure and “yes!” attitude
for scratching my back and braiding my hair and holding my hand
for putting us three girls above yourself and your wants and needs day-in and day-out
for pretending like you weren’t mad at us when we stepped on and broke your antique table or disappointed in us when we broke your heart from bad decisions throughout adolescence.
for generally being interested in my life, my day {even the boring parts!}
for being grace, light, peace
for not being an “on-the-sidelines” kind of mom, for always being involved
for flying to washington dc with me when i accepted my first internship and for the countless times you’ve dropped me off at the airport for other adventures
for not taking yourself too seriously {i remember you dressed like a clown for VBS and getting pulled over…}
for extending your life to those around you, for literally and figuratively giving the shirt off your back to anyone and everyone
for living inwardly and upwardly and outwardly
for being an amazing example of what i want to be like one day

mother’s day 2013 here
mother’s day 2012 here
mother’s day 2011 here

happy birthday pal!

Posted on: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

happiest 17th birthday to my baby sis, hope! i vividly remember the day hope was born. i was in second grade and all three of us girls went to the hospital with my parents. later that day, i went to school and remember being SO proud and excited to tell my class i had a brand new baby sister. fast forward 17 years and i still couldn’t be more proud to have this determined, funny, smart and loving lady as my own sister. pal, i am so thankful for you and the joy you bring into our lives each and every day. love you!

more posts about Hope here and here, plus this awesome one she wrote!

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