Hello, Santa.

29 Nov

Did you have parents who would threaten to call Santa Claus at this time of the year if you started misbehaving? I sure did! There is no sentence quite as terrifying as “I’m telling Santa you’re being bad” to a youngster. Well, now that I’m the adult (haha, when did that happen!?), I had my first opportunity to play the “Santa Card” this evening. 

On my way home from work I decided to call and chat with my cousin, Mandy, about our upcoming day-trip to New York City. She had just picked up her two little boys, Paul (nearly 5) and Ryan (3), from her mom’s and was heading home. However, she needed to make a quick stop at Goodwill to find a sweater she could DIY for her company’s ugly Christmas party. Not wanting to take the boys in with her, she asked if I would meet her at the store (it’s next to my apartment complex). Less than a 5 minute walk later, she was explaining that the boys were watching a movie and she’d only be a few minutes. Easy peasy, I’ve got this!

All was fine and dandy until the car turned off – you know, like the 10 minutes you have after turning off the car before the radio goes out. Thinking the boys’ movie would come back on like the radio by turning the key, I gave it a try – unsuccessful, although we were greeted by some lovely Christmas tunes! This is when the boys lost it.

At that moment they wanted nothing more to do with “Auntie” and wanted mom now. They began messing with the windows, which I had thought were locked. This wasn’t enough for them – they start chucking little pieces of bread and paper out the widows into the parking lot as I am frantically trying to figure out which buttons control their windows and which button will prevent them from putting them down once more. All the while, I can see Mandy waiting not-so-patiently in line with two sweaters. 

Finally, FINALLY,  I located the right window buttons, and using the boys’ middle names, get them to keep their fingers and toes inside the vehicle. And just like that, the screeching and fake crying begins – “you’re mean. I don’t want you here.” Is that music to all disciplining adults? Ignoring them, I attempt to communicate telepathically with Mandy that her sons are having a meltdown. Although I didn’t get through to her, Scott (boyfriend) must have sensed something was up, because he called at that exact moment and inspiration struck!

Me: “Hello Santa.”

Scott: “Santa? What?”

Me: “Why yes, Santa. I am in the car with two little boys who aren’t being very good right now.”

Scott: “Oh, I see what you’re doing now.”

Mandy has completed her transaction and is making her way to the car.

Me: “Santa, their mom is coming. I’ll have to call you right back.” 

Jumping out of the car I quietly and quickly explained the phone call and that her boys might ask about Santa now. She just laughs, finding the whole situation hysterical! Back in the car, she asks her boys about their behavior and our phone call with Santa before proceeding to show me her sweaters. After a few moments, this little voice from the backseat pipes up.

Paul: “Riah, can I see your phone?”

Me: “Why do you need my phone?”

Paul: “I need to call Santa.”

Mandy and I just glance at each other and try desperately not to laugh.

Me: (thinking quickly) “I’m sorry buddy, we can only talk to Santa once a week and we just used our phone call. You’ll have to wait until next week.”

Paul: (considers this for a moment) “Okay, then we can tell him I’m being good now.”

Me: “Absolutely, buddy!”

Who knew playing the Santa Card could be so much fun?!

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Come Gather at The Well 

4 Oct

For the last year and a half, I have had unbreakable evening plans for the first Tuesday of every month. You see, during this hour and a half block of time, I gather at The Well with women of all seasons of life who are each experiencing a uniquely different relationship level with God. While we don’t meet at an actual well that pumps water to drink, we meet at the spiritual well where the water runs deep. 

Where does that name, The Well, even come from you might be asking. It comes from biblical times when women would gather at the well, often in the morning, to draw water for their families. Without water they wouldn’t survive. In John 4 we read about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. She was all alone, choosing to come get water in the evening when the other women had gone. This alone speaks volumes – she was not accepted by the other women because of the lifestyle she had been living. BUT GOD still loved her. He still pursued her. He still wanted to give her his living water:

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our church’s women’s ministry was established by two women who felt God calling them to share their journey of building a relationship with Him with other women. It’s not always hearts and flowers – we dig deep, exposing fears, regrets, anguish, the lies we believe about ourselves, our hurts and hang ups. Many times there are tears. This living, running water, which is moving within each of us, reminds me that I’m not alone. Someone out there, another women, has felt, experienced, and grown through similar troubles. 

Each month our time together centers around a different theme. Last night we examined friendship. Our two hosts had invited their four best friends to join them on stage for a “round table” discussion. Picture this – stunning, long wooden table with six elegant and Godly women seated together. They were a beautiful group. Love radiated from each women as she spoke about their special bond of friendship, which was born out of a need to connect and rally around one another in times of heartache and pain, and is strengthened by each women’s individual love and relationship with God. 

As evident by the friendship that was before us, life was not meant to live in isolation. We need close companions and friendships. And those extreamly close relationships they likened to a table with limited seating. 

They asked us to reflect upon our own lives and think about the following questions:

  1. Think about your life’s table. How many seats are available and who is sitting in those seats? 
  2. What prerequisites do you have for those who occupy those seats? 
  3. What fruits are the people at your table bringing? 
  4. What conversations are you partaking in?
  5. Who do you trust with your life? 
  6. Who’s truth do you value the most? 
  7. How are you growing from this relationship? 
  8. What are YOU giving to this relationship?

The enemy wants to isolate us. We are easier to attack when we are lonely and I can personally attest to that. This stage in my life I would describe as lonely and because of that, difficult. Yes, I have my family, boyfriend, and some friends out of state to lean on, but I don’t have a friendship rooted in God’s love. 

The six friends described their friendship as a place of:

  • Trust
  • Depth (friendship and spiritual level)
  • Encouraging
  • Honesty (Ephesians 4: 2)
  • Real
  • Sacrifice 
  • Love
  • Willing to get uncomfortable
  • Fortify (Protect/strengthen against attack, provide, surround)
  • Patient
  • Steadfast
  • Guide in wisdom
  • Rejoice
  • Grieve together
  • Vulnerable
  • Interceding on their behalf in prayer
  • Permission to speak truth and love – I seeing you doing X and I love you too much to keep doing it, to keep ruining your life

Those women are willing to bare the scars of pain and uncomfortableness for their friendship because that’s when they grow. We were encouraged to be very selective of the friends we are relying on for the most strength and reminded the best relationships are made up of the best forgivers. 

We were reminded of the many women’s groups available through the church to meet fellow Christian women – MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers), Mom’s Next (mother’s of elementary school children), Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning/Sunday Morning women’s bible study groups, and so on. I struggled with this part because I don’t feel like there is a group of women my age, who aren’t married, who’ve never had children. I’m too old for the young adult class and not a mother (where the majority of the women my age are meeting). Yes I attend the Wednesday evening bible study when I can, but even in that class, I’m one of the youngest. I often find myself wondering where I fit in at church? Where are the other nearly 30, single, non-mothers like myself hiding?

We all need an honest, insightful, God-speaking friend, who in times of trial, will remind us,  “You can have your moment, but you can’t stay there.”

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans‬ ‭12:9-13‬, ‭NLT‬‬

Listening to their stories, there was one woman who described herself as an introvert and I could see myself in many of the things she was saying – difficult to meet friends, never felt 100% accepted by other women, always quiet, searching to fill a void. In my seat my heart was screaming – that’s me! I feel that way right now! Her next words stopped my mental anguish – “I prayed for God to send me a friend and I was blessed with five women who are extroverted. My life is a lot more fun now.”

Pray for a friend? Really? Could it be that simple? That innocent? Could I be that open, honest, and raw? It can. Surrender it to God. He will give you more than what you could ever even think to ask for.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬, ‭NLT‬‬

 I’m going to be braver than I’ve ever been before. Tonight, Lord, I ask that you open my eyes to the people around me. Help me to form and kindle relationships with women who will be able to draw me closer to you through their friendship. Lord, teach ME how to be that friend for someone else. I am lowering my walls, Lord, so that your truth, light, and spirit may fill my heart and soul with a deeper peace, love, feeling of acceptance than I have ever known. Lord, I don’t want to do life on my own anymore – guide me to my tribe of women would will fortify me and I them. You know the plans you have for my life and I know that includes friends. Show me, Lord, where to find them. 

Just Breathe®

22 Aug

Disclaimer: I am not an essential oil advocate. Below is my personal experience using dōTERRA products. This post is not sponsored and I did not receive products for free to review. 

Some mornings you wake up ready to tackle the day…other mornings, you wake and feel the day tackling you. I have had such a morning the past two days.

After a night of tossing and turning, coughing and hacking, it’s hard to muster the energy to open my eyes, let alone stand. Standing sets off the alarm bells in my head – something isn’t quite right. That’s when I notice the pressure and tightness that have inhabited my lungs during the night. As a former asthmatic, these symptoms used to send my anxiety into overdrive as it was never long before my airways began to close and breathing became too difficult. Back then, I had to rely on man-made medications administered through an inhaler or nebulizer to force my lugs open once more. But those days are long gone!

Now, as the weather starts to get cooler, and the pollens start to fly, there’s no reason to panic. About four years ago, I traded in my man-made medications in exchange for God’s all natural medication in the form of essential oils. As an individual with a history of severe allergic reactions to medications, I feel so blessed to have all natural alternatives.

This morning, when I felt that tightness grip my lungs, I headed straight for the refrigerator. That seems like an odd place to go at that particular moment, doesn’t it?! Within that chilly fortress lives my saving grace during moments of breathing difficulty – my dōTERRA Breathe® vapor stick.

This amazing product eases discomfort through a cooling and soothing vapor. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator for a few reasons: 1. During the heat of the summer, I noticed it began to “melt” while sitting out on the counter, and 2. For me personally, when I can’t breathe, I often feel overheated at the same time. The coolness applied to my skin aids in lowering my body temperature and allowing me to feel like me again.

With just a swipe or two over my chest, relief is moments away. And it couldn’t be any easier to use – it honestly looks like a giant chapstick! While I don’t have children of my own yet, I imagine it would be so easy to use on a sleeping little one during times of sickness or discomfort. Another time I love to use this product is right before I exercise – once again it keeps my lungs functioning properly and helps to keep me a bit cooler!

Have you tried dōTERRA’s Breathe® vapor stick? Share your experience with me in the comments below! Let me know if there are any other ways you use Breathe®!

If you are new to essential oils and interested in learning more about the dōTERRA company and its products, I invite you to join my boyfriend’s informative Facebook group! Periodically he will share live videos of his favorite oils and the ways to he likes to use them, along with information on how you can get your hands on a free sample.

The Great American Eclipse

21 Aug

Every since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by all things space – the moon, stars, sun, I wanted to know about everything! I can remember many summer nights spent with my Papa in the field learning about the constellations and how to use a telescope. In elementary school, I even had this crazy idea that one day I’d become an astronaut (it was even my Halloween costume – my mom is crazy creative and talented!)

Sadly, math and science just weren’t my strong areas, and I let go of orbiting the Earth one day. However, my love for outer space has never waned, I have just found new ways to enjoy it – mostly through books and YouTube videos. 

As the country prepared for The Great American Eclipse of 2017, I too was excited. However, knowing I would be at work, and likely unable to be outside for the duration of the spectical, I decided not to waste money on glasses I wouldn’t get to use. But something amazing happened – I worked an event on Friday evening which meant I’ve have to use 4 hours of comp time this week. And what better day than TODAY to use that free time!

After a little investigative work online, I discovered our local library had Solar Eclipse glasses. After standing in a long line for almost an hour, I was lucky enough to get a pair for myself and to surprise Scott at work with his own pair. He’d been using a welders helmet one of his coworkers brought in. 

I Had the PERFECT viewing spot of the eclipse from our balcony. It was nice being under a bit of shade to protect my sensitive skin from burning. I also managed to capture one good shot of the eclipse by taping my glasses over my iPhone’s camera. 


What an amazing experience this was to see! I may not have been in the path of totality, but I did notice the birds stop singing and the temperature drop slightly. Our sun is so amazing! Experiences like this make me really appreciate the beauty and wonder all around us! 

Who’s ready for the next one on April 8, 2024?! I am – because when it’s time for that one, I WILL BE IN THE PATH OF TOTALITY! How cool is that?!

Ms. DIY

10 Jul

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a crafty nature. As a small child, I loved to color and draw, although just like my mother, I soon discovered I was not artistically inclined. Still, that has never stopped me from creating little doodles on scraps of paper or along the edges of my school notes. Writing came naturally to me, which is probably what prompted me to begin journaling and writing fiction stories at the young age of eight. Over the years I’ve discovered other creative outlets as well – scrapbooking, photography, gardening, and music to name a few. 

This past week I have enjoyed a much-needed staycation. During this time off, I discovered yet another creative pass time I enjoy – home projects! I don’t know why exactly, but there is something so satisfying about creating something new out of dozens of mismatched looking pieces.

I had two big projects and one small decor project to tackle. In the year and a half of living in our apartment, I have used plastic shelving to store all of my clothes and felt it was time to upgrade to a more functional and astetically pleasing solution. So I ran to Walmart and found a four drawer Sauder dresser in espresso and a Better Homes & Garden eight cube storage unit also in espresso. Single-handedly (and quite awkwardly) I maneuvered those long, heavy boxes from our parking lot, up a flight of stairs and into our bedroom. 

Then the fun began – assembling each unit.       


Others, who are more furniture assembly inclined, probably would have been able to put the units together much faster than I did. In my defense, this was my first go round, and I had never before seen a hidden cam and cam dowel, let alone had any idea how to instal them. Luckily for me, my instructions came with detailed step-by-step pictures and links to online tutorials. I also looked up assemble reviews on YouTube, figuring I could learn from the wisdom and mistakes of other who have assembled before me. 

In the end, the dresser took me just under four hours to complete. The most time consuming part – the drawers! I tried to build two at the same time, doing one step on each before continuing, but that seemed to slow me down even more. The eight cube storage unit only took me about an hour and a half, thankfully! Hardest part turned out to be keeping the cross sections connected and straight while adding and fighting the side pieces. In the end, I am very please with how each piece turned out and I love the clean, finished feel they add to the room. The next big decision is what kind of curtains to get, but that’ll have to wait for another day!


My decor project is one I’ve had planned since Christmas. I saw a photo of a Roman numeral clock with the flying silhouettes of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Peter and Michael in an Etsy shop. Rather than spend $30 – $40 for someone else to make me the clock, I decided then and there to make my own! It took a few months to track down the right clock and the one I found had a gold rim that I decided to spray paint black. When it came time for the silhouettes, I lucked out because my mom has multiple Disney Cricket cartridges and had all of the characters in the positions I wanted. I even opted to add a tiny Tinker Bell to my design. We cut the characters out of scrap paper to get the sizing right before cutting the final pieces out of black sticky vinyl. The end result gave me chills – I think it looks like a clock you’d find in a Disney gift shop!

Look around at my projects, each piece, the colors, designs and shape help to express who I am as an individual. Already looking for new projects to occupy my time during my next chunk of free time (last week in August when my summer class ends and right before fall semester begins). What projects have you worked on lately?  

Happy Happenings – February 2017

28 Feb

I just can’t believe how quickly February flew by! Perhaps it was because I spent all of my spare time doing homework for my PR history and the modern world class. Or maybe, just maybe, because it didn’t feel like February. Whatever the reason for its seemingly speedy departure, looking back, it was a month filled with many joyous moments!

  1. 10 out of 10 on last week’s homework! My professor complimented my great use of storytelling for the second week in a row!
  2. Random coworkers will now pop their heads into my office to see what the “smell of the day is” for my diffuser. This morning was On Guard and Eucalyptus and in the afternoon they asked for Motivate!
  3. Hummus veggie pizza for dinner!
  4. For some strange reason my work account, and those of a number of other people on campus, was deactivated. Since I was unable to access internet, my shared drives or my email, I got paid to catch up on my class readings this morning.
  5. When lunchtime rolled around, the problem still wasn’t fixed so I was able to take a 1/2 vacation day to come home! It was so much fun to surprise Scott before he headed off to work this evening.
  6. Had a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies stashed away, busted them out tonight as I wrote my forum post about FDR and the importance of photography in PR history. (***Just for fun, out of 35,000 photos of FDR, how many depict him in his wheelchair?! The answer might surprise you – I know I was surprised when I was doing my reading for class!)
  7. Helped my coworkers get our 50th anniversary display case all set up!
  8. Watching Twilight while making dinner. Tried a new recipe – cauliflower alfredo pasta.
  9. Watching live TV on the Disney Channel app! Currently enjoying Despicable Me!
  10. Pancakes and raspberry hot chocolate for breakfast.
  11. Thanks Abbey for sending photos of Bailey’s (Jacob) 1st birthday party! Wish we could have been there to celebrate with everyone, looks like it was a fun afternoon!
  12. Tried another new recipe – One Pot Mexican Quinoa and it was delicious! Tasted just like tacos WITHOUT the meat!
  13. Chatting with Kira! Thanks for being one of my very bestest friends in the whole wide world!
  14. Great time chatting with my mom. I’ve missed our mother-daughter bonding time.
  15. Visiting with my grandparents for a little while this afternoon. They are the cutest!
  16. All emotional watching former President Bush and First Lady participate in the Super Bowl coin toss. Such a special moment for them!
  17. One of my coworkers surprised our office with cream sticks from DeLuxe Pastry Shop!
  18. Helped teach our Dean how to tweet! She’s so excited to join the online conversation!
  19. The feeling of just washed, just braided hair! I have a cute hairstyle planned for tomorrow, fingers crossed it turns out the way I picture it in my head!
  20. Stepped outside of my comfort zone and layered my LuLaRoe pieces to create a new outfit! Love how it came together! 16473690_10154479016006693_3310079714335901254_n
  21. Loved the way my time lapse video for the College turned out! I shared it to my page earlier, take a look!
  22. Great night at The Well! Lesson from Luke 8, learned all about the condition of our soul soil – is your soil compacted, filled with rocks, taken over by thorns, or good top soil?
  23. Made it home safely in the rain and fog.
  24. Pinterest planning how to grow a bountiful vegetable garden on our 2 floor balcony.
  25. Walks, talks, and lots of laughter with my work friends.
  26. Had an awesome meeting with the creative minds of KSU this afternoon. They taught us some cool new ways to use our new branding elements. I’m so excited to try out what I learned! My designs are about to go to a whole new level! Can’t wait for next month’s meeting!!
  27. Crossing items off my project to-do list at work.
  28. My windshield wipers weren’t frozen to my car at the end of the day and it only took a few moments to defrost the ice.
  29. Homemade crispy sweet potato fries for dinner tonight, with some extras for lunch tomorrow! 16602671_10154485264911693_3885807182169895729_n
  30. Scott and I are slowly getting caught up on all of the Designated Survivor episodes!
  31. Surprising Angie with her first oil purchase!
  32. Buying my textbook for my next class from Amazon for $0.25! Plus the $3 something in shipping, but that’s still such a steal!
  33. Loving my Lasko space heater on this chilly evening. It’s keeping my living room cozy without having to turn the overall heat on!
  34. Taxes are done! Hallelujah!!
  35. Great time at the movies with Macayla and Natalie! 16602569_1363341823687554_7983116607515526958_n
  36. Brand new pillow and microfiber sheet set! Here’s to having some wonderful sweet dreams! G’night!
  37. Quote from today’s sermon: “Faith without action is like horsepower without traction. Makes a lot of noise and your wheels spin fast, but you aren’t going to go anywhere.”
  38. Had a fun conversation, spurred by a debate between Macayla and Mason at lunch today about the correct way to “make a phone with your hand.” Which then led into signing the alphabet and other basic signs.
  39. Thanks mom for sending me home with a clean dress (after the adorable little baby at church got sick on me!) and a can of Chicken Noodle Soup for Scott!
  40. Being the first one in the parking lot means I got my pick of the spots today!
  41. Finished my first draft of a new blog post for the college featuring one of our alumna.
  42. Sent out an exclusive first look of the features to our 50th anniversary website and before I left work, we had someone submit their story to the site!! I can’t wait to open it up to everyone!!
  43. Angie and I brought a friend to the #MindfulMile walk today and got two punches in our reward card instead of just one! We were also somehow front and center in the group photo!
  44. Rocked my Valentine’s Day LuLaRoe at work today! Everyone loved my leggings!
  45. Had a great planning meeting for our 5K! Mark your calendars, it’s Saturday, May 6!
  46. Date night with Scott at Mike’s Place. It was so nice bumping into Hannah and Shirley and Bill!
  47. 10+ hours of sleep and a nice hot cup of Winter Spice tea – here’s to feeling less icky tomorrow!
  48. Phone conversation with mom!
  49. Surprise text from Abbey! Love our silly conversations!
  50. Listened to a great webinar at work today about coping with stress. So glad my employer provides these learning opportunities for us. This one came at the perfect time.
  51. Published a new blog featuring one of our prominent alumna for Black History Month.
  52. Grade back for my last journal entry of this class – 10/10!!
  53. Mid-morning Auntie Anne’s pretzel run!
  54. Thanks mom for sending me this yummy zucchini chip recipe. Didn’t have Parmesan, so I used shredded mozzarella instead! 16807509_10154515003356693_8203490452848789049_n
  55. Late to the party, but started watching “This is Us” and I LOVE IT!!!
  56. Waking up to Scott’s alarm and being able to go back to sleep!
  57. 65° F in February means open windows for some much needed sunshine and air circulation.
  58. Had a blast at the women’s basketball game with my coworkers! Even got a selfie with President Warren!
  59. Love driving and feeling the warm sun streaming in through the windshield!
  60. Played Phase Ten with Scott before he had to head off to work tonight.
  61. You may think I’m crazy and that’s okay…but “planted” two avocado seeds today! Fingers crossed we’ll see roots within the next 3-6 weeks! According to all of the YouTube videos I’ve watched, people have had the most success with this method! Fingers crossed!! 16641099_10154520382746693_3041490619680927773_n
  62. When I got home from work, I discovered one of our Tulips was starting to open! 16830753_10154523155751693_954702074053095616_n
  63. In a race to get to the grocery store before it closed, every light we came up to turned green. It was one of those moments like in an action movie where the techie guy changes all the lights at the exact moment the hero approaches the intersection.
  64. Bought some Parsley tonight, and since I know we won’t use the entire bundle, decided to see if I could get a few to root! If they do, we won’t have to buy it again! 16864194_10154523155861693_9110339167456637944_n
  65. Seeing the joy on college students’ faces when I passed out free t-shirts!
  66. Used my lunch hour productively to get caught up on some homework reading.
  67. Hammered out 1/3 of my final paper tonight! Only 2,500 words to go!!
  68. Human Resources surprised our College this morning by dropping off some snacks as part of a random acts of kindness/unity campaign.
  69. Another alumna submitted a story in celebration of our 50th anniversary – and she was a member of the very first graduating class! So excited to roll out this campaign publicly!
  70. “Graffitied” the front office windows in preparation for “Month of Gratitude” which begins March 1! We are hoping more of the faculty and staff will participate as well!
  71. Laughing and joking with our Dean during a team meeting today. She apologized for being late and I responded with “The Dean is never late, everyone else is simply early” and she loved it! Thank you Princess Diaries for the awesome quote at the perfect moment!
  72. So glad I fell in love with a man who enjoys cooking. Scott was slaving away in the kitchen making “meatloaf” when I arrived home from work. This was our first time trying this recipe and we enjoyed it – very filling. 16730675_10154535372351693_3022324288754319106_n
  73. Found a way to reference LuLaRoe in my homework post this week! Consultant friends, I hope you’re proud!
  74. This morning Angie and I attended a Gratitude Journaling seminar. It was neat for me because everything the presenter told us to do, I’ve been doing for nearly two whole months now! She shared a great quote by Melanie Beatty that said “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. I can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
  75. Received the BEST surprise interruption during our budget meeting today – Megan came to visit me at work and brought me a chocolate milkshake as well! It was fun introducing her to my coworkers! 16806721_10154538973061693_988365819408642982_n
  76. In honor of today’s beautiful 75° day, and because it felt like summertime, I made Sunshine Rice. So many memories from my childhood center on that dish. It’s a beautiful presentation and a symphony of flavor!16998187_10154538973931693_1783533658159110836_n
  77. Always love when Manda and Michael pop over just to chat! Loved hearing all about how they celebrated their anniversary last night and chatting nonsense with Paul – Ryan was down for the count taking a nap.
  78. Saturday’s mean PJ day!
  79. Found the missing link for my research paper. I will be so glad to turn it in this week!
  80. On my way home tonight I got stopped at the railroad tracks. Normally this would be irritating, but since I was in no hurry, I put the car in park and turned up the radio. I was blessed with a message from my Heavenly Father in the form of the song “Mended” by Matthew West. Had I not caught the train, I would have missed this beautiful reminded that while I am focusing on the pain of life, He already knows all the ways in which He will help me use that to future His Kingdom.
  81. I never laugh as much as when I am with my family. Sunday lunch and afternoons are my favorite times during the week.
  82. Great sermon delivered in church today about having more patience. This hit pretty close to home as I know this is an area in which I have traditionally had difficulties, but as I was sitting there listening, I began noticing all the little ways the Lord has been working on my heart this past year to help me become more patient with myself, others and situations.
  83. Received an angry email at work from someone who claimed he had asked to be taken off the email list years ago. I emailed him back apologizing that he had not been removed and let him know I would personally remove him from the list. He emailed me back this afternoon to let me know that he was glad I had reached out to him. Apology accepted and bridge mended!
  84. First time at a new doctor’s office today and it was a fantastic experience – in and out in less than an hour. No waiting. No delays. She took the time to answer all of my questions and concerns and never made me feel like she had somewhere else she needed to be.
  85. Thank goodness our internet behaved tonight. 90% done with my paper. Just a few more sources to refind and plop in! I am so tried of reading and re-reading the history of tampons!
  86. The IT guy surprised our department with these adorable mini donuts! Happy Fat Tuesday! 16996488_10154550213346693_300246490286572445_n
  87. Thank you dad for editing my 19 page research paper! You’re the best!!! And it’s been submitted an entire day early!
  88. In order to allow me to finish the last little bit of my paper, Scott made dinner! Then we started watching Inferno, but as we are both falling asleep, we’ll have to finish it tomorrow.

Wondering what this list is all about? Check out my introduction to my daily Happy Happenings!

Happy Happenings – January 2017

31 Jan

A few years ago I took part in a 60 day Facebook group happiness challenge hosted by a fitness/wellness counselor. The whole basis of the challenge was learning to let go and move past the things that have hurt us in the past, that we may be holding onto still, and that are preventing us to be fully happy in the present. During the course of those 60 days, we had homework and weekly activities that we were required to complete in order to remain in the program. As a result of those exercises, I learned a lot about myself.

One of our challenges was to notice and publicly share three things each day that brought us joy or made us happy, not matter how big or how small. At first, finding three positive things was a challenge, but then it switched to how do you choose only three! When I was drafting my end of year post for 2016, I was recalling all of the negative things that had happened, but I could hardly remember the positive, and that was devastating. In that moment, I decided it was once again time to focus on happiness.

Beginning on January 1, I shared my three things, and from that day on, I have shared three or more things that blessed my life or brought me joy. It was amazing to see how my outlook on life shifted, and how my small acts of gratitude became contagious within my little sphere of Facebook. Over this month, many have reached out to say how much they enjoy reading my “Happy Happenings” each day and how it is nice to see some positivity in a world full of evil.

My goal is to compile all of these moments through the year so that I will have them to look back on when New Year’s Eve rolls around again. I want to be overflowing with happiness and joy and blessings from a fantastic 2017. And I want to share this positive energy with all of you, so without further ado, here are January’s Happy Happenings!

  1. Spent the first 45 minutes of the new year lighting sparklers with Scott and Macayla.
  2. The worship band sang one of my favorite songs this morning – “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin.
  3. Traditional pigs in the blanket for lunch to bring good luck! img_0020
  4. Boys vs. girls Catch Phrase round 2 with Scott, Mom , dad , Megan and Austin.
  5. Last day to sleep in for holiday break.
  6. Trying a new recipe with Scott and it was delicious!
  7. Quiet time reading before bed.
  8. Was slightly amused when I discovered my scarf and hair bow perfectly matched the color of my work water bottle. I may like that color just a little! 😂🙈
  9. The Well was FANTASTIC tonight!! Such a beautiful Women’s Ministry is happening at DFC. Tonight we brought our shame into the light so it won’t discolor or discourage us in the new year. By bringing it to the light, it loses its power. 🙏🏻
  10. 9 minute power workout in my bedroom! Little steps = future big rewards! 💪🏻
  11. Seeing my work friends after a wonderful week off! Missed them!
  12. Tried a new recipe for dinner – vegan stuffed peppers and they were FANTASTIC!
  13. How cute it is when Scotty falls asleep on my shoulder while we’re watching TV. (I love you, hun!!!) 😍😘❤️
  14. My sister Megan officially KICKED CANCER’s butt!!! 5 years clean!! God is Good!!!
  15. A box of doTERRA essential oils was delivered. Love how these oils are safe and allow me to replace medicine – all natural healing and wellness is a game changer for me!
  16. Made it home safely on the slippery roads today.
  17. Joined my church’s challenge to memorize 24 scriptures in 12 months. The verse I’ve selected for the first half of the month is pictured.img_0042
  18. IT’S FRIDAY!
  19. Got a mile workout in during lunch on the walking desk treadmill in the library.
  20. Chocolate – enough said!
  21. Successfully packed all of our Christmas things in one bin! Christmas Tetris level- master.
  22. Reminiscing about past Christmas ornaments while taking them down is almost as fun as reminiscing while putting them up. Fun time helping mom pack away the “sister” tree.
  23. Yiruma iheartradio station while doing dishes is so relaxing.
  24. Chilly nights means adding another blanket to the bed. Busted out my 2005 “Let it snow” seminary blanket and had to laugh remembering all the chilly mornings with Aunt Khristy and Manda studying scriptures before school.
  25. Saw a rainbow while driving to my parents’ house this morning.
  26. Not sure how it started, but Megan, mom, dad and I ended up quoting most of the movie “Jingle All the Way” on the drive home from church.
  27. Sunday afternoon naps are the best!
  28. A coworker surprised us and brought in homemade coffee cake! Yumm!
  29. An Aldi opened up nearby and I had my first successful solo shopping trip there tonight.
  30. Going to bed BEFORE 11:30 p.m.
  31. I get so much joy from purging the office of 5 year old papers, projects and posters. Why were we holding onto all of that stuff?!
  32. All the girls at the office loved my LuLaRoe leggings and Carlie dress! Super cute, comfy and warm!
  33. Best cousin-in-law award tonight goes to Michael!! Thank you for coming over to jump start Scott’s car! We really appreciate it! And thanks for bringing Manda so we could chat and the boys so I could listen to them yell/sing through the window!
  34. Made it to work with enough time to sit, observe and snap a photo of God’s beautiful sunrise. #nofilter img_0049
  35. The custodians did a FANTASTIC job deep cleaning my new office!
  36. Listening to the soothing sound of piano music.
  37. First full day of work in my BRAND NEW OFFICE SPACE! After a year and a half with no walls or door, it’s so nice to have a private, comfortable, creative space of my own! Goodbye cubicle!!
  38. So much joy comes from crossing items off my to-do list! Felt so productive today.
  39. Nothing better than coming home on a chilly evening and curling up with a warm blanket and cheesy hallmark movie!
  40. Peppermint and Motivate in my diffuser at work – one of my new favorite blends!
  41. First time making eggplant parmigiana and it wasn’t horrible!
  42. Watched “Singin’ in the Rain” with Scotty!!!! ☂️🌧💧
  43. Fresh mango for breakfast! My favorite fruit!
  44. Saturday outfit of choice – LuLaRoe leggings and an Irma! Stylish, warm and comfy!
  45. Game night with Macayla, Mason, Scotty, Mom and dad. We laughed so hard while playing the marble game, 5 Second Rule and Apples to Apples. Great Saturday night! img_0059
  46. All caught up on The Bachelor drama.
  47. Michael to the rescue…again. Scott and I really appreciate it!
  48. Trying out my new diffuser – enjoying the smells of Wild Orange and Purify.
  49. Green smoothies are DELICIOUS!
  50. Friendly lady at the grocery store let me go in front of her because I only had two items and she had a heaping cart.
  51. Blogging
  52. The rain stopped and the sun came out right at 5 pm as I was leaving work.
  53. I love designing and interacting with the students on our various social media accounts.
  54. New year means turning over a new leaf at work – stepped outside my comfort zone and presented a few ideas I’ve been playing with. Not only were they accepted, I was complimented for my creativity and diversity.
  55. Collaborating as a team means our events will be that much cooler!
  56. Disney pointing to direct a lost student to the building she needed.
  57. Submitting an assignment a day early. Now to read 100 pages and write a journal (700-800 words) all before Sunday! Bring it on spring semester!
  58. Warm blankets
  59. Scott had dinner nearly finished when I got home from work – tried a new veggie burger recipe. Next time we’ll leave the sunflower seeds out – GROSS (I picked all mine out!)
  60. Relaxing shower before bed.
  61. Had a great meeting with the center for nursing research.
  62. Had a fantastic conference call with alumni relations and advancement. Both are onboard for an upcoming project!
  63. Had a great night at Dave & Busters kicking off Megan’s birthday weekend.
  64. Loved seeing all the photos of my cousin, Erin, who graduated from basic training on her mom’s (Aunt Anita’s birthday!)
  65. Megan thanks for letting me get my puppy fix this morning! Archie is lovable and ADORABLE!!
  66. Had a pretty good hair day! Sorry, no photos!
  67. Celebrated my wonderful, fantastic momma’s birthday with hibachi and froyo! Love you so very much mom and hope you had the most perfect birthday! img_0094
  68. Watching Megan and Austin attempt the bicycle challenge = HYSTERICAL!
  69. Great message today in church all about God’s promises!
  70. Celebrated Megan’s birthday with a delicious meal made by mom , with ice cream cake for dessert! Happy birthday lil sis! Hope it was as super duper cool as you are! Make this year 100% awesome!!img_0096
  71. Submitted my homework on time! It was a close call, I was worried I wouldn’t make it! Week 1 done!
  72. Seeing Grandma and Papa after they’ve been away on vacation for 3 weeks! Great to have them home!
  73. We pulled off a FANTASTIC birthday party for the college today complete with a message from our president and musical entertainment provided by the Men’s Chorus!
  74. At said birthday party, two different papers (local and student media) were there to cover the event as a result of my media alert! First time the local paper has come to anything I’ve invited them to at the college!
  75. Extra cupcakes from the birthday party meant I was sent home with a to-go box to share with Scott!
  76. Coverage of our birthday party was on the front page (just below the fold) of the paper. And yes, that is me in the photo the paper selected. As you can see, I really was broadcasting it live on Facebook! Hahaha!
  77. Splitting a left-over cupcake with a coworker for a much-needed afternoon sugar boost!
  78. Being “kid napped” by Manda on a quick trip to Walmart. It was fun to laugh and catchup!
  79. Thanks dad for reminding me how to check the tire pressure in my car! You’re the best!
  80. Happy birthday to my Disney Sister, Kellan! Had a blast chatting tonight!
  81. Thank you Michael for taking care of the pesky nail in my tire! You are a FANTASTIC mechanic! img_0579
  82. Ordering lunch from my phone at my desk and having it ready by the time I had walked over to the Student Center to pick it up! No waiting in the 20 minute line – FastPass, work edition!
  83. Discovering we had all of the ingredients necessary to make garlic kale veggie burgers WITHOUT a trip to the grocery store! It’s the little things in life! 🙂
  84. Great breakfast meeting at Bob Evans with a coworker and the woman a prestigious College of Nursing award is named after.
  85. Great comment from my Dean as I was heading out the door all smiles on my way to a meeting: “Give you a little freedom and you’re flying around building relationships and making connections!” She told me she’s always thought my work was good, but now, she’s seeing a happier, more creative and idea-producing side emerge!
  86. At said meeting, got my ad approved with only minor revisions to make!
  87. Nothing beats ending your night with a banana chocolate peanut butter smoothie! (Made with 1 frozen banana, almond milk, PB2 chocolate, and chocolate protein powder.)
  88. Singing along to my favorite songs on the radio on my way to work!
  89. So proud of my friend, Tracy! She’s the first nursing student to guest blog for the college and her post went live today!
  90. Pizza and cheesy TV sitcoms are the best way to spend a Friday evening after a long work week!
  91. Thankful for the firefighters who leave their warm beds in the middle of the night to keep me and my neighbors safe. Watching as they check out and clear the building across from mine as it’s alarms were going off. photo
  92. Surprise visit from my dad . It was nice having time to chat, just the two of us! Love you, dad!
  93. Afternoon nap
  94. Finally deciding the topic for my final project in my PR History and Modern world class.
  95. Laughing and joking around with Macayla and Mason! I love seeing how happy he makes her and how comfortable he is in our family dynamic!
  96. Dad and mom sent me home with leftover stuffed peppers and now I don’t have to pack a lunch for work tomorrow!
  97. Journal and final project proposal both submitted before the deadline! Learning so much in the class already and we’ve only just finished week 2!
  98. Angie encouraged me and I encouraged her to go on the “mindful mile” walk at noon with the wellness group. It may have been only 20 degrees, but once we got moving, talking and laughing, the time flew and we couldn’t believe how fast that mile went! img_0581
  99. Had a great workout on the treadmill tonight. It was also great having the whole apartment fitness facility to myself!
  100. Finally all caught up (with the exception of tonight’s episode) on The Bachelor!
  101. My nameplate arrived and looks wonderful on my office door! NOW it feels like my office!
  102. Discussing all the drama that is The Bachelor with my work friends.
  103. While I typically enjoy going to the gym alone, it was nice having Scott tag along this time! We each did our own workouts, but it was nice spending that time working on our physical health together.
  104. After 31 days in a row, my iPad now products “Happy happenings from today” and that makes me so happy!