i’m still wearing sweaters and wishing that it was warmer. my red polished, summer-time ready, toes are hiding out in depths of blue and aqua fuzzy socks that look look like the sea and remind me that i’m far from it. i’m housebound in the middle of the country. although, truth be told, i’m concerned about warming my soul more than my winter white arms. souls can get cold, you know. they don’t always send a shiver or create prickly bumps to let you know they are getting cold, chilly, or, almost even, frozen. it happens, usually, when you are not paying attention. or when something is taking all of your attention. so much so that one day, while your at your kitchen sink, just washing crusty and dinner caked dishes, you all of sudden realize you suddenly don’t feel much at all. numb is the temperature of soul cold. i’m no expert. i’m only a student myself, and this past year has been a schooling in subjects i didn’t know i’d be subjected to. learning lessons i didn’t even know needed learning. and, un-learning things i wasn’t even aware that i had learned, a long the way. this week it’s clear that i’ve stumbled into the class where the cirriculum calling is gratitude.
hi lovelies…..just a little thought for your monday!
i’m not a fan of endings (unless it is a 973 page book that i’ve labored over or a day that has been hurried and harried and covered in peanut butter and jelly). i usually tend to see endings in a most melancholy way. but, what if endings are really just beginnings in disguise? i understand the thought might not work on every this or that, but… if you think about it, it might mend your thoughts just a bit and perhaps even put a little hope in your heart for the possibility of a new beginning. if you are at an end and find that your eyes are a little blurry and your heart is finding hope foreign or forgotten, don’t be alarmed because endings, especially really big ones, can feel that way (perhaps with big endings, come big beginnings). sometimes you just need someone to come along side of you and stand there with you. and, over time, you will begin to feel a little less foggy and the idea of a beginning won’t frustrate or frighten you. it will be strange, but you may find it might just excite you.
if you are at an end, then i hope these words will stand beside you and stick with you and drop a little hope in your heart.
this is a post about toast. toast and friendship, really. friendship and comfort and care, to be exact.
i’ve always been a toast girl (when it comes to carbs, it has nothing to do with pasta, for me, and everything to do with the bread – and, yes, ok, french fries. so french fries and french bread and we are all good). my early memories of toast entail my young and beautiful mother ever so carefully concocting a magic mixture of cinnamon and sugar and sprinkling it, like fairy dust, out of a tiny glass teddy bear onto warm buttered toast. i think the taste of love and care was always stronger than the sweet cinnamon and sugar. while making toast is a small task, i always felt cinnamon toast on a school day to be a grand gesture. to this day, my, still gorgeous, mom turned grandma makes the same cinnamon sugar toast every tuesday for my littles. i think nigel slater said it best when he said, “it is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you.”
my other young memory of toast is with my grandma hilda. i can’t quite pinpoint exacts, but i know she always made toast and cheese. not grilled cheese. not toasted cheese. toast and cheese. a piece of toast in the toaster, spread with butter and than topped with slices of cheddar cheese. when i am at my worst and feeling in a very bad way, the only thing i ever want to eat is toast and cheese with a cup of tea. i think the ritual of making toast and cheese, along with the aromatic memory, comforts and sustains me more than the food itself. many a days, over the past few years, i’ve only been able to manage toast and cheese and tea. it wasn’t just food for the stomach, it was food for the heart. toast toasting and my grandmas wise words, suddenly, dancing around in my head. with each bite, i chewed on a bit of wisdom. warm substance for my soul all from a piece of toast. the last time i was at my grandma’s house, she made me a piece of raisin toast with cheese. i had forgotten about that combination. but now, whenever i make my cheese toast with cinnamon raisin bread, i’ll be instantly transported to my grandma’s kitchen in colorado. standing there with my sister, eyes darting back and forth between the beauty of the majestic un-moveable mountains to the beauty of a 5’1″ warrior of woman who’s story and strength are just as un-moveable and majestic to me.
do you love love stories? ruche asked me to share my love story on their blog, and since i’ve never really shared my story online so i thought i’d go for it.
i thought you might like to read it too? if you like that sort of thing. if you are all black and death to cupid on valentines day, thats ok too. i wore black all through high school and photocopied a picture of cupid shot by his own arrow. serious angst, but in the middle of it…there was a bit of love — more below.
Love is a thief and we are its captives.
You never know when love might strike or steal. It’s usually when we aren’t looking for it that it finds us. I certainly wasn’t thinking of husbands and marriage at 14, but that is when, my now husband, Stephen stole my heart.
It was early July, 1992 and I was brooding over a bad breakup, as far as freshman break ups go. You know, typical end of the world, I’m never going to be happy again business that consumes your every thought. It was bad news, so i thought, and I certainly wasn’t looking to date anyone else.
On a humid Wednesday I packed up all of my angst, and my youthful confusion along with my umbro shorts and a can of Finesse hairspray and headed to a summer retreat with my youth group in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It was on this retreat that I met a junior from Georgia with a sweet Southern drawl. Stephen came to visit his aunt and uncle and attend the same retreat. Fate would have it that we ended up in the same small group (a group I wasn’t even supposed to be in, but got moved to at the last minute). I thought he was nice, but I was busy thinking about my about my bad breakup. Stephen and I hung out quite a bit that week and as I got to know him, I really liked who I got to know. There was something substantially different about him. Manners for one. Southern charm was new to me. But what really caught my attention was that he had a certain kindness about him and a gentle spirit that I just wanted to be around. And, I suppose I shouldn’t leave out that he was a tall blonde, handsome, quarter back, who really won me over by doing a flip flop for me on a warm summer’s night. I clearly remember walking back to my room and thinking, “I could marry this guy.”
Stephen went back to Atlanta and we exchanged letters, the hand written kind, throughout the year. I rationalized with my young mind and maturely told myself that he lived in Georgia and I lived in Illinois so likely nothing would ever come of us this. I let it go, but firmly held onto the idea of Stephen or maybe I should say the ideal of Stephen.
Another summer rolled around and another summer retreat. Stephen came back, but this year he brought his girlfriend. With many laughable moments and a few tears, I again tried my best to be mature and let it go. We talked occasionally that week and we were both grateful to still be friends. Off he went, and so did another little piece of my heart.
I tried not think about him. Only when there was nothing to think about … I thought about him. I wondered what he was doing, how he was doing, and if he ever thought about me, too?
you can read the rest of teenage drama turned true love a.k.a my love story right here!
and speaking of love, i’m loving this sweet video on the definition of love. if you want to join in, share a photo of how you live beautifully using #livebeautifully and you’ll be entered to win $50 to shop at ruche!
p.s. i’d love to hear about your love story.
still thinking hearts? here are a few diy valentines cards that are as simple as they are darling.
also, ruche is offering a discount to la la lovely readers : Enter the code BLOGLOVE20 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. Expires 2/15 at 11:59 p.m. Cannot be combined with any other discount.
it’s been a white out all winter and i’m feeling a bit blue.
do you get the winter blues?
while i’m all for snow, it’s beginning to feel a bit like narnia’s never ending winter. and, where i live, snow is a possibility all the way in april. i’m getting that trapped indoors, incessant itch to get my cooped up self some fresh air see, some green living things, and feel the sunshine on my skin. not to mention deep desire to throw all of my kids outside and say, “go play!” you know?
sometimes it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve when you want to make it from february to april.
click through for a few simple ways to beat the blues:
clearly, i like books. they might be my favorite thing to shop for. books and beauty products, probably. and, when it comes to books i’m a two timer. i usually have a few books going at a time. this can be bothersome, at times, but it works for me. i tend to always have some sort of fiction going along with an inspirational or personal growth book (or should we just say, self help). with that, i’m also always thumbing through cook books, magazines, and anything designing i can get my hands on.
without a doubt, i still prefer reading an actual book. long live print – - books, magazines and newspapers. there is just something magical, and now, seemingly, old fashioned about holding a book, and turning it’s crinkly inky pages. i love everything about the tactile experience. i do read on my iPad when i’m traveling, on the treadmill, or if i want to stay up way late and read a book in bed. i have found that when it comes to personal growth / self help books i always prefer print because i love to underline, write thoughts, and just mark the heck out of it. for quick easy reading fiction the iPad is great.
click through to see what i’m reading and have currently read:
there is this conversation going on that i’m really interested in. the subject happens to be on parenting and fatherhood, specifically. i find, myself thinking about my childhood often and how it has shaped me. my parents are dear to my heart and often on my mind. in raising me they did so many amazing things (and stil do) and yet they fell short (because we all do) at times. i think about being a parent, now, myself and how who i am will play a great part in who my kids become. scary and amazing. do you wonder about these things too?
my very good friend corbyn is a filmaker (he is the talent behind all the videos you see on this blog) and he just released THE FATHERHOOD PROJECT with soulpancake.
he’s asking the simple questions:
what did your parents do right? and what did they do wrong?
simple questions with probably not so simple answers.
the thing i love about this project is the conversation that is being started. many of us, as we mature, are coming to find out that our parents only did what they knew and many did the best they could.
please watch and would you help me spread this video and keep the conversation going? if the the episode does well than more will be made! there are so many more stories to be told and conversations to be had.
you can follow corbyn and his work at :
blog : corbyn tyson
twitter : @corbyntyson
instagram : @corbyntyson
you can see more of corbyn’s work at frank and harvey
image : corbyn tyson
do you ever think about things that you wear that aren’t, in fact, “things?”
i think of things that i wish i wasn’t wearing (or carrying). heavy accessories like stress and worry. if i would take those off (or maybe not bother to put them on in the first place) i’d likely find myself wearing a smile and a laugh more often. can you relate?
what about dignity. it’s not a word i think of very often, if i’m honest. but here is what it means :
the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
for many women the world around dignity is something they dream of clothing themselves in. they know nothing of hudson jeans and madewell dreams. they dream of dressing in respect, honor, worth and value. whenever i wrap myself up in one of my fashionABLE scarfs (above) i can’t help but think of the women in ethiopia that made them. women who have be rescued restored and valued. when i wear my scarf i wear their honor. the honor they are worthy of.
have you ever thought about what happens when you invest in a woman?
watch what happens . . .
it’s no secret that i’m a huge fan + supporter of fashionABLE. i love that their focus is on the importance and value that comes from giving vulnerable women opportunities for employment rather than charity. i’m celebrating with fashionABLE today. it’s their 3rd birthday. i love celebrating birthdays, but i love, even more, celebrating years of investing in women, adding value and giving them opportunities to clothe themselves in dignity.
to celebrate the entire online store will be discounted (scarves + leather)!
30% off, 3 days, 3rd Birthday.
so i hope you get to wrapping. wrapping yourself in one of these scarfs or maybe wrapping one up as a gift. and, wrap yourself in dignity. the dignity of the women of that made these scarfs, but also your own. you are so valuable!
p.s. you can read more about la la lovely + fashionABLE here.