Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Forever Young

You always hear people say "O to be young again". And I never thought that day would come when I would say that, especially at 22. Let me tell you this last birthday was quite the downer. Not my birthday itself as It was the weekend of my best friends wedding, but in the sense that I was t-w-e-n-t-y-t-w-o.
I know Taylor Swift has a joy in feeling twenty-two, but frankly I like the sound of twenty-one a whole lot better. As a matter of fact I actually liked twenty and was fine staying that age for…well ever. I have come to the conclusion that age doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. You may look like you are getting older, and your body may start to feel it  (that's more for the older folks…don't hate me).
But I think I have found the cure for staying young forever…FRIENDS.
And the friends I  am referring to are not just the common Facebook acquaintance. Lately, it seems friends are desired in quantity not quality.  Im talking about the friends who have your back no matter what. The ones who love you for who you are. The ones that listen, and truly care about you. The ones you call when something exciting happens. The ones who know you better then you know yourself. Those friends are the ones that help keep you young forever. And when the roles are reversed you would do the same, if not more for them.
I really don't know where I would be without these friends of mine. Sometimes I burst out in laughter (yes it can be embarrassing) just thinking about some of the things we did. The occasional kitchen flour fights, music video making, hand stand contests in the hallway, eating muddie buddies until we were sick, corn dog eating, you name it, we did it. And some of my greatest memories are when we wouldn't do anything at all,  except sit around the kitchen table and talk.  Sometimes we weren't as smart as we should have been, none the less we had a blast and I wouldn't trade those moments for anything! 
I think anyone can attest that when ever you are with friends, it's almost as if time never existed. No matter what your actual age, you are young again. The stress of reality diminishes, you eat your worries away, and laugh until your abbs hurt. Although these moments seem to be happening less frequently as my friends get married, the times we do have are the absolute best!
So I think it's safe to say that we can be as young as we wish. With those friends by our sides we can escape back to any year we want. But preferably not the awkward Junior High years (we all had them).
It really isn't the number of years that define your life but the memories created in our life time.

And during those years we have plenty of time to be…..

Positively Contagious 

Monday, November 18, 2013


I wish I could have the title of "Aunt" however, that will not be happening anytime soon for this girl as my siblings are quite a fews younger then I am. Luckily I have older cousins who I like to pretend are my older sisters and lucky (or maybe not so lucky for them) I consider their kids my nieces and nephews. This weekend I was able to stay with two of the little kiddos; Vivian and Jeffery commonly known as Viv and Jeffi. While their parents were in Hawaii having a vacation, I tired to make it a little vacation at home for the kiddos.

Our long weekend went a little something like this:
Cinnamon toast for breakfast...extra cinnamon sugar
Finger painting....extra paint... every where
Couch forts...the bigger and messier the better
Play dough sculpting....make sure you mix all of the colors together
Fruit snacks and Chicken nuggets for your fruit snacks first
Movie night and Candy before bed....every night
Trampoline gym....went for two hours not just one
Sugar cookie making night....Lick the knife instead of frosting the cookie
Bed time stores...hour story time
The gas station down the street...daily treat stop
Nap thanks

Needless to say by the end of the day they were tuckered out. It made for long day for all three of us. Although, our morning wake up call went from 6:00am to a whopping 7:00am and i'll take that any day! Now it may have sounded like flowers and unicorns all weekend but let me reassure you, they are still children. We had plenty of diaper changes, meltdowns, whining moments, and sibling arguments.  During the moment they may seam life changing, but at the end of the day they are insignificant. As we piled on the bed all cuddled together, read books, and sang songs until they fell asleep it all became worth it.

Sometimes I find myself wishing this part of my life away. I can't wait until....I'm done with school, I have a real job, I'm married, I have my own kids, until, until, until. But this weekend I forgot about the "Until's" and just loved what I was doing. It is so amazing to think about how giving of yourself, your love for people and your own circumstances grow.
My gratitude for the role of a mother grew, the importance of a father, and my love for Viv and Jeff grew. And instead of finding myself wishing for what I eventually want, I loved everything about what I already had.
I have a loving family immediate and extended, I have the best "nieces, and nephews" I could ever ask for, I have the best friends in the entire world, I have constant support from those around me, I have stability, and I have a religion that I love and cherish. But I also have hope. A hope that one day those "until's" will become a reality. And I know they will, but I just have to be patient.
And sometimes as we are patient we have more opportunities to be.......

Positively Contagious 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Among the Chaos

The typical work field has never interested me, sad and maybe pathetic, yet entirely true.
  My ideal "work day" consists of playing with play dough, wiping boogers, changing diapers, and building forts. Well that is not for some, I wouldn't have it any other way. There is no better job then playing with the most precious little people on earth.
 Yes all kids have their moments. The ground suddenly transforms into a punching bag. Shirts quickly become stain magnets. Toilets become swimming pools. And between the hours of 5pm-bedtime the worst of both parents (babysitters) and child seems to emerge (mom's know exactly what I'm talking about).

Yet among the sometimes chaotic moments, I end up learning. Kind of an interesting environment to learn and grow,but it happens.  More frequently then you would expect too. As adults we have had years to master the art of holding grudges, being stuck in our ways, and being rather uptight. That may be quite the generalization, but I'm sure you can think of things that you have become proficient at over the years. Because of a child's short time on earth they have yet to develop these lovely adult traits.  Children have the ability to quickly forgive. No matter what crazy idea you have, they go with it, trusting you completely. And they find pure joy in the simple things.

I think it would be safe to say, we have a lot to learn from these little ones. Even better, I think we need to become like them. No, that does not give you permission to hit, slobber, or wipe boogers on people. But what you can do is find your inner child. As crazy as that may seem, we were children at one point too. 

As adults we tend to get wrapped up in our overly scheduled lives. But among the chaos we may fail to remember how fun life can be. So I here's a challenge.... take a break. A total of 30 minutes will not kill you, I promise.
As frustrating as it is, the homework, emails, laundry, and dirty dishes will still be there when you get back. So take some time to do something out of the ordinary.
 Draw with chalk....
Do something Spontaneous... 
Have a mud fight.... 
Go to the zoo... 
Make a wish.... 

Just do something, anything that allows you to laugh, play, cry if necessary. No matter how old you are you can find a moment in a day to become like a child. 
My favorite wise old man once said" Life is to be enjoyed not just endured" 
As you enjoy your life, others will enjoy theirs.
 Which allows you both to be...

Positively Contagious 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No If's, And's, or But's

Just some food for thought...

What if we served unconditionally.  What if we could be an unconditionally loving parent, friend, daughter, son, grandparent, or spouse.What if we looked at others and thought how we could unconditionally love them.
Better yet, what if we loved ourselves unconditionally.
This may seem like a strange concept, but hear me out for a second. We live in a world where there is constant comparison. They have a better job then I do, they make more money, they have a faster car, their family seems perfect, they have more friends then I do, the list could go on and on. And speaking on behalf of the girls, Pinterest....need I say more. Ready for some harsh reality... you are right! There are plenty of people who have more then you.
But, let me remind doesn't matter.

A lot of the time we are too hard on ourselves and those around us. Im not saying slack off, or lower your standards. I'm simply saying, don't expect yourself or others to be perfect. There is no such thing.
 If we weren't so hard on ourselves all the time we may find our happiness increase and our desire for things decrease.  The fact of the matter is, if you don't love yourself then there is no object, no place, or no one who can make you happy. Do those things bring joy and happiness to life, absolutely! But loving yourself unconditionally is a life long task that we can chip away at every day.
 It will take work, effort, a different mindset, help from those around you, and even Heavenly help. But, it can be done.

As you unconditionally love yourself, you see your potential. With that comes the decreased desire to be, act, or look like someone else. Recognize your success. Find humility in your failures, but do not doubt yourself or your abilities. Look for reasons to love yourself, and you will find others striving to do the same.

For some it may be simple, for others it may be hard.
But you have reason to love the person you are, and with time will become.
And with that comes the desire to be...

Positively Contagious 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Speedy Cars and Slippery Socks

Just picture yourself driving down an open freeway. The speed limit is posted at 65mph, but you drive closer to 72mph knowing that you can't get pulled over unless you are at least 10mph over (please don't tell me i'm the only one that thinks that way).The sun is shinning, the sky is blue, your windows are rolled down, belting your favorite song. You pause mid chorus and think to yourself:
            "Why don't I have my own CD, I really do have a good voice"...but if someone were to magically push the power button and you heard yourself you would realize why that's more a dream then reality. (You can admit it, we have all had those moments) 
All of a sudden you see a rather large, rather bright, yellow speed bump in the middle of the lane. You quickly merge trying to avoid a potential... who knows what (you have never encountered a speed bump randomly emerge in the middle of the freeway). Just as you merge, another appears. Soon they are unavoidable. The only option is to slow down, and go over each individually. Frustrated, you take the next exit. You think through the unanticipated series of events, and decide to take another road and see what lays ahead.

Now you and I both know that this doesn't happen; or at least not in the form of empty roads, cars, and speed bumps. But what does happen is LIFE. Let's be honest, it can be hard sometimes. We all face a variety of challenges and trials. Weather they happen to us personally, to family members, close friends, or even those we barely know, we are affected in some way, shape, or form. 

As difficult as times may seem, you can always ask yourself the question: "What can I learn from this".

For some reason I find this question running through my head quite often. Let me clarify. It probably happens in more situations then it should. 
 For example: 
While getting dressed the other morning I was thrilled to put on my socks I recently purchased from London, England. My only thought process at that point was how cute they would look with my outfit. As I made it upstairs to head out for the day I realized that I wouldn't be getting any where without my keys which were in my good ole' satchel, located downstairs. Thinking a little cardio wouldn't hurt, I decided to see how fast I could run back down and up the stairs. I don't know if England makes their socks with different material or something, but let's just say after the first step I was no longer on my feet. I laid there imagining how pathetic I just looked. I then burst into laugher thinking to myself, I had just learned the hard way that cardio...down stairs...carpet stairs... in socks... is probably not a very good idea. 

Or for a less detailed example: When I was in the shower tonight I reached for the bottle of conditioner to find it empty. What did I learn...not only throw away the empty bottle, but only using shampoo with long, curly hair does not cut it!

Back to the point. Even in the most frustrating, trying, and daunting experiences there is something you can learn. Even if you may not see it right away, it's there. Not only is there, but it will make you stronger. It will give you perspective. You will then be able to relate to others in their trying circumstances. Personally, in my life there seems to be a re-occurring theme

Sometimes it's really hard to keep this perspective. But I know that if I can just keep moving forward, that one day I will be able to stare them in the eye and say THANK YOU for throwing the bricks to help me become the person I am today. 

You knocked me down, so I got up
You may have let go of the truth, but I held on tighter
You burnt bridges, so I built them stronger
You told me I couldn't, so I proved that I could
You hurt those I loved, so I loved them more
You thought I was nothing, so I became something 
No matter what life may throw at you.
Even if it's just a pair of slippery socks, you can learn to be...

Positively Contagious