Category Archives: Favorite

“Don’t try to be a cool girl. You already are a cool girl.”

These simple words from a friend brought tears running down my cheeks as I sat in a coffee shop surrounded by strangers. We were catching up via Google hangout and I confessed some self-doubt I was working through. My friend’s statement was meant to be playful and silly, but it was just the reminder I needed.

As a not so calm, but totally collected and confident girl, I often have moments of self-doubt. Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself by a select, but mighty, group of individuals who remind me who I am in those moments I seem to forget.

I recently turned 30 and to celebrate I invited several friends, both near and far, for brunch. Not everyone could make it that morning, but as I scanned the long table of familiar faces, and listened to their chatter, I realized how blessed I was. It struck me in that moment that I am surrounded by people who have chosen to love me.

And in fact, in this group there were a handful of people who not only have chosen to love me, but at times carry me when I need to be carried.

“In my effort to overcome my lifelong struggle with self-hatred, the despair of ever being worthy of love, I have been aided immeasurably by trusted and trusting friends who, with no ulterior motive, see something in me that I cannot see myself. They do not merely tell me, they relate to me in a way which shows me that find me lovable. Learning to trust my friends has been a slow but invaluable process.” – Brennan Manning

I am not very good at being vulnerable but learning to open up to the right people has been the most valuable gift I have ever given myself.

 

logo_signature

Advice From A Big Brother: Tinder

September 26, 2015

I wasn’t born with an older brother, but I did get one very late in life when my sister married Vik. My new found brother-in-law took his new-found job as Big Brother very seriously.

In fact, as soon as he muttered the words “I do” he made sure that every single man at his wedding knew to not get within 10 feet of me. He wasn’t messing around.

I love having a big brother. Growing up it was always just my sister and me so I never got the protective advice one might get from having a big brother. My dad has always been willing to offer good advice, but he delivered his wisdom with more fatherly softness. And sometimes a girl needs unfiltered advice only a big brother can give… even if it makes me cry which sometimes his advice did.

Fairly recently, I made the decision to not be on any dating sites. (Mind you, I have been on them and even blogged about it.) My experience left me exhausted and accepting it wasn’t most healthy for me. But when every one of my single friends are swiping left and right on Tinder and filling their free nights with dates. It has made me begin to reconsider my choice.

I brought the question to my family, “Should I join Tinder?” Everyone said “NO!” but I wasn’t convinced. The conversation came up one more time with my sister and big brother (in-law). And finally his advice sunk in….

Let me be clear, it was still a resounding “NO!” but with a bit more color….

I’m anti anything that requires no effort from guys. You realize they are pooping while looking at your picture?

Part One:

“I’m anti anything that requires no effort from guys.”

Dating sites require little energy. Within a few finger swipes you can be connected with anyone, and with little or no effort a date can be set up. Swiping left or right doesn’t require any vulnerability as you have the anonymity of the device. The ease and lack of effort through these sites isn’t just on men, it requires no effort from women either. We are being passive players in our lives.

Part Two:

“You realize they are pooping while looking at your picture.”

Never, have I ever thought, I would write the world “poop” on this blog, let alone 3 times! But here it is folks! Vik elaborated on this illustration, no guy is carving out time to find a future wifey on Tinder, he is doing it when he has free time, is alone, and wanting some quick entertainment. Pooping?!? Not exactly a fairy tale start!

So there it is ladies. Tinder away, if you’d like, but at least listen to the advice from a big brother, You realize they are pooping while looking at your picture?

 

logo_signature

 

Show Up.

April 28, 2015

A story I frequently enjoy telling is of my short-lived soccer career.

It was third grade. A trying year.

I joined the soccer team because that is what you did as a Noah. When you are born into a sporty family you play every sport in school and accept that your dad will be by the sidelines telling you what to do louder than the coach.

I bought all of the gear. I went to every practice. I never started but I followed the coach up and down the field until she put me in. I knew I wasn’t the best but I showed up and I hustled.

After a game where we had gotten crushed my coach was dejected and frustrated. She may have been coaching a team of 3rd and 4th graders but she was expecting excellence. On the bus ride home she attempted a pep talk. Unfortunately, I think I am the only one that walked away remembering it…

Being tired of our lack of enthusiasm,

“Why can’t you guys be more like Danielle? She is not good but at least she stands by my side ready to go in. So she does.”

I  was humiliated in the moment but laugh at that story now, especially because I really was terrible. But I also laugh because in 3rd grade I learned something most people still don’t know.

I may never be the best but that isn’t what is important. What is important is the showing up and trying.

I think about this often.
If I am feeling insecure or not capable. When I know there are others that are smarter, faster, prettier than I am…
Show up. Give your best. Who cares if others are better, at least you are in the game.

 

 

logo_signature

Image found here>

 

 

One of my favorite books that does a great job of capturing the embodiment of womanhood talks about the two fears women face:

I am too much. 

I am not enough. 

For the longest time, I thought that I lived with both fears. I had too much personality. I was too loud. But I was also not smart enough. Or pretty enough. Or fit enough.

I’ve come to realize the lie of “not being enough” was my true enemy. Being too much was just a symptom of that.

I read a passage the other day that embodied these feelings from For Women Only:

Frank Maguire helped start Federal Express and earlier held an inside position in the Kennedy White House.

Every Friday as he left the FedEx office, Maguire called his goodbyes to FedEx founder, Fred Smith, and Fred would call back, “Thanks for going the extra mile this week.” Maguire always left with a bounce in his step.

Then came the Friday when his cheery goodbye was met with, “Frank, I want to see you first thing, Monday morning.”

“I had a lousy weekend,” Maguire said. “Not only me, but my wife, my kids, even Thor, the wonder dog. We all had a miserable weekend.”

On Monday, when he nervously asked Fred, “What did you want to talk to me about?” he was met with a puzzled look. “Oh, I forgot. It wasn’t important.”

You can guess why Frank Maguire had a miserable weekend— he was expecting to be fired. But why would he think that? He was a successful, valued executive at a fast-growing business. He had even been trusted by the president of the United States. So why did he assume a neutral comment was a portent of woe?

Because inside he felt like an impostor. And he was sure he had just been found out.

What would life look like if I lived in the confidence that I am just enough? Would I be more effective? Happier? Successful? Probably.

This lent season I am trying something new. Instead of just giving up something like sugar or soda, I am going to replace my fears with positivity.

In the moments of feeling like I am not enough I am going to stop. Literally stop what I am doing and go on a 5 minute walk. During those 5 minutes I’m going to pray for peace and comfort and go through an exercise of consideration that I am “just enough.”

I have a feeling I am not the only woman experiencing these fears. If you are looking to start new habits this lent season, I invite you to join with me. Perhaps we can even take a walk together in those moments.

logo_signature

When I look back on 2014 I am in awe of the year that is coming to a close. I predict it will be a pivotal point to who I become as it was a year I took big leaps and risks across multiple areas of my life.

With all of the changes that took place, I predict 2015 to be a year of growth. A year to reap the leaps and risks.

But before I jump into 2015 or even put on my NYE party dress and saber the champagne – I want to celebrate the 10 things I learned in 2014…

1

It’s better to be alone than be with the wrong person

2

No one needs to know how busy you are

3

Always be the dorkiest dancer at the party

4

Chorizo makes everything taste better

5

Never take for granted your friends, you may not need them now but you could tomorrow

6

Always bring something to the party

7

Eat breakfast

8

TSA Pre Check is worth the $85 even if you only fly once a year

9

Be with someone who is delighted by you

10

Long walks with coffee are the closest thing to heaven on earth

 

logo_signature

I romanticize…. just about everything.

But here I was, “AT THE LIBRARY!” about to get my library card for the first time since elementary school.

It was magical.

I was in the moment.

I had my proof of local residency and my application all filled out.

I was positive once the lady looked over my application and handed me my new card I would get lost in the rows of books. I would spend hours reading only to stop because a dashing young suitor was so captivated by my love for books that he couldn’t spend another minute without getting to know me over coffee.

We would soon fall in love.

It was the only way.

As I waited for the library issuer to assist me, I stood hopeful in front of a man down on his luck. He smelled of yesterday’s fast food and talked loudly to a visitor to “Stand in the line correctly!” He clearly was just as excited for me as I was. It was nice to have a cheerleader there for support.

It was finally my turn.

I handed over my application.

Smiled politely at the lady.

She was about to become a part of my destiny.

As she ran her fingers over my application, checking every line, she left a trail of orange powder behind. Her hand stopped and rested for a minute than continued down the paper. Where it had rested there was a permanent Cheetos thumbprint.

She clearly was in a rush to help find my one true love that she stopped her lunch to assist.

Her eyes caught sight of her fingers and she slowly moved her hand to her mouth and licked the powder cheese. Off. Every. Finger.

With her newly glistened fingers, she moved back to my paper, dampening the application as she finished looking it over and then handed me my library card.

“Good luck, my dear. There is well dressed man browsing literary fiction who needs a silly girl to brighten his day” was what she said with her eyes as her mouth told me “Don’t lose this card or you will be in big trouble! You hear me?”

Oh, I heard you all right.

People love to set me up with their single gentlemen friends. I’ve narrowed it down to these reasons why:
  1. I am a huge dork.
  2. I am kind.
  3. I love coming home to tell all of the stories from the night and laugh at myself.

I’m pretty sure it is mostly because of the third reason.

I was set up this week. Complete blind date status. Never met him. Never talked with him. I saw only one Facebook picture.

We met for drinks on Tuesday after work and immediately started covering the basics…

  • What do you do for a living?
  • How do you pronounce your name?
  • What do you prefer people call you?

Very exciting first date conversations.

But about 45 minutes into meeting… magic happened.

I can’t for the life of me remember how it came up. But he brought up “blogs”:

 Him: Oh I love blogs. HA! No not really. I think blogs are so ridiculous. I once saw a guy wearing a shirt, “No one cares about your stupid blog.” I really need that shirt. So great because no one does care about stupid blogs. What about you?

Me: I have 5 blogs.

Him: Oh.

Awkward pause

Him: Is it just your mom and friends that read them?

Really awkward pause

That tops as one of my favorite first date conversations ever. It carried me through the rest of the night with the blind date, in conversations with my sister and girlfriends later that night and onto the next day with my coworkers.

He’s probably reading this now… so, yes I do blog. You even made a post…

 

 

I am terrible about talking about myself. It may be hard to believe since I have multiple blogs, twitters, and social streams where all I do all day long is talk. But in general, most of my conversations revolve around the other person.

I love people. I love getting to know someone and really caring about who they are.

I hate telling people about me. I am far too private. If I am talking about myself I try to make it into a joke.

Which is why, when someone sees me or sees things that I don’t blatantly parade, I am delighted.
I dated someone earlier this year. It was never serious, just off and on when both of our busy schedules would allow. But I will never forget our first date.

I am ice chewer. It is a habit that I barely notice I do but I eat ice like it is your favorite chip. Most often I will get large glasses of ice and chew all day. I have no plans to break this bad habit despite how annoying it may be to those around me. I just love it too much.

Back to the first date…

We were meeting at a cozy restaurant in Portland. Candlelight, fireplace, charming service… a perfect first date spot. I remember he was wearing a sportscoat and waiting at the bar when I arrived. I was so nervous. We started with drinks and conversation quickly got in the way of ordering dinner. As the evening progressed and my date ordered another drink, I was content with what I was drinking:

“I’ll have another and can I get a glass of ice for her.”

Thinking about that still makes me smile. I don’t recall having a conversation about chewing ice. It may be silly to be delighted by that gesture but it had shown me more than an evening of conversation could ever say.

Fast forward half of a year and I am moving from Portland to Seattle. We had not kept in touch. In fact, we had a pretty terrible falling out months prior. But here and there, little moments of reconnection… Texts on birthdays. Running into each other in a different state. Casual twitter conversations. Then when he heard I was moving, he rearranged his schedule so we could have dinner together before I moved.

This time we met at his place then made a few different stops for drinks and dinner. The places weren’t as cozy as before but I was still nervous. We never talked about our falling out. We didn’t need to. We caught up on all that had gone on in the past 6 months… family, work, relationships and everything in between. During dinner, the ice had melted from his scotch and he asked our server for some more. Once the ice arrived, he poured half into his drink and set the glass in the middle of the table. We continued talking and planning what the rest of our evening may hold. It was my last night in Portland, I was hoping to make it memorable. Then he said,

“I am surprised you haven’t eaten that ice. I saved half of it for you.”

 [dropcap style=””]I[/dropcap] was shooting a scene in my new film, No Strings Attached, in which I say to Natalie Portman, 

 

“If you miss me, you can’t text, you can’t email, you can’t post it on my Facebook wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me.”

 

I began to think of all of the billions of intimate exchanges sent daily via fingers and screens, bouncing between satellites and servers. With all this texting, emailing, and social networking, I started wondering, are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?

 

It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. “Hello?” Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then.

 

Now we exchange numbers but text instead of calling because it mitigates the risks of early failure and eliminates those deafening moments of silence. Now anticipation builds. Bdoop. “It was NICE meeting u” Both sides overanalyze every word. We talk to a friend, an impromptu Cyrano: “He wrote nice in all caps. What does that mean? What do I write back?” Then we write a response and delete it 10 times before sending a message that will appear 2 care, but not 2 much. If all goes well, a date will be arranged.

 

Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what’s it really good for?

 

There is some argument about who actually invented text messaging, but I think it’s safe to say it was a man. Multiple studies have shown that the average man uses about half as many words per day as women, thus text messaging. It eliminates hellos and goodbyes and cuts right to the chase. Now, if that’s not male behavior, I don’t know what is. It’s also great for passing notes. there is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover’s car.

 

Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. in some ways, it’s no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn’t like to be publicly adored. Just remember that what you post is out there and there’s some stuff you can’t un-see. But the reality is that we communicate with every part of our being, and there are times when we must use it all. When someone needs us, he or she needs all of us. There’s no text that can replace a loving touch when someone we love is hurting.

 

We haven’t lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a hand-written letter is greater than ever. It’s personal and deliberate means more than an email or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it’s flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say,

 

“This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more importantly, all that I am not.

– Ashton Kutcher

Found via Busy Living Pretty