Photo by Shannon Duggan Photography
I love the feeling of newness and anticipation that every new year brings. We have no idea what 2017 has in store for us, but then again, who really does? I have a lot of big hopes and dreams and aspirations for whatever may lie ahead. This past year I’ve learned more than most that it’s important to not let what makes you comfortable stand in the way of what you are called to do. Instead of making any resolutions or goals or choosing a word or a theme for this new year, I’m going to let that quote carry me through.
This has been one heck of a transformational year. It’s a funny thing when you pick up your entire life and move it to the other side of the country. It’s a transformational thing, really. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve learned a lot about us. We’ve explored and learned so much new, living in a culture entirely different than what we’re used to. I’ve read a lot and written even more. Not publicly, but personally and privately. As much as I wanted to write more on here, revamp the blog, give it another facelift (and I would love to do all of these things in this new year as well), I have continued to learn that pen to paper is still my favorite way to express my thoughts, even if I’m expressing them to no one other than myself. Maybe someday I’ll share more of those thoughts with the world, but likely not any time soon.
2016 has been a challenge in many ways but an opportunity for growth and learning and adventure more than anything else. 2016 has been a really, really great year.
We came home on Friday night from our two week trip home to STL, and while it was so so good to be home with family and friends for the holidays, it also felt good to come back to our California home too. Isn’t it the strangest thing the way that we can feel so at home in one place and equally at home in another? It’s a complicated feeling, but I think a lot of it has to do with nothing more than the people we are with. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that the months of August – December were non-stop travel for us. Really, it seems like all of 2016 was that way, and it’s been amazing, but this little bit of ‘downtime’ at home this weekend before jumping back into the busyness of work this week has felt so good. I feel rejuvenated and ready to dive right into this New Year. I know it’s going to be another busy one, I know there will be a lot of travel, but aside from that, God only knows what more is in store. Only time will tell.
Farewell 2016, you’ve been good to us.
Happy Weekend, Friends (or the 1-2 people who may actually be reading this?! 😉 )! In a post a couple of months back when I was wanting to keep up with ‘Things I’m Loving‘ (and you know, life sometimes just gets a bit busy), I shared a couple of podcasts that I’ve been listening to and really loving. I remember when podcasts first started to make their way into the world several years back, and I just wasn’t overly interested. Probably similar to my feeling oftentimes when it comes to movies and TV shows. I like both, however, I love to read above all else. I’m seemingly a much better reader than a I am a listener, when it comes to entertainment and pleasure anyway. If I’m listening to anything, it’s typically going to be music, my other true love. Once I started to really take more time to discover podcasts, I have learned to absolutely love them. Now that I spend so much more time in the car these days (ahem…traffic…), I’ve been taking full advantage of this extra time and have been listening to a lot of podcasts. It’s safe to say, that I’ve become mildly obsessed with podcasts. They are so inspirational. I listen to a combo of Christian podcasts to inspirational stories of female leaders and entrepreneurs to marketing podcasts to adoption stories and a few fun and entertaining lighthearted podcasts too. All across the board. I’m grateful for an awesome group of girlfriends who I get to share conversations about most of these with (and who suggested listening to many of these too…We have group text Fridays which I should blog about sometime too, and it’s SO much fun being able to share our lives together with updates all over the country at the end of each week!). Here are a few of my favorites that I’m loving right now (I’m just going to give you a brief description and opinion, but I’ll link to their show pages so you can learn more for yourself):
The Limit Does Not Exist: Why limit yourself to one side of your brain, or one career path? I have a major crush on Forbes podcasts right now, but this one in particular is speaking my language in so many ways. Christina and Cate interview some amazing individuals who have both a scientific or mathematical mindset and a creative mindset. Mind. Blown. (Yup, it’s possible to have both.)
Two Inboxes: Another one of the Forbes podcasts that is really speaking my language. Molly is a professional in the marketing and digital media space living in NYC, and she is also a prominent part of the infamous side-hustle generation. I can relate 100%. Molly interviews several others who are a part of the side-hustle generation, those managing two or more inboxes, and these individuals share insights to their success and how they bring their passions and professional lives together.
And/And: Yes another Forbes Podcast that I am absolutely loving. Taylor and Sloane are an amazing couple with a newborn (and a dog!) and busy lives with jobs and side hustles who stress the emphasis on and/and as opposed to either/or. I love their way of thinking. Some tell us that we can’t have it all, but I’ve always had this mindset that we can, and these two help to make it all seem possible. My favorite part about their show description – “How about being an entrepreneur and wanting to have a life and care about the world and be successful?” Yup, I totally get what they’re saying here. They interview many individuals who are in the same boat and sharing their stories and successes (and maybe not always successes) too.
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey: Thanks to one of my dear friends, this is truly the podcast that got me hooked on podcasts. Jamie is a Christian woman and an adoptive mom who essentially has ‘happy hours’ each week with other truly inspiring women…women who have also adopted children, who have faced struggles with fertility, who have large families, who are entrepreneurs and authors and so much more. Some of my favorite bloggers and female entrepreneurs whom I have followed long before I even started listening to this show have been featured in episodes. How cool is that? Some episodes are incredibly uplifting and encouraging while others you may need to have tissues nearby, and you may not want to listen to on your drive to work, but each episode is so different from the next and well worth the listen. I feel like I’m enjoying happy hour in person with these ladies, and it’s so much fun! Bonus: She has started releasing bonus ‘Happy Half Hour’ episodes on occasional Fridays that are fun ways to jump into a Friday!
The Popcast: The Popcast is a podcast about all things pop culture and, according to the show hosts Knox and Jamie, things that don’t matter. I’ll admit, I’ve never been overly into pop culture, but I do try to stay in-the-know with the latest and greatest, especially living in LA land. My Grandma was the best at all things pop culture and entertainment. Before she passed away, she received People Magazine in the mail once a week, studied it, then passed it on to me for my viewing pleasure. She was honestly the one who I always got my Hollywood scoop on. Plus, my mom’s pretty on top of what’s going on in the world of Hollywood too so she keeps me up-to-date which makes me realize I need to try a bit harder 😉 Popcast is a good listen when you just want something light and fun. I love listening to Knox and Jamie chat about the latest entertainment industry news.
Be Still Be Free: A podcast inspiring women to be before they do. This was also one of the first podcasts that I got hooked on thanks to one of my dear friends. This is another Christian podcast that is very uplifting and encouraging. A lot of these podcasts are also composed of women from the south, and I love hearing that accent. These episodes aren’t coming out as frequently as they were early on, but I still love to listen when a new episodes is posted.
The Lively Show: If you don’t know Jess Lively, you should. Not that I know her personally or anything, but listening to so many episodes sure does have a way of making me feel like I do. Jess’s website, courses, blog, vlog and show inspire her followers to live a life of intention, and she has such a special way of doing this. She has a lot to offer, and she lives right up to her name (Lively). She’s currently exploring Europe with no plane ticket to return back home any time soon, and she’s sharing every bit of this self-exploration adventure with her listeners. I’ve really enjoyed following along (and she’s making me really want to be right there with her!).
Marriage More: This is a Podcast from a husband and wife sharing real life. I just enjoy listening to these two. Jeff and Mandy are also ironically from Southern Illinois, very near St. Louis(!), and STL and the Cardinals get a couple of mentions from time to time, as do a few very familiar Midwest-South road trips, so sometimes listening to these two just makes me feel right at home. They are raising three young boys, and they have been in the very long process of an oversees adoption and just recently shared the news that they are going to pick up their new addition to the family. They’ve shared bits and pieces of their journey along the way, but I can’t wait to hear more once they are back home and settled.
So these are just a few of my favorite podcasts right now. This gives you a little insight into what I’m doing during my commutes these days. I’m listening to a wide array of things, to say the least, with a bit of music mixed in between, and it has taken my commute to an entirely new level. Listening to most of these allows me to grow both personally and professionally and to learn more about so many new things. Do you have any favorite podcasts that you’ve been loving? Please share!
Hi there! Long time, no write. So, over the course of the last few months, life has certainly been happening for us with so many amazing new things. I finally, officially finished grad school in May, and shortly before that, I started a new job on the next step of my career path! I officially have a Master of Arts in Marketing, and I am currently working in partnership development for an amazing non-profit organization in STL. I just did my last big wedding for the time being in June, and it feels really good to finally be starting to really narrow my focus down to a couple of things as opposed to a million so that I can truly devote myself to what I am doing (although I still haven’t quite been able to eliminate the ‘busy’ that I’ve been trying so hard to do, and I’ve still got a lot of things on my plate, but for today, it’s ok). With my new full time position, I am finally really feeling like I’m on mission, and truly doing something that matters, which is what I’ve been seeking, and I get to utilize my passion and skills in doing so (plus, I’m still planning a lot of events!). It’s amazing, it’s challenging, it’s so many things, but I’m excited to see where this next step in my career path leads.
Tim’s now officially got less than a year to go in grad school himself, and we’re taking this time to determine what the best next steps will be for us and our little (four-legged) family. So many exciting things to think about and ideas and opportunities to explore. A big part of me wishes that I wasn’t such a planner and so goal-oriented all the time, but at the same time, it’s what truly drives me and inspires me each day. As usual (while trying to really focus on living in the present), I’m exited to see what lies ahead for us. Our favorite thing to do as of late is sit down in our favorite local coffee shops and dream (real) big dreams. I heard a quote in a service a couple of weeks ago that really stuck with me that went something along the lines of, ‘Find your purpose in life, and find it well.’
In the meantime, while we’re over here dreaming big dreams, we’re also being inspired by two of our favorite couples, one who just made the move to KC, and the other who is NYC bound. For a couple that wants nothing more than to see the world, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but that’s an inspiration to me in and of itself. We finally found this perfect cork board map to hang in our home to start pinning some of our favorite places we’ve been, and the places we want to be.
Happy Fourth of July weekend, America. Hopefully I’ll be able to find more time to write again soon, but at the very least, I’ll be doing some dreaming and a little bit of travelling and taking a lot of notes along the way.
A couple weeks ago I was on ‘grad school spring break,’ meaning, I had the week off from classes and homework. I suddenly felt like a new women and as though I had all of this free time to take advantage of. I didn’t really, but I took advantage of a few homework-free days anyway. Instead of writing papers or reading textbooks, I went back to picking up a few books that my attention has been craving. I finally finished reading Lara Casey‘s, Make It Happen. It was everything I had expected, and more. I’ve been a fan of Lara Casey for a few years now, and the fact that she now has a book on shelves, and I believe another one on the way, left me thrilled and instantly wanting to read. If you’re searching for more purpose in your life, I highly recommend it. I just went through all the highlights and bookmarks in mine, and there’s too much to share without sharing the entire book with you here. This book shares a story of how to make it – a greater purpose than our own – happen. It’s time to start being intentional and living on purpose.