Alyssa.

I’ve been working on this post for a while. I mention my friends often in my blog because they mean a lot to me. So it’s very very hard for me to single out a friend and dedicate a post to them. But I think now is a perfect time to do this and it’s for a special occasion so I don’t think any of my other friends will be offended.

This is to Alyssa.

My dear friend who will be married soon. I’ve mentioned her before because we were in the process of planning her shower/bachelorette party. I’ve never written about how I know her though. We met our freshman year of college. She lived down the hall from me and I can’t honestly tell you the first conversation I had with her or what we talked about ever really. But I also can’t remember not having her in my life. She has been the constant stream of support. Whether it was changing my major, switching schools, struggling with classes, moving back or other personal struggles. She is always right there for me. I can only hope I provide her with the same amount of support.

Over the years we’ve had many inside jokes. We share the love of Lifetime movies and it is almost guaranteed that we will cry at the Lifetime movies or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We are weepy and it’s totally fine. We accept this about each other haha. We also share another thing in common. When Alyssa was younger she dreamed of being a librarian. While most children played grocery store or doctors office, Alyssa was playing library. Oh did we have so much fun with this fact during college. We made signs, made sure we were quiet and treated her like a librarian. Now 5 years later I find myself working in a library and will be a librarian in 18 months. I guess the jokes on me 😉 Our sophomore year of college was one of the funniest Shady McShadster made an appearance, Thieves Anonymous and Crackhead jokes.

Here we are basically 6 years later. We’ve been through a lot. Some good (college graduation, jobs, and moves), Some bad (break ups, heartbreak and general growing pains) and I think our friendship is stronger than ever. I’ve mentioned in post before that I am sad she is moving away after she is married BUT I am just being selfish. I’m sad that my friend is moving but I know she will be with Jeffy so she will be happy. That’s truly what matters (although I’m not sure how Jeff could refuse a Top 10 list of reasons to move back to Indy with Me at the top…geez). I am completely honored to be in her wedding! I think it’s an honor when someone asks you to be a part of her wedding day. It’s a day they want to remember for the rest of their life. So to be in her wedding is a privilege. Plus she picked out gorgeous dresses for the bridesmaids. Actually, they have been described as luscious and I’ll take that description. So I’m very excited about this New Year’s Eve wedding. I’m happy to be celebrating the love that these two have and to celebrate their relationship. I’ve seen first hand how they complement each other. Hold each other up when they need it, support each other and love each other. I fully appreciate their relationship and how I’ve seen her fall in love. I appreciate how he treats her and how he calms her down when she’s upset. I’m just so happy for her. And ready to celebrate so she can go be with Jeff instead of seeing him a weekend every month.

So to Alyssa. I love you. Thank you for the friendship that we’ve cultivated over the past 6 years. I’m so happy to support you and send you into your new life with Jeff. I’m so excited to see how your life and love grows throughout the rest of your life. I can’t wait to see what you create for yourself and your family. I can’t wait to create new memories in Minneapolis when I visit/move in because I’m going to be a poor librarian ha-ha. I’m excited to see our families (I say our because I anticipate one day having a family to share) grow as we become older. We’ve gone from two bright-eyed naïve 18 year old kids to 25-year-old women with lives and goals. With achievable dreams and visions. We’ve entered adulthood gracefully (or I like to believe so) yet we still hold onto our fun and enjoy our laughs. As we enter this next chapter of our lives I can only hope we stay this close. No matter how far away either of us moves I’m always here for you. I know it’s a little early but congratulations on entering this next chapter of your life.

To Jeff, thank you for loving her the way you do. I’m so happy you two found each other and I’m excited for the life you two will grow together. Also, I hope you enjoy chicken. I’ve done the best I can but chicken is still the go to dish J

That Gut Feeling.

You know when you have that gut feeling about something you are supposed to do. That no matter if you avoid it, don’t think about it or people tell you are dumb; that feeling is still right there. I’m having that experience these days. I don’t know why I feel so strongly about what I’m doing or in this case not doing. But I think it’s right. I may end up looking like an idiot and may end up heart broken but I can’t shake this feeling that what’s meant to be will be. That I have to take a chance. That God has a plan in store and that I’m trusting that this is him leading me this way.

I’m completely terrified right now. I’ve never had this experience before and I am doubting a little right now. So I’m not making any serious decisions I’m kind of waiting to make sure this is what I’m supposed to do and this is God’s plan. Because I know he wants the best for me and as terrified, stressed, overwhelmed with fear and some doubt I’m trusting that waiting is what he wants.

Oh how scared I am right now that I’m letting some good things pass me by but I’m waiting for great. I pray I’m not wrong. I think the fear is telling me I’m wrong but I’ve gotta live by what’s meant to be will happen. So in the spirit of “to thine own self be true” I’m following my gut and praying for strength.

The Holidays!

It’s one of my favorite times of the year…the holidays are here! I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think I’ve learned to appreciate them soooo much more since I’ve moved away from home. It’s the 2 times a year that I can count on that I’ll get to go home for sure. This year from the first time in about 4 years I’ll get to stay home for the entire weekend for Thanksgiving! I’ve always had to work the Friday after so this year I’m going to enjoy being home and visiting friends! I’m going to spend Thanksgiving with the family and spend a couple days in Lexington with my friends. Also, I’m excited (even though I shouldn’t be) about going to the UK football game. This is the first season in a while that I haven’t been able to go to a game.  I’m crossing my fingers maybe just maybe they’ll surprise me and beat Tennessee. That would be wonderful!

After Thanksgiving means it’s time to start decorating for Christmas! Again, I love the holidays. This year will have to be very very budget friendly decorations though. There is this super cool website that has 20 Super Easy Inexpensive Decorations. I’m going to have to try some of these out.  The other thing that happens around this time of year is my desire to bake is kicked up a notch. In past years I have had people to feed. This year not so much. That is what happens when you work at a culinary school…there are always snacks around so no need for me to make more. I think I’ll be baking goodies as Christmas presents this year. That’s my inexpensive gift to everyone…you’re welcome.

But before I get ahead of myself and start all my Christmas planning I’m going to focus on the holiday at hand. I’m very thankful this year for so many things. First for the grace and love my God has shown me. It’s been a long rough year but I’m starting to feel stronger and more hopeful than ever…His will and plan are perfect I just have to trust.  I’m thankful for my family. They’ve been my backbone for a great part of this year. They put up with my moving and my wild ideas of about what I want to be and they continue to support me. I’m thankful for my friends that have loved me beyond belief. Sometimes I’m not the best friend but they stick with me in spite of that. I’m thankful for the growth I’ve seen in some of my friendships. I’m thankful for the example some of my friends have set for me. That’s only the beginning of my thankful list. I could go on and on for days. But we do not have that much time.

So just in case I don’t make another posting before Thursday I hope everyone has a Happy Happy Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoying time with family and realizing the blessings we have in this life.

25.

So I’m sure by now you know I turned 25 this past weekend. I decided to document the experience by photos. Some are hilarious. Some are sweet. But most are hilarious and have stories behind them.

Here’s the story:

A student heard my birthday was coming up and brought me a piece of cake with a “happy birthday” sign she made! Super sweet and started the birthday weekend off right!

Then the gift my sister got me came in the mail! These amazing Glitter Pink Toms! I absolutely love them. They give me an extra little pizazzzzzzzzzz! They truly brightened a bad day for me. The best part is my sister hates the color pink and she hated buying these for me BUT she did because she loves me!

Saturday morning I woke up to this on the kitchen table from my roommate! Since I was going to Kentucky for the weekend she gave me my gift early. I love it. I love making cupcakes and now have a fabulous way to display them. Thank you Jessica!

So after packing up the car I hit to road to Kentucky. Where I met up with my bff Brittany! This next series of pictures are from us at Churchill Downs! We didn’t hit it big that day…but we had fun!

 

This was the horses at the finish line. Mine didn’t win.

This was my horse. Someone put dirt in the horses face … that’s why I believe my horse didn’t win. Stupid dirt.

This is Brittany’s horse that won. She didn’t give me half of the winnings. Stingy with her $6. Geez.

    It was cold and this is what the gift shop had to offer us. Fascinators!  I really really really wanted to buy this but couldn’t justify the $46.

Then came dinner time!

Lynn’s Paradise Cafe is amazing. If you’re ever in Louisville you should go. They made my birthday celebration amazing … well along with my company! Thank you Jessica, Brittany and Dusty for taking time out of your days to make my birthday special. I truly love everything you guys did for me.

Then because Brittany is so excited for my birthday she let me stay at her house! That she just bought! (super proud and excited for her) AND she made me a cake. Please don’t look at me in the pictures I look horrible. I had just showered and was preparing my mind to get ready for an evening with Ashley, Julie and Brittany!

This was my cake she made me!

I accidentally dropped the 25!

I decided that was a perfect way to end 24 by dropping cake on the floor. I know 25 will be great because look how it started!

    

  

I think this last picture describes the entire night. Lots of laughing and fun. Love these girls! Perfect way to bring in 25! Thank you ladies for an amazing night at Hotel! So much fun … too bad ‘ didn’t join us 🙂

For my actual birthday I spent the day with my family. No pictures were taken sadly but it was a great day. Nothing better than your nephew calling you a pig. I mean great self confidence booster haha. Somehow I still love the kid.

Then to cap off the amazing weekend I spent Monday in Lexington. Home. It felt good. Lunch with Stace Stace. Seeing all my old co-workers and catching up. Delivered some cigs (fake of course) to Ashley. I ended the night in Lexington the usual way and with a smile on face. There is something about spending time with people who want to be around you and want to make you feel special that can push out any sadness. There are people in life that make you a better person, that make you realize that you’re meant for more. And there are those people that make you smile a lot. Like you have to thank God for them everyday because you know you’re lucky to be around them. That’s how I left Lexington, with that smile on my face.

I drove back to Indy that night and as a result of a cold and all my celebrating I am now taking all this.

But I wouldn’t trade one moment of this past weekend. It was simply the best.

So to everyone Thank you Thank you Thank you for making me feel loved, special and deserving of a great 25th birthday. As my favorite man at Mesh told me “It isn’t about those that don’t celebrate with you, it’s about those that are there!”

Thank you for being there!

 

24.

I only have a few more days of 24 left. It seems kinda weird because I love birthdays (especially mine ha) and I haven’t made huge plans. It doesn’t really seem like it’s time for my birthday to be here. Not sure why that is happening. Maybe it’s part of growing up. Maybe one year my birthday will become just another day. BUT not this year. I think 25 is an important age. I think it’s a pivotal age because I have set some certain goals. Most important I learned a lot in my 24th year in this world. Here is just a couple and what they’ve meant to me.

-Moving to Indianapolis

I decided right before my 24th birthday that it was time to make a move. That it was time to change what I wasn’t happy about. I thought it was where I was living and what job I held. I thought that all I needed was to move to Indianapolis and live with one of my best friends. That a job would fall into my lap and I would live happily ever after. That’s not exactly how it happened but the move was a great idea for me. I spent my last couple months in Lexington enjoying the city (that I now consider to be my home base along with Mt. Washington). With the move I realized that distance is what I needed but it didn’t change how I felt. That the things inside of me didn’t change that I’m still the same girl. So those things I was unhappy with I still had to work through.

-Learning to live a life alone (not in a negative way)

Since moving to Indianapolis I have truly had to learn to be happy and capable of being alone. My work schedule is opposite of most of my friends so I spend a lot of my mornings by myself. And other circumstances have reminded me that being truly happy means you can be at peace with yourself. I’m still learning that one but this past year has given me the opportunity to take great strides in this area of my life. I don’t always have to be around people. I do things that matter to me and I’m ok with that.

-Just because you have a disagreement doesn’t mean it has to end.

I’m really really really bad about holding things in and not letting people know they’ve hurt me. I’ve learned that an open and honest friendship requires that sometimes awkward moments have to happen. That we have to get into tiffs and we have to tell people what we are feeling. But we also have to accept others opinions and our lives. That just because we might not agree doesn’t mean we can’t still be what we were. It takes both parties to make an effort. This lesson has been the biggest thing overshadowing my 24th year. I have confidence in my relationships and know that I have surrounded myself great people.

-Celebrating my sister’s engagement

So my sister got engaged. That’s big news. They’ve been together for about 6 years. I’m super happy for her and already feel like her fiancee and his son are part of the family. It’s just going to be official now!

-Celebrating Alyssa’s engagement

Then one of my very best friends got engaged. Bittersweet for me because it means she will be moving away but I’m just being selfish. I’m beyond happy for her. She deserves the very best in the world. This past year has been a lot of planning and talking and venting for us two. We’re closer than we’ve ever been and I’m so very thankful for her presence this past year. She has helped me become a better version of myself. This was a huge moment this year because she is one of my first friends that I’ve been actively involved in helping her plan. It has made me realize more about growing up and where my life is headed and what I want. This past weekend we actually had her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I loved every minute of it and making her feel as special as she should feel.

-Understanding the concept of grace

This has been an ongoing thing in my life. And I’ve needed grace more than ever this past year. From many many people. I have found myself not being the best version of myself many times. But again I’m surrounded by some amazing people in my life. Who have shown me grace and love beyond my understanding. Also, understanding why grace is there in my life. I’ve learned to not be so scared of things. To do things for myself. To not worry about what others might think about me. To get a tattoo if I want one. To look at myself and say it’s ok to mess up. Grace is there for these moments. Being scared, worried and stressed all the time won’t get you anywhere. It’s ok to have freak out moments but living REAL living requires you to take chances. I am now taking chances  that are good for me. Taking chances in telling people that they mean more to me than they realized. Taking chances with my heart and realizing that what is meant to be will be. This has probably been my most favorite thing I’ve learned/gained in my 24th year.

-Sometimes the moments you expect to be the biggest aren’t.

So I’m a typical girl. Sometimes I think that the BIG moments are going to happen. The moment the guy of your dreams tells you he’s loved you from the beginning BUT that only happens in movies. Sometimes these moments are small ones. Small ones when someone tells you that you’re beautiful. That they like you the way you are. Those moments that build your confidence. That looking for these small moments everyday. That there is something special in everyday. Maybe one day a BIG moment will happen but I can’t control that. I can’t control who loves me or not. All I can do is be me. This is still hard for me because I want nothing more than for people to like me. But I learned this past year that sometimes it’s better to let go and let be. That small moments are bigger than big moments.

-That I’m stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for in my life.

I took on a big move with no job. I started a job thinking it would only be temporary only to find that I loved it. I had no idea HOW much my life would change. I’ve started a totally different career path, even when people told me I was wrong to do so. I fought with one of my best friends for the first time ever only to see our friendship strive and take on a new form. I’ve learned that making mistakes isn’t the worst thing ever. I’ve realized that my family is proud of me no matter what and will support me. That I can make it through moving, not having a job, getting only a part time job, redefining my career, holding onto friendships, having my heart broken into a million pieces, following my heart instead of my head and moving out of the shadow of fear and worry. I’ve made it through and feel stronger than ever. Feel that I’m a becoming a better version of me. And even in this last week of being 24 I’ve had another wake up call. That I can’t relax in bettering myself. That I’m strong enough to make the changes necessary.

With what I’ve learned I decided to make a list of things I want to do to start my 25th year. My quarter century. My ‘quarter life crisis year’ (yes I plan on living to 100…duh)

-Stop worrying about people leaving my life.

If people want to leave I’m going to let them. I’m not going to hold on and wonder what I did wrong. It’s pointless. It hurts but re-hashing what could have went different hurts more.

-Telling those important people in my life thank you and I love you more often.

There are some people in my life that make me a better person. Like really help me strive to be the best version of myself. I want to make sure they know how important they are to me and what they mean. And often. I know I’m extremely blessed to have them in my life and they should know it!

-Accepting grace, and being ok with it

I’m bad about accepting grace from people. It goes along with the next point as well.

-Eliminating the word ‘perfect’ from my vocabulary

I try to be perfect. It’s a fault of mine. In my own mind I’ll never be pretty enough, smart enough, worthy enough (I’m being super vulnerable here) skinny enough. I’ll never be perfect. I have no idea where this notion that I need to be perfect came from but it’s been crippling. So I’m starting off 25 by not being perfect and not striving for it. I am who I am. Not that I’m not going to be great but I’m not going to be so hard on myself. And not striving for perfection. It’s not possible. I am learning to accept myself for who I am and be ok with it. Because I am good enough.

-Accepting love from people.

Lastly, I need to accept that some people love me. That I don’t need to necessarily earn their love. And the best quote I heard about this is if they really love you really nothing you can say will make them go away right then. So I need to lose my fear of love and being hurt. AND I’m allowing myself to love back.

So I think the quote of year 25 will be ‘If it’s meant to be it’ll happen’ and I think it’ll be a good year 🙂