finding joy.

Let’s face it. It’s been a rough weekend and start of the week. What with the earthquake and avalanche on Everest, the uprisings in Baltimore…so much life lost. There is a lot to make my heart heavy.

And yet, life goes on all over the world. That means good things along with the bad things. Is it okay for me to find joy when times are so troubled?

Blossoms!!! #spring #Chicago #tree ????????

Here are the things making me happy right now:

Meeting author friends who are positive and amazing.

Tuesday, I got to see Susane Colasanti again. The last time I saw her was in 2010. She’s one of my favorite authors because she is so positive. She dreams big, chases those dreams, and achieves them. She’s beautiful on the inside as well as outside, and her brightness is contagious. I am so LUCKY to know her.

So grateful I got to see @susanecolasanti, author of @citylovetrilogy. The last time I saw her was five years ago. She's such an inspiration to me. ???????? I know so many amazing people. My cup runneth over. #author #booksigning #inspirat

This was us in 2010:

Susane Colasanti and Me

mantrabands

I got another @mantraband today! ???? #mantraband #jewelry #believe #love

I wear these bracelets called mantrabands. They’re so pretty and such an easy reminder to keep certain words, thoughts, and feelings going through my head. My friend Reshma put the idea in my head a few weeks ago when she was in town for the weekend. (I miss her so much.) She wears them. I saw them a few days later at The Dailey Method and grabbed one, fell in love and ordered another one online that night!

My Mickey Mouse beanie

I really like this hat. #disneyside #mickeymouse #selfie #latergram

Boy do I love this beanie. I picked it up from Hot Topic one day on a whim and have been attached to it every since.

It’s Spring!

Blossoms!!! #spring #Chicago #tree ????????

Trees are blooming all over Chicago! I need to go out and take pictures. They’re so pretty and my favorite tree down the street is pink and bright and beautiful so I HAVE to get photos of that. Soon, the lilacs will be out.

Temps are holding steady in the mid to upper 50s during the day, and that feels a lot nicer when it’s sunny out than when it’s rainy out. We haven’t had a crazy amount of rain, though, and I’m OK with that. I’ll be excited when the temps are in the lower to mid 70s and holding, but that won’t be for a while. But hey, I will take this over freezing, snow, and ice.

Finding joy in the little things every day helps when the big bad things threaten to overwhelm me. There is so much in our world that’s broken and sometimes I just wish I had the resources, time, and energy to fix it all. But I can’t, and I have to be okay with that. I just have to do what I can and hope it’s good enough.

holiday wish meme 2014.

Magic Kingdom Christmas

For the 2014 holiday season, I have so much to be excited about and thankful for!

– My awesome Aidan. He’s now eleven years old, in sixth grade, and absolutely the best little boy ever. EVER.
– My family.
– All the cool stuff I got to do this year! Acting classes, TV shows, movies, and more.
– The neat places I got to visit this year: Los Angeles, New Orleans, Jekyll Island, Disney World.
– My work study opportunity at Moksha Yoga. It’s still awesome.
– My friends, old and new!
– The abundance and blessings that have been and keep being rained down on us.

It’s now time for the Holiday Wishes meme. I started doing this in 2006, and I encourage you guys to do it as well.

Step One
– Make a post (public, locked, filtered…whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ/blog. The post should contain your list of up to 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fun (“I’d love a Doctor Who icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.”) The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
– If you wish for real possible things, make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.
– Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your entry, or link to this post (it’ll be public) so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
– Surf around to see who has posted their list. And now here’s the important part: If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes someone’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use—or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free—do it.
– You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf—to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not—it’s your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just…wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

With that said, here are my wishes for 2014.

1. A gift card, or for you to make donations to, DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose focuses on education. Teachers ask for classroom project materials. We donate. The kids learn. Most of these schools are high poverty, and the teachers are already doing all they can. Any amount is welcome.

2. Donations to Paws Chicago, the shelter where we got Helena. It’s a cage-free, no-kill shelter, and they are run completely on donations; they receive no city, state, or federal funding. It’s a great place. A shelter situation is stressful for the animals involved, and every animal I came in contact with there was happy and friendly. They have an extensive screening process to make sure you’re aware of your decision and commitment, and if somehow things don’t work out, the animal always has a home at PAWS.

3. Anything from my Amazon wish list. BUY ME ALL THE THINGS I mean wait what?

4. Gift cards to bookstores. I love bookstores. And books. But you already know that.

5. I also wouldn’t mind gift cards to Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, Target, or Kohl’s.

The things that I’d like your prayers/happy energy for:

1. My mom to be as healthy as possible and to live a long time.

2. My friends and family to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

3. Myself to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

It’s December now, the holiday and giving season really is here! YAY!

Holiday Wish Meme 2013

postcard copy

I realize I am late this year with this, so I probably won’t get any wishes granted. Ha. I’m not sure where my mind was on December 1, but whatever. I think it’s because Thanksgiving was so late, and Christmas is sneaking up on us so quickly! I can’t believe it’s just over a week from today. Aidan arrives tomorrow. I still have so much to do!

For the 2013 holiday season, I have so much to be excited about and thankful for!

– My awesome Aidan. He’s now ten years old, in fifth grade, and absolutely the best little boy ever. EVER.
– My husband. It’s amazing to have someone so supportive of of the fact that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. (Wait til you learn what I’m going to be up to in 2014!)
– My families. All of them.
– Being able to take my mommy to Disney World. That trip was the most awesome trip ever!
New York City and Central Park. Yes.
– My work study opportunity at Moksha Yoga. It’s still awesome.
– My community at Moksha Yoga. Such love and abundance there.
– I got to be an extra in a major motion picture. Eeek!
– My friends, old and new! So blessed to have their love and support as I chase my dreams.
– My Plurk crew. They are hilarious and fun. Love them!
– The abundance and blessings that have been and keep being rained down on us.


It’s now time for the Holiday Wishes Meme. I started doing this in 2006, and I encourage you guys to do it as well.

Step One
– Make a post (public, locked, filtered…whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ/blog. The post should contain your list of up to 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fun (“I’d love a Doctor Who icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.”) The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
– If you wish for real possible things, make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.
– Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your entry, or link to this post (it’ll be public) so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
– Surf around to see who has posted their list. And now here’s the important part: If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes someone’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use—or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free—do it.
– You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf—to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not—it’s your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just…wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

With that said, here are my wishes for 2013.

1. A gift card, or for you to make donations to, DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose focuses on education. Teachers ask for classroom project materials. We donate. The kids learn. Most of these schools are high poverty, and the teachers are already doing all they can. Any amount is welcome.

2. Donations to Paws Chicago, the shelter where we got Helena. It’s a cage-free, no-kill shelter, and they are run completely on donations; they receive no city, state, or federal funding. It’s a great place. A shelter situation is stressful for the animals involved, and every animal I came in contact with there was happy and friendly. They have an extensive screening process to make sure you’re aware of your decision and commitment, and if somehow things don’t work out, the animal always has a home at PAWS.

3. Anything from my Amazon wish list. BUY ME ALL THE THINGS I mean wait what?

4. Gift cards to bookstores. I love bookstores. And books. But you already know that.

5. I also wouldn’t mind gift cards to Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, Target, or Kohl’s.

The things that I’d like your prayers/happy energy for:

1. My mom to be as healthy as possible and to live a long time.

2. My friends and family to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

3. Myself to be happy, healthy, comfortable, and secure.

It’s December now, the holiday and giving season really is here! YAY!

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