Friday, March 30, 2012

After Eight Years

After work on Wednesday night, I met up with an old friend from high school for dinner. We had gotten really close our senior year in high school and, after graduating and going off to different colleges, we lost touch for about eight years. Eight years.

As I approached the restaurant on Wednesday, I spotted her outside and shouted out her name with a little wave. After we hugged and said the whole, "Oh my gosh! It's been so long!" thing, I took a look at her and she seemed the same. Older, yes. Still just as pretty. But, she seemed like the same fun girl I knew in high school. Nothing drastically different. It brought a sense of comfort to me. Like not much time had really passed by, although it did.

We got a table and chatted away for about twenty minutes before even ordering. Even once our food arrived, we didn't touch it for another fifteen minutes or so. Eight years sure left us a lot to catch up on. But, one of the biggest topics of conversation was the loss of our parents. My friend lost her dad suddenly one year ago.

I can't even tell you how comforting it is to have people who know what this feels like. Several of you have reached out to me, told me your stories of loss, and been there to help lift me. Sitting there across the table from a friend I had spent a significant amount of time with as a teenager, lost touch with for eight years, and then finally was reunited with after the hardest moments of our lives really helped me as well.

She "got" me. She just knew. I'd say one thing and she'd just start nodding her head. She had been through it before too. She gave me some amazing advice and I could tell we really bonded over the pain we had both felt.

So, about halfway through our dinner date, we ran into a guy from our high school. [Talk about an unexpected high school reunion!] He barely recognized me and said I look so different from how I did before. Seriously? I had no idea I looked that different. It must be the fact that I'm not blonde anymore? I figured I should let you be the judge:




So, what do you think? Do I look really different than I did eight years ago?

Also, don't you just love the senior portrait proof?

I learned that as the years go by, we change. Our hearts change, our minds change, our dreams change, our plans change. Heck, apparently our appearance even changes quite a bit. However, there are some people who really leave an impact on our hearts with the friendship we shared. It's good to know that even after eight years, the two of us found so much comfort and enjoyment in each other's company. God brought us back in touch with one another. I know He did :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Journey Forward {7}

I thought I knew exactly who I was going to write about for this post. Today's Journey Forward post is about the person who is our role model or, better yet, the spokesperson for our "word" of the year. 

Become

I thought about Marilyn Monroe because she's always been an inspiration to me. She lived a tough childhood without a father and with a barely existent mother, all the while never giving up on her dream to become an actress. But, Marilyn's life was cut short. I don't think she truly ever got to become the woman she wanted to be. It's sad.

Then, I thought about Sandra Bullock, another inspiration to me. It's always motivating to see someone from your hometown area become so successful at what they do. She's one of the leading ladies of Hollywood and a favorite of many. Yet, she stayed grounded and strong and persevered. 

But, as far as the things I want to accomplish in this life go, I have chosen one person who encompasses many of the aspects I want to become [although not all of them will be during this year in particular.] Tori Spelling.

That's right. I've been a fan of hers since the days when I was young and my mom didn't let me watch Beverly Hills: 90210 [but I'd sneak a peek anyway!] I've read all of her books and just love her little series on Oxygen. I even named my cat after her first daughter, Stella. [My husband wouldn't let me name our future daughter that. Shucks.]


Tori always talks about her childhood and knew how lucky and blessed she was to live such a lavish life. But, when it came to becoming who and what she wanted to be, she still had to work hard. I look at her now and read her stories and see the spunk and the passion, the drive and the down-to-earth nature of her. She has never lost sight on her dreams despite the personal hardships she's been faced with.

She doesn't let her age hold her back from being a wonderful mother of three [and a fourth on the way!] She doesn't let the career disappointments of her past hold her back from accomplishing all her current business goals.

Tori, Dean, Liam and Stella

Tori somehow finds time to do it all and she does it well. I don't think the world gives her enough credit. She's a total family girl with a real zest for life! Do I even need to mention the obvious other things I love about her? [Her beautifully styled home and the fact that we share the same love for big, chunky jewelry?]

Tori Spelling Jewelry

So, at the end of the day, Tori is my girl. She has truly "become" a woman who has it all. Not because it was handed to her but because she worked for it and never gave up on her dreams. She heard "no" a thousand times but said "yes" a thousand and one.

It's only appropriate to end with a Tori quote:

“Everybody knows there is no such thing as normal. There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective. There's only a messy, inconsistent, silly, hopeful version of how we feel most at home in our lives.” 

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-- 

Next week for Journey Forward:

Several weeks ago, I asked you to create a "Journey Forward" board on Pinterest, full of anything that inspires you to move toward your "word." If you haven't yet, go do so now!

Well, this next week go find pictures that exemplify your "word." I'm not talking about quotes or a picture with your word on it. Save those for later. Whether your word is growth, love, beauty, faith, etc. find pictures that relay that message, that word to us. This might require some imagination, depending on our words. Have fun with it, keep your mind open. Pin those images, and in your post next week, share them with us. Be sure to share your link to Pinterest as well so that we can all Journey together :)


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wedding Wednesday | The Dress Shot

I've been pretty active on Pinterest, if I do say so myself. No matter what is going on in my life or what I need to find inspiration for, I can find it on there. AND, Pinterest finally changed their Terms of Use! As many of you know, I'm a lover of wedding planning and have been for quite some time. About 50% of my boards on Pinterest are wedding-related. Don't believe me? Come follow me here :)

As a former bride, I can honestly say that aside from the first moments of having a ring on your finger, the other moment where you'll think to yourself, "Holy cow! I'm getting married!" is when you try on wedding gowns. Sigh. I could go on and on about that but today, I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos I've found highlighting the wedding dress on the bride's special day.


It will mainly be up to your photographer and their stellar creativity to determine where to place or hang the dress to capture it in all its glory. If you're like me, you will consider that when choosing what venue to get ready in :)

Wedding dresses look gorgeous up against the light of a big, bright window and this is how most gown shots are captured:





When browsing the wedding websites and Pinterest, I also came across some of the most creative, fun, and beautiful dress shots that I've seen. Some of the shots really encompass the surroundings and scenery:







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The rest of the dress shots are each unique in their own way. I love what the photographers have done to really set the mood.











I think that last shot is definitely one of my favorites! It's so unique and beautiful.

And, just because I love you all and know you're begging to see the shot of my dress, here it is for you ;)
I sure love that dress :)

If you've already gotten married, did you have a dress shot taken? What does it look like? If you haven't, where do you dream of your dress shot being taken?

I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple as well for Pinteresting Wednesday! Go check her out and, if you haven't already, follow me below!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Meditate?

If I lived at the beach, I would have been out on the sand everyday either in the morning or late at night. Just me, my thoughts, and the sound of the ocean. After the loss of my mom, I have felt emotions I never knew were possible to feel before.

Now here is where some of you might start to think I'm crazy. I whole-heartedly believe that we can communicate with spirits on the other side. Our conversations may not be as detailed as they are with say, the Long Island Medium or John Edward, but I believe it's possible for them to still reach us somehow.

I'm working on making myself open to that spiritually, mentally, and physically and know that one of the main ways is to meditate. However, if you know me, then you know I have a hard time "letting" myself just relax and tune out the rest of the world.


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I envision myself just finding a quiet space, lighting some candles [because that's a must] and just clearing my mind completely. I know it's going to take practice because I am QUITE the THINKER and the mere idea of not thinking is hard for me to imagine.


lace and twine candle holders

But, I know my mind needs it. I know my body needs it. I know my soul needs it. To just stop for a few moments and just be.


So, do you meditate? Have you tried it before? What are your suggestions? Music? Complete silence? Let the meditation begin...
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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Weekend Wore Me Out

You're supposed to feel refreshed after the weekend, right? Well, I don't. I feel the exact opposite actually. Worn-out, tired, drained, blah. Hardly had a moment to just breathe and right now, breathing is what I need most. Lesson learned.

The weekend started off by leaving straight from work to meet up with a friend. We had dinner and then headed to the movies to see 21 Jump Street. Well, when we went to get tickets, the movie had been "cancelled" so we had to wait another hour to see it. Luckily, the weather was nice so we walked around and explored some new shops including a designer consignment store. Awesome! Still walked away empty-handed.

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After the movie, we walked over to Pinkberry because I was craving fro-yo. Like Georgetown Cupcake, the line at Pinkberry in the DC area also wraps around the building. We waited for about 20 minutes before I got my yummy blood orange fro-yo with strawberries and blueberries! 

Pinkberry

Saturday day was spent getting miscellaneous things done [because isn’t that what every Saturday is for?] I had to make a trip to my storage unit to pick up a few things. I do not enjoy going there. Would you enjoy this horror movie-esque place?

Storage

Saturday night was spent in DC with Raquel for dinner at Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro in Chinatown. We had tried to go there just over a month ago before catching a movie but the wait had been too long. This time, they told us the wait would be an hour. Fiiiine. So, about fifteen minutes into our wait, we're chatting and taking pictures of the pretty bonfire outside and Raquel smacks the "pager" and says something along the lines of, "hurry up already!" Well, guess what - the pager goes off right then! Go figure!

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The menu had a little bit of everything but since we were at this fancy-schmancy pizza bistro, we both went with pizza. We may or may not have finished every piece AND ordered their chocolate chip bread pudding. It's tough to say :)

Matchbox

Sunday was a pretty typical Sunday with church, family, and visiting my Mom's grave. It was the latest I have probably ever visited a cemetery. The sun was almost completely gone but, you know what? It still wasn’t creepy. I just feel a calmness whenever I’m there.

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There’s my little niecey being all fascinated with the old rocking chair. She can put a smile on anyone’s face :)

So, looking back on that busy weekend makes me even more exhausted than I already am. I really need to start setting aside time to just regroup and recharge [didn’t I JUST write a Journey Forward post about this?] Come Friday at 3:00, the weekend always sounds refreshing and much-needed but when you jam-pack your schedule, it ends up being just as hectic as the work week :( I’m working on that. What did you do this weekend?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Letters on Friday

Dear Self,
Keep going. Don't let anyone talk you down or out of your dreams. You know what you want. You might not know every step of the way just yet, but you know how to start. Take the leap. You'll learn to fly.

Dear DC Weather,
I don't even mind the clouds the past few days. These warmer temperatures have allowed me to feel comfortable in short sleeves and sandals. The breeze on my face when I walk out of work is warm and refreshing. Please stay.

Sandals

Dear Stella,
I don't know why you're barely eating your food. I don't know why you do a lot of things, like how you find the newspapers and suddenly they are your new favorite bed. But, I hope you're okay. I hope this is just you acting like a stubborn teenager because I put you on a diet...

Dear Readers,
I don’t know what I’d do without you. This community is beyond what I ever expected it to be. It’s one of the biggest, most loving and compassionate support networks I could have asked for. You guys make me smile, laugh, tear up, think, and I can’t thank you enough!

Dear Traffic,
I don’t know where you came from but please go back. Even though my office is far away, I was enjoying not having to sit in stop-and-go traffic until this week happened. Now I have to sit behind 20 cars just to get off the road my office is on! Not cool, traffic. Not cool.

Traffic

Dear Mom,
You've been gone a month and nothing is the same. I hope you're doing well [I know you are] and I just want you to know how much I miss you. I miss your voice, I miss your hugs, I miss all your words of wisdom. I still need you so feel free to make yourself known some time. I'll keep myself open to it.

Dear UDA Nationals,
You make me really happy. You truly do. Being able to watch the recap every year on ESPN takes me back to my dancin' days. I hope I can re-ignite a passion for something now like the passion I had back then!

Dear Positive Vibes,
Keep coming my way! I've opened up plenty of room in my life for you and welcome you with open arms :)

Pretty excited to be linking up with Ashley for this series! I remember reading her Friday’s Letters when I first found her blog way back when and they always warmed my heart :)

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Journey Forward {6}

Today for Journey Forward, let's talk about our happy place. Okay, so maybe not our happy place but where we go and what we do when we need to unwind/re-charge. A couple months ago, I was asked this very question and I responded with a shrug and an, "I don't know..." I didn't even know where I went to re-charge my own internal battery!! Which meant one thing - It sure hadn't been re-charged in quite a while.

So, I started to think. And think. And think some more.

Barnes & Noble.
This probably sounds weird if you know that I'm not much of a reader. At least, not a fiction reader. Hunger Games? Nope. I think I read the first page of the very first Harry Potter and just couldn't do it.

But, when I go into Barnes & Noble, not just any bookstore, I feel untouchable. I feel safe. I wander aimlessly through the store, browsing the bookshelves, paging through the books written on Europe, or how to care for your new dog, or ways to surround yourself with happiness.
I sit down at a table, maybe grab an Italian soda, and just trickle through the pages, often taking notes in my phone. Or pictures.

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[I love Joel. What can I say?]

I can stay there for hours. Again, it's like the world seems to stop spinning for those moments and it's just me, the books, and my learning. It's refreshing and soothing. It's an escape.

Oftentimes I turn to music as well. It’s another escape for me. I get lost in the lyrics and the beats and find myself choreographing in my mind. It’s so easy to drift away into music. Whether I’m at the beach or I’m in the car, I’m always listening to something.

My favorite “thinking” artist would have to be A Fine Frenzy. Pretty much every song by her gets me thinking and feeling. “Elements” and “Swan Song” especially. Go listen to them. You know a song is really special when it moves you every time you listen to it, regardless of how many times you’ve heard it.

Whether I’m sitting in Barnes & Noble or listening to a special song, it’s in those moments that I become inspired. My mind can be clear and I can focus on what’s important; to become.

 
--

Next week for Journey Forward:
 
Who is the “spokesperson” for your word? Someone who lives your word and inspires you to do the same. It can be a celebrity, family member, blogger, etc. Tell us about them, why you look up to them, what makes them such a great example.

As always, link up below and go check out some of the other Journeyers! Also, spread the love on Twitter by sharing your link and using #JourneyForward :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Month Later

One month ago today was the last full day I spent with my Mom. The initial shock has started to wear off. I realized that the adrenaline was what had been keeping me going for so long. It still does for most of the day.

Anyway, the grief is oftentimes unbearable. It physically consumes my body and sucks out almost every ounce of energy, usually when I least expect it. It just hits. I've written about this before, here.

I think back to the moments I saw my mom in the hospital and my heart breaks. Each moment was so different from the last. You see, when my dad took my mom to the ER one Wednesday evening, I had absolutely no idea that it would be the last time she walked out that door. I figured it would be similar to the time she went about a month prior- they'd run some tests and send her on her way. I was wrong. I've learned to never assume anything when it comes to health.

My mom never came home.
Less than a week from the moment she left for the hospital, she took her last breath and her heart stopped. She was gone.

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I'm grateful that I had those few days in the hospital with my Mom. Minus the hospital gown and oxygen mask, she still seemed like my Mom for most of the time, despite the fact that the cancer was attacking her more aggressively than we could have imagined. She was making her lists of what needed to be done at home, telling us when she wanted to talk and when she didn't, etc. But, during the final two days, there'd be moments I'd look at her and could just tell she was starting to go. She didn't have it all in her anymore. There was one experience that happened that confirmed to me that she would be leaving us soon. Maybe one day I'll share that.

But, I just think about those moments in the hospital. The look in her eyes. The sound of her breaths. Those are the moments I feel the hole in my life.

I said my goodbyes. I held her hand in her final four hours of life. I will forever be grateful that I could be there to see her out of this life and into the next... But, I'll tell you one thing - a little part of my soul went with her. I have been forever changed by those moments. Watching your only mother die changes you.

I know I mention my Mom and the pain of her death on here a lot. I don't say all of this to be dark and heavy. I say it because this is what happened. This is life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Need Your Help | Blog Editing

You know what I loved? Windows Live Writer. I used it to write all of my blog posts, insert any pictures/media I wanted to use, etc. It was easy to format the font, style, and edit picture sizes. Windows Live Writer was my little genius and just made life in bloggyland easier.

Back in the day, when Life is a Sunset was first born, it was hosted on Wordpress. Wordpress is known for being super user-friendly. It was. I loved it. I switched over to Blogger because that's where the main "bloggy community" is that I wanted to join in on. So, here I am. However, now as the new, proud owner of a MacBook, using Windows Live Writer is no longer an option [as far as I know.] I have tried to write my posts using Blogger and I just can't tolerate it. I constantly have to try dragging my pictures around because they all load into the top of the window. My HTML formatting always gets all yucky. It's harder to customize fonts. And, well... I just don't trust Blogger like I trusted Windows Live Writer. I might as well use a typewriter.

Philip Ficks Photography.....click click click on the typewriter.
[via]

So, Mac friends... what are my options?

Is there another program similar to WLW that you recommend? I tried downloading Qumana and it won't let me log into my Blogger account. I tried Scribefire as well but it won't let me upload pictures from my computer. I heard MarsEdit is a decent option but I know it costs money. Is it worth it? I need your help.

Also, while I’m writing, let’s talk for a minute about horoscopes. I don’t necessarily base my day around them but, every so often when I’m bored, I’ll read mine. Yesterday was one of those days. I just wasn’t feeling it. So, I read my horoscope and here’s what I found… Rather fitting if you ask me:

“You're not feeling very motivated today because it seems as if your dreams have overtaken the real world.
This surreal outlook challenges you to get a handle on what you need to do, and the harder you try, the worse it gets.
Happily, this is a great day to lose yourself in a fantasy or visualize an alternative future for yourself.
Don't worry about the lack of tangible results now; you will be able to make up for lost time later on.”

Do you read your horoscope for fun too?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bloggy Care Packages

You know those certain times in life when you feel extremely humbled and grateful? This has been one of those times for me. Smiles have been brought to my face countless times within the past few weeks thanks to many of you - my readers! I am constantly amazed at the support of the blogging community. So many of you, people I have yet to "meet" in real life, are SO gracious and giving. Through emails, comments, tweets, texts, etc. you have reached out to me to offer your thoughts and prayers whether I'm having a lousy day or just to let me know you're there.

I truly can't thank you all enough.

Earlier, I wrote about the sweetest card I received all the way from Norway. Megan was so thoughtful to send me something from halfway around the world. You can read about it here :)

Then, I received a package in the mail from sweet Torie. I started off by reading the letter that was inside where she described each of the items that were included:

1. The Book of Prayers for the times when I can't find words or even the strength to find words.
2. The Cookie Mix is for my soul because nothing patches a hole like a warm chocolate chip cookie. She knows me too well :)
3. A turquoise bracelet with this tag attached to it - "For every woman who has struggled, questioned, realized, believed, accomplished and triumphed." It also says, "Give one and keep one. There is no greater comfort than sharing the journey with others." She told me that she will wear hers as long as I need her to :) Again, she knows me too well. Turquoise bracelet = perfect and I wear it everyday!

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Each of these items has brought me comfort. Torie put so much thought into this cute little care package and made each item so meaningful to me :) What a SWEET girl!

Shortly after, I received another package in the mail. If you follow Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds, then you may know about her little Etsy shop she opened called Fetch & Co. when she was raising money for her dog, Bella’s surgery. Well, I had my eye on those bracelets from the moment she announced her shop’s opening months ago. Unfortunately, I was on a very strict budget at the time so I knew I’d have to wait to buy a cute bracelet of hers. I remember telling my Mom about her shop, the awesome cause, and she and I both browsed through the cute items she had listed.

Now that my budget has some “wiggle” room, I just had to get one of Ashley’s last items before she puts up her new inventory. Luckily, she STILL had the orange bracelet I had my eye on before!

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If you haven’t already, head over to Ashley’s shop here and pick up one of her last bracelets! Can’t wait to see what’s to come! She has been SUCH an amazing support system for me throughout this whole experience. She has brought a huge smile to my face, as did this bracelet :)

This weekend, I received another package, this one was from
Brianna, and I’m pretty sure I gasped when I opened the box! It was filled with all sorts of goodies that were wrapped in adorable paper!

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I saw the Essie nail polishes and Cadbury eggs and gasped again! What a fun surprise and great way to welcome in the Spring! As I opened up the other two gifts, I just started feeling more and more emotion flow through me. I was SO blessed. Someone who’s never met me before felt inclined to send me ALL of this just to let me know they were there for me and cared.

I saw these cute little journals, each with a different motivating quote on them, and just smiled. They were perfect.

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The last thing I opened was so beautiful. It was a Mother/Daughter Memory Box. I can finally have somewhere to put all my little mementos that make me think of my Mom!

Here’s everything all together!

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I was at a loss for words. Not to mention, I want Brianna’s handwriting! Her card was so genuine and sweet.

I just can’t believe someone would do all of this for me! I’m so humbled and grateful. I truly, truly am. While the time has started to pass, the shock has started to wear off, and my emotions start to kick in more, it has helped more than you all know to see packages, cards, and thoughts still trickle in. They have brought countless smiles to my face and happy tears to my eyes. I am so touched by the selflessness of the blogging community. I wish I could hug every single one of you all!

So, here’s a huge hug and THANK YOU to each of you! I appreciate your love and support more than you know :)

[If you haven’t already, go check out the blogs of the ladies above!] :)

xoxo

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lights Will Guide You Home, Mom

This song was played on repeat throughout my Mom's funeral service. Feel free to play it as you read along...

My Mom's funeral was held just a few short days after she passed away. While the service itself was personal, there are a few details I wanted to share on my blog.

The visitation was held on a Friday evening. The funeral home was filled with the scent of beautiful florals. The delicate aroma of flowers will forever remind me of my mom now. After a private viewing for family only - friends, acquaintances, and even people who had never personally met my mom came to pay their respects. I was overwhelmed with the number of people who filled the parlor. I was greeted with the warmest hugs and deepest condolences. I could truly feel the love right there in that room.

It's easy in those moments to get carried away with all the friends and family members mingling about. The hugs, the "I'm sorry's," the catching up. But, it's in the moments when you look into someone's eyes and see the pain, that all the emotions flood back into you. I looked at my mom's best friend [whom I’ve always called ‘Aunt Linda’] and my heart broke... again. I could see the devastation, the shock, the grief. She was left here on Earth without her best friend of over 50 years. She's left with the hope that my mom would somehow find a way to "call" her, like she promised to do just hours before she died.

The following morning, my Mom's service was held in the chapel. Again, I was humbled to see nearly every seat filled as we honored my mother that day. She was loved. So very loved.

FixYou

The service was the most beautiful service I could have imagined. I stared ahead at the picture of my mom, rubbed my brother's back, and leaned on my Dad's shoulder. We were all hurting. And there was the picture of my mom with eyes as blue as the shirt she was wearing, just smiling back at us.

After my two brothers, my nephew, and I shared some words about my Mom, the pastor started his eulogy. About half way through, the door of the chapel gently opened by itself and the pastor said, "Come on in, Carol!" She was there. I know it.

We departed and the procession drove to my Mom's final resting place, in the same cemetery where we had gone for years to visit her own mother's grave. She had a beautiful spot in the sunlight picked out just for her [and my dad to join her one day.]

I sat there, in front of my mom's casket, still in shock. I shed some tears and tried saying the last words to her that I could conjure up. The funeral director let us take the metal rosettes from her casket to keep with us. I took several roses from her flower arrangement as well.

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I knelt down, resting my hands on the top of the casket, and cried with her. I knew my moments with her physically were over. I had given her my last hug, kiss on the forehead, and held her hand for the last time. But, this was the last chance I had with the symbol of her physical form here on Earth. Although she may be gone, she will forever be my sweet Mom.

Lights

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Journey Forward {5}

Friends, I am writing this blog post via my brand new MacBook PRO! My original plan was to wait until Friday [pay day] to make the purchase but after making my second trip to decide exactly which MacBook to buy, I didn't want to walk away empty-handed. So, here I am. And, here I was:

Now, on to this week's post for Journey Forward. This week the prompt was to simply describe yourself. I say "simply" but really, describing myself has always been a little tough for me. So, here we go.

I'm Chelsea and up until about a month or two ago, I would have had no idea what to write here. Lately, I've been really taking the time to find myself. To find out who I really am, not who others think I am or want me to be.

I'm constantly growing and evolving. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in God and His Plan. I wear my heart on my sleeve and no matter how many times I've gotten hurt, that will never stop. I'm quiet when I first meet you but could spend every hour of my day on stage either dancing or acting and be perfectly happy.

I have a deep love for homeless animals and animals needing to be rescued. I feel it is a calling of mine while here on Earth to speak for those animals and help them when often times they can't help themselves. That said, I adopted the sweetest, most fun little cat named Stella just over a year ago and look forward to the day when I can welcome some doggies into my life.

I am passionate. Motivated. And have learned to find hope in the hard times. Through the sudden and recent passing of my Mother, I have been able to reevaluate my life. I have reassessed my goals and dreams and have started manifesting the things I want to have and accomplish in this life. After experiencing some dark moments and numbing spans of time, I believe without a doubt that we are responsible for creating our own happiness. I believe in the Law of Attraction.

I love animal print, chocolate, 2-door cars, the ocean, driving across the United States, asymmetry, non-fiction books, palm trees, and big chunky jewelry.

My family means the world to me. My dreams guide me. My faith centers me me. Music lifts me. Writing makes me come alive. And the color blue puts a smile on my face.

And always, always when I get to the end of things like this, I get anxious over the possibility of having left something out. But, you know what? That's life. I'm okay with it.

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Next week's prompt:

What helps you to clear your mind? Where do you go/what do you do to re-center and re-focus yourself?

Be sure to link-up below! As always, feel free to join in on any week! :)