Snow Days on the Lane

The scene captured below was the view from my porch this morning and all I could muster without leaving the warm, coziness of the living room. Part of me wanted to slip my boots on and hear the crunch of fresh fall under my feet but they had been left in the car (typical of me) and thus, probably colder than it was worth to retrieve them.

My tiny corner of the world

When I looked out and around, at the time, all was quiet, still and peaceful. No one stirred as far as I could see…it was magnificent. In a matter of minutes, my day was completely re-arranged. I pulled back my curtains to let the bright, white, sun reflected light pour in, started a cup of coffee and washed dishes while admiring more snow covered stillness framed by the kitchen window. It’s incredible to me that if I pause long enough, it looks like a storybook page.

When the dishes were done, I went to put my fitbit back on, out of habit, start some laundry and make mental note of all that I was going to “get done” today…In the brief moments it takes to fasten the clasp of that device, I realized that, today, I don’t want to be measured.

There is always something to be done and/or something I could do but hadn’t I just let the newly fallen snow and it’s stillness set the tone for my day!? Why would I want to ruin it with the haste and the counting of steps/heart rate and “zone mins” and tasks completed. Why should I ruin it!!?

I decided not to.

Now, I live and love in the middle of North Carolina, a place where we make such BIG DEAL of this kind of thing because it’s rare, beautiful and fleeting…we pause, enjoy and (most of us anyways) are overly careful because we haven’t been seasoned enough to do it any other way. If I can’t see the road, I don’t drive on it.

So, I completely changed my day even though I can already see blades of grass through it’s melting and the road beyond my quiet yard is traffic filled once again…I am choosing to let snow be ok…to let myself be still in the day, whatever else it entails.

Thankfully, a text of “what are you waiting for” brought me here but shades open or closed, nothing else about today needs to be counted, simply enjoyed.

I hope you enjoy your day too!!

Happy Saturday 🙂

Send a Flare into the Night

I have been waiting for the words for this one to come to me for a while now and though I wish they didn’t require the catalyst that they did, here I am, literally burning the midnight oil to let them have their way, because I do not set them free nearly enough.

The catalyst…well, the only real importance of it is…Jenga!!!!

The Beacon in my Night

Quicksand is the best word and visual that I can give you for the way that past few months have gone for me. Now, I don’t have personal experience with said quicksand but I know that the more you move, the more you sink and as so many movies show us, you need someone’s help to get out of it.

I had SO MUCH hope and excitement going in to my 39th year of life. The first 9 months and 9 days of 2021 had been spent diving DEEP into the rising and falling of getting to know who I really am and how I show up (and here is where I encourage YOU, no matter what age you are, to spend some time doing that). In the days leading up to my birthday weekend plans, I just knew I was going to climb up the ladder to the high dive of life, take a beautiful swan dive and swim with great enthusiasm to the next horizon.

There really is no telling how long it took me to realize that instead of the pool of crystal clear water, I landed in jello. Without full awareness, I stopped getting up to workout in the mornings (which I’d done solidly for over a year), and it wasn’t a slow fade, I just stopped. The zeal I had for my morning routine was replaced with that almost non existent yet not unfamiliar desire just to sleep. I could not wait to sleep and I couldn’t figure out why because my dreams weren’t the dreams of a dreamer, they were something else entirely.

Parts of me that thought I was well past using the scale as a measure of myself, looked once more and found it had gone up. Up…How in the name of actually figuring it out after ALL THIS TIME could that have happened!?! Shame attached itself like a led balloon and I ordered Pizza Hut for the 15th time.

Candice, what the heck is going on? I’ve asked myself this everyday for weeks.

How can THIS be my reality when I thought I was good? Great even? It’s important for me to interject here that this isn’t about weight gain (at all) but it is a part of my story, so it will find itself mentioned here a time or two.

Well, the answer has taken a long time to come to me but I did smile when it came in the form of a phrase I’d almost forgotten but found me none the less…Heavy & Light…that is life. I am going to soar with eagles, seek to lift as many of you amazing souls up as I can and I will love every, single moment of it…And then, without knowing how or why, sometimes, I’ll fall to the ground, wounded, because that is what happens when you go all in, like I do so often.

This time, I landed in quicksand…and…it has taken two months and help in the form of Jenga (please look it up if you don’t understand the reference). Whew, heavy & light indeed.

Now, it really is almost midnight and I will tell you why I posted a photo of a candle…

Tonight, after the same song came up in conversation that had called to me a week ago, I decided to have a bit of a symbolic ceremony…because, even though I really do love learning, healing, forgiving, growing, repeating…the quicksand is exhausting.

Here is the song

https://youtu.be/oLZdAhvgDmo

My jenga moment was what I needed, as tear filled as it was, to burn the ships.

Fear, that, for sure, is the thing that has to go, along with a boat load of other things (sea what I did there ;))

This year has taught me SO MUCH! This heart of mine is stronger and bigger than it ever has been AND is also not immune to the ache of vulnerable living…I don’t think I want it to be…

I DO, however, want to step into every new day, rise up from the dust, say a prayer and turn the tide…because I KNOW, OH FRIEND do I know…that who I am is NEVER wasted.

A FULL life surrounds me…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self control are what I pray for, every morning and I get a few of those right because they are reflected in the ones who choose me…and the ones who don’t, well, as HeMan would say “Good Journey”.

As far as dancing upon the heartache? I’d prefer to dance with it, and it isn’t to be dramatic or a martyr…it’s simply because I know that it’s a part of life and OH, how I want to LIVE IT WELL!!!!

This is my flare in to the night, Dear Reader! I’m here and I am so glad you are too!

~CC

A Tale of a Dream Come True

Ever since I named this part of Wanderwood Lane, I wanted it to be filled with something really special. I’ve enjoyed tea for years…and coffee too if I am honest, but I wanted this to be a celebration of all the joy it brings me to brew and steep a giant cup up (yes, I have to admit that the true tea cups only come out when I have company).

I’ve found the perfect product to get this celebration started.

The Adaptogen Line from Teeccino

While I orignally found Teeccino a couple of years ago, I didn’t get my full immersion in it until last year.

I was doing a special fitness challenge with my fit community last year and although it wasn’t a part of the challenge, I wanted to work on my caffiene intake. You see, when I made coffee, in the past, I’d make almost a full pot and drink on it until about 10am everyday…I knew that was too much but in my mind, I couldn’t help it, I really liked the taste.

Thankfully, I remembered back to my trip to Italy a few years ago, where we prepared for the long flight by getting rid of caffiene for a few days prior. I took a look back through my photographs from the trip and found the little golden packet of Hazelnut Teeccino.

I immediately went to Amazon to see what I could get quickly. Much to my delight, they had a variety pack and that purchase was a no brainer.

I’ve spent the majority of the year letting that variety pack lead me to this love affair I now have with these products. Hazelnut started it but from there, I’ve come to enjoy the French Roast, Dandilion Dark Roast, Maca Chocolate, Vanilla Nut AND their Fall seasonal blends are AMAZING.

These blends are the best of both worlds for me because they brew rich and savory, just like coffee but don’t have the acid or caffeine that coffee does, so I can enjoy them any time of the day and completely relish it (and I sure do).

All of the teas and herbal coffees that I have tried, to date, are full of flavor all on their own, but I’ll admit I indulge a little and add my favorite non-dairy sweet cream to most of mine. I prefer mine freshly brewed/steeped hot most of the time but have also found them a delicious base for my protien shakes and smoothies too!!!

My biggest and best discovery came along with my recently approved ambassdorship last month. As I have become more aware of how stress and anxiety affect my mind/body and life, I have been doing more research on natural ways to help ease both. Enter Teeccinos mushroom adaptogen line.

I’m two tea/coffees into my experience and I have to say they are even better than anything I have tasted before and I literally smile everytime I enjoy a cup because I know that I am drinking something good for me, on many levels.

Tremella Tulsi– this was the first one I tried and the flavor combination of the chicory, Tulsi and cardamon was invigorating, like coffee with a little kick!

Tremella, the tropical mushroom reputed to promote lasting beauty, is paired with sacred Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, the ‘Queen of Herbs’ for reducing stress in India’s Ayurvedic tradition. Blended with detox-stimulating dandelion root, experience bold, aromatic flavor with adaptogens protecting your mind & body!

Lion’s Mane Rhodoila– OHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYY! I really don’t know when it happened but I tried rose in my tea a long time ago and it’s one of my favorite flavor notes but I had never considered it in a coffee substitute. I am thrilled that I tried this blend second. This combination is smooth and so very soothing after a long day. The rose is strong enough to hit the nose with a delighful fragrance while lifting the cup up but not too overpowering when it hits the taste buds. I’ll be ordering more of this one for sure!

Lion’s Mane, renowned in Asia as the nerve & brain protector, is paired with Rhodiola, Siberia’s mood enhancer that helps provide balance in times of need. Blended with prebiotic chicory, experience bold, aromatic flavor with adaptogens protecting your mind & body!

In case I don’t have you fully convinced to try it yet, let me also say that in addition to being caffeine free, these blends are gluten free and prebiotic.

If you are looking for a coffee alternative or perhaps a more robust tea, this is the best I’ve found.

Try some using the discount code OWLTeaParty

Until the next pot, happy sipping!!

~CC

BE with me

Hellooooooooo dear readers!

Here we are, at long last (blame me, not LR as she is several books ahead of me) at book three of the Bridgerton series (and my favorite so far)…

Book three starts with a Masqurade ball where the Bridgerton brothers, Colin and Benedict remain amongst the highly saught after of bachelors (though, as per usual, they aren’t overly thrilled about it).

Much to his own suprise, Benedict is quite taken with a mysterious and beautiful vision in silver, who’s identity is indeed a mystery to all in attendance, including Lady Whistledown.

Behind the mask, Sophie, is also taken with Benedict Bridgerton and the two of them share an intense few hours before the stroke of midnight has Ms. Beckett bolting for the door.

Sophie doesn’t belong in high society, or at least that is what she has been told most of her life, by her cruel Stepmother who treats her exactly like she does the rest of those under her employ, except, well, she doesn’t pay Sophie.Very much like Cinderella, Sophie is only able to attend the ball with the help of the other househld staff (they adore her), who make her unrecognizable and ensure she returns before she is found out.

Love finds Benedict and Sophie in those moments at the ball but it can never be…

Benedict doesn’t know the identity of the silver gowned maiden and Sophie knows that if he did know, he’d never have her.

The years that pass find them both still unattached and often thinking of that fateful night…until one afternoon in the countryside leads them back to eachother, with only one of them knowing that who they have been longing for, for so long, is right in front of them.

What follows is the often comical story of how Benedict and Sophie end up living in that fantasy from year prior…and it doesn’t come easily.

You know by now that I am not going to give you the whole story because it is so much better to get to know it for yourself but I will tell you that this couple has the best of dynamics when it comes to a story. I really appreciate the way Julia Quinn makes her characters work at love a little bit, without completely losing who they are.

As with the other two stories so far, there is banter and playfullness that developes between the characters that keeps it very, very interesting.

This is my favorite book, so far, because Benedict is my favorite Bridgerton brother. He is a bit of an artist, the second eldest, so not as many responsibilites as the Viscount, and he’d rather be at his house in the country then in town…sign me UP!!!

Happy Reading ALL!

See you in book 3

summer lovin’

Happy August my dear readers!!!

Wait, how is it August already!?!?! Is time flying for you all too???

Right now I am wondering what one does when they are 9 days in to the month and 9 days behind on ALL the goals they set out for said month??

My solution was to brew a cup of tea and GET BUSY!!!!

Normally, I would post a photo of the master plan I have for some major productivity for the month (and I do have that photo) but being that it has no check marks on it yet, I’ll save for the end of the month and we will all see how I did.

Check marks…I can’t pinpoint when it happened and I am not sure what character trait it is exactly but I have become someone that likes to make lists, put little check boxes under each task and mark it when complete.

I have a dry erase calender on my fridge that I won’t let myself mark through until I’ve done what I need to do for the day. That hasn’t worked as well for my August writing goals and I realize as I type this that it might have if I’d put the writing tasks on the same calender (insert mind blown emojii and make a note to do that in September). Let’s just say that I do plan to get caught up this week…and that’s going to be A LOT of words…;)

In the meantime, here’s a little slideshow of a few July highlights. The word ‘freedom’ came to me in early June and with it, a ton of thoughts (that will likely make it to another blog post). It’s pretty clear from all the space here On Wanderwood Lane, at this point, that I am always open to growth, healing, more understanding and a better way to LIVE this life. In July that looked like preparing for changes in my work/life balance and spending the weekends doing things with family/friends. There has been a lot of go, go, go but I know I need to relish it so that when the rest, rest, rest happens, I’ll be full of incredible memories to mediate on.

Talk to you again VERY soon,

CC

I’m right here

Dear Readers,

If it feels like it’s been eons since we last touched base, it has been and I beg your forgiveness but, as they say, life happens 🙂

BUT here we are, at long last, at book 2 of the Bridgerton series.

Now, we got a taste of the eldest Bridgerton, Anthony, in book one but we get the whole serving of him in The Viscount Who Loved Me.

As you may remember from our first encounter with the Viscount, he’s single, but perfectly content to refrain from mingling, at least not to settle down and start a family 😉 A rake is going to do what rake is going to do.

After the marriage of his sister Daphne, that changes. Anthony comes around to the idea of securing a wife and fulling his duty as the head of the Bridgerton family, he’s just not interested in love. His idea is to sweep a beautiful lady off her feet, be a good enough husband to a good enough wife and let that be that.

Enter Kate Sheffield, a woman as disinterested in being married off as the Viscount is in being domesticated. Kate’s distaste for the kind of man Anthony appears to be is evident from the very beginning. Her younger sister is free to entertain suitors, so long as they aren’t men about the ton, like Anthony Bridgerton, and even more so, NOT Anthony Bridgerton himself.

When the season arrives for all ladies of age to be presented to society, who do you think is first in line for the younger Ms. Sheffield??? Yep, the Viscount

What follows is an even bigger scandal than that of Daphne and Simon, if you can believe that. Kate and Anthony are both hell bent to hate each other all the while something deeper burns inside them.

A trip to the Bridgerton countryside estate changes everything. Who knew a game of Pall Mall, a thunderstorm and bee sting could change the course of the future or two families!?!?!

The Mallet of Death or as close as I could get

Julia Quinn did, that’s for sure!!

If you haven’t already, get to know the story of Anthony and Kate.

As for Renae and I, we are moving on to (my favorite from the show) Benedict Bridgerton!

Until next time, happy reading!

spring in my step

Hellllllloooooooo ALL!!!

Whew, what a glorious whirlwind the past few months have been!!!

I couldn’t think of a better day to recap the Spring than the first day of SUMMER!

Let’s see, I guessing by now that work and workouts are obvious…as both have become a necessity of my life and continue to be.

April. Cars, Waterfalls, Wine and Logging

April was the month I really exercised my photography muscles and it started with a Saturday morning visit to my buddy’s food truck for coffee and breakfast before scoping rows of cars at a local cruise in. The above pictured beauties are a few of my favorites!

The next weekend, my friend Gio and I went waterfall chasing in Bryson City, NC. We found an absolutely lovely Inn right in town that accomodated us to perfection, right down to wine and charchuatre board on the terrace in the evening. I forgot to pack my hiking shoes, which lead way to my first puchase of hiking boots (Keens) and I was not sorry about that! I’m legit now 🙂

The following weekend, I took those very same boots to help my friend Ashley clear out her newly aquired mountain property. I’m not sure if it was the boots, the healthier lifestyle or just an overall sense of confidence but I hopped in/around/all over that land, wrangling fallen trees, weed eating and even operating a chain saw as instructed. It was the most alive I’d felt in a long time and by that I mean, my mind, with all it’s anxious potential, couldn’t be bothered out there…I even tried to get it to overthink something and it didn’t…pure, sheer, solace.

The end of April held two photo shoots and they were both for my oldest friend Lancie. I was blessed enought capture her enagement and bridal portraits and they were both incredible days!

May. Golden Girls, Sunsets, Birthdays and Thrillers

Ashley, Lancie and I affectionately call ourselves The Golden Girls and the first weekend in May was spent celebrating Lancie’s upcoming nuptuals in family owned cabin off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There we dressed up, poured ourselves some wine and painted by number while, you guessed it, The Golden Girls played in the background.

I didn’t get prior permission to share the second weekend festivities but it included my buddy Jeff’s Buddy Games themed birthday party, filled with laughter, delicious food (prepared by Jeff), actual games and good fellowship.

Garden City Beach and a 7 day vacation called to me the remainder of May. It was filled with sunrises/sunsets, 20 miles of beachfront walking, lots of reading, coffee, a trip to the arcade and a giant pancake breakfast with most of the family, what R&R is made of!!!

So, June has been much the same and I forgot to upload photos for it (oops)…

It has included my Dad’s retirement party, Lancie’s wedding weekend and a camping trip in Uwharrie National Forest.

Haha, was it all as busy as it sounds!?!? YES but also so full of love and life and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

I watch this show called Roadkill all the time and the past few seasons, at the end of every episode, are the words “Get Busy Living”…it took a few episodes for that to sink in. It isn’t always in the “busy” part of that phrase but IS all in the LIVING part of it…

Whether it’s spending every weekend coming/going/staying put, surround yourself with lots of love or loving your alone time, here, there or everywhere…ENJOY each turn around the sun/moon and pack as much living as you can in to this life!

I’ll be here (and there) doing the very same!

Resting in the inbewteens

One of my best and truest friends turned 40 a few days ago.

In this weird, always trying to see the wonderful, season of life, what would have been a large, possibly lavish, crowded blowout, had to take on a very different, though no less special turn.

We celebrated, just the two of us, last Saturday, with a day trip to a new hiking venue and a delicious dinner at a new restaurant.

This isn’t a new thing for us, we’ve been celebrating each other for 17 years and though it wasn’t ever for a pandemic, we have had to pivot plenty of other times and have found a sort of comfort in each being pliable enough to do that…a mark of true friendship.

US

Catharsis isn’t new for me…my mind never shuts off…like EVER!!!! I do, however, try to make it as healthy a process as I can.

On this particular trip, amongst all the wonderful conversation, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the devotions I had been reading and the actual hike itself.

The overwhelming message of this year, so far, has been that the waiting, stillness, the pause, the silence, the unknown has just as much purpose and meaning as whatever we want to call the the thing at the end of it. That’s a frustrating notion, I know, believe me! I feel like my whole life has been spent being anxious about what next, or isn’t here yet…the health/wellness, financial stability, a career, self esteem, Mr. Right, the perfect answers, the right questions, what I should be doing/what I want to do, who I should be/who I want to be…to the literal thought “I should be thinking about/pondering/planning right now, right”…

That sounds exhausting, doesn’t it!?! You are right…it’s been more exhausting than actually climbing a trail called “Vertical Mile”.

Almost straight up

However, I have been attempting to try to slow down a bit, to “try” a little less, to hit pause more, to find peace in the silence…

How fruitful to find out that there is more going on in the unseen, unheard, unknown than I ever could have realized…and now we’ve arrived at the point of this post…

When Ash and I started hiking, it was NOT easy. I was about 70lbs heavier and though I’ve always been determined and active (as in I could do it), it didn’t come without the breathless complaining and wishing it was over a few minutes in. The labored breath was nothing compared to how uncomfortable it was, at first, that being outdoors was the only thing that quieted my thoughts enough for them to make sense.

There have been so many times when hikes and camping were the only times I felt like I had anything figured out, because, not much matters out there, except what is right in front of you…you are forced to be present and you experience everything it has to offer you.

It’s this virtually effortless thing that I crave now…presence, awareness, intentionality, just being…

We were in the middle of our assent of that Vertical Mile and were stopping for a second or third breather when lyrics to a song that isn’t particularly special to me were the only thing I could hear for a few minuets.

“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”

That might seem like a pessimistic way to view life (and that’s unlike me) but I have found very fitting, for my life at least. All of our hopes, dreams and desires take so much work that there are days we aren’t sure they are even worth it…

But during that breather, we turned around, hearts pounding and breathless, to see the view and from only a quarter in, it was pretty spectacular!! You know what else was pretty darn cool? We were both smiling ridiculously wide smiles of triumph. We are never in a rush to get to the top and take in each and everything there is to see/feel along the way.

I use to hate the feeling of my labored breath…it made me believe all the lies I told myself…it made me feel weak…

Today, it’s one of my favorite feelings because it let’s me know that I am alive and that I’ve just gotten through something difficult and that if I need to, I can take a break and rest, until the next hard thing and when I look back, I’ll see all the remarkable things that happened inbetween.

I have to disagree with Miley here and say that, most of the time it is about what is waiting on the other side, because we really want all of those things BUT the speed is something I think we can agree on.

Patience isn’t easy for anyone but I am learning that it’s a gift…A gift that if practiced, will pleasantly surprise us, if we let it.

What I am really trying to say here is, let yourself go a little bit…be gentle with yourself on your way to living your dreams…take time to pause, breath in everything/everyone around you and keep going at pace that is all yours and rest in the inbetweens…

After all, some of those hopes and dreams might just be found there ❤

~CC

I Burn for YOu

Greetings ALL!!!

Just in case you couldn’t tell by the title, the fourth book in our 2021 romance journey takes us into the world of the Bridgerton family, circa early 1800’s England, in the books of Julia Quinn.

Renae and I have zero problem admitting that we happened upon this book series AFTER binge watching season 1 of the series on Netflix this past December but very much look forward to far surpassing where the show has gotten by biting off the first 4 books in the series with this block of the book club.

For those of you that haven’t seen the show or previously read the books, The Duke and I is the love story of the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne, and the self admitted lifelong bachelor, Simon Bassett.

In a time and society where most people don’t marry for love, Daphne, is just hoping she can find someone that she can at least tolerate for the rest of her life, you know, maybe even a friend, while Simon is hoping is his time in London is short lived and that he can manage flying under the radar in his first season as the new Duke of Hastings.

Together they plan a rouse…They’ll convince everyone they are courting, Daphne will gain popularity with ALL other eligible suitors and Simon will get a break from ALL would be mother-in-laws.

The plan goes well, very well, until they begin to realize that in all the charaded balls, garden walks and family outings, they are bonding, becoming true friends and more than lusting after eachother…

What happens next, you’ll have to read for yourselves, as we don’t ever want to spoil too much around here, but let’s just say, YOU’LL WANT TO KNOW!!!

The added bonus to this story is the delightful commentary added by Lady Whistledown, the author of the most popular society gossip paper in the ton. We hope we get more of her in the books to come!!

We tried to have a little fun with this round of blog posts and found some coloring pages to portray what we might wear to a ball if we were to have danced around back then.

LR’s Page
CC’s Page

Until our next waltz, happy reading!

~CC & LR

pulling in the bins

Like any other writer, I’m guessing, the muse often finds me at almost every place I am, except in front of the computer. I don’t mind it, in fact, I’m quite use to it by now 🙂

Most days I have to let the words and ideas come and go with a prayer that I will remember them the next time I am actually where I can write them down.

I don’t know what else to say here besides that up until very recently I was stuck in whatever habits I was stuck in. With writing that meant, as I mentioned above, having all the ideas and dreams, maybe a few notes jotted down somewhere but no real desire to formally put them down. Around the house, it meant thinking everything had a place but most of the time looking at chaos. At work it, it sadly meant, counting down the hours until another day was done.

It’s not been a terrible way to go about things, truthfully, but that didn’t mean something wasn’t lacking. I didn’t intend for the cliché of all new years to find me doing yet more unraveling of myself but I’m genuinely happy to say that it has!

A few months ago, I started adding things to my routine that had been absent for a really long time (morning prayer, meditation and reading my bible). It was a bit messy at first because I never for one second realized that I had even missed doing it and when I realized I had, I did that thing I do where I wish I could go backwards and change everything…We can’t my dears, I’ve tried at least a million times.

The more peace and joy I found there, the more I desired it other areas of my life…again…that’s not something that you can even know is missing UNTIL YOU REALLY FEEL IT AGAIN!!

Work, where I am more than I am anywhere else (as are all of us), is the first place I noticed a difference. I’d started being mindful of my day in those early morning moments and by the time I got started, my smile was so wide one might have thought I was up to something. All of those good moments birthed even more good moments and now, after 9 1/2 years, I have more joy and enthusiasm than I started my career with…WIN…and that also means completely relishing my days off.

Relationships…I’ve got the most incredible people in my life, I sincerely do and while I know they would disagree with me here, I have to say that they have lifted and carried me through most of this life with an uneven stack against them. I’ve tried, they know and the Lord knows I’ve tried but I’ve needed so much help along the way. I’ve come to realize that the people we are given are A GIFT more in the past few months than in my 38 years combined. When you really start to pay attention to what you put in to a relationship MORE than what you get out of it, you begin to realize that with the people meant to be your people, it becomes fellowship, something that you want to participate in more and more and that there is no end to the grace, mercy, comfort, refinement, forgiveness, support and love…invaluable, dear ones, INVALUABLE.

Home…As a long time wanderer, I’ve been the poster child for “home is where the heart is”. I’ve fallen in love with, almost, every destination I’ve ever been to and found years of true comfort in the homes of friends and family along the way. I’ve been in my little hobbit hole for 2.5 years and I’ve put in a lot of mental work to be “ok” here and while more days than not, it’s true, if you could have seen it along the way you may have told yourself it didn’t look like I cared about it at all. Haha, I know, I am being too hard on myself again but it’s true. In all my good intentions to keep a home, I ended up, most days, with a big ole pile of chaos. A few weeks ago, I was ready to take some steps, years in the making…feeling worthy enough to spend some money on myself and make some improvements around the house. My parents (aka the head of my fellowship and biggest support system) came to my rescue and helped me put the first parts of my plan into motion. It’s been four days since the new tv stand went up in my clutter free living room, I can actually see the cabinet space it turns out I did have in the kitchen and the 4 small changes I made in the bathroom make it seem like its actually smiling at me…In those four days I’ve realized that there is plenty of home where my heart is but there hasn’t been much heart where my home is…I am suppose to care about where I am at while I am there and I am FINALLY DOING IT!!!!!!

Now…the real reason for this post…

It’s my day off and I have been resting in between chores, I promise, but while I was out pulling in my trash and recycling bins earlier today, something quotable came to mind and it’s taken an entire blogpost to get to it (SO ME) 😉

I like to be tough (or lazy depending on your interpretation) and pull both bins in at the same time. I hopped across the ditch, bins in tow, and that made me laugh at myself a)because that takes zero effort these days and b)I knew that my face matched my shirt which read “Happy Camper”.

I looked down at my shirt and on to all the other things to see down to my feet and after a few self critical minuets, I went back to FEELING the smile on my face and thought

“Of all the things I have thought of, dreamed of and wanted to be, MYSELF, is becoming my favorite”

That’ll waiver at times, I’m sure…but today it’s the REALEST of things and I am basking in it!!

MUCH LOVE Y’ALL

~CC