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A few weeks ago while visiting NYC, we splurged on an extravagant(ly priced) trip to the top of the Empire State Building. If you haven’t been to the top of the Empire State Building in a few decades, it’s a different experience. Enhanced everything…including security.
You have to go through an airport-like security checkpoint, put your bags, jewelry, phones in a bin, and so forth. As we are going through this, my daughter pushes her I heart NY bag—containing souvenirs—off the side of the conveyor belt. This is one of the worst things that can happen because now we have drawn attention to ourselves, and we’re a family of wallflowers. My husband whisper yells, “Just go get it.”
Let’s dig deeper into that instruction. First, Brad Bell travels all.the.time. so he knows how security lines work. “Just go get it,” involves leaving the security line, walking around the conveyor belt and UNDERNEATH one of those divider thingies that are made out of seat belt-like material and tell you where y…
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Just Decide.

Yesterday, after 482,653 refusals to get another puppy, we got another puppy. His name is Oliver and he is a greyhound chihuahua mix {called a greyhuahua ... CAN YOU EVEN??} from the same rescue we got Ruby.  He is a small, shy, gentle fellow who is completely enamored with Ruby. Why did we get another dog? Good question. You already know I overthink everything, but this decision came pretty easily thanks to advice from two of my favorite thought leaders.

1. Cave Early (Martha Beck): Caving early means many things to different people and situations, but my current interpretation is that it's the opposite of overthinking. It's not putting a lot of time and energy into non-life-changing decisions. My kitchen remodel, for instance, which remains at a standstill while I overthink every aspect. Well, almost every aspect: Brad redid our kitchen table, and it's perfect. But, chairs :/

Here's the thing, decisions such as changing careers, moving out of the country, having a ba…

You'll Never Be Enough

Raise your hand if you have had this experience: You hear a sentiment expressed 37 different ways and then suddenly when you hear it expressed the 38th way, the light of 1000 suns shines right on your brain and you Get. It. like you never did before.

Sometimes when it happens, you look back at the other 37 things like ohhhhhhh, yeah, that makes so much sense. But damn, that 38th thing ... you feel it in your guts as my friend says.

This happened to me the other day while listening to the Earn Your Happy podcast. In this episode the host, Lori Harder, also author of A Tribe Called Bliss, which I just ordered btw, says, "You'll never be enough for who you're not enough for." Read it again if you want, I'll wait. I had to pause the podcast, pull over, write it down, listen to her say it five more times, get the idea.

I have wrestled with this concept in some capacity for most of my life. I've been a good girl and a people-pleaser. I have chased acc…

Red Lipstick and Leopard Shoes

A month or so ago my friend and LOBL partner Melissa shared about a few of her favorite things. I loved this post because:
 1) The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies.
 2) Thinking about your favorite things is a huge mood booster.

In counseling, my therapist walked me through exercises to find a safe calm place inside my mind to go when feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to find peace, comfort, belonging, acceptance, worthiness, etc. within us so we don't need to chase it down from others. I always go to my favorite place: a beautiful little island near Key Largo we visit with our best friends. The first time we went was a magical experience: Dolphins played around the boat splashing in the aquamarine water, and I squealed, "This can't be real!" I tried to capture every single detail so I could go back there in my mind over and over. Any time someone asks me where I want to go, it's here. Always here.

I often write about these things, my favorite…

Reflections on 2018

The week between Christmas and New Year's is one of my favorite times of year. My husband and two out of three kids are home. We spend lots of time eating, reading, playing games and watching movies--some of my favorite activities. It's also a great time for reflection. Yesterday, I read through my journal entries from earlier in the year as a way of checking in with myself. It seemed like a good idea to document what I did well and what I could have done better in 2018.

I'm a give-me-the-bad-news-first kind of girl, so here are some areas where I didn't excel:

Body: I could have eaten healthier and exercised more. I always feel better when these two things are part of my daily routine so I plan to do better at that in 2019.
Mind: I spent a lot of time feeling let down over rejection letters and thinking that I should scrap the whole damn idea of writing a book.
Spirit: I didn't make time for meditation every day, and I really need to do that.

And here's what …

Data and Other Stories

If you've spent any time with us {here or in real life} you already know that my husband and I are pretty different. While nearly 30 years of being in a relationship has smoothed out the rougher edges, we see things through unique lenses. Sometimes this is really aggravating. Occasionally, when I'm operating from my best and highest self, I learn things from him and apply them to problem areas. Since my husband doesn't fancy himself a guru, he generally finds it humorous when his straightforward words become my light bulb moments.

Here's an example. A few weeks ago while describing some work issue (he's the director of quality for a glass recycling company), he mentioned conducting various tests to figure out an issue. "What do you think it is?" I asked. He said, "I don't have to think about it; I just have to follow the story the data tells." We were in different states at the time, so he didn't see me fall out of my chair. Two weeks l…

Just one more thing before I go...

Since I posted that blog a week ago, I've had people argue, unfriend, mock and block me. You guys...if you don't know me, I like people to like me. So for a recovering approval addict, that's tough.

Still, it was worth it. Because despite that garbage, I had many people reach out in confidence to share their stories. And you know what: No one named names. No one wanted to put some asshole from high school on blast. No one's goal was to destroy any man's life or career or family. People wanted to tell their stories and have someone say, I believe you. You didn't deserve that. Brene Brown writes that shame can't survive being spoken out loud and met with empathy. It's true. No one deserves to live in shame.

Now, the other side. Some men I know support the judge. Some people reached out to me to say that their dad, husband, father or another man they love was falsely accused. I see men around me reacting in fear: This could have been me. I see women aroun…