• From the Desk

    Friendship and Sisterhood

    Last week I shared the story of how I came to be best friends with two sisters, Hannah and Natalie. If you haven’t read that one I would recommend going there first as this is a continuation of that story. And so now, on with the bigger picture that I started talking about last week. The Picture Gets Bigger Hannah and Natalie have an older sister, Rebekah. And yes, we have had confusion around names. Well Rebekah became best friends with my older sister, Emily. At first it was them and then us, but then something amazing happened. We all became friends. The five of us were known as “the…

  • From the Desk

    Friendships That Grow You

    I was turning 12 and my best friend, Hannah, asked me to invite her older sister to my birthday party. But heres the thing, I really didn’t want to. You see Natalie and I knew each other. How could we not, I’d been best friends with her sister for over a year. But we didn’t like each other. Hannah and Natalie shared a room. And every time I came over Natalie and I would ignore each other. I felt like she thought she was better than me, even though she was only a year older than me. And she thought I was a little brat, which I definitely could be…

  • From the Desk

    Galentine’s Love

    Happy week before Valentine’s Day! Now if you have been a reader of my blog for a while you will know I have spent most of my life single. Last year was the first year I actually Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend. My first 23 Valentine’s Days I spent with my family and my wonderful girl friends. Sometimes we called it Galentine’s Day other years we’d just call it Valentine’s because we were with the people that matter most to us. Even though I didn’t have a boyfriend I looked forward to Valentine’s Day because I got to celebrate my friends with food and gifts. I know this time of…

  • From the Desk

    Dear 16 – A Letter To My Teenage Self

    Dear 16*, “You are 16 going on 17…” sorry couldn’t resist, but actually you know you loved that reference. So now you’re 16, you’ve hit the middle ground 3 years in 3 years to go. You’ve learned a lot and have a better handle on what this teen thing is about. You’re excited because you have new friends and a growing family. Life is still changing but it’s less scary and more fun right now. You have a job, and that gives you confidence and a little monitory freedom. ~ My advice for you this year is to enjoy it! Allow yourself to be your age, you don’t always have…

  • From the Desk

    I Want To Love My Body

    What do I love about my body? This question was posed to me by the writing group I’m a part of, Illuminate. Every month we have a different theme that we are challenged to write about and January’s theme is the body. Going through the challenges and prompts I immediately starting writing a piece on how I never thought I could write on body issues. I was writing about the negatives I’ve experienced when it came to my body. And then I realized that that wasn’t what the prompts were about. The prompts were asking me about the positives about my body. And dare I say it what I love…

  • From the Desk

    A Christmas Song

    There’s a special album that my family listens to every year when we go cut down our Christmas tree. And on that album there is a special song, we call “the song.” As kids, it would always play on our way home and my mom would cry. It became a tradition. Four kids in a van, mom, and dad up front, a tree strapped to our roof, and mom would cry. It was like clockwork, no matter what the other variables were mom would cry listening to that song as we drove home with our tree. We would all laugh, even my mom. It was silly. This song was guaranteed…

  • From the Kitchen

    Christmas, Baking, Family, Chaos, and Warm Cranberry Bread

    Christmas is just over a week away! (Gasp) I realized that today and how much shopping I still have to do… I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. And honestly, I do love shopping for my friends and family. I just haven’t done much of it yet. But anyway I want to talk about another thing that I love doing this time of year, and that’s baking. I love baking! I’ll bake any time of the year, but as the weather gets colder and with the promise of seeing out of town special people I get in the mood to play around in the kitchen. A…

  • From the Desk

    Gift Guide For All!

    Do you love the holidays but also kind of dread them because of gifts? My main love language is gifts and this is something I have struggled with for a while. I love Christmas don’t get me wrong. Christmas trees, twinkle lights, fresh cookies, surprising friends with great gifts, and receiving something special are all things I love about this time of year. I love the whole gifting and cheery mood of the season. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to get people. Which can make it even harder when I’m given a meh gift. I understand some people just don’t think about gifts as…

  • From the Desk

    Snowman Soap and Hallmark Princes: Expectations for the Holiday Season

    Have you ever walked into a holiday party thinking you are going to be gifted a bottle of wine and come out holding a snowman shaped bottle of soap? No? Hopefully, that’s only happened to me. One thing I do know is that expectations during the holidays can be a difficult thing to manage. I remember my cousin walked in one year and demanded “So where’s the ring?!” but my sister’s boyfriend hadn’t given her an engagement ring for Christmas. Once when I was a little girl I snuck into my mom’s closet and found the Tinker Bell tiara I wanted. Then on Christmas Eve, my aunt gave me the…

  • From the Desk

    Thanksgiving Isn’t Just For The Big Stuff

    Happy Thanksgiving! (if you’re actually reading this on Thanksgiving I hope it’s a wonderful day!) Today my day is all wrapped up in family, cooking, and the Macy’s Parade! If you’ve read this blog for a while you know I am a big fan of sharing what I’m thankful/grateful for. So today is a big holiday for me! Yet I don’t want to talk about the overarching things I’m grateful for this year like I will at the table tonight. I want to talk about something that continuously makes me grateful and happy.   A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words   At the foot of my bed, there’s a…