As you may have noticed, life has been a little roller-coastery as of late (wait--what?). I've been putting a lot of words on this screen. Paragraph after paragraph of WORDS and LETTERS and EMOTIONS (um, see here, here and here). So many of you have sweetly taken the time to stop by and read these nervous, giddy, anxious, jumbled and unsure thoughts. Some even drop a comment or an e-mail to say, "Hey. It's gonna be okay.". I know I've said it about five times, but I can't quite express how much that means to me. At the risk of going full-on cheeseball...it actually warms my heart. (I'm sorry. That's disgusting and I will now commence cutting that phrase from my vocabulary.)

Ladies, you all deserve a reward for bearing with me! Rough news: just checked my wallet and it looks like that won't quite be possible. However, here's what I've got:

Whether you've been reading for a while, or whether it's your first visit, leave a comment on this post by Sunday night and you'll be entered to win this a-stinkin'-dorable Anna Maria Horner apron! This giveaway is very, very warmly open to all (hello, Ireland!). I'll announce the winner on Monday, September 7th, so be sure to pop back in a week!

I desperately wish to share another long-winded thank you and spend more time persuading the friendly-yet-shy lurkers to de-lurk...but I'll keep this short seeing as I've written your eyes off for the last few posts. So, drop a little hello and this beaut could be yours!



the return of the prodigal blogger.

Oh my-very-merry-goodness...it's almost September.

I wish I had a humdinger (?) of an excuse for why I've been MIA in Blogland...like, I just inherited a multi-million dollar estate and have spent this time inventorying the property. Or I've recently married into royalty and have been positively overwhelmed assuming the new duties as Dutchess of Bedford.

Admittedly, the real reason is quite dull. Several weeks ago I had a panicked moment in which I realized how little time I had left before I officially began school, and was planning to spend most of the remaining weekends out of town. And since that day, I've been lost in wild attempts to check off all the big and little things I'd promised myself I'd complete before school began (like attempting to create a budget before my nosedive into poverty).

Today I checked off a big one: visit my new campus.

Nerding out with a teenage-like excitement about my return to college...

Until today, I had only been on campus once...and that visit was nearly three years ago to see a good friend. Should I have visited prior to planning to sink THOUSANDS of dollars into this school's educational system? Probably wouldn't have been a bad move. But seeing at it was the the only college offering an interior design major within a 90 mile radius...I didn't have many options. On top of it, my boss, a Stout grad, promised me that I would probably love it...which made me feel secure in my decision.

So, I convinced Gabe (who is a total trooper considering that our recent relationship change to 'just friends' allows him to wriggle out of these outings) to join me on a drive up to my new school today, so that I could time the drive and find my orientation building. My excitement multiplied tenfold, when I actually saw the campus: flowers and sculptures aplenty, several gorgeous grassy knolls, a handful of sweet brick-paved pathways, a clock tower that chimes on half the hour, as well as a few lovely late 1800's/early 1900's buildings. Unbelievably beautiful.

I realize that I'm beginning this journey a few years behind my peers. Sometimes I feel embarrassed, as if my current lack of degree makes me less intelligent...less valuable and very unaccomplished. My unbridled excitement about my return to college at times makes me feel so silly, since I'm wildly behind the curve. But, tonight my parents said again what they've reminded me so many times, "You do all things in your own time, and on your own timeline." And it's true. God bless my parents for their understanding, patience and encouragement. They really, truly are tops.

(And may I feebly offer a very belated, yet gracious thank you to all those who left comments on my last post? Thank you, thank you...a million times thank you. Revealing the truth about a rough life-patch was a little intimidating, and yet, once again, you were all so very lovely and thoughtful. You are also tops!)


the cherry on top.

Today I'm blogging in celebration of the release of Tara Frey's book Blogging For Bliss. (I can't wait to order my copy on payday!) Kari from Artsy Mama invited bloggers everywhere to share their stories about how their blog began, how it has evolved, what motivates you, etc. So, here it is. And cheers to Blogging For Bliss! :)


This blog began because of Dr. Phil. Really.

The day I started this blog in the spring of 2008, I'd picked up someone's copy of a Dr. Phil book (who, by the way, I believe is a total goon), and wound up taking a quiz only to be told that I was in a pathetic life rut and needed to make some serious changes.

Compared to today, that night I was in a vastly different life place...I found myself at 21 years old, living in the same bedroom I'd spent my childhood in. I'd put college on hold after several semesters. I was severely depressed and couldn't cope. (It was oh-so unfabulous. That's not something I typically share, but if you've hung on as a reader for this long, I'll throw you an informational bone. If you're new, please don't freak! I promise I'm better.)

That night I decided that I was:

a) completely offended that I'd been told I was a wretched failure and
b) surprisingly in agreement with the quiz's decree

So, I started this blog- Wake. Work. Rinse. Repeat. Because at the time, that was all I was doing- simply existing. But I was craving and hoping for more. I theorized that if I was forced to sit down and write about things I had experienced day-to-day and read about the lives of others I would find inspiration and happiness in my own life.

And have I ever.

Today I find myself 23 years old, in my own sweet little apartment filled with things I love, enrolled in college to study interior design (!!), head over heels for a new pasttime, photography, twenty pounds lighter (a good start), a haircut shorter than I've had in years, suddenly single and determined to finish the things I put on hold earlier in life. This blog has seen me through multiple funks, leaving the church in which I grew up, trips and vacations, moving into my first apartment, fidgety wanderlust filled days, a purchase that has spurred so much creativity and inspiration, and recently a break up. And I can truthfully say that so much of this came from finding the ability to creatively express myself right here through this little blog. Photography, writing and experiencing the creativity of others has jolted me out of an all-consuming depression and into something I never knew I could experience: happiness, satisfaction and inspiration.

And you...you are the cherry on top. The fact that others take the time to read, to write about their own lives, to offer supportive words and funny stories is the absolute whipped cream, sprinkles and cherry on top of this entire experience.

So, those of you who have stuck around...thank you so much. You've been pivotal in my little journey out of depression and into happiness. Those of you who are just joining...welcome to my "ish". :) I promise if you stick around there will be more creative, beautiful and funny things, and less emotional overshares. Life has just been that way, as of late!

Also, if you're new...feel free to drop a comment! I would absolutely love to blog-stalk you (in an appropriate and friendly manner).


you...light up my life...



Thank you so much for your kind, sweet words of encouragement on my last post!

It never ceases to amaze me how people I've never met, people who I know only through our friendly exchanges on each other's blogs and those I haven't talked to in ages can be so entirely thoughtful, supportive and encouraging. The comments and e-mails have been appreciated more than you can imagine. If I knew you all in reality, I'd invite you over to my tiny apartment and show my appreciation in the form of baked goods, nachos, girl talk and cheap wine (I wish I could offer something more luxurious, but let's face it: I'm about to assume college student status. I'm already penny pinching).

You've all been a sunny spot in the last week, and for that I cannot thank you enough!



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