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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Beginning of a New Prodigal Era

Big announcement time!

TLDR? I have a brand-new website. To keep up with more of my writing, you can find me here: I will no longer be updating this page and will be committing to my new platform as soon as I hit publish on this post.

It's been a great ride. Almost ten years of posting on this platform. And I'm so thankful for everyone who's supported me throughout the years.

For my long-form friends:

I began this blogging journey - at least the "putting thoughts to digital page" journey - back in 2008. Back then, it was just a place to update my family on my life. Nothing life-altering. Just a blog by any other name.

Then, in 2011, my writing journey took a turn when I came out of a particularly tumultuous relationship. I was a young college graduate, truly on my own for the first time in graduate school, frustrated by the fact that everyone seemed to be pairing off two-by-two. I felt behind, frustrated, self-conscious and unhappy.

I'd sit in my local coffee shop for hours writing about life, about relationships, and how the church mistreats single people. That's who I wrote for. The people who felt used for their open calendar and lack a marital commitments.

Then that changed.

I wrote a post that got some big attention about a guy I was dating who had physical boundaries in place that I wasn't accustomed to. That man became my husband a few years later; and what I gained, a marriage, a child, a little home for the three of us, I feel like my writing lost a little of its direction.

Even now, I feel loyal to that original audience. The ones who were just like me, waiting for their prince charmings to sweep them off their feet. I felt pressure to maintain a presence of blog posts and write only what was profound or spiritual.

And while that is healing on a lot of levels, when you're not feeling particularly spiritual or full of something remotely close to wisdom, it can leave your platform a little dry. It became clear to me a while ago that I needed a change.

A place where I could write about other things that interested me – motherhood, business, leadership, theater, music, healthy eating habits, marriage, relationships, and even create a space for some of my fiction pieces and even some of my freelance work to live.

What's more, I'm just so excited to have a less archaic platform and move into a space that doesn't lock me in to a specific kind of blog content.

To those of you who have followed me here from the beginning, thank you. I never dreamed that this would be something other than maybe a few friends would read. I hope you'll connect with me on my new site! Writing here has consistently helped me break past fear and the expectations of others and given me the gumption to pursue the career of my dreams.

I'll be working on cataloguing some of my favorite posts and releasing them into an ebook format later down the road. Until then, happiest of reading!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Prodigal Sis Takes on Vacay

Whenever we have to say goodbye, I'm always reminded of that quote from A.A. Milne. The one that says, "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?"

I'm an extrovert. I love people–always have. My family is certainly no exception.

And while there are, I'm sure, a lot of people who would rather jet off to a remote villa or cruise for vacay, a week in North Carolina's Outer Banks with my very favorite and inspiring people is as close to paradise on this side of heaven we'll get as far as I'm concerned.

It's been a busy season. The good busy. Graduations, birthdays, freelance opportunities, new projects and a few other big changes in the works.

More on that later.

I told myself that all I had to do was hustle. To make it through the first two weeks of June and a big work presentation for a statewide conference, and then I could relax.

The Sunday we left, I found myself sitting in our church service with my one-year-old son in my lap gearing up for the week ahead. In prayer, of all things, for the week.

If I'm honest, I'm not much of a prayer. Not anymore. After all, when you've wrestled with doubt for so long, it's easier not to. But something called out to me. It caught in my throat and made me hold my baby boy extra close and wish–no, pray–for a good, slow week.

And we had one.

We've grown up on this beach, my cousins and I. The whole week spurs a feeling of complete belonging and understanding–what's more, it's a great place to make big life decisions.

So, not only did my husband and I spend all day under our red and white striped umbrella, letting our toes squirm together in the little blow up pool we brought for our son, we also talked about the upcoming year. What his graduating means for our family. How our little boy is growing up so fast. How the last year of our lives feels as surreal as a dream.

The memories are foggy, but somehow, through one of the most emotionally challenging seasons, we made it.

Now I'm finding myself in prayer before everything, begging God for slow. Begging for the miracle of feeling time, of living on purpose, of appreciating every hour of this summer. Because, it's my favorite season and I don't want to rush through it like I have the last year.

I want it savored. Like how I feel in a place where I truly belong. And for now, that place is here. In this season, in this home, in this role, in our little family of three.

And there's nothing like spending a week with your favorite people to help you realize that.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Playful & Strong: A Tribute to My Style Hero

I don't remember my first Kate Spade bag. 

That is to say, it's hard to remember which one came first. There have been so many.

My watch and day planner keep me on track.

My small leather purse keeps everything I need close at hand – red lipstick, wallet, spare pair of shoes for when my heels can't foot the bill.

My diaper bag with little whale prints keeps the chaos of new motherhood at bay. For the most part.

My wedding china is a symbol of the traditions my growing family will begin: the holiday parties, the graduations, the birthdays. It's there for the Big Moments: the creme saucers and cups with silver polka-dots.

Kate Spade is a part of my life. From the full-time marketer, to the out-of-office poolside cocktail-sipper. She's for work and the on-the-town fancies. For nights with friends, and mornings with coffee.

She was there on my wedding day. She was there when I brought my first child home from the hospital. She was there when I failed, when I overstepped, when I got ignored, when I did the right thing, when I got the job, when I popped the champagne cork...

And I am so incredibly sad she's gone.

I was introduced to her, I'm sure, by way of my aunts. Both of whom are the pinnacle of style and class. After all, having a Kate Spade purse, watch, wallet, what have you, was the grown up equivalent of stepping into your grandmother's work pumps or wearing your mom's opal ring.

It made you feel like every day was a special occasion. There was a sophistication, a dazzle, an identify you could fizzle into.

Having a Kate Spade made me feel like my dream of being a New Yorker of being an author, and having all the right, charming things to say at the drop of a hat, was attainable.

And it still does.

For so long, what's attracted me to her brand was her boldness. There was a place for me – a grown woman who still, sometimes felt like she was playing dress up in her mother's closet – someone who was happy-go-lucky, cheerful, and bright.

Life could be fun, captivating. Even for the unsure. Even for the nervous, the second-guessers, the naive and the ones who pretend to have it all together.

You don't have to put your sparkle on a shelf to do good work. There is a place for kindness, light and whimsy in the business world.

Today, I feel like I've lost a true friend.

Maybe even a little piece of myself. 

I didn't know this woman, but I've carried her with me – her frothiness, her color – in every season. And I'll keep her with me in the next and the next.

Because she is quick. 

And curious.

And playful. 

And strong. 

And I will always love every piece of her I'm honored to hold.

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