This Is What Real Friendship Looks Like

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I’ve been alive for 27 years and thankfully have had my fair share of friends, all of whom have shaped me into the fun-loving, music-chasing, occasionally looney toon of a woman that I am today. I have always valued my friends and have prided myself on picking good ones – as my mother always preached, “You are the company that you keep.”  What real friendship looks like in my eyes has changed as I’ve changed. In elementary school my bff was always there to run with me when the boys would chase us around the playground and to defend my sticker earrings when another 7-year-old who wore REAL earrings (her parents were pretty progressive) teased me when one of my Christmas trees fell off. In middle school, OH MIDDLE SCHOOL, my bffs were girls I cheered with because obviously, we had everything in common. With high school came a lot of major life decisions, of which my core circle of friends floated through with naïve ease and lots of laughter. College welcomed a new set of friends who became some of the most important people in my life – we went through break-ups, internships, family changes, more break–ups, weddings. It all happened and the more that happened the closer we became. Nashville introduced new friends and strengthened the classics, and it’s been fun and scary and everything in between to do life together.

So what does real friendship look like? 

Calling in the middle of the night because he still hasn’t called and you’re upset.

Texting the millionth “Are you sure I’m okay?” message when you start to panic about life and need a little affirmation.

Picking up right where you left off, every time.

Sitting on the couch for hours talking through anything and everything without a time limit.

Having them look you in the eye and say “I love you but you’re being ridiculous.”

Ordering pizza and watching Netflix because you need a night to turn your brain off.

Keeping in touch through all means possible because your friendship matters more than your location.

Dropping everything to celebrate the good stuff and to work through the tough stuff.

Communicating!

Picking you up from the airport and immediately listing everything you’ve missed.

Noticing when you lose weight/trim your hair/finally stop biting your fingernails.

Pushing you to be a better human being.

Knowing you in and out and in between and loving you more because of it.

Giving advice only when you ask and without judgment.

Praying for each other and meaning it.

Having them look you in the eye and say “I’m proud of you. You got this.”

Show your friends some love this week – I know I sure will be!

XOXO,

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LA Fun Times.

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So I went to LA over the holiday weekend and fun times were had by all. We stayed at this adorable little house that I’m sure is worth more than I’ll ever make in the heart of West Hollywood where coffee was had on the sunny (zero humidity) patio each morning. There was a healthy amount of shopping and eating at sweet little establishments with a side of one late night In-And-Out stop, of course. I also witnessed Katy Perry sing I Can’t Make You Love Me followed by her own Teenage Dream while wearing a pink, plastic skirt from five rows away. That was FUN. Always full of my fair share of observations, I noticed everyone is pretty, no one seems to have an actual job and everyone (but me) was juicing. So without further adieu, here are some pictures from my getaway, complete with cheesy captions because we all need a little cheese, yes?

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Back porch patio action, California style.

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#2 coffee shop in the USofA, according to the sign – excellent people watching.

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Thanks for the gluten/dairy/soy/sugar-free Easter treats, Babycakes!

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My girl Katy Perry, green hair and all, CMT Crossroads-ing it up with country queen, Kacey Musgraves, at Sony Pictures Studios. Yes, they Windex-ed KP’s skirt.

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Had to.

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Flowers, brunch and a whole lot of sunshine. I kept expecting to look over and see Mindy Kaling eating an overpriced croissant but no such luck.

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Late lunch at The Ivy because well, when in LA. Sadly, no celebrity sightings to speak of but excellent ambience – cozier than expected.

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Becoming a florist of some sort may or may not be in my 15 year plan.

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XOXO,

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Facing Fears Is Hard (Do It Anyway)

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For some people it’s flying or speaking in front of anyone other than close friends and family. For others it’s commitment, eating alone, rejection or forgiving the person that hurt you. We all have that one thing that brings out anxiety we can’t seem to shake, and it’s too often the case that facing the fear head-on is what makes us stronger. Good ole’ Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Always easier said than done but why not attempt to make this a reality on the daily? I wish I had all the answers, y’all but I don’t. What I do have is what we all have deep inside us and that’s INSIGHT.

Scared of public speaking? Make a conscious effort to put yourself in more settings where this is necessary. Work is a great place to start, and the more you speak up the more your boss will respect you. Word to the wise: Don’t picture everyone in their underwear because then you’ll just feel super awkward and To Catch A Predator-esque.

Scared of flying? We’ve all had the uneasy stomach and cold sweat pre-flight.  My father? Hated every bit of it since his first flight with me – age 14, with all of my friends, flying to Panama for a mission trip, he read his Bible intensely for the flight’s entirety. While he prefers to drive, he’s still flying because he likes to get places in 2 hours as opposed to 22 hours. Is he still scared before every flight? Absolutely. But he’s facing the fear and that makes him a champ.

Scared of meeting new people? No new friends! I get that but half the fun in life is meeting all kinds of people everywhere you go. When you walk into that church/party/bar mitzvah by yourself, RELAX. Smile. Introduce yourself or wait until someone comes to you because they will. Think about it this way – all of your friends now were once new people and now they’ve most likely seen you without pants.

Scared to let something go? A past significant other, a bad habit, a past significant other that was your bad habit, being angry with a parent, a job where you never feel valued. I could go on and on but we all have items we need to kick to the curb. Stop thinking and just release. Plus, letting go leaves room for more good to walk right on in!

All life is an experimentsomeone far smarter and more acomplished than this girl said that but may we all remember those five words. Facing the very things that scare you might cause you to feel all the feelings and yes, you might cry at some point along the way (here I am!). IT’S OKAY. You’ll feel a sense of calm in successfully facing your fear instead of running the other way and the next time a fear pops up you’ll be all the more prepared to dominate.

Oh, and if you’re scared to ask the girl out to dinner remember, it’s dinner – not a marriage proposal…and she’s going to say yes.

I love you all.

XOXO,

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She Bangs.

I’ve had bangs my whole life and by whole life I mean since age 3 when I finally grew more than a tiny curl awkwardly positioned in the middle of my head. I’ve “rocked”  every style:

The Dorothy Hamill (thanks, Mom)

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The DJ Tanner (classic)

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The Reba McEntire a la here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down (for talent shows, of course)

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The Lindsay Lohan circa 2001 when she released an “album” (yes, that happened)

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You can imagine I was a bit, um, hesitant to embrace bangs again in a real way but I was convinced and it happened and you know what? I love them. They’re easy to manage – somewhere in between Michelle Obama and Zooey –  and it’s like an instant statement piece that makes the eyes pop. Everyone is all like – You look completely different! Bangs! Look at you! I assume these are all compliments in the form of conversation starters and I don’t hate it. Who knows if this will last through Bonnaroo – it gets hot, y’all – but they’ll do for now. Feeling brave? Get bangs and thank me later. Just promise me you won’t attempt to cut them yourself. That never ends well, trust.

XOXO,

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Spring Awakening

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Last weekend I was with some girlfriends catching up and watching Kentucky beat Wisconsin (by one point) while eating “dinner” (waffle fries with cheese – no shame.) We talked about the usual topics of discussion: boys, work, where we’ve been traveling for work, how we all want to take a vacation ASAP from said work, church, food, and boys again. About the time we started to repeat all of the above one of the most happy-go-lucky girls I know  blurted out what we’ve all been thinking – “I feel like I’ve been in a winter depression.” We all agreed, YES, that’s what’s been going on. Everybody has been frozen and in full hibernation mode for the past too many months. Who wants to meet friends for a late dinner when it’s 14 windy degrees outside and The Good Wife is on Hulu? Why worry with looking put together when you have to pile on 3+ layers just to feel your legs to walk to and from the office?

Sure, a little dramatic, but we live in the South. Winter should last until early February and then we should spring into more respectable temperatures. I’ll be the first to admit the dreary weather we all complained about for months got me down, which I attribute to my last month’s silence. I needed some time to hibernate and pull it together. Maybe you did too? From time to time we all need a month or two to slow down and refocus on where we’re at and more importantly, where we want to go.

So I’m back, pale skin and all, more than ready to embrace this new season. Here’s to more sunshine, buttercups, eating on the patio (ALWAYS!) and the promise of carefree summer vacations.

XOXO,

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