how to be a better friend, even when you’ve got a lot going on

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Whether they’re the mac to your cheese, the Sookie to your Lorelai or the Anne Perkins to your Leslie Knope, true friends are the ones that stick by you in good times and in bad. They love you for everything you are and can be and despite the crazy person you’ve been sometimes in the past and let’s be real, will probably be again at some point in the future. They’re family and they love you no matter what.

I think we all know friendship is a two-way street but sometimes it’s tough to really invest and nurture friendships because well, life. We’re all busy and as my mother would say, we’re burning the candle at both ends. We’re building families and careers and sometimes taking time to connect with our girlfriends seems selfish or self-indulgent but I am here to announce WE NEED FRIENDS. They are vital to our well-being and overall sanity. So if you’ve been out of the loop with friends recently (work overload, got married, had a baby, THE HOLIDAYS) never fear! It’s completely doable to be get back in the game. Here are ways to be a good friend, even when you’ve got a lot going on.

Make plans
This may seem like a “duh” but for let’s be real, between careers and babies, life happens. None of us are immune to the busy day-to-day but something has to give if we want to find true connection with friends. Whether it’s a standing dinner date once a month or a quick coffee date here and there — create dates in your schedule for get-togethers based on everyone’s schedule and stick to them. When you are together be all there – silence that cell and enjoy face time with your people.

Use your phone
If you see something that reminds you of a friend, let them know. Shoot them a text to share a funny story or ask for prayers for something you’re struggling with. Make it a point to call them every once in a while during your commute from work to hear about what’s going on in their world. Use your phone to keep your friendship alive and thriving until the next time you get to be together.

Say thank you
How often do you take the time to tell your bestie how thankful you are for them? Tell your friend exactly how you feel and how much they mean to you – this will make their day and yours, too. Send them a fun card via snail mail to let them know you think they’re pretty awesome and value their friendship. I don’t know about you but some of my most cherished keepsakes are cards from dear friends.

Listen up
Being a great friend reaches far beyond verbal communication — it’s rooted deep in listening. Sometimes all we really need is to talk something through and get it all out there to a close friend just to do simply that, get it out there. We all love to talk (I’m raising my hand high here!) but sometimes the greatest service we can offer a friend is the gift of silence and quiet understanding.

Encourage
Oh man this is so important and something we all need, especially during all the changes life brings in different seasons. Maybe it’s giving a genuine compliment out of the blue or maybe it’s checking in and offering support when they’re training for a half marathon. Don’t make this hard! Some encouraging things to say: I understand. Me too. I’m so proud of you! How can I help? This too shall pass. Let me know how it goes – I’ll be praying. Well done! I’ll bring the chocolate! 

The Newlywed Life: The Moment I Knew Taylor Was the One

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With our one year anniversary coming up – my how time flies! – I’ve been thinking back to the early days in our relationship. The time when everything was new and we were getting to know each other. Several people have asked me lately when I knew Taylor was the one. I think most assume there was this major moment or grand gesture from him that made me realize I was ready to spend the rest of my life by his side. I hate to disappoint, but honestly it was something small that he did on our first date that built the foundation for our happy marriage today.

Taylor and I met through my brother and my entire family loved him for years. We met while I was home one Saturday, high from pain killers after getting my wisdom teeth taken out. Luckily a few weeks later while I was in NYC for business he called and asked me on a proper date. I promised I would look presentable this time. He picked me up, knowing him now I know he was nervous but at the time he seemed the picture of confidence as he opened the door to my favorite Mexican restaurant. A month previously I had sworn off men after too many mediocre dates so I was a little nervous at how easily the conversation was going and how much fun I was having. Soon our food arrived and as I picked up my fork he said, “I’ll go ahead and pray for us.” I put my fork down, he grabbed my hand across the table and prayed.

Remember all those men I had sworn off? It was due to the fact that most didn’t act like the kind of me they professed to be, and none of them bothered to pray with me, whether it was before meals or any other occasion. Taylor praying for us on our first date brought me back to the real me, the me I had been making my way back to before he arrived. I don’t remember a word of that prayer but it was that particular moment that made me realize I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

Since we first met and ever since, Taylor has prayed with me and for me, and not just before meals. xo

B’s Movie Guide: War Room

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I love my job. I get to do what I love (publicity) with some incredibly talented women who I respect a great deal (Icon Media Group) and promote books and films that are making this world a better place. Our company has had the honor to work with the talented and just plain nice Kendrick Brothers (Fireproof, Courageous, Facing the Giants) to promote their latest film, War Room that opened on Friday.

I got the chance to see it for the first time a couple months ago at a screening in Orlando and from the first scene I was hooked. I laughed, I cried (of course) and there were about 27 times where I wanted to jump up and say “YES.” It’s just one of those films that leaves you full of hope and reminds you there is good in this world. I won’t ruin the movie by telling you much about the plot but the film shows the power that prayer can have on marriages, families, careers, friendships and every other area of life – if we only use it.

Make no mistake, it’s a straight up prayer rally from beginning to end and will leave you with plenty to think about. Given the broken state this world is in, from politics to the evening news to the MTV VMA’s, we could all use a couple hours devoted to something good and positive and so much bigger than us. Prayer is powerful, and you’ll feel ready to tell the whole world all about it after you’ve seen this movie. So grab a friend, plenty of popcorn and go see what all the fuss is about. xo

P.S. To learn more about how this “faith-based drama became a sleeper hit” read this from Entertainment Weekly.

Links I’m Loving

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1. Beauty advice for my daughter. (cupcakesandcashmere.com)

2. Pretty presents for mom, just in time for Mother’s Day. (glamour.com)

3. 20 things nobody tells you when you graduate college. (time.com)

4. Finally, some cards that say what your friend with cancer really wants to hear. (today.com)

5. Check out the most Googled baby names in each state. Did your name make the cut? (hellogiggles.com)

6. How bad is it to fall asleep without brushing your teeth? Spoiler alert: BAD. (askthedentist.com)

6.  Interesting thoughts on the real point of prayer. (relevantmagazine.com)

Seven Things

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[ This is a common occurrence ]

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate your prayers for Chelsea and all the support and encouragement you’ve been giving – THANK YOU! Prayer is powerful and love heals so keep the good vibes coming. In between the business of the week we did take some time for some rest and a little fun, including homemade strawberry muffins to kick off strawberry season and a date night with my love where I dominated at the only sport I can come close to beating him; putt-putt. Oh, and I officially switched from six to seven things because seven is the perfect number and I have lots of share. Always. Have a great week! xo

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[ Homemade strawberry muffins to spice up a weekday ]

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[ Buddy joining in my morning stretch session ]

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[ Pink on pink on pink lemonade ]

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[ Fresh irises from the front yard ]

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[ A picture I just found from a date night at PM a couple weeks ago ]

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[ His and Her’s ]

The Newlywed Life: Tough Days

www.caleynewberry.com

My husband is a sensitive man, but out of the two of us let’s face it, I’m the emotional one 99.9% of the time. I cry at the end of movies, in the middle of a sweet song, when I’m overwhelmed with life and I have been known to cry “just because” from time to time. He knew what he signed up for when he married me and somehow he still followed through! With all that being said let’s be real, marriage is a full time gig. 24/7. 365. No weekends off. There are great days where you’re laughing while making a pizza in the kitchen and then there are tough days when your heart is breaking and it’s hard to make it off the couch.

Earlier this week we received news from one of my dearest friends in the world, news that I never dreamed I’d be hearing. Not from her. Not now. Suddenly I was having conversations with Chelsea about chemo and ports and scary things you never want to be talking about with your beautiful friend in her early thirties. It just doesn’t seem fair.

As expected, I’ve been a wreck all week. By yesterday morning, I had told my husband every detail as I knew it, questioned why this was happening and talked through a million ideas of how to help her through every step of the process. Taylor reminded me of so many, including my incredible cousin (!!!), who have beat cancer and encouraged me to breathe normally. There was nothing more to say that would help or change the way I was feeling or what was happening and he knew it, so he just held me and let me cry. We stood in the hallway for what felt like hours and he held me close while I cried and mumbled a prayer for healing for my beautiful friend. He didn’t say a word – he just held me while I let go. Sometimes marriage is simply about being present.

Last night I talked to Chelsea for hours, along with our other half, Ashley, who we conferenced in. We talked and talked about it all – the scary stuff and just life stuff. I’ve always known Chelsea was a tough cookie – we’ve been friends and lived together for the better part of my 20s – but she is approaching next level toughness these days. Her attitude is incredibly joyful and her courage is contagious and I know without a doubt God is going to carry her through this with grace. After we all said our goodbyes and I slipped into bed next to my sweet, half-asleep husband we prayed for complete healing for my beautiful friend, just as we had several times earlier that day and as we will continue to do. For the first time all day I felt at peace, and I knew everything would be alright.

Ladies, I hope you find a partner who will hold you and let you cry. Who will love you when you’re all dolled up and when your mascara is running down your face. Who will pray with you without ceasing, and who will love your best friends the way you love them. I am so incredibly thankful for a Godly husband who is my light and encouragement when I get so caught up in the whys and hows – the questions that don’t need to be answered because we’re not in control. I am eternally grateful for a husband that keeps reminding me God is faithful, my friend is a fighter, and we’re going to pray her through this. Together. xo

Hello, 2015

www.caleynewberry.com

I realize I’m a little late to the “new year, new you” blog post train but in my defense, I’ve had a lot (of pretty exciting stuff!!!) going on. In the past month I’ve moved to a different state, MARRIED the most amazing man, Christmas-ed/recovered from said wedding with the family, spent eight glorious days honeymooning in Cancun, started a new job and gotten a puppy. Whew, it’s been a whirlwind for sure but I’ve never been happier!

Looking back on 2014 I must admit, it had a rocky beginning. Through many a “what am I doing with my life?” conversations with myself and lots of prayer – plus the love and support of good friends – I grew up and evolved into a better version of me. I took note of areas in my life that needed tending and did some pruning so I would have more room for GOOD STUFF…and OH how the good stuff poured in! Looking back, God had to wake me up so I would be ready and accepting of all the blessings He had in store. All in all, it’s fair to say 2014 was the most life changing twelve months of my life and while change isn’t always easy, everything always comes together in the most wonderful way.

Looking forward to 2015, I can’t help but feel a little giddy. It’s a brand new year with a fresh start! I have so much to share with you this year and over the next few weeks I hope to let you in on some of the good stuff with plenty of pictures, awkward humor and hopefully some inspirational thoughts thrown in. Are you with me? Here we GO! xoxo

PS. In case you’re feeling nostalgic like I tend to, here are a few of my favorite posts from the past year: Ladies Let’s Play Nice, Count Your Blessings, Mom and Me and the Wedding Dress, 7 Highly Attractive Qualities That Are Highly Underrated & This Is What Real Friendship Looks Like.