The View from Where I Sit, Part 2.

As I look out at our very large, very overgrown backyard, I can’t help but think,

“Man. I’m really glad Dennis will take care of most of this.” Ha.

(No, but really.)

Let’s back up a bit. So in February this happened:

 

IMG_1993

Then not too long after, this happened:

IMG_2198

And the past few months have been a flurry of house buying, engagement pictures, house selling, contractors, wedding planning, Home Depot, MORE contractors, MORE HOME DEPOT.

By the end of 2015, I will have changed my marital status, my last name, my address, and perhaps most importantly, finally become an Amazon Prime member.

Not going to lie, I worry a little bit that this year is filled with so much good stuff that future years are bound to be a disappointment. But deep down I know that’s not possibly true. There is still so much to discover and learn about life. And I’m looking forward to having some one else to explore all of that with.

And from where I sit today?

IMG_2279

This is the actual view from our bedroom. It’s a real problem because all I want to do is sit here all day and drink coffee and write.

Everything’s looking pretty lovely.

The View from Where I Sit, Part 1.

IMG_2289

The view from where I sit is, well, a little desolate. A shell.

I’m sitting on the floor of my little Blue Cottage. Empty, except for the curtains that I designed and created with my mom. Looking at the walls I spent hours painting, the kitchen cabinets I refinished. The vision I had for my first little house as a 27-year-old.

And I’m about to hand it all off to another young woman who, I’m sure, has her own visions and dreams of what life here will be like.

It’s funny how quickly things can seem to change.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. Change is exactly what I was hoping for. I had been praying and planning that my time here would be temporary. That sometime in the near future I would get to move up to a bigger, more permanent house (check) with a husband (almost check) and some chubby babies (let’s not move that fast…)

It’s just that it’s exactly as hard as everyone always tells you it’s going to be. Shocking. Giving up your individual identity. Compromising your space, and style, and routine for someone else. Giving up “my” things for “our” things.

It’s a strange, difficult feeling. Right? Or am I alone in this? The feeling that everything that you’ve been wanting is finally coming together, but that life is moving just steam-rolling along and taking you with it?

If you’re confused it’s because a whole year of my life has passed and I haven’t been writing. It’s been HUGE. 2015, the year of turning 30, has not been a disappointment. More details in Part 2!

The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Early on in 2014 I gave this little challenge to myself – No Sleep Til 30

This was my mindset for my 29th year. The year I would celebrate the closing of perhaps the most important decade of my life. And in fact, my wonderful, glorious friend Kimmy even gave me a lovely journal for my 29th birthday, so I could document all my adventures.

I opened it up yesterday and found this:

picstitch

That’s right. NothingBlank. Ugh. I failed.

But, alas. There are two months left! Today marks the 60 day countdown to 30 (things your 16 year old self never expects to say…) Now I’m still not saying that I’m going to be successful in filling the journal. However, it was a kick in the butt to start loving life a lot more and get back to the things that are important.

And you know what else, friends? This week marks the start of the most wonderful time of the year. Red Cup, Peppermint Mocha Season!

You see, this whole blogging thing came about as an experiment. Half to do with my fear of having a blog and then never having anything to write…and half my love for fall and sweet drinks. Put em together and boom. Six years later and here we are.

So here’s the thing I need your help with. The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles isn’t about me. It’s not about filling the world with my opinions and my ramblings. It’s about you and the people you love, and me and the people I love, and a whole lot of people none of us have probably met yet.

It’s about slowing down and taking a deep breath. Smiling. Cherishing the season and the moments (my word for 2014!) It’s about remembering what’s important. Putting people first.

2014 has been a year full of surprises and 2015 is shaping up to top that. But I’m going to do my best not to let my favorite time of the year rush by without me. So let’s do this together. More quiet time. More moments. More laughs. More people.

And a red cup in hand. Who’s with me?

Those People.

 

IMG_0820

This week, for the first time in a really long time, I got to slow down and breathe. Breathe in the world around me. Breathe in the moments. And breathe in people (in a non-creepy way.)

You know the people I’m talking about. Those people. Those people who know you inside out. The ones who know what you need to talk about without you ever having to say it. The ones who laugh out loud with you and sit on patios drinking coffee with you for hours. The friends that can say the right things in the right way, even if it’s hard.

It’s a shame that we let life get so busy and these people get pushed to the outside. Because they are game changers; kinda like how sunshine can turn an entire day around.

This is my personal nudge to you to pick up the phone and give these people a call. Fill up your calendar with appointments that really matter. Throw your routine out the window and do something good for your heart.

Take some time to breathe.

5, 6, 7, 8.

The countdown is on, people.

The first annual Movement Mission performance is just weeks away. EEEK. February 7 and 8 we take the stage for three performances only. Have you bought your tickets yet?? (DO IT.)

The funny thing about shows is that you always think you have SO MUCH TIME. I mean, we started rehearsals last summer. That was an eternity ago. But all of a sudden, it’s crunch time. Costumes to buy. Choreography to finish. And tired (tired!) bodies.

This week I couldn’t stop smiling through rehearsal. All this women are so beautiful. Sometimes I want to pinch myself. That such an eclectic group of strangers could come together to produce so much beauty is beyond me.

As the shows get closer, the weight of not only being a dancer, but being a first time choreographer is setting in. Choreographing is terrifying for a few simple reasons.

What if no one understands the story?

What if I haven’t been a very good teacher?

What if we just look…well, stupid? (I mean, it could happen.)

No different from other forms of art, it’s horrifying to lay a piece of yourself out for the public to chew up and spit out. But at some point you have to let it go. Just like the quote says, there comes a point when the pain of staying closed up and held tight is worse than the pain of letting go and blooming (extremely rough paraphrase by moi.)

Regardless, I’m so happy and proud to be telling this story I’ve been carrying around for a few years. It’s like a part of me has come to live in the world. I can’t wait. I better see you there (yes, you.)

And while I can’t give you an actual sneak peek, I thought I’d give you a little taste of what’s to come. Here’s our song! I’m a sucker for acoustic music and I love me a chick rocker.

No Sleep til 30.

The theme of 2014, friends. Absorbing every moment of this, my 29th year of life. (However, if any of you know me, you know I can’t even stay up past midnight, so I will definitely be sleeping.)

It’s hard for me to even type that title out. But I did it. How did I blink and it’s already the last year of my 20s? I bet my parents are wondering the same thing…

On one hand, there’s the list of things I always assumed I would have accomplished by the time I turned the big  3-0. But as my lovely friend Deanna always likes to say…”You know what you do when you assume…” And as I’ve spent my fair share of time being angry and frustrated about things outside of my control, I learned one very important tidbit. It doesn’t change a thing.

As I was thinking back on them, my 20s have been a pretty stellar decade. I’ve earned two degrees and have a diverse career that I have come to love. I’ve lived on my own, bought my own car and become a homeowner. I’ve witnessed some of my best friends marry their life partners, have adorable babies and discover just how beautiful life can be. I’ve been privileged enough to travel, take vacations, and frankly live a comfortable life (something I try not to take for granted.)

Now I don’t have some kind of bucket list or countdown to accomplish in this coming year. I’ve never really been a fan of those types of things. But I do want to honor it and give it the recognition it deserves. Closing out one decade and moving into the next is a big deal. And I don’t want to look back and feel like I just ignored that.

In 2013 I focused on being alive. On remembering to go after the things I wanted, remove things that didn’t serve me well, and overall just stop settling for my own mediocrity. And, if I do say so myself, it went fairly well.

This year, let’s focus on the moments. On soaking in every memory, no matter how small. On cherishing the details. Let’s not miss a second. More pictures. Less screen time. More deep breaths. Less fear. More slow motions. Less impatience. Eyes wide open. 

Happy Birthday to me. No sleep til 30. 

The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: 4 Years

This morning I woke up and had a notification from WordPress.

“You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago. Happy Anniversary!”

Well isn’t that something.

4 years of sugary drinks and life lessons. I love when people still tell me that they want to wait to have their first one of the season with me. Makes me smile every time.

Life posts are my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking pictures of my outfits, or my food or the weekend’s adventures too. But deep conversations are my favorite. And the inspiration that comes from this time of year is the best.

This past week was pretty bad. I mean, bad. And in the midst of me being completely frustrated and hard on myself, I got this sweet note from a friend I’ve known for a long time. She’s one of those friends that I (sadly) don’t talk with often, but our lives intertwine and we find ourselves getting to randomly reconnect.

FB Message

 

What’s funny about this is that she is hesitant to say how much she enjoys reading what I write, and I am usually hesitant to write because I assume no one wants to read it. Ha…oh life.

That’s where The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles grew from, my desire to write but with a short-term commitment (in case I ran out of things to say.) But as luck would have it, I apparently have a lot to say.  And I’m so so glad it’s grown past that.

So what do YOU have to say, friends? How’s your November starting? How’s your joy going? Let’s not waste all the good in this time of year. Share it!

 

We Have Come to be Danced.

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post, I thought I’d share a poem that we’re currently working on a dance for. It’s a beautiful piece and the text summarizes The Movement Mission almost to a tee. When you find your thing, it goes all the way to the core of who you are. And that’s what this is about.

Have you found your thing yet? I want to hear about it! Happy Thursday, loves.

We Have Come to be Danced
by Jewel Mathieson

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into the luminous skin of love dance

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I? yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME

Photo by B.Hockensmith Photography, www.bhockensmith.com

The Movement Mission

Have you ever had something that makes you feel completely alive? Something that is a safe space you can retreat to?  That challenges you but you look forward to that? Where you feel completely like yourself but yet sometimes you can’t believe it’s even real?

The Movement Mission.

The Movement Mission came from my good friend Christina and her niece Michela. It grew out of a desire that they, and many of us, have had for years; to dance for ourselves and for a purpose. It’s a group of 30 or so women (we’re looking for some men to join us!) of various ages, backgrounds and technique levels. It’s a place where we come to move  and support each other. A place where we dance for ourselves, not necessarily for an audience or a class of students (many of the women are dance teachers.) It’s a place where we dance for a bigger purpose…more on that in a bit.

Photo by Klatte Photography, http://www.klattephotography.com

About half of us came to be part of TMM because of a previous group, a dance ministry Christina started with our church about six years ago (yowza the years have flown!) Joining this group of women was where I rediscovered my love of dancing, which I had hidden down inside since I was in elementary school, thinking that I wasn’t “really” a dancer. It unlocked a passion inside of me that I had been stifling for years. It showed me that dancing is often my therapy. My way to connect with the Lord and worship. My “me time” in a world where I usually spend my days giving to everyone else around me.

And now we have come together as a group to share our love and dance for a cause. Currently, that cause is the Bonnie Lavric Scholarship at Dublin Dance Center. Christina, Michela and many of the women involved with the group are teachers or students at Dublin Dance Center, and that is where our ministry group has danced since we started. Bonnie is an amazing woman whom I only had the pleasure of meeting a few times, but who lives on through stories of those who love her very much. Bonnie lost her fight with cancer several years ago and the studio supports a scholarship in her honor which is awarded annually to some of its dancers.

The inaugural Bonnie Lavric Cancer Benefit Concert will be held on February 8, 2014. We dance not only in Bonnie’s honor, but also in celebration of so many we all know have fought cancer. We dance to raise funds but also to inspire. It will be a great night of heart, dance, music and a variety of performances.

More details on tickets and times to come. We’re also looking for more musicians/dancers/performers who want to participate…so if that’s you, please get in touch! We’d love to have you as part of this story.

What’s your thing? Your place that makes you come alive. Your Movement Mission. If you don’t have that thing yet, I challenge you to start seeking it out. You’d be amazed how it can change your life!