let life overflow

When I was a senior in college, a lot of girls in my sorority lived out of the house - meaning they got their own apartments. I remember, at the time, I wanted to live in the house, but kept thinking about how I was really ready to cook for myself and decorate my own place.

When my friends and I were recently back in Bloomington for a bachelorette party, I told them that if I could, I'd tell all those juniors that are making the same decision: live in senior year. You have your whole life to live on your own. This is the last chance you'll have to live with so many of your friends. Enjoy the day parties and dancing on the sundeck in the afternoon. Soak up every late night chat with froyo and blaring music while getting ready together. Enjoy communal meals and showers and the constant togetherness that inevitably fades away when you no longer live with your best friends and have minimal commitments.

As I said it, I realized this advice - this attitude of enjoy-the-now - is just as applicable to my life today, too. In our 20s, it's so easy to want what the people around us have. As I watch my friends move in with boys, move to new cities, have babies or have the incredible joy of living near their families, it's easy to feel overcome by the wanting. It's easy to let it taint the right now.

But right now is really sweet. Are there hard days? Yes. Do I sometimes feel jealous of my friends who are on different tracks than me? Of course. It's natural. But, the older I get, the more I understand that we have to make a choice at some point between overflowing and emptiness. Are we going to decide that what we have is enough - that life is overflowing - and get as much joy out of it as possible? Or are we going to always look at it as though it is not enough - that is is empty?

It got me thinking about life right now and that I really want to remember this phase. I want to soak it in so that in a few years I don't forget how great it is. Because life today is sweet. The days are long and warm and the nights are restful and balmy. Evenings are marked by walks with Chris or frisbee with my brothers. We grill out a lot and can't get enough guacamole. Life is full but not too busy.

I'm not planning a wedding or moving or making any big changes. And sometimes, I may want to rush into those things. The truth is, life right now is sort of in between a lot of different phases. But, if I let it be, it is overflowing. I want to choose to see that and allow myself to rest in its peacefulness.

Someday when things begin to change, I know I'll look back on this phase and remember it as a happy one. It's simpler and has narrowed in a lot of ways. But it's good. It feels like a warm sunny day when the breeze blows across your face. It's sweet and tender and reminds me that right now, I really like doing life with the people around me.

Muffy's Sweet 60th

I thrive off of routine - off sameness and checklists and a consistent rhythm. It keeps me calm and gives me a perceived (though often false) sense of control. But sometimes? All I need is to break free from my routine. To stop checking things off and to just be. To let go of control and to give up the grind. 

And that's exactly what last week looked like for my family.

My dad planned a 60th birthday trip for my mom, so all of my siblings + their babies headed down to Rosemary Beach to celebrate her.

I was fortunate enough that the trip fell between my old and new jobs, so I was able to completely unplug and focus on this beautiful family of mine.

Our days consisted of coffee by the pool in the morning, followed by family runs, poolside workouts, Nuke 'Em, ocean swims, bocce ball and, of course, afternoon iced coffee. We talked, we read, we laughed, we ate a lot.


Our nights consisted of dinners grilled by my dad, relaxation and early, early bedtimes. 

Ever since we were little, my parents talked about creating a bunk bed room for us to sleep in together, because we always wound up in one another's rooms growing up anyway. This house made our dreams come true, with two bunk rooms - one for the adults and one for the kiddos.

Every night when our 9:30 bedtime rolled around (not kidding), it was so fun to cruise up to the same room. 

We were lucky enough to celebrate both my mom's, as well as Duke and Ryan's birthdays while we were there.

We wanted to shower my mom with extra love on her 60th and, as part of it, we brought Chinese lanterns. We thought we could each make a wish for her year ahead as we let them go. 

But, even the best laid plans can go awry. And ours did just that.  

As soon as the first set of lanterns took flight, they bee-lined for the trees surrounding the pool. One lantern made it into the abyss, while the others got caught in the height of the branches. Instead of saying wishes for her year, we were hosing the trees down while praying we didn't light the entire community ablaze. 

Duke and I hosed the trees down, while Ryan climbed up in one and shook a lantern out.

I wish we could have sent off well wishes for my mom, but the memory of us all scrambling and getting ready to stop, drop and roll is a way better memory.

The entire week reminded me how good it feels to slow down and that the checklists aren't what give us worth. It reminded me that our relationships and the way we love and connect with one another are the most important thing. And it reminded me that the vacation life sure is the good life. :)

I hope you had a wonderful week!

happy nashville weekend

How is it even possibly Friday? This week was a tiny, baby blink. Not to live in the past, here, but I haven't even gotten around to sharing pics from our amazing weekend in Nashville.

My parents so kindly rented a house and Chris, Sam, Duke (+his girlfriend, Michelle) and I met them, along with Sam's girlfriend, Abbey, halfway between Atlanta and Indiana. It was a wonderful weekend. It was both restful and energizing, which is my favorite way to feel after a weekend away. 

The funny thing is, I completely forgot that I'd made a Nashville city guide a few months back - so it was so fun to look back yesterday to see how our actual weekend matched up with the guide. 

Here's what we did from the list:

Barista Parlor, which I loved. It might be my favorite coffee shop ever, which is saying a lot, a lot. It's so experiential, the coffee is unreal AND they have gluten free biscuits + almond milk. I mean. Come on. I was all set. 

Mas Tacos Por Favor, which I also loved. I know. I seem kind of easy right now. But it got me for the same reasons - totally different than Barista Parlor but a true experience. It's a food truck turned hole in the wall, in the best way possible. From the food to the decor to the prices, they never veer from their brand and I loved it. 

Frothy Monkey. YEP more coffee. You could have probably guessed there would be a few stops for java.

Fido for breakfast. I'd been before, but it was still great to go back. 

Imogene + Willie: toooo good. This is Sam's favorite store, so I was so excited to have the chance to see it in person. It was everything I imagined and I really am craving a pair of their jeans now. And I don't even like jeans!

12 South Neighborhood for strolling and shopping. Loved it! Adorable.

Here's the new stuff we found:

Las Paletas: If I made another Nashville City Guide, this would absolutely be on it. You know how I feel about popsicles (/ice cream/dessert). I take it seriously. I was a little worried I had too high of expectations but they did not disappoint. The Salted Caramel was from my dreams.

Savant, White Mercantile and Hip Zipper for shopping: Fun, happy, rainy day activities.

And that's how we Nashed! Thank you all for a happy, happy weekend! And, especially thank you to my constantly generous parents for making it happen. It was the perfect fall weekend! :)

PS: In restrospect, my 48-hour guide is way aggressive because we fit all that + a few more in and were completely out of time.