Reblog: Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility

I have two good friends who are going through different forms of trauma currently. Speaking with them over the past few weeks has brought a lot of tears, some laughs, and many memories of times I have wrestled with inner traumas myself. As has become common, I came across a blog post written by Brianna Wiest on Thought Catalog and her words touched several topics in conversations I’ve had with these two friends over the past month. (Sometimes I wonder if the Ever Listening Web has implanted my mind in order to bring these treasures to my world…)

The entire post rang true on so many different concepts, but I especially appreciated Brianna’s quote, “We are not meant to get through life unscathed. We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.” Though we go through Life hoping for things to be easy, can you imagine if every wish you ever wished or every dream you ever dreamed came to fruition? No challenges means no changes. No failings means no winnings. No tears means no lessons. There are difficulties in my past that I still regret, but they have also led me to become a stronger, wiser, and more conscientious woman — and isn’t that the goal for growing older? To me it is.

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Revisit: Losing Moments

With Life continuing to push forward with a rapid fierceness, I wanted to be sure you all knew I am still here. It seems like only yesterday I was busily preparing for Pink Tie Ball and then I looked at the calendar and that was a month and a half ago! Ohmigoodness…

I met for an ice cream date with my “adopted little sister” last week. During our discussion, she mentioned she has been turning to my more-relationship-focused, archived blog posts for inspiration during a trying time of her life. This girl is strong, intelligent, compassionate, and an amazing writer who has begun her own blog. Coming from someone I see as a future Pulitzer Prize winner herself, I was humbled.

And a bit curious.

It has been awhile since I looked over my past posts. I have been blogging since February 2014 and there have been a lot of rants, cries of grief, and ponderings to pass throughout those five years. Though there were a few instances that made me cringe or shake my head in frustration, the walk down memory lane has been refreshing. I have experienced many things over time, and I like to think I’ve learned a bit from those experiences.

In October 2014 I was still floundering to figure out my career path and attempting to move past what I thought was my “rock bottom” — my first breakup. Little did I know there was further to fall. Over the years I have gone on many other dates and felt more heartache. But rock bottom did not come until the loss of other important people in my life — specifically the death of my mentor and the end of my closest friendship. Yet there were also the mountainous highs since 2014: meeting G, grooming my tribe, establishing my reputation in my community, among many others.

As I continue to move through 2019 with Intention, I’d like to share this post from October 2014 on the perception of losing time and how one’s way of approaching Life molds your experience through the years:

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Reblog: It Takes Losing What You Were Settling For To Remember What You Deserve

I think it’s a natural occurrence to look back on your life and marvel at the changes over the years. Though there may be some changes you would like to reroute to their original path, most changes have probably been for the better. It is normal to want to strive to be better and do better and become better in all areas of your life. Some may argue that is the very concept of humanity — to grow into our own perspective of better with every passing year.

With that in mind, I was perusing one of my favorite sites to pass the time and came across an article by Raina Naim who discusses how loss can change us for the better. If you’re someone who has been following my blog over the years, this is one of my key beliefs also. I am a firm believer that when you lose something it is only because something better is about to take it’s place. I know of a few friends out there who need to hear this message, and Raina says it beautifully…

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2018 In Reflection

My Facebook Year in Review has officially chosen the most liked pictures and created a little video for me to reflect on 2018 so guess what else that means? It is the time for my own reflections as well! The fifty degree weather, lack of snow, and limited holiday decor at our home are leaving me a bit on the Grinch-side. However, I am looking forward to 2019 and feel so incredibly blessed to have had all the experiences of 2018.

In tradition of the past few years, 2018 is being hailed as the newest Worst Year of All Worst Years. I didn’t get the message though. 2018 was by far my best year yet. 2019 has a lot to live up to when I look back at this past year, but I am so excited for what the future has in store.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Before welcoming the New Year, I want to take a second and be grateful for all this year has given to me.

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Wine 101: Icewine

This past weekend I was invited on a wine tasting adventure with six other wine influencers (hailing from Chicago, Miami, Florence, and Brazil!) I visited three wineries with them and was treated to a behind-the-scenes look into the wine-making process. We visited Lake Michigan Vintners, Domaine Berrien Cellars, and Dablon Vineyards. Though I have experience in Southwest Michigan’s wine industry, it was amazing to learn more from the owners and winemakers of some of the area’s premier wineries as well as talk with my group’s attendees. I have a lot to learn still — especially when it comes to international wines — and I am excited to do so during my free time.

Moving forward on the blog, I’ll be sharing some of the things I learned from this collaboration as well as tidbits I’ve picked up during my travels and past work experience. Perfectly fitting with the season and weather, I want to talk a bit about icewine. This unique wine was always questioned in the tasting room and comes with a wealth of history and flavors. So it is a great topic for today’s wine discussion!

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6 Lessons I Learned In 6 Months Of Marriage

Today marks a half-year since G and I said “I do” in front of our loved ones and God. Honestly, I cannot believe it has only been six months. A lot has happened during that time including a career shift for G, both of us enrolling into coursework, a new truck and house, an adorable nephew, and all the other thrills of being newlyweds with busy schedules. While enjoying sushi at our favorite restaurant on Friday, we reminisced about all of our milestones since the wedding. The ink is barely dry on the marriage certificate, but we are excited for the next memory we’re able to make in this adventure.

One thing we had fun talking about over dinner was what we’ve learned so far as newlyweds. Some were foretold during marriage counseling and illuminated during our few months as newlyweds, others we’ve uncovered on our own. We have learned a lot in this short amount of time, and I can only imagine how much more we have to discover.

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What Love Isn’t

At the beginning of this week, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine on the topic of heartbreak. Though not a topic I’ve discussed in awhile, it brought a lot of memories to mind as I recollected on my past. Then today as I was driving to volleyball I heard the song Love Ain’t by Eli Young Band on the radio. The song portrays what love is by giving examples of what “love ain’t.” It had me thinking even more deeply on the topic. Add this with the knowledge that this weekend marks six months of married bliss — something which I once could only dream of achieving — I formulated my own version of what love is not.

Playing off the idea from the song Love Ain’t, I began to take note of instances in my past which I thought were love but turned out to be a mirage. Fleeting and forced feelings, endless questions, and a myriad of memories where silver-linings are hard to find.  With all these circulating thoughts, I began to consider the misguidance and mishaps of my past which shaped what love truly means to me.

My love-journey captures a variety of things: from snippets of hurt I’ve seen in my friends’ lives to the pain of my own, as well as my own failings in relationships and regrets of what I could have done instead. Pain is unavoidable through Life, but I’ve always aimed to learn from the hurt. Without knowing what love isn’t, I would never have discovered what love is. As I move forward with joy over the true love I have found and relish in knowing the pain it took to realize what I deserved, here is my own version of what love is not…

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5 Wine Touring Tips For Beginners

Yesterday I was invited into a collaboration with a fellow wine friend I met on Instagram, and I am SO EXCITED! I miss the wine industry, and any excuse I have to participate with it, I take. I’ll share more information in a week or two once the planning comes to a close, but until then you can be sure I will be educating myself even further on Southwest Michigan’s local wine scene.

One key component I will share about this collaboration is that it will involve wine tastings and tours. The question of how many and which wineries will be on the tour is still up in the air. However, as I continue to prepare for this new event, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share some of my wine knowledge with you. As someone who worked in the Michigan wine industry for over four years, I gained a few gems of information on the topic. Welcome to one of my passions: wine!

Southwest Michigan has become a focal point for any wine connoisseur. It is nearly impossible for visitors in the area not to pass a sign mentioning a local winery and allowing passers-by to, quite literally, taste the countryside. With the lake effect off Lake Michigan, Southwest Michigan has earned the privilege of having its own signature varietals, expressing the particularities of the local soil and climate. With a specific vocabulary and wide range of flavors to master, wine can be an intimidating subject. Do not let this daunt you though! If you’ve never been on a tasting tour, here are some basic tips to keep in mind as you sip your way along the lake shore.

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Friendsgiving 2018 Menu

Thanksgiving is a traditional meal — gotta have that green bean casserole, amirite?! But Friendsgiving has become a fun new tradition G and I began last year. This year had to be a much more intimate affair due to all those home improvements and limited amount of time to plan, but it was still a great time. We used the time for enjoying more delicious food and even better community.

Talking about food, I wanted to provide some praise for our menu this year in the form of a post. I could go into detail about how to plan your own Friendsgiving or games/activities to play at your own dinner, but I think those topics are too difficult to cover. I mean, you know what works best with your friends’ group and can Pinterest tons of ideas. Instead, I’m going to focus on the dinner table.

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