Chelsey.

avid singer. constant laugher. perpetual smiler. devoted coffee drinker. aspiring novelist. lover of life.

Cravings.

I’m craving change so hard right now. 

Although times are a bit stressful, I can’t help but feel like something really good is around the corner. I’m finally doing things for myself that I should have done a long time ago, and could not be more excited/scared. I have a rockin’ support system in friends and family too, which I couldn’t feel more blessed to have. 

So.. we’ll see….! 

Cheers!

Well here we are again. The end of another year. I never used to believe my parents when they’d tell me to live and enjoy every moment because before I knew it I’d blink and another year would be gone, but now that I experience it, I believe it. It seems that every passing year of life goes faster, but is this just because we do more things? Because we understand the concept of time? Because we fill our days spent at work to make money to live? Well, whatever it is, a new year is upon us, and a new year means time to reflect on the year ended. So here goes.

This past year has had it’s ups and downs. Obviously that’s life. But as I sit here looking around with all that God has blessed me with, I’m realizing that this past year I’ve taken too much for granted. This goes for not only material things and possessions, but my health as well. I don’t really believe in the whole “New Year’s Resolution- New Year New Me!” type thing, but seriously, this new year is about something pretty important, and it’s me. You’re probably like, "Oh, that’s selfish… why is her new year going to be about herself? How rude… it should be about me, or bringing peace to the world.." but hear me out. This year I need to put me and my health first (insert generic “this year I’m going to exercise” note here.. but really, I’m seriously out of shape!). I need to learn to say no when I need to say no, and I need to learn to be more confident in not letting people take advantage of me. I need to focus on not letting the minor problems get in the way of the big picture, and most importantly, I need to get back to my roots and start doing things that I enjoy and bring me happiness again. That is very important.

A couple notable things of 2012: 

Andy and I started out 2012 with celebrating our four year anniversary. (FIVE YEARS coming up in two weeks!) Crazy, right? I feel more love for him with every passing day, and I’m so lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend/best friend. We have two amazing pets who are so well behaved (most of the time), and a great apartment in the city. 

Rex 

Sleepy Tegan

In March I got my first “real” job. It has brought me out of my comfort zone, and I’ve learned a lot- not only about businesses and people, but about myself too. Plus, anyone who has any type of stable job should feel blessed, which I do. 

May brought two weddings and a road trip! First, Andy and I took a very fun road trip to the Outer Banks to celebrate my cousin Jodi and her now husband Tom’s wedding! We took two days to get there, leaving in the wee hours of the morning (right up my alley…….) and then spending the night in D.C. with some friends from college that we hadn’t seen in a while. Also, I saw my cousin Tyler who I hadn’t seen in years.

trail-mix-about-half-way-to-dc-chelsey

We loved D.C. and would both like to go back at some point to get a little bit more time there. (Not to mention the weather was PERFECT!) When we got to Kitty Hawk, the weather was not so perfect, but the wedding was. I couldn’t imagine two people more perfect for each other. It was amazing. We then took two days to get home, and it was a wonderful experience. We had no agenda, no hotel reservations until a couple hours before we decided where we wanted to stop, and I couldn’t have asked for a better road trip experience with a better person. Can’t wait to do it again.

Jodi and Tom

A week later, we celebrated the marriage of Andy’s good friend Matt, and his now wife Tré. The wedding was not too far away, just in Western Michigan, but it was a great time. 

Matt and Tre

June brought my 23rd birthday, and also another wedding of Andy’s sister Jenny to her now husband Noah. The wedding was so beautiful, and although hectic and a bit… stressful at times for all involved, it all turned out amazingly. So happy for them. 

Jenny and Noah

With July came Andys 24th birthday… and… I think that’s it for July. (Besides SWELTERING days, that is.) 

In August, Andy and I decided we were not going to renew our lease, and to move out of Evanston to the big city. I was very skeptical at first, but I like where we live a lot. (Minus sharing walls with people… but, to be fair, I’ve just been spoiled in never having to deal with neighbors..) Also in August, we were told the AMAZING news that our great friends, Ben and Ali, are EXPECTING! This was very exciting news, and baby Rummel should be making his appearance any day now. Can’t wait to meet the little guy. 

September brought a hectic and not very well planned out move. I’ll leave it at that, because to be honest I’d prefer to not really think about that ever again.

The end of the year brought fun family time for the holidays filled with laughter and joy, and here we are now. January 1!

Leaves

So here’s to 2013. Here’s to putting yourself first sometimes. Here’s to not letting the small problems overshadow all that is great in your life. Here’s to appreciating the important small things that too often go unnoticed. Here’s to taking the time to smile, and to tell the people you love just how much you love them. Here’s to holding open the door for a stranger- and not because it’s what society says is “right”, but because you want to. Here’s to friends and family both new and old. Here’s to open hearts, open eyes, and open communication. To health, prosperity, good vibes, and most importantly to making the most of the life we’re blessed with. 

Happy New Year. 

Matt and Tre Wedding

Thought for the day.

So I have this calendar that is a tear off day-by-day kinda thing. Every day has different words of advice and thoughts to live a happy and peaceful life on it. It’s probably my most favorite thing every morning ripping off the page and reading what wonderful words the new day has to offer me. There have been soo many great ones, and I regret not ever posting my favorites before. (Don’t worry though, I have all of my most favorite ones saved.. so maybe at some point I will enlighten you!) 

Anyway, today’s message was important to me because it deals with what I’ve kinda been going through recently. It offered me a new way to look at things, and I feel appreciative for that, so I thought I’d share what it says: 

"In the Buddhist tradition, difficulties are considered to be so important to life of growth and peace that a Tibetan prayer actually asks for them. It says, "Grant that I may be given appropriate difficulties and sufferings on this journey so that my heart may be truly awakened and my practice of liberation and universal compassion may be truly fulfilled." 

I found this to be extremely enlightening, and I think it pretty much speaks for itself. 

Have a great day! 

Read this.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

"Wear Sunscreen" by Mary Schmich 

But for now, on to the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrrrrrrr! 

(via hjaybee)

Finding what I lost.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been re-reading old notes, messages, and blogs (mine and others). What I’ve come to realize is that as I’ve grown older, I’ve lost my way. I’ve been so caught up in what I don’t have in life, I’ve forgotten all of the great things that I do have. (Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about? Cherishing what you have and living for that?) It’s time for me to go back to my roots and what makes me happy. Life is way too short. I’m going to sing, I’m going to dance, and I’m going to make things again. Over time I’ve forgotten what I’m good at, and what I love, and it’s time to bring them back! I’ve been blessed with so many awesome and amazing people in my life, and for that I’m truly thankful. TTFN. -X