Friday, November 29, 2013

The Best Hangover

I remember my first hangover.  My head felt like it was on a continuous turn-table, spinning round and round and the song never seemed to stop.  I had no appetite other than gallons of water and oddly enough...pineapple.

But today I woke up with a different and more pleasant one.  My head feels clear and my appetite is as usual.  It's a hangover from a day and night that was filled with friends who opened their home, conversations with strangers that left me comforted, and food that tested my portion control self-control.

I had been dreading Thanksgiving since the day I knew I wasn't going to be spending it with family, something I had done for twenty-three years.  So when the family I nanny for invited me to their dinner, I immediately accepted the invite and started searching for a side dish I could bring.

I took part in my own Turkey Trot soon after waking up.  The plus side of running by yourself?  Guaranteed first place.  Wait...or last place?  Either way, it was refreshing and exhilarating and exactly what I needed to start my day.

Next up: Operation Fruit Salad.

Beautiful looking and even better tasting.  Recipe soon to follow!  After a shower and a curling iron to the hair, it was time to head out for dinner.

I asked K if there was another Carrie coming since she put my last initial...

Frosting on our noses and smiles on our faces!  Love this little girl. 

I learned something new this Thanksgiving.  It's not about who you spend the day with, family or friends or strangers, it's that you spend it with someone.  It's gathering around a table not only sharing food but stories and laughs and love.  It's about accepting that you may not be where you ultimately want (for me...home) but being completely present in where you are.  

Wishing you all a hangover as good as mine!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lists Are The New Black

10 things to be thankful for according to a nine-year-old:
  1. That you are alive
  2. Your boyfriend or girlfriend
  3. The things you own
  4. Your home
  5. The people that take care of you
  6. Your job
  7. Candy
  8. That you can cry on someone's shoulder
  9. Family & friends
  10. Starbucks 
I think we can agree that she has a good head on her shoulders.  The fact that Starbucks made the list reassures me that I must be doing something right with this whole nanny gig.  And I don't mean to make assumptions but the barista did ask if we were sisters so that means I'm smart too, right? 

"The more you are thankful for, the more you attract things to be thankful for."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Carrie With a C

We sat at the dinner table long after dinner was served.  In between bites of coffee cake, my grandma and grandpa reminisced on years past.  When and where they met, their wedding day, all the cities they called home and how my grandpa had my grandma “all night long” after the first date.  Bless his heart as my grandma yelled out "BOB YOU DID NOT!" along with a sweet slug to the shoulder and a roll of the eyes.  I laughed uncontrollably and my mom buried her face in her hands, shaking it left to right.  I love it. 

They had $30 to their name when they were married and "date night" meant walking the streets of Minneapolis watching the TVs in store front windows.  No concerts or fancy dinners, just the two of them enjoying each other’s presence.  Because really, do we need anything else? 

I leaned back in my chair and soaked in what was happening around me.  The look in their eyes and the smile on their faces, the way my grandpa would rub my grandmas back and hold her hand.  Then it hit me, so hard in fact that I went to the bedroom and pulled a Target receipt from the bottom of my purse to scribble down the outline of this very post. 

If having a love like theirs means waiting, put me on the list.

If it means they will accept the fact that the temperature in my car  has to be an even number, perfect.  If they will support my habit of changing my fingernail color weekly, how I won’t watch hockey without a beer to compliment it, and how every Sunday morning should begin with church, then put my name on the waiting list.  Carrie...with a C. 

There are many things I rush but being with the person that will better me is not one of them.  I see too many relationships that are forced and unrealistic because they think there is an unspoken rule in society that you must be married by 23 and if not, you better get your profile on going or start your cat, over-sized knit sweater and porcelain doll collection.  To these people - I want to physically shake you.

If you are single, listen up.  I am a firm believer that you are ridin’ solo for a reason….or maybe three.  Take it as a hint and study your life.  Are you ready to love someone or are there things about you that you want to work on first?  Are you done doing whatever you want, when you want, with who you want?  

If living a life of true and authentic love like my grandparents means I will be on the waiting list for 6 months, a year, or even 5 years, then hand me the buzzer and let me do my single-girl thing.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Parkin' It

Pictures are great for capturing still moments in time but what they don't capture are those moments in between --- the laughs being shared amongst friends, the glasses being clinked at dinner to mark the beginning of "girls weekend", and the slow mornings spent cuddled under blankets as the snow falls outside.

 I don't know how many times we would look at the mountains and ask each other if this was real life....

Sunday, November 3, 2013


We rationalize buying a $250.00 North Face jacket because it will keep us warmer than that other jacket that looks identical but costs half has much and sipping a cup of coffee from Starbucks because let’s be honest, it’s just better than that stuff we make at home.  We put a SOLD sign in our front yard to move somewhere bigger and better, only to fill up those four walls with belongings we don’t need or use.  We get our nails done every two weeks because we swear that’s what everyone judges us on and we put gasoline in cars that we can’t afford and will mean absolutely nothing to us when we pass. 

This weekend I was reminded of all the free memberships I own.  The memberships that encompass everything that happiness includes and so, so much more.  Church?  It's like clicking "restart", cleaning up the messy parts of your life and setting the mood for the week ahead.  The outdoors?  They are there to remind you to slow down, look around, and soak in the beauty and crisp air that is around you.  

Surround yourself with friendships that don't need to be held together by taking shots downtown and instead take a walk outside around the neighborhood.  Take a break from retail therapy and try a different kind of relaxation, whether it be a long, hot bath with candles or writing alongside the sounds of John Mayer.  

What do you have free memberships for that you have forgotten about? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Never Listen to Yourself

How often do we tell ourselves that we can't do something and days or weeks or even years later we do that something? We set our own boundaries around certain things because we are too scared to see what's on the other side. We are comfortable and perfectly fine where we are but know deep down we would love to just peek over that ledge. 

I told myself I would never live alone.  I moved miles away from home into a one-bedroom apartment. 
I told myself I would never run more than a 5k.  To this day I've run 4 half marathons. 
I told myself I would never eat broccoli, oatmeal, and rice cakes? What the hell are those? These are always on my grocery list and always on a plate or in a bowl in front of me daily. 
I told myself I would never go to church solo. Going to church by myself is my favorite way to worship.
I told myself I would never be that person who gets to the gym before the sun is up because those people are insane. Hello 5:30am alarm and hello 6:00am gym dates every morning.
I told myself that I would never read a book for leisure. I have a stack of four books just waiting to be read and highlighted and finished. 
I told myself I would never drink red wine. I became an adult who works 40+ hours a week. 

I could go on...and on...but I think I've made my point. Never limit yourself because you never know just how limitless you really are. It's scaring and challenging yet beautiful and marvelous when you can reflect back at what you once built a stone wall around and how you've knocked it down with your perseverance, drive, and confidence.