flowers make everything better

my parents are coming in town tonight, and on my trip to the grocery store earlier in the week, i grabbed a bunch of flowers to put out in the condo.  my mom always puts fresh flowers in my bedroom and bathroom when i visit birmingham, so i like to do the same for her.

i separated the bunch between a tall bottle in the living room and this smaller vase in the guest bedroom.



my work week has been less than extraordinary, and i’ve come home the past couple of nights feeling deflated.  yes, i think that’s the right word to use here.  deflated.  i’ve begun each day with such high hopes.  even hearing my favorite songs on the radio on my morning commute set the expectation high.  however, the days have failed to fully deliver.  and we’re only halfway through the week!

when i got home last night, i went in the guest bedroom to switch on the lamps, and i paused for a moment when these flowers on the dresser sweetly faced me.  i couldn’t help but revel in the simple beauty of these earthly treasures.  the wrinkle in my brow was quickly wiped away as a smile crept onto my face.

these delicate flowers reminded me that although we may find ourselves caught up in the stresses of day-to-day life, the good Lord promises that He is on our side and that we are welcome to enjoy the journey while we take it.

oh, oprah

mom, clark, and i rolled through the starbucks drive-thru recently to grab some refreshing treats before the braves game.  after placing our orders, i pulled forward to the window and was pleasantly greeted by the employee.  upon returning my card, she asked if we would like to try the oprah chai tea, a new creation made possible by the crafty hands at teavana.  never one to turn down a new experience, i cheerily replied, “why not!”  the employee recommended it over ice since the sun was out and warm that afternoon.  the chilled drink was sweet and spicy, just how i like my chai.  i highly recommend you give it a try in place of your usual double, skinny, sugar-free vanilla latte with whipped cream and nutmeg.

along with oprah-inspired chai, your cup will be hugged by an inspiring sleeve.  the sleeves are a part of oprah’s steep-your-soul movement, one that encourages us to pause and reflect during our day.  to no one’s surprise, i was hooked.  i’ve held onto the three sleeves we were given for nearly two weeks now because i like them so much.  here are the wise words that were shared with us:

“the only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want.”

“know what sparks the light in you.  then use that light to illuminate the world.”

“live from the heart of yourself.  seek to be whole, not perfect.”

whether it’s a stroll around the block or an actual mid-afternoon frappuccino break, take some time in your day to pause, reflect, and give thanks.  sometimes the days are so beautiful that our busy lives cause them to pass by.  inhale.  exhale.  smile.  repeat.

dear diary


i took some serious elbow grease to the condo this weekend, cleaning that thing from top to bottom and left to right.  in the midst of dusting my bedroom bookshelf, i stumbled across an old spiral journal and couldn’t help but smile.  my old diary!  one of many, i assure you.

it was a gift from my aunt tutti and cousin hannah, how many years ago i do not know.  wait, i take that back, i’m going to guess eleven years ago since the first entry is dated february 2003.  dang!  i’ve held onto this little guy for just a bit, yes?

i read the first few entries and took a deep walk down memory lane.  i literally wrote about everything in my day, from school to band practice to what my brothers were doing to what we were eating for dinner to what we watched on tv.  i cannot help but picture fourteen year old kelsey writing diligently in her diary each evening, recapping her day and reflecting on all the problems that freshmen high schoolers have.

it was fun to see my handwriting change throughout those years, from very precise to very girly to very cool and artsy.

the daily entries were interrupted every now and then by other thoughts and feelings and aspirations.  one page contained a list of “things to do before i die.”  well, i was quite ambitious then, wasn’t i?  it included the following:  roll a house (done), bungee jump, go abroad (next year – fingers crossed!), have the perfect kiss (ah, such a romantic), give blood, ride a train, and go to college.  the list goes on and on, but i’m not looking to embarrass myself too much today.

i apparently was also a quote fanatic then.  there are pages and pages of inspiration and wisdom here!  below are some of my favorites i had jotted down.

the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  frederick buechner

all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  walt disney

always do right.  this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”  mark twain

the measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.”  thomas babington macaulay

i’ve carried the journal around with me all week, and when i see it peeking out of my bag, i cannot help but smile.  it tickles me to read about my high school days and everything that came with them.  it makes me even happier knowing that i kind of get to keep a journal or diary here with you all.  as all my friend and boy and fashion problems come to mind, i’m sure you’ll get to read all about them.

no limits just epiphanies


today we all met up for brunch in the kirkwood neighborhood at a lovely little place called sun in my belly.  the food is filling and decadent, just ask any one of us if you like.  on the ride home, i rolled the window down and found myself in grand awe of how beautiful the day was.  the sun was out, the clouds were away, a slight breeze refreshed the air.  a picture perfect weekend afternoon in late march.

as kari wove us through the local backstreets on the way home, i felt a bang in my gut, something that traveled and tingled through my whole body.  how can it be that we are so lucky to be alive at a time such as this?  at a place in our lives when the bright blue sky is the only limit?  at a time where nearly anything is possible and it is all ours for the taking?  how lucky, i say!  my heart nearly leapt out that open window.  it wants adventures and experiences and stories to tell!  it wants more than a nine-to-five work week that holds me captive inside a six-by-six cube.

i sit here now, in the grass with an apple and water and notebook, wondering where these winds have been before they swept and swirled around me.  how far did they travel to arrive in this moment?  what places have they been?  who else in the world has had these same suspicions that there’s more to us, that we are capable of quite a lot?  who do we give permission to say what we can and cannot be, what we will and will not see?  i suspect it is our own self; we are the ones who put stoppers and starters around the lives we will live and the people we will become.

i will explore this world one day.  i’ll pack up with my one-way ticket to the unknown and discover myself.  until then, my days will be spent looking for new things, asking “why not?” rather than creating flimsy reasons in place of it all.  i can be whoever i want, create and uncover parts of myself i never knew were there.  i hope to never stop growing and learning and reaching for more.  everything i don’t do or see is mine to lose, and with so much out there,  it’d be quite a shame to miss out.

love is LOUDER

i finally watched it.  the video that all my friends have been posting on facebook.  the one about a child’s speech to new babies coming into the world.  i am by no definition a web surfer, so a new video or site is usually discovered by a friend’s recommendation.  i liked the video so much, what this child and script writer had to say, that i have included here those words.  take a moment to smile and feel good about the world.

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right place, right time

today i will trust that the events occurring in my life are not random.  my experiences aren’t mistakes, and the Universe, my God, and life are not picking on me.  i’m going through exactly what i need to go through to learn something valuable – something that will prepare me for the joy and love i’m seeking.”