Wednesday, July 1, 2015

To My Brother

Today is my brother's 21st Birthday!
We are 3 years apart which means we still fight even though now we are both technically adults.
But I still love him all the same.

He sends the best snapchats that crack me up or make me wonder if he is still alive.
He is ridiculously funny to the point of bringing me to tears.

And though we are siblings, he is one of the best gifts God ever gave our family even if he was supposed to be a girl (Long story, ask him).
Happy Birthday baby brother.
Continue to pave your path, live life the way you want, and discover more of the wonderful qualities of you.
Love you!
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

You Probably Don't Know...Link-up!

I feel like I share a lot on here so you may already know some of this stuff, but here it goes!

You probably don't know...

1. That I'm half-British. 
This was the cool fact I shared about myself as a kid.
Whether half-British is a thing or not, I say I am.
My father's American and my mother is British.
Therefore I'm half-British.

2. I'm having two weddings.
Because I'm clearly royalty!
(read above if you don't get that)
I'm from Indiana; Brad's from Washington.
Therefore two weddings have to happen to appease both sides.
Plus, who would not want to wear their dress as many times as possible?!

3. I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua my senior year of high school.
We tested the water in the community to learn that the water was actually making the community sick. Since our testing, they built a new water system and a road to allow more access tot he community we worked with.
If you're interested in the work that we did and that is still being done, visit Hope Road Nicaragua

4. I am a planner.
I do not work well with people who are last minute, spontaneous, etc.
I like my calender's, all 6 of them. 
It's pure joy to plan out the year and fill those calender's up!

5. I love giraffes.
I think I'm obsessed with them because they are tall and I am very short.
I could watch them all day at the zoo.
This makes me laugh every time!

What don't I know about you?

Helene in Between

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Monday, June 15, 2015

What I Learned from a Year of Counseling

Today I finished my 40th hour of counseling required of my masters program. Since last July, I have been seeing the same woman every Monday at 10 a.m. I'll be honest and say it was not always easy. When is working on improving who you are ever easy? But I will say it is worth it. A year of counseling teaches you a lot and today I share some of the things I've discovered.

1.    It is possible for a stranger to see who you truly are.
            -I was skeptical at times with my counselor. I thought "There's no way this lady really knows all of me and can even begin the life I've traveled." And guess what, she never admitted she did know all of me or could understand the live I've traveled. She did try to know all of me and try to see life from my shoes. A complete stranger cared enough about me to try and sometimes trying makes all the difference.

2. Whether you think you need counseling or not, just do it.
            -There were so many times I was ready to quit. Some days I felt like I was digging for anything to talk about and other days I had a list of things. But even on those days I felt I had nothing to bring, there was something there. Sometimes it was something I was not saying, sometimes it was something in my unconscious, and often it was just myself lying to myself that I was fine and did not need someone to talk to.

3. It is NOT about the other.
            -What I mean by this is that counseling is not about fixing the other, you know that person who cut you off in traffic, or your mom who yelled at you again, or your boyfriend who cheated on you for the 5th time (Just so you know these do not refer to me, just topics that can come up in counseling). Counseling is about you. It is about exploring who you are, learning your style of relating, discovering more about yourself that you did not know existed, and being real and honest about your life. It is not about your counselor and their agenda; it is simply for you and what you desire.

4. Push through.
            -I learned that if it is not important to me that I will give it up very easily. There were many Monday's where counseling was not a priority for me, but I came. Often I complained about how it was frustrating to be doing something that I am not necessarily choosing. But I pushed through and learned that this is a way I hide sometimes. If you feel like giving it up, maybe it is time for you to give it up, but challenge yourself to push through and I bet you'll discover something about yourself you did not know was there.

5. You're okay.
            -To hear someone say "You're okay" is a beautiful, caring statement. It rings in your ears as acceptance of who you are. It gives you hope that you will overcome or work through whatever is going on in your life. And it gives you some peace about life.

6. The tissue box may become your best friend.

            -Thank God for Kleenexes and a counselor who places them in a convenient place. Welcome this box and accept it. It is there to heal, to hold, and to let you breathe. 

There was so much more I learned along the way, but sharing all is not necessary.
I am thankful for this past year of self-work and having someone who met with me every Monday.
Until next time...
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Ways to Save Money in College

Reminiscing about college always brings back good memories.
Especially when you come across links that just make you crack up!
This week I found myself cracking up at this website sharing ways to save money in college.
Of if it were only that easy!

I decided to share the ways I wish I would have saved money in college.

1.) Budget
Oh dear lord I learned this concept way too late in life.
Whatever you do, be honest about your income and what you can spend money on.
It is not worth the late night taco bell run to go into debt!

2.) Stop driving so much!
For some reason, getting off campus was the thing to do. Walking somewhere seemed crazy especially in the cold. But my campus was small and lots was in walking distance. I could have saved pennies if I would have just walked more often!

3.) Stick to a meal plan!
Junior and Senior year we lived in an apartment and house which meant we cooked more often.
This was also the year I discovered Pinterest and found myself wanting to cook all the recipes I found. There is nothing wrong with that, but when you are on a college budget you cannot always afford to buy ingredients for one meal only. Staples is how you survive a college food budget.

4.) Do not date guys who go to different schools or live far away.
For the two main guys I dated in college, they both went to different colleges so in order to see them it meant driving. And if I'm honest, I did the majority of the driving. Ladies, make friends in college and maybe worry about the dating thing later on. I probably lost $500 in gas money from visiting boyfriends. 

I am sure there are many more ways, but this is definitely what I would have said to my past self!

What are ways you save or would save? 
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blogger Friend Diaries

I have been so excited to participate in this link-up with Kelly Lorene!
I am sure you have seen these two faces on my blog multiple times, but here they are again.
 This is Michelle. We have known each other since high school, we were roommates every year of college, and she blessed me with a beautiful little girl who calls me EEYA! 

1 | Nothing about you and your blogging drives me crazy

2 | One Tree Hill! Haley, Peyton, and Brooke!

 Brooke would be Tessa

 Haley would be Rachel

Peyton would be Michelle

3 | The same actresses who play the girls above.

4 | So many great memories like all of our time spent in Rice Hall, AU, college but I love when we surprised you for your birthday. And it was also very special to me when you surprised me the very first time you came back from Seattle.

(This is when I surprised Michelle!)

5 | So may great qualities! You are a great listener and give great advice. Anytime I need you, and I mean ANYTIME, you are always there. You love me for me, faults and all, and encourage my self discovery and support my dreams. You are a hard worker and wear your heat on your sleeve. And you are one of my best friends and I love you!

This is Tessa. Tess has been in my life since 3rd grade! Crazy, right? We went to elementary school together and got separated in middle school and high school. College brought us back together! Now we both live on the West Coast and most likely will never move! 

1 | This is so minute (but since it’s one of my pet-peeves I’m more aware of it and super sensitive and I hate saying this because it’s not even a big deal!) but something that drives me crazy is sometimes my blogger’s grammar isn’t on point; however, since what she writes about is always on point, those small mistakes are easily overlooked.

2 | Honestly, this question is impossible to answer. There is no single friendship, on television or in movies, that comes close to the depth of friendship we share. Most of those are filled with drama and unrealistic expectations of how friendships actually work. If anything, we are a mixture of Meredith and Cristina (Grey’s Anatomy), Haley and Lucas (One Tree Hill), and Hannah and Lily (Hannah Montana—of course!).  These friendships show the different stages we have been in our lives thus far and how it can grow into the future.

3 | I love this! If I could pick anyone to portray myself and Rachel (as well as our bestie Michelle!) for our tv show/movie, I would pick Anna Kendrick for Rachel, Marrgot Robbie for Michelle, and Natalie Dormer for myself. They may not make sense together, but neither do we—so it fits so perfectly.

(Yes I realized two are blonde and only one is brunette BUT they can dye their hair! I also based this on acting ability, not based on looks.)

4 | She is one of the loves of my life. I have not only one favorite memory of us together but enough to fill a book or scrapbook of sorts. At many times when I have felt the most joy in my life she has been there by my side. Anywhere from running barefoot in the dew covered misty grass at night to driving on our country cruises enveloped in either the deepest of heart-felt conversations or singing at the top of our lungs to our favorite song  of the month, this woman is truly a rare gem and my best friend.

5 | Rachel cares deeply for those she loves and wants to help where she can, especially by being more than willing to offer her evaluated point of view of how to alleviate a situation. Most of the time she is right! Also she is an incredible inspiration of a woman who constantly works on improving herself. You can’t get any better than that. 

I love my best friends and miss them so much daily. I am grateful for learning to live life in Seattle and am so grateful we have transitioned into long-distance friendships so easily. Love you girls!
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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June Goals

It has been a while since I've done a goals list. 
This is the last month for summer term so life is going to be a little lighter starting very soon so why not add some goals for myself.

1. Avoid Starbucks/Caffeine
-Mainly, I got really bad last month of visiting Starbucks too much. I have done so well this year of not spending over a $100 a month on Starbucks and I am really proud of myself for that, but last month was bad. I got out of the habit of making my own and in to the habit of sleeping in later than usual. So far I'm on day two of no Starbucks and it sucks!

2. Go to Zumba at least 2 times a week.
-I was on a walk a few weeks ago and discovered there was a Zumba class going on. For months, I have been saying I wanted to get back in to doing Zumba again and fate had it in store for me. It is a great workout and a lot of fun so I am very excited for this goal!

3. Take care of myself.
-I have always been someone who likes to make money and there are a lot of job opportunities right now to make extra money. However, I am exhausted. School, work, extra hours, etc. are killing my energy. I want to make sure I am taking care of myself this month and allowing myself to say no. 

I really wanted to have more goals, but this is me trying to take care of myself and not put too much pressure on myself.

What are you working towards this month?
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fight Song

Press play NOW!

I discovered this song the other day and I cannot get enough of it.
It's my song for the period of life I feel like I am right now.
I think we are always fighting for ourselves for different reasons.
Sometimes its for a job we've been seeking, sometimes its for health, and other times its to get the best deal possible. 

Right now I've just been fighting to be a better me. 
That means I've been trying to eat better.
I've been recording the food I eat, recording my workouts, weighing in every week, and making smart food choices. 
I am fighting for a healthier me.

I've also been fighting for my voice.
School has taught me that I am often afraid to let myself be heard whether that's my thoughts, feelings or ideas. 
I'm fighting for myself to be able to trust that what I have to say is important and meaningful.

I'm fighting for my relationship.
Nothing is wrong with Brad and I, but I am fighting to be a better fiance everyday.
I'm trying to be more conscious with my words asking myself if I am being encouraging, if I am listening, and if I am building him up rather than tearing him down. 

I could keep going on with the things I am fighting for, but it's not necessary.
I hope this song encourages you like it did me.

What are you fighting for?
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