2017: Life Will Conquer Death

I’m not the biggest new year’s resolutions person (I find they typically involve weight loss and equally get forgotten about), but I do love dreaming up when the new year can hold. 

The latest craze, that I love, is choosing a word for the new year. One word. Focusing on it, digging deep into it, maybe reading a book or two on it or learning its origin. For the less nerdy, possibly just writing it on the front of their journal and calling it a day? One word. One. As much as I love this idea, I keep failing at it. I keep getting four.

Last year I tried so, so hard. I really did. I still got four. Maybe it’s my indecisiveness. Maybe it’s my love for words. I think it has more to do with a sneaky God who keeps reminding me it’s okay to live my life outside the lines I create for myself. Fine, Jesus, whatever – four it is. So this year, when they were spoken into my life, I didn’t even put up a fight. Yup. YUP. That’s it. That’s me. That’s 2017. Read More

5 Sneaky Ways to be Rebellious This Year (in a good way)

 

A dear, dear friend (cough Pinterest cough) once told me,

In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

Doesn’t that make you want to go and love the $!@# out of yourself, just to piss off the world? Anyone? Just me? I love getting to be a lil’ rebel. (Probably because 90% of time I’m the biggest rule follower…)

When you get to be a rebel and it’s good for you… I’m a fan. Committing to liking myself, at the very least just to make society suck it, has been empowering for me. Here are five simple and sneaky ways I’ve been trying to rebel against what is assumed of us, what others consider normal, or what the world wants us to do. In 2017, let’s resolve to be rebels. Read More

Alone? Or Lonely?

I was sitting by myself, with two strangers on either side of me. Not quite in the mood to make conversation, I simply sipped my drink and glanced around the room. The friend I had just been chatting with had gotten up to talk to someone, the only other person I knew was busy. Was I alone? Oh, yes. But was I lonely? Not so much.n0pqessfyiu-neha-deshmukh

It’s the cliche “worst time of the year to be single”. Basically every Hallmark movie ever bemoans the poor unfortunate soul who’s dateless during the holidays, and by The O.C.’s logic, “how you spend New Year’s Eve is how you’ll spend the rest of the year” (…aka heaven help you if it’s ALONE). Although holiday gatherings can be awkward to walk into alone (again and again and again) and your office Christmas party without a plus one sounds daunting (I wouldn’t know, I “had to” miss mine for a family reunion this year!), hear me loud and clear: being alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. Read More

Best Books of 2016

Book list season is the BEST kind of season. Has anyone else been devouring all these “best of 2016” lists?? I think the other day at work I had 3 open simultaneously. No shame.

I was already eyeing what I want to read next year, when Goodreads sent me a fun email of everything I’ve read this year! I’ll be honest, when it said I read 20 books it seemed far too small. Only 20?! I realize that’s a crazy amount to some; as an avid reader I felt like I was doing more reading than that…

Sidenote: some of my friends are trying out the 52 books in a year thing for 2017! Anyone ever done that? Seems daunting. Also seems tempting. Hmmm.

Here’s the best of what I read this year! (Along with a full list at the bottom) Any recommendations?? Let’s talk books *heart eyes emoji*  Read More

Turning 25

I lost a lot of weight this year.

Which feels funny to type, as it’s currently the holiday season and my clothes are fitting a biiiiiit tight. It’s also a week after my birthday (I have a whole 7 days of being 25 under my belt!) and a few days after my party. And I’ve been reflecting on how different I’m feeling than this time last year.

24 started out rough for me. It’s been a healing year, thankfully. But the healing came after the pain – old wounds, reopened, in order to heal properly this time around. Sometimes the surgeons have to go back in, to re-fix the same old problem. Sometimes wounds get infected, without proper care. Sometimes the sickness just keeps coming back, no matter how many remedies you’ve tried. But the good news? Healing is possible. Healing is worth fighting for. Read More

A Year in the Life

The music was taking me back to another time, as music tends to do. Lyrics that hold so much hope, so much truth. Lyrics that shaped my middle school angst, my high school worries. Lyrics that hold more memories than I know what to do with. They were all coming flooding back as Relient K and Switchfoot switched from new stuff to old stuff to really old stuff to the somewhat new stuff. It took me on the sweetest trip down memory lane, but it also reminded me how much words matter. How much artists putting words to feelings matter. How much these specific words have mattered to me, in different seasons of life.

It was four days before my 25th birthday – the tickets a birthday present from my brother. 25 is a strange year, as you’re a legitimate adult now and should probably know and do lots of adult-y things… and yet you’re kinda just making it up as you go (I hear most of adulthood is like this, I’ll keep you posted). You feel a little on the young side still – you aren’t 30, after all. But you feel a little on the old side – it only takes 20 minutes with 20 years olds to make me crave an 8:00pm bed time.

I haven’t been dreading turning 25 at all – I think life is a gift and another year older is never something to complain about. But I have been feeling this upcoming birthday. 25. Quarter of a century. Halfway to 50. It’s been drawing near and I can’t help but start asking questions. Is this it? Am I doing it right? Should I change anything?mw1efru1qcu-natalie-collins

In the midst of these questions, seven days before my birthday the unthinkable happened. The week leading up to my birthday was a strange twilight zone: a time warp of memories of my youth and proof that I’ve aged, dreaming big dreams and settling for lower standards, so much celebrating and so much mourning. Read More

Weddings & Wind

As weddings have taken up so much of my life lately, I figured maybe they should take up a lot of my blog as well. Here’s a special wedding season series – some questions I get asked (or ones I don’t), some things I survived, some truths I’ve been learning. And, an extra bonus: one very special wedding!


We prayed for no wind.

Friday afternoon we stood on stage, all in our places, shivering. We stood next to our very best friends, as they clasped hands and looked into each other’s eyes, ready for the day they’ve been dreaming of – now just hours away. Teeth chattering, arms covered in goosebumps, girls holding their skirts down from whipping in the wind, we tried to solely focus on the two of them …but it was hard to not focus a little on the cold. Friday night we spent bundled under blankets, celebrating and laughing – but worried about the weather for the next day. They had rented space heaters, they had 40 homemade quilts on standby, but you can’t control the weather. You can’t control wind. Read More

Surviving Post Wedding Season

As weddings have taken up so much of my life lately, I figured maybe they should take up a lot of my blog as well. Here’s a special wedding season series – some questions I get asked (or ones I don’t), some things I survived, some truths I’ve been learning. And, an extra bonus: one very special wedding!


I get asked all. the. things. during wedding season. But I think there’s something that we fail to talk about as all your friends get married: the transition your relationships go through.

My friends, once committed girlfriends, are now wives. They have husbands. Some things stay very much the same, yet other parts are forever different. As someone who has never gone through that specific transition, sometimes it’s a little strange to walk through it with them. How do you travel alongside a path you aren’t on? Other times it’s frustrating to walk together – as we seem to be heading two different directions.
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“But WHY Are You Single??”

As weddings have taken up so much of my life lately, I figured maybe they should take up a lot of my blog as well. Here’s a special wedding season series – some questions I get asked (or ones I don’t), some things I survived, some truths I’ve been learning. And, an extra bonus: one very special wedding!


At any group event where there’s lots of mingling with strangers, there’s this fun moment that typically happens to me. Weddings, especially. Sometimes I do a countdown, in my head, for the exact moment, because I can always see it coming.

At some prior point, word’s gotten out that I’m single, and I see the judgement in some people’s eyes, the surprise in others, the assumptions being made. I’m used to it. Whatever. But then, as conversation continues on, as we spend more time together, they start to speak – stop – hesitate, and I know it’s coming.

“Okay, I have to ask… WHY are YOU single?”

I laugh. I smile. I look at the floor. Because there’s just sooo many ways to answer, so many directions to go with this one.

“Well….” Read More