Soul Weekend 2011

I believe in traditions.  I believe in claiming things as annual events with vigor even if it’s the first time you’ve done it.  My Bestie and I have a ton of traditions, things that we started doing and just didn’t let go of.

Soul Weekend is one of those things.

Every labor day weekend Olivia and I have soul weekend.  Soul Weekend started 5 months after my huge, messy break up and consequent move to the Bay Area.  I was broken and empty is a lot of ways.  A weekend that was focused on feeding my soul and happiness was exactly what I needed.

 

Soul Weekend 2009

Here is how Soul Weekend works:

  1. First, you block off a specific amount of time.  A weekend, two days.. whatever you have.  Maybe it’s the planner in me, but I relax best when I block off chunks of time to be unplanned.  Our Soul Weekend’s have adjusted to meet us where our lives are; this year there was no sleepovers because at 7.5 months pregnant my own bed is really the only place I can sleep.
  2. The first thing we do is make a list of the things that sound good.  Make art, bumble, read a book, visit a museum, dance party, drink wine, or plan a picnic.  We always paint mugs at a ceramics place.
  3. Then we just do them.  Or do other things.  Or follow any whim we have to a new thing that wasn’t on the list.  We follow our hearts.  We explore new towns; generally with a coffee in hand.
Soul Weekend 2010

Each year we are both in new places.  The first year I was still in the aftershocks of my break up, last year I was processing my mom’s cancer and our relationship… this year was more for Olivia.  She’s been having a tough time with some family things and I was so happy to just be able to sit with her.  Process with her.  Remind her that life is beautiful and that sometimes your friends can step in and carry you when you need it.  We talked about how next year, Miles will be here… and we will take him along.  He has a soul that will need tending to also.

Soul Weekend 2011

Guest Post: Wake Up Dance Parties, Revolutions, and Beginning of a Manifesto

I am headed back from Georgia today, which means you get another guest post!  Today’s post comes from my IRL friend Andrew.  He is literally the funniest person I know; hands down.  He’s also the king of karaoke.  He does not have a blog, but I wish he did so I could start my mornings laughing like I did reading this post.

He was born to have a mic in his hand.

Greetings Bri Fans!

For this post, your guest blogger is:
A. Female
B. Pregnant
C. Married
D. None of the Above

Answer: D. Don’t worry; you’re still in the right place.

For lack of a tactful segue from that disclaimer, I’ll paraphrase the greats and let you know that we’re going to tackle something completely different from this blog’s more recent content.  Ladies, gentlemen and sentient artificial intelligence of the internet, I invite you to join me in my current pursuit of Early Mornings and the Art of the Wake Up Dance Party.

On another blog, this post would have started, “My name is A______ S______, and I’m a Snooze-a-holic.”  That confounded button has been a blessing and a curse in my life (mostly curse) since I’ve been in high school.  At my Snooze Button Rock Bottom, I would easily set myself back a solid two hours each day by hitting snooze 12 times per morning.  The annoyance to roommates and wall-sharing-neighbors would provide short term deterrents, but as recently as last week I was snoozing for an hour each morning.

My intentions have always been good: to wake up early, spend some quality time with my canine pal Taylor and maybe even go for a run.  My actuality has been hurried morning preparation followed by a sense of guilt and disappointment that I let myself down once again.  In other words, my Snooze-a-holism has been anchored in a significant knowing/doing gap.  It’s taken over 10 years to find my bridge over the gap.

I’ve tried moving the alarm clock across the room, setting multiple alarms, waking up to music, setting a timed coffee pot, waking up to slow increases in volume and all of the other tricks in the book.

If you’re not the exposition type, start reading here.

Then I discovered that iHome* had started including a feature where you can wake up to a random song from a playlist. [*No financial compensation accepted for product placement. Yet.]  Now, I get to greet each morning with a surprise pump up song.  That in and of itself is great, but does not provide the complete solution to my Snooze-a-holism.

No, I’ve developed a new morning ritual: the wake up dance party.  While a walk across the bedroom was never enough to wake me up and keep me out of bed, the 3-4 minute mandatory dance party absolutely does the trick.  I’ve also found the wake up dance party benefits to be numerous:

1. I do get out of bed without hitting snooze.
2. My dog Taylor looks at me quizzically every morning, then joins in. It cracks me up
3. I typically *actually* wake-up midway through my dance party for one, and catch myself in the bedroom mirror.  It cracks me up.
4. Like Ellen Degeneres (who is also my fashion icon, but that’s another guest blog post), I dance my way around a larger space, and have mastered brewing coffee while dancing.  It cracks me up.
5. Per 2-4 above, I’m starting my day with levity instead of stress or worry and have found my disposition is consistently and congruently more positive every day.
6. I think I’m getting REALLY good at dancing, and all the laydees love that.

So, my friends, this 1% overall improvement in my life has led me to believe I’ve discovered a breakthrough with universal benefits.  Before I write my complete manifesto and become a self-help millionaire, I ask, are you with me?  Viva la revolucion!

We hurt together.

There are a ton of fantastic things about the internet.  

We get to live vicariously though friends as they soar through life.  When people fall in love, we get excited for them.. we fall in love too.  When people take a risk and end up on the other side totally-bad-ass-awesome?  We feel joyful too, because a part of us feels like we took that risk too.  There are so many exciting and wonderful things happening to people all the time.  We, as a community, celebrate together.

We become invested, and it is beautiful.

Sometimes though, it’s really hard.

It’s really hard to have friends heart broken and hundreds of miles away.  It’s hard to sit in gChat and talk them through complicated and painful things because our hearts break with theirs.  We want to rush to their house and sit with them in the quiet; let them cry on our shoulders.  We want to hold their hand.  We want to physically hurt the asshole that played them.. but we can’t. 

So we keep skyping, texting, and processing together… hoping that the person in pain doesn’t feel alone. We want them to know that it will get better; that we’ll help carry them through this messed up situation.  Sometimes it helps but most of the time it feels like we’re not doing enough.  Our words feel ineffective and cliche.  We keep reaching out to their hurt places because that’s what they did for us that one time when we were broken… We, as a community, hurt together.

And then we cry because our hearts hurt with theirs. 

Grace in Small Things, V. 13

I don’t even know where this week went.  It’s Friday?  And I’ve written…. technically nothing, because the super awesome give-away that went up on Tuesday has been waiting in drafts for weeks.  You should probably go enter.  Go ahead.  I will wait. 

Good? 

Ok. 

I will have to tell y’all about Los Angeles next week, but it was amazing.   Amazing and exhausting and the most fun ever.  Here’s a little sampler on the night Chels came out with us. 

This basically sums up the night.

2 for 1.  I mean, come on. 

Mr. A picked me up from the airport and we got to spend about 3 seconds together before HE left for four days.  It is crazy how much I have missed him.  Equally crazy is how much I LOVE hearing his voice when he calls at night, instant smiles. 

Alright, that’s my short check-in, now on to Friday GiST:

1.  Mr. A comes home tonight!  Which (obviously) means I couldn’t sleep past 5 this morning…which means I got to work early… which means I get to leave early!!!  Best.  Friday.  Ever.

2.  I love getting to work and having Nora say she’s been waiting to tell me ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE WE LAST SPOKE 12 HOURS AGO.  (That’s panic caps, cause that’s what we feel when we’re not able to share every single thought we have immediately upon having it.)

3.  Having lunch every day this week with one of my dearest friends Jess.  It’s been incredibly lovely to break up the monotony of eating alone in my office with her.  We laugh a lot.

4. Sharing a bottle of wine with Molly and Jenny last night was perfect in every way.  We went to a cute little wine restaurant and sat side-by-side on a couch with a legs tucked under us.  Girl talk is always amazing.  Girl talk with incredible women who inspire you?  Even better. 

5.  Adele. I’ve had her album for a couple of weeks now (thanks internet fairies).  This album is insanely good.  It makes you feel things.  Love love love. 

What’s new with YOU?

Grace in Small Things

  • Today I am flying to LA to see my loves.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love these two…
  • Did I mention I am flying and NOT driving?  Talk about luxurious.  Sipping champagne on the airplane is totally happening.  
  • The power of the family Crab Fettuccine Alfredo.  I made Mr. A dinner last night, and it was so much fun dancing around in the kitchen with him and then watching his reaction as he learned that his girlfriend can totally cook.
  • Big things happening for friends.  Every GChat message or phone call from a friend sharing amazing, exciting, life-changing news has put me over the moon.  They deserve all the good that’s coming to them.  Celebrating with friends is the BEST.
  • Gourmet Dining.  From both ends of the spectrum, Saturday night I had a bowl of goldfish crackers and a glass of milk for dinner.  Monday I had Pizza with truffle mousse.  I mean COME ON.  TRUFFLE MOUSSE?!  I died.
  • Dancing Around with Mr. A.  He spins me to whatever song is on, and I swoon every single time.  
Via

I Don’t Need a Parachute

 “You deserve to feel like a princess on Valentines Day.”

Done. 

Weeks ago I planned a dinner with my girl friends, because OBVIOUSLY there was no valentine for me in the near future (Thanks universe I get it, I’m not in control).  I took one read of Chelsea’s Valentines Day Revolution and knew I was going to be spending the evening with the girls sipping bubbles and being otherwise exuberantly happy.

I could have never anticipated I would be THIS happy on Valentines Day.  Dinner with the girls was amazing.  I am so very grateful to these women who curl their hair to come drink champagne with me.  They’re the ones who have been on the other end of every panicked phone call this past year; I would be lost without them.   I was so happy to get to toast to all types of love with them.

Then there was the equally amazing  perfect-for-me man who picked me up from dinner.  He spoiled me, that’s for sure.  He doesn’t quite yet realize that simply being with him is enough to put a stupid-giddy grin on my face for days and days– everything else is crazy amazing icing on the cake. 

Thursday is my turn to spoil him a little.  I get to make him dinner for the first time, and while I joked I was going to start simple so that he wouldn’t know that I can actually cook (“Oh, I only know how to make this quesadilla!  Opps, I burned it.”)  (You know, keep the expectations low)… he ruined that, and now?  It’s on like Genghis Khan wearing Sean John in Bhutan.  All the stops are being pulled out.  Valentines Day is so.  not.  over.

I don’t tell anyone about the way you hold my hand
I don’t tell anyone about the things that we have planned
I won’t tell anybody
Won’t tell anybody
They wanna push me down they wanna see you fall down
Won’t tell anybody that you turn the world around
I won’t tell anyone that your voice is my favorite sound
I won’t tell anybody
Won’t tell anybody
They wanna see us fall they wanna see us fall down
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute.
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down down down
Don’t believe the things you tell yourself so late at night
You are your own worst enemy, you’ll never win the fight
Just hold on to me, I’ll hold on to you
it’s you and me up against the world it’s you and me
I don’t believe anything, don’t trust anyone anymore
But I believe you when you say we’re never gonna fall
Hand behind my neck, arm around my waist
Never let me hit the ground, you’ll never let me crash down
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down down down
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down down down
I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of, I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of,
I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of, I won’t fall out of love, I fall into you
I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of, I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of,
I won’t fall out of love, I won’t fall out of, I won’t fall out of love, I fall into you
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down down down
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down down down
I don’t need a parachute, baby if I’ve got you
Baby if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute
You’re gonna catch me, you’re gonna catch if I fall
Down

Double Dream Hands.

I am going to LA to see my loves in 17 days (!!!!). 
Whenever I am planning a visit emails start flying between us with possible plans.  Here’s what the exchange has been:
Anthony: 
Hi Loves!
So I wanted to check in and see what we’d like to plan for your visit! Thoughts? Suggestions?
xoxo,
a
Me:
Well to start:
  1. I would like to make memories.
  2. I would like to drink mimosas
  3. I would like to dance party
  4. I would like to sit in the back seat with Allison and take gratuitous pictures
  5. I would like to see Justin Bieber 3D and have drinks to celebrate the birth of the amazing Anthony.
  6. I would like to go to Disneyland.
  7. I would like to go to the moon.
  8. I would like to go to pretty dinner spots and pretty places in general.
  9. I would like to NOT have my nose re-pierced on Hollywood Blvd.
  10. I would like to NOT cry into my Miley shake.

There are a ton of things and places to see still.  Anything with you guys though would make me really happy.  

Jimmie:

Okay, in all fairness this all seems pretty ambitious. I mean, some of these are pretty doable, particularly the NOTs, done and done. But, dancing? dinner? mimosas? These things are not as easy to find as one may think, and we all know the perils of day drinking. And making memories, that’s like saying you want to go to the moon and back in just one three day weekend. Get real Bri…

Get real.

I sure hope that between now and mid-february you are able to better evaluate your LA weekend plans… 

That’s all.

 _____________________________________________
Well, everything changed this past weekend when I happened upon the following video.  I am sure between the three of us, we’ve watched it about 100 times.  It gets funnier every single time.  The three of us have agreed that this is really all we want to do the weekend I am there.  Watch this.  Dance this.  

Jimmie called last night and we spend 10 minutes discussing which part is our favorite.  Mine is the last 20 seconds.   


 

#SFNYE

The day is finally here!!!  I woke up to confirmations that people have boarded their flights and are on their way here.  I pick up my first person in 2 hours!!!!


To say I am excited would be an understatement.  These people are amazing.  After weeks and weeks of countdowns and glitter shopping trips: it’s all happening.  Six of my favorite blogging friends coming to spend New Years with me.


If you want to get in on the fun, we’ll all be tweeting the next four days and adhering to the agreed upon ground rules:

  1. Have the most epic NYE ever!
  2. The evening of New Years: Formal Wear required.
  3. Use hashtag #SFNYE
  4. Don’t go to jail.
  5. Don’t die.
  6. Film everything. (i.e. What happens in SF ends up on the Internet)

  

Meet the #SFNYE crew  
Captain @
First Mate @ 
Central Control Director @ 
Robot Computer @ 
Sparkle Fashion Guru @ 
Princess Tiara @  
Adorable Face @


Photo: Laughing, loved on, grateful. #reverb10

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Tracey Clark)

I look at this picture and see me at my best:  Laughing, loved on, grateful. 

This was taken at my birthday “Family Dinner”.  The weekend of my birthday I ran my first 5K and my friends threw me a massive outdoor kickball birthday party (with over 50 people in attendance).  On my actual birthday my closest friends got together for dinner, 18 of us.  I have 18 close friends.  And as I sat there, surrounded.. I was so overwhelmed with how lucky I am to have these people in my life.

This picture was taken right after dinner by my friend Josh.  Jessica is on the left and Olivia is on the right.  These girls make up huge parts of my heart.   I don’t know what was being said, but that look on my face is mid-laugh, heart full.  A perfect moment to be caught on camera. 

This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


You should join, all the cool kids are doing it. You can participate by clicking here.

Friendship: Fierce Love. #reverb10

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Martha Mihalick)

I fall in love with people quickly.  Making the transition from introduction to life-long best friends over coffee, over a weekend, over a shared bottle of wine.

My community here came blazing into my life without warning, exactly when I needed it.  They are my heart, and they’ve changed me this year.

One of the ways God shows me He loves me is through my friends.  And because they love me, and teach me that I am lovable, I can better understand what Divine Love looks like.

It’s their love that reinforces my value and gives me strength.  They’re the reason I am starting 2011 with only the best people around me, they’ve given me the strength to stand up for what I deserve.  They think I’m the strong one, but it’s because they love me the way they do– with intention, grace, and fierce protectiveness– that I am able to be strong at all.

This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


You should join, all the cool kids are doing it. You can participate by clicking here.