Author: Kimberlee Koehn

Hello, my name is Kimberlee. Yes, there are two E’s, let’s not get into it. I love traveling, writing, hiking and sweet potatoes. We can go ahead and be friends now.

10 Newsletters to Consider Adding to Your Inbox

If you’re like me, one of the first things you do when you wake up is check your email. Even though it’s probably going to be full of advertisements. Maybe a coupon for your favorite online retailer that you definitely shouldn’t click on but you do anyway. That one email from a company you’ve never heard of and are concerned as to how and why they are emailing you about a trip to the Bahamas that is definitely a scam waiting to happen. And then there’s the work emails that you’d rather not read because then the work day is actually starting.

Our inboxes have become just like our mailboxes: full of (mostly) junk. Sometimes so much junk that it’s hard to differentiate the non junk amongst it all, and you end up missing that meeting that was definitely mandatory and started 20 minutes ago.

But much like our closets in the spring, our inboxes can be cleaned, organized, and filled only with things we love (or need). So, in case you’re looking for a tune up, I’ve gathered some of my favorite newsletters that all brighten my day in one way or another.

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For the Religious/Spiritual Person

1) The Monday Club

Frequency: Once a week (Every Monday)

Sign up here.

Created by blogger and author, Hannah Brencher, this dose of inspiration always starts my week off on a good note. I love that each message clearly comes from the heart, not solely to teach you, but to relate to you and remind you that you are not alone in your struggles.

2) Cathe Laurie Devotional

Frequency: Once a week (Every Wednesday)

Sign up here.

I tend to struggle with devotionals that are very wordy and longwinded, but Cathe’s are always quick, meaningful, and to the point.

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For Anyone Who Loves Good News

3) Goodnewsletter

Frequency: Every other week.

Sign up here.

You know I’m always looking for good things to add to my monthly “All the Good Things” post, and this is one of the many sources I use to help me find those bursts of good. I also love that each email includes a “do good” brand that highlights a company making positive change.

Note: they also do print version called the Goodnewspaper that you can sign up for here.

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For the Foodies

4) Food Network Recipe of the Day

Frequency: Every day (usually in the morning)

Sign up here.

This is as inspiring as it is mouthwatering, and honestly seeing it in my inbox right after morning break is borderline torture. But I’ve found a ton of good recipes, both that I’ve made and that I’ve saved so I can request people make them for me—like these brownies.

5) Postmates

Frequency: Seemingly every minute of the day

Sign up here.

I’m not going to lie, Postmates borderline harasses you with their email updates. And as someone who is actively trying to save money, this is NOT HELPFUL. However, on the days when I do cave and want to order in, it’s nice to know I have a coupon waiting for me.

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For Anyone Looking to be In the Know

6) Next Draft

Frequency: Every weekday

Sign up here.

I have gone through a number of different newsletters that gather up daily news updates, but this is by far my favorite. It is a good combination of news, from politics to sports to tech to humor. There’s a little bit of everything, which I like because depending on the day, I never know what I’m in the mood for.

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For the Wordies

8) Merriam Webster Word of the Day

Frequency: Every day

Sign up here.

As a writer, it’s probably no surprise that I love words. And so it’s definitely no surprise that I’d be subscribed to a newsletter that teaches you a new one every day. I might not commit them all to memory, but I like to know what’s out there.

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For the Writers

9) Submittable

Frequency: Once a week

Sign up here.

I mentioned this newsletter in this post I wrote about resources for bloggers. This is probably one of my longest standing subscriptions and I still enjoy it and get a lot out of it. Each email gives you a list of noteworthy articles, followed by a number of submission (and sometimes even job) opportunities.

10) Opportunities of the week

Frequency: Once a week

Sign up here.

This is my newest find, but I’m very excited about its potential. I’ve been looking more into freelancing, and I’ve read a number of articles full of resources on how to get started. One of them led me to this newsletter that is a packed with opportunities for writers of all types. The newsletter does cost money, and offers tiers of membership between $1-$3 per month, but there is also the opportunity to become a sponsored member where another member of the community can offer to pay for your slot.

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Have any newsletters that you would recommend?

I Say Sh*t 17 Times in this Post, But it’s Upbeat, I Promise

I recently read the book Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan, which chronicles her year of saying “yes” to things in order to help her step out of her introvert comfort zone. It was a hilarious and relatable book that was full of valuable lessons, but one in particular stood out to me.

As the author puts it: “Being shit at being shit is just shit.”

Or, put more PG: being bad at being bad is just bad.

(Personally, I like the shitty version, but that’s just me.)

Jessica Pan writes this when referring to the tendency of someone who is placed out of their comfort zone to put in minimum effort in order to protect themselves from further embarrassment.

I know I’m guilty of it.

It’s hard to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone and be yourself. Sometimes it feels easier to make it all a big joke, that way, if you fail, you’ll know you weren’t really trying in the first place.

But then again, we also learn, from an outsider’s perspective, that when we see people putting in that minimal effort, it doesn’t make them look “cool”, it doesn’t even protect them from embarrassment. In fact, we notice that lack of effort more than any failure, and it looks far worse.

Because there’s a difference between trying and failing and failing to try.

There’s a difference between “being shit” and being shit at being shit.

And, as previously stated, being shit at being shit is just shit.

So, the lesson here is: just be shit, you know?

Be bad at something.

But don’t be bad at being bad. Strive to be great at it.

Try your hardest and fail your hardest. But try. And don’t try halfway.

Don’t laugh it off or shrug it away. Don’t shrink yourself down. Go out there and suck to your full potential. Because that is what makes you cool. That is what moves you forward. That is what ultimately protects you and fights for you because it gets you out of your head, into the new, and onto the next.

You have to go through the shit to get to the good stuff. And sometimes going through shit requires you yourself to be that shit, and it’s learning to let yourself be the shit at being shit that ultimately gets you through the shit, you know what I mean?

For Laycee

This past weekend my family lost our dog, Laycee, who was a vibrant, beautiful member of our family for nine years. It was a hard day, one that we’d dreaded, but ultimately knew had to come, and we are happy to know that she lived a good life, full of love, both given and received.

When thinking about how I could honor Laycee, and the love that we all receive from pets that come into our lives at just the right time, I knew I had to turn to my sister Natalee. She had such a special relationship with Laycee, that my mom often interchanged their names in conversation. They were destined for each other, and just as any love story changes the world, so too did theirs. And so, as a final goodbye to our pretty girl, I wanted Natalee to tell their story.

This is what she wrote:

 

To My Perfect Angel,

It was a chilly day in early December of 2010. My whole family piled in to the car and set out on what ended up being a long, confusing drive. I don’t even remember the story my parents told us about where we were going, but I do remember feeling slightly concerned that the deserted, off the beaten path location we eventually found ourselves in might be the place of the Koehn family’s demise. I later found out Kim and our brother Troy were feeling the same way. Much to our delight, however, we soon learned that our parents had pulled a fast one on us! We hadn’t driven out there to meet our doom, we had driven out there to get our first family dog!

Soon we were flooded with the exciting and overwhelming scene of dogs barking, tails wagging and eyes begging to be chosen. I remember being in total disbelief. I had wanted and asked for a dog for SO long. I couldn’t believe we were actually getting one! We immediately dispersed and started looking for the one we would take home with us. Troy liked a black lab with giant paws and an even bigger personality. Kim loved all of them. I had no idea how I would ever walk out of there with just one.

 Until you walked over to me.

 With your head slumped down and your whole body shaking, you walked up to me, you let me pet you, and you stole my heart. My whole family saw the instant connection, and not 10 minutes later we were walking back to the car with you in my arms.

I know it sounds cliché, but that day changed my life. It was the beginning of winter break in my senior year of high school, and those days were truly some of my worst. I was in a dark place, and the punches were only just starting to be thrown my way. But you made all the difference. No matter what happened during the day, I had a loyal, loving, anxious little angel waiting for me at home, never questioning my character or making me feel like I wasn’t worth anything. I had a companion. Trust wasn’t an easy thing for either of us, but I had yours, and you had mine.

As it turns out, my parents knew what they were doing all those years they said no to letting me have a dog. They knew the right time, and the right pup, would come along. And for me, that was and will always be you. See you soon my precious angel. I’ll love you forever.

Learning Internet Slang (Part 4)

There are few things I enjoy more than tracking down new slang words and phrases to quiz my friends and family with. Not only do I love seeing the reaction of my poor, unsuspecting victims contestants, but I love hearing the creative responses they give as they try to figure out what on earth these words and phrases could mean.

For this installment of Learning Internet Slang, I enlisted the help of my sister, and our cousins, Spenser and Ashlynn, who we recently went to visit in North Carolina.

Here were the results:

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1) Boomer

Urban Dictionary Definition: A person from the baby boomer generation, or really anyone who is older than the person using the word; usually used if said person is being annoying or talking shit about a younger generation.

Spenser’s Guess: Baby boomers?

Natalee’s Guess: I first thought of baby boomers, but then I thought maybe it was the new “banger.”

Ashlynn’s Guess: Old people.

Me: So you use it when someone older is complaining about something the younger generation does, and the person from the younger generation would say—

Ashlynn: —okay, boomer.

Me: Exactly.

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2) NSFW

Urban Dictionary Definition: Not Suitable/Safe For Work.

Spenser’s Guess: I don’t know what this one is.

Natalee’s Guess: Not safe for work!

Ashlynn’s Guess: Do not open this email at work because it is probably dirty.

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3) Don’t @ me

Urban Dictionary Definition: A phrase used on Twitter when you say something and you don’t want people to respond directly to you because you don’t care what people have to say about your opinion.

Natalee’s Guess: Don’t come for me, don’t judge or attack me for this, I’m posting it and owning it.

Spenser’s Guess: Don’t come at me with your second tier shit, my shit is right.

Ashlynn’s Guess: Don’t blame me or involve me, don’t call me out.

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4) Finsta

Urban Dictionary Definition: A combination of the words “fake” and “Instagram.” When people have a “finsta” they post pictures they only want their closest friends to see.

Spenser’s Guess: A fine gangsta, like a good looking gangster.

Ashlynn’s Guess: When you want to say Facebook and Instagram but heaven forbid don’t want to use two separate words.

Natalee’s Guess: A fake instagram account, or secondary account.

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5) Weird flex but okay

Urban Dictionary Definition: When someone proudly boasts or brags about something that most people would find either awkward, irrelevant or just plain weird.

Natalee’s Guess: I feel like this is a strange thing to be showing off, but go for it, I guess.

Spenser’s Guess: You are strange, but I don’t want to get into it.

Ashlynn’s Guess: When someone is into something that you’re not into, and it’s a little out there but you’re supportive because you’re like, “Hey, I like you. You don’t suck.”

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6) Humble brag

Urban Dictionary Definition: A form of self-promotion where the promoter thinks they are, almost subliminally, bragging about himself in the context of a humble statement or complaint.

Spenser: I’ve never heard of this in my life. I mean, those words are two completely different things.

Natalee’s Guess: Is it like, I’m trying so hard to make this as simple as possible for you but I have so much going on?

Spenser’s Guess: Maybe it’s, I thought I was the best but it turns out I’m just really good. For example: I’m the best at rock paper scissors, I’ve literally never lost, but you beat me, so good job.

Ashlynn’s Guess: When you casually brag about something and you try to seem like it’s not a big deal but you know that it’s awesome.

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7) VSCO girl

Urban Dictionary Definition: a term used to describe a girl with a specific look; she wears oversized t-shirts or sweatshirts with Nike shorts; has Vans, Crocs, Birkenstocks, and wears a shell necklace; she always has a Hydroflask; she can’t leave home without a scrunchie and her favorite car is a Jeep.

Natalee: Did this start on TikTok?

Me: No.

Natalee’s Guess: Oh, well then this might be wrong but: a girl on Tik Tok who wears giants sweatshirts and sunglasses and is an influencer; someone who is considered cool but honestly looks kind of slouchy; they’re not trying hard, but somehow they look perfect and have 8 million followers.

Spenser: V-S? C-O? What in the hell is that? Look, I just tried to type it in my phone to write down my guess and it autocorrected to bacon.

Ashlynn’s Guess: She loves a good scrunchie. She dug the 90’s and loves big bold colors and fun outfits.

Spenser’s Guess: Okay I have two guesses. 1) a very successful colorado girl. 2) a 2020 version of a disco girl.

Ashlynn: Like the millennial version of disco person?

Spenser: Exactly.

Me: *gives the definition*

Spenser: Wait, what does VSCO stand for? I’m looking it up. Visual Supply Co? Oh, guys, it’s a photo editing app.

All of us: OOHHHHHH.

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8) No cap

Urban Dictionary Definition: no lie; to tell the truth.

Natalee’s Guess: No capitalization. Everything I’m saying is very unexaggerated and deadpan.

Spenser’s Guess: Oh, I got it. No guns allowed (as in no busting a cap) this is a street fight. As Ron Burgundy might say, the only other rules are there is no touching of the hair or face.

Ashlynn’s Guess: It’s a command. As in, stop yelling, you’re using capitalization to express a lot of angry feelings and I want you to stop. No cap. No need to yell. I’m right here and can hear you fine.

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9) Bet

Urban Dictionary Definition: same as “for sure” or “okay.”

Natalee’s Guess: This is a shout out to Troy Bolton, aka Zac Efron, I’d bet on you forever.

Ashlynn: I’m sorry, what? So you’re saying this is a direct reference?

Natalee: Yes, it’s the song he sings in the second High School Musical film. It’s iconic.

Spenser’s Guess: I took it the exact opposite. As in, “bet”, it’s a 50/50 chance, you could be right or you could be wrong.

Ashlynn’s Guess: It’s when someone is saying, “This is the truth that I’m telling you. You can bet on it.”

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10) Slaps

Urban Dictionary Definition: to describe something that is incredibly good, usually music.

Natalee’s Guess: Someone did a good job or said something that everyone likes so they say, “Slaps my man, good job.”

Spenser’s Guess: It’s a new high school dice game. It’s a combo of craps & jacks. Maybe they say, “I’m gonna be beat you at slaps, and buy some VCSO scrunchies with the winnings.”

Ashlynn’s Guess: “Yeah, great job, man.” It’s like a high five but without putting your hand in danger [of germs].

Spenser: Like a verbal high five?

Natalee: Slaps, my man.

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Bonus) CEO

Examples of the correct usage (if you were referring to me or my blog): CEO of teaching friends and family slang. CEO of italics. CEO of writing the blog the night before posting it. 

Me: On this one I want you to guess how it’s used, because the definition (Chief Executive Officer) is the same.

Natalee’s Guess: Maybe when someone does the best video of a certain challenge on TikTok or something. They would say, “You’re the new CEO of this challenge.”

Spenser’s Guess: A title that is given to the most popular boy or girl in the school. Like, “you are the CEO of this class.”

Ashlynn’s Guess: A person who wears the pants in the relationship, “the CEO of the relationship.”

 


 

Read the previous version of this post here.

 

31 Good Things that Happened in January

I usually put the same intro before my monthly “good things” posts, but this one felt a little different. January was rough. And it seemed to last way longer than 31 days. But even amongst all the bad, as always, there were good things. And even though I might have dragged my feet a little bit to collect them, they were still there, and they still filled my heart with all that good stuff.

So here’s to January, the marathon that it was, and here’s to February, who we hope jumps at the chance to be far better.

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1) Reese Witherspoon was surprised with a package from Jay-Z and Beyonce.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you, @Beyonce for the #IvyPark swag!

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

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2) This duck played the drums.

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3) New Zealand supermarkets launched “food in the nude”, which eliminates plastic packaging from all fruits and vegetables.

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4) The city of Vienna started an incentive program that rewards commuters who take public transportation with concert and museum tickets.

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5) This dog finally caught his ball

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6) Exciting new technology was introduced at CES 2020.

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7) The manager of Athletes Village for the 2020 Olympics revealed the bed frames are made of sturdy cardboard, making them recyclable after the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

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8) This family created an epic obstacle course.

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9) This teacher in India started taking students to school so they wouldn’t drop out.

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10) This woman received a hug from a grateful kangaroo.

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11) American Girl launched the first doll to ever represent girls with hearing loss.

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12) This father and son shared their tradition of taking the homeless out to lunch each week.

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13) This man believed.

 

14) Researchers in South Africa announced they have created a second embryo of a nearly extinct species of rhino.

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15) These boys played ping pong.

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16) These volunteers drove people to work in rough weather conditions.

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17) This man rode over 1,400 miles to thank a family whose son’s heart saved his life.

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18) These American firefighters were applauded as they arrived in Australia to help fight the wildfires.

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19) This man bought a Super Bowl ad to thank the company that saved his dog’s life.

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20) This family moved into their new home.

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21) These students pooled their money to replace their teacher’s stolen shoes.

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22) This man (as well as hundreds of thousands of others) shared his story about the positive impact Kobe made in his life.

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23) This boy rode a unicorn.

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24) This brewery put local shelter dogs on beer cans to help them get adopted.

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25) This cat…spoke?

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26) This boy made clay koalas to raise money for Australia and has so far raised over $100,000.

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27) Alyssa Nakken became the first female in history to be hired as coach on a major league baseball staff.

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28) This adorable boy known as @theshirleytempleking won the hearts of Instagram

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29) This man found an old VHS tape of a baby taking its first steps, then tracked down the family it belonged to.

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30) This man used his coffee to rescue three frozen kittens.

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31) And finally, this blogger/author tweeted a very important reminder.

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You can view the last edition of this series here.

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Thank You, Kobe.

This past weekend might have been a lot of things for a lot of people, but there was one collective moment most of us shared.

It was an awful moment. The kind we’ll replay over and over again. The kind that 20, 30 years from now we’ll still swap, “where were you when..” stories about.

For me, I was in North Carolina, visiting my cousins. I was standing in line at an ice cream shop, taking bites of my waffle cone filled with Carolina Crunch as I waited to pay. Then, with a pivot, my cousin Ashlynn turned to me, phone in hand and said, “is this true?”

It was.

Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash.

As the day went on, the details came out. We learned that Gianna, Kobe’s 13 year old daughter, as well as seven other passengers—children, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands—had also been killed in the crash.

As the weeks go on, we’ll likely learn more. But for now, we’re just left with what we know, and what we feel.

And we all feel it.

Over the last two days, social media has been flooded with condolences, prayers and heartbreak, but more than anything, it has been filled with stories. Moments. Thank you’s.

Kobe Bryant will undoubtedly be one of the greatest, if not the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. But he was also, incredibly, so much more than that. He had only just begun to start his life and his movement after basketball, and it is clear in the heartbreak of everyone in and outside the NBA that they—we—are not only mourning a legend on the court, but an all around hero.

For me personally, growing up in Los Angeles, I grew up watching Kobe. And even though I haven’t always known basketball, I’ve always known Kobe, and thus, in many ways, to me, Kobe was basketball. His God given talent and his out of this world work ethic—he was a superhuman, destined, determined and demanding of greatness. This was clear to the die hard fan and the naked eye.

This is why, I think, this loss is so widespread and deep. Because suddenly there is a sense of hopelessness, a fear of emptiness, a question of: who now do we have to look up to the way we did Kobe?

I have read so many stories and been incredibly moved by the impact one man can have on an entire world. But while this loss is one we will always feel, I hope that all of that inspiration, that hope, that wonder that he brought to basketball, to fans, to friends, family, acquaintances, and everyone and everything in between, that those lessons will not only live on in his memory, but they will ripple outward, creating even more stories, more wonder, more inspiration, more love, not because he died, but because he lived.

So thank you, Kobe. There may never be another one like you, but there are so many who are better because of you.

May you, your daughter, and everyone else lost rest in peace. You will all be greatly missed.

For My Fellow Worms

While going through some of the old documents on my computer, I came across this little story. I think it was my hope that one day it would become a children’s book, but that never transpired, and now it’s just been sitting in folder oblivion for a few years, so I thought I would share it here.

I think we can all relate to Wally in one way or another heavy-black-heart_2764

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Wally the worm woke up with the squirm and wiggled his way down the road

He passed the tall flowers and birds taking showers, to find his friend Marvin the toad.

“Oh Marvin,” said Wally, “What a glum day this is.

I’d hoped that last night, the stars heard my wish.

I wanted to wake up a big hungry bear,

or maybe a lion with long fluffy hair.

Perhaps a green crocodile with big shiny teeth,

or even a monkey that climbs trees with his feet.

But this morning I found I was still just me,

I guess a little brown worm is all I’ve ever be.”

 

“What’s wrong with that?” said Marvin with a “RIBBIT.”

Wally sighed and said, “You just don’t get it.

Toads like you can catch flies on their tongue,

and hop high between lily pads for just a bit of fun.

But all I’ll ever do is wiggle and squirm,

digging in the dirt, just a tiny little worm.”

 

Then Marvin and Wally went down to the river,

to see their friend Sammy, a bushy tailed beaver.

“Good Morning!” said Sammy with a big toothy smile.

“Hello!” said Marvin, “Haven’t seen you in a while.”

“I’ve been working so hard on my dam made of wood,

it’s almost finished now, do you think it looks good?”

With one look at the dam, Wally said “Wow.

I wish I could do that, but I don’t know how.

Maybe tonight I’ll wish to be a beaver too,

so I can build something beautiful, and do things like you.”

Sammy smiled, but then shook her head,

“Don’t wish to be me, be you instead!”

 

Wally sighed and Marvin said, “RIBBIT”.

“Oh Sammy,” said Wally, “You just don’t get it.

Beavers like you can build things brand new,

and birds in the trees sing beautiful tunes.  

Peacocks have feathers prettier than gold,

and tigers have stripes and a roar oh so bold.  

You all have something that makes me say ‘wow’

and all I can do is squirm on the ground.  

Maybe tonight I’ll wish I was a giraffe standing tall,

or an ocean blue whale, the biggest beast of them all.

And then tomorrow I’ll wake up something better than me,

so you’ll finally say ‘wow’ when it’s me that you see.”

 

Then Wally and Marvin wished Sammy farewell

and walked down the road ‘til they saw an anthill. 

Next to it they saw a long line of ants,

marching and carrying heavy packs on their backs.

Led by Sgt. Pepper, carrying a load thrice her size,

Marvin and Wally watched the ants in surprise.

They marched and they marched and Wally said, “Wow.

So small and so strong, but I wonder, how?

If I were an ant, I too could be strong.

I could be part of their team and march all night long.

No one would see me as just a lousy worm,

but a hard-working insect, with respect that I’d earned.”

 

Suddenly Marvin and Wally heard a voice from up high,

and a tall beautiful sunflower looked down with brown eyes.

“Oh Wally,” said the flower, “Don’t you know what you are?”

“Yes,” Wally answered, “A tiny worm, nothing more.”

 

The sunflower sighed and Marvin said, “RIBBIT”

“Oh Wally,” she said, “You just don’t get it.

You watch us flowers grow tall in the spring,

and you see our colors blossom as the birds in trees sing.

It’s because of you this forest is so green and lush.

Without little worms like you, we’d be nothing but mush.

When you dig in the dirt, it helps our seeds grow,

you make the dirt healthy for us, didn’t you know?

We all have a “wow” and they don’t look the same,

but they all have an important place and a name.

So don’t wish on stars for sharp teeth or long hair.

Don’t hope for long legs or the strength of a bear.

Everyone has a wow that is theirs alone,

so please take the time to appreciate your own.

 

Wally was speechless and Marvin said, “RIBBIT”,

then Wally squirmed and said, “Now I get it.

It doesn’t matter the size or shape I am,

it doesn’t matter I can’t hop high or build a dam.

I have my own wow in my tiny little me,

and that is all I’ll ever need to be.

So when the stars come out and the sun goes home,

I’ll be grateful for the wows I have of my own.

I’ll go to sleep with a yawn, a wiggle, and a squirm,

hoping tomorrow I wake up me, a perfect little worm.”

My Google Search History (Part 5)

Something terrible has happened.

And by terrible, I mean unhealthy.

Apparently Apple has increased the limit for the number of internet windows you are allowed to have open at one time, which has caused me, my Googling habits and my search window hoarding to spiral out of control.

While trying to figure out what I wanted to write for my blog this week, I thought, I haven’t done a Google Search History post in a while. And then I opened the internet on my phone to find upwards of 75 windows open.

Hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Plus, I like to think I can avoid some judgment by saying that many of those windows were UPS tracking on packages that were coming to my house—though that could also open a new discussion about online shopping, so we won’t go there.

After scrolling through and closing most of my open windows, these were some of my favorite searches from the last eight months or so:

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1) Chris Harrison Net Worth

Why I Googled this: This man takes over most of my Monday nights throughout the year with the best-worst show on television. His job consists of wearing suits, making rose puns and declaring every season of his show as “the most dramatic season EVER.” So naturally, I wanted to know what the guy is worth. For anyone else who is curious: it’s 12 million dollars. 

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2) This bridezilla story

Why I Googled this: I came across this insane story one day and I remember purposefully keeping the window open so that I could copy, paste and send the link to absolutely everyone I could work it into a conversation with.

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3) Desserts at Dodger Stadium

Why I Googled this: During baseball season, Dodger Stadium is practically a second home for my sister and I, and that 7th inning stretch comes in HOT with its sugar cravings. This website was a clutch find for more than just dessert cravings, as it gave us the lowdown on all kinds of eats around the stadium, including carne asada nachos and fried oreos.drooling-face_1f924

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4) Ashlee Piper Little Black Book

Why I Googled this: Last year I read a book called Give a Sh*t: Do Better, Live Better, Save the Planet and in it the author, Ashlee Piper, gave a link to a specific page on her website that provides a list of her favorite “eco-ethical, cruelty-free, animal-friendly products and resources.” I’m someone who wants to be more eco-conscious and so I was excited to find a list like this that can direct me in making more eco-friendly purchases.

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5) That Peloton commercial

Why I Googled this: I mean, I had to know what all the fuss was about.

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6) “Dramatic effect”

Why I Googled this: Do you have those words that for whatever reason you can’t remember the correct spelling and/or use of? I always struggle with past vs. passed (among others) and my sister struggles with affect vs. effect. One day she texted me asking if “dramatic effect” was correct and I quickly said, “yes!” but then double checked my work because suddenly I forgot everything I ever knew about the English language.

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7) Starbucks sizes

sizes-of-starbucks-drinks-765336-FINAL-ad968e80f9c644ddb16457df10f6352e

Why I Googled this: I am not a coffee drinker, and it is a rare occasion that I ever find myself at Starbucks without an experienced coffee companion. However, one cold morning I decided to do some writing at a Starbucks before hitting a yoga class and I found myself craving a hot chocolate. Not wanting to look like a complete idiot (or accidentally order a five gallon bucket of hot chocolate) I did a quick search to remind me which size I was looking for. (image credit)

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8) “10 best inexpensive hair dryers”

Why I Googled this: I’d reached a point with my hair dryer where I wondered not if but when it was going to spontaneously burst into flames, and so I thought it was in my best interest to buy a new one before that happened. After looking around, I ended up settling on the InfinitiPro by Conair and I have been loving it!

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9) Homemade warm compress

Why I Googled this: I got my wisdom teeth out last week and it was recommended to me by the doctor to ice for the first 24 hours and then apply warm compresses to reduce the swelling. Having gone into the surgery with little to no planning, I didn’t have any warm compresses, so I took to Google in the hopes that I could make one. Thankfully this one was quick, easy, and it didn’t involve sending my sister to the store (again).

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10) Easy overnight oats

Why I Googled this: I had long been looking for an easy, make ahead breakfast that I could feel good about eating. Not being a fan of oatmeal, I brushed recipes for overnight oats aside, but then I eventually reached a point where I decided I might as well give it a shot. Ever since that *shot*, I have made the “base” recipe (+ a handful of chocolate chips) from this website countless times. It is delicious, filling and always comes through when I’m running late in the morning.

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And there we have it! Let us all rest easy knowing that I am no longer hoarding open search windows (for now) and pretend for a moment that I’ll get better at not doing so in the future. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

 


 

You can read the previous version of this series here.

I Got My Wisdom Teeth Out (Again)

Fun fact about me: I have wonky teeth.

I wore braces throughout most of high school, and then after getting them off, I had one tooth go so rogue that I had to put them back on for a year in college.

When I was about 15 years old, I went in to get my wisdom teeth removed. While I had four, the dentist decided it was best to only remove the bottom two, because they were drilling a hole in the roof of my mouth to pull one of my teeth down from somewhere I can only describe as oblivion. (That’s another story.)

At the time, I can imagine they thought they were saving me from total mouth trauma, but I kind of wish they would have just gone for it. If they had, maybe I wouldn’t have found myself back at the dentist, almost 15 years later, hearing that my top two wisdom teeth were coming in (sideways, I might add) and that I needed to get them removed as soon as possible.

Sitting in the chair before the surgery this past Tuesday, I was nervous, but trying my best to look calm. I clutched onto my sweatshirt, which I’d been required to take off so they could put a blood pressure monitor on one arm and an IV in the other. The nurse told me I could keep the sweatshirt on my lap, so that after I woke up I could slip it right back on.

“Okay,” I said, trying my best to sound nonchalant. She seemed convinced, that is until she put a heart rate monitor on my pointer finger and it alerted the entire room that my pulse was over 100. Still, I took some deep breaths and tried to smile.

WHAT IF I DIE IN THIS CHAIR? my darkest fears wondered.

“Yes, I had a good holiday,” I said aloud to the nurse.

The doctor then told me he was going to give me the medicine that would put me to sleep, and that I would probably feel lightheaded and a little groggy. I nodded, blinked a few times at the bright light above me, and then looked down at my watch, curious how close we were to the 1:30 p.m. start time, so I could see how long the surgery took to finish. My fingers fumbled with my watch a few times, but when I was finally able to read it, I saw the time said 2:20 p.m.

I also noticed I was now in a wheelchair.

And my sweatshirt was back on.

And my mom was there.

Oh, so…I guess we’re done?

Speaking to her the day after my appointment, my mom said I looked calm, peaceful even. She said I wasn’t pale, and aside from the swollen cheeks and mounds of gauze in my mouth, my coloring and overall demeanor suggested that I was doing remarkably well.

On the drive home, we stopped at McDonald’s to get me a vanilla shake (and a spoon) so I could put something in my stomach before I started taking my medication. Going through the drive thru, I widely praised my mother’s sense of direction for choosing a McDonald’s so close to the pharmacy. I also gave her a recap of what had happened, most of which surrounded the mystery of how my sweatshirt was put back on without my noticing.

“Also,” I said, disappointed and full of sass, “I can’t believe the nurse didn’t go over the post-op instructions with me.” Because even high on laughing gas and pain medication, my priorities were rules.

“She did,” my mom said, “I think you were just distracted and you didn’t hear her.”

When we pulled into the parking lot at the pharmacy, I was holding my vanilla shake.

“I’ll be right back,” my mom said, and then I nodded, watched her walk inside, and then sat there, staring forward for about 10 minutes.

Now, I don’t remember seeing anyone else in that parking lot, but I can tell you that if someone saw me, sitting stiffly and staring unflinchingly, all while holding a vanilla shake in her left hand like a prisoner, I can imagine they probably kept walking, quickly.

While sitting there, I texted my sister: “I am out and alive and everything is moving in slow motion. Also I have a vanilla shake.” 

A summary in its purest form.

Shortly after, I arrived home, where my sister was waiting with ice packs, water, and Top Ramen. After a few hours, I asked if I looked swollen.

“Only a little,” she said, maybe truthfully, maybe kindly, but then she added, “When you first got home you were very swollen.” Which only brought new life to my vanilla clad serial killer persona in the pharmacy parking lot.

As of now, I am still a little swollen, and still eat a little bit like the squirrel I appear to be, but I am on the mend. I am spending my days mostly on the couch, watching murder documentaries and a series on YouTube where celebrities get interviewed while eating hot wings, and I spend my nights dreaming about crunchy foods and the ability to open my mouth past the halfway point. By this time next week, I imagine I will be back to nearly tip top shape, though I can’t say if I’ll ever figure out who put my sweatshirt back on.

A Nostalgic Lesson on Failure

It took my sister and I all of two days after Disney+ came out to give in and subscribe.

For some people, the draw was the backlog of Marvel movies and shows like The Mandalorian, for us it was easy access to Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

Because let’s face it, when it comes to movies made for television (and sweet sweet nostalgia) Disney Channel Original Movies are master class. The stories are simple (and at times ridiculous) but they are wholesome and weirdly empowering and full of iconic one-liners that I will quote until my dying day.

Aside from DCOM’s, Disney+ (who, regardless of how this blog may seem, is not sponsoring me) has also given us access to a variety of other Disney movies, most of which I’d completely forgotten exist.

Take Ice Princess, for example. It stars Michelle Trachtenberg (a.k.a Harriet the Spy), who plays a brainiac that takes up ice skating for a physics project, and ends up eventually pursuing it as a career, all while falling in love with a Zamboni driver named Teddy. This predictable yet undeniably adorable film is what brings me here today.

I’m a firm believer that inspiration can come from anywhere, and I’m not too proud to admit that I found it while watching this movie with my sister at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

About halfway through the movie, as Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) starts to take ice skating seriously (the decision of which creates backlash from almost everyone around her, most prominently her mom) she confronts controversial ex-skater Tina Harwood (played by Kim Cattrall) and asks her to be her coach. When Tina bluntly states that she doesn’t think Casey has what it takes, Casey replies, “If I fail, I fail, but it will be because I wasn’t good enough, not because I didn’t have the guts.”

This line struck a chord in me, and I immediately wrote it down.

As hard as it is to admit, we are not destined to succeed in everything we do, and we are not always going to be the best, even when we give it absolutely everything we have. But sometimes it’s not about being the best, it’s not about winning, it’s not even about getting exactly what you want. It’s about knowing you did everything you could, gave everything you had, and didn’t let your fears hold you back. It’s about having the guts to try, and when things don’t work out, to try again, maybe in a different way, or maybe on a completely different path.

I know I’ve both put off and completely given up pursuing certain projects or passions solely because I was scared I would fail. But at the end of the day, failing is never going to be the worst thing you can do, and it is never going to hurt more than never knowing what you could do.

So today I’d just like to encourage you to go for it. To try and then to try again. Your win is out there, and it’s waiting for you on the other side of fear. So give it your all, and see where it takes you.