the one with falling stars.

There is something to be said for the profound peacefulness that comes with the arrival of snow.  Whether it is the fluffy, light powder that sprinkles like a glitter shower, or the heavy wet flakes that cling to helpless strands of hair exposed by the flaps of a fur hat, the snow combines the soft silence of wind with the faint echo of chimes that can only be heard by stopping to listen.  The orchestra of noises grows with the crunch made below weathered rubber boots, sniffles and inhales from frozen noses, and the occasional cracking of a frozen branch.  And to look up at the sky one falls witness to the mirage of falling stars that can be caught on tongues and eyelashes.

When we are children, the snow represents a shock of excitement as a conditioned response to the phone call in hopes of hearing school is cancelled on account of the weather.  I don’t think it really changes once we get older – you still wait for the phone call, you still end up back in bed with a book or a movie or the dog, and you are more than likely to enjoy your lazy day without giving it much thought as to what you should or could be doing with this miraculous get out of work free card.

With the snowy weather at its peak, it is important to make the most of the blizzards, cold and ice, as despite the messy floors and frozen fingers and toes, the snow always seems to carry with it a fresh clean slate, a sense of innocence, and a good dose of relaxation. 

(1) Always go outside at least once when it snows.  Stand on the front porch, stick your head out a window, walk to the mailbox…the smell of snow is like a combination of fresh air, cinnamon, the initial sting of mint gum, and clean laundry, and one deep inhale may add goose bumps but can also allow for a second or two of simple content.

(2) A good pair of gloves is probably the best cold weather accessory.  Cold hands can make the entire body shiver, and a pair that allows for some finger motion and a lack of permanent frozen fingers can be the key to surviving a good day of sledding or a walk with the dog.

(3) Spending time on the computer or other electronics can be the primary instinct when curled up inside to avoid the weather.  It certainly was me.  However, I have also found that the most crying laughter or swapping of stories can occur over a board game or baking or all piling into the biggest bed in the house and playing a game of 20 Questions.

(4) Chapstick and good lotion are another key tool in the winter survival kit.

(5) You can never have too many cups of hot chocolate, coffee or tea when its freezing outside, and the key to an amazing hot drink is a great mug, and extra whipped cream or marshmallows!

Snow remains unpredictable, magical, challenging, and beautiful – make sure to take the extra moment to witness the falling stars.

 

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the one with random little moments.

I am a big believer in life’s “random little moments”.  Whenever I eat a Dove chocolate, I feel the need to carefully salvage the wrapper to read the few words of advice as if they are predicting my future or unearthing a secret (sometimes neglecting to eat the chocolate).  I always make a wish on fallen eyelashes or as a response to the clock striking 11:11.  I am a frequently lucky penny picker-uper.  And more often than not, my music choices can predict the mood I’m in.  But these are the small moments, and every once and a while a bigger once comes along that challenges me to pause for a second.

These are life’s “random bigger moments,” when that light bulb clicks or something in your head tells you to pay extra attention to the next few seconds of an experience.  These are the moments that create new ideas for the exponential bucket list developing on a wearing page of my yellow leather journal.  These are the moments that contribute classifying my character as a dreamer.  For example, while running my first half marathon, I had a “moment” on mile 11 as I passed by random stranger after random stranger like a blurry watercolor and realized my next step was to run 26.2.  The countless campfire jam sessions during my time abroad escalated my passion for music and sparked a curiosity to expand my knowledge of instruments.  Simple dinner chatter that escalates into a deeper conversation of hopes and fears and interests always exemplify the value of friendship.

With the holidays coming and going and the final few days of the year not far behind, I can’t help but reflect on the moments of the year, as well as the moments to be made.  

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the first one.

Blogging is a lot like working out.  If you’re like me, you really want to do it and know you will enjoy it, but it takes that extra push every now and then, and sometimes a post-it reminder or a line on the to do list.  Once you finally decide to act, you face the next obstacle in the process: choosing what to do…the classic route, the change up, or every now and then something outside the lines (such as going for the 12 lbs. free weights while the baseball team surrounds you in in the gym bench pressing more than your weight…this has since become my typical Tuesday morning routine).  Then you find your groove – to me this is the best part and where my best work results from.  In exercise, this may be hitting mile 4 of a trail run and realizing you could confidently go for another 4; in blogging, it would be crafting the witty comment to transform your post, or discovering the perfect way to describe what you are feeling.  When you finally reach the end of the workout, you feel rewarded, a sense of accomplishment, and wonder why it may have taken that extra push or that post-it to get you going in the first place.

Blogging is a lot like working out.  I love to write, but sometimes it takes a little extra push to sit down and transform my jumbled, creative, widespread thoughts into words to reflect on and phrases to live by.  The most tangible form of creative writing I have is my quote journal, filled with song lyrics, phrases from the Pinterest quote board and random thoughts read in books that caused me to read them more than once.

While on Pinterest recently scrolling through random photos as part of my pre-bed time routine that also includes checking Instagram, losing all my lives in Candy Crush and setting multiple alarms for the morning in anticipation of overusing the snooze button, I came across a simple quote photo that stated, “Be Fearlessly Authentic”.  For the past 2 weeks, I have wanted to begin blogging but had no idea what to name my blog.  I began with the classic google search, “good blog names,” assuming somewhere out there in the world wide web would have posted something helpful.  Instead, I came across a website asking me to type some of my favorite words and activities into a box, and suggestions would be generated.  My high expectations shortly disappeared all together when my words including running, music, curiosity, travel, and life to name a few became Flavored Running and Lively Musicmania.  Nothing against blog name generators, but I wasn’t feeling the first round of results.  I wanted something unique, original, and general enough to cover whatever I will end up writing about.  Needless to say, the Pinterest quote was the clear winner.

I plan to blog as a curious intellectual, a child at heart, a passionate sports fan, and an artist who sees the shades of grey and colors outside the lines.  I plan to blog as a fearless authentic.

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