Break Another Rule

Mmmk. It’s officially passed the middle of September and today, because it was cloudy and rainy after a string of 90 degree days, I broke my rule and had a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Half the pumps. As if removing half the sugar makes it so I’m not quite cheating on my October rule.

Then I realized, ‘Hey, I’m the one who makes that rule and I’m the one who breaks it.’

So, I enjoyed every delicious sip.

I’m going to break another rule and continue this little resistance challenge until the middle of October. We just passed the 250 mark and I want to see how far we can get!

Here’s to breaking rules of our own making, sipping pumpkin spice lattes, and thinking of beautiful things. Thank you to the following contributors!

#214 My daughter is currently snuggled up next to me reading a book
#215 My son is rebelling by staying up late to read
#216 I have a comfy loveseat to snuggle my people on

#214 – #223 Contributed by Melody Shaddix
#224 Parents who gave me encouragement as a child and as an adult
#225 My grandchildren who melt my heart
#226 My adult children as parents
#227 Relationships with my sibs
#228 My relationship with the father of my children
#229 Laughter
#230 Prayer!!
#231 Seeing Ireland
#232 Finding fabric for sewing
#233 Exploring for treasures
#224 – #233 Contributed by Diane Holschbach

#234 A dog dreaming
#235 A big yummy latte with a heart on the top
#236 Having my Mom close and being able to live life with her as she grows older
#237 Ireland! If you’ve been there you know what I mean
#238 Colorado sunrises and sunsets
#239 Family celebrations
#240 My cat bringing me a toy mouse and dropping it at my feet
#241 The sound of rustling leaves on a windy, crisp but sunny day
#242 Silence
#243 My bed especially when I am exhausted

#234 – 243 Contributed by Barb Sullivan

#244 forehead kisses
#245 when your daughter says, “I love you”
#246 crisp mountain air (dreaming of fall while in South Texas haha)
#247 a really good cup of coffee
#248 reunions/visits #249 an empty journal and a full journal
#250 handwritten letters
#251 a rare date night with the hubby
#252 that quiet moment in the wings before going on stage
#253 God’s grace and strength to do hard things

#244 – #253 Contributed by Hannah Requa

#253 my beautiful wife
#254 my house
#255 my parents and my family
#256 my new Porsche
#257 I have a reliable Subaru
#258 Good friends at work that get through tough days with me
#259 I’ve got a cute dog
#260 Golf when it’s nice
#261 Summer softball … Fall too
#262 Adventures on the calendar

#253 – #262 Contributed by Dylan Huey

#263 I am thankful for my wife … she challenges me every day
#264 That my son is happy
#265 My amazing daughter in law (DIL)
#266 That I am pain free and able to hike and still climb mountains
#267 I live in Colorado … and all it has to offer
#268 I love ALL 4 season
#269 I got to work with my dad for 20 years
#270 I have a little money in my pocket
#271 Ice cold beer and a burger
#272 Sports teams to cheer for

#263 – #272 Contributed by Mike Huey


Are you ready to send me your list? Put down 5-10 things going right in your world and email me at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com. Let’s get resisting.

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Eating Salmon Instead

They’d have their things. We’d have ours.

They went to Europe.

We went to a baseball game.

They went to Burning Man.

We finished the details of planning my wedding.

That’s how it always was. My brave, adventurous brother, full of wander lust, would convince my mom to abandon her creature comforts and go on outings of epic proportions.

Dad and me? We’d stay home.

Watch old cowboy movies and eat cheeseburgers from Chili’s. Paint walls, organize things, eat breakfast at diners and make waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

This week they’re going to Spain.

And I’m here, wishing you were too, because they went on an adventure and you went home to heaven instead.

I panicked slightly when my mom sent her last text on U.S. soil. Gulping loudly in the office, I told myself to breathe. Anxiety suppressed by therapist induced mantras – I am safe and nothing bad is going to happen while they are away and we can live full, beautiful lives in our own unique ways.

I still worry about where people are and the next time I’ll talk to them and when, by God, we all can just arrive safely in our beds.  I know it isn’t a good use of my mental energy – wondering if people are safe – and so this week I’m repeating over and over God, I turn my loved ones over to you.

This trusting, it feels hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

Tonight, I was planning on going to yoga and when working meetings went late I retreated home. I passed on watching a softball game and cooked a delicious dinner for myself instead. I poured a glass of wine – more anxiety suppression. And I sit now, eating my food, wondering how I’m supposed to acknowledge today’s National Cheeseburger Day and you were not here.

They’re in Spain. It’s National Cheeseburger Day. I’m eating salmon instead.

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So I write, sharing my story and hope you see my words just like others do. That you’re still here, in my heart and my memories and you’d be proud of the way I lined the pan with foil so the fish skin doesn’t stick to the metal.

I’ve got my own adventure planned – we leave soon – and we, too, will bravely chase our dreams into foreign cities.

You probably would have stayed home anyway.

New adventures … healthy dinners … white wine … missing you.

All beautiful things.

 

 

 

Count the Puppies

It’s becoming obvious to me that I hang out with and/or attract dog people. VERY few folks have commented they are thankful for their cats. If that’s you, you better send me your list because the puppy people are clearly winning here. Can you count how many times they’ve shown up on the list?

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Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Thank you to the following contributors for sharing their beautiful things – things going right, right now. We’ve now surpassed 200 (!) beautiful things and we’re halfway through the month.

Ready to share yours? Send me an email at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com.

#143 Blue, blue skies
#144 A job that I love going to
#145 Flowers from my garden
#146 Spending time with my mom
#147 Eating outside
#148 Spending time with my son & daughter-in-law
#149 Evening bike rides with my husband
#150 Children
#151 The courage to voice my feelings
#152 Family that is always there for me

#143 – #152 Contributed by Cathy Huey

# 153 First sip of coffee in the morning
#154 An unexpected exchange of smiles with a stranger
#155 Finding a dollar in the pockets of an old jeans
#156 A good, hearty and yummy breakfast
#157 Sunsets on the beach

#153 – #157 Contributed by @jamnesreen

#158 I work with an amazing group of women like your mother in-law that uplift me every single day and make me want to be a better teacher and person.
#159 I live in a state where I am surrounded by beauty & can appreciate it every day.
#160 We have 2 amazing children that are adopted from Korea who remind me constantly of the beauty of family and the power of love.
#161 Pumpkin spice Latte!
#162 Beautiful sunrises/sunsets that remind me to stop and live in the beauty of the possibilities of a new day.
#163 Students who teach me more about life and happiness than I could ever teach them

#158 – #163 Contributed by Jen Weaver

#164 petting random, nice dogs
#165 rain at night while I’m sleeping
#166 new book or a really old book
#167 the food you’ve been craving all day
#168 stars in the mountains (no light pollution)
#169 the first cup of coffee in the morning
#170 bubble baths
#171 buying yourself flowers just because
#172 puppy snuggles
#173 meeting up with new friends

#164 – #173 Contributed by Alyssa Oligmueller

#174 friendship that feels like home
#175 siblings contagious laughter together
#176 handmade pottery
#177 dirt covered potatoes freshly dug from the ground
#178 soft light of morning right before the sun comes up
#179 gleeful toddler running
#180 stumbling into community with people that challenge you to love and think bigger #181 sisters for friends
#182 self-stick stamps
#183 the quiet that opens to a day of fullness
#184 toddler’s arms hugging around my neck

#174 – #184 Contributed by @Cushfamily on Instagram

#185 my family
#186 living in Colorado
#187 I’m still here
#188 I can still get around and walk
#189 the fact that I have my own house

#185 – #189 Contributed by my Grandma Charlotte

#190 Emma got her woodchipping badge in Boy Scouts
#191 My children are free of cancer
#192 The kids get their expanders off in December
#193 Car has 220,000 miles on it and it still runs great

#190 – #193 Contributed by my Uncle Keith

#194 glitter toenail polish
#195 puppies
#196 authentic people who aren’t afraid to “go there”
#197 connecting with strangers
#198 strangers becoming friends
#199 a thick chocolate shake
#200 water still warm enough to swim in in September
#201 leaves starting to change
#202 a seat on a crowded subway
#203 waking up before my alarm clock

#194 – #203 Contributed by Millet Israeli

#204 Our joyful snuggly puppy!
#205 A wonderful job with great coworkers
#206 The Gathering- dinner with friends and an uplifting message!
#207 Bible study with my group of women who are there for me always!
#208 Concert at Red Rocks, best venue ever!
#209 Dad/Daughter dates for husband & daughters
#210 Photography day trip with my daughter
#211 Morning walk to coffee shop
#212 Farmers market & Fall Art Festival
#213 Family time in God’s beauty of Fall colors in CO!

#204 – #213 Contributed by Lynne Goldmann


What’s on your list? When you are ready to contribute, follow these guidelines and send me an email. Let’s get resisting!

First, take a listen

It’s Saturday. The air is crisp, the coffee is brewing, my comforter is cozy and later laundry will whir away. Before my to-dos I turn on piano music and I sit, compiling this growing list of beautiful things readers and friends are sending me. We’re ALMOST up to 150! We’ve got a ways to go, but not a bad start. Grab your coffee, inhale deeply, start this tune.

 

Read this list of good in the world and then write your very own. More instructions are here. Send it to me and I’ll feature it here next time. Happy Saturday.

#97 There are so many great books out there that I can read whenever I want to
#98 The Great British Baking Show
#99 I have had and will have more opportunities to travel to wonderful new places around the world
#101 Parents who I know will be there for me and support me no matter what
#102 Just an awesome family all around
#103 An awesome dinner just waiting in the fridge for me to make it
#104 A community of bloggers that supports each other
#105 I am finally doing something that I love and writing about my travels and experiences
#106 Friends that are awesome people and who inspire my to be my best self every day

#97 – 106 Contributed by @QuietGrlLoudWrd

#107 Technology like Marco Polo and FaceTime that help us keep in contact with loved ones near and far
#108 Rural roads with beautiful sunsets in the rear view mirror
#109 Social workers- I’m so thankful to know some of the very best and feel honored to work alongside incredible humans who choose to walk the hills and valleys with anyone in need of a helping hand.
#110 Laugh attacks with friends
#111 Pickle wrap dip
#112 Holding the door for a stranger
#113 A good workout to release the stress
#114 A thermos of fresh coffee on a fall morning drive to work
#115 Football season
#116 Random acts of kindness

#107 – 116 Contributed by Katie Vodraska

#117 Holding a baby
#118 Lying in the grass looking at clouds
#119 brand new book that 10 pages in you can’t put down and know is a keeper
#120 Baking bread
#121 A good movie on a rainy day
#122 Helping a friend
#123 A bookstore
#124 A long shower after a hard days work in the yard
#125 Knowing your purpose and living it
#126 An unplanned day

#117 – #126 Contributed by Suzanne Moughon

#127 I have a gorgeous, accomplished daughter
#128 My daughter is my travel buddy
#129 For every day
#130 I’ve never met a stranger
#131 Moments of peace
#132 Watching Gossip Girl reruns at age 60
#133 Jethrow Gibbs on NCIS
#134 Ancestors that went before me
#135 Wool sweaters … actually all sweaters

#127 – #135 Contributed by Julie Beaubian

#136 The ability to redefine and reform friendships
#137 Modern Medicine
#138 Therapy
#139 Wine
#140 Friends you’ve chosen to be family
#141 To be curious and open about the world
#142 French fries and popcorn and tacos
#143 Friends who accept where you’re at
#144 Baby Snuggles

#136 – #144 Contributed by Katie Beaubian


Let’s keep resisting. Instructions on how you can participate in this effort are here.

If you like the idea, please share!

I remember … and now I understand.

It’s September 11th. Seventeen years ago I was twelve when my dad was driving me to school. He was trying to chat my way out of my pre-teen morning grump with a joke when he paused.

“Turn up the radio,” he said.

I had no idea why he got so serious, so quickly.

I still remember what intersection we were at and I absorbed his somber energy.

I remember watching news footage over and over and over again that day.

I remember not understanding the severity of the day, but knowing that this horrific attack would influence us as a generation, as a world, forever.

Seventeen years of national grief.

This year, that same news footage has me thinking. Anniversaries of the death of loved ones are hard enough. I can’t imagine how it feels to have it being played out on t.v. on repeat.

I’m sad for those who lost loved ones that day. I’m sad for those still healing.

I remember and now, perhaps worse, I’m beginning to understand.

The gut wrenching feeling of loss. It sucks you into a hole and drags you into the darkness. All those clips of buildings crumbling, people falling, smoke consuming those who were trying to run away. Trauma lingers on the news, in our nation, seeping into our hearts.

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Go hug your loved ones – our time is short – make lists of beautiful things.

Here are #46 – in the Resistance of a Different Kind movement. Can you help us get to 1,000?

#46 and # 47 – 2 beautiful daughters – one for each
#48 A loving husband
#49 A roof over my head
#50 God who surrounds me with love each day

#46 – 50 Contributed by Elizabeth Timpe

#51 Silence after a long day
#52 My cat curling up in my lap and purring
#53 Having random moments of appreciation towards life
#54 Long sleep
#55 Cake

#51 – 55 Contributed by @lemonzandtea

#56 hugs
#57 fall colors
#58 crisp, cool air
#59 bike rides
#60 sunsets
#61 football games
#62 reading
#63 puppy breath & just puppies
#64 date night
#65 transitions (positively looking at change, trying to admire learning experiences & acknowledge the growth- easier said than done)

#56 – 65 Contributed by Donell Betts

#66 Buying a ticket to see a musical which is one of my most dear pleasures in all the world
#67 Calling my mom whenever I want and knowing she will listen to everything I have to say
#68 Feeling okay enough every day to do one thing to further my goals.
#69 Watering my plants and watching them grow. And talking to them until I feel more than a little crazy
#70 Sleeping until I wake up (on the weekends)
#71 Planning outfits for fall.
#72 Having good health and choosing to respect it.
#73 Cooking dinner for my friends.
#74 Writing my truth and sharing it with others.
#75 California avocados. I grew up in the Midwest, you know what I mean.

#66 – 75 Contributed by Meg Schmidt,
Writer and Executive Producer of Hello Humans

#76 Smelling something in the oven
#77 The first signs of fall
#78 Knowing a poem by heart
#79 Aspen trees
#80 Buttered toast
#81 Church bells ringing in the distance
#82 Freshly washed sheets
#83 Staying home when it rains
#84 Handwritten recipes
#85 Taking a step

#76 – 85 Contributed by Zoë Trout

#86 warm summer nights with fireflies in the trees
#87 sharing a spot on the front porch with a friend during a thunderstorm
#88 a warm fuzzy blanket
#89 being silly
#90 singing in the car at the top of my lungs
#91 a shared smile with a dear loved-one
#93 a new pen to write with
#94 dragonflies
#95 looking someone in the eye saying “don’t change a thing” … and meaning it

#86 – 95 Contributed by Carri Adcock

#96 We just jammed to Bohemian Rhapsody as a family in the car

#96 Contributed by Heather Anderson


When you’re ready to contribute your list, send me an email or leave a comment of your 5-10 beautiful things. Details about this movement are here – I can’t do it without you.

 

 

#1 – #45

 

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.”― Elsie de Wolfe (2)

It’s Friday!

As you, hopefully, know I started a little challenge for us to create a list of 1,000 beautiful things in an effort to combat the nasty swirling around us. Not sure what I’m alluding to – read this post first.

I’m thrilled people are responding. Here’s the list so far. Think on these things at work, in the carpool lane, when gritting your teeth at the customer who can’t seem to stop yelling at you.  It’s out there – the good, the beautiful, the bold. May I suggest reading while listening to this song by The Fray?

#1 Peanut butter M&Ms
#2 Long, handwritten letters
#3 Nostalgia
#4 Carousels
#5 Bohemian Rhapsody
#6 Wendy’s frosties
#7 Honeysuckle
#8 Punch with Sherbet in it
#9 Summertime
#10 New beginnings

#1 – 10 Contributed by Lindsay Song

#11 – A dog curled up next to me keeping me warm
#12 – There are free apple trees all over the city, we’re picking them this weekend so they don’t go to waste, and they’ll provide snacks and syrup for us all year long
#13 – The leaves are starting to change
#14 – Dylan’s dad is making serious progress on Nathan’s house
#15 When the cream is swirling in your morning coffee
#16 – Fresh baked bread – specifically this recipe

#11 – 16 Contributed by Tegan Plock

#17 literature
#18 a spiritual path
#19 chocolate
#20 art
#21 music
#22 cookbooks

#17 – 22 Contributed by Christine Christman

#23 Friends with different political beliefs but still being able to get along
#24 crisp autumn days
#25 new lipstick
#26 holding hands with someone you love
#27 traveling to new places

#23 – 27 Contributed by Brittany Larsen

#28 The heavy breathing of sleeping babies
#29 Coffee shops with great decor
#30 The feeling when the song you’ve been wanting to hear comes on the radio
#31 Amazon Prime wardrobe instead of clothes shopping with two small children
#32 Highwaisted jeans are in style
#33 It never fails to make me smile – the way my two-year-old son says toot/tooted/tooting #34 I married across the aisle, and if we can continue to believe the best of each other, there is hope for the rest of us yet
#35 Gyms with childcare
#36 yoga
#37 that there is just so much possibility

#28 – 37 Contributed by Emily Alman

#38 There’s food in my fridge
#39 Grocery stores and corner markets sell bouquets of fresh flowers all over the world #40 Candy corn
#41 text messages with loved ones
#42 acoustic guitars
#43 writers
#44 creatives
#45 believers in beautiful things

#38 – 45 Contributed by me on the launch

Let’s keep resisting the notion that bad is all there is.  Ready to add your contribution to the list? Jot down 5-10 things that are going right in your world RIGHT now. Send me an email or leave a comment on the blog. If you prefer to be anonymous, that’s fine!

To resisting together!

 

 

Resistance of a Different Kind

We live in crazy times. Each time I open CNN (which I KNOW I should not type that into my browser.. but I can’t help it) my stomach drops.

Oh, you too?

Yeah, I know I’m not alone.

Maybe you’re reading important Op-Ed pieces.

Maybe you are cleaning out your closets and burning your shoes.

Maybe you are showing up for protests and teaching your kids how to make homemade signs.

Maybe you are sharing viral videos with the hopes of likes and comments and conversation.

Maybe you are angry, hurt, scared and turning hateful instead of hopeful.

My spinning head can not keep up with headlines, hurting hearts, and heavy reminders of the work we have yet to do.

A friend of a friend wrote this article drawing upon the lessons from Harry Potter in this era of Trump. I, too, was eleven when Harry meekly came onto the scene, gaining power in his own abilities, his skills, and his uniqueness.

His voice taught my generation to resist opression, darkness and death eaters, much like Malia says, with our own ordinary abilities.

I’m not shouting on streets and I’m not making signs. I am clicking on articles and watching disheartening videos, and I’m swirling with how do I, a perfectly ordinary person, resist this?

With whispers of beautiful things.

I’ve decided for the month of September to invite you, my readers, to join me in making lists of things going well in your life right now. Yes, it may feel a total shit show out there, but in my house, my world is calm. Imperfect, but calm.

 I believe we can create peace if we start in our hearts, refusing to believe the doom and gloom and crazy chaos of an aching world is all there is. 

No, I’m not discounting the craziness, nor am I naively saying that making lists of good and beautiful things makes things better. It can, however, make things bearable.

Interested in joining the resistance?

 

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Send me a list of five to ten things going right in your world and I’ll share it on the blog. You can scratch it down on paper, shoot me an email at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com or leave a comment here.

Think a gratitude list mixed with a light saber to fight off the darkness.

I’ll go through the month of September. I’m hoping for 1000 total beautiful things. That means 100 people have to send me a list of 10 items.

For tonight?

  • There’s food in my fridge
  • Grocery stores and corner stands and open-air markets all over the world sell bouquets of fresh flowers
  • Candy corn
  • Text messages with loved ones
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Writers
  • Creatives
  • Believers in beautiful things

Send me an email, let’s get resisting.