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Conversations on Thoughtfulness

January 20, 2016

This post is going to start off sounding like a sappy humblebrag of how sweet my husband is, but it's not, and I'm going somewhere by the end of this post. It's kind of a long one, so stick with me.

A few days ago, J came home from running an errand with the above plant in tow, along with a very sweet "just because I love you" card. It was completely random. He wasn't making up for anything; it wasn't my birthday, and it wasn't an anniversary of any kind. I call it a plant (it's actually a Hyacinth) (and probably my new favorite flower) because on day one, it was full of tiny green bulbs, none of which had started to bloom. I stuck it by the window and figured it would take about a week to sprout, but no. On day two, it looked like the first photo above. The second photo is how it looked on day three. Now it's sprouting all over the place, but I didn't have good lighting to snap a similar picture yesterday. It bloomed so fast! I get why women are often compared to flowers. One day we're flying under the radar, ingonito, but give us a little love and light, then boom. *Chaka Kahn's I'm Every Woman plays in the background.

Overused metaphors aside, it was super sweet of J to grab some random flowers he had never even heard of just because he knew I'd like them. He does stuff like this pretty often. However, and this is a big however, this wasn't always the case. You know how you'll see a social media post with the caption "my love bought me [insert sweet yet slightly enviable item here] just because it's Thursday!" or "my honey made me [insert elaborate breakfast here] and brought it to the bed this morning!" or "I was feeling down so my love took me to [insert fancypants place here] to cheer me up!"? Everyone has seen these kinds of posts (this is where that problematic #RelationshipGoals hashtag comes into play), and it's tempting to sip the haterade, but honestly, when someone you love does something thoughtful and caring, it's definitely worth sharing.

[Insert sermon or thinkpiece on how it's easy to see a picture, read a caption, and size up the quality of a couple's relationship here]. [Speak about how obviously we all know social media posts are not always the most accurate representation of real life here]. [Personally admit here that I still have thoughts like that sure would be nice every now and then when those posts appear].

My Own Little Reminder of Dr. King's Legacy

January 18, 2016

I grew up just outside of Detroit, in the small town of Pontiac, Michigan. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday wasn't as widely "celebrated" by most of the institutions there (not in the 90s. This may now be different). My mom worked in the hospital pretty much all her life, and my dad ran his own business, so every day game as a work day for my parents. They never really stayed home in observance of this day. It was significant and celebrated, to an extent, but as a kid who went to a predominantly white, private grade school. It was just another day for me. My school was always in session, and for a child, you can't consider it an important holiday if you still have to attend school. 

Now, here I am, a grown woman living in the birth place and hometown of Martin Luther King Jr. himself. I've stood on the porch of the house he grew up in, i've been inside of the original Ebeneezer Baptist Church, and I've physically felt the atmosphere of his legacy in a way I never felt until I moved to Atlanta. It's an indescribable feeling.

Raven Turned One Year Old

January 14, 2016
By today's share-everything-online standards, I've been a bad pet parent. My Raven turned one year old almost two months ago, and not nary a social update was made. To make up for it, I'm sharing the random story of how she became my fur baby.

My pibble mix (part Pit Bull, part Labrador Retriever) was found all alone in a ditch on the side of an unpaved road, near the small town of Dothan, Alabama. In early March (2015), an animal lover was driving by and scooped her from the cold. Since the pup was super friendly, and probably hoping the woman had food, she didn't even try to run away. Instead, she let the woman take her home, feed her, and introduce her to their five other dogs. Yep. FIVE.

The family had a lot of pets, which is why they couldn't permanently take on another one. So the daughter, Rebecca, took to Tumblr for help finding her a furever home. As fate would have it, I was randomly scrolling the #puppy tag on Tumblr that evening, because c'mon, who doesn't love looking at puppies just for fun. I came across Rebecca's post and was instantly smitten. She was the cutest thing!
"Hey followers! I don’t have many of you but I’d like a little help. My mom found this puppy a couple days ago on the side of the road. I’ve started calling her Raven. Anyway, we can’t take on another animal. We have too many as is but we can’t take her too shelter because she might be a pitbull. Raven is a little shy at first when you meet her but then warms up to you. She doesn’t like being alone because she was most likely dropped off and left. She needs needs a good home. Keep in mind that Raven is a puppy and requires a lot of work. I live in the state of Alabama near the city of Dothan. Help me find this puppy a new home."
Out of curiosity, I googled how far Dothan was from Atlanta: 3.5 hours. For the life of me, I don't know what possessed me to reach out. I was in no way prepared to raise a puppy. I wasn't even searching the #puppy tag in hopes of finding a puppy for myself. I was living alone (not married yet) in a one bedroom apartment, had never, ever owned a pet (unless goldfish count) (?), and I didn't know the first thing about house training, crate training, vaccinations, etc. All I knew was, I had lots of free time on my hands, Raven was cute, and she wasn't that far away.

Well... one thing lead to another... and that weekend Meredith and I drove to Columbus, the halfway point between Dothan and Atlanta, to meet Rebecca and Raven. She was a wild one at first. It was clear she had no real or formal training, and she was huge. I took her to the vet, and they estimated her to be 4 months old according to her teeth. At that time, she was already 40lbs. Thankfully, she received a perfect bill of health from the doc, and we were on our way to becoming best friends. Or so I thought...

Raven was a tough puppy to housebreak, and crate train, and get to calm down. She was thee most stubborn puppy! She definitely has an alpha personality, and it took a while for her to learn she's not in charge. I'm not going to lie, there were many times I contemplated getting rid of her. I looked into Paws Atlanta, the Humane Society, and Craigslist for a way out of the puppy mess I got myself into. And by mess I'm speaking figuratively and literally; I've cleaned the carpet more times than I can count. But eventually, the good days started to outweigh the bad, and she finally learned who's boss around here (and to let me know when she has to go potty).

She's still extremely hyperactive, so I've been trying to get better about our daily walks, but in general she's calmed down significantly. I'm so glad I decided to ride it out. She's the sweetest, most loving and protective little (read: big) thing, and she's surprisingly good with kids. Raising a puppy is NO JOKE, especially big ones. At one year old, she's around 85-90lbs, and according to the vet she might not be done growing. Apparently larger breeds aren't considered adults until at least 2 years old. Another thing I didn't know before deciding to adopt her. You live and you learn.

This was a much longer post than I anticipated, but I realized I never shared the story of how she joined the family. (Imagine how long the "birth story" will be for my first kid, which isn't coming any time soon, btw. Although everyone around me keeps checking for my ovaries). One day I'll have to recap the story of How I Met My Husband ;)

ETA: I'm absolutely LOVING the 50mm 1.8 lens. I also can't believe my model sat still long enough for me to snap these. #winning.

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My 2016 Stride

January 8, 2016

I supposed I'm overdue for a 2016 update, seeing as we're a whole 8 days in. Once again, I was asleep before the clock struck 12am on January 1. It was a snoozefest over in the Active Spirit household, but the weekend picked up for this year's Passion Conference at Philips Arena. The place was packed (every seat in the house was filled), and even though I was exhausted by the end, it was so much fun helping out with one of the many teams that help put the whole thing together.

In other news, I still haven't hit my 2016 stride yet. My morning routine is off, I'm hitting snooze way more than usual, I've hardly been in the mood to cook, and I didn't open my laptop for the year until late last night. Even my dog has been on her best behavior lately, which is completely out character for her.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

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Resolutions Are Being Made.

December 30, 2015

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Well. It's that time of year again. All the 2015 roundups are in full swing on social media, and new resolutions are being made. I checked in with my resolutions from last year, and I stuck to 3 out of 5: I learned to put down the tweezers (although I had an unfortunate threading experience a few months back, so now I'm re-growing the brows out. AGAIN.), I started drinking way, way, wayyy more water (much of this has been seltzer water, but still), and I've gotten really good at responding to to texts/voicemails in a more timely manner. 

Maybe if I whittle the list down to 3 intentions this year, I'll fare better this time around. Let's see...

Merry Christmas, Baby.

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve!

I went to my first semi-formal Christmas party ever this past weekend. It was hosted by Passion City at the Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta, and my would-be date had to work, so I flew solo. That's nothing new for me, I've always been a lone ranger of sorts. The hardest part was not being able to hit the dance floor. I'm rarely in the mood to dance a parties, but with a band as good as The City Heat, I really felt like I was missing out! They played all the soulful classics: Otis Redding's Merry Christmas Baby, Donny Hathaway's This Christmas, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough... Whew! I'm in the mood to bust a move just thinking about it, and every member of the band sounded amazing - the trumpet player, the sax player, both bass players, the drummer, the keyboard player, and all three lead singers who took turns in the spotlight.


December 21, 2015

Today marks the last day of Autumn, 2015. Back in October, I went to brunch with my friend Laura and made it my mission to do brunch more often this season. Since then, I've been to Another Broken Egg (did not blog - so in theory, it did not actually happen) (?), Waffle House (does this one really count?) Le Petit Marche, and lastly, Oy! on this past Saturday

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