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Gee, ATL Snow Whaddya Know?

1 Feb

I break my blogging silence to bring you a little piece produced in the wake of Atlanta’s very own Snow Jam 2014. Enjoy.

Snow

ATL Snow Daze

Gee, Meet Anne Lamott the Word Whisperer

14 Nov

On Monday evening, my dad and I had the honor of seeing my all-time favorite author Anne Lamott speak at First Baptist Church in Decatur. She is traveling across the country on a book tour for her new nonfiction book called “Stitches“.  My dad bought me a pre-signed copy at the event, and I can’t wait to read it and let her words wash over me like a refreshing wave of brutal honesty. Her writing always serves my soul up with a good spiritual pep talk.

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I first fell in love with Anne’s work and her raw voice when I read her nonfiction book “Bird by Bird” in my creative writing class during my senior year of high school. I am eternally grateful to my dear teacher and mentor, Mr. Bill Waters of the Bryn Mawr School, for introducing me to this amazing artist of an author who has become such a beacon of inspiration to me over the years. I was astounded by how this woman was able to pinpoint the precise words and craft the perfect metaphors to capture emotions and articulate faith. She has no shame in her expression, and she is boldly self-deprecating in her brilliance. She openly discusses her battles, both big and small, with everything from addiction to cellulite. Because of this honest and relatable style of hers, she has won over the hearts of her readers.

This fan following was out in full force on Monday evening. My dad and I arrived around 6:30 for the 7:00pm event, and the place was positively packed. Anne quietly emerged at the front of the church in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, casual and real (I would have been both shocked and disappointed had she come out in a fine tailored suit). She spoke candidly about the difficult process of putting yourself back together after tremendous loss. Inspired by the tragic events of the Newtown shootings, Stitches, she told us, was written for the bad days. There is no roadmap or recipe for how to get better or “snap out of it”. You must grieve in your own way – whether that be surrounding yourself with people to distract you, or sitting alone under a blanket with Tootsie pops. The beauty of life is that there are wonderful, gracious people who are compassionate enough to put you back together.

I felt like a giddy little kid while waiting in line to meet my literary hero. I nervously plotted out what I would do and say. I had already purchased a pre-signed copy of her book… should I just ask her to sign again under the existing signature? I got up to the table, book in hand, and decided to have her sign one of the concluding pages of the hardback book – one of those buffer pages before the acknowledgement, printed with a beautiful texture that looks like a pattern of burnt squares. She remarked at how beautiful the page was. “I never get there in my books,” she said. She even finished off her signature with a little heart. I could feel the tears welling up as I took the book in my hands and said, “Thank you – you’ve really gotten me through some tough times.”

AL

It’s difficult to put into words just how it felt to meet this person who has been such a mythical character – a best friend of a stranger with whom I have become so connected through the way that she feels and expresses herself in her words. I am consistently awed by her magical gift of writing.  The experience was made even more special because my hero of a father was by my side.

I’ll close my gushing session with a string of her powerful words, taken from my first encounter with her mesmerizing art of writing (Bird by Bird):
“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”

Gee, Where Did The Summer Go?

8 Sep

So we didn’t have much of a summer here in Atlanta with week after week of rainy weather. The fall snuck up on us, and suddenly pumpkin spice is available at Starbucks (love the new #PSL campaign, by the way), the Ravens are back on the field, and the kiddos are back in school. And Christmas is tomorrow. Well, not quite, but it sure will feel that way.

Bohzie girl - superstar chug and latest addition!

Bohzie girl – superstar chug and latest addition!

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front as my life has been a bit chaotic and full of change – in some very good and exciting ways! From my new job to my new pup, I have certainly had my hands full. But I hope to jump back on the blog train and share more art, music, and life musings.

The purpose of today’s post: to introduce you to my new little shop on Society 6!

Available for purchase on Society 6!

Available for purchase on Society 6!

My collage art has always been my therapy, and I love creating custom pieces to share and gift to family and friends. With my Society 6 shop, I can now share these pieces with the world. I only have two up so far, but I hope to be adding more in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out!

Gee, Zip Trippin’ Through Lake Lanier

12 May

There is nothing quite like flying through the lush green trees amidst the sweet breezes coming off of the Georgia lake. It’s exhilarating…breathtaking…therapeutic. I found this out firsthand when I went to Lake Lanier for a zip line tour with my dad.

I discovered Lake Lanier Canopy Tours through a SweetJack deal. Since my dad and I love a good adventure, I decided to purchase two Pine Isle Tour passes for him and me as a Christmas present. We finally got around to using them this past weekend, and we absolutely loved the experience.

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Our tour guides, Randy and Brandon, were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and crazy. Not only do they know the zip line course, but they absolutely love it. Each zip point has a story and a personality.

The course is well thought out with varying distances and heights that allow you to take in the beautiful sights of the island – from the wooded greenery to the cool blue lake water. After my zip trip, I am convinced that this is the best way to survey and appreciate Georgia nature. I’m so glad that I got to experience it with my number one adventure buddy (aka Daddy-o).

I’m dying to go back and zip for one of their moonlight tours…I can’t imagine how incredible it would be to zip under the stars on a southern summer night.

Gee, Why Do Fanny Packs Get A Bad Rap?

4 Oct

They are practical. Pretty. Convenient. Magical. What’s not to love about fanny packs?

I recently attended the legendary “Music Midtown” – a stupendous music festival featuring an array of talented artists jammin’ out in Atlanta’s beautiful Piedmont Park. As soon as I got wind of the lineup including Florence & the Machine, Ludacris, and Girl Talk, I was on board. I bought my ticket months in advance.

With my ticket secured, the next step was a no-brainer: purchase a fanny pack. But for some reason, my friends didn’t share my enthusiasm about my sweet new accessory. When I excitedly gushed to my friends, I was met with giggles and criticism. I was told that fanny packs are weird, outdated, and stupid.

Au contraire. It was one of the most brilliant investments that I have ever made. The pack held my ticket, money, cards, phone, snacks…I was totally set. I waved my hands without a care in the world when Luda brought the house down with his masterful performance of “What’s Your Fantasy“. I literally “Shook It Out” to Flo’s set.

Not only was I able to frolic hands free throughout the day, but I will undoubtedly use my precious pack for years to come. Festivals, concerts, afternoon hikes, nights on the town…oh yeah. I’m a fanny fan.

Gee, Can’t Resist Those Karaoke Classics

21 Jul

Last night, my dear friend Kelsey and I decided to hit up Little 5 Points with our favorite trivia host to check out the karaoke at Little 5 Corner Tavern. For Kelsey and me, this was our big debut on the Atlanta karaoke scene, and we had no idea what to expect. What we did know was exactly what we wanted to sing.

There are those songs that you just feel in your heart. They are tried and true. They are the ones that you belt out in your car without a care in the world, feeling like a bonafide superstar. They may not sound as good to you in public as they do in the cozy comfort of your four-wheeled cocoon, but these tunes still give you an inexplicable boost of confidence. Those girly jams that shaped you in  your formative years. Oh yes. We went there. We made three top notch selections.

First up: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton. It’s upbeat, girly, spirited, optimistic. So full of hope and love. How can you resist that glorious piano?

 

Next: “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. I still remember watching a behind the scenes documentary on the filming of this music video in the desert. And of course, I still know ever word by heart. With this one, we had a true girl power moment.

 

Big finale: “Teardrops On My Guitar” by Taylor Swift. This one was actually a bit tougher than we thought it would be – especially since the teleprompter was lagging behind. It’s one where I didn’t know the words quite as well as I thought I did. It’s a real heart-wrenching piece of T. Swift magic, but next time I think we’re gonna go for “You Belong With Me.” Oh yes – there will be a next time. And the girly classics will emerge once again.

Gee, Let’s Play

7 Mar

Last week, my company volunteered at Sheltering Arms, an early childhood education center in downtown Atlanta. It was so refreshing to escape the world of deadlines and budgets and meetings to simply play. We read stories, played tag, danced, and made new friends. Our talented in-house photographer, Jackelyn Lynam, captured the sweet spirit of the volunteering experience.

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In the chaos of life, we tend to forget how therapeutic play time can be. We get so caught up in daily grinding that the fun just gets lost. Sure – it’s admirable to work hard. But we need to do the carefree kid thing every once in a while to stay sane.