Messy in Fabulous Shoes

Messy in Fabulous Shoes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

It is amazing how much has changed in a year. Last Thanksgiving, I made my first pies. Today, I not only made pies but cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. And it all came out at the same time and was actually yummy!

This time last year, I was unhappy and not living the most authentic life. Today, I am smiling and relaxed after spending the day with my parents, Stella and Sophie. I have so much to be thankful for - family, friends, a roof over my head, a good job.

I still have ups and downs, don't get me wrong. In fact, I was on the phone with my girlfriend Luanne during one of my downs last week (which happened to take place in Target). As I was chatting with her, I fell in love with these amazing slippers but decided not to splurge as I am trying to stick to a budget. Imagine my delight and surprise when I opened the mail yesterday to find those awesome pink plush slippers with sequins in a box from Luanne. How blessed am I to have such an amazing friend? My wish for you is that you have that special friend who would surprise you with fabulous footwear - and for whom you would return the favor. Now that is something to say thank you about!

And as I reflect on how much has changed in the past year, I can only imagine how much will change in the next. Who else will be at my Thanksgiving table besides Mom and Dad? One thing I know for sure, I will be thankful to have them there.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

For My Niece

12 years ago today the world was given a gift, my niece Grayson. I was not there for her birth having chosen instead to visit Mr. Right Then's family for the Thanksgiving holiday. I remember crying a lot because it was the wrong choice.

3 weeks later, however, I was sandwiched in between Mr. Right Then and his very large roommate in the front cab of a U-Haul. Yep, I was hitching a ride between Smokey and Smokier from Boston to St. Louis where my baby niece awaited the arrival of her favorite aunt (OK, yes I am embellishing here - writer's prerogative!) My brother and sister-in-law had moved to St. Louis and I was going to live in a hotel room with them for a week to help out while they looked for someplace permanent. So 14 hours on the road and I finally had Grayson in my arms. My traveling companions would tell you I didn't even say goodbye to them. It was love at first sight.

Grayson has grown into this incredible person. Not only is she smart and beautiful, but she is caring and earnest. She loves animals and fashion (she's currently OBSESSED with the knee-high brown boots Grannie bought her). I know she is going to make a huge difference in this crazy world someday - bigger than she already has to those who love her.

I've lived a very complicated life and the moment I met my niece, it all seemed to make sense. Perhaps I could save her from some of the heartache I have gone through just by being a presence in her life. It's a nice dream to dream...

I don't see her nearly enough and hope to change that moving forward. But today, on her special day, I wanted her to know that even though I don't see her as often as I'd like, I love her more than she'll ever know. And I'm amazingly proud to be her Aunt Messy. Happy Birthday, Grayson!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lady in Red

I just completed a year long journey called Leadership AAHSA. Meant to help me transform as a leader, this program didn't just change me professionally. It forced me to reflect on my life - where I've been, where I'm going, who I truly want to be - and thus changed me personally.

3 weeks ago in Los Angeles, the Leadership AAHSA fellows were "celebrated". I was so blessed to have people at the reception whom I truly care about - best friends, colleagues, mentors, coaches - and who truly care about me. In a sense, it was a "re-emergence" for so much has changed for me in the past year. It wasn't just a celebration of the journey... it was a celebration of those who helped me along the way.

I am not the same person I was a year ago. (For one thing, I'm blonde.) I am dedicated to living the most authentic life I can. And I am choosing happiness. Happiness isn't something that just happens - you have to seize it by getting out of your comfort zone and taking risks.

6 months ago, I journaled that I wanted to "wear a red dress and be noticed, be loved." I had forgotten that journal entry until the plane home from LA. And do you know what I wore on that celebratory occasion? A red dress and these black patent leather Calvin Kleins with a red tortoiseshell accent. As I was told by some, "that dress is fierece/those shoes are killer".

So I was noticed. And I am loved.