Life After Love

Hey everyone!

It has been a while. Lots of life changes have transpired, and while they needed to happen, things have still been a bit tough. I have an immense fear of failure that I’m working through, and it felt like I failed at the one thing I should have succeeded at.

I got a divorce.

Divorce seems to be a dirty word, especially in Christian culture. I get it. I said I didn’t believe in divorce, and I fully intended to keep the vows I made to my husband. In fact, I trudged on when I knew we were growing in different directions because I wanted to be a woman of my word. We tried to compromise to save the marriage numerous times, but it just left both of us unfulfilled. I think we both knew there was a better way, but we were both stubborn for a long time. But here’s the deal:

It’s okay to prioritize your well-being and happiness.

I obviously don’t mean you should get a divorce if your spouse doesn’t cater to every ridiculous and selfish whim. That’s not a thing. I’m saying that if you are not happy and fulfilled in any situation and you have tried to make things work, it’s perfectly fine to do what you need to do to become your best self, because you simply can’t pour from an empty cup.

Social media only saw the “perfect” side of us, because that’s what we wanted y’all to see. We couldn’t bear the thought of anyone knowing that we weren’t a perfect match. People regularly called us #goals. There were great times in that marriage that I’ll always cherish, but at the end of the day, we couldn’t simultaneously live our best lives and be married. Everyone deserves a chance at their best life, so we took ours. There is no animosity or bitterness, because we both knew what the right decision was. Because we respect each other, we had to let the relationship go so that we could both fulfill our purposes. No drama, no secret scandals, just two people realizing their alternative paths.

There are always alternative paths.

It may not be a marriage you’re struggling with. Maybe you’re not feeling your job, or you feel called to another city. Perhaps your gut is telling you to take a leap of faith and do something that is new and slightly scary. If you are not attaining your life’s purpose on the path you’re currently on, you can change it. We are supposed to thrive, not just survive. If you’re not thriving yet, look inside yourself and make the choices that will allow you to be the absolute best version of you. It may even be painful, but DO IT!

My experience has been positive despite the heartbreak, because I am rediscovering myself and what I need to do to stay on my purpose path. There are parts of me that I need to get reacquainted with, and that’s okay! I may stumble a little in my new life, but I know it’s where I’m meant to be. I urge you to do whatever you need to do to get to where your purpose lies. It’s okay to not have all the answers yet! I know I don’t, and that’s part of the grand adventure.

Cheers to new beginnings!


Hump Day!

Hey y’all! It’s hump day! Wednesdays are kind of bittersweet to me. At the end of the day, we are officially over the hump and on the downward slope to the weekend. Getting through the day, however, can be a ride on the struggle bus.

I feel like Mondays, though sometimes dreary, are a powerful reset button. It’s a chance to start the week off right and crush it! Since summer started, I have been working on the goals that I put on the back burner during the end of the busy school year, such as quiet time with God, exercise, housework, and this blog, among other things I will announce later. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This Monday was awesome! I did my devotional and Bible study first thing in the morning, went to kickboxing, grocery shopped for the week, started my weekly cleaning project, cooked a delicious dinner, went to Barre 3 with my friends, and did some professional development reading. Tuesday was a similar day, but with a full day of professional development. Today, however, was more of a struggle. It was hard to wake up early for devotional time before my day of professional development. I was tempted to watch TV instead of pushing through cardio dance and then order in instead of cooking the healthy meal I planned. I had to use one of my mom’s favorite phrases to push through:

Being an adult is doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.

I listened to my mom’s voice, which frequently finds its way into my head, and I did it all anyway.

Does my story sound familiar to anyone? Does your Monday motivation turn “meh” about midweek? If so, you are not alone! It’s normal to hit the “hump slump,” but it’s not okay to stay there! Your responsibilities don’t end because you’re tired, and self-improvement can’t happen if you grow stagnant after a couple of days. You need consistency to be successful, which means doing the things you know you need to do even when you don’t feel like it.

At this point, you may be thinking that I’m a total slavedriver and that you deserve a rest. If that’s you right now, you’re correct! You DO deserve a rest! As for the other part…hehe, no comment! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not saying to just push through constantly and never give yourself a reward or a breather! We all need to recharge sometimes. The difference is that you recharge and then get back to work. It’s far too easy to justify laziness to yourself and extend your break to the point of irresponsibility. After I did my professional development sessions today, I met my husband at our favorite coffee shop, had coffee and a delectable croissant, and just chilled for an hour. That was a lovely treat for me, and I felt rejuvenated when it was time to go to the gym!

Here I am with that latte! Yum!! If you haven’t gone to Hank’s in Midtown, check them out! Great coffee with fun and knowledgeable baristas!

Here’s the bottom line: Push through hump day, do what you need to do, but allow yourself a bit of time to recharge when you’re feeling slumpy. I hope y’all had a great Wednesday! You are on the downward slope now, so keep your chins up!

What are your tips for getting through the “hump slump?” Let me know in the comments!


Lent Has Begun!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

We had a fun week of Valentine’s Day, but Hubs and I were a little more concerned with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. What are the odds of having to fast on a holiday, right? ๐Ÿ˜›

We did it, of course! I gave up sweets, while Hubby gave up both red meat (yes, not just on Fridays!) and Facebook. After an early morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Paul’s, we took advantage of the weekday morning downtown and got our one meal of the day at Hatch! If you are an OKC area person, you know that the wait there is absolutely ridiculous during brunch. Wednesdays at 7:45 am are a different story! We were seated right away, and boy oh boy, was it fabulous! We ordered some awesome fried potato nuggets (without the bacon) for an app!

Mmmmm!!! So good! Then we both had the salmon eggs Benedict, since other meat is a no-no on Ash Wednesday! It might have been the best Benedict of my life, and I’m a brunch regular! The eggs were perfectly poached, and the fried capers added a fun twist!

10/10 would recommend!! Go if you ever have a weekday morning off and enjoy it!

Hatch is also incredibly cute! Those colors!!!

So, our meal on Ash Wednesday is nowhere near as important as the meaning behind Lent. I think that the whole idea of sacrifice is beautiful, whether you are religious or not. No matter what you believe, I challenge you to do something sacrificial to benefit someone else. Whether that’s sacrificing your time to volunteer, sacrificing money for a worthy cause, or simply sacrificing your pride when you realize you are wrong, we can all do something selfless to help others. While I’m sacrificing my sweet tooth for a bit, I also strive to focus on service. I hope y’all join me and do the same!

Do you observe Lent?

Even if you don’t, what is your favorite way to serve others?

Let me know in the comments!!


Awkward Times

Hello!! So, I was having a conversation with my “teacher BFF” (shoutout to Mandi!!) about awkward conversations with 7th graders! If you teach 7th grade, or have ever known a 7th grader, you know that it is a super awkward part of life! Puberty just makes things weird. The awkwardness is actually something I love, otherwise I’d teach something else! I totally “get” that age group, but there are still times when it is tempting to titter at some of their weird conversations. Whenever I feel the urge to laugh, all I have to do is think of this:

Meet 7th grade Shelby! She wore outfits of literally all pink sometimes, she wore way too much lip gloss, and she signed her school papers as Eponine. Yep, the oh-so-angsty Les Mis character. I guess I identified with her after the most popular guy in our grade asked me to the dance as a joke the year before. I was definitely “on my own.” Yeah, as you can see, I was super cool! NOT!

So if you ever feel like making fun of a middle schooler, just think back to that awkward middle school version of yourself and remember that this strange time is a rite of passage. Those kiddos are pretty awesome, even when they forget their deodorant or make “that’s what she said” jokes TO THEIR TEACHER. (Yep, someone tried it on me). Affirm those crazy heads, and let them know they are loved while providing firm boundaries. One day, they will grow into productive members of society just like we did!

Thanks for reading! Give a middle schooler a high five!


First Musical Rehearsal!

Good evening!! I am so excited, because we had our first rehearsal for the school musical! We are doing Mulan Jr. and I am in charge of the choreography! This is so exciting for me, because I am able to be a teacher while still being active in the arts! I loved doing musicals when I was a kids and a teenager, and now I get to help give that experience to others! It’s a wonderful feeling!

The kids are super talented, and I am working with two amazing ladies to put on a fabulous production! The next couple months will be crazy busy, but I know the end result will be worth the long hours with teenage theatre people! ๐Ÿ˜›

If you work at a school, or at any place with opportunities for extra involvement, I encourage you to step up and be a part of something like that. As long as you keep a good work/life balance (something I still struggle with), it is rewarding to join an organization or volunteer for an activity. Getting involved with theatre and dance at school is a way I can do that (along with leadership team, social committee, and a separate dance team)! Push yourself and get involved!!

I am excited to update you on the awesome stuff that goes on during the musical! Talk to you soon!!


On Honesty

Hey, y’all!! So I have been happily married for almost 3 wonderful years (anniversary on the 16th)! It has been amazing, and one of the best things about married life is that I have nothing to do with today’s dating game. I was the master of terrible dates for a long time before finding the love of my life! I had forgotten how awful all of that was until I recently heard and saw things from my single friends. Today’s events in particular have given me inspiration to talk about the importance of honesty while navigating the casual dating world.

To keep it respectful, I will not divulge the situation. I will just tell y’all what I think. What I am seeing lately is people’s unwillingness to be open and honest with what they want in a relationship, or rather a situationship. I get that people want to date around and not put labels on things, but they need to communicate that to potential partners! So many people are telling their dates that they only want to talk to them and that they see a future, but they actually want to bippity boppity boo with a variety of people. All this does is create false hope followed by heartbreak. I have been consoling someone tonight because of a guy’s choice to tell her one thing and then do another right before her eyes. I just don’t get it. Why can’t people just tell the truth?

No matter what you want from dating, there will be someone out there who shares your desires and needs, but finding those people requires honest communication. Whether you want to talk to multiple people at once, date to marry, court like the Duggars, or do any other unconventional stuff that has become cool to do, just tell the person/people you are dating! If they are down with that, they will let you know. If they aren’t, then y’all can move on and save yourself a lot of pointless drama. I understand that those conversations are awkward, but they are necessary.

I told you before that I’m in a happy marriage. You know how I got there? Ben straight up told me he wanted to date exclusively, we started going to church together, and then he let me know he wanted to move toward marriage! It was awesome, because we were transparent the whole time! The payoff has been unbelievable. We are obviously very traditional, and I’m not naive enough to think that everyone’s story should look like ours. I’m just pointing out the positive communication!

Okay, that was a long rant! Bottom line: Just be honest, both in dating and in other aspects of life. You keep your integrity and your life becomes so much easier!

Thanks for reading! Have a great night!


My Before Pics!

As someone who grew up dancing, I always thought about my body and my weight. As with so many dancers, it became a bit unhealthy, and was one of the contributing factors in my decision not to dance professionally. That being said, I have enjoyed my life greatly since only dancing for fun, and part of that was indulging in pretty much anything I felt like eating. That’s not healthy either, so one of my goals this year is to work on my fitness in a positive way and eat more healthy things every day, while still having occasional treats!

Every time I have made fitness/eating goals in the past, they have been based on weight, size, and restriction. I would make a goal to lose exactly 10 pounds, or to go back to a size 2. These types of goals may work for a lot of people, but for me, they diminished the self-love that I know I’m worth (and so are y’all)! So this year is different! My only fitness goal is to find a consistent routine that feels good and works for me. My food goal is to plan delicious and nutritious meals, and to just add more fruits and vegetables to replace some of those McNuggets and pastries! No weight goal, no size goal, no crazy restrictions. All of that will fall into place if I am giving my body some love! That being said, I will be taking pictures to track the changes this creates in my body. Here are my before pics! Yes, I know you can’t see my stomach. Y’all, I don’t even own a bikini. Not happening! ๐Ÿ˜›

Though I am tempted to criticize what I see here today and beat myself up over all the times I skipped the gym and ate something naughty, I’m choosing to love my body throughout the journey! If you are struggling, remember that God (or whatever you may believe in) made all of us beautiful in different ways! We can always improve ourselves, but we should improve with self-love in EVERY stage, and not just the end result. Easier said than done, I know! ๐Ÿ˜‚

How do you feel about fitness goals? Do you have any for the new year? Also, advice on what has worked for you is so welcome! I’d love some comments!! Thanks for reading!


The Bravery to Fail

Happy new year, everyone! I hope you had a safe and fun New Years Eve! I know I did! We had two fun parties to attend, and I was definitely the most dressed up! (As always!)

The dress is Lilly and the shoes are Kate Spade, but the accessories are all vintage hand-me-downs from Mom!

As we celebrated, I thought about what my theme for the new year will be! I already selected some things I wanted to do this year, but I love the idea of having a focus all year.

While I am a pretty bold person already, there is always this underlying perfectionism and self-doubt. I was the kid who cried over a B+ in school. I feel that while I am successful in life, I can do so much more if I am brave enough to fail. Putting myself out of my comfort zone means that I may stumble before I rise to the top. However, that is the only way to grow. 2018 will be a year of growth for me as I push myself and rise to the next-level version of me! Stay tuned for some awesome things!

What is your theme for the new year? Let me know!!


18 in ’18

So, everyone does these lists of things they want to do by a certain time, right? Sometimes it is okay to jump on the bandwagon! The new year is a day away, and I have been thinking about the goals I want to accomplish and just some fun things I’ve wanted to say yes to for a while. We celebrated my dad’s life and mourned his death in Washington this week, and it was a reminder that life is too short for us to ever hold back. So, without further ado, here are 18 things I want to do in 2018!

1. Write my first book (with my mom!)

2. Apply and get in to a PhD program

3. Choreograph my first school musical

4. Travel somewhere I’ve never been

5. Present at an academic conference

6. Send more thank you notes

7. Cosplay at a convention

8. Write in my Passion Planner all year

9. Cook something from my Harry Potter cookbook

10. Use Groupon when we don’t know where to go for our date

11. Try at least one no-spend weekend

12. Improve my Spanish

13. Go on a romantic getaway with the Hubby

14. Go to at least 3 restaurants on my Chowdown Countdown list

15. Maintain a regular exercise schedule

16. Learn a new skill

17. Attend a formal event

18. Host a tea at Inspirations Tea Room

Some of these are little pleasures in life, while others are milestones. Y’all should always follow your goals and dreams, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to others (like my obsession with food tours of America and tea parties). I am excited to complete this list, starting as soon as tomorrow! Here’s to going out with a bang tonight and starting fresh tomorrow for a brand new year! You never know when life will end, so you might as well live it on your terms and do what you know you are capable of! I am excited to share more about the things I cross off the list!

This is my excited face! ๐Ÿ˜›

Comment and let me know what you want to accomplish in 2018!

See you next year! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Be Thankful

Hello!! This long weekend was Thanksgiving, and there is so much to be thankful for! I could go on all day, but here are my top 5:

1. I am thankful for my personal relationship with my God! It’s different for everyone, and I’m not saying my way is best, but my church family and prayer life are fabulous right now! I feel very blessed.

2. I am thankful for my family. My husband and I have a healthy and happy marriage, and are awesome doggie parents! My other family members are all over the US, but I got to spend this Thanksgiving with my in-laws, and I love them very much! Momma worked so hard on dinner, and it was wonderful!

Here we are after a trip to the Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm! I was selected by the fam to cut down our tree!! Don’t believe me?

Crushed it!

3. I am thankful for not one, but two incredible jobs, where I can use both of my degrees! My employers are kind and fair, and they have already provided me so much growth as an educator. I also use my earnings to live a decent life, even if I’m not filthy rich. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My night class threw me a surprise birthday party! My jobs are seriously the coolest!

4. I am thankful for my friends who, unlike my family, put up with me when they don’t have to! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I have awesome people to hang out with in many states and even in Europe! That is pretty cool!

Speaking of friends, this is me with Jess, one of my besties since college! (I love all you other friends too!!) We are at Mary Eddy’s in downtown OKC, and that penguin hung out with us all through dinner! Y’all should check it out! So delicious! This was before we saw opening night of the 20th anniversary tour of Rent!! As in the first night of the whole darn thing, because it started in OKC!! (Also thankful for musical theatre!)

5. I am thankful for the ability to have a full life! I have a wonderful spiritual life. I have hobbies, such as food, fashion, reading, blogging, and dance. I have a fulfilling career and a happy home life. I don’t have to stress about bills. This one may be kind of a blanket statement, but the life I live should not be taken for granted. It’s beautiful! 

One of those hobbies I was talking about? MANICURES! Just got a new one yesterday! 

I encourage you to think about what you are thankful for. There are always going to be things in life that we are not thrilled with, and sometimes circumstances are downright depressing, especially during the holidays. We can, however, pick out the positives and focus on how beautiful life can be. This is the first holiday season without my adoptive dad, who passed last month, but I am working on seeing all of the good things and having an extra fun time, just in case he is watching! I hope you can all find the best aspects of your lives and focus your energy on them!

Please comment and tell me what you are thankful for this year! 

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!