Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #25

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself.  Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

Photo Credit: Clarissa Rucker Photography
Can I start by saying that I love this prompt, Tracey Clark?  Can I follow that with, "Holy Cow, I take a lot of pictures in a year?!?!" 

The one I chose (above) was taken by one of my awesome friends who just happens to be a phenomenal photographer with a delicious eye for documenting what are sure to be some of your favorite memories.  Her name is Clarissa Rucker, and while I usually strive to protect my peeps by using aliases instead of their actual names, I want you to hunt her down and hire her.  Then, try your best not to keep her in your life as an amazing friend.  Go on.  I dare you!

I think this photo best captures me because I'm smiling, and that's kind of my trademark.  It's taken on the water, which is where I'm usually at my happiest and most serene.  This photo makes me smile because it was literally the most perfect day, and I mean that in every sense of the word.  It was a day of calm.  It was a day of play.  It was a day where I was surrounded by wonderful friends. It was a day of laughter and smiles.  It was a day where you just knew God planned the weather just for you and the activities you had planned.

This photo also captures who I want to continue to be in the future.  I want to be a genuinely happy girl who surrounds herself with good people and who makes the time to just have fun.  I want to be a girl who appreciates a day like that day, and who remains so thankful for every day like that I am privileged enough to experience.

As for where, this was taken at the lake, where we spent an entire day at the lake house of one of my work colleagues and friends.  His place is beautiful and it's really impossible to be there and not feel incredibly blessed.  I was so thankful that day - I had needed a day like that for a really long time.  It felt so amazing to cut loose with friends.  We sang songs on the radio, layed out in the sun, rode jet skis, and just enjoyed each other's company!  My friend's parents even cooked out for us, which was extremely unexpected but was the cherry on top of the day!

I believe this photo reveals about me that I am a believer in sunshine after the rain.  Granted, you can't see the metaphorical rain that occurred before this picture was taken, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  There was rain.  Buckets of rain.  But, as you can see by this picture, if you just hang in there, the sun will shine again and light your way to the things that are most important in your life.  So, thank you, Clarissa - for being an amazing friend to me and for capturing this memory for me.  I appreciate you more than you know!

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #24

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

Thank you all for your patience as I celebrated a very Merry Christmas!  If I had been more on the ball, I would have had more posts scheduled for your reading enjoyment, but I was pretty much banking on the fact that you were all celebrating, too!  :)  (And to that end, I hope you all had a marvelous holiday filled with love, laughter, and precious memories!)

There actually was more than one moment this year that completely answer this post, and those moments were these:  when I experienced things as a single woman that I had previously experienced as part of a couple.

Now, these things are simple, yet daunting at the same time.  For example:  there is a completely different feeling and mood when you go to a wedding as part of a couple versus being a single woman.  When you're half of a whole, you have a guaranteed dance partner, and someone to mingle with, and you know that you at least know that one person at your table, and it's comforting.  When you're part of a couple, as you watch other people get married, a small part of you imagines when it will be your turn to take those all-important vows and commit your life to someone.

When you're single, all of the comfort of public events of this nature are gone.  You now have to jump without knowing if there's a net to catch you.  You singlehandedly control your destiny.  I am happy to report that I attended a wedding as a single girl and had a blast and a half.  I was so happy for the couple and I could have cared less if I had a date - that meant more talking and mingling for me.  When I rose to the challenge instead of shrinking into an insecure wallflower, I knew that everything was going to be okay - and more importantly, I was going to be okay.

Another event that took place was what I like to affectionately call the Bridget Jones Dinner Party or Other Social Gathering.  You've seen the movies, so you know what I mean.  It's the situation when you attend a dinner party or other social gathering and you are the only single person there.  Yes, that's correct - you are at a gathering full of couples and you are the sole person without a plus one.  {Insert awkward face and feelings of shame here.}

Since you're the only one who is alone, we'll put you at the head of the table. That way, we'll have the perfect vantage point to stare at you!
Again, I faced this little chestnut and conquered it!  I knew that everything was going to be okay!  I even celebrated family events without a special someone:  birthdays, holidays, and family beach trips, oh my!  It was definitely different, to be sure, but not horrible as I once thought it would be.

I made it through the valleys and learned to find nuggets of greatness in being single.  Once I learned to be happy with just me, I happened upon a certain unicorn named Comanche.  Life is great and I am still happy, only this time, I once again have someone to share life's little moments with.

I will take this amazing discovery that life will be okay into the next year, and the next year, and the year after that.  Things change.  Everything is going to be alright.  I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Paolo Coelho:

"Everything is okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end."

Until next time,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #23

December 23 – New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

Hmm, this is a very tough one, but a cool one, as well!  I've always liked names that don't necessarily sound American.  Is that weird?  I don't know. 

For example, there have been times in my life that I would have loved to be a gorgeous Italian woman named Luciana.  What a gorgeous name!  I was obsessed with the Spanish name Aurelia for the longest time.  Maybe I could be a super hot Australian named Adelaide.  Rockin body, scorching hot accent.  I mean, if the prompt had asked "Who would you be for a day," I would have chosen Sofia Vergara hands-down.  I think if I could introduce myself to strangers using a different name, it would be an exotic sounding name like one of those.

How about you?  What name would you choose?

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #22

December 22 – Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

This prompt is a sore subject for me because I love to travel.  I'm sure I would make an excellent traveler should I get to do it more.  If you take a roadtrip with me, you'd be surprised how long I can last between pee breaks.  Maybe that's oversharing, so I apologize.  Basically, I think I'm a great travel buddy.  I wish I would have been able to travel more in 2010, but I will list the awesome places that I did have the pleasure of traveling to.

- Baltimore, Maryland - good trip.  Lots of cool things to experience there, such as the incredible aquarium-.  Beautiful in the Inner Harbor area.
- The beach where my family vacations - I'd love to tell you where it is specifically, but I don't want it to ever become commercial.
- Myrtle Beach, SC - an awesome spot to vacation with some of the best friends in the world!  Loved that trip and the memories made!
- Washington, D.C. area - I traveled there and got to stay for almost a week with one of my best friends as she got married!
- A few good trips to North Carolina - love my family so much and it was awesome getting to see them.  We need to schedule more of those for sure!

If I had my way next year, I'd take a two-week tour of Italy.  Then, I'd take a two-week tour of California (because I want to experience the entire state).  Then, I'd take a two-week tour of Hawaii because I am dying to go there!  Everyone says I'll never want to leave!  Then, since I'm basically traveling all year, I'd take a two-week tour of Ireland, because I've also heard rave reviews about that!  To wrap up my 2011 travel itenerary, I'd do a two-week stint in Australia, because I bet that would be cool!

Unfortuately, I don't think this dream was meant to pan out for me because 1) I don't have that much time off from work and 2) I'm not a billionaire.  But, the question was "where would you like to travel next year?"

How about you?  Where would you like to go next year?

Until next time,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #21

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

Dear Future Self,
Hang in there, lady!  Every young person struggles - financially, emotionally, mentally, physically - there is a constant internal struggle when you're in your twenties to show the world you can survive on your own.  Fact:  surviving on your own is tough!  It's okay that you haven't accomplished every single thing you dreamed you would.

My advice to you is to learn to be present in the moment more and practice it daily.  When you have people you love around you to visit, don't constantly be wondering if you've missed anything in your cleaning.  If you are worrying about mundane things that they most likely wouldn't notice anyway, you're missing out on wonderful conversation and memories.  Be present!

Continue to trust.  Trust that God has a plan for you and that you're going to be okay.  Trust in the people who love you.  Sure, they can hurt you, but trust that they won't do so intentionally and love with your heart wide open.  Who knows - five years from now you may be married with children, and that's a brand new kind of love.  If you do have kids in five years, trust yourself there too.  Nobody knows what they're doing right out of the gate, but you'll figure it out.  You're pretty smart.

Finally, take lots of pictures and remember the good times you have and the memories you make.  Take your time and store them in a good way so you can relive the great moments in your life again and again.  Smile at them.  Laugh at them.  Cry because of them.  It doesn't matter what you do - just relive your feelings.  Be proud of yourself and what you accomplish.  You were always destined to do great things - your past self believes in you!


Dear Younger Chicken Wing,
Girl, buckle up because you're going to be living a whole lotta life in this next decade.  You're going to experience graduation and college, new loves and breakups. You'll lose people close to you, and add people to your family (some folks call them friends).

Let's talk about high school, since you're still there.  Fact:  You won't peak in high school.  I know that will be hard for you because being a teenager is hard.  You want everything you can't have or don't have.  I'm telling you, stay the course. 

Don't worry that you were never the prettiest girl in high school (which everyone so desperately wanted to be) - wait until you get to college!  (*Hint:  you're going to be named Homecoming Queen.  Of your college.  That's way better than the same honor in high school.  Just be patient.)

Fall in love hard, but keep your eyes open to red flags.  If something doesn't feel quite right, it's probably because it's not.  Don't ignore the feelings because you're too proud - trust your intuition and make difficult decisions. 

Finally, just keep living, girl.  You are going to be an awesome lady.  Keep your head up and keep pushing through the hard times because the best is yet to come.  I'll be waiting for you when you get there.

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Reason For The Season

It's very, very rare that I actually like a Christmas song that is modern, and by modern, I mean not one of the standards we grew up with.  There are a few exceptions, and I'd like to share one of them with you today.  I'm sure you've most likely heard this song, but it is one of the most meaningful and beautiful modern Christmas songs I've ever been blessed enough to hear.

There are plenty of words that come to mind when you hear the name Faith Hill.  Some that always come to mind to me are as follows:  beautiful, gorgeous smile, incredible voice, loving, caring, devoted, passionate, creative, great mother and wife, grounded, inspiring.

Couple the incredible artist with a song that exceptionally highlights the actual reason for the Christmas season, and you're bound to have a grand slam. 

In church this past weekend, the message was about how easy it is to get caught up in the Christmas clutter - the things that don't actually mean anything at the end of the day.  It doesn't matter if you decorate your home, or fill your stockings, or shove people in the mall when you're trying to score the perfect gift - the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus Christ.

So, I ask this of you, Peeps.  Take a moment and listen to the words of this song (and appreciate how beautifully executed they are by Faith Hill).  Let the passion in the song move you, and make you pause - take a minute and remember all that's been done for you.  I guarantee it's the best way to get over any holiday gloom you may be experiencing.

It's my honor and pleasure to present to you, one of my favorite "new" Christmas songs, appropriately titled A Baby Changes Everything.


Until next time,

Antoine Dodson Strikes Again!

If you somehow missed the national phenomenon that is Antoine Dodson, I'm sorry. You're truly missing out.

He's back and as fabulous as ever, and this time he's singing a Christmas tune.

Enjoy "Chimney Intruder" from Lopez Tonight.


And of course, I can't leave you hanging - here's the original, which is absolutely hysterical.


Merry Christmas, Peeps!

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #20

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

Wow - great prompt, Jake!  This prompt is one that gets right in your face and makes you take a good, hard, honest look at yourself.  It's no different for me - I'm starting with the Chicken Wing in the mirror (...and I'm asking her to change her ways.  No message could have been any clearer.  If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then MAKE THAT CHANGE!).  Sorry for digressing, but I couldn't stop til I got enough.  Ha!

He-He!  Ow!
I think the constant "what I should have done" for me this year was to be more confrontational.  I should have been more in my own corner than I was.  I get caught up oftentimes in being there for other people much more than I'm there for myself, and that's actually not always a good thing. 

I should have stood up for myself when people did me wrong.  I should have fought for things that I thought I deserved.  I should have been more direct when stating my wishes and wants.  I'm sure fear had something to do with some of these instances, and I think simply being uncomfortable had a lot to do with it too. 

BONUS:  I will be better at this, and have already seen growth in this department.  I've had a few situations recently that needed to be handled with grace, poise, and direct response, and I think I accomplished that!  I try my hardest not to be an avoider because I know as well as the next girl that it really solves nothing.  There's nothing wrong with taking a time-out to get a cleansing breath and a fresh set of thoughts, but if you just talk yourself out of talking it out, you're usually the lesser for it.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #19

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

The simple answer to this would be chocolate and wine.  There is very little that delicious chocolate and a few bottles of wine won't heal for you.  If I stick with this answer, I'd say that it was literally a drip-by-drip evolution.  I wouldn't mind being healed in this same fashion in 2011, as well, because what can I say - it's helped me so far!

*Sidenote:  I'm not actually a lush or a glutton.  If I'm being completely honest, there is a list of things/people/places that have healed me this year in addition to the two things listed above. That list would include, but is not limited to:  God, my church, Comanche, my true friends, the family members who reached out to me, my coworkers, and my puppies (also known as my furbabies).  But, I want to give you a visual of the first two things so you can enjoy my happy place for awhile. 

Don't touch my chocolate buttercream!  Source

My preciousssss!

Adorable...and the cake looks delish!

That's what I'm talking about!

Peeps - what healed you this year?

Until next time,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #18

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did  / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

Gracious, goodness!  There are so many things I want to try, so narrowing the list down for this prompt needed some heavy thinking.

I think the thing that I really want to try most in 2011 is to go and create some experiences.  I want to save money so that if I get the notion to go somewhere, I can up and do just that.  (To be honest, I want to save money in general, but this would be a great thing to save money for).  I want to do some traveling in 2011, and it will be interesting to give this a try outside the normal family adventures.  It will be a brand new world as it will be the first time I'll be exploring on my own.

If I get the time, I would also like to try to begin learning Italian next year.  I've already got the dictionary, and I'm hoping I can figure out a way to cost effectively learn the language for the trip I want so badly to take!  I want to go to Italy at some point, darn-it!

Dreamy, isn't it?  Source
One thing I know I'm going to try in 2011 is cooking more - and I don't just mean cooking more, but more recipes outside of my comfort zone.  I feel like there is a domesticated Chicken Wing inside me dying to be free, but I haven't figured out how to tackle my lack of confidence in the kitchen.  This is one I wanted to do more of in 2010, but as you can see, I didn't do it and therefore, my confidence hasn't ripened at all.  That is something that I am going to conquer next year!  Mark my words!  I want to be able to share some successful recipes with you (and be proud of myself in the process).   

What do you want to try in 2011?

Until next time,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #17

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

The best thing that I learned about myself this past year was that for a tiny little Chicken Wing, I am one tough hen.  I can laugh in the face of adversity and put up my dukes when obstacles get in my face and challenge me to a dual.

I think that this is a lesson that everyone gets reminded of from time to time.  Humans are exceptionally resilient creatures - we were designed to endure.  Take a look at the elasticity of our skin, for example!  While it can be cut or torn if hit hard enough, it's incredibly flexible and defensive against wounds. 

As tough as I am, I have seen people who are much stronger than I.  They face sickness and foreign diseases that attack them brutally, and they handle themselves with grace and calmness throughout the duration.  I've seen people who have been hit very hard financially, and they do what they have to do to make things work.  I've seen people in impossible situations who no one would have blamed for losing their minds and crumbling under the weight of their problems stand up and rise above. I am no different.

In life, you have two options and that is to make it or not.  You only have one chance to live your life, and your life will be better once you accept that hard times are going to happen.  No one is entitled to "the easy road" or "the good life."  No one deserves to have the best of the best.  You do the best you can, and then you get to be proud of what you have accomplished because you worked hard for it.  There will be times when you have to decide between wants and needs, and when you learn to choose the needs, you'll find that you're actually more fulfilled!

That's the best thing that I've learned about myself this year, and I will apply this lesson in the future by constantly reminding myself of the age-old saying:  "It can only bring me down if I let it."  I will also push that lesson forward by encouraging others, as well!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #16

December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

There are a lot of different responses that I could use to answer this prompt.  Some of them, however, would be repetitive, in my opinion.  That's mainly due to the way I've answered previous prompts - I don't want each question to evoke the same responses, because how boring a read that would be!

I would like to use this opportunity to say thanks to several friends who have helped me this year by reminding me of what is really important in life.  When times are stressful, they are there to keep me standing on the ground, facing reality head-on.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in the negative in life, and sometimes you need someone there to make you laugh or send you a slightly dirty email at work that makes you literally laugh out loud.

Prime example:  one of my awesome coworkers sent out this email requesting that someone buy one of these for her and one for me for Christmas this year:

Disturbing? Absolutely.
Did I laugh out loud at work? Also absolutely.
I'd have to say that the change in perspective for me is neither gradual nor a sudden burst, but a constant change.  It ebbed and flowed as all things do, but the support and remedies to stress were always there.  My incredible coworkers had a lot to do with this, as did a few close friends from college. 

These folks have also changed my perspective about leaving guilty feelings behind and embracing the excitement that the future holds!  It's been such a refreshing thing to learn how to just be excited about things that are going on in my life and to let go of worrying what other people - outsiders - think. 

I have my friends to thank for that, and I am beyond grateful!

Until next time,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #15

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Okay, I think it would be best to reflect on what I don't want to forget when I lose my memory in list form.  Okay........GO!

- Laughing with my Papa on multiple occasions.
- My last precious moments with Papa the night before he passed away.
- My family beach vacation at the best beach in the world with the best family in the world.
- Eating a world-famous Britt's doughnut for the first time.
- The massively successful events planned and executed.
- The beautiful weddings I've been privileged enough to experience.
- The Redskins beating the Cowboys at the beginning of the season.
- The engagements of high school friends.
- The engagements of college friends.
- The births of my friends' very first child.
- The DIY projects I accomplished.
- Meeting and falling head over heels for Comanche (bold and underline necessary).
- The weddings of dear friends and family members who found the loves of their lives.
- The new friends I've made who have become like family.
- Finding a new church to renew the structured part of my faith.
- Learning who would be there for me during tough times.
- Taking up Zumba classes.
- A pot luck-style dinner with some of my best girlfriends (and the chance to catch up on our lives).
- The creative dates I have been taken on.
- All the laughing and smiling I've done.
- The girls' night sessions with two of my favorite girls at local hot spots. (One ending in an all-nighter. On a work night.)
- My adorable dogs playing their hearts out in the snow (except for MuChi, who only wanted to get back inside).

I'm sure there's so much more I'd yearn to remember, but this is what I've got for now!

Until next time,

Awesome Product Alert + A Giveaway!!!

Okay, Peeps!  It's the holiday season and everyone knows that it's the PERFECT time of year to say "Thank you."

You'll be receiving gifts this time of year that you'll need to thank someone for, or you may just be looking for that amazing find for the person who loves handwritten notes.  I'm so excited to tell you about a giveaway that could be the answer for you!

Head on over to Fourth & Folded, which is an amazing design company brought to you by fearless leader and boss lady, Chelsea!  She is crafty and fabulous, and has an entire line of amazing products!  From wedding stationary to custom cards, this gal does it all!

She is giving away some GORGEOUS mini Thank You cards on her blog, and you should all go check it out and enter to win.  These mini cards feature custom calligraphy and say Thank You in different languages!  Perfecto!

Seriously adorable! Go enter to win and tell them Chicken Wing sent you!  Source
Here ye, here ye! This website, blog, and it's designer have officially been proclaimed on this seventeenth day of December, in the year two thousand and ten, to be

Good luck to everyone!

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #14

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

Sheesh, this is a hard prompt for me!  There have been so many things that I have come to appreciate in 2010.  With all the lessons I've learned this year and with all the experiences I've had, it's really hard to just pick one to put in the spotlight. That's what the prompt calls for, though, so here goes.

I think the one thing that I have come to appreciate most in the past year is honesty.  I think this is the best one to highlight because it is far-reaching in my life.  I appreciate the way I've been able to look out into the world in an honest frame of mind.  I have come to intensely value when someone looks me in the eye and tells me the truth.  This year has taught me the joy to be had when people say what they mean and mean what they say.

I've been forced to take a good, hard, honest look at myself and my life this year.  I've had to evaluate the repercussions of decisions I've made and the possible outcomes of goals that I've set.  I've had to honestly and candidly deduce what characteristics I needed in a partner, in my friends, and in my support system.  I've had to honestly look at what was going to be best for me.

The way that I express gratitude for honesty is by being honest with myself and with others.  If I'm in the wrong, I accept the honest truth that I'm wrong and apologize if feelings were hurt.  If someone asks me for my honest opinion, I give it.  If they inquire for advice, I respond with an honest account of what I would do.  When I say that I'm going to do something, I stand by my word.  I also make sure to thank God for the honesty and truth that He's brought into my life, because I know that He had something to do with it.

What's the one thing you've come to appreciate most in 2010?

Until next time,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #13

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

Well, this seems to be quite the abstract prompt, now doesn't it?  Well, in general, if I have an idea and want to make it happen, I start by making a list.

Yes, folks, Chicken Wing is a list-maker.  I typically find that if I make a list of the steps that need to happen, or the materials I will need, or whatever the case may be, I can then decide which avenues to take to make those things happen.  I'm also a fan of "visualize then attack."  I try to mentally walk myself through the process of making my idea a reality, and play out different endings that could happen.  I find that I can be more prepared that way.

Finally, I subscribe to the ever-popular Albert Einstein definition of insanity:  "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  If I find that one way of turning my idea into a reality isn't working, I do something different.

Until next time,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #12

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

For me, I haven't had too many moments of consistent body integration since I left the worlds of cheerleading and dance.  Growing up, I had practices and classes every single week, so I was completely integrated most of the time.  As you all know, when you grow up, you forget to make time for yourself because you're too busy making time for everyone else.

I started Zumba this year, and that has been a blessing!  It feels good to get back into a studio and dance my little heart out!  It feels good to live my life in eight-counts again.  It feels good to just F-O-C-U-S.  Focus on the music, focus on the instruction, focus on perfecting the movements.  I have a hard time with staying focused but you don't have too much of a choice when someone is telling you what to do, so I love that about Zumba.

Check out this video to see how fun it can be!


Until next time,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #11

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

I think the best way to answer this prompt is in list form, so here goes nothing!

11 Things My Life Doesn't Need in 2011

1.   Drama.  While this is probably going to occur in some form anyways, that wasn't the question. 

2.   Clutter.  I am going to be on a year-long constant battle in the war against clutter.  In 2011, I plan to win!

3.   Dehydration.  At the end of 2010, I am on a path to being so much better at drinking water.  I've severely cut back on the sodas and have been practicing good habits where the H2O is concerned!  2011 is going to be the year I get even better!

4.   Piles of laundry.  Gosh, do I get tired of seeing these!  I tell myself that everything will get better when I have a laundry room instead of an ill-placed laundry closet in my kitchen, but who am I kidding?  Bad habits now = bad habits later.  I'm kissing these piles goodbye in 2011!

5.   Fast food.  Convenience may be king in most rings, but I am going to err on the side of being fiscally conservative and try to boycott fast food in 2011.  My body doesn't need it.  My wallet doesn't need it.  Fast food, be gone!

6.   Folks who've been consistently hitting the Hater-ade. 2011 will find me surrounded by people that make me feel good and support me. If you want to walk in those shoes, I just don't need you in my life. I'm done pretending and it really is that simple.

7.   Staying up too late.  What the heck is my problem?  Late night = sluggish morning, and I really need to focus on re-prioritizing my evening agenda to include more sleep!  Seriously, the blogging, TV, and other "non-need" can wait!

8.   Overbooking.  I tend to sign up for everything in the world, but I need to do a better job in choosing things that mean the most to me, rather than committing to everything that's tossed my way.  I think I'll find that I get to put more of myself into the things I'm most passionate about, and that's really what it's all about.  And besides, one day I will realize that my two names are Chicken Wing...not Wonder Woman.

9.   Accepting less than I deserve.  Wow, am I pathetic in this category!  I have such a tendency to just say, "Oh, okay" instead of, "I'm worth more than that."  I've got to start being in my own corner if I want anyone else to be there!  Sheesh!

10.  Justifying everything.  I just need to stop it.  Not everything has to have a reason.  Seriously.  I know that everything happens for a reason, but I don't need to tell people about it all the time.  I annoy myself!  LOL!

11.  Worrying.  Worrying about things won't make them better, so I need to find new ways to dispell that bothersome energy.  I think I'll go with praying.  Or baking.  Or blogging.  Who knows?

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #10

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)


I find that this prompt is actually very hard to answer, even though I already know the answer.  The difficulty is in the wording of my answer, and that has caused me to be very careful and very deliberate in my word selection.

In all the decisions I made this year that greatly impacted the path my life was on, the wisest decision I made this year was to trust myself.  When I say this, I don't simply mean that I decided to trust my instincts, although that also proved to be true.  I mean that I genuinely decided to trust myself - to trust my relationship with God, to trust the head on my shoulders, to trust the vision of my eyes, and to trust the heart in my chest.

I've always been the type of person who desires other people's approval - as I said in a previous prompt, I am a people-pleaser to a fault.  My whole life, I spent more time and energy trying to please everyone but me, and it's been a hard road getting to the point where "me" mattered more than others.

I was faced with a lot of forks in the road this year, and somewhere along the journey, I made the conscious decision to trust myself to make the right choices for me, and I have come to discover that it's played out so much better than I ever dreamt of giving myself credit for. 

I have made some tough decisions this decisions.  I'm happy to report that those decisions were the right ones for me.  I am confident in saying that, and I've found that for the first time in my life, it doesn't matter to me if I don't have the support of every single person in the world.  I've learned that it's actually much more important to be true to yourself - the people who are meant to be there for you...will.

What's the wisest decision you made this year?

Until next time,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #9

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

This one is an easy one!  My favorite party of 2010 (and I hope no one gets offended by this) happened to occur on my birthday!  

Before you think I am the most vain woman on the planet, let me clue you in to the fact that one of my best friends in the world got married on my birthday!  Her wedding was the social gathering that rocked my socks off in 2010!  
With the insanely gorgeous bride, Nay!

With the very handsome groom, DK!
As for the people, they were some of my close friends from college, plus new friends of either the bride or groom that I had the blessed opportunity to meet!  It was a great group, and everyone's hearts were filled with love for the newlyweds, so that made it even better!

The music was a special experience because the groom had a musical surprise for the bride!  He had one of his uber talented friends sing a song live for their first dance, and it was absolutely beautiful!  (To here it and to check out the uber talented friend's band, click here and choose "Love Make Me Free.")  There was also a live band that played the rest of the reception, and it was fun to watch couples cut a little rug! 

The food was also super fun because it was literally like an upscale cookout!  There were hot dogs and hamburgers and all the fixin's and it was an awesome plan for a hot summer day.  There was an ice cream sundae bar (sign me up any day of the week) and delicious cupcakes for dessert.  There was fresh honey for favors.  There were all different kinds of beer and wine, and everyone had a ball!

The attire, as evidenced by the photos above, was preppy chic and so comfortable!  Typically when you're in the bridal party of a wedding, you can expect taffeta and heels, and in this wedding, I got to wear a gorgeous printed summer dress and J. Crew woven flip flops!  That was refreshing!  I got to carry a gorgeous hydrangea bouquet and my fellow bridesmaids (and sorority sisters) did my hair, which I loved!  It was like an all-girls slumber party where we did each other's hair!  Haha!

The best part was that two of my best friends joined their lives and hearts in marriage.  The groomsmen were crazy, the bridesmaids were crazy beautiful, and insanely fun shenanigans were had by all - especially when we were trying to get the groomsmen to be serious during the photo-taking.  All in all, it was an amazing day, and my favorite party of 2010!

Until next time,

Reverb 10 - Prompt #8

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

I found this prompt to be a difficult one, simply because I usually am uncomfortable speaking highly of myself.  That's not what this blog was designed for, even though it was designed to talk about me and things that go on in my life.  I thought the best way to answer this prompt was to do some "market research" on what makes me beautifully different.

One thing that stood out was my boyfriend's response to this question, and that was because several other people echoed his sentiments.  He answered that the lengths I go to to help others is what makes me beautifully different.  He's always chiding me for the multitude of projects I'm working on at any given time, and he sees how much they wear me out.  But he understands that it doesn't matter if I'm tired as long as I'm helping someone else.

I'm okay publishing that one because I'm proud of that quality.  Another response I got that I don't mind sharing is that "when I'm speaking to someone, they know they have my undivided attention."  I was thrilled to get this response because I haven't always been the best listener, and it's a skill I've had to constantly practice, so that made me feel a bit accomplished in that endeavor.

As far as my own responses to this question, I would simply list the following:

- I love to compliment people, so I figure that makes them light up.
- 99% of the time, I am wearing a huge smile.
- I will go out of my way to make things easier for others.
- I am a people-pleaser to a fault.
- I'm OCD about food.
- By OCD, I mean that it cannot touch.
- When there are multiple items on my plate, I eat all of one thing, then twist my plate counter-clockwise.
- I am such a goofball - I love to laugh and make others laugh.

That's all I can come up with, and that is after a LOT of deep thought.  Haha!  What would you say about yourself - what makes you beautifully different?

Until next time,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #7

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

This prompt is actually easy for me.  This year, I started visiting a new church, and in it, I found a great pathway to God.  The lessons are relevant, and have always seemed to feel custom tailored to my life and what's important to me, and that has made a world of difference.  Here is an excerpt from a letter to God I wrote here:

"Thank You for leading me into a new church that has honestly felt personal to me each Sunday. It's always refreshing when the sermon feels like it was written just for you, and I know I wasn't the only member of the congregation who felt that way. I'd been on the hunt for a new church to revive my structured relationship with You, and I feel much happier now that I've tried new places."

I would like to continue a path towards this community in 2011 and I would also love to experience more opportunities to connect with community through community service in the coming year.  I've had a good handful this year, but there is always room for more!

So, ask yourself this question:  Where have you discovered community this year?  Did you find it in any unexpected places?

Until next time,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb 10 - Prompt #6

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I'm actually thankful for this Reverb 10 prompt because I have been wanting to share this something I "made" with you for quite some time.  It's amazing how some things get away from me.

Remember when I told you about some home improvement/reclaiming my space projects I was doing here and here?  Well, one of the projects was completely DIY'ing a desk makeover!

I bought a plain desk (which was originally a dresser) off

Then, I sanded it down....and by I, I do mean me.

Next, Little Sister Chicken Wing and I painted the body and drawers with enamel semi-gloss black paint from Lowe's, all while jamming out to a killer playlist on her MacBook.

Then, after letting it all dry, hitting it up with a second coat, and letting that dry, I had to wait on my new hardware, which I purchased from an amazing company that was perfect for my budget.

Then, I installed the hardware.

Finally, I had a beautiful, completely transformed work of art to aid me in my home office endeavors!  It truly was a labor of love, and my first "major" DIY project, but I absolutely loved it.  Not only did I get to stretch my creative muscle, but I also got to teach Little Sister Chicken Wing a valuable lesson - men are great to have around, but you don't need them for every little thing.  Sisters are doing it for themselves!

As far as what I would like to make but haven't had time to create, I would love to handcraft gifts for people and I would love to make this ruffle wreath at some point in my life.  Let's face it - it's gorgeous and ruffly, and I love it!

Until next time,
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