Friday, April 29, 2016

April and Me || 2016

loving. These sandals from Target because FAVORITES and glitter and toe strap.
contemplating. Where all this stuff in our office came from because SO MUCH TO MOVE. 
smelling. Flowers on the morning air while running. It's dreamy and magical. 
writing. In cards and sending them off. There's nothing like a trip to Papyrus to get your mail going.
reading. The Bronte Plot. I've been entrenched in some heavy, hard reading so this is a fun one.
learning. To use calligraphy tools -like the nibs and ink and cleaner. It's a whole new world. 
watching.  The First 48 as soon as it records. 
listening. To the Hamilton soundtrack because Broadway plays are lovely art. 
craving. Breakfast. I just want to eat eggs and bacon all the days of my life. 
needing. European vacation tips. Mostly all about Italy and the things we NEED to see.
wanting. To sit on the beach with a book and cocktail. Moving our office instead. 
eating. Oranges. They're so, so good this year. The strawberries aren't. 
drinking. Champagne. Because BUBBLES. It's like confetti in a glass. 
swooning over. My garden. The plants are green and luscious and I cannot wait for my first fruits.
feeling. Good -for the most part. Strong and hopeful and patient -for the most part. 
working on. My manuscript from #NaNoWriMo in 2014. Time is a balm and motivation.

I tackled morning routines and started my #100DaysofPaintingBreakfast which revolves entirely around my morning eats. 

I talked a lot about dreams and how some of them aren't really meant to be. I'm learning how to embrace that truth as painful or joyful as it can be.

The #confetticommunity is launched. Each month I'll share the moment that was most poignant or exciting or achieved with you because we don't do enough celebrating these days. 

My mom and I ran the hilliest half marathon in the west last weekend. Took us 1:55 and we almost cried as we raced over the finish line. The views were gorgeous, the weather toasty, the hills hellish. We've done this one several years in a row and this felt like the final time around the course. 


Where They Found Her
by: Kimberly McCreight

I picked this out during an Audible sale because it was included and I enjoyed "Reconstructing Amelia" just six months ago. McCreight's ability to tie together psychological thrills with current grey areas in society is unmatched. Her weaving and working together of multiple complicated story lines while maintaining clarity for the reader's sake is the shining star of this novel. 

At the start of the story I decided to jump on Goodreads and check out the other reviews only to find a litany of MEH. I was concerned all the complaints and criticisms would scream louder than McCreight's work but that was quickly silenced. As the characters and their flaws slowly came to the surface of the story line, I couldn't stop listening. I needed to know what the end of the story held for me and so I spent hours with ear buds in and the audiobook playing. The narrators they picked to speak through the novel were perfect selections.  

I enjoyed "Reconstructing Amelia" but I LOVED "Where They Found Her". It provided the thrills and twists that I haven't found since reading "Gone Girl". It filled a void in my reading life I didn't even know I had. 

Long story short: You won't be able to do anything else once you start reading this.

Other novels finished in the month of April:

The Art of Racing in the Rain (review) || ★★★
East of Eden (review) || ★★★
The Nest (review) || 
Five Days at Memorial (review) || ★★★
All the Light we Cannot See (review) || ★★★


The shop has been quiet and there because I'm busy working to restore a sense of wonder to my process. And so, I jumped into the #100daysofpaintingbreakfast with a heart happy to try something new, different, challenging. Creative business is fun ya'll. Fun but exhausting, so exhausting. And you've got to settle in to what fills you. Then balance consumption with output. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Few (Not-So) Important Confessions About Books

I am happy to call myself a book worm. Lately I've found myself talking to anyone and everyone who will listen about the book they're reading, what's currently on our night stands, and what sits in their Amazon (or Audible) wishlist. The conversations make me smile, fill a little special spot in my soul, and make me want to call in sick to work so I can read all the livelong day.

But they've also left me feeling slightly guilty.

Guilty about the un-bookworm things I do and have done. Guilty because I feel like I can't use the bookworm title without a few confessions.

1. I've never read the Harry Potter series. In fact, I only finished the first book in it's entirety. I've tried four or five times and just can't manage to get excited.

2. In fact, I don't really enjoy series in general. I just can't stay invested with characters and plot lines for more than three books.

3. The classics bore me to death. I want to be a good classic reader but have never finished one (aside from what was required for my AP English classes in high school).

4. Reading is always better with a drink. Coffee, sweet tea, or mimosa in a cut off water bottle.

5. I can not stay awake while reading. In fact, I read myself to sleep every night.

6. I've only read an entire book in one sitting once. And I was on an airplane so that might not even count. Also, it was Me Before You.

7. I don't reread. Seriously, I can't reread books because I remember all the plot points and characters so I can't get myself engaged over again.

8. I always think the book is better than the movie except for The Martian and The Hunger Games

9. My favorite genres are Young Adult and Historical Fiction. Had you asked me two years ago about it, I wouldn't have had an answer for you. Now I do.

10. I ignore my book journal. Then I binge fill it out. I'm trying to be better about this, but I'm not.
Now that we have all that off my chest, I can talk to you about all the books in the land (well except Harry Potter and the classics).

I'm currently in love with The Bronte Plot, struggling with The Nest, and working my way through Flannery O'Conner's Book of Prayers. My nightstand and Audible account overflow with books which is blessed because I'm two books ahead of my read 52 books in 2016 goal!

What are you currently reading? 
And what is your biggest bookworm confession? 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Inventions and Stuff and Things || A Marriage Letter

Dear Jason, 

Every morning I tell you that you're my favorite invention. You laugh and so do I. But I'm so serious. You are the favorite of all the things I know. 

I have always been a things person. Loving shoes and clothes and purses and things is an part of my DNA. It's not the proudest part of my DNA, but I am materialistic. You married me knowing that. And you've loved me despite the fights we've had over another Amazon package on the door step. You've endured shopping fasts and Target runs, not-so-quick errands and budget conversations with good humor. 

It's been a dream of mine to not give a damn about things. I've always had a guilty spot in my heart over the way I love sandals and Nike and pretty wall hangings. And, for part of my life I wondered how a man could give me all the things I want. But then you. You came along and it wasn't about things or places, but about us. You came on your college frat-boy budget and swept me right off my feet. 

Because you were the greatest thing ever invented. And I know you were invented by Him just for me. 

You, being the best invention ever, have paled all the things. You have taught me what it means to feel poor despite all the clothes in my closet and dollars in the bank. You have taught me the richness of love and marriage. You have taught me that no thing could ever fill the hole that losing you would leave. And, though I dread the day it isn't a Mr. Thomas and Me kind of world, the wealth that I have shared with you over the last (nearly) five years is truly priceless. 

What a blessing to be tailor-made, 
- - - - - - - - - - -

This letter is one in a series of letters I write to remember mundane moments of my marriage that would otherwise slip away. I write with a dedication to hold tight to him and to remember how life looks right now at this very moment. The chance for these letters to shed light on our marriage before children for our children because they won't know us as newlyweds is a much loved and added bonus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Sometimes I pray. But only sometimes. 
It used to be lots and lots of prayer. 
But now, I pray sometimes. 

I think it's because prayer feels futile. I think it's because I know His timing is great, but I'm impatient. I want now. I want in a way I didn't know I could. I want Him to say He hears, to nod His large, gorgeously-haired head up and down with knowing, to be affirmed. But I don't have a face-to-face meeting with Him scheduled any time soon, so I have to be willing to feel. 

Sometimes I pray and try to feel Him listening or 
talking or paying any sort of attention to me. 
But there's nothing. 

I think it's because I felt ignored for the better part of seven years. And now, here I am preparing to beg Him once more. But this time, I don't feel the same hope. This time I feel bitterly aware of the way the world works. I know how He works heart break into redemption, how He unfolds our future like a comfortable quilt upon which we get to picnic with Him after our guts are spilled over the grass that's life. But, I don't know if I can withstand a good shattering any time soon.

Sometimes you don't get what you want. 
Sometimes the answer is no.
And sometimes those facts nearly snap you in two. 

I've been tentatively opening my bible to 1 Samuel. I turn there because it's a book about knowing Him, but being defiant. I turn there because it feels like I might be in good company with the rebel-children of my Father. I turn there knowing that He works it all out for His prophet and His people. And, in knowing their stories made it to glory, I find myself covered in the same shade of hope that falls over 1 Samuel.

Sometimes we don't need light, but shade. 
Because hope can feel too bright and shiny. 
And I want to flee like a bird that sees metallic ribbon in His Eden.

Sometimes the light is too bright for those coming out of dark seasons. The light comes suddenly like a blinking strobe, not slowly like the day's dawn. And the surprising shift disorients us so that we're confused instead of relieved, annoyed instead of anointed, terrified instead of encouraged. 

For some of us, the Sometimes are actually a lot of the time 
because faith is often overwhelming.
But overwhelm isn't an excuse to walk away or give up. 

In overwhelm we can do one thing: keep on keepin' on. One foot in front of the other. One minute after the last. We keep on in the direction He's laid forth until we see our burning bush. And so, I walk the path He's laid out. I walk faithfully -though sometimes I walk terribly slow. I walk as though I'm on a lease -sometimes tugging, other times comfortable at His side. I walk carefully -acknowledging I'm good at mucking the whole thing up. I walk with defiance and love, with an adventurer's heart and a child's obedience.

I'm still learning what it means to walk this way. 
But that acquisition of knowledge comes with a blessed truth: 
Sometimes I can walk and in those other times when I can't, He carries me. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Coffee Date || 23

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be drinking my regular -hot and caffeinated. It'd be in a mug and Hazel would be watching over my shoulder (or if we're sitting at a table from beside my left thigh) because that's what she does nowadays. I'd beg her to drool on your leg instead of mine, but she wouldn't leave me because a shadow must stay near to its person.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd bring you a bouquet of roses from my garden. Because the bloom this year is amazing and my bushes are heavy with petaled faces. I'd bring them to you and tell you to breath the thick-ruffled petals of the oxblood roses that smell like lemon. You'd breath them in deep. And then I'd ask if the salmon roses that fade to a sunflower yellow remind you of cupcakes because that's what they look like to me.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you if you've heard of the #100dayproject. You might have and I'd make sure you have a plan for it because it starts TOMORROW. And if you haven't, I'd fill you in and beg you to join the party in the name of bravery. And maybe in the name of creativity too. Also, I'd make you tell me what you had for breakfast because I'm obsessed with breakfast.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I listened to The Art of Racing in the Rain and it shattered my heart because I am such a dog person. I have noticed a new sort of relaxed slowness about Hazel that is adorable and cozy, but marks a bit of aging in her soul. And there's frosty white fur that's coming in below her eyes. I know this is all natural and that she's in her mid-life, but can she please never grow old?

If we were on a coffee date, I'd wonder if you're into Fixer Upper. Because I hear all about how binge-tastic it is and, well, I think I might dive in. I'm a Project Runway fiene, always waiting for a new season because ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL FABRICS. But maybe I should spend some time loving on home improvement... Or is going to make me want to redo everything in our house starting with the kitchen cabinets that I so badly want to replace.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd want to talk about bullet journals. I'm preparing to start my third one and, well, what do I need to add. I've incorporated an editorial calendar each month that makes me smile with organizational joy. But, I know there's better ways to manage the books I'm reading and blog ideas and shop inspirations so, HELP ME.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd confess that faith is still hard. We've been avoiding church -both intentionally and not- but I miss being there even if it overwhelms me. And that beautiful ESV bible I got in November made me so happy, but it's easier to look at than it is to crack open. I'm leaning in to grace and, simultaneously, starting to feel an unsatisfied hunger in my belly that might just be my soul missing Him so seriously.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd share about my anthem. My anthem is seasonal, changes at random intervals, and is always the song that seems to sing out the cry of my heart. Lately, it feels like Kelly Clarkson's Piece by Piece is my anthem but not in the way she means it. In the way of a child of God who aches in the brokenness of this world -war, death, losing my dad- sees restoration and redemption in His good work. And then, I'd ask: what's your anthem? 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Let's Talk about Breakfast. Also Named my #100DayProject

Earlier this month I mentioned that my mornings are nuts. I set up some rules for myself and decided that I was going to be more intentional with the foundation of my day. It's been two weeks and I've reigned my morning routine in partially. I'm enjoying the slower movements and have been smiling over the way it's changed my days in their entirety.

And, in the new pace, I've discovered what I've known for years that my favorite part of my day is breakfast.

Eggs. Bacon. Cheese. Oatmeal. Crepes. Scones. Coffee.

Give me breakfast all the livelong day.

Then, in the midst of my new-found morning routine, Rachel texted me about the #100dayproject from artist, author, creativity mastermind, Elle Luna (please read her book if you haven't). She wanted to talk watercolors because she's bringing some color into her life. And then, she wanted to know about mine.

I had a dozen answers. I wanted to do all the things in all the ways. But there was one that just kept sticking and every morning it hounded me. It's an idea that comes with much thought and intention. It breathes color and space, but (most likely) won't turn into shop product which alleviates all the pressure that shop making can bring.

It looks like breakfast. Eggs. Bacon. Cheese. Oatmeal. Crepes. Scones. Coffee.

Give me breakfast all #100dayproject.

Yes, I'm going to spend the next 100 days drawing, painting, sketching breakfast. I'm going to dedicate myself to celebrating the meal that starts off (and steals my heart) every single day. I feel like a winner of the original idea award because #100daysofbreakfast actually has 0 posts right now.

Here's to making that 0 into 100 by July 27th.  

And you, what are you dedicating yourself to doing for the next 100 days (starting on April 19th)?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When TV Doesn't Cut It. Or What I'm Listening to Now.

|| book journal via Amber Thomas Makes ||

Confession: I still watch Teen Mom and The Real World. That's only when I'm all caught up on all the Housewives of All the Cities. When do I have time for all this watching? When I'm making art, of course.

But the greater confession: I've recently come to feel really guilty about the content I'm consuming.

Yes, I watch The Real World and realize: nothing about it is real. I binge on Teen Mom and my heart breaks for their messes that grow and expand like a spaghetti platter. I walk away from these trashy TV moments with a weird sort of sadness on my person because, while I love a good train wreck, I long for redemption, for a story that ends with some kind of good. And that isn't what makes TV sell.

The recent acquisition of Verizon by Frontier Communications has cut all the fat from our channel options and so, I've had to find new interests. And, with great intention, I've turned to more Podcasts and hungered for a larger library of Audiobooks. So far, all's gone amazingly well and that means I shall share my findings.

Podcasts I Can't Stop Listening To

Embedded: Think Serial, but in a nutshell. These are quick episodes (less than an hour) that cover a large news event in greater depth and from as many angles are available to the Kelly McEvers (the host). This is new -just started- but SO RICH. If Serial dragged on for just a bit too long for your taste, Embedded is for you.
Start with this episode: The Bikers 
Note to Self: A weekly episode on how humans and technology interact because the digital realm of our lives isn't going anywhere any time soon. I find myself challenged and inquisitive about my own uses of technology -from my iPhone to FOMO to Legos- in a way that I wouldn't be otherwise.
Start with the episode: How to Shake Up Your Echo Chamber 
Stuff Mom Never Told You: Two women talk about women things. Well, they talk about most things, but through the lens of women in a way that is empowering, educating, and asking for you to engage with the world around you. This podcast is a crucial piece of shaking up my echo chamber throughout the course of my year.
Start with this episode: Lady Truckers 
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People: The premise of this podcast is like WHOA. Chris Gethard opens up the line and spends an entire hour talking to a random -anonymous- person with only a few rules: Chris is not aloud to hang up or ask names or come to the call with an agenda. The conversations span the spectrum every single week -mostly moving along like life happens, when suddenly the BOOM moment where you realize everything contains the interesting.
Start with this episode: The Most Amazing Destruction (this one is INTENSE, but so enthralling and beautiful.) 

Books I Read, but Would Love to Listen to

The Girl with All the Gifts
At page 60, I almost set this novel down and didn't pick it back up. I was sure this book wasn't for me and would be better left unfinished. But then I spent three nights wondering what happened to the strange little girl, Melanie, and her unlikely group of friends. So, I started again and upon page 100 I couldn't set the thing down. I do wonder what it'd be like to hear someone speak on behalf of Melanie and so, it's on the list.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This received really controversial reviews on Audible, so I feel nervous about the narrator's performance (something that I completely believe can make or break a novel). But the storyline is divine. And so, I'd love to give the Audiobook a try even if it doesn't capture my fancy.

Gold by Chris Cleave
The pace in this novel is what was absolutely divine to me and the right narrator could bring a new, different kind of life to the brilliant words that Cleave always provides. If you read this one: prepare yourself for conviction about your own competitive nature. I was. Oh how I was.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Honestly, I feel like I'm getting smarter. The other day we were at a family gathering and I got to engage in (and enjoy) talking about the way that Fitbits are both helpful and hurtful. I got to throw a well-thought opinion in the ring because I've spent a few weeks reflecting on the place my own Fitbit plays in my life.

And, I feel less sad because -as surprised as I might be- I don't miss the Teen Mom, Real World, Housewife friends as much as I expected.

What are you listening to? 
How are you shaking up your echo chamber? 

Monday, April 11, 2016

For When You've Lost Your Way

Last week I wrote about the need to set down a dream (or three) in order to pursue another. I talked about the way it's scary and hard, but necessary and preservative. And I haven't stopped thinking about how many ways I needed those words.

I needed those words because I've been fighting the feeling of drowning. Like I've taken on too many personal costs and not had a steady enough inspirational income for them. Like I'm trying to make it all work, but instead am working away my soul's joy.

And, in the quick sinking sand of creative priority, I realized that my reality and my dreams are different than I thought. Six months ago, I'd have written down a list that wouldn't begin to motivate me today. And I'm sure what I'd name as my future now won't be a future interest in a year. I'm fickle like that. Or, I'm learning how to be really honest.

Instead of spending all my days vision casting and dream naming, I've been dedicating myself to reflecting on what's here and what's now. I want to point out what needs change and hold tight to what works well. So far, I've come up with this:
  • When I started at my job five years ago, I thought I was just doing a month's worth of filling in for a woman on a short medical leave. Here I am, five years later, in love with the people I work for and with. It's my bread-and-butter and I wouldn't want to leave them. 
  • When I started Amber Thomas Makes, I was sure I'd love to work for myself, to spend my days painting and exploring all the colorful options. Now, nearly a year later, I know it's my after-work joy that brings in some extra cash and that's all I want it to be. 
  • When I participated in #NaNoWriMo a year and a half ago I was sure I'd be taking that book to publishing by now. Now, eighteen months later, I'm happy to be looking over it and flirting with different ways to approach the same message. This type of work can be slow and long and still lovely. 
  • When I began posting on this blog in December of 2011, I thought it'd be a fun creative outlet. I've tried monetizing and decided against it. I've considered turning it into a business, but can't get comfortable in the crossover, so quit. This is my small corner of community online and that's legit. 
The greatest lesson I've learned in the last year: you have to check in on yourself. Check in on your process, on your supplies and your cost. Check in on your available time and space. Check in on your enjoyment, your hope, and your dreams. Because they change constantly and there isn't an app to track all of these things.

Sometimes you need to make space to educate yourself and decide on what's true for you. Sometimes you'll be overjoyed with the truth that you're where you want to be with the people you love. And sometimes you'll be like me, holding on to a dream you can't really justify.

If you're in the confused camp with me, please know there's ways to determine a new direction. There's all kinds of courses and books to guide you, but mostly, you need simple to be honest. Be really honest about what you love and what you hate. Then do more of the first and less of the latter. I know, it sounds too simple and impossible. But simple is better friend. Simple is better.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Romance of Redemption and a Small Orchid Plant

I've been doing a very careful dance with Jesus since my dad died. It's a tenuous, nervous sort of tapping feet on the scratched and nicked floors of life. I don't find comfort in His strong arms wrapped tight around my spirit. Instead, I'm flailing arms wide, through air, lip-syncing, and hoping against all hope I can settle in to the sweet, slow song to which He's swaying.

I'm sure I look rabid. I feel rabid, wild, terrified of the slow lull. But, He's a Romantic. And so, He's brought me flowers. He brought me orchids. And with them, He invited me to put on my best dress, my dancing shoes, and to sway in a gentle, comfortable way.

Romance only feels divine when it's tailored, every detail covered and consumed. He tailors. Romance only works when you understand the pain of heartache. I understand.

- - - - - - - - - -

The night my dad was diagnosed I perched on a white wooden Ikea desk chair. Like a bird I sat, looking pensive and feeling shattered. My back was to my bedroom door and I watched the sky between the apartment buildings. The glass slider door to my balcony was streaked with hazy mess. I'd soon clean it incessantly. But for the day, I was nineteen years old and terrified about Alzheimers' and North Korea's atom bomb.

The night my dad was diagnosed, my roommate left an orchid on my desk. I was in the shower hoping steam could clean me of the shaky fear of bad news. She tied a bow around the stem and support stick. I never said thank you. I just sat at the desk, damp and depressed, stroking the little fuchsia flowers with my finger tips. And in the following days, the orchid died.

I assigned the orchid a new name: omen. And I nursed an angry hate. I hated the displays of them at grocery stores from then till now. I heard they were fickle and sensitive and wanted to scream. I saw them in tattoos and magazines, on Instagram and Facebook and shivered in the richness of my disdain. Those flowers, their memory, my loss.

- - - - - - - - - -
But romance is divine when it's redemptive. 
- - - - - - - - - -

And on Easter weekend, redemption went from the cross to a small chapel in his memory facility. A small chapel now named after my dad. A small chapel meant to draw redemption into one of earth's most devastatingly broken places just like he did. Just like He does.

On Easter weekend, we sat in the chapel; a family gathered in a final, divine orchestration by Him. We huddled in and sweated as too many bodies stood in the room that He shares with my dad. And as we sat, the flowers were delivered. Two staff with smiles on the lips and tears in their eyes, thanked us for sharing him.

And the flowers that sat in my lap were polka-dotted orchids. I wasn't ready for the question that came with it. I wanted to remain in my seat, a wallflower with the white pot in her lap. And His patience poured out once again.

- - - - - - - - - -

He'll ask again -the Dancing King. And next time, I'll change into my Sunday best and say yes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Costly Dreams & Battleship

Want a journal like this one? FIND IT HERE
I'm impulsive.

I see something I want and I go for it. It might be in a shop window, on a Pinterest board, or grooving on a dance floor at a frat party. I see something I would like and set my mind on making it happen. I've been this way as long as I can remember.

As a kid this was particularly hard because of chores and allowance and Target's price tags. I remember one trip to pick up a few things with mom ended with my undying devotion to save up for a pair of roller skates that had velcro that buckled over my shoes. I needed those skates to pursue my (sudden) desire to be a skating queen. And so, I started saving my chore money.

But then, there was Battleship. I was introduced to the game by the girl that lived up the street. She tiptoed quietly into her older brother's room and brought out the box. We set up the two boards, she taught me the rules, and I was hooked. Absolutely hooked. I needed the game to pursue my future as Queen of Battleship Face-offs. And so, I started counting my chore money.

I counted and quickly realized: I had enough money for one or the other, but not both.

And -because I'm impulsive- I needed a visit to Target immediately.

This isn't really about games or velcro skates. It's about the scarcity in my piggy bank. Because, like my money, our time, efforts, and abilities are limited in each day. We've only got twenty-four hours, three meals, and two hands with which to work. Like I had to learn that day in Target, priorities are important.

Because sometimes what's strong is to set down one dream in order to fully pursue another. It's scary -because what if that dreams gets mothballs- but it's necessary. Sometimes the price tag on the chase is just too much for our time and money. This feels like an excuse, but it's actually an important observation about our reality. Sometimes the piggy bank is only half full and we're required to make a choice.

It's hard to hear that we can't have it all. Goodness, it hurts so bad.

Sometimes you need to ear mark it, set it aside, and know it'll be there to pick up later. Because, truth be told, we can't have it all at one time. This harsh reality means we've got to prioritize. Pick the velcro skates or the Battleship. Choose the painting over the book writing. Spend your time learning calligraphy instead of working with watercolor. One day, you'll see opportunity open up and allow space for that other dream.

When that happens, dust it off, put on your new hat, and dance.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Seeking a Morning Routine

I spent much of March performing what I so unaffectionately call fire drill mornings. You know the type of mornings where you race out the door like your hair is on fire because you can't seem to remember that you need to be in the shower by 7:30 a.m. or you're going to be late out the door an hour later? Yes, fire drill mornings.

They're the worst. But they're the most terrible, horrible, hated thing when you do them day after day for more than a week. It is that tenth day when your hair is still damp and your brain is fried that you realize, you need a better plan. That's when you acknowledge things like:

  • For the last week you've been ten minutes late to work every day. (The only thing I hate more than fire drill mornings is being late despite my best efforts to be on time.)
  • You long for a good breakfast (hey, bacon and eggs and avocado) but because of the time crunch eat nothing
  • Your lunch is a random collection of snack foods, none of which you particularly like or want to eat in a few hours when the rumbling of your empty stomach is too much.

And this is when the dawn of a new month seems blessed. Because as much as I want to pretend a morning routine will fall upon me one night in my dreams, I know it's about approaching the foundation of each day with intention.

So, I have some morning routine goals for the month:

1. No social media until after 8:00am.

2. Pick out my outfit before I go to bed.

3. Do NOT try and package orders before work.

4. Stop eating breakfast in a fire drill.

These are all intentional choices. Ive thought them through (as best as I can when I'm speeding to work and angry with myself). And I'm hoping the thought behind the rules will help my dedication to follow them. So, let's check in at the end of April?

But before that, GIVE ME YOUR TIPS. 
How do you make mornings less fire drill and more foundational? 

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