burghin’ it in the steel city [personal]

when i decided to take this journey, start off on this new adventure a year ago i never realized how hard it would be. i say that, knowing how cliche it sounds, but i truly had no idea.

the hardest part is finding some kind of schedule, something that resembles a routine.

on days where i focus all of my attention on work, i see e’s big brown eyes over the top of my laptop and hear his heavy breathing as he wobbles his chunky little legs across the room and one of two things happens. i either feel guilty and put my head back down and pretend to not hear those fat little feet smacking our hard wood floors with each exploratory step. or, i abandon my laptop and try to take a break to get on the floor and enjoy whatever new found skill he’s acquired. we cuddle and tickle and laugh. but at some point it is back to business.

finding a routine is tough. finding a balance is near impossible but i’m trying. but it’s the days where i completely let go of my laptop that i remember what this life is all about.

it’s about…
…the small stuff.
…trying new things and taking big bites.
…remembering where you come from and looking forward to what’s to come.

you could say i’m emotional. you could say i wear my heart on my sleeve or that i’m a pushover.
on any given day, yes that’s how you could describe it, but that’s not how i see it.

my emotions get the best of me because i don’t take my life for granted. or at least i try not to. when you stop and look around and really appreciate your life, try to find the best in people and forgive their shortcomings, are faced with the worst-case scenario and somehow find a silver lining…
that doesn’t make you a pushover. that doesn’t make you gullible. it makes you acutely aware.

…that life is short.
…that sometimes you have to put down your laptop.
…that holding on to anger is much more exhausting than forgiving.
…that these moments are fleeting.
…your child won’t be this small forever.
…that it could be worse.
…that we should be thankful for every minute of goodness we are blessed with.
…that there are no second chances at life.
…we need to stop blaming everyone for our misfortunes and take them in stride.
…that we are letting small bumps in the road distract us from all of the beauty we are surrounded by.

awareness is an acquired ability. it takes practice and commitment and faith.

i challenge you. the next time you have a weekend to spend with someone you care a whole awful lot about, put your phone on silent. in your purse. and don’t consult it.

give them your full attention. take in every last detail. and don’t forget to let yourself be uncomfortable. being uncomfortable means you tried something new. it means you took a chance.

worst-case scenario, there’s a lesson. so it could be worse.

a couple of weeks ago i…
…took pictures for me.
…hung out with my little walking 9.5 month old and intercepted every stumble i could.
…met soon-to-be family.
…spent money.
…held a child’s hand.
…helped a stranger.
…saw things differently.
…was uncomfortable.

and i loved every minute of it. wanted to share some snapshots of our day. we left blairsville sometime before lunch to head to pittsburgh. we met my cousin at the top of the incline plane. this was our day.