Monday, May 29, 2017

Songs I'm Lovin' - May 2017

Photo by Jessi LaRue
It's been a while since I've created a "Songs I'm Lovin'" I decided to get one posted just before this month ends.

This playlist features a little bit of everything; as usual, it's heavy in country, but this also features some fun tunes from the Cyrus girls. I'll always be a fan of that family.

Check out my current favorite tunes below, and let me know in the comments: what are you listening to right now?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Making changes

Photo by Jessi LaRue
Recently I had some sort of "breakthrough" in my life. 

I was frustrated, I was sad, and I felt unfulfilled.

Unfortunately, I never realize these things as they start to creep up on me. Instead, everything has to come crashing down on me for me to see it. And it's the worst feeling, yet it always pushes me to produce some big results.

So last Sunday night, as I sat on my bedroom floor crying, wondering how I was going to fix these frustrated feelings surrounding my life, it hit me. It's time to make myself happy. It was so simple, and so obvious, but I had to actually stop and take time to evaluate myself.

Once I did, I knew exactly what I needed.
I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and tried to find that happiness. I got a new job, which I'll start next week. My sister and I recently had a long, healthy talk about anything and everything in our lives. My husband and I sat down and evaluated our priorities, our plans and our dreams.

And when the dust settled from all these changes (I tend to work quickly,) I took a deep breath and realized that the rush of chaos I just put myself through worked. I felt better already.

So I'm making some changes in my life, and I can only hope that it's all for the better.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I've been unhappy for a while.

Eh, maybe that's misleading.

As a whole, I'm happy. I love my family, my husband, the projects I've taken on in my life. But when I think about the nitty-gritty of my life, the "who I am" at the end of the day, I feel truly unsatisfied.

I feel off. I don't feel like myself. I don't feel as proud, excited, or intuitive as I've felt previously. This is typically a feeling that pops up during the winter, but now it's May and today hit 85 degrees...and I still feel unhappy.

I can't pinpoint it exactly. I just feel like something in my life is lacking, and I'm not exactly sure what to do about it right now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A mother's love

Every year I try to put my love for my mother into words, and every year I come up short.

The recent "big moves" in my life, which include getting married and buying a house, have made me realize how important my mom is to me. When I think about all the times she has been there in the last few years alone, it astonishes me. She's always there to offer advice or a helping hand. It makes me regret some of those "growing pains" teenage years I had, where sometimes it felt like she was my sworn enemy.

But the older I get, the more I realize that I am so beyond lucky to have her. And the older I get, the more I realize that I am becoming so much like her. I can only hope that I will be half as caring, devoted, and loving as her. 

My mother's love is what keeps me sane, it's what keeps me driven, and it's what makes me want to be the best person I can. Because I want to be like her, and I want to make her proud.

So once again, I tried to put into words how much my mom means to me, and I'm coming up short. I can't put a number on just how many times she's been there for me and my husband. I can't even imagine listing off all the titles she's held, and all the roles she's played, in developing my life into something amazing. I simply can't explain how much I appreciate having her in my life.

Happy Mother's Day, Momma. I can't thank you enough.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Home Decor: Thrifting finds

Another week, another couple of days spent finding cute, quirky items for the home.

These items came from a few fun places!

This cute shelf (roosters not included)
I occasionally get to travel to shoot some photography for my job, so if I ever have downtime while I'm on the road, I tend to do some shopping and browsing. 

I found this cute shelf in an antique mall in Fort Wayne, Indiana last week. I had to buy it (and for only $10!) because I knew it would be the perfect home for my rooster collection. I love roosters, but this collection is very special to me because it has been handed down in my family through many generations. They now have a sturdy and cute home in my dining room.

After browsing the antique mall in Indiana, I came home and still had the itch to do some more browsing. My husband and I went to Roadhouse Antiques in Creston, Illinois to continue the adventure. While there, I picked up a couple of items, including this corn teapot.

It's a really strange item. Most people would find it tacky. But living in the heart of the Midwest makes me appreciate these things. For just $3.50, it fits my down home Midwest kitchen/dining room area very well.

Fun fact: The owner of the shop reminded me that the teapot did not have its lid, which honestly hadn't occurred to me until she had pointed it out. She said that at most vintage shops, it's rare to find a teapot with its lid. She explained that when items are up for auction, typically lids and teapots are put in separate boxes to entice people to buy both boxes. However, she said, sometimes people just don't want all the items in both. She said I may stumble upon the lid somewhere, someday. It was kind of a neat thought.

I also dig in boxes of vinyl albums whenever I come across them. I've loved vinyl ever since my dad handed down his old record player from his high school days. I now have one of those funky (and practical) players that can host Bluetooth, vinyl, CD and cassette. When I spotted this album, "Rowdy Country," the artwork was what really caught my eye. After all, when you think "rowdy" country, don't you picture a flannel-sleeve arm punching through a wall? I know I do!

The track list is pretty incredible, too. It includes songs from Hank Jr., Waylon, Willie and more. At $2, this album was a steal. I picked up this album in Creston, as well.

I picked up this cute, wooden bird while hitting up garage sales Saturday. I thought he would work perfectly in one of the many trees in our backyard. Plus, I figured when the wind picks up and his wings spin, it would give my cats just another thing to gaze at during the day.

The person selling these homemade birds said they were by far the most popular item at his sale, and that he had sold more than 70 of them the day before! At only $1, it was a fun purchase. 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

What's next?

There's a lot of potential for my change in my life right now.

Change always makes me hesitant, and almost scared. But this time, I have a good feeling. 

Even though in the end, I have no idea what to expect.

- - -

I'm ready to take my writing to the next level. I have so many ideas, and so much pent-up energy on projects I've taken on. But where do I begin? 

- - -

Writing a book has been a goal of mine for as long as I've been able to write. I have two very strong feelings about it. 

1) Lots of people have done it/are doing it. So why couldn't you?

2) Lots of people have done it/are doing it. So how could you possibly stand out from the crowd and make your story worthwhile?