Fatty McFaterson Is No More

I have struggled lately cause I haven’t seen any big changes recently. But I knew it was my fault for not working as hard the last few weeks. I never care about being “thin”. I just want to be healthier. I truly mean that with everything in me. And being mentally healthy is just as important. Because I can tell you that in some of these before pictures, the ugliest thing about me was the inner struggle much more than the outer appearance issues. It feels SO GOOD to be working hard again and slowing down enough to make wiser choices for myself.


When you see yourself everyday, it’s hard to notice changes when they don’t seem to come in the form of 20 pounds dropping over night. I even noticed that I was falling back into old tricks of trying ridiculous angles on my outfit pics to try and look the smallest. I did not want to do that again. It is SO IMPORTANT to me and at my core to be authentic and real. It’s who I am. So the last thing I wanted to do was start deceiving with my pics. That alone was motivation to get my butt back in gear.
But, when I came home after work today to an apt of teenagers and one who hadn’t seen me in a while made more than one comment about how different I looked, I thought I would go through old pics and make comparisons. Man, am I glad I did. To you, it may not be THAT big of a difference. To me, it’s A WORLD of difference. What is crazier to me is that these comparisons are only from October to now!
 It’s almost a completely different face – less puffy, better complexion…and do you see that happy? Oh the hurt you don’t even know about that was dwelling within me in that top 3rd pic!!!!

 

 It’s a healing difference – even though it had been a couple of months out of a break up in the before pics, there was still SO MUCH anger and hurt. I still get a little angry about it. But the new faces….those are healing faces. Those are faces that are excited about life and that have owned where she is at….determined to be a better than ever face.


Still so far to go. But still so much difference already. I will always be under construction. It’s just so nice to have a different approach to the project lately. Peace, determination, forgiveness of myself (still working on the forgiving the ex part) and the expectation that the new greatness coming, isn’t going to happen overnight…..those are the beautiful descriptions of Alicia 2.37923 😝


I recently had the opportunity to take some really hard truths given to me from a friend and go 400 steps backwards…or finally do something different. The old Alicia would’ve taken the truths spoken and dwelled, cried, ate my emotions and over analyzed for who knows how many days. I would’ve talked to a hundred others trying to get confirmation that those things couldn’t possibly be true. I would’ve decided that I might as well give up on ever being different.

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Instead, I took it to the treadmill and opened a book I never finished about how successful women think differently. And it just so happened that my last bookmark from where I left off was on a segment about strengths and weaknesses. We should be aware of weaknesses within us, but we should concentrate and grow from our strengths…not from constantly trying fix a weakness. Well if that train wasn’t on time, I don’t know what was!!!
See, once again, not a big change to speak of for someone else to read…but a HUGE change for me. i would dare say that it is one of the things I am most proud of in a long time!!
So, THANK YOU for watching me change and being so willing to embrace it and for letting me be me…authentically…and now authentically smaller :-)

Dying in Conversation

As you know from my previous couple of blogs, my precious gran is in the end stages of life. I am trying, with all my might to slow down and be present in the process. I want to cherish the last moments and observe outside of what I normally would.

Today was good. Relatively speaking.
My gran was more responsive. She was awake most of the day. She knew who we all were. She could carry on conversations. She scolded my uncle for picking on me (she always has taken up for me).  I find myself wondering if this is a boost of good because the end is more near or if we really are improving in some ways. I’m a little selfish in her good day because it gave me another chance to visit and have conversation with her.
I don’t think we enjoy simple conversation enough.  I think we sometimes feel like we have to speak so “significantly” and be full of opinions, that we forget some of the best things shared, are simple.
Today, I purposely had and soaked up plain conversations.  And even still, in the midst of this sadness, my heart is so full.  I cannot say that enough.  My heart is SO FULL.  I am amazed at how when you slow down, what you really get out of it.
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I talked with my gran who even in dying, is still showing upmost kindness.  She apologizes to her nurses for having to do the unpopular work.  She says yes ma’am and no ma’am.  She doesn’t ask for anything.  But she tells you that she loves you.  She scolds my uncle for picking on me.  I watched her talk to every single visitor she has had today.  She has asked more about them than giving them the chance to check on her.  She asked great-granddaughters how their day was and never complained even when she was tired.
I soaked up her simple kindness in conversation.

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I talked with my little nieces who came to visit.  I had the privilege of keeping them occupied in the spare room so we wouldn’t disturb gran and my sister could visit with her, without little hands and voices.  I learned that Oreos are very important to toddlers.  Few sounds are sweeter than the conversations between sisters as they share some Sweet-Tarts.
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I learned that 6 year olds know what selfies, Snapchat amd wi-fi is. Sometimes all we really need are a handful of snacks, an Oreo crumbed kiss and to hear “ricia I wub you whole bunch”
I soaked up innocence in conversation.
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I visited with my gran’s aide (I also used to work with her as a teenager when I was an ER clerk). She has served others for 26 years.  She has always been vivacious.  She loves a good casino and shopping trip.  She just lost her husband 2 months ago and decided to keep working to stay busy.  Her dog also died this week.  She is thankful.  M gran responded the most in conversation (that I saw) with her.  Her voice is gentle.
I soaked up strength, resilience and gentle in conversation.
Today is good.  My spirit needed it.

Dying Stories

  Today was exhausting. My body just doesn’t do well in situations like this and things in general just weren’t going my way. The time with family tonight sure turned my frowns upside down. I am thankful. I mean that with every fiber of me. 

Anyway- 

1. I am soooo thankful that I made the decision to come when I did. It means so much to be able to say goodbye. Today made it clear that chance has passed so I will cherish that I made it in time. 

2. Stories. Oh my word. Anyone who knows me, knows there are plenty of Yell Co stories in my arsenal. But the ones I have heard tonight for the first time are awesome. I rarely get to spend good soul time with my uncles, and I don’t think people really share stories anymore. But to be unplugged from technology in these late nights when we can’t sleep and hear story after story has been awesome. It feels weird to say that since it has only happened because of sadness…but I Wish everyone could meet my Uncle Lewis and hear him talk. 

3. Speaking of stories, tonight we covered noodling (my fam did it way better than those tv shows), hunting, mountain lion debates, uncle don’s new addiction to FB and my most fav of all, dating. The love and respect between my aunts and uncles is so cool. Watching them tell me their love story and see them go down memory lane is beyond sweet. 

4. I have had some pretty great examples of couples love and the power of never giving up. The men in my family have set a really high bar. Probably why I am still single…because I expect what my grandparents and aunts and uncles have. Even if I stay single forever, I have still experienced great love, even if it is second hand. And that’s good enough for me!

Dying Hands

As fun as it is to post the dating dramatics and shopping in my closet outfits, my writing (which honestly has always been more for my own therapy than if one person read it or not) lately has been to release and process the fact that I am facing my grandmother’s passing.   
It’s probably a bit morbid to think that this is what I asked for. No, of course I didn’t ask for my grandmother to go through this that will end in her passing. She is my favorite person I have ever known and I could fill up so much of your time bragging about her. But I did ask for a slow down and a reset. I did ask for more time with my family and to bring some appreciation and perspective back into my life. And that is certainly what is happening. It’s not easy. And I am not saying my train of thought is for you to agree with. But I am saying that even in the saddest of times, there is a lesson. You get to choose whether you grow from the experience and learn a lesson or whether you wallow or even go backwards. I am choosing to learn. 

  
I am fortunate to be able to spend these last moments with her. I feel even more fortunate that even in the little sleep we are getting, that I am getting alone time with her in the later hours after everyone has gone home. 
Tonight, her hands are telling the stories. 

  

These hands. My goodness they have been through some stuff. 
They have worked themselves to the bone as a farmer. 
They have cooked no less than 10,000 of the best meals you have ever had. 
They have stroked my hair as a little girl while I laid in her lap during church and listened to my pop teach. 
They have been firm on my butt maybe once or twice. 
They have wiped tears and been the best comfort when my parents were mean to me 😝
They have prayed while the heart ached over the loss of her forever love. 
They have been the kindest hands I have ever known…..

Earning My Stripes

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Today’s shopping in my closet comes courtesy of copy catting. I have seen plaid and stripes a lot and been wanting to try it on myself. I am sure some of you out there can relate to a fear of putting stripes on a bigger body. But, if I am gonna live unapologetically this year, I can’t say I am sorry for trying off beat patterns. 
  
It is probably still too soon to wear this dress for the stomach I still have. But i did it and I am not sorry. This dress was made to do you favors and those criss-cross stripes are my friend! Most importantly, it’s all comfy for the all day meetings I am headed into. 

Luckily, thanks to great hair and good lipstick, my only decisions are how to manage my water intake to bathroom trip ratio when I am stuck in a conf room all day!! 

  
I dare you to wear stripes and plaid. And I dare you to have a good day doing it!!

Tulle-Tide Carols

Tis the season…..for plaid, pearls, sparkly heels, AND A TULLE SKIRT that is to die for!


Before I put this outfit together for my Christmas card, I looked everywhere for cares to give about how I might be perceived as an adult, plus sized lady in a tulle skirt. I looked high and low and everywhere in between. But no cares were to be found! So, on a random whim, we put on our fancies and ran out to grab some snapshots that are sure to bring our Christmas card to life!


I grew up in a world where you could only wear cute things or be considered “cute” if you were one of the rich girls in town, who also just happened to be between sizes 0 and 4. I longed to wear the outfits they were wearing, but knew I could never pull it off.


Fast forward to lots of years and many life lessons later, and you end up strutting around a museum in loud shoes and a skirt that your friends will probably have to pry off your cold, dead waist before you take it off!


I don’t know when the exact moment happened where women started being louder than ever about real beauty and about wearing what you want without apology. But, I’m sure glad we have finally made it there!


I challenge any woman to put a tulle skirt on, no matter your age and tell me that you don’t catch yourself walking a little peppier and even twirling around when nobody is looking (or when they are looking – who cares?!).  To be honest, I felt so good! I loved this look and my makeup so much, that I wish I would’ve had a party to go to after!


I am in love with the looks I am seeing of t-shirts with the skirts, so I couldn’t resist grabbing a snap or two of that for myself.


Since I probably won’t be able to justify a tulle look for work most days, I also paired this up with a more plain black skirt and heels that make me feel equally as sassy!

What is your holiday look?

The Adele Hangover Explained

I cannot remember a time when I anticipated a human’s existence as much as I have the return of Adele.  I tried to prepare myself as much as possible.  I even entertained the thought of waiting til Saturday to download the album (psssh – puh-lease) just so that I could be completely and emotionally available to soak it up.  Instead, I downloaded at 12:34 in the morning, listened to it as many times as I could before I crashed at 2:30 a.m., wrote about it and now the only thing I am preparing for is the crash of the internet she is surely bringing with her today.
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I am legitimately suffering from an Adele hangover.  And in an effort to help you navigate the emotional roller coaster you are about to go on when you hit play, I have given you a brief recap of each song.  It would be silly of you to think you were going to download and listen to only a couple of songs.  So you’ll need to be sure you read this going in.
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Overall, I expected another sad album that would leave me in the deep pit of despair while drowning my candy cane flannel pajamas in my wine induced tears.  Instead, there were moments of “yeah, you can shove it mr ex…..” and hope, and acceptance of the life that was….and that I’m gonna be ok.
GLORY GLORY Adele.  You could not have done a better job.  I’m actually concerned about you as a person.  The attention you are about to get is going to be overwhelming.  I hope you don’t wear yourself out.
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Without further delay, let’s get started.
By Track:
1.  Hello – there isn’t much left to say about this one.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you have already heard this one and are clear on her message.  At this point, we should all have this one on our list of songs to belt out in the car.  I am hoping, if you are a seasoned Adele fan, that you have already worked through the emotion of this one.

 

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2.  Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – IF I have to pick a favorite right this second, it’s this one. It’s just where I am at.  I’m hurt and a little angry at my ex.  He promised things and dragged me through empty promises and a few years of making me think I was asking too much or crazy for expecting to be treated like a decent human being worth someone’s effort (he didn’t even put effort into replying to the break up text).  He has already moved on with his new love who I’m sure is wonderful and making him the happiest person on the planet (so you can see where her line of “You set me free.  Send my love to your new lover.” has a ring to it for me).  I have dwelled on hearing about him do all the nice things he does to win someone over up front and how I wasn’t enough to make him keep loving me past that.  This song single handedly, in a matter of 3:43, got me over that.  I’m proud to say I’m now in the phase of, “have fun with that mess.  It will wear off and you’ll see the real him. And I’ll just be over here remembering that I am enough and I have great things ahead.”  Thank you Adele.  I will send you a check for the therapy and I’ll be singing the lines of “I’m giving you up. I’m forgiving it all.  You set me free.” allllllll day.
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3.  I Miss You – I didn’t know I could miss someone right next to me.  But the next time I am actually with someone, this song will probably be all in my head and I will secretly be doing a video montage that has a “seize the moment” theme.  It will be a mix of the passion from the early days of Fitz and Olivia from Scandal, a flash image of that one time a guy and I made eyes at the airport that clearly said “we would be explosive together”, and the short imagination that I have the body of a Victoria Secret model walking across a semi-dark room in slow motion.
4.  When We Were Young – This song says “We had some good moments.  It was kinda like a storybook.  I wasn’t expecting to run into you.  I didn’t know I would feel this way when I saw you again.  So I need to tell you about it, if you have a sec.  But please don’t try to win me back. Let’s just have a quick moment and move along.”  This has the potential to make me really miss someone from way back when who, at the time, seemed like the greatest thing ever.  I could easily have a few drinks and be swayed into thinking they still might be that great………until his wife and 4 kids walk up and he says “get er done”………gotta be careful with this song! :)
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5.  Remedy – I needed a break from my own love life. The songs were making me too raw.  So I chose to look at this as an ode to all my kick butt friends.  Maybe a little out there.  But I couldn’t take myself to imagining this song being played as a message to my groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting on me to walk down (side note – you can bet this will play at 9/10 weddings you attend in 2016).  But I could let myself think of all my “core people”.  Especially the ones in rough times right now.  I want to be the Remedy for them.  Cheesy? Maybe so.  But I love my tribe.  This song makes me happy to have them.
6.  Water Under the Bridge – Second favorite.  Sadly, also applicable to at least 5 of the past guys I’ve dated.  Instead of talking to my friend about how “they always drag me along, drop me, but then realize I wasn’t that bad after all, and come back around.” or “they just keep me hanging cause they can’t decide.”, I’m just gonna put this song on and wait.  This song will also be applied to my shower dance routine.  It just has a good beat and I have killer hip moves in my shower concerts. It just seems natural to incorporate.
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7.  River Lea – For every person who tries to tell me how to live my love life, this song is for you…..well, the first couple of lines are anyway.  The rest of them are for every dating situation that I sabotage before they even have a chance to turn into something good.  It’s an apology before we even get started.  Because of who I am, I will probably leave.  But it’s ok.  I’m ok.  And you will be too.
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8. Love in the Dark – At first, I thought Adele was relating to every girl who has despised being naked in front of a man in the light.  But then, I realized, that once again, she must have followed my most recent ex and I around.  She puts a simple “We have to be done here.” to beautiful music.  At least in the song, when she is being brave and trying to leave on the best note as possible, she gives the hint that the guy doesn’t want her to and tries to make her stay for 5 seconds.  I can’t say the same for my situation.  But thanks to her, it’s makes me think it’s ok.  We’ll move on.  We’ll live our different adventures and be better for it.  But, for the record, I still don’t want to be naked in the light in front of anyone.  Ever.
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9.  Million Years Ago – Regret.  Loneliness.  Longing.  Only listen to this one if you can sit in front of a window, looking into a field, reminisce on your past journey and then shake it off.  It will be too easy to listen to this one and get stuck.  Don’t do it.  Fight it.  This song is the only permission you have to do something crazy immediately following. Book a skydiving adventure.  Write a book real quick……do something.  Anything.  Hurry before you dwell so hard on what you never did that you never come out of it!
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10.  All I Ask – You all just thought she was going to address exes in this new album. Nope. She throat punches you with taking friends to the next level too. Get out of my head, lady. I will not conspire with you! This song will tempt you to confront someone you “think” you might have more feelings for.  Don’t do it.  Don’t leave your heart at their door and ask them to hold you like they are more than friends.  This can’t work out well for anyone.  We’re all scared that we might not love again, Adele.
(I believe she meant something totally different than I interpreted – maybe like a “If this has to end, let’s not make it a mess.  Let’s just soak it up in case we don’t ever find another love.”  But in Alicialand – you get a different spin.)
11.  Sweetest Devotion – I let you in.  I wasn’t expecting to like you.  You came in with a hammer apparently and tore down some walls when I wasn’t looking.  And that turned out pretty cool.  You make me want to be a better person.  I value your opinion.  Let’s do this. I’m all in.  
See, she gives us a happy ending.
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And this is why it should’ve been perfectly acceptable to call in to work with an Adele hangover today.  We should also just cancel all awards shows next year and throw one big Adele award party.
The End.

Dungeons and Douchebags: I’ve Never Dated a Curvy Girl

First, let me just tell you how incredible I feel today!  I have been waiting for just the right time to pull out this amazing dress, that fits like a glove if I do say so myself, and today was it!  I was lucky enough to score this dress for FREE and to say that I feel pretty fantastic in it, would be the understatement of the year. Can we just take a minute to admire the awesome details all over this dress before we jump into douchbaggery? :) I will just hang out here while you check it out (isn’t the embroidery so very awesome??).
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Since I am feeling so incredible, and strong, I feel like today is just as good as any to address some dating tips for the men folk.
Recently, I was talking to a guy that I had hoped would lead up to a meeting and great convo over coffee.  He was an older gentleman and according to his pictures, quite handsome.  He looked a little worn to be honest, but I didn’t mind…….my hope was that it meant he was a rugged individual who would be able to climb a tower to rescue me if necessary (ok, that is a stretch, but I’m feeling animated today).
We had talked before but it fizzled out (which should’ve been my first clue).  This time, he decides to say “Can I be brutally honest?”.  I always brace myself when I get a text like that.  You just never know where it’s headed from there.
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After our conversation, and his surprise that I wasn’t completely offended, he has not contacted me again.  We text a few times, only because I initiated the conversation.  This is the part where I realize early enough that he is “just not that into me” and move along.  And I will.  Because I am strong enough to…….especially in this dress today!
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When you explain to a woman that you can’t date her because of her size, what you are really saying is:

  1. I hold myself in such a regard, that I think I am extremely handsome and therefore in a higher regard than you as a fat person. There is a 99.999% chance that you would not qualify for People’s hottest men. This thinking (whether you realize you are doing it or not) makes you a jackass.

  2. Not that number 1 wasn’t enough to just stop, let’s discuss a few more. You are saying that you have no ability to invest time. Cause you might discover that the fat girl is working on herself everyday. Not necessarily to be a skinny minny…but to be a better, healthier version of herself. If she is as strong, ambitious and kickbutt as I happen to be, then she is also probably working towards conquering the world and realizes she needs to be the best version of her to do so.  Because she is most likely self aware enough that she needs to be her best…..what your statement says is that you are not willing to invest time and be a part of that improvement.

  3. You are clearly not self aware. Cause unless you are walking around with zero body fat, the title of Mr. Olympia, and the servant heart of Mother Teresa, you need self improvement too. The difference is, that girl was probably willing to invest the time in you and would’ve probably loved you despite you not carrying the Mr. Olympia title.

  4. You are insecure. You need a “pretty” person to validate yourself. And you probably couldn’t have handled this girl anyway. That might seem a bit dramatic, but I promise you that deep down (maybe deeper for some than others) that plays a part. Maybe you are worried what your friends would think…..again…insecurity.

Do I care that you don’t want to date a bigger girl?  Really, I don’t.  Not even a little bit.  And I have no desire to launch a war against all men who don’t want to date big girls.  What I DO want to do is make you aware that we don’t care and that while you probably think we are crying in a corner over your decision, we are really thinking the above.
Do us a favor and don’t even engage. We aren’t here to make you feel better or like you are saving us. And we are probably too fabulous on our own journey to derail it for you. We won’t morph into the naughty body you are looking for overnight. And there is a huge chance that we don’t want to.
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For those of you just joining us, I have been shopping in my closet in an effort not to save money.  So, we couple that with other randomness to bring you these blogs :)  Check out my Shopping In My Closet Project here!  Take a look around!

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat!

Another way to wear the polka dots! Part of the beauty in shopping in my closet is getting to mix and match things.  So many of my pieces go together in so many ways, that I am fortunate to not be married to the same outfit every time (well that’s weird for me to say, “fortunate not to be married”……sigh…..dating blows….but anyway!).
 
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I wore jeans instead of a skirt and threw in red accessories. ❤️ It still feels just as sassy as with the red skirt. My only regret is that I didn’t remember my red suede heels! But, I had to be up and ready by 6:30, so we won’t judge too harshly. I also struggled on which glasses to pair. Would polka dotted glasses be too much? Psshhh…why did I even ask? Of course not!! It is so strange to me to be so in love with so many things I would’ve never considered before.
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I want to make two points today thanks to the inspiration of this outfit :)  My mind is going 90 to nothing, so hang in there.
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Point number 1:  There is more than one way to skin a cat.  
If you’re from the south, you surely have heard this before!  I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Ok, mostly I have been thinking about it while I drive to work because traffic and construction have been a total bear lately.  I was so angry at it the other day, but then realized, there is literally not a place in my town that I know of, that you can’t get to from more than one place.  There are very few places that only have one way to get there.  So quit griping and take another route.
Which brings us to the obvious point I am trying to make.  Just because something doesn’t work out the way we tried it, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to try it.  You probably tried it the way you did in the first place because you think you had it all figured out and you have to be in control (or maybe that’s just me).  So failing wasn’t bad after all.  Why?  Because now you are forced to try it a different way.  Potentially a better way.  Should you keep trying and failing?  That’s up to you.  But you should never give up after the first fail when there are other ways to do it.
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Point number 2: Recheck your love
Huh?  Like I said above, I have fallen in love with things that I never considered before.  Worthy of a whole blog on it’s own, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.  Of course being able to fall in love with new things meant I had to be open to the idea of it at all.  And, it’s no secret that to do that, you have to start with some work on yourself.  We could go into that for days, but let’s pretend you’re already there and ready to discover new loves.  Does that sentence alone not excite you?  Say it out loud “read to discover new loves”.  Oh, it just gets me pumped!! I’m smiling just typing it!
You have to make a conscious effort to try something new.  But even more importantly, you have to agree from the start that negativity is not allowed.  You can’t go into the new and allow dread to come with you.  Most likely, it will win out every time.
For example, polka dots.  I have always hated them because I have fed into the fact that it doesn’t do anything flattering for my body and I didn’t need any help drawing attention to “all this”.  But when I started seeing polka dots everywhere and loving what I saw on the rack (and on stationary, and crafts, and 4 million other things), I tried it.  I literally sat in the dressing room, looked in the mirror and said “if you are going to try this on, you are not allowed to say one bad thing about yourself in it.  You can not like it.  That’s fine.  But you cannot hate it and you cannot degrade yourself in the process”.  I try it on and think “hmm, not so bad there fancy”.  Then I start imagining all the things I could do with it!  Add a belt, which helps eliminate the bulky look by showing that I actually do have a waist.  Throw red in the mix, because, duh.  Wear it with a skirt. Wear it with jeans.  Wear it with colored pants……..see what I mean…..it just happened.  I left the store with a little extra pep in my step!
Once I fell in love with polka dots on my body, I felt like I couldn’t stop falling in love with other things.  I wanted to try so much new stuff, that I started a list.  I was actually quite distracted by it and am so happy to have an even longer list of new things I love.  And all of that leads to our favorite word….happiness.  Can’t type that without smiling either.
In fact, I have typed this whole blog with a smile on my face.  Because as I type it out loud, I am realizing (even though it’s simple), how happy I really am.  It’s such a good place to be!  I am happy despite illness.  I am happy despite a broken heart.  I am happy despite being unsettled in a few areas.  I am just so happy.  And I want you to be, too!
HAPPY WEDNESDAY!
(P.s. No, I didn’t wear the shirt two days in a row 😝- this skirt variation is from a weekend shoot)