The Year of 3 Words: A Mid-Year Update

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At the beginning of 2018, I declared this year a year of three words.

You may (or may not) be wondering how 2018 is shaping up to my three-word description. I decided to ease your minds and give you a mid-year update. It is June, after all, and the year is halfway over (whoa, that’s weird). It’s time for a little checkin.

Change. 

Change is inevitable and my Type A self can’t cope with it sometimes, but this year there has been good change, bad change, and uncomfortable change.

Changes in habits: less coffee, more water, more reading & audiobooks, less TV, less clutter, more budgeting, more time with people I love.

Changes in life: Updates at work, new house, new professional accomplishments, new friends, new perspectives.

Not to mention many changes that have pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

Needless to say, change happens pretty much every day and I’m learning how to embrace it and trust God every step of the way.

Do.

I’ve written about wedding planning multiple times this year so you know how the “Road to I Do” is generally going, but just in case I haven’t made it clear, this is the biggest “Do” of the year and I am pumped.

At the beginning of the year, a few other “do” items included: complete my social marketing certification, buy a house, read at least 25 books, and write more letters.

So far, I have completed my certification, we found a house, I have read many books, and love writing letters when I can. I’ve also traveled to places like New York and Boston, worked on a few incredible projects, and have begun training for my first official 5K (a big deal for a non-runner like myself!).

“Do” encompasses so many things, so it has been interesting to see how 2018 has unfolded this way. It’s not always about checking things off. Sometimes a “do” is a mindset, just like my third word of 2018 is.

Joy. 

This is one thing that is not a “check off the list,” so to speak.

Joy is a choice and something that takes focus and practice in order to make it a constant part of your life. I have a post-it note on my mirror that says “Joy is a choice,” and this year, in the good and the bad, I try to focus on that mindset.

An easy way to do this is instead of saying, “I have to…” replace it with “I get to…”  A mindset makes all the difference.

So that’s a bit of a recap as the year keeps flying by! What about you? How are your three words going for 2018? This week I challenge you to revisit your goals and be motivated to keep going!

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7 Lessons From My Mentor

I’m going to get a little personal here.

I usually try to keep it pretty upbeat and positive on my blog, but I am going to be totally honest.

I’m heartbroken.

I recently lost my mentor, a truly beautiful and brilliant person inside and out. The world is a little darker because she is no longer here.

The loss is deep for so many who knew and loved her. She was incredible, innovative, and inspirational. Her mark on the world changed a lot of people, including myself.

As I, and so many like me, try to process the unimaginable, I’ve started thinking about the countless lessons she taught me, whether she knew it or not.

It would be ignorant to keep these lessons to myself; what good does it do to keep what isn’t yours?

These lessons are not just for me; they’re for you, too.

{ONE} Be kind

Everyone is going through something, whether they tell you or not. Be kind, you never know what’s happening underneath.

{TWO} You are your own advocate

Confidence is key. You can do it. You can pitch that crazy idea, go the extra mile, create that special project. Advocate for yourself and don’t put yourself down…You’re worth more than that and you can do more than you think.

{THREE} Ask “Why?” and “What if?”

Think big. Ask questions, learn always. Let information help you grow. Never stop being curious. Ever.

{FOUR} Dream bigger

Dream it and do it. Those are words from Walt Disney himself, and my mentor embodied this. Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Make them realities. Dream something crazy and then do it bigger. What do you have to lose?

{FIVE} Try the impossible

People are going to tell you no and that it can’t be done. Try. What’s the worst that can happen? You never know unless you dare to dream bigger and do things. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

{SIX} Believe in others

There is no “I” in team. No one gets to where they are by themselves. It takes a village. Believe in others and give them the encouragement they deserve and need. One of the best things my mentor taught me is the value of giving back. Thank people who helped you and do the same for others. Be kind, the world already has plenty of critics.

{SEVEN} Work hard, stay humble

It is absolutely incredible how much my mentor accomplished in her life. She worked insanely hard and hardly ever talked about her accomplishments, achievements, and successes. She was humble and always grateful. No matter how much you achieve, never let it get to your head. Work hard and stay humble.

 

 

 

 

In memory of my mentor.

On My Radar / 5 February Favorites

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February was one long month, which is pretty ironic considering it is the shortest month of the year!

I blame it on the cold, miserable temperatures and minimal sunlight we received.

Although it was long and cold, I did choose to find the good and discovered a few favorite things about the month!

Since it’s Mid-March (aka way too late for a monthly round up in my opinion!), I’m combining my February Favorites with what’s currently on my radar.

— — —

{ONE} Flowers

Okay, okay… This isn’t a February-specific favorite, BUT I did learn to appreciate the touches of spring when it was snowing outside. There’s something special about having fresh flowers inside when it’s cold and snowy outside. This bouquet was my favorite because of the colors and because I won it at a bridal event (a win-win)!

{TWO} Bloom Daily Planners

I love to plan, organize, and schedule everything. I call January my “trial” month because I coast on the motivation that comes with the new year. February and March, however, wake me up pretty quickly and puts my organization skills to the test. I’ve been using Bloom Daily Planners for over two years now and they’re amazing. The planner breaks it up by month, week, and day so there is plenty of space to write notes and be as Type-A as you want!

{THREE} This is Us

All. The. Feels. If you watch NBC’s This is Us, you understand. February was a shocking month for the show, to many viewers’ dismay. Still not over it. What an amazing show, though. It has quickly become one of my favorites. For those of you who are in the same boat, watch Parenthood on Netflix. That show is good, too!

{FOUR} The Super Bowl

What would February be without the Biggest Game of the year? This year was a real nail-biter and a history-maker. I was fortunate to work behind-the-scenes for this game in particular and had the privilege of meeting Brent Celek, who up until recently, was the Eagles’ Tight End. He’s super nice and very, very tall.

{FIVE} Fern Flowers

I traveled to Boston this past weekend and visited a little flower boutique called Fern Flowers. It’s a two-room shop filled with plants, succulents and flowers, a.k.a. Keri heaven. It was magical. This picture does not do it justice.

 

Can’t wait to see what the rest of March has in store. So far, so good!

On My Radar 🎧📱

One of the habits I’ve been trying to “break” this year is watching a lot of TV. It’s so easy to come home after work and turn on “background noise” as I do other things or watch a Netflix show to relax.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I could be using that time to my benefit. Why watch what you can listen to? Since that epiphany, I have challenged myself to avoid TV after work.

It’s not easy.

I allow myself to text and scroll through Instagram, but when it comes to watching TV, I avoid it when I can. (This is Us and How To Get Away with Murder are my two exceptions!)

My No-TV challenge has helped me discover a few great podcasts & audiobooks in the last couple of weeks.

Here’s what’s on my radar so far.

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{ONE} Serial Season 1

A true-story murder mystery told by a curious individual who details her investigation through 12 episodes. Honestly, this season of Serial is what sparked my interest in podcasts.

{TWO} Reach Church’s “The Great 8” Series

My church is studying Romans right now, and I’ve been learning so much. I absolutely love the book of Romans and I can’t get enough of it. It’s so powerful! “The Great 8” series focuses only on Romans 8, and it has been eye-opening so far. Check back each week for more videos added to the series.

{THREE} The Village Church’s “Romans 12-15” Series

When searching for a new sermon series to listen to during the week, I stumbled upon The Village Church’s sermon series on Romans 12-15. As mentioned above, we’re studying Romans at church but I enjoy listening to other sermons about it when I can. I’m halfway through this one and highly recommend it.

{FOUR} The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Audiobook

I can’t give an honest review about this yet since I just started it, but so far, it’s good. This is an experiment, to be honest, because I’ve had mixed experiences listening to audiobooks. You’d think the experience would be similar to listening to a podcast, but I find it harder to focus on an audiobook than a podcast. It might be the fact that it’s scripted instead of conversational, but doesn’t hurt to try, right?!

 

What are you listening to? Let me know your recommendations & I’ll add them to my growing list!

2018: The Year of Three Words

I’m a little late on the whole “New Year’s Resolutions” trend. Better late than never, right?

A few years ago, instead of the usual list of goals, I chose three words to theme my year: First, Risk, and Joy.

Shortly after that, I (unintentionally) stopped blogging for a while and I didn’t track my progress on how that shift worked for me. I wish I had stuck with it; it kept me accountable. Generally speaking, though, I liked that way of kickstarting a new year.

This time, I sat down towards the end of December and began thinking of all that was to come in 2018. So many milestones, so many goals, so many items on the to-do list! Instead of jotting them all down, I noticed a couple of themes. I realized 2018 would not be the year of checking things off…

2018 would be the year of three words.

So I reviewed my list of goals and chose my 3 words: Change, Do, and Joy.

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Change.

Change of last name. Change of mindset. Change of scenery. Change of style.

It kind of, sort of scares me that “Change” is inevitably one of my 2018 words. Change makes me nervous because routine is interrupted and my Type-A senses have difficulty adjusting to a new normal.

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BUT it is also a good thing.

Change means growth and learning new things. It means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Adventuring into the unknown can be exciting and full of possibility and joy. For example, I’m getting married this year (!!) so that alone comes with a lot of changes like place of residence, last name, relationship status, routine, schedule, responsibilities, and it also brings a lot of love and laughter and memory-making, to name a few.

I am excited that “Change” is one of my 2018 themes, even though it does make me a bit anxious. A few other changes that I hope to conquer this year: drinking more water then coffee, updating my blog, modifying a few habits, and waking up earlier.

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Do.

2018 is the year that I do. Literally, I will say the words “I do” this year!

“Do” is action. It’s a step towards completing something. It’s a verb.

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Honestly, something about the word has always inspired me. It’s not just an idea or thought; it’s a word that takes that and turns it into something. I’ve never been much of a daydreamer and I hate procrastinating. I’ve always been a girl who wants to spring into action ASAP and do something.

This year is no different; I want to do many things like read at least 25 books, complete my social marketing certification, buy a house, and get married. I want to be more intentional with my friends and write more letters…just to name a few.

“Do” encompasses so many things; it’ll be an adventure to see how God uses this word in my life this year.

——-

Joy.

“Joy” was one of my words for 2015, and I loved it so much, I’m choosing it again. This is what I said in 2015 about why I picked “Joy.” I think it sums it up pretty well:

Different than “happiness,” I choose “joy.” Happiness is temporary and circumstantial. Joy is a mindset. Through the little things, I yearn to discover the joy. Choose joy and keeping choosing it — that’s what I want to do. Instead of “I have to …”, replace it with “I get to…”   A mindset makes all the difference. Through every situation, good or bad, I aim to focus on the joy of it all.

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So there ya go! My three words for 2018. What are your New Year’s Resolutions or Word(s) of the Year? Comment below; I’d love to see them as we encourage each other to live the greatest year yet.

Top Christmas Songs To Check Out Right Now

With the holiday season in full swing and only 3 (!!!) more days until Christmas, I’ve been finding myself listening to a variety of songs as I check things off my todo list.

Whether it’s baking goodies for my family and friends or wrapping gifts, I love having my favorite holiday tunes playing in the background.

To help you tackle your todo list, I’ve compiled them into a playlist so you can enjoy them, too!

Take a listen to my Spotify playlist below.

Merry Christmas!

 

P.S. Did I miss your favorite holiday tune? Comment below and I’ll add it for your listening pleasure.

A re-introduction

I don’t know which is crazier…

The fact I haven’t blogged in over a year or the fact that I’ve had less than 16 ounces of coffee today.

For real, though. It’s been awhile. Hello!

Here’s the truth: I’ve tried to blog. Many times, in fact. Over the last year or so, actually. Every time I went to write, I just couldn’t do it.

I write every day for clients, brands and businesses, yet when I sit down to write for myself, I can’t.

Call it writer’s block, or a writer’s lull. The pressure I put on myself to write something valuable, thought-provoking and worthy of your time as readers became stronger than the motivation I had to write in the first place. Each idea I had just didn’t seem to be good enough to post, and so I never did.

So fast forward to over one year later…here I am. The writer’s block is going away (slowly, very slowly), so I apologize in advance if a period of time goes by without a post. I’m practicing and exercising the art of writing again, little by little.

Here are a few highlights to get us all up to speed once again!

I’ve been able to cross a few items off of my bucket list. Instead of boring you with the daily details of my life, let me give you a few highlights (complete with pictures).

I traveled to Chicago and visited The Bean, the Sears Tower, the Art Museum of Chicago and more. I saw Monet paintings in real life, and they are much more beautiful than the versions you see in history books and on Google. One of my favorite moments was seeing The Bean. I’ve wanted to visit it for years!

I traveled to Pittsburgh. My first time! I saw the outside of Heinz field (didn’t go inside sadly) and drank coffee in a fancy coffee shop. I walked across the Andy Warhol bridge. It was stunning.

I disco’d in my church’s Christmas dramatic musical. I wore go-go boots and silvery leather pants. Surprisingly, they were very comfortable and easy to walk in.

I purchased a piano. Granted, it is a Yamaha electric piano, but it does everything and anything. It is not a white grand piano (true piano goals right there), but it is beautiful and I am the proud owner of it!

Okay, let’s make this even shorter:

I saw the Rockettes perform in New York City. The Reach Band launched our first CD and had an album release party.

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I stood by my friend’s side as she became a Mrs. We launched Reach Church with its first church service. I turned 23 and became the new owner of the nickname Kelly (long story made short here).

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It has been a whirlwind of a year (and 13 days), so thank you for being patient as I figure out how to write again…authentically, personally and from the heart. It’s harder than it sounds, trust me.

It’s good to be back.