Let The Crazy Out

Two years ago I moved my happy ass 3hrs south to a town where I basically knew no one. I had absolutely no reason to go other than I was in love with this schmuck and ready to start a life with him. Wherever he went, I was going to go.

Look at me now, and we own a home together, are proud pittie parents, and work for the same company.

ADULT

Over these last two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and we’ve learned a lot about each other and our relationship.

We both hate doing dishes, yet we still don’t have a dish washer.

I let the dog on the furniture, and he pretends that he doesn’t.

He’s a pack rat, but he’ll tell you that I have more clothes and shoes than anyone he knows– which is false.

Neither one of us will ever agree to buy a “fixer upper” again.

And we both communicate very differently, which means I’m always right.

So as I reflect on not just these two years of living together, but also these four years of our relationship (yes, four), I realize something very important– we are better people because of each other.

We both found this pain in the ass that challenges us, makes us laugh, and makes us view things differently.

Kris_Laine

We’re not the perfect match.

But we work at it every day.

We acknowledge our issues as individuals and as a couple, and work to be better. I know my downfalls and he knows his. And because of that self-awareness we’re able to be better partners and better friends to each other and for each other.

So, when friends ask how we do it, I tell them to always be honest with themselves and their partner. Let the crazy out! Because if your partner can’t handle you and your crazy, then they’re not the one for you.

Never hide who you are. Never apologize for who you are. Because some one out there will accept you for you and love you for it.

 

Cheers,

Laine

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Follow Your Gut

Apparently, every time I watch a movie, I have inspiration to write. My last post was in reference to Runaway Bride– Ask Yourself ‘Why?’

Ironically, this one is also a Julia Roberts movie– Eat. Pray. Love.

I’ve seen it before, but I don’t remember being this moved by it. Maybe it’s the wine. (Likely, the wine).

WineGif

There are so many quotes in this movie that are worth sharing, but they all deserve their own post to be honest.

If you haven’t seen the movie, this is by no means a spoiler. But know that the quote you’re about to read is literally the last couple lines of the entire movie. So stop now or forever hold your peace.

“If you’re willing to give up everything you know and go on an adventure… And then treat every person you meet as a clue to your future… Then the truth will be yours.”

How inspiring is that?!

Ask any of my friends (the whole two of them), and they’ll tell you I’m the one they call when they have a crazy idea.

I’m big on following your gut no matter how crazy it is.

Always follow your gut.

And with this quote from Eat. Pray. Love., it’s just that much more apparent to me that we have to follow our guts and take a leap of faith when it comes to jobs, relationships, commitments, moving, you name it. Everything we do is a leap of faith. So why try and stay in our comfort zone? We never grow or change in our comfort zones.

If we’re willing to take that leap and accept that we’re constantly on this road to where we’re going, no matter where it is, we’ll always get there. It’s going to be bumpy sometimes. It’s going to be sad and disappointing.

But sometimes, it’s going to be so fulfilling and moving, that you’ll cry once you realize you’ve arrived.

CryGif

It’ll be so profound– something you’ve been searching your whole life for. And you’ll know the exact moment you get there.

And you’ll be changed forever.

We may experience this more than once in our lives. And some may only experience it that one time. But you’ll remember it forever.

We’ll remember the people we met along the way. And everything we went through to get there.

And nothing else will matter, because for a moment we are exactly where we’re supposed to be.

So always follow your gut no matter how crazy it seems.

 

Cheers,

Laine

Ask Yourself ‘Why?’

Have you ever seen Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? The premise is that Julia Roberts’ character (Maggie) has been engaged 4x and can’t seem to go through with the marriage part. Richard Gere’s character (Ike) is a journalist doing a story about why Maggie keeps leaving guys at the altar.

In the end, the two fall in love and finally get married. Spoiler alert.

What’s my point?

I was really thinking about the meaning of this movie while I was watching it, and ironically, it hits pretty close to home for me.

Not the being engaged part or the running (because I don’t run in general).

In the movie Richard Gere discovers that Julia Roberts’ character orders the exact same kind of eggs that her fiancé (at the time) orders. All four engagements, she ordered whatever her fiancé ordered. Ike realizes that Maggie didn’t have a mind of her own, and she morphed into whatever her fiancé, or anyone for that matter, wanted her to be.

That was me.

There was a joke my dad once said to me referencing 3 guys I had dated consecutively:

From Gucci to Sperry’s to Bass Pro.

What he really meant was, I morphed into what my boyfriends at the time wanted me to be, or at least what I thought they wanted me to be.

A boyfriend once told me to not cuss so much because it wasn’t lady-like. So I tried to not cuss anymore.

Another told me to put on more makeup because he liked when I looked “pretty.” So I tried to wear more makeup.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was morphing into what they wanted me to be.

And Kris has helped overcome that.

Now, this isn’t meant to be a love letter or anything, because quite frankly, Kris doesn’t read these posts unless I make him. Ha!

Kris is one of few to accept me for who I am – my faults, my weaknesses, my craziness… Everything. He’s actually the first person who just came right out and told me that I was a “chameleon.”

He noticed when I interacted with people, family, friends, co-workers, and even sometimes him, that I would be what others expected me to be.

That’s obviously hard to hear. But he was right (again).

However, partially because of him, I’ve been able to find my own voice. He pushes me to have my own opinion about things. He asks me what I want and why. He helps me come to my own conclusions.

What Julia Roberts’ character and I had in common is that we were unsure of ourselves. And we needed someone to see us for who we were.

I can’t say that I have it all figured out or that I know what I truly want in some instances. But I can say that I continue to ask myself ‘what do you want’ and ‘why.’

Those two questions alone have helped me understand myself better, and they’ve helped me come to my own conclusions, not someone else’s.

Finding our own voices and opinions is so important. Some of us struggle with it, while others couldn’t be more sure of themselves. But I don’t envy those people. I enjoy trying to better understand myself and my choices.

I enjoy asking myself ‘why?’ And I encourage more of you to do so.

Don’t just believe something because your parents told you that’s how it is.

Don’t just get married or have kids because you think that’s the next step in your life.

Don’t just do something because everyone else is doing it.

Why?

Because at the end of the day, we feel more fulfilled when we understand ourselves. We can go to sleep at night knowing that we are here in this very moment, because it’s truly what we want, not something someone else wants for us.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

 

 

Clean House

There’s something about a clean house. My exact feelings and my mood are reflected by the way my house looks on the inside.

For a couple weeks now there have been piles of dirty dishes, mail that I haven’t opened all over the coffee table, clothes (clean and dirty) scattered throughout my bedroom floor, and even the daily items I use to get ready for work (hair spray, deodorant, Qtips, etc.) lying in random places around the house.

Does that explain how I’ve felt?

Part of this mess is pure laziness. The other part… Well that’s the reflection of me.

Week after week, coming home to a messy house has taken its toll on my inner-self. I don’t know if it’s because I feel a certain way and project that onto my house, or if I leave my house a certain way and then begin to take in the mess. Either way, it doesn’t feel good.

For whatever reason I decided to get up this morning and do something about it. Feeling accomplished, like I did something today, that makes me feel good. Cleaning parts of the house, straightening up my mess (only so I can start the mess all over again tomorrow)– that makes me feel good. It lifts my spirits.

Who we surround ourselves with and how we surround ourselves, those are the two things that have positive or negative effects on our insides. If we surround ourselves with negative people, people who don’t make us better, then we will become those people. If we surround ourselves with a mess, whatever a “mess” is to you, then we will become that mess.

I’ve learned this twice when I stopped being someone’s friend. And I’ve learned over the years that when my house is a mess, I am a mess.

So I cleaned.

I can’t say I am my true self, but I can say I feel better. My insides and my outlook is more positive, simply because I cleaned.

We all have simple changes we can make in our daily lives to make us feel more positive energy around us. For me, it’s cleaning.

Surround yourself with what attracts more positive energy to you– a clean house, a good friend, a salt lamp, a dog, fresh air, the sun– and you will be a better you.

Find your clean house.

 

Cheers,

Laine

I Can Live Without You

When I was younger and “in love” with the flavor of the month I literally thought I couldn’t live without that person. And as I’ve gotten older I hear people telling me that the person I will spend the rest of my life with will be the one I can’t live without.

Well, what if I can live without him?

Think about it…

My boyfriend and I have had the conversation about spending the rest of our lives together. That’s the plan-till death do us part (lucky you, Kris). We’ve also had the conversation where I looked him dead in the face and said,

“I can live without you.”

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

But he wasn’t surprised. Why?

Because, he knows if anything ever happened to him or to us, I’d be okay. I’d move on or move forward with my life. And so would he if the roles were reversed.

Do I admit I’d be devastated if he just looked at me one day and told me to take a hike? Hell yes! I’d probably: 1. Eat and lay on the couch for weeks or 2. Live at a bar. Choices…

I just truly believe we can all live without people in our lives. Easier said than done, I know. But we’re all still standing, right? We’re still here, breathing after that terrible break-up we thought we’d neverrrrrr get over. Or that death in the family that came too soon.

None of us want to go through heartbreaks or heartaches, but we all end up coming out stronger in the end. It could take weeks, months, or even years, but we are stronger.

So this isn’t about whether we can or can’t live without someone. It’s about wanting to.

Following my bold statement of telling my boyfriend I could live without him, I said,

“But I don’t want to.”

Cue the “awwwws” and the “cheesy one liners.”

But I meant it, exactly how I said it.

Remember, we sometimes can’t imagine our lives without certain people in it. If and when that day comes, you can live without them. You will be okay.

Everything happens for a reason.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

 

Choosing To Have Kids Or Not

happy-family-silhouette-

 

Culture tells us that you go to college, you find the man of your dreams, you get married, you have kids, and you live happily ever after. Or at least that’s our world as I understood it.

I started to do just that.

I was in college, was dating a guy I thought I loved (ehh wrong), talked to him about us getting married and having kids, then realized… Holy shit, I don’t actually love this guy like I thought I did. So what happens? We break up and the vicious cycle continues. I find another guy I thought I loved (this time I actually really did love this one), but he doesn’t love me back. Womp womp.

The moral of those love (or love-less) stories is that I thought I was trying to take my next step in life. But I was really taking someone else’s. No one had ever actually told me I had to do it that way, but that’s how I always thought it was supposed to go down.

I touch on that a little in my blog post Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have To Listen To Her where you find out that I have now found the love of my life (I promise, this time it’s for real). But now it’s like where do we go from here?

So in order to move forth with that relationship (aka get married) he and I need to figure some things out first. Like… Do we want kids?

Yes. Kids.

Holy shit.

I mean I can barely take care of myself and my dog at the age of 25. And I can’t possibly know when OR if I’ll ever want children.

So WTF do I do?!

I could marry Kris (that’s the boyfriend’s name) tomorrow if we actually lived in the same state (that’s a whole ‘nother story), but before we even attempt to go down that road we HAVE to discuss this kid thing. So we did.

He’s a “probably not, don’t necessarily want to” kind of guy.

I’m an “I don’t think I want to, but how the hell could I know what I’ll want years from now”?

And I don’t.

I have absolutely no idea if I want children or not. I’m pretty sure (at least for now) that I don’t want kids. But I cannot look at someone with a straight face and say I’ll never have children. I just can’t.

But what gets me every time is that people outside of our immediate family ask when/if we’re going to have children. That’s an automatic, “I think you should have children” question.

Back up, yo!

Me choosing to have kids or not choosing, or hell not even knowing for sure what I want to do about kids is not your problem.

At the end of the day I’m choosing. I’m choosing what I want (or in this case, not knowing what I want).

With the help and understanding of Kris, his mom, and my sister, they have all made me realize what matters is that he and I are on the same page. No matter what that page is. If it makes sense to us, then that’s what it’ll be. If we choose to not have kids, then turn around in 10 years and have kids, then that’s what we’ll do.

Culture and the past way of doing things will not define me and how I live my life. I want what’s best for me and my significant other. I don’t want to try and please anyone else. I don’t want to do what everyone’s doing because that’s the way it’s always been done.

Have the bravery to speak up and decide for yourself what you want. Or hell, have the bravery to say, “You know what, no I don’t know what I want.” Don’t think you have to choose something because that’s how it’s supposed to happen.

March to your own drum and have a drink while you’re at it.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

5 Steps to a Happier Life

 

I am no life coach. Nor do I have all the answers. I do, however, like to think that I have some life experience, and that I have made a lot of strides on this journey towards happiness.

Like I said, these 5 steps are not the end all be all and there’s no scientific formula behind them. These are purely “Laine’s” 5 steps to a happier life.

It worked for me. Maybe it could work for you too.

  1. Read. Read books that make you a better person whether that’s professionally, personally, emotionally, whatever tickles your fancy. The one book that has changed my life (no exaggeration) is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. This woman’s take on life and how to look at things with a different perspective truly changed me. It was a turning point in my life, and actually happened to be the thing that gave me the courage to start Cheers, Laine. Thanks Jen!
  2. Own an animal. I wouldn’t say I’m an animal person. Dogs were dogs. Cats were cats. They were cute, but to have my own was not a top priority of mine. Until I fell in love with my Lucy. I talk about her a lot and how she also helped me have a happier life in my blog, The Pitbull That Saved My Life. Having a dog is a love like no other. It’s my equivalent to a mother and her child. (I do acknowledge there is a major difference between the two). Having an animal shows you what it’s like to love and be loved unconditionally. The power of a dog’s love truly can heal people.
  3. Have a work life balance. Seriously. Stop working all those hours. Or if you can’t do that, have a certain amount of time everyday where you DON’T look at your email. Growing up I watched my parents stress and stress about work. I knew I never wanted that. I didn’t want to work 12 hour days every day, but let’s be real, that happens sometimes. So make the conscience effort to clear your mind of work, even if that means an hour a day. (And no, smarty pants, sleeping does not count as clearing your mind from work).
  4. Workout. Whatever that means to you. If that means walking your dog around the block, great! If that means doing Cross Fit, well done! Whatever type of physical activity you need to do, do it. Physical activity can literally improve your life, your health, your mind, everything. We all know it ain’t easy to workout, but little progress is better than none. So keep on choppin’.
  5. Understand yourself. It is critically important that we as individuals understand ourselves. If you know what makes you tick and what makes you do what you do, then you will be able to see more clearly. You’ll know what’s important and what’s not. I’ve come to realize that I am the way I am because of how I was raised, good or bad. I’ve also come to realize that I can change the way I think and view things as I begin to better understand myself. Understanding yourself will shape how you do things.

That’s all she wrote, folks.

What steps have you taken to a happier life?

 

Cheers,

Laine

Blessings from 2014

As I sit here, now in 2015, I can’t help but reflect on my 2014. The first 6 months of 2014 were a little rocky. I think I let a lot of my emotions from the 2013 year sneak their way in there with an obscene amount of drinking and stupid decisions. But what can you do but learn from it, right? So here I am, learning from my mistakes and counting my blessings heading into 2015..

Always100In my post, More Than MyselfI talk about coaching my kids and how much of a blessing they are to me. I did not mention, however, that in 2013 I took a break from all that. It wasn’t until January of 2014 I got back in the game with my new Always 100 family, which was probably one of the few good decisions I made during that first 6 month span. I thank God every day for these 9 young women, their families, and the coaching staff at Always 100 for bringing me back in to their lives and their program.

IMG_1956As I started to try and better myself come mid year, I decided not only to mentor my own kids that I coach, but to also become a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). This was a big step for me. There was an extensive process in being matched with a Little. I was beyond nervous. What if we didn’t hit it off? How could I relate to a kid who came from a totally different background than me? Would we have anything in common?

Well BBBS really knows their stuff and matched me with the most amazing Little. It’s insane how much we have in common. She could be the younger version of me to be quite honest. We’re about 6 months into our match and the support from the BBBS family has really helped me to try and become a better Big for my Little. This girl and I are going to be friends forever, I just know it.

IMG_0702In August this year I ventured to Isla Muejeres, an island off of Cancun, for my first girls trip with two of my best friends. Can you say, much needed vacation?

The three of us had been inseparable for the past 6 months. What better way to top it off with a vacation to end the summer? And so we did.

Isla Muejeres was gorgeous and we were so blessed to have the chance to go to such a secluded resort, swim with whale sharks, golf cart the entire island, shop and bargain with locals, relax, and drink the amazing Mexican tequila.

Mexico just so happens to be my families favorite place to vacation. So guess where I’m headed to again in April? Yep, Mexico!

IMG_1296Now here comes the real kicker. The one moment in 2014 to change it all was this baby right here. Pretty gross, huh? Sorry for the gruesome image, but there are no words that would do this image justice.

This is what happens when you come down on a martini shaker. Seriously.

What a freak accident, right?! I had never had anything like this happen to me before. Straight to the ER I went: a lot of blood, 27 stitches, and 8 shots later, I was pretty much handicapped for 2 months.

Those 2 months were the 2 months that flipped my 2014 around. There’s not a lot you can do, but think and reflect, when you can’t move from your couch. I knew as soon as I was ready I wanted to make changes in my life.

The first was to read You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, a book recommended to me by a friend, and one I have now recommended to many more. If there is anything in this post you resonate with, I really hope it’s to purchase this book. I recommend the audio version so you can take notes. I took pages upon pages of notes, which I keep next to my bed, to remind me of ways to better my life every single day.

From there it’s really been uphill for me.

My oldest sister had her 3rd (and final) baby boy.

My younger sister got engaged to the love of her life.

And I got a dog.IMG_2092

Don’t laugh, I’m serious. This was a huge step for me. I didn’t have a whole lot of support on this one, but that didn’t matter. I was ready for more responsibilities. I was ready to have someone else in my life. What better way than to save my baby Lucy from the SPCA. You can read her story here.

So that’s it. That’s all she wrote. Literally.

Overall, 2014 was a success. I ended it WAY better than I started it. And I’d have to say the journey through 2014 really blessed me with a lot. Even in those last couple days of the year.

Everything happens for a reason and everything is all about timing. Everything.

 

Cheers,

Laine