Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Have you heard of the #EncourageBeauty campaign?
Anna of In Honor of Design and Hilary of Dean Street Society
initiated it a little over a year and a half ago.
It inspired my Questions of the Heart Guest Post Series
and more for many women.
Well, they brought it back in an Instagram challenge for this week
and brought more hostesses on board!
I love everything about this challenge.
Helping others know their worth and their beauty inside and out,
this makes my heart sing.
Thank you, Anna and Hilary!
So if you are not already,
will you join me
in recognizing the beautiful gift of you
and showcasing those you love?
Do not worry about coming in half way through the week!
I will be right alongside you!
Consider this a state of my brain address,
I thought the challenge started next week.
Consider this your Joy-gust inspiration for the day.
See you over on Instagram!
P.S. You can follow me on Instagram: @waltzinginbeauty

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nothing to Nowhere

A few weeks ago I found myself in my childhood neighborhood for a meeting.
Not only was my meeting in the neighborhood I came home from the hospital to,
but just down the street from my parents' first house.
I was early and the idea of killing time on my phone while baking in my car was not appealing
so I decided to roam and visit some memories.
It had been nineteen years since I had lived there,
boy does that number make me feel twice as old
and yet I navigated myself through the neighborhood with ease.
It is amazing how much we can remember when we are in the right environment.
I felt like I was back on my little bike on a summer day trailing behind my sister.
This way to the house of our babysitter.
That way to the pool.
Around the curve to our friend's home.
Straight at the stop sign for the modern stucco house that still does not quite fit in.
Then I got to a stop sign.
This was the edge of where I was allowed to ride my bike.
Turning left would take me back around to home.
Turning right would take me into a place never ventured.
The little girl in me,
I know her so very well,
hesitated at the choice to make as if choosing between right or wrong.
The turn signal clicked
and I felt that horrible blend of excitement and fear at the start of a new adventure.
I charged onward enjoying the scenery of this new and familiar place.
And as often happens when caution is thrown to the wind,
I found myself completely and utterly lost.
No longer am I the little girl on a bike crossing her boundaries,
but the feeling of relief when finding your way home is still the same.
Joy-gust inspiration:

Be Joy Filled:
Do you have a favorite childhood item stored away in a closet?
Pull it out and incorporate it into your home d├ęcor.
Spread Joy:
Make a favorite recipe and share it with a friend.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

All Is As It Should

Fill up with Joy:
Go for a walk.
Try documenting the things that make you stop and take a second look.
Spread Joy:
Say hello to everyone you pass.
Don't forget to smile!
Join me for Joy-gust!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Brush Strokes

Guest lists are a great exercise.
Yes, it can be overwhelming to see the number grow,
but it also quite humbling.
Each number represents a person
that changed your life in an irreplaceable way.
Each one of them is a stroke of the brush that paints the picture of your life
and without them the picture of such an important day in your life is not be complete.
Thank goodness for ballrooms.
Joy-gust Inspiration
Be Joy-filled:
Do you have a picture on your phone or computer that you just adore?
Print it off and display it in your home.
You'll enjoy it so much more.
Spread Joy:
Write a note to the people that you are with on a daily basis,
thanking them for the qualities that they share with you
and the role they play in your life.
Happy Monday!
Because the ultimate cure for the Monday blues is 
something that will make you smile and grateful for what you have.  
These things make me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Seven Quick Takes or Control, China, Colors, and Cardio

Some days it is hard to feel in control of, well, you.
It seems like everyone and everything needs something from you
and you do not have time to get your checklist done
and then you look in the mirror and you see
a very frazzled, sour puss with dark circles and caffeine induced jitters.
Sometimes we get lucky, because no one else sees her.
One time to be thankful for hallucinations, right?
Sometimes we get lucky, because people love her anyway.
One thing that I started implementing remind myself that I am in control of myself
and to help me get through my own checklist while assisting those I serve,
is not checking my email first thing in the morning.
Checking emails before checking my to do list makes me feel very overwhelmed
and my list gets lost in the urgency of answering everyone right away.
It is hard.
I am not so good at it, but now I have a voice in my head saying,
"Stop it!"
But I have noticed a difference
between the days I am successful at waiting until a specified time and those that I do not.
The next step is not checking email constantly.
Did you pick your china pattern?
Has replaced, "Do you know your colors?"
as most popular question of the week.
Thanks to B and the posting of this picture under the heading:
"It begins..."
I should have believed him when he said he was taking a FB picture.
So to answer both questions:
(1) No, we were at the mall for something else and looked for less than a minute,
but I am super excited to pick out china.
(2) Wedding planning is a bit overwhelming because of all the options and directions you can go and then there is actually being able to find what you have in your head in real life part.
All this being said, I am one hundred percent certain that my colors will be red or not red.
P.S. I am not complaining. I love every single bit about being engaged.
I think I was born for this. *wink*
Need a new workout for your routine?
Try learning a dance routine in a favorite music video.
I am taking a Michael Jackson dance class this month and I love it.
It is a lot of fun learning the moves and trying to keep up with the music.
Forty-five minutes of Thriller had me sweating.
Speaking of working out...
All you avid runners out there, I need your help.
Oh and all you asthma sufferers, too!
I am a baby runner,
as in, I struggle through running a mile at jog-like speeds.
My goal is not to run a marathon or anything,
I just would like to go for a run around the neighborhood a couple times a week
and not feel like I am going to cough up a lung.
My problem is, I have exercised induced asthma.
I know how to pace myself and get through it in other physical activities,
but I struggle with breathing while I run.
Any tips or things that helped you when you started?
--5, 6, 7--
And some inspiration for your Joy-gust:
Spread Joy:
Compliment a stranger every day.
Fill up with Joy:
Is there a color that makes you smile?
Add a splash of it to your outfit or wardrobe.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Linking up with Jen for Seven Quick Takes

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dividing Joy

Two months ago,
I could not sleep from excitement.
I had dreamt of this day for most of my life.
It had finally come
and it was perfect.
Moments after becoming engaged,
I stood up abruptly and proclaimed that I needed to call my mom.
Even though it was late,
I had to wake up my sleeping family to tell them news.
Sleep was not happening,
I called a friend on the West coast (the time difference worked in my favor this time).
I woke up early to tell the story again,
and within the next few days I told it what seemed hundreds of times.
I did not mind.
I wanted to tell the world.
I wanted everyone to share in my happiness.
Throughout it all, these words kept coming to my mind and
I understood them with what felt like every fiber of my being.
My cup had overflowed,
and I did not want this outpouring to go to waste,
but to be sopped up by everyone around me.
Still do.
Inspiration for your Joy-gust:
Spread Joy:
Walk down memory lane with someone dear to your heart.
Be it through a text, phone call, or an actual walk.
Let them know how that moment in time impacted your life and you cherish it.
Be Joy-filled:
Find an old favorite book and re-read a chapter.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Choose Joy

Happy Monday and day four of Joy-gust!
The start of a new week usually manifests itself with two polar and yet simultaneous reactions:
 a hint of regret for all the weekend did not accomplish
and excitement for a fresh beginning and all that the new week will hold.
Unfortunately, the negative feelings often overcome the positive ones,
mostly because those first moments of getting out of my warm bed are so hard,
and the temptation to be defeated by the what-ifs and maybes is strong.
Getting through the Mondays is the goal for today's inspiration for Joy-gust.
Take this to Heart:
Spread Joy:
Do you find comfort in a warm cup between your hands?
Do you get the same warm feeling in your heart when someone thinks about you for no reason except that they care?
Let's put the two together and share our afternoon pick me up.
Fill up with Joy:
Relax and celebrate getting through Monday with your favorite lotion tonight.
Try remembering all the good things about today and your hopes for tomorrow.
With Joy,

Friday, August 1, 2014


My year's resolution was to focus on joy.
Here we are on August 1st,
two-thirds of the way through the year,
and I can say I have done okay-ish.
Some days it has been easier than others
and then there have been those moments
(or days at a time if I'm being honest)
when I have completely forgotten my resolution all together.
With the approaching close of summer (where did it go?) and the start of a new academic year,
I wanted to re-focus and re-commit myself to finding and spreading joy each day.
So I decided to challenge myself this August to an outpouring of joy.
And Joy-gust was born.
Joy can be defined as a great happiness and giving happiness.
A gust is a sudden outburst or surge.
Joy-gust is about a surge of finding and spreading joy in my life.
For thirty-one days I am going to focus on the little daily acts that create joy
and to take the focus off of me, myself, and I, and find an act of kindness I can do for others.
Would you like to join me?
Check in for inspiration, ideas for fostering and relishing moments, and acts of kindness.
Let's get started.
Know Joy:
Spread Joy:
Annie tells us we're never fully dressed without a smile, so put that smile on today.
Attitude, tone of voice, and mindset can all be effected by the simple act of choosing to smile.
So when you start thinking about yourself remind yourself to smile and see what happens.
Be Joy-filled:
It is often a lot easier to recognize the big blessings in our life before we can see little ones.
Writing a list can help
(for me seeing a list is a joy in itself)
This spring and summer have been filled to the brim with busy-ness and it does not look like an end is in sight. I am not complaining, however, because this full schedule has brought with it so much joy.
So here is my quick list of big joys.
And since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Jen for Seven Quick Takes.
1. In May, I finally donned my cap and gown and hood and walked for my M.A. graduation ceremony. It's funny, I knew I passed my comprehensive exams, I heard the professor say I passed, I already had my diploma, and yet, the fact that I had my master's degree never really sank in. It wasn't until my mom put on my hood before the ceremony that it all became real.
2. Right after such an eventful weekend, I hopped on a plane for St. Louis and made my first solo trip to a work conference. It is amazing what a week out of the office environment does for lifting your spirits even while you work remotely. The chance to meet with others working in your field from all over the states is invaluable. It is so helpful to be able to speak with someone that understands the challenges and triumphs of ministry.
An added joy was that I found myself in the same city as one of my college roommates. It was hard to believe we had not seen each other for almost six years, conversation was so easy and fun. We hope it won't be such a long break between visits.
3. And then it was time to head down to Georgia for the wedding of a dear college friend. The over twelve hour drive was a challenge, but good company and a great book made the trip go by relatively quickly. A summer cold treated by sleep inducing "non-drowsy" medications didn't hurt either.
4. On the way home, we made a day trip to Charlotte. We got to visit with some good friends and share their one year anniversary cake with them. What a treat!
5. While in Charlotte, we also visited my godparents and cousins, Natalie of the Busy Budgeting Mama and Valerie of Blanqi. We got a sneak peek tour of the Happy Mommy Box shipping room, but more importantly was all the snuggles with the little ones, late night and early morning chats, and being introduced to Heads Up.
The drive home also brought with it my debut drive in the mountains. I have been in a car that is driving in the mountains many many times, but never had I ever been the one behind the wheel. To make matters worse I was in an unfamiliar car with the Mountaineer nursing a cold, asleep in the passenger seat. We survived, but there were a few moments that I felt like a truck was going to push us over the edge or into the mountain wall.
6. Fourth of July brought a trip to West Virginia to visit B's family. He grew up in a lake town so it was the perfect atmosphere for a long weekend with relaxation and the small town holiday parade and lakeside fireworks.
7. In the midst of all this, my family is gutting my childhood home in preparation for luxury apartments to take its place. It makes it easier to grieve the loss of our country oasis to strip malls and hospitals when you get to take a piece of it with you. It will be rough seeing what remains knocked over, but at least the beautiful things inside will be put to good use and make another house more homey.
And a bonus, because I ran out of numbers while saving the best for last...
I said, "yes."
Have a joyous weekend!
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