my favorite birthday boy

My main man here turned 31 this weekend. We celebrated by ditching real life for a NOLA get-away. I love having a soulful city right at our fingertips for such occasions. We laid in bed for half of the day and had a National Lampoon marathon (because that's what you do when you turn 31). And then we dinner and a movie, fancy edition, and were in bed at our hotel room by 10:30. Bam. Sunday was rainy so we did the aquarium (because that's also what you do when you turn 31), and then it was back to reality.

There really aren't words to express how thankful I am for this man of mine. Being married to your best friend is the only way to go. I thank God everyday that He had us for each other. 

Husband, you are the most selfless, hard-working, loving, protective, hilarious, grounded man there is. You are a man among men. You are the leader I've always needed. Thank you for loving me just the way I am, and never trying to smother the wild out of me. 

You are the other half of whatever I am. We are each other's complete opposites, but we work. 

And you are all mine. 

31 looks good on you, bay. Here's to 60 more. 


one day, baby.

Recently, J and I gave away the humongous sleigh bed that was over taking our back bedroom. It was his before we got married, so it dipped in the middle from all the years of being slept on smack dab in the center. After we got married, we slept in it for about 2 weeks before we were off to the mattress store for a brand spankin' new king sized dream of a bed. So the bachelor bed got banished to the guest bedroom to have stuff shoved under it and around it and piled on top of it, until we finally decided it had to go. The same week we decided to gut out our guest bathroom and start over. So there are a lot of tangible changes going on in the Guichet household. J offered to move the huge mirror that was over the sink in the bathroom that I always got ready in to the back bedroom, so that I'd still have a place to do my hair and make-up and such girly things.

When we got married and started making plans for the house, it was always understood that the back bedroom would eventually turn into a nursery. Since then, it’s become a storage unit for old wedding stuff, a guest bedroom, and now (apparently) a dressing room. But this is the first time it’s been regularly inhabited, especially by yours truly. So as I sat in the room a couple of mornings ago, sleepily putting on mascara, it suddenly hit me.

One day, God willing, a little soul is going to call this room theirs.
Someday, if God has children in the cards for us, I’m going to groggily trudge across the hall to this very room to soothe a fussy newborn.
This is where we’ll bring a sweet baby back from the hospital.
This is where we’ll change diapers and laugh and cry and be a family.

As I laid back and stared at the ceiling, my heart became overwhelmed with joy and pre-emptive thankfulness. I began praying for the little baby that we so hope God has for us one day. I began praying for baby Guichet’s conception, that it would be quick and easy (because I’m pretty sure we’re allowed to go to the throne that boldly). I prayed that if it’s not, that we would never cease to know God’s faithfulness. I began praying for their little fingers and toes and nose and ears and eyes. I began praying that they would come to know their Savior at an early age. I prayed for my heart and J’s heart, that we would begin to be prepared for whatever God brings our way right now. Before I knew it, I’d been laying on the floor praying for a baby that does not yet exist for an hour. But it was the most beautiful, sweet, meaningful time for me and God that that hopefully one day baby. And it just reminded me how awesome spending extended, uninterrupted time with Jesus is. Why don't I do that more often? It also reminded me that I don't just have to talk to him about the tangible, right now things. He loves my day dreams and hopes just as much as I do. I need to remember to share them with Him regularly.

{disclaimer: not pregnant. not even a little. I know, this is how rumors start.}



Dolphin cruise in Perdido, w/crazy Charlee
  • A God who knows how many grains of sand are on the beach I spent the weekend laying on.
  • Baby laughs, snuggles, "I love yous", & lunging into your arms. And friends who let you hog their kids.
  • Being married to a man who makes me want to leave the glory of the beach to get back to him. Serious butterflies over here about seeing hims tonight.
  • A best friend who doesn't look at you like you're nuts when you're balling your eyes out, over something trivial, out of no where. And is just generally awesome.
  • The-best-friend-who-lives-in-Haiti comes back this month. And hub's birthday is this month. As well as my mama's. So many things to celebrate!
  • A 4 day work week.


awkward + awesome

-I work at a gym, if you didn't already know. One of the most frustrating parts of my job is when someone piles four 45 lb plates on a machine, uses it, and then leaves it that way. You're telling me you can lift that with your legs but can't manage to take them off when you're done?! Beside the point. The awkward part was when I jokingly pointed to a fully stacked machine and said to a regular "you totally left this like that, didn't you?" No, but the guy standing directly to my left did. And he got reeaaaal offended. Foot, mouth.
-I am (still) entirely too absorbed by this whole Jodi Arias circus. To the point that I TiVo'd her Lifetime movie. And the after show. And kept J up past his bedtime educating him about the trial (for the 100th time).
-Trying to have a consult with a potential member with 4 other people in the room. Learned the hard way Monday that I am no bueno at that. Lot's of ums and uhs and I'm pretty sure I only gave her about 30% of the information I usually do. And then everyone made fun of me when she left. Thanks guys.
-The little dance I've made up to Blurred Lines. Well, the dance itself is pretty awesome. Getting caught performing it by the car next to me, not as much. (Why are so many of my awkward stories car oriented?!)
-One more work awkward: yesterday, while helping my boss take down some bars, one swung and basically impaled me where I stood. Knocked the breath straight out of me. And there's video. So I'm sitting in my office with tears running down my face I'm laughing so hard. If it was better quality, I'd upload it for you.

-Forcing the entire gym to listen to Justin Timberlake Pandora today. And a guy just did the "Bye Bye Bye" move. You know which one I'm talking about.
-Who's taking two weekend vacations in a row?! This girl. Who has the best boss on the planet for letting her have two Fridays off in a row?! This girl.
-This. You're welcome. (But the noise I made when I saw it the first time definitely belongs under awkward...)
-Getting to spend the entire weekend with J last weekend. Friday: wedding, Saturday: historic downtown BR tour (because we're complete nerds), Sunday: lunch with my parents, weird movie marathon (Minority Report, Equilibrium, etc), and church. This never happens, people. And it was glorious.

{also, if you're mourning the loss of Google Reader, go follow Fearless on BlogLovin!}


7 ways Harper's preparing me for motherhood

Everyone, I'd like you to meet my little girl. This is Harper. She's pretty terrible, but we love her.

We found her on Craiglist when mama really wanted a puppy and daddy's couldn't say no anymore. I am well aware that motherhood is much more than taking care of a dog. God willing, kids are in the future for J and I. But until then-I feel pretty comfortable saying that Harper's practice enough for now.

1. Homegirl is under my feet 24/7. Which feels like the canine translation of "whatcha cookin mom?", "what's that mama?", "can I have that?"

2. "No Harper" clearly means "please keep putting your nose in my food". She's not exactly the greatest listener.

3. Trying to do something for her always, always turns into WWIII. Like trying to get something out of her eye. J's holding her down, I'm holding her eye open, we're both trying to get it out of her eye while she nips at us.

4. Harper has a super laid back, sweet hearted older brother, Hagen. And she is contantly up in that dude's face. Therefore, the two of them fight like...dogs. So I'm pretty much a professional referee.

5. If things get quiet, it's time to get worried. If I'm in the back of the house, and they're in the front of the house, and I don't hear them fighting, it means they've figured out how to get into something and tear it apart.

6. She scares the crap out of me. I've always hoped to be a pretty laid back mom. But let Harper limp a little bit on her way back in the house, and it's time to go to the vet.

7. I awoke this morning to a crying dog who had pooped in her kennel, and subsequently walked in it. I feel like that one pretty much explains itself. {sidenote: when your kid has a dirty diaper, does the entire house smell?! Because Harper's carries and hangs out. Thank God for Tyler Candles.}



I talked about gratitudes before, but I can't find that post at the moment. And let's be honest, I don't feel like digging for it. So, recap: the #gratitudes hashtag came to be a few years ago when a woman from my church (whom I love dearly) started using it to share the things she was grateful for. It caught on and soon became a way to bring light to the social media world and to remind others that there's always something to be thankful for.

Therefore, it is with this in mind that I bring #mondaygrats to the blogging world. I mean, what a way to start your week, amiright? A tangible list of the blessings in your life when all you want to do is groan and complain about it being Monday again (right there with you). Plus, how cool to be able to look back (that is why we blog, right?) years from now and see how our blessings change and stay the same.

  • The three days J was gone were surprisingly refreshing? I missed him like cray-zee, but I'd be lying if I said sleeping in our king bed alone wasn't kind of glorious.
  • That being said, having husband home. Life's just not the same without your best friend.
  • Circle E's Hawaiian Pineapple candle. So good.
  • Therapeutic venting sessions, and the friends that will listen to them.
  • A job that I don't dread going to when the weekend is over.

I hope your week starts off fab. And I hope that you make a gratitudes list, even if you don't blog it :) But if you do, feel free to grab that graphic up theres!


...but really though.

I am a self-proclaimed recovering people pleaser (is that ok?). 

Forever consumed by what people think of me, my actions, my opinions. You don't like me simply because that's your bitchy decision for the day? Life = ruined. Can we please sit down and have a long, drawn-out, emotional conversation about it where I apologize for things I haven't done and beg you to be my friend even though you've never done anything for me? I really need that right now. It'd be even more great if we could be good for like a week, and then I could grovel at your feet again. 

There is most definitely a time to apologize. There's a time to repair damage-done. And then there's a time to realize...ya know? I really just don't have time for this. I don't have time to chase you. I don't have time to have a meltdown over how you feel about me. I'm out.

I think we forget that it's a decision. We make a choice to let someone else's crap muck up your life.  You have to let someone else's negativity spill over into your life and mess things up and make you all jasdobgadnfvasjf. And you also get to make a decision that it ends here
That you don't have time for it. 

It was a big lesson for me when a learned to take people with a grain of salt. To remember that everyone has hard times. That sometimes I'm not exactly Cinderella all the time. And hard times inevitably spill into your day-to-day interactions. But I don't have to put up with it.

Wake up tomorrow morning, and remind yourself of how wonderful your life is. Make a running list of every blessing. The roof over my head, the Jesus who loves me unendingly, the friends that never leave my side, the husband I can't believe is mine. And when someone else's negative threatens to darken your day, repeat after me:

 "I'm sorry. I'm too busy living a really blessed and joyful life to get into this. I have no time for your negative crap."


shields moving announcements [design]

Remember that time I had my first paying design job? That was cool.

I guess you could say I am tip-toeing my way into the design world. I continue to find ways to talk myself out of it [i.e. "there are so many people that are so much better at this than you", "you're not really that talented", etc]-but I have also recently acquired a loving husband who believes in me and my talents, and isn't great at taking no, I'm scared! for an answer.

So, I present to you my first paying, public design job [& it's second and third place]. Be nice.

Whew. I'm glad that's over with. Speaking of design, yay for yet another fearless redesign, yeah? So there it is. Definitely feel free to contact me if you're in the market for some paper products! [blake.guichet@gmail.com]


awkward + awesome


-How long it's been since I've blogged. Ya know, I don't even know what to tell you about that.
-Falling asleep at a red light. Yes, you read that correctly. Migraine from hell + no sleep = people honking at me because I "closed my eyes" for a split second. Frick.
-Asking a person who "slyly" walked in with a member at the gym if they have a membership of their own. "So....do you have a membership?" "Oh yeah! I just forgot my card!" "Okay! What's your name? I'll just look you up." Turns around and walks away....
-Camping out in the frame aisle at Target. Literally sitting on the floor with three different frames in front of me, trying to decide which I want. Oh, I'm sorry. Did you need to get in here?
-The amazingly awkward "huh huh" laugh I've started doing when things get intense/serious/tense. Surprisingly enough, it does not make things less awkward. I have to get that under control.
-Feeling like I'm a super-wife because I made dinner BEFORE going to work, and all we have to do is stick it in the oven when we get home! Oh, except that I didn't read the directions all the way and you have to cook it for 3 hours. So...dinner will be ready at 11, hon.
-This is how I force Harper to snuggle with me. She's definitely in her terrible-twos-I-want-nothing-to-do-with-my-mom phase. Hate it.
-I got a new car! Not awkward. But yelling at the voice control to connect bluetooth for the 500th time and the person next to you in traffic looking at you all worried-like? Awkward. CONNECT. PAIR. AUDIO. OHMYGOSHCMON.

-Curls that last through the day, red lipstick, clear skies, accidental duck face, and happy Saturdays. [see photo]
-December trip to Disney World? Yes please! Turning 25 in Magic Kingdom? Double yes please!!
-Husband telling you he has to work late and then actually getting home before you.
-I heart keeping up on current events. I even more heart that my job, at times, allows me to sit on the floor of the gym and watch the news and discuss with patrons.
-Glitter nail polish. And glitter photo shoots. And still being covered in glitter 3 days after said shoot.
-First. Paying. Design. Job. Ohmagah. Still doesn't feel real? You mean you're going to pay me to do something that I love to do during my free time? Uh...ok!
-Thinking about returning to blogging, and the little butterflies it gives me.



This one is for my unmarried friends, because if you're married you've probably figured this out already.

TMI moment: I have a healthy sex drive on me. Pretty much always have. The kind that always wanted to push boundaries when in a dating relationship, and a lot of the time did. For a long time the idea of getting married had too much to do with getting to have sex. It wasn't everything, but it was a lot. Here and there people would reiterate that it's not the most important thing in a relationship. And I believed them; it's not the most important thing. But let me tell you, it was up there.

Even when I started dating J, this is the mentality I had. But as I fell more and more in love with my best friend, it was like the cloud of sexuality began to lift. It wasn't all I could see anymore. What I could see was that a life with this man was the best thing I could ever hope for, and that if we didn't ever have sex for the rest of our lives, I'd be perfectly okay with that. That a life with him by my side, having my back, & holding me up, was better than the most rockin sex life anybody could ever have. After we got engaged, we started looking for a quote or a verse that we would stand on as we walked into marriage. Enter John Piper's a Momentary Marriage.
This is the quote we had read during our wedding ceremony. It perfectly speaks our hope and prayer not only for our marriage, but for the current and future marriages of those whose lives we touch. The bolded line is what syncs up perfectly with this post.

“Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of material success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity. So it is with marriage. It is a momentary git. It may last a lifetime, or may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short.

It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it."

So walk away with this: sex is important, but it's not everything. Do I want to pounce on my husband every time he walks in the room? Yes. Is that necessary and healthy? Yes. But more than that I want to spend the rest of my life loving him and learning how to love him better. Serving him, walking beside him, growing together. Our marriage reflecting the Gospel and Christ's selfless love for us is the most important thing about my marriage. It's not the fun trips, it's not the money, it won't be kids, and it isn't sex. It's Jesus. And loving each other the way He love us.

I just wanted to share that. Disregard it, tuck it away, do with it as you will. I just want you to fall in love with your best friend. I want sex to play second fiddle to the amazing, Christ centered relationship you are in. I wanted to be lagniappe. Super awesome lagniappe, but lagniappe.


being tender & open is beautiful.

"Being tender and open is beautiful.  As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed.  Too sensitive.  Too mushy.  Too wishy washy. Blah blah.  Don’t let someone steal your tenderness.  Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart.  Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep…feel it all – look around you- all of this is for you.  Take it and have gratitude.  Give it and feel love."

I've never considered myself a cold or hard person. Actually, it probably would be fair to say I can be overly emotional at times. In the wise words of Kristen Bell, "if I'm not between a 3 and a 7 on the emotional scale, I'm crying". The person I truly am adheres to the above quote daily, which is probably why it's my favorite.Tears tend to be my natural reaction to things, whether it be beauty or pain, happiness or hurt. I am the definition of an empath, and I actually love getting to feel everything. I like to think I've traveled far from the girl with no boundaries at all, and that I live my life in a healthy balance between open & tender, and safe & smart.

But after enough blows to the heart with a metaphorical baseball bat, even the softest person can learn to be hard. Coldness is learned. Detachment is developed. Enough people hurt you, and you learn to answer it with "whatever. it's fine." You get to a point at which you're too tired to fight anymore. You're so beaten down you don't have the energy to feel it all. You know what I mean? Everyone's been right where I'm talking about.

I just have two simple points that I want to get across. 

1. Everyone is fighting a battle of some kind. You have no idea. None. Even if you think you do, you probably don't. Please don't be the metaphorical baseball bat in someone's life. They don't need the help. Attempt to live your life in a way that is filled with grace & understanding. Be a safe place. Don't steal others' tenderness. Don't let your own crap overflow into everyone around you's lives and tarnish them. Learn to process, learn to deal, learn to let people you trust walk through life with you. But don't use your own personal battle to drag everyone down with you.

2. Everyone is fighting a battle of some kind. You have no idea. None. So don't let the fact that they can't control themselves or deal with it healthily change who you are. Don't let them make you cold. Don't let the blows over the head make you stay down. Don't let them make your answers to things become whatever, it's fine. Be strong enough to be tender and open, because it takes a special kind of strength to choose to live that way. Please don't ever stop being affected by the things of this life. It's a beautiful thing. Feel it. Let it in. LIVE, for crying out loud. Don't pass through this life like a robot in armor, unaffected by the beauty of relationships and change and the simple things.

That's all I have to say about that. I think most of us at times adhere to both of those categories of people, the baseball bats & the wounded. I know I do.

Alright. I'm off to cry at another episode of Dawson's Creek.


bless the broken road.

You know. Like the cheesy country song.

What a winding, broken road I have walked to bring me to this place in my life. I can't look back without smiling a little bit, that knowing kind of smile that people get on their faces when they think of something that shaped them, painful or not. My entire road has shaped me into the woman I am this moment. Every person I passed on the road, or walked on it with for a little while, helped shape me. And helped get me here. Every person who tried to steer me down their road, or deter me from walking mine, they made me stronger and helped get me here.

My road is not pretty to look back on. It is fraught with passing relationships and heartbreak and embarrassing stories and bad decisions. If I chose to let it, my road could easily be something about myself that I spend a lot of energy burying. Pretending it didn't happen. Erasing. I can choose to look back on the years I spent dating people that aren't J, and wish I could get them back. I can steer the conversation otherwise when old boyfriends come up. I can hold onto bitterness for the boys who broke my heart. I can spend all my time looking back at how narrow and winding and exhausting and broken my road is,
or I can love it.

I can own it. I can use it as a way to walk the road with other girls and possibly help theirs not be quite as broken. And this obviously doesn't just apply to dating. The sooner we can see our mistakes and missteps as opportunities to walk more closely and to be more raw with one another, the sooner the Deceiver loses his hold of shame on us. I've done things I shouldn't have done, dated boys I shouldn't have dated, given into temptations I shouldn't have given into. I've lied and stolen and abused and manipulated and struggled and hated. Like I said, it's not pretty. But it's redeemed. And the days I can put aside my pride and live like an open book, Satan's one pissed off dude. He wants us to look back on our roads and be filled with despair and humiliation. He loves it when we're embarrassed enough to keep our roads to ourselves. Or to only see our roads as broken, and not also blessed. Can you imagine if all the women of the world started having each others' backs? If Girl World was a safe place to tell each other what's happened or what's going on, and to have someone tell you they've done the same exact thing, no judgment at all? The change brought on by that kind of transparency would be radical. I've digressed from the original point, but you hear me, sisters.

Forgive me if I'm cheesy or sentimental, but having this diamond ring on my finger that means I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend just makes me unashamedly sappy & causes me to adhere to every cliche in the book: every person who has broken my heart along the way, really was a "northern star" pointing me straight to J. I didn't always feel that way, but I do now. Every mistake I made, every thing that I've done that I should be absolutely mortified by, is a part of my road. The boy that just broke your heart really is a northern star. That thing that didn't work out the way you wanted it to, God's using it to move your steps towards his plans for you. Everything that seems wrong, every broken dream, is a part of your road. And one day, maybe not soon, but eventually, you'll get to this place where you'll get to look back on the length of your road and smile knowingly.

And you'll set your face towards the future, and know that it's going to continue to be broken and messy and full of confusion, but that it's all worth it in the end.


365 days

A year ago today, I sat in a truck in a driveway and listened to the boy I loved tell me it was over. I already knew it had been over for a long time, but hearing it out loud is just a whole different ballgame.

A year ago today, I got in my car and cried my way from Baton Rouge to Covington, where I sat on my parents' front porch and answered phone call after phone call of friends, calling to check on me. Each one with the same amount of relief and thankfulness in their voice, but each with the grace not to say it out loud just yet.

A year ago today, I decided I wanted to be single for a very, very long time. I knew that I was already overwhelmingly healed, because God had been preparing my heart for a while already, but I just didn't even want to get tangled up in someone's mess again. I wanted time to just be me. I was wrong. Little did I know, someone who makes me more me than I've ever been was waiting right around the corner.

A year ago today, God opened more doors in my life than he ever had before. Suddenly, my life had so much potential it made my head swim. And even though one huge door had just slammed in my face, I didn't even have time to look at it. All these doors in my life swung open, just begging me to walk through one of them. In a split second, I regained so much of myself I kind of didn't know what to do. I regained the ability to be the woman I knew I wanted to be, and who God wanted me to be. I wasn't stuck anymore. And in that moment that should have been completely consumed by fear and pain, all I felt was hope. Hope for my future. And hope for others'.

It didn't take me long to realize that I was meant to walk through this for a reason. God pretty quickly showed me that all the pain and fights and confusion were for a purpose. That down the road, I'd be holding hands with some girl who was talking about her relationship and all the things that she feels, and I'd be able to say "I totally understand how you feel", and not be fibbing.

God really does have the power to change any situation. Any person. He really does have the power to take crap situations that you don't understand, that you wish would change, and turn them around for his glory. He does it every day. And that's my point in sharing this. That if you're in a situation that feels hopeless, it's not. That if the words "never" and "always" are a big part of your vocabulary right now, they won't be for long. Every time passes. God's hand is everywhere. And I know all of this sounds really "Christian talk" and cliche, but it's popular because of the truth it holds.

A year ago today I thought my life as I knew it was ending. Little did I know it had just begun.


live simply. love extravagantly.

If you let it, a week in the mountains can do a lot. If you're open to it, it can make a lot of room for God to move and reshape and heal and breakdown. I walk away from my week in the Smokies desperate for one thing.


I want to live simply. I want to live without unhealthy ties to this world. I want to live with the outlook that I only get to do this life once, why spend it stressed out & bogged down? I want simplicity to spider out and touch every aspect of my life. I want it to root itself in my relationships so that all they're about is loving extravagantly and serving one other. I want it to eradicate all comparison and jealousy and bitterness, completely simplifying my bonds to people down to the way Jesus wanted them to look. I want to take stock of the people who have weathered every storm with me, and make sure they know how deeply I love them. I want to be real about the people who have been fair-weather, and not feel any bitterness because of it. But I also want to stop expending unnecessary energy on people who only instill doubt and uncertainty in my life. And I want to make sure J knows how thankful I am for him everyday, and allow simple to be a way we live our lives together.

A simple life is one in which the bad decisions of another person isn't something that ruins my day. It's a life in which I'm not bothered by what you think of me or my decisions. Being able to fully be myself with no apologies. Finally embracing the goofy, funny, free-spirited girl that's embedded in my DNA.  Not trying to impress anyone. Not doing things because I "feel like I'm supposed to". Unthreatened by other members of the female race to the point that I'm genuinely excited by their successes. Ideally, it'd start to get easier. Little by little, casting off the entanglements this world throws at us would begin to become more and more second nature. Comparing myself to every person I know would be a broken bad habit. Simplicity would take over. One of the most desperate cries of my heart right now is for a simple, unwritten life. I want to go out and do and be the person I was created to be, without believing the lies the world is whispering in my ear at every turn.

I wish this was going to be easy as pie. I wish there was a flippable switch that when turned made your life simple and basic.  I don't think it really works that way, unfortunately. And because I work well with lists and goals, Ive made a short [yet slightly daunting] list of things that I'm striving to do and not do, that thus far have begun simplifying my life. I know lists translate to "legalism" for some people, but I tend to swing about as far from legalistic as you can get and still get into heaven [joke]. I figured I'd share, maybe someone will adopt it and benefit as well.

Use Facebook & twitter less. I don't feel a need to quit completely, but being all up in everyone else's business doesn't exactly scream simple. Backing off my involvement in other peoples' opinions and drama gives me way more time to actually be present in the life that's flashing by.

Get to know yourself. We're so caught up in the hustle & bustle, a lot of us never get to really know our own hearts. And it's hard to love someone you don't know. Spend some downtime searching your heart with God.

Stop. Comparing. This is a huge one for me. I'm terrible about wishing I was someone other than myself, whether it be a celebrity or a friend or whatever. I'm the only person who's ever going to be me. Might as well be all in.

Really dig in with the people who love you well. You may be one of those people with like 10 best friends. Which is awesome. Dig into them, love them, let them love you. I, on the other hand, have about 4 that I sometimes accidentally suck with because I take them for granted. The people who expend the energy to really do life with you deserve the same in return. And spending time with people who truly love and cherish you will only push you to do the same for yourself. Deepen your relationship with the ones who love you exactly where you are right now.

You may read all of this and it leaves you empty. No harm, no foul, maybe next time. But I hope at least to a degree it makes you look at your life and see places that need simplifying. That it helps you see the ways that chilling out a little bit could be of great benefit. One by one, maybe we can make this a more simple place.