Category Archives: Freebies

Sound Bites From 2013

Some of my favorite moments & clips from 2013:


“Stop holding memories and postcards and thank-you notes and text messages and start holding hands, running across the street before the orange DON’T WALK signal. Start boiling water for hot cocoa and sitting on a familiar sofa with familiar faces and cups with dancing tuxedo penguins warming my palms.”


“We’ll sit and sit and sit and think that life is a game of wanting something you’ll never have and wishing you had the courage to stand and walk and jog and run and sprint away. But it’s not.”


“We all need someone to challenge us. In the cold, dark December days, we need light. In the hot, bright August afternoons, we need air. In the crisp, cool March mornings, we need sunlight. In the fierce September sunsets, we need warmth.”


“But that doesn’t happen. I am learning that doesn’t happen. When people care & bring you into their lives, you can’t skip around the dusty parts, the cracks and fault lines. You get it all. He got it all.”


“But they loved me once. We once swapped stories in my kitchen with the light dimmed over the table. We once dished ice cream into bowls or screamed at football games or danced on the bay window in my family room. We knew each other then. And so they get a Christmas card.”


“If we were brave souls, things would be different. We’d tell our loved ones that we really freaking love them, that the world gets loud and they keep the chaos from engulfing us whole. We’d tell them that daily. We’d whisper it and yell it and twirl around in the pasta aisle at Wegmans and say, “Yes, let’s make spaghetti and meatballs. Let’s make garlic bread with fresh garlic. Let’s grate our own cheese. Let’s stop worrying about the pounds on the scale and the weight on our hips and just be. Just freaking be.”


“I want to be exhausted. I want life to wear me out. I want every inch of every day to feel like a gift, to wrap it up for someone else and hand them what they need.”


“I walked home and called my mother and asked her why short hair had to make me into the kind of girl people whisper about.”


“It’s like the world is singing a song and the printer ran out of ink and so you are the only kid in the chorus risers who didn’t get a copy of the lyrics. And for what feels like a reason all separate and unrelated to how tall you stand, shoulders back, hands by your side, smile in your pocket.”


“I’d like to think that time is a thing to be won, a thing to be held, a thing to be saved. But it’s not. It’s a thing to be lost, under the sofa cushions and beneath the bed and behind the clothes dryer. It’s a thing to be wasted, sleeping into the afternoon and staying with people who don’t care about us, and standing stuck in ruts because it’s scarier to jump.”


“It wasn’t until months later, when autumn peaked its head out from under the covers of our grief, that we learned the truth: The leaves turned deep shades of red, just like the fire of her hair and her fight. We belly-laughed hard into the cold winter, trying not to find meaning in the way those leaves fell one by one to the ground, shedding like her white radiated hair just before she died.”


“Keep your joy in your pocket and your boy in your heart. Keep your heart in your hands and your hands on your hips and your hips ready to bump someone out of your life if they start trash talking the people you love.”


“But we grow up, and we become question marks at the end of someone else’s thickly scripted sentences. We become the commas that beg the Knowers and Truth Speakers to keep going, just trust us, just a little farther into the possibility that what I am is good and right and more than okay.”


“We decide to love something, or someone, or some idea, but it doesn’t have to love us back. It doesn’t have to let us in.”


“You’ll learn to apologize in diner booths and desolate parking lots. You’ll learn to look him in the eyes and say you are so very sorry. That being scared made you do terrible things. You’ll learn that hearts break because people die in car accidents, or move away, or leave for college, or graduate college, or stop answering your calls, and not all of those will be romantic losses. Not every crack will be a lost love story.”


“Nobody really wants to sit inside a tragedy and call it home, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean it didn’t wreck us.”


“The hallway was our Neverland. We wouldn’t call it that, but whenever life felt heavy, we filled the space from one bedroom to the next, sat Indian style on the itchy carpet, and doubted ourselves.”


“That’s what life is: leaving before you’re ready, then wondering why you were ever scared.”


“And so I can only hope they find happiness in moments instead of years, in hours and minutes instead of months, in the kindness of strangers who hold doors and wave you to make that left turn when you can’t quite see whether it’s safe. The crossed-off to-do list. The clean house. The freshly laundered sheets. The shoveled sidewalk.”


“I don’t have any more metaphors left. I just miss him.”


“Friendship happens when we agree to be our truest selves, our scared and scarred selves, and feel less burdened than we would pretending to be something we aren’t.”


“Change was the tornado that flattened Joplin, Missouri and the earthquakes that leveled Japan and the hurricanes that washed away Louisiana and the planes that penetrated the Twin Towers and cancer that eroded my grandmother’s lungs. Change was the acceptance letter, but it was also the stuffed backseat and my best friends crying hard in my parents’ driveway at 7 a.m. It was the sinking feeling in my stomach.”


“In the damp Sunday mornings when the neighbors are asleep, I sit on the deck + watch children race by in rubber flip flops and cotton shorts and make a list of all the things I want for you.”


“Because, for a while, we were removed from the heartache that soon overtook us. We had already seen + felt too much, but we were trying so hard to be balloons overlooking the pain of the world for as long as we could float on.”


“Someday he’s going to hug the cotton of your sweatpants like the skimpiest summer sundress Target ever clearanced. He’s going to steady himself in the way you dance, barefeet on the kitchen floor, to the sound of corn being popped on the stove.”


“There is a triumph in being so acutely aware of the pain in this world, even when we squint at it from waiting room television screens, but pressing forward with the promise of fixing, cleaning, restoring + rewriting the future, the life, that waits for us the next time we take a step back.”


“It’s the promise I have for all the people I love in this life: that they be blessed with something so good it fills them with fear that they’ll lose it, that they’ll wake up without it.”


“When we’re 16 or 24, life feels like it’s spinning onward faster than we have time to process it. We read a book in two days and learn the way cancer feels like a ball and chain around our ankle. We wait for a school bus to load up with kids at the corner and watch a young girl bounding down the street, her mom running behind her with her backpack in tow, and we remember why love is the thing with wings.”


“That’s the thing I love most about their family: the busyness of working one or two jobs, full-time and then some, raking together money to buy cars and pay tuition and bills, to provide for the people they love so fiercely, all the while finding time for this monthly meeting of food and laughter.”


“What they don’t tell you about eating disorders is that when they happen, it feels like the worst kind of tug-of-war win. Your friends and family and health care providers stand at one end of the rope, pulling it taut toward them while you wrestle with what little energy you have to stay firmly planted far far away.”


“We are in a relationship with the things we say and do and imprint on the hearts of others—strangers and friends alike. And it is beautiful. And it is terrifying. And it has nothing to do with this new thing called “social media” and everything to do with being a human being who lives and breathes and walks outside and looks at someone else and speaks to someone else and tries to find the right words for someone else.”


“When we begin, we go all-in. We set up camp in the Say Yes category and we own every single action we take because the human heart is fragile, but thankfully, resilient when it wants to be.”


“I had gone to the gym and slow-jogged a pathetic sixteen minutes and eighteen seconds before giving up. I had worn mid-shin socks with mesh shorts like some sort of preteen girl version of a lax bro and I was pretty much the least likely person to get asked on a date at that community clubhouse.”


“Darling, wouldn’t she have squeezed you in your candy cane pajamas? She would have.”

Freebie Finds // iPhone Wallpapers

I am a lover of good design + free downloads. And so I came across a few on Pinterest & realized, pretty quickly, that the Internet is teeming with beautiful designs by people who may or may not get found. This post is an effort to get them found (and totally pimp out your iPhone lock screen, of course).

free iphone wallpaper designs


From top left to bottom right:

Quinn Luu Creative Studio // Kory Woodard // Emily Ley // Northern Belle Diaries // Sarah Hearts // Breanna Rose // Collected // Simply Clarke

Freebie // Find Joy Wallpaper

It’s been too long since I gave y’all a freebie. Last week, after spending Thanksgiving with a family that makes laughter feel necessary, I decided to stop missing them & start listening to the way they go about life: with pure, unapologetic joy.

In doing so, I wrote out my Christmas cards (well, almost all of them), and found their message atop a pile of scribbled pep talks to my loved ones:

“Keep finding joy,” I ended it with. Keep. Finding. Joy.

That phrase rattled inside my brain for a few hours before I let this wallpaper escape. It seemed silly, if I had been wondering where to look for joy, not to share it with you as well.



[2560×1440] // [1920×1200] // [1650×1050] // [iPhone 4/4S] // [iPhone 5]

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Printable // Big Things Worksheet

It’s already August. Where did the summer go?

I’m sort of in full-on fall mode, burning my pumpkin spice candle and sliding my arms into my inside-out hoodie (laziness, much?) even though it’s one of the hottest months of the year. I’ll drink hot tea any day of the week so long as I’m indoors.

But what I love most about August is the newness. I’m never fully prepared for it come January, and with holiday after holiday hitting us like riptide waves from November to January, when the clock strikes midnight I’m lucky if I’ve put much thought into my outfit let alone the areas in my life where change is needed.

And yet. This growing up thing, this 20-something on-your-own thing, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We have the chance to make it something special, if we begin by putting a drop of intention into our morning cereal bowl.

I’ve always been ambitious. Of that, I am sure. But it’s hard to feel good about ambition when you’re not sure where you’re driving, what future you want to carve out.

That’s where the Big Things Worksheet comes into play. I’ve labeled a couple key aspects of life (career can mean anything from taking classes to interviewing to beefing up the LinkedIn profile; and relationships don’t have to be solely romantic – or human-to-human, for that matter) for you to think on and jot down some Big Things you want to make happen.

Pen + paper? Now that’s a beautiful thing.




Coral // Peach // Lime // Blue