beautiful chaos

mailI consistently marvel at my ability to feel sorrow in the midst of joy, serenity in the midst of anxiety , and hope in the midst of fear.  How is there room to feel everything all at once?  Should we succumb to a single feeling, or should we embrace the beautiful chaos of it all?
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Can I be break with the serious note and get a little silly?  I have the same moment of marvel when I need to use the restroom while I’m HANGRY (so hungry I’m angry).  How can I possibly be hungry when my stomach is so full?  Maybe a biology major can answer that question.
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As for the more philosophical questions: I guess the multitude of feelings, the good, the bad, the happy, and the sad, is why we’re told to dance in the rain.  We can’t predict when the good times are coming, but we can look for the good moments that bless us every day.  As a good friend once said, not every day is happy, but there is something happy about every day.
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And you know what?  I think that calls for another printable.  That’s going to be my motto for the day:
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Remember the printable I posted last week?  The one about letting good things grow? It inspired me to make a graphic of little things that bring lots of joy:
littlethingsLike the graphics? Check out The Ink Nest. Now tell me, how was your weekend?

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kinder than necessary

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Cultivate a loving heart, and practice being kinder than necessary.  In the course of your day, you will inevitably encounter difficult people, but have patience and practice kindness. You won’t regret it.  In my experience, the most trying individuals are fighting battles of their own, and they are the most deserving of compassion.

I tell myself that the people who are hardest to love need it the most.  My attitude may suggest blind optimism, but I’ve pondered the subject for years, and I truly believe it’s accurate.  When people are hard to love, it’s likely that they don’t consider the impact of their actions on others.  But how do people cultivate a sense of empathy?  How do they develop an understanding for difference?

I believe it begins with exposure to kindness.  Be kind to the people that least deserve it, and I promise that they will ponder your behavior.  They will consider how your actions deviate from their own, and, perhaps, how your behavior made their day better. Maybe that thinking will compel them to be kinder to the people in their lives.  Just maybe, it will compel them to handle strangers with grace.

You won’t regret acts of kindness.  You will never look back on your days and think that you were too considerate, or that you should have treated people more harshly.  You might, however, regret the moments you failed to show someone compassion.

The good news, dear reader, is that while not all of us can cure cancer or win a beauty pageant, we can all cultivate a kind heart.   We can all better the lives of others by being kinder than necessary.

To spread the message, I wrote “Be Kind” with colored tape in various places throughout the city:
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After I did my random act of happiness, I spent the afternoon touring vineyards with Chrissy and Lauren.  You might remember Chrissy as the girl that I randomly asked to hang out with me.  That quirky decision definitely paid off:
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Once again, thank you to Laura at Apricot Lane in St. Cloud for styling this post.  I keep getting  compliments for my clothes, and I almost feel guilty about it.  It was all you, Laura.

it’s not what you look at, it’s what you see

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hubs and i decided to escape the city and spend the day romping the backroads in the jeep.  we didn’t make plans for the day, just decided to go where the roads took us.  with jon driving, that usually means we end up somewhere incredibly gorgeous, rural, and surprisingly fun.  this time, we ended up at woodland hill winery.
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we chatted with the owners about minnesota grapes while we sipped their wine (i’m a fan of the summer breeze), and then we trekked out of doors to check out the corvette show on the lawn (corvette shows at vineyards? apparently so…)  I wanted to play the license plate game (we’re not really car people), and so i made jon jaunt around with me to find the neatest one.  we had two contenders:
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i got excited about the swthrts, and i asked a woman to take a photo of us with the plate:
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after the picture, the woman turned to me and asked “what’s so special about sweatshirts?” oh lordy, i giggled, and told her it was a license plate for sweethearts.  it’s not what you look at, but what you see, right?  we left the show and ventured into the woods to do what we do best, play:
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after, we decided to head somehow we’ve never been: the canterburry racetrack.  45 minutes of windblown hair later, we arrived to find out it was extreme race day — a celebration of racing that includes horses, camels, ostriches, and zebras.
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moonlight on the riverbend

When Jon and I first moved to Wisconsin, we knew we were signing up for adventure: biking, kayaking, hiking, and all those activities that come with living in the country. What we didn’t expect, however, is that we would be able to explore vineyards and spend our days like we were vacationing in Napa or Tuscany. Northern Wisconsin has dozens of vineyards and wineries, lots of them scattered along the Mississippi, and exploring them has become one of our new favorite hobbies.