Friday, July 8, 2016

Things I'm Loving Friday XLVI

Happy FRIDAY! We don't have summer school on Friday, and we had Monday off for the Fourth of July, so I'm sitting pretty at only three days of work this week. I was waking up at the crack of dawn so that I could walk Mack before leaving him alone in the apartment for almost eight hours, in the hopes that he would be worn out and just lounge on the couch with his favorite toys. He did great, despite my initial concerns, and he only chewed up a couple of paper towels and empty toilet paper rolls. Not bad for a puppy! Anyway, it was nice to wake up without an alarm this morning, though my internal body clock (and my energetic puppy) didn't let me sleep in much past 6:30am. Which is fine with me. I don't want to get into too much of a habit of sleeping in, and I've got lots to check off the to-do list. The earlier I start getting after it, the better!

Body Pump
I talked a lot about Body Pump when I was living in Austin because the gym closest to my house had an excellent Body Pump instructor. I fell in love with the class because I'm not often motivated to do any strength training on my own, but with this class, I work my entire body in one hour. I moved recently, thus, ending the long-standing Kelli-MAC relationship, and I now live minutes away from a gym that has multiple Body Pump classes a day, thus contributing to my recent decision to pick the Body Pump habit back up. Though I make the effort to go at least twice weekly, the squat and lunge tracks never stop being killers.

My last day at the MAC - also known as my second home
Museum of Fine Arts
If you are a Houston resident, or if you happen to be visiting, you have to experience the Kusama Universe Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. I'll be the first to admit that I am not the biggest museum goer, nor am I the biggest art enthusiast. In fact, my favorite part of the annual elementary school MFAH field trip was rolling down the hill at Miller Outdoor Theater after eating lunch. But I had heard nothing but good things about this exhibit, so I had to check it out. It's colorful, it's ethereal, it's abstract, and just overall visually pleasing. It's a very peaceful, almost trippy experience, and I found it to be more than worth the wait. It's here until mid-September, so be sure and check it out! And an insider's tip for you guys: Reserve your tickets online prior to going. It's very possible that it will be sold out if you just show up hoping to catch a glimpse.
Love is Calling
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity
7 Reasons You Should Travel Solo
I resonated with this article on such a deep level. As most of you know - and I really am going to do some kind of recap - I recently spent three weeks traveling solo through Argentina. And I was telling someone at school just the other day that I'm not sure I'll ever take a big trip like that with another person again. That might be taking it to extremes, as I love traveling with my family and friends, but as I am such a people-pleaser, it was so nice to be able to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. I got to do everything that I wanted to do while I was in Argentina, and that was because I only had to answer to myself. I am also a very quick and timely person, and when I'm ready to go, I'm really ready to go. Give me a time, and I can 99% guarantee I won't be late. I didn't have to wait on anyone, I didn't have to worry about running late anywhere, which, if you know me, is a huge pet peeve of mine. I got to walk everywhere, I met so many new people along the way, and I got to spend time with my own thoughts, and learn how to handle situations on my own. I believe everyone should travel alone at some point in his or her life. And it doesn't have to be out of the country! A quick solo trip to a city down the road should do the trick.

The Olympic Trials
I am obsessed with the Olympics. Every four years, my life shuts down and everything I do revolves around what Olympic event is taking place that morning, afternoon, or evening. And while I love the actual Olympics because it brings a few weeks of unity to such a typically broken world, the trials are so much fun to watch because you get to watch these athletes' dreams come true. Most of them have been working for this moment from a very young age, and I know it was not without sacrifices along the way. And then you have athletes like Michael Phelps, who is just an absolute phenom.
Kassidy Cook and Abby Johnston - both from Texas! ( Source)
Simone Biles - guaranteed to stick! (Source)
Michael Phelps - the greatest Olympian of all time (Source)
I love eating fruit year-round, but I absolutely devour it in the summer. It's juicy, it's refreshing, it's healthy, and it's delicious. I cannot get enough. Cuties, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, canteloupe, plumcots - you name it, I'll eat it. And while obtaining fruit is not quite as easy as it was in Argentina, where you could walk to the next corner and be faced with a beautiful display of all the fruit you could ever want, I find myself making multiple trips to the grocery store each week so that I can replenish my supply.

And I can't end this post without mentioning my heavy heart for the events that have taken place in this country this past week. It seems as though every morning we wake up and there's a new #hashtag taking over the social media world, and I'm just so sick of it. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around such senseless violence, and my heart breaks for those whose family members were taken from them too soon. And I've read so many beautiful words regarding these acts, but I want to end with some great words shared by Houston author Brené Brown:
I woke up this morning looking for someone to blame. Someone to hate. Someone who I could make the single target of my fear about the officers killed in Dallas and what happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It was such a desperate feeling to want to discharge the uncertainty and scarcity. Then it dawned on me that this is the exact drive that fueled what's happening right now.

Instead of feeling hurt we act out our hurt. Rather than acknowledging our pain, we inflict it on others. Neither hate nor blame will lead to the justice and peace that we all want - it will only move us further apart. But we can't forget that hate and blame are seductive. Anger is easier than grief. Blame is easier than real accountability. When we choose instant relief in the form of rage, we're in many ways choosing permanent grief for the world.

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