It’s never too late to be a kid again. Whether Jeff wanted to remember those childhood memories of snowy boots or not, I’m not sure. But like a trooper, Jeff & Julia traipsed through the snow like the kids you and I remember being. And…
it. was. awesome.
There’s something about the winter light, the snow, the quietness of the season – all of it makes all the good things shine a little brighter. Julia & Jeff are no exception. They came up from warmer climates and well, I can’t say enough great things about the grand ol’ time they brought to Colorado. They’ll be making it official this March. Woohoo!
We’ve saved one for you. A seat at our table – one filled with people like you who remind us every day of all we have to be thankful for. This morning – the day dedicated to gratitude – is no different.
Our cups are full, thanks to you. And grateful we are.
We are grateful for wide open spaces. for friends & family who are pretty much our kind of day-makers. We are grateful for words and the way they go together, especially ‘possibility,’ ‘awesome’ and ‘wooohooo!’ (“Shine” gets its own category.) We are grateful for any experience that includes but is not limited to a giggle cry or the kind of laugh where no sound comes out. We are grateful for conversations that go the distance, for big dreams and even bigger hearts. We are grateful for snow days and ski days and campfires and the kind of quiet that allows you to hear the snow crunching below your feet. We are grateful for three year olds who just get it, and for bucket-fillers of all ages who, everyday, make the active choice to choose joy. We are grateful for travel and the things we can learn from getting lost. We are grateful for moments that stop us, people that fill us up and for the fulfillment along the way. And mostly, we are grateful for gratitude – the one thing that keeps everything in perspective, everyone elevated, and every experience one worth having.
May your heart be light today – a day when there is a seat saved for each of us.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” – Morrie Schwartz
So is the lesson that becomes quite clear if you spend but a few hours with Kate & Tyler – a couple whose generosity in spirit is rivaled only by their generosity in kindness. On this week that marks gratitude, here’s to celebrating that kind of love – the kind with a limitless capacity to brighten each day.
Kate & Tyler – thank you for showing in both action and in words what good love looks like. You just get it. And that – that’s something worth celebrating.
Here’s to a week of gratitude! And a very Happy Birthday to you, Kate!
It’s an expression you hear all the time. It’s something we fall back on at convenience – to express the overwhelming task of appreciation. gratitude. goodness. you name it – the trusty ol’ saying covers it.
I returned this week from Ethiopia – where I spent 15 days taking it all in. We worked intimately with the education goals and communities of Imagine1day to build schools in the northern region of Ethiopia where a new generation of leaders await. Where communities hope to elevate their place in the world with books and pens and paper – under the simple and important truth that education is, in fact, freedom.
And so, There are no words.
Or should I say…there are too many.
Too many words and stories and photos of sweeping changes and great progress and limitless beauty and take-your-breath-away moments to narrow in on just one giggle-cry. or one child who stopped me in my tracks. or one elder who expressed his gratitude in a way I only wish I could bottle up and share with you.
I live for this stuff. I live for the people who stop you in your tracks with their joy. I live for the kind of global exchanges that remind you “we are all in this together.”
And I live for the telling of stories with words and cameras. But to be honest, I’m completely overwhelmed, in that best kind of way, by the responsibility to give a voice, to be an ambassador for the country and its people who have taught me so much. A country that is filled with incredible capacity. an incredible capacity for joy. for community. for bountiful crops and bright spirits. an incredible capacity for prosperity – one rich in education.
I’m patiently waiting for the stories to come to my pen in the way I feel they ought to be shared. In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to the Ethiopia I’ve come to know. One that has so very much to teach us. These are the faces of the kids your kindness reached. These are the communities you said YES to. These are the landscapes you believed in. This is the country that will not let your generosity down.
(**after pushing play on the slideshow, please pause it to allow it to load fully or it may stall on you**)
I’m infinitely grateful for every effort each of you has made in this journey. Know that your contributions were never just a number. Your contributions have changed, forever, the lives of children who are so eager to learn, who want to study at desks, who want to grow up to be doctors and engineers. You are not just a number to the lives of their parents – who are deeply committed to education, who wish to see their children grow up to have lives grander than their own. And your dollars are not just a number to village elders who said to us, and to you, that through this school they can now move “out of the dark and into the light.”
Well…I figured there is no time like the present to start catching up on blogging – and since we are expecting snow tomorrow – I thought I’d post some warm South Carolina images from Merice and Will’s Welcome Party on Kiowa Island outside of Charleston, South Carolina this past April. The details put together by the team at WED – based out of South Carolina – did an amazing job…for those of you planning an early summer wedding – I figured some details would be fun for now…
Merice and Will – you know we adore you! Thank you for nicknaming Matt “Spyder” for the weekend…he still wants me to refer to him as that!
Well – Katie has been gone now for over a week – and while it has been hard for her to send updates – I know the team is having a blast and is safe. I was sent a newsletter by their team this morning – and there was a quote from Katie in it…I thought I’d share it with all of you – some of her biggest supporters!!
“There have been so many times that I’ve been looking out the window and I want to cry. Not because I’m in this hard place or even the people that I’m seeing -and I thought that if I ever had tears it would be because something was so sad. There are people everywhere in the world that choose joy and there are people who don’t and what I’m learning is that there is a universal language among those that make a concious decision to choose joy.”
I also found this photo that was made for Katie 45 days prior to her arrival in Ethiopia…very thoughtful! (and yes – my sister is an aspiring -yet struggling – ukelele owner)
For complete updates on their trip – you can find more info here:
It’s 7:22am and I’m on my third cup of coffee (I’ve switched over to decaf at this point)….and I feel alive with energy. Today people will be flying in from across the country to gather at Chatauqua for our second SUBSTANCE workshop of the year. I feel energized by their energy alone – and am reminded yet again that often times your passion and life is fueled by others with this amazing energy. So in a very quick post this morning I just wanted to share a snippet of something we’ll read to the group this weekend….it’s a snippet of a letter to ourselves we wrote this year.
This excerpt is talking about finding passion….something we believe is necessary in whatever you choose to do with life.
“Rest…rest until that fire in your belly can do nothing but ignite great things. You’ll feel it coming. You’ll feel that energy that makes you giggle cry and makes you your unstoppable you. And if you think the fire will never come – then change the way you fuel are fueling your fire. GET. OUT. THERE. Change your art. Change your goal. Change your mission. And then – fuel your new fire. Fuel it with energetic people. “Yes” people. Celebrate the small successes along the way. And fuel it with passion. A passion to be the best you can be. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And then…burn baby burn. Make bonfires.”
Give us a glass of wine and some honest conversation and you’ll find our hearts happy. As we sat down to plan what it is we wanted to share with the women of SUBSTANCE this week, we knew we could not do it alone. Sure, we could share indefinitely about what it is we’ve learned, the choices we choose, the mistakes we’ve made, the do-overs and the “aha” turning points. But we are not on an island in our business or in the work of our lives. And those honest conversations and happy hearts happen best when you connect with others. Together, you start to realize you have something to say — And while the voices are different – the conversation empowers each of us with the same – how can i access more substance in my world?
Colorado has a phenomenal community of women who have inspired us with everything from their favorite business books (Seth Godin…huzzah!), their approaches to getting things done…and their favorite pinot noir. We are grateful to our dear friends who will be joining us: Heather Dwight of Calluna Events, Sandra Hannah of the Smart Cookies, Natalie Slevin of Sugar Bakeshop & Coffeehouse, Laura Dombrowski of Couture Colorado, and Katie Humphreys with ShootQ and Pictage. We admire them as people and we admire their voices – they speak with that inspiring authority you sometimes need. Simply put, they own it. And they are making it happen. We are excited to welcome their input on topics ranging from organizing your business, getting the word out and making waves as incredible entrepreneurs.
This week we are gearing up for our upcoming SUBSTANCE workshop starting next Thursday, Oct. 13th. We are so excited for this group and to inspire each other to make things happen in our lives! Thinking about the workshop – and one of the biggest messages we hope to deliver – is the idea of throwing away self-doubt – and the doubt of others….and REALLY going for it in life. Whether that be photography or something else you are passionate about – you’ll never learn until your journey begins.
Here is one of our absolute favorite sayings by Shel Silverstein that I hope to imbed in my two year old’s brain in the years to come. Take this along for YOUR journey….
Listen to the MUSN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me–
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.