Rise Up

Hello again, blogosphere 🙂

What a few months it’s been!  I hope you all enjoyed the end of the summer and are starting to feel the wonderful fall weather.

When I saw this video a couple days ago, I knew it was the perfect re-entry into Tiaraland.  Andra Day’s song “Rise Up” has long been one of my favorites for some very personal reasons.  But to hear a middle-school choir singing this song at a time where many communities, individuals, and heck even entire nations are hurting was crazy powerful.  Whether it’s natural disasters, political distress, personal challenges, or family hardships, I think one of the kiddo’s fathers put it best in this article from the Washington Post:

“This song, it resonates so much because of the times we’re in right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of pain going on. … When you have a group of kids, innocent kids singing ‘Rise Up,’ the message is mind blowing, how such a simple phrase can impact so many people. … The kids are trying to show us there’s another way than what we’re experiencing.”   

Check out the video below to hear these powerful voices.  And consider having a tissue or two ready.  Because, all the freaking feels.

And oh by the way, this was only their second rehearsal of the school year.  Let that sink in for just a minute….

Have a lovely day, friends!

Cheers,

SMR

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Please Stand By…

It’s been a long summer. Definitely awesome moments, but a good number of tough ones, too. 

I’ve been saving up all my vacation days to take some sweet trips this month and won’t be writing for awhile. 

So…. 

BUT, have no fear – I’ve loaded the Facebook page with at least one post a day for the next few weeks. Oldies but goodies, I promise 😉  Click here to check it out and “Like” the page to get some daily happy in your news feed.

Cheers y’all,

SMR

When You’re Quiet

Ponder this….

I pray that everyone has someone that hears you when you’re quiet. But also…

Someone to BE THERE for you.

Someone to support you how YOU need to be supported, not just in whatever way they can fit into their schedule.

Someone that will put their own stuff aside for the moment and recognize that their focus and energy and time and presence are needed elsewhere, at least temporarily.

Someone to give you a hug, or some quality time (whether that’s chatting the night away or sitting in silence watching a movie), or some prayers, or something to distract you, or some space…whatever YOU need.

Remember…for some people, silence can actually be louder than shouting.

SMR

Two Years in the Blogosphere

Two years ago this weekend, I started this blog.

WHOA.

Time sure does fly, doesn’t?

For the most part, I’ve loved writing here 🙂  It’s been fun, it’s been happy, it’s been therapeutic.  I’ve laughed, I’ve smiled, I’ve cried.  Sometimes I get in a groove and write daily fora while; sometimes it seems like more of a chore and I step away from it for awhile.  But I’m still SO happy I did it (and plan on doing so for a long time)!

One of the coolest and most unexpected things that’s happened as a result of sharing the happy on this blog is that it’s allowed me to connect with people in a new and different way.  Some of them I know, some I don’t. Some are my oldest friends, some are schoolmates or former colleagues I haven’t seen in years.  From talking with some of these folks, it’s become clear that this space is no longer just for me, but for others, as well – whether it’s just for fun or because they need some extra happy in their lives, too.

As a fun reflection, I took a look back at my writings and pulled some of my favorite posts.  If you’ve missed any of them or want to check them out again, click the links below.

(And yes, I know there’s a lot of them.  I have a lot of faves.  Don’t have time to read them all?  Bookmark the page and come back to it later 🙂 )

Thank you too all who follow along (and welcome, to anyone who’s here for the first time)!  I look forward to continuing to share the happy 🙂

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Cheers!

SMR

 

Sway

Totally digging Danielle Bradbery’s “Sway” right now.

Chill melody, lyrics that I agree with and enjoy, and just an overall good vibe.  She won NBC’s The Voice a few years ago, and I honestly can’t remember if she’s had any other songs released that I like, but I’m definitely a fan of this one 🙂

Lyrics and music below.  Enjoy!

Sway

Hey, we’re all in the same boat
Life can really suck sometimes
But hey, can’t live in a shadow
So here’s a little piece of advice

Start by kicking off your shoes
Leave ’em right by the door
Then you call a couple friends
And you call a few more
Put a drink into your glass
That will make you let go
Then you find something smooth on the radio

That makes you wanna sway to the left
And sway to the right
Get lost in a groove that will make your lose you mind
Put a smile on your face and you ride into a daze
No there ain’t nothing wrong when a song comes on that makes you wanna
Sway, ay ay ayyyy, ay ay ayyyy, oh oh

Hey, world’s kinda messed up
We got no time for sitting around
Wait for it to let up
Let’s break some rules and figure it out

Start by kicking off your shoes
Leave ’em right by the door
Then you call a couple friends
And you call a few more
Put a drink into your glass
That will make you let go
Then you find something smooth on the radio

That makes you wanna sway to the left
And sway to the right
Get lost in a groove that will make your lose you mind
Put a smile on your face and you ride into a daze
No there ain’t nothing wrong when a song comes on that makes you wanna
Sway, ay ay ayyyy, ay ay ayyyy, oh oh
That makes you wanna
Sway, ay ay ayyyy, ay ay ayyyy, oh oh

Start by kicking off your shoes
And you find something smooth

Something that makes you wanna swaaaay to the left
And swaaaay to the right
Get lost in a groove that will make your lose you mind
Put a smile on your face and you ride into a daze
No there ain’t nothing wrong when a song comes on that makes you wanna
Sway, ay ay ayyyy, ay ay ayyyy, oh oh
That makes you wanna
Sway, ay ay ayyyy, ay ay ayyyy, oh oh

New Favorite Show?!

Anyone else watching the new show World of Dance?

LOVE.  Seriously love.

As in, I may have told my husband I like it better than DWTS.  What the WHAT?!??

NBC’s newest dance competition series brings together soloists, duos, and groups from around the globe to compete for a $1 million dollar prize.  There are some acts that will be familiar to some – like Les Twins (toured with Beyonce for years), Fik-Shun (won So You Think You Can Dance season 10), and the Jabbawockeez – and TONS of new talent.  The show is hosted by Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and Derek Hough, Jennifer Lopez, and Ne-Yo serve as judges.

A full description of the show and how it works is at the bottom of this post, but I wanted to share some clips of my favorite performances so far.  (Most are only a minute or two long, then the videos include judges’ commentary.)

Tune in to NBC on Tuesday nights at 10pm Eastern / 9pm Central to see new episodes!

The Lab – These juniors are are from California, with many coming from broken or underprivileged homes.  It’s clear that the kids view their crew as a family, with one girl even saying the studio was a home away from home 🙂

Fik-Shun told his story through dance of growing up with parents who were separated.  Heart-wrenchingly, beautifully cool.

Kinjaz – The synchronicity and “respect all, fear none” mantra this group has is craaaazy awesome.

Details of the show, taken from the show’s website on NBC.com:

Handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: Junior (any size act, 17 years old and under), Upper (groups of 1-4, 18 and older) and Team (groups of 5+, 18 and older). Our panel of experts scores the acts using a precise point system developed by World of Dance, using the following criteria: Performance, Technique, Choreography, Creativity and Presentation. The competition consists of five rounds: Qualifiers, Duels, The Cut, Divisional Finals and the Grand Final. In the first four rounds, dancers only compete within their division, but in the Grand Final the winner from each division will compete against each other for the grand prize.