Your Tribe

Too often we either struggle to realize (or wait too long to make a change) when we have people in our lives that maybe shouldn’t be or at least shouldn’t have such a large part in it. 
Not everyone feels this way, but I personally believe that you should surround yourself with people that bring you peace, happiness, joy, and positive vibes, and people who help you find those things within yourself. 

And if someone doesn’t fit that bill? Think long and hard about how much you want them around. Life is too short to do otherwise. 

We have the power to choose who we surround ourselves with…those who are in our tribe. Yes, there are times when it’s unavoidable to be around someone with negative energy or someone who you just plain don’t like – such as a particular family member or coworker – but for the most part, it’s up to us.
Here’s some quick math: On an average workday, I sleep 7-8 hours a night, take about an hour to get ready, spend 1-1.5 hours commuting, and work anywhere from 8-10 hours. So, for five days a week, that leaves me with about 4-6 hours where I get to choose what I do and who I spend time with – about 15-25% of my day. 
In the grand scheme of things? That’s not a lot of time. As harsh as it sounds, why would I waste any of those hours with someone who doesn’t bring positivity, happiness, joy, and peace to the table?

Make good choices, folks. Choose your tribe wisely 🙂

Your Spark

Everyone has ups and downs in life; times when we lose our spark. 

And how up the ups are and how down the downs are vary from person to person. It’s not up to us to judge another’s emotions or challenges. 

Do we make mountains out of molehills from time to time? Abso-freaking-lutely. 

And conversely, are we sometimes too nonchalant about things? Definitely. 

But, often it’s not until after the fact when you realize the true “size” of whatever you faced. 

The important thing is this: whenever you find your spark again, no matter how long it takes you to get it back, rise like a damn fire. 

Love & Disney Movies

Disney movies – gotta love ’em, right?  🙂

While I’m not a super girly girl who had princess dreams or fantasies growing up (that I remember), I am kind of a sap when it comes to sweet love stories and happy endings.

(Okay…there’s no ‘kind of’ about it.  I love them.  A lot.  Like, giddy clapping, “awwww”, big goofy smile love them.)

I saw this graphic over the weekend and couldn’t help but grin 🙂  I hope you like!

disney taught us about love



Being a Godparent

While I myself don’t have children, I have a pretty dang awesome godson.  I call him Squeaks 🙂

(When I met him for the first time in the hospital at just a few hours old, his “crying” was more like squeaking.  And so, I dubbed him Squeaks.)

He’s two years old TODAY.  I can’t believe it!  Time is going faster and faster as more years go by.

When I was sharing a story about him recently, I got some questions about what exactly my role is as godparent.  In the Catholic Church, being a godparent is centered around helping a newly baptized child or adult in their spiritual life.  There’s no formal checklist of tasks that a godparent must do (but I do like this article’s suggestions), and the relationship can look different from person to person when you get outside of the fundamental core of helping them grow in their faith.

(Note, a common misconception is that being a godparent and being a guardian for a child (should something happen to the parents) are the same thing.  They certainly can be but don’t have to be.  Being a godparent is a church thing; being a guardian is a legal thing.)

From my point of view, the greatest thing my husband and I can do as godparents is lead by example and support him as he grows up in whatever way he needs.  We’re going to chase balloons and bubbles around the house and have dance parties, and we’re going to call him out when he’s defying something his mom and dad said.  (The first time this happened was hysterical.  It was last fall when he was about 18 months old, and when we busted him for doing something he was just told specifically NOT to do by his mom, the look on his face was, “oh crap, these people are watching me too?!”)  We’re going to celebrate his successes and help him learn and bounce back after he makes mistakes.  We’ll encourage, mentor, guide, discipline, and teach…and I’m pretty sure we’ll learn some things ourselves along the way 😉

Checking out the elephants during his birthday trip to the zoo today!


It’s a big responsibility but also a HUGE privilege to be asked to serve such an important role in a kiddo’s life as a godparent 🙂

Squeaks, we love you buddy!

– Aunt ‘Teph



I’ve been reminded several times recently about icebergs.

(Most random sentence you’ve read in awhile, yes?)

Let me explain.

Icebergs are essentially giant floating chunks of ice.  And ice is just frozen water.  Not so scary, right?  Except…

…you only see a small fraction of their mass above the water.  The rest is hidden underneath the sea with an unknown width and depth.

Now, think about people being icebergs.

When we observe others – friends, family members, coworkers, acquaintances, or complete strangers – we are only seeing a tiny piece of their width and depth, particularly when it comes to thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

Any number of things, positive and negative, can be going on beyond what we can see on the surface.  We don’t get the full story just by observing what’s happening above the water.


I myself been on both sides of this coin.  I’ve been cool, calm, and collected on the outside when inside I’m bursting with happiness, dying to jump for joy or squeal with excitement.  I’ve also smiled and laughed and put on a good front when I’m really confused, scared, over-thinking, anxious, and worried (probably about several different things at the same time).

I think remembering the iceberg image is a critical piece of interpersonal relationships, whether it’s a family member, a best friend you’ve known for years, a coworker, or heck, even your accountant whom you see once a year to do your taxes.

There’s always more than meets the eye.  We may find out what it is; we may not.  Sometimes all you need to do is ask, but you have to respect being told “no, thanks”.  And then, we may understand it, or we may not.  (Lord knows I struggle with not knowing the whys or getting the complete picture.  See this post here.)

But as my mom says, c’est la vie.  That’s life.

When talking to, working with, or simply observing others, keep in mind that you’re not getting the whole picture.  There’s always something going on beneath the surface 🙂




P.S. – Yes, I know this theory has been around for many, many years.  Not my original thought, but it’s what was on my mind today 🙂