Away for the Holidays

Hello beautiful people! Sorry if you feel like you have not heard from me lately, but I have definitely been thinking of you! As many of you know it is half way through March Madness, one of the greatest times in sports, and I have been lucky enough to be traveling for the majority of my days lately.

While I would not trade any of these emotional roller coaster games for anything in the world, I will be missing my first holiday with my family, ever. I have a very small immediate family so around the holiday seasons if one person is missing you can definitely tell. My parents go all out for holidays! Like Santa still wraps all of my presents, the Easter Bunny still drops off a basket after dying eggs and I get to celebrate a birthday week (not just day)…and I am almost 22.

Therefore, holidays always have a special place in my heart. Of course the true meanings behind the holidays are the main focus, but I love the worldly aspects of bringing people together and food too!

Similar to many of you I am a creature of habit and do not always deal well with change. On my eighteenth birthday and Easter Sunday I woke up early for Sunrise Service to open my Easter basket like always but this time it felt so different and lonely. It was the first holiday that my brother, who is 6 years older than I, was not present for. I opened my basket alone and it all felt empty. Additionally, my boyfriend (I know I haven’t really mentioned him before, but yes he exists) was in Spain making it difficult to communicate leaving me all in my feelings. I remember going to my room and crying. Crying because things were not the way they had been for the previous 18 years and they never would be anymore.

Tomorrow I will be missing my first Easter at home. I won’t have the familiarity of going to my home church, instead I will be visiting one where I know no one. There will be no home cooked Easter lunch. and no family around. My fear is that it will be easy to forget that it is such a special day among all the crazy events happening. While this is mostly a one time thing, it kind of represents the reality of changes happening as I soon enter the real world.Life will be all about the hustle and bustle and I won’t be at home anymore. But when finding the positive, it opens doors to the excitement of making new traditions and building more discipline of giving proper time and focus to these important days!

The first day of change starts tomorrow! Here we go!

Choose to bring an abundance of joy to this world everyday because of the gift of joy we have been given through the resurrection!

Happy Easter

Spread continuous Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

Spring Break Staycations

This week was Spring Break for my college. Almost every single one of my friends left Chapel Hill to go on various adventures, besides myself and my beloved cheer team. My social media feed was full of fantasy getaways to the beach, cruises, fun-filled cities, global travels and island adventures. Snapchat was full pictures and videos of people in cute bathing suits relaxing on a sunny, warm beach or living up our last Spring Break with a group of friends.

It was slightly difficult to block out the feelings of F.O.M.O., but I soon realized all the benefits of being in a college town when it is not cluttered by thousands of students!

Why didn’t I travel anywhere exotic or tropical during my week off you might ask? Mostly because it was not a week off. We are currently in the middle of March Madness, and I could not be more thrilled, but our team played during the week meaning we had to be in town. So I decided to make the best of it and boy it was a beyond wonderful experience!

Benefits of staycations in college:

  1. While all my friends were getting up in time for prime sun bathing hours I could sleep or lay in bed for as long as my heart desired.167071906
  2. I DID NOT GET SUNBURNT! Guys, this is a biggggggg deal. I can be outside for literally 10 minutes and come back burnt. Last Spring Break I mistakenly forgot that you can get sunburnt in March and roasted, roasted, roasted my entire body (RIP to that layer of skin).165473026.jpg
  3. Saving that MONEY! Most of the time on Spring Break trips I just hear “cha-ching, cha-ching $$”, or the weeping of my bank account with anything I do whether it was paid for in advance or not. Even if you are treating yo-self a little extra during your staycation, it will probably be less than you would have spent otherwise!117046655.jpg
  4. Besides seeing a few of my friends, aka my teammates, this week I did not have to worry about being social! I was able to be a hermit and also roam the beautiful campus paths without seeing other humans! This was especially delightful when I went for afternoon runs, because I did not have be self-conscious of people seeing me practically dying from being out of running shape or get in the way of bikes, cars or humans. University-of-North-Carol-Campus-General-Campus-The-Quad-on-UNCs-Campus-UNC-CP-GC-00032smd
  5. Lastly, I saved myself from any embarrassing Spring Break stories that could have potentially been documented! I am all about funny stories (as you may know from my other posts ), but believe me there is a difference. I am happy to hear all of yours, but I am glad I have none of my own!

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    I’ll just let your imagination wonder…

All this goes to say that I hope everyone had a Spring Break for the books, but do not ever think it is “too lame” to enjoy a staycation. Choose to be satisfied with however you decide to spend your time off and the joy will follow!

I am thankful for the people I was able to grow closer to and spend time with this week, thanks for the memories, even if it wasn’t on a beach! It also reminded me how great this place is; stay beautiful Chapel Hill!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

What is this “City Life?”

I grew up right outside the city limits and right before the country farms. Technically I was part of the country, the redneck area, the boon docks, whatever you want to call it, and i loved it! I have lived on the same road in the same house my entire life, so I knew nothing different.

But when I came to college I realized that what my hometown people and I have referred to as a city is not really a city at all. For us, what constituted as a city was that is had a Walmart, the mall and some restaurants (mostly vast food, but sit down ones too). Not a place rooted in deep history or with a super busy downtown. So now that I have had the opportunity to explore large, popular cities I am confused on how they can be the same word at all. This is why when I get to travel to “The City” I feel like I am seeing it all through the eyes of a child.568540481 It is like I have been out on the sea for ten years, completely extracted from the world, and I am experiencing every little thing for the first time!

I walk around and my eyes are overwhelmed with everything I see! All the cars racing by, all the humans walking in one way, the city air, the plant life, any monuments. Everything. Everything just seems so fascinating and I am sure whoever is with me has to tune me out or rolls their eyes at everything I say, because I point out the smallest, inconsequential of things (Sorry to all my teammates and Jessi). I literally stand and marvel in the different air, like what? That’s so strange. Here is an example of a conversation I can have with myself or whoever is around:

“Whoa! Look at these trees. And this pebble sidewalk. And that color on that building. And man oh man this building is ridiculously tall. Ooo ooo! And even their bathrooms are different too! Can people please stop honking, so rude and impatient!”

It is like I am seeing everything for the very first time. The smallest things catch my attention. The city seems to never stop going, which mean there are so many possibilities!

Currently, I am in D.C. and I traveled to Nashville, Charleston and NYC last year. All three places were beyond beautiful, inspirational and invigorating in their own way! You better believe I walked everywhere, explored everything and was the adult looking like a kid!!564725497 I have found that this exploration gives me so much energy and excitement that I never want to end. When you choose to look deeper than all the hustle and bustle you may find joy in noticing even that smallest aspects that make these cities so special!

I believe there is magic in every place if you are just willing to look! Now if only my wallet matched my desires….one day. one day.

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

“My Life is a Joke.”

When I was a young teenager I was obsessed with Seventeen Magazine! I received their monthly issue in the mail for years up through high school. While I would study the magazine cover to cover, about three times and try every make up and hair trick they suggested (bad idea), my favorite section came on the second to last page. It was a comprised list of readers’ embarrassing life moments that I like to refer to as My Life is a Joke moments. These are  moments that you had no control over, but were forced to reap the consequences. Sure, we are all dramatic at times but sometimes the world just does things to you that leaves you dumbfounded! Similarly, I have documented a few stories thanks to myself and some friends explaining the moment when the world clearly solidified this thought. Enjoy!

  • My roommate Sarah has always dreamed of having confetti fall over top of her head and fall effortlessly in place looking like the beautiful homecoming queen in all the teenager movies. One night we attended a birthday party with confetti poppers all around. This was her moment, her dream come true! Visions of windblown hair, big smiles and a touch of sparkly confetti danced in her head but when reality hit it hit hard! Instead of breaking apart and slowly floating down, when she popped the confetti ball it all stuck together and hit her directly in the face. Near by the birthday girl popped one which just happen to work flawlessly. Your life is definitely a joke when your dream nails you in the face!
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Your day will come Sarah, your day will come.
  •  Last year I was seeing a specialist for allergy trouble and the doctor casually asks me “Has your voice always been that raspy?” Hmm… I have never had this question before so I didn’t know how to answer because this just seemed like my average voice. She proceeds to take a camera down my passageways to look at my vocal cords. Then looks at me and says “Yep. You have vocal nodules.” Okay I get that this is not the end of the world or anything, but excuse me I have NODES like from Pitch Perfect?Then the doctor’s treatment plan was to have me not talk for SIX, yes 6, months!!! Last I checked this would be a major problem because 1. I am a girl who loves to chat. 2. I am in college. and 3. I am a cheerleader who literally yells for my job! I’d say that classifies as the world playing a joke on me!

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    Gif courtesy of Tumblr
  • For UNC Football there is a rivalry between us and Duke that whoever wins in football get to have the cherished victory bell. Each game the bell is pulled in front of the team with two girl cheerleaders riding and ringing the bell as they run through the tunnel. It was the last home game of the season and my two teammates were getting set to ride the bell out…well so they thought. The boys pulling the bell rounded the corner too quickly without the girls having a steady hold, shooting their bodies through the air to land on their backs in front of the student section and in the middle of the end zone. To make matters worse the boys didn’t realize they had fallen off and continue moving only to run over the girls with the wheels of the couple of hundred pounds bell. With paint, grass stains, tire marks and all the girls hopped right up to cheer the game like nothing happened. Congratulations your life was a joke for thousands of people to watch! Sadly there was no documentation, but just imagine from the picture below.
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Photo courtesy of Peter Schlitt
  • Additionally, at football games the guy cheerleaders are lifted in the air on a push-up board after touchdowns to complete as many push-ups as the team has points. It was one guy’s first time on the board, which apparently is much harder than it looks because the 60-some push-ups he had to do proved to be too much for his arms to handle. He fought and pushed and shaked until he gave in to a quick rest on his belly before completing the rest. Lucky for him it was all caught on camera!
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Photo courtesy of Eddie Newman

While I hope these stories gave you a good laugh, the point is that sometimes life will throw at you ridiculous circumstances, but you’ve just got to know how to handle it. Sometimes you have to choose to roll with the punches and laugh at the joke that has become of your life! Let your stories provide entertainment, and if you are able to find the joy in them it helps lessen the sting!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Fallacies About Joyful Living

Recently, my mid week posts are about weekly pick-me-ups and encouragement. During the busyness of the week I know I fall in the trap of planning to complete a number of tasks and then *poof* the time is gone and many of my tasks are left undone. Sometimes blogging is among the unfinished list. I am overwhelmed then frustrated that I am behind, so I thought about what I need to hear during the week.

This week finding and believing truths was pressing on my mind, mostly about life and faith. So here are a few fallacies about being joyful and my take on the truth:

  1. You need 7 hugs a day to be fulfilled. I’m not a toucher or a hugger. I get filled up and energized by having many positive interactions with people without involving physical touch.
  2. Stay busy as long as it is things you love– Sometimes you just need to keep life simple. You need downtime to refresh yourself if you are wanting to pour into the lives of others. Needing alone time or time to relax does not mean you are less joyful and missing out on opportunities. I think that being in tune with your own feelings helps you better relate and help others!
  3. You should always being smiling-Often I experience that if people see me with any expression except a smile (even no expression at all) they think something is wrong and I am not myself. It is great that they care, but it makes me feel pressured to always have a smile on my face. That is just draining. I think being genuine is more appealing, being transparent and open, while doing it in a positive light makes a bigger impact on people.

My point is everyone does life differently, so being joyful probably looks a little different for everyone too! Choose to do it your own way! If the outcome is the same and you are working towards a positive goal then I do not think the process can be wrong.

“Spread JOY wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Theresa

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly