Give A Piece Of Your Heart To Someone

I’m always seeing little graphics that say, “tag someone who needs to hear this,” or, “tag a friend to let them know you’re there for them,” on Facebook and Instagram. While the person who created the thread means well, as do the friends who write, “@insert_name_here” in the comments, that just doesn’t cut it for letting your loved ones know you care about them.

November is a month for thankfulness, so the next few weeks I’d love to challenge you to write love letters to friends and family you care about. A letter is one of the most intimate and personal things you can offer someone; you are giving a piece of your heart and spilling out your feelings on a permanent page.

Is letter writing not really your thing? Then I encourage you even more to sit down at your desk and write a few letters. Often some of the most beautiful notes I get are from people who have scribbly handwriting or don’t use the most eloquent adjectives available in the English language. I realize that these letters are truly written from the heart, and that someone was sitting and thinking about me for an uninterrupted amount of time while they put pen to paper.

If you don’t quite know where to start, some of the subjects you can touch on are why you love the person you are writing to, how they have made an impact on your life, and what they do that you happen to think is incredibly amazing about them. You love them for a reason, and all you have to do is write that down so they can see that and cherish it forever. If nothing else, I challenge you to write three letters in the rest of November. Then, see who really appreciates the note, and make a habit of sending one letter every month. It only takes a few minutes, but is a gesture that can mean the world to someone.

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Bonus: Write a letter to sweet little Jacob. You can count this toward your three for the month, and I promise this will be an effort that won’t be in vain. As someone who saves special letters from readers and loved ones, this gesture means more than you could imagine.

It’s A Nightmare On M Street

I’ve never been to Nightmare on M Streetbut every year I tell myself that next Halloween I’ll give it a go. At 26, though, I’ve decided I’m done with bar crawls.

Since I got POTS I haven’t been a huge fan of going out into big crowds as I often feel dizzy and worry about fainting in a crowded area, but even if I didn’t have a chronic illness I don’t think it would be my jam anymore. It’s hilarious talking to friends who feel the same way. I definitely still have a mix of people who enjoy big parties and loud music, but for the most part everyone is starting to settle down and enjoy a more low-key weekend with family or a friend or two.

Yesterday I handed out a few handfuls of candy with my mom, then went over to give out candy with Robert. Guys. I don’t think Halloween has ever been this much fun before. Giving out candy and seeing all the trick-or-treaters made my heart so happy! I definitely started off a bit too jazzed, though, as I told the kids, “Take as much as you want,” and then quickly realized there were going to be too many people stopping by to make that a sustainable practice. It was just so great seeing their eyes light up as they chose their favorite chocolate bars from the mix!

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I also loved how polite most of the kids were. I remember when I used to go door to door every Halloween how I would only take a piece of candy unless offered otherwise. Most kids this year were really sweet and thankful, but it cracked me up when one of the girls dug her hand deep into the bottom of the bowl and scooped out as many pieces of candy as her hand could hold. She was the reason I had to start rationing the candy better, and when she came back for a second treat a half hour later, I had to tell Robert that he’d need to turn her down if she had the guts to come back for a third scoop (thankfully she didn’t) because we still had a good hour left for other kids to come to the house.

Sitting by the door with a bowl of candy in my lap was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in awhile. I loved seeing all the creative costumes, complimented the ones that weren’t the coolest to other kids, but that I thought were neat — like a Groot and a “sweatpants mannequin,” which was made from a black bodysuit that covered even his eyes — and I smiled about all the little middle schoolers who probably wouldn’t get to go out again next year. I love seeing any age of children trick-or-treating; even the older kids who don’t really dress up are great because I think it’s sweet that they are still doing something as innocent as getting free candy with their time instead of getting into trouble.

By the end of the night the kids had cleaned out almost 3 big bags of candy, but Robert and I noticed that that we were left with primarily Almond Joy candy bars and Whoppers. We’ve been having a big debate on my Facebook page about which is better, and somehow far more people seem to like Almond Joys than Whoppers. What the heck?! I always liked getting Whoppers in my pillowcase, but I never met a kid who liked an Almond Joy. I suppose next year we’ll need to try to find big bags of Reeses mixed only with Hershey’s bars, Twix, and M&Ms, rather than trying to pawn off the two untouchable candy bars. You live and learn, right?

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This was the “before and after” of our candy bowl. Note all the Whoppers and Almond Joys that were left! >_<

I’m already really excited for Halloween next year, as I want to give out more candy and keep seeing cute costumes throughout the evening. I think we will need to go all out in the decorating to try to really attract a crowd next year. What’s your favorite part about Halloween? And are you as excited about Christmas as I am now? Sadly I hate most Christmas music, but I can’t wait to start seeing all the decorations and enjoying all the Hallmark Christmas specials and movies on ABC Family (now known as Freeform) as I want!

Fall Date Prep

The air is crisp and it’s perfect sweater weather. I skip joyfully to my closet to select a top. My eyes graze past the dresses hung neatly on the left over to the warmer options. I pretend that I’m going to make a decision, even though my mind is already made up. I touch the new ballerina pink sweater I had purchased a few weeks prior and wonder whether that will be cozy enough for a night of movies and snuggling. I reach to the back of the closet where I had shoved my soft gray v-neck sweater. It pairs well with leggings and kicks, or jeans and ankle boots for an edgier look.

I smile as I slip into my trusty favorite. It’s only a matter of time until my date will pull up to my house in his truck. I hurry to the bathroom to put on my makeup. Taylor Swift is already blasting, and I feel fierce in my oversized sweater and Calvin’s. I am still not fully ready to go out, but right now I’m all about my girly music, makeup, and pretending to be a runway model. Nobody is there to watch, so I can kill it on the bathroom dance floor just like the rest of the Bad Blood squad on my iPhone screen. The best thing about getting ready is that you can be whoever you want to be, even if you have terrible dance moves like myself.

I try to do a sultry cat-eye like Taylor’s, but quickly realize I need to leave my runway fantasy a daydream. It looks a lot more like I had been in the boxing ring with Muhammad Ali and got two mismatched black eyes than the fun look I had been going for.

Makeup remover.

Much better. I hurry to reapply a light layer of foundation, skip the eyeliner all together and opt for a swipe of mascara on my upper and lower lashes. I recognize my inability to paint my face and decide against the brightly colored lipstick in my makeup bag. Tonight I’ll do a natural look which — for a new date — includes foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, mascara, and a light pink shade of lipstick and liner to match… And to think guys sometimes think I’m not wearing makeup when I go with this look. Sigh, it takes a good 20 minutes to put all of this together! I’d at least like to be awarded a compliment for using my paint and brushes from Sephora so effectively.

The finishing touches are made — black jeans and a bracelet with my birthstone  surrounded by diamonds — and a new bright smile is added as the doorbell rings.

My heart skips a beat as I open the door, and I forget everything about the past hour of getting ready. The night is just beginning, and I get to spend the rest of it with my new favorite person.

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This is a decent example of how I would do a more natural look for a first date. Y’all can clearly tell I am wearing makeup, right?!

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