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Annie recommends

Monday, March 9th, 2015

The past several weeks have been so full. I’ve had multiple work trips (Minneapolis, San Francisco, Anaheim), three humongous work events, houseguests, family visits, and a particular emotional roller coaster that’s still unfolding.

With each close friend that I confide in, I realize that my heart is hoping more and more for a certain outcome, and how disappointed I’ll be if it doesn’t happen. But what’s the alternative? Not hoping at all? Novocain to the heart? We were never meant for dull souls. As a friend said to me last week, “Sometimes it’s good for us – getting our hopes up.” And so I hope, and I wait, and trust that whatever the outcome, I’ll make it through because I’ve been through worse.

I’ll tell you if it happens. And I’ll probably tell you if it doesn’t.

In any case, there are all sorts of other people saying and doing things worth sharing. So here are some of my top picks.

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I recently met Nashville singer-songwriter and all around superstar Annalise Emerick, and heard her play a song that I capital L LOVE. Listen to “Patti Smith.”

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Do you know about Kara Tippetts? Her widely read blog is chronicling her last days on this earth – and just about every post makes me want to throw my computer across the room, it’s so unfair. Just six years older than me and one hour south, Kara is dying of cancer. Just yesterday, I watched the trailer for a documentary about her life and imminent death, and openly wept in my kitchen. Will we ever understand why some families are dealt the short stick?

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My very favorite podcast, On Being with Krista Tippett, is a conversation about faith, religion, psychology, race, art, science, and ethics (my very broad summation), and I can’t get enough of it. I’ve recently been going back and re-listening to some of my favorite episodes, and ran across one that is so encouraging and life-giving, I want to pass it along. What happens when you get a Jewish rabbi, a Christian bishop, a Muslim scholar, and the Dalai Lama in the same room for a conversation? I cannot recommend this program enough.

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My friend Hilary Oliver (she looks like Gwyneth Paltrow, and also you should read her blog) recently shared a quote that stopped me in my tracks. To live like this!

“In boldly setting out toward ends, one risks disappointments;
But one also obtains unhoped-for results;
Caution condemns to mediocrity.”
-Simone de Beauvoir

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That’s all for today. Until we meet again, remember to be like Ariel (“I want more…”), Belle (“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere…”) and when it comes to hope, fine, Pocahontas (“How high will the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know”).

If you only read one thing today

Monday, March 4th, 2013

read this.

What I “do”

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

I changed jobs at the beginning of the year, and have spent the last several months learning what it is that I “do.”

Here is my conclusion: my job is pretty cool.

I work on the marketing team for LÄRABAR, which is a brand that I was smitten with long before I was ever connected to; my title is “Community Host,” which I couldn’t love more. A series of hilarious events led to where I stand today, and I don’t hesitate saying that I think I have one of the best “how I got the job” stories of anyone I know.

But lest you go thinking that my entire role revolves around jingle writing, let me tell you about some other cool things I’ve been up to.

First of all, I’m paid to be on Facebook and Twitter. I’m the “voice of the brand,” and channeling the LÄRABAR personality gives me an excuse to use exclamation points – something I rarely do in real life. *Like* LÄRABAR on Facebook, and delight in the secret knowledge that every status update you see is posted by yours truly.

Another part of my job is to help give free stuff away. Blog giveaways, surprising friends of the brand, sweepstakes – the joy of giving is alive. For example, do you like the Avett Brothers? Do you live in Colorado? Then you should enter this sweepstakes I helped organize with the City of Denver.

LÄRABAR has a new bar called über, and it’s super delicious. We built and launched the über Gallery on our website, and are featuring photos and videos of friends who are living life in a bold and unique way. Check out the current content – you may see some familiar faces – and then submit your own “über moments,” because you are wicked awesome.

The biggest project of the summer is hosting the LÄRABAR Half Marathon with 5K and Kids 1K. Have I ever put on a race before? No. Has anyone on the team? No. But we are learning a lot, and prepping for a crazy-huge undertaking – and if I may be so bold, I think it’s going to be fantastic. If you’re looking for a race to run in August, we’d love to see you there – the registration will be live in the next few days.

Mainly, my daily routine consists of not having a routine, holding a million details in my brain, and telling everyone I know that LÄRABAR is the greatest little fruit & nut bar on the planet. If you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend Peanut Butter & Jelly, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte, Cashew Cookie, and Blueberry Muffin.

Linky doodle dandy

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Last week, my friend Ryan Thomas (SHOUT OUT) pointed me toward this article in the Atlantic. It’s compelling and so spot on: “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

As usual, I’m behind the times when it comes to popular music. Right now, I’m loving Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.”

My mom is a redhead. I’m thinking about being a redhead, too, a la Emma Stone. I am DEFINITELY getting a haircut soon.

Anytime I feel sad, I just look at Basset Hounds running.

In which I display a severe lack of cohesion (sorry)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Some exciting news at work: new co-workers, new snacks.

Why is this cracking me up so much?

I’m flying to Kansas City tomorrow to 1) help my mom move into her new house, and 2) see him, him, and him.

I wish this was the appropriate place to talk about dating.  I might have to start a secret blog.

So many of my favorite clothes are wearing out – the staples.  The jeans.  The black pants.  The basic shirts.  I’m Raggedy Annie these days, threadbare and frayed.

I’ve decided to not be vegan (surprise, surprise).  It was a good experiment for a bit, but I think that the biggest take-away is just to eat more real food – which means cooking more – which is actually going to be great.

Tom Petty is coming to Denver?  WHO IS COMING WITH ME????!?

If this is true, let the record state that I predicted this long ago.  So cliché.

The art of the non-sad

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Last week, Carmen left a comment on one of my posts that completely resonated with me:

For the last 1.75 years I have eliminated all sad music from any playlist I can control and axed sad movies. Guess what. IT IS AWESOME. I am all about melancholy, but some seasons require axing all extraneous sadness. I recommend this. You’ll love it. Get trashy movies and books, action and stupidity, and fill extra moments with hilariosity.

I could not agree more.  Last spring, when I was going through the darkest season of my life to date (which, in some ways, continues today), I watched a devastating, raw documentary called “Dear Zachary” that just about did me in.  I cried for days, and walked around with puffy eyes in a dark haze that just wouldn’t lift.  Right then and there, I chose to take a break from sad movies, music, and books.  Life is heavy enough – and while I definitely see a time and a place for sharing our tragedies and our struggles and our heartbreak (because you know I love a good wallow), there are times when we’re just not strong enough for it.

For me, right now, sad stories and words just crush me down, down, down – like a trash compactor*.

So I’ve cleared my Netflix queue of anything dark (aufedersein, Holocaust), and am skipping the sad songs on my iTunes (sayonora, um, most of my music), and have abandoned Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” (for now) in favor of more delightful, fluffy reading.

Here are my recommendations for a few non-sad things to be consumed.

Watching
I am loving “Parenthood” on DVD.  I’ve caught episodes on-and-off over the last couple of years, but I’m starting at the beginning and working my way through.  What great, lovable characters, and relatively true-to-life situations.  For all of my bad boy crushes (Tim Riggins, anyone?), when it comes down to it, I’m just looking for a man like Adam Braverman.

The Human Experience” is a fantastic documentary about man’s search for meaning.  The filmmakers and their mission completely charmed me.  Soak it up.

And I’m pretty sure that “Being Elmo” is going to be so sweet, so poignant.

Reading
I bought Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” at Target, and trust me: this book will cure whatever ails you.  Except maybe kennel cough.

A few years back, Rod bought me “I’m Down,” and I still laugh when I think about certain parts.

Also, my good friend Annie Downs is currently blogging a 31-day series on courage, and I’m loving it.  Mostly it’s just because I miss Annie Downs all the way to Scotland, which is where she is currently living, and getting a virtual dose of her every day in October is doing my heart good.

Listening
This one’s tough for me, since I’m obsessed with songs that gut me – I am masochism personified.

I have had to curb my repeat-listens of Jill Andrews’ “Sinking Ship,” because oh man, it’s cutting deep.  She has this line that’s like, “You told me lies with your hands and the truth with your lips,” and I’m like, “Oh my word” because she must have read my diary.  And then she says this thing about, “I’m searching, now not finding a better part of me, ’cause I want it back,” and that’s it.  I can no longer function.

So maybe don’t listen to that one.

But definitely listen to “Heart of the World” by Lady Antebellum.

And Sara Groves‘ latest, “Invisible Empires,” is just… so good.  “Open My Hands” is a current favorite track, as well as “Obsolete.”

And you should for sure listen to songs by Marc Scibilia.  I don’t really know how to get your hands on his music, but go on a hunt to find “Something Good in This World” and “How Bad We Need Each Other” and “Ain’t My Home.”  This guy knows what’s up.

What about you – know of anything non-sad that we should check out?

*When I was younger, I SO wanted a trash compactor in the kitchen.  Only our rich friends had them, so I associated the trash compactor with wealth, luxury, and ease.  The moral of the story is: kids, please dream bigger dreams.

An email received from Miranda last night

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

AP,

Did you know that when you Google image search “cross clip art for kids” a picture of you comes up?

Turns out.

Love,
Mw

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[She is so not lying.]

“What is Voldamert’s purpose in life?”

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Forgive me, friends – but these days, it feels next to impossible to string sentences together.  I am walking through a hard time – one of the hardest – and sometimes, it’s like a cinder block tied to my ankles, pulling me down, down, down.

I am not dealing gently with myself, as I should.  Instead, I am running myself into the ground, demanding a lot, believing harsh words, burning the candle at both ends, and losing sleep.  I feel out of control in just about every arena, and, as I told a trusted confidant last night, I don’t know when I’m going to not feel tired.  I would give anything for a wide open schedule and absolute silence.

I do really well in absolute silence – but currently, and honestly, most of the time, life is a cacophony.

In the meantime, at least I can laugh at these:

My pretty friends

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

I have a few things to tell you about – not because anyone asked me to, but just because I think they’re awesome.

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First off, my dear friend Ginger (yes, the Ginger I met only at her own wedding) has a new website – gingerciminello.com – and it’s pretty amazing. She is embarking on what I believe is a true calling on her life – to speak to and write for teenage girls.

If you work in youth ministry, or know of a group that would benefit from a guest speaker, please keep her in mind. I can vouch for the fact that she is animated, hilarious, and wise, and that she lives her life in this truth-soaked kind of way.

Also, isn’t she pretty?

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Next. Let’s talk about being gluten-free. I am not. But some people are – and probably some of you are. My friend Nashville Miranda is.

Sad, right? WRONG. Apparently.

Because according to Miranda’s cooking blog, she’s been finding all sorts of ways to eat meals that are flavorful and beautiful and sans the gluten. I haven’t tested any of the recipes yet, mostly because life is whiplashing me around and I haven’t had any time at home to cook – this is probably why I am feeling disgusting these days, too – but Miranda is trustworthy and creative, and I plan on trying her method of spaghetti-squash-in-place-of-everything.

Also, isn’t she pretty?

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Finally, my friend Shelby Earl from my Seattle days has a new record out, and GOOD NIGHT, it is wonderful. Do you like Neko Case? Well then. Case closed. Get yourself a copy of “Burn the Boats.”

She has shows the next three days at South by Southwest, and will be in Nashville at the Basement next Tuesday night. And at the Basement, who will be singing harmonies, you ask? Oh. Just me.

You should come bask in her glow, because her voice is heaven and her songs tear you up inside – and because I will give you a hug.

Also, isn’t she pretty?

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Sheesh.  My friends are amazing.

Tom Hanks as Animals

Friday, February 18th, 2011

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