love

LOVE IS THE ANSWER

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Hi friends!  I wasn't going to share this because, in all honestly, I thought it was a bit of a downer.  But then I remembered what an open and safe space this is, and how grateful I am when people open up and are vulnerable with me.  So here it goes. Do you ever have those days where the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders and in your heart?  Like no matter what you do, how much you volunteer, or what you give will ever be enough to heal the world?  I know, rather large expectations, but I've never been one to "think small."

Over the course of the last few weeks I have cried more than I have had in a while (I am currently crying, as I am writing about crying--OY).  Sure, some of the tears shed were while watching a movie, but most of them were for real, tragic, and sad things.  Such as the reality that people I love and care about going through heartbreaking situations, like cancer and other awful diseases.  Or that I just happen to "stumble upon" websites and organizations that share how there are a countless number of animals (dogs in particular) on the streets or in shelters, and many of them wont get a forever home, and sadly will be sent to their forever-forever home. Oh, and don't even get me started on the mixture of confusion and utter sadness I feel when I hear certain pseudo politicians speak about their presidential campaigns and the intentions they plan to execute once in office.

I finally got to the point where I couldn't think about any of this anymore, and just started to meditate/pray.  These were the questions that I went into meditation with: What do we do when we feel this way?  How can we cope when we want answers to the unexplained?  How can we take action?  Side note: I say "we" because we're all in this (life) together.

This was the answer I got to all three questions: LOVE.

Those four little letters were my answer to all three questions.  And isn't that how it usually is? Isn't love the common equalizer between all of us?  We are all capable of loving, and we are all capable of loving past our comfort zone too.  Loving strangers by giving a smile, loving our partners by spending more quality time with them, loving our bodies and treating them with kindness and respect,  loving people and circumstances we don't understand and meeting them with a compassionate heart.

While I may have wanted an answer that would immediately solve the sadness I was experiencing (like sell all of our worldly possessions, buy a huge plot of land, and adopt every animal that needed a home), I'm pretty happy with the answer I received.

Don't get me wrong, I will keep doing, keep volunteering, and keep giving.  But most importantly, I will keep loving, because there is always room for more love.

xo. Jen

VACATION RECAP

Good morning, friends!  How are you today?  I feel like I am back into the groove of my routines.  As much as I love unplugging and going on vacation, I also love my daily routines. Anyone else like that too? Side note: I love doing my "recaps" of our weekends and vacations.  It's a fun way for me to document, and look back at special memories.  :)

Greg and I started our vacation last Tuesday evening when we got off work, so we had a good week of detaching from work, and spending quality time together.  So nice!

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photo 3Wednesday morning started with a yummy breakfast at home, of French toast with homemade strawberry syrup (literally just strawberries, haha!).  It was delicious!  After that, we headed to Ventura for the day/night.  We went to drop Charlie off at my parent's house, as they were going to take care of him while we were away.  I have to say, it was very difficult for me to leave him.  Our first time apart!  We both ended up doing fine, but it did take time for us to adjust.  It also helped that my Mom would send us photos (hence the sappy puppy face), and we Facetimed when we could.  :)

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photo 4Thursday morning we headed for San Pedro to go on our cruise!  We put our stuff away, and went to the top to have a drink and start relaxing.  Basically, our entire trip included sunshine, cocktails, swimming, yummy food, walking, relaxing, lots of laughing, and spending time together.  It was exactly what each of us wanted and needed!

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photo 3Friday we woke up in Catalina to a gorgeous sunrise, then headed to the island to walk around. We have both been there several times, so we walked a bit, grabbed a coffee, and headed back to the ship.  That evening we had dinner and drinks, then went to see a Motown show.  It was really good!  I'm always impressed with how well the shows are.  Good times!

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photo 4Saturday we were at sea, and spent so much time in the sun (which we both love).  We both caught up on reading, and intermittently took naps.  So relaxing!  That night we saw a comedian/magician who was really great too!

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photo 5Sunday we were in Ensenada, where we had both been before.  Not to knock the city, but we were just fine with staying on the ship that day.  We did hop off to go in a few shops, but literally were back on the ship 20 minutes later.  We watched football, sunned, walked around lots, played some games, and enjoyed being together.  That evening we had a really yummy dinner (I took zero food pics the whole trip, oops!), then went to see a British Invasion show. So good!

Monday we were back in California, where we rested just a bit more before we got off.  My Mom and Charlie met us at the house for the day, and we all had a fun visit.  The rest of the day was spent unpacking, mixed with more relaxing.

As you can see, relaxing and doing whatever sounded nice to us was the theme of the trip.  We both came back feeling rejuvenated and refreshed!  I mentioned this before, but I never really thought I would enjoy going on a cruise.  It seemed too structured and touristy for me.  Well, I must say, I was wrong!  If relaxing and having different choices is your main objective, then cruising is the way to go!  Have you been on a cruise?  What is your favorite way to vacation?

See you Friday!

xo.  Jen

 

 

 

MY DOG LIVES INTUITIVELY

Happy Friday, friends!  Did this week completely zoom by, or was it just me?  I swear it was Monday like five minutes ago! photo 4Silly title, right?  Well, the more time I spend with my pup Charlie (AKA the best dog companion friend in the world), the more I realize that he is so freaking smart.  Yes, I know most dog owners say that about their canine, but really, IT'S TRUE!  HA!  In fact, I think dog's in general are so intuitive, and today I am here to share why!

photo 1HE IS NOT MOTIVATED BY FOOD

Sure, he eat's to live, but he most certainly does not live to eat.  Charlie enjoys his food, and eats calmly.  He won't try to impress us, beg, or anything else, and only eats when his body alerts him to.  Also, he knows what he likes, and what he doesn't like, and doesn't eat food just because it is there.  Such an intuitive eater!

photo 4HE LOVES TO MOVE HIS BODY

Charlie LOVES to go on walks!  He enjoys the fresh air, is always on the lookout for other dogs and squirrels, and when he is done, HE'S DONE!

photo 3HE LET'S THE PAST GO, AND LIVES PRESENTLY

We don't know how Charlie ended up at the Humane Society, but it's hard to believe how anyone could let him go (or any animal for that matter).  He has clearly done some forgiveness work, because when Charlie is with us, he is 100% in the moment.  We're simply grateful for his journey, because it allowed us all to be together.

photo 3ABOVE ALL ELSE, HE VALUES LOVE

This snuggle monster is such a lover!  His favorite thing in the world is to be with Greg and I (side note: I swear I have photos of Greg and Charlie, but they are either blurry or not wanting to upload), either on the couch, in the car, on a walk, etc.  At first I thought it was abandonment issues, and it very well may be, but then I realized that he just really adores us.  The feeling is obviously mutual.  :)

photo 2Now, the questions that I am taking with me into the day is, how can I be more like Charlie?  How can we all be more loving, kind, and present with one another?  I'd love to hear your answers!

Have a fantastic weekend!

xo.  Jen

P.S. Wasn't this a great reason to share a ton of photos of him?!  HA!

 

 

WEEKEND RECAP #30

Happy Monday, friends!  How was your weekend?  Mine was fun, but really relaxing at the same time.  Also, here in southern California we received some much needed rain, and it was so magical.  I love the rain! On to my weekend recap...

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photo 4Friday night was date night!  We went to El Portal, where we sipped some margs, and ate some yummy food.  Plus, their chips and salsa are SO good!

photo 5Saturday morning we walked to Peets for coffee (love there café au laits), and a bagel shop is right next door.  Normally I am not a huge bagel fan (too much grain for my belly), but it sounded so good to me.  I listened to my body, and got a sandwich on 12-grain bagel with egg, Swiss cheese, spinach, and mushrooms.  It was DELICIOUS!  I actually only ate half of it, as it was really filling.  After that, we walked some more, then headed home to get ready for the day.

photo 1Selfie in the car on the way to LACMA.  I went with a bold red lip (just for fun), and loved it!

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photo 1 photo 2 photo 2Saturday we met Greg's brother Jon at LACMA.  I love museums, and LACMA is definitely one of my faves.  There is so much to see, and so many areas to explore.  Absolutely beautiful!  They currently have a Frank Gehry exhibition that is definitely worth seeing.

photo 3We had lunch at their cafeteria, which by the way is definitely the best cafeteria I've ever been to.  I had a huge salad, and a lavender sparkling soda.  SO GOOD!  Doesn't that look amazing?!

photo 4Jon took off after lunch, and Greg and I had a coffee and explored some more.  Such a relaxing day!

photo 3Sunday was spent lounging around, reading, watching movies, cuddling with Charlie, prepping food for the week, and making a TJ's run.  Perfect Sunday!

I love weekends like this!  Hope you all have an amazing week!

xo.  Jen