Every day for the past few weeks I have wanted to sit down and write.  My mind is filled with stories and the things I've done and places I've gone and the ideas inspired.  I want to write about the fun stuff like five AM fishing dates, fireworks, and learning how to turn on the grill for the first time in my live ever.  I want to write about the messy stuff like my job and my dysfunctional unit that I'm for some reason having an extremely hard time walking away from.  I want to write about dedication, like the mornings I try to sleep in but then the sunrise reminds me that caffeine has a purpose and its purpose is to widen my eyes and ignite my sleepy heart.  And then I want to write about times like last night, where I found myself in the middle of the American Legion surrounded by my family and fifty other people that somehow made our tiniest bar feel like a full blown concert smack dab in the center of our town.  Somewhere between their missing teeth and denim skirts I was reminded how wonderful it feels to have an open heart towards the outcasts this lovely world each and every one of us share.  I wanted to write about all of this except the moment I would sit down to do so, I couldn't.  It seemed as if I was much more eager to listen rather than express.  I think it's because writing truly is the only way for me to sort through the jumbled mess of thoughts I have each day but often times I'm never really sure where to start.  Maybe it's this or maybe it's because I'm still not sure what the purpose of this blog really is other than for me personally to have a place to grow and share my dreams.  My entire life I have felt like the one drawer in your house where everything seems to get thrown.  The tiny wooden box that seems to hold more and more things as each day passes.  Its surrounding drawers have a purpose, are sorted and cleaned, and there I am, unable to organize all of the 'stuff' I take in.  After thinking about it, however, I asked myself what a home would be without these little spaces. Can we, for a moment, trade this messy 'stuff' in for tiny treasures instead?  Because my life has had a lot of those lately too.

I am officially a photographer.  'Officially' meaning I have an LLC, a website, the equipment I've been dying to purchase, and a clientele.  I can not put in to words how much work this has been but I can tell you that my family and my husband have been my life savers.  Their support is truly my world.  www.elizabethdonelson.com

Next June, my brother will be marrying the love of his life and my very best friend.  Bascially, they went biking, he fell down, he fell for her, and she said YES.  I am so excited, BEYOND excited for this day and for all of the planning they have to come.

If you know me in any amount you probably know that I'm quite the health nut.  Maybe you've read my previous posts  (like this one & this one), that explain my past with diet and exercise and its affect on me physically and emotionally. To be completely honest, I was still struggling very much so when I wrote those posts.  This past March I made the biggest decision of my life and that was to completely let go of any negative thoughts I had about food and myself.  You're probably thinking, 'how can that be the biggest decision of her life?"  To answer your question very simply and without any type of bull shit explanation I would waste hours searching for, I will just tell you that for me, it was.  Each day passed and I started to eat more.  More.  It was the hardest thing for me.  I started placing things in my grocery cart that I would typically ignore on a weekly basis.  I started eating meat (I have to be honest and admit that it was  grass fed meat), but it was meat and it was so so wonderful.  I also started eating ice cream and doubled my portion sizes of oatmeal and to this moment, I cannot make it a day without going to Starbucks.  I really really can't.  I learned what felt good in my body and what didn't.  I learned that running became easier when I did it every other day and that yoga healed not only my muscles but my mind as well.  I discovered that dairy does not sit well with me and fruits, veggies, protein, chocolate, and sorbet does.  I have lost 15 pounds since that snowy day in March.  From the girl who yo-yo dieted and starved herself for a consistent three years yet remained the same exact weight during that time, I can honestly tell you that eating is quite frankly my favorite thing to do now.  For me, it's not just 15 pounds of unwanted body weight that are gone.  It is 15 pounds of emotional baggage that kept me from being the girl I wanted to be my entire life.  I am and forever will be completely free from that dark time and nothing has ever felt sweeter.

Speaking of feeling free, something else has happened in my life over that past few months that has left me feeling really really  happy.  I think everyone experiences a time in their life where they feel like the messy drawer in their kitchen that I spoke of earlier.  Days begin to feel like a never ending pile of stuff and sorting through it can seem like an awful lot of work for some.  With patience, mistakes, and having faith, one thing I've learned is that life, from its beginning to end, will forever be this way and whether you're one that wants to sort through it or not is completely okay.  Life, my sweetest readers, is your very own drawer of personal things to do whatever it is you want.  It's finding your little treasures and holding on to them.  It's loving your past, even if it sits in the very bottom corner and accepting that it was, at one point in time, needed.  It's realizing that everything you find there is worth something and understanding that sometimes the wealthiest people in life have absolutely nothing.  And it's learning to love everything unconditionally, weather it's something financially valuable that you've saved up for for months, or it's something livable, like finding yourself on a Friday night in the middle of your town that is much smaller than you thought and seeing each little redneck's smile like it's worth millions.