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savoring the year: a new way of living in my body {25/365}

Tiffany NicoleComment

How have your feelings about your body changed over the years? Do you ever think of it as a friend? Do you have compassion toward it? What would that look like for you?

I have to say I was a little bummed when I read over this prompt; once again talking about my body. I touched on these questions on this post and some on this one and even a bit here.  I think it may be making me a little self conscious with all the attention it has been getting lately.

It seems like I will have to inevitably move on to describing my body in detail, like its pear shape that my sweet fashion teacher surprisingly pointed out to the class, as I stood next to the cutting table lining up my pattern to cut during our lecture on body shapes and outfits that flatter them.

Naturally, I will then move on to scars, like the one on my right pinky where the sharper than normal butter knife slipped and cut to the bone. And the shiny rectangle one on my left leg, on the bottom of my knee where several layers of skin were scratched off by the corner of the TV in my shared room, after my sister in her anger threw it on the ground in front of the door and my unsuspecting self knew nothing about it when I entered.

All that to say, yes I like my body and I am ever grateful for it. It is a sweet friend, who has put up with a lot and thankfully still works as it should, even when I indulge in too much chocolate.

I do not think I can squeeze out anymore about it at this point and will bow out of this, a little shorter than usual, as is my height. And hoping you are loving the skin you are in, too because it is quite fabulous, friend.

Here's to more stuff about bodies.  

This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

savoring the year: summer at the lake {22/365}

Tiffany NicoleComment

Embrace the joys of summer by dancing, swimming, sailing, wriggling your toes in the sand, or even just feeling the sun on your face.

I love summer. California summer to be exact because it is not the same everywhere. It has its own smell that draws out memories and curates new ones, like long summer nights and the smell of water running from a sun heated hose on to plants and toes. 

Oceans and lakes and rivers and pools have always been some of my favorite things.The beach is my favorite with its salty air and almost always guaranteeing a breeze. In high school Santa Cruz and its famous boardwalk became an essential part of summer.  

It started with a trip with Kristina and Matt and their dad and my then boyfriend Dave and Ricardo and his little brother, Chris, all picked in their Astro van. Kristina's dad entertained us on the way there with sing alongs and funny stories and allowing us to decide which route to take, through the city or ocean view. We played mini golf, where I somehow managed to get a hole in one and lose my ball in the same game.  We swam in the ocean and laid in the sun and posed for silly pictures of fake shark attacks and riding on kiddie toys.We stopped on our way home and ate at Onos, a local sea food restaurant. After much resistance, I hesitantly tried raw fish for the first time and was not a fan like I was sure I would not be.

The following summer Ricardo and I and Chris and Manny and Senia and Maria, embarked on our own adventure piling in to his parent's suburban and started the two and a half hour drive, my sister and her boyfriend following along in his truck.

We played more mini golf and took up the arcade, watching the boys work up a sweat over Dance Dance Revolution. We ate strawberry funnel cakes, over flowing with powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream and walked up and down the boardwalk, taking in the overcast weather.

We stopped at Onos on the way home, trying to remember how to get there before GPS was on available on our smart phones. As we attempted to navigate, we wound our way down highway one during its reconstruction, with my sister leading the way. They entered a do not enter zone; their truck disappearing as we looked at each other in the suburban hoping there was not a cliff of the other side of the signs. We stopped to turn around as the sun set and hoped their car would return unharmed.

The truck headlights returned, after what seemed like forever and we gave up on our search for dinner, just as we passed it on the high way. We turned around and enjoyed some food, no fish for me this time around, accompanied by horrible service. We paid the bill leaving no tip and started walking to our cars, when the waiter approached us in his apron, stating because there was so many of us, we had to leave a mandatory tip, though it was not disclosed anywhere on the receipt or menu. We stood in disbelief, refusing to pay, when I gave in and paid what he said was owed to stop all the awkwardness of it all and vowing not to come back.

We laughed and drove home, almost getting crushed on our way in to San Francisco through the tunnel bridge.

And each year we have returned, Ricardo and I, a little older and a little more lured by its magic and fun and its symbol of summer and our youth. It is where we eventually said I do and ran in to its waves, wedding rings fresh on our fingers and my lips turning blue from its cold afternoon wind. It is a little spot in our story filled with sand and sun and enchantment. 

Here's to all things summer. 

This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

savoring the year: wedding present {1/365}

Tiffany NicoleComment

Whether you're headed to your own wedding or to a neighborhood BBQ, coffee with a friend. or dinner with your family, the most important thing to bring is a present heart. (Savor by Shauna Niequist)

When Penny turned two, we requested no presents from her party goers, unless they would like to donate to a local children's home. The invitation noting that their presence was the best present; a statement a friend had included on an invite a few years before that really spoke to me.

We were thankful for the superfluous amount of love and presents she received for her first party the year before but it was the people who made it and we wanted to focus on this as her second year cultivated.

It was the friends, new and old coming to celebrate our first year of parenthood and her birthday. It was the memory of the wind threatening to blow the entire party away, complete with the cupcakes and pop up shade. It was family driving nearly two hours just to be there, one of them being my grandma who rarely can make the drive these days. It was her laughter and excitement as Penny opened her gifts and played with the boxes. It was her full presence and laughter and joy bursting forth that made the day extra special.

It was my in laws flying in from out of state just to celebrate. It was their help with all the transporting of decorations and food from our small apartment to the park in hopes that the cupcakes would not fall and that the sandwiches would stay together and that the food would arrive in the same condition we had packaged them.

It was the time Senia spent making and decorating the pink heart cookie favors. In true Senia fashion, she had stayed up past midnight to finish them, as she had been working. Her art abilities have beautifully overflowed in to her baking and she arrived at the party with the prettiest heart cookies, full of detail, which we packaged right there, my mother in law helping to fill the bags.

Being present is showing up. It is support and listening and the physical body just being. It is clearing our mind to truly hear hearts and taking them for what they are. It is showing up with no other agenda than to be there.

With so many variables pulling in different directions, being fully present is truly a gift, far beyond anything we can give. When our last breath inhales, it is not the things that people will miss but the person who passed. Some trinkets and such may last as reminders but it is the memories of time and presence spent together that span the divide and fill our hearts until we meet again.

Here's to being fully present.


This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

savoring the year: 365 days of reflections + thoughts {launch}

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments

My husband introduced me to Shauna Niequist several years ago. He had come across Cold Tangerines as a recommendation from several friends and wanted to see what all the raving was about it. We checked it out from the library because that is how our usual reading material goes and started reading it together. And surprising myself, I loved it.

Her writing style instantly became one of my  favorites. Her use of life and learning and description and word choice were perfect and for that, the reading was quite simply delightful. Like the walking in the clouds kind of delightful - that sparks memories and inspires. 

After reading it, we moved on to other books and studies and never looked for any other pieces by her.

Until April.

On our two and a half hour, childless drive to Redding in celebration of my birthday, we searched for a book to listen to and stumbled over her other books. We chose Bittersweet and listened, as miles ticked by and blue skies met the mountains, leaving the valley behind.

And I remembered just how much I loved the way she birthed stories out of her words and breathed life and redemption in to the hard seasons for all to hear.

I searched our local library for other works and came across her devotional, Savor, which takes parts of her books and turns them in to snippets to ponder and think on, along with a question or two. One devotional for each day of the year.

So, loving her rhythm of life that is stitched in to each page, I thought it would be fun and a bit crazy, to blog through Savor. Sharing a post (hopefully) daily, with grace days laced in between I'm sure, that corresponds to each day of the devotional, answering her prompts and questions.

I told the idea to Ricardo, to which he immediately checked Amazon for the devotional because the library only lends a book for so long and it just happened to be half off. It arrived in the mail as an early mother's day present and my biggest writing challenge. I have struggled with writing consistently and have a tendency to get clammy hands and for my mind to go blank when given a prompt, so it is a stretch.

I sat with the book the following morning next to my bible, questioning if I should try this. It is a big commitment to write every day and to share it openly. Possibly a little more than I can chew. But it sat there. Already purchased. A commitment in itself. After more prayer and over analyzing the whole thing, God urged me forward. He would provide the words, just as he provides for the birds of the air.

I cannot clearly see what this will look like, as the questions are scattered with life and God and all the things in between and I have not read them all because that would be cheating (right?!), so here's an adventure in writing through Savor. It will probably be messy and random and hopefully laced with smiles and laughter and honesty, from my heart to yours.

So, starting June 1st, the adventure will commence. 

If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

Here's to savoring the year.