Rachel Hollis in Fargo, ND

It was roughly a year ago that I was introduced to Rachel Hollis. I woke up in the middle of the night and was scrolling through Instagram and an ad popped up for Girl, Wash Your Face. I quickly looked at the synopsis of the book and then bought it. Little did I know that I would get a chance to see her in person a year later.

Like many other women, I fell in love with her words, her energy, her honesty and individuality. The push for women encouraging women is tremendous right now. It’s evolving. It’s enlightening. It’s relieving. She is one of the leaders.

As the date approached that she would be in Fargo, ND a concern encroached in my mind and my heart. What if she spoke words I had already read in her book? What if she told stories that I had already heard on her Rise and Rise Together podcasts? What if I wasted my money? *snap out of it Kirsten, it’s going to be amazing!*

Amazing it was! I drove through a quickly approaching winter storm. Blustery winds and snow blowing across icy roads as I drove from Bemidji to Fargo. I was going to make it darn it! I spent the night at my friend Amanda’s home. After a dinner out and a chick flick in (A Simple Favor that left is laughing out loud) I laid down my head with a smile on my face. Tomorrow was the day!

We parked in the Fargodome parking lot and followed packs of women into the SHAC. This event was supposed to be 500 people in a hotel ballroom, yep, um, nope, not for Rachel Hollis. For Rachel Hollis they come in packs! 4,000 women crowded into the home of the NDSU Bison basketball teams. As we filed onto the bleachers with the music pumping you could feel the energy and emotions that seep from women’s veins as they compassionately congregate. Not only did I get to attend with my friend Amanda, one of my main personal development motivators, I got to sit by my friend, Molly, who I had not seen since I got married 7 1/2 years ago! *Let me note, she has not aged a day since*

The moment Rachel Hollis walked on stage, for as small as she is, she was larger than life. I thought I was going to cry. Why? Why was this cute little thing going to make me cry? She was going to make me cry happy tears. You see, the season of life I was in when I bought her book a year ago was when I was started to “take control of my life again”. I started to live life for me. I started to search for the spark I was missing. Her book was a big part of that movement. A lot has changed in my head and my heart in a year. God Bless this woman! God Bless the women of Fargo’s Women Connect group through The Chamber for bringing her to North Dakota.

Rachel talked about comparison. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s highlight reels they post on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, enter in any other social platform you may follow. Make it a goal to be better than the person you were yesterday. Negative comparison is easy to fall into. It is an easy way to crush your self esteem and set back your motivation.

“Check our gut, check your heart” she said. Are your goals following what your heart and gut say you should be doing?

Goals are important. She was selling her Start Today journals and of course I had to pick one up. I have been a long collector of journals. Should I mention I am not a great “journaler”? Spell check is telling me that is not a word, but you get what I am saying. I have tried to change that habit. That habit of buying journals and not writing in them. I am improving. This blog helps *smile* We will see if her method of goal setting works for me. Again, trying to not compare. Perhaps it will help me, perhaps it is not a Kirsten Thing, and that is ok.

Personal development are two words she said. Ah-ha moment for me. I keep using the words self help. I don’t like to use those words. I feel like there is a stigma with the words self help that I don’t like to associate with. Not that self help is not good, but personal development is more my “style”.

“Move your body to change your mind”. Goodness, did these words resonate with me this week. Well below zero temperatures in the Midwest were making everyone want to hibernate. This did not work well with my goal to work out 5 days a week this month. I got up, put my workout clothes on, and it changed my mind. Only 30 minutes. That was all I needed to do. I moved my body to change my mind. Thanks Rach!

“The Spark In Your Heart”. I am such a feeling type of person, after all, I am an INFJ. I was off the charts on the Feelings part of the Myers Briggs. Along with this, she asked the question, “what is your heart’s what if?” I think this was the 2nd time I wanted to cry. Can you guess another blog post might follow on this one?

The last quote I wrote down was “I don’t want to inconvenience you with who I Am”. Uf-da. That one stung a little. Be yourself is what she essentially meant, be yourself and let those that love you accept you. And if they don’t like you, if they don’t like what makes your heart spark, if they don’t like you working on personal development, than is it worth it to have them in your life? I feel like this might be a topic she focuses more on in her next book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. Maybe that is wishful thinking!

If you get a chance to see Rachel Hollis, you will not be disappointed. She is hilarious. She is honest. She is a leader.

PS: This is a post I had on Instagram following the Rachel Hollis event:

We are walking to our seat today at the Rachel Hollis event in Fargo and a nice woman asks if she can ask us a few questions for the Fargo Forum. When she found out I was from Bemidji she said her sister lives there. At the end of the interview I found out her sister is my hair stylist whom I am so lucky to see tomorrow. It truly is a small world. Rachel Hollis was amazing and I can’t wait to reflect on the chance to see her speak. For now, this girl is going to bed!

Click here for the Fargo Forum article.

Friday Favorites: Podcasts

I am not certain why it took me so long to realize what a podcast is, but I am so thankful I finally did. It is weird how things come into our lives at the right time. I listen to one which references another, I listen to that one and it references another. So on and so on. There are brilliant women out there, and men I am sure *wink* The podcasts I have been drawn to are women lifting up women, moms talking about how normal all of these abnormal things are. I am not alone. These women are inspirational. They lift me up. They lift others up. They are artists, they are creators, they are authors and speakers. They leave me feeling like I want to do more. Not that I need to do more, but really encourage me to live life with passion and reach for fulfillment. I have women in my life, a mother, a sister, aunts, cousins, friends, these women are real, they are my physical soulmates, they are right here with me, but Rachel Hollis, Elyse Snipes, Jessica Honegger, Meg Tietz and Jen Hatmaker– they are there during the morning when I am getting ready for the day, they are with me in the car on my way to work and as I wind down for the night. I feed off of their dreams, their goals, their advice and make me yearn for more. Maybe they can do the same for you.

Rise Pocast with Rachel Hollis

Trailer Cast with Elyse Snipes

Going Scared with Jessica Honegger

Sorta Awesome with Meg Tietz

Rise Together with Rachel and Dave Hollis

For the Love Podcast with Jen Hatmaker

Cow Pie Memories

I love memories of my childhood. I was blessed with two loving parents and a fantastic little sister. I went to good schools, joined in activities that allowed me to be creative and was surrounded by loving and caring friends.

I get to relive my childhood each day with my two littles. Stella is a spitting image of me and Em, well she is “my little sister”. Stella’s class, along with the other kindergarten class, was invited to a farm in Bemidji. I just had to chaperone this field trip. See, my mom chaperoned my 1st grade field trip to my teacher’s farm when I was little. I have videos on a VHS tape that my mom filmed of this trip. I am huddled by my best friend, Jenny, getting grossed out by the Cow Pies that we could throw like frisbees. *gag*

The kids didn’t throw Cow Pies this time around, nor were the words uttered to the kids. The field trip though, was such a joy to my heart. It was a blessing. It brought smiles to my face, my heart and my brain. I saw Stella run around with her friends, she held hands with many of them and clearly enjoyed herself.

I imagine my mom having the same feelings 30 years ago. *ugh, 30 years ago*

I hope there are not many times in my future when I think of Cow Pies again, I imagine Em will go on this field trip in a year or so, but I do look forward to witnessing the girls surrounded by classmates and friends that help form them into the girls God wants them to be. Kind, caring, smart, strong and beautiful human beings.

Love Wins

We are in a time where we need constant reminders that Love Wins. This seems like it should be common sense, but why is it not? I believe that there are still more good people in the world than bad, but why is it that our kids have to learn ALICE training? Why is it that we have to worry about our kids’ safety at school of all places? It broke my heart to hear about the school shooting in TX. I was fortunate to spend the day with my daughter’s class on a field trip last week. Such innocence ran around the farmstead we visited. They are well aware of what to do if a bad person comes into their school. They know they are to throw any object at the bad guy and they know to take direction from the teachers that hopefully can protect them. To write this forces me to vision my kids in these situations and it causes instant anxiety, broken breathing and tears to form. This world has become a very scary place. We need to come together and end the violence. We need kids to have boundaries. The small troubled fish need to be stopped in their actions before they become big fish that are out of control. Innocent kids are being killed and being threatened in this great world we live in.

The shooting, in my opinion, was a bit overshadowed by the Royal Wedding. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love a prince getting married, especially one as good looking and kind as Prince Harry? The sermon that was given at the wedding by Rev. Michael Curry was incredible. It spoke to me on so many levels. I pray that we continue to love. Again, Love Wins!

Words that won me over:

“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love” … “And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world”

“Imagine our governments and countries when love is the way”… “Imagine business and commerce when this love is the way … No child would go to bed hungry in such a world as that. Poverty would become history in such a world as that.”

Maybe Rev. Michael Curry didn’t intend to discuss love in the way he did at the Royal Wedding, but he had a large audience listening to him. Harry and Meghan seem to be very dedicated to making the world right again through love. It was a fitting sermon for them to hear along with those that tuned in. MAY LOVE CONQUER ALL.

Shirt: Old Navy

Friday Favorites: Good Bye Winter Clothes

It was five years ago that we had snow in April. Much more snow than this year. So, I guess we should be content with snow on the ground on April 20, 2018? That is Northern Minnesota for us. Nothing gives me pleasure like throwing all of the winter coats, snow pants, hats and mittens into the washing machine one last time before being packed away until next winter. I am certain we may need the hats and mittens a couple of more times, but I have faith that spring is here to stay. Bring out the sandals and dresses for I am ready to show off these pasty white legs! I may as well embrace them, just another perk to living in the upper Midwest. Happy Spring everyone!

Added bonus, look at our little Stella and her cousins on Lake Bemidji. This just happened to show up on my Facebook Feed.

Holy & Well Worn

There is something about a well worn piece of clothing. Something that makes my heart smile and encourages me to write about. My mind associates memories with music and clothes. Why does it do that? I don’t know. I get the music part of it, but I don’t understand the clothing piece of it so much. I guess they both tap into senses that speak to me.

These jeans I bought at Banana Republic during the weekend that a friend and I were in Minneapolis taking our NCIDQ exam, 7-8 years ago. We had stopped by the Albertville outlet mall. They have lasted through two pregnancies and have often been my “test” pants. If they feel snug, well then, it is time to amp up my workouts and lay off of the sweets. I guess they will no longer be part of my Friday Jean Day Work Attire, but they will be my weekend fun jeans.

Happiness Project: March Review

I was to focus on aiming higher with “work”. The funny thing is the author set the goal of launching a blog, perfect timing as I had just started Coffee Pines & Designs. She wanted the reader, me, to enjoy the fun of failure, ask for help, work smart and enjoy “now”. Coffee Pines & Designs wasn’t my job, but it was a project I wanted to work on.

I intended for the focus of Coffee Pines & Designs to weigh heavier on the topic of interior design, and I still plan for that, but it has been therapeutic to share my thoughts on self love and personal growth. It has felt like a higher power, or energy was saying “it’s ok to focus on another topic for now”. I think looking over the last month’s posts, it was clearly needed for myself. To journal, if you will, and to have people read it and say “me too” or “thank you, I needed to hear that I am not the only one” was beneficial. There are friends of mine who I have had little contact with since moving to Bemidji that have read my blog and reached out to me. What a great way to re-connect. We may not see each other often, or talk much, but we still have this connection, even with all of our life changes.

The other points I took away from this month’s assignment were the following:

Fake it til you feel it/Act the way I want to feel:

There are days where you just don’t feel like getting out of bed, or feel like you want to be positive. But I always try , some days I failed, some days I succeeded. It is hard to enjoy the fun of failure (as she suggested) in regards to our emotions, but laugh a little, shrug your shoulders and move on. If that doesn’t help, tomorrow is a new day!

Do a little each day:

Pace one self. With the blog, I don’t have to write a post each day. Some days I wanted to write more than one because my mind wouldn’t shut off and the time allowed. It will all flow when it needs to. I began working out with Mom’s Into Fitness, her plan is roughly 30 minute workouts each day. A little each day. Two weeks into it, I have stayed on track and hope to keep it that way. January’s focus of energy is a must for me, each month.

Writing partner/Community:

My friend, Amanda, of Lemon Drops Photography in Fargo, ND has a blog. We have been each other’s sound board for topics and advice. She is my partner. She is part of the community this blog is bringing together for me. A social platform for me to connect with others around the United States wanting to read my thoughts and visa versa. We learn from one another, we inspire one another, we hold each other up.

Make work room inviting:

My work room is hard to keep clean, with it being a work out space, my closet and my design room, but I rearranged it to feel more like I want it to. I have some final touches to work on, but a little here and there will get it done.

Slightly uncomfortable:

I write about thoughts that come deep from my mind and heart. Some of them are uncomfortable for me to share, but I know when I read stories from other bloggers, not always were those stories easy to write and share either. It is what makes us human. It is what makes us grow.

One goal brings another:

As I write one post a lightbulb goes off for another. I am like a pinball in a pinball machine, I go from one side to the next, up and back down again hitting the trigger that sends me to the next corner in a flash. I need to remind myself- slow down, do a little each day. There is no need to rush.

But I am having fun, so rushing is not bad, as long as I am producing something I am proud of- happy about. After all, this is the Happiness Project!