Cam Newton. STILL a Role Model?

Cam, oh Cam.

You were my guy all season.  I watched you dance on the sideline, you made my heart sing with every football you handed to a young fan, and I cheered the incredible plays you made.   I could not get enough of that smile.  I applauded your community involvement, both on and off the camera.  You seemed to genuinely care about kids, and that’s number one in my book.  In fact,  you seemed to genuinely love Charlotte.

Maybe that is why I loved you right back.

You reminded me that there is joy and happiness to be found in sports.    You seemed to understand that “playing” is indeed an important part of all sports, even for adults making a lot of money. It was fun watching a big kid, on and off the field, loving his life.

You dabbed, I dabbed.

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Image courtesy of Adrian Rohr

I said over and over again – Cam is a great athlete who is also a role model. Many times I said it to people who did not share my same level of enthusiasm.  I still said it – that’s how I roll.

Let’s be clear about one thing, though.  I also said that Greg Olsen is a role model.  My family loved seeing him in our church on Saturday nights before home games.  His humble presence at our local bagel shop was always a treat and his family’s strength and resolve and generosity is inspiring.

Luke Kuechly is a role model.  He embodies hard work, focus and commitment to his team.  His kind gesture to a fan who fell over the railing…icing on the Kuechly cake. Humility wrapped up in, well, a pretty nice-looking package. He is the real deal in terms of a role model, too.

Thomas Davis is a role model.  Ron Rivera is a role model.  Michael Oher is a role model.

Your team, Cam, is a team made up of role models and you were, fairly or unfairly, standing  waaaay up in front.

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Getty Images

You are not everyone’s cup of tea…but you are mine.

The main reason – I believe 100% that what we saw this season was real.  I believe you are authentic in your joy and kid-like enthusiasm for the game.  I absolutely believe that you do you.

And here’s the thing – when people are authentic, they are always authentic.  Not perfect.  Authentic.

You, Cam, are authentic.

You are taking a lot of heat for that very trait…and maybe you should.  I cringed during the post-game interview.  I wanted to hear more from you – at least more than responses mimicking my own teenagers feeble attempts at conversation after they have their phones taken away…

You, however, are still a role model in my opinion.  That authentic, flinch-inducing, please-say-something, excruciating 3 minutes last night was nothing short of real.  Real disappointment.  Real sadness.  Real frustration.

I like REAL people.  I want my kids to be REAL.

Thank you, Cam, for the conversation I had last night with my own kids.  They were disappointed, too.   We talked about what it must feel like, after that loss, to have to sit and field questions from the press.  Questions that interviewed you for your pain.  We had a chance to put ourselves in your shoes and talk about it.  We talked.  We had to step outside of ourselves and see the game through your eyes.  We practiced empathy. We talked about other ways to handle the situation.

Here’s the thing, Cam.  I know what a role model is….and what a role model is not.  You gave me chances to parent my kids – which is my job. Your job is to be a great football player.  And by being that great football player, YOU allowed ME to have conversations, so precious and rare in the teenage years, about important topics.

We talked all season about joy.  We talked about what it means, as student athletes themselves, to compete while keeping the love of the game.  Every smile from you showed us that.

We talked about how everyone (yes everyone) makes mistakes.  We also talked about how mistakes do not define us in the present moment.  We can overcome mistakes (ummm, thank GOD we can)- we have seen that from you.

We talked about kindness.  And bringing others into our own circle of light.  Every football you handed out was an example of sharing your light.

We also talked about pressure.  We talked about being named MVP, the press coverage, the weight of an unbelievable season…. We talked about people who like to see the chosen fall.  We talked about race – thank you very much.  We talked. And talked. And talked.

Thank you, Cam, for every “talk” I have had (and will have) with my kids.  I do not expect perfection – from any of the role models on the Panthers.  Authenticity is what I want (and, of course, the avoidance of any illegal activity).

It’s my job to raise my kids.  Thanks for making that easier (and way more fun).

#keeppounding

Postscript::

You. Do. You.  And that is EXACTLY what Cam does… True to himself.  Without Apology.  Again, thank you Cam Newton.  You are what is right in sports today.

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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14745754/super-bowl-50-cam-newton-carolina-panthers-defends-walking-reporters

 

Super Bowl Provisions 2016

Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…

A true statement 99% of the time anyway, but it is especially sweet right now. Our Panthers are playing in the Super Bowl in a week and the whole city of Charlotte is over the moon.  People are flying flags on their car (guilty), passionately defending THE best QB in the league – Cam (freakin’) Newton, making bets with Bronco fans & planning parties.

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I have a jersey, a hat, lots of black and blue…. enough wardrobe essentials for a successful showing as a Panthers’ fan.  So I am good – sticking with the basics.  No doubt I would love a new tshirt or even some spirit finger gloves…. (sorry….fingerz….)

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I am staying strong.

The Panthers’ hoopla did get me thinking about what is out there for the peeps who want to refresh their stash of team spirit accouterments.  My conclusion after brief stint of virtual shopping is ….there are a lot of items I am not even tempted to buy….

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Do the makers of this gem think the fact that it is super-soft ringspun cotton makes it any less fucking offensive?  Seriously?  This is the shit that makes the south look bad…..


 

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Yes our colors are blue, black and white….so we have that covered.  Our mascot, however, is not a skunk….  Honestly we shouldn’t be encouraged to buy things that other fans will make fun of….especially our own.


 

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Speaking of making fun of…..


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THAT’S a big investment… Who doesn’t like a good recliner? (at someone else’s house) Looks like suede….that’s a bonus.  Tempting…..


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Scary. As. Shit.  I saw this in person last week at the playoff game…. Be warned – from what I saw the mask is narrow so if your face is wider than a young child’s your scraggly beard will hang out of the sides… not a good look.  Affordable but probably not worth it.


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There is NOTHING wrong with this picture……

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There is A LOT wrong with this …. I can’t even…. I love Luke too much so I just can’t…. I am already tolerating his CPI commercials (barely).  He needs a new marketing advisor.  I’m not doing much these days….


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Pinterest is a treasure trove of outfit inspiration.  Too bad this one doesn’t come with the links to buy…


I am very thankful for the lack of temptation in terms of staying strong in my resolution to not buy new clothes in 2016 related to Super Bowl 50.  I can now focus this week on celebrating complete domination by the Panthers.  This week is going to be a piece of cake…

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Snow, Dabbin’ & Cuss Words

Damn you Amazon Prime.

And not just Amazon – Amazon Prime. Devils.

I have been doing so well (if I do say so myself).  I have avoided any temptation of clothing acquisition so far.  (Yes – I am patting myself on the back after 20 days – shut up.) What I did not anticipate is the purposeful attack launched to undermine the dollars lost to the retail segment of the US economy.  Are the projections down? It is clear that clothes are not my only problem, but rather shopping in general.  Be clear I am not making any more life changing adjustments at this point.  The resolution ship has sailed.

Attack #1 – Snow Storm

Alright, Winter Weather Watch.  Whatever.   Living south of the Mason-Dixon line has its advantages but the lack of snowfall, in my humble opinion, is not one of them.  I have finally learned (only took 25 years) that I do not need a few key clothing items:

  1. a winter coat
  2. snow boots
  3. wool sweaters

I remember moving to Memphis and “switching my closet”.  Y’all know what that is, right? The first Saturday with a slight drop of temperature and the summer wardrobe is put away and the fall/winter clothes are moved to the front.  Early September seemed reasonable….I must have been drunk from days and nights spent on Beale Street or maybe I was so utterly thrown off kilter by the sheer heat and humidity…Regardless of the reason, I was not prepared clothing-wise for the length of summer and the shortness of winter.  Fall is the time for jeans and closed toe shoes.  It was still 93 degrees.  I regretted my organizational decision.  I still bought the above listed items for years and years… it took me a loooong to adjust the inner Yankee seasonal clock…I switched my closet yesterday.

So here we are..the southern version of a good ole snowstorm.  Dancing on the fine line between flakes, ice pellets and the absolute worst cold rain (if we get lucky it may freeze). 95% of the time we end up with cold ass rain.  One time in Memphis school was actually cancelled due to the threat of snow….for three days straight.  Ne’er a flake fell.  Best. Snow days. Ever.

I am addicted to weather and all the hoopla that comes with it.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards – all in.  With the impending storm bearing down starting tmrw night, the TV will stay tuned to The Weather Channel.  Despite his outright rejection, I still dream of the day Jim Cantore and I are sharing our mutual excitement for all things weather together on the TV…. (sigh …this was my desperate attempt last year…there have been many over the years.  None have worked.  I am not giving up.)

Of course the cliche milk and bread run at the grocery is happening I speak.  I try desperately to avoid the grocery store – I have a thing with mingling with the masses – so I order my groceries on line and just drive up while they are loaded into the back of the SUV.  Seriously brilliant.  People swear they spend less this way….ummmm…not me.  Like all things on-line, clicks are so easy for me….

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I decided to play it safe…..

#2 – THE Panthers

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So that happened. The game is going to be cooooold on Sunday night.  What’s a girl to do? Is this cheating?  It was right there…on Amazon Prime….arriving just in the nick of time.

Dab on!

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#3 Coloring Book Perfection

Amazon Prime.  Again.  Today.

Seriously?  Could YOU pass this shit up?

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I cannot wait to hand out my works of art to just the right people….Yes.  I do in fact want it by Friday January 22nd.

A little derailed today by the internet.  I stand by all of my purchases…but can totally see a bit of retail manipulation here.

#KeepPounding!

xo

Trish

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting a Snag & Paying Myself Dividends

I really thought it would take me longer than 15 days to hit a snag in the year without new clothes.

There was a little temptation  with the sales post-holidays, but I ultimately stuffed my personal shopping bags full enough during December to feel retail satisfaction.  An unplanned bonus was (I swear – I didn’t even dream up this little experiment until the shopping was done) having some of the shiny new items arrive after January 1st.  That was awesome!  I actually wish I had bought more items on back order….

My darling daughter turns 16 this weekend  (I can’t even, by the way).  We have a big girls’ night planned with a fancy meal, a fancy hotel stay and a spa morning.  I am so thrilled to have the time with her and her BFF – what a gift to me for birthing this child!

I need to pick up a few little things as gifts for her for the family party…

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I haven’t been to a retail location, other than the grocery, since Jan 1….

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Dividend Shopping.  Never heard of it?  (That’s because I just made it up!) Allow me explain….

While shopping for someone else, I happen upon some items that are truly irresistible….for me.  Nothing premeditated, I assure you.  Just fate. Or luck. Or clearance.  One for you, three for me.  All on one receipt.  Easy schmeasy.

It is the easiest thing in the world to go into a shop and pick up a little something for myself.  Why not?  Usually it is not much money, it is always something cute, and it likely it will be worn….eventually.  Honestly there isn’t anything at all wrong with that.  At all. This experiment isn’t about rejecting all things material (God, no) but rather just being aware of, well, me.

It is kind of a magical truth …. a life altering truth.  It is the shit, really.  The stumbling block is that it isn’t easy to do.  In fact not doing it is one of the easiest things in the world. It is why I had to make a small, insignificant shift in my life to get a bit more practice.

There are a lot of words swirling around that try to get at this….for me it is simply yoga -the quieting of the mind.  Not an easy place for any of us to get to….. but it sure feels good to practice!

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1.5 Billion Reasons to Quit My 2016 Resolution

“So, how many people do you figure are here tonight?”

Let the games begin.  Just a fun little past-time of my husband’s to highlight my ineptitude for estimating spatial numerical amounts.  As far as my brain can discern, anything over twenty is all but the same.

“200?”

“More like 1500.”

Dammit.   I don’t know how many seats are in a movie theater or fans at a baseball game.  Needless to say I never have won the “Guess a Goodie” contest at school. 100 gumballs in a glass jar literally looks the same to me as 800.  I have always had to buy my own gumballs.  I try to use my fundamental, number estimation flaw as an excuse for that stack of black Lululemon leggings in my closet…funny how that strategy hasn’t worked.

I am not alone in my number struggles, apparently.  The Piraha tribe in the jungles of South America does not even have a word for anything more than two.  They don’t count past two, they just declare 3+ as “big”.  I have a big amount of yoga clothes, ponchos and booties.  Works for me – way less judgmental.

$1.5 billion.  It is an absurd and utterly incomprehensible number.  It makes zero sense to me.

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Senator Dirksen was speaking about our national debt; perhaps not having a working knowledge of what a billion really means actually comes in handy when talking about our government spending.

While I do not understand the actual amount of the Powerball winnings that should be handed over tonight (I mean it seems statistically impossible to not have a winner, right?) I do know what to do – the stop, drop and roll of lottery winners.

  1.  Sign your ticket on the back.
  2. Tell NO ONE.
  3. Hire a shit ton of people to protect you.

Sounds fun…

Dreaming of something for nothing… it’s a great fantasy.  Of course there is the initial investment, but when you are standing behind that giant check who cares about the lost $2!  I know fo’ sho’ I wouldn’t be thinking about the gumballs I could have bought.  Plus I am a sucker for a big check.  I’ve always wanted one…

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not me…

 

After the photo op, I would be in a mega moral quandary about my 2016 resolution.  I mean, hello?  I made it public.  I have enlisted an official group of kick-ass ladies to serve as my “Less is the New More Conclave and Consulate”.   I even made us a FB page.  Oh, yes, and I said I wouldn’t quit.  Dang….no new clothes and $1.5 BILLION…  You can understand my anxiety for the drawing tonight.

I am already worried that my shopping habits have transferred from clothes to other items (more on that little situation soon)…so what would happen if I truly had unlimited funds?  I know for sure my browsing habits would shift….

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I am thinking clothing might be fairly easy to forgo since I would be busy deciding exactly what to spend it on….

Creating my own air force.  I could take my winnings and buy 6.7 of the newest US fighter jets, the F35As.  Betcha people would read my blog then!

Owning my own NFL team .  On average NFL teams are worth about $1.17 billion each.  Jerry Richardson I am coming for you!

Getting Fletch a brother or sister or 500,000.    Have you seen the Tibetan Mastiff puppy that was sold in China for almost $2 million?  At a 160 pounds and looking like a lion, I think we could safely forgo the added monthly expense of a security system on….

My own private island!!! – You can find me on the island of Motu Moie, 15 miles from Bora Bora in the South Pacific (you know, the French Polynesian neighborhood) on 26 acres of lush tropical paradise.  I could even string together 100 or so more islands if I needed some elbow room.

Bottom line – I’m sticking with it!  Even $1.5 billion won’t send me into an on-line (or in person) shopping frenzy for clothing this year.  I’ll just count my money all the way to the bank….

Actually, if you literally counted from 1 to 1 billion you would be counting for 95 years.   Clearly a colossal waste of a life – I’ll just take my big check and go home to the island, thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

5 Ponchos … 1 Problem

I am not trying to be radical….

I am not going all Jen Hatmaker on y’all and only picking 7 items to wear all year…

I am not pledging to give away 99% of my clothes in my closet.  I am not pledging to give away any of my clothes in my closet, in fact.  Not a single one.  I am holding tight to every damn thing…I have 357 days left and I will need variety.

I am not forcing my family to participate.  I will make them feel guilty when they do get anything new.  But I am not forcing them to participate….

I am also not planning to cheat, either.  To be clear, I always go into resolutions, challenges or goals knowing full well I will not do it.  I plan to cheat.  Always.

I love the idea of a lofty, challenging, stupid goal.  62 Yoga practices for 62 days during the holiday season is stupid.  For me.  Giving up sugar for Lent is lofty AND stupid.  And no clothes shopping for the entire 366 days of 2016 is challenging…and lofty and stupid.

But I am not going to cheat this time.

Hi, my name is Trish and I have a poncho problem.

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I really think if I am going to write on any form of social media I HAVE to learn how to take a damn selfie!  It shouldn’t be this hard….or unfortunate.

You can’t see it in its full glory, but this is my first poncho.  I found it in a boutique in Charlotte (translation = it was expensive) last winter.  I love it.  It is perfect.  It was the beginning of a quest (subconscious for the most part) for more perfect ponchos.

Today with my writing group (oh my GOD by the way….this group deserves it own blog!  They are 3 of the most amazingly talented, inspiring, hysterical, insane women…more on them another time) I finally fessed up about something I think about – with tremendous shame and guilt – every day.  Ok, with as much shame and guilt as one can have for ponchos …. I performed a poncho skit to somehow make myself feel better about the absurdity of the situation.

I had a complete and utter poncho meltdown pre-Christmas.

Do you know the evil “like it to know it” feature on Instagram? I cannot even begin to understand how this works but….like some sort of social media voodooism, you like the post on Instagram and an email immediately is sent to you complete with links to every item on the perfectly curated outfit.  You can literally click and buy every single thing you see.  What kind of fresh fuckery * is THAT?

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Sold. Out. Mother….

Enter – The Mall.  This masterpiece of winter outerwear was from a popular store a mere five miles from my house.  While not a single other Christmas gift to date had been purchased in a brick and mortar store – you know, humanity this time of year is just too much – I was willing to mingle with the masses for this.

I was rewarded for my “flexibility”.  While not the perfect hot pink color I was hoping for, there was an acceptable shade of burgundy.  On the sale rack.  50% off.  No brainer…I didn’t even try it on.  Oh, but wait….what was hanging a few items away?  Is that a pale pink, on-sale poncho of perfection?  Sure enough the cosmos delivered to me a second – which essentially means that I was now able to buy two for the original price I thought I would pay for one.  I told the salesperson who rung me up the whole story, of course.  I don’t think he found it that compelling.  I was ecstatic.

Fast forward 2 days and another perfect poncho picture arrives on Instagram.  This poncho didn’t look exactly like the two I had just bought … it was the ever versatile, very practical, perfect (of course) navy color.  I was getting a little drunk on the anticipation….I actually needed (loosely) a new navy sweater for a few specific items in my closet I rarely wear.  Click.

Well look at that…it actually is the same poncho as my other two.  In stock.  50% off. Do I even need to say it?

At the end of my skit I had 3 brand new, solid color ponchos laying on my dining room table…all perfect.  All still with the tags.  None of them worn.

Gag.  Despite feeling as if I could not live without them, 4 weeks have passed and I haven’t worn a single one.  The exhilaration of the find, the sale, the hunt….it was great fun.  A nice distraction.  At the time I had lots of ways to justify – tried and true stand-bys like…

It is on-sale….so buying more than one is fiscally responsible.

Ponchos are forever.  I will wear these for years and years.

There is an outfit for every practical color I bought.

What if there is never another perfect poncho ever made ever again??

If one is good, two is great and three is simply glorious.

This is a perfect shit storm of excess.  And of course this is not my first time buying in multiples.  Jeans that fit just right – get 2.  Just in case.  Target t-shirts – 3 different colors please – they are only $7.99.  And Lululemon black leggings….I can’t even.

Am I trying to be radical this year?  Nope.  Not one bit.  I am trying to be aware, with honesty and no excuses, about the choices I make.  That’s all.  Just a stupid, lofty, challenging attempt at owning my shit.

xo,

Trish

Wondering about the fifth poncho?  It’s perfect in its own right and was bought this fall.  Looks great with jeans!

*I loooooove this …..Tina Fey is just the cat’s meow – all recognition goes to her for this saucy, creative use of the my favorite cuss word.  Bravo!

Naysayers, Cohorts and the Wannabes

Happy New Year, neighbor!  I read your blog post!

Pause.  Think.  What did I write now….

We all just read it – pulled it up on the phone.  Soooo. Right now I give you ….well… the over/under for me is two weeks.  Eric has to be jazzed about this!

Ah, right – I’m not going to buy myself any new clothes in 2016.  366 days sans retail therapy.  Less is the new more.  Word travels fast – and so does the bookie business.  Two weeks?  You have to be kidding me.

C’mon….Nordstrom sale…Target…Amazon…Nordstrom

Heckling on day one – nice.  My year without shopping has touched on something.

There are definitely a group of peeps who unabashedly have said no way. No way you can do it.  No way I could do it.  Why would you even do it?

I totally get it.  This crazy idea came out of the blue with zero planning.  Six months ago I would have laughed.  4 weeks ago I would have pointed out my annual defeat in the Y2 Yoga Challenge of 62 practices in 62 days.  I even pay to be a part of that every November and December and can’t keep it up!  Too much happens from one day to the next and honestly, I am not a rigid person.  Lent for me is always a bust.  I finally changed that strategy to the “I’ll do good instead of giving something up…” cop-out.  You would think as a grown woman I could stop eating tater tots for one stinkin’ month!

So, naysayers, I hear you.  Place your bets.

One item to note is that I have a latent, highly competitive, slightly bitchy side lurking under the sweet exterior.  So keep telling me how hard it will be or where I will get tripped up.  You might just be motivating me to get through those tricky Target aisles without another perfect white tank top.

Cohorts!  God Bless You!  You strong, beautiful, risky women who jumped right on board!  I didn’t ask your permission to list your names (next blog hopefully) so I won’t . My sidekicks, your reasons for doing this touched my heart.  It is all about becoming the best we can be, right?  If we have all made to day 6 then I think we are a success!  Here’s to re-wearing, being content and giving the finger to every flash sale email that shows up in our inbox!!

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Sweet Wannabes….bless your heart.  Thank you for your words of support! You wished me luck and told me why you could never do this.

I wouldn’t last one week…. Too hard, too long…I can’t resist Target…but the after Christmas sales…what if I need new underwear?

I hear you, sistas.  There is a turquoise blue hoodie sweatshirt at Y2 I WANT.  Yesterday it jumped up, spun around and called my name the minute I walked in the door.  I have a red one already and love it with all my heart.  Perfect in every way – right length, right fit, right fuzz amount on the inside.  A week ago I would have run straight over and made it mine, without a second thought or a bit of guilt.  So I hear you.  It isn’t easy.  I had to tell myself that one perfect sweatshirt was good enough – over and over until I safely passed by and rolled out my mat to work through that shit.

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No matter if you are a naysayer, cohort or wannabe, I hope you still cheer me on during the journey and it helps you get closer to finding more space for what matters and means the most in your life.  New clothes might not be “that thing” for you.  But something is…

That’s really what this silliness is about.  Owning our shit and working through it so that the beautiful life we all have can shine through.

xo,

Trish