6 Things That Increased My Happiness This Weekend

What makes you happy? Is it the little things, or grand gestures? Maybe a new purchase or just relaxing for a day? Trying a new restaurant or looking through old photographs?

Well, this weekend was just filled to the BRIM with happy for me, and I want to share it! This helps me reflect on my happiness, and I hope that it makes you think of everything that makes you happy! Maybe you, too, can make a list! Enjoy!

1. On a whim, Timmykins drove me around some beautiful neighborhoods, and we window shopped for our dream home.

2. I mentioned that my back was hurting, Timmykins turned on some John Legend (which we have been listening to incessantly to prepare for his concert next week) and massaged out the knots in my upper back. Can you say – Spoiled Rotten?

3. Our wedding song came on while he was giving me said massage. So we danced in the living room and belted it out to one another.

4. THUNDERSTORMS! The lightning was BEAUTIFUL! I just wish they lasted longer!

5. We have been meaning to visit the cemetery for awhile. Our good friend is at the same one as my grandpa, so we visited them both (Timmykins finally got to meet my grandpa). That visit led to Timmykins driving me to meet his grandparents at another cemetery nearby. It was bittersweet, but a wonderful outing.

All of the above made my weekend wonderful, but one thing stood out and made it SPECTACULAR, and that was:

6. Receiving a sign from our friend at the cemetery. 

The night before he died, our friend and his new wife gifted us a figurine of two mice hugging (pictured in my I Love You post from a couple of days after the event). The reason for the mice is because Timmykins was once known as a “Church Mouse”, and they thought of us immediately upon finding this tiny gift.

When we walked up to our friend’s grave this weekend, there was a folding chair lying there so that visitors could sit and visit with him. Timmykins went to pick it up, and underneath it was a cute field mouse! Now, usually I wouldn’t call them cute, but this one was cute. The mouse stopped, looked up at Timmykins for a couple of seconds, then scurried off. When we were finished with the chair a few moments later and set it back down in its original resting place, the mouse reappeared from its apparent hiding spot in the tall grass next to our friend’s headstone, and quickly returned to his hiding place beneath the chair. I thought for SURE that it had run off into the open field.

Timmykins recognized the mouse immediately as a sweet “Hello!” from our friend. And it filled my heart with love and happiness.

What made YOU happy this weekend? Any delightful signs? Please share!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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Our REAL first dance (that we reenacted this weekend in our living room)!

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It’s a Small World!

Not only was this my favorite ride at Disneyland for years and years (and still might be!), this is also a fact of life.

Yes, it has a surface area of 196.9 Million square miles, and a radius of 3,959 miles (according to it’s Wikipedia page), but it is crazy how, with 7 billion people, so many networks cross paths.

Let me enlighten you:

1. My Grandpa Schneider was a military vet (as were my other grandpas) who settled in Kansas City, Missouri. When my dad took Grandpa to a casino in Lake Tahoe in the early 1990s, a fellow military vet recognized my grandpa (after all of those years) and flagged him down. Crazy, right?

2. My sister moved to New York City for a year. When I visited her for the first time, we were waiting on a random subway platform, and a former coworker from Kansas City walked right up to her and they talked for a few minutes! What???

3. My sister and I spent the first few years of our lives growing up in a small cow town in northern California (small school class to go with it). We spent the remainder of our childhood years in – you guessed it – Kansas City, and decided to go to San Diego for college. And you know what? One of our classmates from that small cow town and that tiny school class in northern California joined us at this small private school!

OK, so those are a few of the MANY past examples I have. And they are continuing into today, with an international run in. Not with someone I know, but someone I will come to know.

Timmykins and I finally booked our honeymoon flights and have been working on all of the plans in between. We decided to utilize the vacation rental site, Airbnb, for the first time for a night in Dublin, Ireland. In the little interaction we have had with the owner of the property so far, we have a LOT of conversing to do, because he attended high school for a year just a couple of hours from our home, his best friend lives nearby, and he has spent some time more recently in our city! CRAZY small world!

And it makes me happy! Why? Because it makes this big ole earth seem a little bit more like a community. More manageable. More like home. And it makes me realize that my house is not my home. Wherever I go is home, and wherever I go I always have the possibility of running into an old friend or a friend of a friend, and that gives me a warm feeling 🙂 

Have you ever had these small world interactions? How did they make you feel? Who knows? Maybe one day, you and I will run into and recognize one another. I look forward to that day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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Mine & my mom’s favorite part of the Small World ride at Disneyland 🙂

The BIGGEST “F” Word of THEM ALL: FAMILY

So, Tuesday I told you about 2014 being MY Year of the “F” Word. Then, Wednesday, I delved into “F” Word #1, and the meaning of it’s placement in my life in 2014. Today, saunter with me to the land of “F” Word #2: Family.

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my first post on the subject, my “F” Words are not listed in terms of relevance to me, and neither will they be explained in any particular order.

As I make this journey through 2014 – as well as every year hereafter – I crave support. Physical support in a shoulder to lean on, a long embrace, someone to help me stretch out after a long workout. Mental support in pushing me verbally towards my goals and dreams, reminding me that I am my only roadblock on my journey to success. Emotional support in picking me up when I fall (obviously not literally), listening when I need to vent. I am sure the list of ways someone can support another reaches around the globe and back!

But, I also feel a necessary component to my living a fulfilled 2014 (and life) is to give. Give of my time, my care, my love.

And who better to give and receive support from than family? My immediate family is awesome, so is my extended family, made up of relatives as well as my very nearest and dearest friends.

To infinity and beyond, I will prioritize my family. I will continue to attend my brother’s sporting events and edit his school papers. I will work out with my mom and my sister (and anyone else who wants to join us!), work with them on reaching all of our individual goals, and strengthen my relationships with them that have strained a bit over this transition period of my life. I will always talk sports with dad, joke around with him, poke fun at him, and ask for advice. He is the BEST advice giver. I can’t wait to settle into married life with my best friend, Timmykins (not settle DOWN. This girl can’t be tamed!), and discover what adventures are in store for us. I will also make myself more available to my friends that mean so much, to talk, to eat, or just to hang out in our PJs.

As nearly passed-over above, I feel that some of my relationships have become a little strained in the past year. I can wholeheartedly stand behind the fact that my last year of transitions (getting engaged, moving out of my parents’ home and into a rental of my own, becoming an independent individual, and beginning to prioritize myself) has really taken a toll on these relationships. Oh, and the whole saving money thing that goes along with the wedding (goodbye happy hours at 54th Street, hello nights in…EVERY night in). With the wedding nearly upon us, the house on it’s way to being completely set up, and the potential of some time freeing up, I am ready to be a people person again.

I just hope everyone else is ready for me to be a people person again 🙂

❤ The RoaminTwin

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Long Road to a Little House: “F” Word #1

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my last post, my “F” Words are not listed in terms of relevance to me, and neither will they be explained in any particular order.

So, I know that for the past 24 hours or so, you all have been sitting at the edge of your seats, awaiting the first of my deeper explanations of my Year of the “F” Word. This year, I will focus on: fitness, family, finances, and food (and maybe fun!).

Today, I will delve into fitness, and why it will be a priority for me in the coming year (and hopefully, for years to come).

The reason I titled this post “Long Road to a Little House”, is because it has taken me 23 years to get my butt on track to reach any type of fitness goals. That is a LONG road to a better (and potentially LITTLE) physique. I have always been a little bigger than my twin sister, but when we were in middle school, it was hellish for me. I was the fat twin. I was only referred to as “the fat twin” once, but that was WAY after my realization, and being called that just solidified the idea in my head. Every year between then and now, I have dreamed of being skinny, beautiful, and loving running.

It has taken me the last year or so to mentally prepare for a fitness transformation. I am through dreaming. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be in shape. I don’t want to become beautiful, because I know I already am (thanks, mom and dad!). And loving to run? NO WAY! That was and is a nightmare that will never come true. But I have started to love challenging myself with new workouts and trying fun ways to move on a more regular basis (swimming, Zumba, and yoga). I like to label my self as “adventurous”, but have never really ventured outside of my coached sports and activities for fitness. Until this year, I didn’t think of being in shape as something fun, exhilarating, and life-changing.

Well, I knew that it could get me in shape. But it’s such hard work, and I love pastries too damn much!

2014 doesn’t mark my first steps in the direction of fitness. First, there was a dream, a desire, but I didn’t want it bad enough. In the last year, I have:

1. Tried a few fitness programs and witnessed my first couple of gym burnouts
2. Found 2 proteins that I ADORE mixing into delicious shakes
3. Been to the gym more days than I didn’t go…for the first time EVER
4. Added a gym membership to my arsenal that has me in belly dance, yoga, and Zumba classes…and loving EVERY MINUTE OF IT
5. Researched different methods of reaching my fitness goals 
6. Begun to combine and contort fitness regimens, supplements, and foods to see what works best for me (because everybody and every BODY is different, and no one thing is going to have the same results for each human)
7. Started my healthy journey of non-comparison and positive self-image.
8. Started MOVING!

In addition to all of this, I started a new workout program with Timmykins this past Monday that will have me in the gym 5 days a week, with at least 40 minutes of cardio per workout and lifting weights to EXHAUSTION! Before, I would have said “yuck” and fought with him every time we had to go to the gym. This time, it’s different. This time, I have an attitude of change. My body is supposed to be moving, and after sitting nearly sedentary 8-10 hours a day at work, I need to maximize my evenings. I need to challenge myself and try new ways of moving, new ways of thinking. I am even feeling the need to move outside of the gym as much as possible, and not take a FULL rest day (yoga and Zumba, anyone?).

I am no longer aiming to be skinny or lose weight, but to lower my chances of fatal diseases and premature death down the road. I am no longer being selfish in my thoughts of wanting to look like someone else or “get skinny” to be beautiful. Instead I am thinking of my family, my friends, and my future.

So, I guess I should unofficially add “fun” AND “future” to my “F” Words as well. They should go without saying, but are a part of each of the 4 that I will break a part for you 🙂

Is fitness one of YOUR “F” Words? Why or why not? 

Have a Happy Day, Happy People!

❤ The RoaminTwin
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That’s early-90s me to the right in the purple tank top. I wish running around having a fake snowball fight could be my fitness regimen NOW! 

Pick up the Phone

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Happy People!

I am currently working on some content to assist all of us – I am greedy, so me as well – in becoming more of what we want: more happy, more adventurous, more productive, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

But, for the time being, I am going to preach. Give a short sermon if you will:

If someone is on your mind, contact them!

No, I don’t mean an ex girlfriend or boyfriend, nor do I mean anyone who has been toxic in your life that you have worked hard to let go of (and if you still have toxic people in your life, trust me, letting them go will make your life so much simpler and happier in the long run).

My mom has been talking about calling my Granny for weeks.

You will hear more about Granny on this blog because she is one of my best buds, a non-biological grandmother that has impacted my life from the get go, and someone I have found a bazillion commonalities with as the years have gone by.

Back to my main point – Mom called Granny last night and a HUGE life change has occurred in the last couple of days. As of right now, it’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just a HUGE change for a woman of 90. If my mom hadn’t have called, it would have taken us a very long time to figure out the change, causing turmoil and confusion. I should have called. But at this point, it’s “coulda-woulda-shoulda” for the past, and time to move on and check in with my dear friend more often from here on out.

Because she is on my mind constantly (living 1,500 miles away).

And if someone is on your mind as much as she is on mine (again – disregard exes and toxic humans), a bridge of communication needs to be built, starting with YOU. YOU are in control of your thoughts, with your decisions, and with your life.

So, let go of fear, regret, and anything else, and call that person you’ve been thinking of. You will only regret the action you don’t take.

I LOVE YOU, GRANNY!

❤ The RoaminTwin

I Love You

Good Morning, Happy People!

I know that if I were following the calendar correctly, today would be Happy Tweets Monday. I have plenty of those in store for you, but I would like to cut into our regularly scheduled programming to write about what matters most to me: love.

I’m not necessarily talking about the lovey-dovey, butterflies and hand-holding love (though I don’t complain about it), but instead that strong bond that is felt between family, friends, and friends that become family.

We lost a friend this weekend. It was sudden, and I could go on and on about how unfair it was, and how it happened too soon, but I won’t. Any death is too soon in my book. And nothing will justify it. It is time to remember our friend for who he was and who he will continue to be in our lives and our memories. We spent most of yesterday with a close-knit group of friends that I haven’t seen in awhile, and this is definitely not the reason I would want us to come together. I couldn’t put words together about how much all of these people mean to me until last evening:

Not only will I be marrying into a great family, but I am marrying into a wonderful family of friends who are so full of love, support, and care for one another. They have already welcomed me with open arms, and I only hope I am helping add to the support they need in this difficult time, and whenever they need it going forward. 

I know many thoughts will envelope my mind over the next few days as I process everything, but there are a few things that make me smile a bit (besides the funny and wonderful memories of our friend):

– Though it was for a short time, he was able to marry the love of his life

– That his family and friends were around him that same evening celebrating his marriage

– That my wonderful Tim was able to talk to his friend and congratulate him

– That this young man did anything and everything for the people he loved, and how I would love to be more like him in this area of my life

– How, no matter which story or memory of our friend comes to mind, it is always accompanied by a smile

Starting yesterday, every hug has been a little longer and tighter. Every hello and goodbye attached to an “I Love You”. And I hope to continue this. I want to challenge everyone to say “I Love You” as much as possible when that is how they feel. It may be implied between family and old friends, but the warmth that spreads and the friendships that continue to blossom when it is said makes every moment one better lived.

❤ The RoaminTwin

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A gift we received from our friend & his lovely wife on Saturday evening before he passed early Sunday.

Homecoming Dream

I just had the oddest, most wonderful dream. It was one where I stayed happily confused the duration, and woke up pretty darn happy too.

I was back on my college campus, with Timmykins by my side. I knew within the dream that I had already graduated, and that the majority of my comrades had moved away from San Diego as I had. As we walked down to one of my favorite spots on campus, a coffee shop by the name of Aromas, I saw one of my freshman roommates sitting inside next to the window. I went nuts and ran in as fast as I could. As I was passing other tables on the way over to her, I noticed a friend from grade school, a couple from high school, and a few co workers sitting in the shop. After a pit stop to talk to them, I looked up and saw an uncle there who was “on a college visit” with my cousin. Then, an old high school teacher walked in, as well as other family members and college friends.

Whoah! Love overload!

This dream has arrived at a crossroads in my life. I recently got engaged in San Diego (visited my alma mater while there), attended my high school reunion and a regional alumni event, and have been watching as back-to-school photos pop up on my news feed. I also have been contemplating mine and/or Timmykins’ college homecoming weekends as of late.

So, this dream to me was the perfect homecoming. If I never make it back to my university campus during homecoming weekend, I will be OK. This dream took many of my priorities and put them in the same location…a place that I think of often.

What would YOUR perfect homecoming be? Does it make you happy?

❤ The RoaminTwin

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T
he dream took me back HERE!

Float On

There is nothing like returning home from a float trip in the po-dunk middle of nowhere to make a girl feel clean, grateful, loved, and HAPPY.

OK, not fully clean. I feel like I need to take 25 showers before all of the grime from this past weekend is washed away. But cleanER.

Aside from the torrential downpour, my tent failing us, sleeping in the car, and the strippers next door, it was adventurous and exciting! I have never been on a float trip, and was thoroughly surprised (and grateful) that the only time we over-turned was due to an unbalanced friend who we were giving a lift to his own canoe that had floated upstream.

I spent the weekend with friends I never see (but enjoy), in an unknown place, trying something new and challenging. So worth it!

But, one of the best parts about leaving, is coming home. Yes, I enjoy adventure, but I enjoy my climate controlled home and my dry, plush bed just as much.

What are your thoughts on returning home? Do you ever leave?

❤ The RoaminTwin

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How to Stick to Personal Deadlines

I want to thank WiseBread for this little ditty.

We stick to work deadlines. We stick to family and friend deadlines (you need your dry cleaning WHEN? You need me to drop you off at soccer WHEN? WHEN do you need your Halloween costume ready by?) But why can’t we stick to our personal deadlines?

Is what we want and need to do any less important than what we need to do for others?

Moving bedroom furniture. Opening a knitting business. Trying out tap dancing. Blogging once a day.

No matter how small these personal goals may seem, they are no less important. If you don’t do what you want, you will resent everyone and everything, especially yourself for not allowing yourself the time and freedom to stop overlooking the little things.

So read this article. And set some deadlines.

Then meet them.

❤ The Roamin Twin

Fear of “Might”

In the wake of incoming news of explosions at The Boston Marathon, I want everyone to take a moment to think of what makes them happy.

I am happiest laughing. With my family and friends. Going on adventures. Knitting. Jumping in puddles. Doing things to make others smile.

What makes YOU happy?

For some people, it started as a dream to partake in The Boston Marathon. For others, it was to root those running and walking on from the sidelines.

And I am sure, even in the events of today, that most wouldn’t change a thing. Some have fallen, some will never run again, but they were happy. And they should be with such a large accomplishment.

I want to be just like every one of those marathon runners and supporters. I want to reach my large goals and stop dreaming: just do.

I want to remind everyone – including myself – to not live in fear of what might happen. But to do what makes you happy. To love life regardless of the “mights”.

Let’s get happy. Move forward. No fear.

Thinking of those who were affected today. Fulfilling dreams for those who can’t fulfill their own.

❤ The Roamin Twin