[Photos via hello ancolie]
How fun are these temporary tattoos from encredelicate, the line of “poetic” designs all the way from France — everything from floral to vintage to geometric.
I mean, now that the sun is (finally!) out more often, I figure this would be the perfect way to usher in spring! You know, a cute flower peeking out from your wrist or a heart on your shoulder so you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve! #PunIntended
P.S. Also, thanks for the loving words about Harry yesterday. I warmed my heart. He was such a special cat…
I’ve been dreading writing this post for two days. Really, I’ve been dreading it for the last 14 years. On Saturday morning, we said goodbye to our sweet Harry. There are no words. The world is sad without him…
It still doesn’t seem real. Even writing those words now feels sort of hollow, as if this is someone else’s life that I’m just peering into for a moment.
Sadly, it’s not someone else’s life. And I hate that. We’re all so heartbroken. We keep walking around the house, expecting Harry to come around the corner like he used to do — with his trademark trot that he always did when it was time for treats or when my mom would get home from work. Even Stella is looking around for her brother in all their usual hangouts, like the basement, my mom’s bed and Harry’s favorite chair.
But that’s who Harry was. He was a member of our family…such an important member of our family. For 14 years, he brought such joy to our lives every single day, and I am so thankful for the time we had together. I never really understood the allure of cats until Harry came into our lives. Who could people become so obsessed with a little ball of fur? How is it that cats can get their owners wrapped around their teeny tiny paws?
Some of Harry’s favorite things…
• Ham, in his pre-diabetic days, of course!
• Pizza crust
• His favorite sleeping spot, on his pillow right next to my mother. He’d sleep there every night.
• Games, like Yahtzee and Bananagrams. He like to sit on our kitchen table right where the action was. Sometimes, he’d even push the dice around!
• Halloween. Every year, he’d sit by the front door and wait for the trick-or-treaters and they loved seeing him!
• The apple orchard. Harry was the only cat I knew who got to sit in a giant chair in the middle of a cornfield on a sunny fall day. He was thrilled!
Here’s the essay for Redbook that I wrote in 2016 about how Harry saved us after my father’s death. My mom said it best on Facebook over the weekend and I wanted to share her wise words…
When he first got diabetes, I told him I would save his life the way he saved mine after Brian died. Month after month of him rocking with me in the dark living room as I cried, and never once did he get up until I did. So, when he got diabetes, he got top-notch care until the time came yesterday to let him go. We saw him through and stayed with him until the end. He was truly part of our family.
In the last two days, I’ve mentioned several times how the house is so quiet without Harry. Too quiet. It’s not that he was a particularly loud cat, but he had such a loud personality that he just brought such a joyous energy to our lives, hearts and home. This will always be Harry’s house.
Thanks for all the loving kindness, friends. It’s comforting to know Harry was loved by so many. I’ve been sleeping with his favorite “Mousy” toy next to my pillow. I love you, Harry. Thank you for being part of our family… xoxo
Welcome to the splendid weekend, friends!! Do you have anything super exciting planned? I made it to the library TWO times this week, so I’m going to do absolutely nothing for the next two days! I’ve been working on the weekends for the last several weeks and I really want to get back into the routine of designating Saturdays and Sundays as non-work days, you know? Ahh, the perils of the freelance life, I suppose!! I hope you all have some time to relax this weekend, and here are my favorite finds from the wonderful web…
Can this quiz actually guess your name?
Craving some calm? Check out these mindfulness quotes!
Turns out, parents always worry about their children.
I’m so excited for these new emojis in 2018.
Would you ever try going 30 days without complaining?
Oh, my darling, clementine!
Nope, nope! There’s no such thing as a bad romantic comedy!
It’s time to stop romanticizing Mr. Darcy already!
And, here are some wise words from women writers…
[Photo via We Heart It]
Earlier today, I sat in the cafeteria for my usual noon lunch. Between sips of Mountain Dew, I began scrolling through social media and noticed someone had tagged me in one of their posts. She was sharing one of my CNN pieces and in her post, she called me a “disability advocate.”
Me? A disability advocate?
I know no one ever believes celebrities when they get all humble-braggy (and, YES, I’m admittedly cringing as I type this!), but I’m being 100 percent honest when I say that I’ve never thought of myself as a disability advocate. I mean, I’m disabled (obviously!), but to be called an advocate is pretty massive. I’m not so sure I’m deserving of that title in the grand scheme of things because there are SO many amazing people in the disability community who are making a positive impact every day.
A fellow writer interviewed me recently for an article she was writing on incorporating your disability into your personal brand. Such an interesting subject, don’t you think? Honestly, I’m not really sure that I ever made a conscious choice to have my disability be part of my personal brand. My disability is such a part of who I am, so I think it’s only natural that it would be a part of my writing and brand too. My life with a disability and disability issues are two of the main things I write about, in addition to relationships and pop culture. But at the same time, the those three areas (relationships, disabilities and pop culture) are all intertwined because I’ve written relationship pieces that looked at the disability angle and pop culture pieces that looked at disability issues within pop culture. So basically, my disability does permeate many aspects of my life, so the fact that it’s a huge part of my brand isn’t surprising at all.
From the beginning, it was really important for me to find my niche as a writer. I’ve also blogged for almost 10 years and I’ve blogged extensively about my life with a disability. Being so open and vulnerable in sharing my story has helped me grow an audience. I’ve gotten emails from readers who told me that I helped them see things in a different way or let them know they’re not alone. And I’ve even connected with companies who are doing great things for the disability community and it was an honor to be able to write about those companies on my blog and raise awareness when it comes to disability issues that are often overlooked.
My disability is a part of my identity — there’s no denying that or getting around it. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist — for one thing, my red wheelchair gives me away right away! So if I can represent the disability community, it’s really important to me that I be a positive voice. There are so many negative stereotypes about people with disabilities and I hope I can shatter even just some of those stereotypes through my writing.
It’s actually incredibly cathartic to write so much about my disability. As much as I write for other people, writing about my disability has also helped me process so much and come to terms with my disability and the role it plays in my life. I also hope people with disabilities see my story and think “if she can do it, I can do it!”
My advice? Everyone has to do what they feel comfortable doing. The important thing is to be yourself; that’s really what branding is all about, so I think it’s important to inject some part of your identity into your brand. Don’t try to pretend to be someone you’re not because people will pick up on that right away. Be authentic and genuine — that’s really what people are drawn to at the end of the day. I think that’s part of the reason people identify and relate to my blog so much. You can’t go wrong when you’re just being yourself!
There’s power in sharing a piece of yourself, and that’s been one of the most rewarding parts of my writing journey over the years! xoxo
[Photos via Unsplash]