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Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Blessed"

I hope everyone has had a great weekend! I've been having a blast spending time with my extended family.  These people are amazing, and I feel so privileged to be related to them.  Celebrating my Grandpa's birthday on Saturday was definitely the highlight.  There were so many people there, so much love, and it was beautiful.  It made me so thankful for my life, my family and everything I have been blessed with.  Martina McBride has a wonderful song that perfectly depicts how I feel right now! 

"I get kissed by the sun
Each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the
Bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my
Front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given

At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones
That love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Across a crowded room,
I know you know what I’m thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we’re lying in the quiet and
No words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given

At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones
That love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

When I’m singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given

At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones
That love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed"


I am excited to share more moments with my family over the rest of this week.  My Grandma is coming as well, and we will be celebrating her birthday later in the week.  Blessed is the best way to describe how I feel right now.  I hope you do as well!

Day 12: Think about all of the blessings in your life =) 

Love True,
Allison







The beautiful quilt we had made for Papa.  It commemorates over 40 years of family traditions.  The quote reads, "The love of family is life's greatest blessing."






My cousins, Emma, Trina, Maddy and little Leah with Grandma Carol at dinner.









Uncle Geoff and Harry stop for a picture before dessert!




















My sisters, Amy, Abby and I with our Mom =)




   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"This"

Hey everyone!
I hope you are all having a great week! Just one more work day this week!  I know that I have been feeling especially stressed lately, and during times like that, it's hard for me to put things in perspective.  When things  seem be going wrong, it's important to remember that everything happens for a reason.  I am a firm believer in that philosophy, and though it is sometimes hard to remember... it is so very true!  Darius Rucker has a great song that depicts how little inconveniences and hardships can be the most rewarding...as they can lead to the most precious gifts life has to offer.

This- Darius Rucker

"Got a baby girl sleepin' in my bedroom
And her momma laughing in my arms
There's the sound of rain on the rooftop
And the game's about to start
I don't really know how I got here
But I'm so glad that I did
And it's crazy to think that one little thing 
Could have changed all of it
Maybe it didn't turn out like I planned
Maybe thats why I'm such, such a lucky man

For every stoplight I didn't make 
Every chance I did or I didn't take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn't know
Thank God for all I missed
Cause it led me here to this

Like the girl that I loved in high school
Who said she could do better
Or the college I wanted to go to
Till I got that letter
All the fights and the tears and the heartache
I thought I'd never get through
And the moment I almost gave up
All led me here to you

I didn't understand it way back when
But sittin' here right now
It all makes perfect sense

Every stoplight I didnt make 
Every chance I did or I didnt take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn't know
Thank god for all I missed
Cause it led me here to this


Oh I cried when my momma passed away
And now I got an angel
Looking out for me today
So nothing's a mistake

Every stoplight I didn't make
Every chance I did or I didn't take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
Everything I knew but I didn't know
Thank God for all I missed
Cause it led me here to this

Led me here to this"




No matter what life has to throw at us, we can get through it.  It will always lead to something else... something more... something you wouldn't have if you hadn't gone through it...maybe something better!  It is always worth it because in going through these things, we always learn from them.  


Day 12: Think about a time when you were going through something difficult, and wondered what was the point?!  What was the point?  Did you learn something, or gain something?  I know I did!  I remember going through a really hard time in high school, and if I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have gone to the college I did, wouldn't have done gymnastics in college, and wouldn't have some of my absolute best friends.  Thanks, God... even though I questioned it at the time!  I know it was all worth it in the long run!


"This" - Darius Rucker

Love True-
Allison

One of the hardest things I've ever gone through, 2 ACL reconstructions. Kept me out of gymnastics for 2 years.  I felt cheated out of something I really loved, so I worked hard enough to do gymnastics in college.



My UW-Whitewater sisters... thank God for those injuries, because who knows if I would have met these amazing, wonderful, inspiring people.  My best friends, my soul mates!












I even got to be a part of a Conference Championship Team- another dream come true!  All of my teammates and coaches have been gifts... complete blessings to my life that I can't imagine living without!  I love you all!



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shantel VanSanten

"What matters is what's in your heart, what your goals are and what kind of life you want to lead." -Shantel VanSanten


Wow. Such beautiful words from an incredibly amazing woman!  If you don't know Shantel VanSanten, you should!  She is currently stars as Quinn in the WB series, One Tree Hill.  Shantel is also quite the philanthropist.  She has done extensive work as a spokesperson for Team True Beauty, an organization devoted to raising awareness about eating disorders and promoting a healthy body image.  


In an interview, Shantel spoke about her own struggles, and why it means so much to her to help other young women through their own inner battles.  Reading her words brought me to tears, because I have also struggled in the same way she has (as millions of other young women have).  She is such a positive influence for young girls.  


"I just hope people can find it within themselves to embrace exactly who they are and NOT just what you look like on the outside."  

Such beautiful words.  I hope everyone who reads this article can relate... and take the time to take Shantel's advice.  If we all could do this for ourselves, we could start a revolution among women... set new standards for beautiful, and change the way the world looks at people.

Day 11: Take the time to embrace your inner beauty, and then help someone else do the same.  Start a chain reaction... start a revolution! 


Love True,
Allison


Team True Beauty Interview- Shantel VanSanten

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was a brilliant woman... I may be obsessed with her words of wisdom. Some of my favorites are...

"A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."


"Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world."


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."


I love these quotes because they illustrate the power of the independent woman.  It's important to be strong... not stubborn.  Believe in your own convictions and stand up for them, but remember you can do this in a way that leads by example... not command.  Love yourself.  According to the former First Lady, it is impossible to love anyone else, if you do not first love yourself.  And let's face it... a life without love is nothing to brag about!  Keep dreaming! Whether you are six or ninety six, there is always something to dream about.  Don't let go of what you believe in, who you are, or your strength.  You are the only YOU in the world.  Love that... Embrace that.  


Day 10: Take a step to achieving your dream.  Even if it is something you never thought possible... one tiny little baby step in the right direction could open up a world of possibilities! Thanks, Eleanor! You are a genious!


Love True,
Allison

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Stand"

I'm pretty sure this qualifies as my number one favorite song of all time...

"You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless, like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright, you'll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ?til you break
Cause it's all you can take

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, then you stand

Life's like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon with only one way down
Take what you're given before it's gone
And start holdin' on, keep holdin' on


Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ?til you break
Cause it's all you can take

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, yeah, then you stand

Every time you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place, yeah

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ?til you break
Cause it's all you can take

Yeah, then you stand
Yeah, baby
Woo hoo, woo hoo
Woo hoo, woo hoo
Then you stand, yeah yeah"

No advice, no encouragement, no challenges... just reflection.  Enjoy the day!

Love True-

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Letter To Me"

Happy Monday! (or Tuesday, since it's pretty late!)

I hope you are all doing well, and had a fantastic weekend.  I got to spend some time with some great friends over the last couple of weeks and I feel truly blessed in that area of my life.  

I have been struggling a little bit with other things recently.  Life seems to be catching up with me, and I've been feeling out of control.  

For those of you who know me... control is not something I care to lose.  

In the car today, I heard a song that I have loved for a long time.  It came at just the perfect moment, to help me put things in perspective.  Yes, things may be frustrating now, and I may feel like I don't have control of this situation, but everything happens for a reason... and I do believe that with all of my heart.  Sometimes I just have to remind myself =)  When things are not certain and life seems confusing, just remember that you will get through it.  One day, you'll look back and see what you learned from this, and you'll appreciate the struggle for what it taught you.  

I will get past this, and so will you.  =)

"If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at 17
First I'd prove it's me by saying look under your bed
There's a Skoal can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid
And then I'd say I know its tough
When you break up after seven months
And yeah I know you really liked her and it just don't seem fair
All I can say is pain like that is fast and it's rare

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
She wasn't right for you
And still you feel like there's a knife sticking out of your back
And you're wondering if you'll survive
You'll make it through this and you'll see
You're still around to write this letter to me

At the stop sign at Tomlinson and Eighth
Always stop completely don't just tap your brakes
And when you get a date with Bridgett make sure the tank is full
On second thought forget it that one turns out kinda cool
Each and every time you have a fight
Just assume you're wrong and daddy is right
And you should really thank Mrs. Bringman
She spend so much extra time
It's like she sees the diamond underneath
And she's polishing you 'til you shine

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
Tonight's the bonfire rally
But you're staying home instead because if you fail Algebra
Mom and dad will kill you dead
Trust me you'll squeak by and get a C
And you're still around to write this letter to me

You've got so much up ahead
You'll make new friends
You should see your kids and wife
And I'd end up saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life

I guess I'll see you in the mirror
When you're a grown man
P.S. "go hug Aunt Rita every chance you can"

And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it's hard to see past Friday night
I wish you'd study Spanish
I wish you'd take a typing class
I wish you wouldn't worry, let it be
I'd say have a little faith and you'll see

If I could write a letter to me
To me"

Day 9: Think of a time when you thought the "world was ending" (you know we've all been there!) and then think of where you are today.  You got through it right... and you will now! =) 

Love True-
Allison

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"So Small"

Hey Everyone!
Sorry it has been so long! I've been pretty busy coaching gymnastics camp and haven't had a lot of internet access! I hope you all are doing well!

I want to share a song with you that I have come to love.  One that has helped me tremendously through some harder times in my life. Regardless of whether you are dealing with a major loss in life, having trouble in school or with a relationship, or just down in the dumps, I think it is a tremendous message.

"Yeah, Yeah
What you got if you ain't got love
the kind that you just want to give away
its okay to open up
go ahead and let the light shine through
I know it's hard on a rainy day
you want to shut the world out and just be left alone
but don't run out on your faith

'cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
is just a grain of sand
and what you've been up there searching for forever 
is in your hands
when you figure out love is all that matters after all
it sure makes everything else seem so small

it's so easy to get lost inside
a problem that seems so big at the time
it's like a river thats so wide
it swallows you whole
while you siting 'round thinking 'bout what you can't change
and worrying about all the wrong things
time's flying by
moving so fast
you better make it count 'cause you cant get it back

sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
is just a grain of sand
and what you've been up there searching for forever 
is in your hands
oh when you figure out love is all that matters after all
it sure makes everything else seem so small

sometimes that mountain you've been climbing 
is just a grain of sand
and what you've been up there searching for forever
is in your hands
oh when you figure out love is all that matters after all
it sure makes everything else...
oh it sure makes everything else seem so small
Yeah, Yeah"


Often times we get caught up in an emotional state where our 'problem' is way bigger in our minds than it truly is.  Sometimes its hard to detach the emotional reasoning from the situation, and it can be extremely difficult to put things in perspective.  


Perspective is a beautiful thing, but it's not always easy to obtain.  Sometimes we have friends or loved ones that can help with this; Kind words that might assist us in seeing an outsider's point of view. Sometimes, that can be all we need.  Asking for help can be hard, but seeing the situation from a different standpoint might be all you need to realize that this is something you can get through.  


Other times we internalize the problem, allowing it to fester and consume us.  I've been there. You become so enveloped in the situation and how bad it is that you can't seem to see any positives that could come out of it.  One little problem turned into a couple of little problems that turned into one pretty big problem that turns into a huge problem... and so on.  It's an endless cycle that can be hard to get out of.  


The important thing to always remember is that things are never as bad as they seem.  As bad as a problem might be, things could always be worse.  Life is a gift, and we need to be grateful for what we have, even if it isn't much... there is someone out there who is worse off.  They may be struggling emotionally, physically, monetarily... it doesn't matter.  The point is, they would be grateful to have your life... so you should be too!


Life gets hard, there is no question about that.  But wasting your energy and your happiness is just that... a waste!  There is only one thing you truly need in life, and that is people to love.  "Time's flying by, moving so fast... you better make it count, cause you can't get it back!"


Day 8: Spend a day basing the quality of your life on the quality of the love that you share... then you will find that you are truly blessed.  


Love True-
Allison


"So Small"- Carrie Underwood