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"There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough." - Irwin Shaw

A Nod to 30

Lizzie Williams

Last week I turned 31. As I reflected on "year 30" I couldn't help but feel: this was the best one yet. I am happy. I work with a bunch of funny, smart, inspiring peeps, I have the best partner in the whole dang world (or at least for sure, Grand Rapids), I've had the chance to develop an awesome relationship with his super rad little dudes, and there was no shortage of great times spent with my friends and family. As Macklemore and Kesha have recently reminded me, "someday, these will be the good ol' days." - and I feel that. And am holding on and appreciating them as much as I possibly can. 

So, you know the saying "that which gets measured gets done"? Well, I certainly believe it, which is why I'm a bucket list tracker. So, I feel pretty good about checking a significant number of items off my list in year 30. For anyone who cares, here's the run down:

  • Donate my hair (to Children with Hair Loss since they are in Michigan, and they accept color-treated hair)
  • Hire an interior designer to help me “finish” my house (s/o Kelley Hughes & Fernando Ramirez!)
  • Write a full rap song & record a vid (thanks to Tikh for bringing this magic to life!)
  • Visit Toronto
    • Eat fresh ramen in Chinatown
    • Go to the top of the CN Tower
  • Visit Thailand (Thanks for the invite, Melissa!)
    • Get a <$15 massage on the beach
    • Visit an elephant sanctuary
    • Enjoy $2 pad thai
  • Explore Michigan:
  • Explore the Norfolk, VA Neon District
  • Eat fresh oysters on the East Coast (Virginia)
  • Attend an Aircraft Carrier Commissioning (Thanks to my dad for the invite!)
  • Maintain a close relationship with Bob Carlson for the remainder of his life 
  • Honor Lambie by having her portrait painted
  • Go on an "adult job shadow" (Thanks to my cousin Jenn for having me to Dow!) 
  • Go Fat Tire biking along the lake-shore (thanks to Melissa Werkman/Moxie Wild for this opportunity!)
  • Take a self defense class (tried out some Brazilian jujitsu, what what!)
  • Take a macrame class (thanks to Light Studio for hosting!)
  • Complete a five year “one line a day” journal
  • Have an article I wrote published somewhere other than on this blog. :) (Thanks West Michigan Woman for helping me accomplish this!)
  • Go see Hamilton in Chicago (thank youuuu Caitlin!!)

(Also, in case you're wondering - YES, sometimes I do go back and ADD things!!! It's a fun way to build out a big a$$ list of awesome memories.)

Do you have a bucket list?? If so, would you consider sharing it with me? I'm so intrigued by other peoples lists!

Easy Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer

Lizzie Williams

Thought I'd share a few ways to spread holiday cheer, that I learned from watching my parents:

  • Tip that faithful mail carrier of yours! They are sloshin’ up your sometimes-not-yet-shoveled sidewalk to make sure you get all those cute holiday cards, so I’d say they deserve some love. (How? Just clip a card to your mailbox with a gift card or a little cash inside.)
  • Also, consider tipping your trash collectors. When you take your trash out to the curb leave an extra bag clearly labeled for them (i.e. “TO: Eastown’s #1 refuse collectors!”) and have some goodies inside – snacks, a gift card, whateva!
  • Wipe the snow off of someone else’s car. SO simple, but SO nice when it happens.
  • Shovel/Snow-blow someone’s side walk for them. (!)
  • Make a year-end donation to one of your favorite local non-profits. (Need some recs? Happy to chat!)
  • Don't forget about the animals! (I know Kent County Animal Shelter is asking for donated cans of Reddi-wip or Coolwhip to fill their kongs.) These pups definitely deserve a little holiday treat!
  • Thank people for all the ways they influenced your life over the past year. Card, email, sticky-note, over a beer - doesn't matter the method.

What are some other small little ways to help bring cheer over the holidays??

Remembering Lambie

Lizzie Williams

A little over a year ago I lost my sweet little Lambie. I had a two week stint where I was traveling a bunch for work and weddings and - despite my better judgement - I brought her with me. At some point, the only thing I can reason is that she fell out of my bag. I couldn't believe it. She's been by my side for almost 30 years. I tore my house apart looking for her. I interrogated Barlow. I posted on lost-and-found Facebook pages and scoured Craigslist. I called every airport I flew through and every uber driver who had given me a ride. I reached out to every hotel I stayed at, as well as their off-site laundry providers. Nothing.

Now, I know I'm 30. And, I know how weird it sounds, but I was absolutely crushed.

Even though I never did find Lambie, a friend-of-a-friend, Catherine Slaymaker, made this beautiful 6in x 6in painting  of Lambie that now lives next to my bed. It's not the same as having that little body next to me as I sleep, but it is one of my favorite things in my whole house.

I was thinking about it last night and just wanted to say thanks to Caye for sharing her talents with me. And thanks to my friend Molly Crist, for initially introducing us! AND, last but not least, thanks to my cousin Laura for hand making that outfit she’s wearing in the painting. 😍❤️😭 .

A Heavily Michigan Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Lizzie Williams

Every year I send my co-worker a little holiday gift guide to (hopefully) spark some inspiration as he begins his holiday gift hunt for his kids and their spouses. (They are all around my age.) This year, I thought I'd share an extended version of that list with the rest of you.

Best of luck on your shopping adventures! I encourage you to challenge yourself to skip Amazon Prime this year and give some of our  local Michigan gems a try. ;)  

Celebrating 5 Years at OST

Lizzie Williams

When I was 13 my friend Rachel and I would rap battle while waiting for the bus to pick us up and take us to the ski hill. My love for the flow has only grown since then. So, to celebrate my 5 year anniversary at OST, I figured it was about time I record my first official rap. 

One thing I learned during this experience is: it's SOOO much more awkward to rap out loud in front of people than it is to sing them in my head. Thankfully my wonderfully patient friend Tikhi Bana graciously coached me through it. ;) (Thanks Tikh!) 

Another thing I learned through this process? Having a chorus definitely helps. 2.5 straight minutes of rap is tough. Next time!!