I was thinking to myself, what is the MOST OPPOSITE post I could do from Of Mountains and Tumors. And the answer was baby names. I kid. To be honest, I just wanted to break all this blog silence and start posting more regularly, plus I started talking about it with my friend Stanzi. (Who has the most AMAZING name, by the way!) AND I am absolutely in love with interesting baby names.

I am the kind of person when I hear or find and interesting name I’ll write it down in my phone or journal. I have an ongoing list of interesting names, although I do think we need to draw the line somewhere. Hello Apple and Dweezil. I still think you can be interesting and creative AND keep it “name-y” if you know what I mean.

With that in mind, meet my imaginary children:
 

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Wilmot and Hollis

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Noemi Olivette

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Baddeley Claribeau

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Tyla Wynne

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Maizer Beckett

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Adriel Frost

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Huck

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Lilou Emmeline

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My identical French quadruplets (obviously) -
Rienne, Martine, Ondine, and Juliette

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Talon & Tracker. I hate myself.

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Gifty June

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Booker Jude

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Maple May

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Arley Odette

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Zipporah Zavie, nicknamed Zippy!
Don’t judge me. It could work…

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Violet Etienne

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Eames Alcott and Adler Ash. Eames & Adler.
Are you in love with my fake children as much as I am?

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Dabney Calliou

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Redheaded Twin Girls? Yes please.
Meet Lilibelle and Jochebette. Bette and Belle, anyone?

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Hamilton Boom, nicknamed Ham or Boomer!
Am I crazy? HEY. They’re IMAGINARY.

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Poppy Claire

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Eily Ruth

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Calder Case

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Stella Elspeth

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Alma Dellia

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Winslet Rue

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And sisters Madlen & Jonquil

STOP JUDGING ME.

(You know you’ve named all your future children.)

Besides, that was fun.

 

Photos found on Pinterest. Check out my board here to find original photo sources.
 

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Of mountains and tumors | andreaenright.net

How do cancer and mountains exist in the same world? How can we have big, towering, glittering mountains and teeny, tumory, terrible cancer cells all under one sky, sharing the same air? I find it hard to breathe- hard to exist in this world.

And yet I know the ugliness foils all the beauty.

The darkness helps me appreciate the light.

 
 
 
 
 
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Practicing Self Care | andreaenright.net

Wholeness
Self care, self love
You deserve to be pampered
Create a healthy you
Take care of yourself
Be gentle with yourself
Love

All mini pep talks I wrote to myself as I drafted a list of “practices” I wanted to commit to.

Daily Practices like

pray and meditate
yoga, if only for ten minutes
moisturize with coconut oil
diffuse essential oils
drink tea

And “Life” Practices like

bikram yoga
massages
manicures
hair appointments
fresh flowers
weekend getaways

And then I wrote myself a letter.

Hello Andrea,

I love you. You need to get out of your comfort zone and just start implementing these practices into your life. Be gentle and fogiving, but also know that the moment you engage fully in one of these practices the rest will fall into place naturally.

Start with bikram yoga tomorrow. Do that, then do it again. Go get a gel manicure. Who care if your nails are jagged and short? It’s their job. It’s like not hiring a hair stylist because you think your hair is gross. That’s the point of having a hair stylist! 

So go get your manicures, and stop worrying about money. You need to reset yourself no matter the cost. You are actually saving money by practicing self care. This is preventative care I tell you. This is going to keep you healthy and sane and whole. So stop worrying and start doing.

The world will fight you on this, tell you to put x,y, and z in front of yourself, but listen to your truest voice, Andrea. It will tell you what to do.

And then I felt a surge of energy and calm and health and healing.

 

This is by far my hippie-est post, but stay with me. Do you practice self care? Do you really think *spending* money to pamper yourself could save you money and protect your health in the long wrong?

What could you start doing tomorrow to help create your healthiest you? And what are your favorite practices?

 

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453

On my subway ride this past morning I sat wedged between two people, a normal occurrence when sitting on the train.

But yesterday something was up.

I was reading through some articles I’d saved on my phone. I devour faith and spiritual bloggers like no one’s business. Blogger du jour? Kathy Escobar.

I was reading about women in the church finding their voice.

And nodding in agreement with every word I read.

And as my stop was nearing, I glimpsed an article the man on my left was reading. It was one of those printed out articles stapled together, like the one you get in a class. And I thought he was maybe high school or even college-aged. He was young and focused with light olive-y skin.

I didn’t catch the article but I saw the words “burqa” and “Islam” and “women.” It was something about religion he was reading.

Hmmm.

I’m reading about religion too, I thought.

Still in though, I turned my head to the right and noticed the elderly black woman next to me was reading too, the book close to her face. And with a quick glance the one word I could make out was “Salvation” and I knew she must have been reading some sort of devotional or Holy Book.

And I thought

What are the odds?

Look at us.

The three of us sitting in a row like little Subway Faith Ducks.

The three of us, all so different, and yet all so similar, each of us searching and underlining, whether in our heads or on a piece of paper.

And I had a holy moment. One of those moments of me and the world, and everything else, we were all connected.

And I prayed a prayer for my subway friends.

Lord, look at us three. I think we are all doing the best we can. We are trying to find faith, trying to encounter God, trying to feel something, find something, do something, each in our own way, and each needing you desperately. Help us. And thank you.
Amen.

 
 
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When I wrote about pap smears, I felt a little misunderstood.

Most people thought it was about fear of doctors, and started sending messages.

But when you really look at my words, just my words, you can see it was really just about procrastination.

And it was MOSTLY about making people laugh about my silly life and absurd behaviors.

So when I started getting what I though were unrelated comments, I though to myself Am I doing this writing thing wrong?

Maybe I’m just not a great writer and I don’t know how to get my point across.

But then I also thought

Maybe we live in a hyper-individualized world that people inject so much of themselves into my words that they become open to misinterpreting them.

And I think both are true.

And to clarify- I love when my honesty inspires other people to be honest and share their story. But sometimes the lines get blurred and people read into my writing things that aren’t there, and started giving unrelated advice. (Don’t you think that’s what was kind of going on here?)

But that still goes to say, writing is hard.

Because when you write, you have a specific tone and mood and message in mind. And when you share your writing, you open yourself to the floodgates.

When I wrote Cancer is still a BIG DEAL, People aren’t doing enough for us, and other Cancer Feels, it WASN’T about “People aren’t doing enough.”

That wasn’t the point.

The point was that I was FEELING like People Weren’t Doing Enough, which is TOTALLY different than people ACTUALLY not doing enough.

I did not accuse people of not doing enough, it wasn’t meant to be a rallying cry to the masses, and I only needed to sort through my feelings.

(Those feelings being that cancer didn’t seem like Big Deal anymore, which I blame no one for.)

I just needed to get out all my Cancer Feels, hence the title.

 

__________

 
Not feeling completely, totally, and perfectly understood 100% of the time makes me want to give up blogging and honesty and social media forever. It makes me want to crawl in a hole and never come in contact with another person who could possibly hurt me or misinterpret me or say something dumb.

But that’s unrealistic. And that’s not real life. And that’s not LIVING.

Life is messy. People are messy. And I am messy.

And we need to stop being so darn afraid of the mess.

I need to stop being so afraid of the mess.

Because trudging through the messiness is where REAL LIFE happens.

So when I think to myself

Write or not write?
Filter or not filter?
Honesty or dishonesty?
Authentic or fake?

Deep down, I know the answer.

I’m going to keep letting my heart bleed all over this blog.

I will try to clarify when I’m confusing.

I will extend grace to those who misinterpret me.

And I will keep writing through the pain and the feels.
 
 
 
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