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Beyond Price: 

*Watching your favorite band perform live.

*Actually being there, at Rumsey Playfield Summerstage concert for the first Foster The People’s U.S tour opening.

*Feeling at an absolute physical and emotional high from the live beats and Mark Foster’s voice…without actually injecting anything. (living drug-free)

*Being surrounded by rows and rows of lines swarming with sweltering, smelly people young and old who have at least one thing in common- being fans of Foster The People.

*Thinking that the heat might of made Rumsey Playfield smell like a giant armpit, but it was undoubtedly thrilling to watch and experience all of the exhilaration of Foster the People’s music.

Beyond Price:

*Trying to memorize the moment when you are mixed with a massive blur of faces, all singing along to the sweetness of these lyrics:

“And every day that you want to waste, that you want to waste, you can

And every day that you want to wake up, and you want to wake, you can

And every day that you want to change, that you want to change, yeah

I’ll help you see it through ’cause I just really want to be with you” Waste by Foster the People

*Closing your eyes and suspending in time over music that you love.

Cubbie Fink (Foster the People)

Beyond Price: 

*Genuinely feeling in the present moment where you can’t get lost with plans of the future or thoughts of the past.

*Trying to come up with the words to express the perfect picture reality that was “Houdini” during the rain and thunderstorms and the marching band and all of the people going absolutely nuts with open happiness over the greatness of this song and this band.

*Having “Houdini” become the drumming in my chest.

Beyond Price:

*Having the lights blazing from the stage, glittering, lit up in a river of colors over every song.

*Having the whole crowd in sync, insatiable, becoming no one and anyone, becoming one.

*Having Foster the People’s unique beats on stage make you feel really alive, pumped up to do anything, everything, reach the impossible.

*Having the all-encompassing feeling over  “Broken Jaw” when the beat drops and kicks back again with the lyrics,

“Sometimes you find yourself waiting, Waiting for someone to come around/ And it’s hopeless, hoping to be found/ Then it arrives and says, “You’re perfect, my love” And I, I know why” Broken Jaw. 

Beyond Price: 

*The intangible energy of the band.

*The crowd clapping together.

*The raw urban beauty of music.

*Freezing all of these moments in your mind forever-May 29th, watching Foster The People perform

Thinking- this night, the whole world was on our side. 

Album cover

@ohmylaskmy 

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to their music.

Beyond American: A Story of Patriotism and Pride

For this summer, I work part-time at a minor league baseball stadium selling beer. It is not a glamorous job by any means, nor are there a ton of benefits (other than cash tips and watching baseball for free). I also live in a military town (there is a Navy base and an Air Force base here), but never really noticed anything different about it. Until the two collided at the ball field.

It was the beginning of May, which is Military Appreciation Month, and our boys on the field had just come home from a 5-games series in another state. The announcer said that every game this month, a different section of the military will present the colors, military personnel will sing the national anthem, and there will be special fly-overs for certain games. I did not really take much notice until the opening ceremonies started. The Navy gentlemen presented the colors to the crowd, and as they marched on to the field, every military man and women stood, at attention, focused on the flag. I took notice. As the National Anthem began, these men and woman did not waiver in their focus nor their attention. And then the microphone cut out…the crowd could no longer hear the voice on the field singing about the rockets’ red glare. However, softly at first and then deafening by the end, the crowd began to sing. And all the while, the men and women did not lose focus nor attention. But the three Navy boys seating next to me started crying. As did I. Here we were, a stadium full of 5000 people, singing the National Athem. As the colors were presented. As the military was honored. As America was honored.

The 5-game home series left me in an emotional wreck. A Navy captain retired by walking the bases, ending under a tunnel of Navy gentlemen, in dress uniform, holding their swords. The Blue Angels fly over. The National Anthem was placed on a better sound system, but still the crowd could be heard. I sit here and type this, and my eyes are watering. And my heart is warm.

No matter the distress or distaste some people have with aspects of this country, be it our government, our economy, or whatever, that 5-game series at a baseball stadium is beyond price to me. I have never felt so proud to call this nation my home. Never had more faith in our service men and women. Never believed so strongly that underneath all of our individual crap, the citizens here are still united. We will carry the flag when asked or not. We will sing the National Anthem when prompted or not. We will stand with our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and whoever to just feel like we are still together.

And that pride, that overwhelming sense of “Dang, this is OUR home,” that acknowledgement of those lost, those here, and those yet to come, that unity…that was beyond price.

 

Alyssa Anderson currently lives in Pensacola, FL and is working towards her Master’s in Community Health Education, specializing in Health Promotion. Aside from kicking butt in school, she loves to read nonsense, attempt DIY crafts, and switch up her workouts daily. She feels her mission in life is to show employees that working 40+ hours a week is no excuse to sacrifice their personal, social, and financial health and wellness. 

Beyond Price: Cassie and her mom
Having a mother is something that everyone who has one takes for granted. Whether our moms are doling out advice we didn’t ask for, making the countless school lunches and home-cooked dinners we just expected, or telling us to drive safe when really they’d rather we just stay home, it’s easy to forget that these things are done out of love. But the more we transition into our own adulthoods, at least for me anyway, the more clear it becomes just how much my own mom sacrificed for my sake.
 
I remember hundreds of trips with my mom to and from school, which usually took no less than 45 minutes around the beltway. (That’s a long story in itself. Divorced parents, two homes, one school, yada yada.) I can also recall the many back-to-school clothes shopping trips she took me on (and the one pair of pants I refused to wear), the bows she put in my hair (all the way through fifth grade, against my will), and the manuscripts she’d written and hand off to me to read and copyedit (hence my love of writing).The memories that stick out most for me are the times we’d trek down to Tennessee to visit her mom and the rest of my family on her side. We’d spend a week, sometimes two, in the summers driving around the small town of Columbia with its clock tower, Piggly Wiggly, and center square. My mom was born in Columbia, lost her father very young there, dreamed of writing children’s books there, and was even the town’s Mule Day queen. I’m not sure she’ll be entirely thrilled I’ve shared this with you, but my momma was a beauty queen many times, and on Mule Day in particular, they paraded her around… on a mule.

I got to spend a lot of time with my grandmother, Donna Sue, during those visits to Tennessee. Every visit was filled with good southern cooking, reliable southern heat, and slow southern drawls. Every visit was a treasure, but even those I sometimes took for granted. When ovarian cancer cut Donna Sue’s life way short, I was just 14, my mom only 39. Maybe my mom took her mom for granted, too, growing up, but I know she didn’t in those last few months of her mother’s life. I know she wouldn’t now.

Which is why Mother’s Day is always a little bittersweet. Which is also why we should not only cherish our mothers– if we’re lucky enough to have one– on Mother’s Day, but also during the regular days when they’re telling us our shoes don’t really go with that outfit. Because not only does my mom give me financial support, a place to live, and dinner most weeknights– she also gives me love, strength, and encouragement. When I start thinking how life is hard (which I admit is often), I remember that she once had it harder. And she’s help set up my life so that, by comparison, my struggles are merely passing inconveniences. And I try to remind myself that every day.

 Cassie via @wittycassiehere is a freelance writer working in the publishing and advertising industry near Baltimore. She loves music, puppies, and pasta. When not writing, sleeping, or eating, Cassie can be found practicing her lip-synching skills and contemplating what appears to be an extra bone in her foot. She loves her mother, among other people, and blogs at www.wittytitlehere.com.

Life happens. 

One day you’re in love the next you are breaking up. One day you have an acceptable amount of money in your checking’s account, the next you are penniless. One day you tell your girl all of your stories, the next she is spreading them.  One day you are friends with someone, the next not so much. One day you’ll have a job, the next you are unemployed. One day you have a place and a home, the next you are on your own in the wilderness or the streets or couching it at a friend’s apartment. One day you are as healthy as you can possibly be, the next you have cancer (sensitive subject, I know, but I’ve been a witness). One day you are a dancer or an athlete, the next you broke a bone and have to change career paths. One day you’ll have a path, the next you are lost. One day someone is there, the next that person is gone. One day things will suck so bad all you wish to do is disappear into the air or jump off a cliff. The next you are the happiest, most hopeful, most fulfilled you-you could ever be.

 Time happens. 

One day everything you can possibly imagine can go offhandedly wrong, the next day everything will be right and bright again. One day you are acting like an angst-ridden adolescent over a break-up, the next you are a wiser more complete woman for having lost him. One day you are a cliche of the broken-hearted woman, the next you have found someone to share the rest of your life with. One day you are hoarding yourself looking for a job, any job, the next you  land on something that actually fits perfectly. One day you are broke, the next you are popping champagne like you won a championship game without worries. One day you are just as lost as any other day, the next an idea pops up that changes your life entirely. One day you are caring only for yourself, the next you are a mother caring more for your baby than anything in the world. One day you are the same age, the next your are a year older.

Life happens. 

And still seasons shift. The clock continues clicking. The sun rises. The roosters cock-a-doo-dle-doo. Time goes on the same as always, whether you choose to be active or not. The night cycles into the day and back, whether you choose to live or not. The seconds march on whether you are having a dramatic life changing event or not. The minutes parade whether you are in love, heartbroken, lonely, afraid, rich, healthy, diabetic, fatherless, careless, educated, broke, full, depressed, happy, or not. The hours proceed to trust onward whether you choose to do something about a situation or not. Days unfold, and just like that people will flush toilets, and make coffee, and shop for groceries, and go to their 9 to 5, and work out, and have meals, and generally go on with their daily routines.

Time goes on without discriminating. And thank God for that because TIME is everything.

@ohmylaskmy

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” –Susan J. Bissonette

 

What a sigh of relief starting over can bring! I liken it to the feeling of waking up on the first day of spring after a long, dreary winter. Suddenly things feel fresh, light and hopeful. Like springtime, new beginnings can be therapeutic.

I went through a few years in autopilot. Working the corporate job, sitting through traffic every day, rushing from Starbucks to work to the gym to home, just to get up and do it all over again. I had a hard time stopping to smell the roses until I had built up enough anxiety and stress that called for a self-appointed hiatus.

That’s when the beauty of starting over kicked in. I’ll never forget the precious year and a half I spent recharging and getting to know myself. I discovered how happy a sunny sidewalk café could make me, especially more so if they also served pistachio macaroons. Blogging and joining an online community of fellow bloggers made my big world feel a little more connected. Regaining independence and feeling so satisfied in a simple lunch or movie date for one. No shame, just content to be with me. 

Maybe that’s why this particular spring feels so springy. So fresh, so full of optimism and so ready for whatever is blossoming into my life. I’ve recently just moved to a new state, started a new job and don’t feel anything but excitement for the opportunity to start anew. The freedom to choose my career path and where I want to live feels like such a luxury, after so many years of living like a zombie. Turns out I had the choice to make these changes all along, I just had to wake up to make it happen.

The chance to start over gives you a new set of much more appreciative eyes. The little things that used to be overlooked are now the things that keep a smile on my face for the rest of the day. The welcoming smile of a stranger when you’re clearly new to a place full of regulars. A hidden neighborhood bakery with lemon bars so good you feel compelled to break out into song. A blooming pot of spring flowers basking in a patch of glorious sun.

For me, new beginnings and springtime are beyond price. 

Janah is an eternal optimist who loves blogging, smiling and setting up Christmas decorations the week before Thanksgiving (roll your eyes, go ahead). She shares her optimistic views on her blog http://quarterlifecomeback.tumblr.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter: @janlo3 . 


Linking up this week for *It’s OKAY THURSDAYS* with this Gal!

It’s okay to be so into your current book that when you are reading the whole world around you does not exist.

It’s okay to obsess and mourn over the fictional characters you love on TV and in books.

It’s okay to be fully enthralled with Mad Men and not be able to go to sleep because you want to catch “one more episode” before bed.

It’s okay to start quoting everything from Mad Men after watching 8 episodes back to back.

It’s okay to stay in and watch depressing movies on netflix, while your friends go out to get sissy drunk.

It’s okay to have Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die album on repeat for the third week in a row.

It’s okay to listen to Marilyn Manson pumped up while rocking your work outs.

It’s okay to think most hip hop songs suck and have no substance unless the rapper is Jay-z or Kanye.

It’s also okay to hate Lil Wayne, except when he said this line- “real G’s move in silence like lasagna.”

It’s okay to count down the days you get to see Foster the People perform in concert at Central Park.

It’s okay to think that this song lyric by Ellie Goulding means everything, “I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words how wonderful life is now that you’re in the world.” 

It’s okay to really look forward to skype dates with a particular Londoner more than going out for a drink or a movie.

It’s okay to find English accents surprisingly infatuating.

It’s okay to still stare at all the pictures from your last vacation.

It’s okay to dream about visiting Australia more than the car you are planning on buying.

It’s okay to take pictures of New York City like you’re a tourist. It is after all, one of the most breathtaking pieces of Earth. 

It’s okay to drink a glass of wine a day.

It’s okay to do more of what makes you happy. 

It’s okay to fantasize about all of the things that could go right instead of all the things that could go wrong.

It’s definitely okay to believe that if he is willing to do anything to place a smile on your face, he is worth keeping.

It’s okay to believe that if you are positive you will attract positive. 

It’s okay to consider laughing a calorie burner.  

It’s okay to believe that happy people are the prettiest people.

Beyond Price: Being OKAY also laughter 

I’m really good at writing about people, not so much about things. Things don’t impress me.  What people do is what incites, not what you have or have gained. People inspire me in ways that transforms my soul. The madness in people’s hard work is …encouraging.  People who build a future out of anything, a scrap, a note, a rock. Their desire to go forward, one inch at a time. People who build airy-fairies out of ruins. People who form a life from broken things, from a broken family, from living in darkness, from nothing. People who help others.

People who see a guy fainted on the beach, dirty, and helpless,  and buy him water even if the guy faints on the beach with his hoody every single day, trashed. People who don’t overlook the fact that, yea he might be wasted and have no life to begin with, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a little help. People who realize that we all need help from each other at some point or another. People who take notice. People who care to ask if you are alright. 

People who react to unpredictable situations unafraid. Life is that way. We try to set routines and schedules to make it easier but from time to time you will get ran over with the unforeseeable, with the speed of the uncertainties. So I applaud and look up to those who embrace their fear, who embrace the things unknown and instead adapt to it. People who have experienced mistakes and readjust their road to move forward.

People who achieve the impossible. People who change one small thing, one trivial moment, one breath.

People like the Beatles.

People like Rebecca Adlington, the 19-year-old swimmer who won two gold medals at the Beijing Games, who has put in an estimated 8,840 hours of training since the age of 12. 

People like J.K Rowling who dedicated 17+ years of her life to writing and creating the magical world of Harry Potter.

People like Ryan Gosling who rescued a stranger from getting hit by a cab.

People like @nicoleisbetter and @jamievaron who succeeded at creating their own apple app called paper’d by breaking all of the personal branding rules

People like my dear friend Shom who is making all if not most of his dreams comes true by producing his own film and excessively writing tv scripts that are actually good. He has also written a post here and here.

People like the bartender I use to work with that worked for five years nonstop, planning and determined to open up his own wine bar someday, then actually making it happen. If in New York, go there NOW- It is called (YN on Mott Street)! 

People like my favorite NYC DJ @DJLEXPERIENCE  who is really the most passionate person I have ever met. I mean this guy just really loves what he does and is always always working to get better.

People like @Aminazena who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion at any time, and is working ferociously towards being self-employed and branding her own business. Who has also written a post here.

People like Bethany Hamilton, who make comebacks and continues doing what she loves, who refused to make her story become a tragedy after losing her arm.

And so so  so many more to name, but hope your hard work and passion for goodness is appreciated.

Random people. People I know. People I never met, but heard of. Famous People. Some not so famous. 

YOU ARE EVERYTHING!

 

@ohmylaskmy

One of the best weeks of my life is over. I really mean that, I felt unbelievably great. I have to remember that the next time I’m having an awful week. I am deliberately storing up as many great details as I can, so that maybe during the next terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I can look back to those details and I’ll feel great again.

I want to remember

the beach just as it was, temperamental and beautiful. The sun blazing on my skin, the warm sand beneath my toes, the boundless water to dive into, the outrageously blue sky, riding the waves of good feelings, the reflections in the water, the vastness, the freedom, the space.

I want to remember

us, alive, underneath all the magic, and above our heads, the thousands and thousands of stars that flare and glitter and flash in the ink-black night sky. I want to remember the evening breeze and the sounds of the waves as we laid out wrapped in beach towels. Listening to each other breathe, smile, joke, laugh our pants off when Hannah couldn’t figure out who Duck Sauce was. (what a night)

I want to remember

the endless jokes, the innumerable amounts of laughter we all shared, all of us roaring with joy from head to toe.

I want to remember

my old friends and the new ones. I want to remember their smiles. How it was all so deliciously, wonderfully normal to be surrounded by people you just met and yet feel dizzy from the happiness. (note to self: it might of also been all the liquid encouragements).

I want to remember

being treated like a queen in the middle of a time when I felt like a paper cup. The insidious fascination I had over this intoxicatingly funny person. I want to remember his impish smile, the way he monopolizes conversations, his unpredictable remarks. I want to remember his hypnotic accent, and how it reminds me of a song. I want to remember his hugs, and how I seem to fit so precisely under his arms. Most of all, I want to remember feeling surprisingly comfortable around him.

I want to remember

the noisy parties. The fun. The dancing. The loud music. The DJ yelling. The hot gogo dancers. The bottles sparkling. The Champagne glasses. The bubbles tickling. The countless of men demanding numbers, some charming, others much less charming. The attention. My pretty girlfriends and their catch-phrases. The laughing out loud all the time. The silliness.

I want to remember

the kiss. How everything in my entire body went still and hot, then how I opened my eyes and felt a silent starburst.

It was all beyond price!

When Laskmy approached me about writing a guest post for her blog, I was completely on board from the beginning. With the hustle and bustle of our lives, it can be so easy to get caught up in the world of money. To worry about paying our bills, to yearn for things we can’t afford, to buy things we think will make us live happier, fuller lives.

But what are the things that we already have in our lives that we can’t put a price tag on? What are the items or people among us that fill our lives up so much, they are beyond price?
The first time my nephew said my name. Kisses from my dachshund. A hug from my mother. The feeling of completing a great workout. Reading a great novel. Acknowledgment of hard work. The sun beating down your back. Crawling into bed at the end of a long day. Weekends.  Hearing a song that speaks deep in your soul. Belly laughs. Your team winning a game. Photographs that bring you back to a special moment in your life. Positive test results. Innocence. Experience.

I can easily pinpoint moments or things of mine that are beyond price. I named a variety above. My grandma being declared cancer-free? Not a dollar could touch that moment. A giggle from my nephew from something I said or did? Better than the best vacation. Finishing a workout that took everything out of me? Beyond price.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery. So easy to think more on those things we don’t have than counting all of the blessings sitting right in front of our face. And even in times of abundance and happiness, it still can be hard for us to remember that this life isn’t about the vacations or the designer handbags or all the stuff. It’s about the memories. The celebrations. The little things. 
It is about those things we carry that are beyond price.

Stephany @stephanywrites , is a twenty-something young professional living in Florida. On her blog, you will find stories about her life, details about her health and faith struggles, book reviews, and ponderings of the future. She loves dachshunds, football, carbs, cruises, and stepping out of her comfort zone. You can find her blog over at www.stephanywrites.com

Beyond Price: the people of the world, the people in your life.

Thankful for the people that never left. Thankful for the people I can truly trust. Thankful for the people who have never judged my dirty little secrets. Thankful for the people who have accepted me just as I am. Thankful for my family, for my friends, for my acquaintances, even for the people that have just passed by to say hello. Thankful for the smiles we shared, the laughter, the jokes, the dance moves, the sing alongs, the growls, the opinions. Thankful for the intimate conversations, the emails, and the random text message that let’s you know someone is thinking about you. Thankful for the people that came into my life by accident and have stayed on purpose. Thankful for the man that held the door for me as I marched in the building with my big old bag. Thankful for the girlfriends who meet me spontaneously on a Tuesday afternoon just for kicks. Thankful for the people I meet when I’m blackout dancing the night away. Thankful for the people who have demonstrated subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort. Thankful for the people whose weirdness is compatible to my own. Thankful for the people who are Hunger Games obsessed and express all their obsession via the internet along with me. Thankful for the people who are always striving to be better, who create things, who imagine things, who write things, who share things, who share their life. You are motivating. Thankful for the people who take risk, who break the rules, who get dirty, who make mistakes, but who make a mark in this world by their once small idea. Thankful for the people who are comfortable being exactly who they are. Thankful for the people that were once strangers and have become the world to me. Thankful for all the ladies and gents that have participated in this blog and have written a post about the things that are beyond price to them. I HEART YOU!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

And you people have made me feel like a REAL LIFE UNICORN!

@ohmylaskmy

 

What are you thankful for today?