What are the most important lesson(s) you’ve learned in life?

  • Be kind.
  • Do what you love. In a perfect world it can be your livelihood, but if you can’t make it your career then carve out time to make it part of your life. Regularly.
  • Ask for what you need.
  • Embrace an abundance mindset.
  • Nothing is promised to us. Not a single day is guaranteed. So make every one of them count.

How did you meet your husband/wife or significant other? How did you know he/she was “the one”?

BrightSide and I met at UVA. It’s kind of a funny story, actually. It was the fall of our third year – I’d broken up with my serious boyfriend and was kind of a mess. BrightSide had just broken up with his longtime girlfriend (yes, the one who caught the bouquet at our wedding) and was sorting things out. When my sorority sisters offered to take me to a party to cheer me up I saw that cute boy from public speaking across the room and we started talking and laughing and flirting and dancing…this post gives the full scoop, and it’s a hoot. We should have been a rebound but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd.

I knew he was the one because he always showed up. Some stuff went down in college, trouble that might have made somebody else run, but BrightSide was with me all the way.

If you could take a year-long paid sabbatical, what would you do?

Travel and write, although not necessarily about the travel. So I guess that answer should be: Travel. Write.

What is your favorite thing to buy at a movie theater concession stand? (credit to The Haunted Wordsmith for this one)

A gigantic tub of popcorn with plenty of butter and a gazillion napkins.

What are some Holiday Traditions you and/or your family observe in December?

We’re middle of the road as far as decorations go. BrightSide spotlights wreaths on the windows – that’s super pretty at night – and we’re serious about the tree. Ours has an angel on top. We’ve got other decorations scattered about the house, a few in particular that my mom passed on to me are especially meaningful.

We have four Christmases. My family celebrates early on, usually around the second or third weekend of December, and that’s the warmup round of family, fun, and turkey deliciousness. Then when we get closer we run the Christmas gauntlet – we have cabin Christmas with BrightSide’s family, plus a separate celebration at BrightSide’s aunt’s house with extended family. And then there’s our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day at home. Those tend to be pretty low-key.

We also enjoy listening to Christmas music while we decorate the tree (unless the UVA basketball game is on because go Hoos!) and devouring warm cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

Sparks from a Combustible Mind hosts Share Your World.