Cheers to 2014: A Year Filled With Hope

9d6b673e439b9bc9244a13ea7d0b1e5bAs 2013 comes to an end I honestly couldn’t be more excited to start fresh in 2014. This past year has without a doubt been the most challenging year of my life, but I made it through and I am continuing to fight. Failure, and sickness, is simply no longer an option. I want to live a happy and healthy life in which I know how to deal with my own struggles and I won’t allow the hardships to consume me. I’m looking for only good things in my life and learning the best ways to appreciate them. It’s time to stop letting my past define me and simply live for the moment and embrace every day for its beauty. In an attempt to start anew this year I came up with quite a few New Years resolutions and I thought that I’d share some of them with you! So here it goes:

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This year I resolve to continue fighting to regain control over my own happiness and well-being.

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I resolve to put my own happiness above all.

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 I resolve to never surrender to my ED thoughts, but instead face them head on and try to better understand where they are coming from.

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 I resolve to accept that all of the chaos I have had to deal with has a purpose and I will grow into a stronger, and more secure, young woman since I have had to face my demons.

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I resolve to try and better understand who I am and finally fall in love with myself. This can only be done by embracing my quirks and accepting my struggle.

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I resolve to stop forcing things and just let things be. Everything happens for a reason!

These are just a few of my resolutions so I hope these get you thinking about your own goals for the New Year!

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I can’t wait to meet ya 🙂

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A Merry Maxwell Christmas Over the Past 23 Years!

For the past 23 years the Maxwell family has successfully sent out a Christmas card and all the credit for this feat must go to my lovely parents. Even though the card sometimes came out on the later side. and was thus more of a New Years’ cards than a Christmas card, it always got sent out…all 300 of them…yes I said 300 hahaha. Unfortunately I can not for the life of me find our card from 2006, which probably highlights my true awkward teen years, but I want to treat you all to a Merry Maxwell Christmas and show you how much we’ve all grown and matured over the past 23 years. So here you go:

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Christmas 1990: Mom and Dad I know how much you got a laugh out of those goofy bows…good thing Kate and I are adorable!

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Christmas 1991: Happy babies ❤

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Christmas 1992: Dad’s all time fav picture of his little bumblebees.

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Christmas 1993: Frolicking in Vermont.

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Christmas 1994: The final solo twinkie card…obviously rocking pataguccis.

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Christmas 1995 – First one with Baby Boi who is all of 13 days old here!

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Christmas 1996: Playing dress up in Mom and Dad’s room.

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Christmas 1997: On the beach in St. Barths.

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Christmas 1998: Who doesn’t look good in a striped turtleneck…? Thanks mom.

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Christmas 1999: 9 years old and still wearing matching clothes…it’s a twin thing.

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Christmas 2000: Pretty sure Kimmy still has this pic in her wallet.

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Christmas 2001: Rockin the Zahbu jackets.

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Christmas 2002: Skiing in Deer Valley.

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Christmas 2003: Again, skiing in DV, Cranny seems to have trouble keeping his mouth closed haha.

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Christmas 2004: Croatia on the Lazy Z…oh those were the days!

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Christmas 2005: Summer trip to Italy!

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Christmas 2007: Such a bummer we can’t see Cranny’s pretty face 😉

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Christmas 2008: Kate and I celebrating our acceptances into college!

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Christmas 2009: Tuck and Brewies first appearance on the card!

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Christmas 2010: The dogs totally stole the show this year.


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Christmas 2011: Kate runs a marathon, Crandall plays varsity football, and I am clearly not an athlete haha.

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Christmas 2012: One of my personal faves.

photo%202-4Christmas 2013: Cranny heads off to the prom…so handsome.

 Merry Merry Christmas from the Maxwell Family xoxo

All Hail Queen Bey.

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Last week the one and only Mrs. Carter surprisingly dropped a new self-entitled album: “Beyonce.” This work of art includes many inspiring and phenomenally well written songs, including my personal favorite, Pretty Hurts. My good friend Jasmine recommended that I listen to this song and it is AH-MA-ZING. The lyrics are so applicable to many of the issues I am currently dealing with, and as a sociology major, the content of the video is fascinating. Beyonce, in this song, is reinforcing, as well as shining light on the fact, that society has unrealistic beauty standards for women and that the only way to come close to “achieving” them is through harmful means to both your mental and physical state. The hook of the song specifically emphasizes how our society’s obsession with perfection is damaging to women’s souls:

Pretty hurts, shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts (pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts (pretty hurts), shine the light on whatever’s worse
Trying to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

I am so moved by how Beyonce is standing up against these unrealistic expectations and attempting to create a new definition of beauty. Other female celebrities should definitely take a note from her and her ability to motivate and inspire so many women.

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I also can’t help, but be inspired by her marriage to Jay-Z. They are such a successful, motivated, and loving couple, it is almost like they can do no wrong. I truly believe that the world would be a completely different place without them. We should all be happy that they found each other hahaha and we should all aspire to find a love as true as the one between these two…ladies our men should always see us as their Queen:

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Jennifer Lawrence, Your Words Mean So Much To Me. You Are An Inspiration.

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Last evening the lovely, and inspirational, Jennifer Lawrence was featured on Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013. Leading up to her appearance there was a lot of hype about how she was going to speak out against the media’s focus on, and strong value in, defining a woman’s worth by her physical appearance and how they promote unattainable beauty standards through such means as photoshopping. Lawrence, in preview clips of her interview, emphasized her belief that the media should ban the usage of the words “fat” and “diet,” which I completely agree with and believe would be a monumental move in the right direction in the fight against such mental diseases as eating disorders and body dysmorphia. However, I was EXTREMELY disappointed to find that when I watched the special last night this portion of Jennifer Lawrence’s interview was cut…not cool Barbara…not cool. Young girls have so much to deal with and overcome in our current society… They are constantly being told by the media, and by or societal beauty standards, that they aren’t pretty enough, thin enough, and that they are inadequate. What most of these girls don’t realize, and what Jennifer Lawrence is trying to bring light to, is the fact that these unobtainable images of the “ideal beauty standards” are fake. They aren’t real and no one looks like that…photoshop is a powerful and harmful tool that the media uses, which inevitably promotes unhealthy body images for young girls. So, Jennifer Lawrence is doing what all actresses and those in the limelight should be doing, she is promoting healthy body images and speaking out against the media’s harsh assessments of women’s bodies. We all, as women, need to take on this battle together, and help each other learn our true worth by speaking out against, and educating, one another about how warped the media’s beauty standards have become and how the last thing we should be doing is criticizing a women’s weight…who do we think we are?

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This is what we should be “saying” to the media.

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J. Lawr you are inspiring me. Thank you for just being you and speaking your mind. You rock girl!

I Did It!!!

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I survived!!! I am all done with my senior fall and this is literally how you will find me…celebrating and dancing on an elevated surface hahaha! I honestly can’t believe that I made it through the past four months based on my mental and emotional state when I left for college this September. I proved myself wrong and my inner strength really surprised me. I feel healthier, happier, and my motivation is at an all time high!

One mantra in particular that I have found to be very powerful and that worked well for me, is this:

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I repeated this to myself constantly throughout the semester, as well as during finals, and it just reminded me that if I put my all into something, and committed to it, than success was definitely a possibility. I won’t know until after Christmas how I did academically, but what is most important is that I ended my semester on a positive note and I worked hard without compromising my health. Now the only thing left for me to do is decide what I want to commit to, and succeed in, over my winter break…I think I might be leaning towards focusing my attention on developing my blog more…stay tuned 😉

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

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Yay! I completed round one of my final exams and I finally feel like I can come up for some air and take a much needed deep breath. It’s truly a relief to know that I am so close to the finish line! However, even though I am feeling pretty good right now I must admit that this past weekend was quite a doozy, as I somewhat alluded to in my post earlier this week…along with the stress of finals I had to deal with some other life issues that left me feeling rather beat up and torn down, emotionally and mentally…because of this it was pretty tough to focus my full attention on getting my work done to the best of my abilities. Somehow, though, I persevered and came out alive and overcame what I thought was impossible. I am now feeling happy, hopeful, and motivated, thankfully! I’ve woke up the past few mornings with a smile on my face, which is something I did not expect after this weekend. So I want to share with you all a new motto that is helping me to overcome what I am dealing with:

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I need to stop over thinking the past. I can’t change it so I might as well learn from it. No more regretting what has happened… it is time to start looking back on everything that has happened in my life as learning experiences that I can grow from. I have so much love inside of me and just want it to shine out at all time and this can only happen if I start living a life without any regrets. So from today on it’s all about love 🙂

Oh final exams how much I’ve missed you…not.

As classes wrap up for the fall semester this can only mean one thing…final exams/assignments are looming and all the stresses associated with the copious amounts of work, and the added pressure “to finish out strong,” which is forced upon us hard working students, must be faced head on. Personally, I have three big assessments due at the beginning of next week so I am feeling pretty overwhelmed and like I need to burrow myself in the library and scream from the top of Coles Tower:

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I mean even though I’m just about as nerdy as the best of them

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I am a little burnt out… I can totally hang when it comes to getting my work done well and it’s even safe to say that I truly enjoy writing many of my papers (I often deem my most successful nights as the ones when I got lots of work done), but regardless of this I still hate finals just as much as everyone else. I really think that finals week, and often the week leading up to them, are too much. The pressures are just ridiculous and if you don’t know how to manage your time than you’re in big trouble. Since these assessments are our last hoorah and final chances to show our professors just how much we have learned their expectations of us are tremendous. Even my true nerd knows that its impossible, and bad for your health, to work constantly throughout finals week. It is crucial for me, during this stressful time period, to strike a balance in my life and practice some methods of self-care. I can’t let the exams, oral presentations, and papers get the best of me…a little Britty time needs to happen everyday…no excuses. Ultimately I am just going to have to keep asking myself :

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I mean seriously in a year am I really going to care whether I got an A or a B on my sociology final exam? No. Will I be happier and healthier because I know how to care for myself? Yes.

Happy studying to all and don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Rest in Peace Madiba

8671cf4e651547174d61d612f35dc67eYesterday the world suffered a great loss when one of the most inspirational and influential men to ever walk this earth passed away. Nelson Mandela’s impact as a leader and activist is undeniable and is felt universally. His poignant messages and strong efforts to unite all individuals will forever persist. We must never forget him because we can only better ourselves by learning from Mandela’s willingness to forgive and reconcile. Madiba will forever be in our hearts and the world will truly miss him, hopefully his legacy will never disappear and we will always remember just how much he did, not just for his own nation of South Africa, but for the whole world.

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Nobody’s Perfect.

As someone who has struggled for a long time with a tendency to strive for perfection I have recently, as part of my recovery, started to accept that my constant attempts to maintain so-called “perfection” within my life really aren’t worth it. In fact they are actually highly overrated and limiting. Plus, I’ve never even come close to reaching them anyways! I can only be the best possible version of myself and being “perfect” is simply not in the cards.

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First of all, you can’t ever really achieve this because, as the wisest of all moms’ say, “nobody’s perfect” and in fact:

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Secondly, being “perfect” or “straight-laced” is pretty boring. It’s time for me to live a little 😉

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Lastly, and most importantly, I know that I have many imperfections…I am no where near perfect, which I’m sure many of you are aware of haha, but I’m truly starting to dig my “quirks.” They make me who I am. The best and brightest version of me 🙂

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So, even though I might be a little crazy,  scattered, and vulnerable, at the end of the day I am also charming, loving, and thoughtful and all of these combined make me whole. I’m learning to love my entire self and that comes with accepting my quirks. I am moving away from striving for perfection in my life and focusing more on who I am in recovery and who I am in a healthy state. It has been a very long time since I have been truly happy and healthy so I am a little scared of the unknown, but I am feeling ready and I am excited to see what is to come!

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It is time to just be me. Imperfections and all.