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Labor with Love.

It's Labor Day!

Firstly, how is it September already? Secondly, thankful to be see another day, much less another month.

I'm literally sitting here in the exact location pictured above writing this post less than 24 hours after our annual family Labor Day bbq (which was a huge success by the way!) Shout out to everyone who came out to our last minute bbq. How crazy is that? It's an annual bbq however, it is planned last minute every single year. You'd think we learn by now! Regardless, the right people always arrive, turning it into an absolute blast, running from about 5pm-12/1ish am (sorry neighbors!)

Party animals.

Actually, I left out one small bit of information. This bbq is put on by my parents so technically they are the real party animals. My sis and I just do our daughterly (a word?) duties and make sure it goes without a hitch.

Moving on, our KAE blogger had an amazing post which I will post tomorrow but I wanted to intervene and write a short bit because I felt inspire and I haven't in a while. So here are a few things to keep in mind as we enter the day. I wanted to share 'Alicia's Actuals' (AA) if you will, as we celebrate today. Everyone knows I love titling things and 'Alicia's Actuals' just flowed. :-) I write a lot so I'm only going to share two digestible bits....hopefully.

1. AA numero 1: I cannot celebrate today without thinking of the hard work of my parents.

As human beings, you try to work not only hard, but with integrity. When I think of everything I am and have, I think about the work and prayers of my parents. They did so that I could. They lived in a way that allowed their children (with God's help and guidance) to not only have an example, but a standard. As we focus on 'labor' as it relates to parents, I think about the bar they set for themselves as my sister and I stood by looking on in admiration. By watching them, I learned to speak up where I felt my voice should be heard. I learned to continue working with integrity, regardless of when I notice that success may appear to be easier for some and harder for others. I learned to be self aware - to notice my flaws and work on them, not excuse them. To never say 'this is just who I am'. I learned to take my faith seriously. To not only mention God in a social media bio, quote a popular scripture, partake in convenient religious conversation or to keep up a religious appearance. I learned to take the Bible at its word, share the Gospel and Jesus' message, live out loud, and respect every view point while never wavering from my own. I learned to be ok with not being liked by everyone. Impossible goal, wasted energy.

2. AA numero 2: Stop hastily defining the questionable.

I told you guys about the bbq we had yesterday and I told you about the example of my parents. Alright, so at bbqs, there are many personalities, correct? Some warm ones and some questionable ones. Now questionable doesn't necessarily mean 'bad' but simply undefined. Growing up, my mom always said, 'people will always talk, just don't give them a reason to'. Wise woman. At the bbq yesterday, the overwhelming vibe was beautiful, successful and in my family's rating, a 10/10. There was one brief encounter I had that left me with 'that was a questionable vibe' but guess what? Following that moment was a beautiful one with someone I don't see often but am always left with a sweet reminder of how much it matters to be a pleasant person. God knows when your heart is pure and will always remind you of who you are when you are met with moments that leave you wondering. That beautiful encounter served as a reminder to be that person. Be a light. There is a beautiful feeling when you choose to be kind during questionable moments. Moments are promised to no one so in each one, cherish it and leave that encounter better than when you entered it. If you don't know the reason for the questionable encounter, don't give it one. Leave it undefined, say a quick prayer and continue through the moment. The more you practice this, the less you'll feel like you need to define little things that don't necessarily need defining. It could be the 'how are you?' that felt disingenuously scripted. The unmatched enthusiasm, etc. However, think about how little that moment is compared to others. At this very moment as I write this, there is someone fighting for their lives, like Kyrzayda Rodriguez (@kyrzayda_ on Instagram). An incredibly faithful style blogger who turned 40 years old last month and who continues to fight for her life, since receiving her cancer diagnosis. Use today to feed those you encounter with the full understanding that moments matter, so encounter them wisely.

I hope each and every one of you reading this has a great day filled with great conversations, less social media, more love and family and friends who make you feel appreciated.

Happy Labor Day from KAE!

Lived loved.

- Alicia

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