With everything going on in the world today, the whole hermit crab way of life seems appealing at times.  But, what if we reversed what is going on in the world today, one tiny gesture at a time.  Paying it forward has become more common in the last several years and I love it every time I hear one of those stories.  My paying it forward doesn't compare to the other stories I hear, but every time I go to Aldi, I return my cart without taking my quarter.  I just leave it for the next person.  I've been doing this for about a year and always wondered if the person that got my cart next kept the quarter or paid it forward.  Last week when I went to grab a cart, there was a recently returned pre-paid cart.  It had come full circle and it really made me smile.  Speaking of Aldi quarters, isn't this cute?
It's a gift someone gave my friend Destiney whose husband is an Aldi district manager.

I'm an old soul and there is something about a hand-written note that makes me want to flip head over heels.  I remember the first real letter I got from Cliff when we were dating long distance.  I still have it and I still love to read it.  For me, there's something about a handwritten letter that I just don't get out of a phone call or text or email.  I still love when Cliff leaves a note on the bathroom sink if he leaves the house before I'm awake.  And the time he left a letter on my desk on New Years Day is set me up for a whole year of happy.  A friend of mine and I used to write letters back and forth, even though we had full access to email and our smartphones.  Sending cards and letters is one of my favorite things to do.  Even better, I love to send cards and letters out of the blue.   It's an amazing thing, too.  Several times I have had someone come up to me and thank me for the card I sent and I can't even remember sending it.  They on the other hand, have remembered it long after it was received.
So, you can imagine how crazy my heart went last week when I received a TOTALLY unexpected card in the mail from a real sweetheart and the best bank teller we've ever known.  (By the way, this little chica also always sends Finn a birthday and Christmas card from the bank since he's an account holder.  Actually, I could write another entire post about how super awesome our bank is, but that can be for another day.)
So here's what Cliff brought in from the mailbox the other day:
First of all, my heart probably literally skipped a beat when I saw the envelope.  I heart decorating envelopes when I send them, but I've never gotten one sent to me.  I wanted to frame it.  When I opened it and read the card inside, I practically cried (and it wasn't the pregnancy hormones.)  Brianna is possibly the sweetest person I've ever met.  She is always smiling, always friendly, always has something exciting to say.  She never just says hi; she always asks about us and has an actual conversation.  She is super talented; from her photography to her mason jar decorating to her writing (don't miss her blog: to her envelope addressing.  She is constantly posting something on social media that I wish I had come up with.  And she's the cutest darn thing you'll ever see.  How she is still can only be because she's one smart cookie and knows a deserving guy hasn't come along yet.
Working with teenage girls in KC, I realized that (at that age especially) building up another is extremely rare, but tearing someone down is so constant.  Self-esteem is so low.  In a girls group I led at the high school where I worked, we started a campaign to raise girls' self-esteem.  We wrote each other lovely letters.  We only talked positively to each other.  And we started posting anonymous notes around the school building for other girls to find.  The girls loved doing it and not one of them ever chose not to participate.
So, I'm challenging everyone to do something like this.  It really does make you feel better, too.  If you feel funny writing to someone you see on occasion or know really well, check out at their website or on social media and start there.  My sister tipped me off to them awhile ago and I have really enjoyed "making love famous."  I hope you do too!
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