5 Reasons Having A Community Matters - Galentine's Day Edition

Com·mu·ni·ty

noun

a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

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I made the decision to start my blog in October of 2014, knowing that I would have a space to explore my creativity and style. What I didn't know was the amazing community I was about to join. The blogging world is filled with goal driven, ambitious, creative women who have huge entrepreneurial spirits. And to top it off, the Denver blogging community is filled with stylish, kind, down to earth women! What a bonus! 

Last weekend I had the privilege to hang with some of my blogging girlfriends for a fun Galentine's Day celebration, sipping champagne, eating chocolate covered strawberries (oh and cake too), and in typical blogger fashion, taking tons of amazing photos to document the whole day. We went to the stunning Renaissanse Hotel in Downtown Denver, enjoyed one of their beautiful suites and had gorgeous steak dinner at their restaurant, Range Downtown. We partnered with some local brands to make our Galentine's Day extra special, we wore the most adorable shirts that are from the online shop called Fiercely by Valery. We ate the most amazing chocolate cake that was made by Beehold Cakes, and I must say that cake was so delicious it reminded me of a brownie! And as if that all didn't already sound like female heaven, we were surrounded by the most beautiful floral arrangements by Flower Bombers, which of course added the most gorgeous pop of color to our girls day. 

I think having a community around you who shares similar goals and interests, in whatever you do, is important. In every aspect of my life I have made a commitment to immerse myself in a positive community surrounding that part of my life. I joined MOPS to be around more Christian mothers with similar visions for themselves in motherhood. In our business we surround ourselves with motivated people who have had massive success in the field we are in. I have a community of best friends who are also in marriages that I admire and respect, that way we as wives can encourage and inspire each other. And in blogging, I have made a huge effort to participate in practically every community event that is available, join every group that exists for Denver bloggers, and build relationships with the Denver bloggers that I adore.

Because I think having a strong community is so important, I thought I'd share with you my top 5 reasons that I think having a community matters! Here we go!

1. Teach & Encourage Each Other

A candle never loses any of its light by lighting another.

Everyone has something that they can teach me, I truly believe that. Whether it be a technical skill or a life lesson I truly believe I can learn something of value from just about everyone I meet. It's so important to surround yourself with people who have mastered the skill you are trying to get great at. I love learning, asking questions and growing any chance I can. The great thing about it is, the more you know, the more you can help others. I get so many people asking me "how to" blog related questions and I am always open and eager to help and encourage as much as I can. That attitude helps to create a more positive community of people empowering people.  Being a part of a community allows you to learn from, and teach people in a way that is truly special.

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2. It Pushes You Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

When you are meeting new people, learning new things and and having new experiences, chances are that your comfort zone will begin to be stretched. This is a good thing. In anything I've done in my life, I have only gained success once I was willing to say goodbye to my comfort zone.  A few years ago meeting with a group of blogger ladies and letting a photographer take our pictures would have made me super nervous (in a socially awkward kind of way) but now I am able to just laugh and have a blast. Being around other like minded people in a community will help you stretch outside that comfort zone and really grow. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I truly believe that to be true. I also think the best version of you is sitting right outside of your comfort zone, so go find her! 

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3. Being Around Like Minded People

It's such a breath of fresh air being around people who have the same interests and attitudes as you. You have much deeper and more meaningful conversations when you are around people with similar goals in life. It's important to be an individual but it's also important to have a "tribe". Being around other people with a similar vision and similar goals as you is not only fun, but it will challenge and encourage you in many ways. Like I said before, the Denver blogging community is filled with driven, kind, goal oriented women, and that is absolutely the kind of women I want to be spending my time with. 

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4. Sharing Ideas & Insights

When you are part of a strong community, it allows you to have access to people with great ideas and knowledge. I learn so much from surrounding myself with knowledgeable people. It also gives you the opportunity to share your own ideas and insights with others. Getting feedback on ideas is super valuable, in any area of life. Sometimes when we are the ones working on something  and we are so involved with it, we can easily miss something that and outsider can spot quite easily. Sometimes we are in the trees and all we see is the trees. Feedback from your community can help you see the forest. In the blogging world, creativity is key, and being around other influencers helps me to practice and stretch my creativity muscle.  

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5. Build Friendships

This is by far my favorite and I believe the most important aspect of community. I have created the most amazing relationships from making community a priority in my life. Some of my best friends have come from being part of a group or community together and then building a friendship outside of that as well. I'm so grateful for the amazing women I've met in the blogging world and can't wait to continue to strengthen those friendships as we all continue our journey in the blogging world. 

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All photography on this shoot was done by Alejandro Caballero with Avid Visuals. Thank you so much for the beautiful photos and for putting up with us silly ladies all day!

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Letter To My Husband | 12 Years Together, 2 Years Married

This month is very special, on July 11th 2016 my husband and I celebrated our twelve year anniversary (dating and married), and July 20th is our two year wedding anniversary. Nick and I met in middle school. We had a common friend who we both grew up with and got introduced at a little league football celebration party. I will always be grateful that we crossed paths at such a young age. We started dating in middle school but then broke up, then we started dating again the summer before high school started and have never looked back since. Who knew that day he said "will you be my girlfriend" in the backyard of our friend's house would change our lives forever. We dated all through high school, we went to college together, started a business together, got married after about ten years of dating, and the love story continues. Nick Greco is truly the best man I have ever met. To honor him on our anniversary I wanted to surprise him with a letter. Here it is. 

Photography in this post is by the fabulous Olivia Rose Photography! I loved working with you on this girl, thanks so much!!

 Olivia Rose Photography | Instagram | Facebook

 

Nick Greco, 

Happy Anniversary! I apologize for choosing to still celebrate two anniversaries, I know you were hoping for one after we got married. I want to celebrate two because I am just so proud to say how long we have been together. It is such an honor and I'm so proud of us for not being quitters and fighting for our love through the years. I'm so honored to announce twelve years and shout it from the rooftops because it is a testimony that love lasts. When people see us together they think, oh they must be newlyweds or oh they must have recently fallen in love. I am so grateful because of you I know the "honeymoon phase" is not a real thing. We have been together for twelve amazing years and I adore you more and more each year. The years have had ups and downs, highs and lows, but I find that each low we push through I just come out of it being more in love with you. I love doing life together. I don't think love is something that comes and goes, I think it is something that needs strengthened but when you do so, the love gets stronger and less breakable. We have done that the last twelve years and will continue to do that. I am still giddy when I see you, I still get super excited when I see you calling and everyday when you come home, it makes me so happy to see you. The long lasting "honeymoon phase" we have is a reflection of the respect we have for each other. When you adore someone, respect them and care so much for them, the outsiders think it's "puppy love". I'll have puppy love for you until the day I die.

I am in love with you and grateful for you for so many reasons. You motivate me to love people unconditionally, the way you do me. You treat me like a princess whether I am in pj's or all dressed up. You never make me feel ugly, gross, or less than. You never make me feel shame or guilt. You are always loving and gracious with me... even when I might not deserve it. Thank you for being so kind. 

Our relationship motivates me to be light-hearted and stress free, because our most cherished memories are when we are having fun and being care free together. I love laughing my butt off with you. You really are funny, and despite your argument that "I am not funny", I like to think I am ;). We have so many amazing memories together. I could close my eyes, point at any random thing and tell you how it reminds me of you. Everything I see in the world reminds me of you in some way. We have gone through so much together. When I met you, at 13 years old, you were a boy. We were kids, and somehow we found each other and fell in love. Real love (even tough all the teachers and parents said we were too young to REALLY be in love). Dang were they wrong. We went through high school together, college, we had to figure this "adulthood" thing out together, we were side by side learning how to be business people/entrepreneurs, we have become travel buddies, we've experienced loss of loved ones, highs and lows in business, financial struggles, financial successes, finding Christ, and so much more. Through all of it, you are my best friend. And now you are a man. THE MAN. MY MAN. A Godly man, a successful man, a confident man, a strong man, a man that provides, a man that is kind, and a very very handsome man! 

I love that we are on the same page on just about everything in life. Our morals and values are so aligned that it's hard for us to disagree on much these days. I love that we want the same things out of life, even though our audacious goals seem crazy to other people. The future with you is so bright. You always keep me motivated to be a more hardworking, passionate person. The way you better yourself every day, and the way you stay passionate about life drives me to be better. Thank you for always supporting me. In anything I decide I want to pursue, you are right there by my side telling me "great job D" and "you can do it". That support means everything to me. I wonder what I would have passed up in life if I didn't have your support and encouragement. You help me to believe that I can do anything and be anything. I pray you know I feel the same way about you. I view you as unstoppable. If you see you want something, you go for it. You are basically amazing at anything and everything you do (I know I have told you that a million times, but it's so true). I admire you, your talent, smarts and natural skills. I also admire that anything you are not a "natural" at, you pursue until you are the best. The way you persevere is so inspiring, not just for me but for everyone around you. It's so amazing to watch people be inspired by my husband, it makes me feel so honored to be yours. How did I get so lucky to be with a guy like that? You are the best.

I can't wait to see what the future hold for us. I know it won't always be easy, but I know WITH YOU it will always be worth it. And Nick, I am excited to have your babies. Oh my gosh so excited, it gives me butterflies just thinking about it! You will be the best dad ever. I am thrilled my kids will have a dad that is smart, fun, kind, motivated and willing to fight for his family. What lucky kids they will be and what a lucky wife and mom I will be. When that time comes ;) .

Finally, I just want to thank you again. Thank you for being SO incredibly kind to me through the years. There are so many big things you've done for me, but many times it is the small acts of kindness that mean the most. Thank you for all those times you've made me breakfast in bed, or for when I've asked you to make me eggs on toast at 10:30 pm and you were so willing. You really do cook the best eggs ever. Thank you for not hesitating when I need you to run to the store to get me tampons, or something else silly, I know that is not fun or exciting for you but you are always kind and willing to do it. Thank you for always getting me anything I need when I don't feel well. You are always so sweet when I am sick, asking a million times "what do you need", "can I get you anything", "I'll run to the store to get you medicine or food". Those things show how sweet and thoughtful you are. Also, when I am sick I can see the genuine sadness on your face, you get so sad when you can tell I'm not okay. That right there is love. Thank you for putting up with me when I am grumpy, usually around 3pm when it seems to be my nap time. Or when I am hangry. Or when PMS strikes and all of a sudden I am crying for no reason. I know I can be a silly emotional mess sometimes, but you are still always so sweet to me. Thank you for that Nick!! Thank you for being the best Uncle to Logan, Cole and Abriel. They look up to you so much and I am so grateful they have a role model like you. Thank you for the random notes I get on the mirrors. Sometimes those notes come at the best times, when I need them most. Just seeing that "I love you D" on the bathroom mirror can fill my love tank and brighten my whole day. Thank you for saying "Hi cutie pie" every time you answer the phone, it makes me feel so special. Thank you for watching a trillion romantic-comedies and romance movies with me throughout the years. I know they are not always your favorite, but thank you for sitting through them with me. Nicholas Sparks should and could make a movie one day on OUR love story!! It'd be bigger than The Notebook (I'm biased though). Thank you for working so hard each day to provide and give me the life I have always wanted. Thank you for not quitting on our dreams (even when I probably would have). I am so grateful you had vision when all I had was fears. You are my rock Nick. 

I love you so much Mr. Nick. You are my dream man, thank you for loving me the way you do. Happy anniversary (12 year and 2 year haha). Cheers to the next 12 years and to our amazing future together!!

xoxo, 

Danielle

My outfit details:

Shoes: Freebird by Steve Madden

Jewelry: Kendra Scott, got from Rocksbox. Use code accordingtodblogxoxo for a FREE month of Rocksbox

Dress: BB Dakota

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