Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Happy (almost) New Year!


We are waving goodbye to 2015!

As we wave goodbye, we want to say thank you to everyone for being a part of making our year special. We’ve had some great Dear Hope questions this year! We also heard a lot from you guys which was amazing. We’ve had the chance to share a few of your stories which were some of our favorite posts.


As part of waving goodbye to this year, we wanted to look back on some of the posts that we loved from 2015.

How Bad Do You Want to Be Accepted? This was a favorite because everyone struggles with being accepted and it got a lot of people talking.

Losing a Friend to Suicide was an old friend’s heartbreaking story about something many people experience. We were glad he shared this with us this year.

Teen Homelessness: The Heartbreaking Reality You Can’t Ignore was such an important post to us. We are so passionate about bringing awareness to this issue and plan to do more in 2016.

Battles, Messes, and Delicious Cookies was a really fun post to make thanks to graciellen for the yummy idea. I mean, we got delicious cookies out of it.


Take some time to say goodbye to 2015. Realize, no matter what happened, look how far you have come in a year.

Now, it’s time to wave hello.

We are so excited, thrilled, anxious, smiley and READY to see what this new year holds. Bring it on 2016! Show us what you got!

Have a happy New Year!!! We hope 2016 is absolutely wonderful!

See you guys next year….

Ask Dear Hope Anything

Dear Hope

We want YOU to ask Dear Hope.

That’s right! Ask Dear Hope anything!

Hello amazing readers!

We have received so many important Dear Hope questions this year!

We are proud of everyone who has the courage to send in his or her questions. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but you are not alone. Chances are if you are questioning something, someone else is thinking about it too. It can be helpful to hear what someone else is thinking or going through. It’s good to know you are not alone.

Dear Hope answers any kind of question. There is no question too big or too small and there are no wrong questions. Every question is important, but unfortunately, not every question can be answered. That’s our fault, not yours. It’s a timing thing. If you send a question and it is not answered within two weeks, try again.

Sometimes you may see a question that seems similar to another. It will happen, because we answer the next question in line. We don’t care if we have answered something like it before. If it’s important to you, it’s worth Dear Hope answering.

So come on and ask away. Dear Hope is waiting.

Be brave and send in your questions.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Full Time Babysitter

Dear Hope,baby sitting
I got a D on my homework and it’s all because of my parents. They keep asking me to babysit my 3 year old brother. They go out to dinner all the time and I’m the one stuck babysitting. I love him, but he is crazy. He gets into everything. When they go out on school nights I can never get my homework done. I have to keep chasing him around. My parents don’t even ask they just announce they are going out. Its so frustrating!! What should I do?
– FullTimeBabysitter

Dear FullTimeBabysitter,

Having to chase your little brother around on school nights does sound crazy. There is no way to stop your parents from expecting you to babysit, but you should talk to them about it. Maybe you can come to a compromise. They know what it’s like to take care of a 3-year-old. Explain that it’s especially hard on school nights. Ask them if they could give you a heads up. A little notice before they need you to babysit. That way you can get some work done ahead of time. Maybe they can limit the amount of school nights. Another idea is you could invite a friend over to help. Take turns doing homework and playing with your brother.

You parents may not even realize how it is affecting you. Take some time to talk to them. They don’t want your grades to slip either. If you sit down and discuss it, you can come up with a plan that works for everyone.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Ready! Set! Shop!

We recently got a Dear Hope question Dear Hope: The Stress of Working Retail and it reminded of this post from last year. I wanted to re-share it with you. I am still working retail and these are good reminders for the holiday shopping season.


It is the holiday season and I work retail.

That pretty much means I won’t see the light of day until mid-January. If you work retail during this time, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Working at a department store during the craziest shopping season of the year is intense, exhausting, kinda fun, but mostly, it is insanity.  Every kind of person that exists in the world comes out shopping and most of them have on their crazy faces.

Working retail means I work weird hours and everyday consists of running…and running…and running around helping customers locate the “perfect” gift.  A lot of them are panicking because they have no time left to shop for their thousands of presents they still need to buy.


If you’re out braving the wild stores in search of gifts, think about the people spending their holidays working to help you find what you need.

Here are some tips: 


Sometimes all it takes is a nice smile and a little friendliness to change our day.



Take some with you when you go out. Everyone benefits from some patience. Trust me! Everyone working will love you for it!

Remember what giving is about. 

If you are one of those panicked “so many gifts and so little time” people, calm down.  Remember what giving is about. It is for fun, not for stress. Remember when you are hunting down the perfect thing that it is about making someone else feel good. So relax!

It is all just stuff.

REMEMBER whatever you are in the stores searching for, it is just stuff.  I know you really want those new boots, or the new video game, but they are items. Those things come and go, so don’t stress about them.  You may cry a little if you don’t get what you want, but you’ll live.


As for me, I’ll be running around like a madman for the rest of the month until all the ugly sweaters get returned in January.

– ttfn G –

Dear Hope: Family Gatherings Make Me Anxious

Dear Hope,family gatherings
Christmas is coming and that means family. I love my family, but one or two at a time. I can’t handle them in a group. Every year we have the whole family over for Christmas eve and every year it freaks me out. I don’t want to upset my parents who love it. Plus my little brother loves it too. Each year it gets worse for me. I’m already feeling anxious about that day coming. What can I do?
– Freaking out

Dear Freaking Out,
I’m sorry to hear that this upcoming event is overwhelming you. You are not alone. Many people feel this way. If you’re someone that enjoys being chill and quiet, large groups can be tough. Your family loves these gatherings, but they also love you. I think you should talk to your parents about this.

It’s better to deal with this before it becomes too much, instead of you being upset that night. Share all your feelings with your parents. Explain how being in the group affects you. They love the big gatherings. They might not completely understand where you are coming from, but they love you and want the best for you. When you talk it out with them, you can come up with a compromise.

Some ideas:
You will stay for a certain amount of time and then be able to go to your room.
You can take little breaks throughout the night.
You can keep an eye on the younger kids by playing a game in another room away from the big crowd.
You can help with the party. That way you can be in and out of the kitchen to keep yourself busy and have small breaks.

Reassure your parents that you will do your best to be social. You just want their support and understanding. When you start feeling overwhelmed, breath and excuse yourself. Instead of thinking about freaking out, tell yourself “this is my family, I love them and they want the best for me”.

Sometimes just worrying about it makes it worse. Keep your thoughts about the night positive. Have a plan already set and try to have a good time.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: The Stress of Working Retail

Dear Hope,Holiday Stress
I just don’t understand people. I work retail and I’m really getting stressed out. I understand it’s the holidays and it’s busy. I expect that, but what I don’t expect is people being mean. They get mad if there is a line or if they have to wait for me to help them. I’m not ignoring them I’m helping other customers. I try to be very polite and sweet. I am friendly and I smile. Most people won’t smile back they just shove and push and say rude things. Why? Why do they do it? If you’re out shopping for the holidays it’s for a special occasion you should be happy. Even if you’re not happy you should at least be polite. I’m tired of working there what can I do. I’m not going to quit my job.
– Stressed out Holly

Dear Stressed out Holly,
Working retail during the holidays can be very stressful. You’re right, many people seem to be in a rush and that can make them impatient and sometimes cranky. I think that would be frustrating when your job is to be nice and cheery while helping them.

Unfortunately, if you work retail this is how the holiday season goes. You cannot change how people act. What you can do is find ways to de-stress during and after your workday.

While working:

  • Wear layers so you can take off or put on a sweater if you get hot or cold.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (this is not the time to try cute new shoes that may hurt your feet). The          more your feet hurt, the more cranky people will irritate you.
  • Drink plenty of water this will help keep you from getting a headache.
  • Take all the breaks your allowed. Just getting away for a few minutes can help de-stress.
  • Eat snacks or a power bar.
  • Enjoy the happy people. There’re plenty of happy customers. Sometimes cranky people make you forget    about the nice people. Focus on the nice and don’t let the cranky bring you down.
  • Try not to get flustered. You can only wait on one person at a time. Remind yourself that you are doing       the best you can. It’s not your fault if someone gets mad and walks away.

At home:

  • Let it go. Leave what ever craziness that happened at work, at work. Don’t dwell on it.
  • Change out of your work clothes right away. Put that day behind you.
  • Soak your feet. A good foot soak can take days’ worth of stress away.
  • Treat yourself, a favorite candy bar or take out, or just chill out to your favorite movie.

Don’t take anything negative personally. It’s not about you, it’s about whatever is going on in their life. It will all be over in a month. Do your best to stay stress free.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Finally! The Rude People Protection You’ve Been Waiting For!

Rude People


Today I equip you with the negativity shield.

It is an amazing shield ready to protect you from all things negative. It’s quite large as it covers the entire front of your body. It’s made of steel with a thin layer of rubber in the front. Let me explain how it works. It protects you from rude people.

Yes! The rude people protection you‘ve been waiting for is here.

When someone rude throws negativity your way, the shield stops it.

The big “NO” on the front lets them know YOU DO NOT accept rudeness. That in itself is awesome, but wait there’s more. As the negativity hits the shield, it reverses the negative comment and turns it into a positive which hits the rubber and bounces right back at them.

Take that Mr. Rude Pants!


Ok, so we’re not going to wear a big shield around all day, but I still equip you with the power of the shield. When someone says something negative, it’s usually because they are unhappy. If they can make you miserable then they will feel better for that minute. Yes, only for a minute. It never lasts, so they are on to the next person.

What usually happens when negativity comes our way? We let it in. We let it soak into our skin and we wear it around until we question if it is true.

Mr. Rude pants will still try throwing insults at you, but now you will have your shield ready.

Don’t let the negativity in. Their words do not define you.

Also, take advantage of the rubber on your shield. You know they are only doing it because they are unhappy, so throw a positive word right back at them. It will probably shock them and possibly annoy them, but maybe they will soak it in and start believing it.
Let the good stuff in and shield the bad.

– NBL V –