Library Love // YouTube

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend my Saturday in the library, so I thought I’d make a video to represent my blog from last week, “Library Love”.

Be sure to follow this blog on YouTube for video updates (and outtakes) to brighten your day.


Madeleine Rheinheimer

Grandparents: A Letter to My Future Child

Dear Future Child,

I wanted to teach you a lesson about grandparents. A lesson that will make you run into their arms every time you don’t get your way (or when I refuse your dictator requests for more popsicles, like I did often to my mother). Because believe it or not, grandparents can be your closest ally, after your father and I of course.  

You wouldn’t believe that amount of support you already have, my dear child. Between your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents you are immensely loved and treasured. You will be our greatest joy, and greatest worry. But whenever we begin to worry about something you ate, something you said, something that’s troubling you, our sources of answers (and comfort) lie in what we’ve taught by our parents, and their parents.


My mom helped me discover the secrets of washing machines, how to dance without shame, and that there’s no limit to how many times a day calling one another is acceptable. She also taught me that beauty is self-created.

My dad helped me get into the college of my dreams, fill out so many confusing forms, paid for every writing and English program that pushed me to the place I am today, and not to mention gave me the best concert tickets (front row to Coldplay!!!!!!)

My grandma taught me how to cook eggs in a microwave, be patient with my brothers (and my grandpa) sew pillowcases and patch jeans, and create the perfect plate of appetizers. She also taught me that there is always a solution to any problem, whether it be a stain or the most difficult project in the world (I’m thinking of the science fair in particular).

My grandpa taught me how to catch the bigger fish than my brothers, how to appreciate going to the movies, how to play ping pong, how to swing a golf club, and how to have persistence in whatever adversity I face (sometimes, so much persistence it’s annoying. In the best ways possible).


My grandparents celebrating their 50th anniversary

My grandparents taught me the importance of family, as they have never missed a sporting event, concert, speech, or other event of their five grandchildren. No matter how much they felt like staying home or watching Judge Judy, they dedicated all of their time to supporting the family.

I wish I could have shown you a picture of our family calendar, darling, because you wouldn’t believe how busy it was (and still is). Each child was color-coded, and penciled in carefully. As you can imagine, there was bound to be conflicting events, what with baseball, basketball, softball, tennis, dance recitals, plays and musicals, cheerleading competitions, spelling bees, art shows, award shows, the list is endless. And yet, they never grew tired of the dreadfully cluttered calendar.

What I want you to understand is how important it is to tell your grandparents how much you love them. I hope you feel their support in every cell of your body, because besides your father and I, they’re your biggest fans in the whole world.

We are all cheering for you, dear Child.




Library Love

I’m pretty positive at this point that I was born to be a writer. Looking back at my early years, there are just too many coincidences for it to be anything less. I went through many packs of crayons (I had a tendency for intensity and crayons are fragile) illustrating my stories of mermaids and princesses. I flipped through books, memorizing the pictures so my mom thought I could read.

And most important of all, even as a child, I had my own library.

I was raised around books. My mother read to me every night before bed, as if she thought it would help me relax and grow tired. She probably read this in a book. One that didn’t account for creative writer babies. Her stories had the opposite effect on me, as you can imagine, and I would stare at her with wide eyes in alarm as she shut the book.

“One more?” I would beg, sweetly even, if I may add. Her refusals caused my pleas to become less sweet, and I became a monster. (Maybe this was the turning point of my growing into a writer, because I still do this when I have to edit my work.)

In my house, we had one official library and two unofficial libraries. My dad’s office had a wall of shelves, packed with books about baseball and business and boring old things. The sunroom had four shelves of our children’s books, ranging from Nancy Drew to Dr. Seuss (the majority of these books belong to yours truly, don’t let my brothers tell you otherwise). And lastly, the official library was remodeled into my bedroom. Originally used as my mom’s office, the entire floor of the house was dedicated to work. A row of floor to ceiling bookcases covered the walls, and were full of my parents assortments. I was comforted in this room, and was beyond thankful when my mom agreed to share it with me for a bedroom.


My “serious” reading face

When it came to moving to college, although I had an abnormally large collection of shoes and kitchen utensils and notebooks and tea, my books outweighed everything (literally). The boxes and bags of books that I told myself I couldn’t go away without are sitting on the modern wooden bookshelf I bought just for my dorm, and a majority of them haven’t been touched.

But that’s not their purpose, exactly. I brought my favorite books with me because they’re comforting. An environment where stories and binding and pages and words flow into the air is the one I breathe easiest in.

Any library is a sanctuary for me, and my campus and city are blessed with incredibly breathtaking architecture, and an even larger collection of books than I could ever imagine. I don’t know if it’s because I was born to be a writer or because I take comfort in the safety of books, but I have a love for libraries. I can’t wait until someday when I dedicate an entire room (or maybe two, or three) to my already growing stacks of books.




A Letter To My Future Child: Five Things Money Can’t Buy

Dear Future Child,

What I’m about to share is something I struggle with, but I’m not alone. I’m going to do everything I can to teach you how to overcome this problem, so you don’t have the same struggles that Mom does. Dad will be happy I’m sharing this with you.

Money isn’t everything, even though it often seems like it is. Money buys nice cars, diamond earrings, new dresses, sparkly shoes, healthy food, restaurant food, big houses, and fun trips. It buys important things like education, good health, and professional help when you can’t do something on your own.

But money can’t buy everything in the world, dear Child, no matter how much you want that doll or that trip to Disneyland. I’m going to tell you five things that are more important than money, and when you focus on these five things, everything that you ever worry about will fall away with the abundance and ease.


  • I knew in the fourth grade (is that how old you are? Maybe you’re a little older.. but I’m sure you’ve already heard this story since your Mommy likes to talk about herself so much!) that I was destined to be a writer. There was never any choice, and never any reason not to follow this passion of mine. No amount of money can change this (even if people tell me it’s a “brave” career to choose). It’s not about the money, it’s about finding the thing that makes you want to dance and sing and pick flowers. It’s called purpose, and it’s so much more important than our bank account.



  • Money buys fancy clothes, makeup, hair products, accessories, jewelry, and shiny shoes, but that’s not what makes you beautiful. The way your eyes light up when you watch the sunset, the way you have the ability to make strangers smile, the way you walk and talk and look at yours of in the mirror? Those are what represents true beauty in this society, and I already know, at age nineteen, that you are the most beautiful child in the world.


A relationship with God:

  • I hope that I teach you things. How to make scrambled eggs, how to write a story, how to dance to any song, how to talk in front of a crowded room. But above all else, I want to teach you how to speak to God. If I teach you one thing, I want you to know and feel the Higher Power in this universe. There are a lot of questions about the power of our Creator, and a simple way to think about it is that whatever/whoever this God person is, they aren’t you. There is something or someone running everything that is out of your control, and how thankful we all are for that. When you have a connection to this Divine Being, you’ll begin to believe and trust in all the good things in your life, things that money can’t buy. A relationship with God is priceless, Baby.



  • If there’s anything that’s most valuable to me (besides you and your father of course), it’s my time. It’s the one thing that I can never get back if wasted, something that is often out of my control. Time is worth so much more than money, because with just enough time and passion, all the creative happiness will begin flowing in your direction. Be careful with how you spend your time, it’s worth more than the bucks and the bills.  



  • Lastly, love is more important. Love is more important than everything, because love is everything. Time is love. God is love. Beauty is love. Passion is love. Love is what makes the world spin so perfectly, not the amount of toys you scatter around the house. No income, no savings, no funds will fill your heart like love will. When you love yourself, you achieve inner peace. When you love others, you achieve a sense of belonging. And from my understanding in the last nineteen years, that’s what everyone is chasing.

So in conclusion, darling, don’t be fooled. Mother knows best, and even if she doesn’t always take her own advice, maybe if you listen to her she’ll start listening too.

Yours already,


Yellow Nail Polish

I received my first manicure when I was eight years old. I went with my mom to a small place in our hometown mall, and was immediately overwhelmed with the smell. The chemical fume and cleaning alcohols combined and drifted through the room, hitting my poor eight-year-old self in the face like a punch.

An immediate headache formed at the base of my neck, but by the time I saw the “polish wall”, all thoughts of discomfort were forgotten. I had never seen so many different shades in my life, all organized so neatly and pristine in their racks. As a natural born artist, I almost cried at the beauty of this many colors in one place. My mom laughed at my amazement, and picked out her typical cherry red.

I, on the other hand, am very poor at decision making, and even as a child I began to fret and worry about making the wrong choice.

After minutes of contemplation and pacing along the wall, I think I chose a pink. I can’t remember, because the tickling of my toes and the scrubbing sensation along the soft bottoms of my feet made me squirm. The lady doing my pedicure didn’t even ask if I wanted a flower on the big toe, because I wasn’t even aware that was an option. She did it anyways, and put a rhinestone in the center. I was nearly in joyous tears. How could they possibly paint something so beautiful and delicate on a toe? 

My mind was blown, and I walked through the mall in my flip flops, freshly polished feet, and a freaking FLOWER on my toes. This was my first experience at the nail salon, and not much has changed or compares to the clean, glowing feeling that comes from it.

It’s been over a decade since I began getting mani/pedi’s and I’ve probably recieved over 100. And never in the past 11 years, have I gotten the color yellow.

I’ve been in somewhat of a rut lately, between the weather and my seasonal affective disorder. I’m enjoying my classes this semester, but worried about the summer, finding a job, finding an apartment, other tedious adult duties. I’ve been reading a lot of poetry though, and the more I hear about “finding and listening to your voice”, the more I realize that routine is the killer of creativity- and creativity is the life force of poets, writers, and artists.

The worst part is, I am the most routine of people. I wake up at the same time, exercise every morning, eat the same breakfast, listen to the same playlist, take the same route to class, eat the same lunch, take a nap at the same time, read and complete my homework on time, eat the same dinner, and go to bed at the same time.

And you know what? I love this. This is comfortable, this is normal, this is easy. These habits make me feel like I’m in control (THE ROOT OF ALL MY PROBLEMS), and my constant climb to control is killing my creativity.

So I made an attempt to escape. No more casual pinks, easy-going reds, I took a risk at the salon yesterday. I painted my nails BRIGHT YELLOW. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Today, my fingers have happily flipped through pages, typed at super speeds, and traced over notebooks with grace and ease. They remind me that there is hope, there is a sun hiding behind the clouds. This may be a small leap of faith, my silly yellow nails, or it may be the demolishing of the structured routine, in order to part the way for my creative muses to take over.

I’ll keep you posted on what color I choose next. Whatever it is, it’ll be bright, unique, bold (and maybe neon).




Birthday Joy

Let me begin by informing you of the randomness of this post idea. My birthday is in November (Scorpio season is the best season), so this isn’t some upcoming occasion that I had on my mind. And yet, I’m always thinking about birthdays- not just mine, but my family and friends’ too. I have every birthday in my planner, and enough postage to send homemade or funny store-bought cards (usually of puppies or old women) to my loved ones.

Today, I was reminded of this birthday appreciation because I heard someone say, “Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday, after my birthday. If you don’t know me: my birthday is a holiday.”

My boyfriend nudged me with his elbow, as if to remind me that I too, happen to have a national holiday birthday. At least in my mind, that is.

The reason behind this thinking may be because of the cake. Some years I like heavy, thick, creamy frosting, and others are better thin and sweet. The reason may be because of the decorations. I would prefer to have balloons up all year, confetti as a carpet, and sparkles on every countertop, but I have a feeling my family might not share this celebratory desire. Maybe, and hear me out, the reason is because of the gifts, the wrapping and bows, the tissue paper, the urgent expectancy. I like getting presents, but I love giving them more.

I think the real reason, however, is not about frosting or confetti or presents, it’s about the celebration of life. People who don’t celebrate or dislike their birthday break my heart, because it’s a blessing and a joy to have made it another year around the sun.

This world is cruel and mean and wicked at times, and to have survived and overcame another year is a reason to party. It’s a reason to dance, eat cupcakes, sing karaoke, wear a crown! It’s a reason to tell your mom how much you love her and your boyfriend how thankful you are for him! Birthdays are a reason to keep pushing through the tougher days, to get to the celebration.

The feeling of joy on your birthday is unmatched.

A day dedicated to the living of life is much needed, and even though it’s only once a year (and not until November), I’m still crossing off the months in eager anticipation of another spinning ride on this planet.



Ghosts of The Past

I went home over this past weekend, and a few things happen when I go home.

  1. I eat way too much.
  2. I somehow manage to pick apart my already-bare closet and leave a tornado of evidence.
  3. I always go through my old things, even though I know this is a danger zone to proceed with caution only.

And yet, I never take mind of my own warning as I frivolously flip through old notes, pictures, letters, and every other old memory that I keep tucked away in a shoebox and out of mind. These shoeboxes used to be my own personal storage system, because writers tend to collect things. However, these very things always end up bringing me a lot of heartache.

I won’t go into detail about my old belongings, because that doesn’t matter to the point I’m trying to make. What’s inside these boxes are memories of a time when the person I was kind of… sucked, for lack of a better term.

The pictures from this time were too posed, too forced, too pretend. The notes and letters from people I thought would still be in my life (and reading my blog) are too hollow, too insincere. But how was I supposed to know any better? I still gave my heart and passion to these people and who they wanted me to be. I surrounded myself with toxicity, and this time of my life reflected that.

Looking through the boxes, I see warning flag after warning flag about the disasters that were sure to come. If I had one wish, I would like to warn fourteen year-old Maddie about every person who would betray her, every relationship that would hurt her, and every situation that would jeopardize the promises of her future.

And yet, knowing what I do today, I wouldn’t have given any advice other than: “It gets better”. What I thought was my entire world as a young teenager is so insignificant to the woman I am today.


Fourteen vs Eighteen. Before I am ridiculed, the picture on the left was taken on “American Spirit” day of homecoming week. I don’t know why I was wearing a Coca-Cola shirt. I don’t drink soda. This just adds to how confused I must have been at this time of my life.

Back then, I thought I knew what love was from the petty acts of lust boys threw my way. Today, I am in love with a man I call my best friend, a man who encourages, supports, and adores me, a man who helps me handle the bad days and cherish the good.

Back then, I fought with my parents and refused to take advice. Today, I call my mom about four times a day, and can’t figure any difficult college worksheet without the help of my dad. 

Back then, I wore what everyone else thought was in style. My makeup and hair were horrendous, because no one ever told me otherwise (to my face, that is). Today, I am confident and poised in whatever outfit I choose. My looks don’t define how I behave.

Back then, I dedicated every concern to what my friends thought or what they were doing. These friends aren’t in my life anymore, and haven’t been for over four years. Today, I can count my number of friends on one hand, solely because I don’t surround myself with anyone less than the best.

These wounds are still fresh, and looking through my old boxes stung like salt in an eye. And yet, I find myself opening the dusty lid anyways, because sometimes it’s a humble reminder that no matter the amount of suffering, this too shall pass.

I am no longer haunted by the ghosts of my past, rather just trying to shoo them on their way to make room for what’s to come. 

Yours Honestly,

Madeleine Rheinheimer

Safety: A Letter to My Future Child

Dear Future Child,

I hope you know how much you deserve.

You deserve to feel happiness, feel peace, feel love, and most of all, you deserve to feel safe. Maybe safety is a combination of all of these feelings. I want you to experience safety the most of all, because if you feel safe, you have a clear mind to manifest joy. If you feel safe, you don’t have to worry about fear. If you feel safe, you’ll be open to giving and receiving love.

However, reaching this so-called paradise of safety isn’t always easy, and I’m writing this to help you. To let you know that I am here, and I hope I am a part of your safe place. What I mean by “safe” is not necessarily physicality. I’m talking about your mental and spiritual well-being. I’m talking about thriving. I’m talking about the protection that is always available to you in this abundant universe, the kind of safety that leads you to grow and dance and pick flowers and sing at the top of your lungs.

This place of safety isn’t always guaranteed, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make it.

IMG_0939 2


When I was growing up, your grandparents were my safe place. They provided me with every protection and ease in the world, but when I became more independent, I also sacrificed some of my safety. Diving into the unknown is scary, and the stalkerish-fear followed me everywhere I went, and even invaded my most personal, positive thoughts.

I want you to know that that’s not okay, and won’t last forever.

In order to regain control of my outlook, I turned to a few things. Things like music, poetry, healthy food, unhealthy food, a good outfit, cute shoes, encouraging quotes, the Bible, running, money, my Tiffany necklace, my medicine, my planner. These objects, subjects, and actions helped me feel like I was in a place of safety, like I was protected and surrounded with joy.

And most of all, darling, the feeling of safety is most present in my heart when I’m surrounded by the ones I love. Build a circle of security, encouragement, and relaxation. Life is too short to not feel this way.

So the question to ask yourself is, what makes you feel safe? Safety will feel like bubbly laughter and a warm blanket and a tight hug from your favorite person. Safety will feel like looking into a mirror and seeing the prettiest girl in the world. Safety will feel like dancing with the love of your life in the afternoon, just because.

Dear future child, you will know what safety feels like, and I will do everything to keep it that way.

Yours already,


My Ultimate Playlist

As someone who loves music in every form (live, recorded, in the shower, through the radio), I’ve decided to share something with my audience, in hopes that I can relate to a few, or make some friends. I spent Saturday night at a downtown music hub with some friends listening, dancing, and enjoying our youth, and I realized how much music, especially live, just rocks. I’m sure there’s some science behind this, like endorphin release etc, and I wanted to put together a presentation of my ultimate playlist, the very songs and albums that I use to make it through the day.

I won’t elaborate on each, because frankly I don’t have time to write that and you don’t have time to read it, so if you’re unfamiliar with a group or artist, there’s this wonderful site called YouTube (and you should follow my channel!) Enjoy my taste of country, pop, rap, and alternative, because a lack of variety in life is boring!

PS: Any name with a * indicates I have seen the live performance.


*Twenty One Pilots:

After seeing this band in concert nearly a year ago, I soon after became unhealthily obsessed. I found every song ever sang by Tyler and played by Josh, and would plug in headphones any occasion I had the chance. Bathroom breaks, short car rides down the street, even walking in between classes became filled with the sound of Twenty One Pilots. Would highly recommend this concert to any and every person who enjoys a show.

  • Full Album: Vessel
  • Full Album: Blurryface



  • Song:
    • Don’t Take The Money
    • I Wanna Get Better


Two Door Cinema Club:

One of my top three all-time favorite bands, I can’t remember the first time listening to Two Door Cinema Club. I remember the song though, Undercover Martian, and thinking how strange and well this piece worked together. I’ve downloaded every other album of theirs, and listen at the gym or when I need to have lifted spirits. A very upbeat group.

  • Full Album: Tourist History


*Bruno Mars:

My ultimate, forever favorite artist to dance too, my teenage years have been spent listening to Bruno Mars’ golden voice while trying to perfect my (getting better) dance moves. This concert is in the top three I’ve seen, mostly because he sounds just as good live as he does recorded.

  • Songs:
    • Treasure
    • 24k Magic
  • Full album: Doo-Wops & Hooligans


*Zac Brown Band

Even before I saw this group perform in concert, I fell in love with lead singer Zac Brown’s smooth voice, and can’t stop from singing about paradise (even if it is country).

  • Songs:
    • Castaway
    • Remedy


*Kenny Chesney

Oh, Kenny. This man reminds me of my childhood and listening to easy country on the radio. My favorite thing about him (and his concert) is his overall theme of “relaxation on the beach”. Songs about anywhere warm is my favorite thing to dream about.

  • Songs:
    • El Cerrito Place
    • You and Tequila



A little on the punk side and a little on the throwback side (except they just released a new album!!!!), Weezer has a special place in my heart, as “Island in the Sun” is my all time favorite comfort song.

  • Songs:
    • Buddy Holly
    • Island In The Sun


The Killers:

  • Songs:
    • Smile Like You Mean It
    • Mr. Brightside
    • The Man


*Imagine Dragons:

I saw the concert before I became infatuated with the vocals and instrumentals of this band, and am hoping and wishing for the next tour. Imagine Dragons gives off a nostalgic emotion when they play, and set the perfect mood for many occasions.

  • Songs:
    • Amsterdam
    • Shots
  • Full Album: Evolve


*Jon Bellion

  • Songs:
    • Luxury
    • Oooh


*The 1975

  • Songs:
    • The Sound
    • Settle Down



I know, I know. Everyone likes Drake. I have to agree though, because this artist reminds me of sorrowful high school car rides and late night flashing lights party.

  • Full album: Take Care
  • Full album: More Life

Processed with MOLDIV


Honestly, if I’m not dancing to Bruno Mars, I’m dancing to the Migos.

  • Songs:
    • Stir Fry
    • Fight Night



A bucket list group of mine, the only way I can describe this concert is chills. Somehow by miracle and luck, my father and I found ourselves standing stageside, and was close enough to smell Chris Martin!!!!!!!! That itself was on my bucket list! Despite confetti and flying giant balloons, the music of Coldplay is the real entertainment.

  • Songs:
    • Viva La Vida
    • Charlie Brown
    • Paradise
    • Hymn For the Weekend (Beyonce!)
    • Birds



  • Songs:
    • Hard Times
    • That’s What You Get


Linkin Park

  • Songs:
    • Numb
    • Heavy


Kings of Leon

  • Songs:
    • Waste A Moment
    • Sex on Fire



This folky, calm sounding band has changed my life, as the songs bring soothing to listeners ears. Their work reminds me of poetry, and everything this band does is sure to be playing through my headphones every morning.

  • Songs:
    • Ophelia
    • Ho Hey
    • Cleopatra


I hope you’ve heard of one or more of these artists, albums, and songs. If you have a favorite that isn’t on the list, I’d love to hear from you! Email me: or leave a comment below!

Forever rocking,


Poetry Culture

Last night at my college, Dr. Eve L. Ewing held a performance and Q&A session. If you’re unfamiliar, you need to educate yourself, because she is an inspiration, super funny and relatable, brilliant and most of all, a complete and total badass. She talked with the audience about her personal journey as a teacher, a socialist, and a black female in America. And what hit closest to home for me, was when she described her feeling of what it meant to be a poet.

Dr. Ewing is the author of Electric Arches and she spoke about how to write poetry is to give permission. Poetry is a way to let yourself feel and acknowledge and most of all move on. In 2017, I published my first collection of poetry, and a part of my soul screams with appreciation when I hear success stories such as Dr. Ewing’s.

I think the society of poets is a secret one. “I’m a closet poet,” I’ve heard many times. The culture of poetry, however, is one of immense support and affirmation. Writing poetry is so emotionally vulnerable and draining that it’s hard to admit you’re succumbing to feelings, of all the wretched things in the world.

Poets can’t be afraid of their feelings though, even on the darkest nights and the longest days. Anxiety, depression, sickness, heartache, grief, and discomfort are unfortunately familiar to us, and creating anything from this pain is a miracle.

Creativity isn’t linear, it will never be the same from one day to the next. But for me, the most consistent work I have ever produced is my poetry. Teenage years are a time of growing, changing, and learning, especially from mistakes and failures. And even though there are pieces of me that are still hurting or broken or paranoid with trauma, I made the choice to plant flowers instead of weeds.

Project 105 ( the product of these phases, and if I had one wish as a writer and a poet, it would be to remind myself that I’m not alone. That whoever happens to flip through the pages, they know they aren’t alone.

One of the most brave and bold poets I’ve ever met, Andrea Gibson, also recently visited my campus, and in her poem The Nutritionist (, she says:

I have been told, sometimes, the most healing thing to do-

Is remind ourselves over and over and over

Other people feel this too”

wheat girl

Therefore, in closing about this matter of poetry, I wanted to share the opening poem of my book. The title is Rebuilt.

“I can’t wait to write the words

that have bubbled and streamed through me

for eighteen years

they have been building up

higher and higher

screaming to escape

when they were torn down

letter by letter

striped away every last





i thought my story was over

but the light came

a child hiding beneath a blanket

at 1:03 am

clutching a battery powered flashlight

reading each

and every word

again and again

the words came back

as the light swept over

my empty soul

and filled the book

with more chapters than ever before

I can’t wait for you to read the words

that have been

broken down

stripped apart

cracked at the seams

for they have been



and resurrected

to form my eighteen years of existence.”

Sometimes sharing poetry is scary because expressing vulnerability is scary. But you know what?

So is loving, and so is writing, and so is existing.

And fear isn’t going to stop me from doing all of the above.

With love,

Madeleine Rheinheimer