Thursday, September 25, 2014

the beauty of greenbluff

Since moving to Spokane I've spent many weekends with my family exploring the beautiful farm country of Greenbluff, WA--a mere 20 minutes away. We've picked cherries, apricots, raspberries, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, and apples. Although spending hours in the kitchen canning isn't my favorite thing to do, I'm looking forward to enjoying the jam, applesauce, pickles, and salsa in the coming months.

I enjoy baking over canning and we've done plenty of that too. When my brother and his husband came to visit we made a delicious peach crisp, which wouldn't have been complete without our favorite Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream. This past Sunday my dad and I made an apple pie using Honey Crisp apples. Hands down best apple pie I've ever had. Last month my mom and I made a homemade cherry pie using a recipe from The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. Pie crust can be intimidating but years ago my mom stumbled upon Martha Stewart's recipe. You make the crust in a food processor, which really helps simplify the process.

Fall is now upon us, which means there are still many more weekends to enjoy and explore the beauty of Greenbluff. I can't wait to go get pumpkins for Halloween, see the kaleidoscope of changing leaves, and drink warm apple cider. Isn't fall the greatest?

Friday, September 5, 2014

we all have a story to tell


Each one of us is living his or her own story. No two stories are the same, and yet, we play pivotal roles in how the stories of others turn out--often without even knowing it. Reality differs for each individual despite the mutual sharing of experiences.

I've found that at times we willingly, although not always consciously, allow others to write our story for us. It's difficult to reconcile your feelings and emotions when you realize that while one person has taken up five chapters of your life, you're only worth a sentence or two in their story--proving the adage "they are always two sides to every story" to be entirely true.

Agency is both beautiful and alarming. As Lord Grantham says in Downton Abbey, "We all have chapters we'd rather keep unpublished." Making mistakes and wrong choices are a part of this life. It's why we're here. To learn and grow. Failure and sin are a natural part of our existence. I wish that was something I had understood earlier in life. It hasn't been until my adult years that I've truly come to see the intrinsic value in failure.

What must we do to ensure we form a narrative we can be proud of? How do we take control of our own story? Right now, the only answer I have is to keep going, to keep trying. Even if everyday you feel like a failure, don't give up. Keep the faith. Have hope. Sometimes phrases like that seem trivial and empty to me, but I know deep down they are true.

The concept of faith and hope has always perplexed me. Which comes first? Can you really not have one without the other? At this time in my life, I feel like I have hope but I lack faith. I think you need faith to take action. Hope is not enough to facilitate change. I need to push through my personal doubts and questions if I'm to find my faith once again. It's been cast aside for too long.

We all have a story to tell. I need to re-invite Heavenly Father to be the co-author of mine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Furnishing My One Bedroom Apartment

Going from a studio to a one bedroom apartment with both a living room and dining room has required a significant amount of furniture purchasing over the last few weeks. Moving cross-country and buying a new car means means I'm on a really tight budget. As nice as it would be to buy all new pieces from places like Anthropologie and West Elm, I simply can't afford it

Lucky for me, Spokane has a ton of awesome thrift stores; plus, it's summer so there are yard sales and estate sales every weekend. Instead of being frustrated with my meager budget, it's been fun to search for bargains and see what quality used pieces I can find and refurbish.

Here are some of my finds. So far I've repainted the dresser I found and bought paint, fabric, and the needed supplies to re-do my dining room set. It's going to be a lot of work but I'm excited to see how it turns out. After pictures coming soon!

$75 vintage brass bed frame found at an estate sale
(similar bed frame at Anthropologie goes for $2,000!)
free nightstand from my parents' basement
$20 lamp found at a thrift store

$75 dresser found at Pine Street Market & Boutique

$65 dining room table with six chairs found at Union Gospel Mission thrift store
(This has definitely been by greatest find so far. I'm going to host Thanksgiving for my family this year with this table!)

$20 coffee table found at Union Gospel Mission thrift store

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Harper, we're not in Chicago anymore...

It's been six days since I left Chicago for Spokane. Last Friday, Harper and I barely made it to the airport on time thanks to my procrastination. I was a hot mess. Thank goodness my buddy Tasha drove us to the airport and helped me finish cleaning my apartment. Heavenly Father was definitely looking out for me because my flight got delayed one hour; otherwise, I would have arrived at the gate 10 minutes before take off. Whoops.

I started my new job at Gonzaga University on Monday. I admit that after my first day I was a bit underwhelmed. My new job is much more structured and regulated than my previous position. Gone are the days of having my own office and prioritizing my own tasks. Right now I don't even have my own desk.

The people I work with are nice and I think once I get more versed in all of the online systems I have to learn I'll feel better about things. I'm an impatient person and hate the learning curve. Every day this week has gotten a little better so I think that's a good sign. I keep reminding myself that this job is a stepping stone in my higher education career.

Everything in my life is different. I bought a brand new car on Saturday. I got a Costco membership yesterday. Now I go to places like The Home Depot with my parents (picture included for your enjoyment). I knew Spokane was no Chicago, but I didn't comprehend what a big lifestyle change this would be.

I'm happy to report that Spokane has a TON of thrift stores. Tonight I found some amazing stuff for my new apartment. Pics to come! My U-Haul box arrives this weekend. Hooray! My new apartment is absolutely amazing. I can hardly wait to decorate it. Warning: this blog may become a home decor blog over the next few months.

Change is hard. There's not getting around that, even when we make a positive and conscious choice. Right now, I'm taking it one day at a time. So far, so good.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm going back home to the west coast...

image via
Last night I picked up my cap and gown. On Sunday I will graduate from DePaul University with a master's degree in journalism. All that stands between me and the finish line is one final paper that I'll finish and turn in tonight. I can hardly believe grad school is almost over. I actually made it!

In less than a month I will also bid farewell to the Windy City, which I've come to love over the past three years. Like in the song by Coconut Records', "Cause I miss you, I'm going back home to the West Coast..." Earlier this week I was offered a job at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. My dad recently started a new job with U.S. bank and soon my mom and sister will join my dad in Spokane. Now, I won't be far behind!

After almost 10 years of living at least a thousand miles away from my immediate family, we'll be reunited and see each other on a regular basis. I can't help but smile at the prospect of coming over for Sunday dinner, taking Brinkley and Skittles for walks in the park, and going to Gonzaga basketball games with my dad. My mom and I can do crafts together, I can visit my brother and his husband in Seattle, and my little sister and I can cruise the town in my new car (purchase forthcoming).

I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to live closer to my family and move on to an awesome job with a fantastic university. I've always been impressed by Gonzaga--in fact, I almost went there for grad school--however, I knew at the time DePaul and Chicago were where I needed to be.

Chicago has been good to me. I've made some truly wonderful friends, had amazing experiences, and done some pretty awesome things. I'll always look back on my time here with fondness. It was hard to move to a city I'd never been to with absolutely no one to call a friend or even acquaintance, but although the journey hasn't been without its fair share of bumps and roadblocks, I'm proud of the life I've built for myself.

I will sincerely miss living in Chicago and the people I've met here who have changed my life. Leaving people you love is always the hardest part about change. But I feel like my future is bright and that Spokane is the perfect place to start the next chapter of my life.

This move, unlike many of my previous moves over the years, isn't fueled by the need to get away from a painful or bad situation. I'm not running away from anything or anyone. I'm choosing to move forward and pursue new opportunities so that I can continue to create the kind of life I seek.

With Heavenly Father's help, I making things happen and that feels really, really good.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Real Life

Real life isn't glamorous or stylized like these lovely ladies. At least that's not my life. For example, I found a recipe for Tomatillo Ranch Chicken on Pinterest months ago that I actually thought I could attempt making. It's taken me a month to get all eight ingredients. Pathetic or amusing? I think it's both.

So tonight, after two previous grocery store trips and a Peapod delivery, I decided to finally make said chicken. And yes, I had to go to the grocery store for a third time because I'd forgotten to buy cilantro. Awesome. I'm just glad I escaped the rain storm or I might have just sat right down in the middle of the sidewalk and cried. Oh, and did I mention I made my chicken while wearing an old grubby sports bra and shorts because it's so dang hot? Talk about sexy.   

I live in the city and don't have a car, which means I only buy as many groceries as I can carry. Inevitably, I always forget at least two or three items on my list, even when I write things down. I'm single and live alone so I don't cook a new dish every night. And if I'm being honest, most of the time "cooking" involves warming up a frozen Trader Joe's entree (lately I've been loving the shepherd's pie, although you can never go wrong with the full fat mac & cheese) or making eggs with broccoli or a grilled cheese sandwich. On a good week, I'll make two different dishes and then alternate them for lunch and dinner. By the end of the week I vow to never make said dishes again for at least a month.

I don't know how food bloggers do it, let alone moms. My mom is a whiz in the kitchen and can make deliciousness out of nothing. I'm not quite that skilled. Perhaps my lack of regular, full-on cooking is to blame. But every time I try to expand my horizons I am faced with the scenario I opened with. Damn those ingredients.

So this is my life. It's never going to look like those glamorous girls eating donuts and cola. And that's ok. Real life is making half as many trips to the grocery store as there are ingredients in your recipe. This chicken better be worth it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom from Mr. Hastings

I would not be who I am or where I am today without the guidance and wisdom of my high school history teacher. Mr. Hastings continues to influence my education and personal development even though it's been 10 years since I sat in his classroom at Everett High School. He believed in me and recognized my potential. He understood my values and genuinely cared about my future.

In the classroom, Mr. Hastings prepared me for the rigors of college. I learned how to study, how to take tests, and how to write--all at a college level. My gen-ed courses were a breeze thanks to the study habits and learning techniques I adopted during Mr. Hastings' U.S. Government and Honors State History classes.

Although I excelled academically my freshman year of college, it was a difficult year for me personally. Health problems led me to withdraw shortly into my sophomore year. At 19, I found myself at the first major cross-roads of my newly earned adulthood status. I needed to change schools and my major. While I contemplated how to move forward, I remembered something Mr. Hastings told me my senior year. He said that whatever I chose to do with my life and for a profession, that I should never stop writing. I had a gift and I owed it to myself to cherish and develop that gift. With those words in mind, I turned to Mr. Hastings for advice and direction.

I was no longer his student, but Mr. Hastings took the time to meet with me in person to research potential colleges and program options. Together we charted a new course for my life. Because of his help, I chose to attend Utah State University and major in English with an emphasis in professional and technical writing. Attending USU was one of the happiest times in my life. I know I may never have gotten the opportunity to rediscover happiness and passion if it hadn't been for Mr. Hastings' guidance.

During the summer and holiday breaks that came while I pursued my bachelor's degree, Mr. Hastings and I would always get together for lunch to catch-up. Now faraway from my hometown, it's been a few years since I've seen him but he his wisdom still plays a role in my life. In a month, I'll graduate with my master's degree in journalism. I think that accomplishment would make him proud. Yesterday I had a personal essay published on a major website, which got a phenomenal response.When I doubt myself and my abilities, I often remember Mr. Hastings' words.

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. I know my life is only one of many Mr. Hastings has touched and influenced. He's the kind of teacher you don't forget. I am grateful for teacher's like him who take the time to get to know their students on an individual level and are invested in their success beyond the classroom.

Because of my teachers, my life has been forever changed. What teachers have inspired and influenced your life? Follow Webucator on Twitter for more great stories!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dear Shonda Rhimes

Dear Shonda Rhimes,

Thank you for constructing a graceful exit, true to both Dr. Cristina Yang's character and journey. I wondered how #BurkeIsBack would play into Cristina's story. I gasped during the most recent episode, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, when Burke emerged from the shadows much like the beast in "Beauty & The Beast". Not all stories get to come back around, but I'm glad theirs did.

At the end of the day Cristina is the job. She lives to be a surgeon. Nothing else, not even love, takes greater precedent in her life. We've watched her struggle to make that choice over and over again for the past 10 seasons. Thus, it seems natural and right that given the opportunity to run a state-of-the-art heart institute, she would take it.

As you know, television shows are fickle. Unlike the writing of a novel, real people and their choices impact the telling of the story. Death seems to be the default choice when an actor decides to leave a show (even you, mastermind that you are, have chosen this fate for many a character on "Grey's Anatomy"). I understand that not everyone gets to be Matthew Weiner and kill a character off simply because that's how he intended the story to be told. And then there's poor Julianne Fellows, forced to kill off the beloved Matthew and ruin his masterpiece. Ah the injustice. 

I don't want Cristina to leave Grey's but since we have no choice in the matter, you could not have imagined a more perfect ending to her story. Well done, you TV-writing legend. You got it right.

Your Devoted Fan,


image via

Monday, May 5, 2014

Published on The Everygirl!

 I'm so excited and honored to have my writing published on The Everygirl today!

A few months ago after writing this post, Alaina contacted me about expanding the post into a feature-length piece. I was so touched that she reached out to me. My first summer in Chicago I had the chance to be among the first batch of Everygirl interns. It's always been a goal of mine to have a feature piece published on the site.

I wrote many drafts until I felt my essay accurately conveyed my feelings about being single. I couldn't have done it without the input and feedback of two dear friends, Sarah and Tasha. Thanks ladies for helping me figure out what I wanted to say and how to say it!

I hope this essay resonates with readers and helps someone in some small way.
"I don’t want to be alone but right now that’s my reality. Even though I’m uncertain about my future, I’ve learned to put my trust in hope rather than fear. My life is not the way I pictured it. I’ve had heartaches, successes, and adventures I would have never imagined. And even though I’m afraid of ending up alone, I know the fear won’t last forever. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel—I’m sure—it’s just further away and a different hue than I always expected." - Clarissa Fidler

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Settling

via The Everygirl

Last night in the middle of my WERQ dance fitness class cool down, I started contemplating the idea of "settling". What does it mean to settle? How does the act of settling impact one's life? These were questions that flooded my mind as I struggled to maintain my balance while stretching my quads.

The word settle has a negative connotation. For me, settling means continually choosing to put time, effort, and emotion into something or someone who doesn't fit my needs or goals. Sometimes what we want or think is best for us is actually the exact opposite.

There are a few "almosts" in my life--relationships and opportunities that despite my best efforts didn't come to fruition--that I have mourned. Not having the chance to pursue or experience something you really want is painful and frustrating.

Failure hurts too, but not in the same way. At least you had the opportunity to try. Stolen chances leave a different kind of void. "What if" can be a haunting companion.

As I focused on my breathing and stretched my aching muscles, I experienced a moment of clarity. I realized that if I'd succeeded in obtaining what I had previously deemed as lost opportunities, I would have been settling for a life different than the one my Heavenly Father intends for me.

Even though I may not understand why things I wanted didn't work it, I believe everything happens for a reason. Like Joy Wilson, I'm not the kind of girl who settles. I intend to keep not settling.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 Home Decor Updates Under $20

Looking to update your home decor for spring? Head over to and check out today's blog post written by yours truly: 10 Home Decor Updates Under $20.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I decided to go to grad school for a lot of reasons. To have an adventure. To get away from a boy. To find my passion. To work towards an attainable goal.

In a few months I will have accomplished this great thing--getting my master's degree. I don't feel like I deserve it. I'm hoping that feeling will change once I receive my diploma.

Three years ago I applied to grad school because I thought that if I was really going to pursue writing as a profession, I couldn't get there on my own. I needed more training and more professional contacts. I also needed to feel like I was working towards something instead of being consumed by feelings of uncertainty and fear about the future.

The year between graduating from college and starting grad school is not one I'd care to repeat. My best friend was miles away serving a church mission, a romantic relationship I'd hoped would blossom combusted instead, and I had no idea what I was going to do for a job after my internship. I was alone and completely lost.

In an attempt to figure out my life and what to do next, I found a therapist and spent every Monday for nine months in his office. Slowly and painfully, I found enough courage and clarity to make an important decision about my future.

Grad school was never part of my plan but I'm not surprised I ended up there. I've spent the majority of my life performing well in school. School has always been a safe place and an environment where I feel at ease.

The funny thing is grad school has never felt safe or comfortable. They're have only been a few moments where I've felt really good about the work I produced or loved what I was doing. Every story has required an enormous amount of effort just to finish, let alone finish well. Despite my lack of confidence in my performance, I've had several professors praise my work and encourage me to pursue writing as a full-time career.

I don't regret the decision to go to grad school or move to Chicago, but like most things in life, I'm not where I'd thought I'd be by now. I still have a lot of the same questions about my future that I did three years ago. Plus, I'm in a lot more debt than when I started. I thought I'd find this great passion in grad school but that hasn't been the case. My career path isn't linear and I'm learning to accept that.

I need to figure out what's next, but this time I don't feel the same despair or pressure that I did three years ago. I'm more comfortable not having all the answers. I also feel more prepared and in a better place to tackle some of the personal issues I wasn't ready to face. Even though I still have a lot of questions about who I am and where I'm going, I'm proud of myself for choosing to do something with my life rather than sitting back and waiting for something to happen.

Even though the future is still scary, it's also exciting. What job will I have next? Will I finally start to date? How long will I live in Chicago? Where will I be a year from now?

What will life look after grad school? I don't know and that's finally ok. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Everygirl's 30 Day Challenge

image via The Everygirl
I love the idea of doing a 30 Day Challenge, so I was excited when last week The Everygirl announced a 30 Days of Journaling challenge beginning April 1st (tomorrow!). In some ways I use this blog as my journal, but there are some things even I like to keep to myself.

Writing is how I process my emotions and experiences. Too often I don't write at all because I want my writing to be polished and succinct right from the get go. After years of schooling I should know that's not the case.

That's the beautiful thing about journaling. You can free write and not worry about your reader, punctuation, or forming a complete, cohesive thought.

For the 30 day challenge I plan on writing by hand in an actual journal. I spend so much time in front of a screen I think it will be a good excuse to pull away. Writing by hand is a different experience than typing.

Interested in doing the 30 Days of Journaling challenge? Click here to read The Everygirl's post.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I've never been so excited to wear a swimsuit...

Attention: I am going on a mini vacation! Easter weekend my mom and I are jetting off to sunny San Diego (or as Ron Burgundy calls it Sawn-dee-ahh-go). It's a total, spur-of-the-moment trip that I desperately need. Between the Polar Vortex and grad school, I am pretty burnt out. I love Chicago but a few days away will be absolutely glorious. All I want to do is lounge by the pool and go to the beach. I've never been so excited to wear a swimsuit in my whole life.

Here's to spontaneous trips and fun in the sun!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happiness is...

The past few weeks I've been a little black rain cloud--grumpy, agitated, frustrated, and just in an overall bad mood. Certain periods of life are particularly overwhelming and I'm in one of those right now. I'm so ready to be done with grad school. Every day I want to quit and throw in the towel. It's taking every ounce of effort I have in me to keep going. The Polar Vortex has brought a bitter, long winter to Chicago and I'm at my whits end. Spring needs to come NOW!

But this post isn't going to be a downer or an attempt to understand some deeper life issue. I want to pause and reflect on the happy things. Because even amidst all the crap I'm trying to deal with right now, there are still moments where that make me stop and truly appreciate the life I've been given.

For me, right now, happiness is...
  • Taking Uber to work because I was running SUPER late this morning (I swore I'd never do it due to my measly salary but sometimes you just have to go big or go home)
  • Watching episodes of Nashville on my Kindle
  • Receiving a text message of encouragement from a dear friend
  • Spending Saturday night with one of my girl friends at our favorite hot spot...Target!
  • Paying $3.50 for a delicious cup of Starbucks hot chocolate. Treat yo' self.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Healing

We go through difficult experiences because that is part of our journey here on earth. Agency is very real. Every choice we make effects our lives and the lives of others. No one is perfect. We're all damaged.

Lately, I've found myself myself wondering: How do you live with an ugly emotional or mental scar? Does the pain ever go away? One of my more puzzling questions is this: How do you know when you're healed?

"Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives." - Unknown

I like this quote because it provides an answer to my earlier questions. Healing doesn't mean you forget the bad things that have happened to you or that you have to pretend everything is fine when it isn't. The healing process takes time but it is possible.

We can't live with gaping wounds, but we can survive with scars. They are evidence of our humanity. We earn every scar because it means we refused to be defeated by grief, agony, betrayal, or whatever our grievances might be.

Damaged but not broken. Take control and be free.

Monday, February 17, 2014

don't want to talk about me

Do you ever feel like you need a break from yourself? Like if it were possible to tell yourself to take a flying leap, you would? I need some space in my relationship with myself. I get tired of facing the same problems and making the same mistakes over and over. I don't want to respond when asked the question "How are you doing?" or "How have things been?" because I don't even like my own answer. Blah, blah, blah. Same old story. You haven't figured this out yet? Come on, girlfriend!

Winter and grad school are getting to me. I'm ready to put Harper in her Sherpa, get on a plane bound for someplace warm, and not leave a forwarding address. Sorry family, looks like there won't be any graduation for you to come to in a few months. I know this is just the crazy talking. I'm not really going to quite grad school with only one class to go but boy it's tempting. I've got to dig my heels in and hang in there just a little bit longer. June 15th will come and I'll get my damn diploma.

Between #chiberia and #thundersnow, I'm convinced my toes will never see the light of day again nor will I have the need for a real pedicure. Grass--what does that look like? I feel like I live in the movie Frozen, but I have no sweet snowman named Olaf to sing to me and remind me of sunshine.

Spring and graduation please come quickly! This girl can't hold on much longer.

image source

Monday, February 3, 2014

the odds of being alone

"Wouldn't you like to know the odds of being alone? I need answers now cause I am caught off guard. The quiet feels so loud. Tell me this is the hardest part."
- The Odds of Being Alone by Trent Dabbs ft. Amy Stroup

This past week, I've been unable to shake the nagging fear that I might end up alone. Sure it's a thought that occupies my consciousness periodically, but lately it's been at the forefront of my mind. Given some more recent happenings and revelations in my life, I believe this feeling is only natural. I know it will pass and hope will takes its place as it usually does. But right now the fear is very real.

It's not so much that I'm consumed by loneliness, but rather I'm acutely aware that the majority of my time is spent alone. I've grown accustomed to occupying the role of the single girl in almost all of my peer groups straight down to my family. It's not a bad role to fill, but like anything else, it comes with its own challenges. Sometimes being the one who's in a different place gets old. Being strong feels overrated. There's a light at the end of the tunnel I'm sure, it's just further away and a different hue than I always assumed.

It's baffling how one piece of information linked to a long unanswered question can completely transform your reality. How that knowledge can destroy hope you didn't fully realize you were harboring. Everything really can change in a instance. Suddenly, you can stop putting pressure on the wound. There isn't any blood left to bleed. Whether you like it or not, you're free. But freedom is a two-edged sword. Suddenly the lines you've drawn are crossed and life is altered forever. You'll live through it--of that you're sure--but for now, it takes a lot to live.

I know the fear won't last forever. My odds of being alone are slim. So I'll wage the war and fight to reclaim the hope I know is near.

image source

Saturday, February 1, 2014

whatever side you're on, see another side

Friday night I watched the Mitt Romney documentary on Netflix. It is an intimate, realistic look at the rigors of running for president and the real Mitt Romney. The tag line says it all: "Whatever side you're on, see another side." Everyone--regardless of your political preference--should watch this documentary to gain a better understanding of what it takes to run for president.

I've studied politics in grad school, particularly the complex relationship between the press and the presidency. So much of an election, and then being the president, is an exercise in the performance art. To be a successful president, you have to be friends with the press. Often they control your message more than you. The 24/7 news cycle only complicates things.

Running for president is anything but glamorous. You see this firsthand in the documentary. It's a lot of hotels, fast food, and hours sitting on a bus or plane. You're never home and your time is never your own. Every person in your family is affected by the rigors of the process. No one is untouched. Josh Romney articulated the experience well when he said this in the documentary:

“They talk and they say, why can’t we get someone good to run for president? And this is why. This is why you don’t get good people running for president. What better guy is there than my dad? Is he perfect? I mean, absolutely not. He’s made mistakes. He’s done all sorts of things wrong. But for goodness sakes, here’s a brilliant guy whose experience is turning things around, which is what we need in this country. This is the guy for the moment. And we’re in this, and you just get beat up constantly. ‘Oh Mitt Romney’s a flip-flopper. He’s this. He’s that.’ You just kinda go, man, is this worth it? This is awful.”
- Josh Romney

I do not think President Obama is a bad person or horrible president. However, I do believe Mitt Romney is the better man and would have been a greater, more effective president. Unfortunately, the better candidate doesn't always win.

image source

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

my unofficial new year's resolutions (aka goals)

January is almost over but writing goals down is important right? Better late than never, I say. I'm not one for making "new year's resolutions" aka fleeting, grandiose gestures of the most insincere nature. However, I find the dawning of a new year a great time to pause and reflect on the various aspects of my life: emotional, mental, spiritual, physical etc.

So, in no particular order, here are the goals I'm focusing on right now in my life:

only buy lunch and breakfast once a week
Two out of the past three weeks I've totally rocked this goal. Last week, not so much. I'm recommitting this week. It helps that the Polar Vortex makes me not want to leave my office for lunch. Oh the joys of living in Chiberia.

workout 2-3 times per week
Last week I only made it to the gym once but the week before I went two times, which felt amazing. Exercising is always important, but for me it's especially crucial during the winter months. It's one of the only things that helps my depression and counteracts my battle with seasonal affective disorder. 

read at least one book per month

My best friend Sarah and I decided to make a goal for this year to read one book a month together. January we delved into Bossypants by the one and only Tina Fey. I just finished it tonight and would highly recommend it. Next on our list is The Book Thief in February.

try online dating 
I talked about trying online dating in my last post and since then I've officially signed up for one month of and I haven't been on any dates yet but I've talked to a few guys. The mormon bachelor population is definitely lacking in Chicago but I'm not giving up yet.

attend church more frequently 
Of all my goals, this one is the most important and I'm ashamed to admit it's the one I've made no progress in so far. The last two Sundays I've planned to go to church and then the paralyzing anxiety I so often experience has taken hold. It something that shouldn't be hard, but it is, for me. I've still have a lot of progress to be made.

images via 1 / 2 / 3 - my own / 4 / 5

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

You Don't Know Me Yet - Part 1

True confession: About a month ago, I made profiles on,, and I'd considered trying online dating for awhile and decided to finally give it a go. Well, after precisely one week and without interacting with anyone, I freaked out and promptly deactivated my accounts. Dating--I don't how to do that! Plus, how do you portray yourself in a way that is both appealing and honest? What information do I even put on a dating profile?

Now that a little bit of time has passed since my first failed attempt, I've been reconsidering trying online dating again--for real this time. I don't know where to start and I'm still not sure if it's something I really want to do. However, I do know that writing helps me sort my feelings out. So here it goes, part one of what I would want a potential dating prospect to know about me if there weren't any rules or acceptable word lengths...


You don't know me yet, but if you were to take the time here is a little bit of what you'd find out:

I love my family. We tell each other more than we probably should sometimes but that's because we love and trust each other. I have good, strong relationships with both of my parents and FaceTime with my mom almost every day even if it's just for a few minutes. I also have great relationships with my two younger siblings. My brother is gay and is married to a wonderful man. My sister is also married and in the process of helping her sweet husband immigrate from Egypt to the United States. My parents were high school sweethearts and have been married for nearly 28 years. We're not a cookie-cutter, perfect Mormon family but our love runs deep.

I'm fairly simple when it comes to having a good time. My idea of a fun night out is perusing the aisles of Target before catching the premiere of The Hunger Games armed with a generous bag of sour patch kids. I love trying new restaurants, going to museums, camping, and shopping. Give me a TJ Maxx and I'm happy. The best part of shopping is finding a killer deal. I learned how to bargain shop from my thrifty mom. I enjoy baking over cooking, although I think I do both fairly well.

Reading and writing are both big parts of my life although I always feel like I could and should be doing more of both. My mind is stimulated when I read publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. Knowing that I'm a good writer is one of the only things in life I've ever been completely sure of--and that I can sing. I've never had any true formal training but I know I have a good voice and enjoy singing. I grew up on country music but have an appreciation for many genres.

I played softball all growing up but I don't consider myself super athletic, although I do enjoy being active. I'm up for a 5K or bike ride along the lake anytime. Now volleyball or basketball, you might have to twist my arm a bit (I'm not very good at either). I'd really like to learn how to play tennis and I've never been golfing before but would like to try it one of these days. 

I confess I don't really understand or have much experience with how dating works. However, like my kindred spirit Ted Mosbey says in the first episode of How I Met Your Mother, if you were to bear with me through the dating part, I think I would make a damn good wife and a wonderful mother because that's the kind of stuff I'd be good at. At my very core those are the only two things I really want to be. Everything else is a bonus.

Interested in getting to know me? Stay tuned for part two.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

New Year's Eve Party, 1952

Most single people hate Valentine's Day, right? Not this girl. Bring on the pink, chocolate, and hearts. But the handsome crooner singing "What are you doing New Year's, New Year's Eve?"--he can stick it. I've had too many romantic letdowns and failed party attempts to have any admiration for the holiday.

So this year instead of having to figure out how to spend the one holiday I despise, I decided it would be the perfect day to head back to Chicago after spending Christmas in Utah. Based on my experience tonight, December 31st appears to be a very popular travel day for families. I've flown a lot this year and I've never had so many kids on my flight. It was super noisy and crowded. Midway was a nightmare too thanks to a winter storm hitting Chicago. It took forever to get my bags and then I hauled Harper and all my crap onto the train. What an adventure! This crazy cat lady has never been so happy to be back in her own apartment.

While I'm not a New Year's Eve fan, I am happy for the fresh start of a new year. A symbolic reset button is always welcome in my world. 2014 is sure to bring exciting changes and milestones. In six months I'll have my master's degree. I can hardly believe it. I don't know what's next but I'm excited for the future.

Forget New Year's Eve but here's to a Happy New Year!