My 2017 Intention

In 2016 I chose the word settle as my intention. I anticipated a quieter year, with less obvious growth and change, and I wanted a word that would help me feel grounded and at peace even as I saw big things happening for the people around me. After all the change that came with 2015, I wanted 2016 to be a restorative year. And I think it really was.

But looking forward, it seems 2017 will be a year of adventuring. We’ll be taking our honeymoon trip to Italy in March (Derek’s first time abroad). I hope we spend the summer hiking and day-tripping around the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be in Colorado in the fall. And maybe if I’m really good, I can convince Derek to spend Christmas in Hawaii. 🙂

I also see some professional growth on the horizon for 2017. But I also know that in order to get there, I’ll need to have some honest conversations about what I want and how I can best contribute to the team.

And, finally, I have some personal goals that I hope to accomplish in the new year, like running a 10K in under an hour, making more time to write, and maybe even getting a little more involved in our growing Everett community.

So I’ve decided to set be brave as my 2017 intention.

I hope 2017 brings fearless travels, courage at work, and the confidence to achieve more, share more and give more.

If you’re reading this, thank you. I know I haven’t shared much in the last few years but I’m hoping to make it more of a priority in the year to come.

Cheers to a bold, beautiful and brave 2017!

Intentions from years past:

2016- settle

2015- focus

2014- enjoy



Over the Weekend(s): Part 1

The last two weekends have been really great. The weather’s been getting nicer, the days are getting longer and I’ve been living life as best as I can.

Let’s back-track to two weekends ago. Derek had a conference to attend in Erie, PA and I needed to make a trip back to Cleveland to check in with my office. We combined the two into a five day road trip and took advantage of the fact that Niagara Falls was on the route home.

I intended to spend Saturday exploring a state park in Erie, but the weather didn’t cooperate and I had to deal with car trouble so I did a little shopping instead. After D’s conference ended Saturday night, we drove two hours to Niagara Falls where we spent the night.

ImageIn the morning, we made our way to the border crossing where we parked the car and headed to the Canadian side on foot. This ended up being a really great decision. Not only was it a perfect day for walking around, but it was so much less stressful than driving across.

We opted out of the tourist attractions and just walked along the river for a while. We eventually found ourselves sampling the local beers on a patio overlooking the falls–it was such a perfect afternoon. The sunshine, the scenery and the beer put D in such a blissful mood that he willingly discussed honeymoon options. (His fiscally responsible, practical side can be a bit of a buzz-kill for my daydreamer, explorer side; but not this day.)

ImageAfter a few hours in Canada, we decided it was best to head back to the car and start our seven hour drive home. It ended taking closer to nine hours, but most of the drive was scenic and easy.

It was one of those days where I felt so full and happy. You know the kind? Spring weather had finally arrived and, with it, the promise of even more sunshine and happy memories to come.

Stay tuned for Over the Weekend(s): Part 2, a recap of Boston Calling.

An Overdue Update

Hi friends, It’s been too long. Since I last wrote many exciting things have happened including:

– a visit from Chantha

– a girl’s night trip to a Connecticut casino

– a job interview

– many date nights

– the start of a running routine

– a job resignation and a job acceptance

– a Duck Tour around Boston

– a lovely Memorial Day weekend at my Aunt’s lakehouse

– a fun dinner party with some (former) co-workers

For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into all the details. But I do want to tell you a little more about my new job! About a month ago I started working for a new company. It is in the same industry (that would be print and promotional products), but the company is much larger than my previous place of employment. My position is fairly similar to what I have been doing since moving to Boston, managing the marketing efforts of the company.

This new company is based out of Cleveland…but I’m not moving there. I was fortunate to take the position as a remote office–which means I primarly work out of my tiny Boston apartment with the occasional trip to the Cleveland office. That means Derek and I spend a lot of time together at home. 🙂 And the best news is that I have more flexibility in my schedule so I’ll be in Washington for almost a month this summer! Working, of course, but still–I’ll have time to see you all.

It’s been an adjustment, but so far I’m really happy with my decision. I’m thankful that I no longer have an hour commute each way to work. It’s a teeny bit lonely without the social aspect of an office, but I’m getting to know my new colleagues and making lots of plans with the friends I made at my last job. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

So that’s my big news. What’s new in your life?


Top Twelve of 2012

12. Finally joining the iPhone club (December)

11. Planning and executing a huge work event without any major problems (June)

10. My 1st Veganniversary (September)

9. Spending time with Chris before he moved far, far away (January)

8. Girl’s night out at Foxwoods with Laurie, Lauren, Lisa and Ashley (November)

7. Birthday trip to the beach (July)

6. A promotion at work (May)

5. Katie’s wedding (September)

4. Visiting NOLA (January)

3. Doug and Megan’s Thanksgiving visit (November)

2. Watching my sister’s graduation speech (June)

1. Moving in with Derek (July)

Home Again

I’m back at work today after a beautiful week in the Pacific Northwest. I was there primarily for Katie’s wedding, but I was able to see D’s parents, spend some time at home with my mom and sisters and squeeze in a visit with Erin in Portland. I missed my dad and Christina–you’re both at the top of my visit-list for next time.

Thanks for sharing the photos Autumn!

It was a really great week–full of sunshine, old friends and family. The only thing I would have changed was the fact that Derek was back in Boston. Next time we’re coming together, vacationing separately is not so fun. Some of my favorite things (mostly in chronological order):

  • Watching Big Brother with Rebecca.
  • A nice meal and excellent conversation at the Nelson house.
  • Doing hair and makeup at the bridal suite before the wedding. I miss having a bunch of girl roomies.
  • Katie looking more beautiful than ever as she walked down the aisle.
  • Dancing the night away with the ladies.
  • Watching The Hunger Games with my mom and sister
  • Hugging and kissing Horton. Until he made my allergies worse–then we stayed away from each other.
  • Helping Jaime pick out her first day of school outfit.
  • Drinks, dinner and catching up with Erin.

Katie, you looked amazing and your wedding was perfect. Thank you for inviting me and congratulations on the start of your happy marriage.

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend. I’m back to work for 8 days and then I’m having my wisdom teeth removed. I’m kinda scared and kinda excited to spend four days watching tv instead of working. At least that how I hope it plays out…

Until next time,


Life Updates

So Derek moved in with me a couple of weeks ago and I have been one happy girl. I’ve been counting down the days until we would live together ever since we moved to New England. It’s so nice to have him around. There are some adjustments and compromises that need to be made for us both to be comfortable, but in general–it’s the best. I wish we were moving into Boston sooner, but at least I have his company in the meantime.

In other news, work has been cray-zay. I’ve really been struggling to keep up with everything. I think there is an end in sight though. I’m one of the event managers for a big, three day event in Boston at the end of June and I’m crossing my fingers that things slow down once that is over. I’m thankful for my job, but I’d like to keep a balance between work and play.

And, speaking of play, I am flying home in just three days! My little sis is graduating from high school and I’m thrilled that I can be there to celebrate her accomplishments. She’s amazing (just like all my siblings) and I’m looking forward to some much needed family time.

I hope all is well with you. Here’s to the start of a beautiful and busy summer!



p.s. Congratulations to my bestest friend and her fiance! Love you Rebecca!

New Orleans: Land of the Open Container

I’m back! And I had so much fun that my body didn’t know what to do with itself and I ended up catching a cold. Boo…

I found my old camera with a cracked screen while I was packing so I actually have some photos to share. We couldn’t preview them or even see what we were taking a picture of most of the time, so I’m pretty impressed that we got so many decent photos.

This is us riding the streetcar (I pretended to drive and was apparently SUPER happy about it):

This is us eating lunch:

This is us enjoying Lake Pontchartrain:

And this is us spending our last evening together at their local bar:

Some of other things we did that lack photographic evidence:

  • Played Uno at a couple bars
  • Walked the streets with beers/daiquiris/mixed drinks in our hands (not all at once, though)
  • Piled on the bed and watched funny Youtube videos
  • Enjoyed the BEST chocolate cake ever (thanks for baking it Mego)
  • Listened to some live jazz
  • Acquired a greater appreciation for Parks and Rec
  • Shopped the boutiques near their house (Doug sat this one out)
  • Visited Doug at his bar
  • Sang Tenacious D while we walked the neighborhood

You see? It was an amazing trip. I was so bummed to come back to real life and back to work. But that’s what being a grown-up is all about. Now I’m left counting down the days until Doug and Mego come visit me. I’m serious you two, start planning.



The Vacation’s Over

And now my little sis is gone. We checked out three schools while she was here and she likes two: Cornell and Boston University. She’s quite the smarty pants with a long list of extra curriculars and leadership positions, so I’m pretty certain she’ll be accepted to any school she applies (and that’s not just because I’m her supa proud big sister, she really is amazing). But just to be safe, I listened carefully to what the admissions committees are looking for so I can help edit her application.

These pictures are of the beautiful Cornell campus. When we went into Boston I accidentally turned my camera to video. Since the screen is cracked, I didn’t realize until I uploaded everything to my computer. The short clips are funny but not worth sharing on the big ol’ internets.

I had a blast with Jessie. I hope I was cool enough that she’ll consider going to college out here. If she choose either school, I’ll be real jealous of her. One is in the city and the other has a Jimmy John’s.

But seriously, they are both great choices and I think Jess would do well and find her place at either. I can’t wait to see where life takes her.

I love you Jessica!

Can’t Wait Til Tomorrow

Because this little lady will be here!

My younger sis is graduating high school this spring (how is she that old already?!) and we’re taking a look a couple colleges on the East Coast. Here’s to hoping the visits go well and she decides to move out this way. I’d love to see her more often. But until she makes that decision, I’m just happy to have her with for the super-quick-and-busy five days that she’s here.

Jessica, I’m so proud of you and I know you’ll be successful at any college you choose. But…choose the one that’s closest to me, ok?

p.s. There’s a Jimmy John’s in one of the college towns. OHMYGOSH I’m excited.

Notes From a North Carolina Visit

I had never been to North Carolina before. I’m positive that I would never want to live their–at least not in the middle of nowhere like Chantha–but I had a really nice visit.

The trip started with a dramatic run through the airport to catch my flight on time. Once I was successfully seated on the plane, I relaxed a little with the free cable that Jetblue offers and landed in Raleigh/Durham just before 9am. Chantha picked me up and we met our cousin Justin for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Good breakfast, good company, good start to the weekend.

The drive back to Chan’s was supposed to take an hour and half but the GPS took us on back roads (at one point we ended up on a dirt road that ended up being someone’s driveway) so we were in the car for at least two hours.

That evening we went to a barbeque with some new friends that Chantha and Travis are making in NC. And then we went out for drinks at the only bar in the area. It was a quite a strange mix of people—made for great people watching.

On Sunday, Chantha and I went to a botanical garden. It didn’t seem like much was growing, so I can’t say I recommend the garden. But it did give us plenty of time to chat. The evening ended with dinner and movie (basically me tagging along on one of their Sunday dates).

Chantha and I woke up at 4am Monday morning so she could take me to the airport. Fortunately, I arrived early enough that I didn’t have to run through the airport—and even had time to stop at Starbucks before boarding.

Contrary to what my last post said, Chantha and Travis were not able to get married on Saturday. She didn’t have her actual SS card (just a copy) and by the time they realized that wouldn’t fly, it was too late to go home and get the necessary papers before the office closed. So they’ll have to do it another time in the near future.

It was so great to see Chantha. Since she moved right before I vacationed in Seattle, I hadn’t seen her a year. She’s thinking about coming to New England for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait. It was good to see her new home and I’d love a chance to show her mine.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend.



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