Day In The Life

So many things have changed since I last wrote a “Day In The Life” post, including where I go to work each day, so it’s time to catch up with what’s happening on a normal Thursday. 🙂

Thursday, October 12

7:15 AM

My alarm goes off and I go to the kitchen to make my coffee and breakfast, which is almost always Shakeology. I also throw my lunch together at this time if I haven’t done that already, and then I go get myself ready. I find it easier to do breakfast/lunch things first because I’m not making any decisions…I’m doing the same thing every day. When it comes to makeup and getting dressed, that’s a whole other story. 😉

 

8:00 AM

Grab my umbrella from the car and walk over to the metro. I live approximately 25 steps from the metro stop, so there’s really no reason for me not to ride it every day, but I still love my car on some days.

8:20 AM

Get off the metro 3 stops away and start my walk to work. There’s a metro stop before Georgetown and after Georgetown, so I get off before and have a nice 1 mile walk across the Key Bridge each day. I don’t really walk around at my job unless I’m making tea or going to a meeting so these extra 2 miles of walking to and from work are probably good for me. 🙂

8:45 AM

Arrive at my office and start getting settled for the day. I work as an Online Course Coordinator, so I work on the design and development of online courses. On this particular day, I have someone who is working with us to design a course come in with two interviewees to record lectures for her class. That means up first today, I am reviewing her questions and printing them out for her. Then I start working on a document about tools used in online courses for a meeting I have later in the morning.

9:30 AM

I meet everyone who will be recording in our media studio and get them set up with the videographer. Then, I get on a virtual call to check in with a graduate assistant. After that, I am back to the media studio to listen in on the recordings and do a little work in the background!

11:00 AM

I meet with someone who is designing an online class to go over new content that she has developed for her course, then I get pulled into a bunch of random errands. Get someone set up in a meeting space in our main office, answer a question about how a web-based polling tool works in a PowerPoint, make a note to add a final assessment to another course I’m working on, make a cup of hot tea, and after passing the same student 3 times, give her directions about how to leave the building. 😉

1:00 PM 

Finally time for lunch! I read for a bit while I eat and then I log onto another virtual call. My day is always a random mix of talking to actual people and meeting with them online! And sometimes while I wait for others to log on, I will take a Snapchat selfie. #whynot

2:45 PM

I’m getting restless and have yet to be outside all day! I am working on updating final details in a course that launches in a few weeks, so there are lots of little details to pay attention to like adding specific dates, updating the syllabus, and adding video transcripts when they are sent back from captioning. I decide to take a walk to Saxby’s coffee shop, which is a greedy two blocks from my office.

Saxby’s is all decorated for fall, and that’s about as much fall as DC has seen so far! It’s still pretty humid each day, although it was a bit gray and rainy on this day, and the leaves that are falling are hardly even colored! Also, fun fact: the famous Exorcist steps are the staircase that lines one side of my office building. I have never seen this movie, but do you see that group of people wayyy at the bottom of the steps? They were tourists taking pictures. 🙂

3:00 PM

My friend recommends a new podcast that is a musical! It’s perfect background music while I work on updating videos that got “lost” somehow in cyberspace. The podcast’s story is easy to follow along with too. It’s about a couple who is trying to get their relationship back on the right track using 36 questions that supposedly make people fall in love. I haven’t listened to the end yet!

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5:15 PM

Time to go home! It’s raining mist, which is just enough water that I worry about my laptop in my bag, so I open the umbrella I found in my car that I realize belongs to Joe and is rusty…and blows inside out when the wind gets too strong. #fail

I’m still amused that I walk across the state line to and from work each day. 🙂 I get right on the train when I get to the metro station, which is my favorite way to ride. No standing around on the platform!

5:45 PM

Get home and immediately change into running clothes. If you leave real clothes on for more than five minutes after arriving home, I suggest you adopt the quick change to comfy clothes. I feel slight motivation to fold my laundry, so I do before the feeling goes away and catch up with my roommate about our days.

Then I decide to go meet Joe at the metro. He gets off at the stop after my house, so I decide to run down. It would have been a good idea to take his broken umbrella back to him because it was still misty raining, but I forgot, so we got wet!

6:30 PM

Arrive at Joe’s apartment and eat his candy. I have eaten more Sour Patch Kids since I started dating him than I have in my life, but I can’t say no to watermelon! Then we decide to work out before dinner, so I finish my run on the treadmill in his gym because now it’s raining and officially dark outside.

7:15 PM

Make dinner! I’m pretty sure Joe didn’t know you could eat spaghetti squash before he started cooking with me, but I make him try all sorts of new foods. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest creamy sauce. It has butternut squash and pumpkin in it and it is perfectly sweet and delicious. We also watched some playoff baseball and contemplated a Scrabble rematch. Joe was still mad about his loss the night before. 😉 We settled on the new episode of Grey’s Anatomy instead. I loooove TGIT!

10:00 PM

Back home at my house and ready for bed! I would like to say I go to bed at 10 or 10:30, but in reality I go to sleep around 11 PM each night. I like to read and relax before sleep! I bring both of my current books to bed with me because I never know what I will feel like reading…maybe one or a little bit of both.

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Then it’s lights out!

No two days at work look the same, and no two evenings after work look the same. Each week I meet up with my small group on Tuesday evenings, sometimes I want to run outside, and sometimes I just want to stay home and do nothing! But no matter what happens during the day, I am so thankful for my job and the little every day moments.

Linking up with Seven Graces + The Daily Dime

My Life’s Mixtape

I probably had way too much fun writing this post. You probably aren’t half as interested in the reasons behind these songs as I am. But, I love this prompt! Andrea over at Momfessionals has everyone talking about what songs would make up the mixtape to their lives. What would your songs be?! I wouldn’t call myself a super musically inclined person, but I always have some kind of music playing and certain songs give me chills and throw me back to certain times in life.

As a kid, Raffi was official car listening music! I’m talking in my car seat and I know I could hear Raffi playing in the car. Baby Beluga, anyone?

Of course at this time I also remember some of my parents music, too. Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen are all my Dad. And I swear I can feel the breeze of the convertible top down when I hear the song Last Dance With Mary Jane. 🙂 I remember my mom’s country music playing too, like Chattahoochee by Alan Jackson and Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under by Shania Twain. In retrospect, neither of those two country songs are lyrically appropriate, but I had no idea what I was singing. Ha!

Wee Sing in Sillyville was one of my FAVORITE movies. This was partly because sing-a-long videos are awesome and partly because this movie included a sister and a brother and their basset hound, which was just like my family at the time. 😉

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The two siblings are magically transported into a coloring book where they meet up with Sillywhim and she takes them through the “pages”. This family was my favorite. I used to make my brother set up my baby dolls on all of these chairs so that it looked like this cast of characters sitting on their front porch. Bitty Booty Baby and Risseldy Rosseldy have a special place in my heart. 🙂

The first cassette tape I owned (after Raffi) was The Spice Girls. Wannabe was, and still is, a classic. I remember going to my best friend’s house when I was 5 and listening to the tape the very first day she got it. I was Baby Spice, she was Posh Spice, and three of our other friends were the Ginger, Scary, and Sporty.

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We had choreographed dances for EVERY song. Except for number 9 on the back of the tape which we always fast forwarded through because we weren’t allowed to listen to it. It’s the song Naked, and we legitimately thought it was pronounced “Knacked” until we were like 10 years old. Hahaha

Later in elementary school, it was all about NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Coming in close are LFO, BBMak, and OTown. I love that Britney and Christina broke through the boy band madness of this time. 🙂 I Want It That Way was such a hit that even my mom would sing along in the car! Britney really was my girl, though. I danced to her song Lucky in my school’s talent show and for my 100th day of school project, I made a poster with 100 pictures of her face. #notweirdatall

I had some growing pains in sixth grade. If I show you my class memory book, it says that my favorite band is The Beatles and my favorite song is My Band by D12. Yes, my teacher really let those two choices go to the printer. Ha! I guess I really thought I needed to pick an actual band and not a singer…so we can thank my Dad for introducing me to a legit band. 😉 My Band is SO inappropriate so let it be known that I was listening to the clean version as a 12 year old. #butstill #sowrong

7th grade brought my first MP3 player and a love for LimeWire. I don’t know if anyone explained to me that I was actually stealing music. #oops My MP3 player held 70 songs or a certain number of minutes of music, so if you had longer songs, it held even less. The good old days. 🙂 SOS by Rhianna was my JAM and I would always play it at the same time on the bus every day because it would end just as soon as we pulled into the parking lot at school. Seriously, that is my memory when I hear this song! In 8th grade, I babysat for a younger elementary student for a few hours after school and I would RUSH into their house when I got off the bus because Goodies by Ciara was making its way to #1 on the VH1 music charts. Hahaha

High school was a random mix of Christian rock, alternative music, and the wonderful mix of rap and pop. 🙂 I loved DC Talk’s song Jesus Freak and anything and everything Relient K and All Time Low. Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf was my official “I know how to drive” song. I used to play that song at top volume when I would drive my brother to soccer practice and myself to dance class. I just felt so cool. 😉 Jake will still sing along to that song with me because I’m pretty sure I burned it into his brain ha!

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I got ready for my first real date to the song 4 Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake. Like, it might have been playing when he texted me to tell me that he had just arrived at my house. The vivid memories are real!

Lady Gaga broke onto the scene during my junior year of high school and my friends and I loved her. We still do! Poker Face = sitting in traffic on the way to the doctor on the other side of Pittsburgh. Born This Way = playing on my computer when I purchased ridiculously expensive tickets to Lady Gaga’s concert for me and my best friend. LoveGame = driving with my prom date to take pictures at our friend’s house. Telephone = MY JAM! You can still find me dancing around to Telephone to this day. Her music videos are always beyond weird but I remember it was a big deal when they were released and we would all be dying to watch them!

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 I used to listen to I’m Goin’ In by Lil Wayne (SUCH bad lyrics) and My Life Be Like by Grits on the bus to cross country meets. Everyone has their “pump me up” playlist, right?! I actually used My Life Be Like for a project in college where we had to analyze song lyrics in theology class. That one isn’t so bad. 😉 Britney Spears made her comeback and 3 was the most fun song to listen to when my friends and I were driving around!

College. Oh my. I seem very narrow minded in my music choices, and rap seems to be what wins. BUT! I started teaching Spinning during college so I listened to all kinds of music. One thing I can say about this time in life is I learned to like entire albums of music as opposed to the one single that everyone else knew. Know what I mean?

Freshman year was all about Eminem’s new album, Recovery. I know every lyric to every song to this day! I also know every lyric to the freestyle he released right before this CD while I was still in high school…I would drive out of the high school parking lot with Despicable blasting at top volume!

Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa were rising to fame and as a native Pittsburgher, I felt it was my duty to support them…? Really, my brother liked them and when we started sharing a car, we had to find an artist we could both listen to without wanting to kill each other. And in the end, I liked those two artists too. 🙂 I can also see, hear, practically feel move-in day, orientation week, and almost every freshman year memory thereafter when I hear the song I Like It by Enrique Iglesias. It’s such a fun song for me!

After I memorized Eminem’s album freshman year, I memorized Drake’s Take Care album sophomore year. I also played the song Strange Clouds on EVERY drive from my parents’ house back to Duquesne. But I only pressed play on this song right before the tunnels so it would be blasting loud as ever when the city skyline came into view. 🙂 My boyfriend in college loved Chris Daughtry and we went to his concert in Pittsburgh, so I have a lot of memories listening to this guy too.

Junior year I discovered Lana del Rey…her voice is kind of soothing. And Summertime Sadness made it to the radio, so it MUST be a good song! I was definitely into soothing music this year for a variety of reasons, but it led me to Michael Buble, and no one can be mad about adding him to their life’s mixtape. It’s A Beautiful Day reminds me of walking across campus…and his Christmas CD is also to die for.

Senior year of college…Wake Me Up by Avicii (because it’s multipurpose…run to it, dance to it, jam in the car to it) and Pop That by French Montana (because every bar we went to played this song). Oh the songs that take you back. 🙂

Grad school = first move away from home = many drives back home as I adjusted. Enter these entire albums…every song, every lyric. Perfect for long drives because for me, the songs fit every mood. Happy, sad, at peace, excited, lonely, you name it, it works!

Swimming and No Light are two of my favorites!

My mixtape these days cannot yet be defined. I’m loving Adele, some EDM music, and some classical music. I’ll have to let you know in a few years what sticks. 😉

Good Ol’ Plum

When I meet new people (which let’s be honest, happens on an almost daily basis here in DC), I get sooooo excited to tell them that I am from Pittsburgh. I love where I am from, and for a long time, I was pretty certain it was the only place on the planet. JK. 😉 Truly, I never saw myself moving away. It wasn’t until I went to college (20 minutes from home) and met so many friends from so many places that I started to picture myself elsewhere. Long term, I imagine myself back in Pittsburgh, but right now, I love living on my own in a different place!

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Pittsburgh is the place to be with all its sporting events (Go Steelers!), restaurants, running trails, and theaters. I love seeing shows downtown! And I loved living downtown while I was in college. But I am not a city dweller through and through. I am actually from a town called Plum. No one outside of Pittsburgh really has any idea of what that means, so sometimes I say Pittsburgh, and then if you are from the area I will tell you Monroeville, and then if you know THAT place, I will say Plum. Ha! It’s a small farm town turned suburb full of houses and schools and fields and not much else. 😉

Let’s start with my neighborhoods…I have lived in two houses in Plum and both developments have been built on old farm land. That means that there has pretty much always been a farm in my backyard. 😉 At our old house, I specifically remember hearing cows and peacocks. One summer, the goats got loose and ran down my street. We were unfortunately on vacation when this occurred. Hahaha BUT in my new neighborhood, the farm is in front of us. They have cows, but they don’t seem to be as loud as the other ones. To be fair, the people who own these two farms are two of the only people who farm in the entire town. The rest of us are just regular suburbanites living in our houses ha!

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Growing up, I spent most of my time playing in my front yard or in my Grandma’s HUGE yard. Her property turned into a very important source of income for me as I got older and was allowed to drive the lawn mower 😉 Now, at our new house, the backyard is the place to be. And we are surrounded by all our neighbors! There used to be no one in our backyard and we never played there…now houses line our backyard and our patio is the number one spot to sit!

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 Besides that, I spent a ton of time at Holiday Park Elementary School because that’s where my mom worked and where my brothers and I went to school. We also frequented the library, our church, Paradise Park, Nesbit’s Bowling Alley, and the Plum Baseball Fields. Besides knowing 101 people who played baseball or softball, everyone would also go there to walk around and hang out. And take pictures. And eat concession stand food. And text people on their pink Razr phones. Hahaha

If you can’t tell, we might have had way too much fun at Paradise Park even as high school students. 😉 Boyce Park is actually the better park because that’s where the cross country running trails are located AND you can snow tube and ski there in the winter!

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I always thought our high school was HUGE until I went to college and realized graduating with a class of 335 was not that much. 1,200 students in the same school SOUNDS like a lot, but I guess in retrospect, it’s not! A huge addition was added to the high school a few years before I got there, so maybe that’s why I thought it was so huge. Ha!

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Now, if you’re hungry, as I’m sure we were after our high school Powderpuff game, you can go to one of two grocery stores, a Chinese take-out place, delivery pizza of your choice, or you can get in your car and drive to Monroeville! The other side of Plum, which is known as Holiday Park, has a few shopping centers, fast food restaurants, nail salons, gyms, etc…but if you want Target or Starbucks or Panera or THE MALL, you must drive yourself into Monroeville. And it’s only about 7 miles, so it’s no big deal. 🙂 When I moved to DC, I was very annoyed that I had to walk everywhere because I am used to driving to ALL the places. But now my feet have adjusted and I love walking to the grocery store and lululemon and Starbucks and the library!

Plum is a great little family town. Mostly everybody knows everybody, school sporting events are a huge deal and are so fun, and we do have our yearly fun events like Community Days in the summer and Sugarplum Days in the winter. But for now, I love the city life. 🙂

What’s your hometown like?

Show ‘N Tell: Favorite Pins

Pinterest and I go through waves of love for one another, but I do have to say, if I find something on the Internet, I “save” it by putting the URL into Pinterest and creating a pin. It’s the easiest way to find something again (besides our trusty friend Google)! I save so many quotes, organization ideas, and recipes. My most recent Pinterest creation actually came from a Facebook video, but of course I copied the link and saved it right to my Pinterest boards. Read about the DIY Makeup Remover here!

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Link up with to share your favorite pins here!

 My mom and I usually go Pin-crazy during the holidays. After we’ve (okay let’s be honest…she…) planned the menu, we start cooking…and then we brainstorm about what ELSE we just need to make. Ha! Usually, that’s where Pinterest comes in handy. We’ve made some pretty festive creations in the last few years!

Holiday Inspired Treats

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Easter 2015: We made fruit pizza in the shape of an Easter egg. 🙂 This recipe was our inspiration, but we ended up using crescent roll for the crust, a mixture of cool whip and jello mix for the “icing”, and then our choice of fruit for the toppings.

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Thanksgiving 2014: Cheese platter in the shape of a turkey! Inspiration found here.

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Easter 2010: Major throwback! Veggies & crackers with cheese spread! I imagine we used something similar to this recipe, but I can’t be certain. My mom is the kind of person who makes up recipes as we cook together. 🙂

A few other successful food pins:

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Sesame Street Fruit & Vegetable Trays

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Watermelon Basket

My mom made both of these for luncheons at her school. She’s a teacher and her coworkers love to do festive get-togethers in the teacher’s lounge! I helped with the Sesame Street trays, but I cannot take any credit for the watermelon basket. Check out the circle pieces of watermelon inside the basket…she used the cookie dough scoop to make those pieces! My best advice in making any kind of platter or design with your food is to Google the picture and then just make it your own. That’s how we have had the best luck!

As a student teacher, I also put together these snack bags during our Read Across America! week at school.

It was perfect because it included so many kid-friendly snacks and they each related to a different Dr. Seuss book!

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These treat bags might be making a comeback this March when we celebrate Read Across America! week again. Who doesn’t love popcorn, animal crackers, Cheerio’s, Goldfish, and M&M’s… #crowdpleaser

Dessert

Cassie blogs over at Hi Sugarplum! and she posts the best recipe for “Christmas Crack” every year. Its official name is Salted Caramel Pretzel Toffee. I first made this in 2014 and it’s one of those treats that you have to hold yourself back from eating. The salty/sweet combination is so good!

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Shay Shull’s Neiman Marcus bars are also perfectly sweet and salty!

Epic Fail

And then there are those pins that you just try and try and TRY to recreate, and they never quite work.

Take Christmas 2013, for example. We tried to make Christmas trees out of vegetables. Our inspiration picture was perfect!

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All photo credit here to Google Images. I’m pretty sure we didn’t take a picture of our trees on purpose. Hahaha

In reality…our trees did not turn out like this. My uncle could not stop laughing because they looked like green bushes on a platter. And that was BEFORE anyone started eating from them! That’s the thing with these festive platters…how life-like (or tree-like) can they look once people start eating them?!

I was also obsessed with making this R-shape made of crayons for my cooperating teacher when I was a student teacher. I tried every night for a week to make it look like the inspiration picture, and it was just not happening. I tried on the carpet, I tried on a cutting board, I tried on the kitchen table…nope. I am also a perfectionist, so if it wasn’t going to look like the original, I was not going to be happy. 😉 I could’ve ordered this on Etsy for like $50, but I was determined to do it myself! In the end, I think my cooperating teacher ended up with a handwritten note from me and a gift card. #sooriginal #oops

And then there was the 3 (or 4?) ingredient fudge that my mom and I saw in a video on Facebook. We’ve made a more complicated fudge recipe in the past, so we know what it is supposed to look and taste like…this recipe was just not working.

Doesn’t it look so appetizing?! I think it had something to do with the condensed milk that we used. We will never know. It just tasted so strange and never became the right consistency!

It has now become apparent that I only love pins involving food. 😉 I accept my flaws. Ha! What are some of your Pinterest successes and failures?

Follow me on Pinterest!

 

Show N Tell Tuesday: First Job

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How old were you when you had your first “real” job? I shared the story of my first job with my students the other day and they were amazed because I was practically the same age as them! In Pittsburgh, one of the big newspapers is called the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Local communities put out weekly editions of this paper with community news, and when I was younger, those local newspapers were delivered right to your doorstep every Wednesday afternoon by yours truly! Yes, that’s right, I was a newspaper delivery girl. 🙂

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What the newspaper looks like now!

My brother, Alex, and I started this job when I was 9 and he was 7. My mom was not big on paying us to do chores because she said that taking care of our house was our responsibility as part of the family, not something that we could choose to do for money! I used to find that school of thought very annoying but now that I am a teacher and I am trying to teach small people how to take care of a classroom, I find myself agreeing with my mom. I do not want to reward them for things they should be doing anyway! Ha! Anyway, a teenager in our neighborhood had been delivering the newspapers for a few years and he was ready to apply for his TRUE first real job because he had just learned to drive. Alex and I used to watch at the front door for him to toss the paper on our front porch and when we learned he was giving up the route, we somehow convinced our mom that the job should become ours! The neighborhood we lived in at the time eventually had 250 houses, but we never delivered more than 110 papers. You had to subscribe to receive this paper, so we didn’t have to go to every house. Lucky us!

Every Wednesday while we were at school, the stacks of newspapers were delivered to our front porch. When we got home from school, we split the stack and rolled the papers to put in the plastic sleeves. We might walk the nearest houses their papers, but wait for it…our lovely mother drove us all around the neighborhood to deliver the rest of the papers. Not your usual ride. 😉 Hahaha!

Alex and I were very specific about who “got” which houses. We liked to deliver the same amount of newspapers so that we could evenly split our paycheck. When we first started our route, we had to go to everyone’s house and collect their monthly payment for the paper. We had a keyring with index card shaped pages on them where we wrote the person’s name and ripped off little pieces of paper as their receipt each month! It taught us a lot of responsibility because we not only had to find time to go to each person’s house, but we had to keep track of who was home and able to pay and who we had to go back to. Then, we had to send the money to the right people!

I have a lot of great memories from this job. We loved delivering the papers in the snow. We would dress up in our snow gear and get to “play” in everyone’s front yards as we tried to get to their front porches!

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We also got really good at throwing the newspaper from a distance and actually making it land where we wanted it to haha! I also vividly remember tripping over a water meter in someone’s front yard as I was running back to the car and landing in a big X on the ground. Then, I slid in that big X on my face through the grass and over the curb. When I picked up my head, I hit it off the side of the car…because remember, my mom was driving us. Needless to say, I was glad this accident happened in the summer because I had some serious scrapes on my face! Then a few years later, there was a contest among all the newspaper delivery kids/teenagers to see who could get the most new families to sign up to receive the paper! I was in the top three for this contest and actually got my picture taken with the other winners. Don’t worry, I did a quick Google search for the picture. No such luck. 🙂

I kept this job from third grade to eleventh grade and then passed it off to my younger brothers. We started delivering just 65 papers and by the time we were done years later, we were delivering more than 100! We never had the chance to pass our route off to anyone because by the time Jake was starting to be in charge of it all by himself, the newpaper company was changing its policy to deliver papers to everyone’s home by mail. Much more cost effective or something. Ha!

Other jobs that I would consider my “first” jobs are taking care of the yard at my Grandma and Pap Pap’s house and working at the concession stand at our town’s baseball fields. I consider them first jobs because I did them before I was 16, which is the typical working age in Pennsylvania. My Grandma and Pap Pap live on several acres of land and we all grew up watching my Pap Pap spend hours cutting the grass every weekend. He loved it! Once we were older and my Pap Pap was no longer around, my cousin and I would tag team the yard on the riding lawn mowers. Our younger brothers did their share of work too once me and CJ were older and now Jake does it ALL all by himself!

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Unrelated picture of me and my cousin CJ because it’s my favorite. We definitely were not cutting the grass at this age. 🙂

My aunt would work in the yard while my Grandma worked near the porch and watched us as we cut. I used to get yelled at for driving too fast. My Grandma always used to say that she could hear me singing. I would drive around with headphones in and that lawn mower is LOUD so I didn’t think anyone could hear me. Hahaha!

And finally, my job at the concession stand…well, that job allowed me to hang out at the baseball and softball fields and see my friends without being required to play. 🙂 I was the world’s worst softball player and was known to volunteer myself to sit on the bench if we had extra players! My brother and my cousins all played baseball from the time they were kids through high school, so there were lots of games to be watched. My mom convinced me that since I was at the fields anyway, I should be the one to help sell snacks!

There was one bigger concession stand that had “real” food (think food that is grilled or baked in an oven) and two smaller concession stands that were just snacks and soft pretzels that were microwaved (yum!). I used to read when I was assigned to work at the smaller concession stands because they only served two fields each, so unless someone was ordering food or coming to visit me, there wasn’t much to do…and my phone didn’t have text messaging yet. Ha!

I worked this job until I was a junior in high school and I really worked my way up the ladder! In the last few years, I had keys to the main concession stand and I was considered one of the managers. Of course, there were always adults there to supervise, but I was in charge of driving workers to the smaller concession stands on the golf cart (my favorite part), making sure each stand was stocked with the food and snacks it needed, counting money up at the end of the night, cleaning and organizing when necessary, and of course serving customers, too. I stopped working this job when I was about to turn 18 because that meant I could finally apply for a job at the mall! American Eagle was the next stop on my job list. 🙂

Random tangent: my favorite thing about writing this post was I have no pictures to show for it. Apparently before everyone had a smart phone, we did not take pictures of our every move. You will just have to take my word for it. 🙂

What was your first job(s)?

Show ‘N Tell Tuesday: The High School Me

It’s a Show ‘N Tell Tuesday! Today, I’m linking up with Andrea to share a little bit about my high school self. This is a trip down memory lane for me and a picture overload for you. 🙂 What’s the first thing you think of when you think of your high school self?

I think awkward. Hahaha

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My friends and I all really really really liked to take pictures, and we would find any excuse to do so. Tall, skinny giraffe? Why not! I’m sure the people in this random Myrtle Beach gift shop didn’t think we were strange at all.

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Casual shot at the park. 🙂 One of our friends was into photography so we were her subjects one summer night. But honestly, there are people TODAY walking around taking pictures with their iPads and selfie sticks, so picture taking may have just gotten weirder over the years. I, on the other hand, like to think I got less weird over the years. Ha!

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I almost wish my high school friends had blogs so they could comment and share their thoughts on the “me” of high school. I would describe myself as kind, studious, and introverted. I was (and still am) a total girl’s girl, so I loved spending time with my girlfriends. I also spent a lot of time with my family, which is not always typical of a high school student! When I think of my younger brother, I remember him enjoying spending time with us, but always being go go go and making plans with a friend. I never felt like I had to have plans and I’m still that way today!

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I spent a lot of weekends at basketball games watching my brother, Alex. For a few years, Alex and our cousin, Nick, were on the same traveling basketball team, so that was even more incentive for me to go because I knew two people who were playing!

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Nick’s brother CJ is the same age as me and he played baseball, so I always went to those games too. I was on the yearbook staff and I often volunteered to take pictures of these events since I would be there anyway. 🙂

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I have lots of pictures of my family in Indianapolis from these years for some reason. We see my Dad’s family a few times a year, but it seems like in high school, we were in Pittsburgh for one holiday and Indianapolis for the next!

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This is my cousin’s daughter, Lucy. My cousins are the same age as my parents because my Dad’s siblings are much older than him. Anyways, I still call Lucy my cousin. She’s ten years old now which blows my mind, but she’s still my little baby doll. 🙂

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I did a lot with my church in high school. I went to youth group on Sunday nights, worked as a counselor at Summer Blast day camp in the summer, and went to a bunch of events with my “church” friends at other times throughout the year, too! Some of my church friends and school friends were the same, like Kristin. 🙂 The things I remember doing most are the 30 Hour Famine, ice skating, small group meetings at Starbucks, and weekends away at JTown, a Christian camp in Jumonville, PA.

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Ice skating at Schenley Park

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My favorite small group girls!

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Me and my youngest brother after the best event at summer camp…

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…when the local fire station sent a fire truck to spray us all down. 🙂

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I was in two musicals in 9th and 10th grade: 42nd Street and Singin’ In The Rain. I took chorus as one of my electives and though I don’t think I have a particularly great singing voice, apparently it was good enough. 😉

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But my hard work in chorus class paid off because we were invited to go on the band trip when I was in 10th grade. This was my first visit to New York City! We sang while we were there, but I mostly remember sightseeing and going to shows. 🙂

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I was also a dancer for most of my life, but if you put me on So You Think You Can Dance, I would get voted off the very first night. Hahaha!

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I have rhythm and I like to dance, but I don’t think I am naturally gifted at it. In our recital videos, I never looked as graceful as I felt. 🙂 Over the years I took jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. I was never a ballerina or a tap dancer, though I did have to learn a little tap for the musical one year!

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My parents let my brothers and I try every sport we wanted…for me that meant dance class, gymnastics, cheerleading, bowling (yes, I’m serious), softball, basketball, and then my senior year of high school, cross country! I liked to run but a bigger part of me just wanted to be on a team and cross country had no try outs;) Running became my favorite, and that’s a good thing because here’s how the rest of my athletic career went:

Cheerleading: after one season as a six year old, I was cut because I refused to do a back handspring without someone spotting me.
Bowling: Just for fun! I was in a bumper bowling league as a kid and then I did the after school bowling program in elementary school.
Softball: I was the world’s worst player…I somehow swung the bat so wrong that I lost two fingernails in the process and could never figure out where left field and right field were located. As catcher, I would turn my head to the side when the pitcher threw the ball because I was afraid of being hit in the face (even with a mask) and I would volunteer to sit on the bench when we had extra players. Hahaha
Basketball: No good or bad memories from this one; I think I just preferred dancing!

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I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, so when I was able to fit another elective into my schedule, I worked in the preschool at our high school. There’s a morning and afternoon program with a head teacher and an assistant teacher. The high school students who choose to take this class are only in there for one class period with the little ones. Sometimes we observed through a one way mirror (we could see the kids but they couldn’t see us) and sometimes we were actually teaching a lesson to the kids. These were my co-teachers!

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My best friend in high school was Maria. We met at church and she went to a different high school, so we always had fun catching up on the weekends. She knew a lot of people who went to my school because of our mutual friends at church, so she was like an honorary Plum Mustang;)

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Maria and I all ready for 11th grade 🙂 NOT! This is the first day of school, but the night before the first day was so stressful! I was always in honors English classes so I had required summer reading, but in 11th grade, I took an advanced history class of some kind that required me to take notes on every chapter in the history book over the summer. Well, apparently I procrastinated HARD because the night before school started, Maria came over to talk me off a cliff since I wasn’t done taking notes. And then she pulled an all nighter and finished taking notes for me so I could go to bed. Perks of having a friend who went to another school!

When the word “selfie” became a common word in recent years, I guess we all assumed no one took selfies before. Wrong.

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All three of us are holding cameras. I can’t. Hahaha

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And thank God we either gave up on or got better at text on photos…

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I was the kind of person who loved going to dances, with or without a date. Luckily my friends felt the same way. The same group of us went to 9th and 10th grade Homecomings together!

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9th Grade

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10th Grade

We got our acts together by junior and senior year and found dates for Homecoming and Prom. 🙂

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This was such a fun dress to wear! Junior prom is one of my favorite high school memories. At our school, you weren’t allowed to attend Prom until your junior year, even if you were asked by an upperclassman, so it made it that much more exciting when you finally were allowed to go. I just remember this night being filled with lots of picture taking and lots of dancing! Our high school didn’t have an After Prom, so we all went to our friend Kristin’s house to watch movies and continue our craziness ha! God bless her parents for hosting our big group!

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At our school, most people wore short dresses for Homecoming and long dresses for Prom. We were thinking these would be nice…

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But this is what we decided on instead. 🙂

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Senior Homecoming

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Senior Prom

Looking back at my pictures, I realized my friends and I liked to go places in big groups (besides dances!).

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Ice skating

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Taylor Swift concert

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Apple baseball at Danielle’s house…we literally played baseball with apples from the trees in her yard!

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NHS Induction

And then one summer one of our friends planned a scavenger hunt for a bunch of us! Danielle and Kayla and I were all friends, and then my cousin CJ joined in with his best friend, Zach!

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I wonder what we ate to make our tongues blue!?!?

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Spelling the word “love”. 🙂

If I had to pick my favorite year of high school, I would say senior year. My brother, Alex, and I got to go to school together for the first time since elementary school!

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He was in 9th grade and I was in 12th grade. He really loved me once I started driving him to school. 🙂

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This was my first car! A red Ford Escape who my friends and I named “Skyler”. Then once Alex started driving, we shared this car. Alex was notorious for coming home with the gas light on!!! One time I left to go to the gym and I KNEW I wouldn’t even make it there without running out of gas. That’s how low the gas gauge was. So I started driving to the gas station and I ran out of gas on my way there. I WAS SO MAD!!! Luckily my Dad came and saved the day. 🙂

Senior year bought lots of fun events, like the Powderpuff football game, where the junior girls play the senior girls and the boys are the cheerleaders. 🙂 The senior girls (my team!) won this year!

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We get professional headshots done for our senior picture in the yearbook but still get pictures taken on picture day. I have no idea what those pictures are actually used for (maybe school ID) so the seniors usually plan some kind of “theme” for picture day. We chose an 80s theme which is hilarious because none of us were born until at least 1991. Hahaha

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These are my professional casual senior pictures. We get a headshot done at a local studio for the yearbook and then everyone does pictures like these, too. Is that a thing where you live?!

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Two of my favorite high school memories: I turned 18 and my best friend and my mom planned a surprise party for me!

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And Snowmageddon! We had an entire week off school and then some because we got SO MUCH SNOW and then a pipe at the high school burst, so while the rest of the town went back to school, we got to stay home for a few more days. 🙂

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I would definitely say I became more outgoing as I got older…but I would still describe myself the same way. I am kind, studious, and introverted. I’m a total girl’s girl. And I love to spend time with my family. I just shared a lot of great memories with you, but there are lot of not-so-great memories that I have from high school all surrounding normal high school things like drama with friends and boys. High school was good to me, but I wish I could be the person I am now in high school all over again. I have grown up and I can honestly say I like myself haha! I DO care what people think about me, yet I don’t care at all. Does that make sense? I wish I would have stood up for myself more instead of trying to make my friends happy in certain situations. But you know, live and learn. If I wasn’t the way I was in high school, I wouldn’t have had those experiences, and I wouldn’t be reflecting on them today. High school was fun, but the real world is fun, too. 🙂

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– What kind of person were you in high school?

– What’s your favorite high school memory?

Show ‘N Tell Tuesday [When I Grow Up]

If you have known me for more than five minutes, you would probably know a few things about me: I talk about my family all the time, I love to run, I talk about food and cooking and healthy eating a lot, I love to read and listen to music, and oh yeah…I’m going to be a teacher. And my mom is a teacher, too!

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This Tuesday, Andrea and all her blog friends are talking about what they want to be (or what they thought they would be) when they grew up. What did you want to be?!

I don’t think I ever made a real decision to be a teacher…it was just part of who I was. I always had a book in my hand and even when I was older, my Grandma would remind me that I used to fall asleep in my crib…sitting up…with a book in my lap.

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My dolls, my brothers, my cousins, my friends…they were all my students or coworkers at some point. I played school like nobody’s business. I loved having all the “real” supplies, too. My mom would always bring home extra papers or books that I could play with. I spent many hours perfecting my signature “teacher star” at the top of my students’ homework. 😉

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My best friend lived right across the street from me when I was younger and I remember one day we were running from my house to her house with all of our school stuff right before a thunderstorm. As our moms were watching us cross the street, she dropped all her supplies…including her phone. A play phone, of course, but remember I said I really liked having all the “real” supplies so it was a real phone my parents didn’t use anymore. This was 1997. I’m talking this kind of phone…

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#solegit

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I’m pretty sure as my brothers and cousins got older, we spent a lot of time playing recess. But that’s okay, because I loved making everyone line up, playing games, and refereeing arguments. I really thought I was the real deal. 🙂

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My very favorite teacher was my first grade teacher, Miss Thompson. She read us the best stories and always made me feel important. I was the kind of kid who would finish my work super early and go talk to her while everyone else was still working. Because you know, I was already all grown up. Why did I have to stay in my chair? Hahaha I kept in touch with her over the years and in high school when I had to job shadow someone for my senior paper, I went back to first grade and this time I was allowed to talk to her all day long! Ha! It was so fun to go back and see her teach from another point of view. She retired the year before I graduated from college and we always joked that she should have waited another year so I could have her job. 😉

Because my mom is a teacher, I always say I grew up in school. Of course, she is my very favorite teacher too, but I never had her for class! I loved reading and learning and doing homework, but I also loved seeing all the behind the scenes stuff that teachers do…making materials for their classroom, buying new books, and planning new activities with other teachers. I went to elementary school where my mom was a teacher from second grade through sixth grade, and I spent many of my recess periods in her classroom cutting stuff out at the back table or putting papers in her students’ mailboxes. I was the weirdest child, I know this. Hahaha

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 This is a picture of me and my dog, Colby, hanging out on my mom’s classroom carpet a few years ago. Even now, I still like to visit. 😉

In high school when everyone was figuring out what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was taking child development classes and working in the preschool. There was never a question in my mind of “what am I going to be?” The question was more “where am I going to go?” I went to Duquesne University for my Bachelor’s degree in Early Level Education and it was the best choice ever! I loved living in the city of Pittsburgh and I LOVED that every semester, from freshman year to student teaching, I was placed in a classroom somewhere to learn and observe and teach. It was amazing and definitely part of what makes me feel so excited to teach now!

I now present to you things that you do when you have wanted to be a teacher forever and a day:

Work at church and other local summer day camps.

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P.S. That is my baby brother (when he was still a baby) and my cousin, Lucy, not random campers of mine! Ha!

Hear the phrase “All you do is color all day. How hard is it?” at least 400 times every midterms and finals week in college. 

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Yes, we do make some pretty creative projects. I’m sorry your future career isn’t as fun. 😉

In all seriousness though, I never understand why people think teaching is an easy career. I am in grad school right now, but just thinking about having my own classroom makes me equal parts excited and nervous. I am responsible for twenty plus children learning to read and write and learn important information!!! That is a big deal. In college I would always think, you wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for your teachers! This one always makes me laugh:

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Buy random supplies for your future classroom when you don’t even have a job yet.

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When you go shopping and Sperry’s and books are on sale, this is what happens…

Embrace your inner child at every opportunity.

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Take pictures of the crazy awesome decorations your mom made for her classroom because hello, you need to remember that idea, too!

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Get really excited about your first real desk. 

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I was so excited that I wrote about it in a blog post! Hahaha

Never stop going to school because you love learning just as much as you want your future students to.

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First day of grad school at UMD!

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Besides being a teacher, I know that I want to be a mom. And I always say in my next life, I will be a writer and live in New York. I’m actually already a published author, did you know that?! My mom helped me type and print a book that I wrote when I was nine or ten years old. Ha! All about a girl named Laura…think spinoff of Karen from the Babysitter’s Club. 🙂

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This is the rough draft before the official typing and printing. Thanks, Mom! I have no idea why I have to wait until my next life to write or live in New York, but that’s what I always say.

Anyways, I’m hoping to get my first teaching job SOON and I’m sure when I do, I will be sharing all of that excitement with you. I question myself sometimes about if I’m on the right path…but I think this is my passion. I think. I just need to get out there and do. I’m ready. 🙂

It’s never too late to decide. So what do you want to be when you grow up???

Show N Tell Tuesday: Name Edition

 Happy Tuesday, friends! Today we are talking all about how we got our name. I always love when there is a reason behind a person’s name…it makes that person even more unique!

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My full name is Kylie Elizabeth and I think I really know all the details behind my name because in my high school AP Psychology class, I had to make a Baby Book about myself. Ha!

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I am the oldest of three and my parents decided they didn’t want to know if they were having a boy or a girl, so they made a list of names for both!

Boy
Alexander Newton
Kyle Jeffrey

Girl
Rebecca
Valerie

Now that I look at those names, I cannot imagine being called Rebecca (Becky) or Valerie (Val)! My parents settled on “Kylie” for the simple reason that it was unique and they could not agree on many others, even the ones they had listed! It truly is a unique name because for most of my life, I was always the only Kylie around and I was one of those kids who could never find a keychain with her name on it. Ha! I think the name has gotten more popular in recent years, though. Usually when I hear someone say, “Hey Kylie!” and I am out an about, it is a parent calling after their little girl. 🙂 The best story I have about my name is that one summer when we were on vacation at the beach, I was playing with a girl at our hotel’s pool, and her name was Kylie Elizabeth. WHAT?! I know.

My middle name, Elizabeth, is a variation of my great-grandmother’s name, Beatrice. Although now, my mom tells me that she wishes she had picked my middle name after her sister, Elaine. After all, when I am home, I see her almost every day. Her plea of “It’s the same initial and everything!” is not convincing me I need to go about changing my middle name in my 23rd year of life. 😉

On the subject of names…not that I am getting married anytime soon or I am even dating anyone…but I always wonder what my married name will be. Will I be Kylie Elizabeth McGraw fill-in-the-blank? Will I drop McGraw? Will I drop Elizabeth? WHO WILL I BE?! Hahaha

Now I am going to tell you about my cute brothers…

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…in 1994, I became a big sister. Again, my parents decided to be surprised, so they were thinking of names for boys and girls. The brother who is closest in age to me is named Alexander Newton. Does that sound familiar?! It was one of the boy names my parents had thought of with me! It is actually a family name, but apparently many years back, this person’s name was Newton Alexander. For some reason, my mom thought her child might be made fun on the playground if his name was Newton. I have no idea why?! We have always called him Alex, never Alexander…and my dad’s nickname for him when he was younger was Newt. He went with it until late elementary school when we were going to one of his basketball games one night and he said, “DAD! Do NOT call me NEWT from the stands! PLEASE!” Poor guy;)

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Then, in 1999, Alex and I got a baby brother! I remember my mom being pregnant with Jake much more than I remember her being pregnant with Alex. It’s much easier to remember things at 7 years old than it is to remember things at 3.5 years old! Alex and I were so excited to have a baby in the house. He, of course, wanted a baby brother, and I, of course, wanted a baby sister. Hello, I already had a little brother…I didn’t really think I wanted another one of those. 😉 My mom found out that she was having another boy but my dad didn’t want to know so she kept that secret for five whole months! Because she had to keep up appearances, her and my dad kept thinking of names for boys and girls.

For a girl, they were thinking of the name Delainey…a unique spelling of that name because my grandma’s name is Dolores and my aunt’s name is Elaine. For a boy, they were thinking Jacob or Patrick with the middle name Jeffrey (my dad’s name). My mom was kind of leaning towards Patrick because she was due in March around St. Patrick’s Day…but on March 22, she had a little boy and named him Jacob Jeffrey. 🙂 Jake has always been just Jake, never Jacob…but we were thinking that when he got a little older, we would call him JJ. That didn’t work AT ALL because by the time he was a toddler, he was used to being called Jake and he cried every time we called him JJ. It probably also didn’t help that there was a cartoon on TV at the time named JJ the Jet Plane. Hahaha

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So, what is the story behind your name? Does it have a story? What crazy names did your parents think of?!

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If you are linking up, click on over to Andrea’s blog and add your post! Then join us for the next Show N Tell Tuesday. 🙂

Show And Tell Tuesday: Riviera Maya

The weather is finally getting warmer, so it only makes sense to reminisce about my favorite vacation…and day dream about where I want to go next!

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Check out the link up on Andrea’s blog. 🙂

I have traveled to a bunch of cool places…New York City, Las Vegas, Disney World, Niagara Falls…and then I have my favorite places…the places that my family and I go back to time and time again. We LOVE to go to the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey. I have been to Wildwood every summer since I was six months old. 🙂 It’s just the best family vacation! Stick around the blog for a few months and you will get to read all about this summer’s trip;) But I have to say that my favorite vacation EVER was one that I took with my friends last May…

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Me, Johna, and Lindsey

…we hopped on a plane and went to Mexico! It was a special trip because we had all just finished our semester of student teaching AND graduated from college, so we had a lot to celebrate! I had never left the country before (except to go to Canada and that was before you needed a passport), but Lindsey had been to the Cancun/Riviera Maya area many times with her family so she was our tour guide of sorts…making sure we didn’t get lost in the airport and such;) Our trip started out with a ridiculously early flight from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and then from there, we flew to Cancun. You can’t be too mad about an early flight when the sky looks like this!

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We stayed at Barcelo Maya Beach in Riviera Maya so it was a bit of a drive from the airport, but it was so worth it! I loved how open everything was…you could always see the sun and feel how warm it was. Sometimes, when you’re from Pittsburgh, you forget what the sun feels like;) This is a view of the fountain separating the lobby from the space where our hotel room was.

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 It was an all-inclusive trip and it was so nice to order food and drinks at our leisure! We could try as many new-to-us dishes or drinks as we wanted and indulge. It is vacation, after all! I specifically remember one afternoon when I left my margarita next to my beach chair and went to wash the sand off my legs in the ocean…when I came back, one of the workers had taken my drink away thinking that I was finished! So I ran (literally ran…;) back to the bar and quickly ordered another one. #priorities We had access to pools, outdoor activities, and of course, the beach…which was about 20 steps from my hotel room. I couldn’t ask for anything more. 🙂

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Our resort was nice because there were five different “hotels” on the property but it felt like we were all neighbors. Hahaha there was a golf cart that would trolley people back and forth between the buildings which was perfect when you wanted to go see a show or shop somewhere else on the property. From end to end, it was only about a mile long [I know, because I ran it every morning;)], but once we started walking around, especially in and around all the different buildings, we were exhausted! Ha!

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Thanks to Google Images, you can see what it looks like from the sky:) The red rooftops are the five different little hotels on the property and you can see how grand all of the swimming pools were!

Every morning, I liked to start the day off with a nice run around the resort. So many walking paths and different routes to take!

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I quickly learned that paradise doesn’t always look this pretty…sometimes when you wake up, there are workers out there clearing palms that fell down in the night! Haha

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Our favorite breakfast spot was the buffet. There were SO many different kinds of food…breakfast food, lunch food, salad bar, fruit, dessert, pastries…you could have anything! I decided it was only appropriate to finish breakfast with a crepe and a mimosa daily. 🙂

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Then, we would head to the beach. It was nice to get some sun before it got TOO hot! Riviera Maya is the only place I have ever been where I needed to put sunscreen on the tops of my feet and on my ears. The sun is SERIOUS! Although one day, even though it was 82, it was so windy we were cold at the beach…

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We only looked a little crazy. 🙂

The beach was always lots of fun. We would read, take walks, people watch…and occasionally, someone interesting would walk by…one day, we got henna tattoos, another day, we posed with this parrot.

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When it was my turn to hold him by myself…well, I almost ran away. I wanted to hold him but his creepy little bird feet were scary!

And then there was beach yoga. I don’t know if there is anything better.

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At noon, we would walk over to the pool for water aerobics. Yes, water aerobics. It was so fun!

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The fitness instructors were hilarious and always included some kind of crazy challenge that made you swim with a partner or run around the pool. They played crazy loud music and were so energetic! And they started to recognize us because we were there every day. We made friends. 🙂

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We liked to take crazy pictures…

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…and order fun drinks…

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…because hey, if you don’t like it, you can order something else! #nbd #iloveallinclusive

And we liked to find random things to do. Like paint pottery!

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We chose our pieces, painted them whatever colors we wanted, and left them to be glazed. I painted the fish on the bottom with its mouth wide open…and I love it because I keep my everyday jewelry in it on my nightstand!

Dinner was always fun because we would dress up and go somewhere new. We usually ate at the same place for breakfast and the pool side spot for lunch, so it was nice to put on real clothes and eat in something other than our bathing suits. 😉

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Then we would walk around and find the entertainment for the night…on this night, there were very talented dancers on stage. We also saw an acrobatic type show, but the best shows were the ones where there was karaoke singing or some type of audience involvement! We watched five couples on stage one night competing against each other in strength challenges…it was hilarious to see the men and women fighting with each other to win!

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Pretty much every day, we heard someone at the resort tell us that we needed to go to Coco Bongo that night. We were kind of afraid to go anywhere else even though a ton of people went out every night…we were happy in our little resort bubble. 🙂 The closest we got to Coco Bongo was this Spiderman dude by the pool!

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So because we felt like we needed to do SOMETHING adventurous while we were there, we decided to swim with dolphins! This was not included in our trip but it was so worth the extra money. We purchased a CD of photos from our time with the dolphins and we have a video of it all too! So. much. fun.

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First, we all stood in a line at the edge of the pool. It was very deep so the dolphins could easily swim around, but there was a ledge on the side for us to stand so the water was about waist level. Our instructor had worked with this dolphin for YEARS so they kind of had a little relationship going on which was so cool! She had the dolphin do tricks for us first and in between tricks, he would swim past and we could pet him…kind of get used to us, I guess. 🙂 Then it was time to actually swim with the dolphin! One person in our little line would swim to the other side of the pool and wait for the dolphin to come past…you just had to cross your arms across your chest kind of like the letter T, hold his fins, and you were off!

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I actually did have fun, even though my face says otherwise. 🙂

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But I wasn’t so sure about kissing him…

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When it was time to go home, I sat under this baby palm tree until the airport taxi pulled up. Seriously. I thought Lindsey was going to kill me! Haha! It was such a fun trip and I would go back to this very place with these very people any day of the week. The resort was beautiful, the food was delicious, there was so much to do, and the people were so friendly! I was very impressed with my first venture out of the U.S. Now if I could just make it across the Pond…