Uptown Funk

School is not my jam right now. I am in graduate school at the University of Maryland and I am working on a Master’s in Reading Education…so people look at me kind of funny when I say I’m sick of school. Because due to my major, I will likely be in school forever. ūüėČ However, there is a big difference between being IN school and teaching school…I went straight from undergrad to grad school. I think I’m ready to teach!

Right now at church, we are talking through a series of sermons called “Trip Around the Sun”. My pastor just wrote a book with the same name. ūüôā In¬†talking about our trips around the sun, Pastor Mark has been talking about our experiences. Because our experiences are what make up all the years of our lives. Apparently, someone did a survey on a group of fifty people who were about 85 years old or older and they asked them what they would do differently if they could do their lives over. They said:

1. Risk more.
2. Reflect more.
3. Do more to leave behind (in regards to their legacy).

Today I am reflecting because I am oh-so-cranky about my blessings instead of appreciating them.

What I have been thinking all weekend:
“I can’t believe I still have a project and a final. I have never been in school this long in my life. Duquesne always ended in April. This is dumb. I don’t care.”

P.S. I felt completely stupid typing that out. It’s like when you say something out loud and you think,¬†woah, that is ridiculous. Yeah. That just happened. But that is what I have been thinking…

What I should be thinking:
I am financially and academically blessed to be able to attend the school that I do. I have a job(s), I have amazing professors, I like my classmates, I have friends, I live in an amazing city…

Pastor Mark was talking about a sunset that he saw last weekend at the lake…the sun was setting on one side, the moon was rising on another…and it was one of the most awesome moments he’s ever seen. So he got us thinking. Not that we have to watch every sunset, moon rise, day break, etc…just thinking: how often are we looking down instead of literally (or figuratively) looking up and¬†experiencing¬†what’s around us?

I am taking “looking down” as “not appreciating”. ūüėČ

Recently I have been getting very caught up in the big picture, which in my case is finishing school and getting a “real” job. I currently have three part time jobs. But I am so concerned with having a real job and “finally having money.” That’s what I keep saying. I’m not really even sure what I mean by that. But, that is not the point of a job, especially my future job. I am meant to teach children, not meant to worry about how much money I am putting in the bank each week.

“Don’t accumulate possessions. Accumulate experiences.”

I’m in the middle of an experience right now. It’s called graduate school. And it’s not my forever, but it IS my right now. And God put me here for a reason. So I’m going to pray on it…and reflect on it…and LOVE it. Because our trips around the sun are made up of the little moments and I’m in the middle of the little moments right now. Professional Development Project, I’m looking at you. ūüėČ

So I am going to find the good in every last assignment, every final test, every last interaction with a professor or classmate…because nobody likes a downer. I’m¬†choosing the positive.


– How have you been feeling lately? Happy, silly, frustrated, sleepy, excited?
– How do you break yourself out of a funk?

If you’re interested, you can watch yesterday’s sermon HERE¬†or listen to the podcast HERE.

Friday Favorites: It’s Gonna Be May

I just have to…


Happy Friday! I hope your week was full of lots of fun moments. I’m so thankful for these posts because I love looking back at what I’ve already forgotten! Life can be really good even when it’s busy and hectic and crazy (as mine has been…grad school problems)!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci!


– FOOD –

I usually grocery shop on Saturday and cook a bunch of food for the week on Sunday. I am a huge fan of leftovers! They make meal time so much easier. And when I have only prepped healthy things, I can only make healthy choices, even when I am ravenous. It’s a pretty sweet deal;)¬†I decided that I am the kind of person who really likes to eat in front of the TV. Who doesn’t have this problem!? So when it’s time to eat, I’ll turn on the TV, kick my feet up on the ottoman, and just eat in my favorite chair. There are sooo many benefits to actually eating at a table and focusing on your food because you are less likely to overeat. BUT! This works for me. I eat what’s on my plate, I get a little TV time, and then I get back to whatever I was doing. My roommate and I keep completely different hours and she and I never eat at the same so it’s not like I’m being rude. ūüėČ But sometimes my leftovers look like this…


…eating and driving might be worse than texting and driving. Final decision up in the air.

The very best meal I had this week:


¬†Burrito bowl +¬†freshly baked chips because they were out when I ordered +¬†queso. The chips and queso didn’t make it into the photo for obvious reasons. #myonetruelove


Sometimes I cheat on queso with trail mix. Trail mix is my other true love. If you haven’t picked this “Handful of Everything” kind up at Target yet, PUT IT ON THE LIST! Yogurt dipped peanuts, dried pineapple, dried mango, and dried banana, coconut flakes, raisins, chocolate chips, almonds…I’m drooling. Don’t ask how long it took me to eat this bag.



My favorite Gap skinny jeans slid on my body without having to do a little dance earlier this week. Praise the skinny jean gods!


Do you ever buy something with no idea of where you will wear it? I do that a lot with clearance items at Target. I bought this dress on sale last summer because I already had the shorts in the same pattern and fabric and LOVED them. I loved the style and cut of this dress because it is different than the rest in my closet, so that was another reason I needed it. Girl logic. ūüôā Anyways, I finally had the chance to wear it last weekend for an event for grad students at the UMD Golf Course! I call it an event, UMD called it “Grad Prom”. I can’t bring myself to admit I went to Grad Prom. That sounds so lame. But it was so fun! Hahaha


Favorite hoodie ever! I’m a Beachbody coach and my team is The Power Krew. I wasn’t home for our quarterly event last weekend but I went to an event in Baltimore that was¬†almosttt¬†as good! I definitely missed my Pittsburgh fam ‚̧

– MAIL –


I love every piece of mail I ever receive. I also love sending mail. Do you want to be pen pals? Because we totally can be. My mom told me to check my mailbox earlier this week and when I saw this card I thought, “YES! PERFECT FOR ME!” But I was surprised to open the card and see a note from my sweet baby brother and his volleyball pictures from this season! The best surprise.


I love mail. And selfies. And superfoods. And chocolate.



I don’t think I realized how NOT sunny it is in Pittsburgh until I moved to Maryland last summer. Pittsburgh and Seattle are on the same level of gray and rainy, I am now convinced. It is so sunny and warm here all the time. I love it! Especially after the long, snowy winter that we all endured!



Ohhh, the days of cross country, how I forgot about you! My running group and I went to Rock Creek Park this week to do a little loop around the trails. Oh my word. I was so glad to be following the people in front of me because I seriously was looking down at my feet the whole time! So many roots and rocks and little crevices! I kind of missed my racing spikes…


…yes. I definitely need trail shoes now. A necessary purchase. So thankful for daylight until almost 8 PM every night!



I am originally from Pittsburgh and I went to undergrad in Pittsburgh so it was always easy to sneak home to the suburbs if something was going on that I wanted to attend…like my youngest brother’s volleyball games. He’s 6’5″ of awesome. Sadly they lost this day, but I loved getting to see the action and pretend I was there!


Meet my other brother’s dog, Amigo. We call him Migo. He is the sweetest little dog ever and SO smart. My family has a Golden Retriever and Migo seriously makes Colby look like an idiot. Hahaha but apparently yesterday Migo was up to some antics of his own…he is obsessed with tennis balls. And so even though this tennis ball is already destroyed, he just couldn’t stand to see it on the patio table and took it upon himself to go get it. I just can’t deal with his face. SO FUNNY!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Monkey See, Monkey Do


You are kind when you use nice words. You are kind when you hold the elevator for the person running down the hall. You are kind when you smile at someone across the room who looks like they’re having a horrible day. You are kind.

Aren’t you?

So often, we liken being kind to being nice. Which is true in many situations, but being kind goes far beyond simply being nice. It means acting out with intention to serve, care, and have compassion for others. Do we do THAT?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to extend kindness to people who are kind to me. It only makes sense. Why would I want to be nice to someone who is rude to me? And then I thought about it and I thought…I don’t always know what other people are going through. It’s not my job to decide if¬†they deserve my kindness. They just do!


¬†I’m thinking about working with kids at summer day camp. I remember mediating so many arguments last summer where the problem was “he/she isn’t being nice to me.” It’s really easy to end the argument by telling kids to play with other kids who actually ARE nice to them. But I remember one specific battle between two girls that lasted for weeks. My group was 9 and 10 year old boys and girls who were just discovering how clique-y people can be. I remember sitting on a rock with a girl who was crying because another girl wasn’t being nice to her and kept saying she wasn’t going to be her friend anymore. Consoling her in that situation was hard, but it was even more difficult to talk to the girl who was causing all the drama. She was adamant that she could pick her friends and since she had decided not to be friends with the other girl, she didn’t care that she was crying or upset. She could say whatever she wanted because they were no longer friends. And here is where this 10 year old learned what it means to be kind. I told her that even if you are not friends with someone, that doesn’t give you the right to be mean to them.

Think about it. Aren’t there plenty of people that you just don’t like? Usually those people are different from you in some way, but as adults, we learn how to coexist with people we don’t like (usually). We say hello, we talk about work,¬†we don’t make plans to spend time together, but we don’t wish horrible things on one another. Right?! When we meet someone who needs something from us,¬†and we have the ability to give it to them, we should do that. That is kindness.

So now I’m trying to decide how I extend kindness each day. And I am really struggling. Do I actually live my life in a kind way? I am doing a lot of reflecting. I donate to charity when I can, I hold the door for people, I make conversation in lines, I ask questions and give what I can when people need it…but can I do more? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this picture is hanging right next to my bed. I see it every morning when I wake up, every night before I go to sleep, and every time I walk into my room. It’s a constant reminder of the person that I want to be and that God wants me to be.


Like my hand reflection?;)

I make a ton of mistakes and God forgives me. How can I extend that grace to others? I know that I am a nice person (I think), but what do I¬†do?¬†I don’t want to just say nice things and mean well…I want to take action and make a difference. And I don’t want to do it for a pat on the back. I want to do it because I am showing grace to others just like God shows grace to me.

We could¬†all stand to be¬†kind and buy coffee for the person behind us in line. We could give to a friend or family member or neighbor in need. We could even work with our community to do something bigger. And I want to do those things too. But I want to be more aware of¬†little things that I can do every day. So that is my goal. ūüôā


¬†There’s a reason why we constantly see “random acts of kindness” floating around social media. Don’t you get your own little feeling of happiness even if you were not involved? Just reading about the goodness makes you feel inclined to do more good. Read the study here. ūüôā

Surround yourself with like minded people. Be intentional. Do for others. And be kind.

Friday Favorites


 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

This makes me laugh…


Teaching PiYo is a definite¬†favorite of mine! A few weeks ago, I taught at an¬†event called “Get Pumped, Get Sculpted, Get Shaking”, which showcased some of the new routines and classes offered at the gym this semester. There were almost 60 people in the room and I had to teach on that little stage! I swear up close it looked like a ping pong table. I didn’t fall off, luckily;)


                        Photo credit UMD CRS 2015

One of my¬†favorite views this week…


What is better than sunshine at 7 AM in the middle of winter? #thelittlethings

On Wednesday, I got my favorite¬†email of all time…I HAD¬†MAIL!


Just slightly obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. And I don’t care who knows it. Thanks Mom:)

Later that night, I met up with my¬†favorite group of people and we ran the National Mall aka the best running spot in D.C. in my opinion. It’s always so pretty and always makes me feel so lucky to live here!


#somuchreflection #runnerproblems #ihatemyglasses

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE but the only thing I see when I look at this picture is my glasses. I do not like them but I was too lazy to put contacts in yesterday. That is quite ironic because I wore glasses from the age of 7 until approximately July of last summer. I have had contacts for less than a year and I already¬†think I look so strange without them!¬†You can hardly see me because of all my pretty friends,¬†so it’s okay;)

After our run (which was actually pretty fast even though we had such a large group!), we ate dinner at Qdoba and talked about our word of the week: patience. And I got a parking ticket for $100. Thank you District of Columbia. That part was not so fun, but between running with my friends and talking to my best friend from home on the phone for two hours (no, your eyes did not deceive you), Wednesday was pretty darn good!

On the note of patience…this verse came up in my quiet time this week and I just love it. I am working my way through Jesus Calling and some verses stick with me more than others! This one is one that I thought about for a few days so it’s definitely a favorite. I am not so good at memorizing Bible verses but this is a good one!


I am constantly writing, highlighting, or pinning quotes. I love how they seem to explain everything perfectly sometimes! So, thanks to Pinterest, I found this gem. I was reminded there is a difference between being patient and being passive!


Read the blog post here!

Thursday started off on the most amazing note ever…snow delay!


Read: no morning responsibilities. Aka: sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, and love. my. life. Our delay started as “university opening at 11 AM” and changed to “university opening at 12:30 PM”. I say if it’s afternoon we should just skip the whole day;)

My favorite day of the week is not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. It’s Thursday. In middle school, my friends and I declared¬†it¬†“Feel Good Thursday” and we even had a theme song.

We were silly teenage girls;)

Anyway, years later, I still have a love affair with Thursday. Which is odd because my schedule is usually still packed full and BUSY! But there is just something happy and exciting about knowing that the weekend is right around the corner. I liken it to the anticipation and cheerfulness that everyone feels right before Christmas Eve. Seriously.¬†Such a little detail, but it will always be the best day of the week.¬†ūüôā

In food news…because don’t I always have food news…my roommate decided to be adventurous and cook eggplant parmesan. My¬†favorite¬†foods all in the same dish. Vegetables, cheese, sauce…the very best dinner.


This weekend, I will be spending all of my time at the gym for the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo. That’s a mouthful;) I have to go because the University of Maryland is hosting the expo and since I’m a fitness instructor, I have to help represent our school well. ūüôā But I actually can’t wait to go to all the seminars! Healthy living, nutrition, fitness…it’s going to be so fun! #gymnerd

Happy Friday, friends!

What are you doing this weekend?!