Random Post…Significant Memories

A friend of mine posted a blog post on significant memories, and it seemed like such an intriguing idea that I thought I’d do the same.  Memories have always meant a lot to me (as I’m sure they do to most people), but the topic of memories because even more important to me after my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago.  Knowing that, eventually, his memories will fade and his concept of reality will be in flux is hard for me to imagine and accept.  It makes me even more aware of the need to document my life, in photos and words.  That way, should I ever be faced with something similar, I have a piece of my life to look back at.

I can think of several significant memories, so it’s hard to really pare them down  Some of my strongest memories are from very defining moments in my life.  I remember the day I found out I was adopted, while sitting on the kitchen floor watching my mom iron shirts.  I remember receiving my acceptance to college in the mail, and running over to tell my best friend.

dominican boatBut, I would say my most significant memories are snapshots of important events in my life. One major one was my first trip abroad, on an archaeology dig after my Freshman year of undergrad.  We spent 15 days in the Dominican Republic, digging in the mornings, working through our finds in the afternoon, then living it up in the evenings.  I made some very lifelong friendships during that time, that I’ll always keep close to my heart.  In fact, one of my friends who I met on the dig is currently living in France, while another lives north of me.  When the friend living in France comes home to visit family, we’re all three going to meet up (it’s the two ladies with me on the boat, in the photo to the left)!  It will have been over ten years since we were all together!  I’m so excited to see these ladies, as they are phenomenal women and great friends!  That was my first real experience with travel, and from that moment on I was hooked. That trip really opened up a lot of amazing doors for me, and I’ve been forever grateful for my friends who pushed me into taking that step to go (even though I was terrified).

Wedding 11-25-2008 7-03-15 PMAnother significant memory was the day J proposed. He took me to one of the gardens that was owned by a local, very wealthy, family in town.  It’s in the middle of downtown, and walled off by brick walls all around the perimeter (it’s very “The Secret Garden” like).  He proposed in the garden there, while we were walking around photographing the flowers, and later we even came back to have our engagement photos taken there. We’d only known each other a little over four months, but I already knew he was the one for me. Eight years later, and I’ve never looked back. He is my other half, and no one else on earth pushes me to be a better person and to be more ME than he does. He’s amazing, and I thank God for him, daily.

graduationA third memory that really sits in my mind is my graduation from law school.  It was a long four years to finish my law degree and master’s program.  I hated it at the time, but looking back on the amount of work I put in and the time I spent to finish, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.  This was also when I first started dealing with my depression and anxiety, so knowing that I overcame that while working so hard on the degrees makes me feel like I grew and learned so much during that time.  Not just academically, but personally.  I grew into an adult who was self-confident and capable of meeting challenges head-on.  That knowledge has helped me more than anything in my career and personal life.

stbFinally, my last significant memory (that I’ll post about, at least) is the day I was baptized and converted to Catholicism.  It was such a sense of homecoming and peace, and for the first time in a long time, I felt that I was exactly where I needed to be from a spiritual perspective.  I spent several years as a member of my parents’ church, and I never had a feeling of happiness or energy while worshiping there.  I left that church during high school, and never really looked back.  It wasn’t until I met my good friend, T, in the Netherlands, that I started really searching again for answers in religion.  She introduced me to Catholicism from a personal perspective, and over the years I’ve been drawn closer and closer to the faith.  Sadly, I don’t have a photo of myself during the time of my baptism and confirmation (there was SO much going on), but I do have a photo of our chapel and the gorgeous stained glass works that decorate the area.  Sometimes, during mass, I feel drawn to those stunning windows, and immediately feel peaceful and happy, regardless of what is going on in life.  I only hope that my faith continues to sustain me, especially as my father’s health fails.  Undoubtedly, I’ll face many more obstacles in life, and hopefully I’ll find solace and hope within the community that I’ve discovered.

So, there you have it, some significant memories of my life!  I really enjoyed writing this post and sharing with you all some of my experiences, and if you have any questions (or want to know anything about me I haven’t covered), please feel free to ask!

Much love,

30 Days…Day 22

Oh Monday…usually the bane of my existence.  I’ve noticed that, since I’ve cut out my morning caffeine, I’ve not had such a harsh crash later in the day.  It’s quite nice, actually!  Plus, I never feel super dehydrated anymore, which is also good.  I’m curious as to whether I’ll actually go back to drinking soda after this…I haven’t actually wanted it lately, so who knows!


Day 22:  Looking forward to another bike ride later today, and still loving the iced tea!


Much love,

30 Days…Day 20

Today was an awesome day! I met up with my friend, A, for some girl time, otherwise known between us as “estrogen day.” We headed off for some shopping and lunch, and even managed to score a cupcake from the amazing cupcake bakery downtown. Delicious! Never once craved a soda either!

Day 20: Only 10 more days to go! I so got this!

Much love,

Bathroom Remodel…

I haven’t really done a post in a while on our bathroom remodel.  This is, primarily, because not much as been done on the bathroom remodel.  But…that’s life, at times, so I’ll own it.  We have added more drywall to the bathroom, and have purchased all the drywall we’ll need to finish up the bathroom, and complete the basement remodel (after The Great Arctic Vortex of 2014 caused a flood in there).  After the drywall is finished up in the bathroom, we can start in with the mudding (basically the seaming that we’ll have done to cover the seams where the drywall panels meet), and get to work on laying the under-floor heating.  I’m so excited to have heated tile floors in the bathroom…no more frozen feet in the middle of the night!

J and I have given ourselves a one year timeline.  That means, by Thanksgiving 2014, we should be finishing up with the bathroom!  I actually think it’s doable, if we really start to dig in.  Tonight, we have very romantic plans of scarfing down dinner, and then hanging more drywall…I know, be jealous, we lead quite a glamorous life!  Once all the drywall is complete, I’ll update with photos!

Much love,

Friday Favorites…Shower Edition!

I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog, Friday Favorites.  Basically, each week, I’ll do a short post on my “favorites” I’ve discovered.  I’ll do my best to include links and photos, so if anyone is interested, you can find the favorites easily.


So, here are my week’s shower favorites!


1. LUSH Seanik Bar Shampoo

Seanik Bar ShampooI adore this product.  I take it with me whenever I travel (so that I don’t have to check a bag), and it’s great for camping as well.  No special packaging required (I use a baggie), but you can purchase a tin case from LUSH that it fits into.  I don’t love the tin, because the shampoo gets mushy eventually when it’s wet, and it’s hard to get out of the tin, but the baggie is perfect!


2.  LUSH Jungle Bar Conditioner

Jungle Bar ConditionerI use this with the Seanik bar shampoo, and I am really happy with it.  All the same convenience of the bar shampoo, plus it doesn’t seem to leave behind any residue in my hair.  Even though my hair doesn’t feel all slick in the shower, I’m able to run a comb through it with no problems after I towel off my hair.  Plus…easy for travel!


3.  Neutrogena Naturals Acne Cream Cleanser

NeutrogenaI am *blessed* with adult acne, so I need a facial cleanser that helps with my breakouts but doesn’t dry me out.  This cleanser is perfect.  I switch it off every few days with my next favorite, so it’s not my everyday cleanser, but it is gentle enough to be.  It has less chemicals than other acne cleansers out there, so that helps a lot with keep my face from drying out.  Plus, I can get it at nearly any supermarket or Target/Walmart, so it’s not hard to find!


4.  The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash

tea-tree-skin-clearing-facial-wash_lI switch between this facial wash and the Neutrogena acne wash.  I love them both, and I think I’d be fine using either of them continuously.  It’s really a matter of which I grab first in the shower.  Normally, acne washes smell gross, but this one has a pretty decent scent, and J doesn’t mind smelling it when I come to bed.  Plus, it helps keep my acne under control, even without the chemicals, so definitely a good product!


5.  Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap Bar

bar soapI love bar soap.  I’d like to start making my own, but haven’t had a chance to start yet, so instead, I tend to stick with this one.  The smell isn’t overpowering, and it suds up really easily in the shower!  Plus, it’s eco friendly, which really makes me happy.  I’ve found that my dry skin has really gotten better since using this soap as well, so I think it moisturizes really well!

So, there are my favorites!  Hope you enjoyed!  What are some of your favorites for getting clean?


Much love,

30 Days…Day 18

There’s nothing like a good night’s rest to put a spring in your step!  Today I woke up much more rested than anything, and ready to tackle my day!  No more thoughts of caffeine for me, thank you very much!  I’ve sucked down a ton of water so far, plus a peach tea (only one), and am now walking on the treadmill while answering some emails at work.  Overall, it’s a pretty good day!


Day 18:  I can’t believe I’m nearly 2/3 of the way through my challenge!  After that first week, time has flown!


Much love,

30 Days…Day 17

Today is the first time in a week or so that I’ve actually wished for caffeine.  I woke up exhausted this morning, and it was so hard to not stop at the local gas station to pick up a giant cup of carbonated awesomeness, but I didn’t.  I guess that’s a win!  That said, I’ve drunk quite a bit of the Lipton Tea and Honey Dragon fruit Peach drink mix in my water today…which I need to cut back on (I had 2 packets today).  Normally I have zero, or maybe half, but I was dying.  Oh well…minor indulgences.


Day 17:  Hanging in there, but today was rough!  Note to self, go to bed at 7:30pm tonight.


Much love,