Monday, December 16, 2013

Goodbye Auburn

I am so happy to say that I am officially finished with my MBA!  It has been a long, stressful, rewarding, challenging, exciting road and it's a bittersweet end. I enjoyed my time as an Auburn student and will always support this wonderful school!  

I was required to return to Auburn to finish my Capstone course in preparation for graduation.  I once read somewhere that you never realize how much you as a person have changed until you return to a place that hasn't.  I never fully understood that thought until I arrived on Auburn's campus.  Spending time on campus was wonderful (although most was spent cramming in the library); however, being on campus led me to reflect on how much has changed since I started this path.  I am such a different person with a different perspective now than I was as a fresh faced graduate student when I arrived.   

All the late nights, stress, tears, lack of sleep, moments of doubt and frustration are now completely worth it.  I could not be more thankful for the support I have received while finishing my masters.  Whether it was a night off just to have fun with friends, a pep talk from best friends, family or co-workers, a good cry and talk with God, or just a smile and words of encouragement, I have been unbelievably blessed with the amount of love and support I have had in this process.  

Now I am looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying the Christmas season!  I honestly do not think the fact that I am officially done with tests and homework has even hit me fully yet.  I know myself and I highly doubt that I am forever finished with school but I am definitely going to take a break!  Here's to a wonderful Christmas that is not filled with stress, multinational finance problems, or late night final practice exams :) War Eagle! 

Right after our Capstone presentation

Surprise from my sweet co-workers :)

THE AUBURN CREED

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. 

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully. 

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men. 

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities. 

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all. 

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all. 

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God." 

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it. 
-George Petrie (1945)

Monday, November 25, 2013

JT: The 20/20 Experience

Last weekend my friend Cassey and I went to see Justin Timberlake in concert.  I have always been a fan but after seeing his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (see video below), I was 100% on board with going to his new concert tour. 

We decided to go all out and get floor seats and oh boy am I glad we did!  We started the evening with dinner at Sole Mio which I highly recommend.  It was a great atmosphere and the food & wine were amazing!

Our seats were amazing with a great view of the stage and then during the concert his stage raised into the air and traveled across the crowd.  THEN, landed in the VIP section which we were three rows away from.  He was so close to us!  He played for 3 hours!!!!! It was so amazing!  Definitely worth every penny :)


So ready for the concert to start!!













25 Days to 25: Day 25

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.
20. Keep blogging.
21. Develop a vision.
22.  Decide on my next educational pursuit.
23. Be happy.
24. Make the best decisions for me.

25.Enjoy the year.

This is the only time I will ever be 25 so I just want to enjoy this year.  I don't want to wish days away or hurry myself up to 26.  25 has started off pretty great and I think there are some great things in store for this year!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 24

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.
20. Keep blogging.
21. Develop a vision.
22.  Decide on my next educational pursuit.
23. Be happy.

24. Make the best decisions for me.

When making any decision I'm always worried about how it's going to affect everyone else.  I have a bad habit of worrying too much about other's opinions instead of focusing on what I really want.  This year I'm going to make a commitment to make the decisions that I know are right for me and will bring me the most happiness.

25 Days to 25: Day 23

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.
20. Keep blogging.
21. Develop a vision.
22.  Decide on my next educational pursuit.

23. Be happy.

Pursue happiness everyday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 22

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.
20. Keep blogging.
21. Develop a vision.

22.  Decide on my next educational pursuit.

I will be finished with my MBA in just a few weeks and even though I've told myself I'm taking a long break before pursuing any other degrees, I'm not so sure that's the case.  Whether it's a professional designation or another post-graduate degree, I want to go ahead and start planning what I am going to pursue next and when.  

25 Days to 25: Day 21

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.
20. Keep blogging.

21. Develop a vision.

I think it's important to have a vision of what you want to accomplish in life and I want to work on developing my vision for my professional and community goals that will enable me to stay focused.  

25 Days to 25: Day 20

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.
19.  Learn something new.

20. Keep blogging.

 I absolutely love blogging.  I love to write and have found this a great way to use up some creative energy. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 19

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.
18.  Do more random acts of kindness.

19.  Learn something new.

I want to learn a new hobby or skill this year that I haven't tried before.   

25 Days to 25: Day 18

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.
17. Read the Bible.

18.  Do more random acts of kindness.

Sometimes the smallest thing, even a smile, can make a huge difference in someone's life.  You never know what another person is going through and one kind action can completely change the course of their day.  I want to remember this and make an effort to make even the smallest gestures of kindness towards others daily.

25 Days to 25: Day 17

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.
16. Be more timely.

17. Read the Bible.

I have read a lot of the Bible but I have never read it from cover to cover in order.  I do not know that I will be able to accomplish this in under a year but I would at least like to get started on the goal this year. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 16

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.
15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.

16. Be more timely.

I am the worst about giving myself just the right amount of time to get somewhere and am always rushing in the mornings.  I want to make an effort this year to get up earlier and give myself more time to get ready and get everything organized in the mornings to make things a lot less hectic for the rest of the day.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

1. Jessica Simpson Catcher Wedge Booties found here


I am in LOVE with these for Fall & Winter.  Perfect for jeans or leggings!

2. Tees by Tina Micro Rib Legging

Can be found at Bella Regazza or online here


I was recently introduced to these leggings at Bella Regazza in downtown Owensboro.  I cannot put into words how much I love these leggings. They are unbelievably comfortable and you cannot see through them. 
3. Red Dress Boutique: My Cup of Tea Dress


Dress can be found here

4. Banana Republic Floral Beaded Pullover


Perfect top for dress pants, skirts or jeans found here

5. J Crew Factory Pleated Mini in Tartan


Can be found at J. Crew Factory online here and is available in different solid colors as well.  I recently purchased this skirt and absolutely love it!  It's perfect with leggings and boots or tights and heels for work.


25 Days to 25: Day 15

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.
14.  Simplify.

15. Watch a sunrise and sunset.

"Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light "day" and the darkness he called "night."  And there was evening and there was morning - the first day." - Genesis 1:3-5.

I've seen a part of the sunrise or sunset in my life but I've never just sat and watched it happen.  One of God's first acts in creating this world and I can't believe I've never sat patiently to see it's beauty unfold.  I want to at least see one sunrise and one sunset this year.  I can only imagine how beautiful and relaxing it would be!

Monday, November 11, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 14

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.
13. Give up soft drinks.

14.  Simplify.

"I have nothing to wear."  I can't tell you how many morning I say this when I open the doors to my closet to get ready.  If you saw my closet you would laugh and want to shake me.  I have plenty of clothes and should never be without an outfit.  I read the other day that the more clothes you have the more complicated it is to pick out an outfit.  There are too many options that it becomes overwhelming.  So true!  Over this year, I want to clean out my closet and get it down to a more sensible amount and only keep the things I truly love and wear regularly.  Hopefully this will make mornings less stressful and it will make my closet much more organized :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bloglovin'

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25 Days to 25: Day 13

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.
12.  Be creative.

13. Give up soft drinks.

I can admit it.  Coca-Cola is addictive for me.  I have given up drinking soft drinks several times over the past 10 years but I always end up drinking them again.  I wasn't a coffee drinker until recently so when I needed a shot of caffeine in the mornings, a can of coke was the solution.  I hope that by the end of my year of being 25, I can say that I'm officially not drinking soft drinks anymore.  

25 Days to 25: Day 12

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.
11. Exercise more.

12.  Be creative.

I am a very focused, type A person most of the time but I enjoy throwing myself into creative projects.  Whether it's writing, a DIY project, painting classes with friends, etc. I enjoy getting out of my normal element and just tapping into my creative side.

I think it's important to exercise both sides of our brain. I believe incorporating these creative activities into my life more often will be fun and a stress reducer.   

Friday, November 8, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 11

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.
10. Spend more time outdoors.

11. Exercise more.

I love to run, take zumba classes, do yoga, etc. but with my busy schedule lately sadly that is the first thing I cut.  Now this probably wasn't the best decision but I felt too guilty walking away from homework an hour a day.  Now that school is drawing to a close I want to focus on getting my workouts back into my daily routine.

Not only is it good for my health, it is also a great stress reliever.  I feel tons better on days that I am eating clean and getting my workout in.  It gives you a renewed sense of energy to get through the day.  Before this semester, I was starting to get into yoga and love it.  It's not only great exercise but improves flexibility and is great for stress relief.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Living vs #Living

Are you living or #living?  

How many times a day do you check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?  If you're like me you would probably be ashamed of the number if you actually counted.  These internet sites have taken over our lives in more ways than we can even begin to realize.  It's how we're beginning to judge our self-worth, attractiveness, quality of life....and to be honest it's ridiculous.  Sad, really.  I am only 24 and can see a vast difference in our world just due to these social networks.  

I can admit it.  I love social media.  It's fun to keep up with old friends and classmates, to see who's getting engaged or having babies, etc.  What bothers me about these networks is that they are causing people to #live instead of live.  

I was at an event last night at the public library and had the opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak.  What an opportunity!  We really are the last generation that will have opportunities like this and we would be crazy not to jump at the chance.  As the event went on, I noticed something going on in the audience that made me quite sad.  I saw several (and I mean several) young people trolling these before mentioned social websites.  They were taking pictures of the speaker and uploading them.  You see, it was important that their social media "friends" know that they were listening to a #Holocaust #survivor speak about #suffering #Germany and #hope.  I didn't find it irritating like I thought I would, instead it just brought me a great sense of sadness because I realized that this happens so often.

Here these people had the opportunity to hear an experience from someone who had gone through a terrifying ordeal and had not only survived, but triumphed. Instead of being captivated, they were more worried about everyone knowing where they were and scrolling through their news feeds.  It's awesome to share what you're doing with everyone but how are you going to share information and the incredible story you heard if you were too busy telling people what you were doing to really listen?

I see this happening more and more everyday.  When we should be experiencing great moments and really relishing these special times, a large part of our society has a greater concern that everyone know what they are up to.  Have I been guilty of this? Absolutely.  Will I continue to use social media? Sure.  It is part of our culture today but we cannot let a hobby networking site steal our precious moments of education, understanding and life.

I can't tell you how many times I get on social media and people have posted 35 pictures from a concert they went to from the concert.  Post 1 or 2 if you want, but why are you on Facebook posting pictures?  You have a live musician in front of you with amazing talent, listen.  Out to dinner with family?  Put your phone on silent and talk to them.  I understand the urge to check your phone, I'm guilty and fight the urge all the time.  I have made a conscious effort lately to leave my phone alone more and focus on the here and now.  I can't tell you how much more I enjoy dinners with family or friends or a long run that isn't interrupted from chronic beeping about emails, texts or who's #workingout, #watchingtv or #sleeping.  Not to mention, it's a respect issue.  Now that I've started cutting my attachment to my phone it irritates me so much more when others are on theirs.  

I believe that it is so important for us to stop chronicling every detail of our lives and what we're doing and instead just enjoy the moment while you're living it.  You won't get the moment back but Instagram will still be there to post a picture later.  If we are focusing on a lit up screen and telling everyone else what we're experiencing, we aren't really experiencing those great moments are we?  That person you are with isn't getting your focus, your "friends" on the computer are.  

Here's to really living life.  Taking in the sights and sounds and committing those to memory.  100% throwing yourself into what you're experiencing and sharing the joy and excitement of that with those you are with at the time.  How much happier we would all be if we just really focused on living instead of #living?

25 Days to 25: Day 10

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.
9. Read for pure enjoyment.

10. Spend more time outdoors.

I spent so much of this summer & fall stuck inside studying that I don't feel like I had the opportunity to really enjoy the weather and fun outside activities.  With extra time on my hands this year I want to spend more time outside just enjoying the fresh air.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 9

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.
8. Sleep.

9. Read for pure enjoyment.

I love to read.  Absolutely love it.  There's nothing better than escaping the world through a great book.  When I was little I would stay up past my bedtime and read under my covers with a flashlight.  Who wanted to sleep when you could be reading an amazing book about a foreign place?  (See Day 8 to see that this is still a problem).

Over the past few years, my daily reading has turned into more of a Wall Street Journal, Messenger-Inquirer, investment magazine intertwined with reading for schoolwork.  I have found less time to devote to reading just for enjoyment.  Now that I'm finishing grad school, I want to take time to read through the shelf full of books I purchased off my list that have yet to be opened.  Reading is relaxing to me and like a free vacation from life even for an hour.  I want to commit this year to reading again for pure enjoyment.

25 Days to 25: Day 8

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.
7. Travel to another foreign country.

8. Sleep.

Over the past few months I have really started to realize how lack of sleep affects my clarity, reaction time, focus, energy and appetite.  No longer can I run on all-nighters or a handful of hours of sleep each night.  I am a night owl by nature and currently am in the last few weeks of grad school.  These two combined are a bad combination for my sleep pattern.

I used to be able to run on little sleep and not feel like I was losing a step.  Now, I can definitely tell a difference on days I slept a good 7-8 hours and the 4 hour days (which sadly are the majority of the time).  Sleep is going to be a rare commodity until mid-December but I intend to really work on my sleep schedule this year.  I'm just going to have to learn to go to bed earlier and make myself get a full 7-8 hours each night.  Growing up isn't as fun as it sounded at 5 years old ; )  

Monday, November 4, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 7

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.
6. Eat clean.

7. Travel to another foreign country.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to many great places within the U.S. as well as trips to China and South Africa.  I absolutely love traveling and exploring new places and am always up for a fun trip!  My goal for this year is to travel to another country I haven't visited before.  I'm not sure where I want to go yet but below are the ones on the top of my list:

Ireland



Scotland



Italy






Dubai & Maldives


I was here for a layover on my way to China and definitely want to go back when I can actually leave the airport :)



Okay this last one probably won't happen for a long time but hey, a girl can dream right?!



Sunday, November 3, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 6

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.
5. Give back.

6. Eat clean.

With a hectic schedule each week that is never the same, planning meals and grocery lists is difficult. I either buy zero food and end up grabbing whatever is handy to get me through the day or I make up a bunch of food that I'm never home to eat.  When I am able to plan what I eat and keep it clean (no junk, fast food, or processed foods), I can't believe how much better I feel or sleep and how much more energy I have.

Over the past couple months I have been completing research on the Paleo lifestyle and have slowly incorporated some of its principles.  It focuses on eating clean foods that are created by nature and not things processed in a factory.  I can't imagine how difficult it would be to follow this lifestyle 24/7 but I am working on converting to a more Paleo eating structure a little at a time.   My goal for this year is to commit to doing this even more and taking the time to plot out clean, Paleo meals that will give me better energy and rest to keep up with this crazy life of mine!

25 Days to 25: Day 5

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.
4. Practice the power of no.

5. Give back.

Everyone has those days where you feel like everything is crashing down on you and life is terrible.  I've had those, we all have.  But let's get real.  I am an extremely blessed person.  I have a great family, friends, God, a job, food to eat and a warm house to live in.  Sadly, there are a lot of people who cannot make that same claim. 

I participate in community service but this year I want to focus on really making a commitment of service to a few organizations that I feel extremely passionate about.  It is important to put good back into the world and help those who are in need.  I hope that this year I make giving back to others a significant priority in my life.   

Friday, November 1, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 4

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.
3. Take time to enjoy the little things.

4. Practice the power of no.

I am currently reading the book Boundaries, which I highly recommend to anyone that feels like they've just taken on too much.  I struggle with saying no.  There's not much I enjoy more than a good project, helping plan an event or spending time with friends & family but I am learning that even though I think I can do it all - that's not actually the case.  I can do 10 things and only give part of myself to each and constantly feel inadequate or I can focus on a few things I am extremely passionate about and really dive in.  It's difficult to say no to a new opportunity or spending time with people you care about.  I don't know about you but I am always worried about how much I will regret not being involved or whether I'm missing out on something that could really be great.  The power of no is a strong power.  Too often, I guilt myself into thinking saying no to doing something is a rejection to the person to whom it is directed.  It's not.  I'm not saying no because I do not care, but because sometimes you have to put your happiness and sanity above satisfying everyone else.  
What I'm realizing slowly is that I might.  I might miss out on a project that would have been fun or serving on a committee that did something great.  My friends or family might have a fun night that I didn't experience.  However, in order to be a whole, happy person, it is important to set boundaries in all aspects of your life and stand by them.  I am finally understanding that for me, feeling a sense of accomplishment and knowing I gave something my best effort is a much better, more calm, and happy place to be than constantly feeling like you can't juggle all that is going on.  I am the queen of taking on one thing after another and I know it drives my family and friends crazy.  It is a weakness of mine and it's time for it to change.

My plan for this year is to really put effort into making sure I am only committing to what I know I can handle and what is the most important to me.  I hope to narrow my focus to a handful of things I am passionate about and really commit to those and learn to say no without the nagging feeling of guilt afterwards.

"Boundaries define us.  They define what is me and what is not me.  A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.  Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom.  Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options.  Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out.  Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices.  You are the one who makes them.  You are the one who must live with their consequences.  And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with.  We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking."

- Henry Cloud, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No and to Take Control of Your Life.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 3

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.

3. Take time to enjoy the little things.

I get so wrapped up in work, homework, committees, projects, etc. that sometimes I forget to set aside time to do the things that just make my soul happy.  Whether it's a DIY project, a long run, writing, spending time with friends and family, etc., it is important to set aside time to do those things.

I want to really make an effort this year to make sure and incorporate those activities I love into my daily life more and not focus so much on the more stressful parts of life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 2

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA - I am on track to be finished in December so this one is kind of easy.  However, between the three exams and two projects I have left, survival is still up in the air.
2.  Pray more, worry less.



I am a self-admitted Type A, wants to control my life and always has a list person.  However, I am also a worrier.  I think I get this from my grandmother.  She was always worried about us.  Driving to school, on vacation, traveling abroad, during storms, etc.  I get called Maw Jr. by a lot of my family but I'm okay with that.  I realize that life is in God's hands and not mine and that worrying won't change anything...I hear it all the time.  Although I inherited my worrying mind from Maw, she also had an unbelievable faith and always encouraged us that the only person who could solve our problems is God so we might as well tell Him and let Him worry about the outcome for us.

I am not saying my worrying nature is going away.  It's just not going to happen.  However, a goal of mine for this next year is to remember that although I want to control my day-to-day life and know exactly what the future holds, that it's not my job and I don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I am learning to step back from thinking about what I want to do with my life and letting God show me what he wants me to do and turning my stress and worries to Him.  This is very difficult for me but I am going to try really hard to worry less and put my trust in Him that he will take care of my worries and show me the way.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 1

Anytime I say "I can't believe I'm almost 25!!!" anyone who is older than me looks at me like a zoo animal.  Yes, I realize that 25 is very young but to me it feels too old.  I can't believe I am almost 25 years old.  I am no longer a recent graduate, first-year employee, and my auto insurance was reduced due to AGE!  Whoa.  That was a hard one to swallow.  

In the spirit of getting myself in a good mood about being a quarter of a century old, I have decided to compile a list of 25 things I want to accomplish in my year of being 25.  I'm choosing one a day to post as a way to commit to my goals and I can always reevaluate at......26 :(......

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25

1. Finish my MBA - I am on track to be finished in December so this one is kind of easy. However, between the three exams and two projects I have left survival is still up in the air.  

This is how I feel:



This is how I expect to feel as soon as I finish my last final:


Doesn't the after look like a much more fun person?  I'll be glad when I get my full social life and free time back.  I'm so happy to have the opportunity to have my MBA but I will be glad when it's officially done.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

I am in the Emerge Owensboro class this year and we meet once a month to learn about different aspects of our community.  This past week we had our Human Needs and Services Day.  We spent the day learning about the public service organizations in Owensboro and the needs of the lower income part of our community.  

I can honestly say it was one of the most eye-opening days of my life.  I am a very blessed person. Of course there are things that I wish I had like everyone does but I have a family, home, job and a vehicle.  All of those are things that I have always had and never had to worry about. This day was a strong reminder to be thankful for all of the blessings that I do have and to recognize that not everyone has these blessings.  

We spent the day without vehicles and kept phone use to a minimum.  I have never used public transportation in Owensboro before but I was fairly confident that it couldn't be hard, right?  I mean, you jump on a bus...ride to your destination...problem solved.  Well, it wasn't that easy.  We started our day at the Elizabeth Munday Senior Center where we learned about the services provided to our seniors and heard from the local United Way group.    Upon leaving the senior center, we traveled downtown via the bus to buy an all-day bus pass.  God bless the City of Owensboro Transit workers and their patience.  Using the bus system was a lot more complicated than I expected.  The routes had just recently changed and our updated maps weren't really "updated," there were 5 different color lines to learn, and I was expected to do this without my iPhone?  I consider myself to be very self-sufficient but transportation that day tested the small amount of patience I do possess.  The highlight of this bus experience was without a doubt the people that I encountered.  Everyone I met on the bus was extremely friendly, always spoke and went out of their way to help us understand the bus system.  It really shocked me how helpful everyone was to a perfect stranger who was obviously a fish out of water. 

Our case assignment included finding hospice care and grief counseling which took us to Hospice of Western KY.  I have luckily not had much experience with this service but I was so impressed with the services and quality of care that they offer our community. It was obvious how much they care about their clients and are focused on what really matters at such a difficult time in someone's life.  

We were each assigned a homeless shelter in town for lunch and a tour during the lunch hour.  Our group assignment was to the Boulware Mission.  What an amazing place!  I can't say enough good things about what this organization is doing.  

Our afternoon was spent touring Oasis and Girls, Inc. followed by a Homelessness in Owensboro panel made up of a representatives from four shelters in Owensboro (Daniel Pitino Shelter, Boulware Mission, St. Benedicts, St. Joseph Peace Mission).  It was difficult and enlightening to hear about the daily struggles these organizations see in people just looking to fill their basic needs of food, water and shelter.  I think many of us were surprised at how much of a problem this is in our town.  The shelters turn people away every day who have to seek a safe place to sleep elsewhere.  We were asked if we went to the shelters and they were full where we would go to sleep that night.  I'm an emotional person anyway but that question brought out tears (not for the first time that day).  I cannot even imagine not having a home to go to, much less having to find a public place to sleep where it's safe, especially for people with children.

It is easy to ignore problems in our community.  We have a lot of exciting changes and developments taking place that are a lot more fun and exciting to talk about than homelessness, poverty, and the needs of the elderly, poor, and abused.  However, if we want to succeed as a community we have to acknowlege our shortcomings, work to improve quality of life for everyone and always remember that any of us could be in a position to need these services a lot quicker than we like to talk about.

I could not be more thankful for having the experience of seeing my community from a completely different point of view.  It's easy to get wrapped up in my own life and my day-to-day problems but it is important to be reminded that there are people who struggle for the basics every day and that we should all be more thankful for what we do have.  I am grateful for this grounding experience that will hopefully help me to be a better leader and help out where I can.  Here's to counting blessings instead of frustrations and appreciating all that we have!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finding Stillness

"Be still and know that I am God." ~Psalm 46:10

I have been reminding myself of this bible verse daily over the past couple weeks.  Sometimes my type-A, control every outcome and nothing bad will happen, always on top of it personality needs to be reminded that I am not the one in charge.  I struggle with letting go and letting God but that is a continuous learning experience for me.  I tend to become so wrapped up in the day to day and focusing on what my plan is and need to remind myself that there is a greater plan for my life than I could ever sit down and create by myself.

I have found that in quiet moments when I just sit back & listen, without my cell phone buzzing, tv on or work in my lap, I can clear my thoughts and really look for the path I'm supposed to be following.  I'm still in the midst of figuring out life and it's an exciting, fun, but scary place to be.  I would love to have a crystal ball to see exactly what the future holds but that would take all the adventure and fun out of the experience.  So for now I'm happy to focus on faith, family & friends while I listen for God's plan and continue to develop into the woman he created me to be. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Did you see pigs flying this weekend?

I am a LOUISVILLE fan.  That's where I went to school and I am diehard Cards til the day I die.  That being said, I had the opportunity for 4 tickets to the UK game this weekend.  Four good 50-yard line tickets.  My best friend and her family are huge UK fans and I was planning to spend the weekend with them anyway so when this opportunity popped up I decided to offer this option to them.  We all decided it would be a fun way to spend the weekend!  

Saturday morning we trekked to Lexington to tailgate & attend the game.  Suzanne's mom packed so much good food and we were able to just hang out and relax until the game started.  The first half of the game was pretty exciting but Florida seemed to run away with it in the second half.  I am not a UK "fan" but I like to see teams in our Commonwealth do well, that is unless they are playing UL and then I want to destroy them.  Part of the bargain in going to the game was that I had to promise to dress appropriately in blue.  I have ONE dress in my closet that could fit this occasion (thank goodness) and wore it to show some support.  Oh and the necklace I wore is coral NOT Florida orange. I really wish UK had pulled off the victory.  It would be great to see history being made (they haven't beat Florida since 1986) and it doesn't hurt Louisville's strength of schedule ; )  Below are some pictures from our fun day!


















Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekend Recap

I spent Thursday & Friday in Cincinnati for work.  I love when I travel there for work because it means I get to see one of my best friends Katlin!  We had a great dinner at Nada and drinks at the 21C Hotel Rooftop Bar.








On Friday, after leaving my conference I headed to Lexington to meet my best friend Suzanne for a girls weekend!  Friday night we went to one of my favorite consignment stores Clothes Mentor.  After shopping we decided to grab dinner at Sal's and then headed downtown to go out.

On Saturday, we had a big day planned starting with massages at Massage Envy.  This place was AMAZING!!  It was so relaxing.  After our massages we had big plans for shopping all day but we ended up spending the day relaxing and just hanging out.  It was so nice to just hang out with my best friend and chat. 

Saturday we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Lexington, Bella Notte, and then hung out around a bonfire.


I could post a picture of us smiling but this picture represents our friendship so much better!





Sunday, we traveled back to Henderson so that I could meet Suzanne's niece.  It was such a beautiful day so I decided to take the long way to McLean County.  It was the perfect day for a long drive with the windows down and music up.  I had to convince myself to go home and unpack and do homework.  I could have driven around for hours.




I spent Sunday night roasting marshmallows with my grandparents to cap off the weekend.  I love Fall and it is already starting off great!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wish List Wednesday: Stripes

I didn't use to be a big fan of stripes but I am loving stripes for Fall.  Here are 5 great striped pieces:

1. Loft Striped Cotton Jersey Pleated Skirt Dress found here


2. Old Navy Women's V-Neck Boyfriend Cardigan found here






3. Banana Republic Monogram Striped Trench found here



4. Kate Spade Grove Court Stripe Maise found here
5. J. Crew Nora Stripe Ballet Flats found here