Swamped September

September shaped up to be another busy month. It was full of good things – new experiences, bonding with friends, and work events. Unfortunately hurricanes and natural disasters took away a lot of “good things” for many, many people. Reflecting on this, trying to put myself in others’ shoes, has helped me to be more gracious about what I have (both material and non-material). If I’m struggling with a bad day, I focus on shifting my perspective and offer up a prayer to those who are going through much worse situations than I am.
NYC Trip/US Open – seeing all the sites and eating all the pizza!
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2017-09-03 16.10.43

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Labor Day
My first time in College Station & my first Aggie football game
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Work team retreat
Stephanie’s (my college roommate) post-elopement reception
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Brunch with my roommates
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First day of autumn – my favorite season
Kept busy with work events
Movies/TV
Arrested Development, Season 1
Call the Midwife, Season 2
The Zookeepers Wife
Wimbledon
Books
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

October Goals:
Read more
Reconnect with several friends I haven’t seen in months
Train for the 5K I’m doing next month (up to 2 miles at a time)
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Day seventeen: change the world

You may have noticed that I have been absent the past couple of days. It’s all been for a good reason. After almost exactly 5 months of being unemployed I started a new job! It’s a great opportunity and I feel very blessed. However, that means adjusting to a new routine and not having as much time to do what I used to do. Now that things are starting to slow down, I plan of focusing on the personal growth exercise I started a few weeks ago.

If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?

I would make people less selfish. I believe people’s selfishness create a lot of problems. Our society is so “me, me, me.” We get into traffic accidents because of our impatience. We have a desire to be first, even if it means putting others down or at risk for future harm. We always want to be right and find it so challenging to admit when we are wrong.

When we are selfish we often dismiss the dignity of other human beings – choosing to spend $5 on our morning latte vs. putting that amount of money in a charity.  We binge-watch TV instead of spending one hour of our week or month volunteering. We leave a mess for others to clean up because we are too lazy or just do not care.

No, this is not me saying that I am a saint, or completely selfless person. There are many areas in my life where I need to stop focusing on myself and put others first. I am guilty of all of the examples I listed above. Sometimes I don’t think that we are even aware of our selfishness at times, they become so routine.

This question definitely makes me reflect more on the areas of my life that I need to improve. Small improvements can make a big impact. I truly believe that leading by example can change a lot more than we realize.

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Onwards & Upwards…

April Action

April has been so busy, but in a good way. I’m starting to fall back into a routine after an intense few weeks of filming in March. It was a month full of new opportunities, spending time catching up with friends, and making new connections. There were no trips this month, but May kicks off the “trip a month” season for my boyfriend and I. Stay tuned for more!

Babysat J’s nephews

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Still job hunting and had many phone interviews – none of which have panned out…

I began struggling more with my eating disorder (the awful “binge and purge cycle”)

Attended our friend’s brewery’s 2nd anniversary party

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Began weight training with J’s brother

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Filming ended (hallelujah)

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Began coaching youth tennis

April (hail) showers

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Started a running regimen

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Some of J’s friends were in town for the weekend and we went to “The Revivalists” concert, brunch, and the park

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Easter

Saw a local production of “Singin’ in the Rain” (my favorite musical)

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Fell and hurt my knee…

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Movies/TV

Parks & Recreation, Seasons 2 – 6

Deep Water Horizon

The Theory of Everything​

Singin’ in the Rain

Armageddon
Books

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

The Wonder ​by Emma Donoghue

The Children by Ann Leary

March Madness

I know, I know… It’s halfway through April and I’m just now posting my “March review.” March has been a whirlwind, but in a different way. I started to train to run a 5K which was a good distraction/something to focus on while still being unemployed.

I took a job as a stand in for a new TV pilot which consumed a LOT of my time. I had worked as one three years ago, but this production was different. There were more 12-14 hour days, night shoots, and getting home at 3 am. Let’s just say that I am still physically and mentally recovering from when we wrapped last week. It’s been a struggle adjusting to a new routine…

Anyways, without further delay, here are the highlights from my March 2017:

Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent

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One month dating anniversary – yes, we are cheesy and love it

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“Let is Be” musical at Fair Park

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St. Patty’s Day Party at J’s

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2017-03-17 16.37.12

2017-03-17 09.46.35

Ran a 5K

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Began working as a stand in for a new TV Pilot

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Babysat J’s nephews

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Springtime!

2017-03-22 11.18.40

Movies/TV

Parks & Recreation, Seasons 2 – 4

This is Us, Season 1

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 13

The Usual Suspects

Books

The Happiness ProjectThe Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Just-In-January

My Word of the Year: Brave

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Road trip with my dad to New Orleans. My brother and sister-in-law met us there (from Georgia) so they could go to the Sugar Bowl

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“Snow” day

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Job interview(s)

My brother and sister-in-law came to visit us from Georgia for a week

Joined a gym

Went on a couple of dates…

Found a new “home church” and a new young adults group

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Last day of my job –  Laid off

Inauguration day

Booked a trip to LONDON, England for next month with my mom

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More hiking, jogging, and yoga

Volunteered for a new mission – The 635 – and make a lot of new friends

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Movies/TV

  • Don Verdean
  • Grace & Frankie, Season 1
  • This is Us, Season 1
  • New Girl, Season 5
  • Talullah
  • The Crown, Season 13
  • The Girl on the Train
  • The Queen
  • Grey’s Anatomy, Season 12
  • Parks and Recreation, Seasons 1 & 2

Books

  • First Comes Love by Emily Giffin (finished)
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

How did the first month of 2017 treat you?!

’16 going on ’17

So 2016. I thought that 2015 tested me both mentally and physically, but 2016 didn’t give me much of a break. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a terrible year. There were plenty of great things that happened and I continued to grow and challenge myself – even when I felt like I had done all the “growing” I could (or wanted to).

I’ve compiled my “monthly reviews” (click on the month to check out the post) from the past year and included some of my favorite things. Checking out my old posts was quite an exercise as sadly I forgot a good chunk of things that happened…

Enjoy and here’s to an even better year!

Favorite Book: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty & Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Favorite TV Show(s): Pretty Little Liars, Veronica Mars, & New Girl 

Favorite Movie (s): Brooklyn & Room

January

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February

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March

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April

2016-04-23 13.14.38

May

2016-05-22 15.50.27

June

2016-06-26 18.36.04

July

2016-07-31 15.44.14

August

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September

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October

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November

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December

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Onwards and upwards to 2017!

April Showers

April

Began counseling (again)

Lunch out with my co-workers

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The Porch, Dallas

Young Women’s retreat through my church

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Rain, lots of rain & lovely spring weather

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Springtime in Texas

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Colored my hair

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Earth Day Dallas with my Mom

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Fair Park, Dallas

Two year anniversary working at my current job (never thought that would happen)

TV/Movies
Scandal, Season, season 5
Grey’s Anatomy, season 12
House of Cards, season 4
The Family
Age of Adelaide
Fuller House, season 1
Daddy’s Home
 
Books

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Was your April full of showers or rainbows?

Hello, Baltimore

December 30, 2015
Sitting at a food court in Baltimore (BWI airport), waiting for my phone to charge so I can walk around and request an Uber to Federal Hill Park. It’s in the Inner Harbor area so I should be able to find something to do for 4.5 hours while I wait for my cousin to pick me up.
I arrived about 4.5 hours sooner than originally planned. On my way to the airport I received an alert that my flight to Charlotte was delayed, pushing my arrival back, which would cause me to miss my connecting flight to Baltimore. *Blessing in disguise* My dad had to take me to the airport early because he had a doctor’s appointment. Initially I was complaining about having to wait longer at the gate, but I ended up re-booking on a different, earlier flight once I arrived at the airport. This meant that I had less than an hour to get through security and to the gate, but it was either that or wait on standby for a 5:30 flight that evening. I’ve never been a fan of being on standby (or waiting) so luckily I was able to make it through security quickly and made it to the gate with time to spare. It’s almost like the universe “wanted” me to start my impromptu vacation earlier!
After being involved in two different scenarios where I could have been killed or more severely injured (car accident and a natural disaster) and on top of already having a challenging couple of months (calling off my wedding in the fall), I realized 1) That I need to stop feeling sorry for myself/throw “pity parties.” 2) Life is too short to just plan and/or say that I’m going to do things and not do them. 3) That despite feeling “worthless”, I’m “supposed” to be here doing something important with my life though that purpose remains unclear.
Anyways, our God is a God of second (and third+) choices. I have a good feeling about 2016. I plan to write a list of things I want to do and create an “action plan” so they’ll actually get done (I’m a list-maker). Sometimes I need a little big push…
I took an Uber to the Inner Harbor District. There I explored and took photos of Federal Hill Park (in the rain). Got a little lost, but that’s okay. I flipped through a magazine and had a snack at the Barnes and Noble in the Inner Harbor (designed with lighthouse towers inside), then migrated to a Starbucks down the street in search of an outlet to charge my phone and a comfier chair. No chair, but at least I was able to charge my phone and read while I waited for Hannah.
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Once we arrived to my cousin’s house we unpacked and headed to one of her favorite “Syracuse” bar, Dogwatch, to watch her college basketball team play. I got to meet a few of her friends and enjoyed a much needed drink and food after a long travel day.
December 31, 2015 – New Year’s Eve
In the morning we errands around town: Chipotle for lunch and grocery shopping to buy ingredients for meals then walked around the little shops and harbor in Fells Point, another neighborhood (it reminded me of my first roommate’s town – Excelsior, MN).
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My cousin Max, Hannah’s brother, drove down fro New York. I wasn’t planning on seeing him so it was a nice surprise! The three of us went to dinner at a little Mexican restaurant called Nacho Mama’s where we enjoyed fajitas and a “hubcap” raspberry margarita. I knew I was in Maryland when I saw crab on the menu (crab enchiladas and quesadillas)! After eating we headed to downtown Baltimore for a Bluegrass concert (The Infamous Stringdusters) at Ram’s Head Live. I danced with a real hill billy! Crossed that off my bucket list a before I even had time to write it down! But then later it got really hot and I almost passed out from dehydration and claustrophobia (not so much fun)…

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We ended up leaving the concert close to 1:30 am. Hannah’s roommate wanted us to come see her at the bar she was working at. Honestly all I really wanted to do was go back to their house, but the Uber surcharge was 7.8% and my cousin wanted to wait so we wouldn’t have to pay so much.So then we went with her roommate to a different bar where her friend was working and ended up staying there for an hour and a half. I REALLY didn’t want to stay or drink. I was tired and my phone was dead, but they kept drinking (free drinks). Pro to being there was the bar was playing country music. Even though I don’t listen to county music that often I felt like I was back home in Texas. I did make the mistake of drinking a Red Bull energy drink because I didn’t know how much later we were going to be out and I was fading fast. Thanks to the drink I didn’t end up falling to sleep until after 5 am… SO unlike me…
 
January 1, 2016 – New Year’s Day
Since the night before was rough, we spend the morning sleeping in, hanging out around the house, playing banjo, and watching How I Met Your Mother.
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Early in the afternoon we went to the National Aquarium. It was pricey, but very well done. Hannah really want to go and see the jelly fish. I was mesmerized with the leopard-print looking Manta Ray – overall a very cool place (lots of kids).
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When we got back to the house I made a well-received chicken stir-fry for dinner and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Mad Men. Good Night.
 
January 2, 2016
We slept in a little and had lunch at the house and Max headed back to New York (or so we thought).
We drove to Fort McHenry and when we pulled up in the parking lot Max popped out of nowhere – he just wasn’t ready to leave us! The museum and was very informative about the fort’s history and Francis Scott Key, and how our national anthem was inspired. After the video/museum we went to the gift shop and I found the perfect mason jar shot glass for my brother’s collection. Then we headed outside and walked around the Baltimore Harbor and were able to Facetime with my brother. We showed him our sites and he gave us a quick tour of the TV station he works at before my phone battery died. The fort reminded me of when I went to Savannah, GA with my Girl Scout troop over 10 years ago as we visited several Civil War forts during our trip.
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Max really did have to leave this time, so we parted ways and Hannah and I headed to downtown Baltimore. There we visited Westminster cemetery, primarily to see Edgar Allan Poe’s grave, but also saw the grave sites of other prominent people from Baltimore (including several names we learned about at Fort McHenry). It was very eerie being there, standing on top of old graves and tombstones amid a bustling city. After snapping a few photos, we walked to see Poe’s house. This was not the best idea as we ended up being in a sketchy part of town at dusk. We were still able to get a few pictures of and in front of the house (the house itself was currently closed for the season so we couldn’t go inside) before a very brisk walk back to the car. Originally we had talked about going to Annabelle Lee’s, a tavern that has “Poe-themed” menu items, but it had been a long couple of days and we were tired. Plus we still needed to swing by the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for dinner.
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Back at the house it was Hannah’s turn to cook so she “made” me color while she baked homemade chicken parmesan, roasted brussel sprouts, and pasta. We even opened a bottle of wine her mom had given her for Christmas from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. It was another cozy evening in coloring, eating yummy food, and watching About a Boy and Gilmore Girls.
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January 3, 2016 – Travel Day
It was so hard for me to get out of bed, but I forced myself to get up and be somewhat social with my cousin and her roommate before leaving for the airport at noon. I REALLY didn’t want to leave! I fell in love with the harbor, brick row houses, and Baltimore’s rich history. I even lucked out with the weather. other that it being rainy when I arrived, it was relatively mild there for that time of year (I don’t think I would have enjoyed myself if it was colder). Overall, I felt like I had a good balance of activities/things to do and rest – the recipe for a great vacation!

Days of December

Highlights from My December:

Advent

Car accident and visits to the chiropractor (first time going to one)

Work Holiday party

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My brother visiting from out-of-town

Dallas Stars Game

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Busy with holiday parties at work

Worked on making my spiritual-life a higher priority – daily prayers (rosary, novenas)

Officially removed all of m furniture and belongings that I wanted to keep from the house I shared with my ex-fiance. I removed my name from the lease, turned in the key, done.

5 year anniversary of graduating from college.

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Going to see Star Wars, The Force Awakens with my young adult group

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Christmas gift shopping and wrapping

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My brother’s birthday

Holiday Baking

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Christmas

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Christmas Eve Mass
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Christmas Morning
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Yummy Dinner
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Christmas Afternoon
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Yoga Under the Tree
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Santa Paws
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Boomer Festive in His Scarf

Much needed time off work

Flew to Maryland to visit my cousin, Hannah

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New Year’s Eve

 

TV/Movies

The Santa Clause

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Star Wars, Episode IV

Star Wars, Episode V

Star Wars, Episode VII

Holiday Inn

Jingle All the Way (halfway)

Serendipity

Christmas Vacation*

Star Wars, Episode VII (twice in theaters)

 

Books

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

What were some highlights from your December?

Notes on November

Daylight Savings began…

Baking

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An well-known association in the industry I work in hosted their November reception, dinner, and meeting at the venue where I work

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Visited our family friend, Maria

Veteran’s Day

Girl’s Night

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Movie Night with Mom

Returned to the Young Adult Group, Encounter, That I Had Been Attending Last Fall – Dubbed the “Prodigal” Child of Encounter  – Felt welcomed by familiar faces and meet some real cool new people

Back to counseling…

New pet – Monet the Betta

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Carnivals

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Continued moving things out of my old house and into my parents’

Thanksgiving

The Turkey Trot

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Caught up with old friends over coffee (tea for me)

Assisted with day-of wedding coordination

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Dad’s Birthday – My mom and I took him to lunch then to the Kimbell Art Museum

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TV/Movies

Scandal,  Season 5

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 12

While you Were Sleeping (re-watched – a fave of mine)

Raising Helen (re-watched)

Elf (re-watched)

Inside Out

Pitch Perfect 2

Uncle Buck

A Christmas Card (re-watched)

A Charlie Brown Christmas

 

Books

Plain Song by Kent Haruf

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue