2016: A Year in Review

2016 was one hell of a frigging ride. Here’s the cliff’s notes version of my year.

  • Finally got a big girl job with things like retirement, vacation/sick time, and health insurance
  • Ended my years long job search for a position in higher ed (I’ll stop whining now, I promise)
  • Starting making ends meet (halle-fricking-llujah)
  • Tried Zumba
  • Three funerals, four losses. Can we talk about this for a minute? FOUR LOSSES IN A YEAR IS TOO DAMN MANY, OKAY??
  • One wedding
  • Gained a step-mom! My “family” has grown so much over the past 8 years. If you’re a part of that expansion, whether you’re on Mack’s side or my side, know that I love you <3
  • Stepped into a Catholic church and did not immediately catch on fire (it took about ten minutes)
  • Did my first podcast!
  • Stopped drinking coffee (too much anxiety up in here)
  • Presented at an annual, national conference in front of about ~60 strangers
  • Got horrifying stage fright and one hell of a vulnerability hangover
  • Vowed to get better at public speaking
  • Got another dog named Pippa (though something  like Gollum is more fitting). But boy is she cute!
  • Traveled to:
    • Jacksonville, FL
    • Maidens, VA
    • Atlanta, GA
  • Pitched my book idea to an agent
  • Decided to actually write the book no matter what
  • Reunited with a long lost friend
  • Made new friends
  • Read oodles of books – 48 to be exact!
  • Bought a house- we close sometimes this month (hopefully (the date has been pushed (but it’s not our fault))).

I’m late to the 2016 reflection party, but life happens. Stay tuned for a post outlining my goals for 2017!

It’s been a while

Three months to be exact.

Two days after my last post, something happened. After that, everything I was planning on saying seemed so unimportant and empty and trivial.

I still feel like that, but here I am anyway,

If there’s possibly a silver lining (and I’m still not sure there is) it’s that it’s given us a lot to think about.

We’ve been talking about buying a house, but we didn’t get serious until this happened. I’ve been talking about writing a book, but I didn’t get serious until this happened. I’ve been avoiding dealing with some (quite frankly) emotional baggage, but I didn’t get serious until this happened.

One day at a time, I am –  we are –  figuring things out.

Mindfulness Roundup – September

This is the second post in my monthly mindfulness roundup series where I share with you photos of the things I’ve noticed trying to be more mindful!  It helps me remember to stay present, not fiddling around in the past or the future.

It looks like I’ve had my head in the clouds for the past month. I dig it.


Summer niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihiiiiiiiights


This is the floor in the Pittsburgh airport. I APPROVE


Love me a good cloud


I was trying to focus on the clouds, but this was way better


Literally up in the clouds


I am in love with this whole thing, from the design to the color


Obligatory photo of Yogi


Wouldn’t be me without a picture of flowers


Yes please


I’m gonna miss all the hydrangeas come fall

An Afternoon At Phipps Conservatory

We’ve been going to Phipps Conservatory since ohhhhhhhh 2009 when we started dating. It’s one of those Pittsburgh places we keep going back to no matter what time of year it is. It’s a great place to go on a date, or take family when they’re in town. It’s also a good place to take kids but I uh, would not know about that kind of thing.

This year after we went and saw the corpse flower (Romero stiiiiinks) we decided to go ahead and become members so we can come anytime we’d like. We made a trip recently to see the butterflies before they’re gone for the year- here are a bunch of photos from the day!




















Reasons I’m Not a Fashion Blogger

I thoroughly enjoy *reading* fashion blogs, don’t get me wrong. But there’s almost no way I could run one myself. I mean, if I showed you a room full of people who would describe me as “trendy” it would be a completely empty room. But that’s fine because I’m okay with it! Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. I think remembering to put on earrings is a good day.
  2. My body’s proportions are not conducive to fashion trends. I’m 1″ shy of a perfect hourglass shape, and my bust makes it impossible to buy anything without trying it on first. Forget about anything with a high neck/crew neck/boat neck/turtle neck. V necks and scoop necks only, unless I want to look pregnant and/or 10 pounds heavier.
  3. I’m pretty awkward in front of a camera. My uncle has a decade worth of candid photos taken of me throughout the years that are some of the most unflattering photos of all time.
  4. My fiancé is not down to be a husband of Instagram :P Even if I could get past the hideous awkwardness of myself.
  5. I hardly ever shop anymore (hello, money issues!) I’d rather buy a house than buy clothes at this point. #Priorities
  6. I am much more about function than fashion. If it’s uncomfortable or itchy or I can’t breathe or I need Spanx to pull it off, I’m not buying it.
  7. I wear heels (and by heels I mean wedges) approximately twice a year. Not tryna get plantar fasciitis if I can help it y’all. You can find me in Birkenstocks/sneakers looking like a complete dweeb.
  8. I gravitate toward jeans and a t-shirt, always. Having to put on ‘work pants’  every day makes me die a little.
  9. I consider lipstick an accessory.
  10. I’m not organized enough to paint my nails on a regular basis.

Reasons Im not a fashion blogger and you dont have to be either! jseeksjoy.com