Sunday, March 23, 2014

People I love are ENGAGED!!! (not to each other...)

So my dearest friend Jessica is engaged and I needed a place to post all the gifs that is me reacting to this joyous news! So Jessica - these are for you! Congratulations!

Now, ALSO my beautiful sister ADELE got engaged back on New Year's Eve, but I was there and didn't need to send her gifs - I got to act them out!

So, Adele and Jessica - these are for you! I'm so excited!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving My Way

WARNING: crazy woman ranting/rambling ahead.

Thanksgiving was always a day about family for me growing up. We got up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together in our pajamas, while we could peek at Mom cooking in the kitchen through the awesome saloon-style doors.

(For real - they looked like this.)

After the parade, we'd keep the dog show on as we got all fancy and nice to head over to Aunt Iz and Uncle Ray's to have the big dinner with the cousins and aunts and uncles and Grandpa Red and sit at the big table - laughing, sharing stories, eating the macaroni pie... It was the best of the best of the big family dinners. I love my family.

We could fall asleep on the floor or the couch or whatever, after we'd stuffed ourselves and nobody cared. You just wake them up when it's time for dessert.

As I've been at school, I've been really blessed to know amazing, sweet, caring people who have invited me to their own family dinners. Spending the weekend with Asia's family at their awesome church-house (I want to say we slept on a couch in the basement and Thor was my pillow or shared my pillow...?), going with Alex to her grandmothers's houses (yes, plural. And I fell asleep at one...), and having dinner with Anna's and Katie's families have made the past few years away from family GREAT and WONDERFUL and I am forever grateful to them for opening their homes to me.

I had so many sweet, thoughtful offers this year to spend the holiday with friends. But, I decided to do something different this year. Which brings me to the rant portion of this post: I'm tired of people giving me a look about how I spend my day or telling me that my Thanksgiving was "sad". No, it wasn't. It was what I wanted to do. I picked this.

This year I made "Thanksgiving4One" a thing. OK, it's not a thing, but today it was a thing. I decided to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal for myself. I got an awesome little five-pound turkey, I made corn casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and made sure to have some rolls and cranberry jelly on hand - with some sparkling cranberry juice for the "classy lady" in me.                            

I've never made turkey before. I've never made sweet potatoes before. Those who cook are probably reading this like, "pssh, girl it's not that hard." But if you know me, then you know I can make cereal and mac and cheese and that's the extent of my culinary skills. Pulling off this meal was going to be a huge accomplishment for me - but it was something I really wanted to do on my own. Does this sound crazy to you? Maybe. Does that mean it's "sad" or wrong? No. Not when it's my choice.

I got up and watched the Macy's parade like when I was little, having missed past years because I was working. I talked with my sister most of the morning, figured out how to make ALL that food with one oven and one me, talked with more family that I love and miss - but also, I got to celebrate and be thankful for me and what makes this holiday special for me. I got to spend time accomplishing something awesome (one that provides lots of leftovers), I could fall asleep after dinner without the embarrassment of it being at a stranger's house (tell your grandma sorry again, Alex) and connect to those things I loved about Thanksgiving when I was six.

So, yes. My Thanksgiving was unusual and different and wasn't spent with family and friends in the tangible sense (since, come on - Skype, google hangouts and cell phones let me connect with the people I love). But don't tell me it was sad or look at me like my choice was wrong or pathetic. I had options and this was just the one that I felt like trying. I am so thankful that I did! What a wonderful day! I had Christmas songs on all day! I had pine-tree candles lit! I got to think about all of the incredible blessings I have! And there wasn't anything sad about that.

...If the turkey hadn't come out, THEN there would have been something to be sad about...

(Yes, it's a plate of mush, but it's MY HOMEMADE plate of mush.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, RUBY!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my incredible, beautiful, HILARIOUS, super fun niece, Ruby Joy Gabriel.

Here's a look back to my time with her ONE YEAR AGO to her first birthday to now, this cracks-me-up toddler who I can't get enough of!

When I'm with Ruby, I forget all about my stupid little "shoulds" and "ought to bes". She doesn't care if I gain five (or ten) pounds, if I made a mistake at work, tripped on the sidewalk/flashed an entire subway station - just as long as I set up those monsters quick enough! :) She's so awesome and incredible as she is, that it helps give me courage to just be...whoever I am. I know, I know, I'm getting inspiration and strength from a two-year-old? But whatever - she's wise.

My wish for her is that she continues to grow into the amazing, incredible girl she is.  The girl that LOVES being around other kids and will crash a birthday party to join in the fun (seriously, the girl makes friends wherever she goes!). I know, this sounds like a dumb wish (duh, of course she'll continue to grow, Mia...), but listen! Being 2, the "shoulds" and "ought to bes" haven't gotten to her yet - and I hope that she's always able to be her authentic, genuine self whatever and whomever that is. Crashing birthday parties and all.

 I'll crash these birthday parties with you, Ruby! I will always be here to support you, to play with you, to love you and I'll always have gum.

I love you, Ruby! Here's to the next year's adventures of Ruby and Mee-ah!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Well, yes, it's been forever since I've blogged. Which is horrible! I had such high hopes and good intentions of blogging about my time in the city. This weekend I'll do a "Best of May" or a "May highlights" post, but tonight my post is small and simple. 

I'm obsessed with Doctor Who. (I know, I'm late joining the party, but just be happy I showed up at all.) When I want to relax after work, this is what I've been doing. So, it's fitting that my first post in a million light years is a quote from Doctor Who. 

You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, and you meet them and think, “not bad, they’re okay.” And then you get to know them and, and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just, they turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.

Now, Amy's talking about her husband here. After all the boys who chased her, she picked Rory and she's sort of explaining why it was always him. 

To me, this is real. It's such a great thing to remember to genuinely look at someone for who they are. I hope I can get over all my silly insecurities, my awkwardness and my abashedness to give more people a chance. Not just for them to know me, but for me to know them, learn from them and see how many different stories are out there. 

Just for fun, here's a picture of Rory and the Doctor in New York City with big coats. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

11 hour work day

Well, today was the start of my internship and wow was it long. But awesome!

We had to be at the office this morning at 9:30am, went through orientation and how some things work and started on some tasks. The people that we work with are really really sweet and nice and smart and great with people. They took us to lunch today at this great little French restaurant nearby. We met the director of the office that afternoon, and it's pretty obvious why he is great at his job - he's incredibly friendly and could make connections with anyone about anything. Work finished up at 5pm and the public affairs missionary couple was picking me and Chelsea (my partner/intern-in-crime) at 5:30 to go to an event at the UN that featured the Polynesian Cultural Center dancers from Hawaii. There was really great food, leis and lots of standing in heels. Man. I am not cut out to be this type of business woman. My feet were screaming by the end of the show - 8:30pm. Check it - 11 hours of my heels. I couldn't WAIT to get outside and switch to my flip flops for my subway ride home.

I can already tell these next eight weeks will challenge me, help me grow and improve in my PR career and overall be an extremely rewarding experience!

Here are some photos from the event!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Welcome to the neighborhood

I moved into my apartment today! OK, apartment isn't the right word. It's a student and intern house - so, basically a dorm. Now, this dorm living is new for me. I skipped that rite of passage and went straight to apartments when I went to college. So, sharing a room is going to take a little getting used to.      Luckily, the nice office-woman-in-charge said my room is the largest on the floor, so me and whoever the girl is living with me will get our space. Also, there's two windows, which makes it super light and we're on the eighth floor, which gives a great view and not quite so close to street noise (but come on, it's Manhattan, you'll always hear street noise).

Today was pretty full. This weekend I stayed at Joe and Joy's (which was SO AWESOME! I love my family!), so this morning was an early start followed by lots and lots of Ruby time! She is the cutest little girl in the world and I LOVE playing with her. She's hilarious and I laugh and smile the whole time I'm with her. Dad has been here lending a hand to the J's as they make the transition from parents-of-one to parents-of-two. I lucked out that Dad was still here when I flew in and let late this afternoon, which meant he helped move me in to my building and help get me set up. Having Dad help me move in really really meant so much. I've never had a parent move me to school or anywhere before, so it was nice to get help with my millions of giant bags, help me explore my neighborhood and grocery shop with me.

After our very-pointless-and-utterly-boring orientation that didn't even apply to us students staying on the East Side (the rest of the students are staying on the UWS). Two of the other girls and I went around getting things we needed, checking out where we needed to go the next day and falling more and more in love with the city, even with the drizzle and gray today. We ate at this restaurant nearby called Barking Dog. I should have taken a picture of my food for Dad - but it was kind of dark in there and my phone was about to die...  But I had this really good salmon and avocado fettuccine. It was a fun little find on the first night.

Now, I'm back in my room. Tomorrow is the first day of my internship. I've unpacked, checked Hop Stop for how to get there, made my list of what I need to get after work and am here writing to you all. And to be honest, feeling a little sad. I love New York. This really is my favorite place in the world and I cannot believe I get to live here. The room doesn't really feel homey yet, and maybe having my Dad drop me off transported me back to being 18 and away from home for the first time on that first night of Freshman year living in the dorm. I'm excited for this new adventure, though. I am SO SO SO grateful for the people that helped me transition here - Joy for being there for me WAY MORE than she'll ever know (for real, this woman brings tears to my eyes), Joe for always looking out for me and to both of them for teaching me how to be a New Yorker, Mom for talking me through crises and Dad for being my moving buddy today and sharing this experience with me. If you couldn't tell from my Academy Award-like Thank You speech - I love my family a lot and it's so comforting to know I have them by my side to love and support me, whether it's three subway stops away or a three hour plane ride away.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Everyone's always disappointed. Valentine's Day is the bully of holidays. It forces love on people who aren't in love. Cupid's freakish."

"I'm boycotting Valentine's Day from now on! Who's with me?!"

- Maggie Jordan on The Newsroom