2014 is the Year of Travel

I claimed 2014 as the year of travel and that is exactly what it is becoming. At the age of 23, there is still so many places and things I need to do and experience. I have never really traveled alone and that’s exactly what I recently did.

This gal booked her own plane tickets to take a flight from STL to Seattle where I would meet my brother and we would drive 2 hours to Anacortes, Washington where he resides. I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with him and then woke up at 1:30am Wednesday morning to embark on the last leg of my trip. I caught a 2:15am shuttle from Anacortes to Seattle. From Seattle I flew to San Francisco for a three hour layover and then a flight back to STL.

I’ve always been told that I have a “sparkling” personality, but I guess I started believing it when I was on my trip. Why? Because I am apparently extremely approachable. Each flight I was on, the person next to me just wanted to engage in conversation, and even during my layover where I was sitting. Not even headphones could stop these individuals from wanting to talk to me. So while I thought I would be productive and get to finish my book, or start on my paper for my nutrition course, I was instead engaging with strangers and letting them tell me all about their personal lives.

Some were more awkward than others, but if a stranger can feel comfortable telling you about their personal life then I guess that is a quality to definitely cherish about yourself.

I absolutely love traveling and hope to be able to live a life where I have the ability to see new places. I thought I would provide some pictures of my trip to you all!

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Too bad Graham couldn’t travel with me. I had to leave him at home. Flying into Seattle was so pretty with all of the lights shining bright. To get to baggage claim, I had to ride on a train. Alex and I exhausted and ready for bed. Our picture to send to Mom and Dad saying we safely arrived. A bloody mary bar at H20. I can now say that I don’t like bloody mary’s, but I did eat the bacon and cheese out of it. Played some pool and I can say that I’m only slightly better than I used to be, and that’s still poor. One hill to get to the top of Cap Sante where we got our picture taken and did some hiking on a few trails. Found one Geocache and signed my name. Watched Alex teach and snapped a picture of him demo-ing a bowl. Backyard picture from Alex’s friend’s house Allen and Lisa who cooked an amazing dinner for us. Bags are packed and I’m off. Mountain and sunrise shots. Cool water bottle fountain that keeps track of how many disposable bottles were saved by filling up your bottle with water from the fountain. A Speed Racer exhibit in San Francisco airport. Many other glass exhibits filled with Japanese toys. View leaving San Fran.

The con to my vacation was that I had planned my layover in San Francisco so that I could go to Starbucks and get my San Francisco collectors city mug. However, all three Starbucks were located outside of security and since I was already on the other side, I didn’t want to risk going back out and having to dump out my tea in my water bottle and going through the long line again. Especially since the gate my plane was leaving from was having issues with the plane before, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss my flight or an announcement of a gate change.

I loved traveling and getting to see my brother as well as experiencing somewhere different than Missouri for Spring Break!


Book Progress of 2013

books read in 2013

Hyperbole and a Half
Fifty Shades Darker
Water with Lemon
Girls in White Dresses
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Mocking Jay
Sarah’s Key 

I had a goal to read one book a month, but eight books actually impressed me regardless. However, I’m bringing back that goal this year. The next three months have been drafted as such:

Already read: Adulting
To read: Mindless Eating
Salt, Sugar and Fat

Happily Ever After

Fifty Shades Freed

That’s obviously six books, but I’m really trying to put in time for reading. So we shall see what happens!


2013 in Review

I guess it’s time to reflect back on 2013! First, some stats from Jetpack, which I found pretty impressive considering I have hardly blogged at all this year. BUSY BUSY BUSY.

stats for 2013

blog views countries

Now, what were my biggest moments in 2013? (In no particular order) and you have probably read about most of these if you have been following the blog and it’s journey.

1. Finding my personality again. I found my laugh and don’t have to hold back, even though I might want to work on holding it back during staff meetings when I can’t even get a sentence out without laughing. I’m a completely open person that is full of smiles and giggles and I can finally embrace it.

2. Taking risks and putting myself out there. Had I never sent the handout I made to the CPSDA listserv, I probably wouldn’t of been contacted to come work for Mizzou. But I made a decision to just do it and hope it was taken well. Not only did Mizzou like it, but my handouts have been asked to be used by the University of Oregon, St. Vincent’s Performance, Pepperdine University and a few other dietitians at various locations.

3. My job. I am blessed to get to work in a weight room that blares music and is filled with employees that enjoy life, are hilarious and have grown to be my second family. During my time off, I did go up to work just to hang out with them while they worked because I like them so much. :) I love the energy and I get pumped up to go into work. It makes the 12 hour days not nearly as bad as they could be!

4. Relationships. In August, I traded one great guy that I was with for 5 years, for a Mizzou Football team. Hah, not exactly but being around the football guys makes things entertaining and their flattery is on point. Basically, I work a lot and haven’t gotten the opportunity to meet people outside of my job, but in 2014 I plan to change that. I don’t think I want a relationship because I don’t really know where my life will be after 2014 but I am living in the present and will let God make those choices for me. I enjoy my nights out with my new friends I’ve made through Mizzou and honestly, I like that I don’t have to ask anyone if it’s okay to go out with my guy friends. I can just go.

5. I’ve learned that age means nothing to me. This is probably the biggest moment in 2013. I have witnessed people older than me or my superiors even, act more childish than middle school girls. Mainly my senior year of my undergrad. I had some professors and a coach that helped me realize this point in life. Then I have met high schoolers and become really close friends with them and could not tell you an age difference, besides the fact they can’t go out with me lol! Most importantly, my job at the summer camp taught me so many valuable lessons. I learned so much from these kids, ages 5-12. This job helped me make decisions like ending my relationship to learning how to laugh and be silly again. My mom thought I would never want kids or think they were cute after a whole summer M-F, 8am-4pm, but she, as well as everyone else were wrong. When asked “are you so ready for camp to be over with?!” I got really sad and said that I never wanted it to end. Those kids were the brightness of my day and nothing warmed my heart more than having them so excited to see me the next day or their laughs at my goofiness for Wacky Wednesday’s and dressing up as a grandma for the talent show.

6. I’ve built a relationship with God. I always had one because I’ve always believed, but never truly connected the way I do now. I still don’t give as much time that I should, but I don’t think there has been a day where I haven’t talked to him about some kind of guidance in my life or when I have doubts about my future. I’ve had a couple of dreams recently that are completely crazy and too ironic or coincidental and I have to wonder if they are signs.

7. Running. 2013 was really rough for my running relationship hah! But I’m hoping to rekindle it in 2014. Like I’ve blogged about before, I can finally run free. A huge step in the process of it all.

8. Not backing down on your beliefs. Multiple times in 2013, I have made choices based purely on my feelings and emotions for other people and every situation has gotten me in trouble or even kicked off a collegiate running team. But I don’t regret one time, because doing the right thing is not something to be ashamed of and I never want to regret trying to save someone’s happiness or keep them from getting hurt. If someone isn’t happy, I can see it and I’m going to do everything in my power to bring their love and happiness back regardless of what could happen to me. However, I’ve also learned which situations I need to protect my own happiness, none of those situations affected my happiness, therefore I stood up.

9. Friends, I have met the most amazing people this year, whether they are my dietetics pals, camp friends, current coworkers, or athletes. I can truly say I am blessed to have met these people and actually have people to hang out with when I go back home. I have a second family in Columbia that is always looking out for my best interests and always ready to step in and give me heart to hearts when I need them.

10. Then of course this blog. I completely slacked with this blog because of all of my drastic changes in my life. It’s hard to talk about a lot of things when you, yourself are still trying to make sense of it all. But hopefully 2014 can provide more blog posts.

I hope everyone had a great 2013, I know I did and will definitely never forget it. Cheers to 2014 and all of the excitement it may bring! And of course a song. I would’ve put Death Cab For Cutie’s “The New Year,” but I actually do feel different this year, so it doesn’t apply ;) So I’ll bring one of the other greatest songs for bringing in the New Year. Enjoy.


Reliving the Past Few Days


1. Breakfast: I had a really interesting breakfast this morning. Imagine a banana omelet. I had a recipe that called for 2 eggs and 1 ripe banana. You mix the three together and make pancakes. Of course I ruined the first one, so really I had 1 egg and 1 banana. The weirder part was that I topped it with peanut butter once I got to work because it just tasted like it was missing something.

This deliciousness was 265 calories for one of the pancakes topped with peanut butter. Let me tell you, I thought I would hate it, but I didn’t.

2. Cyber Monday: There have been a few things that I have always wanted and when Cyber Monday deals happened, I had a sense of “if not now, when?” I also got a new laptop from my wonderful father and so I got a skin for it and a stylus for the tablet portion. These were my purchases that I blessed myself with and will now stop spending money and hopefully get a second job ;)

Sideways Cross Ring in sterling silverChaco ZX/2 Yampa Sport Sandals (For Women) in Orange imageProverbs 31 She is...  Laptop & iPad Skin

3. Half Marathon Hunger: I am hungry to do another half marathon. Cyber Monday had some deals on some races but not good enough deals to make me commit. It’s hard to race because of my schedule and I can’t make such a long term commitment when I have no idea if I will need to work or not. So intensive planning is going into figuring out which half marathon I can do.

4. Mizzou Football: Not sure if you are aware but Mizzou is holding up in the SEC for Football and I’m blessed to be a part of this experience. They will be playing against Auburn this weekend in Atlanta. Senior night was Saturday and it’s crazy to sit and realize how fast the season has passed. I’ll definitely miss the guys that will be leaving.

1395770_10201128657561082_1723050149_n5. This girl above: Honestly, age has never been a factor for me and I have had people in my life I consider friends who are 7 years younger than me and people who are 10+ years older than me. I feel I can mesh well with certain personalities and it doesn’t matter what age you are. This girl is no exception. I may be a first year grad student and she may be a senior in high school, but we enjoy each other’s company. Our running has bonded us closer and I have recruited her to be my running buddy throughout the winter now that cross country is over for her. 

6. Good Women Project: I read a blog entry the other day on this website and found myself spending over an hour just searching the others. Seriously, my life can relate and I can find an article about something I am going through and it reassures me that I’m not alone in anything that I do because if you have God, you always have someone, even when you feel loneliest.

The article: A Letter to My Younger Self by Mary Trenda

Some highlighted points:

  • Love every inch of you, and DO NOT settle for a man who does not love every inch of you the same.
  • If you start to let bitterness of any kind creep into your heart – get rid of it.
  • Do not get caught up in comparing yourself to others.
  • Give your dreams to God and let Him make of them as He wishes. Do not stand in His way. Make sure though that you do your part and put forth the effort. Work well and work hard. Do not be lazy. He will bless you. Do it all in His name.

Then it led to more and more articles but I think so far, my favorite piece of advice from this website is “You are loved, admired, adored, and taken care of. Forever. The pressure is off. Because you will always be enough to the man that means the most.

7. Enjoy Life: Number six brings me to my final point of discussion and that is to thoroughly enjoy life. To quit worrying. I’ve always been a firm believer in that there is a plan for me, so why stop now and why start doubting? What is meant to be, will happen, but don’t let things take away from being happy. Value meaningful conversations, start new conversations with people you might not talk to a lot, don’t worry about finding a boy and surround yourself with the friends you have and maybe even make new friends. The thing I am working on most is “how can I be a better me?” What can I possibly do to be better or do better? What will make me happy most? These are questions I consistently ask myself, especially when I am feeling low or having doubts about my future. I just try and wipe the negative thoughts away and focus on positives and what I can do to create more positives in my life versus the negatives. So I can sit here and throw a pity party by myself because I’m feeling lonely at night, or I can make the best of that alone time and fulfill other enjoyments such as catching up on tv, reading, journaling, or catching up via technology with friends.


I’m in a very important stage of life that is challenging my growth as a person. These are the years where you find yourself and choose how you want to live. I chose happiness and every day that I wake up, I choose happiness. This perspective was told to us by our boss at work and it’s something that has stuck with me, as well as mirror neurons (that’s a whole different post,) but I choose to be the one that wants to brighten people’s day. Now I’m choosing to be the one that brightens my own life as well as others.


Divergent Book Review

I started reading Divergent in my undergrad, about junior year. I made it probably one chapter before I got distracted with life. Fast forward two years and I picked it back up and read the whole thing within a week’s time. What an amazing read! At the beginning and maybe still, some of the people confused me. There are a lot of characters to keep straight. The movie will help me with that one, which is why I am going to wait to read the second book until I see the first movie.

I absolutely LOVE the relationship created between Tris and Four. Sorry, not sorry. I’m a sucker for love and they are just too cute. Don’t let this push you away from reading if you are thinking, “Welp, don’t want to read a cheesy romantic chick book.” Because even though relationships form in the book, there is so much action that takes place and a whole different story line, that you can buff through that romance part.

I don’t want to talk much about the plot because I don’t want to ruin it if you plan to read the book (Which you should!) I just wanted to put my $0.02 in and say it was a great read and I’m really excited to read the second one!

I’ve now moved onto my second book: Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee

I have a few other books I picked up from the library, so hopefully I can quickly read through those because in two weeks I will be starting on a more educational read that I will kindly take notes and share with my coworkers a short synopsis. It is called Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

Q: What are you currently reading?

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

Q: Did you read Divergent?

Home for Thanksgiving

Current updates:

I am back in town for Thanksgiving which is glorious.

Mom had surgery Tuesday morning so we get to take care of her

I got the wonderful opportunity to meet up with one of my closest friends from college and catch up with life (she’s getting married!!!)

Got to catch up with another pal that I’ve had since 5th grade. I’ll always be bitter about him taking the best time in the mile from me when he moved to our school. Just saying.

Getting quality reading time

Obtained a second job at a fitness center

I really wish I could type up a better post for you all but my computer isn’t working so this is being poorly published from my kindle fire.

I promise higher quality posts soon.

Make sure to tune into the Missouri vs. Texas A&M game Saturday at 6:45!!! The boys are 10-1!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Living the Single Life

This is an interesting topic for me. I’ve been one of those people that has always been in a relationship pretty much. I was in a relationship most of high school and another all throughout college and now I’m at a bigger university and single. To sum it all up, here are some pictures that do justice to my current situation.

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I’m one of those people that loves to feel needed and enjoys the closeness of someone. So as I embark on this single adventure I am leaning on myself to show my worth to myself. I can’t tell you the amount of people who have stated, “I don’t know how you are single” or “a girl like you is still single?!” etc, etc. As I react much like the little girl above, I think about the real reason. It’s because I’ve grown up with two great guys in my life. My dad and my brother have been great examples of guys that treat me well. I will always compare guys to them because I know how they treat me and expect nothing less. So this means I have really high standards and am looking for that true down to earth guy that is family oriented, isn’t afraid to be goofy, is extremely funny and knows how funny I am,  and absolutely loves children.

Why these expectations? Because family is so important to me and I couldn’t be with someone that doesn’t feel the same way. And when it comes to children, even if I never found someone to settle down with, I knew that my purpose was to be an incredible mom and that’s all I ever wanted to do in life to be happy. So I’m looking for someone to relate to when it comes to children. The unfortunate thing is that these traits aren’t really clear to see right away when you meet someone. Which is why I am completely comfortable with patience and waiting until this guy is clear to me and comes into my life. So I will open up all opportunities to meeting and getting to know people and if I don’t find the person that I’m meant to be with, then that just means there was a different plan for me.

Strength is something that is developing in my personality. I am working extremely hard on positive self talk and building my relationship with God because I’ve always been a strong believer in Him having a plan for me and I first have to come to terms with my love for myself in order for someone else to truly love me. I know that I miss the closeness of having someone there for you at any moment you need them, but I have to take a step back and realize that I would rather be alone and waiting for the perfect person than allowing someone become close to me and end up hurting me because they weren’t right and I was just wanting to get that closeness back.

Like I said, this is a completely new experience for me and while it may be depressing and lonely at times, it is quite an adventure and is teaching myself a lot about who I am as a person and who I continue to want to be. I told you that I was getting real on the blog and that I have really had life changing experiences in the past year and this is one of them. Smile 


Rock N Roll St Louis 2013

So, I didn’t train for this half marathon at all. I thought I would have a lot more time but my job overwhelmed me and I finally got the hang of when I could fit in my runs toward the very end of my ideal training schedule. I determined that if I want to run, it has to be over lunch break because it’s way too dark before and after work.

I did run a 10k a few weeks prior to the half marathon, just so I knew I could guarantee a 6 mile run. This was my longest run of my training before I did my half marathon. Yes, I’m not joking. I wish I were.


So going through my mind as race weekend approached:

  1. Just have fun with this! Get an idea of the race to see if you want to run it again next year!
  2. Try and get a good picture at every photographer on the course
  3. In fact, be as goofy for the pictures as you can and then try and be the most photogenic runner
  4. Appreciate the crowd
  5. Take advantage of the fueling stations
  6. Don’t worry about time
  7. Just finish

It was really cold on race morning and I dressed in capris, a long sleeve and then my brand new “We are Unstoppable” Boston shirt. I had a hoodie and gloves on, as well as a blanket up until 5 minutes before the race.

As the sun started coming up, I was way overdressed and wished I hadn’t worn a long sleeve. As I watched people shed their layers, I almost thought about grabbing some girls super cute pullover that she threw off. But I didn’t see where it went ha!

Favorite Moments of the race:

  1. The scenery. It’s always a blast running through the streets of St. Louis
  2. The music! I absolutely loved the entertainment!
  3. The signs! Examples: “You are running better than the government.”  “Faster. Faster. Faster. (That’s what she said)”  “Naked cheerleaders in the next 3/4 mile.”
  4. Punching a woman’s poster that had a lightning bolt on it and said “get energy here”
  5. High fiving a little boy sitting on his dad’s shoulder cheering
  6. Grabbing a peanut butter cookie from a random lady on the side of the course, even though I wanted a twizzler but the other lady wasn’t ready for me.
  7. Seeing people I knew!
  8. Discussing with a man how it would’ve been nice to have more downhills instead of the uphills in the course
  9. Having my parents cheering me on at the finish line
  10. Posing for all the photographers and the one on the corner to the finish line said “that’s what I’ve been waiting for!” as I flexed to the finish

Honestly, I fell in love with this race and want to do more Rock N Roll half marathons!

I expected to have a terrible race time, but I was only 1 minute off from my first half marathon and I stopped at every fueling station and did all of the above acts. So I was completely content with running a 1:46:08 considering I didn’t train at all for the half marathon and had a blast!

Here are the half marathons in the series that I would love love love to race in. I definitely would train for them this time, that’s for sure. Just because I know I can break my PR easily!

Close enough to possibly have a chance to race in:

  • Nashville, TN: April 26th, 2014
  • Seattle, WA: June 21, 2014
  • Chicago, IL: July 20, 2014
  • St. Louis, MO: Oct 19, 2014

I can’t afford to purchase my race photos because they are extremely expensive, so you’ll have to deal with these beauties and their marks.

pic 3pic 5pic 1pic 2 IMG_0238pic 4IMG_0242IMG_0244

Race Splits:

8:15, 7:40, 7:56, 7:47, 7:49, 7:47, 7:58, 8:24, 8:34, 8:12, 8:29, 7:40, 8:07, 1:33(.2) can you tell when it got hilly and where I took drink/eating breaks?

So in conclusion, if you ever get a chance to run a Rock N Roll half marathon, TAKE IT!! I know I will!


Going Off the Running Grid

This is going to be a pretty real post and I’m entering a dark area of my past that I don’t like to do but it’s going to help a lot of people out there who might be suffering from the same thing I did.

My running career was strongly impacted when I was kicked off my college team in my last semester of my senior year. I thought I could just bounce right back and that it wouldn’t be a big deal and the situation would fuel the fire for me to train even harder.


Every run I went on, I would think of it and it got to the point where I didn’t want to run anymore. The anger of being treated poorly and the loss of almost every teammate I had just filled my mind. It wasn’t until summer that I truly began to run without thinking about the situation and could enjoy running again. I didn’t think it would be possible, but it was.

I realized my relationship was strained because my love for running didn’t run my life. The thing we shared most was our love for running, but when I lost mine, we grew apart. I couldn’t stand how obsessive people could be about a sport to where it overtook their lives. A memory so hurtful for me was his life and that is a part of our falling out.


However, things changed. I have let go of things that reminded me anything of the negative past. So I don’t use running2win  to log my runs, in fact I don’t log my runs really at all anymore. I don’t plan out my weekly mileage, daily mileage or keep track of the miles on my shoes. I don’t use my Garmin and I stop during my runs to take pictures of things and don’t feel bad about it at all.

I’m running free. “Run Free,” is kind of my motto in my life from this all. Run free of the negativity, run free of expectations, run free of guilt, run free of pressure, run free of judgment, run free of the past.


I don’t have to feel judged and am slowly bringing back the enjoyment of running into my life.

The con about the lack of running was that I gained weight. We all know it is easier to gain weight than to lose it.

keep focus

I’m lucky enough to have the tools to lose the weight but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that it happened and now I’m on the journey to weight loss. People tell me that they don’t see it and that I don’t need to. But I know it’s there and I know where I feel happy at.

The thing is though, it isn’t the number on the scale that concerns me. Because see, you can be 130 pounds and have a better body composition than at 115. My goal isn’t getting back to the weight I was at, it’s building muscle and losing fat.

So as I regain running into my life, I have also added lifting which is truly essential in any athlete or general person’s life. Once again, I am lucky to have the tools in this area as well. I have a great support system at work full of coworker’s willing to train me and encouraging it as well.


So a whole year later and I am finally bouncing back.

This post is meant to help anyone ever struggling with a bump in the road. A love of something that feels so unattainable to get back. It’s possible. It takes the darkest moments to truly see the stars. I’m bouncing back and so can you.


Interesting Ride of Life

My life has been quite ridiculous and I absolutely love it. I stopped blogging after graduation and my life completely changed since! The biggest life changing moment for me was working as a camp counselor this summer.

I have never learned so much about myself than I did at this job. Some of the things that I learned this summer

  1. I am a person that is most likely to brighten someone’s day
  2. When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work
  3. I know even more now that I want to be a mother one day and to have many children
  4. I learned I wasn’t being given the attention I deserved from my significant other
  5. I had been holding out for years on being true to myself
  6. I lost my sense of humor and laughter and this summer I found it again
  7. I learned that the person I was with was not who I was meant to spend my future with
  8. I learned that he was an amazing friend but we had lost our relationship and had a friendship instead
  9. I learned to laugh again, love to run again and learned to appreciate myself
  10. I learned to not be afraid to make a fool of yourself, especially if it makes people laugh


I feel this was perfect timing to regain who I was as a person because I was embarking on a brand new journey in my life. I just graduated with my undergraduate degree in Dietetics and received an amazing opportunity to work with the Mizzou athletes as the Sports Nutrition Graduate Assistant.

I moved to Columbia as a single, independent, recent graduate, ready to embark on a brand new life.

I have only been working my new job for three months now but I’ve already learned even more than I ever thought.

  1. I am learning how it feels to be single and how to do things on my own
  2. I’ve appreciated time more than ever before
  3. I’ve learned how to work under pressure and be thrown into the fire
  4. I’ve learned to be completely comfortable speaking in front of large groups
  5. I’m constantly learning how to better myself and learning valuable life lessons
  6. This job will prepare me for anything I ever decide to do in life
  7. I absolutely love my coworkers and can call them my second family
  8. I’m slowly learning to put myself out there into the nightlife when I get time off on the weekends
  9. I’m trying to find time for a social life and realizing how important it is to have
  10. I’ve learned that laughter and jokes keep you sane and that people that take life too seriously do not belong in my life
  11. I will surround myself with positivity and leave negativity in the dust
  12. Realizing the great opportunity I have been given and never taking it for granted
  13. Really finding out who my true friends are and how much I love and care for my family


I honestly couldn’t think of any other opportunity that could be as beneficial for my future career than the job I have currently and just am so blessed to be a part of it.

I will try and be semi consistent in blog posts, but I can’t promise anything since I do lead a busy life. Smile


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