What do you love about life?

06 November 2016

{Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash}

What do you love about life? 

Looking back on life, it's funny to me which memories stick out the most. Our lives are such a collection of brief moments that it's hard to lay the semblance of a plot, a direction, over our experiences. Part of the fun for me is looking back on the hodge podge of memories. 

One of my memories is strolling through Jim Barnett Park on a summer night and picking honeysuckle with my parents. I can still picture how vividly green the park was and I can hear the sound of traffic on the highway just on the other side of the tree-line that we were at. I loved that.

I remember driving over the hill at the end of a two mile long gravel driveway in Illinois, just to see the tips of the silos peek up as we drove - followed closely by endless fields of corn, barns, and a little farmhouse. Meanwhile the scent of manure was attacking my nostrils... and I loved that. 

Periodically growing up we would take our dogs, Lucky & Brownie, out to what I call the "industrial district" of our hometown where the warehouses are. We would just have them walk and run beside us. There was no point to being there other than just walking with our dogs. I loved that.

We would take trips up to Camp White Rock with the girl scout troop. We would sing, eat, craft, hike, and we sang Taps as we lowered the flag. We had bonfires at night and sang again, then traversed the woods back to Hemlock to sleep in our canvas tents. I loved that. 

At James Wood High School the band would stay after school on Friday nights to run through our drills. Left, right, fermata, hold. Then we would go in to enjoy a group dinner that the boosters had put together before we changed into our uniforms. We played the pep songs and cheered for our team; spirit was high. I loved that. 

I love that in life, it's sometimes the little moments that add so much to who we are as a person. There's no denying that we life-changing moments too, events that come and stand tall in front of us; our decisions at these times seem to alter the entire course of our life path. Yet, the little moments add up to be just as much, they just sort of sneak up on you over time. I love that we can appreciate little moments in every day and commit them to memory to call upon when we need them. I truly believe that taking the time to stop and pick honeysuckle will stick with me until I'm gone and I treasure that I have one of those fleeting moments with my parents that will stay within me. Life has a lot of joys in the day-to-day that can add up, one-by-one, until they create our spirit as a whole.

And I love that.

My Mentor

05 November 2016

I think in life we all need a mentor. Many of us have multiple mentors depending on the aspect of life that you're focusing on. We may have a different mentor in our careers than we do in our relationships, and yet another for our physical or spiritual health. I met one of mine when I interviewed at Shenandoah's School of Pharmacy. She had the office next to my mother-in-laws at the time and when I came in to answer questions she made me feel instantly at ease. 

Over the next couple of years we were able to work together on an independent project, attend two conferences together, she coordinated my endocrine module, and we talked about career goals and ways to achieve them. When Phi Lambda Sigma student leaders came to our school and talked about finding a mentor (whether peer or faculty) I already had pharmacist that came to mind. 

While she is mainly my professional mentor (having gone through residency, becoming faculty, department chair, running a residency, and now acting as dean of academic affairs) she is also a woman who is juggling both a career and a family, which I would like to do one day. On top of being a professor she has given me her ear when I have trials of my own to face. Today I wrote a thank you card to her and my only sticking point with it is that it feels inadequate. How can you convey to someone the impact they have had on you in the space of a card? I don't think it's feasible. 

Reason to Smile: I have a wonderful mentor in my life and as a guide for my pharmacy career. If you have a mentor you would like to thank, reach out to them and let them know how much of an impact they have had on your life. Everyone deserves to hear when they are appreciated!


30 October 2016

Picking up luggage at midnight and headed to the conference center.

The most awkward bathrooms. 

Our one hour of beach time. 

Dinner on the water.

A view I could fall in love with.

Social and cocktail hour.

Ladies after dinner.

Rooftop bar. 

Goodbye Florida! The conference was incredible and I learned a lot!

Soul Friends

19 October 2016

In life I think you get lucky by meeting a handful of friends that just get you. Allison is definitely one of those friends for me. She has an infectious positivity that radiates off of her. One of the most challenging aspects of our friendship is the physical distance between us on any given day. See, Allison is currently a flight attendant and is based in Dubai. She is a world traveler! She has been to so many countries and I love following her experiences on Instagram

Somehow though, when she flies back home she feels like the girl-next-door that you've been friends with for a lifetime! This trip we met in Woodstock for some lattes and to catch up for two hours. My only regret is that we never quite get enough time together. It's hard to believe we've known each other for over four years now... Time is flying and half of that time we have lived in different countries. Yet we come home and always manage to grab some coffee and do some photoshoots. We enjoyed just walking through the streets of Woodstock on a morning before class. We stopped and enjoyed the textures on the different historic buildings and tried to catch some falling leaves. 

It's wonderful how easy it is to fall back into friendships. I'm thankful that we can be apart for so long and then step back into the relationship like we didn't spend any time apart. Each time we meet she instills that love of adventure in me and I leave wanting to be a better person. So I'm going to go out invigorated and with purpose and try to keep that spirit alive.

Some Past Fun:

Kelsey's Wedding

10 October 2016

This weekend was spent in Richmond, Virginia celebrating my sister and her marriage to her long-term boyfriend Ryan. It feels like I've known Ryan forever and I am very excited to officially be able to call him family. He is so kind to Kelsey and they are such a good match for one another. 

Noah and I were lucky enough to stay with his Aunt for the weekend (in the fan district) and travel back and forth to the venue. They were married at a beautiful Country Club venue which also offered room for the reception afterwards. Due to rain over the course of the weekend the ceremony was moved indoors, but with the beautiful venue this was of little concern. 

The ladies were getting ready in a back room from 11:30 onwards with a professional hair stylist and make up artist, all while wearing lavender-colored robes. This combo was our bridesmaid gift and it was a great idea! We took turns getting ready, ate Jimmy Johns for lunch, played some Heads Up, and chatted until it was time for pre-ceremony pictures. 

The ceremony went smoothly and they exchanged rings, vows, and a kiss. The reception was a lot of fun too with good food, an open bar, toasts, and dancing. I was so busy dancing I didn't even get a slice of cake until the end of the night when the bridal party was packing up! 

It was a great way to celebrate their many previous and upcoming years of partnership. It makes me so happy to know my sister has such a great husband! I'm looking forward to seeing their many future adventures together. 


09 October 2016

"On the other side of pain, there is still love."

What inspires you?

04 October 2016

What inspires you? 

I find myself moving through day-to-day life wondering where to find inspiration some days. Most days I find myself looking to my friends and loved ones. Other days I find it in nature, harkening back to my younger (and perhaps more appreciative) self. I used to find inspiration in novels and books, some poetry - I still swear by Sermons We See and Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Just now there is not quite as much time to immerse myself in such things, and thus I turn to people and the world around me.

Seeing people wear their heart on their sleeve. That is inspiring to me. Each day I want to live as openly and honestly as I can. When people share themselves with me I feel so connected. Sometimes I think back to high school or undergrad and I feel like those experiences cropped up much more often. Now it feels like people are either guarded or don't have enough time for introspection to even know what they want to say. 

Mottled sunlight. We've entered those perfect fall days where the morning is chilly and the afternoon warms you with the sun. As I walk Odin around the neighborhood I find myself admiring the sunlight as it streams through the leaves, which are slowly changing colors and brightening (and dulling). 

Dedication. My friends are very driven people. I see their drive for success, their dedication, and their passion and it is an inspiration to me. On days where I feel the swells rising against me I look to their guidance and their stance. I know that as a team we can do anything. Their drive will push me to better myself. 

Love and kindness. I see this in so many places, yet feel that somehow there is a shortage in the world. My husband is kind. He has this positivity about him that I hope to drape myself in. It flows off of him as if his spirit is no effort. All in all I feel quite positive on the whole and I wonder how much of this aspect of myself stems from him, from my friends, and from my parents. Having those people with a light in their soul... we all need to surround ourselves with them. 

There is inspiration abounding if we take the time to look. I think the biggest struggle at some points in our lives is stopping to really take it all in. It used to be a breeze for me to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. It's why I'm so grateful for this blog; I can feel myself in it. I know that soul is still here, it smolders. I just need to give it a little more air. 

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