Ziplining

I officially crossed another thing off my list. Two of my BFFs and I went ziplining recently at Grafton Zipline.

It was a ton of fun!!

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#Retired

Retired….also known as unemployed…but I prefer the former.

Truly, I believe that we have it all backwards. We should be retired when we’re young and work when we’re old. I mean really, what better am I going to have to do when I’m old, might as well work. Now…now I don’t want to work, I want to live!

Ok so maybe my past week+ hasn’t been THAT exciting, but when’s the last time you roller bladed, ice deli-ed…twice, planted a garden (or garden to be), biked, walked with friends, ate-drank-and-sunned at the golf course in the middle of the day, cleared out your DVR, played with fun little kids, grilled out, ran a 5k blinged out in glitter and fake diamonds, went to a Cardinals game, made chocolate pancakes, facebooked-pinterested-and-buzzfed, ate straight out of the ice cream carton, got your hair did, watched a storm roll in, country cruised, did no laundry, and had back to back lunch dates with family…all in a matter of 10 massively unproductive days!? I mean honestly, I could get used to this!! Ya, so maybe I haven’t mastered this ‘work from home’ thing yet…but I’ve always been a procrastinator right!?

The next chapter…

So I ((finally)) graduated. Let’s see, I graduated high school in 2004. And my most recent graduation day was May 11, 2013. 9 years, 6 majors, and 1 Masters later…I’m ready to close that chapter of my life. It’s weird really. I can’t imagine a life without school. I really enjoy school and learning. I mean, I guess one would have to in order to stay in school post HS for 9 years; but I like it all…classes, assignments, professors. It’s something that I know I’m going to miss. However, I’ve been especially ready for “the next step” in my life lately. I can’t wait to find a job in school and really have the opportunity to make myself at home. I guess I’m still on that post-graduation, ready-to-conquer-the-world HIGH; but I have so many ideas and I’m just so beyond ready to jump in head first.

I feel like this next chapter has been a long time coming for me…in a lot of ways. The journey getting me here has been long and it has come with a lot of sacrifices, even more than I acknowledge sometimes; but it has been MY journey and it has led me to where I am today, good and bad. And I think I can truly say I’m ready.

So now comes the job search. Right now I’m frantically looking for a source of income, but also trying to preserve my desire to have ‘the summer of our lives’ with a few close friends. Rough life, right!? I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, I just have really high hopes for a summer worthy of the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one.

So here’s to graduation, summer, and the next chapter! ❤

By Kristin

Number 6

Four little words….”You’re important to me.” It may not seem like much, but I think she touched my soul when she said them. I know that my work is important and I love it every single day. This semester I have had the opportunity to work at a local elementary school. Through that experience, I met a lot of wonderful kids–worked with them one on one, in groups, and through Girls on the Run. A good friend tries to convince me every single day that I should cross #6 off my list.

I was close one day a few weeks ago…One of the first grade boys I had been working with, came into school the other week lugging a huge, heavy bag; barely making it through the door. So I pull him in my office really quick and ask him whats up. He explains to me that he’s been doing everything he can to collect money for Jump Rope for Heart. He has been searching for coins everywhere, sweeping the kitchen for his mom, and doing random chores for neighbors for donations. This little boy has had a rough time, low income in a high income school and severe ADHD which makes the classroom an everyday challenge for him. But I adore him. And this was the sweetest story I had heard in a long time. So we dumped out the bag, counted up the change, and called Jump Rope for Heart and he told them his story. They were incredible and uplifted him so much and then told him that they were going to match his collection with a donation in his name, which meant that he would have collected enough to earn a JRFH TShirt; which for him, was so meaningful! It really humbled me and absolutely made my day. And I know that it was AWESOME for him too!

But I just wasn’t QUITE ready to cross it off my list.

Then…in walks this incredible 4th grade girl who is wildly misunderstood…by both her peers and teachers. But there was something shining about her and I wanted to get to know her. So over the next month we worked together multiple times a week. One of our last days together we did this activity where I was trying to get her to identify the characteristics about herself which she most valued. After we did this and talked about it for sometime she asked me to do the activity (which included sorting cards into different piles based on how much they were like you). I agreed and did so pretty quickly, but got stuck on one. Important. Without skipping a beat she took the card out of my hand and placed it in the appropriate pile simply stating “you’re important to me”. Like I said, it felt like she was speaking straight to my soul and I’m lucky I didn’t cry right in front of her.

Yes, I know #6 says make a difference in a kids life, not have a kid make a difference in my life. After this session I took the time to look back over this session and the rest of our time together. It may not seem like much but saying these words meant as much to her as they did to me, as it has been a struggle for her to like and trust adults in the school because of this reputation she had developed. I know without a doubt I made as much of a difference for her as she did to me. And I will remember her always. 🙂

Number 11

Spend the Entire day at the Spa…

Possibly every girl’s dream. And it was just as amazing as it sounds! Honestly. I did the full gamut…

I started with the beauty bath ((which was amazing by the way and I totally want one of these awesome-spaceship-like-bath-pods in my home!))

Followed by a massage, a facial, a hot stone pedicure, shellac manicure, a hair treatment mask, shampoo, cut, and style…and then topped it off with makeup. Then my wonderful friends took me out for dinner and drinks that night. It was pretty much a perfect day.

Seriously it was incredible, I was there from 8am-3pm and felt so relaxed afterwards! Ladies, if you ever have the chance to spend the day at the spa I COMPLETELY recommend it!!

Numbers 16 & 17

Ok, so I’m a little behind…BUT I’m excited to share that I have officially crossed the FIRST thing off my 30 before 30 list!!

Participate in a murder mystery dinner.

Thanks to my dear friends Kaila and Christian for accompanying my date-less self! 😉 Love you guys! So it wasn’t exactly what I was anticipating but it was a lot of fun. It was at Hill Prairie Winery and the food, wine, and entertainment were all awesome! Triple Threat 🙂

And no, for those of you who know my RULES this did not count towards my go to a winery because each thing must be experienced independent from all other things….I know, I know, who comes up with these rules!? My list….my rules. Deal with it.

But it just so happens that we’ve had a really mild winter and I was afforded the opportunity to visit another out of town winery with my two bestest friends….Emily & Heather. So there you have it…the first TWO things crossed off my list. Go me 🙂

2013

Looking back 2012 was a busy year. 🙂 But I’m happy with everything I did.

2013 is going to focus on my 30 before 30 list….after all I’ve only got 3 more years (yikes! =/)! And MAYBE trying to cross a few things off my ENORMOUS pinterest to do list! 🙂

Good Riddance 2012 and Happy 2013 my friends! Here’s to big changes, accomplishments, and finding happiness.

By Kristin

December

December was one of my favorite months…even though you couldn’t tell it based on my lack of updates. This is what motivated me to start my blog in the first place.

30 Acts of Kindness in 30 Days.

There were so many ideas I had for this month I couldn’t have gotten them all in if I tried. But I got 30, and it’s a list that was fun and hopefully brought a little joy to some others.

 

To name a few…

I went to the grocery store with only the intention of shopping for others. I filled up the cart, checked out, and dumped it all in the donation bin on the way out…plus not having to unload groceries when I got home = great trip!

I put quarters in expired meters downtown. Little things that those parked will probably never even know about that are fun.

Paid for the person behind me in the drive through line at Starbucks.

Put gifts in the toys for tots box.

Gave money to the bell ringers.

Brought coffee to someone who least expected it.

Bought gifts for two little boys on the tree of wishes.

Volunteered at the breadline.

Donated to St. Jude’s

Sent Christmas Cards to troops.

Bought gifts for an old, family-less man in the nursing home.

Donated books to a low-income elementary school library.

Brought in the neighbors garbage cans…seriously it’s the little things.

Wrote a kind letter to a friend in need.

Collected donations for Contact Ministries.

Purchased games and toys for a family who has taken in 7 kids (in addition to their own two) over the past year who would have otherwise ended up without a place to go.

 

These are just a handful of the things I did in December. I know it is cliche but it feels good to help others. Someday I wish to have more time to donate to agencies and people in need…but for now I feel good about my month.

And now for 2013…

So much to be thankful for…

14   Big Comfy Blankets

15   Summer….and spring and fall…especially during the winter I am oh so thankful!

16   Family. Immediate family, the family you only get to see at holidays, the family you wish you spent more time with, the family you’ve lost along the way, the people who have become your family…nothing is more important.

17   Zoos…anyone who knows me knows that I am seriously obsessed with them. I could spend hours upon hours walking around a zoo! Polar bears are probably my favorite, closely followed by giraffes, elephants, zebras, penguins, monkeys…the list goes on.

18   Health

19   Moscato

20   It wouldn’t be fair if I weren’t thankful for my job, my ability to provide for myself, my livelihood…when so many others are without it’s important not to take for granted what we have.

21   Running. It’s a love hate relationship, but it brings me peace most days.

22   Holidays and time off…call me selfish but I LOVE TiME OFF!

23   Surprises.

24   Fried Tacos from Brandy

25   Books…and breaks from school to read them.

26   Vaseline Lip Therapy…seriously it’s magical.

27   Barnes and Noble….my go to for celebration, relaxation, stress relief, fun, well pretty much anything.

28   My Daddy….always, no matter what.

29   Amazing Race, Criminal Minds, Glee, a number of other favorite shows that offer mindless entertainment!

30   School…ya I’m a nerd but I really do love it.

Old Friends

Today, I am thankful for old friends. I have had the opportunity over the past couple days to hang out with ‘an old friend’. It’s nice when you can pick up right where you left off, talk like nothing has changed, and just enjoy each others company. Maybe I should reach out to more old friends…and maybe you should too!