Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recovery Struggles...

Hey all! Sorry I missed posting last Thursday. Recovery from surgery proved to be more difficult than I anticipated (you can read about that further down in this post) so I decided to take a little break to recuperate. Here's what I've been up to the past few weeks!

My predictions of the semester were right - it's crazytown right now. It seems that when I'm awake, I'm focused on either one of my jobs or school work. I've gotten a routine down, though, and each week it's gotten easier to navigate what needs to get done and when I'm going to be able to do it. I pretty much live and breathe by my planner and making lists, and if I were ever to lose my planner or any of my notebooks, I would be in serious trouble! Though it is hectic, I'm working on some seriously awesome projects this semester and my students always make being busy worthwhile. :)

Surprisingly enough, I have been able to find some time during the week to fit in my runs! I ran my last long training run a few weeks ago and have been focused on tapering ever since. I've been doing lots of stretching, hydrating, and shorter runs in hopes that when October 4th (this Saturday! AHHHH) comes around I won't be in too much pain when I hit mile 20! I'm pretty nervous for the marathon, and I really don't feel as prepared as I was last year, but my training goals were pretty different this time around, so we'll see how it all shakes out on race day. I will be going out to find something fun to wear on race day (which is always the best part of races, besides finishing!). I'm not sure what I'm going to find, but my mom already bought me a couple awesome Bolder Bands, so I'm sure it be something along the lines of one of these patterns/color schemes!

Of course, I also got all 4 of my wisdom teeth out recently. The weekend I spent home recovering really wasn't too bad. It was good to have other people around making sure I was taking care of myself (parents are awesome), and I had all the movie channels at my disposal! I really didn't swell up too much either, so that was an added bonus. 

Morning of the procedure, before heading to the surgeon's office.

Day after the procedure.

But when I went back to work I really started struggling with the amount of pain I was experiencing, and wound up getting really sick over the weekend. I had to work from home on Thursday, spent the majority of the day in bed on Friday, and though I was feeling a bit better during the day on Saturday, I got the most painful migraine of my life (like so painful we were considering going to the ER). I have a feeling it was a combination of my diet being unusual for me during recovery, the fact that I almost never take any medication in my normal life and I was taking a lot that week, and the unseasonably warm weather in New England over the weekend, but I would never wish that kind of pain on someone else. I hope to never experience that again.

I did get to go on a bit of a fall shopping spree while I was home. I'm in love with all of my finds, and have already worn a few of these pieces a few times. They're perfect for this time of year! The photo kind of messes up some of the colors, but here's what I got, counterclockwise from top left:

Olive green sweater - Pink Rose
Charcoal cardigan - Dalia Collection
Navy sweater dress - Romeo + Juliet Couture
Cognac heels - Zigisoho
Brown boots - White Mountain

I hope you all have been well! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My #SAStory

One of the biggest questions people always ask one another when making small talk in the Student Affairs field (at least among new professionals and grad students) is how they wound up pursuing a career in it. I feel like I've told my story over and over to aspiring and current #SApros, and each time more and more of the story gets chopped off for fear of boring everyone and coming off as self-centered.

I do really enjoy my story, and when I tell it I remember what inspired me to get into the field in the first place. I figured that before I get further in my career and the details of why I got into this field get hazy, I should write it all down with photos and all! This will likely be a longer post, so if you'd like to learn more about how I decided my career path, please click the cut! (And you'll get to see me in all of my college glory... #embarrassing)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

See ya later, Wisdom Teeth!

Tomorrow I'm getting my wisdom teeth out - all four of them! This has been a long time coming. My parents and I have been planning on getting them out since I was in high school, but my schedule has never really allowed me to take time off, and they never really bothered me enough to do something about it. This year has been different. My teeth have been giving me headaches, my jaw has been swollen since February, and my mouth has been sore pretty much daily, so I knew this year it would be absolutely necessary for them to come out. (Go figure, it's at the busiest time of my life!)

This is my first surgery (thankfully) and will be my first time being "put to sleep" with anesthesia. I'm pretty nervous, mostly because I don't really know what to expect and I don't want to make a fool of myself (I'm also not the biggest fan of needles being jammed into my arm...), but I'm sick and tired of my mouth being in pain, so I'm looking forward to that (hopefully) being over after a few days of recovery. (I'm also curious to see if my teeth have been the source of my migraines for the last year and a half. Having those be gone for good after this procedure would be wonderful!)

Anywho, I thought I'd write a quick post filling y'all in on this life moment. I've heard mixed reviews on the experience (pretty much everyone who finds out I'm about to do this has told me about their own experiences, and my #1 strength being Context, I love it) so I'm interested to see how this will go for me. All I know is I'll be on an all liquid diet for the next few days because I have no idea how else I'm supposed to feed myself, so if you have any advice for helping with recovery from wisdom teeth extraction, please let me know! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life of a Football Girlfriend

I'm sure most of you have gathered this already (or know me personally and are well aware of this fact) but Brett works in Collegiate Athletics as a Strength & Conditioning and Football Coach. He's currently in the midst of the third football season since we met and the second since we've been dating. Football has always been a part of our relationship, and likely always will, but I'm completely okay with that. I grew up in a football-loving family and enjoy sports myself, understand the basics of the game (as far as a spectator is concerned... when Brett gets into his theories and techniques I get lost pretty quickly), and love that it's a source of such joy and passion in his life.

I think it's a good thing that I was an athlete from age 5 'til I graduated college because I definitely understand the time and energy that is demanded from collegiate athletics. That being said, dating a college football coach comes with some pretty unique relationship dynamics. I thought it'd be interesting to share with you all this part of our relationship, and give you an idea of what life is like to be the significant other of someone who's life revolves around the world of sports. (I'm sure that those of you out there who also date full-time coaches can relate to some of these!)

1. We're on completely different schedules. We are both so busy with all of our commitments, which usually means we wind up missing each other for most of the day. He's usually up at 4:30 AM for lifts with his athletes before working his 9-5, while I'm usually working with my students or in class long after business hours come to an end. We still manage to send texts or Snapchats between meetings throughout the day and strive for at least a 5-minute phone call before he passes out at 8 PM. Though we'd, of course, love to be able to make more time to speak to each other each day, we're still lucky enough to have those few interactions.

2. Time spent together typically involves him working or sleeping. But to be fair, I'm also usually doing school work or sleeping as well. For the most part, we're just happy to be in the same room for more than 5 seconds, so it doesn't really matter what we're doing. We're both very understanding of how busy we both are and know there's work demanding to be done!

3. Conversations tend to revolve around work. But who can blame us when that's what's consuming our lives. Brett literally lives his job from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed, and he is with the same people for 4 straight months. (It's similar for me, although I admittedly have much more personal time than he does and get to interact with people from 3 different campuses, so it's definitely not the same.) However, I really enjoy his stories from his job. He works with a staff of 20+ people and a team of 100+ athletes (and that's just the football team - he trains nearly every team on campus!), so no two days are the same!

4. I'm really good at packing a sideline survival kit. I developed this skill as a kid travelling to my sister's softball and soccer tournaments growing up, but I'm really good at knowing what to bring along with me in order to prioritize my time spent watching practices and killing time during half time and time outs during games. (I've found this to be prime time to catch up on my reading for grad school!) Whether I'm cheering on the team or getting work done, I'm certainly never bored in the bleachers!

5. Technology has made it much easier to support the team. Some of these games are far. (I mean, that's coming from a small-stater though, so 2 hours away for me is far.) If I could, I would be at every single one, but as a grad student I am:

a. broke and have to save my gas as much as possible, and
b. usually drowning in homework, so I really have to consider if all of the travel time could be better spent at the computer getting projects done.

That's where things like LiveStats and streaming come in! It allows me to "watch" the game without actually being there. Of course, nothing beats watching the game in person, but at least I'm still in the loop of what's going on. (Unless, of course, the technology crashes, but it's usually pretty reliable!)

6. It's an awesome professional development experience. As funny as it sounds, Brett and I are really in the same field. Different aspects of the field, but we're both working with students to enrich their college experience. I love being able to observe how he's interacting with his athletes, how his department is arranged and deals with their day-to-day business, and meeting everyone he works with. Student-athletes are a pretty misunderstood population, and getting the chance to interact with them through Brett keeps me educated and aware of what's happening on the athletics side of student affairs.

7. Summers are cut short and fall activities are non-existent, but... I get my man for the whole rest of the year! Yes, August-November I get some real quality time with myself and we don't get to do fun things like go apple picking or spend the day at the local fair, but the rest of the year we get to make up for that lost time. Of course, he's still working with the rest of the athletes doing Strength and Conditioning and Spring Ball, but we don't have to miss entire weekends together and can even (*gasp*) go on dates! So although these 4 solid months can get lonely, I have the whole rest of the year to plan and get excited for!


I love that Brett does what he does for a living. It's awesome that I get to see his work in action on a fairly regular basis, and it's even more awesome that it makes him happy. We're two very lucky people to be able to say that we're both pursuing what we love!

What does your S/O do for a living? How does it impact your relationship?
I'd love to hear some stories in the comments!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Links {#7}

It's been an exciting first few weeks of the semester! As my event calendar ramps up and my marathon training winds down (just began tapering... yikes!), I've been spending a little less time perusing the internet for fun and more time doing actual research related to school, internship, and work. (#gradlife) I have, however, found quite a few great links over the past few weeks, so I suppose quality has not been sacrificed! :) Here's what I'm loving online as of late:

Holly-Woo: Matthew McConaguhey struts onto Clark University Campus

Sooooo Matthew McConaughey was casually on campus at Clark, my internship site, last Friday, filming for his movie Sea of Trees. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing him myself, but I did get to see the set and the filming process which was really, really cool. (I also discovered that I have the worst time spelling "McConaughey".) I can check "spend a day on the set of a movie" off my bucket list! Can't wait to see the movie when it releases! Here are a few of my own photos from the day:

Trailers in the parking lot across from campus.

View from my office window. A few scenes were being filmed in the building in the background.

Movie crew outside of the building I work in. McConaughey was filming in the room above the guy standing on the roof!

They had to create the effect of trees in the window with spare branches (even though there were actual living trees outside...)

Home Run to Happiness: The Kickball Ice Cream Maker

This is an amazing idea! I remember making home made ice cream at Girl Scout camp as a kid and though the experience was fun in itself, I remember it being a lot of work as well. This gives you the fun of making ice cream as well as the fun of playing! Such a fun summer activity idea! (Until the ball pops open and the ingredients go flying everywhere. It's inevitable.)

I really enjoyed this post shared by Katie at Scarphelia. She discusses what some bloggers have become, and points out that many blogs revolve solely around click counts, giveaways, and brand deals rather than including authentic writing, which is what blogging is there for in the first place. Many bloggers try to uphold the image of being "perfect" and having "perfect lives" in order to maintain an audience and sacrifice their authenticity in the process. As an avid blog reader as well as a blogger myself, I can't help but agree. When I'm reading posts that are painfully obvious brand promotions, I have to scroll away from them. I like to read what the author has to say, not what the person who is paying them does. What's your take on this issue?

10 Lessons Learned While Running 100 Marathons

This woman is an inspiration to me. I came across this article when I was feeling pretty down on my training, but reading that not only had she has accomplished 100 marathons within the time span of a few years, but also has experienced the same training mistakes as me, was another reminder that truly anything is possible if you dedicate enough time and energy to it. If you need some fitness motivation (or even life motivation), check out this article! 

(Side note, 3 weeks and 2 days 'til the New Hampshire Marathon! AHH!)

"Paradise" by City & Colour

I loved City & Colour in high school & college, but I kinda forgot about his music after I graduated (save for a few iTunes shuffle appearances). I heard this song on a rerun of Catfish (hilarious) I had on as background noise as I was cleaning my apartment one day, and Dallas Green's voice immediately caught my attention. I tracked the song down and have been playing it on repeat ever since!


I've officially come to terms with the fact that my favorite season is pretty much over and that fall is making more and more of an appearance in New England. (The leaves are still green, but it is getting depressingly cooler outside...) For me, fall is a time for FOOD. I think fall is my favorite season for food (not counting summer BBQ... that will always be the best in my eyes/taste buds) because it has all the best flavors - pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, cider... YUM. Of course, because of this, I've been Pinning fall recipes like CRAZY and I can't wait to try some of them out. Here are three recipes that I'll definitely be testing in the coming months:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

If the title doesn't intrigue you enough, just look at that photo! *drool* I swear once the weather gets colder, pretty much every recipe calls for cream cheese of some kind. Not that I'm complaining... Definitely need to make a batch of these and bring some into one (or all) of my offices!

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

If you know me at all, you know I'm a breakfast gal through and through. My co-workers know I don't eat huge lunches because of it, my boyfriend knows I get cranky if I don't get my breakfast in the morning, and my mom knows that a fresh batch of French toast can cheer me up after a long day. When I found this recipe for pumpkin French toast, I just about fainted. Can NOT wait to try these out on my next lazy Sunday this fall.

Caramel Apple Sangria

One of my favorite fall treats growing up was apple slices and caramel dip. This is a fun grown-up play on that treat! Perfect for a cozy night in after spending the day watching a football game and pumpkin picking! Can't wait to try this out with some friends. :)

What links have you been loving lately?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Instaspirtation {#2}

Every now and then I'll find myself scrolling through Tumblr or Instagram and someone will post a quote or an image that I find particularly inspiring. If I find something that strikes a chord with me, I'll save it to my phone so I can find some inspirtation later on when I need it. Here's a collection of what's been speaking to me lately. (Click to make it larger!)

1. Always choose to make the best of things in life. | 2. Sometimes opportunity has to be created. | 3. Ignore the ~haters~ | 4. Put out positive energy and there's a good chance it will come back to you. | 5. I know I can do it again because I've done it once before. | 6. Set backs can only take you farther in the future. | 7. Be grateful for what you have. | 8. Never take yourself too seriously (wise words from the late Joan Rivers). | 9. Enjoy your life, no matter how hectic it can sometimes be!
10. You can't control others - don't worry about them. | 11. Commitment is key. | 12. Always show love. | 13. A little adventure is good for the soul. | 14. Sometimes set backs mean a step forward is coming back your way soon. | 15. Mind over matter. | 16. Which is more important? | 17. Joan Rivers was herself through and through and never apologized for it. I love this cartoon (and her for telling us that's okay!) | 18. Adversity can only make you stronger if you choose to let it.

I've been reading Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek the past couple of days and have been feeling so inspired through the stories and cases presented in the pages. It's really putting a lot of my own beliefs on leadership into words as well as presenting a few things that I hadn't thought of before. I'm really enjoying it and you should definitely check it out if you find yourself in a lot of team or group working environments in your life. Here's an excerpt that I posted to my Instagram to whet your leadership appetite:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

And just like that...

...the semester begins. I began my second year of grad school yesterday and all of my commitments are in full-swing. (Yikes!) It's been a crazy couple of weeks prepping for the return of the students, but now that it's here I'm very excited to get this semester underway! 

I've been doing some exploring around the area where Brett works when I go to visit. I usually have a lot of time to wander around when he's busy doing his football coachin' thang and I found a little donut shop not too far from campus called Dippin' Donuts. I'm pretty sure I've been to a Dippin' Donuts at some point in my life, but I'm not entirely sure. Either way, this place is awesome. They have specialty coffees like my favorite South Shore chain MaryLou's and so many yummy goodies. So far I've had the Twix and Oreo iced coffees and I'm in love!

I did my absolute best at soaking up what was left of summer before getting back into the swing of things, and I think I did a pretty awesome job. Having some downtime while visiting Brett allowed me to do one of my favorite summer activities - reading in the grass - and although I didn't make it to too many ice cream stands, the cafeteria at Brett's campus was fully stocked with bubblegum ice cream every time we had our dinner there. If that's not a success, I don't know what is! (And lucky for me - and everyone - ice cream joints will still be open for a few more weeks!)

With the New Hampshire Marathon just a few short weeks away, I've been really focused on getting my long runs done. I've started celebrating #SundayRunday as the time to sweat it out for a consecutive three-and-a-half hours and put some serious mileage under my feet. Because I'm focusing more on my long runs, I'm only doing 1 or 2 additional shorter runs during the week, and generally asking a lot less of myself in the running department while trying to be a bit better about stretching and body weight exercises. This upcoming Sunday is when my final long run is scheduled  (18 miles - the furthest I went before running Hartford) before I begin to taper and incorporate more shorter runs into my weekly routine. I can't believe how close my second marathon is!

I mentioned it in a previous post, but I began my graduate internship last week! I am working with Clark University's Office of Student Leadership and Programming. My main responsibility has to do with developing leadership programming for the campus. We're, of course, at the very early stages of this project, but leadership programming is one of my favorite things that a college campus can offer, and it's been a little while since I've been directly involved in an extensive project involving it, so I'm very interested and excited to see where it will go!

Though this is the second week Clark's been in action, both Dean and BSU opened this week. Of course, move-in at Dean was on a nice and disgustingly humid Labor Day, but I had my awesome staff to keep me company over the 10+ hours we were working check-in. My CAs took the initiative to pretty much do all of the work while Sport & I kicked back and focused on welcoming students & families to campus. My staff is awesome (photo below for proof).

The next day was a slew of Welcome Week activities for the incoming first years at Bridgewater. Our office helped out with coordinating the class picture for about 1,000+ first year students (which unexpectedly included me getting smashed in the head by a metal sign stanchion... Thanks, wind. -_-), Convocation, and an awesome back-to-school barbecue on the lawn of Boyden. It was great to see some of the students I hadn't seen all summer and to see the campus in full swing once again!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I began my classes yesterday evening with Intro to Career Counseling. This is the course that I've heard a lot of people have trouble with, which makes me a bit nervous, but I'm actually pretty interested in the topic itself. I worked in the Career Services office at Lasell and really enjoyed seeing what career counseling for college students was all about. I'm interested to see where this course goes, and how well I'll perform in it!

And, in the spirit of the first day of school, I naturally had to take a picture to send to my parents like I did last year. This year I went for the cutesy sign-holding photo noting what grade I'm starting so my parents could post it to Facebook and brag like the rest of the moms and dads out there (and they both actually did...).

I know this year is going to be crazy. I've had multiple people (students, colleagues, supervisors, friends, family, etc.) approach me to ask how I'm going to accomplish balancing everything, but I know I'm an organized person, I know I thrive when my schedule is packed, and I know I'm going to rock it.

The other night, Brett and I ordered Chinese food for dinner and I got a surprisingly appropriate reminder of how to best approach this year, and I'm going to end this post on that.
I hope you're all having a wonderful start to your September, and I'll talk to you all soon!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Year 2: Goals for Fall 2014

It's here everyone. September is *officially* happening and I can *officially* say I'm a second year #SAgrad and a third year new #SApro. When did that happen?

Work's been in (relatively) full-swing since the beginning of August and all of the students at both Dean and BSU moved in yesterday (Clark, where I'm doing my graduate internship, already kicked things off last Monday!), so all that's missing is adding my classes, aka the most stressful part about this grad experience, back into the mix, which happens tomorrow! (Seriously, where did summer go?) So, in the spirit of my final College Survival Series post of the month of August that I shared on Sunday, I thought it would be fitting for me to share my own goals for this upcoming semester!

1. Set a daily deadline for self-care | I am taking on a LOT this semester. I still have all of my responsibilities that I had last year and I'm still taking on a full graduate course load (3 classes), but this year I'm adding in my graduate internship at Clark University as well as making time to visit Brett at his new institution (which is about an hour away from where I live, but conveniently close to my internship) while he's in season. It was hard for me to find time to prioritize myself last year, and I'm sure it's going to be even harder this semester.

One of my classmates (who is ahead of me in the program as far as progress goes and has had time to figure things like this out) had mentioned that she always shut everything down in terms of work and academics at a certain time of night so she could focus on taking care of herself (sleep/binge watching Netflix/spending quality time with her S/O). I was baffled at the thought (you mean you don't do marathon paper-writing sessions until your eyeballs feel like they're going to drop out of your skull like the rest of us?!) but the more that I've thought about her self-care technique, the more I fell in love with the idea. This may not work for every night of the semester (I do work some nights at my Dean job, and there will be times when I'll have to burn the midnight oil on an assignment) but if I can focus on wrapping everything up by a certain time each day (let's say 10:30/11) I can fit the things that I enjoy into my hectic schedule.

2. Exercise at least 3x per week | My fitness suffered last year and I was really unhappy about that. It's difficult to find the time and energy to exercise when it's still dark when you leave for work in the morning, it's dark long before you leave class at night, and the only gym you have access to is not open during the hours you're available (early morning/late night). I don't want that to stop me this year. I have exercise bands that Brett bought me, I have some weights I can use, and I know a lot of body weight exercises that don't require anything but myself. I'm sure there's time at least 3 times a week that I can dedicate to my fitness!

3. Stick to my blogging schedule | I'm really enjoying my blogging schedule. It prompts me to write and focus on a hobby that I really enjoy. I'm hoping that having topics in mind long before I click "New Post" will help me take care of my little space on the internet and motivate me to stay consistent with it, because I know my blog was definitely put on the back burner during the last school year.

4. Read for pleasure at least once a day | Even if it's just for 5 minutes before I pass out at night, or a chapter while I'm drinking my morning coffee. It's always been difficult to make time for reading I want to do when there's so much reading I have to do (with the exception of the years leading up to college, as I had about an hour-long bus ride twice a day for K-12!). I love books and I love reading and I want to make sure I'm doing a reading bit of what I want to read each day.

5. Keep my GPA up | My GPA has been the highest it's ever been over this past year (currently a cumulative 3.914) and it's something that I've worked my ass off to reach and maintain. It's something that I'm really proud of and I would hate to see it slip in any sort of significant way. I want to continue to work hard to keep it as high as it is. I'm a bit nervous this semester because I'm taking a class that everyone keeps saying is a real grade-killer, but I'm hoping to focus a lot of attention onto that course to make sure I do the best I can in it. I have a personal goal of graduating with a 3.7 or higher, but maintaining a 3.9 would be pretty sweet too!

6. Don't wish time away | I keep catching myself saying things like "I can't wait 'til I graduate!" or "Just one more year!" Even if this is true, I want to stop verbalizing it. This is an extremely stressful time in my life, but it's also a very exciting time of my life. I have the opportunity to work with 3 very different (and very awesome!) student populations all at once and am learning so much with every day that goes by. I'm starting to really come into my own and identify what's important to me in my Student Affairs education and career. I still have a lot to learn and will be learning my whole life, but this is a prime time in my life to do so. No need to rush it all away!

7. Smile through the stress! :) | This is something that I've been trying to practice this summer. Sometimes things can get so ridiculous that all I can do is laugh to get through it. I have a feeling I'll be laughing a lot this semester (it's gonna get crazy!) and I think that's much better than getting upset. Attitude is everything!


As I suggested in my CSS post, I'm going to print out that little image of my goals and put it right at my desk at work, my home office, and in my Life Planner, right where I can see them. Writing out this post actually made me excited to tackle this semester! (Let's see if I'm saying the same thing at the end of October... >_>) I'll give y'all an update at the end of the semester to review how I did! :)

What are your goals for the fall?