The Worst/Best Year Ever

A-Mountain, hot dog costumes, NYE, & Balloon Fiestas
Aguirre Springs, longboarding, ATX adventures, & 1/2 marathons

I made it.  I’m ok.  I can’t believe a year has passed since a wrecking ball crashed through my life.  I debated with myself about whether or not to share this story, because it is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life and still on many days it feels like my biggest personal failure, but I want to share because maybe you’ll find something in this that helps you rise up if you are at what you feel to be your life low.

August 2016 I headed to Las Cruces for work.  On that trip, I went on a hike with a buddy who shared with me that he and his wife were having a hard time.  I spoke to him of hard work, perseverance, commitment, and talking things out.  I used many examples of how in my own marriage patience, forgiveness, and commitment were the threads that kept us going and told of how much I loved an appreciated my relationship with my husband.  Then I came home from that trip to an abrupt declaration from my him: “I’m unhappy.  I’ve been unhappy for awhile. I think I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Seriously? What? I’m so confused? How did I not see this coming?

I cried. And cried. And prayed harder than I ever had in my life asking God to help us. I relentlessly and desperately did anything in my power to work on whatever was wrong. I don’t think I’ll ever know what really prompted the change in heart towards me.  None of the reasons given were reason enough to abandon 6 years.  I don’t give up on anything, but eventually I was so worn down and defeated that I was left with one option.  To give up on “us”.  To accept I could do nothing.  It was heartbreaking to learn that no amount of love or work would ever change his mind and that he was not ever going to choose “us”. He chose himself, so it was finally time for me to choose myself too.

This is where the real me began to grow.  I began to grow out of shattered expectations of my life and started all over again.  My family, friends, and MBA colleagues were the real MVPs.  Honestly, I was awestruck how people showed up. There were many phone calls where I know they couldn’t understand a word I said through tears.  Bless my mom and dad who took 2-3 phone calls a day to hear me analyze the same point over and over. My twin sister and her husband offered their home to me and took me out to shoot guns to get the anger out of my system. The girls at work let me “pull it together” with a happy face for a meeting or phone call and then would wrap me up in a hug when they would find me just staring blankly at my computer with tears running down my face. My boss let me take all the time I needed.  A friend drove from Denver for a weekend to love on me.  ZTA sisters let me take a break from my volunteer work.  My MBA buddies would help me work through homework that I couldn’t concentrate on. Mavin the cat let me curse and get mad with no judgement (maybe he was judging?).  One friend consistently checked in on me and sent reminders to trust God’s plans. And a few special people helped me define what characteristics and values a man needs to possess to be a part of my life. My family and dearest friends kept picking me back up over and over and over.  They pushed me to go on.

I was really afraid. The fear almost paralyzed me and there were many days I couldn’t see how I would be able to stand on my own.  My parents kept telling me to not be the victim and to see things as they were (not how I wanted them to be).  I became keenly aware of myself and present to the people around me.  Daily I was finding lessons in a few words spoken and encouragement reminding me to keep going.  What was most amazing to me was how a person seemed to share God’s word just when I needed it reminding me His purpose was at work and He would take care of me.  I clung to these 3 verses:

The thief does not come except to steal, and kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. -John 10:10

What I’m doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this. -John 13:7

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28

When I made the decision to move forward, trusting that this was part of the plan, things just started to fall into place. I started to try things that I always wanted to try. I laughed again. I had some really fun adventures with friends: the Balloon Festival, NYE parties, a 1/2 Marathon, the Garth Brooks concert, family book exchanges, driving up to Sandia Peak for a night view of the city, a gal pal trip to Austin, summer weddings, learning how to longboard, spontaneous hiking trips and so much more.

I’m still scared at times.  And my confidence is shaken up, but honestly I’m 3X the person I was a year ago.   I know what I care about and I don’t let others define my course.  I’m more honest about my feelings. I’ll tell you what I think.  There are things that are non-negotiable and I can choose if you are in my life.  I know I am more compassionate, empathetic, and invested in people’s stories.  I care more about people than I ever thought I did.  I’m a better daughter, sister, friend, and co-worker.  The little things can wait.  Only the big stuff matters.  It truly has been the worst/best year ever and I’m looking forward to seeing how this next year unfolds.



To Duke City We Go

Most of you who received the annual Christmas letter this year assumed that “2016 was going to be a banner year” meant that I was pregnant.  I received many curious texts from friends asking what this “banner year” stuff was all about.  Welp, it is finally time to let the world know:  We are moving to Albuquerque, NM AKA Duke City!

For the past 5 years of our marriage either I traveled for work or Nick did.  One evening we added it up and determined we have only lived together 20 months total.  That is 1 year and 8 months! We have both loved every minute of it.  I immersed myself in a lifestyle of travel and meeting new people and Nick worked in the glamorous industry of horse racing following the horses to new race tracks.  We’ve been blessed with more adventures than we could have ever imagined, but we decided it is time to start making our own adventures together.

This week Nick will begin work at TLC Pet Hospital and I will be continuing my work with NMSU Admissions out of the NMSU Albuquerque Center the following week.  We have a strict timeline for our move next Sunday.  Since it is the Super Bowl Sunday I was informed that we need to leave Las Cruces by or before 12:00PM so that we can watch the game.  (We have priorities.)  I’m excited to embrace these new changes!  My life will change a lot in the next few weeks and I’ll be creating a new daily routine.  Nick is looking forward to playing poker at Sandia Casino, going to Isotopes games and seeing his mommy and daddy.  I hope to see my mom and dad more too since we will be closer to Farmington and I can’t wait to see the balloons float around town during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!

I’m going to miss waking up to the Organ Mountains, hiking and running with friends, and my 5 minute commute to work, but “the world is too big to stay in one place & life is too short to do just one thing”.

Let the packing continue!  I’m going to need copious amounts of coffee to get this job done.  The cat has been really helpful.  Mavin is chewing the tape off the already packed boxes in this picture.

Moving Man: (Drops a box with the words fragile on the side of it) HEY ED, WHATS FR-GEEL-AY MEAN??

2,190 Days



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Photo credit: Deztogtaphy

I know we’ve been together for kinda awhile now & life isn’t all hot dates and romance all the time anymore but I want you to know that there is nobody I’d rather do life with than you. Also: You make me oh so happy!

Happy 5th Anniversary!

My Money. My Life.

I only spend money that I already have.  The idea of debt freaks me out because it controls you and all of your decisions.  One of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions was to get serious about saving money and identify habits and thought processes that were keeping me from reaching my financial goals.  These are the things that I knew I had to change:

  • Comparing myself to others.  I love social media because I get to keep up with old friends, but when I’m on social media I forget to own my story of where I am right now.  I begin to compare myself to what my friends have.  I see them buying houses, cars, going on trips…and then I want those things too or I wonder why and how they are able to do that.
  • Kick my coffee habit.   During college I never drank coffee and a “coffee date” was not in my vocabulary.  In one of my first jobs after college the company paid for all food expenses.  This amazing perk introduced me to Starbucks coffee.  Everyday for two years I found a Starbucks and got a tall iced caramel macchiato.  This is fine when someone else is paying for it, but I found myself still justifying this purchase after I no longer had this job. I told myself that it was my “me thing” and that I had earned this daily treat.  This daily habit is a pretty expensive one when the drink price raised every year.  My all time favorite drink rings up at $4.06 now!
  • Create boundaries for my fashion obsession.  Working at the GAP was one of my favorite jobs.  It was a part-time job that I picked up to make ends meet when I lived in San Antonio, TX.  It was expensive to live in San Antonio and my husband and I worked our buns off just to make it while he was doing an internship. Luckily for me I got 50% off anything in the GAP store with my employee discount.  Even though we didn’t have a lot that year I styled my family in the cutest clothes and myself too.  The discount taught me I could have quality things for less. With that expectation I’d struggle each month with wanting the latest trends and the money not going as far.
  • Eat at home.  I despise cooking.  Meal prep takes too long and messy kitchens are work. Moving to New Mexico Nick and I were fortunate to both land big kid jobs that gave us extra income that we didn’t have before and it allowed me to be able to go out for every meal.  No joke for 1 year I ate out breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Horrible I know.

Identifying the things that were keeping me from my financial goals meant creating new habits. I knew that doing something different meant giving something up. I also knew that the change could result in a financial transformation that could alter the entire rest of my life in a positive way.  So I started by:

  • Committing to paying off my student loan by July 2015. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel when I saw the balance in January 2015 and committed to paying $500 towards my student loan plus the minimum payment of $75 each month.  I finally feel like I have earned the degree that I was awarded.
  • Bringing my lunch to work and making dinner Monday through Friday beginning August 2015. I bought myself a cute Vera Bradley lunch box to motivate myself to take my lunch to work and found some easy recipes that I wouldn’t become frustrated with.  I gave myself a budget of $100 a week for food and if I spent less than $100 that week I transferred the extra money to my savings account right when I got home from the grocery store. The first two weeks were hard.  I had to control my thoughts as they told me that it would be okay to steer of course just this one time. This is how one must feel when they try to quit smoking! I went from spending $560 a month to spending $232.28 for the month of August.  I saved $327.72 last month just by eating at home!

Money can be such a frustrating thing because you don’t want to deny yourself any of life’s pleasures, but saying no to something now will get you where you want to be in the future.  I want that car, the dream house, to travel and to give to philanthropic causes,  but I know that I won’t be able to if I don’t intentionally manage my money or give into the temptation of the credit card. I say no so later I can tell myself yes.

“Money is one of the most important subjects of your entire life.  Some of life’s greatest enjoyments and most of life’s greatest disappointments stem from your decisions about money.  Whether you experience great peace of mind or constant anxiety will depend on getting your finances under control.” -Robert G. Allen

Delta Pi: Eastern New Mexico University

Yup, I’m a 20-something year old who is still obsessed with her sorority. Somedays I can hardly believe that I’ve been apart of ZTA for 8 years.  I don’t think I really understood in 2007 what alumnae meant when they said, “ZTA is Forever”, but now I’m that alum that says ZTA really is Forever!  I currently serve as a Province President for Zeta Tau Alpha.  This is one of the most rewarding volunteer positions I’ve ever held.  I’ve been fortunate to meet so many amazing Zetas in New Mexico and Colorado and be a part of their chapters.  Every year starts out with recruitment!  Recruitment is a very important part of any sorority and it is also the most rewarding.  Chapters come together to share their sisterhood with someone new. I’d have to say that ZTA is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone and meeting new sisters is the best feeling!  This weekend ZTA at Eastern New Mexico University kicked off the first recruitment in Province XVIII-B!

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Delta Pi Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha

Aren’t these women amazing?  The Zeta Tau Alpha chapter at Eastern New Mexico University never seizes to impress me!  They are such wonderful people with kind hearts who know how to work hard.  The last day of recruitment I arrived early to see if there was anything I could do to help the women set up.  Usually there is some last minute detail that I can help with!  I was greeted by a group of girls who were smiling, laughing, dancing to music, and setting up the room for our first recruitment party.  In a snap the whole room was set up and ready!  Table cloths and centerpieces! ZTA balloons! Banners! Refreshments!  Perfectly pink dresses!  Seeing them work together and share in sisterhood blew me away!  A happy heart moment.   I could not wait to for recruitment start because that meant we would be closer to meeting new ZTA sisters!  The day went great!  The women shared their stories of sisterhood and welcomed home 15 fabulous new members!  Welcome home sisters!

2015 New Member Class

“Sweet Home Zeta Tau Alpha”

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This past week I was buried in my to-do list.  I work at a university and the week leading up to school is busy!  Not to mention I’ve committed myself to several other activities that coincide with the beginning of school!  I’m a busy lady.  This month my friend and I decided to call “overcoming obstacles August”.   This month has thrown me several obstacles and I get through those obstacles by going for a run and doing something on my “me” list.  One of the things on my “me” list this month is to cook/bake something on Sunday.  Saturday evening I combed through Pinterest, cookbooks, and blogs to return to my favorite blog Iowa Girl Eats.  Iowa Girl Eats has never failed me!  Everything I have made from this blog is amazing!  Today I made Double Chocolate Zuchini Muffins.  I promise these will start your week off right!  You can’t go wrong with anything that has chocolate chips in it!

Chocolate is the answer.

DIY: Donut Coasters

Happy Sunday!  Using the weekend for new projects is my favorite thing to do because it jump starts the week with positive and creative energy.  This sweet project is just what I needed to put me in a good mood! Donuts and the color pink = instant happiness in my book!  These DIY donuts coasters are super cute and so easy to make!

Step 1: Cut a circle in the middle of a cork coaster with an exacto knife.
1. Cut a circle in the middle of a cork coaster with an exacto knife.
2. Frost with your favorite colored acrylic paint.
2. Frost with your favorite colored acrylic paint.
3. Add sprinkles!
3. Add sprinkles!

Hope these little gems put a smile on your face!

Donut you love the weekend? Add sprinkles to life!

Cherry On Top Smoothie

I love the beginning of a new month.  It is my time to reset and prioritize my goals.  My goal this month is to eat at home and save money.  Raise your hand if you hate cooking!  Gosh I hate it so much.  I’m the kind of girl who would rather go pick something up so I can have the extra hour to do something else.  Cooking is not a stress reliever for me.  It creates stress.  When you are not good at something it takes extra time and I don’t like the mess it makes either.  You can’t save money if you eat out all the time so this new “eating at home” gig will achieve both of those goals!

Yesterday I spent a good part of the day looking up recipes on Pinterest that were easy, healthy, and fun.  Then I headed out to the local grocery store.  I don’t recommend going to the grocery story on a Saturday afternoon.  EVERYONE is there.  I spent a good part of the hour playing bumper cars using grocery carts with strangers, but I got all the things I needed to eat at home this week.

To start off on the right track I made a cherry smoothie this morning.  It was too good not to share the recipe!

Cherry On Top Smoothie

1 1/4 cups vanilla yogurt

1 1/4 cups frozen cherries

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp sliced almonds

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Put it all together in a blender and you are done!  So easy!

Have a great smoothie recipe?  I’d love to hear it!  Comment with your best recipe below.

Enjoy today!

Hello world

“What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?”

I am living my story and I can’t wait to share my journey with you!  Each week/month/year I learn more about myself and who I want to be. I make goals to become the person I want to be by pursing my dreams full force.  I’ve learned the most about myself through relationships, creative moments, and travel.  As I continue on this journey of life I invite you to join me on my next adventures.

Top left: Me and my husband | Bottom left: Selfie at The Bean in Chicago

Top right: Me in Colorado Springs at Half on the 4th 1/2 Marathon | Bottom right: #mavinthecat

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