“There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.” Dean Karnazes

Sending out an early morning post for you all to enjoy! I woke up around 4:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep so decided to just get up and be productive before I headed to the gym. Amazing how much one can get done in the wee hours of the morning when it seems nobody else is awake. Gah! I love mornings!! Speaking of loving things, this post is about running… something I don’t particularly love…#thrower4life. However, over the past couple months, I’ve been trying super hard to at least like it! In my efforts to enjoy running more, I completed a couple runs with some friends.

I ran my first 5K at the beginning of summer. My three goals wrapped into one were to complete it without walking in under 30 minutes. I didn’t die, even though at mile 2.5 I was not 100% convinced I wasn’t going to! I finished without walking and the time on the clock was 30:31. Although I didn’t look at the clock when I officially started or use a watch to time myself (running newbie!) I’m pretty sure I started running with at least 31 seconds on the clock so I’m chalking that up as a goal met!

Bib Number!

Bib Number! I made sure to send this out before-hand so that if race officials had to peel me off the trail I’d be easier to identify #comfortingpreracethoughts 

Post-Run! #sweatyselfie

Post-Run! #sweatyselfie

More recently though, I ran a 5k Color Run to support my friend Katie’s roller derby team. This run was significantly more fun! Partially due to running with friends, partially because of all the color powder being thrown. The dance party after the run was also fun, which you know much have been top notch if my non-dancing self enjoyed it 🙂

Before the color run!

Before the color run with Katie and Jeff!

Run, Run, Run! :)

Run, Run, Run! 🙂 Looks like I smile even when I run! #foreversmiling

Yay for Friends and Post-Run Smiles

Yay for Friends and Post-Run Smiles! #colorful

The most recent run I completed was part of Inaguration Weekend for our new President. The College of Saint Benedict hosted a “Glo-run” that tied into the inaguration theme of “Illuminate.” It was a two mile course that ran through our campus. It was held at night and neon paint was launched at us and we were “illuminated” with glow-sticks. It was a neat community event to be a part of. One of my college roommates/track teammates came up for the weekend and I suckered her into running it with me. By that I mean, I signed us up before even asking her about it, thanks for being a great sport, Alyssa 🙂

Alyssa and I at the Glo-Run!

High-Fiving the cheering sisters during the Glo-Run! Super AH-DOR-ABLE! #lovethesisters

I don’t have any other races planned for the near future. The thought of upping my mileage and tackling a 10k has crossed my mind a few times. Usually though, my thrower instincts kick in and remind me that voluntarily running 6.someoddnumber miles does not sound like much fun to me.


“I’ll write to you. A super-long letter, like in an old-fashioned novel” – Haruki Murakami

This post comes with good news and even more great news! If you’ve been following along since the beginning (August 2011) you’ll note that my 1,001 days have come to an end. The good news is that I’m still going to continue with my Day Zero Project and blog! I started my Day Zero Project shortly after moving to Indianapolis upon completing my undergrad years. One of my co-workers, who later became one of my very best friends, introduced me to it as she knew I was a list maker and thought this would be right up my alley. Obviously, she was correct and I started right in. This was my first full-time professional job and the same time I was starting grad school. Starting this project on top of the newness of a job and grad school might not have been the most timely, but the project is all about accomplishing things today and not waiting 🙂

With all of the changes that were happening at the start of my day zero project and factoring in the completion of my Masters, moving up to Minnesota, and starting my first post-masters RD position, I would say I made good progress! I continue to make progress which is where the great news comes in. The great news is that in the very near future their will be an influx of posts with recent updates! Starting with:

I wrote a letter to myself to open in 10 years! I wrote about current happenings as well as what I hope to do with my life in the next 10 years. I included some professional goals as well as personal hopes for the future! Who knows, maybe in ten years I’ll have this consistent blogging thing down and will be able to publicly share my letter and compare it to my current life! Stay tuned!!

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi

In early January, I had the opportunity to help lead a service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic. I traveled with 13 students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University to the community of Las Terrenas. The trip was one week long and I purposefully did not wear make-up for the week so that I would be able to incorporate this experience into my blog! For some reason, I have convinced myself that if what I am wanting to write about isn’t listed on my Day Zero Project, that I cannot write a post on my blog about it. Clearly false, it is my blog after-all 🙂

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the impacts that the trip had, impacts we may have had on the community, but more importantly the impacts this service learning experience has had on me.It has taken me a long time to publish this update because I wanted to ensure that I communicated the epic awesomeness of the students who went, the people we met, and the work we did. Although the main focus of the trip were the acts of service and learning, we did find a little time for some local adventures and exploring. Another reason it has taken me so long to make this post public is due to an article I stumbled across shortly after returning from the Dominican Republic. This online article talked about one young woman’s experience with serving in developing countries.

Immediately after reading this article, I felt as though it discredited the service I had done and that everyone in the social media world, who had also stumbled across the article, would feel as though our group did more harm than good. After spending time thinking about the points in the article, reading peoples’ comments, and reflecting on the purpose of our trip, I was able to identify key differences between her experiences and the experience that the students and I shared.

Mainly our group did not approach our service learning trip from the standpoint of what we could do for those we were serving, but what could we learn from those in the community through our acts of service. We did not set out to solve all of the worlds’ problems or fix anything that was broken by our standards. Our intent was to learn as much as we could about their culture and ways of living during the week we were there working alongside of community members.

I think that it is important to highlight our mindset going into the trip as having the frame of mind of “What can I learn from this” really helped to shape our experience. Our contact person in the Dominican Republic, Jose, did a great job preparing us for the trip. He came to CSB/SJU and talked to our group back in November and really made us reflect on our purpose for traveling to the DR. He emphasized the importance of us not going there to change or fix anything, but going to learn so that we could bring what we learned through our experiences back with us. This really set our minds and hearts in the right place for the trip.

The beginning of this experience started for my last October when, after applying for an Alternative Break Experience (ABE) faculty/staff position, I was offered an interview. I did not specifically interview for this trip, but in general for all of the ABE trips that CSB/SJU offers. I had my interview at the local coffee shop and on my walk back to campus called my mom to let her know that I would not be going on a trip. I felt as though I bombed my interview and did not express my thoughts clearly. Turns out I was chosen for one of the more competitive trips and my first choice preference for trips. Looks as though my interview went better than I thought!

Shortly after being notified of my selection to lead the winter break ABE trip to the Dominican Republic, I found out who the two student co-leaders would be. These two women (Sarah and Chibudom) were phenomenal!! They interviewed and selected students for the 11 other spots on the trip. I know it couldn’t have been easy to only choose 11 students, but the ones they chose were the best of the best! Once our trip participants were all finalized we only had a short period of time to do some fundraising. Since it was a volunteer trip, we were responsible for or all costs associated with the trip including the standard trip participation fee, our flight, food, housing, transportation, and donations to our service site. Want to say thank you again to all of you who donated through my fundraising page! I truly appreciate your generosity!!

Our group had two main projects. The first was collecting donations of school supplies and toys. The supplies (books, paper, markers, glue, tape etc) were donated to local schools and we wrapped the toys while there to hand out to kids from one of the poorest communities at a festival for the 3 Kings. While there, most of our time was spent working to help build a playground for a local school. Both of these projects, as well as the beauty of the country, are better shown through photos so be sure to look through the photos below as I will explain more about everything with the photos! Prepare yourself, there is kind of a lot! Like 70ish, but you can click the little circles on the bottom to browse through them rather quickly! 🙂 I had a hard time narrowing all the photos down so these are the select few I chose. HA!

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Also one of the guys, shout out to Andy! one of the students I was sick with, put together a lovely video of our trip! Check it out here

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms” – Angela Carter

I have loved reading since I was a little girl. One of my favorite days at school was getting the packets for book orders. Something about circling alllll the books I wanted my parents to buy me so I could read was just so satisfying. I rarely ended up even getting any of them, just circling them and noting which book I would next check out of the library gave me a thrill. One time, I was lucky enough to convince my parents to let me sign up for The Boxcar Children book-club. I would receive 4-5 books of the series every month. Of course they would only last me about a week or so and then I would have to wait another 3 weeks until the next books in the series came in the mail. The suspense of waiting until the next few came nearly killed me every month. It never once occurred to me that if I didn’t read them all in the first three days that I wouldn’t have to wait as long. Plus, where would the fun have been in that?!

During my college years, I didn’t get to read as much for enjoyment as my reading time was consumed by endless nursing textbooks. As I was brainstorming for my Day Zero Project, I wanted to incorporate reading for fun back into my life so I set a goal of reading an averages of at least one book a month. This turns out to be a minimum of 33 books over the entire 1001 days. 33 books doesn’t seem like a lot, but I knew as I was working towards my Master’s Degree that I would have readings for classes that I’d have to complete and I didn’t want to set unrealistic goals. Now that I have completed my Master’s Degree and have settled into my new position here, I once again have found the time for leisure reading.

I recently joined a reading challenge with some fellow student affairs professionals in which I pledged #52in52 meaning I will ready 52 books this year! 🙂 Sound crazy? maybe a little, but there are so many great books that I want to read. I feel as though joining in this challenge will help me stay diligent in my daily readings! This pledge will also help ensure I get all 33 books completed for my Day Zero Project.

Recently I have completed books 1-3! I take notes as I read them to help me remember what I read and also because I am going to put together handouts to use at staff meetings with my Resident Assistants 🙂 Yay for additional professional development opportunities for my staff!

1. The Civility Solution: What to do when people are rude by P.M. Forni. ~ I had read The Civility Solution with my former RD staff at UIndy and enjoyed it so thought I would read another one of his books.

2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown ~ I am attending the ACPA conference in Indianapolis this year and Brene Brown is one of the keynote speakers! Plan on reading her other books before the conference as well 🙂 She is amazing! Highly recommended!!

3.Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg ~ Was given this book by a coworker who is an all around great lady! She is very empowering and totally great at what she does. This book will be especially great to bring to my RA staff!

Once I have these said handouts compiled I will upload them to this post (pending I can figure out how!) so you read what I learned and maybe be inspired to pick one of them up yourself! I’m a big fan of lending people books so be sure to let me know if you would like to borrow one 🙂

Also, due to my recent pledge, I am open to book suggestions! Let me know of any good reads you’ve come across recently! 🙂 No photos this time, guess next time I can take some selfies of myself reading these books 🙂 Haha probably not though!

“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Brian Tracy

This post will take us back to Christmas! As I reflect on what a lovely holiday season it was, I am reminded how blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends! I gave only homemade gifts for Christmas this year. I enjoyed the anticipation of giving each gift that I experienced while I was making each one equally as much as I enjoyed watching loved ones open them.

Although none of the gifts I made are extravagant, they were made with love 🙂 I would like to publicly thank my dear mom for helping me, as without her help, I would not have finished my gifts on time. There is just something about the projects I discover on Pinterest that make them look a lot simpler than they actually are. You’d think after all the Pinterest inspired DIY projects I have completed that I would have figured this out by now. Maybe next time 🙂

Check out the pictures to see what each family member received!

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad. I also went in on a fishing themed gift with my siblings. I bought some fancy hot dogs for grilling when Dad and Mom go fishing. Jy got a mosquito re-pellant and Ja contributed a gift card for chicken livers and a license!

Rice Heat Pad for myself :)

Rice Heat Pad for myself 🙂

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Canvas Quote given to Mom

Canvas Quote given to Mom

I also made a blanket and a crayon art quote for a friend, but I forgot to take pictures of them! So will have to add an update if/when I remember to take a picture of them.

These gifts are nice, but of course, my presence was clearly the best gift of all 🙂 Hope that your holiday season was filled with joy and you were able to spend it with your loved ones!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Once again, I find myself behind in updating everyone on the progress I have recently made towards completing my Day Zero Project. I think as part of my new years’ resolutions I am going to make a conscious effort to set aside a little time bi-weekly to ensure my blog is up-to-date! We shall see how long this resolution lasts 🙂

This post is going to take us all the way back to Thanksgiving day! My Aunt and Uncle who live in St. Paul hosted Thanksgiving for my mom’s side of the family. Now that I call Minnesota my home, this was perfect for me as it meant considerably less travel time. It also meant that I had to deep clean my apartment as my parents stayed with me for the weekend. It was definitely nice to have company and to have family to go do things with (or drag them to!)

My parents happened to arrive on their anniversary. Being the #1 daughter that I am, I took them out for dinner at Zaffiros, a little place known for its thin crust pizza, to celebrate. It was a good evening. I may have lost some brownie points the next morning when I made them wake up at 6:30 to go with me to a Turkey Trot! This fits into my Day Zero Project as preparation for Running a 5K. I had hoped to run the 5k, but since I registered so late the 5k was full, so instead I ran the 2 mile ‘race’. The thrower in me felt lucky to only have to run 2. 🙂 I ended up getting 3rd (keep in mind nearly everyone ran the 5k) with a time of 18.26. Definitely not an Olympic qualifying time by any means, but for me, I was pretty happy and content with it. Not to shabby for my first race and next up is a full 5K!

Since it was 22 degrees out when I was running, I was more than ready to get to a warm location when it was over. I’m not sure why I just used the cold weather as an excuse as I’m pretty sure it could have been a beautiful day and my favorite part would still have been when it was over 🙂 What can I say? I’ll forever be a thrower at heart. Thanks mom and dad for tagging along and for the awesome photos. Who knew I could make running look so good?!

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Getting my run on! :)

Getting my run on! 🙂

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

“She had always been a fast driver, even before she could afford a fast car. It was impatience as much as anything: chafing at the fact that she couldn’t actually do anything while driving- except drive” Chico Kidd

Well, after an unplanned two month hiatus, I have returned to my blog! 🙂 I have been slowly chipping away at my Day Zero Project, but have not been very timely in updating my blog. So, prepare yourself for an influx of updates!

In early October, I went home for the weekend. This was a foreign concept to me as I have never really just gone home for the weekend. Being the typical overly involved college student, I rarely had a free weekend in college in which to go home. Then I moved to Indy, and let’s be real, if I didn’t go home for the weekend when it was a 5 hour drive it is safe to say I didn’t when I was 12 hours away either. This made going home just for the weekend special in itself. However, adding to the excitement, I learned how to drive a stick shift!! 

This is one of those things that I have always wanted to learn. Granted when I envisioned being taught I always pictured learning in a truck or an old beat up car, but go big or go home right? (right!) I learned in a semi! No worries, I was driving through one of the fields at home, not on a road 🙂 Big shout out to my dad for teaching me! Like the biggest shout out ever. Like the shout out of ALL shout outs! I have been known to pick-up on things abnormally quick, like when I first started throwing weight/hammer or playing piano, unfortunately, this was not one of those things. Not even close! I consider only killing it three times to be a huge success! Luckily, my dad was really patient. He even provided me with the excuse that it’s harder to drive the semi on softer ground. Isn’t he great?! I just know I would have done better on the highway 😉 I also know that if I had driven on the highway my mom would have had a heart attack so you’ll just have to take my word that I would’ve rocked it 🙂 Below are some super rad photos my brother took of me driving!

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“A Journey is Best Measured in Friends, Rather Than Miles” Tim Cahill

This is my first post from my new home in Minnesota!! I’ve only been here for about two weeks and I’m already checking things off my Day Zero Project list. My first day of work at my new gig was a week ago from this past Tuesday and it was by far the best first day of work I have ever had. You may be asking yourself, what made it so great?! Well, I flew to Washington DC with my fellow coworkers for a conference! We attended the ASACCUU Conference which is the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Attending this conference with my coworkers was super exciting on so many levels. Mainly because I left for the trip not really knowing any of the wonderful ladies I work with, but I returned calling them my friends and feeling as though I had known them for years. Adding to the excitement was the fact that I had the opportunity to ‘visit a state I had never been to’ I had never been to Washington DC or the state of Virginia, which we were in briefly.

The conference was set up so that during the day we attended key-note speakers and sessions that talked about some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with working at a Catholic institution. The evenings were free, though, so at night we were able to do some sight-seeing. This was an added bonus because the first night we were in DC (July 23) was the eve of my golden birthday! One of my new friends had a friend from highschool that lived in the area that met up with us and we rang in my 24th birthday while sitting on a patio along the river at an outdoor bar. What a way to kick off my golden birthday, right?!

On Wednesday, my actual birthday, I attended a lot of very informative sessions that really sparked my enthusiasm for the upcoming year. After the conference concluded for the day, a group of the representatives from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University that were at the conference went out for a fancy dinner. The dinner was absolutely scrumptious and even better was the eye candy the chef provided during the meal (schmokin hot chef! haha!) Since it was my birthday, I was given a free dessert! So yummy! After dinner, my friends and I went to the White House. Yes, I spent part of my golden birthday at the White House with my friends. We are kind of a big deal 🙂 After doing some sight-seeing, we went to a speakeasy (where my friend’s friend worked) and celebrated my birthday in style!! (shout out to Katie, Kyleen, Ann, and Tara for celebrating with me!!) What a fantastic way to celebrate my life! Here’s to the fantastic year that is in-store for me!!

Thursday, the last day of the conference, I attended the best session ever! haha shout out to my amazing coworkers on their phenomenal presentation on the programming model that they created the previous year. I can already tell that I am going to learn so much this year from my coworkers and that is super exciting! After the conclusion of the conference, we had the opportunity to go on a bus tour of the monuments. Super cool to see all of them! It was hard to get quality pictures at the monuments as it was at night, but below are some pictures from the trip!

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That’s the point of working with one’s hands, you see. It gives the mind something else to do besides worry” Charles Todd

Well, tomorrow I head to Saint Joseph to get all settled in to what will be my new home for the next ?? however many years! I’ve been keeping myself busy while at home in northwest, Iowa. Partially due to the fact that I’ve had these projects in mind for quite some time and finally have some time to work on them, but partially to keep my mind from thinking too much about all the changes that are about to come my way! Here are some things that have kept me busy 🙂

1. Button Headband: My parents went to an estate sale a few months ago and ended up with a whole slew of buttons! All different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles so I figured why not take some of them and make a super stellar headband?!

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2. I also did a few home improvement projects in my room! I started with having Dad help me take down my loft and then repainted the walls. I painted three of the walls grey and the remaining wall white with the intent of stenciling it yellow and grey. Unfortunately the stencil I ordered did not come in time, so next time I am home I know what I will be doing! I also took some old shutters that my grandma gave me the go ahead to take out of an old garage at the farm in northeast Iowa and made a headboard out of them! Big shout out to my brother for helping me to assemble it! When I initially asked him for his engineering advice as to whether or not the way I was thinking of assembling it would work, his response was that I needed to not be so ambitious… after that though it was smooth sailing 🙂002 009 (2) 012

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3. This last project I made for my parents as a combined Mother’s/Father’s Day present! I got the idea from a friend in Indy (shout out to Jay!) who made one for a bridal shower for our great friend Jacqui with one of her engagement photos. I used a photo from my master’s hooding ceremony of my parents and myself and used deco pauge and resin to transfer portions of the photo into bottle caps fastened to a canvas. Big shout out to the guys who let me have their bottle caps so I could make this (you know who you all are!). Took a long time and I think I liked it better before filling the caps with resin, but such is life!! This picture doesn’t do the canvas justice, but because of the shine on the resin it was difficult to get a good photo. Hopefully you get the jist of it anyways 🙂


“Being crafty is not a hobby, it is a way of life” Unknown

Once again I am a bit behind on blogging about my Day Zero Project. I completed some Pinterest inspired crafts while I was in Indianapolis, which wraps up Complete 10 Pinterest Projects. Yes, I just used the past tense!! I am writing this update from good ol’ northwest Iowa as I left Indy exactly two weeks ago today. Hard to believe that it has been two weeks! Definitely missing some of my Indy peeps already. You know who you are 🙂

When I left Indy on June 30th, I spent a few days with one of my college roommates in Grand Mound, Iowa (shout out to Alyssa!) and helped her with some crafts for her wedding. Was a lot of fun and I can already tell her wedding is going to be b-e-a-u-tiful in October! From there I went to visit another former roommate (shout out to Molly!) in Iowa City. We did some shopping and I got the grand tour of her new house. Yay for being a homeowner!!

Then I spent a day kayaking with an old college buddy before heading to spend the fourth of July and surrounding days with my lovely grandma! My aunt and her two daughters from Minneapolis came down for the 4th as well so I got to spend some quality time with my youngest cousins. Never a dull moment with them around, so fun!

I made the rest of the trek to Northwest Iowa on the 6th, which was a super exciting day as my brother also returned stateside from his adventures from being an appropriate technology developer with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic that day! To say my parents were excited to have us both return home,let alone on the same day, would be an understatement!

This last week has been filled with some fun projects around the farm (which I’ll be updating you on shortly, hopefully!) making up for lost time with my family, and trying to adjust to the fact that my time in Indy is done and that I wont be going back to my apartment there once my visit at home ends. Not quite sure it has hit me yet, but I’m sure it will on Wednesday though! That is my official move day!! I will be making the move to Minnesota and starting my new position at the College of Saint Benedict’s the following Monday!

Enough rambling though, here are the Pinterest inspired projects I worked on while still living in Indianapolis!

1. During the last few months of my time in Indy, my good friend Amy and I were on a streak of going to garage sales. Sometimes we got super stellar deals and sometimes we found nothing, either way we always had a lot of fun and always had experiences that made for great stories! These are corkboards that I bought at one of the garage sales we went to for only $0.75! I covered them with some scraps of fabric that I had laying around and they are going to make a great addition to my new office!



2. Okay, so this isn’t Pinterest inspired, just a random Bath and Body Works box that I had from a Christmas present. I covered it in some cute fabric and walah I have a little keepsake box! 🙂

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3. This canvas idea actually came from Pinterest! Finally something that actually relates to what this blog post was suppose to be all about! haha!Spent a rainy afternoon punching out hearts. I punched a butt-ton (an actual amount!) out of scrap paper from my scrapbook and fixed them onto this canvas with raised foam stickies to give it some dimension. Turned out pretty good I think!

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4. This last project that was Pinterest inspired I entered into the first annual UIndy cook-off! They are corn-on-the-cob cupcakes and took FIRST PLACE in the Most Original category! They were super fun to make and turned out really well. They are a plain vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting topped with jelly beans and a yellow laffy taffy to resemble an ear of corn with butter! So fun 🙂



Mad props to you if you made it all the way to the end of this entry! Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it! 🙂 Even though I have completed the 10 projects to meet the requriements to check it off of my Day Zero project list (click the Day Zero tab above for a refresher of my complete list!) I will probably still continue to post updates on the crafts/projects I complete!