Waiting for my real life to begin …

This post reminds me of a song by Colin Hay (my musical obsession) He says, “When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened. But in my dreams I slew the dragon…” The chorus goes on … “Don’t you understand? I already have a plan – I’m waiting for my real life to begin.”

Its one of those things – I have thought that before but I don’t think I knew the words (those very words) to put to the feeling.  When I think something like that, I wonder if I am normal.  If the way I think and the decisions I make are to par with the status quo?

I think – sometimes I learn how I tick; differently (or even exactly the same) as others by observing how they feel, how they respond to a question, how they even perceive a question.

It can be a really intense to see a question that you have never actually asked yourself before – and then answer it. We all mindlessly reflect: maybe on our commute to work, when walking our dog, cooking dinner, (or zoning out while flipping through Pinterest to avoid the sounds of football on the TV). Unfortunately when I do it, I let the gorgeous philosophies float away and never get to relive them quite the same way.

My friends thought this blog would be the right way to start learning about ourselves, each other, and maybe even keeping track of what our beautiful minds can come up with.

1. What is the best meal you have ever had, and where was it from?

My mom. (She was not the best meal I ever had – but that’s where it’s from). This dish is purely nostalgic for me. I’ve lived in Chicago, a Michelin Rated city ! . I have had meals that are nationally recognized. This meal – It reminds me of home, mom, warm things, days where dinner was just made and waiting for you. It is delicious – but horrifically fattening:

Shell shaped pasta; chopped garlic, chopped parsley, ricotta cheese, parm cheese, sea salt, black pepper. It’s a fancy Mac I suppose. You don’t even have to measure a dang thing, it’s all to taste- however you like it. I do suggest it (in moderation).

2. If you wrote a song, what would it be about?

I am OBSESSED with music, and lyrics, and live shows. I love it, but I have zero talent in this form of expression. Tone deaf, no coordination, can’t sing, can’t dance, and can’t write music.

If I wrote a song now – Then I wish I was able to write a song that would summarize a commonly shared emotion. Not about love. Something about the complexities of life. I think my translation would be really obscure though, like Regina Spektor Songs .

3. What is your most favorite time of day?

I am a VERY hard sleeper. People have stories and Jokes for days about the things I have slept through. I have a very hard time getting out of bed each day. I have to set extra alarms. My poor boyfriend, he sleeps lightly, and needs as much of his sleep as possible. Because I sleep so deeply, I think I need less of it.

Despite this, every single day he wakes me with a smile and a kiss and a pleasant greeting. There is also our over sized puppy that just does not fit (but I can’t let go of the idea of sleeping with her). She wags her tail and gets as close as possible for morning snuggles. A time of day that has always been negative to me otherwise is so precious to me now. My heart swells thinking about it!


4. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I would be 21. MAAYBE 23. It’s my first impression, where ever I go. I still get questioned when ordering alcoholic beverages. I look very young. I do aim  to be happy-go-lucky as often as I can be. Once someone asked me if it bothers me to know I’m perceived this way … It doesn’t immediately bother me,  but it bothers me when someone asks that question with that negative connotation attached.

5. What physical or emotional quirk were you born with?
I have a gap. I was so mortified by it growing up that I got adult braces. Like most everyone else I didn’t wear my retainer, and here it is. It is part of me, and I’m okay with it. (Although, it might have something to do with the looking young).

6. If you could change one thing about yourself, today, what would it be?
Sometimes I wish I were less of a people pleaser. It’s hard to say that for sure, because it is huge part of my character, and makes for a lot of my personality – but it also has made me make impulsive/expensive/or long-term affecting decisions that I could have avoided if I learned to say no (and how to say it politely).

7. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make your rich?
It would be philanthropy. Helping others face adversity, sharing confidence, or resources to get out of an otherwise trying scenario. I used to think that was Higher Education (because that was the big game changer for me). I’m realizing I need to get to this cohort that I yearn to help sooner in their lives. In middle school – so they know how to prepare for college, so that they consider college when they are in high school. I don’t know that it will be a career for me. I hope to find an organization in Pittsburgh that allows me to influence young women and young men to be stronger than the hand they were dealt.

8. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
My little sister travels to Haiti regularly. She is a saint on earth. She is in the process of building an orphanage with her wonderful husband Zacharie. I wish I could meet Stevana and Zacharie’s Haitan family. They have made a women out of my sister through love and support and given her a sense of a achievement. I wish to see what the people who shared that with her are like (how they tick).

DSC_0173BTWs – Check it out for yourself : http://newlifemissionhaiti.com/

9. What do you get complimented on the most?
My smile. I guess it’s big and genuine. So they say. That’s what I’m going for anyway…

10. What have been the top 3 most brilliant days of this year?
The three most brilliant days in my past year are summarized by three major events –

My sister’s wedding. Being home to share it, prepare for it, and see her so happy. She is the core of our family. Being at that celebration reminds me of how much my family means to me and how happy I am to be back on the east coast.

Meagans wedding. I have lived so far for so long that I have missed important parts of being in a wedding – prep nights, showers, and bachelorette parties. I got to do more for this wedding, with all of my friends as a group. I am so grateful to be in Pittsburgh with Meagan and Kristina. My life is complete with their encouragement and entertainment. If only I could have it all and Carolyn and Katie were here too. At least at the wedding I got to be with them, laugh with them, and together watch Meagan marry the man she was meant to.

My Chicago friend- Dana’s wedding. It was beautiful. One of few weddings where I was able to be a guest rather than a bridesmaid. (I am SO 27 dresses) She chose family only for her wedding party. With how far they live from each other, it was beautiful to watch their closeness. There was a moment I remember just dancing and singing with my boyfriend, no thoughts, concerns – just pure happiness to be together. I know weddings do that to you … but I am so grateful for that moment with him, and that day and what it represents.

11. What is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?

Fitness and well-being. A lot a lot lately. I struggle with the motivation to really challenge myself and my body. I know a healthy diet and activity are necessary. I try to do yoga once or twice a week, walk the dog 3 times a week if not daily, and eat moderately healthy.  Mike, my man- has spent a lot of time learning about how the body works and how to make it better and stronger. Now my education is expanding on the ‘whys’ to keeping fit. It is not just to achieve a body image that satisfies yourself or others. I know it needs to become a part of my life- plus, I want to share in an activity that means so much to him. Now – I need to dig deep and see what it is that will push me past the thought and to the action … here’s to hoping!

Stay tuned this week … 3 more reflections to the same questions, likely with widely different answers.


Nursery rhymes about dogs….YAP!


Whelp, here it goes!   Nursery rhymes about dogs.  We decided as a group of BFF’s that we should answer these questions and let you know a little bit about ourselves.

What is the best meal you have ever had, and where was it from?  The best meal I have ever had was from Dish Osteria Bar in the South Side!  It’s called Rigatoni alla Scamorza, and it’s the most amazing thing I have ever put in my mouth!  It’s rigatoni in a cream sauce with smoked mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, crushed pistachio nuts, peas, Reggiano and fresh cracked black pepper.  This place is pretty upscale and intimate, but this dish is only $17.50!

If you wrote a song, what would it be about?  If I wrote a song, I think it would be a nursery rhyme about dogs.  I have pretty much no musical talent, but I can rhyme, and I like dogs.

What is your most favorite time of day?  I absolutely love when dinner is finished and cleaned up, and it’s time to flop on the couch with my husband in his recliner, and the pups on my lap.  If there are sports on TV, I try to keep myself busy for about 30 minutes before I start whining.


This is Max! My 22.5 lb heating pad.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?  Well, that depends.  If I were in a work environment, I would assume I was in my 30s, but if I were with my best friends, I would think I was about 20!  I think there’s a lot to be said about letting your hair down when you’re with the ones you love.

What physical or emotional quirk were you born with?  I have ugly man toes!  My big toes start to look like hammer head sharks when I don’t take a grinder to my calluses!

If you could change one thing about yourself, today, what would it be?  I would love to be better with numbers.  I find that I am just not wired to be good with any kind of math.  My profession as a fundraiser, really doesn’t call for too much math beyond building a budget, but I just think it would be cool!

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make your rich?  Anything creative with goals and deadlines!  I love a good challenge, and I love to find new ways to achieve goals by using my creativity.  Now if you add in puppies, old people, or babies, then I don’t think there’s any way I could be happier.  Hmmm.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?   I have always had an old man crush on Robert De Niro.  I think it’s the way he makes his eyes smile!

Look at those eyes!

Look at those eyes!

What do you get complimented on the most?  I get complimented the most on my outgoing personality.  As I have grown into an adult, any inhibitions have really floated away along with my inability to accept the fact that people don’t like me.  I’m confident, and gosh darn it, people like me.

What have been the top 3 most brilliant days of this year?  This is TOUGH!

1. The Day we did the Walk to Defeat ALS in honor of George Wolford (my best friend Niki’s dad who was diagnosed with ALS in April) and in memory of Paul Snyder (my best friend Meagan’s grandfather who passed away in June from ALS).  The “movement” was a way that I felt connected to my friends.  I will never fully understand their pain and sense of loss, but I could show them I cared.

Left to Right:  Meagan, Rachel, and me at The Big Pour after the Walk to Defeat ALS

Left to Right: Meagan, Rachel and me at The Big Pour after the Walk to Defeat ALS

2. The day my best friend Rachel moved to Pittsburgh – this may have been the last week of 2013, but it still counts!  Rachel and I are just different enough to get on each others nerves but alike in all the ways that it makes it okay for us to argue.

My Best Friend's Wedding!

My Best Friend’s Wedding!

3. When I was Matron of Honor in my closest friend, Meagan’s wedding.  She is my sister, and nothing made me happier!

What is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?  I have been thinking about work a ton lately.  I have a very high-stress job, and I really need to find a healthy way to not only relieve my stress, but also keep myself from becoming overly stressed.  I want to get pregnant soon and feel that my job could be too stressful for a pregnant lady, so I need help, fast!  Your suggestions are much appreciated.