"Aspire not to have more, but to be more"

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Life is full of a lot of transitions. Over the past 3 years alone I've moved 6 times. Now that I have settled into my job, after a year and a half, I have consistency in my life and it's wonderful but also sometimes makes me wonder -when will things get spicy again? I've realized that I don't need to move 100mph in order to feel safe or comfortable. It's in working with who I am and what I have that I have found my happiness.

As you probably have noticed, I haven't blogged in 7 months. I may not blog for another 7 months. But yes, I'm alive and well :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Adventures in Kauai, Hawaii

Life has been awesome! We jut got back from a week long excursion in Kauai, HI, also known as the "Garden Isle". 

When we were planning our trip, we were trying to decide which island to visit and since I had never been before, R recommended Kauai. He has been fortunate enough to visit Hawaii at least half a dozen times in his lifetime because he grew up in sunny Southern California. I, on the other hand, grew up in Maryland so a trip to Hawaii for my family would mean 15+ hours of travel time...it just wasn't going to happen. 

I think one of my favorite parts of planning the trip was that we didn't plan THAT much. At least we booked our flights and hotel ahead of time, but we didn't have every minute of every day planned out. We made a Google Doc of things we wanted to do while we were on the island, but if we didn't get to all of them we were both totally okay with that.

We left Seattle Wednesday night and returned early Wednesday morning this week. The trip was hands down the best vacation I have ever had - one of the big contributing factors to how great it was is probably R and how great of a travel buddy he is! 

Many of you have asked what we did ..... here ya go!

For the first few days, we stayed up in Princeville (on the North Shore of Kauai). It was definitely more gray and rainy than we were expecting, but we were still able to get out and do a great 8 mile hike to an amazing waterfall, eat the most delicious sushi either of us have ever had, and get luxurious massages at the St. Regis hotel. 

The biggest mistake we made was get those massages right before our island tour via helicopter with no doors. I honestly don't remember much from the massages but I do remember the helicopter tour pretty vividly. R got some amazing pictures and you will find them on our respective Facebook pages. I think the most memorable part of the helicopter ride (besides thinking I was going to fall out of it constantly) was probably the views of the Napali Coast (where we had hiked the day prior). I had seen pictures of it and experienced it on the ground but it was definitely the most gorgeous land I have ever seen.

The second half of the trip, we were down in Poipu Beach, definitely a much more resort-y area. Our hotel was brand new and we literally had a penthouse suite - it was insane. There were a lot more touristy things to do in that part of the island, so we took part. We went snorkeling, lounged on the beach, got sunburnt, watched the sunset, ate delicious poke, had our Valentine's Dinner almost a month late, discovered Kauai Chocolate Company & Coffee Company, as well as Port Allen/Kauai Brewery, went whale watching (and actually saw humpback whales!), saw a cool lighthouse, and saw Queen's Bath. 

I wish we didn't have to leave. I would go back in a heartbeat. I loved how remote the island was and how there were tourists, but it wasn't overwhelming. Most of them were honeymooners or old folks! Glad we chose the serene atmosphere, it was so relaxing. 

When we boarded our flight, we were both exhausted but we can't wait to go on our next adventure!


Pro Tip #1: Do NOT, under any conditions, devour your first cheeseburger in 5 months right before your helicopter ride. You will regret that pretty much instantaneously.

Pro Tip #2: For food, we always went to Yelp first. The great part about that was we were able to try some local options that we would never have known about if people didn't say such great things about them.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reflection on 2014

I know this is a few weeks early, but when you're in the mood to blog, you're in the mood to blog!

When I wrote this post last December, I was sitting at home with my parents and younger brother. I was working two jobs and only had two days off between October 5 and January 15; Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day. I was able to pay my bills, but there was no way I would be able to pay for a place of my own. Right after I wrote the post last year, I met with my friend who had moved to Seattle that past April. He told me it was the land of opportunity... so I went to my manager at Lululemon and asked if I could transfer out to a store in Seattle. We made it happen! Luckily it wasn't as sudden as my move to San Fran; I had about two weeks to say my goodbyes. The move out to Seattle was definitely not nearly as stressful and painful as the move to San Francisco, but I honestly wasn't sure how long I would be out here.

It was definitely challenging when I first got to Seattle to make ends meet, but somehow I did it. I was working 3 jobs at one point, but was able to keep myself motivated and continued to apply for better jobs. After 9 months at Lululemon, I hung up my hat and moved on to Zillow. It was pretty crazy to say goodbye to a company and coworkers that I loved, but they were my support system when I needed them and it was my time to move on. When I was first offered the position at Zillow, I don't think there were words that could describe how excited I was. Overall, it has been an incredible experience - it's pretty cool to work for a company where you can tweet to the CEO or shoot him an email and he responds within 5 minutes. What a great guy! I definitely have learned a lot and been pushed in ways that have forced me to learn more about myself, but it's so worth it!

Earlier in the year, I got injured when I overdid my running, so I've kind of laid off on the whole running thing. I know I have been a huge runner for the past 9 years, but sometimes things in your life change and you just find other things that you are passionate about. I ran the NYC Marathon again and loved it; I will totally do that race every year that I get accepted into it. I am thinking of holding off on other races, unless they are 5ks, just because they are more fun :). Once I got to Seattle, I have really fallen in love with yoga. I haven't been going as regularly as I used to, but I have picked up skiing and can't wait to go again!

The coolest part about the past year? Meeting the guy of my dreams. If you go back to my January 19th post, you'll see a picture of us - I was his +1 for the Amazon company party that I went to the night I arrived in Seattle. We started dating early this summer and it has been nothing but bliss. It's pretty cool to find someone who inspires you to be better every day and is always there cheering for you; whether you're running a marathon in New York or land a HUGE sale. We have taken so many fun trips this year - and I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014 TCS NYC Marathon

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! Boy does time fly.

I ran the NYC Marathon 2 weeks ago and after having some time to unwind, I decided it was time to post about it, so here we go....

My weekend began when Ryan picked me up to take me to the airport early Friday morning. It was probably 5am and we were both still half asleep -  why is it so hard to get up to go to work and so easy to get up to go to the airport? After saying goodbye and going through security, I boarded my plane and off I went to NYC! I fell asleep before we even took off - I never seem to have a problem sleeping on planes.

It was weird landing in NYC considering 75% of my clients are on Long Island and I know that area by zipcode and by the map - not by the trees and houses. Anyways, I flew into JFK and then took the train downtown to go to the expo. I ran into a few of my running buddies - one of them is a former Saucony rep - it's always so great to catch up with people who you share something in common with that you value so much. After I got my bib, I headed to the Port Transit Bus Authority Terminal to board the dreaded 107 to Newark, where my hotel was. I decided to stay in Newark because it was cheaper and I had no idea how sore I would be Monday morning when I woke up to fly back to Seattle. Let me tell you - it's a pain to get to. With all of the money I spent on transit into and out of NYC, I basically would have spent the same amount on a hotel in Manhattan! The initial bus ride to Newark was MISERABLE. To start, I got on the bus and a lady got mad that my bag was hanging over the seat divider so she shoved my bag up against the wall, spat on me, and insisted on sitting next to me. It was awful. Eventually, I made it to my hotel.

Saturday morning I woke up and it was POURING cats and dogs and it was about 39 degrees. It was SO cold. I took the train into the city and braved the cold and wind to do some much needed shopping - and then it hit me mid-afternoon...I'M RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON TOMORROW MORNING! I did panic a little bit, but I was able to calm down. I wound up going to the same place for dinner in Lincoln Center that I went last year and took the train back to Newark.


Since it as the end (or beginning?) of Daylight Savings Time, I panicked that my alarm wouldn't go off or my phone alarm would get all messed up because I had been having issues with my phone, but luckily it did go off on time (4:30). I got up, got dressed, hopped on the shuttle to the train station, and then took the train into Penn Station, where I hopped on the Subway down to the Staten Island Ferry. I met a girl on the way into the city who was my age and was running her first marathon that day. It helped a ton talking to her and giving her pointers for the race since I ran it last year.

We eventually got on the ferry and headed to Staten Island. Boy was it chilly!! It seemed like the bus took FOREVER to get to Fort Wadsworth - maybe there was more traffic this year? I wound up waiting around a little longer than last year outside before the start, but I found a black trash bag that I wore to keep the wind off. They had to move the start of the wheelchair race to Brooklyn because the winds were 40+ mph on the Verazzano Narrows Bridge and I guess they didn't want the wheelchairs blowing off! The windchill was in the upper teens at the start - it was pretty brisk, but once I made it into Brooklyn, it really wasn't all that bad and I warmed up a little bit. I wound up wearing a long sleeve and windbreaker the whole time.

The race was much easier this year - having run the course last year definitely helped. Last year my back cramped up around mile 18...this year it didn't happen until mile 23 and I was able to power through. Maybe it was because of all of the yoga and physical therapy and chiropractor visits? I think I was definitely more relaxed this year. After I finished, I grabbed my medal and headed back to the hotel.

Running a marathon is such a humbling experience. People have asked me if I will continue to run, or will this be my last one? My answer is pretty simple: I will run the NYC Marathon every year I get into it. I know I need to focus on my training more - this year I didn't do the best, but I wasn't trying to qualify for Boston in this race. One day down the road I would love to qualify for Boston. Not sure exactly when that will be, but it's definitely one of my lifetime goals. I have to give up a lot to focus on the intense training for that, and I'm not quite there yet.

In the "off-season" I'm going to focus on staying healthy and in shape. Hoping to take up skiing - another one of my lifelong goals that I haven't been able to do because I've been training for a race or there hasn't been enough snow.

Thank you so much for your continued support - you know who you are!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never forget

Okay, so I'm going to admit, I hate blogging about controversial topics because I'm always going to ruffle someone's feathers. Even if I have a disclaimer at the beginning, middle, and end, someone out there is still going to get their panties in a bunch about something I say. So here is your fair warning; you can stop reading now if you want!

September 11, 2001.
A day we will never forget.

I remember going to school (I was in 5th grade at the time) and we were in home room when there was an announcement made over the intercom. Our teacher told us that something really bad happened close to us and they had to send us all home. Our parents could come pick us up, and whoever was left was going to be sent home on the bus. They wouldn't tell us anything other than the fact that whatever this terrible thing was, it might happen again.

Two days prior, my family and I had toured the White House. It was an amazing tour, led by our neighbor who was in the Secret Service. I remember how majestic it was walking through the halls of such great leaders. Little did I know that the ability to go on a tour of such a great and historic building would be forever changed two days later.

Since my sister was in the local private school, my mom picked her up and I had to take the bus home. I remember walking up the driveway and thinking it was so weird that my dad was home so early in the day. We also live next to a major interstate, and I just remember it being dead silent. As a 5th grader, I'm surprised I realized that silence.

I walked into the house and turned the corner into the living room and saw our brand new, big screen TV replaying the footage of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. My entire family was sitting on the couch, Mom crying, Dad just sitting there in shock, Monica twirling her hair, and Chris was probably playing with his Tonka truck. It was so weird. I asked what happened, were they watching a movie? "No," my dad said. "Some very mean people did a terrible thing to our country today." I donn remember much from that day except being very scared that something bad was going to happen to me.

I think every kid at the time was worried; schools were at risk, who knows what your bus driver really did when you were in school, etc etc. When we returned to school, it was heart wrenching to hear about my classmates who lost cousins, loved ones, even parents in those tragic events. We had to do something to move on. During that time I'm pretty sure everyone was much more patriotic than they were today. I know my yearbook picture has me wearing an American flag around my neck. "My Country Tis of Thee" was our song in chorus. The year went on, people started to get angry.

The next year I was walking home from the bus (I was now middle school). I had just found out my baby cousin Bridgit was born, and that we declared a War on Terror. I wasn't sure exactly what it meant, but I knew we were going to go find the bad guys. Years past, and there wasn't much progress that I heard about.

Fast forward a few years, to my time at the University of Maryland, and I remember sitting on our couch in Parkside surfing Facebook like every other college kid was doing at the time. I remember hearing one cheer and then all of a sudden my News Feed blew up with statuses saying that "Osama is dead!". I was so excited and in shock that I didn't know what to do. That was the first time I found out about some major news event via Facebook. Friends were partying down at the White House, but I was too exhausted to metro down there.

So here we are, September 11, 2014. 13 years later and the one day is as fresh in my mind as ever. How do I feel about it? Sad that such a terrible thing happened, but glad with the progress we as a country have made. We had lost so much trust in others right after 9/11 that it was hard to even trust your neighbor sometimes, but we have prevailed.

Everyone talks about how bad war is and how cruel it is. I leave those decisions up to the elected officials I vote for every November. If you aren't happy with how the country is being run, vote for who you think will do a better job, don't sit back and complain. People hate on Bush and Obama; just remember that everyone has their strengths! Some are better at leading a country in a time of crisis than others. Just keep that in mind. God help us if I were to ever become President. If I got stressed out, I would call up Ben & Jerry and Top Pot founders to ask them for advice. Just give the elected officials a break and be thankful that you have the opportunity to voice who you want to lead your country, even if you don't like who ultimately gets elected.

What it really comes down to is we are able to walk down the street wearing whatever we want, listening to whatever music we want, and eating wherever we want. We have that power to chose. It could have all been taken away from us on 9-11, but it wasn't. Just remember that.

Hug someone you love, listen to some country music, and salute the flag. We've come out in one piece, America, and let's be proud of it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2 weeks.

In two short weeks, I will begin on a new adventure as an Inside Sales Rep for Zillow! Words cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am to start on this new journey. When I found out I was accepted for the position, it was one of those “if-the-tree-falls-in –the-forest-alone-does-anyone-hear-it-fall”….I was laying in my bed, just having awoken from a nap on a rainy morning and I had a missed call from a Seattle area number. I called them back and they offered me the job – I yelped with excitement…. but then realized I was the only person in my apartment. Although I may have been all alone, I knew there were so many people that were cheering for me out there in the world – my family back in Maryland and my friends all over. I did it. I got that big kid job that I’ve always wanted!

Since I accepted the job offer, I’ve reflected a lot on the past 18 months; since I graduated from college. I would never have guessed as a freshman in college (who had their heart set on being a cardiothoracic surgeon at the time), that I would be working at a running store after graduation, or moving to San Francisco, or moving to Seattle. I always imagined myself living close to home and being around my family all the time. Well, my “story” changed, and I am 100% a-okay with that.

The first 6 months after graduation were mediocre. I lived at home and had a fun job at a local running store. Month 6 is when it started to get tough; student loans kicked in and I was moving out to San Francisco with a 4 day notice. Months 6-11 were probably the most frustrating. I had moved cross country to work for a startup where I was promised one thing, and reality was completely different. It sucked. So I moved home and fell back into the life I was living before I moved to SF; something I was more comfortable with. I returned to working at the running store and picked up a job at Lululemon Athletica, which has been one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had in my life. I have worked with and met some incredible people. The team that I worked with back in Maryland was that loving and caring group that I needed when I had just moved back home from San Francisco. My interview with them was literally the day after I got home from my cross country drive, and emotions were running high. Through my vision and goal setting, I was able to make moves and venture out to Seattle, in hopes of pursuing my long-term goal of working for Lululemon or Patagonia in their Corporate Social Responsibility department.

The team out here in Seattle has been unbelievable; they are some of my best friends. They have made me feel at home when I thought I wasn’t going to make it. When I had $1.50 to my name until my next paycheck, they were the ones that bought me a cup of coffee. When my grandfather passed away, they were the shoulder I cried on. They have taught me to be okay with feedback, and how to grow from it (good or bad J). I have never worked for a company where management has been so onboard with your hopes, dreams, and aspirations that they are literally cheering you on every step of the way. As my time comes to an end at Lululemon, I am so SO incredibly thankful for the experiences and growth that I have had since I began. I have had so much personal growth since I first started, but just as I got comfortable back home, it’s my time to move on.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Let It Go

Aparigraha... known by yogis as "non-grasping" or "letting go".

As one of my favorite yoga teachers recently said in our Groovin' Flow class, "We have to go to yoga class with no expectations. When we have no expectations for ourselves, all we can do is surprise ourselves."

I found that from the time when I first started practicing yoga, I would always get so frustrated in class. I would always be comparing myself to others in class and would get even more frustrated when I couldn't do certain poses. Well, as a Bikram instructor pointed out this week, everyone's body is different and some may be able to hold certain poses better than others. If your hip has been misaligned since birth, there's no point in beating yourself up over a pose heavily involving hips and balance. As a runner, I find myself a lot tighter than my classmates, but after going to class 3+ times a week I have noticed a huge difference in my running and my recovery. I've learned to "let go" in class and not grasp on to the fact that I might not be able to do a pose in class today, but accepted that tomorrow or next week I might be able to.

Just like in yoga, we have to live our lives with Aparigraha always in mind. If we are living a life where we are grasping onto things (material or not, like relationships, etc), how are we truly going to enjoy life? When I made my first cross country move last summer, I obviously had to declutter my life - of stuff and of "fake friends". Although it may have sucked at the time, being able to let go of grudges that were held or clothes that I hadn't worn in years, I am so much happier now. I really don't own much, and I'm pretty happy about that. I've learned that true happiness is achieved with people and yourself and not with material goods - I'm glad I've gotten there! (Even though a cupcake doesn't hurt every now and then ;)).

So as Idina Menzel sings in Frozen..."Let it Go"....



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