a moment to reflect

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

In lieu of Winona State University’s graduation today, I felt it appropriate to look back on the past three years since I graduated.

As I see my friends about to embark on adulthood and leave that safety net we know and love call college I can’t help but to think about my humble beginnings. Graduation was an awesome time. I don’t totally remember the ceremony because our student speaker was a mathematics major and more boring than life, plus the speech should have been mine but apparently I added a little “too much” (is that possible) flare to my speech. I digress; graduation is a time that makes you think. Your future is literally on the line and you have the whole world out there in front of you. Graduation means making your mark on a world much bigger than the one you were confined in for the last 4 years.

To my friends near and far, I want you to reflect. Maybe you graduated today, maybe you graduated years ago, it doesn’t matter the date, take a moment. Take a moment in the coming days to think of the journey you have embarked on. Has it changed? What were the obstacles that have been placed in your path? Did they make your plan change? Is the journey worth it? Is your end game still the same? What’s different? Have you acquired anything of importance along the way?

After posing these questions, how do you feel? Can you still see that light at the end of the tunnel glimmering bright?

For me, nothing has changed when it comes to my end game. Of course I am still trying to figure everything out and I’m trying to put the puzzle pieces together. It is going to take a lifetime for me, or anyone for that matter to fully mold the life that they want. I know where is started and I know where I am going. No doubt there have been massive obstacles that have been put in my way, and I hurdled over them. Remember that we all deal with obstacles differently and all of our journeys are different.

While you are on your journey be cognizant of the people you will meet. Take note of everyone you encounter. The guy who is serving you your morning coffee could turn into your best friend. Old friends could come back into your life. New friends will develop that will last a lifetime. Hold on to the friends who turn into family…those friends are the most important and they’re the ones that will turn your life upside down and make this adventure that we call life so worth it.

Maybe it’s been four years since you’ve graduated and you still don’t know what you want to “be when you grow up”, or maybe you do. Either way, we only get one life so maybe sure you surround yourself with people who will make your journey a wild ride!

Advertisements

talk to me

& get off your phone

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Yes, we’ve all done it. Friends, let’s not make it a habit and there’s one sure way of stopping it. Folks, I am talking about being on your phone while you are at the bar among friends. Thanks to theadvertising agency Fischer&Friends, we now have the Offline Glass. This glass that only stands supported by the mobile phone rescues people from the online world and brings them back to the bar chat. What an awesome and innovative idea. Check out this vimeo to see how it works.

thank you

for being my friend

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here’s a shout out to all of my friends. Now, if you’ve never had the opportunity to watch Golden Girls, I’m sorry.  The Golden Girls is a true American sitcom. Let me give you a little recap, the Golden Girls is based on the lives and interactions of four older women whom have all been divorced/widowed, and are now roommates. One of the main character’s, Dorothy, main goal during the series is to find a companion who she can relate to while her mother Sophia adds her comical outlook and frequents “Picture This” stories.  Another character, Rose, who is from St. Olaf has many cliches which make her a little corny but lovable. One thing that changes nearly every episode is whom the last main character, Blanche, is dating.

This is one of the best American sitcoms that came into our homes. With a great theme song, “Thanks For Being My Friend,” I can’t think of a better way than this to say thanks to my friends.

playing tour guide

Like you’ve always learned in school, you learn something better when you teach it yourself. Personally, I think that is true for anything. Last week, we had two house guests. I proposed the idea to Matt that he play tour guide to get a better feel of the city. Since Matt has been visiting and moved to DC his grasp on the city is great, but you always learn better when you teach someone else.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#MinnesotansTakeOnDC follow up

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

 

Last week, two friends came to visit me in DC from the great state of Minnesota. Each of them had previously been to DC, but not for a few years. There was obviously much to see to refresh their memories in terms of sightseeing and much for us to catch up on as well.

In my guest blog post last week, I talked about how it was going to be fun for me to play tour guide instead of tourist. As I said, I was a little nervous and leery about it, but once my friends got here and we started walking around, I really hit my stride as tour guide and got into the groove of things. During the time that they were here (a week), we visited the United States Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, saw the Cherry Blossoms, took them to various local spots around DC, woke up early to watch the sun rise with Abe and even made dinner with them one night as well. We walked A LOT. Anywhere from 7-10 miles a day, but that’s one thing that I like about DC.

They fit a lot of sightseeing into only a week in DC. They did even more without me there, but in the end, I really feel like they got a great taste of DC from my point of view. I got to show them the places that I really enjoy and make a habit of going to around town. Another great thing about them visiting was that it let me still be a tourist in terms of trying new places, such as Bull Feathers. This city is bigger than any other city that I’ve lived in before, so I am always hearing about and trying new places.

Overall, I loved playing tour guide and I’m really excited to do it again. Who wants to visit next? Any takers? When you have someone come visit, what are some of the hot spots that you make sure to take them?

visitors

Being a tourist in your own city is never fun unless you have a really good excuse. I used to have a great excuse, Matt, but then he moved here and became a local. This week Matt and I have visitors coming for a week, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them all the tourist places while getting the local flavor. I asked Matt to write a blog about being on the “other side” of the tourism trap in DC. It’s one thing having someone guide you around this city, but it’s another to play the role of tour guide.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#MinnesotansTakeOnDC

guest blog presented by: Matthew D. Shalbrack
You can find Matt on Twitter: @hamsterjockey; insta: hamsterjockey, make sure you follow him!

Tonight, and for the next week, two of my friends from Minnesota will be visiting and staying with Kendal Ann and I. I’m pretty excited. Yes, I’ve made some great new friends in my short time living in DC thus far, but it’s always great to see friends from back home who you haven’t seen in a while. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality with friends and exploring this great city even more.

One of the odd things for me will be taking the role of tour guide instead of being a tourist when my friends are here. As I said earlier, I’ve only been living in DC for a short time, but before that, when Kendal Ann and I were doing the long distance thing, I visited quite frequently. Those frequent visits took me to lots of new places that I had never heard of or had been to before. It was great – so many new firsts and I still have new firsts every week! But seeing all these new places and learning more about this city has given me my own view of places I think are interesting, places I’ve seen but have never been to before and places that I won’t ever go back to. I think that happens to everyone though once they start living somewhere new because you really start to try new things and new places, all while figuring out what you like and what you don’t like.

I think that I have a pretty decent grasp on where to go and how to get around in the city. However, I still accidentally walk past the White House and when it finally registers with me I’m like, “Oh hey, Obama” in my head. One interesting thing though that won’t be problematic per say, is the fact that I stick to routes that I trust and routes that I know when getting from Point A to Point B. Like I said, not a bad thing, but it’s something that I should try to work on while being the tour guide, just so my friends get a variety of different views throughout the city.

Overall, I’m looking forward to giving my friends a view of DC through my eyes, focusing on the sights and sounds that I think are important parts of the current city that I live in. It’s going to be a great week with big things on the horizon. I’ll give you an update of how it went next week!

If you’re interested in the things that I’ll be doing and the places that I will be taking my friends, I’ll just leave a link to my Twitter and the hashtag #MinnesotansTakeOnDC.

what are your top three?

 you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” ― Leslie Knope

SO to Diego for sending me this quote. I just needed to pass this along because I have a Leslie mentality. To me, work is always third. In fact, I think for most of us, work falls into third place. So what ranks at your one and two?

Albany, NY

hello, upstate!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Later today, I will be getting on a plan that will take me from Washington, DC to Albany, NY. Yes, that’s right, I am heading to Upstate New York and I simply cannot wait. Thankfully, this trip does not have a business entity looped in. The trip is only for personal purposes. After 11 months without seeing my dear friend, Emily, I will once again be reunited with her (and you too, Patrick, even though it’s been two weeks, it feels like 11 months!).

For this trip, I have no expectations other than fun and seeing the true life of an “Upstate-er”. I am sure we will walk down memory lane which will include the Empire State Plaza, state capital and Saint Rose campus. From my understanding, Albany’s neighborhoods are varied demographically, geographically, architecturally, and historically- just like any other city. Downtown Albany is the city’s oldest neighborhood and centered on State Street. Downtown Albany has the oldest streets, but today downtown consists mostly of office buildings inhabited by state agencies, though a recent push to bring in permanent residents has led to proposed apartments and condominiums.

For me, Albany is about a new adventure, rekindling of friendship, laughter and one step closer to checking off a few things on my 2014 bucket list. I believe you should travel to one new place every year, but this year I want to make it to three new places.

Albany, I cannot wait to see you in all your glory!

an open letter

[insert your name here]

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Dear You,

As our relationship has progressed you have noticed one motif about my life: go big, or go home. You’re right, I don’t take things lightly and I don’t do them small. If I am going to do something, I commit. With all that being said, my birthday is never a different story. Every few years, the Super Bowl will try to overshadow my special day but I never allow it to do so.

This year, my birthday was wonderful because of you. Celebrating this 24th year is something I will ever forget. Being surrounded by loved ones, receiving phone calls and even the simple smiles truly made the day something special.

Over the years we’ve shared many stories, laughter, drinks and celebrations, but this one was different. This particular birthday celebration encompassed many wonderful aspects of my life. The celebrations this year allowed me to join in all of the tom foolery and showering of love that a birthday should have.

For you, I am grateful. Without you, my birthday would not have been the same. Thank you for the memories we made this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing what my 24th year has in store. I am lucky to have you along for the journey. Once again, thank you. I am so touched and thankful to be blessed by such awesome family and friends!

All My Love,

Kendal Ann

 

 

be thankful

even though it’s not thanksgiving

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sure, the month of November reminds us to be thankful for what we have, but being thankful isn’t 111608-thankfula motif that stays with us for the rest of the year. Personally, I believe that every day you should give thanks for one thing. This one thing can be small. Being thankful shouldn’t be a chore; please don’t view it like that. We are all lucky in our own ways and I am certain everyone has just one thing to be thankful for. Today, I challenge you to say thank you to someone or to recognize that one thing which you appreciate.

Today, I am thankful for the nights that turned into mornings. The friends who turned into family and all my dreams that turned into reality.

Remember: it’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy.

giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!