Tag Archive | boston

Friday Confessions: moments

Hey friends! Long time, no talk. Time sure has slipped away from me this summer. It is SO hard to believe we’re almost to Labor Day.  I don’t know how you’re feeling about it, but I’m quite honestly having mixed emotions.  Since the end of summer is upon us (I hate saying that but it’s true… I start classes in less than 2 weeks!), I wanted to be sure I wrote about some of my favorite moments through the last few months. After all, even though I originally started this blog to share recipes,  it has truly become a space to also express my feelings and write about memories I never want to forget.

We all have moments that stick out in our minds…happy and sad moments, freaking-out moments,  life is oh-so-good moments, etc. I’ve certainly had my fair share of cries and hysterical moments this summer, but all-in-all, there’s been a lot more happy moments that stand-out in my mind more than anything at all. For one, Brandon came home,  for another, my sister got married, and just yesterday we signed a lease and move in one week! While the summer has also had its challenging moments, mostly it’s been incredibly special. I will always look back on these few months and cherish these times.   My favorite moments were:

Moments with my parents: It’s been incredibly rewarding to live with my parents this past year. Having this one-on-one time with them day-in and day-out as an adult has been so special. I’ll always hold dear to my heart the early morning work-outs and walks with my Mom, movie and dinner dates with my Dad, bike rides, mother/daughter day-off trips, and grocery shopping together…man-oh-man I’m going to miss my parents. I will never be able to thank them enough for their generosity this year and I will always treasure these moments.

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An evening stroll in Kennebunkport

Fried food date with Dad (YOLO)
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Bike ride cuties

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Moments with friends: I haven’t seen nearly enough of my girlfriends these past few months, but no matter how far apart we live, the second we’re together, it’s just like old times. Much love to my girls.
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Moments with my other half:Although I’ve only seen my sister ONCE this summer (I can’t even believe that’s the truth), every second of  being together was wonderful. Best friends forever and always.

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Moments with grandparents (and the grand-dogs):
It has been a summer of adjustment without our Boppa around for all of us, especially for Nana. For that reason, we’ve tried to keep her busy and keep her surrounded by loved ones at all times.  Moments with Nana and my Mem are always full of laughter and love, but they’re never quite long enough. My parents would agree that moments with their “grand-dogs” are never quite long enough, either.
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Moments of celebrating love:
It is the summer of weddings and I have loved it! Witnessing some of our closest friends and family members exchange heartfelt vows has been so special and has warmed my heart. Plus, attending them with Brandon has made them even more special.

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Moments of togetherness:

I have not spent nearly enough time with Brandon this summer as I’d hoped, but we are so excited about our upcoming move and future endeavors. I’m thankful for the special moments we have had this summer, and can’t wait for future together.
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Moments at work: The biggest challenge I faced this summer was creating a work/life balance for myself. While I didn’t exactly excel in this balance, I am really proud of the improvements I made in my managing skills and food-service skills, along with the commitment and dedication I showed throughout the season. I truly couldn’t love a small business more.  

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Do you have any stand-out moments of the summer?

What’s up for Labor Day?
I will either be moving or working, so please share some fun plans so I can live vicariously through you!

Truth is…

Truth is… 
Time management has been a challenge for me lately. I love blogging, but I’ve had a hard time balancing school , work, and life over the last few months. One New Years resolution of mine will be to blog a couple of times a week, mostly because it truly makes me happy to write, reminisce, and share thoughts and recipes.
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Truth is…
Thanksgiving this year was one of the best that I can remember. Great food, great family and lots of laughs, I just loved it.
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Truth is…
I am mentally (and physically) exhausted from studying for finals. I have had 3 finals over the course of the last two days, and in the last two weeks, I do believe I’ve studied more  for chemistry than I have for any other subject EVER. Lets hope it pays off.

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Truth is…
I recently found out my anatomy & physiology credits from Australia aren’t being accepted for course credit at the college I’m attending, and therefore I must repeat A & P in America. Truthfully I cried for about six hours thinking about the effort and money I spent to take that class…but truthfully I know everything happens for a reason and it will all work out in the end.

Truth is…
I love my grandparents more than anything and selfishly I want them around forever. Watching them struggle with old age has been nothing short of challenging, so I’m always so happy when we’re together and we can dote on them.
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Truth is…
Friendship is a blessing. I spent last Saturday in Boston with some of my dearest friends and I truly loved each and every second.
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Truth is…
I really miss outdoor running. While in Australia, most of my workouts were outdoors and I sort -of became accustomed to it. I certainly enjoyed fall running to its fullest in New England, but Maine winters +snow+black ice+frigid temps=no more running for me. However last week and this week, I managed to sneak in one run each week on the “warmer” days, and walk/runs with my Mom. It was blissful!
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Truth is…
I’ve been making a protein shake each morning for breakfast to go along with my fruit and yogurt, and I am absolutely amazed at how long it keeps me satisfied. Arbonne protein powder for the win!
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Truth is…
The holidays are my favorite time of year. When else can you bake and shop every single day and not need an excuse to do it?
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Truth is…
My Mom and I may have a T.J. Maxx problem…just sayin’.
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Truth is…
I made these iced oatmeal cookies last week and they were EPIC. Mother Thyme is a genius. I’ll most definitely be making these  over and over again.
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Truth is…
Brandon arrives home for Christmas in 12 days. To say I’m a little excited would be an absolute UNDERSTATEMENT!
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Got any truths to share?
What’s your favorite thing about Christmas time?
Anyone else have a TJ Maxx “problem”? : –)

sometimes the hardest thing is the right thing

Hey friends! I truly did not intend to take a leave-of-absence from blogging while I was home, but somehow that’s what happened. However,  I can say I truly enjoyed every single second I spent with my family and friends, and sometimes stepping away from technology is necessary to make sure that happens. I must admit I am VERY behind on blog-reading, so to some my favorite bloggers out-there (Meghan, Charlotte, Leslee, Monique, Rachel, Elizabeth, Brooke, Kristy, Kelly, Cori, Kristina, Lillian, Bek, just to name a few) I am still a devoted reader, promise! Smile

Anyway, in five short weeks home, I think it’s safe to say I fit a lot in. It all started with a visit from my twin, which was full of:
– fun dinners:
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-puppy cuddles:
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-…and ice-cream dates:
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This visit was followed by a week-long trip to Cape Cod where we:
-mini-golfed:
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-went bowling (where the best part of the bowling alley was the bar!):
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-relaxed, exercised,  and ate loads of frozen yogurt:
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-had a fantastic dinner with some of my closest girlfriends and family (hi Laura, Peter, and Lauren!):
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…and dined out:
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(To.die.for. Lobster salad at the Poppenessett Inn)

Our Cape trip was followed by a wedding dress shopping weekend with my sister, Mom, and best friend Sarah. Can I just say that I’m OBSESSED with dress shopping? Love love love. We also squeezed in  a girls night at Mohegan Sun, and a visit to Kimmie’s wedding venue in Newport, Rhode Island:
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(We are standing on the exact location Kim and Jim will be married next year!)

-Mohegan Sun girls night:
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-Plus I got to see my dear friend Michelle for lunch, too:IMG_3567

In my last few weeks home, I worked most days (Hi Mr. Shaw!), but fit in some pool time, a Boston visit, and quality family-and-friend-time too:
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So after a whirlwind trip, I’m back in Australia! It feels wonderful to be back with Brandon after a month of being apart. I don’t think long distance relationships get any easier, no matter how much experience you have with them. But as good as it is to be back,  I do have a confession: I’m not back for long. After countless hours of research, pro/con lists, deep discussions and many tears, I’ve decided to move home in order to continue pursuing my second degree back in America. As hard as it is to admit, sometimes the hardest decision is the right decision, and this is one of those times.
 
Would I rather stay in the same place as Brandon? Yes.
Do I love living in a tropical paradise? Yes.
Do I feel that moving to Australia was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Yes.
Would it be easier to stay here and continue doing what I’ve been doing? Yes.

However, the adult me asks:
Education wise, does the university here offer what I need for courses? No.
Does it make more sense to take my pre-requisite classes somewhere more affordable? Yes.
Do I want to be done with school as soon as possible and start my new career? Yes.
Will staying in Australia enable me to do this? No.
Will I have more opportunities to work while attending classes at home? Yes.
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And so, with Brandon’s support and our families support, I’ll be moving back to the U.S.A. at the end of August, immediately starting classes in Maine at that time. 
I’m extremely grateful that I can continue my dream of achieving my masters degree of nutrition at home, but it deeply saddens me to leave Brandon, the life we created together here, and the friendships I’ve cultivated this past year. Sometimes the hardest decision is the right decision, and I’m praying that this one is the right one for us.

Thank you always for your on-going support and for reading,

Meredith

P.S. Brandon’s parents are en-route to Australia tomorrow and we are anxiously awaiting their arrival. Travel safe, Brad and Sue. We love you!

Three things thursday

Hello hello and happy Thursday!
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I am PSYCHED it’s the weekend!
Boston strong <3

How do you feel about Thursdays? I’ve always loved them, but when I got to thinking about why, I realized that through the years my reasons have changed quite a bit. I thought this might be fun to share! For example:

In my four years of college I loved them because of the anticipation of “Thirsty Thursday”…a.k.a. the biggest drinking night of the week. I specifically remember sitting in classes on Fridays wanting to cry because I felt so ill and vowing to “never drink again”, only to repeat Thirsty Thursday the following week. Looking back, I honestly wonder how my liver survived it!

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Bryant University Thirsty Thursday throwbacks!

In my 4+ years in corporate America, I loved them for what we at John Hancock called “LTK Thursday”…a.k.a. the biggest drinking night of the work week at the bar next door, Legal Test Kitchen. We went there so often that the bartender knew our names AND our drink orders every.single.time. I specifically remember thinking on many Fridays “how will I get through the day?” See a trend? Whoops.  Although I really do miss the social aspect of Thirsty Thursdays, I don’t miss the cost or the horrible hung-over feeling I felt most Fridays!
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Throwback LTK Thursday with my best girls!

Fast forward to my present life as a  27-year old second-time student and gosh things have changed. I adore them because at 3:00 p.m., my classes end and the weekend begins! This means I can catch up on cleaning and homework,  go for a sunset walk and cook a great dinner. What can I say, I’m officially old.  : –)  Just kidding…kind-of.
However, besides just getting an early start to the weekend, I also love this Thursday for a few more reasons:

1) I woke up smiling thanks to an amazing dinner I had with some of my girlfriends last night. Sometimes, you just need girl-time, right?   I had 5 beauties over for a few hours of laughs and a crock-pot pork dinner, which was a huge success. I’ll post the recipe soon because it was too good to-not share!
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Last night’s dinner. I loved the colors : –)
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The girls (taken when my Mom was visiting!)

2) I was able to “sleep-in” until 7a.m. today and started out my day with a beautiful 4-mile run on the ocean, followed by an amazing BODYPUMP class.
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Seriously, how awesome is that sunrise?
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Super sweaty at the gym after BP!

3) Today is the last day I have to spend away from Brandon! He has been gone for almost 2 weeks due to work and travelling and I can’t wait to have him home.
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College throw-back

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5 years later! What do you think? Have we changed?

There you have it. I love Thursdays, especially this one!

P.S. Happy birthday to my dear Michelle! She is finally home from the hospital, and is on the road to recovery. Thanks for continuing to keep her in your prayers!
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What’s your favorite day of the week?  Do you love Thursdays or am I alone on this?
Anyone doing anything fun this weekend? Please share!

my heart’s with boston & my dear michelle

Hey there, I hope everyone is doing well. In the midst of the tragedy back home in Boston, it’s been a somber week here, with lots of tears for our city, friends, family, and everyone affected in the horrific event. I never imagined seeing a “Boston Bombing” headline on the news and in the papers in my lifetime,  so I certainly never imagined seeing it on the news in Australia. It is truly heartbreaking.  
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As a result of living and working in Boston since graduating, the majority of my friends live in the city, and I knew most of them would either be at the marathon, or near the marathon. Sadly one of my dear friends, Michelle, was injured.  I ask that you please say a prayer for her, as she is in the midst of her second surgery today to mend her wounds. Michelle is originally a “Mainer” like me, and when I met her at work almost 5 years ago, we hit it off from the start.  Over our years working together at John Hancock, she became  like a sister to me, and was my morning gym buddy, iced coffee and sangria partner, frequent lunch date, and a best friend. She is the sweetest person I know who is forever smiling and always thinks of others before she thinks about herself. She was simply an innocent bystander at the marathon on Monday, there  cheering on her boyfriend who was running the race. Finding out she was hurt was absolutely devastating, so I am relieved  to be able to say she is going to be okay. We have been texting back and forth frequently, and she is truly one of the bravest people I know.  Her positive attitude, bright outlook, and strong support system will help her on her road to recovery.  Please keep her and all those affected in your prayers. I love you, Michelle, I’m thinking of you every second!
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(Beautiful Michelle is on the right in every picture)

This tragedy also hits close to home because for the last 4.5 years of my life, I called Boston home, and I truly couldn’t love a city more.  My former company, John Hancock, sponsors the Boston Marathon, so as an employee, Marathon Monday is the most exciting day of the year. In my four years with John Hancock, I volunteered at the marathon each and every year, and sat in the finish line bleachers for all of those years, too.
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Volunteering with my girls every year.

If I was still living in Boston, there is a 100% chance I would have been at the Marathon finish line this year, too. The thought alone is chilling.  It could have been anyone that was harmed…it could have just as easily been me. 

I have so much love for this city, our Nation, my dear Michelle, and everyone in it. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected. Boston, you’re in my heart always.
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