Tag Archive | friends

When the little things become the big things

Hello hello! How has it been a over week since I last posted? Seriously, where does the time go? One will never know, and I for one can not believe that this past weekend marked one month that I’ve been back from Australia. I wouldn’t exactly say I feel “settled-in” due to the fact that I’ve barely been home between working and classes, but I will say that since I’ve been back, I’ve realized that it’s little things that are making the biggest differences in my day-to-day life and helping me adjust into life at home again.  You know, little things like a compliment from a stranger, a pat-on-the-back from your boss, or a good grade on an exam. I used to think I needed monetary things to lift my spirits, like buying a new suit or the latest handbag, but now it’s just the opposite. Thank you, home, for bringing me back to reality and to my roots.
Some of the little things helping me lately have been:

-Random acts of kindness:
Can I just say that my Mom rules?  I don’t know how she does it, but somehow, someway, she spreads kindness everyday and truly makes me feel special. 
Things like: Saving me homemade macaroni cheese in the fridge(Meredith label, might-I-add):
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And leaving me the best coupon ever in my purse. $.99 cent iced coffee? Seriously this made my week.
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-Out-of-the-blue motivation
I happened to see this license plate on my way to class the other day (‘enjoy life’ shortened). I wasn’t in the best mind-frame to begin with since I was on my way to take a Chemistry exam followed by two hours of lab (I was actually VERY grumpy), so seeing this instantly helped me snap-out of it.
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-A girls night out
I haven’t been able to leave the state of Maine since I’ve been back, and I can’t describe how much I miss my girlfriends. So this past Friday, I bit the bullet, went to work super-early to get my Friday jobs accomplished by 1:00 pm, and hopped on a 3:00 bus to Boston to spend the evening with my Boston besties. There is nothing a little bit of girl time can’t cure, that’s for sure. Love you girls!
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-A refreshing workout
Sometimes, a good run is just what the doctor ordered. I ran with a windbreaker on for the first time in over a year last week and I smiled the ENTIRE 4 miles. That crisp, cool, fall air was just what I needed.
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-A visit with a loved one
My Mem is one of the most important parts of my life.I’m so grateful I’m back so that I can spend time with her, hold her hand, visit, and hug her again. It was the best hour of my week.
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-Personalized notes
Since I was a little girl I have always loved receiving mail and writing mail. I think it’s the honesty and personal touch of handwritten notes that’s so special, and whenever I receive them I literally get teary. (I know Brittany likes handwritten notes! I am totally checking out that website, by the way!)   This week, I received two special cards in the mail and I was so touched. Thank you Michelle and Sue xoxo.
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-Flowers just because
I am truly blessed to work for people that are like a second family to me. Last night, they handed me this beautiful bouquet from their garden and I was so touched!

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Even though I may not have won the megabucks, gone on a shopping spree or bought the newest Apple product, all of these little things have meant so much more to me than those things would, and they are truly the big things helping me smile today.

What is helping you smile today?

Anyone else love coupons as much as me?

Who else is loving fall running weather?

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When in doubt…

Today marks exactly one week that I’ve been home, and one week sure brings about a world of difference. From home, to school, to work, it’s all fresh and new again.  Trust me, I LOVE being home and can say for certain that American soil never felt so good. However, I won’t lie…moving back was emotionally,  physically, and mentally draining.

Did I do the right thing?

Make the right choice?

Choose the right path?

Only time will tell….so when in doubt, I’m:

Laughing
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Crying
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Remembering
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Smiling
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Praying
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Hugging

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Leaning on family and friends
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Exercising
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Baking
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Indulging (i.e. eating ice-cream / drinking copious amounts of iced coffee)
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…and remembering everything happens for a reason

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How do you deal with doubts?
I do all the things I love above, try to think positive, and eat WAY more ice-cream than necessary : –)

Happy at home

Hello from home sweet home! I am so happy to be here; I just can’t believe how quickly the days are passing. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! Thankfully, my flights back to the U.S. on Virgin Australia went very smoothly. In fact, I only had one semi-freak-out during the whole trip, which happened to occur in Los Angeles airport. By the time I got my luggage and went through customs, border protection, and re-checked my luggage, I only had one hour left to sprint across three terminals, make it through security, and board my flight. I sure did cut it close, but somehow I made it!

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This was after about 15 hours of flying…I may look tired but I was SO excited to be on U.S. Soil!

My greeting from my family at the airport in Boston is honestly a blur to me, mostly because I was quite teary-eyed and so ecstatic to see them. I’m glad my sister Christie snapped these pictures because I think they capture my reaction quite well!
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Mom, Mom, Mom!!!!

So besides catching up on sleep this past week, my first few days home have included some of the things I’ve missed most over the last 6.5 months,  including:

-Eating my favorite foods
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Panera Bread bagels and Mom’s fruit salad (Please don’t mind my side of extra butter  with my bagel LOL)

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Mom’s homemade baked stuffed shrimp= obsessed

-Indulging in my favorite treats
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Chocolate-glazed Munchkins after Sunday Church

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Shaws Ridge Farm Red Raspberry Chip Icecream

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Raspberry/coffee soft serve, with rainbow sprinkles of course!

Shopping at my favorite store
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Truthfully this is the only store I’ve shopped at so far this week, but I nearly died of excitement. 

-Seeing my favorite people (and animals)
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Lunch reunion with both of my Moms: –)

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Reunited with my nephews!

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Finally reunited with my twin. 6 months was far too long without her.

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Finally getting to see (and try-on, obviously!) my sister’s engagement ring. It is STUNNING.

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A special visit with My Mem

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My Dad and Peanut

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My Mom and precious Preston

Besides those favorites, I’ve also gotten in some great work-outs with my Mom, have enjoyed copious amounts of iced coffee, eaten too many desserts to count, and have been re-adapting to driving on the “right-side of the road.” Winking smileA perfect week in my book!

I am so looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing other friends and family members, especially my girls. Since I’m in Maine with my parents and many of them are in Boston, I have a lot more reuniting to-do and I can’t wait. Home sure is a happy place! My only wish is that Brandon could be home too, enjoying all of these things with me. (Missing you, B!)

What’s your favorite thing about going home?
I think mine would have to be family dinners; I cherish that time with my parents and sisters!

Never Too Old For Dress-Up

Happy weekend, friends! How are you? Having a restful weekend? I sure hope so. I’ve  rested for most of the day today because I may have had a littleeee too much fun last night.  A sure sign of this was that Brandon and I both woke up with headaches! Luckily, we were both craving the same thing this morning: scones. I  was just recently told about a bakery in town that sells fresh scones with cream and jam for just $3.00, so that’s exactly where we headed. Good, fresh scones that aren’t crumbly are extremely hard to come-by in my opinion, but these are spot-on!  We’ve become hooked after just two visits. Just look at these raspberry beauties:
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Anyway, I needed that cappuccino in a bad way this morning because we attended a masquerade ball yesterday evening (our first) and it was a blast. I felt like I was playing dress-up all night thanks to my mask. I must say, getting dolled up every once-in-a-while is so darn fun!
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Since this was my first masquerade ball/mask-wearing experience, I had no idea what to do with my hair. Most of my friends here got their hair professionally done, but I really enjoy curling/doing my hair (and I need to be saving money!) so I opted to experiment with a curly low side-ponytail:
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I was happy with my decision to wear it up, especially at the end of the night. I always find that when I wear it down and curly, it is just so straggly after a few hours. Not this time! : )
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Isn’t my date handsome? Winking smile
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The masquerade ball was put-on by the gym Brandon and I are both members of here, which I think is pretty out-of-the-ordinary for a gym to do! They held the ball as the concluding ceremony to their 12-Week Challenge competition that they sponsor each year.
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Basically, any gym member can sign up for the challenge, and while I’d heard this competition was always popular in the past, this year it was more popular because the winning prize was $10,000! Besides that, the winning personal trainer also received $1,000. Our friend Zac was actually the winning trainer, and Brandon had some fun stealing holding onto his giant check:
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“I always wanted to do this!”-Brandon

I really enjoyed the night as a whole. In addition to having drinks and a nice dinner with many of our close friends, it was so inspiring to hear the top-10 participants speak and see their ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos revealed. In total, the contestants lost 654 kilos (which is about 1,442 lbs!!!). Plus, I loved seeing people from the gym all dressed up that I’d only ever seen previously in work-out clothes!
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I owe a HUGE thank you to my Mom for mailing me my dress. I bought it last year for a black-tie event at Brandon’s company but haven’t had a reason to wear it since. I didn’t pack-it when I moved to Australia because  I certainly didn’t think I’d need many (if any) formal clothes as a student. It is easily the most comfortable formal gown I’ve ever owned, so I was excited to have the chance to wear it again. You are never too-old to play dress-up, at least not in my book!

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Does anyone else hate paying so much money for a dress and only having the chance to wear it once-or-twice?
I do, so I was ecstatic to wear this a second-time around. It makes me feel like I got my money’s worth : )

Have you ever been to a masquerade ball?
Do you like to dress-up?
I love it, and I’ll find any excuse to do so!

When homesickness hits

I have to admit, being so far away from home is not easy. It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions all the time. Up and down, up and down, it’s never-ending. Some weeks are better than others and this week wasn’t one of them. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t shake it this week. I feel like this:

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Since I figure I’m probably not the only person who struggles with missing home, I thought I’d share some tips of things that I do when homesickness hits.
When homesickness hits I:

1) Skype and/or Face-time , text message, and email with family and friends: Technology has been my saving grace these last few months. Actually being able to see AND hear the people you love does wonders for helping with homesickness. Starting my day with a text from my Mom, or a video message from a friend makes me so happy.
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yes, I Face-time with my sister’s dogs!

2) Send cards home: I adore receiving mail, and I love sending it, too. Writing is therapeutic for me, so I like to send cards to the people I’m thinking about. In some ways, it makes me feel like I’m talking to them!
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3) Keep busy: Being bored just increases homesickness. I’m thankful classes keep me super busy because it helps keep my mind off of how far away I am.  If I don’t have class or studying to do, I’ll clean the house, get a pedicure, or go for a run. Whatever you do, just keep busy!

4) Exercise: Whether it’s going for a run, lifting weights or taking a fitness class, exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy (thanks Legally Blonde!) I always feel 100% better after exercising, and it keeps my mind off of missing home.
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5) Do something you love: Doing things you love help you to smile, right? Things on the top of my list involve anything with baking, shopping, walking, exercising, reading, or going to the beach.
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6) Surround yourself with people: Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but it certainly helps me. Being surrounded by girlfriends instantly lifts my spirits. I’ve even found going to a group exercise class helps because of the social element.
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7) Watch your favorite show or movie: I know I have an addiction, but I make it a point to not miss an episode of the Real Housewives of  Beverly Hills (or Atlanta, Miami, NYC, etc). Watching them makes me feel right at home!

8) Put up pictures of your loved ones and “reminders” of home: I have covered our apartment with pictures, magnets, and things to make it feel more home-y.
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9) Don’t keep it in: I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions bottled up inside, which isn’t a good thing! Talking about who you miss or what you miss will help. You might shed a tear or two, but you’ll more than likely feel better after. Hugs help, too!

10) Get an ice-cream cone: Alright, this one might just apply to me, but I’m sticking with it. Ice-cream is my go-to remedy. Ice cream=smiles, always!

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Does anyone else have any homesick remedies? Please share!

P.S. My twin sister got engaged today!!! I have NEVER been more excited for two people in my life! I love this beautiful couple, and I’m obsessed with her gorgeous ring. Love you guys!!
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