Wild and Fiery

This time three years ago, I was still getting my feet wet in Ireland. I was there to study abroad at the University of Limerick and was struggling to find my place. (Thank you, homesickness!) As I was only going to be there for four months, I knew I had to make the best of my time.

Just as there are at most universities, there were a number of clubs and societies for students to join. I was a bit surprised though at just how many there were at UL. Read More



With each year, there are some things that change and some that remain constant, some you gain and others you lose. In the moment, sometimes these things seem greater than they are. And sometimes they really are just that great.

When I was young, each year came to a close on a good note—because how could it not? We banged on pots and pans with wooden spoons, blew on party horns, threw confetti, and danced with sparklers. We danced and sang and celebrated. Then, just when I thought I was starting to figure out things in my life, everything changed. Read More

Cleaning Up

There is something about cleaning–washing dishes, folding warm clothes straight from the dryer, or vacuuming a rug–that has a cleansing effect in more than one way. If you’re frustrated, angry, or just not at your best, put on your headphones and sweep, soak, and scrub until the negative feelings dissipate. And if that’s not enough, there’s something even more cathartic about getting rid of old stuff. Decluttering your spaces. Clearing out your life. Putting things back together without the mess.

Ask anyone who knows me–I’ve spent at least one third of my life, so far, cleaning my room. (And probably just as much time complaining about cleaning my room.)  Read More

You Never Forget

The first time I babysat, I was thirteen years old. My neighbors were going out for dinner with friends and needed someone to watch their two young daughters. I had always enjoyed playing with my little cousins and other family friends, so I happily obliged. Plus, I would get paid, which was super exciting when I was thirteen (and even today). It was a little scary at first, as all things are in the beginning, but I caught on quickly. Little did I know that that first night would lead to close to ten years of babysitting neighbors and other families in the area. Read More

Toward the Sun

I visited Italy for the first time when I was eighteen. My family rented a gorgeous villa in the town of Montespertoli and we traveled around sunny Tuscany for two weeks. When we weren’t busy exploring the cities or nearby towns, we would take evening walks along the road in front of our villa. There was a massive field just on the other side of the road that, when we first arrived, was green and very full. We imagined it was some sort of wheat or grain and thought nothing of it. One day, we were pleasantly surprised to see that flowers had bloomed. Read More

The Best People to Travel With

I have talked quite a bit on this blog about some of the traveling I’ve done. Mostly vaguely and generally, and mostly about how much I miss it. In the past year, I have not done as much traveling as I would like, but I have still had some pretty great adventures along the way.

Exactly one year ago, my friend Nicole and I hopped on separate planes in Minneapolis and New Jersey to visit our friend Meggan (plus her family and her then-boyfriend/now-fiancé, Ger!) in her native Canada. Read More