Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

30

Dec

Resolutions?

As 2013 comes to a close, there has been a question several people have asked me recently, “what are your New Years resolutions?” I typically make them but usually don’t broadcast them to the world. But this year I’m going to do something a little different. So here are my resolutions and some pithy explanations to go along with them.

1. Enjoy being single. It is no secret that I have done the relationship thing. I have been there AND done that and I am confident in saying I truly know what I want and need in a future relationship. And I’m even more content with being single until the time is truly right. I am certainly not a girl that can’t be alone and I will not settle just so I can “have someone.” I see a lot of girls who simply cannot survive without a guy in their lives, not only is this unhealthy, but it never gives you a chance to become who you are meant to be. I am happy to say I am single and I will be a well rounded, financially independent, smart, non-clingy woman when the right guy presents himself. Until then, it’s me, myself and I. And a lot of good friends :)

2. Be a good friend. I have been truly blessed with some incredible, dear, true friends this year. That has not always been the case in my life, as friends have come and gone. But I resolve to treasure the amazing ones I have and really enjoy every moment and adventure we have together. It is also time to allow the door to close on friendships that aren’t reciprocal. This new year is all about treating people with love and respect and getting that in return, as friendship should be, and if I am the only one maintaining our “friendship” I’m going to spend my time elsewhere with someone who appreciates our time together.

3. Dig into my Faith walk. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a very religious/spiritual person. This past year has been a huge year of growth for me as a Catholic adult, and I want to dig in even deeper to the writings and doctrines of the Catholic Church so that I may always be equipped to discuss my faith intelligently with others who may challenge me.

4. Write more. I used to write a LOT. Documenting my personal thoughts on politics, relationships, internal battles and overcoming certain situations. It not only helped me, but seemed to help others who reached out to me privately after reading what I wrote. I have a lot of life experience under my belt and have endured a lot even at my age, and I need to not keep it to myself, but instead use it to help whoever could benefit from hearing my story. I am proud of who I have become through my trials and hope it will help others through my future writings.

5. Double my bank account by December 2014. I made a promise to myself after overcoming some serious trials in my life, that I was going to graduate from Pepperdine, land a good job, and reach a certain financial goal by December 2013. I am proud to say that I am now a Pepperdine alum, with a job I still can’t believe working for Caruso Affiliated (still can’t believe I’m living my dream!) and am even more excited to say that I exceeded the financial goal that I set. So this year, as I start my very own 401k, as I turn 23, as I embark on my own insurance plan, I am going to double my bank account by the end of 2014, and I will do it. Who needs an apartment when you can save for a house?

 6. Take every opportunity and adventure that comes my way. There have been times in my life when I have not always put myself out there, or gone home after a long day instead of going out with a friend. This year, life is too short and I can sleep when I’m dead. I am excited for many more adventures in 2014, and exciting new opportunities that I will be presented with. My job alone is a new and exciting opportunity each new day that I am here and I am excited to see how 2014 unfolds here in the workplace as well.

I have been incredibly blessed by an amazing family, friends and a job I cannot believe. I still don’t know how I got so incredibly fortunate. Thank you to everyone who made 2013 so memorable. Here’s to 2014.

 

31

May

Perfecting the art of surrendering

Coming from a super planner, highly-organized somewhat control freak like myself, this is a very daunting idea. Letting go, surrendering- that just seems silly, doesn’t it? In some scenarios you must hold on, but in others, you need to train yourself to learn how to let go and surrender. I am not a fan of the word surrender - it just doesn’t “speak” to me. Which is why for years I have tried to control and manage everything, especially my relationships. I would tell myself that I was allowing God to work, but still holding onto that last string and not letting go of the reigns. Relationships are tricky. For someone like myself, when you’ve been burned one too many times, you really don’t feel drawn to letting go of control, and trusting that things will fall into place, in fact, you tend to want to know when and where this ideal person is hiding - or if they even exist. It has become abundantly clear that it will take a very special man to enter my life, one who accepts my family as his own, who doesn’t feel threatened by my independence but who can step up and be a man, and not a boy. I’ve had a savior complex many times in my past, thinking that God placed someone in my life for me to fix, when in fact, I think God was looking for me to make the right choice and choose what I knew to be true in the end, instead of choosing to fix something that wasn’t fixable. I have never been one to daydream about getting married sooner than later, or anything like that, but it doesn’t mean you don’t subconsciously wonder if there are any decent human beings left in this crazy world. Despite my desire to control, I have seen so much grace and beauty in times that I truly do surrender, in times that I choose to close the door on my past, in times I choose to say “I’m okay, right here, right now, in this moment” - those are the times you feel at peace with exactly where you are in your life. Because, think about it, who knows what is around the corner - for once, this planning queen doesn’t want to know.

16

May

hitrecordjoe:

hitrecord:

“The Crafty Owl (a tiny story)”
Tiny Story REmix by brandi jeaux
==
Nobody knew how much
a little paper and tape would change him
==
Metaphorest (Text & Audio Curator) writes:
I love how you’ve incorporated your story into the image - it fits so well both visually and narratively. Very intriguing :) Nice!
==
Contribute your Tiny Stories HERE!

It’s #TinyStories season!  
Contribute to our Tiny Stories Volume 3 collaboration here!

Love this

hitrecordjoe:

hitrecord:

“The Crafty Owl (a tiny story)”

Tiny Story REmix by brandi jeaux

==

Nobody knew how much

a little paper and tape would change him

==

Metaphorest (Text & Audio Curator) writes:

I love how you’ve incorporated your story into the image - it fits so well both visually and narratively. Very intriguing :) Nice!

==

Contribute your Tiny Stories HERE!

It’s #TinyStories season!  

Contribute to our Tiny Stories Volume 3 collaboration here!

Love this

14

May

Opportunities

I am so profoundly and deeply grateful for all the opportunities being laid before me right now in my life. It is so clear that God truly rewards you in your life when you are on the right path. I am so ecstatic to be where I am exactly at this moment.

27

Apr

Time to say goodbye. Graduation 2013.

The time has come - tomorrow morning I will walk across the stage at graduation and embark on an entirely new journey in my life. 

A little over 4 years ago, I applied to only one university, and despite the comments of those around me, I held firm in that decision. In February 2009, I received my email of admission from Pepperdine University, and it was an emotional moment full of tears and excitement. It is hard to even believe that I have now concluded my college journey. It seems as though it was just yesterday that I was arriving an hour early to my first college class and meeting Professor Stivers in my freshman seminar. 

My Pepperdine experience was distinctly different than most - I was not an athlete, nor a sorority sister and quite frankly, I took great pride in being entirely devoted to my Public Relations major and focusing on real world experiences and internships. I worked throughout my entire college career, and spent many a wonderful weekend at home with my incredible family and friends. I guess you could say I really had the best of both worlds. I had been given the entire world, and I was not going to waste a moment of it.

None of this came without trials of course, which I certainly had my fair share of during my sophomore year. There were many people that attempted to change me, to take my wonderful life away, but they lost in the end, anyone that tries to change the core of who I am, will lose. But in all trials and pain, you become so much stronger and I felt that my transition to adulthood happened that year. I felt stronger academically, physically and mentally - nothing could stop me. Junior year seemed to go by far too quickly between intense academic courses, work and internships and before I knew it, I was a Senior in college. This surreal and bittersweet feeling came and went throughout the semester, as it was hard to even believe it was going to come to an end - that I wouldn’t be seeing these people in the hallways or have the ease of meeting for lunch. Even further, I have always been an old soul, and I have felt closer to faculty at Pepperdine sometimes even more than students, and the reality of not being able to converse with them every week will be something I will truly miss. 

Professor Stivers who has been an incredible mentor and supporter since my very first year, Dean Mark Davis who has become such a dear family friend and supporter of my education and personal accomplishments, Professor Detweiler who inspired me to keep pursuing my goals and took such an interest in my development, Professor Ballard for encouraging me to take a deeper look into my ethical nature and supported that growth process so well, Professor Rosenkrans for quite frankly being my own personal cheerleader since my very first year at Pepperdine and especially, Professor Ferguson who has not only been a dear mentor, but who has encouraged and revitalized my deep love for Public Relations, and showed me that I could start my agency and be successful personally and professionally. And to all the professors, faculty and staff I have come into contact with - you have each left such a mark on me as an individual and I have taken everything I have learned and applied it beautifully into my life.

Once again, this is a bittersweet moment as this has been my entire life for the past four years - these have been my mentors and friends, but I am confident that the true friendships will carry on, and the mentors will always be there. Like I said before, I was not your typical college student, I didn’t rush, didn’t go to formal, and I spent most weekends off campus, and I couldn’t have been happier with those decisions. 

I did however, book Imagine Dragons for the Spring concert back in March which yielded the largest turnout in Pepperdine history, I maintained an off campus job for the past 2 1/2 years where I am surrounded by people who love and care about my life, I interned and now work for the Community Pregnancy Clinic, whose work constantly humbles me. Finally,  I started New Creation Agency, my own Public Relations agency - these accomplishments have not only defined my college career, but have instilled a work ethic within myself that will carry on into my future life. 

The point here is that I have lived a profoundly blessed life. My family has given me every opportunity for success and I’m proud to say I didn’t waste those opportunities. My parents have instilled in me a deep faith life and taught me to rely on God in all instances - my Catholic faith has been a huge support for me through college and has pushed me to keep striving for excellence. Finally, there really aren’t enough words to say how grateful I am for my extended family, my grandparents for inspiring my interest in PR, my aunts and uncles for supporting and loving me unconditionally and most importantly my parents - how could I possibly put my thanks in words? These two people have been the strongest examples in my life, they have taught me to work hard and to be a leader, they have shown me what it means to have morals, to rely on my faith life, to always make time to be a little silly and most importantly, to strive to make a difference in this world. Who I am today is entirely because of my parents, their unconditional support is the absolute definition of love. I am incredibly and deeply grateful for these people and their presence in my life. 

So here we are - it’s time to graduate, time to move into this new and exciting chapter, and I could not be more ready and elated that it is finally here.

<3

03

Feb

Inspirational thought of the day. Women do deserve better and we need to instill this thought in all young women. There are always options.

Inspirational thought of the day. Women do deserve better and we need to instill this thought in all young women. There are always options.

27

Jan

Hopeless Romantics Are Everywhere, Emphasis on the Hopeless

I’ve noticed lately that so many of our recent movies and music are so devastatingly depressing make you want to rip your heart out and then sew it back in type things. Graphic I know. So much of our culture glorifies disjointed and unbalanced relationships, making lying on the floor crying over a guy seem like a romantic way to spend an evening. No thank you. Why don’t we encourage normal relationships? Real feelings, men who are faithful and women who are devoted. Instead of this high school angst crap that encourages us to be heartsick and broken all day, everyday. This isn’t how life is meant to be ladies and gentlemen. No one has to settle for sadness. Or pine away for someone that just isn’t right for you. Something better could be just around the corner.

22

Nov

Giving thanks

It’s typical this time of year to see a lot of cliche “I’m thankful for…” posts….well for once, I don’t entirely mind. I’m thankful for being exactly where I am at this very moment, on the verge of an amazing chapter of my life ahead of me. While some chapters are coming to a close, others are just putting the pen to the page. 2 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed I could have been in this place. But that just shows you what God’s redeeming love and a lot of hard work and perseverance can do. I have a family who has stood by me in thick and thin, they are my rock and my joy. I have a best friend who is like my other half, to finally have someone who understands the core of who I am is an amazing and wonderful blessing in my life. And I have so many friends and co-workers that always know how to brighten my day. I live in the most beautiful place I could imagine, with my dream jobs knocking on my door. What more could I possibly ask for? All I know is that I want to help impact others and make them as happy and joy filled as I am in this moment. I am thankful for being reborn.

17

Oct

This seems backwards….

So this song just came on my pandora….catchy enough until I started listening to the words. Nothing explicitly wrong with it, until the chorus, which somehow really bothered me. “Girl let me love you, until you learn to love yourself” I don’t know why but this really struck me. To me it just seems entirely backwards. We cannot develop self worth and respect for ourselves solely on the basis that someone else cares or loves us. And we certainly shouldn’t be relying on others to determine our self worth. I am probably taking this top 20 club remix type song out of context a bit, but I think it’s an important point to make. You need to love yourself before you can enter into a healthy relationship and bring someone else’s life and emotions into the situation. You must be content with your life, your goals and dreams and be willing to pursue those on your own terms and not based on what someone else might want from you. Let us not ever be so lonely or desperate that we compromise who we are and settle, and most importantly we need to find our worth in the God that made us in His perfect image. He has a plan laid out, and we need not mess with His timing. All I know is I don’t need a guy to love me, to help me love myself. I can do that all on my own, with the help of a very loving, and very merciful God. 

05

Oct

It has begun

My book is officially underway. After a lot of contemplation, prayer, discussions, feedback and healing….the first words have just been written down. What a feeling.

03

Oct

That crazy moment….

When you truly realize you are an adult. You have faced the hardships of growing up, you have been beaten down, hurt, disappointed and challenged, and you have come out stronger. The realization that the life you have worked so hard to achieve is actually happening. It’s an incredible thing. 

Always persevere. There is an incredible life meant for all of us, and it’s our task to fight for it, to make it worth something, and to make it count. 

"This is your time now"

02

Oct

"Make the Most of the Night Like We’re Gonna Die Young…Or Are We?"

I came across this song tonight while seeing if there was any new music worth listening to - it made me think about how many songs are out that proclaim this “message.” Songs that preach to our generation to make the most of the night, to live like you’re dying, that you only have one night and the list goes on - in theory this is an important concept, I fully believe in living our lives and cherishing each moment, never knowing when our time might come to an end. 

These songs however seem to imply something that young people may or may not catch right away, encouraging us to simply throw away all inhibitions and morals to simply “make the most of the night.” What this fails to address is what a destructive spiral this can lead to if taken seriously by young people. Let’s face it, many people look to celebrities, music and popular culture as their life handbook - and many in our generation have lost the ability to think for themselves. 

While these songs are always fun to turn on and enjoy, I would encourage all of us to examine how we allow these messages to infiltrate our lives - I am the first person to enjoy a night out with friends, but there has to be a balance in our lives, a time to be silly and a time to be serious, to be committed and to make a difference. That is a lot of what our generation is currently lacking - people committed to making something of themselves and impacting our world. Instead they follow these songs all too closely and don’t ever move past the parties, the frivolity and the attitude that somehow they deserve to have fun all time.

With the upcoming election, we can see these attitudes in action very clearly. Many young people would much rather waste their days and nights away than actually understand and learn what is happening and about to happen to our country. They don’t see the incredibly severe problems facing our nation - they are choosing to be blind to the truth and the reality of the world, and instead adopting a lifestyle that is less than realistic. 

It’s time we all grew up a little and accepted that if we don’t take charge of this world and help change it, things are going to get a lot worse. 

19

Sep

Next Thursday Night....

Next Thursday night I’ll be hanging with my pal Jimmy Kimmel at Prima Notte at the Feast of San Gennaro - as Miss San Gennaro I’ll be making the rounds and enjoying the night, and speaking to a crowd of Hollywood actors, producers and celebrities about my pro-life and charitable work this past year. Stay tuned for photos!

This makes my day that much better

This makes my day that much better

07

Sep

Meet my favorite girl ever! She is such a huge support system for me and the best friend I could have asked for! Truly kindred spirits @mahlahoffbeck love you!  (Taken with Instagram)

Meet my favorite girl ever! She is such a huge support system for me and the best friend I could have asked for! Truly kindred spirits @mahlahoffbeck love you! (Taken with Instagram)