On Saturday night we ate a lot of food. And drank a lot of wine. And it was glorious.

If you’ve never experienced Atlas Bistro I highly recommend it. Jim worked there years ago and loves going back every so often.

I didn’t capture all our courses but there are the ones I remembered to pause for and photograph before inhaling.

Did I mention that last shot is of BACON ice cream?

And did I mention it’s BYOBW?



my bff and bathing suits

My oldest friend Amy came in town this weekend. We became best friends in seventh grade and I can’t express how amazing it is to have such a lasting friendship with such a remarkable person. Amy is a what I consider friend soul mate. We may not talk daily, actually – it’s usually more like once a month, but we never miss a beat.

Naturally, when she came to visit we decided to embark on one of the most unpleasant experiences one can have – bathing suit shopping. If we’re both going to have to suffer through it, we might as well be miserable together.

The conversation went down like this, over identical bagel sandwiches:

Amy: I can’t believe I’m even asking this, and you don’t have to come, but I need a bathing suit.
Jess: OMG. I need a bathing suit too. I was going to go today.
Amy: NO!
Jess: YES!

And off we went.

It was awful. It’s neither normal nor comfortable to be almost naked in front of strangers. And we both paid a lot of money for something we wholeheartedly feel terrible in.

We laughed. We cried. We witnessed horrible conversations among tweenage girls. And four stores later, we purchased.

school’s out for summer

I just finished my last final. And my last absurdly long paper. And am almost done with my last PPT.

I’ve moaned and groaned about school for the past two years but it’s hard to accept that it’s over.

At any rate, there’s no better time to revive Jack Prelutsky’s work of art that I had to memorize in fourth grade:

Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you
Away in the sink,

If only a bomb
Would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You’re giving me fits.

I’d rather take baths
With a man-eating shark,
Or wrestle a lion
Alone in the dark,

Eat spinach and liver,
Pet ten porcupines,
Than tackle the homework
My teacher assigns.

Homework! Oh, homework!
You’re last on my list,
I simply can’t see
Why you even exist,

If you just disappeared
It would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!

Havasupai Falls Hike

This weekend we joined friends and strangers to hike to Havasupai Falls. On Friday afternoon we drove from Phoenix to Seligman (which I still don’t think I can pronounce correctly). We stayed at the “lovely” Supai Motel and dined at the “classy” Roadkill Cafe.


Saturday morning we drove another hour from Seligman to the start of the hike and began our journey. The hike is 10 miles each way and each leg took us just over four hours. We spent Saturday afternoon exploring all the waterfalls and challenged death by climbing down the ‘Descend at your Own Risk’ path to Mooney Falls.

The entire thing was amazingly beautiful – and I’m told it’s nothing like what it was before devastating floods a few years ago. As Jared explained, “It looks like where unicorns would live.”

The hike back up was a wee bit more challenging – I blame gravity, but we all survived.

It’s been a while since I’ve been camping, and I made a list of things I have a new-found appreciation for after the trip:

1. the smell of anything but horses – we paid to have mules carry our gear down, and smelled of horses the entire weekend
2. warm pie – as opposed to cold, at Roadkill Cafe
3. chips and salsa – the thought alone motivated us up the mountain
4. flat ground – as opposed to gravel, sand, or hills
5. my calves – still dead
6. any person who doesn’t sneeze on me – I was sneezed on by a stranger upon reaching the end of the hike
7. electrolytes – sorry water, they’re worth it
8. toilet paper –
9. meat that’s not from roadkill sources or dehydrated in a bag – Jim may or may not have vomited after we got home from dinner
10. matterhorn deodorant – I forgot mine and used Jim’s Matterhorn-scented Old Spice deodorant, and instantly became more of a mountain man

growing pains

My first job after college was working for the county government. I worked in a building with more than 200 people, of which 95 percent were male engineers over age 45. I was not only one of few females, I was about half the age of the majority of my colleagues. Talk about awkward transitions – I went from attending the number three party school in the country to yawning through meetings on things I still don’t understand. My entire professional existence was determined by how the old men interpreted me and my work. I began to define my personal value in terms of how they treated me, which was generally like a child. I inadvertently began to embody the role they put me in, often selling myself short and keeping quiet when I should’ve shared opinions. I was intimidated by my youth, naivete and inexperience.

My eyes opened significantly when I left to work for Governor Napolitano. Talk about a powerful woman. My world was completely turned around – in a good way – by working in the presence of greatness. I worked in an office of almost all women, and soon felt completely supported and safe. I began to grow professionally and was challenged in entirely new ways. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work under this kind of female leader.

A few years and a lot of experiences later, I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for how your surroundings, family, friends, coworkers, bosses and personal motivation, among other things, can impact your success.

Growing up and establishing a career is not an easy feat. Learning can be uncomfortable and frustrating. And it’s a humbling realization to remember that you’re never too old to have growing pains.


Sometimes it’s fun to fly several thousand miles to celebrate your best friend’s birthday. Sometimes it’s more fun if you don’t tell her you’re coming.


Thanks for an amazing weekend, and for the colossal freakout when you saw me. (And sorry I wasn’t a Skinny Girl Margarita.)