batsh*t crazy.

Sometimes we talk about how crazy we are. How analytical, impulsive and sensitive we can be. And folks, I’m not going to sugarcoat this – it’s absolutely true. At times, I think back to what my friend Casey always said when we were in high school, “You know, we’re all just one chromosome away from being completely nuts.” Preach it, brother Crowe.

And while this should be a bit alarming – you know – our maniacal tendencies and obsessive secret habits, I think they’re pretty awesome. Hysterically awesome. They’re what make us – us. And they make really good stories to share over lunch, or happy hour, or tears. Our weirdness, our absolute bonkersville insanity, it’s the stuff that bonds us and challenges us and teaches us to laugh, hard, at ourselves.

What am I talking about? Let’s consider the past few days of my life, dissected by highlights:

Friday evening: I land in Phoenix after a whirlwind 24 hours in San Fran. I’m exhausted beyond belief, functioning solely on caffeine and airplane peanuts. I get home, unpack, and then decide I should go to the gym at 7 p.m. So I do. Then I decide I want to make homemade pasta sauce. I NEED homemade pasta sauce. En route to Trader Joes to purchase ingredients, I think, “Maybe I should stop at Last Chance. Just for a minute. Maybe I need more tank tops in the middle of winter.” So I dash in, for two hours, and leave with five tank tops and a pair of neon green moccasins that were $5. I never made it to Trader Joes, and instead wandered into Fry’s and purchased $70 worth of who-knows-what groceries that included popsicles and cream of mushroom soup. I came home, ate dinner, and then when Jim got home I decided we should begin the New House Search of 2013, which resulted in our realtor coming over at 10 p.m. to update our search parameters and run comps on our current house. Meanwhile, Jim cooked chicken and broccoli. This is how I unwind.

Saturday: We went to look at two houses, neither of which was right for us. Then I decided I should probably use today as a chance to break my bench press record, because that seemed necessary. So I insist* Jim joins me at the gym to spot me. We came, we saw and conquered, and then went out for sandwiches. Later, I decided it was imperative to my existence that I clean out and organize our front hall closet. So that happened. Then we watched The Green Mile and went to a dinner event. *In this instance, insisting is a substitute for whining and/or pouting.

Sunday: The day of rest? I decide I’ll simultaneously do laundry, bathe the dogs and catch up on work. Around noon I picked up my little sister and we went to a farmer’s market. That afternoon I took a nap and watched the end of Little Women. Then I made dinner, took about 17 Instagram photos of the sunset and sent some texts, emails and killer Words with Friends moves. At one point I spent a solid 10 minutes stressing about W2s that are MIA but distracted myself by flipping the couch cushions. Before bed I watched and loved every second of Girls.

Monday: Worked. Went to the chiropractor (who I’ve decided is the only human who can comment on my hips in a non-offensive way). Went to dinner with my mom who was visiting. Got home and started craving dessert – not just any dessert – I wanted needed fresh cinnamon rolls. So after sending my dear husband to the grocery store for powdered sugar, Mom and I began baking at 8 p.m. They were delicious.

While I don’t have a steady daily routine, this is not an atypical series of events.

I could keep going, but I’ve reached a sharing threshold that toes the line of completely embarrassing myself. I like to believe everyone does things like this and I’m not the only loon out here, but I recognize I’m a little nuts.

However, I love my life, I love being busy and fulfilled and I know what makes me feel that way. I relish the blend of spontaneity and security I’m able to juggle and try not to waste even a second not actively living.

We live in a scary world that can feel like pure madness. Every day that we get to experience in good health with good people is an amazing thing. So go on, wave your crazy flag. You’re in good company.



How to Break Into the Communications World

I’ve been writing for The Daily Muse for about a year, and am a huge fan of this site. I was recently interviewed for a careers feature discussing how to break into the fields of communications and PR.

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Brief Description of Job:

I manage employee-facing communications for C-suite executives as well as change management efforts for an organization of more than 12,000 employees. I also work closely with our external affairs team to ensure messaging to different audiences stays consistent. My days involve lots of writing, editing, strategizing, and putting out fires.

Why did you choose this field?

It sounds cliché, but I think this field actually chose me. My undergraduate degree was in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, and I always thought I’d work in an agency setting, until a college internship opened my eyes to other ways to leverage a love for writing and building relationships.

I enjoy this line of work because it’s rarely boring—the pace keeps me motivated and on my toes. I have the opportunity to write everyday, which I love, and I can see the value my work adds to an organization by providing people with the information they need to be successful.

What did you want to do growing up and in college?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian, which is quite a stretch from communications. At any rate, my love for writing soon surpassed my love for science, which led to a degree in journalism. I graduated college in 2005, just as the digital world began to surpass print media, and social media was surging ahead. It was an exciting time to launch a career in an area that was seeing unprecedented growth and evolution.

 What was your first job in this field, and how did you land it?

My first job was as a public information officer for the local county government. Glamorous? Not so much. But I learned more than I ever could have imagined about all sorts of things that make great cocktail party conversations.

I applied for this position after interning for several months in a similar capacity for another municipality. In reality, this job was a bit over my skill level at the time, which pushed me harder than ever before to learn and succeed. The most surprising thing I learned in this position was what it was like to really fail at something. I wasn’t able to coast as the all-star I’d been in school, and quickly discovered that humility goes a long way.

What has been the most surprising thing about working your field?

The most surprising thing about this field is the amount of knowledge one can amass about a completely foreign topic. When you work in communications for a large company, you may be required to learn a lifetime’s worth about something completely unfamiliar in order to perform your role effectively. I’ve worked in the fields of drug prevention, pet specialty, and copper mining before arriving in my current position, and it’s strange to constantly become immersed in new areas as your career evolves.

What advice would you have for someone breaking into your field?

Engage in informational interviews on a regular basis, because this is such a diverse and constantly changing line of work. You can learn a great deal about the opportunities that exist and how to prepare for them by speaking directly to seasoned professionals.

I also would recommend becoming overly familiar with the current Associated Press Stylebook, as this is a bible of sorts for professional writing. And to leave your ego at the door; this is probably good advice in any field, but it’s particularly valuable in communications and PR.

here’s what’s up

It’s been an eventful few days full of my favorite places, activities and people. As usual, I find a certain level of amusement in the ordinary, and feel compelled to document my enjoyment of the little things. This fairly random stream of consciousness is what I’d tell a friend if we were sitting on my couch together right now …

I flew to San Francisco last Thursday at the crack of dawn, and came home 26 hours later. It was a good trip, that involved an impromptu visit with my cousin, getting completely lost when Google Maps stranded me at the French Consulate and consuming more caffeine within a 24-hour period than I usually can tolerate in a month.

It’s been rainy in Phoenix for a few days. That doesn’t sound like much, but we rarely see more than a half hour of precipitation here in the desert, so a true rainy day is something to be celebrated. Hot tea, cozy PJs and candles. And the most gorgeous sky and sunsets.
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I bench pressed 90 pounds on Saturday. Yep. Jim spotted me and can vouch for this.

On Saturday night we went to an event at the Camelback Inn that involved demos by three famous chefs (then eating a plate of what each one had created), test driving new Buicks, and a crash course in wine. Completely random, completely ok.
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My current favorite tv shows are Downton Abbey, Girls and The Mindy Project. And I can’t wait for Homeland and Mad Men to start again.

I ate two PBJs today. I have no idea what prompted this.

I’m reading this book right now, and while it came highly recommended by some favorite bloggers, I’m not loving it yet. Hoping to get more into it soon.

We started very casually looking at new houses. We love our current house, but would also like to have a bit more space, you know, for things we don’t need and perhaps a child one day. If the perfect property rears its head, we’ll pounce; it could be in a month, or in a year.

I’m so excited Anna is coming to visit again in a few weeks. We’ve managed to see each other quite a few times since she and Josh moved to Denver, but it’s not quite the same as being 20 minutes apart, so these visits make my heart happy.

I cooked turkey sliders tonight using a new recipe, and made buns from scratch. I felt WILDLY successful and a wee bit Amish.
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My little sister and I went to a farmer’s market and then wandered through the Biltmore shopping center today. It’s amazing to see her grow up before my eyes and really come into her own.

In the past week, I’ve gone out socially with friends I met at three different jobs. I feel so freaking lucky to have had-and still have-such wonderful people as coworkers.

Oh, and I bought Jim a rocket ship tea diffuser today. Two weeks ago I inadvertently opened a limited-edition beer he’d been saving for five years, so there will be MANY steps gifts to gradually redeem myself.
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… And that would probably be it.


millennial women

We can do a dozen things at the same time, while participating in multiple conversations. We text a lot. We aren’t so career-driven that we overlook tradition. We overuse like and you know, to the dismay of our elders. We’re idealistic and practical. We’re driven and entitled. We’re bread winners and scholars. We’re a product of growing up with the internet, cell phones and Saved by the Bell. We support social causes and want to make the world a better place. Watch out.


What women want (?)

I’ve seen articles popping up all over the place proclaiming why women either can, or cannot, have it all.

It all.

Whatever that means.


I suppose the way you choose to define “it all” is subjective, but from what I gather, it refers to achieving some sort of magical balance of a rewarding career, effortless motherhood, conflict-free marriage and Stepford-wife-esque home decor and manners. You might as well add lottery-winning skills and ownership of a unicorn to the list, because the standards don’t seem high enough.

I’m not sure why this has become such a hot button topic. I mean – trust me – I already analyze myself plenty, I’ve got it down to a science, so hearing strangers repeatedly list the ingredients required for success and happiness can get frustrating.

I’m discouraged by the way women are analyzed – and how we continue to analyze each other. We’ve got a lot more in common with each other than we think. We want the same things and share the same dreams. But we get bogged down by trivial details.

Any trips this summer? Why aren’t you having a baby? What does your husband do? Have you tried juicing?

Who cares.

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As the world continues to evolve into a cyclone of madness, let’s maybe focus on what really matters. Even if it’s just for five minutes a day.

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Let’s forget what we were taught to want, and how we’re conditioned to define happiness, and consider what actually fulfills us. Maybe it’s that easy.

Here are some of the things I’d place on the mythical list of “it all,” (if you asked me) (which you didn’t) (but, yeah).

1. A job where you are challenged and can learn, at least some of the time.
2. Male role models. Be it your father, brother, rabbi or coworker. We need examples of the way men should treat us.
3. A few good, solid, grounded girlfriends. Girls who don’t judge, aren’t flakes and who love you for who you are (regardless of how many times you call/text/cry/complain/etc).
4. A healthy habit. Zumba, guitar, running, yoga, scrapbooking, blogging. Something to put energy into that’s reasonably inexpensive and a positive outlet.
5. Women who inspire. We need women in our lives who encourage and support us. People who’ve gotten through what we’re going through and came out kicking.
6. Reasons to laugh. It’s a safer, cheaper medicine than booze. So find ways to bring more laughter into your life.
7. A way to give back. Volunteer. Get involved. Donate, be it your money, time or blood. Do something for people you’ll never meet.
8. Pampering. Every once in a while. A massage, a pedicure or a facial. Something to love yourself.
9. A modest savings account. A little nest egg goes a long way when you least expect it.
10. Downtime. Apparently … we’re trying to accomplish a lot these days. Don’t get too caught up in the everything to enjoy the small things.


sunday evening at the gym

There’s a lot of specialness going on in this picture. Let’s dissect.


First of all, there is NO ONE else in the gym. Which, while creepy, presents an amazing opportunity to take ridiculous pictures. Let’s also call out the unnecessary quotes around the guidance on the mirror. Plus the fact that I’m about to blow that rule out of the water by hurling a plate.

And shall we consider who took the picture … because she’s totally hidden.

That’s all.