2016 - Thank you

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A year of getting after it. It wasn't a secret in my life that 2016 was a major upgrade from 2015 for me. You can read about it HERE, HERE, and HERE.

It was a year I needed. A year of exponential acceptance of my relationship with God, self, and place in life. It was a year of partying, silly, fun, but also serious, big picture questions and semi half answers. You can read what 2016 was about in my posts above and how it was a miracle year, but I wanted to review and highlight some of my favorite moments from January-December of 2016:

  • I was asked to do reality TV, twice this year
  • I accepted a role as an Advisor for Fashion and Industrial Design Students at The Academy of Art in San Francisco where I saw my pageant life and New York Fashion week collide
  • I also was asked to be keynote for the No Frills Conference where I got to talk about a project that was an idea 5 years ago
  • Moved to San Francisco, a city I'd dreamed of living in for 3 years
  • Met my Community Group at Canvas
  • Planned a South Dakota State University alumni party prior to NCAA game at Stanford, over 47 people showed
  • Miss Teen of America President called and asked if I wanted to recruit judges. I needed a piece of home and familiar in this chapter. I love this program and would make several sacrifices to be a centimeter part of it
  • Attending graduation at California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
  • My goodbye party at CSUMB...stories for days
  • Surprising my old team CSUMB at their banquet. I love them very much
  • Skydiving w. my community group - Finally crossed this off my to experience list 
  • Attending my first ever Pride in San Francisco
  • San Luis Obispo Reunion with KD and KP after not all being together since graduate school.
  • Touring San Francisco on the 4th of July w/ Hay Sue, Hay Ann, and Nessa
  • Getting a program 100% funded and turned over into higher education so me and the co could actually relax after a 4 year run on what was suppose to be a 2 year stint
  • Trip to Muir Woods w. Nessa
  • Declining a role on the Clinton campaign because I was already in love with my life
  • Visiting Chicago on a whim
  • Accepted a job at San Francisco State to finish out the year
  • Fleet Week in San Francisco
  • 3rd Annual Ingrid Michaelson Concert
  • Canada!
  • Santacon w/ 3 of my former Resident Advisors in 2013 who are now close friends
  • Reunions galore & home for the Holidays
  • Accepted my own unique connection with God and my faith
  • My Dad is no longer going blind & my Mom is cancer FREE!!!!!

...and despite 3 job changes and collectively earning less because of it, I still donated more money to  causes than any year I've been out of college. I dated, loved, healed, and forgave a lot. I took risks, cleaned out my life, and like my mom said yesterday to me, I go big or I don't go at all.

2017 has magical moments ahead & grateful for all of what 2016 has given me to prepare.

Romans 12:14-21
















Downtown Denver: Union Station

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I wanted to experience Fall, so I went to Colorado in October. I unexpectedly got to spend the beginning of Fall in South Dakota too. So, I got twice the fall treat this year! You can read other reasons why I traveled to Colorado, HERE.

Denver has revitalized its downtown area in the last 3 years. Growing up 8 hours from Denver, this was the major city we traveled to when we needed to fly or catch a baseball game. It has always been very industrial and I remember almost getting stabbed in front of the capitol building at 13 during a drug deal. Yes, that is the Denver I remember and did not recognize this time around - ha! I think my cat is jealous of the 9+ lives I've been fortunately granted.

It was a gorgeous Fall Day with minimal traffic downtown Denver. There were several cute fashion trucks...Yes, much like food trucks, but with etsy-like jewelry flocked to every curb corner. My favorite though in Union Station includes the endless amount of coffee shops and boutiques each with its own personality. Oh and you must get a boozey milkshake. Unless you don't like alcohol, then at least get a milkshake from Milkbox, you will have 0 regrets. That is unless you're lactose intolerant, then that just sucks, and I recommend checking out something that will make your trip more pleasant :)

Thank you for spending time with me, so in exchange for time, I also want to mention I spent the whole day in gratitude for Flyer girl, who has traveled in 3 major cities with me and she still tolerates me! I am also grateful for deep conversation and experiencing Denver from an adult (yeah I'm using that word loosely) perspective because Denver has always felt like another home to me.

What makes you grateful during travel?

Denver, you're a beaut!
New-ish remodeled union station in downtown Denver

Flyer Girl and I met in grad school in 2011!
Milkbox
Recommending the Butterscotch & Bourbon 
Inside one of the cute shops, I couldn't let this postcard stay on the shelf!

Time with Gratitude

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I changed the name of my blog. It just seemed fitting.

It's easy to be thankful when things are great. When your family and friends are healthy. You have a steady income. You're comfortable and without a worry in the world. But that's not real life.

Life happens, tragedy and people shake your world and you're left feeling the way you do. But gratitude? It's still there. In the most lonely, dark, and hopeless of moments, gratitude is hiding, waiting for you to uncover it.

It's sometimes quiet and sometimes in your face. It's hidden, exposed, and everything in between. You don't have to apply for it or qualify for it, gratitude is a choice.

Gratitude is one of the least discriminate things. It's for all ages, people, and creeds. It's found in seasons, in people you love, in the homes you nest, and in the events that change your life.

Gratitude is found in the lives of parents, students, soldiers, people of every craft, third world citizens, and those who have absolutely nothing. It's in the depth of your soul and in the rumble of your laughter. It's everywhere.

So, I hope you continue to spend time with gratitude in your own life and I will try and share as much as I can about how gratitude is being uncovered in my own.

xoxo.




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