"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." Roald Dahl

Monday, December 29, 2014

Is This Real Life?

Hi y'all!  It's been a while, but big things have been happening in my world.  
Here are a few of the high points: 
- moved to Chicago
- turned 30
- explored the city
- spent lots of time with family and friends
- kicked butt at my new job (and I love it - bonus!)

Not too shabby, eh? Needless to say, the last six months have been pretty exciting and completely exhausting.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it seems like I'm dreaming.  

My older sister is only 10 minutes away!  What?!  I can drive home to see my mom for dinner if I feel the mood strike. I am strengthening friendships with some of my favorite people that have known me since I was a mere 10 years old.  And I can run on the lake with the prettiest view of the best city in the world any day I like.  

All is right with the world.  

Here is a glimpse of the last few months in pictures in no particular order:

I could have posted so many more pictures, but I'll spare you for now.  Hoping that my mood will make me want to keep this blog thing going for a bit. 

Happy Monday!

Monday, April 14, 2014


Over the past year, I have learned a lot about myself.   I was not ready for it, I didn't want it, and yet, it came anyway.  I've spent a lot of time thinking, and a lot of time trying to figure out what makes me happy and a lot of time trying new things.  I've said yes to invitations I would have turned down in a heart beat only a few months ago and I've also spent time seeing where the day takes me. It's crazy.  At 29, I have learned a whole lot about myself in a very short period of time.  More than I'd ever imagined.

Some of these things, I remember from other points in my life, and I have been reminded of them.  Some are brand spanking new. Some of the things I noticed are weird little habits and some are normal, some are big things, and some are really pointless. Some are healthy and some are not, but I still notice them, all the same.

Here is what I've learned/remembered about myself...

I love listening to music especially at an unnecessary loud volume.  The genre will totally depend on my mood, but I've loved everything from classical to hard core rap and Billy Joel to country.  Loud music, singing along, and dancing really can make any day better.

I love eating healthy, but I also have a serious sweet tooth.

Spending time with family is the best thing in the world.  
I have always known this, but I feel the need to say it to make sure they know how grateful I am:  I have the best family in the entire world.  They are supportive, loving, protective and wise.  I don't know what I would do without them.

I have a lot of anxiety.  I get really nervous about things.  Some are completely normal, and some are not.

I love going to bed early and waking up early. Even on the weekends.

I can cry at the drop of a hat, for the most ridiculous reasons.  But sometimes all I need is a good cry, and then I'm so much better.

I hate having the TV on when I'm not watching it.  If it is background noise, it is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I only have it on when a specific show is on.

Running helps me stay calm.  It's my "me time".

I love to read.  All I need for a good weekend is a mug of coffee and a good book.

I love to travel.  I have a list of places I want to go.  Someday I'll save up enough to take one of these trips.
-The Grand Canyon, Macchu Picchu, Greece, any beach, Barcelona, South America

I am addicted to my phone and I don't like it.

I love Christmas.  I can't think about it and not smile.

True that!

A year ago, I could not see the big picture.  I didn't understand, or didn't want to.  Now, I can look back and Thank God for unanswered prayers. I have never felt more grateful in my entire life.  I am so happy to be where I am, to be who I am, and to have the most wonderful friends and family a girl could ask for.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adventures Ahead

This is a big week.  In the span of four days, I will say goodbye to the people at one job and begin another.  I will leave my comfortable life and begin a new journey of learning, living, and exploring!  Say a little prayer for me as I embark on this new adventure because while I am so excited I can barely sit still, I am also a tad bit scared because all change is scary - no matter how you spin it.  

Pursue your dreams...

My house is currently a hot mess and I have half-filled boxes everywhere, but hopefully I will have it all organized into some sort of system by the time the moving truck gets here next week.  If not, Good Will will bare the brunt of it, and I am alright with that.  Less is more.

I'm going to miss my friends dearly and truly don't think that part has really hit me yet.  I've got some really amazing friends who have supported me so much over the past few years and while I won't get to see them every day, I have confidence that we will keep in touch.  I am willing to host visitors whenever they want to drop in!

Linda Ellerbee...wow have not heard her name since childhood. Oh yeah she did the kid news after Saturday cartoons right?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Year, Fit Me

In January I made a pact with myself to get fit.  I have been fit for most of my life with swimming and running, but towards the end of 2013, I really let that slip.  I ran a half marathon in October, and I think I worked out three times between then and the first of the new year.  Not good.  

Ground rules... 
- work out at least 4 times a week
- eat lots of fruits and vegtables
- do more yoga
- less TV and more music
- do less, take time each day to breathe and relax
- run at least twice a week
Motivation on bad days... 
- Cartagena
- Summer
- Fitbit
- Friends 
- Sisters

I'm hoping this will work and I will keep track of my progress here.  I have everything I need to succeed, now all I need to do is get it done.  Some days I am really motivated and some days, well, I am not.  I'm working on my consistency. Here is how it played out for the last two weeks... 

Sunday: 4 mile run
Monday: 3 mile run
Tuesday: squats, push-ups and abs
Wednesday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: 2 mile run
Saturday: 3 mile run
Sunday: 1500 yard swim
Monday: off
Tuesday: abs, squats
Wednesday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: off
Saturday: 2 mile walk
Sunday: yin yoga

Yikes!! I started off so well, but man, I did not do a good job the second week of keeping it going.  I better step up my game!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Holidays!

This year I headed home for the holidays and it was amazing. Here is my visit in pictures...
beware, I took a bunch of them!

Christmas Eve Shenanigans:

Christmas Day Fun: 

The Strozak Family Picture


The Faulkners

The Nosal/Strozak's

Outake #1 - I love Paula's face!

All the Linnendoll Women

Night Out: 

Matt, Justin, and myself

Sister Night Out:

Sister's by birth, best friends by choice.


There is so much going on in this picture, I can't even explain.  Cath and Dad.

Love this part of the stadium the most.

I didn't want to come back to NC, and there may have been a few tears at the airport, but I am happily anticipating my next trip back and enjoying my time in in Raleigh.