Sheryl Crow got it wrong – the second cut is actually the deepest.

Funny how things come full circle sometimes, huh?

I began this blog one year ago as a way to keep myself sane as I went through a break-up after a 2 1/2 year relationship.  Times were tough, but I pulled through by keeping busy with my incredible internship, training for my marathon, and staying surrounded by old friends.

Junior year of college went great as I put my training to the test and ran my first-full marathon, enjoyed the single life for my first time ever in college, was elected as Membership Director of my sorority’s executive board, and fell in love.

Um hold up.  You’re probably re-reading that last one.  Fell in love?!

But yes, amidst my social-butterflyness of flitting around from activity to activity, I met the man of my dreams.  Handsome with a heart of gold, talented on the guitar, and the most genuine person I ever met.  He made me feel like the best version of myself and I was absolutely head over heels. 

Well, skip through the dirty details, he got his dream job in Spain starting this October and a cross-Atlantic relationship wasn’t exactly in the job description.  So as strongly as we felt about each other, he decided that it wasn’t fair to either of us to put our lives (my senior year and him living out his dream) on hold for a few Skype conversations here and there.  A big believer in faith, he told me that if it is meant to be, then in a year when we are reunited, everything will fall back together.

REALLY?!

Four months of perfect love and now POOF! It’s gone!  I had to do a double-take because I felt like this was some serious dejavu from last summer.  Another summer break-up and another school year that I am starting off alone.

But how do you deal with a break-up when both of you still love the other?

It’s a sticky situation to say the least.  But, my best bet is to take my own advice from last year and make the best of a bad situation.  I’ve got the GRE to study for, a job to find, recruitment to plan, a 21st birthday to celebrate, and a million senior-year-related activities to partake in.

Cheers to new beginnings… again. (I swear this is dejavu).  And stay tuned for how I gracefully fly my way out of this one.

So, thank you John Mellencamp, again, for the wise words and the mantra to the remainder of my summer.

“Oh yea, life goes on.”

And, to end on  a happy note.  Here is a beautiful picture from my trip to Ireland. More to come on that tomorrow!

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On the mend,

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A Clean Slate

My oh my.

 

It seems that this blog got swept somewhere along the way between last summer and this one!  And let me tell you, a lot has changed since then.

 

Perhaps you followed my blog last summer or perhaps this is your first time stopping by.  Let’s recap, shall we?

 

My name is Julia and I am a college student living on the beautiful Eastern coast of Virginia.  I am studying Communication and English and I love every minute of it.  I’m the Membership Director for my sorority and in my free time at school I love hanging out with my sisters, my three roommates, and spending time outside.  In college, I discovered my love of running and began running half-marathon races and finally a full marathon last November!

My Big Sister, Laura, and I finishing the SunTrust Richmond Marathon in November 2012

My Big Sister, Laura, and I finishing the SunTrust Richmond Marathon in November 2012

I value all of the relationships in my life and I am passionate about making an impact on everyone that comes my way.  Along with people, I have such a soft spot for animals of all kinds.  In college, I’ve had 2 mice, 1 hamster, and 6 fish.  Currently, I am on the waitlist with a breeder to receive a baby hedgehog!  They are the cutest little things in a world and you can bet I’ll have a posting on that soon.  That will not come until the end of July though because for the next two weeks I will be in Ireland!  My best friend Courtney and I decided to sign up for a study abroad summer course and Dublin is where we settled on.  Courtney is my absolute best friend who I’ve lived with since freshman year and I’m really not sure if Ireland is ready for us.

Christmas-themed outfits for a non-themed party

Christmas-themed outfits for a non-themed party

I’d label Courtney and I as the younger version of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and I like it just fine that way.  Courtney is studying to be a Paramedic while in college and we plan on living together until she gets married… and maybe even longer.  I guess you could say I am the Ted to her Marshall. (How I Met Your Mother reference, anyone?)

Another gem in my life is my boyfriend, Ron.  He’s the sweetest man I’ve ever met and we fell into each other’s lives at the perfect moment.  One year older than me, Ron has recently graduated and will be moving to Madrid in September to teach English in a middle school until July 2014.  Holy long distance, I know!  It will be a challenge, but we are just too perfect for each other that the distance doesn’t seem all that daunting to me. (:

Sweet boy (:

Sweet boy (:

I’ve got an incredible support system of a family, including my older sister and my happily-married-for-35-years parents.

Adorable, right?

Adorable, right?

Well, that’s enough for now!  Since a picture says a thousand words, here’s a few to tell the rest of my story.

Big/Little Competition with my little, Kaci. Third Place!

Big/Little Competition with my little, Kaci. Third Place!

2nd place in the stroll-off competition for Greek Week.  Co-choreographed this one. (:

2nd place in the stroll-off competition for Greek Week. Co-choreographed this one. (:

Color Me Rad Run in Newport News with my bestie

Color Me Rad Run in Newport News with my bestie

My beautiful team as we lead freshman orientation for summer 2013!

My beautiful team as we lead freshman orientation for summer 2013!

 

 

Remember that time I forgot I had a blog?

Dear Bloggers,

It has been 20 days since my last confession blog post.  YIkes!  July has been one hectic month.  Lots of decision-making, lots of lifestyle-changing, and lots of new adventures.  All in 20 days. I would say that the most of my life has been consumed by the following:

1.  Running.  Each day that passes bring me closer and closer to the Richmond Marathon.  I am absolutely calm and feeling prepared for the big day terrified.  I seemed to have no motivation to go through with my training which began on July 9th officially. 

I knew the day would come when it would all just feel right.  So I pushed through my weekly runs and a long run on the weekend, but feeling nothing but a struggle. 

Then- finally- I got my motivation.  Friday night, I found myself excited for my long run the next morning.  Then the morning rolled around and I knocked those 7 miles out like it was nobody’s business!  I felt fast and weightless and it was the most amazing feeling.  I even full-on sprinted the last half-mile. 

For running junkies out there who are obsessed with analyzing splits, my total time was 1hour 18minutes and 20seconds.  My average pace was 11minutes and 11seconds.

11:11?? Um, if that was not a sign of good luck then I don’t know what is!  11:11 is faster than my usual race pace so I was pretty pumped.

When I tell people I am a runner and am training for a marathon, everyone just assumes I am fast as lightning.  If I ask someone to join me on a run, I often get one of the following answers:

  • “Oh, but you’ll show me up.”
  • “Sure!  But I doubt I can keep up with you!”
  • “Absolutely not.”

I think it’s funny though!  I love going long distances, but I don’t think that speed will ever be in the cards for me and I’m okay with that.  So, world, if I invite you on a run with me, please do not be expecting fast speeds and sprint drills.  I am even down to take a few walk breaks now and then (maybe, we’ll see!).

So, there you have it.  Running has consumed much of my thought process and therefore stifled my desire to write.  BUT after my slight running epiphany, I am back on track and have tons of blog post ideas.

2.  Interning.  Ah!  As the fiscal year comes to an end, we are getting slammed with contracts.  I am loving all the experience that I have gained in helping to write the proposal.  I’ve written bios, formatted resumes, created an organizational chart, developed a quality control plan, and adapted a conflict of interest policy. 

Hello, real world, is this was life is really like after college?  Oh good Lord. I am in for it.

I love the busy-ness of business, but I am definitely excited to get back to my college life in August. 

Being financially-secure because of my supportive parents and yet living on my own and making my own decisions.  It’s a perfect balance of both worlds.  Which brings me to my last thing that has kept me busy the past few weeks.

3. Crazy summer life!  With interning and trying to act a little bit more than my age entails, I might have forgotten that I am still a kid!  I have been slowly moving on from the Big Break-Up of 2012 and remembering what it is like to be free and independent.  It’s so different not having to think of someone else whenever I am making plans.  It’s just me and what I want to do and you know what?  It is pretty dang awesome!  So here is a slight montage of my summer life in July.

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Being silly with my sisters’ friends at her graduation party.

(Side note: I played on a moonbounce and ate deep-fried oreos – if that’s not kid-like, then I don’t know what is!)

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Going to barbeques and playing on giant, inflatable water slides.  (And having my own cabana boys… duh.)

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Having TONS of girls’ nights and loving every second of it!

So July has been crazy, but I think it has brought me a little closer to really re-identifying myself.  Seeing myself in terms of another person (my ex) for two and a half years felt safe.  I always knew my plans and always knew who would be by my side.  Suddenly being on my own brought me anxiety and uncertainty.  This month, I began feeling more secure in who I am and more accepting of my new situation in life.  I feel mature and responsible with my internship; free and youthful with my new social life; and strong and determined with my marathon training.

It’s a crazy world and I am okay with it.

Until tomorrow (because I promise I will be posting!),

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Opposites Attract: A Compilation of Salty & Sweet Treats

 

Ok, here’s the situation:  I am such a snacker and I love it.  I guess one might say that I am a snack expert.  It’s a blessing and a curse, but someone has got to try all the snacks and review them for you. So, yes, you are very welcome.

Anyway, I often come across the debacle of whether I want a salty snack or a sweet one.

The solution?

BOTH.  Simple enough right? Well, it is!

Here are some tasty treats that I have tasted over the years that really suffice a snacking emergency.

  • Strawberries dipped in balsamic vinegar – This is such a refreshing dish to eat as a light snack, or even an appetizer
  • Sea salted brownies - The ultimate dessert!  Trader Joe’s sells these delicious morsels in bite-sized packaging making them perfect for a quick and small treat.  All the flavor and a lot less guilt? Works for me! (:
  • Cheezits in strawberry yogurt - If you are cringing right now, just stop.  I promise this is delicious!  As a kid, this was one of my most favorite things to eat when I came home from school.  Of course, my mom wanted me to stick to the strawberry yogurt alone, but Cheezits were just the bees’ knees in my mind.  So I dipped my cheese crackers in the yogurt and it was everlasting bliss from there.
  • Glazed donuts topped with bacon - Ok, so I am starting to realize that this list is not quite the healthiest… but, everything is healthy in moderation?  Anyway, these donuts are absolutely delicious.  I had a maple glazed one with bacon and it was like pancakes, syrup, and bacon all in one.  Yum! Heaven!

So that’s all I’ve got for ya for now!  Hope you find one of these snacks to feed your cravings in the future.  Salty and sweet will always do the trick. (:

 

Dear Diary… (And that was all she wrote.)

Recently, while cleaning out my room, I discovered my old journal which I kept during my 7th and 8th grade years. 

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These are the peak years of change for an adolescent when puberty strikes, young love blooms, and emotions get confusing.  Well, my diary summed up all of that is not so many words.  As I turned each page, I would discover such a broad range of feelings about very few topics.

3-16-05: “Veronica is always bossing me around and being a jerk…”

…and then…

5-17-06: “Veronica and I are best friends! (:”

Bi-polar much?!

So there was a) the friendship part and then there was b) the “love” part.

3-6-05: “I stared at Dave like the whole field trip.  I don’t LOVE him… but I LOVE him.”

3-12-05: “Mary’s party = the best.  OMG I liked Paul then I was like Ew, no I DON’T!  I like Dave. And John. But not Billy.”

4-22-06: “Isn’t this just great? I find out the annoying kid wants me to go out with the dork because MY crush wants his BFFL to go out with HIS crush’s best friend.  Oh, by the way, did I mention my crush’s crush… is my best friend…”

Clearly I was very mature and not dramatic in theleast bit back in the ol’ middle school days.

I think that we can conclude I have come a long way since then.  Sure, I still document my feelings and life events, but now I am using a blog instead of an old orange spiral notebook with pictures of kittens on the front.  That is a step in an upward direction if I do say so myself.

There was one page in the back, however, that kind of stuck out to me.  I have been writing poems like crazy since middle school (in my mind, however, I like to thing that my poetry has progressed a bit since my middle schools love sonnets about Dave and Paul and John… but not Billy. Duh.)

Anyway, I found this one poem in the back.  I read it to my mom and it actually brought us both to tears.  It is not any sort of masterpiece and the grammar/word choice is definitely that of a middle-schooler, but it was one of those things I found that I couldn’t believe I had written.  Middle school and high school were the years of my life that I spent battling with my parents has I discovered “who I was” and raged on through my pre-teen years.  Finding this poem reminded me, and my mom, that under all that turmoil and under all the fights we had, I was secretly looking up to my mom and heeding all her wisdom.

Here it is:

“Life is Art”

Mom-

When we’re first born we’re a clean roll of canvass. 

We’re new, we’re scared, we are ready to evolve.

As children, we’re busy thoughts bustling in our minds. 

We’re brave, curious, ambitious, eager and learning.

As teens, we’re a piece of work.

We’re rebellious, emotional, unfair, and occupied with who we are going to be.

When we are adults we’re masterpieces, a show of what we’ve become.

We’re realistic, stubborn, complete.

We see life as a chore, not a pleasure.

When we become elders, we return to the state of being born.

We’re curious, excited, revived, blissful.

At this time, we are truly beautiful.

But Mom, from the time I opened my eyes for the first time to now as I write,

I always see you as beautiful.

Not just physical.

Through your heart, your words, your laughter, your thoughts: beauty.

When you scream, I see that smile.

God has truly outdone himself with you.  You may not save the world, stop end world hunger,

but you are so beautiful.

Me on 11-13-05

 

Yours truly,

Middle School Aged Julia, the caterpillar

The things it took me 19 years to learn…

Lately, I have been learning a lot.  About life, about family, about priorities, and about myself.

This country claims that when we turn 18 years of age, we become an adult.  To me, an adult is someone who makes decisions independently; someone who doesn’t ask questions, but instead has the answers; someone who has begun their life and has a solid future ahead of them and solid handle on who they are.

Well, considering that the above criteria does not apply to me in the least bit, I have concluded that I still have some growing up to do.  And that’s okay!  In my mind, I am just a kid without a clue about how the world works.

This summer, however, I’ve done a fair amount of that growing up – some was exciting, some was hard to handle.  On the bright side, I have added an internship to my resume.  This has made me learn so much about this “real world” that I have heard so much about and I have enjoyed every minute of the experience.  On a darker side, I went through the Big Break-Up of 2012.  I have only had one boyfriend and we dated for two and a half years.  It is not a tragic break-up story by any means, and I know some people might be rolling their eyes and thinking, “She’s so young, what does she know about love?”  But this sure felt like love to me.  And we dated from the end of high school into the first couple years of my college career which are a pretty transformative couple of years for a gal.  Basically, we had been through a lot and when that chapter of my life came to an end, I was taught a little bit more about growing up.

So, over my 19 years on this planet, here are a few of the lessons I have picked up along the way.

  • Do your chores when asked.  The few minutes it takes to do them is a lot more bearable than the wrath of your parents.
  • Things are never as bad as they seem at night.  When you wake up in the morning, you’ll see things more clearly.
  • A hand-written card can go a long way.
  • When pushed, you can and will overcome your fears.  All it took was my dad taking ill for me to get over my unreasonable anxiety of hospitals.
  • It took me a $125 watch, $200 at Lilly Pulitzer, $120 at J Crew, and a $100 pair of Oakleys before I realized that money does not buy happiness.  Nothing will cheer you up like the kind words of a friend and the support of family.
  • Waking up at 6am is worth it to watch a sunrise while the rest of the world sleeps. Always.
  • Family comes first. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  • A set back is just a set up for a come back.  A break-up, a job loss, a bad test grade – these will all just make you stronger.
  • Nothing makes you feel more hopeful than a good ol’ cliche.

Until next time,

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SHARE WITH ME! What are some lessons that you’ve learned through out life?  Got any fun cliches for me to hear?  I am always willing to listen to a good, inspirational story. (:

Raccoons, and felines, and mice – oh my!

Good morning! 

Are you taking a blog-reading break before dropping the kids off at camp?  Are you mindlessly surfing the web because you’ve hit that 10am slump? 

Well, either way, you have come to the right place!  As promised, today will be the tale of rodents.

Enticing, yes?

First off, it is absolutely gorgeous outside today!  Despite the heinous traffic I experienced this morning on ye ol’ Capital Beltway, I did enjoy the sunshine on my morning commute.

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Good morning Old Town!  You are looking so cheery this morning.  (I need to clean my windshield, yikes…)

Alright so here we go with the story:

It seems that near the front of our house, there was a hole in the siding that led into our basement.  It was supposedly patched up many years ago, but as we, unfortunately, learned recently… it was not patched up well enough.

Basically, a family of mice has decided to live inside our walls. (We live next to the woods so despite my family’s obsessive cleaning habits, the critters still find their way in).

Thankfully, we have six cats that serve as border patrol and kick out all the unwanted visitors a.k.a. the mice.

Taking after my mother, I am a dedicated animal-lover and can’t watch a poor little creature suffer, even if it is vermin that has trespassed into our house and property.  Basically, I’m a sucker for teeny tiny cute mice!

As you may or may not know, I have my own pet mouse, Hamilton.

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Ham, Hammy, HammyTown, he’s flexible with nicknames.  And he’s a big fan of cheezits.

He is actually very clean and doesn’t bite (ok, he nibbles, but no one is perfect so I accept this!)  I have had Hamilton since mid-March of this year so the mice in the house did not really bother me.  Therefore, when one of the cats caught one, I couldn’t help but save them and bring them outside instead of letting them get eaten.

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They were just little babies!  So adorable.

So as if a mouse invasion wasn’t enough, my other wilderness friend (I am basically Dr. Doolittle) decided to visit the same weekend.  I named her Bandit – can you guess the animal?

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If you guessed “raccoon,” then you are correct!

So there you have it. 

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If you can imagine this picture with my face instead of Snow White’s, then you can pretty much imagine my life right now.

Until next time,

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An Appendix and Other Things We Got Rid of this Weekend

Is the weekend over yet?

T.G.I.M. because this past weekend was not exactly the most relaxing…

At my internship on Friday, there are several different government contracting projects going on and we were in a time crunch.  I loved the busy environment and feeling like the work I was doing was truly contributing to the success of the business.  The down side, however, was that all my work involves staring at a computer all day – ah, my poor eyes! 

So the clock hit 4 o’clock and I was out the door like a bat out of hell!  I found a new route home which was miraculously traffic-less and plopped myself on the couch as soon as I got home.

Around 7pm I headed over to a delicious Thai restaurant across the street to meet up with a couple friends, one of which I had not seen since December!  I got a phone call from my mom during dinner and normally I try to ignore my cell when I am with friends, but one time when I ignored my mom’s phone call it ended up being that my dad had had to go to the hospital for dehydration, so I decided to answer the phone – just in case. 

And thank God that I did!  Turns out, as fate will have it, that two years later it was the exact same scenario: my dad was in the hospital again!  He thought it was just another flare-up of an intestinal issue he was diagnosed with awhile back, but six hours and an abdominal cat scan later, it turned out that he has appendicitis.  They caught it early on and he was in and out of surgery by 4am.  He even got to come home the next afternoon!

Moral of the story: always answer your phone when your mother is calling – just in case.

So, as that story began to wind down Saturday afternoon, other things in our household were just heating up.  Because who actually wants to relax and have a stress-free weekend?!

The second tale (there’s a pun right there, you’ll see…) involves rodents. Lots and lots of rodents.  Hence the “things we got rid of” in the second half of the blog title.

That story, however, will be saved for tomorrow.  I don’t want to overload anyone on the crazy going-ons of my life!  So stay tuned for the next chapter of Adventures and Insanity of a Social Butterfly.

Until next time,

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How “One Tree Hill” Saved My Life

Hello all!  This Northern Virginia heat wave is finally cooling down, making this a beautiful night for sitting on the ol’ rocking chair on the porch and getting some writing done.  AND I have had yet another epiphany!  I’ll give you a quick update on the going-ons of my Social Butterfly life and then I will let you indulge yourself in my words of wisdom.  Nineteen years on this planet makes me pretty much an expert on life right?

As far as my internship goes, I think I have seriously hit the jackpot.  My boss is amazing, the hours are manageable, the work is fun, and I just found out I am getting a stipend even though this was originally going to be unpaid!  For the most part, I am boosting DLI’s social media presence, but recently I have been helping with a marketing analysis project for the Army National Guard and the NFL.  What I love most about working there, is that everyone I work with is really committed to actually teaching me about the business and its goals, as well as government contracting and consulting.  Instead of just doing mindless tasks and having something to slap on a resume, I feel like I am truly becoming prepared for the real world.

This is the most amazing opportunity I’ve ever had.  While I had been quite discouraged after receiving several rejection letters from other internships, I was resurged with excitement after starting at DLI.  It just reinforces the idea that God really does have a plan for all of us.  Sometimes the road is bumpy, but never forget that there are always long stretches of smooth sailing along the way.  This brings me to my main point: how “One Tree Hill” saved my life.

Whoever said a teenage soap opera couldn’t offer real life advice had clearly never heard the wise words of Julian Baker and Brooke Davis.

While discussing her struggle with happiness, Brooke reveals to Julian that she is unsure of whether she is seeking happiness or is content with pockets of it along the way.

In response, and in all his glory, Julian answers: “I feel like people get lost when they think of happiness as a destination… we’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy, and we’ll get that car or that job or that person in our lives that will fix everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry, it’s not permanent. It comes and goes and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often.” -Julian Baker, Mouthful of Diamonds Episode

He gave her the same advice and she looks happy enough!

When something goes wrong in my life, I get so discouraged.  Thinking that I have hit “the end” and will never end up happy. But, that, right there, is the problem in itself.  You can’t believe happiness is a conclusion to a story.  “They all lived happily ever after” is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard!  Happiness is just a mood that comes and goes, and that is what makes it so much more precious.  There are varying levels, from content to ecstatic or overjoyed.  Happiness is a mood, not a destination.  Remember these words, and you will find happiness every single day, instead of just searching for it at the end of a journey.  Enjoy the ride.

Until next time,

Mid-Week (Drinkable) Motivation

Happy Hump Day y’all!  It’s Wednesday, aka the halfway point to freedom.  Now if you’re a half-glass-full kind of gal like me, then you are psyched, energized and feeling like Friday at 5 is just within your reach!  If you’re more like my evil twin, half-glass-empty lady, then you are probably feeling a bit hopeless, as if the week will never end.  Well I have got a solution for you! 

It’s time to celebrate this checkpoint in the week with a drink.  Now introducing…

The Social Butterfly Cocktail! (Patent pending.)

5oz seltzer water

1oz watermelon-flavored vodka

.5oz bubblegum-flavored vodka (yes, it exists)

1 splash of pineapple juice

1 watermelon ball

Pour ingredients together and then scoop out a ball of watermelon and drop it in the glass!  Sip this sweet concoction or down in like a shooter.  At the end of the drink, finish off the melon ball as a chaser. 

An alcohol-infused chaser…

(Is that counter-productive?)

This drink is delicious, fruity and it’ll give you that sweet kick that you need to get you pumped for the rest of the week.  But, if you’re that glass-half-empty kind of person, then consider doubling all ingredients and maybe you’ll forget that you even have a job in the first place!

That’s it’s for now my friends.  Enjoy your sweet, summer drink and the rest of your work week!

Remember: Glass. Half. Full.

Until next time,

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