2017, College, Love, Public Relations

I’m Feeling 22?

Recent college grad, jumping into the work force, living with parents and living away from friends. Twenty-two is weird, really, really weird. Every aspect of life has changed, drastically.

The Work Force

Okay, so this may seem silly and self-explanatory but going from a college students to a full-time, salaried employee is like jumping into the ocean but not knowing how to swim. Or as some would say baptism by fire, or a swift kick in the rear. And, words like savings, retirement, insurance and taxes take on a whole new meaning! Whatever you prefer to call this change, it is absolutely terrifying, overwhelming and fantastic all in one package.

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Living with Parents

Now, first thing is first, not buying groceries, not cooking and not paying rent are all exceptionally great! I mean, really, no real expenses makes saving money MUCH easier. It also makes luxuries a little more doable. BUT going from college life to living with parents again has it’s thorns too. Like the dog who wakes up incredibly early and has no regard for staying quiet. Or the sometimes too healthy food options or the weekends that no longer mean sleeping in. It’s a change for all parties involved.

Suddenly Long Distance

Coming home from class, he’s there. Coming home from practice, he’s there. Grocery shopping, he’s there. Sick, he’s there. Going to bed, he’s there. Waking up, he’s there. And THEN, one day he’s 316 (soon to be 100) miles away and we are relying on texting as our main form of communication. With and occasional FaceTime mixed in! News flash! Not a fantastic mode of communication.

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Talk about a drastic change and a change that I am not wild about. But hey, I realized that I’d much rather have his opened dresser drawers, his boxers left on the floor and the melted chapstick in the dryer than 316 miles between us.

(Sorry about the photo, Scott)

Marriage, Kids, Ahhh! 

Twenty-two is also weird because you have some friends that are unemployed (some by choice), some friends still in college (getting intoxicated all too often), some friends that are engaged (or married) and some friends that already have a kid (or two)! It’s extremely hard to keep track of and to comprehend the different pace of life. You really gotta just go with the flow.

Away from Friends 

And to stay on the topic of friends… all these different life stages are taking place hours away from me!

“Want to go out on Friday?” Sure! I’ll drive 100 miles after work and I’ll sleep on your couch for the night.

“Come to my wedding!” No problem, I’ll take a day off work and find a hotel for the weekend!

Nothing is as simple as it was three months ago and I definitely cannot show up unannounced to friends houses on a moments notice or stop by just for fun. Thank goodness for Instagram, Snapchat and twitter for keeping me updated about daily occurrences.

No Longer an Athlete

My workouts are no longer planned for me and let’s just stay my workouts no longer exist. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little but I definitely should be working out more than I do. As much as I dispised getting up at the crack of dawn for workouts, it felt so good to start the day like that. And not only that, but not being surrounded by my teammates on a daily basis is completely bizarre. Not know every single detail about every players’ day is weird. And I even miss those miserably long practices.

Telling people “I used to play softball” is still not natural and I imagine it will be awhile before it is.

Reading for Pleasure

I’m pretty positive that if you were to ask college students if they read for pleasure, the answer would be no. Reading was dreadful because reading meant homework or studying. Most the time reading meant skimming, taking notes and doing just enough to finish the assignment. Reading a textbook was a sure fire way to fall asleep. However, I have started to read for pleasure and my most recent book is “Twenty-Two”, shocking, right? Well I love it! And reading for pleasure has given me a whole new insight and thought process! And I don’t dread opening the book!

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What this all means…

In all honesty, I HAVE NO IDEA. I’m reading a book to figure it out (no, really, I am). However, I’d like to thinking it means that I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m building a life, I’m figuring out what I want and what I don’t want. I would like to think that this craziness is good and normal. I come to realize that mistakes are inevitable, spontaneity is crucial and positivity is the only answer. I’m finding motivation among the crazy and goals among the confusion. “I’m feeling twenty-two” has taken on a completely new meaning. No wonder Taylor Swift made a song about it…

 

2017, Baseball, Coaching, College, CollegeSports, Love, Public Relations

Your Handbook to Dating a Coach

First off, kudos to you! Dating a coach is not always glorious, nor easy. But if you decide to dive in headfirst or if you’ve already dove in, here are some tips and tricks that may help you and your realtionship thrive! 

Be their biggest fan! 

Just because they aren’t playing the game, making the game winning catch or the buzzer beating basket doesn’t mean they don’t look for you in the stands or want your support! And… take pictures, you’ll be surprised how much they like pictures of them coaching! 

When the game doesn’t go well, don’t press. 
Sometimes it’s best not ask questions or try to console a grumpy coach. Apologize for the loss and try to change the subject. Maybe they just need space. OR, if they do want to talk, just let them and nod your head even if you have no idea what they might be talking about. They may just need to vent! Just like we may need to vent about girl gossip or fashion.

Understand that weekends usually involve games… or practice. 

As much as you may like to think that coaching is easy, it’s not. It involves a lot of sacrifices and that includes evenings, weekends and maybe even some holidays. Get used to spending a weekend at the ballpark or on a flight to watch them coach somewhere (usually in the middle of nowhere)!

Learn the game. 

Whether it’s baseball, rugby or football. Learn the game, learn the rules and learn the players. Being able to understand the game and have a conversation about it will show them you care and they will appreciate it (and maybe even think it’s attractive)!

Wear their teams gear! 

They will love to see you’re rooting for them and their players! Their players become family and that support means more than you think! Get your ball cap on and get ready to clap and maybe even hoot and holler!

Respect their passion. 

If you’re already dating a coach you probably know and if you’re not aware, I’m here to tell you, the paychecks may not be what you expect based on your impression of professional sports or SEC football coaches. But nonetheless, it is likely your coach has a burning passion. A passion that most people cannot relate to. Respect their passion and understand that it makes them truly happy. And… watching them pursue this firey passion is worth it and extremely inspiring. It’s not about the money and that in itself is something to be admired.

Realize their compassion. 

Any person willing to dedicate endless evenings and weekends to young kids or adults is worth keeping. Coaches put in so much more than knowledge of the game. Coaches become mentors and role models and people who shape kids and young adults. A person willing to step into such an important role, is a person you also want in your life. They care about the success of their players beyond the game and that is monumentous. Hold on tight to coaches even when times seem tough. They are caring, compassionate, selfless and dedicated. Support them, stand by them and love them.

Express your support

Often times it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and the stress. And, dating a coach can mean a lot of time apart. Despite how much you miss them and how frustrating times may feel, don’t forget to express how proud you are of them. When someone pursues a passion so fiercely they deserve respect and support. Just like anyone, coaches need people on their personal team too! Trust me, your expressions won’t go unnoticed.

And finally, to my “coach”… 

Despite how much I hate living summers apart, missing you on weekends and sitting waiting for you to get home from practice, watching you coach is something I look forward to. Your passion, your drive and your dedication are all things that inspire me. Watching you build relationships and seeing how much you care about each player makes me love you even more. The qualities that you display through coaching are all the reasons I am so excited to be your best friend and girlfriend. So, in case you forgot, I support you and I am your biggest fan!

2017, College, CollegeSports, Public Relations, softball

One Door Closed-Thank you, softball.

 

The time has finally come. My softball career has officially ended (10 days ago). The practices that felt like they’d never end, the countless hours on a bus and the workouts that made me feel like death; they’ve all ended.

When they told me it would go by fast I really had no idea how fast and I’ll be the first to say, I still feel like freshman year was yesterday. I vividly remember moving into my dorm room and meeting the team for the first time.

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But despite it being the end of a huge chapter in my life, I am content, I am relieved and I am thankful for all the things that softball has given me (especially in the last four years). I can’t help but reflect and be happy for the amazing things softball brought into my life. Softball provided me with an incredible opportunity to earn a college degree, it taught me life lessons and skills and most of all, it gave me lifelong relationships with amazing people.

Although there will come a time where I miss the game and I will miss the grind of being an athlete, more than anything I will miss the moments spent with my teammates. I will miss seeing them each and every day (multiple times a day). I think I might even miss the long bus rides and the random conversations with them. There’s even a possibility that I will miss the 6am workouts. However, I think it’ll be awhile before I miss the bus rides and the workouts.

I can say for sure that my body is extremely relieved. The bumps, the bruises, the pulled muscles and the sore arm are all crying tears of joy. I know I am not “old” but there are days that my body feels like it and I am excited to have a time of recovery and relaxation.

For the last 18 years of my life I have called myself an athlete and for the last 12 years I have dedicated a copious amount of time to softball and becoming a better player. I fell in love with the game and I can still say I love it. I love what it has given me and I will forever cherish the memories and lessons. I have met amazing people and mentors. Softball has played an integral role in my life and I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be who I am or where I am without the game.

With that being said, there’s certainly an adjustment period and a time of transition. I have already caught myself saying “I play softball” and quickly correcting myself to say “I PLAYED softball”, I am no longer an athlete and that’s the weirdest part of it all. Now, I have to mentally prepare myself for days filled with work and adult responsibilities instead of sports and homework. My mind is already racing with ways I can pass time and new hobbies that I can pick up (and ways to earn money).

But… thank you softball for giving me something to work for, for giving me a college education and for putting amazing people in my life. Thank you for teaching me to get up when I got knocked down and for teaching me to never give up. You’ll always be my favorite sport.

Thank you to each and every coach that pushed me when it was the last thing I wanted to do and for teaching me that failure is part of success. Thank you helping me become the person I am today. You have a special place in my heart.

Thank you to my teammates that made the bad days better. Thank you for pushing me during every workout and every practice. Thank you for being the sisters I never had and for being the best support system. You really are family.

And most of all, thank you to my parents to driving me to practice all those years, for paying for me to fly all over the country and for showing up to every game of my senior year (it meant more than you know). Your support was truly incredible and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without. I love you to the moon and back.

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I may not be an athlete anymore but maybe someday I will be a coach and have another amazing opportunity to teach the game that gave me so much.

I am beyond excited for the future and for what life has in store for me.

Cheers to the end of a chapter and cheers to a new one.

 

2017, College, CollegeSports, Public Relations, softball

The Waiting Game-Life without class

IMG_6066.JPGFor those of you who don’t know, I am in my last quarter of college at Central Washington and I am playing my last season of softball. However, I may be listed as a student but I am currently not enrolled in ANY classes (I have a 2 credit internship). This is without a doubt FANTASTIC, but I will say I did not expect to be bored enough to write a blog about being bored.

I learned very quickly that my days consist of waiting for practice or waiting for my boyfriend to get home (and then annoying him with my pent up energy).

I am so bored that I ordered myself a novel… I feel old saying this and I have never considered myself a reader but reading seems more productive than watching t.v. on the couch.

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I am so bored that going to get coffee has become a habit (merely because it gets me out of the house).

I am so bored that grocery shopping seems like a big event and I no longer dread it (I even get a little excited about it).

I am so bored that I resort to cleaning the house (ask my mom, this is absurd).

I am so bored that folding laundry does not feel like a chore.

There’s something about being extremely bored that initiates self-reflection and thought. My instinct is to look for ways to earn money and look for ways to better prepare myself for the future. But when I actually pause and think about it, I am a college athlete still and having a job is not realistic and I have a job to go home to when I graduate. I really am prepared, yet I still feel a need to prepare myself and be productive.

With that being said, not having class is relaxing and stress free. When we leave for road trips I can take coloring books instead of text books. I can watch movies instead of lectures and I do not have to worry about missing class.

I am patiently waiting for the weather to warm up so I can spend my days sun bathing in the backyard while reading a book.

But for now, I wait. I wait for practice, I wait for the weather to get nice and I wait for graduation and the next stage of life. And while I wait I cherish the moments I have left with my teammates, the final at bats, the final diving plays, the final morning workouts and the final practices.  I no longer take the mornings without an alarm for granted and the days I have no obligations are loved.

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It may not be the typical last months of college but I wouldn’t change it. I am beyond blessed to have a time for reflection and to have a time where I can be completely present in the last months of softball.

It may be a waiting game but it’s still a game and for that, I am thankful.

2017, Basque, Boise, Jaialdi, Public Relations

Being Basque

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Over the years, I’ve explained Basque to countless people and often times I’ve just resorted to saying “my Mom is Spanish” to avoid the conversation and explaining. But, for your sake and the sake of the blog I’ll explain it again. Basques are a group of people located in Northwest Spain and Southwest France which is known as Basque Country. Basques are considered one of the oldest ethic groups in the world and have a rich history and culture but the population of Basque people in world is relatively small.

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So needless to say, growing up Basque in the Pacific Northwest is NOT common and it certainly isn’t something that my peers know much about. Not to mention, light hair and blues eyes aren’t typically thought of as being from Spain or of Spanish descent.

And although it may not be common, we are proud to be Basque and I am blessed to be part of the community.

 

The Culture

Basques have a rich history of music, arts, sports and cuisine. Goldsmithing, working with silver and other metals is a common hobby and profession. Basques have a unique form of dancing and it is a way to preserve the culture in today’s world.

Basques are also known for sheep herding in the Pyrenees Mountains. The sheep herders would spend months on end in their wagons and they would use carvings in trees to communicate with each other and express themselves. Basque sheep herders found their way to Boise and began their herding the Boise foothills.

Basque sports are focused around strength and stamina. Some common competitions include log cutting, stone listing, hay bale throwing and wagon pulling.

The Language

The Basque language is completely unique. Unrelated to any other current language. Basque was spoken in Spain before Spain was colonized and it is the only pre-Roman language still spoken. Although most Basques also speak Spanish fluently, Basque is also an official language of Basque Country.

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Every five years an international Basque festival takes place in Boise, Idaho. And let me tell you, it is the REAL DEAL. Basques come from all over the United States and other countries to celebrate together. A street in downtown Boise shuts down for five days for celebrations. Basque bands play live music all night long, authentic Basque food is sold on the streets and delicious Kalimoxtos (red wine and coca-cola) are served throughout the day. The days are spent exploring Basque History and indulging in delicious food, the nights are spent dancing and drinking.

My Family

To put it simply, we like to have fun. We love, we laugh and we live life to the fullest. We may not see each other often but when we do, it is a blast and it feels like home.

CN 022702My great grandparents were immigrants from Basque Country and they moved to Boise, Idaho. My grandfather (my Aicheche) was a Basque sheep herder and spent his springs and summers in the foothills of Boise. My Amuma (grandmother) worked as a maid in the Basque boarding homes in Boise where a large Basque population was built.

 

To preserve our family history, every Sunday the family gets together for lunch and we enjoy each other’s company. Our wedding’s are wild and a sight to be seen. But above all else, we have a bond because of our background and our heritage. We have something in common and we love who we are because of it. As the Basque’s say it, Euskadi. We are proud to be Basque.

 

2017, Public Relations, Snow, winter

The Never-Ending Winter—Reasons Why it’s Time for Spring

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Maybe you can relate, maybe it’s a completely foreign idea to some of you (if it is, consider yourself lucky). But, after three months of having snow on the ground, I am OVER IT. I am a snow lover, I am a skier and I am a little kid when it comes to sledding. BUT, when March hits, it is time that I start seeing grass again.

Never in my life have I felt so strongly towards the beautiful, white, fluffy stuff falling from the sky. Never in my life did I think I would hate it when it begins to snow…again. Snow, it’s time to go and here’s why:

I am tired of layering every. single. outfit.

All my cute shirts are useless. I have to wear so many layers that no one can ever see the cute shirt I’m wearing. My down parka has paid for itself already and thank goodness it was a Christmas gift because I’m positive that I would have turned into a popsicle at some point this winter. Sometimes I just want to walk out the front door with my Birkenstocks on and a t-shirt but I would clearly be one of the many people not appropriately dressed for the weather. So, needless to say it will be miraculous when the day comes where I don’t have to dress like the Michelin Man to stay warm.

People forget how to park their cars when it snows.

Every time I have class I spend 20-25 minutes trying to find a parking spot. For some reason, when there is snow on the ground the majority of individuals like to leave a large amount of space between each car. Not enough to park a car, but just enough to make you think there is an open spot. Just because there is snow on the ground it’s not okay to park your car in the middle of the road or make your own parking spot.

My arm is tired of scraping ice and snow off the car EVERY morning.

Setting my alarm ten minutes early every morning is not luxurious, especially when it’s because I need the time to go out in the cold and scrap my windshield. It is more than annoying to start every morning freezing cold and waiting for my car to thaw. Not to mention, I’ll need new windshield wipers because they have been frozen far too many times this winter.

My house is freezing.

After three months of snow we are tired of paying sky high utility bills. We have limited our heating and we are beyond tired of sitting under blankets and being bundled up inside as we try to do homework, cook dinner and do laundry. My hands are always cold! My slippers are becoming worn out and I simply don’t own enough sweatpants for every single day. And wearing a parka while under a blanket is not exactly ideal.

You can’t play softball in the snow.

It’s March, softball and baseball season are upon us. Spring training has begun in Peoria, yet here we are in Ellensburg, Washington still in a snow globe. Still waking up to below freezing temperatures and a dusting of snow on our cars. We are moving games to new locations because our field is covered in a THICK blanket of snow and ice. We are practicing indoors, taking ground balls off a hard, rubber surface. Our outfielders haven’t seen a fly ball in months and we are immune to lights in our eyes rather than sun beating down.

I’m running out of chap stick and lotion. 

The frigid temperatures have my skin crying for help and hydration. I am sick of the constant chapped lips and cracked skin. I have purchased more chap stick in the last three months than I have in the last three years. I have been carrying lotion nearly every place I go and feeling self-conscious about my visibly dry hands.

I could really use a tan. 

Just like most of us (especially college age girls) I love to have tan skin and a little natural color. Being tan gives you that extra boost of confidence and gives you an extra glow. But snow does not promote tanning and it makes the artificial tanning bed so much more tempting. Bring back the sunshine!

So, Dear Mother Nature,

As much as I love snow and love having four seasons each year, I would greatly appreciate the sunshine and warm temperatures. I would LOVE to see grass when I wake up in the morning and I would be forever grateful. I promise to not complain about the weather you bring, as long as it’s not snow. I’ll even take an extra windy spring. But PLEASE, leave the snow in February!

Sincerely,

A Former Snow Lover

 

 

 

2017, College, CollegeSports, Public Relations, Road Trip, softball

10 Things they Never Told You about Being a College Athlete

The day you sign your national letter of intent is a day full of joy and relaxation. The hard work that you’ve been putting in for years, has finally paid off and that college search is officially over. But… that’s where the relief and relaxation ends. From that moment forward it’s four years of endless activities, practice, community service, working out, homework and traveling. So after four years as a college athlete, here’s 10 things that no one told me before I signed my national letter of intent.

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1. You’ll spend copious hours on a bus.

Prepare yourself, this may be absurd for those of you not involved in college athletics. In one season, we spend about 120.5 hours on a bus, give or a take a few and yes, we counted. You may think we have the luxury of flying everywhere we go, but that is not the case. We drive to California, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Canada. And when we do fly, that involves the drive to airport, to the fields and to the hotel. Needless to say, you learn to be productive on a bus and you learn to sleep in uncomfortable, awkward and small spaces. So next time you’re on a road trip that feels endless, just be thankful its not on a bus with 20 girls.

2. Your body isn’t made for the amount of physical activity you put it through.

When you’re 17 or 18 signing your letter of intent your body feels great, indestructible and young. When you’re graduating after four years, your body feels A LOT different. You feel old and it becomes clear that the mileage you’ve put on your body isn’t exactly normal. There aren’t many days where you wake up with out some sort of soreness or ache. It becomes clear that your body has more muscles than you thought because they are ALL sore. The hours of weight lifting, the long practices, the hundreds of games and everything in between adds up and it hits you hard.

3. Sleeping is a privilege.

For some, college means late nights and sleeping in till noon. For college athletes, it means late nights and REALLY early mornings. Imagine working two full-time jobs and well, that’s pretty much what it means to be a college athlete. You’re at school to get an education but that doesn’t change the fact that your sport is what got you where you are. Trying to balance the two often means cutting in to time for sleep. It means finishing the assignment five minutes before it’s due and it means only five hours of sleep before your alarm goes off for weights in the morning. So every once in awhile when you have the opportunity to sleep in, you are beyond thankful and you learn to take advantage of it.

4. You don’t get all the breaks like other students do.

It’s no secret that spring break in college is the epitome of wild, crazy and fun. Well, for some people. As a college athlete who has a spring sport, spring break doesn’t exist. While you’re on your way to Cabo or Hawaii, the softball team is in glorious Ellensburg, alone (except for the baseball team too). That week that is filled with fun, alcohol and sunshine is the week we spend extra time at practice and in the weight room. Even summer break isn’t always what you envisioned, summer break for a college athlete creates a massive opportunity for working out and getting better. So, if you think you want to be a college athlete let the idea of wild spring breaks go now.

5. Holidays aren’t always holidays.

Those long weekends because of Martin Luther King Day or President’s Day are just another opportunity for practice. Although it may seem normal and seem silly to talk about, it becomes extremely obvious that you’re missing something when you are the only people on campus (or in town). Oh, and don’t forget about Easter. For spring athletes, Easter is a Sunday that we have off but it’s not spent with family and it’s mostly exciting because of the chocolate that goes on sale the following day.

6. Being 21 doesn’t mean you can actually drink.

You’re finally 21, you can go to the bars and you can buy alcohol WHENEVER you please. Wrong. Being an athlete severely limits your extracurricular activities. Let me explain, the day season starts is the same day you can no longer treat yourself to a cocktail or a cold brew. You may be 21 but you are now dry for the next five months. This includes attending parties, going to the bars or just having a beer around the bonfire. NOTHING, zero, zilch. So what, right? Well, it’s true what they say, “you don’t miss it until it’s gone”.

7. Your teachers won’t always love that you’re an athlete.

Loved by many, hated by some. Some professors just do not understand. They take it personally when you miss class and they hold it against you. Miss a quiz because you were playing in a championship game? Your loss, hopefully there’s an extra credit opportunity. Getting hand surgery? Get well soon, but you won’t get your participation points and don’t forget to turn in your assignment and finish typing your essay… one handed.

8. You won’t always get along with your teammates.

You spend about 20 hours a week with your teammates, not including travel time and team bonding. They really do become family and with that comes a little bit of conflict. Just like with you brothers or sisters, there’s times when you need to be alone and away from the ones you love most. There’s nothing in particular that you can point out, but you just need time away and that’s okay.

9. You love and hate it all at the same time.

You definitely don’t love the early wake-ups, the 17 hour bus trips, the late nights spent studying, the missing out on weekend activities and you won’t love constantly splitting time between friends. But… you do love the game, you love your teammates, you love the grind and you love the memories that are created without even realizing it. You’ll say you hate it, but you you know it’s not true. You LOVE it, even on the days you think you hate it.

10. You’ll miss it before it’s even gone.

It’ll hit you hard before you know it and the realization that the grind of being an athlete is almost over is overwhelming. When you come to realize that you won’t be with your teammates day in and day out, you won’t be traveling with your best friends, you won’t be waking up sore knowing you had a great weekend and you won’t be able to say “I’m an athlete”, it hurts. And it’s easy to get emotional just thinking about it. You think of the seniors before you and you understand it, and you know why it was so hard. It’s not just saying goodbye to a sport but it’s saying goodbye to the last 15 years of your life and it’s saying goodbye to what turned you into the person you are today. So, even though I’m not quite finished with it, I can already say miss it.

2017, Love, Public Relations, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day-The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Regardless of your relationship status, you deserve a little love today  (and every other day ). If you’re single, treat yourself and if you’re in a relationship go out of your way to show your love.

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Now, it seems simple but we all know it’s not. Valentine’s Day is a lot of pressure whether you’re single or whether you’re in a relationship, or anything in between. And with the pressure, there can be an abundance of mixed emotions associated with it.

The Good:

Valentine’s Day sets aside a time to express your love and show appreciation for each other. It gives us an excuse to eat chocolates and treats, buy flowers, be cheesy and creative with our gifts. It’s a great day to rent a movie, cuddle up and enjoy being present with your loved ones. It’s a day that can make us feel especially loved by friends, family and significant others. Valentine’s Day allows us to plan activities with our friends and it lets us express the way we appreciate the loved ones in our lives. And for the girls out there, it’s a day where we can get dressed up, do our make-up and curl our hair without having a true reason. What’s not to love? Well…

The Bad:

The money, the pressure, the commotion, the stress to name a few. I won’t say I hate Valentine’s Day, but I definitely feel the pressure like most of us do. Standing in the card aisle with what feels like hundreds of other people, reading cheesy cards trying to pick a card that fits my relationship and leaving the store empty handed. Using Pinterest to find clever ideas and only finding cliche or expensive gift ideas. Finally coming up with an idea but can’t find the item, the materials or the time to execute. Feeling worried that your significant other may have spent more money or more time and feeling guilty. And for the singles out there, the grocery stores are flooded with hearts and candy for an entire month ahead of time, stressing the fact that your single every single time you walk in.

The Ugly:

Valentine’s Day does a fantastic job of making those who are not in a relationship feel alone and sad. And it does an even better job of making it apparent that being in a relationship is what society focuses on (at least in the month of February). We’ve all heard it called “single’s awareness day” and to an extent, this is extremely accurate. Being single isn’t a bad thing, yet somehow this one day makes it seem that way. Valentine’s Day makes it hard to be single and it can bring tears and hard feelings. It also can be an extremely difficult day for those who are recently out of a relationship or for those who have lost loved ones. It’s no secret that many individuals ‘hate’ Valentine’s Day simply because of the emotions associated with it. The mushy gushy, the love notes and overload of couples on Valentine’s Day is too much for some to handle. The emotions can be ‘ugly’ but they don’t have to be. Whatever you are and whoever you’re with on this day, embrace it.

Valentine’s Day, not just for couples. Spread a little love today and enjoy whatever you are and whoever you’re with. Embrace the hearts, the red, the pink, treat yourself and indulge in whatever makes your heart happy. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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2017, Public Relations, Road Trip, Snoqualmie Pass, winter

Las Vegas to Ellensburg, 25 hours?

Last Thursday morning my alarm was set for 4:05am. I hopped out of bed tired, but excited for the weekend that was ahead. Las Vegas was the beginning of the season, and this year, it was the beginning of the final ride of my softball career. Not to mention, we were leaving the subzero temperatures of Ellensburg for 70-degree weather!

Now, Vegas went well and it was a dream come true to wear a t-shirt outside without a parka and beanie on. However, the trip back to Ellensburg was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

We left the ball field at 4:30pm and headed straight to the airport (no, we did not get to shower). As we parked the rental car we found out our flight was two hours delayed. We then found out that we weren’t able to check our much larger than carry-on sized duffel bags. Here we go…dragging huge duffel bags through the airport. This in itself is never a good way to start the trip home, but looking back at the trip, the two-hour delay was the least of our worries.

Okay, now pretend you’re boarding the plane in Las Vegas with us and for the next few minutes imagine yourself in this situation (and don’t forget, we still have not showered after the game).

After spending hours (four to be exact) in the airport, at 9:30pm we are finally in the air and headed back to Seattle. Around 11pm we are told we were descending into Seattle and will be arriving shortly and the bus is already waiting for us at the airport. As we began to get closer to the runway it became apparent that it was snowing extremely hard in Seattle, the turbulence was terrifying and we became uneasy about the events that we transpiring. As we were about to touch the ground, we sped back up and began going upwards again. After a long ten minutes the pilot notified us of what was going on. We were headed to Portland for an emergency landing. Needless to say, a slight panic attack was taking place for everyone on the flight. Our bus was waiting at SeaTac, not PDX and we were supposed to be back in Ellensburg for class on Monday, it’s already Monday.

After waiting for two hours in Portland, we were in the air on the way back to Seattle. After another bumpy trip, we landed in Seattle at 2am. We headed to baggage claim and after waiting for over an hour, we finally had our bags and were headed to the bus. By the time we were loaded on the bus and driving away with chains on, it was 3:15am. Ellensburg bound, we thought.

snoqualmie

As we continued to drive and the snow continued to fall, we checked the pass, CLOSED. It’s 3:30am and the pass is closed, we aren’t going home after all. To Bellevue we go, where we find a hotel and crawl into bed at 4:30am…the sun was beginning to rise. I think I speak for everyone when I say, the frustration was so immense that I could have cried. Exhausted, stressed and frustrated.

travel
Waiting for our hotel rooms in Bellevue.

After a whopping three hours of sleep we wake up for breakfast and begin to plan our trek back home. It’s Monday morning (still) and pass is still closed and the snow is STILL coming down. We are missing class, we are missing practice and we are missing weights. And… all other routes to Ellensburg also include compact snow and ice, chains required and hours of added travel time.

We loaded up the bus (again) at noon and headed toward the pass to wait out the closure. As we waited for the pass to open we shopped, talk about retail therapy. At this point in the trip, we were looking for all the positives possible. A new pair of Nike’s was a temporary mood booster.

FINALLY, around 2pm the pass opened, we chained up again and headed for the summit through the blizzard. In the hundreds of trips I’ve had across the pass I don’t think I have ever seen so much snow. It was as if we were driving through a tunnel of snow because the massive amount of snow piled on the sides of the road.

After three long, stressful hours  of driving and stopping and driving and stopping we took exit 106, Ellensburg. We were home and we were safe. After 25 hours, we were home.

And guess what? In less than 24 hours, we will be on our way back to SeaTac, headed back to Las Vegas airport and getting on ANOTHER bus to Utah. Talk about a crazy week.

 

 

#bestfriends, 2017, Chocolate Lab, Dogs

Losing Lily

lilyIt was Memorial Day weekend, we were in Wenatchee, it was hot and I was playing softball (of course). We had just won the tournament and getting ready to endure the awful Memorial Day traffic on the way home.

As we walked to the car we walked by a couple who had ADORABLE 8-week-old chocolate lab puppies. I couldn’t just walk by, I stopped and began playing with the puppies and one puppy in particular who I did not want to leave but I knew there was no way we could take her home. My dad didn’t have any cash on him and we had Moses (our chocolate lab) at home. As we were about to walk away from, my best friends dad walked by and slipped my dad the $450 cash that we needed and I picked up the sweet chocolate ball of fur with blue eyes that I had been playing with, she was mine.

Despite the HORRIBLE traffic that we endured throughout the drive home, I was completely content in the backseat with our new puppy. We spent the ride brainstorming names and by the time we had pulled into the driveway we had settled on the name Lily, and it was perfect.

Over the next 8 years, Lily became my best friend (even with her weirdness) and she was there for the best and worst times of middle school and high school. Lily was right by my side when Moses passed away and she always knew when I was upset. The moment I was upset, she would be at my feet pawing at my leg until I would cuddle with her and scratch her head.

Not to mention, she was always up for a walk, a run, a hike or a tanning session in the backyard during the summer. She made it far less scary to be home alone and she was by far the best protection. And she made losing Moses a little easier to cope with.

lily & moses.jpg

Leaving Lily for college was easily one of the hardest parts of the transition but coming home to her was my favorite and she never held it against me. It was the same excitement every time. Going on car rides wasn’t her favorite yet she always acted like she was excited to go somewhere.

During my sophomore year of college I had two hand surgeries and Lily was always by my side and would jump on the bed to comfort me, even when she knew she was not supposed to be on the bed. She was my shadow and followed me every time I got out of bed, she even waited outside the shower for me.

Shortly after I recovered from surgery and was back at school I got a call from my Mom, Lily had passed away, unexpectedly. She was not very old and was full of life. Lily suffered an allergic reaction from medication she was taking for a sore knee. I was absolutely devastated and could not believe it. For my entire life, I had never been without a dog and suddenly it was my reality and I surely was not prepared for it.

When I went home for the summer I was not greeted by Lily for the very first time and it was incredibly hard. I was no longer woken up by her in the morning and it made going on hikes far less enjoyable. Home didn’t feel quite the same without her there and it was hard to get used to. She had been my best friend for so many years and she stayed with me through the horribly awkward middle school and high school days.

lily-hike

So here’s to the dog that never cooperated for photos and never left my side. To the dog that never let you go to the bathroom alone and the dog that never let you skip a walk. To the dog that let me use her as a pillow and never complained. To the dog that made me like hiking. To the dog that we found at a softball tournament and couldn’t leave without.

Here’s to the dog that all other dogs have to live up to.

RIP Lily Girl ❤