Faux Monday is Un-faux-tunately Real


–happiness comes from within–

So, it’s Tuesday. But it feels like Monday. But it’s Tuesday. Which is good considering I only have a three day school week, but bad considering I have a midterm tomorrow that I have yet to start studying for (sorry, Mom). Hello coffee and late night cramming… both essentials in the diet of a (healthy) college kid.

And I’m sitting here in this chilly classroom (thanks to the overly used AC–welcome to LA) knowing that the second I exit the building I’ll walk outside to a constant 77 degrees and the warmth of the sun on my (far-too-fair) skin. In February. February. It’s actually insane how warm it is here in the “heart of winter,” and mildly concerning (no pun intended). But that’s a wholeeeee different can barrel of worms. And I refuse to politicize my blog, so I’ll refrain from any mention of the big GW. And not George Washington (although, it is Presidents’ Weekend). Hint: I’m (not) talking about global warming. So that’s that. But if you’re wondering there are just about 8 million cars on the road in LA alone… So… Causation? Okay, okay. I’m done, I promise.

But I think the weirdest part about today is that I’m sitting in my Tuesday classes on what is seemingly a Monday. And it makes me think: am I so stuck in this rigid schedule that ru(i)ns my life that I’m not flexible enough to make even the most simple of changes? The answer to that is: yes. Yes, I do live on a schedule; yes, I do thrive on a schedule. But that doesn’t mean that I should always have to stick to that schedule. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more flexible with life–to let go and to just ‘be’. It’s only February (thank goodness), and I’m still working on it, but I’m trying. I’m conscious of my faults, and I’m working on them. And sometimes, that counts more than the successes and results.

Major success of today: I actually got dressed this morning after practice. Not that I run around without clothes on (it’s not that warm), but I wore something besides workout clothes (don’t worry, I’m in some form of lulus–the world is still round). And you know what? Just that put a smile on my face and made my day a little better. We never know what life is going to throw at us (like a 2k), but find something in your day that’ll help put a smile on your face; do something–even if it’s just something small–to make everyday a good day (even Mondays). Wake up 10 minutes early to have your cup of coffee (or tea) at home and read through the daily headlines before work, or pack one of your favorite snacks for lunch to brighten up your busy and chaotic day. It may be a faux Monday today, but it’s always your real life. Ask yourself how you deserve to be treated and then treat yourself better than that–you underestimate your worth and your immeasurable value to this world.

Happy FAT TUESDAY! Go eat your little hearts out with all that food you’ll be deprived of for the next 40 days and 40 nights.

#catholicgirldiet #theguiltofGod

Keep doing you because this club is definitely going up on a Tuesday.



Long to Belong

You’ve felt it, I’ve felt it, and so has that girl that everyone is absolutely in love with for no apparent reason. I mean, I guess she’s sort of pretty. And smart. And totally incredible or something… #growinggirlcrush

We’re squares trying to fit in circle-shaped spaces. We’re a pair of sneakers surrounded by Louboutins (those red soles, though). And sometimes (if we’re just ever so (un)lucky) we’re Cady Heron showing up to a Halloween party looking like a Grade-A monster when everyone else is basically Gisele. It’s uncomfortable, and everyone seems to be in the know and have their “ish” together (and not mention, they look incredible doing it). And then there’s you (and me): just barely on the outs of what seems to be in.

I’ve learned how to be compassionate because I know what it feels like to be lonely (and, no, not just rowing by myself kind of lonely). I make efforts to include others because I know what it feels like to be excluded. And I try my damnedest every, single day to live with love and purpose and to exude positivity and passion for life. Because if I don’t, who’s to say that someone else is going to show me kindness and acceptance? It starts with me, and it starts with you.

I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m not an incredible rower. A year ago, it would have torn me apart to know that I was continually working for something that was never going to come to fruition (aka I’m not on the #RoadtoRio2016). And a year ago I would have told you that I didn’t fit in, and that I was just showing up everyday pretending like I mattered to this team and to these girls. But I didn’t know then what I know now. I didn’t know that: I do matter. I do make a difference in this program. And although I might not pull the fastest erg times or have the most impeccable technique (or anything close to it), I matter.

I matter because I’m me. I matter because these girls have become some of my closest friends. I matter because we’re a family, and family always matters. And everyday that I get out of bed at 5:30am, I give a little more of myself to this team and to this program, and it gives me a little more in return: love, fulfillment and immeasurable growth.

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple smile to know that you belong–to know that you’re loved, just for being you.


So why not be that smile for someone else? Be the reason they know they’re loved. Because they are. And so are you.

When you long to belong, put a smile on your face and turn on that neon sign in the window of your heart; be OPEN. You already belong, but it won’t be long before you feel like you belong. And if you ever need a little extra reinforcement, I’m all ears and ready to dry those tears.

Keep doing you: kicking a$$, taking names and throwing up a smile like it’s your job.


Neil: The Real Deal

As a little girl, I spent hours dreaming of what the perfect man would be like. Barbie had Ken, Ariel had Eric and Meg had Hercules (I definitely had my work cut out for me). The men I was shown as a child were strong, intelligent and loving beyond belief. They were absolutely perfect. Spoiler alert: perfect doesn’t actually exist. And for a five-year-old, those are some skyscraper expectations. Let’s be real, the college struggle exists: most of us Belles are just looking for Beasts to volunteer to put up with our craziness. But the older (and crazier) I get, the more I realize that my idea of the perfect man didn’t come from a Disney movie or a toy company; it came from my dad.

My father is one of the most remarkable humans that you will ever meet. And as daughters (and sons), we’re all entitled to say how great our parents are because not only does it make them feel incredibly accomplished (especially when our GPA doesn’t), but (most of the time), we think it’s true. I’m blessed to know it’s true. My dad has taught me what it means to be a strong, independent woman–one who won’t take no for an answer (unless it’s from him), who can change a flat tire, who speaks her mind (often to his dismay), and who fights everyday to be the best she can be. I am who I am because of who my dad is and how he and my mom chose to raise me. I’m blessed (and cursed) with the highest standards possible for a spouse, and I couldn’t be more grateful.


Happy 55th Birthday, Daddy. You’re an amazing human being, and I am so proud to be your daughter.

As we kick off (football pun[t]) February (the month of loveeeeeee), take some time to identify the amazing ones in your life, and the ones who make you amazing. Look around, and I guarantee you’ll find someone incredible. And if you don’t, go look in the mirror. You are incredible. Strive to make others awesome; it’ll make you (more) awesome, too.

Keep doing you. I know the (wo)man hunt can be brutal, but I promise (s)he is coming. Hang in there, kiddo.