just another shameless Parks & Recreation reference.

I really love Leslie Knope.

I think my issue with making friends stems from what I like to call my Leslie Knopespectations. I want to find people that are passionate about me & the things that mean the most in my life. Passionate in the way that they care about the little things I say, and make me waffles all of the time. I want a friend that remembers my birthday weeks in advance, and throws a party suited just for me.

A part of me really wants to be locked in a room with my favorite movie, a steak, and a glass of Riesling. On the other hand, I’d love a bouncy house, and to be called a beautiful tropical fish.

A part of me is Ron Swanson.

 A part of me is Ann Perkins.

And sometimes, when I’m at the gym, I like to work out on the treadmill and pretend I’m Chris Traeger.

But more than anything, I want to be a Leslie Knope.

I want to be just as: kind, caring, intelligent, strong, persistent, and passionate.

And I want to be that friend that is passionate about other people, and throws them unforgettable birthday bashes.

Today I found this, which was the inspiration for this post:


As this summer comes to a close, Senior Year is fast approaching.

Hopefully, by the time 2016 rolls around, I’ll have my teaching degree, and we’ll be getting ready to say goodbye to: America, the YMCA, our tiny (yet perfect) apartment on Parkview Drive, friends, family, and possibly our cat.

We’ll say hello to: traveling, Korea, lesson planning, English Language Learners, an even tinier apartment, hard days, lonely days, adventure-filled days, and strange squid treats from the Family Mart across the street.

In all of this I want to be excellent.

I want to be the friendliest American in Seoul / Busan / whichever city we are assigned to.

I want to make my students feel inspired, significant, and empowered.

And I so desperately want to make some sort of impact, wherever I go.

At the same time, how does one accomplish this? How would someone like me, become the Leslie Knope of whatever endeavor I am currently pursuing?

 I think the key is not wasting time on meaningless things, yet still finding meaning in the ordinary. It’s about knowing when to say “yes,” and knowing when to say, “I need a break. Get out.” Not everything/everyone deserves my time and my devotion, and that’s okay.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am not good at everything (the perfectionist inside of me is screaming right now), but I will put the time and effort into perfecting what I do excel in.

Writing. Reading. Teaching.

I’ll even try things again and again, despite obvious and disappointing failures.

Knitting. Crocheting. Exercising. Baking a custard.

It’s not about perfection, but about putting in 100% even when you know there’s a great chance that things will crash and burn. Literally.

What do you want to be the Leslie Knope of? What does that mean to you?


so it’s been a year

I love you and I like you.

It’s been one year and four days of wedded bliss.

One year and four days filled with Netflix marathons, crockpot chili, fried eggs, toast, mini vacations, failed (yet hilarious) romantic getaways, hikes, lazy Saturdays, and a whole heap of Trader Joe’s kettle corn.

I could not have asked for a better friend to share this year with.

This man that makes me laugh harder than anyone I know, and whose rendition of the Family Ties theme song will be heard by no one but I. He makes the best fried eggs, lets me cry over documentaries about whales, and tells me I’m beautiful even when I come home in my YMCA uniform, complete with baby snot and finger paint smudges.

This year has taught me so much about myself.

I’ve learned that I’m selfish, I take things too personally (sometimes), and I really really hate housework. I’ve learned a little bit more on how to communicate (I’m still learning), and that grocery shopping and cooking dinner seem like two very romantic things while dating, but in reality are just two expensive things that create more dishes to wash. Going out to eat is way more fun.

When Caleb and I got engaged, we heard mixed things about marriage.

Mostly, we heard: “Our first year was so tough, but it was definitely a….learning experience.”

And while we, like most couples, chuckled to ourselves and thought, “We got this. We are so ready for marriage. Now let’s go watch a movie and make out…” this piece of (often unsolicited) advice continues to ring true.

It’s a learning experience.

Learning how to live with someone that was brought up in a completely different way, and how not to kill each other in the process.

We are blessed, and I pray that this second year is filled with just as many adventures and episodes of Frasier as the first.

To celebrate this joyous occasion, we are adventuring to Montreal very early tomorrow morning.

Hopefully I will have some great pictures/food reviews to share. 🙂

Oh, and happy (almost) Fourth of July!

p.s. If you’re curious as to where the gif is from, go watch this clip. And then go watch every season of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9PJOebnENY)