Author Archive

Latest Obsession: Serial Podcast

serial podcast

Soon after sharing what podcasts I listen to, I saw Ira Glass on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and he shared that he was helping to produce a new podcast called Serial. It follows one true story over the course of a whole season.

One weekend in October I was taking a trip to Charlotte, so I decided to download the first three episodes and listen to help pass the time. WOW. I was hooked. It is such an interesting case, and the host, Sarah Koenig, is such a great storyteller.

Here’s the gist of the case, taken from the Serial website:

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

A new episode airs every Thursday morning, and I look forward to it like a TV show that ended on a cliffhanger.

Does anyone else listen to Serial? What’s your theory? Do you think Adnan did it? 

My thoughts: I really want to believe he is innocent… but then who else would have done it? And why? It all makes no sense, and I totally can relate to every single question and frustration the host voices. Ah! Can’t wait for the next episode.

November Goals

Oh, November. I have mixed emotions about this month — the one that begins in autumn and ends in winter. On the one hand — it’s chilly! and cozy! and I want to wear warm sweaters and boots every day! But on the other hand, the days get darker and shorter, and without any Christmas lights to brighten the darkness.

I always get sad when I say goodbye to daylight savings, so to remedy that this year I decided to change up my hours at work — coming in at 7:30 and leaving at 4:30. This will hopefully allow me more time at home during the daylight and less time stuck in traffic during the darkness. I also plan to write five things I’m grateful for every day this month, since the best medicine for a sad soul is to look around and recognize all of your blessings.

On to my monthly goals….

hello november

November Goals:

  • Vote!
  • Come up with a strategy for our yard (plant bulbs? bushes? privacy trees?)
  • Clean and vacuum my car (it’s so gross you guys)
  • Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
  • Enroll in benefits for 2015 at my job
  • Take a family pic and order Christmas cards
  • Get 75% of my Christmas shopping done!
  • Make a classic family Thanksgiving dish
  • Every day this month write down five things I’m grateful for

What are your goals this month? Does anyone else struggle with the time change?

PS – Need inspiration for monthly goals? See mine from November 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009

Writing this series

writing this series

It’s October 31, which means it’s Halloween! And also the last day of my 31 Decisions I’m Glad I Made series. Huzzah!

I’ve been writing 31 days straight, and at the beginning of this month I wondered if writing this series would be a good decision.

The verdict?

Yep. Glad I decided to write and choose this topic.

Coming up with decisions and writing through each has helped me process some of the decisions I’m in the middle of making today. It also helped me get back into the swing and routine of blogging again.

I’m glad I decided on a template for the photos. I learned that when it comes to blogging, writing is the easy part. I can write all the live-long day, but the pressure of having a picture to each post adds a whole new level of stress. So having a set theme of a photo (my feet each day) took the pressure off exponentially. This 31-day series was so much less work than the other one I wrote two years ago because I didn’t have to create a graphic or think of a cool unique photo every day. Who knows, maybe all of my posts will have feet pictures moving forward.

Looking back through the month, I tried to categorize these decisions into buckets…

Decisions that were really easy to make:

Really hard to make:

Involved serious dedication and commitment:

Benefited my career:

Invested in my future:

Reevaluate how I spend my time:

Helped me learn:

Enriched my life:

Say YES to relationships:

If you want to see a full list of the decisions in order and with all of the shoes I wore this month, find it on this page. :)

And with that — this series is DONZO.*

Any questions? Comments? Is there anything moving forward you’d like me to write about? 


*Not sure what donzo means? Watch this. :)

Writing a newsletter

writing a newsletter

When I was in the 4th grade I decided to write a newsletter.

Why I wanted to make one, who knows.. maybe to keep up with friends that moved away? But either way, I had the idea and was able to pull it off, with the huge help of my mom.

First I came up with the content: A letter from the editor, guest stories from friends, a crossword puzzle, facts about the weather in different states. Fun stuff like that. I named it “U.S. Girls” (as in, short for “United States Girls”) which I quickly learned was often mistaken for “Us Girls.”

The next thing was figuring out how to lay out the newsletter. This was back in 1996, and during this process I discovered there was more to do on my “Macintosh” computer besides play the Oregon Trail. I have no idea what software we used (an early version of Microsoft Publisher?) but somehow I designed it on a six-page spread and saved my first issue on a floppy disk.

The next part was finding a printer. We shopped around a few printing places and landed on Kinkos. They gave me a bunch of paper samples and I remember feeling so special picking out what colors I wanted for the issues. What a thrill!

Then we had to come up with pricing. We calculated pricing for a printer and stamps, and decided a six-month subscription would be $3. What a deal!

The last part, which was key, was getting subscribers. I sent out a letter to everyone I knew living far away, and somehow I ended up with over 50 subscribers! A few of those subscribers were cousins and friends, but my aunt brought in most of the support. She was so excited about the newsletter she bought a subscription for like 40 of her friends. I felt so rich!

Its circulation was about four issues before I decided it was a little too much work and I wanted to go back to playing outside with my friends and reading Mandie books (did anyone else read those?!).

I felt so guilty that I didn’t deliver the full six-issues people paid for, so I decided to donate the remainder of the money to a Christmas charity and informed all of my subscribers $1 of their $3 would be donated. I guess I didn’t know what profit was back then!

Here are a few pics of the newsletters I could find in all my childhood stuff:


Looking back, I’m so proud of my little self for doing something so brave and new! I could learn some lessons from that nine year old.


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