Keep Pushing


The photo on the left was taken on September 18th, 2016 and the photo on the right was taken on Tuesday. The only reason I thought to put these two photos together was because when I put this shirt on it fit noticeably different. I love this photo because it shows all the work I really put in the last year. The girl on the left was just starting to learn how to eat again after her 100 pound weight loss and 18 pound weight gain. However, she wasn’t feeling good physically or mentally. She felt puffy and not herself. She was disappointed and not understanding why she had put on 18 pounds since April. She was about to embark on a hard winter, but a winter she would fight her way out of. She just started high intensity interval training and was working out 5 days a week. The girl on the right is down more than 20 pounds and has moved on to Crossfit. The girl on the right is having fun eating. She knows how to enjoy things and likes planning her meals. She is loving her gym and her workouts. The girl on the right is strong. The girl on the right is proud.

Music, Reviews

Simply Complicated Review


I’ve never been a Demi Lovato fan. I’ve never had an interest and her music never really did anything for me. However, I’ve paid some attention to her struggles and honesty over the last few years. When I started to hear about her YouTube Documentary I knew I wanted to set time aside and check it out. I must admit I was surprised with her story. I had no idea how bad her drug use was and how young she was when it started. Yes, she abused drugs and alcohol, but she also dealt with depression and everything that comes along with it.

She starts the documentary off with a great quote. She said, “The key to being happy is to tell your truth and be okay without all the answers.” This hit me hard and is a big part of why I started this blog. I need to tell my truth. I need to, or I’ll spend my whole life avoiding it and hiding it. Being open is hard. Feeling vulnerable and exposed is hard, but it’s necessary. It helps. Being okay without all the answers can be a huge struggle, but it will bring you instant relief. She went on to say that love is necessary, and loneliness is brutal. I think she means love is necessary to get through life. We need it and we need to accept it. Brushing love off is so easy and at times is my first instinct. If you know me at all you know I don’t say those three little words often and when I do it feels extremely unnatural to me. My best friend in high school used to always yell, “Say it back!” I never would. It’s not that I don’t love the person that is saying it to me (however, if I don’t I’m for sure not saying it back) it’s that saying it back makes me feel like I’m accepting that they love me and I’m not sure I do. I’m not sure I believe it. Loneliness is brutal. It really is, and I don’t mean in the way of not having anyone in life. I mean the mental loneliness. The feeling of being in it alone. That loneliness will kill you.

She talked about her struggle with cocaine. This isn’t something I can relate to so it’s not something I’m going to talk about, but during this time and in life she dealt with depression. She talks about how she had anger issues and was difficult to be around. She slept all the time and she struggled with herself. She said it’s embarrassing to look back at the person that she was. I can relate to this 100%. Anger issues is something I don’t think a lot of people think about when it comes to depression, but it’s something I dealt with. I can 100% relate to her being embarrassed when she looks back at herself. I’m embarrassed of myself and the things I said and the way I acted and the things I did. I know now why I acted the way I did and why I reacted the way I did, but it’s still hard to look back on. She was on the verge of losing everything in life. That’s when she finally surrendered. She says, “You have to surrender because that’s when the change is going to happen.”

She went into a lot of her personal life and relationships. During the filming it was the one year anniversary of when her family lost her Great Grandma. She was crying, and her mom was crying. Obviously, I related to this. The short video she shared of her Grandma was so cute. She also went into her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama and how they mutually ended things. She knew she had issues that she needed to concur and that she wouldn’t be able to if she was relying on him to take care of her loneliness. I thought this was amazing and I thought she was incredibly strong to admit this. It’s SO easy to rely on someone else to make you whole. I can see how I easily could have done that. I believe a relationship can thrive and be so much stronger if you aren’t relying on the other person so heavily. You need to be happy and healthy on your own in many ways. If you aren’t it’s all going to bubble to the surface in some form, at some point.

Her team got her into working out and using the gym as an outlet. They said in the past she wouldn’t even agree to talk about the gym or listen to someone talk about it and now she’s there all the time. She said it really helps and she knows that she’d be in a dark place without it. I couldn’t have said this better myself. A lot of people don’t understand my commitment to the gym and this is a big part of it. Mentally I need it and mentally it works wonders for me. She talked about how it’s a form of meditation because she’s not focused on anything in her head. The time I spend at the gym is the only time of day I’m not stuck on whatever crap I’ve been obsessing over all day. I’m focused and determined. The only things I care about are getting through the workout, my form, the weight I’m lifting, the distance I’m running, etc. It is an amazing break from life.

The documentary went into how she’s on a dating app and was discussing some of the people she has been dating. This part was comical and made me laugh. One of the guys she had been seeing texted her saying, “We good?” and she texted back, “New phone who dis.” I died. Get it girl. Hahahaha She went into how she’s a confrontational person. She doesn’t like to play games and she’ll go right to you and say, “…there’s something going on here… something is up… are we?… what are we doing?… what’s going on?” Her and I are so similar here. I’m not playing games. Are we both feeling this? Yes? Okay, what does that mean? Who wants to waste time. Let’s get moving or move on.

I loved how strong of a person she is, but I don’t think her and I could ever be friends in real life. She’s very aggressive, confident, blunt, etc. We are too similar, and it would not end well. However, she goes to this monthly emo night they have in downtown LA. It’s basically a bunch of people our age that dance and sing to emo music from high school. I can get down with that every day. I did download her new album after watching this. She was recording it during the filming and there were a lot of songs I liked. I have to say I really like the album. It’s fun and sexy and makes me want to dance. I find myself fist pumping a few times in a “Yes, girl! Yes!” kind of way. If you’re going to give it a listen I recommend “Games”, “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Lonely.”

family, friends, Life, Weekend

Kuss Wedding Photos

One month ago, exactly I got to witness my friend and cousin marry her best friend. It was such a special day for both and one I’m so happy to have been a part of. She received the link to all her photos and of course I went through every single one of them. I love photos and wedding photos are the best! I can sit and look at total strangers wedding photos online over and over without shame. I grabbed some of the ones I really liked and figured I’d throw them into a post to share.

The below pics are some of my favorites of the girls getting ready.






I always love seeing the behind the scenes photos of the girls getting ready. This is the first wedding I’ve ever been in and I would have to admit that the photos always look way calmer and more glamorous than what is going on. I just remember rushing around, borrowing makeup, touching up my makeup, putting lipstick on myself and my sister, touching up other bridesmaid’s makeup, trying not to get any makeup on myself or others, spraying all the hair spray and deodorant, putting Kaitlin’s veil on, putting Adeline’s tiara back in, making sure everyone’s bags were packed for when we were ready to leave, fixing my cousins curls, fixing my friends hair, getting dressed, having the photographer walk in when I was basically naked (that’s fun) and trying to stay calm while keeping an eye on the clock. I think we all thought two hours was going to be a lot of time, but we quickly realized it in fact was not. Rushing, rushing, rushing, but I must admit it was fun and exciting. I definitely lean towards the girly side of things when it comes to getting ready. The best part about going out IS getting ready. However, I forgot to put perfume on this day and it’s something I still think about.


That’s just me running down the aisle. Literally. We had just gone over what speed to walk and then nope I just booked it. However, I like that you can still see my Dad’s smirk. I almost walked TO him and my mom. Let’s just say being in a room full of people that are looking at only me even if it’s for less than a minute is my idea of hell. I’m pretty sure my dad could see that written all over my face.




Addie peaking around the bridesmaids is the cutest! She did such a good job. The below photo of John is my favorite of him. John just looks happy. I can’t explain why, but this one is the best of him. I love the one of the guys goofing off while we waited for pictures to wrap up at the church. You can dress them up… haha



This next photo is just a picture of me hugging the crap out of my friend, cousin, coach, etc who I used to see almost every day and no longer do. I miss(ed) her and love this photo of us. And one of my sister looking extra cute.



I love this one of Kaitlin. You see relief and happiness all over her face.


Group shots!





Beautiful women! I love these photos and will cherish them forever.



I wish I knew what was so funny here and what the hell was causing me to make that face. I love that Kaitlin is still perfectly posed for photos though. Now for the fun ones!




I look crazy in that photo, but that literally sums up mine and John’s relationship. haha Laughing at all things.



This photo KILLS me hahahahaha we went from hugging to busting a SERIOUS move.


Safe to say… we all had a blast. One month down for you two 2343984309284930 more to go.


friends, Life, Random Thoughts, Weekend

Weekend 43 : Currently


Before I started this blog I knew I wanted to have some reoccurring posts planned for every week. Reoccurring posts like this are some of my favorites to read on other blogs. They also help keep a schedule and are time savers. I remembered Elise Blaha Cripe used to do a monthly “currently” post. It was one of my favorite reoccurring posts she wrote (I miss her blog so much ughhh). I decided I would do something like this every Sunday to wrap up my weekend instead of writing a long winded post. Tracy over at Shutterbean wraps up her weeks with a Every Day Life post with lots of photos from her week. I decided to take a little of both of their ideas and make my own post for Sundays. I hope you enjoy my Sunday posts as much as I enjoyed reading Elise’s and now enjoy Tracy’s posts.

realizing I need to start wearing my winter pj pants to bed. The nights have gotten significantly colder and we don’t have the heat on yet. brrr!

enjoying my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe my mom baked this afternoon and not feeling an ounce of guilt about it. Balance, baby!

watching The Harvest Wedding on the Hallmark Channel. Sometimes I’m a sucker for a good chick flick you guys, but this leading man… really?

looking forward to next Saturday’s plans with Nikki.

listening to all the music right now and paying close attention to the lyrics that are hitting close to home.

feeling jealous of how close to the Montour Trail Maddy is, but happy we got a six mile walk in on Saturday. Walking and talking with friends might be my favorite.

hunting for the perfect motorcycle jacket with gold zippers, the right length and fit. this might be the hardest hunt… ever.

deciding to have a better week mentally than I did last week.

crossing my fingers that the rain doesn’t start until after I get to work and then stops long enough for me to walk back to my car tomorrow. I really hate taking the T you guys.

planning my next two months worth of weekends full of friends and fun outings.

wishing you a great week!


Maid of Honor


I barely remember a time in my life when Julia wasn’t in it and I’m certain my sister and brother can’t. When I received her official card in the mail asking me to be her maid of honor I was beaming. The card was perfect for us and I was honored to accept. I can’t imagine seeing someone else stand beside her on her special day and I can’t wait to help her get there.

I could go on and on in this short post about our friendship, but I can’t give everything away. After all I have a speech to prepare over the next year. Julia is more than my best friend. She’s my family. She’s been there for me when through deaths in the family, when I needed to cry over a boy, accomplishments, birthdays, happy moments, vacations, concerts, etc. She’s been involved in more of my family holidays than I can count. She’s my best friend. We can talk every day and see each other all the time or go days without a text or weeks without seeing each other and it makes no difference to our friendship.

I’m so incredibly happy she found Martin and that he’s such a great person. I can’t wait to help them start their life together and watch them grow together in the years to come.


Depression, friends, Random Thoughts

Self Critical


We all have an inner critic. Some of us have a stronger one than others. Some of us just barely have one, but either way it’s there. I can tell you that mine is rock hard strong and comes out at every chance it gets. Sometimes it’ll knock the wind right out of me. It can come out over the strangest things. Things nobody would think twice about. Things I shouldn’t think twice about. Things that aren’t even real. Things I try to push aside, but can’t because I don’t have a handle on it. One of my biggest fears and something that really bothers me is feeling or looking stupid. When I say stupid I mean actually stupid, embarrassed, foolish, vulnerable, etc. Sure, these are things none of us like to feel, but I work my life around not feeling them.

There are times when I’m walking down the street and I’ll play out in my head tripping over something on the sidewalk and how embarrassed I would feel if that happened. I’ll figure out how I would recover from that embarrassment and what my next step would be. I’ll replay it and replay it until I’m done walking or someone or something distracts my mind. Sometimes I’ll play out a situation that could happen with me in a room full of people or at the office that would be mortifying and I’ll sit and hope and pray it doesn’t happen and worry that it will because I thought about it. This probably isn’t normal and feeling this embarrassment and shame over something that’s not even real is embarrassing (there’s that word again) to admit. In fact, it’s not something I’ve ever admitted or even talking about.

I talked in my depression posts about how I don’t like to not know what I’m doing or to have to ask questions. This goes back to that. I recently started a new job and the first few months of a new job can be hard for me. I want to be perfect right away. I struggle with wanting to be the best at everything I’m doing immediately. When I’m not perfect or I make mistakes my inner critic comes out in full force. When I make mistakes, I can’t help but feel as if everyone around me is thinking or talking about how dumb I am. I replay a mistake over and over in my head and wonder how I could have avoided making that mistake and how to never do it again. When my coworkers talk about people in other offices being dumb I get nervous. I hate hearing them say things like that because I associate myself with these dumb people.

I guess I’m different in the way that I criticize myself. Sure, I criticize my body and there are things I don’t like, but I criticize my mind and my abilities more than anything. I struggle with feeling smart enough or educated enough or capable of doing things. I’m always doubting myself. I worry about everything and if it’ll make me look foolish. I was brought up to not care about what people think and for the most part I don’t. However, when I criticize myself so severally it doesn’t matter what other people think or don’t think because I’m already thinking it myself.

This is something I realize I need to work on and probably should bring up in therapy. This is a reason I spend every night in the gym. A few weeks ago, I sent an invoice to the wrong client and they emailed our AR email back saying it wasn’t their invoice. I was so embarrassed because the whole team saw my mix up. I was even more humiliated when my boss emailed me to say I needed to pay close attention. Sure, it was JUST AN EMAIL, but it ruined my entire day and left me feeling shame to the highest degree. Shame over an EMAIL that my coworkers probably didn’t even notice because we get hundreds of emails. The shame followed me home and stuck with me for hours and it wasn’t until I started my work out that I was able to clear it form my mind.

I need to cut myself some slack. I need to remind myself that people make mistakes. We all have bad days. Things happen and we move on from them. It’s not possible to go into every new situation and know exactly what to do or how to perform. You won’t be perfect at anything and you don’t need to be. You might fall on your face in front of a block of people, but who cares? You don’t know them. Get up, brush yourself off and keep walking. Now, if I could just get this message through to my inner critic that would be great.


Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K Run


I’ve never been a runner. I never ran a full mile in gym class growing up. I never thought I could. Up until a year ago I never actually had. Running a 5k has always been something I’ve thought about doing. When I got the email from the Mario Lemieux foundation announcing this years 6.6k run I knew I had to sign up. I didn’t put much thought into it. I registered real quick at work and it was done. I couldn’t take it back. It was something I didn’t share with anyone. My family didn’t even know until Saturday that I was running. That’s how I like to do things. I don’t like the questions and the attention. I don’t want the advice and suggestions. I like to do things on my own in my own way and check things off my list by myself.


It was important to me to run this first race on my own and that’s part of the reason I didn’t tell anyone. Yes, running with someone can be great motivation, but it can also feel like competition. I don’t want to compete with anyone. The only person I’m competing with is myself and that’s how I like it. So, I woke up at 6 o’clock yesterday morning, had a protein bar, drank some water, got dressed, brushed my teeth and headed downtown. Traffic was pretty heavy, but after attending so many Penguin games in the years past I know how to get through it. I parked in the garage and to the starting line I went. I was a little nervous because doing new things on your own is always scary. A few years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing something like that on my own. Now I just throw myself into new situations and get over it. I actually had to ask one of the volunteers if I needed to do anything before going to the starting line, because I have never done any type of run or walk. Thankfully, she was very nice and didn’t think I was an idiot. haha

I placed myself in between the 9:30 and 10:00 min/mile groups. I wanted to put myself in the 11 min/mile section, but I’m glad I didn’t. I have the tendency to tell myself I’m not as good as I am and that I can’t do things. I stood around with the other runners and waited for the sound of the gun and off we went. I’m so glad I looked to my right before crossing the start line. Seeing 66 at the very beginning was extra fun. I didn’t even hit the 1/2 mile mark and I was already smiling. There was a little boy with his dad on the sidewalk giving everyone high fives. He was so excited and proud. It was awesome and made me feel amazing. After the 1 mile mark and crossing the bridge to station square Paul Coffey was waiting for us with the Stanley Cup! Talk about exciting… running your first race and having the Stanley Cup there to cheer you on. My legs felt great and my breathing was better than usual. I was focusing on breathing through my nose. I’m not very good at it and because of that I can get some killer cramps, but I’m happy to say I didn’t get any this race!


I figured I’d probably stop and walk in the middle of this run, but once I got started I made a decision to not walk. It was the one goal I had. I didn’t care what my time was or how long it took me I had to keep running. I was passing people, people were passing me, but it didn’t matter. We were all in it together. I noticed at the 3 mile mark that I was well ahead of the man running with the 10:00 min/mile sign. That was an exciting moment for me because I thought for sure I was going to fall behind that. Running with such a large group of people was so motivating and fun. The whole race went pretty quick and seeing that finish line was an awesome feeling. I remember seeing the clock and just picking up my speed because I didn’t want to go over the next minute and I didn’t. I didn’t know that Mario Lemieux stood at the finish line and high-fived everyone. Let’s just say I was SO excited! I got that high-five and almost forgot to grab my medal because of it. haha

Growing up we never watched a lot of sports in my house. The only sport I remember being on TV was hockey and eventually there was a small Nascar moment. For whatever reason hockey was something I’ve always enjoyed watching. It might be because it was one of the few times I saw my Dad excited as a kid. Mario was someone and is someone I’ve always admired. He had an amazing career and could have had an even better one minus the cancer and back issues. He fought through all of it and never once gave up. At one point his back was such a mess he had to have his skates tied for him, but he went out and performed on the ice every night. You don’t find that drive and hard work in everyone. I could write an essay about 66, but I think I got my point across. Running the 6.6k for my very first run just felt like the perfect decision. I try to donate to the foundation as much as possible and this was an extra special way for me to donate.

Crossing that finish line felt amazing. Someone that could never run a mile ran 4.1 miles. This was a big milestone for me and a huge motivator. I can’t wait to sign up for more races. I can’t wait to push myself and to see how far I can go. Our bodies are capable of anything we just need to put the work in to get them there. Yesterday was awesome and I’m really proud of myself. I can’t wait to see what’s next!