Thursday, May 26, 2011

Job Day 1 RECAP!

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The first day of anything is going to be hard, exciting, exhilarating, tiring, overwhelming, and so fun all at the same time. My first day at Noodles and Co. was ALL of the above. I felt like I was wide-eyed and running around like a chicken with my head cut off the entire time. Believe me when I say, I am usually a very competent person who can learn new skills very quickly- but this was extremely quick. 

I am not exaggerating when I say I was pretty much thrown into the thick of the lunch hour (11-1) delivering food and garnishing plates! I will never under-appreciate food service ever again- after seeing how much care and detail goes into every plate, every customer and every order! Although it was fast and extremely different than any job I have ever done before- it was also pretty fun! I was constantly doing something- moving behind the counter, delivering plates, cleaning up, interacting with guests, and learning about the food prepared. The three hour shift FLEW by in no time at all!

My lesson of the day- things are going to challenge me in life. New and different opportunities only give me the chance to grow, to learn, and to interact with unique individuals. A priceless experience if you ask me.

In other news- my younger (13 year old) brother is now taller than me. When did this happen? When did my little boy start growing into a man? I just can't wait until I come home next year mid-semester and his voice starts cracking and he is taking girls on dates- boy, that will be scary.

Scary how time flies, huh? Take advantage of it- don't waste a single minute. Spend time with your family. Sit down on a thursday night to a family meal at Olga's, a trip to Best Buy, and the Justin Bieber movie in the living room. It's days like these that make the mundane aspects of life so special.

Day 2 of work tomorrow- hopefully I will be working the cash register during the night shift! Wish me luck- RECAP to follow. Also, I am in charge of the house for the weekend... first time ever! :)

Happy Friday- Memorial Day Weekend!

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


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CHANGE is on the horizon! Yes, I am saying that with a smile :) It's so hard for me to embrace change- but I think it is time to shake things up a little bit! Feedback would be greatly appreciated!

I have loved writing for the past few months about bits of random, inspiring thoughts that drift into my head, but I am going to try to change the aim of my blog to enjoying inspiration in everyday activities- making the blog more relatable, journal-like, and fun to read! Side-note: More pictures will be included- I am excited to start sharpening my photography skills! That also means that I have to spend time enjoying and appreciating the inspiring things that happen in my life- another plus!

I encourage you to do the same, learn to acknowledge how you are inspired every day- and share it with me in my comments section at any time!

So... what happened today you ask?

I got up to my usual breakfast of coffee and animal crackers (not super nutritious, but kind of a routine), did some light treadmill walking (watching the OC re-runs makes exercise so much easier) and got ready for a day at the office!

Exercise, even light walking always makes me feel better in the morning! It clears my head and revs up the metabolism!

Then I headed into the Women's Lifestyle Magazine office (my summer internship) to work on final edits and layout! 

It really made me think about how all of our hard work (even my hard work on the events calendar) came together to make something awesome!

The last eventful part of my day- the puppy finally walked around the block with her leash! Her training is going slowly, but she inches along every day and seeing her walk behind me on a leash is definitely inspiring!

I will leave you with some pictures of Women's Lifestyle Magazine as some inspiration- anything you want to achieve is in your grasp, all you have to do is reach for it.

ps. Tomorrow is my first day of work at Noodles & Co.- I am sure there will be some pictures and inspiration to come!

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13


Monday, May 23, 2011

Time to... Let go.

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One of the hardest things for me to do in life is let go. I have a hard time accepting the fact that I can't control every aspect of my life. I have a hard time admitting that life doesn't have to be perfect... in fact,

it's the combination of imperfections in life that make it so beautiful.

Why is this? Why do so many broken and disfigured things in life fit together to make something so beautiful? I think it's because beauty is unexpected- when broken things fit, even though you don't expect them to... something about the pair is perfect. Perfect because the combination defies the odds. Perfect because the combination transforms the ordinary.

So what am I learning to let go? I am learning to let go of the fear of not being good enough.

I am learning that I don't have to be 'good enough'- whatever I am is already perfect through my imperfections. How is that for a beautiful contradiction?

I went to my first Yoga lesson today- Hot Yoga! Here's a quick synopsis:
1. It was hott- I mean really hott.
2. I didn't know my body could produce that much sweat in such a short period of time.
3. It gave a me an incredible chance to reflect and sort through some random internal thoughts.
4. It allowed me to realize that I constantly tell myself that I am never good enough- that I will never be able to 'live up' to those around me.
5. It was truly a great hour of stimulating exercise and relaxation.

You know how they say you never regret exercise after you do it- completely true. So today in Yoga, I learned that I need to tackle my fear of imperfection- I need to learn to let go.

And then, I came home and played with the puppy.. a photo for your enjoyment.

What do you need to let go in life? What is holding you back?

"For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace."
1 Corinthians 14:33


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doggy Break.

Pin It Now! Oh my goodness, it has truly been a while since I updated! 

I apologize for my lack of inspiration this past week... the new puppy in our household in combination with a garage sale, starting a new job, and work for my magazine internship has kept me quite busy!

Here it goes...

"Sometimes, you have to draw your own wings."

How do differentiate dreams and reality? 

It's no secret that life is hard. We want to believe that good things will happen to us just because or that things are bound to go our way if we can just consider ourselves good people. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we seldom just get handed something we want. 

We have to work at success and happiness. We have to make our own luck and goodwill.

My inspiration for you is this- Good things can happen... if you make them happen. If you work for what you want, if you put your heart and soul into your desires, things may just go your way. 

You have to draw your own angel wings in life to be successful. You have to believe that you are a beautiful creation. You have to believe in your capabilities, your talents, and your strengths.

You have to believe you can fly.

"I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day. Spread my wings and fly away. I believe I can soar. I see me running through that open door."


Saturday, May 14, 2011

LIFE Update.

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Sometimes we just need a little love... and a LIFE update.
Meet Addie- the newest addition to the O'Connor family.

Yes, I think I have fallen in love.

In case you didn't guess- we got a new puppy this afternoon! She is an 8 weeks old female maltese with a little bit of shih tzu. She is absolutely adorable. She is such a cuddler and has taken to all the members of my family. She just loves to be in people's arms... if you put her down, she just runs right back to you :)

Sometimes life has a way of surprising you.
Sometimes life has a way of making you smile.
It's days like these that make me realize the beauty of life.

We have never been a dog family. In fact, I never thought I would see the day that we had a dog in our life. But it happened- can I blink now?

But isn't that what makes life so exciting? The unpredictable, awesome, unexpected days and events that truly bring a smile to our faces. I am usually not one for surprises... but this surprise has truly been so exciting.

Embrace life's little surprises... you never know when a puppy may waltz into your life. :)

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Matthew 24:42


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bicycle Wheels Turning.

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Do you ever get so caught up in life that you forget that it keeps moving? Do you get lost in individual moments- forgetting that they all string together in one cohesive unit that we call life?

No matter what we may want- time doesn't stop. 
Life moves all around us.
Sometimes we just have to keep moving. Sometimes we just have to realize that moving is what keeps us sane. Moving helps life make sense.

Moving, enduring life, recognizing pain and hardship, and struggling through hard times makes life great. When I think of the times in life where I feel most balanced, I can't pinpoint specific moments or days. I think of periods of times, months or years of great moments and memories.

I think of lengths of prosperity.

Could it be true that moving- acknowledging life as a continuous struggle- helps us feel strong, healthy, and successful? Because we accept that we can't stop time, we realize that moving is simply more beneficial. 

I encourage you to think of life as a continuous movement of both great and awful moments. Sure, there are periods of life that are going to suck. But there are also periods of life that are going to make you feel like you are floating on clouds.

It's important that we remember that moving forward in life is natural. Moving forward helps us grow.

"The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”
Job 17:9


Monday, May 9, 2011

Miles Apart.

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Isn't it crazy how we can grow so close to people even when we are far apart? What is it about distance that makes the heart grow fonder?
I am not going to say my friendships are perfect. I am not the perfect best friend. I do not give 110% to strengthen all my relationships... yet there are people in my life that I don't always need to be in contact with- yet, the friendship just still works. I am so thankful for friends. I am so thankful that I can keep friends over distance and time. It's a rare, beautiful thing.

It's the people in my life that I can laugh with over coffee. It's the people in my life who can 'catch me up' on their lives over brunch. It's the people in my life 
who know me best... 
who have seen me in my most awkward moments... 
who appreciate my quirks...
who believe in my beauty...
who love me exactly the way I am...
that I am most thankful for.

College is hard. For the first time, I left the people I have known and loved for over ten years. I left the comfort of the familiar for something completely unknown. I left my friends in search of others who could somehow fill an empty void. (And for someone who considers making new friends kind of a challenge, believe me... college was like the awkward first day of kindergarten all over again). 

It's strange to think of the place I am at right now. I am blessed enough to have great friends in my life- in two places. I am still in touch with a few of my closest friends from high school (who I know I couldn't live without), and being apart for such a long time may have just made us closer. I also have new college friends... who I had to say goodbye to for a whole summer. The most awkward part of the situation- the two groups don't really collide. So where do I find myself now?

I guess I am in some sort of limbo. But in spite of this limbo- I am going to be extremely thankful for the friends God has blessed me with. How did I get so lucky to have such incredible people in my life?

Thank you all. You have made life worth living.

"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
John 15:13


Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Features!

Pin It Now! Hello There!

Do you like the new layout/design/and pages?

Be sure to check out my NEW 'About Me' and FAQ pages!

Have any questions? Want to contribute an idea? Email me at with the subject line 'I Saw Your Blog' or leave a comment on the page!


Mother's Day Love

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Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.  ~ Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I am truly blessed with one of the most incredible mothers (and grandmothers) out there.

My mother means the world to me.I got to surprise her this morning with a few of her favorite goodies on the kitchen table before she took off for a volleyball tournament with my sister. It made me so happy when she said "yay, I get to wake up to a little pile of presents this morning." (She always makes little piles for us when we wake up on special occasions and it was nice to surprise her for once). 
My mom and I are so alike in so many ways- she really is my best friend. I couldn't imagine life without her. She has taught me everything- and inspires me to be the person I am.
Some people even think we look alike... :)
What has your mother done in your life? No matter what role they play or how they have influenced you... a mother's presence in a child's life is invaluable.
I love being emotional with my mommy- I love seeing her tear up and them tearing up alongside her when she reads my cards. It makes me realize exactly how important she is in my life.
Reach out to your mother today- and if she isn't here, know that she is looking down on you with a glowing smile and an open heart. Let her know how thankful you are that she raised you- and tell her that her love can move mountains.
"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finding the Right Fit.

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Life is a constant search for the perfect fit. We look for where we feel comfortable in life: the job that comes easy, the people that make us feel at ease, the places that seem natural.

But is there really such thing as a perfect fit?

I believe that life is one big puzzle. We try to fit the different pieces and parts of our life together in perfect combination. We expect the different aspects of our life to connect. And when they don't, we get upset when a piece seems out of place.
I am scared of the things in my life not connecting. I am scared of the relationships in my life not meshing. I am scared that the pieces of my life won't make sense together.

Why do we have these fears? What makes an imperfect puzzle so awful? Why are we so scared that pieces may be missing or the wrong size? Why can't I have faith that things will work out even if the pieces don't fit together perfectly?

The truth is, the pieces aren't always supposed to fit together perfectly. Life is imperfect... but that's what makes it so beautiful. The fact that the all the pieces of our lives don't fit  may end up making the pieces fit after all.

The pieces fit because they don't fit. How's that for a contradiction? :)

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Everyone Needs Their Day

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Today was my sister's day. She took the day off from school after a doctor's appointment, chose our lunch destination, and emphasized that she was 'special' today. At first, I rolled my eyes. What makes today all about her- what makes her so special? Maybe I was jealous, maybe I craved a 'me' day... but the reality is, 

it's true

Everyone needs their day. Everyone needs a day to be the center of attention. Everyone needs a day to feel extremely special, loved, and appreciated. Everyone deserves a break from the mundane of everyday life.

Do you need a day devoted to you?

It's hard to take time for ourselves. It's hard to take time off from the things that overwhelm and stress us. It's hard to admit that taking a day to pamper ourselves could be extremely beneficial.

Why is it that we are often so selfish, but we also have a hard time giving ourselves a day off? We may just be obsessed with contradictions. It's not selfish to want a day off, it is normal and healthy. It is normal to crave attention, love, and respect. It's human nature to want to feel special.

So why not give in? Why not treat yourself to a special day? Take some time to relax, eat some good food, appreciate the beauty of life. It's important to do before it's too late. 

It's not being selfish as long as you don't put others at a disadvantage. It's being human.

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."
Proverbs 12:25


Monday, May 2, 2011

To Get & Give.

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We get to make a living; we give to make a life. 

- Winston Churchill

Why is it so hard to separate getting and giving? It is no secret that many of us are, by nature, extremely selfish and greedy. We seek the perfect material possessions to 'enhance' our lives. We convince ourselves that volunteering and providing something for others will make our own lives better. We expect thankfulness in return for good deeds. We give only to expect something given back to us in return.

What if we could change our perceptions on generosity? Is it possible to give solely for the good of others? Can we take ourselves entirely out of the equation?

I am guilty of thinking about myself... a lot. We all do it, consciously and unconsciously- we consider ourselves in every situation. How is this going to benefit/harm me? What can I do to ensure the most positive outcome... for me? Don't get me wrong- we have to think about ourselves, otherwise we would have no idea what we want in life. But what if we could switch the 'all about me' outlook off for a little while- to realize that helping others is about just that... helping others.

The picture above is so beautiful. The way it connects love, generosity, and hope, in the image of open hands. When we open our hands to others, we invite them in. We give away a piece of ourselves. We extend a helping hand motivated by love and compassion.

Can you choose to give without getting in return? Try to think about others today... learn to think about their position, see things in a new light, and be open to new perspectives. It may just be more beneficial than you think.

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
Luke 6:35


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thanks For The Memories

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I cannot even believe I I have finished my first year of college. It is almost unthinkable- do I really only have 3 years left of undergrad? Can I even imagine a life without schoolwork, tests, homework, papers, and exams?

Absolutely not.

Today- I thought about how important it is to revisit some of the most important parts of life. To remember what we went through, what we learned, what challenged us, and what made us better people.

This past year at U of M has been the most important, significant, and challenging period of my life. 

I wouldn't trade any minute of it. Here's a little of what I learned...

Making friends isn't always easy- but pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to let new people in is 100% worth it.

Studying doesn't always mean memorizing exactly what a professor tells you.

My success at school is completely up to me.

School isn't all about what I can learn in textbooks.

It is just as important to be involved with other people/activities on campus as it is to get good grades.

The people you meet in college can/will change your life.

Being independent is scary... but so much fun. :)

It's okay to let my hair down and relax.

A successful night can mean dancing with my sisters and gossiping about cute boys or staying in and watching Hulu re-runs.

I'm really picky when it comes to boys/relationships (a blessing and a curse?).

What have you learned the past year? What have you found out about yourself? What has pushed you/pulled you/tempted you-- and how have you risen to the occassion?

"Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord."

Psalm 27:14

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