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underwater sunshine (or what i did on my summer vacation)

Posted in Living, Travel by

Where do these summers go?! For the second year in a row, the summer was jam packed in the best way, but it absolutely flew by. If I wasn’t spending afternoons by the pool, I was jetsetting somewhere every week, it seemed – it’s pretty amazing to finally be living the kind of life I really want. Here’s a quick recap of the summer:




I started the summer off with two trips to the water – first to see Dani in Boston, then down to the Florida beach with my family. There is nothing I love more than being on the beach and cooking in the sun with the people I love most, so this was a really great way to kick the year off (and a good indicator of exactly how busy I would end up being)!


IMG_2754IMG_2752Even though I made it a point not to travel out of state in July, I still managed to pack the month full. Hands down, Outlaw Roadshow was one of the best days of music I’ve ever been lucky to see, and the surprise Counting Crows set to close out the night didn’t hurt matters any. I went hiking to some waterfalls with some of my best friends to celebrate my Nashversary, and spent many afternoons napping by various pools throughout the city.


IMG_4124.JPGIMG_4121.JPGIn early August, I finally moved to Nashville proper after a year of commuting from the burbs, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the new place (no matter how stressful and time consuming moving ended up being.) Before I set off on another big trip, I finally got to see one of my bucket list bands when I saw Gin Blossoms play two shows in one night. No one will ever be able to tell me any differently – they are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I really had a great night. CF and Sixx came with me, and it was pretty nice to not be there alone!

The next morning, I flew to Montreal for my company retreat. Even though I have “known” my co-workers for almost a year, it was nice to meet in person for real, do some heavy bonding, and exchange treats with friends!

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September has been a really great way to end the summer. Over Labor Day, some friends from Charlottesville came to visit, and I had friends from college staying with me as well. It was a busy weekend for sure, but super fun to get out and sing some karaoke again (and have a band full of boys to buy me drinks all weekend :))

After that, I made a last-minute trip back home to the mitten. My best friend had her baby, and I was just homesick for water. Turns out the 10 hour drive isn’t so bad, especially when the trip back is broken up with visits to wineries and dinners with Sixx!

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Last week saw what I consider the most wonderful time of the year – Americanafest in Nashville! A full week of my favorite kinds of music, plus panels and meetings with some of the smartest and most talented folks in the industry. A co-worker came into town for the event, and we exhibited during the conference and at night, I ran from venue to venue checking out showcases and discovering new loves. (I managed to make it to seven Nashville venues in one evening, which felt like a world record.)

In the middle of all that craziness, because I wasn’t getting enough music or activity – I flew to Denver to see Counting Crows for the third time this summer at Red Rocks. It was really otherwordly – Red Rocks is like nothing else, and I can’t recommend going there enough.


Pairing Americanafest with Red Rocks and a comedy show at Zanies in Nashville on Friday night, I ended up seeing shows at ten different venues in 2 states within 48 hours. That is definitely some kind of record.

I have one more trip to Raleigh next week, then off to Cincinnati in mid-October, but other than that and Thanksgiving, my travel looks to be done for the year. So, yeah! It’s been a really great summer. I am so lucky to be able to get to do these amazing things and hang out with such great people. If only this summer heat could last forever, I’d be all set…

September 19, 2015

You Are Too Big To Fail.

Posted in Living by

you are too big to fail.

At the beginning of the year, I set one goal for myself: that I was going to find a new job and move out of Virginia. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, to be honest. I had been applying for jobs for over a year already, and had only gotten one interview. I also wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to move, so a lot of those applications were sort of half-hearted. So in March when Sixx moved to Nashville, it helped me to focus my search on one city and by the end of the summer, here I was.

I had a dream and a plan, and I broadcast it so publicly that I had to make it happen. It was too big to fail.


It wasn’t easy and there have definitely been some major potholes along the way, but I’m starting to really buy into all the dream it/do it manifestation stuff, because it’s really happening for me now. (I say this all very cautiously, because I’m a very superstitious person and I remain convinced that everything will fall apart at any minute 😉 but I think the positivity thing is paying off. Being positive, deciding to be happy, and setting achievable goals are all helping me continue the forward motion I’m on and inspiring me to keep planning and making a push to have the life I want for myself.

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Am I struggling right now? Yeah, a little. But I decide every morning now to be happy and make the best of my day, and that helps too.

You should set goals that are Too Big To Fail, too. Find an accountability partner (hayyyy, Athena!). Force yourself to donate $1 for every time you say something mean about someone. Apply it to anything: a fitness goal, finding a new job, finances, moving to your dream city. When you find something that sets your heart on fire, you’re able to follow through and execute your dreams.

And if banks are too big to fail, you sure as hell are too.

How do you accomplish your big dreams?

October 20, 2014

Reflections on Two Years in Charlottesville

Posted in Personal by

Today I’m moving into my new place in Nashville, and on my drive out of Virginia, I got a little emotional. Honestly – I hadn’t expected to be. While I liked my job, I never felt like I fit into the city: full of old moneyed retired University employees and students who kept to themselves, I always felt out of place as a transplant from thirteen hours away with no family, friends, or other connection to the area. And while I honestly don’t feel that sad about leaving, there are a few things I learned and some things I’ll miss that I’m very glad to have gotten to experience.

When I first moved to Charlottesville, I lost a lot of things. Sixx broke up with me two weeks after I landed in the city – I wasn’t even fully unpacked and I was in no way settled. I wasn’t sure I could survive that one more upheaval, but that was the the thing that really drove me to the gym. The only way to stop thinking about it was to spend hours in the gym, from the pool to the treadmill to the bikes. If I had been anywhere else during the breakup (at home I would have been in the bars every night; in Charlottesville coming off of a move that big, I couldn’t afford it and didn’t have anyone to go out with) my grief would have taken a much different form.

Obviously I developed a lot career-wise as well. I got ticketing experience I never would have, which helped me figure out what my ultimate dream job will be. I got interested in working in sports and looking at the sports industry from a business/marketing perspective, and there’s a lot to be learned from that world.

I’ve always been an independent person – being totally on your own forces you into a new kind of self-sufficient living you didn’t realize was possible. Hit a deer at 2:30am and have no one to call? You figure out what to do real quick. Bought a bed and have to transport, carry to the second floor, and assemble solo? Beast mode.

I loved my job and it was very hard to leave, but my life wasn’t sustainable. It’s one thing to be alone and choose to isolate yourself (which I am pretty well known for) but it’s another to be alone because you don’t have a choice.

I ate a lot of yummy burgers. And of course, I will miss Pedal Steel the most.


Timing is a funny thing. Exactly two years before my last day, I sent off my application for a job I didn’t think I really had a shot at. After three interviews and having only visited once (for about twenty hours,) I got the offer on August 22, my grandfather’s birthday. I packed up my Corolla and drove off to this city far away, full of optimism and excitement.

Even though I would rate my time there as a 4/10, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’m glad I had the experience of moving somewhere completely alone, knowing no one, and bringing no one. It’s the hardest thing I will ever do… and I never want to do it again.

August 1, 2014

so long, astoria

Posted in Living, Money, Personal, Travel by

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. A brief recap:

June 20-21: jumped on Sixx’s tour, where I hit a deer driving home (and got a speeding ticket in the mail. I now hate the entire state of Maryland and never want to visit Hagerstown again.) 

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June 26-29: visited friends in Nashville, interviewed for a job.


July 2-7: drove home to Michigan to exchange cars with my mom so my car could be repaired (it’s a long story as to why it has to be fixed up there, but at least I got to visit.) Spent quality time with Sixx again, went to a party in a lake (living the dream for a Michigan girl,) did some shopping with the family. I could say so much about this trip, it was EXACTLY what I needed, and we went back to our “ground zero” for the first time. I had always said that the only way I could go back was if he was with me, but I never thought the timing of us in the city again would work, but we were, and so we went. I’m very glad for that.

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And looking forward, I’m heading back to Nash for a conference from July 15-20, then August 6-12 I will be back in Sevierville for family vacation. I will be thankful when summer is over simply because I feel like I live in my car now.


Which brings me to today: I was offered that position in Nashville, so I’m moving at month-end. I’ll have a week of family vacation between ending and starting dates, and I’m extremely panicked. About everything. But I’m trying to stay positive.

So now I’m a pile of nerves and plans and stress and sleepless nights, and second-guesses about everything. This is what anxiety does to you – it looks at the good things happening in your life and tries to strip them from you. “Sixx is on the road texting all these other girls, he’s just using you.” “You’re never going to be able to afford to move, much less live on your own in Nashville.” “You don’t deserve this job.” Anxiety just robs you of finding joy in great things, so I’m struggling moment to moment, but I’m managing. Today I’m excited, and this is the longest I have been excited without a moment of panic in the last two weeks, so I’m counting it as a win.

Any packing advice? It’s not an area I excel in by any means, regardless of how often I’ve done it!
July 11, 2014