Best Tuesday Ever!!

Every time I saw a past coworker of mine, I would say, “having the best Tuesday (or whatever day it may have been) ever?!” He proceeded to reply, “Kerigan, I have never had a good Tuesday. Who has good Tuesdays?”

Woooah, excuse me? I was literally saddened for him because he didn’t know the extraordinariness that each day holds. He waited for the weekend to have his “best day ever”. I suppose many do that but no, not I. Never ever I.

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Maybe it’s because of Yelp-dates that made me fall in love with using weekdays to go on adventures with friends. I’m thinking so. In addition to a not-your-typical definition of health, that internship has given me one of my favorite little delights that now transforms my weeks into continual bliss: weekday plans.

For roughly eight months, I’ve made it a priority to not wait around for the weekend to make good memories. I’m naturally a planner so when I have an open slot in my schedule, I aim to use spend that time with as many friends or fam members as I can. It was initially an internship obligation but now, I can’t imagine my life without Tuesday night plans.

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Weekday fun allows me to stay connected with so many different friends and especially, that one on one time that I value so much. It gives me a concrete thing to look forward to and my weeks no longer seem to lag. Although absolutely nothing is wrong with it, I am thankful that watching tv is not appealing to me. Give me allllll the face time after a full day of work, please!

Last week was happy hour, youth group, ice cream and a volunteer function. This week, it’s dinner, bible study, a speaker event and seeing my little cousin steal the show in a musical. This isn’t including my weekends where I saw and am going to see endless more beautiful faces. Good golly, I love the weekdays. Bonus points if I’m on heelys. Duhhhh.

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I easily say “best Tuesday ever” just as much as “best Saturday ever”. I hope you do too. Oh and that former coworker ended up being the one to initiate “best Tuesday ever!” in no time. It’s contagious, I suppose!

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Saturday Satisfaction #9

Last night, I was at a concert of sorts. A tribute band for The Rolling Stones ended the parking lot party night with “Satisfaction”. That caused flashbacks to my first Saturday Satisfaction post 27 months ago hahahHA.

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So here’s a roundup of current satisfaction in my life! Thank you most dearly, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart. And last night’s cover band.

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EMPLOYMENT! I’ve been working since I was 15 but this is my first post-grad gig that is getting my career rolling. Two days after my most recent post where I was in the ‘what’s coming next for me because I’m clueless and life is changing a mile a minute’ mindset, I accepted a job! I’m working for a public relations agency that specializes in the food, beverage and restaurant scene so it’s theeee most perfect fit for my skills and interests. I practically dropped my phone yesterday when I received emails from very well known national publications that I now work with. CRAZINESS.

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This music video. And that song. I still make CDs for my car about once a month. People make fun of me for not adapting to newer technology but there’s just something so charming about hearing a CD load in my car! In addition to Thomas Rhett, Demi Lovato and Rend Collective, I’ve been listening to (and watching) alllll the Johnnyswim. They’re one crazy talented married couple and it’s a tough task to not smile while watching them interact.

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Pumpkin Almond Butter BarsIf you make one pumpkin recipe this fall season, let it be this!! But don’t limit yourself because I’ve been getting a second pumpkin serving from these muffins and they’re straight from heaven. Whenever I bite into the PAB bars during the months of September/ October/November, I think, ‘whyyyohwhy do I not make these year-round?’.

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This podcast episode. (Apologies to everyone I’ve ever been in a Bible study with because I know I talk about Father Mike too too much hehe). This recorded homily will renew all sorts of vibrancy within you and change your outlook on how you see every single human being you encounter…scouts honor!!…I think that means, “I promise”? I listened to it while getting ready yesterday morning and literally quoted him when I was at a bar last night. His messages and the ease of application to daily life are flawless!!

 

 

Friends. I just love ’em and am undeserving of so many amazing people in my life. My favorite part about moving (and now, staying!!) home is undoubtedly reconnecting with faces I haven’t seen since Merry Slabmas. Aka the holiday I made up in order to have a bunch of high school friends over during the Christmas season. Tip 1: invent your own holidays. Tip 2: invite people and watch their excitement reach new heights. Works like a charm! 

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This camo jacket. I’ve been crushing hard on this. And that only intensified when I spotted Amanda from Jonnyswim wearing a similar one in the pic above. Swoooon.

I hope this Saturday is the best Saturday of your life!! xoxo

180.

My life has taken a 180.

In the past week, I had plenty o’ life chats, a phone call with my college advisor, updated my uncle in the grocery store checkout line, filled in my best friend’s parents in the light fixture aisle of a hardware store and had a past internship supervisor laughing at my unpredictable life (see the convo below). Accompanied by scrolling through job postings, browsing apartment rates in another city if I were to move and interviewing with a PR agency on Friday when I was sitting in chemistry class four days prior.

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The plan was in place for me to pursue dietetics in graduate school and I was on track. But that plan is crumbled up and drop kicked into the past. Byyyye! My textbooks and goggles are on a shelf I can’t reach in my closet. Any takers? They’re all yours!

There were many factors in changing up my career goals. To sum it up concisely, I was not following my natural skills, the social and financial sacrifices of five more years of school were no bueno, I don’t want to talk about food all day every day and my intuition was telling me to run back into the arms of public relations. So that’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing. And I thank God that I have a degree in this field.

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Nutrition (including perfectly balanced macronutrient charcuterie boards with this girl!) is very much so still an interest of mine. As excited as I was to potentially have my own private practice to counsel people, I’m a-OK that this is no longer a possibility. I don’t foresee my philosophy on food as I shared in thisthis and this post changing. Neither do I plan to stop reading blogs, books and research to gain more knowledge, listening to insightful podcasts from credentialed folks and volunteering in this space.

However, this interest is just a single item on my list of not nutrition hyper-focused hobbies. Like taking walks with friends, third wheeling with my favorite couple at a baseball game, reading about living creatively (this book is PHENOMENAL!!), jumping on the trampoline with the kids I babysit and editing my cousin’s business plan…entrepreneurship gets me all kinds of excited! Far more than honeycrisp apples that are back in season and any other anti-inflammatory foods that are merely a means to get you living your best life.

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The past year that I spent preparing myself for dietetics was a grand one! I’m content that I gave that field a shot so that I don’t regret neglecting to attempt it for the rest of my life. I am also grateful to now know a whole lotttt more about the human body in response to how it is treated. Not just so I can take care of myself better but so that I can approach others’ shared remarks, pasts and current struggles with compassion.

I don’t know what position I’ll be adding to my LinkedIn next. Nor do I know where I’ll geographically be in three months. I am absolutely loving this unknown because God has been planning it all along. Ha. Times 180.

Don’t Put The Movie In

This title sounds like a scary movie. Coming to theaters tonight so grab yo refillable popcorn bucket and don’t forget to stop at the seasoning salt station!! You can keep the popped kernels but it’s not that. It’s the earliest thing I can remember learning about authentic friendship.

Nine years ago in eighth grade, I sat next to the kinda friend you don’t hang out on weekends with but share the best conversations. It was English class and we laughed endlessly before, during and after that bell rang. We had different friend groups but effortlessly clicked.

I remember the day she showed me the bruises on her legs. She pulled down her knee high socks (throwback to our beloved uniforms!) and commented how she didn’t know where they came from. Being a dancer, she assumed that she must have gotten them at dance class and I never thought to question it. She was mistaken.

She stopped coming to school and English class got a lot less exciting. A week or so later, our principal sat our grade down and told us that she had been hospitalized and diagnosed with leukemia. I didn’t know what that entirely meant but I knew it was cancer and my grandfather passed away from it before I was born.

Remember when I said I didn’t hang out on the weekends with her? That changed. Not out of pity but out of love. Out of ‘that’s my friend and I want her to know that she means something special to me’. Out of ‘I can’t imagine what you’re going through but I miss seeing you every day and you’re not fighting this alone’.

I visited her in the hospital but the real memories came when she was home. She continued school by skyping in from a cleaner environment where her immune system wouldn’t attack her by a common bug. Her basement felt just like English class again.

I got to know her mom and always loved how she hummed when she cooked. I used a cotton towel to dry my hands after I washed them as she used a disposable paper one. She informed me that she could still go to McDonalds as long as she asked for fries without salt because they would have to make a fresh batch just for her. Most importantly, she taught me how to truly interact with a human being and not tip toe around a sick friend.

Another friend and I were over at her house and were sitting on the floor in a circle, chatting about who knows what. Nothing was planned and nothing was there to distract us. Just good ole conversation. Our friend with leukemia told us something I will never forget. Wellll, I can’t actually recall the precise wording but it went something just like, “I love when you guys come over because you don’t just put a movie in like other friends do. You actually talk to me and make me laugh.”

I’m not belittling her other friendships one bit. I know that she had much closer friends than myself who definitely didn’t just stare at a screen while sitting next to her. However, it can be tricky to relate to a friend who lost her hair from chemotherapy and had a chest tube to pump medicine through to avoid too many IVs. It can be difficult to relate to anyone with different life experiences, especially at age 13. Heck, movies are a sure way to entertain ourselves and simply relax.

I don’t know how we came to the conclusion of never suggesting watching a movie but I’m so so SO glad that we did. Because Becca didn’t want to be treated differently as the elephant in the room. She simply wanted the normalcy of making memories with her friends instead of “visitors”. Becca wanted to look at the faces of those who cared about her instead of those that belong to celebrities.

I would like to think that we all want that. Movies can bring people together, showcase phenomenal talent and tell great stories. I too find joy in them especially when outdoor projectors and eight blankets are involved. But my perspective on movies is shared with mine about eating out: food (and therefore, a movie) is pretty empty when the emphasis is on the food/movie, not on the people you’re enjoying it with.

The difference here is that we are largely discouraged from talking during movies. When I do, I a) am told to shut up and/or b) feel guilty for talking in a theater or as the people I’m with don’t want to miss a detail. Both a and b happen to me every time until I end up falling asleep. That happens every time too.

I would assume that Becca agrees. About the ‘let’s watch movies but do plenty of other things too because I treasure the time where you sit with me on the floor and look me in the eyes and be in that moment like it’s the most important moment of your life’ thing. But I can’t confirm that because she passed away a few days after Christmas during our sophomore year of high school.

I still think about her single comment that reveals what being a friend and frankly, human, is all about: connection. She hasn’t been on this earth for six and a half years but she continues to remind me of the subtle yet ginormous importance of making people smile. This beautiful girl taught me one of my most treasured life lessons in appreciating the company around me:

Don’t put the movie in (literally and figuratively). Don’t you dare. Let’s sit right here and enjoy each other’s absolutely unique selves instead! Because we never know the last time that person felt truly listened to, we have a whole lot to learn from each other and we’ll never get this time back.

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Lobster, Blueberries & Smiles That Reveal the Soul

Yesterday, I returned from a week on the east coast with my fam bam! It’s the first vacation we took in eight years with the whole clan so I was in blisssss. I also planned a good chunk of the trip so I’m a tad biased…

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We spent a day in Boston, a day driving up the coast of New Hampshire and Maine and five days in Bar Harbor, Maine!! Hiya, lobstah and blueberry flavored everything!!

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It was my goal to try three lobster rolls so I could compare more than two (two ended up being my max because it never sounded appetizing after that but ya girl did order lobster tacos and lobster mac and cheese!). And in the blueberry department, I had beer, wine, a margarita, muffin, pancakes, ice cream, pie, smoothie bowl, mustard, lemonade and straight blueberries. Blueberries always always sound appetizing.

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Highlights:

  • Watching the sun rise at 5am on a mountain in Acadia National Park
  • Hiking Ocean Path
  • Mount Dessert Ice Cream. GO HERE IF YOU ARE IN BAR HARBOR. The creamiest and most delicious ice cream I ever did try to date!!!
  • Kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Coffee strolls with the joyful padre 🙂
  • Portland Head Lighthouse
  • Biking down mountains. Terrifying meets enthralling.
  • Blueberry picking!!
  • The vieeeews.
  • Airport adventures because none of our flights went as planned.

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Non-highlights:

  • Our canceled whale watching trip
  • People who don’t smile back

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On our last day, my mom stated that she had an amazing time but it would have been a whole lot better if the people around us didn’t give off negative vibes all day long. Because the people we surround ourselves with have an effect on us. Even though we mainly spent time with ourselves in our various activities and meals, their non-smiley nature weighed down on us.

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My brother tried to talk to the eight year-old boy he sat next to on our duck boat tour in Boston. His mom turned around and shouted, “Stranger danger!!”.  The funniest part to me is that my bro is literally trained in talking to people on a relational level because he is going into ministry. I can see where his mother was coming from but lolll.

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It’s in my family’s nature to smile and say hi to everyone. Maybe it’s our Midwest upbringing, our parents’ parenting or our personalities. Anyways, we didn’t meet many people like us. Generalizing is one of my biggest pet peeves but on a three mile walk, my sister and I counted and only two people we crossed paths with on a very popular trail smiled back at us.

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I don’t think everyone should be happy 24/7. Nobody is and nobody ought to be because that’s just not part of the human experience. Sure, I would call myself a joyful person. People at work call me, “the girl who smiles in her sleep” because they notice the expression my face usually carries. But I’m starting to think that there’s another layer to this ‘WHY DOESN’T ANYONE SMILE HERE?!’ thing.

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I don’t think we see each other how we need to see each other. I don’t think people realize how remarkable the human person is and how brilliant our daily lives have the ability to be. This topic gets me all stirred up for many reasons. One being that Jesus told us, “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12).

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The Son of God literally told us that we will do greater things than Himself. THE SON OF GOD. Do you understand what He did on this earth 2,000 years ago and that He promised us we will do more impeccable things? That is utter craziness and surely miraculous.

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You may think I took a sharp left turn and went down 16 flights of stairs and then ran a marathon away from my original point of people not smiling at me as I looked for a pair of socks to buy my friend in the local souvenir shops. But I don’t think so at all. And here’s why.

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We wouldn’t ignore our brothers and sisters if we realized that they are the ones who are getting us to heaven. We wouldn’t avoid smiling back at strangers if we understood that our Creator is smiling down at the thought of us in this very moment. We wouldn’t walk down sidewalks looking defeated, angry, exhausted, and/or distracted because we’re too busy to notice anyone else crossing our path if we have invited God to enter into our heart and therefore, see the world a bit more how He sees it.

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Surely, we’re never going to be able to impact all the lives of the people we share a crosswalk with. But we have the choice to share joy and doing this whenever possible is something I want to be apart of.

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The tourists around me were constantly taking pictures of the scenery. That’s cool because yessiree, I love admiring the mountains and ocean and lighthouses and boats and rocky cliffs and seals and wild blueberries too. But what if we realized that none of these were given a soul that has the capability to live in communion with God for eternity. That massive detail was kept for you. It was intently stored away for your everyday, unrepeatable people.

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That’s a huge something to praise God for. That’s something to smile about right now and on the streets.