Tag Archives: holiday

Friday Favorites: Edition Two

16th October 2015

If you’re new here, this is round two of a Friday Favorites round up. Monday through Thursday can often get overlooked, so this is my attempt to show they can be just as cool as weekends.  You can catch last week’s round up here.

On exotic animals

We had a company outing to Zoo Atlanta this week to visit the Scaly Slimy Spectacular, Zoo Atlanta’s redesigned amphibian and reptile experience. Our team built a mobile game for the experience, so it was great to see the experience in its natural habitat. I was particularly drawn to this gal, a Meller’s Chameleon. Fun fact, it’s breeding season and she’s not exactly thrilled with her partner at the moment. Those dark spots and her open mouth are signs that she’s less than pleased. Boys can be dumb. We feel ya girl.IMG_5814

On making reading fun for kids

This week was our bi-monthly meeting for the Young Professionals Council of Everybody Wins, a non-profit I’m involved with here in Atlanta. I always walk away from our meetings equal parts ready to change the world and ready to read endless amounts of Harry Potter with our kiddos. After a long hiatus, I finally signed back up to be a reader this week at our newest school, Garden Hills Elementary. If you’re interested in an easy way to give back to your local community with a short once a week time commitement over your lunch break, head over to the Everybody Wins website or read about my experience.

On Halloween

After a rainy Saturday spent DIYing some scary super cheesy tombstones we finally got the house spruced up for Halloween. While it’s unlikely we’ll end up with any trick-or-treaters on our dead end street, it makes me happy to come home to a house looking like this. Can we petition for more decor friendly holidays prior to October? They are the best.

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On what’s ahead for the weekend

My college roommate is coming to town to celebrate her birthday. While I’ve already teed up Spice World on Netflix, we’re also making a list of Atlanta adventures. With the Brookhaven Arts Festival, the UGA – Mizzou game and Oakhurst Porchfest, we won’t have a shortage of activities around here.

With that, a very happy Friday friends.

Counting down to the Peachtree Road Race

1st July 2013

First Peachtree Road RaceIf you’re looking for a reminder as to why running can be such a fantastic way to stay in shape, build a community or challenge your personal self, look no further than Peachtree Road on a warm Fourth of July  morning. In a few short days, nearly 60,000 of those people will hit the streets for 6.2 miles of Atlanta’s finest heat, hills and humidity, but what makes the Peachtree Road Race so special is so much more.

Maybe I have a sentimental spot because this is the race that introduced me to running. I crossed six miles for the first time on this course only three years ago.

Maybe it’s because no where else will you pass people that range in age from just barely into double digits, to those who will soon see the light of three numbers to their age. Or spot a group who takes this whole thing a little less seriously, by cheering beers and shots for every mile … while running.

Maybe it’s the unforgettable flag at the starting line or waking up to the roar of helicopters overhead P’s parents’ house just before dawn. Or the group of Marines carrying full gear in the scorching heat.

The first mile seems to fly by and before you know it, you’re rounding mile number two where you’re greeted by a flicker of holy water from the Cathedral of Saint Phillip. Mile three brings the assent up cardiac hill, and even though I’ve lived along this thoroughfare for nearly three years, it never seems to get any easier. The furbus greets you at mile five, without whom getting past the Brookwood split would be the hottest, most sun drenched and draining leg of the race.  And onward to midtown, where I’ve logged more miles in the rain, sun and even on occasion snow, than likely any other one place in this city.

The Peachtree Road Race holds quite a few sentimental trophies (or coveted t-shirts) near my heart and I know I’m not alone in the feeling. In three days, I’ll be back at the starting line, ready to add 6.2 more miles to my running relationship. And I’ll finish it along with 60,000 other people, who I hope uncover the same excitement in celebrating what makes running, Atlanta and our country great every step of the way.

The Pilgrims and the Romanians

23rd November 2012

Late yesterday afternoon as my Mom and I checked off the final items of our grocery list,  we received a phone call from my Dad. While Thanksgiving at my household is always a small affair with our immediate family, he shared how had invited a new guest to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Our new guest to be was a coworker from Romania who does not have any family in the United States. He had shared with my Dad that afternoon in conversation that in his nearly decade in the States, had never experienced Thanksgiving. My Mom of course welcomed him with open arms and plenty of food (as any Italian chef always cooks for 15 when the group is certainly less than 10).

This afternoon, we listened to this man share his story of how he had always dreamed of coming to the United States, from the time he was a teenager. He made the trek here a little less than a decade ago and shared with us how in his first few months, he wanted nothing but to return home as the experience of knowing no one in a new place was overwhelming. He quickly reminded himself that this was his dream and well, he stayed. He shared his history, what eventually lead him to Georgia and what he is most Thankful for in his life.

The day’s conversation left me with a quite a few things to be thankful for and certainly a few reminders for each and every day.

Share your passions with others. Share a meal, a conversation or extend a welcoming hand. I’m so incredibly blessed to have parents who have not only taught me this every day of my life, but who also continue to outpour their love on others. If you think no one is watching, think again. Your actions inspire those who surround you.

Follow your dreams. Don’t ever sell yourself short of exactly as you have planned them. With dedication, hard work, faith and maybe a little luck, you can achieve that little ‘what if?’ in the back of your mind. Sure, you may have to make a few tweaks along the way, and the road will always be rocky, but you are the only one person truly responsible for your destiny.

While a single Romanian man at our family dinner table is far from the tales of the pilgrims and the Indians more than 350 years ago, it was certainly full of simple reminders of thanks and left me a little more inspired and grateful on this historic and humbling holiday.