A little about myself:
I'm completely and utterly obsessed with my golden retriever, Dawson! We're the best of friends and he absolutely makes me whole. We almost lost each other in a severe car accident last summer. After the accident, he was lost for a day. A team of about 20 people, including family members, firefighters, police officers, and kind passerbys endlessly searched for him in the heavily wooded areas surrounding the scene of the accident. But you know what? I was the one that found him. Just me. Or more so, he found me. Or we found each other. Crazy right? We found our way back to each other and reliving that moment gives me so many goosebumps and all kinds of emotions that I can't even put into words. Our connection is so very special - truly like no other. He gets me, I get him, and I couldn't imagine life without that perfect boy by my side.
I'm currently a first-year graduate student at Shenandoah University, where I am pursuing my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. For details about my journey, be sure to visit the 'PT SCHOOL' tab!
Volleyball was my first love and is a huge part of my life to this day. I played for 7 years (setter) but stopped playing competitively after high school. Now, I am coming up on my 11th year of officiating! I started when I was 14 and a freshman in high school and have been doing it ever since. I officiate pretty much all levels - middle school, high school, adult leagues, collegiate, and USA/AAU (club travel teams). This awesome "job" of mine has given me the opportunity to travel to so many amazing places, make connections (and lifelong friends) with people from all around the world, and continue to be an integral part of the sport that I have always known and loved.
I'm a lover - I love hard and I feel even harder. I'm very expressive. I'm always excited and sometimes I talk more with my hands than I do with my own words. I love warm hugs and hearing others' stories. I still cry every time Mufasa dies in the Lion King and at this point in time, I've seen the dang movie AT LEAST 200 times. The little things like surprise phone calls, discovering that some of my favorite childhood movies just released on Netflix, and finding extra french fries at the bottom of the fast food bag truly make me the happiest.
I don't think I could ever settle down somewhere that wasn't on the coast, with access to a beach. I LOVE to travel and think inland places with mountains and valleys are gorgeous, but I'll always be a beach girl at heart. I could spend countless hours on the beach without it feeling like any time even passed at all. Whether it's summer and I'm in a bikini, or it's winter and I'm cuddled up with a blanket and some hot cocoa watching the waves crash along the shore, I'll never get tired of such an extraordinary place.
The "perfect" day for me would consist of lots of fruit and colorful food, Grey's Anatomy, Law and Order SVU, Pinterest, adventuring outdoors, spending time with family and loved ones, cuddling with my pup, crafting DIY projects, and wandering through + gawking at all of the beautiful home accessories + buying way too many things at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, or Hobby Lobby.
I couldn't even give you an estimate of how many pictures I take on a daily basis, but I know it's wayyy too many. I take pictures of any and everything. Food (obviously). Family. Friends. Animals... dogs... lots and lots of pictures of dogs. Flowers. Clouds. Shoot, I'll take a million photos of a single pile of rocks if they look sweet. I pull over on the interstate just to get a picture of the sunset (well actually like 30 pictures all at different angles) and risk becoming roadkill, because let's face it pictures are just way more important. Sometimes I drive people crazy, but I tell 'em to just suck it up. Pictures aren't just pictures to me. They're works of art that evoke so much love, emotion, and beauty in one single frame and I'm completely in love with being able to capture frozen moments in time. Fun fact: I have 10,574 photos on my iPhone camera roll right now! :) #yeahimcraycray
I became a "foodie" my freshman year of college. I don't think that universities (or at least mine) offer enough nutritious choices to students. Throughout my whole life I've always loved cooking and trying new recipes, but it became an every day kinda thing once most of the choices I had to choose on campus were pretty unhealthy. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely some yummy places to eat out! But I love getting to use my imagination and come up with tasty, colorful creations. Which in my opinion (I may or may not be biased ;)) are wayyy prettier and far more appetizing!
Everyone always thought I'd graduate high school and go to art school. They always said I had that "eye" for creativity, and couldn't picture me doing anything else for the rest of my life. I went to an undergraduate school with one of the best art programs in the country, however that's not what I chose to do. When I first started college, my major was undecided and I just couldn't choose what I wanted to do. Before I graduated from high school, I thought pre-med was interesting and was considering it because I had always wanted to go into the health field. Time started ticking away and before I knew it, my first year of undergrad was already starting to kick into full-swing. So, I began taking the classes for a chemistry major on the pre-med track. I really do love chemistry, however it just didn't feel right for me. So then for a while, I thought that mass communications was the way to go to fulfill my love for photography and interned through my university as a sports photographer. I wasn't satisfied with this either. I knew that I did indeed want to go into the health field because I have such a huge love for what the industry has to offer, but just didn't know what would suit me best. I have a burning passion for nourishing my body and becoming stronger each and every day. I played sports my entire life and had many experiences that exposed me to the physical therapy aspect of the health field. After a few different tries of aiming to figure out what would make me the happiest, I chose to major in exercise science and pursue a career in physical therapy. I want to help others rehabilitate and improve their bodies, their overall health and strength, and allow them to discover who they truly are as an individual. I know first hand that it can be hard to find yourself in a world full of people who are telling you what you need to do and who you need to become. I don't think you'll ever fully understand yourself until you can understand your body. I think the way that our bodies work and what they're capable of is simply fascinating, which nonetheless has caused me to become a total anatomy-lovin' geek.
I have big dreams and hope to one day establish my own PT practice and publish my very own cookbooks to my clients (and the rest of the world). I want to take this passion to a whole new level and watch my blog/photos come to life to become something I can share with others on a much larger scale. I just really wish to be inspiring and help everyone become the best versions of themselves they could possibly be. Amazing potential lies within ALL of us.
I'm no professional health expert by any means (yet, haha!) - I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist, nor do I follow any kind of specific eating style. The advice and information that I share comes from my own personal research, what I've learned from my university studies, and what I've found to work best for my own health. I really just listen to my body and place my focus on balance. I try to live the healthiest lifestyle possible, but it can be pretty hard sometimes. I'm only human and I'm not afraid to admit that I don't eat fruits or vegetables with every meal, at times my stomach can be a bottomless pit, and I could eat a whole pack of bacon in one sitting without a single ounce of shame. However, I want to live to be 100 and do my best to live a life full of adventure, nourishment, balance, and well-being. I think everything is okay in moderation... especially a Dunkin Donuts jelly-filled donut (or five) every now and then. It just takes self control and I know that in the long run, living a healthy/nourished lifestyle will pay off in ways I never dreamed could be possible.