10 Fun Facts About Me

Happy Monday, Friends! I noticed lots of new readers last week from all over the world! In the past seven days alone, readers have visited from 17 countries and 43 states. It means the world to me (pun intended!) that y’all are taking the time to visit and read along. Since I think it is much more fun to know the person behind a blog, I am sharing some fun facts about myself this week. Stay tuned for part two on Wednesday!

Ruth Eileen Photography

1. My due date was leap day. As I result, I would have only had 6 birthdays by now! Thankfully, I was born one day late on March 1st.

2. I did cheerleading from age 8 to 16. My sweet mama served as head coach for my team for seven of those years, leading us to win Nationals when I was 13.

3. I have one sibling, my not-so-little-anymore brother, Cam. He is almost four years younger than me, which meant he started high school a few months after I graduated.

4. I was born and raised in Southern New Hampshire and have lived here all my life.

5. One of my biggest dreams is to move to Raleigh, North Carolina someday. My sweet husband is so patient to listen to this dream of mine and pray alongside me in it! I have been there twice, feeling more at home there than I’ve ever felt in New England.

6. I’ve been a youth group leader for 5 years, starting with seventh-grade girls who are now going into their Senior year!

7. I spent my free time as a kid watching HGTV and rearranging the furniture in my room. Surprisingly, I have seen very few episodes of Fixer Upper (though I’d like to!).

8. I got my only speeding ticket ever at 18 and it happened on a Sunday morning, en route to church. Thankfully, they later forgave it!

9. I have very thick wavy hair but wish it was straight. Thankfully, it holds a curl pretty well!

10. One of my favorite Spotify playlists is Bluegrass Covers. The cover of Single Ladies is a gem.

 

I want to know you, too! I would be so blessed if you would take a moment and introduce yourself in the comments below.

Friday No. 8

1. I have had my eye on this top all week. It was full price last weekend but is now only $25 when I applied a coupon code from this app. I’m torn though because it is final sale and received mixed reviews on their website. Final sales make me hesitant if I haven’t tried on the piece in person!

 

2.  Dillon and I enjoyed 3 nights of Plated compliments of my sweet friend Alix. The box arrived last Friday and we cooked our meals together on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. My favorite meal was the green chili chicken tacos – yum! I will be sharing more on our experience with meal delivery in an upcoming post. 

3. Emily Ley is offering 20% off her August-July Simplified Planners through August 1st using the code 20OFFSP! I carry my planner with me almost everywhere I go, using it to stay organized and jot down ideas. If you are in the market for a new, quality planner for the fall, this is a great time to purchase!

4. It was 55 degrees here on Monday evening, which felt so much like fall! Dillon and I went to the library after dinner (hooray for free adventures!) and stopped at Starbucks for Caramel Apple Spice drinks on the way. Helpful tip: Order the kid size from the app. It only cost about $2 per drink instead of the usual 4 and was the perfect size to not overload us with sugar. 

5. I have been loving this seasoning from Trader Joes. Every morning this week I’ve sprinkled this onto avocado toast for breakfast. It’s so delicious!

What are y’all up to this weekend? Share in the comments below!

View all of my Friday posts here.

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Overcoming My Fear of Public Speaking, and More About My Job

Thank the good Lord for growth, y’all. Last week I hit a milestone of overcoming my fear of public speaking. You should know that I didn’t even realize I had this fear until I tackled it head-on. I have always considered myself to be pretty comfortable in conversation with others. However, I’ve historically found it challenging to address large groups or people I don’t yet know personally. I was never afraid of school presentations or speeches, but rarely – if ever – did they come easily to me.

both photos by Carrie Joy Photography from the Making Things Happen Intensive

Fast-forward to this past January when I started a job in higher education that challenged any prior shyness I had. I quickly found myself with the option to either crumble beneath any self-doubt or insecurity I was carrying, or press into the challenge and grow from it. I chose the second option and it has changed me for the better!

Every day at work, I speak to dozens of people I’ve never met before. I have the opportunity to establish dynamic interactions with them and spur them on to do what they want most in life. It’s a rather high-volume position in a large University. This sometimes makes me feel like I blend into the sea of cubicles. Compounded with the fact that most of my job is done over the phone, this level of ‘blending in’ could easily lead to complacency if it weren’t for the dynamic company culture. It is impossible to go unnoticed here for a job well done.

Even though I dream of having my own creative business in the future, I know that I have been placed here in this season for a reason. As a result, I come to work every day and try to pour my heart into the work I do and the people I serve. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23)

Earlier this month, I was both blessed and surprised to be recognized for the work I’ve been doing. Our leadership team was touched by a particular student story that I’d had the privilege to be part of this spring. For that reason, I was asked to speak at our quarterly awards ceremony last week. We had the choice to opt out if we were uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups. I hesitated to say yes when I realized I would be speaking to 200 people. However, I decided to be brave and go for it because growth rarely happens within our comfort zone.

As I prepared to share my student’s story with my department, I struggled with how I would deliver my message. I toyed with the idea of writing it out and referencing note cards throughout the delivery. In considering that, I realized it might have diluted my message and made it seem flat.

In a moment of unexpected courage, I decided to speak from my heart instead. I applied a prior tip I had stored away in high school to move around and be dynamic during my presentation. Rather than speak into the stationary mic at the podium, I held it and stood comfortably beside it instead. Y’all, while it was a little scary at first, the words flowed so naturally as I continued! By the end of my presentation, I felt comfortable, confident, and wholly genuine in the words I’d spoken.

Moral of the story: be brave. Anytime you are presented with an opportunity to stretch your comfort zone and grow, go for it! These are the very experiences that mature, shape, grow, and develop us. Believe in yourself, take a deep breath, and try!

Do you have a fear of public speaking? Share an opportunity you might take to overcome it below!