Monthly Archives: November 2014

A First Time For Everything: A Hiatus

This is the 45th post on my blog. For 45 weeks straight, I have written and shared with you my new experiences, even though I’ve been doing these First Time Fridays for over a year — 60 weeks, to be exact.

It is with great sadness that I tell you I’m not sure when my next post will be, if ever. You see, I’ve run out of new things to do.

That’s not completely true. I still want to travel west to California, write a book, and learn how to make guacamole. But these are all things I can’t presently achieve — life, including work and other responsibilities, makes it difficult to continue trying something new on a weekly basis.

Okay, I could probably learn how to make guacamole right now, but have you seen the price of avocados?! A girl’s gotta make bank before she can splurge, especially on something that’s not a necessity.

This whole First Time Friday idea started back in August 2013 when I had fro-yo for the first time. If you had told me then that that experience would turn into a blog and over a year of new experiences, I would have laughed.

Looking back, I realize many of the firsts I blogged about were a bit trivial; how many times can you try a new restaurant and make it exciting? But some of these experiences were genuinely life changing. For starters, you can only get on a plane and fly solo to Chicago for the first time once in your life. You can only try coffee once, and your first experience as a college grad only happens a single time in your lifetime.

This post is partially inspired by Bob Goff, who quit something every Thursday. I can’t say for sure that I’m “quitting” this blog, but I am definitely taking a break from it, a hiatus. I am not one to ever quit on something, but it’s time to try something new — even if that means giving something up — and that means not blogging every week.

This decision wasn’t an easy one to make. I wanted so badly to make it to a straight year of blogging. I still want to continue to challenge myself and try new things. And I will, just not on a regular weekly basis.

Perhaps in the future I will have the funds to achieve all of my goals. I pray for a future filled with new activities, happiness, and one spent with friends and family.

Thank you all for reading and coming along on these journeys with me. It was with great pleasure that I documented and shared this part of my life with you.

Below are some of highlights of my First Time Friday blogging experience:

photo 1 (3)Alex has been a part of First Time Fridays more than anyone else.

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Words to live by.

lake ripples

Vermont will always be beautiful.

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This is my shortest post, at only 69 words long, but this selfie with Lou DiMasi is my most popular post, with 152 views.


Trader Joe’s: Missed Opportunity Not A Loss

In middle school, I went shopping with my friend Katie and her mom. I can’t remember if we went to Westchester or Paramus, New Jersey, but either way, it was an area with different stores than we have near us.

After perusing all of the high-end retail stores, her mom made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s.

Whenever I went to Katie’s house, they always had something delicious to eat from Trader Joe’s, a grocery store I had never heard of.

Unfortunately, after that day at the mall, Katie and I decided to look in the store next door while her mom went grocery shopping, meaning I never got to experience the specialty that is Trader Joe’s.

While in Vermont for Alumni Weekend two months ago, I finally had the pleasure of experiencing all that is Trader Joe’s for the first time since a store had just opened in South Burlington.

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I went with my friend Amber, who had a little bit of grocery shopping to do. While she went around crossing items off of her list, I wandered around, wondering what was so special about this store.

They had a lot of frozen foods, and a lot of cheap wine. I like the packaging of their foods, but since I was only visiting Vermont for one more day, I didn’t really need any food.

However, I did like that they have an entire aisle devoted to granola. I ended up buying a bag of Simply Almonds, Cashews & Chocolate Trek Mix, which was delicious; despite their “great food and great prices,” $4.99 was a little more than I’d ordinarily spend on granola, so I thought of it as a treat to myself.

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Amber did get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables for a lot cheaper than she would have at a competing grocery store, so I’ll give them that.

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While in Connecticut last month with my brother for our Boston adventure, we stopped at the Danbury Trader Joe’s so he could experience the store for the first time.

He wasn’t impressed at all with it, and again I found myself at a grocery store with no real purpose. We did end up getting more granola (a different kind) and some Cliff Bars, so the detour wasn’t a complete waste.

Trader Joe’s is a nice store and I like their unique checkout system, but since we don’t have one in our area, it won’t be a store I frequent too often.

The Power of Prayer

Those of you who have read my past blog posts know of my experiences exploring religion. It all started when I made the decision to attend church in middle school. In the years that followed, a complete stranger gave me a rosary, and I even attended LEAP, a Christian retreat, one year ago.

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The LEAP experience got me thinking a lot about faith, which I connect to praying, something I thought I’d never do.

See, back when 13-year-old me went to Mass with my friend and her family, I didn’t understand praying, why people prayed for others, or even how to pray.

I always thought there was a specific way a person was expected to pray. I thought it was something you had to be taught, and something proper that needed to be taken seriously.

It wasn’t until a year ago that I discovered prayers are just a conversation with God.

I had always thought that since I wasn’t brought up with a strong faith, my “prayers” somehow wouldn’t be authentic — as if religious people could directly call God’s extension to pray, and everyone else (non-religious people like me) got sent straight to voicemail.

I can’t remember the first time I prayed, but for the first time, I feel comfortable praying.

None of this was possible until I experienced praying with others. My friend Greg prayed with me before I gave my talk on LEAP, and during finals week last semester. Actually hearing someone else’s prayers gave me a better idea of how others pray, which made me feel confident in saying my own prayers.

Now, I pray for myself and my family, but also for others. I have friends going through hard times, and I pray for them. Most importantly, I tell them that I’m sending prayers their way.

Never in my life would I have imagined myself saying and doing these things. That is the power of prayer.

For example, two days ago at work, a co-worker who I see only once or twice a month asked how my job search is going. At the end of our conversation, she said she was praying for me. I was touched by her comment. I never thought that someone I see so infrequently would ask God to help me with my career.

The power of prayer is more than we’ll ever know. Praying is a way to keep others in our thoughts, and to stay positive even in difficult situations.

Since this weekend is the LEAP retreat, I’m sending my prayers to the Team and Candidates for a great weekend filled with peace, love and warm fuzz!