boomer’s winter

wonderland

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here’s yet again another guest blog post. I like to have guest posts featured by different people to show new perspectives, outlooks and different personalities. Get ready for it! Without much introduction, the following is a guest blog post by the one and only: Ann Marie! Most of you know her as Ann Marie, while others know her as Mrs. Franck. But, even less get to refer to her as mama! Without more of an introduction, I will let her take it away!

Hi! This is “Mom” as I am sometimes called or Ann Marie as Kendal so lovingly refers to me. I am honored to be the guest blogger today, or maybe not so much since Kendal informed me that she made a promise to herself to write a blog each day for a year and it sounded like she ran out of things to say…if one can actually believe that.photo boomer

Kendal mentioned how totally worn out Boomer looked as he sprawled out under the Christmas tree after he came in from supervising Joel’s shoveling after the big storm.  In case you aren’t aware, Boomer loves to be outside, especially in cold weather. Winter is his favorite season especially when it snows. Often it is hard to get him to come back in the house as he loves to make dog angels in the snow and run through the snow as it flies out of the snow blower chute. Supervising Joel as he snow blows is Boomer’s number one job. Sometimes the most demanding job is being the sidekick!  So is being sneaky enough to scope out each present that Kendal placed under the tree and discerned that none of them are for him. I sure hope that Kendal told Santa Paws that Boomer will be waiting patiently for his present come Christmas Eve.  An early Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night from me (and Boomer).

 

 

chivalry

is it dead?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Let me give you a little history on chivalry and the chivalric code.

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.

Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honor of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe.

Now we describe chivalry as:

having the qualities of chivalry, as courage, courtesy, and loyalty; valiant.
considerate and courteous to women; gallant.
gracious; generous, esp. toward the less fortunate.

I would argue that most people think the days of gentleman, knights in shining armor and chivalry are dead; however, I don’t think that’s the case at all. Sure I believe in equal rights, but it’s not about that (which is usually the argument). If you are going out on a date (with a new person or your current one) there still needs to be respect. There should still be excitement. “Woo-ing” should still happen. A few of my friends are back in the dating game, and they think it is absolutely preposterous that I tell them the man should pay on the first date. In my opinion, of course he should. He should be trying to impress you and most of all he should be a gentleman. You get the first one and I will pay for the one after that.

I was brought up to expect “gentlemanly” behaviors and manners: Men open doors for women, men walk on the street-side of the sidewalk, and men always pay for dates. Now let me tell you, I have snatched up a fellow who does all (and more) of these things. Ladies, there is still hope–they’re out there. When a check comes, I always offer to pay which he takes me up on every once in a blue moon, but more often than not declines politely.

As our modern lives may have changed and so has chivalry. With that it has also changed what we expect, and know we deserve. Chivalry is not dead. The definition has simply changed. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, because I uphold men to the “good ol’ boy” standards of generations past.

What are your thoughts? Is it dead? How has it changed? What makes it different now?

millennials on work-life balance

would you agree?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

You have to check-out this article if you are a Millennial! The Idaho State Journal says that Millennials take a new approach to work-life balance, and I couldn’t agree more!

As said in the article, Millennials continue to be at the forefront of achieving work-life balance – utilizing business travel to discover new cities, explore local cultures, taste authentic cuisines and connect with new people across the country and around the globe. Let’s keep this going. If you have to travel for work, why not have fun and reap the benefits while doing it? Who said work can’t be fun?

Here are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Sure it’s hard to say no, but in order for you to perform at 110% every day on the job, for your boss and for your team you need to implement this work-life balance. Trust me, it will do you wonders.

Schedule downtime

  • This one is key. I use to never do this for myself, and now I do. It’s honestly changed everything. Now that I actually have “me” time and time to relax it’s a beautiful thing. Maybe its 5 minutes of meditation, reading a book, going on that run, or just waking up ten minutes before you would normally

Cut out valueless things

  • Perfect examples for me: Snapchat and trashy magazines. I use to read Cosmo and Entertainment all the time. I was up on my pop-culture, but it was draining my time and in-turn it was draining me. My friends will be the first to tell you that I’m dumber than a sack of rocks when it comes to anyone famous, specifically TV shows and movies. Snapchat, sure it’s fun, but it sucks up all my time.

Negatives

  • Get rid of people who are bogging you down. It is detrimental to your health both physically and mentally. It’s not fair to you, and it’s stressing you out. Giving these people 5 minutes, is sucking up more time than you already know and they are dragging you onto the negative train as well. Sure we all complain, but don’t make it a habit!

Take a minute…for yourself

  • Just like the downtime, you need to give yourself a few minutes at work as well. Get up, move around! Take a walk when it’s nice out, or reward yourself with reading a Thought Catalog article or something on Thrillist. (Well, those would be my choices)

Lighten the load

  • Hello, outsourcing! When you are treading in water because your boss has you doing 900 things at once, think– is there anyone else working on this that can help me out? The answer more likely than not, is yes! Ask for help. Not asking is only hurting you and the product of your work

Stop reinventing the wheel

  • This one is self-explanatory. When you have a project to do, see if it’s something you’ve done before, or something similar– see what you can use from past projects, articles and so on to lessen your load.

Overall these are a few things I started to implement into my life. Of course it’s hard to say no to my boss when she asks me to stay late, but she is also very respectful of the fact that I have a life and she will in turn let me come in late/go home early the next day. If you let your work consume you, you’re wasting the life you have in an office–don’t you want to get out there an explore?

i’m not with the 21st century

the interwebs

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

World English Dictionary

internet  (ˈɪntəˌnɛt) n ( sometimes with a capital ) the internet  Also known as: the Net  the single worldwide computer network that interconnects other computer networks, on which end-user services, such as World Wide Web sites or data archives, are located, enabling data and other information to be exchanged

Let’s just get this out in the open: I DON’T LIVE WITH THE INTERNET. I know what you’re thinking, well then how are you blogging, how are you tweeting, instagraming and all of those fun things…I didn’t say I’m not consumed by the internet. I am simply saying I do not have the internet in my household.

Post college I was fortunate enough to live in a house with the interwebs. Now, this didn’t last too long and I was never at that house either, for five blissful months I had the internet. When I came home, I would go on Twitter, LinkedIn, read the news, and Netflix like crazy. After those five months were up, I moved to a new apartment and we decided no internet. Ever since, that’s how I’ve been living and I love it.

Life without the internet is one of the most surreal things. It’s magical and wonderful. I never have to worry about working past office hours, or working on the weekends, I don’t feel tied to things and it’s all thanks to an internet free household! Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a lovely and wonderful tool, but I just choose not to have it in my apartment.

Most people think I am absolutely bat-shit crazy, but you know what: I don’t care. It’s rejuvenating, and I love it. I’m not asking you to live in my house. I just like having some me time when I get home. Wrap your head around this, then I will tell you how I haven’t been living with cable or any TV for the past 5 years.

our song

“…Our song is the slamming screen door,
Sneakin’ out late, tapping on your window
When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow
’cause it’s late and your mama don’t know
Our song is the way you laugh…”-Taylor Swift

when we locked eyes

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Let’s turn the clocks back, we have to travel back about 4 years and a few days that’s where this story beings. Four glorious years ago, I was a few weeks into my sophomore year of college. My life was consumed with Fall Recruitment, rushing new sorority girls with an 18 credit load while life guarding and teaching swimming lessons. Needless to say, the last thing I had to do was take on another venture, but I did. I started working in the University Admission’s office (yes this is an integral part of the story). Moving forward Linzey had introduced me to her friend Matt, from that very moment I was swooned. Immediately after he left us, I turned to Linzey and said, he’s a babe–hook me up! Sadly at the time Matt was unavailable, but we digress.

Over that next semester, Matt and I become really good friends, chatting at work (the Admission’s office), which unbeknownst to me, I have recently learned he was also nervous to talk to me. Honest to God, I would always get butterflies and clammy hands. Ugh why was this boy taken, what a joke. Throughout this little crush triangle, I kept it cool (apparently too cool, because he had no idea!). We left for Winter break, and upon return I learned a few interesting details, 1. We had class together and 2. he and his girlfriend at the time broke up! I was beaming with happiness! Absolutely over-joyed. The first day of class, Matt does not—let me repeat that–DOES NOT sit next to me, ummm excuse me? This must be a mistake. We walk out together and are chatting before we go our separate ways. The next class and every one until the end of the semester we do not sit by each other. Fine, it’s fine. We still hang out both before and after class and I have Matt edit all of my stories, as he is a journalist and we’re in a journalism class.

Let’s speed up to the following year, again, Winter break passes and all is well. We both have stopped seeing the people we were at the time and are starting the semester on a fresh page. I just got back to my apartment, and Matt knew I arrived. He offered to help me unpack so we could hang out, I already knew this was not a good idea, as I told myself the next time I see him I need to tell him how I feel because these feelings are just festering and not doing me any good. After I turn him down on the unpacking, we settle for hanging out at his place with his roommates and making dinner. I had a fantastic time, but I still didn’t tell him. Right, before I was going to tell him my life saga and profess my undying love for him, he tells me about this girl he is sort of smitten with and asks for my advice. I abort the plan and give him the advice. I believe he went out on three solid dates with this girl and then never saw her again. Thankfully, Matt and I had another journalism class together again that semester, we sat next to each other and it was lovely.

We speed up one more semester. It is now December of 2011 the night before my graduation. It’s a chilly Thursday December night. I’m hitting the town with my girl’s to celebrate and have a final goodbye with them. This was also the night that I finally decided I would Matt how I felt. I didn’t expect anything to happen, I just wanted to get it off my chest. We’re heading home, walking about six blocks back to my apartment and I find out Matt is at a bar on my way home. I ask him to meet me outside so I can say hello, he does. Once I get there the conversation does not go as planned. I am blocked by any type of conversation at all. Everyone is complaining and I have to take them home. We hugged goodbye and said we’d talk tomorrow.

Tomorrow hits, post walking I finally tell him. His response was less than positive, telling me he never even thought I liked him too, timing was off, and he never went for anything because he thought I had some long distance boyfriend (false!). That day I left for Wisconsin and moved to DC and shortly after Matt left for New Zealand and Australia. Thankfully as suspected, nothing between us changed. It was laughable and we continued our friendship. This is when he started dating her. He asked me a million a half times my opinion of this new girl, and I made it clear that I wasn’t a fan regardless if they were dating or if they weren’t. She just wasn’t good.

A year passes, they are still together (good Lord, help a sister out!) Matt decides to stay in Minnesota and continue his education and get a Masters, but life hit and he got a dope offer with the Cub’s A team in Knoxville–he thankfully took it. Right after he moved to Knoxville in February, he booked a trip to DC to visit in June. Recently after booking the trip, they broke up.

So, we skip to June of this year. Matt comes to visit and it is the most glorious reunion I could have asked for. I showed him around DC doing all of the appropriate touristy things mixed in with a local vibe. Sunday rolls around and we saved the monuments for right before hitting the airport. When we are on the National Mall we begin to hold hands. It just felt right, no big deal.

–The Part You’ve Been Waiting For–

When we arrive at the airport to say our goodbyes, I walk him to his terminal and we hug. We kiss on the check, which is pretty natural, and then before I know it his lips are on mine! My mind is racing! What is going on? Is this really happening? My head isn’t caught up to my heart and I blurt out “ummm what is this” and his response is so calm and cool, I let you go four years ago, and I’m not letting another four pass me by; be my girlfriend.

So there you have it folks. I couldn’t be happier. Well I could be, but that would be trading in the long distance, but other than that it’s wonderful. I talk to him all the time (not that I didn’t before him being my boyfriend), we FaceTime, we email and we even have trips planned to see each other. It’s fantastic. Never underestimate the power of a friendship and what it truly has to offer.

This is my story, and I’d love to hear yours.

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the story of us – a boy’s perspective

you can find Matt @hamsterjockey

Every relationship has a story. Some are really long; some are really short. The story of Kendal Ann and I has been in the making since we first met. I love our story. Here it is from my perspective.

Disclaimer: This is a love story.

It starts at Winona State University. We met through our mutual friend, Linzey, and as soon I met Kendal Ann, I knew that she was going to be a special part of my life.

As time progressed, Kendal Ann and I became even closer. She is one of my best friends. We talked about everything – sports, life, politics, everything. We share so many interests and she loves baseball. For me, that’s huge. After a couple years, I knew deep down that Kendal Ann and I would be amazing together, but it never came up in conversation. I never brought it up because I didn’t want to take a chance at losing one of my best friends.

We had classes together and I was nervous to sit by her. So I didn’t. I was so nervous around her. Eventually we had another class together and we sat next to each other. Secretly, I was so excited to sit by her. That class was wonderful – one of my favorite classes I ever took at Winona State.

Even though we both worked in different places during the summer, we still always kept in touch. We texted all the time with the occasional phone call mixed in there too. The girls I dated got really jealous and even told me that I couldn’t talk to her anymore. Excuse me? She’s my best friend and I’ve known her longer than I’ve known you. Deuces. I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone get in the way of my friendship with Kendal Ann because deep down, I still always thought there was something even more special between us.

What I didn’t know was that throughout all of college when we knew each other, is that she had a huge crush on me. Me, being the guy that I am, was completely oblivious the whole situation. Kendal Ann graduated a semester earlier than I did and before her graduation, she confessed it all to me. It was so cute. I had absolutely no idea. It was so cute and it made me wonder even more about “us.”

Kendal Ann lives and works in the Washington DC area. When she started working there, I always told her that one day, I was going to take a trip out there to see her. I had never been to DC before and I’ve always wanted to go – but that wasn’t the best part about the trip – seeing Kendal Ann was the best part obviously.

But, it never happened. Not at least until June 20th, 2013. I was living and working in Knoxville, Tenn., and it had been too long since I had seen her last. I told her what weekend I was coming, bought tickets, and got a ride to the airport. I love flying and I always (usually) make friends with the person sitting next to me. I remember when I landed and was walking out of the terminal; I was so nervous. I was all clammy and I had butterflies in my tummy. It was silly, but I liked it.

Then, I saw her. Walking towards me. Big smile on her face and she waved. As we walked towards each other, I was overwhelmed with happiness. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to date her; that I wanted to make the distance work and that I wanted to cross that bridge between best friends and a romantic couple.

The weekend was perfect. I didn’t want to leave. As I was going through security, I saw her walking away. It made me sad. After I got back to Knoxville, I told her everything. How I felt, what I wanted to do and that I wanted to try the long distance thing. She was skeptical about the whole thing, but we each made pro and cons lists and told them to each other. It meant a lot to hear her take on the whole thing and I assured her that things would work, even with the distance between us.

And so, we’re doing the distance. It’s tough. But it’s worth it. Kendal Ann and I are years in the making. Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This is one of those times. I’ve never been happier. It’s amazing. It’s incredible. It’s perfect. I’m so lucky to be not only dating my best friend, but to be dating a girl who is perfect for me in so many ways.

“Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad, because I miss you, I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.”

Throughout our history, we’ve experienced so many firsts. She was there for my first tweet. She showed me around DC for my first visit. I went to my first aquarium with her. I could keep going, but you get the idea. I can’t wait for more and more firsts for us.

So there you have it. Our story as told by me. I love it. It’s a love story, but more importantly, it’s our story.

social media & finances

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

A few years ago I interned for a non-profit, Mobilize.org. They believe in order to create long-term, sustainable and community based solutions to the challenges facing our generation, Millennials (young adults born between the years 1976 and 1996) must authentically engage their peers in identifying problems, proposing solutions, and most importantly, must work together to implement these solutions on their campuses and in their communities. While interning for them, I had awesome opportunities; one of them being to attend an event an write a blog about it. My boss sent me to an event at AARP, it was about finances and different age groups. Take a read and let me know what you think. a few years ago I would have been heart-set on saying it was taboo to talk about money and finances among my generation, Millennials. But now I am torn. I am starting to see a divide, because we are now understanding how important fiances are.

using social media to save money

Millennials (like myself) want to talk about everything, everywhere and especially on social media. But what I’ve realized is that one thing we don’t talk about is money. However with the financial issues facing us and the country, and with the accessibility to others via social media, we should be having constant conversation on finance that would help break down barriers on what is often too taboo, even for Twitter.

Lifetuner and AARP hosted an event Thursday during Digital Capital Week to discuss how members of all generations use social media to talk about or finances. Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool was the event moderator and the three panelists were: MP Dunleavey of Daily Worth, Melora Heavey of Feed The Pig and Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life.

The panelists talked about how social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogs can impact our finances on a personal level and change the way we handle our money. We are in a world where we integrate social media in every aspect of our lives, so why not use it to help our pocketbooks? In November of 2009 Budgets are Sexy surveyed and found that 57% of young Americas consider their financial situation the biggest concern in their lives. So, how can we use social media to become more aware of our finances, from balancing a checkbook to applying for a Roth IRA or even as simple as making a budget? The answer…use it!

To bring more awareness to financial issues and to start online dialogues, we need to display concerns places where everyone is talking. For instance according to newser.com there are 600 tweets every second, totaling 50 million tweets a day, with a whopping 6 million registered users it makes sense to use social media.

Of course you’re thinking why use social media when that’s my time to relax, right? You’re saying to yourself, “that’s my outlet for de-stressing.” Well, it still can be your source for relief. Believe it or not, social media can help you save money and avoid debt – the ultimate de-stresser!

Twitter is also a great resource for savings, it serves as a customer service portal for companies and as they often post deals or coupons. You can also follow people who talk about money like @APPersonalFin, who tweets about summer fares lowering. Or you can use  Twitdom that has different applications for finance pages you can follow on Twitter like: Mint, My Mile Marker, Twinancial,TopStockTweets and Stoockr . By adding these applications to social media networks, it becomes easier to exchange ideas with more people and you can personally track your spending behavior.

Blippy.com also tracks spending behaviors, and by seeing what and how much spending you do can help you get a perspective on how much you spend and will ultimately help you get your money habits under control. Then you can use your online banking system to set up your budget.  When your target monthly spending is approaching, you’ll receive a text or an e-mail alert indicating how much money you have left for the month.

Getting information from blogs is also very helpful, though bloggers may not be experts in the field, they often share where items can be bought for lower prices – never a bad thing.

Since the Millennial Generation is active in social media but aren’t that enthused about discussing their finances, reaching them is a task in itself. If you’re writing an article to reach Millennials, remember the article should be quick, eye catching and vibrant. Use videos and bullet points and ask for instant feedback that will tell you if your message direct and captivating.

And to my fellow Millennials: let us be the generation that wants to be educated on our finances. Let us be the generation that no longer makes it taboo to talk about our money problems, because once we start seeing how many of us are dealing with the same issues, together we can start developing solutions.

harvest season

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”-Benjamin Franklin

autumn has arrived?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I’m the biggest advocate for a good beer as the next person is, but I’m an even bigger advocate for autumn! And when you put these two things together, it is honestly heaven for me. Both beer and autumn are a God-sent and they couldn’t have come at a better time.  Listen, I’m not saying I like having my Summer cut short and Halloween decorations to be out already–I just want a nice long autumn. So, hear this Christmas–don’t get any ideas about promoting yourself even earlier this year.

Take a listen and give me your thoughts!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=215518495

it’s so DC

“…so what do you do? So where are you from originally, yeah, right, but where are you from originally? I’m a grant writer for a non-profit who deals with micro-finance…” –Shit People in DC Say

on meeting new people

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I love meeting new people especially in such a transplant city. When you meet new people you have no idea what their background is or what will come of the conversation.

Over the weekend, I had three encounters with new individuals. I love meeting new people. You meet new people for a reason, whether they come into your life for that stint or for longer there is always something to be said about an interaction you have with someone else.

Last night I had the opportunity to meet two fantastic new individuals, not once did the typical, what do you do, where do you work, tell me about your past type questions come up–and it was fantastic. It was really refreshing to have an actual conversation with people and get to know them on a different level. There was so much ground covered, so much was learned. So many opportunities for new friends could come out of a simple meal and a beer.

I cannot wait until I have this opportunity again. I want to encompass myself around new individuals. I want to learn about them without asking mundane questions, because I truly am interested. I want to know what makes you tick and what you’re passionate about. What makes you get out of bed in the morning.

Remember, a simple hello can turn into a beautiful friendship.