thank you

for being my friend

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

Here’s a shout out to all of my friends. Now, if you’ve never had the opportunity to watch Golden Girls, I’m sorry.  The Golden Girls is a true American sitcom. Let me give you a little recap, the Golden Girls is based on the lives and interactions of four older women whom have all been divorced/widowed, and are now roommates. One of the main character’s, Dorothy, main goal during the series is to find a companion who she can relate to while her mother Sophia adds her comical outlook and frequents “Picture This” stories.  Another character, Rose, who is from St. Olaf has many cliches which make her a little corny but lovable. One thing that changes nearly every episode is whom the last main character, Blanche, is dating.

This is one of the best American sitcoms that came into our homes. With a great theme song, “Thanks For Being My Friend,” I can’t think of a better way than this to say thanks to my friends.

a new game

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

When given opportunities out of the blue I consider them a blessing and I can’t help but to feel excited and hopeful. My friends, every day is a new opportunity and we always have a reason to say thank you. Today, I have many reasons to be thankful.

Remember this: Every day is a new opportunity. Remember, you can build on yesterday’s success or you can put all your failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is a new game each day.

 

a lost art

handwritten letters

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

In the digital age, the art of the handwritten letter is drifting into obscurity.Is it true that things, like books and handwritten letters are now deemed as slow communication? Is there any way to fall back in love with them? I for one, never fell out of love with these types of things. To me, books and handwritten letters are novel items. It’s something about seeing someone’s handwriting and holding a piece of stationary that they once held.

Though it may be nostalgic, I still believe there always is room for the handwritten note in all types of communication. Think about it, they cost something, mean something, and have permanence in a way emails and text messages do not have. When it comes to handwritten notes they allow people into our lives to know how much they truly are appreciate. Is it possible for you to pause for 15 minutes and to put a pen to paper  to use? Doing this will attempt to connect and sustain a relationship with anyone, and their gratitude will be immense.

thank you

two very important words

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

I would argue that the phrase thank you is the most important phrase out there. Anyone who receives a sincere “thank you” knows and appreciates what it means. Of course it’s polite, however, it is also an extremely valuable tool in life.

Sure, sometimes we don’t say “thank you” to our waitstaff or clerk at the grocery store because we are so wrapped up in myself that we forgot to say it. Not a big deal, really. I imagine we’ve all found ourselves at one time or another so absorbed in the importance of what we’ve been doing that somehow, a simple phrase,  such as thank you, gets lost; that strikes me as unfortunate.

Here are a few ways to show your gratitude and appreciation:

  • Set aside time every week to acknowledge people’s good work.
  • Hand write thank-you notes whenever you can. The personal touch matters in the digital age.
  • Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.
  • Remember to cc people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”
  • Foster a culture of gratitude. It’s a game changer for sustainably better performance.

Today, I challenge you to show your appreciation. Say those simple words. Showing appreciation isn’t a hard thing, it’s just something that often isn’t done anymore.

giving thanks round 3

30 days of thankful, edt. 3

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

As a little recpa, Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

So here is is friends, these are my last days of  30 Days of Thanks project. I must say, it sounds easy to find one thing to be thankful for everyday, but I wanted to look for more than the easy answers. Every day I am thankful for something and here are some…just to name a few!

11/21- Appreciation

Appreciation goes a long way in the work place. Today, I am thankful for these tiny thank yous and little signs of appreciations from the team I work with. My boss will often go out of her way to show her appreciation or say thank you to me, which is amazing. My team, doesn’t usually do that, but today it was apparent that they were making an effort and wanted to show their gratitude for one another. Seeing these smalls gestures and hearing thank yous gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Let’s keep these up, team. Today I’m not only thankful for y’all, but the work you do with and for me and he attitudes possessed today. Thanks!

11/22- A Simple Hello

Today I am thankful for simplicity. After leaving the Hoodie Allen concert Zach and I got on the metro to head back home. Zach and I were talking to one another and more people would board the train as we got closer to our destination. A man said a simple hello, which sparked a conversation between us and another person. In that moment four strangers were riding the metro in a deep conversation. Those moments are simple. I am thankful for little things like this. These moments make me see that mankind isn’t totally terrible and there are decent people left in the world, we just need to find them.

11/23- The Badgers & Wisconsin Pride

With a heart that bleeds red and white (blue and gold & green and gold) for the badgers and especially Wisconsin, I will always have state pride. Sure it’s hard to be in dc when my badgers are playing the biggest game (minus the rose bowl) of the season, but I feel right at home when I see badgers walking around town. The bars are filled and people are getting into the game. Every year the badgers fight for the Paul bunion (sp?) axe against the gophers. Honestly, it’s not even a fight anymore, they really just let us have it. I am thankful for Wisconsin state pride and my badgers. Great game and thanks for keeping the axe in Madison!

11/24- Surprises

Today, it’s surprises. I love surprising people, and I love being surprised. For a little background, I was going to stay in DC for thanksgiving, but last minute I found a crazy cheap ticket. My boss told me to take it, fly home and enjoy the holiday with my boyfriend and family (thank you!). Originally I was going to surprise the whole family, but I told my parents and we kept my sister in the dark. After meeting up with my parents and doing a little holiday decorating, we made it over to my sisters new house (congrats) for dinner and (for me) to meet her new boyfriend. She was thrilled, and totally surprised. The best part about a surprise is seeing someone’s face light up with a gorgeous smile. The genius happiness makes the room glow and when you’re in that presences you can help but smile yourself. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

11/25- A Classic Date

I am thankful for a boyfriend has an unconditional love. I am thankful for my person to be so good to me. Today was classic date night. Matt and I started dating while he was on a visit from Tennessee, so we never had the chance to do the “classic date”, ie, I will pick you up at 8, talk to my parents while I am finishing getting ready, go to dinner and a movie, but today that changed. When Matt arrived he had gorgeous flowers in-hand when he greeted me. He was a gentleman and opened all my doors, kissed me on the cheek and wouldn’t let me pay for a thing. Today I am not only thankful for the classic date night, but also for Matt. #CTBOT I love you.

11/26- The Ability to Work from Home

This week I am working from home, thanks to my awesome boss. I saw an opportunity for a chance to go home and because I asked here I sit. I sit at my kitchen table with my puppy at my side, the fireplace on working. Working from home is a blessing. I couldn’t be more happy or thankful for this opportunity.

11/27- My Aunt

My Aunt Loy is a remarkable lady. Today I am thankful for her and all the bits of knowledge, wit and life experience she has to share with me.

11/28- Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is always different in my family. Sometimes it’s just the 4 of us, sometimes it is with relatives and other times we open or home to neighbors and friends. This year, it was the four of us and my aunt. We always do a few things on Thanksgiving regardless: a last minute grocery store fun, watch football and the parade, make home made rolls and enjoy a holiday movie. Today I am thankful for my family and our little quirky holiday traditions.

11/29- Family Memories

Today I had the opportunity to not only make memories with my family, but also with Matt’s family. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to remember our memories and to reminisce. I am also thankful to make new memories with another family as well as reminisce on their family traditions and memories.

11/30- Unspeakable Moments with Friends

Today I am thankful for the unspeakable moments that I am thankful for. It’s that text message received, a the way a friend smiles when you are talking, a simple let me get the first round. These are thankful moments. The moments with friends shall never be forgotten during the holiday season. Friends are the family you choose, so choose them wisely and most of all show your appreciation and gratitude. This one for you kiddos and our moments!

homage

paying a little respect

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

In the summer of 2010, I made my way to DC for the first time. I landed an internship through an internship program. As a joke, the internship program was always referred to as “The Program”, which is how people still refer to it. I’ve realized that through it all, I don’t know if I would be in DC now without participating in this internship opportunity in 2010. So here’s a little shout out to The Program and everyone who made it possible. One year later in 2011, I wrote an email to the CEO. This is what I had to say, and I couldn’t have said it better myself a second time around.

It’s been one week, six days, 9 hours and some odd minutes since I finally had the opportunity to meet you and hear your story in DC on June 8th. As I sit in front of my computer, I realize a lot has changed. I cannot seem to articulate my thoughts into the right words to express my sincere thanks, but nevertheless, I will try. The cursor is continually blinking in a rapid motion to my John Butler Trio Pandora station while the thoughts in my mind are bouncing off the walls, much like an intense game of squash. These thoughts of my dreams, the future, goals and the past are rampant.

It is most cliché to say: thank you, but there are no other words I can say to truly express my appreciation and gratitude. Eric, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to participate in The Program in D.C. This program sincerely changed me as a person. Daily, I was being asked to step out of my comfort zone and to push past my boundaries.

Generally, I would have hesitated, but since last summer, I no longer say no. I take each opportunity that presents itself, because who knows what will come of it; love it or hate it the chance was taken. Think. The worst thing that will happen is I hate whatever I did and I know not to do it again, but the best thing is you will have one hell of a story and experience afterwards.

Meeting you nearly 8 months after I completed the program put even more perspective into my life as a dreamer. I genuinely, know nothing is impossible and no dream is ever too big. Last year, I heard parts of your story, but it never impacted me as much as it did on the 8th.

Enrolling into The Program was one of the biggest chances and leaps of faith that I took. It was incredible. I never wanted last summer to end. The Program gave me both confidence and reassurance. The Program made me realize it was okay to let the huge walls I erected come down. I know there are times I find myself frightened enough to rebuild these walls, though the kindness and gentleness you’ve shown though last summer and your dreams have helped me to resist the urge to wall myself off from humanity. When I left in August, I was terrified and sad because I thought the reinvention of myself might slide back into my old self, but fear, not it only became more noticeable. My friends, parents and even professors commented on the way I was carrying myself, talking and articulating my choices.

I believe many people come into our lives for a reason.  We start certain things for a reason. Those reasons are not apparent when we start or when we meet that person, but there are often other reasons that become apparent at a later time. Each day I am learning this to be true.

Coming back to DC this summer I had high expectations. I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish – a Summer Bucket List- if you will, and each week at least one thing has been checked off. Without last summer, I would not be the reinvented person that I am today.

giving thanks round 2

30 days of thankful, edt. 2

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

11/11- Veterans

Today I am especially thankful for all of the men and women who serve The United State of America. Without Veterans who knows where we would be. I thank you for protecting our country, democracy and our freedom.

11/12 -Leftovers

Typically when my office has a meeting they will order a few extras so then the staffers can indulge afterwards. To me, a recent college graduate, this is one of the most awesome perks of my job! Not only am I thankful for my team thinking of me and feeding me, but also where they cater from. Post office move, we have started catering with a new restaurant: Pret A Manger. I am beyond thankful that we order through Pret. Check out their motto: Made today, gone tomorrow. In the U.S., all of our shops donate food to local charities working with the hungry. In New York, that’s City Harvest, in Washington, DC it’s Thrive DC, in Chicago it’s The Greater Chicago Food Depository and in Boston it’s The Boston Rescue Mission.  Last year, we donated over 400,000 pounds of top quality food making us one of City Harvest’s top 10 food donors.

11/13- Networking Happy Hours with SMCDC

Such an awesome group of people–SMCDC. I am thankful for being part of a group that is quirky, fun and intelligent beyond words. The opportunity to get together with these kids two or more times a month is awesome. I am thankful for such a fun and accepting group of people to hang out with, bounce ideas off of and put on wicked events with. SMCDC is a stellar group of people, if you don’t know them– you are missing out. Come hang out with us! You’ll be thankful you know them, too!

11/14- Standing Date Nights

I am beyond thankful for standing date nights. No, these date nights don’t involve standing. It’s a standing date– every Tuesday, and now every Wednesday (minus the 3rd Wednesday)– I have date nights with two incredible people. Living in DC we forget that our schedules get booked up and packed with things three weeks in advance. It’s nice to be busy, but it’s not a fun feeling to always be telling your friends “no”. I am thankful that these standing dates exist. I am thankful that my friends squeeze me in, and in turn I can do the same.

11/15- Connections

This one goes out to those long lost friends. I am thankful for the friends that you have an instant connection with. These are the friends that you may not see all the time, but when you do– it’s awesome. Your friendship is so strong that when you see each other, you have that hug and just know. You know that things have changed, but it doesn’t matter because you will pick up exactly where you left off. Ya’ll know what I am talking about. We all have these friends. Show them some appreciation and thanks. I am grateful for these stellar human beings!

11/16- Name Sharing- to All the Kendal’s Out There

I am thankful for my given name: Kendal Ann. I have encountered only a few Kendals in my day. Very rarely does anyone ever spell my name how I do. Today, I was at Vera Bradley and upon checking out I was asked my name, I told the girl and she spelled it K-e-n-d-a-l-l, i politely corrected her saying, only one l. She went on to tell me that her name, too is Kendal, but she spells it with 2 ls. We joked around for a while, but had the understanding that Kendal is a great name no matter how you spell it.

11/17-Lazy Sundays

I am thankful for Sundays filled with laziness. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, we are so busy we never take me time. We feel guilt saying no, and we burn ourselves out. I’m in that boat right now. I am burning myself out and need some QT with myself. Sundays are a perfect day to hang out and to be lazy. I am thankful for a lazy Sunday every now and again.

11/18- My Boss

My boss is one of the most gracious people I have had the opportunity to work for. She is fantastic. Every day she says thank you to me at least once. She will give me constitutive criticism,  and tell me what I can do to improve. She treats me like an equal. I am thankful for my boss, because she is awesome and more than a boss to me, she’s also a mentor.

11/19- Phone Calls

I love when people pick up the phone and call you. With social media at our finger tips, we think the phone is something “scary”. I don’t like that. I love picking up the phone and calling people. It’s the interaction. A phone call is filled with emotion, and it’s a great connection. If you ever want to talk, feel free to give me a call. I am thankful for my friends who want to talk to me on the phone, and those who call me.

11/20- Deephers!

This one is for the Deephers. I am thankful for a family away from my family. These women will always have my back, no questions asked. It’s great to be part of a community that is so strong and bound together just my tradition. Thanks for all the memories and the ones to come. Here’s to you, Deephers!

give thanks round 1

30 days of thankful, edt. 1

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

Last November one of my friends was talking about her 30 Days of Thanks project and I wanted to hop on board. Now let me get this out of the way by saying, the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous; you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. That’s the problem though. We know we should be grateful every day, but we aren’t. That’s why 30 Days of Thanks was a project I took under my wing this November.

I understand that you should be grateful every day thing; however, I recognize that doesn’t always happen in my life. I’m working on that. I hope by the end of 30 Days of Thanks project, I will stick to it every day, not just the 30 days that are in November. Alas, every project must start somewhere, so here it goes. Here is a recap of the first 10 days in November.

11/1 – Costume Parties

As Halloween fell in the middle of the week, I choose to celebrate Halloween three times! It was the best decision. Halloween was filled with costume parties, good friends and many memories. I am particularly thankful for friends who dressed up the day after Halloween with me and went out to take on the night.

11/2- Date night, Alexandria

Date night is a strange an interesting thing. I am thankful for a boyfriend who is excited to go on dates. Not only is he excited, but he also suggests them. Today, Matt and I went to Old Town Alexandria for a few surprises. We walked down historic King Street before heading to dinner. Our date night turned into a little adventure filled with new experiences, opportunities and laughter. I am thankful that date night is always on the books and we haven’t turned into some boring/stuffy couple who doesn’t do things.

11/3- My Faith

I am thankful for my faith. This one is unexplainable. After walking into church once, and realizing mass was an hour later– we decided to say a prayer and leave. It all seemed well, but once at Starbucks, it only seemed right to finish the last sip of cider and to head back for mass.

11/4- My Anchor

My dearest friend and anchor: Paul. Paul is a huge constant in my life which I couldn’t be more thankful for.

11/5- election day

Though election day was 11/4, it still happened. Living in a democracy is incredible. This is one thing I believe that most people take for granted. Working in DC, election day is always something that is light up and makes you think. I am thankful for having the opportunity to have my voice heard.

11/6- Coincidences

Today, I learned that a co-worker, who was born and raised in DC, grew up in my current neighborhood. Once we got to talking she was so intrigued to learn about Bloomingdale and what’s going on there now. A little coincidence made me so thankful that I could help put a smile on someone’s face.

11/7- Ann Marie

My mother is single-handily one of the greatest people I have the honor of knowing.  I am grateful to have a miraculous role model and wonderful supporter in my life. Without my mom being my biggest cheerleader I would have missed a lot of opportunities. I couldn’t be more thankful to have her as a shining star in my life.

11/8- My Greek Family

Being Greek, is a huge part of my life– both in college and now today. It’s something that will never change. I am beyond thankful for the bonds I have created and sustained with my Greek family with constitutes to grow. Winona State started me off with a base, but there was no stopping me. Now my Greek family is near and far. It’s an unexplainable love and gratitude that will always be in the air when I think about my Greek family.

11/9- Winona, MN

Winona, MN is a beautiful little college town, tucked in between the Mississippi River and a gorgeous set of bluffs.  I could write this one about anything in Winona, but it’s about how it prepared me. Speaking with a friend about Winona he said, ” I miss that town and it’s comfort and security. It’s like a nice sweater. But I’m happy I’m not there anymore. I’m grateful for what it gave me and how it prepared me.” Honestly, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. I am beyond thankful for Winona and what it gave me, how it prepared me and all the tools I was able to utilize while being there.

11/10-  Snow

You’ll only hear me say it once, I am thankful for snow. I love seeing the seasons change. Now living in DC it is something I crave, it’s something I miss. I miss seeing the first snow fall. I miss the prefect white untouched snow in the treetops and on the road. Seeing snow today was a perfect twist right before I left the Midwest.

 

twelve years ago

do you remember where you were?

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

Twelve years ago I was at Holy Angels School. I was sitting my my computer class, waiting for the time to pass. I was in the 6th grade. Right before the bell rang, teachers started to congregate towards the TVs, phones began to ring in the school, teachers were crying. Twelve years ago, the attacks on the USA happened. 19 terrorists from the Islamist extremist  group, al-Qaeda, hijacked four commercial airplanes, deliberately crashing two of the planes into the upper floors of the North and South towers of the World Trade Center and a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed because of the damage sustained from the impacts and the resulting fires.  After learning about the other attacks, passengers on the fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93,  fought back, and the plane was crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania about 20 minutes by air from Washington, DC.

Twelve years ago, these attacks killed nearly 3,000 people from 93 nations. 2,753 people were killed in New York,  184 people were killed at the Pentagon and 40 people were killed on Flight 93. The fires from the initial impacts were only intensified by the planes’ burning jet fuel. These fires weakened the steel support trusses, which attached each of the floors to the  buildings’ exterior walls. With the damage to the buildings’ structural columns,  this ultimately caused both towers to collapse. Also destroyed, were the 5 other buildings within the WTC because of damage sustained when the Twin Towers fell. And the collapse of the buildings left the area devastated. It’s been an on going process with thousands of volunteers who went to Ground Zero to help with the rescue and the recovery and clean-up effort. Finally on May 30, 2002, the last of piece of WTC steel was ceremonially removed.

Today is a day of remembrance. This day is something we will never forget and it’s a day that 911 firefighters erect flagmade our Nation stronger. United we stand.

Some people are under the impression that if we talk about the anniversary of 9/11 on every September 111th, then the terrorists won– and I 110% completely disagree with this statement. The fact that we remember this monuments day in our history, not only as a people, but as a nation shows true to who we are. On this day twelve years ago, and every day since, we have come together as a people. Our nation did the exact opposite to what the al-Qaeda wanted. We joined together, and we didn’t back down.

Today is a day we will always remember, and we will never forget it. We must honor 911. They tried to divide us and pull us apart, but 12 years ago we came together and this made us stronger. Thank you to those who continuously fight to make our country the greatest in the world.