Safe and sound in Aruba

Mel and I arrived safe and sound in Aruba. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that Google Voice numbers expire. Due to the fact that texting rates are so ridiculous here, I connected my Google Voice number to my phone, hoping to keep rates low as I was connected to the Internet. Well, apparently Google Voice numbers expire when not used. The reason I know this is because in the middle of my texting I was seeing confused texts from me, but I wasn’t sending them. It was very confusing until we figured out what happened.

Now that it’s resolved, I found out there is Internet everywhere, so if you need me, text me. It’s quite convenient while I’m laying on the beach and absorbing harmful UV rays into my white, white ski n.




Oh the People You’ll Meet!

I boarded the plane this morning in a tizzy because I almost missed my first flight due to the Monday-After-Thanksgiving travel traffic I wasn’t anticipating, and then I was waiting on hold for 20 minutes to discuss activating a roaming plan for my phone, and dropping the call as I was boarding the plane. I slept through the 6am flight without a problem and was hoping to sleep through the second one (which was bringing me to Aruba) but that didn’t happen. As I was sending last minute and frantic texts to those who I assume will contact me while I am abroad to alert them of my Google Voice number in case my international plan wasn’t activated, small talk was started with the woman sitting next to me. Three and a half hours later, we had landed in Aruba and never stopped talking.
Our conversation began because I saw an ad for a new Fuji camera that represented the photographer for the beautiful Ballerina Project. I encouraged her to check it out if she enjoys ballet or photography which led us to discussing photography and my time in the Peace Corps. She kept wanting to see more photos which led us both to sharing stories of our past. We talked about the history of our names, and our family members’ names, and what brought us to Aruba. After I told her about My Maria, she told me about her first grade teacher who she will never forget (and bonded with over sharing the same birthday) and then we discussed rings and travel. She told me how her father used to spell her name with an accent at the end (Bette) and her grandkids, and loves won and lost. Finally, she encouraged me not to stop taking pictures.
I truly believe we meet people in our lives because they are needed at that time. I’ve tried so hard to turn photography into a “stage in my life” but she told me I need to keep doing it- and what a better place than Aruba to fuel that fire. I can’t wait to get out and explore the island with this rekindled excitement and I can’t wait to share it with Bette, my new friend. If we never meet again, I hope she knows the impact she had on me. I love sharing the stories of the photos I take and the people I meet, especially when others appreciate them as much as I do, and I love hearing the stories of others because everyone has a story to tell… What’s yours?

Portrait Special

$150 KC Portrait Special! This Weekend ONLY!

If you have family in Kansas City for Thanksgiving weekend, you don’t want to miss this special! $150 (for up to 4 adults, $25 for each adult after that) gets you all of the retouched images to make prints (and holiday cards) at your convenience! Email me to book, because spots are filling up fast!

How’s that saying go?

You know how the saying goes, “If your nose itches it means someone is thinking of you”? Or maybe it’s “If you sneeze it means someone is thinking of you”. Whatever action goes with the thought, the idea is the same: someone is thinking about you. But have you ever wondered if maybe when you hear a song it’s because someone is thinking of you at the same time you’re thinking of them?

I suppose if that were the case this song would be on repeat on every radio station all the time. Oh, wait. That’s the Christmas playlist.

Of Monsters and Men: LIttle Talks


Opportunity Next Exit

I’m an Intern… and?

Opportunity Next Exit

Let me just preface this post with I’M AN INTERN AND I’M 25. Ok, I said it. This is something I used to be embarrassed about until I met other 25 year-old interns and until I really realized just how lucky I am to be in this position. It is true that I have had a lot of experience in my life but it is not enough to get me to where I ultimately want to be in the business world and this internship has helped me in numerous ways to get my foot in the door. One thing it’s helped me do is remember  what I love to do, and what I excel at: networking. While it may seem like I’m abnormally social for Kansas City, I love it because I meet new people EVERY DAY. While I hope to have a new post relating to this soon, I’m going to get back to my point: networking and learning from others.

Tonight I reconnected with someone at an event whom I highly respect. He left a poor work situation where he wasn’t given the respect and acknowledgement he deserved and is now doing HUGE things and working with big name clients. (I’m so proud of him!) But this event? It was pretty cool. It was sponsored by AAFKC, and they brought in Justin Ahrens from Illinois. He’s done great work for his company and I think he was really insightful when he spoke about how companies can use “wonder” for inspiration for both their clients and their employees. He suggested ways for thinking outside the box and making a difference. But this acquaintance of mine who just so happens to work for this studio where the event was held decided to join in on the networking pre-and-post event, but skipped the event. Why? Because he doesn’t care what the speaker has to say.

Now, this brings me back to an intern status. This speaker had a lot to say. Is it totally related to what my acquaintance does? Well, no, not really. But can we learn from it? Absolutely. Everyone has a story to tell and speakers tend to do it in more organized ways than many of us, and sometimes the story is repeated. In my opinion, something can always be learned from these stories so they aren’t worth skipping out on. Maybe it’s because I’m an “intern” and I don’t quite have my whole body in the door yet but I do hope when I am accomplished and successful in my work that I will not frown upon new ideas and thoughts and only attend events for the networking. As an intern who is new to the marketing field, I’m learning something every day but I sure hope I’m teaching others something, too. I sure don’t know everything there is to know about marketing but I do know a thing or two about a thing or two and if you want to listen I’d love to share it. The great thing about my internship? I’m an intern but I have a real job…. and I love it because I get to learn something from someone (or many people!) every day!

Moral of the story: listen to what people have to say, even if you “think” you know more than them. You might be surprised!


And then… and then… there was TODAY!

Life has a tendency of handing out lemons that I cannot use for lemonade because I want to make the best lemonade and I don’t know how to do that with advice (err, a good recipe). In other words: sometimes it’s a challenge to be optimistic all of the time and this frustrates me. I move 1 step forward then 10 steps back and I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere and then I don’t feel like myself and I’m unhappy and then disappointed… And then… And then… And then I have a day like these last 24 hours.

You see, for the last 3 1/2 weeks I have been looking for a ring that means the world to me. I thought it was taken out of my car when I left the top down and maybe forgot to lock the glovebox… But before I had to tell my family it was gone I had to know I looked EVERYWHERE. And I did. Except for under the couch, which is where I found it. Why was it there? I’m really not sure and that’s not even important anymore because it’s no longer relevant. That success of finding it, though, took a weight off my shoulders and reminded me to persevere until I find the answer… And I did… Just when I was ready to give up. You’d think that would be enough excitement to get me through the month. Nope. That was just the beginning of today (well, yesterday).

After finding the ring, I started browsing Craigslist for potential living situations beginning sometime from two weeks from now to the beginning of December-ish. I responded to a couple of ads and got one reply. The reply was from a girl who lives in a loft downtown (on my bucket list!) but wants to be closer to her work.. And her roommate? A guy I had a few French classes with at KU. Either it’s a small world, I know a lot if people, or it’s Kansas. Regardless of the answer to that, it seems to work out nicely for both of us. We know each other and I get to live downtown for a few months in a loft! #score

And the good day still isn’t done! Then I had an amazing day tweeting and learning at a conference for work today. If you have a twitter account and would like to know more about Social Networks for Non Profits, search #socialirl. I had a blast taking notes on what the speakers were saying via my tweets.

After the conference I had a rather spur of the moment interview for a part-time position at Apple to be in addition to my internship (fingers crossed but no guarantees!) and then got to play soccer mom for a 5 year-old. As I put him to bed he said, “I love you” which means a lot coming from a kid who isn’t even mine! Then his parents came home and opened another door for a potential job. I love the people I work for, wither it’s the kids I watch (and their parents) or my co-workers. People rock!

On TOP of all of this, it was 85 degrees and sunny. What a whirlwind of an amazing day. Sometimes timing and patience is everything because this feeling of making the right decision and letting things happen feels great.

Dr. Seuss

Encounters at a Coffeeshop

As I was sitting outside of a coffeeshop enjoying this amazingly odd 80 degree October afternoon, I happened to overhear a conversation when I came back from the restroom. The 30 year-old woman, who had previously been talking about her recent career and nasty divorce, said, “It was an incredible experience and it makes my resume look amazing”. Woah. Wait just a minute. PAUSE! I chose to go to the bathroom at the wrong time! But have no fear, Cate, who is rarely afraid to approach people, stopped this woman as she was leaving. I wanted to know just what that experience was. What I’m in the middle of trying to figure out is this thing called life. Does anyone really have it figured out? Well, probably not. Regardless, I wanted to know her secret to that amazing experience that boosted her resume. So I asked her.

Instead of her telling me what the secret was, she asked me what I’m doing now and what I want to do. The answer to that is, “Interning at a marketing company, and considering everything from getting a Master’s degree to learning to make coffee in Paris to buying a franchise”. How do I decide? Mr. Marketer next to me coughed Paris under his breath, and she said experience. What I need to do is make a list of everything that is jumping out at me (ie all of the above mentioned), Pro and Con it, and then go fo

r it. Without the experience the franchise is probably not the best idea, and there is always the possibility to get a Master’s degree. There will also always be franchise possibilities, even though I can just see the potential in this one and the reason to act now. But I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Of course this is all stuff my friends and family have been telling me for awhile. But sometimes it helps to hear it from a complete stranger who doesn’t know me. I know I’ve written before that advice should be taken with a grain of salt because every experience is different. However, sometimes we hear things we need to hear at that moment because, well, we need to hear them at that moment whether it’s from a successful 30 year-old going through a nasty divorce or a Taylor Swift song. Either way, all advice is encouraged.