Category Archives: emotional health

Changed for the better

Today I graduate from my Master’s Program in Speech Pathology. It’s been the longest, fastest 2 years of my life, and it’s hard to believe that this blog has been such a large part of it. I started my blog when I started my program two years ago as a way to chronicle my own experiences with whole body wellness as I began my journey towards life as a service professional.

Whole body wellness became an important part of my life after my undergraduate graduation. I knew that to be the therapist my clients deserved I had to take care of myself. And taking care of myself was the last thing on my mind at the end of my senior year.

The girl in that picture wasn’t happy and she definitely wasn’t healthy. A semester of rejection letters and failed plans for the future led to a lot of hours crying over the phone with my parents and pacing the BF’s room complaining how it wasn’t fair that I wasn’t getting the chance I deserved.  I was eating like crap, I wasn’t exercising, I wasn’t happy. And it shows. 

I moved home immediately after graduation, too depressed to celebrate, and too frustrated to focus on anything other than deciding what to do next. When I got my letter that summer saying I had been accepted off  the only wait-list I’d been on it was nothing short of life changing. Not only did it change my plans for my future by giving me a focus, but it changed my attitude about my health by giving me back my motivation.

I have always believed in the body as a system. I don’t think that you can treat anything (speech or otherwise) by focusing on the problem removed from the whole of the person. But I couldn’t advocate that approach with my clients if I didn’t practice it in my own life. I knew I needed to make changes to be the kind of therapist I wanted to be and to live the kind of life I knew I deserved.


As I walk across the stage today I’m ready to leave behind that sad, scared, girl and move forward as a positive, confident, professional. Each and every person I have met in this community has helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I can never thank you enough for that. Sure the past two years have changed my physical health, but more importantly they have changed my mental health. They have shaped me into the clinician I want to be, the person I deserve to be, and the set me forth towards a life I’d stopped dreaming of.

I may be graduating from my program, but I plan to make my health a program of lifelong learning. I may not know everything that’s coming on the road ahead, but I know that I am ready (physically and mentally) for anything that’s coming.


WIR #47: Where has the time gone?

Guys it’s officially my last week of graduate school! I have 4 days left at my medical placement, a ton of paperwork to hand in, a cap and gown to put on and then I get to start signing all my paperwork Sarah Pie, SLP-CF (not quite as cool as CCC-SLP/L but I don’t earn all those letters until I’ve worked for a year).

It’s so strange, I’ve been waiting for this week for what seems like forever, but now that it’s here I’m not sure how I feel about it. While I sort out my feelings how about I catch you up on life around here with a little Week in Review love?


I’ll be honest in the past few weeks I haven’t done a whole lot productive with my life, I’ve actually been in kind of a funk that I’m having a hard time shaking, but there comes a point where you’ve got to fake it ’till you make it, right? I figure getting back into a routine and reconnecting with all of you is a good a place to start acting like myself again.

One thing I feel like I’m constantly doing is organizing. Seriously it’s been like spring cleaning on crack around here as I organize my closet, take everything out, organize it again… I’ve also organized my car and my personal files (bills, car stuff, ect). Believe it or not I still have more in the works, I’ve got to finish clearing out all the apartment and childhood stuff in my parents basement before my move at the end of the month.

I’ve also been working, a lot. I have full control over the caseload at my medical placement (which is kind of terrifying!) though I still have a lot of downtime there because my supervisor and I haven’t quite managed to settle into a schedule… maybe for the last week we’ll make it work. On top of that I’m still doing ABA this month, trying to schedule an interview to keep doing ABA part time once I start my real job, and filling out/mailing off endless piles of paperwork to prove I’m not a criminal/lunatic/psychopath so that I can get my temporary license.

One thing I haven’t been doing so well is working out. I had a good stretch where I was getting back into runs, but then the weather turned icky and my motivation ran away. That lack of motivation has been a large part of why I’m feeling so off recently so I’m doing my best to push myself, even if I just do a little bit. I even put together a fancy looking calendar to keep on my phone to remind myself what I’m working towards.


I’m planning to run a 10k with the BF this fall so my goal is to slowly increase my mileage, while also working to get my pace back to where it was last summer.

One thing that hasn’t been lacking around here recently is eating (a girl’s gotta eat). I may have gone on a bit of a “eat my feelings in the form of all the carbs” bender last week, but bread is good for the soul and bread with butter is even better! To go with said eating there has obviously been cooking, and (finally!) recipe photographing. I’ve made waffles, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, buckets of granola, and bottles of kombucha. Lets just say I’m ready for anything this week, and that includes sharing recipes with you guys.


I’ve pulled up my big girl panties and my positive attitude to try and turn things around for this week and find the motivation/enthusiasm I’ve been lacking lately, but now I want to hear from you:

What do you do when you have zero motivation? What kinds of workouts are you loving right now? Anything tasty come out of your kitchen this weekend?  

Linking up with the always lovely Meghan for her Week in Review

WIR #45: Snap back to reality

With a title like that I feel like I should go into the rest of the Eminem song that inspired it, but that’s a very Meghan thing to do and I don’t want to steal her mojo. I will however share in her listing shenanigans because that’s a mutual passion and her Week in Review link up is always awesome.


This post is going to be a bit of a change from my last one where I was full of excitement and possibility, because life has gone through a few major changes since then. I don’t know about you but for someone like me who really likes to plan things out changes to “the plan” throw me off, and not in a good way. I’m trying to get better about being flexible, but it’s definitely a work in progress for me.


The Bad

Always share the bad news first right? Like ripping off a bandaid I just prefer to get it out of the way.

  • BF and I went apartment hunting a found a beautiful place we were ready to lease. BF informs me 2 days later that he’s not going to be able to do so for the next year, period.
  • I know have a job that I’ve accepted, about an hour from home, no roommate to move in with up north, and not nearly enough money to rent by myself.
  • I’d already told my friends at school how excited I was for my job and our new apartment. Last thing I wanted to do was say “eh scratch all that, I have no clue what I’m doing now”

Obviously I was panicked. I loved the job I had accepted up there and I didn’t want to give it up. I’d loved the idea of growing up, moving out, and finally starting our life with the BF and I didn’t want to lose that. I love my BF and I didn’t want him dead, though in that moment I was ready to strangle him.

The Good

  • BF and his mom have agreed to let me move in with them for the next year. This means I get to keep my job, save on rent, and still sort of start our life with the BF.
  • BF and I had a lot of hard talks, and I’m sure there are more ahead. I tend to forget sometimes that while I’m over here excited about finishing graduate school his plans for post-graduation don’t look anything like what he planned. He really is trying to make the best of his new plans though and I need to remember to be supportive.
  • Living cheaply for a year will give s both a chance to get on better financial footing. We’ve both got student loans, he has some other big expenses coming up 😉 , and both of our savings accounts are limited. I already know that I’m good on a budget, but I’m going to budget that boy so hard he won’t know what hit him and in the end we’ll both be better for it.

The everything else

I’ll admit to not being thrilled with our new plan at first. It felt like I was giving up a lot, while nothing had  to change for him except the layout of his room. His mom is a smoker and while their house has never bothered me I’ve also never lived there full time. My parents were (understandably) upset with him (right in line behind myself and my best friends) and though they haven’t said it I think they’re a little hurt that I’m “moving out” only to go live in someone else’s house and not on my own. Lets face it everyone in my life has an opinion on how I should be living it, and at the end of the day I know it’s because they love and support me and only want the best.

I’m at the point now where I’ve accepted what we have for the year ahead and am in full on plan mode  to make the best it can be. That means lists, lists, and more lists as I organize my budget (which will be much easier once I know what a salaried paycheck looks like… yeah still excited that I have a real job with a salary!), figure out what option looks best for BF and I down the line, and make note of things we need to talk through as they come up.

It’s a lot of lists, a lot to organize in about a month and a half, and a lot to think about for the future, but I’m excited again and that’s the most important part, right?

WIR #42: The Listography edition

Can I just say I’m not a huge fan of this “spring forward” thing? True the extra daylight is nice, as is the reminder that spring might actually be on its way, but losing an hour in my already short weekend? Let’s just say I had to get creative to pack it all in this week.

2014-03-09 20.17.45

My to-do list, blog post/workout schedule, and stress frog (what you don’t have one?)


My weekend food prep. Granola (of course), rice with spinach and caramelized onions for a few lunches, and freshly bottled kombucha.

But since I recap the same sorts of things week after week (the joys of being a full time student who works weekends) I thought I would start this week off with a different sort of list.


I got this book ages ago (sometime in High School judging by some of the content) but basically each page is a prompt to start a different sort of list. Guilty pleasures, people you wouldn’t mind sleeping with, past hangouts, bad habits… 

Basically it’s a list lovers dream in terms of memory collecting, and since lists are the thing of the day for Monday’s I decided to share a page with you 🙂

My one major accomplishment last week was my first interview for a real job, coupled with filling out even more applications over the weekend (school’s are finally starting to post openings for next year). Since I’ve got job hunting on the brain I decided to share the “past jobs” page out of my Listography book.

  1. Babysitter 6th grade-current (yes I still babysit on occasion)
  2. Waitress at Steak’n’Shake, 2006-20011
  3. Campus Rec Customer Service Agent, 2009-2012
  4. Language Acquisition Lab Assistant, 2010-2012
  5. Red Lobster (aka Dead Lobster), summer 2012
  6. My current job as an aide in a local clinic, 2012-current
  7. Studypoint Inc. Test Prep Tutor, 2012-2013
  8. Applied Behavior Analysis intervention provider (my current weekend gig), 2013-current

Not bad for 8 years out in the job market 😉

I’m thinking of sharing more lists from here as weeks go by, just as a way to spice up the recaps, any of the above mentioned topics pique your interests?


Be sure to go visit Meghan and see what everyone else listed up!

What was the best thing you did this weekend? What’s the last job you’ve held? What was your first ever job?

Slices of Life

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m definitely ready to be done with this week, it means I’m one week closer to the end of my school placement (which is sad) but it also means I’m one interview down (fingers crossed it goes well!). I don’t have much of anything planned for this weekend but I’m planning to enjoy the extended me time.

I decided to finally jump on the bandwagon (which probably makes me some sort of copycat) and share my own list of link love for this week. I figure if you like reading what I post you might be interested in some of the things I like to read too, right? Right. 😉

Healthy Eats 

Healthy eating advice and a great way to kick-start your own goals from my favorite Maven

Why the U.S. Sucked Big Time in Oxfam’s Report on the World’s Healthiest Eating

This fabulous Apple Berry Tart from Sweet Potato Soul 

Workout Motivation 

8 tips from Core Power that make it easier to make it to your yoga mat.

A great time lapse video of one woman’s challenge to improve her health and her confidence.

Life Quirks 

A great article on embracing your quirks from Illustrated Nutrition.

The Lean Green Bean has given me 12 great new ways to procrastinate actual work.

The whole website from The Good Life Project.

What’s something great you’ve read this week? Anyone have exciting plans for the weekend?

Selfie Sunday

What? A post on a Sunday…who am I? In my defense I wrote this up before the weekend started (love you all but not enough to cut into my BF time). I just couldn’t resist the first week of the awesomely titled link up at Arman’s. I get to talk about myself and I get an excuse to take some selfies? That’s a link up I can get behind! 

The big man's world

What is your cultural background?
I’m a european mix (including polish, dutch, german, and some other small percentages). Basically this means I rock totally awesome pale porcelain skin year round and that my dad’s family likes drinks… and pierogi. 

What was your most memorable birthday and why?
I could be mean and say 13 where my parents said I could get a cat and then backed out AFTER we had gone to play with/pick one out at the shelter (love you mom!). Or that one in college that fell on Friday the 13th and I had to sit through a 2 hour calc exam. Looking back I’ve had some pretty interesting birthday’s. 

(this one wasn’t even mine but how cool is that pinata?) 

What is your #1 thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
I don’t know if I’ve settled on one thing yet… I want to write a book. And raise a family. And have a garden. And love my job (where I hope to make a difference). I guess for now I could say I want to accomplish living my life. I want to be able to look back at the end and say that was awesome. 

(deep stuff, right?) 

What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Besides tequila shots? I kid, I kid 🙂  At this point I’m going to go with trying to convince my parents to take me to audition for a role in Annie when I was little. I loved musicals, I knew all the words, and I thought my acting was fabulous. I know now that this was a very smart move on my parents part because I cannot carry a tune in a bucket. 

Who was your childhood hero?
I guess I would have to say an author, or a hero/heroine from one of my favorite books for this one. I was a pretty nerdy child and I hate to say I didn’t know much about people outside of my family and the books I read. Let’s go J.K. Rowling for real person and Samwise Gamgee for fictional character (yeah I read the LoTr books in 5-6th grade, blame my dad for that one). J.K. Rowling made a pretty nice living for herself doing something she clearly loves which is something I’m aspiring to right now. And Samwise Gamgee is literally the epic best friend, the kind of person I both strive to be and am lucky to have found in my life. 

(You can’t see my face, but I’m the nerd in the chair!)

Wow, was that deep enough for you on a Sunday? Hopefully the shameless selfies helped  to lighten things a bit. 

I told you mine now tell me yours, whats the stupidest thing YOU’VE ever done? I’m dying to know 🙂 

WIR #29: The ER edition

Hey guys! Getting this in just under the wire today, but when I fill you in on what my Sunday consisted of I’m hoping you’ll cut me some slack…

But before we get there I have lots of other great things I checked off my to-do list in the last week, so let’s list those first shall we?

Big thanks as always to the lovely Meghan

The work
Did a few hours each at jobs 1 and 2 and picked up some bonus hours tutoring geometry for an old tutoring client of mine. I have lots of hours lined up at job #2 for when my client is on holiday breaks which will be awesome for my bank account. Did a couple of papers and clinical reports for school. There’s only 2 papers, 1 demonstration, client conferences, and comprehensive exams (those are next week already… yikes!) are all that are separating me from the last winter “break” I will ever have as a college student. Now if only these papers would go ahead and write themselves…

The workouts

Were less than stellar, I’ll admit. I went for about 8 miles total of run/walks last week, which means this weeks 5k may very well end up being the death of me. At this point I’m shooting to finish in 28 minutes and hoping my competitive spirit will kick in when I see all these people (including my baby brother) going so much faster than me. On the good side I foam rolled like a champ last week AND found a new yoga video I’m addicted to. I also signed up for the Elf 4 Health challenge and got paired with an awesome elf for the first round. 

The eats
Nothing crazy exciting here last week, except for the day I gorged myself on sweet potato fries…

And the pancakes BF and I made for lunch on Sunday, well after the ER incident…

But I think there will be enough food going on THIS week to make up for it.

The life
So this is the part where I fill you in on how I “ruined” a perfectly good weekend with the BF by getting the WORST migraine I have ever experienced at about 2am on Sunday. We’d had a great night out, shared a few drinks (nothing excessive or out of the ordinary), met some interesting characters at the bar (like the pair of recently divorced wives out to find some “young love” their words not mine), and cheered the hawks on to a nice win (even though the cable cut out literally seconds before the final buzzer). 
All in all a great night for us, made better by the prospect of sleeping in the next day (one of my favorite weekend activities). Well apparently my brain had other ideas. I woke up at 2:30 with a horrible migraine. Okay fine, life happens. Took my triptan, rolled over in bed and tried to go back to sleep. The problem with pills is that they only work if you can keep them down and this time around my stomach was having none of that. I’ll spare you the details but after a few quick runs to the bathroom I was feeling pretty icky and the headache wasn’t fading. Next thing I know the pain spikes like crazy and I lose feeling/control of my arm. 
Needless to say I woke the BF up at this point asking to go to the ER. 20 minute car ride, 1 full trashcan, and a struggle with paperwork later and we were settled into a room for the next 2 hours. I got countless pokes and prods, a CT scan (even though my MRI a few months ago was clean), and an IV full of something. Once the head pain faded some control of my arm came back, it was tingly and stiff but at least I could feel it. No one could find anything wrong or any reason as to why I should have been having arm problems associated with my headache. We left around 6am with instructions for me to make an appointment with my neurologist ASAP to follow up. 

Needless to say I spent most of Sunday sleeping, including a nap on the BF while he watched football, and going to bed way way early, and I am kind of grumpy that such an incident happened. I was all excited last week when my perscription came (my insurance refills automatically through the mail) and I still had a month and a half of my last three month supply. I thought I had been getting my headaches under control and was so happy that their frequency and severity had lessened. But this last one was scary. Majorly scary. So it’s back to the drawing board in terms of management, but no doubt I’ll figure it out eventually. 
Are you a competitive person when it comes to exercise? Any other migraine sufferers out there with advice to share?