Top 5 reasons why this was the most amazing experience ever…

This says a lot

Okay so it’s taken me about a week an a half now to actually be able to write this post but in all fairness after you have spent about 6 months preparing for one day, I think that it’s okay to take a little time to celebrate and process it all.

I guess that if I had to sum it up in one (more than likely poorly written) sentence I would say: Running the Boston Marathon was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had in my life so far for so many reasons.

Here are 5 of them:

5. I remember growing up and going in to watch marathon with my mom and her friend Sharon Jaworski and her kids. We’d be standing right next to the Johnny Kelley statue across the street from Newton City Hall , and I remember standing there thinking “Wow this is so cool! I really want to run the marathon some day but I don’t think that I could ever run that far.”

4. Five years ago I couldn’t even run a mile without being totally exhausted. One year ago the furthest distance that I had ever run was five miles.

3. Over the past 6 months I this is what that little voice in my head kept asking me over and over and over again, ” Have you lost your mind? You will never ever be able to run 26.2 miles no matter how hard you train.” I think that we all know that there isn’t anything I like more than being right even when it’s an argument that I am having with myself.

2. The immeasurable amount of love and support that you all have showed me over the past 6 months helped me realize more than ever that I am so incredible lucky to know each and every single one of you. I didn’t run this marathon on my own the love and support of each of you was with me with each and every step.

1. The entire time I thought about all of these people: because not one single muscle ache or blister pain is anything compared to what these people have gone through.

  • Richard Williamson
  • Bill Williamson
  • Keith Shutz
  • Jean Marston
  • Patrice Burkett
  • Walter Guptill
  • Rita Donovan
  • Beverly McLaughlin
  • Richard Jackson
  • Trish Granier
  • Anne Moriarty
  • Tish McGinn
  • Kathy Schulser
  • and for everyone else that that someone I love loves with cancer.
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Know where I am all day on Monday!

MY MARATHON NUMBER!!!

Wondering how you’ll know what point in the Marathon I am on Monday?

First my office Boston Marathon bib number is 22013!!! How exciting is that!?!

Now to get text updates on where I am here’s what you have to do:

TEXT – Simply text the word RUNNER to 345678 using your US mobile phone. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number. (Message and data rates may apply. You will be opted in to receive four messages during the race. Send STOP to quit. Available on participating carriers AT&T, Alltel, Boost, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon.)

EMAIL – Continue to the registration page for the AT&T Athlete Alert on the race website. Sign-up using your mobile phone number for SMS text message updates, or by entering an email address for email updates. Click here to sign up now.

For more information on how to follow me you can visit this web page: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx

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Thank You Thursday #7

One Happy Family!

Ali, Matt, Annabelle, and Jackson Drayer: Ali and Matt are two wonderful individuals that I worked with at “the Pro”. These two are actually a love connection that all started at “the Pro”. They have a great love story that began with an anonymous e-mail and lead to a romantic beach wedding in Mexico and two gorgeous, fun-loving, smart kids, Annabelle and Jackson. Ali and Matt are such a wonderful couple and they still look at each other today, as if they just started dating yesterday. They are such great people Matt is an incredibly talented web developer who, like me, enjoys a geeky conversation about different web-based business models after 5:00. Ali is quite possibly one of the kindest people that I have ever met. I have never heard this woman say anything bad or catty about anyone, even those that really deserve it. Combined they are one of the most fun couples to hang out with. Plus they have two of the cutest kids, Annabelle loves to dress herself and she comes up with some of the most phenomenal outfits that I have ever seen and Jackson is just such a love and his smile could melt even the coldest of hearts. Thanks guys so much for your donation!

Diane Stoloff: Diane and I have been working together at “the Pro” for the entire time that I have been at the company (a little longer than 6.5 year). Unfortunately for Diane she received many a “wrong number” calls from me when I first started at the company because her extension is 3713 and my first supervisor’s extension was 3173 (sorry about all those Diane). Diane is an absolute godsend and the reason that I understand how even the simplest of things work at our company. I am pretty sure that over the past 6.5 years I have asked her some of the same questions almost 20 times over and over again and similar to her reaction to all those miss-dialed calls Diane has had the patients of a saint. Diane is one of those people that keeps me sane at work because I will come to her and ask for some of the most insane things that I know for a number of reasons just can’t be done but still I ask. Each and every time Diane laughs at me and then I laugh at me too and then she helps me come up with a work-around to make my incredibly hair-brained scheme work. Then when that hair-brained scheme of mine doesn’t work out the way that I thought she doesn’t get angry that I just made her stay so late to make it all work well. She’ll laugh with me and then try to convince me on how she thought that it was a good idea too. Diane also has some fantastic artwork on her office walls by the soon-to-be famous artist, Lily, Diane’s daughter. We can be working through some of the most frustrating stuff that makes my blood pressure go through the roof but then I look at these pictures and all of the sudden things just seems so much better. Thanks so much Diane you’re awesome.

There's no way these two aren't having a cute kid!

Elle and Joe Yarborough: Elle and Joe went to Regis together but become better friends after our Regis days. Elle may be one of the sweetest people that I have ever met. Literally after a few hours with Elle you get a toothache because that is how sweet this girl is. She is one of the most thoughtful people on the planet, she send gifts and cards for just about every single occasion and some of these times aren’t even occasions. I think that I might have received a lovely note and gift from Elle just because it was a Tuesday in February before. Elle is also a phenomenal photographer, really people would pay for pictures that Elle takes and she loves it so much it’s really incredible to have her around. Her husband Joe is also such a gem and happens to also be one of Wrigley’s favorite people, in fact according to the last time that Joe and Wrigley were together I think that Wrigley might have a little crush on Joe. I was fortunate enough to be at Elle and Joe’s wedding a few years ago and it was just absolutely stunning wedding and such a wonderful and fun time. Ellen and Jow recently moved back to MA from Arizona earlier this year and unfortunately I have yet to actually see them in person in Massachusetts but that does not mean that I don’t think about them often. As soon as this hectic marathon training is over its the three of us for dinner! Thanks to facebook though I do know that these two are expecting their own little bundle of joy and I am so excited for the both of them and can’t wait to meet the new addition. Thanks so much guys!

Good thing that the blonde is light to carry!

Evan and Stacey Treece: Evan and I went to Regis together and she is my only friend who about 20 minutes after I first met her I was carrying her up three flights of marble stairs. However, even with this interesting start to our friendship we have stayed friends ever since that faithful night. Evan is like another little sister to me since she is 2 years younger than I am. Evan went to study abroad in London for a semester and I followed her out there for a visit and we had such a blast, she introduced me to snake bites, boney fish and chips, and bars that stayed open well past 2AM. Evan met a wonderful girl Stacey who I was kind of worried wouldn’t be able to keep up with Evan’s and mine crazy hi-jinks but soon after meeting Stacey I quickly understood that  it wasn’t Stacey that would have to do the keeping up, it was Evan and I that were going to need to work at keeping up with Stacey. These two are a perfect compliment to one another and a blast and a half to hang out with. I went to their wedding over the summer and it was such a great time and despite the rain it was an absolutely gorgeous day. One of the things that I’ll be thinking about during that 26 mile run is our memorial day trip down the Cape next month. Thanks guys for the donation!

C'mon look at these guys! They shout fun!

Jamie  and Brian Carmichael: If everyone doesn’t have someone like Jamie in their life, then they need to send Jamie an e-mail right now and take her out to dinner because she is absolutely awesome and will keep you in stitches the entire time!  She is just an absolute riot who does some of the best impressions, including of me, that I have ever seen. Jamie is always coming up with some crazy idea of a business to start on her own, but really the only business that Jamie should really be in is the comedy business. Jamie is a type-A personality during the day, super stress case, we probably compete on who’s blood pressure is higher about 5 times per day, but then you take her out for a beer after work and everything is out the window. When she puts her “Jamie-Beam” cape on you better just look out. Jamie found the guy that was just made for her, Brian is such a great guy. He’s a tall football-player-looking guy who looks like he could kill but really he is such a laid back, funny guy, that you just want to have a beer with while you both laugh at Jamie. I was also at Jamie and Brian’s wedding which was so phenomenal and such a wonderful night in Rhode Island. Thanks so much for the donation you two!

Sue, her mini-me, Ed, and Oscar

Susan, Ed, and Meghan Waters: Sue is another wonderful “Pro” woman. Sue joined the Pro quite some time ago and was brought on by our friend Monica. She has been our direct mail guru ever since. Sue can tell you more about postage rates, how size and the type of seal affects a postage rate than any human being would ever want to know…ever. Sue is such a blast to be around, yet another woman that you can work with all day and then you want to go out and get a glass of wine with after work because she’s just that fun to be around. Not to mention that she also is responsible for catching all of my mistakes at work so I think that we all know she is really busy. Sue and Ed have built their own adorable little family that lives in the cutest yellow house that I used to drive by every day on the way to work. Sue’s daughter is a little miniature version of Sue, it really is the craziest thing because when you talk to Meghan it feels like you’re talking to Sue. Meghan is so adorable while at the same time knows exactly what she wants and knows how to get it from her mommy and her daddy ( a girl after my own heart). Meghan has also done such a fantastic job decorating her mom’s cube.  Thanks guys so much for the donation.

The "artiste"

Triona Moynihan: Triona, yet another Moynihan sister. Triona is Bridget’s and Alanna’s sister (see Thank You Thursday 6 part 1 and 2).  Triona is the quietest of the Moynihan girls but don’t let that fool you, she is always observing and if you listen close enough she comes out with some of the best sarchastic jokes that I have ever heard. Triona is incredibly passionate about music and is always trolling the youtube and other music sites to find her next favorite band that no one else has heard of. If Triona asks you to go to a concert and it’s a band that you’ve never heard of and you’re not so sure about it. Go! Go and don’t give it a second thought because this girl knows good music. Probably because, thanks to Kathy, these girls grew up listening to FNX. Triona is also an absolutely incredible artist. It doesn’t matter what the medium is, tiny bits of rolled up paper, paint, or a Macbook this girl can develop incredible art. If you’re looking for graphic design work Triona is your girl, I promise she’ll deliver much more than anything you could think of on your own. Thanks so much for the donation Triona!

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Thank You Thursday 6 (continued)

My little nurse sister

Alanna Moynihan: Alanna is the lovely youngest sister of Bridget (see part 1 of Thank you Thursday #6). Alanna is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. If you’re having a party, whether you know Alanna beforehand or not, she is someone you definitely HAVE TO have on your guest list. Alanna could make a night in a cardboard box a ton of fun. She is hysterically funny and will make you laugh until your sides hurt. Not to mention that Alanna is also incredibly thoughtful as well. She even made me her sister on Facebook!  Alanna is currently a patient care assistant and will very soon be a nurse, there is no doubt in my mind that if I were ever in the hospital this is a girl that I want caring for me. Thank you so much for the donation Alanna you’re awesome sis!

Ella is just like her cousin Kate

Julie Williamson: Julie is my lovely cousin, daughter to Bill “The Man, The Myth, The Legend” Williamson, and also Kathy’s (my mother) favorite daughter (she never had). I remember being about 10-12(1990-1992) when Julie was living with my grandmother while she went to Salem State and waiting for her to come home. I’d be crossing my fingers so tight that maybe if I was lucky and she was in a good mood Julie would take me for a drive in her 1980 something Oldsmobile and let me hold the giant boom box, that acted as the car stereo, while it blared tunes like “Holiday”, “Borderline” and “Like a Prayer”. I always hoped that one day I would be as cool as Julie with her rockin’ feathered hair and big bangs. Looking back on it now I am not sure how Julie actually put up with it because the last thing that you want to do after a long day sitting in class and working at the Star Market bakeshop is come home to find an annoying 10-year-old chasing you around the house eagerly asking you question after question about where you had been, what you’d been doing, and what you were going to do next. I used to spend countless hours in front of the mirror spraying bottles of hairspray on my bangs at a time to get them to look like Julie’s but they never ever came out the same. Julie has always been the older sister that I never, had but always wanted so desperately. Julie has since tamed her bangs, married her high school sweetheart Erik (gramp’s favorite), and had two amazingly beautiful kids Ella and Jack. Ella and Jack are just so much fun to be around and they love their mommy and their daddy so so much. Thank you guys for all your amazing support and your donation.

Margo Padios: Margo works at “the Pro” in the sales department. I mentioned Margo in her sidekick, Diane Brown’s, thank you thursday shout out. This woman can sell just about absolutely anything. She can assess a room of 200 people in a matter of minutes and can tell you who’s buying and who’s not. She approaches you all smooth, talks to you about her grandchildren, gets you to tell her things that you haven’t even told your significant other, and then before you know it you’re bringing on one of our regulatory experts to conduct an on-site training to take all of your troubles away! Not only is Margo excellent at her job but she is fun to work with, which in my book is just as important as being great at your job. Thank you so much Margo!

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Winner winner chicken dinner!

For all of those NCAA fans out there this year’s tourney lived up to all the hype. It was not a March Madness season for the weak of heart that’s for sure. Thank you to all 26 people who participated in my Fundraiser bracket, I hope that everyone had as much fun as I did watching so many of my picks turn bad.

Thanks to all of you we raised $130 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy fund which puts my fundraising grand total up to $2,090.00! You guys have all been so incredibly amazing it has been such an eye opening experience for me to see all of the amazing and generous people that I have in my life.

The winners of the pool are…

in FIRST place Erin “No one would have guessed” O’Shea

in second place Christopher “new kid on the block” Miller

Congratulations to the two winners! Very well done!

For those of you interested in a littler trivia here’s some information on the title of this post:

“The story goes that in Las Vegas for many years the chicken dinner special was $1.79. With the standard bet being $2, a winning bet would be enough money to buy dinner. Hence the phrase, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner”.”

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Thank you Thursday #6

Hello hello…sorry for the lack of posts lately. It’s a bit of a long story to come later but in the mean time this is a special ASS edition of Thank You Thursday. As in I am an ASS for not writing for so long and for not thanking Sherri and Joe in the week before last’s Thank you Thursday and Bridget and Mike in last week’s Thank You Thursday! So off we go this is a big week because as you’ll see there are some pretty amazing people…

One good looking couple

Sherri and Joe McLaughlin: Sherri and Joe are two great friends of mine, although at this point I have to say I would like to hear from them and see them a little bit more! Sherri and I worked together for 6.5 years at “the Pro” until about two months ago when she left for the world of New Balance. (I keep checking the mail every day for my new kicks but they must have gotten lost somewhere.) Sherri was the marketing analyst at HCPro the person that told me that all of my hair-brained schemes were nothing but hair-brained schemes because just about everything I said, the data said the opposite. When we moved to the new office in Danvers Sherri and I were, for a short time anyway, office neighbors. Then one day, just like the Jeffersons, Sherri came in to my office to tell me that she was “moving on up”. My reaction may have been a bit dramatic, all I did was start jumping up and down saying “No you can’t leave me” and then put my sunglasses on, in my office without any windows, and put my head down on my desk. Sherri kept me sane on the days that I thought that my head was going to blow up, made me laugh when I couldn’t find anything to laugh about, and could develop reports faster than I could explain what information I was looking for. Joe is a fantastic guy who I also have a lot in common with, Joe loves a good beer and Irish bar, loves March Maddness, and unlike me he is a fantastic runner. Sherri and her wonderful husband Joe unfortunately lost Joe’s mom, Beverly McLaughlin to cancer, a few years ago. She will be a big part of what gets me across that finish line on April 18th. I know that Beverly is up there keeping an eye on Sherri and Joe and are so proud of all the success that they have had both personally and professionally.  Thank you guys so much for your donation.

Look at that cute dog!

Bridget Moynihan: Everyone has people in their life that come in at exactly the right time and make you a better person just by being them. Bridget Moynihan is one of those people to me. I keep saying it over and over again in every one of these posts but this week it is particularly true, HCPro is responsible for bringing some of the most important people in my life. One could say that the last  little over a year has been, well it has been a lot of things, but let’s call it interesting. Bridget and I met at “the Pro” and I was actually fortunate enough to share an office with Bridget for maybe about 2 of those years?? (my memory on length of time is not all that it used to be) Anyway, I have to say that the time that I spent sharing an office with Bridget and our friend Matty Paul was maybe some of the most fun I have had at “the Pro” ever! We would take the opportunity to break out into random dance or maybe sing songs like, “Dreamweaver” or my personal favorite “Star of the day who will it be?”. At the same time that we had so much fun we also worked incredibly hard, looking back on it now, I’m not sure how we got as many jobs done as we actually did. Anyway, unfortunately Bridget moved away for a little while and we kept in touch here and there. Bridget went off to dazzle two other companies with her incredible online marketing prowess. Then suddenly, back home she came, right where she belongs and she was just what the Dr. ordered. Someone to start calling me on my BS excuses, start holding me accountable to doing the things that I actually said I would do, and someone to slap me when I was just being completely lame and going out of my mind. In all honesty I am not sure that I would be doing as well as I am today if it were not for Bridget. Not to mention that she always knows when the best concerts are coming to town, can make me laugh like few people are able to, and is always down to hit the 24-hour diner at 2 in the morning. Not only did I get a friend back when Bridget came home, but I also was adopted as an honorary member of the Moynihan clan. Bridget’s family has been absolutely amazing to me just like Bridget has been, so it’s true the apple definitely does not fall far from the tree. Now Bridget is off impressing them all at the New England Journal of Medicine managing different contractors by the truckload and launching new and innovative e-campaigns that are bringing new subscribers in hand over fist. So thank you Bridget for your donation, your friendship, and for keeping me sane.

Awww how cute?

Mike Briddon: Oh man…what’s a girl to say about her ex-work-husband? This is a tough one. Again this is a perfect example of the incredible people that HCPro has brought into my life, three in a row. Despite Mike’s terrible sense of humor (This a real Mike joke: “Did you pay less for those pants because they are so short?”  EVERY TIME  someone is wearing Capri pants) and terrible Facebook updates, he is one of my closest friends.  Mike and I worked really closely together for the past 3 years and at one time during that period even worked on the exact same team, for most of the time Mike was the Executive Editor for the markets for which I am the Product Marketing Director. Although Mike and I very rarely, if ever, agreed on anything work related and would spend much of our time debating one another, I absolutely loved working with Mike. It is because of our constant bickering that I actually refer to Mike as my work husband. Work brought Mike and I to some of the most country’s most incredible destinations like Kansas City Missouri, Grapevine Texas, and anywhere else that there is a giant conference center but nothing else interesting to do. I have to honestly say that there really isn’t anyone else that I would rather travel to these incredibly boring places with. Mike can make just about any time and any where really fun. Aside from work though Mike really is just a great person and friend. He was one of the first people that I went to tell about my chipped ankle because I knew that he would tell me it would be okay.(Full disclosure: As soon as I left his office Mike then went to Emily what had happened and that he didn’t think I’d ever be able to walk again.) Yeah, worrying and anxiety are something Mike and I have in common. He always knows just what to say and he’s the guy friend that every girl wants to have, you can tell him absolutely anything and he’ll always have both something kind of smart and kind of funny to say.  Mike, if you ever try to bring up any of these nice things I said about you in conversation I will deny them all. However, one of the best things about Mike is that he is now living with Bridget, whom he met at my birthday party last year. I love them together, because it’s awesome to visit two friends at once, but really because they are two of the best people I know, so when they combine their powers of greatness it really turned into something special. Thanks Mikey!

This thank you Thursday is to be continued…Julie Manninen, Margo Padios, and Alanna Moynihan are still to come

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Thank you Thursday #5

Becky Gabriel: Becky is one of my best friends on the planet. This friendship however, may have one of the most oddest beginnings to a friendship ever. Back in the day before I could drive I spent a lot of time going to my sister’s basketball games. Becky’s sister Pammy and my sister Kourtney played on the same basketball team. Becky’s mom Eloise and my mom would always say how I should meet Becky and we should hang out, but it felt a little too much like a coordinated play date, which is so NOT cool when you’re 15. Eventually though Becky and I did hang out and from the first minute we were up to no good. Our first time hanging out consisted of being chased by mysterious people carrying flashlights, running through a field, then through a cemetery, and then hopping a fence and landing in what we would later find out to be an intense patch of poison ivy, and finally a blue light special. Oh, to be 18 again! After an experience as intense as that I’m pretty sure that we had no choice but to be best friends. We have done just about everything together and had a BLAST doing it. Our birthdays are just two days apart, although Becky will be sure to remind me to make sure everyone knows she is an entire year younger than I am. When my friendship started with Becky though it also extended to her entire family, which is now my extended family as well. Her Grandfather started Mr. G’s where I have worked, eaten, and learned more about life than anywhere else for more than 12 years. If one of us has made out better in this friendship than the other it is definitely me. Becky and her entire family have been better to me than words could ever express. Unfortunately though Becky now lives on Long Island, 300 miles away and we’re both terrible at making sure that we speak regularly. Even though I do not get to see her as often as I would like, when I do see her it’s as if we see one another every day and we don’t skip a beat. That my friends is a sign of a true friendship. Rumor has it that she will be making a special trip up to MA to witness my running (read crawling) of the Marathon and I am so excited. Thanks B you are the BEST!

She's such an expert she has her own headshot!

Diane Brown: This woman knows more about the Long-Term Care industry than I have ever known anyone to know about anything! Not to mention the fact that when she has her wingwoman, Margo around, these two could sell ice to an Eskimo. It’s amazing. She can tell you what happens or what should happen in any nursing home, anywhere in the country, in any scenario. She knows how to care for a patient, how to document that care, how to bill for that care, and then exactly how to pass a survey with flying colors. Let’s put it this way, this woman was able to explain things so clearly and so thoroughly that even I could understand it, enough said! Not to mention the fact that she really is just a joy to be around. She has great stories to tell about all of her travels around the country and when she talks about her grandchildren her whole face just lights up. She is just such a fantastic person I can’t say enough about her. Thanks Diane!

Erin and Kev

Erin O’Shea: I said this last week but it’s definitely worth saying again. The Pro has done amazing things for me career-wise, but the true value to “The Pro” to me is in the people that it has brought into and also brought back into my life. Erin is the person that HCPro has brought back into my life. This may be a surprise to some of you but Erin and I actually graduated from the class of ’99 at Bishop Fenwick. I think that this will only be surprising because I am so much younger looking than Erin (I think it should be about 10 seconds after I publish this that Erin will be screaming at me for this one…Just Kidding!). Erin and I knew each other in high school but didn’t hang out that much. We were in pretty different circles of friends, I was with the cool kids and Erin was with all the super preppy kids (AGAIN KIDDING). However, a little over 3 years ago I walked into the interview room in our Marblehead office to interview a candidate for a strategic marketing position that we had open. To my surprise there was Erin sitting in front of me. This really threw me off of my interview game and we spent a lot of time catching up on what one another had been up to since high school. Long story short, Erin became a “Pro” girl and has been one of my best friends ever since. Erin is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and genuine people that I know. She is a great time to hang out with, she cracks me up to no end, and she let’s me crash on her couch with her “muppet blanket” how much better can you get than that? Thanks so much Erin!

That's one lucky dad!

Jay Kumar: Runners, you want to talk about runners? Jay Kumar is your guy. Jay is an incredibly fast runner, in fact sometimes Jay and I will be signed up for the same race the only way that I know we are signed up for the same race is because I see Jay all calm cool and collected enjoying his second/third bottle of water while I am huffing and puffing and trying to get my ass across the finish line about 30 minutes after him. Jay and I work together at the Pro and he is a really great guy to work with as well. I don’t think that I have ever seen Jay lose it ever, he’s the most calm, cool, and collected guy ever. Jay also has two of the most adorable daughters on the planet and one heck of an athlete as a wife.

Joan and Tom's Gorgeous Family

Joan O’Hare: Who can guess how I know Joan O’Hare ? I am pretty sure that no one will get this one… go ahead I’ll give you a few minutes….

Give up? Joan was my freshman and sophomore Spanish teacher. Here’s why I didn’t think that many of you would get that, because how many teachers do you know from High School who are as great as Joan is about keeping in touch with and supporting students from 15 years ago? This woman sends me a birthday card every year!  I can’t even remember my OWN birthday every year! This may actually come as a surprise to some of you, but my undergraduate degree is in Spanish and really it’s because of this woman. I took Spanish is 7th and 8th grade but it was when I got into Joan’s class that I really started to “get it” and once that happened I found out that I  really LOVE the language. So much of the reason that I was able to understand it and fall in love with it was because of Joan. Her teaching style was incredible, she made Spanish fun and easy to understand and remember. It really astonishes me to think that if every teacher taught with the same enthusiasm and passion for her students that Joan did where our students could all be right now.  More than just a love for Spanish, I think that one of the most important things that Joan taught me was to really believe in myself, that I could actually be an “honors student” if I wanted to be and I worked hard at it.  I got to Fenwick right in the nick of time, I was one of the last students that Joan had at Fenwick, soon after my class she started a BEAUTIFUL family of her own and this brood definitely keeps her busy! I have no idea how she keeps up with all of these guys! Thanks so much Joan…for everything!

Sister...sisters...

Kourtney Adams: Adams? Where have I heard that name before? Oh right, it’s mine! Kourtney is my sister, my savior, a really fun person to hang out with, and Wrigley’s newest snuggle buddy after I head off to work. I don’t know what to say about Kourtney other than she’s awesome. Growing up I am not sure that I would have had the same assessment, because we spent most of our time fighting over who was wearing the other’s clothes. I know that they say that when you have kids you get paid back for all of the things you did as a kid, which is why I have actually contemplated having only one because I cannot imagine having to referee fights as bad as mine and Kourtney’s were. We fought over shirts, pants, sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, just about every article of clothing you could imagine although, not so surprisingly never skirts or dresses. Don’t get me wrong there are still the occasional sibling arguments, but there is no one else but a sister that you can scream at one minute and then who will take your dog out and go get a beer with you the next. She also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone that I have ever met, she will do absolutely anything, for anyone, at any time. Sometimes this is not such a good thing because I have to remind her that we can’t take all the homeless people home, but most of the time it’s an incredible quality about her. So I am super grateful for her donation but I am more grateful to have a sister. (I think I should be writing Hallmark cards)

Leigh Stoecker and Doug Sector: Leigh and Doug are some of my favorite people ever. Again, another connection born at “the Pro” for which I am forever grateful. I was fortunate enough to work for Leigh for about a year. She hired me for a marketing communications role with terrible writing skills and very limited marketing experience, having been with the company for just about a year, and really gave me a shot. Leigh taught me more about marketing in that time frame than almost anyone else. I felt like she opened my eyes up to exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and really spurred a passion inside of me for marketing. (God that just made me sound like the biggest dork ever) The year I spent working for Leigh was one of the most fun years that I have had at the Pro so far. She put together a great team of people for me to work with and was a great mentor and manager. Not only did she teach me about business but she was also very mom-like, looking out for me and making sure that I wasn’t getting too far out of line. She is wowing them with her marcomm and management skills over at Wiley-Blackwell now, and it was super painful to watch her leave the Pro. However, I am really really grateful that I got to work with for her and with her for a couple of years and even more grateful that we still keep in touch. She and Doug are an absolute blast to hang out with and two of the most caring people I know. Thanks so much for the support guys! However they are also the only two people I know not on Facebook, hence the lack of image!

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