2018 Real Resolutions

2017 was the year of so many “firsts” and “lasts” for me.

I finished my last semester of college, competed in my last pom competition, slept my last sleep in the college house I lived in with my best friends for three years, the list goes on…

I also had my first day at a new job, moved into my first big girl apartment with Scooter, posted my first blog post and taught my first class as an instructor.

2017 was no doubt the craziest, most fun, scary, amazing year yet. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a single second of this year. Every struggle forced me to learn and grow, and every success allowed me to appreciate this wonderful, LoveLeigh (I had to) life I live.

As we enter the final hours of 2017, I have reflected on my wins and loses for the year and set some realistic goals for myself moving forward.

I won’t lie, I don’t like the idea of “waiting for the new year” to set goals, because we should all be setting new goals every morning. But I do think the new year is a good time to check in on yourself and reflect on what’s important. So instead of trying to set giant, looming goals, let’s set some attainable ones that lead to progress and growth.

I want to make 2018 the year of listening. This one encompasses a lot. Listening to your friends, family and colleagues and hearing what they are saying, not just listening to respond. Having meaningful conversation and showing you care is becoming more and more rare. Let’s all try to listen more.

This also applies to yourself. Listen to your mind and body, and respond accordingly. On occasion I’ve been known to ignore everything my body tells me and go, go, go until I am so sick and tired I can’t get out of bed. I am going to consciously try to slow down when necessary. If you’re a 24/7 mover, you know this is so hard. Let’s hold each other accountable.

My next intention is to live presently. This goes hand in hand with being a crazy busy person. There were so many days this year where I would go through the motions of a 16 hour day and have no idea how that much time had passed. I hate the foggy feeling of not knowing how you got from A to B. I want to pull the focus I have throughout parts of my life into my entire day. No more going through the motions and more present intention. Let’s be aware and actionable in 2018.

My boring and practical resolution for the year is to set and abide by a budget. I am mentioning it here so that I actually do it. I can’t wait for the conversations where this specific paragraph is held against me by my parents and personal financial advisor (Scott). Good. I deserve it. If I don’t surpass my monthly spending for the whole year, come December 2018 I will treat myself at Lululemon. Does that defeat the point of a budget? Probably. Give me a break, I’m new to this.

Lastly, I resolve to spread joy. I love all the #feels of the holidays. Everybody is happy and full of cookies and excited to see each other. This feeling seems to fade by the middle of January when we are all windburned and packed into public transit like sardines.

Let’s try our best to revive that joy. This starts by waking up every day and making the decision to be kind to yourself and those around you. Smile at a stranger, take some time for yourself, and go out of the way to make a loved one feel special. The feeling of joy in our lives shouldn’t be limited to one month of the year. Oh, and the cookies probably don’t hurt, so let’s continue to bake and eat those, too.

None of my resolutions involve specific numbers or deadlines. I just want to spend this year having as much fun and learning as much as I did last year (and saving some money). I want to continue to create and spread kindness, tackle my goals head-on, and release negativity from my life.

Please share your favorite memories from 2017 and your goals for the new year in the comments. I want to hear what you guys are looking forward to and reflecting on. Here’s to making 2018 the best year yet. Who’s with me?

Love, Leigh

Date the Good Guy

You know those people that you always seem to cross paths with? You see them everywhere and feel like you know them, but you’ve never actually met.

That’s how I felt about a handsome blue-eyed fellow back in 2014.

Let’s go back three years. 

I was a sophomore in college. I had just changed my major (again) and was taking a pretty random course schedule; an 8:00 a.m. elective, a computer science class, a humanities class and a university required accounting class.

Between classes I went to the cafeteria to eat and study. It seemed like the aforementioned handsome guy was always there at the same time. He’d put his headphones in and mind his own business, arriving and leaving within minutes of me every time.

Turns out we had nearly the exact same schedule. 40,000 undergraduate students and this kid and I see each other at least 10 times a week. Fate.

I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

One morning, in line for hash browns, I heard a “hey,” from behind me. “I think you were in my class this morning.”

You guessed it. It was the blue-eyed boy. 

That day we finally sat together in the cafeteria and discovered that we had two classes together, as well as about 100 mutual friends. After a few minutes of conversation we decided to become study buddies. We studied together early in the morning before exams and exchanged notecards during lunch. He happened to be an accounting whiz.

After a few weeks of running into each other in the cafeteria, he invited me to study with him at the library.

We met on a freezing cold December night as walnut-sized snow flakes filled the air.

This was the night things changed. For one, I was not wearing the sweatpants that I slept in or a lazy bun on top of my head. But most importantly, Mr. Accounting didn’t want to talk about balance sheets the whole time.

We asked questions about the assignment here and there, but we mostly exchanged stories about our friends, vacations and weekend plans. He looked at me while I looked at the book….

OMG he has a crush on me.

“Jeanine,” I said to my roommate when she picked me up in the blizzard, “I think I was just on a date with Scott.”

We decided this was out of the question. Scott? No.

He’s seen me in full zombie mode with no makeup and my glasses on. He’s heard me ask a million questions about income statements, and credits and debits. We’ve talked about just about everything together over the semester. Was I imagining the flirting? 

*the chime of a text message* (oh the modern love story).

“Jeanine, do your friendly classmates text you at midnight? No?”

“Okay, yeah…Maybe Scott does like you.”

Our first picture as a couple – January 2015

Up until that point I had never dated a guy that I really knew before we started a relationship. Surely not anyone that had seen me over caffeinated before an exam and half asleep after lecture.

Here is why that’s a magical thing: I knew he liked me for me.

Good. Bad. Ugly. Vanilla latte stains on my sweatshirt and all.

He had seen me at my worst and still wanted to get to know me better.

This guy wanted to talk to me all the time, not just after he played video games for hours with his roommates and got bored. He texted me good morning just to be nice, met me for coffee after class, and asked me about my family, roommates and goals.

You know how this story ends…

With us, three years later, fighting over how to load the dishwasher.

I’m just kidding. (I’m not kidding but there are way better parts to our days than that).

Our story is still being written, but today is an especially happy page in the book because it’s my Scotty’s birthday.

Born two days before me and a year earlier. A Libra baby with a striking jawline and personality to match. Confident, serious but goofy, and the most caring person I’ve ever known.

He is truly my favorite person. I can’t thank him enough for all that he has taught me, not just about accounting, but about myself, relationships, and how to be a better human being.


I won’t get any mushier than that. All you need to know is that he rocks and is good at pretty much everything he puts his mind to.

So today, on my boyfriend’s birthday, I want to remind you all to share your lives with the people that love you for you.

At your highest highs and lowest lows, the ones who are there to wipe your tears and root for you to smash your goals are the people you want by your side every single day. I hope you find or have found a person that makes you feel like your best self.

Next time, say “hey” to that person you’re always crossing paths with. There might be a reason why you’re in the same place at the same time…At least there was for me.

Happy birthday, Scott! I love you endlessly.

Love, Leigh