SURPRISE! MY SITE HAS MOVED

Hi everyone – this site is no longer active. Now, you can find me at my new site – located at www.alwaysmysunshine.com!

Please visit for updated posts, new content, and a whole new feel . Be sure to sign up using your email on the subscription form to be notified of new posts!

Thank you so much for your continuous love + support on this little project of mine!

xo,

Jaclyn

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Running a 6K

I am not a runner, I have never been a runner, and the thought of running more than a mile has always filled me with dread.

On the other hand, my boyfriend, Dan, and his entire family (I mean 100% of them) love to run. They run in the morning, late at night, on holidays, in snow, rain, and scorching heat – nothing stops them. For fun, they run 5Ks as a family and are currently planning a trip to Disney next winter to run a half-marathon together.

This difference between us is so apparent that over the past year more than one of my friends and family members have sent me this photo…

 

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Even though this always gives me a good laugh (because it is SO true), I’ve found my mindset towards running shifting drastically over the past 6 months.

The first few times that Dan asked me to run a 5K with him and his family, I said absolutely not. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and that I would embarrass myself. At the same time, I felt left out. I was sad that I was opting out of these fun opportunities, but I didn’t really think that I had a choice.

After a few months of feeling sorry for myself and missing out on the fun, I decided to try to start running on my own. I told myself that maybe I could be ready by the next time that they asked me to run with them, and started training away.

When I say “training” I mean that VERY loosely. I followed the Couch to 5K plan for awhile before finally asking Dan to write me a running plan of my own. I’ll never forget the conversation we had as he was doing so. He asked me how far I could run without stopping so he knew where we were starting from. “10 minutes?” he asked innocently, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. At that point, I couldn’t even run for 10 minutes without stopping! (He refused to start the plan at 2 minutes, so we settled at 5 for anyone who is wondering)

I followed his plan on and off for about 6 months- with breaks due to injury, moves, new jobs, and frigid temperatures. Even with all of these breaks, I was able to complete my first 6K with Dan’s family on Sunday!

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I set a goal for myself that I would finish the race in 40 minutes, and that I would run all 3.8 miles. I met one of these goals and finished the race in 35 minutes, even though I did have to stop a few times to catch my breath.

Here are a few photos of Dan and I crossing the finish line…

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I know it isn’t much to some people, but to me it was huge. I was so nervous all week leading up to the race, and my anxiety was through the roof the morning of. None the less, I did it. I proved to myself that I could do something that scared me and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I can’t take all the credit though. I could not have done it without Dan beside me every step of the way (literally).

Moral of the story here – If there is something that you want to do, set your mind to it and you will prevail. I continue to find that your thoughts and worries tend to be more limiting than any other factor in your life, including physical abilities. I wish that I had more confidence in myself last summer when Dan first asked me to run with him, rather than worrying so much about what others thought of me and letting it hold me back. Because in all honesty, not one single person cared about how long it took me to finish the race.

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Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, all! We are almost halfway there ūüôā

xo,
Jaclyn

April: Tech Tuesday

As you know, I¬†love reading blogs. I’m a nosey person – I love reading about what other people are wearing, eating, loving, hating, etc. I also love reading educational blogs. There are tons and tons out there – for teaching, nursing, fitness, finance, organizing techniques, you name it. ¬†There are blogs similar to mine that also touch on women’s careers, how they balance working and family, how they excel in the work place, and so much more.

I recently have been looking for some inspiration on being a woman working in a male-dominated industry. Currently I work for a huge engineering firm in an office of about 200 people, yet there are only about 5 female engineers. This was a common theme throughout college as well, with females only making up about 25% of most classes.

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It wasn’t something that I really thought mattered, until I started thinking about my career and life down the road.

One spot that this really comes into play is with workplace relationships and friendships. My mom, grandma, aunts, and cousins all have great girlfriends that they met through their jobs. My best friend from college went into nursing and has made tons of new girlfriends since graduating. This¬†is not the case for most female engineers. I listen to my girlfriends (who are also engineers) complain about this as well. I often get snapchats and texts that say “out with the guys for drinks again after work (insert eye roll emoji).” – and¬†I¬†totally feel their pain.

When I chose what I wanted to do for a living, I never thought about how I would fit into the working atmosphere or what it would mean for the rest of my life. I find myself seeking outlets besides work to make new girlfriends in a new city. I also often wonder about what will happen once I’m older and want to have children, just because there haven’t been many women in my industry who have¬†shared their journey in perfecting this balance.

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This is¬†where Always My Sunshine comes in. Once a month I want to share a bit about my career, my education, my work-life balance, and any other related topics that may arise. I wish that I had someone (even in the blogging world) to turn to when I had questions about life as a female engineer, so I’m hoping this series will help someone out there.

Please reach out to me if you have any ideas, questions, or topic suggestions!

xo,

Jaclyn

Yippee, I’m 23!

When I was younger, I used to view 23 year olds as adults. I envisioned that by this time I would be married with three kids. I assumed that my family would live in a big, beautiful home that I designed and built myself.  I envisioned myself cooking dinner every night in a huge, bright, cheery kitchen while chatting with my husband about my day. I whole-heartedly believed that I would have everything figured out and perfectly in-line by the time that I was 23.

Of course I realize how ridiculous this sounds now, but I think my 10 year old self would be disappointed.¬†I’m 23 years old, yes, but my life does not look¬†anything like I thought that it would.

I spend most of my time alone – facetiming, texting, and¬†thinking about my family and friends back home. I cry over stupid things at least twice a week and doubt myself more than I would like to admit. I skip workouts, don’t iron my clothes, and eat far too much chocolate. Oh, and I am¬†the worst cook.

But in all the ways that my life is messy, chaotic, and upside down at times Рit is equally as wonderful.

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At 23 my life is full of adventure – I never ever would have guessed in a million years that I would have moved to New York City to work as an engineer. This step was so far out of my comfort zone that I’m surprised I could reach, but I’m so glad that I did.

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At 23 my life is full of love –¬†I¬†never imagined that I would be with a man who treats me like I put the stars in the sky.

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At 23 my life is full of friendship – I am so grateful for the family members who have become great friends to me as I’ve gotten older.

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At 23 my life is also full of faith, laughter, and promise, which makes the hard times so much easier.

I’m so grateful for everyone in my life who made 22 so fantastic- ¬†I can’t wait to see what 23 has in store for me!

xo,

Jaclyn

Early Spring Recap

So remember around January 1st I posted about my New Year’s Resolutions? Remember how one of them was to be more consistent with the blog? Oops! I guess life just gets in the way sometimes and you have to roll with the punches. Lately, that means not opening my computer for any purposes besides work and studying. It’s not pretty or fun to think about, but hopefully it will get better soon.

While I have a few minutes, I wanted to share some of my favorite things that have happened over the last couple of months since I posted!

  1. My aunt, uncle, and cousins came to visit me! We only got to spend a few hours together, but I loved having them here none the less.

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2. I discovered one of my new favorite places in Massachusetts – Birth Tree Bread Company. Since visiting, I can’t stop thinking and talking about how I would love to open a coffee shop just like this one – homemade pastries, fresh bread, delicious coffee, and craft beer. All of this along with the cozy atmosphere and the farmer’s market downstairs — I am in¬†my element!

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3. Mom, Dave, Ant, and Dan came down for a long weekend in March. We had a great time despite it being one of the last freezing cold weekends that we had. We spent a our Saturday night at Maxwell’s Tavern and ended up front row at a country concert. It was a bizarre twist of events, but we had fun being front row at a Drew Baldridge concert.

4. I visited Departed Soles Brewing Co. in Jersey City with a friend from college, her boyfriend, and Dan. It was so great to catch up with her after months apart! The brewery that we went to was such a unique and quirky little place – but the beer that I had was¬†fantastic. She loved it because they have gluten free options, which is nearly unheard of for a brewery. Since we went around Easter, the specialty beer on tap was infused with marshmallow peeps. Now I know that this sounds strange, but it may very well have been the best beer that I have ever tasted. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a case!

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5. My five best guy friends from college came to visit me a few weeks later and we had the best weekend. We started the weekend off with a delicious Italian dinner at Margherita’s Pizza Cafe and it was a fabulous choice. All weekend everyone raved about the meal that they had here – myself included.

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On Saturday we spent the day walking around and exploring NYC. We went up to the observatory deck of One World Trade Center, visited Ground Zero, Wall Street, Central Park, and Trump Tower (or as all the guys kept saying, “White House North”).

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It was a full day of walking but we had a blast. I was so grateful to have them here for the weekend! I always find myself feeling so lucky to have such solid friendships that all started 5 years ago in our college freshman dorm.

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6. Dan and I went to the Penguins hockey game at the Newark Prudential Center. It was a perfect Thursday night activity to break up the work week. He loved every second of the game!

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The following Saturday morning, we had our very own “Pr-Easter” celebration in the new apartment – complete with an egg hunt and Easter baskets.

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We then spent the day, quite literally, eating our way through New York City. We had fish and chips….

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humongous doughnuts…

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See’s chocolates….

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…. and the list goes on and on.

We felt so sick finally making our way back home, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t stop smiling or laughing the entire day – so I would say that it was very worth it. I love the new traditions that we are making together.

7. Last but not least, Easter weekend! I got into MA around 11 PM Friday night and immediately went to bed. I was exhausted after working all day and traveling all night, but it was more than worth it. On Saturday morning, Dan and I took a ride to Birch Tree Bread Company (surprise, surprise) for iced coffee. Once we spotted the pastries though, we couldn’t say no!

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We sat down to split a “pain de chocolate”¬†before headed to the farmer’s market downstairs. I picked up two bouquets of tulips from Fivefork Farms in Upton, MA – one for my mom and one for my grandma. The photos don’t do them justice because they were absolutely breathtaking.

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On Saturday afternoon, my Dad and Peggy stopped by to have an early Easter lunch with Ant and I. They brought us the most fantastic Easter baskets, as always, and I’m mad at myself that I didn’t get a picture of it. I was clearly too busy inhaling as much candy as possible, as fast as possible (LOL). We went down to Brew City on Shrewsbury St. for lunch and had a great time catching up.

After returning from lunch, we decorated cupcakes, easter eggs, and made chocolate covered strawberries with the boys! Max was so excited to be reunited with his BFF Dan.

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Another big highlight of the weekend was that Dan got confirmed at Easter Vigil on Saturday night! I am so proud of him for making this choice and pursuing his faith.

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Sunday morning we woke up early to have kielbasa, coffee, mimosas, and butter braids with Dan’s family. It was the perfect relaxing start to the day before heading off to see my crazy family!

Here are a few of the photos taken from the day…

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Every time Dan and I tried to take a picture together Max would come running over and yell, “CHEESE!”

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We finally managed to get one on our own!

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That’s pretty much everything that has been going on for the past few months around here. I always find it funny how I can get so bogged down with the little details of my day to day life,¬†yet looking back the weeks are filled with so much happiness. Writing recap posts like this really helps me put into perspective how blessed I truly am. God is so good.

xo,

Jaclyn