Goodbye April, Hello May

Dance competitions, concert adventures, and plenty of blooms.
Dance competitions, concert adventures, and plenty of blooms.
The first few days of May slipped away from me before I could get things moving here. Better late than never? Sure. Yet again, another jam-packed month is in the books. I’m powering through the next six weeks until recital season comes to a close, and there’s no slowing down before then.

April was a pretty great month and May is shaping up to be even better. Take a look at what was accomplished and what’s to come!

In April, I…

  • Cheered on my students at their first competition of the season. I was (and still am) beyond proud of what the girls accomplished to prepare for their first big performance. All of my dances scored very well, each receiving at least 290 points out of 300.
  • Celebrated the 2.5 year mark at work. I can’t believe it’s been that long since I started at this position! I’ve definitely learned a lot in my time here and am excited to see what the future has in store. One thing I’m super pumped about? Lots of writing in my future.
  • Enjoyed some of the best live music. We all know that I love concerts, and April had two of the best to date. I caught a show from Tycho & Alt-J when I was visiting Molly in North Carolina. Just a week later, I got to see Sufjan Stevens perform to a sold-out crowd at the Academy of Music in Philly. Did I mention our seats were in the second row? Yea, it was pretty great.

In May, I will…

  • Wrap up two dance-related things. I’ve got two more competitions coming up this month, one with each studio I teach at. I’ll also close out my third season dancing with the Precious Metal Dance Team. This year’s move to the brand new arena has been fun, but I’ll welcome some much needed time off!
  • Focus on me. With so many things going on, I’ve let taking care of myself take a back seat. I’ve definitely felt the repercussions of that, and am geared up to kick off some lifestyle changes just in time for the summer months.
  • Turn 25! My birthday is just under two weeks away, and I’m excited to spend some time with friends & family. Last year on my birthday I launched my 101 in 1001 project, so stay tuned on updates on that!

Here’s to a new month, sunshine, and as many outdoor brunches as I can handle!

Goodbye March, Hello April

march cal
A pretty desk makes all the difference in the world.

I have to admit, I’m eager to be writing this post only because I have high hopes of spring being just around the corner. There are some flurries lingering in the forecast for tonight (why? can we not?), but cross your fingers for blue sky and sunshine from here on out.

March was a pretty busy month, but nothing compared to what’s lined up in the next few! This past weekend was actually my last totally free weekend until… wait for it… JULY. What? I know. Believe me- I took advantage of that free time and checked a ton of things off of my to-do list, all while saving some time for fun, too.

In March, I…

  • Traveled to Boston, MA for work. Well, really we were in Foxboro but who’s counting? Kim and I worked the AAA Travel Marketplace Show at Gillette Stadium for 22 hours over the course of three days. Mix that with the eight hours it took us to drive there (thanks, blizzard), and my feet were done.
  • Traveled to NYC with the dance studio. We took some of the ensemble girls into the city to take a few classes and see Matilda on Broadway. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, filled with plenty hikes across midtown from studio to studio. I was able to meet up with my friend Elise for lunch, which was wonderful. I hadn’t seen her in nearly four years, since we said goodbye the morning I left London!
  • Wrapped up competition choreography. Piecing together these dances might have been one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. It’s funny to be on the teacher’s side of the equation for a change- I totally understand the absurd amounts of frustration that occur when students are consistently missing class, and can’t remember choreography from week to week. I had hoped to have these dances done long ago, but better late than never? Sure, let’s go with that one.
March was also full of tasty beverages.
March was also full of tasty beverages.

In April, I will…

  • Head to Raleigh, NC for a long weekend visit with Molly. For Easter weekend, I’m packing my bags and heading south for a few days! I cannot wait to be in some sunshine & warmth, and be able to spend some time with Molly. On top of whatever adventures she’s got planned, we’re also going to see Tycho & Alt-J at the Red Hat Ampitheatre on Friday night. If you know anything about me, you know I love a good outdoor concert.
  • Kick off my third season with the Precious Metal Dance Team. Our first game of the season is on Sunday, April 12. Not only is this game our first in the new arena, but it also marks the 5th Annual Youth Dance Clinic. This year. we have over 125 young dancers & cheerleaders that will be joining us on-field for a halftime performance. It’s exciting to see the number grow more and more each year. We’re hoping for a smooth day filled with lots of fun!
  • Attend our first competition of the season. Both studios I teach at will actually be competing at the same event, so I’ll be dressed in a nice neutral outfit. Even after all the battles in class, I’m still very proud of what my students have accomplished, and I can’t wait to see it all come together on stage!

And in case you missed it in March, I recorded a video with Lehigh Valley Dancers. Check it out below.

Cheers to April!

Goodbye February, Hello March

At the start of each month, I take a look back at the past few weeks and highlight three things that I accomplished, as well as three highlights for the month to come. It’s a nice way for me to check in and see how things have progressed over time.  Like the idea? Feel free to make it your own! Leave a comment below, I’d love to follow along with your updates!

LV Beer Week, flowers from my Roomie, Hollywood cuddles, & video shoots at Weyerbacher.
LV Beer Week, flowers from my Roomie, Hollywood cuddles, & video shoots at Weyerbacher.

We all know that February is the shortest month, but it’s amazing how those three little days make such a difference. Another month has flown by, and here I am struggling with the fact that I still haven’t made the strides that I wanted to. Baby steps, baby steps.

Regardless, there are still some highlights to be proud of, and some exciting things to look forward to in the month ahead!

In February, I…

  • Celebrated the one-year anniversary of launching the Lehigh Valley Ale Trail. This has been one of my favorite projects to work on over the last year, and I’m loving the additions that have been made recently. Check out the editorial content that I’ve been developing, and will continue with bi-weekly.
  • Spent a day with my parents. My mom & dad came down to visit for a Saturday, and we spent the day wandering about in Easton. I picked up some additions to my antique coffee tin collection. My dad helped hang some shelves in the apartment for me- I see an Ikea trip in the near future!
  • Reminded myself that I am lucky to live the life I have. Mid-January through the first week of February was sort of a rough time for me personally. I let myself be sad for a few days, but then realized that I am happy being me. Sometimes it takes a hard time to see the truth, but it’s nice to feel comfortable in my own skin.

On my last check in, I also set three goals for myself for the month of February. Here’s how I did on those:

  • Read three new books: Half completed. I made it through two, so that’s better than I was doing previously!
  • Try three new recipes: whomp whomp. I didn’t do much cooking throughout February, and my bank account is definitely feeling it.
  • Research/purchase a domain name: Success! If you didn’t notice, you can now access this site via KaitieBurger.com!

In March, I will…

  • Travel to Boston for work. This is our first year having a booth at the AAA Travel Marketplace, held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. Here’s hoping for no snow over the time that we’re there!
  • Head to New York City for a weekend with the dance studio. We’re taking a bus up to the city for the kids to take some classes and will also be catching a Saturday evening show of Matilda on Broadway. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new show, and I’m excited to spend time in the city with the girls.
  • Wrap up the prep for competition season. The finishing touches are being completed over the next two weeks, and then we’ll spend the final classes cleaning and perfecting each step so that we’ll be ready to take the stage in April.

As far as some goals to tackle in March, I’m hoping to…

  • Publish three posts a week on this blog. Time to push those excuses aside and get to work!
  • Start a ‘bullet journal.’ I read about this last week, and am loving the idea.
  • Cross three books off my reading list.

Cheers to a productive month ahead, and a few steps closer to a sunshine-filled spring!

Goodbye January, Hello February

At the start of each month, I take a look back at the past few weeks and highlight three things that I accomplished, as well as three highlights for the month to come. It’s a nice way for me to check in and see how things have progressed over time.  Like the idea? Feel free to make it your own! Leave a comment below, I’d love to follow along with your updates!

January Favorites
Local architecture, yummy coffee, and our students after our show.

Whew. Just like that, the first month of 2015 is gone! It’s been a little bit since I’ve taken some time to check in on what’s happened over the last month. At end of December, I published a yearly wrap-up, but I’ve missed these little mini check-ins!

I’m a day or two behind (I blame it on the snow), but there’s still lots of time in February to get some big ideas rolling. 2015 started off pretty strong, and I intend to keep that trend rolling in the month to come!

In January, I…

  • Enjoyed some time off for the holidays. Okay, so this one trickles over into December as well, but who’s counting? I took a little over a week off of work surrounding the holiday season, and it was just what I needed to refresh my mind and start the year ready to run. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to jet off to a picture-perfect destination as I would have liked to, but that’s a goal for 2015!
  • Traveled to NYC for my third NY Times Travel Show. I can’t believe this is the third year I’ve attended this event for work! Time flies, right? I only ended up working the set up & first day of the event due to some other things going on (keep reading…), but it was just as much of an adventure as any other year is!
  • Debuted a new piece of choreography. Amanda, Arenda and I presented new work at the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange’s Cabaret Nights IX this month. It was great to be able to perform in a different setting than I’ve been used to of late… cough cough, football field. We had wonderful support from friends & family, some of our students even came to watch! You can view our piece here.

In February, I will…

  • Get back into gym mode. Alright, confession time. I’ve totally been a slacker since the holiday season, and I need to get my butt back into gear! The cold weather definitely does not make it easy to leave my warm office over lunch and head to the gym, but I’m going to tackle it!
  • Plan ahead. I’ve got a lot of things coming up over the coming months from football games, to dance competitions, to work events, and more. Now, more than ever, it’s important that I really look forward and plan ahead so that I can tackle all the goals I have stored up in my brain. I’ve been making some baby steps here, but it’s crunch time. Now, let’s get focused!
  • Write, write, and write some more. I’m really feeling ready to make some big strides, and will be stepping up my writing game here, at work, and beyond. Stay tuned for some fun!

As a new part of this series, I’ll also be including three goals to accomplish in the month ahead.

In February, I’d like to tackle…

  • Two books. Not That Kind of Girl and Yes Please have been calling to be from my bookshelf for weeks!
  • Three new recipes. It’s been quite some time since I tried something new!
  • Research into purchasing a domain name. I know this is a step I need to take eventually, but there are so many things to consider in the meantime!

Cheers to the start of a new month!
Keep me in the loop if you’re starting your own monthly check-in series. 

Coming to Terms & Getting Gutsy

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

Earlier tonight, I had a massive flashback to college. Rushing home from dance in the freezing cold, a million thoughts rushing through my mind. Most of them center around the constant to-do list that is running in my head. GutsyOut of clean underwear? Whoops, guess tonight just became laundry night. That paper due tomorrow? Nope, haven’t started it. Sigh. Cue the coffee.

For someone who loves planning as much as I do, it’s odd that procrastination is such a terrible habit that I just can’t seem to break. Three years post-grad, and here I am faced with the same issues. The clock ticking down to deadline and I am just booting up my MacBook to start clicking away at the keys.

It’s risky, but it’s how I work best.

Believe me, I had a million other plans for what I was going to be writing here. It’s no secret that I draw inspiration (a lot of it) from Jess, and I knew I wanted to be a part of the Get Gutsy essay collection this year. I’ve spent the last month with ideas bouncing around in my brain, trying to think up an exciting, and equally inspiring, story that I could submit.

But do you know what I’ve realized? That’s not what I am. I’m not jumping out of airplanes or runnings marathons. That kind of thrill is just not in me.

I’ve spent the last few years trying to find what I want to be, who I really am. I know, I know. Here we go with another ‘twenty-something finds herself in a sea of chaos’ story. I promise, that’s not where I’m heading.

2014 wasn’t an easy year for me. It was filled with ups and downs. Personally, professionally, emotionally. You name it, I dealt with it. Through it all, I tried to build myself up to all of these ideals that I saw other people achieving. The job promotion. The engagement. Even something as trivial as the beautiful meal posted up on Instagram.

I spent my year comparing myself to others and trust me, it was not pretty.

Near the end of the year, I started to realize that maybe the things I thought I wanted aren’t actually what I want. I don’t need to be making strides at the same pace, or even in the same pattern, as my peers. I need to just be me.

In my quest for perfection, I became a very toxic person. Even I didn’t like to be around me. My anxiety was at an all-time high, I snapped at people over stupid little things. The roughest part? I didn’t even realize it along the way. It hit me all at once like a ton of bricks.

I was unhappy with the way my life was going. I was unhappy with the path that I was on.

For someone who always likes to have the right answers, that’s not an easy thing to admit. It’s taken a lot of me-time to sit and process all of my thoughts and what steps I need to take to remedy the things that cause me so many struggles.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned so far, it’s that it is okay to not hit every check-in point along the way. It’s okay to change your mind, or even start a new journey all together.

2015 is the year of me concentrating on me.
Selfishness in the best (and most necessary) kind of way.

I’ve finally realized that in order for me to start accomplishing big goals in my life, I need to take care of myself first. It’s not going to be an easy path; I’m not very good at accepting failure. But even a tiny win is still win, and all the little changes add up to big progress.

I’m getting gutsy and challenging myself to reevaluate the priorities and patterns in my life. To make more intentional decisions. To keep the big picture in mind as much as possible. And most importantly, to roll with the punches and not sweat the small stuff.

Now that we’re all the way down here (sorry that this became a sort of a tangent), you might be thinking “so what? What’s the big deal with all of this?” And honestly, I can’t tell you right now. I don’t have the answers. It’s as new to me as it is to you, but that’s half the fun of it.

Stick around and you’ll see where we end up!