“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” 

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Growth and Development (not the awkward kind)

In terms of my career, I have goals of where I see myself in the next few years.  But I can't get there unless I push myself out of my comfort zone.  Its hard.  I would sometimes rather sit and stay.  But how will I reach my goals?  Slowly but surely I've stretched my safety net, signing myself up for this and that, putting myself out there, and doing everything I can to expand and grow in my field.  

I was asked a few months back to be a part of a mentor program through the state's museum association.  I was excited to have the opportunity to have a mentor and build my network.  But as the conversation continued, I realized they were asking me to be a mentor in the program.  I couldn't believe it!  I was so very honored to have the opportunity to share what I've learned with others, especially when I realized many of the mentors chosen have been in the field for over 20 years.  And while I am still growing a lot each day and making mistakes, I have loved this chance to connect with others and help them build good foundations in collections care.

Today a workshop was held for the program and I was asked to present on the topic of collections care.  While I have generally gotten used to presentations, having the opportunity to speak at several conferences over the years and not to mention all of the daily meetings, I still get very very nervous and always have doubt in my mind that maybe they made a mistake asking me to present.  

Will this every change?  I'm not sure.  But I continue to push myself in these opportunities, to grow in my field so I can reach my goals.  At 12 years old I knew this was the path I would take and I am excited to see how far I've come.

a new skirt for work


Did you know?

Here I am, bored on a Friday night.
Bobby is off to Little Havana to do a show and I'm sitting on the couch, listening to the rain, and catching up on my netflix.

So to pass the time until it is an acceptable hour to jet off to bed on a Friday night, I've compiled a list of things that maybe you didn't know about me and I'm sure will be the most interesting read of your life.

: )

1.  My nostrils always flair when I stir yogurt
2.  I love the smell of bug spray
3.  I still sleep with my "little pillow" from when I was 5

4.  I dislike cooking
5.  I only eat cheese plain if it is cold and just unwrapped from its original package
6.  I have night terrors
7.  Sometimes the only motivation for cleaning my house is for fear of embarrassment if there was an emergency and someone outside of my family had to rescue me 
8.  I have dance parties when I'm home alone
9. I sometimes wish I had become either an FBI agent, a painter, or a secretary
10.  I'm the worlds pickiest eater, but love anchovies
11.  My biggest pet peeve is people cracking their knuckles  
12. When I was in 4th grade I longed for red hair, glasses, and braces.  I got two out of the three.  What a weirdo!


Happy weekend!


Happy Birthday Dear One

It is my beautiful niece's very first birthday


My how the year has flown by and each day I am so grateful that she is in all of our lives.  Here is a beautiful video my sister made to capture these remarkable 12 months!


The simple things

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated"
My niece, 2012

 The woods, Pensacola, FL

 The prairie, Johnstown, CO

 The lake, Fort Collins, CO

The ocean, Key West, FL



It has been quite dreary hear in south Florida the past week or so.  Days full of rain and not a even a glimpse of the sun.  Summer is the start of the rainy season, but even then, the storms usually roll in during the afternoon and leave us by early evening.  I'm not sure I like this new weather pattern of rumbling storms and clouds starting at 4am and lasting most of the day.  A new employee at work keeps commenting that she can't believe they call this the "sunshine" state.  I would have to agree.

To combat the weather, I have made a strict indoor schedule for the weekend.

1.  Sleep in
2.  Watch some brain sludging tv
3.  Do some work to catch up from a busy week
4.  Do some cleaning as a nice surprise for my husband
5.  Read a book
6.  Visit the Miami Seaquarium on Sunday!
7.  Paint my nails
8.  Bake something? (this one may be a stretch)
9.  Laundry
10. Work on my family history research project

I think this sounds like a perfectly acceptable weekend :)

Also-- keeping positive thoughts for my dad, who is running another 100 mile race, this time in Vermont!



human babies & animal babies.

I spent the weekend with my good friend Melissa.  Melissa and I were college roommates and even though we are still 4 hours apart, I am so thankful to have a friend in Florida.  Her and her husband are expecting a daughter in September and I was so excited to spend time with them this weekend, catching up and talking all things babies.  Saturday we walked around the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.  It was so incredibly hot and humid, but we enjoyed all of the new baby animals and even feeding the giraffes!


i live my daydreams in music

Albert Einstein 

I think I will always consider myself a musician and although my fingertips do not get in the practice they used to, I sit down every once and awhile to practice my old repertoire of Schubert and Rachmoninoff on the piano.  I was never athletic and never brave enough or social enough to do theater.  I still get anxiety with any mention of organized sports.  But I was good at music.  There is something so soothing and wonderful about music.  It defines my moods. It makes my heart swell.

Classical. Jazz. Singer Songwriter. Oldies.  You name it, I probably love it.

When I started college I had a lot of "growing up" to do when it came to music.  I felt as if I had been living under a rock and found myself pretending to know who all the cool bands were so I didn't feel like such a loser.  My friends knew the best radio stations and invited me to all the best concerts.  They had all grown up watching MTV and VH1 and introduced me to a whole new world of music.  They would blast their loud pop anthems up and down the dorm halls and mini dance parties always ensued.  And while I loved this new music, and still do (I can just see my husband cringing at some of my ipod playlists), I would secretly still listen to my stack of classical CDs I'd brought from home, not wanting my super cool sorority roommate to think I was one of those weirdoes (you know the ones--- mumbles to herself, does math for fun, stuffed animals on the bed (: ---).

It was Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin who kept me company as I drifted off to sleep.  Mozart and Debussy who helped me study.  And Liszt who launched my daydreams.

Looking back though, I wouldn't wish it any other way.  I'm glad that my parents let us explore the geniuses who could capture a million colors and emotions in one crescendo.  My junior high and high school days were spent playing in the orchestra, practicing and perfecting beautiful music.  I fondly remember the many many years spent playing on my piano teacher's grand piano that was in her basement with the yellow and brown velvet, floral couch. I cherish the memories of my sisters and I listening to our favorite piano songs on the sleek black 5 disc CD player in the living room, following along with the sheet music on the floor and making our fingers dance through the carpet.

I am in awe of the greatness of music, no matter what the genre. It has the ability to create a perfect moment, to speak for our soul, and to bring into existence the intangible.

A favorite:


Thank you

Do you ever feel like if you stop moving, all the balls you have in the air will come tumbling down?
I do.

This is how I feel most of the time.

I have so much to dooooooooo!

Sometimes with all that is going on I forget what I'm actually supposed to be doing and wonder if my day will be spent doing more than just typing away at my computer.

The past year I have worked really hard on bringing in interns and doing an overall revamping of our internship program.  While most people in my office are anti-intern, I love them!  Not only do they help you out (for free I might add), there is something so rewarding about teaching someone. 

 Twice a week we have interns come and work in the collections.  They are so dedicated and drive over an hour to the reservation and spend the entire day with us.  I am so grateful for the hours and time they have committed to their projects and at the end of the day I love thinking about how I am hopefully giving them something back in return.  

Although it can often times be tiring to sit with someone for 8 hours, those are the days that I actually get to do the things I love about my job.  The other day I didn't check my e-mail for 4 whole hours because my intern and I were busy working on a project (it was amazing!)  They are even excited about the most mundane things and their excitement becomes contagious.  It makes me step back and realize that, yeah, I have a pretty cool job!  

Thank you interns for bringing me back down to earth and always making me appreciate my job a little bit more!



Big Cypress in the Summer

A cerulean sky reflects across the waterlogged swamp and
I welcome the swarms of dragonflies who eat the buzzing insects and mosquitoes. 
The air hangs thick and heavy and my hair is a lost cause to the imminent frizz and tangle. 

Oh summer.  You've only just begun.



Ahhh how can I not be in love with these two snuggle muffins?!

 They are the best-est of friends!

Such a lucky auntie 


The card

I received the news when I got home from work early last week that a dear friend had passed away.
My heart immediately sunk into my stomach.

Life is so unfair sometimes.  

He had been battling brain cancer for many years, with spouts of remission, but this past year had been a struggle.

I had just gotten an e-mail a few weeks ago that he had met with the doctors and they had given him about a year to live. I didn't even know how to write him back just then.  What do you say?  So I went to the drug store and stood in front of the cards for over 30 minutes, trying to find the perfect card, which ended up being blank inside because Hallmark couldn't find the words either.

The card sat on my counter and every day I looked at it, knowing I needed to send it.

But I didn't send it in time.

Now all I can do is to continue staring at the card.
Guilt is a terrible beast.

So I guess I will write it here, because maybe in heaven they have internet and maybe it will selfishly make me feel better.

I was going to start by telling you that I don't know if I have the right words to say, to give you the comfort and peace you need.  But I now hope that you have found the comfort and peace you longed for, for so many years. 

You touched my life in such a special way.  Moving to Texas was a hard transition and I have no doubt in my mind that it would have been even harder without meeting you.  
Do you remember all the dinner/dance parties in LeighAnne's living room?  And that one time we went to that club in the shady part of Lubbock and we all drank too many cranberry and vodkas?  You made me laugh uncontrollably and were so incredibly kind and generous.

Those two years were better because of you and I thank you for being a part of my life.  I read the other day a quote that seems quite fitting now.
"We met for a reason, either you're a blessing or a lesson"
You were both. A blessing as a friend and a lesson to teach me things like what real strength and resilience is.

miss you



Learning about artifacts and museums!
Boys & Girls Club from the Big Cypress Reservation

I'm so lucky that my twin sister is a teacher.  She always gives me confidence and creative ideas whenever my work calls for outreach events or tours with children.  This time around I was on the phone with her until 10pm the night before I was to help host the Boys and Girls Club, re-doing my overly boring "fun-tivity".  Thanks to her, my activity station was successful and all the little kids especially loved looking at our mammoth tooth, imagining the giant roaming the everglades 10,000 years ago.



Some Love & Poetry


Moments of pure delight and perfection leave us with a sense of timelessness.

Camomile Tea 

Outside the sky is light with stars;
There's a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.

How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.

Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.

We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.

by Katherine Mansfield


Tell Me About Yourself...

Over the past 3 1/2 years I have had the opportunity to conduct many interviews and sit in on countless others.  I have learned so much from this experience and often think back to my own interview that landed me my current position. 

I've seen the whole range of people, from the worst to the best, to the prepared to the not so much prepared.  Interviews are hard work, for both sides of the table.  I'm not sure if I will ever not feel a bit nervous when I sit on the interviewer side, knowing very much how it feels to be in their shoes, wondering if their life will change today.

This week I sat in on 4 interviews and it inspired me to put together a list of dos and don'ts that I myself have learned and will take away for future interviews.  Most are common sense, but you'd be surprised how common sense tends to fly out the door during an interview!

1.  Be confident, not cocky
[I want to know your experience and why you are more qualified than the next candidate, but it can be unflattering to brag and boast] 

2.  Breathe.
[Its natural to be nervous, but don't forget to breathe to help calm your voice and slow down your mouth]

3. Ask relevant questions
[When you're asked at the end, "Do you have any questions for us?" ask at least one question.  Its always hard to hear "Nope" from the interviewee.  Remember, an interview is just as valuable for you as it is for the person hiring you. But just don't bring in 2 pages full of questions (true story) ]

4.  Sometimes interviewers ask weird or confusing questions
[If this happens, its ok to ask for clarification.  Better to answer it correctly than have everyone scratching their head]

5.  Know how to describe yourself using 3 words
[I personally dislike these standard HR questions, but they make you think on your feet and be succinct in your answer.  Please just don't say "awkward" as one of your descriptive words, 'cause you just made it super awkward! (yes...another true story) ] 

6.  Do your research
[Know who, what, when, where, why.  Research the people hiring you.  Its standard for us to ask "What can you tell me about the Tribe?" and most of the time the response is "ummmm" or "not much" ]

7.  Better to be over dressed than under dressed
[This applies to both the person interviewing and being interviewed.  I've had co-workers sit in on an interview in a t-shirt and jeans and vice-versa . Dress to Impress! ]

8. Give examples
[Don't just say "yes", but give an example to help answer the question.  This helps put things into context and makes me know that you are seriously considering the question]

9.  Practice your handshake
[While this is learned in Interviewing 101, I'm always amazed at how many limp handshakes I receive.  Again, be confident!]

10.  Smile
[Don't be afraid to look like you're having an ok time (even if you are secretly about to throw up) ]