For whatever reason, I’m feeling more optimistic lately than I have in months. Maybe it’s because I finished my first of three internships last night, or I’m gaining more friends or I don’t have to commute anymore. Either way, I’m grateful for everything coming together out here.

Last night, my co-facilitator at my internship printed out personality tests for my last night with BTXS/ICCS. She also surprised us with cupcakes, and the group of recently released inmates went around the room providing words of advice and encouragement. It was so sweet! I really enjoyed leaving my first internship on such a good note.

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Walked 3 miles every Saturday morning with our IRT guys to encourage mindfulness.

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I’ve learned a lot about perseverance and resiliency thanks to the residents we serve. I felt a sense of meaning and purpose in my placement with ICCS. I love advocating for marginalized groups of people including inmates, domestic violence survivors, people of color and members of the LGBT community. I hope to find myself in direct contact with some of these populations one day if I don’t pursue the Human Resources route instead.

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Next week marks our 10th month in Colorado, and I can tell the move has changed us. I created a “Whine and Cheese” event on Facebook (spelled Whine not Wine) and invited 12 girlfriends to our house, not even counting the people we rarely talk to in Fort Collins. Having a social life is so important to me, from sharing common interests and experiences to just venting about life in general. I need my girl time. And my coworkers are amazing! It’s just cool to reflect on the last 10 months– from when I was feeling nervous, shy and apprehensive to having 12 friends I can invite for wine. Between our coworkers, neighbors, Keegan’s friends wives and my transplant friends from Tennessee, I am so grateful for the social support we have out here.

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Last night out with Chris before he moves to Tennessee. We showed him our favorite bar Town Pump, owned by some folks originally from Knoxville.

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What I’m most excited for is May. We planned almost every weekend before I begin my most intimidating internship–300 hours in a mere 8 weeks from June-July and early August. So basically, I’ll be working 40 hours and interning 37 each week. I’m still unclear on when or if I’ll sleep, but I’ve already convinced myself of how capable I am to endure such a challenge, if only for two months. This Master’s Degree will be worth it in December! Every time I think about how crazy this summer will be, I focus on the joy of final receiving my degree in Tennessee before Christmas. This year is bound to fly by. I just know it.

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Overall, life is pretty good. We had a thunderstorm recently, which was awesome, since it barely rains in Northern Colorado. I also purchased a few pieces of small furniture to disperse throughout the house. Our guest room feels as cozy as being tucked in by your parents each night with a bed time story to boot. You know that feeling you get when you’re watching a movie late at night in the dark with the fire-place going, hot chocolate in hand? That’s how our guest room feels. It honestly looks better than our master bedroom.

The zen room offers promising results with white, neutral and natural undertones, from the brown and gold ombre curtains ($10 for both panels, might I add) to the plush fuzzy chair from Target. And it pays to scour thrift shops: The oak side table looks absolutely beautiful next to the White fuzzy chair and only cost $30.

This downstairs space has been largely ignored, but I finally added lace to one wall with my dream catcher collection facing the other direction. With such a contemporary home, it made sense to refrain from splashing the room in vibrant colors to sticking with calming and soothing neutrals. The zen room feels peaceful, pure and relaxing, much like the rest of our house.

So here’s to what the future holds and maintaining sunny demeanor. For anyone needing a boost, take a look at these inspiring TED Talks–

This talk is always worth a repost. I absolutely love it!