“Make yourself at home.”

How many times have you heard that from someone when you visit, sleepover, or move in? My guess is that your answer is countless. So, you know how it goes despite this warming phrase. You hesitate. Do you take off your shoes? Do you not? Will they hang your coat or can you do it yourself? Endless questions and awkward encounters while you might feel like walking on eggshells, wanting to make yourself comfortable but not invite yourself in completely.

It’s funny, I had anxieties and nerves about facing this type of encounter a couple months  ago when entering a completely unknown home to me, but it was quite the opposite feelings of being in this home that was, honestly, nothing like mine. Yet, I felt like it was my home, just like those who always lived there.

At the end of May, I went on a service trip through Stonehill’s HOPE Program to Apopka, Florida with seven other women, one staff leader and six fellow students. On this trip we learned about the process of immigration and citizenship, and the working conditions for migrant workers on farms. The eight of us were split into pairs and stayed with four different host families, all immigrant families who had been involved with the HOPE CommUnity Center in Apopka, who helped create our immersion experience.

My friend Colleen and I stayed with a family of five- a mother and father, a twelve year old boy, an eleven year old boy, and a five year old girl. I won’t go into too much detail about what their home was like, but how I felt staying with this family in their home. In one word – welcomed. Like the girls and their host families, Colleen and I had breakfast and dinner that the mother cooked, and she packed our lunches for everyday when we left for our different sites. We played with the kids after dinner, and talked with the family about their life and immigration stories. Although we were entering their home that is normally just the five of them for a week, Colleen and I weren’t an inconvenience; they were excited for us to be there and to give up some of their home to make room for us.

It was incredibly comforting to stay with this beautiful, open, welcoming family for the week- especially after being worried about the complete step out of my comfort zone. This trip, while making me return home with knowledge, friends, and experiences I will never forget, taught me about how much to appreciate when someone welcomes you into their home.

When someone tells you “Make yourself at home,” know they truly mean it. That phrase can go a long way.

Coffee for a Princess

are you pleased?

is this all you ever dreamed it to be?

castles, princes, and flowers in the sea

oh, my dear, don’t settle for tea

you are strong dark coffee

you give others energy

more powerful and moving than a princess’ glee

leave the castle be

you are not the shadow of the prince to be

step out of the shadow and be free

push the lilies to the side and explore the sea

your destiny is more than the crown will ever be

via Daily Prompt: Pleased


What Does It Mean to Call a Place Home?

Do you ever take comfort in the fact that some things just almost always stay exactly the same? Every time I drive home from college, I hit this one stop light almost always just moments after crossing town lines to arrive in Millbury. I drive past the supermarket and put my car at a halt at the light by Dunkin Donuts and the auto repair shop. For some reason, this is the moment I take in the fact that I have arrived at ‘home’. I’m still a few minutes from my house, but I always hit this stop light. This is where I notice how everything looks exactly the same as it always does. Same cars, same people, same buildings. It’s comforting. I continue up the street when the light turns green and think about what it means to come home, what it means for a town to be almost the same whenever I return.

But ‘home’ is not always a location. As Dory says in Finding Nemo, “I look at you, and I’m home.” Is it really the fact that everything looks the same when I stop at this traffic light or is it the moment I realize that in a few short minutes I’ll be pulling into my driveway and being wrapped in a hug from my parents. They are home. Stonehill is another home (although, my mom might yell at me for calling it that). Like my house, Stonehill is a place I feel safe when coming onto campus, and it full of my friends that are like family. It’s not Stonehill’s super-duper green grass that makes it home, it’s my friends and the community that welcome me ‘home’ when I arrive onto campus.

So what does it really mean when we call a place home? Does location mean anything or is it the people that make up the town and those that welcome you back that make it home? We feel at home when we feel safe, comfortable, accepted, and loved.

We always find comfort when things are unchanging. It is peaceful in a world full of change, full of surprises, disasters, and yet, also happiness, adventure, and opportunity. In a world where things are never the same, my town is something that doesn’t. Although that stop light can’t embrace me in a warm hug, or tell me, “Welcome home,” it doesn’t have to. It makes me feel that way without having to do anything, by staying exactly the same. Home, at least for me, is somewhere comforting. I’m thankful my town always welcomes me home.

Beauty in the Cracks

We tend to like the evens

Liking the ability to perfectly divide

No halves, only wholes

No odd ones out, nothing remaining

Even numbers are easy, perfect

While odd numbers seem imperfect, problematic

But there is a beauty in the uneven that may appear as inconvenient remainders

What is a life if it is only perfection?

A life is never even

Never being able to perfectly divide your friends for dodgeball

Or never being able to make things exactly as you plan

But the uneven

It can bring a beauty that lies in the halves and cracks that come from those divides

The divides that are imperfect are perfect in themselves


via Daily Prompt: Uneven

For a Friend Who is Forgetting their Worth

Worthy of the World,

Oh, my friend, how you bring so much joy into the lives around you. You are worth so much more than those who put you second. You are worth so much more than those who think your love is not enough. Never lower your standards of what you think you deserve because you are absolutely deserving of the utmost love, attention, and respect of others.

It hurts those who care about you to watch you degrade your worthiness. We love and care for you so deeply that we get frustrated when you do not see that worthiness in yourself. Stop putting yourself down and start making it clear to others that you are not accepting of anything less than genuine love and care. Your fellow friends and I are happy to remind you at anytime of how we think you are worthy of so much, but damn kid, you’ve got to love yourself. I know it can be hard to start to love yourself, but if you love yourself, you won’t be accepting of anything less than the love you know you deserve. I want you to understand and believe that YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THOSE WHO TREAT YOU AS THOUGH YOU ARE NOT WORTH THEIR TIME, LOVE, OR ATTENTION. They’re the ones missing out on all you would have give them.

Your worth is not for sale. You cannot degrade your values or expectations for how other perceive you or how you see yourself in order for someone to love you. They’ll love you for exactly YOUR worth.

It’s not only frustrating to watch the ones you care about depreciate their worthiness, but it saddens us, too. We only want you to see for yourself what we see for you. You are worth everyone’s time, love, and attention, but you do not decrease your worthiness because someone does not appreciate or treat you as though you are worthy. You are worthy of so much more than you may see for yourself, and I hope you see that soon. Because, it’ll make you happier and more self-loving in the long run.

“Stop trying to prove your worth to people who don’t value it. Go where you are celebrated not where you are tolerated.”

Lots of us love you, kid. We just want you to see it for yourself.

All my Love,

One Who Knows Your Worth

“But then we all looked up and suddenly everything changed.”

“You don’t wanna go out of this world with regrets. If there’s something you want to do, you do it. You take this life by the balls and tell it that you existed.”

-Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up

I just finished reading We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach, such a great read-really gets you thinking about how life passes you by. It’s the stories of four people after they discover they possibly only have two months to live after discovering that an asteroid may hit Earth. Two months to really live. It reminds us that we need to look up!! Life is moving faster than you can imagine, and you need to make sure you’re making the most of it. These are stories of love, passion, and simply realizing how many more cups of coffee will this girl have before she possibly dies in two months. Damn, if you have dreams, go out and make them happen. If you like someone, tell them. Whatever the case may be, confessing to your crush that you like them, start that singing career you always wanted, or truly savor that strong cup of coffee. Although an asteroid probably truly isn’t coming for Earth, maybe we should start living like we only have two months left–it gets us to do the things we were always too shy to do. We have so many beautiful dreams and passions that we are either too nervous to pursue, in denial that it’s possible, or are simply afraid of stepping out of our comfort zones. No one is stopping us from acting on our dreams except ourselves. If you feel like someone else is stopping you, know that what you want for yourself makes it worth acting on that dream despite someone else thinking you shouldn’t. Look up, look at your life, and start truly living.

TBT: 10 Reasons I Loved Being a ‘Sem Kid’ at Stonehill

My first ever college residence hall and I couldn’t have asked for anything better! This is something I wrote while living in the Sem but never shared it. Happy Thursday 🙂

  1. Community: There’s nothing greater than the bond the Sem kids have together because we are isolated from the rest of campus. We get stuck together on snow days. Somehow, we don’t get sick of each other (for the most part).
  2. Megan and Janet: Megan’s sass and Janet’s perkiness are nothing short of a comedy show as they serve you dinner in the Sem caf. They are a dynamic duo. 76
  3. Sem Brunch: Waking up at noon on Saturday and Sunday morning and heading down to get pancakes and crispy cubes from Sem brunch is awesome. People trek across campus for this breakfast.                77
  4. Library: It’s awesome to do homework in your pajamas right downstairs and then head up to bed at 1am when you finally finish your work. It’s especially convenient when you don’t have to go out in the cold! 78
  5. Chapel: Having the Chapel for mass every Tuesday at 9p.m. is great!
  6. Ricky’s emails: Every sem kid looks forward to Ricky’s emails on Thursdays. They’re always hilarious with songs, GIFs, or funny pictures. Thanks Ricky!
  7. Endless Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream: Unlike the commons, the sem always has pints of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer. It’s so good but so bad at the same time, mostly good. 79
  8. Being close to the Sports Complex, better known as the spoco. We have the shortest walk to the gym. Although, if you don’t go the gym, you might feel a little more guilty because it’s only a two minute walk away. giphy-6
  9. The Walk of Shame is much longer for a sem kid after a night out on the weekend. Some even ask for a campo escort back because it’s too far. Guilt with every step.
  10. We Walk This Path Together! Every sem kid has to deal with the trek to class from as early as 7:30 to get to an 8am or coming back from class that ends at 9pm, rain or shine. A run to the hill for a late night bite is more like a field trip because we are on the opposite side of campus. We all do it.


All of my fellow Sem friends and myself will forever be Sem kids. Sem Love ❤

Why Fear Being Alone When We Have Our Phones?

“Anyone wanna come get food to-go with me?”

“I’m gonna use the bathroom.” “I’ll come with you.”

Okay, sometimes it might be an exaggeration, but people of this generation like to go anywhere with someone by their side. I get it; there can be anxiety of sitting alone or showing up to some event by yourself. Lately though, I notice people waiting for their food alone. I feel bad seeing someone sit by themselves. Their cell phone is their company. They scroll through their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds for companionship and to make sitting alone feel a little less lonely.

I feel a little conflicted when talking about this. I am so invested in including anyone who sits alone, always asking if they want to join my friends and I. But, if you think about it, a lot of friends sitting together also look at their phones rather than enjoying the physical people sitting next to or across from them. What would the difference be from sitting alone on your phone to sitting with others also on their phones? I think my friends are super good about this, appreciating the company around them, rather than reading about the lives of others via social media. Yeah, sometimes we’re on our phones when the conversation dies down, or if we want to show our friends something we saw online or a picture we have.

I’ve just been thinking about it. We get a anxious to some degree when we have to go places alone, but everyone uses their phone. What is there to say about loneliness or going it alone if people always look to their phone to keep them company?

Why talk about this, you ask? I want this culture to change. We are a generation that is addicted to social media; we cannot go anywhere without knowing our phone is charged or having Twitter to check when things feel awkward in real human conversation. Real human conversation, who knew it might feel awkward sometimes?! I guess my point is, and I know I’ve written about it before, but live in the moment, seriously. Embrace the awkwardness; it’ll make for a memory. That tweet about your favorite TV show or about someone needing a nap will be there to read when dinner is over.


Photo Challenge: Chaos

Walking down the isle to my seat for high school graduation

So, I know this is supposed to be about chaos, and this moment may not look so chaotic to you. In retrospect, it kind of was. It was one of those moments where you want to experience every single second, absorb it, take it all in. This moment captured by my mom in her seat, ready to watch me cross the stage and receive my high school diploma, was part of an experience that felt like chaos. The graduating class of 2015 from MHS was all jittery, excited, and every feeling in between prior to this moment. Looking back it feels chaotic, because I remember a few moments clearly, but graduation was chaotic in its entirety. The moment felt so surreal. It was one of those moments where so much happens, you might forget to acknowledge that it is happening. Looking back at this photo, I’m so glad my mom captured it. I know in this moment that I was probably nervously smiling because I hate when all eyes are on me. But, I also know I was proud of myself for this accomplishment. The blurriness of the photo and the blurriness of the memory ensues chaos in my mind. It’s an experience that you want every minute to be remembered, but the chaos of the time makes only a few moments clear. But those clearest of moments, they’re beautifully chaotic.

via Photo Challenge: Chaos

I Ask Myself

I ask myself a thousand times what it means to love you.

I ask myself if it’s okay to be sad when you choose her over me.

I ask myself why I care so much.

I ask myself how I became this person who puts your needs above my own when you least deserve it.

I ask myself how in the hell did I let you deceive me into thinking I was someone you cared about.

I ask myself why do I value your opinion over the one who has helped me to become the person who loves unconditionally.

I ask myself how can I be upset with the part of me that cares so deeply.

I ask myself how come you don’t love me.

I ask myself why I give a shit about love when I’m only nineteen with a beautiful life ahead of me.

I ask myself why do I never blame you for making me feel this way.

I ask myself why I can never put my overwhelming feelings aside and hate you if only for a moment.


I never ask you why you pretended to care.

I never ask you what fun it is to see my genuine smile and know you’re only playing a game.

I never ask you why someone else’s happiness is a joke to you.

I’ve asked myself a hundred times what it means to beautiful in your eyes.


I ask myself why does it matter if I see beauty in mine.