Where I am From

     I was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a small southwestern city that lies a short distance north from Mexico. Growing up in this environment was such a unique and amazing experience. Las Cruces is filled with some of the friendliest and kindest people there are.  Las Cruces is a place where the cashiers not only smile at you while you check out, but engage in chipper conversations that will inevitably end with the realization that you know the same people. Las Cruces is a place where the color of your skin is as irrelevant as your income, and the real worth of an individual is based on how hot of green chile you can eat or if you are hospitable, encompassing the "mi casa es su casa" montra. Am I providing an oversimplified and flowery description of my hometown? Of course. But having spent several years away from the valley that experiences 350 days of sunshine a year, and considers the 70s to be brisk weather, I know that Las Cruces is special, it's people unique. And I know that no matter where I am, there will always be a piece of the Las Cruces spirit in me, encouraging me to smile at people that I pass, and laugh with strangers I will never see again; guiding me to always strive to be a positive force in this world, just like my little valley city has always been for me.

 

 My Family

    I have two of the greatest parents that any child could ask for. They have always encouraged me to do my best, and loved me when I was at my worst. My passion for learning is something that my parents have always cultivated and supported in any way that they could. I am forever grateful for all of the sacrifice and dedication that they have provided. Additionally, my sister has always been my best friend. I feel so fortunate to have such a strong and beautiful role model to look up to throughout my life. I am also very fortunate to have an amazing brother-in-law, Mike, who is always eager and interested to hear what I am researching. 

     And of course the love of my life, Sean. I first had a crush on him when I was a junior in high school and he was starring in a play at the university that we took a field trip to go see. Our first date was three years later, and now, Sean and I are happily married as of June 15, 2013! Sean has stood by me and always put my educational aspirations first throughout our life together and there is no way that I would be where I am today without his daily support along the way. I also would not be as happy as I am today if it were not for our little zoo: two dogs, two cats, a turtle, and fish tank. Every animal we have is a rescue (yes, we did adopt an unwanted fish tank as odd as that may sound!) and I love that Sean is always willing to open our home up to an animal in need.

Traveling Adventures!

      I love to travel. My first trip overseas was in 2005, the summer after my junior year of high school. The amazing Geri Jackson, a counselor at my high school, brought over 20 high school students for 3 weeks of backpacking in Ireland (what a brave woman!). This trip forever changed my perspective of the world and gave me a sense of independence that nothing else ever has. To be 17, overseas, seeing the world is an experience I will always treasure, and I am forever grateful to Geri and my parents for making that possible.

     Geri continued to organize these trips over the years so that I was able to spend 3 weeks backpacking in Greece in 2007 and Italy in 2009. I again gained an invaluable sense of independence by working throughout my undergrad to finance these trips which I believe is the best choice that I ever could have made. Further,  my sister and (now-husband) Sean were able to come on the Italy trip which made the whole experience that much greater. 

    2009 was a big traveling summer for me because after my Italy backpacking adventure, I got the opportunity to study theatre in London for a month. To live in one of the greatest cities on earth for a month and to study the art form that I love in that environment was another one of those life changing events. Although I am not currently involved in theatre, this has, and always will be, one of the greatest loves of my life and my time in London truly cemented that. Living so close to NYC has also allowed me the opportunity to see many Broadway shows which I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced! 

    Continuing the tradition of going abroad every 2 years, Sean and I spent a week in Cozumel, Mexico for our honeymoon in 2013! We got to explore Mayan ruins, swim with stingrays and dolphins, and eat some of the best food of my life!

Below are some highlights of these trips.

Ireland

Greece

Italy

 London

The Netherlands

Mexico 

NYC