TGIF – Family Time Makes for a Fun Work Week

Happy Friday, my dearest readers! How’s your week going?

This week flew by for me. With my parents here through Wednesday morning, the first half of the week was like a work-cation. Mom became my second co-worker (in addition to Yoshi) and we took work to fun places like Barnes and Noble.

It was also Kyle’s birthday on Monday to start off the week. Apparently Mondays in Queen Creek are like Sundays in Des Moines – all the local restaurants close! So we didn’t get the birthday sushi he (I) was hoping for, but we did get birthday Buffalo Wild Wings. You’d think it was my dad’s birthday (it’s his favorite place in the world).

Kyle and me on his birthday
Happy 27th birthday, my love!

Lots to reflect on this week for me, so I’ll get started with the TGIF! And in case you haven’t tuned in lately, I’ve shared 2 posts of an Anxiety with Speaking series that people seem to be enjoying (thanks, readers, for the feedback!) You can check them out here:

And check in next week for the final post in this series. I’ll be sharing some tips for gaining confidence when it’s your turn to speak up 🙂

If you’re new to the blog, here’s how TGIF posts work:

  • T – Truth: Tell me something you learned about yourself this week.
  • G – Growth: Describe one way in which you grew this week, whether it’s in the direction of a goal or something unexpected.
  • I – Inspiration: List one thing that inspired you this week.
  • F – Fun: Talk about what you did to have FUN this week!

I’ll start us off…


I realized this week how bad my anxiety is in worrying whether others around me are happy, even those closest to me. With the birthday sushi letdown, we were faced with the pain-staking decision of what chain restaurant to pick from. Kyle’s not a chain-restaurant dude, and I let my worry for finding a restaurant that would be good enough for his birthday dinner give me a stomach ache.

Let me be clear – he’s not that big a diva, but I am that big of a worrier. I worried too much about making sure my parents were enjoying every minute too. There’s a fine line between being a pleasant host and truly worrying too much about others’ contentness. People are adults and I can trust that Kyle or my parents would be honest in telling me what they do or don’t want to do. I need to remind myself to relax and know that everyone’s happiness is not on me.

Do you struggle with this? Let me know – I think this could be an interesting post series!


We’ve been in Arizona for exactly a month now, and every week I’ve had the opportunity to do something out of my comfort zone. This is mostly in terms of connecting with people in my business and looking for more work. With each one of these things I’ve gone to, I’ve tried to talk myself out of going. At the end of them, I’m always elated with the experience.

Getting out of my comfort zone and doing new things each week has brought me so many opportunities. I’ve met some really incredible people and am connecting with bloggers and writers IRL, something that feels unreal after nearly a year of working alone in my own walls.

I’m learning to be aware of when I’m trying to negotiate with myself. Whenever you see yourself making excuses, that’s when you need to pull the trigger and do the harder thing. You’ll be glad you did!


My Midwest friends are my inspiration this week. Justine – an Iowa friend and frequent NEA reader – is embracing speaking up in front of groups despite her anxiety around it. It’s so exciting to hear her determination in doing these things even though they’re terrifying. You rock, friend!

And my lifelong friend, Elise, is off in Europe for a few weeks doing incredible research on the parallels between immigrants’ experiences of discrimination and isolation in Europe and the United States. Traveling alone and pregnant, the girl is out to achieve great things. Elise is always an inspiration to me. Keep being awesome, friend!

Elise - inspiration
Elise mastering the selfie in Budapest


I totally won in the Fun category this week – my mommy and daddy came to visit! We had all kinds of fun, including a Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers game in Phoenix Tuesday night (I know, on a school night!).

Diamondbacks fun
I love this stadium!

While I worried about finding fun and exciting things for us all to do, my parents reminded me that just being together is all we need. We all had a blast just driving around, having a game night, even watching Glee re-runs. Fun doesn’t always have to be something you do – it can be someone you’re with as well.

Mommy and me
Mom, Yoshi and I decided we want you to be a more frequent co-worker. Fly back soon, please!

Your Turn

What did you learn this week? How did you grow? Tell me all about it by leaving your TGIF in the comments below!

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