brandon turns the big 3-0 {happy birthday fiancé!}

today, at  2:45PM to be exact, my fiancé officially turns the big 3-0. (wow, you are old babe.) in the spirit of the occasion i have made a list of 30 of my favorite moments with the birthday boy. i hope you are enjoying your day off, brandon, and i cannot wait to celebrate tonight! can’t wait for many more birthday celebrations to come. i love you so very much! XOXOXO

happy birthday brandon

  1. the moment i got a message back from you on match
  2. sitting at OPH for about 4 hours on our first date
  3. learning that you like flowers in your cocktails at chino
  4. our first kiss
  5. you weekend we went on a pumpkin cooking craze and you tried to teach me how to cook
  6. when you met my family for the first time
  7. when i came over after work but forgot my overnight bag and you drove from softball to minneapolis to get it for me
  8. meeting your mom at thanksgiving
  9. teaching you how to make kringla
  10. going christmas crazy and getting our own real christmas tree
  11. the first time you told me you loved me
  12. having you there for me when my nana passed away
  13. your first trip Albert Lea
  14. when you asked me if we should start making my change of address labels aka do you want to move in
  15. how patient you were when i had a full blown anxiety attack before i went on my cruise
  16. when you got me the infamous serendipity 3 mug every time you drop me off and pick me up at the airport
  17. when we decided that we would have an agreement where i didn’t have to cook if you didn’t have to clean
  18. supporting me throughout working on my presentation at EXHIBITOR2013 with many saturday mornings spent at various coffee places
  19. celebrating your birthday in florida with matt and sandra
  20. laying in the hammock in marco island
  21. training for our half marathons
  22. many nights spent laying next to you crushing candies
  23. celebrating our one year anniversary
  24. carving pumpkins with starks
  25. starting to look at houses together
  26. classic pictures sticking out tongues out at each other
  27. our incredible trip to new york
  28. spending a week in paradise with my family (most of your time spent in the hammock)
  29. the last selfie we took as boyfriend/girlfriend
  30. when you asked me to marry you

((this is only the beginning)) my EXHIBITOR2013 experience

to be able to cross off a bucket list item at 23… there are no words, just smiles. i am blessed. it’s incredible the sense of accomplishment that overcomes you as you finish a project that you’ve been pouring over for about 8 months. on march 17th, i didn’t need the luck ‘o the Irish, i knew i was ready to rock my first official debut as a presenter at EXHIBITOR2013. but if we’re looking to really tell a story, we can rewind to last March… take a seat friends, lemme tell you a tale of a social media diva who took her first step in pursuing her dreams…

march 2012

while attending EXHIBITOR2012 i participated in a social media round table. i was sharing my thoughts and experiences with the group, as well as my passion for this topic. afterwards the moderator approached me and asked me if i’d attended any social media classes during the conference and if i had any feedback; i had attended some and while i enjoyed them i felt there was a need for an advanced level social media class. he responded by asking if i would like to host such a session. (insert gasp and holy freaking moly did he just say that?!) he asked me to prepare a session plan to present to the board and get back to him and we’d go from there.i started feverishly working away as soon as i returned home from the conference. i was absolutely ecstatic that presenting a session on social media was just a possibility! i came up with something i felt confident about and passed it along. i had a phone call with the conference director and then all there was left to do was wait…

june 2012


at the airport i checked my email in the elevator and saw an email that literally made me scream with excitement. (this seriously happen, kind of awkward) tears in my eyes and a smile on my face i called my mom to tell her the news; i’ve been invited to speak!!

september 2012


fast forward to the fall; after working on the framework for my presentation over the summer i headed over to boston, mass for speakers training with the one and only Dan Lumpkin. an incredible speaker to learn from. it was 2 short days filled with tips, tricks, best practices and presentations from myself and my fellow presenters. it was a great prep to get me more focused on what i needed to work on for my presentation and to light a fire in me to really get rocking. i left full of excitement, realizing how flipping cool this all is.

november 2012

“this is really happening!!!” the only words i could find to express my excitement when i received the registration packet for the conference, and I saw my name in black and white under faculty. surreal. simply surreal.


february 2013


snaps. one month away from the big day. i camped out at caribou about every weekend that month. something about a coffee house atmosphere and sipping on a yummy latte that puts me in a creative mood. i nearly felt compelled to add a shout out to Caribou Coffee in my session, as they most certainly provided the caffeine and environment for this presentation. all the while wondering, where has the time gone?! so much to do. so much to share. deep breaths. (BIG thank you to my boyfriend for kicking my butt and encouraging me to work on this even when i was trying to put it off)

march 2013 {time for the big show}


march was madness. quite literally. uff da. thank goodness my momma was making the trip to Vegas with me. we arrived early saturday morning and walked along the strip and hung out by the pool soaking in sunshine. then it was time to get down to business. after a little bit of an Internet fiasco (and again, thank goodness my momma was there with me…) i got in a rhythm and piece by piece i felt my nerves melting away.

it’s show time!

EXHIBITOR2013woke up, got ready and sat down to rehearse a little bit more. it was finally time to head down to the convention center. checked out the room, the av, checkity check we were golden.quick lunch stop to fuel up for the afternoon. 1:00PM struck and ready or not this social media diva was in the house. the second i stepped in that room, i felt in my element. time to make it happen.

we started and there were no nerves, no anxiety, no fear. things went great; i had an awesome crew of 36 fantastic individuals with me and i learned so much from them. topic to topic the conversations and discussions flower easier and easier. i just might have had a big smile on my face the entire time. and it was so nice to see a familiar face of my momma out there. and in just shy of 3 and a half hours later it was all over. 8 months of preparation had come to a close. and a giant wave of relief and peace fell upon me. there are hardly any words to describe the whole experience. all of the stress, the late nights and early mornings, the dozens of lattes, the revisions, the anxiety: it was all more than worth it. it was incredible to speak at a conference was a bucket list item for me, and to be able to cross that off at 23 years old, wow. i am blessed. this is only the beginning for this social media diva, mark my word.



thank you to EXHIBITOR for allowing me this opportunity; for my attendees attending and providing great insight; for my momma for being by my side through it all; for my friends and family who encouraged me along the way; for my girl Nastashia for being my fabulous stylist and for Brandon who was there to kick me and motivate me, and keep me calm with wine. thank you all.

2012 roundup ((WOW… that was a busy year))

life2012; you were good to me.  it’s crazy how much can happen in one year; how much things can  seem to remain the same day to day and then you turn around and realize that a lot has changed. change. my word to sum up the year. i had a lot of changes this past year; exciting and challenging. happy and sad. wanted and unwanted. things change whether you like it or not. and when i look back at 2012 i will remember the year that  i started the next chapter in my life. a lot of great memories to look back on and for one of the first time’s in my life, i can truly say that i am happy. 2013, i look forward to seeing what you’ve got in store. bring it.

places traveled:

  • miami, fl
  • las vegas, nv (2)
  • toronto, on (2)
  • boca raton, fl
  • boston, ma
  • chicago, il
  • pebble beach, ca

air miles traveled: 20,510


  • 2 year anniversary of my first blog, tales of a girl ((emma))
  • work photo shoot
  • mom and dad attended their very first hockey game at SCSU


  • attended MAWC2012 (market america world conference) with an amazing group of people in miami


  • attended EXHIBITOR2012 and have an unforgettable experience in las vegas
  • spent a lot of time apartment hunting and finally found one i loved
  • celebrated panda’s 23rd with a bang. and a headache to follow…


  • HUNGER GAMES came out
  • had my 2 year PeopleNet anniversary
  • became an international girl; traveled to the lands of Canada for the first time
  • said goodbye to panda as we both started new adventures
  • moved into my very own apartment


  • my dear cousin graduated from allen school of nursing
  • 23rd birthday celebration
  • officially registered for my first half marathon
  • spent a wonderful long weekend with ALL of my mom’s side family (first time EVER we’ve ALL been together)
  • one year blogiversary of this blog :)


  • 2 of my very best friends ever, brooke and mike, got married
  • my car got broken into
  • celebrated the wedding of a dear friend
  • traveled to the lands of canada for a second time
  • was selected to host my very own half day workshop at EXHIBITOR2013


  • ROCKED my very first half marathon
  • traveled to okoboji for an amazing and relaxing family vacay
  • spent several weekends in the sun watching the little brother play soccer


  • traveled to boca baby for a threepeat success of the UC
  • met joe theismann
  • had the worst 16 hours of traveling of my life
  • celebrated the wedding of my girl and hair dresser of almost 10 years
  • had a lil 07 reunion
  • ate lots of deliciousness at the MN state fair


  • traveled to boston, mass for speakers training
  • met my now boyfriend, brandon
  • had an epic best friend wine night
  • traveled to chi town for the first time


  • turned a new leaf and started attempting  to cook/bake
  • traveled on a 7 day journey with stops in pebble beach and las vegas


  • purchased my very first coach purse
  • got my car towen
  • made trips with mom to roch to visit nana
  • participated in my first thanksgiving visit to the legion
  • thanksgiving with family
  • annual black friday shopping with daddy
  • mom and dad’s 28 year anniversary
  • 5 year high school reunion
  • made kringla all on my very own



  • got a real christmas tree
  • did lots of christmasy things
  • holidazzle parade
  • 4th annual dad and emma day
  • 12.11.12 – nana passed away

rest in peace nana

  • christmas :)
  • new years eve