Music as My Life Coach

Gone – Jack Johnson

We are all consumed in materializations—our “fancy clothes…and cars and phones and diamond rings” (to quote the song). We must take the time to actually consider what’s really important—our new Steve Madden shoes or the footprints that we make with them to lead the way (be leaders) and make a path; texting on our iPhones (which I think lead to being anti-social) or social skills that will get us through many of life’s challenges—just to name a very few examples. Realize that there are more important things in life than our materials. Yes, maybe these “things” make life more enjoyable, but it is possible to survive them—think for a minute, what would you do if you couldn’t use your phone for a day? Chances are, most of us would be very unhappy. Life is all about prioritizing—what’s most important to you?


What Means the Most – Colbie Caillat

This song talks about romantic love, specifically, but I can relate it to any kind of love. Make sure the people that you love most know that you love them.


Laughed Until We Cried – Jason Aldean

Make the most out of all of life’s experiences and whatever gets thrown your way. In this song, the “narrator” reminisces about friends and high school memories, family and now his own baby. “Oh man we were livin’…we laughed until we cried.” I have my own memories and can’t wait to see what else my life has in store for me—our experiences shape us into the person that we are today and the person that we are still becoming.

*Note: Also, listen to the song Lessons Learned – Carrie Underwood.


You Get What You Give – The New Radicals

“Don’t give up / You’ve got a reason to live / Can’t forget / We only get what we give.” (to quote the song) Put forth an effort and don’t ever give up because “If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

* Note: Also, listen to the song Unstoppable – Rascal Flatts.


Live Like You Were Dying – Tim McGraw

Overcome fears. Do the unthinkable. Live without any regrets. Live as if today was your last.

* Note: Also, listen to the song Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts.


Summer Excursions

The end of summer is near, fortunately and unfortunately. I am excited to get back into my routine, be on my own schedule, see my friends up in Orlando, and meet my new roommates. but I am sad leave my friends and family from back home. Looking back on my summer memories, there are a few in particular that stand out. I call them my “excursions” and I would like to elaborate:


  1. Atlanta- Beth and I have a close, close friend who lives in Atlanta. We went to visit her and her mom for a long weekend and we had the most amazing time. It was so wonderful to spend time with people who seem like family. I have only been privileged to have friends like Shira and her mom, Debra for about 5 years, but it feel s as if I have known them a lifetime. To view more about my experience, click here
  2. Miami- Jill is one of those kind of friends who you know now will be in your bridal party—a true friend. We met in college, but she has since transferred to a different school, much to my dismay. She now lives and studies far away, but we are so lucky we had this time during the summer to spend together. We have discussed a day trip to Miami for at least a year and we finally had our day this summer! It was so much fun, enjoying a delicious meal at a café called Aroma, which made us all reminisce about trips that we’ve all taken to Israel (both together and separately). After a scrumptious meal, we walked around Lincoln Road and went into some of the shops. We all indulged in some freshly squeezed juices that were out of this world and visited a “Chabad on Wheels.” This experience was so meaningful to us because we originally met in our campus Chabad.
  3. Orlando/Gainesville- With Ashley, our confidante since Parkland Kids Camp when we were about 8 or 9, we went to visit our schools and apartments for about 5 days—mine and Beth’s being in Orlando, and Ashley’s being in Gainesville. In Orlando, we visited with some of our friends from school and spent time both shopping in the wonderful outlet malls and being big kids in Disney—Epcot, to be specific. We then drove up to Gainesville where we saw what Ashley’s school life is like. We met some of her dearest friends and devoured a home-cooked Shabbat meal at her school’s Hillel.
  4. Naples- This was my last “excursion” of the summer with my grandparents, parents, sister, cousin, aunt, and uncle. Every summer, we all drive over to the west coast of Florida for a few days. This year, our trip entailed yummy meals, shopping, tanning on a beautiful beach, swimming in a brand new pool, and being with loved ones.

These are all experiences that I will never forget with people I will never forget. Reflecting on this summer, seemed a tad disappointing (I think in comparison to last summer when I went to both New York and Israel, it looks kind of dinky) and not all that I had planned for it to be. BUT, I have accomplished so much this summer—growth as a person and growth in my knowledge and my abilities. So, how could I be disappointed in that? It turns out that I really enjoyed myself and my quality time with family and friends this summer and I have absolutely no regrets—wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Maybe it wasn’t as exciting as last summer, but fond experiences and memories will always be present.

A Special Place in My Heart

My grandparents are some of the most important people in my life. They have always taught me the most valuable lessons like how to love and how to be loved; how to make the most of any situation; how to be grateful for what I have; how to cherish every moment; how to be proud without having a big ego; how to be compassionate and kind to others… and have helped shape me to become who I am today. Obviously I love all of my grandparents equally, but I would really like to focus this blog on the men in my life: my grandpas (Poppy and PopPop).

Poppy, my mom’s dad, is one of my favorite people ever! He passed away last year when he was almost 94 years old and I miss him terribly. Please bear with me because I’m getting a little teary-eyed as I sit here writing this. I always loved sharing with him about my life, current events, music, and much much more—and he always loved listening (and contributing, too)! He always said that we (my sister, my cousin, and I—his 3 grandchildren) are what kept him going, but really, I honestly feel that the lessons that we all learned from him are what will keep us going and aid us with success in our futures. Poppy always had a love for music and we always joked that he knew a song for every word. He always taught me to follow the music in my heart and to march to the beat of my own drum. I can’t thank him enough for all of these valuable lessons. I miss him so so much and would give anything to share one more moment with him!

PopPop, my dad’s dad, is one person I know I can always rely on—for a good laugh, to help me make a decision, to support me in all of my endeavors, to brag about me and show me off to all of his friends, to make me think, and just to give me a hug and kiss and tell me he loves me. His passions are his family, music (like Poppy!)—he walks around our office singing show tunes and other favorites, and food (he is Mr. Food, the television chef, after all). PopPop has always welcomed anyone into our family and has always made sure that everyone was included and never left out of anything (maybe that’s why all of our family gatherings are so large!). It is his warmth and inclusion that that have really taught me so much. Because of him, I have learned to accept everyone for who they are and not to make any preconceived judgments.

My two grandpas didn’t seem like in-laws to me, “Machutin,” which is Yiddish term of endearment that they always used to describe each other. They acted more like brothers than anything. They always embraced each other with a warm, enormous hug and were always so happy to see each other. I love my grandpas more than words can even describe.