Winter on Lake Monona

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With all this beautiful weather we’ve been having, I had to get outside so I took a long glorious walk down by Lake Monona last weekend. I feel so lucky to live right on the isthmus (the best geographic term, right?) and to be so close to both of Madison’s gorgeous lakes. Winter has been a tough time to move to a new city – everyone is in hibernation and there’s not so much going on – but this little thaw we’ve had has gotten me so excited for Spring. After being away from the Midwest for so long I’ve forgotten how much the cities come alive with the weather!

I didn’t expect my walk to turn into a photography expedition or else I would have brought my big camera but I had to share some snaps I took on my phone while I was out. How crazy is that ice?! I’m such a sucker for that sort of thing so these are only a few of the like billion photos I took of it.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and soak up the sun while we have it for a moment. 😎

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LOVE + EVOLUTION in Madison

Thursday night, I headed out into the Wisconsin chill to see To The Best of Our Knowledge‘s live radio show called LOVE + EVOLUTION at the Majestic Theater. I was introduced to the glories of radio in college and have discovered so many amazing shows over the years so, of course, I had to support me some local Wisconsin radio! 💕

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The show was structured like many podcasts: several stories, comics, interviews, and lectures on a common theme. The night’s theme was inspired by Valentine’s Day, but with a bit of an intellectual twist: the show explored the connection between love and science.

Are we biologically programmed to love? Is love just a means to procreation? If so, how does non-heterosexual sexuality fit in? Is altruism an extension of love? You know, real casual stuff…

But the one question I kept returning to is one that I’ve been grappling with for years: can science really explain the experience of love? I used to get so upset when people would say that “love is just chemicals firing in your brain” and “love is just biological programming to keep the species going”. And obviously those things are very true! But to break it down into a formula or a genetic code makes love feel fake to me – like you could engineer it in a lab or cook it on a bunsen burner.

One biologist answered my question (and I’m paraphrasing): It depends on your definition of explain. Yes, science can offer a subjective explanation of love and how it came to be evolutionarily, but can it explain the experience and sensation of being in love? No. He likened it to humor – you can study humor and what makes something funny, but you can’t explain to someone what it’s like to laugh.

Needless to say, the whole night pulled at my mind and my heartstrings and I really hope they do another show like it soon!

In the meantime, I’m excited to listen to this episode on why it’s good to be alone (lol happy valentine’s day!) and to ask my next date these 36 questions… I’ll be sure to post the podcast when it comes out.❤️

Snowy Days in Madison

Although I woke up to a wet morning today, Madison has sprinkled some gorgeous snow on the city on and off over the last few weeks. After living in Ireland where it maybe snows once a winter it was really fun to see everything coated in the white stuff. These photos are from the first snow back in December, but I wanted to share as a reminder that winter is still magical (and not terrible because there’s no sun and it’s freezing and everyone’s in hibernation)!

Haha okay it’s true – I’m so ready for spring, but I know soon enough I’m gonna be wishing it was chilly and cozy again. So here’s a little taste…

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Women’s March Madison + 3 Things I’m Pledging to Do

On Saturday I marched with thousands of women and men (and children and grandmas and families) to say that we will not be silent for the next four years. It was the first time since I voted for Hillary Clinton that I felt proud of our politics, that I felt any sort of hope for our future.

After living abroad for so much of the election the divisions here at home came as a shock. The last few months have been hard for a lot of reasons, but watching Trump throw tantrums at the media and scramble to assemble a (white, male) cabinet have been an underlying source of depression.

But the power, excitement, and humor of the Women’s March was so energizing and has me thinking a lot about my own actions and impact on the future. I’ve also seen so many poignant posts about the necessity of intersectional feminism and how much work there is to be done by my demographic (myself included) to support black women, trans women, and indigenous women.

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There’s a lot of discussion about now what – we did the march, but we have to keep the momentum. I’m so excited to see what comes next in this movement and here are a few things that I’m pledging to do:

1. Contact my new local representatives, especially Republican senator Ron Johnson who has consistently voted against access to contraception and abortion. Boooooo.

2. Dedicate a portion of my monthly income to local women’s organizations – I’m coming for you Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and YWCA of Madison!

3. Do more to celebrate the amazing women in my life – call my best friends more, go home for the weekend to hang out with my grandma, reach out to women at work who I find inspiring. Ever since I left Bryn Mawr I’ve felt like I’m missing my community of women, but I have so many great female friends, mentors, and family members right here. It’s time to cultivate these relationships again.

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Did you go to the women’s march? If so, where? I’ve seen so many amazing photos, signs, and stories from Saturday – would love to hear. And if there’s anything that you’re doing as a next step, let me know too! There’s a lot flying around about important actions to take from here and I’m all ears.

“As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.”

Bread and Roses, 1911

I’m Moving to Madison!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already heard, but I wanted to announce on here that I’ll be moving to Madison, Wisconsin in the next few weeks! I’m starting as a Technical Writer for Epic Systems in November and couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter. I’ve been to Madison a couple of times since I’ve been home and will be heading up again this weekend to do some apartment hunting (if you have any leads, let me know!) and it’s a gorgeous little city. I’m so excited to get to know my new home and to hit the ground running at work!

If you’re a Madison local or have been recently, I’d love to hear any recommendations you have for restaurants, bars, shopping, or fun things to do around town 🙂 And of course, if you’re ever around Wisconsin, hit me up for some cheese and beer!

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