1. I didn’t choose sports.
My parents met at Rutgers University in New Jersey. My mom was a golfer and my dad a football player, both from California. After both pursuing professional athletic careers of their own, they married and had my brother and me. Both my brother and I were insanely passionate about pretty much any sport there was. Almost all of my fondest childhood memories are centered around sports in some way. I’ll always remember the mornings I woke up to screams from my brother and dad at 3 AM, because they were watching Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France. I always cherish the late nights my brother and I spent listening to Vin Scully and rooting for the Dodgers. My favorite summers were spent watching every Olympic sporting that we had recorded on our new TiVo. We religiously attended every Notre Dame vs. USC football game; I’ll never forget being thrown in the air seven times by my dads’ friends, after each touchdown. I sobbed on the Hermosa Beach Pier when we watched the US win the World Cup. So like I said I didn’t choose sports – it’s just who I was.
2. I do not know how to not compete.
As the partners I’ve played with know, I am a competitor through and through. I wouldn’t consider myself a great practice player, but when it’s game time, I definitely pull a different side of myself out. The funny thing is, this isn’t just with sports. My family – the avid competitors that we are – are huge board gamers. No holiday is complete without somebody getting really upset at someone else because they didn’t win a board game. The first two weeks of quarantine, my boyfriend and I played boggle from sunup to sundown in my family’s trailer. I don’t think I won a single game. But I kept going, because I was sure I’d win the next one. So we just kept playing.
3. I fell in love with a cookbook.
One of my many quarantine adventures was falling absolutely head over heels in love with the Malibu Farms cookbook. I wrote a blog about cooking through the cookbook, cover to cover, inspired by one of my favorite movies Julie and Julia (that I never posted). So here’s a sneak peak:
“I fell in love with this book and admired this woman first because she had obtained my dream. She was living my fantasy and everything that I hadn’t already thought up, she created and I loved. I’m a pretty particular person. I like some things, I HATE a lot of things and I love few. And I loved it all. Or at least all she showed on the outside. The more I learned, I began to admire another aspect – her philosophy on life. It was perfectly imperfect and simply charmed. In one article she explained her female heroes – Rosa Parks, her daughter, and Michele Obama. Her explanations made them my heroes, too. And when she was asked what words she lived by she exclaimed: “Be on time and show up. It really is true that half of success is showing up and failure always teaches you more than success.” With that, I was hooked and almost in love. I decided to cook my way through her cookbook, not just following the recipes but cooking local, fresh and organic. Once I complete each recipe in the book, I will write to her. Proclaim my truth and see where it takes me. So here I am, recipe number one of the book, the planted seed watered in my soul that has been dry for too long.”
4. I’m basically Bob the Builder.
I have always been one of those people who love building IKEA furniture. So when quarantine rolled around and I had an exponentially larger amount of time than I was ever used to, I got to building. Two months and a whole lot of YouTube videos later, I built a mansion for my 12 new quarantine chickens. From that – Zee Farm was built.
Food and cooking have always been a huge part of my life; this was inspired by my mother and my grandmother. For better or for worse, I was absolutely spoiled when it came to food (and all things really). I didn’t know you could even buy salad dressing in a bottle until high school. I thought you could only make it from scratch, because that’s just how we did things in our house – everything from scratch. I spend so much time in the kitchen, but I know I will never be a Top Chef. That creative gene is not within me. So I’ve adopted a new method: good ingredients equals good food. I’ve always dreamed of having my own farm, because fresher is always better. Alas, Zee Farm is now underway. I hope to build each structure, plant each seed, and share the beauty of eating fresh, organic, and local.
5. I was born in the wrong era.
The times that we live in just simply do not speak to my soul. The likes of Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, and prohibition are more my style. In my childhood home, I woke up every morning to Frank Sinatra playing. I think this may have sparked a crisis within me. Audrey Hepburn on the other hand is my ultimate role model. The class, beauty, charisma, strength, talent and overall kindness that she shared with everybody she encounters from all walks of life is what I aspire to be.
6. I love a morning with a whole milk latte, but I think I’m lactose intolerant.
I start almost every morning with the latte either from a café or that I make on my own. The funny thing is: I’m lactose intolerant. But that doesn’t stop me. There is something about the routine of having a latte at 7 AM every morning that gets me excited for my day. After graduating college and being on my own time, I quickly learned that routine and schedule are super important to me and my happiness. So whether or not I have an upset stomach all day, I start my day with a latte.
7. I don’t always love who I am, but I promise to show you my truth.
I have always been super passionate about showing my true self on social media. In this day and age, the power and influence of social media is astounding. By no means do I think that what I have to say is that important. But if I can reach one person and show them that life is not always as good as it may seem on Instagram, that’s valuable. So if you ever see me posting ugly photos or having weird captions, it’s just the truth, and I am very passionate about sharing that.
8. Thank you Mike and Patty.
I grew up five blocks from the water in Hermosa Beach. While we were sports fanatics, beach volleyball never appeared on our radar. I was going to be a soccer player. I followed the game religiously and committed my life to it at about age 5. As you might expect, I burnt out in 7th grade. Luckily, my family’s closest friends led me in a great direction.
As members of the American Martyrs Parish in Manhattan Beach, my dad became instant best friends with Mike Dodd. This friendship grew into two families who did all things together. To me, they were just normal parents. I had no idea who they were to everyone else until a vivid moment in fifth grade when Dominique, their youngest daughter, pulled a silver medal from the Olympics out of her dad’s sock drawer. So when I hit my middle school crisis of not wanting to play soccer, Patty Dodd led me to club volleyball tryouts at Mizuno Long Beach. I continued playing there for the next five years until I graduated high school. I then attended UCLA to play beach and indoor volleyball, Patty’s alma mater. Mike and Patty have continued to be amazing role models, mentors, friends, and coaches to me throughout my entire volleyball career.