August 26th, 2014

Twelve Months of Memories

I can tell how much it meant to you, you’re still getting tears in your eyes,” General Manager Deb Osza remarked as I shared my experience.

One year ago, I began my role as the Public Relations and Child Nutrition Coordinator for the American Dairy Association Indiana Inc. That muggy August morning, as I walked toward my desk, I never could have imagined what would soon follow.

My first week on the job, I shadowed my boss, Jenni, and as we drove up I-69 toward a Rotary Club meeting in Munice, I asked, “Are these the kind of events you get to do on a regular basis?” Looking back, I clearly had no idea how involved my role within the company would be.


Over the course of 365 days, I have traveled down dirt roads I never knew existed, spoke in school classrooms filled with curious minds, attended NFL-sponsored events & sat in the stands at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”


I’ve handed out pints of chocolate milk to those looking to Refuel after a run, watched tortoises race while children cheered, toured a food pantry large enough to fit 4 football fields, and walked toward better wellness with a great group of women.


I’ve been given a rare opportunity to work for 1200 dairy farming families across the state– spreading the word of nutrition in schools so often overlooked. Through Fuel Up to Play 60, I’ve listened to countless stories from concerned community supporters looking to make a corporation-wide shift toward a healthier lifestyle. With the Indianapolis Colts by our side, I’m grateful for the enthusiasm and gift of great athletes (& mascots) who support our initiative through leadership both on and off the field.


Whether it’s on a dairy farm, in a gymnasium, on a news set or standing on turf, no day is ever the same– it’s one of my favorite things about this industry.


We are constantly communicating, constantly brainstorming, and constantly activating plans to make this state, and those residing in it, aware of the benefits of dairy in diets.


I never realized the impact of this opportunity as the PR & Child Nutrition Coordinator until I was standing on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium before a game. As I watched 10 of our Fuel Up to Play 60 students get introduced on the jumbotron, our beloved Colts mascot Blue came up to me for a hug, “Hi Brooke!” was all it took for it to sink in. “How did I get here?” was the question that kept resonating that Sunday, and I’m still not sure I have the right answer.

All I know is I am immensely grateful that, each and every day, I get to enter into a building splashed with milk, I get to work alongside 8 gifted individuals, and I get to spread the word of health & wellness.

Has it been a great professional year? Most definitely the best of my life.


August 26th, 2014

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward

It’s been one year (!!!) since I walked into my new role, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t felt a tremendous sense of gratitude for the work i do, for the people by my side, and for the moments that leave me questioning, “is this really work?”

it’s been 12 months filled with tremendous opportunities & growing experiences, & i am so grateful to be apart of such a wonderful team.

(picture taken 08/26/13)

August 23rd, 2014
Reblogged from Just. Pure. Lovely.
August 17th, 2014

in an effort to get back on my fitness game, i’ve been taking my cruiser out for night rides.

just as the sun sets, i turn to head home.

i realize, to some outsiders, Indiana doesn’t always have the best reputation,

but i gotta say,

it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty found outside of the city.


August 17th, 2014
on Wednesday of this past week, my parents celebrated 37 years of marriage! 
that’s thirty seven f***ing years!
as i’m quickly approaching my 30th birthday, i’ve been thinking about how much can occur in  30 year time span, and to think they’ve done that plus 7…pretty incredible.
my parents are two of my most favorite people and i am so grateful for their example. 

on Wednesday of this past week, my parents celebrated 37 years of marriage!

that’s thirty seven f***ing years!

as i’m quickly approaching my 30th birthday, i’ve been thinking about how much can occur in  30 year time span, and to think they’ve done that plus 7…pretty incredible.

my parents are two of my most favorite people and i am so grateful for their example. 

August 13th, 2014

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.”

(Source: oliviacirce)

Reblogged from Um, can you not?
August 12th, 2014

daily outfit: the “back in work clothes" edition.

this is the first time i’ve been grilled-cheese scent free since August 1st.

there’s no doubt the state fair has taken over my month, but the good news is, every bit of it has been fun— even the scent of grease that has somehow lingered back to the office.

slipping into something besides jeans and a t-shirt feels really good.

(clean hair & dirt-free clothes also feels really good)

life’s all about the simple pleasures and today, i’m just thankful some of them include detergent, soap & fresh air.

August 11th, 2014
When someone spends many decades wrestling with demons, their legacy is the life they made during those struggles & not just their final act.
August 11th, 2014
breaks my heart.

breaks my heart.

(Source: buzzfeed)

Reblogged from Oh, ya know.
August 5th, 2014

when the Food Network comes a’knockin’ you do whatever needs to be done to accommodate their schedule.

an email while we were down in texas led to a few phone calls shortly followed by a film date.

after their crew visited the Dairy Bar last night, they started filming bright & early this morning (6 am call time).

it’s amazing what you’ll discover on fair grounds that early in the morning, let alone what you’ll experience inside a tv filming shortly thereafter.

the crew for the Food Network’s new series, “Carnival Eats” was as kind as they could be.

they had heard about our new Colossal Grilled Cheese (sourdough, 2 slices american cheese, 4 mozzarella sticks, 2 slices american cheese, sourdough) & requested we do one better…

so we did!

this morning, they filmed our Colossal Grilled Cheese 2.0 (sourdough, 3 slices pepperjack, 4 mozzarella sticks, 3 slices colby, sourdough, 3 slices american, 4 mozzarella sticks, 3 slices swiss, sourdough)!

it was a great way to wake up— the smell of grilled cheese dipped in marinara!

oh baby, oh baby.

(photos via INDairy & me )

**Follow along on my random adventures: Twitter & Instagram @Brooke_Melissa**

Hi! I'm Brooke. Indianapolis is my home & I welcome you to my little nook. I'm a twenty-something girl who was born in the land of corn (Okl.), attended undergrad in the true Sea of Red (Neb.), & eventually found her way back home again after picking up a couple letters behind her name (Kan.) while clinging to an adorable Maltipoo named Bentley. Thank you for stopping by & please feel free to leave a comment (or ask a question) under the "Be Kind" tab at the top... xo, B
The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers