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What We're Thankful For

November 24, 2017

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and the women behind Sparkles & Sports decided it was a great opportunity to write a post and give thanks to those that mean the most to us during this holiday season. Below are excerpts from each of the S&S staff members sharing what they are thankful for.


Olivia: The holiday season always gives me time to take a step back and see how truly fortunate I am. I am thankful for a family who supports me near or far, especially my mom who not only raised me and my sister alone from a young age but who is always there for words of encouragement when I need them. I’m thankful for my health, my happiness and a career doing what I love. I’m thankful for getting hired at my first job in 2012 where I was fortunate to meet Katie. A friendship that has grown over the years and means so much to me. Without Katie, Sparkles & Sports would not exist. I am thankful for the inspiring women we have on our team and look forward to the future with them. Lastly, I am thankful for all the people who read S&S. Whether it’s your first time, fifth time or you haven’t missed a post since we launched over a year and half ago, we wouldn’t be what we are today if it wasn't for your viewership. So thank you!!!


Kristina: It goes without saying that I am grateful every day for my family, friends, and our health. But more than anything this year, I am thankful for new opportunities and for the people who gave me a chance to make the most of those opportunities. To my Penn State family: thank you for giving me the opportunity to kick off my career at my alma mater. The experiences I’ve had, and the relationships I’ve formed, here in such a short time have given me perspective, humility, and many memorable moments. To my F45 Training State College family: thank you for the opportunity to pursue a new passion, fitness instruction, and for allowing me to help others to achieve their goals. Moreover, thank you for being my outlet and escape in the weeks after my mom passed away. Finally, to my Sparkles and Sports family: thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this blog and share in its vision. I am so grateful to work with this passionate, driven group of women and (hopefully) inspire others with our words.


Jen: After Thanksgiving, I will leave the only career path I’ve ever pursued to embark on a new one. The job process can be a terrifying one. Couple that with crossover season, as someone who worked with both football and women’s basketball, I was not a fun person to be around in November. But with the support of my Sparkles and Sports family, I was able to make it through. From a constant stream of text messages about everyday life, to advice on my cover letter, to whether or not I could leave the family in women’s basketball I become a part of, they were there for me every step of the way, and I don’t think I could sufficiently express my gratitude.

To the readers of Sparkles and Sports, thank you allowing us to express ourselves in a way that, in my eyes, has never existed. Thank you for allowing us to be honest with you, and for sharing your stories with us.

To the Sparkles and Sports staff, thank you for being my sounding board, for lifting me up, for showing me how to be the best ally to other women that I can be.

To Olivia and Katie, our founders, thank you for recognizing the need for this blog. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Mostly, thank you for becoming two amazing friends.


Candace: Two and a half years ago, I was bawling my eyes out after getting another job rejection email. The next day, I had an interview for my eventual Americorps VISTA position at Asphalt Green. Now, I am finishing up my first semester as an MBA/MS Sport Management Candidate at UMass Amherst. Looking back, I’m really thankful I didn’t get any of those jobs I applied for back then because right now I am exactly where I want to be. Facing so much rejection encouraged me to network more and join #ypsportschat. If it wasn’t for #ypsportschat, I wouldn’t have known about the Sparkles & Sports blog I am now a web manager for. I’m so thankful for all of the amazing people I have met through my VISTA positions, Twitter, Sparkles & Sports and now my graduate program. I’m forever thankful for my family and their continued support. I’m thankful for lifelong friends who live across the country and around the globe because they give me the unique opportunity to travel and experience new things. Most of all, I’m thankful for the huge lesson I learned in perspective. Sometimes sad moments like a job rejection or friends moving away will actually be open doors you can’t even imagine.


Anastasia: This is a time of year where so many young people dread going home and facing the questions family members hurl at them. This year I feel equipped to handle the firing squad. But it’s not because I have it all together, it’s because I have come to terms with myself and my situation. I am thankful to be at a place in my life where I feel content. At times I still feeling like I’m drowning, but overall I’m proud of myself and how I’ve handled a lot of the obstacles life has thrown at me lately. If you’re anything like me, a 20-something still figuring it out, then chances are you have overcome a lot recently too. Be proud of how you’ve adjusted to so many changes lately and be thankful for the lessons you’ve learned and things you have accomplished thus far.


Bridgette: I am definitely thankful for my family, my health and that I live in the US. But on a smaller focus, I am very thankful for the many different communities that I belong to. I am thankful that I can be a part of the sports information directors, sports social media, graphic designers, knitters, dog lover, baseball fan and of course the heartbreaking life as a Kansas City Royals fan communities. This year, these communities have been very impactful and key to my development, personally and professionally.


I am the most thankful for the Sparkles and Sports ladies and the supportive readers. I am always excited to receive a message from our GroupMe chats, talking about a variety of topics that often are intermingled with multiple other conversations. And getting to read all of the great posts along with our readers, seeing the responses on Twitter, sharing tidbits that make up a part of who our community is as it continues to expand - wow.  


Thank you Katie & Liv, Kristina, Anastasia, Jen and Candace. You have all expanded my mind, my personal community and continue to push me to be better.


Katie: As I reflect on what I am thankful for this year, there sure is a lot for me to think about. The 2017 year in itself has been full of highs and lows for the Hewitt family, but thankfully we’ve had so many more happy moments than bad moments. Through everything, I am extremely lucky to have Matthew by my side on this journey called life. We purchased our first home and our first new car in 2017 in the hopes of growing our family, and I could not be more thankful for his patience and love during this entire year. In addition to my husband, I have an amazing group of family and friends that continues to support me from afar, and I have incredible coworkers that give me a reason to smile each and every day. I have been blessed in so many ways personally as well as professionally, but I would be remiss if I did not count the Sparkles and Sports blog as one of my greatest treasures. Seeing the blog grow this year has been amazing, and I’m so grateful that our five new additions jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something that Olivia and I have worked hard to build. I’m thankful for our readers, and the friends that Olivia and I have made along the way. Sharing our thoughts (and often our lives) with you has been both challenging and rewarding, but we are so grateful for the opportunity.



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