The Art of a Balanced Life: Mission Almost Impossible

As I’m writing this I can think of about 17 other things I “should be” doing hypothetically. However, I’m a firm believer that you have to lead a balanced life in order to create the happiness we all crave so much. A few realities have hit me super hard this week:

1. Dreams will remain dreams if you’re not pursing them.

I have always been a dreamer. I’m not sure when or why I turned out that way but I just can’t seem to be content with the chapter of life I’m currently in. I’m always looking at what my next adventure is going to be. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love traveling. Although I am genuinely happy and I undoubtedly LOVE the season of life I am currently in, I’m dreaming of tomorrow. I’m dreaming of all the adventures life still has to hold.

After graduating college I worked in the ICU in North Carolina. I started contemplating going to CRNA school (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). I wasn’t sure if this was due to the pressure of my coworkers and bosses always asking “what is your plan” or if it was something I really wanted to do. AHHHH I was 21 years old and I wanted to be an ICU nurse. I was living the dream… finally using the degree I had spent four years pouring over notes and studying boring text books for. Yet here they were asking me what I wanted to do next. Either way, I knew I wasn’t ready. I had so much to explore in life and in my career before I could make a decision that locked me into a new future I wasn’t so sure I was ready to commit to.

Part of my indifference/hesitation was that I knew my support system at the time couldn’t have withstood the challenges/stresses of dealing with me in CRNA school. Part of my hesitation was the commitment to studying and pouring my life into school work and rigorous learning for months and months. Part of it was the generous financial incentives my work was offering me to stay. Regardless of the hundreds of reasons I kept telling myself that it wasn’t the right timing, I never forgot about that dream. It has been simmering in the back of my mind like a slow cooking soup in the fall. I’ve known for a while that it was never going to be easy. It was never going to be convenient. I knew it would take a lot of sacrifice and studying. What I didn’t realize is that no matter what else I decided to do including: moving internationally, switching from the ED back to the ICU and traveling the world I couldn’t run away from that goal. It was still there waiting for me when I decided to settle down. So this week I started studying for the GRE. Whew… I said it. At this point I feel like this dream I let simmer for so long is starting with baby steps.

2. You prioritize your life based on what’s important to you!

We spent two weeks in the USA and it was so refreshing to be home. It has been a year since I have seen my family and about a year and a half since Dan has been home. A lot changes in that time. Our nieces and nephew have grown so much! My baby sister Megan started college. We really enjoyed the quality time we spent with both families and being away from work. We also ate a LOT of delicious food that we had missed since we’ve been away.

Along with family, Fitness and eating healthy has always been a top priority for us. Partly because we love and enjoy it but mostly because eating gluten makes me feel like I’m poisoning myself. (An exaggeration… I know… but seriously it makes me feel awful.) Nevertheless, we have stuck to a pretty strict diet since we returned to Europe. (I’m not going to go into detail because people eat a variety of different ways based on: 1.Their personal preferences, 2. Medical history and 3. Fads they read about on the internet). Simply stated we eat a LOT of vegetables and a mix of everything else. I honestly feel like a completely different person. I’m looking forward to the weather improving and eating more fresh local produce as it comes into season.

As for fitness, I crushed my fitness goals this week! I put my fitness goals into three categories: Cardio, Lifting and Recovery. For my cardio goal this week I did a total of 10 miles. Which ended up being a mix of running and walking (For you Fit Bit fanatics: thats’s ten miles on top of what I normally walk each day). My second goal was to lift weights three times this week. I lifted Legs, Arms and Chest. My ultimate favorite is last… I did 90 minutes of hot yoga this week mostly because it helps so much with flexibility and back pain caused by sore/tight legs and glutes. A huge congratulations to Krissy (one of my power partners in life) who completed her first in-person yoga class this week! I drug her with me to a new place. We both loved it and can’t wait to go back!

3. You can have a perfectly clean home or not.

I love a perfectly clean home… I do (especially the kind out of a pottery barn catalog). However, often I find this goal to be frankly unattainable. Lets be real, we have two dogs (that produce enough hair to drive us insane regardless of how much you brush them). We both work full time. We both prioritize going to the gym and sleeping over clean laundry and polished floors EVERY.TIME. So yes… we keep our home pretty clean most of the time but I’d be lying if I said all of our laundry was folded and put away. And today that’s good enough for me. That Pottery Barn dream home will have to stay right were it sits in the catalog for now.

When it seems like the world is moving far too quickly around you and you feel like you’re drowning in the chaos… just remember to prioritize the things that matter to you the most. At the end of the day, if you still have 9 loads of laundry to do (a reality for me right now)….

It’ll be there tomorrow.






Let it Snow. Zugspitze: Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany

Shredding. I use this word because Dan is an everyday comedian. We went to the local sports store to rent his ski gear for a weekend in Garmish. He used this word excessively with the rental guy. So much so the guy couldn’t help but laugh at him. [Lets just set the record straight… I was definitely not shredding on the slopes, I was trying not to break anything haha.]

Zugspitze: 2,962m

At 2,962m above sea level the Zugspitze is the tallest mountain in Germany. It’s nestled into the Wetterstein Mountians. We stayed at a lodge resort in Garmish-Partenkirchen (I bet you can’t say that five times fast without messing it up). It’s an incredibly long city name because it used to be two cities that combined into one.

The surrounding area of Bavaria reminded me of the “typical Germany” we learned about in school. It was beautiful and I absolutely can’t wait to go back. (To be honest I have a long way to go with skiing. I grew up in Michigan were we ski on mini hills… It doesn’t even compare to skiing in Germany and Switzerland.) 

It was snowing pretty hard at the top but was nice and sunny at the bottom of the mountain. I skied with my friend Katie for most of the day. Despite the wind and sometimes difficult runs, we survived the day. Dan and Ryan would usually wait for us to catch up along the way. We stopped at one of the lodges for lunch with some friends of ours. It was warm and cosy and the food was surprisingly really good.


After a long day of skiing we headed back to shower and grab dinner. Trusty ole “Yelp” led us to success with a top ranked Italian restaurant in the area (rated #2!). It wasn’t even a decision really. Dan and I are always game for Italian food.  

When I asked the waiter what region their wines were from he chuckled and said “Italy, of course.” I knew immediately this was my kind of restaurant. We started with our favorite appetizer: bruschetta.  It never gets old and the closer you get to Italy, the better it tastes.


I chose the spinach and Gorgonzola tortillini. I don’t usually order pasta but I couldn’t resist it sounded so amazing. You guessed it…. Dan ordered pizza like usual! If you know us well… you know that we prioritize dessert when traveling and we ALWAYS save room. However, I never imagined the tortellini was going to be THAT good. I had to skip dessert. This was a first while traveling. 

As you can tell I was still pretty sick with a cold but after a long day on the slopes the wind put some color on my face.

One thing that traveling the world has taught me: If it scares you a little bit or challenges you…do it. You’ll come out exhausted and sore but you’ll get better with time.

Some day I’ll be “shredding” too.