America Land of the Free: Washington DC

It has been said in a million different ways that the United States is a land of opportunity. A land of freedom and bravery. A land of dreams.

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I feel so incredibly blessed to have been born in such a country. A country that gives us the opportunity to work hard to achieve our dreams. A country that was formed based on the foundation of freedom. A country that has had many great (and a few not so great) leaders.  We have come a long way in the few hundred years we have been a nation and despite the many imperfections, without a doubt I know we will continue to grow as a nation.

Fast forward a few months: Here I am awake at 4:45 am on my day off (not by choice). Dan had a softball game a little over an hour from where we live. He rushed me out the door this morning and I left my wallet at home. So needless to say we get all the way there and they won’t let me on post because their system to look me up is broken. (Just imagine my rage as I sit here and listen to this German guard chomp loudly on his Apple). It’s 6:30 am, I’m wide awake and wishing a million times over I was back in the USA right now. As I watch the sunrise in Germany I thought I would share my Washington DC trip with y’all.

Washington DC

I have been to DC a few times. The first time was in 2011 when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Running a marathon was on my bucket list and I’m so glad I accomplished that goal but I had to rush through seeing the memorials that weekend so I could prep for my race and feel rested. The second time I was in DC in 2014 with a group of my friends. We ran the Army 10 miler. Although it was a blast I still felt like I had so much to see!

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This time around, Dan had a leadership conference in DC he was selected to attend. I was really excited for him and slightly jealous he was going home to the states. So we decided to fly home together and spend some time with our families after his conference. While he was working long hours in DC, I decided to explore the city solo.

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I took the shuttle from our hotel (we stayed at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Parkway) to the metro station nearby. After a 15 mins on the metro I was in the national mall area. I started at the Washington monument and walked quite a few miles around the area. DSC_0079.jpg

There were a lot of middle school classes that were also touring the memorials and museums. It was almost impossible not to catch some of the kids in these photos because it was pretty crowded for a week day.

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At first I was listening to music on my Bluetooth headphones but the battery died and I’m sort of glad it did. It was relaxing listening to the rush of the city rather than drowning it all out. So I walked…. And walked and walked until I was so tired I took a bike taxi to lunch. He was so sweet. His name was Pierre and he had moved to the USA from France 8 years before.

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By late afternoon I was exhausted because my body was still on Germany time. Luckily there was a Peet’s coffee on the same block as the restaurant Pierre had recommended for lunch. It was my first time at Peet’s and it won’t be my last. Their coffee was SOOOOOOOO good! If you have one of these near you try it out. Even their cups were adorable.

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The last thing on my todo list was to visit the Archives Building to see the Constitution. It was my third trip to DC and I had put it off (the lines are always long and one of my flaws is impatience). This time however, I decided to tough it out and eventually I got in. I even picked up a few really cute children books at the gift shop for our niece and nephew.

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When I returned back to the hotel, Dan was starving. A mutual friend/coworker of ours recommended Four Sisters, a Vietnamese restaurant near our hotel. Dan was quite skeptical but warmed up to it as soon as I promised him ice cream for dessert 🙂

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Overall, I had a wonderful relaxing day alone in the city and we loved the restaurant recommendation (Thanks Ben!).

If you’re planning a trip to DC…. Go during the cherry blossom festival.

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#EVERYTHINGPINK


Love,

Jenny

 

ps. I caught this pic with a Delta plane just for Matt and Brooke! We love plane watching.

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Philly, Family and Delicious Cheesesteaks

It started with an impromptu first class seat from Chicago, IL to Philadelphia, PA. I decided to run to the restroom prior to catching our flight. In my absence my fiancé Dan volunteered us for what he thought were exit row seats. Surprisingly, as we boarded the plane we realized the flight attendant bumped us to first class. These are the moments when I realize that being kind to others really does matter. Dan is quite the comedian and I imagine these seats had something to do with how kind, funny and charming he can be :). Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the warmed nuts and hot chocolate chip cookies in first class. We landed around midnight and rushed to grab our rental car and headed to what he calls home.

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It was a relatively short drive (<2 hours) North of Philly to his family. We proceeded to fall into bed exhausted around 2:30 am and slept for a few hours. The next few days we spent catching up and playing with Melina and Maddie.


We met them at school for lunch and took them out for Melina’s birthday. We really enjoyed playing softball and seeing Melina pitch (pretty awesome for a 9 year old!). Maddie  did a great job fielding the ball and we gave her a lot of hitting practice. It was a perfect spring day and even Mickey (their dog) raced after the ball with us.


We went to see Dan’s sister in law Megan and his niece Adriana while we were home. We spent the afternoon with them at the park and enjoyed playing ball and “blazing badminton” as Adriana calls it. She has such a lively and hilarious personality. She is such an active kid and kept us running while playing ball. She was so sweet and even picked us some beautiful flowers (or colorful weeds depending on who you ask :). You can tell Dan definitely misses her!

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After chasing her around the play ground we went to have dinner with Dan’s close friends John and Megan. Dan and John caught up on life while Megan and I hit it off. We had so much in common and it was so nice to finally meet her in person. We celebrated both of our engagements with copious amounts of homemade wine. I can’t wait to go back and try next years batch of wine 😉.We laughed more than we talked and also tried their amazing signature cocktails…something along the lines of champagne, grapefruit liquor and blood orange juice.

We spent our last night in America in downtown Philadelphia with some old friends of Dan’s. We stayed with Jimmy and Sara in their gorgeous home in Philly. We had a blast out that night. We literally ran in heels to catch the train to dinner and danced until we were exhausted. Surprisingly, this was the only picture we took that night. 

The next morning we said goodbye to Jimmy and Sara with cinnamon rolls and warm hugs. We were really sad to leave. Luckily we will see them in a few short months in Paris! On our way to the airport we snapped a quick picture in their neighborhood with these beautiful cherry blossoms.

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As we flew back to the land of the castles with our bellies full (of Chick fil A) we were excited about returning home in a few years. Hopefully we will be moving somewhere closer to our families and good friends!

When in Philly…Don’t forget to grab a cheesesteak!

Love,

Jenny


These two are inseparable, the snuggle is real.

 

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.

Love, 

Jenny

 

 

Kindness Matters: Falls Church, Virginia

A Day of Pampering:

Warm, cosy and well rested is how I started my day. What an unusual feeling that was…until I realized I didn’t set my alarm and I had a nail appointment in an hour and 15 mins. Don’t mind my stomach that was growling out of control.

I jumped out of bed, tossed on a comfortable outfit and debated on what shoes to wear. My go-to pair of shoes lately has been leather booties that I bought in Germany. With just enough heel and a cute buckle on the side, they’re outrageously comfortable and look great with pretty much any combination of my wardrobe. However, after a pedicure I was sure they would scrunch my freshly painted toes. Unfortunately I didn’t anticipate this beautiful weather and didn’t pack sandals. So I laced up my sneakers, put my hair into a messy ponytail (this is right about the time I realized I only packed a teasing brush… just imagine my disarray) and headed downstairs for breakfast.

I ordered my favorite brunch: eggs benedict with coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Luckily the hotel had taxis waiting so I hurried along to my nail appointment.

The hotel I’m staying at referred me to Venus Salon and Spa. I was able to get an appointment the next day and they were so polite and friendly. When I arrived the place was clean and had a relaxing atmosphere. Jess was my nail tech and she was FABULOUS!

A friendly lady that I pictured being in her early 60’s sat in the massage/pedicure chair next to me and started chatting away. Her name was Carol. I liked her immediately. She loved dogs and had her precious little chihuahua and pomeranian mix named Allie with her.

On a side note, I talk entirely too much for about 95% of people I meet. It’s even worse when I’m nervous because I speed up and spew words as fast as they’ll come out. I’d like to think that my brain works similar to that of a pin ball machine. It can never really stay in one place for very long. That being said I talk fast, think fast and usually end up interrupting people in everyday conversation. I promise it’s not because I’m being rude intentionally (my friends have come to terms with the fact that I have the attention span of a first grader).

Ok…. so back to Carol. We talked non stop while we enjoyed our pampering. She was such an interesting and well traveled woman. I was inspired by how much LIFE she had in her years. When she told me her children where in their 50s I was absolutely shocked. I thought for sure this woman was much much younger! She had such a bold, confident and beautiful personality. It always surprises me when I run into people that have hearts like mine. People that love traveling, eating, spending time with their loved ones and of course shopping. Carol informed me of all the amazing shopping options nearby and offered to take me there.


Now I don’t usually get into cars with strangers but I felt like Carol and I were already long term friends. She was leaving for Hawaii the next day (please imagine all of my jealous feelings inserted right here). I quickly brushed them away and told her that visiting or living in Hawaii has always been a long term dream of mine and that I too would travel there some day. Then she told me that she has Cancer. That she has had it four times. My heart just sank for a moment. How could such an amazing woman have cancer four times and still have the joyful and happy attitude Carol had? She is a woman of courage and you can tell from the fire inside her that nothing can shake her. I felt so blessed meeting this woman. Honestly, I am inspired to live my life to the absolute fullest, to enjoy all of the wonderful things in life and to always keep kindness as my currency.

When you are kind to others, you make a difference in their lives if only for a moment. When you tip someone more than they would normally receive, when you compliment a stranger or express how thankful you are it can change their entire day. I paid for my nails and sincerely thanked Jess for her meticulous work on the shabbiness of cuticles she cleaned up. They looked awfulllll before and I love the pink color Carol told me about.

As I waited for Carol to get her hair trimmed, I’m pretty sure Jess noticed how kind I was to her. Without asking, she picked up a blow dryer and started blowing my hair out. Let me tell you, it looked a million times better. I explained that I forgot to pack my hairbrush and was actually going to target to buy one and she laughed. I tried to pay her and she refused. She just smiled at me and thanked me for coming. I was so grateful for the outstanding service I received at their spa/salon and would highly recommend it if you’re in the Falls Church, VA area!

Carol gave me the tour of the shopping options and dropped me off at the mosaic shopping center. Target and Lululemon were diagonal from each other {what a great predicament to be in}.


You can just imagine how this turned out. I went into target for three things: a hairbrush, dry shampoo and new dress socks for Dan. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t let myself get too distracted and I actually remembered everything on the list. If you’re female you understand my struggles. Whoever sets up the layout of Target is a genius. You have to walk through women’s clothing, shoes and jewelry just to get to what you actually came for. I left with this and still feel successful.

 

(Dan’s socks not pictured)

 

I preceded to walk into Lululemon and it was quite a splurge I’m not going to lie. No matter how much I rationalize that I wear it EVERY. DAY… I can’t tell you how expensive it is. To me the splurge is worth it because it makes me happy. Lululemon is my kryptonite.


I was chatting with one of the store managers about how much I love their clothing. She recommended the 7/8ths length Align pant. If you’re in the market for a new pair of leggings that you can wear dressed up try these! They are my new favorite. They don’t have the same compression as the Wunder Unders (which are my favorite for any type of workout) and leave you feeling so relaxed! The align pant will be my new travel essential leggings for sure!!!

Overall, I had an incredibly relaxing day with Carol and shopping. I hope Carol enjoys a few sunsets in Hawaii for me and I look forward to keeping in touch with her.

Never underestimate the power of kindness.

Love, 

Jenny



Ps. This book is laugh out loud hilarious and don’t let Dan fool you, he loves Lulu as much as I do 🙂 

Hangry on the Plane: El Bocadillo

{ Disclaimer: Mom you probably shouldn’t read this, you already think the worst about my international safety}.

I’d have to say that from a small age my parents have been yelling at me for conversing with strangers. It’s a bad habit that I just can’t seem to break while traveling. You meet such interesting people along the way. For example, I sat next to a young gentleman in his 30s if I had to guess. I am pretty hyper vigilant when I fly internationally and I try to be overly aware of my surroundings. I noticed prior to taking off he was conversing in only Spanish with his brother. About 4 bathroom trips later…we started chatting. After all, a nine hour flight without conversation would be pure torture to me. I dusted off my rusty Spanish skills and attempted to conjugate verbs (mostly successful but slipped up and mixed a few tenses for sure). He seemed entertained by my Spanglish and was very interesting himself. What a world traveler he was! It fueled my fire to travel further and to the many unique countries he had already been. 
Most of you know that I get Hangry very quickly. (Hanger: anger caused by extreme hunger). I go quickly from I need a snack to–> I’m going to loose it if I don’t eat something RIGHT NOW. The stewardess could probably see it in my eyes as she handed me not one but three extra snack packs on the plane. I shared one with my new neighbor friend and struck up a conversation. 

He was coming from Madrid and worked on “telenovelas” (soap operas) so he was traveling for work. He laughed when I told him we watched them in my Spanish classes to help us learn the language, customs and culture. He proceeded to tell me about all of the places to visit in Spain. He warned me not to miss out on the delicious food and rich culture of Madrid. He also mentioned the word bocadillo (for the life of me I couldn’t remember what that word was). Naturally I just smiled and nodded politely. When he pulled out a prewraped ” Brioche Serrano” sandwich (AKA delicious ham sandwich on a crissant type roll). I could have hugged this random stranger! More times than you could imagine I’ve had this type of luck while traveling. It proves that kindness really does go a long way! This guy had his entire carry on packed to the brim with snacks. In my eyes I had hit the seating chart jackpot. He was such a nice guy and didn’t mind my messy grammar and excessive hand gestures. 
I think in our culture we seem to get tunnel vision. I too was guilty of believing we do most things the “right” way. However, in a lot of ways the USA is far behind the learning curve when it comes to languages and being able to communicate. Due to the close proximity, Europeans are almost forced to learn in depth about other languages and cultures. (While in Switzerland, the receptionist spoke SIX different languages). Chew on that for for a second, six languages. If they can do it, why can’t we? I hope that some day we too will catch up and broaden our scope of learning as a country. Moving internationally has definitely broadened my perspective of the world. So much so that I love watching US and world news from other countries broadcasting stations. It helps build a bigger picture than the one you get painted in the states. 

Ok that’s it! I’m done rambling and I feel a million times better now that I’ve landed in the USA 🇺🇸. After getting my rental car, Chick-Fil-A was my first stop. Dan flew the day before me for work. He is still pouting because I didn’t bring some Chick-Fil-A to the hotel (it would’ve been three hours old). So I guess we get to go back soon 😉 

For your entertainment here are our airplane selfies: 

  
  
When you find yourself in a bind and you can’t conjugate your verbs and hand signals are ineffective….Just smile. It goes a long way! 

Love,

Jenny 

Ps. And always, always, ALWAYS pack snacks no matter how full you are at the airport. 

Let it Bee. Breeana. A life of laughter

Most would say they could hear her laugh before they even saw her. Like many people in our family she was LOUD. Honestly, I think thats what makes me smile the most about her memory is the magnitude in which she lived her life to the fullest. She was always laughing not the small giggling kind but the full on laughter that warms you from the inside out.

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Love is worth the journey even when there is heart ache because of the things you experience in between. When you piece together all of the special moments in your life you notice a pattern of the people around you. Bree may not have lived at my house but you would’ve never known otherwise. She was a part of our every day life. We ate breakfast together some days. Our parents took turns taking groups (yes groups) of us to school. She was at every significant life event and was always the loudest one cheering in the crowd.

Like many in our family she was a Bronco. I was so excited for her to enjoy the same University so many of us loved. She made such a wonderful best friend there. Jacob and Bree were inseparable. Every time I saw her she would share her funny stories about the two of them.

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Yesterday was her birthday. Such a short 23 years she spent with us but such a long trail of love she has left behind. I’ve worked in Intensive Care for over five years and I have seen heartache. I have seen loss and sadness in its most raw form: Unexpected. I have held the hands of patients and family members when they’ve been told “It’s cancer and the prognosis is poor.” I’ve watched the color drain from their faces and their hearts sink. There are no words to say in those moments. These are the moments that remind me to hold the ones I love closely, to appreciate the precious time we are given here and to love abundantly.

Life is short but love is very very long. Eventually the days will turn into weeks and the weeks into years but the memory of her will never fade. Even on the sad days, I know the Lord has cups overflowing with grace. In every heartbreak there is refuge. Today I am finding refuge in a warm cup of tea with sweet honey. Bee has always been her nickname. Every time I open a jar of honey, I think of her. It’s soothing and sweet. Although the pain of loss lingers, her memory will always bring a sweet smile to my face because she was a woman of laughter. A woman of love. A woman of passion for life.

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As I sit here sipping my tea, I’ll hold on to the memories and I’ll let it Bee.

Love, 
Jenny

Show me how BIG your Brave is: Boulder, Colorado

In light of the recent Super Bowl Champs… I had to give credit to the Broncos. Their defensive line played an outstanding game (at least the parts I watched anyway.) Let me tell you, watching the Super Bowl at 1 in the morning makes it more of an intermittent napping party in sweat pants especially when you’ve worked all day. However, since they won I figured my next post should be about Colorado. What a beautiful place! It’s even better that it’s completely appropriate to wear lululemon/workout clothes EVERYWHERE you go. If i’m not working, 95% of the time you’ll find me in lulu so I could totally be a local there. I love that fitness seems like such an obvious part of the culture. So why did I go? To surprise my sweet friend Sophia…

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Let’s Back up a minute…

25. Twenty Five. Dang that was a hard year for me. Have you ever woken up and realized you’re not living the life you’ve always imagined you would? Have you heard your own voice and realized the words coming out are not what you WANTED or NEEDED to say? The moral of my story is that: Life is hard. Life is messy. Anyone who tells you that it isn’t, is a big liar. They are most likely trying to make you believe everything in their life is perfect. Here’s the shocker… no one’s life is perfect. Call it a quarter life crisis if you will. To me it was a realization that you don’t have to keep moving on the same path if you’re heading in the opposite direction of where you really want to end up in life. I learned very quickly that I was too educated, determined and stubborn to be content with unhappiness.

So I made big changes in my life. I moved fearlessly in the direction of my dreams. Was it hard? ABSOLUTELY. Did I doubt my decisions? Occasionally along the way but I had to trust that I was doing the right thing. When you go through chapters in your life like this one, you truly find out who is on your team. Who is going to love you through both your good AND bad decisions. Who is going to love the best of you and the worst of you. Once again I leaned on the friends that are practically sisters to me. I also listened to songs on repeat (like Brave by Sara Bareilles, not an artist I usually like but what an amazing song). I read a bunch of books. I’ve always loved to read so it’s really that I needed a reason but I found it was soothing.

If you haven’t read Wild by Cheryl Strayed you should! That girl was a hot mess with all the chaos going on in her life. And yet… I couldn’t blame her for coping in all the wrong ways. In a sense I felt like I understood her pain and suffering. One of my favorite quotes from her book was this one.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” -Cheryl Strayed

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Traveling to Colorado was a breath of fresh air for me. Literally, it felt so clean and running there made my lungs burn like I had never imagined they could. It awakened a part of me that was numb and for the first time in a long time I saw over the edge. I saw the bright future ahead that I would build for myself. These women pushed me to be brave. They brought out the best in me and listened to me cry when I needed it most. Standing on the edge of this mountain I knew everything was going to be better than just okay… It was GOING to be fantastic.

“Let’s go for an early morning run and hike. It’ll be fun.” she said….11 miles later….

Now I only agreed to this nonsense because Sophia woke Katie and I up with steaming hot mugs of our favorite Wild Mountain Blueberry Coffee. After she bribed me with coffee, I drug myself out of my warm bed and laced up my running shoes. Keep in mind we had to run to the staring point of the hike… so my lungs were literally on fire.

Elevation: 5,430 Feet

When they say the air is “thin” up that high… what they mean is you’ll feel oxygen deprived… like you’re dying. Eventually, we watched the sunrise as we finished the grueling hike to the top.

 

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Boulder Colorado Sunrise
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Katie, Sophia and I getting a much deserved cup of Froyo at Spooners.

Surprise

About six months later, I made a second trip to Boulder. I wanted to surprise Sophia at work. She was as a manager for Lululemon (you can see why my obsession with lulu started to grow) and I knew she had to work the day I arrived. So I coordinated with a few of her coworkers to make sure she had the weekend off (but was still on the printed schedule to “work”). I walked into her work with flowers and she looked up and greeted me. She did a double take and was shocked I was actually standing in the store with her. The smile on her face made the trip so worth it!

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I told her the rest of the girls and I had planned to get together in Colorado Springs the next day. It was just after christmas time so we decided to meet for dessert and cocktails at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. It was gorgeous and the cream brûlée was just perfect!

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Catrina, Kala, Sophia and I at the Broadmoor.

I spent a few more days in Boulder with these girls and it made me miss our weekly running and breakfast dates in North Carolina so very much! I am so thankful for the women in these pictures. They push me to be a better person every single day.

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Sophia, Kala and I.

Overall, I would highly recommend visiting Colorado when you have the chance especially if you’re a fan of the outdoors. Don’t get me wrong… hiking, running, biking it’ll all be harder at that elevation. But from my experience, the view was always worth the climb.

Love,

Jenny 

 

ps. I almost forgot. Sophia, Mike and I went to this outrageously good brunch place (after she almost killed me at her crossfit class). Coffee is by far the fastest way to my heart!

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Let’s talk Savannah, Georgia

Wow. Just mentioning Savannah in my last post brought back so many memories. The first thing that came to my mind was GIRLFRIENDS. I honestly think God blessed women with girlfriends so they can laugh, drink red wine and dance until sunrise with their favorite people on earth. I’ve gone to Savannah a bunch of times mostly because of it’s close proximity to where I lived in both Georgia and North Carolina but also because one of my very best friends lives there. Here I’ll highlight my favorite moments.

Savannah Take 1

The first time I went to Savannah I went with a big group of friends. We were in our early twenties and could drink until 4 am, take a two hour nap and get up and run six miles during the sunrise. (see picture below… because thats exactly what I did.) Ohhh how I miss those days. One of my biggest power partners in life Ashleigh invited me to go with her and a bunch of our mutual friends for a long weekend on Tybee Island. By power partners… I mean the girls at the gym that are so incredibly fit… you hate them just a little bit… but you’re friends so it’s okay for her to be a million times stronger and faster than you. We spent so many days in North Carolina lifting weights, swimming, running, doing cross fit and making healthy meals together. Power partners are seriously my favorite kind of girlfriend. They push you far beyond your comfort zone and are ALWAYS rooting for you. These are the confident, driven, outrageously intelligent, beautiful women that I surround myself with and I can’t  imagine living life without. Y’all know who you are..

A few cool things about this trip:

  1. I had just gotten my first tattoo. So I reapplied sunscreen WAY more than I normally do. Which is probably why it was the first trip I didn’t get sunburned. Also I would highly recommend NOT getting your first tattoo on your ribcage… It was miserably painful you can tell by the picture below. It’s so red because I bled SO much!
  2. Three of us were floating about waist deep on inter tubes. I saw a few fins in my peripheral vision (immediately the tune from JAWS started playing in my head).. all three of us sprinted to the beach… just to find out 30 seconds later they were just dolphins.
  3. I wish I was as fit now as I was during this trip! See those Abs…. I should call them Abs by Ashleigh! That girl pushed me so hard in the gym I felt like I was going to throw up after every workout. Ashleigh… hurry up and move to Europe so you can be my trainer 🙂

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A Savannah Sunrise
tybee island

Savannah Take 2

A bunch of my ICU coworkers wanted to run the Savannah Rock and Roll half marathon. So naturally we decided to take the Slow ride pub crawl, bike pedaling tour and see all the cool bars and hydrate prior to our race. Thankfully we all finished our half marathon that weekend and had a wonderful time. We also did a lot of shopping down town. One of my absolutely favorite stores—> Savannah Bee Company is located in downtown Savannah. If you love tea as much as I do… I’d highly recommend you try their different honey’s (their Tea Honey is my favorite because it’s subtly sweet… and not overwhelming). They also have amazing Royal Jelly Body Butter and Beeswax hand and nail salve that will change your life if you wash your hands as much as I do (obsessively!).

savannah icu team
The ICU Crew! I miss y’all!
savannah half marath
Katie H and I post race.. She almost killed me trying to break two hours. 😉 I’m clearly the slow runner of the two of us.

Savannah Take 3: Girls trip to the beach

Another reunion for the incredible women I met while I lived in North Carolina. One thing I’ve learned with moving as much as I do… Is that friends of friends are the best! They’ll help you get settled in your new area, tell you what places to avoid, give you a written must do list while your here and they’ll also give you tips on where to get your hair cut (no one likes the regrowing process after a hack job… ps. all these pictures were taken right before I donated 11 inches of my hair!).

Hands down one of best things in Georgia is the beach. We played beach volleyball…Katie rocked her amazing skills and made us all look like we were trying out for the middle school volleyball team all over again haha. Also on this trip, I got a 3 minute refresher on how to drive a manual transmission and then drove 4 hours home. Thanks to Abby and Laura for not giving up on me regardless of how many times I stalled while I was learning!

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Catrina, Katie D, Laura and I cruising in down town Savannah.
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Katie D, Katie Z, Catrina, Laura and I at Dinner.
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From the bottom of my heart I love you Katie! We’ve gone through hell and back together and I would visit Savannah a hundred more times just to see you!

Savannah Take 4

Saint Patricks Day. Lets just say… I don’t own a single thing that is green… at least not bright green. From road tripping with my favorite southern girl Laurie…. to mimosas and watching the parade.. that weekend was unforgettable. We stopped at our favorite place, Lane Peach Orchard on the way home because they have THE BEST peach cobbler with home made pecan ice-cream on top!

Savanah Group

Savannah laurienme

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I hope y’all enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me. These southern memories will last a lifetime. If you’re in Georgia eat some peach cobbler for me!!

Love,

Jenny