Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Story of a Girl Who Hated Running

I feel confident in proclaiming that I have hated running ever since I knew what running was. 

Even as a kid - running was just not my thing. Remember those elementary school field days or whatever they were called where you basically went outside all afternoon, ran around and got graded on it? Well that was pretty much everyone's favorite school day of the year but mine. I hated it! I dreaded it! The last thing I wanted was my first grade crush to see how slow and girly I ran!

In middle school and high school, I was FAMOUS for coming up with reasons why I couldn't run the mile. I was sick, I had a dance competition and didn't want to risk injury, I even went so far as to fake fall down some stairs and fake hurt my ankle one year. 
My favorite "Kristin hates running" story, however, is from the year when my gym teacher just I think it was my freshman year of high school. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how many excuses I had, this man was going to make me run the damn mile. So, I did what any intelligent mile-hating teenage girl would do and I went down to the track to make up my test with some friends, walked around the track once, multiplied my time by four and then sat in the grass for a while. Unfortunately, another gym teacher saw me and ratted me out. That day, my mom got a phone call from the school explaining I had "cheated on a test". As she tells it, it took everything in her power not to burst out laughing in to the phone when she found out said test was THE MILE. 

Over the past few years as I have tried to get healthier and more fit, I have tried to get better at running. And I really can't believe I am going to say this but I am at a point now where I LIKE it. I do. I like running. I am still not the best at it. It's still pretty hard and I'm still pretty slow. 
But, I'm trying. 

I've completed the Couch to 5K Program which I really give a lot of credit to. This program starts you out so slow and easy and before I knew it I was running 3 miles without stopping - something I never, ever, ever, ever, imagined I'd be able to do. I have participated in six 5k races and actually have fun during them - go figure. Not to mention I have set a new personal best at each of the six races.

Additionally, my little brother has become a super star runner over the last year and a half. It's so fun seeing his passion for it and he has been a huge inspiration and motivation for me to continue to work at it. I like to call him my running coach because he is full of running knowledge and is so good at sharing his wisdom and pushing me to be a better runner. 
And then, the two of us had an idea....
Yup, I'm still not entirely sure how this happened but as of this past Monday, I am signed up to run 13.1 miles in a Half Marathon and my brother will be running 26.2 in his first Marathon on Sunday, May 31st. 
I'm excited. I'm terrified. I don't really know who I am and what happened to the real Kristin. 
But, I'm going to try. 
Why the hell not, right?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

i miss blogging

So, let's be honest, I think it has gotten to that point where I need to decide whether to keep this little blog of mine rolling or throw in the towel. As anyone who is still reading has noticed, my posts have been few and far between. I have a lot of post ideas floating around in my head but for some reason I can never make myself just sit down and write them. During one of my up-until-2am-just-thinking-about-everything-not-able-to-sleep sessions I was trying to figure out why that is. And, I think I did. The excuses are pretty lame but here they are.... 

1. Life has settled. I realize looking back I always had something pretty major happening which gave me a ton of interesting content - opening my own coffee shop, engagement/wedding planning, pregnancy, new baby. Then life just settled in. I love my life and there's plenty of parts of it I could write about - but for some reason it just doesn't feel interesting enough for anyone to care to read about it {I know, I know *sob story*}

2. Time. It's not that I don't have any time to blog, when you love something you make the time, right? But let's be real - blogging is a major time commitment. When I actually do sit down to compose a post or God forbid actually read some blogs - I find myself feeling guilty as I know there are so many other things I should be doing. 

On the verge of composing an "I'm done" post, I did what any rational blogger would do, and killed some time on Pinterest. I noticed some of my blogger friends had pinned some Tips for Blogging articles and after God knows how long I had pinned a bunch myself and had actually read some of them. And then it clicked, something I've lost sight of time and time again through blogging - this is my blog. I just need to keep reminding myself that this is my little space to write, be creative, share and interact and it doesn't have to be anything more than that. If I write one post a month - fine. BUT, now that I am getting back to the basics and writing for ME again, I think I might actually be able to pull out more than one post a month. No guarantees - but I'm hopeful.

And just because it can't hurt, what are your tips for staying inspired?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

31 things for my 31st year.

I ended my 30th year on the planet with a BANG and want to keep that excitement and momentum going throughout my 31st year. I've decided to put together a little bucket list of 31 goals and ideas I'd like to see through during my 31st year - some big and some small. Basically, consider this a jump start on my 2015 resolutions!

  1. Go on a tropical vacation.
  2. Bring Kenley to the zoo.
  3. Stand with my best friend on her wedding day. 
  4. Walk {or run?} the 3 lake loop {Calhoun, Isles & Harriet for you locals}.
  5. Donate hair to Locks of Love.
  6. Clock 350 running miles.
  7. Read 15 books.
  8. Grow blog to 1,000 followers. 
  9. Meet Erin. 
  10. Read Dave Ramsey's book and follow his get out of debt plan.
  11. Anonymously pay for a stranger's coffee. 
  12. Design & print our Family Yearbooks.
  13. Spend a day in Stillwater. 
  14. Visit my family in Colorado. 
  15. Call my grandparents once a week. 
  16. Host a dinner party. 
  17. Attend a yoga workshop.
  18. Go on a super fun date with my hubby.
  19. Try a new Minneapolis restaurant.
  20. Do something spontaneous.
  21. Treat our parents to dinner.
  22. Start saving for a house.
  23. Go to a Gopher away game.
  24. Do something extra fun with my girlfriends. 
  25. Go on a Mother/Daughter date with Kenley.
  26. Give up something really hard for lent.
  27. Go for a run in Central Park.
  28. Make a Big Fat Greek dinner on my own.
  29. Climb a mountain. 
  30. Run a half marathon.
  31. Maybe, just maybe, starting thinking about Baby #2.

I'll keep you posted throughout the year on how I'm doing, but for now, I'd better get to work! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

birthday week {a recap}

No, that is not a type-o...I celebrate a birthday week. Birthdays have always been a really big deal in my family and just because I'm 30, doesn't mean I'm too old to celebrate all week long. Here's a little recap of how I finished up 29 and kicked off 30.

Monday :: My sweet hubby surprised me with coffee & a bagel, he said "here's the start of birthday week" when he gave it to me and didn't even sound sarcastic!  That night we took Kenley to the Timberwolves game for a family date night! Kenley was terrified of the starting line ups and our mascot Crunch, but other than that had a blast cheering "GO WHITE TEAM" and howling when the opposing team shot free throws. We definitely have a little Wolves fan on our hands.

Tuesday :: Kicked off with a little coffee + Target date with my favorite little shopping buddy. And that night I did an oil party with one of my girlfriends. It was a blast and huge success! It's so much fun sharing my passion for oils {and making money at the same time}!!!

Wednesday :: Jason and I had a little mini-at-home birthday date which was so very perfect! We watched a bunch of FRIENDS episodes, including The One Where They All Turn 30 {that's my favorite show of all time for those who don't know about my severe addiction}, drank wine, ate Chipotle and ate Gelato! Does like get any better than this?

Thursday :: I cashed in on my free birthday Starbucks, ran what seemed like a million errands and stopped to have a little visit with my girlfriends and their two perfect baby girls, Hailey & Lauren. That night I went to my baby sister's dance meet then out to a birthday dinner with her and our parents at our favorite hangout. I came home to a super sweet handmade card, a case of my favorite wine, our mattress pulled into the living room and Love Actually queued up! It was so perfect!

Friday :: My actual birthday, was filled with so many fun messages and kind words from friends and family - I felt so loved! Kenley & I spent the morning snuggling while Jason served me my morning coffee with birthday whipped cream! The Kenley and I met my mom for a balloon shopping and coffee date. I did a little shopping, worked for a bit and then got ready for celebration part 1.
My mom had us over for a delicious Greek dinner, Red Velvet cupcakes and surprised me by inviting my bestie and her fiance who showed costume! We had a fun night reminiscing, opening gifts, playing games and watching Britney Spears live.

Saturday :: Was all about celebration part 2. However, I was not feeling so hot from the night before. Thankfully, I was able to take a nice long day before getting pampered! I got my makeup done, got a blow out at The Wow Bar {best blow out ever!} and had a little mani/pedi action. I was done and ready just in time to head to Toby Keith's for my Big 3-0 Party! I had the BEST time!
My only regret is that I didn't get pictures with everyone!

To everyone who stopped by, who sent a birthday wish or a thoughtful gift - THANK YOU! I have never felt so special and so loved. This was absolutely the best birthday EVER and I am so lucky to have the world's best family & friends! 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

dream office

I'm not entirely sure what I would say my current job title is {maybe "career gypsy"?}, but I do know that I absolutely love what I am doing - which these days is a little bit of everything. I have always had a lot of interests and passions and the fact that I am making money in a variety of ways doing a variety of things is really what I love to do. I am just not cut out for the 9-5 desk job. 

My array of jobs has me working primarily from home which I also love. Although, sometimes it can feel a bit suffocating having every aspect of your life {work, home, family, dog} surrounding you 24 hours a day, which is why I am finding myself drifting off in to home office day dream land quite frequently these days. We absolutely do not have room in our townhouse for me to have an office but I am hoping some day in the not-so-distant future we will buy a home that has an extra room or even an extra nook so that I can have a cute little space all my own. 

And until that day comes, I will continue to spend time in home office day dream land, also known as Pinterest. Please join me in combining all of these fantastic elements in to one perfect Kristin the Career Gypsy office space.
And yes, my office {someday} will absolutely have some sort of nod to Leo, Britney, Beyonce and most likely the Backstreet Boys too. #notsorry

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

girl friends.

I am abundantly blessed with the world's best girlfriends.

I think the relationships we have are absolutely everything, without family and friends nothing else matters, and I am grateful every day for the wonderful people in my life. While of course my relationships with my husband and family are most important, I think there is really something to be said about having great girl friends. In a world so filled with hate and competition and the inevitable drama that comes with being a girl, it is so very important to have smart, kind, generous, selfless women around you to relate to, vent to, lean on and learn from.

It's not easy being a girl and unfortunately being a grown {almost 30 year old} woman isn't a whole lot easier. It has taken me a while, but I have learned that life is too short and there are too many incredible people in the world to waste your time and energy on people who don't add something positive to your life. Friendships grow and change as we grow and change and people will come in and out of your life. It's definitely true that some people I thought I'd be close with for life and I have drifted apart but it just makes me feel that much more grateful to have the awesome groups of girlfriends that I have and the friendships I've maintained.

There really isn't much better than a night with your girlfriends where you can talk about anything and everything and find yourself crying with relief that someone understands you while crying from laughter at the same time.

It's amazing to have different groups of incredible girlfriends that I have met through the many stages of my life {high school friends, college friends, sorority sisters, Jason's high school friends' wives, Jason's college friend's wives & blog friends is how I explain them to people}because I know that no matter what I'm going through - happy, sad or otherwise - I have a friend who can relate, who can help and who can celebrate alongside me! These ladies are the best of the best and I am so very lucky to call them my friends.

And then, there's my best friend. The girl who has been my constant through all the ups and downs of life. The girl who through all the friendships, relationships and big life changes has remained my gold. The girl who stood next to me as my Maid of Honor and has just asked me to return the favor. The girl who I know no matter how long we go without seeing each other is always just a phone call away. The girl who always knows just the right thing to say and how to cheer me up with just a look. The girl who turns 30 today and I am grateful every day that she was born. The girl who is random, hilarious, beautiful, kind and is my very best friend. 
Happy Birthday my Libby. I love you SO much! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Birthday/Holiday Wishlist

Friday is my birthday. My 30th birthday. And every year around this time I start getting requests from family for my Birthday/Christmas wishlist. Does anyone else have a list 10 miles long of things they need want throughout the whole year then as soon as someone asks for ideas, you can't think of anything? Well this year, I have ideas coming out of my ears! 
Here's a few things I am asking for....

1. Puma Fitness Slim Ankle Running Pants :: Because I have no running clothes & actually run now. 
2. Gaiam Citron Sundial Yoga Set :: Because my mat is crappy & I don't have a good towel for hot yoga.
3. doTerra Lotus Diffuser :: Because this thing is the BOMB!
4. doTerra Spa Collection :: Because you can never have too many essential oils!
5. Tzu Tzu Sport Out of Africa Riley Skort :: Because I live in these skirts all summer long!
6. FitBit Surge :: Because I love my FitBit and would love this one for running.
7. Decoy Chardonnay :: Self explanatory.
8. Michael Kors Kerry Pave-Embellished Watch :: Because it's beautiful and I don't currently own a watch.
9. Tory Burch Thin Enamel Flip Flops :: Because the ones my mama bought me last year broke. #sadface
10. Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer :: Because this keeps your shadow on ALL day.
11. Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner :: Because this is the BEST.EYELINER.EVER.
12. Aromi Beauty Black Cherry Liquid Lipstick :: Because Aromi is my absolute fave lipstick. 
13. Tropical Vacation :: Because Minnesota is cold & I have a December birthday.
14. Starbucks Black Heart Tumblr + Gift Card :: Because the cup is adorable & I'm a coffee addict.

Monday, December 8, 2014

YOLO {our trip to Madison}

My senior year of college I ventured in to enemy territory with a group of my friends - meaning we made the 4.5 hour road trip to Madison, WI to see our Gophers battle our biggest rivalry, the Badgers. We had the worst experience...the Badger fans were AWFUL! We were basically being sworn at the entire time we were there and it only got worse when the Gophers got absolutely pounded. So, I SWORE that I would never under any circumstances whatsoever go back to that wretched place. 

Fast forward 7 years and my beloved Gophers come to the end of their best season in a long time and are playing our rivals, the Badgers, IN Madison for a chance to go to the Big 10 Championship game. For those of you who aren't sports fans, just know that this was probably the biggest game the Gophers have played in my lifetime and as a result my family somehow talked me in to returning to Madison. I seriously had anxiety for days before we left. But, nonetheless, I packed up my best maroon and gold.

We were up and off to Madison bright and early on Saturday, November 29th. Despite my nerves and the 4am wake up call, we had a great little road trip consisting of all the essentials - Starbucks, Licorice & the Backstreet Boys. 

Once we rolled in to town, we checked in to our hotel, bundled up in our Gopher best and hit the town. We met up with the U of M boosters at Buckinghams bar and it felt amazing to be surrounded friendly faces. There were, of course, plenty of Badger fans there but the Gophers had them outnumbered and my anxiety finally subsided {the cocktails probably didn't hurt the cause either}.
After some time at the bar we made our way to a Gopher tailgate where we met some awesome people! This young man had been to 50 STRAIGHT home games and had a 3-0 record when he went to road games AND had just been accepted to the U of M that morning. Needless to say I LOVED him and was certain he was the good luck charm we needed. 

We made lots of great new friends and ran in to old friends too! Our buddy Tony who owns our favorite campus restaurant, Tony's Diner, was there too along with one of my friends who I hadn't seen since college! But of course I saw him mid-flip-cup game and wasn't able to snap a pic. 

Other than  that, we just hung out, had cocktails, prayed for a victory and I played my first game of battleshots which my brother and I lost to a couple of Badger fans. 

And then, it was game time. I was NOT excited about entering that stadium which resembles a prison {seriously, get a better stadium Badgers} but did it for my Gophers.
Our seats were awesome. It was a gorgeous day. AND, the best part, the Gophers held their own. It was one of those situations where you know you aren't supposed to win and everyone is rooting against you and then you get so close you think there's a chance and then you lose and you are devastated because you were right there and actually could have won. Did that sentence make ANY sense? It definitely stunk to lose, but I am so proud of my Gophers and know that next year, when the Badgers come to our house we will be victorious! Also, we made some friends in a Gopher/Badger combo sitting in front of us who we nicknamed Cute Boy & Slick which made the game a lot more fun.

Despite the loss, it was a super fun road trip. The Badger fans were WAY less rude this time around. Yes we got shouted at, but it's a rivalry, a little razzing is to be expected and is actually welcomed. Thankfully, this time around it was all in good fun. AND, dare I say it, we actually met some really cool Badger fans.

I don't have any intentions of returning to that hell hole any time soon, but am glad I faced my fears and had a great day with my family and fellow Gopher fans. :) 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our Thanksgiving {2014}

A few months back, I had the brilliant idea to run a Thanksgiving 5k. At the time it seemed like a great way to start the holiday off on a healthy foot but as Thanksgiving grew closer and closer it became apparent that thanks to unpredictable Minnesota weather, running a 5k was in fact one of the dumber things I've decided to do. ZERO degrees, people. I ran a 5k in ZERO degrees. But somehow, the weather worked to my advantage {still trying to figure out how} because I finished with my best time ever by 5 whole minutes!!!! A major thank you to my step-dad who picked me up before the sun came up, hung out in the cold and walked the 5k, had he not I was definitely going to bail and just run on the treadmill in the toasty warm gym.

After the race, we headed to my mom's for brunch. It's become a Thanksgiving tradition and I love it because it allows us to pack in time with as much family as possible. We watched football, drank champagne and snacked on bacon {among other things, but the bacon is the highlight}.

From there we were off to Jason's Aunt & Uncles on his dad's side. He has a HUGE family, but this years group was smaller which was actually really nice because we got to spend some quality time with everyone there. Kenley made a new bestie in her cousin Erin who helped her looked for "meow meows" and loved spending time with her Great-Grandma, she wasn't so sure of Great Uncle Brent though!

Our last stop was my dad's house where we ate, played games {I remain the reigning Clue champion}, watched movies, ate, drank, napped and ate some more.

It was a great bring on Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Bucket List {2014}

Holy Moly! It's the first day of DECEMBER! What in the......? While I am not a fan of winter {like at all}, I do love December! I mean who doesn't love the holiday season? And New Years Eve?'s my birth month, which basically means the b-day celebrations start today! Now that I have a little and my little is a full blown kid, this time of year is even more exciting than it's ever been! It's so magical seeing the holidays through your child's eyes and it makes me want to pack the next few weeks full of holiday fun and traditions! And so, I made myself a little holiday bucket list to try and make the absolute most out of the wonderful time of year. 

What's on your holiday bucket list this year?