ACTIVE LIVING, BEAUTYCOUNTER, BEST SELF, LIFE CHANGES, MY TRUTH, SAFER PRODUCTS

Finding B // An Investment in Me

08/21/2017

The other day while getting dressed a caught glimpse of myself in the mirror and had to take a second glance.  Things are changing.

Despite the huge push for self care with my counseling background, I – as many moms are guilty of – do not spend much time focusing on my personal needs.  I almost always put the needs of others before mine. Sure, I take some time for me, but I constantly sabotage my efforts as I do not make my well being a priority making consistency nearly impossible. Over the past month though, that has changed – I have started to invest in me.

Right now might seem like an odd time to invest in myself. If you’ve read my previous posts you may already know that my husband left his job at the beginning of summer and has been  searching for his next career opportunity. It’s not in my nature to spend money on myself, so doing so at a time where our money belt is cinched a bit tighter than normal seems a little unnatural, but it is a choice we have consciously made and I could not be happier with our decision.

A little less than a month ago a friend of mine encouraged me to go to a Barre3 class with her.  She is an instructor, but is currently not teaching as she just had a baby. I was hesitant for many reasons, but she talked me into taking a class with her.  She had amazing things to say about how it has changed her body as well as her mind.  After attending my first class I was not fully convinced.  I did not love the class.  I like high energy classes that keep you moving and Barre has a lot of slow movement and controlled holds, pulses, and an inconceivable amount of squats – probably my least favorite exercise out there.  I told her at the end of class that if she didn’t want to be friends she could have just told me rather than torturing me.  Lol.  I only kid.  I was so sore the next few days.  It was a good sore though, and I noticed that the areas I was the most sore were the exact same areas that I complain the most about wanting to tighten up.  That said though, the price tag was hefty.  I was worried about spending any money right now, so other than the free class she brought me to, I doubted I’d continue.  I kind of wrote it off, but she kept talking up the benefits of Barre not only to me, but my husband as well.  He encouraged me to take the time to focus on myself and try it out for a bit.

We agreed on a price point for a specific package which would allow me to get a good feel of the class.  The company encourages you to take at least 3 lessons to try it out so that your body has a chance to get used to the new movements.  I went to a second class a week later with my friend and although the class felt a bit better, I still wasn’t convinced.  BUT, with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to go ahead and invest at least this one time.  When I went to purchase my package I realized that they were running a promotion for new members offering a significant discount for the unlimited monthly classes.  So, for the first month it was half the cost of what my husband and I agreed that we’d invest – AWESOME!

Well, they are right – 3 is the magic number because by my third class I was hooked! During the first two weeks of my membership I went everyday! Unfortunately, this streak had to end when we left for our camping trip, but I have been back steadily since our return home.  It has been a little more than 3 weeks since I’ve been going and I’m already seeing changes to my body.  My bum is lifting, my arms are more defined, and everything looks a bit tighter than last month.  But more importantly, I feel great.

In addition to the Barre classes, I’ve also invested in better skincare products and focused on a regular skincare regiment. I mentioned in a previous post that I had recently become a consultant for Beautycounter.  When I was first approached about the opportunity, I had only briefly sampled the products, but signed on because I believed in the mission. Now that I’ve used the products regularly, I am so thrilled that I took the leap.  Not only are the products safer, investing into them has completely changed my regular beauty routine.  I won’t lie – I have never been one to put too much attention into my skincare and often would go to bed with a face of makeup, but now that has changed completely. I am honoring the Beautycounter routine and I am so happy with the changes I am seeing. It’s not just about the changes I’m seeing in my face, but the changes I am seeing within myself. I am taking time to care about me!

I am trying to be patient with the transformations that I am currently making to my body, as I know big changes take time, but I feel good about the results that I’m getting so far.  I’ve also had people make comments about my appearance asking me if I’ve lost weight or saying how fresh my face looks.  It’s kind of caught me off guard – but man does that feel good! My husband is certainly noticing these changes too.  Although a little firming up is always nice, I think he is proud of the shift he is seeing within me – rather than the simply the external changes.  I feel better about myself overall and that’s important for the vitality of our relationship.

This month I’m continuing to challenge myself.  I have decided to take on the Barre3 Challenge which includes eliminating gluten (DONE!), refined sugar (no prob!), dairy (easy enough), alcohol (getting harder), and COFFEE  (aghhh!!!).  I’m starting today and I’m super pumped. I think giving up both coffee and alcohol as a way to help focus on authentic body regulation.  No more coffee to perk me up or wine to wind me down.  Rather I am going to put my focus on healthy bedtimes and stress reduction that don’t require a nightcap.  Right now I am challenging myself for 30 days, but perhaps it will end up longer.  I gave up alcohol for 1 year a couple of years ago and it may have been my most productive year yet.  Lol. If anyone is interested in joining me for this challenge – comment below and we can encourage each other along the way!

Overall, I am really glad that we didn’t let the recent employment changes dissuade us from making these investments.  I am proud to say that my husband has started his first day with his new employer today and seems genuinely happy with the opportunity before him.  We took a lot of risks this summer, but they seem to be paying off.  I joke with my husband that the Bs are taking over my life – Beautycounter and Barre3, but he – without question – is my biggest supporter.

ACTIVE LIVING, BEST SELF, GRATITUDE, HAPPINESS, THE SIMPLE THINGS

Gone Camping // Disconnecting to Reconnect

08/14/2017

Summer has completely flown by. It has been an adventure of sorts in regards to our current state of unemployment and our busy travel schedule, but it has been one of growth and strength. We have been focusing on family and making the most of what we have.  With only one week left before school starts again we had our final summer adventure to embark upon.

Earlier this year at our school auction we bid on a Family Camp weekend and won.  At the end of spring I scheduled our camp session for this August. This past weekend we got to venture out to West Virginia and enjoy a four-day camp experience at Camp Alleghany for Girls. The weekend was just what we needed.

For the past few weeks we’ve had my mother-in-law staying with us for a summer visit. The company is lovely, but in full authenticity, having my husband and kids home for the summer plus the two dogs scuttling around, it’s already a bit crowded – adding a 5th person into the mix at our 850 square foot apartment can get a little tight. Finding ourselves with four days away – out in nature – was a breath of fresh air. And as a bonus, my mother-in-law was able to get her own quiet time at our place, while also watching the pups for us. So hopefully it turned out to be a win-win.

We arrived at camp midday Thursday and took a rowboat across the river to the campsite. The camp was divided into two sections – Senior Camp and Junior Camp. They had the families with younger kids in Junior Camp. Our home for the next few days was an elevated canvas tent with wood floor boards. They had raised beds with mattresses for each of us and a small shelf to put our things. It was perfect. We rolled the canvas flaps up during the day to let in the fresh air and rolled them down during the evening to offer some privacy.

The gaggle of tents created a square and in the middle there were swings, a slide, and tetherball.  Almost immediately upon arrival the kids began to run around with the other children as we unpacked and set up our tent.  We didn’t bring much – just the essentials. It was quaint and perfect.

The family weekend offered a variety of activities we could sign up for. There was archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, swimming in the river, creaking, hiking, a rifle range, and a few other activities that the kids weren’t quite old enough to engage in. In the mornings we were woken up by the bugle playing Reveille, and in the evening at 10 pm they sounded them again to indicate lights out and quiet time. There was also a break after lunch  where the entire camp was resigned to their tents for rest hour. I was impressed with how seriously the attendees respected rest hour and bed time. I’d say that rest hour turned out to be one of our favorite times during camp. Everyone had to be silent, so we would all hang out on our beds reading books or the kids would quietly play a board game. There are very few times in our day-to-day lives that we are able to sit down and read uninterrupted for an hour. Being in our tent with the canvas rolled up, the breeze rolling in, a view of the mountains just to our left and quiet campsite to the right, I found myself in complete peace.

The food options were great as well. They had vegetarian options, gluten-free options, a constant salad bar and different meals each day. They did not disappoint. The kids also loved that they offered various desserts with every meal – and although it is not my normal behavior I certainly let the kids indulge during this vacation.

This weekend also provided us a great opportunity to disconnect from electronics and reconnect as a family. I feel like we are pretty well connected already, but I also admit that we are guilty of using electronics to keep us occupied or perhaps I should say – preoccupied. At the camp we barely touched our phones (the only electronics we brought) and only turned them on for the occasional picture or to check the time – but other than that we stayed totally disconnected. To entertain ourselves we talked to one another, enjoyed nature, worked on crafts, made friends, engaged in the camp activities and read. I almost finished the novel I brought which was such a nice treat. This uninterrupted time to breathe was so necessary.  I truly believe that our society underestimates the importance of unplugging.

It was the first time in awhile that I have felt I had the space to really just relax. Devoid of all the responsibilities I normally have, it allowed me to just be. It was such a gift. There were so many times during this trip that we simply laid on our beds reading books and I would turn to my husband and just smile, sometimes mentioning how lucky I felt we were in that moment that we happened upon this gift.

During this weekend with so little to get in our way, we gained so much. I hope to make this a yearly occurrence. I also look forward to going on more camping trips of our own in the future. Disconnecting to reconnect is what my soul needed. Now we are back at home and already back into the grind – cooking, cleaning, laundry, workouts, and preparing for the back to school rush next week. In so many ways, the trip already seems so far behind us, but the biggest takeaway for me is the reality of how little we truly need to make us happy. We’ve already minimized significantly in the past year-and-a-half, but I look forward to taking an even deeper look at what we do have and seeing how we can make even more breathing room.

GRATITUDE, HEALTH, MY TRUTH, SAFER PRODUCTS

Death to Lice // A Safer Approach

08/01/2017

Roughly a week ago my daughter came to me midday and told me her head was itchy. My first thought always goes to lice, so we took a time out to hunt for these annoying little bugs. She sat down on the couch and I combed through her hair with a little metal wand but found nothing. I was thankful as I did not have to deal with the whole cleaning process. For safe measures I checked my son and I had the kids check my head too. We felt like we had dodged a bullet. We went on with our day as normal.

That evening as my kids were getting ready for bed, my daughter approached me and asked if I could squeeze the toothpaste out onto her toothbrush for her. As she came closer I noticed a little brown bug peeking out from her hairline. Oh no! Lice!

I sat her down once again and used my metal wand to go through her hair. This time I found 3 bugs! It was already a little bit later of an evening for us because we had a lot of activities going on that day, so instead of going to bed at 8 it was 8:45. Murphy’s Law had hit again.  It was going to be a very late night.

We had not yet dealt with lice in our home, but I do remember the nightmare effort my own  family went through when we had gotten lice as kids. Everything needs to be bagged or washed. My mom used this horrible chemical solution we had to put on our heads which burned and itched my scalp. And then mom had to comb out our knotty hair in order to get all the bugs out. What a nightmare!

We had dodged several bullets this year in regards to lice. For a while it seemed like every week there was an announcement that another kid had it in class, but we were able to narrowly avoid it. I sent my husband across the street to the drugstore to pick up the only solution I knew for lice – RID.

My daughter had gone to a birthday party that day as well as a play date, so I quickly contacted both parents to let them know to check their own children for the little buggers. I know without question that lice is not caused by having dirty kids. In fact it’s quite the opposite – lice actually clings to clean hair more so than dirty, BUT , I still felt pretty embarrassed to have to contact the parents. It was probably less about being embarrassed that my child had lice, and more disappointed that I was the bearer of bad news and could have negatively impacted their own evening. Luckily neither family was afflicted.

Our luck did not run out there! Both sets of parents had dealt with lice previously and offered support and tips. One of the moms was actually a huge game-changer in our lice killing plans. She said that every time they had gotten lice in their family, they used Listerine and vinegar to get rid of the pests.

She recommended the original Listerine – the gold colored one – and said to douse the hair with it, cover it in a shower cap for 2 hours. and once the two hours are up, to rinse the hair with white vinegar.  After the hair is rinsed you can then comb the dead bugs out.  BRILLIANT!!!  She even walked over to let us borrow her incredible lice comb! How about that for support?!?!?

I called my husband really quickly and asked him to change his purchase agenda to Listerine, white vinegar, and 4 shower caps. He obliged and was home shortly. In the meantime I started taking all the sheets, comforters, pillows and toys off of the bed to wash. We threw all the stuffed animals and non-essentials in a garbage bag and tied them up air tight and put them aside for two weeks. If we were not paying per load for our apartment washing machines I may have just gone ahead and washed everything, but this lice ordeal was getting expensive fast!

I had just started the first load when my husband got home. Perfect timing.  We doused our heads with Listerine and all threw on shower caps. We found a family friendly movie, grabbed some popcorn and drinks, and made a night of it!

Within a few hours we were all lice free and in bed with clean sheets. In the end, it turned out that only my daughter had lice, but I figured if we were going to put in all the effort to clean the sheets we had better be safe than sorry and all go through the process together in order to guarantee that no one would find out they have lice the next day.

All in all, it wasn’t a horrible experience. We enjoyed the bonding and made some fun memories with our silly looking shower caps and a movie night. I was absolutely thrilled that this approach worked so brilliantly. It was so much gentler on our scalps than the chemicals we used growing up. Hopefully we can avoid lice in the future, but at least we have a great safe way to fight the little buggers. I think Ellie may have picked it up from tennis camp as they were all doing each other’s hair during their lunch break, but who knows. It sort of feels like a Rite of Passage.

Now I have a question for you…

Were you able to get through this entire story without scratching your head? LOL.

BEAUTYCOUNTER, BEST SELF, GRATITUDE, HEALTH, MY TRUTH

My New Venture // Taking a Leap of Faith

07/25/2017

The last two months has offered opportunity for growth and self reflection as my husband and I explore what our future may have in store when it comes to employment and self made opportunities.  It has been a humbling time to say the least, as the process of applying to countless jobs and not having success in landing one can be a significant hit on the ego.  For the most part this time has brought us closer together and showed us what a strong team we are, but we haven’t been without our disagreements and conflicts, which only makes the process more difficult.

We are people of faith and truly believe that there is a plan for us.  I hold true that if I continue walking forward that life will work itself out.  Not all the experiences we go through in life will be joyful, but they all offer us the opportunity to learn and to grow.

Over the past year I have been highly focused on our family’s diet and overall health.  We have put a significant effort into cutting down on processed foods, sugar, animal products and byproducts, and increasing our vegetable intake significantly.  Overall we have done really well and we continue to progress forward.  With the recent time on his hands, my husband has actually become very invested in the research end of diet and wellness as well which has helped us progress even further with trying new foods and eliminating more negative aspects of our diet.  We are finally finding the footing that seems to work well for us, but I’m sure that we will continue to modify and adjust over time.

I mention the diet because it ties greatly into a decision I have made in regards to my next path. I’m amazed at the fear I feel as I sit here writing about my venture.  On one hand, I’m terribly excited and on the other I am fearful of judgment and criticism. No, I haven’t decided to sell any organs or become a sex worker.  But, I have decided to enroll in a multi-channel business program. Gulp.

I’m sure you are no stranger to these opportunities. They are by no means new.  In fact my mother sold Avon when I was a child and I used to get a penny for each sample marketing bag I delivered to someone’s front door.  Lol.  But it does seem that nowadays our social media feeds are full of them.  I have numerous friends selling all different types of things – Stella & Dot, It Works!, Thrive, Advocare, Young Living, Norwex, Jamberry Nails, BeachBody, Rodan + Fields, LuLaRoe, the list goes on. The feeds come in and  I’m not going to lie – it often drives me crazy.  

My initial reaction is that the frustration stems from my feed being full of advertisements, but I challenged these thoughts and with deeper reflection I came to the realization that the anger is actually directed at myself.  I was jealous.

Truly.  I am envious that these individuals are taking the initiative to become consultants for companies that they believe in.  They are being proactive and taking steps to better their lives, work towards financial freedom, and spread a message about products they believe in.  I get angry, because I feel like I missed out on an opportunity that other people are taking the risk on. Well my FOMO is not going to get the best of me any longer.  Lol.

Let me back up a bit, because really, my fear of missing out is not the reason I am getting involved in this new opportunity.  In fact, the timing feels somewhat serendipitous. I have been approached on numerous occasions about my interest in different organizations and it has never felt right.  At one point I even reached out to an individual about working with them because I saw the great work she was doing.  I spent a good amount of time talking with my friend about the opportunity and reviewing the resources she provided me with, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger – it just didn’t feel right.

However, recently an acquaintance of mine from Orlando, Laura, reached out to me recently about a new journey she was on.  She expressed that she had been following my blog and thought that it may be something that I was interested in becoming involved with.  Normally I would simply brush the contact aside as I am not interested in getting involved with sales – in fact it is something I truly hate doing – but I was familiar with the product and actually interested to hear more.

The company is called BeautyCounter and focuses on safer skin care and cosmetics.  Her mention of the company was not the first I had heard of it.  I was actually introduced to it 2 1/2 years ago back in Florida.  I had been invited to a social to learn more about the products and was completely intrigued. The problem was, that I was working part time at the counseling center and running a photography business – I was not interested in becoming a consultant for any company.  Although, in retrospect I wish I had!  I had also been scared off because the prices were certainly higher than the over the counter soaps and cosmetics that I got at the drugstore and I had never been one to spend much money on those types of products. Fast forward a few years and my feelings have changed a bit. Ironically, one of my first thoughts when she approached me was regarding the price, but when I perused the catalogue I quickly realized that I had inflated the prices in my head and over exaggerated the difference between over the counter products and BeautyCounter ones.  They are higher than the low end, but I had certainly spent just as much on an item at CVS.  And lately I’ve been trying to get safer skincare products using the EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database and have spent more money and time at Whole Foods than I’d like to admit and every time I’m there I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack because I am so overwhelmed – AND I still don’t feel like I have found a successful beauty routine.   

So I told Laura that I was open to talking.  She explained more about the company and their mission – “To get safer products into the hands of everyone”.  Being the sceptic I am, my first thought of course was “Sure, what a ‘nice’ motto, but not everyone will be able to afford their products.”  But, as I listened to understand (and held my cynicism at bay) I soon learned that the mission doesn’t mean the company expects everyone to buy their products, rather that as a company works to lobby for change in the cosmetic and skincare industry.  And that they personally prohibit the use of over 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients in their products.  Now that’s something I can get behind.

I also learned that they have a 60 day return policy.  I find that refreshing too, because I have spent a good deal of money on products only to find that the quality is less than par and I am out the cash.  🙁  I love a company that stands behind their product with a full money guarantee.

So, the company seems like one that I can really get behind.  I love the mission and I have been trying to find safer cosmetics and skincare for myself.  If I’m 100% honest – I have been really frustrated with my skin lately.  I am noticing an increase in age spots and wrinkles that are really hitting my ego hard.  I’m not loving the changes.  I have been trying various DIY treatments, but haven’t had any success – in fact I think I’ve broken out more as a result.  I was at the point of giving up, but then Laura reached out to me and offered a possible solution.

I noted earlier that this opportunity seemed serendipitous, in part because of the desire to help my skin in the aging process, but also because despite the numerous resumes that I’ve sent out – I have not had one person show interest in me as a candidate. Ouch. That truth bomb hurts.

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of starting up a new coaching business – and still may do this, but I know how hard and isolating it is to start a new business.  Now that said, BeautyCounter will obviously take work, but the nice thing is I have a team of women that are behind me and will be there for support, advice, guidance, and encouragement – so it won’t be as isolating as going solo.

It feels like a risk – especially since there are start up costs involved and we don’t have any paychecks coming in at the moment.  But I believe in this mission and I believe in the company, so after some serious deliberation and self reflection (and discussions with my husband) I’ve decided to take a giant leap of faith and become a consultant for BeautyCounter.

I am terrified and exhilarated all at once. I feel a little raw putting myself out there – this is hard! Please be patient with me as I figure out the balance of posting things on my blog and social media.  I promise I will try not to inundate your feed with my business posts, but just know there will be growing pains.

I’d love your support in this journey, so if you want to know more about BeautyCounter OR if you are interested in possibly becoming a consultant yourself, please click here to email me (or comment on the page) and I’ll share all I know about the company and products and help point you in the right direction!  I’d love to have some company on this journey! 🙂   

 

ACTIVE LIVING, BEST SELF, GRATITUDE, HAPPINESS, THE SIMPLE THINGS

From Mountain to Mountain // Our Summer Adventure

07/21/2017

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind adventure for our family. We created travel plans for this summer before our lives did a 180 which included a drive to North Carolina for our annual Fourth of July celebration and a flight to Denver for my cousin’s wedding, but with the passing of my Grandfather we needed to squeeze in a trip to Florida for the funeral.

I guess the bright side of not being employed at the moment is that we were able to adjust our plans accordingly. We extended our trip by a few days and headed out for our three state vacation.

We dropped off the dogs the night before with the dog sitter and in the morning headed out bright and early to pick up the rental car for our trip. Once we were loaded up, we headed out for the Western mountains of North Carolina. The drive took a little over 11 hours and we did our best to make the most of it, playing road trip games, listening to good music, and playing on the tablet.  The kids always thrive in the mountains – picking fruits and vegetables from the garden, playing with the cats, and spending quality time with their grandparents.

To make our trip easier and more affordable, my dear mother-in-law volunteered to watch the children for us so that my husband and I could attend the funeral together.  We spent one day in the mountains and then headed down to Atlanta (which has the closest airport) and flew to Florida to spend two days with my family.

I had not seen everyone in a few months, so it was nice to catch up despite the sad reason for our meeting. It was also nice to catch up with some of my extended family.  Unfortunately, despite coming from a rather large family, there were complex challenges that made the funeral small, adding an additional layer to the grief process.

That said, we tried to take advantage of the time we had in Florida and spend it with family.  The trip was brief and so visiting friends was not a possibility.  We were able to spend some time at my sister’s house though, taking her kids swimming while her husband grilled out and she spent time packing for the upcoming Colorado trip.

While on our trip, two of the challenges I knew I would have to overcome included the predisposition to drink at these types of events (funerals, celebrations, and weddings) and keeping up my training for the marathon. Luckily, I stayed pretty well on top of the two. I was even able to run 7 miles the evening of my grandfather’s funeral – talk about cathartic. My husband actually joined in for the last two, which made it an easier finish – and he brought me water to ward off the Florida heat!

We flew out the morning following the funeral and headed back from Atlanta to North Carolina where we spent the next several days with friends and family.  We love these trips to the mountains as it is a great way to unplug.  We filled our week with tennis, rafting, golfing, movies, food, friends, fireworks, and of course – running.

Our time in the mountains went fast, but it did not mean the end of our vacation.  We had more mountains to see. So from the Smokies to the Rockies we went!  Once again we drove down to Atlanta to catch our flight to Denver.

By the time we got in it was late at night and we all fell asleep pretty easily at the hotel. In the morning my son woke up bright and cheery thinking he heard his uncle’s voice in the hallway on his way to breakfast. I was highly doubtful that this was the case, as my brother tends to sleep in, but I was eager to get the day going so we headed down for breakfast.  In the elevator, I told the kids that it was likely Grandpa who they had heard. It turns out it was neither, but Grandpa was indeed downstairs checking his email at the business center. Seeing him was a great start to their day!

My mother, brother, and brother’s girlfriend slowly trickled down and we said our hellos before we all headed out for the drive to Steamboat Springs.  My parents had graciously got us all two condos to share for the weekend.  The kids were ecstatic for our little family reunion.  The weekend did not disappoint. The kids were not the only ones that got to see their aunts, uncles, and cousins, and reuniting with everybody was amazing.

The first day in town we met up with my immediate family for lunch, played at the creek and headed down to a rodeo with all the kids.  Ellie and Brodie had mixed feelings about the rodeo – as we all agreed it was hard to watch in regards to the treatment of the animals. But they did love entering the sheep and calf chase with all of their cousins, where they chased around the animal with a herd of kids trying to grab the ribbon off the animal.  Ellie said her favorite part was being able to touch the soft fur of the sheep and assured me that no one hurt the animals. Lol.  That evening us “kids” went to a local pub to meet up with some of our cousins.  It was the first time in a very long time that all four siblings actually went out together!

The second day we all met up – with aunts, uncles, and cousins too! – out on the town.  We adventured down the Alpine slide, shopped downtown, strolled through an outside art show, and as we do best, ate! Lol.  I even got a run in before coming home to get ready for the wedding.  That evening was the wedding – and what a wedding it was!  No offense to anyone whose wedding I’ve previously attended, but this may have been the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to.  In true Steamboat fashion we took the chair lift up to the top of the mountain where the ceremony was performed. The weather was perfect, the view was absolutely stunning and the couple made the view pale in comparison.  After tear inducing vows we all went inside to the beautiful ski lodge to dance our bottoms off until the wee hours of the night.  My husband, who is not typically a big dancer, only left the dance floor a few times – and I think it was because I had to use the ladies room.  😉  It was an amazing night full of amazing people.

The next day we said goodbye and headed back to Denver where we met up with another cousin for dinner.  It was really nice visiting her home and learning more about their lives in Denver.  Although I was ready to be in my own space again and done with the traveling for the moment, it was hard to leave Colorado.  The entire time I was there it simply confirmed my desire to make Colorado our home.  There is just something so majestic about Colorado that I cannot put into words. There seems to be a strong culture around living active lives, getting outdoors, and participating in life.  There is a laid back adventurer feel to Colorado that I love – and I also adore that no matter where this vegetarian, plant focused girl with a gluten allergy seems to go to eat – they always have an awesome option for me! 😉

That said, since we have returned home we’ve reconnected with some of our DC friends which reminds us how much we really do adore where we live.  We’ve also been taking advantage our “time off” and hitting the city – renting bikes, swimming, going to different classes and free events, and playing lots of tennis, which also makes us love DC that much more.  It’s amazing what a great community we have built here in such a short amount of time and are so grateful for the friends we have. As much as I want to go to Colorado, there is also a part of me that wants to stay put and see what evolves over time. I think the hardest part of living here is really just the financial cost. :/

Who knows where we will end up.  We’ve resigned our lease, so we are staying put for the moment, but we have both applied to numerous jobs in DC as well as in Colorado – so we will see what the universe has in store for us.  We are also still exploring avenues that would allow us to work remotely which would also open up some new possibilities for us.  Either way, I truly feel that in the end we will end up where we are meant to be – and until then, we are certainly making the most of this time.  🙂