Nederland, Colorado

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Family

A few years ago, my older sister, Emily and her husband, Shane, moved out to Boulder, Colorado to pursue their PhDs at University of Colorado, Boulder. Last year, my younger sister -Sarah-‘s boyfriend, Ryan, transferred out there for his job, and Sarah followed a few months later. I had always planned on visiting, and when Emily got pregnant with Natalie, we had even more motivation to go. Then we found out we were expecting and I was so upset I wouldn’t be able to meet my niece for a while.

However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that there wasn’t anything holding us back from traveling. Yes, we’d have an infant with us this time, but it was totally worth it. Plus, since I’d already be on maternity leave, I didn’t have to worry about taking time off work!

I tend to be a go-with-the-flow type, but something about traveling with a six week old put my stress levels on overdrive. I didn’t know how I was going to handle the flight out there, so my mom graciously drove down from Rochester to Charlottesville to fly with all of us. Just having her there put my mind at ease. If Finn decided to have a fit mid-flight, I would have David and Mom to help me. Plus, the extra hands helped a bunch. We had diaper bags, my breast pump, a carseat and stroller, plus all of our stuff to worry about. Mom was a life saver!

Of course, Finn made me feel foolish for ever worrying because he slept the ENTIRE flight! He didn’t even wake up to eat – and I wasn’t going to wake the beast.

When we arrived in Denver, we took a short drive through Boulder and into a tiny old mining town called Nederland where we AirBnB-ed a house. David was in heaven. He immediately assembled his fly rod and headed to the stream nearby to catch some fish. Throughout the week we did several hikes, and Finn did amazing in his Baby Bjorn. David was also able to set up a guided fishing trip and spent two mornings fly fishing in the Rocky Mountains.

It was also July 4th weekend so we enjoyed fireworks and the cutest parade I’ve ever seen. We played countless games of euchre, drank way too much craft beer, and enjoyed each other’s company. On the last day, David, Finn, Mom and I went to Estes Park to shop a bit and enjoy the views.

I can’t wait to take Finn on more family vacations in the future. He and Natalie will grow up together, and the thought of that melts my heart. Now it’s time for Emily and Sarah to come visit Charlottesville, right guys?!

FinnNatalie

 

 

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6 ways to get inspired to work out

work out inspiration

Since having Finn, it’s been quite difficult to get back into a workout routine. First of all, I’m exhausted. Finn still wakes up once a night for a feeding, and while I realize it could be much worse, that interrupted sleep really takes it out of me. It’s also quite difficult to find the time to exercise. Between pumping and feeding and working and cooking and everything else, getting in a work out is tough. On top of all of that, my body changed a bit with pregnancy, and although that should motivate me, it actually frustrates me that I have to work so hard to get back to my pre-pregnancy body.

So in an effort to inspire myself to get my butt in gear, I’ve put together a list of ways to actually get my butt in gear!

  1. Set a goal. I’ve been toying with the idea of signing up with a 10K race in October. Why haven’t I done it yet? I have no idea! I know that as soon as I pay the registration fee I will feel obligated to start running. I know I can do it, and using the race as a motivator is the perfect way to start a routine.
  2. Make a great playlist. Nothing can change a workout like the music you listen to. I enjoy a mix of inspirational music and something with a beat. The different music can keep you pumped up and can keep you going while working out. Plus, when I run, I like to challenge myself by saying to myself “okay, you can’t stop until the end of this song.” Usually I can go a lot longer!
  3. Keep a schedule. Last summer while I was getting in shape for our wedding, I would come home from work, change into workout clothes, leash up Juneau, and go for a run. Every. Single. Day. I wouldn’t even give myself a chance to change my mind. It was just expected that I would go running after work. By keeping a structured schedule, I rarely skipped out on a run.
  4. Give yourself a break. But of course there are the days when you just don’t want to get changed and sweaty and you just want to relax. So do it! By giving yourself a day off, you also can rejuvenate yourself for a fresh workout the next day.
  5. Take a class. My go-to workout is a nice long run followed by either arms or legs, and always abs. However, that routine can get kinda old and burn me out. Every now and then I like to sign up for a walk-in yoga class. I’ve also wanted to try spinning (a new gym just opened in town!) and pure barre. I find that mixing up my workouts keep me fresh and also work different muscles than I usually would.
  6. Learn a new exercise. As a soccer player, cardio was always so important to me. It wasn’t until I went to college did I start lifting weights. It changed my life. I started seeing muscle tone that I never thought existed. When I started doing yoga, I found that my core strength increased dramatically. Adding in different exercises truly changes your body and keeps you from burning out.

What do you do to stay motivated?

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My Hopes for S&I

helen keller quote

So, maybe this post is a little bit more for me than for you, but I thought I’d share my hopes for Simple & Inspired and it’s readers.

I’ve been blogging for several years now, but never really put 100% into it. My blog turned into an online diary – a place to keep all of my memories. I documented the summer I was laid off from my first job, my move back to Virginia, our engagement, our wedding, my pregnancy, and Finn’s birth story. I am so glad I made the decision to write these things down, because I’ve already re-read these passages countless times. Along the way, my blog has gathered a following, and I’ve always wondered who really cares about my daily life?

In the meantime, I have followed several blogs pretty religiously over the past two years. Although we’ve never met, I have watched these women get engaged, plan their own wedding, get pregnant, have babies, move into new houses – all the while making a living solely from blogging. Every time I open their blogs, I get green with envy because that’s what I want to do!

Somewhere along the way I asked myself, “why can’t I?” Many of my family members are business owners and entrepreneurs. I have the tools, the education, the know-how, and the drive to make blogging my full-time job, I just need to hunker down and do it.

I’m realistic that this venture may take some time, but there’s no time like right now to get started towards my goal. I have a wonderful career that I enjoy, and I’m fortunate for that. However, I want to have more babies, and I want to watch them grow up. I want to coach soccer teams and go on field trips and take long vacations. I want to be my own boss where I don’t have to worry about daycare and missing out on watching my babies grow up. I know I can do it, so I’m starting now.

Are you an entrepreneur or “girl boss”? What drives you every day? How long did it take you to get where you are going?

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Life as of Late

I follow a bunch of female bloggers who post wonderful posts that capture my attention daily. Some of them post about unique outfits, include decor inspiration, or share a new recipe they have tried. But some of my favorite posts from them include glimpses into their everyday lives. I think that’s what I love about blogging the most – on your site, you get to discuss the most honest parts of your life without interruption. It’s a wonderful reminder that even strangers you meet in the blogosphere have good days and bad days, just like you. So I’d like to include some of those genuinely honest posts as well, and here is the first.

Since having Finn on May 19th, I’ve been on maternity leave from work. Without diving too much into the dramatics of becoming a new mom, it has been quite the adjustment. Typically, I don’t plan out my days. David and I have always been the spontaneous type. We don’t tend to see much past the weekend. But with Finn here, we have started to at least plan out what we have for dinner each night, just to make life a little easier! I also don’t tend to be someone who sits around the house, but lack of sleep, recovering my body, and the random schedule of a newborn had me watching a ton of Netflix and cat napping when I have the chance.

Finn has been here for almost 3 months (crazy!) and I think we have gotten used to each other, more or less. He still has his fits, and I still get frustrated, but I think I’m getting the handle of this mommy thing.

One of my goals for my maternity leave was to launch this blog. I have been slowly writing posts and scheduling out new ones and I’m feeling more accomplished than I have in weeks. (Cleaning dishes and folding laundry can only fulfill someone so much!) Another goal was to start running again, and since being cleared by my doctor a few weeks back, Juneau and I are slowly getting back into a routine.

The next step was returning to work after 10 weeks off. After packing breast pumps, extra bottles, a diaper bag, my lunch, and my work stuff, I managed to make it out the door just a few minutes late. The first day sucked, by the way. I missed my man!

I’m sure life will start to feel “normal” again soon. And just when it does, I’m sure something else will throw us off again. Isn’t that the way it works? 🙂

 

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Reflecting on Year One of Marriage

one year marriage

If there is any indication that I have a two month old and am officially back to work, it’s that I’m blogging about our first anniversary nearly a month late! We are maybe finally getting into a routine, but that doesn’t mean that things aren’t as crazy as ever! In fact, when we got back from Colorado, we didn’t even realize our anniversary was just a few days later. Thank goodness for nearby grandparents who are always willing to take Finn!

In any case, our first year of marriage was incredibly crazy. Getting pregnant was not in the plans, but it was a true blessing. However, we did quite a bit other than have a child! Our marriage began with a relaxing and spontaneous roadtrip that we called our “mini-moon”. David and I spent five days exploring New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I went fly fishing for the first time in Lake Placid and we were able to check a few states off our “traveled to” list.

We celebrated friends’ weddings with them, we took an amazing trip to Belize, we spent time in New York with family, David got a new job and wrapped up another year of school (almost done!). We made new friends, celebrated other’s pregnancies, welcomed a niece to the world, traveled to Colorado, and welcomed our little Finn man.

I can’t say marriage changed much for us since we had been together for a while prior, but it did solidify our family. I can’t wait to see what year two brings for us. A new house! A first birthday party! New Christmas traditions! More snuggles with Juneau! And lots and lots of love and laughter.

We joke that we kind of let life happen to us, rather than planning for life, but that’s just who we are. At the end of the day, good or bad, I’m so blessed to have David as my husband. And like we always say, even in the hardest times, we always make it work!

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