1. 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

    Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

    THAT DRESS?”  My brain couldn’t focus on an image of some random dress hanging in my closet.  All I could think about was my three-year-old daughter hearing and trying to process those words.

    My daughter’s little brain is making sense of the world every single second, taking in verbal and non-verbal cues about how things work and what things mean.  And when it comes to exercise, I want her to grow up seeing it as a joy, and not a utility…as a gift, and not a chore…as an opportunity, not an obligation.  I want her to do it for the love of it, not to fit into a dress.  I want her to grow up knowing that…

    1. Strength equals self-sufficiency.  Being strong – particularly as a woman – is empowering.  It will feel good someday to be able to carry your own luggage down the stairs if the airport escalator is broken, and it will be important to have a solid shot at outrunning a stranger should you meet one a dark alley.
    2. Fitness opens doors.  Being healthy and fit can help you see the world differently.  The planet looks different from a bike or a pair of skis than it does from a car or an airplane.  Out in the elements you have the time and space to notice details and meet people and remember smells and bugs and mud and rain and the feeling of warm sunshine on your face.  And those are the moments that make up your life.
    3. The bike is the new golf course.  Being fit may help you get a seat at the table.  Networking is no longer restricted to the golf course, and the stronger you are – and the more people you can hang with on the road and trail – the more people you’ll meet.
    4. Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event.  Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym.  It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.
    5. Health begets health.  Healthy behavior inspires healthy behavior.  Exercise.  Healthy eating.  Solid sleep.  Positive relationships.  These things are all related.
    6. Endorphins help you cope.  A good sweat session can clear the slate.  You will have days when nothing seems to go right…when you’re dizzy with frustration or crying in despair.  A workout can often turn things around.
    7. Working out signals hard-working.  The discipline required to work out on a regular basis signals success.  Someone recently told me they are way more likely to hire marathon runners and mountain climbers because of the level of commitment that goes into those pursuits.
    8. If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful.  Looking beautiful starts on the inside.  And being fit and strong feels beautiful.
    9. Nature rules.  And if you’re able to hike/run/bike/swim/ski/snowshoe, you can see more of it.
    10. Little eyes are always watching.  We learn from each other.  You may have a daughter—or a niece or a neighbor or a friend – one day.  And that little girl will be watching and listening to everything she you say and do.  What messages do you want her to hear?

    I’ll never talk to my daughter about fitting into THAT DRESS.  But I will talk to her about what it sounds like to hear pine needles crunching under my feet and what it feels like to cross a finish line and how special it is to see the world on foot.  I will talk to her about hard work and self sufficiency.  I will teach her the joy of working out by showing her I love it.  And I’ll leave the rest up to her.

    story via Wellfesto 

     
  2. loved every part of this end-of-summer weekend. good friends. margaritas and big glasses of red. hiding out from the rainy weather under big party tents. black bears and big bucks. wrapping up in cozy sweaters. puppy time. brunch on a patio. and farmers markets.

     
  3. when I was eighteen I bought a one way ticket to texas for college, convinced I would be a large animal veterinarian with a barn full of horses and a white picket fence.

    after all, every waking minute of my life was spent in a saddle.

    and yet that one way ticket ended up having a return flight after all, followed by a few other impromptu stops…and now, here I am living less than 5 minutes outside of downtown denver, managing a large energy project in a lofty building downtown.

    sometimes I think what we want for ourselves and what God wants for us are two different things all together.

    while I have stumbled across this realization before, I was reminded once again while I loaded my plane last friday morning for austin. I began questioning my choices that led me up to this point, boarding the first southbound plane destined for something other than long work hours and business meetings.

    last weekend was an amazing experience to revisit a life and a dream that used to be mine, but never quite was. and to be honest, being back down there gave me the resolve I had so desperately needed to be at peace with where I am today.

    so I embraced the weekend as a time to appreciate my girlfriend, and the impending arrival of her very first baby(!) the reason I was there. to reflect on how much our friendship has changed and grown since we met in the dorms on that hot summer day in august ten years ago. how proud I am of her for seeking out her dreams and accomplishing BIG things like becoming a mommy. 

    we spent the day picking out little treasures to fill our homes at the shops above the spice, homes that we had only once dreamed would be ours, and sitting on a porch swing, coffee in hand talking about the amazing adventures, and people, and experiences that had come into our lives and those that had left us, shaped us, and changed us in their wake.

    "I’ll never know, and neither will you, about the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was a ghost ship that didn’t carry us. there is nothing to do but salute it from the shore." — cheryl strayed. tiny beautiful things.

     

  4. "I am trying to see things in perspective. My dog wants a bite of my peanut butter chocolate chip bagel. I know she cannot have this, because chocolate makes dogs very sick. My dog does not understand this. She pouts and wraps herself around my leg like a scarf and purrs and tries to convince me to give her just a tiny bit. When I do not give in, she eventually gives up and lays in the corner, under the piano, drooping and sad. I hope the universe has my best interest in mind like I have my dog’s. When I want something with my whole being, and the universe withholds it from me, I hope the universe thinks to herself: "Silly girl. She thinks this is what she wants, but she does not understand how it will hurt."
    — THEORIES ABOUT THE UNIVERSE by Blythe Baird

    (Source: blythebrooklyn, via useyourindoorvoice)

     
  5. life lately.

    j and I met sometime last october. or (roughly six months after what I like to refer to as the ugly unmentionables). he came into my life at a point when I wasn’t exactly looking for someone, nor was I open to letting my guard down and undoing all of the healing and growth and independence I had worked so hard for.

    but he was wiling to be patient and earn my friendship.

    things have been so good. easy. genuine. and we have done so many amazing things and experienced so much in our short (almost) year together.it’s hard to believe that we’ve come to a place that we are entertaining the idea of moving in together next spring when we don’t have to wrestle with either paying capital gains on the home we choose to sell, or playing landlord and renting one out. 

    for that reason, and so many others like for instance - the fact that I wasn’t exactly flush with cash after exchanging my life savings for a down payment and I wasn’t in a position to fill the insides with all the beautiful furnishings I would have liked.

    and somehow,  I have justified for over a year now, that I wasn’t sure it would be worth the time and money to do so knowing I may not be there for very long. and what if the lovely things I bought didn’t fit into a new place?

    I found myself skimming back through my archives and I couldn’t help but notice some of the things I felt then, I feel them now too:  

    feeling accomplishment out of simple things like being able to relax at home with a big glass of red. finally having a few spices and a couple boxes of good tea in your kitchen cabinets which makes you feel just the teensiest more put together, and makes your new big lonely house feel just a little bit more like a home, because starting all over again, from scratch, by yourself is tough.

    ohh, a shelf full of good books makes me feel this way too.

    a new piece of furniture that you adore.

    but my house just hasn’t felt like a home. ever.

    so I’ve made the decision to make my house a home. to fill it with things that make me love spending my time there.

    the truth is I am not ready to give up my space yet, and because I want to live in my home, maybe more than I want to live in his, (even though its not as nice or spacious) and appreciate what I worked so hard for.

    even if it does only end up being a year, I think I owe it to myself to really enjoy my house until I am ready to make a decision one way or another. and I can’t help but feel justified in my decision because as I write this post and we are halfway through August, I can’t imagine a better time to starting spending more time at home than fall or winter.

    some additional things I am working on :

    • being present.
    • letting go.
    • drinking more water throughout the day.
    • not being so hard on myself.
    • saying no to overloading my schedule.
    • nurturing my creativity again (both in the form of writing, decorating, and dressing myself)
    • using less social media.
    • being more calculated in my spending decisions. living by the mantra “less is more”, “and buy less, buy better and really wear it”.
    • cleansing my closet and finally parting with things I haven’t worn in years (even if they were expensive). hoping they make their way to people who will use them.
    • building up people I feel envious of, instead of coveting what they have that I might not have, and counting my many other blessings. (words loved and gently borrowed from C.)
    • eating clean and putting genuine effort into researching the foods/ quality of food that I put into my body.
    • maybe doing a body cleans too. any good suggestions?
    • what are you working on?
     

  6. Thursdays are the New Fridays.

    I am normally not one to do things during the week, but in the spirit of making time to enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and the culture of the city, I jumped on the opportunity to be E’s date to the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens for a girls night out. Even though it meant passing up the Bronco’s v Seahwaks preseason game. And I am so glad it did.

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    Thursday is the new Friday at the Gardens with the series Unwind, which celebrates the Gardens in the summer with different themes, wine, barbeque, live music, and admission to the exhibition Chihuly after hours.

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    Experiencing the exhibit after the sun went down was lovely. The sculptures alone are gorgeous, but it was fun to see the dramatic contrast when illuminated.

    For those interesting in attending, the event will continue on through November to take advantage of fall’s early sunset, but the experience will be different June – September as full darkness doesn’t come until late evening. (I personally enjoyed touring around wine in hand as day melted into night, getting to see the sculptures from both a light and dark perspective.) 

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  7. "You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it."
    — 

    Robin Williams.

    The number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

    (via fullcredit)

     
  8.  

  9. "

    It is suggested to us a million times a day that our BODIES are PROJECTS. They aren’t. Our lives are. Our spirituality is. Our relationships are. Our work is.

    Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it.

    "
     

  10. I’ve been struggling with body image. Feeling comfortable in my own skin. And in my clothes.

    And it’s a damn shame because there is nothing wrong with my body.

    I am old enough and certainly smart enough to know better than to fall prey to the airbrushed images lining magazines and catalogs. Knowing full well that many of the women with perfect figures I follow on Instagram earn their living as professional athletes and don’t sit behind a desk for eight plus hours a day thumbing through contracts.

    Last summer, I went through some really ugly unmentionables and the only way I knew how to break through instead of break down was to lay down some miles. A lot of miles. Some around my neighborhood after work. On my mountain bike deep in the mountains. I ran myself ragged crisscrossing the county negotiating deals and keeping late hours in hotel rooms writing analytical papers about things like Amaranth deflating or energy elasticities. All in hopes that I could keep my poignant thoughts from consuming me. (I was wrong by the way)

    And this other thing happened too.

    I lost my appetite. I basically had to force myself to eat. So when I did, I chose the most nutritionally packed items I could get my hands on knowing I could get away with forcing myself to swallow less.

    And as a result, I lost weight. Quite a bit of it.

    And wow did it feel good.

    But as time passed, and little bits of my life and happiness came back to me, so did my weight.

    For the first time in my life, I feel heavy.

    It’s not rational. It’s not realistic. And it’s not something I feel good giving voice to. Especially here on my little corner of the internet where I want my words to be pretty and document all the amazing adventures in my life. But here I am. A successful, independent young woman with body image issues just trying to be real.

    I think there is a misconception that body issues only affect certain women, but the truth of the matter is that Body image it is a constant battle whether you are a 2 or a 12.

    I know in my heart of hearts that I have a lot great physical qualities to be thankful about, but the thing is I am sick of looking at myself in the mirror and nurturing that negative little voice that tells me I need to get on the treadmill. And I am tired of beating myself up for eating that cookie.

    Today I am embracing the fact that I am a work in progress. I am working to change my mindset by encouraging myself to think about how beautiful other women’s bodies are. I am beating down the negative thoughts that enter my mind when I compare myself to them.

    I am acknowledging how much more important it is to be strong than anything else, that starving yourself isn’t attainable or healthy. I am working towards resuming a clean diet and getting back into a running routine so I can hone that strength, both mentally and physically.  

    .

    (Ugly Friday morning words which will be edited and revised numerous times I am sure.)

     
  11. hi august, I am so glad you’re here.

    I’ve wanted so badly for fall to come this year.

    I am a summer loving, bronzed skin, water loving kind-of- girl through and through.

    you know, the one that prays for summer each winter.

    and yet, here I am embracing the idea of letting this summer melt into august. and september. and october.

    a time and a place where things slow down.  where I can catch my breath. and perhaps idealistically give genuine effort to being present and to taking care of myself. and not because I am feeling the pressure about maintaining a bikini perfect figure on the off chance that I get forced into wearing one. or because I have been caught up convincing myself to participate in every.single.event or happy hour or party for fear of missing out on a single ounce of summer. and to be honest, not enjoying it fully because it’s all just too much.

    I am looking forward to the leaves turning, and the mountain air smelling of earthiness and homes like cinnamon.

    where sunday’s are unspokenly reserved for football and cooking.

    sweltering temps give way to sweater weather and ultimately cozy scarves, lux knits, and leather boots.

    and the hustle and blustle of summer tourism wanes and we are left with the stillness and quiet of offseason and restoration.

    wednesday thoughts.

    image  via texturism +  balancing

     
  12. take me back to that warm august day.

    to first-chair-last-calling.

    early morning workouts.

    to those pitchers of summer margaritas. the giant glasses of red.

    the layers of turquoise and those cowboy boots.

    apollo astronauts.

    cutting willows on the river.

    patron shots with momma b.

    that late night campfire.

     

  13. "In French, you don’t say “I miss you.” You say “tu me manques,” which is closer to “you are missing from me.” I love that. “You are missing from me.” You are a part of me, you are essential to my being. You are like a limb, or an organ, or blood. I cannot function without you."
    — Unknown (via theantiquated)

    (Source: thesoutherly, via aconnoisseurofroads)

     
  14. Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory. - Dr. Seuss

     
  15. let’s talk about how dope these gold + gray necklaces are…