FitBloggin14… The Short Short Version.

Sunrise in Savannah

“Minimize the regrets in your own life by doing everything with intention.”

Those words were the first of many pebbles of wisdom that rained down on me during Fitbloggin14.  They did not come from a fellow blogger, or sponsor.  They did not find their way into my mind from a yoda meditation or a workout… they came from my cab driver “Bunny Man” on my way to the hotel on Thursday shortly after landing in Savannah.

I wanted to recap my Fitbloggin post with #ALLTHEPHOTOS since last year I took a grand total of three photos… Sad right?  This year I took 400+ photos on Saturday with an SLR that are over on Flickr.  I like to think of these as my gift back to my Fitbloggin family.  So many people leave having not taken photos other than selfies.  I never got to complete the walk I started on Thursday (the beginning of that album) on Sunday due to just being drained of all my energy from lack of sleep.

I did however manage to be part of TONS of selfies!!! the proof is in the pudding….

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Those photos are in no particular order… and I am sure I am missing a few photos there… it is so hard to wrap up so much amazingness with a nice neat little bow.  It just doesn’t happen.

Perhaps a highlight reel?

  • Nearly putting Alan through the glass doors in the lobby for a hug
  • Conga Line during ice breakers the first night
  • French Macaroons & Starbucks with Kenlie
  • MICKEY MOUSE in the HOUSE!!!
  • Yoga where I cried
  • Zumba where I cried
  • Tough Love where we established #JustTrollin and #TribeLove
  • Ignite- All of it, from Dre’s rap to Gerri sharing so much with us about Roni
  • Finding my Celery Stalker had been in my bed while I was out of the room!! #CrisperDrawerLove
  • JeffGalloway when I cried telling him about Margaret, and he just let me ramble on.
  • Discovering I don’t like pralines, but I do still love popcorn!
  • ALL THE HUGS
  • ALL THE SELFIES
  • ALL THE FRIENDS
  • ALL THE EVERYTHING!

I miss everyone… It was a rough journey getting back home from Savannah. Many tears were shed leaving the hotel. I am thankful Erin was willing to chat with the chatty cab driver because I wasn’t up for anything except holding everything inside.  DubyaWife, Erin and I encountered some plane trouble.  It made me miss my connection… I got the last open seat on the red eye back to Minneapolis… and barely made it onto that flight.  Erin ended up having to stay another night… but that is her story to tell.

I am already looking forward to Fitbloggin15, my eyes are on Denver. My goals are to me SMALLER, STRONGER, FITTER, and just as Fabulous by the time I see many of the people I met. I have plans to hopefully reconnect with several of my friends before a year has passed, as we all focus on living with intention and being more authentic in our intentions.

Start saving your dollars now… you wont want to miss out on Denver, I don’t want to be sending you a “wish you were” here postcard or linger in the sunrise sipping coffee thinking of you.

FitBloggin Saturday Night At A Glance

Here is just a small sampling of what is to come when I recap my FitBloggin’ 14 experience.  I wanted everyone to see how amazing Saturday night was… I cannot say it enough… Start saving for Denver… it will IGNITE a change in your life!

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There are another 400+ photos on Flickr…

Fitbloggin is Days Away!

OMG!! Fitbloggin is days away! The excitement is building inside of me, but I am trying to keep it quelled. I have not set my sights yet on my one don’t miss thing in Savannah like I did last year. Last year was my first Fitbloggin. I was a ball of hundreds of feelings. Portland was a great experience. It was a culmination of so many things that actually led me to be reunited with my cousins whom I had not seen in basically half my lifetime. I was set to travel with friends last year, we had flights booked together and things started changing and I ended up flying out on a flight alone. It was fine, I wore my branded shirt in hopes of someone approaching me at the airport, because I was destined to spend the first several hours alone… or so I thought.

I was so blessed that Brooke approached me at the airport. Turns out she was on my flight! We rode to the hotel together, and bummed around the city a bit. We bumped into bloggers in the lobby that I was stunned to find out knew who I was. I don’t expect anyone to know who I am this year, nor did I last year.

This year my original roommates have had to sadly cancel. I luckily was able to join forces with Liz and will be sharing a room with her for the duration of the trip. (which means I get baby-holder dibs!!) I will miss so many of the wonderful people that won’t be making it this year that I bonded with last year. I know situations aren’t always ideal to get away. Family, work, costs all effect being able to get to the family reunion. Know if you aren’t there this year, you are being carried in peoples hearts, truly. You will be missed.

To those that are coming for the first time this year, please come find me. Last year I was so scared to branch out and say hello to people. I stuck close to those I knew, and I Was afraid to approach people for fear of it being clique-ish. What I quickly came to learn is everyone is so wonderful! We all have stories, and the more you talk to people, the more you are going to want to get to know people! I hope to make more of an effort to engage with people this time, however there is only so much time.

Be prepared to laugh and cry. Be prepared to feel things you didn’t expect. Be ready to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Be open to opportunities this is a safe place. Be prepared for “the hangover” which isn’t alcohol, but a desire to be with your tribe.

Look for me, and I will look for you, be warned I won’t remember your name. I am horrible with names. I may address you by your twitter handle or blog name. Be in photos! I barely took any last year, this year I want photos and lots of them. Experience the event, and take it in in whatever way you do.

Tweet me/DM me, friend me via the Facebook group and I will give you my cell number to text me if you are worried you won’t have someone to talk to or sit with.

It’s time to dig out those suitcases kids! Kris is Coming to Savannah!

Treat Day

I think I am blessed in a way. My job isn’t one that has “Treat day”. We don’t usually have a ton of snacks in the office. Around the holidays there are treats, I have been known to supply the office with baked good and snacks on an occasion but overall it isn’t a minefield like I hear some places are.
It is a pizza junkies dream as I have mentioned before. I would say 3 days a week or so there is delivery pizza coming into the office. With me being off gluten and dairy it isn’t even asked of me if I want to go in on a pie. … Even before I started my “No Dairy, No Wheat, No Fun” Mantra as the boys here call it I wasn’t much for ordering in except an occasional Sushi delivery, or Jimmy Johns Unwich. I usually bring my food… I don’t get a lunchbreak during my 10 hour day… so I need food that I can eat cold, I strive for things that can sit around. Hot coffee Cold water? What are those things!
One of my new employees called in today to tell me she would be stopping by the office to drop off some paperwork. I said it wasn’t necessary, to which she said she had a treat and “You should never turn down a treat”. My mind immediately went into self-hate-negative space… which it does, but I am learning to recognize, and I though, never turning down things is how I ended up the size of a house. I didn’t let myself stay in that headspace long and told Patty I would see her soon.
When Patty arrived she placed a gallon size bag of cookies on my desk… My eyes went wide like cookie monster ready to go on a binge! I immediately grabbed the bag said thanks so much! Everyone will really enjoy these, and turned to give them to my supervisor without another thought. I plopped them on his desk, without taking one. She looked upset, and I explained in a playful fun way that the guys here all say I am on the no dairy no gluten no fun diet. I said that I appreciated it but that I just couldn’t eat it.
She understood, no drama, the world didn’t end. I have spent a good bit of time thinking about this whole, treat yourself thing. I do treat myself… I treat myself by eating the foods that nourish my body. I treat myself by buying the foods that I like to eat. I treat myself by enjoying a better cup of coffee… I am sorry buy Folgers just isn’t my cup of choice. I will drink it, but I prefer something better. I am not one to blankly turn down a treat but I am one to be selective of what treats I have these days. A treat doesn’t have to be defined as food, it can be getting a new bottle of nail polish, or a new dress. It can be a trip to a new gym to try out a guest pass, or even making an extra deposit in a savings account for something bigger.
It is all about framing what you want and finding and fighting for what you want out of life. For me those cookies… they aren’t the treats I am looking for right now. Yes the looked so good, and I LOVE the thought that was behind them… but I will let everyone else in the office enjoy them, and rest more soundly knowing that I treated myself by making the choice that respected my body.
I may or may not have treated myself to a can of the new Apple-berry LaCroix fizzy water when I came home from work, and I may have even changed my dinner plans with the crockpot cooked chicken to spicy pb2 chicken and cantaloupe. I feel good about my day. The sun was out, the puddles of slop were abundant for splashing in… and now I will retire to bed… on schedule!
xoxo ❤

It Brings Life…

Friday… or maybe Saturday… I was at Starbucks of Riverside and 25th here in Minneapolis. It is a very crowded location… usually full of Somali cab drivers, hospital workers, and people in a hurry. I used to know my morning crew there by name, they knew me. They knew my order, even knew I would occasionally keep them on their toes and chance it up. With a nod Sam would start my usual when I came in that way it was ready to go by the time I was through the line.
Time has passed, he has moved on to bigger and better things. My Starbucks habit has dwindled as I have been squirreling away pennies for things like my wedding, my vacation, and moving into a better place. I make my coffee at home, with soymilk, sometimes with Torani syrups or sweetener. Its never as good… but it is coffee. I brew a pot almost every morning at work… sometimes decaf, sometimes flavored, sometimes just a dark roast. Just the smell is enough some days to put me in a better mood. Addicted… maybe a little bit… but that is what happens when you have your first solid memory of drinking coffee from a peter rabbit cup before school in second grade.
Anyway, I fought my way to a parking spot in the always crowded lot. The snowpack in the lot is severe, not that they don’t plow it’s just hard to plow around cars and the snow never stops. I smiled at a gentleman making his own parking spot, which would obscure my backing out in any normal fashion without much trouble. It’s of course okay, I try not to stress over such things anymore, too much stress over little uncontrollable by me things makes for trouble.He got out of his cab and smiled at me, much to my surprise.
I make it a habit to smile at people, it is contagious, or so I like to think. Even if someone doesn’t smile back at me, perhaps they will smile at the next person they see. He commented on what a beautiful day it was. I mentioned that I was happy that the sun was out and shining. The gentleman said that the sun is a valuable and important thing in this world and asked if I knew why. I paused for half a second hopped over a snow-booger and said of course! The sun is life, it brings life, and warmth and joy to so many things. He told me I was very wise, then insisted even though I was trying to hold the door for him that I go first.
I’ve been thinking on this all day, as we sit here being pelted by yet another snow storm. The cold weather and grey/white sky is killing spirits. I miss the sun, the warmth, the life it brings. I miss my Saturday morning trips to the farmers markets, and while I will soon be miserable from my allergies I miss the flowers. I bought a bouquet of tulips on Sunday afternoon and left them in the cart at Trader Joes with a note that said Have a Happy Day.
The Sun brings life, but so do small kindnesses. Holding doors, conversations with strangers, random acts of kindness. Forgiveness of those who have wronged us, forgiveness of ourselves for wrongdoings. Be gentle with yourself, be kind to one another. It is said time and again that we are all fighting a battle, and we may never know another persons struggle. I suppose I am getting soft in my “old age” and by soft I simply mean wiser and more aware. More aware of everything. Living within my heart, being more in-tune to the hum of the universe, listening to what my body asks of me.
All the pieces that I try and work on individually, all the pieces that don’t fit, they all hum together… and the sun… it will awaken everything… eventually.

#fitbloggin Photo recap!

Okay, so I am lazy… I admit it… The rest of my fitbloggin recap is just going to be the photos off my camera as I was finally able to get them downloaded this morning… and then I will photo recap my whirl-wind tour of the coast too!

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Kris, Liz, & Mer. Fitbloggin Roomies

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Light fixture reminded me of a Jellyfish

SoyJoy Sponsor Table

Soy Joy Sponsor table

Reebok Sponsor Table

Reebok Sponsor Table (SHOES!!!!)

JumpSport Sponsors!

Jumpsport Trampoline! Sponsor table!

Start of Swag!

And then there is the start of the Swag…

Amazing Fitbloggin13 Staff working hard at registration

The awesome Fitbloggin13 staff!

Killer Posters!

Signage so we don’t miss stuff!

One of the elevator lobbies at our beautiful hotel.

The elevator lobbies were beautiful and calm.

our swanky Hotel

And the hotel was Swanky!

Lunch

Lunch before the fashion show, Fun clique-mixer! Tables were labeled with different things you were encouraged to meet new people. I sat at the Midwest table

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Meow

final breakfast. :(

Breakfast the last morning

Kenlie and Dani!!

Kenlie and Dani being their Rockstar selves!

Mer's leftover Voodoo Doughnuts

Mer’s leftover Voodoo doughnuts!

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Liz’s Leftover Voodoo’s!

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Flowers in the lobby of the hotel!

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Sadness…. Is it really time to go.

Goodbye

See ya Next Year Fitbloggin…. Good Bye Portland!

A Moment for Healing

Friday nights, quite possibly the single best night of the week for me now.  The end to a 50-plus hour work week, the prospect of 2 glorious days without an alarm clock to go to work. As bad as a Friday at work can be, it can be over when I shut the door to the office look up and the sky take a deep breath and walk to my car.

This past Friday was a shining example to me of a life I never thought I would have.  After work I headed off to the store to scoop up things for a dinner party, but not a party at my house… not yet. We were celebrating change in the life of a woman dear to me.  A very close friend had just finished a grueling course schedule, along with a super demanding job, and is getting ready to move! Talk about a reason to party.  I loaded the car with all kinds of stuff, chicken, cake, tons of veggies, booze, flowers, and hit the road windows down!

I sang and danced in my car in traffic, yes I am THAT person.  I sang loudly, I laughed at the people getting angry as people did the zipper merge, I felt the sun on my skin through the open windows.  Life was good.  I pulled up to Manda’s place with the radio cranked up singing.  We laughed at the amount of stuff piled in my car… Kelly was there, she helped by steadying the shopping cart as we loaded it full of stuff… As I parked my car I smiled, this is my life.  Friends.  As we unloaded the stuff and I situated things around the place, I got a call wanting to know if I was still going to need help… friends… people who help when you are in need… My heart was heavy, one of my very best friends was too ill too attend.  I respect her need to be home, I was happy to have shared a chat on the phone with her earlier in the night.  I busied myself in the kitchen, everyone was hungry.  We were going to eat in stages on this night.  Diving into food it was so funny to watch everyone laugh and chat and come together as a group.

We are all so different, from all over the country really, some native to MN, some have been here since they were kids, brought here from the west coast others landed here from the east coast.  All different strengths and weaknesses, so different yet so much the same.  We all walk the same path, we all struggle, and lift one another up in our time of need.  This is family, friendship, love, and strength.  This is what community is about.  When they say it takes a village to raise a child… this is what they are speaking of.

I watched Sean dance with a young girl, Manda give horsey rides, and I watched newer friends meet older friends.  I did what fills me with so much fulfillment, and cooked with love for my family.  Served up with love!  I think it made Manda a bit uncomfortable that I was serving people but it is what I do!  Advice, discussions, silliness, and sincerity continued late into the night.  I hated to leave at the end of the night.

I was the last one to leave.  I lingered in the parking lot talking to Manda long after everyone left.  I didn’t want the night to end. There was a time when my weekend nights involved sitting home playing xbox live… those people were my friends.  They knew I laughed loudly, and flirted outrageously, and had a big personality… and a heart to match. They didn’t have to see me, I never had to see them… I was protected, I was safe.

I don’t have to live that way anymore, I shouldn’t have had to feel like that was the only way to live before.  I am so blessed to have so many freakin amazing people in my life right now, and I know I would never have found them without going through all of the crap that I did.  I am so thankful for each and every friend I have, I wish there was some way for me to show, or tell those in my life ow much they mean to me, but there isn’t. There are no words to tell those that you love, you changed my life, gave me hope and make me a better person to the degree that my friends have made me.

My friends are my family, and I would lay down my life for them.  I never thought I would find so many people that I could love like this, but I wouldn’t trade them in for all the money in the world.  This is who I am… I do not recognize myself, my heart is healing from the hurt and I am finding that I am okay with that.