Family, Gratitude, Joy

We Got a PUPPY!

Introducing… Walter T.

We’ve been watching him grow as he stayed close to his mom up in Maine and finally got to hold him in our arms today!

We are SO excited to have him in our family and can’t wait for all the fun adventures!

Here’s the official announcement of our new, sweet, and full of energy little pup: Walter T.

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mindfulness, Perspective

Welcome to Our Kitchen Table

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can offer to you right now that would be supportive. And what I’ve come up with is a space for open, honest and real conversation.

I’ve been deeply feeling the collective energy, the chaos, and the heaviness, as I am sure you have as well. When I was thinking about what to write for today’s email, things just felt flat. Not worthy of speaking of in a world that has so much going on. 

So, I thought I would invite you to my kitchen table. Every evening when Alex, my girls and I sit down to eat, we always like to talk about our day and specifically ask each other these three questions:

  • What are you grateful for? (Sometimes one thing, sometimes ten things)
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What was the hardest part of your day?

So I’m here to share with you in hopes you’ll feel inspired to do the same. 

I am grateful for: fun weekends with family, my hot morning cup of coffee, the break in the temperature, the way the sun reflected on the river yesterday morning, a long hug from Alex and the sound of Ella’s laugh.

The best part of my day (within the past 24 hours) was Watching Ella ride her bike around the loop, visiting with family and being in the river. We camped this weekend along a river and being in the fresh water was so refreshing. There’s something about the power of it, the feel of it rushing past my skin and the knowing that the river is it’s own force that takes me away from all that’s going on and lands me right where my feet are. 

The hardest part of my day was holding onto the knowing that my husband is feeling the anger and frustration with all that’s going on in Afghanistan. As being someone that fought in Afghanistan and seeing it completely fall apart in days, I can’t even imagine how he’s feeling. The hardest part of my day is knowing he’s experiencing those emotions and also honoring my own fear and questions of, “what if he gets deployed again to go support them?” It may not be rational… but our worries, anxieties and fears typically aren’t. 

I invite you to join in on the conversation. To take a moment to reflect on the best part of your day, for all that you are grateful for and the hardest part of your day. If we don’t take the time to pause, we will continue our habits and routines subconsciously without ever truly assessing what we need and if it’s working for us.

In a world of so much right now, I just want you to know that you are loved. You are supported and you wouldn’t be given anything you couldn’t handle.

Sending you so much love today, wherever you are.

Fitness, Goals, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mid-Year Check In, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Perspective, Pursuing your dreams

We’re HALFWAY Through 2021!

Where are you at?!

Every January I set intentions and goals for the upcoming year. In recent years, I have been extremely specific about my annual goals and the steps it’ll take for me to accomplish them. I look at them frequently throughout the year to ensure I am on track but each July I take a good, hard and honest look at the goals I set, my progress thus far and if they are still relevant to me and my dreams. 

My midyear check-in is about reviewing the following:

  • where am I at in the process of meeting my goals?
  • what MUST I do over the next 6 months to reach my goals?
  • if I have reached a goal, can I level up in that area, if desired?
  • do my goals still feel attainable, or do they need to shift a bit – make bigger or a bit smaller?
  • how am I feeling about my progress?
  • what am I surprised by?
  • what has been the hardest step(s) towards reaching my goals? How will/have I overcome it?
  • what is the feeling I want to embody at the end of 2021?

This process can be a motivating wake-up call to maintain the fire I set in January. Sitting here typing this and looking at the goals I set in January, I can celebrate the fact that I have already accomplished a few of them, while simultaneously recognizing that I haven’t dedicated much time to others. 

This opportunity of a midyear check-in allows me to shift my focus a bit, if needed and maintain the course. 

Did you set goals/intentions at the beginning of the year? If so, how are you doing on progress? 

Want support? Reach out, I’m happy to help!

There’s STILL six months in this year! What do you want to achieve by January 2022? And more importantly, what feeling do you want to embody?

Keep going, you’re worth it.

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mindset, Morning Routine, Perspective, Rest

Standing Strong in Instability

When you feel like everything is out of control, what do you take control of? When it comes down to it, we can’t control much of the world, right? We have no control over the weather. We can’t control the other drivers on the road. We can’t control when/if the kids will get sick. We can’t control the pandemic, all the riots or the injustice and inequality that continues to happen. However, there IS a lot to take control of and it starts with YOU. We may not be able to control all the riots, injustice or inequality that’s going on in the world, but we can control how we raise our children and the way in which we fight for what we believe in. We may not be able to control the pandemic, but we can control our perspective.
 
How do you take control and stand strong when things feel unstable? We have the ability to control our effort and our mindset, so how do you optimize that to feel more stable in this world?

Here are a few things I like to do:

  • Meal plan and prep – every week Alex and I sit down and figure out what we’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. We write it out so we know exactly what we’re having. This helps us to not only get organized for the week, but to take control of our nutrition and schedule. 
  • Morning routine – every single morning, without fail I am doing my usual morning routine. No matter the day, no matter the time I wake up, I do the same thing every morning to not only start my day for me, but to also ground myself in some familiarity and stability. 
  • Movement – I move my body basically every day. I do this because it is the best way for me to manage and cope with any and all emotions. Some days my movement is a run, other days it’s stretching, weight training, yoga, breath work, hiking or snowboarding. 
  • Gratitude – I practice gratitude every day; this is part of my morning routine. It is also something we do every night at the dinner table, as well. Even if the day felt chaotic, there is always something to be grateful for. 
  • Rest – boy, oh boy is this an important one. Whether it be laying on the couch while the girls are napping, or listening to my body and sleeping in until 0600 instead of 0430, rest is crucial to our mental, emotional and physical health. Without proper sleep, we are quicker to become more irritable, likely to make poor food choices and are putting our bodies under stress.
     

These little things that have become habits have made a massive impact over the past year when everything else has felt a little off-balance. 
 
What do you do to help yourself feel grounded? Can you add to it?

Remember, it starts with you. 

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Joy, Mindfulness, Mindset, Perspective

Seeing All the Good

I’m sure it’s easy for you to identify the bad, the unfortunate, the sad, the heartache, the stress and the anxiety that this year has stirred up. I’m sure it’s easy for you to sit in that space of negativity, because when it comes down to it, this year has been hard, really freakin’ hard. We all have faced our individual challenges and with that being said, the feelings we have felt are universal.

What I want to challenge you to do today, is to step out of the ease of identifying the bad and the hard and to look at the beauty and magical moments that have happened this year. There may not be many, but there are some. If you can hold tightly onto these magical moments as we approach 2021, maybe, at some point you can look back at this year and only remember the beautiful, magical moments that you had. 

As part of my morning practice, I write… every single day. As part of my monthly practice, I do a monthly recap on all the good things that came from the previous month, one challenge and then the things I want to accomplish in the next month. This practice has offered me grounding in the fact that although we were locked down, the numbers are rising, and people are dying, in my home, in my world so many special moments happened and are still happening. 

These are some of the good moments that came out of this year for me:

  • My date with Ella in January to ECHO and Al’s French Fries as some 1:1 time before I went back to work after maternity leave.
  • Hot cocoa dates with my loves – with ALL the whipped cream.
  • Dates with a bestie to watch the Bachelorette before we both returned to work after maternity leave.
  • Alex starting a new job!
  • Before the pandemic hit, I was able to travel alone to Toronto for an amazing, life-changing conference.
  • Sewing Mr. Fuzz, we made a teddy bear!
  • SO many movie nights, always with a sweet treat.
  • Virtual conferences and education!
  • Reconnecting with loved ones.
  • Identifying and using my voice – SO much self-discovery this year. 
  • Wine nights via FaceTime with a few of my besties!
  • Local trip to a Lake House with friends for some amazing days, laughs and needed connection and fun!
  • Our adventure with chickens – holy smokes – if you haven’t seen my instagram stories about these chickens – it’s pretty funny… check it out!
  • Golfing adventure!
  • All the bonfires, s’mores and, as Ella says “s’marshs’mellows”
  • The smell of fresh cut grass and flowers – especially the lilacs as they start to bloom
  • Pool “parties” with family and friends.
  • Ella learning “One Hand in my Pocket” and singing it most days on our car rides (don’t worry, I silenced the one swear word ;-))
  • A ride with my dad in his power wagon that he fixed up.
  • Ice cream dates with family.
  • Camping … always camping. Lake George adventures with my loves!
  • Boating with my parents.
  • My Sunday morning walks with a bestie. 
  • Sleeping in and not being so strict on my wake up time.
  • Yahtzee nights with my love. 
  • Friday afternoon bike rides with a bestie.
  • Anniversary dinner and hiking Camel’s Hump the next morning with mimosas at the top to celebrate 5 years of marriage.
  • All the arts and crafts, playdoh playing, swingset swinging, learning to bike ride and do the doggy paddle.
  • Watching Adalyn take her first steps.
  • French vanilla coffee.
  • Weekend breakfast dates with my parents.
  • Quite mornings on the porch with my journal and the birds while the rest of the family slept.
  • Country running – the birds, the ever-changing scenery and just me and the dirt road. 
  • Podcasts – thank GOD for podcasts!
  • Ella hiking up snack mountain! What a trooper! 

These are just a few of some very special moments that this year has brought me. Reading through these and writing them down leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, peace and calm. There can still be so much good and so much magic during such an unsettling time. 

What are some of the magical moments you’ve had this year? Write them down. Put them somewhere as a daily reminder that although this year has been challenging, it has also been beautiful. 

I hope that you consider doing this practice. Sending you a big virtual hug.

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Joy, Mindset, Thanksgiving

Optimizing your Health on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. My favorite aspects of the day have always been the Macy Day Parade, the smell of lunch in the oven and enjoying the delicious food while surrounded by the people I love. Although it is my most cherished holiday, it can also be a time of indulgence to a level of discomfort. Here are my top five recommendations to stay on track before, during and after the Thanksgiving meal to optimize your health and maintain your comfort throughout the entire day:

  • Eat breakfast! So many people think, “oh, I’ll save all my calories for the big meal.” This could be your biggest mistake. Eat a well-balanced breakfast so when it’s time to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal, you are not ravenous. When we are overwhelmingly hungry, our blood sugar dips which leads to those intense desires to eat sugar, simple carbohydrates and/or to eat more than our body really needs. Start your day off, as you always do, with a well-balanced breakfast that sets you up for success.
  • Drink water! If you are enjoying some libations or not, make sure you’re enjoying water, as well. Consuming water helps us with digestion, circulation, and transportation of nutrients among many other things. Water may not be that exciting, but it’s vital for our health.
  • Lean back! During the actual meal, be mindful of the pace that you are eating. Take two bites and then put your fork down and sit/lean back. This will create awareness, presence and mindfulness around your body’s cues towards satiety.
  • Get outside! Thanksgiving is about being with family, right? Why not have a little fun! Get outside and play with the kids! Don’t have kids to play with? Propose a fun activity for the adults outside: quick game of kickball, capture the flag or good ol’ football!
  • Hold off on the h’ordouves and save room for the Thanksgiving meal. Enjoy a few nibbles if the desire is there, but otherwise stay busy visiting with family while you wait for the meal. This is a great reason why eating breakfast is crucial. 

Out of all of the above, most importantly – enjoy the holiday. This year has had some exceptionally challenging moments; take this day to enjoy the blessings that this year has brought. And remember, your efforts this year towards your health and wellness will not be completely derailed if you decide to enjoy the h’ordeuvers or have a glass (or two) of wine.

Cheers to your health and happiness. 

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Perspective

Grace and Perspective

Woman hands praying for blessing from god on sunset backgroundAllow for Grace

“Understanding this, I began moving away from thinking this is as good as I am, a limiting, judgemental perspective that left me powerless, to this is as good as I am today, a statement that allowed for growth and returned my power.” Deena Kastor, Let your Mind Run.

Maybe today was an exceptionally hard day for you. Maybe your motivation and drive this morning was lacking. Maybe you could hardly get out of bed this morning. Maybe you snapped at the kids. Maybe you were irritable to your partner. Maybe breakfast was a power bar. Maybe you just couldn’t get into your work today.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to have hard moments and hard days. These hard moments and hard days do not define who you are. These hard moments and hard days do not mean this is as good as you are. These hard moments and hard days do not mean you are not good.

It means today, this day and this moment is where you’re at and that is enough. You are innately good no matter what you accomplish or achieve. 

Allow for some grace and perspective, allow it to be a hard day and try again tomorrow. This is just a moment in time and the beautiful thing is that every moment is a new opportunity to show up as your true self. Show yourself some grace, re-assess your perspective, and go again tomorrow. We can do hard things.

Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Running

My Top 5 Daily Priorities

Gratitude journal and pen on pink background from aboveIncase you were wondering…
5 Things I Prioritize Every Single Day

  • Water intake – I break the day up into quarters: 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM. At each time mark, I have to have consumed 1 yeti water bottle – which is 30 fl oz. By the end of the day, I will have consumed 120 fl oz. Some days I drink more depending on my workout, but the baseline is always the same: consume at least 120 fl oz / day.
  • Starting my day on my schedule – I wake up before the girls and before my husband. I wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee and start my day by acknowledging at least 10 things I am grateful for that have occurred within the past 24 hours. For the first 30 minutes of my day, (at least), I am disconnected from technology, demands of little girls and my work schedule and solely focused on gratitude, dreams and goal setting. Not only does this start my day in a space of positivity, it also forces me to look for things to be grateful for throughout the entire day.
  • Movement – I perform some sort of movement each day: running, walking, stationary bike, HIIT workout and/or weight training. I do this in celebration of the things I can do, not because I think I should or am trying to counter something I ate.
  • Presence – this takes a lot more effort, patience and awareness. However, by consistently making it a priority, I am consistently aware of when I am not being present and then hopefully am able to shift back to reality.
  • Love and compassion – whether it be towards myself, my husband, my girls, my clients, my patients, my family or my neighbors, this is always a priority of mine.