Monday, September 5, 2016

When Things Are Meant To Be!

     Sometimes things happen to us and we are running so fast that we don't realize this opportunity is about to change your life for the better! Until you stop, take a breath and look around - you realize its happening because this is where your life is meant to be.. for me that is taking a new job, in a new industry, selling my condo in Chicago and moving to Arizona -  - all in 6 weeks!

     My sister and I have been talking about this for awhile... how am I going to move to Phoenix to be closer to my niece and nephew, my family and be able to slow down and create some work/life balance.  I think it's true when you least expect it - IT HAPPENS!  I've been putting it out there for awhile and thought maybe in 10 years it would happen never did I think I'd get a call on July 1st that could change my life as I know it today. 

     My brother in law and I were loading up a moving truck on July 1st - we were about to drive 30 hours with my mom's life and her dog when my recruiter called and said "do I have an opportunity for you!"

     This week I'm wrapping up my current job, saying good-bye to accounts I've been selling to for a long time, people I love working with but it's going to be ok because I know the decision I've made to move to Phoenix and change jobs is the best thing for ME!!!

     I'm leaving on Thursday and will be driving - I told myself I need to use this drive to relax, recharge, see friends along the way and stop, take a breath, take some pictures and know that this drive will take me to my new life in Arizona!!  I'll be stopping in Des Moines (seeing a couple friends), then driving to Breckenridge, CO (staying with friends and soaking up my favorite mountains) and finally driving thru Utah and into AZ!

     I look forward to sharing my pics and drive West!! xo

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Starts Now!

     I realized that if I don't sit down and start writing right now I will make another excuse, tell myself I can always begin tomorrow and keep putting off recreating my blog.  I do this more for me - it's therapeutic and gives me a chance to recall all the events in my life.  I travel weekly for work, try and get to Phoenix once a month to see my niece and nephew and when I can, fit in dating a guy that lives in Germany.

     I got home around midnight last night after being away from home 17 days - don't get me wrong, spending 11 days in Phoenix for Christmas and NYE with my friends and family was wonderful and then I flew right to Las Vegas for the CES Show but I was counting down the nights until I got to sleep in my own bed.  I walked into my condo last night, put the suitcases in the corner and crawled into my bed (yes, never got out of my travel clothes) - I woke up to my sister calling me at 10:59am!  I did it! I got over 10 hours of sleep!

     Over the last month I had some blood work done, saw my Dr and found out I have to go on cholesterol medication, get more iron and start taking Vitamin D - between this and living in a hotel or on a plane every week I made some new goals for myself.  As I sat on the plane last night I made some lists -

  • Cutting out dairy for 30 days - I'm originally from Wisconsin and if you know me, I LOVE cheese but I want to see if it helps my stomach and cholesterol #'s
  • Giving up a soda for a bit - I lean on Diet Coke and need to start consuming more water so for now I am going to say good-bye to the cola of choice
  • Stop treating my work travels as though I'm on vacation - that may sound silly to most people but traveling for work is very different and I need to make some better food and beverage choices
  • Find 30 min a day to exercise - be it walking, stretching, yoga in my hotel room.. just find that time for something

     I am excited to get back to my way of life - being healthier, happier and making more times for my friends and family!  I look forward to sharing my travels, recipes and healthier lifestyle. xo


Saturday, May 9, 2015

30 years!

     30 years ago today my dad checked into rehab for alcoholism.  There isn't a day that goes by I don't thank God for helping him, guiding him and keeping him sober.  I remember him going away for 30 days - he was going to be living in Minnesota for a month.  My sister and I could send him letters and cards but he wouldn't be able to get visitors.

     I know when I was 15 I didn't understand what all of this meant but as I got older I understood and continue to understand how important those 30 days were.  It saved my dad!  He has always told us to   take "one day at a time" and know the Serenity Prayer.

    I love my dad so much and can't express how proud I am of him - being in sales, having alcohol around you all the time and being able to say no because you know you can't go back to life as it was 30 + years ago.

    Thank you Hazelden, my dads friends for supporting him, my family and mostly God for being there and watching over my dad daily! We got a 2nd chance on May 9th, 1985! xo

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Seeing Double

     October 15th, 2014 was quite the fantastic day for our family!  My sister and brother in law had twins!  I'll never forget as I sat at Target Corp going through meeting after meeting and watching my phone for news, pics...something to tell me the twins had arrived, my sister was ok and my family had 2 new additions!

     My sister and her husband weren't shy about going through IVF - the process, the fears and excitement of having a baby, so when they found out it was 2 - well, let's just say I still can't believe one of them didn't pass out when they got the news.   I am not having kids, as much as I love them and would like one, it wasn't in the cards for me so I was lucky enough to go through this pregnancy right along with them.  I would wait for the ultrasound pics to be sent via text, calls to tell us how she was feeling and give me details on how it felt to have a baby or in this case babies inside you and what it was like.  I was into all the details. My sister rocked her pregnancy, carried them to almost 38 weeks and was home 48 hours after delivery.

     I had planned my vacation around being in Phoenix for at least a week once they arrived, I was beyond excited - had so much fun planning the shower with friends and tried my best to fly out there as much as possible before the birth.  (I'll admit, since the twins have arrived - well, I've been out there A LOT!) Thank goodness my sister and brother in law don't mind.

     Here are some of my favorite pics over the last 6 months!  Enjoy as I reminisce how much they have grown and changed.  I didn't know I could love 2 little people so much.  They are my world.  Their smell, their personalities, wondering who they look like more?  I flew in a couple weeks ago and when I got to my sisters they were already asleep - I swear I just stood there and watched them for a few minutes (but I'm smart enough to know, Don't Wake a Sleeping Baby)!  They bring so much joy to my heart and I'm so lucky to be their Auntie Kristin.

Oct 15th, 2014 - Sadie and Carston are born! I love this pic as it was their first night and they cried until put in the same bed. 

My proud brother in law! I got there on Friday, in time to help them pack up and drive home.

Sadie - a couple days old.  She scratched her face a lot so the mittens were helpful. 

Carston - I swear you look the same as the day you were born. Those cheeks! 
This is my favorite pic of my sister with the twins - she is amazing, she was tired and fresh home from the hospital and this pic shows the love she has for them!  Sadie and Lil C, you are 2 very lucky kids. 

Another great pic of Wendy with Carston.  I don't get tired of watching her with them. That's love!

Sadie - we learned early on she loves to sleep on her side.  We would laugh at her hair line as she looked like an old man.

This was Christmas - her personality was starting to shine through - that smile is contagious.

Happy New Year Sadie! Life is so much better with you and your brother in it!

Happy New Year Lil C - love you to the moon and back!
Wyley loves his babies - he loves to cuddle up next to them when they nap.  Lil C isn't against it. 

The GB Packers should be using this pic on their PR.  My dad made sure the kids had Badger and Packer gear to wear all winter. 

Wyley and his Sadie. Aw!

This picture cracks me up - he's a squawker and I make up a voice that I pretend he would talk with.

I babysat for them in January - so much fun! Just loved and cuddle them all day! Lil C - you are so darn cute!

Sadie - I got you to smile.  How cute is she? That old man look has gone bye-bye.
I can't stay away! I snuck away for a weekend just to get in some smooches. 

Sadie and I taking more selfies. 

Darin's mom took this last month - melt your heart, right? They are so darn amazing to me! I love their interaction. 

For Easter I thought it was appropriate they had bunny feet onesies! 

Well, that is just a sampling of the youth - they brighten my day, make me smile and love more than I thought I could.  We are heading to Hawaii as a family in May - I can't wait to be with them when they put their toes in the sand, test out the ocean and sport some adorable new swim suits.   xo

Friday, April 25, 2014

Surfs Up!

     I've been feeling a little off this week, working a lot and traveling weekly is starting to catch up and makes me wish I had a trip planned for this Spring like I normally do!  I was going through photos this past week and realized it was 2 years ago this week that I "escaped" to Costa Rica for a surf/yoga retreat!

     I had wanted to visit a place I'd been to, try something new and disconnect as much as I could - I called my friend Katie - I saw on FB she had been to a women's surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica - she share her experience and how she enjoyed it... SOLD! Book it Danno, I'm on my way.  A friend from work and my friend Cindy join me.

     It took a bit of time to get there - Denver through Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica.  From there we boarded a small plane to a remote area and drove 45 min to Malpais.  It was exactly what I needed - bungalows, beach and lots of new friends.  They cap it at 15 women - crazy as most of us were "type A" and competitive.  Had a welcome drink at the bar,  tour of the property and sent off to bed as tomorrow morning at 6am is yoga, followed by breakfast, then surf all day - repeat for 6 days!  Enjoy my trip as I walk down memory lane!

Puddle jumper we took from Tambor to Malpais.. we prayed a lot as we flew through a small  rain storm

The sand was so soft, the water so blue and I learned to love the ocean.  This trip challenged me in so many ways!

I'm not one to strut around in my bikini...but this trip, it's what I did (another challenge!)

The food was incredible - fresh, healthy and I think I lost a few pounds on this vacation. 

Melissa was a riot!  We spent a lot of time splashing around in the afternoons and trying to figure our life and men. 

Cindy and I found this place - fantastic drinks, beautiful view and time to take it all in.

I screamed with excitement - I'm up! It was such a cool feeling!  They took so many pics of us, videos and caught lots of funny moments.

Sunsets were spectacular!  This one was taken the night we paddle boarded (another challenge)

Cindy and I could be spokes people for Athleta! Loved their swimsuits!
It was an interesting trip for me, learned a lot about myself, dealt with some heartache and sadness and I don't thank Cindy enough for being there!

Yoga - Surf - Sun - Drinks! Repeat!! I think this was the Electric Lemonade drink,

Last night - Cindy and I with our surf coach Brett!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Malpais as much as I just did re-looking at the photos.  It was actually a really hard time for me - a lot going on in my personal life and wasn't dealing with it very well.  This trip brought me some laughs, 'Kristin' time, friend time and recharging time, but overall an incredible place, new friends and lots of amazing memories.  I look back on this trip and see how lucky I am to be able to pick up and travel to foreign places, create new adventures with new/old friends and know that no matter what comes my way I can handle it - as my Nonnie told me a long time ago - This Too Shall Pass!  She was so right. 

Well, I need to contact Cindy - it's been awhile since I've talked to her and seeing these pics reminds me how much fun we had while I lived in Denver and traveled to Pura Vida Adventures together!

If you need a week away - give surfing a try!

Monday, April 21, 2014

How Was Your Weekend?

     Ah! The weekend and an extra 1/2 day to enjoy being home! Thank you to my parents for understanding my need to stay in Chicago for the Easter weekend. Time to enjoy the city and sunshine coming our way!

     I'm not the best at shutting down - aka stop checking work emails/calls but Friday afternoon I did just that, SHUT IT DOWN!!! I had some good ole 'Kristin' time - made plans for the weekend, hit the gym and grocery store and most importantly got some sun on Sunday!

     I got a surprise in the mail on Friday from my friend Alex - she's like a little sister to me and knows me well.  She knows I love Kate Spade...
I love Kate Spade - love her packaging, her note cards and look, a bracelet that looks like my glasses! Love you Alex, thank you for starting my weekend off with a smile! xo

Next up, the gym, have I told you how much I love my gym?!? East Bank Club is my country club in the city - it has everything I need! Gym, spa, pool, juice bar, restaurants, dry cleaners and lots of people watching (almost better than Vegas) My neighbor and I have a routine on Sat morning - run/walk, Body Pump class, breakfast and nails... catch up and workout time all in one!

     As though that wasn't enough of a workout I had to get more steps in so I walked to Nordstrom, my friend Amy and I compete with each other on steps and she was almost 30,000 ahead of me so I had to keep going! I ended the day at 22,000 steps.. 

    I met my friend Katie later for lunch - we tried Roots on Chicago Ave.  Pizza, salads and homemade mozzarella sticks.  It was good, I picked off the tortilla chips as I'm not a fan of Doritos type flavoring (if my sister reads this she'll laugh and say "of course she's not"... Katie and I have been friends since high school so there is always plenty to chat about.  I do have to comment on the mozzarella sticks - as I'm a Wisconsin-ite I pride myself in 'knowing' my cheeses.  They make their own mozz then roll it in a breadcrumb mixture with garlic and serve with marinara... YUM!

Ended Sat night with more friend time... love weekends like this.

Sunday - Hello Easter! Sunny and 70! Perfect! I went for a 4.2 mile jaunt - it was so nice to open my doors and finally be able to let some fresh air in!  I took advantage of the Spring temps and cleaned my grill, removed my screen door, cleaned inside and washed some windows!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend!  Lots of friend and wine time! I def need to work on my writing and get back into the swing of things with this blog... I need a vacation - then I'd have lots to write about!  xo

Take the bus
Game at Soldier Field
Africa for safari
Take the train to California

Enjoy Chicago! I took this yesterday from the Planetarium. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Back in the Saddle...again!

     Time to get back to my blog - it's been way too long and I miss it! Since my last post - I moved, visited Italy, got settled in Chicago, traveled weekly for work, spent most of the Fall back and forth to Oshkosh to help my mom get healthy, rang in the New Year,  went to the Super Bowl, got promoted, moving to Michigan and finding out my sister is pregnant with twins!

It's been a busy time for me but I need to get back to cooking, clean eating, traveling for fun and blogging my Chicago fun while I can.  Yes, this does mean I'll need to change the title of my blog but until I sell my condo.. that's on the back burner.

I went to the Chicago Heart Ball last weekend - always touching to attend an event like this but this year the Heart Association means so much more to me - my mom and her heart went through way too much last Fall.  She's on the mend and changed her lifestyle and it's inspired me to get healthy again.  For Christmas I bought FitBit Force's for my dad and sister, it's been great to push each other and track where we are daily with steps!  Goal: 10,000 steps a day!

It feels great to be back - look forward to blogging my travels, cooking and summertime fun! xo