Category Archives: Road Trips

Finding My Tribes


Life is good, but sometimes you have little slumps. I’ve been slumpy lately, but am pulling out of it. One of the big things motivating me to look forward to an un-slumpy future was a trip to Boca Raton for the Appreciative Advising Institute #AAI2016! More about that later once I’ve had more time to process. It all still feels a little raw, but that’s not a bad thing. Let’s just say it was amazing and just what I needed. It filled my cup 😉 (You know what I’m talking about if you were there!)

So, for now. Here’s a bit about part of my journey – the tangible actual there and back again journey. The mental, emotional, professional life journey will be a separate post!

Empty suitcase – endless possibilities. It’s been way too long since I traveled. I used to just zip, zip zip and fill up a suitcase. I kept getting side tracked. It took me forever but I got everything to fit and didn’t forget my swimsuit. (Although it ended up being unused.)

…even Andy Bear made the trip- my good luck teddy bear!! Yes. I’m 42 and travel with a teddy bear. Don’t judge me. There’s actually a whole huge family story and family history with this bear.

The shirt I wanted to wear but chickened out from packing. I love my thrift store finds!

The shirt I actually wore on the plane! Felt super proud to be representing my home state at this conference.

…and…the adventure. There were snags, but United handled everything wonderfully, they found a qualified co pilot after only a short delay, the firetrucks that met us after our air return 10 minutes out of the Denver airport only ended up having to escort us not douse us with flame retardant and whatever else they use….ya. That kind of journey to Florida. I was honestly so refreshed and amazed at the fact that the hundreds of passengers on the plane really behaved well, didn’t cause scenes, and laughed, joked and helped each other out through 5 hours of delays and a little bit of a scary (smoke in the cabin) situation!

Now to the things I’m amazed I did portion of my trip.  Taking an Uber. It was seriously a big deal for me. Being a strong introvert going to a conference with lots of interaction and small groups… Well, thinking about that wore me out! I was pretty nervous about having a roommate in the dorm but signed up for the dorm anyway. Huge win for me.

I was tired and could easily have eaten junk food, but didn’t. Doubly amazed because I had to walk to Whole Foods and back in the Florida heat and humidity – 5 miles round trip. I needed the miles anyway!

I talked on occasion in my small group! I was pretty tired. Exhausted really the first two days. I was glutened at the Denver airport first thing on the trip and then discovered I’m pretty much allergic to Florida. At one point I was close to showing someone how to use my epipen just in case. Mold…grrrrrr! The first day or so was an antihistamine and inhaler filled fog of dizziness and coffee. Even then, I was able to take things in and keep smiling, enjoying and learning.

…and I even rallied enough energy to be social. GASP! I know!!!!! Wow!!!

I didn’t get to go see the beach because I made the decision to get a treadmill run in. But I did get some amazing seafood!! I’ll just have to go back to FL soon to go to the beach!

And one of the coolest things is…all those worries about having a roommate. Unfounded. I know…you all would have told me that from the start! Roomie and I were on the same flight back to Denver, too, and arranged to have our seats next to each other. The Uber driver to the airport kept saying, as we animatedly chatted on the drive, “You guys just met?” “Really…you guys didn’t know each other before?” OH…and we even colored one night. Because of course, essential conference packing involves a 74 colored pencil set and a motivational coloring book!

Ok. Yep…was going to write more about the conference but am still a little overwhelmed in a good way by all of the positivity and wonderful people I met. OK. Whew. Yep…coming back to this one. (This introvert needs more processing time!) Let’s just say #besthumansever and I’m feeling so refreshed and can’t wait to keep in touch with this new tribe of mine!

As soon as I got home I hung out a bit with one of my other tribes at a pizza fundraiser. I’m so blessed to have all of these wonderful, amazing, strong, powerful people in my life.

Before this conference I knew I had a lot of wonderful, amazing, caring, people in my life, but looked on it as kind of this fleeting, little pocket of luckiness I had stumbled upon. Now I believe I can go out and find my tribes and its not just me (individually) doing this “thing”…I feel the power of togetherness. Instead of seeing me as just one distinct little piece doing my own thing for the great good…I see and feel everyone lifting me up when I need it and surrounding me with love, hope and happiness…and feel the strength of my muscles and arms and legs, my heart and my brain providing support to all of these other wonderful people when they need it. I need you guys and am so grateful we found each other.

Also…Thanks Coach Jeff if you’re reading this! I said thank you last night for the encouragement. It’s really, really, really, really, really been life changing and has helped me so much on this journey to battle my depression and anxiety and to find my confidence again! You see the change…don’t minimize how you helped me get there!

So I challenge you…go find your tribes. If you read this…tell me in the comments who they are. Tell them who they are, too! Being told I was part of a tribe (or a family or whatever word resonates with you) is one of the things that helped me change my perspective from being one piece of something….to being something (Hope that makes sense!)


Oh yes…and ummmm…help me fight cancer here!   I’ll be updating this blog with a running update soon!


My runDisney Run


Summer Fun Part 2


I guess I haven’t been taking as many pictures as I thought I did! I’ve just been having too much fun enjoying myself to document everything we’ve been up to. Here are the best of the photos I did manage to take. Thank goodness other people have been documenting the summer for me!!


A tasty dinner I cooked from Clean Eating Magazine – swiss cheese, roasted potatoes, asparagus, boiled eggs, caramelized onions and some kind of yummy sauce. I could eat it every day!


I honestly don’t remember where this hike was. It was pretty. I ate a PB&J for lunch. I think it rained?


Waiting for my first 5k to start – The Firefly 5k in City Park. What a blast! I finished in 38:14 and came in 90 out of 180 in my age group for women. I’ll take it! While I was picking up my race bib at the running store I also stumbled across a great shoe sale. I got a pair of Nike running shoes and a pair of Brooks for $20 each!! Yay for small feet and end of season clearance sales.


Having my pic taken by the banner made it seem so official!


I’m not texting or checking Facebook…really! I was trying to set up my MapMyRun account for live tracking so Dave could follow along with where I was. I goofed and it didn’t work…but he found me anyway and cheered me on along the course.


OH…what a horrible picture. Oh well…we were at the Brown Burro Cafe in Fairplay (South Park) on our way to Salida to check out the galleries. Breakfast for lunch…yum!

Stay tuned for Summer Fun Part 3 – still a few days of summer left, right?

National Brain Tumor Society Walk #2 in the books!

National Brain Tumor Society Walk #2 in the books!

Yesterday was the National Brain Tumor Society‘s annual walk around Sloan’s lake in Denver! Luckily, the weather in the morning was wonderful. The afternoon…however…not so much. By that time, though, the walk was over and we were all safely back home. I do feel pretty sorry for all of the artists that were at the Chalk Art festival downtown though 😦  My team this year almost doubled in size – as did the contributions we raised. We were just shy of raising $500! Isn’t that amazing! The pic below shows the names of some of the people I walked for. There were also many more whose names I don’t know – but that I kept in my thoughts: the lady at the bank, the uncle of a student, the sister of a student, the father of a student, the assistant of one of our donors, etc. I hope to do the walk again next year, too!


Here we are crossing the finish line! They had bells and people cheering you on, people taking pics, etc. I didn’t start taking pictures really until almost at the end of the walk :/ I’ just get too involved in whatever it is I’m doing and forget to get some shots!!


Here is team JK after the walk! The wee little ones were pretty tired but did a great, great job!


Me and M chillin’ in the car on the drive back home. He wanted to hold my hand on the drive. He was amazed by all of the tress – and even pointed out a “pickle” tree to me. I think it was maybe an Elm…but from now on it shall be known as a pickle tree!


…this has nothing to do with the walk…but I had the pic and wanted to throw it into a blog post anyway! For breakfast today I had leftover ham and green onion Quiche from a Clean Eating magazine article. It was wonderful! The June issue has some amazingly yummy and easy to prepare recipes. Since I’m running again…thanks to the Zombies, run! app I need to fuel up so I can outrun the zombie hordes later today 🙂


Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!