Joy: Not Giving Up

Wednesday night is nothing like Sunday morning. I’m the boss of this blog, and I had given myself permission to completely skip the “joy” post this week. Anything I would have attempted to post on Sunday would have been a lie. All last week was a struggle. The weekend was a little better, but I’m not at 100%.

wonder woman toddler vintage

Thankfully I’ve got the greatest friends and family. Who I can text out of the blue, and even if we can’t be together, I can feel supported. Just as I expected my calendar is starting to open up, and now its even more about finding a balance in activities. I could schedule dinner or drinks every single night. But that wouldn’t be great for my budget or my body.

Instead I need to keep working on my goals. Which are….unclear. There’s no magical job title that will make me happy. There is no dress size that guarantees success.

Not everything will work. I just have to keep trying new things.

August Goal: Find the Good.

One day into the month of August and I am struggling. July was crazy busy, I was all over the place but did my best to fit everything in and have a good time. I used to have monthly goals and monthly recaps. The past two years have been more about doing the best I can with what I have. I will never be the spontaneous sort. But I admire those people. As much as I like to control my schedule, there’s nothing wrong with a good surprise.

orange pink sunriseThe sunrise on Monday was a great surprise. I hope that August can give me a few surprises. Right now I have a seemingly never-ending MBA capstone project, and the greatest desire to just disappear for a week and reappear with my life organized and new. There is no way I will get that good of a surprise, but I’m hopeful that the stress I’ve felt the last few days will have lessened by September.

I have no idea what will happen in the next month, or year, or even the rest of this week.

All I can do is my best, be hopeful, and find the good.


Joy: Working Hard

I cannot believe July is basically over. How did that happen? Wasn’t the 4th two weeks ago? I didn’t intend on driving north this weekend. But when I started thinking about the things I could do in the twin cities, I realized I just wanted to get away.

I’ve realized something about myself lately. I value hard work. Its not so much the job title but the work ethic. Doing your best. Pushing through and getting the job done.

But as much as I want things to look good, I have given up on perfect. I had an exit exam for the MBA, you had to complete it in order to graduate. It’s complete, but it was not perfect. I’m working through the capstone process. I am doing my best, but it is not perfect. My group is amazing, and if I gained nothing else in 2 years, I’ve gained some amazing friends.

Sometimes the work feels hard, sometimes the work comes easy, but there will always be work. I will never sit around thinking that everything is just as it should be. But I always need to acknowledge when the work has been completed.

I will never be perfect. I can only try to be good. I can only do my best. I will not always win, but no one always wins. So here’s to one more month of the MBA life, and to an uncertain future, where all I can do is try.

Do you strive for perfection?



skipping church.

Summer has been pretty good to me so far. While I haven’t spent much time up north at the lake I grew up on, I have spent quite a bit of time on the river. It has been a fun change, but it means that I’m 90 minutes away from my grandparents church instead of the easy 30 minutes away I usually am.

Living Wholeheartedly Today

Thankfully I have a few blogs that I love for inspiration. She Reads Truth is a website I’ve written about before, but lately I’ve added (in)courage to the list and the writing is just as wonderful. Check out these posts if you are feeling the need for a little encouragement.

Refreshing Summer

I am still the only 20 something at the church, I’m even the only 30 something (I think,  there are some mom’s who might be in their 30s still) although they are married with 3 kids, so we don’t interact all that often. The time I spend in the church is worth it. I’m with my family, hearing God’s word, and typically releasing a little of the stress that seems to be hanging around.

I may not be at church every week, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about my faith.

What are your thoughts on faith? Does it play a role in your life?

Joy: Discovering

A day late to posting because I was without my computer all weekend. It was good to get away and unplug a bit. Although I made the mistake of assuming my tan was strong enough to not get sunburned, and I was wrong. Coming soon, a post about Coolibar and their amazing sun protective clothing (which I wish I had packed). 

I’ve met a lot of new people lately, and I’m pretty good chatting with people I don’t know very well. But its also nice to be in a small group and just relax.

The fun thing about meeting someone new is when you think you’ve got things figured out, and then you get surprised again. But when you are with a new person and in a new space, you have no idea what is going to come. So you pack for everything, go with the flow, and make the best of the time you have.

Do you like checking out new places and meeting new people?

Or do you prefer the familiar faces and places?


St. Paul: Where should I workout?

I’m so close to have quite a bit more time on my hands, and I’ve got big ideas for all the things I’m going to accomplish once my MBA is complete. First and foremost, having a more dedicated workout schedule. For the past two years I’ve done what I can when I can, and it is nowhere near what I used to be able to accomplish.

where to workout in st. paul

So I’ve got options going forward. I’ve been a loyal Corepower Yoga customer, even taking their Yoga Sculpt teacher training and teaching for almost 3 years. I’ve done a couple Orange Theory classes and loved them, and they finally have an Eagan location close to work. Finally, Alchemy announced a St. Paul location starting in September. For those not familiar, this is a Minneapolis based company. They originated downtown, and I’ve taken a few classes there, then they added NorthEast, then Edina, and now they are finally crossing the river.

Pricing wise all the classes are similar, Alchemy is the most strength focused (Similar to crossfit, but not crossfit). Orange Theory is running, rowing, and strength, whereas at Corepower is either straight up yoga, or yoga sculpt.

I feel like I should do an unlimited pass to one of them and really force myself to get there, because none of them come cheap! I’m in need of a serious reboot and cannot wait until I have more energy to devote to exercise.

Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?


Joy: Outside

Heat is not my favorite. I love a good sunny and 75, but 80s or hotter better include shade and a cool breeze. I don’t want to be always hiding in the air conditioning, so I try to get some outside time in the evenings. If that outside time also includes relaxing over dinner, even better!

Redcow St. Paul city lights

While I originally had other dinner plans, Redcow felt like a better choice for the night. Great food, close to my apartment, and fairly low key. After a week of hustle and bustle it felt good to sit and relax. No important conversations, just enjoying the evening.

I’m a planner. I would love to have every weekend in August planned out. I’d make sure to have a good mix of activities and friends. Instead I’ve got labor day weekend planned. Everything else for now I will take as it comes. (other than I just opened a new tab to check out the St. Paul Saints Calendar, because I really want to make it to a game this year).

What type of weather do you enjoy the most?

Schedules, Calendars, Meetings, Oh My!

So close to the end of the MBA program, yet so far. This week I double booked a couple of different nights. and it all ended up working out. But I really cannot wait for Thursday night when I have no plans. (other than catching up on what I’ve neglected earlier in the week.)

tree with lights in the summer

Monday morning I an 8 am school meeting, before working 10-7, before attending a happy hour that started an hour before I could arrive.

Tuesday morning I set my alarm for 5:30 am in the hopes of working out. But no such luck, my eyes would not open. I put in my 8 hours of work before heading to class.

Today I thankfully have dinner plans with a friend and it will be so great to catch up.

Thursday as I mentioned is just work. (and hopefully a run afterwards).

Friday I’ll be working of course (this full 5 day week is going to be a little painful) and then I’m finally checking out Burch!

I like being busy, but I am so ready for a whole week where I don’t have plans. I love the fall so I’m sure September and October will be just as busy as July and August, but it will be things I want to do, and hopefully not double booking.

Joy: In the moment

I’ve been exploring new areas lately. Its fun to see new places and meet new people, but its also good to have a quiet night and watch a movie. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite thinking when I got out of my car.

wisconsin farmland

I found myself in the middle of nowhere….with my keys locked in my car. Thankfully I had a very helpful friend arrive within a few minutes, and within a hour we had my car unlocked, and not a swear word was said.

My over scheduling is fairly well known, I met someone last weekend whose jaw dropped when I explained what I managed to fit into Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And while I like being busy, I also know that I need to scale back.

So here’s to more laid back plans, enjoying the scenery, and maybe remembering that locking keys in your car is not the ticket to a relaxing Friday night.

Day Trip, Crosby, Minnesota

It almost pains me to write this, as a loyal Gobbler (my high school mascot was a turkey) I really don’t want to admit how much fun I had in Crosby on Saturday, and how many cool things there are to do these days.

Coffee: Red Raven (brand new) I ate there for a late lunch, but I’d start your day there get some coffee and explore an antique store (if that’s your thing) OR….do what I would do and rent a kayak and have it taken to the mine pits. If your more adventurous, rent a mountain bike and check out the trails. (Cycle, Path and Paddle)

cycle path paddle

Beer: Cuyuna Brewing! (brand new) I bought a growler as a gift for the hosts that I stayed with over 4th of July weekend and recommend you do the same. Another great option, Crosby Bar (linked to their facebook because I’m not sure if they have a website).

Food: Red Raven and Crosby Bar as listed above, or also new on the scene is Iron Range Eatery (owned by the same folks who run Prairie Bay in Baxter).

Workouts: Kayaking and Mountain Biking like I mentioned, but you can also utilized the paved path that connects the mountain bike trails for walks, runs, and road bikes. I also recommend the Crosby park for taking a picture with the Serpent, kids playing on the playground, and utilizing the beach!

What is your favorite place to stop “up north”?

Any places I didn’t mention but should have?