Osteochondritis Dissecans Knee Update, 4 Years Later

Once upon a time, 4 years ago, I had knee surgery on each of my knees. At separate times, mind you, but within a 3 month span. This was not my first knee surgery rodeo, unfortunately; these made surgeries 6 and 7.

Last day on crutches, surgery 1!
Last day on crutches, surgery 1!

I have this rare condition in my knees called Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) which is a fancy way to say that not enough blood gets to the end of my femur bone (medial condyle) so the cartilage gets weak and cracks off. I first learned I had OCD when I was 10 years old and had microfracture surgery in an attempt to mitigate the condition. When I was 15, I had back-to-back surgeries on each knee because a large chunk of cartilage actually cracked off and was catching when I bent my knees. When I was 16, I had surgery to remove that chunk in my left knee because the graft hadn’t held. For a teenager who’s identity was defined by volleyball, these 2 years were rough. But after that? It all was good after that for a number of years! And then, when I was 25, I felt the pain again and went to an orthopedic doctor in Denver to get checked out.

2 MRIs later, diagnosis confirmed what I suspected: that damn OCD was the culprit and it was time to go back under the knife. This time, my doctor recommended a new treatment that was still in study/research phase called DeNovo NT which is basically a cartilage graft from a juvenile donor. In October 2011 and December 2011, my doctor scraped out the bad cartilage and put in the new DeNovo NT graft. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing!

Knee Surgery // lynnepetre.com

I’ve run half marathons. I’ve climbed mountains. I’ve learned to ski. I’ve gone snowshoeing. I’ve backpacked 20 miles in a weekend. I’ve spent 5 days in a canoe. I’ve played volleyball. I’ve done everything I’ve wanted and more. I’ve done everything that caused me pain and more.

Elbert Summit // lynnepetre.com

All of this to say – YAY! But this morning, I’m actually at a nearby hospital getting an MRI on my left knee. I’m hoping it’s nothing but in December, I felt a weird pull in my left knee when I was visiting Denver and, in the weeks that followed, my knee was catching in a familiar and disheartening way.

So far, the impact to running/exercise and life has been fairly minimal – in the initial weeks, I refrained from the rower at OrangeTheory because the deep bend of rowing brought an increased chance of feeling it catch. In recent weeks, I can still tell something isn’t quite right but it’s mostly normal. I sometimes feel like my knee is out of place or will have to bend it a couple of times to keep it from feeling like catching when I get in the car but overall, I’m able to do what I want (but am notably avoiding lateral movements for the time being). I’ve continued to run and, while it’s sometimes uncomfortable in the initial mile or so, I usually get in the groove after a warm up.

So, we’ll see. I truly have no idea what to expect; I have various A/B/C ideas of what I hope the outcome this time will be but rather than get myself worked up about something that I can’t control, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on until I hear from my doctor next week.

Thoughts from 3 Weeks of #Whole30

Thoughts on Whole30 // lynnepetre.com

Well folks, I made it 19 days and then opted to choose social engagement and a night cooking with my husband instead of complying with Whole30 rules.

Could I have chosen water at the MBA School happy hour instead on Friday? Yes. But they were serving a really good Pittsburgh IPA and I wanted to enjoy a beer with my friends. That night, Alex and I cooked a London Broil for dinner and he used butter instead of ghee and tossed in some flour to thicken up the sauce into a gravy. And I have no regrets or disappointments about not ‘lasting’ the 30 days.

Of the past 6 months, this recent Friday and Saturday were the first days that actually felt like a ‘normal’ weekend. I closed my computer at 6 p.m. on Friday and met Alex and friends at school for happy hour. We came home to cook dinner together which we haven’t done in months. On Saturday morning, we slept in and woke up with nothing on his agenda until 3p. Usually, Alex has school commitments all weekend long and I’m left to my own devices so to have a Saturday morning together with neither of us stressing about needing to be somewhere or do something? Such a treat!

With a beautiful blue skied morning on Saturday, we drove down to the Strip District for brunch and wandering. While I ate as Whole30 as possible at brunch, I chose to not make a huge deal out of not being 100% compliant. Maybe/probably they cooked my eggs in butter or a non-compliant oil. YOLO.

Whole30 // lynnepetre.com

I debated most of Friday about how I would handle the happy hour – should I even go? I wanted to be compliant because the book says to do 30 days and I hate breaking rules. But I also wanted to enjoy a beer with my husband and friends. It would have been easy to just skip the happy hour and make a fuss about butter/flour  at dinner but it was such a nice evening that I didn’t even care. Emotional well being > completing 30 days of compliant eating, in my book.

So it may have only been 19 days but I do feel like I’ve gotten the benefit of Whole30. I feel great. I’m eating more fruits and veggies. I’m drinking lots of water and tea. I didn’t break Whole30 because I couldn’t do it; earlier, I wanted to quit because I was bored and tired in prepping/cooking my food. If I’d stopped then, THAT would have felt like quitting. But this? This doesn’t. This feels like an adult choice of moderation.

I went into this as a learning opportunity. I’m not a person who craves sweets or binges on bad-for-me foods so I wasn’t expecting for Whole30 to cure me or radically change my thoughts on food. I wanted Whole30 to help me be more mindful about what I was eating and to give my body a reset which is exactly what I got.

This exercise has taught me to be more conscious about what I’m eating; reading food labels in preparing for Whole30 was eye opening as to what is included in the pre-packaged foods or sauces I love. It’s astounding how many foods have added sugar or are chock full of sodium!

If you break the rules in Whole30, the program suggests the participant restart their 30 day count. I won’t be restarting my count back but I am planning to move forward mostly eating per Whole30.

Striving for the healthiest, least processed option will continue to be something I do. I’ll continue to keep gluten and dairy in my diet to a minimum and will cut back on alcohol consumption because it just feels better that way.  But I am not going to beat myself up if I go out for a burger and fries on a Friday night or bake a pizza at home on a busy week night.

Because YOLO, friends.

Thoughts from Week 2 of #Whole30

Thoughts on Whole30 // lynnepetre.com

As I’m writing this on Sunday night, I’m wrapping up day 15 and I’m officially halfway through my first #Whole30! I haven’t had any feelings of enlightenment or major epiphanies but my body and mind do feel really good. I know I’m more hydrated, my skin looks pretty and I can clearly see I’m less puffy/bloated…even on my period. (TMI but true.)

FOOD

To be honest, I was kinda over it last week. I’m pretty tired of eating the same ingredients over and over and I’m tired of having to clean up an entire kitchen several times a day. And yes, these are both totally within my control – I can research new recipes and I can do better meal prep ahead of time. Last week was crazy with work so I just stuck to what I knew (scrambled eggs for breakfast; sausage + mustard + kale salads for lunch; simple meat + veggies for dinner) which I’m sure is a big part of feeling bored.

This weekend, I made this Cincinnati Style Chili recipe and it was legit. Alex, always skeptical of DIY Skyline recipes, said it was the best DIY Cincinnati Style Chili he’d had and I agreed – Mel Joulwan nailed it! I ate mine with spaghetti squash, Alex ate his with pasta and cheese. And while I didn’t add cheese to mine, I really wanted to – not because I am fiending for cheese but because I *know* cheese in Cincinnati chili makes it better. I’m looking forward to Day 31 when I can choose to add cheese to my food again if I want to.

ALCOHOL

The other thought I’ve been mulling over this week is that this is likely the longest I’ve gone without having an alcoholic drink since I was 18 or 19. (I mean, since I was 21 if your name is Sandy and you are my mom.) Not in an OMG alcoholic! way but in my adult life, Alex and I usually have a 6-pack of beer in the fridge and some weeknights and most weekends, I enjoy a beer with my dinner and/or Alex and I will meet up with friends at a bar. I’m rarely getting drunk these days in my old age but I do enjoy hoppy IPAs a couple/few times a week. So I’m sure my liver is really enjoying this little break and, while I do miss beer or a glass of wine with my meals, I’m thinking I can probably drink a bit less going forward. I’ve been replacing my weeknight beer with hot tea and it’s really nice, actually – gives me something to sip while I wind down, is hydrating and has 0 empty calories.

RUNNING/FUELING

I learned an important lesson on Saturday during my long run; what you eat the day before and morning of a long run/workout is wildly important. Duh, right? As I mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve been in the long distance running game but I should have known better. I did not eat enough carbs on Friday night but still assumed I could go out and run have a strong run…wrong-o. I felt like I was running through cement the entire time and frequently got light-headed. Will definitely be planning ahead better this week!

So, 15 days down, 15 more to go. I already have a few new recipes picked out to make this week so hoping for less food boredom over the next 7 days!

Currently…in January

Schenley Park, Pittsburgh // lynnepetre.com

finding it really crazy that I’ve already lived in Pittsburgh for 6 months. I guess pouting for the first 4 months makes it easy to feel like time is flying. Realizing I might only be here for another 16 months means I’ve got no time to waste in doing all the Western PA things on my list!

drinking kombucha like it’s my job. I blame one of my long distance besties, Nancy, for introducing me to this expensive habit. And while I’m not drinking alcohol for Whole30, kombucha has been my go to ‘fancy drink’.

crossing off my refrigerator goals! Each month, Alex and I write out 3-4 goals for the month and put it front and center on the fridge to keep ’em top of mind. In January, mine were: read a book (Whole30); exercise 18-20 times (done!); find a place to volunteer (identified and applied); stop work at 7:30p (ha! I tried…some days were more successful than others but many times, the late nights are unavoidable.)

…carting my camera around more often. I’d lusted after a DSLR for years and finally, before we moved, I bought a refurbished Nikon D3200. I used it all summer but, when we got to Pittsburgh and I began working from home, I picked it up less often. I’ve been making it a point to make time to think creatively and notice the beauty around me more often.

…thinking about my impact on the world and the world’s impact on me. It’s funny that it took me moving away from a nature-happy, health-conscious state to really mull this over but I think being away from the go-go-go of an always working or playing schedule has given me time to reflect a lot. I’m trying to be less wasteful in the way I live; I’m spending time thinking about the food I eat and why I eat it; I’m taking care to put good-for-me things on my body and reducing the not-great-for-me ingredients around me. Whole30 has helped me feel less wasteful; I’m buying food that doesn’t come packaged and I’m actually eating all of it before it spoils. Yoga has helped me be more mindful about my connection to myself and the world around me. Lots of hippy-dippy thoughts bouncing around this noodle these days.

…connecting with friends and family, near and far. It’s easy for me to get swept up in my little work-at-home-by-myself routine and feel like I don’t have time to be social. Partly to blame is living in EST but supporting a MST/PST work territory but I also need to do a better job of taking 10 minutes to call my siblings or far-away friends, to send a card, to reach out to Pittsburgh friends to grab coffee or a walk. Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been making this a priority and I already feel happier. Community and social bonds, FTW.

Pennsylvania Skiing: Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, PA // lynnepetre.com

You may have heard there was a giant blizzard last weekend here in the northeast. Maybe the news talked about it? Kidding, of course, because the storm brought historic snowfall to the region and while Pittsburgh wasn’t forecast to get the 2+ feet of snow other areas got, we were still in the storm’s path. And I could hardly contain my excitement!

You see, western PA has been unseasonably mild this winter and, as a gal who loves winter, I’ve been really missing snow sports! So when our forecast predicted 6 inches of snow – and more snow south of Pittsburgh where the local ski resort is! – I was stoked. I pulled out all my ski gear on Friday night and hopped out of bed on Saturday morning, ready to brave the roads and make my way to Seven Springs. I made my Whole30 breakfast, poured coffee into a travel mug and hopped in my beloved Outback. A winter adventure! YAS!

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh roads take a bit longer to clear than Denver roads, it seems. It took me twice as long to navigate the snowy – and HILLY – city roads as it usually does but I made it safely to the highway (or…I think it’s a parkway here?). As I crawled along at 45 miles per hour due to reduced speed limit advisory (and truthfully, I wouldn’t have wanted to travel faster), I made the executive decision to turn around.

Pittsburgh was at the very northern edge of the storm but south, where Seven Springs sits, got hammered with 36+ inches of snow. The skier in me was really pissed about turning around – if EVER there was a day to ski in Pennsylvania, THAT was the day! But the practical, ‘safety squirrel’ (c/o Heidi) in me knew that if the roads were uncleared and slippery in Pittsburgh where we only got 6 inches, they would be much worse in back-road PA where they already had 25 inches on the ground and were getting up to 3 inches of new snow each hour.

So I came home, ran my 4 mile ‘long run’ for Pittsburgh Half Marathon training and resolved to try again on Sunday morning.

Rinse and repeat. On Sunday morning, I bounded out of bed, scarfed down my breakfast, loaded up my coffee and hit the road! The roads were clear and dry and I raced down I-76E…only to find that the highway/parkway was closed 15 miles ahead of my exit. Not to be deterred, I let Google Maps reroute me through the tiny town of New Stanton and navigated through the beautiful backroads. Before long, I turned into the Seven Springs parking lot, giddy with excitement.

I hauled my skies across the parking lot to the slopes; I waited in line for 2 minutes to take the lift to the summit and pointed my tips downhill. WEEEE! Fresh powder! Bluebird skies! You couldn’t have smacked the dopey smile off my face!

Pennsylvania Skiing: Seven Springs // lynnepetre.com

Up and down, up and down. I skied all afternoon. The resort was much bigger than I expected with 10 lifts and 33 runs and I rarely waited longer than 3 minutes to catch a lift to the top. If Sunday was a busy day (which I’d imagine it was), I have no complaints! The runs may have been short but the lack of lift lines meant I could just go and go and go.

For a brief moment, I felt like ‘the old me’, like I was living a Colorado weekend, complete with tuning in to the Broncos game on the radio on my drive back home. And I didn’t feel sad or mad, like I probably would have a few months earlier, that this wasn’t my life anymore.

Instead, I felt grateful; grateful for snow, grateful for fresh air, grateful for skiing, grateful for a winter storm to remind me that I can still be ‘the old me’ and do the mountain things I love, even in the midwest. For this chapter in my life, I may not be skiing every weekend but I will certainly savor the experiences I do get.

The weather has already warmed back up and we’re expecting rain, not snow, this week. I’m hoping to catch another serendipitous weekend powder day in Pennsylvania this season but if not, I’m happy to have at least gotten one great day on the Seven Springs slopes.

 

Thoughts from 1 Week of #Whole30

Thoughts on Whole30 // lynnepetre.com

Last Monday, I officially started my first ever round of Whole30. For those not familiar, per the website, Whole30 is a ‘nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.’ (source) The plan cuts out dairy, gluten, added sugar, alcohol, legumes and encourages high-quality meats, veggies, eggs and other Whole30 approved ingredients.

At the suggestion and encouragement of my friend Gretchen who started a #RunningWhole30 community group, I decided to look into the plan. I’ve been looking for a ‘reset’ for a few months (isn’t everyone, after the holidays?) and after reading the book, I understood the science/reasoning behind it. I picked my start date, January 18th, so that I could enjoy alcohol at a MBA school party a few days prior, and created a mini-meal plan for my first week.Thoughts on 1 Week Whole30 // lynnepetre.com

It’s only been 7 days – which feels like not enough time to have opinions since I’ve only just started – but I do have some thoughts to share for others who consider starting a round of Whole30:

Reference the Timeline. But don’t hold yourself to it. I’m a gal who doesn’t have a sweet tooth and I also don’t eat much dairy or pasta/breads so I didn’t go through a lot of the hangover/kill all the things emotions. Yay! But it also made me question if I was inadvertently eating something I shouldn’t be. Nope! Just not having a severe reaction – and that’s kosher!

Enjoying to cook. I’m learning to enjoy cooking and this past week has really helped further this. There aren’t many grab-and-go options for Whole30 so the plan requires a lot of cooking and meal prep. I’ve never been great about these things (because I don’t like to plan or prepare ahead) but I’m getting the hang of it and enjoying cooking. Although, I do wonder if my simple meal tastes good because I’m hungry? Or because I did a good job cooking?

Tired of cooking. As much as I’m enjoying cooking, I’m also really tired of it. It requires much more thought and attention than I’ve ever put into my meals before. With the limited free time I have in a day, spending it thinking about how I can make a Whole30 compliant meal is not how I’d choose to use it.

It gets easier. Last weekend, I spent an absurd amount of time researching what is/is not allowed, pulling recipes from the internet and browsing the aisles at three (3!!) grocery stores to find compliant ingredients. After 7 days in, I feel like I have the hang of it and feel less stressed about being 100% ready to go on Sunday night. (Which is good because I opted to ski yesterday instead of meal plan!) The point is, once you get a few days under your belt, it’s easy to figure out what you like/don’t like, what can be paired together, how to make breakfast better (add breakfast potatoes!), etc. I know that I really like to eat sausage with spicy brown mustard, kale/salad and fruit for lunch and until I get tired of it, I’ll keep eating it.

Missing non-compliant food. It’s ONLY been 7 days which makes this feel a bit ridiculous but I miss knowing I can choose to eat a burger with fries or a chocolate chip cookie if I wanted to. I rarely choose to eat cookies but know that I know I can’t for the next 21 days, psychologically, I feel like I’m missing it. I do really miss beer – it’s only been 7 days but with the winter storm, an afternoon of skiing and the Broncos game last night, I really missed drinking a beer during/after these things. (To be fair, my body feels better that I *didn’t* drink a beer during these things so I guess that means it’s working!)

One day at a time. Right now, 21 days feels really, really far in the future but I know it will pass quickly. My mentality is to plan to be Whole30 compliant for today and only today…for the next 21 days. After skiing yesterday, I was really grumbly about not being able to warm up with a burger and a beer after I was done (it’s practically tradition!). But instead, I went back to my car and ate a banana I’d brought for the ride home. Womp womp. But I’d told myself in the morning to make Whole30 choices that day and that day only. I have pretty strong willpower but in situations where I’d rather not eat Whole30, I remind myself it’s just for today.

So! 1 week down, 3 more to go. According to the timeline, day 10-11 are days people feel most like quitting (that was me, yesterday) but I’m committed for the long haul. And I’ve got a delicious pork loin cooking in the Crockpot so Day 8 will be a breeze. Onward and upward!

6 Reasons To Love Winter

Colorado Hut Trip: Ben Eiseman Hut // lynnepetre.com

I unabashedly love winter. In Colorado, most everyone was in this boat, too; in Pennsylvania, it seems I’m in a much smaller boat.

Yesterday afternoon, as fat flakes started falling from the sky, I found a break in my phone calls and blocked off my calendar so I could lace up my shoes and hit the pavement to run in the snowfall. This Pittsburgh winter has been weirdly mild so when the snow started, I couldn’t keep myself inside.

But realizing not everyone loves winter, I wondered, what exactly IS it that makes me so happy when the mercury dips and the days grow shorter?!

These are some of the reasons I love winter as much as I do:

+ Super fun winter recreation activities: Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing. I only learned to ski a few years ago – proof that you’re never too old to learn to ski!

+ Limited time offering: winter activities require snow and cold weather; there’s only 3-4 months (12-16+ weekends) to get as much winter fun in before the weather begins to warm up.

+ Fewer people: except for skiing/snowboarding, you’ll likely find fewer people on your favorite trails. With the right gear (microspikes or YakTrax, proper layers, etc), hitting the trails in the winter is just as much, if not more, fun because you’ll have the place to yourself.

+ Bundling up and snuggling close: I love putting on my big winter coat, cozy gloves and hat to go outside and play. Once I’m back inside, snuggling up under a heavy blanket next to my puppy or husband is my favorite.

+ Hot showers: After a chilly run or long day skiing, you just can’t beat the heat from a piping how shower – or jumping in a hot tub at a ski condo!

+ big bowls of chili: Alex makes THE best chili and we eat it a couple times a month through the winter. Easy to make, easy to clean up and super delicious, topped with lots of hot sauce, of course.

So, my fingers are crossed for at least a few more bouts of snowfall here in Pittsburgh in the remaining weeks of winter to be able to spend time enjoying snow sports. But in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying the other reasons to love winter…starting with a fresh batch of chili.

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training Plan #GameOnPGH

GameOnPGH Banner // lynnepetre.com

This past weekend officially kicked off my Pittsburgh Half Marathon training. I’ve been running and exercising (mostly) regularly but was waiting until after the holidays to really begin ramping up my training for a few reasons.

First, it was the holidays and I wanted to spend my time fully enjoying and being present for downtime with my family and husband. I ran and went to the gym (with my momma!) while I was in Cincinnati but didn’t want to stress about getting certain workouts or miles in.

But more so, I held off on ramping up because I’m looking to take advantage of a free training group the running store in my neighborhood, TrueRunner, offers. The store is offering a weekly track workout on Wednesday and a long run group on Saturdays. I’ve never trained with a group before – I’ve always done week-day training by myself and long runs either solo or with a friend running the same race. I’m excited to have a group that will challenge me and teach me what it takes to actually run faster.

Track Running // lynnepetre.com

Truth be told, I’ve only ever used the Hal Higdon 12-week training plan so starting to train in January, nearly 4 months from race day, seems aggressive. But also knowing I’m starting with no long distance running, the extra weeks will ease me back into it with 4 and 5 mile long runs the first few weeks.

I’ve mapped out my training to include running but also OrangeTheory Fitness classes. I go to my Pittsburgh OTF 2x a week currently and love the workout; I’m not willing to give it up for the next 4 months! We end up running 2+ miles on the treadmill in class anyway so until it doesn’t feel good or isn’t fun anymore, I’ll keep going to classes through training.

Training also includes yoga (jumping on an unlimited 30-day trial at a nearby studio) and I’ll be incorporating other cross training. There’s a pool at Carnegie Mellon that I have access to (I just need to figure out how to get in!) and I also play volleyball with the MBA students 1 night a week so plenty of opportunity to keep active on non-running days.

Rather than do weekly training recaps (because ain’t nobody got time for that…or, at least this gal ain’t got time for that), I’m planning to share a monthly training recap. Here’s how it maps out now:

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training January // lynnepetre.com

And at the end of the month, I hope all those boxes are green!

Let the Half Marathon Training Begin! #GameOnPGH

GameOnPGH Banner // lynnepetre.com

It’s been a while since I’ve been serious about running. I’ve always incorporated running into my fitness but for the past couple of years, I haven’t stuck to a dedicated plan or trained for a race; I love running but in Colorado, mountain adventures on the weekends won out over long training runs. I took to city park paths and mountain trails to keep my endurance up but, more so, to spend time with my friends. I rarely wore my GPS watch and rarely pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

Trail Running Boulder // lynnepetre.com

Soon after unpacking in Pittsburgh, though, I started looking up local races; I knew if I could find the races, I would find runners I could convince to be my friends. And if I couldn’t find friends? At least I would have a big goal on my horizon that would keep me busy.

I quickly found the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half and started reading recaps on the internet – this would be my race! The May 1 race date meant I had plenty of time to train my body to run more than 5 miles at a time again and I was excited to use training as a way to explore my new city.

I applied to be a blogger ambassador for the race and am thrilled to have been accepted! I will be partnering with the Pittsburgh Marathon team to blog my way through training – as this will be my first half since 2012, I’m basically starting from scratch. I’ll be sharing not only my run training but also how I’m fueling, cross training that I’m incorporating, fun gear I’m using and more.

Track Running // lynnepetre.com

I’m excited to take on this challenge, run 13.1 miles again and bring you along with me. And if you’re a Pittsburgher – or want to visit Pittsburgh to run with me! – use the code PETRE2016 for $10 off your registration (register here) or 15% off official race gear in the P3R Store!

One Little Word: Resilient

Since 2012, I’ve been picking a word for the year to use as my spirit guide, helping me navigate the days and weeks in the upcoming year. Previous words include: perspective (when wedding planning), create (when I had copious free time), focus (when I was ready to make a shift) and last year, light (when I knew the road ahead wouldn’t always be sunny).

This year, my word jumped out about a month ago. In the midst of me feeling sorry for myself and frustrated about something that wasn’t exactly as I would have picked for myself, I wondered when I’d lost my ability to adapt, to go with the flow. 2015 was a year I spent digging my heels in to avoid the change ahead, like a dog on a leash who refuses to walk past something scary ahead, instead of embracing the new experiences to come.

Of course, it’s perfectly normal to be sad and mourn the ‘old life’ but I was disappointed in my ability to see the silver lining in moving. Me! A gal who moved to Atlanta twice by herself for an internship in college! A gal who moved across the country solo after college on her own to a new state! And this time, I moved with my most favorite person, to a city that’s close to my family (and where they put french fries on all foods!), and I spent much of my time feeling pouty about it.

And thus, the word.

one little word 2016 // lynnepetre.com

Resilient: a person who is able to withstand or quickly recover from a difficult situation. 

Not that I expect the next 12 months to be difficult, per se, but I do know there will be challenges ahead and I want to remember to handle them with more grace and flexibility than I did in 2015.

In the next 12 months, Alex will be interviewing for and securing a summer internship (likely not in PGH), I will continue traveling to/from Denver for work and we will begin evaluating our post-MBA-school options and location. (And 6+ months after that, B-school will be over and the next adventure begins. WUT!)

I’m getting too far ahead of myself but remembering to be resilient throughout the upcoming year will be key to my happiness and making the most of the short time we for sure have left in Pittsburgh. There will be bumps, there will be U-turns and there will be inadvertent literal bridge crossings (because it’s not Pittsburgh if you don’t end up on the wrong side of a river from time to time) but this gal will be resilient through it all.