Currently (May/June 2017)

And just like that, another several weeks have flown by. How is it July?!

Hands down, May was hectic chaos. Alex came back from Europe and spent a week with me in Denver. I spent a week house/dog sitting for a friend. I spent a week in Pittsburgh for MBA graduation festivities and the long awaited ceremony. Alex and I spent a day in Cincinnati before flying back to Denver and move into our apartment. Two days later, our friends from BSchool arrived for Memorial Day weekend.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences we had but it sure did wear me out.

Hilariously, in May, Alex and I outlined our summer weekends and planned to keep these free to spend time hanging out with each other. These past two years were high-stress and low-free-time so we both were really excited to just BE together again.

But, as it goes, the universe had other plans and we did a bad job protecting our free time. We traveled to Cincinnati for a long weekend to support a friend who’s mom passed away. I started (assistant) teaching a backpacking class with Colorado Mountain Club. We watched pups. Alex went to South Carolina for a bachelor party while I did an overnight backpacking trip with my class. And on the last day of June, part of my family arrived for a 4th of July family vacation.

I’m trying really hard to take better care of myself as these past two months have not felt emotionally or physically great. What was supposed to be a low key summer with few commitments quickly ballooned into the exact opposite and after so many years of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I can’t keep doing it. I need to protect my time, I need to protect my mental and physical health. I need to make time to exercise and pack my lunch and *eat breakfast*. I need to say no to commitments. If I want things to be different, if I want to feel different, I have to act different and make better choices for me.

The rest of July and August are just as packed as May and June but I’m working hard to take a step back, slow down and take care of myself.

Step one: keep hydrated during this hot, dry week!

Currently (April 2017)

For my 31st birthday in March, I embarked a new, digital mode of memory keeping to chronicle a year in this moment in my life with an app called 1Second Everyday (1SE) which is…exactly that.

Shoot a short video every day, save a 1 second snippet and that’s it! I’m able to save a compilation of days and I’ve decided to group mine by month until my next birthday. A few times in the recent past I’ve downloaded 1SE and tried to make it stick but usually lost steam after the first couple of weeks. But not this time! This time, I’m committed.

While seemingly easy enough to shoot a 1 second video, I find it very challenging to remember to shoot the damn video. Despite working for a mobile app company, I am so not into my phone – as anyone who has ever texted me can affirm. So for me, 1) having my phone in my hand and 2) thinking about capturing a short video during an interesting part of my day (and there are many!) is not my forte.

But 2 months in, I’m am doing a better job at remembering to capture moments. There are noticeably a LOT of dogs in this April segment – partly because I watched several dogs but also because I was/am still trying to find my 1SE groove.

I’m excited to see how these videos change over the months; already, May’s seconds are more interesting and I’m refining my style and doing a better job keeping this little project top of mind and finding moments of inspiration throughout my days.

Heading West, Again

It’s a gorgeous fall day in Pittsburgh; humidity is low, temperatures have dipped and the sun is shining brightly. The kind of day that makes me appreciate spending time in the midwest for this moment in my life, yearning for the crunch of leaves beneath my feet as I walk Philly around our neighborhood, snuggling under a blanket with my husband in the evenings in our poorly-insulated old apartment.

But this is likely my first and last midwest fall day this season because, today, I begin a drive west to move back to Colorado.

Earlier this summer while working in Denver, I knew spending this upcoming year working remotely would not be the best decision for me, professional or personally. Truthfully, I knew this the moment I left Colorado last July.

Working from Home //

Being the sole remote person on my team was challenging; I missed interacting with my coworkers and I felt really isolated. Growing and leading a team remotely is extremely challenging and, this summer alone, I added 4 new members to my team and currently have open several open positions for my territory. Things at Ibotta are moving so fast and it’s such an exciting time to be part of this company that I don’t want to miss out on the unique opportunities and experience in front of me.

Alex immediately supported the move; he’s always encouraged me to find and follow what’s important to me in a career. After many thoughtful conversations, we made a game plan and I found a short term apartment in Denver before I left at the end of the summer. I will be spending most of my time in Denver and ‘reverse remote working’ where I’ll work remotely for a week in Pittsburgh every few weeks so I’m able to still spend time with Alex.

I’m as excited to move as I am sad to leave. 

For much of the past couple of years, I’ve felt like I’m in the passenger’s seat, figuring out how to fit my plans into my husband’s school schedule. This, though, is me taking the driver seat (literally) and making a decision about what’s best for me, a decision that sets me up for current and future success and is a decision I feel really good about. I’m excited to continue to grow in my career and be in the office as the next months unfold.

Of course, it’s not without it’s tradeoff. I’ve cried many tears about leaving Alex and Philly. About the life experiences Alex and I will have separately from each other. About missing out on the precious little time I have left with our Pittsburgh friends before graduation in May. About not living a short drive from Cincinnati.

It’s going to be hard and exciting and lonely and rewarding, all a the same time. In the end, these 10 months of long distance will fly by and be an interesting story in this ‘unconventional’ moment of our lives. (And after 2.5 years of long distance dating, 10 months feels like the blink of an eye!)

Moving to Denver // lynnepetre

See you soon, Denver. Just 1500 miles to go.

Currently: New Normal

2 weeks ago, Alex dropped me off at work and continued driving west, bound for Los Angles. Days prior, I’d moved all my stuff into my ‘summer home’ but over the weekend, we stayed at a friend’s house while she was out of town. Coming home to the summer home on that Tuesday evening felt a lot like walking into my college dorm room after my parents drove away that first night. I’d only met 1 of my housemates prior and, walking in on Tuesday night, the other 2 girls were hosting a spirited book club discussion. I quietly sneaked past and holed up in my basement room, unpacking and situating myself.

I felt the, OMG WHAT AM I DOING panicky doubts – should I have rented a place with no roommates? What if they don’t like me? What if our schedules totally clash and I’m always in their way? What if they get tired of seeing me wearing 1 of only 10 outfits I brought with me?

As the book club carried on loudly, jovially upstairs, I talked myself off the ledge. Don’t be inflexible, Lynne! Just like moving to college…the first few days of not knowing where things are, how to get places without a car, what to talk to your new friends about, those days are challenging.

But those days pass quickly. And then you find the bike path to ride to work and to the gym, and you make friends with your housemates, and you realize, no one actually cares that you only brought 10 outfits to wear this summer (but WHY DID I ONLY BRING 10 OUTFITS FOR NEARLY 4 MONTHS IN DENVER?!)

It took a few days but I settled into my new normal and, now, can hardly remember those panicky moments 2 weeks ago. I love starting my day with fresh air and sunshine as I bike 4 miles to work. I love working in the office with my co-workers (and am a little terrified of having to go back to #remotelife at the end of the summer). I love the simplicity of not having a car and having to be very intentional about my plans. I love spending time with friends and putting myself in situations to meet new connections. I love being to consider only myself and what I want to do. I love the independence.

I’ve been at this ‘new normal’ for 2 weeks now and it’s easy to forget this is a temporary normal. For the next 10ish weeks, I’m relishing this moment in my life.

Currently (April) / 5 Things Friday

Working from home, it’s hard for me to keep track of what day of the week it is. I sometimes go to a coworking space, I sometimes work from home, sometimes (most days) I sleep in (one perk of working on MST!), sometimes I don’t. Without a regular work commute and dedicated days in an office, the days easily bleed together.

But I do know today is Friday! So I’m hopping on the popular ‘5 Things Friday’ format to share a few items.

  1. Friday morning Breakfast Club! A few months ago, I started planning breakfast dates with fellow Partners (significant others of Tepper MBA students) on Friday mornings as a way to be social and kick off the weekend. It’s been a great way to catch up with friends and see new Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
  2. Gearing up for SUMMER. Immediately following the race this weekend, it’s about to get cah-ray-zee in my world. Alex and I are finalizing our plans to spend our summers away from Pittsburgh (he for an internship in California, me to be in Denver for work) and I’m super excited. And not only do I get to spend 3 months with my team in Denver, I have fun travel throughout the summer, too. It’s going to hectic and amazing and I feel so fortunate to be able to . I am bummed to be missing summer in Pittsburgh but, for me, it’s more important to be in Denver this summer.
  3. Swapping screen time for flipping pages. Every year, I say I want to read 1 book a month and I usually start strong in the early months of the year but then ‘life gets busy’ aka I stop making time to read. This year, after already finishing a couple of really great books, I’m making it a point to read more. It’s hard for me to give large chunks of time, like I’d prefer, so instead, I have been reading for 15-30 minutes in bed each night. I’m reading American Wife right now and can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.
  4. Co-working spaces. In the short time we’ve lived in Pittsburgh, coworking spaces have been popping up throughout the city so we work-from-home and work-remotes don’t have to work in our apartments or coffee shops, if we don’t want to. I’ve visited a number of spaces and last month, a new space, StackPGH, opened nearby. I’d cancelled my previous coworking space membership in December due to logistics/change in my work role so I ready for a change after a few months of working from my dining room. I signed up at Stack and am in love: it has huge windows, a cool vibe, lots of coffee and social, like-minded people.
  5. Pittsburgh Half Marathon Weekend! Aahhh! It’s here and I’m nervous/excited. Fingers crossed the weather holds out and my legs hold up and that there is a recovery mimosa in my hand after the race. I’m running the 5k tomorrow to earn my Runner of Steel medal and I’m looking forward to a mini-half-marathon-course preview!

And with that, I’m taking my Friday self out for pizza to carbo-load before this 5k in the morning. MmMmM.

Currently, February

…relaxing in a condo room in Vegas, on the strip, with one of my best friends. Tonight, we’re going to the Britney Spears show at Planet Hollywood but not before brunch, pampering, a fancy dinner and toasting at Chandelier Bar. A girls weekend with friends and  my sister who lives in Vegas is just what my soul needed.

…gearing up for a lot of fun travel in the coming weeks. From Vegas to Oregon to Mexico to Denver, I am so, so excited to travel to new places and see some of my favorite people.

…enjoying PTO days! As I put together my Out of Office items for my team this week, I realized I haven’t taken a PTO day since September. Which is just crazy. That’s 5.5 months! Of course, I’ve had company holidays off, like everyone else, but to have a day or two off for just me? It has been too long!

…ignoring the fact that I turn 30 in a couple of weeks. I mean, WUT. How is it even possible?! I’m not having ‘OMG NO!’ feelings, just surprised it’s already here. A lot has happened in this past decade and I’m certain there will be many huge milestones in the next’s just crazy to finally feel like an adult.

…feeling in limbo. Despite the short term travel, I’m anxious to nail down what my summer and 2017 will hold. Being the wife of a grad school student forces me to be patient and flexible…which is something this planner struggles with.

…making a last ditch effort to accomplish at least one of my February goals. This month, I’d said I would:

  • buy no GT’s Kombucha (so good but so expensive; fail)
  • read one book (started a book, hoping to make a big dent this weekend! Not yet a fail)
  • do one creative thing (decided that registering for a creative class will count, even if the class happens in March; not yet a fail)
  • sell GMAT books and a dress (haven’t even listed GMAT books, dress is on eBay with no bidders; mostly fail)


Currently…in January

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.

Currently, September

Currently - September //

…savoring the rare free time my husband has in his schedule (like last night’s impromptu and wonderful date night, thanks for the free tickets to Jersey Boys from Yelp!)

…working from home this week because my bike brakes are broken (boo)

…missing the girls I spent a ridiculously fun bachelorette weekend with in Colorado and

…counting down the days to Sarah’s wedding!

…spending 2 hours a week at OrangeTheory Fitness classes (I’m hooked!)

…planning fall hikes and camping to scope out Midwest fall color in the coming weeks

…beginning to plan and think about upcoming winter, spring and summer trips

…wishing someone would come over and make me dinners (and breakfasts and lunches)

…drinking kombucha like it’s my job

…loving the Ryan Adams 1989 cd

…appreciating that our family is within driving distance while we live in Pittsburgh (and looking forward to a visit this weekend!)

…starting to truly feel settled in Pittsburgh (finally!); with work, with the new routine, with life (better late than never!)