Up Next: MBA School Summer Break

2015 in Review - April // lynnepetre.com

The first year of Alex’s MBA program has officially finished and he is on ‘summer break’! Kind of a misnomer because ‘summer break’ in business school is the time between school and internship. For Alex, he has a month off between classes ending to his internship beginning but other students had just a few days to get from Pittsburgh to their internship (but they have typically have a longer break at the end of their internship before classes start again in September).

Most of the first year of business school is focused on finding a summer internship and we always knew that for Alex, this likely meant not working in Pittsburgh. We spent many hours discussing cities, companies, lifestyles, future goals and more together as Alex identified his target companies for the summer. In many cases, the internship leads to a full time offer so we wanted to set ourselves up for the best post-MBA decision possible.

In March (on my birthday, in fact), Alex landed the best internship for his skills set and ambitions – it’s the perfect bridge between what he had been doing before school to what he wants to do after school. He’ll be working for a super cool media tech company, in Santa Monica/Los Angeles, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that his apartment will be 6 blocks from the beach. Homeboy is living the Summer Internship Dream!

Ibotta Entrance // lynnepetre.com

We also knew, before we even moved to Pittsburgh, that if Alex’s internship was not in Pittsburgh, I wanted to spend my summer in Denver. Working remotely is hard and working remotely and leading a team at an aggressively growing and extremely innovative company is even harder. While I’ve come to enjoy my personal life in Pittsburgh and feel like I am in a good ‘working remotely’ rhythm, I’m missing out on in-office collaboration and career growth opportunities. Plus, it’s lonely! I miss talking to my coworkers in person and socializing. Without Alex in Pittsburgh, I would surely become the crazy hermit lady who goes days without talking to anyone in real life and nobody (especially not me) wants that.

So, all this to say that Alex and I are en route across the country, wheels pointed west! We are spending a couple of days with our family in Cincinnati and then will drive to Denver. Alex doesn’t start work till early June so he’ll/we’ll have a few weeks of downtime in Colorado before he finishes the last, 17-hour leg from Denver to Los Angeles.

Petre Road Trips // lynnepetre.com

These next few months of Summer Break are sure to be chaotic with both of us working at companies we’re excited about and traveling/exploring on weekends and I couldn’t be more giddy. And bookended by a cross-country road trip?

Summer 2016, I already love you.

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.

2015 in Review

A lot happened over the past 365 days and I’d be remiss if I didn’t catalog it here since much of it was captured on lgsmash.com, when this blog was just a twinkle in my little brain. 2015 was challenging but a lot of great things happened too! Putting this together helped me put it in better perspective. Despite the change, it was a pretty darn good year.


2015 in Review - January // lynnepetre.com

We kicked off the new year with great friends in Ouray, CO, where we ice climbed for the first time. Later in January, we took an ice climbing class with the Colorado Mountain Club and added it to the list of ‘really fun things to do in winter’.


2015 in Review - February // lynnepetre.com

Annual ski trip with our friends! Each year, we pick a new mountain and all rendez-vous for a long weekend of skiing, laughter and great food (one friend is a 4-star executive chef!). This year, we skied at Park City, UT and despite low snow conditions, we had a blast.


2015 in Review - March // lynnepetre.com

Rang in the last year of my 20s with Korean BBQ and my youngest brother spent his spring break from teaching in Denver, visiting me. During March Madness, Alex went to Vegas for the first time (and made a bet that the Bengals will win the Super Bowl. What seemed far-fetched at the time has at least a glimmer of a possibility this year!).


2015 in Review - April // lynnepetre.com

Ventured to Pittsburgh for the second time for CMU’s Welcome Weekend. Made the decision to move with Alex and proposed a ‘working remotely’ situation with my company.


2015 in Review - May // lynnepetre.com

I spent many of my mornings with a standing climbing dates with my girlfriends. For Memorial Day, Alex and I drove out to Salt Lake City to spend the weekend with a good friend and I ventured out to Red Rocks for pre-work workouts with the Bold Betties gals a few times.


2015 in Review - June // lynnepetre.com

Spending as much time in Denver with friends as possible before moving. Happy hours, dinners, afternoons at the park and a concert at Red Rocks (Ryan Adams – a dream come true!). Camped a weekend at the Sand Dunes with Lucas, Nancy an our dogs. Time felt fleeting.


2015 in Review - July // lynnepetre.com

Alex quit his job at the beginning of the month and we wrapped up all loose ends. After packing our apartment, we went to our last show at Red Rocks – the Avett Brothers. Over the past 5 years, we attended the Avett Brothers show every summer – the first year was our engagement weekend! – so it was a perfectly bittersweet way to say goodbye close our Colorado chapter. We said goodbye to great friends and coworkers and hit the road for 2 weeks of road tripping.


2015 in Review - August // lynnepetre.com

We arrived in Pittsburgh and I began working remotely. Alex started school mid-August and we worked hard to adjust our new schedules and lifestyle. August included a few trips to IKEA, meeting new friends and MANY wrong turns across Pittsburgh’s thousand bridges.


2015 in Review - September // lynnepetre.com

I tried my first OrangeTheory class and was immediately hooked. Traveled to Breckenridge to celebrate the upcoming wedding of my oldest friend, Sarah, and traveled to Cincinnati to stand up in another friend’s wedding. Struggled a lot, emotionally, this month.


2015 in Review - October // lynnepetre.com

Really appreciated my proximity to Cincinnati and remote working situation when my mom had her first of 2 knee replacements and I spent a week at home, helping around the house. Alex and I ventured to Florida for Sarah’s wedding and enjoyed an afternoon on the beach between rehearsal and wedding festivities. Alex thrived in school and I started to get the hang of working remotely.


2015 in Review - November // lynnepetre.com

Watched the Bengals beat the Steelers at Heinz Field. I did an unlimited 30-day trial at a nearby yoga studio and notice a positive shift in my mental/emotional wellbeing. Why am I not doing this every day of my life?! Alex and I spent Thanksgiving home in Cincinnati, our first Thanksgiving ‘home’ in 4 years, and I ran a 10k with my youngest brother.


2015 in Review - December // lynnepetre.com

My mom had her second knee replaced. I spent a week in Denver for work and skiing and then we spent a week with our families for Christmas. I’ve spent much of the past few months cultivating friendships in Pittsburgh and as the year ends, I’m feeling grateful for the ladies in my life – both near and far.

Looking back, there are a lot of great memories and I’m thankful for the experiences 2015 brought – both happy and sad. Without the low, the highs don’t mean much, right?

But, I’m looking forward to more smiles and less tears in 2016, no matter how much the tears and low points mean for personal growth. 🙂

Cheers to smiles and 365 more days ahead of us!

Ending 2015 On A High Note

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Man, this year!

This time last year, Alex found out he was accepted into 2 excellent MBA programs and in the 365 days since, it’s been a ride. Perfectly happy with our life in Denver and really excited about my then new-ish job and it’s potential, I was not jazzed to think about what 2015 would bring for me, personally, or our little family.

After much deliberation and consideration, I decided in April to tell my company that I was moving to Pittsburgh with Alex. In my heart, I always knew it was the right decision but I dragged my feet, knowing that moving away from Denver would likely mean a stunt in my career growth. It’s been hard to reconcile two very different, seemingly mutually exclusive things: if I moved to Pittsburgh, I’d be limiting my career and sacrificing growth; if I stayed in Denver, I would be sacrificing my relationship with my husband. I felt like I was between a giant rock and an un-budging hard place and couldn’t ignore the weight of the decision.

Fortunately, my company allowed me to stay on as a remote employee and I moved to Pittsburgh in August. We spent 2.5 really great weeks on the road as a last hurrah of our dual income/same schedule life before landing in Western PA. We camped at the Grand Canyon, stayed a few nights in Vegas, swung back through Colorado to pick up Philly and ventured east, seeing friends and family along the way. (More here.)

welcome to lynnepetre.com // lynnepetre.com

The first weeks and months in Pittsburgh were rough, emotionally. I’d ‘lost’ everything I knew and loved in Denver and was in a new city, working remotely, with a husband who was already in the thick of his MBA program and had very little free time. I felt sad and sorry for myself a lot in those early days.

Adjusting to the ‘remote employee’ life has taken some time but I’ve finally found a cadence that works for me for right now. I’ve found friends and am learning how to get around in Pittsburgh with less reliance on Google Maps. I cry a lot less tears these days than when we first arrived – so that’s a plus! But many days, I miss our ‘old life’ in Denver: the city, the community, our friends, our routine.

This past week, I was back in Denver for work and it was especially wonderful as Tuesday brought a snow storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow before the system moved out (PA has been too warm this winter – it’s 65* today!). I spent a week working in the office, staying in an AirBnB in my old neighborhood, eating at my favorite restaurants and feeling so happy to be back. We had a company-wide meeting to discuss 2015 and where we’re going in 2016 – all exciting things! – and celebrated our incredible growth with a really fun holiday party.

In my year end review, I earned a promotion and I’m not ashamed to admit I found myself wiping tears – happy tears, this time! After a hard year, emotionally, and questioning how working remotely would affect my career, it felt really great to know that I’m not ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

To cap off a great week, I spent Saturday flying down the mountain with my girlfriends at Keystone. It was such a blast to be with the friends I’ve missed, catching up and laughing the whole day.

Keystone Skiing // lynnepetre.com

I boarded my flight home on Sunday with a full heart. The week in Denver was one of the best I had in 2015 and was a great way to close out this year of change. I’m excited to spend the next 2 weeks with my husband, family and friends and celebrate the holidays; I’m even more inspired to welcome 2016 and hit the ground running.

I have big goals for making life in Pittsburgh feel more like my own; it’s hard to not feel like 2 years in grad school mean living in limbo while we bide our time before the next adventure. I’ve let myself feel that way for these first 4 months and it’s not helpful or accurate. There is a lot I can do to thrive in PA while we’re here. Gotta bloom where you’re planted, right?

So in 2016, I have no doubts there will be a lot less tears in store and I can’t wait to get started.

Snapshot: Working Remotely at Home

Working from Home // lynnepetre.com

When I moved to Pittsburgh, I began doing something that I think many of us dream about doing, at least on occasion: working from home. As I travel back to Denver this week for work, I thought I’d share a bit about what working from home while still employed by a company looks like for me (vs. working from home as a freelancer or managing your own business).

I am extremely fortunate to work for a company that is willing to be flexible and allow me to work remotely when I moved across the country. When we knew Alex would be attending business school in Pittsburgh, Alex and I spent many hours talking about the pros and cons of me moving to Pittsburgh with him or staying in Denver. Ultimately decided the right decision was for me to move with him and I approached my manager with a proposal for how I could continue to stay on the team while working from Pittsburgh.

I’ve been working remotely since August and finally feel like I’ve found a rhythm. Because my company is based in Denver and my territory is west coast based, I generally still work on MST hours. And while I sometimes go to a co-working or shared office space, I spend many of my days working out of my apartment.

(As a caveat: I work for a high-growth tech company that is growing like crazy so these hours are on the long side as we hire into the growth.) 

Working from Home // lynnepetre.com

Here’s what a typically work-from-home day looks like for me:


8-8:30a: Wake up, walk Philly, take Alex to school on days he has to wear a suit (all other days, he rides his bike).

8:30-9:30a: Drink coffee and eat breakfast, check work email from last night’s late arrivals. I’ll usually spend a few minutes straightening up (laundry, dishes, hanging up coats, etc) or taking inventory of the fridge to plan dinner before I really hunker down for the day.

9:30a-1:30p: Work. Much of my day is spent responding to client emails, joining internal or client calls and giving direction to my team. I have 1 direct report so we spend a few minutes each afternoon (morning, her time) talking through priorities.

1:30-1:45p: Lunch! Before I know it, it’s 1:30p and I’m starving. Usually I scrounge around in the fridge for something quick and healthy and will build a kale salad and sandwich or reheat leftovers.

1:45-6p: Work. Because I work with west coast clients, a bulk of my client calls and an influx of emails are later in my afternoon. I try to take a 10-15 minute break to walk around the block with Philly and get some fresh air but some days, we just take a quick break to the back lawn of our apartment.

6-7:30p: Meet up with a friend for a workout – most days this is either hot yoga or an Orangetheory Class, both within a 5 minute commute of my apartment. On Wednesdays, I try to meet up with a local run club up the street with a handful of friends and business school spouses. As often as possible, I try to work out with a friend as much for the social aspect as the accountability aspect.

7:30-7:45p: Shower and start dinner. Alex is usually still at school until about this time so we tend to eat dinner much later these days. Most nights, we make an effort to eat dinner together and connect but some nights, he is stuck at school until late so we’ll eat separately.

7:45-10:30p: Back to work! Trying to get a few more items crossed off the to-do list to wrap up and prepare for the next day. I try to make a conscious effort to turn off work mode by 10:30p.

10:30-11p: On some lucky nights, Alex also takes a break from school at 10:30p and we watch an episode of something on Netflix (currently: Longmire). If not Netflix, I will spend a few minutes reading articles/blogs, writing my own blog or generally just winding down from the day.

11p: This is generally the earliest I go to bed but it’s often later. As you can gather, there isn’t much free time for Alex and I to spend together so I often sacrifice sleep to hang out for a few minutes.

And then, it starts all over again.


Overall, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work remotely. There are obvious challenges – lack of interaction, sad ability to sit inside all day without realizing it – but there are also advantages like a quiet work space and built in puppy snuggles.

This week, though, I am beyond excited to spend to take time off from Remote Employee status and spend a full week in Denver with coworkers and fun company events on the agenda. You better believe I will be soaking up every minute of it!

Philly’s 4 Year Adoptaversary

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a Philly story this week as this little pup joined our family just a few days before Thanksgiving in 2011.

4 years ago, Alex proposed in July and moved to Colorado in September. In October, I had the first of two knee surgeries – the second slated for December – and when I was back on my feet between surgeries, we did the most logical thing and started to think about growing our family…with a fur-child.

When a young bulldog named Petrie was added to the Denver Dumb Friend’s League website, we knew we’d found our dog. I mean, what are the odds?! I called to set up an appointment for us to meet Petrie that night but, when we showed up, we learned that Petrie would not be our dog – he was bigger than our apartment at the time would allow.

Instead, we looked at a few other dogs, the last of which was Philly. She was the right size, not a puppy, already house + crate trained and very, very timid but the staff assured us that she would warm up to us after a few weeks in her new home. We signed the paperwork and brought our pup home the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

Unfortunately, it didn’t take a few weeks for her to warm up; it took nearly 3 years. The early days were frustrating because we wanted so much to connect with this dog, for her to love us as much as we wanted to love her. But whatever happened in her prior life had traumatized her so much that she rarely left her crate, refused to make eye contact with us and lived in an extremely nervous state of mind.

But through the years, we’ve learned what is especially scary to her (large items on the floor, wind blowing through the house, being clipped to her leash without a human on the other end) and have done our best to eliminate these aspects of life for her. We’ve also learned what she does love (being outside, running, car rides and chewing a rawhide) and have done our best to incorporate these as often as possible.

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

As she’s grown and slowly come out of her nervous shell, we’ve celebrated her progress and cheered her on. After 2.5 years of never making a peep – no barking, no whining – she recently began barking excitedly when we return home. It felt like such a ‘real dog’ milestone – she *does* care and *is* excited her humans are back!

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

We’ve taken her camping and hiking (her favorite), trail running, canoeing (not her favorite), on long road trips and into hotels. It may have taken her 3+ years to warm up to us but the journey has been so worth it when we compare who she was on the first days and weeks we adopted her to the pup she has grown into now. She is the sweetest, most loyal and obedient dog I’ve ever met and I’m thankful we brought her home and gave her the chance at a new life.

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

I share this story to not only introduce Philly to this blog but also to offer perspective on adopting a pet. It’s hard work, for sure, no matter what your pet’s prior life story is. Many times in the early days and first year we questioned if she’d ever be the dog we’d dreamed about. There’s only so much treat bribing one can do to encourage bonding with a dog and we’ve realized that, while the treats helped, this dog really just needed time. Time to learn that humans aren’t scary and that it’s okay to let her guard down. (But she still gets lots of treats.)

Philly Adpotaversary // lynnepetre.com

If you, too, are struggling to connect with an adopted pup, don’t give up hope! Keep showing her love and kindness, keep sneaking her treats and letting her jump up on the bed with you – even if she stays for just a second before hopping back off. It’s working and she’s learning. She’ll get there – she might just a bit more time.

Currently, September

Currently, September // lynnepetre.com

Currently - September // lgsmash.com

…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!)