Hawaii, Again

It is actually a miracle that we ended up in Hawaii again as a family. 

We went in 2016, just a few months before I was crowned Miss Vermont. And truly we loved every moment of it. But even that was a fluke (we were set to go to Puerto Rico that year, but then, Zika.) 

But it was far and away one of our all-time favorite vacations. Somehow, this year we decided we could go again. It was, in large part, a Christmas present (to and for each other.) And no doubt about it, it is a privilege and a luxury. 

I highly recommend Honolulu to anyone that's looking to go to Hawaii. And if you want restaurant ideas, hotel recommendations, or even an amazing local tattoo artist, I got 'em! 

The Kuhls Got Married!

Okay this is just a photo dump after a phenomenal Christmas and weekend in Pennsylvania. 

We laughed, I cried, we drank, we ate (and ate, and ate) and celebrated my favorite thing ever: love. 

Christmas Day, before driving down to Lancaster

Two cuties at a rehearsal dinner 

Let's Ride, Baby!

I bought a Peloton! 

Was it the best idea ever? No clue! 

Can I afford that $2500 price tag? No way! 

Am I excited? Yeah duh! 

So here's the deal. I bought a Peloton with Affirm. (This is the company that Peloton has contracted with. I  didn't seek them out.) Which means that I financed the bike. And instead of dropping $2500, I will pay $65.78 until my bike is paid off. This is a 0% interest loan. Which had a HUGE impact in my decision to use Affirm. I still pay the monthly Peloton membership fee as well (just over $40.)

But! This means that for less than $130 (the average cost of a boutique fitness membership in Burlington,) I will have a Peloton, and all the goodness that comes with it. 

Just in the name of transparency, I'll also share that I eliminated my car payment this summer, and this is about half as much as that. So this purchase truly is something that I have planned and budgeted for. 

But the fun stuff! 

This bike, you guys. It is so pretty! So sleek! So QUIET. 

The delivery was much faster than originally anticipated, and it was really seamless. (Delivery in Vermont is facilitated by XPO Logistics. They delivered and assembled my bike, and in total it was about 15 minutes of set up.) 

And the programming! Holy smokes. There are cycling classes of course (live and recorded) but there are also strength classes, yoga classes, running classes, meditation classes - and the library of recorded classes is huge! 

On top of that, I'm really happy with the accessories package. I will say, this is something that some people could easily deem pointless, as you can buy all of it outside of Peloton. However! I had a $100 coupon, which basically meant the accessories package I got was free. 

I got the mat, the headphones, the 2 LB weights, the shoes, and the heart rate monitor. 

All in all, I am so so happy with this bike. And I absolutely cannot wait to keep riding! 

Questions? Lemme know!! 

Here We Go (Again)

Are we ready for this?

I don't even know now how many times I've stepped away and come back, but, here we go.

Another point oh, another return, whatever. It's my blog, I make the rules. And the rules now say I can come and go however many times I want.

Ready for a recap?

Let's go.

I went to France.

I left the airport.

I got this really great guy to hang out with me pretty often.

I did plenty of summer stuff.

I hung out with my best girl.

And now, we're here.

Miss Vermont 2019

Former life is no longer weird, and I love that.

It used to be that I felt out of place, and I don't know, wildly unliked. (That part is still true for some folks, but hey, not everyone can be nice and that's okay.) I used to feel like I didn't belong and that anything I would do or say would be the wrong thing.

Honestly, I felt that way even when I gave up my title.

This year, I finally finally finally felt fine.

I mean, there were some weird parts. There was some awkwardness from the people that aren't big fans of mine.

But it was fun. And I decided, "hell with them!" And I just embraced celebrating my sister, despite the weird stuff.

And also, I felt damn good in my dress. That helps.

I know that as time goes on the way I feel about these things will continue to evolve.

But I love this program, this sisterhood, this dream, the power that is behind the Miss Vermont Organization. So, heck yes I want to keep being there. And heck yes, I want to keep supporting these girls.

You know what we always say!

There is not just one Miss Vermont on that stage on competition night!

26 Things I Learned in My 26th Year

1. Teamwork makes the difference, every single time 

2. Literally everyone has something to teach you. Every one. 

3. We can all - all - stand to be more considerate when we travel. 

4. Idolizing marriage, engagement, and weddings is such a huge fucking waste of time and energy. And moving through that was hard and weird as hell, but woooorth ittttt

5. It’s super cool to date after becoming bffs

6. It matters to show up for the people that are there and the people that do care, and they do recognize it. 

7. Act your way into thinking differently 

8. My dog has literally kept me alive 

9. Retail therapy is still not a real thing. 

10. Actual therapy is real, and amazing, and everyone should use it. 

11. Suggesting that people get help, is not that helpful. Reaching out always is. 

12. A drive across the country is hard, and so interesting, and friggen cool

13. Healing is literally addressing pain and trauma. And that hurts so much. And that’s okay. 

14. The finish line doesn’t have an expiration date

15. I definitely do not want to go to medical school.

16. But I could get behind the idea of a post-grad program that would allow me to teach Special Education.

17. People will pick their nose anywhere. Especially in an airport.

18. You have to ask for what you want.

19. You don't need a "reason" for your depressive episode. You don't need to explain your depressive episode.  

20. Cutting and plating brownies is a waste of time. We don't need to do this. Eat them out of the pan. 

21. Wearing sunscreen every day is not just a mild suggestion, friggen do it.

22. Getting a puppy in the midst of being depressed, and changing so much about my life was absolutely the best decision I could have made. And I do actually think everyone needs a pet.

23. Even after hard races, I can still love running. 

24. Food. Is. Food. (Food is nourishment, food is enjoyable, food is not the enemy.) 

25. Honestly, you should just buy yourself the flowers. 

26. You can't retire at 26, but you should be able to. 

It (Still) Is Not Linear

It seems weird that "even now" I have this struggle with my body, with my food, with my will and desire to eat.

Even now, as in, even now so far past my pageant "career." Even now, so long since I have been challenging myself to be in the "best shape of my life." Even now that I have accomplished so many of those big dreams that were, in some ways, about what I looked like.

But, hooo boooy, it is a struggle.

This week, yesterday, this month - sometimes it feels like it is constantly a struggle.

And I know why.

That's the thing I know exactly what is sitting the back of my head on this one. I know that whole "that five to ten extra pounds is where your body is supposed to sit thing." And I know that it all plays together to make the last few weeks real shitty in this body.

I've been tempted - if I am being honest, which I am - to throw my hands up and say, "screw this."

Because you know what?  It does seem easier sometimes to go back to counting macros, to go back to tracking my food, to go back to watching every single "active move calorie" on my watch. Because then there is control, right? Then I'm taking back this train that my body is careening away on, right? Then I'm headed back to where I "want" to be, right?

No. I mean we know that. The answer is no.

But sometimes it does feel that way. (And that's okay. And recognizing it is good.)

Because when you feel squishy, and you aren't liking what is in the mirror, and you're constantly thinking about how the jeans feel, and how many carbs you've already had today - it is hard to look at the whole reality. As it is now. Not as it was then. Not as it could be. Not as we want it to be.

And that's where I am at.

This week eating is hard. This week working out it is hard. This week I tried, despite everything that I wanted to do, and I didn't just throw my hands up.

That is enough.