Anything for Adventure

I am smitten with 2015.

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It’s only February, and already the year has been completely packed full of magic.

I’ve brunched in Arlington, Virginia and toured monuments in D.C. with my best friend of thirteen years. I’ve dined–and met the famous PIEMAN– in Round Top, Texas with my handsome hubby at Royer’s Café.

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I’ve sipped wine with gal pals in the adorable town of Georgetown, Texas and near an extinct volcano at Pilot’s Knob Vineyard in Bertram. That particular night was spent with my Rachel face and her sweet mama, drinking a delicious red and watching the sunset with a scenic view. It was one of those gorgeous, flawless evenings that I know I will keep with me for a very long time.

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I’ve gotten puppy kisses and happy feelings whilst volunteer dog-walking at my local animal shelter, and good conversation with great people while volunteering at my nearby Alzheimer’s Center.

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Covering media events has given me the chance to do things like drink wine while trying on fancy-shmancy jewelry, drink more wine in a cooking supply store and eat plenty of delicious food.

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Running my first 10k of the year gave me the opportunity to eat complimentary donut holes once crossing the finish line. I do it all for the chocolate glazed, yo.

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My little lady is 10 months old now, and she is this outgoing, silly, happy, vivacious bubble of fun. She is a redheaded, blue-eyed version of her daddy, and has us constantly laughing with her antics and sweet personality. Watching her grow has been and continues to be this beautiful, wonderful, wild journey. And raising her with my best friend gives me copious amounts of joy on a daily basis.

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This past weekend I had a photo shoot in downtown Austin with one of my favorite photographers. Being navigationally challenged, I got lost trying to meet up with Dave and he had to find me. While shooting, I simultaneously explored new nooks and crannies of my beautiful city. And at the end of the shoot, I had wedged myself into a tiny little nook and cranny in an alleyway by a dumpster to get a good shot. Anything for adventure, y’all.

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After the shoot, I sat myself down with a good book, a notebook and a delicious cocktail at Halycon Coffee Lounge. Reading and writing in a coffee shop with a tasty, boozy drink felt a little bit like paradise.

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A little over a week ago, I started a project called Adventure Of The Day. I’m challenging myself to try a new escapade every single day, and am chronicling it all at adventureofthedayatx. I can’t tell you how inspirational and invigorating this self-made challenge has already been. Within a week’s time, I was given a spontaneous inside tour of a tea trailer, purchased plane tickets, made a quick jog down to the area of a cave preserve, and climbed to the top of a staircase to get a lovely view of Buda, Texas. Today I tried lavender hot cocoa for the first time, ate a truffle made with six different peppers and took a selfie with a barista. It’s the perfect excuse to do something great even on Mondays. Every morning brings with it the knowledge that something delightful -and often unplanned- will be happening in the very near future. Though I’ve made a career as a social media representative, I’ve been slow to the Instagram game in my personal life and have only occasionally posted on my first handle. Now I find myself giddily anticipating plans and excitedly wondering what my next new experience to post will be.

And I just can’t wait to see what adventures will be awaiting me in the next twenty-four hours. And the twenty-four hours after that. And the….okay, you get it. ADVENTURES AWAIT!

New Year’s On A Plane

I like to start off every January with a bang. I feel like it sets the tone for the rest of the year.

I especially like to start off new years on a plane. I began purposely doing this at the start of 2013, when I visited my best friend in Pittsburgh. By the end of that year, I had filmed a commercial, was payed to travel first class to Detroit and play dress up with my own wardrobe artist (to this day on my top 5 list of favorite states), fell in love with my first and current post-college career, traveled to a slew of places including Puerto Rico and Mexico, graduated college and began doing things like fly-boarding, ziplining and indoor skydiving for free as an event blogger. Robby and I also learned we were expecting our very own little person, Miss Brynlee Mae Boudreaux.

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In January of 2014, my husband and I spent a week of storybook romance in Italy. We got lost in the rain in Venice, ate the best pasta of my life in Milan and walked 463 steps to the top of the Duomo in Florence. I look back on that magical week with my favorite guy and, nearly a year later, still get starry-eyed with the dreamy memories.

The rest of 2014 definitely followed suit. I soared through the clouds hang-gliding for the first time. I took two road-trips with girlfriends, one to the new-to-me Mississippi and another to party in New Orleans. I smile thinking about how much happiness and laughter overfilled my car on those weekends. Robby and I celebrated five wonderful years of marriage by renewing our vows at a little chapel in Las Vegas. Right after this we headed to a happy hour and the grocery store, still decked out in wedding dress and tuxedo. The whole thing felt like something straight out of a romantic comedy, which is appropriate, as such a storyline more or less sums up our life together. Playful and full of silly, fun, overwhelming love. I took a mini-shower under a waterfall and helped give away a car and modeled for one of my favorite photo-shoots to date. In my usual awkward fashion, I learned how to be a flying acrobat while flailing around on a trapeze. I finished my second half marathon and ran 5ks which also involved drinking wine, eating food and meeting a celebrity. Event blogging gave me the opportunity to eat and drink and attend fun things, and I even experienced getting paid to do this while freelance social media repping for a popular Austin restaurant. Best of all, my husband and I said our first hellos to our gorgeous, red-headed baby girl. Now she is this chubby, happy, vivacious almost 9-month-old and she is simply the best adventure I’ve ever had.

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2013 and 2014 have been the two favorite years of my life. I’ve lived so big and beautifully and can’t believe all that I’ve that the chance to experience in such a short amount of time. More than anything, I am overtaken and humbled by all of the love and joy that surrounds me. I truly feel like I have everything. The best of every world. There must be something to this starting off the new year with travels.

I’m one-upping myself for 2015. I love starting off January–the start of a new year–on a plane, but this is the first time I’ll be starting New Year’s on a plane. This being, um, in a little over a day. I’ll be visiting my best friend in Virginia, a first for me. Her living up north in small states is great for my see-all-of-the-states goal. But mostly, I am just excited to see her face and go on new adventures with my favorite lady of nearly fourteen years.

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It’s hard to explain in words how happy I feel right now, in this very moment. I am sitting next to my husband, sharing lovely small-talk and laughing about our little nothings. My little girl is sleeping in the next room and the fire Robby made is keeping me toasty on this chilly night. Tomorrow, we’ll spend a cozy evening with new neighbor friends for New Year’s and early the next morning, I’ll be on a plane heading to new things and my best gal pal.

2015 is already off to a flying start.

Feeling Strong and Stuff

The past couple of months have gone by in a haze of craziness, a little bit of stressfulness and a whole lot of happiness.

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Where to start?

In October, I ran my second half marathon and partied in a museum.

I renewed vows with my husband of five years at a cheesy little chapel in Vegas and drank pumpkin beer up in the mountains of Nevada.

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On top of my full time job, I freelanced as a social media rep for a Mexican restaurant branch and got my first (literal) taste of what it’s like to be paid to eat things and attend fun food events. At one of these events a complete stranger all but made out with my cheek and at another I watched a real life jimador harvest an agave plant. It’s all about those new experiences, y’all.

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I spent Halloween dressing my daughter up like a pumpkin and later having a fabulous time at a work friend’s place. When I asked this friend if I could bring a gal pal along to his party his response went something like, “Yes! The less gay men, the better. Well, not the less gay men, but the more other people with all of us gay men, the better.” The people in my life are the greatest.

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In November, I organized a group for and ran Race for the Cure with work buddies. I also had the opportunity to help give away a car to a very happy and deserving family. It still sometimes baffles me that I get paid to do stuff like this.

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I’m in a good place to start 2015. Professionally, I am learning and growing. Socially, I am surrounded by lovely people that I am pretty fond of. I’ve found a good balance between mommy-hood and my adventures and goals, and I feel fulfilled within all of these roles. I ran 13.1 miles after having a baby six months prior, and unlike my first half marathon, I didn’t throw up or even feel like barfing at the end. I felt awesome and strong. I’m proud of that.

I hope it isn’t too vain of me to say that I’m feeling just a little bit like superwoman this year. Because I’m feeling just a little bit like superwoman this year.

The Journey (And A Photo Shoot)

Those who have met me in the past few years seem to assume that I am naturally thin. I don’t mind the assumption, but if you’ve known me or followed my blog longer than this, (And if you’ve followed my blog for that long, you are a loyal reader indeed. I tend to cringe perusing anything written before mid-2011.) you know that this isn’t the case. Many don’t know that, a few years back, I started a journey that ended in 40+ pounds of weight loss. I was at a completely healthy weight when I was full term pregnant, but I was still ten pounds under what I had been at my highest. Throughout my pregnancy I was told how little I was, and now I get those (joking, I hope) asking if I actually really had a baby at all. (I swear, I didn’t kidnap her!) The truth is, I had to work really, really hard for this. I jogged up until the day I gave birth. I was doing ab exercises when I was days away from meeting my little girl. There were definitely days when I would have much rather stayed in bed all day eating potato chips. It was worth it, but it definitely wasn’t easy.

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So modeling for my first photo shoot post-prego last week felt really awesome. Because I’m not naturally a small person. Nor did I wake up one morning and begin jogging miles. I wasn’t born with anything close to modeling genes either. Because honestly, I really love Nutella and I really don’t care for apples and okay, I’m sort of really awkward too.

Much like the shots taken in this little-known, lovely little Austin park, all of these things have been such a journey for me. And though it’s sometimes been difficult, it has also been so beautiful. In the challenging areas, I have learned to never take for granted those things I now have that I wasn’t born with. And when the journey hasn’t been easy-peasy, I have learned that I am strong, and brave and that I probably won’t ever outgrow my oddness.

And why would I want to do that anyway?

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Still Running

Since announcing my pregnancy, I’ve received a lot of mixed comments whilst continuing to live in the nonstop fashion that I do. My mother-in-law, much to my amusement, told my husband to tell me that I needed to just relax and let myself get fat. My sweet friend Rachel told me that I still looked like a supermodel at five months pregnant. (And when I told her that my uterus was supposed to be bigger than a cantaloupe, she told me that I probably needed to be bigger than a cantaloupe for that to happen.) After telling my friend Cierra that I could meet her for lunch after I got done cleaning and jogging, she let me know that I was the craziest prego woman she’s ever met. (I told her that I would take this as a compliment.) I think my poor mom is relatively certain I’m trying to give her a heart attack.run5k

Amongst many other things in trying to maintain a healthy and adventurous lifestyle, I’ve made the choice to continue my frequent running. My doctor gave me the okay on my first check-up, and that was all that I needed to keep going full swing ahead. My goal for 2013 was to run six races. It’s an interesting combination to be both extremely goal-oriented and rather disorganized. Things often get done at the last minute. Until September, I was only up to two races. I was at three by the beginning of December. I ran two 5ks in a week last week and they were both incredible. On a chilly, beautiful Thanksgiving morning, I ran behind a man fully dressed in a turkey costume at the Turkey 5k. At the Reindeer Run, I ran through a gorgeous, two-miles worth of elaborately displayed Christmas lights on a warm, Saturday evening. It was a breathtaking (and only partly due to jogging) experience, to say the least. I’ve completed a half-marathon before, but two 5ks in a week was still a new accomplishment for me. I’m proud of myself for keeping my fitness level high enough to still be able to run both with ease in my second trimester.

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I take in the occasional concerns of loved ones with both an open heart and a grain of salt. It’s been an important lesson to me over the past few years to know that I don’t always have to follow what every friend, family member, message board or random fellow has to say. I’ve learned that it’s often more about listening to what my body, my heart and my mind wants, needs and can handle. Of course, I do take into account the opinions of those who are wiser than I and those who truly want the best for me. It’d be foolish of me not to. But sometimes it turns out that, before any well-wisher or self-help article, I know what’s the very best for me. In this particular case, my body has let me know me that it can definitely do these runs. That it’s doing a swell job of keeping baby perfectly safe in there whilst I jog about. As for heart and mind, they love the exhilaration, endorphins and inspiration that running brings me. It sounds cheesy, but this being in tune with myself before always listening to 9,432,842,930 different incoming sources stuff has been such a good thing for me. I know I would have missed out on a lot of pretty amazing stuff otherwise. Like running behind a giant turkey or jogging through a massively spectacular array of Christmas lights on a perfect, magical December night.

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I’m scheduled to finish up my goal of six races for 2013 with one last 5k next weekend. I’m already eagerly anticipating the inspiration of jogging through crisp, morning air with my fellow joggers by my side. I’m still running, and that feels really great.