Friday, May 31, 2013

A letter to our readers!

A letter to our readers seems fitting for the last day of the "Blog Everyday In May" challenge...

Dear readers, 

The "core four" blog kick off was about a year and a half ago around Christmas time. December of 2011 was an intrusive and funny time in our "core four friendship" when all 4 of us seemed to be running in separate directions and living very detached seasons of life. Lauren was married and living in Denver with her brand new husband and learning new roles as wife and career woman working as a proposal coordinator at a construction company. She was doing the 8-5 desk job with benefits thing and coming home to make dinner for her husband. I couldn't believe how grown up she seemed. Gaby was about 3 months away from being engaged and very in love with her sweet soon-to-be. She was job searching and living at home in Colorado Springs. I traveled down to see her often and listened as she was getting all her ducks in a row and dreaming about a future with Mitch. Her life was dreamy and full of newness. Erin and I were living together in Fort Collins, but our lives and schedules looked a lot different. She was waitressing and working at a women's shelter and we would sometimes plan to eat breakfast together in passing as I was getting ready to leave for class and she was coming off a long night shift. Sometimes we would try and meet up at the gym before she would go home and go to bed during the day and I went to school. Her hours were insane, and I watched as she look for sanity among a crazy sleeping pattern and sought more stability in her career, but she was happy and life was exciting and ever changing. I was doing the student thing. Waking up and going to class, working at the same restaurant Erin was at, and praying desperately for some direction on my quickly approaching future. 

A few highlights of our friendship during that crazy year! So thankful for our intentionality in such a busy season....

Nick and Lauren's wedding 

Gaby's surprise engagement party
My birthday in Breckenridge weekend getaway

Denver day!
Erin's birthday dessert night at D bar

Linger bathroom photos... every time.

Wine Tasting 

Kansas weekend getaway 

Wedding dress shopping for Gaby

The four of us shared a love and passion for fitness and Lauren, Erin, and I had just finished another half- marathon. Health and wellness seemed to be our "common thread" amidst the chaotic differences in lifestyles. I knew that if I called Lauren and couldn't relate to much of what her life looked like at that time, at least we could talk about what we made for dinner or how many miles we got in that week. (Not that we've ever been desperate for things to talk about.) I knew that if I called Gaby and she was filling out a job application we could talk about a new recipe and I would feel like I was on the same track. I knew that even if I hadn't seen Erin that morning for breakfast before class because she was running around from job to job, I was sure to connect with her at kickboxing on Tuesday night. Fitness was such a great avenue of discussion, escape, freedom for our friendships. 
Rock and Roll October 2011 
It was a few weeks before Christmas and we had finished having our annual gingerbread house party at the Braverman's house. We decided to kick off a friendship/fitness blog that night. It felt like a uniting and purposeful activity for us. We did it as an avenue to talk about what we were passionate about and to hold us together as friends living completely opposite lives with completely opposite schedules. We did it for us and for growth and for our friendships. 

The night we decided to start a blog! 
Our heart was never to spit out facts about fitness because we know so much or prove anything about how close we are as friends. Our heart was not to brag about how many races we have run or tell you how many gourmet meals we can whip out in a week. Our heart was to be unified, sharing fun posts about what we are so passionate about. 

As the "core" still finds ourselves in different seasons and cities we truly have found ourselves to be unified. We share many common threads not just fitness, but an eager heart to grow in the Lord, to serve, to work hard, to love well, to walk side by side in relationship, to host, to give, to be purposeful in word and action, to challenge, to be authentic and to be humanity laid bare. I hope you have felt this in the progression of our posts and the evolution of our new blog kick off as "The Serendipitous Girls." We hope you have seen Godliness represented well. We hope you have seen hardship represented well. We hope you have seen growth represented well. Fitness is wonderful and we all really do get together and talk recipes and workouts and cooking and races, but we also just get coffee together and cry and complain and encourage and edify. We are journeying together and documenting along the way. Thanks for being our readers. For reading our helpful posts and our not so helpful seemingly "life journal entires." Thanks for being our friends, our acquaintances, and complete strangers. WE LOVE YOU and you make us feel special when you look at our little blog we have become quite fond of. 

That caps the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge. Happy June friends. Can't wait to talk summer memories with you all over the blog and lots and lots of iced coffee. 

~ Mekenzie 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let Go & Let God

My Last Entry for this May Blog Challenge. React to this term: Letting Go...
I have to admit; I was not looking forward to writing this blog. When I think of "Letting Go" I picture
a giant mountain that reaches so tall that its peak is in the clouds so you can't even see the top.. that is what letting go is for me.. Seemingly Unreachable.

I am kind of "cough cough" {extremely} a control freak. So when I am brought to the point in a situation or relationship and I am faced with that ever daunting mountain I strap on my pack as tight as I can and try to maneuver MY way up. I see the signs that tell me to go right but with my 'need for control' nature I go left. When I know I need to lay down this weight I am carrying I hold on tighter. It is not until I hear the voice of The Lord telling me, "Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left," {Proverbs 4:25-27} that I am brought to me knees, worn out from the weight on my shoulders, and drained from my lack of nourishing. It is here that I Let Go..

When I try to control a situation and think I know what the best possible outcome could be and should be, I realize that I am taking away from The Lord. He is the heart of my hearts and knows 100% better than I do what path is most blessed for me. He knows what will destroy my spirit and what will uplift it.  I need to do a better job of Letting Go and Letting God. I know that is cliche but it could not be more true. I trust Him with Every area of my life, but there are those few issues that you hold onto and don't allow Him to reign over. It is these secret hidden areas that I am working on whole heartedly giving over to The Lord. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." {Proverbs 3:5-6}. Letting Go...

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Proverbs 19:21 - There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

<3 Gabrielle

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Songs that take me back...

How about a little trip down memory lane? Lets go in chronological order...

Wide Open Spaces- The Dixie Chicks
This song will forever remind me of middle school, driving around Waco, Texas with my bests Erin and Bre and our mentor, Karen (the college youth group intern at the time). Karen taught us the best game ever, called "sing as loud and as terrible as you can with the windows down and make the people in the cars next to you highly uncomfortable." I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. I may have even wet myself. But ultimately, this song takes me back to sweet innocence and living life with no responsibilities.
Blackmail. 7th grade.

Gettin' old school. Nick and I went to homecoming together sophomore year of high school. This song played and I remember being so nervous to slow dance. (I was 15, ok?). I'm sure he was too, but he broke the ice by belting the song to me and doing hand gestures. I'll never forget it.

Can you say....awkward?

Here in Your Arms- Hello Goodbye
The song Nick asked me to Senior Prom with. Cue the cheesiness. A balloon was delivered to my front door step, giving me his home address to drive to. A sign half way down the road telling me to park and walk toward the driveway. As I got to the end of it, a sign illuminated on the garage door saying. "PROM?", that song started playing, and my high school football star came around the corner in his letterman's jacket with a bouquet of flowers. Awwww....

Couldnt find a picture with my date....also whyyy did I wear white?

We Found Love- Rihanna

Although I can't really stand this song anymore, anytime I hear it I am instantly transported back to the last downhill stretch of the 2011 Denver Rock n' Roll half-marathon, knowing I was going to have my fastest race ever and it motivated me to break into a full-on sprint finish. Thanks to my girls Mekenzie and Erin for giving me the song the night before! (Had to throw a fitness one in there:))

My girls
 Then-Brad Paisley

More cheesiness, I am terribly sorry. Short story: the song Nick proposed to and then became our first dance song at our wedding. Enough said.
The night we got engaged

Our First Dance

And that's all I've got right on any of the song title for a little throwback!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Online and Reading

So to be honest, I don't do too much reading online. My nose can typically be found in one of three books; The Bible, Love Does, or "A Shauna." But as far as reading online.. well I don't. I do however spend endless hours browsing blogs and feasting my eyes on wedding love, home decor ideas, clothing trends, healthy recipes, other bloggers lifestyles, killer workouts and on and on the list goes'

Instead of some riveting political article or the situation occurring in North Korea I want to give you some feasting for your own eyes;

  • This article is on a super whimsical N fresh "Orange Crush" themed wedding! I want to get married again so I can incorporate some of these fun details into a reception! 

                                                             A little "pre" eye-candy!

  • I LOVE hgtv.  House Hunting is THE show I cross my fingers for and always hope to be on when running on the treadmill. There are always fun diy ideas to attempt or just really gorgeous homes to droll over. This will link you to fun outdoor kitchens since summer has made its appearance, and well i Love eating outside on a beautiful inviting patio. 

                                              I can just picture all our friends bbq-ing here! 

  • My TIU trainers share their bikini bites for Bikini Babes! Some really delicious snacks on-the-go and ideas for healthy summer snackin.' WIthout fail, you will always be pleased when you make a stop at their blog :)

  • My final link for you is from Raw for Beauty. I'm totally into ways to naturally heal infirmities in the body, or using natural goods in cooking and alternatives for cleaning and skin products. You can also like them on facebook and will daily be given helpful tips! 

Happy Feasting!

<3 Gabrielle

Saturday, May 25, 2013

You have something on your face....

Day 25: Something someone told you about yourself that you won't ever forget.

I definitely won't ever forget this one. Back in grade school, I took dance lessons. For whatever reason my mom couldn't take me on day, so my friend's mom who lived across the street was taking me that afternoon. It was just her and I in the car, and I was in the front seat. We were talking on the way there, and suddenly she stopped and looked at me.

"Oh, Lauren, I think you have something on your face, it looks like a little bit of chocolate on your lip."

"Um, that's my mole."

Poor sweet lady, she was so embarrassed. Bless her heart.

My moles in all their glory
M husband and I like to joke, I'm fairly mole-y. But I've learned to embrace it, it's part of makes me who I am. As my Daddy always told me growing up, they are "beauty marks". It's just like Marilyn's, only a little more centered :)


Friday, May 24, 2013

Traits I Can't Shake

Day 24, Your top 3 worst traits.
Picking only three of my worst traits is a more than a little challenging. My list of quirks is a mile long but I would rather you not think I’m the strangest person on earth so I will give you the three traits that will shed some light on my personality and lifestyle.

I never finish a book

If you read Mekenzie’s last post she talked about how she reads a lot more now that she is out of college. I love this about her and I have always wanted to be the girl who read the latest novel- turned Hollywood hit or to be the one who can quote C.S. Lewis from one of his publications. Although Shauna Niquest is one of the authors I can seem to read cover to cover, her latest book that Kenz let me borrow, “Bread and Wine” has taken me 2 months to get through and I still have a few chapters to go. Maybe one day Kenz will get her book back from me!

Read Shauna! She's inspirational.

I leave coffee thermoses everywhere

I love coffee. I love it about as much as I love my friends. I drink it daily and take a perfectly brewed French press mug with me to work every day. The only problem is I seem to leave them everywhere. The usual hiding places are behind the passenger seat of my car or left on my desk at work. You would think that I would just take it home with me when I leave but somehow the mugs go my front door but never re-enter my house for days on end. I’ve even gone to extreme measures with this short coming because I have stolen Lauren’s cute pink tumbler and have yet to return it. Whoops, thanks Lo!
Yep, that's Lo's cute pink thermos!

My wrists are the size of a tooth pick

You know your wrists are too small when your group power instructor calls you out in front of the whole class as you’re doing bench press and says “Erin, straighten your out wrists. They’re going to break if you’re not careful!”

Embarrassing? Yes. But what irks me even more then embarrassment of people noticing how incredibly tiny they are, is the fact that I will never get to wear bangles. When I’m shopping for accessories there are always the cutest bracelets I want to buy and all the fashionistas on Pinterest are showing off their stackables that are in style right now. Sadly, the second I put them on my dainty wrists, they slide right off and hit the floor. Unless I want to purchase the chincy elastic bracelets, I’m stuck with rings and earrings as my go-to jewelry.
I wish this was my wrist with cute bangles on it!

From character flaws to being the laughing stock of my group fitness class, I have some traits that I would leave behind if I could. But, hey, that’s who I am and my idiosyncrasies make me an ‘incomplete book reader, coffee mug hoarder, tiny wrist lifter’ kind of gal.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Things I have learned outside of college

I'm learning to....

Slow down- People are more important than tasks, accomplishments, and goals. I am a runner in my daily life, both in exercise and tasking. Even if I don't have to be anywhere I am running; from my car into the grocery store, up and down the stairs, in and out of the gym. I run because I feel accomplished when a list of tasks is completed and errands are done. It makes me feel driven and productive and disciplined and capable. In college I used to clean my house, my car, go to the grocery store, and do all my laundry by Sunday so I could be set up for success all week long. Now, I'm learning to pick a couple of tasks and be okay with a small amount of life chaos in order to love people with intentionality and enjoy life. 

Be thankful for every season- Post college, I have learned that real life isn't quite as exciting as college. When you could once skip your Friday classes for a weekend getaway with girlfriends, invite 10 girls over for dinner and bachelor night on a Monday, and exercise between your 10 am and 1 pm class, life is now filled with responsibility and commitments you can't neglect, it becomes fairly routine, and tomorrow always seems to come really fast. I really want to find joy in the mundane, sweetness in the simple, and glimmers of hope and happiness in the hardships. I want to live a life that recognizes how rich a conversation over a happy hour with a friend can be mid work week. I want to remember to recognize cooking with my boyfriend after a long days work is therapy to my soul.  I want to see life as an opportunity to be thankful for the sweet blessings I often take for granted. Sometimes that looks like writing 10 things I'm thankful for in a journal because life is feeling really hard and I'm having trouble weeding through the hardships to find the blessing. 

Be secure with an unprotected self- In college I feel like I sat through so many lectures about how to "sell yourself," interview well, and portray a very stable, smart, and put together person. I think there is something to be said about stability in your identity in the Lord, but beyond that I am learning that people are looking for real, authentic, straight forward community. We have been conditioned to compete with one another, to be perfect, and to have all our ducks in a row, but I want to be approachable and open. Stable in the Lord but recognizing how terribly I need his grace every day. 

 Be a reader- I never used to read outside of academics in college. There just was not enough time. My brain already felt like I was soaking up tons of information and I just couldn't think of putting anything else in there. I have learned to love reading post college. I think its important to continue to have a heart for learning. I want to be a person that desires growth and change forever so lately I've been doing some reading.

There is an exhaustive list of things I'm learning post college, but these are just a few. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Soapin' It

Ok, so my mission is to get up on my soapbox and rant about something, anything!
When Jenni said it could be a pet peeve my mind halted and I knew exactly what I would be ranting to you all about today... my BIGGEST personal pet peeve..Wet SoX!

It is that moment right there!.. or when you're in the kitchen with socks on and you step in a puddle of water or a liquified ice cube.. Errr! Honestly, I'm getting a little peeved just talking about it.. lol. 

I could be in the best mood EvEr and the exact second I step on a wet floor with my sox, I instantly transform into Cruella de Vil! ANd I am telling you, if you're next to me, it is best to just turn around and walk away. 

The images I found on this are hysterical! 

Wishing you all a wet sock-less kinds day :) 

<3 Gabrielle 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Favorite Posts

Day 21, still goin' strong. Today we are challenged to link up our favorite posts from our blog.

Here are some of my favorite, they consist of recipes, life posts, and fitness posts.



Life & Love

*Click on any of the titles to be taken directly to the post*

These should keep you busy for a bit! Let us know what you like, and what you'd like to see more of!


Monday, May 20, 2013



Something I am struggling with...

I recently quite my job as a Barista and am now a nanny for an adorable energized 2 year old named Dillion in the Springs. And until yesterday was working at a boutique in Denver, where we live. Now that I work in the Springs I've been livin' the commuter lifestyle, and I am ok with that. We are blessed to live in Denver but I get to work where my family is and spend time with them when I'm down there. 
The struggle comes in because I am a gal who, for the most part, likes routine. {Granted on weekends and vacays let's be spontaneous!} But in my day to day life I like knowing that I will get up in the am and work out with my hubs, that will be followed by us making breakfast, and then getting ready and going to work. Once home from work we make dinner {I'm also a gal who plans out our meals at the beginning of each week so I know what our dinners will look like every night and what kind of snacks I will be enjoying}, then from there we either have time together or spend time with friends which we would do every night if we could! 
The thing about the commuter lifestyle, and both the husband and I are doing it, is that our days and weeks don't usually look like this. Some weeks we'll come home every night, or I will come home and he'll have to stay in the Springs, and others we'll stay in the Springs to be with family. We are HUGE family people and love them to death!! 
I could go on and on but all this to say that we are a little out of balance over here at the Lobdell home.
We aren't getting enough quality time as a couple, we aren't getting intentional time with family, and we aren't spending time with our friends. I don't get my workouts in everyday, I struggle to eat the way that is best for my body, and I get distraught being left out of plans. 

I can't be everywhere at once & I can't always do the things I want to do. 
Life can be messy.
I do know that this will change once we get ourselves in more of a routine... until then I've gotten really close to my car, workouts while Dillion sleeps have become a ritual, and I make daily runs to Sprouts. 

<3 Gabrielle 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Top 5 Favorite Blogs

Okay...I had to choose 7 because I'm a foodie and limiting myself to just one blog for the food category would be impossible. Click on the blog title for a direct shot to the blogs!

1) The Morning Mug - Jeniece has an authenticity like no other. She shares real life stuff with positivity and passion. She talks about her husband, her precious baby girl, Jesus, healthy living, and everything in between. I refresh her blog site on my phone daily in anticipation of her next post. She appreciates and loves life in a way I strive for. 

2) Shauna- I fell in love with Shauna's books in college. "Bittersweet", "Cold Tangerines", and Bread & Wine." Have truly been life shaping reads. Of course her blog is no different. It's reading little pieces of hers that bring me life and perspective all at once. 


3) Smitten Kitchen- Smitten Kitchen is full of beautiful pictures and recipes for days

4) Elana's Pantry- A clean eating blog that I just love

5) Scaling back- Another healthy living lifestyle blog and more gorgeous pictures. I frequent Scaling Back for her awesome fish taco recipe and love trying out many other recipes of hers. 


6) Glam and Fashionable - Alyssa is a friend of mine with exceptional fashion taste. She is stunning and edgy and feminine all at the same time. I don't know how she does it! Her blog will inspire you and make you want to trade in your entire closet for her collection I'm sure! 


7) Tone It Up Girls- The TIU girls are my personal fitness inspirations. They are so great about sharing the balance of food with exercise in the most healthy way. Their blog is filled with workouts, eating plans, videos and more. 

~ Mekenzie 

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Favorite Photo- Day 17

Ok, get ready for a sappy cheeseball moment.

This is one of my favorite photos. Its hard to choose from all of my wedding photos (can I just include them all?), but this one is especially dear to me. It was the first time Nick and I saw each other on our wedding day.

This day I had waited so long for, planned for, cried over, stressed over, and excitedly looked forward to. It was finally here. I remember the nerves I had getting ready that very morning. A morning with all my best girls, giggling and primping.

And then this moment. The moment I got to see my groom.

We decided to see each other before the ceremony in order to have more time taking pictures so that we could enjoy more time at our reception, and in hindsight this is one of the best things we did.

He calmed my nerves completely. He cried, I cried, and it was all documented.

I love this man more than words will ever tell, and I am so thankful for the photos from this day to treasure forever, and to show our children and grandchildren.

Love you babes!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Lot in Life

Day 16, Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it.

The Definition of “lot in life”…

-It's a Biblical reference. Not to push religious belief, but the saying comes from the story in Genesis where Abraham and Lot part ways and Lot, not believing in Abraham's knowledge of God, seeks his own future. Lot parts ways with what God has commanded multiple times and throughout his life seeks the wrong path. Therefore, in his life he finds trouble throughout. People today, who find trouble in life, claim it is their "Lot" in life that they must endure.

I find it interesting that I had to search this definition to really understand what my lot in life was. Fun fact that “Lot” is a person’s name; I never knew that. The part of this definition that really jumps out at me though is that Lot was seeking his own future and not that of Gods. This is so relevant to where I am right now- seeking a future that I want and maybe not really understanding what God wants for my future.

This week I have run myself to the point of exhaustion- emotionally, physically, spiritually; I’m wiped out. I have nothing else to give, my tank is on empty. I have hit the gym hard, worked overtime hours, baby sat Halle, attended small group, played in 2 volleyball games, ate lunch and drank coffee with friends. It feels right in the moment to be the always yes girl; the “I can do more” “I can do better” “I can work out harder” girl but at the end of the week I find myself stressed, a little irritable and running on empty.

My Lot in life right now is finding balance. I want to be the best version of myself and this requires many of the things I love doing but it requires them in balance with the rest of my life. I need more of Jesus, time for myself and freedom from the daily grind I have come accustomed to. I understand that I cannot do it all, but I want to- so I try to do it all. I guess I have a slow learning curve because every time over-commit the end result is the same- exhaustion, in every way shape and form.

I am overcoming this by cutting out the unnecessary obligations, spending time with my main man upstairs and remembering that I do not have to be (nor can I be) all things to all people- all the time. I’m going to take this weekend for myself. Lord knows I need it.
On a lighter, more fun  note, I splurged on new running shoes this week! Cannot wait to run many miles in these kicks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day In The Life....


To give you a run down of a "typical" day is a bit of a challenge with my job. I love it this way though. While structure and routine helps me feel disciplined and productive, my personality craves adventure, spontaneity, and creativity.

Morning Routine: I really like to get my workout in before work, so my day starts pretty early. I'm an early bird and feel most energized before the sun comes up. A.M. workouts set the tone for my day, give me energy, and help me to be mindful about my meals and snacking. Luckily, I don't feel like the only crazy one. Erin is just an hour up the road breakin a sweat early too. We've been known to exchange embarrassing yet motivational pictures during our morning workouts. I usually do my workouts at the gym, but now that the sun is up earlier i've been taking my workouts outside. I live in Wash Park, a great park in Denver that has a 2.5 mile loop. Lee and I have been training for the Boulder Boulder so I've loved getting to run outside with the warmer temperatures. I usually have enough time after my workouts to swing by Starbucks for a coffee and quiet time or just to spend some time reading before work.

Work: My workday starts at 8:00 a.m. I nanny full time for the sweetest little 2 year old boy. Brady and I have a shared love for adventure. We can be found running around all over Denver making bubbles at The Children's Museum, riding Star the stallion at King Soopers on grocery day, saying hello to the hippos at the zoo, chasing butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion, walking the balance beam at Little Gym, running trails in the bob stroller, and sliding at the playground in Wash Park. We are major frequenters of Barnes and Noble for their killer Thomas train set, the downtown REI which has a great cave and awesome slides, Starbucks because I have a problem, and Whole Foods for 'pizza Friday.' We ride tricycles, count bunnies on morning walks, stomp on ant hills as we walk the trails, read books, pick up the mail,  cook & bake, paint, have picnics, and go to the car wash. We share a love of vegetables, peanut butter, and snacking. He calls me Kiki and I call him Brady babe. We are fast friends and he teaches me so much about patience, joy, and adventure.

Evening Routine: I really love to cook. Most evenings I can be found scowering pinterest for new recipes, chopping, stirring, sautéing, grilling, and mixing and loving every second of it. I have an awesome souse chef...Lee. We cook together many nights. Cooking with him is my favorite part of the day. We listen to music, sip on vino, and chat about our days. He is up for trying anything and loves to eat healthy so meal planning and cooking with him is so much fun. I also love having time with friends in the evenings. I love to squeeze in girl time during the week even if its a happy hour, walk, or nail painting. The rest of the night is spent getting myself together for the next day. I like to get to bed early so I have enough energy to chase Brady around and wake up for my morning workout.

Thats about it friends. A day in the life of Mekenzie... If you have any great idea for Brady adventures in Denver please share! Have a great day!

~ Mekenzie