i only love my bed and roberta i'm sorry

This Sunday is Mother's Day and I thought I'd write a little post about my mom, affectionately known as Roberta (or Broberta, or MOOOOM, or Mommy).

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Roberta is actually a badass. As she self proclaimed on the phone a few weeks ago, "I'm just a Jew from Central Jersey", Roberta is a little bit of your stereotypical Jewish mother mixed with a bit of Amy Poehler's character in "Mean Girls". Roberta is definitely not your "regular mom" she's a "cool mom".

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While my dad, is a true introvert and internal processor, Roberta is the complete opposite. She unapologetically speaks her truth, is typically the life of the party (you can find her with prosecco in hand...apple doesn't fall far from the tree), and will tell people how she's feeling. Or she'll post it on Instagram with hashtags that really aren't meant to be hashtags, but she doesn't care, because #shesRoberta (follow her @rrimmaudo). 

Roberta is also a little crazy. One time my brother Biagio and I got in a HUGE fight driving home from Long Beach Island over a bag of potato chips and Roberta grabbed the bag of chips and let them fly out of the bag as we watched them pass by the window as she continued to drive 70mph back up to North Jersey. We still love her, but now we share our Cheddar Sour Cream and Onion Chips. (Sorry Mom!)

 

 

Roberta has taught me a few things and has been my rock for these past 28 years. Some of Roberta's most valuable lessons, whether she realizes it or not include the following:

  1. You shouldn't care too much about what people think, just be yourself! I was a weird kid, maybe even a weirder adult, but I am so thankful growing up Roberta let me embrace my weirdness. Whether it was my emo phase, wanting to try to to be so Jersey and getting a spray tan for prom, the phase of monograms and bows, or having to drop me off at band, theater, dance rehearsals, etc. Roberta never stopped me from pursuing anything or being myself, no matter how different or crazy the activities were (except for sports, my parents didn't push this, I have two left feet and would probably have injured myself). While other Mom's were pushing their daughters to be popular or the prettiest or the lead in the play or the sports captain, Roberta just let me do my best and my best was enough. Even if my best was me in the basement of our house with my best friends making "music videos" to Dashboard Confessional and that song "Walkie Talkie Man". 
  2. Be Independent and Do YOU. When my mom was in high school she unexpectedly lost her dad and it was just my grandma and her for a little bit. Roberta was the youngest sibling by 10 years and had always been pretty independent. With all of that, I think that's why Roberta always pushed me to go out and do new things and be totally independent. While I think I definitely get my spirit of adventure from both of my parents, Roberta definitely has more of a YOLO mentality than Moreno. Growing up Roberta would suggest ice cream after dinner, driving down the shore spontaneously to see something or enjoy the beach, or buying some great tickets to see Elton John this coming October in Nashville in the middle of the week because WHY THE HELL NOT (Roberta language).
  3. Prosecco, espresso, and carbs should be their own food group. No explanation needed
  4. Don't waste your time on shitty people and keep your close friends close. One of my constant memories of Roberta is our house phone ringing and it always being one of her girlfriends, usually my Aunt Dode (her childhood best friend). I remember her being on the phone for minutes at a time just chatting and catching up. Now as an adult I realize how important it is to have phone calls with our friends, near and far, and not over text, but truly talking, or Facetiming! I have seen my mom with her friends and knew one day I wanted to have friends like that too. I have seen my mom really give time to those who matter to her outside of family, but with her friends. She's even still good friends with my childhood friend's moms even though we may have grew apart. I think that's special. So to my friends who send me straight to voicemail, know I want to chat because Roberta chats. 
  5. Just be a good person. We didn't really grow up in a religious household, sure we showed up to Mass on Christmas Eve or had a menorah at Chanukah, but religion didn't always play a huge role in our lives. Growing up there were kids who were just straight up mean to me, or as a young adult boys who broke my heart, or friends who turned out not to be truly friends to me, and throughout all of that Roberta always preached to just be nice and not to let it get me down. She always preached "Karma" and reminded me to keep my chin up. She also then would add, "Who do I have to go Jersey on?" 

I hope one day I can be half the mom Roberta is. My friend's make fun of me because I talk to Roberta at least twice a day on the phone and also tag her in memes all of the time, because well, she's Roberta and Roberta does Instagram (ask Briana, my coworkers, Britta, Jeff, Jessie, etc.) I am so lucky to have her as a mom and anyone who knows her is lucky to have her in their life!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! 

a love letter to my fierce friends

Today I had to drive over two hours to Knoxville, TN for a program. I decided that I would pick up a new podcast and to my delight, I found Jen Hatmaker's podcast "For The Love".

The first series in the podcast is around "For the Love of Girlfriends". It couldn't have been more appropriately timed. Lately I have been thinking long and hard about the wonderful girlfriends I have in my life. This past weekend I did a program at a conference for undergraduate students and I expressed the importance of loving your people and leaning on your people during the harder times in your life. This first episode of the series was with author Shauna Niequist. On the podcast, Shauna talks about friendship being a "shelter". She says,

Being sheltered under the nourishment of a friendship, it’s healing; it’s transformative, actually. You receive that kind of friendship because you are that kind of friend

Friendship truly is a shelter. And it is so important to find your people and love on them. So it got me thinking. In the spirit of strong, fierce, wonderful female friendships, I wanted to write a love letter to my friends. Anyhow, what's Valentine's Day without a love letter?

So here we go:

To my dear, wonderful, amazing friends,

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Hi. It's Gabbie. I wanted to take this time and let you know how much I truly love and appreciate every single one of you. Gratitude and spreading love is important to me, and today I want to shower you all with love like Leslie Knope showering Ann Perkins with compliments. It's just important to me.

I want to thank you for loving me when I'm irrational, hangry, or just truly stubborn. I want to thank you for loving me even harder when heart break, depression, or anxiety had taken over in the past. 

I love how you make me laugh uncontrollably and make me see the best version of myself. I love the tough love you give me when it comes to shitty guys, when I want to cut bangs again, or the "I told ya so"s when I choose to eat dairy and feel like hell after because I am lactose intolerant.

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I love when you drink wine with me on my couch and just talk for hours on end. I love when you let me visit you, whether it's in D.C, San Diego, NJ, or FL...because let's be real, my friends live all over the country. I love how we've grown up together, and have seen each other through acne, braces, first loves, prom, and going off to college...those memories can't be replaced no matter how many friends we keep making in this thing called life.

I love how you love on me enough to let me stand next to you at your wedding or cry with you when your heart breaks. I love when you cheer for me as I run crazy miles or let me cheer for you when you reach your goals and your dreams. 

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I love when you are authentically and truly you. My best memories are the late nights at Ikes, the early mornings doing community service, the road trips with the best music, the Homecoming block parties, and Greek Week. 

I love that you are pursuing your dreams and doing big things. I am so lucky to be surrounded by women crushing their goals, whether it be starting non profits and moving to Africa or being the owner of an amazing gym in town. Friends like that are hard to come by and they continue to inspire me.

I love every Instagram meme, Snapchat, text, or tweet you send me. I love the daily G chats to remind me my friends are not as far away as they sometimes can seem. I love how you trust me. I love how I can trust you with anything. 

Most of all, I am so lucky to have each and every single one of you in my life. I wouldn't be half the woman I am today if it wasn't for your support and love. I love how you all rise me up. Thank you for being the constants in my life. Thank you for making me feel like everything will be alright. Thank you all for always being my favorite Galentines. And most importantly...thank you for being my "shelter".

I love you so much!

xox,

Gabbie

new year, new intentions: whole 30 on the road!

So let me preface this blog post with the following:

  1. I am not a nutritional expert and will not claim to be (props to those who are - the pre-reqs in college to be a nutritionist...hard!). That being said this is advice from just an average gal.
  2. The Whole 30 may not be for everyone. Kind of like how Crossfit isn't for me. That being said, here is my PSA that whatever makes your body and you feel good, do that. For some that's the Whole 30, for other's it's eating a plant based diet, or maybe for others it's taking a walk and eating well. Do what works and don't be pressured by what the media deems is critical for "#fitspo". Here's a good article on all that.
  3. This lifestyle may not be realistic all of the time (hence the 30 days), especially with travel, however, after some requests on how I managed this with travel last year when I did the Whole 30, I am going to share with you some tips and tricks of being a #roadwarrior.

SO. Whole 30 and Travel. It's not easy, but it's doable. 80% of the battle is telling yourself that you can do it, you are capable. and you are flexible. So if you travel a lot for work, tell yourself these things right now before you start the Whole 30...and then breathe. Great.

Here is what I learned last year during a travel season and doing the Whole 30...

1. Learn to love the bunless burger, grilled chicken salads, steaks and more! From Carbondale, Illinois to Columbia, South Carolina there are options everywhere.

Last year during the Whole 30 I was traveling to a few different campuses and was nervous about the options. What soon became my go to meals at many restaurants were a burger, no bun, no cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and a side of vegetables (no butter, duh), or a side salad with oil and a lemon or vinegar, or if I was real lucky, a baked potato...(no butter). It is possible. I went to a CHILIS and ordered a steak and two sides of steamed broccoli and told them to not use any butter. Lose your pride now and just ask for these things when you're on the road, you'd be surprised, servers don't act as weird as you think they would! Also, when in doubt, you can always find a grilled chicken salad. 

**Pro tip. If you are lucky and in a town where there is a Whole Foods, go to the hot bar. Ingredients are listed everywhere! Another great option, Chipotle, carnitas salad, no dressing, lettuce, guac, salsa!

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2. Next, know that you are doing the BEST you can and that may mean not grass fed beef and you may not know if anything got cross contaminated.

The risk of eating out will always come with this. Not much more to say about that.

3. PACK SNACKS. DEAR LORD PACK SNACKS. 

If you don't take anything away from this blog post, just take this one nugget away. I always have a purse full of RX Bars, almond butter packs, and other compliant snacks. When the hanger hits and I'm in an airport with one terminal and really no food options, I whip out a RX bar and go to town. Also, you can always find fruit in airports. And nuts. And even hard boiled eggs...just do it. 

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4. Learn to love black coffee or BYOAOCM (Bring your own almond or coconut milk). 

No coffee shop I have ever been to has had an almond milk with no sugar added or no carrageenan...and if you know me, I've been to a lot. Heck I'm writing this from a coffee shop right now. So, come prepared. Or become a tea drinker and pack your own packs!

5. Bring a refillable water bottle everywhere you go!

Most airports now have nifty refillable water bottle stations. Do this! It'll force you to always be drinking water.

6. And last, but not least, tell your colleagues you're doing the Whole 30.

While it is inevitable you may become that annoying person that constantly talks about the Whole 30, jokes aside, it's good to tell the people you work with that you're doing this! That way when it's late after a travel day, and you're a little grumpy because you can't reach for the usual red glass of wine, they will understand!! Also they will be your biggest assets!

 ...but I do. Talk to me or find others in your circle to talk #Whole30 with!

...but I do. Talk to me or find others in your circle to talk #Whole30 with!

I'd love to hear what other tips my fellow road warriors have or come up with! It may be hard, but it is worth it. You can do anything for 30 days!

 

more heart, less attack

Earlier this week, my sweet friend Alison and I went to see NEEDTOBREATHE's acoustic show at The Ryman. Now if you're unfamiliar, The Ryman, otherwise known as "Mother Church", is one of the most historic and amazing music venues in the United States. During their set they totally unplugged at one point, Gavin DeGraw came out, they all sang "Brother", and let the acoustics carry their voices. Incredible and bone chilling.

However I digress. One song by NTB that I love is. "More Heart, Less Attack" and it is a song I've been reflecting on a lot recently.

I started 2017 with an intention to spread love and kindness, and while I feel like I've done an okay job at that, there is one person that towards the end of 2017 I haven't spread enough love to and that person is myself. 

The past two months have been an absolute whirlwind between travel, buying a home, work, and just life in general. While these things have been inherently good, the stress has really taken a toll on me. I've found myself regressing to old habits, making excuses, and just getting into a personal rut that is not healthy. 

My freshman year of college I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Since 2008, I've learned how to manage it and treat it with yoga, essential oils, exercise, journaling, etc. However, recently, because I've been so "busy" (which I DESPISE that word - but we'll save that digression for another time), I haven't been doing much of what I need to manage my mental health. Heck, I even missed a therapy appointment and didn't even realize it until it was too late.

In "More Heart, Less Attack", NEEDTOBREATHE sings:

The more you take, the less you have
’Cause it’s you in the mirror that’s starin’ back
Quick to let go, slow to react
Be more heart and less attack

As I head home for the holidays tomorrow, it is critical that I begin to let go of the narrative in my head that tells me I'm doing not so hot, I need to be intentional in not taking on more in 2018, and I need to be more heart towards myself, and less attack. We as human beings are works in progress, ever changing, and I need to remember that...we all need to remember that.

As we enter 2018 and the holidays, spread more h e a r t y'all; with yourselves, with family, with friends, with strangers. The holidays can be really isolating and hard; be kind to yourselves, make the space you need, and just be present. 

I am thankful I got to experience this amazing show earlier this week and also an amazing show last night (JOHNNYSWIM!) - it's sparked moments of reflection. 

Happy Holidays all! See you in 2018!

 NEEDTOBREATHE at The Ryman

NEEDTOBREATHE at The Ryman

a different kind of "throwback thursday".

A week from today, October 5, 2017, I will be boarding a plane from Nashville to Chicago for my SECOND Chicago Marathon. I'll spend the weekend with my parents, run Sunday, and then drink copious amounts of beers and eat a decent amount of pizza following. I woke up today feeling excited, energized, a little nervous, but ready. During my taper run at lunch though (as with all my runs) I got thinking...

October 5, 2016 looked a lot different. On October 5, 2016 my calendar tells me I went to the coffee shop for the take over of "Luke's" which was to commemorate the return of "Gilmore Girls". I sent a few emails that day and had a phone call. What my calendar fails to capture is that I was really, deeply sad and depressed. My heart was broken. I dragged myself to work that day and tried to find joy in the things I could, but was really hurt.

That week in October started a year of putting myself first, showing up for myself, learning a lot, and making mistakes along the way. The year also forced me to find community and find where I really belonged...which can be hard. I spent a lot of time those first few months, feeling not enough or not worthy. I felt like I was walking through a haze and couldn't totally process or feel things or moments with people. 

Soon enough as I continued to "take back my life" (for lack of a better term), I started to feel whole again and like myself. I made the right friends, had the right community, had the right people on my team, a great family, and my great therapist. While I've written about loving myself, the other night I had the opportunity to see my favorite author Brene Brown and she talked about the idea of belonging and this really resonated with me...especially thinking back to this time last year.

When talking about "True Belonging", one of the biggest pieces I took away from this talk was that we should,

Stop walking through the world looking for the evidence that you don’t belong. We carry our belongings in our own heart.

This hit home for me. I did walk around feeling like I didn't belong, especially after a breakup. The self doubt and feelings of unworthiness did produce this feeling. I felt vulnerable and raw. Seeing Brene and hearing her say this was like full circle.

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I have learned a lot this past year of putting myself first. While companionship is lovely and we are wired for love and connection, I've learned you can have that while not compromising what your priorities in life. I've learned that the people you need in life are the people who show up, physically and emotionally, and you should show up for others and if you can't, provide a reason.

Most importantly though, I've learned what I've always known, but that I am enough, I belong, and taking care of myself does not mean I am selfish, but it is critical to being my best self. I hope that if you're going through something, you know these things too. I think the marathon will be the best way to end this "year" of learning - I am ready to celebrate myself for 26.2 miles in 10 days!