Lisa WorkmanSocialMoms, meet happiness and beautiful simplicity, personified.

Lisa Workman, 36, a married mother of three living in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, Virginia, leads what sounds to me like the idyllic rural lifestyle. She and her husband made an “intentional decision” to move to the area from Houston 13 years ago, hoping that a lower cost of living would afford them some land and access to the outdoors.

Now, as proud owners of Two Bears Farm (which inspired the name of her blog) and parents of three boys under age 5 (including 2-year-old twins!), Lisa says she can’t think of anywhere else she’d love living more.

“These beautiful blue mountains are my home,” says Lisa, who grew up in Virginia and calls herself an East Coast girl, through-and-through. “All I have to do is go outside at night and look up at the stars, and I know I’m in the right place.”

Lisa’s love for her surroundings is evident in her blogging style. She participates in a Rural Thursday blog hop to connect with other rural bloggers, and even has a “Meet the Animals” menu (they have 18 furry, feathered and “gilly” friends). But she covers all kinds of topics, including her two passions: running (she’s completed 8 marathons!) and horses. And that’s not even counting Lisa’s professional background (and masters degree) in neuropsychology.

“I think my background leads me to overanalyze my posts sometimes,” says Lisa, who admits she’s refrained from publishing posts.  “I’m well aware of the effect that words may have on people, and I hope that my blog will always serve to build others up, to make them smile and bring some little happiness to their day.”

What does running mean to you? Is there a spiritual aspect to it, or is it just your preferred choice of exercise? 

“I started running over 9 years ago when I made a New Year’s resolution to replace a smoking habit with a running habit.  In the years that followed, I discovered it’s a much better way to deal with the stress that life throws my way, and it brings me such joy.  Even the runs that are so hard that every step is a struggle (like last weekend, when I did track repeats in 30 mph wind gusts with an earache and low grade fever) give me a happiness boost.  I haven’t really thought of it as spiritual, but I often think of myself as a Zen runner, because I don’t run with a watch—I run with my heart and just do the best I can on any given day.  So I guess in a way it is spiritual for me.”

What are you passionate about?

“I’m passionate about the outdoors, running, my family, reading, blogging, living a life with small daily eco-friendly efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.”

What drives you crazy?

“Littering, pettiness, a very messy house, a loud radio, politics.”

What fun things do you like doing with your family?

“We love hiking, camping, taking little day trips, gardening, and treating ourselves to ice cream at a local creamery in the summer.”

Describe your perfect Saturday. 

“All my Saturdays start with a run at the track—it’s when I do my speedwork. So perfect would be breaking that 7 minute mile barrier (I do hope this will happen one of these days!), coming home and grabbing a shower, working in the garden with the boys a bit, then in the afternoon hiking up our mountain to enjoy some s’mores at our campspot and some fresh air.  It might involve some roasted corn on the cob too—we all love corn on the cob!  I’m a simple person and kind of a homebody, so it doesn’t take much to make me happy on any given Saturday.”