Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The last day of 2013 came so fast!  So many memories were running through my mind this morning and I was left with a satisfied yet 'give me more' feeling.  That is typical for a girl like me.  A girl who spent her young years afraid to make a mistake and so eager to please everyone around me that I was often left feeling empty and as if my dreams were never even recognized by my very own self.  I grew up good and I grew up slow and the moment life was handed to me to do whatever I pleased, I froze.  My first college was a bust.  My second college was scary as hell.  And then all of a sudden I realized that there was more to life than choosing a major and making it to class 15 minutes early every.single.day.  I spread my wings slightly, I made mistakes, and I was hurt more often than not but I started to learn a little bit about myself, about life, and about relationships.  And guess what? 

It was still scary as hell, but I began to be extremely thankful for myself.

I made my way back to this town where faces were familiar and everything was comfortable.  I spent days wishing I could go back to the parties and back to the moments where my life seemed so simple, like I was living and nothing mattered except for me.  Nearly two months after this a man entered my life and taught me differently.  He taught me that there are two parts of life.  There is the stages we go through and the transitions we make while entering a new one.  I learned that I loved the stages and I hated the transitions.  He also showed me that when I was living my life like it was only me that mattered I was truly missing out.  My life became better when he held my hand, when he kissed my shoulder, and when he took  me on a morning date rather than meeting me 'out' at 11 PM.  Life was better when I had someone else to care for and when someone else was caring for me.  I was so in love I couldn't even stand it.

More transitions started as we began to build our life together.  My transition period from being a single and outgoing girl in college to an unemployed college graduate living in my parent's basement was pretty ugly.  I became extremely anxious, depressed, and physically ill that I never thought I would make it through this year.  And here I am, on its final day, typing out words into this dear diary of mine thanking God that I moved home, met a boy who never gave up on me once, and was reunited with a family that absolutely adores one another.  I'm officially in a stage, for once in my life, that I never want to run away from. 

There is, however, this tiny voice in my head that's telling me that things are going to change.  Let's face it, our lives are entirely revolved around change and the transitions we make to adapt to those changes are what makes us who we are and what makes us stronger.  This morning I laid in bed and felt the soft kiss against my hand from our newest family member.  I watched her stretch her legs across the bed and with no hesitation, she took a big belly breath and fell into another deep sleep.  No worries, no concerns, and so at peace.  I closed my eyes and thought about my life and everything that's happened.  My thoughts narrowed to this year's experiences and within seconds, my thoughts faded quickly from what has happened to what I want and what my heart really desires.  I began this final day in 2013 by giving myself two options. 

I can continue to live my life in stages, praying that each transition becomes easier and easier.  I can live a mediocre life where things are comfortable and familiar.  I can continue to set goals and never talk about them because I fear how others view me.  I can keep crying about the employers that never return my calls and I can continue to stress over the minor details in life that nobody on this earth will ever care about except for me and my anxious personality.  Or I can do more...

I can crave the transitions and what they are creating.  I can dig deep into my heart and into the heart's of others and search for words that have never been written or spoke of and use them to create a source of positive change.  I can jump into every adventure by saying yes to as many things as possible and go out of my comfort zone to discover beautiful parts of myself and this life that I didn't imagine every existing.  I can set goals and not only talk about them but scream them out loud off the highest point in this town I so dearly love.  I can find that place.  I will find that place.  And lastly, I do not have to wait until I reach those goals in order to be proud of myself.  I can be proud now, in this very moment.  We, as humans, do not give ourselves enough credit for our strengths and for the amazing and extraordinary things we can accomplish and have already accomplished.  We are so full of them even by the time we leave the womb, by the time we take our first step!

I left my bed this morning feeling more energized than ever.  Beretta stretched out again, not having a clue of what the day would bring, much like all of her days.  She remains curious, however, and leaps at every opportunity to learn, to run, to play, and to protect.  As I dressed, I thought about how I wished more people could live this way.  She  tipped her head back and forth as she watched me joyfully walk from one room to the next, almost as if I was dancing.  And to my surprise, like my Beretta girl, I have no idea where I'm going today or tonight or even the slightest clue as to what this new year will bring.  But one thing I need to make certain for 2014 is that I'm going to get lost.  It is absolutely essential to get lost once in awhile in order to find where you belong.  If you are in a stage in your life right now, I encourage you to make a transition.  I pray for you to sing and to make a fool of yourself and to get uncomfortable.  I pray that you choose a major and be completely okay with deciding it's not for you.  I pray for a job that truly makes you happy rather than the materials it allows you to buy.  I give you confidence in your goals and pass no judgment on them because they are beautiful and worth every single ounce of discipline you'll need to reach them.  You can do more than you will ever think.  And lastly, I encourage you to live your life in a way where you are not the most important one.  Allow that special someone to show you the supernatural feeling of sharing your life.  Let him hold you and if you do one thing, believe in his words when he tells you that you will heal and you will overcome whatever battle you are faced with.  And while you think about sharing your life with others, please keep in mind to never rely on other people to make you happy.  Your happiness depends entirely on you.  You are a powerful being with a choice and I pray that you choose to be filled with joy and to share it with the world every single day.   Will you see every situation as a storm that never passes?  Or will you lift your hands to the pouring rain and ask for more because the burning flame inside of you is trusting that it will eventually pass and spread sunlight over every living creature on this earth?  I cannot wait to transition from this year into next's.  I cannot wait to share my passion through words, through health, and through giving more and receiving less. 

Cheers to 2013 and all of the experiences that filled my heart.  And cheers to 2014 and all of the blank pages it will allow me to fill. 

I absolutely love life.  I love it I love it I love it!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

just because.


i sure have fell off the blogging train over the last couple of weeks, boy oh boy!  i've been all over the place physically and emotionally so it might be better that i've taken a teeny tiny break.  i'm sure my ramblings on job searching, coffee drinking, and puppy training would get a little exhausting to read so rather then going into more detail about those things i have something else to share!

the holidays can be a stressful time.  as I was shopping today, i found myself stressing about...

what to buy.
how much to buy.
will they like it?
why did i wait so long to shop?
my finances.
and the never ending thought,
"i have so much to do."

as our to-do lists climb, remember that while this time of year is primarily about family and love and giving, there are certain things in our life that we need to remember to let go of as well.

so starting today…
  1. Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.
  2. Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
  3. Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.
  4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
  5. Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
  6. Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
  7. Give up lying. – In the long-run the truth always reveals itself.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  8. Give up trying to avoid mistakes. – The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  9. Give up saying, “I can’t.” – As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  10. Give up trying to be everything to everyone. – Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Start small.  Start now.
  11. Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  12. Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail.  Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.
  13. Give up trying to do everything by yourself. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you work together, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
  14. Give up buying things you don’t need. – Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
  15. Give up blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  16. Give up making mountains out of molehills. – One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  17. Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others. – Work on it for real and exceed your own expectations.  Everything else will fall into place.
  18. Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality. – There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well.  No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.
  19. Give up making promises you can’t keep. – Don’t over-promise.  Over-deliver on everything you do.
  20. Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.
  21. Give up beating around the bush. – Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Communicate effectively.
  22. Give up avoiding change. – However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
  23. Give up your sense of entitlement. – Nobody is entitled to anything in this world.  We are all equal.  We breathe the same air.  We get what we give.  We get what we earn.
  24. Give up waiting until the last minute. – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  25. Give up being dramatic. – Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.
  26. Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving!  Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program.
  27. Give up junk food. – You are what you eat.
  28. Give up eating as a means of entertainment. – Don’t eat when you’re bored.  Eat when you’re hungry.
  29. Give up foolish habits that you know are foolish. – Don’t text and drive.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t smoke.  Etc.
  30. Give up relationships with people who bring you down. – Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
  31. Give up being shy. – Network with people.  Meet new people.  Ask questions.  Introduce yourself.
  32. Give up worrying about what others think of you. – Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  33. Give up trying to control everything. – Life is an unpredictable phenomenon.  No matter how good or bad things seem right now, we can never be 100% certain what will happen next.  So do you best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.
  34. Give up doing the same thing over and over again. – In order to grow, you must expand your horizons and break free of your comfort zone.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  35. Give up following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t find the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  36. Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.
  37. Give up thinking others are luckier than you. – The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  38. Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities. – It’s okay to be alone.  It’s okay to do nothing sometimes.  Think.  Relax. Breathe.  Be.
  39. Give up making emotional decisions. – Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
  40. Give up doing the wrong things just because you can get away with it. – Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.  Think bigger.  Keep the end in mind.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  41. Give up focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  42. Give up taking yourself so seriously. – Few others do anyway.  So enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.
  43. Give up spending your life working in a career field you’re not passionate about. – Life is too short for such nonsense.  The right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing.  So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  44. Give up thinking about the things you don’t have. – Appreciate everything you do have.  Many people aren’t so lucky.
  45. Give up doubting others. – People who are determined do remarkable things.  Remember, the one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one doing it.
  46. Give up fussing with every beauty product on the market. – Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  That’s when you’re beautiful.
  47. Give up trying to fit in. – Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not.  Be yourself.  Oftentimes, the only reason they want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.
  48. Give up trying to be different for the sake of being different. – Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity is conformity.  When people try too hard to be different, they usually end up being just like everyone else who is trying to be different.  Once again, be yourself.
  49. Give up trying to avoid risk. – There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  50. Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
"and remember, mistakes make us human, failures help us grow, hope keeps us going and love is the reason we’re alive.  So keep learning, loving and living.  never give up on yourself."

i'm so happy i came across this article this afternoon as it was a great reminder of releasing and letting go of the often toxic areas that consume our life.  ahhh i'm officially happy and content today.

mostly because last night we made these...

and i get to love on this little lady every.single.day.

i promise to have some workouts up soon.  my foot is feeling much much better so guess what that means? 

family workout number two TOMORROW!

cheers to letting go, giving every day your absolute best, and fridays!


Monday, December 16, 2013

staying positive.

Sunday morning.  The clock read 7:00 AM.  I swung my legs out of bed having every intention to make today a productive one .  I took one step and immediately felt my left foot give out on me.  I knew something felt off when I got off the treadmill last night but like every other runner in the world, I pushed the injury as far back into my mind as it could possibly go and continued on with my night.  I stretched, I ate dinner, and slept a much needed eight hours before I realized that this day might not be as good as I had hoped for.

Having a bum foot is one thing, but what really bothered me were the thoughts that instantly started racing through my head.  "How am I going to work out today?"  "How am I going to continue adding miles if this is how I'm going to feel when I'm finished?"  "If I don't work out today I'm going to lose every ability to reach my goals and be happy."  And so on...

I think these are natural thoughts for many people who are active.  Once it becomes a part of your everyday life it's hard to go about your week without it.  I sat there this morning with my coffee, upset that I couldn't and wouldn't be able to do anything active today.  And then the little light bulb in my head went off...

Rather than focusing on what  I can't do, I needed to focus on what I can do.  Just because I can't run or do much walking right now does not mean that I can't swim, work my upper body, do core work, or even some light yoga poses.  As a runner, I get so fixated on miles and speeds and distance per week and it's just...gross.  We should not have to live our life praying for a treadmill run four times a week and even more than that, we should not have to worry about an injury completely ruining our ability to be happy.  Active people sometimes suffer from injuries and that is just part of life.  The only thing you can do is give your body time, rest, and the care it needs so that you can do better next time. 

Here are my tips to overcome exercise setbacks. 
     If you think you should see a doctor, you're probably right.  If you believe you truly injured yourself and need a second opinion, go get it looked it.  There is nothing worse than not knowing what the real problem is and it can affect your sleep, your mood, and your stress levels if you go day after day just hoping it will go away.

·        Keep focusing on the things that you can do.  Like I said, I can't run or do anything with impact, however, I need to think about what I'm still capable of.  Sunday afternoon I hobbled around my entire house and cleaned and did 15 minutes of core work.  Today I'm going to do an upper body circuit and some stretching.  There are so many ways to get your heart rate slightly elevated!

·         Find fitness in your everyday life ---->  as my mom would say, 'weekly maintenance cleaning' is a wonderful saturday workout.

·         Focus on your diet.  Amp up your fruit and veggie intake, skip the second piece of candy, and avoid heavy meals that are hard to digest.

·         Allow yourself a break.  If you are typically an active person, give yourself a much needed time off.  If you think about it, a high school sport only lasts for a fall, winter, or spring season.  What do athletes do during their off season?  After a week or two of rest, they begin training again.  Everybody needs a small break once in a while.  It will make your cherish fitness even more when you return.  I've burned myself out a few times before and it's a terrible feeling.  My immune system was weak, my body was always tired, and I was never in a good mood.

·         Focus on one other area of health.  Since I can't do much exercise right now, I'm trying to put my energy towards another area of healthy living, my mind!  I went over to my parent's house last night and grabbed a few books from my mom's bookshelf and spent the evening reading and drinking three mugs of ice water before bed.  It felt good to just relax a little bit!

Happy Monday to you all.  Have a beautiful week and always remember...

 I'm a sucker for The Lion King and it makes me cry every single time I watch it.  I'm such a sap.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

chocolate covered espresso beans.

I have been picking at a bag of these for the last few days now...and they totally made my Monday wonderful!

On a healthier note, I started my morning with a 45 minute treadmill run and the perfect chocolate smoothie! 

In to my blender went:

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 banana
pinch of cinnamon
a small handful of old fashioned oats

Like usual I ate it next to my fire place while I played with Etta and watched her choose between each and every toy from her bucket before she decided that chasing her tail would be much more fun.

If there is anything that I've learned from her over the past few weeks, however, it is that no matter how complicated your days can feel or become, love is actually quite simple.

My family came over on Saturday morning for our first family workout of the winter season!  Not only was it a success, it was a blast!  We laughed and worked out like crazy and we chuckled at my mom's modified jumping jacks.  She'll get it!

On Sunday morning I woke up extra early for one more little circuit workout before church.  Nick came downstairs with Etta and a coffee at 7 AM and it was a sweet little surprise.

Here's what it looked like:

60 Seconds Squat Jumps
25 Push Ups
60 Second Squat Jumps
60 Second Jumping Jacks
60 Second Jump Rope
60 Second Plank
60 Second Jump Rope
60 Second Jumping Lunges
60 Second Burpees
60 Second Run in Place
60 Second Alternating Lunges
25 Push Ups
100 Variety Crunches
60 Second Plank
Repeat 1X

I'm a strong believer in circuit workouts.  I wouldn't be able to do them everyday as all of the jumping would be hard on my knees and joints but I try to do them a couple of times a week to switch it up a bit.  Tabata style workouts or HIIT training is a form of exercise that is said to increase the amount of Human Growth Hormone in our bodies which is needed for strength and vigor.  It also burns fat, increases  your metabolism, can vary between strength and cardio, and decreases your chance of exercise boredom!  

I absolutely love it.