Tag Archives: family

2012…the highlights reel.

I almost didn’t write this post, because it is SO hard for me to wrap up a year that was truly one of the best years of my life, but I thought a fun post in ‘highlight reel’ fashion would be a fun way to recap some fun moments.

2012 in highlights:

 I unseated comfort zones, from work, to running, to becoming certified in barre n9ne

I traveled, traveled, traveled (to wine country, Mexico, and the Bahamas)

I experienced an unforgettable wedding

I lived the shit out of Maine, lakation-style

Met blog friends in Atlanta, Chicago Austin, AND Maine ‘bloggy meet-up’ style

I spent more time with my family and sisters, and the most beautiful niece in the world

And the biggest highlight of 2012 most certainly has to be when M asked me to marry him ❤

2012 is a year that I lived, loved, and played hard…a year I truly lived the shit out of. And 2013? I’m coming for you, like whoa. Happy New Year, friends, and thank you all for sharing this year with me, it’s truly been a blessed, gratitude-filled year. ❤

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Wordless Wednesday (almost)…the holidays, in pictures.

This is the first year that my family has staggered the holidays in such a perfect way that we’ve not only had a chance to see each other in various family settings (baking cookies with my sisters, niece and mom, celebrating Christmas at my dad’s with my sisters and niece, celebrating with M’s family, and finally, hosting Christmas at our house for the first time ever, with my sister Jess and Scott and my mom – sans grandparents who weren’t feeling well, though we did get a ‘virtual’ visit via Skype!), it’s felt busy-ish but not rushed, savored, not blurry, and with the right level of balance I am striving for right now. In a word, this holiday so far has been: perfect.

So I give you an almost wordless Wednesday, the holidays, in pictures. Cheers!

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Showering my niece in the girliest of girly clothes, and she *had* to model them for us. She is *such* a girl! <3
Showering my niece in the girliest of girly clothes, and she *had* to model them for us. She is *such* a girl! ❤
Celebrating Christmas bestie-style. A long time coming!
Celebrating Christmas bestie-style. A long time coming!
Moments of Isabel sprinkled throughout the weekend. And when she reaches for a hug and a kiss, it's evident that she has a heart just like her namesake, my Nonna. SO loving (just like my sister Jen, too!) <3
Moments of Isabel sprinkled throughout the weekend. And when she reaches for a hug and a kiss, it’s evident that she has a heart just like her namesake, my Nonna. SO loving (just like my sister Jen, too!) ❤
Capturing some family shots. I LOVE the picture I captured of my dad gathering Isabel up into a giant 'dad hug' and kiss.
Capturing some family shots. I LOVE the picture I captured of my dad gathering Isabel up into a giant ‘dad hug’ and kiss.
The holidays wouldn't even be complete without some fitdates with besties and my 'kindred' Meaghan, and lots and lots of barre n9ne action!
The holidays wouldn’t even be complete without some fitdates with besties and my ‘kindred’ Meaghan, and lots and lots of barre n9ne action!
Brunch is most definitely going to become a new tradition for Christmas! It was delish! Menu: mini bagels, cream cheese and lox, crackers and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, craisin/walnut/apple/spinach salad, potato leek soup, and for 'dessert' - greek yogurt with pear/apple/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, granola and flax (a yogurt 'bar'!), and the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had (thank you sis!!), topped off with prosecco/mimosas!
Brunch is most definitely going to become a new tradition for Christmas! It was delish! Menu: mini bagels, cream cheese and lox, crackers and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, craisin/walnut/apple/spinach salad, potato leek soup, and for ‘dessert’ – greek yogurt with pear/apple/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, granola and flax (a yogurt ‘bar’!), and the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had (thank you sis!!), topped off with prosecco/mimosas!
A few candids/bloopers always make it fun ;-)
A few candids/bloopers always make it fun 😉

A smattering of thoughts.

Yes, I did say smattering.

(is that even a word. Wait. Don’t answer that. I kinda like it, even if it isn’t!)

I feel like I don’t have a heck of a lot to say on one given topic right now, but I have enough to say to toss some up here. Take it or leave it ; -)

I was driving home from the studio last night (talk about diving right back into teaching after almost two weeks of travel and not many classes taught or taken in between – total withdrawal – teaching 3 classes yesterday, wheeeee! end side note) and I flipped on ‘Ave Maria’ – the Beyonce remake of that song and wow, the words struck me. I found myself thinking ‘wouldn’t that song be perfect when we get married?’

And then I listened to another of my all-time favorites ‘You are the Best Thing’ by Ray LaMontagne and thought ‘swoon…this is *exactly* how I feel about M. *This* should be ‘our’ song’ shouldn’t it? 

(like how I completely bypass any other details about said marriage/wedding? doing this ‘my way’ after all…)

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I am *totally* embracing being home and in my own routine, with my own food, my own choices, everything. Talk about appreciating more and more my ability to work from home, huh? As much as traveling for work has really expanded my horizons and my confidence, it’s also much more taxing than it may look from the outside looking in. At least I always find it that way. If anyone knows the secret to traveling and not being bone-tired after, please share 😉

And, after my last trip, I was inspired to put together some of my bigger a-ha moments when it comes to travel and balancing your food choices for the ladies of barre n9ne studio. Check out my guest post on it (I was going to cross-post it here, but figure you can swing on over and take a peek if you are interested!).

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For the first year in many, I feel as though the holidays won’t go screaming past me in a blur. While I have a lot of back to back family gatherings next weekend leading into Christmas, I purposely did not overbook weekends leading into it (this past planless weekend? GENIUS.) and I feel ready and excited for the holidays!

AND M and I are hosting Christmas DAY this year at our apartment and I couldn’t be more excited about that (good thing we started new holiday traditions huh?). We’re hosting my sisters (I think both of them can come, but as a matter of fact, that may not be true, BUT I will see them both the days leading into Christmas too – score!), my mom and my grandparents  for lunch and another genius move on my part? I’ve decided to make a brunch menu since I think everyone will be nearing ‘food fatigue’ where one big meal too many will cause ‘sick of food-itis’ which ALWAYS happens to me after the holidays. It’s not about overindulging, just about wanting a simple meal vs. a roast, a turkey, a ham, etc. Ya know? (or is it just me?!). Pinterest will be my consultant for all things brunch. Got any good ideas? I’d love to hear them (and pin them!).

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Anyhoo, that’s all I got. (and, like so many others, I am silently honoring the victims in the CT shootings…at least here on my blog, but will be keeping top of mind to ‘pay it forward’ as much as possible this holiday season, and always.)

 

Happy things Friday

It’s yet another FEF up in here people. Finally Effing Friday, for those that are just tuning in 😉

Good GRIEF has it been a long long LONG week of travel. Let’s see, 4 planes this week, 3 planes last week, thousands of miles in between, and I am toast. While the first leg of two weeks of travel was for pleasure, this week was just.so.tiring. So I think I deserve to revel in the fact that I am home, I am in my own home, my own routine, my own FOOD.

So here are a few things that are making me happy – beyond the fact that I am home 😉

Getting a promotion!! I had my review while I was in the office this week in California and not only did I get a pretty sizable raise, I got a promotion! I was floored. I was hoping it would be coming soon, but had no idea my boss had been working on this for months.

Feeling like a hugely valued employee. Combine the aforementioned with the nicest, most heartfelt, most complimentary email I have ever ever received from ANYONE and I am a very happy employee. My boss’ boss (who becomes interim boss for me when she is on maternity leave – again – next summer) sent me not only a Christmas card with a gift card inside, he sent me an email that said – in effect, this: Perhaps the most special thing about you and many won’t realize, is that you are making people around  you better than they were before they met you.  I can guarantee you that in their next job they will take the things you have taught them and they will look much smarter and accomplished than they are…some will give you credit, some won’t, but I will know they are improved because they worked with you.

Um, wow. Speechless. Utterly.

(with such a tough travel week, and feeling challenged by the time change and inability to choose my own meals 90% of the time, the aforementioned, plus feeling like I ate so mindfully this week and so peacefully felt like a huge accomplishment!!)

68176_10151285028751170_1225021644_nMeeting the one and only Lindsay Cotter (AND her dog AND her husband!!) While on my cross-country ‘tour’ this week (first in California, and then in Austin), I was extremely fortunate to meet Lindsay Cotter. Finally. It’s been years of following her blog, and really becoming friends – aka blends! (blog friends!), so I was thrilled to finally meet her. We walked around the lake, we talked, we met up with James and her brother in law and their cute as hell pup at the dog park, and then I got a treat by seeing the Whole Foods HEADQUARTERS store, oh em gee. I could spend all day in there. It was a perfect afternoon and capper to one long ass week. Thank you Lindsay!! SO much! (AND for the Healthy Bites treats you gave me for my flight!!)

And a weekend ahead that is almost planLESS. Yep, you read that right. An almost planLESS weekend. I. Cannot. Wait.

Happy Friday, friends, make this weekend a goodie!

The fear of ‘too good.’

On my drive to the airport this morning (now almost seeming to feel like yesterday! long day!), I got the overwhelming fear of ‘too good.’ Of my life, at this very moment (despite my sadness at saying goodbye to M at the airport), that it feels too good. For too long. And something is bound to give.

The other shoe to drop.

The fear of ‘too good.’

I silently prayed. For safety. For M, my family…me. And for faith. To *not* fear the worst and instead, go forward thinking the best. But sometimes, it’s hard to wrap my head around ‘the best’ because I feel like my life is the best. Yes, I worked for it. Damn hard. Yes, I fought for it. Damn hard. And yes, I deserve it. Damn straight I do. But sometimes, I fear that I don’t deserve it. That something is bound to happen. That I am ‘due’ for a lesson. A tough road. A path I may not want to walk down.

Maybe it’s the fear of complacency. That fear is deep within because I became so complacent with my life, for almost a decade before I was slapped upside the head with reality .Divorce. Starting from scratch. Losing what I thought was the best life then. And little did I know all that would unfold in front of me that would blow that life out of the water.

So why do I fear it still? Is it natural? Maybe. Is it lack of faith in God, in myself, in my life? Maybe…just a little bit. And I hate to admit that, because it screams failure, weakness and lacking in faith, to its very core.

But maybe that fear is what keeps me in check. Maybe I needed to fear the worst, to worry that things were tipping towards ‘too good’ and it would now swing back. Maybe if I didn’t feel fear of the ‘other shoe to drop’ – it would drop. Because of complacency.

Or maybe, it’s a combination of complacency and checks and balances all wrapped together.  A reminder to always show gratitude, feel gratitude and say words of gratitude, too. Say I love you. More. Often. Show love, and not just take it in. And pay it forward. Go beyond words, and into action. Do more, kick complacency and challenge the premise of ‘too good’ – because as good as life is, there is always more to do, to keep it good, to make it better, to strengthen.

I’m sure I’m rambling. And it may not make a lot of sense. But writing it out, I feel better. Grateful. And faithful.

Maybe sometimes pushing away complacency and fears is by simply believing