Tag Archives: friends

On reminiscing, milestones, and gratitude.

As we head into Thanksgiving, I love reading friends’ blogs, Facebook, and instagram posts about giving thanks, and gratitude and pending excitement over the kick off to the holiday season, but I tend not to write posts during this time of year about what I am thankful for…partially in line with a post Lindsay wrote once, about being thankful daily, not just once a year (so true!).

But as I looked through some past posts I  had written about the holidays, I realized something. Thanksgiving has been a hugely symbolic part of my journey, starting five years ago, to today.

Five years ago was my first Thanksgiving alone. It was a very raw and emotional time as my separation was just weeks prior, and as hard as it was, having my sister Jen by my side that day made all the difference in the world, and was probably one of the most selfless things she could have done for me that day, and to this day, those memories sit in my heart warmly and is a time I will never forget.

Four years ago was my first Thanksgiving (and set of holidays) that I truly and 100% looked forward to. I adored being able to take these holidays as MINE and to go whereever I wanted, spend time with family that cared about me, and not have to split my time with an in-law side that, well, didn’t like me. They lived two states away, which meant entirely splitting up holidays every other year, and not being able to see my family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, every year. So, to have a blank slate and be able to spend the holidays my way felt like a rare treat.

Three years ago, I was welcomed into M’s family, for the first time. I spent Thanksgiving evening with his family, meeting many of them for the first time. And it was then that I realized my relationship with M was special. If only I know where we’d be three years later…

Two years ago, we spent Thanksgiving together, with my family and M’s family, for the first time. We were living together, and it was our first year to celebrate the holidays in our own place, starting new traditions, and sharing in every moment together.

This year? Wow. We own our first house together. We are married (! I still love saying that, and calling him my husband, and can’t believe it’s only been 5 months!). And we will host our families together, for the very first time. I plan to soak in every minute, amid the chaos and hustle and bustle of hosting a big crowd for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t be more thankful or more happy at where my life – our lives – are now. As our story continues.

Cheers, and to those that celebrate, happy Thanksgiving!

Where our story continues…celebrating ‘at home’

Wow, I really don’t mean for my posts lately to be so far apart ;-)

But, this delay came with good reason. I wanted to share the next in my little mini-series on celebrating our marriage and our new home, with family and friends, this past weekend.

You see, several months back, I sent out a ‘save the date’ housewarming invitation via Facebook to our closest friends and family to make sure the people I cared about most could come and celebrate with us for our wedding reception thinly veiled as a housewarming party. While yes, it was indeed a party for both, we truly envisioned this day being the day we would celebrate with those that were not with us in wine country on our wedding day, and share in the joy of the next stage of our story.

And this weekend, that very celebration commenced. While not all of those I hold dear to me were able to make it (life happens…), we had such an amazing turnout of family, friends, coworkers and barre n9ne ‘family’ – it was just incredible. From family all uniting together, and even my aunt from Minnesota flew in to celebrate with us (meant the WORLD to me), spending the afternoon talking and laughing and showing everyone around the house, to playing with my niece as she ran like the wind through the yard, playing, and ‘showing off’ as she carefully walked across our stone fence holding auntie’s hand ever so slightly as she went, to the feeling of pride spread across our faces as we showed our family our home, some of which were seeing it for the very first time.

On to wave two of the party, the friend ‘part’ and we had that moment of….crickets…are as many people going to come as said they would?! As we looked around at the 18 bottles of wine, countless cases of beer, mounds of appetizers, catered BBQ and two ginormous cakes. And then suddenly, in a wave, a flurry of people came, and celebrated, and it was just the most fun and blur of an evening all wrapped into one (now I totally get how a) people say their wedding reception was a blur…this in itself was a blur and I felt like I barely saw M all night and b) how tiring throwing big parties really is!!).

As we wrapped up the evening after about 10 hours of nonstop activity, we opened some of the gifts our families and friends brought us and were just blown away by the thoughtfulness. From the stone my sister Jen gave us with our last name engraved on it for the yard to the wine box holder to store wine for our first, third and fifth wedding anniversaries (with a special bottle tucked away in the fifth ‘holder’) from Jess, to the carefully selected bottles of wine, to personalized wall plaques and pictures, we just felt so happy, loved and honored.

Collapsing into bed, I don’t think I have ever smiled more. In the home we have now ‘christened’ with family and friends, in our first big party, everything just felt more right than it has ever been. Our story…where it continues, feels complete. In every way. <3

6-30-2013

Oh, the blends I have met!

As I was lamenting on how I wish I was going to the BLEND Retreat, I started counting up just how many blends I have met over the years and how fortunate I feel to have met SO many! I thought it would be fun to go down ‘memory lane’ and share that very list here. These blends (blogger +friend= blend!) span everyone from fellow divorcees, to fellow daters (online and such!), to fit and fab, to any and all of the above. These blends are truly some of the friends that ‘get’ me most of all, that mirror me to a “T” in some cases, who have turned into some of my closest friends, and even, some that live closeby and I get to SEE them (relatively) often - the cherry on top, doncha think?

A trip down memory lane…oh, the blends I have met! (in no particular order!)

the amazing Lindsay Cotter - a beautiful soul, to say the least! (cottercrunch)
the amazing Lindsay Cotter – a beautiful soul, to say the least! (cottercrunch)
Momma Sunshine, Canadian Bald Guy, T! This was the most epic bloggy meetup in Maine EVER!
Momma Sunshine, Canadian Bald Guy, T! This was the most epic bloggy meetup in Maine EVER!
This picture cracks me up - also from the epic Maine bloggy meetup, Twister FTW!
This picture cracks me up – also from the epic Maine bloggy meetup, Twister FTW!

Meeting Lee (In my Tummy) a year ago this week, actually. SUCH fun (we met at a Digital Summit social media event, how fun!)

Meeting Lee (In my Tummy) a year ago this week, actually. SUCH fun (we met at a Digital Summit social media event, how fun!)
Tina Reale also happens to live near Lee, so I ALSO got to meet this beautiful soul (and AGAIN this year at the Chicago Marathon!)
Tina Reale also happens to live near Lee, so I ALSO got to meet this beautiful soul (and AGAIN this year at the Chicago Marathon!)
Marisa from the Immature Matron - she is such an intrinsic soul, and has turned into a good friend, too.
Marisa from the Immature Matron – she is such an intrinsic soul, and has turned into a good friend, too.
Meeting Shannon first at BISC in 2010 (??) to being honored to attend her wedding in October 2012 in Playa del Carmen. Love you friend!
Meeting Shannon first at BISC in 2010 (??) to being honored to attend her wedding in October 2012 in Playa del Carmen. Love you friend!
Meeting (again!) with Tina and Chelsey (Clean Eating Chelsy) at the Chicago Marathon - so fab!!
Meeting (again!) with Tina and Chelsey (Clean Eating Chelsy) at the Chicago Marathon – so fab!!
Meaghan, my beautiful kindred spirit, who lives not 10 mins away. We have so many similarities from our pasts, it's almost scary. <3
Meaghan, my beautiful kindred spirit, who lives not 10 mins away. We have so many similarities from our pasts, it’s almost scary. <3
BISC 2010 - blast from the past, much? Akirah, Shannon, and me!
BISC 2010 – blast from the past, much? Akirah, Shannon, and me!
Also from BISC? Meeting Erika (newlyweds on a budget), and fun fact? I get to see HER quite often as she lives in the same areas as my work!)
Also from BISC? Meeting Erika (newlyweds on a budget), and fun fact? I get to see HER quite often as she lives in the same areas as my work!)
For a second time? Heather!! SUCH a long time coming, and time flew by! (not pictured: Dorry! LOVED that surprise meet-up!!)
For a second time? Heather!! SUCH a long time coming, and time flew by! (not pictured: Dorry! LOVED that surprise meet-up!!)

Whew, I swear there are some that I am missing, but after scouring pictures, that is all I seem to have! (that is quite the list though already!)

Not pictured but met:

Amanda! BEST fact ever about our meeting? I got home from our coffee date and M proposed to me not an hour later…how’s that for an epic meet-up, and one we need to do again VERY soon!! Hell, if that happened when we met last time, can you imagine what would happen this time?!

Also from my weekend in Chicago? Snarkbutt Divorced (blog now defunct), MyHeartHasHope, IntrigueMe, NYSoonerGirl, and for a third time? Shannon! The best weekend of meetups ever! (oh and a kind of sort of meet up? I saw her running the Chicago Marathon but we didn’t get to actually chat, sad face! Heather!)

I do believe INRIS was one of the first bloggers I met! Great great guy :)

LiveLoveRunYoga - LOVE her, she’s awesome, AND another local!! :)

These Happy Miles – another fab local runner! we still have yet to meet up again, but we must…barre and running ;-)

Westford Mommy – yet ANOTHER local fab runner! She came to barre n9ne once, which was so much fun!! Also needs to happen again :)

Poise in Parma – gah, another fabulous meet-up – her brother lives in Boston, and it was suuuuch a fun meetup with Jess (somewhat!) recently. Redo needed :)

Adding all of these up, it’s kind of crazy how many I have met, and how many I *still* want to meet. So SO many. I am fortunate I have a job that has taken me to many locations where I have blends in, so I have been able to meet so many that way. And I have my bucket list of blends I still am dying to meet (Sarena, Spabettie, Christine, NaomiRachel - this one is in the works, must happen!, City Girl, Booshy (fun fact! I was in her town and we didn’t get to meet up in the 24 hours I was there but she left me a gift at my hotel. sweetest.thing.ever and the list goes ooooonn and onnn!)

Have you met a blend before? Do you have any on your list you would love to meet? And if you have met a blend before, doesn’t it almost feel like a blind date at first? ;-) 

Affirmations.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are…Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”

…even when you have doubts.
…even during moments of self image weakness.
….even when it scares you.
believe in yourself. always.

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others…let others get inspired by how you handle your imperfections

…perfection isn’t realistic.
…perfection isn’t happy.
…inspiration comes from happiness, overcoming, and perseverance.
…quietly inspire someone today, or BE inspired today.

“If it scares you..it might be a good thing to try.”

…unseat comfort zones (this means me, too!).
…stick your neck out, you’ll never be dissapointed that you did.
…do LIFE differently.

“You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to BE around.”

…CHOOSE your friends.
…step away from those don’t meet you halfway.
…draw a line in the sand, because there’s no sense spreading yourself so thin you don’t enjoy living.

“Someone is thankful for less than YOU have”

…hi, humbleness.
…house? it’ll come.
…able bodied? check.
…imperfections? We all have ‘em.
…live blessed, happy, gracious lives.

“I have no time for your negative bullshit.”

…no words needed. universal.truth.

Just some thoughts swirling today…these happen to be my universal truths walking around as affirmations I need to hear more often than I sometimes want to admit. But at the core of it? This life is meant to be a challenge, so choose it, it is meant to be lived, so shrug off the negativity, it is meant to be learned from, so stare straight at it and grasp what it’s telling you. 

Cheers friends!

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An update and tidbits.

Today’s an update and quasi random post kind of day.

An update on the knee. 

Well, it’s not much of a surprise to me, but after my first PT appointment today, it is indeed IT band syndrome that is affecting my knee when I run.   What was a surprise is that it is BOTH IT bands that are uber tight, yet, only my right knee is bothering me. The loose plan is for me to foam roll the crap out of my IT band (on both sides) between now and Friday’s appointment. At that appointment, she will have me run for a few minute and watch my gait (side note: I am ridiculousness excited to run, even if it is just for a few minutes!) and prescribe some strengthening exercises that we will work on for the next few weeks. I cannot run for at least a week, maybe two, and then she will have me slowly ramp up running again (yay!).

I actually feel really good about this and think, per today’s She Reads Truth, it all has a point. I am meant to learn from this – already, learning – I don’t stretch enough, nor foam roll (barely) at all, and I could only stay un-injured for so long, in my opinion. I am grateful to catch it early and fix it now. Now, to make this a habit, long term. I WILL. I MUST. It also tells me I need to continue to cross-train, keep my legs strong, spin, walk, work on stronger hamstrings (suggested exercises for the ole hammies welcomed!). 

Branching out, of the food variety.

It’s no secret that I have a love affair with oatmeal for breakfast. And wraps for lunch (of the Joseph’s, Flatout, and Fiber One variety!). Love, love, LOVE them. But lately, I have started to wonder if I need to branch out a little. Try some new options and intersperse them with my standbys. I will alternate lunches and do up some loaded salads (tuna, chicken salad, hard boiled eggs etc), but I always go back to wraps. And oatmeal for breakfast? Forget it, I never change this one. Hardly ever. Maybe eggs and toast for breakfast on a weekend day. But beyond that, not much.

I started a new board on Pinterest on all things Greek yogurt, because I want to play around with alternate breakfasts, like yogurt and fruit bowls, maybe a smoothie if I can find one that is fueling yet not uber caloric either. My mind is a little all over the place here. Because I like my go-to’s. I LOVE them. But I think change is good. So I look to you, friends, for your latest and greatest finds and suggestions! Please share :-)

Travel upcoming.

It’s that time again. More work travel abounds! A week from Sunday, I am off to California for my company’s sales kick off. It’s my third year attending, and while I hate leaving on a Sunday, I am actually looking forward to it this year…in large part because this girl is ALSO going to California for her sales kick off and it’s a town away from MINE (WHAT are the odds?!), so what did we do? Booked our return flight home from LAX together! That’s right, 6 hours of straight up FUN flying home. Probably the first time I will ever look forward to a long flight. We may have too much fun of the let’s have a drink (or 8) variety, but I think it shall be epic ;-)

And?

In April, M and I are going to Napa!! No, it’s not Healdsburg, BUT it’s a close second. He has a conference in Napa and of course I am tagging along. OF COURSE. Who wouldn’t!? So off we go in late April to Napa for a few days and then…to Southern Cali so I can go to work for a few days and finally – finally – show him around where I work, meet co-workers etc. I am REALLY excited about both parts of this trip!!

So, there ya have it, some random updates and tidbits on this Tuesday-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Wednesday post ;)

(PS bet you are surprised I didn’t write anything about barre n9ne in this post. Me too. Hehe. More on that later this week, I am thinking!) Don’t forget to share your latest foodie finds with meeeee! :-)