December 15, 2017

Weekly Wins {Ten Days Until CHRISTMAS}

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Are you ready? I think I am, mostly. I'm sure I've forgotten something though, it always happens. But, then that person gets extra because I buy something after sales, so kind of winning right? It was a long, busy week here, with not a lot of sleep, but it was also a good one too. On to the wins for the week, yay!


.:. SportySpice is on the East Coast aka HOME! YAY, wheeee! WAHOOOOOOOO!

.;. Today I'm flying up to DC to see family and cohost her baby shower. It is Santa Baby themed and we are oh so excited to celebrate Sportyspice and our lil baby niece. Some of my friends are coming up early to help and it will be a lovely afternoon for sure.

.:. Extreme gratefulness is the them of my heart even during the stress and bustle of everything this month. When I started writing my yearly recap I realized how far we have come since last year. A year in our home almost, wow! It's funny when you think about time, how short 365 days can seem when life moves at a happy clip. But when life is ever so hard, when days feel like years due to arduous work and stress it is easy to sink into the 'stuck in the weeds forever' feeling. Broken record, I know, but those of you dealing with tough times keep your chin up, okay? It will get better, I am living, breathing proof.

.:. Multiple glasses of hot cocoa were consumed this week. Glorious indulgence during the festive season. January with come soon enough, but for now, I'm enjoying delicious cocoa when I want.

.:. Management sided with me regarding the stolen class situation and I'm so thankful to be so supported. I honestly try to do my best to get along with everyone, support the team, while being someone people can count on all the time, so having someone go behind my back [again] totally through me for a loop. Knowing where I stand at my gym and being valued is amazing.

.:.Today is double payday, WOOOOOOP

.:. Le Husband finished making my Christmas card holder and I'm so stoked. Pictures to come next week because I still need my little clothespins. Any ideas, friends?

Wishing you an awesome weekend before Christmas. Catch you Monday, lovelies! < 3

December 14, 2017

Year in Review { Jan, Feb, March }

Through the course of this blog's history, December has been used to quarterly recap the previous year. Last year was a bit of a wash in blogland after our move, which didn't leave much to recap. Our 2016 was basically PREP for the move, VISIT Europe, MOVE, freak out when things didn't happen the way we expected and SCENE!

This year has been tough, but better. Blogging still took a major backseat to life at the beginning of the year, so not too many posts to recap. However, there were quite a lot of THINGS that happened at the beginning of 2017.

J  A N U A R Y

I adapted a new mantra after months of things not working out.

We BOUGHT A HOUSE! Following months of losing out on rentals and weeks of dealing with banks [ugh, why?] we signed off on our fabulous home and began the process of home ownership. #itallworksout
Welcome to OUR HOUSE! [gosh I look so tired from work!]
F E B R U A R Y

House renovations + financial worries + a job I hated + no sleep = a dark pinky

I attended an advanced training for BODYPUMP and started to find a rhythm with life.

M A R C H

I interviewed for, was offered and ACCEPTED A NEW JOB. It was an answer to so many nights of prayers. 

Life consisted of HOME RENOVATIONS ALL THE TIME.

My body gave me a WAKE UP moment and I had to practice some self care.

The beginning of 2017 was great [HOUSE] yet still dark [job] and I'm so thankful to be SO HAPPY in December. I know I've said it a lot, but looking back has me realizing how hard it was last year and how grateful I am to be here now.


December 13, 2017

What I'm Listening To {December}

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Christmas music. We all have the songs we love this time of year and below are some I listen to over and over whenever I'm needing some extra Christmas cheer. 











Nutcracker {Snowflakes, Waltz of the Flowers, Arabian Dance}

What are your favorite Christmas tunes?

December 11, 2017

10 Things I'm Doing In December


1. Decking the halls and breathing in the Christmas cheer. After our tough December last year I'm finding this season so much brighter and delightful. My goal is to reach out to those who might have less of a lovely month because I know how tough it is to feel lost at Christmas.

2. Walking outside in the snow and feeling grateful I'm no longer in a job where SNOW is a bad thing.

3. Being brave and taping FOUR auditions to send to LMUS. #fingerscrossedforme

4. Coaching/demoing multiple BOOTCAMP classes a week, on top of my regular class schedule. Soft launch is in January so we have to be ready for members ASAP. Lots to learn, but I'm optimistic.

5. Trying out a 'Dip Manicure' to have pretty nails, that last, this holiday season.

6. Staying up way later than normal to help Le Husband finish up painting and organizing the upstairs. He decided he needed to use up vacation and even though it makes me exhausted I know it will be amazing in the long run.

7. Indulging in extra sweets, hot cocoa, savory bites and lots of adult beverages. Tis the season.

8. Attempting to stay on track with food during the week, because January.

9. Heading home for the weekend to throw Sportyspice a baby shower. I am super excited, it's going to be so cute, and I can't wait to celebrate my little niece. Oh, and also do an early Christmas with my family.

10. Spending Christmas with Le Husband's family in Ohio. I can't wait to relax, eat yummy food, drink delicious beverages, snuggle little nephews and hang out with family. Holly JOLLY and ho ho ho!

inspiration found here

December 8, 2017

Weekly Wins {Fa La La La La Edition}

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Fa la la la la, Friday's here! You with me, friends? Only two more Fridays until Christmas, weeeee and whoa. The days have been slow recently, but the weeks are just flying bye in a blink. Might be all the things I have on my plate right now, ha. Honestly, all of the hustle bustle has me quite joyous and seeing things from an even more optimistic perspective this week.

Weekly wins for the first week of December include:

|| Y'alls kind words on my post yesterday. I put a lot of heart and time into writing it, for you, but, mostly for me. I remember the heartache of last year so vividly and I try to be 100% transparent in the good and the bad. To those who mentioned they were in a dark place, know I'm praying for you and sending you so much love this season.

|| I dropped our Christmas cards off in the mail on Tuesday, woohoo. Still waiting on a few addresses and getting to the post office for Canadian postage, however I feel I can say cards are sent. Now begins the fun of the daily mail call.  

|| This week is a demo launch of BOOTCAMP and my first BOOTCAMP DEMO went extremely well.  I co-coached with a fellow fitness instructor and our energy was contagious. All of our participants worked hard, made it through the workout and had such kind words to say at the end. BOOTCAMP has been a lot of work and I'm grateful to be reaping a bit of reward this early. Fingers crossed for Saturday. 

|| Thursday night Le Husband and I took T-Bone out to dinner and he actually let us pay for it, shocker. He's big on treating us so it was rewarding to pay the bill. We also did a few chores around his house and finally set his email up correctly. Oh and he taught me the coolest way to bring water to a boil without electricity. #science

|| I thwarted someone trying to steal my class on Thursday and felt very smug the manager of the gym backed me instead of the other person. I do my best to stay away from drama but this dude keeps bringing it on himself and I'm tired of it. Vindication for the win!

|| Our house is 90% put back together after a week of disaster mess. Le Husband had to use up some vacation time so he decided he would paint the upstairs and depopcorn ceiling our bedroom. Yes, two weeks before Christmas. Yes four days before I'm having people over. YES, I KNOW! But now it is done and the house feels so much more complete. 

|| During the upstairs purge I found my candle warmer and have been using it with our Christmas tree scented candle. Our house smells sooooo delicious and festive it makes me smile every time I walk in the door. And so does all of our decor, it's just so cozy!

Hope your week went well and you enjoy a lovely weekend. Mine is filled to the brim with BOOTCAMP classes, subbing BODYATTACK, organizing the house and hosting a small casual get together with some fitness friends. Wishing you a wonderful weekend, see you on MONDAY!

December 7, 2017

We Found Our Christmas This Year {What's New With You}

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If I had to change my blog tag line it would be "what a difference a year makes". Seems every time I come here to write something deep about my life that phrase shows up. Right now, I find myself thinking it over and over, multiple times a day. I'm so grateful to be 365 days away from the end of 2016.

Last year, oh man, what a perfectly awful December. My life was day in day out 'Where Are You Christmas?' on repeat. It was dark. And sad. And lonely. And just gosh darn horrible. Both Le Husband and I were stuck in jobs we couldn't stand and we still hadn't found a place to live. My aunt and uncle gave us NO grief, nor made us feel in the way, but celebrating the holidays in someone else's home is super tough. Our timeline of three months [HAAHAHAHA] had extended to six. I cried multiple nights going to sleep because it wasn't supposed to be THIS WAY.

My job was a month old, yet I found myself drowning daily. Changes in policy, changes in merchandise, changes in memberships, changes in pricing, changing in personal, all happening in a single day frayed my nerves to nothing. My first December weekend I received a call at 0300 because someone didn't show up for their next shift and the buck stopped with me. So I had to drive to the gym to cover the 0300 - 0600 shift. I cried driving out there. I cried sitting in the office. I also vowed to never have the experience again. It was terrible and the weekend was lost. And then my friend was killed in a car accident, bringing a tidal wave of emotions and more darkness.

Our marriage was at it's lowest point last year, too. We were tired of nothing working. Le Husband was tired of his job's drama, while also being tired of me complaining and crying all the time. He's an amazing man, though comforting is not his forte. He also was experiencing what I call 'the man's worth crisis' because we were still in someone else's home. Which made him angry about circumstances and when I didn't want to look at homes online or drive around when I got home from work he'd get so annoyed with me, causing arguments. Christmas cheer was so hard to find, there was a lot of faking. So much time spent pretending to be happy to people while silently feeling like a failure and feeling so incredibly lost.

Then came the house. Then came the new job. Then came more sleep. More joy. More time. Most importantly MORE LIFE!

What's new with us this December? So much goodness. I know longer work a job I can't stand because it makes me cry with unpredictability. Call me a baby, but those six months were some of the toughest, darkest months of my life. My current job is not where I see myself much longer than a year, but it gives me stability. It gives me peace of mind [usually]. I am allowed to walk out the door and not think about work until the next day. I sleep. I take vacation. I am actually bored, YES!

We are in our home. OUR.HOME. Something we'd wanted for years but waited to buy in Virginia. Something so close, yet so unattainable in 2016. Then came the one visit and the moment we knew. This was it, this is our home. Which is decorated for Christmas, making it so cozy. Not everything is done or put away, Le Husband is currently painting our upstairs, but it is livable and lovely. Pictures below are snapshots taken last night. Nothing fancy, just moments. Christmas cheer is everywhere and I'm basking in the glow of our Christmas tree lights and candles.




Just typing OUR Christmas tree has me tearing up a bit. You might call me a bit dramatic or emotional but this month is bringing out all the feels. That's what's new with me. My joy of the season is back. My love of the holidays has returned. I can feel the jolly. I can say without faking "Merry Christmas"! I can read posts on blogs, Facebook and Instagram without feeling hollow inside. We have finally reached A YEAR LATER and it has never felt soooooo good to be on the other side of a year. If you are struggling, I get it. All my love and hugs to you. If you're on the other side with me, I cheers you, we did it. 

Thank you so much, friends for supporting me. To each and everyone of you reading, I appreciate you sticking with me and reaching out when it was dark. Your friendships mean more than you know and sometimes just a 'hang in there' got me through the day. So much love and lots of Christmas cheer to you!

December 6, 2017

C U R R E N T L Y {DECEMBER}

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lighting christmas tree scented candles and the tree every evening.
spending money on a few extra presents and time with those I love.
choosing to be in the moment and cherish our first Christmas in our first home.
sending Christmas cards and happy wishes.
singing carols upon Christmas songs upon carols.
loving the hustle and bustle and happiness.
hoping those who have lost loved ones still find joy through their grief.
wishing everyone a fantastically wonderful Christmas.
anticipating seeing family for the Christmas season and enjoying a few days of relaxation.

linking up here.

December 5, 2017

Thanksgiving Family Vacation {Arizona}

***Only two weeks later than promised, but hey, I'm here right? Life kind of just happened and spending time here was the last thing on my mind. So thank you for waiting and I hope you enjoy my lil recap of our Thanksgiving family trip to Arizona. ***

Most of you will remember my sister, Sportyspice, moved to Arizona with her husband this past January. He's in the military and they are stationed out there until 2018. This year the family decided to head out to west for a full week of Thanksgiving fun with a little sight seeing thrown in too.

Travel
Normally I wouldn't even update this, but man, our trip out there became a bit cray-cray. About two days before we actually bought our tickets T-Bone, my 92 year old grandfather, decided he wanted to come out west with us. We said "YAY", then Le Husband and I went "oh boy, we in charge now". Thankfully it wasn't too crazy getting out of Knoxville on the way to Nashville [we flew on Southwest points and SW does not fly into Knox, boo] just had to chase down the GPA who got lost getting to our house. Once that was straightened out, we pushed the speed limit, got to the airport where I took T-Bone through security and to the gate and Le Husband went to drop the car off at parking. Here's what ensude the hour before the flight boarded - Le Husband got a flat tire and almost missed boarding; I left my backpack at security because I was so worried about T-Bone, we were told the wrong process for pre board, we almost didn't get the seats we wanted. Thankfully everything worked out but it was a STRESS MESS until take off.


It's A....
One of the most EXCITING moments of the trip was finding out the gender of Sportyspice's baby. She put together a super fun, yet still casual gender reveal party and it was quite lovely meeting her Arizona peeps. There was voting and yummy food to enjoy and then it was time. After waiting FOREVER it seems we FINALLY found out....IT'S A GIRL!!! Bring on the pink, haha. Mama B and Daddy didn't land until later on Saturday evening so we did a separate lil reveal for them at the kickball fields {yes kickball, read the next point, ha} using the napkins from Sportyspice's party. Mama B was so overcome with emotion, it was super sweet.





Kickball
Immediately following the gender reveal party we all headed onto Luke Air Force base for a kickball tournament. SPortyspice joined a team made up of wives/girlfriends/service women and of course they scheduled a tournament when we were out visiting. I was initially bummed when I heard but then thought 'what a cool way to meet all of her friends'. The rules were different and there were a few times my competitive nature almost sprung out, however I was good and kept it in check, ha. The team ended up losing in the finals and we were EXHAUSTED with the time change. I was super happy to have played though and jumped in when needed.




Sedona
Sunday morning we repacked into our suitcases and headed off for the two hour drive to Sedona, AZ. Sportyspice is only four hours from the Grand Canyon, but we decided to split up the trip and see a lil more on the way out. Our first stop was the CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS which is a gorgeous church built into a mountain side. Super popular destination so parking was kind of crazy, since you are parking UP an incline. We used the 92 year old grandpa and pregnant lady to our advantage, woop woop. The church is super popular so if you plan to go try and get there early and just prepare yourself for a bit of a walk up a hill.







Devil's Bridge
The second part of our Sedona visit included hiking up Devil's Bridge, another popular tourist destination. We had a picnic lunch before the hike and then all the girls and Le Husband headed up the mountain. The original plan was to have Sportyspice's husband, CT, stay with T-Bone since he'd already done the hike. Sadly, his unit had an emergency call and he wasn't able to travel with us, super sad face. Daddy decided to stay with T-Bone [such a great guy] and they actually ended up going on a helicopter ride together which was soooo cool to hear. Yay for everyone having fun. Devil's Bridge wasn't too tough if you've been on other hikes and the views are pretty awesome. We all had fun taking pictures and being silly on the actual bridge. Once we had all the pictures we wanted we headed back down and met up with Daddy and T-Bone for a delicious dinner at the Sedona Airport Retauratnut. Highly recommended if you head out that way. To split up the drive we stayed right outside Sedona before the next morning's drive to the Grand Canyon.















The Grand Canyon
Our last two days were spent in the Grand Canyon. Where it is quite chilly in the winter time, le brrr. Key thing to note, cell services is pretty horrible so make sure you have a PLAN and then stick to it when meeting up. The first thing we did was the tourist thang, looking over the rim and getting pictures together. People were really helpful and our tripod came in SUPER handy, too.

Next a group broke off to hike the popular Ooh Ahh trail. If you take this trail be prepared for lots of people. It started of kind of blah then became more like hiking. The weirdest part about canyon hiking is the going down then up, verses normal up then down hiking. We snagged some great pictures, had a quick lunch then headed back up to the top. It was a bit of a snafu trying to meet back up with T-Bone and Mama B but we made it about an hour before sunset. Since it was so chilly we spent time in the rock museum, snapped quick pictures then heading back to the village where we grabbed some dinner then relaxed the rest of the evening.
















The following day, Le Husband, Babyspice and I stayed to hike a bigger trail and the rest of the group did some walking around then headed home. The Hermit trail is a lot more difficult and wouldn't have been fun for the rest of the family. It was fun, challenging, gorgeous and awe inspiring. We had a fun time then headed back to Sprotyspice's house, stopping for my first In and Out burger experience for dinner.













Thanksgiving
The reason for the vacation finally arrived and Thursday was a fun day of pulling together food, having drinks, hanging out and just being together. I found many moments of just sitting back and BEING. Hard to explain but my heart was so so so full, even fuller than my tummy, ha. We all had a blast together and I'm honestly sad because I don't know the next time we are all [including husbands and T-Bone] going to be together again.



There you go, the highs of our amazing trip. I'm so sad it's over and can't WAIT to get back out there again. Le Husband and I have big hiking plans and I can't wait to get out there early next year to snuggle on my baby niece when she arrives. EEEEK!!!