The Year of Love, Loss, and Change

As I look back at 2016 it brings up so many emotions.  This year was a year of love, loss, and change.  2016 was by far the best year of my life yet the scariest with more change than I could have imagined.  It was a year of highs and lows and went something along the lines of this…began with my bachelorette party (high) followed by not completing a half marathon I had set out to accomplish (low) followed by our wedding (high) and so on and so forth.

They say that your first year of marriage is the toughest and if that’s the case then I think we’re set for the long haul.  A VERY quick recap of 2016…got married, Mike’s grandfather passed away, moved (within CA), moved again (to Arizona), my step-fatherpassed away, got a new job, bought a house (which meant moving yet again), adopted a puppy…goodness I’m pooped! Getting married, moving to a new state away from all your family and friends, and purchasing a home are more than enough changes and decisions for one year.  Throw in 5 or 6 other weddings, losing two very special people in our lives, getting a new job, and a puppy and I’d say our year was maxed out.

So much change within 9 months really takes a toll on your body and your mind! There’s been moments that I thought I was literally losing my mind, which obviously wasn’t the case.  My mental focus was not nearly as strong this year and I didn’t accomplish some of my goals I had set out to accomplish but overall it was a very successful and incredibly memorable year.  We never could have imagined what 2016 had in store for us but it definitely made our relationship even stronger and proved that we can handle anything life throws at us.  As awesome as 2016 was I am looking forward to a hopefully mellow 2017 which will allow me to focus more time on my health both physically and mentally.  I’m ready to enjoy the simplicity of life and embrace moments of doing nothing.

“As we come to the end of another year, don’t look back in regret or anger or disappointment. Instead, take the time to give yourself credit for all you’ve accomplished and use the rest to motivate you, to help you grow, to help you strive forward.” -Devon Yanko

As we close out the last few days of 2016 I have a mixture of emotions.  I don’t want this year to end because it was so good to me yet I’m hopeful that 2017 will bring as much joy and less loss.  This year more than ever I’m reminded that everything happens for a reason and life always ends up the way it’s meant to.  Embrace change yet enjoy the stillness.

Happy Almost New Year!

Half Marathon Training Week 5

Happy Sunday! Hope you’ve had a great weekend.  We got a puppy yesterday!!! Gilbert (our city) was having an adoption event at one of the local parks and we found the sweetest little pup…it was love at first sight.  Her name is Winnie and she’s 3 1/2 months old.  She’s a Cattle Dog mix, definitely has some lab in her.  I can’t wait until she gets a little bigger and can start running with me! She’ll be the perfect running partner.  Right now all she wants to do is lay on the sidewalk and eat her leash 🙂

This week I did pretty good and stuck to most of my training schedule.  Didn’t strength train at all so I’ll try to be better about that next week.

Monday – Started to feel like I was getting sick so I used an extra rest day

Tuesday – 3.2 mile run @ 11’00/mile pace

Wednesday – 3 mile run @ 11’00/mile pace

Thursday – no excuses, just lazy

Friday – Rest day

Saturday – 6k run at the adoption event.  Did much better than I expected (10’46/mile average).  After the run I walked 1.64 miles down the street.  So all together got in 5.37 miles.

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Sunday – Active rest day.  We’re going to try to take Winnie on a little walk and see how she does.  I have a feeling we’re not going to get very far.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week! I think I’ll finally do some Christmas shopping 🙂

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Arizona Living Part 1

Before I start I want to give a quick shout out to my amazing friends who sent me off with a stack of the sweetest little cards to open while living in Arizona.  So thoughtful and I’ll cherish these little pieces of paper forever.  I am still continuing to open them slowly and love each and every one.  THANK YOU ladies, you’re the best and I miss you SO much!!

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As much as I do miss my family and friends, I have to say…I love Arizona!! Between the delicious restaurants, gorgeous scenery, abundance of lakes, and running trails galore we are definitely not bored and are soaking up all that Arizona has to offer.  The heat has been an adjustment but you just figure out ways to stay cool and wake up early to get outdoor activities out of the way.  We experienced our first haboob aka dust storm and quite a few thunderstorms which are pretty cool.  I could live without the dust storms but monsoons are pretty rad.  The sky is always different and even though the leaves don’t change, you can definitely feel the change in weather.

We are currently living in Scottsdale at a friend’s rental condo until we can buy a home in Gilbert which we are praying will happen by the end of the year.  Scottsdale is beautiful and has so much to offer but it’s a little fancy for us and out of our price range.  While we are here we’re enjoying the food and the view!  One of the best places to have cocktails and watch the sunset is Isabella’s Kitchen.  The food isn’t anything special but the view makes up for it and the Mexican Mule is perfectly thirst quenching. It’s a place you have drinks at after work then head home or elsewhere for dinner.

Another gem in Grayhawk (our community) is The Morning Joint aka Mojo’s! We typically have breakfast here at least once a week and it is super yummy.  Small little breakfast spot at the golf course that offers healthy options and one of the best iced coffees around.  Mike and I split a breakfast burrito and just enjoy the cool morning weather.  It’s close enough to walk to although I haven’t talked Mike into that just yet 😉  He’s warming up to it.  If you are in the area you must go to Mojo’s for breakfast!

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A few of our other favorite spots here in Grayhawk are The Living Room and Kale & Clover. The Living Room has an awesome happy hour and lunch specials and a super cool open air environment.  It was the very first place we went to when we arrived in Scottsdale and we’ve been a few times since then.  Kale & Clover has so many great healthy options and are allergy friendly.   The buffalo cauliflower is surprisingly good (even Mike liked it) and the Southwest Quinoa bowl has so much flavor and is super filling.  I couldn’t even finish it all.

That’s just a little sneak peek into our life here in Arizona.  I’ll be back soon with a few more updates and I promise I’ll get back to health & fitness posts! Don’t worry, I’m still running and eating healthy…most of the time 🙂

Everything Happens for a Reason

We are officially Arizona residents!  In my previous post I mentioned that Mike and I were moving to Arizona.  Well we made the move last Friday!  We’ve been here for exactly 7 days and so far we love it!! Yes it’s hot but surprisingly more bearable than we expected.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff.  Had I not moved to Philly 4 years ago on a whim I would have never quit my job at Hill Brothers.  Had I not quit my job at Hill Brothers then I would never got the job at Shepard Bros.  Had I not worked for Shepard Bros. I would have never met Mike.  So there you have it, life has a way of working out and everything happens for a reason.

There’s a reason for my quick side track and how it relates to our move.  If you read Year of Love you know that this summer was crazy.  During the craziness I mentioned that we moved to Mike’s grandfather’s house (I’ll call this the YL house).  I was sad to leave our little apartment that I named our Love Nest the day we moved in.  It was 700 sq ft of perfectness in my opinion but I knew this was a move that Mike wanted to make and it had potential to be a good opportunity for us.  We planned on being in the YL house for about a year and then find a more permanent place to live.  Unfortunately a few weeks before we moved into the YL house Mike’s grandfather sadly passed away.  This meant that the house was going to be sold.  We asked our apartment managers if we could stay at our Love Nest but they had already rented it out.  I was sad, frustrated, and just overall really bummed about the whole situation.  I was sad that his grandfather passed away and frustrated that now we had to move everything into a different house that we knew we couldn’t stay at for very long.  Poor Mike spent 12 hours a day cleaning the house and landscaping so that it could be livable for us (Gpa had cats and I’m allergic).  So this is where the “everything happens for a reason” comes into play.  Had we not moved into the YL house we would have never been forced to look for a new place to live (I wanted to stay at the Love Nest for at least another year if not more).  Had we not been forced to look for a new place to live we would have never started looking at more affordable housing options (out-of-state).  Had we not started considering AZ Mike would have never discussed it with his boss.  Well here we are, 5 months into our marriage, 2 moves later, and living in a completely new state!!

Life often doesn’t go as you plan but I truly believe that God has a greater plan for us than we could plan for ourselves.  I didn’t plan for our 1st five months of marriage to be filled with soooo many changes but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  We are now living in Scottsdale temporarily (yes we have to move AGAIN) with plans of buying in Gilbert within the next few months.  Mike’s boss has graciously offered us his condo in Scottsdale until we can get our own place.  We have enjoyed every minute of our new life and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I’ll post more pictures and more detail about our move next time but for now I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the gorgeous Arizona sky 🙂