Category Archives: family

2013 Wrap-Up

For me, 2013 was truly one to remember. I love photographs, so to wrap up 2013, I wanted to share some of my favorite images of the year. Enjoy!

It brought me to the finish line of so many races…



..and also other fun adventures like vacations…

…exploring California…

…and finally finishing my graduate degree.

There were many miles in the pool,

on the bike,

and on foot.

And most importantly, I spent a lot of time friends both old and new.


Hope you had a great year too! I’m looking forward to more exciting times 2014! Thanks for reading along and sharing in my adventures.

What was one of your favorite adventures from 2013?

It’s the Sweet Life

Today is my and Ryan’s 4th wedding anniversary! 

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We celebrated last night by cooking a tasty dinner together (Chicken with lemon & rosemary, and polenta — recipes from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking), followed by cannoli’s, some sparkling wine, and watching a video our parents made for us before the wedding. It was lovely.


We were also looking through some photo albums from over the last couple years, and it was so much fun to see how much we have changed and grown even over just a few years. If you had told me 4 years ago that I was going to be training for my second marathon right now, I don’t think I would have believed it. At that time I didn’t really even think I could (or would want to) run more than 4 miles.

Both Ryan and I have become much more confident in our physical abilities through running, triathlon, and weightlifting (p90x!). We have also learned so much at our jobs and about each other. I am so grateful to have his support, but also to have him there to challenge me to push my boundaries and do whatever I really want to do. I really loved looking back and thinking about all these changes.

This weekend we will be going to Santa Rosa for a day trip as a little extra celebration. No major plans on what we are going to do there besides visit Russian River Brewing. Anyone have any suggestions?

How have you changed in the past few years?

Hawaii Fun: Part II

When I left off, I was describing all the fun we had on Oahu. We then went to the Big Island of Hawaii!! We had about two and a half days there. The first day we visited the Kona Brewing Company — so good!!

One of the days Ryan and I ventured off on our own for the day to visit Volcanoes National Park. The island of Hawaii is actually made of five volcanoes, with some of them erupting in the not too distant past. They had a lot of tours where you could walk to see flowing lava. We didn’t see that, but did get to see a lot of smoke coming out from the volcano in the park. We also went to see the end of the road in the park where lava flowed over it in 2003. It was raining at the park when we arrived, but luckily it cleared out and we had a great day!

 We also went to a luau at another nearby hotel at sunset. The next night there were hula dancers at our hotel doing a little performance. My Mom and I got a good photo with one of the dancers! 🙂

The last day before we left, we stopped to check out the lava tubes near the airport. Basically, they are huge holes where lava had flowed underground. My brother, Ryan and I climbed around in them a bit. It is tough to walk over the lava rock — very jagged. 

Overall it was an amazing trip! I loved spending some good time with my family. We had a great week, and I can’t wait until the next time we get together! xoxo

Hawaiian Fun: Part I

As I mentioned in my quick update last week — I was away for the week with my family in Hawaii! We had an amazing time, and I wanted to share with you some of the details.

During our trip, we visiting two of the islands: Oahu and Hawaii (the Big Island). We spent the first four days in Waikiki on Oahu, and the last three in a little town North of Kailua-Kona called Waikoloa on Hawaii.

We made sure to keep busy most days with different excursions, but also had some time to relax on the beach, play cards, and swim in the pools. Since I have way too many photos that I love from the trip, I’ll break this down into a couple posts. This one will focus on Oahu.

During our time on Oahu, we visited Pearl Harbor, went snorkeling, went on a sunrise photography tour, and enjoyed some gorgeous sunsets from our hotel.

Pearl Harbor was beautiful and moving. We also toured the USS Arizona. It was really interesting to walk around and explore the battleship.

The photography tour was amazing. Every stop we made was gorgeous, and I took SO many photos!!

When we were snorkeling we even got to see a couple turtles!! The guides mentioned they usually see a few more, but there were some scuba divers that were scaring them away. One of the turtles came to the surface really close to me and another person. It was amazing to see it stick his head up out of the water! Here’s a photo of one of them below the surface — you can see how large it was compared to the scuba diver!

At the end of the day we always had a gorgeous sunset!

Birthday, Beer, and Baseball

I was hoping to get this post up last week but it just didn’t happen. This weekend Ryan and I went camping with friends. I wish I had taken a photo of the monstrous ice cream we ate on Saturday but I wasn’t carrying a camera with me! After we got back yesterday, we went out to dinner with a friend. Today we had an awesome BBQ with all the friends who rode in the Tour de Cure with us. So much great food! I made this corn and tomato salad — it was delicious.

Anyway, I still wanted to share more about our Cleveland trip, so here is more about our weekend away…
Besides the race, we also were able to visit family while in Cleveland. It was a big weekend of celebrations with my niece’s first birthday on Saturday, and my brother-in-law’s MBA graduation on Sunday. Here are some of the things we did.
Friday, after we arrived, we checked into our hotel and spent some time with family. We went for a nice long walk because it was gorgeous out. Some of us stopped in to a local brewery (The BottleHouse) for a quick tasting. It was a cool place — pinball machines, and seemed like lots of bands play at night on the weekends. We were the only ones there though at the time…I guess that’s what you get for a Friday at 3pm! At night we went out to Chocolate Bar for dinner. The food was good, but it was pretty loud. We had to try a chocolate martini!
Saturday was my niece’s 1st birthday. We had lunch and cake and she opened presents. Fun! 

Then we went to the expo for packet pickup. We wandered around for a bit and checked out the merchandise. I noticed the Army booth was having a push-up and pull-ups competition. I decided I wanted to do one of them! When I went up to the booth, I told the guy I wasn’t sure which I wanted to do. He asked if I had done a pull-up before, and when I said yes, he told me that was the one I should try. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know I ended up doing 12 pull-ups! I think they were all impressed. Haha. 
After the expo, we decided to check out another local brewery (Cornerstone Brewing). This one was in a little neighborhood near the expo center. They had a big flight of 9 beers, so Ryan and I shared the sampler. Another good stop. 
The rest of the night was just relaxing — we grilled up dinner and got to bed early in preparation for our Sunday morning race.
If you read my recap, you can find out all about how the half marathon went. Afterward, we grabbed brunch in Cleveland Heights at the Inn on Coventry. It was delicious! After doing a lot of walking, we used the afternoon to relax and went to the movies. We saw the new StarTrek — I’d recommend it. At night we got Dewey’s pizza for dinner. They have so many options! The Bronx Bomber was my favorite.
On Monday the big highlight was going to the Cleveland Indians baseball game. It was really hot out! But a great day for a ball game! We ended up leaving right before the exciting finish with a Tribe win, but we still had a lot of fun. 
It was a really great trip visiting family and running a race. Definitely a good RUN-cation.

Happy New Year!

Phew…the last few weeks have felt like a whirlwind. I am finally back in sunny California and settling back in at home, and gearing up for 2013.

My holidays with family were full of love and gratitude for being surrounded with such wonderful people. Unfortunately, we also had a few sad times too with the shooting of firemen in my hometown, and a stomach bug that affected most of my husband’s family. I am so thankful to have  happy and loving family and friends and for the joy and laughter they bring to my life. I’m also thankful for my health and the ability to move my body every day. I’m also proud to be from a hometown that respects those who serve their community, and who band together in times of sorrow to comfort and strengthen those who grieve.

As I ring in the New Year, I want you all to know I appreciate you reading my blog and helping me get started in documenting my training and life. Thank you! Please take a moment to be grateful for what you have, and tell those you love that you care about them. Make the most of this life you are given and cherish every moment.

Now that I’m back at home, I’ll be back to more consistent posting. I have a few things in the works and still need to recap my goals for December and write out my list for January. I had an amazing year in 2012, and am truly looking forward to all that 2013 will bring.

Happy New Year! May you be blessed with happiness and love, and many miles under your feet.

Holidays at Home

Sorry I have been a little MIA lately! Earlier this week was a little crazy with getting ready to travel, and now we are in upstate NY visiting my parents for the holidays.

So far it has been wonderful. We made it East without too many flight issues, even though there were big storms in Denver. Since we got to NY, we have visited with friends and family, wrapped Christmas gifts and eaten lots of cookies! Ryan and I have been trying to go to the gym most days, doing both some running and weight lifting.

Posting will continue to be light through the new year, but I will do my best to post when I can. I hope everyone enjoys their holidays! Spend time with those you love and care about.

What are you doing for the holidays?