Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fabulous Fourteen in '14

I decided to dust off the ol' blog for my annual review. I'm surprised it's already been 6 months since my last post, but as you'll soon see, 2014 was a little busy.

There are so many things to be thankful for when I reflect back on the past twelve months, but I managed to narrow it down to 14:

1. Tee on Sports Center: One of the greatest sports moments I've ever witnessed started this year off right. The #GetTeeOnSportsCenter campaign warmed my heart for so many reasons, one being that I used to work with Tee's mother, Brenda when Tee attended our elementary school. It was truly a remarkable moment for a terrific family and I am so happy I was there to witness it.

2. St. Louis Trip: I always love visiting STL, and luckily so does my brother-from-another-mother, Joey. We embarked on a Spring Break expedition to see the Arch, Busch Stadium, The City Museum, and more. We had such a great time, I won't be surprised if we make our way back to this beloved city in 2015.

3. John Legend: Jenny and I traveled to Indianapolis to see John Legend for the first time, and needless to say, he did not disappoint. "All of me" loved all of his concert, as well as the little road trip to Indy with my Sparkle Sister.

4. Peyton Siva Day: As a diehard Louisville Cardinals fan, I was definitely more excited than any of my students when National Champion point guard Peyton Siva made a visit to our school. I was even more excited that I got to meet him & snap a few pictures. #LocalCelebrity #L1C4

5. DT Does Patoka Lake: I'm pretty sure I've never laughed as hard on a vacation as my team and I did on this one. So many hilarious things happened, I dedicated an entire blog post to it back in June.

6. Family Lake Trip: We always have a good time when we visit my uncle's lake house in Indiana, but this was the first year in a long while that our entire family (Petey Pug included) could all be there at the same time. Among the many cute things that my niece did while we were there, catching her first fish was the most precious.

7. Mom's 7th Cancer-Free Anniversary: To commemorate the day that my mom became kidney cancer-free we gathered together for dinner, Mom blew out a 7 candle that was nestled inside her salad, and my niece was of course as cute as ever. Each year that our family gets to celebrate Mom's health is truly a blessing.

8. Noonday Party: I thoroughly enjoyed hosting my first Noonday party this summer, not only because it brought so many of my friends together, but also because of the wonderful cause it supported. I'm so thankful that my sister-in-law, Kate introduced me to such an awesome organization. 

9. McNugget's 2nd Birthday: I still remember the moment I held my niece for the first time like it was yesterday, so it's hard to believe that she's already two years old. I've loved getting to watch her grow-her little personality is beyond precious. Still, I'd like her third birthday to take its sweet time.

10. Summer Friend Reunions: One of the perks of being a teacher is having time in the summer to visit with old friends. I loved getting to meet in Lexington with my dear friend from college, Heather, as well as reuniting with my sweet teacher peeps. I also got to squeeze in some time with my lifelong friend, Erin and her new baby girl, Emily. So thankful for time to be with friends near and far!

11. Birthweek: Always my favorite week of the year, celebrating my birthday was especially fun this year with dinners, games, concerts, and more. My birthweek was also a reminder of how blessed I am to have so many caring friends and family members. Here's to 33 more years and beyond!

12. Getting Shredded: This was the year I lost 40 pounds and gained health, confidence, and so much more. With the help of Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred" & "Ripped in 30" workouts, I was able to reach my fitness goals.  

13. Meeting Lozo with Tara: This year my cousin Tara moved back to Louisville and I couldn't be happier about it! Our Aunt Terry hooked us up with awesome seats to the Ohio State/Louisville basketball game. At halftime, we went to the concession area and ran into the face (and heart) of the Louisville Football program, Lorenzo Mauldin. He was so sweet to take a picture with me, and in addition to hanging out with Tara & the Cards defeating the Buckeyes, meeting Lozo was the highlight of my night.

14. My Little Sister's Wedding: This event really deserves its own blog post, and unfortunately I haven't had the time to write it yet. But let me just say that the day could not have gone any better for our family. My sister was a gorgeous bride, my maid of honor speech went well, and the reception was a blast. And as you can imagine, my McNugget was adorable as always. There are so many photos that I love from that day, but for now I'll share a few of my favorites.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning."
-T.S. Eliot

I'm so thankful for the many blessings 2014 bestowed, and look forward to what 2015 has in store. Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Work It, Girl.

This teacher technically didn't have to report to work this summer, but as you already know (unless this is the first time you've read my blog), I've been working out everyday like it was my job. I just finished day 30 of the Jillian Michael's "Ripped In 30" workout challenge, and I could not be happier. I lost an additional 10 pounds this month, for a total of 30 pounds over the past 60 days! 

60. Days. I'm pretty sure I haven't worked out that many consecutive days since, like, ever. Naturally, I bought these beauties to celebrate:

So, even though I thought many times along this fitness journey that Ms. Michaels might have been trying to kill me, I'm grateful for her drill sergeant ways. I look and feel better than I have in a long time, and once again, I have an appreciation for daily exercise.

We are 7 weeks away from my little sister's wedding, which leaves plenty of time to keep workin' it. I found a 6-week walking-to-weight-loss plan on Pinterest, which will include walking 3-4 times a week, along with yoga and Zumba. I might even get crazy and work out with my pal Jillian Michaels from time to time. As it gets closer to the wedding, I plan on returning to stricter eating habits (no refined sugars, white breads, or potatoes), but for now I will continue avoiding cokes & fast food. The real challenge this month will be time, since I'll be back in the classroom everyday. Nevertheless, I refuse to let my day job interfere with my "work". My eyes are on the prize y'all. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Eleven. Days. Left.
And they can't get here soon enough.
Well, actually, I don't want to wish away my last days of Summer, so scratch that last statement. But seriously, y'all: Eleven. Days. Left.

I just finished Day 19 of the "Ripped in 30" fitness challenge, and let's just say it's not getting any easier. Jillian Michaels and I are not friends right now. Her DVD is killing me. My quads & triceps were literally crying after today's workout. I thought "The 30 Day Shred" was hard, but oh, how naive I was. I'm in the middle of Week 3 and I'm actually scared for what Week 4 has in store. What I'm trying to say is that this is not for the faint of heart.

My cousin Brittany asked me this weekend if "Ripped in 30" was fun. 
Haha. NO. 
I can think of many adjectives to describe this DVD, but fun is not one of them.

You know what is fun, though? Feeling like a beast each day I complete my workout, that's what. Liking what I see in the mirror and in recent photos is pretty fun, too. Hearing compliments from friends & family is definitely fun. 
And those are the things I have to keep remembering. The 25 minutes of torture each day are well worth the results I've seen thus far. Eleven more days, and then it's time to set a new goal for "fun".

Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Party Noonday Style

Last night my little condo was full of my fabulous friends & family, and my heart could not have been happier. I have always known how blessed I am to be supported by such wonderful women, and last night was just another reminder of that fact. What was the occasion, you ask? Well, it was my Noonday Collection trunk show.

Several weeks ago, I blogged about attending my first Noonday party, where I fell in love with the beautiful jewelry & accessories, as well as the company's mission. I knew then that I wanted to host my own Noonday trunk show. If you share my affection for pretty pieces of jewelry, and also want to make a difference in the lives of others, I suggest you start planning your own Noonday Collection party. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be well on your way to partying Noonday style:

1. Contact your local Noonday ambassador. Fortunately, my local ambassador happens to be my lovely sister-in-law, Kate
If you don't already know someone, you can connect with a Noonday ambassador here: After you decide the optimal date & time and invite your peeps, it's time for my favorite part: the food.

2. Plan your menu. Since my party was an Open House from 4:30-7:30, I decided to do appetizers. In other words, we didn't need silverware, y'all. Chips, dips & toothpicks is what I'm saying. Also, I had more fun coordinating the plates, bowls, and napkins than anyone probably should.

3. Let the good times roll. Once Kate had set up the display of gorgeous goods, we basically just had a blast with all the lovely ladies who came to party. Try on the jewels, eat the food, drink the drinks, and laugh the night away. It's really that easy. And while you're having a terrific time, remember too that you're helping create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.