Musings

Cycle For Survival

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Hi everyone!! How has everyone been doing?! Can you believe it’s February already?? Crazy. I know I’ve said this time and time again but the days, months, and years really do fly by so fast…and I think it just keeps getting faster the older I get! ๐Ÿ˜›

There’s really not too much going on in my life right now…however I’ve noticed that as I get older and with time going by so fast, that life is too short to not make that time to spend with your friends…especially those that I’ve lost touch with since high school. Last weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing a best friend of mine in high school. We picked up like no time has passed (10+ years worth!) and it was such a joy to reconnect with her…talk about our jobs, marriage, husbands, babies, and life in general. If you’re reading – love you girl!

I admit that I sometimes put myself in this “bubble”, especially during my eating disorder days, and didn’t want to see anyone. I was so wrapped up in my struggles, hated the way I looked, and couldn’t even make plans with friends for fear what they’d think of me and see how unhappy and skinny I looked. Lately though I’ve realized that not only has recovering from my struggles made me a healthier person inside and out, but it has made me a more confident person and be who I want to be, take new risks and change in my life, and to open up to new and old friendships…and for that I will be forever grateful in recovering and being healthy again. I’m so happy to have reignited old friendships from my childhood, and it feels so good to let go of my “bubble”, reclaim these friendships, and know that they’ll always love me for who I am…and I’ve come to learn that those true friends, are the ones that accept you for who you are ๐Ÿ™‚

And with that…I have to leave an oldie but goodie photo of my best friend and I from our high school days…I hope she doesn’t kill me for posting this ๐Ÿ˜›

Next get together we’ll have to get an updated version of us ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve realized that with how quickly time goes by, it’s so important to make time for friends, family, and loved ones. Reconnecting with old friends really does feel so great and there’s no other bond better than that between women. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but one of my New Year’s goals is to reconnect with old friends (in person! FB doesn’t count ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and to just enjoy your days that you have here with those you love. I think trying for a baby and wanting to be a mom so badly has put a lot in perspective for me and has made me realize that your looks, your job, and your money is not the end all be all to your life – it’s about doing what makes you happy, living your life to the fullest, and to cherish every day you have with loved ones.

One other reason why I may be getting emotional is that this weekend I get to spend it with my other very bestest friend (my sissy!) to participate in a fundraising event called Cycle For Survival. Over 5 million has already been raised and it’s truly amazing what has become of this movement. Here’s a little synopsis of what it’s about:

Co-founded in 2007 by Jennifer Goodman Linn and her husband, Dave, Cycle for Survival is the national, indoor relay-style team cycling event that has raised more than $14 million in support of lifesaving research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and in the past five years has funded twenty-five clinical trials and research studies.

Cycle creates an opportunity for each of us to truly make a difference โ€” every dollar raised by Cycle goes directly to Memorial Sloan-Kettering for research on rare cancers, paving the way for new, more effective treatment options.

Cycle is one of the world’s fastest-growing athletic fundraising events. Cycle 2012 will be the biggest ride to date with over 10,000 cyclers from across the country teaming up with friends, family and coworkers in New York City, Chicago, Long Island, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and at satellite events worldwide!

Join the movement that brings hope to lives touched by rare cancers. Register or join a team today or make a gift to Cycle. No one beats cancer until we all beat cancer. Together, we can make a difference! (source)

Sadly Jennifer Goodman Linn lost her battle to cancer last summer 2011. She is such an inspiration and I am so happy and proud to be a part of such a significant event and to carry on her legend. Here is a video of her journey…

I hope you all have a very happy weekend, and remember, life is too short – call a friend, hug your family members, kiss your loved ones, and remind them how very much you love them…xoxo

Questions:
Do you stay in touch with your childhood/high school friends? How do you keep those connections alive?
Have you ever participated in a fundraising event?
Any fun plans for Friday night or this weekend?!

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Getting To Know Me…

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Happy Friday everyone!! I am especially excited it’s finally Friday since I have an awesome weekend lined up for me. But first, I want to say how much I appreciate your kind, thoughtful, encouraging comments on my last post. You all are the absolute best and I couldn’t ask for better friends…you all filled my heart so very much and I’m giving you all a big virtual hug through the screen ๐Ÿ™‚

So if any of you follow football and know that I’m a 49er fan then I’m sure you guessed that we had quite an exciting time celebrating last weekend…

The winning catch!!!

Coach Harbaugh & Vernon Davis celebrating his catch! Side note: can I just say how much I love Harbaugh…he has remarkably turned around this team into a winning one and you can just see how much love he has for his players – love it!

And on that note, I’m sure you guessed what we’re gearing up for this weekend…

We’re baaaaaack…. (said in Poltergeist voice ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And you may remember that Todd is from New York?! Well, thankfully he’s a ‘9er fan and we’ll all be rooting for them together at my parents place…but I’m sure we’ll be having Facebook wars with my In-Laws who are true Giants fan ๐Ÿ˜›

And I’m very excited for tomorrow to have a girly day with my bestest friend – my sissy!! We have plans for a hair appointment (I’m just getting a trim), a yummy lunch, maybe squeeze in a yogurt trip to U Love or Nubi, and then a much needed pedicure…a definite self-indulgent day that I think we’re both in definite need of and deserving of ๐Ÿ˜‰ Other than that my week has been pretty uneventful (except for a very very special visit I had that you’ll see below) and still pretty busy at work but I have to say I’ve been lacking the motivation these past couple days…I blame it on the crummy weather, blech!

And with that, since I don’t have much to post about and my brain is lacking willpower to do a lot of thinking, I thought it’d be fun to participate in this survey that’s making it’s rounds in the blog world. I recently saw it on Tina and Ashley’s blog and knew I had to take part in it since I love getting to know a bit more about bloggers and thought you would too!

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?

With my hubby and family – love for us to have a date night or spend it with my family at their place getting into shenanigans and having awesome quality time together โค

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.

* Real Housewives Of….(every season although my fav is Beverly Hills and Orange County!)
* Top Chef
* The Bachelor/Bachelorette

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?

Both! I love having pictures of myself with my loved ones, family and friends and love taking pictures of them!

4) Why do you blog?

My initial reason (and still is) for starting this blog was to document our journey in trying to conceive, then our pregnancy journey, and then our new life as a family of 3. I especially wanted to journal this very important and exciting journey in our lives so that family and friends could follow along and keep up to date with what was going on in our lives. I also love blogging about my past struggles with disordered eating, overexercising, and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea because I feel a lot of women out there could benefit from hearing my story and experiences and could learn a lot based on what I’ve gone through. I hope to help just one woman out there…that would mean the world to me. I also am so thankful to be a part of this blogging community because I have met and made friends with so many amazing ladies and formed very special relationships with each one and am so grateful for that ๐Ÿ™‚

5) Share five websites that you visit regularlyโ€ฆ

* Facebook
* Fertile Thoughts Forum
* Gmail
* Google Reader
* Twitter

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?

Britney Spears – don’t laugh ๐Ÿ˜›

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.

* Fage Greek Yogurt with Peanut Butter Puffins
* Frozen Yogurt
* Apple with Skippy Chunky Natural Peanut Butter or TJ’s Cookie Butter (!!)
* Veggies and chips with hummus
* Clif Mojo Bars

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?

Nope! Although we really (someday!) want to get a bulldog ๐Ÿ™‚

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?

* iPod
* cell phone (soon to be iPhone!!)
* laptop (soon to be iPad!!)

10) Whatโ€™s your favorite drink?

A mimosa

11) Do you enjoy cooking?

Sometimes – depends on what I’m cooking. If it’s eggs or paninis then I love cooking, anything else, not so much ๐Ÿ˜‰

12) Do you have children?

Nope – but we’re working on it and hope to have a wee one very very soon!!

13) What are your favorite hobbies?

* Exercising
* Shopping
* Baking
* Wine tasting
* Reading blogs and blogging
* Spending quality time with my hubby, family and friends

14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?

It depends on the situation – I’m much more talkative and outgoing one-on-one and am an open book to that person, but in a group setting (except for group fitness classes since I used to teach) I become super shy. I used to be very very shy in every situation when I was younger and finally broke out of my shell when I became a fitness instructor.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

Not to piggy-back to question #14 but I would love to be more outgoing in a group setting like my dad or my hubby who can strike up a conversation with anyone at anytime – I really admire their natural wittiness and sense of humor and wish I had more of that in me. But lately as I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped caring what other people think of me and just say whatever comes out of my mouth even if it’s not that funny – oh well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress?

Based on acting chops definitely Meryl Streep – she is just so amazing and such a phenomenal actress. But based on looks Angelina Jolie – I know some love her or hate her, I love her – her face is flawless.

17) Whatโ€™s the coolest thing youโ€™ve done this week?

By far it was spending the day with Miss Shanna and as always it was such a wonderful time. Although it was even more special because I got to meet her adorable, precious 2 1/2 week old son Sawyer. We caught up on some much needed girl talk along with the many details of motherhood which I loved learning about, all while holding her lil soybean (her nickname for him – love!) And I had the privelage of carrying him in the Bjorn while we walked her dog Naava…it was so wonderful and it skyrockted my baby fever 10-fold!

And he’s sportin’ the lil monkey beanie I got him – eek! โค

18) Do you live near your family or far from them?

I thankfully live only 10 minutes away from my family. Although 3,000 miles away from my in-laws which is bummer, but its a great excuse to take a trip to New York!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

19) List three of your talents.

* Am able to push my physical capabilities and strengths to the limits
* I’m a good judge of ones character
* I have a pretty good sense of direction

20) What is your greatest attribute?

This is a tough question because I’m continually working on myself in becoming a better person to my loved ones, family and friends – I am a horrible procrastinator and get defensive quite easily – just ask the hubby ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if I had to answer I’d say I love big – with my full, entire heart โค

Well that’s it!! I hope you enjoyed getting to a know me a bit more and I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend!

Goooo ‘9ers!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions:
What was the coolest part of your week?
Would you consider yourself a shy or outgoing person?
Any fun plans for this weekend?!

A New Year…and Some Changes

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Well hello there everyone!!! So sorry to have completely dropped off the face of the earth – yikes! Ever since the start of the New Year, work has been very busy and that has led me to being one very busy bee! Many changes were put into action here at my work in trying to bring in more business and revenue which meant for a lot more responsibilities on my plate and has left me with little to zero time for blogging. And you may be thinking “well can’t you blog home?” Hmmm yes and no. First, my laptop is on it’s last leg and I can’t efficiently blog on it…sure I could write out my posts on paper and type them up on my lunch break at work, but to be honest my time at home (and on the weekends) is meant to be spent with my husband, family & friends, relax, decompress from work, and turn my brain off. Although there are those moments I do have when I could blog while watching The RH relaxing at home, but again, our laptop isn’t working so I’m thinking that once I get the iPad my blogging life will come back in full force. But for now, I’m going to have to take a break from it. I’m not sure how many times a week I’m going to be blogging, I’d like to keep it at one post per week, but I kinda don’t want to commit myself to anything and then stress if I didn’t get a blog post up for the week.

Not only has work been busy, but I’ve realized since the start of the New Year, my life is taking a bit of a turn. First I want to preface this by saying that my initial intent for starting this blog was to journal my experience in trying to get pregnant, and then once pregnant, documenting my pregnancy journey and then daily musings of what comes with being a new mom, life with a newborn, etc. But then with my diagnosis of HA, that put all my hopes and dreams of getting pregnant by the end of the year to a halt and left me with many moments of sadness, anger, and confusion. So these last couple months have left me blogging about my past struggles, healthy foods, and workouts, which I love doing, but right now I just can’t because my whole focus is not trying to fit in a smaller pair of jeans or get my heart rate up so many times a week…it’s about trying to get pregnant. I especially loved blogging about intense workouts I would do such as Vipr, TRX, spin classes, Group Power…but right now I can’t do any of those workouts therefore I can’t blog about them (if you’re wondering why I can’t exercise intensely or eat super clean – read the “Getting ready…” page). So I’m left thinking, “what the heck am I going to blog about?!” I do love (and I still will) blogging about my days & nights out with the hubby & family, musings about my life in general, and some of my past struggles with certain things about TTC’ing sprinkled in there – I hope that doesn’t scare some of you off from reading my blog! ๐Ÿ˜›

So I guess you could also say that is where I’m at in my resolutions for the year. I’m not your typical “Healthy Living” blogger who’s trying to lose weight, try out a new workout routine or class, or clean up my diet…no, my #1 resolution right now is to get pregnant, that’s it. And after we have the baby, I absolutely cannot wait to bring back into my life and write about clean eating, new workout routines, musings about training for races with the hubby, and to workout like the athlete I am which is a huge part of my identity. But for now, I’m just purely focused on getting pregnant, and of course, living “The Good Life” ๐Ÿ™‚

And with that, since I still want to blog about our random fun and shenanigans, I wanted to leave you here with some awesome pictures of our New Year’s Eve. Sure it comes a little late, but like they say, anything (especially our shenanigans) is better late than never ๐Ÿ˜‰

Look at that sky!!!

Todd cooked up some delicious lobster to have at the stoke of midnight…

We were obviously having a lil too much fun with them…I think that was the champagne talking too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Weeeeee! Into the pool of death they go…. ๐Ÿ˜›

Cheers to 2012!!!!

Having some grub to cure a hangover and a creeper spotting in the background – don’t I look hot in my pj’s?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Heheh I think I got the creeper look down…

that.is.awesome

And to finish it off, an adorable photo of my mom and dad…xoxo

**Edited to Add: I wanted to say a huge thank you to all you bloggers and readers for following me and for this wonderful community and relationship we have all built. You made 2011 for me all the more special…I thank god for this blog in having given me the opportunity to meet you all and for being the greatest blog friends I could have ever asked for. I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings for me and you all and I look forward so much to following each others journey’s ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

Questions:
Bloggers: Did you ever have a moment where you needed to reevaluate how many times you post a week, what your blog means to you, and/or what you want to blog about?
And watch, now that I said all this next week you’ll get 5 blogs posts from me ๐Ÿ˜›

What were your resolutions for the New Year?!

P.S. In a couple days I’m visiting a very special friend who just had a very special baby and I absolutely cannot wait to meet him!!! You know you’ll get a blog post out of me next week about that ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S.S. And Saturday more shenanigans will ensue with my hubby, my sister, and her boyfriend to watch the 49er playoffs so you’re sure to get a blog post next week about that too – gooooo ‘9ers!!!

Our Christmas Eve Holiday Treats!

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Happy Friday! Errr…Thursday everyone!! Well, this blogging thing today has got on my last nerve. This is my 3rd attempt at writing this blog post since the past two times I would try and save it and poof! It’s gone. Anyway, I’m gonna get through this post pretty quickly so that it doesn’t happen again! Grrrrrrr!

First I want to say how much I loved reading all your wonderful comments in yesterday’s post Being Present. It warmed my heart hearing all the ways you’re going to try and be present this holiday season. I also especially loved how a couple of you mentioned that we all can remember the simple act of being grateful. To be thankful for the wonderful lives we live and to appreciate that we get to spend this holiday season with family, friends and loved ones โค

I also want to say how grateful I am to my friend/coworker for introducing me to the fabulousness that is Trillian. Yes I live in the dark ages and had never heard of this software. For those that aren’t aware of it, I’ll try my best to explain it as I’m not the most techy articulate person. Anyway, it’s basically a centralized area that keeps all your email accounts, social media apps, and instant messengers all in one spot. This has made it so easy for me to keep up with all my Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, and emails without having 5 million tabs open. Genius I tell ya, genius ๐Ÿ™‚

Alright folks, now let’s get on to the good stuff and let me explain why I have tomorrow off. My bestest friend in the whole wide world (my sis) and I will be having an Olympic Day of baking up holiday desserts for our Christmas Eve party. I’ll definitely be sure to snap some pics of the shenanigans that will be taking place in my sister’s kitchen…that is if I can pry my sticky sweet fingers from the cookie dough bowl and licks from the frosted covered spatulas and beaters ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just thinking about that brings back so many fond memories of when my mom would give me a beater to lick as a prize for being her lil helper when she baked โค

So without further ado, here they are…!!!

* Reindeer Cupcakes (courtesy of With Sprinkles On Top) – I have never seen a cupcake quite adorable as these in my entire life. How can you not look at them without saying “awww”. I spotted these on Pinterest and when I saw them, I knew that they would instantly be a hit at our party and with the kiddos…

* Peppermint Bark (courtesy of PB Fingers) – This dessert just screams festive and traditional to me so I knew I wanted to incorporate it into our dessert spread. And as I was researching the many different varieties, I knew Julie’s the was the perfect kind since it incorporated both white and dark chocolates – a definite winner in my book ๐Ÿ˜‰

* Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies (courtesy of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life) – In researching for a show stopping cookie, I stumbled upon these beauties quite a few times and was intrigued by their crinkly-ness…yes that’s a word ๐Ÿ˜‰ And though I’ve never tried them before, I knew they must be a winner since Courtney gave them her seal of approval and any recipe originated from Paula Deen proves to be a sure fire hit ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s it!! I can’t wait to see, and taste (!), how all these beauties will come out – wish us luck!

And with that, I want to wish you all a very happy, safe, and most of all…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ XOXO

Being Present…

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Happy Wednesday! How is everyone’s week going so far? Sorry for not doing a weekend recap on Monday – reason being is 1) I didn’t take any pictures as I was pretty busy wrapping gifts and relaxing with the hubby before the craziness of the holiday’s beings and 2) work has been super busy with meetings and projects we’re trying to get going for the New Year. Tell me though, why does work have to get crazy before the week of Christmas?! Ugh. I remember last year everyone was gone on vacations – too bad it’s not the same for this year ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, enough of my complaining…are you all ready for Christmas? Which, amazingly, beings in T-4 days…wow! I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by – it’s moments like these that remind me to be more present instead of always looking to the future. Although at the same time I think looking ahead and setting goals for yourself is healthy in working towards a life that fulfills you and makes you happy – but I also feel it’s important to live in the moment and be present with yourself and those around you so that no special moments pass you by.

Like this weekend, I want to be sure to be present during our Christmas Eve party by fully engaging with family and friends, sharing the joy and love with everyone, and enjoying every last drop of wine and bite of desserts. I want to be present and celebrate with my cousin (very close family friend but we call her and her sisters our cousins) her announcement at our party that her and her husband are expecting their very first bundle of joy – instead of wishing I was in her shoes. I want to enjoy every moment for what it is and not get down on myself about anything.

Life is too short to live with any guilt or regrets. I see a lot of “guilt” around the blog world lately about indulging too much this holiday season and last night I said to Todd, “I’m done worrying and want to relax this month!” Who cares if you indulge in one too many cookies this month and if your exercise slacks a little? Sure we all want to look good and feel our best, but I also think it’s healthy for my (and yours!) well-being to relax once in awhile, and I believe this time of year is meant to loosen the reigns a bit and let yourself fully enjoy the holiday treats. Case in point, I’ve consumed one too many cookies these pass couple weeks, and you know what, I’m ok with it. Sure I’ve added on a couple pounds, but I’m ok with that too. Not only do I need it for fertility reasons, but I think a few curves on my frame (and on women in general) looks (and feels) pretty damn good ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this post, it’s kinda all over the place, but I’ve had a lot of emotions and thoughts rolling through my head lately…I guess that is what comes with the New Year and everyone being so goal-hungry. I guess my point is…is that I just want to “be present”, and enjoy this weekend with no guilt or regrets. I want to relax (food and exercise wise) to give my body a break so that next year I can be the one making that announcement or holding our bundle of joy at our Christmas Eve party. And who knows how many more Christmases you may have with those loved ones you see this weekend? So to that, I say make the most of each and every special moment, and to be fully present with each and every person you’re with this holiday season…and while you’re at it, enjoy one too many holiday cookies ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christmas Eve – circa 2008 (Santa is my dad!)

Questions:
How will you be present this holiday season?
Are any of you traveling or going out of town this weekend?!

A Very Special Package & A Holiday Survey

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Happy Friday everyone!! Hope you’ve all had a great week so far and I’m more than ready to get this weekend started! ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it just me or did this week fly by? Lately I’ve been taking Monday’s and Tuesday’s off from the gym (it feels so good to take two days off back-to-back), and I’ve noticed it really helps make the work week move along that much quicker.

And last night we had our company holiday party (dinner at Spiedo) so that too made the work week that much more tolerable in having a nice dinner out with some good food, wine, and of course, company. It was definitely a fun time and it’s always fun to get a lil tipsy with your coworkers – especially since mine are pretty awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then, yesterday was made even more special with an extra special delivery that I was greeted with when I came home on my lunch break…

Remember that lil barter I mentioned here about getting the Biscoff Spread and Cookie Butter for the lovely Ashley? I originally thought of this barter since I had heard that no where near her offers Biscoff and she doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s in her area (I know – the travesty!) so I offered to send her a couple jars since she’s been such a very sweet, supportive friend to me. Well in return I received the most sweetest, delicious package ever. I felt that it was extra special since she baked up some of her hubby’s favorite cookies, and I feel baked goods have a more warming touch and sentiment to it that I love…

Two of those dipped in milk were consumed last night once we got home from the party – it was the wine talkin’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

And let me tell you. These cookies are AMAZING!!! And to confirm just how amazingly delicious they are, I’d like to quote the hubby who instantly texted me when he got home and was greeted by the cookies in saying, “Holy Moses!!! These cookies are crazy good!!!!!” Yep, I declare these cookies definitely have the husband seal of approval. I suggest you click here and check out her recipe so that you can make some extra special cookies for your hubby or S.O. ๐Ÿ™‚

She also gifted me with this delicious looking muffin mix from a local bakery of hers that I can’t wait to bake up …

And an extra special lil something that was a surprise for me…

Cupcake Soap!! Is that not the cutest?!

Thank you so much again Ashley!!! I love my treats so much and I can bet already the cookies will be gone by this weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

****

So a fun lil holiday survey is going round the blogosphere and you know how I love participating in these so without further ado –

25 Questions: Holiday Style…

  • Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate – unless Starbucks Egg Nog Lattes count? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now those I love!!
  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps presents! And my parents (Santa!) would always add a tag to the present that would say “From Santa”
  • Colored lights on tree/house or white? Growing up we always had colored lights on both the house and tree – but now my parents do white and they ponded off the colored lights to us so we’re taking over the tradition ๐Ÿ˜‰ But to answer the question, I love both!
  • Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. But my family always did, and it’d always be placed in an entryway that you’d have to walk through so everyone would walk under it one way or another.
  • When do you hang your decorations up? This year I started mine a couple weeks before Thanksgiving since I knew we’d be busy with being in New York, but typically it’s always the day after Thanksgiving.
  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Ooo that’s a toughy since all my favorite dishes are dessert based – obviously. So in this case, I’d have to go with my mom’s cheesy veggie baked casserole…it’s amazing.
  • Favorite holiday memory as a child? My parents are so amazing and really did such a wonderful job in bringing the fantasy of Santa Claus come alive – and they kept the streak going for quite a long time! I’ll never forget every Christmas Eve we’d set out gingerbread cookies and milk for Santa and his reindeer and the next morning being so excited to wake up and see his dessert was gobbled up! I’ll always remember the excited and happy feeling I felt and how real I felt Santa was – I always wondered too how Santa got his big butt up and down our chimney ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so grateful for all the hard work my parents did into making Christmas such a memorable, special holiday for me and my sister, and I can’t wait to pass on these traditions to our little ones โค

See, Santa is for real!!!

Christmas Eve Circa 2009

  • What is on your Christmas Wish List? A new Laptop or iPad (!!) My family is gifting me gift cards to Best Buy so we’ll see what I like after some comparison shopping.
  • Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes! We always kept this tradition while growing up – but now we save them all for Christmas morning.
  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Except for this year, in which we did mini trees, we like to string colored lights around and hang all my ornaments I’ve collected throughout the years – the majority are from Hallmark since my mom owned a Hallmark store (it was the best job ever – having a mom as your boss and discounted stationary products was awesome). I love opening each ornament as it’s so nostalgic for me and brings back so many wonderful childhood memories.
  • Snow? Love it or dread it? Well, since we live in California and never get snow I would love one year to be somewhere and experience a white Christmas. But live in it and deal with it for all the months of winter? Never. I’ll just take one day of it, Christmas Day at that, please.
  • Real or fake tree? Growing up we always had real, and hubby and my first tree we got together was real, but ever since then (although I do love the pine smell!) I was highly annoyed by the mess it made. And ever since my parents made the move to fake I was then hooked. So I have big plans this year to scope out some After Christmas Sales and score us a fake tree.
  • Do you remember your favorite gift? Oh yes I do!! My 2001 Ford Convertible Mustang that I still drive to this day. It was the.best.gift.ever. I’ll never forget too how my parents put the car keys in a box in my stocking and I’ll never forget the scream I let out when I realized what it was. Didn’t I tell you how amazing my parents are? โค
  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? Being with family. Nothing else brings me more joy, happiness, and fills my heart so very much.
  • What is your favorite holiday dessert? Most definitely my mom’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. It’s a Thanksgiving dessert too, but we love it so very much that we make it for Christmas also. This time I’ll be sure to snap a pic of it!
  • What is your favorite tradition? Me and my hubby having a sleepover Christmas Eve night at my parents house, and waking up to a tree full of presents and stockings full of goodies. And we always always do stockings last!
  • What tops your tree? An angel!
  • Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? As a child, let’s be real, receiving! But now that I’m an adult, nothing brings me more joy than the act of giving. I love seeing the joy and smiles on people’s faces when they open their gifts – warms my heart so much.
  • What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night. And I gotta add this one in – ‘NSYNC’s “Kiss Me At Midnight” Love it!
  • Candy Canes: yuck or yum? They’re not my most favorite candy – however I love them when topped on chocolately covered pretzels ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s a tradition for my dad to pop in the movie and have it playing all Christmas day while we open presents ๐Ÿ™‚ A close second is the original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and A Christmas Story.
  • What do you leave for Santa? I touched on this one above – we would leave out a glass of milk and gingerbread cookies.
  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? Yes! We always sleep in and immediately start opening gifts. Then we take a breather, eat some breakfast with coffee and mimosas, and then open our stockings – we like to prolong the event as long as possible!
  • Do you prefer to shop online or at the mall? When I was younger (especially in my teenager years) I loved going to the mall – the best spot to scope out any cute guys ๐Ÿ˜‰ But now I’m all about convenience and love to online shop – in fact I bought ever single person’s gift this year (except for my sis, Todd, and coworkers) online.
  • Christmas letter or Christmas card? I always do Christmas cards – but one childhood friend of mine who lives in Utah does a letter and I love hearing about what her family and their 3 kids are up to. I also love getting photo cards of my friends with their S.O. and/or children/fur babies – so cute! Todd and I have never done a photo card but I really want us too one year very soon!

Questions:
Answer any of the above!
Does your company have a holiday party?
Any fun plans for tonight or this weekend?

I Give Myself Permission To…

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Happy Friday everyone!! Not to mention Happy December! Can you believe we’re at the last month of the year already? Crazy how time flies by so fast – although I feel that this year in particular especially flew by. Not sure why…maybe it’s because I’m finally happy in a steady job, my health is the best it’s been in a very long time, and I’ve made fantastic friends through this blogging community – I think that makes for a fantastic year ๐Ÿ™‚ And although it’s been a wonderful, yet speedy one, it got me thinking about how I want to make next year an even better one and what goals I want to set for myself. But before I talk about 2012 goals, a post I want to save for the end of this month, I want to think about goals that I want to be proactive about, not just for the new year, but for a lifetime. Balance is a lifetime goal for me, and I want to feel more confident in who I am as a person and my life in general, it’s a way of saying to ourselves “I Give Myself Permission To…” and owning it.

I got this inspiration from Sarah Michelle Gellar and her article in this month’s Self Magazine…

I absolutely love her attitude in “Giving Herself Permission To…” and it really inspired me to think about what I give myself permission to do. So I thought it’d be fun to make my own list here and in the comments section I would love to hear yours!

I Give Myself Permission To…

  • …let go of regrets from my past. I would love to reclaim my 20’s and live it without an eating disorder and days of overexercising, but what’s done is done. Now I can only live in the present and look towards the future and thank God that I’m a healthier and happier person. Those struggles made me who I am today and I can only hope to help others out there with what I’ve learned.
  • …get angry and upset in having HA and not being able to get a period/conceive as quickly as I expected to…and then have a pity party over it all. But I am quick to remind myself that I have a wonderful and fulfilling life filled with loving family and friends and that my miracle will come with patience and perseverance.
  • …let myself enjoy the holiday’s with all the indulgent food that comes with it – we only live once and it’s ok to enjoy special moments through food, wine, and of course, good company.
  • …to workout at a light intensity and take days off from the gym in order to help our chances of conceiving. Sure it bothers me that I can’t workout like the athlete I am, but now is the time to relax and build a safe nest for baby. I have to remind myself that working out and training like an athlete can happen after the baby.
  • …to be happy with my job. Sure I start to get FB envy over friends that have this or that kind of job, but would their job make me happy? No! Being happy is what I strive for in life, and life is too short to not be happy, period.
  • …to not obsess over the scale and accept my body the shape that it is. The more I read about other women with HA, the more I realize that I need to be at a higher bmi (22-23=fertile bmi) and that will be a weight I’ve never seen before in my entire life. It mentally sits uncomfortable with me, but I just have to accept where my body and weight will be happy and fertile at.
  • …make time for myself by getting a pedicure, reading blogs, and watching trashy reality television – why should I feel guilty for liking the RH?! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • …to always make time for my husband and our marriage. Once we have children I want us to remember that our marriage always come first, then the kids. I believe that to keep a marriage healthy and happy forever, the husband and wife should always make time for each others needs first, then they can tend to the children and give them the most loving, wonderful life.
  • …to make time for family and friends. Laughing and commiserating with those special people in your life creates a bond and a happiness that is infectious. I think it’s important to maintain these friendships so that as a whole you’re a happier person, and so then you can give yourself better to all other areas of your life – work, significant other, children, etc.
  • …to disconnect from FB and blogs/blogging. Though I do love to keep in touch with everyone, I believe it’s also healthy to detach from the internet social circles and to not get caught up on what is going on in everyone else’s lives – remember that your own life is just as important and deserving of the utmost attention.
  • …always be me, and nobody else. There’s only one of us in this entire world, that is what makes us so unique and special, and we should own and appreciate every different, quirky part of ourselves.

I hope you all are having a fantastic Friday and have a wonderful weekend!!! I have plans tomorrow to meet up for lunch and shopping with a lovely girlfriend of mine – I love her dearly and we’ve been friends since Kindergarten – can’t wait to catch up with her ๐Ÿ™‚ And then that night hubby, sis, and I will be at the parentals having our usual family fun – good food, wine, and everything in between ๐Ÿ˜‰

Questions:
What do you “give yourself permission to…”?
Any fun plans for you this weekend?!