Gains and Gratitude

YOU GUYS. How pumped are you that it’s Friday? I am very, very pumped. Friday means rest day (best day!) and it seems like Spring has finally clawed its way here in Virginia. At least for the foreseeable future the weather looks warm and mostly sunny. Let me tell you, I am OVER this whole “winter” thing. 

I really shouldn’t complain, though, because my parents are getting hammered with another snowstorm in Wisconsin this weekend. I guess Winter will leave when it’s good and ready. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

It’s spring here though, and things are looking brighter. This week has been a great one in the fitness department and I’m excited to be rolling in to summer making strides in the gym. 

On Tuesday, I PR’d my snatch, making a huge jump from 115 to 155. It’s amazing how repetition and accessory strength can help one feel comfortable catching a heavy barbell overhead. Snatching is such a technical lift and truly be an expert at it, it takes years of dedicated practice and drilling. I’m still learning and perfecting my form, but this week the barbell and I got along really well. I’m proud of how far I’ve come with something that until a few months ago I’d never done before. 

Last week, Clay and I retested our 1 rep max back squat and deadlift – and I made big gains there too. Up to 280 for my back squat and 315 for my deadlift. I may not be the fastest in our gym, but I am one of the strongest… I’ll take it where I can get it! (Under a heavy barbell, apparently.)

None of these gains would be possible without support though – and I’m very lucky to have a husband who is just as dedicated to my fitness as he is to his own. I know I always have a lifting partner and someone to suffer through a metcon with – and even when he’s not able to be in the gym with me, he’s still offering feedback and pumping me up (Facebook livestreams are great for that). Clay pushes himself in the gym too, and watching him make progress and improve skills alongside me is so motivating. I’m proud of how far he’s come and the habits he’s building in and out of the gym. Being surrounded by his energy keeps me on track, too. Simply put, he’s the best. 

When Clay isn’t around, I have some of the best peeps in the gym to keep me motivated – and honestly, my progress in the last two months would have been minimal without our little crew. Pushing me to try new skills, lift heavier weights, take new classes, get in extra workouts before class… we learn from each other and challenge each other every day. I’m grateful for all of it.

So, yeah. I’m looking forward to what the next few months bring – if the past few weeks are any indication, spring and summer 2018 will be great. Bring on the sun! 

Attitude of Gratitude

Every November there are trends that circle back around. NaNoWriMo for the authors and aspiring novelists. No shave November in support of the American Cancer Society. And of course, seeing many friends and loved ones share what they are grateful for each day on Facebook.


While I don’t express my gratitudes daily, I sincerely feel them throughout the weeks, days, and hours. As you might already know (if you follow our Instagram/Twitter/Facebook) I’m in Disney World this week with my family, prior to running this year’s Wine and Dine. And somehow, Disney makes me feel ALL THE FEELS, in a big way. They’re good like that. My heart swells, my eyes well, and I can’t help but look at my family and think they’re mine, all mine.


I’m grateful for my children’s unbridled enthusiasm which is always authentic and never forced.


And I’m extremely grateful that I have a partner who knows exactly what I’m thinking with just a glance, who will go along with my off the beaten path ideas (like grilled cheese for breakfast), and will make certain things happen for me because he knows that they mean a lot, even if they’re not always the most convenient.


Being down here in Florida has given me the chance to see a few of my favorite people and I’ve got more in store for me. Having the chance to spend a day with Brooke and her family was amazing.

We’ve had a few opportunities to spend long weekends together but this was the first time we had our children together, although I feel like we’ve been planning it forever. We knew that they would love each other as much as WE love each other.


We were not disappointed!


I’m grateful for new things… and things that are tried and true and don’t change. I grew up coming to Disney World and while it keeps evolving and growing, it still feels like “home”. Perhaps that’s why there’s such a well of emotions that are evoked every time I’m here. I spent my family vacations here, a college spring break (let’s not talk about that), my honeymoon. I’m a Mouseketeer, a dreamer, and a believer.


At the end of each day my little family talks about what our favorite thing was of the day. The kids surprise me with their favorites often times because it’s usually not what I would expect them to say. For example, at Hollywood Studios, Little’s favorite was the rainbow that appeared in the sky after a light rain.


And Pooks’ was becoming an Honorary Citizen in the historical One Man’s Dream, the story of Walt Disney. One of the cast members overheard him asking me a question about a first rendition of Mickey Mouse and through a little scavenger hunt, he was award this badge and got to sign a ledger.

I’m grateful for their inquisitive nature, for them wanting to know all there is and all there isn’t. Their relentless pursuit of knowledge keeps me learning, thinking and growing. And seeing things that I might otherwise not notice for lack of observance.


Victoria and I grew up on Disney, although when we were teenagers, we never had the opportunity to share the parks together like we do now. I’ve spent much of my adulthood vacations in Disney and many of them with her by my side and I’m extremely fortunate that we have been able to do so. (I just noticed that we usually take pictures with her on my right! Creatures of habit!)


The other morning, I was in Animal Kingdom when I got an email saying that someone wasn’t able to attending the runDisney’s Wine and Dine meetup and that I was next in line for the spot! I am so very grateful for the experience that I had last evening.

More about that to come but a quick summary: it was amazing from start to finish and I met so many really awesome, really genuine people. It was good stuff and hey, you know ALL THE FEELS I spoke about earlier? Yes. Those were out in full force. I get so emotional, baby!

The emotions will keep on coming all weekend, I’m sure. Along with my gratitude.

Tomorrow morning my kiddos are running in the kids races and their excitement and energy is just feeding my excitement; even though our vacation is nearly over in days, it’s still rich in experience.

To say that I’m  super excited for the next few days might be a slight understatement. People, there will be tackle hugs and tears and pictures (and we will lament that Jess and Bec aren’t with us). There will be meetings with new friends and seeing long-time friends, like Heather and Lisa. There will be squealing, there will be carb-loading lunches and light snack dinners.

And then, just when you’d think that it can’t get much better than that… it does. Because then, we get to run a half marathon!

Stay tuned…