Happy 2015, everyone!
So…….2014 absolutely flew by. I’m not just saying this because I am shamefully realizing how LITTLE I blogged over the past year, but I seriously feel like I was just celebrating New Year’s last year. I guess everyone who told me time flies the older you get wasn’t lying! To be fair, this past year has been so incredibly busy, so that doesn’t help the cause either. Regardless, I promised my friend Michael I would blog more this year, so…..Hi, blog! Here I am!
2014 was an absolutely incredible year for me for so many reasons. A blog post could never, ever do it justice. This was the year that the stars aligned in my life and somehow every aspect of my life changed dramatically in a positive way. Many things contributed to that….some larger in the scheme of things, and some very small, simple changes. I honestly believe the reason why I loved 2014 so much was because I, for once, appreciated the little things in life in a much greater sense than I ever have. After all, the little things end up being the big things, right????? Since I am all about reflection and re-evaluation, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the past year and why they impacted me so much. I know everyone is busy creating those Facebook Year In Review movies, but mine never seem to focus on the important things, so here is my version of the year in review.
In 2014, I…….
-GOT ENGAGED! No surprise here that this is the top of the list! When Kyle proposed during our Atlantic City trip in May, it was seriously the greatest day of my life. Everything about it was perfect, and I can’t wait for our one of a kind wedding in October. It’s going to be simply amazing.
-WELCOMED A NEW BABY TO THE WORLD! No, this baby was not my own, but the baby of one of my BFF’s, Whit. I cannot begin to tell you how I happy I was for J’s birth……or how handsome he is…..or how loved he is. He also doesn’t object to me getting into his playpen thing with him, and that’s pretty cool in my book!
The little prince himself!
-CELEBRATED THE WEDDING OF MY BFF! While one of my BFF’s was busy with a new baby, my other BFF got married! Kelly and I have been friends since we were 5 years old, so I was elated to be in her wedding and celebrate such an awesome day with her!
Love this gal like a sister!
-HELPED RAISE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR ALZHEIMER’S! This charity….I love love love raising money for a cause so dear to my heart. This year I served as captain of Team Brunette in the annual Blondes Vs. Brunettes game, which was an absolute honor. Collectively, we were able to raise over $10,000 for the Association. And, as always, I participated on Team Bubu’s Bunch at the annual Memory Walk, my family’s team for my Grandma Bubu, who is suffering from the disease.
I love that so many people come together for this cause!
Attempting a touchdown run
- CONFRONTED FEAR AND CONQUERED THE WARRIOR DASH! Last year my cousin Laura and I successfully completed the Warrior Dash. This year, with the addition of Kyle, we decided to give it another go. I was terrified of the newest obstacle, The Goliath, and honestly did not think I would be able to finish the course. Thankfully, Kyle helped get me over this mammoth obstacle high off the ground, and I enjoyed a major muddy plunge right before the finish (special thanks to my mom for catching this on tape).
Teamwork makes the dream work.
-BECAME A MEMBER OF THE SUMMIT ATHLETIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS! This was a great honor for me. I have been an active member of the Summit Athletic Running Club (aka SARC) for two years, and my membership in the group has been such a blessing. This club has over 700 members and growing and is composed of some of the coolest people I know. We run together. We motivate each other. We are awesome together. When I was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors, I, naturally, was ecstatic. I love being a leader, and this club means the world to me, so to be a leader within it….just super cool in my book.
Volunteering with some SARC Board Members and club volunteers
-HAD TWO AMAZING PHOTOSHOOTS WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHERS AROUND! One of the things I love about being a leader in the Beachbody Community is that I have access to an amazing photographer, Mrs. Virginia herself, Danette Anderson. This year I was fortunate enough to have not one, but TWO shoots with D, and they were both incredible. Here are a few shots that I absolutely love:
-ATTENDED DYNASTY UNITED’S FIRST EVER DIAMOND RETREAT! This was such a fun weekend! In October, I joined about 25 other leaders within the Beachbody Community for a leadership retreat and mastermind weekend. It was amazing getting to meet these women and share different ideas with them, as well as celebrate the success we have had over the year. I can’t wait for the next one, and am already looking forward to our trips to Cancun and Nashville in 2015!
-RAN AGAINST MY DAD AT THE STAR TRAX RACE! One of my favorite things every year is this annual race where my dad and I run against each other. Every year he says he is going to beat me, every year I say I will beat him, and every year I lose. I can’t even be upset about it anymore….my dad is extremely fast, and I love the challenge. I am so proud of him, even if he beats me!
After the race!
-GOT TO ACTUALLY BE WONDER WOMAN FOR A DAY! I’m not going to say a whole lot about this photoshoot because some elements of it are a surprise (for now), but if you know me, you know I love Wonder Woman, so this was such a blast.
A little sneak peek!
-ACHIEVED HUGE BUSINESS MILESTONES WITH MY TEAM! I’m really, really, really proud of what The Sparkle Squad was able to accomplish this year. Collectively, we helped over 500 individuals confront their health and weight issues positively and led them to a healthier lifestyle. As I was working on our year in review video, I got pretty emotional about it. What we do is such a life changing opportunity. To know my team and I had a small part in helping them achieve healthier goals makes my heart very, very happy.
-RAN WITH A DONUT ON MY HEAD……AGAIN! As always, Running for Donuts made its appearance at the Akron Marathon and kicked some serious butt! This year my friend Holly aka Cream Stick joined the team, and she was a great addition! We also changed up our shirts and went with a bright green instead of the pink shirts we have worn in years past. Since it was such a hit last year, I ran with a donut on my head yet again. It’s the little things that I love…..
Running for Donuts 2014
-WENT TO THE FROG EXHIBIT AT THE ZOO! One of my goals this year was to successfully walk through the frog exhibit at The Cleveland Zoo without having a panic attack and passing out. The thought of this terrified me. If you didn’t know, my biggest fear in life includes frogs and toads…ugh, I hate typing those words! Anyway, when I ran the Wigs for Kids 5k at the zoo earlier in the summer, I decided that was the perfect time to go through the exhibit. Kyle was with me, so I knew I had protection. I made it through the exhibit without any issues, and even was able to sit on this statue (something I haven’t been able to do in the past).
Feeling froggy…..kind of.
-TOOK ON THE PITTSBURGH MARATHON! Originally I was scheduled to run to full Pittsburgh Marathon in May with my pals, which was another goal of mine this past year. Unfortunately, in February I got really sick and was in and out of the hospital and doctor’s offices for about 5 weeks. This majorly impacted my ability to run, and I wasn’t officially cleared to even go out for a leisurely jog until mid April. Because of this, I made the decision to drop from the full to the half, as I knew it would be dangerous to run my first full with minimal training. I was lucky enough to run with some of my favorite SARC friends and one of my BFFs, Jodi, and had the support of my mother and friend Julie on the streets cheering me on. This race was a great personal victory for me….mostly because my headphones shorted out right after the start, and I was forced to run the whole 13.1 course without music, something I had never done. It was a challenge, but absolutely changed how I experienced the marathon, and I am so glad it happened as it did.
After the race!
-WORE CLOTHES 3 TIMES SMALLER THAN LAST YEAR! I love that my job allows me to help others lose weight, gain self esteem, believe in themselves, and create a healthier life for them and their families. What I also love is how much it has helped me do all of those same things. This year I was ecstatic to buy a dress THREE TIMES smaller than what I have been wearing! Beyond that, I feel better and am stronger than I ever ever.
I don’t even know who that person on the left is anymore!
-I SUFFERED THREE MAJOR HEARTACHES. While this year was very, very good to me, it was also extremely difficult. I lost my Aunt Jean unexpectedly in March, which absolutely broke my heart into a million pieces. In August, my dear friend Andy, who I have written about several times on this blog, lost the battle he had been fighting over the past two years. I also had to say goodbye to our family beagle, Wrigley. These losses were all so difficult (still difficult, to be honest) to process, but if anything, they made me realize how fragile life is and how we should never ever hold a grudge, go to bed angry, or leave loved ones without loving words.
Miss this guy every day.
I could go on and on and on, but I think that list covers the biggies. 2014, thank you for being a banner year in my life. I am thankful for the love, lessons, and laughter I experienced this past year, but I welcome 2015 with open arms and can’t wait to see what it has in store for us. Here’s hoping you have a fantastic 2015 as well!