Christmas Blessings

My Christmas and Christmas Eve were wonderful. If you celebrate Christmas I hope you had a day filled with warmth, family, love, and happiness. Even if you don’t, I hope it was still a great Tuesday!  😀

Christmas Eve began at 9:30 a.m. with a large group of our friends gathering to deliver the Christmas cookies we had assembled to nursing homes around the area. I was only able to visit one location because I had to check on the dogs, but it was a great start to the day! We all met up for lunch at the Country Club at noon to reflect on the season. 
photo-16Every year on Christmas Eve my family goes to my Grandpa’s house to celebrate. I brought Lily and Leyla with me this year because I didn’t want to leave them alone for too long or have to drive back and forth. They were little angels! I love these dogs.

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IMG_1104Leyla was completely in love with my dad. She stayed in his lap the entire night and would not let him out of her sight. Dogs love my dad so much! He loves them too, even if he won’t always admit it 😉

IMG_1113Christmas day we went and saw Les Miserables. It was a beautiful and incredible film, I highly recommend it. Later that evening we headed back over to my Grandpa’s house with the dogs in tow to enjoy another incredible meal and time spent with loved ones. I was repping some pretty great gear! (hint hint).

IMG_1117More to come on that….tomorrow get ready for a new workout! It was so intense. I almost fell of the bike today. Be excited.

How was your Christmas? Did you have a nice meal with family? What was your favorite present? 

Christmas Cookies

Last night’s party was the perfect way to kick off the next two spirit filled days. Michael and Geannine Purpura are the warmest and most generous people in the world and they purchased 200 dozen cookies to be delivered to the nursing homes around town on Christmas Eve. I got ready and headed in to my house to join my family and attend the party.

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IMG_1060There were SO many cookies!!

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And great friends.

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IMG_1068Rambunctious kids ran everywhere. We eventually joined their game and the youngest made a huge pile for us. He kept telling us to, “GO TO SLEEEEP” before we turned into kittens and he saved us from a giant spider. What a stand-up guy.

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IMG_1085My abs burned from laughing so hard and I went to sleep in a fantastic mood. Merry Christmas Eve!!!!

 

 

Break festivities

I have a lot of catching up to do! Sorry about the lame blog post yesterday. I’ll make up for it I promise 😀

On Thursday evening I went to the CMR boys’ basketball game to watch my old team perform during halftime. Christina, Kayla, Hannah, Danielle, and I were all on the team together all four years so it was fun and odd to be there as spectators!

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photo-12After the game we all went out to the house I’m staying at and visited for a couple hours. It’s always so nice to get caught up! Being able to see these ladies more was an unexpected upside to coming home from school.

photo-14On Friday evening I went to my friend Danielle’s Christmas party and then joined my parents and sister at a different one about an hour later. It is so fun to visit with everyone and get in the Holiday spirit! Halley and I left the party pretty early on to go home and relax because we were both sleepy. Saturday was another relaxing day spend lounging around and we finished it off with a fantastic meal.

photo-15Succulent steaks, mushrooms sautéed in garlic and olive oil, green beans, and my mom’s famous garlic mashed potatoes. It felt like such a special occasion! We almost never eat steaks at my house so I felt like I was in a restaurant rather than my dining room.

Today we are heading to our good friends’ house for our annual cookie assembly party! Each year they buy hundreds of cookies that we assemble into baggies and deliver to nursing  homes around town on Christmas Eve. It’s become one of my favorite Christmas traditions and I can’t wait.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? What puts you in the Holiday spirit?

Incredible discovery

Yesterday after my late breakfast of cheesecake french toast and quite a bit of laying around aimlessly, I finally got my butt to the gym in search of some cardio. I sat down on that recumbent bike to give it another try, and within five minutes my hips felt like they were on fire AGAIN.

tumblr_m42jprb06F1rna86eMy back still felt perfectly fine so I decided I was not leaving without getting my heart rate up at least a LITTLE. I looked around at all the cardio machines. My eyes landed on the regular bicycles and I wondered if having the pedals below my hips instead of in front of them would make a difference. I hopped on and began to pedal…

Five minutes passed…

Ten…

Fifteen…

I was able to do a 30 minute hill workout! It felt so incredible. My heart rate was through the roof and my legs were feeling the burn. I got to pedal fast and fight through the high resistance going up the “hills” without any problems from my hips or back.

tumblr_lvtimjNAS91qfueeiWhen the thirty minutes were up and I stood to head downstairs for some abs and stretching, my out-of-shape legs were shaking so badly I could barely make it down the stairs. I had that wonderful “noodle-y” feeling in my legs all day.

When I got home I spent the rest of the afternoon doing typical Sunday things like reading, cuddling Alice, and watching some football. (Or looking at my iPad while my dad watched football). We finished up the week with the most hilarious Christmas movie of all time, “A Christmas Story”.

Then I got into bed and did what I do best apparently. Not sleep AT ALL.

tumblr_mesrz0xskH1rpzoico1_500I think I got two hours between 3am-5am and then maybe another half hour somewhere after that before I was awake to hear my alarm at 7. That’ll hit me like a train later. Maybe the soreness in my legs and my exhaustion will show up at the same time! Wouldn’t that be great?

Is there a cardio machine at the gym that just doesn’t sit well with you?

 

Winter Wonderland

You might be wondering why I am not in Bozeman right now preparing to hit the road after an amazing night with incredible friends. Well…Mother Nature had a different idea yesterday when she hit Montana with a huge snow storm. All the road reports were for ice and snow and limited visibility. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see my friends, but I’d rather not end up crying on the side of the road somewhere because I can’t see and I’m a big baby.

tumblr_luoxd3Wg8P1r6aoq4o1_250This morning when I woke up the snow had covered everything. Despite not being a winter fan, this type of snow is insanely beautiful. My yard looks like it is covered in diamonds and when you look at the right angle, you can actually see the individual crystals of snow. AND they really are shaped like the drawings! I felt like a little kid seeing snow for the first time when I saw that.

photo-20On this wintry morning I created one of the most decadent tasting breakfasts I’ve ever had. I say “decadent tasting” because it really only had 405 calories! Two tablespoons whipped cream cheese and a tablespoon of strawberry jam between two slices of wheat bread. Whip together some vanilla, an egg, and a splash of milk. Dip the sandwich and grill. Sprinkle with a dash of powdered sugar and viola!

photo-19It tasted like strawberry cheesecake, I kid you not. Try it out and prove me right, I dare you! As I ate this delicious breakfast looking out at the snow and listening to Christmas music, I really felt the Holiday Spirit. I am so excited for Christmas this year and for the month that follows…so many exciting things coming up!

What puts you in the Holiday Spirit?

When my whole house is decorated that really helps, but I think it’s mostly the music! Music is so incredibly powerful and when you blast cheery Christmas music you can’t help but be excited and sing along.