The List

As we enter move through February and I re-acclimate to my ‘real life’, it’s only fitting that I begin to think about the year ahead.  In the weeks I’ve been home, there have been a lot of decisions to be made about this upcoming year.  Should I sign up for the NYC marathon lottery?  What continuing ed should I take? Where do we want to travel?  Tons of awesome options in 2016, but sadly I can’t do them all.  Randomly, my coworker and I started talking about vision boards this week.  Although I don’t have the time and energy to actually make a vision board, it’s a great way to to prioritize my goals for the year ahead and then create a bucket list.  I love to use my ‘nothing book’ to do this by paper which then allows me to share the final (and edited) version on the blog as my 2016 bucket list.  For some reason, this list has taken a bit longer to come together than usual.  I finally just hit post this morning with the understanding that it’s a ‘work in progress’…kinda like me!

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2016 Bucket List

Adult Living

Create and Follow a Budget – Our big goal after wedding and honeymooning…replenish savings!

Be a Better Friend

Floss More Frequently (and Wear my Retainer) – Ugh!

Change my Name

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Right Mind

Continue to Teach Kids Yoga – Grow as a teacher

Let Things Go…

Participate in 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training

Unplug for More ‘Me’ and ‘Us’ Time

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Strong Body

Race!!!  Run and tri, maybe PR…

Build More Strength – Since I won’t be working out with my trainer as consistently (see item 1 RE: budget), it will be up to me to strength train on my own

Bike More!  Drive Less!

Eat Less Packaged and More Real Food

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What are you goals for 2016?

Have you ever made a vision board?

The Year of Letters

Two big events marked this year for me and both involve adding some extra letters to my signature!

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First off…I took my pediatric specialization exam in March and found out in June that I passed, adding the letters PCS behind PT to my professional title.

And then…I became a MRS!!!  Although I haven’t officially changed my name (it’s coming after the honeymoon), that will change two other letters in my last name.  It’s like I’m an entirely new person.  Well…sort of!

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A mix of these external name changes and a year dedicated towards taking care of my mental and physical health has made this year remarkable!  I am grateful for every moment!

2015 Bucket List

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LIFE

Set and follow a budget (for real!)- Oh man!  I swear I am super organized, but have totally struggled with this!  We were all over the place with some months being better (or worse) than others.  Definitely something for the newlyweds to work on in 2016!

Pass my test– Woo hoo!  All of that library time paid off.  I am now a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS), which has me smiling from ear to ear!

Have a fun stress free wedding day– Done!  It was the most incredible and memorable day!  It was stress free and full of love and excitement. I swear my heart is still full of happiness from sharing this special day with the people who mean the most to us.

Stay healthy– Two big sinus infections took me down, but the second wasn’t nearly as bad as the first and other than that, I would say it was a nice and healthy year.

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BODY

Do a triathlonThe decision has been made that this won’t be a big racing year…so no triathlon.  And I am A-okay with that!  I am broadening my horizons a bit with exercise and doing tons of yoga!  This decision is helping me feel more balanced and less stressed, and we’ll just have to see what 2016 holds for races and tri’s.

Feel confident in a bikini- I wore my bikini a few times this summer with more confidence than I have had in years!  As always, there is work to do, but feeling happy with myself on the beach was a HUGE accomplishment!

Continue to build muscle strength– I have definitely gotten stronger this year. I see it in my yoga class and at work, which is really important to me.

Keep my skin healthy– Success!  My focus on eating clean and drinking water, plus regular facials has paid off!

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MIND

Be present– I have been soaking in every moment, big or small and have appreciated EVERY moment this year!  I feel so lucky and grateful!

Teach more yoga/take yoga trainings- I think this may end up being more of a 2016 goal. I’d love to do a yoga retreat AND my adult yoga certification.  I was able to talk about kids yoga on a Podcast, which is something I never would have even dreamed of in January. 

Read good books– Check!  I started the year as a reading machine, took a mid year break and then picked back up.  I’m also looking for suggestions…got any?

Give back and volunteer- Ugh! Major Fail here!  I have been donating food, money, and clothes, but not as much of my time as I would like.

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Other Second Half Highlights

Acro Workshop

Thanksgiving in New York

Arlington Million

Door County

Nashville

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Tons of lunches and dinners with our friends!

Beginnings…

The Tour de France began today!  If you follow my blog then you know that this brings lots of excitement to our house…and by our house, I mean me! (Insert eye roll from BOY who claims that the tour is boring but seems to know a lot about the peloton).  For the second year in a row, I was up before my alarm on the 4th of July.  I came straight downstairs to turn on the TV and dive into the tour.  I only caught the pre race updates on teams and the ‘Big Four’ while I sipped tea and whipped up eggs.  The BOY and I planned to go to Starved Rock today, but flooding led to parking lot closures and we didn’t want to drive almost 2 hours and not get to hike.

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Instead, we drove 45 minutes to Waterfall Glen.  This area is more of a path than a state park and from where we parked, the waterfall was quite a ‘hike’…especially since we started off in the wrong direction.  The path was well used but not crowded as we passed bikers, dogs, and runners.  There was a good amount of shade as we made our way towards the waterfall.

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We were tired when we arrived and stopped to rest our feet a bit and sip some water.

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I must say that the waterfall was cool, but I was hoping that there was more than one!  The bugs made it tough to stay still, so after a quick break we hiked back to our car.

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By the time we reached our car, which was packed with a picnic lunch, we had walked over 6 miles.  There wasn’t a great place to pop a squat, so we decided to drive back towards home.  There is a great park, where I run in the mornings, a few blocks away from our house.  We pass it almost every day and always talk about picnicing, but never do.  We settled under a shady tree by the lake on this perfect day.

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With a full tummy, I could have fallen asleep on our blanket!

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Instead, we waited until we were back home to cuddle in (with Cooper, of course) for an afternoon nap!  Then, woke back up to watch the beginning of the Tour!

I can’t believe that it’s July and the beginning of the second half of the year (like my glass half full attitude?).  It occurred to me yesterday that meant I needed to check in with my bucket list!  This year has been so busy (work, wedding, life) that I barely remember what’s on my bucket list!

2015 Bucket List

LIFE

Set and follow a budget (for real!)- Oh man!  I swear I am super organized, but have totally struggled with this!  Something to focus the next 6 months on…saving up for a honeymoon!

Pass my test– Woo hoo!  All of that library time paid off.  I am know a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS), which has me smiling from ear to ear!

Have a fun stress free wedding day– Yea, so some days are easy and some days my heart beats a little faster.  We’ve had more drama with planning than I would have liked (just found out the planner at the hotel we have been working with since October quit)…BUT, above all the marriage is the most important thing and the BOY and I are in this together!

Stay healthy– Other than those two weeks where I was REALLY sick, I have been feeling pretty energetic and healthy this  year. I’m hoping that continues through the end of the year.

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BODY

Do a triathlonThe decision has been made that this won’t be a big racing year…so no triathlon.  And I am A-okay with that!  I am broadening my horizons a bit with exercise and doing tons of yoga!  This decision is helping me feel more balanced and less stressed, and we’ll just have to see what 2016 holds for races and tri’s.

Feel confident in a bikini- Work in progress!

Continue to build muscle strength– I think that my arms are definitely getting stronger and I am able to do 1-2 pull ups!  I’m hoping to continue to build my strength with the goal of adding in a consistent second strength day each week.

Keep my skin healthy– Success!  My focus on eating clean and drinking water, plus regular facials has paid off!

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MIND

Be present– I have been soaking in every moment, big or small!  Case and point, feeling the wind in my hair as I drove the boat along the lake in the picture above.  I know that more excitement awaits around the corner, and I look forward to experiencing it all!

Teach more yoga/take yoga trainings- I think this may end up being more of a 2016 goal. I’d love to do a yoga retreat AND my adult yoga certification.  I was able to talk about kids yoga on a Podcast, which is something I never would have even dreamed of in January.  It’s fun to see where the year takes you…

Read good books– Check!  I started the year as a reading machine.  With work getting busier, I have been staying up later and reading less, but plan to devour a few more books from my ‘to read’ pile before the year is done.

Give back and volunteer- Ugh! Major Fail here!  I have been donating food, money, and clothes, but not as much of my time as I would like.

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I know I say it every year, but this year has FLOWN by!  There have been some unexpected highs and a huge loss to our family as we said goodbye to our patriarch, Grandpa Al.  I know that there are more celebrations to come as we are less than 100 days from starting our life as husband and wife!  There is also a lot of non wedding excitement, vacations, and moments, and I am planning to breathe deep and appreciate all of the joy and gifts in the year ahead.   Stay tuned for June goals (and Tour de France updates) as this post is already way too long!

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2015 First Half Highlights

Lots of Kids Yoga

Bounding with my SIL

Taking engagement photos

Friendsgiving in April

Playing tennis with the BOY and my family

Wisconsin Weekends

Our first wedding shower

 

How’s your 2015 bucket list coming along?

What’s your ‘first half highlight’ of 2015?

Bucket List 2015

It’s already 31 days into January, and I have no excuse!   Well except for the fact that I’ve been super busy living up the start of 2015 instead of planning for the year ahead…I know, so not like me!  But while I’ve been running, working, yoga-ing, studying, and hanging, I have been thinking about what I want this year to look like.  Which leads me to my 2015 bucket list.  It’s going to be a special and memorable year, and it’s going to be a busy one.  So my main focus is on being present, enjoying all the little moments, focusing on friends and family and keeping everything in perspective!  Sounds great!

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2015 Bucket List

LIFE

Set and follow a budget (for real!)

Pass my test

Have a fun stress free wedding day

Stay healthy

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BODY

Do a triathlon

Feel confident in a bikini

Continue to build muscle strength

Keep my skin healthy

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MIND

Be present

Teach more yoga/take yoga trainings

Read good books

Give back and volunteer

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What are you hoping to accomplish in 2015?

I’m definitely expecting a lot more fun…

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Bucket List 2014 {The Wrap Up}

Every year it amazes me how much faster the second half of the year wizzes by.  One day it’s the start of fall, you blink, and suddenly you’re popping bubbly at New Years Eve.  As I mentioned 6 months ago, I spent 2014 in a good place!  A year ago, I was in need of a life change.  I started a new job, pursued my passions, put effort into relationships, committed to taking care of myself, and spent 2014 appreciating the joys in my life!

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By the end of 2014, I couldn’t feel more fulfilled!  Instead of looking on to 2015 to make changes, I am PUSHing through to 2015 with excitement and anticipation.

2014 Bucket List

Living Life

Reorganize (and follow) my Budget-This would be my major fail of the year.  Although I am disappointed, I know that it is hard to do everything perfectly.  In some ways, this is the area I’ve chosen not to stress over.  However, with a wedding 10 months away, a budget will be a MUST in 2015.

Continue to Volunteer-I volunteered for St. Jude at Beer Fest again this year and participated in the St. Jude fashion show.  The BOY and I have also made a point of donating money (to Cooper’s shelter) and food to local community places.

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Unplug Consistently-I have consciously blogged less this year.  Choosing sometimes to participate in life instead of documenting it.  I think that has allowed me to find better balance in my day to day life and dive into some amazing books this year.

Learn a New Skill (I’m taking tennis lessons!)-We started the year off with our tennis lessons, but then finals, travel, and the bar have gotten in the way of our planned weekly tennis dates.  The plan is to get back into tennis this month once we figure out where we want to play indoors.  Also exciting to add…my dad wants to play too!

Initiate Home Yoga/Meditation-I have been VERY consistent with my yoga practice (win!), but not soo much at home.  And I think that is okay.  I am also learning more about meditation and relaxation as I work to do a better job of guiding the kids through their relaxation time during their class.  I have certainly grown in this area and am excited to see what is to come in the year ahead.

Create Original Recipes-Yea, about that…with much of my time going to work, exercise, yoga, and life I have been letting the BOY  (who currently has way more free time than I do) take on more of a role with meal planning and meal prep.  This has worked well for us!

Travel to Wine Country-The trip we’ve been talking about for years did not disappoint.  And I’m not just talking about the surprise I got in Muir Woods : )  We spent one week in San Fran, Pleasanton, Napa and Sonoma hiking, exploring, drinking, eating, laughing, and creating memories.  I loved EVERY minute and hope that we can get back again soon!

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Make a Move

Hike More-We did an amazing hike in Las Vegas and hiked twice on our California trip.

Do an Olympic Distance TriUnfortunately, with the busy summer I wasn’t able to fit in the training for any distance triathlons.  I have a feeling this will be back on the 2015 list.

Weight Train and Look/Feel Toned-I started working with a new trainer and committed to 5 days a week workouts.  I think that overall my arms and legs are more toned and definitely stronger.  This is huge during my active work day.  There is still work to do on my middle, but there is usually work to do on my middle : )  Chugging along into the new year hoping to continue to get stronger!

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Do a Century Bike Ride-There was a lot of yoga this year and more strength training than years past, but my bike and I never found a consistent routine.

Stretch Consistently (like for real)-Does yoga count?  For sure!  My goal for stretching has to do with keeping my body limber to be able to place the strong demands of my work day and running/workout schedule on my body.  Since it was a fairly injury free year, I’d say that this has been a success.

Hello Skinny Jeans!-Hi, it’s nice to see you again!

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Highlights of 2014

Vacation in California

The BOY Passing the Bar

Good Times with Cooper

Fall Fiesta

Getting Engaged!

Teaching Kids Yoga

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Hosting Thanksgiving

The BOY’s Swearing in

Getting a Sister

My Brother’s Wedding

Christmas in Champaign

 

What was the highlight of your year?

In a Good Place

I can’t believe this year sailed by and we are already staring at July 1st and the last 6 months of 2014!

Where do the days go?

 

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I was just thinking (and patting myself on the back) because I think this is the first time EVER that I have gone half the year without taking a sick or mental health day.  In fact, (knock on wood) I’m not sure I’ve been sick in close to a year.  To me this means that I am doing things right, taking care of myself, enjoying the ride and as we approach the second half of the year, I must admit, I’m in a pretty good place!

 

Perfect timing to check in with my 2014 Bucket List.

 

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Living Life

Reorganize (and follow) my Budget-Yikes!  I am starting this today tomorrow!

 

Continue to Volunteer-I volunteered for St. Jude at Beer Fest again and I see many more St. Jude events in my future!

 

Unplug Consistently-I have been rocking this one. In all honesty, I forgot that I put this on the bucket list, but as I’m sure you’ve noticed by my lack of posts, comments, and phone calls that I am appreciating my down time soaking up cuddles with Cooper, immersing myself in dinners with the BOY, and losing myself in books and magazines.  I should confess though…I did join Instagram : )

 

Learn a New Skill (I’m taking tennis lessons!)-We started the year off with our tennis lessons, but then finals, travel, and the bar have gotten in the way of our planned weekly tennis dates.  I’m hoping, come August, we can get back to playing and I’ll have many more tennis skills to show off.

 

Initiate Home Yoga/Meditation-This year has been all about the yoga, which goes well with my lack of technology.  But, I haven’t been doing much yoga at home (unless you count that one time that I was stuck indoors with the snow storm and did a power yoga video on demand).

 

Create Original Recipes-There have been a few on the blog, but hopefully (maybe) more to come.

 

Travel to Wine Country-Tickets are bought…we leave August 3rd!!!

 

 

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Make a Move

Hike More-We did an amazing hike in Las Vegas and I am already negotiating to add some hikes into our California trip.

 

Do an Olympic Distance TriUnfortunately, with the busy summer I wasn’t able to fit in the training for any distance triathlons.  I am super sad about this, but already looking forward to scheduling something for 2015.

 

Weight Train and Look/Feel Toned-I have been consistently hitting the weight room with my trainer and on my own, and I am excited to have some definition emerging in my arms.  My trainer jokingly said to me that I would need some bandaids for all of these cuts…ha ha!

 

Do a Century Bike RideAfter this past weekend’s BRICK, I am feeing the biker bug.  Maybe I can recruit someone to ride with me!

 

Stretch Consistently (like for real)-Does yoga count?  I think I’ve been better about stretching this year than in past years.  Does that count?  Ok, so I probably have not been stretching enough.

 

Hello Skinny Jeans!-Hi!  Hoping that we’ll be reacquainted this fall : )

 

 

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More things I’m proud of in 2014…

My This is the REAL Me Post

The BOY’s Law School Graduation

Completing Rainbow Kids Yoga Training

Surviving the most brutal winter EVER

Hosting my first wine tasting

 

 

How are you preparing for the second half of the year?

What are some of your favorite memories and accomplishments from the first half of the year?

Hiking in Red Rock Canyon

With 5 days in Vegas, it was hard to even know where to begin.  I think I’ll start with the non typical Vegas fun…HIKING!

 

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The four of us (the BOY and I plus two friends from Memphis) spent last Saturday exploring Red Rock Canyon.  I was so jealous as we drove out and saw all of the runners and bikers in the dessert.  It has been a LONG time since I’ve been outside running and or biking!

 

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Red Rock Canyon is a ~12 mile paved road in the middle of the dessert.  All along the road are paths for hiking and beautiful mountains for climbing.  I came to Red Rocks during my first Vegas trip about 8 years ago with my family.

 

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And I was really looking forward to coming back!   

 

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We studied the map and picked a path that was ‘easy to moderate’ with ruins of an old home and possible waterfalls.

 

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The sky started out overcast, but the weather was beautiful and perfect to be out in the mountains.

 

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We walked along the path admiring the gorgeous day and interesting plants.

 

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Then climbed up some large rocks.

 

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We chatted and posed for pictures along the way.

 

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When the path ended (marked by a Wilderness sign, which all thought was rather obvious), we proceeded on climbing over large rocks in a riverbank.

 

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While the BOY was goofing around posing for another picture, we met our first wildlife of the day.

 

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Ok, not really wildlife, but we were shocked as 3 dogs came running down into the river bed.  Our new friends (the dog owners) showed us the way to another ‘path’ past the Wilderness sign.  We climbed along admiring the rock climbers edging their way up the side of the mountain.  We found a few caves to sneak into…

 

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And even higher to climb!

 

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When we finally decided to make our way back, we got a little bit lost pushing through brush and over a few more huge rocks. 

 

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The bright side was that we accidently found a small stream and ‘waterfall’, which was what I was really looking forward to.

 

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We did make our way out of the wilderness and by the time we found the car, the sun was shining!

 

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It was one of my favorite days of the year!  In the middle of this frigid winter, it felt incredible to spend the day exploring the desert in the sunshine with my friends!  With MORE HIKING on my 2014 bucket list, this year looks like it’s off to a great start!

 

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