The One Where We Got Engaged.


Yep! It happened. Even as I write this  I still don’t think it has officially sunk in yet. I feel so grown up when I look down at my ring — then I laugh because I know it’s me and I feel like I’m the farthest thing from being grown up. I’ve drank more champagne these past two days then I have in my entire life, but I’m not complaining.

Lots Of Champagne!
Lots Of Champagne!

Let’s rewind a little. The boyfriend — or excuse me — the fiance (weird) popped the question on Christmas Eve. This was pretty brave considering it was in front of 20+ family members all in town for the holidays. It was perfect though and exactly what I wanted. I remember being six years old and seeing my uncle propose to my aunt in front of all of us and I always liked that. I also always wanted to say “I got a diamond for Christmas” so this was one of the main reasons for the Christmas time engagement.

Apparently everyone knew about the proposal except for me. When I walked into my Grandma’s house that night (which was the scene of the crime), my uncle told me “We’re going to have a toast to the December birthdays tonight since we tend to get overlooked this time of year.” (My birthday was the 16th, his the 23rd.)

OK I thought, I’m all for a champagne toast so count me in!

After dinner, by uncle started rounding everyone up in front of the Christmas tree for this “toast”. I sat on the couch with one of my little cousins in my lap. My uncle toasted to the December birthdays, made a few quick jokes and then rather weirdly at the end asked “Does anyone else have anything they’d like to add?” Right then the boyfriend (at the time) came walking around from behind me and said “I’d like to add something…” As I turned to face him I saw him pull out a little box and then get down on one knee right in front of me.  By this time everyone in the room was cheering loudly. I heard him say “Will you marry me?” as everyone screamed and whistled all around us. By the time I got a good look at the ring, I had tears in my eyes and was sweating from having so many eyes on me.  I was nervous and shaking! I guess I didn’t say anything at first (I don’t really remember) and later on in the video you can hear my mom scream “SHE SAID YES!” for me since apparently I wasn’t  able to speak for myself at the moment! He put the ring on my finger and I remember flipping out since I’d obviously never seen it before. Then I jumped up and hugged and kissed him while everyone continued to cheer.  It was absolutely perfect.

Proposal play-by-pay.
Proposal play-by-pay.

After that came tons of hugs and well wishes from aunts and uncles and grandparents. A tribe of little cousins admired my ring while hanging from my arm asking “What will your new last name be?”. The fiance and I snuck a kiss or two while we hugged and cheers’ed everybody. One of my brothers gave us a bottle of champagne (since of course he was in on it too). Then I called and sent out pictures to all my best friends. The fiance sent out a text to his friends and family that said “The deed is done”.

It was absolutely perfect — the proposal, the family setting, the ring, the celebration. I am stunned. I’m not sure how much happier I can get! My fiance and I are on cloud nine and absolutely thrilled. The ring has a diamond in it that has been in my family for over 200 years. The diamond itself is part of an original set of  earrings that was worn in the 1800s. My middle name is Beatrice, which was my Great Grandmother’s name. The diamond was worn by Beatrice herself, but at that time it was still a pair of earrings. The diamond is one of the earrings and has now been reset into a beautiful platinum silver band. Just knowing that this diamond has been in the hands of so many great relative females is so special to me. (I hope I do them proud!)

Now everyone is asking us when the wedding is going to be. Pre-engagement we had talked about it being summer of 2015 and that’s still the plan. No official date yet, but we have plenty of time for planning. Right now we are just trying to live in the moment and celebrate this time in our lives. On Christmas Day the fiance and I were alone in the kitchen refilling some champagne glasses (of course). One of my brothers walked in as the fiance and I kissed between sipping our drinks.  “HEY!” My brother said to us as we looked up from kissing. “It’s not like you two have anything to celebrate or be happy about right!?” We all laughed and the fiance and I both took a sip while we grinned from ear to ear at each other…

Here’s to the best Christmas ever.


A Holiday Run & The “Off Season”


This past weekend was the second annual Legacy Village Jingle Bell 5K. The race was put on by the Arthritis Foundation. I kept getting coupons in my inbox for race registration, but of course when I actually went to register, the coupon had expired. Then a few days later they emailed me another one. Can’t win ‘em all I guess. The boyfriend and I ran the race last year and had a great time.

Sunday’s weather was cold. I think I felt colder then it actually was because I’m a little bit of a wimp when it comes to snow. I thought I’d warm up once the race got started, but I didn’t and by mile two my lungs ached from the cold air and my toes were still numb. The crowd was a sea of red and green and Santa hats bobbed up and down all around me. The boyfriend drew a good number of whistles from his tiny Christmas boxers that he chose to wear over some athletic shorts. It was a funny sight to see. Event staff handed out jingle bells to tuck into our shoes, but after last year I chose not to. (They bothered me too much and eventually fell off anyways.)

post race

post race

I’ll admit I’m not in the best shape at the moment. I peeked in September and have let myself relax a little since then. I try to work out three to four days a week and my diet has been here and there with the holidays. I don’t mind though. I’m enjoying myself. The beginning of November was the first time I was actually able to run completely marathon-injury free. I also have big plans for 2014, so mine as well enjoy my off season at the moment.

I’m thinking about trying to run a race every month in 2014. The only thing I’m a little hesitant of is January, February and March. I hate cold weather and running in the snow. Of course most races would be a 5K with bigger races in the warmer months. Still giving some thought to that, especially with sticking to a budget with race fees. Stay tuned.

my 2013 Race Bibs

my 2013 Race Bibs

I also have plans to run the Cleveland Half Marathon in May again. I’ve gone back and forth so much with running the full or the half. I’ve decided if I’m going to race a lot in 2014, I can’t injury myself right away from a marathon in May. It took me over two months to recover from the marathon in September and since summer is peek racing season I don’t want to be out of commission for that.

I turn 24 next week, but I don’t really mind. I’m excited for what the next year has ahead of me and I don’t think I’ve felt like this for my birthday in a few years now. Life has been pretty darn good to me lately and I can’t wait for a new year to write down all my goals for 2014. I’m also excited for the holidays and seeing friends and family.

So runners and fitness readers, is this your “off season” or “break” too? Are you a little more lenient this time of year or is there never an off season for you?

A friend sent this to me so I don't know who it belongs to, but I want one.

A friend sent this to me so I don’t know who it belongs to, but I want one.

An Inspiring Month.


Well Christmas is here! I must say that this season has been one of my favorite. I feel like I am truly in the Christmas spirit and have celebrated the season. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I cannot wait to see my family, give out my gifts and carry my 13-month nephew around the entire day. The next day I will spit my Christmas Day between mine and my boyfriend’s family for the second year in a row. I feel like a kid when I say and mean that I cannot wait!

The season started out with Thanksgiving, which was a fabulous 60 degrees for Chardon, Ohio. These little candy turkey and acorn off Pinterest were a hit!

turkeysThen the Christmas Pinterest creations began…

xmas cookiespeguinsOn December 8 the boyfriend and I ran the Jingle Bell 5K at Legacy Village. This race was great! The course was a little challenging with a few tough hills, and the holiday themed costumes were hilarious. Plus there was tons of activities, food and music post race. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a good workout and a fun festive time.

jingle bell 5kjingle bell 5k runThis past year, as many of you know, I started a new job. My coworkers at work are very passionate about animals. Now I’ve always been an average animal lover. I can appreciate an adorable cat or dog, but I never gave much thought past that. I never thought about animals without homes, abused animals or those living in shelters. During the past few months I’ve listened to my coworkers talk about donating to pet shelters and stopping to pick up dogs without collars on the side of the road. I got inspired to donate to our local pet shelter this Christmas because of their passion. I never thought I would be collecting pet food and treats for Christmas, but it was a very meaningful experience. I hope someone’s passion inspires me again in the future or visa versa for another person.

doggie bagI also work at a local grocery store, as well as in the marketing department for a local hospital. A few days ago I was at the very end of my shift at the store. I had been a cashier, ringing people out for hours and I was exhausted and tired of getting yelled at by crabby, mean customers. My very last customer came through my line. He was an older guy with gray hair. He asked me how I was and we had typical small talk while I rang him out. He paid with a $20 bill and I handed him back his change. He took the money and then handed me back the $5 bill. “Merry Christmas,” he said. “Hang in there.” I stood there, dumbfounded as he turned to walk away. I mumbled a thanks and then just stood there with the money still in my hand. I couldn’t believe how nice that was and how it ironically happened to be my very last customer of the day. It truly made my day. I know anyone who works in retail probably can relate to that. I put the $5 in the Salvation Army kettle on my way out of the store that night. I hope that guy knows how much that little act of kindness meant to a tired cashier. So of course being inspired again, my mom and I bought little Christmas candy, tied a Christmas tag to the box and wrote a thank you note on each one. Yesterday we stopped at the bank, the coffee shop, and the grocery store and gave them to the people who waited on us. Retail is terrible during the year normally, it’s even worse during the holidays, remember that during the next few days!

I want to extend a very happy and blessed Merry Christmas to you all. I hope everyone spends the next two days surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the wonder and joy that this season brings and that inspiration to do good finds its way into your life!

Keep running, keep laughing, Merry Christmas!

The Holidays Are Coming…


I cannot believe next week is Thanksgiving! Fall has flown by, and it has been super fun, busy and fabulous!

I’ve already begun to think about Christmas. I want to get a head start this year. My birthday is December 16, so my goal is to have all my Christmas shopping done by at least then (hopefully WAY earlier.)

Since I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest lately, I made a calendar to hang on the fridge that is marked with all these holiday crafts and activities that I want to do with my friends and family. It’s really quite pathetically hilariously.
Activities include holiday baking, caroling, random acts of kindness, deadlines for having the Christmas tree up and cards out, etc.

Can you tell I’m excited for the holidays?

Also on my holiday calendar is this 5K. A couple of my girlfriends and I are  running it on December 8. You dress up in holiday themed costumes and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, plus proceeds go to the Arthritis Foundation. More info on the 5K can be found here.

Tonight is also the Holiday Open House in Downtown Painesville. I interned with the organization a few summers ago. The event features local businesses all around downtown and you walk around and get your “passport” stamped at all the places listed on it. Once you have visited all the places you enter your passport into three raffle gift baskets. It’s a great way to support the local area, plus there’s free refreshments at all the places, a visits from Santa and Christmas carolers. It’s going to be a really fun night. More on this event can be found here.

I hope you are just as excited as I am for the holidays. I also hope you get inspired to be festive and spend time doing fun activities with your friends and family. More importantly I hope you all realize during the next month or so just how lucky we all are to be able to celebrate the holidays. I hope we all learn to count our blessings and treat others kindly not just during Christmas, but all year round.

I’ll leave you with this Christmas classic.