I am so thankful.

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving from New York City! Needless to say its super chilly up here with some pretty serious wind, but I’m so thankful to be here. In face I’m so thankful for many things and today is the perfect day to share…

I am so thankful for…
The most wonderful, loving and supportive family. I’m blessed to have a large and tight knit family. Not only is my immediate family close but burg mine and JP’s families are. We truly become one family when we were married over 3 years ago and I am so thankful for them!
The best friends a girl could ask for! They know just how to cheer me up, show me love, calm me down and keep me sane. Anyone that knows me knows that it’s not always an easy feat. I’m so thankful for the men and women I call friends. 

My better half. Having a husband by my side through thick and thin is the biggest blessing. Seven years together and counting, we continue to love each other more daily. I’m so thankful for God creating him to be my husband. 

The cutest, craziest puppies in the world. While some days they can make me crazy, I’m so thankful I found them and have them a forever home!
A career I’m passionate about. Changing jobs this year was the ballsiest move I’ve ever made and I can’t believe I truly did it! I love helping people better their lives and find a passion for fitness. I’m so thankful for finding my nitch in this industry. 

A home over my head, food in my belly, my relatively good health and the ability to do the things I love. So often it’s easy to take things for granted. No matter what I know I will have these basic necessities that not everyone has. I’m so thankful for the comforts in life. 
The ability to run. I’ve complained a bit about running this year and I need to remember to be grateful for the fact that I can run! I’m so thankful for my ability to push my body to new limits and enjoy doing it!

I’m thankful so much more than just these few things but I think I was able to get my point across. I’m so thankful for the life God gave me. Today is the day to remember how blessed I am!
Happy Thanksgiving y’all! Take some time to remember just how lucky you are!

The Long Run: Top 10 Tips for Running in the Rain

Distance running can seem very daunting, but believe it or not, you can do it too! Ready to train for your first half marathon? Or maybe you’re about to tackle your 10th half or even a full! Join in on The Long Run for different tips and tricks for before, during and after to make it through your long run while feeling your best.

As runners, we have our fair share of interesting conditions whether it be during a training run or even come race day. After experiencing an interesting 18 mile training run in the pouring rain this past Saturday, I thought I’d share a few tips for running in the rain!
1. Protect your feet! 
Even though your shoes may be soaked by the end of your run, be sure to take precautions before you run. Put some body glide or even deodorant to avoid those nasty blisters!
2. Zig zagging to avoid puddles could cause you more harm than good!
If the rain is coming down, the likelihood of your feet remaining dry is low. Instead of dodging puddles, just take them like a champ…assuming you can see the bottom. Please don’t step in a hole! You can try to make it more entertaining by attempting to splash your friends like I do 🙂
3. Wear appropriate clothing.
If it’s cold and rainy, be sure to layer! But don’t go overboard, if it’s really wet, too many layers could mean extra weight dragging you down. A water proof or water resistant jacket could be a life saver. Some people are also keen on wearing a trash bag as a poncho…I haven’t done this but I’ve seen it many times!
4. Wear a hat!
This will help keep water off of your face so you’re not constantly wiping your eyes. It can also help block the wind if necessary.
Aramco Houston Half – January 2011
5. Cover your electronics.
If you’re going to carry a phone or iPod, be sure to put them in a plastic baggie. The last thing you need is a dead phone after a grueling run in the rain. You deserve to be proud and happy, not pissed about needing a new phone!
6. Don’t forget to take in fluids.
Rain is similar to sweat and it will cool your body down. Often times when our bodies are cooler during a run, we drink less which will cause runners to become dehydrated. Dehydration doesn’t just happen on the nasty, hot and humid runs. Be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drink so that you don’t hit a wall or end up feeling awful after your run. 
7. Be visible!
During a race when there are tons of other people around you {see below} visibility isn’t really necessary. However, if you’re out running alone or even with a few people, you need to make sure cars, bikes and other pedestrians can see you coming. Rain alters our vision and depth perception, not to mention it’s usually gloomy or dark outside. Be sure to wear reflective or bright colored clothing or even wear a blinky light!
Chevron Houston Marathon – January 2013
8.Remember that it is a GLORIOUS day for running.
At this point, you’re out there and running. You had the power to stay in bed, but you chose to be a runner instead. Celebrate that you have the ability to be running whether the weather is good or bad. Whether it’s a race or a regular old run. You have the will power to be a champion. Keep it up and just have fun!
9. Bring a change of clothes…or at least a towel!
After the race or training run is over, you probably don’t want to head back home soaking wet. Especially if it’s cold outside or if you have to wait for a bit before you can head home. If changing clothes isn’t feasible, grab a towel to put on you car seat. This will at least keep your car from getting too wet!
10. Stuff your shoes with newspaper after your run.
This will help draw water out of your shoes while maintaining their shape. Whatever you do, don’t stick then in a dryer or use heat to dry out your shoes. I promise you’ll regret it. 
So there you have it! Not every race day is going to have ideal conditions, so make sure you’re also training in less than ideal weather even if it doesn’t sound quite so appealing. I promise you’ll be glad you did it come race day. The most important thing to remember as always is to stay safe and listen to your body. Know when to push yourself and when to back off. You know you’re body best 🙂

I hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Try to squeeze in a run or a workout to kick some of those Thanksgiving weekend calories!
Anyone running in a Turkey Trot?!

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A Quick Trip to Calgary!

So I have yet another picture post for y’all today! Last week, y’all may have noticed that I disappeared for a few days…I was off to Calgary! JP had to go up there for work and I had never been so I wanted to go! Luckily I was able to get a plane ticket on my United miles…so even though I was only there Wednesday to Friday, it was worth the quick trip.

JP picked me up from the airport and took me to a nice dinner near our hotel at a nice restaurant called Joey Barlow. There was an issue with JP’s meal because the crab meat for his sushi was still frozen. The manager came by and it was really no big deal to us, granted I was very hungry, but it wasn’t her fault they ran out of crab. Instead he had an avocado roll and we ended up getting our $70 meal for free! Not a bad start to my trip to Calgary 🙂

Thursday JP had to work, so I took off to downtown for some exploring. But first we had to stop for breakfast at Tim Horton’s…they’re about as abundant as Starbucks in Houston…if not even more! After breakfast, I took the train straight into downtown {all by myself I might add 🙂} and headed straight for their mall!

A smile in my Pumpkin Spice Latte

Once I got downtown, I walked around a lot in their above ground tunnel system and eventually made it to the mall where I went straight to the indoor gardens on the forth story!

I loved walking around the gardens indoors since it was so freaking freezing outside! And of course, the gardens were followed by lots of shopping in The Core downtown shopping mall. I managed to get a few super cute sweaters and tops for my trip to New York!

Later that day, once it warmed up a bit, I took a stroll down the historic Stephen Avenue which is an outdoor pedestrian mall! I took a pit stop at the Calgary Tower and paid for a trip to the top to get an amazing view of the city.

From the bottom!
From the top!

I loved the glass viewing deck that you could step onto. I’m not afraid of heights at all, but JP is. He quickly said that he was glad that I was able to go do that without him 🙂 After the tower, I went to explore Olympic Park before heading back to the train.

JP picked me up from the train station and we decided to grab a drink before going to dinner. Oddly, Chili’s had a good happy hour deal, so we dropped in and I HAD to snap a picture of the restaurant. Apparently, Chili’s is a Texas Grill everywhere outside of the US…who knew?

Dinner followed at another nice restaurant called Earl’s! And I was so hungry that no pictures were taken…ooops! Then we headed back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tub for a bit to warm up our frozen bodies.

Friday morning started early with a quick workout followed by breakfast again at Tim Horton’s! This time I got a Christmas cup!

Since our plane didn’t leave until a little after 1:00pm, we decided to push our luck and head out to the Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows! I even got to see real live reindeer!

They loved me…duh

We walked away with an ornament from Canada, some toffee and peanut brittle and some beautiful candles! I’m so glad that we decided to squeeze it in even though we didn’t have a ton of time.

It was a super quick trip but completely worth it if you ask me! I love exploring new cities…especially in different countries! Calgary lived up to my expectations and I really want to go back when it’s a little bit warmer!

Do you like randomly exploring new cities or do you prefer to have a set plan?
What cities have you visited recently for a quick trip?

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And they lived happily ever after!

Happy Monday loves! I have a very fun and happy post for y’all today. Everyone loves a good love story and quite frankly, I have a great one to share with y’all. On Saturday, I was able to witness two amazing friends marry each other. Two friends that I have known for many years and are very close to my family. In fact, I know them through my sister. But to me they are my friends, and I hold them near and dear to my heart.

The wedding was beautiful and the Timmer/Gougler/Vorkinn Clan definitely showed up. And let me tell you, we know how to party. Now I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I actually brought my DSLR and it was an excellent decision!

On Saturday, November 23rd John and Kelsey were married in St. Laurence Catholic Church presided by Father Drew Wood. Guess what? That’s exactly the same place and person who married JP and I! It was so special to see them married there as well.

My sister did the first reading! But the picture I got was crummy because I didn’t want to be rude taking pictures during the scripture!

Their theme was Disney and fall which is perfect because it’s fall and they’re going to Disney World for their honeymoon! How awesome is that? I’m super jealous. I loved the adorable sign the ring bearer was holding! And you can just see the love and joy on their faces!
And of course we had to get some family pictures at the church while we were at it!
Ole – Char – Matt- Emily – Dad – Mom – Me – JP 
Love this…Daddy stole a kiss 🙂
I love this man to pieces!
The reception was at Safari Texas which is also where JP and I had our reception, but it was in a different room. I loved the room, the grounds, the decor, EVERYTHING! Kelsey…you did an amazing job girl!
If that cake isn’t absolutely adorable, I don’t know what is! It tasted delicious as well!
Kelsey had all the details covered. From the signs up at the bar, to the music, to the name cards and table signs. I loved the attention to detail!
Girls with the bride! Lauren – Emily – Kelsey – Char – Me
Emily, John and Char…partners in crime. Emily met John as soon as he moved to Texas in 2004-ish and he quickly became a member of the Timmer famiy 🙂
I wish someone would have told me about how awesome my hair looks right here…
 After dinner and the first dances, we were ready to party, dance and take way too many pictures 🙂
The photobooth was AMAZING! We were in it all night long 🙂
They also had glow sticks…hello awesome. This is apparently my fierce face…
At some point, the dance floor got a little crazier and the pictures got a little blurrier 🙂
I’m really getting into Party in the USA…one of my favorite wedding songs to dance to!

Clearly we had a great time and I’m positive the Bride and Groom had an amazing time too. Thank you John and Kelsey for letting us join you on your special day. We can’t wait to watch y’all grow closer to one another and God each day. I hope you know we love y’all to pieces! Here’s to Mr. and Mrs. John Messer! {P.S. Kelsey, I’m going to put all the good pictures on Facebook and I’ll get you a CD with all 250 that we managed to take 🙂}

What’s y’alls favorite part of weddings?

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell y’all all about Calgary!

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Love on a Wednesday

Thank y’all so much for the outpour of congratulations and support from yesterday’s post! I’m so excited to start yet another new journey and can’t wait to see how it helps me grow. That being said, today let’s just go over a few things that I’m loving right now…

I’m loving…

…y’all! The love and support everyone has given me through my new career journey is so encouraging and uplifting. It’s so much easier to take big leaps when people are pumping you up 🙂

…traveling! Okay I always love traveling but I’m loving it more right now because I have trips to be super excited for! Calgary here I come!


…my cute wintery clothes! They’re not even close to necessary in Houston yet, but I actually get to wear them in the frozen temps of Calgary and New York coming up! Pictures to come later.

…the Holidays! I can already feel the spirt in the air. I haven’t quite started listening to Christmas music and my house won’t be decorated until this weekend, but I may have watched Elf a time or two since it’s on my DVR 🙂

…Running again! I’m finally back at it. I did 3 on the treadmill Monday, 5 outside yesterday and I’m aiming for 4 in Calgary tomorrow…indoors of course. Hopefully the weather will be nice to I can jump right back into my long runs come Saturday. I’m also about to start reading a new book about running that my friend Alex gave me! I’m hoping it gets me back into marathon spirits after this stupid bought of bronchitis! I’ll let y’all know if it works!

Well I’m off to get a few things done before jumpin’ on an airplane to go see my love! I also need to prepare my blood for the freezing cold. More than likely we’ll look something like this…

House hunting in Pittsburgh December 2010

What are y’all loving on this Wednesday?

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Turning the page.

Today I have an exciting announcement. Before I tell you, I want to say that 2013 has been an interesting year for me. The beginning of the year was rough. Really rough. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. I was drained and I wasn’t my happy self for a variety of reasons that I’ll not going to broadcast. Despite the trials I endured during the first six months, it’s safe to say that God saw my struggles and answered my prayers. He helped me to have a MUCH better second half of the year. Between sending Charlotte to Houston, opening my eyes to the AMAZING friends and family that I have, to giving me the courage to make a HUGE career change.

2013 marked a new chapter in my book. For those of you that are newer to these parts, you can read up on my career change from Corporate America to becoming a fitness professional. Well I am happy to announce that I’m turning another page in my book! I’ve accepted a full time position at a health club in downtown Houston as a Fitness Specialist! My mom actually found the club online and thought I should apply. Two days later they were calling me for an interview and hired me two days after that! {You know so my drug test results could come in 🙂}

I’m sad to leave my clients at my current gym, but this new position is much more stable and it’s pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I get full time hours, benefits, holidays and vacation just like I did when I worked at a computer all day. My hours are awesome: 5am-1pm. Now some may think that’s too early, but this early bird can handle it. Then I have the rest of the afternoon to run errands, cook dinner or go to Sugar Land to see my parents! This also means that I’m not going back and forth to work like I currently do.

So what does a Fitness Specialist do? I’ll continue to do personal training as well as teach various group exercises classes, but I’ll also do a little bit of work at the front dest and I’ll work one on one with clients to perform fitness assessments and prescribe fitness plans. The best part is that in this position I have room to grow and move up.

I’m excited to start this journey at this new gym. I believe I’ll be able to relate to more of the audience since I come from a corporate background! So here’s to yet another journey that seems like it should bring me joy in my career! I can’t wait to start December 2nd!

How did you feel when you changed jobs? Or started your first job?
I feel like starting a new job always brings excitement and butterflies. Of course they eventually go away and work becomes work. Or at least that’s how it’s been for me since I left my first job {the one I loved.} I’m hoping that this new position will bring joy to my work! Or at least a bit more than usual 🙂

If you could change careers and be whatever you wanted, what would you do?
I would be a princess. Duh.
And just because every post needs a picture. I leave you with my good babies waiting for their new toy. Which I will point out is already destroyed and no longer exists.

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My Baby Turned 3!

I typed up an entire blog post and then Blogger erased it and saved. I couldn’t get it back and now I am a sad panda. Now I’m going to shorten what I had and just show you pictures.

Miss Maggie turned 3 on Sautrday and I can’t believe that my baby girl is growing up! She’s slowly calming down but still has all the spunk in the world! And in case you wanna take a peek, here’s Miss Maggie when she was a little baby! The very first time I introduced her to the blog world!

Of course we celebrated with our little on Saturday with presents and treats before we were off to the Tiller-Williams wedding!

one. Saturday morning snuggles
two. Princess Maggie lounging on her birthday
three. Attempting to get a picture of Moose but it’s so hard!
four. Ready for the wedding!
five. Showing off my new dress and awesome modeling skills…okay not the latter
six. Tiller-Williams wedding
seven. They’re married!
eight. I loved that their monogram and bible verse was everywhere!
nine. Now that is an Aggie cake…WHOOP!

Now it’s time to tackle a busy week followed by a crazy weekend! I leave for Calgary in 2 days, John & Kelsey get married on Saturday and we’re off to NYC in just 9 days! I guess I’ll have time to sit back and breath in December. Or not. Maybe January 🙂 We’ll see! Happy Monday lovlies. Make it a good one!

Pretty in Plaid

I must say that I absolutely love when Friday rolls around because it’s like my Saturday 🙂 Not for long though! {Secrets are fun!} I also love Friday because I feel like I generally have a lot of thoughts and ideas for blogging in my head. Plus there are several fun link ups that often inspire those thoughts. Once upon a time, I linked up with Mrs. Alison all the time and lately I just haven’t been sharing my Friday Fancies with y’all! Well today is the day because the Pretty in Plaid theme got me super inspired to create an outfit for me to wear in Calgary! I mean, I’m leaving next Wednesday! So pumped.

Pretty in Plaid

I love me a good plaid shirt. I have a few in different colors…purple…aqua…navy…but this maroon one spoke to me and I kind of want it! Best part is that it’s affordable and from American Eagle. To add a little warmth I went with a fleece vest and knee high boots. As always, I swoon over Tory’s riding boots. One day I’ll break down and buy them I’m sure.

So now I have an idea for a super cute outfit in Calgary! The top with be more purpley and the vest is black. I’ll look super cute when walking around the second biggest mall in the world 🙂 5 more days!!!

What are your thoughts on plaid?
Do you have a favorite plaid print color?

Happy Friday my lovies and have a great weekend!

Had to add my old Friday Fancies badge just because!

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84 14’s

Today is kind of a special day. Nothing too exciting. Not the kind to be overly celebrated. No exchanges of gifts will be made. No special dinner plans for this evening. But nonetheless, it’s a day each year the I will hold near and dear to my heart. It’s the day I’ll think back to that giddy 19-year-old version of myself and just smile. I’ll remember how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learned. More importantly, I’ll remember how much WE’VE grown and learned. Because on November 14, 2006 JP and I were officially a couple. Now that we celebrate our wedding anniversary we don’t do much for this day, but it is a great time to remember and reflect on how we’ve grown and how lucky we are.

November 2006 around the time we became “official”

On this day in 2008, JP got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was only 21. Some may say this is too young, but I don’t care. Five years later I can still say that of all the life changing decisions I’ve made, this one was by far the best.

November 2008 – Young and in love

October 2010 {it’s close to November!} Fredricksburg Weekend
November 2013 In the city where it all began

Here’s to 84 {7 years * 12 months each year}14’s and many, many, many more to come.

Do you have any special dates that you can’t help but reflect on?
I truly believe that the more days you have to celebrate, the happier your life will be. So here’s to the mini celebrations in life that make each day something special.

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Step out of your comfort zone!

Happy Wednesday y’all! I love Wednesday because I don’t teach classes or have any clients…for now…so I can “sleep in” {except I usually still wake up before 7am} and get my workout in early. Well usually I can get my workout in. This sick girl has been out of commission for the past few weeks and I don’t want to push it. I don’t want to make myself worse and have even more set backs! Hence the lack of marathon training updates. Hopefully I be back in action soon. Until then, I’ll keep telling others what to do for their workouts 🙂

Speaking of telling others what to do, I have a fun, different new workout for y’all to try. It’s going to take some stepping out of your comfort zone, but trying new things is what keeps your workouts fun and interesting!

This workout is going to include a step! Yes, I’m talking about a 1980’s cardio step used for step aerobics. {Which by the way is not only an awesome workout, it’s a super fun one too. Yes, it still exists and yes, I teach it…weekly!}

If anyone can get me one of those leotards, I will be your best friend forever. I want one so bad!

Now I know that most people don’t necessarily have an aerobic step laying around their house. {except of the cool kids like me} Luckily there are plenty of other surfaces that will serve the purpose such as a street curb outside your house, any short bench/step 6-14 inches tall, a short wooden box, etc will work. Also check and see if you have these available at your gym! Most will have a few available for use outside of the group exercise room. I can tell y’all are super excited now, so here’s your new workout!

Make sure you do both sides of those squat in the squat series for set 2 🙂 No cheating! Give it a go and let me know what you think. I promise you’ll get a full body burn and want to do it again! While you’re at it, get in a bit more cardio and check out a cardi step class. I promise you’ll have a good time.

Have you ever been to a cardio step class? What did you think?
What’s your favorite workout that required you to step out of your comfort zone?
Mine was trying out the TRX bands! I only tried them for the first time this year and learned a lot. I was definitely nervous about falling the first time I gave them a go!

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