Thankful in 2013

Tis the season to stop, reflect, appreciate and be thankful for all the blessings we’ve been given.

As I am leaving for the Thanksgiving today, I thought it would be fitting to make a list of some of the things I am so thankful for in 2013.

My Husband


Love that man.   He is my best friend, confidant, partner in crime, pet daddy, biggest supporter, and partner in life.  Getting married and having him as my husband this year has provided me with a sense of security, love, and contentment that I NEVER even knew existed.  This has been the most amazing year together, but I know the best is still to come.

My Parents


I have always been well aware that I was blessed with the greatest parents in the world, but that become even more evident with this past year or so.  I have moved across the country, married a boy, and begun to make my own life and family out here in Colorado.  While I miss my parents dearly, and I know they miss me, they have been NOTHING but extremely supportive since day one.  They love me unconditionally, support me through anything, and are proud of the person that I have become and continue to become.  And that is a pretty amazing feeling.

My In-Laws

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You guys, I hit the jack pot in the in-law department.  Funny enough, I met Zach’s dad the same weekend I met Zach when we were on that destined ski trip.  Pretty unique situation, but something I think we all cherish.  From the day I met the family (Christmas eve, 2009), they have made me feel like a member of the family.  Including me in any and every family event, big or small, and opening their arms and home to me without question.  I can imagine that handing off your first boy to get married is NOT easy, but they handled it with grace and more than ever I feel like we are all one big happy family.  They even except me for all my crazy tendencies, which is pretty awesome 😉



The most challenging part of moving to Denver from Chicago was leaving an amazing network of friends.  Both in Chicago and in our hometowns.  While our time with these AMAZING people is limited now, it is more precious than ever.  I CHERISH these relationships and feel lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.



Running is something that I learned NOT to take advantage of in 2013.  With a scare VERY early in the year (think first or second week of January) and resulting runner’s knee, I have learned what it means to NOT be able to run.  Even for a short period of time.  While training for races, and doing challenges like I’m doing right now AREN’T easy, I am SO thankful that my body is able to run like it is right now, and I want to enjoy.  Enjoy it every.single.time. I get out.  It’s a blessing.  It’s my “me” time, as well as an activity that I am learning to love and share with others.   While I know there will be a day that I won’t be able to run, today is not that day. And for that, I am thankful.



For Zach and I, our hearts have always been in the great outdoors.  Specifically the mountains.  This year, I have been able to finally spend an entire season cycle here in Denver and I’ve gotta say I couldn’t be more thankful for the place we now call home.  Denver has the perfect mix of city that us youngins’ need, while offering the best of the outdoors just a quick car ride from our front door.  Amazing.

Our Furballs

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I’ve had August for over 5 years now and feel like she just gets me :).  She has seen me through major moves, meeting the boy of my dreams, starting AND graduating grad school, getting engaged AND married, and still loves me.  She is my little lady and holds a special piece of my heart.

Zach and I got Gus 2.5 years ago and it was one of the greatest things the two of us have done to date.   To say I am thankful for him in 2013 is an understatement, as he put us through the scare of a lifetime for the first 3-5 months of the year.  I am so thankful to have a healthy, happy, and fat pup today and treasure every single healthy day we have with him.

Chocolate Medals


This blog has provided me with so much since I started it in the middle of this year.  It was a huge outlet for wedding anxiety, a place for love and support through the wedding, a connection to family and friends, a place to meet new friends, an accountability partner, and just an amazing source of joy for me.  I hope that this continues LONG into the future, and I am excited for where I can take this little blog-o-mine.

Some Other Things I’m Thankful for in 2013:

  • Being employed
  • My health
  • My husband, family, and friends health
  • The people I’ve met through work
  • Chocolate, cookies, cake, sweets in general.  Always thankful

And of course, there are MANY things I am forgetting as I have so much to be thankful for this year.

Cheers to everyone during this great season! 🙂

Question of the Afternoon: What are you most thankful for in 2013?

Pile On The Miles and A Nauseous Run

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday/Almost Thanksgiving to everyone 🙂

Just a half day at work separates me from Thanksgiving and a ton of family, food and fun.  My three favorite F’s :).

In the spirit of keeping the streak alive, and fitting in all the healthy I can before the holiday, I crawled out of bed this morning for a quick 4 miler

Workout Of The Day: 4 miles on the treadmill

Nothing unique about the run itself.  I woke up feeling a bit nauseous but thought I could tough it thought a short run.  Welp, unfortunately the run left me feeling a wee bit worse for ware…resulting in some not fun activities post run.

Because it’s only a half day, I figured I’d tough it out at work and hope that some serious hydration and food will reset my weird-o body.  I don’t have time to be sick, dang it!

Pile On The Miles Update


With keepin’ the streak alive, I got knocked myself up to 96.5 miles, just 3.5 miles away from my goal.  This has been SUCH a great challenge for me, forcing me to keep on my feet, and challenging my legs in a new way.  Let me tell you, training and long distance running is challenging, but the beginning of this streak was exhausting in a different way as well.  At this point, my legs have become pretty accustomed to the distance and are feeling OK, but my brain is exhausted.  They say running is 90% mental, 10% physical, right?

Alright friends, time for me to get through this day! I’ll definitely try and report back before heading to North Carolina!

Question of the Morning: Working out when not feeling hot…what are your thoughts?

Cookie Dough Brownies

Hello.  Two of my favorite things, in one.  Does life get any better?

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Yesterday the baking bug hit.  Love when that happens on Sundays :).  Who doesn’t like treats for the week?  Well, I certainly do…but I had one thing to consider.  We leave for the week on Tuesday.  So I needed to bake something that wouldn’t last us more than three days.

Enter cookie dough brownies, and the freezer :).

I’ve seen the idea all over the Pinterest.  Brownies, from a box or scratch, topped with cookies.  You really can’t mess it up.  But, because we were being so indulgent here, I took the opportunity to really healthify our treat.  And lemme tell ya, we weren’t complaining.

We used half this batch of brownies (but you can use all) to make a small portion of this delicious treat

Cookie Dough Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 + 2 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup + of applesauce (add a tablespoon or two if needed)
  • 2 flax seed eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flax, 3 tablespoons of water per flax egg)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of All purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of Whole Wheat flour
  • A large dash of salt

Brownie Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and begin boiling water
  • Put cocoa in large mixing bowl, and add the boiling water directly
  • Add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth
  • Whisk in the applesauce and butter
  • Add the flax eggs, egg whites and vanilla
  • Fold in the flour and sugar until completely incorporated
  • Pour into an 8×8, greased pan.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on doneness.

my half batch that I baked in a bread pan.

I let the brownies cool completely, for a few hours.

Once the brownies are done,  you just need to add the cookie dough!


Many recipes call for a peanut butter cookie dough on top, which requires no baking, just setting.  But I ultimately used some left over zucchini chocolate chip cookie dough that I had frozen and added Sundrops (or MnM’s) to the dough.  I baked the cookie dough on top for about 5-7 minutes (way undercooked)…let cool completely, then let set in the fridge for about an hour.  I imagine any cookie dough could really work — but this was a healthy cookie dough and like I mentioned before, I’m all about making this as healthy as possible since by nature it is SO indulgent.

These things were AWESOME.  And I can’t wait to have some more tonight :).


Quesiton of the night:  Cookie DOUGH or cookie?

Cookie dough most of the time, I’m sorry…

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