At the finish line of 2015……

Every year has its ups and downs. This one hasn’t been any different in that regard. Financial burdens, career confusion, decision to downsize and sell our home….. sure it’s not been easy. But I must say, I feel hopeful, optimistic, and excited about what’s to come in the new year.

I praise Him for the good and the bad…blessings come from the darkest places sometimes. As the optimist in me is writing today, here’s the celebratory highlight reel and what’s in store for 2016.

This past year I got somewhat away from running races, but closed out the year with a local Turkey Trot and friends. Running is where my change in fitness  very first began, so this year I’m looking to run a few races, first one being the Fresh 15K in March.

CrossFit has been a huge presence in my life this year. The GymFed family I train with is just none other than amazing. My job doesn’t really feel like a job, and watching our athletes continue to grow is just the best feeling evah! My personal fitness has continued to grow. After a last place finish in my first ever CrossFit competition, I decided there was a level of fitness I needed to strive towards before entering another one. And that I did, improving to an overall sixth place finish at Festivus. The question is, will there be more competitive appearances? Most likely, yes. The CrossFit Open begins end of February, that will be the initial focus, and then go from there. I’d like to do some others, even a team format event, but much is still in the planning.

Nutrition was and has been a huge stumbling block for me in the past. Through two Whole30 resets and adopting a mostly Paleo lifestyle I’ve managed to gain consistency. Still continuing to adjust things out to improve my workout and encourage muscle gain. Rediscovered coffee. Mostly eliminating grains, sugar, and dairy has done so much for me. Sleeping better. Workouts better. Feel so much better overall. Along the same lines I’ve been moving towards the use of more natural products and essential oils. Did I mention I rediscovered coffee? Kicking off Whole30 number three on Monday.

Towards the end of the year, I began picking back up on the blog again. I’ve received the opportunity to write some reviews on some great products which will be featured here pretty soon. With growing my blog I’ve been working on a larger social media presence, and recently found out I’ve been named a Sweat Pink Ambassador where I’ll be able to network with a community of fitness folk! And I’m super pumped to have been added as a contributing blogger for East Texas Moms Blog that will be launching very shortly! There will be some amazing content and resources for moms out there crafted by some pretty incredible ladies.So very excited to see where both these projects go!

And last of all…..I can’t list all these great things out and totally leave off what a blessing my family has been. How we have been more intentional at the end of this year about our faith together, praying together, studying the Word more together. Having Dani bring up questions and comments about Jesus, asking to be baptized, and was baptized in October. This is the part that matters. I can’t wait to see how it changes and shapes each of us.

So as we break that finish line tape on 2015 today, celebrate. All of it. The beauty is in the whole year, not just the Facebook version of 2015. Maybe there’s loose ends in your 2015, and that’s ok. Just because 2016 is arriving in a matter of hours, doesn’t mean those ends won’t get tied up. Tonight, reflect. Ready yourself. Prepare for the excitement a new year brings! -m

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Time….would you slow down, because my GIRL IS ALMOST NINE!

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This weekend (Sunday, actually) marks Dani’s ninth birthday. Are you kidding me? Last of the single digit years. It can’t be. But it is!

I lost my own mother back in 1997. Dani would have captured her heart just as she has mine. Now I can understand every emotion I saw my mom go through when I neglected to do what I was supposed to or didn’t come home when I was expected. All out of love. When I first became a parent to this little girl, I couldn’t even dream of the love I have for her. Life changing. She is absolutely the best thing I have ever done with my life. When her dad removed himself from first my life, and then hers, I couldn’t imagine what I was going to do. Many days I questioned, but then I saw her. It wasn’t about living for just me anymore. In the darkest times, she is why I keep going. More than anything she needs to learn that life will knock you down, but you keep standing back up. Keep trusting God. Keep praying.

This kid. More personality packed into one place than should be allowed. Enthusiastic, generous (well except with ice cream), compassionate, and intense. Makes you laugh even when you don’t want to. This year has been a big one for her…. baptized, elected to student council, taking her first year of ballet. I seriously cannot wait to see how God uses her and what is coming next.

Dani, I am so proud of you. I love you very much and we are going to have such a great weekend celebrating you! -m