Happy New Year 2014

Wow!  I am in shock at how fast this past year has gone.  Twenty-Thirteen for us was an incredible journey of life, love and adventure!  Life moves fast, and we can oftentimes forget over the year what we have accomplished.  I made a little video on my Instagram of this past year with my family and it really brought it into perspective.

photo copyThe wanderlust in us was definitely fed as we traveled to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Seattle (a few times) Canada 2 times, Honduras, Oklahoma, drove the California, Oregon and Washington coasts and ended the year with a family Christmas ski trip to Big Sky, Montana.  What a year!  We feel blessed beyond measure!photo

As I sit here, I am in awe of how God designs us.  As a small child I always had the desire to travel, even though I came from a family that didn’t do a whole lot of traveling.  We camped often and made the trip home to Pittsburgh, PA every few years, but my parents never had the desire for “exotic” travel.  It was never their thing.  Wasn’t their dream.  Interestingly enough, it was always mine.  Same with my hubs.  His family was similar; not a lot of big trips, but they had their fare share of adventures.  He also from a young age had the hearts desire for travel.  God bringing the two of us together was no accident.  He created in both of us a heart for travel and adventure.  Had either of us been different, it might have not worked out for us.  Serendipity.  His providence.  God definitely knows what He’s doing.

tumblr_m27ph7F7bL1r6479vo1_1280We dream.  And we dream BIG!  I recently read something about dreaming that said 80 percent of Americans say they do not have dreams.  I’m not talking about night-time, as you slumber, dreams; I am talking about the type that you fantasize about, that you get excited and giddy and enthusiastic and passionate about.  The type that you sit and day dream about, or sit for hours on end with a cup of tea and talk to your hubs about.  Those kind of dreams!  This post that I read also stated “awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn’t about getting stuff or attaining something.  It’s about embracing who we are and who He has created us to be.” (from the book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge)  He has created in my hubs and I the dream of travel and adventure (among other things) He has placed in our hearts that desire and through our faith in those dreams, He has opened up ALL sorts of experiences.images

We have already been dreaming for this year.  We are already elated for what will be awakened in us.  We are moving into this year with renewed passion, courage, brave-determination and a confidence in He who planted our dreams.

I love the new year.  Think of those words: NEW YEAR.  You have the ability to start over.  Wipe the slate clean.  Let go of the past.  Forgive.  Imagine.  Move forward into your dreams.  What are they?  Have you sat down to consider them?  Have you made new goals?  Have you day-dreamed?  Sometimes our dreams can seem unattainable.  Sometimes, we hear a whisper of a dream in our hearts but are too afraid to go for it.  To have the unbridled courage to reach out and grasp it.  To allow ourselves to be unchecked, uncontrolled and unconstrained in our ambitions, desires and passions.

Do you have the dream of travel?  How about running your first marathon or half-marathon, 5K or your first mile?  How about learning something new?  Learning to swim or a new language or to play a new instrument?  How about learning to surf?  Jumping out of an airplane?  How about a Triathlon?  Maybe…even a chance to write for Runner’s World Magazine as I did this year (link here) Dream BIG!!


What are your dreams for the New Year?

Goodbyes and Hellos


Taking a few moments out of the first day of the year to do some reflecting~


As I look back over the past twelve months of 2012, a great sense of gratitude floods my mind. Gratitude in knowing that it was a well-lived year. It was full of growth, some hard, but necessary. Full of new adventure, full of living life to the utmost, and full of the love and laughter of friends and family. I am grateful for many new friendships that sprang to life this past year, as well as the ones who have been in my life forever. I am grateful for my family that surrounds me every single day with so much love that it makes my heart want to burst. I am grateful for some hard lessons learned about life. I have learned the shortness of life and that no one is guaranteed tomorrow. I have learned that people aren’t always who they say they are. I’ve learned to not take anyone for granted. I have learned if you want something, go ahead and fight for it, walk right up to it, and go through it, boldly, securely…even if it ends badly…at least you tried.

I say every year that THIS was the best year ever, but it often seems like the current outdoes the past. And 2012 was no exception. It was a phenomenal year!! God is so good! And He knows just how to orchestrate a life for me, that is everyday, a blessing. I had more good times this year, than I knew what to do with. I just know there are a few more lines on this face from smiling and laughing my way through this year!

So “gratitude” is my farewell word to two thousand and twelve. Unimaginable gratitude.



I have zero. I think we oftentimes have well-meant intentions, but find that they go by the way side. I don’t think that is the aim for most, but it happens. I have never used one day out of the year to make a proclamation of goals and dreams. I live that out daily. Year round. It works for me. My goals change, my dreams change, my intent to do things differently gets side-lined for something way more incredible. And I roll with it.

I do promise myself to continue being as authentic as possible. Knowing I do not need to change a thing about who I am, if I am true to self. Loving without abandon those around me (even and especially when my heart gets stepped on) and to continue to surround myself with people who are real to themselves and others, who are optimistic and treat those around them with love and compassion, and who know the best medicine in life is laughter and light-heartedness. (Because sometimes…all you can do is laugh at yourself) I promise to walk in unselfishness, without bitterness and to give wholly of myself to those I adore.

I vow to have great escapades, wondrous travel and new experiences this coming year, but to also take time to rejoice in the quiet and alone time of just sitting in the silence of my house. Doing nothing but staring into the still surrounding me.

I want to delight in the smallest of things. Seek out every miracle, no matter the size or happening, even in the negative, I will see the good.

I want to give new strength and energy to continuing on my quest of cooking more healthy meals. Dive in head first into the new training season. Log copious amounts of running miles, both on road and trail.

I want to be up on posting more on my blog…which oftentimes goes for long periods with no love.

I want to do some more experimenting with smoothies, and start juicing WAY more.

I want to spend more time on my knees in prayer being thankful for what I have and not asking God for anything more.

I want God to challenge me, everyday, again and again as He grows me even more and more into the person I am in Him.  And may I always hear His still, small, voice, and always walk the path He has for me.

I want to read even MORE than I do now.  Reading is learning.

I want to start working on learning to speak the beautiful Italian language.

What are your ideas and traditions in the New Year? Do you make resolutions? Do you make changes or stay just the way you are and want to be? I hope whatever your journey is, that you have an extraordinary and remarkable two thousand thirteen. I already know it will be unforgettable!!


~~We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. – Edith Lovejoy Pierce