it's that time again!


i've made a promise to myself that i am GOING to get a lifetime fitness membership and have a NEW body by New Years! i'm anxious to participate in some of the group classes and utilize a personal trainer (which comes free for a few sessions). sweet!

i just know that with the holidays around the corner, i will feel SO much better sitting down to a delicious FEAST if i work out and have a metabolism going at least a little bit. :) so, it is my gift to myself...

well, as i'm sure you know already - this thursday is THANKSGIVING! one of my favorite holidays! ben and i will be spending it with my dad's side at grandma sharons! :) can't wait. it's going to be nice to get together with everyone and revert back to the tradition of going to grandma's for turkey day. :) so, in the spirit of thanksgiving, i've compiled a list of things that i am especially thankful for this year....

  1. my health & that of my family.
  2. my family & ben. i continue to believe that i have the best family in the world. we support one-another, build each other up and always look to each other for strength. i can always count on a hug or warm smile when i call up any one of my family members. for that i am lucky. and ben... there's not enough room/time to say why i am thankful for him. he is my other-half and the love of my life.
  3. my job. - with unemployment far surpassing other years, i am very lucky to have a stable job and be able to continue doing what i love on the side! my job also allows me to attend grad school and work towards my licensure in secondary education in a few years for free. :)
  4. my friends. no, not my "friends"... my true, quality, meaningful friends that have been there for me at the drop of a dime. those that know no boundaries, distance or time between... those that i know have always been genuine and caring. and i have found out who those have been and will always be this year.
  5. my situation. maybe the best thing i can describe what i am thankful for is my situation. more and more i have come to realize just how lucky i am in having a computer to type at, a car to drive over 200+ miles to work in, an office to call my own, a family that loves me no matter what, and ultimately my situation in where i am and how much i have accomplished. being able to start and develop my own business at the age of 21 is a feat. working hard and pushing myself every day to grow has made me who i am, and i thank my situation for that.

think about why YOU are thankful. i would love to hear why you are... remember what this season is all about. GIVING.


ski boots. birthdays. bonfires. & christmas carols.

my man and i ventured over to the {Ski + Snowboard Expo} at the Convention Center on Saturday after i was off work (yes, i had to work Saturday for a Junior Visit event.. wasn't too bad besides the 5:30am wake-up! thank God for hilarious co-workers). so we got to the Expo, and found there wasn't too terribly much going on... only a few booths for local ski/boarding resorts and some from Colorado, Utah and Montana. i want to go {here} so badly!!! Whistler would be fantastic!!! but besides those booths, there was also a Hoigaards booth too! so... ben and i ended up getting new Ski boots!!!!

i can't wait to wear them this winter!!! it's going to be so nice to have some nice boots that fit well, are warm and don't smell!!! i've been skiing since i was 10 and LOVE the sport. it's so much fun! i'm so excited ben and i have something that we can do together, while burning calories, having a blast and bonding on the chairlifts. :) ♥

i can't WAIT!!!! :) Lutsen here we come! we're thinking about going up for SnoDayz this year, but we'll have to see how finances are! :) good times ahead for sure...

ben has only been skiing once before but he went for the first time in the ALPS! lucky kid... didn't fall once either. he's a natural (thanks to hockey too!).

on to the BIRTHDAYS.

well, Saturday after the Expo was my little cousin, Lily's 7th birthday so i went over to Chris + Farrah's to celebrate with family and friends. Lily had her grandma Judy do all of the girls hair crazy with hair color spray and glitter. they had a LOT of caffeine and were bouncing off the walls by the time presents came about! i got her a sweet lunch box (i thought... lol) and some dinosaur pajamas (she LOVES dinosaurs and can name each breed/type just by looking at them). i think she liked the Taylor Swift CD and Barbie stuff a bit more than my lunchbox... lol. mental note: no child ever likes lunch boxes. except when Monday morning comes and they're excited to use it then! :) ..but that was my plan, of course ;)

after the party, i met up with ben and we ventured over to my dad's for a little bonfire action! :) SO MUCH FUN! i love spending time with my family and my dad's + lisa's friends are hilarious. one of lisa's friends actually just broke up with my old High School civics teacher! CRAZY small world. :) good times... love you dad!

Sunday was my mom's birthday!!!! 46!! youngin'! :) we had a blast shopping for groceries and i loved baking her cake! i made her a spice, layer cake with cream cheese frosting and pink decorative icing. :) must say, it turned out alright! i was inspired by {Cake Boss}. but we still have over half of it left... so as i type, it is sitting in the refrigerator in the basement at work for co-workers to munch on! i also made an italian, whole-wheat pasta dish with ricotta, mozarella, cheddar and cottage cheese covered in layers with marinara sauce. it. was. delicious. :) ben made a fabulous salad and parmasan crusted chicken!! what a meal we had with my little brother, cousin alex and mom!!! a memorable birthday most definitely.

she loved her gifts as well. i'll be posting pics of all of the above soon... once i get the pics uploaded. well i gotta get back to work, where i am currently listening to Christmas Carols. and on that note ~"the joy that it brings!"


co-workers make the world a better place. in my case.

my co-workers are crazy-awesome. as i type, Quentin is in the office directly next to me and i can hear his giggly laugh echo through the halls. :) ...there it is again! :D you can't help but smile when there are people all around you that just make you smile.

here's our office on halloween, how couldn't you love these people?

today we had a chili feed for lunch, and everyone brought something special! me, i brought a dessert ({Reese's No-Bake Bar}). we had three types of chili (which i mixed and it was amazing), lots of chips, veggies, punch and amazing corn muffins (thanks Kristen!). to top it all off, we all sat and watched {Modern Family} on the big screen downstairs together and laughed up a storm. great memory. :)

it really makes a huge difference in daily life when you can be built up to become a better person today than you were yesterday. i'm lucky that way. i'm not stuck in a dead-end job, or one that i conveniently got through 'connections', or one that i dread going to every day. i love seeing like-minded, happy people on a daily basis and being able to be there for them as they are for me. whether that be for a smile, a laugh or a shoulder. we really are a family here. and i love my family. :) ~me


halloween 2009. letting go. what i've learned.

halloween was a success for the most part. ben's costume (Edward from Twilight) was incredible, he got stopped EVERYWHERE and asked to be in a picture w/ random people. lol. here he is in the 'flesh' :)

my costume, however... did not work the greatest. the lady at the halloween store assured me that my 'saphire blonde' spray would be platinum blonde - i thought PERFECT! Lady GaGa for sure... not so much. it was BLUE!!!! so.. after plenty of baby powder and some gold glitter I was forced stick with what i had. not the best costume in the world but it was fun :) here i am:

lol. you can see my tattoo on my hip... (it's a lavender cancer ribbon w/ "forza" meaning "strength" in italian.. for my parent's and their strength through it all). it was a good time, but bubble wrap = HOT and SOOOOO unflattering! haha.
the apple shown was consumed shortly after this shot. lol.
i ended up staying sober both Friday and Saturday night. and drove home to sleep in our own bed both nights. it was nice.
i've really learned a lot post-graduation... here's a few things in particular:
  1. i'm not a big drinker at all, i'd much rather have a couple beers over a great conversation at home or a loved one's rather than deal w/ the bar scene and ppl that i don't know!
  2. the most important people in my life are my family members, ben and my true friends. *a true friend/quality friend that really means something will conquer distance and time apart - forgetting the space between and pick up right where you left off. a great relationship is two-sided.
  3. sometimes you need to just wash your hands clean. although that can be hard to let go of memories, people will come and go in your life but i've learned who and what i want to surround myself with in my life. and i am simply over the constant drama that consumed much of my college life as it does for many others.
  4. cliques are hurtful. now being away from it all, i've had interesting conversations about who i 'used to be'. i've never considered myself a 'clique' person, but from the outside, i can definitely see that.
  5. relationships take work, but it doesn't have to be hard! forever people have said, "relationships take work! hard work!" but really... i've found that if you're with someone that you truly love and care about, the work is not hard because you know that making them happy is at the top of your to-do list so little sacrifices are nothing.
  6. beauty is judged not by how beautiful your skin may be but how bright your spirit and happiness shine from within. just like audrey hepburn said, "the happiest girls are the prettiest girls." a pretty girl may be pretty, but she is beautiful when she is happy.
  7. sometimes a little cry can cure a bad day. poor ben... he has witnessed this... but knows that after a good cry, i am good to go. :)
  8. hugs and cuddles are better than juicy makeout sessions.
  9. i will spend the rest of my life with ben. he is easily the love of my life.
  10. i can accomplish anything i set my mind to and EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON!

what a life we lead. we are lucky. if you are sitting at your computer reading this now, you are lucky. you have a computer. you have electricity. you have english skills to communicate with and education to push you ahead. we are lucky. that's all for now... enjoy this beautiful fall day. :)

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