2015 – A Year in Review

I wanted to take some time and look back at the last year and all of the things that happened in life.  While this year may not have been a banner year for running for me, it was such a huge year of change and growth.


January was relatively uneventful.  I continued working out, failed at committing to a training schedule for Shamrock, and started to write Stitch Fix reviews.


February was the month of snow.  I missed so many workouts due to bad weather and being snowed in or the gym being closed.  I also decided to defer Shamrock.


In March I got the cold from hell.  I also ran Shamrock 8k instead of the Dolphin Challenge.


In April, we moved Michael’s stuff into my townhouse, got diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, started PT, went to Florida for work, saw Jewel in concert, creeped on Wanda Sykes at an airport, got sick again, and turned 28!


In May, I got sick again, got a corneal abrasion from my contacts, did ALL the wedding stuff, had a wedding shower at work, cheated on my PT, had my bachelorette party, and did more wedding stuff!


In June, Michael and I got married!


Also in June: Danny and Nicole decided to leave the gym, I changed my name, my cousin got married,  I watched Danny and Nicole(my trainers) get ENGAGED, I got to meet my nephew 🙂


I finally made it back to yoga in July, started doing protein shakes, and we went to Nags Head with my family.


In August I went to a casino for the first time, we visited my brother, and I started playing Fantasy football.



I started really loving yoga, went to more casinos, started going to ODU football games and enjoyed the fall.


My church celebrated its 9 year anniversary, my husband ruined a pot, Crawlin Crab 5k was cancelled and rescheduled due to a hurricane, I took a training class and got a certification, I went on a work conference and took a fall vacation. I also did the Wicked 10k.


We bought a new car, we did some early Christmas shopping, I ran the Harbor Lights 5k, saw the new Hunger Games movie, enjoyed Thanksgiving with family, and went Black Friday shopping.


I got pampered at the Red Door Spa, cleaned out my closet, ran the Surf-N-Santa 5 miler, and celebrated Christmas with my family.

 How was 2015 for you? What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Weekly Update – 5/25/15

Ya’ll – I get married on Friday!  This last week was a bit of a whirlwind as we struggled to get all the stuff done we needed to.  I won’t bore you with all the details though.


Memorial Day! I got to sleep in, which was quite wonderful.  I got up and did some wedding stuff.  Then Michael and I headed to my dad’s house for some burgers and hot dogs.  We ate entirely too much!  Afterwards, we came back and did more wedding stuff.  We finished the seating chart, which was great!


Workout with Danny out in the heat.  By the time I finished, I was so overheated.  I think I need to stick to inside workouts!

Three Rounds:

1. BB Sumo Deadlifts – 12 reps

2. Reverse lunge with KB rack hold – 6 each side

3. Lunge hold and DB press – 12 reps

4. 500 meter row

Question: Does anyone else find sumo deadlifts to be easier in terms of maintaining correct form?  I have a lot of trouble with my form with traditional deadlifts, but do much better with sumo deadlifts or hex bar deadlifts.  I think its because I can get my hips lower.  


FINALLY got my auxiliary jack fixed in my car! Now I can listen to my iPod in the car again!


Workout with Danny! It was quite toasty outside, but at least it wasn’t super sunny.  We did three rounds:

1. RDL’s (5 each side)

2. Triple Extension ball throws (10ish – did for distance)

3. Backward sled pulls

I also went to the store and ordered some new glasses.  My left lens is about to pop out, and unfortunately, the frames are damaged, so no one will replace them.  I was able to order a new pair, hopefully they will come in before the honeymoon!


Friday night….what did I do Friday night? I can’t even remember. All I know is that I didn’t sleep well.


Michael and I have been really busy and stressed with wedding stuff over the past few weeks.  We had to go up to the Tiffany’s in Richmond to get my ring cleaned, so we decided that Saturday would be a fun day and we’d do a date night!  We had lunch at Olive Garden – yummy salmon and broccoli!  We went to the movies and saw Tomorrowland.  It was really good, and we both really enjoyed it.  We were both surprised to see that our local movie theater had converted to recliners!


On Sunday, I didn’t have worship team…I’m on a little hiatus until July.  Michael came over early and made me breakfast!  It was very sweet of him! We did some shopping the rest of the day for the honeymoon, then we did some cleaning up and projects around the house.


Ham and Cheese Omelet and fresh strawberries!


How was your week? Have you been to a movie theater with recliners?

Weekly Update – 5/18/15


I feel like with all this wedding planning, I just keep going and going! I was able to finish up all of my thank yous from all of our showers.


Workout with Danny.  It was hot and humid outside, but we worked out there anyway!  This seemed 100x harder because we were outside in the heat.  Am I the only one who DESPISES working out in the heat?

Three Rounds:

1. 12 quarter squat and press

2. 6 push ups

3. 12 RDLs

4. 6 split squats (each side)

5. 1 minute jump rope


More wedding things! To be honest, I don’t even remember what I did….


Danny cancelled with me.  I had an eye doctor appointment, then I had to get some wedding errands done!


Friday night was my Bachelorette party! We went to a paint night at a local hotel.  It was pretty cool and I had a lot of fun with my girls!


You can’t see him really well, but Bob Ross hung out with us….



My finished product! Not too shabby!



Me and the girls! Erin (top row, far right) went a little rogue, but it looks awesome!


I slept in on Saturday and it was delightful.  Michael and I did some driving around and dreaming about houses.  We finally got rid of some stuff in the house and took it to the thrift store to give away.  We also had an impromptu date night at Baker’s Crust and it was lovely!


After church we had premarital counseling – for almost 5 hours! It was great, but super mentally exhausting!


How was your week?  Have you ever done a paint night?


Weekly Update – 5/11/15 – Wedding Stuff Galore!

We are getting so close to wedding time and I’m so excited! We got this sweet note and gift from our photographer this week!


Yay for date night!



Total rest/lazy day.  I didn’t even legitimately get anything done around the house.  I did a little wedding stuff, but I mostly sat on my butt.  And I’m totally ok with that.


Got a good workout in with Danny outside in the humidity!

Three Rounds:

1. 10 DB thrusters

2. 10 DB deadlifts

3. 10 pushups

4. 5 (each side) hip mobility exercise

5. 10 (each side) lateral wall shots


Our co-workers threw us the sweetest “Tiffany’s” themed shower!  We are blessed with the most amazing people in our lives!


So pretty!



Our friend and baker for our wedding made this incredible cake!



This picture of us was actually taken while we picked out our wedding bands at Tiffanys!






Our pimp cups.



Seriously guys…so blessed.



Practicing for the wedding!



My plantar fasciitis was really flared up on Thursday. Workout with Danny outside – and the weather was amazing!  After a dynamic warmup, we did 3 rounds of the following:

1. 21 KB resistance band swings

2. 14 overhead resistance band squats

3. 7 (each side) overhead ball slams

After I got back from my workout with him, I went out and mowed the lawn for my second workout of the day.   It had gotten a little out of control!  But! I discovered that my beautiful roses are in full bloom!

IMG_3232 IMG_3231 IMG_3229


Rest day and nothing to do! How wonderfully delightful 🙂


Danny had a training thing somewhere (I listen so well, don’t I?) so he cancelled with me for Saturday AM.  Boy, did I enjoy sleeping in!  I got a late start to the day because of it, but it was so worth it.  I got up and got started on Operation Clean the Guest Room.  The guest room has become a storage place for all of our moving junk and all our gifts from showers.  I put together a few lamps and found homes for many things!  Its still pretty full, but at least its organized mess!

Michael had his bachelor party on Saturday night, so my brother and his fiance came into town.  I got to hang out with her while the boys played.  We had fun…got some wedding stuff done and did a little shopping!


I had worship team in the morning and then headed over to nurse Michael’s hangover.  We spent some of the day going over wedding stuff and got our grocery shopping done!

How was your week? What was the neatest theme for a shower that you’ve been to (I know someone who did a Mad Hatter theme!)?

Weekly Update – 5/4/15

This was one of those weeks that things just kind of fell apart.  There was so much going on, and Michael was gone, and I was just so ready for it to be over! I will be so glad when the wedding is done and we can settle into some sort of routine.


I had a dentist appointment to get my free whitening kit for my teeth for the wedding!  After work, I had many errands to run. I swear I’m never getting to yoga again.  My iPad is possessed…no seriously, there is something majorly wrong with it.  I spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple Support and really got nowhere except I’m screwed cause its out of warranty.  New ipad, here I come!  I managed to get all my thank yous done from my shower on Sunday and got some stuff done around the house, so it was not completely unproductive!


Yay – I get to actually workout!  This was actually a pretty difficult workout, even though it may not look like it. I was supposed to do 5 rounds, but I only made it 4 rounds.  My back got pretty agitated by something I was doing.  I did the first 3 rounds with 12 lb KBs, then dropped down to 10 lb KBs for the 4th round.  Found out later that my trainer only expected that I’d complete 3 rounds.  Looks like I surpassed expectations!

1. KB (double) Thrusters x20

2. KB (double) swings x20

3. KB (double) RDL’s x10 each side

4. KB (double) Reverse Lunge x10 each side

5. Pushups x5

6. Jump Rope (30 sec)

After I got home, I got to play with my new iPad. I decided to bite the bullet and just get a new one.  Target had a deal that you got a $50 gift card with the purchase of an iPad mini 3 (I had a mini before).  Its so wonderful to have a device that works!


I ended up having a crazier day than expected.  My right eye was irritated when I took my contacts out on Tuesday night.  When I woke up Wednesday morning, it did not want me to put the contact it.  I made an emergency appt at my eye doctor, and I’m so glad I did!  Apparently I have a corneal abrasion.  Rather than a scratch like most people get, I have two small holes.  He removed some crystallized deposits from my cornea (probably from something getting trapped under my contacts).  So I’m on eyedrops and I have to wear my glasses for a few days.


Yay – final dress fitting day!!!!!!! I’m obsessed with my dress.  It’s amazing. It was nice to see everything put together.  So glad that its finally done, all we do is have to pick it up the week of the wedding!


On Friday I had to take my car to the shop for an oil change and inspection.  I ended up with a few hundred dollars in repairs – which I wasn’t entirely surprised by as the car is 6 years old and only had minor maintenance work, but I wasn’t necessarily excited about. After I picked it up, I ran some errands and then I had dinner with some of my extended family that was in town for my stepsister’s baby shower.


Slept in as much as possible before my workout with Danny.  Got in a nice, easy workout since I had to wear my stupid glasses.  Is it just me, or is it hard to workout in glasses?

Three Rounds:

1. 15 KB swings

2. 10 split squats (each side)

Three Rounds:

1. 15Kneeling KB overhead press

2. 10 KB chops (each side)

After that, I headed home and got ready for my stepsister’s baby shower.  It was great to celebrate the impending coming of her little boy.  He’s due 10 days after our wedding, so I hope she can make it!  Michael FINALLY came home from Chicago and I got to spend some time with him.


Had worship team Sunday at church.  Then we went to grab a quick lunch before headed down to Elizabeth City to see Michael’s mom for mother’s day.  After that, we saw my stepmom, then finally my mom.  It was a long day of visiting!

Did you get to see your mom for mother’s day? How was your week?

Weekly Update – 4/27/15

The sickness is back. UGH.  I’m so over being sick!  I think I get bad allergic responses to all the pollen and stuff, then I get a sinus infection.  I’m quite over it.  I think it might be time for allergy testing and treatment!


I had a ton of work to catch up on after being gone for a week.  I ended up working about 10 hours and that meant no gym time for me.  Honestly though, as sick as I am, I didn’t wanna go.


Wedding stuff!  We went to our venue to meet with our planner and caterer.  We got a lot of last minute things figured out and it makes me feel a LOT better.


No gym again.  We had a meeting with our DJ!


Worked out with Nicole and asked her to take it easy on me since I was still sick.  I didn’t even bother trying to remember what we did, since it was all light stretching and mobility exercises.


Friday night was a nice double date night with one of Michael’s groomsmen and his wife.  We went to a cool wine bar in Virginia Beach and had a great time!


Saturday morning, I slept in, then woke up in just enough time to work out with Danny.  We did a light day, mostly mobility stuff again like I did with Nicole.  We did some squats, lunges, etc.  Nothing too crazy, but I tell you what, when you are sick, that feels like a really hard workout!

I also went to get my hair trial done for my wedding!  She did a great job, looks wonderful, and I’m really excited!


On Sunday, I decided to skip church in favor of sleeping in.  My body really needs it.  However, my stupid car alarm went off at about 2am, then my smoke detector batteries died for my detector in my room, and it prevented good restful sleep.  I saw Michael off to the airport – he’s going to Chicago for a week for work.  Then I got ready for my bridal shower!  My mom threw a lovely shower, and it was a blast 🙂

How was your week?  Are your allergies so bad that you keep getting sick?

Florida, Jewel Concert and the time I creeped on Wanda Sykes

Hey guys! I’ve missed you! I spent the last week in sunny Florida – doing lots of things, but sadly not a lot of getting tan.  But I made up for it by doing a million other ridiculous things!

So, on Monday, I took the day off for my birthday (on Tuesday).  My job is really awesome in that they give us a “birthday” day off. Michael also took the day off and we went to the courthouse to get our marriage license!!! That was a very interesting experience to say the least, but we are super excited to have that crossed off our list!


We are almost official!


On Tuesday, we departed for sunny Orlando!  I had a work conference to attend, and Michael was going to be taking a week and coming with me to have some nice R&R. The flight there was one of the best flights I’ve been on – which is good because Michael HATES flying.  They found out it was my birthday on the plane (thanks to my coworkers) and they sang me happy birthday over the loudspeaker!

When we landed, we took a cab to the hotel and promptly headed to the pool bar for some lunch.  The bartender proceeded to give me shots for my birthday! We got ready for the first night of the Expo and I got to catch up with a lot of my friends from the vendor we deal with.  After the Expo, we went to Maggiano’s for dinner.  They sang to me AGAIN and I had wonderful tiramisu.


Yum, poolside drinks!





On Wednesday, I worked all day at the conference.  My group (9 of us total) and Michael and I went out to a cool Cuban tapas place called Cafe Tu Tu Tango. They have local art on the wall for purchase and live entertainment.  Some of the dishes we selected: jalapeno mac n cheese, cajun chicken eggrolls, oriental steak skewers, duck confit salad, southwest chicken flatbread, etc.

On Thursday, we had a few great speakers.  Hamish Taylor – a Scotsman who was hilarious and brillant.  Our keynote speaker was singer/songwriter Jewel.  That woman is sweet, clever, and has come from such an interesting life. After a full afternoon  of my conference, we had a fun night at Universal!  They rent out the place just for us, and fill the park with food, drink, and dessert.  We can also ride all the rides with NO LINES!


Hamish Taylor – great, funny guy, and a very engaging speaker. Check him out on Twitter: @HamishWTaylor






One of the many rides we got unlimited access to!


I started feeling poorly on Thursday night.  I woke up Friday morning, and didn’t attend the last of my two sessions.  Michael and I had plans to sit poolside most of the day on Friday, but we only spent a few hours out there.  We had a lazy afternoon in front of the TV, which was just fine with me.  The flight home on Saturday was miserable.  The pressure changes in an airplane are never fun, but they are downright torture when you have sinus pressure.

On the way back, we saw comedian Wanda Sykes in the Orlando Aiport.  I creeped on her and took this picture.


Despite getting sick, we had a great time on the trip.  While it was for work, it was still a much more relaxed environment and our time of R&R was much needed.

Have you traveled for work conferences? Did you bring your significant other with you? How was your week?

Weekly Update – 3/23/15


Skipped yoga (bad Lauren) because my house was an absolute disaster and I desperately needed to clean and get my life together.  This season has been really busy for us with wedding planning and moving….and nothing gets put back where it belongs.  I have clothes that have been living on the top of my dresser for weeks.  And they still aren’t cleaned up.  I can’t be the only one that does that….do you just refuse to put away your clothes?


Danny wasn’t able to workout with me, so he wrote me a workout to do on my own.  Can I just say that people are much more accepting of you taking a bunch of equipment when you have a trainer with you? One woman got pissed that I hoarded a medicine ball.

Strength Circuit (5 rounds, drop the last exercise each round – last round should only be exercise #1)

1. 25 MB wall-shots

2. 20 Kneeling Band Pull-aparts

3. 15 KB swings

4. 10 pushups

5. 5 KB SA Turkish Getups (each side)

Conditioning Circuit

1. 200m row

2. 4oom row

3. 600m row

I was supposed to do half the rowing amount and jump rope in between, but I didn’t have room at the rowing machine I was at to do that.  So those row amounts are doubled from what I was supposed to do.


My doctor’s appointment ended up going much later than I expected, so I ended up missing yoga.  I did get to have dinner with my dad and family though.  I worked a bit from home to catch up from leaving early for my appointment.


Workout with Nicole!  I love working out with Danny, but I also like working out with a female trainer from time to time. She kicked my butt, as usual.

Quick Warmup (3x):

1. 10 resistance band chops (each side)

2.  5 inchworms with pushups

Workout (3x):

1. 10 RDLs with 20lb barbell (each side)

2. Pushup to KB highpull

3. 30 sec TRX mountain climbers/30 sec TRX plank

4. 1 minute on the ReACT trainer

Friday – Saturday – Sunday

I left work early and Michael and I headed up to PA to see my family up there.  My mom’s sister organized a co-ed shower for us so that Michael could participate. It was a wonderful time with family (especially those who won’t be able to come to the wedding!) and we are so blessed to have them.  I’ll probably write more about it later, cause I have a lot of thoughts about bridal/wedding showers!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Weekly Update – 3/16/15


I skipped yoga with all good intentions of getting stuff done at the house.  I did manage to run a few errands, but I didn’t get any house stuff done.  FAIL.


Danny night.  One of the more regular workouts in awhile now that I’m finally feeling better.

Three Rounds:

1. Double KB (60lbs) Suitcase Deadlifts  (12 reps)

2. Diagonal lunges

3. Kneeling KB press (12 each side)

4. Dead Bugs (12 each side)


We had a marriage counseling session with my pastor and his wife which was really good and really productive.


Worked out with Nicole for the first time in what seems like forever!

We did four rounds of the following:

1. Double KB Bent over rows (10)

2. Double KB High Pulls (10)

3. Pushups (10)

4. Statue of Liberty Carries (50 meters)


After work Michael and I headed down to the convention center to pick up my race packet.  The expo was organized and super easy to get through.


Shamrock 8k! More to come on that later.  After Shamrock, Michael and I moved some more stuff from his house and did some cleaning up around my house.  Since his brother is buying his house, its been really nice to be able to slowly move things out of Michael’s house into mine, and from David’s apartment into Michael’s house.  On moving day, only the big stuff will need to be done.


After church, we got some more moving stuff done and errands.  Then we laid on the couch and were bums!!

Did you race this weekend? When you move, does it feel like it’ll last forever?

Life/Wedding Update!

It’s getting closer to the wedding, ya’ll!  Less than 100 days left now.  I am so ready to marry the love of my life and begin our lives together.

Since I decided to defer the Shamrock Dolphin Challenge until next year, I’ve been far less stressed.  I’ve been able to feel ok about backing off training of any kind.  I’m still doing the 8k, but I’m doing it for fun, no goals in mind other than to stay injury free.  Its a big event for work because we are the title sponsor of the 8k.

So….since I’m not spending all my time obsessing over training, not training, dealing with stupid feet issues, etc. I can focus time on the wedding.

My fantastic mom is doing calligraphy for the invitations.  Once those are done, we can begin sending those out.  Except for two slackers (just kidding we love them) all of our wedding party have their clothing ordered.

All of the little details are trying to stress me out.  Timelines are tough to sort out and everyone is starting to have questions.  I’m trying to take it one day at a time, one detail at a time. Getting sick last week threw a wrench in my productivity, but I’m starting to get refocused.

This weekend I go for my first dress fitting since it came in last fall.  Let’s hope it still fits!!!