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Too Big for Words


Exciting, Awesome, Ballsy, Adventurous, Scary, Interesting, Brave.

All of those words have been said to me over the past several weeks by people who hear I am moving to Nicaragua.

But how can I really put into words what I am feeling when something so big, so life-changing, is about to happen to me?

Usually I smile and laugh a little, telling everyone how excited I am and what an adventure it will be. Which is true. But I will be the first to admit that I don’t think it has really truly sunk in what I am about to do. Sure, many things will be the same — I will be working at a desk (doing something I am so excited for!) talking to friends and family on gmail, facebook, etc. I will still cook, and take Finn out to play and will continue to plan my wedding. But on the flip side, SO many things will be different – I think too many things for me to really wrap my head around.

And different can be good and bad. Example – I will be living in a very simple, no frills home without TV, internet and AC, with power that could go out for hours at a time. Oh and did I mention the large bugs that always find their way into homes down there? Right away most people’s eyes bug out and then they quickly recover, not wanting to say what they really think. Yes, it will probably suck at times (I mean lets be be honest, 90 degrees with no AC?!?) but I know that those luxuries that will be lacking will be replaced with things I could never find here. Early morning walks to work, watching the sun rise from the beach; wearing shorts and tank tops to work, cold beers with new friends after a day of fishing and learning to surf, navigating Nicaragua’s colorful public transit system in order to get groceries – and many more.

Regardless of the good and bad that comes with this move – I know that it will make me a stronger, wiser, happier and more tolerant person. But like I said, what I am feeling is too big for words. You’ll just have to take my word for it now and keep coming back to hear more 🙂



Yesterday was my 28th Birthday-I can’t believe I’m two years away from 30!! I’m definitely not one of those people that moans and groans about getting older. I am looking forward to whatever getting older has in store for me.

The long weekend was packed with friends, family and lots of food! I will say that I am definitely all set for cold weather running gear (except for compression sleeves and socks!) thanks to my aunt/uncle and my parents and sisters. They’re the best and having some new fun gear is really making my look forward to marathon training which “officially” starts next weekend! I’ll be running a 5mile race next Sunday so my first run with the team wont be until the following weekend.

Since I’ve still got gifts on the mind I figured I would get the holiday season started with my Christmas wish list!


I have been wanting a pair of rain boots for um, ever. I just haven’t been able to justify buying a pair for myself but I figured why not ask for Christmas! These are perfect because they are great for rain and winter. Size 9 please 🙂


Love these earrings! They are from Stella and Dot which has the CUTEST jewelry. I usually don’t ask for/buy jewelry but these earrings are awesome-as is the necklace and bracelet they show with it.


I’d love a pair of camel or cognac colored oxford booties. Something I could definitely wear with black and brown. These are just an example, but you get the idea; although these are $15 off through Monday!! size 8.5!


I want a pair of reasonably priced aviator sunglasses and my sister has these and loves them.


I really want this camera case to carry instead of my big bulky camera case at times. I like that you can hang the camera from your shoulder but the actual camera itself is still somewhat protected.


I saw this bag on Etsy and knew I needed it. It would be perfect as a beach bag or for running errands and it is made from recycled coffee bags from Nicaragua. Love it!

Sooo I hope that gives my family some good ideas on what I would like. In addition Gift Cards always work and are perfect gift for picking out clothes.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed their long weekends. I’m off to get ready for a run with Meghan!


Marathon Training Gear – Wants and Needs


As I am gearing up for marathon training to begin (less than one month!) I am constantly thinking about things I want or need to get me through training and through race. I just bought a new pair of shoes but aside from those I really only have one pair of running tights and one cold weather running shirt. I figured it couldn’t hurt to list some things I’ve been eyeing up. Granted I do not NEED all of these things (hence the title of this post) a girl can dream about her perfect marathon training arsenal of gear 🙂 .

First up, GLOVES. I have an old pair of fleece gloves I’ve used and frankly, they suck. Lets just say wiping boogies and sweat on fleece isn’t ideal. I need something more like this:

NEW BALANCE Women's PDA Running Gloves -

Next up, a headband. Hats make me too hot but I definitely need to keep my ears warm. It HAS to stay on my ears as well. I can’t stand headbands that slip off my ears while I run. Something like this would work since its pretty wide:

As I mentioned above, I have one pair of Under Armour cold weather running tights, but I wouldn’t mind another pair or even a pair of crops but something like this

THE NORTH FACE Women's Momentum Running Tights -


I have one cold weather top but definitely need at least one more long sleeved running top and perhaps a 1/2 zip pullover like this one from Target. I have a cool weather shell jacket I can layer over both if needed

C9 by Champion® Women's Long-Sleeve Super-Soft Athletic Top - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new windowsource

And lastly, something I was asking about on twitter today-compression socks. I still don’t know what brand is best but I know I definitely want to try a pair out!!!

I’d love to hear from other runners what they consider essential cold weather running gear. I actually prefer running in the cold than heat, I just want to be fully prepared! If I had a money tree in my backyard I would probably also mention that I would love a Nathan hand held water bottle, some awesome warm running socks, a running vest and probably a bunch of other fun stuff 🙂 .

Now I just need to find a way to get it all!

Hope to hear from you other cold weather runners!! I’ll be back later this week to let you know how the TNT Kick Off meeting went!


See Stephie Run


I ran my first ever 5k in 2009

Since then I wouldn’t say I have done a LOT of races, but I’ve done my fair share; half a dozen 5ks, two ten milers and a half.

So yea, I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this…

I’m running a marathon!

I am going to be training with Team in Training and couldn’t be more excited and terrified. I have two friends who have lost their spouses to Leukemia and knew I wanted to honor their lives by raising funds to help find a cure for those currently fighting and who will fight blood cancers.

I plan to blog as much of my journey as possible so please check back here regularly! I also have a page on the TNT site. You can visit that page  here. I will be doing some fundraising between now and the New Year but plan to kick it into full gear January 2012.

Here’s to an exciting and challenging six months ahead!


Chicken Anyone?


Well hello there! Happy Friday kids!

We got some wicked storms last night but it ended up giving us a pretty nice Friday. I’m heading into town soon with Meghan for some drinks and food at a friends house. I hear wine spritzers are on the agenda; definitely not complaining!

Earlier this week I was really missing the bf (only 11 more days!!!! But who’s counting??? 🙂 ) and wanted to do something to make myself feel better. No I didn’t eat a pint of Ben and Jerrys, but I DID cook!

I love hearing about Nicaragua and what’s going on down there. Brad and I have something of a system in order to talk on the phone. I use skype  to call his Nica cell phone but because he doesn’t always get service he has to call me and hang up, which lets me know he is in an area with service. Fun huh? ANYways, one of the things Brad has talked about pretty often is how they eat a LOT of chicken, beans and rice. So I decided to recreate a meal he typically eats; Beer in the Butt Chicken, beans and rice!

OK, I know probably everyone has heard of or made BITB Chicken but this was a first for me. First time ever handling a whole chicken too. I hit up TJ’s for the chicken. Added 1/2 can of beer, some olive oil spray and seasoning and that’s it! While the chicken was on the grill I made up some brown rice, kidney and black beans and sliced tomato all seasoned like the chicken (I think it was Caribbean Seasoning).

Ok so this picture is NOT of chicken but I just had to show off my green thumb. I LOVE porchulacas and planted these about two months ago and boy have they grown! Ok back to chicken.

It. was. AWESOME. So flavorful and delicious. My Dad, I mean my ROOMMATE thought it was delicious as well :).

Looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Yoga tomorrow AM then over to the WC Growers Market! Have a great weekend everyone!




It’s been a busy and fun six weeks or so since I last posted. Brad has been home from Nicaragua and we’ve been getting lots of beach time in, along with several weddings. I’ll be posting more about the summer so far once I’m all moved home. Oh what’s that you ask? Why am I moving home? And where is home?

Well friends, in about two weeks I’ll be moving in with two new roommates: mom and dad. Not exactly where I imagined myself at 27 years old; moving home with the parents-but life doesn’t always work out as we plan, right? I’m moving home in order to buckle down and save some money. Like I mentioned in my last post six or so weeks ago, Brad is in the process of building and opening a surf camp in Nicaragua. Yes, that does mean there is a chance I may move there eventually but my move home is both financially and emotionally motivated. Brad is going to be gone for longer periods at a time and with the exception of my kick-ass roommate Steph and a few other friends, my support system of friends and family are mostly in the town I grew up in. Being close to them is what I want and need in the coming months. I’m actually looking forward to being closer to my family, hanging out with my sister Lindsey (who is in med school and always busy!) and being surrounded by people who love and support me. 🙂

I am going to miss living on my own; I am a fiercely independent gal so this transition will probably be challenging. But in a good way!

Oh and before I go, I have to show you a photo of my sisters and I. My beautiful sister Karleigh got married earlier this month in my parents back yard. It was such a fun and special time; I’ll be missing Karleigh who has just moved to Alabama (her husband is in the army and is stationed there).


See You Soon!


A week ago I said the words above to Brad as he hopped on a plane for Nicaragua. Truth be told, three weeks seems like an eternity, not “soon”. Brad’s trip to Nicaragua comes after years of saving money and exploring a variety of countries in order to find the perfect spot to fulfill his dreams of opening a surf camp and restaurant in Central America.


This isn’t something I just found out about. I’ve know about his ideas and dreams since we started dating three years ago. Some people might call me crazy for even being with someone who would one day up and move to another country but hey, you can’t help who ya’ love, right?

I’m not going to get into every little detail of how we got to this point right now; I would need many, many pages for that. Instead, just know that I am entering into the “dreaded” LDR – long distance relationship. Granted Brad will be back to the states for several weeks at a time from now until the holidays. That being said, there are still a LOT of unanswered questions – will it work? Can I handle missing someone as much as I miss him? Will I move there eventually? Will he want to stay there long-term? Honestly, I can’t give a solid answer to any of those questions, and I’ve been asked them so many times that I feel like I have gone into auto-pilot.

Here’s what I do know – I love Brad; and not to get sappy on ya’ but I feel like there is a big void in my life since he left. The past week I kind of feel like I’ve been wandering around not knowing what to do. This is a process and one that we are both struggling with. I am trying to keep my chin up knowing that this is all happening for a reason and things will eventually work themselves out as they are meant to. I have to say; I have a great support group of amazing girlfriends and family and I’m keeping plenty busy! It can be tough though- not knowing when Brad and I will get to talk (internet/phone can be iffy in a third world country) but we’re doing OK so far.


This is an exciting time, albeit hard as well. I have a lot to look forward to and right now, that is seeing Brad in two weeks!

I know this is a random post but I wanted to get it out there because it helps to write things down, especially when I’m feeling all over the place. I’m excited to document and write about this whole process-good/bad, ups/downs, all of it. That way I can look back five years from now and truly appreciate the tough times. Catch ya’ soon!


San Diego December 2010


I promised I would be back with a recap of my trip to San Diego and here I am!

Back in October my parents proposed the idea of me heading to Southern California with them as a present for my birthday. I spent a day in San Diego three years ago and knew I wanted to go back to explore some more so I instantly said yes!


I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and my parents and I immediately made our way an hour north of San Diego to Temecula-aka southern wine country!

DSC_0452 Since it was later in the day we only made it to a couple wineries but it was so much fun! I had never been to a winery before so it was a good time. Nothing beats trying new wines while overlooking endless rows of grapes!


After our visit to southern wine country we  headed to Old Town Temecula for what would be one of many Mexican meals! I had fish tacos and lots of chips and salsa-yum! We then headed back to our hotel and I promptly passed out at 8pm-hellooo jetlag!

I woke up feeling pretty rested  and ready to get out and explore. My parents and I went for an early morning walk along the beach. We stayed at the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island.


We had breakfast at the hotel and then made our way to La Jolla for some sightseeing! Our first stop was to check out the cliffs and beaches. We went to Seal Beach which is the only beach in the country where seals and humans share the beach. We also did some “rock climbing” which in hindsight, probably wasn’t terribly smart considering how slippery the rocks were!








We made our way up to the main part of town to grab a warm drink. As we were walking towards town we noticed many of the roads were closed and came to find out that La Jolla’s annual Christmas parade just happened to be starting in 30 minutes! We grabbed a seat on the street and watched some of the floats go by. It was so funny to see everyone wearing Santa hats and flip flops! Although I love a good snow I certainly wouldn’t mind a life near the beach wearing flip flops in December…



The next few days were spent walking around downtown San Diego (Gaslamp District, Old Town), eating awesome Mexican food, drinking wine by the fire and taking walks along the beach, trying to spot the Navy SEALS.




Before leaving the beautiful Hotel Del I made sure to get pictures in front of their amazing Christmas tree as well as a photo in front of the haunted room at the hotel!



I really love exploring new cities and felt that I got a good overview of San Diego and what it has to offer. I had already been to the San Diego zoo last time I was there so I didn’t miss out on that – don’t worry!

**Have any of you been to San Diego before?? What was your favorite part? I definitely want to go back sometime soon!

Time to hit the sack – hope you all had a great weekend!


Apple Picking – Highland Orchards


It is finally beginning to feel like fall here! This whole week is supposed to be breezy and in the 60’s (with some rain here and there). I love summer but nothing beats a cool breeze, wearing sweaters and jeans and being outside!

This past weekend my family and I went out for our annual apple picking excursion.When I was younger we did the hayride and corn maze and got warm cider doughnuts. In college my parents always planned our trip around when we were all home for fall break and we would follow it up with making apple pies at home. No matter what though, we always go. This year was no different. My aunt, uncle and cousins make the trip with us and we always have fun!

I wanted to share some pictures of our day. I hope you enjoy!