Marvelous In My Monday – New Year’s Eve!

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I can’t  believe it’s already New Year’s Eve. The end of 2012. This year seriously flew by in the blink of an eye!

First, I need to say thanks to Katie over at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting this super-fun Monday meetup for all of us healthy living bloggers! I’ve been introduced to some great people this year through our weekly MIMM get togethers! Plus, Katie’s got lots of fun stuff going on over at her site (including a new baby-to-be!!) so make sure to go check her out!


Okay – here are some of the marvelous things in my life right now…

Marvelous is my awesome and amazing friend and Zumba instructor Eva! This is us at Zumba Master Class back in October!

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She has totally gotten me addicted to this incredibly fun way to torch calories! I have made some new friends, and now I can hardly listen to the radio without choreographing songs in my head! You can check her out over at her blog Committed2Nutrition  – and if you’re local, feel free to join us for some seriously fun workouts!

Marvelous is my love of experimentation with healthy foods. I’ve found so many new things to love this year – especially now that I have to be gluten-free. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m figuring it out little by little – just like everything else! Here are a few of my favorite finds!


Marvelous is my new cookbook – Practical Paleo!

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I love the way this book is set up – it has a lot of great information, meal plans, and some delicious looking recipes! I am making my first recipe from it as I type… I decided that dinner tonight would be Balsamic Braised Shortribs (YUM!!), so they are simmering away in my slow cooker. They’ve only been in there for an hour, and the house is already starting to smell good! I’m planning on serving them the suggested side from the book – carrots with dates. I’m also going to try making a couple of other things from the book before I have to go back to work on Wednesday so we have some healthy things ready to eat when life gets busy again!

Marvelous is my awesome hubby!


This is us a couple of weeks ago while visiting my in-laws in Florida. This picture was taken in front of a ginormous Christmas tree at the Grand Floridian hotel at Disney World. My hubby is marvelous for so many reasons… We’ve been together for 19 years now – married for 10 of them. We’ve been through so many ups and downs, but somehow we always seem to make it. We work hard at our relationship – and we don’t take anything for granted. I’m so lucky to have him – and I hope he feels the same about me!


So…Happy New Year from us to you – here’s to a happy, healthy 2013 for all!

Thankful Thursday #2



It’s Thankful Thursday…and first, let me say thanks to Julia at Black Tag Diaries for hosting the link-up!

It was kind of a strange Thursday today…I had to take the day off work to go have an upper endoscopy done. If you’ve never had one, it’s really no big deal – sounds much worse than it really is. Basically, they send a little camera down your throat to check out your esophagus, stomach, and all that good stuff. This was a follow-up to one I had a while ago, so it wasn’t because I was feeling poorly or anything. It’s still a little nerve-wracking when they put you under, but at least you don’t remember any of it! My thankful things pretty much revolve around this strange day.

1) I’m thankful for my hubby – again! Seems to be a theme here… He took time to drop me off at the hospital this morning and pick me up afterwards, and even took me to Panera for lunch since I hadn’t been able to eat anything since the night before and I was HUNGRY! He didn’t even laugh at me when I ordered the kids’ grilled cheese sandwich with my soup. Okay, so he smirked and shook his head, but he didn’t tease me for it. He knows that grilled cheese is my go-to comfort food. He even promised to make me tea tonight if I promised to rest when I got home. I have done NOTHING all day, so I think I’ve held up my end of the bargain…

2) I’m thankful for my awesome GI doc. She is really nice, and takes the time to explain everything really carefully so that I understand it. I’m pretty good with medicalese (spent WAY too much time around doctors/nurses in my life), but I always like to make sure I have it right. She’s patient and just a really sweet person. I also think it’s pretty cool that her name is Rakhee – but it sounds like Rocky. Makes me think of the theme song from the movie every time. I know…dork.

3) I’m definitely thankful that nothing seemed too out of place. There was an improvement in one thing from last time, but she did have to take some biopsies this time around. She didn’t seem too concerned, so I’m assuming that means I shouldn’t be either.

4) I’m thankful for the other folks who took care of me today – the nurses were all really nice, and I liked the anesthesiologist a lot. One of the nurses and I had a conversation about the sedative they use – propofol. Yes, the stuff that killed Michael Jackson. She was telling me that this 80-something year old lady had a fit when they told her they were going to use propofol “…because that stuff is evil! It killed that young man…what was his name? Michael Jackson, right? I don’t want that stuff!!” Once they reassured her that it was okay because she was in the hospital and being monitored, she finally went through with it. When she woke up, she grabbed the nurse by the sleeve and said, “Thank you so much! That was the best sleep I’ve had in 20 years! No wonder he abused this stuff!”

5) I’m thankful for my awesome Zumba instructor, Eva. Tomorrow night is our Zumba master class breast cancer fundraiser. I have been looking forward to this event for what seems like forever – but probably more like a month or so. When I got my discharge papers from the doctor, they said no exercise for 3 days. 3 days?!?!?! That meant no master class! I even clarified with the doctor, and she said absolutely not – there is a risk of bleeding because of the biopsies. I was literally bargaining with her in the recovery room – half an hour? Two songs? No such luck. I sat there and fought back tears as I messaged Eva on Facebook that I wouldn’t be able to come. She convinced me that I could still go – at least be there. She said it wouldn’t be the same without me there! How cool was that? So – I will be going to master class, dressed in pink, cheering on my fellow Zumbaholics! Since I can’t “shake it like Polaroid picture” I’ll just have to take a bunch of pictures instead.

Since I’m still feeling a little spacey from the procedure, I’m going to call it a night. Look for a post tomorrow all about master class!!

What are you thankful for this Thursday??

Thankful Thursday #1

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As you can tell, I’ve become all about the link-ups lately! I figure this is a great way to find some new blogs to read, and hopefully find some new folks who will like my blog as well! Thanks to Julia at Black Tag Diaries for hosting!

The past few weeks have been really crazy for me. I started a new job in July, and it came with a whole bunch of stuff I totally wasn’t expecting. There are a ton of reports to write, budgets to put together, and all of my deadlines have been basically one on top of the other. I’ve been so busy that I have found myself getting irritable, complaining about stupid little stuff, and just generally being in a funk. I decided today that I was going to try to be more thankful for the things that I have, and stop the negativity. I knew there HAD to be someone out there with a Thankful Thursdays link-up, and I was right!

So now for some positive stuff. Not all of these things are incredibly earth-shattering, or even important in the least, but sometimes it’s the little things that make life worthwhile! Here’s what I’m thankful for today – in no particular order…

My dog, Lady. As much as I complain about her, I don’t know what I’d do without that doggie smile to brighten my day.

My cat, Jasmine. She’s fuzzy, warm, and completely silly – as evidenced by the fact that she is sitting in a box in the middle of the kitchen floor. She’s my snuggle kitty.

My awesome hubby – shown here with a slice of Sicilian from our favorite local pizza joint. We’ve been together almost 19 years, married for little over 10, and I can’t imagine life without him. He’s the best.

My friends, B & E – and the fact that they got married this summer. They are awesome people, and they had an awesome wedding…in SWEDEN! So much fun, and I never would have gotten to travel to Sweden if it wasn’t for them.


The amazing children at Hogares Luz y Vida – the orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia where I volunteer my time. This little one, Luisa, is now around 4 years old. I haven’t seen her since the day this photo was taken since she was fortunate enough to go live with her grandparents, but she will forever be in my heart.

I think that’s about it for today…other than the fact that I’m really thankful for my colleagues who have been helping me with the massive project that has taken over my job, my life, and my office for the last week or so. It’s almost over – and for that I will be EXTREMELY thankful! We’ll leave that for next Thursday… 🙂

What are you thankful for today?