Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Who says Thanksgiving is the only day to publicly display our gratitude?!

For anyone who knows me well...this is for you. 

I wanted to thank you for all the help and kindness you have shown me, especially over the past year. Please know that you have made a lasting impression--an impression that will help make me a better friend and person.

You've helped me learn some valuable lessons about life and myself. I've learned to recognize some of the mistakes I've made so hopefully I won't repeat them in the future. I've learned to forgive others and myself for our mistakes and confusions...or at least forgive myself if I'm not quite ready to let go. I've learned to appreciate the little things because those make such a big difference in the day to day...and they are what I miss the most when they're gone. I've learned it's ok to say no. I can't make everyone happy all the time, especially at the expense of my own happiness. I've learned it's ok to be sad...there is no shame in crying. I've learned that it doesn't make me weak to ask for help. I've learned that even after heartache, I will open my heart completely and without hesitation to new love and happiness. I've learned what amazing friends I have that know me and love me despite my flaws. You have taught me how to find patience, forgiveness, and strength even in the moments when it feels like the floor has fallen out beneath me. You have helped me feel happier and freer than I have in years. 

So to all of you...my sincerest thanks. I hope that someday I can be that voice of reason, that pillar of strength, that brutal honesty that will help keep you moving forward with hope. Love you all.

Also...check out http://www.sebastienmillon.com/ Love me some drunky bear and psycho ducks

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brazilian Influence

In honor of the World Cup starting, here are a few of my favorite Brazilian exports:

1. The concept of Saudade
The term has no direct translation in English. There are various definitions including a bittersweet nostalgia for something lost or that perhaps has not even happened.  At its most basic, saudade is a feeling, a longing for someone, something or some event that one is fond of, which is gone, but might return in a distant future--although the term often carries a fatalist tone that the object of longing might never return no matter how great the desire. So when someone says, "Tenho saudades de você," it's more than "I miss you." It means a longing, a reveling in the pleasure of having loved and felt the warmth of another, all while dutifully accepting the emptiness and pain of loss. Truly a beautiful and complicated concept. 

2. Paolo Coehlo. 
The Alchemist was given to me by someone special and has been a great source of inspiration.  The concept of loving even while letting go to pursue our dreams resonates deeply, especially now.  Like Fatima, I also believe in the idea of "'Maktub," which translates to, "it is written." Basically the idea is that fate will unveil itself and if someone or something is really part of your treasure or personal legend then they will appear or return.
However, as the Alchemist points out, we never lose control of our own destinies...fate and the universe will send omens and the right people into our lives, but ultimately it is up to us to determine our own paths. Our choices, our ability to not lose sight of the little elements that make up the grand scheme, and always listening to our hearts even if it means suffering are what will ultimately lead us to our treasure...our personal legends. 
And to lighten the mood...

I've written about this yummy little concoction before but cannot praise its perfect blend of crispy savory goodness enough.  It's my go-to gluten-free biscuit/bread of choice. It can be somewhat sticky and tricky to make, but it's definitely worth your time. You can use my recipe or try to find another one online...if you do...make sure to send me your pics and the recipe. I'm always looking to improve.

Right...well on that note...FORZA AZZURRI!!! Looking forward to a great World Cup 2014! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Turning 30 and moving on

Officially two weeks into my 30s, and it's been a strange but wonderful ride so far.  Today marked the end of paramedic class.  As much time as it took, I should be a doctor instead of just a paramedic "candidate!"  Today also marked probably the last time I'll spend with some great people I've met along the way.  Well I guess there is always graduation on Monday, but today was the last day in class, and it won't ever quite feel the same after that.  

I've learned a lot over the course- a little about how to be a paramedic and a lot on how to reach out when times get hard or when I need a quick laugh.  I learned that I can come across as a jerk at first, but eventually people see beyond that and see me for who I really am...fun, goofy, generous, easy to talk with, and still a smartass, but a harmless one. 

Wrapping up the last 16 months of school made me realize I still have that 30 Before 30 list lingering.  As I look at it now, it seems like a whole world away from when I wrote it. Hard to imagine where I was in October of 2011!  So many things have changed...so many of my priorities have shifted. I didn't accomplish nearly what I thought I wanted (not even half!), but maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Don't think I'll be making a new list anytime soon other than to take some time for me...find my feet before jumping too far ahead.  I better tie my shoes extra tight if the rest of my 30s is anything like the first two weeks!  Just hope more amazing people continue to cross my path along the way...no matter how brief...no matter how bad their timing.  

So here's what I did accomplish from the list...
  1. Take dogs camping to Carsbald (Condo on Dog beach totally counts)
  2. Become a paramedic. (Need to pass Nat registry but still counting it)
  3. Break the World Police & Fire Games Women's Open Hammer Record
  4. Take a wine class
  5. Be nicer to Thomas (you know you're my favorite German!)
  6. Pay off one of my credit cards or student loans
  7. Grow my own vegetables
  8. Pick up a random person's tab
  9. Do enough legit strict pull-ups so I can start kipping again at Crossfit Southwest
  10. Go to Ireland
  11. Perfect my Mandeltårta
  12. Throw a theme party
  13. Treat my parents to dinner

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Embracing Perspective

I recently came across a post by Luminita over at Purpose Fairy. Reading through it, numbers 5, 10, and 11 really struck a cord with me. 
5. Don’t settle for anything less than you’re worth
Dream boldly, act fearlessly. Build your life as if there were no limits to who you could be, do and have. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t settle for anything less than you’re worth. The day will come when your whole life will flash before your eyes, and when that will happen, you will realize that you could’ve done it all, you could’ve achieved it all.
Live life fully. Dream boldly and act fearlessly. Make no room in your life for regrets.
“Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

10. By letting go it all gets done
Learn to laugh in the face of chaos. Stress less, live more. Detach from all the drama that your mind is constantly trying to create. Let go of all the to toxic thoughts, things, people and past experiences that are holding you back in life. Let go and be happy. 
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

11. Surrender to what is 
Learn to be soft like water. Let go of fixed plans and concepts. Allow events to follow their natural course. Don’t fight life, don’t resist it. Surrender to what is. Accept whatever comes your way with grace and appreciation. Trust the wisdom of life. 
“Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.” ~ Paul Tournier

I am about to face some major milestones in my life and have spent many sleepless nights anticipating what these changes may bring.  As I lie there watching the minutes turn into hours, it finally dawned on me: I have lost perspective.  I have lost sight of the present by fearing the uncertain road ahead and dwelling on what might have been under different circumstances. 

The past was beautiful, tragic, and at times, a bittersweet intermingling of love and loss.  In its true nature, however, the past is fleeting.  Today I am a woman molded by my past but not so rigidly defined by it.  I will grow stronger from both the love and conflict I endured but not give into self-pity for dreams dashed out of my control.  It is time, as she pointed out above, to let go and be happy. 

The future, as always, is unpredictable.  I can prepare and plan, but in the end, life is an adventure.  My best course is to live fearlessly and graciously.   Thanks to some persistent and friendly reminders that I am indeed wicked and worthy of happiness, I have found a renewed sense of hope and confidence.  My future is no longer bound by my own perceived limits. 

Time to focus on the present.  In this moment, as I sit here watching my fingers quickly peck away at the keys, I pause to breathe deeply and listen to sound of the air rushing in and out.  In this moment, I am healthy, I am happy, and I am loved.  Surrendering to and embracing change, I can find solace in my thoughts and sleep well tonight. 

Take a moment for yourself to check out a few suggestions that might help you approach every day with a better perspective. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bacon bacon bacon

Had to post some pics & the recipe (more like guideline) I used for a scrumptious low carb dinner. 

Basically I made my favorite meatloaf (thanks Gramma...secret is mustard!) and wrapped it in a lattice of bacon! What? Bacon?! Yes...delicious center cut bacon wrapped around an already amazing meatloaf. Oh and did I mention I stuffed the meatloaf with cheese? Yeah...this meal just got better. 

Cook this bad boy at 300°F for an hour then crank heat up to 350° for another 15mins or so until the bacon crisps up & the internal temp is greater than 160°. 

Notice the sweet Magyver-esque use of tinfoil sjnce my grill grate has gone missing. Also take note of the zucc's in the background...had to add some veggies somewhere. 

Mmm...crispy melty goodness. Thanks to Craig at ruled.me for the idea. Check it out at 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Going back to the beginning?

So this week I had my work physical and it brought into reality exactly where I stand...healthy and above average in all aspects. I should be happy with that, but frankly, I'm not. Despite my body weight only going up one pound and my treadmill test remaining the same, my body fat is up from 19 to 22-23%.  A lot of that stems from a less-active lifestyle. My days off, which normally consist of running the perros and hitting crossfit have been replaced with eight-hour days at school or 12-hour clinicals. The diet has taken a huge hit as well: convenience eating (dining out or processed pre-made meals) and snacking on sugary sweets to stay awake in class or fight the boredom.

This week was the eye opener I needed. Time to re-evaluate what my goals are and how to reach them. Lots of people have New Year's Resolutions, well I'm not waiting another two months to get back on track. Looking back at earlier blogs, time to re-up my commitment to a healthier and happier life. So today I'll tackle the goals:

1. Lean up. My first blog ever, I set the goal for 15%...this time around I would like to just get back below 19% and stay there.
2. Start running again. I would like to run 4-5 times a week and get my 5K time below 25min. I don't have any races in near future, but that shouldn't stop me from hitting the pavement. I know the pups would sure appreciate it. Besides, nothing beats breathing in the cold morning air and feeling the lungs start to burn.
3. Make smarter food choices. Time to go back to primal and dump the processed semi-food. Also time to listen to my body and feed it what it needs to excel not what I can get my grubby hands on at the time.
4. Get back to my gym roots. I feel like total outsider since I basically went MIA from Crossfit Southwest. I really miss my family there. Strangely enough, I miss getting my ass kicked by Ken too.
5. Be happier with myself. This might be my loftiest but also most important goal--to change from the inside out.

So what are your goals? Any tips on how you reached them or will reach them?

Next time, I'll talk about setting out a plan...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Holy crap it's already been two years and I'm almost frickin 30

It's hard to believe two years have passed since I initially started my 30 before 30 list. Even harder to believe that 30 is right around the corner. Not sure I'm ready for full-spinster mode.

On less depressing note...I've managed to knock some more stuff off the list! The new accomplishments are highlighted:
  1. Finish an Olympic or Half-Iron Man Triathlon
  2. Take the dogs and my HLP camping at Carlsbad in a vintage trailer--hint hint Dad!
  3. Become a paramedic (working on it...will be done just after bday but I'm thinking it'll count!)
  4. Break the World Police & Fire Games Women's Open Hammer Record.  done and done!
  5. Put a glass mosaic back splash up in my kitchen without hiring anyone (offer to the lion tamer aka architect is still on the table)
  6. Watch the Denver Broncos play at home
  7. Go back to Italy
  8. Backpack the Grand Canyon (overnight!)
  9. Finish my associates in Nutrition and Personal Training
  10. Take a wine class 
  11. Finish a 5K under 24 minutes (Getting closer! Ran 24:42 in Ireland)
  12. Take a short immersion class in Spanish or at least another Spanish class 
  13. Be nicer to Thomas (you know you're my favorite German!)
  14. Hike Camelback wearing a weighted vest 
  15. Rent a ridiculously over-the-top and expensive car just for the weekend  
  16. Pay off one of my credit cards or student loans 
  17. Do a muscle-up 
  18. Take an art class  
  19. Trace back my dad's side of the family 
  20. Grow my own vegetables Actually did this last spring but forgot to update. DIdn't last long thanks to dogs but goal was to grow not to create a self-sustaing farm.
  21. Take dance lessons
  22. Pick up a random person's tab (it's happened to me and made me smile the rest of the day)
  23. Do enough legit strict pull-ups so I can start kipping again at Crossfit Southwest 
  24. Make my own stepping stones
  25. Visit Kartchner Caverns  
  26. Go to Ireland Northern Ireland totally counts!
  27. Scuba dive (what's the point of having a cert if I never use it!)
  28. Perfect my Mandeltårta (naturally gluten-free Swedish almond cake) Maybe not perfect but delicious!
  29. Throw a theme party Pretty sure our annual ugly sweater party counts! Keep December 18th open btw!!
  30. Treat my parents to dinner
So for those keeping track...I still have 21 things to go. Ruh roh. Guess I better start cranking some of these out...

Oh and special thanks Jen, Ken, Erik, Lindsey, and everyone else who helped me train or support me in my efforts. Big shout out to those who helped Arizona Firefighter Athletics raise money not only for our trip but for Arizona Burn Camp and our fallen brothers, FF Harper & Ofc. Raetz.

Looking back at my older posts...think it's not only time to knock some stuff off the list but also get refocused and start living a healthier life...more on that next time.