[farewell 2015]

New Years Eve – again! 2015 has *easily* been the happiest year of my life, to date. To name a few, I feel productive and valuable at work. I am in a healthy, respectful relationship. We have a beautiful, warm “homey” apartment to call home. Running has been a huge part of my physical and psychological well-being. 2015 was mostly about finding a healthy balance between all aspects of life. I feel a strong sense of pride and gratitude for 2015, today and the future.

Our NYE plans are low-key, yet meaningful. This afternoon, I am looking forward to a manicure/pedicure date with my mom, followed by a Mexican dinner with my sweetheart, family and friends. After dinner, we plan to head home to ring in a safe new year with the pup, Netflix and smiles on our faces. Happy 2016!

[2015 at a glance]

[12/30/15: time for a run]

[loving this shot of C reading the TV mount directions]

[because Santa hats were too fun this year]

[my xmas story]

Sometimes all one needs is some time off of work to enjoy some family and friends! We took 12/23 & 12/24 off to enjoy the holidays out of town. With Christmas Day being a holiday followed by the weekend, we enjoyed FIVE days of relaxation. It was so nice to live life the past week with out having to think about work. No offense, Protax 😉
Tuesday December 22nd was a fun day at work. Everyone seemed happy, looking forward to Christmas and exchanged gifts. When C and I walked to the car after work, it felt like a Friday night since we had planned a trip out of town on the 23rd. We grabbed some dinner, headed home to wrap a few last minute gifts and enjoyed a quiet evening at home. Hello Netflix 🙂
On Wednesday the 23rd, I went for a morning run before we left San Diego around noon to head to Apple Valley. Colby’s aunt & uncle live there and the rest of his family were invited for a Christmas celebration. With our bags, presents and doggie packed we went through a drive thru Starbucks for some lunch and refreshments. We had fun on the 2 hour drive up listening to music, singing and enjoying each other’s company. Another side note: I push myself harder while running in the afternoon or evening. I can remember yawning at least 10x on my morning run. #NotAMorningPerson
[snapchat: a white chocolate mocha = my fave]
We arrived in Apple Valley around 3p on Wednesday. Dinner was delicious and I enjoyed a good amount of wine. My close family and friends know I’m not a big drinker, but I made an exception this night and here’s why:
A week or so before the 23rd, we confirmed (via text) that the casita would indeed be ours for the night. Bringing Zodi was contingent on it, otherwise we would have boarded her since they planned to have 15+ people attend dinner. The casita is separate from the main house where Zodi could have her own space, sleep and not be in the way. Mentally, it was my decision that if we couldn’t have the casita, we would 100% board Zodi. Shortly before we left San Diego, we were asked to text when we were about 30 minutes away so Zodi could have “full roam of the house.” Although this kind of confused me, I guessed maybe Zodi was welcome to say hello in the main house for a few minutes. Considering that we were guaranteed the casita regardless, I was happy to bring her.
Unfortunately, once we arrived at the main house we were informed that one of the guests (also staying the night) recently had a hysterectomy and needed to stay in the casita for extra privacy and comfort. We were to sleep on the pull out couch. I felt my smile fall. Let down, tricked & poor communication were all racing through my mind as I was trying to keep my cool around C’s family. Not easy. Luckily, they had to run to the store so I grabbed this opportunity to call my mom. Am I overreacting? Should we stay? Should we go? What if Zodi barks the whole night? What do we do? If we leave, will it appear rude? Being in this situation was incredibly uncomfortable for me. My mom assured me I wasn’t overreacting and suggested researching local dog friendly hotel options to stay the night. She told me to take a deep breath and to remember that everything will be ok. As I hung up the phone I remember feeling frustrated and trapped. We could leave, but what impact would that have on Colby? And his family? I truly believe communication is key. Of course I understood that a woman one week post surgery would definitely need to stay in the casita. (I’m not the devil lol). I was more focused on the fact that we weren’t told this information before we made the drive up. Later that evening, we were told they thought Zodi would be better off roaming the house versus in the casita. They thought. What happened to we should double check with Courtney and Colby to see how they feel about this situation before they drive up…? Maybe this whole situation would be different if I had a well trained lab who was super chill. But I don’t. Zodi is a nervous diva & always has been. When my mom and I ended our call, I ultimately decided to stay (for Colby) and try to make the best out of this unfortunate situation. (Insert a healthy, full glass of wine here). It found it incredible how alcohol calmed my nerves to the point where I almost didn’t care – almost 😉 Even when Zodi took the biggest crap (in the kitchen of all places), I didn’t freak out. I was definitely surprised as she is potty trained. I quickly grabbed a tissue, picked up the turd and flushed it down the nearest toilet. C grabbed some floor cleaner and in less than 3 minutes there was no sign of the brown surprise 😉
Ok so now you know my side of the story. Maybe, it would be fair to insert the other side’s story in here, but trust me it wasn’t thoughtful and was blatantly rude. (Just saying!) I expressed my feelings to the appropriate person, who apologized to us. She explained her fear of us not coming if we weren’t able to find someone to watch Zodi at such late notice. Some trust was broken, but I am hopeful and confident it will be restored. In regards to this experience, I am thankful for three things: 1) Colby, 2) effective communication skills and 2) WINE! 😉

[Coco before dinner]

[feeling better]

[court is feeling her wine 😉 ]


[this is about the time when Zodi left her turd in the kitchen….sigh]

[laughing it off – what a night!]

[opening white elephant gifts]

[Coco, wine, Robina]

[these cookies x3!]
Christmas Eve is probably my favorite day of the holiday season. Our drive home to San Diego was beautiful!

[prettier in person]
Christmas Eve is my mom’s thing with home made Italian pasta sauce, meat balls, bread, appetizers and even more mouth watering dishes. When C and I got home we showered, loaded the car with presents then I quickly put a 7 layer dip together. It looked disgusting but was absolutely so good. I followed the instructions step by step and was still uncertain about this dip. (Why is it so easy for me to doubt myself?) We didn’t have much time between our arrival back to SD and being at my moms by 4p, but we managed 🙂 We saw aunts, uncles, grandma and hosts Jimmy & Momma. Such a fun, memorable and happy night. This is what the holidays are about 🙂

[bunnies on xmas eve 2015]

[gma pouting because she hates taking pictures]

[I tried…]

[enjoying xmas eve my sweet black bear]

We got home late on Christmas Eve. We were so tired but still decided to exchange gifts since we had to be at my Dad’s house at 8:30am in the morning. I know, so early! 😦

Christmas Day was long, but very happy. I am one of those people who can easily stay in my pajamas the entire day of Christmas. I wish this was one of those years where I could, but more people were scheduled to arrive around 2p, so I had to get dressy. Side note: I hate wearing dresses! I compromised and paired my red dress with some cute boots 🙂 As the day turned night, so many people ventured to Casa De Middleton, but they have the room for it so it didn’t seem overly crowded. All in all, a good day was had by all our loved ones.

[daddio & hoverboard]

[xmas day – again, I hate wearing dresses]

[could this tree be any taller? lol ]
[staying warm in a new blanket for the couch]


[no surprise here – Z wrapped in blankets]

[Miramar Lake – Sunday 12/27]

[Miramar Lake – Sunday evening 12/27]

[wrapping up xmas weekend with a jog at Lake Miramar] 
Christmas 2015 was definitely a busy one and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m glad the hustle is over 🙂 I am thankful for the memories made and looking forward to 2016. xx

[mani 2015]

With 2015 almost to an end, I want to remember some of my favorite manicures this year – regular & holiday 🙂

[December 2015]

[October 2015 – plum purple]

[November/Thanksgiving 2015 – Toffee]
[July 2015]

[June 2015]

[April 2015]

[2015 Random]

[January 2015]

[2015 Random]

[2015 Random]


[gone running]

I’m coming to the realization that I’m officially showing (and feeling) signs of getting older. Years ago, I used to be able to eat like a horse without thinking twice about what increased number the scale would show me the next day. Those days are gone. Sitting on the floor to wrap holiday presents was a breeze and now my lower back aches the whole time. Again, those days are gone.

Since Monday, I’ve gotten a total of three (3) runs in this week: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. It breaks my heart that my hips and lower back hurt during these runs. I find jogging beneficial on a variety of levels, so stopping is not an option (as of today). My current plan of action is to take it day by day. Use ice/heat when necessary, visit the chiropractor more often and stretching my body daily. Taking the bad with the good is sometimes the best plan. Oh – and I’m jogging tomorrow too 😉





[santa hat fun]

Saturday nights are my absoulte favorite night of the week. By this point in the week, I’ve gotten my anxiety under control and am able to relax knowing I’m half way through the weekend. Last Saturday, we went over to my Dad’s house to watch a UFC fight. Between eating Rubio’s take out and watching yucky blood all over the TV, we turned Zodi into a Santa puppet 😉
[it took 10+ attempts to get this shot]

[cuddles with C]

[our best result with the oversized hat]

[she looks puppy-ish here]

[love her]