2013 Wish List

2013 Wish List

  • Run for fun.
  • But also PR in  shorter distances.
  • Not let my husband beat me in a 5K. (One of his goals was to beat me…)
  • Do an unassisted pull-up…for real this year.
  • Eat more natural, less processed foods.
  • Try to learn to cook better…and with more variety. (Key word here is try…)
  • Do more yoga, even if it’s just in my living room. Try hot yoga…try zumba.
  • Make a better effort to write more. Revamp this little blog.
  • Read a few books for pleasure, not for school.
  • Rock my last year of nursing school and graduate with honors!
  • Make a difference…somewhere, somehow.
  • Stress way less (maybe this will solve the gray hair problem). Laugh way more.
  • Last, but most definitely not least, start expanding this little family.


Happy Holidays Indeed

I’ve spent a week filled with family, friends, a lot of working (you gotta love retail!), and cookies by the dozens. I may or may not have eaten approximately twenty cookies yesterday alone. I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

It has been an absolute blast, and when I have the opportunity to spend time with family I often walk away from it wondering why we don’t spend more time together. Seriously, when a Giambalvo met a Daleo magic happened.

Now I know why I’m getting those wrinkles…err, laugh lines.

Cutest Mamaw ever. She is pretty much the queen of this beautiful family.

Twins! For real, though.

Aunties, uncle, and momma…

I might have forced my sister to take this photo with me. Handwarmers are back baby!

Notice anything odd here?

This was one of the most famous pictures of the night…the tallest member of the family with the shortest members. My family gets a pretty big kick out of my husband’s tallest…which makes sense since our average adult height is probably around 5’0″!

Some dancing ensued…

Too much fun!

This was only the beginning of my Christmas gatherings, but unfortunately there were not eighteen italians running around with cameras at all of my other festivities. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family. I love each and every one of you! And before any of you (family) calls me and asks me to take one of these pictures down (because I know what you might be thinking)…my answer will be no (well, except maybe the shake weight picture!) You all look amazing and beautiful and gorgeous in each and every one of these, so I don’t want to hear otherwise!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too!



When I woke up this morning it seemed like every other morning. I drug my booty out of bed, put on my robe, let the princess outside. I wished that I had woken up earlier, but I felt tired and worn down…from what I have no idea. I went to the bathroom and noticed how dark my eyes look, and although that seems like more of a curse than a blessing, I thanked God for my half italian background. I thought of everything that I wanted to do today, made a schedule in my head, but took no action to start on that list. Instead, I brewed a hot cup of coffee and sat down at my computer.

There is something so comforting about a cup of coffee.

I started on my e-mails and was excited to see I had received one from a friend regarding the latest dinner club gathering. Goodness. I’m so thankful to have such amazing girlfriends in my life right now. Then I read on. The next e-mail was to inform me that I had a new comment on my blog. I read it, and my heart immediately filled with gratitude.

This blogging thing is funny. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. It takes up a lot of time, it makes me feel vulnerable, sometimes it is too hard to think of something to write about, and I think that some people think it is weird. But then I get an e-mail informing me that I have a new comment from someone…and their words fill my heart with joy, and I remember why I write.

And I am grateful for this journey I have taken with my pinky toes.

As my morning continued on, my next stop was Facebook. As I scrolled down the page, catching up on everyones’ public personal lives, there were two things that caught my attention. One was this article being shared, and the second was like song that was posted by a relative I haven’t seen or spoken to in awhile…

And then my whole morning made sense.

I have found this happy place in my life through the blessings of God. He had all this planned…I have this amazing family…husband, mom, dad, sister, stepdad, aunts, uncles, cousins, mamaw, grandmas, and grandpas…because of Him. I have wonderful friends because of Him. I started this blog and have carried on writing through events set in place by Him.  I live an extremely blessed life, and while everything along the way so far hasn’t been all daisies, it has all been worth it. The appreciation and gratitude I feel like morning is pretty unexplainable.

Just Greatness.


P.S. Here’s a Friday affirmation for you:

Fa La La La La La La La La

It’s December. DE. (Fa…) CEM. (La…) BER. (La!) When did that happen?

I must sound silly at the beginning of every month stating the obvious, the fact that time seems to be flying by at a ridiculous pace. But I can’t help it. It’s too true. Time is flying by. My husband is a whopping twenty-eight years old, I am almost twenty-six and a half years old now, Tia is going to turn three and a half at the end of the month, I’m noticing more and more gray hairs each day (all in the same location…thank you Mom), and I think it is now safe to call my laugh lines actual, real-life wrinkles.

But it’s all okay because it is December…which means it’s almost Christmas…which means it’s almost my favorite holiday!


So many of my most favorite memories of family come from this month. My sister and I made up this game called “The Light Game.” At night when our mom or dad would be driving us around somewhere we would each look out the window and secretly count how many houses we saw that had Christmas lights. At the end of the trip when we’d arrive at our destination we would both reveal how many houses each of us saw, and whoever had seen the most would win.

Maggie would always make up a number that was actually a lot higher than her actual count. She always wanted to win…and she rarely ever did. Maybe if she hadn’t purposely broken her glasses when she was a kid then she could’ve seen the houses better. 😉

Normally at the beginning of the month I detail out a list of new goals for the month, but this time I am not. November was pretty awesome…I decided where I am going to attend school, I ran my second half marathon and PRed, and smiled a whole, whole bunch. It’s hard to beat all that.

This month my goal is just to enjoy life. This might entail some running…or it may not. It might call for some creativity…or maybe not. It might mean I will cook and bake a whole bunch…but most likely not. What I do know is that it will most definitely require lots and lots of quality time spent with my family, lots of laughs with my girlfriends, and some lazy snuggle time on the couch with my husband and little Tia.

Which is good, because I’m already planning out my goals for two thousand and twelve, and let me tell you, they’re going to be big ones! Come January I’m going to be a busy, busy gal (and I can’t wait!)

Merry December to you!


Happy Week Ahead!

I know I’ve said before that I’m a Thanksgiving scrooge, but I’m in a good mood on this lovely Monday, so I’m proud to say that I’m looking forward to a wonderful holiday week!

Unlike little Tia, who had to endure a traumatic and horrid bath this morning, along with mommy forcing a bow in her hair, there are a few very good reasons that I’m in such a good mood today.

(Little does she know that this pink bow is going to give her super speedy powers…maybe now she’ll be able to catch those squirrels.)

1. I got to see my beautiful mom, dashing dad, gorgeous sister, sweet Mamaw, and handsome Rob this weekend. I didn’t get to see them for very long, but just long enough to share some smiles, laughs, hugs and kisses. (I must be the luckiest girl to have the most aesthetically pleasing family?!)

2. I woke up with tight tight hamstrings (that’s not a typo…the double “tight” is for emphasis), sore calves, and a strangely chafed collarbone. These might seem like things that would put a person in a not-so-good mood, but they have done the opposite for me…

…which makes sense, since…

3. I got a bright and shiny new half marathon PR on Sunday! (More to come on that tomorrow!)

Happy Monday!



Laugh in my Kitchen

This morning has been spent killing a few birds with one stone.

First of all I have practiced what life might be like when I have a child someday. No, I’m sorry, this “someday” is not going to be any day soon, but when I am a mother, I will be forced to be somewhat domesticated. This means that I might actually have cook for my family and occasionally vacuum the kitchen floor. Yes, I vacuum linoleum.

True story: I cut all my vegetables with a steak knife. In fact, I cut everything with a steak knife.

Oh dear, my  poor future little family.

Secondly, I have started the process of redeeming myself with my mother…and aunts and uncles…

Um, I think you get the picture.

However, don’t let me fool you. I am not being creative and making my own recipe here. That typically ends up as a failure that only the raccoons outside at night would enjoy. My husband now knows that he needs to have a plan B in mind if I ever decide to “get creative” with food, but he knows to talk some sense into me before I hit up the kitchen.

Thirdly, I have had the opportunity to talk to my mom on the phone this morning, which I know she appreciates more than she lets on, even if it was just to ask her how long to boil the chicken. (I have another question about her recipe, but she is not answering her phone!)

Fourth of all, I have learned that even though Tia adores carrots that does not mean she likes celery. And in fact, I have also learned her secret hiding place for the foods that I drop that she does not like…under the kitchen table on the dark rug where I cannot easily see it.

And last but not least, I have created what is going to be a delicious dinner for tonight. My family will be so proud!

I think it’s very fitting that I have decor that says “laugh” in my kitchen.



A Serious Lack of Motivation

If you came here for motivation today, I am sorry to disappoint.

It’s after noon…

…and I still have my pajamas on. I just now finished my newest breakfast obsession, two slices of cinnamon toast. I still have a few sips of coffee left in my cup. I’m trying to decide if cleaning my car would count as a workout for today. I’m trying to decide if I even want to clean my car or if I’d rather snuggle up on my hubby’s new recliner and watch a movie. (Currently the latter is winning.)

Aside from creating a new snazzy blog header this morning, it seems pretty obvious that I am extremely lacking in the motivation department.

I’m trying to figure out the reason why I have no motivation today. I mean, it’s a beautiful day…the sun is shining and there’s a cool breeze. It’d be the perfect day for a nice run. I’ve had the biggest urge to do some strength training. Tia would love to go for a walk with me. I could start reading a new book, I could go to the library and find a new book, I could go to the store and pick up a few items that we’ve been needing around the house, I could do some designing, I could finish hanging decorations in my house. So why not just do it?!

I think part of my reason for having no motivation is because I am disappointed that I am not in school right now. I know this may sound crazy to many of you, but I love feeling like I am challenging myself by learning something new.

Even though I’ve dealt with the fact that I am not starting nursing school right now…a big part of me still feels like I should be.

I have such big dreams of being a nurse…and becoming a mother, and maybe someday building a house, and all these things…but for right now I’m just stuck where I am. I can’t move forward until I am in school…and until I finish school. I am twenty-six years old and I was hoping to be a mom by the time I was twenty-five. I know I’m still young and that I have plenty of time, but it is something that Matt and I have always known we wanted. It is harder than ever now because I can see how much Matt wants to start a family. He has always been the more apprehensive one…the one with the “five-year plan” and the one who needs all his ducks in a row. He is waiting on me now. Our future little curly-haired baby is waiting on me.

But I know that God has a reason for everything, and I really am trying my hardest to be patient. I know that our future will be beyond wonderful…that’s just why I want to be there already.

I’ve always had the most difficult time dealing with my not-so-happy feelings…just trying to cover them up with something more cheerful. I do have many positive things going on in my life…like my handsome and caring husband…but it does feel nice to get that off my chest. I do want this to be a motivational blog, but I think it can only be genuine if I am honest with my own feelings. It’s normal to feel disappointment sometimes. It’s okay to feel disappointment. Yes, Angela, it’s okay.

I think another part of my problem is a lack of a routine. And luckily, this is something that I can change right now! So what’s my plan? Wake up at a decent time and finish my workout (if I have one planned for the day). If I don’t have a workout planned or don’t feel like working out then I will take my pretty baby Tia for a walk. After working out then I will set aside time to blog and read blogs. This always makes for a nice, positive start to any day. After blogging I will do whatever needs to be done for the rest of the day.

I think a new planner is in order and would be a great way to turn this lack of motivation problem upside-down! Maybe I will go shopping today after all!

I need your help! How do you turn your lack of motivation upside-down?


Book Club Post…Five Hundred and Thirteen Pages

Finally…book club is back (like, four years later)! And since nearly half a decade has passed since I have written about my girlies from Ames, I have four whole chapters to recap (yikes!) So, I’ve decided to do this post a little differently so that I don’t end up writing a nine-hundred and seventy-three page book report!

For each chapter, I will pick out my favorite quote, and then write about what that quote means to me…then you can do the same (if you want to)!

The Intervention

Studies suggest that the average girl today is likely to grow up to be a lifelong dieter, to have a distorted body image, and to be emotionally scarred by cliques.”

Poor Sally to have to go through that. It takes a very strong person to come out of such a devastating situation with so much forgiveness.

And, of course I’d pick this quote in this chapter. The most disturbing word here is “likely”…the average girl is likely. A couple paragraphs later this “likeliness” is referred to as a “national crisis”. A national crisis indeed!

When did we (girls, women, media, people) become so mean…so comparing…so judgmental?! I’m not saying I’m innocent either, although I like to think that I keep other peoples’ feelings in mind before I speak. But again, I’m not innocent. I catch myself making comments about people on television, about people I see in a store, about myself. Then I feel like a hypocrite for preaching about owning your beauty here on my blog.

However, I do think if we all (as in everyone in this world!) could make a conscious effort to change the way we talk about other people, change the way we talk to ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves to other people (easier said than done, I know), then we could change this “likeliness”.

I read a quote from Lolly on twitter today that read,

When you know who you are~you are more accepting of others.”

This sentence is so true. Live it…..and remember that you are deserving and beautiful and admirable…and you will see those traits in others, too!

FBB and Other Secrets

There were times when they felt humiliated or ashamed and kept it to themselves.”

I chose this quote because it is so me. I definitely find it hard to talk about the difficult things in life, and I’d rather people view me as a happy person! But I have learned to keeping up a happy face is not always possible…..and that’s okay! The funny thing about it is, whenever I actually have talked to someone about my problems, I always feel better afterward…then I can actually go back to being happy!

Defining Love

“‘I think we’re meant to truly love one person, to have a life partner.'” 

Okay…so I loved this chapter!!! (Of course this sappy, lovey-dovey chapter would be my favorite!) I feel like I can relate so much to Karla in this chapter. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my life partner…my soul mate…my one true love! I agree with Karla in that I believe God put two people in this world who are just meant for each other!

And I can partly agree with Kelly. I don’t necessarily agree that a person should have a new love with every stage of their life. But, witnessing my mother get married last year to a man that is not my dad has made me believe that it is possible to love more than once in a lifetime. I know that my parents loved each other, and without that love, my sister and I wouldn’t be here. But I also know that after so long, my parents were not right for each other. Now my mom is happy in love again (and I’m working on my dad…anyone know any lovely, single 40-50 year olds?! Hehe!)

And although I don’t have children yet, I admire Karla’s love for her daughter, too. I believe when I am a mother I will feel that same way. I also loved the quote in this chapter, “The girls watched her snuggle with her baby, partly envying her and partly wondering about the ways in which loving feelings would swell inside them when their time came to be mothers.” I feel the same way when I watch other people with their babies, and I just cannot wait to be a mother someday!

“If Not for You”

Women need other women.Dare I say…sometimes women just understand better than men. I adore my husband, and I will always tell him everything, but I will always need some lovely lady to rely on. I’ve always had my mom and sister there for me if I ever needed anything, and now I feel like I have a strong core of girlfriends that are always there for me, as well. I know that my mom feels a lot of the time that I am grown up and don’t need her anymore…but mom, I will always need you. (And you too, Maggie, and all my girlies!) Always.

Sorry…this did end up pretty close to a five hundred and thirteen page book report! What were your favorite quotes of these chapters? If you aren’t that far, or just aren’t reading the book, what do these quotes mean to you?


Sheila and Kelly

If you are often guilty of not stretching enough (like me), stretch while reading! You can easily do a leg straddle stretch with a book out in front of you, pigeon pose, or butterfly stretch. Hold each stretch for one or two pages, then switch. Give it a try!

This week we read about Sheila, the “vivacious, flirty, bubbly, and busty” girl from Ames, and Kelly, the “disarmingly outspoken” girl from Ames. Both of these girls’ stories make my heart all happy inside, and at the same time they are very sad.

It was fun to read about Sheila, and to keep this lighthearted, my favorite part was when they girls recalled an old letter of hers which talked about Ted Stoner, “‘He is definitely 2320123!'” Sheila seems like such a fun friend for anyone to have.

It is incredibly sad to hear about, or read about, a person dying at a young age. I remember watching the movie about the Notorious B.I.G. and how he died, and I felt so sad watching it. I never even liked him or listened to his songs, but it just seemed like it wasn’t fair that he died so soon. I feel the same way for Sheila (I bet she’s never been compared to Biggie Smalls before!) She obviously touched each of the other ten girls’ lives in such a big way, that she probably would’ve made a big impact in many other peoples’ lives as well, had she lived longer. But, her story just reminds me that everything happens for a reason, and her story reminds me to be grateful right now for all the people and opportunities in my life (P.S. I’m grateful for you!)

Questions: Have you ever lost anyone who was very close to you? How did you deal with the sorrow? How do you remember and celebrate his or her life today?

So far in my life when someone has died, I have felt more sorrow for the other people who mourned them. I love my grandpa and grandma dearly, more than I can say, but when my grandpa died, I felt so sad for my mom. I wanted to take all her pain away. The same goes for my grandma…I love her so much, but all I could focus on was making my dad happy again. As I get older, the fear will always be there that I will someday lose someone very close to me…that’s just life. Like the Ames’ girls continue to do, I think it’s important to talk about the lost loved ones in order to continue to celebrate their existence and to deal with the sadness.

Now on to Kelly! Kelly definitely seems like someone who would be fun to be around, but she would probably make me nervous (sorry Kelly!) I still want to compare Kelly to my sister, Maggie, even though she doesn’t think so. They are not literally alike, but have so many of the same qualities: outgoing, good writers, passionate about certain issues, good at making me feel nervous.  Sometimes when I’m around Mag-pie (and more so after a couple of drinks) I think, oh boy, what is she going to say?! An example comes to mind…when she was staying with me in my first apartment and some guys came to the door to invite us to a party, they asked her what her name was, she replied, “Maggie” (duh), and they said, “Maggot?” She then replied with some words that I won’t write on my blog :), but I remember I slapped her for it! But she typically says something that everyone else is already thinking but don’t have the guts to just say it. I admire her for that! I also admire them (Kelly and Maggie) for the fact that they are so passionate about many important issues. Change for the better is only possible when there are people like them behind the cause.

Questions: Are there any issues in the world today that you are passionate about and willing to fight for? How do you advocate for them?

I’ve never been one for politics, therefore I never used to think I was really passionate about change…until recently. Now I feel like one of my reasons for being is to advocate for eating disorder awareness and to promote positive body image. I do this by writing this blog, by being a SoleMate, by giving recovery speeches, and by example. These are just small things, I know, but if a whole bunch of people are passionate about the same thing, maybe one day it will make a difference. One can hope!

I also admire Kelly when Zaslow talks about how she didn’t write about a famous hero when asked to for her English class assignment. It was such a bold move, and even though her teacher didn’t appreciate it, I think it actually says a lot. I do wonder, though, if Kelly would have an answer for that today.

Last Question: Who is your heroine?

Duh, my momma and sister! 🙂