Life Lately && Marathon Recap! 10.5.2017

I did it, you guys! My fourth marathon is actually over. And you know, I’m really sad about it. I LOVED training this time around. Every long distance run was like a new event for me to plan with Patrick (obviously, as my sherpa), and now, it’s all done. You better believe I’ll be finding another one to sign up for soon πŸ˜‰

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As I probably alluded in my last blog, the month of September was wildly busy for us. We had a wedding every single weekend (and we were in two of them) – but I really cannot complain because WEDDINGS ARE AWESOME and LOVE IS AMAZING. ❀

Our friends Kristin and Tony started off the month with a beautiful wedding, sprinkled with refreshing and heartwarming touches of their time they’ve lived in Hawaii together.

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Then our friends Nicole and Scott tied the knot in good ol’ Iowa – and that was the weekend I ran my longest build-up run. It was gorgeous!!

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The third weekend, our friends Alex and Alexandra got married and had a wild party afterwards! Loved seeing you two again!

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And lastly, but certainly not least, our close friends Blair and John said incredibly beautiful vows, and I was so grateful to be part of that ceremony. Such a beautiful couple.

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All that being said, September was over before we knew it, and all of a sudden, it was the week before my big race. And ya know what? We had ZERO plans that whole week (probably intentionally on my part – yasssss). We stayed in every night, watched movies, and Patrick cooked incredible home-cooked foods. I stayed away from sugar and alcohol that week too, just to make sure my body was in top condition and that I would sleep well πŸ˜‰

I should take that back…. reverse reverse! I attended my first 108 sun salutation yoga class the Sunday before my marathon, where we literally complete 108 sun salutations in the 60 minute class. It was beautiful. Motivating. Invigorating. All the students were breathing in sync and I cannot wait to experience that feeling of community and one breath again. ❀

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We were lucky enough to get invited by a couple friends to go see the Packers play at Lambeau the weekend before my race. I know this is crazy, but THAT WAS MY FIRST PACKERS GAME EVER. It was absolutely a blast and I can’t wait to go to more! It was also SWELTERING outside, which I couldn’t complain about, AND the Packers pulled through with a victory! All the best things. πŸ™‚

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The weekend of my race, we went to the expo and got my packet and Patrick bought me a new running hat! That night, my sister, her boyfriend Erik and their sweet (crazy) puppy Benny came to visit and had dinner with us because #carboloading. Oh, and my sister made her famous Pumpkin Bread that totally is addicting (I secretly hope she doesn’t make it again because I have been INHALING it all week!). And the morning of my race, it was absolutely perfect. The weather was on point for long-distance Fall running, I had a great breakfast, and we got to the start in plenty of time for me to warm up and even wait in the massive bathroom line HA. Baymax was with us too of course ❀ And all of a sudden, they were counting down to the start!! πŸ™‚

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I chose to stay with the 4:40 pace group for the beginning of the race, in the hopes that I would make it at least to the halfway point with them (and then of course, I naturally slow down) so that would prime me for a PR. And I did that! I stayed with the group until about mile 15, which was a blast! The pacers were so friendly and talkative, and they both loved Harry Potter, so we had plenty to talk about πŸ˜‰ I’m in the blue, with the hat, super excited, arms up – you get it πŸ™‚

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At about mile 15 I saw Patrick and he jogged with me for a bit. He was FILLED with encouraging words and affirmations, and I just couldn’t stop smiling while I saw him. But this is really when I felt like I started to slow down. I knew this would happen and I wasn’t worried at all. I was feeling strong and didn’t even need to listen to music at this point either! (I ended up not needing music for the entire race actually!). However, around mile 20 is when I really started to slowwwww downnnnnn. My head was tired, my right hip was killing me, but I dredged on! I knew the finish was SO CLOSE, and since I have done the Lakefront Marathon before, I knew that my favorite part of the course was coming up. I ended up walking at some point almost every mile, which of course blew the buffer time that I had built up.

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At the finish, I heard and FELT the energy from the crowd. My sisters and my dad were with me towards the finish and they were cheering and encouraging me to PUSH through to the finish. I saw my Mom (hi Mom!) and she had her homemade sign that’s so filled with love and I just about cried when I saw it! I picked up my pace and finished the race at a sub 10-minute pace (which is wicked for me after that amount of mileage!).

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Did I get a PR, you ask? I will be honest and tell you. No. I was off by ONE. MINUTE. At first I was slightly bummed- more than slightly… but you know what? I don’t care now. That marathon was one of the best long-distance runs (let alone races) that I’ve ever run and I enjoyed every single step of it. I don’t regret a thing (aside from walking so much at the end LOL). But here’s to new goals and 2018 for a new PR, right!? πŸ˜€

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My whole family was at the finish. WHOLE family. Both sisters, Manda’s boyfriend, my dad, mom, step dad, step mom, ALL THREE DOGS, and of course the love of my life Patrick. This was definitely a race to remember. And today, Thursday, I already am feeling almost back to normal aside from some right hip pain (which is usual for me). I am so so so grateful. Our bodies are incredible, aren’t they?

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Aside from my marathon completion, we have just been enjoying this beautiful Fall weather just starting to poke its head through in Wisconsin. I LOVE IT. However, I’m realizing I may need some more sweaters and layers for work πŸ˜‰ Any excuse to shop, eh?

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SUPER EXCITED though because we are flying off to EUROPE tomorrow afternoon! Me, Patrick, my sister, her boyfriend, and her best friend Hannah. We booked this trip monthsssss ago and the day is finally almost here!!! We are flying to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, and I seriously cannot wait for some actual vacation time. It’s been too long, and now with my marathon done, we can celebrate!! Cheers to that!

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Thank you for reading about my experience with this marathon and I can’t wait to share another journey with you next time around! If you have tips, tricks or tools I can use going forward, I’m all ears – you fellow experienced runners, you!

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Have an amazing beginning of October, friends. It’s definitely my favorite month, aside from July (birthday month, #duh). I’ll touch base again soon with a Europe blog, you better believe it! In the meantime, follow me on snapchat or Instagram for daily updates!

xoxo,Β Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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Living the Happy Life 9.14.2017

Hey y’all πŸ™‚ How is everybody? Enjoying this space between summer and fall?Screenshot_20170914-084624

This transition is always always my favorite time of the year. If we could just pause the temperature/ weather/ outdoor feel, with cool nights and slightly warmer days, I would be just peachy happy with that! It’s perfect for literally everything: running, watching sports, swimming, sleeping at night, HARRY POTTER SEASON… I’ll take permanent Summer-to-Fall weather thanks!

I’m not sure if you remember, but at the beginning of this calendar year, January 2017, I dedicated myself to a new life, free of negativity/stress/judgment… and I renamed my blog and Instagram Fitness By Shannon. I am finally here to update you on this journey so far – it has been astoundingly beautiful. If you’d have told me that it was possible to live without unnecessary negativity and stress, obviously I would not have believed you – stress comes with life, everyone has it, it’s natural. Where that is true in some cases, I now know that if you let go of worry and sadness and insecurity (as much as you possibly can), then life really does seem… easier. Full of life and positive people and happy experiences.patrick shannon

 

That is what I’ve been experiencing over the last several months in 2017. I have been eating healthier than ever, and yet still indulging in ice cream and beer if the time comes. I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t let negative emotions affect me when I imbibe, and ya know what, I only have a limited time on this Earth – so I sure as hell am not going to worry about having a cupcake or glass of Sangria here and there! (Especially with 4 weddings in September on top of my peak marathon training miles, you BET I’m going to enjoy that cake and wine!)

One of my biggest stresses used to be time management. I am a very organized, need-to-plan-everything-out, “I’ll just hold the tickets for everybody” person, so that’s not really the issue. The issue is the straight amount of events and tasks and opportunities and dates that were booked in my calendar. There was something happening every single day and night, and since June, balancing all of that with marathon training?? It was a new challenge to say the least. With the busy schedule (that I fully commit to and yes, it’s my fault for saying yes to so many things), we are obviously flyin’ from one place to the next constantly, and that used to stress me out to the max. I HATE being late – I am usually the girl who’s there exactly on time, or 5 minutes early.sugarcaneBut I now remind myself that, in whatever situation I find myself, there is nothing more that I can do except my absolute best. I needed to focus more on the “right now” instead of “I should’ve, we should’ve, why didn’t we…” ideas. As my mom always tells me, we can’t go back in time, so let’s learn from the current situation, get through it, and plan better next time. ❀ (She’s brilliant). And my dad always reminds me to remember THIS moment, because 85% of life is just showing up. Get there, and do what you can right then and there.walking

Another incredible change for me has been shutting out any relationship or negativeΒ person in my life. This easy change was a weight off my shoulders. I only associate with people whom I love and love me back. It’s as easy as that. I spend theΒ majority of my time with myΒ amazing/ selfless/ adventurous/hilarious/handsome AF boyfriend Patrick and our puppy Baymax. Whenever I can be with them, even if it’s lounging on the couch all day on a Sunday, I feel my energy fill back up to the brim. My heart bursts with love for them. My family is incredible in so many ways; they support me more than I ever could ask them to, and they each have such a special place in my heart. My sister is my best friend, and without her advice, comic relief, support, and straight up love and honesty, I wouldn’t be as put together as I think I am πŸ˜‰gagaOne last relief for me has been my rest days. Ironically, as much as I love getting to the gym with weights, on my mat to do yoga, and in my shoes to run outside, I cherish the days after work when I can come home and do nothing on the couch. The Sundays where we have literally ZERO plans (rare). Where we can just pick a show on Netflix and cruise (or snooze) through all of it. My body and my energy levels need those days, since my mind essentially refuses to stop thinking and processing and planning πŸ™‚ Everybody close to me knows my couch time IS MY COUCH TIME. No, I won’t leave the house or put real clothes on. Yes, I will probably continue to clean and cook and organize. But I will be sleeping/napping/in and out of consciousness because that’s what my body needs right meow. πŸ™‚IMG_20170810_170331My point inΒ this long explanation is… Β DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Really, make the TIME to get outside in the sunshine, travel even if it’s just a weekend getaway, and laugh your head off at stupid jokes and adorable corgi puppy videos. Spend the MONEYΒ on special sushi dinners and exciting new yoga workshops (it’s just money). See those who you LOVE, because we really are all busy, so just make it happen if it’s important to you. That is literally all that matters. I dress how I want to feel good, I eat what I want to fuel my body as thoroughly as I can, I lift/run/do yoga every day to strengthen my heart, mind, and body. This is the life that I have chosen to live.Β If you simply change your mind, you can change your life. I firmly believe that now. I don’t even believe in stress taking over; because whatever comes my way, I will handle it. I have a support system, I have the tools needed to cope with anything, and I know that life will continue on.Β chin standThank you for reading ❀ Stay tuned for more from this new lens. πŸ™‚

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannonme smiling

Life Lately 4.21.17

Hi everyone! Checking in because this week has been such a fantastic and fun week, I have so much to share πŸ™‚

Firstly, last Saturday, Patrick, my dad and I all ran the inaugural Brew City Half Marathon in Milwaukee – I think it went pretty dang well! The course is very similar to every single Milwaukee half marathon course (haha) so I knew everywhere we were running and what to expect, which is always a plus πŸ™‚

Patrick and I finished together, so I’m hoping we have another SWEET finish line photo! Finish time of 2:25!!  My dad was just shortly after us – he always likes meeting new people on his long runs and talks their ear off and gives them running and life advice πŸ™‚

I saw my childhood friend from grade school too – April!

It was a really fun first year and I think they did a fairly good job putting on the race! Aside from running out of water at mile 11 and having gross beer/brats at the end of the race (but that’s just me). The medals are HUGE and claim to be the “tallest” medals for any half marathon. I’ll take that!

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And of course, yoga is going really well. Here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks:

**I have also started a push up challenge for myself to 100 per day. Check my Instagram, I post hilarious videos that show how much I’m dying HAHA. πŸ™‚

Sunday was Easter, of course, and we (as always) got Easter baskets from both our mom and dad, filled with candy, and of course, most of that candy is gone already in less than a week. THIS is why I don’t buy candy haha! It disappears in our apartment πŸ™‚

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Always love getting a great picture of my family during the holidays when everyone looks so nice πŸ™‚

Patrick (and a little bit on my end) has been DOMINATING the cooking scene the last few months too, and I just can’t get enough of how awesome our food looks on our new plates haha!

Turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

Chicken thighs with asparagus wrapped in bacon and crescent rolls.

We may or may not have gotten a huge sushi boat last week too. More on that celebration in another post… πŸ˜‰

And yes, for those who have asked, Baymax is doing SO good. He’s the most perfect puppy, and he OFFICIALLY is over 100 lbs at 14 months old πŸ™‚ He’s so energetic and fun (not pictured above) and clearly loves napping and sleeping and any general relaxing with us after all the running and playing we do every day!

Life really is good right now you guys. Things are flowing, decisions are being made, the energy is bright and exciting, not to mention the beautiful weather we’ve had lately which makes me even MORE anxious for summer. πŸ™‚ I really can’t complain about one thing.

Happy Friday everybody! I hope you all are able to enjoy this last weekend in April!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.6.17

Back to the cold Wisconsin weather again. My family, boyfriend, and I were just in Orlando Florida this past weekend for four days of sun, Disney, and relaxation. It was badly needed by all and I am so grateful for the family time we had there.

Patrick and I also celebrated our two year anniversary of dating on Saturday ❀ My heart swells and smiles so brightly when I see him. I can’t believe its only been two years – I was convinced it was closer to 5 but was immediately corrected πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to spending our whole lives together, so 2 is just a drop in our love bucket πŸ™‚

Focusing my energy this week on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating simply, and getting back into the groove of my workout plan. Vacations always make my life topsy turvy, switching around my workouts and eating foods I raaaaarely would agree to eat. But moderation is what life is all about – and that’s how we can continue living happy lives, while loving our bodies simultaneously. It’s not easy to come back home and swing back to healthy eating and waking up at 4:40am to workout before work, but I know that my body craves the attention and the care it deserves. Dedication and consistent care. That’s what my body loves and what I will always focus on giving it.

While on our trip together, I tried to only use my phone for pictures. I miss the old school 35 mm cameras and the camcorders my dad used to carry around on our trips to capture precious family moments, but those times are slowly easing away, introducing cell phones as the new “moment-captor”. I’m becoming slowly okay with this, although on vacation, I really do love not touching my phone for hours at a time. It’s a detox in its own right, and I need to have more of these detoxes around the house and through my regular day-to-day as well. It feels good to feel light, not carrying the weight of the world and the sadness and arguments that could come with checking my phone every hour. I don’t need that. No one needs that. Let’s tech detox more πŸ™‚
Also living in gratitude for the opportunity to travel as much as I/we do. We obviously value travel over spending our money in other ways, but the fact that we have flexible work schedules and always have a puppy babysitter (thanks Mom!) gives us way more peace of mind ❀ Seeing the world has always been a huge goal of mine – I have wanted to see every single corner of the earth since I was a kid! My dad instilled the wander lust deep in me since he took us to all kinds of states and countries growing up – the newness and excitement and exploration that comes with seeing a new city is mesmerizing. And I’m totally addicted to the journey and the destination simultaneously πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful Monday my friends, Peace to you!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Exciting Updates and Thoughts! 8.11.16

Good morning beauties! Okay. I know it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted but BOY do I have updates for you!! So much has happened in the last 3 weeks and I am just bursting to share with you!

First and foremost… I have officially accepted a new position for my career… As a Full Time Personal Trainer!! πŸ™‚ I was referred by a friend, and the position honestly just sort of landed in my lap but I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.Β 

This entire week has been shadowing trainers and group fit instructors, and I even have my own clients to personally train already πŸ™‚ It’s a pretty wonderful scenario and I can’t wait to get busier!

THE BEST PART is that I get to keep my current job part-time! They found a place to keep me working here and I am so grateful and excited to stay a part of a wonderful company during the day when I’m not training πŸ™‚ #grateful #lifeisgood

Outside of THAT amazing update, I have still been trying to keep my schedule relatively the same. Working out in the mornings, still having my wonderful homemade dinners with Patrick and Baymax every night. It’s a wonderful life πŸ™‚

Some looks at my inversions for this last week.

Since my birthday was July 31, and we were on our camping trip at Rocky Mountain National Park (different blog to come!), I wasn’t able to see my family, so I was able to celebrate with them after we got back! πŸ™‚

My mom made me THE BEST CARD (as always) ((and yes that’s considered a card to her- a poster)) with pictures of me growing up and it is currently hung in our apartment since I love it so much. She makes every card with so much love and care, it’s amazing ❀

My dad and step mom and sister took me and Patrick out for Mexican last Friday (MY FAVORITE YAS) and Patrick and I split a margarita bigger than my face. πŸ™‚


AND my little sister made me a homemade blueberry pie. I feel like I can literally smell it and taste it through this picture… SO AMAZING.


The following morning (hilarious, I know) we ran a HOT 5K around Miller Park area on the Hank Aaron State Trail. Only about .25 miles was actually ON the trail, which I’m bummed about, but my dad and I ran a sub 10-minute mile pace the entire time so I was happy πŸ™‚

That night, we went out to the State Fair with our wonderful friends Mitch and Lindsey and OBVIOUSLY had to go down the Giant Slide. I haven’t done that… in probably… 15 years. I kid you not. It was probably the best 10 seconds of my month πŸ™‚

All in all, I am deliriously happy. Life works out in mysterious ways, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all your support, and particularly the support of my incredibly man Patrick. He’s my man-cheerleader and I thank him every single day for being the best person in my life. My mom, my dad, my sisters… they are all the best too – we literally exchange family emails on a daily basis going over pros and cons of my life decisions.Β How amazing is that? ❀

Did I mention that above^ was my first time doing a forearm stand with no wall? I had myself close to a wall JUST IN CASE, and I gently floated one leg at a time up and didn’t even touch it. YAY PROGRESS! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful beautiful healthy day my friends! πŸ™‚

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Peace, xoxo.

Joined Running with Spoons!

Marvelous Monday Musings 6.27.16

Happy Mondayyyyyyyyy!

Really, I’m this awake right now. We had a fantastic weekend, guys. We saw tons of family and friends, and also got a solid amount of Baymax/chill time. I’d say it was a great success!

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Handstands outside my house HAVE to happen. πŸ™‚

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So Friday was “National Bring Your Pet To Work Day” and I obviouslyyyy had to partake. Being this is our first pet and all πŸ™‚ And because he’s the cutest dang puppy ever. He had such a fun time at work, with our walks and playing with all my coworkers πŸ™‚

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Always involved in some kind of a yoga challenge too. Lately, I’ve been so sore from my classes and regular weight lifting schedule that I’ve been using yoga for stretching and opening my muscles and fascia again, as opposed to strength improvement. It’s been wonderful to switch it up!

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Saturday morning, my sister, Patrick and I drove to Madison for my grandma’s 80th Birthday! She doesn’t look or act a day over 60 and she is seriously one of my favorite humans on earth. We had such a fun time with family and I got to reunite with my cousins on that side who I don’t see as much anymore! Really a great family gathering πŸ™‚

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Saturday night after we got back home, we had our HOUSEWARMING party! I’ve never hosted a party at an apartment of mine, so this was a first. AND I got to share this time with Patrick in our new home πŸ™‚ We had so many friends come and visit and even got some housewarming gifts! Which we were not expecting. A fun time was had by all, and we definitely will be having more get-togethers in the future since this was such a success!

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Sunday, we cleaned and relaxed and went for long walks. It was kind of the most perfect Sunday ever πŸ™‚
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Did I mention frozen yogurt? Yeah that always makes it a better Sunday πŸ˜‰

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Our wonderful friends who live 3+ hours away came to visit us too! It was a wonderful time hanging out and catching up πŸ™‚ We love seeing friends we haven’t seen in awhile ❀ Thanks for visiting Ashlie and John!

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I hope you all feel the warmth and marvelousness today too πŸ™‚ It’s going to be a beautiful Monday and even more gorgeous week ahead ❀

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Life Lately 6.14.16

Good morning!! How is everyone today? Enjoying our lovely humid/rainy/sunny weather? Because I sure am. πŸ™‚ Summertime, summertiiiiiiiiiiime!

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Last Saturday, we got up SUPER EARLY and ran the Summerfest Rock n’ Sole Quarter Marathon. We initially had signed up for the half marathon, but to be frank, we were so busy on Saturday, we just wanted to do a shorter, faster race. And we both really pushed ourselves! It was an awesome run, and we were grateful we didn’t do the half marathon because, boy, was it HOT out. Incredibly humid too. #quartermarathoners

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The night before, we took a long beautiful walk around our neighborhood and ended up at a killer Mexican place in our area. We ordered…oh everything. And it was beautiful. πŸ™‚

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Also, last week Thursday after work, Patrick picked up our first week of our CSA!! For those of you who don’t know, a CSA stands for Community Shared Agriculture; essentially, we buy into a local farmer’s produce and every week, we get a share of it! How SWEET! We eat so many vegetables and roots, this was such an exciting purchase for us!

This week we got:

  • Radishes, salad greens, arugula, scallions (green onions), potatoes, bok choy, asparagus, and a HUGE head of butter lettuce!

I’ve been trying to keep up with my yoga challenges – as I’ve said in previous posts, I’ve been lifting a lot more now that marathon training is done. And I’m going to start swimming next week, in preparation for our two Olympic triathlons this summer. We also have biking on our schedules, but Patrick’s bike needs a new tire, so it’s current in the shop. Womp.

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AND HOWWWW could I forget about a Baymax update?? πŸ™‚ (see him sleeping next to me in the above picture??) He has been such a fun, crazy, sassy little pup! Yes, we force him to snuggle sometimes but he really loves it πŸ˜‰

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We took him to our local pet store to get him a new bag of puppy food, and HE LOVED IT.

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He sniffed literally everything, and Patrick of course found the hugest tug-of-war toys in the store. No, we did not get one haha.
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Life is pretty sweet. We are so happy, with our new home, our new puppy, and new adventures to come.

How’s about an adventure for you too?? πŸ™‚

Peace, xoxo.

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