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.

kp and tony

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!!

scott and nicole

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

alex and baxter

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.

blair and john

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. ❀

108

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™‚

go pack

packers love

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™‚

expo

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™‚

pacer

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.

thumbs up

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!).

finish

finish 2

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˜€

medal and me

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?

me and dadme and momme and patrickme manda erik

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?

getting lit

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 8.21.2017 – #lifeissweet

Anyone out there?? It’s me, Shannon.

I don’t want to mention how long it’s been since I’ve written one of these beloved posts. I have so many drafts started, notes in my phone, messages out to friends and family for inspiration… But I never got myself to just sit down and put something together. And now, I’m ready to get back in the game with this wonderful outlet. I already feel back at home – this is something I’ve missed doing, and making time to stay committed to blog up-keep is definitely not easy, especially during the busy summertime. BUT HERE WE GO. πŸ™‚

So where do I begin?

Probably the biggest part of my life right now is my current training for my upcoming race – my fourth full marathon. Β It’s the Lakefront Marathon again, and yes, I would LOVE if any/all of you came to cheer me on. October 1st, can’t miss the thousands of runners down by the Milwaukee lakefront that weekend.

19 miles

I have had two “long runs” and I have 3 more before I start to taper before race day. Overall, I am feeling awesome. Stronger than ever, and ready for another amazing and memorable race. My family and Patrick have been so incredibly supportive with my early nights and tired Saturdays – it doesn’t get better than the journey πŸ™‚

16 miles

I also started a new job in May! I now work at Harley Davidson. I haven’t loved a job like I love this one in a long time, so I actually look forward to coming to work every day πŸ™‚ I can’t complain, the first 100 days have been fantastic! I even got to pose with one at Summerfest, so I mean… pretty cool right?

harley

Pretty exciting update too – I finally completed my certification for Fitness Nutrition through ACE! I now can build my future practice (since I don’t current have a practice, technically) with personal training and help those with dietary and nutrition questions too πŸ™‚

ace

Also as you know if you follow me on Instagram, I have been developing my personal yoga practice fairly deeply over the last several months. It’s been the most enriching and powerful practice I’ve ever experienced, and every single day my body surprises me with new arm balances and flexibility improvements. It’s been a BLAST – and thank you all for supporting this journey! Who knows – maybe YTT is in my future πŸ˜‰

yoga 1

yoga 2

yoga 3

yoga 4

Patrick and I have officially been in our apartment for over a year now, and we are loving it more and more as we settle deeper into our life in Tosa. Baymax loves it, we have fantastic neighbors, and couldn’t be happier where we are πŸ™‚

family

We have been so fortunate to have a busy summer, filled with seeing friends, family events, and plenty of races of all kinds. We completed two triathlons this year (one was actually only biking/swimming, since the swim was canceled) we had a blast completing both!

lake country tri

pewaukee tri

I’ve been able to complete some races with my dad and sister as well! I LOVE that we have such a fun and strong running family!

me and gracee

fish days

We have so much to look forward to during the rest of summer. We have FOUR weddings in September, I have my long-runs continuing, we have some travel here and there – – – and it’s all so beautiful, I am completely filled with gratitude and love all the time. Our lives are truly shining with overwhelming amounts of love and friendship and I am humbled by everything I experience every day ❀

me and blair

kp

These two beautiful brides are getting married in September, and I am honored to be in both weddings! Over the summer, we had showers/bachelorette parties and I had SUCH a blast celebrating their love!!!

A few snippets from this summer. Full of love, smiles, memories, and a decent amount of O-Gii from MKE Brewing Company πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to see how summer continues to shine, and I hope that each of you has light pouring on your face and experiences each and every day as well ❀

Peace to you all! Thank you for reading my somewhat crammed life update πŸ™‚ Cheers!

xoxo. ❀ FitnessbyShannon

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 & Women’s Day! 3.8.17

Happy Wednesday!

I have had this in my drafts to send out for a few days now, and I haven’t gotten around to writing anything in it. It’s just a blog full of pictures πŸ™‚ So now I have some time.

How have I been lately?! Well I’ve been doing a LOT of yoga challenges on Instagram, so my apologies if your feed is bombarded with pictures of me in every kind of pigeon pose ever πŸ™‚ I love joining challenges, because they help me think more creatively about my own expression of poses, how to get in and out of them, and how to flow from one pose to the next. It’s really fun for me, and I really enjoy doing them!

Of course I still have my favorite inversions and arm balances included too πŸ˜‰

I was just musing to Patrick last night about how lucky and fortunate (and frankly, awesome) we are that we cook fresh food every night for dinner. If we aren’t eating fresh, we’re eating leftovers from the previous day or two, and we go out to eat probably once per week, almost always on a weekend.

We have our staple foods that we love to go out for, and SUSHI is one of them πŸ˜‰ Duh.

If it’s a homecooked meal, it’s almost always some kind of veggie/meal/rice concoction, a homemade pizza on Angelic Bakery dough, or, more recently, Patrick’s homemade pasta sauce with whole grain noodles (and of course lots of veggies).

This food warms my heart, warms my body, and is so incredibly nourishing. I am a hugeeeee veggie lover, and any meal we have is covered in peppers, mushrooms, onions, at the minimum πŸ™‚

We celebrated Baymax’s 1st birthday last week too. He’s the best puppy in the world. The best puppy we could ask for. He sleeps with us, eats with us, and snuggles better than any human. We are so grateful for that little guy.

His own puppy ice cream πŸ™‚

Half marathon training is still happening. And it’s still going really well. I have finally found my “happy pace” when I get on the treadmill every morning before work. Pushing through those first few miles and coasting through to the end. My outdoor runs have been just as wonderful (just slower, of course, and longer distances). I am in a good spot, and I’m so grateful for my body to be so forgiving πŸ˜‰

I also just have to mention that this lady below and I (and our men) sang Bohemian Rhapsody for karaoke night last Friday. And we didn’t fail. And it was really fun. And I actually enjoyed myself. πŸ™‚ Definitely doing that again ❀

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a blurb about International Women’s Day, which is today, March 8th. I know there has been a lot of turmoil around the idea of “feminism” and “equal rights” etc. lately, especially among just the female population.

It’s my sincere hope that all women can find this time to work together for the common goal of being an equal and being heard and being treated fairly. I know that people can sometimes scoff at the word feminist, and if that happens, then I personally believe they are misunderstanding the meaning. Whereas some women will burn bras and riot and yell and scream to make a statement, there are SCORES of other women who silently protest; who work as hard as they can to get a promotion; who get high-level educations. Neither way is wrong or right; it all depends on YOU. The woman who is choosing to educate herself and exercise her freedom of speech and equality.

I am a feminist, because I want women to feel empowered and strong and not unfairly treated. I believe women should be 100% equal to any other human being on the planet, no questions asked. There is no difference between us and men. I have been surrounded by strong women my entire life, namely my mom and my sister. But even my grandmothers and aunts prove to me that we have a voice and we should not sit around and let others make decisions pertaining to our rights without vocalizing what’s important to us.

Thank you for reading this, if you did, and I appreciate your trust and respect and opinions too! πŸ™‚

I hope you all have a fantastic day πŸ™‚ I know I will!

Mantra:


Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Sunday Musings 1.22.17

Good morning beauties! 

Since the beginning of this year, my plans have changed. I am focusing on re-focusing. 

My yoga practice, my running schedule, my goals with lifting weights. 

My work schedule, how I can grow in my job, what I can do to improve our company.

The layout of our apartment, what I do in my spare time, purging our rooms of unnecessary clutter.

My diet and eating schedule, focusing on cleaner and nutrient-rich foods, lessening the empty-calorie snacking.

All of these parts of my life have been recently revamped, and I am thrilled to continue with my new plan to achieve my goals this way. Every single day, I try and focus on what I can do this day only, and how I can move one inch closer to my goals. Every day is different and everything is personal. Find your way, and keep that as your way. 

Having a daily practice for all aspects of my life has grounded me and given me the opportunity to shed stress and rejuvenate my spirit and drive for the week to come. Don’t get down without knowing and planning on climbing back up. ❀️

Have you written your goals? Have you rid yourself of unnecessary baggage? What do you want to accomplish just today, only today?

Until next time, friends. ✌️

Xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately! 10.24.16

Hi people! These monthly life update blog posts have become very common and easily maintainable for me. So I think I might keep this going πŸ™‚Β Wuddya think?

We have been loving our busy schedules lately – this month was FILLED with travel, all over the country! Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and the photo above was from this weekend visiting my grandparents in Madison. Love love loving Autumn!

Friday night we joined our wonderful friends for a pumpkin carving party – mine is above, Patrick’s is below. The morning after… mine was DEVOURED by squirrels.Β What the heck!Β It was pretty hilarious to be honest though…


Let’s travel back to the end of September/ beginning of October. Patrick, my sister Mandaline, her boyfriend Erik and I traveled to Portland, OR for a wonderful getaway for 5 days. And lemme tell ya, WE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS STATE. Portland is such a gorgeous and open city, with all the cycling, coffee shops, and hiking areas you can imagine πŸ™‚ #heaven

We went hiking along the Oregon Coast and saw the GORGEOUS ocean. The vastness of this magnificent part of our earth always stirs a wild travel lust within me. I can’t stop thinking about going back!

We went to a few wineries along the coast as well! The boys, enjoying their decadent pinots πŸ˜‰

And sisters doing what sisters do – with the most beautiful sky you can possibly imagine. ❀

We had the most delicious brunch too. I MEAN HELLO, below.

YES we are thinking of moving there. NO we don’t have a timeline yet. But YES it is officially part of our souls and we must follow our dreams πŸ™‚

Bringing it back home – I have been half marathon training the last few weeks (weird, I know). I always considered myself “trained for a half marathon at all times” but I wanted to really put an effort into this training for my half marathon here in Milwaukee on November 6, so I got some NEW KICKS (because duh) last weekend. Asics are my new runners, and I love them so far!! πŸ™‚

Anyone else run in Asics? Thoughts??

Maintaining my yoga practice as well, with all this training and running and lifting. Still learning, still loving, and still expressing myself in new ways every day. ❀

Running has brought me SO much joy lately. It gives me a reason to get outside and get fresh air, get my sore muscles moving, and allows me to really feel my breath (outside of yoga) so I can push myself harder every day. I’m running a marathon next May, so continuing training even in “off season” is so important for me.

Baymax has been PERFECT and AMAZING and growing like CRAY. He’s almost 90 pounds guys. Our little pup is growing up so fast ❀ He’s still dumb though, so I’m okay with that πŸ™‚ Smart, but still my little dum-dum.

Our Austin trip was wonderful – a beautiful celebration of love at our friend’s wedding. We loved seeing the city and even though it was 90+ degrees the whole time, it was a wonderful quick weekend trip to see a sweeeeet city! πŸ™‚

Oooobviously yoga happened.

He’s kinda the best person I’ve ever met ❀

This is what’s basically going on with me lately. My personal training and two other jobs are keeping me busybusybusy and every single day I’m figuring out a new way to be grateful, happy, and still push myself towards my goals. ❀ My life is whole and still finds ways to fill me up, with such beautiful friends and family surrounding me every single day. I could NOT be happier right about now πŸ™‚ ❀

Happy Monday everybody, here’s to another wonderful month of Autumn!! AND HALLOWEEN COMING UP!


Peace, xoxo

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness