Best Of 2012

2012 is over- and the new year is in full swing! Today I not only celebrate New Year’s Day- but also my wonderful husband’s birthday! I won’t share his age… but we’ll just say that he’s now just one year away from the big one. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!!

One of the wonderful things about having a blog is that I can easily look back and reflect on the last year. And what a wonderful, crazy, life-changing year it was! 2012 certainly wasn’t without its challenges, but there were a lot of great memories that were made. Here’s a little walk down memory lane and some of my favorite memories from the past year:

(Also- go check out Amanda’s blog for a whole collection of “Best Of’s” from other bloggers!)


Greg and I traveled down south to Florida to visit his mom and stepdad- it was my first time visiting their home! I also fell in love with eating kumquats right off the tree.

Despite being sick as a dog the entire time, it was a really wonderful trip. I am hoping to get back down there soon (in good health this time) so that we can do all of the fun stuff that we missed out on last time, thanks to my stupid flu.

Greg and I also had a “soup off” later that month when our favorite NFL teams played against each other.

His team may have won the game, but my soup was better. :)



My friends Zack and Michelle hosted the first beer pairing dinner at their house, to which I brought one of my favorite recipes ever.

(we just had our second beer pairing dinner together a few weeks ago!)

I also turned 32. And on my birthday, I learned how to brew my own beer!

Another really fun memory was my friend Matt’s 30th birthday, in which his wife (my friend Kelly) rented a party bus.

We went to drink wine and eat great food in Loudoun County, VA. It was a pretty wild night!



I met up with Jenny at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and had a rockin’ time!

That was our first time (ever) hanging out, and it was SO much fun!

I also got to hang out with Jenny again the next weekend along with 3 other beautiful DC bloggers.

That was the first blogger meet-up that I organized, and I’m hoping to do another one soon!



Greg and I took a quick trip up to Massachusetts to visit his dad in Boston and my mom’s cousin in Cape Cod.

It was a short visit- but we had such a good time! I love it up there!

I visited my beloved college (UMBC) and my old dorm!

Ahhhh how I miss college…

I also started teaching several more group exercise classes and learned to adjust to my new schedule, and continued to deal with some body issues.

Here’s a crazy fact that I was thinking about yesterday. I taught about 150 Bodypump classes and 200 Spinning classes in the year 2012- that equals out to around 4,000 miles on the bike just from teaching! Whoa!



Some of the best memories from 2012 occurred that first weekend in May, when Greg and I traveled out to Colorado!

We went out a few days early- and the purpose of the entire trip was for BLEND.

I get a little emotional just reading through these posts. It was such an incredible weekend, and still hard to put into words just how much it meant to me. I can’t wait to see all of these ladies again in May 2013!!

I also took part in Fitmixer’s 12 week bootcamp, which provided me some structure that I really needed. One of the greatest things that I took away from the whole process was the concept of exercising at a higher intensity for shorter amounts of time (and changing up my routine!). Invaluable!



Probably the biggest life changing event of the entire year happened in June: I quit my job as a high school teacher!

(And that makes me want to jump for joy!)

I actually put in my resignation the month before, but finished out the rest of the school year. It seems so long ago now… I can’t even imagine being a teacher anymore and don’t know how I did it for over seven years!

I also visited the lovely city of Chicago, which was my birthday gift from Greg.

We fit SO much into the few days that we were there, because there’s just so much to see and do! I loved it there- and want to go back!

I took a weekend trip with my mom down to Charlottsville, Virginia for a little mother-daughter bonding time. We ate good food, relaxed… and relaxed a little more…

The following weekend, I attended my lovely friend Ashley’s wedding.

It was such a fun wedding- and Ashley looked so beautiful!

The month continued with lots of other fun events, including another trip to Colorado! This time Greg and I went to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary. We hiked TWO 14ers!

We stayed in Breckenridge for the first 4 days and then just outside of Boulder for the last 3. While we were there, we met up with lots of friends, drank delicious Colorado beer, ran a 5k and did the best bootcamp workout ever with some of my favorite Colorado blogger friends!

It was really hard to come back to reality (and Maryland) after that trip!



I started off the month by kicking off a yoga challenge, and pledged to do at least 20 minutes of yoga every day.

And I actually stuck to my word!

I wrote another one of my favorite emotional posts about the emotional baggage I’d been carrying around and struggled a bit with finding a new routine.

There were also some highlights, like fun get-togethers with great friends and biking and hiking on some of my favorite local trails.



Out of the entire year, September was emotionally/mentally the toughest to get through. My days were completely filled with studying for my personal trainer certification exam (and getting up at 4:30 to teach group exercise classes). I had a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but tried to just stay positive as much as possible and remember that I would reach my goal soon. Some days were definitely easier than others.

I celebrated the one-year birthday of my little blog!

The changes that have occurred in my life because of blogging (and the amazing friendships that I’ve made!) still shock me. It’s hard to think of life before blogging, actually.

The highlight of September was most definitely attending Fitbloggin’

It came right at the right time for me, and I got to work through a lot of that emotional baggage. I got some sweet swag and met some pretty incredible friends!

And at the end of the month, I discovered how to grow my own sprouts. Which is also pretty awesome. :)



After months of studying, I was ready to take my personal trainer certification exam. AND PASSED! A huge weight and amount of stress was suddenly lifted off my shoulders and I was finally ready to start my new career. I became a trainer at my gym right after.

The day after the exam, Greg and I headed up to Boston to celebrate his stepbrother’s wedding. We got to see both of his parents while we were there, and I also got to finally meet Amanda!

I also began a 6-week long vegan experiment. It was a really cool process, and definitely changed the way I eat and prepare food!

The month just kept getting better and better! I met THIS GUY while walking in the park…

Went zip-lining (SO MUCH FUN!!)

And got to hang out with some of my bestest BLENDS, Sarah and Heather (and her husband Kirk!) for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Things definitely started looking up in October and continued to fly high right into November!



The month began with a long overdue trip to the National Zoo!

It was my last hurrah with Jenny and Sam before they moved away to PA. :(

And then, for the third time in 2012, we went to Colorado! Greg had to go for work, but I tagged along and rented a car so that I could hang out with my lovely friends

I hiked all over the place (even in the snow at 12,000′)

and we both managed to keep a vegan diet the whole time.

MAN there’s a lot of good vegan food in Colorado!

Right after we got home from Colorado, it was time to celebrate Thanksgiving!

This was right before the end of the vegan experiment- it was delicious!



After much anticipation, my friend Michelle organized our second beer pairing dinner.

It was just as delicious as the first- and I can’t wait for the next one!

The rest of the month pretty much revolved around either getting ready for or celebrating Christmas. I got to spend time with a lot of great friends- including a mini Fitbloggin’ reunion!

We celebrated Christmas with my family and went to see a Les Mis, and then had our final holiday celebration a few days after.

I still think we look cool in those shoes.


What a year it’s been! I’m so excited to see what 2013 has in store for me. I think they are going to be pretty (dare I say…) EPIC changes happening. :)


What are some of your favorite memories from 2012?



  1. What a great year and so much fun travel! Also, I know what you mean about wondering how you taught for so long. I think the same thing about my experience teaching. I always liked it well enough when doing it, but after I quit I wondered if I did really love it so much because I too have ZERO desire to go back.

    • How did I not know (or remember) that you were a teacher?? That seems to be a trend- people quitting teaching and switching to a fitness career. I love it!

  2. What a great year! So much to be thankful for! One of my favorite memories of 2012 was starting my own blog. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far! :)

  3. What an amazing year you had! I’m so happy for you and your career changes. I might be emailing you in the near future re: teaching group fitness. ;) And what beautiful photos! Cheers to a healthy and happy 2013!

  4. Happy Birthday Greg!! You have had an amazing year!! I am so glad that 2012 brought you into my life at Blend. Will you be there 2013?? Happy New Year friend!

  5. You had an epic year! I keep waiting for you to announce you guys are moving to Colorado. LOL! So glad we got to hang out a few times. More to come!!

    Happy Birthday Greg!!!

  6. Such a great year for you!! I can’t believe I made the list :) Have a beautiful and epic 2013

  7. Love this post!! Thinking there will be EVEN MORE fun next year!! xoxo

  8. were you at City Spa when you were in Charlottesville?? That same lady definitely did my pedicure a few months ago, small world!

  9. I loved this post! It makes me wish I started reading your blog earlier this year :) Hope to meet you in person soon!

    • I’m pretty sure we will (meet soon!). Until then, you have a great group of Colorado girls to make you feel at home. :)

  10. Thanks for linking up friend! I agree it’s nice to have a blog to reflect on your year! :)
    Also, you might as well move to Colorado for how many times you went right? lol!

    ps can you link back to my bloggy too? Thanks and Happy New Year!

  11. Um, I love that soup-off photo of you and Greg!

    However, what I love MOST about this is that I got to catch up on amazing experiences you had before I knew you…and remember all the fun times I got to experience ‘with’ (and actually with!) you after we met. :)


  1. […] was all prepared to write a “best of” type of post (like I did last year), but changed my plan after reading this wonderful post that my homegirl posted yesterday. […]

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!