2017: A Year in Review

Here we are at the end of yet another year.  Most years go by really fast for me but, I think 2017 didn't go by as fast as other years.  We definitely had some busy seasons with work and travels, mostly during the summer and October, but the rest of the year felt smooth and less rushed than others. I'm so not complaining about that! I am not one to glorify busy and enjoy taking time to enjoy my days and not feel rushed.  

A big highlight of the year for me was becoming part of the Rock N Roll Marathon Series ambassador program, called Rock N Blog and I'm excited to be a part of the team again for 2018!  This definitely set the tone for my running schedule for the year.   I ended up running 18 races!  Seven of these were virtual 5Ks, but they still came with some awesome race bling!! One was the Run Love Virtual 5K by Running Skirts and the other 6 were with the Rock N Roll Race Series!  I also did a fun non-competitive community 5K with the kiddos. And 2 more 5Ks, one at  Rock N Roll San Diego and the other at Rock N Roll Las Vegas as part of the Remix Challenge.  I ran 2 obstacle course races, the Vegas Spartan Super and the Badass Dash.  Lastly, I ran a total of 6 half marathons this year. By far, the most half marathons I've ran in 1 year! My favorite was the San Diego Half Marathon, not because I PRed or anything, but because it was such a fun race! If you want to check out any or all the race recaps, you can do so HERE

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Traveling and getting out to explore new places, near and far, is a big part of our lives. This year, 3 of our trips were race-cations! We traveled to San Diego, Seattle, and Napa for me to run half marathons + we got vacations out of it too, I'd say it was a win-win for everyone!  For Spring Break we visited the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Malibu. We took our summer family vacation visiting the Pacific Northwest. We spent 2 days in Seattle and rest of our week was spent in Oregon.  We stayed in Portland and saw the main sights in the city, as well as visiting the Oregon Coast and the Colombia River Gorge, including the famous Multnomah Falls.  We also took a kid-free weekend getaway trip to San Diego, mostly to run the Rock N Roll 5k + half marathon but also to unwind a bit.  It was great.  Another trip we took was to the Sonoma/Napa Wine Valley.  That was a fun trip we took with our friends without the kiddos too.  I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon and the rest of the time we visited some amazing wineries and ate some delicious food! 

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We also planned smaller weekend and day trips throughout the year to Southern California, Valley of Fire, Willow Beach at the Arizona border, and Sand Hollow State Park in Utah.  We had a great Summer Bucket List, full of activities and even though we didn't finish everything on the list, it was a ton of fun!  This year we also celebrated my parent's 50th wedding anniversary! 

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This time of year, I always like to reflect on all aspects of my life and really take note of what worked, what didn't, where I can improve, and start planning for the upcoming year.  It can be difficult to balance life and I know it's impossible to get it all right, all the time.  The best I can do is learn from my experiences, grow, and start off with a good plan. I hope you too take the time to reflect and learn from this past year and not just dwell on what didn't go right, but really embrace and appreciate all the good too! XO Jessie

Tuesday Introductions...

I know, I know, 'Tuesday Introductions' is not really a thing. I made it up.  Clever, huh? 

But, now that you're here and I have your attention, I wanted to introduce myself. I realized that I've had this blog for about 4 years already and I've never done an introduction post.  Of course, you can always go to "My Story" page to read about why I started It's a Messy Life and a bit about me, but do you really know someone off their about page? So, here goes! 

5 Random Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Me 

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1. I'm obsessed with La Croix sparkling waters.  I don't drink soda, so when plain water starts to get boring, this is my go-to! I especially love the grapefruit flavor! Have you tried them? What's your favorite? 

2. If I had a pet, I'd want a mini pig!!!  With a husband, 2 kids, running a business, a blog, and everything else in life, there's just no time for a pet. So, for now I just get my mini pig fix on Instagram! Anyone else follow @mybestfriendhank

3. I don't like Starbucks, but I collect their You Are Here coffee mugs! I don't particularly hate Starbucks, I just think there are lots of better coffee options available. Given the choice between Starbucks or a local coffee shop, the local coffee shop wins every time.  But, everywhere we go has a Starbucks, so I always get a mug to commemorate where we've been! Does this make me a hypocrite? 

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3. I'm a professional wedding photographer.  It's the best "job" ever! You can check out my work here: http://www.theemerics.com/ and if you're looking for a wedding photographer, I'm your girl!

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5. I was born in Texas! But, I don't own cowboy boots or listen to country music.  We moved to Maryland when I was 10, so that part didn't get ingrained in me.  I do say Ya'll a lot, though! 


Ok, so there you have it.  A little more info on who I am and what I like to do besides running and blogging! I'd love to hear more about you! Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments and give me a random fact about you. XO

Rambling On About Life, Health, and Change

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It's been a bit over a month since I hopped on here to share what's been going on.  The truth is, life has been kinda hard lately.  It's been tough processing all the disasters and loss that have taken place all over the world, in this country, and my hometown.  Having family, friends, and clients in the Houston area, plus a lot of my family in Puerto Rico dealing with such a catastrophic loss, it just felt silly to blog about dieting and running.  Then when the tragic event that happened here in Vegas recently, life felt like it was in slow motion and surreal. And now with the fires in Sonoma and Napa, where we'd just been this summer...It's enough for a girl to never leave her house! 

I cannot begin to imagine how all those affected are feeling and coping.  I consider myself lucky to not have been directly affected by any of these tragedies and natural disasters, but just watching from afar and doing what little we can to help.  I hear stories of the survivors and those dealing with so much loss and how they're staying strong, their grateful to be alive, and doing all they can to help others too.  It's inspiring.  

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say.  I just know that I'm starting to feel a bit better recently. I'm learning not to take any day, no matter how mundane, for granted.  I am hugging my kiddos a little tighter and a little longer.  Every day is precious and I'm trying to find the joy in the little things.  I'm working hard to keep my family healthy and strong.  I'm working hard to keep myself healthy and strong, and sometimes that's really hard to do.  But, day by day, I know that I am a better person when I take care of myself.  My physical and emotional health has to come first if I'm going to help my kiddos or anyone else find happiness.  I am choosing to live a life with purpose and helping my family do the same. 

This blog, is a place I like to come to and share the good times and the messy times too. So, I'll be back to blogging regularly.  But, my purpose won't be just to share what I've been up to but to get back to the purpose of this blog, which was to help motivate others too! Not only do I want to use this blog to motivate others to a healthier lifestyle for themselves but also for their family and I'm not just talking about physical health, but our emotional health.  I'm wanting to share ideas and tips on getting out there and exploring, whether it be in your own backyard or an epic adventure!  It's a place to give ideas, plans, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.  To live with purpose. I want this blog to be a place to get ideas and plans to use in your own messy life! So, be on the lookout for some new content and a new format! How does that sound? I hope you'll stick around for the ride! XO