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

Summer Bucket List 2017: In Review

Summer has come and gone and we're finally out of the triple digit temperatures here in Las Vegas! Kids have been in school for a month and our days are packed and busy again.  Anyone else out there ready for a break already?!? 

I thought I'd go back and relive a little bit of our summer fun! As you all know, we've been putting together a summer bucket list for years now, but I think this year's was a little too ambitious and it's no surprise we didn't get to do everything on the list.  Some things we didn't do together as a family, such as the grandparents taking the kiddos to Dave & Buster's while we were away in Napa and Jason taking the kiddos to the drive in movies while I had book club.  Diego got to go to Wet N Wild water park with some friends and I took Elysse to Gravady Trampoline Park last weekend with her friend. Sure we didn't get a chance to try rolled ice cream, but we did enjoy plenty of ice cream this summer, including the famous Salt n Straw in Portland! YUMmmm! Although we didn't get to visit Zion National Park, we did visit  Sand Hollow Sate Park in Utah.

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We'll have to try to get to doing some ice skating this winter, try to get a camping trip in this spring, even if it's close to home in Mount Charleston, and Spring Mountain Ranch Super Summer Theater will be back on the list for summer 2018! 

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Hope your summer was fun and that you got to spend time together as a family and make some messy memories together!! XO