WILW: Christmas (Eve) edition

happy & Merry & all things glorious Christmas Eve to you, my lovely friends! whether i know you in my real life or have had the pleasure of “meeting” you via the blogosphere, i’m thankful to have so many absolutely incredible people in my world and wish you all the cheeriest, loveliest, most blessed of Christmases and holiday seasons.

joy
when you have a full week off and you’re able to use your time to spend however you so desire, with the people you want to see, well — you can’t help loving everything. i’m basically having the best week ever.

*Jesus. because although there are a million and one little & big things to love about Christmas — the spirit of the season; the indelible magic in the air; the shimmer of white lights glittering in the darkness; a cozy sense of belonging when you’re sharing time and space with the people you love most — no matter how precious & warm & all-things-lovely these moments may be, Christmas will always start and end with the birth of Christ, for me. He is my joy and my salvation; he is my hope in all things; He is my wonderful savior. anything good and lovely i have been given is because of Him, and i truly believe that the reason i have the most wonderful people in my life is because God chose to bless me beyond measure in this way. for me, Christmas is a time to love Christ, and then love the people i hold dear and count them as my most cherished blessings.

godsentjesus
*friends. i know i am a broken record with the whole “i have the best girlfriends in the world” thing — which is fast becoming a theme on this blog — but i really believe it’s true. [see point above for reason.] girls’ nights just make my life such a lovely one to live.

photo 1so thankful for these amazing ladies! and for our new little addition to girls’ night, lil Mr. Henry, my bff’s baby (who i confiscate as much as possible). this little guy just melts my heart, and i’m hoping his first words are “Auntie Shoshi.” still working on that one.

isn’t my best friend the cutest mom ever? love you baybay!

photo 2
henry

henry2baby jumping jacks. it’s a thing. can’t start ’em too early!

oh, and speaking of baby workouts…

jesusabs
my friend Jessie made this delicious bourbon cocktail for us that we all loved, too, and it was so easy: bourbon, gingerale and a splash of cran. perfect holiday drink.

photo(10)oh, and the above spread pretty much displays my dinner every night this week. this is my fave way to do a meal.

*home. i love being home at the lake. fireplace & puppies & sipping Bailey’s w/ almond milk with my parents at night and having bro-sis time and wearing gym clothes all day…this is my kind of life.

pups
this is my current blogging state, as we speak:
Photo(10)

*running/workouts. they’ve been consistently great — i haven’t missed a day since i’ve been home! Saturday was freezing here, so i hit a 7-miler (in just under an hour, which made me happy) on a treadmill, and it wasn’t as horrible as i expected (given that i haven’t made the treadmill jump very often this winter, as we’ve been fortunate to have pretty mild weather so far).

treadmill
Sunday i ran 7-8 miles outside, which felt amazingggg, and Monday i did an hour of total body workout at the gym, followed by 2 quick miles on a treadmill. yesterday i ran 4.5 miles on a treadmill and walked a half mile at an incline, and then did a half hour of abs (planks and decline bench). i’m pretty happy with this week’s workouts so far, i have to say, and i’m feeling so great with the running.

my best friend asked me the other night (while i was playing with lil Henry!) if i got upset when i didn’t run…like, if i needed to have it in my life and felt “off” if i didn’t.

run
errrr let’s just leave it at that. 🙂

i could keep going but i need to get to the gym and start my day, sooooo have a wonderful, safe, merry & bright Christmas Eve, my friends! love you all.

i’ll leave you with a fabulous addition to my “feet in the sidewalk art” collection that my lovely friend Lauren took for me last weekend. so thoughtful, and i totally love this one. i’m hoping LOVE is my Christmas super power.

superpowersxo

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if this weekend lasted a lifetime i’d be a-ok

this was what the majority of my last two days looked like:

Photo
did i mention my parents essentially live in paradise? and now you see why i go upstate so often.

this weekend, i lay on the boat. i read on the boat. i drove the boat. i went swimming off the boat. i napped on the boat. i tanned on the boat. i had it realllly rough.

i’m hoping this was an indication of how glorious this summer will shape up to be, from start to finish. i plan to spend as much time as possible at the lake or at beaches with the girls.

i also rocked a great, sunny, hilly run on Saturday morning: 9 miles around the lakes, stopping to take in the cozy sweetness of this little spot at the next lake over:

Photo
i don’t even mind the hills when i’m running in such a magical place. it’s amazing how a beautiful landscape and the pureness of nature can make you feel so alive, so right, like the world just suddenly makes sense and you’re beyond blessed to be a part of it and take it all in.

the run felt great and i’m happy to be entirely pain-free. i saw a foot doctor and it was just a minor stress fracture, which seems to have gone away. phew.

in other news, i’m really wishing i had one of these to use on the lake this summer:

yogaSUP
anyone done any standup paddleboarding before? i realllly want to try and am considering making the investment. ps, that picture above could totally be me and one of my closest friends: she’s the blonde doing the crazy yoga pose, i’m the brunette tanning and wishing that was as easy as running. typical.

i also finished two books this weekend: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,

girl-who-fell-cover-pb-sm
a sort of coming-of-age novel tracing the development of a young biracial girl struggling to find her identity in a world that’s trying to tell her who she is, while simultaneously dealing with a family tragedy of which she’s the sole survivor. it’s an easy read but a heavy story, and i enjoyed it;

and The Alchemist,

the_alchemist
a mystical, whimsical allegory about a young shepherd boy on an epic quest for his Personal Legend (his life passion, his deepest yearnings, the essence of his identity). it’s about growth, and learning about both yourself and the world at large, and about perspective and loss and love and yearnings and God and the all-encompassing concept of being a person, one unique person, with a purpose and an persevering heart.

the-alchemist-by-rcisidro

it’s philosophical and religious and introspective and creative and just a really interesting, unique story. i found myself highlighting soooo many passages in this book, and i love how the overriding theme is that of faith. there were a lot of Biblical references and allusions throughout the novel. the main quote upon which it is based is from the Bible:

lakequotei feel like i read this book at the perfect time in my life, and even if it wasn’t intended as a “Christian” novel, my personal take-aways all revolve around reflections on my faith and what i believe my life passions are, and it definitely inspired me to spend more time pursuing what i love.

don’t you just love when a book makes you think? 🙂

hope you had lovely weekends, friends!

Questions:
Tell me something great about your weekend!
What was the last good book you read?

Anyone know anything about standup paddleboarding?!