‘Twas the morning before Christmas…


‘Twas the morning before Christmas and all through the house… not a single alarm stirred, for there was no real reason to rouse. She tossed and she turned, until she finally rolled out of bed. Not a single thought came to mind, except “7am..?”, the time ran confusingly through her head . She soon poured the coffee and combed her hair, and then at all of the beautiful presents she simply stared.

So lucky.. so loved was she! Her heart danced and skipped with the spirit of that Christmas tree, with all its glitter and its grace! Just look at how the star is even perfectly in place!

There would soon be the baking of treats and a great big feast, until bellies were full and the fridge could feed a beast! Friends and neighbors would all gather and sing, lighting candles high in the air, as the true meaning of Christmas was not all about things.

Still, even after this, there would be parties and drinks that shimmered ruby red, and there would be more singing and dancing until they all laughed and fell down, making their way back to bed. Until Christmas morning arrived just as quickly as this one did, and children around the world would race and scurry, just like us when we were all kids.

This warmed her heart, the art of giving and the joy that came from this time of year. To her family and friends all over the world, she wished they could be here. Yet, the world was such a great big place! She had to make use of boxes, phone calls and texts just to put a great big smile on their face.

To those she had never met, she wished them all a very Merry Christmas too, because Christmas was as good a time as any to let people know, “I am thinking of you.”




Happy Birthday!!


Today marks the TWO YEAR birthday of my little cyber space in the blogging world. Happy Birthday Living Out Loud!! You have grown into more than I could have ever imagined and caused me to grow as well.

To celebrate, I took a short day at work and spent plenty of time being pampered from the feet up. Nails, hair, chocolate cupcakes… and wine of course! Tis’ the season where calories do not exist, right!? At least until the 1st of the year. I’ll take it!

The new highlights are a bit difficult to see but there’s a bit of purple in there, which is my favorite color and one I’ve debated adding in for a long period of time. It’s not drastic or anything, I still have a day job after all. Yet, it is definitely a nice change from the caramel blonde I’ve had for a while now. New year, New hair!


I’m still working on the 2016 bucket list but one of the top 5 items on it is to blog 365 times in 2016. That means I am either blogging with you every single day, or sometimes, TWICE a day! Such consistent intimacy is said to be a sign of a healthy relationship, and I want us to be very healthy.

A large portion of my pending bucket list depends on Pearl Jam’s 2016 US tour. Yes, that’s right. My entire year of goals revolves around one event. True love knows no shame! Wherever Eddie goes to celebrate Pearl Jam’s 25th anniversary, I fully intend to be there. Now, if Eddie and the rest of the band would just tell us all where THAT is… we can get on with our lives. Tick………. tock.

In the meantime, I am definitely planning to rest and relax through the holiday season with loved ones. Enjoy the company of your family and friends as much as possible, time is the best gift we have to offer every day of the year. Make people a priority.

I’ve always got time for you and I’ll be back before the end of the year. Until then…







Reflection – End of 2015


2015 Bucket List Update

So… here we are! The end of 2015 is quickly approaching and guess what?  I didn’t run with the reindeer, complete a mud run event, learn much Spanish, write a book or even attempt to visit Denali National park. Nope, I didn’t do a single one of those things. And you know what? I am completely okay with that!

I am okay with it because allowing myself to fail at certain things taught me about the things that are ACTUALLY important to me. For example, I didn’t have time to plan out my trip to Denali because I was too busy riding my bike on all of our beautiful trails and getting lost hiking mountains and glaciers instead! I think that is a fair sacrifice, right?!

Bucket lists are really an extension of the people they belong to. The list is always changing and hopefully evolving into something bigger and greater than it ever was before.


1.) Glacier Hiking – This was an epic adventure, one that was unexpected and left me in awe of this breathtaking place I am blessed to call home.

2.) Visit a tropical island – While I do love Alaska, I do need to get out of here more often. I was able to take a cruise with my sister for her birthday to Nassau, Bahamas. The Bahamas wasn’t how I pictured it, but I am still so happy we went and were able to cross this one off of both our lists! Yay!

3.) Swim with dolphins- While we were there, we went swimming with dolphins in the middle of Atlantis…. it just doesn’t get better than that! This was truly a dream come true. See my last blog post for more details on this one.

4.) Visit Atlantis – While our self guided tour was brief, this was definitely an item on my bucket list. Check! If you ever get the chance to include this on a trip, definitely take advantage of this opportunity. There is so much to see and do there, I’ll be back! I want to spend an entire weekend in just the water park.

5.) Take someone I love on the vacation of their dreams. – My sister and I have been talking about doing a girls trip for years. It is difficult to find time to spend together as adults between family and work. This year, we were able to make that dream come true in addition to so many others! Massages, endless umbrella drinks, SLEEP, sun, WINE, music, adventure, WINE! This trip couldn’t have come at a better time for both of us. Being an adult is so exhausting, we don’t do these things often enough for ourselves.

6.) Write a book – Oh by the way, I wrote several books! I just didn’t finish any of them. I have some commitment issues I am going to have to work through to make this one happen.

7.) Hike a mountain – I may have crawled up it towards the top, but I hiked Mt. Baldy this year. I know this isn’t a big deal to a lot of people but to my fat ass in a pair of new balances, which I threw away after this hike, it was a VERY big deal. I’m proud of myself for making it to the top and it gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with my fitness goals.

8.) Random road trip –  I checked this one off in Valdez, Alaska. The road trip was long, but the views along the way made it worth it. True, there is not much in Valdez when you are looking straight ahead at the quaint little town. Look up… open your eyes, open your heart.

9.) Snowshoeing – Tried this for the first time last weekend. Who knew I could do this?

10.) Trust myself – This is probably the greatest thing I have accomplished in 2015. All of the things I have failed at and all of those that I replaced them with has taught me that it’s okay to stray from what you think your life is SUPPOSED to look like. I mean look at what I did this year?!

Just because it is or isn’t on the list isn’t reason enough  for me to do it anymore. Time is our greatest currency and no one has enough of it. If I am going to set out to do something, I want to be able to put my heart and soul into it. If I want everything out of life, I’ve gotta give everything to get there.

How did you do in 2015? Take a long look at what you’ve accomplished and simply accept your failures as room for opportunities in the upcoming year.

If anyone hasn’t told you lately, you are so awesome just the way YOU are.







Dolphins are badass.


Did you know… that dolphins can swim up to 25 miles per hour? Or, that they have approximately 100 teeth, even though they swallow all of their food whole? Did you know that a killer whale is actually part of the dolphin family? I know…I sound like Wikipedia already… but, do you know, that a dolphin has the ability to hold you under water if they choose to do so? Or, that the same dolphin can push you on a paddle board by only the palm of one foot with their adorable nose and give a whole new meaning to being on top of the friggin world…well, now you know! You are welcome.


Obviously, I learned a lot about dolphins while crossing another item off of my bucket list in early November. (DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!)

This experience took place at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and it is definitely one of the most BADASS experiences I have collected to date. This was not your typical dolphin interaction folks. See that sexy snorkel gear we have on? Oh yeah! We had the opportunity to swim under water with these beautiful creatures! We even danced with them a little!


Of course, the best part of any great date is getting a kiss at the end.


It’s been a year full of life’s twists and turns for me. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to pull this one off. The exploitation of dolphins can be very expensive and I had so many other things I really needed to do! Thankfully, having the worlds most amazing travel agent helps (Vizionation and Beachwindz Travel, 812-972-3076).I was able to visit family in Nashville, catch up with a friend in Cocoa Beach, take a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas, explore Atlantis and complete my dolphin adventure all on the same amazing trip and in a limited amount of time! If you’ve got dreams on a budget my friends, give my good friend and agent Michele Kirsch a call or look her agency up on Facebook,Vizionation and Beachwindz Travel.

Swim with dolphins – Check!

Visit a tropical island – Check!

Tour Atlantis – Check!

Take someone I love on a dream vacation – Check!

Now, I call that progress! What are you doing to make YOUR dreams come true?