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my life

Dear Oliver


Our furbaby Oliver turned five on March 3rd, and I wanted to dedicate this post to him.

Oliver is like a child to Todd and I, and we definitely treat him like a human.  This little fluff ball rules the household! 


Dear Oliver,

I know you’ll never get to read this letter (like a human baby would when they grow up), but you know quite well how much you are loved.

I am blessed that you came into World five years ago… and into our lives (almost) five years ago.  At the time I wasn’t sure I wanted a small dog, since I always wanted a dog I could run or hike with.  Since we were living in a apartment at the time, we couldn’t get a big dog, so we started looking for ‘cool’ little dogs.  Dogs that were small in size, but big in personality.  When we started to look at Westies, boy were we right about that personality!

I’ll never forget the day Todd came home with an advertisement in the Boston Herald for Westie puppies.  Your Dad was crazy thinking we could go look at puppies without wanting to take one home.. who was he kidding?! That weekend we drove up to New Hampshire and saw you for the first time… of course we fell in love instantly. You were the only boy left, with your two sisters, and you were so darn curious! I remember you were the one wandering off and smelling everything in sight.  I loved your spunky, curious nature. We didn’t take you home that day, because Todd wanted to think about it (he’s the rational one). Fast forward to the following weekend, and we drove back up to NH and brought you home.. you were just 10 weeks old!


Since that day in May of 2010, you have forever changed our lives. I never thought I could love an animal so much, but you are everything to us. You have hiked over 30 of New Hampshire’s highest mountains.  We started hiking with you when you were a puppy and you have loved the trails ever since. Oliver, you are one determined little guy!


You took part in our wedding day, and we now have photos that we will cherish forever…


You are always there for me when I need you… my little shadow following me around the house, room to room.  When I am sick, you lay with me on the couch.  You sleep at my feet every night in bed, keeping me warm.

You love barking at airplanes, squirrels and bunnies… your dream is to one day catch a bunny, but I hate to break it to you, they are super fast!

Did I mention you love watching TV? Not only to you watch TV (seriously) but you bark at any animal that comes on the screen, silly pup!

You’ve been to most of my Triathlons, cheering me on with your Dad!

I know you won’t live forever, and it makes me sick just thinking about it. They say dogs are put on Earth to teach us what love really is… and I think that’s right. Thank you, Oliver for showing me and your Dad unconditional love… love is all you know:)





Forget wearing the bday hat... Oliver would rather chew on it at least he loves his new toys! Happy 5th birthday to our best friend, Oliver @thigden #westie #westiegram #westietude #westhighlandterrier #westiesofinstagram #dogmom #westiemom #bestfriend #dogsareagirlsbestfriend



train, tri life

Countdown to Ironman Mont-Tremblant: 24 Weeks {trust the process}


First of all, thank you all for your kinds words about my new blog design! It honestly means the world to me:)

Second, Happy March! I am very happy to be saying goodbye to February 2015… so.much.snow.

Last week was HARD and my legs were tired by the end. There is no way to sugarcoat it. I completed every single one of my workouts and my Training Peaks was all GREEN (i.e. all of the boxes were checked, even my strength training and stretching).

Why was it so hard?

Coach has me doing  a few weeks of ‘testing’ where I will measure things like my run speed, VO2 max on the bike, heart rate, etc.  We are figuring out levels that we will retest several weeks from now.  Since I am at the point where I’m healthy (I’m scared writing this because I don’t want to jinx myself), it’s a good time to do the testing. Up until this point, I was setting a base and now I am GETTING TO WORK.  And speaking of work, I need to increase my power input on the bike! Which means… more INTENSE bike workouts. There’s no way around it, time to get down to serious business on two wheels. Biking is my weak spot and I need to face this beast head on:)

Training Totals last week:

14:24 hours

11,600 yards swam
4:08 hours biked (~80 miles)
33.1 miles ran
1:45 strength training

Highlights of last week’s training:

Running on Heartbreak Hill + completing my longest run since IMMT in August 

Swimming feeling so natural and smooth

Feeling 100% after my virus

VO2 Max testing on the bike

Puppy walks outside in the sunshine


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a transformation.

Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing…

 endurance, change, hope and life.


I felt it was time for a change. It’s a new year, with new goals. Time to give my little space in the internet world a nice little revamp.  The perfect way reflect my previous accomplishments, my growth and the year ahead!

I thought long and hard about what could symbolize not only the season ahead, but my journey though life thus far…

Training for an Ironman last year left me with this powerful feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to.  It gave me confidence I never knew I had and quite honestly, it transformed me. I cannot help but think of the butterfly when it comes to these feelings. All of a sudden… I have wings. 

Here are a few reasons I associate with butterflies…

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follow your passion.

UTAH 2014 439

I have always believed in fate.

I think that everything happens for a reason (sometimes, even the bad stuff) and I think that our experiences (good and bad) make us who we are. 

For the past eight years or so… I have had jobs that just didn’t feel like me. I have felt lost. Friends of mine had CAREERS and I just had a job. I was working to work, to pay the bills.. going through the motions.  Sure some of these jobs I actually liked (and some I didn’t). I liked the people, my managers, the culture, but the J-O-B was never something I was passionate about.  Most of these jobs have been in ‘corporate America’ and deep down I always knew corporate America wasn’t for me. I knew this ALL along, but yet I didn’t know what other options I had. There was even that time in 2008 when I left a corporate job to apply to Physical Therapy Doctoral Programs (which didn’t work out, obviously). Frustrated, I went from job to job, searching for the answer that I was never finding. Also frustrated because I know I have a lot to offer and I had not found my time to shine. I couldn’t help but think: If I could find a career that gave me the same passion & excitement as triathlon does, it would be a DREAM career!

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