Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!
2011 was an amazing year!  So much happened this year!!  I can't list everything, but here are some highlights:

  • Flew to Walt DisneyWorld in Florida with my hubby
  • Ran the DisneyWorld 1/2 Marathon (hubby's first 1/2!)
  • Bought a house and made it our home
  • Ran four 5Ks
  • Ran the Disneyland 1/2 marathon (CA) without training (oops!)
  • Completed Disney's Coast 2 Coast Challenge
  • Completed 2 semesters of my MBA program with flying colors
  • Celebrated our engagement with lots of festivities (Engagement party, 3 bridal showers, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner)
  • Gained a guardian angel.  I love you Grammie and miss you every day.
  • Visited five states (CA, FL, MT, NV, NY)
  • Danced with my daddy at my wedding
  • Married the love of my life <3
  • Honeymooned in Costa Rica (post and pics to come soon!)
  • Welcomed two beautiful kitties into our family
  • Celebrated our 1st Christmas as husband and wife :)
Two thousand and eleven was a memorable year.  The year started out tough with the loss of my Grammie, but she was with us every step of the way in all of our celebrations this year!  We had much to celebrate, and I just want to say thank you to my wonderful family and fantastic guys helped make this year what it was.  Cheers to 2012 being just as fantastic!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our First Christmas! + Our Kitties :)

Christmas came and went so quickly!  We got back from our honeymoon just in time for Christmas, so it was a whirlwind!

After celebrating Christmas Eve at my parents' with my family and my in-laws, and enjoying my dad's famous Pasta and Meatballs (an old family recipe going back generations that dad has perfected over the years), waking up on Christmas morning next to my husband in OUR house with OUR tree was pure bliss.

Every year, Grammie hosted Christmas breakfast.  This year, I continued her tradition and made her baked eggs and roasted beef hash.  It was bittersweet and I missed her more than you know, but at the same time I was happy because I know that she would have been happy.  And my breakfast rocked!  She would have been very proud :)

The day before, Sean and I picked up our babies!!  Meet, Tantalum (pronounced Tant-a-loom) and Bagheera (think Jungle Book):
Tantalum (left) and Bagheera (right)

Bagheera tuckered out
Tantalum ready to play
Their Kitty Condo!!!!  80" tall!  They LOVE this!!
With getting home from our honeymoon just two days before Christmas, then picking up our kitties, we weren't able to decorate our tree until Christmas morning!  So before I started breakfast and before my parents and brother came over, Sean and I played with our boys and decorated our first Christmas tree :)  **Thank you Dad for picking up our tree, otherwise we probably wouldn't have had time to get one!

After breakfast, we went to my in-laws and spent the day with them celebrating Christmas and opening presents, and of course, watching the Lakers!  Christmas is not complete without the Lakers (although I'm very disappointed in the outcome of that game...we lost the lead and the game with 4 seconds to go, grrrr).
Later, we went over to my Aunt's house for a Christmas dinner which was wonderful.  Lots of good food, wine, company, music, and dancing!  My little cousin who is 2 1/2 years old was rocking out!!!  He sure has some moves!

I feel so blessed for everything.  December was a very special month for me and my husband with our wedding, honeymoon, kitties, and Christmas.  It was a beautiful month and a beautiful year.

So from our family to yours,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Wedding :)

I still can't we've been married nearly two weeks now!  I LOVE MARRIED LIFE!  I LOVE MY HUSBAND!!!  Pictures are trickling in, and we get all giggly every time see them.  Everything about our wedding was beautiful and everyone had the best time!  It was the perfect day for me and my hubby and we are so blessed :)

Things I will never forget about our wedding:

1.  Staying at a beautiful beach resort and going to dinner the night before my wedding with my family.
2.  Waking up on my wedding day to the sun rising over the water.
3.  Enjoying a moment of solitude, sipping coffee, and feeling the warmth of the sun.
4.  A hummingbird (something that my Grammie loved) flying up to my face and hovering there.  I know it was Grammie wishing me nothing but the best :)  I felt her immensely that day.
5.  Getting ready with my bridesmaids, sister-in-laws, and parents in my parents’ suite while listening to music and getting dolled up by our fabulous hair and makeup artists.
6.  Putting on my wedding gown.
7.  The looks on my bridesmaids faces when they saw me.
8.  How beautiful my bridesmaids looked.
9.  How gorgeous my mom looked.
10.  How handsome my daddy looked in his tux.
11.  Riding in a white hummer limo with my parents and my girls to the venue.
12.  Seeing our handsome ring-bearer, my 2 ½ yo cousin with blonde curly hair.  He looked so cute in his tux and black Vans shoes!
13.  Standing with my dad arm in arm before walking down the aisle, and him whispering to me how much he loves me and how proud of me he is, and how he couldn’t imagine a more perfect man for me to marry.
14.  Seeing my groom for the first time standing under our beautiful ceremony arch with green rolling hills as the backdrop…he looked so handsome and unbelievably happy.  He was all I could see :)
15.  My dad giving me away to this wonderful man and so eloquently saying, “She gives herself freely with her mother’s and father’s blessing.”
16.  Sean taking my hand and whispering “I love you.  You look so beautiful.”
17.  My two sister-in-laws and Sean’s godson each reading a poem on love.  One of the poems was read at my parents’ wedding 32 years ago.
18.  Sean and I saying our vows.
19.  Our unity Sand Ceremony.  It was perfectly us.
20.  Our first kiss as husband and wife.  The world stopped.
21.  Taking our photos as the sun set behind the hills and how beautiful everything looked.
22.  Being introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. Sean O’Neil” at the reception’s Grand Entrance and Sean dipping and kissing me!  Everyone cheering!!!
23.  Our first dance.  Everyone around us blurred and it was just me and my husband.
24.  My dad’s speech.  It was incredible…I laughed, I cried.
25.  Best Man speech from Sean’s brother.  Memorable.
26.  Maid of Honor speech from my best friend Lisa.  Like a fairy tale.
27.  The father/daughter dance.  Dad and I took lessons and we rocked!!  “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon.  Beautiful song.
28.  Trying to say hello and thank you to everyone!  It was such a whirlwind!
29.  Dancing and laughing with family and friends all night.  We tore up the dance floor!  My 12 yo nephew was even doing flips!
30.  Our photobooth.  Such a hit!!
31.  Cramming into the photobooth with my NYC girls.  Pure awesomeness.
32.  Dancing the night away in my wedding gown and pink sparkle TOMs shoes! 
33.  Fun shoes!  I changed into pink sparkle TOMs shoes, I gave my bridesmaids black sparkle TOMs and sisters silver sparkle TOMs.  Sean made himself and his groomsmen custom Vans shoes.  We are cool!
34.  Our sparkler Grand Exit!
35.  Being whisked away in a limo to an incredible beach front suite at the resort, and enjoying the moment alone with my husband while we talked about each moment of our wedding day.

It was more than a dream come true.  Thank you to everyone who was there to celebrate with us.  Thank you to my parents-in-law for welcoming me into your family with open arms nearly five years ago.  Thank you mom and dad for giving Sean and I our dream wedding, for all you’ve done for me and my husband.  I love you.

It was a fairytale :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

LA 1/2 Marathon!

A few days ago my blogger buddy Erin posted a giveaway on her blog.  The giveaway was a free race entry for the LA 1/2 Marathon on January 15, 2012!  Of course I entered because I'm a fan of her blog, I love half marathons AND it's a race close to home!  I never win anything so I entered and didn't think much of it.  To my suprise and total excitement, this morning I woke up to an email from Erin saying that I WON!!!  I'm so stoked!!!  I've never won anything and this is a super awesome thing to win!!  Thank you so much Erin!!!
LA, here I come!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Fairy Tale Wedding

On a beautiful December day in San Clemente, surrounded by family and friends, Sean and I said our vows and promised to love and honor each other forever.

It was the most perfect day and by far the happiest day of both our lives :)

Thank you Mom and Dad for giving us our fairy tale wedding.  And thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our marriage with us.  We had the best day laughing, dancing, talking with everyone, and being married!!!  I love my HUSBAND!!!!

Maggie and Sean
December 3, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24 Thanks on this 24th of November

On this 24th of November Thanksgiving Day, I decided to list 24 things I am thankful for.  Without further ado....

I am thankful for:
1.  My wonderful fiance who loves me and all my goofyness; you complete me in every way baby, I love you!

2.  My parents, who are always there to support and encourage me.  They were high school sweethearts (this picture is from their senior prom <3)

3.  My brothers, who make me smile no matter what, even when they make fun of me

4.  My entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins) – we are all so close and we love and respect each other and always have the best times together!

5.  To be marrying my soul mate and best friend in a matter of days now!!

6.  My health

7.  My ability to run, and my love for running

8.  To have a house that Sean and I call home <3  (We are homeowners!!!  Yay!!!)

9.  My kitty, Raja (he's the biggest cuddler and snuggle bug in the world!)

10.  Sean and I are getting our first furbabies as a married couple:  2 Bengal kitties! (post on this to come soon!)

11.  Food.  I know there are many people in the world who go to bed hungry, and I am so grateful to have food in my belly every day. I am especially thankful for the delicious meal I will be eating tonight for Thanksgiving (Grammie’s sweet potatoes-which I will be making this year, brocolli and cheese caserole, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, mmmm)

12.  Technology – I get to video chat with my big brother, sis-in-law, and two handsome nephews who live 2K miles away

13.  My friends, who are always there for me, and who all know how to have fun whether it’s a girls night out or snuggling up on the couch watching Sex and the City or Friends.  I have the best friends any one could ask for…they are family.

 14.  Being able to travel to as many wonderful places as I have (topping my list are France and Italy, and I can’t wait to plan more adventures with my soon-to-be hubby!)

15.  Living in SoCal with my second home in NYC (figuratively not literally).  I lived in NYC for 4 years and I am lucky enough to travel there several times a year to see all my NYC friends!

16.  My career – I have a wonderful job as an analyst in the healthcare industry.  This is a very exciting time for health care, not to mention I work with the best team ever!  Speaking of which…

17.  My coworkers – I work with some of the nicest, smartest, creative people I’ve ever met.  You guys help make coming to work every day FUN!

18.  My readers.  I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy days to read this little old blog of mine.  Thank you.

19.  The opportunity to further my education through my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program.

20.  To have a sense of humor and that I can laugh at myself when taking silly pictures of trying to speak in accents that sound like an entirely different accent than what I’m trying to do!

21.  My soon-to-be in-laws.  They are wonderful people and have welcomed me into their family since day 1 nearly 5 years ago.  I am lucky to have such kind and caring people for my in-laws :)

22.  Other runners who share their experiences and knowledge via the internet for other s to read.  I always find good advice and inspiration through the blogs I follow and new ones I discover.

23.  To be alive.  To experience the world and all it has to offer, to dream, laugh, and love so passionately.  Life is good :)

24.  Spending 25 memorable years with my Grammie.  This is our first Thanksgiving without her, and I know it will be very hard.  I have to remember she lived 92 incredible years, and I was blessed to spend 25 of those years with her.  I am also thankful to be named after her.  Grammie, I miss you every day and I’m so thankful you were such an influential part of my life.  You will always be a part of me.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving? In Two Days??

Yesterday I did a double workout, each with a lot of cardio and a lot of weights.  Today I feel great!!!  I'm sore, but it's that good sore one gets from really pushing oneself.  I love it!

Can you believe Thursday is Thanksgiving??  I sure can't!  Where has this year gone!?
I love Thanksgiving...running the Turkey Trot (last year's recap) with my family in the morning then spending the evening with them engaging in wonderful conversation and enjoying delicious food and terrific wine.  It's one of my favorite holidays because it's all about family, friends, and giving thanks.  There are many things to be thankful for this year :)  I will share my list with you on Thanksgiving Day.

Is anyone running a Turkey Trot?  How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


This morning's run was even better than yesterday's :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This morning I ran a good, solid, peaceful three miles.  There was a heavy cloud cover so it wasn’t too cold.  I set out just as the sun was rising (which I couldn’t see due to the cloud cover) and everything seemed so quiet and still.  All I could focus on was the steady beat of my feet hitting the pavement and the *surprisingly* calm and steady sound of my breath.  That’s right.  My breath was every so steady the entire run.  I don’t think I’ve experienced that in ages!  Towards the end of my run, the wind picked up…against me…and of course I was going up hill.  I was in my happy place though and it didn’t seem to phase me.  I cruised up the hill, wind pushing against me just focusing on my stride and breath.  Before I knew it, 3 miles were in the bag!

Don’t you just loves runs where everything is so serene and before you know it, you’re done and thinking, “Wait, that was __ miles?  Impossible.  I could run for __ more!”

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paddle Boarding + Final Wedding Gown Fitting!

This past weekend was amazing!!!  I got several kickass workouts in, including paddle boarding!  I had never been paddle boarding but always wanted to try it.  Recently my cousin bought a couple boards so we decided to go out Sunday if the rain stopped.  Alas, after Saturday’s rains, Sunday was absolutely spectacular!  Crystal clear skies, fresh air, sunshine, it was the perfect day.

I cruised over to my cousin’s house and we took the boards out!  I was a little nervous getting ON the board because it felt unstable stepping from the dock and putting my weight on this surf board-like thing in the water.  Luckily a neighbor came and helped us on our boards, so we didn’t fall in trying to get on the board…WIN!  Once we were on, it was so FUN!  We paddled all around the bay and through the canals.  It was super high tide and we had to duck going under a couple bridges!  Major leg and core workout!
It was so fun.  We just chatted about life, her kids, the holidays, and my upcoming wedding!  We had so much fun talking and laughing that it hardly felt like a workout.  But let me tell you, it’s a dang good shoulder, core, and leg workout!  My shoulders were feeling it the next day (also it didn’t help that we went AGAINST the current) :)

On the wedding front, I had my makeup trial and my final fitting over the weekend too!  My girl did my makeup perfectly, exactly what I want – classic and elegant.  And my dress….*smiles*.  I LOVE my dress.  It fits perfectly, like it was made for me.  My mom and my girls came with me to my fitting and seeing their faces made my heart melt.  How am I going to get through my wedding day without a million happy tears??  I see waterproof mascara and lots of tissues in my future.  Good thing my bridesmaid dresses have pockets ;)

How was your weekend?  Did you get some good runs/workouts in?  Did you do anything else exciting?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Friday - Bride Runner!

We are officially less than one month out!!  I can't express in words how excited I am to be marrying my best friend and soul mate!  He is the love of my life :)  We couldn't be more ready and happy to start our married lives together.

So with less than one month until we say "I DO", I thought this photo was very fitting for today's "Photo Friday."
Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

4:45am? Piece o' cake! (Intervals + T-minus 1 month!)

I don't know why, but waking up at 4:45am is SO much easier than waking up at 5:30am for me.  I struggle getting out of bed at 5:30, however when my alarm goes off between 4:30-5am, I jump right out of bed!  I guess I'm just weird :)

Anyways, after I jumped out of bed, I went to the gym and ran intervals on the treadmill for 45 minutes (not including warm up/cool down)!  It basically went like this:
2 minutes @ 4mph
1 minute @ 5
1 minute @ 5.5
1 minute @ 6
1 minute @ 6.5
1 minute @ 7
1 minute @ 7.5
1 minute @ 8
Repeat 5 times

It definitely kicked my butt and I felt fantastic!  The time flew by with the constant change of speed, and I also had my handy dandy iPad.  I downloaded and watched the pilot episode of the new TV show "Grimm" which was awesome by the way!

On another note...Happy 1st of November!!!  Do you know what that means??  I'm getting married NEXT MONTH!!! Weeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm so excited to be marrying my best friend and soul mate.  He is the love of my life and I couldn't be happier to marry him!!!! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

9 miler + Happy Halloween!

Yesterday's 9-miler can be summed up with this graph:
It started out rough, slow, and sluggish, but I pushed through and just enjoyed the beautiful sunshine-y morning.  Around mile 3 my knee started to hurt.  I knew this would be my longest run in a while and I didn't want to risk another ITB injury, so I stopped and stretched my IT band and legs.  After that I felt great!  Miles 4, 5 and 6 ticked by and I was feeling great!  Then around mile 7, my legs started to tighten and tire.  I only had a few more miles to go and decided to throw in some short walk breaks (about 1 minute every 5-10 minutes).  Finally I made I saw my house and sprinted the last bit home.  My legs weren't happy with me, but post-run foam rolling helped a ton!  I'm really happy with myself that I got it done :)

And of course, today is *HALLOWEEN!!!*  Tonight will be spent studying for my midterm on Wednesday, but the girls I work with and I did dress up at the office today.  Can you guess what we are?
You can't really tell, but I'm even wearing my old retainer!!!
I'll give you a hint:

Happy Halloween!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

After a week of being sick followed by a few days of struggling to wake up and run in the morning, I finally got my bum out of bed this morning!  It took me a good 20-30 minutes to finally get my feet out the door, but I did it, and man, it was COLD**!  It definitely felt like a winter morning.  And since we haven't changed time yet, it was still pitch black too.
Pitch black + cold weather = not my ideal running condition
Because it was so cold** though, I just darted out the door.  No warm ups, just running.  I knew it would get my blood flowing and I'd warm up sooner or later.  1/2 mile later, I felt warm.  I only ran 2 miles with a short 30 sec walk in between, but it was nice to get out.  I'm still fighting a cough, which signals the tail end of a cold for me, so it wasn't my best run, but it sure as hell wasn't my worst.

Tomorrow I have a 9-miler.  With my lack of running in the past 10 days, I have no doubt I'll throw in some 30 second walk breaks here and there.

How do you stay warm when running in the winter?

**Disclaimer:  When I say cold, I mean Cali-Cold.  For us southern Californians, we adorn ourselves with coats, scarves, gloves, and hats when it drops to the 40s, and this morning it was 45 degrees.  Brrr.  I know, I know.  Anyone in the midwest or on the east coast must think I'm nuts!  Well, I DID live in NY for 4 years so I do know what true cold weather is like (i.e. snow, blizzards, ice, wind that literally chills you to the bone, etc.), but since moving back home 3 years ago this Cali girl has re-adapted.  Cold (for me) now = 50 degrees and below :-P

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday!

1.  On the running front - this weekend I have a 9-miler scheduled.  I'm looking forward to it and dreading it both at the same time.  Last week I came down with a horrible cold and couldn't even get out of bed for a couple days, let alone run.  This week I ran once because my body is still fatigued and I can't seem to drag my @$$ out of bed before 6:30-7am for a pre-work run.  So, my 9-miler might prove to be a little challenging, but in the words of Nike, Just Do It!

2.  Wedding update! - the BIG DAY is almost here!!!!  We are BEYOND excited for it!!  Tonight Sean and I are meeting with our DJ to go over some things ("must play", "do not play" songs, sequencing, etc).  We're into all the little details now!  So fun!!!

3.  Halloween - like I said in my last post, I LOVE Halloween!  It's so fun to dress up and hang out with friends, and you can't beat "13 Nights of Halloween" on ABC family (I'm a sucker for all those movies, ESPECIALLY Hocus Pocus, which I grew up's on of my favs).  I'm sad to say, my love for Halloween has only manifested this year in our house decorations...our house looks awesomely spooky!  But I haven't made Halloween plans nor have I given thought to what I'm going to be!  I've been so preoccupied with work (which has been crazy busy (in a good way) with our quarterly earnings), school (gearing up for a midterm next week), and of course wedding planning!  It's all great things that have taken priority.  Quite frankly, I can't even believe Halloween is here!  I woke up the other day thinking I still had plenty of time before realizing it was a week away!  Yikes!
Does anyone have any fun and easy to put together last minute costume ideas???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bridal Showers Galore!

This past weekend my future in-laws threw me a Spooktacular bridal shower!  I love Halloween, and when I was asked if they could throw me a Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas shower (I love that movie btw) with Halloween just a week away, I said why not!

I already had a fabulous pink and zebra bridal shower that my cousins threw me last month for my side of the family (his mom, grandma and aunt of course came to that though :) )
My wonderful cousin who threw me this shower, my Cali bridesmaids (2 are in NYC)
and my future Sis-in-law
My mommy and mom-in-law <3
 Pink cupcakes with "Sean" and my name tattooed on his bum!
 A taste of the decorations :)
My wonderful cousin who threw me this shower
Now onto my Spooktacular shower!  Just as it’s bad form for a bride’s mom to throw a shower (a relative, family friend, or bridesmaids take on this task), it’s bad form for the groom’s mom to throw the bride one too!  So my wonderful mom-in-law asked her dearest friend to throw me one, and it was fun!  H and her daughter A came over the night before to decorate.  Side note:  they asked if I wouldn’t mind having it at Sean’s and my new house since we finished redecorating and everyone wanted to see it…of course it was no problem for me!
Here is the spooky table:
We had delicious cupcakes and cake pops, and croissant sandwiches and spinach dip.  And we had Miss M’s famous long island iced tea that she so kindly made and brought with her!  Also, my fabulous MOH made delicious jello shots, and Sean’s family friend also brought jello shots!  Needless to say, there was no shortage of food and drink.
Prior to my shower, H asked both me and Sean for a few Halloween pictures of us as kids and young adults.  Here is what I came up with on my end:
Singin' in the Rain!
 Me as a princess
 The Green Fairy (I hand sewed this costume btw!)
 Jeannie (my fav TV show growing up!)
 Lions with my little bro (I'm on the right)

Snow White (I couldn't find my Sleeping Beauty or Belle pictures
from when I was little *sad face*)
 Peanut Butter and Jelly with Sean at the Warrior Dash (a crazy mud run) last Halloween
 Princess Lei (Sean's fav!)
 Queen of Hearts one year in college

 Me and Sean as cowboys
And one of my favs....ZOMBIES!!!!
We also played a “favorites” game where everyone got a favorite sticker on their back and had to ask others yes or no questions, “Is it the bride?” “Is it the groom?” “Is it a favorite color?”  “Is it blue?” and so forth.  Sean’s cousin actually won and she had all “Bride” stickers!  I was so impressed, even though I did help her out with a couple, but shhh  ;)

Then came the gifts.  I can’t not express in words the gratitude and love I felt.  I was overwhelmed with the generosity and love of Sean’s family.  I’ve been a part of his family for years now, but this still blew me away.
 Me and Grandma C
  My MOH Lisa, me, my future sis-in-law Kathleen
 Some of the girls
Me with my mom and soon-to-be mom-in-law :)
I can’t thank them enough for their love, kindness, and warm welcome into their family.  I am so loved and so blessed.  Thank you :)