Giving Light – Vanessa A.

So grateful to have participated in this Give Light Giveaway!

With all the negative stuff going on in the world, Katie Huey decided to share beauty and light and invite others to do so as well. I’m deeply grateful to you Katie for spreading love and joy.

52 Beautiful Things

Small Bio: Vanessa A.- a 30-something wife and mom of 2 wild and crazy boys. I consider myself an imperfectly kind and honest person in pursuit of health, happiness, simplicity and meaningful relationships. Feel free to reach out on Facebook or email.
I’m honored to take part in giving light and sharing beauty today. As I reflect on the five beautiful things listed below, I’m incredibly grateful 🙂
1. Growth and Self-Discovery
I learned a while ago that I cannot control people or change them or force them to do things, despite my desire to intervene and be “helpful”. Thankfully, I have had the pleasure of observing others grow and come to their own realizations about life and happiness. Lately, I see this growth in those who are closest to me:

– My husband Matt has finally found his groove with consistent exercise. Despite my own, very inspirational (

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Time to Dream Again #10

Hey there long lost friends. I have been wandering about as of late. But as I was journaling recently, I decided I would ponder my top ten dreams that I have not yet attained. Without judging myself or my motivations, I have thought of 10 dreams. Some of these dreams feel unattainable to me while some feel perhaps a bit too small. Over the course of various posts, I would love to share my dreams with you.

10. Backpack Around Europe

I would love the opportunity to travel by train, bus and foot around Europe. I went to Norway and Latvia as a college student and thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors, the culture and the overall experience. This time around I want to go on my own or with my honey and explore (separate from an organized group). On the top of my list to visit are Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and Italy. I would also love to make it back to Norway, so far it is my favorite place in the world!

Project Dream Norgerstur 245

Norway – My happy place 🙂




Next time I will share about dream #9. Until then, dream big friends.

It has been a while since I have blogged so I decided to test the waters once again to help me decide if I should start blogging regularly. What made blogging fall by the wayside for me? Well, aside from the time that it takes to sit down, transform my thoughts and ideas into real sentences and paragraphs, and edit for readability (all in my spare time), I have a bigger problem…

The Problem With Honestyself
I have this inner struggle (both in real life and on the internet). I desire to be brutally honest about who I am and what I think. But at the same time, I don’t want to offend people or cause conflict or controversy. I truly wish I didn’t care about what others think so much… but compromise, harmony and “getting along” has been ingrained in me since I can remember, perhaps I was born that way. Sometimes I can get really fearful about this and I wish that I could just let it go.

In A World…

Ultimately, I want to live in a world where we can all be our authentic selves without judging the “other”.  After all, there will always be people that are different than us and choices that we don’t agree with. (I would hope we can encourage growth and improvement in our fellow men and women as well but that’s a whole other topic for another day). Perhaps you may think this is all too idealistic, but I would rather live as an optimist then give up on this seemingly small but very important dream.

Shadow Of Self

I want to be more than just a shadow of myself

So, how can we move toward a world that accepts people for who they are? How can someone like me move in the direction of authentic living? Well, my first step is to try to overcome my own fears by stating aloud one bold thing per day that resonates with my inner being. Some days will require more bravery than others…some days I will simply remind myself to be who I am and be proud of that. Perhaps this small daily intention will be a step in the right direction toward authentic living.

Your Turn

Tell me about your struggles to live authentically and/or be honest with yourself and others. How do you overcome your fears?

The Problem With Honesty

Once a sprinter…

…always a sprinter?

Me receiving the baton in a 4x100m race

Me receiving the baton in a 4x100m relay in high school

Indeed, I began my running “career” as a sprinter and mid-distance runner. This is one reason I think I often have trouble with pacing. But I think any runner can get caught up in the excitement of the beginning of a race.

At the Run for the Door 5k last weekend, I definitely got over-zealous and thought I was super-Vanessa. I was hoping to run an even paced first mile at an average 7:30 min/mile pace, but instead I ran the first half mile at a sub-6 minute/mile pace. Instead of running negative splits as I intended, the first mile was the fastest (I totally wore myself out), the second mile was the slowest (I had to recover from the first mile), and the third mile I luckily had enough left to speed it back up again.

Despite going out a bit fast, I am still pleased with my performance. While I wasn’t aiming for a personal best this time, I was trying to improve upon my most recent race time  and run between 22 and 24 minutes. I did just that, crossing the finish line in 23 minutes. I was pleased to place 1st in my age group and 3rd among females.

On one hand, I regret not sticking to my guns and going out a bit slower, but on the other hand, this gives me hope for my races later in the summer (the Donor Dash and Human Race) where I plan to pace myself a bit better and run a personal best (under 21:18).

But until then, it’s on with the training plan!