2017 was quite a year! Not a year of blogging, or exercising or socializing or doing most of the things I normally love to do. Yet it was still a great year. To sum it up in 3 words, I’d say it was the year of Tara Quinn Donovan:


Tara joined our family officially on October 25th at 11:29pm (her due date was October 26th so she was about 30 minutes early. She did NOT get this punctuality from her mama) weighing 6.7 pounds and she instantly changed our lives in the best way possible. Although she was born towards the end of the year, we found out about her existence early on in February 2017 with a positive pregnancy test and from that moment she was pretty much all I could think about!

Sadly our road to becoming parents was a bumpy one. We dealt with some pretty heavy loss along the way and that made this pregnancy very difficult for me not only physically but emotionally. I was and still am SO GRATEFUL to have had the experience and to have my baby girl, but I just could not enjoy being pregnant. I know some people love it and I give them lots of credit for that. I had morning sickness that felt like a hangover the entire time and I was pretty worried and totally sober for 9 months. That’s a tough combo…

Despite the worries and fears my pregnancy and labor were luckily fine and resulted in beautiful baby Tara. One of the best things I did was work with a Doula, Emma O’Brien, who I can”t recommend enough! I hadn’t even heard of a Doula until I did my prenatal yoga teacher training, and even then I was under the assumption that Doulas are only for people looking to do an all-natural-hippy-homebirth. I also thought Doulas and midwives were interchangeable. None of this is the case! Of course there are some Doulas who fit that description, but there is a Doula for every type of birth and woman. I delivered at MGH and ended up getting an epidural (best.decision.ever. – at least for me!) but even with all the typical western medicine Emma’s presence was unquestionably one of the best parts of my labor experience. From asking the right questions, knowing how to find the best flavor jello, making sure Ross took care of himself, playing my favorite music, providing candlelight instead of fluorescent hospital room lights and cold aromatherapy scented washcloths when the going got tough. These services aren’t currently covered by health insurance, but they are “affordable” compared to what you pay for any health provider and worth every penny in my opinion. If you’re looking for pregnancy and labor support that’s catered toward you and not just the medical textbooks please look into this option!

We’ve finished up 2017 just trying to get to know Tara and figuring out this whole parenting thing. It’s not as easy as social media (and some bloggers) make it look!  It’s somehow the most natural and yet most difficult thing in the world to become a mom.  Most days I don’t have time to shower despite being covered in several different bodily  fluids, my use of the English language fails me and sleep is a distant memory (sleep, that’s one of those tricky English words- right?)

Tara just turned 2 months on Christmas Day and it’s been a blur. I feel like time was at a standstill for most of my pregnancy and now it’s going at light speed. Despite all the highs and lows, a year of T.Q.D. Can only be the best ever. I’m looking forward to many, many more.



It’s only December 1st, but I already feel like I’m falling behind on the the holiday planning. I didn’t do any Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping, heck I haven’t started any Christmas shopping at all!  I haven’t even made … Continue reading


This image popped up today on Elephant Journal’s Facebook page (one of my favorite websites) and I just knew I had to share it. I have to share it and believe it, because it’s the only way I can somehow make … Continue reading

10 Years: An Ode to Friendship and Running

It was 10 years ago this month, in October 2005, that I ran my very first road race. It was the Lowell Sun Half-Marathon and a lot of people thought 13.1 was a crazy distance to start with. Since then I’ve done many, many races of all different distances, from 5ks to full marathons, but the halfs always hold a special place in my heart. It’s long enough that you know you need to prepare and train, but it’s not SO long that  you feel broken and completely exhausted after and you can really enjoy the experience and sense of accomplishment (and the post-race food and drinks, of course).

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to run a half-marathon on my own though, I was fortunate to make a very good friend who turned out to also become a mentor/coach. At this point Jen had been in the fitness business for about a decade herself as an instructor and Personal Trainer.  She was my age now, and honestly looking back I have no idea how she put up with my 21-year old antics that included missing training runs due to crazy Saturday nights, or showing up for the run, late and hung-over AF. Luckily she did though! We finished our first half-marathon and just kept running from there… right into our first Boston Marathon together in 2006 (See pics below. Note that this is before there were smartphones, so the only images are the blurry ones I stole from the race photo site. This is also before the race photo companies got smart and put ‘Proof’ on the images on the site before you purchase them. Damn you MarathonFoto!)


Running has changed my life- no doubt about it. I’ve met many of my close friends through running in some way, I even met my husband at a 24 hour relay race! I’ve had a job that took me around the world traveling and running marathons and meeting some of the coolest people ever. I have Jen to thank for a lot of this though, if it wasn’t for her constant motivation, friendship and advice I don’t know if I ever would have started or kept up with running.

The racing is actually a very small part of the running experience, at least for me.  A lot of the real magic happens during the training runs; where you and running partner talk about everything from relationships, world views, politics, gossip, drama, jokes, your deepest darkest secrets and biggest craziest dreams and most importantly, what/where you will be eating your post-run meal. Even the miles you log by yourself early in the morning or late at night, alone with your thoughts and the sound of your favorite music can be pretty magical (or if you’re like me, the sound of your breath and feet hitting the ground. I’m not so much a music girl when running, though check out my giant old-school headphones around my neck in the photos above. How old AM I? And how was I able to run like that without choking??)

I happen to LOVE running, but know it’s not for everyone. It’s made me more confident, healthier, more in tune with my body and those endorphins sure don’t suck. If you hate it, don’t do it. If you’re running just to lose weight, don’t waste your time. Sure distance running burns a lot of calories, but there are a lot more efficient ways to lose weight (cleaning up your diet, HIIT, and weight lifting are high contenders).  If you’re running to win… well good luck. For the majority of us distance runners we start a race knowing that we will never win it. In fact I’m usually not even half way through the course when the winner are finishing. It’s a humbling sport in that way. In my 10 years I’ve won first place in my age group once, in a very small 5k.

We didn’t run  fast today, usually our goal is just to finish and live to tell about it so we accomplished that! Although it wasn’t my best race time-wise I enjoyed it thoroughly and there is still no other way I would have rather spent this chilly Sunday morning than out on the roads of Newburyport with Jen, properly celebrating our 10 year run-iversary! It was also great getting to see some of my other runner friends out there. The running community and people are just amazing. This has been one of my longest life commitments yet, and I’m looking forward to celebrating many more years of friendship and running!


Healthy Living When You’re Sick

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year; The crisp cool air, the colors, the pumpkins, the flannel and hot beverages. I love it all! The one downside? The start of cold/flu season. I got hit pretty hard with a cold this weekend (I blame my 10 mile run around the Charles River in 30 degree weather Sunday morning. 30 degrees is winter weather, not fall).

Despite trying to get lots of sleep and rest and drinking a lot of fluids, I’m still feeling a lot like this:


Healthy living turns out to be a bigger challenge when you’re not healthy to start!

For one thing, my workouts have gone out (the freezing cold) window. I basically finished my 10 mile run on Sunday and have been sitting on my butt ever since.

As far as eating, I know I should be fueling my compromised immune system with healthy foods and as many vitamins and minerals as I can- but I’m too tired to prep and cook the usual healthy food, and if I do kill myself to put in the effort it’s totally unappealing, yet the gallon of ice cream in my refrigerator? That is calling my name. Yup, it’s 30 degrees outside and I’m craving ice cream.

Sleep- I’ve been doing okay here and getting to bed pretty early, though it’s hard to get uninterrupted quality sleep when you can’t breath through one-side of your face.

Lastly, my attention span and patience at work and with friends and loved ones is seriously lacking. I can hardly sit and write this quick post.

Enjoy the healthier days, and carpe that diem when you have the energy and strength to do so-whether it’s tackling a big project at work or workout at the gym.I have a Half-Marathon coming up this weekend, so I know a few more days of R&R is necessary, and so is patience with myself.  Fingers crossed that I’m feeling more like a happy Jack-o-latern and less like a smashed pumpkin within the next few days!