Thursday, November 21, 2013
Thursday Thankful Thoughts...
I had this huge Thanksgiving post all written out with pictures of food that I plan to make along with links to recipes (if you need recipes that are gluten free and dairy free you can read about mine here, here and here). However, that just doesn't feel like the message I want to put out there this holiday season. If I'm being honest, which I tend to like to be, this hasn't been the easiest year for our family or for a lot of my friends and family either. I feel like this holiday season, for me, I need to really focus on the good in my life and really be thankful for all that I have in it right at this moment. Life is constantly evolving and while I do think that bad is good for us sometimes (it keeps us grounded and slightly humble), I am incredibly thankful for my amazing family, for our health, for my unbelievably caring friends, the roof over my head that my husband works so hard to keep there, the nourishment I get daily and the work that I'm fortunate enough to have right now. These are what I'm focusing on this year.'s gotten busy. I've changed. I know, it's weird, but we all change. I guess the bigger part is the acceptance part of any changes in your life. I'm accepting it and embracing it these days or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

So, what's changed? Work is a big one for me. I started teaching small group fitness classes at my local community center. I LOVE it! I'm finally teaching my style workouts and I'm having so much fun! I teach a boot camp at 5:45am twice a week, a beginner yoga fusion (barre moves, breathing,'s all my favorites in one!) twice a week and a senior fitness class once a week. All of this is on top of my personal training clients that start daily at 5am, my recipe development work, my fitness nutrition clients, my own workouts and well, my family. I'm busier than I've ever been before and I love it on so many levels. Sadly, blogging has taken a back seat for a little while in order for me to focus on these other things and well, make a little money to help out around here. I keep up with my peeps by instagram, Facebook and twitter though, so I don't feel completely out of the loop. Actually, lately, I really am enjoying those outlets of social media. Instagram is my favorite though. I love how positive it is along with a perfect mix of life, food and fitness. Perfect for catching up with everyone.

The other big change for me...I've fallen in love with running. Yeah, and Tony caught the bug too, so we've been having fun getting out in this amazing weather running together. Never in a million years would I have ever thought this would happen. I think I always put too much pressure on myself when it came to running. It's one of those workouts that I can do that completely takes me to a different place. I'm not a good planned runner though. I don't run two days in a row and I don't have certain distances that I will go regularly. I'm not really training for anything other than just getting out there and being free! I still have a hard time calling myself a runner, which is weird to most people. I don't feel like I was made to run. I think there are so many other amazing people that were seriously made to run. Actually, I think Tony was made to run even though he hated it just like me. I'm just enjoying the me time these days and taking it where it takes me…

That being said, Tony and I decided to do something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. We signed up for a half marathon Thanksgiving morning! This will be my first and Tony's second. I can honestly say, I'm not afraid of the distance part, but the cold weather has me a little freaked out. I will get over that…probably shortly after I start running in the 20 degree weather (YIKES)! We went back and forth on whether we were going to do the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half and eventually decided not to due to cost and well, it's not exactly convenient to get to on a day that I actually do want to spend with my kids. Then I came across the Tryptophan Half Marathon that's literally 20 minutes from my house, there was a huge discount code announced and I was really excited when I saw that the proceeds go to The Children's Health Care of Atlanta (a hospital that we have sadly had to use for Max when he was 9 weeks old). So, we are signed up and ready to go! We also have friends that are coming into town to run with us which will make things even more exciting! I'm really excited about doing something different this year. I really need the change of focus for a minute on Thanksgiving and this really is going to help me with that.

All of this is to say that this year, I'm going to really focus on the positives in my life this holiday season. 2013 has not been the best of years for us in so many ways. Sure things could have been worse and well, they have been in the past, but things could have certainly been better. This year has been about learning to accept the bad times in our lives and grow through them rather than allow them do defeat us.

For those of you out there that are sad or lonely this time of year, please know that you are not alone. My heart always goes out to those that suffer, but especially during the holidays. For those of you that are fortunate enough to enjoy feasts with family and friends, please take a moment and really appreciate that moment. Those are precious moments and memories that should be cherished.

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 3:32 PM  
  • At November 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM, Blogger Jolene said…

    I LOVE your little thanksgiving tradition anew of doing the half together!!! I can't wait to hear about it. I LOVE that you two love running and together. I think M is very similar to Tony (as we know!) in that he was born to run, he is GOOD at it, while I feel like it takes a lot more effort and focus for me to feel like I am good at it, but I too do love it! You are always in my prayers friend, and I hope 2014 is an even better year for you, and your group fitness classes sound most amazing, even if demanding. I would looooove to take one someday :) XO

  • At November 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM, Blogger Cotter Crunch said…

    oh friend, I know this has been a "growing" year for you. But i have to say, i have seen you grow in tremendous strength! doing what you love, being a wife/mom first, and living life. i am thankful for you as a role model.

  • At November 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM, Blogger Kristina @ spabettie said…

    I am doing just that - being in the moment, feeling ALL of the feelings (today I cried at a winery - it was good), and appreciating all that I have. The holidays will have an empty spot this year, and my heart is sad for that, but I am also aware of just how lucky I am. Glass is definitely full.

    I miss you, friend - I will email soon and catch up. I think of you often and hope you all have smiley faces. love you XXO

  • At November 21, 2013 at 10:52 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    Such a beautiful post... it has been ahard year, but seeing the good and going into the holidays on a "up" is just the thing. I am thankful to have gotten to know you and your family better this year. You are an incredible force! Love you!

  • At November 21, 2013 at 11:07 PM, Anonymous Estela @ Weekly Bite said…

    Such a lovely, heartfelt post! I love it :) You are the sweetest and I love your attitude towards thankfulness. Forget about linking recipes, we all know where to find your fab creations. This time of year is all about family, and this post hit it on the nail :)

  • At November 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM, Anonymous Paige @ your trainer paige said…

    I love your attitude, Sarena <3 Sorry this year has been a hard one, and I think focusing on the positive is a wonderful goal :)
    So fun to run a half on Thanksgiving!!

  • At November 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    From the heart - love this post. I know it's been a tough year for you guys, but you've remained pretty darn positive. How can you not grow and change? I think that's a good thing. Love you friend.

  • At November 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM, Anonymous Alisa said…

    It's almost hard to imagine that you had a rough year as you have such an amazing and positive outlook. Good luck in the half marathon - you'll do awesome!

  • At November 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM, Blogger gfe--gluten free easily said…

    Beautifully written, Sarena. I can relate to the ups and downs (with more downs) of the past year as well. I've never seen you focus on anything other than the positive and I'm sure that brings much more of the good stuff in your life every day. I re-center and re-focus daily and it's working. :-) I'm sure that you are a huge, huge blessing to your class attendees. Blogging is not meant to be a chore, rote, or "phoned in," so I'm glad you are so honest and blog when it feels right. Thanksgiving, once a year or daily, definitely helps put things in perspective but it's important not to deny our feelings, down moments, either. You and others clearly get that and we'll all move on I feel and more good will come into our lives. :-) Yay for being a happy runner with Tony! Whenever I try to stop doing any exercise perfectly, I like it a whole lot more and, therefore, do it a lot more. ;-) Bravo on your half marathon!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all your boys!! xoxo,

  • At November 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Anonymous Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli said…

    This is better than any Thanksgiving recipe roundup you could have posted! I love your perspective on things...such a good reminder that even though this hasn't been the best of years for me either, that I should embrace the good and appreciate what I have. It's definitely been a trying year, but like you said, things could have been worse. I'm so happy for you sweetie and your newfound love for running. I remember when I fell in love with it myself (and am actually working toward rehabbing this knee of mine so I can hopefully make it back there someday)...nothing else compares! Good luck on your first half! How exciting! And I hope you and your family have a WONDERFUL holiday filled with good food, good laughs, and lots of love! :) xoxo

  • At November 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sarena,

    This is such a touching post. I'm sorry to hear this has been a difficult year for you and your family. But I love how you are not letting it defeat you and you are focusing on the positives. I wish you nothing but peace and happiness in the coming year. And I'm so inspired by your running! And your job sounds super get to do what you love. That's the dream. So amazing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love and laughs friend.

    Big hugs,

  • At November 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM, Anonymous Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets said…

    Sometimes I think if you're not changing, you're not living. Life is all about growth; sometimes for fun and sometimes as a necessity.
    I'm sorry you've had a rough year. Here's to hoping the next one is significantly better. A half marathon with proceeds going towards a children's hospital certainly seems like the right way to kick off the holiday.

Post a Comment
<< Home

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
See my complete profile

Previous Post
Blogs I Like