There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For

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“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson

This past Christmas season, I received a card in the mail from a relative. Inside of the card was a piece of folded paper with a letter that read, “I wanted to share with you the blessings that we’ve experienced in 2015.”

This really struck a chord with me. I immediately asked myself if I had taken the time to reflect and appreciate the countless blessings I personally had received throughout 2015. There were so many!

I decided that every month from here on out, I would reflect on the things that I am grateful for.  After all, life is all about gratitude. Each and every one of us have so much to be thankful for every day, even through challenging times. We just need to stop and take the time to ‘smell the roses’.  I thought this would be the perfect way to continue blogging after my little hiatus. Here are the blessings I received in January 2016. So far, this year is off to a great start.

New Years in Breckenridge.

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For the past ten years, I have been wanting to kick off the New Year in Colorado. For one reason or another, that has just never happened. However, if there is one thing I have learned recently,  it is that you can not wait for the perfect timing or the “perfect situation” to do the things that you want to do. The time could never be right, and your whole life can pass you by.  This year, I booked a cabin and everything seemed to fall  right into place.  In fact, the trip far exceeded my expectations and was better than I could have ever imagined. I rang in the new year with really great friends, skiing, tubing, sleigh riding, exploring the city and to top it off,  Maggie, Cody and Jack were in tow to join in on the festivities.  Sometimes being spontaneous and forgetting about “perfect timing” can lead to some of the best experiences of your life, you just have to be willing to do it! Don’t wait for everything to be aligned and perfect, live your life and enjoy the ride!


Happy 12th Birthday, Cody!


January 3rd marked twelve years with my baby and my best friend, Cody. What an exciting and adventurous journey we are having and I can’t imagine my life without him.  My most loyal companion, my protector, and my best friend. Life is so full, simply because he is in it and I am so grateful for my Cody Bear every single day.  I make a conscious effort not to take one day with him for granted- which is why you will see that I pretty much bring him with me to many of the places I travel. I am truly blessed to have not just one but three perfectly healthy, well behaved and fun-loving rescue dogs. My life is so much more exciting and loving with the three of them in it. As i’ve said before in a previous post here, they are my family!


Horseback Riding.


Horseback riding is one of my favorite hobbies. With the “it’s never too late” mindset I’ve dedicated two to three days a week riding to train for my first show. Just as I was making great progress on my jumps, I had to stop riding with Gabby (she is pregnant) and I had to start all over again training with a new, not so familiar horse, named Rocket.  I viewed this as a major setback as I was so comfortable jumping with Gabby. I was frustrated and thought about quitting until Gabby had her baby, but I decided to ride it out with Rocket and start all over again. Despite the initial challenge, I am a stronger rider because of it and I’ve learned to love my lessons with Rocket. A constant reminder that things are always changing but if you push through you will be even stronger than before.  

IT’S A BOY!!!!

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My best friend and her husband are expecting their first baby in July and they hosted a gender reveal party at the end of January! There was absolutely NO WAY I was not going to be there as they revealed the baby’s sex. However, since I was not able to fly in for the reveal, I had to opt for the next best thing. I watched them pop their balloon and hear everyone scream the words, “It’s a Boy!” via FaceTime. I was so happy that I was able to find out when the rest of their family and close friends found out. I am beyond thrilled to be an aunt again. I’m so excited to create many memories and go on lots of family vacations with the newest member of the family.

Boat Days!


Austin winters do not disappoint. We have had some really warm and sunny days in January.  I never take a beautiful day for granted. Once the riding lessons are done and my hike is checked off for the day, you can find me surrounded by great friends and my dogs on the lake. I absolutely love to be on the water. There is no better way to spend the day than being outdoors in the fresh air surrounded by the most beautiful views.  I’m beyond grateful for this amazing city that I live in and the opportunity to  spend days upon days enjoying natures finest surroundings.  

New Workout Routine.

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I kicked off the new year by implementing Kayla Itsines workout routine and it’s been amazing. There is no better feeling than making your health a priority. I feel better, stronger and happier following this workout program and I can’t wait to share the results at the end of my program. The combination of her 28 minute workouts (3x a week)  and Chelsea Futterman’s healthy recipes have helped me to make my overall quality of life a priority and to start out  2016 feeling healthy and strong. (Stay tuned: I will blog more about these workouts and recipes in a future post.)

Welcome To The Team!


The Ali Specialties team recently welcomed a new team member, Jessica Deheza, and let me tell you- I could not be more excited.  Jessica will be a huge asset to the company. She will be successful at covering the Florida market as I continue to grow (both personally and professionally) in Austin.  In January, we spent a week together in Miami visiting our South Florida clients. I enjoyed every second of  leading her into the business development position. It was rewarding to watch her transition into her new role and I am excited to see how the company will expand as a result of a new hire.  



In my unique industry, I get to work with really great people who are not just clients but first and foremost friends. Over the years, I have built relationships with like-minded people who I can collaborate with and who have encouraged me to aim high. During the above South Florida trip, many of the conversations over lunch and dinner, were nothing short of inspiring. We got to communicate on a whole new level- sharing strengths, goals, stories and supporting one another. With so many of them telling me they missed my regular blog posts, I boarded my plane back to Austin feeling very encouraged to continue my passion of writing.

And last but certainly not least…

My Family.

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I ended the month with a trip home to Tampa where no matter what, the door is always open and I have a strong sense of home. It’s so fulfilling to visit and feel that I am surrounded by unconditional support and love. My incredible grandparents laid a strong foundation in my hometown of Palm Harbor. I feel their presence every time I walk through the door to see the rest of my family. I love knowing that I always have someone to share breakfast with or some wonderful company just to relax and unwind.

Life is not perfect. We all have challenges and go through hard times.  I know I experience setbacks and challenges every single day.   It can be something as simple as a flat tire, or a broken part on the boat, and there can be moments that run much deeper like heartache, mistakes or overwhelming stress and responsibilites. My point is that as challenging and difficult as life can be, there is always something to be thankful for, we just have to take the time to reflect.  What I have learned and am still learning is that challenges and setbacks are what make you stronger and wiser. For this reason, I include the hard times as part of my blessings.  Remember the wise quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt  “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

Today, I encourage you to reflect and write down what makes you grateful.  Post it, print it, hang it up in your office, share it with your family and friends. Do whatever you wish with your list, but make sure you take the time to be thankful for the great things that do happen in your life. Most importantly, never take a single day for granted. 

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

1 Comment

  1. tara

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