January 6, 2015

2014 Blog In Review

2014 was by far my most active blogging year in my blog's existence. I have learned a lot in this one year of blogging, and realize that I have much growth still to come if I want to see this space of mine grow. With anything that you desire to thrive, I believe in constructive reflection to excel you forward. I do not think this post will be delegated to my constructive criticism of my previous posts, but I do want to highlight my previous posts from this year. It is fun to see where I have been, as I look forward to 2015!

So it appears that blogging truly took a resurgence in February of 2014 when I embarked on a 7-Week Challenge with my then gym, Renegade Fitness!  Every Wednesday for 7 weeks, I chronicled my eats as an example for my followers! I too began my first, of many weekly workouts in review series to stay accountable. I would say that it was at this time, that I truly altered my thoughts about dieting and one's food choices. I no longer consider myself on a 'diet', but I continue to monitor my daily food intake which was thoroughly outlined in my post: "Thoughts on my 'Diet'" as well as body-image post from a former beauty queen, "Body Fat, Body Weight, and Your Former You: From A Former Pageant Girl's Perspective." And then for fun, a light-hearted post that I believe many other coaches wives can relate "Coach Michelyn." To all my coaches' wife friends, could you take-over your husband's job?

March 2014 was full of additional weekly workout and eats updates. I too started documenting the Toledo Rocket basketball's journey to the MAC Championship in weekly Toledo Tough posts. I guess you could say that this was foreshadowing of my current MAC Mania posts that started in November. I too wrote a very popular review of Fabletics workout gear! Have you tried Fabletics? If not, go head over and read my review post now! And this blog would not be so without an occasional post honoring my past life as a pageant contestant. March is Oscars season, so it was fitting that I would share my thoughts about "Pageant Gowns Seen at the Oscars 2014." By the middle of the month, March Madness was on my mind and also a little taste of A-Game Attire posts could be seen in "March Madness Updates & Rocket Inspired Closet Wants!" In March I secretly began training for the Toledo Marathon, but had not announced the news officially on my blog until some time later. If some were close followers, they may have noticed the increase in mileage during my weekly workouts, and I then shared my disgust when I sprained my ankle, 50/50. I would go on after a short break, and share my delight when I completed my first marathon in April 2014. But before that, we had some highs and lows in college basketball. My beloved Bison made it to the NCAA tournament after first beating #5 Oklahoma but then losing to San Diego State. In my post, The Highs & Lows of Basketball, I share Nicole Phillips' story of being heart-broken and distraught once the Bison's tournament quest came to an end. But, for Team Phillips, that was only the start to a new adventure at Ohio! Shortly thereafter, I rejoiced in a post about our coaching buddies moving on and getting new jobs: "Becoming a Head Coach." And then closed out one of Coach Kemp's last articles as a Rocket with a Coaches Corner interview entitled, "The Madness Never Stops" about the season being over, but not truly being over for many college coaching staffs.  To end out the month, I would write two Quest Bar reviews which would later be edited for a third draft later in the year.

In April, I announced the results of my 7-week challenge in which I went from 22.4 to 18% body fat. I too accompanied Coach Kemp to the Final Four and chronicled my experiences in a number of posts (Wednesday; Thursday & Friday; Saturday & Sunday). Shortly after the Final Four I learned that Coach Kemp took a job with his former boss, Coach Phillips, at Ohio University. It is still challenging for me to fathom that we only resided in Toledo for a mere 9 or so months. My first post was a letter of appreciation to all the Toledo staff members that welcomed Coach and I, and then a few weeks later an subsequent post about my emotional state which was everywhere! I ended the month with several recaps from the Glass City Marathon which was one of the bests experiences of my life!

May was a slow month for blog posts, and I even apologized to my readers for my absence. My performance at the Glass City Marathon was still fresh on my mind, so my final post and reflection on my performance was posted at the beginning of the month. I then considered immediately training for a half marathon, and even posted a 12-week advanced running program that was quickly ditched! Staying on the workout front, which is usually my outlet for stress and equilibrium, I shared another favorite Toledo workout spot - Extreme Results! And before I left the city of Toledo, I was graced with an act of kindness that still flutters my heart because leaving your first home as husband and wife is not an easy act, especially when one only lived in the residence for a short while. Still to this day, I reflect on the words of wisdom shared to me my Kelly Ryan, wife to Bo Ryan, at the 2014 Final Four as I strive to move forward and not place so much emphasis on my previous "plans."

By the end of June, I had ditched my plans to run the Parkersburg Half Marathon. My life turned to a focus on pageants, and several posts on that topic were birthed. I first posted my thoughts about Miss USA 2014. Ashley from If You Give A Girl A Ring did a guest post about the differences between the Miss USA and Miss America systems which was stellar, in my opinion! I too wrote two posts about Nailing the Interview (Part I & Part II). And I did a short recap of my trip to Florida where I became a certified Miss Florida judge!

How times flies, because six weeks after moving to Athens, I wrote a blog post updating my followers with how things were going for Team Kemp. I too shared my fondness for the Athens Farmers Market which would be my go-to produce outlet during the summer and fall months! Multiple random posts were had because of pure boredom while Coach Kemp was out scouting during the July period! During that time, I got my fix on Boardwalk Empire and imagined myself with some superhuman powers! (I may need a few more hobbies, lol!) And somehow in the midst of my randomness, I was honored with the Leibster Award!

August was a very stressful month for Team Kemp, with additional details to be announced in a few weeks... Coach Kemp and the Ohio MBB team traveled to Canada for an international tour and he took over the blog for a few days, providing my readers an inside glimpse into their days (Travel Day; Day 2; Days 3 & 4; Days 5& 6. Last minute, I decided to train and run in the Run Like a Girl half marathon in Columbus. School also started, so I shared my thoughts about working from home and 4 reasons why I enjoy it

September was full of Whole 30 weekly posts as well as Run Like A Girl half marathon training logs. The blog too received a facelift, and football tailgating commenced! I too announced my desires to start the A-Game Attire series, but a more thorough post would come in October!

October seemed to linger as we waited for MBB season to just start, but I began a countdown and a formal post for the A-Game Attire series! I somehow kept myself busy with the results from the Run Like A Girl Marathon and a post about curly hair, which is always on mind! I too snuck in a quick Coaches Corner interview with Coach Kemp, OU Oh Yeah!, and I too shared about a fun Halloween-themed date night! No month can go by without a few random posts of mine. In October, I shared by Fall 2014 TV guide (from a person who does not frequently watch tv, nonetheless) and then answered some questions from the game, Would You Rather. I too provided some tips for those considering taking on a job that requires you to work from home as well as some CrossFit essentials for the ladies!

Basketball season was in full swing in November which also signaled a number of new series. The first being, MAC Mania Mondays and my A-Game Attire guest features. I was honored to have my first A-Game Attire feature by none other than a former pageant friend Amber from Restless Arrow! I too continued my Coaches Corner series with my dearest of basketball girlfriends, Stephanie Richman. I believe that her post is my most well read post to date! I too joined the Younique company as an independent distributor. And I put an end to my weekly round-ups because well I was pregnant, but the news was not out!

And then we came to the month of December which included our pregnancy announcement, weekly bump updates, as well as our Christmas trip to Hawaii! My A-Game Attire posts featured two wives, Ashley Pittman and Andrea Hansen. I too provided some general tips for dressing for basketball games, a more thorough Quest Bar Review which now includes S'mores, and my thoughts and advice for those seeking to join a CrossFit gym in their area. Lastly, and right in time for those New Year's resolutions, I interviewed another one of my coach's wives, Andrea Weisse, and she shared her new adventure as a BeachBody coach.

I want to thank each of my readers, new and old, for joining me in 2014. I look forward to an adventurous 2015. If there are any topics that you would like me to focus on, please let me know. I do believe that my weekly round-ups - workouts and food diaries- will be halted until post-partum. As I have said before, I am sure that I will document my post-pregnancy weight loss in some fashion but also realize those posts can be boring at times!

But, those posts have been replaced more basketball-related posts, such as A-Game Attire features and my weekly MAC Mania recap. I still find time, or an interviewee for my Coaches Corner features as well. If you are a basketball wife, and are interested in featured please send me an email (brainsbeautybymichelynATgmail.com).


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