One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Our History Told Through Christmas Ornaments

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Every Christmas since we’ve been dating The Husband has given me an ornament as a gift. His goal is to find something that celebrates or represents what happened that year.

It’s a very special tradition to me and the thing I look forward to most on Christmas.

In 2008 I wrote the original A Couple’s History in Ornaments post and have been adding links to the bottom every year showcasing our new additions. I felt it was time to get them all collected in one place again. 

It started in 1995 with a simple Rottweiler pup (we were always talking about getting a dog back then and he knew how much I loved Rotties — still do.)

Then in 1996 he bought the “Puppy Love” ornament. We joked that he would now have to get me a dog every year.


In 1997 he struggled a bit. We were in college and not much was going on in our lives. He first got me the Winnie the Pooh in desperation as he couldn’t find anything else. Then right before Christmas he found a lion and had to get it because, well, I’m a Leo.

In 1998 I graduated with a bachelor’s in Management Information Systems and he decided on a floppy disk — one of my favs even more so today as it’s so friggin’ dated!

In 1999 I graduated with my master’s in Instructional Technology and for some odd reason he went with a calculator. To this day he says it was the closest thing he could find. (Note: we never removed the miscellaneous kid photo since it’s a frame and now we can’t, it just wouldn’t be right.)

In 2000 we got engaged!

2001 and 2002 were our stereotypical years — we got married, bought a house and then got a puppy. His ornament choices couldn’t have been more perfect!

In 2003 I accepted a full time faculty position.

In 2004 I was pregnant!

In 2005 we became a family.

2006? Well, 2006 was just 2006! We like to joke about being too busy with the toddler that nothing notable happened that year.

2007 was another 2 ornament year and he made me laugh. One of Wonder Woman as I always joke with him that I can do it all — I was a full-time working mom starting her own business. The second was of a lounge chair. I was confused at first until he told me to look at what was ON the chair. Magazines!  It was the year I was on the cover of Women’s World.  I cried.

2008 was the 1-year anniversary of GreenLiteBites and he knows how much that site means to me. I used to joke it was my second child before I actually had a second child.

In 2009 we moved into our new (and current) house.

In 2010 I was pregnant!


In 2011 We had a new baby to celebrate with.

And in 2012 we had a new family of ornaments!


In 2013 The Husband decided to celebrate my 1-year CrossFit anniversary (he knows how much I love it)  but he was so nervous I’d be disappointed because he couldn’t find a traditional ornament.  I told him he couldn’t have made a better choice.

2014? I can’t wait! Although The Husband has been saying he can’t find anything. He puts so much pressure on himself. It’s cute. UPDATE: It’s books!! Because I wrote my first book this year! He’s so cute.

20132014 - Coming Soon!

In my original ornament post I said:

…sometimes the husband can be absolutely brilliant, other times I want to wring his unhealthy, annoying little neck. But I love him for who he is and, in a weird way, who he isn’t. Does that make any sense?

If I asked him to remember what size I was or how much I weighed each of those years he couldn’t tell me (although I probably could.)

No one will remember how you look or what size jeans you are wearing at Christmas dinner. What they will remember is how you made them feel and the memories you made together.

Re-reading it I still get a little teary.

I said this in my post about perfect but I need to say it again because I found myself actually re-writing it almost word-for-word:

I don’t care what people say — marriage is hard. It’s not hard like enduring physical torture hard or running a marathon hard. There’s more to it than that.

It’s compromise and commitment, egos and passions, goals and desires. It’s a balancing act of interests without kids. Throw a toddler or two in the mix and you feel like you’re on a tight rope juggling blazing torches while balancing on a unicycle.

I’m proud of my marriage. We’ve both changed so much these past 20 years and it’s amazing to have a partner to experience all that life and growth with. I look back at who I was when The Husband and I met (1994!!) and it’s not so much that I’m different, I mean, I feel like the same person. I am the same person! But I worked so hard to peel away all the layers of baggage that were preventing me from doing all the things I really wanted to be doing — heck, things I thought weren’t even POSSIBLE to do.

Is it possible to change and grow yet still be the same? I don’t know but that’s how I feel.

If you’ve been reading for some time you know it wasn’t the scale dropping that inspired all this personal growth. It was a shift in my approach (#wycwyc), life and goals that led TO the weight loss and so, so SO, much more.

I didn’t think sharing my silly, little Christmas tradition would bring out so many emotions but it did. I feel grateful, blessed, happy and, well, motivated. I started this blog 10 years ago and I can honestly say I would have never predicted in that time that I’d become a CrossFit-obsessed, business owner who’s raising 2 kids, planning a conference, writing a book, managing 3 blogs and seriously considering culinary school. Oh did I just slip that in there? I can’t get the thought of it out of my head. I really want to do it! I’ll save that for another post, I guess.

Anyway, my point was to share our tradition, celebrate The Husband and my relationship and inspire you to hop on the #wycwyc bandwagon with me this coming year. It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish simply by simply doing what you can when you can.

Happy Holidays! I’ll be back after Christmas with an update and (hopefully) an awesome new ornament to add to my collection.

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There are 11 comments so far.


    December 23, 2014

    Wow I love this!! That is so sweet that your hubby buys such cool Christmas ornaments. I love Christmas ornaments but I usually make or buy my own new ornament. I really enjoy your blog!


      December 23, 2014

      Thanks. :)


    December 23, 2014

    Those are adorable! Side note – I think I still have that issue of Women’s World somewhere! Crazy!!


      December 23, 2014

      HA! So do I!


    December 23, 2014

    Awesome post and tradition! Side note: I wish I could have a job that allows me to work from home. It seriously interests me. But I wouldn’t know where to start. You are blessed, Roni!


      December 29, 2014

      You should check out I used to live on that site when I worked at the college. Working from home does have a lot of advantages but honestly, sometimes I miss the office environment.


    December 24, 2014

    Its so funny. There are some days like I feel as if we live parallel lives or that you live in my head (or I live in yours). I have been debating culinary school for about a year. A girl that locally has just opened up her own brunch/pastry shop (she just celebrated her one year anniversary) encouraged me to give even more thought to it as well – look up Se7enbites on Facebook if you have time. Her food is divine. Anyway, rambling on to just say thanks for all that you contribute to my world, even though we have never officially met. So hoping to make it to Fitbloggin’ this year as hoping to start the blogging chapter of my life too. Looking forward to documenting my trip with my will be recently graduated senior as we jaunt through Europe for a month. Thought it would be a great graduation trip.


      December 29, 2014

      We have even more in common and I will one day jaunt through Europe as well! :) Hope you can make it to FitBloggin!!

    Md Imran Hossain

    December 25, 2014

    Hey guys, I have been planning a honeymoon to Italy, and my wife and I purchased some attractions tickets, for the Colosseum and BonAppetour dinners (a dining experience with locals: here is the link:

    If you guys want it, please let me know, I can sell them to you for a cheaper price!


    December 27, 2014

    Aw, this is so nice! Love that you have a tradition which lets you look at every year together… and how there is always more change and growth waiting for us around the corner.

    Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht.

    December 27, 2014

    Very tradition! I like it and it makes him think of you throughout the year while planning the new ornament. A great way to communicate and remember your blessings! Keep it up!