Happy Friday!

My Friday began with another bowl of eggnog overnight oats, topped with a sliced banana, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

eggnog overnight oats

It was a festive way to start the day!

eggnog oatmeal

I also ate about three small handfuls of dried mulberries as I was assembling my breakfast.

dried mulberries

I can’t get enough of them!

The Workout That Wasn’t

After another late night at work, I opted to sleep in again today and skip my morning workout. Our LiveSTRONG group meeting went really well and I arrived home yesterday evening feeling so proud of our participants’ accomplishments. Before we started the program, one man couldn’t bike for more than 90 seconds and now he’s up to 26 minutes! He’s coming to the gym on his own to work out five days a week and is a big fan of our Silver Sneakers workout classes. I am so impressed with the amazing progress we see every week.

After I crawled into bed last night, Sadie hopped in beside me and as Ryan came to join us, he laughed when he saw Sadie’s lovely (and very unladylike) pose on the bed.


(Her legs were actually way more spread eagle but she got a little camera shy. And yes, I am wearing a Blue Barracudas t-shirt to bed. Olmec better watch out.)

For a medium-size dog, Sadie sure knows how to take up a lot of space in our bed. At some point in the night, she always seems to raise her front paws above her head and stretch out her back paws as far as they can go. I swear she becomes eight feet tall at 2 a.m. 


Once we were all snuggled up in bed, with Sadie wedged between us since she always has to be in the middle, Ryan asked me about my LiveSTRONG group. During every LiveSTRONG meeting, we begin by going around the circle and sharing our latest journal entry. The LiveSTRONG program provides members with journals and each page has and entry prompt, such as “When I found out I was diagnosed with cancer I…” or “I feel happiest when I’m…”

Yesterday’s prompt encouraged everyone to share their strengths.

“My biggest strengths are…”

We went around the circle and took turns sharing. Some of our participants answers:

  • I have a very strong faith
  • I always look on the bright side of things
  • I persevere through anything
  • I am a good nurturer
  • I am very honest
  • I’m very determined
  • I’m a good mother
  • I have a thirst for knowledge

After I told Ryan about our journal topic, we started talking about our strengths. Yes, it can feel awkward to talk about yourself like this, but I also think it’s very important to recognize your positive qualities. It was actually easier for me and Ryan to list each other’s strengths than our own, but we came up with a few things.

Ryan said he thinks his biggest strength is a “can do” attitude. If a difficult situation arises at work, he always thinks there’s a way to work through it and improve the situation. I agree with this even on a personal level and told him that dedication is also one of his biggest strengths. If he starts something, he has razor-sharp focus and will finish it.

I said I think my biggest strength is my optimism and my belief that things will always work out for the best. I also think that I am a fairly motivated person, so I said that my internal motivation is a strength. Ryan agreed with me, but he said that he thinks my biggest strength is my energy.

I thought this might make a fun topic for a Friday, so now I ask you…

Question of the Morning

  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • What strengths do you think your loved ones would say you have?


  1. says

    Love this one! I think my biggest strength is my ability to just keep going or pushing through when things get tough. Loved hearing yours and other people’s strength too.

    I especially loved hearing about that guy who has increased his exercise to 26 minutes I just think that is awesome!!

    Sadie is just way too funny and cute! Love that photo of her 🙂


  2. says

    I love this so much! I am TERRIBLE at recognizing my own strengths…which may be because I’m still/constantly working to build confidence in myself. I’ve had some very critical people in my life influence me into believing that my personal strengths are the “wrong” strengths to have…which I realize is silly. For example, I’m very empathetic (which I know is a good thing!), but at times/often I see (and have been told) that the empathy within myself is a weakness. Clearly I need to work on this exercise a little 🙂


  3. Mary Beth says

    I know it’s small, but I think one of my biggest strengths is the ability to smile EVERY day. I battled a year of depression and learned through that year that I needed people in my life that would reassure me that I have an amazing life worth smiling for … even when I’m upset, there is a reason to smile. 🙂


  4. says

    I think my biggest strength is I have the courage to chase my dreams/happiness. I’ve made some big decisions on my own in the last few years, even though they weren’t easy or the normal way and I’m so happy I’ve been able to seek my own dreams rather than be complacent and accept what life hands me.


  5. Lauren @ sassy molassy says

    I love this topic. This post inspired a little convo between the manfriend and I about our strengths, which was fun. I think my biggest strength is my dedication… To my friends, to my family, to my fitness and health, to marathon training, to my job, etc.


  6. says

    Great article! I am always defining my strengths and weaknesses and about two years ago realized it was OK to reach out for help on the skills you are not strong in, I always felt I had to be good at everything but its actually better to improve your strengths and find help for your weaknesses. So far this motto has been working well for me and I am SO much more productive! Love your way C


  7. Amy @ Run with Perseverance says

    What a good thing to reflect on! I think one of my strengths is encouraging others and seeing the good in them (as well as seeing the good in every situation).


  8. Elizabeth says

    You are so talented. What a great post and great food for thought! Challenging question Julie-very challenging.,,,oh and I ordered the purse too!


  9. says

    My biggest strength is my ability to not dwell on the negative. I allow myself a minute to feel bad, then realize that life is all about how I respond to situations and choose to change and/or accept whatever negatives are occuring.


  10. says

    Loving the Sadie photo! My vizsla is the same way in the bed – has to be in between my husband & me & touching us both at all times. Although, now that our baby is here we’ve messed her all up. We put him in our bed in the mornings & our Vizsla doesn’t know what to do because she can’t touch all 3 of us. She cries like the drama queen she is & usually picks to lay on the baby’s feet.


  11. says

    I am just like you, and my husband is just like Ryan! I always look on the brighter side of things, no matter what. even if there’s a slight chance that something might not work out or whatever situation is.. its always great to put in on a positive spectrum.


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