Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Husbands are funny

So, as you know, Joel and I are leaving town. Every time we leave town, I am always in a rush to finish packing and be ready on time, no matter HOW much time I allow myself. Some may call it poor planning, but its my way and it works for me.
Joel is one of "those" who considers it poor planning, and it drives him NUTS. He, on the other hand, is what I consider an overload planner- so much so that he typed up a list of what to pack- my favorite being "quick dry clothing- pants, shorts, shirt"(see below). Good thing he specified articles of clothing! I mean, seriously, he even planned out every single day of our vacation, half days at a time!! I am way more laid back than he is when it comes to vacation. Vacation is meant to be relaxing. You just go with the flow, take each day, even each moment as it comes. Not for Joel. If he goes somewhere, he has to see EVERYTHING!!
Wish me luck this next week as I hike through the rain forest, go deep sea fishing and river rafting, try to navigate foreign roads(I am map illiterate) because Joel insisted on renting a car, and try to get a tan without laying out- apparently laying out is NOT on our agenda ;). I will be lucky to make it out of there alive!
So long my friends...until we meet again!

"The List"

This post is even more funny if you know Joel!

*I really am excited- I just had to rant a bit*

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Wonder Years

Joel and I met 6 years ago- the last Sunday in April 2002- at our BYU ward "Break the Fast". SIX YEARS AGO! I know some of you 'ole married folk say that's a drop in the hat... I guess it's true that the older you get the quicker time passes!

I wanted to share a few pics of the early years of Joel and me. Most of these are pics of pics, so I apologize if they are not that clear...
This was the first picture we took together...pretty telling of how our relationship was in the beginning. ;)Summer 2002

This was taken in my apartment shortly after we were "exclusive" - meaning we weren't making out with anyone else- August 2002

One of many road trips- this one to Boulder, CO to watch BYU get spanked by Airforce October 2002

Another football game- night games were my favorite! November 2002

---We broke up for 2.5 months in April 2003---

One of our first nights back together- late night hike followed by running through sprinklers- June 2003

We drove across the country to help Joel's brother move to Washington DC- August 2003

Trip to Portland to meet my Dadio-October 2003

Casey and Jamie's Wedding- January 2004
I was a bridesmaid and caught the bouquet- he caught the garder- five months later we were engaged!

One of my fav's

General Conference (Thanks for the great seats Laurie) - April 2004
One of our engagement pics- June 2004

Ahhh, the memories!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Crazy Legs

Crazy Legs is an 8k(5 mile) race put on by UW-Madison to raise money for their athletic department. One of Joel's vendors at work is a sponsor for the event and every year they get a big group together to participate. Last year Joel had a church commitment (yeah right) so he couldn't do it, but we all know he just didn't want his wife to beat him, so this was his first year and my second. The best part about the whole race is that they give each runner two free beers when you finish- only in Wisconsin!

Getting frisky after a couple of beers- no, not really I just look like it!

Although the weather was freaking cold(too say it lightly) and incredibly windy, the sun peeked through the clouds a little and it ended up being a really good temp for running. When we finished the race, it was freezing again- nothing is worse than warm sweat turning to cold sweat!

I am particularly proud of my hubby- his goal was to make it under 37 minutes and he did it! I shaved 4 minutes off my time from last year, so I was happy too!

Bib Number Last Name First Name Time Place Gender
1272 O'Neil Joel 36:51 1096 M
1273 O'Neill Whitney 40:27 2486 F
755 O'Neill Aaron 42:21 3416 M
7599 O'Neil Micaela 44:32 4683 F
836 O'Neil Dan 48:42 6993 M
7600 O'Neill Heidi 55:49 9207 F

That's right, out of all the O'Neill's, Joel and I were 1st and 2nd--we don't settle for anything less-- haha, yeah right!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fitness Friday

It's no secret that a full night of uninterrupted slumber can make things much easier for us the following day.

Because after all, when we sleep well, we're much more inclined to live well. Healthy sleep finds us more alert, more refreshed, more productive and most certainly more responsive.

Getting the rest we need keeps our eyes bright and our energy levels high. Moreover, sleep is an integral element of training. Without enough, your body simply won't have the time or biological resources to reach its full potential.

Sadly, getting a good night's sleep isn't always as easy as it sounds.

We're often quick to forget that while we sleep, there's a lot going on. As we slip into our nightly nocturne, our body continues on as if it were business as usual.

The cardiovascular system pumps and circulates the blood we need to live. The brain keeps busy by sending millions of neurotransmissions every second. The metabolic system continues to convert calories into the energy that makes this never-ending series of biological processes possible.

The benefits of a good night's sleep extend far beyond how well we're able to function the following day. Because the simple truth is that the quality of our days is often heavily influenced by the quality of our nights. I'll explain.

A study conducted at the University of British Columbia suggests that people who sleep less than 5 hours per night are 39% more likely to develop heart disease than those who register a full seven to eight hours per night.

Moreover, depriving the body of quality Z's can raise blood pressure and may also contribute to the formation of varicose veins as well. If high-impact and cardio training is something that you consider a fixed part of your training, this should be of key concern.

Before hastily blaming our bathroom scales for unexplained weight gain, it's important to make sure that we're spending enough time lost in peaceful dreams. Researchers at the University of Chicago have determined that sleep deprivation (even in the most modest amounts) can interfere with how efficiently the body regulates the release of cortisol.

This stress-related hormone is produced by the adrenal gland, and plays a significant role in hunger, stress and appetite. What's worse, excessive cortisol levels can interfere with the production of serotonin. As a result, we may feel depressed and hungry - even in situations when we've eaten to the point of being full.

Believe it or not, that groggy feeling you experience after a night of tossing and turning all night has a physiological explanation. Somewhere between the time our head hits the pillow to the time we hurl blunt objects at our alarm clocks, our brain's third shift goes to work.

Sleep's job, in a nutshell, is to repair damaged cells, replenish neurotransmitters, restore our immune system and recharge us for the following day. Not getting the sleep you need prevents these absolutely imperative processes from taking place. This can ultimately leave you dazed, down, and uninspired- exactly the opposite of how we WANT and NEED to feel to have productive days.

Do yourself a favor and go to bed early tonight!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

T -8 days

'Till Costa Rica!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Why is it that Sundays always have the absolute BEST weather of the entire week?
Today was gorgeous, warm, and (gasp) actually felt like Spring! I even shaved my legs this morning and didn't have to wear tights for the first time in 6 months!

After church we decided to take advantage of the weather and enjoy the great outdoors! We grilled hamburgers for lunch, went on a drive to look at homes we can't afford(yes, we are in the market for a house), and took a nice stroll along windy, Lake Michigan.
What a great day!

An example of the fine people of Milwaukee! Yes folks, that is a white top-hat with sequence around it. Quite the get up for a play date at the park with her daughter!

**Joel also gave a great talk today and was released from his 3 year tenure as YM President**

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stop The Insanity!!

I snapped this pic on my way home from work today- can you believe it- $3.69 for a gallon of gas!?!

It's ridiculous that $3/gallon seems CHEAP at this point! Its all relative.
When I got my license, gas was $1.09/gallon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

4 Months

It has been 4 months today since we found out we lost our little O'Neill. Although the loss was the HARDEST trial I have encountered thusfar, I have learned so many things that have shaped me into a more appreciative, loving, and grateful woman.

I would like to share a few:
1. Life is truly a gift. Never, ever take it for granted.
2. Parenthood is a sacred responsibility and opportunity to experience Heaven on earth. (No, I'm not naive. I know some days are hell on earth too!)
3. Although OUR time table did not coincide with the His, I know Heavenly Father knows what's best for our family and I have more faith in Him and His plan for us.

Fitness Friday

There is a common misconception in the world of strength training for women-- it is assumed that if women strength train, they will get "bulky", and what woman wants to be considered "bulky"? This idea is so far from the truth! In fact, I cannot think of one reason why you should NOT strength train.

Here are 10 reasons why strength training is an imperative component in your fitness routine:

1. You'll Lose More Fat Than You'll Gain in Muscle. Research shows that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for eight weeks gains 1.75 pounds of lean weight or muscle and loses 3.5 pounds of fat. Unlike men, women typically don't gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up.

2. Your New Muscle Will Help Fight Obesity. As you add muscle from strength training, your resting metabolism will increase, so you'll burn more calories all day long. For each pound of muscle you gain, you'll burn 35 to 50 more calories daily. So, for example, if you gain three pounds of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you'll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3,600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10 to 12 pounds in one year!

3. You'll Be a Stronger Woman. Studies indicate that moderate weight training increases a woman's strength by 30 to 50 percent. Extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities, such as lifting children or groceries. Most strength differences between men and women can be explained by differences in body size and fat mass; pound for pound, women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

4. Your Bones Will Benefit. By the time you leave high school, you have established all the bone mineral density you'll ever have--unless you strength train. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. So strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.

5. You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

6. You Will Fight Heart Disease. Strength training will improve your cholesterol profile and blood pressure, according to recent research. Of course, your exercise program should also include cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training.

7. You Will Be Able to Beat Back Pain and Fight Arthritis. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.

8. You'll Be a Better Athlete. Strength training improves athletic ability. Golfers, for example, significantly increase their driving power. Whatever your sport of choice, strength training may not only improve your proficiency but also decrease your risk of injury.

9. It Will Work No Matter How Old You Are. Studies have shown that numerous women in their 70s and 80s who strength train show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10. You’ll Strengthen Your Mental Health. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program.

So ladies, go get those 5-10lb dumbbells and get busy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Who watches The Biggest Loser?
Last night was the finale--what an accomplishment for Ali. If you don't know what I am talking about, see here.

So, for those of you out there who think, "There is no way I could do that" think again! This show proves that "the impossible" can become "the possible" with sustained, consistent effort!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I am an emotionally-charged person, but don't get mushy that often.
Tonite was different.
Love is so simple, yet so complex.
Have you ever looked at your spouse and fallen in love all over again?
I just did.
Love is good!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Have you had a MAXX Moment lately?

Today is a good day!

- the sun is shining
- my car was HOT when I got into it
- I found these at TJ MAXX for a measly $24.99!!

I am not a name-brand junkie, but who could resist? Marc Jacobs sunglasses for $25?! Yes please. Plus, I need them for Costa Rica!

Guilty Pleasure

Jon and Kate plus 8

Tell me you like it too! I dont know how they do it!
Check this site out to see a preview...
Click here

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fitness Friday

This weeks post is short and sweet!

I love the philosophy behind this book:

Check out this website and let me know what you think!

So much for Global Warming...

I was talking with my good friend Lindsey today...we totally don't agree that Global Warming is a problem... she lives in NYC and I live in Milwaukee- we are in the middle of April and its freaking 40 degrees and dreary!!

Here's a funny pic that Joel took last summer in Vermont. We were just walking the streets in Burlington and this is what we saw:

Yep, those are naked bicyclists you see- quite hilarious!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Last weekend my mom flew my SIL Heather, niece Berkleigh, Grammy, lil' sis Makenna, herself, and me to AZ for a girls get-a-way weekend. My brother Ryan, his wife Angelica, and their daughter Layla live in AZ, so we thought we would get out of our cold climates and go South for some SUN! We decided this is a new tradition in our family!
It was soo nice to soak up the sun and spend time with the ladies. Unfortunately, my niece Layla wound up so sick Friday night that she had to go the ER and was sick all weekend- so that put a damper on some of our plans. It didn't matter though- the company was great and the weather was to die for!! Early morning runs, all day at the pool, girl-talk, and conference- it cant get much better than that.
Only regret: not enough pictures. I bought my nieces and sister adorable coordinating outfits, but didnt get ANY pics cause Layla would have spewed all over them! Poor girl...

Little sis Makenna w/ adorable niece Layla

Niece Berkleigh...couldn't you just eat her up?

I am a horrible wife...

Why you ask? Every Monday and Thursday night Joel and I go workout together- you know, to better ourselves while spending time together too. But, tonight I fell asleep on the couch and he woke me up to go- refer to previous post #5- and half asleep said I wasn't going. Being the good husband he is, he said okay and walked out the door without question. Minor you say, right? But now that I am awake I feel completely guilty, and mind you lazy, that personal trainer wife sent dedicated hubby to the gym by himself. This isn't the first time. At times like this I am reminded how imperfect and weak I am! BLAH!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Check this out!

I know you all wish you could look this good in the pumps-- gotta love 'em!


My cousin Kristen tagged me to write some random facts about me...I am a pretty open person, so some of you may know these, but here goes nothin'!

1. I hate playing games. Growing up I played my fair share, especially at Bear Lake with friends and cousins, and always sucked at most of them. Phase 10, rook, speed, scattegories- you name it, I always lost or was eliminated first. Now that I am older and wiser, I just avoid them. Luckily Joel is not much of a gamer either, so we're a good match.

2. I have really ugly feet, just ask my husband. He calls them Bruce Hatch feet(named after my Pops). I have already had bunion surgery and they are just pretty gnarly looking. I like to think its because I am so active and hard on my feet, but I think I just got some bad genetics. Next time you see me, I'll let you be the judge!

3. I'm a frady-cat and hate being home alone at night. When Joel is gone overnight for work trips or on scout campouts, I turn of my bedroom light and run and jump in bed. You know, so the bad guy who's hiding under my bed can't grab my feet! I know I am a total dork, but I have always had some sort of complex and been paranoid since I was little. I better "grow" out of that before I have kids!

4. I rarely wash my hair. Yes, I confess I wash it 2, maybe 3 times a week. Gross is what you're thinking, right? Well, I have naturally curly, thick hair that tends to be on the dry side. With my job, I can take up to 3 showers a day and if I wash my hair, that adds a good 30-40 minutes on to my getting ready time because it takes forever to dry and then straighten. Its all about efficiency!

5. No one better interrupt my sleep time! I get so grouchy if I am awakened from a nap or even if I fall asleep on the couch at night and Joel (being nice) tries to get me to go to bed. If I fall asleep on the lovesac or couch, leave me alone! Joel has learned (from experience) and would rather sleep alone than face the wrath of sleepy Whitney.

6. If I am hungry, I am hungry and nothing gets in my way. I always have to have a snack in my car and purse just in case. I tend to be a grazer, so if I miss a mini-meal or snack, watch out!