blogger award, liebster, thefirst2hours

The Liebster Blogging Award

last week i was honored with a bit of bloggers’ recognition.  thank you to everyone who reads my blog, and to lisa, “the fitster”, for the nomination!

in rambling on about my adventures and my enthusiasm for living an active life, i can only hope that someone, somewhere will read one of my posts regarding fitness and feel encouraged to get out the door and move their body.  i hope that at least once, someone has read one of my posts while sitting at their computer at work, and laughed at loud.  i hope that someone seeking help and guidance about getting healthy, has read my blog and made a decision to change their habits, and their life.

through this nomination, i feel i’ve received a bit of confirmation that my hopes are being fulfilled, and i am thrilled.

blogger award, liebster, while the Liebster award is a far cry from the Writer’s Guild, it sure does feels good.

“liebster” as a word, has german origins, with several defintions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend

all of those words are feel-good words, and i feel great about this nomination. the Liebster award is a nomination that is given from bloggers, to bloggers.  it is a blogger’s way of guiding their followers to other good content and writers that often times focus on the same topic.

in this case, i have been nominated by “thefitster” of My Fitster Life. – fellow fitness blogger, bright, encouraging, and happy fitster. she spreads the good word on health with her posts regarding exercise routines, workout clothing, inspiration, recipes and more; and i am honored to receive her nomination. thanks very much lisa!


and now, as all Liebster award winners do, i will answer a set of questions she has given me to consider:


what is the meaning behind your blog name?

thefirst2hours, are the favorite two hours of my days.  i love stepping outside before the sun rises, and being surrounded by silence.  those moments of solitude are the most beautiful moments i know, and they are precious to my being.

thefirst2hours are also the most important two hours of my days.  life in this day and age is busy, and it has become far too easy to compromise our health for all of our obligations.  but ultimately, it is our decision to make. it is within those first2hours, that i vow to always make myself a priority. i will wake up early, get outside, raise my heart rate, see the world, and not waste those precious moments.  i choose to make my health a priority.


what is one thing you miss from your childhood?

to answer this question, i want to paint a scene for consideration…

imagine placing 30 random children on a beautiful ocean side beach.  there is nothing there, except for the sand and the water.  almost immediately, all of those kids would start jumping in the ocean, building sand castles, searching for seashells, burying themselves in the sand, jumping over waves.  they would be laughing and running.  they would be having the time of their lives and you wouldn’t even know that they were strangers just moments before.

now imagine placing 30 random adults on that same beautiful ocean side beach.  what would that look like? some of the adults might get in the water.  but i imagine that most of them would choose to lay on their backs and sun bathe.  some would start up conversations, but many would not.  i imagine there would be an almost immediate divide amongst the strangers.  they would be bored, uncomfortable, and eager to get off of that beautiful beach with those strangers.

it is the beauty of those children, and their carefree approach to life, that i miss most about childhood.  i aspire to always be the person who chooses to jump in the ocean, talk to strangers, and surrounds myself with others who are also “young at heart.”


coffee or tea?


vanessa fact: I have never in my life owned a coffee pot. i do drink coffee, but it is generally more of a social thing, or a special occasion thing.


pet peeve?

passive aggressiveness. i don’t know where this trait stems from in people, but i wish it would go away.


important part of your morning routine?

the most important part of my morning routine, is to step outside… immediately.

in the past, i would occasionally have a morning when i would wake up, get ready for my day, eat breakfast, start sending emails, feed the pups, and before i knew it, it was 11am and i hadn’t even stepped outside.  (i work from home so it is easy for that to happen).  that is an awful feeling.

now, the first thing i do in the morning, before i even brush my teeth, is throw on some layers, and step outside with my fur babies.  even if i am feeling tired and unmotivated to go work out, i step outside.  and i find that the second i get that first breath of fresh air, i am reenergized.  generally i hear the birds singing, look out over the empty 70 acres of land behind our house, and i turn back inside to find my runners so that i can head out for a morning work out.


favorite item of clothing?

my favorite clothing items, are my lulu threads. it’s a seriously expensive habit, but it is love. check out this hilarious lulu conversation that a friend recently sent me, with the note “this made me think of you.”  for what it is worth, i have never done this, but i couldn’t agree more.


lululemon, thefirst2hours, fitness attire,


if you could take a weekend trip somewhere, where would it be?

my dream weekend get away would be to a mountain destination. joe and i would jump in the truck with our hiking gear, our fishing gear, our puppies, our mountain bikes, and our camping gear. we would immediately drive into the mountains to breathe in the freshest of air. we would get lost in the forests each day, and enjoy campfires each night.

we would watch the sunrise while sitting on our patio looking out over the lake, bundled up in a plush blanket. i would have a cup of coffee in my hand (special occasion = coffee), my puppies laying at my side, and joe’s arms wrapped around me.

we would spend every hour of daylight on an adventure in the great outdoors, and remove ourselves from people, and civilization.

our days would end with us being sun-kissed, and covered in dirt.

we would be thrilled for a shower and an early bedtime due to our overdose of fun, and our extreme exhaustion.

we would sleep like babies, wake up, and repeat.

my dream weekend get away, will coincidentally be happening this weekend, thanks to a surprise by my awesome fiancé.  i can’t wait.


must have beauty product?

i had to sit and think a lot about this one.  those who know me, know that i am most comfortable in a pair of leggings, my running shoes, a tank top, and a baseball cap.  my beauty regimen is not extensive nor are my products specific.  but the first product that comes to mind, is sunscreen.  just like the next woman, i want to ward off wrinkles, but even more importantly, i want to ward off melanoma.  which i have had… twice.  so i am huge advocate for sun block.  lather it on, folks!

you can read my full story here: Melanoma Survivor Vanessa

on top of that, i have decided that rather than naming a specific beauty product, i would mention a few things that make me feel beautiful.  so here they are, in no particular order:  being fit (duh!), having a great career, my red hair, pointy toed flats, a smile from a stranger, turquoise jewelry, all things lululemon, my freckles, boots, the second glass of wine, a colorful scarf, intelligent conversation, and joe.


posts i have written that i am most proud of?

how to get fit and stay in shape

the bliss of being uncomfortable

an ode to women

fur babies and  a kleiner park run 

the glow of the national mall 

hill sprints and lulu rewards




last but not least, as a part of my Liebster award, it is my duty and honor to nominate another blogger for this award. i would like to spread the love and direct all of your attention to a blogger who i find myself eager to keep up with: NHRUNNER.


NHRunner: 2015, the year of the runner

as you may have guessed, NHRunner, runs, a lot.  in fact his goal is to run 2,015 miles in 2015.  as of last week when he last gave an update, he had completely 282 miles. i am consistently impressed with his dedication to his sport, his fitness, and his family.

before being plagued with bad knees i too was a serious runner. thankfully, i managed to knock the “run a full marathon” goal off of my bucket list earlier in life, because now it would be an impossibility. i still run often, but these days it is much less about the split times, and much more about the therapy.  but years ago, when i was able, i loved running those distances, and training on that level.  it is a whole new level of commitment that one cannot comprehend until they go through it themselves.  which is perhaps why i love following NHRunner.  i get to live vicariously through him on his long runs and his brutal training days.

if ever there were a person who could make us feel like our excuses are truly pitiful, it would be this man. read just one of his posts regarding his training schedule through the miserable winter and blizzards of new england, when his legs are sore, and he has to push a stroller with his daughter as well, and you will understand why.  if NHRunner can keep running through those conditions, i have no excuse to not stay active through mine.

any time i think about making an excuse to not go work out, i will force myself to re-read his blog, and get some perspective.

please check him out for yourself here:  NHRUNNER


NHRunner, it is your turn to answer the questions, and spread the Liebster love.


signature, thefirst2hours





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