Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

This holiday season hasn’t been easy for me. I struggled to get the tree up, and while it was beautiful and I loved it, it still didn’t feel like Christmas yet.

I kept waiting for it to start feeling like Christmas. Saturday am, Christmas Eve, I got up and went for a run. I went 4.5ish miles with a friend, then finished up 7.5  miles on my own.

12 miles = very sleepy afternoon. I sat around with Austin watching tv and waiting for A Christmas Story to come on.

The true is, I was waiting for the evening. Christmas Eve is probably my favorite part of Christmas. It is full of tradition and family.

Saturday night we went to church for service. The service was great but the end is the best. Everyone lights a candle and we all sing silent night. **insert chills here**

I ran home and made a breakfast casserole while mom and dad finished up at the 2nd service at church.


Then my 2nd favorite part of Christmas eve began. The Waffle House.


This tradition has been going on for 16 years. It started in GA, where we would spend a good few hours opening up gifts then our adopted grandparents (all the grandparents lived in MD ) would come over and we would go to WH for breakfast.

When we moved to MD, we would open gifts and then head to my grandparents house so there wasn’t time for a WH stop, so we started going after church on Christmas eve. Along the years others have joined us in our tradition. The past few years our music minister at church, Chip, and his wife, Marcie have joined us.

The time is full of food, fun and laughs. Always guaranteed to laugh, a lot.


This year, since Christmas was on Sunday we decided we would open all of our family presents on Christmas eve. So we came home and exchanged gifts.


Dad handing out presents.


I got a lot of running related gifts Open-mouthed smile. A cute new bag and my brother gave me new perfume. Then we went to bed for the big day.


My mom got a trip to go drive a racecar from my dad. Her reaction was HILARIOUS!! Hoping I can get the video edited and up here soon.

On Friday night, Austin and I made some homemade eggnog, it was pretty good, even Kobi liked it.


Sunday am, we  got up and had blueberry french toast casserole and then headed to church.

After church we went to Rockville to do the rounds at my grandparents house .

Christmas at my mom’s parents house first with lots of yummy cookies and carrot cake. IMG_1281IMG_1282IMG_1284IMG_1289

Then over to my dad’s parent’s house for dinner and then more presents. This time is probably the most funny part of all of Christmas. It seems that there is always jokes being cracked, typically because my granddaddy got yet ANOTHER damn shirt.


Also, my uncle Mickey is just hilarious and gets some pretty great presents.

Like this year, my brother the DIE HARD Steelers fan got this shirt.


to pour salt into the wound, he got 2! Because my uncle bought one in orange first, then realized it was the wrong color and got it in yellow too. It was hilarious!

What was even more funny, was everyone else got Jesus Loves [Insert their team]


I got the complete Harry Potter series! Which is what I plan to do today! IMG_20111225_201749

We came home and all of the neighborhood kids that are Austin's age came over for a little party. So fun, but man I felt old. I used to babysit most of them!

It ended up being a great Christmas! Even if it didn’t feel like Christmas until the very end!  Looking forward to the last week of 2011 but even more to 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2 more sleeps

I do my countdowns typically in sleeps. It is easier that way. I started it for the kids I babysat, and never stopped. Today is Wednesday, I am going home for Christmas on Friday. 2 more sleeps til I go home for Christmas! I can't wait.

It is slowly starting to feel a little more christmasy for me. All of my presents are bought and hopefully arrive on time.

I can't wait to watch A Christmas Story with my dad. The movie is stupid, but my dad watching it is the best. The man cries laughing at half of it. Fra-ra-ra-ra-rah Ra-ra-ra-rah! You should watch it with us, its funnier  that way!

In other news, not having school means I get bored. But not bored enough to deal with my reader. I am VERY weird and I hate having an unread count. My email in box always says 0.
So that 639 is giving me anxiety. I don't read everything that I subscribe to, but after a weekend at home being pretty unplugged, the number is too big to think about dealing with.
I will probably mark all as read and start over :-D (yes I am odd)

Last weekend I ran 10.5 miles. It was a great run. Running 10 miles during my last half marathon training was NEVER easy. (I also beat the time of my 10miler race) It was easy until about 9 miles. I ran 9 miles like it was no big deal. Who am I?

I also went out to lunch with my bff Richie and the "merry widows" for his birthday. I ran into so many people I haven't seen in such a long time. It made me very happy, and made me miss Frederick a little. (not enough to move back though!)

I got a new phone. It rocks! I can take screen shots (like above), I can take pictures of things quickly. My phone holds a charge and actually works. It is amazing! I love it.

Getting excited for Christmas, but really just excited to go home to my family. I love them

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Will Run for Chocolate…

Maybe never again.

I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k because it sounded fun. 9.3 miles with fondue at the finish? No brainer.

So. I sign up with no real information about the race. I didn’t know the course. I wasn’t sure the logistics, but whatever.

So as it gets closer I get about 40 emails about getting a parking registration and carpool. UM…what? I wasn’t planning on running this with people…

So I reach out to a friend to carpool with her. whatever.

Fast forward to race week. I feel sick all week. I run 1 run. I don’t even know how long it was because my watch died and I was pushing the girls in the stroller.

Went Wed. night to pick up my bib, and traffic getting there was nuts. (red flag number 1) but I just figured it was rush hour in DC and whatever.

So Saturday am, we make plans to get picked up at 6:15 (Meredith is running it with me now because our friend got hurt and couldn’t run it.)

We get to the highway and its break light city. We have to go 3-4 miles, literally across a bridge and 1 exit. We sit, and sit, and sit. The race starts at 8am. At 7:45 we are not even off the highway and we still have to go to the satellite parking lot and catch a shuttle to the start.

We did hear they were delaying the start so that was good.

So we eventually get to the start, through a series of bad directions and a little bit of wandering.

We just jumped the barriers and just got in a corral. I was corral O and I think I started around C. This ended up really being a good thing for me I think.

So the race starts. The course is NARROW. Like one car lane for 20,000 people.  The course sucked. It was crowded and mostly out and backs. The first 2 miles went down a 3 lane highway, 1 lane runners out, 1 lane runners back and 1 lane TRAFFIC. I heard someone got hit by a car! SO NOT SAFE, and horrible breathing those fumes!  Another out and back on this gravel construction site.  Then running along the river on a skinny little trail.

Then there were the hills. LOTS of hills. The last half mile or so was up a pretty steep hill. I was trying so hard to go fast, and I felt like a hamster on a wheel. I was running hard but going NO WHERE.

There were very few spectators or people cheering. I get that, they probably couldn’t get to the race!

It was very boring and of course I picked this race to give up running with music!


However, crappy race details aside, I ran the race of my life! I ran the first 3 miles sub 10 min miles!

I walked one water stop only because I got caught in the middle of everyone who just stopped to get water, and I struggled to get out of the jam. The rest of the race was me just going, thinking about how I was going to get some chocolate at the end (WHAT A FAT!)

I finished the race and felt good. I would have felt great if I didn’t have to fight that hill at the end!

I found Meredith and Bo and we went to get our chocolate. We get apples, banana, pretzel and rice krispy treats to dip in melted Ghirardelli chocolate! SO GOOD.

The weather was COLD, and so the the hot chocolate at the end was perfect and tasted amazing too!

The race officials sent out an email apologizing for such a logistical nightmare of a race.

As frustrating as it was, I had a great run, so I can’t hate it too much. I just won’t run it again, unless there are significant changes. 

Hot Chocolate 15k

Look at that pace! I give my running coach Kelly lots of that credit!! I am getting excited to see what my half brings!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life Update

School consumed my life in November. But it is over. I officially finished my second semester with 1 A and 1 B. The B was in my finance class and that class challenged me from the start. I get 2 months off! I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy, running, and reading books that aren’t textbooks so far!

I went to New Jersey with the roommates (I will always call them the roommates, even though none of us live together anymore) We took my little car on its first road trip! Armed with Justin Bieber’s Christmas album we headed to Jersey to celebrate Carol’s birthday. After a few drinks at the bar, we may have played on the greatest playground I have ever seen at midnight.


Saturday we got up and went to the city and then had a party! I remade Carol’s wedding cake in cupcake form.

Thanksgiving was awesome. Mom had to work, so we had dinner in Frederick. I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal. Beer can turkey, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, beans, carrots, rolls and desserts! So good. Then we played apples to apples.


Before I finished up the cooking, I went out for my own personal turkey trot 5k. I have slowly noticed my pace getting faster, but since I ran 5 miles on Wed. I decided to just run a quick 5k. Well, my legs just went, I was running fast and it was easy. I noticed at 2 miles that I had run both miles sub 10 min miles! I decided I was going to make this 5k a sub 10 min mile 5k! I pushed hard at the end and PRed my 5k time by about 2 mins! My pace never went over 10 min miles! So exciting!  (foreshadowing for an upcoming race maybe?!…) Wait and see.

Lastly, I have been struggling to find my Christmas spirit. I have this nagging feeling that this year is going to be hard for me. While I am staying positive about it, I still worry. (but I worried about my birthday and it was perfect!)

I decided I could fit my tree in my room here, so I would put it up. But then I never talked myself into doing it. I wanted to, but it made me sad. Meredith said that we would all do it as a family. So today my favorite toddlers pitter pattered up my stairs and helped me decorate my tree. They did a great job and there were no ornament casualties. Open-mouthed smile 


Helping Evelyn put on the elephant


Helping Sylvia put on the fishyDSC_1046


Decorating the tree together Open-mouthed smile


Me and my girls


The toddler clump


About 5 ornaments on 1 branch <3 it!



We hung my stocking downstairs with everyone else’s


Some new favorite ornaments!



After I balanced out the bottom Open-mouthed smile


It is beginning to look a bit like Christmas, and it may even be beginning to feel like it too Open-mouthed smile