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Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in Family Fun | 0 comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

thanksgiving

Sweater is old, similar here// Jeans (on sale) // Similar booties here  // Scarf (reversible, less than $30 and perfect for the holidays) // doormat (currently on sale)

On Tuesday night, Dave & I hosted a Friendsgiving party with 8 of our favorite friends. After our company left, I told Dave my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. That’s always a sign of a good party in my book. It was the perfect way to kick off our holiday week and I went to bed with a smile on my face, a full belly and a full heart.

On Wednesday morning I ran 6.5 miles, which was a run fueled by mulled wine, pumpkin spice donuts, sweet potato casserole and lots of Christmas tunes – that’s the way all holiday runs should be, in my opinion.

thanksgiving_run

Later that afternoon, Dave hung Christmas lights while I took Atlas on a playdate with one of my girlfriends and her daughter and then we rounded out the evening with a movie night at our neighbor’s house. We watched the Polar Express (Atlas’ favorite movie of all time), drank hot chocolate and popped popcorn. Pure holiday perfection.

I sure miss my family this holiday (we opted to avoid the holiday traffic and stay home rather than travel to Florida), but I feel so incredibly thankful to be surrounded by such sweet friends and of course, my sweet husband and babies.

family

I’m also so very thankful for each of you! I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving surrounded by your favorite people. Today I’m cooking a mini feast for my little family of 4 (6 if you count Ob & Marley) and we have plans to decorate our Christmas tree so I’m excited to continue in the festivities! 🙂

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine is my mom’s dressing. For sure. But broccoli casserole is a close second for me.

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Family Fun, Fashion, Trips | 0 comments

Family Trip to North Carolina, Part 2

Hello and happy Thursday to you! I’m coming at ya today with one more recap of our quick weekend getaway to Bear Lake Reserve in North Carolina.

How flippin’ gorgeous are these woods? GAH! I still can’t get over it. Autumn makes my heart sing.

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On Sunday morning we woke up, got dressed in our coziest fall clothes and headed out to explore the area around our cabin. We let Atlas & Andi Rose lead the way (and who am I kidding…they always lead the way and I have no real say so in the matter because Hello! I’m OUTNUMBERED). Dave & I followed them through the stunning leaf-covered trails, stopping several times to let them play in the leaves.

let_them_be_little

Both kids thought is was so hilarious when I showed them how to throw the leaves up in the air. They were cracking up and of course, when kids laugh you can’t help but just laugh with them. My children love stomping on anything from puddles to leaves, so they were in Heaven with so many leaves to stomp on.

Watching my kids run and play together that morning was refreshing for my soul. They had no toys and they were fully entertained by each other and nature. It was just one of those simple moments in life that I wanted to savor.

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burberry_baby

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But then it started to get hot and I was all, “Okay! I’m hot and now I’m over this so let’s go change into summer clothes before I freak the heck out because I’m starting to sweat.” #Reallife

*Rabbit trail: Does anybody else out there get super cranky when they get over-heated? When I’m out with the kids and I start to sweat the party is over (OV-AH). Obviously this isn’t the case if I’m outside in gym clothes prepared to play with them, but if we are out running errands or something & I start to feel unexpected sweat beads on my neck I go into crazy-mom-mode.

Anyways, since the chilly weather didn’t last too long we changed into t-shirts, loaded up the car and headed into Highlands for lunch. We ate outside since we had Ob & Marley with us and it ended up being super breezy so then we all got cold again. Fickle fall weather. After lunch we walked around Highlands for a quick minute, but Andi Rose was not having it and I started to get hot again (I think my body temperature was having a hard time regulating since I was fighting a cold) so we ended up piling back into the car and heading to Dry Falls for one last mini-adventure before driving home.

dry_falls

Dry Falls is such a cool attraction located just 10 minutes away from downtown Highlands. You can actually walk under the waterfall, which our kids thought was beyond cool. We let the kids play under the waterfall for a bit, but then Atlas had a meltdown because we wouldn’t let him ‘slide down the waterfall into the pool.’ I know – we are jerks (insert the eye-rolling emoji here). I tried to explain to him that you don’t ‘slide down waterfalls’ and that it didn’t land in a pool, but in a rapid-like-river. He wasn’t buying it. So, we took that as our queue to leave and made the drive back home (& Atlas fell asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car).

The drive home was even prettier than the drive up (we came home a different way) and if I wouldn’t have been on the verge of death by car-sickness I would have documented it.

And that sums up our weekend in North Carolina! If you want to plan a trip to the mountains on the East Coast, I can’t recommend Highlands/Cashiers/Bear Lake Reserve enough! Our little family loves the area so so much and we are already planning our next trip back. We have plans to hit up the mountains again in December, but this time I think our trip will take us to a different spot to do something extra special for Christmas! 🙂 I love traveling with these cuties…

my_world

And if you want outfit details, they are linked below. I’m drawn to neutrals so this sweater caught my eye and it has a criss cross detailing on the front that sealed the deal for me. It comes in a few colors and I want it in another color now. My only complaint is that I wish it was a smidge longer in the front (Spellcheck is telling me ‘smidge’ is not a word – pppsshhh… I am totally overriding that and making it a word right now).

autumn_vibes

My Sweater (currently on sale for less than $50, but the sale ends tonight)// White Jeans // Similar Scarf  (mine is old and I can’t remember for the life of me where I got it) // Similar Booties (mine are old)

On Andi Rose: Pink Dress is Burberry via E-bay // Coat // Plaid Dress is by Gap, but I can’t find it online so I’m linking a similar one here

On Atlas: Long Sleeve Polo by the Bailey Boys // Scarf  (Um, on Nordi’s website they have this listed as a girl’s snood. I totally picked this out for my son. And I assumed Andi Rose could wear it too…and I also have worn it because it fits me. Dave would die if he knew I put our son in a girl’s snood though. I’m giggling as I type this.)// Similar Plaid Shirt

And now to pack up for our trip to Savannah! 2 more days until race day! We’ve officially entered my favorite part of half marathon training: carb loading. Eating a cupcake as I type this…

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Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Family Fun, Trips | 0 comments

Family Trip to North Carolina, Part 1

Hello, hello! Both my children slept past 9am this morning. Apparently Halloween really exhausted them. I’m not sure why Atlas was tired. He only went to 5 houses before deciding he had enough candy (#weak). Did anybody else’s kids crash hard after trick or treating?

Today I’m sharing some photos from our weekend getaway to North Carolina!

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I’m going to break this recap up into 2 posts, so tune back in tomorrow if you want to see the pictures from day 2 of our trip! 🙂

Last Friday, we loaded up the car (this process took no less than 2 hours) and made the short drive over to the mountains of North Carolina to stay at an adorable cottage located inside the Bear Lake Reserve. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Before having kids, Dave & I could pack up all we needed for a weekend trip in 2 duffle bags, maybe 3 if I wanted to bring some extra shoes. But now? It doesn’t matter if we are only away from home for 48 hours – we pack like we are the Israelites making a mass exodus out of Egypt carrying ALL our belongings. I don’t even understand how we bring SO much stuff, but oh my gosh – you should have seen our car. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Anyways, our drive over was gorgeous and once we got into the mountains I couldn’t stop freaking out over the fall foliage and how bright and vibrant all the leaves were. It was seriously like something from a story book and I SO wish I would have taken some photos to document the drive, but I was so freaking car sick. Those mountain roads kill me. By the time we arrived to our cottage, I’m pretty sure I was a light shade of green. But, if you ever get the chance to visit North Carolina in the fall, DO IT! Do it just for the leaves. But if you get carsick, then pack you some dramamine.

bear_lake_reserve_collage

Dave & I have been to North Carolina a handful of times together and every time we go, we fall in love with the area a little bit more. We love the town of Highlands and typically stay in Highlands or Cashiers, which is another adorable mountain town located about 25 minutes away from downtown Highlands. This time our trip took us a little farther away from where we are used to staying though and we were in a super remote area called Bear Lake Reserve.

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The property has a resort feel, with 2 beautiful swimming pools, a giant lake, a 9 hole golf course and several hiking trails. We absolutely loved our time at Bear Lake Reserve and while we enjoyed the fact that it felt so isolated (it made it easier to relax), we also kind of wished we were closer to Highlands (it was about a 45 minute drive to downtown Highlands, which is where we like to eat/shop).

On Friday night we stayed on property and ate dinner at the restaurant located in the clubhouse and the food was good – not great – but good. The views from the clubhouse were beautiful (pictured above).

dinner_dates

We (*ahem* Dave) had to assemble a portable crib for Andi Rose (the child will not sleep in a pack n play) so that was our Friday night activity. We were all pretty tired so we headed to bed shortly after Andi Rose and woke up on Saturday morning ready for a fun-filled day!

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After making a quick breakfast, we leashed up the dogs and grabbed the kids and headed out for a family hike on one of the trails in the community.

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We got a hiking back-pack for Andi Rose to ride in and that was a great decision since we couldn’t have managed the hike with the stroller.

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I anticipate using that back-pack an awful lot this fall. She started to fuss about halfway through the hike (when Dave & I switched and he wore her for a little while), but we came prepared with a lollipop so that quieted her right down.

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Our hike wasn’t a long one, but since Atlas was walking we knew we couldn’t push his little legs too far. I think we covered right under 2 miles? I was seriously impressed that Atlas hiked that far, especially since a good portion of the hike was uphill. He was exhausted when we finished, but he rallied after lunch and headed back out to golf with Dave while I stayed behind to let Andi Rose nap.

mountain_golf

When I asked Atlas what his favorite part of the trip was on our ride home Sunday he said, “Mountain golf.” Dave said he had a blast out there.

By the time the boys made it back, we were all pretty hungry so we headed into Cashiers for an amazing dinner at a cute little restaurant called the Orchard. Our food was so good and if you’re ever in the area I highly recommend checking it out. Andi Rose was way too tired though, so she was the party pooper that caused us to rush through our meal and hurry back home to put her in bed. Dave didn’t mind rushing though since he wanted to get home anyways and watch the FSU game.

With Andi Rose in bed, Atlas, Dave & I lit a little fire in our cottage and curled up to watch the game together. It was a great ending to our 2nd and last night in the mountains! 🙂

Tune in tomorrow for pictures from our final day in the mountains! Also, we took a lot of videos during this trip in hopes of putting together a vlog of our getaway. I make no promises on this, but I’m hoping I can pull it off, despite my technical deficiencies. I’m hoping to try and put that together in the next week or 2. We shall see…

 

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Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Family Fun, Running | 0 comments

Happy Halloween + It’s Our Race Week!

Hola, Party People! I missed you guys yesterday, but I was (am?) in catch-up mode from being out of town over the weekend (read: I’m drowning in laundry). We had such a fun time in the mountains of North Carolina and I’m so excited to share a recap and a bunch of photos with you, most likely tomorrow! I think I said, “This place is so magical” 36 times while we were there. The fall foliage was unreal.

Tonight, I’m just popping in to give you a quick life update and share a few Halloween pictures (indulge me, please).

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police_car

Andi Rose was a dog and Atlas was a police car. Not a police man. A police car. When he picked out his costume, I asked him if he wanted a police costume to wear with the car (he was very adamant that he wanted to be an actual vehicle) and he said, “No, I’m fine.” I pressed the issue and said, “What will you wear under the police car if you don’t wear a police uniform?” He said, “Mom! I’m not a police man in a police car. I’m Atlas in a police car.” I was like, “Oh, okay. So you’re a criminal. Because if you’re in the police car and you’re not the police man then you’re most likely under arrest.” He was cool with that so I just saved the $50 on the police uniform and let the kid’s dream come true.

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halloween

Andi Rose was the cutest dog I’ve ever seen (don’t tell Marley & Ob I said that) and I swear at least 5 people stopped to take her picture. She growled at everybody, so she was obviously really into her costume.

Little Life Update

I’m actually typing this up while sipping some warm tea and directly across from me is about 5 pounds of Halloween candy that isn’t calling my name.

When I can look deep into the wrapper of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and feel nothing on the inside, that can only mean one thing. I am ill.

Over the weekend I wasn’t feeling so hot and I chalked it up to the fact that I got a flu shot last week. Every year I get the flu shot and every year I say I’m never getting it again because it makes me feel so crappy. Does anybody else ever feel ‘flu-ish’ after they get the flu shot or is this just me and a weird coincidence?

Anyways, the fact that I’m still not feeling super great today has me thinking I’m fighting a real cold. Andi Rose is down with a cold right now. Well, not actually down. Nothing gets her down. She’s a champ. Her nose is running, but so is she. She never.stops.moving.

Our half marathon is this Saturday so I’m feeling a little panicky about the whole thing, but I keep telling myself that this is not a big deal. I repeat: THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL! But it does feel like a bit of a bummer.

So, this is where I’m at with all of it…

I skipped my long run over the weekend and just enjoyed the rest and time with my little family. That was a good decision. I needed the rest – physically and mentally. No matter what happens on race day, I won’t regret skipping that last long run because the time spent with my husband and kids in the mountains was so much more rewarding.

I skipped my 5 mile run today and I’m on the fence with whether or not that was a good decision. I have such a ‘power through’ personality, but sometimes I think that gets me into trouble because I push it too hard when I should rest. So today, I rested again…but I’m feeling kind of ‘blah’ about that now. I may run tomorrow, but I’m stressing over what my body needs. Does it need to run in preparation for Saturday or does it need total rest to fight this cold bug off? So hard to tell…

I don’t feel full blown sick, but I don’t feel well either. I’m feeling super fatigued, my throat is a bit scratchy and I’m a little achy. I feel like I’m on the verge of getting sick, but I’m not actually sick yet. Does that make sense? Like, I’m still functioning fine. I probably could have ran today – but I just feel ‘off’ so I didn’t.

Today is November 1st and I think this week is the absolute best time to start practicing gratitude. (Gratitude is something I must practice, because it truly doesn’t come natural to me during times of frustration.) So, whether or not I get to lace up my running shoes this week, I’m determined to practice thankfulness. Today I thought a lot about how lucky I am that I made it through 7 weeks of training without getting sick (that’s a record for us since we moved to Georgia). I thought about how blessed I am to have a husband who surprised me by signing me up for a race. I thanked God that He’s blessed me with the health needed to birth 2 children and the endurance to keep up with them. If I get sick and I can’t run this race and that’s the worst thing that happens to me this holiday season, then I’m doing alright. There will be other races and other things to look forward to.

I’m still praying that come race day I feel fabulous and ready to rock my run, but more than anything – at this point – I’m just praying that God gives me the grace to respond appropriately should I go down with a full-blown cold and have to sit this race out. I’m still hopeful, but I’m also trying to prepare myself for the reality that I may end up being down for the count.

Finishing this race has been high on my priority list for the last 8 weeks, but finishing this week out with a good attitude, regardless of whether or not I get to cross the finish line of my half marathon, is now proving to be more important…and more challenging.

So, that’s where I’m at. I would appreciate all the prayers and good vibes you guys got! 🙂 Either way, we are heading to Savannah this weekend so at the very least I hope I feel good enough to chow down on some deep fried southern food.

Oh, and it is November 1st so that means it is officially time to bust out all the Christmas music and play it loud and proud! (We’ve been listening to Christmas music for a while now, but I can officially turn it UP and not worry about our neighbors thinking I’m crazy because ’tis the season!) And no matter what happens this week – there are now Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel! THIS is what we’ve been practicing for, people! GAME FACES ON! The HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!! Doesn’t that just make you want to smile?! 🙂

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Family Fun, Girly Things, Sprinkles | 5 comments

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! As soon as I hit publish on this post, I’m throwing a few more things in my suitcase (because I wouldn’t want to get the reputation of being a light packer) and running a few quick errands before heading out of town.

On Monday afternoon I walked into our office during nap time to do some work on my computer and I found a note that said, “Pack your bags for an adventure! We are going to the mountains of North Carolina to be leaf lookers this weekend!”

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I’m glad my husband knows me well enough to know that I need 5 days to pack for a 2 day trip. I knew we had plans to make a day trip to the mountains this weekend, but I was completely surprised to learn that Dave had secretly rented us a mountain cabin for the entire weekend. To say that I’m thrilled for a weekend away with my little family is a huge understatement. We’ve got our plaid shirts, lots of books and our hiking clothes packed! I also grabbed a few new movies in hopes of having a special movie night with Atlas after Andi Rose goes to bed at night. That sweet surprise from my man was – without a doubt – my favorite thing from the week!

But, before I check out for the weekend I wanted to share a few other things that I’m loving lately!

Olly Undeniable Beauty Gummies 

olly

After I briefly mentioned purchasing these Olly Undeniable Beauty gummies in a previous post I had several people reach out and ask me if I would write a review on them. I figured I could share my opinions on the gummies now, since I just finished my second container of them (I’ve been taking them for 2 months). Here’s my personal thoughts on them:

  • Hair: I’ve noticed that my hair does seem to be growing faster and I think my eyelashes are actually a little longer too, although that could be because of the neulash that I use. My hair feels healthier than normal, and while that could be related to a few different factors, I’m still chalking these up to a win in that department.
  • Skin: I didn’t see any difference in my skin. If anything, the last month my face has had significantly more breakouts than usual (whoever said your face won’t breakout when you’re an adult is a LIAR!). I actually started to wonder if these gummies were the cause of my face breaking out (because of the borage oil in them?), but I liked the results I was seeing in my hair so I just kept on taking them. I sort of doubt the gummies were to blame for all my breakouts – it’s been a stressful few weeks around here so that normally jacks up my face. But, I’m still calling shenanigans on this product helping the skin.
  • Nails: I did see an improvement in my nails…but then I went and got a gel manicure. That weakened my nails some, but now they are getting stronger again and growing super fast, which I actually find annoying because I don’t like having long nails (I’m paranoid about scratching my babies). So, giving these a thumbs up in the nail strengthening category!

Will I buy them again? Probably.

Dyson Animal Cord Free Vacuum

dyson

I don’t even care if you judge me for this one, but I love this thing so much I want to shout it from the rooftops! Oh.Em.Gee! You guys, I vacuum every.single.day. I mean, I don’t vacuum the entire house every single day, but I have to vacuum something up every single day (compliments of my children and dogs). Usually it is a mess from Andi Rose. (Her new thing is that she likes getting in our spice cabinet and opening the spice lids when I’m not looking and pouring them on the floor. It’s real cute.) Anyways, I loved our old vacuum, but getting it out and plugging in the cord was kind of a pain (first world problems), especially since I wasn’t always vacuuming a big spot – I was just sucking up the lemon pepper Andi Rose poured out. But then this cord free vacuum came into my life and the heavens parted and the angels sang. This thing is the jam for cleaning up quick messes or vacuuming stairs. And it is powerful! So powerful, in fact, that I usually use it over our bigger vacuum to vacuum the whole house when I do decide to do that big job (which is about 2 or 3 times a week if you’re wondering).

Elm Music

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I’ve been listening to this album a lot throughout this week and it is encouraging, convicting and challenging my heart. Brittany, the girl who wrote the album, is actually a personal friend of mine and she is truly remarkable. Just over a year ago, Brittany tragically and unexpectedly lost her husband. He passed away at 30 years old and left behind Brittany and their 3 boys, ages 3 and under (their youngest son and Andi Rose actually share a birthday). When I try and put myself in Brittany’s shoes, I just can’t help but think I would come apart at the seams. I don’t know how I would function if I lost Dave tomorrow. But Brittany is walking through this unimaginable pain with such grace, strength and faith that she is inspiring all those who know her, and even those who don’t personally know her. Brittany wrote this album with her brother over the course of this last year and the songs are nothing short of powerful – especially when you know that they have all been written from the valley of the shadow of death. If you want to be encouraged, I recommend downloading the album! Brittany is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and I know you’ll be blessed by the lyrics to her songs.

And that’s a wrap for this week, friends! I hope you have a lovely weekend! 🙂

P.S. I have some new favorites in the make-up department, but I wasn’t sure if I burned you guys out recently talking about make-up? It would be super helpful if you enjoy reading this blog if you could take a quick minute to leave a little comment or shoot me an e-mail letting me know what you would like to see more of on this page. 🙂

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Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Family Fun, Running | 0 comments

Half Marathon Training, Week 6 Recap + Weekend Fun

Hola! This weekend went by way too fast for me and I’m already wishing I could go back and re-live it. My mom drove up all the way from Florida to visit us and watch Atlas’ last soccer game.

mimi

Part of me is glad soccer is over and we get our Saturday mornings back, but part of me is really going to miss watching Atlas run around (albeit somewhat aimlessly) the soccer field holding Boo Boo the Bear.

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Atlas had fans travel from all over the place for his soccer games. My mother in law visited us from Pennsylvania and got to watch 2 of his games and my dad and stepmom also got to watch 1 of his games. He’s got a little fan club, no doubt about it. 😉

My mom graciously offered to babysit our munchkins on Saturday night so Dave & I could go out and we were so excited to have a date night! We met up with some friends from our small group at church and had a delicious dinner and we left saying, “Why do we not do this more?” Dave & I hardly ever step away from our kids, but when we do I feel like we just bond so much and return home feeling refreshed. We are hoping to make date night a more frequent thing moving forward! Also, I feel the need to wear white pants every time I get away from my children…because hello! Nobody is wiping pizza sauce on my pants. (& if you know me in real life and we are friends, then you know I do still wear white pants around my kids…because apparently I love living life on the edge.)

date_night

Sunday was spent doing some blog related things, dining out for a quick lunch (I got this greek salad and I can’t stop thinking about it because it was SO good), perusing Dick’s Sporting Goods (I’m loving the new Calia workout gear by Carrie Underwood), grocery shopping with Atlas (Dave stayed home with Andi Rose so I could have some one-on-one time with my boy) and cooking a healthy dinner (we need some healthy food back in our lives STAT).

Half Marathon Training, Week 6 Recap

And here is the recap of week 6 of my half marathon training….

  • Monday: 5 miles @ a 7:53 pace
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 11 miles @ an 8:08 pace
  • Thursday: 21 Day Fix Upper Body Workout + 10 minute abs
  • Friday: Rest (I say ‘rest’ – I cleaned our house while simultaneously chasing 2 kids around, which felt like a freakin’ workout)
  • Saturday: 10 x 400 sprints on the treadmill (I averaged around a 7:10 pace for the ‘sprints’ and I kept my recovery time super slow, but super short) + 1.5 mile cool down run (5.37 miles total)
  • Sunday: 21 Day Fix Dirty Thirty Workout

I had to do my long run on Wednesday because of Dave’s work schedule + Atlas’ last soccer game. Getting that long run knocked out mid week made for a super nice weekend!

Random Thought on Running

I give mad props to all the moms of young babies out there who train for marathons. I love running, but I also really love sleeping and trying to balance those 2 loves with 2 small children is hard and I’ve come to terms with the fact that while I have thoroughly enjoyed training for this race, I like having the option to sleep in on days when I need sleep. Having to run forces me up and out of bed and while some mornings that is such a blessing, there are other mornings where I’m like, “Dang, I wish I could sleep for another hour and just workout at home for 30 minutes later in the day.” I never regret waking up to run, but it sure is extra hard during this season of life.

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And once again, I feel like I could solve this problem if I just had a treadmill in my house. If I had a treadmill in my house, I’m pretty sure I would have already signed up for 2 more long distance races. First world problems, no?

Happy Monday, friends! Let’s hope today goes by as quick as a Saturday! I’m already looking forward to next weekend. Dave suggested we drive up to the mountains next weekend because he knows my love language. He said we can be leaf-lookers next weekend. He knows how much I love being a leaf-looker.* The question is do we give our kids lollipops or Benadryl to make the experience more enjoyable? Just kidding!

*A leaf-looker is a person who drives really slow to take in all the fall foliage. I assume most leaf lookers are over the age of 65, so I may not look the part, but you better believe I’ll have our family decked out in plaid shirts and puffer vests and I’ll most likely make us listen to Christmas music the whole time because changing leaves means the holidays are practically here! 😉

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