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A weekend of spoiling

I am ending this weekend feeling very, very loved!

It started with flowers on Friday for Military Spouse Appreciation Day – I think this is the first year Brian has remembered this day… 🙂 The flowers are beautiful but if you look closely, it looks like there is cabbage or something in the middle which made me laugh. B said it was called something like the Western Mountain Mix, so it is a good reminder of our time together at Malmstrom AFB in Montana ;).

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I also got my favorite types of gifts – the homemade preschool Mother’s Day gifts! Audrey made me a votive candle holder and Caroline made me a sweet little trinket box.

photo 2-3

On Saturday, something unusual happened: Brian and I each took one girl for the morning, so we got one-on-one time with them. Brian was volunteering at a rocket egg drop competition and since he & Audrey are space lovers/nerds ( 🙂 ), she went with him. Caroline and I spent the morning running errands, shopping at Target, making a Starbucks trip, and running around the playground.


This morning I started my day off with a 10.5 mile run (so hard, hilly, hot – ick! Good prep for Historic Half, hopefully), and then I came home to get ready for brunch with my ladies (and Brian) in Georgetown. After brunch, we walked around a little bit and visited Lululemon and Georgetown Cupcake, two of my favorite places. Lululemon was giving moms mini-Reisling bottles and dark chocolate. It’s like they knew I was coming – those are my two favorite things ever!

One thing that I have been working on since the New Year has been consuming less sugar. I guess it’s working because for the first time ever, I took a bite of my cupcake and couldn’t finish it. It was too sweet for me!

After we got home and napped, we whipped out the sprinkler! We had to practically drag them back inside – they loved it. I’m sure it will be out constantly from this point on.


It was a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, and my sweet little things were so loving and affectionate. I could not ask for more – they are the best gifts!


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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Fitness, Georgetown, Home, Kids, Lilly Pulitzer, military, Military Life, Montana, Ristorante Piccolo, Run, Running, Washington DC, Wine

Let your heart be light

That was the theme of our Christmas card this year, and it was full of such fun, light-hearted pictures from our family photo session this past fall. We tried to capture all of the silliness & love that occur in our family on a daily basis, and hopefully we were successful!


As almost everyone knows, Christmas has this ebb & flow tendency of being exciting when you are little, but then waning a little as you grow older. But once you have your own kids, it becomes the best thing ever again! Christmas with kids is way better than Christmas as a kid! Sorry, mom & dad – those Christmasses were fun, too, but there is just something so magical about seeing the joy and anticipation on your child’s face when they experience all of the traditions of the season.

We have discovered that Buddy the Elf and preschoolers share a life philosophy: the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Of course, in the case of preschoolers, it is singing the same line of the same song loudly and incorrectly, over & over & over… 🙂 We have done the requisite cookie baking, (though it was mostly them “helping” for 5-10 minutes and then getting bored and doing other things when there was no more dough to sneak), Elf on the Shelf, letters to Santa, letter postmarked back to us from the North Pole, Christmas crafts, personalized videos from Santa to the girls, Christmas movies, etc. Their favorite activity, though, was the Santa Train! They both love, love, love trains, and the Virginia Railway Express had a Santa Train weekend so it was a no-brainer. It involved hopping on train for a 40 minute ride with visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and carolers. The fact that there was snow on the ground just added to the fun of it!

Speaking of snow, the weather has been crazy the last few weeks! We went from this:

unnamedTo this (it was 70 degrees yesterday!):


I think the weather is supposed to be a little chillier on Christmas. Thank goodness because it felt weird to experience weather like Florida has in December! I am so, so, so excited, though, to spend the next few days with family, and hope everyone has a blessed holiday season and a wonderful 2014!

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Filed under Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Home

Gobble, gobble – Thanksgiving 2013

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We have been having a nice, relaxing time, and it will be hard to head back into work on Monday, even armed with the knowledge that there are only three weeks until the loooong holiday break!

I started off Thanksgiving morning like so many other people in the country – the requisite turkey trot! I ran in Alexandria’s 5-mile Turkey Trot. It was my first post-marathon, post-bronchitis race and I did not run a smart race at all. The cliffs notes version is that I went out way too fast for me (8 min/mile pace for the first 2 miles – that average includes a stop to retie a shoe), struggled a bit in mile 3 where I walked off a huge cramp and sore rib for a few minutes, and finished around or below 8:30 min/mile for the last mile or two. Total time was around 44 minutes (clock time was 43:45 or something). I accidentally forgot my Garmin, so I didn’t realize how fast I really went out! It is crazy how discouraged I felt afterwards, though. I have to remember that a) it was for fun, b) my mileage in November has sucked for various reasons, 3) I have come a long way in the last year for a “sucky” race to average an 8:40 min/mile pace (especially with walking in there!), 4) I was working towards a very different goal for the past 5 months. I also think that I am looking for another high like I had after MCM, and let’s face it: that might not happen for a little while! Perspective is needed sometimes – luckily, Brian is good at giving it to me when I send him pathetically whiny texts afterwards saying, “I suck at running!”

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The rest of Thanksgiving was relaxed and quiet. My mom came up from Charlottesville and we made way too much food, but it was delicious! We are not Black Friday shoppers, so we slept in on Friday and then bundled the girls up to run their own race, Potomac River Running‘s Gingerbread Man Mile. Audrey ran this last year and she had so much fun! Since she is 4 this year, her race route was a little bit longer, and she loved it. This was Caroline’s first year being able to do it and she ate it all up, too. She had the best time! She couldn’t stay still while waiting for her turn…she kept saying, “I wanna run, I wanna run!” I love that this race is geared only towards kids, so the focus is totally on them. Kids’ fun runs are usually secondary to the “main” adult races, and Audrey and Caroline are always there to cheer for me during races, so it was a nice change to cheer them on.

The rest of this weekend will be spent Christmassing up our house, wrapping gifts, having lots of family time, praying UVA can pull out an unlikely win against VA Tech today, and finishing up some grad work. The Christmas fairies put all of our Christmas decorations up last night, much to the surprise and delight of the girls this morning. They are very excited to decorate the tree tonight!




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Filed under autumn, Celebrations, Christmas, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Race, Races, Racing, Run, Running, Virginia

Halloween Photo Dump

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. The princess and kitty cat of our family sure did! I think this was probably the last year I got to dress Caroline up in something I wanted before she inevitably heads into the princess abyss for a few years. Enjoy!

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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Holidays, Home

Pumpkin Patch Picture Dump

While Brian was at a bachelor party, the girls and I had a fun afternoon at the pumpkin patch. This was really the first autumnal thing we have done this year, and it was a lot of fun! Hopefully we can sneak more fall-esque things in sometime in November when our schedules slow down a little bit.

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Filed under autumn, Family, Home, Virginia

Our original Busy Bee is 4!

I think the underlying sentiment that Brian and I have surrounding Audrey is “we are not ready.” We weren’t ready when we were told that we’d meet her two and a half weeks earlier than expected (though after that tough labor, I was definitely ready for her to be born!), and we are not ready for her to grow out of babyhood and into childhood (though I think that ship sailed a while ago).

Even though four years is a relatively short time, it seems like Audrey has been with us forever (but in the very best way possible). Neither of us can remember life being this good before she graced us with her presence; she is such a blessing – even with her Jekyll & Hyde qualities! Happy Birthday to our little Audrey Bee who was “born on Tana” but is “Audrey from Virginia” and who appreciates both the sparkly things in life & playing in the dirt!

From this:


September 12, 2009

To this:


1 year old

To this:

Audrey 2

2 years old

To this:

Audrey 5

3 years old

To today:

4th birthday

4th birthday

We are so lucky.



Filed under baby, birth, Celebrations, Family, Home, natural childbirth

Fourth of July weekend recap {7/8/13}

This long weekend was so, so needed. I am getting burned out on life these days, so it was refreshing to have four whole days to spend with relatively nothing to do. I told B that it felt like we actually got a real weekend because after accomplishing the standard errands & to-do’s that come with normal weekends (shopping, cleaning, laundry), we still had two more days to actually relax.

We started off the 4th of July with an early (and hot & humid) run for me, followed by a homemade breakfast of pancakes & eggs (and a smoothie for me!), and lots of play-time. We went to a friend’s house for a party, and everyone had a great time. Caroline scarfed down all the food she was offered, including two helpings of sauteed kale. That’s my girl! We ended up putting the girls down a little later than normal, but still not late enough to see the big fireworks. I am not brave enough to keep them out that late…we would definitely pay for it the next day. Our neighbors were setting off some fireworks in the street, though, so we let Audrey watch about 5 minutes of it. She loved them, and is obsessed with watching YouTube videos of fireworks now.

We also bought a decently-sized inflatable pool this weekend and that’s been the highlight of our time off. The girls just love it! I’m glad it gives us another option for outside play this summer since as we all know, DC summers are not fun. Speaking of outdoor play, Audrey decided she would try to be helpful today and would put “sunscreen” on her and Caroline without anyone knowing…except that it wasn’t sunscreen, it was VASELINE and Caroline looked like a little greased pig. We put powder in her hair in hopes of soaking up the Vaseline, but it still took 3 shampoo efforts before her hair came close to being clean. Oh, preschoolers – always an adventure.

My parents came up for a day this weekend and of course the girls loved spending time with them. Anyone to give them a break from mom & dad! 😉



Filed under Celebrations, Family, Fitness, Home, Running, Washington DC