Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Michael indulged my crazy on Friday as we took the kids out to hunt for the *perfect* Christmas tree.  All told, I think I did pretty good this year and we were in and out in less than an hour.  If you as him or the kids, though, I am pretty sure they will have a different story involving torture and hours upon hours of forced-tree-hunting.  In the end, we did end up finding an amazing tree that happens to be exactly the right size and just pokey enough that we're hoping Milo will not destroy all the ornaments (he has already pulled most of the ornaments off of the bottom of our artificial tree :/).  

Milo: "I eat snow off TREE!"

Me: This one is perfect!
Michael: Um, you mean the one that is 11 feet tall?
Me: There is no way that tree is that tall.  Stand next to it.
Michael: ...
In the end, we did not get the 11 foot tree.

When we finally found *the* tree, a surprise visitor was waiting for us!

MOM!  It's Polka Dot!

Milo has a healthy amount of skepticism for the creepy little elf.

The girls, however, cannot stop talking about him.

Maya and Charlotte wanted me to take their pictures and show them to Polka Dot, who was riding in my jacket to stay warm ~ adults can touch him, but children must not, lest he lose his Christmas Magic.

Yay tree!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving, part 2

Like I said in the previous post, Thanksgiving was great.  We had so much fun spending time with Michael's family, and each year that we host gets a bit easier and more relaxed (though I do always tend to have a last-minute breakdown, and this year was no exception, when the turkey finished a full HOUR AND A HALF before we expected ~ oops!).

When we were in high school, I thought Michael was a pretty awesome person who had a pretty awesome family.  That has been confirmed to me over and over throughout the 16+ years we have been together, and I am so thankful that they treat me as one of their own :)


Uncle Chris and Milo having a grand old time playing with snow (inside the house, even! :))

turkey, halfway done

I feel like a grown-up when it's my husband (instead of my father) carving the turkey.  He did a great job :)

Thankful for the people around the table

We went around the table and talked about what we were thankful for. We had the usual responses of family, health, relationship with God, travel, etc.  Charlotte, however, is thankful for her heart-shaped pin and a dime from her piggy bank.  She brought them to the table specifically to share that she is thankful for them :)  Oh, my sweet girl.  Please don't lose your awesomeness!

Getting ready to play round 2 of Munchkin ~ excellent game if you're into backstabbing ;)

Penny hung out with the kids so we could play ~ they watched "Return to Neverland" and were pretty much enthralled.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, part 1

If the sign of a good family get-together is how much you laugh, then we had an EXCELLENT family get-together with Michael's mom and sibs this week.  So much fun, even if they were totally mean and unfair to me while playing Munchkin...*cough* Laura *cough* ;)

More later (cause I'mma go pass out on the couch), but here is one of my favorites from the last couple of days.  Chris found out that Milo thinks snow is hilarious, and spent a good deal of time "accidentally" dropping it and fake-sneezing it into the sink.  Many laughs were had (followed by many hiccups, poor little man!).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Favorite!

The girls have been waiting and waiting for Michael's birthday.  Maya wakes me up every day (and sometimes in the middle of the night) to tell me how many days are left.  I'm not looking forward to how early she'll wake us up tomorrow!  She and Charlotte have been making him gifts for weeks and hiding them in a giant gift bag in our bedroom (behind a curtain, which is a hilarious hiding spot given the size of the bag :)).

I'm looking forward to spending lots of time together as a family and celebrating an early Thanksgiving with Michael's dad and sibs.

Happy Birthday, Babe!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The One About Running

Y'all knew this one was coming, right?  I run 4-5 days a week, which is significantly more dedicated than I am to most other things in my life (excepting family and friends and such, obviously :)).  At the beginning of the year I set out to run 1,000 miles by December 31, 2013.  Today, November 23rd, 2013, I SURPASSED MY GOAL!!! Yay!!!  I also secretly decided to run a marathon (didn't want to officially share that one until I was pretty sure it would happen...I told Michael in January but I think that's it until about 3 months from the race).  I ran and *completed* the Akron Marathon in September.  There is little else that I can compare to the feeling of reaching a goal for which I have worked so hard.  Running a marathon was so different than I expected, but also, in hindsight, what I should have.  I now realize that for a first marathon you should have no expectations.  I have goals for what I want to accomplish next time (oh, yes, next time ;)) but for this one I'm glad to have finished, to have run 99% of the time (only walked at the water stations), and to have not thrown up or passed out.  Next time, though, I'll have a time-goal, and also a goal of fueling ahead of time and during the race so that I don't feel nauseous for 3 days and learn, right? :)

I often hear from friends, acquaintances, random people on the internet, that they are not "good" at running.  Well it's your lucky day, folks!  I am probably one of the least athletic people I know.  In middle school I played softball and actually got progressively *worse* as the years went on, until the final season I played in which I struck out  I am not lying.  Phys Ed was the only class in all of my high school career where I did not get an A.  Did you know you can get a C in aerobics because "I know you were trying as hard as you could, but other people were trying just as hard and doing better."  Thanks, high school gym teacher, my confidence was super high so that one didn't affect me at all ;)  So, until I was in college, I didn't run.  When I started running?  I realized that I could run!  I didn't look super amazing (still don't) and my arms probably do weird things, but all it takes it putting one foot in front of the other on the pavement and moving as fast or slow as you want.  There are things you can do to increase endurance and speed and all that good stuff, but the basics of running are simple enough for even me to figure out!  Not wanting to run?  I get that...but if it's something you really want to do, don't tell yourself you can't! :)

This is the part where I say how amazing Michael is for all the support and encouragement he offered me, and thank him for the many Saturday mornings he woke up to Milo freaking out that I was no longer laying next to him.  I'm pretty sure he thought my Saturday morning runs would end after that marathon...ha!  Thanks, babe :)


After my 18 mile training run.  I was laying down on the side of the bike path, ignoring the bugs and who-knows-what-else because I kindof couldn't stand up anymore!

Testing out the Blue-Line for my 20 mile training run
pre-race dinner...carb-loading FTW!

Night before the stomach was in KNOTS!
#shamelessselfie (that's what I'm supposed to say, right???)

Adrianne and Eric very graciously let me ride with them to the race, which was awesome because I'm not sure I'd have made it myself! #nerves

Just about to start!

7 miles in and still feeling pretty good :)

Text sent to me at 22 miles, after I texted that I was fading.  I have such an awesome brother-in-law!

Just passed 26 miles and saw my family and friends rooting for me!  Would have totally been crying except I was so dehydrated at that point that there were no tears possible :)

This morning's run!!!  I hit 1,000 miles around mile 4.5 :D

Monday, November 18, 2013

How Tall This Fall

The weekend after Halloween, I checked the website of the pumpkin farm we go to every year, and almost had a panic attack when it said they were only open through the end of October (it was November 1st when I checked).  I had a meltdown in the car on the way home from church, complete with the ugly cry, while Michael kinda sat in stunned silence because, while I'm not the most emotionally stable person in the world, he could tell this was affecting me at a deeper level than a pumpkin-farm-closure should affect a person, and there was nothing he could do about it.  Michael saved the day by calling the farm and finding out that their website was wrong (why would they do that to me???  Don't they understand how important this is???) and they were in fact open for business.  Bonus of going after the season is pretty much done?  We were one of two families there, so no awkward waiting for people to get out of the shot while I was trying to take pictures! :)  Unrelated to it being after the season, we spent a good amount of time watching a cat play with a mouse.  It was entertaining (the cat kept letting the mouse go and pretending he couldn't find it) but also very sad because we knew the mouse's final fate :/  We left before the kids figured out what was going to happen!