update

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for months now. Seriously, months. As I’ve pondered this whole blogging thing, I’ve asked myself why I want to blog. People have different reasons, but for me, it comes down to chronicling my life. There are so many funny, crazy, overwhelming things that happen that I want to remember.

So I’m back.

Since we last met, quite a bit has happened. But I’ll just give you the highlights. (That’s not a promise to be short, just that I’m leaving out lots.)

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

Seriously, so fun.

Seriously, so fun.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

cox

And I did a photo shoot for this cute family.

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I got to hang out with some cool kids when my bff came into town for a week.

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We celebrated Christmas with lots of these dark chocolate covered peppermint jo jo’s. I loved them so much that I wanted to document them. Don’t judge.

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We also celebrated Christmas in style.

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I had a merry birthday with a wee party in our new place.

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Even my photos got in the spirit of things!

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We rang in the New Year with games and friends. 5 hours can fly by when you have Mexican Train.

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We finally got some snow. This snow bunny loved it. Don’t let her face fool you.

I got bangs! Maybe you're unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman's life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There's your PSA.

I got bangs! Maybe you’re unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman’s life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There’s your PSA.

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We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in Boone and Blowing Rock. We got to play in some snow there, too.

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You can never really get the mountains out of your blood. They’re always calling.

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We had an AMAZING dinner at the same restaurant, in the same table (!) where we had our first date 9 years ago. I would’ve taken a picture of my ahi tuna steak, creamed kale, and jasmine rice and Brian’s meat loaf with Cheerwine barbecue sauce, creamed potatoes, and asparagus but the lights were too dim. Besides, some memories are best left tucked away in your heart. (I’m talking about the meal. Seriously, so good.)

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. 🙂

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it’s friday

(Now that song is in your head. You’re welcome.)

I kept meaning to blog this week but ran out of steam/time everyday. My apologies. We’ve had a full week. I’m going to work my way backwards, if that’s okay with you.

Today I had an awesome run.

It was a 45 mi run: 5 blue, 35 green, 5 blue; plus some extra because I decided to run a loop rather than double back. I’m so unpredictable. I don’t even know what the heck I’m going to do until I get to a corner and have to turn left or right.

But anyway, I had a great run. I feel like running in the morning has been challenging for me, feeling empty if it was a fasting run or feeling heavy/tasting breakfast if I ate something first. Today all I had were 3 Clif Bar shot bloks and a few chugs of water. I didn’t realize it until now, but they have caffeine from green tea (I probably wouldn’t have chosen to use them had I realized it… thought it was just a bunch of sugar). They tasted good and I felt great on my run, probably due in part to them.

I did the 4.8ish mile loop in just under an hour and mostly in the green zone (i.e. slower pace). I’m wondering how tomorrow’s run will compare since it will be half green, half yellow.

I also learned some new things about the miCoach app today! If you love seeing a graph and breaking down your run, I think you should definitely give this app a try. Check out the additional notes (shown for my red zone, available for the others as well):

I ran all the way back up the steep hill, trying to maintain <12:00 mile, which naturally put me in the red zone for over 5 min. But I conquered that beast and still felt good.

Compared to last Friday’s run (slightly longer loop):

I also learned that miCoach keeps track of any songs you play (through your music player, not Pandora)! Brilliant! Not brilliant: Britney Spears feat. the Ying Yang Twins somehow always cycles through. Must remove from playlist.

I also added my new shoes to my list so they’re ready for me when I decide to take them out for a spin.

See that middle box? I made that up, I haven’t run 200 miles on a pair of shoes nicknamed BOOM. Just wanted to show you what your shoe boxes look like if you choose an Adidas brand (vs New Balance and Reebok that I have). Neat.

This week’s runs were pretty good. I think I got sprinkled on by various sprinklers at least thrice. It was nice. We leave one week from today for Panama and Guatemala for 16 days and I highly doubt I’ll be able to run there. So I’m kind of bummed and don’t want to loose any stamina I’ve built up. Just crossing my fingers that our hotel in Guatemala has a decent gym with a treadmill since, being the blonde chick that I am, I will not be running on the street alone in either country.

Yesterday I met my seester at some outlets and enjoyed a hot afternoon walking around shopping.

Wednesday was the Fourth and it was fun! We hung out with some friends, had too many watermelon cookies, ate delicious pasta for dinner, and watched some fireworks in our neighborhood. It was quite good!

Nothing happened Tuesday.

But on Monday I got to meet our new nephew, Mordecai!!!

He’s just a bundle of cuteness. So sweet and content.

Uncle Bribri is a natural.

Seriously. Does it get any cuter? He didn’t cry once.

We also hung out with Mordie’s older brother Malachi.

This little punkin head snuggled up to me while we were watching some educational cartoon that I can’t remember the name of and you probably wouldn’t know. He’s a keeper. 🙂

Since we’re leaving in a week, it’s time for me to start the annual gathering of all things mini or trial-size. New to this year’s lineup (thanks to various germaphobic friends and news segments): a small bottle of mattress cleaner.

Perhaps I’ll do an entire post on how to pack for an international soccer tour for those who don’t play soccer but have to go. No one’s blogged about that before, right?

high fiving a million angels!

I am so stoked right now!

I just signed up to do the Color Run! I am SO EXCITED! I was going to do it regardless of who else was going, but it’s going to be even more spectacular because so many of my friends are doing it! I debated not announcing it on here for fear of it filling up before we could all get signed up. But then I realized that even if all 12 of you signed up right away, there would still be slots left. So have at it. And in case you’re wondering what the Color Run is, check out this video.

I’ve been doing about a 5k every time I’ve gone running lately, but some runs are better than others. This last week or so they’ve been on the slow end. The heat and humidity are really zapping me. I’ve been tempted before, but today was the first day I actually ran through some sprinklers. 😉 When I’m feeling good and still have energy, I like to high five the low-hanging branches of trees as I’m running by.

And pretend that I’m Liz Lemon.

Since I was at my parents’ house on Saturday, I decided to run around the lake that I visited so frequently growing up.

It was perfect weather, nice and cool. And it brought back so many mems. I love this place.

This week I’m looking forward to a “cold front” moving through and snapping the humidity. Now it’s time to start putting my outfit together for the Color Run. I already know what top I’m wearing…

the weekend, part 1

A lot went down this weekend. Here’s the first half.

Friday night we hung out with our neighb’s for El Jefe’s birthday. The boys played FIFA while Ginna did some magazine sorting (more enjoyable than it sounds) and I did some crafting.

I’ve been using a process I learned in 2nd grade art class and have gotten a few questions about it. So here’s another break down. I printed out some lyrics 10″x10″ (over two pages taped together) to be used on a 12″x12″ canvas. You can see how I scribbled with pencil on the back of the words, first. I then lined up the lyrics, centered them on the canvas and taped it into place. Then I traced the outline of the letters, pressing firmly with a ballpoint pen, transferring the words to the canvas. I don’t think I’ll ever trace this many words again… it just took forever.

Here’s how it looks without the paper, partially painted.

And after one coat of paint.

In between coats of paint, I added the final touch to my country paintings, some love. ❤

I was going to use gold paint, but there was come crazy warning on the packaging that said it included an ingredient known in California to cause cancer. So, instead, I used Martha Stewart’s foil transfer sheets and loved how it turned out.

Saturday morning I got up (fairly) early for my run.

Clearly the heart rate monitor wasn’t working properly… unless I have some magical ability to maintain a 152bpm while jogging.

It was a beautiful morning, warm but not muggy.

Ginna, Julie, and I went to the pool in the afternoon… along with all the drunkards in our apartment complex. 😉

After church on Saturday we celebrated El Jefe’s birthday again with lots more friends. Then we had some amazing cake at the after party!

babies are a good reason to party

This past weekend was busy but great. I worked Friday night in Greensboro doing a Norwex show and had a baby shower for one of my dearest friends.

It was the cutest shower I’ve been to, no detail was over-looked. And there were no gross or embarrassing games.

Pom poms everywhere! Allison worked hard making all of these decorations!

I made a pink drink which looked presh in some mason jars with paper straws.

Just a few of the peonies that were fresh from Dorothy’s garden.

The mom-to-be! There was so much pink and so many ruffles!

Um, I barely held it together reading this… gah the emotions were overflowing that day.

I love these girls. 🙂

And these man-ladies.

I couldn’t leave this picture out. Petals is such a sweetie. And I love Ginna’s new haircut!

For more and prettier pictures of the set-up, food, and guests, check out Carrie’s and Allison’s blogs.

I crashed as soon as I got home on Saturday night and spent the day Sunday cleaning and packing for our trip. Since I’ve watched season 1 of Downton Abbey about 6 times now, I’ve moved on to season 2. Love it!

These will be my traveling friends for the next two weeks or so. We’re on our way to Ottawa (driving: via VA and PA). We’ll be spending the week with our Canadian AIA buddies. I’m really excited. We always stay with our family friends (rather than in the dorms) and I love them. Even though it’s a chaotic week ending in a 24-hour sports marathon, we always leave feeling refreshed.

mid-week update

My friend Carrie always does a weekend update (a la SNL). It’s a good idea but no longer the weekend. So here’s my mid-week update.

*New juice recipe is up: Fresh & Fruity Juice (seriously good.)*

Last week we headed to SC to visit my bff and her family. They have two beautiful kids now. It’s weird to think about the days when Little B didn’t exist.

And how about that bridge? I got to spend some time hanging out with Little T, too.

Sleeping babies are the best.

I wish I could’ve recorded the sounds he was making. 🙂

After a quick trip to SC, we headed to CLT to visit CCC(D). She cooked an amazing dinner for us. After she whipped out her onion goggles from the utensil drawer, of course.

She also cooked up a mountain of waffles for brunch on Saturday.

My brother was there, she must’ve known that he is a black hole and eats everything in sight. Except for the “sticks” in the pineapple.

Before she made breakfast, though, we hit up the local farm market. It made me miss my juicer.

I am totally that girl who wants to travel with her juicer.

We made it back home as storms blew through and brought winter back. No, winter. Go away. You had your chance. It’s OVER.

(In recent news, I’ve started watching Portlandia. Spot on.)

‘ello from Vancouver

We arrived in Vancouver late Sunday night and for the first time, there was no familiar face waiting by the wooden statues to pick us up. We walked to our rental car (finally) and drove back to our old neighborhood, talking about past memories and pointing in shock at 50 homes that stood on what was an open field when we left in August.

It has been weird being here. It feels more like home than Raleigh. I think because we work from home and travel so much on weekends, we haven’t really established a routine. We don’t have “something” to miss while being away. (I mean, obviously we miss Lola. But that’s different.)

Anyway, I stopped in at my former go-to grocery store.

It’s still the same. 🙂 Except for this new “product” that caught my eye…

I thought about buying some. But’s nearly $10 for a tiny bag. No thanks. I’d rather be bent over and forced to spend way too much money on stretchy fabric that reminds me that I’m not an athlete. (See Lulu reference below.)

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who was a student when I worked at SFU. We had sushi, of course. I think I’ll only be eating sushi in BC. It’s just so good here.

We also got to meet our good friends’ baby, Asher. 🙂 Look at that FACE!

It’s just so squishable!

I also got to do a little shopping (thanks Lulu, there goes went most of my Christmas money) and meeting up with other friends… no pictures from those. I was also seriously starting to miss my gym! …maybe that’s why I don’t work out anymore! 😉

One thing I don’t miss about this place, the rain. I debated bringing my rain boots. Definitely should have. Wet jeans/feet is the worst. Looks like I’ll be staying inside to  hang out as much as possible. 🙂

I have time

So I’m going to blog. This last little bit has been filled with lots of driving. Lots of trips to the Boro and back. Lots of time with family and friends.A few more babies than normal.

Some baked goods. Actually, lots of baked goods. Including fantastic cookies from Catherine.

A couple of trips to Yopop… I can’t quit it!

A finished project. A more elaborate post to come on that one… But now I’m having trouble sticking with a new project. I keep changing my mind and undoing my work. Blargh. Creative slump. Sometimes I just want to knit to knit. Not to have to make any decisions. Just to zone out. Kind of like a good, uninterrupted stare. It’s therapeutic.

Enjoyed spending time with my bunny!

And Bri-pod got his big Transformers boot off today! …which was replaced by a smaller Astronaut boot. But it’s progress nonetheless! 🙂 {Sometimes my humor is missed by the general population. Bri-pod is a play on words in that Brian has had to use crutches and one leg, three points of contact with the ground. A tripod. Not to be confused with the music player you can purchase from Apple.}

My bro is here for a visit. We leave for NoVa day after tomorrow. Then head to the Boro again for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to giving our gifts this year. I feel like the presents we purchased were thought out and will be enjoyed specifically by their recipients. I’m also looking forward to relaxing by a fire… if the weather will allow it. 🙂

Canadian Thanksgiving

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday with some fabulous friends. 🙂

I made a wreath. 🙂

Autumn decorations.

Apple cider!

Cooking!

Workin hard or hardly workin?

Dinner time!

HL Girls’ Weekend

I think we’re all going to write a post about this past weekend. Here’s mine. 🙂

 

This past weekend a group of us who have been good friends since childhood met up in a tiny mountain town of NC. Carrie, Ginna, Lucy, Allison, Michelle and myself (and Michelle’s awesome pets) hung out on the porch and enjoyed autumn’s arrival. We ate good food, sipped good wine, and chewed the fat. I really like that even though we didn’t have a movie night or a game night it was still super fun. At the height of the crazy excitement, I Skyped Birdman from my iPhone. He and Ginna’s hubs, El Jefe, were watching a movie and loved the interruption. I’m sure it took them a little bit to actually understand what we were all saying. His response was something along the lines of “It was just a giggle fest over there.” In fact, at dinner on Sunday night Broman and El Jefe asked Ginna and me if all we did was giggle. Ginna promptly responded, “Actually we just sat quietly in a room for a couple of hours without talking.” Bazinga.

 

Anyway, pictures are always better than rambles so here are some of my (many) favorites from the weekend. 🙂 And there’s a video at the end you’re not gonna want to miss.

 

And then Lucy went crazy with the remote…

In the corn maze, looking at the map.

Looking at the map again.

Here's how we see the map...

We were not impressed.

Finally made it out of the corn maze and enjoyed a hay ride.

On the hay ride. 🙂

In downtown Sparta.

The trees were changing already!

Trip, Michelle's three-legged cat, is probably my favorite feline. I kind of want to see him and Lola play together.

Sunrise.

Bella (the dog) loves to be loved.

Ginna, Lucy and I stopped in Mt. Airy on the way home.

We enjoyed some greasy diner food.

And Oreo Cakesters! The love of my life.