Ok, so as you can probably tell, we’ve been listening to Christmas music just a bit over here.  Our (I guess I have to use the term our losely, I have decided it also includes Parks and the dogs but Andrew definitely is not included:() favorite christmas album has to be Hanson “Snowed In”  This has been my favorite since probably high school and I project will continue to be my favorite christmas album until the end of time ever.

Now, while I love listening to Christmas music, I’m not one of those people who can’t wait until Thanksgiving because we have to get out the Christmas decorations.  I actually figured out this year that our Christmas decorations consist of:

  • a christmas tree
  • ornaments & star for the tree
  • christmas stockings
  • a nativity scene
  • christmas books
  • a children’s nativity scene (for Parks to play with)

the end.

So, it’s possible that we might decorate as much for Christmas as the Grinch.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t love this season!  Especially with Parker in tow, we are starting so many new fun holiday traditions that I thought would be fun to share with you all:

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1.  Playing with the nativity scene.  So far it seems her favorite “character” is the angel, followed closely by baby Jesus.  She does seem to think that being on top of the stable is far superior to being in it, so she makes sure everyone gets a chance at this prime piece of real estate.  Since she loves it so much she’s getting a touch and feel Christmas Story book in her stocking (shh don’t tell…)

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2. Wearing Christmas jammies.  Every year, our family gets christmas jammies (although Parks is the only one who’s jammies have a christmas theme).  Then on Christmas eve we all wear them as we wait for Santa to arrive!  It’s such a fun tradition and an awesome way to trade out some worn and tired pjs

icm_fullxfull.34062803_z9djmfh54cgw440co4wo3.  A new Christmas Ornament.  Every year growing up, each kid would get to pick out one new ornament for our tree.  It was so much fun to pull them out of the box in subsequent years and remember when we had picked them out.  Parks didn’t get to pick her own out this year, but we made sure she’ll have one to remember her 1st Christmas by!

IMG_37464.  We also made ornaments this year!  While I know her little hand won’t always fit on an ornament, I hope creating some sort of Christmas Craft will be a tradition we continue every year.

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5. Christmas Cards!!!  This is probably one of my most favorite things to do every year (and receive, please send me a christmas card, ok?).  I love sending out cards to all our friends and family and getting awesome cards in the mail (who doesn’t love mail right?)

We have a few things left on the list to do before Christmas as far as traditions go, but I’ll share them with you as we get to them (if we don’t do them, they won’t be traditions until next year I guess.)

 

What traditions do your family do for the holidays?

Any suggestions on other holiday traditions we have to try?

What is your favorite Christmas CD?

Do you love Hanson as much as I do?

 

 

Tonight Parker went to her first basketball game. To watch her favorite basketball player of course. She even dressed up for this special occasion.

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We found out that apparently, Parks has a lot of number one fans herself. Freshmen girls might be a bit obsessed with her.

I think I might understand, I mean I can’t get enough of this girl:)

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In other news, on the way back from the game we found out Audrey got accepted to Vanderbilt. We couldn’t be prouder. Parkie can’t wait to go visit her in Nashville!

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Today, I’m linking up for the first time with Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!  Here it goes…

Thinking-Out-Loud

1.  Yesterday Parks was all about sticking out her tongue.  I’d stick mine out at her and she’d stick hers out right back at me – it’s hilarious.

IMG_37482.  I’ve eaten waaaaaayyy too much sugar in the past 2 weeks.  Between christmas cookies, fancy coffee drinks and just about anything else I think I’m on a constant sugar high.  I think it’s about time for some sort of cleanse or something (I actually have never done one of these or really know what it is but I’ll let you know if I actually do it and how it goes)

3.  I also haven’t run since bald head, my knee feels fine but with all the snow it’s been more difficult to find an opportunity.  We don’t have many shoveled paths here and I’m not quiet comfortable running the roads with a baby jogger and ice.  A gym membership is sounding more and more appealing (santa?  are you reading? please?)

4. Every day Parker and I try to go over the Christmas story.  We’ve read a few books, played with the kids version of youversion, and played extensively with her own nativity scene.  Parks would tell you her favorite “character” is the angel, and she’s not quiet sure why everyone always wants to be inside the stable, when obviously it’s more fun to be on top of it:)

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5. This is our new favorite game

6.  I’m in a slightly grumpy mood today.  I shouldn’t be, it was in actuality a pretty good day – it stinks how sometimes 1 thing can just overtake your mood right?  I really need to run…

 

Are you dealing with a holiday sugar high?  Tips to beat it?

What gets you out of a grumpy funk?

 

Well, it finally happened – after almost 3 years we actually got snow (and boy did we get a lot of it!)  On Sunday the weather man forecasted 1 inch starting after 3 but by the time we left church at 1:15 there was at least 4 inches on the ground (note to self: wearing Birkenstock clogs to church on a day when its supposed to snow = not a good idea).  Unfortunately, that meant a 3.5 hour ride home for us:(  Then again, early Tuesday morning they skys opened up again.  This snow was much more exciting because:

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b. Andrew got to work from home

c. Since it was still daylight,  Parker got to play a bit in the snow (I’m not sure she found this quiet as exciting as I did)2013-12-10 11.57.58 2013-12-10 12.02.22-2

d.  this cooped up momma finally got a little exercise in shoveling the snow (we can talk about my severe lack of workouts later, ok?)

e.  The roads were plowed and clear by late afternoon, so Parker and I were able to run off for a quick Starbucks date with my sisters so Andrew could have the house to himself for a conference call2013-12-03 17.25.16

f. I got a bunch of Christmas shopping done (online of course)

g.  This snow still looks prettyIMG_3752

h. (I totally almost labeled this one 9 and then realized I wasn’t counting – epic fail) The dogs love the snow and have been playing outside for hours = exhausted pupsIMG_3753

i.  Everyone off of school means rapid fire group texts

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Did you get snow where you live?

What do you like to do on snow days?

Favorite christmas Song?

Parks has 2 new best friends. Well not exactly new, but newly best. They eat together, share food, snuggle and wrestle together. They also provide her with more entertainment than any one or thing else. They are her pups. Check it out:

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We’re working on being gentle with our pups, but they (especially chase, our normal pain in the butt) are so patient and sweet with Parkie while she learns. And I can’t say he minds the extra attention

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Plus they’ve been waiting for a third best friend for their pack for some time now, it’s so fun to see their friendship develop!

I’ve been totally slacking on the blog posting this week. I’m sorry, sometimes I think you need a vacation to take care of everything you didn’t take care of while on vacation. The past few days have been filled with laundry, house cleaning, bill paying and more laundry. I promise to provide you guys with a better post tomorrow. In the meantime enjoy these pictures of my little one enjoyingdevouring her first cheesesteak.

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Definitely a Philly girl at heart (and stomach:))

do you like cheesesteaks?
-umm, definitely yes

pats or genos?
-Pats all the way

what’s your favorite hometown food?
-Philadelphia soft pretzels

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is exercise. I feel like there’s nothing more mentally and physically relaxing than working hard and eating hard in someplace where my cleaning, work and other responsibilities are low.
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This vacation was no exception. We got in on Wednesday afternoon and because parker had had a cold I hadn’t run in a week. So we unloaded and I laced up my running shoes to go for a quick 4 miles. It was the perfect remedy after being in the car for 9 hours.

The next morning I decided to take advantage of my opportunity to run solo and ran the outskirts of the entire island. I was pretty excited to see a steady sub 8:50 pace, especially when I got a little lost and ended up doing an extra mile bringing my total to 8.

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The next day I convinced my sisters and dad to do the same route with me. We started all together, then after a mile my dad and I broke off and sped up a bit. Now something you need to know about my dad – he is the only person I know who is more competitive than I am. And he runs most of his miles on a treadmill, which equates to an extremely steady pacing partner. After our slow first mile, the next 3 with him at around 8:10 felt good. Right before a pretty big hill he turned back to check on his girlfriend and my sisters. I was a but worried that the loss of my partner would have a negative impact on my speed and I was right (well kinda) because I managed to easily run the next 3 faster than the 3 I did with him! I cannot remember the last time I negative split, and finished with my fastest mile of the run(this time I didn’t get lost so I finished at exactly 7 miles)

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Now rewinding to my first 8 mile run. I haven’t run more than 4 miles in probably 2 months. afterwards I felt a slight tinge in my knee but obviously ignored it to go back out for my 7 mile run. But let me tell you by the end of that 7 miles, my knee was killing me. At this point the smart thing would be to call it a week, proud of my 3 very successful runs. Cue Saturday when my determined (read stubborn) self ran straight to stupid. I wanted to make the most of my time so I went for a 4 mile run. I ran slow, but boy was it painful. Add to that 2 mile plus beach walks and a 2 mile round trip walk to the local coffee shop and you’ve gone from stupid to complete idiot(and obviously these are all words that I’ll insist my daughter not use haha).

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After my run, as I was telling Andrew about how I shouldn’t have done that blah blah blah he asked the simple “well why did you then?” question. To which I answered, because I love to, because it was awesome, because I can. And so while my decisions seem to have quickly gone from determined to stubborn to stupid – I’m going to remain pumped that I made those decisions and pushed myself a bit too far this time. I’ll enjoy these few days of recovery, ready and knowing how fast and far I can go when I’m back:)
when was the last time you pushed yourself too far too fast?

Do you like to exercise on vacation?

Where is your next vacation going to be to?

So, as I mentioned earlier, we’ve spent the past 4 days in Bald Head Island (BHI). We first visited bhi almost 13 years ago and have been in love ever since. I was last there 3 years ago for Thanksgiving and this was Parker’s first trip (and first time at the beach too!). While the trip was short, I can say it far exceeded all of our expectations. We spent the past 4 days:

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Relaxing on the deck, watching the waves crash on the shore

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Crawling in the sand

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Watching the sun set

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Running (attractive right?)

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Watching football

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Family walks on the beach

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Turkey bacon

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Lots of pictures

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Thanksgiving dinner (and leftovers:))

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And golf cart driving.

We got on the ferry to leave exactly 3 hours ago, and I’m already ready to turn around and go back.

what did you do for Thanksgiving?

Last time you were at the beach?

Favorite vacation spot?

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Happy Thanksgiving!  After an amazing 8 mile run this morning, my day has been spent doing a crazy amount of cooking, with a beach walk and some much needed down time.  I thought about doing a list of things I’m thankful for (since I totally am not together enough to post one thing every day for the entire month of November) but I’m not feeling it today, plus you all like pictures better so I figured I’d share some pictures of things I’m thankful for (obviously not all-inclusive, you can’t take a picture of everything!)  Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving!

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We made it!  It’s freezing, but the beach is beautiful.  Unfortunately, my sister Carolina was unable to join us due to school athletic commitments.  Because we miss her so we brought her student id with us and have been taking pictures of her trip to BHI.  Here are a few of my favorites from the day:

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Carol at the beach

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Carol and Dad baking together

ImageCarol and one of the weird pictures on the wall creeping in the window

ImageCarol enjoying a margaritaImage

Carol made a mess (obviously Parker had nothing to do with this)

ImageCarol and Par chillin

ImageCarol stealing Parker’s binky

ImageCarol celebrating Hanukkah with us.

It’s possible that I might be the only person who finds this amusing/hilarious, oops;)

My sister Ashley also wasn’t able to join us :( but for some reason didn’t provide us with her id to experience the vacation. Something about how a teacher id floating in an alcoholic beverage would be inappropriate? Totally lame. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss her too. I mean look at this face – totally missing her aunt Ashley. P

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Ok so I know it’s hard to tell but she’s totally screaming in that picture. It’s hard to people to take you seriously when you look this cute while sad.

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