Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013!

2013 was definitely a year of change for us. From our first full calendar year of being parents to our move to North Carolina, we were all about embracing (or at least trying to) change. Here's a quick wrap up of 2013 via Instagram photos.
video


My favorite moments of 2013 in no particular order:

Our trips to Destin, Florida, Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks.
Enjoying lots of first holidays with Chloe. 
Moving to Winston-Salem and making new friends. 
Running the Richmond Half Marathon.
Chloe's first big road trip to Atlanta.
Enjoying the fall by going to the mountains, pumpkin patch and trick or treating.
Spending Christmas in our new house.

While I've loved the adventure of moving to a new town and meeting new people I do hope things settle down some in 2014. Hoping for another great year!!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Things have finally slowed down from my birthday weekend so I thought I should recap!
I got to sleep in that morning, which is always a treat. We went to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch that day, fourth street filling station. Tried to get a good family photo. That morning Clarke asked if I wanted to go buy a Garmin, which I had been debating if I really needed or not, but I decided to go get one. Of course I got the pink one and I love it! My mom came into town later that afternoon and I got to open up some more presents. She stayed with Chloe that night and we were off for a really fun evening.
We went to dinner at Fratellis, which was really good. It's an Italian steakhouse, two of my favorites. We spent the night at The Graylyn which is only about 10 minutes from our house. We were going to go away but we were still recovering from moving so decided just to stay in town. This place was so nice, I'm glad we did.
Took these pictures the next morning while we were exploring. 
They had a gingerbread house of the estate, it was so cute. The whole place was decorated so pretty for Christmas.
Friday morning we ate breakfast there. They had a buffet with so many yummy things! Since our checkout time wasn't until noon we went back to our room to take a nap, I know so exciting, but it was great! I loved staying at the Graylyn, and it was fun exploring something new in our city. 

Later that afternoon Clarke watched Chloe while my mom and I painted our family room. It only took us 4 hours, I was happy, and I loved how it turned out. (Pictures coming soon but I used Revere Pewter  after seeing it on young house love, it's the perfect gray)

Saturday I went for a run with some of my teammates at Salem Lake, and I got to use my new Garmin. Still figuring it out but I love it. My mom and I headed to Ikea in Charlotte since we both wanted to get some new things for our houses. Sunday we went out to lunch before my mom had to go back to Richmond and I started putting together our new furniture. 

So that was my big 3-0 birthday weekend. I'm thankful I got to spend it with my family, and just relax and enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

This Christmas had been very different for us. We decided to stay here in our new home and spend it as a family of three. We have been traveling so much and just needed a break, plus we were so excited about our new home we thought it would be fun, and it has been. 
Clarke got off work early on Christmas eve, so we watched Polar Express, opened a few gifts and had the Palmisiano family traditional Christmas eve dinner (meatball subs with homemade spaghetti sauce that simmered for over 24 hours). It's what I had growing up every Christmas eve. Chloe loved it!
She also loved Christmas morning. We opened up presents, and she loved playing in all the wrappings and ribbons.
Our Christmas wasn't totally uneventful. Our downstairs toilet got stopped up, and when Clarke took a shower it overflowed. We finally got it cleaned up and then when I was doing the dishes it happened again, water everywhere. We called the plumber and I felt so bad he had to come out on Christmas to fix it. After two different machines and over 4 hours it's still not fixed. They are coming back tomorrow morning with a camera and some kinda vacuum. All they know is something from outside messed it up. At one point it felt like we were in our favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Oh well, I guess one day we will look back and laugh.
And because I'm feeling nostalgic here is Chloe last year in the presents. She has grown so much since then. 
I made a simple Christmas dinner this year, but the chocolate cake was a hit with Clarke and Chloe. I hope y'all had a great Christmas too!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Catching Up: Home and Holidays

It's been over 2 weeks since I blogged and I'm going through withdrawal! I have been beyond busy moving into our new house, trying to enjoy the holidays and just daily life. I decided to do one big post to try to catch up on here!

I'll start by introducing you to our new house. We're in love. I never blogged about it because I wanted to be sure everything worked out, and after closing we were busy painting Chloe's room and moving lots of boxes. 
I am so happy to be settled though. A very tiny tiny part of me was sad to leave the rental house. It's where we started our new life here in Winston and where Chloe learned to crawl. But honestly I was happy to leave. It felt like we were in this transitional stage and I was over it. I was thankful for a safe place to live and a place for my family to call home for that time period. But, I'm smitten with our new house. Although our study currently looks likes this:
It's slowly coming along. I find myself during nap time trying to get as much done as possible. I have to remind myself it just takes time though. Here is a picture of the kitchen I took the day we decided to buy it, which is probably my favorite part of the house. 
And here is our little mud room. Organization built into the house=love. 
I will post more pictures when it comes together soon hopefully. 

This past weekend I traveled to Richmond for a very quick trip. I went for the night to celebrate Christmas with my best friends. It was the first time I left Chloe overnight, and I was so nervous. I felt really weird driving out of town without her, but she did great. I'm so lucky to have a supportive husband who realized how important this was to me.
I love these girls so much! There is nothing like enjoying a great meal (and drink) with people who have known you for forever. This is still one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

Speaking of Christmas and traditions this one has been and will be very different for us. We decided to stay here in Winston for a couple different reasons. We have been traveling so much to Richmond with Chloe and just got burnt out. I think it will be fun to have Christmas just the three of us in our new house, but it will be very different. We didn't get a tree this year which has been kinda hard. I love picking out our tree every year, and decorating it and enjoying it as we watch Christmas movies and throughout the season. But, after moving and just feeling overwhelmed with my to do list we decided not to this year. Unpacking more things and having to put them away again, to enjoy it for a little over a week, I just couldn't. It's starting to feel like something is missing, but I've been reminded of the real meaning of Christmas. It's not about trees and decorations and how many Christmas things we did together. It's about Jesus' birth and being with my family. I loved this post about Christmas not being perfect, and could really relate. 

Well, if your still reading this I'll end with saying while moving during the holidays is definitely not my favorite thing I am so thankful for a new permanent home here in Winston. It's finally starting to feel like home here in this new city. 

Be back soon for Christmas recap, my 30th birthday recap (still can't believe it's almost here) and more house photos! :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Moravian Stars and Santa

We've had a nice low key weekend, we'll call it the calm before the storm. We knew this would be our only weekend to do family Christmas things since we are moving to our new house next weekend.
I read an article in the Winston-Salem Journal about fun holiday things to do here, and where to see fun lights. So Friday night we all got in the car and drove around to see some of the lights around town. My favorite was this Moravian star on top of Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. It's huge, 31 feet and just beautiful. Photo Source: Winston Salem Journal

Saturday we took Chloe to see Santa in Old Salem. She didn't sleep well the night before and was kinda tired, and I knew she would probably be scared so I didn't have high expectations.
Walking over the bridge to see Santa, I love all the Moravian stars hanging. They are everywhere this time of year, it's one of my favorite parts of Christmas here so far. 
Chloe loved all the decorations, but Santa not so much. The whole family had to get in. She screamed when she realized I was going to put her in his lap. Oh well. 

One more in her pretty dress! 

Today we tried a new place for lunch and went to Lowe's to get paint samples. Oh, how I have missed having color on my walls! I haven't shared much about the new house on here. I told myself I had to wait until we closed. I guess I almost made it since we close Thursday. We are beyond excited and so ready to be in a permanent home finally. I will definitely share more once we have the keys!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had such a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with our family up in Richmond this past weekend. It was Chloe's second Thanksgiving, it's weird to me that she doesn't have anymore first holidays. But, she definitely enjoyed it!
Her favorite food from Thanksgiving dinner was hands down the stuffing. I thought it would be the turkey or mashed potatoes, but she loved the stuffing. It was so funny watching her eat it, sound effects and all.
Chloe loved seeing all her family. She really is so spoiled, but I love that so many people love on her. 
Once again my mom made a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, we are still enjoying the leftovers. So thankful for such a great weekend spent with family. And just for fun here is a comparison of last year to this year, Chloe has changed so much!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thankful Heart

Every year I write a post around Thanksgiving, counting my blessings and giving thanks. And I am still so very thankful for all those same things. Jesus, my family, friends, my health, the necessities in life, i.e. a place to live, car to drive, food to eat, etc. After a year of being a mom I will add some new things to that list, i.e. my membership to the YMCA and the childcare workers who love on my baby while I work out and relieve some stress. Coffee, I never thought that would be on my list but it is! 

Moving to a new state, new city, new place has really taught me how thankful I am for the many blessings in my life. For example, I've really understood the value of friendships. I had lots of friends in Richmond, and I'm making new friends here but it takes time. It makes me so happy that we have someone to have a playdate with this afternoon, because it can be lonely when you don't have any other mom friends to relate to. Or my faith. My faith has definitely grown since moving. There were so many unknowns about this move and God has been more than faithful to guide us, especially in the whole house hunting thing and with a new church community.
And this one. My Chloe Mae. A year ago I was so thankful for modern medicine, the doctors and nurses which allowed me to have a c-section and deliver her safely. I still am, and even more so. I'm sure every parent agrees your love grows and grows each year. I am so thankful I get to be her mom.
I try to thank God every day for my blessings. I do believe it's like going to the gym, if you do it once a year it doesn't really do anything. So this post was kinda all over the place with my thoughts this year, but I will end with this:

I know I don't deserve the life I am living, but God has blessed me with it. Thankful God is so good. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Update

 I was really happy this past weekend as things have settled down some. After Chloe's party and the half I was so ready for a nice weekend at home. We enjoyed it as things are going to get busy for us in December. Here's a weekend recap:

Friday night I went out with my training team. We got dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Village Tavern. Clarke watched Chloe for me and I definitely enjoyed a night out.
I know I said before how my teammates have made Winston-Salem feel more like home, and they really have. It was fun celebrating the half in Richmond, and hearing their opinions about it. I am just slightly biased about it since it's my hometown, but they loved it too!

Saturday all we really did was go out to lunch at our favorite mexican place and walked around Wake Forest. I've driven around the campus many times to show people who visit, but both of us had never actually gotten out and walked around. We had been wanting to do this for a long time.
It's such a beautiful campus. Chloe fell asleep in the stroller and it was actually a pretty nice day, not too cold.
They started decorating for Christmas, so pretty.
I also started Christmas shopping finally. It was nice to not have a busy weekend for a change. Hope y'all enjoyed yours before the craziness of the holidays start! 



Monday, November 18, 2013

Richmond Half Marathon Race Recap

This past weekend I ran the Richmond Half Marathon, and it was simply amazing. It was just one of those days when you remember why you love running, why you started in the first place and why you keep going. Days like last Saturday when all your hard work of training pays off and you just enjoy the race so much. Not to mention a 15 minute personal record. So I thought I would recap my race while it's still fresh in my mind.

The morning started out raining, like downpour. I couldn't believe it and I kinda laughed because the only other time I've run a half it rained for that one too. But it was great having teammates to text and encourage one another that although we can't control the weather we could still have a great race. I headed downtown only to be caught in traffic. I will admit I kinda started to panic because I kept watching the clock tick by and I wasn't moving. I finally made it downtown and couldn't find a parking space. I had 15 minutes till my start time and I was kinda freaking out. I was super lucky (well God was good) and I found a spot. I wasn't sure if I could park on the side of that street or not but I didn't have a choice. Luckily after the race my car hadn't been towed and no ticket! I made it to the start about 10 minutes before my start time, found my teammates and I was feeling so lucky!!
By this time it was just a light drizzle. And throughout the race it drizzled on and off, it wasn't that bad because it wasn't too cold. I started out running pretty conservative because I didn't want to start out too fast with all the excitement. I loved running back in my hometown again. The course was where I trained for my full back in 2011 and where I really learned how to run. It brought back so many memories and I felt so happy to be running in Richmond. 
Here I am around the half way point in Bryan Park. I was feeling good, and I loved all the hills. Ha, but really it felt so great to be able to run up all the hills and not have to walk afterwards to recover. Me and my teammate Laura were just passing people left and right. I heard someone say "these hills are hard" and we laughed. This was where I knew my training had really worked and I felt so strong and proud. When I started my training program I was so nervous because it was much more intense than previous training I had done. Plus with the big hills I wasn't use to I was definitely intimidated. It felt so great to know I had made it and all my hard work had paid off.

I ran through the pope arch, and it felt like 2 years ago when I ran the full. The last part of the half course is the same as the last part of the full course. I remembered how a year ago I set this goal for myself. I knew the full would be way too much with having a baby and a life outside running, but I knew the half would still be a challenge. I remembered how a year ago it hurt to walk (I had just had a baby a week ago with a rough delivery). I'll admit I got kinda choked up and teary eyed. It was so emotional running that course again and just thinking how far I have come. I knew I would complete my goal and at that point I didn't care about my time anymore. I felt strong so I picked up my pace. 

I found some other teammates who were in the pace group above mine. I ran with them for about 2 miles, and at that point our pace was 9:30/mile. I couldn't believe it. I ran into my old running partner Susan, who I ran most of the full with. She was doing the half as well and it was so much fun to see her, such a coincidence. Saw Emily and Emily who were there cheering me on, and got that extra pick me up I needed. Around mile 12 I was feeling it and I was ready to be done. I knew from my pace I should PR, wasn't sure about reaching my goal time but I reminded myself how far I had come and that the time didn't matter. I ran down the hill towards the finish line and I'll admit I got kinda teary eyed again. Since I didn't run with anyone else consistently I wasn't sure what my time was. I signed Clarke up for text messages of my times so I had to wait till he got the final one. I waited for the rest of my teammates to finish, I love celebrating other people's victories too. These people have definitely helped Winston-Salem feel more like home, and I'm so thankful for them. 
My time ended up being 2:27:05, which meant I had PRed by 15 minutes and came 3 minutes under my goal time. I was thrilled. My family was waiting for me at the finish line and it meant so much that they came out to support me. I will also add Clarke was such a supportive husband during my training, watching Chloe Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings so I could go train with my team. I couldn't have done it without him!

It was such a great race. I will always love this one in Richmond, holds a special place in my heart. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Chloe's Pumpkin Party

This past weekend we made the trip up to Richmond to celebrate Chloe's first birthday with a little party. We decided to have it at my mom's new house, and I was glad so many close friends and family could be there. 
I got her invites from Party Box Designs and I love how they turned out!
I kept the decorations fairly simple. I told myself I am not going to succumb to Pinterest Pressure. I did have fun making them though. I love all her monthly photos.
This banner definitely took me the longest, but I love it, and plan on using it for future birthdays. I went to a local scrapbook store and they let me use their di cut machine for the letters since I bought the paper there. I made a stencil for the circles and triangles and it wasn't that hard. 
I just did appetizers and I really wanted to have a fun cake. I got it from Dewey's, a local bakery here in Winston. I really wanted something from Winston at her party. 
And of course the smash cake!
I'll do another post with pictures from the actual party. But I wanted to share all the fun decorations too!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Year Ago

A year ago today we left the hospital with our new baby girl. This was one of the best days of my life.
I remember just thinking, we made it, we are going to be okay. There was still a long recovery ahead for me but just being able to leave the hospital after 5 days and nights was such a big thing for me. I remember them pushing we out in the wheelchair and just being so happy. 

I uploaded a video I made of her first year. We really have come such a long way from a year ago. Here's to many many more.


Monday, November 11, 2013

12 months

Dear Chloe,
Two days ago you turned 12 months old, which means you are now one year old. My mommy heart is so full. I've been reflecting back on where we were a year ago and we have come so far. From those first days in the hospital to such an active, curious little baby, you have changed so much. This was a big month for you with lots of changes!

You started crawling!! At first it was just to get a toy, now you are everything and really fast. You crawl just like your daddy did. With one leg straight out, the other bent. You love being mobile now. It's definitely time to baby proof.

You also got your first tooth this month! Your bottom tooth started coming in about 3 weeks ago. About a week ago I noticed you were getting another bottom tooth as well. At night you've had some trouble sleeping because of this, but nothing too too bad. Overall you seem to be still a happy baby with teething.

You stopped nursing this month. You weren't into it anymore, and you loved formula in a sippy cup so we switched to that full time. Part of me morns this, but I'm also glad you are getting more independent and can feed yourself. Speaking of eating no more purees this month. You eat all "real" food now. You still LOVE to eat. Turkey lunch meat, pancakes, sweet potatoes, fruit and chicken are your favorites right now.

You have gotten so active this month! You crawl around, pull up, can stand holding onto furniture and love exploring. You still love balls, books, and all your new toys from your party. You still babble all the time. You still love cats and dogs, if we are out and you see one you get soooo excited.

You wear mostly size 12 months now. Some 6, and 9 months still fit. Still size 2 disposable diapers, 3 snaps on your cloth. I am guessing you weigh around 15.5 pounds but we will find out at the doctors this week. Your hair is so thick and full, still beautiful blue eyes which I think you got from your great grandma Nina.

We love you so much sweet girl. You have brought me so much joy this past year and I'm blessed to be your mommy. My life has changed so much because of you, but I wouldn't trade any of it. You are such a beautiful baby. People still stop me at the store and ask how old you are, and tell me how pretty you are. Of course I agree. I can't wait to see what this next year brings for you.
Love always,
Mommy




Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Low Key Weekend and Halloween Recap

We've had a pretty low key weekend, which is just what we needed after being so busy. Although things won't settle down for awhile with Chloe's party, the half marathon and then the holidays, we were happy to enjoy time at home this weekend. I will say I'm moving pretty slow today as I ran 14 miles yesterday! Our last long run was at Salem Lake, my first time there and it was gorgeous! I will say I am so ready for the taper though, and race day!


I wanted to recap Chloe's first Halloween too. We went over to a friend's house from the new church we've been going to. They had a bouncy house for the kids, it was Chloe's first time in one, she wasn't too sure what to think. 
Chloe had fun trick or treating, although she couldn't eat any of her candy! She loves being around other children. 

Hope y'all had a great weekend too!
 
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