Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Tree Hunt

The day after Thanksgiving we headed up the mountains to cut our own Christmas Tree. It was so much fun. I've always thought it would be neat to cut down your own tree, and I'm so glad we got to do it.
It was so beautiful up there. The county where we were grows the most Christmas trees in the whole state of North Carolina, there were trees everywhere and it smelled amazing. 
Chloe enjoyed seeing all the trees and being up in the mountains. It had snowed the day before and she loved seeing all the snow. It was such a fun day, so glad we got to go!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope y'all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and friends, and have plenty to be thankful for. We celebrated here in North Carolina.
My in laws came down, and yesterday we went to the Children's Museum. Chloe made a turkey/ indian head dress and she actually wore it. She looked quite adorable!
Chloe enjoyed Thanksgiving and all the prep that went into it, like licking the beater from the chocolate pie filling.
This was my first time hosting Thanksgiving. My in laws were here, and my good friend Kelli and her family came over too. Chloe loved having her bff Olivia here.
They spent most of the time playing in the pantry though. Thanksgiving with 2 toddlers was very busy, but really fun. Chloe's favorites this year were the rolls. mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I tried to get more pictures but we were so busy cooking and keeping up with Chloe.

Feeling truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Being away from Richmond and my family there was hard this year. But, having good friends and family here made it good, and for that I'm thankful. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chloe Conversations

Since I started blogging years ago I've always read cute posts about funny things people's children say. And since Chloe is getting to be chatty, well chatty in the sense she is saying more real words, I thought I should start documenting some of my favorite cute things she says. So here goes the first installment of Chloe conversations!

We were watching Daniel Tiger after dinner tonight and I realized Chloe had had a bowel movement. I asked "Chloe did you go poopy?" I see her thinking and I know she hates diaper changes so she points to her cat stuffed animal and says "the cat, she poopy."

Trying to blame it on the cat, well played Chloe, well played. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Richmond Half 2014

This past Saturday I ran in my favorite race, The Richmond Half Marathon. I love this race for so many reasons, and my third time (including the full from 2011) was just as great as before. So here you have it: Richmond 2014 race recap!

That morning it was cold. It was 28 degrees when we started and about 38 when we finished. I had my throw away hat, gloves, hoodie so I was set. I didn't want a repeat of last year where I almost missed the start and couldn't find parking so I had Clarke drop me off by 6. It was dark out but the start was busy and I was excited. Most of my teammates where staying at the Marriott so a bunch of us hung out in our head coach's room until 6:45. We headed to the lobby for a team photo, then it was off to the start and y'all I couldn't contain myself. Someone asked if it was my first half because I was so excited. I said "no, I just love this race, lol." 
The first 2 miles I was definitely warming up. Once we hit Boulevard I threw off my hat and hoodie and was finally feeling like I got my stride down. I ran the first 10k with Debra, my pace group's coach, and it worked out well because we paced each other and I really like starting the race with someone. Once we got to Bryan Park and hit the 10k timer I knew I was on track for my goal time. My family was in the park cheering me on and I loved seeing them. Just that 2 seconds of them cheering for you makes such a difference and it gave me the boost I needed to get through the last hill of the race. 

Once you leave the park it's through the Pope Arch and into the neighborhood of Bellevue. So many people cheering! Mile 11 two of my closest friends were cheering me on and I kept looking for them. I kept telling myself "just keep this pace, and you'll do it, just keep this pace." I was running about a 10 minute mile then, although when I looked back at my Garmin it said mile 11 was a 9 minute mile. At mile 12 I checked my time, 2hrs 5 minutes. If I could keep running a 10 minute mile then I could do a 2:15 half. 

When I started training back in August I hoped to break 2:20. It seemed almost too far fetched though, but as training went on and I got stronger and gained more confidence I knew I could do it. My pace from Tuesday night speed work and the Yasso 800s made me think maybe I could even do a 2:15 half. 

The last half mile of this race I gave it my all. I was heaving like never before and the down hill finish I kept thinking "just don't fall." I crossed the finish line and looked at my Garmin:
I did it! I've never been one to really care about my time, but it felt so good to do it. This was my first race where I really pushed myself, where I really dug deep those last few miles and pushed through. 
I met up with other teammates after and we snapped some photos. Then I needed pizza. I've decided pizza is my favorite post race food, so I headed to get my free slice. 
 Chloe was not into taking pictures at first. Even though I was exhausted I couldn't wait to give her a hug. Seriously my family is the best for taking such good care of her while I run. 
Met up with Rachel and Emily afterwards. I said on Instagram how I'm thankful for these girls, they got me addicted to running years ago. Ran with me when I could barely run one mile, told me I could be a distance runner and kept me going. Love this picture of us. 

Tonight we had our team celebration to end training. Our head coach talked about being proud of our training, and I really am. I'm proud of those early Saturday runs, and those 2 loops around Salem Lake in the cold rain and running all the way up Brookstown. I'm just as proud for making it through training as I am of my PR. I've said it before but training with Fleet Feet on the hills here has made me such a stronger runner. I'm thankful for the friends I've made and the running community here in Winston. 

So there's my race recap for Richmond. Another great race in my hometown! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chloe Turns 2

We've been in Richmond for the past week celebrating Chloe's birthday, visiting family and friends, and then I ran the half marathon! It was such a good week. I'll start the recaps with Chloe's birthday. 
We started off her second birthday with her favorite breakfast, yogurt, then playtime at the park. We were at my mom's for the party already, came up the day before. After nap time it was time for her party!
My mom made her cake this year, we put the figurines on to go with the Daniel Tiger theme for her party.  I loved how it turned out. 
I reused decorations from last year, and added the Daniel Tiger characters, free printables from PBS Kids. I found the balloons on Amazon. 
Chloe got this car from my friend Lori, and she absolutely loved it. She played with it all day.
Chloe was all about the cake this year. Last year she wasn't so sure about it, but this year she ate a huge piece. 
The best part of her party was having all my close friends and family there. I loved celebrating and getting to see everyone, Chloe did too. 
Hard to believe my baby girl is 2! When I signed her in at the Y today I had to write 2 for her age, it felt so weird. She has grown so much this past year, excited to see what this next year brings!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Weekend

We had a great weekend celebrating Halloween. My dad came down for most of the weekend and we really enjoyed having him. 
Thursday night we went to a Halloween party with a bunch of friends from church. I put on Chloe's costume and she hated it to say the least. Lets just say there was lots of screaming, tears and pulling at the tutu. I think part of it was that she was tired, but she was not into it. So I put on a cute dress and off we went. 
The funny part is that she was fine wearing the ears, which is a headband but she normally hates wearing headbands. I thought that would be the part she hated, oh toddlers I wish I understood what goes through her head some days. 
They had a bouncy house, and she actually played some. Then Friday this happened:
I put on her costume, and she smiled. 
Chloe's bff Olivia came over for some trick or treating. They had so much fun together. 
Chloe loved playing with Grandpa after trick or treating. 

Saturday morning was my last long run before the half in Richmond. It was rainy, and not just a little drizzle, like heavy rain. And it was cold, and windy and just nasty out. I wanted to not go so bad but it was too close to race day. Our run was two laps around Salem Lake, which would have been gorgeous on a sunny fall day. After one lap I was going to quit, but I didn't. Part of me was disappointed in my run, but then I thought that's not fair. I did it, I finished and it wasn't pretty, in fact it was probably one of the worse runs of my life. But I'm stronger for it. I'm ready for Richmond now.

Since Saturday was rainy and cold we took Chloe to Sci Works, a museum pretty close to our house. 
It was the first time we've been to this museum and we loved it. I was afraid they would't have much for Chloe but they had tons of fun things for her. 
Can't believe it's already November. Bring on Chloe's party and race day!!