Merry Christmas! It is almost here. We have had a fun, full December. The kids got out of school on the 5th. Not-so-mini#1 and I took off for Charlotte that first weekend in December to run a 5K in lovely, downtown Waxhaw. Great flat course and pretty little old town square finish line. Mini #1 finished 5th overall and 1st in the 19 and under division! He's 13. We both cut our times considerably. Fun time. After the race, we got cleaned up and went to my mom's Ladies' Christmas tea at her church. Mini#1 and my dad were servers. This tea had 75 tables and 600 women attending. My mom decorated 3 gorgeous tables this year. This is her absolute favorite event of the entire year. I can see why. I was proud to hear all of the kind comments about her tables and gladly claimed that they were hers to anyone who asked or didn't ask! And it was fun seeing my son and dad hanging out together all afternoon doing this with us. It was a great weekend.
Other than that we had an ugly sweater party in the neighborhood. Don't you love the vest my mom gave me? Blue vest with giraffes. I added lots of glittery dollar tree stickers to it to complete the look.
We have all been sick. I guess that put a temporary damper on our holiday fun, but not really. We got to hang around inside with what has to be my favorite Christmas tree ever! It is so big and pretty and it was the 2nd tree we looked at this year on the lot! Unheard of for me to find a tree so easily!
Once we felt well enough I took the kids around Raleigh looking for a place to get some Christmas card photos. We had hoped for a family shot, but it just didn't work out this year. I snapped some photos at an unusually quiet Pullen Park, raced home and ordered some cards on Shutterfly and anxiously awaited their arrival. All is well. They have been mailed. Ahhh.
Yesterday we celebrated Mr. Pink's birthday. He's holding onto this one. 49. We went to dinner at North Hills, rode around looking at Christmas lights and home for birthday cookie. Ugh! Oh well. Kids like it. It was our 1st year not going to see his dear, sweet grandmother. She passed away in March at age 92. We miss her so much and her red velvet cake she always made him. (I should've attempted to make this!). She truly filled in as his mother these last 5 years since his mom passed away from cancer in '09. But we got about a 30 minute snowfall yesterday morning. He said it was both of them sending it from heaven.
I hope you and your families have a safe, happy, memory-filled Christmas with loved ones this year!
Happy Halloween! Oh yea. That was a week ago! Feels like a whirlwind when you mix in kids' after school activities and projects. Mr. Pink and I went to our annual neighborhood party as Snow White and Dopey (the druggie as my conservative mom called him). SPECIAL NOTE: Mini#2 did not even see his dad dressed like this as he was at a sleepover. He just thought dad was a dwarf. Mini#1, 13, knew we were just going for the play on words. I feel the need to explain our craziness. It gets more and more difficult to think of costumes each year. And, well, to be honest, I just wanted to be a Disney princess this year.
So I finally threw away the carved pumpkin yesterday when I also threw away my frostbitten geraniums in the planters on my porch. In their place I have freshly planted pansies. I even added a few clearance mums I found because, as the title of this post suggests, I am always running behind these days! It is hard to believe that Christmas is in 47 days! And that my kids get out of school for their Christmas/winter break in 27 days! Until then we have races to run (A Thanksgiving day 5K and a Gingersnap 5K), cross country meets to watch, a soccer tournament at the beach to win(??- wishful thinking) and maybe a few parties to attend.
some football???? Yes, I am a girl and I know a little about a lot of sports. Thanks Dad. I impress my 9 yr. old sports fanatic son daily with my sports knowledge. And I am ready for football. Mainly NC State Wolfpack football. But I am also ready for some NFL play as well.
These two quarterbacks above are former NC State quarterbacks and met last night in a pre-season match. Of course the 2014 Super Bowl champs were going to win, but it is awesome to see this photo of two fine young men who both originally wore red and white. Makes this NC State grad proud!
Whew. Our whirlwind summer ended July 7th and school started. Gone are the fun camps and beach vacations. We are up to our eyeballs in homework, tests, orthodontist appointments, soccer practices and had #2's 1st tournament this weekend in Wilson, NC. It was rainy yesterday, but much better today. Although fields were drenched! #2 was goalkeeper for 4 periods (halves). I have no fingernails left. He did well, though.
We have had to spend some time in Mr. Pink's hometown cleaning out his dad's home and getting it ready to rent or sell. So thankful for unusually cooler August temperatures. Especially when you are in an attic going through years worth of STUFF. The kids helped a lot and we even took our 10 month old "puppy" (horse at almost 60 lbs!) along on her first long car ride/trip. She did perfectly on the 2 hour drive, but promptly threw up on the pet car cover when we stopped the car in the driveway.
I have still been running with #1 off and on. I have been trying to run in the early morning before it is too hot. Otherwise I go to my normal classes and hit the treadmill. I am totally bummed that a favorite instructor is moving to Pittsburgh this week. She's so upbeat and fabulous! We all got teary-eyed (not kidding!) in her last class. A bunch of sappy women we are.
The kids you ask? #1 is old enough to cut the grass. Woo hoo. That is so helpful! Today he stayed home from the soccer tournament to take care of our dog, do homework and he cut the grass when we got home. His main interests these days are CLOTHES. He takes after me. Part of his willingness to help out more around here is for the compensation to buy clothes. Makes me laugh. And, as a note, he doesn't get paid for chores, but we do pay him for the grass cutting. And he has good taste in clothes, too. Whew!
#2's main interest is, as always, sports. You ask him about his school day and he tells you about the soccer game at recess. He dvr's NFL pre-games and wants to join a Fantasy Football team. He's 9!!!
He lived and breathed the World Cup! I even ordered him a lot of books on Amazon about particular MLS stars. Funny how he no longer complains about having to do his daily reading for school when it involves soccer stars. Score one for mom. Oh, and his clothes? Always soccer or sports related. It kills me. We compromise. I pick out his Monday outfit, he picks out Tues through Thurs and we both decide on Friday's outfit. This has helped after many early morning arguments in the past.
And Friday is my Birthday! That time again so soon? How can it be? Please slow down. Ha! I remember dreading the big 4-0 and now I wish I was turning 40! And that my babies were still babies, but that's another subject!
I realize this is a horrible picture and let's not even talk about how outdated my blog is, but I snapped one in a hurry. I had to share this yummy recipe my Boston Marathon running friend (who will be sitting beside me on the beach in a few weeks) shared with me. She is an awesome HEALTHY cook and has her kid eating everything she and her husband do. Not the story in my house, but one kid at least loves tons of veggies.
Anyway, there's a small group of us who have made some health goals and she is giving us tips, recipes, encouragement, etc. I am really continuing what I normally do as far as exercise, drinking water, sleep, but am determined to control my SUGAR intake! Sugary food settles right in my waist. I know it's a problem so we shall see. Frozen banana ice cream ( frozen bananas, pinch of cocoa in food processor) just doesn't seem to satisfy my Sour Patch Kids, Reese's, Oreo cravings. But I am also trying to cut out the "white" foods. Potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. However, sweet potatoes and brown rice have always been my friends so not that difficult. It's portion control, too... I could go on and on.
SO tonight, I am having this yummy sauce (which is completely vegan for my vegan friends) in a grilled chicken (because I am only the occasional vegan) spinach artichoke, quinoa bowl. I'll share the spinach recipe, too because you could always forget the chicken.
1 cup light Almond Milk + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Cilantro (1/4- 1/2 cup loose)
1 clove garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 avocado, cut in quarters
1-2 tbsp chopped onion
salt to taste
1- Combine 1 cup almond milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit. (makes it "curdle" like buttermilk)
2- Place cilantro, garlic, onion, lime juice and avocado in blender or food processor. Add milk after it sits for 5 minutes.
3- Blend until smooth.
It should stay fresh for a few days. Add it to a salad for next day's lunch or over quinoa by itself for some flavor.
Spinach Artichoke Mix
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
Bag (or more) of spinach
1 can or frozen bag artichokes (frozen is at Trader Joe's)
1- Saute' mushrooms, onions and garlic.
2- Add artichokes for a few mins.
3- Add spinach to wilt.
4- Sprinkle with feta and a few sundried tomatoes.
5- Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
6- You can add grilled salmon or chicken and the avocado sauce, too.
This kid's team was runner up in his year end tournament. 1 loss in 2 seasons!
This boy improved his mile time to 5:51 by the end of the season!
We rescued this frog (bottom of pic) in our yard and took him to a nearby creek.
We've played with, walked and loved this baby girl!
We wore our shades and went out for ice cream to start our summer!
Just a few things we did in May! We also went to an honor society induction, a wedding where mini#1 and I had way too much fun in a photo booth and soccer tryouts that ended today. I went to a concert for a post Mother's Day celebration with a girlfriend. We saw Fitz and the Tantrums. Good time! And Hall and Oates was fabulous, too (even if they missed a few of my favorites).
We even met mini#2's 4th grade teacher Thursday night since we are only out for our summer for 5 weeks. But it will be a busy 5 weeks. June brings a beach trip (my brother and his family will be there, too), runner's camp, soccer camp, VBS and another road race for mini#2 and me. We will finish the break with another trip to another beach with friends and their kids to celebrate the 4th! Then it's back to the books and making lunches July 7th. But we'll still visit the pool and have fun in July and August after school. Our kids are used to this. Doing homework at the pool during breaks is fun to them! It's not so bad.
I hope you all have great fun summers ahead, too!
Mr. Pink and I are spending the evening under the stars listening to these guys. Only they don't look like this any longer and we don't look the way we used to when we listened to their songs. Or I listened to their songs. Mr. Pink is along for the ride. I even brushed up on my Hall and Oates on Youtube last night. I'm ready!