5 for Friday

It’s time for another five for Friday!  Let’s jump right in!

{ONE}

Running – Lots of running happening around here!  I completed my 10 mile long run of the week on Thursday morning.  I did this, so I would not be running (a long one anyways) over the weekend when we are with family.  This meant I had to rise and shine at 4:30 in order to fit in breakfast and the digestion of it.  I calculated my pace at about 8 minutes 15 seconds.  I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy that particular run.  Some hip pain that alternated sides which I believe may be the result of some toe callouses (lovely image, right?) that were throwing off my stride.  However, I’ve been having awesome shorter runs.  I did the run below on Tuesday in the comfort of my low-humidity home.

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Love that fast last mile!  Looks like I ran that last one in 7 minutes and 2 seconds!

{TWO}

Outings – I love doing little outings with Helen and Holden on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This Tuesday we went to the library for a reading of Stellaluna and a real live bat presentation.  Holden was such a good boy.  He sat and listened…even raised his hand with a legitimate question!  I remember taking him there when he was just a little over a year and working on those very skills!  I got to just hang out in the back with Helen.

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We also played at the park across the street afterwards.  Gotta take advantage of these temps that AREN’T in the upper 90’s!

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Here’s another picture of our Thursday outing…Mt. Trashmore and Goodwill!  Holden even got to pick out a toy!  For $1.25!  ;)

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{THREE}

Checking off my to-do list – I posted back at the beginning of summer a “fun list” of things I hoped to do.  Let’s see how we’re doing!

  • Sprinkler time not yet
  • Sidewalk Chalk sadly not much interest on Holden’s behalf – I think a fun game might work!
  • Visiting all the Eastern Shore family did it!  So much fun!
  • Color Me Pottery {paint your own!} Yes, Holden painted his crab coffee mug😉
  • Children’s Museum in Portsmouth, VA may opt out of this one
  • Brickheadz {Lego Play Center} Unfortunately, this place has summer camp until 12 each day.  We do best with morning outings, so I’m not sure if we will make it until fall.  
  • Norfolk Zoo Holden is actually going on a summer camp field trip there!  
  • Farmer’s Market Hope to do this in the next couple weeks!
  • Jamestown Visit check!
  • Visiting Granny (& Auntie Brookie and Uncle Michael) Soon!  :)
  • Fishing Trip for Daddy, Big H, and Poppy Yes!  Holden caught his first fish!
  • Baseball Game – Try, try, try again at this one! We enjoyed seeing the Norfolk Tides play.
  • Beach – Hopefully, we may even try some quick trips with me and the two H’s. 4 trips total for me and the kids.  Two for the Mr.  Hoping to go again soon!
  • 4th of July Parade – Holden loved being in the parade last year.  We’re looking forward to doing it again! Yes, this was so much fun.  
  • Swimming Lessons These were great!  Now, we just need to keep him practicing all his skills.  
  • Library Visits Oh my stars!  We’ve definitely done this one.
  • Little H’s Baptism in August

Menu for Baptism…

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  • 1 night getaway for me and the Mr. in July – It will be the first night away from kids since Little H’s arrival!  We had to cancel this one.  
  • Play Dates with new and old friends We’ve done some biking with our neighbors!
  • Ziplining Date with the Mr. at The Adventure Park Yes!  This was so much fun.  

I’m so excited about all these things!  My personal goals for June include

  • Put together easel and little table for Holden to use this summer check!  Actually, I delegated these jobs out.  :)
  • Develop a little summer schedule for Big H’s days at home {He will be attending summer camp starting in July MWF for half days.} with some fun activities We do a little mini “school” on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have a pretty good schedule going too.  
  • Read 3 books!  Not sure if I met this one…just try to read a little in the evening before bed.  
  • Take Holden on a Mommy – Son date I do feel like most of our days are a Mommy & Holden date since Helen sleeps when we are out and about in the morning.  
  • Run outside once a week For sure!  Every since signing up for the half-marathon I’ve been doing lots of running!  ;)

Another item on my work to do list was to wash and wax my car.  Holden helped me wash one morning this week, and I waxed while he was at summer camp.  It always reminds me of my grandfather.  He was the first one to show me how to wax a car.  I remember being underneath a large pine tree in the backyard with him…just waxing away!  He had definite opinions about the right way to do it.  Never would have approved of this wax!  It did the trick though.

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{FOUR}

Bizarre Food I Eat – I think everyone has some weird stuff that they like to eat.  This week I’ve been enjoying a hard-boiled egg (sliced) on two pieces of toast with BBQ sauce.  Absolutely delicious!  I know you’re probably grossed out, but (like I tell Holden) you should try it before you say you don’t like it!  I’ve been eating the same breakfast for like a month a half.  1/2 cup oatmeal + 1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter + 1 tbsp. Trader Joe’s raspberry jelly + lots of boiling water.  Then, I let it sit covered for a few minutes.  Last, I microwave it for like twenty seconds.  If it isn’t soupy enough, I add extra water.  I love this breakfast!  So filling AND sweet!  No picture of either of these items as I’m sure the pictures would do them no justice!

{FIVE}

Summery Desserts! – I’m going to pick up the ingredients to try out these Strawberry Lemonade Bars this afternoon.  I have really been enjoying lighter desserts since the weather has been so hot.  Don’t these look delicious!?!?

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photo & recipe from the baker upstairs

P.S. I realized I didn’t snap any pics of baby Helen this week!  Poor girl!  I’m going to blame it on having my hands-full when she’s awake!  I’ll try to do better by the sweet girl this weekend.  Have a great one!

Natalie

Botanical Garden and Bike Riding

Wow, it’s already Monday!  This weekend was so fun, but it really flew by.  Friday started out with an oil change for me (and Helen).  Unfortunately, we found out about a problem with my car that will need to be fixed in the next few months for a lovely $600 price tag.  That is no fun Friday fact.  Here’s Helen so nicely sleeping for me at the auto place…

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We also had another bit of a bummer Friday evening with a loss of power due to heavy rain and winds that came through that evening.  It was quite a steamy night in our house.  Power came back on that morning.  Just in time for me to head out for my 9 mile run!  Wow!  It’s a good thing I go early, because I’m drenched in lovely sweat running at 6:30.  I can’t imagine waiting until later.

After that run, it was a quick change before Aunt Sarah Beth and Uncle Cullen got here for a trip to the Norfolk Botanical Garden.  Here he is working on his stroller skills!

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We did a little exploring in one section of the garden, but rain forced us to make a run for a gazebo.  We waited out the rain and then continued on.

Clearly, Holden didn’t let that keep him down.

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Miss Helen was snoozing, so she missed the photo opportunity.

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We were so glad they came to visit!

Here’s Holden checking out a big tree in another one of our “let’s seek some shelter from the rain” moments.

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There was a butterfly festival going on there.  However, it was EXTREMELY busy around that section.  I didn’t take a single picture.  We also didn’t make it through the butterfly house due to a very long line.  Holden and I had seen it last year, but I was slightly bummed to miss it.  That line was cray though!

Holden got a little water action in the WOW Children’s Garden…

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Here’s the view from the top of the NATO Tower there…

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Despite the rain, I think we all had a great time!  Afterwards, we went home to enjoy a late lunch.  I made these Beer & Cheddar Burgers from Mix & Match Mama.  Along with the burgers, we had corn on the cob and home fries.  For dessert, it was a Lemon Raspberry Pie.  I really liked the burgers, and the Mr. really liked the dessert…so there you go!  Saturday was also a big day in the bike riding world!  Holden is riding without training wheels!  Woo-hoo!  We are so proud of him, but I think he may be even prouder of himself!

On Sunday, I went to church and left the dudes playing Legos.  Holden had a birthday party for his very good buddy who is moving away in a couple weeks.  He had a great time celebrating with him!  Sunday finished up with an at-home workout for me and some swimming time for the Mr. and Holden at a friend’s pool.

Whew!  What a full weekend!  We are having such a good time this summer.  It’s hard to believe that we are just a little over a month away from our “fall” routine.  I hope you’re having an excellent Monday so far!

We don’t have a whole lot going on this week except for summer camp, a library event, and the never-ending laundry routine.  ;)  Have a great day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Love

Okay…it’s official.  I’m in love with summer vacation.  If I was on a typical maternity leave plan, I would have gone back to work just a week ago.  Instead I’ve got lots of summer days ahead of me with these two sweet kids.  I’m SO SO SO thankful.  Holden is loving his MWF half-day summer camp, and I’m loving the time it is giving me to talk, read, and just play with Helen.  I also am able to get SOMETHING done when she goes down for a nap around 10:30/11:00.  We pick big brother up at 12.

Tuesdays and Thursday are our ready-for-fun with all of us days!  On Tuesday, we went to Mt. Trashmore.  Holden did some bike riding while I walked with Helen in the BOB and Roscoe.  Holden also played for a bit at the Kids’ Cove, and we flew his kite at the top of Mt. Trashmore.  So fun!  It was a nice and windy day…perfect for kite flying!

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A boy and his kite!  Best Dollar Tree purchase ever!

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After lots of outside time, we took Roscoe home to cool off and headed to Chik-fil-A for Cow Appreciation Day aka a free entree if you dress up as a cow!  I printed off our costumes and cut out the details.

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Yes, I walked up to the counter (it was a drive-thru/counter window only) at Chik-fil-A with a paper cow tail taped to my pants.  We ordered up some nuggets for Holden and a grilled chicken sandwich for me.  After that, we hit the road to make it home in time to feed Helen.  We enjoyed our lunch with some sides from home.

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After naps on Tuesday, we did a little home work-out…

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even Helen was exercising!  Get those neck muscles girl!

 

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Wednesday was summer camp for Holden and lots of cleaning for me.  Daddy also came home early, so we got a little walk in before dinner.  Yay!  Holden is doing great with this mini glider that the Mr. borrowed from a co-worker.  It’s really helping him work on his balance as we prepare to take off the training wheels.  I would highly recommend buying one of these even before getting a traditional bike.  See link to buy here.  

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Today was a busy one!  We had planned to go to a Lego build place today, but the place has a summer camp running from 10-12.  :(  That’s our prime “let’s go out for the day!” time.  Plans changed, and we toughed it out at the local park for a little bike riding and playing time.  We pretended to be hunters looking for bears.  :)  Roscoe the dog came along too!  It did get too hot (in the 90s) after a short time.  Then, we returned Roscoe to the abode.  Holden painted a crab mug at Color Me Mine last week, and we were off to pick that up.  Unfortunately, I ran over some spilt nails from a work truck on the way.  I couldn’t see the situation until I was already driving through it.  I’m so hoping the Mr. can fix it up.

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I gave Holden a lesson on checking tire pressure!  He was very interested!  To wrap up our day, we popped into the library for some new books for all.

Well!  It has been a busy week!

I hope yours has been a good one!  If you’re looking for a fun, light read, pick up this one…

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It got it at my local library.  Yes, yes I am icing my knee.  I have an odd “twinge” below my kneecap.  :(  We’ll see how that goes…9 miles on the agenda for Saturday morning.

Have a great day!  Almost Friday!

Natalie

Weekend Whereabouts

Hi there!  We had such a busy weekend filled with lots of family and fun times!  The Mr.’s sister and her fiancee came into town late Friday evening.  The kiddos and I were already tucked in, but we were up early to visit!  I started off the day with an eight mile run in very, very humid conditions.  I had a terrible side pain in the first three miles that I had to tough out.  It’s funny, but I never have a great run when I think I’m going to.  They always sneak up on me.  The latter half of my run was much better.  Everyone else had breakfast while I was out.

We loaded up the cars (yes, we require two cars now due to two bambinos) to head to the beach.  I was a little apprehensive that it would be too hot for baby H, but it was perfect.  Sunny with a breeze!  We got there a little after 9 and stayed until about 11:30.

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Holden loved having more people to splash with him (and climb all over in the waves!).

He also made a friend with a very nice boy with a football!

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After our beach time, we headed home for showers and quick changes.  Then, we were off to Chick’s Oyster Bar for some seafood.  We got to see lots of boats coming and going and enjoy some good food.  I had the Flounder BLT grilled.

The rest of Saturday was spent lounging, cooking, eating, and watching a new Tom Hanks’ movie – Bridge of Spies.  Truthfully, I missed most the movie due to baby duty and a phone call to my sister.  #priorities  ha!

On Sunday, we said good bye to Auntie Brookie and Uncle Michael.  :(  Then, Miss Helen and I headed off to church while the boys stayed here for a little home improvement project.  We didn’t have too much time to relax though.  We did make time to roll Holden up in a yoga mat, smear a tad bit of peanut butter on his face, and try to get Roscoe the dog to lick it off!  Roscoe wouldn’t play our silly game much to our dismay.

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Moochie and Poppy arrived mid-afternoon for the baseball game!  We went to see the Norfolk Tides play the Syracuse Chiefs last night.  Holden asked 789,451, 390 (approximately) questions during the game.  I tried my best to answer them since they were on topic at least!  That brain of his moves fast!

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Poor Moochie drew the short straw (willingly!) and was the babysitter for baby H.  Unfortunately, baby H was not wanted to be babysat!  Girlfriend would not take a bottle, would not sleep, and would not CHILL for anything.  :(  I honestly didn’t have too much time to worry/think about what my mom might be facing due to Holden’s rapid fire questions!  Let’s just say I don’t think the Mr. and I will be having any nights/days away anytime soon.  I think that once fall comes aka a real routine things will smooth out.  Mommy’s got to work in 6.5 weeks!!!!

Today was Holden’s day at summer camp.  The baby H and I enjoyed a bottle (for her not me!) = Victory over the bottle wars!  I also took her for another shot😦 and a walk with Roscoe the dog.  :)  We picked up big brother in time for lunch and a little outside pirate action.

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PS The grass is so tall in our backyard, because I broke the lawnmower on Friday.  Friday was a so not winning day…however, I did get the front yard cut.  We’re looking totally put together from the road.

We have dinner guests coming tonight – Uncle Michael (the other one) and Aunt DD!  We’ve also got plans to dress up as cows tomorrow – free Chik-fil-a – you know you wish you could too!  We also might make a trip to a local Lego play and build place on one hot morning.  There’s also rumors of an oil change for my car aka waiting in a room with kids while someone does it in a hopefully speedy manner.  Hope you have the best week!

Natalie

 

5 for Friday

Hi there!  Wow…this week has flown by!  I think we have Independence Day to thank for that!  I hope you’re ready for another weekend and a hot one at that.  Here’s five things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

Helen Elizabeth is three months on Sunday!  She is getting to be such a big girl!  Here’s a run-down of her stats…

  • Sleeping from 9PM to 5:30/6:00AM without any feedings!  Hip hip hooray!
  • Naps are better during the day with longer ones in the morning and short (1 hourish) in the afternoon) for a total of 5 naps
  • Breastfeeding continues to be great – Miss Helen does NOT like a bottle!  We are working on that.  :)
  • Weight – She weighed 10lbs 14oz at her two month check-up mid-June.
  • She’s a happy baby most of the time!  We’ve seen lots of smiles and heard lots of baby talk recently.
  • Helen loves baths, fans, and looking at books…even big brother’s!

She is so much more alert these days!  Here we are doing a little water play with her.  She promptly spit up in the water after this picture and grossed out her big brother!

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{TWO}

Running – I’m really enjoying running again.  Hallelujah!  Also, it has been pain free except for that feeling of tiredness that makes me think I’m slightly crazy to be planning to run 13.1 miles in Virginia’s hot and humid weather!

I have been fortunate to do lots of outdoor runs in the past two weeks, but I got a late start on Thursday.  I had to do my 3 miles on the treadmill.  It was a pretty fast one!  First mile was 7:46.  Second mile was 7:11.  Third mile (+.1 – I actually pretended it was a 5K and ran the extra .1) was 7:29.  Overall time…

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{THREE}

Family Visits – We’ve been so blessed to see lots of family over the last several months.  The trend continues with my sister-in-law and her fiancee coming to visit this evening.  They’ll be staying with us this weekend and enjoying some of our hot and humid weather!  I think it will make for a very early beach day tomorrow!  I’ve got lots of good food planned and can’t wait to see them!  Here are two recipes that are guaranteed good (aka I’ve tried them before!).

Chicken BBQ Sandwiches

Key Lime Bars

{FOUR}

Groupon – I love how Groupon can inspire you to do something you haven’t before.  It might be a new restaurant, a day at a paintball park, or even a massage!  I bought three Groupons in the past couple months.  One was for a local Lego place that allows kids to visit and build.  We’ve been before, and Holden really loved it.  I also bought my Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon entrance fee from Groupon for some percentage off.  Another one I bought with Holden in mind was the Color Me Mine visit.  We went this week.  The Groupon covered the studio fee.  Holden picked out something to paint, and I had to pay that additional cost.  He picked a crab mug!  Must be inspired by his recent fishing trip!  We had such a nice, relaxing time painting together (Helen was snoozing!).  I can’t wait to pick it up next week after it has been fired.

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Love this sweet boy!  He has so much to say and wants to learn/take in everything!  I hope his curiosity continues.  :)

{FIVE}

A couple cool quotes I saw on Pinterest this week…3ac40d475b8901bf25e1545ce9f5ece5.jpgtumblr_o23ds6S4gI1s8zgc6o1_500.jpg

Source

Have a great day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Shore Trip

Happy July!  Can you believe how fast summer is going?!?!  We got to enjoy lots of family time over the last week on the Shore.  It was also Helen’s first overnight (really several nights) trip!  The last week was filled with yummy food, staying up past bedtime, lots of baby holding, games, beach trips, fireworks, a parade, a fishing trip and just plain old fun!

We headed out of town right after Holden finished up his last swimming lesson.  Here’s little sister and me waiting for the master swimmer…Excuse the spit!

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We got to my parents’ house that afternoon after a very sketchy picnic.  I’m a big-time picnic lover, but I confess that the location was super creepy.  This was especially true when we had to stay a bit longer for me to nurse Helen.  I honestly can’t remember if people (aka siblings + Uncle Michael) came over that night or the next.  All I remember is that I ate good food and relaxed.

The next day we (my mom, Holden, Helen, and I) met up with my cousin and her two adorable girls for a little beach time.  It was so nice to catch up with her!  We went to the same church growing up, were in Girl Scouts together, and just hung around each other quite frequently.  Wish we could get together more often!

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After our morning beach trip, we got to enjoy a “ladies’ lunch” of seafood salad with Aunt Sarah Beth.  Holden was unimpressed with the main course, but he was totally down with the sparking apple juice.  My mom always has the fun food/drinks!  We visited my grandmother’s best friend and caught up with her that afternoon.  We also went down to a local landmark and checked out the views…

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Holden was running all over this place!  I love his enthusiasm for things/life!  I also confess that it is a tiny hope of mine that he stays a lifelong runner.

On Friday, a delegation of family went to the beach at Assateague.  This is the typical “beach” that I remember from my childhood.  Specifically, I remember going with my grandmother.  She always had Coca Cola, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Egg Salad, this hideous Raggedy Ann blanket, and the intention of getting us new friends and/or a boyfriend.

P.S.  Doesn’t Holden look like 25 in these picture?!?!?!

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If you look hard, you can see Miss Helen chilling in the beach tent with a fan DIRECTLY on her face.  Ha!  Got to do what you got to do!

Uncle Michael on kid duty in the picture below!

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Hands-on grandma right here ladies and gentlemen!  My mom was all over that beach!  She was chasing down Holden aka preventing a drowning, sticking Miss Helen’s feet in the sand and water, AND generally gossiping with my sister and me.  When we left, she said that she didn’t think she had been this sandy since me and my siblings were small!  I was/am so thankful for her!

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Running yet again!  Great form in my humble opinion ; )

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Holden had a great time splashing around!  I was so thankful for the extra hands.  My poor sister even got her lovely bathing suit spit on by the Spitter aka Helen.  Around 11, we left in a mad rush when Miss Helen had had quite enough fresh air!  Plus, there were crazy storms that popped up midday through the afternoon.  I was very thankful we seized the day and got another beach trip in!

The Mr. joined us after finishing out the work week, and I was very happy to see my partner in parenting/life!  He is one grade A beach-goer (especially with kids and all the lovely accessories they require!).

Saturday turned out to be a girly day with my mom, Helen, and I taking in the sights (and some lunch!) after I finished up my 7 mile run.  I went back over to Assateague to do my run.  Such pretty scenery!

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The guys (my dad, the Mr., Uncle Cullen, and Holden) went fishing, and Holden officially caught his first fish!  It was a pretty good size or so I am told.  However, it was out of season.  Don’t those “jorts” on my brother make you want to grab a pair of jeans and some scissors?!?!  ; )

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Later on Saturday we had to meet with the preacher who will be doing Helen’s baptism.  She also married the Mr. and me and baptized Holden.  That evening the Mr. and I went on a date!  We went to Bloxom Winery for pizza, salad, and wine except beer for me.  I’m just not cool enough for wine.  IMG_3691.jpg

Sunday was church and lots of rain!  The rain pretty much continued through the 4th.  :(  We spent some time with Holden and Helen’s Meme and C-Pa on Sunday through Tuesday.  We had some swimming plans, but they just didn’t happen.  Thankfully, the rain took a break the morning of the fourth, so we could participate in the motor-less parade!  Holden did this last year on his bike.  This year he was so speedy!  I’m thinking next year will be without the training wheels!  Maybe little sister can even ride in a wagon.  :)

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Holden’s fan club came to see him…  :)  Notice my mother’s phone (made the picture!)…this woman likes her smartphone!!!

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Check out Miss Helen!  She was sporting some stars for the special day!

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We ended our holiday with some fireworks!  Helen’s first time!  No crying (except from Roscoe the dog) and way big eyes taking it all in!IMG_3710.JPG

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I confess to having a holiday hangover that has lasted through today.  It was a little hard to get back into the swing of things like grocery shopping, laundry, and kiddy tasks like reading two million books before 9AM.  I’m so very thankful for our family vacation and all the memories we made!  We are so blessed to have so many people who loves us so much.

The good news is…it’s Hump Day AND weekend visitors are coming!  My sister-in-law and her fiancee are supposed to arriving on Friday.  We are excited, and Holden is asking if they are coming tonight!

Hope you have a great week!

Natalie

Thoughts on Aging and More Swimming!

Hi there!  Sure feels like Friday to me…but it’s only Tuesday!  I think that is due to lots of fun plans we have coming up this week.  We’ve been doing more swimming this week with a full hour today to make up for one day we will miss…

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Check out that killer jump!  He absolutely loves jumping in now!

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Little sister beating the heat with her fan!

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I can’t believe the last day for us will be tomorrow!  I really thought it would be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what, but Holden has loved it!  As a parent, you know that you tend to love what seeing your kid(s) enjoy himself/themselves.  So…I had the best time too!  I won’t miss sitting in the sauna that the pool area is, but I will miss getting to see him enjoy the water.  Lots of pool/beach days in our future this summer I hope!

In other athletic pursuits, I did a 4 mile run this morning.  I foolishly did a pretty vigorous leg workout/arm/abs yesterday.  Now, the arms and abs were fine, but I could feel how tired my legs were as soon as I took the first strides.  Sunday was a 6 mile run too.  Apparently, I need a little more rest than I used to!  I was just telling the Mr. this morning that I feel like I’m a better runner than I used to be (i.e. in my youth), but I also feel like a more delicate runner.  More stretching, more planning, more “babying” myself in order to run better and feel better.  Isn’t it funny how things change?!?!  I used to look for the “easy” way or cut out some spots on a run to decrease my mileage when I was in high school.  Running/”practice” was a little more dread than enjoyment.  Nowadays, I’m scheming on ways to get out of the house and eek out a few more minutes to make my run longer.  So funny!  I was just reading a bit about how women become better endurance runners in their 30s and later.  Here’s hoping!  I’d love to beat my time (1:50:20).  :)

My heel is still a bit tender, but I didn’t have any pain on my run.  More like stiffness.  I did have a pain in my side that I believe resulted in absolutely NO concentration on my breathing…I find that I have to be very methodical and make sure I’m breathing in and out of my nose.  All those things you forget when you haven’t run for a speedy purpose (half marathon 67 days!) in some time.

Tomorrow will be crazy busy for us, but I’m hoping to do some yoga and REST.  Like easy peasy yoga – I don’t want to break a sweat at all yoga.

Have a great evening!