Silent Sunday

Here’s a review in pictures of our weekend with just a few words!  Enjoy and happy Monday!

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Last day of the three musketeers (Thursday) meant a library visit, playground time, and fro-yo!  All Holden’s requests!

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How Helen feels about Mommy going to work 😦

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My loves

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Front porch coffee time (Dog on furniture, people on the floor…typical)

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8 mile run at the oceanfront = no foot pain!  So thankful!  P.S.  I have no idea how this happened except that I prayed about it.  I didn’t ice it, take meds, put heat on it, stay off of it…no explanation!

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Boogie Board Love at First Ride

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The fourth wheel to our Saturday night beach & dinner date

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How was your weekend?

Any fun Labor Day plans?  Is it too soon to talk about the weekend?!

Natalie

“Are we there yet?!” Half Marathon Talk and End of Summer List

Hi there!  This week is zooming by!  Exactly seven days left of summer vacation {not counting the weekend} for us.  Whomp whomp.  This is how I feel about that…

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I actually sent this picture to the Mr. when he asked me what I was cooking for dinner on Monday night.  I am/was cooked out after Helen’s big weekend!  Daddy to the rescue!  He’s grilled up whatever I’ve put in front of him so far this week.  We’ve had grilled chicken and hot dogs.  I’m going to miss grilling season aka less dishes to wash season.

P.S.  The dogs pictured below were super good!  Courtesy of my fave, Trader Joe’s.

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So I was pretty cranky yesterday, and I absolutely hate that!  It was a terrible combination of a hot, muggy day that kept us inside AND a lot of organization to do.  Trying to organize with two kiddos (and Helen’s not even mobile!) will make one cra-zay.  I did manage to get our bathroom closet and linen/craft closet reorganized, consolidated, and just generally more presentable.  I also tortured myself more by having Holden try on ALL his pants, shirts, coats from last winter to determine what new stuff he needs.  Oh.my.  I’m not sure who had less fun, me or him.  I can happily report most his shirts still fit, but he did need all new pants.  Online shopping to the rescue!  Done!

I really think my crappy mood stemmed from not being about to do much in the exercise department recently.  I had a bunch of food pain after a long run last Thursday morning.  Please hide your eyes from the picture below if you are squeamish…

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My frightening toenails are all shades of yellow to purple.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to {eventually} lose the nails on the three middle toes.  😦  Not sure what is going on with my feet, but I know my mind and the rest of my body parts are willing to really go for it in this upcoming half-marathon.  My feet, however, are not cooperating.  Helen and I spent some quality time at the local running store today, and I did come home with a new pair of shoes.  Yes, I just bought new shoes in June.  This goes against every fiber of my fiscally conservative body.  However, I really don’t want to NOT be able to race in just a little over two weeks.  I bought a whole size bigger shoe.  I wear an 8.5 in regular shoes.  Previously, I’ve worn a 9 in running shoes.  I’m now up to a 10 in New Balances.  What?!?  Yes, I also switched brands to allow for more toe room based on how New Balance designs shoes.

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I immediately came home and tried them out on the treadmill while Helen napped.  Results:  Felt good…no toe pain…still side of the foot – left foot pain.  All in all, I’ll take it. I’m thinking that I will just have to take about 6 weeks off from running after the half to let my foot totally recuperate.  Not cool, but it’s also not cool to have pain.  I feel like I’m saying just a little longer…hold on just a little longer feet!  I can’t wait to run this race, and then just chill on running.  Today I ran 3.6 miles. Here’s my last mile…

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What else isn’t cool around here, you ask?  Our leaky chimney!  The Mr. determined that our paneling {yes, aren’t we cool!} is buckling due to a leak.  I’m very appreciative of his conscientious handy work, but I was less than thrilled when he decided to get a crow bar out at start whipping down this wall at 7:30.  I just wanted to watch the Olympics in peace with a brownie and my favorite guy {<-he was on a one way track to “fix this wall or bust”).

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Yikes.  This project continues tonight.

This morning I became painfully aware of how many loose ends that I want to tie up before I head back to work.  I was filling out Miss Helen’s pile of paperwork for daycare!  Let’s see how I’m doing on my “End of Summer” list!

House Stuff:

  • Make a chalkboard sign for the kitchen Delegated to the Mr. – He’s going to finish it up soon!
  • Redo hall pictures  Done!
  • Clean out summer clothes  Not yet
  • Put prints in photo album  Done!
  • Buy blender for baby food making  Done!

 

Me Stuff:

  • Renew blog?  Always torn about this!  I’m always really into it in the summer, but I tend to fall off in the other seasons.  Renewed!
  • Keep running (and lifting and yoga and just fitnessy stuff)  Trying to stay injury free!
  • Get ready to do budget recon in September – I plan on writing down EVERYTHING I buy in the month of September.  Oh.my.
  • Get a haircut! – I haven’t had one since March! Did this!
  • Organize school papers/materials that I brought home in April (seems like a lifetime ago)  Organized and ready to head back to school
  • Read 2 books for fun  Yes!
  • Eat as much watermelon as possible  Sadly my last two have been duds!  Maybe the season is over!

 

Holden’s Stuff:

  • Finish baby book – Yikes!  I really fell off the bandwagon with this one.  I’m trying to be inspired by Helen’s and finish up Holden’s.  😦  got to do this!
  • Get Holden’s school supplies  Mostly done – just need some pictures to send in with him
  • Get fitted for a little boy tux for Auntie Brookie’s wedding  Yes!  
  • Art Museum Pre-K Day  Tomorrow – excited to see what this is like!
  • Visit Farmer’s Market
  • Maybe another fishing trip???  He went clamming instead and loved it!
  • School shoes!  Next week
  • Fro-yo date – Mommy & Holden Next week

 

Helen’s Stuff:

  • Work on baby book  continuous
  • Outfit for Auntie Brookie’s wedding  purchased – not sure about shoe situation
  • Find some cute clothes to fit this growing baby!  Mostly did this!  Just need some bigger onesies and perhaps a few more leggings
  • Review baby food making business – I love this book!    On my list for the next couple days
  • Baptism and Reception – Planning, Decorating, Cooking, and Enjoying!  So did this!
  • Get everything ready for the daycare transition  Mostly ready – just need paperwork filled out by dr. at our upcoming 4 month appointment – we also need to buy diapers and diaper creme to go with her

 

I do have a couple more items to add to the list:  Roscoe for a mani/pedi {much to his dismay} and an inspection for my car.  I also have a couple more books I’d like to spend some quality time with.  I feel like the race is really on to use this time wisely and also enjoy time at home.

What end of summer activities do you take on?

Do you start a new calendar in January or with the school year, September?

Any fun back-to-school traditions?

Have a happy hump day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

5 for Friday

Wow!  These summer weeks are flying by!  I officially have three weeks left until the end of my maternity leave/summer vacation.  I’m linking up with Andrea, Shay, and Narci for Friday Favorites.

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I’m also linking up with April, Christina, and Natasha for 5 on Friday.

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Can’t forget about this link up too!  Amy and Karli

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Here’s 5 things going on with me this week!

{ONE}

Books – I’ve done it!  I’ve conquered fiction (I’m a die hard nonfiction) and read 1 book in entirety!  I really enjoyed it too.  😉

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Basically, the book is set on Nantucket during the summer.  The three step/half sisters have to live together for one summer to be able to sell (and get the $$$) from their father’s vacation home.  Lots of drama and characters!  A great summer read!

Then, I read another nonfiction!  I really enjoyed this book although it didn’t impart any earth-shattering knowledge.  It did reiterate things that I already know/have learned from other books.  One interesting thing was the really overwhelming damaging impact of TV and video games on young minds.  Kind of scary.  P.S.  I had no idea that the American Academy of Pediatrics had issued a statement saying NO TV for kids 2 and under.  Personally, we followed this rule for Holden and plan to do the same with Helen.  I do let Holden watch occasional TV, and he definitely has been loving his one nursing time/one TV show this summer.

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{TWO}

I’m so so so excited about my sister and mom visiting this weekend!  We are celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday about a month early due to a trip that she will be taking.  I have a few surprises that I’m super excited about.  It will be so good to enjoy both my mom and my sister’s company.  The only thing I really dislike about where we live is that family isn’t right around the corner.

{THREE}

Yummy Recipe to Share – Mix and Match Mama’s Shrimp Tacos – I love this lovely lady’s recipes!  I plan to make two over the weekend.  She uses simple ingredients (and not 5,436 of them either!) to make some yummy food.  I especially enjoyed the avocado corn salsa that goes with the tacos.  I had leftovers for lunch, and I could definitely tell the salsa tasted even better the next day.

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sorry so blurry!  dinner is fast and furious around here!

{FOUR}

Running/My Foot – Well, it was somewhat better.  I enjoyed about a 4 mile run on the treadmill yesterday morning.  Very minimal foot pain…However, my calf felt very tight and somewhat sore after I hopped off.  There also was a bit of a “creaking” sound in my foot.  I know…yikes!  I plan to rest it and stretch today.  Fingers crossed for a decent run tomorrow!  12 miles!

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{FIVE}

Playdates – I need to be a little more intentional about scheduling some playdates for Holden.  He definitely wants buddies around to play with, and I am usually up for some playing.  This summer has definitely been a different pace since my time/arms/attention are occupied by Helen.  I’m hoping we can see one of his friends this week!  We’ve also been trying to get out there  and bike ride with our neighbors more often.

Here’s a few cute ones from the camera roll this week!

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Hope you have the best weekend!

Natalie

5 for Friday

This post is all things summer.  Totally fitting as this the last week of official summer.  To me, August always seems lightning fast and full of preparing for the school year to kick in. Here are five “summery” things on my mind!

{ONE}

Family & Trips – We have had SO many fun times with family this summer!  We’ve had lots of long weekends and a few vacations days for the Mr. that have allowed us to really soak up lots of family love.  Our weekends typically are full of either travel or enjoying our guests here at home.  This weekend we actually have no official plans with no official guests, AND we will be at home.  This seriously hasn’t happened!  We were supposed to be heading out of town for a little couple’s getaway, but we’ll be hanging out as a party of four instead.  In the spirit of our typical weekend, here are a few pictures that are from our time in Staunton this past weekend…

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{TWO}

New Pictures Are Up! – It feels so good to have checked off one big summer “to-do.”  I have sorted and put all our prints in albums.  SO HAPPY TO BE DONE!  I’ve also changed out our hall pictures and put out new picture frames with up-to-date pictures.  Yay!  I love how welcoming our front hall table looks with the pictures!  Holden even told me at dinner that the table by the door looks “cute.”  🙂

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{THREE}

Countdown to the Half – I’m loving my summer goal of training for the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon!  I’ve really been trying to challenge myself to beat my time, and I hope to do so by working on my cadence (definition of fancy running word:  Cadence in sports involving running is the total number of ‘revolutions per minute’ (RPM), or number of full cycles taken within a minute, by the pair of feet, and is used as a measure of athletic performance. Courtesy of Wikipedia).  I’ve also been getting FREE magazines from the local library…Running Times and Runner’s World.  Very inspiring!  Makes me want to do another race soon!  Maybe the Wicked 10K?  I’ve also read about the Monument Avenue 10K in the spring and the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

P.S.  Don’t you just love this quote from Kate Grace?!?  “I am a discomfort master. I thrive in all conditions. Everything I need to succeed is already within me. It is here to stay.”

If you don’t know, Kate Grace is an elite runner and running in the Olympics which are coming up very soon.  Read her blog post here.    It’s about being calm on race day.

{FOUR}

Cookie, Cookie! – I’m getting ready to do some serious baking in preparation for Helen’s baptism and some other party things coming up.  I’m thinking of keeping with the traditional chocolate chip cookie and oatmeal raisin cookie.  Of course, I’m going to do some lemon cookies that are famous in my family.  I’m not bragging…people do actually remember and request these cookies!  I’m unsure about my other two selections.  Should I do the oatmeal and the chocolate chip?  Something more exotic?

These chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies are semi-homemade and look delish!

I tried these Cream Cheese Strawberry Cookies, but they didn’t fair well in the heat aka not refrigerated.  They melted into a blob!  😦

M&M Cookies – They look so cute and cheerful!

S’mores Cookie Bars – Too rich?  Or too perfect?

Please share your opinion in the comments below!  I’m being so indecisive.

{FIVE}

Beachin’ It – I love going to the beach, and I actually don’t mind taking kid(s) to the beach.  Not sure Helen counts as she isn’t mobile yet!  A friend emailed me asking for tips for taking kids to the beach.  Here are my top five!

  1. Go early!  I like to leave by 8:30.  Our beach is about 10-15 minutes away.  It will be cooler and less crowded.  Bonus:  You will be home in time for baths, lunch, and naps.
  2. No big meals there!  I only take water and snacks.  If I do pack a snack or sandwich, I wrap the food in aluminum foil.  It can double as a plate.
  3. This goes without saying (I think), but put sunscreen on kids and yourself before leaving the house.  I take spray sunscreen for Holden to use at the beach for reapplication.  He doesn’t like having the sand rubbed into his skin when you reapply regular tube sunscreen.
  4. Chairs for little people – reduces sand all over…kind of.
  5. Use a backpack to help carry stuff and keep your hands free.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to go to the beach lots this summer and had extra people aka extra sets of hands.  However, I would take things in a backpack when Holden was younger, and I’m sure I’ll do that again when Helen is more mobile next summer.  Right now, she rides to the beach (from the parking lot) in our Baby Bjorn carrier.  This lets me have my arms free.

BONUS – Get a fan if you have a little one!  We got this one from Babies R Us.  I use it all the time and especially at the beach.

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Hope you have a great Fri-YAY!  Here’s a few more pictures from our week (yes, we are at the library again!).

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Natalie

Summer Goals- 4 weeks left!

I can’t believe that it’s only a little over 4 weeks left of my maternity leave/ summer vacation!  It has been (mostly) so wonderful!  I really want to make the most of the time I have left, so I made a list of some end-of-summer goals.

House Stuff:

  • Make a chalkboard sign for the kitchen
  • Redo hall pictures
  • Clean out summer clothes
  • Put prints in photo album
  • Buy blender for baby food making

 

Me Stuff:

  • Renew blog?  Always torn about this!  I’m always really into it in the summer, but I tend to fall off in the other seasons.
  • Keep running (and lifting and yoga and just fitnessy stuff)
  • Get ready to do budget recon in September – I plan on writing down EVERYTHING I buy in the month of September.  Oh.my.
  • Get a haircut! – I haven’t had one since March!
  • Organize school papers/materials that I brought home in April (seems like a lifetime ago)
  • Read 2 books for fun
  • Eat as much watermelon as possible

 

Holden’s Stuff:

  • Finish baby book – Yikes!  I really fell off the bandwagon with this one.  I’m trying to be inspired by Helen’s and finish up Holden’s.
  • Get Holden’s school supplies
  • Get fitted for a little boy tux for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Art Museum Pre-K Day
  • Visit Farmer’s Market
  • Maybe another fishing trip???
  • School shoes!
  • Fro-yo date – Mommy & Holden

 

Helen’s Stuff:

  • Work on baby book
  • Outfit for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Find some cute clothes to fit this growing baby!
  • Review baby food making business – I love this book!  
  • Baptism and Reception – Planning, Decorating, Cooking, and Enjoying!
  • Get everything ready for the daycare transition

 

Whew!  We are going to be busy!  Hopefully, there will be some beach days in there as well.

Natalie

How’s your summer been?

Any last items you want to check off your summer list?

Favorite summer treats?

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