Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Hi there!  I’m so happy to report that we are in the middle of a holiday weekend, AND I completed my second 1/2 marathon today!  Woo hoo!  I’ve been battling indecisiveness (about doing the race or not), a big case of mom guilt (due to time spent on running – – although I’m not sure why since I usually run very early in the AM!), an aching foot, lots of blisters, and lovely back and blue toenails.

Well, race day arrived this morning at an exactly 4:15 wake up call.  We really weren’t sure what was going to happen as our area got lots of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Hermine on Saturday.  We even lost power at 9AM on Saturday morning until about 7 PM that night.  The Mr. was awesome at staying positive and getting us all organized for the early morning.  The race for Sunday went off as scheduled!  Parking was a little more chaotic for us this time.  I truthfully think we left later from the house (2 kids v. 1 nowadays!).  I had to feed Helen in the parking lot before we could head down to the start line.  Both Holden and Helen were complete angels with the early morning wake-up call, but I was still worried about leaving the Mr.  I know he’s completely capable.  I also know how quickly things can go crazy.  I was home all summer with them after all!

After a lovely port-a-potty visit, I kissed my favorite people good-bye and hopping in corral 2.  If you’re unfamiliar with wave starts, it basically means the race officials left some people go at certain times…this is based on your anticipated finish time.  Faster you are the sooner you start.  Well, corral 1 was looking mighty sparse, so I may or may not have edged up and joined the super fast folks.  I did get to catch a quick glimpse of my favorites as the first group left the start line.  To be honest, I felt like I ran the first 5K slow.  Turns out that I didn’t!

The first 6 miles felt pretty good.  Things did start to go slightly downhill from there.  I got lots of blisters on my toes, and I could tell my nails going to be very painful when I was finished.  However, I did maintain pretty good speed until about mile 10.  Then, we made a turn to head back to the oceanfront.  Wind and a slight hill via a bridge were not my friends – PS I always run on very flat land.  Don’t judge the flat land runners!  A slight hill is a big deal!  🙂

I was really struggling the last mile to maintain my pace.  I did a pretty decent job of it.  I do wish I was able to really pick up the pace in my last mile and sprint to the finish.  The sprint at the end is always my favorite part of every race and workout.  I’m thinking less half-marathon distances in my future and fast, shorter courses.  I was really pleased with my final time of 1:43.  This just smushed my previous time of 1:50.  My overall pace was 7:55, but I was faster than that early on.  I was so happy to get to the finish line as the last mile was into the wind on the boardwalk.  I felt slightly light-headed when I finished, but it quickly faded.  So thrilled to see my people!  The Mr. had everything under control, and I am so glad the kids were there to see me finish.  Plus, Helen had to nurse.  She had to come!  No choice little one!  😉  These are my overall stats…

 

  • OVERALL322 / 6088
  • DIVISION10 / 545
  • GENDER45 / 3331

 

 

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So thankful for these two sweet blessings!  Running is fun and all, but they are one of my greatest blessings and joys!

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Here’s my other biggest joy and blessing!  I am amazed each day by him.  He loves me completely and supports me constantly.  I’m so very thankful that God got us together.

Whew!  No more mushy for now!

I plan to savor the rest of today and tomorrow with my sweet family.  Here’s my little corner of sweetness at work…

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And just for fun…here’s Miss Hellie Bellie!

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Ignore spittle from those cute lips…hers not mine!  Sidetone:  How do none of my children share my eye color!??!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natalie

 

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

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Fun: Tea for Three

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Linking up with Johannah for Hello Monday!  Let’s jump right in…  I’m so excited about this week!  It is going to be super busy with just regular week stuff plus a visit with some family, a preschool art event, and Helen’s baptism!  My to-do list is pretty scary.  All good stuff though!

This weekend was just wonderful with lots of family time, good food, and some good catching up.  My mom and sister arrived Friday afternoon a little ahead of schedule…which was awesome!  My mom is turning 60 in September, so we were planning on celebrating!  We got to enjoy a late lunch with them, and Holden even skipped his afternoon nap!  Who am I??!?  We had to pick up a few grocery items before they arrived.  I was super thankful to have this cutie taking up most my cart.

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Holden was so excited to see his Auntie DeeDee and Moochie that he had to draw them some artwork to greet them!

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Friday night was dinner and talking my mom into rubbing my sore foot/leg.  I also got already for my long run that was coming up early Saturday morning.

I was super tired when I woke up due to not going to bed early and a few wake-up calls.  Mommy and Daddy are really appreciating Helen=no wake ups in weeks at night!  You go, girl!  Holden was actually the night child right now.  Nevertheless, I was at the running trail by 6:30.  12 miles later…I’m done!  IMG_3965.jpg

Ignore the split time…I have no idea how I hit that button.  My overall time for 12 miles was 1:38.  Average pace was 8:10 per mile.  My previous half-marathon average pace was 8:23.  🙂  This made me pretty happy.  My foot and calf did give me a wee bit of pain during the first 6 miles.  However, I felt like a million bucks on the last 6.  I’m so so so hopeful that everything will hold together -for lack of a better way of expressing it- until this race is over.  I so want to run it and beat my old time.  Like more than I’ve wanted to do anything in a long time.  I’ve always been my own strongest competition.  I have made a promise to my foot to take a nice break from running starting the moment after the race is done.  Work with me, foot!  P.S. This was my jam on the run Saturday.  The Mr. and my sister think I like cheesy music…bunch of haters!  I’ll take all the motivation I can get to keep running when my foot is hurting.  Plus there was SAND to run through on this trail run.

Okay…back to the non-running aspects of the weekend!  After my run (and a surprisingly refreshing ice bath courtesy of my trainer/the Mr.), we were off to the Flowering Almond Spa at The Founders’ Inn for my mom’s birthday treats.  My sister and I were planning to just hang out or possibly go to a couple stores while she was being pampered.  HOWEVER, the nice receptionist showed us to the “conservatory” which apparently is code word for comfy, quiet, relaxing room with snacks, infused water, and K-cup coffee (which I have difficulty operating).  Yes, we will so wait there!

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One magazine I was reading talked about something disturbing…bread buyers beware!  Apparently this stuff is in our bread and is no bueno!

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Our next stop on the “Mommy’s 60th Birthday” day was the English Rose Tea Room.  We had a very nice lunch with all the typical tea-like items.  I loved the scones with clotted cream and lemon curd.  One of the scones was almond flavored.  Yum!  I also loved the pimento cheese mini sandwiches.  So good!

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Bummer this one is blurry!  She’s a cutie!

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We finished up the day visiting one of my sister’s friends who just had a cute little one and getting some coffee for the coffee lovers.  We tried 3 Ships Coffee down at the Oceanfront.  My sister really like hers.  It was a super fancy place I thought!  That is definitely saying something in today’s Starbucks world.

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All good times much come to an end, and my mom and sister left after dinner on Saturday night.  The Mr. and I enjoyed a quiet evening with some Olympic viewing.  We missed this sad event!  I can’t even imagine how upsetting this must be to him.  Here’s a few more good ones from the weekend!

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Sunday was lots of relaxing and church!  Two of my favorite Sunday activities.
Hope you had a great weekend!

Natalie

Weekend = Run and Beach

Well, well!  August 1st, we meet at last.  It seems like the countdown to back-to-school is on everywhere you look.  There have been some kids starting school (!), and school supplies all over the stores.  I even saw the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) decor going up in A.C. Moore today.  The Halloween stuff is already 40% off!  I have just a little less than four weeks until I start my tenth year of teaching.  20 until retirement!  Ha!  I kid…sort of.

I can tell you that I’m going to be one sad turkey that Monday morning to be heading out the door well before 7AM.  I’m going to be sad not be enjoying lunch with my two out of my three favorites.  I also can tell you that I’m going to be very eager to get out of there ASAP in the afternoon (just say no, traffic!).  I will miss the leisurely pace of our mornings…nursing Miss Helen, coffee that gets to be enjoyed mostly leisurely, staying in PJs until 7 (we’re crazy around here, aren’t we?), the dual nap time (so thankful for 2-3:30ish this summer!), and just exploring around with these two kids.  However, let’s look at the bright side for a few minutes…

  1. I will talk with adults (and older children) multiple times a day.  As much as I love having one-sided conversations with Helen and dinosaur/pirate/Star Wars/etc. conversations with Holden, it will be nice to speak with an adult.
  2. I will look more presentable in general and probably wear non-workout clothes.  This could be a positive or negative depending on the day.
  3. I will be spit up on less.  Little Miss H spits up A LOT.  I am fairly certain that I vaguely (or strongly – depending on the moment) smell like her spit up all day.
  4. Roscoe the dog will get the rest he needs.  Poor dog has been tired since April.
  5. It is fulfilling to actually accomplish something in a day.  Like teach something?  Maybe do a lesson plan?  I don’t know….get real crazy and write some IEPs!?!?  Working at home aka mom life is challenging and rewarding in its way.  I do admit that sometimes I just want to do my TO DO LIST!!!!  I DO NOT want to baby talk, sword fight, read books, or pick up more mess!  There, I confess!  With that being said, I know that all that stuff is the most important stuff.  I know I’ll be DYING to do all that after about 3.5 days of work.  Right now, working quietly at a desk sounds somewhat appealing.
  6. The Mr. and I will get to clean together…do laundry together…make baby food together!  Oh goodness!  Lots of WORKING TOGETHER!  I am only halfway kidding….it’s so wonderful to have partner in all this stuff.  During the summer, I try to do as much as possible of the yucky, chore stuff, so we can focus on enjoying our summer days with more free time for fun stuff!  Just like what we did this weekend!

Our Weekend –

Holden and his Daddy enjoying the water

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We somehow got sunscreen all over my phone.  Hence the blurry picture!  Please note that my child went to the beach in her plain white onesie…all the babies of social media are trotting off to the beach with cute one and two piece suits.  Nobody got time for that!  This was actually her bedtime outfit…straight from the crib to the carseat to the beach!

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Baby toes in sand = PRECIOUS!

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She finally gave up and took a little nap.  It was so nice (for me and her!).

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Before our beach trip on Saturday, I did my 11 mile run.  I was actually a very mixed run.  I have really been hating the first 2-3 miles of my longer runs.  I have no idea why.  I think maybe because I go all the way to the end of a dead end road and have to turn around.  I know I always instantly feel better when I turn around.  Well, the middle part of my run is typically “ok,” and the last part (last 2-3 miles) has been great!  I was getting all excited for the last 2.5 miles on Saturday…well I ended up having to stop and go home.  Then, I rerouted my course and started again.  It was a bit of a broken run.  BUT I did finish it!  I was very happy about that.  We wanted to head to the beach right after, so I didn’t stretch (naughty) and took a quick shower before we headed out.  We enjoyed lunch at home and some fro-yo.  Then, I did lots of errands in some dumb flip flops from Old Navy (aka the $1.99 ones) and in the rain (#notwinning).  I was tired and a little peeved by the time evening rolled around.  On Sunday morning, I woke up with lots of foot pain on the outside of my left foot.  😦  I took Roscoe for a walk anyways with Holden (dumb).  Then, we all went to church.  After lunch, I proceeded to make 4 different types of cookies…all while standing (dumb again).  What a hot mess!

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I finally decided to take a load off and google diagnosis myself.  Well…a popular search result was STRESS FRACTURE which is causing me to STRESS!  We did some “at-home” tests to self-diagnose (yes, I made the Mr. try to be a dr.) with mixed results.  Today I woke up with some pain, but it is better than yesterday.  I’ve been icing like it’s my job.  However, I did do lots of errands today.  I can’t sit still.  😦  I also drank some almond milk so that should take care of any bone issues right???  P.S.  Recommended fix for this diagnosis is 6 weeks rest!!!!!

I’m going to attempt to be nice and calm to these people…(love them!  How cute is this picture?!?!)

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I’m going to rest and not run tomorrow.  I plan to hop out of bed tomorrow morning like a child at Christmas and hope my foot is all better.  We will see.

P.S. My foot is so chilly right now that I can’t feel anything.  Problem fixed!  😉

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!

 

 

Weekend Recap – Tomahawks & Running Shoes

Hi there!  Can you believe it’s the last week of June?!?!  Time is going so quickly!  We checked one item off our summer fun list by visiting the Jamestown Settlement this past Saturday.  Holden absolutely loved the Powhatan Indian Village!  It was our first stop when we got there.  P.S.  Everything takes three times as long with two kids…like getting out of the car!  🙂

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In the picture below, the Mr. and Holden are standing in front of the little “deer stand” thing that the young Indian boys would sit in to shoot at or scare off critters trying to eat their garden goodies.  How about that for entertaining the kids!

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Replica of the Susan Constant

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Little girl riding on mama

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Church pictured below

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I think my personal favorite were the ships…Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.  We also looked in all the buildings at the fort.  Holden even stated one time to one of the costumed people, “I like the Indian village better!”  In fact, he liked it so much that we had to go back a second time!  We did not go through the museum inside the welcome center, but it looked very nice as we were passing by on our way out.  Holden got a tomahawk to go with all his weaponry at the gift store, and I picked up another Christmas ornament for our collection.  Definitely had to get one since this is Helen’s longest trip away from home!

We had a nice picnic off of Colonial Parkway on our way back home.

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The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing and watching Sleeping Beauty.

On Sunday, I went on my first trail run in a long time.  It was so nice to be out of the neighborhood running thing.  I did 6 miles in my new shoes!

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Love my Brooks Ghost 9!  I had been having some Achilles tendon pain/tightness, but I took all last week off from ANY physical activity.  I’m happy to report only slight tightness this morning.  I did put my little rice pack thing in the freezer and put it on my ankle twice yesterday.  This brings me to my next point…I’m a little bi-polar when it comes to running these days!  I recently wrote about how I didn’t want to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in September.  Well…then I talked to a neighbor who is doing it and how she did it after she had her second child.  Competition…Competition…uh oh.  About 12 hours later, I found myself purchasing a race ticket on Groupon {yay for saving 15% off the price}.  So now I’m doing it!  I know that it will be tricky to get the longer and even the shorter runs in, but I’m trying to give myself grace and remember that I enjoy running.  I don’t have to beat my time {yes, yes, yes I want to!} or my neighbor!  😉  Who am I kidding?!  I want to do that too!  All jokes aside…it will be good to have time to think and for myself to be out of the house without a dog or a kid.  IMG_3579.jpg

My trail run did prove that I need to do outside runs as the humidity KILLED me!  I’ve been using my treadmill in my nice, climate-controlled house.  I felt like I had just moved here from the Midwest complaining about the Virginia humidity.  I also learned/remembered a few other things on my first long run…

  1. No hat – better cooling
  2. I like to run in tank tops not shirt.
  3. Take a change of clothes
  4. Wear hair in a braid – Whoa the tangles when I got done!
  5. Runners are so friendly…probably the friendliest people you’ll see at 7AM on a Sunday in the heat running through a swamp 🙂

After my run, the kid and I went to church.  They were little angels!  Thank goodness!  Nothing like a crying baby to make all heads turn to you!  Later on in the afternoon, Holden’s C-Pa came over to take him to see Finding Dory.  What a special treat!  He stayed for dinner and helped the Mr. and I celebrate 6 years of marriage!

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These chocolate-covered strawberries were so easy!

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We cracked open our rehearsal dinner favor from over a year ago!  I felt all festive with the strawberries and Prosecco!

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Love this guy!  So glad I get to do life with him.

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How was your weekend?

Don’t summer weekends seem way busier than any other seasons?