So many thanks

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This year, I have a ton to be thankful for. It’s been a crazy roller coaster at times but, on the whole, 2014 has been very good to us. Having my house filled with people I love is a fantastic reminder of that.

This year, as has become our custom, we got up early to join nearly 4,000 other crazy people to do the Turkey Trot. It was just T and I running this year, with M and a friend of hers walking it with their respective kids in strollers, and the rest of the gang chilling at M & J’s place while J prepped the traditional Thanksgiving morning bagels. As usual, there was a wide variety of awesome headgear and costumes. But this one was my favorite:

TurkeyTrotBestHatWe’d told Heidi where they could watch us run by, but the timing on this stuff is always tricky. Apparently, they arrived at the appointed corner TEN seconds before we ran by. So crazy! The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. My goal was to take it easy and not get too crazy as I had a long trail run on Saturday. T ran with me for most of the race but eventually couldn’t not run faster. We finished and took the traditional post-race selfie:

TurkeyTrotSelfieAnd then took the many, many stairs back up to M & J’s house to join the festivities. Despite J’s traditional protestation of how the bagels were going to be ruined, they were delicious. The girls deeply enjoyed playing with Rowan and a lovely time was had by all.

We returned home to do some prep work and relax before the evening’s festivities. Heidi made her traditional dish, with the unfortunate name of “carrot mold.” As you can see, names can be deceiving:

CarrotMoldI made a pumpkin cheesecake pie from this year’s Martha Stewart Living. (Mine wasn’t nearly as pretty as hers, but it tasted great.)

MSpie

Because we have so much Thanksgiving dinner experience, it was a pretty relaxed day. The adults had some quality Lego time:

AdultLegos2AdultLegos But eventually, the table got set:

2014table

The girls made everyone place cards:

PlacesettingAnd, per usual, there was a ridiculous amount of delicious food:

2014foodDinner was delicious and filled with good wine and lively conversation. Afterward, we chilled on the couch while the girls entertained us and played with their new favorite toy, aka Rowan:

RowanGirls2RowanGirlsI think Kamryn sums up the fun and excitement factor quite nicely here:

KamrynAntics

Yet another fantastic Turkey Day is in the books. It’s funny to me that the holiday that was just T and I for so many years has morphed into this big awesome celebration, but I’m so grateful for it. Let’s hope it continues for many years to come.

Double the fun

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This year, I think I’m most thankful for the madness of my friend Heidi. When she was visiting a few months ago, she floated the idea that she, Tom, and the girls were contemplating a road trip up here for the holidays. I was super excited about the idea, but I was certainly preparing myself for her to say “Wait, what? That’s nuts!” So, I was super-duper psyched when they announced that they were still on board for this wacky adventure.

They arrived on Monday afternoon filled with stories from the road. The girls were happy to not be in the car any more and filled the house with cuteness:

BlanketKenleyKamrynLap1KamrynLap2

The next morning, T and I had to work so we sent Heidi and the family off on a Bainbridge Island adventure. Apparently, there’s a great kids museum over there and they had an awesome time. In addition, T and I both got to work at home, so it was a nice, low-key day with a few Turkey Day cooking tasks thrown in for good measure. When they returned, we all went to one of T’s favorite burger places for dinner. (Farewell, Whole 30!)

On Wednesday, T and I took the day off so we could go sightseeing. First stop was the Chihuly Museum. Everyone loved it, especially the girls:

ChihulyGirls2ChihulyGirls1Afterward, we grabbed some lunch together and then T and I took the girls to the Pacific Science Center and gave their parents a little break. We had a blast. The girls clearly don’t enjoy spending time with their Uncle T, as you can see:

ScienceCenterAntics

We went to the Butterfly Garden:

GirlsButterflyGarden(Kamryn got a little freaked out when they fluttered too closely, but she regrouped nicely.)

KamrynButterflyGardenI think Kenley enjoyed the koi pond more than the butterflies:

ScienceCenterKenleyWe played with the water cannons in the courtyard:

WaterCannonKamrynWaterCannonKenleyEven Uncle T got in on the action:

WaterTandGirlsThere were dinosaurs…

DinosaurGirlsDinosaurKenleyAnd a trip into space…

T_KamrynSpaceMy hat is off to you parents. After a few hours, I was pooped! (And this is coming in fresh with the girls being on perfect behavior. Yikes!) We took a trip over to Theo’s Chocolate Factory for Heidi to pick up some Christmas gifts (and for the rest of us to enjoy the free samples!) Then it was home to enjoy some quality time with the couch. The girls caught T up on the intricacies of Jake and the Pirates:

CouchSnugglesWe ended the evening with wine, appetizers and a visit from my friend Jenn. It was fun to have two of my good friends get to meet in real life. The girls were sad that they didn’t have a chance to meet Amalie, but someday they’ll understand than when you have a chance to get out of the house sans baby, you take it! 😉

Playing catch up

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Hello, lovely readers!

Life has been ticking along. T and I started another Whole30 to get back to some semblance of healthy eating before the holiday temptations roll in. (I was feeling like things were going off the rails a little too much, even before the excesses of the New York trip.) It was a little challenging at first, but I’ve been feeling really good the last few weeks. It helps when you get to eat awesome food, such as this SB&J Burger:

W30lunch

I’d been most concerned with fueling my longer runs with the Whole30’s “no sugar” rules, but that’s been surprisingly easy. I’ve been taking homemade applesauce and a winter squash/apple soup instead of gels/bars/whatnot. I got myself a fancy new toy to carry around all of the crazy:

FancyVest

It’s way too fancy, but I LOVE it. It fits me really well and has a million pockets. I took it out for a long test drive on Sunday and was blown away.

Speaking of Sunday, my training group has been a god-send. Every Sunday, when the alarm goes off at 0:dark:thirty, I actually get out of my warm bed and go meet a fantastic group of women for some quality miles on the trails. I sometimes am treated to scenery like this – a crystal clear view of Mount Rainier:

RainierSunriseI’ve been meaning to take some pictures of our exploits, so here are a few shots from our run on Sunday. It was chilly (in the mid-30’s/low 40’s) but clear and sunny. As you can see, the scenery is hideous:

GrandRidge1

A little before the turnaround point, there was this super cool wooden path through the woods. I had to stop and photograph it on the way back. How rad is that?

GrandRidge2I’m pleased to report that I’ve been making real progress. We ran for three hours, (and approximately 13-14 miles, depending on who’s GPS you looked at) and I felt great! The difference between trail mileage and road mileage is crazy. The few times I’ve run that long on the road, I felt like a truck had run me over, but I felt surprisingly good after this run. Plus, it was a huge confidence booster for Deception Pass.

Aside from cooking and running in the woods, it’s been business as usual. My co-workers and I took a field trip to City Target to look at Christmas decorations:

TargetHijinksAnd of course, some quality couch time with my boys:

SaturdayMorningBoys

Austin continues to find new and innovative ways to lay on the new couch:

SpecialDogWhile Wally makes the best of his dog bed covers being laundered…

WallyBeds

I have a few new adventures on the horizon that I’m pretty excited about. So, hopefully more exciting blog posts are coming your way…