Friday, November 30, 2012


I suppose I should blog about Thanksgiving before December gets here, eh?

Thanksgiving was nice.  Brittany and Jason drove up from Philly to join us for the occasion.  It was really nice to have some family around and it gave us the excuse to actually cook and make a bigger to-do than if it had just been us.  The girls were very excited to have both of them (and their attention) most of the weekend.  

While we waited on the turkey to cook, Abby and I sat down to make a thankful chain.  We did one last year and still have it.  Last year, however, Abby just told me what to write.  This year - she did a lot of the writing herself.  I was so proud of her.  She knows how to spell a handful of names and words, and I told her how to spell the others.  Her hearts look a little bit more like peaches at this point - but I just love that she wrote as much as she did.  She was pretty proud of herself, too. 

Kyle was a big help with all the food prep.  I think he cooked just about everything with the exception of the turkey and the Armstrong-staple sauteed mushrooms.  It all turned out really well.  We had quite the feast.

The rest of the day was spent watching the Macy's parade and football and vegging out rubbing our bellies.

The next day, we decided to all venture into the city to show Jason around.  It was a beautiful day - just a little chilly but really nice out overall.  We decided to let Abby try her hand (feet?) at ice skating for the first time.  I will say - ice skating on frog pond is a little iconic to me, and apparently I'm not alone, because it is not cheap.  I had a good long convo with Abby before going in that if we went she was not allowed to back out.  But she went, and she loved it.  She was nervous and rarely let go of the wall (only to hold on to our hands of course) but you could tell she was happy and proud.

At one point, as we're skating, Kyle said "careful, you don't want to fall"  And Abby responded, "Daddy, it's ok if I fall, remember?  If I fall, I can always just get back up!"  An old man we were passing heard it and laughed and smiled at her.  She's a sweetie.  And she didn't fall.

We left the ice rink and grabbed some lunch before heading home.  I had fun shooting pictures of the city and just being out with everyone.  It was exhausting too, and we came home and all settled into a lazy evening.  

The next day Brit and Jason joined us for a big brunch at the station diner and then headed back to Philly.  We spent the rest of the weekend cleaning and running errands and checking things off our to-do list.  

All in all, it was a nice holiday.  It was nice to have family around - and nice that we could video chat with the family back in AR, too.  I think we made some good memories. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So, I'm 30 now.  That happened yesterday.

I imagine that the significance of that will settle in eventually.  Right now, though, it's just another day.

I treated myself to a coffee yesterday thanks to a birthday coupon I got in the mail - yay for not spending money.  My work day was really really busy and I didn't have enough time to get everything done that I needed to.  But, that's ok.

I came home and was happily surprised with cupcakes and a family portrait that Abby and our nanny put together.  Abby's excitement and pride over surprising me with the cupcakes was the highlight of my day.  A very thoughtful friend sent an edible arrangement for our enjoyment and Kyle's sisters sent a goodie box of nice things.  I played with the girls and picked up Kyle from work and took him to class.  We came back home for our typical routine.  I put the girls down and ordered chinese food for my and Kyle's dinner.

And that was that.

Not the most exciting-spectacular-firework-and-sparklers day ever, perhaps.  But, still with lots of good wishes and nice gestures - and for that, I'm thankful.  Perhaps I'll find time some time to do something special to "celebrate" instead of eating too much sesame seed chicken and an early bedtime. Or maybe not, maybe thirty is the beginning of a new low-key.  Either way, it's good to remember that even my low-key days are blessed and I shouldn't take even one low-key minute of them for granted.

Thanks to everyone who made yesterday special.


Friday, November 16, 2012


Today, Kyle and I toured the school that we're hoping to send Abby to next year.  She will be in what they call a K1 class, which is the year before official Kindergarten.  If we stay here in Newton, Abby will go to public school for kindergarten, but our town doesn't do public pre-school and the ones near us are too pricey and not workable with our schedules.

The school we're looking at is a Catholic school just a few blocks from where I work.  She would be there 5 days a week from 7:30-2:45 - which, more or less, mirrors my own work schedule.  Other than having to pay tuition (which is a lot - but reasonable for the area) its a great fit for us.

We'll know if she gets in sometime at the end of January.

It was a little weird though - weird to be the parents taking the tour, weird to see kids her age (and younger) going about their school days.  It was weird to try to imagine her in school full time.  It was weird thinking about dropping her off and picking her up.  I'm definitely going to be a cryer next year.

Of course, I'm pretty confident Abs will love it.  I think she'll thrive with the structure and positive adult attention.  I hope she will, anyway.  This is all new for us, and while it's still a year away - the process starts now...which makes time seem like it's moving faster than ever.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1/2 marathons

Sometime earlier this year - or maybe it was even last year, I can't remember - Billie Jo told me that she wanted to run a 1/2 marathon in order to celebrate turning 30.  Our birthdays are only 3 days apart, so she suggested I run it with her.  We trained together  - long distance style - for most of this year.  We sent each other screen shots of our runs/times/distances.  We sent encouraging words and kept each other accountable.  I've tried running a few times in my life - and even done ok once or twice - but this was the first time that I felt like I got decent at it - and more importantly, really liked it.

Running 5 miles was a huge deal for me.  And then I ran 6.  And I kept adding miles and kept getting stronger.  Billie Jo and I tried to adhere to a similar training schedule, so it was nice to have that push, too.

I ran up until school started in September.  I'm not a fan of excuses, but I just couldn't / didn't find a way to keep up my schedule.  I'd not anticipated 1) how tired going back to school was going to make me and 2) how much time it took to run.  Add into that colder temperatures, shorter days, and daylight saving time which rendered 4pm nearly too dark to run - and I just didn't keep up.  With that in mind, and looming financial shortcomings - I had to back out of traveling to San Antonio to run with Billie Jo.

I was pretty upset by this.  For a lot of reasons.

Now, while I was planning to fly to Texas, Kyle had been training with me to run a 1/2 marathon here in Newton.  Once I decided I couldn't head south - I tried to register for the one here...that literally runs by our street. But, it was sold out.  I even asked about a waiting list or paying extra.  No dice.


All that is to say that this past Sunday - Billie Jo ran her 1/2 marathon in San Antonio and Kyle ran one here in Newton.  And I - watched from the sidelines.  There is definitely a big part of me that feels like  a failure for not being out there too.  And a little part of me that knows I wasn't ready anyway.  It just kinda sucks to have worked all spring and summer with this one goal in mind - just to watch it pass you by.

But, my own shortcomings aside - I am immensely proud of both Billie Jo and Kyle who both completely rocked their courses.  I should mention that Kyle has also not been training very regularly it makes him a little extra sickening that he was able to run the 1/2 so well.  I'm very very proud of them both.

I'm going to try to get back into it a little.  I'll have to settle for a treadmill now that it's cold and dark all the time...which, I think, will make things less fun.  But, maybe, with any luck, it'll keep me 1/2 conditioned so that I can hit the pavement again next year.

Again - thank you to Billie Jo for pushing me to do things I didn't think I could do and to Kyle for always being my running parter (and stroller pusher!).  Love you both, and I'm very much looking forward to the next race we can all do together.

Here are a few pics of Kyle after his race.

this course is known for it's pretty intense hills through miles 6-8

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I've got 5 mins

Let's see how much I can get out. :)

Abby is under the weather today.  As is E.  And me, for that matter.  Kyle is the only relatively healthy one right now...and that's good as he's running a 1/2 marathon this coming Sunday.

It snowed yesterday.  A little early and due to a nor'easter.  It's going to be in the 60's again this weekend.  Crazy.  Abby was SO excited about the snow.  She was chatting 90mph about all the things she could do in the snow.  She's my winter baby 110%

I got off work a few mins early today and sat at a panera by myself and enjoyed a bowl of onion soup.  It was really yummy.  And it was a little nice to have some down time.  It would have been better if I hadn't had to walk home in the snow sludge, sleet and wind....but, eh.

Other than feeling sickly today, the girls have been great.  E is getting to be big.  Literally, I suppose.  She had her 18 month Dr. appointment on Monday and she weighs 26lbs and is 33 inches long.  That's about the 85% for both height and weight.

Both girls got their flu shots.  E got the shot.  Abby got the flumist spray.  I don't have time to get into it, but let's just say she threw a fit that EVERYBODY in that office will remember for their entire lives. It ended with THREE nurses holding her down while I shot mist up her nose.  Completely traumatic and terrible for everyone involved.  Her 4 year check-up is next month, so THAT should be fun.

And - ok - so that's what 5 mins of typing looks like.  In my defense, E closed my computer twice and I had to get up to keep her from trying to stick her finger in an outlet.

Happy days.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

We had a fun time this year.  The girls dressed up as Little Bo Peep and her lost little sheep.  It was appropriate, because E tends to run off a lot.

I got Abby's costume off ebay - I think it was the first thing I've ever won/bought on ebay.  Abs liked it, until she put it on and the wrists were too tight (elastic bands)  After that, she utterly refused to put it back on.  I cut the bands out and spent 2 or 3 days bribing her back into it.  Of course, once she put it on again, she liked it all anew.

I was impressed with how well E did with hers as well.  She also hated it the first time I put it on - but then was magically fine with it - she even left her head piece on all night.

The girls have had a week filled with halloween crafts and activities - movies, pumpkin carvings, paintings, parties, etc.  When Kyle got home yesterday, we got everyone ready and headed out to trick-or-treat.

Last year, Abby was shy about saying trick or treat, but not this year.  She was the first one up the steps most houses.  We met several of our neighbors and all kind of stayed together as a group.  There were about 5 kids plus all the parents (and Brittany got to come too), so we had a good little bunch.  E didn't know what was going on for the first several houses.  She was happy to look at the jack-o-lanterns, but didn't understand the candy thing.  That, of course, changed quickly.  She even managed to say her own version of "trick-or-treat" towards the end of the night - and she was ALL about getting candy.

The girls did great, they had more candy than they could carry home and we had a nice time with our neighbors.  It really is a fun holiday.  :)  The girls had 1 or 2 pieces of candy when we got home and then Abby requested tomatoes.  Funny girl.  Both girls crashed for the night pretty easily when all was said and done.  As did I.

Here are few phone pics.