Five Things Friday

Oh my goodness, talk about a crazy week.  I have a huge deadline at work next week and it seems like it’s just one thing after another around here!  I have a million things I want to write about and absolutely NO time to do it, blah!  This weekend is going to be another crazy one — I have to work, do a million loads of laundry, run 20 miles, watch Florida State crush Miami, spend time with my cousin and her boyfriend (they’re in town for the Florida/Georgia game) and try to get things packed for the kids to spend a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa while Adam and I head to Disney for the Wine and Dine half.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to arriving in Orlando, heading to Epcot, and relaxing with a nice, big glass of wine and some yummy treats!

1.  Exactly one month from today, I’ll be running the Space Coast Marathon.  Pardon me while I freak out.  AHHH!!  I’m excited and so, so scared.  The idea of running 26.2 miles still seems completely crazy to me (my longest run so far is 18 miles).  I joined a facebook group a few months back with others who are running the race, Run Space Coast, and it’s been really great.  There are a lot of locals who are familiar with the course, runners who have run the race in the past, and a ton of super supportive people.  If you’re running, come join us!  We even have fancy bracelets to identify ourselves the day of the race ;)

2.  Speaking of running Space Coast, I have my last long training run this weekend before I taper!  It’s a 20-miler and I can’t decide where to run it.  I’ve done a few of my long runs with my friends running group and she offered to run with me, but she’s doing 4:1 intervals at a 9:45 overall pace and I just don’t think I can hold that pace for that long and I don’t want to slow her down.  Our local running store, 1st Place Sports, does a group long run every Sunday so I’m thinking about doing it there.  I’ve heard they have pace groups, course support, and a van to pick you up if you need it (good to know, just in case!).  I’m thinking about doing that, but a little intimidated.  I need to decide since my friend is running tomorrow morning.

3.  My birthday was Sunday and we celebrated ALL weekend long!  I had such a wonderful time and it was great getting to see friends that we don’t get to see nearly enough.  Saturday night, we were at a friends house celebrating their sons 2nd birthday — our birthdays are all super close.  The dads is the 26th, mine is the 27th, then the mom and son share their birthdays on the 28th.  Poor dad, he had his sons birthday party on HIS birthday, then they gave me a birthday cupcake and sang to me too.  Poor dads always get left out :)

4.  Before I had kids, I had a pretty decent memory.  Now, it’s awful.  I’m ridiculously forgetful.  Does anyone else have this problem?  I logged into my personal checking account for the first time in probably close to a year this week and there was money in there and I had no clue where it came from.  I went back through the transactions and found it was money my parents transferred over to pay for their half of the hotel from when we went to Disney in February.  It’s November (and seriously, I just typed September, wake up brain!!).  Same thing happened when I logged in to PayPal to pay for the Run Space Coast bracelets — I had money in there and no clue where it came from either.  You’d think I’d remember these things, apparently not.

5.  The photo below is my Papa Black.  I can’t remember if I posted about it or not, but about a month ago he was admitted to the hospital with a really bad case of food poisoning after eating raw oysters.  He had to miss my cousins wedding and was very sick.  We were all really worried about him, it was rough on his body.  He and his wife have been planning a trip to Hawaii for a while and they were so worried that they weren’t going to be able to go.  She posted this picture of him this morning, having the time of his life in Hawaii.  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to see him so healthy and happy.

What do you have going on this weekend?

Are you watching the Florida State/Miami game?  Have you ever been in Jax for Florida/Georgia weekend?

Have you ever been to Hawaii?  Random fact — I lived there when I was little for 3 years!

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Five Things Friday

This week has absolutely FLOWN by.  I feel like it just started and it is already over with.  I thought work was going to slow down a bit, but it hasn’t at all — we’re still crazy busy and probably will be at least through mid-November.  It’s keeping me from blogging, so I figured a quick Five Things Friday post would kind of get me caught up!  Here we go!

1.  Adam and I got into the runDisney Meet-Up for Wine & Dine weekend!  I am SO excited and cannot wait!!  I was able to participate in the Meet-Up back in February for the Princess Half weekend and had a blast, but this one sounds even more amazing!  Here’s what we know about it so far:

We’ll kick off the event with a special viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly laser, light and fireworks show. After that, selected participants will get to taste and learn about some of the extraordinary cuisine and wines that are part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, hear from some Olympic endurance runners and get some expert advice on safely running at night.

Then, selected participants will get to put some of that nighttime running knowledge to work during a starlit fun run “around the world” at Epcot well after the park closes. And of course there will be a few magical surprises throughout the night.

I’ve never seen IllumiNations and we never get to spend time in Epcot since the kids aren’t fans — so we’re REALLY excited about it.  I’m super thankful to some amazing friends who are making it a possibility too — we are so, so blessed!!

2.  It’s my birthday weekend!  We’re going to dinner tonight at one of my favorite restaurants with my family and some friends and I can’t wait to see everyone and eat LOTS of yummy food!  My actual birthday isn’t ’til Sunday, but this weekend is crazy busy with family pictures, a friends sons birthday party, a race, and general weekend craziness so we’re doing it tonight.

3.  Adam and I are doing the Pumpkin Run 10-Miler on Sunday and I’m crazy excited about it.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a bit burnt out on my long runs lately and I love the idea of doing a race for one of them.. I just need to remember to take it nice and slow.  The race is at EverGreen Cemetery, the same place we did the St. Patty’s Day 10K in March.  It’s gorgeous out there and they line the entire course with pumpkins — I can’t wait!

4.  I was recently introduced to a really cool program that I knew nothing about – Beads of Courage.  A friend of mine lost her son a few days after he was born and she and her husband have started a charity in his honor.  Their first project is to establish a Beads of Courage program at the NICU at our local children’s hospital, Wolfson’s.  They held a tasting benefit a few weeks ago and were able raise a good chunk of the money they need to get the program started, so she and a group of our friends have been working like crazy to get the bead bags sewn so they’re ready to go.  They’re always in need of bead bags (they are hand made) so if you like to sew and would be interested in donating your time to make them, let me know and I can get you the details!

5.  I did my long run last weekend out on Amelia Island (home of ZOOMA Florida!) and it was fantastic!  Such a pretty area, tons of shade thanks to the beautiful old trees, we ran on the road right along the beach and saw amazing homes and a wonderful sunrise.  I ran 18-miles with my friends running group and the miles FLEW by thanks to the company and the pretty surroundings.


There was a race going on later in the morning, so a lot of the streets were lined with boots and American flags.  Each boot had tag clipped to it with a photo and a persons name.  I’m not sure if they were local soldiers, those who were hurt or killed in action, or something else.. it was so lovely to see though.  Another part of our run took us through their historic downtown area, where there was a car show going on — I loved running through there, saying good morning to the car owners and checking out the cars!  We also ran for a bit on this trail just after sunrise.  It was seriously so, so pretty.

If you want to run in a gorgeous area too, you should come run ZOOMA with me in January!!  Use code FLAAMB5 to join me and save 10% off the race fee!


I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!  Are you celebrating anything?  Do you have any big plans?

runDisney Tower of Terror Race Weekend

This post is going to be long.. just a warning. I should probably break it up into a few posts, but I’m in the mood to get it all done now.. so here we go!

Back in February, after I finished my first half marathon, Adam said that he thought he might want to run one. He really liked the idea of doing a Disney race for his first BIG race since they’re not such serious races — not so much focus on having killer times, more on having a killer time. We looked at their upcoming races and he thought Tower of Terror sounded interesting, along with Wine & Dine. I knew I definitely wanted to run Wine & Dine, so we decided to run that one together (next month!!) and that Tower of Terror would be his big race weekend, since Princess was mine.

After Braden finished his homework after school on Thursday, we worked on race-day signs for Adam and our friend Jenn, who was also running.  I’ve been telling her for weeks that I had the perfect motivational sign for her and I couldn’t wait for her to see it.. you can get a small sneak peek on the left hand side of this picture..

Since I’m right in the middle of marathon training, I took Friday off and after getting the kids off to school, I set out for my long run so I wouldn’t have to do it while we were in Orlando.  Note to self — leaving for a long run at 8:45am is NOT a good idea.  It was hot.  The run was ugly, but I got it done.  Adam got home just as I finished my run so he loaded the car while I got cleaned up.  We picked Braden up from school just a few minutes early to avoid the end-of-the-day rush and were off to Orlando!

We got stuck in a bit of traffic, but it wasn’t too bad.  We made it to the Wide World of Sports with plenty of time to wander around the expo a bit and for the boys to pick up their race packets.  I was surprised at how small the expo was — it was tiny compared to the last two we went to at Disney.  I didn’t realize how small this race weekend was compared to the others!


After the expo, we were all starving so we decided to head to Giordano’s for dinner, which turned in to quite the fiasco.  Adam didn’t realize there was more than one location and gave Jenn the first address for it that came up on Urban Spoon, then we headed over to where we knew the restaurant was.. which wasn’t the same location that he gave her the address to.  We didn’t realize it ’til she texted saying they were here, and they weren’t.  We were all too hungry to wait anymore, so we each ate where we were and texted each other these lovely little pictures so we could at least pretend that we were together.

After dinner, we ran over to Downtown Disney to renew our annual passes but it was complete chaos, so we decided to wait ’til the next day to do it and headed to meet our friends at the hotel.. which was another fiasco because we ended up at two different Holiday Inn’s.. crazy!  We finally got them over to the right hotel and the boys flipped out when they walked into our suite to find double bunk beds — they quickly decided that Aiden would be sleeping over, which worked out well since Jenn & her husband had to be up bright and early the next morning for him to run the 5k.

The boys woke us up the next morning and we all got dressed, had a bit of breakfast, then headed out to grab coffee and meet up for the kids races.  Since I was the only one not racing that weekend, I volunteered to run the 200m dash with the boys.  About halfway through the race, there was a little guy that had fallen down and was laying on the track crying.  I was really surprised at how many people (adults and kids) ran right past him and didn’t stop to check on him.

I stopped and asked him if he was okay and asked where his parents were, he pointed back toward the starting line so I asked if he wanted to finish the race with us and he said yes.  I’m so proud of Braden & Aiden, they stopped when they saw the other boy down on the track and waited for me to tell them it was okay to keep going.  Once they saw me helping him up, they came back to us and we all ran to the finish line together!

They were all greeted by Pluto and the cutest medals at the finish line!

After the race, we loaded up and headed back over to Downtown Disney for lunch at T-Rex.  While we waited, the little boys did a bit of shopping in the Lego store.  Our lunch was really good — I’m always impressed with the food there.  I just wish they had a room that was a bit quieter.  Braden’s ears are still really sensitive and he struggles with loud noises.  He spent a good chunk of lunch laying with his head in my lap covering his ears because it was too loud, I felt so bad for him :(

After lunch, Jenn & Adam went back to rest up for the race and Keith and I took the boys down to the pool to blow off some energy swimming.  We had fun, but I completely forgot to put on sunscreen and the white part of my back that my racerback tanks usually cover got burnt.  After a short nap, Adam went to pick up his cousin aka the boys babysitter for the night.  Keith ran out to get everyone else Chick-fil-a for dinner, then Adam and Jenn got dressed for the race and we dropped them off at the Wide World of Sports to catch the shuttle for the race.

Keith and I headed over to Chevy’s (I love eating there, their salsa is my FAVORITE!) to grab dinner with some of our friends before we had to get back to Hollywood Studios to watch Adam & Jenn finish the race.  I kind of think we got the better end of the deal.. margaritas or waiting around for 2 hours, then running 10 miles?  Hmm..

We couldn’t have timed it better — we arrived at the finish line just as the first guy was crossing it.  We got lucky and found open seats in the bleachers right at the finish and were able to watch a lot of our friends (and Jeff Galloway!) finish.

Afterwards, we found a comfy spot to relax and chat for a bit.

And I finally showed Jenn her sign!  There wasn’t really anywhere for Keith and I to spectate except for inside Hollywood Studios and if we did that, we’d miss seeing Adam and Jenn finish, so she didn’t get to see it ’til after she was done.  I think she liked it though :)

We didn’t hang around long, we were all tired and knew the boys would be up early and ready to go since we’d promised them a trip to the Magic Kingdom the next morning.  Adam had to drive Kayla (his cousin/babysitter) home so he dropped Braden and I off at Disney and we had fun until we met up with our friends and made our way over to lunch.

Adam caught back up with us at the restaurant and although it was slow, the food was delicious.  I had this eggplant pasta thing and really wanted to eat it all, but I couldn’t, I was seriously stuffed after eating barely half.

We separated after lunch so the boys could hit their favorite rides before heading home..

And so I could try out the new Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom :)

We made the 2.5 hour drive back home and I was really eager to pick up Mackenzie — we’ve never left her for an entire weekend and I missed her like crazy.  She was with Grandma & Grandpa though, so I doubt she even realized we were gone.  Well, except for Braden, she really missed him.  I love how much these two love each other!

As you can tell, we spent the weekend with our good friends from Runs With Pugs. Be sure to read Jenn’s posts about the expo, the 5k and kids races, the big event, and the day after the race.  Some of the pictures from this post were taken by Jenn, so be sure to check out her blog for more good stuff!

Malori & Josh’s Wedding Weekend

Y’all, my baby cousin got married.

Okay, she’s not really a baby. Not anymore anyway, but it darn sure feels like she is.

First things first, take a look at this gorgeous venue.

It’s actually a Christmas Tree farm.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got there, since most of the Christmas Tree farms I’ve been to (you know, in Florida, where Christmas Trees don’t really grow) are tents on the side of the road.  But when we got out of the car for the rehearsal, I was amazed at how absolutely gorgeous this place was.  I kind of want to get married again just so I can do it there.

The rehearsal went great — our Aunt Kathy was the wedding director and she kept everyone on track.  Well.. mostly everyone.  This one is a bit hard to control sometimes.  It’s a good thing she’s cute.

Following the rehearsal, we headed to Josh’s family church (he’s the groom!) and had a delicious meal and heard the sweetest speech from Malori’s baby sister (so, she’s not a baby either, she’s 16, but lets pretend) and from the best man.  Wedding speeches get me every time, especially when they are given for (and by) people that I love so much.  I didn’t take any pictures, I was too busy stuffing my face with the delicious food and chasing my crazy little ones around.  In case you’re wondering though, Malori is the one in the middle of the back row below.  Her sister is on the left, with Mackenzie in her lap.  See the cutie pie in the middle of the front row?  That’s Emma Ryan, another one of the flower girls.  She may look a little familiar.

I got up early the morning of Malori’s big day and ran 14 miles, accompanied part of the way by another cousin of mine (my mom is one of nine kids.. there are a LOT of cousins), Drew.  I got back to my aunt’s cabin and quickly showered and changed, then headed up to the salon where Malori and her entourage were getting ready.  The picture above is on the front steps of the salon — the shirts they are all wearing are part of their bridesmaid/flower girl gifts!  How cute are they?!  I kind of want one for myself!

We all piled in the cars and headed over to Malori’s church for lunch and to get dressed.  In hindsight, I should have made a hair appointment for Mackenzie.  I had no clue what i was doing with her hair.  I sat on the floor of the church and curled it for probably half an hour and it looked cute for approximately two minutes, before it was straight as a board, just like mine.  Sorry you inherited my bad hair, Mackenzie.

We left the church and went to this pretty house to take pictures in the front garden area.  So, so pretty.  Well, you know, except for my girl.  Well.. she’s a character, at least?  Also, see the brunette bridesmaid in the back?  That’s my other cousin, Chelcee, from my dads side of the family (Malori is on my moms side).  Super small town!!

I’m really, really lucky to have such a great family.  These girls (Jordan is on the left) were bridesmaids in my wedding 7 years ago.. and I was a flower girl in Malori’s moms wedding just a few years before that.  I’m a few years older than them, but I love that I can still consider them not just family, but also friends <3

The photographer finished up with pictures (and quick too, I was impressed!!) and we headed back out to the farm to get ready for the ceremony.  I don’t even know what to say about this kid.  Is he not the cutest little thing?!  (Don’t worry, I only gave him the rings for this picture, then I promptly took them away and held on to them until just before the ceremony started!  I did NOT want to be responsible for a last minute “OH NO!  Where are the rings?!” fiasco!)

See, I’m not the only one who loves Jordan — my kids adore her.  Usually for pictures with me, we get silly faces or pouty faces.  Pictures with Jordan?  All smiles!

Before we knew it, the ceremony started.  Smartest idea ever!!  Malori had these little stools for the kiddos to sit on during the ceremony.  I was shocked that Mackenzie actually stayed up there almost the entire time.  She almost fell off of the stool once, but thankfully he groomsman behind her caught her.  I was worried about how she’d behave during the ceremony, but both kids were awesome.

Braden tried to get her to throw out her flowers as they walked down the aisle, but she wouldn’t do it.  Instead, she tore them up and threw them on the ground during the ceremony.  It kept her entertained!

Time for the vows.. and to announce the new Mr. & Mrs.!

The reception was amazing — right as the sun was setting, the weather could not have been more perfect, and the food was delicious.  We only took a few pictures — this one is my favorite.  I love my boy!  He’s killing me in that little suit, so handsome!

We didn’t get to stick around for too long at the reception — the kids both had a LONG day and they were pooped.  After dinner and just a little bit of dancing (for Mackenzie, she’s a HAM!!) we headed back to the cabin.  Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way there and we got them out of the car, into the cabin, out of their dress clothes, into pajamas, and in bed without waking up.

Definitely pooped!

Before we knew it, the weekend was over and we were headed back home.  It was such a fun trip though and I’m so glad we were able to be there for Malori & Josh — I hope you guys are enjoying your honeymoon!!

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