Happy Halloween!

I know, I know.. we’re almost halfway through November and I am just now posting Halloween pictures. Mommy blogger FAIL.

Forgive me, work has been kicking my butt and I’m struggling to keep the four (five counting Buddy) of us alive, fed, clean, and living in a somewhat tidy house. Plus that whole marathon training nonsense. I promise the cuteness in these pictures makes up for the delay (or maybe I’m biased, but either way, I hope they make you smile)!

Last year, I ended up all stressed out over Halloween. There was a costume parade, neighborhood party, pizza delivery that never got delivered.. it was fun but way too much stress. This year, we decided to keep it simple. I made a big pot of chili in the crockpot (and we pretended it was a nice, cool night to enjoy chili, it wasn’t) and we had my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend over for dinner and to help pass out candy while we took Braden and Mackenzie out.

Have you ever seen a cuter Spidey and Minnie?  I haven’t!  We inhaled our food and quickly got out the door so I could take some pictures before we headed out.  It was driving the kids crazy, they could see their buddies already trick or treating and I was making them wait for pictures.. geezzz what kind of mom am I? You two will thank me when you’re older! :)

We’ve been practicing saying “Trick or Treat” with Mackenzie. She’s not at all shy so I figured she’d run right up to the houses and belt it out while Braden, who tends to be the shy one, hung back and followed her lead. I was wrong. Braden remembered all of the delicious candy that he acquired last year with a simple “trick or treat” followed by a sweet “thank you” and he took the lead while Mackenzie hung back and stayed quiet.  Like usual, I was wrong.

Braden was having a blast, even saying “trick or treat” for Mackenzie when she was too scared to say it and asking for candy for her when people were slow to hand it to her.  I love how he looks out for his baby.

We took both kids around the block, as we made our way back toward our house, Mackenzie had enough.  She and I stayed behind at our house to help pass out candy while Adam and Braden took off down the street the other way.

We didn’t see them for a long time.. like long after the crowds of trick-or-treaters were gone.  I started to get worried and called Adam, he said they were fine, B was just having a blast and didn’t want to quit.  They finally made their way home with an overflowing pumpkin full of candy.

This year was so much more fun for all of us and a lot less stressful.  I’m slowly learning that I need to stop over-scheduling and trying to cram so many things into a day.  The world won’t end because we miss out on one event and sometimes, we have more fun on our own.  It’s hard, I want our kids to have it all.. but sometimes it’s better to just scale things back and enjoy the little things.

How was your Halloween?  What did you do?

What was your favorite costume?


Let’s Catch Up

It’s been crazy around here and we’ve been busy, busy, busy.  Instead of bombarding you with a ton of little posts about the things we’ve been up to, I’m just going to share some pictures.  I could write lots about it, but I know when posts are this picture heavy (and long) I tend to just scroll, so I’ll save us all the time and try to be brief!

There’s a new crop maze that opened this year in our area – Amazing Grace Crop Maze.  A friend of mine from high school had the idea and she and her husband are running it.  We had a blast getting lost in the maze.  We let Braden be our guide, so it took a while.  The kids also LOVED the corn crib (and I found corn EVERYWHERE when we got home, sorry for stealing corn Kelly!).

I think their favorite part was the cow train.  Thankfully they weren’t busy when we were there, so both kids got to ride over, and over, and over..

Braden spent a good chunk of time in the petting zoo too.  I didn’t get pictures, but they had two itty-bitty baby goats (I think they said they were two weeks old) and I wanted to steal them and bring them home with me.  It was cracking me up watching them with their mama, they babies just wanted to nurse and you could tell the mama had had enough – she kept running away from them and they kept coming back for more.  I feel your pain, mama goat!

The next week, Braden’s class went on a field trip to the crop maze and I chaperoned.  I was a little worried that he’d be bored since we had just gone, but he loved it and got to do a few things we skipped when we were there.  He did the duck races FOREVER.

My favorite part of chaperoning field trips is watching him interact with his friends from school.  I rarely get to see it, and it’s nice to get to see a different side of my little guy and to meet the buddies that I hear so many silly stories about.

The Friday before my birthday, we celebrated with some friends at Taverna Yamas.  It’s kind of a drive from our house, so we rarely go, but their food is SO good.  Seriously, you need to try the artichoke chicken and lemon potatoes.  Oh, and the flaming cheese.  YUM!

And FINALLY, after three years of asking, Adam finally got the birthday cake that I wanted!  It’s from a small, local restaurant, French Pantry.  They bring this cake every year to our office for our lease anniversary and it is SO good.  You have to order it in advance though and he kept forgetting in the past.  This year, he did not forget, and it was so worth the wait.

The restaurant has belly dancers, but who needs belly dancers to entertain you when you have these two crazy girls?

The day before Halloween (how’s that for last minute?!) we headed over to the Pumpkin Patch so the kiddos could pick out and carve their pumpkins.

Braden kept saying he wanted to get the BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER!!  We told him he could get the biggest pumpkin he could carry.  You should have seen him trying to carry these pumpkins that were bigger than him over to the table where you paid.  We finally gave in and helped him with one after he kept struggling because he swore he couldn’t find one that he loved as much as this one.

We headed home and Adam and Braden got to work carving their pumpkin.  Braden picked out the mummy design because he loves mommy :) I love this kid!

Mackenzie wasn’t so sure about their carving abilities.. or about giving her big brother a carving knife..

But it all turned out okay.

And I can’t even remember what day this picture was from, but is it not the cutest thing ever?  I love how much they love each other :)

I have a few more catch-up posts that I didn’t want to squeeze into this one, then I’ll get to my Wine & Dine weekend posts! It was such a fun weekend and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it!

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!

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!

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