Merry Belated Christmas!

I know I’m super late to the party, but I wanted to share some of our Christmas fun with you all. I LOVE Christmas and I get very sad when it’s over. I may just leave up our tree forever. πŸ™‚

Speaking of our tree…here it is.

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Festival of Lights in Ocean City, MD

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A visit with Aunt Lauren and Uncle Rob in NC…Lauren is super pregnant in this picture but you can’t tell. πŸ™‚

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A “happy” visit with Santa πŸ™‚

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Christmas in Florida with Grandses and Poppy!

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Christmas at home πŸ™‚

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A super big thank you to my new blog friend Amanda! We participated in a card exchange and she sent me a lovely card with a great treat inside. Thanks Amanda!
!

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PS what’s better than Christmas Eve pajamas? (Thanks mom!) Christmas Eve pajamas that match your daughters! πŸ™‚

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Traditions! Day 1, 2, and 3.

It’s no secret, I LOVE Christmas. Since Annabelle is almost 2 now, I decided that we should do a fun Christmas activity each day. πŸ™‚

Day 1: Begin the advent calendar. AB needs to work on her sharing…she likes to eat the whole piece of chocolate herself. πŸ˜‰

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Day 2: Decorate the tree. Annabelle was tuckered out and went to bed before we finished, but I had enough fun for both of us.

Dessert to give me energy for tree decorating…

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Tree is finished!

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11 pm, pajamas, Hallmark movies, and Monica’s 25 days of workouts.

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She discovered the ornaments this morning. πŸ™‚

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Day 3: A new Elmo Christmas book! Annabelle loves books and Elmo, so it was a big hit. I already have it memorized because we read it about 10 times.

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I am looking forward to all of the holiday fun ahead! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

White lights or colored?. White!

Favorite Christmas movie? So many good ones…Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, The Santa Clause, Love Actually.

Happy Thanksgiving and my mom’s first 5k!!!

Hi everyone! I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving (if you celebrate :-)) with family and friends and I hope you ate lots of great good! We had a super fun time over here with my family.

We had a mini snow storm on Wednesday, so I decided to stay home from work and use my extra time to prep for Thanksgiving. This was my first year actually cooking, so it was nice to get a head start.

I made sweet potato casserole, a chocolate mousse trifle, cookie bars, and dressing. It was so nice to have all of this done prior to Thursday.

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A white Thanksgiving Eve.

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My parents flew in on Wednesday evening and I was SO HAPPY to see them. By the time we got home and got Annabelle settled down, it was after 1 am and we were exhausted.

We didn’t let sleep deprivation and freezing temps keep us from the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. My mom and I woke up and headed down the road to run a chilly 5k. The original plan was for me to run it and then back track to find my mom (who would be walking) once I finished. Well, she sure surprised me! I finished in about 24 minutes and headed back out to find her. It didn’t take long before I found her. She had decided to run instead of walk and she was already in her third mile! Since she had planned on walking, she was wearing a big winter hat and a long down coat AND carrying our packets! Even with all of that weighing her down, she ran her first 5k and finished in about 41 minutes. I am beyond proud. πŸ™‚

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After a stop for Starbucks and donuts, we headed home to shower and get the turkey in the oven. The day was made extra special because my Aunt Janice and Uncle Gren came over for a visit and it was sooo nice to see them. πŸ™‚

We finally ate around 5 pm and it turned out very well for my first attempt at cooking. The menu included:

-Turkey and gravy
-Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
-Corn
-Mashed potatoes
-Dressing
-Croissants
-Cranberry Sauce

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After letting our dinner settle, we dug into dessert (my favorite part of most meals)!

-Pumpkin Pie
-Chocolate Mousse Trifle (French vanilla cake layered with a cool whip and pudding mixture and topped with crushed Oreos…and repeat)
-Cookie bars

I made enough food for an army, so I’ve been eating leftovers everyday. I think I’ve had enough now.

I’m sad that I didn’t take a full family photo, but I did get a few good ones.

AB just couldn’t hang. πŸ™‚ (Don’t worry, she was not really drinking beer or wine)

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Grandses, Annabelle, and Me ❀

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It was a great day and I’m now looking forward to a whole lot of Christmas fun.

3 words per picture!

Happy Birthday Marissa!

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Kelly loves steak!

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Ruth Chris Steakhouse

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4th of July!

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Friendly Farms Restaurant!

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Fun pool day!

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Annabelle loves Grandses!

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Working the camera. πŸ™‚

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Reading is fun!

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Hot tempo run.

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19 trail miles (3:45 minutes=TOUGH)

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I love dessert!

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Best part of your 4th of July weekend?

Did you dress yourself/kids/dog/husband in patriotic clothing for the 4th?

Memorial Day 2014

I had an emotionally and physically draining weekend, but Annabelle, Poppy, and Mommy had a great holiday yesterday.

After hanging out and doing housework in the morning, Annabelle and I headed to the trail for a run. I didn’t take her out in the jogging stroller during my marathon training (afraid I would hurt something by running different), so it’s nice to be doing it again. However, my knee is still giving me some pain so I ended up doing 8 miles of a run/walk. It is what it is and Annabelle and I enjoyed each other’s company for that hour and a half.

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Once dinner rolled around, my dad fired up the grill and we had burgers, corn on the cob, baked beans, and pop chips. Yumm!

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Dessert? Why of course I had dessert! I ate a s’mores bar topped with my cool whip/pudding mixture. It was perfect. πŸ™‚

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I went to bed counting my blessings and thanking those who have served to protect our country.

Favorite burger? Beef, turkey, or veggie?

If you have a jogging stroller, do you like using it? What kind do you have?

Lots of pictures (of Annabelle) from last weekend!

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Happy Belated Easter!

Beating the holiday blues…and the holiday bulge.

I hope everyone had a great holiday with lots of family time and food! I LOVE the holiday season, so I always get bummed once Christmas is over.

How do I fight the “Christmas is over” blues? Don’t let go!

-I’m still listening to Christmas music and enjoying my decorations.

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-I’m still hosting holiday gatherings. (More on this fun time later).

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-I’m still eating leftovers from Christmas Eve…I guess I should let those go soon right? This was a bagel sandwich made with ham from Honeybaked Ham.

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How do I fight the “holiday bulge”? Workouts!

-Insanity! On Thursday I needed a quick but effective workout. The solution was a Cardio Max workout from the Insanity DVDs.

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-Running! Duh, right? I did 7.5 miles on Friday and 10.5 today. Today’s run was very chilly, but I got to try out my new running clothes from Athleta and my new North Face running gloves.

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Anybody else get bummed when the most wonderful time of the year is over?

What was your workout today?

A very Merry First Christmas!

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We had an absolutely perfect day. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful family. Ending the night watching Home Alone with Chris and my parents. Annabelle went to sleep early…she had a very busy day playing with her new toys. πŸ™‚

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas!!

A very Christmas Eve Eve.

After a weekend full of eating, I was more than ready for a run yesterday. I hit the treadmill at lunch and ran 8 miles in 63 minutes…slowest mile was 9 minutes and fastest mile was 6:58. πŸ™‚

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This is Gina…she is super sweet and running so fast that she is just a blur.

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After our run, we finished our workout with some good old fashioned planking.
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My evening was spent with Annabelle and my parents and we did all sorts of Christmasy stuff!

1. AB opened up her first Christmas present. Thanks for the pjs Miss Marissa and Sean!

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2. We got Starbucks and rode around to see Christmas lights.

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This house is awesome! They have their own radio station and the lights change to the music. πŸ™‚

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3. We baked destroyed a batch of cookies…

I tried to make these…

(From Heather)

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…and they did not turn out very well. This is where the first batch ended up.

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I kept the second batch (because I couldn’t make myself throw them away) but I’m not sure what I will do with them. They aren’t terrible but they are really dry. 😦 I def blame human error on this one.

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Anybody want some freshly baked cookies???

The night ended with me frantically wrapping a few presents and getting to bed at 1 am. Staying awake at work today should be a challenge…

It’s Christmas Eve!!!! I’m so excited for Annabelle’s first Christmas!!

Anybody else ruin some cookies this year?

What does your family do tonight?

What is the best thing you will eat tomorrow???

Give Back and a Giveaway!

It is better to give than to receive.Β  Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to really give thanks for the blessings in our lives and to help those that are in need.Β  It doesn’t matter how you choose to give back (monetary donations, food bank donations, volunteering, visiting a hospital or nursing home, helping a local family in need), but try to do something to brighten somebody else’s day this holiday season.Β  πŸ™‚

Below are two organizations near and dear to my heart and I donate whenever I am able.

Baltimore Humane SocietyΒ  The Baltimore Humane Society is a no-kill shelter that provides a temporary home, a safe refuge, and care for unwanted and homeless animals.Β  They also work aggressively to place each animal that comes to the shelter in a loving, permanent home.Β  The shelter does not receive any operational funding, so they rely entirely on donations!

Local peeps, check this out!Β  Fill a Subaru with Love!Β Β  Stop by the Subaru of Hunt Valley and donate some items to help keep this no-kill shelter up and running.Β  Stop in on December 14th and you can meet some of the adoptable pets. πŸ™‚

St. Jude Children’s Research HospitalΒ 

Mission

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

St. Jude Children’s Hospital has always been important to me, but now that I have a daughter of my own, it has really hit home.Β  Tearing up as I write this…Β  If you sign up as a “Partner in Hope”, by making monthly donations, they will send you this ornament as a thank you and a reminder of all the children you will be helping.

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In the spirit of giving, I have a GIVEAWAY for you all!Β  Here’s your chance to win a $15 gift card to Starbucks!Β 

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To Enter:Β  Leave a comment on this post of how you plan to give back this holiday season.Β  I will randomly pick a winner on Monday morning.Β  Good luck!