christmas morning already!

Since my family is spread across the greater United States, the holidays can become a bit crazy and “traditional” celebrations are not the norm.  This year we celebrated Christmas with my mom the day after Thanksgiving.  I wanted to make it fun, so on Friday we celebrated “Christmas morning” by getting into our p-jamas, decorating our house, setting up the tree, eating breakfast for dinner and opening Christmas presents!

It was so much fun to celebrate an actual Christmas morning and we took it very seriously.  =)  ok my family is anything but serious (the funniest pictures will come in a later post – during present opening, my sister got a case of the stitches! soo fun!)


of course Avi had to supervise the tree decorating and present opening =)


Mom and Kristen were taking the tree decorating very seriously! Although I realized today that our tree is anything but straight =)  Oh well, fits better with our personalities… a little quirky, right?


Merry Christmas to each of you.  It doesn’t matter when you celebrate the day so long as you make the most of the time you spend with family and friends.



I hope you were able to enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend full of family and friends (maybe a little shopping) but remembering all the reasons to be thankful.

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday with my mom and sister and her husband.  It was nice to have the celebration at our house this year.  We chose to start the day off with a TURKEY TROT!  I’m not into “earning” the right to splurge on food, but it was a great way for the family to participate in an activity together and support a good cause.  My sister took her 5k seriously and trained with a “couch to 5k” program and beasted it!  My BIL completed his first “civilian” 5k =).  My mom finished her first 5k with the run/walk method (and did stellar I might add).  Mike and I finished our first 10k (outside of triathlons) and were pleased with our times =)  Here are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving morning run.

IMAG0122IMAG0124-1IMAG0135-1IMAG0133-2IMAG0130-1Turkey trotTurkey trot

The rest of our day was spent avoiding deep frying turkey disasters.  We had a little mishap with the oil, broke our thermometer, let the oil get WAY WAY WAY too hot, and then tried to figure out how to cool 4 gallons of oil back down!  All was completed successfully with no major problems and we enjoyed quite a feast of deep fried turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, dressing and rolls.  It was a meal to remember and a day to remember.

I’m very thankful we were able to spend such an amazing day with my family and enjoy making new memories together.

Up next: our first Christmas celebration =)

much needed laughter


Seriously, I’m still laughing about this one!  Last night a friend of mine was asking me if I thought I could have a conversation with my hands tied down.  (I’m sure I was just having a passionate conversation with someone!)  I told him, I’m sure I could do it, I would just have to talk really loudly instead to make sure the person understood what I was saying.

While this picture doesn’t articulate how to have a conversation with your hands tied down, I imagine this would be my answer if he told me to have a conversation without speaking. =)  Enjoy!

One a much more serious note, here is a link to an article that I read today that I really enjoyed.  ….



Sorry for the delay, I was planning to summarize this article for you in a few words, but can’t seem to find the words…(I know big shock; if you’re not shocked, then please revisit the top of this post for the answer).  So, I will share with you a few excerpts:

I don’t want to live a little. I want to live to the fullest.

I want to wake up every day with the energy of an eight-year old kid. I want my doctor to question why I even get check-ups because I’m in such great health. I want to live agelessly, knowing I’m doing everything in my power to avoid becoming a statistic.

I want that for everyone I love, but I come across as preachy and invasive.

The question remains, “What are we fighting for?” When will two sides meet and collectively agree that we must take our health in our own hands? Eating a diet rich in whole foods and exercising is the only proven practical prevention and treatment for virtually every man-made illness in this country.

Call me extreme, obsessed, and consumed, but I refuse to sign my own death certification.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

the remod and finn’s second ride

Well Hubs and I have been slowly updating our home over the last 3 years.  The hail storm that hit earlier this year really helped to speed things along, new roof, repaired siding, fixed leaking chimney, new windows in the front of the house and finally the deck.  Here are the first few pictures of our deck when we purchased our house.  Please notice the molding canopy covering as well as the carpet on the “floor.”  I mean really people?! 


Shortly after, we took the canopy down to let light into the house, but left the frame up, mostly because we didn’t know what to do with it.  By the way, if you leaned on our railing, you didn’t live to tell about it because you fell off our deck.  It was made just that well.


  In trying to get my story straight, I’m not sure if we took the frame down before or after the hail storm, but I’m thinking before.

2011-07-05 19.13.11








The hail storm then beat the deck (and finally the carpet) all to pieces.  So with help from the insurance, we were able to replace the railing, pull up the carpet and finally we had a deck we weren’t as embarrassed to show people!  Now just to finish the actual deck part. 


We purchased some deck paint stripper and proceeded to try to get the paint up.  After many hours of scrubbing and even borrowing a pressure washer from a neighbor, our deck looked like a war zone. The pressure washer did nothing but damage the already old wood. So Plan B was implemented.

Hubs rented a hardwood floor sander and proceeded to beat the deck into submission (about 4 hours).  It looked great after he was finished!  Now we just had to get the corners and cracks where the floor sander couldn’t reach (another 4 hours on our hands and knees). But it looked awesome!


THEN, (I promise the saga is nearly over) we cleaned off the deck and sprayed it down with a restoration spray to help encourage a good clean newer looking wood.  It looks soo much better than the first picture.  No really, go look!  I’ll wait….


This coming weekend will be spent staining and water sealing it and HOPEFULLY we won’t have to do it again for a while!! Wow!!  Either way, if there is a next time, we’re hiring someone =) 

Prior to this weekend’s deck drama, Hubs and I went on a run/ride out at Cades Cove in the mountains with some friends.  We met up there at 7am and ran the 4 mile loop (temps approximately 30 degrees).  It wasn’t too terrible.  There was one point in our 320802_287503041283825_100000723957311_921671_1222177265_n-1trip where a stream (about 12 feet wide) was running across the trail.  We proceeded to hail a SUV to drive us over it so as not to have wet feet =)  totally brilliant!

Our moment of excellence was short lived because we THEN proceeded to get on our bikes and ride the 11 mile loop (temps ~30 degrees, maybe 35 in the sun) and let me tell you 30DEGREES IS COLD ON A BIKE!!  We had so many clothes on and looked super goofy I’m sure, but FINN did amazing!  He was beasting up the hills and so much easier to navigate.  Besides having no feeling in my feet for the next 2 hours, I HAD A BLAST!  Even though the really pretty part of fall has finished, it was beautiful, frost on the ground, sun warming things up, we even saw a bear cub up in a tree =)


Although, I have now determined my lower temperature limit for bike riding to be 45 (preferably 50 degrees), =)  I hope there are a few more warm days so I don’t have to put Finn away until spring!!