New Christmas Traditions

This is the first year of my life I haven’t been home for Christmas and I have been having the hardest time getting in the spirit no matter what I do.  But today I decided to start some new traditions so that this time next year I can feel all ooey-gooey-christmasy!

Casey, Scarlett and I went for a Christmas Eve run once it got dark out to see all the Christmas lights down town.  We went very slow and easy and just enjoyed the time together as a family (especially since I will be leaving in a few days).  I was so bummed about the sparse decorations around the beautiful homes on the battery but we made the best of it and I soaked up every mile.

When we got home Casey had been begging for some gingerbread cookies so I whipped up some of those.  I don’t think they were exactly what he was looking for but I had never made them before and was really winging it. I don’t really know what they are supposed to taste like so I thought they were pretty good.

IMG_0573

I also made up a pecan pie for tomorrow.  This was something else I have never made so we will see tomorrow how that turns out.  He had been asking for this for Thanksgiving but I made pumpkin and apple so I figured I should probably do this for Christmas.

IMG_0574

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve with your families!!

Baking Day 2013

Yesterday was the official baking day of 2013 and since I was not able to go home and have one with my mom this year, this one was a doosey.  I started at 10 am and wasn’t done until 5:30.  Best part, I got to watch all three of my favorite Christmas movies: Elf, The Holiday and Love Actually!  I pulled my last treats (dog treats actually) from the oven Natalie was jumping into the prime ministers arms in the airport…perfect timing!  The final list included: white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, cinnamon chip scones and dog treats for the pups!

Today will bring the assembly of baskets which I just didn’t have in me yesterday.  I was so tired and sore afterward it didn’t even seem right.

Nice Clean Kitchen to Start

Nice Clean Kitchen to Start

My pretty new bowl from Lindsey!

My pretty new bowl from Lindsey!

Command Central

Command Central

So many ingredients!!

So many ingredients!!

In the midst...

In the midst…

 

DSC_0109

Starting to see results...Oatmeal Creme Pies!

Starting to see results…Oatmeal Creme Pies!

Finished product

Finished product

 

DSC_0111

I am waiting on one last part of my baskets to get here today in the mail (fingers crossed).  Once they are all assembled I will share these for sure!

Life of Leisure

On my first day of not having to go to work I got a serious amount of stuff done.

The day started with a leisurely morning, catching up on Runner’s World and enjoying some breakfast and coffee with Casey.  Then I headed out for my run, the beginning of trying to get ready to really be ready to train for Boston.  I did 3 1/4 mile hill repeats and they kicked my butt.  I felt so out of shape.  I could tell I hadn’t done them in a while and went to compare them to my splits from the last time I did them.  In July I did 7 reps of this with my slowest rep faster than my fastest today, PATHETIC!  Just shows me it is a good thing I am taking some cushion time to start getting my speed work back up before hitting training hard.

When I got home, I hit some Runner’s World Yoga I had read about this morning.  It was a good series if you have 25 minutes to dedicate.  Runner’s World Yoga

After freshening up, I headed out to do a ton of errands I have been putting off.  First stop was the dry cleaners, which conveniently was near Starbucks and the library.  The book I had been reading had been taken by the library elves last night off my kindle and it was already reserved by someone else so I headed in to get the good old fashioned hard copy version before stopping in Starbucks for a Skinny Peppermint Mocha!

Drink in hand, I headed to Towne Center to check for a few last minute Christmas things.  I ended up doing an adopt a dog tree gift at a cute little pet boutique called Harry Winston.  They took a picture of me with the items I bought to put on their facebook page.  I will try to get my hands on it when they post it.  Casey is just lucky I didn’t come home with another dog, she looked just like Scarlett and she melted my heart!

After that I headed for my final stop at Target to get all the necessary items for my big baking day.  I won’t be home to do it with my mom this year but I will still have my smaller scale (well sort of) version here in Charleston for our family and friends.

After leaving my poor girl at home all day I rushed in an stole her away to the dog park for an hour to make up for it.

I know I am a little biased, but she is the sweetest girl!

I know I am a little biased, but she is the sweetest girl!

 

When we got home she helped me finally finish getting my tree decorated!  So glad to be sitting next to it all completed.

Christmas tree pictures never do them justice!

Christmas tree pictures never do them justice!

Half Way

Yesterday was my last day of my second rotation (and now I am half way through my rotations).  It is crazy how fast 8 weeks of your life can fly by.  I feel like I just started there and now I am already getting close to heading to Philadelphia.

Leaving the patients that were still being seen was the worst part.  One lady started coming there on my first day and she is still there and I absolutely adored her.  To make it even harder, she brought me a parting gift.  She makes soaps so she had made me a bunch of soaps and the fizzy bath bubble things that are so amazing.  I set out the cranberry scented one today and it made my bathroom smell heavenly.

I think this is one of the most amazing parts of physical therapy; the connection you get to make with patients.  Unlike pretty much any other profession in the medical field, you really get to know every patient.  You spend 2-3 hours a week with them.  You learn who their football team is, how many kids they have, their kids little quirks and eccentricities, their hobbies, even difficult times these patients may be going through at home and in their lives.  We aren’t just physical therapists, we are friends and councilors and co-conspirators at times.  I have loved so many of my patients through this time and am very sad to have to part with them.

As for the less sad part of the day, we had a pot luck lunch for my last day and I took my cinnamon chip scones in and everyone in the office was literally begging for the recipe.  I hadn’t made them in a while and I can not for the life of me remember why.  They are simply to die for!!

Unfortunately I had a few too many yesterday and it was pouring down rain all day today so I found myself trudging it out on the treadmill for another 3:1 run.  An hour and 20 minutes with 60 minutes easy, 20 minutes at goal marathon pace.  It actually went well with the help of Fred Claus to distract me from my misery.

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!!

The only good thing about darkness

At this point in the year I pretty much run in the dark no matter if it is in the morning or at night (womp, womp).  Just add that to the list of reasons I hate winter.  The only reason for winter is Christmas which is luckily the light (pun intended) of my runs.

I love getting to see the lights and they are lit in the morning at the evening so I get to enjoy them at all times!  I tried to snap a few pictures of my beautiful sights but I only had an ipod camera so they are shaky at best.

Marion Square

Marion Square

 

The colors here were indescribable and the picture doesn't do it justice but I had to try to capture it!

The colors here were indescribable and the picture doesn’t do it justice but I had to try to capture it!

 

IMG_0502

IMG_0503

IMG_0504I hope you are able to find some light in a dark situation (man I am cracking myself up with terrible humor tonight).  13 days till Christmas!!

Inspiration for 500 Alex…

I have had such a lack of inspiration lately it is driving me bonkers.  My runs have been out of obligation, not bad but certainly not awesome.  I have fallen into the lull of the 8-5er big time.  Luckily as a student I have one more week of this and then a break, unlike what will happen in 5 months in the big world.

Yesterday (in shorts and a sports bra only I might add) I had my first run in a while that reminded me of my love for it.  I headed out on an 1:30 minute run (which was my first “for time” run which I loved) with a 3:1 pattern.  I have been doing the first three weeks of the Boston Bound training plan from Hal Higdon (minus the speed work) to keep my miles up and make a smooth transition into training at the end of January.  I loved the 3:1, taking the first 3/4 at an easy pace and the end at my goal marathon pace.  It feels good to work hard at the end.  I needed this run so badly I can’t even put it into words.

To cap off that great day, Casey and I went to pick out our very first Christmas tree.

Crappy picture of the tree on my car!

Crappy picture of the tree on my car!

 

Tonight I started putting lights on the tree but very quickly ran out which just means another quick trip to the store tomorrow to get a few more strands.  Off to a good start though!

DSC_0098

Scar is very uncertain about the tree...

Scar is very uncertain about the tree…

 

All fanned out!

All fanned out!

 

Partially Lit

Partially Lit

 

Just a cute pic of my best girl!

Just a cute pic of my best girl!

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Heres to hoping my inspiration will stick around this week, I have high hopes because I am really getting in the holiday feeling!!

Happy Thanksgiving

 

After an incredibly busy day yesterday getting ready I am enjoying this moment to relax with a cup of coffee before the craziness begins.

IMG_0053

Watching the parade!

Watching the parade!

 

This just in, the balloons will fly…yay!!!

Anyway…yesterday was a serious prepping day so I knew every minute counted which meant waking up 20 minutes before needing to be at work nearly sent me into a tail spin.  Somehow (I swear teleportation must have been involved) I made it 2 minutes late which was pretty lucky.

I was able to work a half day and from 12:00 to 11 I…

  • Baked Apple and Pumpkin Pie

 

IMG_0054

 

IMG_0056

 

IMG_0055

  • Baked Yeast Rolls
  • Cleaned Kitchen and Living Room
  • Did laundry
  • Got my TB test read
  • Took Scarlett to the vet
  • Ran 7 miles
  • 30 minute Nike Training Club Work out (sore butt this morning, let me tell you)
  • Grocery shopped for last minute stuff
  • Put up our Christmas Lights!!  (will get a picture of these today)!

Crazy right, I am tired just thinking about it!  Luckily though my head popped off the pillow this morning.  I had dreams all night of everything that could go wrong.  By the way, I am not sure if I mentioned this or not but I am making the full thanksgiving feast this year!  This will be my first time ever!

Casey’s dad is coming over to make breakfast and we have a bunch of friends coming by for some morning festivities so I have been doing as much pre-cooking as I can to get out of his way when he gets here.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

 

More importantly, I think it is important to think of all the things you are thankful for on this day (and really every day).  I have so much to appreciate about my life.  Love and support from friends and family in every aspect of my life, be it school or running or anything I decide to do.  My beautiful puppy girl who we got a year ago today.  For my legs that carry me through the beating I put on them each and every day!  And also for the simple things like a roof over my head and food to eat each day.

To all my friends and family at home, I miss you and will be thinking of you especially today!

Off to peel some potatoes!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!

Christmas Light Run!

Yes you read that right and no I am not someone that gets Christmas crazy super early.  I am a firm wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmasy things kind of girl.  However, when James Island County Park is hosting a fun run/walk to see the lights in slow motion outside of the car, I had to break the rules!  The past two years Lindsey and I have gone with Casey and her now husband and the boys want to just drive as fast as possible and get it over with so we were very excited to see it at our pace!

After work Thursday I rushed over to the park office to pick up my ticket and headed to the park.  I got there almost an hour early so I spent the last little bit of sunlight doing a quick run before the event.  It got pretty dark at the end and let me tell you, if you want to run fast, run in the dark in the woods with creatures scurrying about.  This girl was hitting 6:15 miles just to get back to my car where the light was!

At 6:40ish we lined up at the Christmas village and set off on our walk through the park.  I am glad I got my run in before because Jenna, Lindsey and I ended up just walking the course, talking and enjoying the light displays.  We hadn’t all been together in quite a while and Lindsey had just gotten back from her honeymoon in Italy so we had A LOT to catch up on.

2013-11-07 19.09.54

Love the yellow ribbon on the tree

Love the yellow ribbon on the tree

2013-11-07 19.24.30

2013-11-07 19.31.002013-11-07 20.18.05

The sand sculpture every year is always so incredible!

The sand sculpture every year is always so incredible!

We had such a good time and it was definitely worth breaking the Christmas rules.  Don’t worry, there are no stockings hung or christmas lights out yet, they will all stay safely packed away until November 29th.  I am not going to lie though, it did get me pretty pumped for the holidays!!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Merry Christmas y’all!

No running or working out for me today, other than my jaw! Will be resuming tomorrow hopefully although we are supposed to get a ton of rain. I got a new running rain jacket from Nike (from my runners Christmas list) so I will get to try it out I guess. Always in search of the silver lining!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! See you on the road again tomorrow!