Tag Archives: Holidays

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On New Years Day, my friends, family and I brought in 2016 with a 5K race! I really can’t think of any better way to kick off a brand new year! A bonus to this race was that it didn’t start until 11 AM, so we had time to sleep in a bit – which was nice because we were up until 2 AM at our friend’s house celebrating with a little too much food and quite a few drinks once all of our kids went to sleep 🙂


Classy husband drinking champagne from the bottle 🙂

Even though we were tired, we got ourselves up and got ready to head out. When I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to do this race, I was surprised that he said he wanted to do it too. He’s been really wanting to get back into running more regularly and he thought this would be a great way to kick it off. He said he would push the boys in the stroller so I could race it.


Going into this race, I didn’t expect to PR, but I did want to push myself to do my best. I hadn’t raced a 5K in a year and a half (shortly before I got pregnant), and that’s when I set my PR of 21:55.  I decided to do this race in place of my tempo run for the week, and I figured I’d finish somewhere in the 22-24 minute range based on my recent speedwork. I wanted to make sure to warm up a little beforehand, so after getting our bibs and making a quick bathroom stop, I ran about a mile and a half around the park to get myself ready to race. I got back to the starting line just as the race was supposed to start, said hi to a few friends, and went up toward the front.

The race started exactly at 11:00, and we were off! I spent the first minute or so trying to shake off my nerves. Then I made sure I wasn’t going too fast. I wanted to stay around 7:15-7:20, a pace that should feel hard but not too hard, to ensure I had enough leftover for the last two miles. My first mile came in and I felt good about it. I thought I could probably maintain that pace for the rest of the race.

  • Mile 1 – 7:14

And then I realized that maybe I couldn’t! I have ran this course before during a 4 mile race a few years back, but I had forgotten how parts of it were on rocks and dirt, and how it had some short but steep hills. I tried to maintain the pace I was running but ended up slowing a bit during mile 2. Since part of the course was out and back, I was able to see my friends and my husband with the boys, and that gave me a little boost that I needed.


I was a little disappointed when my split for mile 2 came up. I was irritated at myself for probably starting too fast, but I tried to keep myself focused. In my speedwork and tempo runs lately I’ve been working on running fast while keeping my body and form controlled, as well as my breathing. This helped me stay as relaxed as possible.

  • Mile 2 – 7:30

During the last mile I started to feel the effects of the little sleep I got as well as the other poor choices I made the night before. But I gave myself a little pep talk and thought about how I have been practicing finishing strong during this training cycle – and how important that is physically and mentally. I picked it up as best as I could, even out-sprinting some people in the last stretch to the finish line.

  • Mile 3 – 7:22
  • Finish Time – 22:48 / 7:20 average pace

My first thoughts immediately after crossing the finish line were: “Ouch. So this is why I don’t race 5Ks very often. They hurt!” Yes, they do. I’m definitely more of a lover of slower, longer distance racing! But I was still VERY proud of myself for my finishing time and the fact that it was within a minute of my PR. Maybe on a different course, with better fueling and hydration I could have done better, but I truly gave it all that I had and I was happy with how I did.

My friend Cynthia came in about a minute after me, getting a HUGE new PR! Our friend Erin finished right after her. Once I caught my breath a little, I went back out on the course to see if I could find some other friends, along with my hubby who was running with Laura since she’s coming back from an injury and wanted to take it easy. Once I found them, we all ran/walked to the end, and we let Kevin get out of the stroller to run the last quarter mile or so. He crossed the finish line all by himself and was so proud!

It felt so good to start the new year in such a fun, active way with some people who I love!



The icing on the cake was that I actually ended up winning first place in the 20-29 age group! One of my 30 before 30 goals was to place in my age group before I enter a new (and usually extremely competitive!) one, and I’m so happy I was able to do that!


What a way to set the tone for a new year. 2016, I’m coming for you!


Christmas 2015

We just wrapped up nearly a weeklong Christmas celebration with family and friends. It was exciting, sweet, tons of fun, a bit overwhelming, and exhausting, but I wouldn’t change any of it. This year felt extra special to me because it was Kyler’s first Christmas. It was also the first year Kevin really got excited for the holiday, because he was able to remember last year.


Our celebrations officially started on Christmas Eve. I was home with the kids all day since I’m on winter break, so we had some fun wearing santa hats and doing some holiday painting. But the real fun began once daddy got home!


Ever since Kevin was just a few months old on his first Christmas, we decided we wanted to have a tradition where our kids open a gift on Christmas Eve that contains new pajamas, a movie, and some sort of snack. We continued that this year, giving both boys some holiday PJs, the movie “Inside Out” and a bag of popcorn. Kevin was so excited to put them on and watch the movie as a family with his snack, but first we had something very important to do!




Kevin and I headed into the kitchen to bake some cookies for Santa. He loves helping in the kitchen and is very enthusiastic about wanting to do everything himself. I decided to have fun with it and ignore the mess 🙂 He even got to lick the mixing beater for the first time ever! The cookies were probably the best I ever made. They were soft and chewy and SO GOOD! The recipe we used is here. The key was taking them out of the oven after 10 minutes.





We took a few family pictures by the Christmas tree like we do every year, and then it was time for our movie!



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It was so nice to have such a fun, relaxing Christmas Eve as a family of four before our families came into town. I love spending the holidays with our parents and siblings, but there was something really special about just the 4 of us being together on Christmas Eve.


Kevin started falling asleep, so we paused the movie (promising him he could finish it tomorrow to avoid the meltdown). Before heading to bed, he put out some milk and cookies for Santa. This picture makes my heart melt. He is truly so excited. I love this age!


His daddy took him up to bed and read him the Night Before Christmas like he has done every year. I went to put Kyler to bed too, and I heard Kevin tell my husband before he left the room, “Daddy, ask Santa if he likes our tree.” OMG. I almost cried. So sweet.


Once the kids were asleep we got to work on getting the presents where they needed to be. My dad and sister got to our house just before 10 PM, and we spent some time talking and hanging out with them before we all went to bed to get some much needed rest!


The next day we were all up bright and early, and Kevin was MORE than ready to go downstairs since he knows exactly what happens on Christmas morning now. Most of the next pictures were taken by my dad, who is a great photographer. They do a great job telling the story of our Christmas morning, so I’ll let them speak for themselves!









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Such an awesome day! It was raining pretty much all day so we just hung out inside and spent time together. I loved it. They left the following day, and then my in-laws came from South Carolina for round 2. We don’t have many pictures of that since we mainly took video, but the grandparents spoiled both boys rotten. I think they got more gifts from them than they did from Santa and us combined! That evening more extended family came over and we all had a nice homemade meal together. They spent the remainder of the weekend with us and left this morning. Whew!


I feel so lucky to be celebrating my 7th Christmas with my amazing husband. It’s so much fun to carry over our family traditions and create new ones together. I hope to someday have 50+ annual pictures by the Christmas tree.


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, from our family to yours!


Previous Christmas Posts:

Heritage 5 Miler

A year ago on the 4th of July I was in Myrtle Beach running a 5K. I got a new PR of 21:55 (7:04 pace) AND beat my husband which was a huge goal of mine. I was hoping that this year on the 4th of July I would be running another race, either pregnant or with a new little one in our family, since we were trying to get pregnant at the time. We found out we were expecting two months later, and this year on the 4th of July I ran the Heritage 5 Miler in Fredericksburg at 6 weeks postpartum.


Somehow we all got up and made our way down to Fredericksburg by 7:15 a.m., which was pretty much a miracle. I am so thankful for my amazing husband, who was willing to stay with our two boys while I ran. One in the stroller, one in the carrier…  he is a super-daddy for sure!


I picked up my race packet, made a quick bathroom stop, and lined up with time to spare. Usually I feel nervous before races, but I went into this one with no watch and no expectations (not even a secret goal like usual, haha!). I really just wanted to have fun and enjoy my return to racing without any pressure.



Right on time at 7:45 the gun went off and we were running!


The first few minutes felt amazing! I was so happy to be racing again, especially in downtown Fredericksburg, which is one of my favorite places to run. However, after the initial adrenaline wore off I noticed some pain in my left foot near my heel. It made me really nervous, and I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t be running this race.


But after about 10 minutes my foot stopping hurting and I was feeling normal again… so weird! I got back into my rhythm and enjoyed the scenery around me. I had no idea what pace I was running and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t jogging leisurely but I wasn’t pushing it either, so I was surprised when I passed the first mile marker and a race volunteer who was shouting out times said we were at 9:05. I decided to go with it since I felt good. I knew I could always slow down later or stop to walk if I ended up needing to.


The course for this race was very familiar to me since I run here all the time. It took us from downtown Fredericksburg onto the Heritage Trail by the Rappahannock River, and then onto the Canal Path. It’s very scenic and I love it! The last time I ran this route I was 34 weeks pregnant and feeling slow and heavy. On this day I was feeling strong and so happy!


We exited the Canal Path to head back toward downtown with about a mile left. When I passed the volunteer standing by mile 4 they shouted out that we were around the 37 minute mark, so I figured my pace must have been about 9:15. I couldn’t believe it, especially considering it was pretty warm and humid.


I turned the corner to run the final stretch and I saw my boys on the side of the road cheering. It was so great to see the THREE of them for the first time during a race. It felt really special.


Kevin has become a race spectator professional and loves to give the runners high fives as they pass. It was so adorable when he realized that I was coming. He gave me a big smile and said, “Mama!!” My heart melted 🙂


The finish line was just ahead right after I passed them, and it was slightly downhill. Gotta love that! I was so happy to see the clock as I crossed. I did so much better than I thought I would.

  • Finish Time – 46:20 (9:15 average pace)


After getting some water and a snack I reunited with my boys. Apparently Kyler missed me while I was gone and demanded to be taken out of the Ergo, so my husband was pushing the stroller while holding the baby at the same time. He’s such a trooper!


We made our way back to the car so I could change into a dry shirt and feed Kyler, then we walked downtown to enjoy the 4th of July festival they had going on. They had a parade, a craft show with lots of tents and vendors, food, children’s activities like a moon bounce (which Kevin loved!), and music. It was a  lot of fun!

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Eventually we all headed home for naps and showers, to rest and prepare for more Independence Day activities with friends later that evening. It was a busy, wonderful day!


Such a fashionable race shirt!

This was my first 5 mile race ever and I’m so happy with how I did. It feels great to be back out there and racing again. Plus I had a pretty cute cheering squad 🙂 I have a lot of work ahead of me to get back to where I was a year ago, but I know that I’m strong and I’m very excited to see what I can do in the future! Happy 4th of July (a few days late!).


Christmas 2014

What a whirlwind week it’s been! As of today we are officially finished with our Christmas celebrations… rounds 1, 2 and 3! Here’s a recap of our extra special holiday this year.

December 23rd. Since I am on winter break, we spent the day gearing up for Christmas by wrapping presents, making cookies, and going to hang out with Kevin’s sister and her family that evening. His grandma had also come to town from Tennessee, so it was great to get to spend time with her too!




December 24th- Christmas Eve. For the first time in a LONG time, Kevin and I actually had no plans with family on Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. All of our family (except Kevin’s sister who lives here) was coming into town on Friday, and so we were able to do our own thing as a little family of 3 (soon to be 4!). As soon as Kevin woke up on Christmas Eve he was excited. The first thing he said when he woke up was, “Santa coming to town?”  This is the first year he is really able to get into Christmas and I love it! We have really been building it up with our traditions of visiting the Festival of Lights, going to see Santa at the mall, watching Santa ride through our neighborhood on the fire truck, etc. This kid was ready for Christmas! For the last 3 years Kevin’s gotten new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve, so we continued that this year. He was so excited about these pajamas that he immediately stripped and wanted them on!

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We also started giving him a movie last year, which we also did this year. He got the movie Frozen since he’s been obsessed with it, and we watched it together as a family while we ate some yummy cookies.



We ended the night with my hubby reading Kevin the Night Before Christmas like he has the last two years, and then we got all of his presents under the tree for the morning!


December 25th- Christmas Day. During Winter Break Kevin had been sleeping in until 8 or 8:30 since we weren’t having to wake him up to go to daycare. Of course on Christmas morning he was up and ready to go at 6:30! I swear he knew it was a special day!


We got busy right away letting him open his gifts. We didn’t get him a ton of things, because he’s 2 and would be happy playing with wrapping paper, haha! We also knew that his grandparents would be spoiling him. So we stuck to the 4 major categories and kept it simple: something(s) he wants, something(s) he needs, something(s) to wear, and something(s) to read. He loved it all. I don’t have many pictures of him actually opening gifts that aren’t blurry because he was so excited!


After opening everything up and having breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning relaxing and letting Kevin play with his new things. It was beautiful outside so he rode his new car and I went for a run. After his nap we headed over to Kevin’s sister’s house for a little Christmas dinner and for our kids to exchange gifts.


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That night right before bed my husband got what he said was the best gift of all- he felt our baby move for the first time! He was super active and I told him to come over to see if he would be able to feel it, and after a big kick, he could! It was so amazing and special!

December 26th. The day after Christmas my hubby worked a half day and I stayed home with Kev and waited for my family to arrive! It was another beautiful day so when they got here we took a walk outside, then just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.

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Eventually we went out to dinner and then visited the brewery that my husband has been working at part-time in the evenings. They all had fun tasting the different varieties of beer while I sipped my water jealously… just kidding 🙂 I do miss my beer tasting days but I know I’ll be back at it this summer!


December 27th- Christmas, Round 2 + Gender Reveal Party! We woke up on Saturday morning and had Christmas, round 2 with my family. Kevin got some really special things, like his very own oversized chair with his name embroidered on it from my dad, and a personalized big brother book from his aunt. He also received an Olaf stuffed animal and blanket from my dad’s girlfriend, which he hasn’t stopped carrying around since! After opening presents we made breakfast together, which is another one of our family traditions.




After presents and breakfast and lounging around, Kevin went down for a nap and I went for a run with my hubby stroller-free, which was so nice! We had to hurry up and get back though so we could shower and get ready for our gender reveal party. The party was at Kevin’s sister’s house, and by this time the rest of his family had arrived- his parents, brother, his other sister, her husband and their kids, etc. It was awesome to have everyone there together along with our friends. I’ve already written about the reveal, but it was AMAZING! We found out we’re having another baby boy, and we could not be happier!


December 28th- Christmas, Round 3. Time for round 3! This morning we headed to Kevin’s sisters house again for Christmas with his family. He has a really large family and everyone was there. His mom made a big lunch and then we had a crazy opening-fest. There was paper everywhere, it was insane! His mom goes all out for her grand babies… all 6 of them! It was a lot of fun though and a great way to wrap up our Christmas celebrations.


And now… we REST! So thankful that I still have one more full week of winter break left!

Fredericksburg Turkey Trot 5K

Happy Thanksgiving! I love this holiday because it is a time to reflect on what’s really important and all of the blessings in my life. On Thanksgiving and every day I am thankful for my family, my health, my job, my friends, and for this little hobby of mine that I love so much- running! We started our day by doing a local Turkey Trot 5K. This was the first time I had ever done a Thanksgiving Day race and I was so excited!


Kevin was too!

The race didn’t start until 9:00, so we were able to relax a little at home before heading out, which was so nice! We made the short drive down to Fredericksburg, found parking easily, and made our way to the high school where packet pick up (and warmth!) was. It wasn’t too terribly cold- maybe 35 degrees- but we definitely enjoyed being able to stay warm inside while we waited for the race to start.


While we were waiting two of my running buddies came in to meet us. Amanda, who rocked the Richmond Marathon a couple weekends ago, and Laura (and her husband), who is now 34 weeks pregnant! Whoa!


We decided us girls would stick together and I would push the stroller so our husbands could go ahead and try to actually race. The race was broken up in waves so they went toward the front while we had to go to the back with the other strollers. We knew that we would be keeping it nice and easy since I haven’t run with the stroller in a while (my amazing hubby always does) and Laura is doing more walk/running these days. Finally they called our wave and we were off and running! They moved this race from a commercial shopping area where it’s been for the last couple years back to the historic downtown area this year and I loved the course. We ran the first mile and a half straight through and then stopped for a walking break. Laura has some varicose veins that cause her legs to hurt when she runs sometimes and today they were flaring up pretty bad. We stuck together and enjoyed just being together and getting active on Thanksgiving- it didn’t matter to me whether we were walking or running.


One of the coolest parts of this race was the awesome energy it had surrounding it. Lots of locals came out to cheer us on, and there were a lot of people running in costume. We were right near a guy running in a snowman costume the whole time. He kept running ahead and then stopping to cheer and give high fives, and Kevin LOVED it! He thinks every snowman is Olaf (from Frozen) and got so excited every time he saw him again. It was great entertainment for a 2 year old 🙂 We started running again and eventually saw Kevin walking back to meet us after he finished. He grabbed the stroller so I could finish without it, which felt great! We also saw our other running buddy Leslie cheering right by the finish line, which was so nice. She also ran the Richmond Marathon a couple weeks ago!



Finish Time – 42:53 (13:48 average pace)

Once we were all done and had a chance to talk, Kevin told me that he ended up finishing in 23:16 (7:29 average pace)! He hasn’t been able to run a 5K that fast in over 2.5 years! I was really proud of him. After we all finished we started walking back to the car and saw this epic finish by all of these runners in costumes. SO AWESOME!


After the race we drove straight up to Pennsylvania to be with my family. Since we knew we’d be in traffic for a while and getting there in the late afternoon we opted to relax the rest of the day and order Chinese take-out for dinner. It was delicious! Tomorrow we will cook our Thanksgiving dinner 🙂


Kev loves his Yaya (my sister)!


How did you spend your Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for this year?

Previous Thanksgiving Posts

Myrtle Beach Mini-Vacation

On Wednesday, July 2nd we packed up and went to the beach for the holiday weekend! My in-laws live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and we go there a few times a year to visit them. This year our big summer vacation is to the west coast (leaving on Thursday- our first flight with Kev, ahhh!), so my husband is using up his leave for that. We knew we wanted to take a trip to the beach still, so we decided to do a mini-vacation over the 4th of July long weekend.


We left after my husband got home from work, around 6:00 p.m. It’s about a 6 1/2 hour drive from where we live, and we hoped that Kevin would sleep on the way. After fighting it for a while, he finally did and we had a pretty smooth trip without much traffic. We only had to make one stop, and we arrived around 12:30 a.m. and pretty much fell into bed.

At a rest stop on our way to the beach!

At a rest stop on our way to the beach!

The next morning Kevin of course woke up at 6 a.m. He never gets the vacation memo! We got up with him and noticed that it was looking pretty stormy outside. Hurricane Arthur was on it’s way up the coast and the weather was expected to be pretty bad, but was supposed to clear out by the next day, which was the 4th of July. While we were looking outside we noticed that our car had a flat tire, so we went outside and found a nail in it :(.


My husband and his mom made some phone calls so we could get it taken care of, and then went to drop the car off at the shop. When he got back we quickly changed into our running clothes to squeeze our run for the streak in before the storm got bad.


The rest of the day was spent hanging out inside due to the weather. We went to the grocery store, picked up the car, and went to Mellow Mushroom (our favorite!) for dinner. It’s become our little tradition the day before we have a race. Kev enjoyed some grandma time and lemons (which he loves, weird0), and I enjoyed $1 wine night :).

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The next day was the 4th of July, and we started it off with our race. I already blogged about it, but it was basically AWESOME! The storm had passed through and it was a really nice morning, despite the humidity.


After the race we went home and got ready to go to the beach. I was so happy to be able to have a good beach day, and I was excited to see how Kevin would react to it. Last summer he LOVED the beach, but I wasn’t sure he’d still feel the same way this year.


To be expected on a holiday, the beach was totally packed, but we were loving being there in the sunshine next to the ocean. Kevin had an absolute blast and wanted to stay in the ocean all day. It was so much fun!





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Eventually we left to go home, shower, and BBQ up some dinner. We had cheeseburgers, black bean burgers, corn, grilled veggies, tortilla chips (my fave!) and more. We also had a beer tasting with different craft beer that my husband brought with him.  It was a great way to spend the 4th of July.

Passed out from all the fun

Passed out from all the fun

The next morning, Saturday, I got up early and headed to the beach to run. I’d been dying to do a morning run on the beach and it was the perfect day for it.


After 4 1/2 blissful miles I headed to meet my friend Chanda for a bootcamp class that her niece goes to often. It was so awesome that Chanda and her family were also in Myrtle Beach, because I got to workout with her a few days in a row. Bootcamp basically killed me, especially after running beforehand!


Once I got home we packed up for the beach again. It wasn’t as nice outside as the day before, overcast and pretty windy, but we wanted to make the most of it.

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Once again, Kevin loved the water and couldn’t get enough. We took turns going with him in the water, then he made some friends and played with them, while we enjoyed some drinks and I read one of my favorite books.

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We didn’t stay super long because we had to go back home to get ready for date night! Kevin and I have a tradition to go on a special date night whenever we visit Myrtle Beach. Over the years it’s changed some since we became parents, but it’s always nice to have time together as just the two of us.


We started by walking around Broadway at the Beach, which is a large touristy shopping area that we love. It was really crowded, but we scored a table at Margaritaville outside on the patio where there was no wait. We were excited because the indoor tables were an hour and a half to two hour wait! No thank you! We ate a delicious meal and drank some delicious drinks and enjoyed ourselves :).


After dinner we wanted to get away from the crowds so we headed back towards where his parents live and went to play mini-golf. We are always pretty competitive with each other (see the above 5K), and last year when we played we TIED. Kevin was determined to beat me this year, however by hole 2 I had a hole in one and by hole 5 Kevin’s ball was in the water… 🙂

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It ended up being a close competition though, and we actually tied AGAIN! What are the chances?


I was up bright and early again on Sunday morning (no sleeping in for me on vacation!) to meet Chanda for a long run. Our legs were pretty tired from bootcamp the day before, but time always flies when I run with her and we had beautiful scenery to look at too!


We were leaving that afternoon, but we took our time because we knew we’d sit in traffic. We hung out with family, took a nap, and enjoyed our last day there.



Kevin had fun playing video games with my husband’s little brother Matt and playing in a baby pool with their puppy Dexter.

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We had an amazing time and were definitely sad to leave. We’ve made a lot of great memories in Myrtle Beach over the years. Here is a cool picture of us from 2011 and now. Same tree, 3 years, 1 baby and a little bit of aging later… life has never been sweeter!


And a few more pictures from our mini-vacation!

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Rocked to sleep by Papaw

Kevin's new trick- caught the birdie!

Kevin’s new trick- caught the birdie!

Gummy worm snack

Gummy worm snack

Changed into dry clothes and warm again before we left the beach

Changed into dry clothes and warm again before we left the beach

Eating breakfast while mommy & daddy run!

Eating breakfast while mommy & daddy run!

Dead stopped traffic on the way home... at 12:30 a.m. Ready to move to Myrtle! :)

Dead stopped traffic on the way home… at 12:30 a.m. Ready to move far away from northern Virginia 🙂

Previous Myrtle Beach posts:

Christmas 2013

I am still riding the high of Christmas 2013. It was such a special time spent with the people I love.


This year we decided to stay in Virginia rather than travel anywhere. Even though I love going to Pennsylvania to see my family and friends, I knew it was time for us to start our own traditions. Luckily both of our families were willing to come to us from Pennsylvania and South Carolina and spend the holiday here!


We celebrate Christmas starting at the beginning of December. Before I get into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I want to recap some of our pre-Christmas traditions. First, we always go pick out our Christmas tree and decorate it together.



We also take our picture in front of it after we are finished decorating. This year we added our 5th picture to the collection. I can’t believe we have already celebrated that many Christmases together! Here they all are below: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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Another thing we have done yearly is visit the Bull Run Festival of Lights. Kevin first took me here in 2009 when we met, and we’ve gone every year since. Last year Kevin slept through the whole thing, but this year I knew he’d enjoy it more because he is infatuated with lights. It is a 2 mile long light show that you drive through. Since we only go about 5 mph, I took Kevin out of his car seat and let him ride in the front in my lap. This way he could see everything much better, since he is still rear facing in his car seat. He absolutely LOVED it, and he also had fun running around the carnival at the end.



Finally, this past weekend we went to see Santa at the mall (along with every other child in Northern Virginia). Since we waited until the Sunday before Christmas the line was super long, and we waited for over an hour. Last year Kevin was only 3 months old so he was kind of indifferent about Santa. This year we weren’t sure how he would react, since he doesn’t like anyone to hold him except mommy and daddy. He was also getting a little cranky since it was almost nap time. He didn’t cry, but he wasn’t exactly excited either. He just looked kind of… scared. Haha. Maybe next year we’ll get a smile!

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Now onto Christmas Eve. My dad and sister came in late Monday night after I was already asleep, so I was excited to wake up to them on Tuesday morning! We all had a lazy morning just hanging out and spending time together.


Kevin played in his tent, which we got him when we found it for a great deal. It wasn’t technically a Christmas gift so we gave it to him this past weekend. He loves crawling in and out of the tunnel!


He also spend some good quality time with his Poppy and Aunt Lauren.



Later that afternoon my sister and I started prepping dinner. We kept it simple with ham, our family’s special recipe for macaroni and cheese, and roasted vegetables. It was so yummy!


After dinner I made some chocolate peanut butter chip cookies for “Santa” and Kevin opened his Christmas Eve gifts. This is a tradition we hope to continue each year. He opened a pair of pajamas and a Christmas movie. We didn’t have time to watch the movie that night since it had gotten late, but we did let him have the cookies that he was supposed to eat with it.


For some reason he did not want to eat the cookie! We finally got him to taste it and then he realized it was good and wanted more.



Then he just started feeding it to us!


After our cookie snack we got ready to take him up for a bath. We always let him have a little ‘naked time’ before his bath, which he absolutely loves. We’ve only had two ‘accidents’ so far 🙂


After bath daddy read him “The Night Before Christmas,” which he also did last year.

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After we got the baby to bed it was time to get to work! We had a kitchen to put together. It took almost 3 hours and a few drinks, but finally it was finished. This picture is deceiving though, because it was really Kevin, my sister and my dad who did most of the work. I only helped at the end because I was busy doing dishes and cleaning up the house 🙂



I wish my kitchen was this nice!

I woke up the next morning at 7:30 and realized the baby wasn’t up yet. Of course he decides to sleep in on Christmas (probably the last time that will happen for a long time!) I was too excited so Kevin and I woke him up and brought him downstairs. He had some breakfast while we got the video camera and everything set up in the other room.


Finally it was time! We let him walk into the living room on his own to see all the gifts.


 We tried to keep Kevin’s gifts simple and follow the “something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, something to read” idea like last year, but we ended getting more than we planned originally. His wants were his kitchen and play food (it’s his favorite toy at daycare), plus some wooden puzzles, his needs were some plastic utensils and a reusable plastic placemat for when we eat out, something to wear was a snowsuit and Christmas pajamas, and for something to read he received two lift-the-flap books and one ABC animal bag/book with velcro animals for each letter. He also got a stocking full of some of his favorite treats, teethers, and other small items.

He wants to eat his play food!

He wants to eat his play food!

My dad got him this amazing wagon, which was by far his favorite gift of them all. His face when he saw it was priceless!

For me?!?!

For me?!?!

I knew he would love it because there were 2 little girls at his old daycare who  lived in the same neighborhood, and everyday their mom would let them ride home in a wagon. He loved it and always wanted to get in and go with them.



He loved the wagon so much that he insisted on opening most of his presents while sitting in it.


We all took turns opening our gifts from one another. Like usual we all spoiled each other and bought way too much. The biggest shock of the day was when I opened our gift from my dad. He knew that my MacBook that I’ve had for over 6 years (our only computer) was giving us issues. It would randomly shut off and the screen was constantly flickering unless it was tilted just right. I was finally about to drain our savings account to buy another one when he surprised us a beautiful new MacBook Pro. I couldn’t believe it when I opened it up and immediately burst into tears. Such a generous gift. I love my daddy!


The rest of the morning was spent playing with all of our new toys, eating breakfast sandwiches and drinking Poinsettias (champagne and cranberry juice).



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My dad and sister sadly left in the early afternoon. We put the baby down for his much needed nap after all that excitement, then I headed out for my run. Unsurprisingly, after a few too many cookies and glasses of champagne, it wasn’t my best run. But at least I got it done! Afterwards I showered and when the baby woke up, we headed over to Kevin’s sister’s house to do Christmas with his side of the family.

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Unfortunately at that point Kevin was pretty much done with Christmas. He was pretty cranky and unhappy for most of the evening. We stayed there for a few hours, opened gifts and had dinner, then called it a night. We were all exhausted!

The last picture of the day, after a long and overwhelming day. This is the best “family picture” we got 🙂

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!