Friday, December 28, 2018

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Moments of 2018

Happy Friday and happy New Year's Eve weekend! This will be my last post about Christmas of 2018 (I promise), but this was seriously our best Christmas with Brayden to date and so many fun memories were made! This was the first year that he understood about the true reason we celebrate Christmas. This was also the fist year he really got into ripping the paper off of his presents!

It was hard, but I managed to narrow everything down to a "top 5" favorite moments of the weekend and although I already blogged about our Christmas twice already, I just had to do so one last time!

#1 Spending Time With Family

This is almost always a given, but I really truly enjoyed spending time with all of our family over the holiday weekend! We were able to visit with my brother and his wife in Texas as well as Jason's family and extended family here back at home. It truly was a great time! 

#2 Christmas Eve Orangetheory

This might sound kind of silly, but I had the opportunity to work out at Orangetheory on Christmas Eve with my sister-in-law and although the workout was TOUGH, I enjoyed the challenge and working up a sweat on Christmas Eve! This workout was different in a way that made it challenging but fun. Everyone pulled cards from a tin throughout the class and the card told you what workout to complete. Some cards were harder than others (coal) and some were a little less challenging (present).  I pulled so many coal cards it wasn't funny. Mine even included the treadmill with a run at a pretty decent pace with a 12% incline. (I might have been holding on for dear life!) My sister-in-law ended up pulling a 2,000 m row card and she completed 55 burpees by the time it was all said and done. Needless to say, it was a great workout and I enjoyed the change!

#3 Brayden's First Gingerbread House 

Although this was Brayden's third Christmas, we still had a few "firsts" for him, including his first gingerbread house! This gingerbread house was themed towards The Grinch (of course) which made it even more fun! He mostly helped his Aunt put the decorations on the house and I was amazed at how long this task captivated his attention. In all, I'd say this was a successful first for him! 

#4 Cookie Contest

Speaking of gingerbread, our family did a really fun Gingerbread decorating contest where we asked our Facebook friends to help us vote! In the end, Kayla's "Mrs. Santa Claus" (top right) ended up with the most likes for the win! This was a really fun activity to do with all of our family together!

#5 "Grinch Cakes"

On Saturday, we took Brayden to Ihop for breakfast and the look on his face when this plate of "Grinch cakes" was set in front of him was hilarious! They were a HUGE hit and he loved them! This was such a fun morning for all of us! 

Memories like these are what make the Christmas season so much fun! As the years continue on, I can't wait to see what they have to bring! 

If you'd like to see more from our Christmas weekend, check out the video below!

I hope this Christmas season brought lots of fun memories for you, too! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Only 364 Days To Go...

Christmas this year was unlike any other we'd shared thus far and I loved it! Looking back, we laughed about how Brayden has changed so much from his past three years of Christmas celebrations. 

On his first Christmas, he was only 10 months old and not very interested in opening presents at all. Last year, he was a year and a half and ok with it but didn't really care much about the opening presents part. This year though...he LOVED ripping paper and opening presents! Such a huge change from previous years. It really is amazing to see how much they grow, develop, and change as time passes by!

Anyway, we celebrated our little family Christmas on Saturday morning because our plan was to spend Christmas with my brother and family in Texas. Hauling all those presents to and from Texas didn't sound like a pleasant idea!

After we finished opening presents, we decided to take Brayden to Ihop for Grinch pancakes, which he then decided to call them "Grinch cakes"! His excitement over his "Grinch cakes" was hysterical!

On Sunday, we loaded up our vehicle and made our way to Texas to see my brother and his wife. No trip to Texas is complete without a stop at Buc-ee's!

Or seeing the Buc-ee's mascot for that matter!

That night, my brother took us to Wimberly, Texas to look at the trail of lights! These lights were gorgeous and so neat to see! Brayden LOVES Christmas lights, so this was a delight for him as well!

We made so many fun memories over the weekend and really enjoyed the time we were able to spend with my family! 

This giant gift bag was almost as tall as Brayden!  I couldn't resist putting him inside! :) 

Now, the saddest day of the year for me has arrived...the day after Christmas. I absolutely hate when everything is over, all of the presents are opened and the family gatherings are through. It just all goes by so fast! Oh well, only 364 days to go....

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

I know it's a little late, but I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

The Christmas festivities began this past weekend and are continuing on throughout this upcoming weekend, so we've truly been enjoying the moments and soaking up all the magic of the season!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a full Christmas recap complete with our Christmas weekend vlogidays update!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Race Bling

The close of 2018 is right around the corner and with that comes blog posts that reflect on the past year. Since I'm one of those sappy, reflective, memories type person, I thought it would be fun to participate in a Tuesday on the Run topic and take a look back over the race bling that was earned in 2018!

There were three sets of races that I ran this year where I earned medals, and all three are very special to me in different ways! 

It all started in January with my favorite race of the year, the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World!

This race experience included four different races, one of those being my 6th full marathon (and last for a little while). I ran this entire event with a friend of mine and we had a BLAST! Crossing the finish line of the full marathon after 48.6 miles through the most magical place on earth was truly a race highlight! 

In February, I ran the Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and had a marvelous time!

Rock n Roll New Orleans is another favorite of mine (I run it every year) and LOVE love love the course! I also added the 5K this year (as a first at this event for me) and really enjoyed myself there as well! With the addition of the 5K, I also earned an extra medal for a three medal weekend! Rock on!

Last but not least, I ran the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon just a few weeks ago and had another amazing experience! 

I mainly registered for the San Antonio Half because I heard about an "extra bling" opportunity for running both New Orleans and San Antonio in the same calendar year.  This race was definitely well worth the extra effort and I love the bling!!

Three races and eleven medals - sounds pretty legit to me! It was definitely a great year filled with lots of fun racing memories!

Tuesdays on the Run

It's the Tuesdays On The Run Linkup with ErikaMarcia and Patty

Friday, December 14, 2018

How Christmas Saved The Grinch 2018

Can you believe there's just a week and a few days until Christmas? I definitely cannot! It's crazy how fast this past year has flown by. I say it every year, but it's true!

Last weekend, my church put on their annual Christmas production entitled "How Christmas Saved The Grinch" and I was lucky enough to be a part! Last year, I told the director that I was willing to do "whatever", so I became an extra and after 15 weeks of practice, it was time for production weekend!

I honestly never realized just how much went into the behind the scenes roles of making this production come together, but it's quite a bit of work! Not only were most of the costumes hand sewn and the sets made from scratch, but on the day of the production, the noses had to be put on 8 actors and hair and makeup had to be done for 18+ actors which took several hours to complete!

This production is the sweetest - it tells the story of The Grinch who hates Christmas. He meets Cindy-Lou who introduces him to Jesus and...well, after his encounter with Jesus, his heart grew three sizes that day!

On Friday, we performed two shows for the schools (it's an approved field trip in our parish) with over 3,000 kids in attendance. The on Sunday, we performed two additional shows for the public with almost 2,000 in attendance! I'd call it a hit!

For the past four years, we've taken this picture together, and it's fun to see how Brayden (and we) have changed over the years! I was pregnant in our very first picture in 2015!

As a huge surprise, Brayden actually sat for a few seconds to take a picture with The Grinch! I couldn't hardly believe it myself!

After it was all said and done on Friday, we celebrated with shakes from Chick Fil A! Mine was (of course) a peppermint shake! Yum!

If you're interested in seeing a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it takes to make Whoville come to life, check out my Vlogidays video below!

Thanks for following along! I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season! Have a great weekend!! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

There's only 14 days until Christmas and it's so hard to believe. I absolutely love this time of year and I'll admit - I get really sad once it's all said and done. Soaking up the memories and moments this season brings and seeing the wonder in a child's eyes are some of my favorite things about it.

Thank you for being patient with me on this Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon recap. Over the weekend, we performed a Grinch production that reached right at 5,000 people, so this recap is a little behind and I'm sorry for that. More on The Grinch, on to Rock n Roll San Antonio!

Although this race was held in downtown San Antonio, I stayed at my brother and sister-in-law's house which is about 45 minutes or so from downtown San Antonio. With this being my first time to run Rock n Roll San Antonio, I had to do a little research on the start/finish line and parking. Thankfully, this one started and finished right in the same general vicinity (unlike New Orleans...which I'm not complaining about, because Rock n Roll NOLA has its own special charm). In the end, I decided to go ahead and purchase a ticket to park at the Alamodome so we didn't have to fight traffic and parking garages. If you missed the Expo recap and would like to read that also, you can do so here.

 After laying out my clothing the night before the race, I was ready to go!

The Alamodome was all lit up for Christmas and even had Christmas music playing from the speakers! It was such a fun start to the morning!

My dad and sister-in-law (Kayla) rode down to the start line with me and hung out until I finished! I thought that was so very nice of them!!

This race was a large one, kind of like New Orleans with 20+ corrals and began right above the River Walk.

I ended up in corral 9 and this was the crowd ahead of me!

Before long though, we were at the start line and ready to go!

As I was standing there waiting on the race to start, I started to ask around to fellow runners about the hills and was relieved to hear their perspective. From so many others, I'd heard that the hills were horrible here and unrelenting. Thankfully, I was informed that the route was changed this year and shouldn't be "that bad". In my head I thought "we'll see about that..."  Being from Southwest Louisiana with completely flat ground and zero elevation kinda makes you see even the slightest incline and term it a "hill".

Also, I went over my race game plan in my head again. Since I'd been so sick most of November, I didn't get to properly train for this one and wanted to just finish standing upright. My longest run was a 10 mile trail run at the end of October. I also only went to Orangetheory maybe three times in between. I knew I could do it, but I just didn't know how fast. So, I decided to walk when I needed to walk, take my time, and take pictures. This was actually just a training run planned for Princess, anyway!

 Before long, we were at mile 3 and I had 10 miles to go!

Rock n Roll always has such entertaining bands along the way and I loved it! At mile 4 or so, there was a praise and worship band which was fun to hear on a Sunday morning! They also had mariachi bands all over the place and a group of dancers at one of the major hills.

With this being San Antonio's Tricentennial year, there were celebrations going on all over the city! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this picture. I had to laugh though...runners didn't form an orderly line for this one and people kept slipping in to take their photo in front of me. I thought in my head "obviously these people have never run Disney!" (It truly was comical!)

One of the most touching parts of this race was around mile 8 or so. It was called the "Military Mile" and for about half a mile, photos of fallen soldiers with their names, ages, and the date they were killed in action were listed on these pictures.

Never in my life DURING a race has a moment touched my heart like this one did. It seemed like an endless number of pictures kept going by. Nothing but complete silence could be heard, except for the sound of the runners shoes hitting the pavement. My eyes filled with tears at the photos of soldiers with their babies and families. My heart so admires our veterans and those who dedicate their lives for our freedom. We truly should be thankful for them.

As we neared the end of the military mile, I stared to hear cheering. It grew louder and louder and as I looked up from the photos, I saw people with flag after flag after flag...and they were cheering US on. This is where I could no longer hold the tears back and I lost it. Some of those holding the flags were dressed in fatigues and it was so great being able to give them a high five and thank them for their service. It might sound a little cheesy, but my heart was definitely swelling with pride for our great nation we live in. Yes, we have our flaws just like any other nation...but for real, it's pretty great.

This whole entire mile has seriously made my top 10 favorite race moments list!

Around mile 11, we hit our first major hill. This one reminded me of the underpass near the Contemporary (for my runDisney friends)! At the top of the bridge were dancers dressed in their cultural costumes - it was so cool!

Ya know I gotta take my traditional mile 12 photo!

As we were nearing mile 13, I started to realize that we hadn't seen The Alamo. I thought maybe I missed it, but at that moment, I heard another runner say to her friend that she was bummed we didn't run in front of The Alamo.  Kinda funny since that's one of San Antonio's biggest landmarks. My brother later told me that they were doing construction at The Alamo so maybe that's why? I'm still not sure!

My dad and sister-in-law were waiting for me near the mile 13 sign, so I stopped to say hello and take a picture!

The finish line wasn't far behind and just like that - I finished my 32nd Half Marathon and you know what? The hills were NOT bad at all. There were only two of them which was totally doable to me! (I'd honestly had this environment of one giant hill that just kept going up and down and up and down the entire race!)

I also received an extra medal since I ran Rock n Roll New Orleans this year, too (lets face it, that extra medal is one of the only reasons I signed up for San Antonio)!  We didn't stick around long because the race took a little longer than I wanted it to - I think I finished in 2:36 or something along those lines.

On our way back to my brother and sister-in-law's house, we stopped for a coffee break and I ordered the Candy Cane Mocha. It was SO good!!!

We also had a late lunch at McAlisters which I (of course) loved!

Brayden wasn't amused that he had his own Rock n Roll San Antonio shirt, too...but I still made him take a picture with me anyway!

That's a wrap on our Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon weekend! If you're interested in a video recap, check this one out below! :)

Thanks for following along! Have a great day!

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