Nov 30, 2009

Thanksgiving! Yum!

We had an awesome Turkey Day!  Emily and Garrett did a great job.  I think the turkey was the best I have ever had...herb butter is the key.  Emily's mom makes great mashed potatoes. Connor was a hoot crawling everywhere.  The kids all ate and played well.  The stuffing was even good if I do so so myself.

Here is connor playing with Tate's hair.

Scott had to work from 11-2 but made it for dinner.  First time in 11 years Old Navy has been open.

Look at those handsome Brennans!

The kids were so good and probably destroyed Emily's playroom.  I never went up there.  Sorry!

We have so much to be thankful for....wonderful family, our health, great friends, and happy children.  I could not ask for a better year.

Nov 24, 2009

Holiday Plans

Two days and Turkey day is here!  Yippee!  I love holiday food.

We are heading to Garrett and Emily's to enjoy a wonderful meal with her family including her mom and brothers.  Stacy and her family will be there too! Five kids and nine adults I think.  I'm making stuffing and pumpkin pie.  Can't wait.  Scott actually has to work from 11-2 that day (first time ever) but we are going to eat around 4 so it should work out perfect.

The next holidayish plans is our 4th annual Gingerbread House making party.  We started this the year we moved to Holly Springs (four years December 1).  I make the houses out of graham crackers and cookie icing and Holly, Laura, and Jo bring lots of candy.  It is always a great time to get rid of the Halloween candy that is hanging around.  Eight kids decorate houses and eat just about as much candy as they stick on the house.

Then on December 11th, Holly, Laura and I are surprising our kids and taking them to Disney on Ice.  I can't wait.  They have no idea.  The hubbies will have a guys night. 

Next, on December 20th we are going to celebrate Christmas and Garrett's birthday at Emily and Garrett's.  This will be the same gang from Thanksgiving.  I'm excited because this year we are having a brunch.  I need to hop on the Christmas shopping to get ready for this but I have most of my ideas ready.

Finally, on the 22nd or 23rd we will head to Elizabeth City to celebrate Christmas Eve with my side of the family.  There is nothing like home.  The girls love my parents house....feeding geese, the gingerbread cookies B always gets them, playing with the toys that are only at B's house.  After Christmas Eve lunch with 6 aunts/uncles, 4 cousins, 4 little ones (mine included), Granddaddy, Mom and Dad, Mom's aunts and uncles and lots of other extended family, we will head home to have Christmas morning in our own house. 

What a month we have ahead of us!

Nov 17, 2009


Recent things Paige has said that completely crack me up.

Yesterday after she got home from school--
Paige: You know what I learned about today, Mommy?
Me: What Paige?
Paige: The pill grams sailed a flower boat because they wanted to pray and they had to go somewhere else.
Me: The who?
Paige: The pill grams that went to that rock.

Last week we had a lot of hard nights getting Paige to bed at a decent hour.  One particular night I told her she wouldnot grow much taller if she did not get her sleep.  The next morning she came downstairs.
Paige: Mommy, I slept so good my bangs growed.

There are a ton more that I need to write down the minute she says them.  The way she uses ACTUALLY still makes me smile.  "Well, actually mommy" is a phrase she uses everyday.  Cutie patootie!

Nov 16, 2009

Can it almost be Thanksgiving?

I can't believe it is next week.  I absolutely love the Macy's Day parade.  The girls are starting their Christmas lists and I actually bought my first present last week at Emily's Open House.  I actually got another one yesterday, so Mom is done...birthday and Christmas.  I'm on a roll now.  I'm off every Friday, so I hope to use those days to knock my shopping out. 

Tate is a mystery.  She really does not want anything big.  She keeps pointing out random things on TV but they aren't that exciting.  The thing she keeps saying she wants is a Zhu Zhu pet set.  You will not believe that these are very expensive fake hamsters.  I cannot believe what toy manufacturers can market to kids these days.  Paige wants a DS like Tate.  Santa will definitely be getting that so the fighting will stop over Tate's. 

I really get in the spirit on Thanksgiving.  The girls usually write their lists that weekend of the top three things they want, we get the decorations down from the attic and do the outside while Scott is working, buy a tree, and I go shopping after Scott gets home from work on Black Friday.  This year I may do a 8K Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning to get ready for all the yummy stuff at Emily and Garrett's.

This week is busier than last but not too bad. The girls have their normal dance classes.  I'm making dinner for a friend on the street with a new baby boy.  On Friday, I am super excited because I get to go see New Moon (the latest Twilight movie) with some friends on opening day.  We already have our tickets.  Tate will be at her best friend's birthday party, so Paige and Scott will get to have a date night.  Throw in homeowork, laundry, and life and the week will be a blur I'm sure.

Nov 10, 2009

Back from OBX Half

What a great course, weather, company, result.  I could not have asked for a better race.  I want to bottle it!  Next year it could be windy and bitter cold, but yesterday morning was in the 60s and sunny. Here I am coming in for the finish.  There is nothing like seeing the big blown up finish line with the clocks.  It just makes you run a little faster.  Just looking for that thing got me throught the last two miles.  I looked for after every corner.  I just wanted to have it in my sights but it was tucked away until you got right to the finish in downtown Manteo on the sound.  Scott and the girls were there on the last corner.  It was awesome to see them along the way.  A group of husbands got together and tracked us along the way.  They were at mile 2, mile 4 and then at the finish cheering us on.  It was so nice seeing the girls and all those people supporting us. The whole weekend was perfect.  A group of friends met to eat at Goombay's Friday night.  I had the best crabcake salad.  Saturday we picked up our race numbers, had a great burger at Five Guys and spent a few hours at Jockey's Ridge. It is always too hot in the summer to take the girls, so this was the perfect time.  They are still finding sand in their ears and hair two days later and after a bath.
Now for the race play by play:

Mile 1:  This is always a hard one for me on race days.  I go through the internal struggle of knowing how many miles are ahead of me, not feeling warmed up, and gasping for breath in a momentary panic attack.

Mile 2: Saw the girls and Scott.  Calmed down and realized I was running by Jockey's Ridge which I have seen a million times.  It felt so odd running down Highway 158 where I have spent my childhood.  I will never look at it the same again.

Mile 3-4: Went into a neighborhood and loved all the sleepy eyed people out with their coffee cheering us on.  Holly, Laura, and Mary were right behind me.  I was warmed up but cautious of going too fast too early. Scott and girls were at Mile 4 and then they headed for the finish.

Mile 5-6: Don't remember a thing.  Passed 2:15 pace group who was ahead of schedule.  Tried to keep an eye on my pace but I'm horrible at it.  This was highway running so it was straight with lots of car exhaust.  Yuck! I ate my chomp here, but I swear I don't notice a difference from when I eat stuff or not.

Mile 7-8: Back into a neighborhood.  I liked these parts of the run best.  The curves and houses and tons of people were a great distraction.  There were even jokes and OBX trivia on posters along the way.  I realized here that my friends had fallen back and I was alone.

Mile 9: Back on highway and curving toward the bridge.  The wind picked up here.  I felt good and loved passing people.

Mile 10: THE BRIDGE...if you remember my last half, we had to cross two bridges twice.  They were gradual long killers.  This one was about half a mile up but with the wind in my face it just seemed to feel like I would never get to the top.  My heartrate got into the 170s.  It is usually in the 150s.  The top never felt so good.  I felt great coming down and knowing that part was over.  I could knew how far I had left....lucky part of knowing the OBX so well.

Mile 11: Straight, tired, but strong...watching the watch.  Knew it would be close getting my time.

Mile 12-13.1: These red flags started lining the course.  We started weaving down side streets to the waterfront.  I kept looking for the finish after each turn.  We pass a medical tent with a lady whose foot was gross and a man with his legs above his heart eating some kind of bar.  Scary!  To think you can get that far and be out. Finally saw the finish and Scott and the girls.  Couldn't wait to cross those mats and then bam it's over.  I did it in 2:11:12....I had hoped for 2:10 but I am very happy with the result. It actually hurt to stop and I had to focus because I had pushed it hard the last mile and was woosy and nauseous.  It passed quickly and I gladly got that medal!

I found all the Holly Springs ladies at the finish and then waited for Mom to finish.  She and Debbie walked it in 3:54.  I'm so proud of her for taking on this challenge.  I hope it gets her hooked on exercising.

What did I learn?
*I love to race.  The adrenline is unlike anything else.
*I love to people watch while racing.
*I missed my friends.  It is amazing how lonely running by yourself can be when you have thousands of runners around you.
*I need to trust my training and not wait to long to hit my race pace.  I was so close to my goal of 2:10.  I'll get it next time.
*Destinations runs are the best.  The OBX was beautiful in November and we got to do things we normally don't do.  

Nov 5, 2009

Halloween on Chrismill

Here are the Brennan girls on Halloween.  I had an Evil Princess and Pumpkin Spice to escort around the ghoulish streets of Sunset Ridge.  Tate wanted to be both good and scary hence the crazy face make-up.  I think she actually scared herself a bit because when I asked if she wanted blood coming from her nose too she said "No, I think that is enough." Paige opted not to wear the orange wig so we cut out some of the orange hair and braided it into her pigtails.

Usually Scott takes them around the neighborhood but this year he had to work.  I made a cute sign and asked my neighbor, Jen, to hand out our candy with hers since I knew the first kid on my porch would likely dump the entire bowl in their bag if I left it unattended.

We headed out and Paige was a speedster.  She was two houses ahead almost the entire time which made me nervous when it started getting dark.  They had a great time.  There are two scary houses that all the kids talk about for weeks leading up to Halloween.  Tate was going to try to go in one this year but decided not to at the last minute.  I can see this being a rite of passage for the kids on the street as the years go by.  We made the big loop of Chrismill and Skymont and had enough candy to feed a third world country.  The girls picked out four of their favorites to have that night.  Tate is my chocolate girl and Paige likes the sweet and chewy stuff.

It was a successful night for all, but I did miss having my annual Halloween conversation with Steve, my neighbor across the street.  We enjoy a beer and exchange candy stories, angry/bossy/sleezy trick or treaters, and the assortment for this year.  Next year Scott will definitely get off and I'll be back on the porch with the jack o'lantern.