Category Archives: Sisters

That Time I Was a Runner..

Back in July of 2015, which was somehow a year ago, my sister and I decided to train for the Pensacola Half Marathon. It was the first time in over 4 years that neither of us were pregnant or nursing babies and so we decided to celebrate with the joy of exercise (aka: a bit of freedom and brain break time). I totally understand now why women ages 29-39 are the biggest age group of runners. Running/training = FREEDOM!!!! Oh, and healthiness, I’m sure that has something to do with it also.

We signed up for a boot camp class to kickstart our muscle growth because that is a sure fire way to get your body ready for anything that requires long endurance. And a half marathon definitely would require that of us. After a few weeks of grueling but amazing workouts we went running for the first time and were both floored that we made it 3 miles. This coming from two gals that probably couldn’t do more than 1 mile a few weeks before. We actually got a picture when it happened – check out all that sweat… running in July you guys, it’s no joke!

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We continued working out at the same place and ran 3-4 days a week. On Saturdays we did our long runs at a nearby trail or in our neighborhood and surrounding roads. We gave ourselves almost 5 months to train for 13.1 miles. It was pretty much a perfect timeline for us.

We would text our mom and dad photos after our runs. I’m telling you, those endorphin’s were awesome for our tired mommy selves.

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Our last long run before the race! Only 1.5 miles short of what we’d be doing on race day.

 

 

Race Day: We had a crazy thunderstorm roll in and one thing we read was about wrapping your feet in plastic bags to keep the rain from soaking your socks. We looked silly but it seriously helped a ton. I think I got a good 5 miles in before my first one broke. Miriah wasn’t as fortunate, but anything is better than having soaked feet before you even start running.


At one point around mile 5 (which is why I still had energy to jump) we saw a friend and she snapped a few photos of us while waiting to see her husband.

 

The finishing stretch!

 

 WE DID IT!!!

 

Our race time!

my post-race attire

 

We kept running after the race, though not as consistently. Then one day at the end of December I told Miriah I wanted to run the Pensacola Beach Half Marathon and that she was going to run it with me. So I did the sisterly thing and signed us both up and locked her into it so she would HAVE to train with me ;)  #SiblingLove

It was in the middle of January and I thought it was a great race. The weather was super damp and cool, with flat terrain the entire time. Miriah may give a tad different account, but I’d say it was a great start to our 2016 running. I even made us special shirts for it. Nothing quite like some fun clothing motivation.

Plus, we invited mom and dad to come and were SO psyched when we saw them at the finishing stretch. It was awesome. I hope to one day do a race and Stephen comes and has the girls there. It’s such a huge motivator.

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This is when I saw dad. We were in the last 1/4 mile of the run and it was such an exciting moment to see him there cheering for us!

 

 

 

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I don’t know what she’s doing, but this one is too funny not to share :)


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My friend Nicole and I ran 1 race before this and then 1 more after, the Jackon Blues Half (the first week of January) and then the Gulf Coast Half. Both were a lot of fun, though the Jackson Blues race about killed me because of the crazy hills all over the city.

A before and after :)

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I ate the biggest breakfast of my life after that race! We made it back to the hotel with 20 minutes til the continental breakfast was over.

Then the Gulf Coast race -

 

 

Miriah came with Addison to this one. It was a blast seeing them there at the home stretch. Addison made me a sign and everything ♡

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Between all those races Miriah and I ran one more, the Pensacola Double Bridge. It was a fun race and we had amazing tail wind the entire time! We found Nicole out there while waiting for the race to start.

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And just for fun – this is what happens when mom agrees to watch the girls so we can go running on a weekday, without us waking up at 5:20AM to do it before the kids get up…

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They always find us …   ;)IMG_0305

 

Here’s hoping some more running occurs in the rest of 2016 and at the very least 2017 is a year of running again! Just looking at these photos has me wanting to get out there!

Life Update: iPhone version

The summer season has come on fast. It felt like we just had Sarahs 5th Birthday and now we are 1/2 way through May.

The girls and I have been enjoying a few of our favorite warm weather activities. Miriah and Addison are often with us with the help of our extra seats of the van. It’s also hard to believe we’ve had that for over 9 months already.

So in March Sarah turned 5. We had a little get together with family at our house and the kids all had a blast.

We got her a bike and she is really loving it.

The week after that I turned 32! We had a joined bday fajita dinner at my parents for Jeff and I since our birthdays are close. A friend from church, Melissa, made me a from-scratch strawberry cake. It was amazing!

After that was Miriah and my camping trip, which I wrote about a few weeks back.

Since then we have gone on a few beach trips, blueberry picking, and visits with friends and park trips.

                   Fort Pickens visit

 

Easter 2016

I love the real-life of this group kid photo.

Stephen on puppy-patrol at the park.


Just a couple girls cruising the neighborhood.


Burying Nana :)


Stephen and I slept in one Saturday morning and found the girls like this around 7:30…

My sweet friend Rebekah, who is about to cross the globe with her two kiddos to join her husband in New Zealand,where they are moving to. So excited to see their adventure unfold (Instagram to the rescue!)


Family meal at Jason & Kelley’s. Dad was there too, he snapped the photo to send to mom, who was out of town.
Grandma with her girls.


And that about sums up a life update from my iPhone photos.

Sister Adventure

A little over a week ago Miriah and I took our first camping trip. Just us girls, no kiddos or hubbies with us. We both love the outdoors and have talked about it for a long time and decided to go for it. We looked up campsites that were within a few hours driving distance and then reserved a spot at Torreya State Park which is in Bristol, Florida – about 2 1/2 hours away.
We were originally planning on going on a Friday but discovered the week we could go was the same as Spring Break, so we grabbed the 1 night that was available and headed out on a Wednesday afternoon.

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Driving without kids in the car is always such a different experience. In the 2 1/2 hour drive we had time to talk, listen to our own music and an NPR podcast. Wow, I am in my 30′s – adulthood is awesome!

We got to the park and snagged our parking pass at a small lodge where the ranger was. We grabbed an extra map to plan our hikes and found our campsite.

 

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After unloading some of our stuff we put the tent together. Miriah and Jeff just got one so it was the first time to use it. Putting it together was pretty easy, so we grabbed some firewood while it was still really light out and then headed out for our first hike.

 

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One of the biggest reasons we went with Torreya Park was because of all the reviews about how great the hiking is. We wanted to spend the majority of our trip in the woods, and this was the perfect place to do so.

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Our first hike was heading along the  Apalachicola River to a historic home called the Gregory House. It was a fun little 2-3 mile trek.

With the hills and water that were around it really didn’t feel like we were in Florida. It was great. We even came up on (and scared off) a family of deer. And with it being late afternoon and in the trees it was nice and cool.

 


Miriah is all about some mossy trees, so we grabbed a photo in front of them.

 

After our hike we made a fire and got dinner cooking. We had a sandwich wrapped in tinfoil and placed it on the grate to get warm and toasted.

We played a round of Skip-Bo while our food cooked and enjoyed the quiet evening as the sun set for the evening.

We sat until the fire died down and then made our way to bed. I think we were tucked in before 9pm #MomLife

 

 

We both slept pretty off and on. I woke up to an armadillo walking around outside our tent and then the occasional howling in the distance.

We got up and going around 7-8. Taking our time to fully get up so we didn’t have to rush.

 

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After we got up we started the day with a fire and some breakfast. We had some crescent rolls that we wrapped around sausages. It was good, but far too much work for a morning meal. Which was one of the main points of this trip, figuring out the ins and outs of camping, especially a quick and easy food plan. I don’t know why we fancied up hotdogs, haha, but it was pretty tasty since we weren’t cooking for more than just the 2 of us.

After breakfast we broke down our campsite and got ready to head to another hike. We didn’t know how long it would take and wanted to make sure our campsite was cleared in case we went past check-out time. It was a good decision because the trail we were headed to is called The Torreya Challenge and what was supposed to be a 5 mile hike was actually over 8 and took us a good 3 hours.

 

This is about 3/4 a mile in where the trail starts. The whole experience was really good. The trail was marked really well and we got a major leg workout with the hilly terrain.


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It was a great trip. We caught the perfect weather with it being between 50-75 degrees and no rain until our drive back.

It was really good to see how many families were camping together at our site. From grandparents to young families, and singles and couples. Campers talked to each other and it was fun watching one of our neighbors share roasting marshmallows when each set of their kids started up conversation.

The amenities were really nice too. The bathrooms were super clean, and they had a little “clubhouse” with games, couches, and a shelf of books people donate to fellow campers to use.

We learned a lot about the ease of setting up the campsite, and then what to and not to bring for food. I’ve never craved chips so much in my life! What is it about salty food and camping?! Or is that just me… probably.

I can’t wait until our next excursion, possibly with the kiddos and husbands next time!

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An oldie but a goodie.

The girls were pretending to go to the doctor and have a baby. Elanor had a stuffed animal up her dress and then she would push the animal out and Sarah would announce “You had a baby”. They did this back and forth for a while. They even laid that towel down for a “bed”.

I have no idea where they get this stuff…surely not from seeing and hearing about birth semi-constantly with my work and work talk. I’m just glad they were fairly accurate, aside from announcing the babies came from their belly buttons ;D

Tree Park

We went to a little park near the house and the girls had a blast.
Why play on the slides and equipment when you can climb the trees around the park?! Haha

The girls played for probably 2-3 hours without any complaints. That’s the magic of park’ing with snacks, and also meeting another little girl that they got along with.


  
  

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This. These are the silly quiet moments that I have LOVED about being off-call from doing birth photography. I am not just home physically, but my mind and brain can be focused on these two girls. I’m not busy editing or checking my phone to make sure I didn’t miss “the call”, I’m here, with them. Getting to see them eat bananas while one is wearing a winter beanie and the other is sporting a swimsuit. This is the life.

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I can’t tell you how much it fills my heart when I see the girls getting cuddles with dad. Elanor took a late afternoon nap and Sarah joined in on the snuggling and played an iPad game with him. I love these three so much.

Box Fun

Because sometimes the recycle can is already filled to the brim and the kiddos want a blanket fort and I just don’t have it in me to set that up and be told all day to make it bigger and higher…

 

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This is my version of a DIY project with 2 toddlers in the house. I even cut windows out, which was an “accomplishment” in my book.

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Last Christmas Sarah got a Dollhouse that she absolutely loves. Loves so much that sharing it is FAR from her idea of a good time. After 5 months of breaking up arguments and Sarah-breakdowns at finding Elanor playing with her dollhouse I finally found Elanor her very own one. After picking it up I let Sarah cover it with a blanket and be the one to surprise her with it. It was a great post-nap surprise and Sarah loved getting to ‘give’ her sister a gift. Elanor still tells us how “Sarah got me my dollhouse.”

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On Wednesday we went to visit my sister. The weather was perfect so we brought out the sprinkler and let the girls have a water day. It was adorable and awesomely messy. Elanor fit into one of Sarah’s swimsuits she outgrew since last year. Bubble swimsuits are my favorite!