Three days before Christmas

December 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

and all through the house the excitement level is off the charts. Packages are arriving from grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles.

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Chewie must inspect each box.

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Occasionally one does include something that he KNOWS is for him and he goes nuts.

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His gifts get hidden up high in the branches, but he knows they are there. He also had to get under the tree and root around making sure there wasn’t something under there for him.

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Now our tree is loaded…

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and our hallway is a recycling processing center.

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On Thursday I made sausage cheese balls to take to Mack’s school holiday play.

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Mack requested that I bring “sausage”, so I thought this would be a good option. This recipe makes a TON, so I only took about 3/4 of them to school and we have been enjoying the rest with our breakfasts at home.

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Many parents brought food to share.

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It was also pajama day in Mack’s class, and his pajamas were also part of his costume for the Los Posadas play.

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Mack’s class did a series of plays about Los Posadas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. Mack had roles in the Los Posadas and Christmas plays and was also a stage hand, changing the sets between plays.

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He did a quick costume change before the Christmas play.

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They spent the rest of the day at school on Friday watching movies and Mack said it was the best day of school ever.

Friday night I picked up four of my friends and we headed downtown for an IRunMommies holiday moms night out.

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There were about twenty-five of us at St. Pete Brasserie. I love that restaurant. Chad and I went once before: Sunday is the Day After (includes review of St. Pete Brasserie).

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They have awesome dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives.

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Thanks for buying me a drink Kathy!

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We had a variety of appetizers as well.

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Everyone wore a race medal and brought a toy (or 6) to donate to Metropolitan Ministries.

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I am so happy to have every one of these fabulous, inspiring ladies as a friend.

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The IRunMommies is a super fun and friendly group. Even though I’m not really a runner any more, I am so happy to still be part of the club. IRunMommies also swim, bike, and play kickball. Thanks for organizing last night Christie! And thanks to my friend Mitzi for organizing swag bags for us all filled with t-shirts, visors and more from a warehouse clearance by Women’s Running Magazine which is based here in St. Pete. I now own Women’s Half Marathon and 5K t-shirts from WHM races all over the country!

Today we all went to the movies.

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We saw the 3D 48 FPS version of The Hobbit.

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It was two hours and 45 minutes of dwarf, elf, hobbit, wizard, and various creature action only to end in the biggest cliff-hanger ever.

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I think the high frame per second video was a little bit vertigo-inducing, but the movie was pretty spectacular.

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Tomorrow I’m taking the boys to see The Nutcracker. I am way more excited about it than they are.

My friend Christie O. came up with this idea to go wordless on her blog next week.

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No words at all, just photos of what’s going on all week. She invited others to join her and I think I’m going to give it a try. I probably won’t post again until Monday, so I’ll take this opportunity to use some words and say Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers! I hope you are enjoying the holidays as much as we are!

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What just happened?

November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

This past week…

Went to Restore the Core Tuesday night.

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Afterwards I ran by Office Depot…

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to buy an emergency router. We had no internet for a day or so last week. It was torture.

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My phone was the only thing that got me through with my sanity.

Random breakfast:

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BizMoms meeting at Ciccio’s on Tuesday:

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The lovely Crystal Flores, Independent Beauty Consultant, gave a presentation on how to be a holiday hero…

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by giving custom Mary Kay holiday gift packages…

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or by creating a detailed holiday wish list for yourself. It’s not selfish! You are making gift giving so much easier on your loved ones. You are doing it for them! I’m on board with this method of being a holiday hero.

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If you love make-up or Mary Kay or know someone who does, give Crystal a call. She’s awesome.

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It was great to see some of the St. Pete BizMoms again and meet a few new ones.

I grabbed a Mediterraneo wrap from Ciccio’s to go:

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Random photos of our dwarf navel orange tree.

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They are almost ready to eat!

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Hmmm, I think this was Wednesday:

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Crockpot chicken. I cooked it in the crockpot with about half of that bottle of marinade. Then I took the chicken out after it cooked all day, cut it up, and mixed in some lite barbecue sauce (discarded the cooking liquid).

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One night, I think it was Thursday night, I watched The Avengers with Mack and Chewie.

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It was great, of course.

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I got the CD of our family photo shoot!

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I am going to be updating the blog header soon. Still figuring out which photo I want to use.

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Thanks again Embellished Simplicity! You guys were great and we love the photos.

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I got these in the mail to try out and give my opinion on :

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I’m going to do a separate post about them (which may include video!?) but the takeaway is that I like them. These would be great stocking stuffers for the athlete in your life or to put on your own Christmas wish list so you can be a holiday hero! ShowerPill is available on Amazon.com. A box of 10 (individually packaged like above) is $9.99. If you buy two boxes then shipping is free. They are going to have a Black Friday special on Amazon.com that is buy two, get one free! Just put three boxes in your shopping cart and enter code: SPFRIDAY to receive the third box free.

Random breakfast:

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Random lunch:

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Saturday I went to the downtown waterfront to pick up my Women’s Half Marathon bib, shirt, and goody bag at the expo at the Renaissance Vinoy.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I came down with a cold this week and still have it. I haven’t been able to breath freely through my nose for several days now. It was really bad on Friday and Saturday. I ended up having to cancel some fun plans that I had for Friday night (sorry Ali!) and some fun plans I had for Saturday morning (sorry Laurel!). I was sneezing my head off and gross and I didn’t think I needed to be around people Friday night. And I thought I needed to sleep in on Saturday and try to get well instead of walking a 5K for St. Jude’s. At least I fundraised a little for them.

But I had no choice but to go out and pick up the race packet since you have to show ID and only you can pick up your packet.

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I tried to avoid people and get in and out as quickly as possible. It was kind of sad for me since I wasn’t running and this race is nostalgic for me. It was my first half marathon this time last year. I felt very disconnected to the whole experience as compared to last year when I was extremely excited.

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I didn’t even go into the expo.

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At least it got me out on a beautiful day, and it’s always kind of nice to go to the beautiful Vinoy.

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After I picked up my stuff I walked down the waterfront. It was a beautiful day but I was sick and kind of sad about not being able to do the half. I had the goody bag hanging from my shoulder and as I passed a runner he said, “Good luck tomorrow!” I just said, “Thanks,” but that made me even more sad.

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The day could not have been more gorgeous.

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My destination was South Straub Park…

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where they were having Shopapalooza, Tampa Bay’s local alternative to Black Friday.

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I was really looking forward to continuing my local shopping spree this morning, but I felt pretty bad from my cold and really just wanted to go home and lay down. So I didn’t actually shop very much.

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I did say hello to the Yelp table.

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Little girls were entertaining the crowd.

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My goal was to find my friend Christie, who would be running with my bib.

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Christie had a table set up with special deals on fitness packages for Shopapalooza. If you are local, check her out at BrunerFitness.com .

Saturday night Chad and I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party. The party was out at the beach at our friends’ gorgeous house. We were on their rooftop and it was super windy.

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I gave the camera a break for the night, but they had great food and everything was in an “Old Havana” theme. Think Cuban sandwiches and Cuban cigars. They also had an excellent steel drum player as entertainment.

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He was great. He played Tears for Fears.

Some time over the past week I received this in the mail:

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This is a $100 bluetooth headset that I got for FREE for participating in Twitter chat with Plantronics. I have been wanting a bluetooth headset and when I saw an invitation for this twitter chat pop up on Google+ I decided to check it out and see what I could learn about them. Chad has a Plantronics head set (different model) and I knew he had done his homework on them and that this was a good brand. I had no idea that I’d end up getting one of their latest models for free! Thank you Plantronics and Little Tech Girl!

Speaking of tech girls, did you notice that my blog looks a little different? I changed themes. It’s very similar, but a little updated, right? Thanks Technology for Moms for all your help! I’m still going to be tweaking things and will definitely have a new header photo soon.

During my sickness on Friday and Saturday, I spent a lot of time doing nothing. Nothing but reading.

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I actually read all of Compendium One and Compendium Two in about five days.

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They are awesome. They don’t spoil the show and the show doesn’t spoil the books. They are just different enough to enhance each other and build suspense for each other. Highly recommend.

Sunday morning the boys and I headed out early to spectate the Women’s Half Marathon.

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It was great cheering on dozens of friends. I felt like I knew everyone on the course. I’m going to do a separate post about it. Congratulations to all the finishers!

Finally, this past week I received a very special package in the mail from my number one blog friend Angelika.

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Despite the creepy Aryan Youth kid on the packaging, this chocolate is amazing. I think it’s cute that she said in her note that it was for me and the boys. As if I will share with them.

I have lots of awesome blog friends. Maggie flew cross country for me, so maybe she should be considered my number one blog friend. But she is an IRL friend now, so I’m putting her in a different category. I think I will reserve the number one blog friend spot for whoever sent me the most amazing chocolate. So far, that is Angelika. Feel free to try to knock her out of the spot by sending me amazing chocolate. Email me for mailing instructions. Thank you Angelika! Chewie says, “Woof!” (translation: thanks)

So it’s Monday, Thanksgiving week. The boys are out of school all week. We have no super fun concrete plans. I’m still sick. We’ll see what happens.