Tag Archives: sunset

Gearing Up For Christmas

How was your weekend? Ours was fantastic! It helped that the weather was in the fifties each day.


Friday night both of my girls were at sleepovers, so I took the chance to get a bit more Christmas shopping in. I am almost done with it! As someone who waited until Christmas Eve morning to shop last year, this is a big deal! Now to tackle some wrapping…

Saturday morning, OMG Becky and I wanted to try a yoga class at our new gym. (It’s actually the gym we belonged to a couple of years ago. Then we joined Planet Fitness, but are back at this one because we missed group fitness classes.) We didn’t make it to class, but spent some time on the treadmills since we were already there.


After picking up Sassy, her and I journeyed to a tennis shop her coach recommended. We were in the market to get her a new racket. When Sassy started tennis lessons over the summer, it was the first time she had shown any interest in the sport. I purchased her an inexpensive racket at Target just to see how the whole thing would turn out. Well, after sticking with lessons all summer, making the school team, and continuing with private lessons off-season, her tennis love is still strong. So Santa thought it was time for a better racket! With the help of the tennis pro narrowing down the choices for her, Sassy picked out her favorite racket (blue & silver) and strings (blue). She can’t wait for the racket to be strung so we can pick it up!

Saturday evening we spent at Christmas in the Park.

Christmas in the Park

“Christmas In The Park is a holiday feast serving up the sights of the season with more than 300,000 glistening lights and 175 colorfully animated holiday scenes.”

We go every year, though this is probably the earliest in the season we have been. It was a last-minute decision to go and we got there just a few minutes before they opened the gates. It’s always fun to see what the new displays are. This year it was Santa in a hammock between palm trees with flamingos standing around. So pretty and different!

Sunday morning included church and a trip to the recycling center to drop off a car load of recyclables. Ugh. That is what happens if we don’t make it to the recycling center every weekend. We didn’t go last weekend because it was raining nonstop. I don’t even know if the center is open during weather like that. Either way, we didn’t go and had double our usual load to deal with.

Then it was time for a little fun on the tennis court. Sassy continues to get better and better! I, on the other hand, am improving at a very SLOW rate. And trust me, Sassy takes great pleasure in beating me.

tennis court

OMG Becky walked Stella around while we played, stopping occasionally to take a picture or two. The tennis balls flying by drive Stella nuts. She wants them all! It’s best to keep her away from the court.  =)

Saturday we received our first Christmas card. I figured it was time to start thinking about what I wanted to do for ours. As we were driving to see Christmas in the Park on Saturday, we drove past the Magic Tree.

Magic Tree

12,500 lights

Christmas card photo location idea solved! This tree is beautiful! We went there Sunday just before dusk to take our photos. I can’t wait to see how the cards turn out!

Have you ordered or sent your Christmas cards yet?

How far along are you on your Christmas shopping?


I Miss Summer Already

How was your weekend?

Ours was marvelously relaxing!  For once, we didn’t have a bunch of commitments or errands and could just go with the flow.  Saturday, after I got home from work (I just work a few hours on Saturday mornings), Sassy wanted to go to the library.  The answer was yes, of course.  Free books?  I’m in!  Plus, I had a couple of books that needed to be renewed.


Sassy was on the hunt for a few books on drawing.

girl at library

She also likes to check out their DVD selections.  We went home with Bambi II.  I didn’t even know there was a second Bambi movie!  Guess we’ll be watching it sometime this week before it’s due in one week.

At home, OMG Becky was working on introducing one of our cats to Stella the Boxer.  The cat was on the other side of the door.  OMG Becky was trying to get him to play with Stella under the dog.  They had done it the day before and it seemed to go well.

Stella the Boxer

Stella was very interested in playing.

Stella the Boxer

The cat, on the other hand, was not.

Stella the Boxer

Maybe next time.

Saturday night, I wanted to be outside, even though it was still 90-some degrees with crazy, high humidity.  I didn’t care.  I wanted to be out there!  I talked Sassy into going with me for a walk.  Though she decided to ride instead.

bike ride


We didn’t get to go as long as I had hoped, the sun was going down fast.


I am not a fan of fall!  Why anyone would like the fact that it gets dark so darn early is beyond me.  It was barely after 7:00 PM and we were rushing to get back home.  Ugh.  I want daylight until after 9:00 PM, just like in the middle of summer!

Sunday was spent at church in the morning and then enjoying this.  And this was before Sassy loaded it up with all the flotation devices!  She likes options.

swimming pool

Ah!  This was the last weekend for my parents’ pool.  It closes this Friday.  Sassy, my parents, my older brother, his family and I all enjoyed it thoroughly.  The water was perfect and so was the sun and a gentle breeze.  I hung out for three hours floating around in there.  Sassy stayed for six hours!  Girl can’t get enough!  I think she’s going to miss the pool the most.

Are you looking forward to fall?  WHY?!

What did you do this weekend?

Beetles, Spiders & Snakes, Oh My!

Saturday night the girls and I set out on an evening hike.  We are racing the sun, so it was a quick one.

I wanted a picture of the three of us before our hike.  OMG Becky was not cooperative and it took forever to talk her into a picture.  This should teach her to get on board a little quicker next time!


Yes, I am twelve years old.  Poor Sassy behaved and still didn’t get all the way in the photo.

I was rocking my usual non-matching outfit.

Green, hot pink, blue, coral?  Yes, please.

I have no idea what Sassy was doing here.  Other than showing off her amazing high step skills.

Or maybe my clashing clothes were burning her retinas and she couldn’t see to walk straight…  Around this time, I started Prancercising.  The girls had no idea what I was doing!  I tried telling them about it, but they thought I had lost my mind.  Please tell me you know what Prancercise is!?

Gift from OMG Becky.


I then threw it at her.  Don’t judge.  I mean seriously, was I suppose to hold it the entire hike, take it home and then do what with it?  Yep, didn’t think so.

Like I said, we were moving fast.  And I tend to walk fast anyway.  OMG Becky is always complaining her legs are too short to keep up with me.  Ha!  So I would walk my fast pace, the girls would fall behind and then come running to catch up.

On this trail, we cross over a creek that spills into the lake.  And for the first time ever, we saw fish in it!  A couple of the fish were a good 12″ long and several smaller fish, too.


I tried to take a picture of it, but couldn’t get a good shot.

This day we tried a new-to-us part of the trail.


OMG Becky was not a fan of it to start.  It was pretty dark section of trees to start.  She said it reminded her of the Wizard of Oz forest.  Ha!  Still have no idea where it comes out at.  We had to turn around and come back.

But we did see some interesting things along the way!  At one point, this nice-sized spider ran across in front of me.


And then a bit later, OMG Becky squealed because she almost stepped on this snake.


He was about 15-16″ long.

Once we turned around to head back to the trailhead, we saw the same snake still just hanging out.  And another spider just like the first one ran across the trail again.  We should probably install a spider crossing sign.  It seems to be a popular spot!

We also seemed to attract some sort of large, black flying insects we could not elude.  It had us sprinting several times.  This thing was not afraid to dive bomb our heads!  At one point, OMG Becky took off running and yelling, “I’m done!”

she gone

She gone.

When we caught up to her, she had made a new friend.


A beetle!  She would put her foot down and he would crawl under and out the other side.

By the time we were almost out of the woods, the sun was just about to set over the lake.

sunset over lake

The trees were glowing red from the light.

sunset at lake

Such a pretty night for a hike!

And then we were rewarded with this sight on the way home.  A doe with her twin fawns!

doe and twin fawns

Nature kind of rocks.

As soon as we got home, OMG Becky hit YouTube to find out a bit more about Prancersicing.

watch video

So fun.  She got an eyeful.  And if you need some tips on how to do it properly, you must watch this video!

Do you try to match your workout clothes?  Or are you a mismatched mess like me?

Trail Run Fail

I came home after work today to find a couple packages had been delivered.  Delivered and concealed.  Very nice of my delivery person to use our doormat to camouflage the packages from the world.  They are almost invisible!  Well done Delivery Person, well done.

delivered package camouflage

Today was the warmest day we have seen in a while.  It was sunny and it was glorious!

This meant one thing to me.  Trail run!

We kind of like headbands.  (Todays choices feature BIC Bands, Nike and unknown.)  And my favorite SkinnyRunner shirt!


Too bad, the run would be anything but glorious.  Only a block from our house, a car swerved trying to scare us by acting like he was going to hit us.  I totally kicked at his passenger door.  Too bad I missed.  I should probably divulge at this point, the person behind the wheel was my younger brother.  He thinks he’s funny sometimes.  I think the two of us must have have scared the poor family exiting their house as all this happened.  Good times!

And then within 10 minutes of starting, I had to stop running.  I had to stop because… well because…  I had to suddenly pee so badly, I couldn’t run another step!  I tried waiting it out a bit and kept moving/walking at a fast pace.  My girls passed me running and kept going.  No big deal.  But every time I tried to run, I had to stop.

My girls were, of course, very supportive and full of advice.  Advice such as just pop a squat.  Heck no!  The trail was the busiest I have ever seen it.  No way was I going to try that.  And honestly, even if it wasn’t busy, I wouldn’t have.  I am not OUaL, for Pete’s sake!  Oh well, I got a nice power walk in and got to take a few more pictures than normal.

Part of the trail has been under water lately.


And for the first time this season, we saw a boat out on the lake.


The girls also got a bit of a scare when they ran by this goose.  He honked so loudly, it made them jump.


This part of the trail ends in a pretty steep hill.  The girls decided to race up it.  All was well until OMG Becky spanked me as she ran by.  Then the race was really on!  I charged up past them to beat them both to the top of the hill.  Yeah for me!  Too bad I still had to pee!  :-/


Serves OMG Becky right for making fun of my running outfit early.  I wore a running skirt she hadn’t seen before.  She commented that I looked like an “overachieving soccer mom!”  It was not a compliment.

This was Sassy’s “my pits are sweaty!” move.  Such a lovely young lady.

After our run/walk, OMG Becky had softball practice.  And Sassy wanted to hit some weights.  Seriously.  She asked if we could go to the gym to lift weights.  She had a session with a personal trainer earlier this week and was anxious to work out there again.  So we did!

weight room

That is her, “I am not looking at you or smiling because I am here to be serious” look.  Nailed it.

After the weights, we headed outside for a cool down walk.  Perfect timing to enjoy this sunset!

Midwest sunset

And we may have had to stop to pick-up a fast dinner.  Chipotle for the win!


I just signed up for Blood, Sweet & Cheers to find fun & active stuff to do. Looks like fun! http://bloodsweatandcheers.com/u/ha7 


Check out Runner Girl Eats for a Sauce Headwear giveaway!


Did you get to play outside today?

sNOw Fun

On Tuesday, as the storm was winding down, Sassy and my dad headed out on her new sled in search of hills.

sled ride

Her and her grandpa had been on a hunt for a sled since the snowstorm last week.  They were hard to find this time of year, but my dad found one on Monday and gave it to her as an early birthday gift.  She was so excited!

sled ride

It was eerily quiet outside.  No cars, no people, no animals.

After sledding for a while, they walked to my cousin’s house to get his daughter, Blondie, for a little snow fun.  Her brother also decided he wanted in on the action.

build a snowman

Great snowman builders they are!  I think Sassy’s snowman is a snowwoman wearing a tiara…

The little guy was done with the snow after that.  Inside he came to entertain OMG Becky.  She never ventured outside because she feels the same way I do about snow.  It’s yucky.

My nephew showed up to shovel the driveway and the girls quickly joined in the fun.  I use the word fun loosely.

snow shovel

And then these three brilliant minds had an idea…  They would ask neighbors if they would hire them to shovel their driveway.  Hours later, they had shoveled several and made $46 each!  They were exhausted but happy with their productive, snow day!

Then it was time for hot showers and warm, comfy clothes.

Yesterday was another snow day for the kids, but it was back to work for me.  We received a couple more inches of snow overnight because obviously we have not had enough this week.

It took me twice as long as normal to get to my first meeting of the day.  The roads were slushy.  One car spun in a circle right in front of me when a car pulled out in front of her and she tried to brake.  So scary!

One of the biggest problems all day long was the traffic lights.  Our snow had blown sideways from the north resulting in all traffic lights facing that direction to be covered in snow.

If you were lucky, you would have one light with one color visible, like the single light to the right in this photo.

It made for a very nerve-wracking drive!

And the sun finally peeked out just in time for a pretty, pink sunset!



Check out Running Diva Mom’s FlipBelt giveaway!


What is the longest you have ever been snowed in?  Just two days for us here.

Away She Ran

Our horse friends were hanging out at the front of their pasture when we walked by on our warm up Tuesday.


I think they remember us.  At least the lighter brown horse does.  We I always talk to them and she always watches us.

And now I have some news to share.  Some news I knew was coming, but still hurts to share.

Sassy.  Sassy has finally surpassed me in running endurance.  This is my view on our runs lately.

See that white spot at the far end of the trail?  That’s her.  She has always been faster than me.  But now?  Now not only is she faster, she can run longer.  I’m pretty sure she will run beat my 5K PR in her first race this weekend.  Crap.  I mean.  Yay for her, so proud, yada yada.  😉

I also tried to get a picture of OMG Becky.  She usually runs right behind me.  And instead I ended up with this shot.

Oh the skills.  Not the mention the many colors I’m wearing.

The sun set quickly and we got the heck out of the woods.

sunset with tree

I love the woods, but not in the dark.  No thank you.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Greek Lasagna & Urgent Care

Saturday a miracle happened.

I cooked.  I made a lasagna.  Using a recipe.  Who am I?!

Greek lasagna

This was the vegetarian Greek lasagna from the new Veg Power cookbook from Weight Watchers.  It was so good!  Thumbs up from all adults and kids in this family.

Before lasagna, OMG Becky and I had worked up an appetite.

winter sunset

Trail run at sunset.  So pretty!

Sunday was spent at an Urgent Care facility.  OMG Becky had been hit in the wrist with a line drive at softball practice.  We wanted to make sure she didn’t break or fracture it.

urgent care

Thankfully, all was fine with the wrist.  But even after the doctor’s release, she couldn’t be talked into playing with the wall puzzle.  No fun.

But we did head to Barnes & Noble to browse and have a treat.  Treat meaning Starbucks.  Yes we did.

barnes & noble

Monday was the best winter day ever!

Yes, you read that correctly!  It was in the mid-seventies here on Monday.  Crazy.  And unfair.  I had to work most of it, but I did get a chance to take an afternoon break.  You can guess I headed for the trails.

I didn’t have enough time to get very deep into the woods.  Most of the run was the hills on the road leading to the woods.


That photo does not do them justice.  OMG Becky and I were both drenched in sweat by the end.  You are welcome for the lack of that photo.

What is in your favorite lasagna?