Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My First 5K

I ran in my very first race last weekend! It was awesome!

Thankfully, my sister (who happens to have run track and cross country in college) was in town, and we got to run it together! Of course, she slowed down to run at my pace, but we had a blast running together.

This was a fantastic experience. I signed up for the race, and then I got my booty in the gym! I ran 3.1 miles 4-5 times a week for a month leading up to the race, and then on the day of the race, I was only 14 seconds away from my fastest time yet!

{We ran in the Color Run, which is why we've got goofy sunglasses on, paint on our shirts, and a tattoo that says "HAPPY."}

I really love running! I think I might be hooked, folks! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Very Quick Trip to Little Rock

And when I say, "very quick," that's exactly what I mean. I flew to Little Rock for my friend Barbara's wedding, and was in town for literally less than 24 hours!

I flew out of Roanoke at 5:30 AM, and I got into Little Rock at 10:30 after a connecting flight to Charlotte. I was so happy to see my momma waiting for me!

My sweet southern mother had planned a luncheon for me, with friends and family. Picture tulips, mimosas, linen napkins. Perfection!

I was so happy to get to see my grandmother, my cousins, my aunt, and my friends! I was laughing with my friends, drinking my (I lost count. . . ) mimosa, and thoroughly enjoying myself, when suddenly. . .

Everyone started singing "Happy Birthday!" Honest to goodness, I was confused. And then I saw my mom walk around the corner holding this gorgeous cake (made by Babicakes in Little Rock, AR), and I burst into tears! I never cry, but I think the combination of being genuinely surprised (it's hard to surprise me), being genuinely exhausted (I'd been up since 2:45 AM), and being genuinely grateful to be with my favorite people, just made me cry! It was so sweet and so special to me!

I had time to take a 45 minute nap before it was time to get ready for Barbara's wedding. I was so, so, so beyond excited to see my long-time, tennis buddy, church friend, friend for life get married! I can't even remember the last time I cried watching a bride walk down the aisle (scratch that--my sister's wedding not even a year ago....maybe I AM a crier!?), but I certainly teared up watching Barbara walk down the aisle in the gorgeous Pulaski Heights Methodist Church and looking like a dream! I am so very happy for my friend, and so excited for this next chapter in her life. 

Yay for an eighteen hour trip to one of my favorite cities to see some of my favorite people! :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

So-Gal's Recipe: Honeybun Cake


Make this cake. That's all I can say.

I baked this cake on Wednesday night for my lifegroup. I kid you not, the entire cake was gone in five minutes. No exaggeration.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I tweaked it a little bit.

You will need:
  • A 15.25 oz. box of yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, and sour cream. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside.
4. Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread half of the cake mix on the bottom. Top this with have of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then, the rest of the cake mix, and the rest of the cinnamon mixture. {cake, cinnamon, cake, cinnamon}
5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Poke holes (but not too many!) in the cake with a toothpick.
7. To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour over the cake.

And there you have it! Simple as can be!

Really, I promise, if you've got something coming up--a Bible study brunch or a dinner party--make this! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day Of Spring

Well, it's here! The first day of spring! Hallelujah!

We pulled in the driveway today, after getting lots of volcano books at the library, and Nathan asked, "Mom, can we eat our lunch outside?"

Yes! A picnic! Now that's a good idea!

We ate our lunches and enjoyed the sunshine. Our next door neighbor came over and chatted for a bit. It was heaven! I'm ignoring the fact that we're supposed to be getting our third March snow next week (

Spring, it's about time you got here! That was a looooooong winter!

And do you know what I went out and bought for myself two days ago? Tulips--my favorite flower! They're yellow and white and happy! :)

Happy spring! Thank you, Jesus, for newness--and sunshine, when I needed it most!

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Boys

One runs, stumbles, trips, toddles. The other jumps, stomps, crashes, dashes.

When one wants the tricycle, so does the other. When one wants the light-up ball, or the baseball bat, or the golf club, so does the other. And there are crocodile tears. And, "Mooooooommmmm's." And pouty lips.

Mud throwers. Dirt eaters. Puddle jumpers. Skinned knees. Dirty hands. Flushed cheeks.

They rush by, and they giggle with strawberry grins. Fine, straight hair--my hair--sweaty, sticking up like straw. Cheeks that ask for pinching, that beg for kissing, that plead for hands to hold and cup and instruct.

The ding of the tricycle bell and the low growl of the scooter. These sounds I treasure--I breathe so deeply in.

I stood back today and watched you both. I remembered small, little, hospital newness. And those things seem so far away. And in between has been life, full of snuggles, blankies, trips to the library, trips to time-out, kisses, corrections, stern voices, contagious laughter, dinnertime, bedtime. Life.

You, little boys, my boys, will never know how much I love you. Will never know how much I adore you. Will never know how every word--every syllable--you say to me, I savor. You could never bore me. You grasp the world with both hands and ask questions. Good questions. And make observations. Good observations.

Little boys are treasures. And tiring. And everything in between. You are my soul and my strength. I pray over you and your skinned knees, and your elbows, and your strawberry hair. I kiss you at night when I stand by your bed and over your crib--watching you, and knowing you'll never know how much I love you. You are the ache and the fulfillment. You are the adventure I lead, and the adventure I want to succeed. You are my little boys, my children, and I love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


He's obsessed with Batman. And striking a pensive pose. And looking like he's fourteen.

But even superheroes get tired and fall asleep on the couch while watching Planes.

We bought a sled. It's exciting. For everyone but me, who does not like sledding, nor cold weather, nor all this snow that has become the norm around here.

He loves the tricycle. And the bell. When I say, "Jack, ring the bell!" he gets to ringing.

They wrestle. They laugh. They love each other. They own my heart.

Jack is allllll about coloring now. He specializes in scribbles and crayon breaking.

While the ten tons of winter gear it requires to step out your door in Virginia used to annoy me, I'm an old pro now. Winter gear galore! I'm now a certified PBU (professional bundler upper).

We went on a date! That might not be a big deal for you. But your husband doesn't work eighty hours a week and you know one or two babysitters.

We played in the snow! No we didn't. That's a lie. We posed for a picture in the snow.

Jack's First Haircut

I knew the time was coming: Jack needed a haircut. The curls were turning mullet-like, only because the front of his hair was short! (Let it be known, I otherwise would have let that boy's hair keep growing with those sweet strawberry curls!)

Here's a picture I took of the boys just a few nights ago. See how long it had gotten?

I ran my fingers through those soft curls a million times. I breathed in their sweet peach smell. I washed them with shampoo. I kissed them goodnight after a bedtime story.

There's something about the long, sweet curls that say baby. Little boy. Small.

So, when the time came that he did need a haircut, I didn't quite know what to do. When I say we haven't had good hair cutting experiences in Roanoke, I.Mean.It. I couldn't let some stranger cut my baby's curls for the very first time. That's special. That's memorable and meaningful. That's potentially tear-inducing.

So, what did I do? 

I cut it myself.

If you know me at all, you just gasped. Loudly.

I know. I can't believe I did it, either.

Why did I do it? Because I wanted it to be special. I didn't want some stranger cutting Jack's hair for his very first haircut. I wanted it to mean something. I wanted it to stay in my heart and my memory.

So, I took out the scissors and comb, and I got to work.

And may I say, for those of you who gasped and are still waiting to hear about a disaster. . .

. . . it turned out perfectly. I'm tooting my own horn. Per-fect-ly. Like, whoa. I got skills.

And yes, he looks like such a big boy. And my big boy is saying new words every day now! Slow down, little one.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Let's Go Outside

"Let's go outside!"

That's what I've been exclaiming for the past two days!

I'll admit it. I was getting a little tired of the snow. And although there is still some snow lingering, we've had two blissful days of sunshine and warm weather. Heaven! 

The boys have been running around the front yard, wrestling in the grass, playing with soccer balls and golf clubs, and just being BOYS! It makes my momma heart so happy. 

The boys have been so happy (and better behaved) this weekend, and I just know it's because they're getting their energy out. They're doing what little boys are supposed to do--playing in dirt, being messy, and running around!

I know we've got some colder days ahead before spring truly arrives--but these warm days have whet my appetite for sunshine, freckles, and being outside!

These boys. I thank Jesus for them every single day. When I see Nathan riding circles in our driveway on his scooter, and when I see Jack getting excited and exclaiming, "DOG!!" when someone walks by with their dog, I think my heart might explode. Parenting is tough. It's not for wimps. But, this weekend, it's just been the fun stuff of parenting--cuddles, playing outside, giggles while drinking milk (messy!), crayon scribbles on birthday cards and church bulletins. The happy stuff of life. The little gifts God gives me and I thank Him so, so much for.

Few things make me as happy as when I run for the box of wipes in Jack's room to wipe off muddy hands. The dirt that gets under their nails and in every crevice of their palms. That dirt that tells me they've run, they've laughed, they've played.

And that's the good stuff of life, isn't it?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Snow Much Snow

Okay, we got TWO FEET of snow. So, of course, it's still lingering a week and a half later. Here are some snow photos!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine

See this man? He's my number one Valentine! I couldn't be more blessed to call him my husband. He is selfless, hard-working, encouraging, and unwavering in his love and ability to go above and beyond for his family.

Before I seal up his Valentine card, I wanted to share one excerpt.

"I know that we do not get a lot of me-and-you time. That stinks. I know we're not in the easiest life stage right now. We're both exhausted 24/7. But I wouldn't do life with anyone else. You are my partner and my support. You encourage me. The days are so very long--but so very rewarding. Life is good with you, Scott. You are the love of my life."

XOXO to my hubby--who hopefully, after three days, can make it home today!

P.S. My Valentine's Day gift to my hubby? I'm strapping on my Hunter boots, my enormous North Face, ski pants, my hubby's work gloves, and I'm shoveling the driveway in hopes that he can come home! Now THAT is love! :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Little Valentines

Well, since we're currently under nineteen inches of snow (you did read that correctly), I'm glad that the boys celebrated Valentine's Day at school yesterday, when the snow hadn't arrived quite yet!

How cute do they look!?

And here's how Jack Bean looked when I went to pick him up from Mother's Day Out:

We'll certainly be stuck in the house for Valentine's Day! But, I can't imagine two cuter boys to be stuck with! :) [Side note: Daddy has been at the hospital since Wednesday morning, and I'm hoping he'll make it home by Friday night!]