Houston Marathon 2019

I finally have time to sit down and right my review for the 2019 Houston Marathon. This was my 9th time running that marathon. Did I plan to run Houston that many times? No. Why do I keep doing it? My friends are running it and I train with them so might as well. Plus it is Houston, I live here so it is a convenient location. They always( well mostly) on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

Friday

This is the day the expo opens. I am however at work. I do not take off early or anything like that. Instead I work the full day. That night though is different. The girls I run with have a tradition of having an Italian Girls Night. My best friend hosts and we all bring something like bread, salad, dessert, etc. So we have some type of pasta to do our carb loading. We all sit around, talk, catch up, etc. It is always a lot of fun.

Saturday

This is the day we go to the expo. Even though my husband hasn’t run the race in years, he still likes walking around the expo. The expo has different companies that come out with products and some races come out to get to people to sign up for their race. They also usually have fun booths like photo booths or giveaways. The sport teams are there too with little things for the kids. This year I was really hungry during the expo so I only ended up buying these headbands that I like called Sweatybands.

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Wearing a Turkey Trot shirt to scare my competitors

That night I did something differently. I slept over at my best friends house. In the past, I have driven myself, driven with my husband, taken a taxi or carpooled with a friend. This year we decided it might be best to sleep at my friends. That way I don’t wake up my family super early in the morning and don’t have to worry about my car.

Sunday

Woke up and got ready and debated what to wear for awhile. Basically it was like 33 degrees at the start but would be about 50 when we ended. I decided to go with crops, long sleeve and gloves(free from the expo). I also texted my husband to bring me a tank so I might switch later in the race. It was going to be sunny so I have my new running sunglasses with me.

We get to the race and the race meeting place is inside at the GRB Convention Center, same place as the expo. It is really nice because you are stretching and putting your bag away but are inside so protected from the elements. We saw all our friends, hugged and said good luck to everyone. Then it was time to go to our corral. This is going to get a lot of we. My best friend (and training buddy) and I were in C Corral. C Corral was a mess. I have never seen it like this. Basically a lot of people couldn’t get in because the corral was too small for the amount of people in the corral so they were sending people to the back of the D corral. We got in but we still didn’t start the race until almost 40 minutes after the race had started.

We were running with a woman who was running the half marathon and after two miles she said she was going to try to run with us until their turn which is mile 8. We said sure. She asked us if we finish every race together and our answer was no because we usually split before mile 19. So this year we decided we would run the whole race together. I didn’t have a time goal but my friend wanted under 5 hours because she hasn’t done that in awhile.

My husband comes out and cheers with my son every few miles. He is at mile 3, mile 6, mile 10, mile 15 and mile 21 plus the finish line. He did forget my tank because I did ask for it at mile 21 but I was fine. I gave him my gloves at mile 21 and then just rolled up my sleeves. My friends parents were out there 3 different times with food. They have peanut butter filled pretzels which are just so delicious when I run. We also had our friends husband who we only saw once but he always has treats too.

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Mile 17

Once we got to mile 18, we really realized that we could finish the race together. We talked the entire time or complained whatever. She had a lot of people on the course cheering for her (her work is on the course so coworkers came out). We saw a couple of friends cheering and I was just so excited to get to the mile 24 beer tents to see my favorite brewery Karbach and hear their loud cheers (it helps that I know some of them).

One thing I do is I have a list of names and I dedicate a mile to different people. Mile 25 to the finish is always dedicated to my dad and I normally cry a little and this race was no different. It was real quick and then over it. My friend and I were getting to the finish line and we had come up with a plan for the finish at mile 2. I asked if she was still game for it and she wanted to double check if I could do it and I told her I could, I felt great. So a little bit from the finish line, she jumped on my back and I ran the finish line. It was the perfect way to finish the race.

One you finish, they give you water and your medal. You go through a maze of getting your picture taken plus little food like bananas and chocolate milk(which I loved at the finish). Then you go get your shirt and beer mug. I then always go get my bag and head to the food line to get something. Then I go find my husband and son. This part takes away because you always run into friends and they want to take pictures. I also saw my former student and her mom volunteering so I went to them and talked to them.

Once I left and found my family, we went to the little store that had deep discounts and I bought a hat and bought my son a shirt that he can wear in like 5 years. We went home so I could shower/bath and then it was time for all the food.

It was such a great day with the best weather!

February Updates

Ugh, I need to better about updating.

Running/Working Out

I started the month by running in the Hot Chocolate Run. I did the 15k which is about 9.3 miles. The course wasn’t the most exciting but the after race was great. You get a hot chocolate of course but also a huge mug filled with goodies which you can see below. It was fun and I got to run with friends.

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Some of my friends and I planned to do a run for the Trail Riders coming in town. Rodeo season is huge here and before the rodeo starts, they do a race and a rodeo parade. Trail Riders come from all over to be in the parade. To get to the parade, they sleep at the park I run at and then Saturday morning leave for about 5 mile ride to downtown. My friends and I started at a cupcake shop, ran to a spot to watch them and then ran back to the cupcake shop for cupcakes. My husband and son also joined us.

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Trail Riders coming in town

Family/Friends

One of our friends had a going away party at a kid-friendly restaurant which was nice for our kids to play. We got there early to eat and didn’t get to see our friend for too long because we had tickets to go see Sesame Street Live. Sesame Street Live was short but my son had a lot of fun. He was engaged and excited to see the characters live. We were cheap and didn’t do floor seats but my son had no desire to be on the floor and I heard you can’t see anyway.

For Valentine’s Day, we had been putting hearts on our sons door since Feb. 1st of reasons why we love him. We also got him a few more Lego mini-figures because that is what he loves the most. We went out to dinner too and just had a relaxing night.

We also saw Lego Movie 2 in theaters. We (the adults) prefer a theater that serves food and drinks. My son loved the movie and has been asking to see it multiple times.

We had another friend move this month and got to go to two new breweries because of the move. We went to Holler Brewery and Eureka Heights. Both have really good beer, they both have outside space and food trucks. Holler also sells really yummy popcorn and Eureka Heights is huge. We enjoyed both of the breweries.

We ended the month by seeing Kasey Musgraves at the Rodeo. My son loves the rodeo and was so excited. Since Kasey performed a weeknight, we just went to the rodeo and not to walk around the grounds. She put on a great show.

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January 2019 updates

Usually January is an extremely long feeling month but this year it went by really quick. I guess it helped that we didn’t go back to school until the 7th, which is nice. I hate going back the 2nd.

Running/Working Out:

The Houston Marathon was this month so for the first part I was tapering which means I do not run as much. I did enjoy a nice run with friends one morning with a really yummy breakfast afterwards.

The Houston marathon basically takes up one weekend and I will have a separate post about that.

This month I also started a Yoga challenge. Well, sort of. I love the youtube videos of Yoga with Adrienne. Every January she does a “30 days of yoga.” Since I am not running as much, I do maybe yoga twice a week instead of once. Even though I don’t do it everyday, I keep up the challenge until I am done, like I recently did Day 9.

Family/Friends:

We started this month by our monthly trip to Target. Yes, I limit myself to once a month. We were looking at the holiday decorations and my son saw some wrapping paper he had to have. I saw it was 75% off so bought it. I was very happy to see it was actually 90% off when we were at the register so it was really cheap, like 20 cents cheap.

While on Winter Break, we met up with a friend and her son for storytime and lunch. This playdate turned into an almost 5 hour playdate. The kids had a blast.

We also met up with some friends at a brewery called Fetching Lab. They recently moved into a place because they were just off a dirt road in a residential area. It was cool because the next door neighbor raised goats and would bring the babies over. It was nice though to see that they are growing and being successful that they had to move to a building in town. Plus they have a lot more beer now.

My mom was in town for a few hours in January so we met up with her for dinner. I wish we could have spent more time with her but she came the week we went back to school and I really didn’t need to take a day off just when we got back to work.

Eli and I met up with some friends to go to the zoo on MLK Jr. day. It was a pretty day and nice to be outside. We of course had to feed the giraffes.

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As a family we met up with some of the same brewery friends to go to another brewery called Valliesons. We have been meaning to try them so we wer glad to get the chance. They have a pretty nice little area for kids to run around and a lot of good beer too.

We ended the month by going to Twsited Acre Brewery just as a family. This is a new smallish brewery but good beer, and very friendly. We will defiantly go back.

Reviews:

Pete’s Dragon: We watched the new movie as a family about a week ago. My son absolutely loved it. Really cute, sad but with a happy ending in a way.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate: This is a historical fiction book about a family of kids in TN who were basically kidnapped and put in a orphange. It goes back it forth from the 1940s to modern days. It is based on of the true story about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society which kidnapped children and “adopted” them to rich families while making a profit. After I finished the book, I researched the Children’s home, the lady and charge and some of the famous clients. I was hooked to this book and loved it!

December Foodstirs Review

We did this box about a week ago. We got it in December but were already baking for the holidays and then in January I kept forgetting to get Greek yogurt so we did this during the Super Bowl.  So every two months we get a FoodStirs box. Foodstirs is a baking subscription box and if you are on the plan, they send you a box every other month. December was a winter theme box. They include everything you need for the dry ingredients. They also include the decorations. I just needed to provide the eggs, butter, and yogurt.

This month it was snowman sugar cookies. It was really easy to make and my son loves helping. He helped stirred the cookie mix and the icing mix. He might have eaten some cookie dough that he “accidentally” dropped out the bowl. This winter he became obsessed with snowmen so it was perfect timing.

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How the box looked with you opened it up. The box had the mixes, a metal snowmen cookie cutter, dye for his scarf, chocolate chips for the eyes, sprinkles for the nose and mouth and little white ball sprinkles to make the “snow.”

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Final messy product. They might look like a mess but they tasted good and my son loved them! Want to give it a try? Go here.

Stitch Fix January 2019 Review

I completely failed this month.I have my pictures, got reviews from people, etc but then recycled all the papers with prices and items name. So instead I will just you and you can pretend what it is.

Here is how Stitch Fix works:

1. Fill out your Style Profile. This gives detail on your style, sizes, budget and anything else like a link to your pinterest board.

2. Once you have “ordered” your box, they will send you 5 items from a personal stylists.  It is a $20 styling fee which is applied as a credit toward anything you keep. I actually have a Style Pass(I have no idea how I got it) which means I pay $49 for the whole year instead and I get a one-time $49 credit.

3. Try everything on. They send you Style Cards with recommendations on how to wear your outfit.  You have three days to decide what you do and do not want.

4. Buy what you like and return the rest. If you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire purchase.  Don’t like something, they send you a pre-paid mailing bag to drop in the mailbox.  It is free shipping.

Here is what I got:

Polka Dot Sweater and Black Leggings ($88). Returned both.

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So I requested black work pants because I just had a pair rip(don’t worry, they were like 12 years old). My stylists sent me two pairs. This pair was really comfy and was pull on, no zippers or buttons which is awesome. However, they were tight like leggings, not work pants. No really appropriate unless I was wearing something to cover me up.

The sweater was cute but returned too. I love polka dots but I feel like all my winter clothes are gray so I wanted some color.

Animal Print Blouse and Nic and Zoe Pants($128). Kept the pants

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The blouse was cute but short. It barely covered enough to get to my pants.

The pants were more expensive than I wanted to pay. However, they are pull on with no zippers or buttons. They are also comfy and professional. I figure they are more of an investment and will hopefully last for many years like my last pair.

Same pants and cardigan. (returned cardigan).

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I did like the cardigan but returned it because I have another one in a very similar color.

Want to try Stitch Fix? Go here.

Best of 2018: Books and Movies

Since I love reading and watching movies, I decided to do a best of. This does not mean they were released in 2018 but just that I got to it in 2018. At the end I will have a couple of losers too.

Books:

I wish I had more time to read but I have a habit of starting to read at night and then falling asleep within a few pages.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: This book is AMAZING! I love her books to begin with so I was so excited to read this one. It is about a girl growing up in the wilderness of Alaska in the 1970s with a volatile father. Kristin Hannah does so much research into her books and it was beautifully described. My husband lived in Alaska once so I would show him paragraphs. Even though the town in the book is made up, it is based on an area sort of close to where my husband lived. Anyway, I give this book a 5/5. I read it so quick.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Another great book. This follows two different families in Ohio in the 1990s. One is a very rich privileged family while one is struggling to make ends meet but they both have skeletons that get uncovered. It was interesting reading a book that takes place in the 1990s because I was growing up then so it had memories to go with it. I have given this book to multiple friends of mine to read and they have all enjoyed it. 5/5.

I should have written down some of my favorite children books from the year that we have read. Maybe in my monthly updates I will put them when I remember.

Movies:

Bird Box: We loved it. It had suspense, kept you engaged and wanting to know what happened and what will happen. Such good acting too.

The Good Dinosaur: A very touching story about loss and finding your way. I will admit that I cried. Kid movies are awesome.

Eddie the Eagle: I love true stories about underdogs. They are inspire me and make me cry.

The Avengers: Infinity Wars: Of course. Such a good movie. I am so excited to see the next one. I love seeing all the characters together and fighting. Plus, it was pretty funny.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: I have a thing for Paul Rudd, ever since Clueless.  This movie is just fun and made us laugh.

Okay just one loser because it is the only one I can think of that I actually paid for to see in theaters and left pissed:

Aquaman: DC needs some help. We had hope for this movie but it was 60 minutes too long, lots of pointless scenes, stupid music in the background during the “funny” scenes. I decided to take about a 45 minute nap instead and still knew what was going on.

 

There is my list or atleast my list of what I can remember.

 

December 2018 Update

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2019 is good to all of you!

As I only have a few more days of winter break, I have been reflecting back on 2018 and December. 2018 was not my finest year as I was in the hospital two different times but it could have been a lot worse too. December went by so quick and I had a lot of filled weekends so let’s begin.

Fitness

Marathon training is in its peak during December. My marathon is in January so my really long runs are in December. I ran a 18 miler, a 13 miler, a 17 miler, a 20 miler and a 16 miler. The runs went really well and were really pleasant weather except for my 20 miler. It got so hot! Plus we missed the SAGs(water, snacks) so we were dying. Thank God for Starbucks.

The most memorable was the 13 miler. So I run with a group but my friend and I sometimes decide to tweak the route a little to make it more pleasant for ourselves. This run, we started later because it was raining so bad that a lot of Houston had flooded. We wanted to wait until there was more sunlight so we could see. We ran along the bayou so that we could see the flooding to downtown. It was a very quiet run but also weirdly beautiful. This run took us forever because we stopped so many times for pictures. We also stopped to take this picture because President George H.W. Bush had just died and the park we run at put up a memorial for him as he was a supporter of the park. IMG_20181208_090613406 (1).jpg

It was pretty cool to see in person.

This month I also participated in two different Christmas Light Runs. Basically we meet at a neighborhood with lots of lights and run around to look at them. It is always so much fun!

Camping

The day of my flooded run, we also went camping as a family. We went to Bastrop State Park. It was so cold! We have been to this park before and really enjoyed it. Without doing any research, we lucked out. The town of Bastrop was having their Christmas Light Parade. The whole family went, including our dog, and had a great time. They had over 100 vehicles, plus the local high schools had their dance teams, marching bands, etc. They also had people walking up and down the road selling kettle corn, hot chocolate, etc. It was really fun.

Family

We had a lot of family time this month. We started the month with going to a Christmas Market and eating at a restaurant we enjoy. The nest day we went to Copperfield Parade of Lights which is a small local Christmas Light Parade. It was our 2nd year going.

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Light Parade

We went to our favorite farmers market (I say favorite because it is the only one we go to monthly). My husband loves it because there is a local farmer who brings meat from their ranch and he loves it.

We went to my son’s schools holiday party. I love that I am able to go because I was already on winter break. It is my only party I am able to make.

We spent the last bit of December with a private swim lesson with my sons favorite swim teacher. We also went to Barnes and Nobles Storytime.

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Storytime

We went and cheered on my friends who were completing the Snowdrop 55 Hour Ultra, The race raises money for childhood cancer.

We ended our year with a play date at No Label Brewery(they have a playground). It was a lot of fun and there was a beautiful sunset.

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Sunset

The rest of the night, we ate and just watched the ball drop(or I did).

That is our December.

 

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

I haven’t really been cooking much for my husband for his lunch. Part because of us having leftovers from the holidays, I also bought him tamales and then sometimes he just wants to eat a sandwich.

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Husbands rating: 5/5

Ease: 5/5. Cut some peppers and veggies, throw everything into the crockpot and add seasoning. Very easy.

Changes:  The only thing we changed is the toppings. The toppings are personal preferences so he only did guacamole but also did not use a tortilla and just made it into a bowl.

Recipe: You can find it here.

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Christmas 2018

Let me start by saying I am not a holiday person. I am trying though. I see all these super happy holiday people and I want that. I also want my son to have happy holiday memories. So fake it until you make it. We stayed home for the holiday this year and apparently my husband does not know my family rule where you hold off on who is going to host the holiday so he volunteered us. So we spent some time cleaning our house.

The Weekend before Christmas

I had my last long run before my marathon. That sounds weird because I still have like a 17 mile run but my 20 something is over with. That night my running friends and I have a tradition to get Mexican food before the holidays. We always have a great time and it is nice to enjoy the company.

The next day my husband’s family met for brunch. Most will be at our house for Christmas but three were not able to come.

Christmas Eve

I did the 12 Days of Christmas WOD in the morning which is always a beat down. My family also went out for lunch before all the places closed. That night we went to a neighborhood that is known for their Christmas lights and drove around, listened to Christmas music and enjoyed the lights.

Christmas

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An APP to add Santa to your house

When my son woke up, I showed him a picture of Santa in our house the night before. My son was a little confused and then a little upset that he didn’t see Santa. My son and I started the morning by going on a run with one of my friends. When we got back home, we opened presents. My son only gets one gift from Santa and it is different paper. His stocking is I guess from Santa too. We try not to get my son many gifts. We stick to the “Something to read, something to wear, something you need and something you want” thing. So his stocking gifts: Lego Minifigures, socks, undies, and bath bombs. For the actual gifts: a couple of shirts, an Amazon kids tablet and then Santa got him the book Naked which is perfect because he can be a nudist.

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Perfect book for this kid

My husband and I do a big gift for us so this year we bought a new mattress. We are also in charge of each others stocking gifts. Husbands stocking: socks, undies, lotto tickets, pj pants and then a beer gift set from the local liquor store. Basically the same things I get him every year. What he got me: Goodr sunglasses in Flamingos on a Booze Cruise(BEST NAME EVER), Lip balm and a bath set. You can find the sunglasses here.

We also got our dog a gift and Santa put a toy in his stocking.

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Then time for the holidays. We decided to do a BYOB and not a typical meal. We weren’t having too many people over so we didn’t need a huge meal. We did BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders, Mac & Cheese, and Cranberry sauce which I guess my son and I were the only ones who like cranberries. My SIL also made mashed potatoes. We also had a million desserts. The food got a lot of compliments. My husband really liked the BBQ chicken sliders. You can find the recipe here.

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Some of our food

I also like to have a holiday drink for my guests. This year I went easy and just did vodka mixed with Cranberry Sprite.

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After we ate, we played the Saran Wrap Game for the adults. It is a lot of fun and I think they enjoyed it. Here is how to play:

  1. Roll dice to see who starts. We did the lowest roll started.
  2. Whoever roll starts unwrapping the Saran Wrap ball. Inside are gifts. While they are unwrapping, the person next to them is trying to roll doubles. Once they do, they take the ball and start unwrapping.
  3. The next person is now trying to roll doubles and the game goes on until the ball is finished.
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Saran Wrap Game

To make it harder, you could have people wear oven mitts.

The prizes I had in it: candy, gum, lotto tickets, lip balm, face masks, kitchen utensils, and liquor bottles. It is really fun. I didn’t play since I was the host.

The kids all had fun and opened their presents and just played. So the holidays are over and while it was fun, I am glad.

November 2018 Update

Holiday season has come and gone and as always, as it is with most people, it was very busy. So I will update on the holidays later this week but let’s do a November update first.

Travel

I started November by going on a girls trip or a Mom’s Weekend if you will. Basically, we all met in the same playdate group and have become friends. One mom has a beach house in her family so once a year, we get it for the weekend. I went down on Friday night with one of the moms. We stayed up drinking, eating and chatting.

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Beach jump after surfing

The next day I woke up early with a few of the moms who we all did Stand Up Paddleboard. It was so cold outside and windy but the water was actually a nice temperature. The waves? Not so much. We all had a lot of difficulties. So we played instead and I surfed instead. I have not surfed since 2013 and I miss it. I had so much fun surfing. I definitely need to get out there more. We spent the rest of the day eating, walking on the beach, drinking and hanging out. Lots of laugh. We left on Sunday. There was about 8 of us. I always love Mom Weekend.

Family and Friends

When I got back home from Moms Weekend, it was my nephews bday party so we went to that. It was just family and really nice.

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Zoo Sprouts

I took my son to the zoo for one a class. The zoo has classes called Zoo Sprouts where they teach little toddlers about the animals. My son loves the classes so I took a day off from work and we had a fun day at the zoo.

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Zoo Lights

The day after our zoo trip, we went back for the members only Zoo Lights sneak peek. I highly recommend going then because it is not as crowded so it is more enjoyable.

We, as in my son and I, went to a bday party for a baby. My son had fun playing with the toys and eating cake. We couldn’t stay long at the party because I was meeting some friends for dinner that night.

Running

I ran in the Cypress Half Marathon. I have done this race the last 3 years I think. The course is flat and usually the weather cooperates. This year was not my year. My time is perfectly fine but I was in pain. My foot has been hurting on and off and it was definitely on that day. Because of that, my core was also hurting because of overcompensating for my foot. It was still fun though.

Thanksgiving

We went to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving this year. We arrived on Wednesday and hung out with my family. We did a little Christmas celebration since my family wouldn’t see my son at Christmas. We also went to my moms friends house for a Thanksgiving party. That night I got drinks with my college roommate/best friend. It was nice to catch up.

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Thanksgiving walk to see the ducks

Thanksgiving lunch was at my mom’s house this year so I helped her cook some of the dishes. My husband and I ran in the Chesterfield Turkey Trot which is such a hilly course. I forget every time how hilly it is. It is a nice way to start the day though.

On Friday, my son, husband and I went to the St. Louis Zoo. There was nobody there. We got great free parking and the zoo is free too. We had a lot of fun looking at all of the zoo animals. When we got back, we went to a new brewery called Greer Brewery. It was really nice, lots of games, they serve pretzels and has great beers so it was a winner for us.

Our last full day in St. Louis was Saturday. My husband and I ran in the Girl Scout Run for Cookies 5K with one of our Houston friends. Another hilly race but always fun. They have hot chocolate and girl scout cookies when you finish. I was actually surprised and placed 2nd in my age group.

 

That was my November. Doesn’t seem like much but it was really busy but a lot of fun too.