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.

 

December Updates

December just flew by..sorta. Sometimes I was like “Man, four weeks until Winter Break” and other times it flew by. I can’t believe it is now 2018. I really do not make resolutions but I am going to try this year to take time to breathe. Like it is okay to stay in my house and relax. I don’t always have to be on the move. Anyway, my life in December.

Working Out

Last month before my big race so I did some long runs this month like a 20 miler. I felt great on that run. I also hit some PRs at Crossfit. December has been pretty cold here(for Houston) which is my favorite running temperatures. I love it in the 40s. There has also been hot humid days too. It was very weird and explains why everyone got sick this month.

Camping

After my 20 miler, we went camping at Lost Maples State Park which is like 60 miles west of San Antonio. It was in the 30s throughout the night and rainy. My husband packed our car and forgot to pack my suitcase so my coat, socks, everything was in my house. So I was really cold. The next morning though, we went on a nice hike as a family(dog too) and it was beautiful. Highly recommend that park.

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Lost Maples State Park

Friends

We had a lot of fun with friends in December. I started December with a baby shower for a friend which my husband even went because it was at a playground so the kids could play. The night I went with a friend to an ugly sweater party. I had a couple of Christmas Light Runs with friends which are my favorite. I did a dinner with some sorority sisters. I saw my college roommate/sorority sister and went on a brewery tour with a friend before New Years.  Some of this will be extended on.

Brewery

On the 30th, we went with a friend to two new to us breweries.  They are both close to me and one hasn’t officially had their grand opening.  We went to Wicked Boxer Brewery and Bearded Fox. Wicked Boxer is new and hasn’t had their big grand opening yet.  The space was small but cute. Bearded Fox has been open for a while and has stuff for kids, free popcorn and had a food truck on site which was nice.

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Wicked Boxer Brewery

Travel

I had to take a weekend trip to Dallas for a training for my volunteer job. We stayed at a Marriott because it was next door to the training. The hotel was nice and the food was good. The gym looked pretty nice but I didn’t work out in there. They had little maps of running routes in the area so I did that. I ran before the sun came up since my training was early and the only problem was one of the routes you went on a cute path except it was dark, no lights, and no one could see it. So the next day, I turned before the path and just ran in a neighborhood instead.

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Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria

Health

My son had an appointment with his allergist and he is still allergic to peanuts but not as bad as last year which is a good sign. I did feel bad because the night before, my son was cleaning up his toys and fell right on the coffee table so his cheek was all cut up and bruised.

Holidays

For the holidays we traveled to St. Louis to see my mom, aunts, sister, etc. We stayed with my mom and got in Christmas Eve. I had won a free drink ticket on my flight for knowing my Christmas trivia. My sister had ordered my favorite pizza for when we arrived. It was cold the whole time I was in St. Louis like 18 degrees as the high cold. The only good thing, there was snow the whole time.

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White Christmas. Deers in my moms backyard.

For Christmas we went to Illinois to have lunch at my aunt’s house. It was nice to see everyone including my cousins. The night my mom, sister and I went and saw Father Figure which I do not recommend. We did get Steak N Shake beforehand so that was enjoyable.

On Tuesday we went to Myseum to let Eli play all day. He had a blast and it was a great place. That night I caught dinner with my college roommate, her husband and her daughter at Kirkwood Station Brewery. It is always great to see her.

On Wednesday we went to Chesterfield Sports Fusion to play mini golf. Unfortunately my son had no interest in playing minigolf so it was a bust.

We left super early the next day. So it was a great trip but short.

For New Years Eve, some friends came to a restaurant by me to eat dinner and celebrate. I was home at like 8:30 and then watched Dick Clark’s NYE or whatever it is called. Very low-key but whatever.

 

So that was my December summed up pretty quickly. Last thing, I saw the movie Miss You Already and I really enjoyed it.

Camping Tips with a Toddler (& a dog)

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Before I begin, let me preface by saying I am not a camper.  I am also not an expert and what works for us might not work for all.  These are just some tips I have used that helps us.

So my husband is a camper.  He always has been.  He loves to camp and would go by himself because I wouldn’t go with him.  Now that we have a kid, we have gone by ourselves, with friends who do not have kids, and with other families.  I am trying to learn to enjoy and love it but I don’t like being uncomfortable and I do not sleep while I camp. I am also not a packer.  Meaning, I pack light.  I have never been one of those moms who has everything and the kitchen sink with them(I would love to be that mom, it just is not me).  So very minimalist packer with a toddler?  Can it been done?  Yes.

Here are my tips and must haves:

-Toys that are only played with during camp trips. So we have a blow-up beach ball that only comes out during camping trips so it is special and fun to play with.

-Snacks

-Easy to make food. We like Mountain House Foods.

-Water bottle for each person. We personally love the Kid Camelbak bottle for our son like this one.

-Self-Inflating Air Mat for me. I cannot find my exact one but there are tons on Amazon.

-Sunscreen

-Headlamps/flashlight/lantern.  I suggest one light per person.

-If you have 3 people, get a 6 person tent.  Then you have enough room for your gear and the people.

-Fun toys for night like Glow in the dark Balloons, or glow sticks.

-Take a toddler led hike and let them explore.

-Always pack an extra outfit just in case they have too much fun in the woods.

-I try to pick a campsite with some shade and water hookup just for emergency water.

-Trail map so that you can plan your exploration.

-Check to see if they have a Park program. Like maybe they have a Jr. Park Ranger program or maybe a Ranger is showing animal tracks. If you go to the National Parks, they have a Passport book to collect stamps from each park.

-Bring a bag for wet clothes (if you go camping at a lake or beach).

-Bring trash bags.

-You might have to go to sleep early, as in when your kid goes so that they actually sleep.

Everything I pack for me and my son fits in one little duffel bag.  We each have our own sleeping bag and we pack a cooler for milk, extra water and adult beverages. We also take our dog so we make sure to bring him an inflatable bowl and some food.

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I feel like I am missing a lot and I most likely am. That also explains my camping habits too.