Apr 292016

October 2015 was my last update on here and my oh my how so much has happened:)

– Noah’s almost done with Kindergarten! He’s made so much progress it amazes me. He’s reading and writing on his own and very much takes after his daddy – it’s a whiz at math (those are certainly not my genes!)
– Lia’s riding a bike without training wheels! We took them off a few weeks ago and she finally set out on her own last week. This is about when Noah went without training wheels too:) Mark is over the moon excited (I am too!)
– We’ve been hiking a lot with the kids trying to get them to a point where we can actually do a short family backpack trip. Last hike was up in Shenandoah and was a short 4 miles but super steep and rocky. Both kids did amazing!
– We hiked the Billy Goat Trail in MD – only a mile of it but it took us 2+ hours due to the terrain.
– We survived Snowmageddon 2016 – 40ish inches of snow over a three day period. No school for almost a week. Lots and LOTS of digging out (the snow blower was ineffective once you get past about 18 inches…)
– The kids are both doing soccer this year – pics to come (not in the array below)
Kloepping Photography is kind of going crazy right now. I’ve figured out that 2 newborns and 4 family sessions in one month is too much to keep up with. I need to plan better…
– Our neighborhood is finally sold out. There are still a bunch of lots to build but they are all sold. We find new kids in our backyard every few weeks and love it! Noah and Lia have so many friends now to play with. We spend all day outside when it’s nice (and even when it’s not quite nice).
– Sold the blue car and replaced her with a shiny new silver car – woohoo:)
– White car almost died on us totally – a couple of grand later and she’s supposed to be good as new. Better be for that price

Those are the highlights. We’ve been doing a lot of driving back and forth to see family as well as trying to get the kids out and about to enjoy nature. Week nights are full and weekends even fuller but it’s all a great time.

Here’s a quick summary of pics – mixture of the snow storm, noah’s Old Rag hike with Mark, our hikes in Great Falls and more.

Oct 152015

Part of me wants to wait till November to make it a cool 6 months since my last dump update but I thought nah…nothing’s been consistent in here in a very long long time so why not. So, since May we have…

– full blown kindergartener now. With the exception of one day where he refused entirely, he dutifully gets on the bus in the AM and heads to school. I think I struggled more than he did on the first few days. Just the loss of control in seeing him arrive at his destination and then getting on a bus to get to his next destination (he goes to Elm school in the AM then at lunch goes to daycare since our district is only half day)
– He’s learning to read and loves to “read” (ie: recite books he’s memorized) to us
– He’s still my sensitive little boy. We’re working on curbing the constant crying when he doesn’t get what he wants. He also cries when a sound startles him (like Lia having an all out fit) or when one of us raises our voice
– His listening ears are hidden in his backpack most days and only worn for his teacher. When he’s home, all bets are off. Stickers have stopped working so we’re resorting to cold hard cash…quarters for things.
– He will let me snuggle him occasionally (usually at bed time)
– He’s incredibly proud of himself when he masters something new – the glow on his face is awesome (which makes me want to find more and more that he can master so I can see it). He does frustrate easily and takes lot of encouragement to keep trying (total opposite of Lia)
– Has the best memory! He drags out things from the vaults on a regular basis and usually when they are somehow related to the activity at hand.

– she’s 3 now! and don’t you forget it:) She went from being 2 to being 3.5 overnight. Her party was a BLAST! (we rented a waterslide for the yard). I’ll have to post on it sometime (or just transfer the Photoblog entry:)).
– fully potty trained – night and day. We just made the night leap two weeks ago and she’s doing pretty good so far. Limiting the fluids in the evening really makes a difference.
– loves to play with her dolls. She mothers them, wraps them up, puts them to bed, and snuggles with them at night.
– good with independent and imaginative play. She’s much more independent than Noah was. She will sit and build duplo blocks for hours and build houses for her babies.
– She loves to dress up. We’re amassing quite the collection of princess dresses and costumes.
– She loves make up and doing her hair. When I’m getting ready in the AM, so is she. She wants me to put on her make up. She’ll even pretend to put in her contacts.
– She can count to 100 with a little help with the 10’s. She loves to count things (and spell her name)
– still a carbon copy of her brother when it comes to doign things. If Noah does it, so does Lia.
– she’s a dancer and a singer! I love it! I find her all the time singing to herself, making up songs, and dancing to the tune in her head (or on the radio). I see dance classes in our future.
– She’s still my little lover. She’s very touchy feely and loves to give hugs and kisses. If I haven’t had one from her in a while she’ll walk over and say “mamma, you need hugs and kisses”. She snuggles with the best of them.

Family in general
Kloepping Photography has taken off. I filed all the right paperwork to be a real grown-up business and really started to push marketing etc. I’m on track to barely break even this year but I expected that. I’m excited for what 2016 holds for the biz!
– Both DH and I are in the same jobs that we have been. They ebb and flow with how busy they are so we have flexible days for the most part. I’m really enjoying the work/life balance (and the projects are pretty cool too).
– The “new” house is not all that new anymore. We have more neighbors than we did 6 months ago and the kids are finding more and more kids to play with. I still haven’t yet gotten around to painting anything – we did hang some art though:)
– The big “addition” was the deck off the back of the house. I think DH mentions every day how much he loves that deck.
– I’m still running. Just finished one half marathon and have two more in the next 6 or so months (Nov and March). I think I found my rhythm. RnR in March, Pittsburgh in May, Hershey or Diva in Sept/Oct and Richmond in Nov. They’re all races I really enjoy so I don’t mind doing them over and over.
– I’m waiting for the cooler weather to pick up on some of my quilts and crochet projects. Right now it’s far too busy with photography stuff but that will slow down as the winter sets in (when it will just be newborns and a few family sessions).

Overall it’s been a good few months:) So, until next time….here are some pics to tide you over (or go to Kloepping Photography to keep tabs)

Oct 132015

And the only reason I’m back is to record my last half marathon because this seems to be the place where I track things:)

Between RnR and Diva I’d signed up to do two others – Pittsburgh and an off-road half. Neither of which happened for one reason or another. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to train as my photography biz picks up so I was not trained at all for either and instead of risking injury I forfeited my bib (because neither offers a transfer).

When I signed up for Diva I did so because it was a local road race that a girlfriend of mine was running so I thought it would be fun to train “together” (since she’s not exactly close we trained in parallel and tracked each other over MapMyRun:))

Overall the race was good. My expectations were low because I did not train as much as I had for the others although I did get my long runs up to 11 so. It was quite a hilly course – i think on a flatter course I could have been closer to Richmond time (which makes me hopeful for Richmond in Nov). And since it was the Diva run it was basically a moving sea of pink except for me – I was in white, blue and green.

The race overall was unremarkable. Just a nice pace through the countryside of Loudoun county. My playlist didn’t work thus I was without music so I had to entertain myself other ways. Looking for my friend as we doubled back on one another helped a bunch. The rest was spent counting or writing my next business plan in my head. I was also anticipating seeing the kids and DH at any moment (they ended up showing up at mile 11.5 or so). I will say that the last mile was the longest mile ever (it always is). There was a nice downhill but then you had to go up and roll along for a bit to get to the chute. It felt like it would never freakin end:)

I’d probably do it again if I had a friend to do it with. It’s nice that it was local but getting to and from the start was tricky because there was no parking. You had to shuttle in and out (or walk the mile from the closest neighborhood). Not the end of the world but not awesome either.

Now, after a week and a half off, I have to get my head back in the game and get back to training for Richmond (which starts with a new pair of shoes!)

3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – 2:06:14!!
3/14/2015 Rock and Roll USA (trained to 10ish) – 2:07:26!!
9/26/2015 Diva Half Marathon (trained to 11) – 2:09:47

May 152015

Gosh, it’s been a while. Sadly blogging here is a once and a while thing for me now. Keeping up with work (which starts at 7am generally these days due to working with overseas), the weather (because I want to spend every min outside in the beautiful weather with the kids), and Kloepping Photography (because I’ve been seeing an increase in sessions – yay!) I’m plum exhausted at the end of the day and have little time to blog personally. I feel bad because this has been a collection of stories as Noah grew and poor Lia has kind of gotten the shaft. At least I have lots of pictures of her since she’s the only one that will sit still for me and smile:)

So what’s new?

– He’s registered for Kindergarden in the Fall – WHAT?! When did he get so big!
– He’s such a little man now, demanding normal undies instead of character ones, wanting to take showers instead of baths and insisting on getting his own breakfast in the am.
– He’s super helpful with Lia (when he’s not antagonizing her for one reason or another) and I can actually ask him to help her with things like opening up her yogurt or getting her a cup of milk etc.. I even found them eating breakfast one morning when neither DH nor I were awake yet to get them fed. They did it themselves (and without making a mess!)
– I just can’t get over him some times. He’s so smart (I know, every mom says that about their kid but he really is!) He remembers everything and recalls it at random (and often hilarious) times. He likes to tell me about the things he learns in school, like the fact that octopuses lay eggs and so do chickens but we eat chicken eggs and not octopus eggs (and that he got to collect chicken eggs at Jeb farm).
– He’s still pretty obsessed with anything fire department related or anything construction related. He has a rubber mallet that he uses to bang rocks, knock wooden posts back into the dirt and other general “construction” stuff. He carries his tool bag around filled to the brim and insists on helping DH with everything in the shop (he has is own corner or scrap wood and a hammer and some nails)
– He wants to be a construction worker when he grows up – some days he wants to do roofs others he wants to be the digger.
– He likes to tell me what his house will be made of bricks when he’s a grown up and that he wants 7 kids – all boys.
– His best buddies are still the ones he had as a baby – Gus and Ben although Reid is making his way in there too now.
– He has a new bike and loves to go “mountain biking” on the dirt roads in our neighborhood (and the mulch paths – which are great fun apparently). He rides along side of me as I run, he’s a great coach.
– He has a skateboard as well and he’s actually quite good on it. He can’t turn but he’s got great balance.
– He started t-ball this year. I’m still holding my breath. He’s great and excited when it comes to batting but when it comes to fielding, he’s off day dreaming as the ball sits at his feet and the kid runs by. He needs a position that’s more engaging – like pitcher:) Maybe he’s a mountain biker or swimmer….
– He’s doing chores now for quarters instead of stickers – saving up for some spy gear or a lego helicopter.
– He likes legos and putting things together but I’m still working with him to use his imagination and not the instructions (or in addition to the instructions)

– Working on potty training still. I think this time around is the time. She went all week so far in undies and dry. It was like overnight it just clicked.
– She is the most caring and loving little creature there is. She’s concerned when you cough or say ouch and goes out of her way to make sure you’re okay (and kiss your boo boo). I hear “you okay mom?” a bunch from her. I also get “i’m sorry” and a quick pet when she hurts you (like when she smacked me in the head with a stick).
– She’s a hugger and kisser. She’ll snuggle in and then kiss you all over (and request the same back).
– She usually ends up in our bed at some time in the wee hours of the AM although this past week we’ve had a run where she’s managed to stay in her room all night long. Maybe we’ll get our bed back sooner than later.
– She’s a baby doll lover and mothers them. I find her toting them around, feeding them, tucking them in (and flipping them on their faces to “nap”).
– Is loving her new daycare (we switched them in April to one closer to our house)
– We still call her “repeat” because not only does she repeat what you say but has to do everything that Noah does. I find that she’s actually more daring than he was (and quite a bit more coordinated). She still doesn’t get the hang of the balance bike but I have a feeling she’ll get it by the end of the summer.
– She LOVES to run. Puts on her “running shoes” and she’s off. She insists that she must run if she’s in her running shoes.
– She loves to sing to herself. I find he in the corner playing with dolls and singing them songs. She also likes to put her books on the piano and pretend to play from them (like mommy does)

and no update post is completely without pictures..

Mar 142015

So I’ve abandoned this blog for the most part and it’s unfortunate. But trying to keep up with it, the kids and their activities, my day jobs and my new photography biz (we’ll, new focus on the biz) I just can’t seem to keep up. If you’re interested in the kids, I post periodically about them at my photography blog

I thought I’d pop by however and record (for my own posterity) my latest half marathon. I’m really starting to get the hang of these things and no longer feel like a slow poke jogger but an actual runner of sorts. I managed a near PR on a pretty tough course in pretty tough conditions which of course only pushes me to want to do more to see if I can improve that time!

The weather outlook for the RnR USA race was not a favorable one. Beautiful weather Friday made way for a cold wet forecast for Saturday (and of course a cold dry forecast for Sunday). Unfortunately the weather guys were right and it started raining Friday late and really has yet to truly stop (as of Saturday early evening). Fortunately the temps were not super cold – 40 and 50’s which was the only way it was doable.

I was racing alone again which I’m actually getting used to. It’s funny how being among a collection of like-minded crazies can really motivate you and boost your mood. I was dreading this race when I woke (at 4:45am!) but once I got to the metro where everyone was catching the train in, the energy was contagious and I was feeling much better. Runners are such happy, social people!

My ride in was about an hour but I couldn’t find it in me to sleep so I read a book. A nice relaxing time before it all kicked off was nice. As I exited the metro station I donned my 50 gallon bin bag to keep dry and went to drop my gear bag and get a quick potty stop in. Met a few new friends while waiting.

RnR does wave starts and I was in corral 14 so even though the gun was 7:30 it was about 7:50 ish I think when I crossed the start. Just as it started to pour (prior to that it was just a steady drizzle). I was bin bag less and in it for the duration so I just prayed it would stay warm. Those first few miles I really wish I had had gloves. I know they would have been water logged later but in that first few it would have been nice.

Maybe it was the rain or just the energy but the first 4 miles passed quickly. My splits were amazing (for me) at like 8:30 and 9 min miles. Not sure I would be able to keep that pace but I was going with it while I could. There is a killer hill between miles 5 and 6 that I knew I was going to walk so I wanted to build up a buffer of time so it wouldn’t hurt me as bad in the end.

Miles 5 – 8 were pretty rough. The hill at 6 really took it out of me and it took till 8 to really recover (plus there were a few smaller hills after 6…ugh). But I was keeping a decent pace so I was okay. I was fueling up at every water station and had Gu’s at 4, 7, and 9.

I lost connectivity in my phone around mile 9 so from there on out I was in the dark about my pace (and without music – realized today I really need a soundtrack as I’m running…). The trouble really started at 11…I totally bonked. I had to stop and walk most of mile 11. But I really wanted to finish so I figured a walk break would allow me to do that. I’m not sure why it happened. I’m fighting a cold, it was horrible outside and I never really did get to train up to 11 so I figure it was a combo of things.

After 11, 12 felt pretty slow and like the longest mile in the world. Thankfully it was mostly downhill so I could take advantage of gravity which is probably the only way I was able to finish. As we turned the corner I could see the decent into the finish line. I tried like hell for a kick but there was just nothing left so I just cruised across the line – hopefully smiling for the pictures rather than grimacing. I noted the clock on the way thru – 2:20 something which was gun time..not my chip which means my chip was under 2:20. My goal for this race was 2:20 because of that stupid hill so to know my chip time was already under that made me excited.

As I walked through the finishers chute, DH called. He’d been tracking me via texts and had my chip time. 2:07! Holy hell, at least now I know why I felt like hell right that second. Even with the hill and horrible rain I nearly PR’d (which of course makes me mad for walking mile 11 – I could have killed my PR! ). Now I’m determined to PR on this course so I’m already signed up for next year:)

I wandered aimlessly for a while grabbing snacks, my gear bag and some fluids then I had to make my way back to the metro for my ride home. No DH to drive me home this year – it was too cold and wet to get the kids out there. The metro ride was uneventful – long and cold but nothing much to remark about.

Now that I’m home and reflecting on the race I really think I did the best I could. My training was not perfect and I had been fighting a cold so I’m really happy with my overall time! Plus I’m just really happy that the addition of compression socks help alleviate the calf pain that I’d been dealing with the last few long runs.

Lastly, and probably my single smartest move of the whole race was to pack an entire extra set of clothing for after the race – with the rain I figured I’d be soaked and I was right! It was so amazing to put on that dry shirt and fleece (all while standing on the metro platform..haha). I wanted to change my pants but I figured I was not going to test the tolerance of the metro police for indecent exposure. Plus I had compression socks on and soaking wet shoes. Pants wouldn’t have made a huge difference at that point. It was just nice to have the shirt and fleece.

Anyways…long summary but I love going back to read them later as motivation to do my next one:) Right now I don’t have anything else scheduled but want to find an april or may race and the another in Sept/Oct like last year. Maybe another shot at Hershey:)

3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – 2:06:14!!
3/14/2015 Rock and Roll USA (trained to 10ish) – 2:07:26!!

Dec 152014

I missed doing the Thai Chicken soup last week so we had it early this week. I love that one (and so did DH, I found him having thirds after he put Lia to bed)

Wed is a new one. We’ll see how that goes. I love Pineapple Cucumber salsa but have never put it on my salmon. We always do sweet salmons. The Kirby Cucumbers that they call for in the recipe looked horrid in the store yesterday. If I get a chance I’m going to try another store otherwise I have some seedless cucumbers that I purchased.

Mon: Thai Chicken Soup
Tues: Pasta and Sauce and Meatballs
Wed: Salmon with Cucumber and Pineapple Salsa
Thurs: Tacos
Fri: Leftovers

Mon: Out
Tues: Chicken Breast and Sour Dough Sandwich
Wed: Salami and Cheese Rolls
Thurs: PB and J?
Fri: Taco Salad

Dec 042014

(as per normal for these check in’s I think – this is more bullet format than actual coherent paragraphs..deal with it..)

It’s been a while since I did a check in on the kids. Mostly because there’s not much to check in on but also because things happen so gradually that it doesn’t seem like much has changed and then I step back for a second and realize that a ton has changed!

Like – Lia’s really starting to talk more. You can hold a conversation with her and both parties actually understand what’s going on. There’s still plenty of jibberish coming from her mouth (almost a constant stream) but I’d say 80% of it is legible to not just us.

– she asks a question like “where’s daddy” and you answer. Then she returns “okay”….like, “I got it mom, storing that for later”.
– “noah did it” or “macie did it”….etc..
– looking at the picture of our wedding day she busts out with “look at your pretty dress mommy”
– or “look at my froggie” as she points to her PJ’s.
– “no like it” when she’s not happy with something or doesn’t want to look/listen/do
– We’ve entered the “i do” stage (or “lia do”)
– how she always calls herself “lia grace” or “noah andrew”

We call her CC or Repeat because if Noah has it, she has to have it. Or if Noah does it, she follows right along and does it too.

She tantrums like you can’t believe. It’s totally karma coming back to bite me for the torture I put my parents through.

Still a hugger and a kisser. She has to be touching you too to fall asleep. Which means we’re still having to stick with her as she falls asleep and she ends up with us at either 2am or 4am.

For all those signs at early potty training, we still haven’t made a ton of progress there. She’s fine at school and out places but at home she has zero interest (less than zero is that’s possible). I’m trying to incentivize her with pretty minnie mouse panties…not working!

Her hair is FINALLY filling in I hope. She’s entered a funny stage where it’s super fluffy and full but not long enough to lay. She has one longer layer over top which is the only thing saving her from a full on spike. You can see less of her scalp than before. I’m happy because I thought she was going to look all ragged forever. The recent hair cut really helped shape it up some (Now I want to retake our family pictures since it looks so ratty in them…oh well).

Her little personality is really starting to shine. She’s so funny and loves to make you laugh. She roars at you and giggles so hard when you pretend you’re scared (she’ll go one for 20 min if you let her).

She’s a dancer! This girl can and loves to move. You put on her songs and she’s beboppin around the living room arms flailing, feet tapping or hopping and her head rocking back and forth. I love it. She’s actually got quite a bit of rhythm for a 2 year old. I see dance lessons in our future!

She is good with directions and will go get what you ask her to. More than that though, she knows where things are – obscure things like mommy’s knitting bag etc.

She can dress herself for the most part – needs a bit of help with the pants but really she’s come downstairs completely dressed all on her own. She’s even pretty good a picking out matching clothing. (which is good because whatever she puts on is what she’s wearing and she won’t let you change it).

She loves to draw and color – it’s almost a sure fire way to distract her.

Anyways. I could probably go on and on about how long her legs are or how she loves to kiss you or how sweet she is when she accidentally hurts you (or how feisty she is when she doesn’t get her way) but then we’d be here forever. I just want to soak it all in – she’s so much fun right now and I know she’ll never be this little again and for all the frustrating parts of this age – there are 10 times more fun parts.


Dec 022014

So putting two races mostly back to back was probably not my smartest idea to date but I survived and I actually did great! (no, not going to do that again)

I was running by myself again although I did meet up with a high school friend who I got to pal around with at the Expo and then met up with again at the start. We ended up in the same corral so it was nice to have her there to start with.

The night before the race she and I grabbed dinner and then drove all over Richmond looking for an open CVS so I could grab some sports tape to cover my still healing from Hershey blisters and some morning of nutrition (since I forgot to pack my oatmeal). We actually had a great time catching up. I haven’t seen her (except for Facebook) since high school!

On a side note: it pays to look for a race hotel the week of if you didn’t book ahead! I found a hotel that was two blocks from the race start and two blocks from the race finish – perfect for me so I didn’t have to navigate traffic and closed roads for parking.

The morning of the race they were calling for super cold temps – I think at the start it was just over 28 degrees outside. So, I waited until the very last min to leave my cozy hotel room! I ALWAYS overdress so I was super worried about what to wear. Trying to remember that it’s okay to freeze as you stand at the start because you’ll most surely warm up as things get moving, I wore my fleece lined tights, a long sleeved tech t-shirt and my wind stopper running jacket. I had light gloves and a headband to cover my ears. It was actually the perfect combo. I took off the gloves a few miles in but the rest stayed on and I was very comfy.

Since I registered for this two years ago (and deferred one year) my estimated finish time was just a shot in the dark that turned out to be about 15 min slower than my last half. The end result of this was that I was in a corral that was so far away from the 2:15 pacer I wanted to follow that I had to pace the race myself (I’d never catch him given he had a 15 min head start due to a wave start). Add to that the fact that my GPS didn’t pick up at the start and I had to restart it at mile 2 and I was completely unaware of my time the entire race. I had the general pace in my ear every mile or so but she was a bit discombobulated while in the city because of the buildings so outside of a quick glance at the starting clock, I had not a clue in the world what my time was.

Knowing that, I decided not to stress about it and just try to catch the guy in front of me. I was feeling really good – once things got warmed up and the creaking stopped that is. I would pick a person about 500 yards in front of me and try to catch them. As I caught up to them I’d find the next one and run for that and so on and so forth. It was a great game to keep my mind off of things and since I had trained with the same play list that was buzzing in my ear, I had a good sense of my foot cadence too. At one point I saw the 2:30 pacer and blew by him so I knew I was on a pretty good clip.

At the 10k mark I did some quick math in my head and realized that I could kill my 2:19 Hershey time by a bunch if I could just maintain my pace. Problem is, I usually hit a wall at 8 miles and there were a few hills between me and the finish (not counting the huge down hill into the finish line). I made an effort to stock up on Gu when I could and used every water stop to make sure I was well hydrated and fed. The gummy bear stop around mile 9 (I think) was AWESOME!! Who doesn’t love some gummy bears to suck on.

As I crested mile 11 I heard someone yell – it’s all downhill from here. I laughed because they always say that. This time though they weren’t lying! The last 2 or so miles was straight down hill. It was heaven! It was so steep that I was having trouble keeping my feet under me but it did enable me to blow through the finish line nice and strong.

I caught a glimpse of the clock as I passed through but didn’t trust my memory of the starting clock. Regardless, if it all aligned I was looking at 2:08. However, since I wasn’t sure and my GPS was completely wrong I had to wait for the official clock time to get really excited – which didn’t come until later that night.

I know I had PR’d but not by how much….at about 8:00 pm they finally posted the times:


I blew hershey away by a full 13 min and my overall best time by 9 min! I really don’t know what the difference was. Between Hershey and Richmond I was a pretty lazy runner. It took me a week to recover and even after that I was dealing with some serious soleus pain so my runs were short and fast and not as frequent as I would have liked. I know Richmond is a fast course so perhaps it was just that.

Regardless, I’m taking a bit of time off again to let my legs recover. It’s almost 15 days later and I’m still struggling with my soleus muscles. I need to be better about stretching and rolling. I figure I’ll hop back on the training wagon in the new year to get read for RnR USA in March.

My new goal is going to be 2:04:00 – it’s only 2 min but I know that DC has one killer hill in it around mile 6 that could blow everything if I’m not careful.

Some day I hope to be sub 2 but that’s a long ways off I think – just gives me something to keep working for!


3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – 2:06:14!!

Dec 012014

Wooohooo boy…off the wagon we go:) The holidays can really throw you for a loop. Plus I’ve had a number of clients to finish up work for so it’s been crazy in our neck of the woods. I’m going to try to get back on track – my body is hating me for all the crap that I’ve been putting into it.

Sun: Polenta with fontina cheese and roast veggies and Salmon
Mon: Shrimp Corn Chowder
Tues: Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef wtih guac
Wed: Pasta and Sauce
Thurs: Chicken Curry
Fri: Out

Mon: Chicken Sandwich on Sour Dough
Tues: Chicken Sandwich on Sour Dough
Wed: Leftover Beef
Thurs: Out
Fri: Out

Nov 172014

Okay, a day late but still here even though I missed last week. It’s been a busy few weeks around our house.

Sunday: Lasagne
Mon: Crockpot Chicken Chowder
Tues: Tacos
Wed: Chili
Thurs: Spinach Tomato Tortellini
Friday: Left Overs

Mon: Out
Tues: Out
Wed: Out
Thurs: Chili Left Overs
Friday: Lasagne Left Overs

Nov 132014

Since Lia and Noah are at a bigger center, we get to do things we didn’t with his small daycare – like field trips! Once a year they take a trip to the pumpkin patch. DH went with Noah last year (and Lia was too little) so I got to go this year. The bonus was that Lia got to go too!!

This was her first time on a school bus (that she was aware of at least) and you would have thought it made her life. She was so excited to ride on a “cool bus” that she couldn’t stop saying it even weeks later! She also talks about going to the “bumpkin patch” to get a “bumpkin”.

We ended up leaving the patch with two more pumpkins (take our total on the porch to 14 pumpkins of various size and shapes) and 3 gords.

They kids had a great time both with me and their friends (and I got to scout a new photo spot in their Christmas tree area!).

Nov 042014

I think DH comments at least daily about how much he loves our neighborhood and I totally agree. All of the time hunting to figure out what we wanted and didn’t want then trying to find a place that checked all the boxes has really paid off. We love it out here. What makes it even better is that we’ve had some awesome neighbors move in around us. We have 4 families in close proximity and they all have kids. Two have kids whose ages match ours and the other two have some a bit older.

The guys across the street have one Noah’s age and then three a bit older. We all end up outside in the evenings just hanging out and playing. I love that the older boys are not entirely annoyed when Noah wants to play with them (and their little sister). Lia’s just happy to be along for the ride most times.

A few weeks ago we ended up outside playing baseball in the street (the street does not yet continue past us so no one comes down this way). Our neighbor patiently explained to Noah how to play and what to do and then stood there and pitched for him (and his daughter) for what seemed forever. It was really nice of him and made Noah so happy!!

Seems Noah has a knack for baseball so it looks like I’m going to be signing him up for spring ball:)

Nov 032014

Back in the groove! Made a great Shrimp and Corn Chowder last night which was sooo good since it was so freakin cold out (I know, it’s not even that cold yet…). The rest of this week looks great too – I’m excited!

Sunday: Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Mon: Chili/Lime Porkchops with Black beans and Quinoia
Tue: Pasta e Fagioli
Wed: Fajitas
Thurs: Crockpot Chicken and Corn Chowder
Fri: Out

Mon: Sour Dough and Chicken Cold Cuts
Tues: Lunch in at Work
Wed: Pasta e Fagioli leftovers
Thurs: Out
Fri: Out

Nov 022014

A few weekends ago Papa and Memaw came down to visit. Unfortunately our plans of apple picking were thwarted by rain but that didn’t bother anyone. A day-in snuggling with the grands was just what everyone needed. Memaw and Papa got some valuable bonding time in with the kiddos and mommy and daddy got a ton done around the house.

Nov 012014

So we’re going a bit out of order here since this is the order I finished working on the pictures:) Last weekend we had a lot going on but had to take a bit of time out of the rush to go for a family hike in the AM. The weather was a bit windy but beautiful! Perfectly cool and crisp which makes hiking so much fun.

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is just a 15 min drive for us to get to and offers quite a bit of hiking. It’s far enough out to make it peaceful but not a super long drive.

Oct 292014

Given my dive in to quilting lately, I thought I’d join in with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival and submit and share the two finished quilts that I have (since the 5 unfinished ones don’t count yet:) ). So this is repost from June 2012

I finally finished baby girl’s quilt!! The pattern claimed to be doable in a few hours in a day…haha…funny. I counted 15 hours on this baby and that’s with using pre assembled binding and machine stitching everything. I learned alot. Namely the fact that I’m not nearly exact enough to really do this well. Like baking, fudgy measurements make a big difference (perhaps that’s why I prefer cooking over baking) and I’m just not that patient:) That said, I know I’ll make at least one more of these for Noah (I ordered a jelly roll today for his).

Anywho..without further adieu..here’s baby girl’s quilt:)



I used a disappearing 9 pattern and what I like to call a crazy stitch to quilt it (where I hope my mistakes really don’t show that much). The binding was a satin blanket binding that I found at Joann and I did it by machine too (my hands are already starting to numb so I figured a hand stitched binding may not have been the best idea at the time. Maybe I’ll try it for Noah’s.)

In the end, it was a lot of work but so worth it. I love that I’ll have this for her as she grows and that it was something that I did. Both my mom and my grandmother were avid seamstresses as I was growing up (my mom still is!) and I still remember a lot of what they made for me (and my brother) all those years ago. Heck, I even go to my mom now when I need things fixed. I have a whole new respect for their efforts!

Now…on to the dust ruffle for her crib:)

Oct 292014

Given my dive in to quilting lately, I thought I’d join in with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival and submit and share the two finished quilts that I have (since the 5 unfinished ones don’t count yet:) ). So this is repost from Jan 2013

So when I made Lia’s quilt before she was born I knew at some point I wanted to make one for Noah too. So, I started it when I was 38 weeks pregnant (about 3 days before Lia was born) haha. Noah asked me one day what it was (it was sitting on my craft table) and I told him it was his blanket that mommy was making him. He got sooo excited! From there on any time he’d pass my craft bench (which was any time he went outside to the backyard) he’d ask me about his blanket. He wanted to wear it around:) Well, I finally got around to finishing it up – 6 months to the day I started it.

This one was done with a jelly roll of Moda Summertime fabric. It was actually pretty neat and quick to get the center patch together. You just sewed all the long strips together in one long line then folded that long line in half, sew the length, chop the end and do it again. I kept halving it until you came to a manageable size. I made my center patch just big enough to cover the top of a twin bed (I was a little short in the length tho). Then I added about 9 inches on either side and a foot to the top and bottom to make it cover his bed with some overhang.

I learned alot with Lia’s quilt and even more with Noah’s. I’m confident that I’m not a quilter but I’m proud of the two pieces I’ve managed to turn out. (eta: okay, maybe I’ll be a quilter yet!)




Oct 272014

I feel my motivation coming back! I spent yesterday prepping and pre-cooking and have a good handle on this week I think. I made a pot of bolognese that I’ll freeze and have the Korean BBQ beef marinating for tonight.

Mon: Sour dough and chicken sammy
Tues: Sour dough and chicken sammy
Wed: Out
Thurs: Left over chicken and pasta
Fri: Out

Sun: Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots with Quinoia (this one is a family favorite!)
Monday: Korean BBQ Beef with Rice (this is the closest recipe – I used shaved beef and slightly different ratios but overall similar enough.)
Tues: Mom Out – Pasta and Sauce for Daddy
Wed: Chicken, Pasta and Marcapone
Thurs: Pineapple Chicken Quesedilla
Fri: Trick or Treat Tacos!

Oct 232014

It’s almost a given that on the heels of running a half, I’m itching to do another. I blame runners high and the endorphins. After I finished the Fountain Head Half in May (and once the soreness passed) I found myself searching for another race. A road half this time since Fountain Head was off road an that was a totally different ball game.

This time around I also wanted DH to be able to run with me. It’s fun to do those types of things as a couple (at least for us). So I had to find something close to one of the grands so we’d have kid coverage. Pittsburgh was too far off date wise so I was looking around Lancaster. I stumbled on Hershey and I’m so happy I did. How could you go wrong running through an amusement park and having a chocolate stop at mile 12?

I worked out perfectly. We left the kids with DH’s parents and drove the 45 min up to Hershey for the race.

It was an early morning because we had to pick up our packets prior to the race and of course Lia woke as we were trying to leave so we had to wake my MIL to hang with here. We arrived in Hershey just before 6am and scored what we thought was a primo spot right at the front (which turned out not to be – we waited a long time to leave!).

Packet pick up took 10 min which is good because at 6am it was COLD and blustery!! I worried that I had enough layers on to run this race. DH had brought trash bags to try to keep warm prior to the start of the race but unfortunately for him they were kitchen sized and he’s not. So, he had a trash bag scarf to wear – so not effective. Anyways, we ran back to the car and waited out the 90 min until the start in the comfort of our warm car.

Around 7:15 we made our way over for a quick potty stop but after 15 min in line we still weren’t even close to the front and the race had started so we abandoned that idea and just started to run. That was a fun first mile! Thankfully we were able to make a pit stop at mile 1 and continue on our way – much lighter.

The first 4 miles were pretty quick. We spent 2 working our way around the parking lots and Hersheypark drive and on into the park. We ran a mile through the park and then on out into some of the neighborhoods around Hershey. By mile 5 we hit a groove and things flew by. We ran past the country club which was really pretty.

Running down Chocolate Ave was cool – the road surface was actually brown. Then we ran into the campus for the Milton Hershey School. What was neat about this was that all the kids that live on campus there had come out of their houses and set up camp on the roadside to cheer people on. By the time we got around to them they had to have been there for at least and hour and were still excited and yelling. The had to be exhausted after the race was over!

The last 3 miles hurt pretty badly. My legs were done. I could feel the blisters on the feet and my knees were pretty sore but I looked at our time and realized that we could make this race under 2:20 if we kept up our pace. So I looked at DH and asked if he could push it for these last three. It was only 30 min…I can hurt for 30 min I kept thinking. So we kicked in whatever afterburner we had and tried to book it in under 2:20.

At the top of the hill at mile 12 there was chocolate which I thought I’d love but I was so parched that it was like chewing sand. Oh well…the little bit of sugar had a nice kick. As we rounded the stadium DH grabbed my hand thinking we could cross together holding hands…only, we still had about .2 miles to go. He was a little premature in his celebration.

The last .1 or so was around and into the stadium. That’s the fastest I think I’ve ever run. I left it all on that track (my GPS said I was an 8:30 pace which for me is crazy fast!). Crossing the finish line and looking up to see 2:22 on the clock was a little disappointing (I totally forgot that that was total time elapsed – not my time) but a good show none the less considering how much we trained. It wasn’t until I checked my email as we sat down to stretch that I saw we actually came in under 2:20:) 2:19 and a few milliseconds. Not a PR but one of my better times (my RnR race was 2:19 as well). I was definitely happy with that race.

We milled about for a bit cooling down and refueling. We took a few pictures but were anxious to get back to the kids so we headed out. It took about 45 min just to get out of the parking lot but once we were through (and a quick Dunkin stop) we were on our way home.

The rest of the day was rough – we still had to drive back to DC so when we all passed out at 9:30pm I was not surprised. It only took a few days for the soreness to go away which is good – I have to get back on the training wagon – Richmond is in 3 weeks!!

(and just so I have this somewhere…)
3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – shooting for 2:15!!

Oct 222014

I can’t believe we’re to 45 days already with this thing. I’m so much less focused on it because it’s just part of the day now. Get home. Feed Family. Put kids to bed. Go work out. Same routine most nights.

I’m still seeing results which is astonishing since my eating has been CRAP lately! I suppose I could see more if I actually ate right.

Anyways – no pics this time – just don’t have enough hands or time to do it. But I’ll update the measurements.

Starting Measurements:
Waist – 30 in
Hips – 37.75 in
Chest – 33.5 in
Thigh – 20.75 in
Bicep – 10.5 in
Calf – 14.25 in

Day 30 Measurements:
Waist – 29 in (-1)
Hips – 36.75 in (-1)
Chest – 33 in (-.5)
Thigh – 21 in (+.25)
Bicep – 10.5 in (0)
Calf – 14.25 in (0)

Day 45 Measurements:
Waist – 28.75 in (-.25)
Hips – 36.5 in (-.25)
Chest – 32.5 in (-.5)
Thigh – 20.5 in (-.5)
Bicep – 10.75 in (+.25)
Calf – 14 in (-.25)

So, downward progress. I lost 1 lb as well putting me at a total of 7 lbs from the start of all this. Honestly I’d love to lose another 10 but I’ll settle for another 5:) But that’s going to take some serious commitment on the eating front of which I seem to be lacking lately.

We still have the second half of this challenge so here’s to recommitting and trying to move the needle even further.

Oct 202014

This one was done by the seat of my pants while walking through the grocery store with about 10 min to shop. We were out this past weekend and this week is shaping up to be challenging so I was hunting for quick and easy.

This week will have alot of lunches out – something has to give when getting ready in the AM and it will be lunches this week.

Mon: Out
Tues: Left Over Soup
Wed: Left Over Pasta/Sauce
Thurs: Out
Fri: Out

Mon: Slow cooker Thai Soup
Tues: Pasta and Sauce
Wed: Sausage/Peppers
Thurs: Frozen Pizza
Fri: Out as a family

Oct 152014

Even before we had kids DH and I would dream of the times I we could take the kids out in to the backcountry with us for some serious backpacking. Once Noah learned to walk we started counting the days before we could get him out on a hike in the woods.

Now that Lia’s old enough and steady enough to walk over uneven surfaces we’ve taken both of them on longish (for them) day hikes but had yet to backpack. The logistics of taking 2 kids that can’t really carry their own weight backpacking were overwhelming at first. Not only would we need a bigger tent but we’d need sleeping bags, clothes and extra food etc. We’re not light packers by any stretch of the imagination so to figure out how to accommodate all the extra stuff (with the possibility of carrying a child at times as well) without killing our backs was tough.

So we looked for a short hike in figuring we can carry extra weight for a short period of time and if things went south we could potentially bail in the middle of the night (at 1 mile hike out in the dark, though not ideal, is doable). We found a place about 45 min away that was perfect!! It took us two tries (first one was thwarted by thunderstorms) but Sky Meadow State Park has walk in primitive campsites that you can reserve for $15 a night. There’s a non-potable water pump and a few vault toilets back there but otherwise there are no amenities. Each site had a well drained tent pad, a picnic table and fire ring. Some of the sites were right off the trail. Others, like ours, were down a bit from the trail and into the woods. It made it feel like we were really out there by ourselves (well, except for the sounds of campers around you:)).

What was really funny was that when we got there we found out that you could rent a wheelbarrow for $10 in order to carry your stuff back to the site. So, our visions of a rugged hiking path were met with a bike/stroller/wheelbarrow friendly meander through grass lands and fire road. We were already packed up to carry it all in on our person so we passed on the wheelbarrow – but it was nice to know that it was there in case and the kids didn’t care that it wasn’t trail. They were just happy to be out.

The trip was fun and thankfully uneventful (last time we were at that park Noah was stung by a caterpillar). We did struggle to make a fire because the wood was wet but managed to make enough so the kids could roast marshmallows (and smoke out every bug in a 4 mile area). The kids slept terribly as did we but I expected that being that this was Lia’s first time in a tent (plus it was her first big sleep over outside of her crib with all of us and the dog aaaand she had a marshmallow right before bed…to say she was amped up was an understatement). But, the pack-up and hike out the next AM was so beautiful and even though we were exhausted, it was the perfect trip. I can’t wait to do it again!

Oct 132014

A day late (which is better than last week where I completely missed!). It’s been hectic around here lately and my motivation is waining. I’m trying to get back in a groove but it’s tough. We wake up when it’s dark, go to bed when it’s dark and soon I’ll look forward to coming home in the dark too. Sigh..I love fall but i’m not so keen on winter.

Mon: Out
Tues: Out
Wed: Roast Beet and Chicken Salad
Thurs: Chicken and rice soup left overs
Fri: Cold Cut Sandwich

Sun: Thai Chicken Breast
Mon: Shrimp over zoodles
Tues: Tacos
Wed: Creamy chicken and rice soup
Thurs: Slow cooker quinoia soup
Fri: Pizza

Oct 112014

Now that Lia has a big girl bed, she needs a big girl quilt to cover it:)

I had started to look for fabrics even before we started the plan to move her to a bigger bed and just didn’t fall in love with anything – until I found this one!! Garden Party Tango by Melissa Ybarra is just a pretty collection of both colors and patterns. I think it will make a great quilt for her room and a nice base to decorate around.

I found a pattern on Pinterest that I really liked and seemed simple enough (me and elaborate quilts don’t mix yet – I need simple straight lines with little cutting to build my confidence). And here’s where I am so far!


The pattern is for a 36in x 36in blanket so of course that won’t work for her bed so I’m doubling the pattern and will still probably have to do a border to get to the right size. I have the groups of strips sewn together and now need to iron them and cut, then stitch again. I only get 20/30 min here and there so things are going slowly. Maybe by the time she’s 16 I’ll have it finished!

Oct 092014

We spend quite a bit of time down at the lake here in our neighborhood. It’s just so pretty and quiet and a 5 min walk from our front door. During the last few days of summer we were down there almost every night for sunset.

This time around I took the big camera with me and got some pics of Lia mostly but did managed to sneak in a few of Noah on his bike. He looks so big on it and more like he’s riding a toy than real bike.

Oct 082014

So we’re already through the first month of round 2 of the Bikini Body Mommy program! I can’t believe how fast things have flown. I have to admit that I’ve not been as focused on this challenge as I was the last one. Just lots going on plus I’m trying to train for 2 half marathons this fall so I’ve had to mix things up.

That said, I am making sure to work out 6 times a week and would say 90% of the time it’s with Brianna’s videos. I generally do the strength days and then on the HIIT cardio days, I do my runs. On the days that I cant get a run in then I’ll do the prescribed HIIT cardio work out. So far it’s worked out and I’m seeing results. My clothes fit better again and I just generally feel more healthy

Starting Measurements:
Waist – 30 in
Hips – 37.75 in
Chest – 33.5 in
Thigh – 20.75 in
Bicep – 10.5 in
Calf – 14.25 in

Day 30 Measurements:
Waist – 29 in (-1)
Hips – 36.75 in (-1)
Chest – 33 in (-.5)
Thigh – 21 in (+.25)
Bicep – 10.5 in (0)
Calf – 14.25 in (0)

So – not as drastic as the first time around but I attribute that to a bunch of things.

1. I didn’t have that much more to go like I did the first time (those last 5 lbs are stubborn!).
2. I bumped up to heavier weights so I’m building some muscle in my arms (hello bicep definition).
3. I’m running a lot which builds the muscle in my legs
4. My nutrition has not been on point lately. Not that it’s bad – overall we’ve shifted for the better but I’ve let myself have a few indulgences as of late.

Time to buckle down in the next 30 and see if I can get those last few pounds off and tone up my arms and back.

Maybe I’ll take pics that I can share with everyone at the next check in… this time I’m too lazy:)

It’s never too late to get started! If you’re interested in joining us, let me know. We have a great support group on Facebook!!

Oct 072014

Weeks behind here because it’s been so busy (and I’ve had some client work to do in the evenings) but a few weeks ago we took the kids on a hike in Great Falls National Park. It was kind of a warm up to see how Lia would do on a longer walk and it was great!

The hike is an easy one – one big up hill on fire road and then a meander down hill on trails. We let her walk on her own for as far as she would go (which was surprisingly far) and when she got tired we plopped her in the backpack. She ended the hike walking on her own too.

Noah had already done that hike with DH so we knew he’d be fine. Although, on the long boring hike up we had to be inventive with how we kept his attention so he wouldn’t whine and want to be carried. Searching for the various leaf types worked pretty well (or pretending the trend on the side of the trail was a deep crevasse that he had to navigate.) I love watching his little imagination work.

In the end we covered about 4 miles I think – nothing big but pretty good for the kids! This was a great set up for our next few trips out (including a back pack trip!)

Oct 052014

So, not all fixes are home runs (which is good for my budget:) ). This one was not. I went out on a limb and asked for a skirt and a chunky sweater or cardigan and while Gillian tried – it was just not what I was looking for.

All was not lost, I did keep three of the 5 pieces and I appreciate that she tried to find what I was looking for – it was a long shot.

So, before we get on to the fashion show, a little about Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You fill out a style profile online, schedule your fix and wait for the package of goodies!! Try everything on in the comfort of your own home and keep only what you want. Use the pre-paid envelop to mail back the rest (if anything!!) and that’s it.

A few details:

  • There’s a $20 styling fee, which is used towards your order
  • If you keep all 5 items you receive 25% off your order.
  • You choose your price range.
  • The more feedback you give to your stylist, the better your fixes get over time. So be sure to be very specific to your stylists so that they can send you things you’ll love. I highly suggest hooking up your Pinterest style board to your profile as well.

Lastly, if you want to sign up use this link. (Full disclosure, I get a referral bonus if you use that link. You can too once you’re signed up and share with your friends!)

Now, let’s go through what I kept:

Bay to Baubles Rowena Leaf Pendant Necklace

I loved this one – simple, different and just the right length.

41Hawthorn Walt Striped Skirt

This is one that I wouldn’t have normally purchased for myself and definitely not one for “fat days” but it’s nice to have something different in my closet. I have to find a nice navy cami and it would pair perfectly with my mustard colored cardi.

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

I LOVED this one! I’ve already worn it a bunch – perfect with skinny jeans and my brown boots.

And the pieces I sent back:

41Hawthon Breyson Pleat Detail Sleeveless Knit Top

This one just fit like a night shirt. I don’t know if it’s because I lost weight since I filled out my profile or what, it just didn’t

Under Skies Simran Solid French Terry Moto Jacket

This was the one she tried in lieu of a chunky sweater and just not at all what I was looking for. That’s not always a bad thing because heck, that’s part of using this service. Unfortunately, this one was just not what I was looking for so it went back.

So there you have it. Not a dud but not the homerun I’ve had in the past. My next fix is November. I’m anxious to see what fall pieces they send along.

Sep 292014

Hello Monday!! You always seem to come around too fast after a fun weekend. Trying a few new things this week since we have a relatively calm week. I love the onset of fall – bring on the soups, stews, and goulashes!!

Mon: Everroast Chicken, Guac, and veggies
Tues: Egg Salad Tortilla
Wed: Out
Thurs: Left over Picadillo
Fri: Out

Sun: Ravioli
Mon: Chicken Francese with Brown Rice
Tues: Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice (own recipe – making it up as I go)
Wed: Crockpot Picadillo over brown rice.
Thurs: Macaroni Casserole
Fri: Something quick

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