Friday, January 29, 2016

Fitness Friday

Hello! I hope everyone on the East Coast is finally shoveled out from all their snow. We had some snow this past weekend/week, but definitely not as much! Still, it makes for some interesting running conditions.

Saturday - My motivation lately has been in the toilet. Honest truth. Today was no exception, especially when looking at the weather report - 12 degrees (yay! no negatives!), but 12-15 mph winds. Uuuuuugh. Thankfully I was able to meet up with my running group: a cast if diehard running characters that are going to go out regardless. I've said it before and I'll say it again - misery loves company.

Our route is mostly a north to south out and back route, and the winds were coming from the south. I suggested we go south on the highway first, into the wind, to get that out of the way and allow the wind to push us back. Everyone agreed to that plan, so we set out. No joke - it was horrible. Take your breath away, slow you down by a minute or more, blister your face kind of wind. We managed 4 miles out, and then decided to turn around with the plan of doing about a mile on the east to west road that we start on. Once we turned around, it was so much better and the run was over before I knew it! We even overshot the 10 mile mark a little. 10.40 miles @ 10:26 overall pace.

Sunday - Sunday we spent going to church, and then shopping for funeral attire. It's harder than you'd imagine to find a black or dark colored dress for a little girl. Especially with Easter right around the corner. So we were out all day, but I managed to not only find an appropriate dress but also get in 30 min of abs & oblique pilates.

Monday - Once again, this run is brought to you by Lack of Motivation. I don't know where my mojo went, but I'd like it back. The roads were slushy due to wet snow on Sunday, so I strapped on the Yaktrax and headed out anyway. On tap was a cutdown run - 1 mile warm up, 1 mile at 8:55, 8:45, 8:35, 8:25, the 1 cool down mile for a total of 6 miles. The first few miles weren't so bad, but those 8:35 and 8:25 miles were real work. Uphill, sloppy snow. Ugh. At one point I was running on a clearer, more traveled road, and basically made the cars go around me because the shoulder was too sloppy. I got it done, slightly off pace, with the workout miles being 8:58, 8:41, 8:38, & 8:30. Good enough.

Tuesday - an unexciting morning on my stationary bike. Thank goodness for Gilmore Girls.

Wednesday - 5 easy miles @ 9:50 average pace through some soft snow with more wind that I would have liked. It was ok for the most part, but my newest pair of shoes (Saucony Hurricane ISOs) are rubbing on my posterior tib tendon right below my ankle, causing some lingering discomfort throughout the day. The stupid tongues are sewn into the shoe. In theory, that's nice, but in reality it's hurting my foot.

Thursday - 6 easy miles @ 10:09 average pace. In an effort to relieve that post tib pain, I ran on my treadmill this morning in the Saucony Guides I bought right after the Detroit marathon. They felt better on the post tib tendon, but they rubbed my peroneal tendon on the left foot. So, uh, yea....I'm sick of shoes.

Friday - My body feels like it needs some rest. Unhappy peroneal tendon, unhappy post tib nothing today. Maybe some pilates later. Maybe.

I'm starting to feel like I just can't win with shoes lately. I may head down to Duluth on Monday to try out some shoes at the running store. I have a 10 miler on tap for Saturday morning, so I'll run in the Guides again to see how my feet react to that, but most likely I'll be shelling out more money for more shoes. Not exactly what I want to do right now, but I can't run in shoes that hurt me, right? 

Are you loyal to a shoe brand? Do you rotate brands or models depending on your training?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Word

It's been a few weeks, but I'm linking up again with Deb Runs for her Wednesday Word post.

Today's word is Optimism.

"Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something."

I will be the first person to admit that I am not the most optimistic person. I fret. I worry. I "what if" a lot. Especially at this juncture of my life with school being a possibility, full time jobs being few and far between, running is just going so-so...

It's hard to be positive some days. 

But looking at the definition of the optimism again, one word really sticks out to me: hopefulness. 

I am hopeful. I have an abundance of hope. There are so many things that I am hoping go one way or another at the moment.

I am hopeful that I get into grad school.
I am hopeful that the government is kind enough to pay for it.
I am hopeful that we find the funds to pay the bills while I'm in school.
I am hopeful that if I don't get into school, God provides a really great job for me instead.
I am hopeful that my body will get it together so I can run pain free.
I am hopeful that a pain free body leads to two marathons this year.

So while I may not be super confident about what is happening this week, next week, next month, next year - I am hopeful.

 Are you an optimistic person? Link up and tell us what you're optimistic about! 

Deb Runs

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Day in the Life...

...of an unemployed person.

I'm sure many of my readers have been unemployed at one point or another in their lives. For me, it's a weird thing. I've been working since I was 15 years old. My 15th birthday was spent mucking stalls and feeding horses.

I've also worked in a fast food restaurant, with horses again, a large retail store, mall customer service desk, a smaller retail store, banks, offices, etc until I got to this job.

Except for a very brief stunt as a real estate agent, where I basically was a poor stay-at-home-wife, I've not been without a job since I could legally work.

So this time period in my life is...weird. I'm not used to being at loose ends for days at time. But I figured I'd chronicle that time so I can look back and think "Ah, memories. Remember when I had free time?" Because this, too, shall pass.

Most mornings I start with these boys:

 I still like to run early in the AM because it's routine, and the roads aren't as busy then.

Then after a quick shower, breakfast, and getting Emily to preschool, I settle in with my coffee at my computer to do some job hunting, check my email, read blogs, facebook, etc.

Then, I get off my duff and do some laundry and maybe a little cleaning. Today it was dusting.

I try to fit in some pilates at some point of the day. Gotta get that strength work in! 

At lunchtime, I usually spend some time with my Bible. Little known fact to most, but I'm doing a "read through the Bible in one year" challenge with a group on Facebook. So far, it's going well.

After lunch, I enjoy quality time with my foam roller. I'm also watching "Making a Murderer" on Netflix. Because all the cool kids are doing it. 

If I have any extra time before preschool pick up, I get some more reading in. My book club is reading I'll Find You by Nancy Bush. Not my typical read, but so far it's pretty interesting.

Then I get to spend the rest of my afternoon with this little girl! Actually, today was out of the norm because she's not feeling good. I got a call from preschool around 11 that she was running a 103 degree fever. But she wolfed her lunch down and took a 3 hour nap this afternoon so I'm hoping she'll be back to normal in no time!

So, that's what a typical day looks like for me right now. I'm trying my best to be productive and positive, despite my deep yearning to lay on the couch all day and eat bonbons. As nice as that sounds, it doesn't sound like it'll get me a new job or help me in any way. 

What does a typical day look like for you? Are you pro-bonbons?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fitness Friday

Hello and Happy Friday!

Here we are at the end of another freezing cold week. Oh, maybe that's just where I am...on Mars...

Saturday - Freeze Yer Gizzard 5k & 10k. You can read more about it here if you missed my other post. Safe to say - I froze my gizzards but lived to tell about it!

Sunday - a rest day, although I did manage about 30 minutes of pilates.

Monday - Technically, Mondays are for workouts. But I couldn't bear the thought of doing the tempo run I had on the schedule outside when it was still -20's, and I didn't want to do it on my treadmill, either. So I swapped Wednesday's easy run for today's workout. 5 easy miles on the treadmill in about 55 minutes. Super slow.

Tuesday -  45 min on my bike, plus some Blogilates upper body stuff. Kind of hit and miss for the day.

Wednesday - 2 x 2 tempo miles. 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at 8:20-8:30 pace, 4 min rest, 2 miles at 8:20-8:30 pace, 1 mile cool down. I waited until a little later in the day to run this, mainly because I am really sick of running in cold weather. But, it was cold anyway, and snowing. I was nervous about not hitting the paces because the last time I ran this workout, it was really hard and I was about 10 seconds behind for the second two mile interval. However, I nailed this! My average pace for the first interval was 8:26, 8:31 for the second set. I will completely take that as a win. 6.37 miles in 57:30. Also squeezed in some pilates total body stuff - mostly abs, hips, and butt.

Thursday - 5 easy miles. Oh my goodness, were my legs tired! This was a bit of a slog the whole time, but I felt good mentally and wanted to get it done, so I just slowed my pace way down and got through the miles. 5 miles, 49:53, average pace 9:59.

Friday - Rest day. Although I think I will be doing some pilates, and of course foam rolling and stretching.

Thankfully it's supposed to warm up a bit this weekend to a whopping 25 or so. Yes, that is warm in my book now. Good luck to all those getting the snowpocolypse this weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review

Happy Hump Day!

I'm just hanging out, stressing about life and jobs and school and...yea.

Running is my outlet right now. That's pretty healthy though, so I'm feeling good about myself.

Recently, I was contacted by SLS3 to try out their Dual Pocket Run Belt. I typically use a Fuelbelt, because it carries water bottles and I like to drink on the run, but I'm always game to try out something new. Who says my way is the best way? (Usually me, but I'm trying to be open minded!)

Today I had a tempo run on tap - 2 miles @ 8:20-8:30 pace, 4 min rest, repeat. Our weather has been so cold lately, that I wanted to wait until midday so that it would be a little warmer. Well, it was a whopping 7 degrees, with windchill making it feel about 1F, and snowing to boot. Oh joy.

But I set off anyway, because I am me and if I say I'm going to do something then I do it. I figured today would be a good day to try out the SLS3 running belt, since I would have to put my water bottles in my pockets to keep them from freezing anyway.

I was pretty nervous that my phone wasn't going to fit in these skinny pockets, but they are surprisingly stretchy! I have an iphone 5 with an Otterbox case, so big but not as big as the 6. I think you'd have trouble getting an iphone 6 to fit. I also could put my Mp3 player in the other pocket.

What I really LOVE about this running belt is that it has the buckle instead of a Velcro closure.  My current running belt has Velcro, and  it pops off frequently. So annoying.

The SLS3 belt didn't move at all during my run - another plus over a bouncier belt. I was also pleased to see that neither my iphone nor Mp3 player were wet when I returned home. Both were bone dry. I couldn't really say that about the rest of my clothing. Snow is wet, you guys.

So, overall, I'm pretty happy with this belt. I think it will work great for shorter runs or runs like today where I have somewhere else to stow my water bottles.

Right now, SLS3 is offering a special price through Amazon - 50% off and free shipping. That's an awesome deal! Go here to get the deal:

Do you run with a running belt? How about water bottles?
Disclaimer: I was provided the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt by SLS3, but all opinions are my own.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Freeze Yer Gizzard!

This weekend we set off to International Falls so I could run the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. They have a 5k and 10k, and since I was supposed to run 9 miles that day I figured doing both would be a fun way to get the miles in!

However, I wasn't planning on it being quite so cold. Silly me!

These races are part of the city's celebration of "Icebox Days". International Falls is known as the "Icebox of the Nation", so I should have expected cold. We've been having such a warm winter though, that I thought I might get lucky! Not so much.

Temp at 5k start time: -12F, with winchill making it feel like -30F.

I really was not sure that I would be running this. The entire drive up there, that night, even that morning, I kept thinking "I don't have to run this race. I really don't have to!"

Yet here I am, all dressed up and ready to go.

Laugh if you want, but this was actually a pretty good setup! The neck gaiter has some hole at the mouth, so I could still breath and didn't feel quite so claustrophobic. I can't tell you how many people said "Boy, what a smart idea!" Smart is maybe a relative theory here when we consider why I was wearing this to begin with...

Anyway, the gun goes off and 176 runners take off! I had planned on running these races at my easy pace, but the excitement and the cold made me run a bit faster. Honestly though, that felt like real work because it was so hard to breath in such cold temperatures. I finished in 28:15, 9:07 average pace, which is definitely one of my slowest 5k times ever.

The whole time I was thinking "I don't want to do the 10k. I don't have to do the 10k. I'm not going to do the 10k".

Then I finished, changed into a dry base layer of clothes, and thought "ok, let's do this 10k!" I mean, it had warmed up a whole 2 degrees to -10F, so why not?

I ran the first 2 miles with some running buddies from my group - we had a great showing of 8 or 9 members at this race! They wanted to go faster though, so I let them peel ahead of me. Then I found a runner going just about my pace, so I tailed him the rest of the run. He acted as a wind break for me, and gave me something to focus on.  When we crossed the finish line, I caught up with him and thanked him for pacing me the whole way. He was surprised and said "You were actually pushing me the whole time, so thank you!" Huh. You just never know who will inspire you, and who you'll inspire!

Definitely my slowed 10k at 1:00:17, 9:43 average pace. But these races weren't about PRs - the experience itself is one to remember!

5k medal on the left, 10k on the right.
The races were pretty well organized, despite a timing mat snafu with the 10k. They started/ended at the community college, so we could wait inside and had real facilities to use instead of porta-potties.  Same day packet pickup was nice, and super easy. I'm not sure that I'll run these again, but that's purely because of the weather and has nothing to do with the actual races. Flat course, and tons of volunteers along the way. TONS of volunteers - I was really surprised and made sure to thank each one. It's one thing to be running in that cold, but to just be standing there was probably really cold!

The best part? I managed to place 3rd in my age group for the 5k! That's pretty cool for not really trying!

Do you run in winter races? What's the last race you ran for the experience and not the time?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday!

Just an FYI - Friday is not so excited when you're unemployed. Yay for another two days where I stay at home! Especially in the frigid weather we're having. However, this weekend is a little exciting because we're going to International Falls for a race! More to come on that in another post.

Saturday - Despite the freezing temperatures, my running group was planning on meeting up to run this morning. 100% honesty here - I would not have run outside if it weren't for them. But I needed some time pounding the pavement and socializing with people that would talk about other things besides me being laid off. So off I went. In 4 layers of tops/jackets, 2 layers of hats, and 2 layers of pants. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad. I mean, -3F with real feel of -12 is cold, I'm not going to lie. But I survived, and actually had a pretty pleasant run. I don't want every run to be like that, but I can handle a couple. 9 miles in 1:29:09 = 9:55 average pace.

Sunday - Did the Blogilates abs & obliques workouts on the January calendar. Well, I skipped the last workout that targeted the obliques because I felt like we had already done a ton of that. Probably a wise decision, because Monday my obliques were pretty sore!

Monday - It was -25F during my normal run time, -15F after bringing Em to preschool. I had a cutdown run scheduled, and probably could have waited until later in the day to get it done but I just wanted to run this AM. So I tried doing this on the treadmill. After the warm up mile, I was supposed to do 4 miles at 8:55, 8:45, 8:35, and 8:25 followed by a cool down mile. That first mile at 8:55 was horrible! I felt like I was working 10x harder, and my breathing was much more labored than it should have been. Outside, this would have been no problem. At least I think so. I ended up bagging the workout and finishing the rest of the miles at an easier pace. I have this same run scheduled in 2 weeks, so I'll get another chance at it then. 6 miles in 1:00:00 (also, I think the pacing on my treadmill is just flat out wrong.)

I tried doing the legs portion of the Blogilates workouts scheduled for today, but I was pretty spent. Did 2 of them and called it good.

Tuesday - 45 minutes on my stationary bike, followed by about 15 minutes of foam rolling and stretching. I'm having some pain on the inside of my ankle, like right under the bumpy part. I think that's the posterior tibial tendon. It's probably a compensatory issue from having discomfort on the outside of my foot so long. I've been doing lots of stretching, and also rolling that area with a tennis ball. But I sure wish my body would get it together!

Wednesday  - 3 easy miles, in -6F. So yea, those "easy" miles weren't very easy. I don't know if it's because of the cold, thin air, or maybe because I started off a bit speedy since I was messing with my mp3 player (which decided not to work in negative temps. Surprise!), but this run was a slog. The whole time I was tired and just didn't want to go. But, I got it done, and did some pilates later in the day too. 3 miles, 29:51, 9:51 average pace.

Yup, that's frost on my gaiter. Nice!
 Thursday - 3 easy miles that were actually easy! It warmed up to positive 7F this morning, and there was a light snow falling as I ran these miles. It was pleasant, and my body felt good! Love it when a plan comes together. I'm still dealing with some foot tendon/ankle issues. Today, it was my left foot and that peroneal tendon which was tight the entire run. I'm also still having that mystery pain in the posterior tibial tendon on the inside of my right ankle. Doesn't hurt when I run, feels better after being used, and is much better if I wear shoes. So even though I'm bumming it as an unemployed chick, I'm wearing shoes at home to give it a break.

Friday - Rest day. Actually, today I'm spending most of the day in Duluth taking civil service exams to be eligible for county jobs. So yea, not much activity going on with my body, but that's ok because tomorrow I'm off to the Icebox of the Nation to run the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. Both the 5k and 10k!  In probably -10 temps! Who's idea was this?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Flipping the Script

On Friday morning, I received some pretty tough news. My company has been going through a lot of financial woes, and they had to lay off a lot of the staff. Including me.

Huh. Didn't really see that coming.

Honestly, I'm not all that surprised. But it's still a tough pill to swallow.

Our local economy has really been tanking in the past year, and I worked directly in the field that was hit the most. So yea, not so surprising. That also means good jobs are scarce.

Monday morning I woke up to start my first official day of unemployment. I'd already applied for unemployment on Friday afternoon, so check that off my to-do list. I've also applied for 10 jobs so far.


That's maybe a lot, but knowing that there's 50+ applicants out there for every job, it doesn't give me much hope. However, I know that God is with me, and he'll get us through this. I don't talk about my faith much here on the blog, but it is the one thing I am desperately clinging to right now. Faith that God has a plan for me, and that he will provide. My next job may not be something I love, or the "perfect" job (I honestly don't even know what that would be), but I know God will direct me where I need to go.

Two funny coincidences I have to mention:

1. Our pastor's sermon this Sunday was about letting go of anxiety and worry, and having faith in God's plan for us. As I sat there in the pew with tears in my eyes, I thought "boy, if I ever needed to come to church on a random Sunday, this was it." We braved -35F temps to go, and I'm so glad we did because the sermon was exactly what I needed to hear.

2. I posted this on my Facebook timeline a few weeks ago:

I didn't realize that this would hit home for me in a few short weeks. I am in a dark hallway right now, but I still have so much to be thankful for! My husband and daughter, unemployment benefits, the fact that we have no credit card debt, that I have good references, that I was laid off and not fired (!), and that I have a God that loves me. Little, insignificant me. But he does!

So, I'm working on creating a new normal for myself and my family. I don't know how long this "hallway" will be (hopefully short), but I'm hanging in there until God opens a new door for me.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fitness Friday

That's right, I'm bringing Fitness Friday posts back! Now that it's January, I'm 20 weeks out from marathon #2 and officially in training.

So if these posts bore you, go ahead and skip it. If not, continue on my friend!

Saturday - 8 mile long run. I've been meeting up with my running group more often for these. The route is kind of boring - an out and back on a county road - but it's nice to socialize and have some company for these runs. Plus it's a heck of a lot more motivating to run in 12 degree temps when there are 10 other crazies out there with you. 8 miles - 1:19:01 - 9:53 pace.

Sunday - Blogilates ab day. I started doing the Blogilates videos back in November, and I really like it! Her workouts are usually short, but make me sweat, and she's peppy enough without being annoying like some overzealous fitness instructors can be. I started out doing random videos, but then printed off her beginner 2.0 calendar and stuck with it! I just started her newest calendar for January - she lists several workouts for each day, which can take up to an hour or more. So far I've done all of them, but I may have to pick and choose depending on the day and how much I have time for. This day, minus all the starting and stopping for each video, was roughly 38 minutes of workout, but it took me just about an hour to get done. The best thing: it totally killed my abs.

Monday - 5 mile steady pace run: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at 8:45-9:15 pace, 1 mile cool down. These workouts always make me nervous because of the snow and ice on the ground, which makes for questionable footing at best. But I just go out and do the best I can. I wore my Yaktrax today, but a lot of the road was actually pretty clear. I'm still working through my peroneus tendon strain in my feet, but this run was pretty ok in regards to body parts working. 5 miles - 45:57 - 9:40, 8:54, 8:57, 8:48, 9:33. I'm happy with that!

Tuesday - Cross training day. 45 min on my stationary bike in the morning, and roughly 30 minutes of Pilates in the evening. It was an upper body day, which was a nice change up because my quads and glutes need a rest! Although that tendon in my right foot was pretty unhappy with me most of Monday evening and Tuesday. Dislike.

Wednesday - 5 miles @ easy pace. 49:02 for an average of 9:48. I bought a new pair of shoes, Saucony Hurricane ISO, in hopes that going back to the Hurricane model will help to alleviate the annoying peroneus tendon tightness that comes back every now and then. I've also been trying to be diligent about rolling out my legs with the foam roller & Stick roller, and doing stretches after workouts and before bed. It's feeling better today, but this seems to be an up and down cycle so I'm just taking it day by day. I also did the pilates lower body workouts. There was some pretty intense quad moves and some lunges. I posted this pic on instagram because I truly felt like jello at the end.

The weird bump is my heart rate monitor.

Thursday - 3 miles @ easy pace. 30:12, average pace 9:45. This actually ended up being 3.10 miles since I overshot my out and back a little. My legs felt full of lead today, most likely due to the pilates workout I did Wednesday night. I had a great deep tissue massage on my lunch break today, and she really got in deep in my calves and peroneus muscle/tendons. She said I was super tight, which makes sense why I'm still having that pulling feeling in the tendons in my feet. Hopefully this will help! I tried doing some of the cardio workouts prescribed today from Blogilates, but my legs were just done. So I did some of the ab stuff and called it good.

Friday - Instead of getting a cross training workout in on the bike this morning, I opted for another hour of sleep. I went to bed sometime around 8:15 last night, and the sleep was badly needed. I may or may not do pilates tonight after work - it's a butt day!

Tomorrow I have 9 miles on the schedule. My running group is planning on meeting, despite the projected temperature of 0 degrees. I'm not so sure about that yet! I may do this on the treadmill instead. We'll see how brave I'm feeling...

Have you started training for anything yet? How's it going?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


It's the first Wednesday of the year, which also means that it's time for the Wednesday Word link-up with Deb Runs

Today, our word is Renewal - the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again.

This is the time of year when everyone has the best of intentions to really rock their year. The slate is clean, and we can turn 2016 into whatever we want! 

I am looking at this time period to kind of reset, start over, and freshen up some things in my life. Although I don't really set resolutions, I do have some goals in mind for 2016. Mostly, they include:

- running 2 marathons
- losing a few pounds
- cross training like a boss (strength training & stretching/recovery)
- being a better mom & wife

So far...I'm glad I still have a full year for these things. 

Running has been hit or miss  Well, I'm hitting the runs, but my body is still not so sure about it. I've been doing great at strength training with Pilates, but not so great at the recovery part. Specifically using my rollers. My hardest run this week and I didn't even glance at my rollers; until the following day when it became quite clear that I needed to get down on the floor and spend some quality time rolling out my tight muscles. 

Losing a few pounds? Well, it's early yet. So uh...yea. Moving on.

Being a better mom & wife is kind of vague. Last year, especially during marathon training, I felt like I was being a bit absent in those relationships. I was kind of just going through the motions, you know? During the holidays, we usually eat in our dining room which is open to the living room so that we can enjoy the Christmas tree and the decorations there. Since taking the decorations down, we've continued this instead of moving back to eating in our kitchen nook. I like it better because it feels slower for some reason. Maybe because the dishes in the sink aren't staring me in the face, waiting to be washed? Anyway, I've been trying to converse a bit more over dinner, and last night I even asked my daughter to come help me cook rather than just trying to do it all myself because that's easier. She helped me mix a sauce and then ran off to play again. But hey - baby steps. 

So, I'm renewing my outlook on my personal relationships, my physical goals, and my body in general.

What does Renewal mean to you? How are you working Renewal into your life? 

Link up and tell us about it!

Deb Runs

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year - Starting Right

Goooooo Vikings!

Ok, it's not like they won the Super Bowl or anything. But NFC division champs? I'll take it!

I admit, I am a fair-weather fan for the Vikings. I mean, it's not my home state, but I have to root for someone. I was pleased that the Lions beat the Bears, as well. It was a good football weekend!

New Year's Eve was pretty quiet for us - a yummy dinner followed by some puzzle making (Puzzle putting together? Not sure of the term here.), and then a "midnight" countdown for Emily courtesy of Netflix at 9pm. I am not above lying to my kid. Trav and I managed to stay up until midnight (much harder for me than him), and we got to sleep in on Friday morning! Well...if you consider 7:30 sleeping in. I do.

Travis took Emily sledding and ice skating with some friends. Our daughters are almost exactly a year apart and they go to daycare together, so it's fun getting together with them for stuff like this, too.

It was very bright!

Down she goes!

I guess Emily was very surprised at how difficult ice skating is. I'm sure with some more practice, she'll be skating with the best of them in no time. The chair in the picture was used to hold onto for balance while the girls learned to push themselves forward. It will definitely take some practice. 

Unfortunately, I didn't go because I was at home putting all the Christmas decorations away. It really is a full day's work! But it's nice to have the house back to normal. I also do not know how to ice skate, so I would have been on my butt just as much, if not more, than Emily!

The rest of the weekend was filled with the normal running, cleaning, laundry, etc. Boy, what an exciting life we lead! 

Are you starting 2016 off right? Do you know how to ice skate?