Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 was a good one...

As I reflect on the last day of 2008 I realize what a wonderful year it has been. Dan and I both achieved our resolutions for 2008 by (me) running my first marathon and (Dan) getting a new job. On top of that I managed to start a photography business with my friend Blakely. I lost all and more of my baby weight and am now in the best shape I've ever been in. I feel great about where I am in my life and I have a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful little boys to boot. The best decision we ever made was moving to Charleston, SC. Seriously it doesn't get any better to live on the edge of the map. I think the salt air has done wonders for me emotionally, physically and spiritually!

Tonight we are celebrating the New Year at my friend M's house. We're bringing the kids with us and putting them down to sleep there and then celebrating a little more. I love fondue on New Year's Eve, but what I love more is Champagne. It's really my favorite libation. Can't wait to indulge in a little tonight!!! It should be fun! There are going to be 5 couples celebrating and all of their kids as well. Hopefully the kids will crash from the excitement.

We may bring our Rock Band Wii game over is awesome! I love the singing vocals. So much fun...that's what Dan got from me for Christmas. He got me a great gift as well. I have officially joined the 21st century and am now mobile...with the Photography business I felt as though I needed to have access to emails while on the road. Since I spend so much time in the minivan in the carpool lane, this is what he gave me.....The Blackberry Storm I love it, but now I know why they call the Blackberry a "crackberry"'s almost as addictive as Facebook!

Happy New Year...may 2009 bring health, happiness and prosperity!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas wrap-up...

We had a wonderful Christmas here in the Magnolia household. It's been hard to adjust somewhat to reality today as Daddy went back to work this morning. The house is so quiet now as all three boys are taking naps (including Harrison).

I must have spent 5 straight days in the kitchen. I loved every minute of it! For Christmas eve, I decided to make risotto, green beans with garlic and shallots and seared bay scallops. If you have not had jumbo bay scallops before, you must try them. I got them from Whole Foods and they were some of the freshest scallops I had ever eaten. I just added salt, pepper and olive oil and seared them for just a few minutes on each side....YUM! For dessert, I made a cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

Christmas morning I made Barefoot Contessa's Challah french toast...with orange zest-YUMMY! For Christmas dinner I did a Boneless Leg of Lamb with a rosemary-garlic crust...delicious!

The boys had a great Christmas. It was really fun to see it through their eyes again. Brady and Jack are also starting to really get into it...I imagine next year they will all really be into it. I haven't gone through my camera yet, but will post some pictures when I do. I had a really good time just hanging out with my family and enjoying the Christmas season. I'm sad to see it end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An unforgettable experience....

AHHHHH...the marathon! I've been mulling over in my head what I was going to say about the whole marathon experience on Saturday. These words come to mind....unforgettable. magical. extremely difficult. long. amazing. grueling...I took every minute of the race in as I ran it. From the starting line to the finish...I took it mile by mile.

As soon as I crossed the starting line the tears started streaming. I was here. I was running a marathon. I couldn't believe it. It was almost magical. The run started off extremely well. It was 26 degrees at the start, but I felt good. I seem to run better in the cold. The sun was out and there was no wind. I started running with the 4 hour pace group. Well, after enduring hill after hill after hill...I knew I wasn't going to finish in 4 hours, so I met up with the 4.5 hour group and settled in with them. I ran with a man for a while that was running his 70th marathon. He was amazing and very uplifting to run with. There were so many inspiring people running next to me. I heard someone say "Look at all of us. Running towards nowhere." I have to say I disagree, we all had somewhere to go or something to run for.

The first half of the race (which we were told was the most hilly, ended up not being so) was awesome. There were about 1000 marathoners and 2500 half-marathoners and we were all running together. At mile 12 we split from the halfs and that's where it got a little harder, mainly because there were now far less people and spectators. Also, I felt there were far more hills in the second half. It could have been that I was tired. Extremely tired. Every hill was a challenge going up. You could see several hills ahead and that made it worse. I have to say...I wanted to stop several times but I didn't....I didn't stop running the entire 26.3 miles...the course was actually 26.3, not cruel and unusual...because believe me...that .10 of a mile hurt because it was all uphill! I kept telling myself to 'keep going, dig deep'. Crossing the finish line with my family watching, my arms in the air symbolizing victory, the medal going around my neck...I'll never, ever forget that!! My garmin time was 4:23:26...not too bad for my first marathon and a very hilly one at that! Did I also mention over 3000 calories burned? You better believe I had a great post-race meal with no guilt!

I'm feeling great's day 4 post-marathon. I actually feel like I could go for a run. I'm not, I'm going to give my body a week to recover. Running is now in my blood. Do I want to run another? Yes I do! I've now got the fever. I found out on Saturday that Charleston is going to have a marathon in Jan 2010...The Lowcountry Marathon! I'm super excited because it should be a nice, flat course which is what I trained on.

I set a goal, set my mind to it and did it. Trust can do anything you set your mind too. It also feels good to say that I am a Marathon Mommy!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

T minus 8 days...

until this marathon gets here. For those of you just tuning in, I am running the Charlotte Marathon next Saturday!! It gives me goosebumps just to write this. I have been planning this race all year. In fact, it was my New Year's Resolution for 2008, so it's been a long time coming. I am 30 miles to making my goal of running 1000 miles in 2008. With the marathon and a few runs between then, I'm well on my way. Right now I'm at 971.5..think of where I could have run if I would have run that straight...ha! ha!

Some people have asked me WHY I am doing this? Why not? I'm young (sort of), healthy and in good shape. When my sister's life was suddenly taken from us 10 years changed my thinking on lots of things...don't put off tomorrow, what you can do today. She was a runner and track athlete and I'd like to think that she would be a runner today. So when I run sometimes I think how nice it would have been for us to do something like this together. She is with me in spirit every step I take on those runs...I'm running for her and all of the other family members I've lost.

Dan lost his grandmother earlier in the week and I can't help to think of her while I run too.

In other very sad news, this family lost their wife, mother, sister, daughter yesterday and I am truly saddened by this. One minute she was taking her kids to the park and the next day she was in a hospital fighting for her life...Life is precious, fleeting, fragile.

I'm not trying to be a downer today...just brutally honest. I've said it before and I'll say it again...please, please squeeze your husband, wife, children tight and extra tight and tell them that you love them over....and over again!

I've been trying to think of something to wear on race day next Saturday...something that sums up this whole experience. I found the PERFECT running tech (dri fit) tee and I think it fits the it is....

because...well...LIFE IS GOOD! So.very.good...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the season...

I just love this time of year. Now that I have children I love it even more. I love living Christmas through their eyes. Every year I vow to enjoy it and I'm proud to say that I do! My shopping is completely 100% done. Now I have the rest of the month to make gingerbread houses, look at lights, bake cookies and spend time with my family. Life is good...

A few years ago, both sides of the family made an agreement to buy only for the kids and I have to's been easier. Really, is there anything that we need? If so, we'll just buy it ourselves. Harrison really doesn't NEED anything and all he says he wants is a "black Polar Express train". Well, he's not getting the $250 dollar one, but a much, much, much cheaper one that is indeed black. Will he know the difference?

Brady and Jack love the tree. Everytime they see it they just smile the biggest smiles. They actually don't bother it...just stand there looking at each other and smiling. It's the sweetest thing! They are becoming fast friends, actually all of 3 of them.

I'm just sitting in my quiet house right now, with the tree lit, Christmas music playing, fireplace going and my cookie candle...and am enjoying every minute. As we all know, live the life you want to be living right now....Merry Christmas!