Great news!


I told you recently about the potential catastrophe that occurred when my external hard drive froze and my pictures, *ALL* of my life's pictures (Christmases, wedding, babies, birthdays, everything), were possibly lost.  Well I have great news to share!!!! The company that we found in California (God bless you smart computer savvy Californians) saved 90 percent of my pictures.  Forty two thousand and something to be exact!  May I highly, oh so highly, recommend Drive Savers to you if you are ever foolish like me and don't back up your favorite family photos. Thank you Drive Savers!!!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you! Thank you!  I'll be spending LOTS of time in the coming weeks saving my pictures to online backups and burning CD's!

Next, just a couple random thoughts for ya.

Gap is giving clothes away friends, giving them away.  Please go now.

Mint skinnies, $70 marked down to $18. Beautiful.

I've been dreaming of mint capris ever since I saw this on Pinterest.

Adorable plaid ruffle shirt, to feed my plaid ruffle addiction.  On sale for less than $20.

I also stopped by Lululemon, which my mother hysterically refers to as Lemon Lime.  They are NOT having a sale (HA!) but I used my giftcard and bought the Run for your Life capris.  THEY ARE FABULOUS! I love the seam down the back-middle leg and they are a wonderful, shiny, soft smooth fabric. I cheap it on tops but for pants, I like the good stuff.  I'll be needing another pair;) Thank you Grace (and company!) for the gift card:)

Also picked up this adorbs running shirt from GapFit (thanks Lansing and company!)  While I'm typically happy to run in Old Navy compression tops, I must say, this one feels like butter.  I loooove it.  I got it in deep purple because I sweat like a man but they have beautiful happy bright colors.

Go shopping friends--good for the soul:)

Christmastime 2012


It has been so merry here in Tennessee! We had a great Christmas. I can honestly say it's been the best Christmas I can remember since I was a kid I think.  The boys are at really fun ages, the Elf has really kept them in line (wink wink), we've spent time together, eaten great food, and made great memories.

Christmas eve we went to church. The candle light service is my favorite of the year.  Beautiful!

A favorite picture of the boys, yay for impromptu photo shoots, they're always the best. Turtlenecks and corduroy, sigh, I love it.

Christmas morning the boys came downstairs so excited. They got so much stuff (really, what didn't they get?!) Santa brought race cars and tracks, a cash register, alarm clocks (weird I know, but they were on the list!), playmobile cars, airplanes, Angry Birds games and such, and for the finale, a great big bounce house.  Oh yeah!

Nothing like trying out the bounce house in your Christmas pj's when it's 30 degrees!!!

Daddy's so cute.

Grandma and Grandpa sent trains and bed tents and Hess trucks, etc.

Gee thanks Grandma, how lovely;) (just kidding!!)
Nana and Papa brought giant remote control cars, tubs of crayons, pj's, etc.

Aunt Sarah sent remote control trucks and Angry Birds games.  Aunt Grace, Uncle Davey, and our 4 favorite cousins sent games, pj's, giant crayons, books, homemade peppermint bark, etc. (Not to mention, a Lululemon gift card for my birthday, but that's coming in another post;).

So many friends, neighbors, and relatives sent beautiful gifts and cards to our family -- and I have to say, it isn't about the gifts of course, just the presence of wonderful people in our lives that makes my heart full.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas:)

I'm still here:)


Hi friends! Life here lately is on the brink of crazy and I'm sure you know what that's like. We are trying to tie up loose ends before Christmas, make sure we didn't miss anything, wrap, run countless errands, bake cookies, and eat and sleep in our spare time.  I have some updates for you though! As usual, random!

1.  Let's start with this -- Merry Christmas!!
Sweet Birdies' Nest created my cards and I *loved* them.  Loved them!  Thanks so much ladies. They also did the boys' birthday cards this year and they were precious:)

2.  I don't think I ever shared the fact that the MRI of my knee showed no tears.  (If I did, oops, I'm senile and I'm sharing it again.) What it did show was some reeeaaaally roughed up cartilage. My knee cap tracks incorrectly and has wreaked havoc on the cartilage.  My doctor has chosen a conservative method of treatment (surgery likely isn't going to be necessary!) and is letting pain be our guide. I have a cool new brace to run in that keeps my kneecap where it should be and I'm working with PT to strengthen all surrounding muscles to lessen the load my knees carry. I am running 3 or so days a week (which is about to get amped up after the new year), 2 three to five milers and long runs on the weekends (6-8).  I'm carefully increasing my mileage this time.

I'm also doing shorter faster runs to try and build speed. Not necessarily fartleks (although I did that yesterday, go ahead and laugh at that fantastic word, it is Swedish for "speed play" if you're not a runner) but I'm reading a book called The Art of Running Faster (Jillian Goater/Don Melvin) which has introduced some new techniques and ideology.  I'm working on my form and hoping to join a running group to properly train for the half in April.  I'm going to mix some 5 and 10K's in along the way.  Should be good times!  P.S.  I have hardly any pain in my knees at the moment--amazing!!! P.P.S. My Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's are the most perfect shoe for me and I LOVE running in them.  Gotta have the right gear:)

2.  I tweaked some things in the boys' rooms and I love the changes.  One thing: I found that I got what I paid for regarding fabrics.  $3.50 per yard fabric, not so great.  However, $20 per yard fabric from Lewis & Sheron Textiles, pretty fabulous, very worth it. LS is at the bottom.  Great place to find fabric!

3.  I tried a green drink from Whole Foods, in part to look cool and in part because I am a stickler for veggies daily.  This one had kale, celery, apples, and some other stuff that I forgot.  I found it weird to drink celery but I didn't hate it.  I just wish they sold smaller cups.  Better portion size needed and I'll be a fan.

5.  I had a little preliminary birthday dinner with some close friends and it was so fun! I share a birthday week with Sara and it was a barrel of laughs to celebrate together.  So blessed! So grateful!

Laughed until it hurt and ate chocolate cake! What could be better?

P.S. My hubs bought me this cute dress from Anthro for my b-day, would you believe this is my first dress from there?! Woohoo!

A day of silence


Friday Funny


I saw this at Target and had to share (for the Christian Grey fans), ha!!!

Happy Friday!

These are a few of my favorite things


Do y'all remember how Oprah used to do her favorite things show every year?  Of course you do. I loved it.   She still does it in her magazine and as I was looking it over the other day I was inspired.  So I decided to make a list myself!

Disclaimer:  If you are one of my family members please refrain from robbing a bank and buying me this list. :) It's for fun blog purposes only.

Here you go!

I love to lounge.  Victoria's Secret Pink is a longtime favorite.  So soft and comfy. I love the boyfriend pants and the super soft tees.

Cute slippers.  We try not to wear shoes in our house and I've destroyed all of my socks as a result so I love little slippers these days. These are from Loft.

Running gear!

!st column: Old Navy compression jacket, GapFit pants. I have both of these and love them.

2nd column: Garmin Forerunner 10, Lululemon brisk run gloves, Swiftwick socks.
I always wear Swiftwicks, they are my lucky socks:) Plus they are made right here in Tennessee and I'm a loyal girl.  My hands freeze so good gloves are a must. These Lulu's are on my list, I love them! I'm also planning to get a good watch to help control my pace and take training to the next level.  Runners, what watch do you like? This Garmin Forerunner 10 is a pretty good price compared to other models, should I invest in a better one or will this do?

3rd column: Lulu wishlist:) Runder Under long sleeve shirt and Run for your Life crops.  Love!!

K-cups!  They feed my coffee addiction! I dearly love that making a cup of coffee is so easy.

Photography stuff! This book is on my list.  I shot pictures for a couple of friends this year and they really inspired me--I hope I can take it to the next level next year and reeeeaaaally polish the skills.  So grateful to them for trusting me to do their pictures and for believing in me:) I know, that sounds sappy but it meant a lot to me.

Monogram necklace: these are everywhere and I love them.  Guess I'll jump on board this train too.

Pandora charms.  My mother in law gave me this bracelet years ago for my birthday and she, my mom, and Mr. C are working to fill it up.  It's a favorite! Mr. C recently surprised me with a charm that has a sneaker on it for my running. I loved it, I'm such a cheeseball.

Okey dokey, did I leave anything out?  If you have some favorites, share them!

Mama said there'd be weekends like this


Well, do I tell you we had a fabulous weekend, or do I tell you the truth?  :) There were definitely some highlights but we didn't start off so great.

Bad news first:  Friday we realized my external hard drive was failing.  And I save ALL of my pictures onto this drive.  Mr. C likes for me to do this to keep my computer running quickly.  And so it's what we do. But when I was editing Christmas card photos this year, I had some trouble with the hard drive being slow and not loading some of the photos.  We actually did not panic.  Just figured it was no biggie because the hard drive is pretty new.

I took the drive to Geek Squad where they determined it was quote "On it's way out".  So I still didn't panic, I paid them to do some data extraction.

They called me Saturday and told me they couldn't retrieve any files.  Now I panic.

That means I've potentially lost every picture we've taken for the past 5 years (and beyond).  The pictures of me in the hospital on the days my children were born, family vacations, my wedding, firsts, Christmases, birthdays, our documented lives.  Locked up in a hard drive that won't read.

To say I was upset would be an understatement.  My heart was broken and I thought I was going to throw up.  I know it isn't the end of the world. I know far worse things can happen.  But I'm still sad:( And I'm SO disappointed in myself for not keeping them in additional places.  Sure, I have hard copies here and there, but I didn't archive outside of that hard drive.  Boo hoo!!!! How did I overlook that?  I'm so mad at myself.

We are in the process of finding a company/lab to try and extract my files and I'm really hopeful.  Mr. C's computer will read the drive, it just won't open any files.  So we are hopeful that a lab can save my pictures.

I'll let you know how things go someday soon hopefully.

Now let's focus on the positive!

Frickles from Burger Up, always a good thing!  Since I had run 8 miles that morning I decided to be healthy (er) and get the quinoa / black bean burger.  Then I sat there drooling over Mr. C's juicy bison burger with fried jalepenos.  I will be ordering a REAL burger next time.  So many lessons this weekend!

Wine, always a good thing.

Boys, always the light of my life.

Holiday plaid, a good thing.

Friends and their beautiful Christmas cards, precious.

Teamwork at Home Depot; priceless.

Hope you've had a happy Monday:)



It seems I can't get lots of time at the computer these days so this post will have to cover a lot, aka be random.  Here's what's up!

  • Last weekend was great!  We went to a friend's birthday party, I shot some family pictures for a good friend (so fun!), and then we got our Christmas tree.  Here she is!  And thank you to the kind lady who offered to take our picture, I'm finally in one, yay!

  • Thank you to my sweet blog friend Sara who sent me the prettiest notecards (that she made) --  gorgeous! 

  • Today I have an appointment with my orthopedic Dr. to go over the results of my MRI.  You know what? I'm not even nervous.  I know my knee is fine.  I just know.  Yesterday I ran the fastest mile of my life, a 7:19 (woohoo!).  I know that's not fast for many, but I ran 12 minute miles in high school (not a fast girl here!) so that's an improvement.  I have had great runs lately and finished a 6 miler on Sunday with almost no pain.  I felt like doing cartwheels!  I reeeeaaally want to run another half.  The next one planned is in April, the St. Jude Country Music Half, and I'm planning to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington next fall (the WHOLE 26.2, eek!). I had hopes of running New York but I'm not likely to get in.  But that's okay! I'm excited to get past this injury and train.  It has become such an important part of my life and brings me so much joy.  Plus it makes my jeans fit better.  And workout clothes are comfy.

  • I'm trying a new face cream, Korres wild rose.  It has no chemicals, gets great reviews, and I hope I love it. I'll let you know!

  • My Christmas cards are done and on their way--thank you to Sweet Birdie's Nest for creating my favorite card to date!  Love!
  • Did you see the thing on Pinterest about stringing your Christmas lights up and down the tree instead of all around?  Since I'm the light hanger in my house I decided to try it and it worked so well!  I finished in 3 seconds and wasn't covered in sap with pine needles in my pants.  Thank you Pinterest. The boys selected colorful lights for the second year in a row.  I prefer white, but it's not about me;)

  • So excited for Christmas this year, the boys are so darling and it's funny to hear their little conversations about it.  I need to start recording some of them!

  • I want to spend a million dollars at JCrew.  I can normally keep myself out of trouble by not going into the store but I stopped in last week and just wandered around daydreaming.  I want to hug and kiss this plaid shirt.  I did not leave with it, but I wanted to.

And this plaid skirt.  Adorable.

Happy day friends!  Linking with Shanna for Random Wednesday!

Playing catch-up!


Hey friends! I've missed you!  Let me try and catch you up quickly (idea loosely based on Christina's 'currently' post).

The following photos should be part of that Awkward Family Photos game...

Thanksgiving:  It was great! In spite of the looks on my family's faces, dinner was yummy and we had fun.

I mean really.

This one's blurry, but at least they smiled!

Currently reading:

Have been working on:  Christmas cards.  Finally finished editing pictures and Sweet Birdie's Nest is on the job:)

Favorite meal this week: Hot and Sour Thai Soup: Tom Yum Goong by Tyler Florence; that's a mouthful! I was a bad blogger and didn't take a picture. Here's the recipe, it's delicious and easy but has a few specialty ingredients so you'll need to head to Whole Foods.

Currently wearing: big cozy sweaters. It's cold, brrrr. My sweet mama treated me to this one from Loft.

Also wearing Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's.  More later, but in a nutshell, I'm in love with these shoes.  I had an MRI yesterday and will update my knee situation soon. Had 2 runs this week with no pain! Woo hoo!

Oops, I wore my compression sock backwards, who does that?:)

Currently watching: The Voice, Revenge, and NASHVILLE.

Current favorite treat: these truffles from Whole Foods. I eat one (yes, just one:) every night with a cup of decaf. So good!

Currently enjoying: watching my little men decorate for Christmas:) It's priceless.

So glad it's Friday, what a busy week! Y'all have a great weekend!