1. T-minus 10 days until my first ever half-marathon. Make that my first ever race. I have gotten into running the past few months and to make a long story short a half-marathon came onto my radar a couple weeks ago and I said "Sign me up!" The weather hasn't been all that cooperative to training, but the rain and wind and cold just help to build my mental stamina. Running has been one of the most redemptive acts in my life mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually and I am so excited to conquer this challenge. Here is me after the longest run of my life, 11.77 miles. I ran in the "December Storm" we had a couple weeks ago that included wind, pouring rain, and puddles up to my ankles. But I post this picture not to note my feat, but rather to point out that one should never wear a red article of clothing without washing it first. It bled all over my skin and I have the white turned pink bar of soap to prove it.
2. Watch me, mama! Max hit 8 months old a couple weeks ago and has never been busier - pulling himself up and cruising all over. Here is were I found him the other day...
but I thought the black hood would keep everyone from noticing that I am messing up the DVD player...
3. Daddy and Avila went on a date Saturday morning - out to breakfast at Shari's. (Hey, Cheri, Avila thought she was going over to your house and got all excited. Then, when she heard she was going out to eat she said, "I didn't know Cheri had a restaurant.") She got all dressed up and daddy let her have a corn dog and milkshake for breakfast. The date was a great idea, but secretly I think Michael was just craving a hamburger. :)
4. I am so glad Avila has maintained the innocence and beauty of the Advent season as she has no idea presents are coming in a couple days. I know it will be fun but I must admit I am a bit nervous. I just hope the green-eyed present monster doesn't rear it's ugly head like last year with a little girl crying out "more! more!" after the gift giving was finished. We're still praying about how to handle Santa and I know God will guide us to what is best for our family. Santa was a magical and fun experience for both Michael and I (and certainly didn't corrupt our faith), but we also want to do it in a way that points everything back to Christ as the reason for this beautiful celebration. Any ideas?
a picture from Jonathan and Shelley's annual Christmas dinner this past weekend
5. I have been doing some ettiquette lessons with Avila - mostly at the dinner table. She has learned how to use a knife to cut her food and we are working on the proper way to sit while we chew our food: utencil on plate, hands folded, wrists on table. Sounds kind of dorky, but at least it's working! When off to her date with daddy, she told me: "Don't worry mom, I won't put my elbows on the table. Just wrists!"
5. I finally had to swtich to a gluten-free host. Or, if one is not available I take the Precious Blood. It is quite amazing that such a small amount of wheat effects me like it does. After Mass I would get blinding migraines and bad stomach pain, and I told Jesus to stop making me sick. But all is better now. :)
6. This is so cute! It's making a nativity scene out of flower pots. I see a craft coming up in our near future...
7. I hope to write a post on how we have been saving $$$/couponing but for now I will leave you with my two biggest money savings tips: #1) bring your husband and a calculator every time you go to Costco. The former is for reason and the latter is for reality. and #2) stop shopping at Target. I swear I could never leave there without spending like $100 but I haven't been there since September 10th and my wallet thanks me.