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In Our Neck Of The Woods….

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it encourages me to take more pictures of what’s going on around me. Big Kid and Peanut love this, too, since it gives them an excuse to “help” (and yes, both Big Kid and Peanut can take pictures with my phone…and yes, they’re still three and one) me find things on our walks and whatnot to photograph (iPhone=professional camera obviously). Joe is not nearly as amused as the boys when it comes to taking pictures of anything and everything is tasty and/or entertaining to me but goes along with it very well at this point, and everyone else in my life is just used to me liking random pictures. Where was I going with this? I have not the slightest clue, but here are some of the recent happenings in our neck of the woods.

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Best dinner ever. Buffalo burgers on pretzel buns, cocktails with cherries (obviously), pita chips, and the most amazing hummus known to man. It’s made by a store right around the corner from Big Kid and Peanut’s house and is eaten by the spoonful when it gets to ours. I love Friday dinners.

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Ah, my little tour guide. That was coincidentally the nickname my parents gave me anytime we went on vacation growing up because I was determined to plan every minute of every day that we were away. I was a blast let me tell you. One of Big Kid’s new favorite things to do is look at the map of any park we go to around his house and plan out our walks. He also likes to say “Have you heard?” any time he tells me something new “yeah, yeah, yeah” anytime we’re having a conversation or I’m talking with his mom. Mini teenager to a T.

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Apocalypse now. Ok, fine, not really, but I am always the first one to finish their meal. Always. My reign ended on Saturday afternoon during lunch at The Urban Tap (surprisingly good food for a pub/bar). Joe said he was really hungry. I thought he was kidding. He was not. I was shamefaced for the rest of the afternoon.

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We found this on one of our park excursions. I thought it was cool because the last time we were here, this bench was painted to resemble an American Flag. Big Kid thought it was cool because we are in the midst of making every type of turkey known to man to decorate his house for Thanksgiving. Peanut thought it was cool because he loves animals and calls each and every one “kitty” because they have cats, so that’s the animal he sees the most. So we were all made happy by this bench for incredibly different reasons, and we all went home for lunch with smiles on our faces. Win.

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6 miles finished by 6:15. A.M. with Joe. I love this man, but he loathes getting up early. He whined two weeks ago about getting up after 9 on a Sunday to go run with Danielle and her man at 9:30 because it was “too early.” Now who is this person who has gotten up before 5:30 three weeks in a row (and twice at 4:45, including yesterday) to run before work with me? I have no idea, but methinks he’s pretty fab :)

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My mind was blown on Sunday evening. I had gone upstairs to write Monday’s post because I was getting too distracted by whatever Joe was watching on tv. I came back downstairs an hour later and found the above basket waiting for me. Usually household laundry is on my weekly chore list, so I expected to have to go downstairs, change everything over, and fold it later. This was not the case Sunday, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled (I loathe folding any and all laundry). Thanks babe :D

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Best Target find ever. Even better alongside warm milk or hot chocolate. This was the first sweet thing that Joe and I ever reached for at the same time during our shopping trip. Actually, it was the first time I’ve ever seen him reach for a sweet thing, since we all know I have the sweet tooth in the relationship, and he handles everything else. Definite winner here.

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I thought the colors on this tree were absolutely gorgeous. Big Kid completely disagreed but had fun taking the picture anyway. He’s very against the color red right now because it’s not a “Pirates color” (black and yellow), but he’s always happy for an excuse to play with my phone ;)

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Rest day Mondays= pancakes for breakfast. I made the batter Sunday night (using this recipe…hands down, my favorite, go-to recipe for regular pancakes….only switch I make is Greek yogurt for sour cream, since we always have the yogurt and never have sour cream) and only had to cook them on Monday morning, making this easy peasy (there’s a reason I work with children). It was a great way to start off another week and will hopefully become a weekly tradition from here on out!

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Thanksgiving explosion. For someone who wanted nothing to do with Thanksgiving crafts, Big Kid sure warmed up to them once I showed him how fun they are to make in so many different ways (and bribed him to sit still for ten minutes with candy corn…he loves it even more than I do…I didn’t think that was possible). Now his favorite after nap time activity (if we can’t do for a “night walk” of course) is to make turkeys with his hand prints and then add them to his window display. Peanut likes the “kitties,” too. Oh, and when I asked Peanut what a cow says yesterday while holding up a toy cow, he replied, “Ding ding ding ding.” We may have a problem on our hands.

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I started reading Running and Being by George Sheehan this weekend and was incredibly intrigued by the last paragraph in the prologue. Thoughts?


BEST. BROWNIE. EVER. As much as I love to bake and try out recipes I find online, I have never left for work early to stop at the grocery store on the way so that I could go straight home from the boys and recreate a recipe. That changed yesterday morning after I read Becky‘s post containing Triple Layer Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies from Monday. Many spoons were licked in the making of these brownies, and I have the patience of Peanut when it comes to sweets, so no the ganache is not fully hardened (read: not at all), but they were amazing regardless; Joe said so, too, and he doesn’t like sweets nearly as much as I do (I know, weirdo), so you know it really means something. Make these immediately and enjoy with a huge glass of milk :)

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Big Kid and Peanut are wild men on the swings. Their shrieks of laughter fill the air and leave no doubt to anyone that the park is occupied. Puts a huge smile on my face every time.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

What’s new in your neck of the woods? Do you enjoy hand print turkeys and maps as much as Big Kid? Favorite new Target find and/or recipe?

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34 thoughts on “In Our Neck Of The Woods….

  1. 1. I just can’t see Joe getting up early to RUN but woo way to go Joe!
    2. Speaking of Joe – he did the laundry for you? What a man.
    2. Your little guys are growing up way to quick & are such smart little boys
    3. I want to devour that hummus by the spoonful
    4. Of course you ordered cherries in your drink.. duh!

    Have a lovely day <3 Can we have a phone sess soon? Miss you.

    • Haha i almost fell over when he asked if he could go with me on one of my morning runs and made sure he knew what time we’d have to get up to get the miles in. He’s been a champ, though, and I’m glad for the company :) i can’t get over how big the boys are getting…wish they’d slow down a bit! And a phone sess would be awesome! I have all next week off so we can make it happen then :)

  2. Way to go Joe! He’s a winner in my book.. early runs and folded laundry?! He needs to talk to Aaron :) I won’t understand the lack of desire for sweets for him, though. Unacceptable ;) Love all the walks you go on with the boys! So fun!!

    • Haha seriously i almost fell over because usually I’m sitting next to him on the couch folding laundry and he’s oblivious (which is fine, since he does most of the cooking). I’ll send him Aaron’s way ;) the walks with the boys have been fun although they’re definitely getting fewer and further between thanks to the weather :( I’m not ready for winter yet

  3. I love that Peanut calls all animals “kitty” – kids say the darnedest things! I’ve been going back and forth about what dessert to make for Pie Night next week.. prettttty sure I’ll be making those brownies now that you and Becky have both RAVED about them.

    • Seriously, it’s hilarious. He learned to quack like a duck this week, too, so he does that whenever he’s asked what an animal says :P that or “ding ding ding ding” thanks to the fox song…you MUST make those brownies. They’ll put all the pies to shame ;)

    • Haha hey now, he asked me if he could come, fully knowing what that would mean since he has to leave the house by 7:30. Caitlin forced him to do nothing ;) I’m definitely impressed that he’s continued to do it and enjoy the company even if he won’t talk haha. Getting outside with the boys is definitely one of my favorite things to do with them. We all come back with smiles!

  4. Pancake breakfasts on weekdays, no less? So jealous. It seems like you’ve really converted joe over to the dark side aka the best side aka the running side. You are one lucky girl ;) Peanut and Big Kid crack me up reading about them, so I can only imagine how hilarious they are to spend the day with in person!

    • Haha I know…only reason it happened was because i made the batter the night before and wasn’t running late from a run or the gym :P i’m definitely glad to have a running buddy on days when Danielle is busy haha…he says he’s considering a few halfs next year too. He’ll be signing up for a full before we know it ;) as long as we’re far from nap time, they’re characters ;) we all get a little cranky around then but feel much better after some rest!

  5. We’re couple opposites! My boyfriend’s favorite dessert is brownies and I’m not really much of a sweets person. I’m a nachos and hot wings person ;) Also, did Big Kid take that photot of the red tree? That’s super impressive!

    • Hahaha that’s Joe to a T. Anything spicy and salty is his fav. He has been eating sweets when I bake them, though, which is good ;) big kid did not take the pic of the tree, but you will see two big kid originals in Fridays post :P

  6. so many good treats all in one post! i want to make those brownies too but since doug isn’t into sweets that much i’m not sure how they’d go over. i might try them anyway because they look that good. i wish i could institute monday morning pancakes into my routine – it’s not like they’d take that much longer than oatmeal to cook but for some reason they just seem more complicated to me. maybe i need to try that recipe though because those look totally worth it.

    • Do it. Seriously. Joe and I were both amazed at how good they were and he took one for after lunch today which is a first! If you want to give pancakes during the week a go, make the batter the night before! Then all you have to do is cook them…even less work than oats ;)

  7. Oh my gosh. Can I have Peanut, please? He just sounds too adorable. Kitty. I LOVE IT. Those brownies look absolutely insane, and if I had motivation I would bake them myself, but since I don’t, I think you should just come hang out with me and bake them for me, kay? Kay. Glad we’ve got that all figured out :P I did pin them, though, so maybe someday I’ll make them. And by “maybe” I mean “quite likely.”

    In regards to Running and Being, I think there are a TON of parallels between running and writing. I’ve been a runner for 2.5 years and a writer for, mmm, like 19 years, and I think it’s not a coincidence. I mean, look up ANY collection of quotes regarding writing a novel, and change “writing” to “running,” and you’ve instantly changed that collection of quotes in quotes regarding training for a marathon. It’s uncanny. Persistence, drive, dedication, motivation, a little bit of crazy: you need all of these things to be a runner, and you need all of these things to be a writer. And then of course there’s the whole therapy aspect. Running and writing, without question, are the most effective forms of self-care for me. I honestly don’t usually think when I run, or if I do think, it’s about what’s happening in the moment, (“Oh look. My hip flexor hurts. AGAIN. Why is this still a thing? Also, it’s cold.”) which not only is beneficial for the whole “be present” thing, but also helps me stop thinking about whatever has been on my mind/bugging me that day. When I write, I’m able to process through whatever has been on my mind/bugging me that day. Both are useful in different situations, but in ANY situation both help me calm down and center myself. I could go on and on about this for days (clearly ;) ).

    • Peanut is currently bundled up and waiting for you to get him on the porch after his behavior earlier ;) He’ll be in a much more adorable mood since he took a long nap in the meantime! Haha you made me smile with that last paragraph. It’s silly, but I never thought about how similar running and writing is. It makes complete sense now that I read it and read everything you said, but I never saw it before!

  8. I love this post!! It’s so nice to hear a little bit about your life! It sounds to me like your man has been bitten by the running bug! It might be a small bite right now, but I bet it’s going to spread to a full-on rash! Haha okay I don’t know why I had to use that metaphor to the point where it got gross, but you know what I mean.

    I love the paragraph about running and writing. Writing is always, always a labor of love. It is true – you can hardly ever say exactly what you want to say, what you feel, what you mean. I love writing and I love running, so maybe I should read that book!

    • Hahaha ahh I love the small bite now, huge rash coming idea! He’s thinking about some halfs in the spring so I think you may be right. He’ll be signing up for a full with me before we know it! I loved that quote too. the book itself is very interesting and thought provoking to me thus far. I don’t agree with some of the things sheehan has said, but i can’t lie that he’s given me a lot to think about so I definitely think it’s worth a read!

  9. Make them at once girl! Easy and delicious…you just can’t go wrong! I never pictured joe getting up this early either haha but he’s definitely handling it well! I’m excited to continue this :)

  10. Before blogging I took a lot less pictures too. And still I only post about 1% of the pictures that I take… maybe less. Haha :)

    The batter is always the best part. I will need to pin that brownie recipe for future reference.

    I believe I am the only non-target shopper here. Of course I’ve been there (we may go 3 times a year or so) but not very often. I feel like I’m just missing something :P

    • Haha I need to stop putting so many on instagram. They end up being reused and everyone has already seen them so there are no surprises. I agree with you that the batter being the best part, too. I always lick the spoon regardless of the threat of raw eggs. I’m a rebel ;) I think you need to come visit soon. Probably just need someone who loves target to infect you with the target spirit ;)

  11. I’m sitting on the couch crying a little with tears of joy reading this blog! Daddy and I both forgot that we used to call you “tour guide!” This brought back so many funny memories of the trips “you” used to plan! And yes, my darling daughter, you were a ton of fun and ALWAYS a source of pride! I love seeing your pictures and your accompanying thoughts! Love you always “Tour Guide”

  12. That’s awesome that Joe is becoming your morning running buddy! You must be one heck of a good motivator (or a good nagger haha). Want to motivate me to workout in the mornings too? I have a feeling I’m going to get sick of my new 5:30 pm workout time very soon. :P

    Holy moly those brownies look amazing. I need to do some baking!

    • Hahaha he would probably say I’m a good nagger, but this is all his doing. He asked to come and knew what that would mean (having to get up super early), and he’s been a trooper. I’d b happy to get you up if you need some help any time ;) And make those brownies asap! They’re amazing :)

    • Joe would say I’m a good nagger haha but this was all him. He knew what time we’d have to get up and did it anyway :P I’ll motivate you anytime you want haha ;) and definitely bake these brownies!

  13. Pingback: Fun Facts Friday | Chasing Chels

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