Saturday, November 29, 2014


Well, I can't say much for UPS in keeping the shipping status current, but no sooner did I fret that our new tree hadn't moved from Buffalo where it was stuck in the storm, than the status was changed to delivered!  So we have a tree after all.  That's a big relief to me since I won't be home with my folks until Dec. 19, and since I probably won't see snow in Dallas before then, having our tree up and decorated is really the main way for me to get into the holiday spirit. 

Thanksgiving was lovely.  Our local Turkey Trot is 8 miles and it's my longest streak race -- this was year number 11 in a row.  Not a PR, but not bad.  I ran about 20 seconds per mile faster than the plan, but the weather was nice and I was running with a friend, so it was great.  And the race itself was a grateful experience -- running in general, Dallas having awesome running weather for a fair amount of the year, a great running community (it's one of the largest trots in the country, something like 35,000 people, counting the 5k), and perhaps most of all, my running friends.  For the first year since my husband and I have been together, we didn't meet up with my buddies before the race.  We just went to the start, but within minutes of getting into the corral, we were with friends.  First, I ran into a guy I ran with about 4 years ago, then one of my original best boot camp buddies (who had actually just gotten off night shift, was going to run the race, then going home to sleep from 11 until 5, then working that night), then more and more friends I love that I've met through running.  The race was more of the same.  Running with one of my buddies, but running into friends along the way, former coworkers, neighbors, everything, so much fun to share some miles (or fractions thereof, as the case may be) with them.  It was a new course this year that didn't highlight the prettiest parts of the city, but the streets were full, there were plenty of costumes, it made me get all teary right in the middle of the race -- I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness and joy.  I'm a lucky girl and I know it. 

I've said it before, and in some ways it scares me -- I feel like life is so good it's just a matter of time before some shoe drops.  I suppose that's true actually, there is going to be a bump in the road.  It's hard to guess what it will be.  But I have to just enjoy this ride while it lasts.  Healthy, so in love, about to go visit my family next month, surrounded by friends who mean so much to me, a job I love, an amazing year wrapping up, all the material comforts I want, getting to see the world.  It just doesn't seem like it could get any better. 

After the trot, we came home to cook.  Our Thanksgiving contributions were mashed potatoes, olives and pickles, canned cranberry sauce, acorn squash halves filled with peas, rolls, and a dessert -- cranberry squares.  We had our big meal at my friend and her husband's house (he is my ex-boss).  One of his sons was there as well (just turned 16).  They made turkey (she's a vegetarian too, but neither of our husbands are), gravy, stuffing (in the bird and separate veggie stuffing for us), green bean casserole, glazed carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. 

The food was all amazing.  The downside to having been back from vacation for nearly a month is that our stomachs have returned to normal size and I wasn't able to eat nearly as much as I wanted.  I basically had a single plate full -- but it was very full.  And then two desserts.  We'd also had big bowls of greek yogurt with granola and blueberries after the race (plus a granola bar before and an orange in the car on the way home).  But then we had the big meal at about 3 and didn't eat again.  I was still full when we went to bed! 

In retrospect, it was funny because they really wanted to see our pictures from India and Nepal and Dubai so after we ate, we plugged the laptop into their tv and they looked at the pictures.  And they were both falling asleep.  It was like torture I bet -- here, look at 1,500 photos of India with an uncomfortably full belly and try to stay awake.  For us, it was kind of fun because it was the first time we'd really looked at the photos other than to pick out our Christmas card enclosure photos.  But they asked for it!  So we spent post-dinner looking at photos, sitting around talking, and then cleaning up the kitchen and packing up leftovers. 

Then Friday was spent primarily putting up the tree, and trimming it while listening to Christmas music.  Unfortunately for my husband, when we listen to our Christmas mix CDs, then it gets to be time to put on New Kids on the Block Christmas CD.  Oh, he hates it as much as I love it! 

I know CDs are so retro, but Christmas seems to be the only time I listen to them instead of digital music.

Anyway, as to the tree, I'm so glad we got it done.  We also ate two huge plates of leftovers, one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving.  I think we each have enough for about 2-3 more plates, then it will all be gone. 

Our new tree was 6 inches taller than our old one, and I think we could have gone up another 6 inches, but it seems to fit pretty well.  Sorry for the iphone pic, but here it is: 

The plan for the rest of the weekend is to go for my "last" "long" run in a little while, write out our cards (at least half of which I've already addressed!) today, come up with a baking list for cookies, see a movie (hubby wants to see Foxcatcher) and get organized -- put away decoration remnants and pick up in general.   Then tomorrow will be a shorter run, breakfast with some friends, some online shopping, Chinese class, and packing -- flying out for work on Monday! So much better than having to travel on Sunday and having it cut into my weekend.


  1. Well the tree looks great :)

    And I totally get what you are saying - because there ARE always bumps, but that is easy to mistake for 'we're too happy ... we're doomed!' haha.

  2. Love your race recap. It must have been awesome to share it with so many friends and to really enjoy it and for those feelings to feed even more feelings of gratitude. Glad your tree arrived. It looks beautiful! My family also coos me a veg stuffing. It's my favorite part of the meal. Oh, and I love the NKOTB CD tradition!!!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. And your tree is gorgeous. Seeing it decorated is motivating me to get my butt in gear and take down my Thanksgiving decorations, clean the house, and put up my Christmas stuff. I haven't put up a Christmas tree in years, but I think this year I'm going to get an artificial, pre-lit tree and put it up in my living room. Trees definitely add that extra something for the holidays. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. i did Austin's Turkey Trot for the first time this year and i loved it. ours is only 5 miles and really, i wish it had been 8 or 10. it was just a really good run and i still had so much left in the tank when it was done. the costumes of the other runners were so much fun!

    i love your tree! it's so pretty!