Tag Archives: Nick’s family

STL Weekend, Part II

Sunday morning in STL was wonderful for several reasons.

  1. Mac let me sleep in until 7:30.
  2. I got to sneak away for another nice run.
  3. The Cardinals won the ballgame the night before!

Everyone was kinda sleeping in and moving slow on Sunday morning, so I had one large mug of coffee before heading out on another run on the Maramec Bottom Trail.

photo(108)It was way too pretty for me not to stop quickly and snap a few pics. Plus breathing breaks are always good. 🙂 Especially when your struggling to breathe in the cold air.

photo(5)It was pretty darn cold outside yesterday morning, but I stayed fairly warm in my long sleeves and ear warmer. Next item to purchase for my winter running: thermal gloves that I can use with my iPhone. My fingers were about frozen on the shady parts of the path. But it was almost too pretty for me to care.


No filter needed!
No filter needed!

The path runs along the Maramec river, and the views were extra beautiful during the quiet morning. I made it to 8 miles in a little over an hour with a slightly slower pace than my Saturday run.

I headed back to Nick’s parents house sweaty, tired, and almost frozen. I didn’t realize how cold I was until I had a hot cup of coffee in my hands. I had a quick cup of Chobani Greek yogurt before I took a long, hot shower to warm up.

The rest of the morning was spent shopping with Karen, Nick’s momma. She is an awesome bargain hunter, so I love going on shopping trips with her. We went to Ulta to spend the gift card she gave me for my birthday, and then went into Target where I spent wayyyy to much money. What is it about Target that makes women spend 3x the money they intended on spending?! Anyways, I was excited to find a few Christmas presents, some running gear, and some seasonal coffee!

photo(104)I already tried this Caramel Apple coffee this morning, and it is absolutely amazing. Not too appley, and it was even good with my pumpkin spice creamer. I think I’ll have it again in the morning!

I also found Mac’s Halloween costume for Thursday night…

photo(101)He’s a ferocious T-Rex!!


He is so scary. The large hat and tiny arms on this costume sold me. I couldn’t stop laughing at it in the store, so I knew I had to bring it home.

photo(102)Doesn’t he look happy?? Well maybe it’ll make him happier to wear it Thursday night while the trick-or-treaters come around. It will at least get him some good attention!

After we made it home from shopping (and Mac tried on his costumer), we had a quick lunch and packed up the car to head home. I drove so Nick would hold Mac and relax on the drive back, so most of the trip went like this.

photo(103)Mac is a cool dude. Or at least he thinks so.

All-in-all it was an awesome weekend, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so we can go back to visit again!

Have a great Monday night, everyone. I’ll see you all tomorrow! I’m debating getting up early for a little run. We’ll see what my body decides to do in the morning. :)Nighty night!


STL Pre-Birthday Weekend

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?? I hope yours was as much fun as mine! We arrived home yesterday evening around 6:30 which left me in a rush to get everything sorted out before the work week began! But it was worth it. We had so much fun visiting Nick’s family!

We arrived to Nick’s parents house around 8 pm on Friday night. Traffic was fairly light for a Friday evening, so I was pleasantly surprised! We had a nice dinner at home and headed to bed pretty early. We were all ready for some sleep after working all day and driving all evening!

Jazzercise + Tempo Run

Saturday morning started wayyyyy too early. Mac started getting restless around 5:30 am because he heard Nick’s two golden retrievers moving around in the living room. So we all decided to get up and have some early coffee. And after that, I headed off to take a Jazzercise class!

photo(93)This was my morning drive over to the Jazzercise center close to Arnold, MO. Four lane highway is a bit of a change of pace for me at 7 am! I made it with no problems though and stood in the back (I barely made it on time!).

photo(99)I love standing in the back of classes at this center. The women are all so energetic and friendly – plus they do the quirkiest things during class. I want to be able to take it all in!

The owner of the center came in while I was there, and I was happy to see her! Jan owns the center there in Arnold, but she is also a trainer for new Jazzercise instructors. So she is the wonderful lady that certified me and did my training back in June 2012! We’ve stayed in touch ever since, and I love dropping into her classes. While we were chatting, I asked that she recommend some local trails or somewhere safe where I could get a run in. She recommended a nice, paved trail that was less than a mile from the Jazzercise center. So after class and this quick convo, I headed back home to put on some running clothes and then back over to this trail.

The trail had a nice parking lot and several other vehicles were there – seemed fairly safe and legit! So I put on my ear warmer and took off in a hurry!

I was shooting for around 8 miles. My training schedule only called for 6 miles this week, but the trail was 2 miles long end-to-end, so I figured down and back twice would be perfect for a longer run. By the time I was headed back the first time, I was completely sick to my stomach and getting side cramps really bad. It wasn’t until I finished that I realized I was just running way too fast! I completed the 4 miles with a pace of 7:59 per mile. That was my first time breaking the 8:00 min/mile barrier, so I was pleased with that, just not pleased with my distance. So I called it my training ‘tempo run’ and headed back home to get ready for the day.

Luckily Nick’s mom is a sweetheart and knows me well, so she had lots of fuel in the fridge for my post-workout tummy.

photo(98)I had several of these during the weekend to help outweigh all the sweets I kept snacking on. I love some thick Greek yogurt after a workout!

The rest of the day was spent traveling into the city to visit with my girlfriend Emily and her boyfriend Nathan. They took Nick and I to a restaurant and bar called Biggie’s that was located on The Hill (known for its awesome Italian food!). So I obviously had to go with some nice homemade meat ravioli. Our meals here didn’t get a photo….my phone was MIA in the car. But it was all delicious, homemade, and really hit the spot after my morning workouts.

Dinner + Chocolate Cake

We headed back to Arnold, MO around 4 pm, squeezed in a cat nap, and woke up with a house full of family ready for dinner! Nick’s parents, his brother and his girlfriend, Nick, and I headed out for a fun dinner at 54th Street. We eat here a lot for family meals because the food is great and the menu has a bit of everything on it!

photo(106)I had a chopped grilled chicken salad, and it was amazing! It was full of fresh romaine, eggs, pico de gallo, avocado, tortilla strips, and lots of chicken! It was tossed in a honey lime dressing. It was so tasty, I could probably drink the stuff. Needless to say, I almost ate the entire plate! I decided not to overstuff though… I knew there was chocolate cake waiting at home for me!

Nick’s mom got a chocolate chocolate chip cake for my birthday! One of my faves!

photo(97)It’s hard to see, but this was some seriously dark chocolate cake. I also was modeling the cake while wearing some awesome red PJ pants with my hair in a bun.

photo(96)I’m classy, I know.

photo(95)Everyone had a piece once we got home. I may have snuck an extra sliver onto my plate once I polished off this piece. But hey, it was for my birthday, so the calories don’t count!

And with the cake in our bellies, that brought our Saturday evening to an end. I was ready to pass out by 9 PM after all the food!

I’ll spare you the rest of my weekend for another post. It’s amazing how much we cram into 2 days when we visit his family. I hope you’re having an awesome Monday, and I’ll see ya later!


STL Bound

Happy Friday!! I hope your having a wonderful day so far. It’s gorgeous (and cold!) here in Springfield, and I’m loving it!

Right after work today, Nick, Mac, and I will load up and head out to St. Louis for a weekend at Nick’s parents house. I’m very excited! Though the anticipation is making this work day go by rather slowly… oh well. It’s already half over. 🙂

Backing up a bit to yesterday, I had a little more work to do in my kitchen before all my goodies would be ready to take along for the weekend. Frosting the sugar cookies was the final thing on my baking agenda!

photo(90)Plain sugar cookies with vanilla frosting = Nick’s father’s favorite! Mark is an easy man to please (his bday is 4 days after mine), and I had a wonderful time licking all the extra frosting off the spoon.

photo(92)I used a simple Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix, so they aren’t fancy but still delicious! And I actually ended up eating tons of the leftover frosting right before I went to teach 6:45 pm Jazzercise. Smart idea? Probably not. But I managed to make it through class without getting sick. 🙂

I also whipped up a batch of chocolate chip and pecan cookies for the rest of Nick’s family to enjoy. They aren’t into the plain sugar cookies as much as Mark is.

photo(91)These are like little pieces of heaven, people. Seriously.

I found semi-sweet baking chips in a Halloween variety to make these extra festive!

photo(89)And I obviously did not frost these. The chocolate chips were enough addition!

I now have 2 dozen cookies and a BIG bowl of the Halloween Chex Mix that I posted yesterday to take along for the weekend. Nick’s mom always complain that my treats are unhealthy and that I need to bring along some of my healthy food. But that’s no fun! Birthday weekends are meant for splurging, so splurge we will. A lot.

Morning Run

In lieu of me having to change up my half marathon schedule, I had a crosstraining day yesterday and taught 2 classes. So that made today my shorter run day! Yay for not having to run as far! 😛

I woke up early to the coldest morning we’ve had so far: 30° F! Woah! I bundled up in my best running layers, including a cozy ear warmer and gloves, and headed out on a 45 minute run. I tried to make today’s run a tempo run, but the cold held me back just a bit. My perfect race pace would be between a 8:00-8:10 minute mile, but this morning’s pace was 8:28 overall. I was a little faster than my run on Wednesday morning, but still not at my best. That cold air makes it hard to breath!

I made it to 5.1 miles in 43:30 and was more than ready to be back home. Today’s run was difficult to say the least. I was struggling to pick up my feet and almost tripped myself a few times. This was probably a mix of being tired and eating so much sugar all week. I’m still not feeling my best from eating so many sweets in the midst of all my baking/cooking for the weekend, so I’ll be ready for a ‘sweets detox’ starting Sunday night when we make it home!

I hope you all have a great weekend and can enjoy the beautiful weather! I’m not sure when I’ll have time to check in, but I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun times to share – talk to you then!