Thursday, January 3, 2013

Counting my Blessings

Time to get back to blogging.  I've taken a break to spend time with my family and enjoy the holidays.  To tell you the truth, the shooting in Shady Hook really shook me to my core, and for a few weeks, it seemed like blogging about running didn't seem relevant.
 Sometimes it takes tragedies like this for people to really wake up and see what's important.  That's how it was for me. I have been appreciating my family and my children so much more without sweating the small stuff. 
 We spent the holidays here in PA, just the five of us.  We attended mass on Christmas eve. My oldest son was angel Gabriel in the Christmas pageant, while son #2 was a wise man (bearing gold). The church was decorated beautifully, with many poinsettias.  After mass, we walked out of the church to falling snow! What a nice surprise. The kids were so excited.  When we were getting ready to move from California to Pennsylvania in the summer, we tried to make them feel better by assuring them that we would have snow at Christmas.  We made good on our promise. Yay!!
After mass, we joined some friends at their home to have dinner and celebrate Jesus' birthday, complete with a birthday cake! We had a great time.Christmas day started early, with fun by all as all the presents from Santa were opened and enjoyed.   The next few days were spent quietly together playing games, playing in the snow and just chill-laxing (a borrowed expression from my sister). We then decided to drive down to North Carolina to visit my good friend Michele and her family for spend New Year's eve with them.  We left early on the morning on the 29th, as snow was approaching our area.  We made it out of the bad weather just in time as we headed south.  Other than some freezing rain, we had a great drive down there.  It was our first time visiting their new home, and we enjoyed our stay very much.  Sunday morning Michele and I got up early to go for a run.  She bought me a nice running jacket for Christmas, a matching one to hers, so we decided to be "twinnies" on our run, even with matching running hats from the Army Ten Miler race we ran together in 2009! We had a great run, as we usually do when we get together, and the miles just flew by. We got in 5, which left me with 5 more before the end of the year to make my total 1000 for 2012.  I planned on doing those miles the next day.  After attending church services, we decided to take the kids and go ice skating. After a wobbly start, we had so much fun! My 4yr old daughter loved it. She really wanted to do it on her own, and she had this cute plastic "sled" to push as she skated.  I tried to steer her around, but she kept saying "Don't touch. I'm doing it" I think she skated for more than an hour before she finally wanted a rest. My boys hadn't skated for a while, but they did great also! And, believe it or not, they still wanted to skate around holding their Mom's hand! I was thrilled to pieces, but tried not to show it too much.  It was also nice to see that they skated around with my friend's daughter, who is 11, and even held her hand too. They had grown up together in Germany when they were little, and sometimes it really feels like they are family. So nice to see. That evening we had a delicious salmon dinner, some German beer liquor that you warm up and put whip cream on top (yummy!) and settled in for the night.  I had a bit of a cough and thought I was coming down with a cold.  Well, it ended up being more than that.  I woke up during the night with chills, fever and all over body aches.  I spent the whole next day on the couch, trying to get my fever down with ibuprofen. I was feeling miserable and needless to say, I didn't get my last 5 miles in for the year. I was very disappointed, but there was no way I could have ran that day.  I was also disappointed that I couldn't celebrate New Year's eve with everyone.  I ended up going to bed at 10, while the rest of the house watched "Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve", enjoying a firepit, lighting sparklers and drinking champagne at midnight. Sounded like fun! Wish I hadn't missed it. :(
We left the next day. Unfortunately, my middle son came down with the same virus during New Year's eve, and he was miserable during the whole car ride home.  He has been home the last couple of days from school.  My older son also stayed home today, complaining of headache, coughing and a sore throat.  Don't you just love this time of year?
So, I have yet to run in 2013.  I am hoping tomorrow has promise.  If not, I still have the rest of the year, right? Speaking of the rest of the year, I have been formulating some goals and plans for 2013 and will be blogging about that soon.  Happy New Year Everyone! Let's make it a good one.
P.S. I tried to upload some more photos, but this site is not cooperating.  When I can get it working, I will update! Thanks!

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