Friday Five – Potpourri v. 16

Happy 2nd Day of Fall, everybody!  Although I’m sad to see my favorite season (summer) officially come to an end, I’m excited about all of the fun activities and events that we have on our calendar for this fall.  Between now and the middle of November we have very few “open” weekends when we don’t have anything already on our calendar.  Its going to be a super busy, but fun, fall.

There’s been a lot of excitement at our house this week, and we have some fun activities planned for the weekend, and I wanted to share some of the excitement with everybody.

1.  Little man is 9 months old today!  9 months, how is that even possible?!?  My baby is growing up so quickly!  We have his 9 month doctor’s appointment this afternoon and I’m excited to find out his current stats (weight, height, etc).

My little man and I before school on Tuesday

My little man and I before school on Tuesday

2.  For the second time ever, Preston and I hired a cleaning service to deep clean our house (we used the service for the first time back in June).  When I came home Wednesday afternoon they were finishing up, and cleaned our house from top to bottom.  I felt such a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders to have the house sparkly clean, and its such a relief to know that I can spend my time and energy focused on things other than cleaning the house.  Now about all the laundry that has piled up…

3.  Having run Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly on Sunday (which I hope to recap for all of you early next week), my attention has now turned to my next race weekend, Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at the beginning of November.  I’ve started to work on costume ideas, and can’t wait to have some of my visions come to life.  One of my costumes may or not be inspired by m favorite Disney princess, Belle.

Throwback to Disney World Marathon Weekend 2013

Throwback to Disney World Marathon Weekend 2013

4.  Tomorrow we’ll be headed to an annual home show, which will feature DC area vendors for every home remodel project you can imagine.  Preston and I are starting to contemplate some remodeling that we’d like to do around the house and hope to get some ideas and inspiration at tomorrow’s show.  We’re far from being ready to start any projects, but are excited about exploring possible ideas.

5.  On Sunday we’ll be headed to my department’s annual BBQ.  Every fall my school’s Social Studies teachers and families gather for a potluck BBQ at a coworker’s house.  Its always fun to see everybody outside of work, and see all of the kids play together.  Last year there were over 40 people at the BBQ, and I think this year there will be even more people.  It should be a lot of fun!

QOTD: What are you looking forward to this weekend?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Log – Week 12

The big day of my 9th half marathon has come and gone, and I’m happy to report that despite the crazy humidity Sunday morning that I still managed to PR!  I didn’t meet any of my race goals, and missed my C goal by a mere 14 seconds, so I’ve of course been thinking about what I could have done differently to have run the race just a tad faster.  I can’t wait to have time to sit down and write my recap of the race!

Celebrating my PR on Sunday!

Celebrating my PR on Sunday!

The week leading up to race day was quite busy, which seems to be my theme of the month.  Now that we’re more than two weeks into the school year, I’m starting to find my rhythm, both at school and at home.  We’re also trying to soak up as much time outside as possible before the weather turns cold.

Not only did I complete my last two planned training runs last week, but I also managed to get to the gym for some cross and weight training.

Mon 9/12 – 3.55 mile run, 0.21 mile cool down walk

Tues 9/13 – 1.96 mile walk

Wed 9/14 – 30 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of weight training (upper body, lower body, abs)

Thurs 9/15 – Rest day

Fri 9/16 – 3.10 mile run, 0.38 mile cool down walk

Sat 9/17 – Rest day

Sun 9/18 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon (ran 13.24 miles according to my Garmin)

Total Weekly Mileage – 25.02 miles (13.44 miles more than week 11)

Total RnRPhilly Mileage – 196.81 miles, plus the race

So what’s next?  I’m taking this week off from training in order to recover from Sunday’s race, and then I’ll be spending six weeks preparing for the inaugural Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge during Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend at Disney World.  I haven’t completed a race challenge since the Dolphin Challenge in March 2014, so my training focus will be on preparing to run races on back to back days.  Although I’ll be running both of these races for fun, with no time goals in mind, I still want to make sure that I’ve adequately prepared my body for running 19.3 miles over the course of two days.

QOTD: Do you run race challenges/races on back to back days?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

WeeklyWrap

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Friday Five – Potpourri v. 15

Its been another super crazy and super busy week.  Not only have I had a lot going on both at home and at work, but I also have a big weekend to look forward to.

1.  I’m excited to run my 9th half marathon this weekend at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly.  I have some pretty ambitious race goals for myself, and can’t wait to see just how much I can push myself this weekend.  Running the streets of Philly this year will be quite different than when I ran/walked the race last year at 32 weeks pregnant.

After completing Rock 'n' Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

After completing Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

2.  With me running in Philly on Sunday, we’ll be spending the weekend at my father-in-law’s house in South Jersey.  Even though its only been a month since we were all at Disney World together, I’m excited for them to see how much little man has grown and developed over the past month.  Since we were last all together, he has started crawling, pulling himself into a standing position, and become even more hands on with his toys.  Its amazing how quickly babies grow and develop!

Little man reading some of his books earlier this week

Little man reading some of his books earlier this week

3.  Speaking of little man growing, he’ll be 9 months old one week from today.  How is that even possible?!?  Time is just flying!

4.  Despite this week having been another extremely busy week at school, one of the things that has made me smile each morning has been the beautiful sunrises that I’ve gotten to witness during my drive to school.  God really has been blessing Northern Virginia lately with the beautiful skies that he’s been painting for us.

Yesterday's sunrise was absolutely beautiful

Yesterday’s sunrise was absolutely beautiful

5.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know my new students over the past two weeks.  They’re already impressing me with their contributions and insights during class discussions.  I can’t wait to see how much they develop throughout this school year.

QOTD: What is on your agenda for this weekend?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

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My Goals for Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

After a summer filled with lots of sweat, hills, and hard work, I’m ready to take on my ninth half marathon this weekend.  I’m excited to head north and run the streets of Philly for the second time.

After completing Rock 'n' Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

After completing Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

Last year when I ran/walked this race I was 32 weeks pregnant, and my one and only goal was to cross the finish line.  This year, now that I’m not pregnant and have had a summer filled with lots of training, my mindset and focus going into race day are quite different.  Although my training hasn’t gone exactly as I would have liked (traveling, work, getting sick, and life in general have interfered at times), but nonetheless I know that I’ve done as much as I can to be ready for this race.

My three goals for Sunday are:

Goal A – Finish the race in under 2:11:06 (10:00 minute/mile pace)

Goal B – Finish the race in under 2:13:17 (10:10 minute/mile pace)

Goal C – Finish the race in under 2:15:28 (10:20 minute/mile pace)

All three of these goals would result in a new half marathon PR for myself, which is currently 2:19:08 (10:37 pace).  My current PR was set back in June at ZOOMA Annapolis, which was a very hilly course and race day itself was very hot and humid.  Despite the fact that I had the odds against me, I still persevered and managed to set a new PR.  I’m hopeful that, despite training not going 100% as I had hoped, that I’ll be able to push myself harder than I did in June since I’ll be facing much more friendly racing conditions.

I’m very excited for this race weekend.  I plan to head to the expo midday on Saturday, and am hopeful that I’ll be able to attend the We Run Social meetup Saturday afternoon to say a quick hello to fellow bloggers and runners.  If you plan to be there, hopefully I’ll see you.

QOTD: When is your next major race?

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Log – Week 11

I really wish that there was a “slow motion” button for life.  With this past week being the first week of school with my students, I felt like I was not only constantly on the move but also moving at lightning speed because of everything that was going on.  I feel like I’m becoming a broken record by saying this, but I have not been successfully meeting my monthly or weekly goals when it comes to my training.  Its not that I don’t want to meet my goals, its just that too much has been getting in the way and my training has had to take a back seat.  And its not that I’m asking for pity, this is just what my recent reality has been.

Monday was Labor Day, and it was great to for once not be traveling over a holiday weekend.  Preston and I have spent the past three years in Virginia Beach over Labor Day weekend, not only to end the summer at the beach but to also run Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach.  Although we contemplated going again this year, we decided awhile back that staying home was the better option.  Turns out, we made a great decision since Tropical Storm Hermine impacted Virginia Beach.  Here at home, it was great to kick off the week with a strong run (I ran my last 5k in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Making the Band Virtual Race Series) and have time at home to work on chores and such.

On Monday after completing my third and final 5k in the virtual race series

On Monday after completing my third and final 5k in the virtual race series

Tuesday was the first day of school.  The beginning of the school year is always busy as the students and I work on getting back into a classroom routine.  I made it to the gym on Tuesday, and had high ambitions to work out for a third day in a row on Wednesday.  I had hoped to take little man out for a run, until the sky opened up and we had a nasty evening thunderstorm that kept us inside instead.  I knew that working out on Thursday was out of the question when the week started, as after a full day at school we had Back to School Night, and I didn’t get home until around 9:00 p.m.  I had hoped to make up for two rest days in a row on Friday, except that I was absolutely exhausted from my long day of work the day prior and needed to rest instead Friday evening.

On Saturday I headed out the door for a run, planning to run at least four miles, and possibly up to six depending on how I felt during the run.  Although my legs were tired by the end, I did push myself to run a hilly 10k.  And even though yesterday was busy, which included hosting little man’s godmother for dinner, I did squeeze in a short strength training session late yesterday evening.

Jumping for joy that I was only one week out from Rock 'n' Roll Philly

Jumping for joy that I was only one week out from Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly

I’ll admit, I’m starting to feel a bit guilty about the number of rest days that I’ve had recently.  I know that I shouldn’t, since life is all about balance.  But part of me feels as though I should be more active than I have been, while the other part of me feels like I’ve been doing my best to balance everything in life, and that’s all that I can ask of myself.  Regardless, I’m very anxious about Sunday’s half marathon.  I know that I’ve put in the hard work, particularly on my long runs, to be successful on Sunday.  But part of me wonders how much more I’d be able to push myself if I were more consistent with my cross training and strength training.  But then there’s another part of me that thinks that I’m beating myself up too much.  Regardless of which part of me is “right,” I can’t wait to see how everything plays out during Sunday’s race.

Mon 9/5 – 3.10 mile run, 0.40 mile cool down walk

Tues 9/6 – 30 minutes of weight training (upper body, lower body, abs), 15 minutes on the elliptical

Wed 9/7 – Rest day

Thurs 9/8 – Rest day

Fri 9/9 – Rest day

Sat 9/10 – 6.20 mile run, 0.66 mile cool down walk

Sun 9/11 – 15 minutes of strength training (upper body and abs)

Total Weekly Mileage – 11.58 miles (7.74 miles less than week 10)

Total RnRPhilly Mileage – 185.03 miles

QOTD: How hard are you on yourself when you don’t meet your goals?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

WeeklyWrap

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Friday Five – Five Things I’m Looking Forward to This Fall

The beginning of a new school year means that summer has come to an end and fall has started.  While it was incredible to spend the summer at home with my little man, and share many great memories with him, I’m also looking forward to many things coming up this fall, including:

1.  Running my 9th half marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly next Sunday.  This training cycle has been a bit of a roller coaster, but I can’t wait to see what I’m able to accomplish next Sunday.

After completing Rock 'n' Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

After completing Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly last year at 32 weeks pregnant

2.  Homecoming at the end of September.  Homecoming Week is always a lot of fun and very eventful, and I’m sure that this year won’t be any different.

3.  Experiencing fall activities through little man’s eyes, especially Halloween.  Preston and I can’t wait to take him to a fall festival, help him pick his first pumpkin out, and dress him up in his first Halloween costume.

4.  Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend at Disney World.  While we just got back from Disney a couple of weeks ago, Preston, his dad, little man, and I will be headed back to Disney in just under two months for race weekend.  Not only will I run the inaugural Lumiere’s Challenge that weekend, but I’ll also complete my 10th half marathon.  And little man will get to participate in his first race.  Its bound to be a very memorable trip.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon in January 2014 at Disney World. I can't wait to run my 10th half marathon there in November. Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon in January 2014 at Disney World. I can’t wait to run my 10th half marathon there in November.
Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

5.  Planning little man’s first birthday party.  Believe it or not, little man is already 8.5 months old, and his first birthday will be here before I know it.  I’ve already started searching for ideas online, and can’t wait to put some of the ideas that I’ve found into action.

QOTD: What is one thing that you’re looking forward to this fall?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Log – Week 10

Like I shared when I reflected on my August goals, this past week was a struggle.  Not only was it my first full week back at school, which resulted in increased exhaustion, but little man is also sick again.  He’s fighting a bad cough and cold, and has an ear infection.  Needless to say, my mommy duties took priority over working out last week, and although I got my three planned runs in I didn’t have any time for cross training or strength training.  Some days he’s feeling better than others, and thankfully Preston and I were able to get him outside Thursday evening for a run in the BOB stroller.

Little man and I after our run Thursday evening

Little man and I after our run Thursday evening

Oh, and to top everything off the AC in our house is currently broken.  Being constantly hot hasn’t helped whatsoever from a motivation standpoint.  While we had a tech here Friday afternoon to look at our system, he wasn’t able to repair it and we went into the long holiday weekend without AC.  At the time that I wrote this post our thermostat read 82 degrees.  And that’s after sunset with most of the windows in our house open.  Not fun at all.

Despite little man being sick and not having working AC in our house, I was thankfully still able to get out for my planned long run.  Since I got a bit behind with my long run mileage while we were on vacation, I opted to run 12 miles on Saturday instead of the usual 14 miles that I do when I’m two weeks out from a half marathon.  I felt strong throughout my two hour long run, and felt like I could have kept going at the end, which tells me that I’m adequately prepared for RnRPhilly in two weeks.  I surprised myself by completing my run with an average pace of 10:05 minute/mile, which if I can keep that pace up on race day will result in a major half marathon PR.  My fingers are crossed!

The perfect running weather on Saturday helped me to maintain a speedy for me pace.

The perfect running weather on Saturday helped me to maintain a speedy for me pace.

As little man continues to get better, all I can do is the best that I can.  I’m also expecting to be more tired myself this week, as I have the first day of school with my students on Tuesday.  Thursday will be an especially long day, as Back to School Night is that evening.  All I can do is take things one day at a time.  Oh, and hopefully we’ll finally get our AC fixed this week too.

Mon 8/29 – Rest day

Tues 8/30 – Rest day

Wed 8/31 – 3.11 mile run, 0.20 mile cool down walk

Thurs 9/1 – 3.50 mile run with the BOB, 0.23 mile cool down walk

Fri 9/2 – Rest day

Sat 9/3 – 12.00 mile run, 0.28 mile cool down walk

Sun 9/4 – Rest day

Total Weekly Mileage – 19.32 miles (1.70 miles less than week 9)

Total RnRPhilly Mileage – 173.45 miles

QOTD: How far is your furthest long run when you’re training for a half marathon?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

WeeklyWrap

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September 2016 Monthly Goals

If I’m going to be 100% honest, August went nowhere near as I would have liked when it came to my fitness.  Not only did we have our week long family vacation to Disney World, but while we were there both little man and I got sick.  Then earlier this week little man got sick again, resulting in having to keep him home from daycare for part of the week.  I also returned to work, which further limited my time for working out.  In short: there were a lot of distractions this month and it was very difficult to keep my focus on my fitness goals.

Even with how difficult it was for me to keep up with my fitness goals last month, seeing how much fun little man had while we were at Disney World made up for it.

Even with how difficult it was for me to keep up with my fitness goals last month, seeing how much fun little man had while we were at Disney World made up for it.

Just as I acknowledged last month, fitness is only a part of my life.  While it is important, spending time with my husband and our son is even more important.  Life is about balance, and I’m doing my best to find the best balance.  You may have noticed last month that I had to cut back on blogging, from three days a week to only once or twice per week.  While this isn’t my preference, its the right choice for me right now.  I’ll continue to reevaluate this on a regular basis, especially as I get back into the school year routine, in order to figure out what’s best for my family.

All I can ask of myself is that I do the best that I can.  And that’s exactly what I did in August given everything that I faced.

aug 2016 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 85 miles.

Grade: C+

My monthly mileage total was 65.9 miles, a far cry from my goal of 85 miles.  While this was significantly lower than my July total, and I’m not happy with my outcome for the month, the reality is that I did the best that I could last month.

2.  Strength train at least three times per week.

Grade: B

I met this goal one week last month, which is the first time in months that I’ve met my weekly strength training goal.  The other weeks my strength training ranged anywhere from zero to two times.

3.  Keep up with training while on vacation.

Grade: C

While my initial instinct is to give myself an F for this goal, I couldn’t control myself or little man getting sick.  I did complete two of my planned runs prior to getting sick, including a beautiful sunrise run around the Seven Seas Lagoon.

I was treated to an absolutely beautiful sunrise over the Seven Seas Lagoon one morning while we were at Disney World.

I was treated to an absolutely beautiful sunrise over the Seven Seas Lagoon one morning while we were at Disney World.

Hopefully September will be a better month on the fitness front.  With my next half marathon only two weeks away, and another two races in early November, its critical that I keep my focus on keeping my running up and staying strong with regular strength training.

sept 2016 goals

1.  Run, walk, and elliptical at least 85 miles.

Since I didn’t meet this goal last month I want to attempt this mileage goal again.  Hopefully my second attempt will be more successful than the first one was.

2.  Strength train at least three times per week.

I proved to myself one week last month that this can be done, so its time to see through that I can do this on a regular basis.

3.  Find balance in my life.

I have a lot of things competing for my attention – work, life at home, blogging, friends, the list goes on.  I’ve never been great at managing stress or finding balance.  With the start of a new school year, which means added stress, I want to make a better attempt at balancing everything in my life.

QOTD: What are your goals for September?

I’m linking up with Ange and Carmyy for the Monthly Goals linkup.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

monthly goals linkup

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Training Log – Week 9

After being sick and away on vacation, it felt great to get back at it with my training.  On Monday I ran for the first time in six days.  Preston and I decided to put little man in the BOB and make it a family outing.  Most first runs after being sick or on vacation are difficult, and the challenge was certainly intensified by running with little man in his stroller.  But it was a good challenge, and a great way for the three of us to spend time together.

We had a great evening run together, even if little man decided to nap during the run

We had a great evening run together, even if little man decided to nap during the run

Although my long run this week was nowhere near the distance that I had originally planned for at the beginning of my Philly training, I knew that it would be best to be smart and reduce the length of my long run this past weekend.  I opted for a safe six miles, and my change of plan worked in my favor.  Not only did I feel strong during my run, but I also managed to pull out a new mile PR.  After a strong long run on Saturday, I can’t wait to see how next weekend’s long run goes.

Who knew that a week ago I was sick and on vacation?

Who knew that a week ago I was sick and on vacation?

This past week was also a week of firsts for me.  For one, it was the first week in as long as I can remember that I was active every single day (with the exception of walking around Disney).  Secondly, for the first time in months I hit my strength training goal for the week.  For months, I’ve been trying to fit in time to strength train three times per week, and this week I finally did it!  Two of my sessions were only 15 minutes long, but its definitely progress in the right direction.  Hopefully I can keep this momentum going in the coming week.

Mon 8/22 – 3.10 mile run with the BOB, 0.39 mile cool down walk

Tues 8/23 – 2.61 mile walk

Wed 8/24 – 30 minutes on the elliptical, 30 minutes of strength training (upper body, lower body, abs)

Thurs 8/25 – 3.20 mile run, 0.49 mile cool down walk

Fri 8/26 – 15 minutes of strength training (upper body, abs)

Sat 8/27 – 6.00 mile run, 0.80 mile cool down walk

Sun 8/28 – 1.89 mile walk, 15 minutes of strength training (lower body, abs)

Total Weekly Mileage – 21.02 miles (17.59 miles more than week 8)

Total RnRPhilly Mileage – 154.13 miles

QOTD: When was the last time that you adjusted your long run mileage?  Why did you have to adjust it?

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap link up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well.

WeeklyWrap

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Friday Five – Five Highlights from My Summer

Hard to believe, but today marks my first full day back at school.  Although I’ve had various planning meetings with coworkers this week, my 2016-2017 contract starts today.  Yes, its quite unusual that we’re starting on a Friday this year, but with us getting Inauguration Day off due to traffic in the DC area, our school board decided to add a professional development day to the start of the school year to make up for the additional day off in January.

This summer has flown by.  I know they say that time goes by faster the older that you get, and this summer flew by at record speed.  I tried my best to absorb as many moments as possible with my little man this summer, but of course I always want more time with him.

As my summer comes to an end, I’m holding onto some great memories from the summer, including:

1.  Last month while my mom was here we took little man on a road trip to northern New Jersey to visit my grandfather.  While we were there we took little man in the pool for the first time.  It was very special that my grandfather and little man got to spend as much time together as they did.

These two just couldn't get enough of each other

These two just couldn’t get enough of each other

2.  On July 30th, Preston and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary.  It also marked little man’s first sleepover at Camp Grandpop (Preston’s dad’s house) and our first night away from him.

Celebrating five wonderful years of marriage

Celebrating five wonderful years of marriage

3.  Earlier this month I finally started running with little man in the BOB stroller.  Not only does taking him with me for runs make getting my runs in a bit easier, but because little man loves being outside its also another way that he and I can spend time together.

After our first run with the BOB stroller

After our first run with the BOB stroller

4.  We spent an absolutely wonderful 8 days at Disney World with little man.  Even with being there for a week, we still didn’t do everything that we would have liked to.  Nonetheless, we made some great memories and I’m so glad that little man seemed to enjoy Disney just as much as we had hoped that he would.

Little man LOVED meeting Mickey Mouse!

Little man LOVED meeting Mickey Mouse!

5.  There was nothing better this summer than spending time with my little man.  I loved seeing all of his smiles, hearing all of his giggles, and cuddling with him as much as I did.

The start of a new school year is certainly bittersweet, but it has me eager to look forward to all of the breaks during the school year when I’ll be able to spend more time than usual with my little man.

QOTD: What was one highlight from your summer?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC-Trifecta-Friday-Five-linkup

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