Thursday, October 28, 2021

Currently: October 2021

The fall months are ticking by at a rapid pace! I'm trying not to think about what comes next (winter). I love the holiday season but not the weather that comes with this time of year, but maybe we'll luck out and have another mild winter like last year? Fingers crossed! Here is what is currently going on in our world. 

Reading: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason on my kindle and the hard cover Beautiful Country. Sorrow and Bliss has a very wry, witty tone but deals with the heavy topic of mental health. Beautiful Country is a memoir by a Chinese immigrant about her childhood. It's a reminder to be thankful for the many things I often take for granted, like a warm home, never knowing hunger, being treated with kindness, etc. 

Loving: Will's stage. He is so happy and smiley! He adores his brother and has really found his voice over the last month. He refuses to crawl and instead kind of scoots around on his butt. He wants to be standing all the time so will get a little fussy when I set him down on the blanket with toys. 

He's always looking at his brother this way!

Feeling: ready to be done pumping! But I just have one month left! I don't know how I exclusively pumped for Paul. I hate it so much! I was able to stop pumping at 10 months since I had enough milk to get him through 13 months. At most I've pumped 3 times/day and now I'm down to once/day. I'm really limping to the finish line as I'm only pumping about 7 oz/day. I have some milk frozen from this summer when I was producing more than enough so that's covering the gap (he's drinking about 12 oz/day at daycare). But I am going to run out of frozen milk pretty soon. I emailed his doctor and she said to not worry and that 7 oz is enough for those final weeks, especially since he's eating so much food and still nurses in the morning and at bedtime.

Anticipating: celebrating my first holiday with my side of the family since Thanksgiving 2019! Crazy huh? We celebrated Christmas with Phil's mom in 2019 and then Covid hit in 2020. We'll be at the lake with my parents and 2 siblings and their families. Since Thanksgiving is pretty close to Will's birthday, we are doing an early, low-key birthday celebration for him. I think we'll make some cupcakes? Paul is lobbying for cookies because he is a cookie monster but I think cupcakes will make it a little more special/festive.

Struggling: with the usual things... challenging toddler behavior, Paul's adjustment to the big boy bed, getting enough sleep, etc. I try to remind myself this is part of this season of life! New challenges lie ahead, of course, but having young kids is physically exhausting at times! 

Grateful: that I have a strong partner to lean on and laugh about things with. Yes we have our moments where one of us is grumbling (like a bed that came with entirely too many pieces and instructions that were very long) but all in all, we are lucky to have each other.

Working: on setting up my new planner! I've used a bullet journal since 2017 but I've been feeling the urge to go back to using something more structured. One of my favorite bloggers, SHU, has introduced me to all sorts of planners through her blog and planning podcast. I decided to go with the Wonderland222 Weekly planner. It's quite a change from my very basic bullet journal planning, but I think I'm going to love it. I have been putting pressure on myself to know exactly how to use it from the get go - can you tell I'm a perfectionist? Even though it's a 2022 planner, it starts in November 2021 so I am using the first 2 months to figure out how to use it the various pages, like the Overview and Review pages below. There is also a gantt-style habit tracker that I will use for tracking my reading among other things like work outs, days I hit 10k steps, etc. 

Still need to figure out what to do with the boxes to the right

I have one empty box to potentially fill on the bottom left

Listening: to Brandi Carlile's new album! She is SO TALENTED! I have been a huge fan for the longest time. She has become such a popular artist - she's won multiple Grammys and was on Saturday Night Live last weekend! I did not stay up to watch it but enjoyed watching her set the next day on Youtube. 

Watching: the new season of the Great British Baking Show. I adore this show so much! New shows release on Netflix every Friday. If you need something happy and uplifting, I highly recommend this show. It's a competition but everyone is so positive and encouraging. 

Wishing: for mild winter weather in the months ahead! I don't mind the snow, especially now that Paul loves to sled! I'm just hoping to avoid the super cold sub-zero temps for as long as possible!

Bonus Paul and Will Photos:

Playing with one of the trucks my parents got Will in their Halloween package. I keep reminding him the trucks are Will's (he takes toys away from Will all the time!)

He loves walking around the house in our shoes.

This is Will's favorite toy these days. He always has a quill in his mouth!

Have a Happy Halloween weekend! I'm taking the boys trick or treating with a neighbor and her kids and Phil will stay home and answer the door. I'm guessing we will only make it to the houses on our block, which will yield more than enough candy for our little guy! Last year he would only eat m&ms. We'll see what he'll eat this year. There will certainly be a hefty dad tax. ;) 

What are you doing for Halloween? What are you anticipating, struggling with, and grateful for?

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Quiet Fall Weekend

The temps were cooler this weekend but we didn't let that prevent us from enjoying time outdoors. Here is how we filled our weekend!

On Friday, Phil worked from home and put together Paul's bed during downtime. This was one of those days that was not a fun one in our marriage. Even though we both looked at pictures of the bed online, since I was the one who found it/ordered it, I was the one to blame when Phil realized how many pieces and steps the assembly required... There was much grumbling. Which I get - it's a pain to put things together. I suggested that in the future, we got to a furniture store, pay more money, and get something that is already assembled!

But by the end of the day, we had an assembled bed! I like that it has storage under the bed. All of Paul's bedtime books fit in the cubbies so we could move his book shelf into William's room. We have held off on putting the comforter on the bed until Paul has moved out of pull-ups/stays dry at night. He has a cozy dino blanket that keeps him plenty warm. 

Bedtime the first night was pretty rough and required both of us. But after an hour, we finally got him to stay in bed. The next night was better and then Sunday night was kind of rough again. Change is hard for our little guy. 

On Saturday, Phil spent a good chunk of the day working on projects with his cousin. He headed out around the boy's nap time. After the boys' nap, we put Will in the stroller and Paul got on his scooter so we could check out decorations in the neighborhood. His new favorite is this hand with an eye that moves back and forth! Last year Paul was terrified of anything remotely spooky - this year he loves all the decoration!

It was chilly so we had to bundle of the boys in coats, hats and mittens. Will enjoyed the neighborhood stroll, too!

On Sunday, we facetimed with my parents in the morning and went for a long walk/scooting adventure to the park after lunch. Along the way, I saw these bag of leaves which are similar to what we filled when I was a kid - although ours were bright orange and not transparent. But they apparently still make these leaf bags!

We had the park to ourselves since we got there at 12:30! Both boys enjoyed the swings!

We took a different route back home as we needed to stop by a port-a-potty for Paul. The fall leaves are at peak here!

This little outing proved to be a bit too long for Paul. There was much negotiation to get him back on his scooter but he wouldn't get in the stroller either... Thankfully it was nap time when we got home - we all needed some quiet time/sleep. 

On Sunday evening, I baked a ham and made mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted asparagus. No picture as meal time was a bit of a frenzy - Will was crying as he was hungry and Paul wasn't the most cooperative... But Paul surprised us by eating some ham. He's refused to eat it previously. It's nice to see him willing to try new things. He also had mashed potatoes. Will liked the ham but not the potatoes (probably a texture issue).  

And that was our weekend. A good amount of time outdoors and both boys napped/had quiet time for 1.5-2 hours both days which I much appreciated! Paul is VERY excited for Halloween on Sunday. He kept asking to go trick-or-treating throughout the weekend. It's tough to get him to understand that it's a one-day thing!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Three ThingsThursday

Hello and Happy Thursday! I thought I'd switch things up and share 3 things on my mind/going on in our world right now. 

1. Colder weather has arrived here! I have mixed feelings about it. I wasn't loving the HOT fall weather we've been  having, but I don't love highs in the 40s/low 50s either... Phil reminds me that 40 is going to feel WARM in a couple of months. But it was a shock to the system to drop so quickly. We were not prepared for such cold weather on the morning of our family photos so we had to cut our session short. I'm sure the photographer got enough good shots but we might have her come by our house in December for a mini-session around Will's first birthday. We didn't get any solo shots of him until the end of the session and he was cold so kind of 'cry smiled'. I'm sure I'll look at those pictures down the road and remember my mom fail of not having appropriate clothing for 40 degree temps. But I did not want to buy outfits JUST for a photo session... It would have been ideal to have cute outerwear for the boys. But do you know how often they would wear cute outerwear? The answer is never. They need warm clothes for playing outside and don't need to look stylish while playing. ;) At least in the eyes of their 2 frugal, practical parents!!

2. Phil's cousin is coming over tomorrow to work on a list of house projects. I love that Paul has gotten to know him (he's been to our house so many times!). When we told Paul that Brian was coming over he said, "tell him to bring his tools!" So clearly he understands that Brian is our handy guy. One thing we are going to ask him about is what he thinks about converting the wood-burning fireplace in our living room into gas. If it were up to me, I'd be calling companies to get quotes but Phil wants to run this by him first. We will never use a wood-burning fireplace. I love the idea of one but it is just too messy! I would like to actually use our fireplace, so converting it to gas makes sense - especially for someone like me who is ALWAYS COLD! So hopefully this is a project we can get done this winter! We have a gas fireplace in our bedroom upstairs and I actually use it quite a bit. I have a cozy reclining chair up there and tend to read by the fireplace during the cold winter months. Is there anything cozier than reading by a fireplace?!? So I am dreaming of having one on the main floor. Paul has been around my parents' gas fireplace since he was a baby and has understood you do not touch the fireplace but we'll have to teach Will this as he gets mobile... And probably put some sort of fencing in front of it for awhile.

3. I had a moment of reckoning after finishing the 10 mile race where I realized my weight had not budged despite all of that running... I know my body has been through a lot in the year plus, but I haven't been feeling good about how I look or how clothes fit so I decided to go back on Weight Watchers. I think this will be my 4th time doing that program. I had a great first week back - it was nice to see a result on the scale! Turns out that not eating a bowl of ice cream with m&ms on top nearly daily makes a difference! ;) I remember hearing on a podcast that ounces are lost in the gym and pounds are lost in the kitchen - I find that statement to be incredibly true. I will be going back to the office 3 days/week starting in January so will need to wear something besides athleisure wear, so that was another motivating factor. I have a lot of great work clothes, many of which don't fit at this current weight, so I was also motivated for frugal reasons as I don't want to buy a bunch of new clothes!

And because that was a lot of typing, here are some pictures of the boys!

Will is happiest when standing by the ottoman these days!

All smiles during a fall walk!

Poor Will looks like the neglected 2nd child in his daycare photos. His shirt was too big and his hair is a MESS.

But Paul took a great picture! We never order pictures but I'm tempted to get one of these since he smiled so nicely!

Lastly, he has learned how to write his name. I had to help with the A but he did the rest. I think it's great for a 3.5 year old! This was for a birthday card he made his teacher. You should have seen the number of stickers he put on the front! More is more in the eyes of a toddler!

Tell me what's on your mind these days?

Friday, October 15, 2021


Happy Friday! I'm off work today as the boys' school is closed for conferences! Some people have commented to me that it's a little odd for our daycare to have conferences but I really enjoy connecting with the teachers twice a year. Phil does drop-off/pick-up more often than I do and is NOT a question asker, and even when I do drop-off or pick-up, it can be hard to ask questions because I know how busy the teachers are! So while I can always ask questions if I have concerns, I like that we get a 20 minute block, twice/year, to talk about how the kids are doing. 

Here's what's going on in my world this week!

The book I'm reading is Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I've heard great things about this book and yet I put off reading it for some reason! I'm about 1/4 of the way through am am really enjoying it. It is VERY sciency but in a good way? I want Phil to read it as it's right up his alley with his interest in science and space.

The high of my week was watching the boys have fun during bath time. They giggle so much and Paul is pretty patient and tolerant of Will for the most part! Will loves to lay down on his back and kick his legs. He is the most aggressive kicker so maybe he will be our swimmer? Paul wouldn't lay on his back with his head in the water until he say Will doing it! I would like to get Will in swimming lessons since he seems to love the water so maybe we will try to do that after the new year.

The low of my week was toddler tantrums. It felt like we were turning the corner and things were improving but then we had 2 rough mornings this week where Paul woke up and went from happy to enraged over who knows in a very short span of time. Not fun. 

A recipe I made was Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks with Asian Rice. This is such a simple and fast meal. I'll be sad when grilling season ends as I don't think the tuna steaks would be as good, even if we sear them in a cast iron pan. There's just nothing like food off the grill!

A show we are watching is season 10 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. We checked this out from the library! We are also watching Squid Game which is a very popular show on Netflix that was made in Korea (so there are subtitles). 

For workouts I went for runs on Sunday and Wednesday and did beach body Morning Meltdown workouts on the other days. I'm definitely feeling more pulled toward the Morning Meltdown workouts (which are a combo of strength, cardio and yoga) than running these days... I was feeling a bit burned out after training for the 10 mile but we are getting into the off-season for running here in Minnesota so it's a good time to focus on something else.

The best money spent was on a bunch of produce at Aldi on Thursday. My weight hasn't budged lately despite all the running I did this summer/fall so I know my diet is the culprit (I'm looking at the near-daily bowl of ice cream I was eating for much of the summer!). So I stocked up on a bunch of fruits and vegetables this week so I have healthy snacking options around. 

My plans this weekend include getting family photos taken on Saturday morning by my cousin's wife. We haven't had photos taken since Paul turned 1, so about 2.5 years ago! Then around lunchtime we are going to our daycare's fall festival celebration. They'll have tacos and ice cream and lots of activity for the kids. Then on Sunday morning I am meeting up with 2 college friends for a walk. I haven't seen them in months so am looking forward to catching up! I think Phil might take Paul out to his mom's after nap on Sunday if everyone is still healthy!

Bonus Will photos (Paul remains team no-picture):

Bath time fun!

No progress on crawling but he loves to stand along the ottoman!

What are you reading? What was the high of your week?

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Fun Fall Weekend + Defining Fall Fun

Good morning and happy Monday! Our weekend did NOT get off to the best start but ended up being a good one. On Thursday morning, I commented to Phil (who was working from home) that we were all pretty healthy finally after a rough stretch of various viruses and cold bugs. An hour later he said - "I think I have a fever." Sure enough, he did and he continued to feel worse so he scheduled a covid test for 4 pm and I canceled the work happy hour at a coworker's house that I was very-much looking forward to!

So the kids were home with us on Friday while we waited for his covid test results. He wore a mask and tried to keep his distance from us/didn't pick up or touch either kid. I tried to work as much as I could but I was only able to monitor emails/do a few pressing tasks. We let Paul watch more TV than usual but I made sure to get out of the house with them in the morning for a walk.

Our double stroller days are very numbered. Paul does NOT like to be strapped in anymore. Womp womp. I convinced him to stay in the stroller for this 40 minute walk but it took a lot of negotiations.

Luckily I had picked up some cheap activities in the dollar aisle of Target last month. He LOVED working on these worksheet. He is so my child as I LOVED worksheets and workbooks when I was a kid.

After this quiet time/nap, I took him scooting so he could go see the dinosaur in our neighborhood. He had to get off the scooter and admire this for quite awhile. I thought inflatables were a little tacky before I had kids! We would never have one in our yard but Paul sure loves them! 

When we got back from scooting, Will joined us in the front yard for some leaf fun. Full disclosure - I did NOT dress him!! Phil put this yellow pj shirt and neon green short combo together!! Ha! William was not sure about the leaves at first but eventually came to enjoy them!

Luckily around dinner time, Phil's covid test came back negative. It was a HUGE relief. Had he been positive, he would have had to quarantine in the basement for 10 days and our kids would have been home during those 10 days. 

On Saturday morning, something magical happened - EVERYONE SLEPT UNTIL 7AM. I could not believe it when I looked at my watch when I woke up to Paul yelling for me! William slept until 7:15! It was so wonderful - and so needed!

When your parents both work in finance, a shirt like this is the perfect gift!

After lunch that day, we went to the park. Since Paul hates the stroller so much these days, we let him scoot to the park so we could just bring the single stroller. It's about 3/4 of a mile. He made it all the way there and about 1/2 of the way back before getting tired. I had anticipated that happening so had brought the ergo-style carrier so I popped Will in that and Paul got in the stroller. 

2nd time in the swing, first time he enjoyed it (he did not think much of it the first time we put him in a swing)

That afternoon we had more fun in the leaves. The weather was unseasonably warm here this weekend. Too warm in my opinion - upper 70s on Fri/Sat and pretty humid on Saturday. 

Sunday was more of the same - walks and time spent in the leaves. I also pulled out some puzzles Phil's mom had bought for Paul last year. He's old enough to do them on his own now. This was my favorite of the bunch! - it makes a twisty snake. 

So all in all, a fun family fall weekend. Which made me think about what "fall fun" means to us. Thanks to social media, I see a lot of pictures of trips to fall festivals, pumpkin patches, orchards, you name it. We have yet to do any of these things and I don't know when we will? Likely not until we are out of this 'little kid' stage of life. Sometimes I beat myself up a bit and think that I am not a 'fun mom.' But then I remind myself that I never did any of these things as a child either. Granted, we grew our own pumpkins and had 2 apple trees, so a visit to a pumpkin patch or orchard wasn't necessary for us. My fall memories include jumping in leaves, filling those pumpkin garbage bags with leaves (do they still make these??), carving pumpkins, roasting and eating pumpkin seeds and trick-or-treating. These are all things my kids will do - well besides the pumpkin leaf bags because we just put our leaves in yard bags. 

This is not to say that doing those things ISN'T fun - it's just not fun for us at this stage of life. I am mindful about doing things that are fun FOR US or MATTER TO US - not because everyone else is doing it and posting about it on social media. I try to keep this in mind with a lot of things. Kid bedrooms is another area where I do not really do much. Our kids rooms are so basic and not instagram-worthy! And that is FINE because neither kid really cares, nor do they spend time in their rooms right now. When they reach a stage of life where they hang out in their bedroom, I think I will put more effort into it. This weekend we ordered a bed frame for Paul's room and we purchased the frame we went with because it has built-in storage cubbies which will be useful in his bedroom, which is small and kind of oddly shaped. Is it the cutest bed ever? No. Is it functional? Absolutely and it's "cute enough."

It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing what others think is important but I try to make sure our time and effort is aligning with what we value and enjoy doing. But in the era of social media, this is something I need to repeatedly tell myself!

Just a little food for thought on your Monday morning!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Baby Will at 10 Months

Will turned 10 months over the weekend! We are knocking on the door of 1! He is such a sweet and easy-going baby so we feel very lucky!

Growth: He was 19 pounds and 29.25" at his 9 month appointment in mid-September. So he is pretty long and lean (in the 30s for weight percentile, upper 80s for height). He has a huge head like his brother! He has a very long torso so is in 12-month sleepers and tops but mostly 9 month pants. We are probably going to need to move him to a convertible car seat soon because of his length. I was hoping to hold off until we got a new car but given the outlook for the car market, he's going to need more room sooner than we can find a car most likely. 

He has 6 teeth now (4 on top, 2 on the bottom). I think he got 2 in the last 2 months but I need to check his baby book! I can tell another bottom tooth is coming in.


There isn't much he doesn't like. He's such an easy going baby!

- He loves to sit on a blanket and play with toys. His favorite toys are rattle-type toys that make nose when you shake them and this fish tank toy that lights up and plays music.

- He likes being read to. His favorite book is Baby Faces. It has pictures of babies making different faces. He gets the biggest smile on his face when we read this book and he really studies the pictures!

- He loves bath time and has outgrown his baby tub which means brother baths are much easier! Paul prefers to take baths with Will now. Now that he sits up so well, it's much less stressful to bath them together. They have the best time. Will just adores Paul.

- Paul is certainly his favorite person. He is constantly watching Paul. It will be fun to watch this relationship continue to develop. When William goes to bed Paul says, "good night my sweetie." There is still some aggressive behavior on Paul's part at times but that's toddler life for you. When we are eating dinner, Paul often pulls Will over so they are as close as possible. 

- He loves to stand up - either along the ottoman or by holding our hands. He also still loves the jumper. 

Dislikes: really not much! He doesn't cry very often so we are lucky. 

- He does not like to go to bed. As soon as we enter his bedroom for nap or bedtime, he starts to cry. He must have FOMO! 

- He also does not like to be on his stomach. We keep putting him on his stomach but he protests! So he is not crawling yet and I kind of doubt he will. I think he'll go right to walking. Our pediatrician said she's not concerned and that he is probably too content to be motivated to crawl. 


- He got his first haircut the day before turning 10 months! This before and after photo shows how different he looks now. Haircuts always make babies look so much older! 

- He met more family in August - he met my sister, BIL, and their baby who is 2 months younger than him. It was fun to see William and Maddy together! Maddy is so expressive - she reminds me of Paul. Will is just generally happy and smiling. I'm glad we captured some of Maddy's hilarious expressions. That side eye photo is amazing!

Feeding: He is eating more and more solids and really liking them so far. He loves yogurt and most purees we give him. I've also given him chunks of things and it's very hit or miss on what he'll eat. We keep giving him scrambled eggs but he doesn't like them - yet. I'm going to keep trying. He loves graham crackers and recently started to eat banana pancakes. He still nurses when he wakes up and goes to sleep and 2-3 other times during the day on weekends. He drinks 3 bottles at school and gets cereal and/or purees twice a day. His milk consumption has really dropped which is a relief as my milk supply has also dropped. 

Sleeping: Ugh. Things were going so well in the sleep department and then he got sick in August and got some new teeth so sleep has not been great. When he's sick, I don't feel comfortable letting him cry for long so he's eating 1-2 times/night. It's not ideal but hopefully he's healthy soon and goes back to sleeping through the night. Naps have been a bit better lately, though!

Mama: I am continuing to feel pretty good all in all. We've had a string of illnesses over the last 4-6 weeks so being sick and dealing with more frequent wake-ups has been a bit rough. But I tell myself this is temporary and my kids will sleep through the night again soon. Hopefully? My pelvic floor PT cleared me to stop coming in as she said everything looks great. I'm happy that I'm able to workout 4-5 times/week! My RA is in a good place, too, so I might stay on this current regimen even after I'm done breastfeeding (thinking I will wean Will around a year? We'll see).

I do kind of dream of going to stay in a hotel for like 2 days! But my bigger priority is going away with Phil. We haven't spent a night together away from the kids besides when Will was born (which was not a getaway!). Hopefully by the time our 5 year anniversary rolls around in May we can go somewhere for 4 days or something like that? I just need Will to be sleeping better so I can feel ok leaving the boys with my parents.

I'm happy that the 1-year mark is just around the corner. I will be VERY glad to be done pumping during the work day!

Pablo: He's handling the big brother role pretty well all in all. There are definitely moments where he is a little too aggressive with Will. He does not understand that he is a fragile baby! I mean there is only a 9 pound difference between them so he's not THAT small compared to Paul! But mostly he is a very sweet brother and very affectionate towards Will. He loves to give him hugs and kisses. It will be interesting to see how things change when Will is on the move! Will is already SUPER interested in Paul's cars and trucks and tends to grab them if they are within his reach. Paul is not a fan of that!

Next time I do a Will post, he'll be one!! Insert head-exploding emoji!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Weekend + 10 Mile Race Recap

The 10 mile race is behind me! Woo hoo! It was my first race since the Twin Cities Marathon in 2015. Since then I have had hip surgery to repair a labral tear and 2 c-sections. My body has been through a lot but it's good to know that I can still consider myself a "runner." I had lost that part of my identity since getting pregnant with Paul. It feels really good to have that label back. I have my neighbor to thank for getting me back to running. She gently encouraged me to start running again this summer and threw out the idea of doing a 10k, 10 mile or 1/2 marathon this fall. If it wasn't for her, I don't think I would be running yet and certainly not 10 miles! But she helped me see that I COULD get back to running. 

We had a somewhat full weekend! On Saturday morning, Phil got our car serviced and got groceries while I watched the boys. We are looking to buy a Toyota RAV-4 Prime so it was good for him to talk to a sales person about the car market. My friend and co-worker recommended we work with the car broker he worked with last year so that guy is looking for inventory for us in different states but it was still good to get another read on the market from a sales person. Hopefully we'll have a new car in 3 months or so? Our Camry has served us well but we are ready for something slightly bigger. We got such a great deal on our Camry that we'll almost be able to sell it for the price we paid for it. It only had 30k miles on it despite being 6 years old. This is our primary car so that gives you an idea of how little we drive!

After lunch on Saturday, I took the boys for haircuts. It was Will's first haircut. His hair was getting so long and unruly. We have family pictures in 2 weeks so I wanted to give it some time to grow after the haircut  in case it didn't turn out great. I feel like it takes a couple of haircuts to figure out what works well for little boys.

Our usual happy guy SCREAMED through most of the haircut! I took a couple of pictures at the beginning before he lost it. The stylist did a great job. He looks so different and so much older!!

After we got home from the haircuts, my parents arrived! They were in town to see my nephew's football game on Friday night so they stayed with us on Saturday night. My mom helped me make a yummy lasagna and Paul and Nana made pumpkin bars. Here's a pic of Paul tasting the peanut butter. He tasted so much that my mom had to add more!

We hadn't seen my parents since August so it was great to catch up. My mom held Will lots! He is very smiley, but not when you want to take his picture of course! 

After the boys went to bed, we played some cards with my parents before turning in early.

Sunday morning came much too early! Paul unfortunately had a night terror on Saturday night and it took a long time and several returns to his bedroom to get him back to sleep. So I was "running" on 5 hours of sleep. 

Katie's husband was our uber driver for the day as he dropped us off in Minneapolis and picked us up in St. Paul afterwards. The race started at 7 so we got downtown around 6:45. They did a great job spacing people out more than usual and required masks in the corrals so overall, I think they did a great job keeping people safe. 

The first 4 miles went well and then we hit the uphill segment of the course. I felt really good when I took this picture around 4.5 miles when we stopped so my neighbor could use the bathroom.

After that, it was a bit of a slog and I was so ready to be done. I kept translating the distance left into runs in our neighborhood (the distance left is a loop around Lake Harriet... now it's a run to Lynnhurst park... etc etc). 

But I did it. I felt a little embarrassed about my time (our pace ended up being about 11 min/mile). That is so very slow compared to how fast I used to run. I mean, our time was about 1:50 and my last 1/2 marathon was 1:52! But I had to remind myself I wasn't lactating during my previous races and I wasn't waking up 3-5 times/night (that's how bad it's been lately with both boys having colds and Paul transitioning to his big boy bed). This is a different season of life, and thus, a different pace. One of my good friends said - 'Hey, you ran 10 miles and most people haven't ran that much all year!' That was just what I needed to hear to remind myself that 10 miles in itself, regardless of the pace, is something to be proud of!

I'm looking forward to continuing to run and will appreciate not having the pressure of needing to run X miles this week. Races are very motivating but even pre-kids, I was always happy when they were behind me and I could relax a bit. My goal is to continue to run around 3 times/week until the colder weather hits!