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Birthday Season!!

28 Oct

So, birthday season in my immediate family actually starts on September 1 with Pops’ birthday. Then we get a break for my little brother’s, in mid-October (and he didn’t get his own special post but…soon!!).  Mom’s was on Saturday and today we celebrate my big brother – Patrick! 

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He’s a little bigger than this now – First Communion

He was always willing to beat someone up on my behalf – and I’m pretty sure that, to this day, he still is! It’s what big brothers do right? Luckily, he hasn’t had to do it lately!

He’s a great dad – really involved in my nephews’ lives – and a great son and a great brother!!

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He’s the SMART one when it comes to staying out of the sun!!

Happy Birthday Pat!!!

Sunday Funday!!

27 Oct

I do love the weekends! Especially in the Fall – everything seems a little easier.

Spent most of Saturday hanging out with my dog, Phred. A little laundry, a little guest room bed-making, a lot of thinking about getting a lot done! I did manage to make some headway on a craft project I am pulling together for Wine and Dine weekend

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On Sunday, I hit the ground running! Literally 🙂 It seems like all of my pains are definitely going away so I wasn’t terribly concerned about my 5K, The Pumpkin Run, this morning..or rather, this afternoon! A 1 pm start meant I could get some things done BEFORE the run and then come home and putter.

I overestimated my lack of pain, however, so it was a slow 3.1. But I got it done! The weather was beautiful, clear blue skies and the trees are still in the last stages of changing and losing leaves. Lots of folks in costumes so there is definitely some Halloween spirit(s) in the air!!

Before the race, I hit up Target – using their new Cartwheel app on my phone I saved a buck and change. Once I figure it out I am hoping the savings will add up!! Had to get laundry supplies and got some percentage off of those items so Yay! Also got some supplies for making macaroni and cheese in the crockpot! I made this last winter and it is really, surprisingly good! Made the mac and cheese and stuck it in a dish to do the final hour of cooking with melty cheese and crunchy potato chips on top. Tomorrow is gonna be SWELL!!

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Yeah, it doesn’t look like much here…but just you wait!

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Tomorrow, this will be all brown and bubbly on top!!

Then, since I was apparently in some kind of nesting mood, I baked up my mom’s Apple Cake. I used to bake this ALL THE TIME when I was growing up and when I found the recipe again and made it the first time again, it really brought back some great memories. I don’t know why, but I added some glaze to it this time – it’s nice, but really not necessary at all!

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Before the oven….

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And after. With some lumpy glaze. NOMS!!

THEN…I had some thawed chicken breasts and had figured I’d just throw them in the oven and bake them but then was struck with the desire to make chicken piccata –which I have NEVER made before but I just love! Turned out pretty amazing if I say so myself! Cooked up some noodles and broccoli and had an actual proper dinner tonight!

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I may always saute chicken from now on…even without the sauce it was pretty tasty!! Butter does that!

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Full of lemon-y caper-y goodness!!

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A grown-up dinner. It happens every now and then!

So, if you know me – and even if you know me you might not know this – Useless Fact #23432: I don’t like when my house smells like food. I don’t care what kind of food, unless it’s baked goods made with lots of butter – that smell I don’t mind! So, I needed to do something to clear out the chicken smell.

Since I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge to use up I whipped up a batch of really great pumpkin cookies. Another something that I used to bake all the time growing up. Me and mom would bake hundreds of these it seemed! Her original recipe calls for dates but I could never get into that, so I use raisins!!

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Fluffy sweet cookie batter

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Finished and frosted. Most of them anyway…ran out of frosting!

Now, who’s hungry? 🙂

Happy Birthday Mom!

26 Oct

Today my mom would have been 86 years old.

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My mom when I was 5

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My mom when I was older than 5 🙂 This was when we were on a cruise about 10 years ago.

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it a million times again — I miss her every single day

And PS…that black bag my mom is holding on to for me? I still use it!! 🙂

Happy Birthday to my Biggest Fan!!

7 Sep

Before I do any writing about my great weekend at the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend I have to give a belated shout out to my BIGGEST FAN on his birthday!

Last Sunday while I was “running” the Disneyland Half, my Pops was having a birthday!! I sent a text – but really, to be honest, that’s pretty lame right? I mean…this is the man without whom with I would not exist in my current form 🙂

 

This is him now-ish (he’s usually the one taking the pictures!):

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And this is him back when I was much smaller/cuter/probably much funnier! :

1968 Jan  Kodak 18 When there was three

Pops with my older brother and sister…and me

 

My dad tries to get to every one of my runs, no matter where they are. In NYC, I know I can count on seeing him standing on 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. At the Marine Corps Marathon I know I’ll see him a few times on the course. And, when I get back to the Houston Half Marathon in January….you got it! He’ll be there– in the Heights and a couple of places on Studemont!

 

No matter how slow or how “fast” I’m going, he’s always there encouraging me and telling me how great I’m doing! And I don’t think I ever really let him know how much that means – or how much I look forward to seeing him along the way.

 

So, a week late – Happy Birthday Pops!! You will always be my Number One Fan!!!

 

And, as always, circumstances remind me that we need to remember to tell the people who are important to us how important they are.

A Day of Love

25 Aug

Well this was definitely a mixed bag weekend – mostly good though!

Friday I introduced my friend Kathy to #Bikram and she says she enjoyed it! Them spent the night at her house, met her new puppy and her husband cooked a great dinner (and breakfast)

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Best part of the weekend was Saturday’s Ray Lang Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit The Tug McGraw Foundation. My friend Pete and his family put on this event every year in memory of his dad. I’ve met some really great people through my running with Team McGraw and a LOT of them are Pete’s family!! They’re such an amazing, loving and welcoming group of people. I’m not a golfer but I love hanging out with the other non-golfers! Play is followed by dinner and a raffle – this is really the only time I win good stuff! This year I was hoping for the “chair” – another outdoor chair for relaxing in the backyard. I was also really interested in the package of Hostess goodies! I threw my tickets into a few other bags as well.

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But I REALLY wanted the chair!

And guess what I didn’t get. Right, I didn’t get the Hostess goodies.     012 But I did get the chair!! Woot! Yay me!! It’s a really nice one – including a cup holder that I will eventually figure out!

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I also picked up this little handbag.    016

But really the best part of the day is catching up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile.And, it was great to be surrounded by so much love, especially yesterday.

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Four years ago yesterday, my big brother called me to tell me that my mom had died. And it’s probably no exaggeration to say that I have missed her so much every single day since then. But for some reason, this year has been particularly tough. Overall, I think I’ve been much happier and content the last several months than I have in a long time. But there’s always something missing. Sometimes you just need a hug from your mom.

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