Weekly Update – 12/18/2017 and Merry Christmas!

The week leading up to Christmas is always a little crazy.  Lots of activities and last minute prep work. This week was no exception. But before I jump into the craziness – I wanted to share a few pictures of Christmas in our new house!







Monday after work, my mom and I were going to go to my old high school’s choir concert.  I love their Christmas concert every year.  I had a pretty active day, so I didn’t grab a workout before the concert.


Tuesday night was a potluck dinner at work.  Since I got home early enough, I made sure to get in  2 miles on the treadmill.


I didn’t have a lot of time after work for a workout, AND I didn’t have time to shower. So I just walked 1.5 miles on the treadmill, washed up, and headed to my mom’s house for her annual Dirty Santa ornament exchange.  I ended up leaving with the same ornament I brought because I love it so much!


On Thursday, I took a half day off of work.  I had a lot of last minute errands to run before our Christmas celebrations.  We drove around to find some pretty lights and found this cool house nearby:



I got in 2.5 miles before all the chaos started on Friday.  I took the day off to prepare for our big family dinner (my stepdad’s family).  We had 21 people over our house for dinner.

Sorry about the sideways picture – I can’t get it to turn correctly!



On Saturday, I convinced my husband to walk 2.5 miles with me around the neighborhood.  We had an otherwise relaxing day before dinner & Christmas celebration with my dad and stepmom.






Sunday was Christmas Eve.  I decided to take it easy.  Since jumping back into working out, I’ve been extremely active and on my feet a lot.  My lack of yoga and strength training has been affecting me and I can tell I’m super tight and my supporting muscles and ligaments were getting a little mad at me.  We watched Christmas movies all day until it was time for Christmas Eve service with my mom and stepdad.  Afterward, we opened presents with them.

Bonus Day: Monday – Christmas!






My husband and I got up and opened presents together Christmas morning.  We both spoiled each other way too much.  Afterward, we headed to my in-laws house for a late lunch/early dinner with my brother in law and my husband’s aunt.  We had a great time!

How was your Christmas?  Do you have any great traditions with your family?

Weekly Update – 12/19/2016 and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a great time with your family and friends.  It was a pretty busy week but a very good one!


Monday after work was my last push to finish all my Christmas shopping.  Got that done in record time!


Tuesday was pretty uneventful.  Michael and I started watching “White Christmas” on Netflix…and promptly fell asleep!


Wednesday was a busy day after work.  We had a party for Tech Services (my dept), then I went to an ornament exchange party at my mom’s house.  The party at work was nice – we had alcoholic beverages and Buffalo Wild Wings, so you can’t go wrong there.

The party at mom’s was fun, but I wasn’t really into being social.  Normally I stay after to help cleanup, but as soon as Dirty Santa was over, I left.


Thursday was our big family dinner for my stepfamily.  About 30 of us squeeeeeze into my mom’s house. Here are a few pictures from the night.


Friday was our Christmas celebration with my dad and stepmom. They gave us some money toward furniture for our new house! We will definitely get some use out of that!


On Saturday we had a pretty chill day, got some last minute grocery shopping done.  We went to church for Christmas eve service with my mom and stepdad.


On Christmas morning, we slept in, had coffee and chocolate chip pancakes, and exchanged gifts.  Mom and Ken and my in-laws came over later in the day.


I’m spoiled rotten.


Merry Christmas, ya’ll!

Weekly Update – 12/12/2016

Despite some work stress, this past week and weekend was a pretty good one.  We got to spend some great time with family, some great time together, and get a lot of fun (and practical) stuff done!


Monday was a pretty uneventful day.  I had hoped to get to the gym, but both Michael and I worked late.


On Tuesday, we went to my dad and stepmom’s house to make Christmas cookies!  It was a ton of fun!



House progress as of Wednesday morning!


Michael and I have committed to try to have more quality time together, so Wednesday night was that night this week.  We try to avoid distractions, no phones, no work, no TV…maybe some Christmas music.  Its a great time to spend time talking and connecting without the distractions of the world.  In a world that is so busy all the time, its really nice.


Thursday was relatively uneventful.  On both Thursday and Friday, I ended up working late.  We tend to have a lot of “clean-up” type work that goes on in the month of December and due to some changes at work, a lot of that work falls on me.  I don’t mind working late on weeknights, but Friday nights are a little tough.


On Saturday morning, we got some Christmas wrapping done, and made a game plan to get the rest of the shopping done.  Michael went out and did some of that, while I packed a few more boxes to go into storage.

Saturday afternoon was the Surf-N-Santa 5 miler.  This is a favorite Christmas race of mine, and its the third and final race in the Triple Jog Challenge I signed up for this year with J&A racing.  More to come in a recap!


Sunday was super bittersweet.  I have played on the worship team at my church for 6 years, and attended that church for 10 years (since the church began!).  Sunday was my last day on the worship team, and likely our last week attending the church.   The church is moving to a location over 45 minutes away from where we live.  The commute has become really difficult for us to be really engaged with the church.  We are going to be looking at a few wonderful churches closer to home – one just minutes away.

We also check on our house! WOW- Check out the progress this week!


After church, we grabbed lunch at Panera.  Then we went to Kohls for a few more Christmas gifts.  I got a new winter coat while we were there.  I’ve had the same coats for years and they are starting to get worn out, some of the lining has tears, etc.  I got a peacoat so that it is nice enough to wear to work.  We went to the Verizon store next and got our new phones!  We were due in January, but they had a really good deal on the iPhone 7 (for me) and Galaxy S7 Edge (for Michael). We also ran to the grocery store for the essentials and stuff for Christmas day.

We spent the rest of the day getting chores done at home.  My mom and stepdad came by for a little bit because we had some bad storms and it knocked out their power.

How was your week? Are you done Christmas shopping?




Weekly Update – 11/21/2016


I worked a little late on Monday and had some errands to run after work.  I also had to deal with my credit card information being stolen and cancelling my card and dealing with the fraudulent transactions.  I’m getting increasingly frustrated with criminals who steal people information and turn their worlds upside down. My husband’s card was just compromised a few weeks ago!


On Tuesday, the painter came back to finish painting our ceilings. After he finished up, I spent the rest of the night putting all our stuff back in the rooms.


On Wednesday, I came home and reorganized my entire closet. I didn’t get rid of nearly as many clothes as I should have, but it was a start!


Happy Thanksgiving!  We got to sleep in a bit, enjoy a very slow morning of coffee drinking, then headed down to Michael’s parents for the holiday.  The food was delicious, but the company was the best part! I have zero pictures of the day…that’s how much fun we were having.


I know a lot of people have off the day after Thanksgiving, I’m not one of them.  I’ve taken this day off the past few years, but I’m hoarding all my vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year’s! Its a pretty quiet day at work and I got a lot done.

After work, I went to Old Navy and hit up the 50% off sale.  I got some wonderful new clothes.  Guess I need to get rid of more in my closet…


On Saturday morning, I got up, got some laundry started, then got to Christmas decorating. In order to get the tree to fit in the living room, I have to move all the furniture.  So I cleaned as I went.


On Saturday afternoon, Michael and his brother and I went to a craft show in VA Beach.  We got some cool presents for our family.


On Sunday, we had church responsibilities, then went out to lunch with my mom, stepdad and grandmother (in town from PA).  It was really nice to see her.  We did some more chores around the house.  Still didn’t get the darn raking done…


Weekly Update – 12/21/15 – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I love Christmas time! Its my favorite time of the year, and this week was my favorite of the year (well…other than the week Michael and I got married!)



Every year, my mom hosts a Ornament and Cookie exchange.  Most people do not do the cookie exchange part, but the best is the ornament exchange.  We do it Dirty Santa style, where you all draw numbers, and you either pick a wrapped ornament out of the pile, or steal one that has already been opened.  Its a cutthroat game.

I got a lovely ornament that matches my teal, silver and white tree.


Tuesday night was the Chesson Family Dinner (my stepdad’s family). We fit 28 of us in my mom’s house.  We do a traditional Christmas dinner, then play Dirty Santa with random $10-$15 gifts. This year I walked away with a calendar, and Michael got a Christmas mug with a $10 iTunes gift card in it.

Its always great to see all my extended family, even if they are a bit crazy. And I got to take selfies with my nephew, and lets be honest, that’s my favorite part.


How can you not love those fat cheeks!?



Wednesday was our celebration of Christmas with Dad and family. We left work a little early and headed straight over there.  We had a great time and everyone gave each other very thoughtful and sometimes really silly/fun gifts.   We then spent the rest of the night watching people on youtube do the cinnamon challenge (why…I’ll never know).


Christmas Eve! Michael and I took a vacation day.  We spent most of the day cleaning and preparing to have everyone over on Christmas.


Merry Christmas!  My mom had this tradition of making chocolate chip pancakes on Christmas morning, so guess what Michael and I had….


Michael and I had a lovely morning at home and we spoiled each other rotten.



“It’s so preeeeettttttyyyyyy”




Had to have an Eagles jersey with my new last name….


Someone is excited about his Fit Bit!


A dear friend made this for us…it has the lyrics of our first dance song on it! So sweet!


In the afternoon, we had everyone over for some ham and other goodies. Michael also took the opportunity to teach everyone blackjack.


Michael, blackjack dealer extraordinaire. And Santa.



Saturday was a chill day.  Michael spent some time with his brother, while I stayed home and got some laundry and cleaning done.


Sunday was another pretty chill day.  We had responsibilities at church, but after that, we came home and relaxed most of the day.

How was your Christmas? What do you have special to eat on Christmas day?

Weekly Update – 12/14/15


Monday was a TERRIBLE day at work.  Just one of those bad days.  If I didn’t have plans, yoga would have been so beneficial to go to!

Instead, we went to my high school’s Christmas Chorus concert.  I was in chorus in high school and I always love going back and revisiting! I may be biased, but they sounded amazing.  There is nothing more amazing to me than a good chamber choir singing a capella. At the end of the concert, they invite any alumni up to sing “Joy to the World.” Its an arrangement that’s been done at the school since the 70s.


I ran into my yoga friend Debbie, and we hit the ellipticals and chatted.  I did about 2.5 miles.  Not my hardest workout, but certainly fun 🙂


Yoga was particularly tough for me.  I was having a really bad day with my balance, so I ended up taking modifications.  I haven’t had a really off day in yoga for awhile, so mentally that was a little rough for me.


I was bad and skipped the gym on Thursday.  I had to run some errands after work and stop by my mom’s house.  She ended up cooking me dinner and I spent some time with her.  Tis the season, right?


I had Friday off.  I know, I’m spoiled rotten saving my vacation days like that.  I slept in some, watched a Hallmark movie, then had lunch with my dad.  We got some Christmas shopping done afterward, which was nice.  It was the first cold day in awhile…finally felt like Christmastime!  I was able to spend some time with my good friends and grab some coffee at Starbucks.


Slept in on Saturday and had a lazy morning. We left about 2pm to head out to Virginia Beach since  Saturday was the Surf-N-Santa 5-miler! Always a favorite. More on that in another post, but it was a good (COLD) time! We came home and warmed up on the couch with some TV.


After church on Sunday, we went to see Michael’s parents and celebrate Christmas with them and his brother! Lots of good food and a fun time with family!

How was your week? Any Christmas runs?


Weekly Update – 11/16/15

This week was a pretty good one.  I made it to a few yoga classes and did a night of weights.  I also had a 5k this past weekend, and had a lot of fun life things going on.  Work has still been crazy, but I’m in a much better place emotionally about it.


Yoga was good.  It was a pretty full class.  I had a breakthrough with my balancing half moon pose.  We usually enter it from a lunge position, which has my hip flexor “bent” and then when I straighten the leg I’m balancing on, my hip flexor hurts when I straighten it (my hip flexors are VERY weak).  But, we had our legs straight when we entered it this time (like your legs are in triangle) and because my hip flexor was already  in the position it was going to be in when I move into balancing half moon, it didn’t hurt! Miracle.


Omg, a normal gym night.  I didn’t do anything too crazy, especially since I really haven’t been hitting the gym very hard recently.  Gotta ease back into it!

Warmup: foam roll, 10 minutes on elliptical

Three Rounds:

  1.  Split kneel overhead press (10 each side)
  2. Dumb bell rows from push up position (10 each side)

Three Rounds:

  1. 1o Goblet squats (20lbs)
  2. 10 TRX back rows


Yoga was good.  It was a pretty small class.  I spent most of the class being extremely mindful of being very accurate in my postures.  I’ve gotten complacent of late, simply going through the motions, and not really focusing on form.  I really enjoyed class.


Skipped the gym because it was opening night for the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2!!!! I’m a little obsessed. No spoilers here – it was good and I was very happy that it was pretty consistent to the book.


I’ve hoarded a bunch of my vacation days, so I took the day off to relax and to get some Christmas decorating done.  I did a ton of laundry and felt extremely productive.

After Michael got home from work, we went to get my race packet for Saturday.


Saturday was the Harbor Lights 5k.  Recap to come!

After the race we went up to the new Whole Foods.  There was a new Steinmart in the shopping center too, so I had some fun.  I was starving so we stopped for some chickfila.  I was eating it and realized the chickfila sauce didn’t taste right.  I had a bit of a sour stomach after that, so we just had a relaxed night in and watched some Netflix.


We had church on Sunday, then headed down to NC to see Michael’s parents.  They built a fire and we were nice and cozy on such a rainy, cold day!

Did you race this weekend? How do you like to spend cold, rainy days?

Merry Christmas! & Weekly Update – 12/22

Merry christmas

Merry Christmas!

Merry (belated) Christmas ya’ll! This was a week of a ton of family, a ton of food and only one workout. Sometimes your soul needs restful time.


After work we had the first of many Christmas celebrations! Monday was the annual Chesson Family Dinner (my stepdad’s family).  My mom always hosts, and we find a way to cram 25 people in her house.

baby mercy

Baby Mercy didn’t cry when I held her!



After work, Michael and I celebrated Christmas at my dad’s house with my brother and his fiance, Dad, Patty, Grace, and my in-laws. We do an ugly ornament exchange every year and I think the one I received takes the cake for the worst ever!

ugly ornament

Ew. So ugly.

They spoiled me rotten this year – I got 4 pair of Injinji socks, a yoga bag and a bunch of other stuff.  I have to say, my 13 y.0. stepsister is fantastic at picking out gifts!


Christmas Eve – I had to work a half day.  I convinced my boss to let me work from home, which was lovely.  I headed over to my mom’s house so that we could open presents with my stepsisters and their significant others.  I always love spending time at my mom’s house on Christmas.

Engaged ornament

Sweet ornament from my sister!

All the siblings left, and Michael and I hung at mom’s for awhile. We went to Christmas Eve service with my mom and Ken.


We spent the morning of Christmas Day by ourselves, opening presents.  Michael was sweet and got me some wonderful gifts.  He loved the gifts that I got him too.  It was great just to have some downtime with each other.

BMW gloves

Michael loved his BMW driving gloves!

We then went down to Elizabeth City to see his parents, brother and aunt.  We had a late lunch and opened presents. We got his mom a KitchenAid, and the look on her face was priceless!

We headed back to my mom’s later to see her and Ken for Christmas day.


Although work was open, Michael and I took a vacation day. Friday was a day of total relaxation….sleeping in, movie watching, eating, and just basically being a sloth!


I woke up and got to my workout with Danny.  Since this was my first workout in a week and I was feeling a bit under the weather, we took it easy. We did a lot of stretching and stability work.

Saturday afternoon, Michael and I went to return some Christmas gifts, exchange some and spend gift cards.  We also went to Men’s Wearhouse and picked out the suits for the wedding!


We went to church in the AM, and then had a pretty lazy day.  I cleaned up the house a bit from the insanity of the last week.

How was your Christmas week? Do you have a million Christmas celebrations, or is it pretty low key?

Surfin Santa 5 Miler Recap!


So apparently I’ve been getting the name of the race wrong.  It’s Surf N Santa! But I’m still gonna call it Surfin Santa, cause once you get the name wrong, you gotta own it, right?

Packet Pick-up/Expo

Since this was a “twilight” race that started at 4:30pm, packet pickup was same day from 12-4pm.  I like race day pick-up in general, so I was ok with the concept.  They suggested getting there early, because pick-up would be crowded from 2-4pm – which makes total sense, people run late by nature.

Fiance dropped me off at 1:11.  By 1:15, I had all my stuff…so I then had 3 hours to sit around and do nothing.  If I had to do it again, I would have planned to get there around 3pm.

Everything was super efficient, J&A races are always very well organized.  The expo was small compared to some of their bigger races like Shamrock.  I didn’t really spend much time in there.

Race Day Conditions/Attire

I knew it was going to be a cold one….FINALLY, a cold race! Temps were in the upper 30s, but since it was a night race, there was no sun to warm you up.

I opted for my Under Armor running tights that I LOVE with all my heart.  I wore a long sleeved technical shirt, and in a last minute wonderful decision, I opted for a vest.  It was just what I needed to keep my trunk warm, but without all the extra fabric to get me too overheated.


Everyone hung out in the convention center and I can’t say I blame them…it was a bit chilly out.  They did a great job of announcing to the crowd that there were more bathrooms available with shorter lines.  I really appreciated that.

I got to see friends!!!! I got to see Christy and Phil – a couple from work.  Christy is our Wellness Director. Then I ran into my friend Becca from college.  I tend to run into her at local races.  Its always a great surprise.  She just got engaged and I got to meet her fiance!  I was really focused on finding a few friends of mine from college and ran into them by chance.  Laura and I were on worship team together, and Jessica and I were in a  bible study together.  They brought another friend with them that I’ve never met.

I ended up losing all of them when I took my last  bathroom break, so I just headed out to my corral.

Race Time

The corrals were very well organized as always. I found Laura, Jessica and their friend (whose name escapes me!).  Let’s call her Jill.  Laura and Jessica wanted to take it easy and told Jill to run with me.

Jill and I set out at a nice comfortable pace around 11:15 min/miles. Mile 1 flew by without an issue.  Mile 2 brought the first water stop and the turn around onto the boardwalk.  The lights were fantastic.

I hung with her really well till about 3.5 miles.  My left hip flexor had started to irritate me and I couldn’t get it to stretch out or warm up.  I lost her after the last water stop.

The last mile and a half was rough without my partner, but I hung in there.  The last half mile or so was pretty dark and made me a little nervous.

I finished at 1:03:49. Since this was my first 5-miler, it was technically a PR, but even my worst 8k time (running) was 1:01:39. Oh well.  Still a PR!  🙂

After Party

J&A after parties are always fan-freakin-tastic. They had a chicken and corn chowder, which was to die for. Sam Adams provided the beer – so I got to enjoy a nice winter lager.  The band was great and most importantly, the party was inside and cozy warm!

I love this race and I’ll definitely plan on it again next year!

Have you ever done a twilight race? What is the best post-race food you’ve ever had?

Weekly Update – 12/15

Pretty uneventful week other than the Surfin Santa 5 miler.  Can’t wait to share that recap with you!


We had another “Christmas” yoga session, something I’ve really begun to love! Christmas music, Christmas lights, AND yoga?! Amazing.

So my gym has what they call the “Mind and Body” studio where yoga, pilates and abs classes (and a few others) are held.  We walked in last night and they added bars all around the room.  Perhaps they are going to add a Barre class?

For anyone who practices yoga, you’ll realize that this makes it more difficult to practice inversions, as oftentimes you use the wall for support.  Sigh.  I guess time will tell what the bars are for!


Danny night!  I think his goal was to make my butt hurt the next day.  He succeeded!

First Round (5x):

1. 200 meter row

2. TRX rows (10)

Second Round (3x):

1. SA Suitcase Deadlifts (10 each side)

2. Diagonal lunges (50 meters)


My mom had her annual Ornament Exchange where we play Dirty Santa.  I ended up getting the ornament I wanted! 🙂


Danny.  I was DEAD tired.  I stayed up way too late on Wednesday night, then had to be at work an hour early. I was also incredibly sore from Tuesday.  I don’t know why it kicked my butt so bad, but it did!

As many rounds of this as possible in 30 min (hint: only 2!):

*Do all of the exercises on your right side, then all exercises on your left.  That counts as one round.*

1. SA Cleans? I can’t remember (10)

2. Plank – :15

3. SA Bent over row (10)

4. Right side plank – :15

5. SL step ups (10)

6. Left side plank – :15


All the rest in all the world was had.  It was a crazy week!


Surfin Santa 5 Miler!  Recap to come!


Church in the morning, then had a pretty lazy afternoon.  We went to Belmont House of Smoke (BBQ place) for a work dinner in the evening.