April 12, 2020 - Greensboro, NC
So yeah- Easter in a pandemic? We did our best haha. No visitors and no visiting so it was just us for the holiday. I tried to put together some fun Easter baskets, Jon's mom had some candy delivered from CVS, and Mom mailed the boys some goodies.
We had been doing egg hunts all week, and put on our Easter clothes on the warmest day for some fun photos with the pretty flowers before it got cold and rainy again. Egg hunts are one of their favorite things. They loved walking around the yard and picking them up.
Easter morning they tore into those baskets! Luke was very interested in the books and toys where Graham just wanted all the candy. We talked to all our family over Zoom and FaceTime and enjoyed the relaxing day.
Just another day in Quarantine... oh and Happy Easter!
March 13-16, 2020 - Fort Collins, CO
A long awaited AU girls reunion in Colorado. Ironically the same weekend a pandemic started. Doh!
We had planned this weekend many moons ago and were visiting Colorado because Elizabeth is due with baby #2 in May. And then the week we were supposed to go the coronavirus appeared. We were talking every day and decided to keep with our plans. We were going to be isolated once we arrived so we just had to get through the airport. Ha.
I drove to Raleigh on Thursday morning to drop the twins with my parents for the weekend. And then I headed over to Campbell's for the night as our flight was at 6am Friday morning. I got to see her really cute house, meet Pippa and Potter, and catch up over wine and packing. The next day dawned very early but we made it to the airport with many antibacterial gels in hand, clorox wipes, and keeping at the social distancing. We made it through security and stayed away from everyone til we boarded the plane. Wiping down literally everything, we settled into our seats for the 3hour flight. Luckily when we landed both Cara and Wynsor landed too so we were able to take an Uber all together to Elizabeth's house.
Her house was so nice!! A little ranch style and they had just redone the kitchen. We had a quick breakfast and hung out while Elizabeth went and grabbed the rental car. We were headed to Fort Collins (about an hour North of Denver) for the weekend. After a quick lunch stop at Chickfila, we were on our way!
Fort Collins is so cute! Normally a college town, but since a pandemic had just been declared... no one was in town. ha. Our Airbnb was a fun little condo literally just down the street from New Belgium brewery and very close to downtown. Ironically we tried to visit New Belgium but it had just closed due to coronavirus (cue crying from me haha). So we found another brewery that served primarily sours, Crooked Stave, on the main drag. There were lots of tasting beers, snacking on popcorn, and starting our catchup. And it started to snow!!
Since we weren't sure how the rest of the weekend was going to go we decided to do a little stock up on booze to get us through. :) We picked up mountain pizza for dinner so good! and settled in for the night with lots of games and drinks.
On our second day in town, Wynsor and I were up early to go for a run. We were staying just off the Poudre Trail - so decided to get some miles in. First running at altitude is hard on the lungs, but second the views were amazing! It had snowed the night before so it was like a winter wonderland along the river with mountains in the background.
5 miles later and after showers and breakfast for everybody we decided to venture into town for some lunch and exploring. We had brunch/lunch at Coopersmith's. Delicious pizza and flights of tasty beer! We were the only ones there for most of the time... I think the servers were really glad to see us. Afterwards we walked down their main street, visited some of the kitchey shops, before settling in Nuance Chocolate shop. Chocolate tastings, sipping chocolate, and truffles galore. IT WAS SO GOOD. Then it got crowded so we opted to head next door to the cheese shop. Campbell asked the guy to make us a yummy cheese plate not knowing how long that would take haha. The rest of us ventured out for more shops before settling at Equinox brewing. Another flight of beers, and then Campbell finally joined us! Our final stop of the day was to Ginger and Baker. Such a cute place!! A little shop, bakery classroom, wine bar, and finally a restaurant. We had rolled up for their happy hour - so lots of apps and cheap yummy drinks. We headed back to our condo afterwards for an evening of snacks, booze, and games. :)
Sunday arrived and a 5K run for Wynsor and me. No snowy views this time but still nice despite the lungs burning. We decided to take it easy for the day, and so were lazy with snacks, and hanging out. Lots of games, a trail walk mid-afternoon, enjoying the rest of the day on the deck. Elizabeth made a tasty surf and turf dinner, before we played some final games and tried to make a bigger dent in the remainder of our booze supply.
On Monday we were up early early to get packed up, tidy the condo, and hit the road to the airport. Everyone but me was flying out this morning. So many hugs (little did we know these would be the last once we'd give for awhile) and safe flights! Then Elizabeth and I headed back to her house. I got to hang out with Lilia and Jason for the afternoon and then ended up switching my flight to a 4:30pm as we were afraid domestic flights might get grounded. UGH. So no fun evening but what a wonderful trip.
It may have not been the smartest as for timing, but we were smart about our surroundings and distanced ourselves from others. Plus all the anti-bac and chlorox wipes. So glad we ended up going as this was the last trip I'll get to take for a long time. LOVE THESE LADIES!!!
February 27 and March 7, 2020
I can't believe it but Luke and Graham are TWO today. We had a pretty normal day, fun tshirts, some new books to read, and cupcakes for dessert!
Our party was the next weekend, March 7, and all our family came to celebrate! So many presents, yummy bbq for lunch from Blackpowder Smokehouse, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert. We had transportation theme decorations - a banner and fun cupcake toppers.
The twins had so much fun opening presents, definitely got into it, a big change from last year :) Such a fun birthday celebration!!
February 28-March 1, 2020 - Atlanta, GA
WOW. What an incredible weekend.
Starting at the beginning, I left very early on Friday morning and picked up Rachel J and Rachel B before heading south to Charlotte to grab Cessy. She had a yummy breakfast ready for us, which was great for a little sustenance before we continued on to Atlanta. We made a couple of potty breaks, a lunch stop at Chicken Salad Chick (delicious BTW), before finally getting into town. GPS had to take us a different route due to so much traffic on 85 but we did finally make it.
We dropped me off at my Oiselle leader meeting, and they continued on to our AirBnb to drop off luggage and get race packets for Sunday's race.
The leader meeting was great. I'm not new to Oiselle (obviously) but being chosen as a leader this year is awesome. I've been trying for many years but have always lived in an isolated area until now. Thankfully I was selected! I was able to meet Chief Bird, Sally, our leader Leader, Carolyn, as well as many other leaders from states all over. We learned about plans for upcoming large meetups, items we need to accomplish as leaders this year, and brainstormed in small groups about events we can plan in our respective areas.
The two ladies at my table were Cecilia and Jenn, both from TN, who I've followed online for years but had never met in person. SO wonderful to connect. :) I also met Beth (who I've followed forever) and so many other birds, some I had not been following and others I of course had been. It's so great to meet people IRL that you feel you already kind of know thanks to the internet haha.
After the meeting, the TN ladies and I grabbed an Uber to our dinner party location. So so much fun. Lots of beers, hugs, catching up, and delicious bbq and macncheese made for an awesome evening. I met more ladies on the NC team, met ladies I'd followed for years, and caught up with old friends from previous bird camps. I heart this team so much.
Afterwards, we Ubered back to our Airbnb to settle in for the night. Cessy and Joanna hit the sack early, but the Rachels and I sat up and talked for awhile. We all have 2 year olds currently so you can guess the topic of conversation haha.
On Saturday morning there were a bunch of shakeout runs going on all over Atlanta. We opted to run with Clean Sport Co and Kara Goucher. So many people showed up to run I think they were a little overwhelmed. But we got a decent 3 mile run in, as well as some photos with KG. Then Joanna and I headed back to shower and get ready while the other girls finished out a few more miles. After everyone was ready, we tried to pick up lunch at Corner Bakery but it was a nightmare in there so we cancelled our orders and then walked over to the Oiselle Cowbell Corner. It was very cold and windy. I had on so many layers but was staying pretty warm compared to the other girls. It was such an amazing experience. The elite runners passed us 6 times. We got to cheer for the 24 runners from Oiselle and all the other amazing contenders for the Olympics. So much cheering and cowbelling! The Oiselle corner was deafening. It was awesome.
Afterwards we said goodbye to Joanna, as she had to drive back to Charlotte, and then headed to a nearby brewery/restaurant to eat since we skipped lunch. Pizza and beer had never tasted so good. Then showers and relaxing until it was time to head to the party.
Luckily we were staying around the corner from that location so it was an easy walk over! Again more meetups with ladies I hadn't met in person, a few yummy cocktails, and beers, and I got to meet my coach Becki! We've been working together for almost 2 years so it was nice to meet IRL. Then of course there was the fashion show!! So many lovely items that I can't wait to purchase down the road ... and then we danced our hearts out. Even got to dance with Kara Goucher (NBD). It was an amazing evening!
Oh and then we crashed hard because we were running a race the next day haha. Luckily I had only signed up for the 5K so no pressure. I ran hard, but the hills were brutal so my only goal was to finish under 30mins and I accomplished that. I know I've got a lot more in me- but that was good enough for the time being. :)
After the races were complete, it was quick showers, pack up and hit the road back home. This time around we got to drive 85 which was definitely a shorter distance. We ate a quick Mexican lunch along the way and then one by one everyone got dropped off and I was back in time to help with twin dinner.
WHAT A WEEKEND. One I won't soon forget. <3
February 14, 2020
Just popping in with a few fun photos of the twins on Valentine's day. We didn't do anything special- opened a few cards and enjoyed the day.
February 13, 2020 - Greensboro, NC
We got together for a Galentine's potluck dinner. We had the best turnout of any meetups at this one!!
Madelyn brought a chili, Sara a brussels salad, Vanessa a quinoa salad, Jen brought lasagna, and I made homemade tagalong cookies. We had a little red wine as well.
It was great to see everyone and catch up over a delicious meal. Plus some of these ladies hadn't met each other yet. Great to build more connections in our area.
We had hoped to watch Britney Runs a Marathon- but it got a little late (for a weeknight) so everyone headed home with plans to go out to a restaurant in WS in March. Can't wait!
February 8, 2020 - Winston-Salem, NC
So the NC Volee big meetup for February was scheduled at JDL Fast Track again. Some incredible elite runners were running, as well as one of Oiselle's Haute Volee, Sammy George.
This time it was very packed for the indoor meet. I found a spot along the back, Madelyn joined me to cheer, and we saw Vanessa taking photos in the inner ring. We saw Paul Chelimo and Jenny Simpson kill it in their respective races. It was really cool to witness.
Afterwards we headed over to Foothills Brewing and enjoyed a drink while it snowed outside! Always great to see the Oiselle ladies and experience a fun indoor track meet! Looking forward to our triad meetup later this month!!
January 12, 2020 - Winston-Salem, NC
For January we stepped outside of the normal and attended an indoor track meet. The Southeast Masters (30 and up) was taking place at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem and we had a couple of runners participating so it seemed like an easy fit for our next get together.
Megan Arnold (Raleigh bird) completed the mile and grabbed 2nd in her age group! Super speedy. Vanessa Vila (Triad bird) took on the 400, 200, and 60m. She also grabbed some age group awards. Fastie Birds. :)
This was my first time attending an indoor track meet. As a musician/dancer I didn't participate in school sports. It was honestly a really cool atmosphere and I'm glad I went! Plus it was fun to cheer on some of our local ladies.
December 29-January 1: Asheville, NC
A fun few days of breweries and good eats!
Jon's parents graciously agreed to keep the twins so we could get away for a few days to Asheville. A break is always good - we get some time to reconnect and not have to worry constantly about keeping two one-year olds alive. haha.
Our first stop (after checking in to our hotel) was over to Highland Brewing. I had always wanted to visit but because it's a little out of the way we had never made a stop. It was so much bigger than I thought! Some really fun outdoor space (that in the summer I'm sure is wonderful) and a big tasting room. I got a round of tasters while Jon tried a couple of beers. I also randomly got a free 5min massage (when in Asheville right?!) A reggae band started shortly after we arrived so we decided after our round that we would head out... not really our scene ha.
Next we headed to Cursus Keme. I found it online and it was nearish to Highland so it seemed like a good place to stop. It was a very cool building. Previously a garage obviously it had been redone in a very dark wood, but still nature filled way. And the beer was good!
Then we headed to White Duck Taco to eat. I'd eaten here a couple of years earlier and had been wanting to come back. SO GOOD. We also had to have some queso of course!!
Our last stop of the night was to New Belgium. They were closing early but I was able to get a round of tasters in while Jon had a couple beers. Good ending to the night!!
The next morning we had looked up places to run and so headed over to Carrier Park in Asheville to do some short runs. It was brisk but sunny and the park was pretty nice - a few muddy spots - but it was nice to run along the river. After showering and getting ready for the day, we met up Dave and April Smithwick who live just outside of Asheville, at Sierra Nevada Brewing.
We had delicious pretzels and beer cheese, yummy pizza, and a couple rounds of beers. April and Dave decided to hang with us for a few more hours while they had a babysitter and headed to our next stop with us. Funkatorium! Always fun to visit Wicked Weed's sour spot. We sat outside in the sun and enjoyed the day. Our last stop with April and Dave was Twin Leaf. A couple of beers (and water) and good conversation. Always so fun to catch up with old friends!
After we split ways, we stopped at one last place, Catawba, before heading to our dinner reservations for the evening. One beer and water later we took a few photos and then off we went to dinner. Tupelo Honey is so good. And while we ate at the Biltmore Forest location instead of downtown it was still quite good! Thankfully we made reservations as it was still crowded!
NYE dawned with another run in Carrier Park - this time going the opposite direction but proving to be the better part of the trail! Thankful for these runs to get us up and going in the morning. Our stops for the day consisted of first visiting: Vortex Donuts!, Wicked Weed, Bhramari Brewing, Green Man Brewing, and closing it out at Burial. Then we headed home to quickly change to meet Jordan and Christopher at Aloft Hotel Bar before our dinner reservations. We ate a yummy dinner at BlackBird Cafe. So stuffed afterwards. Then headed over to the Greenhouse for some fun ciders before ringing in the new year in our comfy clothes back in our hotel. :)
New Years Day started with a long walk for me (and run for Jon) one last time in Carrier Park. Great place to exercise these last couple of days. Our final stop of the weekend was brunch at Curate. We had eaten here for our 4th Anniversary and it was amazing. We were so happy to be back. Delicious mimosa and even better food to start off the New Year. Let's hope 2020 is as wonderful as this meal!
Thanks Asheville for yet another fun few days for New Years!!!
Holy Holidays Batman!
Our first order of business was seeing Santa (which we did twice!). First at a local hotel. And honestly we were more excited by the firetrucks outside (because some kid pulled the alarm...) than actual Santa. But no tears so it was a win!
Then we once again we traveled the state for the holidays. First starting in Wilmington with my dad's side of the family. We got to spend time with all the extended crew. It was a little overwhelming for the twins but overall I think they did ok.
They got some fun toys that they wanted open immediately AND they got to do play in a big bouncy house. They really enjoyed going down the slide.
After Wilmington we were in Raleigh for the next couple of days. We saw our second Santa (Luke cried hard!) and I went to an xmas themed pop up bar! We visited with lots of friends and then did our Christmas celebration with mom's side on Xmas Eve. Again lots of fun presents for the twins, some clothes for Jon and me, and lots of yummy food. We drove back to Greensboro that evening.
Christmas morning dawned with quick runs for Jon and me, followed by getting everything ready for Santa and to head to Waynesville in the afternoon.
We had a blast getting our Santa presents!! There was a Thomas the tank Engine for Luke and a Little Blue truck for Graham. They got books and duplos from Mommy and Daddy. They had the best time opening presents! Then we ate a quick yummy breakfast before loading up the car to head to the mountains.
We arrived just in time for more presents! And then naptime, food, lots of people and again more presents. It was a very good Christmas Day.
And of course a great holiday two week run. Always nice to see family even though by the end we are all exhausted. :) Happy Holidays!