Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: Christmas 2013 Part 1!

Sorry that I wasn't here to wish you a proper "Merry Christmas" on the exact 25th -- but I do hope that you had a happy, love-filled day with your family and friends -- no matter if you are an "official" celebrator of the holiday or not.  I hope you have lots of love in your life.  And food and presents.  You've gotta have the food and presents.

I last left you off on Tuesday when I was in Albany but I am currently in Rhode Island.  It's been a fun, food-filled few days but I am proud to say that I've gotten a good amount of fitness in as well.  I know and have now accepted that food will always be a challenge for me, but I'm happy and proud of how much I have worked to make fitness a part of my life.

When I packed to head out of Albany on Tuesday, I first did my Runner's World Run Streak mile then I went and got my things together to go.  Planning for lots of runs and workouts, I packed an entire bag of just running attire and sneakers.  And then packed a tiny bag with a pair of jeans and some shirts.  Priorities, right?

I had a few errands to do once I got to my home town on Tuesday, and then I was back at my mom's getting ready for Christmas Eve with her and my brother.  She made her all time favorite meal of my siblings and I's -- her chicken wings!  They are seriously so, so good and better than any chicken wing you could ever get at any restaurant.

We had a goofy, fun night and went to bed full of chicken wings (and some veggies I decided to make) in hopes that Santa would arrive that night!  Luckily, someone in our family must have been good at some point in 2013 because Santa arrived!

Maybe it was my brother's dog Bo Bo?  He was thrilled it was Christmas.

Before we opened presents from Santa, my mom and I snuck out of the house for a 7:30 a.m. spin class at her local spin studio that I attend while I am at home.  Well, first we did a photo shoot by the Christmas tree.  Complete with me picking up my mom, because that's what we do around here.

I'm not sure why it looks like the Christmas tree is falling over in all of those pictures, but I assure you, it was upright.

It was a great way to start the morning doing something healthy before we started a day of eating tons of junk and excess food.  I doubt that it negated everything I ate, but again, it was fun.  My mom has always, always been an avid exerciser and in her words "I would die if I couldn't work out."  It's not always been something that I've shared with her but it is fun that nowadays it is something we do together.

As you can tell, we dressed up for the Christmas spin class.  But we were in good company!  Please just do your best to excuse my sausage legs in that photo.  Apparently sidesaddling a spin bike with tight capris and tight knee socks is not a flattering angle.

When we got home we went right into present opening and opened up our gifts from Santa. We also did our presents to each other, which is one of my favorite things.  I spend a lot of time trying to pick out presents and love being able to give them to my family and see them open them!  This year for my little brother, I paid for his registration to run the Tough Mudder in May as part of his Christmas present, but I also wanted to do something little and fun.  My family has a tradition of playing a little game called "Christmas Surprise" (or "Thanksgiving Surprise" or "Easter Surprise" -- whatever holiday it is, applies) and my brother is always one of the biggest fans of this weirdo little tradition (that I may have made up.)  So, I created a special "Christmas Surprise" just for him, which was fun to do on Christmas morning.  I'll try to explain the full Christmas Surprise story soon, but I still have one "Christmas Surprise" to put on for my friends tonight :)  Here are a few pictures from my brother's opening:

I felt so blessed and lucky as I opened up my gifts on Christmas morning and felt almost like I didn't deserve everything I received.  It was a really wonderful morning and I am excited to put all the running loot to use!  My family certainly knows my hobbies well, and all my gifts were around the themes of either running or cooking, which I am so excited to put to use!  Here is all my new running gear that I am so excited about!

I am a lucky girl.

Following Christmas at home, we went to my grandmother's and celebrated the holiday there.  Since this post is getting a bit lengthy, I think I will share that part of Christmas in another post, but it was a really fun day!  I am off to grab dinner with my mom before meeting up with some high school friends tonight.  I hope that you are all having a great week!

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