Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall 2013

We are now 2 days into fall and I am loving it! I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the cooler temperatures, beautiful colors of leaves on the trees, the blessings of a bountiful harvest from our garden and getting into a routine once again after a busy summer.  However, with fall also comes winter... I'm not a huge fan of winter and have to talk myself in to it! I find myself putting off storing our summer clothes away and bringing out the winter clothes bins.  But, I know it'll come anyway so for now, I'm loving & cherishing the season we're in now! 

Since arriving home from Pennsylvania, my days have been filled with harvesting our garden and trips to the market for boxes of fresh peaches, apples & pumpkins.  Our freezer is quickly becoming full of frozen veggies for the winter: carrots, squash, zucchini and tomatoes.  I've also made and froze apple & peach pies, canned 3 batches of tomato soup, canned 1 big batch of cucumber relish, made freezer pickles, pureed pumpkin for baking and made countless batches of cucumber salsa!  We've also enjoyed fresh Dutch Apple Pie and warm applesauce for dessert... We'll be eating well this winter!

Tys, Katie and Trenton recently had school pictures taken so, I decided to take a few of Miss Kristiana as well... 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Philadelphia Day 4 Part 2

After our race, we headed back to our hotel for a shower and out to eat at Hard Rock Cafe for lunch with Nancy Jane, Bruce & Janet.  I have to admit, we pigged out the rest of the day! First there was yummy lunch at Hard Rock then, Starbucks and Hard Rock AGAIN for dinner... it was great to splurge and pig out.. knowing we had trained hard and ate "clean" over the summer, it was a treat! 

 Sadly, our wonderful visit with our family ended after lunch.  I am already missing them... they were such a blessing to us!
 Mom and I walked back to the historical end of the city that late afternoon.. this time we made it in time to go inside the Liberty Bell building and take a horse carriage ride.

 Betsy Ross house
View of just one of many eastern styled buildings while enjoying a Starbucks!
That evening our sore muscles began setting in and we ended up back in our hotel, with legs propped up, right after dinner.  Our awesome weekend may have been over but, we were leaving with so many wonderful memories and refreshed hearts!!
The next morning we were up at 3am and flying out of the Philadelphia airport by 6am.  Yep, a very early flight! We had stops in Washington DC and Seattle and, made it home around 4:30pm.  Casey was so wonderful in bringing the kids to the airport to greet us... I had missed them all SO much!!!

Philadelphia Day 4 Part 1

It was a beautiful morning for our long awaited Rock n Roll Philadelphia! Mom and I had trained and prepared for this race all summer and were ready to get going! There were approx 25,000 runners in this event.. making the experience SO amazing! The fun, supportive fans cheered us along the way and we both ran our best race times ever... me 2:08 and mom 2:17. We both felt great during the run and had a great time! For both of us, we ran this event in memory of my Grandma, who loved the Schuylkill River that we ran along.  I thought about her for much of the race!  The first three miles of the course were in the city then, we made our way out of the city.. on the greenbelt by the river.  This Saturday morning there were quite a few rowers that kept me entertained during the run.  At mile 9 we ran on the bridge across the river and back towards the city.  We crossed the finish line right in front of the Art Museum.. where "Rocky Balboa" filmed one of his famous fitness training scenes.  Also, not only where there fans with supportive, funny signs cheering us along the way but, also bands stands playing various kinds of live music.  It was definitely an event that I'll remember forever!!
 Ready to Run!

 Mom almost at the finish line!!
 I love running with my mom.. she's my biggest motivator!  And, even though we don't the actual race together... just knowing she's there is such a huge inspiration! I'm so proud of her and how far she's come in her training over these last 2 years.
 At the finish line were our 3 biggest fans.. Janet, Nancy Jane and Bruce.  They came into the city that morning to cheer us on... they did a great job!  There was much laughter, tears and hugs at the finish line :)

Philadelphia Day 3 Downtown

After Uncle Tommy's award ceremony, Nancy Jane drove mom and I back to the city where we checked in at our hotel. Nancy Jane headed home so it was just mom and I for the evening... we headed to the market for dinner and out for a walk to check out the historical part of the city.  We were able to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and a few of the older/historical buildings.  It was later in the evening so we weren't able to actually go inside but, it was a nice evening anyway :)
 Independence Hall

 The Signer statue

 Sunset in the city...

 Our hotel, Loews, was located just across the corner from the Hard Rock cafe... we were in bed on time that night since we had a big day ahead of us!!

Philadelphia Day 3

Early Saturday morning we headed into downtown Philly to attend the Rock n Roll expo.  We were so blessed to have Nancy Jane as our driver the whole weekend... less stress for mom and I! We picked up our race packets and walked around the expo... there were quite a few vendors there and fun things to do/look at...

 Ready to Rock n Roll!!!
 After the expo we walked across the street from the Convention Center to the awesome Reading Market. It's a large indoor market with lots of different places to eat and amazing fruit and veggie stands etc. It was also located just a block from our hotel so, Mom and I actually ate at the Reading Market a couple of times!

 Mom, Nancy Jane and Cousin Roseanne
 Saturday afternoon, we drove back to the Bridgeport area to attend Uncle Tommy's award ceremony for his participation in the Korean War.  There was a bbq lunch offered beforehand then, a wonderful ceremony hosted by Korean and American officials. There were many men honored this day. I'm so proud of Uncle Tommy and the years that he served our country!

 Representative Kate Harper giving a "thankyou" speech

Uncle Tommy and his sweet "friend" Miss Bell... we fell in love with her as she is such a wonderful, kind lady!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Philadelphia Day 2 Valley Forge

After visiting with cousin Barbara, Nancy Jane got off work and picked us up.  We then headed to the beautiful and history Valley Forge... just minutes from where she lives in Bridgeport.  I kept thinking how amazing it would be to live so close to such historical places... people were running along the Valley Forge greenbelt like it was just a part of their everyday lives! 
 The beautiful Valley Forge church

 Inside the church's courtyard

 View from the church..

 Valley Forge arch..

 The original old cabins and fence that was used during the war...