Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!...and Running News

It's Christmas time!  It seems that no matter the chaos or stress of shopping, decorating, preparing, etc., I get in an extremely happy mood this time of the year (especially the week right before!).  I love looking at the lights on houses, I put lights on my own house, I love seeing the tree in my living room.  It's such a festive time of the year!  (Can you tell how happy I am??  lol).

In preparation for Christmas, there is one (and only one) type of cookie I make.  Pizzelles!  I probably posted about them last year.  They are delicious and a favorite of my family.  I have since inherited the pizzelle making process.  Pizzelle's are Italian waffle-like cookies.  Traditionally I think they are anise flavored, however, I do not like anise flavor and our recipe is a vanilla recipe.  My favorite!  This year, my cousin wanted to help me make them.  They are her favorite cookie and I always give her some.  She thought she could share in the joy!  I warned her that pizzelle's are labor intensive cookies, you make the batter but your arm just about falls off from trying to stir the thick mess!  Then you have to drop two balls of batter on the pizzelle grill and press down for about a minute.  You can only make two at a time and we make about 100!    Here are a few pics to commemorate it!

My cousin making pizzelles

A few of the finished product!
 Luckily, my cousin had a good time making them and she made about 90% of it for me this year!  Woohoo!  I may enlist her help every year!

Afterwards, I did something totally out of character, I made more cookies!  Actually, I helped my cousin make some.  We made some sugar cookies and frosted them, some macaroons and some chocolate covered pretzels.  I have never made chocolate covered pretzels and was amazed at how easy they are! 

Me making the chocolate pretzels. 
Yes, it was a sweats kind of day!  (And laundry day!)

Some of the finished product.
 A few nights before my cookie extravaganza, I was invited out for another cousin's birthday.  How about a photo op!  I clean up kind of well, huh??

Me on the left and a cousin on the right.
 How about some more Christmas pictures?

First, I'm not a crafty person AT ALL!  I usually hate even doing crafts!  But a friend showed me an ornament wreath and even though she offered to make me one, I decided to be bold and try this myself!  After I had it all done and was trying to hang it up, I dropped it and all the ornaments went flying!  Luckily they are shatter proof. I almost gave up and threw it out but persevered!  It actually didn't take long to fix it and I like it better than before. It just needs a bow and maybe some garland weaving through it but I'm pleased with my results!  Nothing beats making something yourself!  Especially when you don't think you can!

My ornament wreath! Not bad for a not-crafty person!
  Now for some other random Christmas pictures!

My grandmother always made our stockings when we are born.  Here is mine.

Here is the whole family's stockings.  I leave mine at my parents with all the rest! 

Picture of my Christmas Tree.  We spent a whole $30 this year instead of the normal $15!

Running News:

I started running again!  Yay!  I was out for 3 weeks while waiting for a doctor appointment.  When he told me it was runner's knee (full recap in this post), he gave me some exercises to do but said I can still run! 

I started out slowly though.  Last week, I ran 2 miles (about 11:00+ min pace), then 2.5 miles (10:30 pace), then 3 miles (9:58 pace).  Actually I didn't look at my pace for the entire run.  I don't want to go fast, I just wanted to run at a nice, easy, comfortable pace so I don't hurt myself.  I can pick up speed later.  So when I finished the 3 miles at a sub-10 min pace, I was a little surprised and happy.  That was a comfortable pace!  Nice!  So getting back into some faster paces shouldn't be too difficult hopefully!

My marathon training starts next week.  Therefore, I haven't wanted to run too much right now just to give myself a break.  But I did want to get a few miles under my belt.  I figure I will have to run enough once I start training again!  And can I tell you, it felt SO GREAT to be running again!  I missed it!  I almost can't believe how much I miss running when I don't do it!  It never used to be that way!  When I started running last week, I had to stop myself from running every day!  And my knees felt pretty good too.  Hopefully it stays that way!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!  I hope you all have a great one!


  1. Sounds like you're back in the saddle! I hope to see you this Saturday for the Christmas Eve morning run! :)

  2. I will for sure be there Kelly!

  3. Way to get back to running and it sounds like you're ready to tackle marathon training!