a little talk, a little tea, and some biscotti, please!

Welcome!

Sit down,

join me for some tea.

A little biscotti and some talk is all we need!

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I am training for a half marathon. This is will be my  10th half marathon (throw some confetti here) and I’ll be running it in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh (and do a happy dance here). I’m not new to the city of Pittsburgh because I ran a marathon there two years ago and I ran the half marathon there last year. I’m in week #3 of my training so my training plan is still very manageable. My long run this week is a six mile run and my total milage for this week is 16 miles. So far, I feel good about my training plan and I’m looking forward to the race in May.

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I have read six books from my #MustReadin2017 list. I’m currently reading Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Ho. It’s a great compilation of stories and it even has one written by my new all-time favorite author, Kwame Alexander. Yes, I’m obsessed with his books. I absolutely loved his newest release, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. I loved everything about that book – the quotes, the format, the illustrations, the text, and the fact that orange inside feels and looks like a basketball. (Only book nerds would understand this!) I also finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Her book is shocking, spectacular, and thought-provoking. Yes, I sing Picoult’s praises too. Oh, and then there is Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Have you read it? Well, if you haven’t, you should. I would love to talk to you about that character Betty. There will be no spoilers here so just read Wolf Hollow, okay!?

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I am anxious for April to arrive. Maddie will be home and she will be turning the big two.one (21!). I don’t know how this happened, but it’s true. When she was home over Christmas she insisted that I learn how to use Snapchat. We’ve been snapping back and forth and having fun with it. Yes, she keeps me young. But most of all I’d like to share how proud I am of her. She’s in her Junior year of nursing school and texted us last week that she was accepted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society. She was excited and so are we!

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So that’s a wrap for this runner, reader, and rockin’ mom.

Your turn!

What would you like to talk about over some tea and, of course, biscotti?

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Slice of Life

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goodbye, hello

 

goodbye to a fun-filled summer vacation,

hello to the hustle and bustle of school days jam-packed with learning.

goodbye to Maddie once more,

hello to her junior year at college.

goodbye to the ARC ten miler race,

hello to Hershey 1/2 marathon training.

goodbye to our family vacation by the lake,

hello to a beach get-a-way for just the two of us.

goodbye to the fireflies lighting up the night sky,

hello to the cicadas singing in the trees above.

goodbye to summer reading of nine ten, riding freedom, and booked,

hello to the thing about jellyfish, moo, and because of winn-dixie.

goodbye to you again as i start the school year without you here,

hello to the memories we shared and your words that echo in my ears.

goodbye to the sizzling days of the august summer,

hello to the crisp days of september and fall.

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Slice of Life

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On My Radar

This week in celebrating what’s on my radar of life!

On my running radar:

I will finish week #5 of the training plan for my upcoming 10 miler race, which is on August 27th. My week will round out with me running a total 20 miles in the heat and humidity.  Hopefully, Sunday will be cooler for my 8 mile long run. I can honestly say the temperatures are crushing my pace, but I’ll continue to push through. I am happy though that I ran a 4 miler this week and did break through the brick wall of heat. I also got in some cross-training this week of Yoga, BODYFLOW, BODYPUMP, and CXWORX.

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breaking the brick wall

On my reading radar:

You know it’s a great book when I finish it *fast*, since I’m the world’s slowest reader! Last week I finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It is geared toward the young adult reader and reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. In fact, I liked Yoon’s book more so than Green’s. This week I’ll be wrapping up to I Will Always Write Back by Alifirenka & Ganda. It’s a compelling true story of a friendship from two different worlds. It’s an awe inspiring memoir that truly makes me appreciate the simple things of my life.

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two must reads

On my rockin’ mom radar:

The countdown is on! Maddie’s summer here at home is quickly coming to a halt – only one more week before she’s back at school. We have been busy shopping for her first-time apartment. I’m enjoying our time together shopping and the time we’ve been spending together at the gym. She’s a great workout buddy too!

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yoga buddies

And that’s a wrap for this runner, reader, and rockin’ mom!

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 Join in each Saturday for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.
It’s a time to celebrate the joy!

Join Me at Starbucks!

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I bit the bullet and signed up for *three* races. My first race will be a ten mile race right here in my home town. It’s on the local rail trail. I am so familiar with the course that there shouldn’t be any surprises. The ten miler is right around the corner, and before I know it August 27th will be here. I also signed up for a 5k in New Hope, PA. It’s called Run Now, Wine Later. I mean who wouldn’t want to run a race the serves you wine at the finish line! Actually, I ran this race last year with my friend Sandy and we had so much fun we decided to go back this September. And last but not least, in October I will be running a half marathon in Hershey, PA. This will be the first time I participated in this race. Several of my running friends will be there too. With all these upcoming races, my training is in full swing!

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I attended the Scholastic Reading Summit in Leesburg, VA. It was a one day conference but we managed to make it a girls’ overnight stay for a little pampering at the beautiful Landsdowne Resort & Spa. The theme of the conference was the power of Independent Reading. Although it was a small conference it had a big bang of presenters. In just one day I had the opportunity to hear John Schumacher, Donalyn Miller, Nancie Atwell, Lauren Tarshis, and Sara Pennypacker. Everyone was so motivating! I came home with an AwEsOmE “swag bag” of books, compliments of the Scholastic Reading Summit, and I bought my own stack of books for our classroom library.  All the books at the Scholastic book fair were 25% off! I have so many new titles to share and book talks to present. ***throw confetti*** If a Scholastic Reading Summit is in your area, I highly recommend it.

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that summer is quickly coming to an end. Maddie and I have been busy getting ready for her move back to college. This year she will have an apartment off campus so we have been diligently shopping for big and small items for her new place. We’ve been pricing everything from mattresses, to curtains, to decorations. It’s an exciting time and she’s quite anxious to have her own place and space.

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I am quite envious of the pastries you picked out to enjoy with your coffee. I would only be drinking a hot tea straight up with no sugar because I am on day 16 of 30 of my Whole 30 food challenge journey. I’m happy to say that I have successfully made it past the halfway mark. It’s been a challenge to say the least, but I guess if it was easy everyone would do it!

So, that’s what’s been happening this running, reading, and rockin’ mom’s world. I’m wondering what you would be sharing with me at Starbucks this morning!

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Slice of Life

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What I Know for Sure

It seems like the days linger. It seems like the weekend will never arrive. It seems like the month drudges on and on and on. And, it seems like the seasons will never change. We’ve celebrated holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays as we’ve progressed through this occasion and that occasion.

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Last Friday we gathered to celebrate my niece’s sixteenth birthday. Yes, sixteenth birthday. How did that happen I wondered. Sixteen? How could she be sixteen already? Wasn’t she just a toddler like yesterday? Wasn’t she just learning to ride a bike? And now, now she tells me she is learning to drive a car! Then, there’s my daughter. She’s going to be a junior in college. How can this be?  Ummm, wasn’t she just like a junior in high school yesterday? It literally seems like yesterday. I love watching our children grow. I truly do. We’ve created memories that will be cherished forever and ever. Memories and traditions that they one day will share with their family.

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This past weekend was no exception. My daughter Maddie decided she wanted to make Cara a very special sweet sixteen cake. I practically cried when Maddie showed me her finished masterpiece. Yes, we were all wowed! Just looking at these two girls brings me joy. They are growing up to be fine young adults. What I know for sure is that time really does fly. It’s not just a cliche. It’s oh so true!

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Cara’s Cake

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Cara & Maddie

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Slice of Life

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Join in and share a slice of your life!

The Best of…

I love the city of Pittsburgh. I had never been there until we went college shopping. Now Maddie happens to go to school there, so I get to visit more frequently.  Quite simply, we have the best of times in Pittsburgh and this past weekend was no exception.

the best city for shopping:
We kicked off our visit with a quick stop at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo. SO.MUCH.RUNNING.GEAR! Matt bought a new pair of sneakers and a running shirt. Then it was off to Shady Side on Walnut St. Maddie had birthday money so we stopped at Pandora and then went to Lululemon to buy her some running shorts for our 1/2 marathon the next day. We topped it off our trip with some delicious gelato from Mercurio’s.

the best city for dining out:
Saturday evening we had a delightful dinner at LeMont. The atmosphere and the service were excellent. And the view! It was spectacular.  Matt ordered a crab cake, Maddie a fillet, and I had sea scallops.  Dessert was on the house since we were celebrating Maddie’s birthday so she couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse cake.

the best city for running a race:
Sunday was race day! You know we are a family of runners.  Isn’t there a saying that says the family that runs together stays together? Well, maybe I made that saying up! Anyway, this was our second year of racing in Pittsburgh. Last year Matt and I ran the marathon and and Maddie ran the half-marathon. For as hilly as Pittsburgh is, the course is surprising kind and somewhat non-hilly!  This year Maddie and I tackled the half-marathon. The weather was so temperamental on race day and it really played with my mental aspect of racing. We weren’t sure if it was going to rain, thunderstorm, have cold temperatures, or even be a warm day.  One thing we were pretty sure…the sun wasn’t going to shine…and it didn’t. It ended up being warm and drizzly. So much so, that I was actually overdressed for the race.

the best city for site-seeing:
After the race Matt and I headed to Mt. Washington to get a view of the city.  It was magnificent! We could see the finish line of the race at The Point, Duquesne University, and the whole way down to the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Look at those skies though! Now you can see why the weather had me worked up and in a tizzy for the race.  Believe it or not, it only actually drizzled on and off. I can only imagine what our view could have been if the skies were clear and sunny.

the best city for casual dining:
We love to visit South Side Works for casual dining. Matt’s a fan of the Hofbrauhaus House. Me, not so much. But I did enjoy some post-race carb loading (if there is such a thing) and ordered the Hofbrauhaus pretzels and bier cheese for an appetizer. Lunch was a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant-nothing German about that! Matt had the Wurstplatte. Basically it was a sampling of Wursts. He was happy!
So today I’m celebrating the best of Pittsburgh, the time we have spent there, and the memories we have created.
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 Join in each Saturday for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.
It’s a time to celebrate the joy!
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Let’s Chat & Have Some Coffee Too

If we were chatting over coffee this morning, I would share…

that I am in week eleven of my half marathon training. My training plan is a twelve week plan so that means another race is around the corner.  The first weekend of May I will be running 13.1 miles in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.  I ran the marathon last year and it is truly an awesome race and a fantastic city.  I do not have any more races scheduled this year, but I will let you know that there is a very strong possibility that I will be training for a full marathon (26.2 miles) in the fall.

If we were chatting over coffee this morning, I would share…

that  Matt and I have started a new tradition on Friday nights.  Let’s just say I call it “Fresh Fish Friday.” A new seafood store opened in our area right before Christmas and Matt has made it part of his routine to stop in on Fridays and bring home a great catch. When he arrives home, he whips up fabulous meals. I’m not going to lie; the man is an amazing chef! Our dinners have included salmon, halibut, soft-shelled crabs, and clams.  I’m also trying to enjoy, or should I say eat, oysters. Not too sure about them yet, but I’m trying.

If we were chatting over coffee this morning, I would share…

that I just finished the book The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.  I have to admit that I started this book some time ago and just could not get into the “reading zone.” You can guess what happened; I abandoned it. I did, however, keep hearing rave reviews about it, so I gave it a second chance.  And, boy-oh-boy, am I glad I did. I absolutely loved it!  There are so many wise words sprinkled throughout, and I’m a huge fan of books in verse.  Now I’m anxious to get my my hands on Booked by the same author. In the meantime though I’m actively reading Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, 59 Reasons to Write by Kate Messner, and Poetry Mentor Texts by Lynne R. Dorfman & Rose Cappelli. Oh, and just so you know, spell check thinks Lynne’s last name is Doorman and Rose’s is Cappella.  I love technology!

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If we were chatting over coffee this morning, I would share…

that Matt competed in a sprint triathlon on Sunday. His race recap will be posted shortly. Maddie just turned twenty and I don’t know where the time has gone. We have two more days of PSSA testing this week. The weather has been down right perfect here in Pennsylvania. And last but not least, I’m wondering what you would be sharing over coffee this morning!

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Slice of Life

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Join in and share a slice of your life!

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