Life here is good. We've had some challenges in this new year but that's not to complain, just to be real and not pretend we're perfect (wink).

First things first, my Daddy had a birthday! He's a leap year baby, born February 29th. And he's super special;)

The boys are growing like weeds. Who's tired of hearing me say that? Christian lost his first tooth Wednesday night and he was beaming with pride. I love him so much and can't believe how tall he is. I tied a string around his tooth like my Nana used to do--is that what people still do? I realized I am uninformed on current tooth pulling practices. Do share if you have a tip! I'm stuck in 1982. C and I were going back and forth screaming, "Ew! Ew!" It was funny and a sweet memory with this guy.

Little brother doesn't look so little anymore.

These are such fun ages. I'm just so thankful and my heart is so full.

Waterlogue app
What's new on the running front? I'm training for my sixth half marathon in April (veeeeeeerry excited) and #whowouldvethoughtIwouldstickwiththisrunningthing?! The half was supposed to be a full marathon but my knee has been nagging me (#oldlady) and I fell behind early in training. I know better than to push it (enter previous stress fracture) so I've dropped back to the half. The marathon still eludes me! But I'm super excited for this half, I love running the streets of downtown Nashville, it's exhilarating. I am however ready to train in 50 degrees instead of 20:) And it is still my goal to complete a marathon this year. And also my first triathlon....

I switched shoes Saucony Guide 7's....

and I like them a lot.  I really like them. I'm not sure if it's love yet. Weirdly, I still love Mizuno, even though my doctor thinks they are ill suited for my feet.  I heed his advice and stick with a wide toe box (which is SO strange to me since I have very narrow feet) but I still swoon over Mizunos and admired the new styles while purchasing my Saucony's. Maybe Saucony is the one, we'll see. Or maybe I run like a hyena and need to hire a coach. Hubs isn't going to go for that so let's hope the shoes are winners!

Hm....what else....

My first StitchFix is coming this week..(squeal!) I can't wait. My friend has had such good luck with it and get's the greatest stuff so I'm excited to see what I get.  If you want to sign up here's my referral link!

Stitch Fix

Healthy addictions...

House of Cards; already finished with season 2, please tell me there's a 3.


Really enjoying the book but it's taking me forever because of our HOC addiction.

Healthier banana bread (recipe here, I use Greek yogurt and add 2 handfuls chocolate chips)

And that's about it for life lately:)  We're still covered in snow but hoping the sun will come back soon.

Cute summer espadrilles


I stopped in Target today for almond butter and dishwasher tabs and left with these too! I don't always find Merona shoes comfortable but these were (yay!). They come in black, red, and black/white stripes too. I had to go 1/2 size down fyi:) Cute, cheap, comfy, and worth a look!

Fashion Friday: Cold weather running favorites


It has been positively freezing here in Tennessee and since I signed up for a marathon in April, I have to get my runs in. No excuses:) My family was so sweet to spoil me with some Lululemon gift cards and I picked up some fun things that are worth sharing!

Base Runner 1/2 zip

I layer this with a cool racerback and it is the perfect weight for days that are in the 30s. Even when it's freezing, I hate to overdress and overheat.  This is a great combo.

I wasn't going to get this even though I loved it (it's a similar weight to the 1/2 zip) but when Mr. C and I wandered into Lulu on a wild and crazy date night I couldn't resist grabbing it. I'm glad I did, it's wonderfully comfy. And visible! And cute. Look at the little gathers in the back. Perfect fit!

I also (finally) got a pair of Wunder Unders (Full on luon version) and I can see what the fuss is about. They are very soft, very comfy, and surprisingly warm. I sized up in these because I wanted them to be comfy enough for lounge as well but I wish I had gotten my normal size. Just an fyi.

Last but not least, the best running gloves I've ever come across; Saucony Ulti-Mitts.

They are pricey for running gloves and I wasn't originally going to invest (so I talked my mom into it, ha!) but they truly are worth it. My 2 cheaper pairs were worthless. These are so warm but still lightweight and have 5 finger gloves underneath the mitt.

And on my wishlist...the Brooks Ravenna 5. Must run in bright shoes!

First family photobook


I've been wanting to make a photo book for so long.

The inspiration for the style of this book came from a wonderful blog called Simple As That. the idea of a family yearbook.

I also loved Rebecca's idea to make a collage at the end of every month and then at the end of the year your photo book is essentially done, it just needs to be put together and beautified. I, of course, did things the hard way, did not make the collages monthly, and fell way behind. But when Christmas time came I was determined to get it done since I also wanted to give them to grandmothers as gifts. I sat in front of the computer from 11 one morning until 11 one night (only breaking for carpool) and got it done! And I'm thrilled with it. I want to go back and make one for each of the years I've missed so that my bookshelf is full of these lovely memories. It will take some time but I'll get it done. And again, kudos to Rebecca since I borrowed *lots* of her ideas (and quotes)!

I used Mixbook although I know there are other great sources like Blurb.  Mixbook won because they had the size I wanted and offered a 40% off coupon (I noticed they have one this month too so maybe they do that often). I ordered the 12 x 12 hardcover and added some pages for a total of 36.  I love how it turned out and will be using them again!

I also loved that Mixbook offered lots of layout/background/text options. And I LOVE that making this book forced me to choose my favorite photos, put them in one place, and print them.  So worth it! New Year's Resolution; print more photos!

I ended the book on a silly note. What a fun project this was!

A great recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe: Sweet and Sour chicken


This recipe is a total winner. It is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and she never lets me down. Last night I knew that I had chicken and broccoli on hand but didn't want the same old thing. I headed to my Pinterest board where the first thing I ran across was this sweet and sour chicken. Miracle of miracles, when I looked at the ingredients I had them all.

And y'all, both kids loved it. I repeat, both kids loved it (okay one loved it, one liked it) but that is a really big deal. One meal that all four of us will eat? Yes please.

And Mr. C loved it too might I add:) It is easy. It is delicious. Add it to your arsenal. (And make extra sauce.)

What I read in 2013


I love keeping up with the books I read each year via GoodReads. I started the year strong but fell short in November and December due to our 'Breaking Bad' addiction. Still, 18 ain't half bad!

My favorites are always hard to choose since I love a variety of genres. I loved the two by Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind and Me Before You. I loved Sarah's Key also and became a Jodi Picoult fan with The Storyteller. I really enjoyed Sarah Jio's books as well. And The Language of Flowers and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. See, I can't choose!

I'm on to Allegiant now (I loved Divergent and Insurgent, excited to finish these)!

A look at 2013


2013 was a great year for us! It is filled with memories that make me smile...

good food
trying new restaurants
beach vacations
a trip to New York (first time flying for the boys)
trips to Virginia
a visit from our cousins
C starting Kindergarten
the boys learning to ride bikes
the boys learning to tie shoes
goals achieved
goals not achieved (Chicago, but hopefully in 2014!)
18 books read
around 600 miles run
2(ish) miles in the pool
lots of working
lots of playing
and lessons learned.

I feel so blessed and thankful and 2013 will be a year I refer back to for a long time. The best thing about the year of course is anything to do with these guys.

Thank you for reading. This is a place that I love, an outlet for me to create, to clear my head of the words that fill it, to share my teeny little humble experiences, photos, and ideas, and to be inspired by others.

I've learned many lessons this year, and among them what stands out is simply to show friends and family you love them. Say it often and don't be embarrassed. Give hugs and squeeze people tightly. Never look to the internet for medical advice. Have a good attitude.  Forgive easily (that includes yourself).  Lay down the camera sometimes and pick it up sometimes. Soak it all in. It goes by too fast.

2013 Memorable Moments from Courtney on Vimeo.
music by Mindy Gledhill