Christmas! + meal prep + decision time.

Jake and I went to midnight mass with his family on Christmas Eve, so we got home about 1 am. We wanted to get to my parents’ pretty early Christmas morning, so we got up around 5:30 am to do our own Christmas, relax, and sip on coffee. We were both pretty exhausted, but we wanted to spend as much time as possible with everyone. Between Christmas Eve and Christmas, we got to have four Christmases with our families!
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The girls were pretty excited about watching us open presents! I’m sorry these are so dark – I mentioned this yesterday, but I’m pretty sure I broke the overhead light in our living room last week. We just haven’t had time to fix it yet! Whoops. Aspen’s eye is giving off a weird glow…
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I was teasing Jake about how he wrapped this present…he told me he did it on purpose because he knew I’d get a kick out of it. He cracks me up.
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My Mom had this sitting out on the counter when we got to their house. I was pumped! I put black pepper on everything so mix that with Sriracha and I’m a happy girl!
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I thought this shirt was appropriate – Falalala Wine.
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Hands down my favorite tradition: monkey bread! We have had monkey bread while opening stockings for as long as I can remember.
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My Mom also always makes a delicious egg casserole. This year, she switched it up a little bit and used biscuits on the bottom and sausage throughout. It was delicious! I wish I had some of this right now…
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Mmm. Breakfast food is definitely my favorite. I love Christmas morning.
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I like to put funny gifts in stockings – I got my Mom some pre-made shots. They’re called Porn Star. She got a good laugh out of these. We forgot to try them!
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I have a love/hate relationship with auto correct. Also, my Dad is the funniest person. I help him shop for my Mom’s presents and I was sending him a list of what I had gotten her when this happened. I laughed so hard. I didn’t even notice!
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After we opened stockings, we moved on to presents! My Mom is really creative, so my Dad had this little set-up waiting for her in the basement.
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A beautiful paint set and canvases! I can’t wait to see what she creates.
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This is one of Lu’s favorite spots in their house. She loves to look outside. Shortly after this picture, I took her out to go potty without a leash…there were turkeys. She took off sprinting after them…I then had to sprint after her. It was a mess. She eventually came back, though, so I guess I’ll call it a win.
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Lu loves both my parents, but she is pretty obsessed with my Dad. One time he left the room to use the restroom and Lu cried and walked around before going off to find him. If they’re ever watching her and he’s at work, Lu will sleep in their closet under my Dad’s shirts. She just loves him!
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I was pretty jealous of my sister’s jammies. They were SO soft!
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Sisters and cousins! Ralph, my sister’s dog, is such a sweet boy. He and Lu like to share toys…sometimes.
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Christmas with my fiancè – Next year, we will be married!
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My little princess girl.
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Then it was time to open presents! Jake and I got this shirt for Piper – Ralph sheds a little bit.
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This spoiled girl sat like this on her Grandpa for a LONG time. I’m serious – she REALLY loves my Dad!
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Check out this cutie and her new socks!
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My Grandma came over while we were finishing up opening presents. Isn’t she adorable in her Christmas blouse? I loved it.
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One last picture before Jake and I headed off to our next Christmas! We had planned on taking Lu home, but my Dad asked if she could stay and spend the day with them. She was pretty pumped!
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Then it was off to Jake’s Dad’s for a delicious non-traditional lunch! We had pork carnitas, queso, guac, rice, and veggies! Everything was SO delicious. I love that they do a non-traditional meal on the holidays. And since John and Cynthia are both amazing cooks, everything is always amazing!
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For dessert, they had picked up a banana cake from St. Michael’s. My high school cross country coach owns the restaurant and this cake is the best. For real. If I had to pick one dessert to have for the rest of my life, this would be it. And for once I’m not exaggerating!
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After lunch, we had about 30 minutes or so at home. We played with Aspen a little bit and gave her the present my sister had gotten for her. She has already destroyed this toy. Thanks, Pipe! ; )
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We then headed out for our fourth and final Christmas! I finally got a little bit of wine when we got to Jake’s great uncle and aunt’s house.
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They had all kinds of delicious finger foods. Even though we had eaten ALL day, I was still hungry. This hit the spot! Jake’s aunt, Michelle, made Oreo truffles. HOLY COW. I think I had 12 of them. Okay, maybe not, but I could’ve had that many! SO good.
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Jake’s great aunt is an incredible decorator. She had SO many trees and they were all gorgeous. I loved it.
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Sleepy and full but not ready for Christmas to end.
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We got this text from my Mom. Hahaha! Lu looks thrilled.
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We finally went and picked Lu up from my parents’ on our way home. She wasn’t loving this jacket, but she just looked so cute!
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She got to sit on her Dad’s lap on the ride home. She was so happy. We had the most wonderful Christmas! I wish it didn’t have to end.
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I told Jake the other day that I’m going to treat my dissertation like my job, so I’m not going to work on it every day over break. He was super supportive of that idea – do you ever just need someone to tell you what you’re thinking/doing is okay? I needed to hear it was okay to not work everyday. I’m also hoping that a little time away from my computer will help my headaches, especially until I can get my glasses. I am going to the doctor Friday, too. Thank you to those of you who encouraged me to go – sometimes I’m bad about making the time to see doctors. I know I won’t be able to go the whole break without working (I’d go crazy), but I did take Tuesday completely off, other than conducting one interview. It was SO nice! I enjoyed my morning at home: I slept in, conducted an interview, put away presents, did laundry, and started to take decorations off our tree. Before I knew it, it was lunch time and I was STARVING. I had planned on running before lunch, but I was way too hungry. I wanted to run to the store to get something to eat because I was craving something warm and comforting. I picked this up and it was super good!
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I had gotten this seasoning the other day, but we hadn’t used it yet. While my pot pie was cooking, I did a little lunch meal prep.
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We will see how these taste! The seasoning smelled SO good.
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While the chicken baked, I enjoyed my lunch. I hadn’t had a pot pie in forever. It was delicious.
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When the chicken was finished baking, I threw some sweet potato slices into the oven. These just have Slap Ya Momma cajun seasoning on them. It’s one of our favorites!
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After all of that baked, I headed out for a run! Jake got me new Marmot gloves for Christmas, so I was excited to break them in.
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I was pretty pumped to run, especially since I hadn’t been having hamstring pain. Well, that was short lived. After about a mile into my run, I started having pain. And it was pretty bad. Ugh. So, I stopped and walked. While I was walking, I had a long talk with myself. Do I want to continue attempting to train, being so careful not to re-injure myself that I feel like I’m not making much progress, or do I want to take some serious time off, heal, and come back stronger and ready to kill it? Right now, I feel like I could continue to run and be okay, but I don’t like having to be so careful and not give my runs the effort I would like. I don’t want to continue doing half-assed training just so I can MAYBE continue to run. As of right now, I wouldn’t be able to do speed work or hill repeats. Both of which are important for my training. So, I decided the following: I am taking the next 6 weeks off from running. Does that suck? YES. Am I okay with it? Heck yes. I am choosing to do this, my injury isn’t forcing me to stop running. I know I could keep running, but it’s not going to do anything for me and I could end up seriously injured. At the end of 6 weeks, I will try to run again. If I’m still having pain, then I’ll know I’ve torn something and need to start doing something else. (Luckily, Jake and I had dinner plans with my running coach and his wife last night, so I got to talk about all of this with them, too). We decided I should try pool running, but I am not going to be doing any road, trail, or treadmill running. I’m going to take this time to do other workouts and give my body time to heal. If I have to drop out of the marathon and do the half instead, it’ll be okay. I will find other fulls to do. I don’t want to rush back into running and attempt to do the full without the proper training. I don’t want my first experience running a full to be negative. So, there’s my plan. No running for 6 weeks, and if I need to just do the half in April, I will. I’m trying to stay positive about the whole situation! Running will still be there for me in 6 weeks. And you know what? I can’t wait to run fast(er) again!
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My run/walk was cold, so I came home, took a suuuper hot Epsom Salt bath, then laid in bed watching The Office, eating Kettle Corn. I may or may not have been feeling a little sorry for myself after deciding to not run…also, Jake’s Mom got me this blanket for Christmas since the dogs always steal mine and I am obsessed with it. It’s SO cozy. <3
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I was trying to straighten my hair, but then I decided laying in bed sounded more fun.
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I am not letting them lay on this blanket…this happened for a few minutes, but then I kicked them off. This one is MINE.
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It’s going to be hard keeping them off this blanket…
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We met Derek and Lindy for dinner, which was a blast. We always have so much fun with them. They have the cutest little boy, too. Jake and I shared this pizza and a salad…then realized we were still hungry so we got an order of meatballs.
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After dinner, we met some friends at Missouri Spirits for their pop-up Christmas bar. It’s SO adorable. It’s called Miracle on Walnut. It was so good to catch up with these two and their fellas!
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How do you keep dogs off certain blankets?! I didn’t cover Lu up, either. She did that all on her own. I am not sharing this one with these two!
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Some of my family from Iowa is in town today, so I’m going to go to my parents’ and have breakfast with everyone later this morning! I can’t wait to see them all. I am also planning on doing the elliptical and lifting a little bit. I might finish putting away Christmas decorations, too. We don’t have plans tonight and I’m looking forward to cooking and having a relaxing night at home!
Happy Wednesday!
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  1. Annie

    See a Physical Therapist right away! I took three weeks off running when my hamstring started hurting and then waited another week or two after that before seeing an ortho and PT. Big mistake. Had I started the PT regimen at the beginning of that time, I would be 4-6 weeks ahead of where I am now. Dry needling in my hamstring and glute + hip strengthening exercises RXed by the PT + glute activation warm-ups/work-outs and I am now back to running normally (although cautiously building up my mileage and elevation gain).
    Don’t just take time off and rest. Even if you have a torn tendon or tendinopathy, rest won’t heal your leg as well as a good PT-prescribed program will.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks, Annie! I have an appointment with my doctor today, so I’ll ask about some good PTs. What was your injury, if you don’t mind me asking? I hope you’re in the clear and able to get back to running pain-free!! Thank you for the advice!
      I hope you have a great Friday!!

  2. Wendy

    I went to grad school after I had been teaching high school for four years and was a mom to two little ones. It was VERY hard to take a day off! I did, however, find myself more present in my relationships and other areas if I treated the school work like a job and had defined boundaries around it. I think graduate work has a way of diffusing into everything else-and that’s ok-it’s just a season. But it’s also good to set habits now on your time-value before you are working in the field so that it doesn’t take over your life later! You seem like you are doing awesome and a day off at Christmas is a good thing ;-).

    • Chelsea

      Thank you for your words of wisdom, Wendy! My day-off turned into taking the rest of the week off, which I think I needed! I was starting to feel a little burnt out, but now I’m missing my work. I think I will be ready to get back into it after the new year. Sometimes we need a brain break! It’s easy to work/think about working 24/7, but you’re so right – those boundaries are important. I need to remember that!
      I hope you have a great Friday!!

  3. Lindsay

    I think when I get home in the new year after running my last half marathon of 2017 I’m going to have to finally see the doctor. I’m in the same place as you … I’m scared to run to my full potential because of possible pain. I can do spinning, elliptical, swim, etc. but they don’t fulfill my desire to run. I’m a runner by nature so I NEED that to be there for me. So appointments need to be made even if I don’t want to go/spend the money. Lol!

    • Chelsea

      Oh, Lindsay, I hate that for you! I’m right there with you. We want to be healthy runners! We WILL get healthy. We just need to be smart about it. Nothing takes the place of running for me, either. Let’s get healthy together and come back stronger!
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

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