Whole 30 – The Last Week

Today is Day 30. I did it! I knew I could do it so this isn’t really a surprise. But still . . . yay me! But do you know what Day 30 means? It means tomorrow I get to eat cheese. And the Halo Top that’s sitting in my freezer just waiting for me. I’m pretty excited. The rest of the Whole 30 exclusions can stay, but I LOVE cheese and ice cream so dairy comes back first (and maybe alcohol).

So this week went great. I ate more awesome food. I actually got a little sick last weekend. BUT I powered through. I actually ran 10 miles on Sunday. That was the morning I woke up feeling the worst. Headache included. I made my new fav breakfast, sweet potato hash. Of course. And this time I added an egg. The egg made it a little too filling, but it helped with my run for sure!

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And I drank Thieves Tea every night since then and I’m almost back to 100%.

So here’s what I ate the last week:

Breakfast:


Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes – just 5 ingredients!

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Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potato – 1/2 cup (1 medium sweet potato cooked and mashed)
  • Banana – 1/2 cup (1 large banana)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking powder

Directions:;

  • Cook and mash the sweet potato (I used the micowave
  • Mash the banana
  • Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth
  • Cook pancakes, making sure to cook all the way before flipping. I did about 4-5 minutes on the first side, then 2 min on the other side

These were so yummy. I’ll definitely make them again. For people not on Whole 30, you can add syrup or honey. I just added some extra banana slices on top.


Dinners:

Most of these are Mealime this week. The sweet potato chili and chicken sweet potato curry are repeats from earlier in the month. Seriously, try the chili. It’s so good.

I also went out to dinner twice. One night I had fajitas with no tortillas, no toppings. The other night I had chicken with veggies and a salad. I’ve learned how to order at restaurants. And which restaurants to visit. Oh and I’ve also learned to have no shame.


Best Whole 30 take out – Chipotle. Last time I did Whole 30 I went to Chipotle at least 5 times. This time I only went once! Here’s what I get. All Whole 30 compliant. Super delicious.

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Chipotle Whole 30 Special (My name for this dish. Don’t ask for the Whole 30 special. They may look at you like you’re crazy.)

  • Carnitas salad
  • No rice or beans
  • Add fajita vegetables
  • Any salsa is ok. I get mild
  • Add guac

That’s it. So yummy.


And now for this week’s food pics:

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Sweet Potato Bacon Breakfast Casserole

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Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash

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Steak and Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry

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Salmon with Garlic Leeks

And a food prep picture. Because veggies are beautiful.

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My opinions of this week’s new recipes:

Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash is AMAZING. I’ve actually made it before. It’s a Mealime recipe. My tip – cook the spaghetti squash twice as long as the recipe says.

Steak and Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry: This one was just ok. It looked delicious. But I didn’t love it. I’ll try Brussels sprouts roasted next time I think. And no one but me will even attempt to eat Brussels sprouts so . . . I may not try again. (Actually James loved helping me prep this one but he didn’t ever try to eat it so who knows. I’m assuming he’ll hate them though because they’re green).

Paleo Enchilada Bake: This one was good. It tastes kinda like the insides of an enchilada. Brian added chips to his and he liked it. So this one is a keeper. I can add cheese and chips to the half for Brian and Addison and I can eat the paleo side.

Salmon with Garlic Leeks: The salmon is sooo good. And so easy. Olive oil, salt, and pepper. That’s it. But I had never cooked leeks before but I tried them. And . . . they were sooooo good! I’ll definitely make them again. Have you tried leeks? Everyone I’ve asked says they’ve only had leeks in potato leek soup. I guess I need to make that next.


Last weekend was a little rough for my Whole 30 restrictions. First Addison had dress rehearsal for dance. (Stay tuned for a new Dance Mom Angela post). Sunday night during the showcase I almost died of starvation. Luckily I had a Larabar in my purse so that helped.

I only got 1 picture. This is her solo costume. LOVE.

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Then Saturday I spent the day with MLJ. We went for haircuts, then the Children’s Library (where James threw up. So embarrassing). Then Mason, Logan and I went to Panera. I let them have cookies. And I let them eat their cookies BEFORE their lunch. I of course did not get a cookie.

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I’m basically the best mom ever.


Oh and I had my biggest running month ever, and while on Whole 30 . . .

I RAN 100 MILES IN JANUARY!!! 

My goal was 75 miles but I realized last Saturday that I could make it to 100 if I pushed for it. So I did it! Goal is 100 miles for February too! Also, heads up . . . Today I learned how to put my run stats on my selfies. So . . . now I have no choice but to take running selfies right? Look for them on my Insta story.

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And finally, one more thing I’m doing for me: wearing lipstick and/or lipgloss. Here’s one I got in my Sephora Play box. I really like it. So far. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

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Ok so that’s it for my Whole 30! I don’t know how much weight I lost. But I do know I feel amazing. I got the reset I wanted. And I hope I can keep up with a Whole 30-ish/paleo-ish diet for the foreseeable future.

I’ll maybe keep posting food pics. And maybe more food blog posts. What do you think?

Whole 30 – Week 2

Tomorrow will mark the halfway point of my 30 days. And I’m still going strong. This week I made some AMAZING food. The non-Whole 30 crowd in my house also liked it. Yay! Also I’ve learned that I love cooking. And I love taking pictures of my food. Check out my IG story sometime. There’s probably a food pic or 2 on there. Addison hates it. So I have no intention of stopping now for sure.

Recap of Week 2:

I feel great. I’ve struggled the last few days with cravings for desserts and snacks. I’ve eaten lots of raisins because they’re Whole 30 compliant and sweet. I’ve also had some Whole 30 approved chips and salsa. (Well technically no chips are Whole 30 approved but I found some that meet the Whole 30 parameters).

The most amazing thing that happened this week: I ran 8 miles on Saturday without using gels. That’s right . . . no gels!!! Last time I did Whole 30 I really struggled with my running, especially long runs. Whole 30 isn’t called a low carb or low calorie diet, but it ends up that way. So this time I’m loading up with sweet potatoes and proteins. And it’s working!!! Yay! So excited. You see, I’m planning to run the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon. It’s March 4. So only 1 month after I finish Whole 30, which means that a big portion of my training falls during the Whole 30. Last week I ran 21 miles with absolutely zero issues. Well zero food-related issues. The weather was a completely different story. One day it was almost 60 and super foggy, then it was 35 and windy, then yesterday it was 17 and snowing. I ran inside yesterday. And hated every second of it.

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Gym Selfie. Ha!

So what did I eat this week? All the delicious things.

Breakfast

Sweet potato hash is my new favorite thing. And it has bacon. I found whole 30 compliant bacon which is basically the unicorn of Whole 30. Because sugar. All bacon is cured in sugar. Except the last one I checked of course – the low sodium one. The recipe is for a single serving so perfect for a weekend morning breakfast. Yep I eat by myself a lot, especially for breakfast. Brian and I take turns sleeping in on weekends. And Addison always sleeps in on weekends. Of course. But seriously so easy. I’m making it every weekend.

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And pizza egg muffins. OMG. They actually taste like pizza! I miss pizza. So so much. I didn’t get any artistic photos of these. Just this one:

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I may have almost thrown my cupcake pan away because they stuck to my pan in the worst possible way. But I have been taking them to work for weekday breakfasts. And they’re worth the extra clean up. And by extra clean up I mean extra clean up that Brian did. Next time I’ll use liners I guess. Or I’ll invest in muffin pans and just keep buying new ones. Ha!

I used chicken and apple sausage from Whole Foods in these. And it’s perfect. And whole 30 compliant. Not quite as special as the bacon. But still hard-ish to find.

Dinners:

This week I made a combination of recipes I found online and Mealime. Here’s what I made. Links on the ones from blogs. The others are Mealime. (If you have Mealime just ask me and I’ll send you a link. I don’t think the Mealime links work otherwise.)

Sweet Potato Chili

I made the chili on Friday night. It was a last minute menu change. And it was so worth it. I got in sweet potatoes for my run AND it warmed me to my core. I’ll be making it again. I intended to take this for lunch this week but it didn’t last past the weekend.

Oh and I made the sweet potato chili in my instant pot! So it was a 1 pot meal, done in like an hour total. And tasted like it had been on the stove all day.

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Salmon with Asparagus and Balsamic Butter Sauce:

This is a Mealime recipe. But I’m going to share it because it’s a staple at my house. It’s not the prettiest but it’s seriously so good. My balsamic-hating husband even loves it. Addison too. #winning

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs Salmon – or however much you plan on eating
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions:

Snap off ends of asparagus and put on sheet pan. Toss with olive oil (I eyeball it but approx 1-2 tbsp), and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Put the salmon on the same pan in the middle of the asparagus. Top with olive oil and salt and pepper. (Again I eyeball it but basically just coat the top with oil then add as much salt and pepper as you like). Bake at 400 for 15 min. That’s it!

Sauce: Melt 4 tbsp coconut oil in a sauce pan. Add the coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar. Stir until blended. Pour over the top of the salmon and asparagus.

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Meatballs and Zucchini Noodles.

Another Mealime recipe. But one of my all time faves.

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Barbacoa with Cauliflower Rice and Guacamole

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James helped too

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This is another Instant Pot recipe. This link has recipes for rice and corn salsa. I’ve made these before but they’re not Whole 30 approved so this time I made cauliflower rice and guac. Still amazing. This was by far my most difficult recipe of the week. Not because any of it was hard. Mostly because I’m special. In that not-so-good way. Important tip for Instant Pot users: don’t forget the sealing ring! Ha! My barbacoa turned out ok luckily, but it had no liquid in it. And my IP looked like this after:

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Oops. But it came out! Yay!

Cauliflower rice is super easy. If you’ve never made it, or if you’ve made it and thought it was so hard grating the entire head of cauliflower with a cheese grater, I’m here to save the day. Here’s how to make cauliflower rice:

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Yep. In a blender. Roughly chop the cauliflower then throw it in the blender, cover with water, and pulse until it’s rice-sized. Seriously.  #gamechanger. Then I cook in a skillet with ghee (my new discovery this week! Yum!) covered for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. That’s it.

And because I’m sharing recipes, here’s how I make guac:

  • 1 avocado
  • Chopped red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Salt

My mom’s recipe is more like the kind you get at On The Border, with tomato and garlic added. Mine is more Mexican. According to DB, my only source for Mexican inside info. Apparently real Mexican guac is just green. Anyway, I just add a little onion (about 1 tbsp probably per avocado), about 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, and juice of 1 lime. Add salt to taste. I like mine pretty salty. So easy. So delicious.

Jalepeno Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

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I planned to make these turkey burgers for work lunches, but I made them tonight. Dinner for 1. They were amazing. I made my own guac but I did refer to this same blog for my sweet potato fries. They totally satisfied my craving for chips. So . . . more sweet potato fries to come. Maybe I’ll make more than 1 serving next time.

Also, a confession: I spent way too much time trying to get the right angle on my turkey burger and sweet potato fries meal tonight. Ha! Luckily no one was home to make fun of me. This time.

James helped with these too! He loves cooking too.

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So to wrap it up, Week 2 went great. Some people begin feeling extra energy around Day 15. I’m feeling a bit of an upswing in energy but nothing crazy. Yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll be tired for the rest of my life no matter what I do. We’ll see though!

New Year New Me – 2018 Edition

New Year New Me? We’ll see. Probably not NEW but hopefully a better version of me. I haven’t gone back to see my resolutions from last year, but I’m sure I didn’t achieve all of them. What are goals if not unrealistic right? But I’m no quitter so here are my goals for this year.

2018 Resolutions

  1. Run 2018 miles. Not by myself. But I’m hoping to run 800-1000 of those miles.
  2. Run 4 times/week (required if I’m to reach #1)
  3. Run 3 half marathons.
  4. Drink more water
  5. Stay up to date on my blog and post at least once a month (including the Christmas ones for this year still!)
  6. Spend less time on my phone at night
  7. Get at least 6 hrs of sleep each night (harder than you might expect)

We’ll see how I do. Today was day 1 of the Run the Year challenge. I convinced my brother Joey and my sister (a non-runner) to do it with me. We’re on a team so we get to work together. Our team name: The Derek Zoolander Team for Kids Who Can’t Read Good. A little long. Super awesome. Today it was also 15 degrees outside so I bundled up and headed to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Here’s a picture to commemorate the first run of the year:

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I think running outside would have been better. I HATE the treadmill. I ran outside a few times this week when it was a little under 30 and I was totally except I couldn’t feel my face. So . . . back outside for me!

For my other goals I’m actually doing a weightloss/fitness challenge starting today with 42 of my triplet mom friends. We have 2 competitions – 1 for weightloss (not for me) and 1 for accountability/making healthy choices. I get points for things like drinking water, not eating 2 hrs before bed, and meal planning. Just what I need.

Oh and I’m starting Whole 30 on Jan. 3. Anyone wanna join?

So what did we do for NYE? Not much. The Mann Olympics are on hiatus . . . probably until the boys are old enough to stay up past 8:15. See, Addison ditched us this year to hang out with her friends. So basically we’re not cool enough anymore. We did get in a few games though – Battleship and Yahtzee. I won. Of course. (Not the game pictured of course but I won the next 2).

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We still had a good night. We had headbands. And Brian made it to midnight! I was not expecting that at all! And he took a selfie with me. He’s the best.

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And of course we had wine.IMG_5405

The boys took a picture with me too. And they also wore headbands

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Here’s a real life shot. This is how picture taking goes in our house. Ha!IMG_5395

Other than that we had a pretty laid back relaxing (ish) day. I took 2 kids to Target, B took 1 to Kroger, the boys had their first hot chocolate!

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And then we just hung around the house. And the boys played Santa. Because Uggs are apparently Santa shoes. Who knew?

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Today Brian and I both went to the gym (no fun picture of him), we hung around the house, we went to a friend’s house, and we got ready for back to school! Yay! We’re soooo ready for the boys to go back to school. And by “we” I mean Brian. Because he’s been the lucky one who got to stay home with them almost every day over the break.

And in case you doubt that the holidays are exhausting around here, I’ll leave you with this:

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My First Half

A year ago I would have told you I’m not a runner. I mean I did run. But I ran because I love to eat. In fact, when I injured myself 1.5 years ago, I told my physical therapist that I’m not a runner. I just run so I can eat cake. #truestory.

Things changed though.

I did a thing. A big thing. A crazy thing. But only half crazy. I ran a half marathon. Like I signed up, trained, and ran a half marathon with 25,000 other people. The St. Jude Half Marathon. And I finished! I did it! My time (because everyone wants to know) . . . 2:06:59. I’m pretty happy with it. This was my first one. And not my last.

So what was it like? Well it was pretty epic. The first 5 miles felt amazing. Brian, my kids, and my parents were at Mile 5 to cheer me on. That was the best. Mile 6 was through the St. Jude campus. I can’t even describe what Mile 6 was like. Everyone should run Mile 6. I had to wipe tears from my face as I ran out of St. Jude. Actual tears. The patients who were well enough were outside, cheering us on, giving high fives. I high-fived every single kid as I ran through. These sweet, innocent kids are so amazing. I saw a few more St. Jude kids later on the route too. And I almost cried again.

I ran as a St. Jude Hero and raised money for St. Jude. Did you know that no one pays for treatment at St. Jude?! That’s crazy right?! And because I’m from Memphis I had friends growing up who were patients at St. Jude. And now I have friends with kids who are patients at St. Jude. It’s really an amazing place. And I hope I never get to experience it firsthand. But it’s close if we need it and that makes me strangely comfortable.

Here’s my name on the St. Jude Heroes car! So cool!

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I struggled more than I expected during the middle part of the race. I had to stop for a massive cramp in my stomach. Not my side. My stomach/abs. And it was still sore over 24 hours later. Weird. Other than that I ran the entire time except when I grabbed water. I apparently need to learn how to drink water while running. Because currently I can’t do it. I tried. And choked.

The last .75 miles I could see the stadium. A guy running close to me yelled out to everyone “we’re going home, we can do this!” as soon as we made the final turn. And he counted down every 1/10 mile. I wish I had that kind of energy. I had enough to finish though. And then I may have almost cried again. I finished. In the middle of a crowd of strangers. And I almost cried. But seriously . . . I did it. I didn’t expect the emotional response but it just hit me right there in the middle of that crowd of strangers at the finish line.

Here’s me after the race:

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Oh and Joey ran it too. I even got him to join in my pre-race selfie. And he kinda sorta smiled.

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Here’s where we started:

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Oh and after the race you have to climb OUT of the baseball field. Like stairs. They make you climb stairs. Then of course I had to walk back to the van. And funny story . . . Brian announced that he had lost the key to the van when we were almost there. BUT we had a backup. In my purse at my parents’ house 30 minutes away. BUT we didn’t end up needing it. We went to the van and James found the key! Under the van. Seriously. See, kids are good for something. Saved by a 3 year old.

So now that I’ve finished, let’s back up. Here’s how I got here:

  • In 2010 I had back surgery. I wasn’t allowed to exercise AT ALL before then.
  • 3.5 years ago I had triplets. Before that I was a casual 3-mile runner for about a year.
  • About 1.5 years ago I injured my IT band and had to go to physical therapy and gradually increase my running. Starting with 1.5 mile “long runs.” I graduated from physical therapy. I even got a certificate. Which I still have. (I may be a hoarder)
  • I told my physical therapist I’m not a serious runner. Like my original reason for running, I was still running so I could eat cake.
  • In March I decided to run the St. Jude Half Marathon. My brother Joey and I decided to do it together. We didn’t train together because we live in different states. But it was still pretty great to have someone to talk to about the training. (FTR I came in before him at the race).

The fact that I was running an actual half marathon kicked in the night before the race. When I picked up my race packet at the expo. And of course more pictures.

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I’m not gonna lie . . . I was freaking out just a little when I picked up my race packet.

So what was the training like? Rough. I did a complete half marathon training program in the Spring. I made it to the last 2 weeks then I stopped doing long runs. Because it was July and I couldn’t run that far in the heat. But I started a new training program at the end of the summer and completed every long run (and most of the shorter runs and interval training). I ran 12 miles 2 weeks before race day. So I knew I could do it. I only ran about 5 times the last 2 weeks. I struggled with some tendinitis in my feet so I wanted to make sure I was completely rested up. It worked too!

Here’s a few more fun facts about running and my training:

  • At least once a week I wanted to quit
  • I decided that running is stupid pretty much every time I ran over 5 miles and wondered why I decided to do this. This was true on Saturday while I was running the race too.
  • I lost 2 toenails training for the half marathon. Apparently this is a “normal” running issue. Yay. I tried to glue them down. It worked the first time and a new toenail grew in and no one knew (except me and the girls at the nail salon. The ones who probably hate me for making them touch my gross glued-down toenail). The second one fell off. Luckily it was basically fall by then. I’m pretty sure I’m about to lose another one. See, running is stupid. Brian really told me to quit over the toenail thing. I considered it. Lucky for you, no missing toenail pics. No toenail/foot pics at all actually. You’re welcome.
  • Nothing will make you feel older than running. I can no longer walk around my house barefoot. In fact, I wear orthotic flip flops most of the time (when I’m not wearing boots or booties, my fave shoes ever). I love my orthotic flip flops. (Oofos). If you run you need them. You’ll thank me later.
  • I self-diagnosed myself with several injuries over the last few months. Extensor tendinitis and plantar fasciitis most recently. I actually didn’t run much the 2 weeks leading up to the race because I was worried I’d injure myself. I think the break was good for my feet but bad for my mental state and my confidence.
  • I now own 4 pairs of $16 socks (Feetures are my fave). They have a right and a left. Oh and I lost 1 basically the first week. So I have 3.5 pairs of $16 socks. They supposedly help with the toenail issue. I’m not sure . . .
  • I also own a fairly crazy amount of Lululemon. Maybe they’ll sponsor me. I probably need to get faster first . . . . But seriously this stuff is amazing.
  • And speaking of things I now own, I also wear a Garmin watch at all times. I bought it for the GPS and the running functionality. But I love that it notifies me about texts, emails, etc. Maybe I need an Apple Watch. Or a fancier Garmin watch.
  • I count while I run. Not always and not the entire run. But usually at least part of the run. What do I count? Sometimes my steps (10 sets of 20 steps at a time), always people (bikers, runners, walkers), and sometimes vehicles if it’s too dark for many people to be out. And I always count when I’m going up a big hill. Somehow it helps. See I’m a little crazy. Ha! Surely other people do this right?

So I guess I’m a runner now. I plan to do my second half marathon in March, the Little Rock Half Marathon. It looks mostly flat. But it’s Little Rock so it’s probably not actually flat, just flat for Little Rock. My goal for the next one is to finish under 2 hours.

And to wrap this up (I know you’re thinking “finally!” if you’re still reading even at this point), here’s some pics of our weekend:

Addison requested Central BBQ for dinner so we went there. The boys are still talking about “the BBQ place” so I guess we have 4 Central BBQ fans now.

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We took the boys to Starry Nights too. They LOVED it! Definitely worth the super long wait. They also like peeing in the back seat of the van (in the potty I brought of course).

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Sunday we came back home. And they boys have been asking to back since then. Maybe 2 weeks in a row at Nana and Grandad’s house set them up for disappointment. Oops!

Only Mason stays awake on long drives so he got the headphones. That lasted a whole 10 minutes.

And because it’s Christmas time and we are in the Christmas spirit I’ll leave you with this one:

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