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PTs, BBQs and Weddings

1 Jul

On Monday I started an adventure with my new Physical Therapist!

The mission: Get better by August, or at least feel better by August.

I’ve told everyone (that is willing to listen) about my hip/booty problems before. And finally I am doing something about it!!! I have been going to a Chiropractor for the pain the past 6 weeks, but decided I needed something more. My foot started hurting in a way I haven’t ever experienced, and that made me scared.

First step to recovery was to stop running and take it easy. I thought I would be miserable during my first week off, but it was actually pretty awesome. I loved having the time to do other fun workouts. And I loved just sleeping in if I wanted to. I always tell people, “listen to your body”, and I knew it was time for me to do that too!

After a week off, I felt better already. Which proved to me even more, I needed a BREAK!!!

Monday morning, I met with my new PT. The best part about the PT is that he came to my office to meet with me! One of the 1,000 perks about working at Hallmark is that we have a full clinic and I can do these kind of things at work. I love it.

We will be focusing on my hip pain this month and strengthening my muscles more. I have lots of exercises to do, but I am going to try my hardest to stay focused an on track with them.

Fingers crossed that I am feeling better by August so I can hit is hard for my next big racing adventure!! More to come there 🙂

ANYWAY….

We had another wedding last weekend, and it was a blast. It was one of those weddings where you wake up the next day sore from dancing so much. Brady and Molly – thank you for all the fun you gave us!

Love him!

Love him!

IMG_5349

End of the night selfie….GO TO BED.

On Saturday I hosted all of my cousins at my house for a little family BBQ. Ramsey was a pro at the grill and I got to try a new burger recipe. I also made some amazing Key Lime pie.

King of the grill!

King of the grill!

And queen of the pie.

And queen of the pie.

And on Sunday I experimented and made black bean sliders. They were SO GOOD. I just heated up the Morningstar Farms black bean patties, added a slice of cheese, guacamole and put them on a roll. Ramsey got 3 rolls, I got 1. But even without the roll, these little guys were delicious.

Ramsey's plate.

Ramsey’s plate.

I am looking forward to a day off work on Friday to hang out with my family and celebrate the 4th.

Have you gone to a PT before? And what are you up to on the 4th??

xo,

Ali

 

 

 

A Santa Fe Getaway

22 Feb

Good evening! I had to take a little hiatus from the blog, but it was for a really good reason. I was on vacation!

I had been looking forward to this little Santa Fe getaway for the past month. I was going with my boyfriend Zack, and we had not seen each other since Christmas (long distance relationships…wahh wahh).

So are you ready to hear about the trip? Good. Here we go!!

Thursday

On Thursday, I arrived in Texas to Zack’s lovely city he currently calls home.

We ran some errands, and packed up for our trip!

Friday

Around 10am, we hit the road and headed West.

It was about a 5 hour drive to Santa Fe, and a boring one at that. We decided to get an audio book to listen to, hoping it would help pass the time. Well, we got “Assholes Finish First”, by Tucker Max. I was actually the person to vote for this book, thinking it would be funny. It was funny…but also the most vulgar and inappropriate thing I have ever listened to!

At 3pm, we arrived in Santa Fe!

Cute little hotel.

After getting checked in the hotel, we headed out to walk around and get a little bite to eat.

Following our late lunch, we walked around the plaza so I could find some turquoise earrings (I wanted authemtic ones that Indians were selling off rugs in the plaza).

Success!

After our shopping trip, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed a bit.

Then it was time to hit the hotel bar. They had the most amazing cocktails at the bar, and I enjoyed this apple, lime, fruity vodka thing. Whoa.

Now this is vacation.

Dinner followed dinner at a New Meixcan style restaurant, then it was time to rest up for our big day on the slopes!

Saturday

The alarm went off early Saturday, and we started prepping for the day ahead. After getting bundled up, it was time to brave the snow.

A lot of people are surprised by the fact that you can ski in Santa Fe. For some reason they think it would be really warm there. Well, it is not. It is actually pretty chilly!

A lovely drive up the mountain.

We have arrived!

I had not skied in 12 years. I was terrified that I would forget how to do it.

The moment of truth happened coming off our first lift. Would I remember? Would I fall? Would I cry?

well…..

Terrified but ready!

….I picked it right back up! I was actually shocked at how easily it all came back to me!

Zack boards, so we would go our separate ways at the top of the mountain and meet back up when he reached the bottom.

Beautiful!

ahhhhhhh!

We had the best day skiing, and the mountain was so pretty and relaxing. We were exhausted after skiing all day, and it was time to head back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we rested and then prepared for dinner. Twitter friend Emily (@EmilyRatcliff) suggested an Italian restaurant, Il Piatto. Dinner was delicious, and such a cute and quaint little setting.

🙂

Sunday

Sunday morning, we ate at a cute little cafe and decided it was time to go to Church.

We headed up to St. Francis Cathedral. It was really lovely!

Very historic

I made an Indian friend.

This photo does not do justice!

After we wrapped up at St. Francis, we went to the Loretto Chapel to look at the famous staircase.

This staircase is a “Miracle” because it was made by an unknown little carpenter man, and doesn’t have a nail anywhere in it. It is such a cool story…google it!

So much character.

Incredible!

One last stop was required before we headed home. I wanted an authentic turquoise ring to go with my new earrings. Zack was quite the sport as I drug him up and down the street looking for the perfect ring.

This time was well spent, because I found a ring that was right at home on my finger.

I HATE the way my hand looks in this photo. Have I heard of lotion?

After I found my new ring, we headed back to Texas.

The trip home was more of Tucker Max, and that obscene book. But it actually got pretty funny during the second half.

Now I am back home in Missouri. The weekend was great, and I plan to visit Santa Fe again.

Chat soon!

xoxo,

Ali

 

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The 25 Questions of Christmas

20 Dec

Today while reading a fellow blogger’s blog, Enthusiasticrunner.com, I was inspired. Jocelyn posted “The 25 Questions of Christmas” and I decided I wanted to do it too.

Enjoy my responses to the questions I know you want answers to. Also, please share your responses to these questions in the comment section!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

My Grandpa Hat used to LOVE to feed us Eggnog…so I am going to go with that. I don’t think I have had it in years though.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Santa gifts are left under the tree, un-wrapped. I think it is weird when people have wrapped presents from Santa. Like the guy really has time to do that!

3. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

I love Thanksgiving dinner, so mashed potatoes, green bean and corn casserole, stuffing, turkey, etc. If I had to pick one of these items though, it would be mashed potatoes. Grandma Hat had the best recipe ever.

4. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Hard to say a favorite, so I will list a few!

I love to think about is when my brother Michael and I got a triple arcade from Santa. That was the most exciting gift I have ever received! And my brother never thought we would actually get it. I knew Santa would come through though.

I brought Molly (American Girl) to Christmas Eve Church service and almost lit her head on fire during the candlelight singing.

Decorating for Christmas with my Mom is a favorite memory. We would always listen to the Carpenters Christmas CD and sing along.

Holiday baking with my Grandma Hat, and watching my Grandpa Hat work so hard on his homemade chex mix.

Watching Christmas Vacation with my Dad. He laughs so hard during that movie!!

5. What is on your Christmas wish list?

For the past two years I have asked for a Nikon D3100 SLR. I have already been warned I will not be receiving this though….

I already received my AMAZING fur coat from Aunt Holly, check that off!

Other than the camera and coat, I asked for a Tiffany ring and new charm, Glee, a water bottle, scarfs, gloves…and that is it. My list is pretty darn exciting these days!

6. Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

Last year Zack and I exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. When we were little we used to always exchange gifts with Grandma and Grandpa Hat on Christmas Eve.

My family always exchanges gifts on Christmas morning. And ‘A Christmas Story’ is always playing in the background.

7. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Lights, ribbon, ornaments. I love “special” ornaments that have meaning. After my Grandma Hat passed away, I took all of her Hallmark collector ornaments. She had a TON of Barbie’s, which are all on my tree now. It is so pretty. I also have my childhood ornaments I would receive every year on my tree.

Look at those Barbie's

8. Snow? Love it or dread it?

LOVE it!!! Nothing is more relaxing to me than watching snow fall. I think it is so beautiful. Yeah, yeah it might cause problems on the road and with travel,  but if I don’t have anywhere to go I love every inch of it!

Baby Karly loves the snow too!

9. Real tree or fake tree?

I love real, but they aren’t very practical anymore. Too much work!

10. Do you remember your favorite gift?

The triple arcade that I spoke about earlier. My American Girl doll, Molly  and my dollhouse would also top the list.

This thing was badass

11. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Being with my family and reflecting on how thankful I am. Life is good.

12. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin roll, chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, cookies. I am a sugarholic. I love almost all sugar.

Robert and I hard at work on the Pumpkin Roll

13. What is your favorite tradition?

Opening presents with my family Christmas morning. PJ’s on and Christmas Story on TV. Through all the years this is the one tradition that has never changed. And I still wake up obnoxiously early every year on Christmas. I just get too excited to sleep!

I also love my Christmas ornament making with Caden. We have made an ornament together every year since he was a 3 month old. It is our little tradition.

Just a few months old...look at that hand!

2010 was a good one too!

I think sparkly flats should also be a holiday tradition

14. What tops your tree?

A bow at my parents and on my little tree. A star on Eileen and I’s big tree.

A bow tops my "girly" tree

15. Do you prefer giving or receiving?

I love to give gifts. I get so excited seeing a gift bring someone joy on Christmas. I think I am a pretty good gift giver. I put a lot of thought into it.

16. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Michael Buble, My Grown Up Christmas List. I cry when I hear that song…it is just so beautiful and the words are so meaningful!

17. Candy canes, yuck or yum?

I am not a fan.

18. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

I wake up at the crack of dawn and watch A Christmas Story. Then everyone else gets up and we do stockings and start breakfast. Next up are gifts, then we get ready to head to my Mom’s side of the family for brunch (however this year we are doing a lunch!).

Clark side, 2010

19. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

I hate malls, and get easily annoyed. I like shopping at the Plaza in KC. If I cannot find it there I will shop online.

20. Christmas letter or Christmas card?

Card. Unless you are funny or have an interesting life.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?

The Santa Clause and Miracle on 34th Street.

Am I the only person that thinks “It’s a Wonderful Life” is super depressing?

22. What do you leave for Santa?

When we were little we just left whatever we could find. I remember leaving pop tarts one year!

23. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

White on the trees, colored on the house.

24. Do you hang mistletoe?

No. I never understood it. Unless you are using it at a middle school party as a substitute for ‘Spin the Bottle’, what is the point? The other day at work someone suggested that we hang mistletoe in our cube…I was weirded out.

25. When do you hang your decorations up?

After Thanksgiving when I have time!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!!

xo,

Ali

*VERY* Important Update!

29 Nov

Hi there, I have quite the important update to share with you all!

Do remember this post – I’m a Competitive Freak? This was the post I told the story about my  friend Lindsey’s bouquet toss….and also showed the evidence of me stealing the bouquet from my friend Kara (the intended recepient).

Well, it turns out I was right when I said that Kara did NOT need this bouquet to get her man to ‘put a ring on it’.

My very important news is that Kara and Bo are ENGAGED!!!

Bo popping the question, and she said YES!

I am so happy and excited for Kara and Bo. They are both amazing friends and I look forward to watching them start their married lives together. It will also be so much fun seeing the new adventures in store of them.

Cheers to you and the many many happy years to come!!!

Love you!!!

Ali

P.S. I am still banking on that bouquet to bring me some good luck 🙂

 

Sweet Baby Reese

26 Oct

Last Thursday, Reese Louise Bruening made her introduction into this world. Reese is the newest daughter of Brianna and Mike Bruening, Zack’s sister and brother in law.

8lbs 7oz of perfection!

 I felt so special to be included in this special day, and to have been at the hospital when Reese was born. She is the sweetest little thing I have ever seen, and I am so excited to be there to watch her grow up. I am also so excited to now have two sweet little “nieces” to be “Aunt Awi” to 🙂

So happy

 Bridget & Reese -I love you two so much!

Ali

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