28

Today is my 28th birthday.

I love celebrating birthdays, and I am not working today, so I have some good activities planned–starting with my annual birthday run.  At some point in my early 20’s, I had the idea that it would be really cool to run my age on my birthday every year… but quickly decided I was already too old for that to be a good idea. 😉  I just go for a comfortable, enjoyable run now.  The rest of the day will be packed with reading on the back deck in this gorgeous spring weather, visiting the greenhouse and planting a few flowers, and tonight going to our local trampoline gym and dinner with friends!

Yep, 28 is off to a good start.  As I look back over the last year, I must say: 27 was very good to me.  Here are some of the highlights of 27, in no particular order:

-Ran some great races, and PRed in the 5k and 10k:

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-Celebrated 1 year of marriage with Andrew:

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-Filled this garden plot with seeds and dreams:

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-… and watched it turn into this:

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-Spent time on retreats and mission trips with the amazing teens in my youth group:

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-Hiked to my heart’s content (almost ;-))

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-Spent lots of time playing outside:

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-Celebrated with friends getting married:

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-Put my wedding dress back on and pretended I was getting married 😉

  Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey

 

-Traveled to Jamaica:

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-Traveled to Colorado: 

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-Most importantly, spent lots of time with family and friends:

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I am incredibly thankful for the year behind–really, it was kind of an epic year in terms of everything I had the opportunity to do–and can’t wait to see what the year ahead has in store!

Have a great March 11, everyone! 😀

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Christmas 2013 Recap

Well, hello there!  My name’s Catherine.  I used to blog regularly, but then I took a few weeks off for Christmas.  You may or may not remember me.  😉  Now that the busyness of the season is (mostly) behind us, I have returned.

Here’s a Christmas photo of my beautiful family, plus a recap of our Christmas week (yes, when you’re married with two sets of divorced parents, Christmas lasts a whole week) :

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This was the first year that we coordinated rather than matched our outfits for the Christmas card photo.  It was a huge step for our family, but I think the result looked great!

 

The decorations and presents:

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I love decorating the mantle and making wreaths!  I am especially proud of this Christmas wreath. 🙂  Andrew had the ornament made with our wedding date for me last Christmas, and I love it.

The weekend before Christmas, my mom’s side of the family came in town for a big Christmas lunch.  It was great to see everyone, catch-up on life, and eat until we were too full. 🙂

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That weekend we also looked at a few houses on the Tacky Light Tour.  I don’t know how common this is, but it’s a big deal in Richmond.  People love their tacky lights!

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Also, my nieces are the funniest people in the world.  As soon as we buckled our seat belts (yes, I am in the back middle seat between two car seats–perk of being petite?) Lauren (4) put her hand on mine and said, “Okay.  So, let’s talk about Disney World.  Do you want to hear what my favorite rides were?”  They went to Disney World earlier in December, and she wanted to talk about it every time there was a pause in conversation.  Money well-spent, sis.  😀

We spent Christmas Eve with Andrew’s mom and sister.  Unnaturally, I didn’t take any pictures. :-/  We opened presents, ate dinner, and attended an awesome Christmas Eve service at our church.

On actual Christmas day we were with Andrew’s dad.  His apartment complex is adjacent to a nice park, so after opening presents and eating, Andrew, Jenny, and I took a much-needed walk!

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We had a Dumb and Dumber moment during the walk.  The temperature was approximately 20 degrees, and I’d forgotten gloves.  Throughout the walk I was trying to tuck my hands in my sleeves, blowing on them to make them warm, sticking them in Andrew’s gloves etc.  After we’d been walking for, oh, 30 minutes, Andrew said, “Do you want my extra gloves?”  You’ve had extra gloves this whole time?? 😀

 The day after Christmas Andrew and I drove down to Raleigh to do Christmas with my family–first my mom, then my dad, aunt, and uncle.  Again, I wish I’d taken more photos, but I do have a few:

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Lauren helping my mom open a present 🙂

There is never a dull moment with my family; we laughed a lot, exchanged a few funny re-gifts, and just enjoyed being together!  Also, I must give a shout out to my sister, Whitney, for cooking some really delicious dinners while we were there;  I wanted to take photos, but the practice of taking food photos was ridiculed prior to my doing so. 🙂

On Friday, my dad, aunt, and uncle drove up to Raleigh from Atlanta, and we celebrated Christmas all over again.

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My dad and Lauren reading a book 🙂

On Friday night, some of the crew drove to Chapel Hill to see our beloved Tar Heels play basketball!  Andrew was not a UNC fan before we started dating, but he sure does look good in Carolina blue!

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On Saturday morning, Andrew and I went running with Aunt Ann, which has become a great tradition whenever we are together in Raleigh!  After a lot of sitting around and visiting, it felt good to get outside and move.

It was tough to say goodbye everyone, but we enjoyed the time together while we could!

And finally, a tradition that Andrew already hates doesn’t love but one day will appreciate, the second annual Christmas morning photo:

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Merry Christmas!

How did you celebrate this year?

Thanksgiving and the Beginning of Christmas

Hello, friends.  I took a little blogging break over the last week and a half–not intentionally and not for any real reason.  I simply didn’t feel like blogging.  Anybody else ever have a period like that?  I am back now, and here’s what we’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks:

Thanksgivings
Andrew and I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving with his mom’s side of the family in Northern Virginia.  Andrew was in Heaven because, due to lots of food allergies in the family, everything on the table was gluten-free dairy-free (or had a GF DF equivalent), so he could eat anything and everything! 

We made a Pin-spired vegetable turkey with the cousins:

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 And went for a tractor/wagon ride between dinner and dessert:

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And because blogging was so far out of my mind, those are the only photos I took. :-/  It was so great to visit with family, eat good food, and relax!

We spent Thanksgiving day with my family at my mom’s house and, as is customary on Thanksgiving, ate too much. 🙂  I love my family, and  it’s always so good to spend time with them and laugh–usually at something one of the nieces said. 

For example, while we were all sitting around the table, sweet little Lauren (4) looked at me, then Andrew, and said, “Umm, you guys were supposed to get a baby when you got married.” 😀  I couldn’t tell if her tone was suggesting that we were cheated or that she was cheated (out of a cousin), but it was very funny.  Thanks, kiddo. 😉 

Once again, I took very few photos :-/  Here’s the sweet potato casserole that we made and a plate of the leftovers I had for lunch Friday:

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Yum 🙂  My absolute favorite Thanksgiving food is my mom’s broccoli casserole.  So cheesy.  So delicious. 

Christmas Tree Farm
Yesterday Andrew and I ate brunch and went Christmas tree shopping with our good friends Amanda and Diron. 

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As it turns out, we were way too picky, and neither couple found a suitable tree, but we had an awesome time walking around, taking a hay ride, and drinking hot cider. 😀

It’s going to be tough to go back to work today after the long, relaxing weekend!  Have a great Monday!

Question for WordPress users: A couple of weeks ago my computer decided to stop letting me use Google Chrome to write blog posts (in the visual mode), and I have since been confined to using Internet Explorer (which randomly deletes paragraphs, resizes photos, reformats the post, etc.  It’s pretty awesome.)  Has this happend to anyone else with Chrome?  Is there any way I can fix it??

Breckenridge and Hiking Cheeseman Canyon (Colorado Days 2 & 3)

We’ve been home from Colorado for about 32 hours now, and I am thoroughly jet-lagged and exhausted–the good kind of exhausted. The kind of exhausted you feel when you pack a lot of awesome things into a few days. 🙂  Here’s what the next few days of our trip entailed:

Day 2: Breckenridge
On Friday we drove deep into the mountains to the adorable little skiing town, Breckenridge.  These were some of the views as we drove:

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It didn’t even look real!  So beautiful.  Once we arrived in Breck, we spent hours walking up and down Main Street exploring the shops…and being the big kids that we are. 😀 

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The hat shop was a particularly good time 😀

Day 3: Hiking Cheeseman Canyon

On Friday night, Andrew’s friend and best man Kevin arrived.  Kevin’s sister Julie lives with Jenny, so it worked out well that the five of us could pile into one apartment for a weekend of best friend/family fun. 🙂  Saturday we all went hiking–Andrew later declared it, “Probably my favorite hike ever!”  It was, in fact, a pretty beautiful hike, with the trail following a canyon river. 

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So nice 🙂  One trail ran about 50 feet (?) above the river and had mini trails that led to a lower trail immediately beside the river.  We switched between the two throughout the hike and determined that we covered about six miles total.  While we didn’t gain much elevation overall, the trail was very up-and-down–I could feel it in the calves! 

That night we met up with our friend Ashley for dinner–Ashley is a good friend from Virginia who moved out to Denver about five years ago, and we love that we are able to see her somewhat regularly now!  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos. 

I always say (and have written numerous times on this blog) that if I lived within 15 minutes of a mountain I’d hike every day.  After hiking Thursday, walking around Breckenridge Friday (we covered some serious miles), and hiking Saturday, I began to question that declaration.  My legs were achy.  (I don’t know why I made that past tense;  we didn’t slow down Sunday or Monday, and my legs are still achy. :)) 

I will save our last day and a half for another post, but they include Andrew’s birthday and (wait for it…) more hiking. 🙂

Have a great Wednesday!

Hiking in Golden (Colorado Day 1)

Our first day in Colorado was excellent.  After an early morning (4:43 AM) and a long flight (3.5 hours), we finally arrived in Denver; with the two-hour time change, we still had the entire day ahead of us!  Jenny picked us up from the airport, and after dropping our luggage off at her cute apartment, we drove to the town of Golden (home of the Coors brewery, for anyone who’s interested).

We ate lunch at this fantastic sub shop called Snarf’s, then walked to a nearby trail for some hiking.

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Tree pose… on a tree 😀

Unfortunately, we reached a point where the trail was closed–we ignored the initial sign indicating dangerous conditions ahead, but within 100 feet of our disobedience there was an actual gate closing the trail.  Probably for the best. 🙂

One of the great things about this area is that there are plenty other trails to hike!  We walked back through the small town of Golden and began hiking the South Table.

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As you can see, it was gorgeous!  The last photo was our favorite in a series of jump shots–it looks like we are levitating 😀  The large rock in the first photo of this series is South Table where we hiked to and where the rest of the photos were taken.

We finished the day with some delicious pho, then went to bed shortly after.  By Denver time we’d been up since 2:43 AM, traveled across the country, hiked a bunch, gained an extra two hours in our day–so 9:45 PM (11:45 PM Richmond time) felt like just about the latest I could possibly keep my eyes open.

This morning Jenny is taking us to Breckenridge (or simply “Breck” as the locals call it;  we’ve learned that they love abbreves out here ;-)).

Have a great Friday!

Thursday Thoughts: Denver-Bound

Some random thoughts from the week on this cold Thursday morning:

1. It’s currently 4:53 AM.  Andrew and I are flying to Denver early today to visit his sister, Jenny!  You can follow our adventures on Instagram: #storeytime.  😀

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2. Last weekend the cold weather finally killed our pepper plants–they held out far longer than we expected.  We harvested the peppers that were still growing, and this was our haul:

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Isn’t that crazy??  We’ve already eaten some, given away a few, and stored the rest in the freezer for the winter.  Heck.  Yes.

3. Speaking of things that are at least a little bit granola, I had the strange opportunity to wear this to work one day this week:

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The pants were my mom’s in the 60’s/70’s–aren’t they awesome?  I sent my mom this picture and said, “What do you think: was I born in the wrong decade?”  and she said, “Oh, I am sure of it!”  😀

4. We made this meal this week:  jerk pork with mango salsa, garlic-sauteed green beans, and the most delicious oven-roasted potatoes.  Yum, yum, yum.

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5. This sandwich-hater has been attempting sandwiches this week, and I think I found one I can handle:

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 Dark chocolate peanut butter and banana on Ezekiel whole grain bread.  I’m still not sure about the whole bread thing, but overall this sandwich is pretty tasty. 🙂

Well, those are my random 5 AMish thoughts for today.  Have a great Thursday!

Fellow sandwich haters: are there any sandwiches that you actually do like?
Have you ever seen so many beautiful peppers in your life? 😉

Late Wedding Photos + This Week Randomness

This week has been a bit hectic, so I haven’t had much time to blog.    Here’s a quick recap of our week, as told mostly by the photos on my phone:

1.

Jenny1Andrew’s sister, Jenny, is in town from Denver this week, and it’s been so great to spend time with her!!  In the photo above, Andrew is giving her the extensive tour of our garden.  We’ve also been able to do dinner a few nights, and we convinced her to come to yoga with us last night. 😀  We love you, Jenny!

2.

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For date night dinner Saturday we opted for (mostly) convenience– Applegate Farms chicken tenders (GF nuggets for Andrew), Alexia spicy sweet potato fries, and roasted beets.  Mmm.  I love to cook, but sometimes you just need to pull a box out of the freezer.

3.

heart monitor

I’ve been having weird heart palpitations the last few weeks, so I went to the doctor on Tuesday to get it checked out.  It’s probably nothing serious, but they hooked me up to this lovely heart monitor (there are five more electrodes stuck to me in places you can’t see…all I can say is, “TGISS”–thank God it’s scarf season. ;-)) I had to wear it for 24 hours and record when the palpitations occurred and very specifically what I was doing.  How did my dear, loving Andrew respond to this?  He tried to do as many weird things as possible so that if a palpitation occurred I’d have to record, “Having my face licked,” or “Watching my husband dance with a shirt tied around his head.”  (He did not succeed, so I did not have to write anything weird :-D).  Anyway, I should get the results within a week, but, again, I’m not super worried, so you shouldn’t be either (I’m talking to you, Daddy ;-)).

4.

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If you read this blog regularly, you probably know that I love goats and that there is this beautiful park in Richmond (Maymont) that has goats and other animals.  My friend Kate and I walked there yesterday for exercise and to enjoy the fantastic fall weather.  In addition to the goats, we were able to see the bobcat, which I had never seen there before!  It usually stays in the indoor part of its habitat.  Very cool. 🙂

Kate took our late bridal/wedding photos a few weeks ago, and she gave me the disc with all the photos yesterday when we got together.  They. Look. Awesome.  Here are some of my favorites (sorry in advance for the photo overload) :

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Catherine & Andrew Storey

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A huge thanks to our friend Katie for giving us this photo shoot as our wedding gift, and thanks to Kate for being so talented and working with us!  After doing this, I think everyone should take after-the-fact wedding photos–no wedding day stress, no rush to get to the reception so guests aren’t waiting, a chance to put that dress back on… 🙂  Yeah, we waited a while to actually take them, but we don’t look that different from our wedding day, and I know ten years from now we won’t be able to notice the 1.5 year age difference.

You can check out more of Kate’s work here.

That’s been our week (so far) in a nutshell.  Have a great Thursday!

-Has anyone else taken late bridal portraits/wedding photos?
-Heart palpitations: have you ever experienced them?  Were they anything serious?