the weekend before Christmas, i made my first apple pie from scratch by myself! it actually turned out perfectly and my mom and brother requested that i make another one before break is over. it was worth the 4 hours it took to make for sure!
i also made a delicious winter salad over that weekend, it was a hit with everyone we had over for dinner. it was a base of spinach topped with quartered & roasted brussels sprouts (in coconut oil, sea salt, pepper), pomegranate arils, and goat cheese crumbles. i also made a lemon juice & olive oil dressing to go with it that was really good.
a few days before Christmas i did my first ever 14-mile run for marathon training. it was a PDR for me because i'd never run more than 13.1 miles! i actually had a 13 mile run on the plan, but 1) why wouldn't you run 13.1 if you already ran 13, and 2) why not run 14 so you can set a record? it was actually a really great run and i didn't start feeling tired until around mile 12. i took a gel at mile 7 and mile 11 and finished the 14 miles in a little over 2 hours. and i ran my second fastest half marathon on this run!
i also got my CHAARGies package from my +chaargy Sarah! she sent me 2 bars of dark chocolate, starbucks card, and a really cool UA headband. i loved it!
i spent plenty of time hanging out by our Christmas tree. i love pictures where the lights turn out blurry because they're so much prettier that way, in my opinion. (and that's how i see the lights without my glasses on, ha.)
the day before Christmas Eve we made our traditional sugar cookies that we make every year. i got my mom this cute little Christmas lights apron from Anthropologie so i gave it to her as an early present so she could wear it while we baked!
i think we did a pretty good job decorating this year, too (as compared to years where we just slather on the frosting and sprinkles and call it a day). this little wreath was my favorite one that i decorated.
then on Christmas Eve, my brother, my dad & i got in-n-out for lunch - a more recent tradition but most definitely a good one! i love burgers.
after our bellies were full we went to get our 20th annual (!!) picture with Santa. i think my mom is going to ask us to get one every year until we have kids, haha. one year we're going to line up every single picture that we've taken - how cool would that be?
after visiting with Santa (who i think was grateful that for at least one picture he didn't have to hold a screaming child), we headed to Christmas Eve church service and then headed home for our usual cracker & cheese dinner. we also watched the polar express and i had one of the brown sugar cookies i made a few days before with some vanilla ice cream for dessert.
all in all, 'twas the perfect week of my favorite time of year.
what's your favorite holiday tradition?
stay tuned for a recap of Christmas day & a post on my marathon training plan!