These are by FAR my favorite cookie for the holidays! You really can’t beat a shortbread-style wafer dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. YUM! I came across the recipe a few years ago, and it’s one I make without fail every year. Sometimes more than once… just for me… don’t judge.
My favorite method for crushing the candy canes is to use a large plate or deep bowl and the bottom of a thick glass. I don’t crush the candy canes until the cookies are in the oven, since they become extremely sticky once out of their wrappers.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus extra for rolling the dough
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips
- candy canes (I use about 5-10)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla.
3. Mixing at low speed, add in the flour mixture until everything is mixed in and dough becomes stiff. Shape dough into a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour. Dough can be chilled for up to 3 days.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Divide the dough in half (I keep the half I’m not using in the fridge until I need it). On a floured surface roll out the dough into a flat square or rectangular shape until it is about ¼ inch thick.
6. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Transfer the squares onto parchment-lined baking sheets and put back into the refrigerator until firm (about 10-15 minutes).
7. Bake wafers, rotating about halfway through until they are just beginning to brown (about 12-15 minutes). Cool for 1-2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
8. While cookies are baking, crush the candy canes and melt the chocolate as directed on the package.
9. Once cooled, dip one half of each wafer into the chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle crushed candy cane over the chocolate.
10. Return cookies to refrigerator until set (about 25-30 minutes). Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Enjoy – Merry Christmas!
You are a wonderful big sister. The best. You are funny, helpful, and even take the time to teach Julieboo new things. The games you invent are so creative, and you have so much compassion for her when she’s having a rough day. She is blessed beyond words to have you as her role model and best friend.
But I see the frustration building up. Your expression, your stance, the tone in your voice. You’re getting annoyed. You’re tired of being told what to do. Tired of being told to put your clothes away. Tired of being asked to help out. Tired of having to eat what we eat for dinner instead of chicken nuggets like Julieboo. Tired of sharing with your sister. Tired of being expected to be more responsible.
You want the same freedoms that Julia has.
It isn’t fair. She doesn’t have to clean up every mess she makes all by herself. Doesn’t have to put her clothes away on laundry day. Doesn’t have to finish her dinner, even though there are only three carrots on her plate. Doesn’t have to share. Doesn’t have to put on or take off her shoes. She gets away with everything. She can scream, cry, carry on, break the rules, she can say no.
From your perspective, Julia can do whatever she wants. From your perspective, it isn’t fair. And you are absolutely right. It’s not. She does get away with more than you do. She doesn’t have to eat all of her dinner. She doesn’t have to clean up every mess she makes by herself. She doesn’t get into trouble every time she forgets to put her shoes away. And sometimes when she hits you she only gets a soft reminder instead of a time-out.
I know there is no way for you to know this, and it may be hard for you to believe, but life wasn’t much different for you at her age. All of these extra “unfair” things that happen to her and for her – well, they happened to you and for you as well. You didn’t have to eat everything at dinner. You didn’t have to put your shoes away, clean up by yourself, or even put hangers back up in the closet.
You were 2 years old once too, and Daddy and I knew that as you grew you would learn to become more responsible. We knew that the older you got the more we would have to expect out of you. So, little by little as you grew, our expectations of your behavior and ability to care for yourself grew too. At some point we started to ask you to put your toys away by yourself and eat what we ate for dinner. And little by little you grew more independent. You even asked us for more responsibilities! You loved being trusted to get a job done, being treated like a big girl.
Then Julia came along, and you became a witness to how Daddy and I have raised you, but without the memories. You’ve watched us “favor” her without realizing that you, too, were the object of our leniencies for many years. It can’t be easy.
But I want you to know that Julia’s day is coming. Life won’t always be this way for her. Eventually, as she grows, she will also be expected to set the table, put her laundry away, and demonstrate respect to everyone around her. She, too, will be expected to make her bed before school every morning and control her temper when frustrated.
And the funny thing about this is that as she’s growing and earning more responsibilities, you will too – but your responsibilities will involve driving… sleepovers (maybe)… movies and shopping trips with your friends. Because you’ve had more time to build our trust you will have earned privileges that she still has to work for. And one day, she will be the one telling us that it isn’t fair.
Parenting is hard, Emily. It’s impossible to make everyone happy – impossible to demonstrate impartiality in every situation. But know, more than anything else, that we love you – and every choice we make is based on that love. You are amazing.
Love always, Mommy.
I’m not a fan of Christmas before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving comes first, but due to the fact that it’s wedged almost exactly between Halloween and Christmas it’s almost completely skipped over. It’s no secret that stores seem to jump from Halloween straight to Christmas, sometimes taking down Fall decorations to make more room for Christmas. Not cool. A good friend’s daughter even noticed it this year, asking her mom, “Where’s Thanksgiving?” And while texting a friend today I was looking for a cute Thanksgiving emoticon, and this is all I saw:
Notice anything missing? Even my iPhone doesn’t recognize Thanksgiving, jumping straight from Halloween to Christmas. When typing, it will automatically capitalize those holidays, but not Thanksgiving. Definitely not cool.
I’m not a grinch. I LOVE Christmas. But everything has a time of its own, and I like Thanksgiving to get the time & focus it deserves. I’m often asked why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and my answer is this: it seems to be the only holiday that has successfully escaped over-commercialism. There are no special games to play (think Easter egg hunts), no presents to give, no candy to hand out, no expectation of cards, no special outfits or costumes to wear, no special songs to buy CDs of, no fireworks, no special decorations. Except maybe this giant inflatable turkey we found in our neighborhood:
Thanksgiving is about family, friends, and food. Plain and simple. Sure, you can do any or all of those things (I love my Fall cinnamon broom), and maybe your family even has traditions of wearing special clothes or playing specific games together. But generally speaking, it’s family, friends, and food. Three things we all need desperately, three things that can make us happy without spending hundreds of dollars to make it happen.
Thanksgiving is basic. Dining with the ones you love offers something that stores can’t sell you: memories. That’s why it’s my favorite. That’s why I refuse to let Christmas overshadow it. It will come fast enough with its whirlwind of activities, decorations, and baked goods. And I will enjoy every single minute of it, just as I do every year.
In fact, our guests just left, the kitchen is clean, and as far as I’m concerned, Thanksgiving is officially over and Christmas is now welcome in our home. Bring on the whirlwind.
We always seem to have one on our cul-de-sac. That dog owner who opens their door, lets their dog wander around everyone’s front yard, then calls the dog back into the house after it has finished “anointing” a yard with something nasty.
Unfortunately, we have found the remains of many a dog visit in our front yard. Did I mention we don’t have a dog?
The first neighbor who allowed this to happen pushed us too far. After stepping in dog poo for the 4th time, I started waking up early to catch the pooch in the act. At first I chased the dog away before it got too far as the owner insisted the dog had “escaped.” The second time I waited until the dog did its business then went and spoke to my neighbor. After suddenly pretending she didn’t speak English she finally came back and cleaned it up. But when Jay found more in the yard the next morning, he did something so out of character that it made me fall more in love with him than ever. He put the doggie’s poo in a plastic bag, walked it over to the neighbor’s, and left it beside her front door. We never found another present in our yard again.
Until a few days ago, when Julia almost fell face-first into a still-steamy pile in our front yard. And once again, I know the culprit. A cute little black-and-white Cocker Spaniel, whose owner does exactly what the other neighbor used to do. Except she doesn’t bother to call the dog back but instead leaves the front door crack a tad so the dog can get back in whenever it feels ready. Unfortunately, this neighbor has a reputation for being quite violent verbally, and having witnessed it I have no intention of speaking to her about her dog. Call me chicken, but maybe I’m just hoping things will go down like last time – a silent, smelly gift left on the doormat.
Let me be clear about something: both of these canine offenders have fenced-in backyards. The owners could just as easily open their BACK doors and let their dogs out, but they don’t.
Because they don’t want dog poo in their yard.
Yesterday I was painting a fence in our backyard when I heard Julia screaming. Emily runs up and tells me that Julia has some “funny green slimy stuff” on her feet, and I instantly and instinctively knew it was dog poo. Now, our backyard doesn’t have a fence as it sits along a canal (most of the houses in our community that face the canal do not have a backyard fence), so this tends to happen from time to time. If it were down near the water, that would be one thing. This was right outside the porch door. Unavoidable.
I have fortunately not seen any more doggie doo since the backyard incident, but I’m aware that the odds are not in my favor. I’m not sure what’s going to happen the next time I find poo in my yard. I know I’d like to handle myself with dignity and class. It’s more likely that I’m going to lose my mind.
Please pray for me.
No, I’m not talking about a pickup line like: “Hey baby, you must have had Lucky Charms for breakfast because you look magically delicious.” Groan.
I’m talking about the car riders’ pickup line at Emily’s school. I love it. I know many parents don’t agree with me – even my own mom freely admits that she disliked sitting in the line when my brother & I were kids. But without a doubt it’s one of my favorite times of the day.
Since I was a kid I’ve always thought that getting to pick your kids up from school was one of the quintessential responsibilities of parenthood – a daily chore that completely identified you as a mom or a dad. As a teacher I noticed that for the most part, my most well-behaved students were the ones who were picked up every day after school. It’s not something that every kid or parent is able to do, and because of that I always saw it as special. Those kids who were car riders (including Kevin and me) were blessed.
Fast forward to Emily’s first year at school. After being in the same daycare for four years Kindergarten was scary – new school, new kids, new adults. Emily was excited about it, I was the nervous one! But thanks to the recent birth of her baby sister I was not working that year and was able to be a stay-at-home mom. Which meant I was able to pick her up every day after school. And let me tell you, I LOVED it. Every. Single. Day.
When Emily was starting First Grade and Julieboo was 14 months old I had to go back to work. It wasn’t easy leaving both of my girls every day, and I missed that car line so much. It was hard to go from seeing her smiling face at 2p everyday to seeing her at 5p at daycare, after she’d already shared the events of her school day with her aftercare friends and teachers. It broke my heart. She loved aftercare, and understood that I had to work (and she finally got to ride the aftercare bus from her daycare days), but I know deep down she missed it too.
Thanks to Jay’s new job, I’m a stay-at-home mom again. And my favorite part of the day is picking up my beautiful Sugarbear. I know that sitting in a car for 30 minutes (I arrive early so I’m not blocking traffic outside the school) might not seem like an ideal way to spend every afternoon, but I find that I cherish that time. And when I think about all the things I accomplish in that time (with a toddler in the backseat), I’m surprised more moms don’t enjoy it too.
Before I leave the house I grab something to work on while I’m sitting there. If I can do it in my lap without much movement, it comes along. Some of the things I’ve done include:
- Painting my nails – I remove old polish before I leave and bring along quick-dry polish
- Sew – I sewed a furry trim on Emily’s Tooth Fairy pillow when she was in Kindergarten, I’ve also sewn buttons back on clothing
- Write blog posts – I’m actually writing this one in the car line
- Check emails
- Make phone calls
- Cut out baby shower invites
- Write letters or cards to friends
- Make lists (grocery, Christmas gift ideas, to-dos)
I guess you could say it’s my “me time.” Julia has never been much of a napper, and doesn’t ever take them at home. I usually bring her lunch in the car and she munches on that, listens to music, plays, or reads books. Sometimes if I’m really lucky and drive with the windows down on the way over she’ll pass out, and I can really focus on whatever I’m doing. For me, that makes the car line even more wonderful than it already is.
The school bell has just rung, so it’s time to stop blogging for now and go get that sweet big girl of mine. I’m so incredibly thankful for the privilege of sitting in this line, of being able to hear about her day first, and more than anything to see her beautiful face at 2p every day. Like I said, I’m totally blessed.
I have a bad habit of over-explaining things. It drives my husband completely bonkers because it takes a forever for me to get to the point. Anyone who reads my blog has probably deduced this for themselves, as I’m just as guilty of doing it here as I am in person.
For example, whenever I need to return something to a store I find it completely necessary to give an unabridged version of why I am bringing it back.
Employee: Is there anything wrong with it?
Me: Well, you see, when I bought the basket I was sure that my husband would buy the wrong one so I decided to buy it myself while I was here the other day. As it turns out he did buy the wrong basket, but after thinking about it for a few days I realize that I like his basket better than the one that I bought, so I’m bringing the one I bought back today.
Employee: (Clearly annoyed) So there’s nothing wrong with it then?
Me: No, I just want to return it.
Here’s how the same scenario would go down if Jay were returning it:
Employee: Is there anything wrong with it?
Jay: Nope, I just want to return it.
Over the years I’ve gotten much better at not over-explaining when I return things (the employees no longer cringe when I walk up), but I’m still guilty of it in every other way. And to be honest, it drives me absolutely crazy.
I long to be someone who doesn’t feel the need to explain my reasons for everything I do. Someone who can say what it is that I want or don’t want and be confident that it will be enough. Someone who feels like what I say will be viewed as acceptable.
I remember many instances growing up where my opinions were challenged – usually over the silliest things. I’d get asked to sleep over a friend’s house, and I would politely decline. I’d tell someone that I’d rather roller skate than ride bikes. I’d listen to Phil Collins while washing my car. It didn’t matter what the situation, it seemed that no one was ever satisfied with my answers. I’d hear things like, “but why don’t you want to sleep over?” “Why do you want to roller skate?” and “Why do you listen to that music?” – all with an accusatory rather than inquisitive tone.
I never understood why people just wouldn’t let it go. Why my thoughts were always challenged, why what I wanted or didn’t want required explanation. Unfortunately, although I’m a grown adult now it doesn’t seem to have stopped. Sadly, I still find my opinions challenged from time to time. Why don’t I eat this, why don’t I watch that, why don’t I care about traveling, why do I enjoy ____… the list goes on and on.
So here’s my birthday wish (I know, it took me a while to get here, but I warned you): I want to stop defending myself. I want to stop explaining things, to stop trying to make my reasons known in hopes that they will be found acceptable once understood. I’m done. I’m not sure if it’s going to require a more firm tone or what, but somehow I’m going to limit my answers and remind myself that I don’t owe anyone explanations for what I want or don’t want. And even harder than that, I’m going to allow myself to feel okay about this. I’m going to let myself know that I am no less of a daughter, friend, mom, wife, or person for doing so.
Of course, now that I’ve told my wish it probably won’t come true. Ah, well. Here’s hoping!
When we celebrated Emily’s 1st birthday (6 years ago!) the party decor, cake, food, and favors consisted mainly of store-bought items. Nothing at all wrong with that, I know, but I remember feeling like my biggest contribution was handing the party store my credit card. I’m a fairly creative person, and it was frustrating that there wasn’t one thing at the whole party that had my hand in it. I guess I was a little disappointed in myself – I knew I could do better.
When Emily’s 2nd birthday rolled around I wanted her party to have a few more personal touches, more elements of “me” in the mix. Especially the cake. My mom made such memorable cakes – my favorites were a giant teddy bear that actually looked fuzzy and a clown-head cake with candy making up all of his features. I always knew that I wanted my kids to have memories of cakes I’d made for them, and since I hadn’t made her first cake I was extremely determined to make her second.
I hand-made all of her invitations, with the tagline for the party being: “Our Little Lady is Turning 2!” I basically cut the shapes I wanted out of patterned scrapbook paper and arranged the pieces on cardstock, writing the information for the party right on the card. I wish I’d thought to take a picture of the invitations, but I promise they were cute!
I did order the party favors (I’m pretty sure they were from Birthday Express), but I added the Bug Bites cookies and the crayons. I made tags with the guests’ names on them and tied them to the cute little favor boxes.
I also made a coloring book for each of the kids. Since most of her friends were only 2 as well I didn’t see the need for lots of games, and figured a few coloring books and a plate of crayons would suit them just fine. I used Google to search free ladybug coloring book pages and printed up a few that I liked. Then I stapled them together and made a cover out of red cardstock. I stuck the books on a table with the plate of crayons to color during the party, and let the kids take them home at the end.
Food was pretty basic, I think we just did a typical summer meal: burgers, hot dogs, watermelon (which kinda resembles ladybugs now that I think about it), and chips. I found a huge red chip bowl and used a giant posterboard permanent marker to draw black spots on it. It stunk to high heaven, so I think if I ever did this again I’d make the bowl a week early and let it air outside for a few days.
The cake turned out better than I’d even hoped. I had searched online (this was pre-Pinterest, mind you) for ideas on how to make a ladybug cake, and chose a simple design. It was so much fun to make, and I love knowing that one day she might look back and be impressed that I made this just for her, the way I’ve always been impressed at what my mother accomplished for me.
It was a wonderful party, close friends and family (including her beloved Uncle Kevin) came to celebrate her special day with us. Everything turned out exactly how I’d hoped it would, and I succeeded in adding some of my own personal flair to her party. And I love how simple everything was!
One of the things I love the most about running is how easy it is to bring my favorite form of exercise with me no matter where I’m traveling. Whenever I’m packing for a trip the first thing I pack are my sneakers – my trusty Asics get tossed into a plastic grocery bag, which is then tied into a knot and placed at the bottom of my suitcase. Along with them go my running clothes – one set for each day I plan to be away.
I don’t schedule running into my plans – I am on vacation after all – but I like to be prepared just in case an opportunity to go running arises. Most of the time I’m traveling with my beauties, and chances are pretty high that our days are booked to the brim and there’s just no time. While I may have visions of myself going for a brisk jog on one of our Disney vacations, I know that the girls waking up early + Jay sleeping in + the mad dash to breakfast, the bus, and the park = no Disney magic happening for me to escape on that run.
During this past year I’ve realized that even though it might be difficult to find time to go running while away, it was worth a try. Jay and I have been on a couple of cruises, and while strolling around the ship have stumbled across the gym. Rows of treadmills, all facing a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. On both trips we sadly walked away once we realized that we intentionally didn’t pack workout gear because we intended to relax the whole time. Boo. (We are NOT sit-on-a-chaise-lounge-all-day-with-a-book people). In addition to that, my friend Erin was getting into running too, and after a trip to NYC posted pictures of herself running through Central Park. Color me jealous! Even after hearing that it was a bit of work to get to the park to begin that run, the image of her running through the park was enough to motivate me to get moving myself. I found myself wanting to give it a try the next time I went out of town.
I came to the conclusion that the only thing truly keeping me from running and exploring new places while travelling was a lack of preparedness. I couldn’t go if I didn’t have my gear, even if I was staying at the Waldorf Astoria at the edge of Central Park and vacationing alone. If I wanted to get out and run these cities, I had to be ready. My sneakers needed to be in the suitcase.
And wouldn’t you know, it worked! Earlier this year Jay & I travelled to Toronto for our 11th anniversary. My running attire made it in the bag, I charted a course near our hotel using my favorite website, and got it in my head that it was going to happen. Knowing that Jay enjoys sleeping in and that I’m an earlier riser made it easy to find the time to go without cutting into “our” time, and while he dozed one morning I woke up early and did it! I didn’t go very far, but I went. I went running in Downtown Toronto. Now you can color me happy.
That was all it took to get me eager to run on vacation. The city was beautiful and quiet so early in the morning, I didn’t have to sit in the hotel room waiting for Jay to wake up, and I didn’t feel guilty about all the yummy things I ate throughout the day. And yes, I posted in on Facebook. Since then I’ve run on a few different vacations, taking advantage not only of Jay’s sleeping habits but also of anyone who might be traveling with us (thanks Mom & Dad, thanks Pam & Woody!).
Who knows, maybe I’ve inspired someone else to run on vacation too!
This was the BEST Halloween ever. Jay was in town, we hung out with great friends, and even the weather was great. But the costumes. The costumes! I gotta say, I was pretty gosh darn proud of myself this year. I tooted my own horn, gave myself high-fives, cookies, and pats on the back. The costumes were that good.
Emily has recently become obsessed with Star Wars. She originally wanted to go trick-or-treating as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, but she took one look at a Padme costume in a catalog after seeing all six Star Wars episodes and she was instantly set on being Padme. She especially liked the outfit Padme wore on the planet of Geonosis when she had to fight the nexu in the arena:
The costume itself was pretty basic, just a one-piece jumpsuit. It came with a faux gun holster, and I drove myself crazy looking for a fake gun to spray-paint silver before realizing it wouldn’t even hold a gun. Even more frustrating was when we realized while trick-or-treating that we’d completely forgotten to even put it on. Ah, well. I found shoes that wouldn’t take away from the overall look and that she could still wear to school – beautiful silvery sparkly sneakers. She even had her nails painted silver – which of course meant Julia wanted hers done too. But the final touch was the hair. Originally I thought that Padme just had her hair pulled back into a tight bun, but when I double-checked online I discovered it was much more elaborate than that (I should have known better).
It turned out to be pretty easy to duplicate though, all I needed were some pipe cleaners, bobby pins, clear elastics, and gel. I pulled her hair into a tight ponytail, then inserted a pipe cleaner into the ponytail, wrapped hair around it, then pinned it back onto her head. It turned out pretty spot-on for the movie, I think, and Emily was in Padme-heaven!
As for Julia, I chose her costume about 3 years ago. I found a picture of a little girl dressed as Holly Golightly on Pinterest, and since Emily was too old I swore if I had another little girl she would one day trick-or-treat as that iconic movie character. Well, I had another daughter, and she was the perfect age this year – small enough to still dress her up how I wanted but old enough to walk around and work her costume cuteness.
I made the tutu myself, and for the shirt I cut the sleeves off of a long-sleeve black top I found for $3 at Wal-Mart. I tied little black ribbons at the shoulders and found some black Mary Jane shoes at a yard sale (also only $3). She borrowed pearl necklaces from Emily’s dress-up stash, and wore a little tiara I found for a quarter at the party store. The finishing touch was letting her trick-or-treat with an actual shopping bag from Tiffany & Co. My friend Sanne’s cat even followed us a for a bit, adding a bit more authenticity to the whole ensemble.
Unfortunately, no one seemed to know who she was while we were out trick-or-treating. I received lots of compliments on how cute my little ballerina was, what a cute princess she made, and one lady even thought she was a witch. Everyone loved the familiar blue shopping bag, but I was surprised nobody made the connection! Honestly, though, it didn’t take away any of it for me. She looked like a perfect little Holy Golightly, and I was beside myself with giddiness at how adorable it turned out.
I don’t foresee outdoing these costumes – ever. I haven’t decided if I’ll try to or not. I’m perfectly happy knowing that Halloween 2013 my beauties were completely and perfectly costumed. It won’t be long before Emily outgrows it and Julia has her own strong opinions about what she wants to wear. So I’m going to hold on tight to 10-31-13. Toot toot!
So, almost a month late, here’s how things went down at Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K!
Sanne (my 5K Partner in Crime) and I headed to Orlando on a Friday afternoon. RunDisney had been sending us emails leading up to the event with instructions on how things were organized, and the first stop was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. They were holding a Health & Fitness Expo, which is where all participants had to go to pick up their race day packets.
Our packets consisted of a clear bag (to put any items in that we might bring with us to the race), a program of events, a t-shirt, and most importantly – our bibs! Since we had registered early we were able to have our names put on them. So cool.
When you registered you had to give an estimate of how quickly you thought you’d complete each mile. Based on that information you were assigned a corral. Sanne and I had registered separately, and without meaning to had chosen different times, which placed us in different starting corrals (that’s why her bib has a “D” on it and mine has an “E” on it). Sanne was allowed to move into my slower corral though, so we were still able to start the race at the same time.
Everyone was supposed to be in their corrals by 7a, but we arrived much sooner and had the benefit of watching the sun rise. We are seriously too cute here.
At about 7:30a they started allowing Corral A to head to the starting line. They released another corral about every 5 minutes, giving the group ahead time to get going. As soon as they called our corral I started to tear up. As in, I was crying. It was so emotional for me to finally be doing something I’d dreamed about for the past year and a half. But to be honest, I think every time I go to Disney something makes me cry. I should have been more prepared for it – thank goodness for sunglasses!
We started out running in the grass around the fields, then started into the forest. The trails were unpaved and twisted all through the trees, keeping us on our toes the whole time. Many of the participants were already walking, so we passed by as best as we could (making me thankful it wasn’t a timed race). Along the trail every so often there photo-ops with villains, like Captain Hook, Prince John, and the Big Bad Wolf, which we decided not to stop for. There were also two stations with water and Porta-Potties, but we opted to pass by these too since the goal was to run the whole thing. There were also fun mile markers along the trail, which definitely helped motivate us to keep going!
As we came out of the woods the trail led us onto the fields and track, where a ton of photographers were snapping at us like paparazzi. Disney employees were stationed all along the track cheering us on too. It felt like everyone was there for us, waiting for us to cross that finish line. It was overwhelming. So, when we crossed that line, I cried again. Next thing I know a reporter is sticking a microphone in my face asking why it was so emotional for me. I blubbered something dumb while Sanne talked about what a great job Disney did. She’s smarter than me, obviously. The guy watched us get our medals (everyone who completes the 5K receives one), and a few weeks after the race we learned that we made it on the runDisney video!
The entire experience was incredible. It was so much fun to be a part of something so big – I think I’m officially addicted to 5Ks now, and I’m going to keep my eyes open for any (cheap) runs I can be a part of locally. I’ve actually already signed up to walk the Royal Family 5K at EPCOT in February with my mom!
I’m so thankful for so many things – my health, my supportive husband, my encouraging daughters, and of course, for Sanne. After our race we cleaned up and immediately headed to Islands of Adventure. Best Mommies Day Out ever.