The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti {Book Review}

hundred liesTitle: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Publisher: Sourcebooks

I received an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

From Goodreads:
A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world. 


MY THOUGHTS

I have mixed feelings after completing this book. I knew Hawthorn lived in her imagination a lot. That was evident in the very beginning when she described her distraught brother as infected with an illness that turned him into a zombie. She quickly dropped it when he started talking, so I kept reading. When she started talking about werewolves, I thought it would be another fleeting fantasy. Until it wasn’t. I was convinced through halfway through that the book should have been described as a YA Fantasy until something shifted. Hawthorn started living more in the real world.

I appreciate Hawthorn for her non-conforming, awkward and weird ways. She’s not afraid to be herself. That’s not true – she is, but she works through the fear to try to find herself. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is about not being normal in high school. And as much as it feels wrong to not fit in, it feels just as wrong to fit in.

Although the themes of the story were a bit long-winded for me, I did feel the rawness through a teenager’s eye. The emotions were real. Experiences and relationships were pulled from real life. There is a lesson learned here and an important reminder that high school is just a chapter in life.

Weekend Update (Kerry)-3 Day Weekend

Another long weekend in the books. Technically my office wasn’t closed on Monday but Jada didn’t have school so I took the day off to stay home with her. We had a nice long weekend.

Friday started with a run bright and early. I was exhausted and had no desire to get out and run. I really felt like I needed a rest day but I have committed to getting out and doing at least a mile every day. I got up Friday and did exactly one mile. Then came home and flopped in to bed again.

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Friday night after work I came home to a few packages. A lot of running clothes that were all on sale! Woo hoo!

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Saturday morning started off with a run. I got 9 miles in and it felt great! My pace was awesome and I felt really good!

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After my run, I had my normal Saturday errands-Jada’s dance class and groceries. We didn’t do much else. The kids enjoyed just hanging home.

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I had to head out to the mall briefly to see if I could exchange a shirt. It was nice. I got some alone time and may have bought a few things!

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Saturday night I just watched some TV and enjoyed a tasty smore!

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Sunday strated with a recovery run. A quick 3 miles did the trick.

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We decided to get the kids out of the house so we went to a local indoor bouncy house place. The kids had a blast and it was nice to get out of the house for a bit.

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We came home and just hung out for the rest of the afternoon. I snacked on this Chobani yogurt. Have you seen these? So yummy! I also bought the s’mores ones too.

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I decided to sleep in a bit Monday so I skipped boot camp.  I did still get out and get my run in-1.5 miles.

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After the run, we went out to breakfast. We ordered Jada this yummy croissant with fluff, Nutella, and strawberries. I may have stole a bite. It was delicious!

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I took Jada with me to get my nails done. She hung out and watched the iPad while I enjoyed a mani/pedi. I let Jada pick out my nail color. Maybe not the best choice! They are certainly blue!

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After my nail appointment, we met Lara and Kayley for lunch and the new headed to the zoo.

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We had a fun weekend! Now it’s back to the grind.

Weekend Update – Lazy Long Weekend

Happy MLK Day! It’s a day for national community service.  I hope if you don’t have the day off in remembrance, that you are able to show support in other ways.  Do something kind for someone today.

As if having the week of christmas off wasn’t enough, I am lucky enough to get another long weekend.  I have today off and it’s probably a good thing because I need it to recover from my wild weekend.  Please read the extreme sarcasm here.  The most wild thing I did probably happened Friday night when I was hanging out with 7 pre-teen girls.  Kayley’ dance team, along with moms, went to a local hibachi place.  I never had my phone out once the entire time.  My picture here is a screenshot from a video someone posted on FB.IMG_5663

Saturday morning I woke up to what I thought was a ticket on my windshield.  Turns out it was just warning.  There is no on-street parking in the winter in my town and I just got busted. Or warned.  So I guess that was pretty exciting too…IMG_5665

Why did I even get started on watching This Is Us?? I am an emotional wreck when I watch it.  How can something so brutal be so absolutely amazing at the same time??
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I woke up feeling a bit yucky (it had nothing to do with the wannabe ticket) but I still dressed for a workout or run in case the feeling passed.  It really didn’t and I ended up looking like this all day.  A wannabe runner. But I think the slippers gave me away.IMG_5669

It’s a big football weekend and we couldn’t end Saturday without our eyes glued to the Patriots game.  It was definitely a nail biter.IMG_5673

On Sunday I still woke up with a run or workout on my mind. I was feeling better but still not 100% motivated to run.  I prepped the morning like I was going for a long one and just let time tell what I would end up doing.IMG_5674

8 miles is what I ended up doing! I was quite surprised but also relieved because that was the mileage that I wanted but wasn’t sure i could get.  The first 2 miles felt great.  I felt strong and relaxed but I was also running downhill.  By mile 3, I took a walk break. I took one at mile 4 too.  When I look at my splits, they were positive through the first 5 miles.  I remember thinking that my last long run was the marathon and that was brutal.  Hopefully that mental break will pass and I won’t compare every long run to the harshness of the marathon.  By mile 6, some guy passed me.  Something woke up inside me and I pushed.  I knocked off a minute that mile and kept it strong for the last.  It felt good to get that done and to have a reminder that I am still capable.
IMG_5682And the afternoon was all about sitting in the living room, listening to 80s music while Kayley did her homework, Ben was into social media on his phone and I finished a book.
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I did however set some bait by making brownies.  Kerry sniffed them out and came over to hang out for a bit last night so she could get her sugar fix.

 

Weekly Workout Recap – 1/15

Getting a workout in during these cold months is tough. It is so tough to roll out of a warm bed or get or bundled up to get out for a run. Let’s see what kind of decisions we made this week.

MONDAY

Kerry: Boot camp started up again this morning after a 2 week break. I don’t think we have ever had a 2 week break. I was excited to get back. We are now indoors which certainly helps a little bit-especially a day like today when it was 9 degrees. Even though I went to boot camp, I still had to get my run in as part of the Winter Warrior Challenge. When I got back from boot camp I headed out for a quick 1 mile run.

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Lara: My good habits died hard when I had vacation and I’m trying to get back into it again. Monday yoga used to be a thing and I’m trying to make it a thing again.  So here it is. Yoga Monday.  I started Day 1 with Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga figuring that was a good place to start.
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TUESDAY

Kerry: It was so cold this morning but in all honesty, I think I am getting used to it. I got out for a run this morning. I ended up doing 3.5 miles. I had originally set out on a 3 mile loop but at one point during the run, I stopped my watch at a traffic light and I forgot to start it back up. I needed my watch to read at least 3 miles so I ended up going a half mile further to compensate. I suppose I could have just manually edited my run but that would have been too difficult! 🙂

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Lara: At least I’m still keeping up with my lunchtime workouts at work.  Today was a Nike Training App workout.  There were a lot of lunges and jump squats. I know that my quads are going to be hating me but I need to get them stronger, so they need to just suck it up.
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WEDNESDAY

Kerry: Today was a boot camp day. Even though I had boot camp, I still had to get my daily mileage in. It was rainy and windy but I ran a quick mile before boot camp started. Today’s boot camp workout was great! At the beginning of the workout we were given a pen and paper and were told to document all our reps. We did a minute each of a bunch of different exercises. We got through most twice and the goal was to try to beat your first number the second time around. I loved it! Definitely a workout that worked everything.

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Lara: It was an absolutely gorgeous Spring day today. Too bad its the middle of January and completely uncharacteristic.  Typical New England tease January thaw.  I would have loved to run outside today at lunch time, but my workout partner wasn’t prepared so we went for a very brisk walk instead. It was fantastic. I now can’t wait for spring to come. (nothing new there though)
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THURSDAY

Kerry: One of my goals for the new year was to really try to focus on running this year. And by focus, I mean, try to get better–run more races and get faster. I decided to incorporate a speed workout today and did a tempo run. I took the first mile slow for a warm-up and then did 2 miles at tempo pace. The last mile was a slower recovery mile. It was a good workout but definitely a tough one. It was unseasonably warm too so no winter gear needed. An added bonus!

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Lara: The warm weather held up for another day today.  And I did get that lunchtime run in.  I had a random long sleeve in my bag that would make for a perfect outdoor run attire.  Although it worked out, my clothes were totally mismatched, but no one said that runners needed to be matchy right? I actually got a bit too warm by the end and wanted to strip to my tank, but that probably wouldn’t be incredibly smart.
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FRIDAY

Kerry: I did not want to get out of bed today. I really wanted a rest day but I had to get out and do at least a mile. That is exactly what I did–1 mile.

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Lara: Fridays have been my rest day lately and I kept it that way today.  As noted earlier this week, my quads would hate me and they kind of do.  There are random pulls and pains that I need to pay attention to.  Also, as noted earlier, I started 30 days of yoga on Monday with day 1 and have yet to move on to day 2.  Wonder if that will ever be something I do…

SATURDAY

Kerry: I got out for a long run this morning. I got 9 miles in. It was freezing out and I honestly didn’t think I could handle it after the first 2 miles. My legs felt numb. Eventually I warmed up and I was good to go. I am not sure if it was the cold weather or what but my pace was awesome! Last week I ran 8 miles in 1:10 and this week I ran 9 miles in 1:12! I couldn’t believe it. I am feeling good and I am glad to be feeling my love for running again!

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Lara: I woke this morning not feeling in tip top shape. I did dress for a workout, but it didn’t happen.  Although I’m frustrated with my lack of running motivation, I am trying not to be too hard on myself.
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SUNDAY

Kerry: I headed out for a recovery run today. I did 3 miles at  a nice easy pace.

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Lara: It was a struggle, but I got my butt out the door today for a long run. Outside! I had in my head to do 8 miles. I just ran. It wasn’t easy.  My first 5 miles were positive splits. But at mile 6 I knocked off 50 seconds.  I probably could have gone longer, but since this was my longest run since the marathon, I need to be careful.  I actually got a little depressed during my run when I thought about it.  The marathon was tough and now every long run I have, I feel like it’s just going to be as difficult.  This is one mental barrier that is going to take longer than normal to breakdown.
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Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel {Book Review}

small-admissionsTitle: Small Admissions
Author: Amy Poeppel
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

From Goodreads: (edited for length)
For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. […] Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.


MY THOUGHTS

Small Admissions was a great end of 2016 and start to 2017 for me.  I had a difficult time getting through books in 2016 and Small Admissions was just the book I needed to get back in the game.  Kate Pearson had a depressing loss of motivation, but with the help of the people around her who believed in her, she found herself.  It’s a bit of a coming of age story and I only wish that I had that kind of direction to realize by the end of the book where I belong.  (Although my story isn’t over yet.  But Kate clearly found her right direction at a much younger age than me.)

Small Admissions is your classic chick lit variety book and I loved it.  It was an easy read and did not require any more character development than was given.  Although, there was a mix of characters sharing their point of view throughout which made it a bit confusing to latch onto in the beginning.  However, it was simple enough to figure out.  There was a mix of mediums which always intrigue me.  Having the story told to me through story telling as well as through emails and letters is always a plus in my book.  I found the crazy stories centered on the private school admissions process slightly voyeuristic and I wanted more!  I enjoyed this book and hope that it’s the start of a good year of reading for me.

Weekend Update (Kerry)-Snowy Weekend

Another weekend in the books and this weekend mother nature dumped some snow on us. I have a love/hate relationship with snow on the weekends. On one hand, it’s nice on the weekend because there is no rush to get anywhere (work or school) and it takes away from some of the stress. On the other hand, you are stuck in the house all weekend and that can get a little hairy. Friday morning started with snow for us-not a lot-but enough to make it a little messy. I was determined to keep my running streak going so I went out quickly for a 1.5 mile run.

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We decided to have Chinese food for dinner Friday. Yum!

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Saturday morning started bright and early with an 8 mile run.

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After the run, I went to the grocery store before the storm hit us. It wasn’t terribly packed but pretty busy for 8am.

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I picked up Bruegger’s while I was out.

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Then it was off to dance class. After dance, Jada had a birthday party to go to. It had already started snowing but we braved the weather.

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By the time we got out of the party, it was really snowing. Jay needed to run in to Target to get something while we were out. The place was a ghost town.

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The rest of the evening we spent inside watching the snow fall. Sunday morning we woke up to about 6-8 inches of snow. It killed me, but I had to get out there to do my mile run (and that is EXACTLY what I did-1 mile!)img_8661 img_8660

The kids enjoyed some breakfast together.

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Then it was time to play outside for a bit. Jada liked it but Jalen really didn’t know what to think of it.

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I made a pretty sweet snow angel.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing in some new PJ’s. My little heroes!

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It was a nice weekend and I am glad we got some relaxing in!

 

Weekend Update – First Weekend of the New Year was Lame

Hey There! Well the first full weekend of the new year is behind us.  This must be an indication that 2017 is going to fly by just like it’s predecessors.  But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s time to recap my weekend.

And honestly, I’m thinking that this post is just going to be a waste of internet space.  Besides it snowing this weekend, I literally did nothing worth reporting.

Let’s just get this over with.

Friday started snowy.  This is the view on my way into work in the morning.  It was flurrying  but you can’t tell because my photo skills are not top-notch while walking in the cold.img_5606

And the night ended with the start of another puzzle.  Told you…lame.img_5609

Although I was up early enough Saturday to run outside, I headed to the gym instead to get my run done on the treadmill.  It was PACKED by the way.  Half way through my run, my hamstring started to tighten.  I stopped to stretch and fought hard to not throw in the towel.  I was fighting back tears.  It’s so frustrating to not just be able to run and not feel pain or tightness anymore.  I didn’t give up. I walked for a couple of minutes before running.  I did make it a tiny bit over 6 miles in 60 minutes, so I’m pretty pumped about that.img_5614

The snow hadn’t started yet,  but it was on the way.  The grocery store lines confirmed the fact that snow was coming, so cupcakes were an essential item.img_5615

And right up there with the excitement of getting cupcakes was the mail I received.  I ordered a surprise pack from Sparkly Soul and it arrived today.  I couldn’t be more excited about my 4 new headbands. Especially because there are no dupes an I spy some colors that will be great for Valentine’s!img_5616

It snowed into the night. And I know this because the plows were constantly up and down the street.  I feel like I barely slept.  I also woke up with tightness all through my muscles.  I have no idea why because I didn’t even shovel.  So what’s the logical thing to do. Go out and actually shovel.  We cleaned off the cars and headed to my parent’s house to help them.img_5618 img_5619

The rest of the day was full of cooking and food prep.  And maybe some more puzzle and red wine…img_5624

See…told you…lame…

Weekly Workout Recap-1/8

Happy New Year! Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! Now back to the grind and off the sugar!

MONDAY

Kerry: I got a run in this morning. 3.2 miles. It felt good. I am really trying to get myself back in the groove. The past few weeks have been a disaster. I rocked out to some Beyonce this morning. Great way to start my morning.

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Lara: Ughhhh. It’s the last day of vacation and back to reality tomorrow. So to start to prepare for it, I actually got a workout in.  I hit up the gym for a run on the treadmill.  It was a bit dreadful and I wasn’t enjoying the majority of it. But it’s done and that’s better than I can say than if I was just sitting on the couch at home.
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TUESDAY

Kerry: I got out for another 3 mile run today. I guess this Winter Warrior Challenge is really motivating me. It was a little warm this  morning. I actually took my gloves and hat off on the second half of the run.

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Lara: I’m still not interested in waking up early or braving the cold.  The marathon really did a number on my motivation.  But I did get a cardio/hiit workout in at work lunchtime today.  I was sweating like a pig that only ate candy for 10 days. (oh… wait…) There were a lot of lunges and squats and I just know I will be feeling it tomorrow. Even though my legs can handle miles, they are weak in strength and that’s something i need to work on this year.
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WEDNESDAY

Kerry: I was in a bit of a time crunch this morning but wanted to keep my streak going. I was able to get out but only for 1.5 miles. I didn’t feel that guilty though. At least I got out and made an effort.

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Lara: I was planning on cardio and abs today for my workout.  I went down to the gym at lunchtime but forgot all of my running gear except my sneakers.  Which of course is all I really need, but I didn’t have headphones.  I essentially ran naked for 20 minutes – no music or tv – just my head movies.  And finished up with some abs and stretching.  My legs really are sore from yesterday but the run wasn’t too bad.
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THURSDAY

Kerry: Another run for me today. 3 miles in the books. I love running but I will certainly be happy when boot camp starts again next week so I can switch it up a bit. Although I will have to find another way to get my miles in.

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Lara: I’m on a roll here with the gym at work.  It was empty today at lunchtime so I took advantage and did a fitnessblender.com workout on my phone with the sad, mismatched weights in the gym.   This place definitely isn’t state of the art, but it helps me get the job done. And it’s fee and convenient…
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FRIDAY

Kerry: I got out for a quick run this morning. It was snowy and cold but I wanted to keep the streak going. I only did 1.5 miles because I plan on doing a long-ish run tomorrow.

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Lara: Definitely ok with a rest day today.  My legs are happy for it too.  They really did get a workout this week and I need them to repair.  Maybe I should make my 2017 goal to be to stretch and rest more so that I stay away from injury…

SATURDAY

Kerry: I woke up determined to get a long-ish run in. We are supposed to get snow this afternoon and this may be the last long run “snow-free” for a while. I got 8 miles in. It was a good run. I was happy with my pace and overall I felt great.

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Lara: I knew I was going to get a run in, but when the alarm didn’t go off early, I slept in.  I ended up making my way to the gym (it was PACKED) to get some miles on the treadmill.  I planned on an hour run, hoping I would get 6 miles in.  Half way in, my hamstring started to tighten.  I stopped to stretch and honestly fought back tears.  It’s so frustrating to not just be able to run and not feel pain or tightness anymore.  I’m clearly not used to this new norm.  After stretching for a bit and walking it out, I started up again and finished my run.  I did make it a tiny bit over 6 miles in 60 minutes, so I’m pretty pumped about that.
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SUNDAY

Kerry: We got about 8 inches of snow yesterday in to overnight. The last thing I wanted to do was head outside for a run–but I did. I only did 1 mile. Mostly because that’s all I have to do to keep the run streak going and it was freezing out and the sidewalks weren’t shoveled. I did it though. That’s all that matters.

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Lara: Definitely not as diehard as Kerry, but I was out early this morning to shovel.  That’s about as much activity I will participate in today.
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January Ultimate Coffee Date

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. We enjoyed time with our families and we are happy to start the new year. It is the first Saturday of the month (and the new year!), and that means it’s coffee time! We are joined by our hosts hosted by Coco and Deborah.  So grab your cup of coffee, water, whatever and join us!

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee, Kerry would tell you that I have been obsessed with this show “People Magazine Investigates” on the Investigation Discovery channel. I have been binge watching all the episodes On Demand. I love true crime stories so this show is right up my alley.

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If we were having coffee, Kerry would tell you that I normally don’t set any goals or make resolutions for the New Year. I have decided this year to make a few. Want to hear them? Ok, I figured you would. One is to drink more water. I am really terrible with this. With all the running I do, you would think I would be careful with this but I am not. I am really working to up my water intake for the new year. Second, I want to focus on running. By that I mean, get better, get faster. I know this is going to require some serious dedication but I think I am up for the challenge. The third one is work related. I really want to focus more on work goals and career growth.

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If we were having coffee, Kerry would tell you that even though I really do love the holidays, I am happy they are over. It’s nice to be back to our normal routines and eating habits. I feel like it is always so hard to get back in to the swing of things after the holidays. I feel like this year was especially tough because there were lots of 3 & 4 day weekends involved. It’s been a few days and I still feel like I am a little out of sorts. Hopefully by next week things will feel a little smoother.

If we were having coffee, Lara would also note that it’s a new year, but I have no new goals.  Last year I set my goals like usual and I never once paid attention to them.  I’m starting fresh this year and just trying to get through it without getting hurt.  2015 and 2016 were spent in physical therapy.  I’d like to stay out of that place in 2017.  Back to simple basics for me.

If we were having coffee, Lara would tell you that what I just said above is a load of bull.  I might not have official goals, but on New Years Eve, I signed up for two races this year within 10 minutes time.  I have a half marathon in March and I’m running the Run to Home Base at Fenway Park like I did last year and will be raising money for our servicemen who protect our country.  I’m pretty excited about it. Now to get excited about running again. I wonder when that will happen…
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If we were having coffee, Lara would tell you that I am a 2017 ZOOMA Ambassador. This is the second year in a row and I’m pretty excited about it.  There are only 2 races scheduled for 2017 at this time, but they are good ones! This is the 10th anniversary for the Annapolis race.  This year it is June 3 and you can get 10% off by using LARA2017.  They are planning BIG things for the race.  Check it out here.
Also, The Run Love Challenge is a virtual run.  Registration comes with a training guide, Facebook support group, hoodie and medal!! Training starts Monday, January 9. Join me. Register here: http://zoomarun.com/zooma-run-love-challenge/
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Weekend Update (Kerry)-Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful new year and enjoyed a few days off. I have had a few days off from work and I am finding it hard to get back in to the swing of things.  I had a great weekend though. I will start with Friday since I had off. I was able to get all the Christmas decorations down  and put away for the year. It always seems so bare when the house gets un-decorated.

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After all the decorations were away, we met up with one of Jada’s friends and her mom to see Sing. It was such a cute movie!

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Jada wanted to play outside for a bit. She loves the snow!

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I took this picture Friday evening. I thought it was funny the way she set up all her dolls.

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Saturday morning started off with a run and a stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way back.

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Jalen decided he wanted to take my running sneakers for a spin.

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Jalen desperately needed a hair cut–his first one. I was a little sad about it but it really was kind of crazy. Here is a before pic.

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He did a great job sitting through the hair cut. I was impressed.

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He looks so grown up now! We have a standing tradition of going to one of Jay’s friend’s house’s for New Year’s Eve. It’s nice and low key and fun for the kids.

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It was an uneventful NYE. We got home around 10:30 and I went right to bed. I can’t even tell you the last time I actually saw the ball drop. Sunday morning started off with a run for me–well–kind of. I got outside and didn’t realize how icy it was. I ended up having to walk a lot due to black ice so I cut it short after 2 miles. On a positive note, I did decide to sign up for a half marathon in March with Lara. It will be a good way to stay motivated the next few months.

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New Year’s Day we always go to my mother-in-law’s house for a family get together. Jay and Jalen were twinning with their sweaters.

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Monday morning started off with a run for me while rocking out to Beyonce.

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Then it was home to food prep.

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Jada and I went to get our nails done.

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We hung out the rest of the afternoon and just enjoyed our last day of vacation. Hope you all did the same!