Holiday Hubbub!

Hi and hello there! I hope everyone is having a fantastic lead-in to Christmas week! This month has been a complete and utter whirlwind so far, but in the best possible way! I’ve been staying really busy with work, family, time with friends, and gearing up for our trip to my sister’s for Christmaaaaas!

Somehow despite the craziness that everyone is dealing with, we found time to ring in my brother Ben’s 35th birthday with a little family dinner celebration. Marnie is so flippin’ cute! I can’t wait to see her experience her first Christmas.

Other festive celebrations included getting together with a group of my wonderful mommy friends for a playdate and surprisingly successful cookie decorating party!

Not quite as successful was the attempted group photo of the kiddos, but, hey, at least we get points for trying?

And since we’re doing Christmas with my family again this year, we also had a little mini Christmas dinner with Sean’s family last weekend. We’ll also be seeing them again for Christmas Part II when we get back, but Sean’s mom had a couple of gifts for Penny to open (she still doesn’t really “get” opening gifts, but I had fun opening them! Haha), and we had a damn fine dinner. Plus, the Foxes always have their house decorated so perfectly for the holidays!

It hasn’t all been sunny and positive and fun festive things, though. Unfortunately on Monday Harry had an accident where he tore one of his toenails off, and apparently doggy foot wounds bleed a LOT (it seriously looked like a murder scene), so I totally flipped out and rushed him to the pup ER. Luckily, he’s okay but has to wear the cone of shame for a while so he doesn’t continue to mess with it. My poor old man dog!

But back on the positive side, I also had the opportunity to attend our very first Yelp Holiday Party with the new DC office! My fellow community managers and besties, Mike, Kimberly (and our boss Tara), have always had a little lunch celebration of our own in years past (and we did so again this year), but it is kind of a cool perk of having a “real” office here now that we also get a “real” holiday party!

My final work events are officially done with for the year, so this week has been primarily about wrapping up the year and getting ready (and mentally prepared) for the road trip down to Atlanta! It’s going to be Penny’s longest (by FAR) car trip yet, plus we’re taking all three members of the Schnauzer Squad…. should be an adventure!

 

I asked for tips on how to survive the trip on Instagram, and got some amazing ideas, so THANK YOU if you’re one of the ones who responded. We’re going to try to do it one go (with contingencies and backup plans, lol), so I got a bunch of new toys and books to offer Penny throughout the trip, and we will be loaded up with sooooo many snacks… it’s gonna be fine, right? RIGHT??

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m so nervous about the trip. It’s not even like I’ve never made this drive before! I’ve done it with my sister and HER kids (and even her dogs once or twice!), but for some reason now that it’s gonna be with Sean and Penny and my gaggle of high-strung terriers, I’m feeling pretty anxious.

But hey, it’ll all work out, right? I mean, just look at this face! And, of course, I’m really really looking forward to being together with my WHOLE family for Christmas again this year. Bring on the gingerbread house and cookie decorating and present wrapping and eggnog drinking and all the general holiday hubbub! Also, my sister and I are running a 5K on Christmas Eve so, you know, if you’re gonna be sending good thoughts into the universe for our road trip, please add a couple extra ones for that, lollllll cry.

I hope that you all have the very happiest of holidays, a very merry Christmas, and an absolutely wonderful New Year if I don’t make it back for another update before then!

Thanksgiving Recap & Christmas Ahoy!

Happy December, everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving holiday (though I know I’m already like, 2 weeks late on the well-wishes for that… it’s been busy around here!). Sean, Penny, my parents, and I all joined Sean’s family for Thanksgiving this year, and it was epic. Penny enjoyed turkey but really went wild for the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese that I contributed to dinner, which made me swell with pride.

We also had a mini-second-Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house with Ben, Taylor, and Marnie (who spent actual Turkey Day with Tay’s family) and because of course my mom randomly happened to have an entire second turkey that she needed to cook. Oh well, any excuse for more tryptophan-induced food comas is A-OK by me!

Going back to my parents’ house this week also gave us the opportunity to help my dad pull out some holiday decorations, and had me tripping down memory lane when I found an old photo album filled with baby pictures of yours truly! Which confirmed what lots of strangers stop to tell me anytime I’m out with Penny, which is that she really is my mini!!

 

Well, my strawberry-blonde, blue-eyed mini. 😉

And actually, turns out I got quite a bit of extra time in with my parents over Thanksgiving week, since the weekend after I went with them to the Kennedy Center to see the National Symphony Orchestra’s Decade of Disney concert.

 

Sadly, my Thanksgiving weekend did not end on a tremendously high note, as Sunday I came down with some kind of crazy stomach bug / food poisoning / some kinda something that had me hugging the porcelain throne all night long. UGH. Not sure what happened there, but it had me pretty much out of commission for most of Sunday and Monday. Blech.

I’m feeling much better now, but between getting sick after returning from Atlanta, Thanksgiving, and then that lovely ’bout of illness, it had been a seriously hot minute since I’d been to the gym or worked out at all. I also made the potentially grave error of agreeing to a Christmas Eve 5K with my sister and some friends, however, so I knew that I needed to get back on the horse soon.

I felt better on Tuesday, so I managed to drag myself to the gym and put in a half-hearted workout. Not great, but it was something. And then on Wednesday and Friday, I managed to do some real running and real lifting. Training-wise, even on the mend from being sick, I managed to make it to 1.6 miles, so hopefully by the time 12/24 rolls around I’ll actually be able to do the full 5K.

  

Anyway, that pretty much catches us up to today! And as today is, y’know, December, this officially means we are BRINGING ON THE CHRISTMAS CHEER!!

You can find me (and Penny… and the dogs…) dressed festively for the next 22 days and I’m not even a little bit sorry.

 

On the work-front, I’ve got my regional summit the first half of this upcoming week, so I’ll be camping out at Yelp’s DC office pretty much nonstop for the next couple of days. We all had dinner together last night, and it was great — I love getting to see so many of my coworkers (we all work remotely, so it’s one of the few opportunities each year for all of us to get together), but as I’m sure anyone who’s ever had a work conference derail your daily duties a bit, it’s also for sure going to make for a bit of a crazy week.

And even though I so treasure this time spent with my regional team, it is a teeeeny bit bittersweet. I mean, it’s really only because I’m so spoiled, but even though Penny goes to daycare twice a week, I’ve never had to worry about stuff like traffic and commuting during rush hour — this morning will be my first taste of that. So I’m dropping her off extra early and will just have make peace with the fact that the 20 minutes I spent with her first thing in the morning is the only time I’m gonna get with my girl over the next couple of days (since I’ll be getting home loooooong after she’s gone to bed.) I know, I know, this is the daily reality for tons of parents so I should probably just shut my face. It’s just not my daily reality, so it makes me a little wistful. Also, she hardly eeeeeever naps at daycare so, you know, pray for Sean.

Anyway, on that optimistic note, I’ll bid you adieu for now! Hope everyone has a super fun, festive week as we really start getting into the holiday spirit, and Happy Hanukkah to my friends who are celebrating!

 

Happy Powellween!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween yesterday!

This little owl finally delivered my Hogwarts letter — although she’s pretty terrible at her job, tbh, since it arrived about 19 years late. Good thing she’s so cute!

While it wasn’t technically Penny’s 1st Halloween, we did take her trick or treating for the first time, and it was so much fun! Even if she still didn’t really have any idea what was going on, or why I kept putting the hood of her costume back up every time she ripped it off.

We made it to six whole houses around the neighborhood, and by the last couple she was starting to get the idea of walking up to the door and holding out her bucket, so I’d call it a rousing success!

And while it wasn’t Penny’s first Halloween, it was her cousin Marnie’s!

So we got some more use out of Penny’s unicorn costume from last year, and the two of them together was honestly almost too much cuteness to handle.

The weather yesterday was also pretty much perfect. After so many days of wet, chilly, dreary weather, the warm, sunny, and beautiful Autumn day was such a welcome surprise!

My parents and I took advantage pre-trick-or-treating by taking Penny, Harry the lion, and Daxter the Monkey out for a nice leisurely walk.

Between Halloween, regular work stuff, and my coworker’s big event that I’m helping out at today, this week has been crazy busy. Actually, the weekend was jam-packed, too! My dad’s birthday was on Saturday, and then on Sunday, Sean and I tried to take in more Halloweeny goodness with Penny (though the event we went to was so crazy packed, we barely spent any time there at all, lol.)

 

Throw in a couple playdates, and things have actually been non-stop for a while! Which, of course, explains why I haven’t been back here to blog in a while, and also sadly why thus far this week I’ve only been able to work out once.

Luckily (?) the workout was a barre class taught by my friend on Monday, and it kicked my butt so hard that I’m still pathetically sore today. And these big Yelper Party events like the one I’m off to shortly tend to easily make me double my daily steps (and then some), so at least I’ll still be shaking out some of this soreness?

This weekend brings more fun and craziness with it, with Sean’s birthday, a friend’s birthday party, brunch, and then my own event on Monday night. But next week Penny and I are headed back to visit my sister, so just powering on through ’til then!

Happy November, everyone!

Mouse in the House!

Halloween is almost here! For Penny’s first Halloween last year, I was so excited to get her all dressed up and show her off, but let’s be honest: she was basically just a lump in a unicorn costume. So THIS year, as she’s old enough to walk around, enjoy the attention and take in all the hubbub, I’m really having fun with it!

 

Yesterday we got our first taste of Halloween goodness, as the Yelp DC office was hosting a kid’s Halloween party! So I got my little mouse all dressed up and we drove into the city so she could have her first taste of office life (and candy, hehe.)

 

Sean’s working on a new construction site that’s downtown as well, not too far from the Yelp offices, so he was even able to join us!

Yelp’s employee demographic skews preeeeetty young, so there actually aren’t a ton of parents working out of this office. Which means there were really only like, five kids at the party, haha. But luckily one of them was my work bestie‘s adorable daughter, so they got to bond over shared Goldfish from the snack station in the kitchen, and then went trick or treating around the office. Penny loved all the attention! She’s such a people person (wonder where she gets that from?)

 

Not a bad way to kick off the Halloween season, that’s for sure! I’m really looking forward to taking in more fun Halloween activities as we get closer to the actual holiday, too. Her daycare is having a little trick or treating festival tomorrow evening, and then in the weeks to come there are Mall-o-weens and Ghost Trains and all kinds of fun. I love this time of year!!!

Finally Fall!

Happy Monday, folks!

I am LIVING for the fact that it finally feels like Fall around here! It literally went from like 86 degrees and humid AF one day, to crisp and breezy the next, which certainly set us up for a fantastic weekend. I hope these temperatures stick around, because Penny’s got a whole wardrobe full of cold-weather clothing that I’ve just been dying to bust out, hehe.

  

Anyway, on Friday, Penny and I had a playdate with a friend at our favorite local play place, nook!

 

She crashed hard when we got home, and my MIL came over to spend some time with her so I was able to get some work done as well as take care of a bunch of stuff around the house that I’ve been putting off. (Slash that I’ve been waiting for Sean to take care but let’s be honest, if you want something done… hahaha.)

Then on Saturday, I woke up feeling a bit under the weather, but Sean got up to get Penny and let me sleep in. When I got up, he had made brunch for us! Waffles & bacon, yummmm.

Then after Penny’s morning nap & lunch, we headed back at Mosaic Center to hit up the Merrifield Fall Festival!

 

It was a pretty cute festival, with bands and lots of restaurant vendors, as well as a local vendor market and a few kid things. Penny was too young to take advantage of most of the kid activities (pumpkin painting, face painting, a little hockey area), but they did have a “Gently Loved” book sale there, so we picked up 6 new books for her for $3! Not bad.

 

After we came home and Penny had her (unreasonably short, IMO) second nap, she and I spent a little time outside with our new neighbors, who have a daughter just six weeks older than Penny! It’s super fun to have a little friend for her just a few doors down, plus they are really good at spending time outside (unlike me, who is a TOTAL creature of indoor comfort, haha), which has really been encouraging me to get outside with Penny even just for a bit every day. She loves walking around our little cul-de-sac with her walker toy, trying to eat rocks and leaves and stuff, heh.

 

Alas, when I woke up on Sunday, I was feeling even worse than I felt the morning before, and unlike on Saturday, it didn’t go away. So sadly, I spent most of the day laid up on the couch binge-watching Once Upon A Time. Penny was feeling a bit puny in the morning too, since she’s teething hardcore right now (she cut 3 new teeth at once last weekend!), but she perked up a lot after her first nap. Sean took her out for a little Daddy-daughter date around lunchtime so I could get some more rest, too, which was lovely of him, and which I totally squandered by NOT resting at all, of course. But I did get some uninterrupted chores done, and was able to feel good about the state of the house and our laundry piles by the time we all went to bed last night?

Anyway, trying to kick off this week strongly, so I headed to the gym this morning (15 minute walking/jogging warm-up and then half an hour of my weight lifting routine), and now I’ve got a bunch of work stuff to tackle before heading off to another playdate. Busy day! See you on the flipside!