Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my Disney obsessed…
…pumpkin patch lovin’…

…big bow and dress wearin’…

…big candy smilin’..
Trick – or – Treater!!!
Oh, and from me! 
Yes, I wore this in public. I taught my fitness classes in it yesterday and felt like a champion. My favorite part is when I proceeded to wear it in the downtown tunnels after my classes. Hey, a girl needs to eat and I had to get something before driving back home! I definitely got a lot of smiles and a few double takes.

I hope that everyone has a wonderfully fun and safe Halloween today! May your costumes be awesome and your candy buckets full! Chloe is so excited to go trick-or-treating for the first time. She’s all about that sugar these days and I do my best to keep it from her. Her first Halloween she was a bitty baby, so trick-or-treating wasn’t really in the cards. Last year we did go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the end of September and did a little trick-or-treating there, but it isn’t quite the same. Last Halloween we were busy exploring London, so she wore some cute outfits, but no candy. I think she’s prepared this time. We did an experimental go with trunk or treating on Friday. It was a success, so hopefully she’ll have a blast with all of her friends on the street! I can’t wait to share the awesomeness.

Just for fun, here’s a look back at Chloe’s Halloween past!

2017 Anna – 2016 Monster @ MNSSHP – 2015 Snow White

Halloween in London

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Gamla Stan & Monteliusvagen

It’s Friday! Today I want to take your mind away from the daily grind and explore the world. Today it’s Stockholm! I absolutely fell in love with Stockholm and can’t wait to share our adventures.

Our last day in Norway was Charlotte’s wedding day. We left the wedding just after 2:00am, got back to our house, showers and were on our was to the train station by 4:45am. Chloe and I managed to get an hour of sleep on the train, but that was it. We were all zombies at the airport and just wanted to get to our next stop.

Once we landed in Stockholm, picking up our bags and everything was very easy. Then we just needed to decide how to get to the city center. There are several different options and since we weren’t in a huge rush, we opted to take the bus which was only about $10/person. We were at our hotel by noon and they even let us check in early! {I’ll do a post later on our hotels.} We pretty much dropped our stuff in the room and decided to just go. Exhaustion was setting in and we knew we’d be so off if we slept!

Instead of napping, we hit the road and started walking to Gamla Stan or Stockholm’s Old Town. Along the way we saw some gorgeous government buildings and churches that I had to stop and see. Some of the government buildings have information outside of them describing what their purpose is in Swedish and English. Since I love learning about other countries and cultures, it’s fascinating to me.

When we got to Gamla Stan, we just kind of walked around that first day. There are tons of shops and restaurants! We went into some of the shops, but several were closed since it was Sunday. There were definitely more things open then there would be in Norway on a Sunday! Some of the more interesting things were the Viking Restaurant, the narrow alleyways between buildings and the Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm was taking place! I didn’t get any good pictures of the participants, but as a running, I thought it was neat to see.

After a little wandering, we made our way to the square to capture some iconic pictures.

Gamla Stan fun facts:

  • It dates back to the 1200’s
  • The cobblestone and tiny alleyways are from the medieval times
  • The square is where the Stockholm Bloodbath took place
    • This is when Swedish noblemen were killed by the Danish King Christian II in 1520
  • The oldest existing restaurant is still in operation, Den gyldene freden, since 1722
  • It is home to the Stockholm Cathedral and the Royal Palace
  • It was originally the main town of Stockholm surrounded by rural area. It didn’t officially become Gamla (which means Old) Stan (meaning town) until 1980.
  • If you’re interested, find more information about Gamla stan here!

Now our trip is going a bit out of chronological order, but it just makes sense to share Monteliusvagen on the same post as Gamla stan. Monteliusvagen is a 500 meter walking path with amazing views of the lake and Gamla stan. We visited Monteliusvagen on our last evening in Stockholm which rounded out our trip quite nicely.

It was quite the walk to get over there for us. It was a couple of miles from our hotel plus the streets leading up to Monteliusvagen are huge cobblestones that are not at all conducive to pushing a stroller. We started getting a bit frustrated the last 10 minutes of our journey, but it proved to be totally worth it! Just look at these views! 

There were a few other tourists up there with us, but it was far from crowded. We were able to take our time and enjoy ourselves as we looked over the railing at the beautiful city of Stockholm. Like I said, I fell in love with Stockholm while we were there. I knew I was going to enjoy the city, but it proved to be even more magnificent than I anticipated. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it! All Scandinavian countries are beautiful and worth the trip.

This is just the beginning of our Stockholm adventure with more to share, so stay tuned next week for my next Stockholm post. Until then, have a fabulous weekend!

In case you missed them, here are my Scandinavian adventure posts:
Sneak Peek | Start of our Adventures | Oslo Part 1 | Oslo Part 2 | Lilleputthammer | Hiking in Norway | Charlotte & Ole’s Wedding | Maihaugen | Gamla stan

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Fall into Racing

Oh man Monday. Monday morning has me giving smirks like that little girl up there and, I’m seriously dreaming of my mimosa flight from brunch on Saturday…but we’ll get there later. This morning I woke up to actual fall weather! It’s 51 degrees outside right now. If only this cool front could have come two days sooner. I could have used a beautiful, cool Saturday morning for my 10K this weekend.

I haven’t run a race since May! The last race I ran was the Disneyland Tinkerbell half marathon. Since I ran Princess the last weekend of February, I was able to just keep up my running until Tink on Mother’s Day weekend. After that I kept running short distances, but summer really isn’t the best time for running or racing in Houston. In September after all of our travels, I finally started to get back on track with running 3 days a week consistently with long runs on the weekend. The last 10K I ran was back in March for the Rodeo Run 10K with Rachael!

This weekend Rachael and I decided to tackle another 10K. I created her training plan and was there to pace her to a PR! Our goal was to finish under 1:00:00. 59:59 would be perfect! So let’s take a look and see just how it went!

We woke up dark and early. 5:30am is my usual Saturday morning wake up time, so it wasn’t too bad. I spent the night at Rachael and Jojo’s so I didn’t have to drive an hour to the race since they were only 15 minutes away. The race start was supposed to be at 7:00am, so we planned to get there by 6:30 to have plenty of time to park, potty and get ready to go. Unfortunately when they said it started at 7:00, they meant the pre-race talking and whatnot, not the actual race. Waiting for an hour was kind of a bust, but it was a nice breezy 72 degrees which was nice for standing around. Not so great for running.

The race did start right at 7:30am. We were able to get a nice spot near the front, so we weren’t dealing with dodging around a bunch of walkers.

Mile 1 – 10:22 min/mile
The first mile went great. We started out slow and easy to get our legs going. The plan was to run about a 10:15 for the first mile and 9:30 for the remaining miles. That would average us out to the 9:40 average pace needed to to finish sub 1:00:00. A few seconds slower certainly wasn’t going to hurt us! It was definitely warm, but it didn’t feel too bad yet. The first mile few by pretty quick.

Mile 2 – 9:30 min/mile
We picked up the pace during our second mile and didn’t feel like we were straining. We were both still able to talk at this point. We had to dodge around a few people, but for the most part it was an easy mile.

Mile 3 – 9:41 min/mile
Mile 3 we were still doing okay! We slowed down just a tad, but were still on track for our finish goal. Our bodies were definitely warming up and the 96% humidity was starting to get to us. We grabbed some water to dump on our heads to hopefully cool us down a bit.

Mile 4 – 9:30 min/mile
We passed through the finish line at the 3.1 mile marker and kept on going for our second loop. The good part is that most people were running the 5K, so the course thinned out a ton for our second time around. The bad part is that the heat and humidity were starting to get to Rachael. I decided to start telling her a story to pass the time and keep her spirits up!

Mile 5 – 10:43 min/mile
The story started at the end of mile 4, so it continued on through mile 5. I told her all about my brother’s wedding which still hasn’t been featured on the blog yet! I’m waiting for all the beautiful pictures from the photographer. Anyway, mile 5 is where Rachael started to struggle. She told me at the end of mile 4 that she didn’t think she’d be able to keep going at the pace we were maintaining. We slowed a bit, but then again quite a bit more.

Mile 6 – 10:17 min/mile
At 5.25 miles, we were going pretty slow and I knew we needed to pick it up. I started running faster to see if I could get Rachael to catch up with me. I thought if I was ahead of her, she would want to push just a little faster. I saw myself creeping further and further away, so I had to make an executive decision: keep running the race race solo and push to finish or slow down and finish with Rachael. I knew Rachael would finish and at this point the sub 1 hour wasn’t going to happen, so I kept on. I picked up my pace to a 9:30 average and kept pushing on. Since the first quarter of a mile was quite a bit slower, it still averaged out over 10 minutes.

Mile 7 (0.2) – 8:57 min/mile
The last little bit I picked it up and really challenged myself. Why not? I kicked it into gear and finished strong! I finished in 1:03:30 and Rachael came in only 2 minutes behind me. She could see me most the the time and she said her goal was to not let me get out of her sight!

Overall, it was a great race. It was an easy, flat course and they were raising money for an amazing cause: Foster kids!

As soon as we finished, we toweled off our sweat, changed clothes and went to brunch! We went to Fieldings in The Woodlands and it was AMAZING! I started off brunch the way everyone should…with a mimosa flight! It was well deserved after all.

In case you were wondering, from left to right they were original orange, blueberry pomegranate, elderflower and grapefruit! The elderflower won first place with grapefruit coming in at a close second.

For food I had the most life changing entree: creme brulee french toast. Seriously, the best french toast I’ve ever had in my life. I like french toast well enough, but usually I would call myself a pancake girl as far as breakfast carbs go. Now I’m definitely a creme brulee french toast girl. I can’t even describe how delicious it was. Just so y’all know, I ate every single bite and regretted none of it.

Just looking at the picture makes we want it again! 
The rest of the weekend was super chill. Of course, a cool front came in with some thunderstorms on Sunday morning. It rained crazy hard, but we still made it out the door in time for mass followed by the Knights fall craft fair! I got some awesome stuff for the house and another Lularoe dress. It was a win in my book. 
I was definitely wishing the cooler air had been there for our race, but I’m at least glad that it wasn’t raining and we still finished with a great time. Now we’re looking for some December races to see if we can still get that PR! No matter what we’re still in training season. Next race is the Hot Chocolate 15K in January and then the Disney Princess Glass Slipper Challenge (5K, 10K and half marathon) in February! Here’s to hoping this fall weather sticks around and my running gets even better.

Have you run any fall races this year?
Has fall weather actually hit your city yet or is fall a mythical season where you live? It certainly is here!

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Friday Five

“Friday, Friday gotta get down on Friday! Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend!”
You’re welcome. I hope Rebecca Black is now stick in your head because that’s what came to mine the second I typed Friday this morning.

I’ve been sharing so much about our travels lately, but I don’t want to forget to share about life! That’s a huge part of this blog for me! Finding a balance in life, sharing our day to day, our travels, my health and fitness journey, life events and more. The day to day may seem mundane compared to traveling the world, but sometimes it’s the routine of a normal week that brings me such joy. Plus there’s really no such thing as “normal” in the Gougler house!

Now let’s get to it, top five moments from the last week!

one. Zoo Boo


Last Friday, Ali and I decided to take the girls to the zoo! I let my friend Chelsea know that we were going, so she met up with us along with her 3 kiddos too. One thing we forgot when we headed out to the zoo is that it was the first day of Zoo BOO!!! We completely forgot so our girls look like they’re dressed for summer not Halloween. On the plus side, we weren’t overheated and the kids weren’t miserable in costumes! It was 90 degrees and humid y’all. Typical Houston fall. On the plus side, we got to enjoy the Zoo Boo activities like trick or treating and decorating pumpkins in the pumpkin patch! We also got the best picture of Chloe and Renee yet! Usually it’s Ren going in for the hug or kiss, but finally Chloe is showing how much she loves her bestie.

two. It’s Race Weekend!

Saturday morning, Rachael and I met up at Memorial Park for an easy 5 mile run. We met up a little later to try and mimic the start time for our race this weekend. Unfortunately it was warm and humid last week and this week looks like it’ll be the same plus the possibility of rain. Plus if it doesn’t rain while we’re racing it is going to rain today and later tomorrow, so humidity will be super high. We’ll survive though. I’m going to throw it out there that our goal is to finish under and hour! The weather conditions aren’t proving to be on our side, but I think there is still hope. I’ll obviously post our race day victory tomorrow!

three. Saying See Ya Later

One of my dear friends is packing up and moving across the country this weekend! I’ve pretty much spent the last 4 years of my life seeing her ALL THE TIME! I met Caitlin through the gym I work at, so for several years I spent more time with her and Lauren then I did with my husband. I stood by her side as married her best friend. She came to the hospital the day after I gave birth to my baby girl. We’ve been there for each other day in and out. Listened to each other complain about dumb things our guys did. Gabbed about how amazing they are when they get things right. Talked about life plans, dreams and goals. We’ve been through so much together. Even though I dropped my hours at the gym, it didn’t make us drift apart. I know that even though she’ll be in North Carolina, we’ll always be friends. Plus I can’t wait to go visit and play at the beach! I love you Caitlin…drive safe!

four. BOO! Halloween Fun! 

Fun fact: Chloe hasn’t actually been trick or treating yet! She’s been to Zoo Boo the past two years and they have a few candy stations, but that doesn’t really count. We’ve also been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but it was a month before Halloween and it’s still not quite the same as trick or treating around a neighborhood. I think Chloe is excited! I know she loves her costume and she loves that Momma is going to dress up with her. Stay tuned to see what we’re going to be. Now that Chlo is 2, I feel like we can really start holiday traditions! This year we were Boo’ed for the first time and Chloe was so excited to see a bucket of treats on her porch just for her! Then we got boo’ed again with a Mickey Mouse bucket and she was in love with it. We had fun shopping for some fun boo goodies to pass on and continue the fun!

five. Beauty Rest

About a week ago, I received a package from Influenster and Beautyrest that I was pretty excited about. It’s a Beautyrest Sleep Tracker which essentially turns your normal bed into a smart bed. There are two sensors that go under the mattress below each person’s pillow and they connect on a smart box that is connected to your internet. Every night it measures your sleep cycles, heart rate, breath rate and time asleep to give you an overall sleep score. How neat is that? I’m loving waking up in the morning to see how I did the night before. I can tell when I get better vs worse scores right away. It’s also fun to compare with JP to see who did better! I always seem to be asleep for longer, but my REM and deep sleep is lacking so I wake quite easily. Now my sleep goals are to get more deep sleep and REM sleep so I don’t wake up as often. I would feel much more rested if I could manage that! You can see in the chart above that I’m not getting the full light to deep to REM sleep patterns I’m supposed to. Instead I’m only getting deep sleep at the beginning of the night and REM later on. Most of my charts look like this! I’m going to share some more updates on Instagram so stay tuned!

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Maihaugen

Have you ever been to or heard of an open air museum? For those of you in the States, think Colonial Williamsburg. They’re also sometimes referred to as living history museums. If you’re a history nerd like me, these are completely mesmerizing. You get to walk through towns like they were in different time periods. In some museums, there are actually people playing roles of those from that era. They never go out of character and help you immerse yourself into the culture.

During our stay in Lillehammer, we spent an afternoon exploring Maihaugen which is their open air museum! It’s the largest open air museum in Norway outside of Oslo. It holds Norwegian culture from various eras and allows you to walk back in time to see how things were. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating parts!

First there is an indoor walk through the history of Norway. It starts back in the stone age where humans literally left their mark in stones. {We’ve seen some of these marking in riverbed rocks!} It then takes you through Vikings, the bubonic plague, merging countries, the Industrial Revolution, Norway eventually becoming its own country, and more.

After the history walk through, you head outside! First you come upon a village of houses. Each house is from a different decade in the 1900’s. There is also a town set up after the early 1900’s. Emily and I wandered into one of the buildings and stayed for quite a while. In fact, they eventually came looking for us, but we were having too much fun. Let me show you why…

They had a photo backdrop like it would be in the early 1900’s with props for you to take pictures! It was such a blast. I still can’t believe that no one else wanted to come play with us!

Like I said, too much fun!

We continued walking around town and eventually came to an old train! This time Meena and I got distracted while exploring. Again, I’m not sure why no one else was fascinated! It was so neat inside. they even had some mannequins in the mail car pretending to be hard at work. They also had the passenger cars open to explore and feel what it was like to ride in one.

Eventually Meena and I wandered out of the train to see everyone waiting for us. This seems to be becoming a common trend for me but I don’t care. I want to see everything! Next we started looking through the homes from the different decades of the 1900s. My favorite was the home from the 1930s. There was a character baking cinnamon rolls from scratch! The entire home smelt delicious as we walked through exploring each room.

Next we started walking toward the older villages. We came across an old fishing village from the 1500-1600s. JP even found a fishing pole and decided to give it a go…unsuccessfully.

There were tons of different villages and farms from the 1500-1800’s throughout the property. The next several pictures are from one of my favorite farms, Bjørnstad, which was built in the 1700’s.

It’s so interesting how often beds were randomly located in main areas! I loved seeing the intricate details in the bigger main homes. In these cabins, there were also characters to explain the purpose of different rooms, the contents within the rooms and who lived there. I’d also like to point out that throughout the museum, there are plaques explaining the different buildings and about 90% of those have an English translation. It makes visiting the houses and cabins even more interesting knowing when and where they were built and what their purpose was.

I’ll admit I don’t remember as many specifics as I’d like to about the farms, but since I’m reading the Outlander series, seeing them was so eye opening. It gives me a much better mental image when I’m reading. Nerdy I know, but if you’ve read Outlander then you know EXACTLY what I mean!

The best part of the museum was visiting the Stave church!

The original part of the church was built in the 1200s, but has been extended several times over the years. The last extension was in 1730. It was dismantled in 1880 and reassembled in Maihaugen in 1921. If you’ve seen Frozen, then this style of church is what the church from the Coronation is modeled after. 

 
The outside is striking, but the inside is beautiful! There was another character inside the church to explain everything to us and answer all of our questions. She explained that different parts of the decor were added over the years, so you will see influences from various centuries. She also showed us the area of the church were the put the naughty children! It was hilarious since you know that would never go over well now. There was also a special area in the church’s small second floor box where patrons could pay to sit. She said they paid to sit there so they could sleep through church without anyone seeing. I love a good fun fact!

There was so much more to the museum. We probably went through a good 75% of the rural area, but it’s so large and after a while the farms start to look alike. We enjoyed walking through Maihaugen and spent several hours there. Personally I could have kept going! I’m the history nerd of the family though and just find everything interesting. I just want to know and understand more about the people that came before us, what can I say?

If you find yourself in Lillehammer, Norway, Maihaugen is a must see! You can also visit the Olympic Museum while you’re there. Click the link above to read more about Maihaugen if you’re interested in a little more history.

Y’all, this is my LAST Norway post! Now I’m still not finished with our Scandinavian Adventure. We still have to visit Stockholm and Copenhagen! Stay tuned for more adventures.

In case you missed them, here are my Norway posts:
Sneak Peek | Start of our Adventures | Oslo Part 1 | Oslo Part 2 | Lilleputthammer | Hiking in Norway | Charlotte & Ole’s Wedding | Maihaugen |

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My NOH got Married!

NOH: Norwegian of Honor
If you didn’t have one at your wedding, then you’re totally missing out. But seriously, Charlotte is my Norwegian of Honor in so many ways. She has been like a sister to me for many, many years. I’ve known her since she was seven, but developed a much closer relationship when she moved in with my family as an “exchange student” for a year of high school. We’ve only gotten closer since then! She even lived with JP and I for 6 months while she interned at the Norwegian Consulate down the street from us. Like I said, she’s a sister to me and I’m so lucky to have her in my life.

Now that the sap is out of the way, let’s take a look at the first Norwegian wedding I’ve ever been too. It was beautiful and an experience that I’ll never forget. WARNING: This post is long. I couldn’t leave ANYTHING out. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!

On Friday, Emily and I joined up with Charlotte’s family and some other friends to help get the reception hall ready. Our main join was to blow up a million balloons and put together the floral arrangements for the center pieces!

Saturday morning started nice and early! The hair and makeup artists were there around 8:00am to get things rolling. Luckily we had coffee, mimosas and a full free breakfast at the hotel to help get us rolling.

The photo above and pretty much all of the amazing pictures in the post are by Lena Brit Photography. She was such a joy to work with and obviously did an amazing job!

At 1:30pm, the bridesmaids were all in our dresses, so we gathered all of our things and walked over to the Skibladner which is the oldest operating steamboat in Norway!

We had our own special room in the bottom of the boat to finish getting Charlotte ready and to wait for the big show to begin! Once we had the go ahead, we made our way up these tiny, steep and narrow stairs to the top of the boat for the ceremony. It was beautifully done. It was obviously in Norwegian, but I’ve been to enough weddings to know what was going on. One of Charlotte’s friends performed a song as well that had me all sappy. I can’t keep the tears at bay!

After the ceremony, everyone comes up to congratulate the bride and groom. Emily and I were kind of standing off to the side of Charlotte and Ole not sure where to go. Before we knew it, people were coming up to us after and introducing themselves! Apparently everyone wanted to know who the Americans were! It was kind of hilarious, but we loved it. It was a great way to meet everyone at the wedding and to say hi to the many friends and family members that we already knew.

After the ceremony, they passed out fresh strawberries and Prosecco to nibble and sip while everyone was congratulating the newlyweds and mingling. We had the chance after meeting everyone to walk around and explore the boat. It was so beautiful! We were also quite toasty from the gorgeous sunshiny day. So naturally Em and I were caught in an interesting position while cooling ourselves. Several people stopped to take a picture. Those weird Americans! PS Do you love our awesome shoes?!

Once we docked, we all headed off the boat. Emily and I were in charge of passing out bubbles. Everyone wanted Emily’s bubbles and not mine. It was kind of sad. I swear my bubbles were just as good! When Charlotte and Ole exited, we all blew bubbles at them. It made for awesome pictures. Then we all followed them on about a 100 meter walk to the reception!

The reception location was super neat and modern. It fit Charlotte and Ole to a T. The cocktail hour was held out in a beautiful courtyard. Chloe loved having the opportunity to run and jump and play! She napped on her daddy through entire reception after all. We all hung out sipping some drinks until Em and I were beckoned for some bridesmaid pictures!

After pictures were done and the bride and groom returned it was time to head inside and get started! 
Once everyone got settled, the speeches began! Speeches are probably the biggest differentiator between a Norwegian and American wedding. Anyone and everyone can give a speech as long as the tell the Master of Ceremonies that they are planning one. Charlotte’s MC was her friend Mari and she did such an amazing job spreading the speeches out throughout the night. The night flowed beautifully thanks to her! 
Another fun Norwegian tradition is that when everyone clinks their glasses they must stand on chairs and kiss. If everyone stomps their feet, then they have to go under the table and kiss! 
At one point during a break in the speeches, Charlotte’s eye hook on the back of her dress broke, so I had to sew her in! Lena Brit was able to snap the sweetest picture of me and Anna helping her!

After desserts, it was finally time for someone to give a speech in English. {Yes, all the speeches were in Norwegian…we were in Norway you know! It was hard to follow along, but our friend Siri was kind of translating for us!} Someone from the States had to take one for the team and give a speech. That someone was me. I’m generally the go to person when it involves public speaking. I’m not saying that I don’t get nervous because I definitely do, but I guess I love the rush I get standing in front of a crowd.

Chloe started off my speech beautifully with just one word “pink”. She’s not a lady of many words yet, so she left it at that. I know that Charlotte totally understood her. After that I proceeded to give my speech from the top of my head while picking up and putting Chloe down! I tried to write my speech multiple times and just couldn’t. Writing our family’s relationship with Charlotte down on paper just doesn’t do it justice. Plus once my speech was written, it would mean the wedding was practically here and that we would be leaving Charlotte with no “next trip date” in sight. I managed to get it all out quite eloquently and all of Charlotte’s friends and family came up to me telling me how great I did which made me feel fabulous.

When the speeches wrapped up…a few hours later…the dancing was finally here!

We danced so hard that we were sweaty and hoarse! There was a mixture of American and Norwegian music. When the Norwegian songs came on, we would try to slip outside for some air and to cool off. Sometimes her friends wouldn’t let us and I just danced along with them! But I made it out a few times and once I finally got my picture with Chris and Stefan, Charlotte’s brothers who I know and love dearly!

And before the end of the night I snapped one with Lars who is Charlotte’s cousin that I’ve known since like 8th grade!

I’m not kidding when I say my family is in Norway. Charlotte’s family is my family and I love them so much. The wedding was amazing, but it also meant that it was time for us to part way and end our time in Norway. Do you know how hard that is? Saying good bye to family and friends at 2:00am after the most beautiful wedding was terrible, but we got it done. JP had to shuffle all of us out at two in the morning after twelve hours of wedding to the bus to get us back to Lillehammer.

We made it back to our house by about 3:00am where Em and I spent at least 30 minutes getting bobby pins and tangles out of our hair before showering and packing to go! We left to walk to the train station at 4:45am and were on our way to the airport at 5:25am. It was completely and utterly exhausting, but we made it.

To Charlotte and Ole,

I love you both so so much. You are both such special people to me, and I am so glad to have you in my life. The relationship we have is unique; I’m blessed to know that you will always be there for me and my family. I wish you both years and years of happiness. I know that each day you will continue to love each other more because I know the love you have for each other. I will never forget the day that Charlotte told me about this guy Ole. I knew he was special, but who knew that my baby girl would meet her husband at 19?! {Just like me and JP!} I’ve seen you both grow in your relationship over the years. The bond you have is strong. Always work to keep it that way. Continue to go on adventures, appreciate each other and live life to the fullest. Again, I love you both and wish you all the happiness in the world! Now can we figure out where our next adventure is going to take us? I need a date to know I’ll see youuuuu!!!

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This Weekend I…

Ah Monday, we meet again. You know what I haven’t done in a while? Just share day to day life, weekend updates and whatnot. I can’t even remember the last time that I did a weekend post. I’m sure you were all missing it like crazy. Since I actually had an eventful weekend full of fun pictures, let’s just get straight to it!

Friday I…
…took Chloe to a read and play date with some old and new friends! My friend Chelsea is an Usborne Books consultant {Let me know if you’re interested, I’d love to hook you up with her!} and she set up a fun morning with reading, crafts, snacks and of course playing!

…went to gymnastics! I started back in May and I’m totally hooked. A gym nearby has an adult gymnastics class on Friday afternoons and I’m totally obsessed. We warm up and tumble on the floor and trampoline for the first 45 minutes or so then the last 15 we work on an event if we want. This week we did the bars, and I was able to do my back hip circle which I haven’t done in years and years. I wish I had a fun video or photo from this week to show y’all. Check out Insta for some of my previous tricks!

Saturday I…
…woke up early and took off for a 5 mile run! It’s running season again and I’ve have races on the docket to get ready for! First one is coming up on the 21st. I’m running a 10K with my girl Rachael hoping to get a good qualifying time for an earlier corral at Disney!

…got showered, packed and ready to go to College Station!

…pitt stopped at Bucees because every good road trip needs a Bucees stop and my daughter is completely obsessed. She loves to see everything that’s going on and she loves their chicken strips. It’s hilarious. Now every gas station I stop at, she thinks its Bucees and wants to go in.

…went to my in laws house for an awesome tailgate! It’s always so wonderful that every game day we get to spend the weekend with them. They’re the most awesome tailgate hosts and have friends that come from all over Texas and Oklahoma to stay with them. This weekend was their annual tailgate for Phil’s Corps platoon!

…went to the Texas A&M vs Alabama game! It was such a great game!!! We lost 27-19, but as far as I’m concerned that is a moral victory. We went in hoping not to get completely swept away, and we came out looking so much better than planned. Meena and I sat together while JP sat up with his dad. Meena and I were yelling and cheering so loud that our throats were sore the next morning. If that doesn’t show how invested we were, then I don’t know what does. Also, this is the only picture I took besides a few Snap videos! We were too into the game!

On Sunday I…
…hung out at my in laws home for our traditional post game day Sunday brunch! There were so many different delicious dishes, sweet rolls, coffee and bloody marys.

…rounded up the troops and headed back home to Houston around noon completely and utterly exhausted.

…lounged on the couch, watched the Packers vs Cowboys game with JP & Meena, read books with Chloe and just hung out for the rest of the afternoon! PS the Packers won! Poor Meena is a Cowboys fan and this is the second year in a row that she’s watched the game with us and lost. She’s my new lucky charm!

…pretty much did nothing because I was just wiped out. I finally decided to just go to bed shortly after halftime of the Texans game because I kept falling asleep on the couch. I couldn’t hang with the big kids.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend! Now I’m looking forward to a wonderful week full of great days and new adventures! Happy Monday y’all!

What makes a weekend “great” for you? 
For me it’s definitely spending time with my loved ones and it doesn’t hurt to have my football teams win!

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Dirty 30 Workout!

Happy FriYAY y’all! This past week was the first week of my 30’s and I must say that it was pretty fabulous. We’ve definitely been busy the last several months from Chloe’s birthday to World Breastfeeding Week to 3 weeks in Europe to my brother’s wedding in Colorado to Chloe starting school! Like I said, kind of busy. Now we’re finally settling into a new rhythm and new routine. It’s amazing. Our new routine has Chloe back to normal nap and sleep times, and it even has her doing pretty good at school! This week was her first good week and I’m a happy momma. Okay fine, here’s an adorable picture of my girl for good measure. {If you want more adorableness, follow me on Instagram :)}

Chloe isn’t the only one appreciating this new routine. Momma is LOVING it! I’m waking up at the same time every day, getting things done {especially when Chloe is at school!} and working out again. Obviously I teach classes on Mondays, but I missed the month of August and every other week in September due to Labor Day and my brother’s wedding. On top of that, it’s been pretty hot, so running is a bit of a bust. I kind of hopped off the workout train on my trip, but I’m back in action. I’m officially in training mode for Disney’s Glass Slipper Challenge and I’m finding time to workout for me again. I’m trying to run 3 days a week, double duty {cycle & Tabata} Monday, gymnastics Friday and one additional home workout when I can. So here’s an awesome workout you can do at home or take to the gym, whichever you prefer! Introducing the Dirty 30 Workout…and yes, I did this one this week!

Obviously I’m a superhero now that I’m 30, so I went with the superhero theme. It just seemed fitting. Give this guy a go and let me know what you think. I shared it with my class with a few modifications. We ran a lap after Round 2 and at the very end, we played a fun round of Burpee Thunderstruck. Yes, we burpeed every time we heard thunder. Great way to end a class indeed!

Now I’m off for a fun filled Friday…park dates, gymnastics and more! Everyone have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week sharing Charlotte’s wedding day!

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Hiking in Norway

Happy Monday y’all! Today I’m writing to y’all another year old. I’ve decided that 30 is pretty awesome so far. But today I’m not writing about being 30, I’m writing about hiking in Norway. Hiking in Lillehammer to be exact. After our adventures in Lilleputthammer on our first day in Norway, we spent the next two days hiking. 
Our first hike was with the whole gang. I can’t exactly tell you where Anne Lise took us, but it up in the highlands area. When we left Lillehammer, it was about 17 degrees Celcius. At the base of our hike, it was about 14*C or roughly 60 degrees Farenheit. It didn’t seem that bad until we got back later…

When I say we brought the whole gang, I mean the whole gang! Chloe came along on her first hike. I don’t live anywhere near beautiful hiking, so I don’t have a hike baby backpack. Luckily for this hike, the Tula worked just fine. I also promise that Chloe had fun despite the grumpy faces she’s giving the camera. Her favorite part of the hike was picking wild blueberries! They were everywhere and so sweet and delicious.

 
We stopped a few time on our way to the top for pictures and took take it all in, but once we got to the “top”, we decided to turn back and head down quickly. We definitely had the energy to continue up to the true top, but storms were rolling in. You can see it in the color of the clouds!

We snapped a few pictures and called it a day. JP, Ole, Chloe and I practically ran back down the mountain. Okay not really, but we were moving pretty quickly. The temperature was dropping rapidly and rain drops were starting to fall. We made it down and in the car without getting too wet. When we turned on the car, the thermostat said 9*C which is about 48*F. Since we were kind of wet, it felt even colder. We warmed up in the car for about 15 minutes until the rest of the gang made it down. Then we went to Siri’s grandparents’ mountain cabin for coffee and sweets!

Hike number one was a great success! The very next day everyone kind of did their own thing. Emily, Matt, Meena and Siri went to Oslo. Charlotte and Ole had lots of wedding prep to do. Mom offered to watch Chloe so that JP and I could go on a hike along! Alone time? On vacation with a toddler? Score!

This time we were able to walk to our hiking location in Lillehammer! We started in Olympic park and hiked up along the river. This is a super common hiking area with beautiful trails through the forest and along the waterfalls!

It was pretty much a perfect day. The sun was shining, it was about 60*F with a slight breeze. I was in love! We ended up hiking about 6 miles. We decided to up up a little bit further beyond the trail to get some “real” hiking in as well. Instead of me just talking about how beautiful it was, I’ll show you.

It’s no secret that I love Norway. It helps that I have been there before and have a lot of people I know there that help immerse me into their culture, but it’s so much more than that. These views and experiences are just amazing. I can’t wait to go back {since I know I’ll go back eventually!} to explore even more!

Happy Monday y’all! I hope these gorgeous views give you something to daydream about to get you through!

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