Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Friday, December 20, 2013

I see the light!!

I am happy to say that Christmas is finally coming together!  I feel like my house has been in chaos since I arrived home from Thanksgiving.  Note to self and anyone else who wants free advice...don't do a room renovation in December!!  Camden's room is almost finished, and only one room in the house needs to be picked bedroom.  But we can close the doors until that is done :)

One relief to have finished is our Christmas card.  Dave wasn't with us at Thanksgiving, so no family pic from that weekend.  So I conned a friend into taking a quick snapshot one Sunday afternoon; but it rained.  So I just took the boys pictures in front of the tree.  I let Nathan take ours, but it you have seen our card, you noticed only the boys.  It was too bad even for a picture on a card that most people will throw away!

So here are the pictures from our card photo session.

Champ didn't make the cut either :)

And if you want to read our year in review, here is the link:

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanks for the socks!!

Dave and I did our first run together this past weekend!!  It was actually a scavenger hunt in downtown Charleston with running to each clue.  It was a lot of fun and we did it with another couple.  Originally we had planned on competing with this couple, but it turned out to be more fun to stay together.  Especially since Becky and I were running ahead of the guys most of the day :)  Out of 98 teams, we came in 7th and 8th, even though we were cut off at the last minute by half of another team.  We say we really beat them, but we compromise and say we tied for 7th.  I think that is pretty good since we weren't really trying that hard.  Maybe next year!!

Our last stop before sprinting to the finish!

Dave was a little tired and had a sore knee, but he had fun even if he doesn't look like it in this picture.

The weather was great for the race, but started to rain and get colder right after we got home.  And poor Dave had to take that time to fix my car!  He was a good sport to hang out downtown in the good weather and then come home and fix my car in the rain.  Thanks hon!

I got some crazy socks for Becky and me to wear in the race.  My friend Shannon asked if I had bought the super hero ones with the cape.  I had told her no and that I hadn't seen them.  Today, I found a package from her in my mailbox.  She had sent me 3 pairs of super hero socks!!  I hope I can keep Nathan from putting his stinky feet in them!  Next time I am in a race I will truly fly :)  Thanks so much Shannon for the are great!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas decorations

This year has been a lot of fun with Camden being VERY excited about getting out the Christmas decorations!  And it has been fun for me to let him and Nathan do a lot of the decorating!  Our tree is full of memories with all of our ornaments, and since it is no longer a tree with everything matching, I figure why not let them put the ornaments on it!  I did have to move a few around since they tended to end up on the end of the branches which were starting to droop!

I also let them put out the Christmas village.  In the past I spent lots of time figuring out how to place all the houses and how to make the snow look like there were paths in my brick colored mat.  This year, the boys put out the houses all in a row, and I threw the snow on there like there was a blizzard!

One tradition with our tree decorations that continues to grow it that we buy an ornament to represent our trips.  This year I actually bought three!!

One from Appomattox,

 one from the Capitol,

and one I couldn't resist buying at Ford's Theater.   

The first ornament that started this tradition was bought in Mystic, CT on our honeymoon.

On our 20th anniversary trip we bought our ornament from Hilton Head...and I realized this week that it is another dolphin :)

So we have a tree full of memories and they are all placed in a jumbled, random order all over the tree by my two sons.  It is far from my matching tree we had on our first Christmas, but I wouldn't have it any other way!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Putting miles on my new shoes!

I got another early birthday gift again from my running shoes.  She bought some last year on December for my birthday in February; and again this year.  I have used them 3 times now and they are starting to feel like they fit my feet :)

I am now up to 17 miles in my training.  I figure that I have run 5 half marathons in the past 5 weeks!  I only have 3 more long runs (meaning 18 to 22 miles each) before I take it easy with shorter runs (8 or 9 miles) and then do the real thing!  It is strange to say that 8 or 9 miles is a short run !

I have started eating a good energy bar before my long runs...nuts, salt and dark chocolate.  Yum!!  And then eating gummy bricks while running.  I even run through the park for a water fountain stop or put a bottle of water on my porch to use.  I am feeling good about this marathon thing; even though as I write this, my legs are a bit tired :)

I have followed the advice of one online person who said to always get your long run in.  It is working for me.  My advice to others who want to run long distance is to do the same and also get good shoes and a great running bra!  Makes a big difference!

Monday, December 2, 2013



Thanksgiving is over and I did not do the 28 days of thankfulness challenge since I know my weakness for not finishing things like that.  But I am truly thankful for all the blessings God has given me.  Since I just returned from visiting my sister and her family in Memphis, I am focusing on the family I saw this week.  I am thankful for my husband who supports me in all my crazy plans and lets me visit family even when he can't get off work.  And who paints Camden's room while we were gone and on his birthday. 

I am thankful for my sons.  Nathan is an intelligent and caring teenager.  Although he is starting to have some teenage behaviors, he still shows love and tenderness to his brother and his cousins.  Except when he gives his baby cousin weird football player names :)  Camden is still my cuddle bug, even though he is trying to grow up.  He is fun and crazy and loves that he can now read.  I like him reading too, except when he starts reading t-shirts at Myrtle Beach. 

I am thankful for my family.  My mom who helps drive me to Memphis and who shows love to all of her kids and grand kids by always being there for us.  My dad who always takes care of us and makes sure we are well fed.  My sister who is my best friend and is going to get to hang out with me soon on a girl's day.  My brother-in-law who gets up in 26 degree weather and takes us to the turkey day run.  My beautiful niece who still is great friends with Nathan and plays basketball with him.  My two older nephews who are full of energy and fun and make visits great for Camden.  And my new nephew Lincoln who has added a new dynamic to our family.  A new, good dynamic! 

We had a great Thanksgiving and I am also thankful that my family gets along so well.  Lots of turkey, shopping, games, pictures, movies, and running.  What better way to spend family time together!!