back to the burrville cider mill

Porter's been sick for a few days now, and it's been hard on all of us. He came home from daycare with a fever on Monday, so he was home with me yesterday, and he was just darn miserable. The poor boy really wanted some fresh air, but I needed to make sure that he got a good nap in him first. So, after a long day of negotiations with the tiny terrorist, he finally napped, and when he got up, we went to get Spencer and headed over to an old favorite of ours, the Burrville Cider Mill.

We got there later in the afternoon around 5 PM with just one real intent - get the boys some cider donuts and maple popcorn (yes, it exists), and to see the waterfall. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they've done some significant renovations and that, not only is there more parking this year, but the apples for selection are now under a covered area, which keeps them out of the direct way of driving in and out.

We headed right in and got three donuts - one for each of us - and then the boys and I went all the way to the back of the building, climbed down the stairs, and watched the waterfall as we ate our treats. Funny enough, Spencer was not into the donuts this year! He just wanted the popcorn. Porter hasn't wanted to really eat because he's been sick, but dang it, I enjoyed that donut!

Quilted Vest - Old Navy (similar here) // Cross-Body Purse - Target (in Cognac here)

Northerners who love cider donuts (because yes, they're way better than PSL), these can't be missed. We got ours just fried and positively smothered in cinnamon sugar because, let's be honest, if you're not covered in sugar by the time you're done, the donut wasn't done right.

It hit me when we got there that this is likely one of our last trips to Burrville, as we will have moved by fall next year. The boys probably won't remember this place, but we will. We went when Spencer was less than a year old the first time, and we went again last year with Porter when he was just a baby. This time was even better than both times before. 

You never fail to impress me, Burrville! I sure will miss you!

fall colors & croup

What would this deployment be without one last visit from Murphy's Law, right? Honestly, at this point, it's par for the course because we are so close to being done! Literally, we're in the home stretch at this point, and we're just hanging on and waiting for that call that Ryan is on his way. So, we're counting down the weekends (and weekdays) till that happens!

This past weekend, we didn't really have any plans except for an FRG gathering to assemble some homecoming baskets on Sunday. I wasn't looking forward to it because of all the crazy that's been happening lately, but it ended up being a good time despite everything that's happened. There really are some wonderful people, and I need to continue to focus on the good, rather than the bad.

Saturday, I woke up feeling pretty rough. I don't think I bounced back after getting back from Chicago, and the boys definitely didn't either. Despite that though, I decided to meet up with some friends at Selkirk Shores State Park in Pulaski for their Fall Festival. Porter had a cough that morning, but it didn't sound too bad, and he didn't have a fever, so we headed out. After about an hour there though, I felt really weak, so we left early and headed home for family nap time.

Boys Jackets - Cat & Jack from Target (similar here) // Shoes - Crocs (Spencer's similar here, Porter's here)

Porter woke up from his nap with a very dry cough, which got worse overnight, so we went to Urgent Care first thing Sunday morning. I had a sneaking suspicion he had croup, and I was right. He also managed to get strep throat. So, we spent the rest of Sunday (until the FRG event) just resting and letting his medication sink in. The meds only work for strep since croup is viral, but his fever was gone by the evening. I've heard croup is worse at night though, and they weren't kidding.

So, last night, Porter snuggled with me in my bed. The little wiggle worm was so uncomfortable, so we alternated between a steamy bathroom for his little lungs, and my warm cozy bed. And, finally around 3 AM, he seemed completely content and was breathing great, so I transferred him to his crib. Today, he seems 99.9% better, and I'm hoping that's the last of sickness in the Moore household for a while! We can manage to stay healthy for a couple more weeks at least, right?!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends!

I'm linking up today with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

2017 chicago marathon

On October 8, 2017, I joined the marathon club, and I'm a mixed bag of emotions about it. Honestly, even as I write this post, I'm wondering if I should wait another few days to really try and put it all into words, but I know I need to get it all down on paper. The Chicago Marathon was one of the best and hardest experiences of my life - no exaggeration. For those who know me, you know that running doesn't come easy to me. I'm a swimmer. Running has always been my weakest suit, but I'm a competitor, and I love a good challenge. 

I put in a lot of work training for this marathon. There were 14-milers, 16-milers, and there was that 18-miler I did in August, in which I felt amazing. I dealt with muscle aches, fatigue, early mornings, and very late nights. But I trained hard, and I felt great...until my hip started tweaking after the 18.12 Challenge. I think that's when I started getting mental about it. I had to seriously back off my training that last month because I could barely walk...but I kept training, nonetheless. I felt pretty good - not overly confident - but good, going into Chicago. I had a quiet time goal of 5:00 for myself, and I thought it was pretty doable based on my time at 18.12, as well as my speed work the past few weeks.

The race was a totally different ballgame right out of the gate though. The morning of the race, I woke up to that special time of the month...a whole two weeks early...and every pharmacy was closed. That involved a fun stop at an aid station (thanks, guys!) because I was totally unprepared.  My GPS couldn't figure out my pace because of the tall buildings, so I was running blind, which added to my nerves. I've never run in a crowd like that, and the temperatures soared up to 78 degrees, hotter than I'm used to. I started having back spasms around mile 7, and I decided to give up my A goal of 5:00 and aim for 5:25 with a 4 minute on, 1-minute off pace group. I had to bail after about 30 minutes though because of the back pain. I stopped again - this time to get some biofreeze. Around the 19-mile mark, I knew I wasn't even going to make my B goal, so I decided to stick with my C goal...just to finish before the cutoff. 

I found a 5:45 pace group but lost them at the water station, and I felt super defeated. I knew I had to cross that finish line though, so I kept at it going 1-minute on, 30 seconds off. At mile 22, I found a guy who had also lost the 5:45 group, and he looked like he was struggling as much as I was. I asked him what his name was, and he said it was Eddie. I asked him if he would finish the race with me, and he said yes - he would try. I was cramping terribly, so we kept a slower than slow, but still steady pace. Finally, we got to that final mile-marker and, after what seemed like an eternity, we saw a sign saying there were just 400 meters to go. Eddie's calves locked up, so we stopped for a second so he could stretch, and then we committed to running those last  meters. We crossed the finish line together at 5:53.03 (by my watch with the stops).

The race was nothing like I thought it would be. I expected this immediate elation upon finishing, but I honestly felt pain and defeat immediately. Don't get me wrong. I am SO proud I finished! The competitor in me is so mad though...and despite my immediate post-race proclamation that I would never do another marathon again, I swear that I'm going to come back, do another one, and beat my time.

The race, itself, was executed beautifully. The aid stations were perfectly positioned, the city was gorgeous, and the people were fantastic. Because of the heat, firefighters were positioned throughout the course spraying water on the runners, and many of the actual residents were doing the same with hoses, or handing out candy and water. There were even people throwing thousands of icy cold sponges at us to tuck in our shirts or shorts, just to keep our body temperatures down, and it was so appreciated. It was a beautiful marathon, a gorgeous day, and a challenge like no other. If there's one thing I've learned about the marathon, it's that it's really not a race you can fake by any stretch of the imagination. It is so. dang. hard. When you complete a half marathon, you literally still have another half marathon ahead of you, and that's daunting.

But you know what? I did it! I'm a marathoner! I'm exhausted and, yes, a little disappointed, but I learned so much about myself, too. I'm a competitor, and I'm stubborn. I don't like to give up, and I don't like defeat. On to the next challenge!

we went to chicago

We got back from a whirlwind trip to Chicago late last night around 11:15, and I'm just starting to process everything that we did, saw, tasted, and experienced. When I say it was a jam-packed few days, I mean it. We arrived in Chicago on Friday morning, and we were there until yesterday morning. You probably remember that we'd planned the trip a long time ago when I got an entry into the 2017 Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2017. From the second we arrived, to the second we left, we were on the go, and it was a blast.

We stayed at the La Quinta Inns & Suites Chicago Downtown on S. Franklin, and I can't say enough amazing things about the hotel. We realized while we were on our way that I'd booked the wrong hotel (actually out of the city), and this hotel was more than happy to accommodate our last-minute request for a room. Only a few hundred more, it was in prime viewing for the marathon, had a breakfast included, and it was perfectly positioned downtown (and kid-friendly!). I highly recommend it.

On Friday afternoon, we spent a good few hours at the Chicago Marathon Expo, and it was pure chaos. Honestly, I don't think we were prepared for just how busy it was going to be. The boys were troopers though, and I picked up my packet, and we headed back to the hotel so they could have a (very late) nap. It started raining that evening, so we decided to do dinner out at the Revival Food Hall, and we tasted the treats at Danke - so worth it! Oma and the boys had the Knockwurst, and I had the Ham & Gruyere grilled cheese. It was divine, and the boys had a blast exploring the trendy spot filled with great food and fantastic people.

Saturday was the day before the marathon, and we decided that while the weather was beautiful in the morning and afternoon, we were going to play tourist. We meandered our way towards Millennium Park downtown (a mere 12-15 minute walk from the hotel), and we visited Cloud Gate, which I clearly enjoyed more than the boys, then made our way to Crown Fountain, which mesmerized the boys. We explored the whole area, and we made time to overlook Columbus Drive to see where the starting line for the marathon would be the next day.

When it was time for lunch, we decided to do a quick trip to the DuSable Bridge so the boys could see the water, drink a milkshake, and then headed to Nutella Cafe for a decadent treat. The boys loved it so much, but I think my mom and I really liked it even more!

The marathon, itself, deserves its own post, so this one is just dedicated to Chicago, which didn't disappoint. I've only ever flown through the city, as has my mother, so this was a real treat. I think that it was also great for the boys. They're learning how to travel a little better each time, and it makes it that much more enjoyable. They got to experience city life, and they had their first taxi rides, which was totally wow-worthy for both of them. Spencer was in awe of all the sights and sounds, and he just loved seeing the fire trucks and the police cars everywhere.

I kept saying that I can't wait to go back with Ryan someday. Honestly, it's so different from New York City - and I think I love it more. There's a vibe in Chicago that's much more real and comfortable...and let's be can eat your way through that city. Does it get better than that?!

But stay tuned...I'll recap my very first marathon experience tomorrow!

getting fit with aaptiv

You all know how much I love being active and fit, and you especially know how important it is to me that I teach my boys the value of hard work and discipline. Making sure my workouts are always included in my week is a big part of that, and as any mom knows, that's not always the easiest thing to do. Enter Aaptiv, a personal training app that's seriously redefining your fitness routine.

Aaptiv is a fitness training app that offers users high-energy audio workout classes in the comfort of your own home. With the motivation of trainers, great music and programs ranging from ab workouts to quick hit cardio and more, it has seriously upped my workout routine lately!

Most of the workouts range between 7 and 10 minutes - just enough to really get your heart pumping, your blood moving and your muscles going - all of which means you're getting a good, all-over workout. And, because these workouts are quick, there's really no excuse. We all have a few minutes here and there during our day that we can easily squeeze in a quick routine, and that really helped me on the days that I couldn't (or wouldn't) run during this deployment.

Also super exciting is the new maternity program that Aaptiv has to offer. They've recruited top-tier talent to lead the program including Kira Kohrherr of FitBump, yoga guru and author, Kristin McGee, and certified trainers to help you in both your pre- and post-natal journeys. This is huge because, should we decide to expand our family down the road, I know I want to stay fit. What better way than a workout in your own home?

What's my personal favorite workout right now, you ask? Easy. I'm obsessed with the Sweet Home Savasana yoga with Caeser B. It's just under 8 minutes long, and it's the perfect way to end a long day of work, momming and working out. When I'm going for something a little more difficult, I've found that even the full marathon training workouts are awesome - like the Race Training Interval Run. Just about 31 minutes, it gets my heart pumping, and I don't even have to pick my own playlist...perfect!

headband here 

The best part is that Aaptiv is just $9.99 a month, which is far less than a lot of costly gym memberships, and it gives you the tools (literally) right at your fingertips. But for my readers - they've generously offered up two weeks free for you to try out (and no, you don't have to enter a credit card to do so!)

To sign up and try it for yourself today, visit Aaptiv here and enter code: AAPTIV2WEEKS.

What sort of workouts do you love to do? Do you think you'd want to try something like Aaptiv?

Find Aaptiv on instagram.

This post is sponsored by Aaptiv. All opinions are my own.

it's homecoming month!

It's officially October, which means it's HOMECOMING MONTH! October will be, henceforth, known as my absolute favorite month because, assuming all goes well, Ryan will  be home before the month is out. It's been a long 8 months, and I'm ready to have my best friend home. But first, we have some craziness coming up in the next few weeks. 

This past weekend was a bit blah, to be honest. My friend Mareike and I made plans to go to the mall on Saturday, and it worked out well. We'd planned to do the pumpkin patch on Sunday, but Mareike ended up having a bad fall Saturday evening and really hurting her ankle. It was worse on Sunday, so I went with her (and our 4 combined children) to urgent care. Luckily, it's not broken, but she has a nasty sprain and a pretty brace for the next 4 weeks. Murphy's Law can leave our company alone now!

One fun highlight for my ginger little guy this weekend was on Sunday morning though. We went to the store to get some supplies for Mareike, and there were a couple cops there finishing up a call. Spencer got so excited seeing the cars, and the cops were just about to pull away, so we stopped by the road and watched them get ready to go. He was hopping up and down with excitement, and the cop happened to see him. He stopped the car, motioned us over, and asked Spencer to sit down! Spencer got to play with the siren, the lights, and he even honked the horn. It was so sweet of the officer to take the time out of his duty day and make my little boy's day. I hope he knows how very grateful we are!

Despite the boring weekend though, the kids and I had a good time with good friends, and the little guys and I soaked up some extra mommy and me bonding. My mom is coming down on Wednesday, and we're heading off to Chicago on Thursday morning in preparation for the marathon on Sunday. Can you believe we're already there?! I'm getting nervous, excited, antsy, and I may just lose my mind when I finish the race because darnit, I will finish that race!

I hope you all had great weekends, too, and I can't wait to share our travels in the coming week!