A wonderful visit home

My sister has been visiting from Denver, Colorado for the past month. Since my job is very portable now (I just need a road and a laptop!), I was able to spend some quality time with my parents, my sis, and her two adorable daughters.

My sister and I have never been that close. In high school, I was the bookworm, athletic girl who was active in every possible organization (president of 4-H club, secretary of  the student council, fundraising and organizing to initiate a recycling program in the high school… you get the picture. I was WAAAAY too motivated). My sister was the pretty and social one. She joined many of the same things as me, but didn’t latch onto them like I did. I was the  #1 runner on my team. I think she was last or second to last (much to my coach’s disappointment – he was so excited to hear I had a sister close in age!). Instead, she focused on friendships and hanging out. One of my main memories of her was her telephone bill. Since we lived in the country it was long-distance to call anyone in town. She would ALWAYS spend her entire allowance, plus some, on her telephone bills. Man, that girl always had something to talk about!

Since HS, we’ve made different life choices, again growing in opposite directions.

Fast forward a decade or so and we’re just becoming close again. A big reason for that is that she has two adorable little girls that I feel very connected to. *Love* So – when the opportunity came to spend two different occasions down at “the farm” with her and my parents, I was really excited about it! When will I have the time to spend weekdays with her and the family again?!?

We had a blast. From grocery shopping (wow, what a different challenge with two little ones! My price-match/couponing/very efficient abilities were seriously challenged!) to doing puzzles to celebrate going in the “big-girls-potty”, to enjoying crazy daily life with two little ones under 4, my days were filled with awesomeness and fun. I had a few Nichole-laugh-attacks during the week, which may or may not have been directly related to my sister’s activities. Those will remain nameless, but she will appreciate the reference to Goodwill, flying baby food at Wal-Mart, the burned chunks left on the inside of the oven (seriously, what fell?!?), and pizza and ice cream for lunch :). I seriously chuckle just remembering these!

My sister, Jamie, and her two daughters, Sierra  and Violet. Oh, man, were they excited to ride in the race car cart!

[Aside: for those that don’t know me in person, I have been known to laugh HARD at situations – and then remember the visual at random times (runs, daily chores, errands, etc) and burst out laughing again. Wonder what I look like when that happens on a run :).  Or when I start to giggle when in line at the post office :).  Jane will vouch – sometimes I’ll find myself laughing so hard/long (most of the times at something that isn’t even that funny!) until my EARS hurt. Not even kidding. I also have a bad habit of laughing hard at the “bad” things little kids do – probably need to remedy this before I have kids…]

My sister convinced me to dye my hair for the first time in my entire life. It was entertaining and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even though I freaked out at first because my hair turned “black”. My dad thought it was absolutely hilarious.

My sister and I pre-hair dye. Violet in on the action as well :).

 My cry from the bathroom after washing the color out: “Uh, Jamie?!? My hair is a little black?????” She isn’t as detail oriented as I am, so we weren’t sure when we put in the dye – hence, how long it had been in. She disregarded the instructions as well, you know, no big deal! 🙂

Hers turned out a beautiful light blonde. I give myself props for the color choice as she allowed me to make the decision when we bought it. 🙂 Wish I had an after-picture to share!

Training at “the farm” was great. There were a lot of easy recovery
miles, as well as a few fartlek/telephone pole workouts. I only did 87 miles for the week, but we were giving my legs a bit of rest before the GAC alumni race and the last push towards Chicago. Running at the farm did remind me
how hard it is to push off of gravel, as well as try to pick it up
while going uphill. Good thing Chicago is flat and paved 🙂

All-in-all, wonderful visits to the farm. I can only hope she makes long trips home often!

Violet and I hanging out at the fair. Lots of questions/comments for me: how old is she? Oh, she is just beautiful! The first person that asked me  how old she was had to wait a while before I remembered that she is 8 months old. Bad aunt 🙂

After successfully making a dessert.  It’s challenging with two really little ones!

Jamie and I post-goop :). She’s actually smiling (a feat in itself!)! I don’t know if she was actually a basketball MVP :).

My grandma and I working to can raspberry jam. What a fun (but time consuming) process!
Beautiful country road training. I swear, it’s much more picturesque in real life. I appreciated every mile. So did Abby, my dad’s new Lab/Wire-haired Pointer that is a little out of shape :). By the end of the second visit, 4 miles wasn’t as much of a life-feat 🙂

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  1. Glad you are becoming close with your sister! My sister is my best friend and I don't know what I'd do without her. We love reminiscing about when we were younger 🙂 Life sure is different with 2 little ones around! Nothing is "easy", like taking a trip to the grocery store, but they sure are worth it! I love spending time with my niece, too. It's good practice for us future mothers. I'm sure that country road is MUCH more beautiful… pictures never do natural beauty justice!

    1. How many kids does your sister have? Super fun :). Were the two of you always close? I've always wondered what that would have been like!

      How has your training been going?!? 🙂

  2. AHH!! I love it!! I was also the president of our 4-H club!! And a band nerd and in FFA. What can I saw, I grew up in a small, farming community where it was cool to be involved in all of those things. 🙂 I am super close to my sister as well and miss living closer to her!

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