I hope that all of my U.S. readers have had a nice holiday weekend. My Thanksgiving plans were really up in the air and I ended up staying in Charlotte. Finn and I were hoping to make it down to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my grandmother but my parents are still in Durham and we didn’t want to be a flight away during busy holiday travel in the event we needed to get back quickly.
Since I was going to be home for Thanksgiving, I made a last-minute decision to register for the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K. It’s the biggest road race in North Carolina!
I found myself in Whole Foods at 6:30p on Wednesday evening to shop for a Thanksgiving meal. I was inspired by this menu that I made for my mom and I in 2019. My dad suggested cornish hens instead of turkey so I decided to go for it. It ended up being an excellent choice!
The 8K started at the very reasonable hour of 9 a.m. so I was able to sleep until about 7, have coffee and breakfast, shower and head to race. The race was only a few miles from my house and started/ended in the mall area so there was tons of parking for the very crowded event. I left my house at 8:40a, parked around 8:50, jogged to the start about a quarter of a mile away and it was time to take off. Perfect timing in my book. I do not like to stand around at the start of races, especially when it’s cold.
I appreciated that the 5K started at 8a to allow for a better flow for the runners and less course congestion.
The weather and the course were perfect! It was in the low to mid 40s and the race organizers kept the Charlotte hills to a minimum for the five miles we ran around SouthPark neighborhoods.
There was some fun crowd support along the course. On the street you see above there was a group doing water and Bloody Mary shooters. At mile 3.5ish there was a big group with a sound system, fire pit, water station and apple pie shooters.
I really kicked it into high gear for the last mile of the race and ran a 7:56. Given that I never focus on pace these days and simply run because I love to run, I was pleased with my race time and pace! I think it was a combination of the perfect weather and race adrenaline!
I grabbed a quick photo at the finish and headed for my car. The outfit I chose to race in was perfect for the weather. I probably could have done without the vest and just worn the long-sleeved swiftly and gloves but I was never uncomfortable. I am so into Newton Gravity shoes right now. They are so comfortable.
I was home by 10:15a and the first order of business was a super hot shower (I get SO cold after cooler weather runs) and another cup of coffee. I eventually motivated myself to turn on the National Dog Show and get to finishing up my Christmas decorating.
I have been on team real tree for my entire life but when Finn was 6 months old, I went with an artificial tree for the convenience and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It’s definitely not the same as a real tree but I love the ease of it and that it’s pre-lit and I can switch between white and colored lights. This year I hung a wreath made from real tree clippings next to the tree so that I could have the smell.
Finn got home around 4:30p. I was supposed to have him for Thanksgiving this year but decided it made the most sense to stay on his regular schedule with his dad since they were hosting a big family Thanksgiving and ours wasn’t happening (he’s always with his dad Tuesday and Wednesday nights). It was most important to me that Finn have a great Thanksgiving so he got to do the big family thing most of the day and then hung out with me that evening.
I got myself into the kitchen around 5p and three hours later…dinner was ready. Finn helped me with a bunch of it, although he opted not to eat any of it…haha. The report from his dad’s house was that he ate “a roll, bread and a Reese’s cup” for Thanksgiving. Toddlers. 😉
Here’s what I prepared:
- Herb-roasted cornish hens – loosely based on this recipe
- Italian sausage and bread stuffing
- Green beans with mushroom sauce and crispy shallots – made so many changes to streamline this recipe…too many unnecessary steps but it’s a good dish
- Pan gravy
- Cranberry sauce
My meal turned out perfectly. You guys must try the Italian sausage dressing. It’s my second time making it and I will be making it for years to come. So flavorful. I am embarrassed to admit that it was my first time preparing cornish hen. It turned out so well. Like, I will be choosing cornish hen over roasting chicken very often in the future. Yum!
My evening ended with Downton Abbey and the Christmas tree switched to colored lights. I am fully, 100% hooked on DA. Cannot get enough. I stayed up until almost midnight on Thanksgiving night watching it.
I have nothing to report from Black Friday other than I was able to get Finn to wear a hat for the first time since he was a baby. I was on a work deadline so most of my day involved a photo shoot, photo editing and writing. My nanny helped for a few hours in the morning and then Finn and I figured it out.
Finn slept until 8:15a on Saturday! His nanny offered to take him for a couple of hours that morning since she was dog/housesitting nearby and hours were all over the place due to the holiday week.
I opted to use that time to get a strength workout done at the gym. It felt SO good. I am very happy to be back in the gym and owe you guys a whole post dedicated to that.
Finn and I swung by ALDI after I picked him up and then spent the rest of the day laying low. I watched a lot of the Georgia/Georgia Tech game and even more of the Auburn/Alabama game.
I was invested in that game because we are playing Alabama next Saturday in the SEC championship. They were a mess for 98% of the Iron Bowl and then got it together in the last 90 seconds of the game to tie the score. They ended up winning in four overtimes. Even though Georgia is undefeated this season and an SEC and National Championship favorite, you just never, ever know with Nick Saban and his Alabama team. Crossing my fingers and toes all week that we have a great game and a big W!
Cutest story. When Finn woke up this morning the first thing he said was, “mommy…is today Christmas?” Sweet boy. I asked if he wanted to go check out a new donut shop near our house and that was almost as good as Christmas in his book.
Finn chose a cinnamon sugar donut and I had an apple fritter and coffee. (And that bedhead…)
Next on our agenda was our third trip to Home Depot in the last week to wrap up our Christmas lights/decorating. I needed a few more extension cords and a few more packs of outdoor lights. I also got a pretty potted poinsettia for my dining table.
We spent the rest of our day at home playing outside, building blocks, vacuuming (one of Finn’s favorite activities) and finishing our outside lights. We also went for a walk with Virginia. I was planning to head over to Dorie’s house late this afternoon to hang out and catch up but I ran out of steam. A quiet evening at home was just what I needed although I was definitely questioning at one point how it was only 6:15p and Finn had already had his bath and dinner and bedtime was still over an hour away.
He’s tucked in and snoozing now, and I’m putting the finishing touches on this post that I’ve been writing on and off all day today. Next up is an episode of DA on the couch and then bed to read The Wish. So into this book.
What did you do for Thanksgiving? Did you have a big gathering or something smaller?
What was the best thing you ate this Thanksgiving?
What’s your favorite sport to watch?