We have had such a great week in my hometown, St. Louis...we always really enjoy our time here. It is full of friends and family and relaxation...
We thankfully had an uneventful drive in...we made it to Joplin Friday night, and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel with our friends Jordan and Lauren on Saturday morning. It's always good to spend a little time with them, they are such a sweet couple! Lauren even shared some of her new t-shirt designs with us, and I am excited because there is a V-neck triathlon support t-shirt coming soon! Yay! They have a great little company called Energy Lab Apparel, and Chris owns one of each of their designs.
We arrived at my mom's house around 3:00, and after Chris got in a long workout, we ate the delicious dinner that Mom had made for us -- her famous roast beef sandwiches and her even more famous chocolate cherry cake!!! Mmmm! She spoils us. We enjoyed the evening together, chatting and laughing and playing rummy!
On Sunday, we met the Repps at Mimi's Cafe for dinner...it was so good to see them all! It was definitely a bittersweet event, because it was our first get-together without our Fonda. I definitely felt her absence, very strongly...but it was so good to see that everyone seems to be doing ok as they move forward. We talked about how Dronda and Maisie were going to cook Thanksgiving dinner together, using the notes they had made with Fonda the Thanksgiving before. More than anything, I pray blessings of sweet peace over this amazing family...they are so special to me.
On Monday at 6:30 am, Mom and I left to make our way to my grandparents house. Mom took my grandpa to an eye doctor appointment, and I stayed at their condo with my grandma to visit. We had such a nice chat, and she looked through a few of my new digital scrapbooks. It was fun to share those with her! It was special time together, and I am grateful for it. After Mom and Grandpa returned, Mom and I went and had lunch at Goodcents and did some quick shopping. I needed to find something to wear to our upcoming Christmas party, and I was able to find something! That evening, Chris and I met my cousin, Shelly, and her beautiful family for dinner at The Fox and The Hound. We had a great visit -- they are a group of very funny people! We love laughing with them, and getting to know their great kiddos better!
On Tuesday, we met my friend, Amy, and her hubby, Dukes, for a sushi dinner at Wasabi. Amy and I have been friends since fifth grade, and I am so thankful to have this sweet friend in my life for so long! We ate a lot of delicious sushi and had lovely conversation with them...there was a lot to catch up on!
On Wednesday, Chris had an appointment at a bike shop called Swim Bike Run...he did a Guru Fit test, which measures a lot of different components in order to assemble the "perfect" custom bike just for him. He's been doing a lot of research and knew exactly what he wanted to buy...the neat thing about getting it here in STL is that he didn't have to pay sales tax. They ordered the parts and they will assemble the bike for him...and then they will mail it to our house in Texas! He is a very excited boy! This bike, and especially the wheels, will take valuable time off his race time, and he wants every advantage he can get!! While he was doing the three hour test, I did some shopping at The Rack, Kohl's, and Target. I realized just how much I really do not enjoy shopping anymore. It's a little overwhelming to me. But it was some good Me time, for sure. That evening, we met my cousin, Katie, and her new boyfriend, Scott, for dinner at TGI Fridays...it was fun to get to know Scott a little better (we really liked him!) and to laugh with them. Katie always tells the best stories! :) While in that neck of the woods, we also stopped at a little French bakery to buy a box of macaron cookies, mmm!
Thursday was Thanksgiving! Chris decided to not run in the Turkey Trot this year, so it was a slower paced morning. Mom actually let me help quite a bit with the cooking and prep this year, so I enjoyed that! It's a big job for just one person, so I hope I was helpful to her! Everyone arrived around 12:00 and we ate around 12:30...this was one of the best meals I can remember! Everything tasted sooo good! It was nice to chat with my Olender side of the family and hug on my grandparents a little more! We all have so much to be thankful for!
On Friday, Chris and I slept in a bit and then watched The Walking Dead...we are finally caught up on the two episodes we missed. Then he got started on yet another long workout and here I am, documenting our great week! It's Black Friday and I think we are going to avoid all the madness. We will probably meet my mom somewhere for our final dinner, before we start getting packed up to leave in the morning. Not looking forward to the 13 hour drive (we always do the drive back all in one day)...but, it will also be good to get home to our two, sweet puppers! We miss those little four-leggers!
If you would like to see photos, there are many posted on my Instagram and Facebook accounts!