Making the Best of Any Situation

foam glow
Our before pic

Another weekend, another run. We typically do one glow each month, but May is special so we did two runs! The Disney Expedition Everest Challenge (blog to come) and the Foam Glow 5k in Nashville. Saturday night was the Foam Glow run and we had our biggest group yet! We ran with 9 of our friends, and while the race was a complete disappointment, we still had the time of our lives.

The start
The start

Let me do you all a favor: do NOT sign up for the foam glow run when it comes to your town! It was such an unorganized mess. It was impossible to actually run because of the crowds, mess, darkness and a myriad of other issues, and it was not nearly what they advertised. Having said all of that…we still had a great night.

lined up under the black lights and ready to go!
lined up under the black lights and ready to go!

Here’s why, we were with awesome people and we made the best of a disappointing situation. We went all out with our white clothes and glow gear, and I’m always happy when I get to dress up in some form or another. While waiting in the crowd of 15,000 people, we started a trend of breaking our glow sticks open and splattering them all over our clothes. (BTW, it burns if it gets in your eyes.). We walk/jogged/skipped through the dark course while tripping over strollers, children and holes. A couple of us may have peed in the bushes to avoid VERY long port-a-potty lines. We sang, danced, finished the race with a myriad of new inside jokes. Next, was the foam party.

This is what it looks like when you throw glowing liquid on your clothes: awesome.
This is what it looks like when you throw glowing liquid on your clothes: awesome.

There was a DJ, a mosh pit and several colored foam machines. There was foam up to our knees and thousands upon thousands of bubbles showering us from above. We jumped around and danced like college kids again, but we were done after about 20 minutes. Of course, we then realized we were drenched and none of us brought towels or a change of clothes. Woops.

foam party

It was a good time, but honestly, the best part of the night was probably our very late and long dinner at iHop, because where else do you go at midnight when you are covered in neon foam?

The view when you looked up.
The view when you looked up.

I won’t sign up for this even again because I prefer more organized 5k’s, but I will definitely be spending more time with these crazy people who know how to make anytime a good time!

And, the after shot.
And, the after shot.

Cheers!

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Zoo Buddies!

We LOVE going to the Nashville Zoo, but we recently had an extra special trip because we went with Luna’s best baby buddies!

buddies

Seriously, it doesn’t get cuter than this.

house

We showed up before the zoo opened with our wagon and a bag full of snacks. The weather was overcast and 70 degrees. It could not have been a more perfect day to visit the zoo. I was the only Mom who brought a real camera so I snapped away all day and got some adorable photos. Luckily, I transferred a few of my favorite photos to my phone as soon as I got home, because, long story short, EVERY photo got deleted off my camera before they were uploaded onto my laptop! (My own fault, BTW.)

Baby loves he wagon.
Baby loves he wagon.

Whatevs. At least I have the memories of Luna and her friends riding the train, playing in the best baby play pace, petting baby kangaroos, having a picnic and being stinkin’ cute all morning.

sleepy kanga

Lucky tots!
Lucky tots!

Can’t wait for our next play date!

bff

Cheers!

The MOOsic City Run

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She loved running all over the park with her purse!

 

Another run and another sunny and warm weekend is in the books! This spring weather in Tennessee is wonderful. I don’t mind the rain a bit, and I’m soaking up as much outdoor time as possible before the unbearable summer heat hits. Plus, this was probably one of the most pleasant races we are going to be able to run until fall. Saturday morning we (our growing team!) ran the Purity’s Moosic City Dairy Dash benefiting Our Kids.

Always the entertainer... Luna stood on the winners' podium and dance for the crowd.
Always the entertainer… Luna stood on the winners’ podium and dance for the crowd.

Can you guess what we dressed as for this race?

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Cows, of course! Our official team name was “Bellarie’s Bovines”. Unfortunately, there was no costume contest, but we did run at a 7.48/mile pace! I’m especially proud of that time because we have only been running once a week lately. I guess Insanity Max 30 is doing a good job of keeping my cardio up.

me and my little farmer
me and my little farmer

Aunt Amy (the newest team member) ran her second race with us and beat her previous finishing time by 5 minutes. That is incredible! I am so proud of her, and super excited about running more races together.

5k's are exhausting for babies
5k’s are exhausting for babies

When we finished the race we were treated with milk, chocolate milk, juice, popsicles, ice cream, mac & cheese and meatballs! I think Luna, our farmer, enjoyed the treats most. Her first sip of chocolate milk was definitely a hit.

And, THEN it was time to get naked!
And, THEN it was time to get naked!

We completed our race day tradition with breakfast and Starbucks. Then, we took a sunny 6 mile walk, played at the park, did our Saturday Insanity Max workout, worked in my flower bed, made dinner and got in bed by 8pm! That was not only a very busy very fun day, but the earliest I have gotten in bed in probably 15 years. It. was. wonderful.

It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.
It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.

Bring it, Monday.

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Cheers!

P.S. WARNING- if you let your baby run around naked there is a good chance they will poop on your porch.

Baby’s First Symphony

In the past month I have been fortunate enough to attend the Nashville Symphony three times. I told you about my alone time at the Coffee and Classics series, but I also saw Phantom of the Opera (complete in masquerade attire) this week and yesterday I took Luna to the children’s show. Throughout the year the Symphony puts on a Pied Piper series for kids and Saturday was the “Under the Big Top” show.

symphony

I took two of my girlfriends with me and Luna to the show and we arrived about an hour early so we could enjoy the pre-show festivities. They had arts and crafts, a book nook with readers, face painting and an instrument petting zoo. I was most excited about buying coffee from the Cherry Street Eatery and Sweetery, but was second most excited about the instrument petting zoo. It was really cute to see about a hundred little kids waiting in line to bang on a gong, play a flute and play a dozen other instruments. However, hearing all of the instruments being played by a hundred preschoolers or so also made me want to hold off on buying Luna an instrument anytime soon.

Reading together in the book nook
Reading together in the book nook
the newest member of the orchestra
the newest member of the orchestra

We found our seats early enough to walk around and show Luna the stage. We got a good look at the orchestra members as they came in and they were all in circus themed costumes. It was fantastic! Seeing the orchestra in costume is so much more fun than seeing them all dressed in black fancy clothes. There were clowns, lions, tightrope walkers, jugglers and the conductor dressed as a ringmaster, of course. The conductor was Vinay Parameswaran and I had the pleasure of chatting with him the day before the show. He was very friendly and told me all about what to expect to see at the show. He actually started playing the drums when he was very young because his parents noticed his love of percussion and were brave enough to buy him a drum set. Hmmm… I guess buying Luna an instrument at some point wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

stage

The show began and we not only got to enjoy many familiar and famous classic songs (Flight of the Bumblebee, Can-can, William Tell Overture  and the Entrance of the Gladiators) , but we also got to enjoy some actual circus routines. There were dancers, hoop performers, aerialists and clowns who kept us very entertained. The show and comedic tricks were obviously geared towards children, but it wasn’t so cheesy that it bored us. I enjoy watching dance more than just about anything else, so I can be a bit picky when watching routines. These performances weren’t exactly Cirque Du Soleil, but they were skilled, entertaining and I never cringed during the show. We were all equally amused and honestly enjoyed the show a lot.

Luna was incredible during the show. She watched, jumped up and down, squealed with excitement and looked as if she was trying to clap her hands, but couldn’t quite figure it out. I am definitely taking her to the next show. If you want to join us, you should check out the symphony schedule here. They’ve got some great shows coming up!

Cheers!

Trick-or-Treating Zoo Animals!

trickortreat

After the Boo Bash Dash last weekend we drove straight to the Nashville Zoo to watch the animals go trick-or-treating. Luna didn’t get to see any animals during the Ghouls of Grassmere event, and this seemed like a fun opportunity to actually watch the animals be active. More fun for me than her, but still…fun. We like to be festive, so we all stayed dressed up in our Halloween running attire. We are also just too lazy to drive home, shower and change.

looking

The zoo was way more crowded than the Ghouls of Grassmere night, but not unbearably crowded. We didn’t arrive until lunchtime, so we had already missed half of the animals getting their treats (cricket-filled pumpkins). The plans was to run to the camels in time to see them eat, but we ran into the new kangaroo exhibit first and could not resist checking it out.

I swear this kangaroo is not dead...just sleeping.
I swear this kangaroo is not dead…just sleeping.

OMG. The “Kangaroo Kickabout” is fantastic! You can literally walk in the exhibit where they kangaroos live and walk around. You aren’t allowed off the paved path, but you are allowed to pet and love on the kangaroos if they come to you!!! We weren’t there at the best time (mid-day). The roos’ were all sleeping, sunbathing and not all interested in my affections, but that didn’t stop me from ooohing and awwwing over them. There was a Mommy kangaroo on her back and you could actually see the baby in her pouch moving around and peeking out! It was probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, with the exception of Luna playing with a kitten.

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We did finally make it to the other animals. We saw the elephants, giraffes, meerkats, goats, antelope, camels, lions and lots of other animals “trick-or-treating”.  And by “trick-or-treating”, I mean looking at carved pumpkins suspiciously. Most of the animals were not interested in eating them while we all stared on expectantly. The goats and meerkats were the most enthusiastic. Either way, the animals were out and about being cute and meandering around.

look at those adorable meerkats!
look at those adorable meerkats!

There were also a few “zoo talks” happening. I really enjoyed listening to the girl in the giraffe land. She told us about the baby giraffe that is soon going to be shipped to Animal Kingdom so that her Dad doesn’t try to mate with her. I’ll have to remember to look for her next time we go to Disney.

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Our favorite section of the zoo was by far the jungle gym. Their play area is ENORMOUS. We had a blast getting lost in “the largest community built playground in the United States”. It’s 66,000 square feet! I seriously cannot wait until Luna is big enough to play in the playground. The best part is the toddler area. They have an enormous covered area that is basically a giant room covered in 6 inches of foam and it is the greatest idea. Big kids aren’t allowed to play in this area and no on is allowed to wear shoes, so it’s virtually clean. Us, along with several other parents, relaxed in the shade while our babies crawled all over each other.

little flirts
little flirts

Luna enjoyed her second zoo trip, as did we. The Nashville Zoo has many many other events happening, including storytime every Saturday in November at 10:30. To checkout more of their attractions, go here!

my favorite animals!
my favorite animals!

Happy Halloween!!!!

A Little Garden Therapy

Lately, I’ve been battling more anxiety than usual. It’s typical that my anxiety goes up and down, yet it always seems like a surprise when it comes back. I know why it’s been worse, there’s been some stressful situations as of late, but no time to sit down and write about it, which I know I need. In fact, today isn’t the day to discuss panic either… Today, I want to talk about some beautiful gardens, and how a little nature, beauty and family time can wipe the blues and nerves a way.

harvest

Saturday was Husband’s 30th birthday. We did a lot to celebrate his big day, and it all began at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. We try to visit Cheekwood at least a few times a year. Fall is one of the best times to visit because it is stunning! The leaves are changing and Chrysanthemums of every color are planted everywhere! There is also a “Cheekwood Harvest” throughout the month of October.

bridge

The Harvest includes family ‘art’-tivities, live music, storytime, garden tours, museum tours, a pumpkin patch and a lot of locally made scarecrows. My original plan was to arrive early, and hit every single activity, as well as a reserved lunch in the Pineapple room restaurant. Bbuuuttttt as my good plans go lately, it was an epic fail. Between all of us being sick, trying to get sleep, a late Birthday breakfast of bagels and everything else that comes with a baby, we didn’t get to Cheekwood until lunch time. I wasn’t feeling very calm or peaceful when we finally arrived. I felt like Husband’s Birthday plans were very quickly falling apart. And, because I was already down, it just made me feel like a failure.

luna and dad

 

Something happened when I entered the gardens. Something changed. I stepped into the sunlight and felt it warm my skin. The scent of a myriad of flowers and herbs filled the air. I couldn’t help, but dance a little to the live music wafting through the gardens. I looked at Husband, looked at Luna, looked around at the other families enjoying the beautiful Saturday and began to feel grateful. Happy and grateful. Nature does that to me sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, the vitamin D or the walking, but with every step I took I felt more and more like myself. The more we toured the more I noticed my beautiful family and the less I noticed that nasty panic monster. Sometimes a sunny day with the people I love just washes the anxiety away. Even if it’s temporary, it’s lovely.

my outfit

We had a great day at Cheekwood. Everything we’ve previously done seems brand new now that we can experience it with Luna. We let her play on the pumpkins in the patch, which she drummed on to her hearts content.  We walked around the scarecrows and tried to guess which each one was before reading the descriptions. Most were easy (especially the 4 Olaf’s), others were a little harder to decipher.

scarecrow
Look at dat wittle baby scarecrow????
Harry Potter
Clearly, one of my favs

pumpkin patch

The day just kept getting cuter. Luna danced her little booty off to some live bluegrass in the herb garden. She also had her second art lesson. She “learned” to use tissue paper to stain paper, glue and do some more water color. Although, she was much more interested in eating her art than actually making it…

dancing luna's art

Cheekwood was a great start to Husband’s 30th Birthday celebration and a therapeutic trip for me. I think we will be back soon.

me and luna

Cheers!

Pumpkin Patch as a Family of Three

gentry farm

I am just returning from a whirlwind of a trip to NYC, and oh my do I have LOTS to share and review! But, first, I’ve got to share our first experience at a pumpkin patch as a family of three. We visited Gentry Farm for the first time last year on the day I found out I was having a girl. I told Husband that visiting Gentry Farm and picking our own pumpkins is going to be an annual tradition for us. One year later, we’re picking out pumpkins with our baby Luna.

white pumpkin

We went to the farm with a couple of our close friends and we all walked around the patch picking out green, white and orange pumpkins and crazy looking gourds. I decided to mix it up this year and get a little bit of everything. I loved walking around and showing Luna all the different colors and sizes. I think we ended up with seven pumpkins to take home. (Don’t worry the pumpkin carving contest will be soon!)

wheel barrow

I love the pumpkin picking, but there is so so so much more to at Gentry Farm. The fun really began after we picked our pumpkins and entered the farm. They had tons of activities for kids of all ages and grown-ups too. The corn maze is always one of my favorite activities, and this year we did the “munchkin maze” too.

corn maze

 

This was the first year we did the Nature Trail and I was thoroughly impressed. It was gorgeous, had a nice view of the Harpeth River and cute little signs with Tennessee nature facts along the way. It was shaded, a good walk and very enjoyable.

love simply trees water

 

After the mazes and the trail we had fun playing on the farm. We played horseshoes, talked to chickens, explored the barn, ate snacks, played on little wooden tractors, looked at the sheep and took lots and lots of photos.

chickens tractor teepee

I’m already looking forward to next year. I hope Luna always loves our family tradition at Gentry Farm. The Gentry family is so sweet (you can always find many of them working when you visit) and it’s a family-friendly, fun and education environment. I see enjoying the farm for many many years… and if the weather is a nice next year as it was this year, than I think we will pack a picnic to enjoy near the pumpkin patch.

truck

If you are planning a visit to Gentry Farm, check out their site and keep in mind that they are open Saturdays, Sundays and Monday mornings.

Cheers!