This Is Halloween

This Halloween we made it our goal to do something different than the usual dress up in a silly costume, go out and have a few too many drinks (though we did that too). So we set out on two new adventures, one a bit more challenging than the other.

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My sister in law Trisha recently added a new four legged friend to her family (right around the time Lucy joined ours) and she wanted to make our pups’ first Halloween a memorable moment. You can see where this is headed. Pumpkins. Costumes. Unwilling dogs. Sawyer and Lucy have a history of being a little rough with each other and Monday night was no exception. Things started out OK but as soon as Sawyer rounded the corner looking like a piece of corn, all bets were off.

As if the doggy fight club wasn’t enough, we then proceeded to force these two opponents to sit nicely together for a picture. In front of the fireplace. Family portrait style. You can guess how that went.

Needless to say, after about 75 clicks of the shutter we were able to capture approximately one useable photo. Sadly, that photo wasn’t even on my camera, so I leave you with this:

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My only regret was not capturing the chaos on video. Needless to say, Lucy curled up in a ball on the couch as soon as we returned home and was out for the night. Totally worth it.

For part two of our Halloween adventure we took a drive over to Towamencin to check out the pumpkin display, a tradition that has taken place for 27 years and we are just now seeing it. Fortunately we chose Wednesday night to go, because this will sadly be the displays last year. And it was totally worth the visit. We walked up to a sea of over 100 pumpkins carved into just about anything you could think of. And by carved I mean carefully and artfully created into some really awesome characters, scenes, and images. I’ll let the few pictures I took do the talking.

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I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween! Jon and I will be spending the night handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters we hope come. If not, we have a lot of candy to take care of…

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Run to the Hills

The following accomplishment wasn’t on our Joy Jar list but it inspired a goal for next year so I figured it would be good to write about. Sunday morning I ran my fourth half marathon, the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, and despite feeling like a seasoned pro by now it doesn’t seem to ever get any easier. The unnecessary amount of hills during the first half of the race didn’t help either.

Despite the difficulty, this was a pretty meaningful race for me. It’s not every day you get to run through the streets that you grew up on with 3,000 other people. The race started off just in front of the relatively new Sands Casino and wound through many familiar locations: Main Street, Illick’s Mill, Moravian College, and Bethlehem Steel to name a few. Aside from the much welcomed nostalgia, it was also nice seeing familiar faces along the route, something you miss when running big city races.

Sands Casino

Staring line in front of the Sands Casino.

And we're off...

And we’re off…

Not only did these two run in full gear, but they passed me...more than once.

Not only did these two run in full gear, but they passed me…more than once.

Running up Main Street.

Running up Main Street.

View over the Fahy Bridge.

View over the Fahy Bridge.

Bethlehem Steel captured by Jon.

Bethlehem Steel captured by Jon.

We finished where we started, running back down second street to the Steel Stacks. I was super tired at this point and excited to see finishers walking back in their space blankets and the end in site. Little did I know they somehow managed to tack on another mile after entering back into the complex – total psych out! But I just kept pushing on and managed to cross that finish line where I was greeted by cheers and congratulations from Jon, Heather and her family. That and the burger I inhaled for lunch made it totally worth it. Oh, and the medal. Which was pretty cool.

Runner's World Half Marathon

Runner's World Half Marathon

Runner's World Half Marathon

Runner's World Half Marathon

Which brings me to next year’s “girl, are you crazy why would you want to do that?!” goal – run the Hat Trick. Because crazy people love to run a 5K, 10K and half marathon all in one weekend. Sore legs be damned (and damn, my legs are sore)!

Introduction (For Lack of a Better Title)

So this is where I write the obligatory introduction post. After coming up with the idea for The Joy Jar a week or so ago, Jon and I (Sam) finally got around to getting the materials to put things together. They included

  • Corkboard
  • Mason jar
  • Card stock
  • Twine
  • Push Pins
  • Washi tape (because why not?)

There was some cutting. There was some drilling. There was a lot of writing. And thus the Joy Jar was born.

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So what exactly is the Joy Jar? Our idea is to write down all the experiences we want to have on a piece of paper and fill the jar as we complete each item. We would ideally like to cross off one per week, but we know that may not always be realistic so we’re just going to do the best we can. As we complete each thing, we’ll write about them here (I will be doing most of the writing, though I may be able to convince Jon to pop in once in a while). Our list will be ever evolving as we cross things off and add things on. You can see a complete list here.

There will be other posts along the way, and I’m sure this blog will evolve and change as we do, but that is the Joy Jar in a nutshell. Our goal is simply to stop talking about all the things we want to experience and actually do them and we’re hoping this blog will help us do just that.

(To learn a little bit more about Sam and Jon, click here.)

Bright Lights, Big City

9/11 Memorial Heart

This years annual New York trip was a little different than what we’ve grown accustomed to. Our usual venture happens around Christmas time and we keep a no boy zone. This year we decided to forgo the freezing temperature and holiday crowds for a warmer, less frigid October date and decided that it would be okay to invite Jon. I’m pretty happy with our decisions.

Saturday my mom and I headed up on our own to check out the 9/11 memorial and do some walking around the city. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the memorial or how my emotions would come through. I remember September 11th, 2001 very vividly however I didn’t personally know anyone that was closely affected by the events of that day. Regardless, walking through the memorial and seeing the names written along the stone ledges of the reflecting pools really took me breath away.

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We spent the rest or the afternoon on the hunt for boots, but sadly came away empty handed. After relaxing with some wine in the hotel room, we made our way to 44 & X for dinner and were not disappointed. The atmosphere was cosy and the food was pretty darn good. Needless to say we went to bed that night with our stomached feeling pleasantly plump.

Sunday morning we took our time getting up and waited for Jon before grabbing a bite to eat at the Glass House Tavern (thanks for jogging my memory Mom). It was a decent brunch but nothing to write home about. We were then off to the Minskoff Theatre to see the Lion King and it was nothing short of amazing. Maybe not my favorite play to date, but definitely the most visually entertaining. The way the costumes came to life on stage was unreal. The Lion King has always been my favorite Disney movie and seeing it from this perspective made me fall in love with it all over again.

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Until next time New York!