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The unthinkable happened.

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Got through Christmas with the family, without a fight and even after spending the vacation with the new man in tow, we still adore each other.  Thought that only happened in movies. hm.

Alas all did not go as planned.

Today is the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and for me that meant the December 5k.  Something the new guy, who needs a blog name stat, decided he wanted to join me in doing.  So we signed up.

Yesterday we enjoyed dreaming in IKEA, picked up our race bibs & I indulged in some time at my mecca…. Bank of America Stadium.

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The perfect spot to spend a little cash that landed in my lap for the holidays! Yes there are perks to people who do not enjoy shopping for others.

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Then we spent more time with the family and went to bed early because we knew that race time was coming bright and early.  Even laid out what I would wear knowing the temperatures were to be around 27 degrees.

Sadly that is where the going as planned stopped.

Around 7 am I heard my sister’s voice asking if we meant to sleep so late.  Nope.  Although I thought my alarm had been set in time for us to get up, eat, get ready & make it to downtown in plenty of time, it didn’t even go off.  AT ALL.  So we over slept.  Big time.

Bundled up, grabbed a couple of cinnamon buns we got the day before at IKEA & booked it downtown.  Due to the festivities and road construction navigating the maze of one way streets was a mess even if we hadn’t been pressed for time.   Finding parking turned into a complete ordeal when the machine refused to take our cash past $3, but wouldn’t open up for anything less than $6.  We wasted another 15 minutes at that damn machine.

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We gave up & passed up the overpriced lots finding a street spot several blocks away from the start line.  We hustled but sadly by the time we got there, we couldn’t even see the mass of runners.  They were gone.  The mascots and others there to cheer on everyone were getting their stuff together to wait until the first runner dashed their way back across the line.  Most were heading inside to grab warm cups of coffee, which was exactly all I wanted to do at the moment since I couldn’t even feel my ankles.

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We admitted defeat and laughed at the mess.  Thankfully we still got to see some beautiful scenes and had each other to enjoy our first DNF listings.

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Ended up walking a little around then heading back to spend a little more time with my Dad, eat lunch then pack up to drive back to the coast.

While at Dad’s it hit me.  Even with being together all week, with family & holiday expectations, even with the stress of the day and admission of defeat… we laughed.  We never once snapped at each other or shot one of “those looks”.  It is either a really great relationship or we just got lucky.  No matter what it warmed my heart & made me so thankful.

So perhaps Santa has brought me something I always wanted – a holiday season with as little stress and as much laughter and love as possible.

It is true it doesn’t come wrapped with a bow, but it truly is a wonderful thing to enjoy as long as it last.  At this point I am hoping for a repeat next year, except with the alarm getting us up in time to make it to the race and finally make it across the finish line, together.

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I feels wonderful being home again and happy.

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