about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    5K - 23:28

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    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Going Back To Cali.

Just as soon as I finally sat down and told you all about our California mini-vacation, I found myself squeezed into a middle seat and headed back down south to Orange County this past weekend. 

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A week or so ago – the Saturday before Easter – I was on my way to Greenlake to meet a friend for a run, when my mom called and told me that my uncle had passed away suddenly that morning.  It was unexpected and obviously very sad and shocking. 

And despite the fact that I had never left both kids before and that everything was super last minute, I just knew that I really really wanted to be there.  So I booked my ticket, packed a bag, and said a million thank you’s to Casey for handling everything back home so that I could take off just a few days later.

In three and a half years, I have left Cullen for two short weekends away, and I have never left Graham longer than a few hours.  So I found myself sort of dazed and confused when I suddenly only needed to care for myself.

Funny how when I travel with the boys I have a million things to manage and remember, and yet we’ve never had a major travel snafu or fail.  And yet, when traveling alone and with only a small carry-on, I almost totally blew it within the first few minutes.  Casey dropped me off at the airport and I was so wrapped up in saying goodbyes and giving hugs that I trotted straight into the airport WITHOUT MY LUGGAGE.

It took about thirty seconds for me to realize it, and at that point I went flying back out onto the sidewalk screaming and waving my arms everywhere, just as Casey was pulling away.  Thankfully, he saw me and I ran over to the car, dropped a bunch of F-bombs, and then slammed the door and ran back into the airport.  Goodbye, indeed!

In a matter of a few hours I read an entire book for the first time in I don’t even know how long.  Side note – this book is hilarious, and a definite must-read for anyone who lives in Seattle (where it is set). 

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It was my dad’s older brother who passed away, and almost the entire family was there.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, spouses, family dogs – it was so amazing to see everyone.  Other than a few people, I hadn’t seen most of these relatives since my grandparents’ memorial two years ago in Hilton Head.  Obviously I wish the occasion had been different, but I know Bob would have loved to have seen us all gathered together in celebration of his life.

We had family events and services pretty much all day on Friday, but with a few extra hours free in the morning, my cousins Sarah and Matt and I took advantage and headed to Laguna Beach to stare at the ocean. 

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The California beaches are seriously so gorgeous.  And there is something so peaceful and meditative about looking out at the water – the perfect way to spend the morning of the memorial. 

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The rest of Friday was spent remembering, reflecting, and then celebrating (because life should be celebrated!) back at my aunt and uncle’s house.  Obviously I am glossing over the private and difficult parts, as they weren’t photo appropriate and I can’t really do any of it justice with words.  But it was a wonderful day of closeness and closure, and I was so so happy I had made the journey down to be there.

On Saturday morning, despite finally having the opportunity to sleep in as long as I possible wanted – I somehow found myself on a running trail with my cousins at 7:30am.  I never regret a run, but I do regret not getting a bit more sleep when I could – ha!  We ran on a beautiful park near my cousin Lynn’s house.  And I ran six sunny miles with another cousin, Sarah!

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She does the Galloway walk/run method, which was kind of fun to try out.  I really struggle with the mental aspect of running, and I think all the walking breaks are too tempting for someone like me.  But we covered six miles which was my longest run to date, so I was happy.  I also stopped to snap a few pictures of important scenery to send back home…

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And hilariously enough, I somehow literally ran straight into my blogging buddy, Monica!  In all of Orange County (which I assume is big?) we ended up on the same trail at the same time – so fun to see her, and wish I was speedy enough that I could have kept up to run along side her for a bit.

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After the run and two giant bagels, I had time to relax at the hotel and read more of my book.  That afternoon, I headed out onto the ocean with another pod of cousins!  My cousins, Dana and Lynn, have been doing volunteer marine wildlife rescue for years and years.  We headed out on a Zodiac boat in search of salty air and marine life. 

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Apparently this is the tail end of grey whale season, and even though they have seen a few lately, the sea was pretty calm while we were out there.  We did get to see a whole bunch of sea lions and seals though, and one gorgeous dolphin.  It was plenty for me, and I was so grateful to be out on the water and surrounded by people I love who I don’t see nearly enough.

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While it was unexpected and sad, it was also a weekend that left me feeling very restored and centered.  Sometimes it takes something like death to bring a certain perspective back to life, and I returned home to find two little boys waiting for me in the airport with chocolates and flowers – and my life felt very, very full.

The funny thing is, while I went on and on about how I was worried to leave the kids for the first time – in reality, I have actually had my first trip away planned since last year.  And it is next weekend – gulp.  So I was bound to take off anyway, but now Casey got a bit of a test run. 

And it’s worth noting that he hit it out of the park.  He and the boys had a blast (as I expected they would) and by the end he was showing off and making vegan biscuits and gravy from scratch and other obnoxious things.  And so next weekend, I will jet off to Florida for three glorious days with my best friend, and I will relax knowing that it’s good for mom to get away sometimes, no matter the occasion.



Friday FanFest Fun.

Happy Friday, my friends!!  It’s been a quiet week here in blog-land, but my house feels like it hasn’t been quiet in a long time.  I’ve been distracted by life, and I feel like I haven’t shared what we’ve been up to on a closer level in so long.  That hasn’t really been intentional, but anyway – I feel distant!

So what’s up with you guys!?  Things are going really well here.  We just left a stretch of weeks (or was it months?) that were kind of rough – both boys at difficult ages, and often directly at odds with each other.  So much yelling, crying, pushing, and coffee.  So little napping and listening. And now the clouds have parted (for now), and I feel slightly sane again.

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These days – right now – the boys are so so so much fun.  Cullen is through his (what I’m sure was the first of many) threenager phase, and I am loving that he has become such a little boy.  There is nothing toddler about him – he is just a tiny adult running around with superhuman strength, a long lanky body I barely recognize, and teenager drama and emotions.

Graham is 15 months old now, and has entered what I consider to be the most fun stage of toddler-hood.  He is learning all sorts of words, and nods his head wildly when asked if he wants snacks, milk, or to read another book.  He is frighteningly agile and strong, and he can climb anything and everything.  He is ridiculously attached to me, and has an epic meltdown if I am more than an arm’s length away or if anyone else dares to pick him up. 

Together, they are nothing but trouble.  Mealtimes are a thing of my nightmares.  They conspire to bang on the table, throw food, and shout louder than the other.  Every meals ends in the threat to send one of them into the dining room to eat alone.  They are also impossibly sweet.  My heart explodes when I see Cullen pass Graham a bunny cracker in the backseat without me prompting him.  Graham follows Cullen around all day long with giant puppy dog eyes, and he is quite certain he is also three.  Cullen spends his whole day trying to get Graham to laugh or chase him.  Nothing fills up my heart quite like a lap full of boys who just want to read and snuggle for one more book.

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With the holidays long behind us and Casey’s travel slowed down for a while, we’ve had lots of time to enjoy evenings and weekends as a foursome, and it has been a breath of fresh air.  Last weekend, we took part in an awesome Seattle event – Mariners FanFest

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My husband and my kids are all obsessed with baseball.  Sure, part of it is that Cullen (and now Graham) has been exposed to it a lot, since it’s something that Casey and I both really enjoy.  But he’s also taken soccer class, swimming lessons, and tried plenty of other sports and games.  Baseball is his first true love.

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FanFest was a baseball lover’s dream.  The whole stadium was open to fans (for just $10! and kids were free!) and they had all sorts of cool “experiences” and baseball things to do.  Since we were walking all over the ballpark for several hours, I figured the stroller would be a huge pain (so many steps!).  My little slugger hung out happily on my back in the Ergo while we cruised around. 

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Cullen got to run the bases and I tried not to cringe when he did a huge slide in the dirt as he got to second base. 

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Such a cool perspective to be down on the field.  These two kill me!

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Got to hang out in the Mariners dugout…

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Before we left, I asked Cullen if he wanted to wear his baseball glove to the park (like he usually does for games).  He insisted that he wanted both his glove and his bat, and when Casey and I tried to protest the bat, he burst into tears insisting, “I might get to hit the ball and their bats will all be too heavy and I won’t be able to dooooo itttttt!”  And so, we brought a bat. 

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And he was totally right.  Well played, kid. 

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And that glove came in handy when we got to go into the outfield and play catch!  If I had to guess who had the most fun, I’d probably say Casey. 

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Graham was turned loose and ran wild, loving all those bright lights and the open green space. 

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This was his first time in our tiny hand-me-down jersey, and I could not stop laughing at him.  Out of control cuteness.

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Like I said before, these two are just at really fun ages right now, and I am so loving being a mama to two boys.  I don’t have any brothers myself, so this is new territory for me.  It is terrifying, exhilarating, and so completely adorable. 

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Before we left, we took one more trip around the bases before Graham conked out.

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And after searching high and low, we found the Moose!  It was the one thing Cullen asked about all day long, so we were very happy to see him just as we got ready to leave.  Meltdown avoided!

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A totally fun family day, and a fun break in the winter dreariness that has me so excited for summer nights at the ballpark. 

Have a great weekend!  GO SEAHAWKS!!!

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