Friday, May 9, 2014

Fun, Friends, & Running - oh my!

At the end of March I got some precious time with this sweet friend...she was in Charleston for a conference and I went down to snag her and she flew back home from Charlotte. While she was here, we did one of the things we do best - EAT! I've been dying to try out this super cool restaurant called Kings Kitchen, ever since I moved here. The concept is awesome - 100% of their proceeds goes back into the mission of caring for homeless in Charlotte. 100%!!!! Their mission (taken from their website): 
“The King’s Kitchen” will operate as a public restaurant, serving local, healthy, Southern cuisine and the profits and proceeds from “The King’s Kitchen” will go toward feeding the poor. In addition, The King’s Kitchen will also operate “The King’s Kitchen Restoration Program” as a five-part training program to employ, train and minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to homeless, the poor, troubled youth, rehab graduates and other members of our community who are in need of employment. The King’s Kitchen will operate in the spirit of excellence by training and equipping the whole person (spirit, soul and body) thereby sending out developed leaders into our community. This will be done by working together with other local ministries, businesses, non-profits and people of faith.
How cool is that? If you're ever here - you've got to check it out. 
The fried chicken was to die for (thanks big sis for the recommendation). We laughed a lot and just generally enjoyed one another. My only wish was that she was here longer and lived closer. Love you Chelsea! 
 The very next weekend I went back to Charleston, but this time I was along for the ride rather than driving. Jennifer wanted me to do the Cooper River Bridge Run with her last year but I declined because my sweet niece Ellie was due to arrive at any moment and I did not want to miss it. Well, this year there were no excuses so I signed up! It's a race I did frequently growing up and living in Charleston but over the years it's just gotten crazy popular. It's now one of THE LARGEST 10K's in America. 40,000 runners y'all. Ridiculous! People love them some Charleston...I mean LOVE IT! 
On the way down we virtually snuggled on the up front bench seat of Matt's truck because one of his AC vents was broken and this pregnant girl was DYING! We took a photo because the entire situation was so comical and though he was "working" in the back seat, he was able to break for a photo bomb. Too funny. 
 One of Jennifer's other friends Miranda came down to run too and she and her hubby made an all out romantic weekend of things (as they should - they've got 6 kids which includes a set of quads - yes you heard that right). I kind of ended up being the 3rd wheel but I was a good sport. Both of their husbands ran but my husband prefers running only when in danger or being chased by something that will put him in danger. Above we were on our way out to a pre-race dinner without any children: woo-hoo! Below was taken the next morning crazy early as we ventured to Mount Pleasant to catch the shuttle to the start line. 
Pre-Race Photo Op - all the runners. 
 We all ended up getting kind of separated and going our own pace but when I finished there was a photo area and I wanted to get this peanut's picture taken for his/her 1st 10K. This is blurry because the website won't let you copy and although it's cute I won't be buying it so this will have to do. 
After some water and some food. The whole gang. We had a really good time but that race is just too crowded. I spent the entire 50whatever minutes it took me weaving in and out of people and passing people who were in the entirely wrong corral to start with - grrr. Races that are that miserable make me grouchy so although it was fun going with friends and even seeing some other child hood friends, I've told Jen that next year she's on her own ;).
 While I was in Charleston running, my sweet older boo-boo's were running as well. My sisters (Angel and Melissa) took on the challenge of carrying all these youngin's to the Cookies for Cancer Fun Run and 5 K in Charlotte that same Saturday that I did the bridge run. This charity is near and dear to my sisters heart as she is personally familiar with a family who had a child who battled cancer and eventually lost his fight shortly before this event. Here the kids are doing a balloon release for all those who have lost their battle. 
 According to Melissa, the race was a bit dicey. Avery and Declan apparently spent equal amounts of time whining as running. It does sound like they enjoyed themselves thankfully and I'm super appreciative she took on the "challenge". 
 Sweet cousins. 
I think Kennedy enjoyed her run with her cousin as well though it sounds like it wasn't her "best" let's just say. We did a trial run ahead of time (she takes her activities seriously...I don't know where she gets it;). Here she is the week prior after a 1.5 mile run! She acted like she could've kept going! 
 Next year I'm glad we'll be here and we can all do it together. 

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