Love, Joleen: October, You Were Awesome

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October, You Were Awesome

I didn't want to get too far into November without talking about how utterly AWESOME October was! That's what ended up happening over the summer and I never did end up posting about the Fourth of July / Peachtree Road Race. Oops! Anyway, my best friend, Candice, flew in from California on the 10th and stayed with us for 10 days. We were initially supposed to go on a mini vacation together the second weekend of her visit, but couldn't swing it, so it was the first time I ever really planned a staycation. I really wanted to plan several outings that my family hadn't done before either, and so a few things we did were actually on our Atlanta Bucket List!

The main reason for the timing of her visit was to do the Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Race together. Back in July, I actually had my ticket sponsored by LARABAR, through their Instagram account. I'll be totally honest, though, and tell you that in the weeks prior to the mud run [my first ever], I didn't even visit the gym. Oy. I was so nervous in the days and hours leading up to the race. We met up with our friend, Lindy, and a friend/former co-worker of hers. Honestly, my goal was just to complete the thing and to try to do all of the obstacles. My boys came to support and cheer us on.
I cannot even tell you what a challenge the race was for me, more mentally than anything else, although it was physically challenging for me as well. There was one obstacle, in particular, that I had a really hard time with. I'm pretty terrified of heights and this one had us climbing scaffolding, then across it, back down a bit, across more, and all the way down. If it weren't for Candice and this random marine who helped guide (hand hold!) and encourage me along the way, I would still be up there today. When I completed the obstacle, I was shaking and crying from the adrenaline of it! So crazy. Candice wanted to run the entire thing but both of her shoes broke [can you believe that luck?!] and so wasn't able to do that toward the end. We tried to jerry-rig it with hair ties and then one of the volunteers gave us rubberbands to use. Ha! We finished together, in just over an hour. It was one of those things that's definitely more fun in hindsight and I felt very accomplished for completing it and being able to do all of the obstacles. I'm not so sure I could have said that a year and 20+ pounds ago.
Benjamin was scared of me being covered in mud, which was honestly pretty funny!
The following evening I planned a girl's night out at one of my favorite restaurants, Noche, in Johns Creek. On Mondays they have half off tacos and they're just way too good! It ended up being such a great group of ladies and there was never a lull in conversation. It was a great night!
Random photos from our visit:
We went out Thursday and Saturday nights. P.S.- I loooooove my new dress:
Friday evening, she and I went to dinner:
I know it probably sounds silly, but one of the things I really wanted to do while Candice was here, was to go to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. We decided to go to the one at Westside Provisions because Ben and I really like that shopping center and thought she would enjoy it, too. After shopping the center, we went to Taqueria del Sol for lunch. The line was bonkers, but the food was amazing. We were much too full afterward for ice cream so we had to walk around a bit more and then search for that extra space in our tummies reserved for dessert. And Oh. My. Goodness! Jeni's did NOT disappoint! I ordered Brown Brittle Almond Butter + Dark Chocolate Peppermint. The BBAB has me salivating even know -- my goodness, was it good!!
On our final full day together, we visited + went apple picking at Hillcrest Orchards. I'm going to share a separate post dedicated to our visit/experience there tomorrow! Also, look for one more post recapping our fall [so far] fun! We've visited the pumpkin patch, fall festival, and more!
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