Running into the Holiday Spirit

On Wednesday night, something unusual happened: I went for a run!

I’m NOT an evening workout person – I can occasionally rally for an evening yoga class, but running in particular is really tough for me to motivate in the evenings, unless there’s something extra awesome going on, like: my annual-ish DC Christmas Tree light run with my friend Sokphal!

christmas tree light run around DC

We’ve done this run together twice before (in 2015 and in 2016 – I had fun re-reading those posts just now!), but missed the past couple years, so I was excited to get the tradition going again this year! 

I met Sokphal at her place near Iwo Jima and from there we ran over Memorial Bridge and all the way down the National Mall to the US Botanic Garden.

us botanic garden christmas

They were closed, but we were able to enjoy the outdoor decorations and their huge beautiful tree through the window. 

us botanic garden christmas display

how to run the dc christmas trees

 From there, we hit up the Capitol! This is always my favorite tree – so beautiful, especially with the Capitol looming in the background. 

us capitol christmas tree

After the Capitol, we ran back down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, with a quick detour to visit the Canadian Embassy tree.

Theirs is always on point – I liked the green and red lights shooting up the columns!

canadian embassy christmas tree

Apparently we took a similar picture to the one below in 2016 – I didn’t remember until I re-read that post! :)

running tour of dc christmas lights trees

Our last stop on the tour was the National Christmas Tree near the White House!

There were a decent amount of people there but not nearly as many as in previous years, probably because it was “feels like 21 degrees” with the windchill – yikes! I felt okay when we were running but when we stopped we were both like – okay it’s FREEZING!

dc christmas national tree

Each U.S. state/territory has their own mini tree circling the big National tree, and I love the trains set up at the feet of the big main tree!

dc national christmas tree

By this point we had run just about 5 miles so we finished it out by running a few extra blocks, and then called an Uber. It was definitely time to defrost!

I felt like we were running at a good clip (for me right now!) while we were out there, and when Sokphal showed me her watch stats, I was right! It felt surprisingly good considering I’m not usually an evening workout person. ;)

Such a fun night – thanks for braving the super cold and windy weather with me Sokphal! Until next time. :)

I got home just in time to read Riese her last book before bed, and then I chowed down – Matt and Riese made salmon tacos with some slaw and guac and they were delicious. 

easy salmon tacos

I have to say, even though evening workouts are super hard for me to motivate… coming home, having dinner, and then relaxing and going to bed was pretty amazing vs. the usual getting home and starting the day, trying to make/have breakfast/shower while entertaining Riese, etc. But… there’s just something about starting your day with some movement that feels so good!

Anyway – another yummy meal we had this week was meatloaf – always a hit! Riese LOVED it too. Plus roasted potatoes and sauteed garlicky kale. 

meatloaf with roasted potatoes and kale

Last night, Matt was out playing soccer and Riese and I made my Mexican Lasagna – hadn’t had that in too long!

My sous chef “helped” by eating all the ingredients. ;) 

I forgot to get a final shot, but it was delicious!

I will leave you with a picture of the yummy pizza that Riese and Freyja made me this week. ;)

I hope you guys have a great day – I have a dentist appointment this afternoon (ugh, my fifth in 2 months… I had so many freaking cavities that apparently appeared during pregnancy/postpartum – has anyone else had that happen? – and two required caps), but then I’m looking forward to kicking off the holiday festivities! 

We don’t have any big plans this weekend, but my brother and his wife arrive on Monday! We are staying here for Christmas and then going to Aspen with my family for a week on the 27th – I’m excited! Any Aspen tips/recs, I’d love to hear them!

Also – is it too early to get Riese on some skis?! :) If you’re a skier, how old were you when you learned? I didn’t go for the first time until I was 17, and I feel like by that point I was old enough to be scared… I think it would have been much easier if I’d learned as a kid, but who knows!

Have a good one, friends! I have a post scheduled for you guys on Monday, but after that I’m planning to take the rest of the year off of blogging to give myself a nice break and to enjoy our Aspen adventures. After Monday, I’ll be back to posting on January 6! 


  1. 1

    Aspen is the BEST! I was on skis as soon as I could walk and I am so thankful for that! Definitely not too early :) ENJOY!

  2. 2

    Yes to little ones on skis but i say through a lesson!

  3. 3

    Loved touring the trees virtually with you! Have fun in Colorado!

  4. 4

    My daughter has been skiing since she was 4, and there are definitely kids in our town who are out there at a younger age. The earlier the better….and when she’s ready….turn her over to someone else to teach her :) Kids listen to other people SO much more than their parents.

  5. 6

    YES!! Cavities up the whazoo after pregnancy. Apparently it’s a thing.

  6. 8

    Loved the Christmas tree tour of DC! I didn’t know each state/territory had a mini tree! That’s pretty cool!
    Enjoy your time off and Colorado vacation!!
    Happy Holidays Anne!


  7. 9

    I had never had a cavity in my 34 years until after I had a baby, so perhaps there is some correlation! Happy holidays!

  8. 11

    We are so bad-ass! What runners will do for some holiday lights! :) <3

  9. 13

    Get her a lesson! They have great skis for little ones and they’ll probably put her in a harness. Have fun!!

  10. 14

    My daughter was 2 in nov. Im embarrassed to say I had 9 cavities when I went! One was a root canal. I was so shocked even though I am cavity prone too, but I’ve been told its super common after kids 😩

  11. 16

    I live right by Aspen if you want specific recommendations or kid tips! It’s cold right now but the skiing is pretty decent. Although I am still in trail running mode!

    • 17

      YES would really love some Aspen toddler activity tips – and also any trail running tips or other non-skiing adventure tips because we probably will only ski a couple times since Riese will be in the mix! I was thinking it might be fun to take Riese snow shoeing (in a little backpack)… any tips for that? Also any yoga studio recs? Basically any recs you have would be amazing!

      • 18
        Rebecca Percy says

        So here are my recommendations. I live down valley (Glenwood Springs/Carbondale) so my favorite stuff is all this area…don’t know exactly where you are staying.
        1. Skiing: Snowmass has the treehouse area for kids which is basically toddler/childcare you can drop off and they can play. Probably expensive but awesome. The skittles gondola right there is free and fun for kids. Sunlight ski resort is 15 minutes from my house and super kid friendly and very fun chill ski day for everyone.
        2. Snowshoe/x country skiing. Sunlight is awesome for this or park at the winter gate of the maroon bells in Aspen and hike up (ski, snowshoe or use yack tracks) to see the bells. This is beautiful and not too challenging with the baby in a backpack. Hiking in Aspen I would do this or if you want something downtown do smugglers trail. Down valley mushroom rock in Carbondale or spring gulch. Sunlight again has some cross country stuff and I love red mountain in Glenwood Springs. It’s my go to.
        3. My favorite run is dry park road from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale you get a beautiful view of Sopris. The roaring fork bike trail goes Glenwood to Aspen so you can jump on/off wherever. There are sooo many trails but harder with the ice this time of year.
        4. Toddler activities in Aspen would be the pool at the rec center and the library. I don’t go up there enough to know more than that since we live down valley and there isn’t a ton of kid specific stuff here
        5. Yoga: two favorite are in Carbondale. I try to go to white Horse yoga (hot!! But wonderful and first class free) or Kula. Carbondale has a cute downtown and you can do brunch at the village smithy and then hike mushroom rock so might be worth a day trip
        6. Hot springs!!! Come to Glenwood and do the hot springs.
        7. Don’t really go up to Aspen but I went to dinner once at meat and cheese and it was so good!

        Let me know if you want more or need anything. I have four kids six and under you can borrow stuff from or need a tour!

  12. 20

    My son is almost exactly 1 year older than Riese, I think. We are hoping to get him into lessons this year. We went skiing last year and thought he was still a bittt young for lessons (I’m sure some kids would be ready at that age though!), so we took him ourselves – we just held his hand and pulled him around on flat ground. He had a great time until one time his skis slipped out from under him, my husband pulled his arm up to try to catch him and he dislocated his shoulder! So, definitely don’t hold her hand while pulling her around on skis – big lesson learned!

  13. 24

    What a great run, well done! Good pace and epic trees and photos!
    I asked a friend who took his family to Vail each year, and he put his granddaughter on skis at 2! So get on it…
    And you need to do at least one post from Aspen. That is much too awesome not so share!
    Enjoy Christmas and Aspen (where the snow apparently has been great so far)!

  14. 26

    Yay! Looks really fun! I remember when you took me down there to see all the lights one year :) Glad you made it out there!
    Excited to hear about Aspen! I’ve heard of 4 year olds taking ski lessons, definitely, I have a few friends who put their kids on skis at 4. My brother started at 5. But 2 might be too little?! not sure.. maybe just not worth the cost…? But it’s a great idea to get them started super young! She will love it I’m sure given her adventurous personality :) Maybe just sledding right now ;)

  15. 28

    Yes! 4 trips to the dentist to get cavities filled after baby number two!! :-(

  16. 30

    I love working out in the evening especially running and yoga. I get to have a good night sleep better. Try this routine. Happy Holidays to you! enjoy. I love your articles!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.