Friday, December 14, 2012

Seattle, here we come!!

Sam got accepted to Seattle University today!  I was also the first one to find out, due to a convenient order of events.

When I got home from work I decided to play a trick on Sam.  I took a screenshot of his desktop, set it to the background, then hid all of his icons and task bar.  Thus, it would seem like nothing he clicked on would work. Sneaky sneaky!  But, he has a double monitor, so I had to have something open on the one screen so that it didn't look weird, etc, etc... Long story short, I opened up Chrome, and I saw that he had an email from Seattle University.

Um, yeah, sue me for not being able to wait to open that one.

I was so excited that I literally started jumping up and down; "Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap!!!".  Then I went and grabbed a roll of blue streamers-- the only celebratory item we had on hand-- and strung it up around the door.  I went to grab my phone, since I couldn't wait to talk to Sam, but it had randomly turned off (which is does all the time. Piece of crap!) and takes like 5 minutes to turn on.  It finally turned on, and I had a missed called from him.  I got scared that he had already seen, because I really wanted to see his reaction when he got the news.  But he was just wondering if I was coming to get him.

Oh, yeah... I forgot about how I was supposed to pick him up. Which meant that I wouldn't actually be able to get outside because of all the streamers.  Bad call on my part!

I was going to wait until we got home to get him to check the email, but I blurted it out that he needed to look now.  

So now we're pretty happy campers around here!  We're still waiting to hear back from the University of Washington and Gonzaga.  To be honest, Gonzaga is very much a back-up school, and even though UW is the highest ranked of the three, SU is the one I like the most in terms of environment/location/fit...  But I'm not the one who has to take classes, so we don't know for sure yet.  But it's really great to know that we for sure are going to end up in Seattle very soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Glassesface, who are all these people, and exciting news!

I very rarely wear glasses.  It's very hard for me to find glasses that don't look funny on my face.  Nothing against my face-- but that's just the way it is.  I do have a pair that are ok, but they are so old that they have the wrong prescription in them, and they've been bent so out of shape that I can't fix them. Also I'm pretty sure one of my ears is much lower than the other, because even when I got them straightened out at the optometrist office, they looked wonky.
Since it has been so long since I've tried wearing glasses, I decided to venture out and try to find some that didn't make me look crazy, drunk, etc.  What I did was go to a bunch of expensive stores and try on their fancy designer glasses, and then wrote down the product codes so that I could find them online and see if I could get them cheaper. The ones I liked were still WAY expensive online, but some glasses-connoisseurs I know recommended Zenni Optical.  Jackpot! Pretty much I just found the frames most like the ones I had tried on and liked, and then order them for $10-20 instead of $$$$$.  Out of the three I bought, I actually love two of them, which I was quite amazed by.
Anyway, here is my favourite pair.  I took these pictures in my bathroom (FOR SHAME!). 

I'm still pretty sure my ears are crooked.
I don't wear bright red lipstick on a regular basis (hence I made a dumb face in the picture since I felt silly), but tonight was Young Women in Excellence so I figured I'd try to be fancy even though my hair was up in a nanny-bun.  I wish that I had better/more pictures of the room, because the ladies who decorated it did SO WELL.  Never has a Primary room looked so good.  I hope somebody else got some good shots of it! I missed the lanterns, chandeliers, fancy banquet table, and all the neatest stuff! Here's the only picture I got:
Look at all those girls! And that's not even all of them!  I'm still not even close to keeping all of them straight D:  I need to creep around and get picture of all of them so that I can study or something.

On to the MOST EXCITING NEWS OF ALL!!! I guess that only those who stuck through bathroom shots and random girls they don't know get to find out ;D 
Sam is heading to grad school! Law school, to be precise. But wait! There's more! He has been studying his butt off for the LSAT, which is the test you have to take to get into law school. This whole time he has been hoping and trying for a 165, but wasn't super confident that he would be able to get it.  Well, thanks to hard work and some prayers, and after a stupid month of just waiting around to get the results, he got a 167, which is the 94th percentile.  All was happy around our house when we got those results.
Right now he's working on applying to schools.  We want to end up in either Seattle or Spokane. Neither of us have even been to Washington, but it's where we feel we need to go.  From what I can tell, anyway, it seems like the ideal state.  The climate is just how we like it.  There are endless running and hiking trails in gorgeous Waterton-esque mountains.  There is fresh local food and art aplenty in the many farmers' markets.  They aren't dog-haters like Utah is and there are a TON of apartments that allow dogs (FIRST THING I'm doing when we move is going to a shelter and getting a big four-legged friend).  They also just legalized marijuana, apparently, so that's cool I guess.

We're planning on staying in Utah for several more months just trying to pay off all of our undergraduate student debt.  Then we're selling most of our furniture, packing up, and heading north!  Unfortunately, instead of being 12 hours from Alberta, we're going to be 12 hours from Alberta and Utah.

It's exciting to be moving on to a new stage of life-- or rather, the repeated stage of going to school... But at least it's in a new place! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Broiled Parmesan Tilipia

Tilapia is my favourite fish.  It has fanastic flavour without being too fishy-- because we all know seafood tastes best when it doesn't taste like seafood, right? It's also a very quick and easy recipe, but tastes like you put a whole lot of work into it.

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/8 t dried basil
  • 1/8 t ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 2 6oz tilapia fillets

Place your oven rack in the highest position, and preheat to a broil. Grease a broiling pan.
Stir together the cheese, butter, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.  Add basil, pepper, and onion powder.
Place fillets in a single layer on the broiling pan.  Broil for 2 minutes.  Flip and broil for another 2 minutes.  Spoon mixture onto the fish and broil for another two minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork and topping is slightly browned. Do not overcook!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The happiest calling of all.

This last Sunday I got a new church calling in my ward!  I am now... The Young Women secretary!  For anyone who is wondering what the heck I'm talking about, that means that I have been asked to help with the 12-18 year old girls who are in my church congregation.  I'll be in charge of the record keeping items, as well as helping to organize mid-week activities and teach Sunday lessons now and then.
When I was asked if I would be willing to do this, I exclaimed quite enthusiastically and had a really dumb, happy look on my face.
Bishop: We would like to call you as the Young Women secretary.
Me: Oh, yeah! That's like my dream calling!
Bishop: is that a yes?
I had an amazing experience in YW.  I credit that to an awesome group of girls, as well as absolutely fantastic leaders.  I lucked out and had a relatively small group of girls who also loved adventurous and outdoorsy things, were freaking hilarious, and got along pretty well (as far as I know!).  Our leaders were equally fun, adventurous, wise, and inspiring.
Because of this, I'm both excited and nervous.  I know how great YW can be, but also how crucial.  It's a really important time of life for those girls, and having a good example and companionship from those around them can make a big difference.  The other intimidating part is that there are 46 girls in my ward. That's HUGE compared to the, what, 15 that my ward had.  I'm also not very good with names and faces.  One time I took a university compiled facial recognition test and I failed miserably. The test told me that I might have an actual cognitive disability with recognizing faces. So there you go. It's going to be tough trying to keep up with everything and everyone, but thankfully I will have the Lord's help in discerning their needs and learning what I need to!
I hope that I can help give these girls a positive experience in YW. If I can do even half as well as my leaders did, I'll be satisfied.  Fortunately I was in there only 4 years ago, so maybe I can get my brain to flashback to those years and remember what it was I needed to hear back then, and share it with them.  Maybe I can also bring the joy of Screaming Ninjas and Snipe Hunting to these lovely girls.

I'm pretty sure one of them ran into a glass door shortly after this picture.
We were supposed to do something cultured. So we decided to wear togas and do art...
...but then this happened.
"...I'm peeing"
And running downhill made us laugh so hard Michelle totally bit it.
**If any of you are embarrassed by these pictures, too bad, because you should know that I have 10x worse on my old laptop but I'm too lazy to go find it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I'm employed!
This week I started a nanny position with two different families.  M-F I work in the mornings with a 3yo boy and a 5yo girl.  The girl really likes art projects and playing make believe games. The boy goes with what his sister wants to do, but if it's just the two of us we play on the swing set and throw balls for the dog.
I'm with the other family just once or twice a week in the afternoons.  They have four kids, but I just stay with the younger two while the older brothers are in school and mom runs errands.  I can see why mom prefers to have someone stay with them at home while she goes out.  They're 2.5yo twin boys and they have boundless energy and mischief going on.  They totally egg each other on and seem to plan their trouble together.  They're pretty easygoing, though.  One boy was born without one ear and the other has partial hearing loss, so their mom said that she thinks half the time they can't hear you and the other half of the time they ignore you, haha.  I play with them for an hour, then they go down for a nap and I just read and watch TV for the rest of the time. Pretty easy gig! They also have a dog who keeps me company and plays fetch/naps with his head on my lap.

Not going to lie, I was really excited when I found out that both families have big dogs I can play with, too.  The moms were both saying "oh, I hope they don't both you- just put them outside if they do".  Actually, I'm pretty sure being able to have vicarious dog ownership is the biggest perk of the job.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Two grand years.

I've been married to this guy:

...for two years!

For our anniversary, Sam worked all day and I ran errands all day. Yippee! But right after Sam was done work we went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple to do a sealing session.  This is the temple that we were sealed in 2 years ago, so it was just perfect. For those who don't know, we did sealings for other couples who were married civally but had not been sealed for time and all eternity before dying.  We act in proxy for them, and then they are able to accept or reject the ordinance as they wish.  But I must say- the spirit was so strong as we worked in the temple that day.  I think there are a few more happy families who have been reunited. 

Sam's pretty darn awesome.
I like being his pillow for naps, and vice versa.

I love that he takes care of me.
This EXACT thing went down when I threw out my back.
Artistic rendition courtesy of Megan

I enjoy the fact that he appreciates the weird stuff I do. For example,  I hid under a nearby desk for over 30 minutes waiting to see if he would find me.  He didn't. Even with the text picture I sent him.


I love that he is such a hard worker. Not only at WORK, but at home and church too. This boy is going places.

A great deal of credit also goes to him for getting me done with school. I had some really hard semesters that crossed over with some really hard times, and he completely got me through it and made me believe in myself.

I love this wonderful family that I now get to be a part of.  My family sure loves him too (Uncle Sam-I-am)

He HATES costumes, but he will even humor me so long as I look sillier than he does. Which I always do.

He is so supportive me me and my goals and interests.  Him coming and supporting me with my races means the world to me.  Sometimes the exact thing you need to push through the last mile of a marathon is knowing that somebody is expecting you at the finish line (and will hold you up when you're pretty sure you're about to die). 

We sometimes go do fun awesome things:

And sometimes we just act like hobos:

But pretty much, he's my best friend, and he's awesomesauce.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

Back near the end of June I got to pace a half marathon down in southern Utah.  Sam came with me and we camped out in our tent for the night. The next day was very, very rainy so we didn't end up going hiking or anything like we had planned, but it was still a fun little weekend trip.

This race could have been really hot, so I'm glad for the rain.  It was quite a lot of steep downhill, which made pacing a lot slower than usual hard on the knees, though.

I think that this lovely lady portrays pretty well how soggy it was:

The views were really great. I carried my camera with me and tried to take pictures, but they came out very blurry from rain on the lens + bouncy running.  Here's what it looks like when it's sunny and you're standing still:

Overall, it was a fun little race in a great location. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hobbler Half Marathon

A few weekends ago I ran the Hobbler Half Marathon.  It's down by Springville, and I went in thinking it was the same course as the Hobble Creek Half Marathon that I ran last year.
This course was way more difficult than the one I ran before, even mentally compensating for the drastic downturn my running skills have taken.  It was still a pretty run; just different than I had expected.
It was pretty well organized, but I probably won't do this one again.  The course was just decent and there are other races I enjoy more (and plenty I haven't tried yet!).
Since I had not anticipated a PR by any means, I decided to just run by feel and try to enjoy it. I didn't take my GPS watch or keep track of mile splits.  That left me with a time just a minute faster than the AF half, with a 2:03.  I had been hoping to get back down to sub-2, but that wasn't happening on this course (or with the lack of training).
Anyway, not my best or most fun race, but I guess it was better than pounding the pavement around town.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

American Fork Canyon HM: Round 2

I was originally supposed to be the 1:50 pacer for a recent local half marathon.  However, because of my various injuries I didn’t feel comfortable having others rely on my ability and I gave my spot away. Come the day before the race, I had gone to help with the race packets for the pacers and saw my name on one of the bibs- that bib that somebody else would be using. I was really bummed about it, but knew that there would be other races.
That evening around 9pm I was on facebook when a notification popped up from the pace group I’m in.  {Julia} had an extra spot for the race, and was willing to give it away so that it got used! I messaged her right away, and with that, I had a spot back.
I rushed to find all of my running stuff and got to bed.  The next morning I met up with her and got my bib!  I wasn’t even sure that I could still run a half, since I hadn’t run farther than 7 miles in about 3 months, with the last long run (14mi) being the one to push my injuries over the top.  I just wanted to finish the race, even if I had to walk most of the way.  I had no idea how it was going to go.
This race is a fundraiser for families who can’ afford cancer treatment. Every dime of the race fees go to the families.  The sponsors cover all of the costs.  

I had a thyroid tumor that was discovered in 2007, right before my senior year of high school.  I had surgery to remove the tumor and half of my thyroid.  I’m very blessed that I had a tumor that tends to stay localized for a long time, and that we caught it early enough for it to not have spread or become malignant.  I have a big  scar on my neck, but I’m tumor free!  
About halfway through the race I knew I was just a bit behind the 1:55 pacer. I had to go to the bathroom and was in a pretty brutal line, so once I set off again I wasn’t sure what my time was.  I had chosen not to wear a watch, because if I had worn one I would have been stressing over how much slower I’ve gotten.  I didn’t see another pacer for the rest of the race, and I forgot to look at the clock when I crossed the finish line.  I grabbed some free food and my medal, and started walking back to the car.  When I got in I estimated that I had gotten somewhere between 2 and 2:10, which is way better than I had expected.  It was by no means a PR (in fact, it's over 20 minutes slower than my best time), but it was a beautiful race for a wonderful cause. I checked later, and I ended up getting a 2:04. That's a lot better than not being able to finish. (In case you’re wondering, I did pay for the original bib, and I made a donation for the second :)
This race was just what I needed to remind me how much I enjoy running.  It’s really annoying being so much slower and having to put in so much more effort, but remembering what I blast I have at races is helping me get back at it. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Holy crap, I haven't posted on this blog in forever! Sorry about that.
Our apartment rocks. Our ward rocks. The area rocks. Seriously, this was such a blessing to find this place and get to live here.
Also, it's really nice doing a 5 minute drive 6 days a week instead of 35 minutes 6d/w.

Last weekend the famjam did the Ragnar, which is a 200ish mile relay race. It was a blast!
Get it?
I BEGGED Sam to let me give him a mullet, but then his hair wasn't long enough D: He had a lovely mustache though. He was a very good sport about coming and helping with the aid stations.

You might notice that I got a wee bit sunburned

We lost Chris, Jamie, and Anya somewhere, obviously
I was quite concerned that my various injuries would make everything suck, but it wasn't too bad! The only time it caused real problems was on the viciously uphill 8mi leg, so I was responsible and let Chris take over the evilest uphill part  last few miles. Everyone else rocked their runs as well!

It was a lot of fun! I definitely would do it again.  I even signed up as an "extra runner" for the Las Vegas Ragnar later this year in case somebody needs an extra person. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

House and back progress!

I'm very, very grateful that my back has been improving so quickly. After a very rough couple of days, I can now move around quite well. If I hit things in the wrong place it still spasms, but it is a TON better than it was.  Yesterday I went to the chiropractor to get things popped back into place and some electroacupuncture.  I'm taped up so that I don't accidentally move in the wrong directions, which is annoying but helpful.
Now that I can actually move around better, I've been able to get a lot more of the apartment straightened out. I also have a thing for taking on multiple big projects at one time, so this is what I've been working on as well:

Pretty, eh?  Not so much... But hopefully it will be when I'm done!

By the way, I decided to make a separate blog for the specifics of various DIY projects I've been doing.  This blog will continue to be about our lives and more personal (and probably recipes as well), with the other one pictures of projects and tutorials.  Anyway, if you want to check that one out the address is I've got a lot of projects coming up and in the works!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Move

Well, we aren't all organized, but we have all of our things in our new apartment! I don't know how on earth all of this stuff fit into our last place. It seems like there are boxes and bags everywhere! We're so grateful that Sam's parents and brother were willing to come help us move everything. We would have been up all night transporting things on our own!
I'm dying to organize everything. I started right to work moving things around-- and then I threw out my back. I was in the bedroom completely unable to move. Sam heard me dying and helped me sit down. It took a while for the spasms to stop long enough that I could make a hunched shuffle to the couch. So now I'm stuck on the couch with an ice pack. I tried getting up to get water and the spasms started again, so Sam shuffled me back to the couch. I am 90.
So for now I'm stuck with things all over the place. And no chasing chickens. But I guess I can plan out where to put everything!

Edit: Wow, ok, I stood up and the spasms got so bad I momentarily blacked out. Awesome. Sam had to basically drag me to the bed. I've had my fair share of broken major bones, dislocations, and muscle tears, and none of those hold a light to this. If being in labor is going to be even worse than this I'm ditching my natural birth plan and going the drug route.
Last night was really horrible, but this morning I can at least sit up in a chair. Any sort of muscle flexing in my back or legs makes the spasms start again, so Sam has to drag me around and help me roll over. Thank goodness I have him to help me or I would just be stuck on the floor. I already have a chiropractor appointment for Tuesday for my foot, so hopefully he will be able to help out my back as well- if I can walk out of the house by then, haha.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tomato-Basil Steak Pasta

This is the OG version. My version is much thicker and darker. My pictures were ugly though ;)

Tonight I asked Sam what he wanted for dinner and his suggestion was to do something with the beef we had in the freezer, and since we barely ever eat beef, I decided to try something masterful. I love the Olive Garden Braised Beef and Tortellini dish, so I looked up some "copycat" recipes online.  I didn't find a solid consensus on the "real" recipe, so I just did my own thing with what I thought would work, and we loved the result! We think it would also rock without the beef, making it vegetarian (and cheaper) if you wanted.  You can also use regular pasta instead of stuffed, or serve it on rice.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3c diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8oz cooked steak strips
  • 1 10oz can of fire roasted tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 1c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 10oz can cream of mushroom soup
Heat oil in a large, deep pan.  Brown the onion, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add the steak and brown.  Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and vinegar.  Cover and bring to a simmer.  Add sliced mushrooms, cover (we used a cast iron pan and just put it in the oven, or transfer to a casserole dish), then place in the oven for at least 30 minutes (or until beef is tender) at 300F.  In the meantime, cook your tortellini.  When the pasta is almost done, remove sauce and stir in the can of mushroom soup.  Serve over your pasta.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moving onnnn!

Since I'll be done classes in June and Sam is working up in Alpine, we've decided that we are ready to get  the heck out of Provo and move closer to family and work.
When we posted our apartment online, I was shocked at how much response we got.  I've been getting anywhere from 3-10 calls or texts every day since we posted it!  It sure has helped me keep the house clean knowing that people are coming by almost every day to secretly judge my housekeeping skills the apartment.
As we started our own apartment search, I was looking desperately for a place that would allow me to have a dog.  I've been dying to get a big ol' running buddy.  Unfortunately, I learned that finding an apartment within our modest student budget was really difficult- and essentially impossible if you were planning on having a big hair drooly dog as well.  I have come to terms with the fact that a dog just isn't happening right now :( However, this did open up more apartment options to not have that criteria in the mix.
The first place we really liked was in American Fork. It was small but in a good neighborhood and crazy inexpensive.  We applied, and after waiting a week to hear a response, I got a mass text saying that it was going to be rented out to somebody else. Dang! Rejection!
Before we had applied for the AF place, Sam had gone and looked at a place in Alpine.  He said it was nice, so after our sad rejection we decided to go up and both take a look.  As we got closer to the house, I started getting more and more excited.  It is a super precious house on a super precious lane (not road. Lane) with super precious children frolicking about.  As we walked up to the house, I noticed that there were chickens next to the house just wandering around in a chickeny way.  The lady took us to the apartment, which is in the basement with a separate entrance, and I liked what I saw! I tried to turn on the charm, flashed some ankle (thanks to a suggestion from Sean), and we talked with the couple for a while, just getting to know each other.  I asked (a little too excitedly) if the chickens were theirs. They were, indeed!  Then the husband started telling me about how they had been raising emus for years and this past year they had finally hatched their own chicks. This is probably what my face looked like:
fyi, I'm on campus and some girl is sitting across from me at the table probably judging me.
Anyway, we really liked the apartment, the people, and the location so we gave them our references and headed on our merry way.
(Sidenote: We went and saw The Avengers that night, which was FANTASTIC. We also went bowling, and Sam did better without bumpers than I did with them.)
Finally, we got the call saying that they would like for us to rent from them! Woohoo!! Then later that day I had somebody scheduled to come see our apartment, and after the tour they said that they want the place, and were wanting to move in around the same time we were leaving. Perfect.
We're very grateful that we were able to find a great place to live, as well as sell our contract!
And that is my very long story about finding an apartment that could have been told in two sentences.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Frankenstein's monster.

And by "Frankenstein's monster", I mean that I had to get hooked up to an electric current to "come alive" today.  Is that a weak connection? Maybe.
I had another chiropractor appointment today.  First he destroyed me with his hands.  Then he stabbed with some needles.  Then he stabbed with more needles, and hooked up an electric current to them.  I don't think I have a very accurate concept of pain due to all those years of slamming my head body into other people and various other activities, because I guess he turned it up waaaay high before I considered it a "strong" pain feeling. Then he turned it down a tad, and left me there for 15 minutes.  Let's just say that electroacupuncture isn't the best feeling.  At first it was okay, but then it got a whole lot worse (probably because I kept tensing up).  Finally the nurse came in and took it off, wiped off some blood, and sent me on my merry way.  Unfortunately Sam had the truck today, so I had to ride my bike home, which didn't help much either!  It's going to be sore for a while!
I'm very glad to have such a good chiropractor, though.  He thinks that I'll be able to start working my lower body in maybe two more visits, and that might even include running.  My fingers are crossed.  Sometimes I'm not a huge fan of going on a run, to be honest, but now that I don't have it anymore I sure miss it!
Anyway, that's the update.   Next time he's going to look at my knee some more, which has been messed up since early high school.

Oh, and I get to wear this dealio for a while too:
Fancy pedicure toe-thinger?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A very sad tale.

I've been having some problems with my hip the past few weeks.  It pops when I walk, and is extremely painful when I walk more than half a mile, or run at all.  That doesn't mesh well with marathon training.  On Friday I went to a chiropractor who specialized in sports injuries.  Long story short, I'm out for running for at least a month and can't do any sort exercise involving my lower body for at least two weeks.  What does this mean?  Well, I'll be doing a lot of upper body and core work for the next month.  It also means that I have to sell my marathon race bib.  Even if my hip was ok to run by then (which it probably wouldn't be), I wouldn't have sufficient training to not likely jack myself up more.  It also means I might not be able to do the Ragnar that was supposed to be the week after the marathon, or pace the half marathon the week after that.  Let's just say that I'm not a happy camper.  When I've been putting in 50+ miles of running a week to be ready for an event, only to get injured a month before and not be able to do it, it's really disappointing.  The half I was going to race in July is going to suffer too.  I was expecting a PR on that course.  I was also expecting a PR on this marathon course.  My little secret is that I have been training to qualify for Boston this year (you have to run a certain time-- 3:35 in my case-- on a qualified marathon course to even be able to register).  I would have been able to pull off a 3:45 or 3:40 at this race if all went well, and then hopefully the 3:35 in my September marathon.  With missing this much "conditioning" to start training for the September marathon, I can't see that attempt safely succeeding.
The shoes I ordered pre-injury that are coming tomorrow, but I now can't wear for a while :(
Anyway, I'm really sad and angry that I'm missing my marathon and pacing the half, as well as possibly missing Ragnar, a half PR, and qualifying for Boston.  The plus side is that with proper treatment I will some day be back to where I was-- just not as quickly as I wish.
Anyway, there's my explanation for why there won't be as many race recaps this year.  I guess I'll just have to make up for it next year.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

All grown up and taking on the world.

Well that's it for now, folks-- Sam is graduated, and I'll be done in June!  On the one hand, it feels like I've been in university for forever, but it also feels like time just flew by. 

Right before my freshman year
first day of life?
What does the future hold?  We've got big plans, but for now Sam is working and I'm finishing up my last two classes (and fighting the senioritis that has grown exponentially since I have already done the cap and gown deal and even if I barely pass my last two classes my GPA won't change.  I should still do some more learnin' though, eh?).

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Cafe Rio Collaboration

There are a lot of different Cafe Rio "copycat" recipes out there on the interwebs.  So I did a little lot of looking around to find the most common, most highly rated, or just plain best looking versions of our favourite Cafe Rio dishes.  If you haven't had Cafe Rio, make sure you hit one up if you're ever near one! In my opinion, the best thing is a Sweet Pork Salad with black beans and lime cilantro rice.  The Sweet Pork Burrito with medium sauce and black beans takes a close second.  With the recipes below, you can makes either!  If making your own tortillas seems like overkill, I recommend at least buying uncooked ones and cooking them in a skillet before you put your food together :)

Sweet Pork Barbacoa

  • 5-6 lbs pork ribs or pork roast
  • 1L coke or Dr. Pepper (not diet! We tried both coke and DP, and I can't tell the difference. You don't use all of it, so cans work too, but liters are usually cheaper)
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 1/2c white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 7oz can chilies in adobo sauce
  • 6oz red enchilada sauce (I used medium)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
Put the pork, 1/2c of the brown sugar, 2c pop, and enough water to cover the pork halfway in a crockpot and cook on low overnight. In the morning, drain the liquid, and trim and shred the pork.
Remove the chilies from the adobo sauce. Rinse with some pop to get all of the sauce off.  Discard the chilies and combine the sauce with the rest of the sugar, garlic, enchilada sauce, spices, pork, and enough pop to mostly cover the meat.  Cook on low for several more hours (at least long enough to finish cooking, but the longer you cook it the more tender the meat is.  We just leave it in the pot until church is over/the rest of the food is ready :)  If it seems too watery, cook for 30 minutes uncovered to evaporate some liquid.  Serve with a slotted spoon.
Note: This works with chicken too, but you don't need to marinade it! Just cook the chicken with the 1/2c brown sugar, pop, and water for a few hours, and then drain/shred/cook with the other ingredients for an hour or two. 

Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 15oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1T lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2T fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4t cumin
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Cook garlic slightly.  Add rice, 1t lime juice, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.  Cook on low for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Combine 1T lime juice, sugar, cilantro, and cumin and pur over cooked rice, fluffing with a fork.

Cilantro Black Beans
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4c minced onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 1/4c tomato juice
  • 1T fresh chopped cilantro
Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Cook onion, garlic, and cumin.  Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low until heated through.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
  • 1 packet traditional ranch dressing mix
  • 1c mayo
  • 1c buttermilk
  • 2 tomatillos, husked and minced
  • 2T fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1T lime juice
  • 1T onion
  • 1/8t chili powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

  • 3c flour
  • 2t baking powder
  • 1t salt
  • 4T shortening
  • about 1 1/4c warm water
Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in the fat.  Add water gradually until dough is soft but not sticky.  Knead for several minutes. Break into 8 equal sized balls.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit about 10 minutes.  Roll very thin (about as thin as you can get it!) and cook on both sides in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat.

Serve with chopped lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, or whatever else you want.  

This is the only picture I have in Cafe Rio.  Baines and I were having a moment after the Holi festival back in 2012. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Silly things.

  • Sometimes when I talk about running/races on facebook statuses or on my blog, I feel like there is just an awkward silence of "what the heck is wrong with you?" because nobody says anything. Or they say "what the heck is wrong with you?".
  • I am incapable of singing/listening to All Creatures of Our God and King without thinking about Mr. Bean. 
  • Our house is cleanest on the days I have to work on papers or study for tests (an excellent form of procrastination because you can actually trick yourself into believing that it's something important enough to procrastinate with).
  • I also paint my nails most often on days I'm supposed to be doing homework.
If this hand looks bad, you should see the other one
(the one I painted with the non-dominant hand)
  • I HATE some of the things I see pinned on pinterest-- specifically, some of the fitness/exercise/weight loss related things.  I know people just mindlessly pin hundreds of things, but I hope people know that some of it is total BS. Here are a few of the ones that really get under my skin:

    • There is no such thing as "spot reduction".  Ex: 5 easy moves to give you skinny thighs quick! You can build muscle in specific places, but you can't lose fat in specific places. No matter how many crunches you do, your stomach will not get smaller.  You have to lose fat to "unveil" muscle, and the places you lose fat/how easy it is to lose fat/how quickly you lose fat is different for everyone.  My thighs hold on to fat, and I would probably have to be at a dangerously low weight for them to be "skinny" because I will first lose all of my fat from my upper body first.  Some people will forever have tummy fat.  Or upper arm fat. And it's normal (and healthy and ok) to have fat.
    • "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".  This is a quote from a model who was in the depths of an eating disorder at the time she said that.  The connotation seems to be eating vs. appearance, food is bad, you shouldn't enjoy food, or some other disordered thinking that is not true.
    • Foods that are calorie dense aren't necessarily unhealthy. Foods that are low calorie are not necessarily healthy. For example, peanut butter is not evil.  It's very calorie dense and has a relatively large amount of fat in it, yes, but it's fantastic in moderation.  With a piece of toast and banana? Pre-run meal superstar.  An entire jar eaten on a box of oreos? Maybe not the best.  Then you have those 100 calorie snack packs and everyone thinks they're fantastic because they're "only 100 calories"! Welp, you can make your very own 100 calorie snack packs of solid Crisco if you put it in the right portion sizes.
    • Of course you will lose weight if all you do is drink lemon juice and vinegar and water for three days.  Then you'll start eating food again and gain it all back.
  • I have extremely horrible allergies right now, and I'm really drugged up, and I'm really sorry if I offended anyone with the above pinterest talk (because I know people are really passionate about pinterest).
  • Sorry for pinning dogs all the time.  I can't help myself.  Like I mentioned before, I browse on a regular basis and I have a collection of my dream dogs to torture myself with because I can't have one right now ;)
  • I have proof that I'm really out of it over allergies/drugs and the like.  On Saturday night I was feeling super crappy and had a hard time falling asleep.  Sam was long gone before I finally conked out.  The next morning Sam got up before me and found our huge crock pot full of soup.  I guess I had gotten up while in a druggy/sleepy state and made a ton of soup.  With a LOT of mushrooms in it.  It was decent.  I'm just glad it wasn't super fantastic because I would be ticked if I couldn't remember how I made it. 
The time I made soup in my sleep,
AKA: the time I wasted a lot of vegetables.