Happy Independence Day

Hello!

Just stopping in to say “Happy Independence Day!”

Last night, Farmer Ben and I practiced our right to grill and had a pretty delicious meal of chicken hot dogs, vegan beer brats (I’ve been really digging Tofurky brand sausages lately-Ben thinks I’m such a weirdo!), zucchini, radishes, scallions and hot sauce-dipped pineapple.

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Everything was delicious… but we probably went a bit overboard for two people (We also had cheese and baguette).

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Luckily, I have lots of leftovers to eat while Farmer Ben is feeding the masses today. I may have eaten some for breakfast, paired with some iced mango-black tea I found at Trader Joe’s earlier this week.

Honestly, I can’t complain about this day one bit… it started with delicious food and some quiet time before doing some work. That feels like a total win!

Anyway, remember to take a moment to thank those who serve and protect our freedom today!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

What are you doing to celebrate the 4th? 


Current Obsessions

Happy Thursday Friends!

I’m super excited because tomorrow is an unexpected day off for me! I’m planning on sleeping in (hopefully), a run and some good food! Unfortunately Farmer Ben is working ALL weekend (the joys of being married to a chef) but I’m sure I’ll be able to entertain myself.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done of these posts…so I thought I’d catch you up on the things that are currently all over my brain… Nothing sponsored, just sharing some things I am loving lately.

1. Kombucha. I’ve always liked it, but lately I’m really digging it…blame it on the season! I was super excited on a recent trip across the lake; Farmer Ben and I got to try a sour cherry variety on tap… it was DELICIOUS! I also picked up a bottle of Grapefruit ‘bucha and I’m a big fan!

A Nice Cold Pint of Sour Cherry Kombucha

A Nice Cold Pint…

2. Unspoken. I went to a concert in May and I’ve been obsessed ever since. The Unplugged album has been on repeat in my car for I don’t know how long… Bury the Workmen is one of my favorite songs (not on the Unplugged album but still a good one). Grace is another favorite. So goooood! I love the harmonies! Anyway, long story short, you should probably check them out!

3. Greens! Again, blame it on the season, but I am loving my veggies lately (especially giant salads that allow me to cover said veggies with other things…like bacon and guacamole).

Enormous salads are my jam

Enormous salads are my jam

These are lettuce wraps Farmer Ben made, filled with REAL crab salad, Sriracha mayo, pickled radishes, fresh herbs, pea shoots and other delicious things….

Delicious. Period.

Delicious. Period.

4. Book Club. I’ve always loved to read but had never been to a book club…I started my own book club back in November and it’s been such a gift! This month’s book is Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist and I am already loving it.

5. The News. Blame it on the recent prison escape a few minutes from my home, but I have been spending way too much time reading/watching the news lately! Not that I don’t like to be informed, but it’s been a bit of a problem as of late!

6. My job. I GET to do what I do and it’s awesome. I’m super blessed. The people (especially the teens!) that I interact with on a day-to-day basis continue to amaze me and inspire me. I know that it isn’t always sunshine and roses… but for the most part, I have a pretty fantastic job!  This Sunday, we are taking a group of kids to watch some fireworks… how fun is that?!

Your Turn: What are you loving lately? Anything I need to know about?! 

Happy Independence Day Weekend!


Finding Joy

To those who got this post prematurely, my apologies… I accidentally hit publish instead of save! Oops! 

Happy Almost Friday! I realize it’s been a hot second since I posted…and that’s kind of becoming the story of this little corner of the internet.

In all honesty, I’ve been writing…just not here. I fully admit that I have been selfish and kept it all in my red composition notebook. There is something very therapeutic about writing in cursive with blue ink in a cheap little notebook. It’s a feeling that you just can’t capture typing on a computer.

Anyway, I’ve been at the new job for a little over three months and it’s been quite the adventure. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had moments of discouragement and frustration… but I truly feel that this is where I am supposed to be. I’m learning to continually trust God in ALL things and to give everything to Him. This is huge for me, because I am pretty stubborn and like to do things on my own. But I’m learning.

My first week into this new venture, our head pastor died. Ben and I were pretty close to him, so it was tough in and of itself, but it was made even more difficult by the complications that come with losing your boss a few days into a new job. This is where that learning to trust God in ALL things comes into play. It’s been a lot to deal with and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what God’s plan is in this, but I know that He has one. So I’m trusting.

This whole experience has been quite humbling for me. I take a lot of pride in doing things well and knowing exactly what needs to be done when it comes to work… and there are days when that just doesn’t happen for me. Some days, I leave work feeling completely dejected and wondering if I did anything right…but God is still showing up. In all things.

I’ve had some wild and crazy things happen in the last few months… and I’ve been in situations that I never would have dreamed of. But through it all, I know that I’m not alone.

Even with the sadness and frustration, I’m still seeing good… I have a tendency to get caught up in negativity and to get down… and while I still have those days, I’m seeing His hand at work. Our pastor’s wife (who is also a pastor) preached an amazing sermon on the importance of celebration-of choosing JOY. So that’s what we are doing…finding joy in the small things, little by little, day by day.

So I guess this post is just a quick note to tell you that I’m still alive…. I’m still learning and growing and dealing. But I’m still here.

Even with the the grief and frustration of losing a mentor, we are still finding joy. We are choosing joy and finding grace.


New Adventures

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for about two and a half weeks. I’m still not sure what to say, so I’m just going to start typing.

Today is my first day at a new job, in a completely new-to-me field. This path is not something I ever would have pictured myself doing, but I like to think God had other plans. I look at the last post I wrote and this seems to fit that so well…

So I’m sure you’re asking, “Wait, new job? What?”

Yes. I quit my job about two weeks ago.   Yesterday was the last day sitting in my office, looking out the window at the steel yard and hearing the people I’ve come to know so well over the last 4+ years pass by. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I’m so excited for this new adventure and to try something completely different…but on the other hand, I’ll miss that place. It was comfortable and I loved my coworkers.

This wasn’t something I was planning. I wasn’t looking for a job…and about three weeks ago, I got a phone call. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I was told that they wanted me to work for them. It took me a few days of prayer, reading and torturing Farmer Ben and close friends with conversation about it before I decided to do it.

So what will I be doing?

My official title is Youth & Outreach Coordinator. So basically, I’ll be working with the teens at my church and overseeing community outreach/service project coordination. It’s going to be a huge challenge…but it is also a lot of things I really love to do.

The last year has been a whirlwind and I feel like Farmer Ben and I have had our world turned upside down, more than once! This is going to be another huge change, but God has a plan!

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Anyway, wish me luck!

Let’s catch up! What’s new?!


Confessions: Be Bold!

Hi Friends! Happy 2K15!

I hope you and yours are safe, happy and healthy today (and hopefully not nursing too much of hangover–from food or drink).

This year I decided to join the #365daysoftruth reading plan (reading the entire Bible this year) with the She Reads Truth community. I’ve never read the entire Bible  and felt today was a good day to start. I’ve got a lot to learn and fully admit that!

It is so amazing how God works; I’ve really felt it pressing on my heart and soul to be more of a sign that points to HIM and less of … Myself, if that makes sense. That sentiment has been a constant subject of prayer lately and I’ve been wondering exactly how I’m supposed to accomplish this.

Part of this morning’s reading on the 365 plan was John 1. Though I’ve read the book of John several times, the first chapter really struck me this morning.

Though John was a great man of God in and of himself, he always made it so clear that the world was waiting for someone far greater than him. He “was not the light; he was only a witness to the light (John 1:8, NLT).”

The whole chapter was the perfect place to start this journey that is the new year.

My favorite verse was John 1:23.

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NLT

A voice shouting in the wilderness! That is our purpose… Not to conform to this world but to stand out and to give glory to Him.

Wow! John empowered me this morning and though I’m still not entirely sure what this means, I’ve got these words to push me closer to that end goal.

That’s all for today friends, have a great day!

Be BOLD!


2014 Running Recap

Since I spilled my guts about my 2014 great racing plans gone awry last week, I figured that I should give you all a proper recap. Looking back, I kind of failed at posting race recaps this year.

Anyway, I did nine races this year…with the schedule I had, I am pretty proud of that! True, I didn’t have any crazy PRs or end up doing a full marathon, but it wasn’t too bad of a year after all.

Races of 2014 Past:

Race 1: Run to Chocolate. This was only a two mile race, but Farmer Ben and I had so much fun!
Time: 18:44

Race 2: Frostbite 5k. The day after Run to Chocolate… It was cold. REALLY cold. But we ran fast, had fun and our friends’ son ran his first 5k that day! Time: 29:01

Race 3: Doc Lopez Run for Hope (5k). I was supposed to do the half but after taking a spill at work and messing my knee up, I decided to drop down to the 5k. It turned out to be a pretty fun race and had amazing post-race food! I took second in my age group.
Time: 28:28

Race 4: Plattsburgh Half Marathon. This was my first (official) half marathon. My friend Kristy ran with me the whole race (even though she is faster than me), and I am so glad she was there! We were decked out in pink tutus and got a lot of encouragement along the way because of this wardrobe choice. My training for this was…okay. I did a few long runs. Regardless, it was great to spend a couple hours hanging out with Kristy, running all over Plattsburgh. The hardest part was running on the neighborhood streets behind the college, I don’t know why but that part of the course really messed with my head. Either way, it was a good race. Time: 2:28:30

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Race 5: Families Helping Families 5k. This was really well put together and had an interesting and flat course. I ran the fastest 5k I’ve done in a couple of years and ended up running into an old friend. Another plus? The proceeds went to a local charity.
Time: 27:34

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I stopped my watch late...

Race 6: Biggest Loser Half Marathon. Not gonna lie, this sucked. I wasn’t sure I was going to do this race but I ended up signing up at the expo the day before. The race took place shortly after the restaurant opened and I really hadn’t done any running (other than 4 or 5 miles here or there) in at least a month. We worked really late the night before and I woke up knowing that this was going to be tough. Kristy started out with me (we rocked our pink tutus again) but I immediately started feeling some stomach discomfort and told her to go on without me a few miles in. From mile five to six, I seriously considered not finishing but I refused on the grounds that I had paid to race. I ended up walking a lot and finished about 15 minutes slower than the half I had done a month before. As for the race itself, it was a let down in that I expected more people to be out watching/cheering, especially down town. Also, there were so many runners in the 5k but hardly any running the half.
The plus side is that I had a lot of people cheering me along the course and the volunteers were great!
Time: 2:45:49

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Race 7: Dirty Girl Mud Run in DC/MD. My friend Liz scored a Groupon deal on this race and I ended up road-tripping with our friend Kayla down to DC. This was my first obstacle run and first time running a women-only race. We had a good time.
It was rainy and cold…and muddy… I think the best part was being able to hang out with Liz and Kayla for the weekend, eating delicious food and drinking too much wine. The only negative aspect was the parking was super disorganized and the wait for the showers/changing area was outrageous.  Luckily, we aren’t that modest and ended up changing in the parking lot.
Time: I have no idea!

Race 8: Adirondack Ragnar Relay. Shortly after the mud run, I decided to drop down to the half marathon for Wineglass and Ben and I got an invitation to join our friend’s Ragnar team. Of course we said yes.

I chose the shortest leg but also ended up running a few extra miles for one of our teammates. Ben chose one of the longer legs and hit a distance PR. I was so so so proud of him! Unfortunately, he ended up hurting his knee.
Ragnar also showed me that I was not in that great of shape and confirmed that my decision to do the Half instead of the Full was the right one.
Time: various.

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Race 9: Wine Glass Half Marathon. I was excited to run this as it takes place where I grew up…but also pretty nervous…Part of this was my total lack of training in the months of September and most of August, and part was that I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself with racing and this was no exception. I was thrilled that Farmer Ben was (unexpectedly) able to join me on the trip down to my sister’s (where we stayed) and we got to spend some time with the family, toodling around my old stomping grounds. We hit up the race expo to pick up my bib and swag bag (champagne for the win!) and then spent the rest of the day with the family.

On Sunday, we woke up at an ungodly hour and my sister and Ben drove me to meet the shuttle to the starting line. There was some confusion with this and I breathed a sigh of relief because if I had shown up any later, I would have been one of the poor people who missed the last shuttle and weren’t able to race. This was the first time I had taken a bus to the starting line, luckily, I met some pretty cool people waiting. As my bus was one of the last ones to arrive the starting area, I had to sprint to the bag check and the porta-potties and barely made it to the start line before the gun went off. There were a lot of people!

Since I had already decided that I wasn’t going to race this, I just had fun, talking to the people around me and enjoying the autumn scenery. The weather was perfect.

I hung out with a couple of the pace groups, but ended up leaving them so I could be alone with my thoughts. I randomly ran right by my sister, Meghan, and Farmer Ben (unbeknownst to me, they would end up buying a new battery for my car because mine died…Thanks!) just before the 8 mile mark. This made me so happy, I can’t even tell you! Running down Market Street, toward the finish line, I passed my dad and was called a Bad Ass by another runner (she found out I had run it the weekend before).

The finish area was super organized and there was delicious soup, pizza, bagels and other goodies. I ended up eating half of the items and sharing the rest with Ben and my dad.

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I ended up running the race in 2hrs and 31 minutes… not my fastest time for 13.1, but I was definitely happy with it, considering my training.

To be honest, I got a little emotional, especially watching the first marathon runners cross the finish line (it turns out, I actually ran Cross Country with the winner!)…people of all abilities, running to complete the elusive 26.2 mile race… and I wasn’t even one of them this year! Then Ben told me that he was really proud of me and I almost cried.

I definitely enjoyed this race the most, from the hand-blown glass medal, to the volunteers and the finish on Market Street, it was really well organized and everyone was SO nice. My family being there definitely helped.
Time: 2:31 (I think)

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In short, It was not the year I had planned, but it still pretty fantastic!

Your turn: Favorite race? Greatest achievement in 2014? 


(Food) Scenes from a Christmas Weekend

Hi Friends!

Hope you had a lovely holiday… I know that I did, in spite of still having this pesky cough! I didn’t capture a lot of photos…

Here’s a quick recap:

We continued our tradition of Chinese food on Christmas Eve paired with some wine (thanks Uncle Mike & Aunt Terry!)

The Christmas day menu was as follows: delicious leg of lamb, along with spanakopita, tabouleh, a marinated mushroom salad and a roasted root vegetable soup on Christmas Day. Basically, we ate all day long…which is totally fine! Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling up to baking so we didn’t have any desserts other than a few cookies (thanks Ben & Ashley!) and some chocolate. And that was really okay with us.
 

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Even though I was really missing the family this year, it was really nice to sleep in and just relax—I ended up reading a book and a half (the half a book being really long!) and sipping on hot toddies for the long weekend.

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Other than some major relaxing, we went to see Into the Woods with a couple of friends. Who knew Chris Pine could sing?!

On Saturday, we drove over to Burlington to pick up a few essentials (like siggi’s and coffee) and skipped over to Trader Joe’s… I LOVE that store.

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We also discovered a new pizza place which was delicious…and we may have eaten all but two slices of the pie on the drive back across the lake… Whoops!

I made a batch of almond butter and a chocolate peanut butter (sweetened with stevia) in the ninja. Note to self: Next time either soak or roast the almonds first.

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Sunday was spent doing a lot of running around and church. Not gonna lie, it felt like a long day.

Monday we had small group and wound up at the bowling alley. Have I ever discussed my bowling skills? Yeah, I don’t have any. My friend Ashley tried bowling with her left hand and ended up tossing the ball into the next lane… it was probably the funniest thing I have seen in 2014!

Tuesday, I started my morning at the DMV…after work I went home and went to bed early!

 And here we are on Wednesday…At the moment, we don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve… which is okay. Ben is working for part of the evening… we will probably pick up some wine and snacks and call it all good! I’m hoping this cough goes away.. It is so last year!

What about you? Any NYE plans? Most embarrassing bowling experience? 


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