Tuesday, April 26, 2011

so long la jolla...

yep.  after three years the time has come.
we must together bid you so long la jolla.

ams and i ran the la jolla half for the third time earlier this month.
it is the hilliest half we have ever run...
even hillier than san francisco
{oh my gravy, how could that be?}

each year while we dine on tacos after the race at fidels,
we promise-stipulate-swear-vow
we will NEVER run that half marathon again.

welp...la jolla...this year we are serious!
you will miss this most precious mother-daughter-matching duo
next year will be a very sad year for you.
you can beg-plead-desire-petition....but nope.
we are sleeping in...we will not be running your race again...EVER.

cheerio la jolla.

p.s.  thanks for the pretzel bag!  the best part about the day...
except of course for lunch with ams and jason at fidels.

p.p.s.  your race "rent a cops" took their jobs WAY too seriously.
we were running because we wanted to...not because we needed to.
we are all respectable-upstanding citizens...not criminals.
you need to relax-chill-calm yourselves.

p.p.p.s.  you do have the best bounty of fresh sliced oranges.
this is endearing but not redeeming.

so long-so not sorry!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

learning to listen...

there was a precious boy in my class this past week (actually there were about 14 precious boys), but one that touched my heart just a bit more than the others. i will call him joey.

joey is hearing impaired.  he wears hearing aids in both ears and i wore a "assistance device" called a phonak like this:

{it hooks on my pants pocket and the microphone clipped to my sweater}
joey's dad picked him up the other afternoon and i was chatting with him.  he was explaining joey can hear me without the device, but it helps amplify the higher pitched frequencies and "drowns" out the unnecessary background noise.  he went on to explain shortly after joey was born, the doctors realized he has some hearing deficits and was fitted with aids right away.  for the first couple of years joey didn't wear them as it was a fight each morning to get them in his ears...can't imagine trying to get my jeremiah to wear hearing aids at two-i could barely get his clothes on him & shoes were optional many days!  as joey got older it became less challenging and the more joey wore the aids the more he realized he was missing certain sounds.  he now eagerly wears the devices so he doesn't miss a sound.  dad went on to say joey is delayed in his hearing and speech because so much of his world was quiet for the first couple of years.  he lacked the exposure to the sounds of the world.  now that joey wears the devices all the time, he is quickly catching up to hearing and pronouncing the sounds he had missed.  he also said, joey will probably not need the hearing aids as an adult, as he will be "trained" to hear and speak the sounds. 

last night after jeremiah was tucked into bed, i began to think again about joey and his "ears".  it reminded me of a verse in 1 Corinthians 13..."when i was a child, i talked like a child, i thought like a child, i reasoned like a child.  when i became a man, i put my childish ways behind me".  joey will become a man and put his "childish" hearing devices behind him.  i then began to wonder about the childish devices i still depend upon even though i am an adult.  i follow Christ-trusting and believing He has a perfect plan for me and my family...but i often can only hear my voice or the noise of the the world and am unable to hear the "higher frequency" of God's discerning voice.  i am easily distracted and unable to drown out the worldly chatter.  i wonder if i could get some hearing aids like joey's and have God wear a phonak so i can hear him better...then i realize i do have a hearing aid.  it is the Bible.  and God does have a phonak.  it is prayer time.  what worldly chatter is distracting you from the higher frequency voice of out loving Father?

off to hike a mountain...iron mountain.  photos later!

Friday, April 22, 2011

i've been on a timeout...

dear friends...
all four of you.
i have been neglectful this week-so sorry. 
21 precious souls have distracted me from my daily life.
i am a elementary teacher by "trade". 
my "classroom" for the past 15 years has been my home.
this sept. i decided to "guest" teach at jeremiah's school.
just a couple days a month...just for some "fun" money.
well, after the last 8 days of teaching, i will be having more fun than i had anticipated.
21 eager kindergartners...thanks for the reminding me how exciting learning can be.
i am blessed to touch your sweet lives for a few days...you have touched my heart
and remind me why i went to college so long ago.

i am eager to walk the floors of nordstrom with my teaching money tucked in my wallet! but first i need a restful night of sleep...

Monday, April 18, 2011

true confession...i'm a gawker

so amber and i ran the la jolla half marathon {13.1 miles} on sunday...i will write more on the actual race tomorrow, but i would like to reminisce about the outlandish pre and post-race activities and outfits we were so delightfully entertained with...

{disclaimer:  i am not stacy london and i am sure i have visited starbucks, shopped for groceries, and walked jeremiah into school in "what not to wear" kind of outfits...however, there are some basic running behaviors and accouterments that should NEVER happen}

1. never wear white shorts-when you run 13 miles, you sweat.  white becomes transparent by mile 5, even on the chilly days.

2.  men should also steer clear of white t-shirts...there seems to be a nipple chaffing issue with some men, and seeing two bull's eyes at chest level crossing the finish line looks like you have traversed a battlefield not ran 13 miles.  i have been told a dollop of vaseline takes care of this issue...thankfully i don't have personal experience.

3.  booty shorts...you have to be booty-less to wear these.  if you are like me and booty-licious, this garment has a way of creeping and that is very unattractive, especially for those who are running behind your behind.

4.  yoga pants + sports bra = style schizophrenia.  if it is cool enough to wear pants, you need a top that covers your belly. 

5.  bike shorts, swim trunks and bathing suits are for biking, swimming and bathing...NOT running. 

6.  make-up...this bewilders my simple mind.  i have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get dressed and drive to the race.  i have zero time for "putting my face on"...as my granny called it.  additionally, i would sweat it off and look like the lead actor in a horror movie by mile 3.

7.  knee socks...these were very "in" when i was in elementary school.  girls were also not allowed to wear pants or shorts to school in my day.  ladies, lets liberate ourselves and burn those knee socks.  expose those calves!

8. pleated skirts...those need to stay on the tennis court or cheer mat or back at catholic school.

9.  do NOT wear the race t-shirt during the run.  it is a bad omen.  you are not a "finisher" until you finish.

behaving badly...
1.  stretching while in the pre-race "line-up".  there simply is no room for this and you are encroaching on someone's personal space.
2.  victory arms at camera locations along the course...you are not working it hard enough if you have time to pose for the cameras.

3.  beeping pace watches...it is highly irritating listening to your *beeping* watch.  and does it really help you keep your pace.  it seems there should be a natural cadence to your stride without audio assistance.  i don't even understand the need for a garmin....even if you are the lead runner{which is highly unlikely since there were 7,200 of us participating}, the course is marked and you will find your way to the finish line.  follow the runners in front of you. 

4.  peeing...it is not acceptable to stand in the pre-race crowd and pee out your pant leg.  gentlemen, this is just wrong on so many levels.  peeing in the bushes-do you realize we all can see you-especially you ladies that are exposing your bums.  just because your back is to us does not mean we don't see you. 

5.  spitting and nose blowing with no regard to your fellow runners.  goodie bags await us at the finish line.  no one wants to take any of your "race course goodies" home with them.  be aware when you blow or hawk.

6.  warm-up running prior to the start of the race...save the energy.  13.1 miles are awaiting you.

7.  affection at the finish line.  we are all perspiry and malodorous, lets not kiss and hug each other.

8.  sprinting the last .1 at 21 mph means you did not really run the first 13 miles at capability if you have the energy to burst past three people and carve 3.26 seconds off your time. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

dear pessimism...

dear pessimism-
i am not sure who invited you to settle in our nest.  i actually suspect you came uninvited when i accidental left the door open in hopes of warming our home a few years ago with some fresh springtime air...i didn't notice you for so long, but i realized this morning you have come and settled your ugly self in almost every room in my home.  i see toothpaste splatter on the mirrors instead of  seeing evidence of brushed and flossed teeth.  i see quilts in a heap on the family room floor instead of feeling warmth in knowing my family is using my creations.  i hear a stove screaming for me to make dinner instead of hearing the hum of the oven baking up some love for my sweet birdies.  i feel the irritation of sand between my bare feet and the wood flooring instead of feeling the joy of adventure hikes finding their way in to my home to celebrate.  you come to my side of the bed and tap on the mattress, waking me in the night, stealing my restful slumber.

pessimism, i done.  i am through.  today i am calling the "pess" control company and having them come and eradicate you from my nest.  you have been here far too long,  i crave your sweet, beautiful sister; optimism, to return.

dear "pess" control man...aka God.
i have lost sight of the goodness and grace you give me.
i apologize for allowing pessimism to settle in my heart-mind-nest.
could you please help rid of this nasty, uninvited guest?
he is putting a major damper on this party called my life
i love you-
mama bird

dear mama bird...aka my daughter
of course I can help. 
I have actually been sitting waiting and wondering how long it would take for you to ask.
prayer-time in my Word-a deep breath-focusing only on today.
those four little things makes pessimism antsy and he will quickly more on.
I promise...and I am a promise keeper.
I love you more than you will ever know-
Your Father God

Monday, April 11, 2011

simply sweet secret ingredient #2

i was stumped for the ingredient challenge...I didn't even know coconuts had oil.  low and behold, right there at eye level in the health food aisle of albertsons sat the jar begging me to accept the challenge...
i accepted & here it is...

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

1 cup of coconut oil {it was trickier to coax out of the jar than i had anticipated}
1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the coconut oil and the sugars until light. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda and salt in another bowl. With a whisk, stir to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
Finally, mix in the coconut and chocolate chips

Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes. They should be lightly golden on the outside but still look gooey on the inside.

Notes:  the recipe was one i found a while back on someone else's blog but i am not sure who's and when i went to the two i thought it was from, i couldn't find it...if it is yours, please link...i apologize ahead of time!

also, the cookies brown quicker than regular cookies.  the recipe reflects the adjusted time.  ams said it is because coconut oil has a higher heat threshold.  i have no idea but they were delicious {the perfect amount of crisp on the outside with a gooey inside-love at first bite} and i am sure marsha will love them tomorrow!

lastly, i froze half of the dough for another week.  did you know you could do that?  yep, i shape the dough into a long round bar {like pillsbury ready-made cookie dough}
double wrap in saran wrap, place in a ziploc bag and freeze.
just place in the refrigerator in the morning, bake as directed above and you will have warm homemade cookies for dessert with little hassle!  nope, i didn't invent the frozen dough idea either..."google" has so many answer.  in fact more answers than i have questions!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the prodigal son

last evening we celebrated aldo's {Peter's dad} 86th birthday.  it was an amazing evening celebrating with catherine-his precious wife of 60-something years, many friends and all of his children...there are TEN, including Peter, as well as all of us daughter or son-in-laws.  the evening took place in orange county so it gave peter and me an hour to chat on the way home.

peter spoke so honestly of the love his family has for him.  this pesky disease has left peter a broken and humble man...a far cry from the arrogant and boastful man i met some 27 years ago.  his perception and attitude toward his siblings was often fogged by his financial success.  his dear sweet family has always been warm-welcoming-loving to me.  over the years, i could see the "fog of arrogance" begin to clear and for peter to truly love and embrace his siblings.  peter said how joy-filled he was to spend the evening with his parents, brothers and sisters.  he continued on to say how forgiving they have all been of  his past boastfulness and the unconditional love they each have for him. 

it reminded me of the parable in luke of the prodigal son.  a young man runs off and wildly spends the inheritance his father gives him early.  once he has wasted away his fortune and is left feeding pigs, he humbly returns home and asks for his father's forgiveness.  the father is overjoyed with his lost son's return and plans a celebration.  the prodigal son represents those of us who have wandered away from God during our lives.  the father is God, joyfully waiting for us to return to humbly return to him.  he is ready to love and embrace us, forgetting our capricious behavior.

each of peter's brothers and sisters has been a source of strength and comfort during this challenge of lymes.  each has called-emailed-hugged-laughed-cried along side of us.  their actions and love remind me how the father treated his son upon his return.  each of them a godly example of unconditional love and patience and i am blessed to be a part of a family that lives and loves with grace.

can i ask...are you are the prodigal son that needs to humble return to our Father...or perhaps you are a "father" that needs to unconditionally welcome a lost child. God grace is free for the taking, we must just reach out and ask.

Friday, April 1, 2011

kale...two ways

So amber from "simply sweet life" posted a food ingredient challenge which was the perfect accompaniment to the Top Chef All-Star Finale i had DVRed. {and a BIG congrats to Richard Blais}

Kale Salad...{a new take on broccoli salad}

one bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
8 slices of bacon, crumbled {you can anything...with BACON and it will taste delicious}
1 cup sunflower seeds

the rich green of the kale complements the red grapes!

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

make dressing by placing the three ingredients in a mason jar, shake

place the kale, grapes and onion in a serving bowl.  toss with the dressing.  I didn't use the entire jar.
chill for a few hours so the flavors blend.  just before serving, add the bacon and sunflower seeds.

and the finished product!

 and the second way...
kale-bell pepper-pasta toss

8 ounces of your favorite pasta {i used whole wheat bowties}
one red bell pepper, chopped
one yellow pepper, chopped
one bunch kale, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
feta cheese, crumbled
fresh basil

prepare the pasta in boiling, salted water.  heat olive oil in a pan.  add garlic and saute for a few minutes.  add kale and peppers, saute until the peppers are soft.  toss the veggies with the warm pasta.  add feta.  season with salt and pepper.  garnish with the fresh basil.

monday morning quarterbacking...i would have added a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice to the warm pasta just prior to serving  {next time!}