Sometimes it seems like the Universe is stacking up blessings at your feet. They are usually disguised as everyday ordinary occurrences, or opportunities to spend more time smiling. Like this weekend, for instance. Friday the King and I spent the evening with our friends Jacob and Cathy. We had a wonderful dinner at Sushi and Saki (although, that is the last all you can eat sushi I attempt) and then we went bowling at the bowling alley next door. For those of you that know me at all, you know that “inconsistent” is usually the nicest thing you can say about my bowling abilities. But Friday I got my highest score ever, despite an incredibly slow start to the game. I have no idea how I pulled this off, but I guess bowling isn’t so bad…
Saturday, I actually slept in for the first time in months. I stayed in bed until almost 8:30! (well, after waking up at 5:30 and putting the dogs out, I went back to bed and stayed there.) Ed and I grabbed a couple of burritos and then went to help my WODsister move into her new place. It was a really pretty day, and it was nice to be outside together. Ed tends to stay inside when he is off. I guess when you work out in the sun all day, its not as much fun to just be outside. At least without a fishing pole.
After that we tried this new restaurant for lunch, Flamez. It was a little pricey, but OOOOHHHHH EMMMMMMM GEEEEEE! It was delish! They had a great selection of different kinds of burger patties to choose from, check it out:
Ed declared them to be the best burgers he has ever eaten. That is pretty impressive coming from him. I am not really a big burger person, so I had the Caprese sandwich, and let me tell you…. Yum! We had two meals and an appetizer and it was about $35.00, so not outrageous. Check it out if you are in the area.
I also got several of the plants I requested from Spring Hill Nursery, they were delivered on Saturday. The grab bag of full sun perennials ended up being four potentially large shrubberies (which is a word that never fails to remind me of Monty Python. “we are the knights who say Ni!”) We will see if these plants manage to live. We may have over fertilized the yard area a little when we were planning on putting in grass, so the soil there could be anywhere from perfect to highly corrosive. It should be interesting to find out which end of the spectrum it falls on.
After lunch we went to our friends’ house for a barbecue. These were the same group of friends that went with us to the lake, and so we had to have a corn-hole rematch. The new boards are a little slick, so it will take a little more practice for Jenn and I to take back the crown. But we will…. oh yes, we will. I am wondering how much the margaritas had to do with our less than killer scores. Maybe the jello shots were a factor. Hard to say.
Sunday morning was my first PiYo in the Park with my friend Angie teaching the class. It was great! What a nice way to start the day! Grisham Park in Northeast Albuquerque is a great little park with exorcise equipment and big shade trees. Its also right down the street from my house. It was a good stretch and a nice start to the day. And with that out of the way, the rest of the day could be spent in Father’s Day mode. I called my Daddy (who is the paramount example of fatherhood on the planet, thank you very much) and we talked about the US Open and yard maintenance, as well as his and mom’s upcoming visit. If only he were closer, I would have loved to see him for Father’s day.
But, the King woke up to a nice card, courtesy of yours truly. He also got to play his Xbox all uninterrupted-like while I was out at PiYo. Then he got homemade brunch, also courtesy of yours truly, although the cat helped (mostly by sitting in his lap.) After brunch he got calls from all of his kids, from his Auntie Jenny, his mom, and a really nice facebook post from a young man he essentially helped to raise. He also got a call from Jay, which was very sweet but I am not sure how he rates. On mother’s day, all I got was a text from my son, yet Ed gets a call…. hmmm….
Since both of the boys were working, we went to BWW to see them, and the girls also came by with their boyfriends. They got Ed his very own cheesecake and a really sweet card for Father’s day, and of course, several rounds of drinks for him to share with his kids. Needless to say, he was in heaven.
I even “let” him play more Xbox.
A whole lot of happy memories rolled up into two days, some good food, great friends, and loving family.
Its been a while. Have you guys missed me? I promise, I haven’t stopped being thankful for my everyday blessings, I just haven’t sat down to formulate them lately. Here is why…
After ripping out the yard, we had to do something. I expanded my garden to about three times its previous size. My Aunt Pat accompanied me out to Edgewood to check out Parker’s Farm. Here is a hint for you… It was AWESOME! They had great plants, a beautiful back yard garden, and friendly people. The drive out was deceptive. Mile after mile of windswept dirt and scrub, all the way to the gate, then once you turn the corner, BAM! Eden. Take my advice, go see for yourself
Box time has become a precious commodity to me lately. I have really started to see a lot of improvements in my physical strength, which of course makes me want more!!! I have really come to see the people at Cantina CrossFit as family, and the box as a second home. I am “this close” to achieving my first CrossFit goal. I have been trying to get to the point where I can do an unassisted pull-up. When I started, I was on the highest level of band (it basically was a slingshot) and I am now to a point where I barely need the lowest level band. I practice this one thing more than any other, and my callused hands are proof! I will get there, its only a matter of time. Then on to the next goal: the handstand pushup!
I spent some time in the kitchen, cooking dinners (some we shared with Justin, our #1 surprise dinner guest!) and even baked some cookies for the King. This recipe you see is one I made to share with the people at Cantina. Sweet Potato Recovery Bars. I wasn’t completely sold on these, but everyone else loved them! Give them a try. If you are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, these are chock full of healthy. And the smell of the coconut flour as I was sifting it… Seriously, the smell of the flour…. Heaven!
I participated in a fitness day and then a week later, in a walk and donation drive for care packages going to our troops. Both events were sponsored by my work. I love working in a place where they see my health as important. Both of these events were tied to our preventative health program, which helps us earn money to spend on doctor visits throughout the year. I was very pleased to see the number of donations that our “Walk for Warriors” had collected as well. I know that these little comforts of home make all the difference to our deployed heroes.
Over Memorial Day, we celebrated King Edward’s birthday by spending the weekend at the lake with friends. The guys did some fishing, the women did some relaxing, we all ate too much, and I got in a great workout by the lake and some sunrise yoga on the deck. Our “what-is-becoming-an-annual-trip” was a nice break from reality. The temps were pretty near perfect to be outside enjoying the world around us.
Tonight, we spent the evening with Ed’s family. His Aunt and cousins from California were in town, and we were able to celebrate his official birthday family style.
So, as you can see, it was a busy few weeks! And through each day I was happy, healthy, and engaged in the my world. I love Spring. It gives you a chance to reconnect to your own sense of awakening, and to find joy in everything from surprise garden spots, to callused hands, to the aroma of coconut flour. Everyday life is always full of small blessings, if you know how to see them.
Love hoops and happiness everyone.
This Friday I picked up my stepson after work and he spent the weekend with me. This is a joy I don’t get very often, so in terms of my journal of thankfulness, we could just stop right there.
But we won’t. Because we had so much fun together that there is a lot more to be thankful for. Jayden and I went and picked up food for dinner and when we got home, he and King Edward and I all made dinner together. That was a lot of fun! We had a nice dinner, watched a movie, hung out with the puppies and generally just enjoyed each other’s company for an evening. Jay and I talked about him coming to work with me next week, and about him coming to crossfit with me as well. I am always so happy to have him around. His presence makes the house feel more like a home.
Saturday, I intended to go in to work for about three hours, but I was there for five and a half, and could easily have stayed longer. I will be glad when this review is over and my stress level goes back to normal. While I was working, the guys ran around doing errands, getting lunch, and doing guy stuff. I came home to a bathroom door that would open and close without sticking and a toilet that flushed correctly (also a mess of sawdust, trash all over the kitchen which was strewn with dirty dishes, and dogs that still needed fed.)
We did a little more running around, went out for dinner, and then the old people were exhausted. The young person (who claims to be going through a growth spurt) ate non-stop from sun-up to sun-down. I can only sit in amazement and watch. I watched him eat three brats for dinner, then cheesecake for dessert, followed by half a loaf of sweet bread for breakfast, chased down with chili cheese dogs, potato chips, more cheesecake, huevos rancheros, half of my dinner, and still come home like he could eat. I just shook my head and laughed.
And then on Sunday, I took Jayden out for his first driving lesson in a standard transmission. He was a little overwhelmed at first, and very nervous. He stalled the engine a lot, which is normal. And he had a little panic moment when a truck drove behind us. But overall, he did great! Way better than I did on my first lesson. I think he will be fine with driving a stick, and I am so proud that he just kept trying, and never gave up. By the end of the first lesson, he was really starting to get it.
And now to finish up my homework, and head out to hot yoga. This has been a great weekend. Everything from making dinner as a family to passing down the driving lessons taught to me by my Daddy is a small blessing that I am grateful to have.
I am exhausted. I have had so much to do these last few days and so little time, it seems, to do it. But I had a really productive week and am feeling pretty good about a lot of my big rocks for the Spring. On Friday, I had my first lesson in Escrima at lunch. It was pretty awesome, actually. I am sure I looked fairly idiotic, but it was really cool to learn. I have always wanted to learn a form of martial arts, and this one seems like a good fit! We will see if I decide to stick with it.
Friday afternoon my kitchen and I had an “up-close-and-personal” chat. It has been behaving badly lately. If you know me at all, you know that I despise doing the dishes, probably more than any other job in the house. Despise it. Really. But since it stubbornly refuses to clean itself, I had to give in and spend two hours cleaning and mopping and organizing and generally making it a useful room again. We have decided to play nice, at least for a while.
Saturday morning, tragedy struck. The Keurig (yes the brand new Keurig) stopped brewing. Calamity! I had it packed up in its box and ready to return to the store so fast you would think I had done it by magic. Which I did, the magic of WHERE IS MY COFFEE!!!!!! Ed and I made a morning of it, went to breakfast, checked out the new Target, and then finally got him a new cell phone (which, I must say, has cut down on the swearing coming from his chair immeasurably.) After that, we got ready and met his daughter Amanda, and her cousin Danielle at the ball park to enjoy a little baseball and some good company.
Saturdays have a funny habit of turning into Sundays, which is the day you remember all the things you were going to try and get done over the weekend are still on your to-do list. Instead of going on the Sunday Run Club Cantina Crawl, with the people from Cantina Crossfit, I ended up sweeping, mopping, and dusting the living room and doing laundry (and burpees, I mean come on, its only day seven of the challenge) and then working to clean up the flower bed and plant some new living green things. The king and I even started talking front yard landscaping and porch revitalization. Hopefully we can keep on that momentum.
And while shopping for all things landscape, I found this little treasure at, of all places, Lowes! This is hands down my favorite barbecue sauce in the entire world. I fell in love with it way back in the 1990s, when I found it in a flea market in North Carolina. Every now and then I will come across it in some random store or another. This stuff makes the best wings on the planet, so if you happen into a Lowes, check and see if it is in the section with the grill accessories, you will thank me for it! Honestly.
And while I didn’t really go too crazy this weekend, I did manage to spend some time practicing a new hoop trick, hanging out with the dogs and the kitty, and had a nice weekend of doing things inside and out with my King Edward. Overall just enjoying life a little. What a great way to start off the Spring season, feeling like I am getting things done. I am even all caught up on homework! Well, for now.
A mixture of chores and treats is a great way to feel like you have accomplished a lot. Even small tasks feel impressive when you have checked them off the to-do list.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
This week has been particularly rewarding for me. I checked off lots of items on my work list of things to do. I made hummus from scratch, out of cashews (shut up, what?). And I hit several personal records for fitness. I also played with my sweet puppies, made a delicious chicken and roast vegetable bake for dinner on Wednesday, and broke out the Spring dresses for the first time this year. Add to that the fact that my Scentsy order came in and my whole life is smelling like a rose. Well, at the moment its smelling like Two Harbors, and that is even better! I even spent some quality time in my hoop.
How about that recipe for cashew hummus? Got if from the guys at Cantina Crossfit. For those of you who need to know how its made, here is the recipe. Get a pencil an paper, this is complicated.
Cashew Nut Hummus
1/3 cup cashews
1 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves
3 tbs lemon juice
Dash salt and pepper
Blend into a smooth paste. Eat
Did you get all that? Complex and overwhelming, right? Here is my only bit of advice, chop the nuts first. I had relatively chunky hummus because my little magic bullet wasn’t quite up to the job. Other than that, this was amazingly delicious! Need the picture? I didn’t take one of mine, you can thank me for that. It sort of looked like chunky peanut butter gone horribly awry. Here is one that looks appetizing.
As for those personal records in fitness, I ran my first uninterrupted mile and a half, and hit new weights for both the push press and the squat press. I finished my mile and a half in 16:41, not exactly Olympic speed, but pretty darn good for someone that swore off running in the third grade, just on principle. And my squat and push press went from 65lbs and 45 lb, to 75lbs and 55lbs respectively. I am constantly amazed at how much I am enjoying this CrossFit adventure. I keep trying to figure out how to explain it but I think one of my coaches said it pretty well the other day. A CrossFit box truly is a “No Judgement Zone.” You can be the strongest person there, you can be the newest person there, you can be the one with the most limitations, and everyone looks at you and sees “athlete.” No matter your fitness level, or how long you have been training, or what brought you in the door, they see an athlete, and more importantly they see a member of their team. When you walk into my box at Cantina CrossFit, you will be welcomed by everyone. You will get one-on-one training. You will have other athletes cheering for you and celebrating you and your successes. When was the last time you went to the gym and they talked with you about nutrition, hydration, stretching, warming up, resting, or heck, anything at all. So there you go, hot off the heels of a hellacious WOD, and still singing the praises of CrossFit. You have GOT to give this a try.
I also had the best time with my furry little babies this week. My Duke is now only slightly smaller than a horse. My Saki is starting to fight for her food, meaning the little dude is hoovering everything in sight. He has also reached a “jumping-at-Momma-and-trying-to-drag-her-to-the-floor” phase. He is slowly learning what “Go lay down!” means. Although he is still very fuzzy on “Stop jumping on me!” We are working on it. Saki continues to tempt my patience by finding the nearest patch of dirt to roll in, as soon as she seems dry, directly after her bath. You can see the results of her skill here. This was taken 6 hours after bath time.
And, of course, my sweet little Nikki angel (demon) is still waging a one-cat-war on the dogs that have infiltrated her home. She gets remarkably close to each of them and then spits and hisses and runs away. She does not slap at them. They are both much bigger than she is. Last night she got nose to nose with Duke and was sniffing at him in an almost friendly manner, until he made a sudden movement. Then she bolted halfway across the room. Its progress though. All three of the furry kids got new toys this week, although Saki has already eaten a hole in hers and she and Duke have both had their toys taken away. It is a difficult concept to teach a dog, that they have been grounded from their toys. Mostly because they can easily replace their toys with, say, Mommy’s Lululemon yoga shorts….
The sweetest smelling part of the week, no doubt, was the delivery of my Scentsy haul. I agonized over these scents for what was an unseemly amount of time. If you have never tried Scentsy, you do not know what you are missing. This is a hundred times better than anything you can get in the stores. The fragrances are fabulous and they last for ages! Its almost annoying, because you really want to try a million difference scents and the ones you have are still in your collection. This is one of the new ones that I got last night and it is amazing! Two Harbors is a lemon-lime with a vanilla amber twist. But what it really is, is a mixture of joy and gelato, with a touch of that awesome sherbet punch that your favorite aunt makes, but only on special occasions. Needless to say, my house smells like heaven!
So there you have it. All the wonders of a pretty happy week. A ton of tiny blessings and, best of all, the ability to recognize them and rejoice.
Happy Easter and Happy Passover to everyone!
I spent 48 hours doing homework. Ok, maybe I took a break to eat, once or twice. And maybe I went to the bathroom a couple of times. But for the most part, I spent 48 hours doing school work.
I did manage to get 5 quizzes done, (4) 100% and (1) 96%. I also wrote a five page paper, read two chapters, viewed countless PowerPoints and videos and ran more Google searches that any one person should have to do. But I am all caught up and off for a week of Spring Break! (Woo hoo!) Thanks goodness for my new Keurig! Coffee on demand!
I did manage to get the groceries bought, and make a beautiful dinner for Sunday night. I am not about to start the week without food!
This is a total steal from my box’s nutrition page. The guys at Cantina CrossFit posted a Pistachio salad that looked delish, you can find their recipe here. I found blackberries on sale, however, so I made a few changes to the recipe.
Ida’s Awesome Blackberry Salad
1 1/2 cups of spinach
1/12 cups spring mix
3/4 cup small yellow tomatoes, halved
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 fresh avocado
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
I added some light Italian to my salad, but you can do whatever you like to finish it off. It was super yummy, so give this one a try, or do like I did, and make a version of your own!
Hope you all have a wonderful week, remember that no matter how overwhelming your day is, there is always time to find some small item to be thankful for. Like blackberries on sale, or a supply of fresh coffee.