Sunday, November 29, 2015

My kitchen mojo

Guys, if there is one really, truly positive thing that our move has done, it is this:  it has given me some serious kitchen mojo.  I have always liked to cook and bake, but I tend to be somewhat mercurial about cooking, and in the past I let that "I don't want to cook" attitude take us right to the loving embrace of Chipotle.  But not anymore.

I will say, having a shiny new kitchen with pretty appliances probably helps a little.  It is TINY, but has decent storage, and almost enough counter space.

That picture is from moving day.  Like I said, it's tiny, but surprisingly functional.  So far in my tiny kitchen, I have made many things.  Things like:

Spaghetti Squash with homemade tomato sauce (our first home-cooked meal in our new home!)

Fresh artisan bread (no kneading required!)

Pesto BLT with roasted broccoli (on homemade bread)

 Sloppy joes on homemade rolls with roasted potatoes and green beans

Grilled apple and cheese sandwich on homemade bread (are you noticing a theme here?) with extra apple slices for good measure

Homemade pita bread for gyros and pita pizzas

Whole wheat bread I made yesterday to go with creamy chicken and rice soup.

Oh my goodness, the bread I have made lately!  I always used to think Ammon didn't like bread, but it's far more complicated than that.  Ammon LOVES bread, but only when it is baked fresh.  He doesn't do store bought, or 2nd day bread, he's all about bread I bake, or bread that is totally fresh from a bakery.  And now that I have discovered how easy and cheap it is to bake my own bread from scratch, we are eating more bread than I have in an awfully long time.  It's certainly a far cry from the low carb, high fat diets I have tried in the past, and I'm totally okay with it.  We're following a meal plan that's goal is to feed families real unprocessed foods, while still being budget friendly.  It is working for us.  The food is that throw-back food to the stuff I imagine that my grandparents and great-grandparents would eat with little complaint.  We're eating a lot less meat, and this one-time vegan really likes that.  All around, it's been a big win for us.

My love of baking is starting to transcend to a whole new level.  I remember this happened when I discovered the world of vegan cupcakes and cakes.  I could not get enough of making desserts.  This time, I literally can not get enough of making bread.  I have a pan of homemade cornbread drying out as we speak for cornbread dressing, which I'm going to stuff into acorn squash for dinner.  And if this is a sickness, I desperately hope there is no cure.  I'll take all of the homemade breads and goodies, please.  Ammon just needs to keep paying for my gym membership =).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Different goals for a different time

It took 4 weeks of healing, but last week I was finally able to get back to working out.  Woohoo!  That silly little cyst in my armpit knocked me farther back than I ever could have imagined.  Even now, I still have an open wound there, but it's managed by a band-aid, rather than the tender loving care of the medical team at Kaiser.  Oh, have I mentioned how much I love Kaiser healthcare?  I had it briefly in CO way back in 2007, and LOVED it.  It was an option through Ammon's work when we moved out here, and I was quick to jump back on the wagon.  A lot of people in CA are actually not big fans of the Kaiser model, but we love their integrated model of care, how streamlined everything is, and their focus on prevention.

My love of Kaiser is not the point of this post, though it is an interesting aside (I think).  The point of this post is that I'm doing things differently with fitness this time around.  It hit me last week that what I'm really all about right now is getting to a point where I can maintain a reasonable level of fitness throughout pregnancy.  I have little interest in doing races right now (even though we have a 5k tomorrow - it's just for fun!), or in chasing some unrealistic body-image expectation, like 6-pack abs.  I don't even care so much that my weight is a little up again.  I'm trying to make fitness something enjoyable and sustainable right now.  Which is hard for me, because those aren't words that fit into my view of working out.
Beckham approves of my new workout goals, and rewards me with cuddles post-run

Right now, all of this means that I'm chasing a crazy goal, just for fun with running.  I'm using this Zero to Running plan to work on building up to running for 30 minutes at an 8:00/mile pace.  I sure love Jenny Hadfield's plans because they're realistic and customizable.  I love one of the notes to this plan, which says to replace the "weeks" with levels, and keep at a level until you can comfortably complete the prescribed workout 3 times in one week.  Since I'm chasing a goal that is pretty big and unrealistic given my previous experiences with running, I anticipate that this will be a long-range endeavor.  So far, I'm on week (level) 2, and so I'm doing 1 minute intervals at and 8:00 pace.

I'm also making an effort to lift heavy-ish things twice a week.  I've always been fully aware of the many benefits that this can have for sport performance, but it just hasn't been a priority, because I hate it.  I hate being so sore that I have a hard time going to the bathroom.  I know other people love this, I just don't.  But I'm trying to come to terms with it, since it's such a beneficial thing.  I've found that variety is key here, and I haven't done the same strength workout twice since moving out here.  I'm also thinking about doing this 3 week challenge.  Even though it repeats workouts, it's only a few times, and it's a do-able time duration for me.  Plus, despite being a "booty" challenge, it makes a point of providing total-body workouts and being kind-of balanced, which is good.  Booty strength is a big part of running, and a nice booty is a big part of a happy marriage, so it's a double-win for me right now.

Proof I go to a gym, because I'm not sure anyone would believe me otherwise.

Also, if you don't believe me that a poppin' booty is good for marriage, go ask your man-friend. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recent thoughts

I keep wanting to blog, but then deciding that the random little things that I want to talk about can't round out to a good blog post without getting boring, or depressing, or straight up strange.  But I remember that sometimes, I used to just throw all of the random thoughts in my head out there list-style, and that seemed to fit the bill.  So without any further explanation, here are my recent thoughts:

  • We bought a new rug right before we moved out here, and I love it.  It's completely different from anything else we have, and I think that's what makes it so great.  It really highlights Gunner's Chocolate lab-ness too.
  • I always forget how much I love running until I have taken a break and I start over from scratch.  Something about working through running from the beginning stages really reminds me of what running does for me.
  • When I left my job at the Housing Authority, I really wasn't emotionally prepared to leave.  It has made the transition to my new job incredibly difficult.
  • The COO at my new company reminds me of Michael Scott from "The Office".  He's not a 100% ringer, but there are little mannerisms there that totally get me every time.
  • Trees should not still have green leaves in mid-November.  Get it together, CA.
  • I forgot how much I enjoy tax law and tax preparation until I started my tax class a few weeks ago.  Taxes are the reason I got into accounting in the first place, and it's completely re-affirming that I need to go into the tax field after I graduate.  I was debating some other paths, but there really is no more obvious path for me right now.
  • I feel really isolated and alone out here.  The people I work with are never going to become as close of friends as those I made at work in CO, and since I was out of commission with that cyst-issue for 4 weeks, I really haven't been doing anything that gets me out and meeting people.  
  • Probably as a result of feeling so lonely and isolated, I really miss blogging, and the amazing community that I used to have in blog-land.  Does the blogging community exist anymore?  Or did it disappear like a rainbow unicorn?
  • One of my cousins that I have never met invited us for Thanksgiving.  Her parents will be there, and her dad is the guy who dressed up as a farmer for our wedding.  Do you remember that story?  Anyway, my Aunt and Uncle are awesome, so we will be going.
  • Blogger is being stupid right now, and only inserting images above the bullets.  I just tried to insert a picture of my uncle as the farmer 6 times, no dice.  If I was a real blogger, I would care more, but let's be real... those of you actually reading this anymore have seen the picture before.  It's nothing new.
  • The produce we are able to get out here is unreal compared to what we got in Colorado.  And the prices!  Everything is so much better when you can actually get it locally.
  • I agreed to be the "wellness champion" at work for the wellness program.  The program is pre-designed, and it's super easy to implement.  This is awesome, because I just want to do all of the fun stuff associated with wellness programs anyway, like organizing water drinking challenges, healthy snack pot-lucks, and fun runs.
  • We had a black IPA last night that neither Ammon or I liked at all, which is sad since black IPA is my favorite style of beer.  It was ridiculously strong, too:  One pint knocked me down pretty hard.
  • I think we're finally ready to get serious about having a baby.  I know I am... for the first time in a long time, I'm not all that jazzed about finding a race to train for, I just want to work out to be balanced.  This is a strange feeling for me.
What random thoughts have you had lately?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

6 years

 It's hard to believe it, but 6 years ago today, a cute boy asked me to get a burrito with him after work.  I didn't want to go, I was tired from working all day and I needed to get home and feed my cat.  That cute boy convinced me to go anyway.

The first ever photographic evidence of our relationship.  Look how young we were!
Back when I was younger, it turns out that I went on a lot of first dates, and I never knew that they were dates.  Dates with boys I really liked, and thought that they were way out of my league.  If we're being honest, it didn't even cross my mind that I was going on a date with him, because he was a cute boy, and it was just a burrito, you know?  Also, his work uniform made him look like he was 12, so I was entirely unsure if he was even 21 yet.
Well, after finding out that not only was he over 21, that he was older than me, one major issue was overcome.  And then I saw him in real clothes, and realized that the cute boy was a handsome man.  And somehow, despite better judgement, he agreed to keep dating a clueless girl who never knew when she was being asked out.

And 6 years later, I'm still the clueless girl, and he's still the cute boy.

We've both changed in the last 6 years, maybe even more than our hair has changed.  But the flutters I get over that cute boy that I get to date haven't changed one bit.  I'm glad that he was my last-first date, even if I was entirely unaware of the circumstances.

And tonight, we'll go get a burrito, because that's just what we do.