This week I'm thankful for a couple chilly nights so we can turn on our fireplace at the house. I love having a fireplace and I'm thankful for the opportunity to put it to good use!
I'm thankful that Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away!! I've said before that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I can't wait to have tons of turkey and delicious food and spend time with my family. My grandparents are coming into town as well which I'm really excited about!!
I'm thankful for my running legs. They have held up for me this year and I'm thankful that they are healthy and ready to carry me through the 13.1 miles on Sunday.
Lastly, I'm thankful that Sarah will be here tomorrow! She is flying down from NY to run the race with me. I am also thankful for my other friend Sarah who will be running with us! It's always so wonderful to spend time with good friends and share triumphant memories like those we will make this weekend!
So I LOVE potatoes. Any way. And any kinds. I love regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. I loved mashed and baked and seasoned potatoes. I love potato chips and sweet potato chips. Basically, when it comes to potatoes, my Irish side shines through. Of course this means we have to have AT LEAST 2 potato dishes on our Thanksgiving table. Here are two of my favorite.
1 5 lb. bag of yellow potatoes
1/2 c. milk
1/2 stick of melted butter
salt/pepper to taste
Boil a large pot of water.
Cut the potatoes into fourths so they cook easier.
Put potatoes into pot and allow to boil until soft and easy to mash.
When soft, transfer potatoes into a large bowl and pour milk and melted butter over the top.
Mash until desired consistency. I like to have mine a little chunky like the picture above, but some people prefer to whip their potatoes. It's completely up to you.
Serve with your favorite type of gravy (mine is brown gravy!).
Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Place sweet potatoes in a buttered 2-quart baking dish. In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredients; cook until mixture boils. Pour over potatoes; bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until hot and nicely glazed.
Easy glazed sweet potatoes recipe serves 6 to 8
Candied Sweet Potatoes
(My personal favorite)
- From AllRecipes.com
Sooo I joined Pinterest yesterday. And now I'm hooked. It's amazing how something so seemingly simple can keep your attention for so long! I LOVE IT. But now it's completely distracting. I figured I'd share some of my new favorite pins with you!!
Everyone goes through stressful times in their lives and at that moment, it feels like the whole world is crashing down on you. You feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and you want to cry out, "WHY ME?? Don't people understand how much I'm going through?!" And at that moment, not a single person seems to truly understand the stress you're undergoing.
The thing is, you're going to make it through. And you're going to be a little stronger at the end of it. And next time, you'll look back at what you went through and either think, "That really wasn't so bad" or you'll think "Damn, I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was."
I'm not going to lie, I've been there. I thought the entire world was after me. For some reason, bad things seem to come all at once and sometimes, I don't know how I'm going to get on. But I do.
I guess you're wondering what made me start on this tangent. It's just a couple things that I've noticed lately and have made me reflect.
For example, I have been out of college for 3 1/2 years. During that time, I've worked jobs that required 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Some that have required me to be on call 24/7 with no regard for my needing sleep at 3am or to be with my family on holidays. I've also gone to law school and been compared to my peers on a daily basis and given reading assignments of up to 300 pages/night while taken 16+ hrs/week of classes. And those are only my professional/educational experiences since undergrad.
And I have to laugh a little when I see undergrad students complain about how much work they have to do. How their teachers pile on so much work and don't they realize that "their class isn't the ONLY class students are taking?!" I mean, I've been there and I understand that at that moment in a person's life, it seems so impossible to handle four college classes with midterms and finals and papers due. But looking back on it, I wish life were that simple again.
And let's not forget hardships. Life is hard. I've had my share of lost friendships and bad relationships. But I've also lost friends to horrible car accidents and never gotten to say goodbye. I'm currently struggling with Carrie's battle with cancer. And there are plenty of other life events that have come along. And each time, they feel like the biggest thing on earth. Especially when you are expected to live your life. You're expected to show up to class or work and go on like nothing has happened. And it's hard. But life goes on. And after it is all over, you know you can survive it.
I'm not pretending to be wise and experienced. Yes, I've had my share of hardships and losses and near losses, but I've also been blessed. And I know my life isn't nearly as hard as the person sitting next to me or down the row. I've also learned that once I get through this stressful point in my life, I'll be a little stronger. I'll be able to handle the next big thing that God throws at me. But I have faith. I have faith that it will all work out. And I know the world doesn't revolve around me. And I have faith that I'll be stronger for the next stage in my life. I mean heck, I don't even have kids yet! I KNOW life will get harder in the next few years. But I say, bring it on.
I'm running my half-marathon on Sunday and I'm a little nervous. I didn't prepare like I should have so I'm hoping things go ok!! I mean, I've done a few long runs (including the 15K I ran two weeks ago and a 6 miler right before that, and a few 5 milers) so I think I'll be fine with the distance. I'm just worried about my stamina. Things have been a little stressful for me recently so running hasn't been my number one priority.
At this point, I have three goals in mind:
1. Finish close to the same time as my last half - 2:40
2. Don't get hurt! (Wasn't as successful with this goal last time)
3. Have fun.
Since the race is in 6 days, it's a little late to worry about it now. Instead, I just need to prepare myself mentally and physically (like eating right) for the race. Here are a couple articles from Runners World that I'm finding helpful.
I need to make sure I taper my time this week. I ran an easy two miler with Max yesterday (his first run on the leash! I was so proud!! This article gives a run-down of how to taper the last couple weeks before a run and what to keep in mind the last week so you are most prepared for the race.
And this article gives some last minute tips about how to make sure you are prepared on race day. Since the race starts at 7:30a.m. it's important to be prepared before-hand so there is nothing to make you late the morning of the race. This article gives common pre-race mistakes people make that can make race day a little more stressful and less exciting.
We get an extra hour this weekend!! Don't forget to turn back your clocks at 2am on Sunday morning!
I love turning back my clocks because it means an extra hour to sleep on Sunday and a little more time to get stuff done. It's amazing how much of a difference one hour makes this time of year.
I'm also excited to have more light when I head into work in the morning. Since I get to the office a little before 7 everyday, I usually end up walking to work in the dark. I'm looking forward to having daylight when I get downtown in the morning.
What are you planning to do with your extra hour this weekend???
I feel like the little black kitty getting support when I need it :)
This week I'm so, so thankful for all the support and love we have gotten during the hard times with Carrie. She has had someone by her side 24 hours a day and she is so lucky to have such a great support group around her. And I'm grateful for my friends and family who have been praying for her and for us. I'm thankful for the sweet, sweet messages I have gotten from you all supporting us and letting us know you are there. I'm so blessed to have you in my life and Carrie is so blessed to have such love and support. Thank you to EVERYONE. (I wish I could list out a personal thank you to everyone, but there are so many of you!!).
GINGERBREAD LATTES ARE BACK!
I LOVE gingerbread lattes. They are my favorite holiday drink (even over pumpkin spice lattes!). When I went down to Starbucks this morning, I was so excited to order my first gingerbread latte of the year! I don't know what it is about the sweet and spicy flavor of gingerbread, but it makes me happy :) What a wonderful way to start the morning!
The cold front that came through last night. That means I can pull out more of my fall clothes!!
I am excited to wear a scarf and blazer this season! There's something about dressing up a pair of jeans with a blazer and a warm scarf.
Look how great Jessica Alba makes the scarf/blazer/jean combination look!
There are so many fun fall combinations. I hope the front lasts a little while!!
I'm thankful that I work downtown. I know most people loathe working downtown but I actually love it. I worked here a few years ago then on the outskirts of town and I couldn't wait to get back to the downtown working life! There is so much going on and I love the tunnel system down here! I can go downstairs and get anything I need! Starbucks, lunch, shoe repair, optometrists, doctors. Everything is at your fingertips! The best part is that you don't even need to drive into town! Our Metro system is amazing so you can ride into town and then walk anywhere you need!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It always has been. I LOVE food and I love that this holiday is all about thanking God for what you have while celebrating with friends and family. Every family celebrates Thanksgiving a little differently but food is always a major part of the day.
Since October was "pumpkin recipe month", I thought I'd dedicate November's Wednesday blog posts to Thanksgiving recipes. Most people have turkey (or in my best friend's case, steak) to celebrate Thanksgiving, but each family makes the dinner their own by including sides that have become family traditions. In my house, the sides are what make the meal. I'm going to share some of the foods that make my Thanksgiving so special!
Green Beans Almondine
1 lb. fresh green beans
4 oz. slivered almonds
3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves minced garlic (we are Italian so we like a lot of garlic)
First, toast the almonds in a skillet till they are a little brown. Halfway through, you can add the garlic so it begins to cook.
Next, add the green beans and olive oil. Stir every once in a while to make sure the green beans don't start to stick to the pan. Let cook until green beans are cooked thoroughly. Then serve!
I don't like canned cranberry sauce. It's too sweet and too jelly-ish for me. Instead, I love to make my own cranberry sauce (I've mentioned this before). Here is my favorite recipe!
1 pkg. whole cranberries
1 medium orange diced
1 c. sugar/sugar substitute
1-2 oz. orange liqueur or brandy
splash of orange juice if necessary
Combine ingredients and boil in a pot stirring frequently. Allow to simmer until cranberries have boiled to a soft consistency. You will hear a "pop" as the cranberries get hot. Stir often.
Hey Everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! How did you all spend it??
We went to bed at 7:30 last night so, sadly, we missed any trick-or-treaters that may have come by the house.
We were exhausted from the weekend and as soon as we sat down to eat dinner, we realized how much we needed sleep.
Friday afternoon we went up to Husband's home town to visit Carrie at the hospital. She has taken a turn for the worst and it doesn't look as if there is much time left with her.
We spent most of the weekend looking after her girls or hanging out at the hospital waiting to see if we could catch her awake enough to acknowledge our company.
Saturday, she slept most of the day. We took Madalyn and Avery (her beautiful daughters) and tried to keep them occupied while Greg, Carrie's husband, spent time with her. Saturday night, Husband's mom had hospital duty so she and J.T. (Husband's brother) spent the night at the hospital while Greg, Husband, and I took the girls to a fun little Halloween Party. It was such a blast! We all had fun even though it was a party for 5 year olds!
Sunday we spent most of the day at the hospital but Carrie didn't stir all day. I began to feel bad that I couldn't say my goodbyes to her, so we stayed an extra night and I got to hold her hand for an hour yesterday morning. She was a little more alert when we were there so I got to tell her that I love her and tell her a little about the weekend with her girls.
We drove home in the early afternoon in a daze. It's so hard to see someone you love suffer like that. She is Husband's cousin but also the closest thing I have to a sister-in-law. It hurts to see her in pain and it's so hard to see someone so young say goodbye to their children and husband.
I have never seen cancer attack a loved one like this, and I really just how horrible it is. After seeing her, I want, more than anything, for her to stop suffering.
For those of you who have been praying, I am so grateful to have your thoughts with us. Now, I just pray that she can stop hurting - no matter what that means. Keep up the prayers. Lord knows, she and her family are going to need it.
Loving and learning a little more each day.