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starting with a rant and ending with a happy friday!

Warning: rant ahead.

Can I just say that sometimes I really hate technology?  K, thanks.  Sometimes I REALLY hate technology.  For a long time I had trouble figuring out a good workflow for taking pictures, editing and uploading them and then saving them without overloading (read: sloooowing down) my computer.  Finally, a few months ago, the husband and I brainstormed and came up with a decent flow.  It was still kind of a pain in the you know what, but it was better than before.

Step A – Take photos
Step B – Remove card from camera and plug it into the camera using a USB camera card adapter
Step C – Open photos and immediately delete any that are not worthy of keeping.
Step D – Move all remaining photos to a folder on the desktop.
Step E – One by one, drag photos into Photoshop for editing.  After editing each one, save it to the same folder, but with a different name (I don’t want to lose my unedited raw images)
Step F – Upload the entire folder into Flickr, labeling it by date and tagging as needed
Step G – As soon as a few folders have accumulated on the desktop, copy them to a DVD and store in a safe place.
Step H – Delete photos from the desktop

Sounds pretty involved, right?  Well, that would be the reason why there are currently about twenty folders of pictures on our desktop.  I really need to take a day (or a week) and upload all of them to Flickr and then copy to DVDs.  But let’s get back to the reason why I hate technology right now.

So everything was going just fine until about a week ago when my camera card USB adapter stopped working.  Walmart special, people.  Apparently the only option of getting photos onto the computer without it is plugging the entire camera into the computer via the cord that came with it (which I’ve learned is not too good for the camera or the card).  The biggest problem with that method is that you can only import the photos through iPhoto, and iPhoto does not accept raw.  Which means I can’t edit using Photoshop. Bah.

On top of that, it seems that the husband nor I can get much service on our phones out in these parts.  So, any photos I take with my iPhone are essentially useless because I can’t get enough of a connection to email them to myself.

Anyway, I took some pictures earlier today with my dslr, and now I can’t even get them to upload through iPhoto.  The “import” button is grayed out and it won’t let me select it.  Needless to say, this post is going to be utterly pictureless.

That’s all.

———————–

This morning I went for a four mile run per my half marathon training, and it was a tough one!  Some runs are just that way.  I kind of felt like I was dragging the whole time, and my pace was up and down like a kid on a rollercoaster.  I finished in 40:52.  I got to thinking though, that when I have a super tough run but I stick with it and push through I probably do just as much or more for my training than when I sail through.  So score one point for building up endurance and mental power!

For lunch I poured 3/4 cup of Amy’s Vegan chili over a bed of greens with an apple (I’m on a huge apple kick right now!) on the side.  A spin off my current favorite easy lunch.  It was the first time I’d had the chili, and it was pretty good. Honestly the crumbled tofu in it was so similar to the consistency of ground meat that I almost couldn’t enjoy it.  I had to keep telling myself over and over again – it’s not an animal, it’s not an animal.

This afternoon I’m heading to the city to get a haircut.  A couple of people asked me about it recently, and for the record I am growing out my pixie cut…at least for the time being.  I’m trying to be really low maintenance and not get worked up about the bad “inbetween phase,” but as we speak there is a mullet inching its way down the back of my neck, and it must be reigned in.  Hopefully at my appointment today, I can get it cleaned up a little bit but lose as little ground as possible on the path to longer hair.  This will be my first time to get it cut since we moved, so I’m going to somebody completely new, which makes me a little nervous.  Cross your fingers for me!

The husband and I are going on a little date tonight.  My friend and fellow Okie, Amber, emailed me today, saying there will be live music at this cute little bookstore tonight.  So, we may stop by there.  We shall see how it goes.  Also definitely going to be stopping by BestBuy to get a new camera card reader, so tomorrow there will be lots of pretty pictures!  Spring has almost arrived here, and I’ve been doing my best to capture it.

And before I go – a few old pictures of our sweet baby just because I miss her so much.

her favorite spot – on dad’s freshly ironed clothes

second best to hanging her head out the window


Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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our very own pipes!

Good morning!

Today is another high fire danger day, which means that the wind is blowing about a hundred miles per hour (exaggeration).  So, like a baby I skipped my run, opting to have my cross training today instead of tomorrow.  I’m already kind of regretting that because my body is itching for a run, but there’s always tomorrow I suppose.  I’m going to try to start pushing through even on bad weather days because as I learned 2 years ago, it’s good to be prepared for bad weather on race day.

Anyway, this week marks 14 weeks in the countdown until we (are supposed) to get into our house.  We’ve had our meeting to finalize our plans, they cleared our lot, and as of yesterday they’ve put plumbing in!  I was so excited when we pulled up.  I always tell myself that there’s probably not going to be anything done because then there’s less disappointment if nothing has been…and it’s all the more exciting when it has!  Last week I went by and they had cleared the lot and marked off the perimeter of the house.  So excited to see the footprint of where we’re going to live, I took a little video.  Oddly, you have to click the link for the video to pop up in a different window.  Oh, and I get really awkward when I talk on camera.

housemovie1

housemovie2

It obviously looked a little different yesterday.  I can’t believe those are our very own pipes! heh.

So that’s the progress on our house.  We should be getting an appointment at the design center soon, so we can go pick out fixtures, carpet etc.  I’m so excited about that part of it, but also nervous because I’m not really known for being a good decision maker.

——————————-

As I mentioned yesterday, we have been spending a lot of time in OKC the last couple of weeks.  Which means that we’ve been eating out A LOT.  I’ve been around here more for lunches, mostly keeping it simple and vegan with some soup, a piece of fruit, some hummus and either pita bread or a few crackers.  This meal isn’t the most cost efficient lunch I could have, but it’s been nice during this phase of transition.  And it’s so good.  You guys know I’m a fan of simple meals.

Amy’s black bean soup, Flackers, hummus, apple

For dinner we’ve been eating at home some – mexican pasta, spaghetti – but we’ve also been trying out every new (to us) restaurant under the sun!  The other day we hit up a place called Lotsa Noodles that we’d heard a lot about from our favorite Stillwater barista.  The husband found a Groupon for it, and we got $16 worth of food for $8. Lotsa Noodles is exactly what it claims to be – nearly every dish is a noodle dish, and there is every type of food you can imagine from Thai to Cajun to Italian.  The inside has a pretty good vibe, but the menu is a little overwhelming for a first timer.  There are so many options, and the menu itself is electronic and kind of hard to read as it scrolls and flashes periodically.

After much debate, I ended up getting a Thai dish, which consisted of rice noodles, red bell peppers, green onions and sprouts all doused in a slightly spicy and ultra creamy peanut sauce.  The flavor was palate pleasing, but I was a little disappointed in the veggies – I could barely find them!  I guess maybe I should have expected that, but I’d rather have a lot of veggies and fewer noodles rather than the other way around.  Guess that’s why it’s called Lotsa Noodles instead of Lotsa Veggies.  It was also a pretty heavy dish, which was okay because I was able to take leftovers home.  But even so, I just felt kind of weighed down when I left.  While I liked what I got, I probably would try something different next time.  And if I crave Thai food in the future, I’ll probably hit up a Thai restaurant.

The husband spontaneously went with a Cajun flare by ordering fettuchini noodles with a spicy cajun sauce.  Only after eating a few bites did he realize that on the menu it had two peppers next to his dish, touting it to be the spiciest thing on the menu.  Oops!  He still enjoyed it but downed more water in that 20 minutes than he probably has in the past week!  That dish was not messing around.

All in all we enjoyed Lotsa Noodles and probably would go back again someday to try something different, especially if we found another Groupon.  With such an epically large selection of places to eat in OKC (in comparison with little Stillwater), it probably won’t be anytime soon.  But you never know.

Let’s be honest, though, the best part of any restaurant that serves Asian food is the fortune cookie.  Especially with a fortune like this:)

my hands look GIANT

I’m off now to speed walk against the wind for a couple of miles, and then I’m going to – you guessed it – head to the city.  Yesterday I went to Gap to try and exchange two pairs of underwear for different sizes, but somehow ended up with only one pair in my bag when I got home last night.  How do these things happen?  It’s rather embarrassing  calling Gap at 8:45 last night to try and explain the how and why of my underwear being left on their checkout counter.  But hey, underwear aren’t cheap!  So, this afternoon you can find me explaining the story to yet another sales associate while trying not to make too big a fool out of myself.

Hope you all have a fantastic day!

What’s your favorite simple, healthy lunch?

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running + coconut lemon cranberry bars

Hello!

This morning I got up and headed to the park to get my training run in.  I’m still putting in 3.5 miles twice during the week and then a longer run on the weekend.  I have to say, my runs have been going so well.  I really think it is the yoga I’ve been doing.  In my past races I wasn’t doing yoga yet, and I think it’s making a significant difference.   I’ve also really been pushing myself to get my pace down, and I can tell a significant improvement in my long run endurance.  It feels so great to see so much improvement, and I’m getting so excited about the race!

After my run I came home and did a half hour of yoga before getting ready to head to the city.  My best friend from high school lives in OKC, and I am so excited to finally be in the same town as her for the first time in almost ten years. We met in 2nd grade and were practically inseparable from then until graduation.  It was so so good to catch up today!

I have spent so much time in the city this week doing all kinds of stuff.  When we decided to take this new job and move from Stillwater, we got so excited to live in OKC.  Then we moved to my hometown.  Which is not quite the city.  It’s about a 40 minute drive, so it’s not too bad…but not a short drive either.  So pretty much every day I’ve found some reason to go there – gotta meet the husband for lunch, gotta take something back to the store, gotta grocery shop – and usually I just pack my laptop, books, and anything else I need to work and set up camp at Starbucks for the remainder of the afternoon.

Obviously spending hours at a time away from home means there must be snacks packed.  I try not to leave myself at the mercy of the Starbuck’s pastry case or a drive through, so I found myself needing ideas for portable, non refrigerated snacks to take along.  Enter Angela’s Coconut Lemon Cranberry bars (click for full recipe)Moist on the inside, flaky on the outside, with a medley of sweet and citrus – tastes like a sunny day at the beach. Sign me up.

First, juice and zest your lemons!

Make a chia egg by combining lemon juice with chia seeds and allowing it to gel for about 10 minutes.

Next, turn 1 cup of oats into oat flour in a blender or food processor.  It’s so fun to watch the whirling blades transform oats into flour in about 10 seconds flat.  I really shouldn’t say stuff like that out loud.

Add all the dry ingredients together.  Combine the wet. Then mix them all together and press into a baking dish before dusting the top with shredded coconut and chia seeds.

Bake until the edges are brown and the top springs back when you touch it.

Allow to cool, and then enjoy as you close your eyes – envisioning the crashing waves and the smell of suntan lotion and lemonade.

These bars have been the perfect on-the-go treat this week as I’ve been out and about around the city.  I think they’d also make great pre-workout fuel or a dessert treat before bed.

Anyway, today I’m going to start the day off with some yoga and then spend the day shopping with my mom and aunt who are on spring break.  Even though I haven’t exactly earned a spring break, I’m kind of pretending I’m on it anyway because next week I start my new job of substitute teaching.  I hope you can tell how excited I am.  Really.

Are you on Spring Break this week?  What is your favorite SB memory?
Mine is from 2005 when I went to Thailand for tsunami relief.  A life changing experience I’ll never forget.  I never really was a beach person, so SB beach vacations never really appealed to me.  I know. I’m crazy.

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one crazy day

To all my fellow bloggers – do you ever get so much built up that you want to write about that you just don’t know how to fit it all in?

I was overflowing with topics already on Friday, and then we had the most crazy unforgettable day, so now I just don’t even know what to do with myself.

As I mentioned on Friday, the day started with my mom coming in to tell me about the disaster in Japan. It didn’t seem worthy of mentioning then, but there was also an earthquake here that morning. It was small as always, and I didn’t even feel it…but it did wake my mom up.  That was only the beginning of the craziness here in our new town.

After spending several hours that morning meticulously watching the Japan coverage, I decided to get geared up and head over to my grandparent’s to run on their treadmill.  While the temperature outside could have almost been considered warm, the wind was out of control.  I’ve run on some windy days, but yesterday it was gusting at over 40mph, and with soreness from yoga still lingering I just didn’t have it in me to fight it for 3.5 miles.  I also thought maybe I could feed my addiction to staying current on the Japan situation since my grandma has a tv in front of her treadmill. While I was able to continue watching the coverage, the only “local” channel covering it was in spanish so I relied on the few words I know…and learned a few new as well, ha.

After my run, I gave Olive a quick bath, chatted with my grandma, and then headed back home.  Around 1:30 I walked through the living room, noticing that my step-dad had the news on in the living room.  At first I thought he was watching Japan as well, but quickly realized that it was something local.  I soon learned that some fires had started in town and were burning just about mile from our house.

We had plans to cook dinner with some friends that night, so I started chopping some veggies in the kitchen while keeping one eye on the tv.  The fires were only beginning at that point.  Throughout the rest of the day, they not only kept spreading, but also news ones were popping up all over town.

I had gone to the city to meet the husband at work around 3:30, but at 4 we decided to head back to the house because the news was saying another fire had started about a mile from our house and was moving in our direction.  We raced home, only to find that the main road leading into town was closed down, other cars lining the shoulder waiting to get through and firetrucks in every direction.  A thick cloud of black smoke hung low over the horizon, making it appear as if the entire city was on fire.  And it nearly was.

With my mom’s dog who was locked up in the house heavy on our minds, we turned and raced north of town, making a big circle around and finally getting through to our house.  While helicopters flew low overhead with bags of sand dangling down, we rushed around to set up sprinklers around the house and gather important items in case we had to evacuate.

Thankfully, we never ended up having to evacuate, but much of our little town was burned, and over 30 homes were reduced to nothing but ashes.  Sadly we had to cancel our dinner plans, and the rest of the night was spent with everyone a little on edge as we watched fires continue to smolder on the news.

What a tragic day it was all in all.  As stressful and unnerving as the whole day was, and as much as the loss of our town weighed on my mind, I still couldn’t stop thinking about how much worse the disaster in Japan was and all the homeless and distraught people thousands of miles away as well.

Sunday morning the husband and I left early for our six mile training run.  We ran down toward the area that had been burned the worst, and I could hardly believe it.  There were so many houses burned completely to the ground.  And we only ran by a small area.  Heartbreaking.

On a brighter note, we were able to complete our six miler and we’re on track for our half marathon at the beginning of May.  I’m getting so excited.  I somehow managed to pause my Garmin on accident, so I don’t know exactly how long it took us, but I don’t really care that much either.  Deep down I can’t help but hope for a PR for this race, but I’m going to be happy regardless.  Working a total of three jobs, the husband has had a harder time keeping up with training the last few weeks, so he’s struggling a bit more on our long runs.  We’ll run it side by side no matter what, though.  He pulled me through the last few miles of our marathon two years ago, and if I have to do the same for him this year I will.  We run as a team no matter what!

after our first half marathon

Go team McCoy! ha.

Still to come in the next few days if things settle down around here a little bit: another new restaurant we tried on Saturday that was so cool, recaps of my new yoga classes, a few eats from the last several days and a video update on our house (yay!).  Ever since Friday, this weekend has been great.  I really think my favorite part of it might have been our run this morning – I felt like I could have went on for miles.  Either that or going to visit Olive this afternoon.  I miss my baby:(

Do you prefer running alone or with a buddy?
I admire anyone who can train for a marathon without a running buddy – that takes some serious mojo.

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praying for japan

I was in the kitchen making the husband’s breakfast when my mom came in and told me that there had been an earthquake in Japan.  Since turning on CNN soon after, I’ve been glued to the tv.

Watching the images is taking me back to several years ago when reports of the tsunami in Thailand/Indonesia were splashed across newspapers and tv.  I still remember it like it was yesterday – sitting in the OKC airport waiting for a flight to see the husband’s family in south Texas – staring in disbelief as I took in the news.  Along with the rest of the world, I stayed glued to the tv for the next few days as my heart ached for the people who were affected.

Just three months later I made my first trip to Thailand with hopes that I could help in even the smallest way.  Three years after that, I made my second trip to the south of Thailand for more tsunami recovery efforts.  It’s hard to believe that three years later these people were still suffering from the devastation.

On Pratong Island in 2005, I remember staring at the loss and pain in the eyes of a man as he told me his story of that awful day.  A fisherman by trade, he had gone out to sea early in the morning and had no idea that anything unusual had happened.  He arrived home a few hours later to find that the wave had washed over his entire island home, taking his entire family with it.  I think of him this morning as the reports of the devastation in Japan flow in, and I pray for the Japanese people.

This wasn’t the post I had planned this morning, but with the events of this morning I just can’t focus on posting about Coconut Lemon bars or yoga.

Let’s just continue thinking about and praying for all the people who have been killed, injured, are still trapped and have lost family members and friends in Japan. Praying that God will bring comfort, safety and peace.

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