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our first mardi gras

Last night the husband and celebrated Mardi Gras for the first time ever.  I’ve never been to New Orleans, and I’ve never really seen the point in celebrating all the way up here in Oklahoma, but when I found out that one of my favorite restaurants was hosting a shindig (albeit a low key shindig), I was suddenly feeling very festive.

105 Degrees created an entire raw 3 course dinner for Mardi Gras – gumbo, red beans and rice – the works.  Don’t hate on me for saying this, but I’m not a big fan of either of those dishes, so the husband and I went for the parsnip noodles and the lasagna instead. Oh, and the kale chips…can’t forget the kale chips.

There was live music and waitresses (“guides” as they call them) wearing masks as they flitted around from table to table taking orders and explaining the ins and outs of raw food.  This was my first time to order anything beyond a smoothie or a juice, and it was just as lavash as I had anticipated.

The parsnip noodle dish was a mixture of spiralized zucchini noodles and parsnip noodles (which would be so easy to recreate), soaked in a cashew pesto sauce, with tiny half tomatoes, coconut “bacon” and chopped walnuts.  We were most intrigued by the coconut bacon – made by marinating the flesh from a coconut in maple syrup and tamari and then dehydrating it.   It didn’t taste like bacon at all, but definitely looked like it.

Surprisingly the husband liked it more than I did, so I gave most of them to him…while he didn’t care for the kale chips (what?!) so I got the whole little bowl to myself. mmm.  I was surprised how much different they were having been dehydrated instead of baked, and honestly I liked the baked version better.  But that might be just because it’s what I’m used to.  The baked are more crisp and light whereas the dehydrated version is more dense and stiff.  Both delicious nonetheless.

The lasagna was a layered masterpiece of flat zucchini (or cucumber?) noodles, spinach and tomato slices filled in between with a macadamia nut ricotta cheese, sun dried tomato sauce and cashew pesto sauce.  It was beautiful and tasty, and the only downside was that it was crazy hard to eat!  I didn’t want to mess it up, but it was impossible to slice through, so we ended up having to demolish it in the end.

The food at 105 Degrees is fantastic, but I think what I love most is the atmosphere.  Sometimes I wish I could just go hang out there all day – watching the chefs do what they do and soaking in the clean lines and the smells of fresh juice and veggies.  I just love being there.  I actually feel that way about that entire area of Oklahoma City – such a refreshing place to be, about to become even more so as Whole Foods looks to be coming along quite nicely.

It would have been the perfect night, but unfortunately on the way to dinner the Mini got into a scuffle with a car three times its size when we got hit from behind by a big black Expedition.  Having just exited the highway and stopped at the light at the end of the off ramp, we were chatting away when all of a sudden we heard a crunch as we were jolted in our seats. We were kind of in a not so good part of town, which could have been a bad thing, but it worked out in our favor because there was a homeless man, sign in hand, standing about two feet from our car, who saw the whole thing and was quite excited (a little too excited) about being our witness. So that was good.  The cops came and helped us setting things, but the damage was insignificant enough that within a half hour we were on our way to dinner.

Thankfully everyone was okay, and I’m super proud of our little car because it held up quite nicely all things considered.  We drove away with a few scratches and a cracked bumper, and now we play the insurance waiting game until we can get it fixed.

———————–

More to come on lots going on here in the country this week – a peacock sighting by the husband, a run-in with the town sheriff, delicious lemon coconut bar making, and trips to the city for some yogaaaaa!  The husband and I have held strong and haven’t been to see Olive even once since Sunday night (we decided it’s best for her and us if we don’t try to go see her every day).  We both miss her so much and comment to each other every day about what we’d be doing if she was here.  We’re a week and a half down, with fourteen and a half to go until our family can be together again.  Not that I’m counting.


Did you celebrate Mardi Gras? What’s your favorite part?
My favorite part was just having a good reason to go eat dinner at 105.  Oh, and the masks were pretty cool too.

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some fun news

So it has been pretty interesting living with my mom and step-dad so far.  Two sets of adults sharing a house who are used to having all their own space is expected to be quite interesting I suppose.  Truly, though it has been fine, at least on our end…Clark?

Thankfully, they worked really hard before we got here to set up the house to where we’d have as much of our own space as possible.  We have the whole back bedroom to ourselves (thankfully we aren’t sharing that, ha:), a bathroom, and the front bedroom has been turned into our very own office.   Really the only thing we have to share is the kitchen…which is funny because it’s not only the place where I make the most messes, but also the place where my mom is most particular (it’s true mom – you know it).  And btw, there’s nothing wrong with being particular.  Better that than not caring, eh?

Anyway.  So I’ve tried to be really careful, cleaning up after myself and the husband and trying to make sure I do my part.  This afternoon, I went in there to make some lunch, finally deciding on some Amy’s black bean soup and an apple.

First, I tried to clean some items in the sink, only to find that the sink was not draining.  What the heck?  Seeing as how the other day the bathtub stopped draining, I’m thinking the husband and I must have put some kind of curse on the drains in this house.  It is almost brand new after all.

Anyway, so I finally gave up and decided to heat up my soup – I put it in the microwave, covered it with a paper towel, pressed start and stepped out into the garage for a second.  When I came back I realized my paper towel had fallen off and soup had exploded all over the microwave.  Crap.  So, I start cleaning it all up and just when I almost had ever last spot off, I realized that I had laid the dish towel down right in the middle of my soup.

I’m a walking disaster.  Fortunately I did get everything cleaned up eventually, and I got kind of tickled about it because I had made such a big mess…and it just kept getting worse.

Moving on.

I have a little secret to reveal that I’m pretty excited about.

Well, a secret and a confession really.

My confession is that I’ve been keeping a secret, and my secret is that I’m training for another half marathon!

Relax people.  Stay in your seats.

I’ve actually only run one half marathon ever, which was in Phuket, Thailand in 2008.

The following year we ran the full marathon in Oklahoma City!

While I’m so excited about the race, I didn’t want to say anything because I was afraid. Some of you may remember last fall when I announced that the husband and I would be running a full marathon.  Then a couple weeks later I announced that we were dropping to the half.  Then a couple weeks after that I admitted total defeat when I declared that we would not be running any part of the race afterall.

I just didn’t want the same thing to happen this time, and I wanted to get through the move/change in routine before I made it public.  But now I’m ready. I’ve decided I’m not going to let anything stop me from running this race – I’ve been enjoying my runs so much!  I’m currently on week 5 of my 12 week plan, and this past weekend was the five mile long run.

My current schedule for this week is:

Monday: yoga/PiYo – I went with PiYo this morning and it kicked my butt
Tuesday: 3.5 mile run
Wednesday: 2 mile run or cross train – TBD
Thursday: 3.5 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday: cross train – TBD
Sunday: 5 miles again

There is truly few things that feel as good as the accomplishment of training for and running a race.  In my experience the training is as much or more challenging and rewarding than the race itself.  But crossing that finish line feels pretty good too.

What goal (s) are you excited about accomplishing in the coming months?

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happy to be back!

Hellooooo!

First.  Thanks so much to everyone for the sweet comments this past week.  They were such a highlight of my week, and I appreciate the support and encouragement from all of you so much.  I didn’t get to comment individually, but just know that it touched me so much to read your words. What would I do without my little blogging community?

Second.  I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news? I’ve set a new record on CSM!
The bad news? I’ve set a record for the most number of days I’ve ever gone without posting.

This week was a call for a little mini break from the blog – and really from the computer in general, aside from some mandatory Outbox work.  I missed everyone so much, and I’m happy to get back into my groove.  But first, time to do a little catching up.  I believe a situation such as this calls for some bullet points.

  • Last Saturday doubled as moving day and the husband’s 28th birthday.  My family + MIL came up to help, and we packed, loaded onto a giant truck, drove to my hometown, unloaded the giant truck and drove back to our house that night.  We are so thankful for everyone who gave up their day to come help – it made the process so much easier and faster!

Even though it broke my heart, I resorted to ordering a cookie cake from the grocery store.  I was set on making his cake myself, but on Friday when I looked around and my kitchen was all packed up except for the Vitamix, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.  The Vitamix can do a lot of things, but…

  • We spent the rest of the weekend sleeping on an air mattress in our empty house because we had to close on Monday.  It was kind of like one big long slumber party…I kind of liked it:)

  • I had one big find during the whole moving process – my Nike running pants!  I bought these back when we were training for our marathon a couple of years ago, and wore them every chance I got.  Then they disappeared.  I searched high and low…but apparently not low enough because when our dresser was being moved out I spotted them hanging from the bottom drawer.  I was ecstatic!

  • On Sunday we went to our Sunday school class for the last time *tear and then spent the afternoon napping, working and cleaning.  We had agreed to have dinner with some friends that night, but when we got to the restaurant realized they had planned a going away dinner with all of our sweet friends.  We were so excited!

  • Monday morning we got up early and finished cleaning the house before the husband headed up to his old office for a bit and I did a bit of work at the coffee shop before heading to closing.  Closing on our first sold house went great – seamless aside from a bit of sadness at handing over the keys:(

  • After closing the husband and I met up at our favorite little downtown cafe – Cafe Bella.  We have so many memories there, and it was an appropriate choice for our last meal in Stillwater.

I went all out with a falafel pita, jalapeno chips and an IBC.

  • Late Monday afternoon I headed over to my grandparent’s house to drop off Olive.  I spent a couple of hours there with her, visiting with my grandpa and grandma while Olive checked things out and made herself comfortable.  As expected it was difficult leaving her, and it has been difficult each night this week going to visit her and then having to leave her again every time.  It’s probably a lot harder on us than it is on her, though.  My grandparent’s are showing her a good time – loving on her, brushing her, taking her for drives and walks, and letting her sit and watch the cows out the window.  I just hope she doesn’t start loving them more than us!

btw – that’s not a cow, it’s my grandma’s dog, Maggie.  You can’t see the cows in this picture.

Olive and the husband – happy to see each other one night this week when we went to visit

  • Between working, commuting and going to see Olive in the evenings, we have been so crazy busy.  I’ve driven up to the city to see Jonathan as many days as I can, and we’ve enjoyed spending time there…trying to pretend that we’re already moved and settling into our new life.  One day for lunch, we tried a fun new restaurant that is only a mile or so from where our new house is being built called Cool Greens.  They specialize in build your own wraps, salads and flatbread pizzas…and most meals come with a serving of couscous on the side.  I’m in love.  There aren’t many restaurants like this in Oklahoma, so humor me for being so excited:)

  • We drive by our house whenever we can, which ends up being about once a week.  It can begin to drive you mad after so many times of driving by, hoping to see some progress.  This is a picture I took last Tuesday – the lot has been cleared, but no foundation poured yet!

  • Our first weekend after officially being moved we spent in the husband’s hometown with mom and dad McCoy.  You’d have thought it was Christmas eve with how excited we were to pick up Olive and head out of town on Friday night.  A whole weekend with our baby, hanging out and relaxing with MIL and FIL and getting some much needed rest was almost too good to be true.  We spent lots of time cuddling (with Olive and with each other:) and I even finished a book I started last summer.  Felt like a major accomplishment!
  • I’ve applied at several jobs around the city, but for now I’m going to try and make a little money substitute teaching while I figure out what I want to do.  I have to be honest – I’m not that excited about subbing.  But I also don’t want to rush into a job.  I want to take my time and decide what I want to do with this new start I’ve been given.  Even though I didn’t really ask for it, and I technically would have chosen to keep my old job…a new start can’t be a bad thing, can it?  I’m going to try and make the most of it, remembering that there’s a reason for everything.

So that’s pretty much it from my week-long hiatus.  I thought about all of you everyday, and I missed connecting – but all the changes made for sort of a tough transition and I really just needed some time to sort through things, keep up as much of a routine as possible and support the husband.  The adjustment process is still in full force, but I’m ready to start incorporating as much of our normal life as possible.  This blog is such an integral part of my life, and I realized that more than ever this week.  I’m so happy to be back!!

I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying warmer weather if you have it.  We’re almost to Spring, and it can’t get here soon enough!

Last thing – as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve agreed to do another product review for CSN stores.  I’m so torn between reviewing a dehydrator and a small food processor.  I can process some things in the Vitamix, but others are just so much easier in a food processor.  I’ve been wanting one for awhile now.  However, I’ve also wanted a dehydrator for a long time and clearly there is so much I could do with one!  I’m a little bit worried about having space for the dehydrator while sharing a kitchen with my mom, but I’m sure it could be figured it.  So, I need your help.  Food processor or dehydrator???

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