Feb 7, 2011
I honestly cannot believe how quickly the weekend flew by…seems like it just started.
On Saturday things warmed up a bit around here, and some of the snow started to melt off. By late in the day, many of the streets were almost clear…but there’s still tons of white everywhere else! Apparently (I never watch the weather) there is more snow headed this way in the next few days, but we shall see!
I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but Saturday and Sunday we spent a lot of time organizing and packing. The story of our life these days. I have to admit it feels sooo good to get it done, though. We are still a long ways from being packed, but I think we did finally finish the office for the most part after being buried in boxes and files for the last few days.
Saturday night I got inspired to make a stir-fry. When I asked the husband what he wanted for dinner, he said something I thought I would never hear him say: “How about something besides mexican?”
I thought I was dreaming. Did he just say he didn’t want mexican food?!
So stir-fry it was!
I chopped up bell pepper, onion, broccoli, carrots and cabbage and stir-fried it in about one tablespoon of olive oil until it was tender. Then I tossed in some frozen edamame (did you know edamame has the same amount of protein as roasted turkey?) for protein.
After it had cooked for a little bit, I mixed together about two tablespoons natural peanut butter, two tablespoons tamari, a couple teaspoons rice wine vinegar and some water to thin it out. Honestly, I just kind of guessed at the proportions and tasted as I went. I poured the sauce over the veggie mixture and continued to cook them for another 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime I cooked some buckwheat (soba) noodles, and when it was all done I poured a big spoonful of veggies over the noodles….and that was it! Easiest stir-fry ever.
Stir-fry reminds me of Thailand so much. During the last few months we lived there, I literally ate stir-fried veggies in some form every. single. night. No exaggeration. Always on top of brown rice. Granted I wasn’t a vegetarian then, and I used fish and oyster sauce (Thai style) for flavoring, but it was still so good. Really takes me back:)
cooking with friends in Thailand
Anyway, on Sunday the husband and I went to lunch with some dear friends of ours from our college days. They are several years older than us and have three of the cutest little kids. During our time in Campus Crusade for Christ at OSU, Dan discipled Jonathan, and Debbie discipled me. They have always meant so much to us and have walked with us through some of the most important decisions in our life. It was so nice today to catch up and spend time with them…we’re really going to miss them when we move.
Debbie and I / Dan and Jon – about five years ago
Other than packing throughout the afternoon, I also made some Super Charge Me cookies for the husband. While he ate cookies, I enjoyed a leftover vegan cinnamon roll. This morning someone brought cinnamon rolls to Sunday School, and ever since then I’ve been craving one. I can honestly say that these rolls are one of the best vegan baked goods I’ve made yet. The day after I made them, I realized that unless I wanted to turn into a giant cinnamon roll, I needed to put them away for awhile. So into the freezer they went. A couple of times since then I’ve pulled one out and heated it in the microwave for about a minute and a half…and it’s always just as good as when it was fresh out of the oven.
You really must make these if you’re a cinnamon roll fan!
So that’s the weekend in nutshell – only two more weekends left until moving weekend!
Last thing – I have to give a shout-out to my better half. Today is the husband’s first day at his new job, and I am so dang proud of him. I’m so thankful for all the hard work he has put in over the last several years to get us where we are. This is just one more step we get to take along the path of our life. I’m going to miss him now that he’s leaving earlier, getting home later and not coming home for lunch (tear), but I know he’s going to love his new role…and he’s totally going to rock it! Go get ‘em husband:) I love you!
Did you have a good weekend?
What’s your favorite vegetable?
I think mine would have to be spinach…or maybe snap peas. It’s really hard to narrow it down, though!
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Jan 14, 2011
I have to say I do believe we have the funniest little dog there ever was.
Something you may not know about me is that I dreamed of having a Yorkshire Terrier from the first time I ever saw one. I don’t know if it was their tiny size, their silky silver hair, the fact that they don’t shed or something else, but I was hooked. I spent many years really truly believing that I would never have one because they’re a little bit costly, so I would just gaze at them from afar when I’d see one while trying to contain my envy.
So, you can imagine my disbelief and excitement when some friends of ours in Thailand asked us to dog sit their yorkie and a friend’s yorkie for a couple of weeks right before we were about to head back to the states. What luck!
At the point that the husband and I decided we would return to the states instead of staying a second year in Thailand, we started talking about getting a dog. We’re both dog lovers, and we felt that it was time for us to take on a little more responsibility, a third member of the family if you will. During our long talks about what kind of dog we would get, we discussed all kinds of different breeds, and it didn’t take long for me to win the husband over to Yorkies as well. With one stipulation that is. I had to promise to never, ever, ever…..put a bow in its hair.
While I wasn’t happy about his aversion to bows, obviously it was an easy deal to make. And so it was decided…a yorkie it would be.
Needless to say, going into our dog sitting days we were so excited because not only would we get to hang out with two yorkies, but we’d also get a taste of what it would be like to become yorkie parents.
Over those two weeks, we fell absolutely in love with Mocha and Lilly.
They were the sweetest, cutest dogs I’d ever met. They’d follow anywhere we went in the house, and they always wanted to be as close to us as possible. They were well behaved, they didn’t shed and again, they always wanted to be as close to us as possible. How sweet is that?
I think we were back in Oklahoma for about a month at most before we started the search.
And then we found her.
She was the one that wanted to lay in the corner, liquid brown eyes staring, too shy to come over and play, but sweet as pie if you picked her up and cuddled her. Her mom told us that she was holding out on selling her because she wanted to make sure she went to a home that would show her an abundant amount of love and attention. She was special.
By the way – she doesn’t have glowing blue eyes. Our camera was a little rough at the time.
We were sold.
That same sweet little Olive did the funniest thing yesterday. Like Mocha and Lilly, she never wants to leave our side when we’re at home. But now she’s taken it to a whole new level.
I was working at the computer in our office when she trotted in from the living room and hopped up onto my lap. Just like I always do I started scratching her back and rubbing her little ears. And then without warning, she stood up, turned toward the computer and jumped up onto the computer desk. It was the strangest thing she’s ever done. I just sat there laughing at her, and within the next several minutes she went from this:
I may be like one of those parents who thinks everything their kid does is SO cute, but seriously? Does it get cuter than this?
She spent about the next hour assuming all kinds of different positions on all different parts of the desk, dozing off and on as I worked away.
She has brought so much fun, happiness and love into our lives in the last two years…and I honestly can’t imagine our lives without her.
Are you a dog person? If so, what kind of dog do you have? Does he/she ever do something completely funny and out of character? Let’s talk dogs!
**Don’t forget to click over and enter my giveaway! I’m dreaming up lots of crazy stuff to put in the secret package. muahaha.
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Jan 11, 2011
“It’s so tempting to shut people down, to limit the upside, to ostracize, select and demonize. It makes things a lot simpler. Not seeing means you don’t have to take action. Not opening means it’s easier to announce that you’re done. And not raising the bar means you’re less likely to fail.”
I was reading Seth Godin’s blog recently when I stumbled upon this quote, and the hard truth of it really struck me. It reminded me of a situation that occurred during our time in Thailand.
In the far northern part of Thailand, settled in among the mountains you’ll find a city. Our Thailand home. Chiang Mai.
And in the middle of that city, you’ll find a little something called Night Bazaar, or as the Thai’s say it “night ba-saaaaah.”
Every single day at about 4 o’clock, rain or shine, the people would begin pushing their carts out to the sidewalk, ready to take on the crowds of people that would come pouring in in a couple of shorts hours. They sold everything from t-shirts to perfume to oil burners, lamps, watches, shoes and much more. You could gaze for miles down the busy road and still not see the end of it.
For us, Night Bazaar was a fun date night, a place to get cheap massages and a great people watching venue. We’d weave through the backpackers carrying their babies high up on their backs and the locals stooping on the curb to slurp up noodles before the next bargaining challenge came along.
And in all the craziness there was always one thing that caught my eye – a small Thai women who looked to be about my age sitting on the dirty sidewalk with a cup held out for change and a tiny baby at her side. While she wasn’t the only local who had found her home on the dirty streets of Night Bazaar, she was the one who caught my gaze every time I walked by… and held it. I couldn’t forget her.
After many nights of walking by her, pretending not to see her outstretched hand or her deep eyes, I finally broke down. I found a stand in the alley selling hot soup and bought her a small bowl and some water. I inched up to her, feeling quite shy, and taking a deep breath knelt down and, using all the broken Thai I could muster I expressed my concern for her and her beautiful baby.
But night after night of this same routine left me wishing I could do more. But I wrestled with the idea of it – what more could I do? Ultimately she needed a place to live, to raise her baby….to be safe. But I couldn’t provide that. And with the date of our departure fast approaching, there were only so many more days I could do anything at all.
And then just like that…she was gone. She stopped coming. I never found out what happened to her, and I probably never will. And that lack of knowing, lack of being able to do anything real and significant for her left me feeling disheartened and sad. And I realize that that is often what keeps me from reaching out to impact the world in any way – the fear of failure. The fear of feeling like I just can’t do enough. The fear that if I allow myself to see the need, then I will always feel the ache of what I wasn’t able to do.
And the same translates to the constant pursuance of goals and dreams. Being scared to death of setting the bar too high because I just might not be able to reach it. And that would mean failure. Six months ago I walked into my principal’s office, and I turned in my letter of resignation. Sure, I did it for a number of reasons, but ultimately I did it because I wanted to pursue more. I wanted to step out into the unknown and embrace something that would fulfill my vision for my life. And in these months, I’ve held back, sabotaging myself because of the fear of not being quite good enough.
But I want more. I don’t want to still be sitting here another six months from now envisioning in my mind what it is that I want to do with my life. I want to be doing it. It’s time to raise the bar and leap for it because I would much rather be brushing dust off my backside than never getting dirty at all. I want to see things, open myself to possibility and experiences, and offer myself to people freely, embracing the risk of hurt and disappointment.
What is one thing that you’ve been envisioning in your life for awhile, but you just haven’t quite gotten the courage to leap for? What are you holding the bar low for because you’re scared of raising it high?
And now here’s a small ray of peace for your day:
**Also, don’t forget to stop by tomorrow because it’s a very special day in the life of ChiaSeedMe, and I’ll have a very special surprise for you!
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Nov 10, 2010
today has been super busy as all wednesdays tend to be. i did lots of yoga, lots of hanging out with international students, and I ate enchiladas made by the husband for dinner. i’d say all in all that’s a pretty successful day.
but now it’s late…and I’m oh so tired. so I’m going to head to the bed soon. but first I just had to stop in and say hi.
And what do I do when my busy day has prevented me from taking any pics worth writing home about?
Leave you with (random) memories from the past. I can always dig up pics from our days in Thailand that make me smile to no end.
one of my favorite students and I studying the Gospel
on the college campus we worked on
the campus parking lot
getting relief from the heat with an afternoon nap
a bridge in Bangkok
on the subway in Bangkok – New Years 2008
i didn’t even know what a food blog was, but I was still taking pictures of myself eating carrots, ahem made of icing
the husband on a songtau right around Christmas
hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday. and as always, it’s all down hill from here!
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Oct 20, 2010
No one told me how cold it was going to be here in DC!
Something you may not know about me – I have a small obsession with watching the weather. Outside real time and through my Weather Channel iPhone app. I love looking at the hour by hour forecast. Oh, and the 7 day is almost more than my little heart can handle! I get so excited.
So, needless to say I was watching DC weather like a Natzi over the last week or so. According to my calculations, it was supposed to be in the low 70′s this week.
Well, apparently those calculations were wro-ong!
It is downright cold here…so cold that most of the locals are in coats, hats, boots…you name it. If it’s a cold weather accessory, it’s walkin’ the streets of the District (I can totally call it that now that I’ve actually been here, right?!).
Unfortunately, this unsuspecting tourist did not pack for frigid temps. Luckily I did bring a couple pairs of jeans and threw in my light trench coat, but I am kicking myself for not bringing my boots and some long sleeve shirts. Oh, and I almost bought some gloves at Urban Outfitters today. I’m kicking myself for leaving those behind too.
Despite the cold, I am loving DC! Something else you may not know about me is that I am so in love with the east coast I could marry it. Seriously. Jon and I drove up the east coast on our honeymoon, and I’ve pined away for it ever since. I knew I would love it here (in DC) too…and I couldn’t have been more right.
Now, here’s my list so far of things that have surprised me about DC:
One. how cold it is.
Two. how friendly the people are. there are some seriously friendly people here – and so helpful!
Three. the number of runners out and about throughout the day.
Four. how much the area around Capitol Hill reminds us of Paris. Anybody else?
Okay, so now that my lovefest has commenced, let’s go forth with the story of our trip here yesterday.
Jon and I left our house around 7:45am (right on time, thankyouverymuch) and hit up Starbucks on our way out of town for some coffee and a bite to eat. I gotta say, Starbuck’s Oatmeal is the way to go if you’re out and about in the early morning hours.
Okay, I am aware that this picture does not look that appetizing. But I promise you, they don’t call it “perfect” for nothing. Have I ever lied to you before?
After an hour and a half of driving in torrential rains, getting lost and making a circle around the entire perimeter of the airport, we finally got parked. This is not the first time that using directions from our iPhone has failed us. It literally led us on a wild goose chase down all kinds of windy back roads and plopped us down right at the entrance people use to fly private jets. Riiiiiight.
So, after nearly having a nervous breakdown and then a panic attack, we made it into the airport looking like a couple of wet dogs as we raced to check in. At that point I split off from the husband because unfortunately we were booked on different flights (his was booked through his work).
Luckily we both made it to our gates in time. After the hour-ish flight, I landed at O’Hare in Chicago for an hour and a half layover. First things first. Find some healthy food, stat!
I have to say – in my humble opinion, airports have really improved in the way of healthy eats. At least larger airports. Unfortunately it does cost half your life savings to obtain said eats, but they’re there. Per the usual, I had planned ahead and packed rice cakes, larabars, dried apricots, apples and bananas in my bag for this trip. But I always end up eating my packed stuff for breakfast and snacks when I go on vacation…and by day 2 or 3 I’m usually getting serious fresh veggie withdrawals. So, I had decided that if there were any good veggies to be had at the airport, I was going to splurge on invest in them. Enter – the best airport lunch ever:
Mixed greens salad with grilled veggies and pita wedges on top. With a balsamic vinegar dressing.
and a green juice
I used to think these Naked juices had added sugar – not sure why I thought that. This was 100% juice – including several fruits and broccoli, spirulina etc. It was delicious! And I felt on top of the world when I finished this lunch. Full of veggies:)
After I landed in DC a few hours later, I snacked on some spelt pretzels while I waited for Jon and his coworkers to land. Then it was off to the hotel to drop our bags and on to dinner!
Jon and I were desperate to get into the heart of the action and see the sights, but being in a new city we weren’t quite sure where to get some food first. So, we walked around the area where we’re staying for a little while and spotted this cute little Thai restaurant. It had us at Sawat-dee (hello in Thai).
If the traditional Thai greeting when we walked in the door didn’t charm us, then the egg rolls, cashew tofu, and sweet little Thai waitresses picked up the slack. We were enamored.
Highlight of the night: Jon and I ordered the same dish, but I substituted tofu for chicken. In the end we realized that Jon had been served tofu as well, and he didn’t even realize it until 75% of his food was gone! We couldn’t tell my looking at it because it was fried, and apparently he couldn’t taste the difference. ha!
After dinner, we took the bus and metro down to Capitol Hill. We strolled around, taking in the beauty of everything all lit up and taking pictures like we actually thought they would be good without at tripod.
freezing my tail off while waiting for the train
a fuzzy Washington Monument
hello there Abe
hello there Mister Obama
We were exhausted by the time we were ready to head back to the hotel, so we decided to hitch a ride in a cab. We had a crazy funny cab driver from India with an awesome accent who we found to be rather entertaining. That is until he drove off without giving us correct change, leaving us $10 short! What was that I was saying about friendly people…
I kid, I kid.
Anyway, that’s the long and short of day 1 in DC! Day 2 was a bit more eventful and definitely better for photo opps. I’ll be back tomorrow with the details:)
Jon will be in meetings all day tomorrow, so I’m thinking I’ll head over to Alexandria (Old Town) to explore a little bit. I was quite taken with it’s quaintness when we passed through on our way from the airport. Actually, it might be better if I didn’t go there – I don’t think I’m ever gonna want to leave!
See ya tomorrow!
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