Monthly Archives: October 2011

October Taught Me

  1. My socks rarely match, and I am not ashamed.
  2. Chocolate Cheerios aren’t nearly as good as you would think. It’s disappointing.
  3. Calling (781) 452-4077 will put you through to the Hogwarts Hotline. From there, you can learn more information “directly” from Hogwarts. It’s true; try it for yourself!
  4. My accountant makes my life so much easier.
  5. Shane Battier’s favorite movie is The Big Lebowski. As if I needed any more reasons to like him.
  6. Petrichor is the scent of rain on dry earth.
  7. The world’s population is expected to hit 7 billion on October 31. Today. BAM.
  8. Penny looks pretty stylish with her new hubcabs. Huge transformation.
  9. It just occurred to me that I have not had one piece of candy to celebrate Halloween, and I am largely ok with that.
  10. Never thought I’d say this, but yoga is beginning to grow on me.
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What I’m Loving Wednesday

Today, amidst a frantically busy schedule, I pause to consider the things I am thankful for right at this very moment.

I am loving The Genesis Record by Henry Morris. I recently mentioned that I am moving deeper and deeper into a study of the first book of the Bible, and this is one of the tremendous resources helping me do so. One of my dear friends let me borrow this massive commentary about Genesis, and it is just incredible. It is written with a highly scientific and theological emphasis and gives so much detail, explanation, and background to some of the Bible’s hardest questions, all the while showing Genesis to be literally and historically accurate throughout. I’m only in Chapter 2, and I am already enthralled.

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I am loving that I currently hold the first place title in my NFL Pick Em Pool league. We’re 7 weeks in, and I’m going strong. Now I’ve just got to maintain for the duration of the season, and that’s certainly easier said than done. Just in case I fall from the top, though, I wanted to make sure to document this amazing feat.

 

I am loving the Avett Brothers, though this sentiment isn’t regulated strictly to this week; I continually feel this way. They are on my mind today in particular because I get to see them this weekend in Nashville, and I am SO excited! From the moment I first heard their music, Avett instantly became one of my favorite bands, and the more of their discography I discover, the more I like them. Exceptionally talented fellows, they are.

 
 

And lastly, I am loving that tonight is another baseball night. Game 6 of the World Series, and the Cardinals better be in it to win it. Everything is riding on tonight’s performance, so fingers crossed that they bring their best to the field. Game starts at 7:05pm.

What about you, what are you loving this week?

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50 Half Marathons in 50 States

Today is the day I go public with my latest endeavor, and that is to run a half marathon in every state. Fifty half marathons in fifty states before I’m fifty years old. It’s lofty, sure, but not insurmountable.

I have heard of the concept before, but never had I thought to consider it as an option for myself. Until recently, that is. My interest came about by accident, really. I was searching the internet for some non-running-related information about a particular locale and landed on an alphabetical listing of all the U.S. states. Coincidentally, my half marathon training spreadsheet also happened to be open on my desktop. I saw the two side by side, and it just clicked. I love running and I love traveling; merge the two together, and you have the birth of a new goal.

I’m not attacking this venture with a vengeance and trying to accomplish it in a speedy rampage. Instead, I plan on knocking off the states at my leisure and when opportunities present themselves. The feat will surely take several years, and I am 100% comfortable with that.

I’ve outlined a handful of guidelines, just to give myself some parameters to work within:

  1. Each race must be 13.1 miles at minimum; however, races above this mileage are accepted and encouraged. So long as you have completed at least a 13.1 mile race in a particular state, you have satisfied your requirement for said state.
  2. The race must be an official event, meaning that it was publicly announced in some form of media, such as a newspaper, website, magazine, running publication, or race brochure and of which official verifiable results are maintained and/or published to the general public. Translation: a solo long run isn’t going to cut it.
  3. The race must be completed without interruption. As challenging as they are, relay races that break your running stints into smaller increments do not count.
  4. You must officially complete the race. Gotta make it across the finish line. Note that you must be officially signed up for a race in order to officially complete it. No banditting, please.
  5. Running a race that crosses borders of more than one state will count as satisfying only one state requirement.  It’s flexible though; you pick whether it’s the location where the event started or finished.

There, I believe I’ve covered all the main points.

Anybody who would like to play along with me, by all means, join in on the action. I would love for my running buddies to accompany me on races across the country both near and far. You can adopt my very official regulations, or create your own more suitable to your taste. It’s your goal, after all.

Let’s do this.

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What I’m Loving Wednesday

This morning, I am loving Brett Dennen, likely because I saw him play at Minglewood last night, and it reminded me of how much I enjoy his folky, playful vibe. I’m unfamiliar with his newest album, but he played some songs off Hope for the Hopeless that I really like, so I was pleased. He didn’t play my favorite, nor did he sing the one I’m posting below, but the show was still great fun.

 

 

Speaking of Minglewood, I am loving Lucero’s recent announcement that they are playing a show there on December 22. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for and inability to fully embrace their new addition of brass instruments, I couldn’t possibly miss a show right here in my own stomping grounds. I’m still a Lucero fan through and through, and so I’ll be there, being particularly thankful when they bust out songs from their older albums. Added bonus – Amy LaVere is opening for them. Merry Christmas to me!

I am loving that the St. Louis Cardinals are playing in Game 1 of the World Series tonight. So much so, that I’m willing to skip my kickball game to watch. A few weeks ago, we weren’t even sure if they’d get the wild card spot, and now they are battling it out for the national title. What fun! The boyfriend is a huge fan, and I’m a supportive girlfriend, so GO CARDS GO!

St Louis Cardinals

And finally, I’m loving the space heater that is tucked under my desk and blowing hot air on my feet this very minute. I seriously use this thing year round, and my work happiness pretty much depends on it. In the past, I worked for a company that didn’t allow space heaters, and looking back, I think that was one of the deciding factors in my leaving for bigger and better things. Now, I’m settled in a lovely office that allows personal comforts such as warming devices, and I am grateful for it. With the cold weather that is currently blanketing the city, I’d be a downright mess without a constant source of direct heat. It’s the little things. Here I am at work, space heater on full blast:

 

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Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

If you are looking for a recipe that makes what basically amounts to a hot wing sandwich, then you are in the right place and I am about to rock your world. It’s incredibly simple, not all that bad for you, and just about as tasty as you can get! You start with three simple ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of frozen, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of Frank’s buffalo sauce (mmm!)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix

Place the frozen chicken in a crockpot, dump the entire bottle of Frank’s sauce over it, and then sprinkle in most of the ranch packet. Set on low, and leave unattended for 6 hours. Go about your day as desired while leaving the crockpot to do all the work. Marvel at how easy that was.

After 6 hours, take two forks to the chicken (still in the crockpot) and shred it. If it’s done, which by this time it should be, the meat will be very tender and easy to pull apart. Give the concoction a good mix, then let it sit on low heat for another hour or thereabouts, just to give the chicken time to fully soak up that delicious buffalo sauce.

You can use this chicken in whatever capacity you please, whether it be to dress up a sandwich, nachos, quesadillas, or whatever other creative way you see fit. I took the sandwich route, so if you’re going my way, mix together one cup of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt and 4 oz. of blue cheese crumbles to spread generously on your bread. Speaking of bread, I used a toasted deli roll, but there are all kinds of options that would be equally tasty. Slather the blue cheese spread on your sandwich, then pile very generously with buffalo chicken. Garnish with carrots and celery sticks, and you’ve got yourself quite a treat.

Once the sandwich was pieced together and sitting in front of me, I couldn’t contain myself and immediately dug in. I’m a sucker for anything involving buffalo sauce. Therefore, no original picture. The best I can do is share one from My Kitchen Apron, the blog that gave me the inspiration for this delicious meal.

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What I’m Loving Wednesday

It’s that time again! That time when I give some thought to what makes this week good. This world is so full of hurt and suffering, and I have been painfully reminded of that these past couple weeks. My heart is heavy for a lot of different people and their unique struggles, and if I don’t spend some time thinking about the happy things, then I just might crumble beneath the weight of it all. One of my dearest friends recently commented, “Oh life, if I don’t laugh at you, I will cry,” and I can’t help but agree with her sentiment. Wise woman, she is.

Which is why I am loving and clinging to this verse today:

I am loving that there are only two short days between me and Memphis Madness. I am beyond excited for the NCAA basketball season to begin, and I can’t think of a better place to start my weekend than at the FedExForum at 7pm for the annual season tip-off celebration. I’m ready to don my blue and white and see what the Tigers have in store for us this season!

Just a side note, I am absolutely NOT loving that the first two weeks of the NBA season have been cancelled, with more potentially on the line. Figures this would happen the year following the Grizzlies rocking playoff display and consequential soaring of fan numbers. Not impressed, David Stern, not impressed.

And lastly, I am loving that I finally updated the Race Recap section of my blog. This section is dedicated specifically to my performance and experience during organized race activities. Not all of the races I run are memorable enough to warrant a spot on the home page, so this gives me a place to record the less exciting ones. Since it’s not featured front and center, it is easy for me to get distracted by life and let my race updates slip by the wayside, but that’s no fun. After a month of neglect, I’ve finally caught up, and it feels good.

What about you, what are you loving today?

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What I’m Loving Wednesday

It’s a beautiful Wednesday! The sun is shining, I got to sleep in until 6:40am, and we’re wearing casual attire in my office today! No complaints here! What’s making this week good, you ask?

For starters, I’m loving Wilco’s newest album The Whole Love. It’s the one playing on repeat in my car. It always takes me several listens to thoroughly get into a new CD, and I’ve officially met my quota. It has clicked, and now I can’t turn it off. Didn’t hurt that we saw Wilco play a fantastic show at the Ryman this past Saturday night. The Ryman is without question one of my favorite live music venues, and Wilco is one of my absolute favorite bands, so naturally the combination was just explosive. 

 The Whole Love

I’m loving Genesis.  As in, the first book of the Bible. My Bible study group is currently in the throes of a detailed study of Genesis, and it is truly amazing. I’ve read Genesis before, I’ve heard all the stories, but never have I experienced it like this. There is so much information saturated in those verses, and it has been so exciting to really delve in and pick it all apart. One portion in particular that has been on my mind is Genesis 21 – 23:

21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

 23The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

Of the fact that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, one of the commentaries I’m reading gives this beautiful insight: “She was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” What a lovely, lovely description of the relationship God intended between man and woman.

And lastly, I’m loving chocolate milk. My go-to post long run replenishment beverage of choice. This weekend, my buddy and I ran a painful 9 miler, and the first thing we did upon finishing was locate chocolate milk at the nearest grocery store. Not only is it delicious and satisfying, it is one of the best ways to refuel your body after exercise. Chocolate milk is a natural source of fluids, electrolytes, proteins, and carbs your body needs to recover after a workout. Mmm hmm, it’s good on so many levels!

So, what are you loving?

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September Taught Me

  1. I forgot how much fun pop rocks are.
  2. My interest in football is growing at an exponential rate.
  3. I have mastered the skill of clearing a diving mask while underwater.
  4. It’s ok to eat a Lean Cuisine for breakfast and another for lunch when you’ve run out of “real food” and don’t feel like going to the grocery store.
  5. My life would be in shambles if it weren’t for my productive lunch breaks.
  6. Sometimes you just have to splurge and buy a gorgeous quilt, even when you aren’t in the market for one.
  7. Cajun Catfish Company has the most delicious Sunday brunch. It’s true.
  8. In all, 27 of the Memphis Tigers’ 31 regular-season basketball games are slated for television.
  9. Defying all odds, I scored a run in both softball and kickball in the same week.
  10. Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant. Just saying.

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