The Pains of Opening Day

FOOD

So, we broke another coffee pot.  Seriously, I’ve gone through 3 in just a few years.  Aren’t these things supposed to last a long time?  It’s not like I abuse them or anything, and only one of them was a K-Mart special.  Anyway, we went with the Keurig Vue.  It doesn’t use the K-Cups, but the newer Vue cups.  Everyone loves it.  And I got a new appliance.

On the normal food front, it’s been another few days of yummy and mostly raw goodness.  Allow me to demonstrate:

whipping up a small bit of guac for a wrap.  1 avocado, a thick slice of red onion, half a hot pepper, some cilantro, a clove of garlic, and a pinch of sea salt.  Easy peasy.
whipping up a small bit of guac for a wrap. 1 avocado, a thick slice of red onion, half a hot pepper, some cilantro, a clove of garlic, and a pinch of sea salt. Easy peasy.
the wrap with guac smothered on it.  Along with a bunch of other yummy things!
the wrap with guac smothered on it. Along with a bunch of other yummy things!

I made another crock pot batch of veggie broth.  I’m still saving all my discards like onion peels, leftover spices, any veggie that I’m not going to use in time before it spoils, etc.  Pop it in the crock, cover with water, and this time I threw a handful of peppercorns too.  Very happy with this batch!

so I realize it doesn't look very pretty here...
so I realize it doesn’t look very pretty here…
but it made 3 quarts of this gorgeousness!
but it made 3 quarts of this gorgeousness!

I made a sprouted wild rice salad.  Sprouted wild rice, a little olive oil, red onion, fresh lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cilantro, hot pepper, and red onion.

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Beets marinating in a homemade dressing with my very own growing oregano! (it was an accident – I planted it last year and nothing happened…D noticed it came in this year, so I had to use it).

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Made the best marinade yesterday too!  Balsamic vinegar, siracha, garlic, and fresh squeezed OJ.  I put tofu cubes in it all day, and then D grilled it with some pineapple.  I dumped it and a teriyaki broccoli slaw and the wild rice salad onto one monster BAS.

I ate maybe 1/4 of it, but it was amazing.
I ate maybe 1/4 of it, but it was amazing.

I put the dehydrator to work making raw tomato/pepper wraps.  They’re like fruit roll ups, but for wraps instead!

1 - put the veggies in the vitamix
1 – put the veggies in the vitamix
2 - blend
2 – blend
3 - spread onto the dehydrator tray
3 – spread onto the dehydrator tray
5 - dry overnight (flipping once after 6 hours)
4 – dry overnight (flipping once after 6 hours)
6 - put it on a plate, with a collard leaf, romaine, tomato, carrots, and some cranberry/pear white balsamic vinegar.  Wrap it up and eat it (and then smile).
5 – put it on a plate, with a collard leaf, romaine, tomato, carrots, and some cranberry/pear white balsamic vinegar. Wrap it up and eat it (and then smile).

I met today with a nutritionist.  While I think I eat very healthy (most of the time – certainly not all), I do want professional advice since I’m dealing with this autoimmune crap.  We’re starting with a month of an elimination diet (though I have targets for specific macro nutrients like proteins) to see if it has an impact on my symptoms.  If it does, then we slowly add things back in, wait a day or two, and see if I still feel well.  It’s the classic dietary approach when dealing with food intolerances/allergies and I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t think of it!  I guess that’s why I’m seeing a professional!  Anyway, it’s gluten-free, soy-free (which will be a rough one for me), alcohol free, limited caffeine (I’m allowed my 1 cup of black java in the mornings), no chocolate, no oranges or corn, and only spices and vinegars as cold-pressed oils as condiments.  I guess we’ll see!

FITNESS

I’ve been to a couple hot yoga classes the past few days, hiked around Busch Gardens for several hours, and met today with my trainer.  He kicked my butt!

We stretched, and I like that he incorporated a lot of yoga into it.  Then did some foam roller work to loosen some tightness in my calves and lats he noticed last time.  Then it was off for crazy intervals on the elliptical, followed by weights and band work (and some crazy lunge version of twister I can’t even articulate well!).  I wore my heart rate monitor, and I burned 507 calories in the hour we worked out.  Good times.

I will say that I appreciate how much he pays attention to what I want and what I need.  With this inflammatory joint thing going on, he’s been doing research on what to do (and not do) with me.  Wants me to get the OK from my Dr before doing any kickboxing, in case it hurts my hands or wrists.  He also knows I don’t want to use weight machines, since I travel and also need to be able to work out at home.  Bands I have, and some dumbbells, so he focuses on those, body weight movements, balance ball stuff, and that I also appreciate a great deal.

LIFE

Thursday evening was some catch-up time with AC.  Max & Erma’s has $8 pitchers of sangria on Thursdays, so we thought we’d check it out.  Turns out their sangria wasn’t very good, but the company was (as always).

Friday it was gorgeous out.  Sunny, warm (but not hot), and just beautiful.  It was also the first time I could wear cute open-toed shoes to work!  I forgot how painful shoes can be sometimes, and by the end of the day my cute black, white, and red heels were killing me.  So opening day (and for that I mean opening day for Cute Shoe Season) was just a wee painful.

This past weekend we had NO PLANS.  The oldest went to a Military Ball, so D, M, R and I went to Busch Gardens.  We had a blast, as always.

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Sunday was cooking, grocery shopping, and general busy work.  It felt really, really nice to relax.

Backyard playtime 🙂

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And putting the new coffee pot box to good use!

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And now it’s the work week, but that’s okay too 🙂

 

 

From Bad Guys to Great Days. Been One Heck of a Week

Where the heck has the last week gone?!? Holy cow….I’m so far behind, so my apologies for this late post. I promise, I really am trying to do better!

FOOD

Before just showing a ton of pictures of my yummy food, I will say that other than a trip to Whole Foods on Saturday night, the best food thing was going to Savor the Olive (a specialty olive oil and vinegar shop) and getting quite a few things. White balsamic w cranberry/pear infusion, white balsamic with vanilla/orange, aged balsamic (my stand-by), balsamic w pear/cinnamon, and a gremolata olive oil. Oh yeah. I’m happy!

before....
before….
and after!  My fav spring/summer fruit.
and after! My fave spring/summer fruit.
tower of BAS wrap
tower of BAS wrap
fresh rolls with tofu
fresh rolls with tofu
smoothie stuff
smoothie stuff
grilling pineapple - each with a drizzle of flavored vinegar
grilling pineapple – each with a drizzle of flavored vinegar
a little homemade sangria!  Juiced citrus, wine, and club soda.
a little homemade sangria! Juiced citrus, wine, and club soda.
kale and beet BAS with a side of guac, because that's how I roll
kale and beet BAS with a side of guac, because that’s how I roll

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grilled tofu, potato, and zucc.  Just a bit of gremolata olive oil and sea salt.  Even D snarfed this down.
grilled tofu, potato, and zucc. Just a bit of gremolata olive oil and sea salt. Even D snarfed this down.
cuc slices marinated in sesame oil, hot spices, garlic, and other yummy flavorful things
cuc slices marinated in sesame oil, hot spices, garlic, and other yummy flavorful things
it's called pineapple stir fry (from Happy Herbivore), but seems more Thai-like than anything.  Regardless, it's awesome.
it’s called pineapple stir fry (from Happy Herbivore), but seems more Thai-like than anything. Regardless, it’s awesome.
salad dressing makings.  Fresh squeezed OJ, hemp seeds, and balsamic vin.
salad dressing makings. Fresh squeezed OJ, hemp seeds, and balsamic vin.
Mexican stuffed spud.  Beans (homemade in the pressure cooker), pineapple salsa, and tons of hot sauce.
Mexican stuffed spud. Beans (homemade in the pressure cooker), pineapple salsa, and tons of hot sauce.
BAS
BAS

I’m clearly not starving.

FITNESS

The past week I made it to one strength training session and several hot yoga classes.

My favorite had to be Sunday’s class. It was yoga and meditation, and since I keep wanting to learn to meditate, thought it would be great for me.

Yeah. I fell asleep.

I could understand if it was the end, and she was guiding us through some meditating while in my final shivasana. I’ve certainly felt VERY rested in that pose. But….the meditation was the first 15 minutes of class. And I was sitting up. And I toppled over. Yay me.

Since I was up late last night and I have meetings until 10pm tonight, I’m calling this a rest day!

LIFE

Well, not much to say other than busy, busy, busy. I hate it when I’m too busy to blog.

It’s impossible to not write for a week and not mention Boston. My heart has hurt for over a week now at the senseless violence. By Friday evening, D and I were captivated, along with the rest of the world, as the final suspect was brought into custody. We had the news on the TV, the Boston police scanner playing on one iPad, and following the trending tweets about the manhunt on Twitter. It was amazing to listen to and experience in pretty much real-time with the people of Boston and the surrounding areas. I can think of no other city that tells everyone to stay home so they can hunt down a bad guy. Go Boston.

Saturday my little monkey had her swim meet championships, so we spent all day there with her. She did awesome! She crushed her old times in a few of her races. One – by nearly 18 seconds! To me, that’s just nuts.

she's the one in a full dive - second from the bottom
she’s the one in a full dive – second from the bottom
my baby girl doing her butterfly in warm ups!
my baby girl doing her butterfly in warm ups!
the team getting their pre-meet instructions
the team getting their pre-meet instructions

Sunday was a very, very nice day. Yoga, art museum, kitchen fun, dancing around the house, grilling, and Dr. Who. Perfect end to the weekend.

So now it’s the work week again, and it’s busy as can be…but that’s ok. That means the weekend will be here again before I know it!

 

Life is Better with Fancy Bananas!

FOOD

It’s been some awesome food the past few days.  Wraps, salads, soups, and smoothies galore!  Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some highlights!

Sunday's dinner.  Basically a BAS in a gluten-free brown rice tortilla.
Sunday’s dinner. Basically a BAS in a gluten-free brown rice tortilla.
Monday morning juice ingredients
Monday morning juice ingredients
so pretty, and I think a new favorite.  Romaine, cuc, celery, lemon, lime, and beet.
so pretty, and I think a new favorite. Romaine, cuc, celery, lemon, lime, and beet.
lunch (I'm on a wrap kick!).  Pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cuc, avocado, and wicked hot sauce.
lunch (I’m on a wrap kick!). Pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cuc, avocado, and wicked hot sauce.
one of my snacks.  Fancy bananas!  Sliced, a small amount of agave, and cinnamon
one of my snacks. Fancy bananas! Sliced, a small amount of agave, and cinnamon.  Sometimes a girl just gets plain sick and tired of normal bananas.
another wrap.  Can't get enough!
another wrap. Can’t get enough!
veggie packed lentil soup
veggie packed lentil soup
mint chocolate vanilla smoothie.  In a champagne glass because I'm special
mint chocolate vanilla smoothie. In a champagne glass because I’m special

FITNESS

Monday I did a strength training workout.  Using mostly bands and a balance ball, I was amazed at how sore my muscles were yesterday!

My workout consisted of planks (ouch), T push-ups (ouch), several different moves that involved squats (ouch), stability exercises, and a little bit of light dumbbell work.  Due to the whole joint thing, I am working with someone to tailor workouts that are challenging, yet still low impact and won’t exacerbate swelling in my key areas of hands/wrists and knees.  Other than the muscle soreness yesterday, I had no associated joint pain, so that’s awesome!

Tonight I’m either going to hit up a Zumba class or a hot yoga one.  I haven’t decided, and I’m prepared in my gym bag for either depending on which mood strikes me come 7pm.

I have another strength training session scheduled for tomorrow too, so it looks like it’ll be another fun active week of building workouts without running.

LIFE

I am very grateful that Sunday was such a chill day.  While I did my Sunday fun stuff, D went out to the Botanical Gardens for a day of hiking and photography.  A went to the beach with friends, and the younger two and I just mainly hung out.  Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

These are D’s pics, not mine.

 

we have about 20 or so different mermaid statues spread about the city.
we have about 20 or so different mermaid statues spread about the city.

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As usual, lots of late nights this week.  It’s not surprising at all and I usually don’t mind it.    This weekend my daughter has her swim meet championships down at one of our local universities, so we’re very much looking forward to that!

Oh, and I booked my trip to Portland!!  End of May is the next Vida Vegan Conference, and the past few months I’d contemplated not going.  My family has a LOT coming up (HS graduation for A, going home to WI to celebrate that with extended family, a month-long camp for M and packing A off for college!), so I thought it would be more economical to just skip the trip.  Sunday night D very sternly told me I needed to go.  Veganism and blogging are two things I’m passionate about, I’ve “met” some amazing people in the past nearly 4 yrs. of this, and it would be a travesty if I didn’t go.  So….I slept on it, and when I woke in the morning and he said he’d book it if I didn’t, I gave him a big kiss, smiled, and ran to the computer to plan and book my trip.

So Portland, here I come (again).  Watch out!

Raw Food Fun, My Last Race, and Me In a Fancy Dress!

FOOD

Friday morning was a big green smoothie, lunch was leftover soup, and dinner was some yummy Moroccan food up in Richmond at a friend’s house!

spinach, banana, frozen fruits, and freshly made sprouts!
spinach, banana, frozen fruits, and freshly made sprouts!

Saturday was a green smoothie, Subway, and leftover soup.

This morning I had a raw wrap that was really good!  I made up a batch of guac in my food processor, spread it on a collard leaf, and topped with sliced red bell peppers and sprouts.  Absolutely amazing!

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If you want to know, here’s the guac recipe: 1 onion, 1 hot pepper, 2 roma tomatoes, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 1 clove garlic, and 1 large avocado.  Simple, but tasty!

Lunch was (you guessed it) the last of the leftover soup!

FITNESS

Well, it’s been an active and hectic couple of days!

I knew Friday I’d be pressed for time, so I downloaded a yoga class from Yoga Today specific for joint and arthritis pain.  The focus of this gentle class was the wrists, ankles, knees, and hips.  And for an hour long class for $3.99?  Yeah – I’ll take that!

I borrowed D's mat since mine was in my car.  Besides...his is pretty!
I borrowed D’s mat since mine was in my car. Besides…his is pretty!

So I set up in the green room and did the class.  It definitely helped.

And then Saturday I sort of ruined all that wonderful stretching 🙂

I ran in the Monument 10K in Richmond!  D, R, and I went up Friday night and spent the night with my virtual training buddy and her family.  Saturday we took a shuttle to the race (30,000 runners!), and away we went.

R and I before heading to the race
R and I before heading to the race
D and I on the shuttle
D and I on the shuttle
CT and her kids before the race
CT and her kids before the race
CT and I before the race!
CT and I before the race!
starting line!
starting line!

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CT and BT after the race
CT and BT after the race

It was a beautiful day, and while I won’t lie and said it didn’t hurt some, I’m glad I did it.  That said – it’s going to be my last run until further notice.  Low/No impact workouts are all that my body can handle.  Hopefully that will change someday, but we’ll see.

Today I’ve been really sore, so I went for a swim workout.  Of course then I hung out in the hot tub, and my joints and swelling seem much better for it.

LIFE

It’s certainly been a busy couple of days!  That said, it’s definitely been a wonderful weekend as well.

Right after work on Friday, D, R, and I headed up to Richmond.  We got to CT’s house around 730, the kids played and ate pizza (CT has two kids a little older than R), and the adults sat on the back deck, had a few cocktails, and then went to bed right around midnight.

We were all up by 7, eating breakfast, and then heading out to the race!  CT’s husband ran it too, so D hung out with all three kids.  BT is a speed demon, and he finished in nearly half the time of CT and me!

I will say this.  We had a wonderful time.  The weather was perfect, and the race was extremely well organized.  If you ever find yourself wanting to run a 10K in spring in Virginia, check this one out for sure!

After the race, we went back to CT’s house, said farewell to everyone (they’re moving to the west coast soon, so it really seemed like a farewell!), and then hit the road for the 2hr drive home.

We got home around 3, and all I wanted to do was shower and nap.  However….D and I had a formal event to go to, so we cleaned up, relaxed for a bit, then headed out for a fun night.

And…it really was a fun night.  We knew many of the people there and went with two other couples who are friends of ours.  We were there to support the Arthritis Foundation, have dinner (though they had nothing for me but side salads…so I ate two), open bar, silent auction, and of course donations.  We were especially moved by a young girl who was being honored.  She’s had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was a very young girl, and her story certainly brought me to tears.  So D gave me his handkerchief, gave me a kiss, and made a donation 🙂  Such a good man.

my sweetie and me
my sweetie and me
AC and I
AC and I
LC and I
LC and I

Today is a typical low-key Sunday.  House work, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and trying to prepare for the week ahead!

There’s No Crying In Yoga!

FOOD

Today has been a pretty simple day.  It’s another really hot day, so I wasn’t going to be firing up the oven!

Breakfast was some black coffee and a banana.  Nothing fancy, I was in a hurry.

For lunch, I swung by Moe’s and picked up my stand-by taco salad.  I swear, that never gets old.

taco salad!
taco salad!

Dinner was a coconut curry soup.  I had one a few weeks ago at a Thai place in Virginia Beach, and it was the most divine thing I’d ever had.  I went for Thai with A yesterday, and the place near our house didn’t have a vegan version.  So…I decided to make my own in the pressure cooker.  All told, I’m quite pleased!

Crissie’s Red Coconut Curry Soup

Ingredients

*14 ounces tofu

*14 ounces coconut milk

*1 lb. carrot, sliced

*3 cups broccoli florets

*1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

*1/4 tsp. ginger root

*2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste

*1/2 tsp. kaffir lime leaves

*1 tsp. dried lemongrass

*2 tbsp. lime juice

*1 tsp. salt

*4 cups vegetable broth

*Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

1. Press and drain the tofu.  Cube into bite sized pieces.

2. Put the onion, broccoli, carrots, tofu, spices, and vegetable broth into the pressure cooker.  Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.  Manually release the pressure.

3. Stir in coconut milk (I used canned lite) and lime juice.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Serve with chopped cilantro.

Servings: 6

A really light and refreshing soup with a bit of a kick!
A really light and refreshing soup with a bit of a kick!

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I’m not a huge fan of ginger, but if you are, totally up that amount.  If looking for something heartier, I bet this would be yummy over rice!

FITNESS

I hit up a hot yoga class this morning.  The more I read about connective tissue and joint diseases, the more yoga (and hot yoga) are recommended.  In fact, exercise is highly recommended with anyone in this family of diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.).  The pain actually gets more manageable with strength training and low impact exercises…but most patients are afraid the pain will get worse so they stay sedentary – which just perpetuates the vicious cycle.

Anyway.  This morning’s yoga class.  I started to tear up about 5 minutes into it.  Allow me to explain….

Most yoga instructors recommend that the student set an intention at the beginning of practice.  It can be to “get through” (often one of mine), to let go of your day and just be in the moment, to accept what your body is and isn’t capable of doing, etc..  About five minutes into class, my instructor guided us to set our intention.  I was sore and sick of my body reacting so insanely the past few months.  All the anger and frustration I’ve refused to acknowledge (the “why me”, “this isn’t fair” crap) all came to the surface.  I’ve whined about the hives and the swelling, but haven’t said a word (not even to my family) about just how pissed off I am.  I started to cry just a little bit.

And then my personality kicked in, I was reminded of a quote in A League of Their Own when Tom Hanks yells at one of his female players that “there’s no crying in baseball!”.  And I wiped my tears away and focused on my intention.  Which was to get through the class without my body being my enemy.  And I did.  After 10-15 minutes I loosened up and the pain went away.

That’s not to say I didn’t cry later when D called to see how my class was and I melted down.  He was shocked and horrified, and I felt terrible blind siding him like that!

Anyway…I have a race on Saturday.  It’s a 10K with CT and her husband (D is on kid and camera duty).  D has asked me to seriously consider if I should run it.  At this point, I’ve decided that I’m going to do it.  It could very well be my last one for awhile, so I’m going to cross that finish line, even if it’s walking!

LIFE

It’s been ridiculously hot the past few days.  We’re talking hitting 90+!  We seriously went from 50’s to 90’s overnight and skipped spring entirely.  My sister was saying this is why she hates the south, but when they’re at -15, I’m horrified at how cold it is!  I’d rather take the heat than the bitter cold.

As soon as the sun goes down though, it’s been some of the most beautiful nights that I can remember.  It’s going to cool off some, but I

Last night was a late one, and I didn’t get home until after 10, so it was pretty much straight to bed.

In other news, my daughter has finally picked which college she’s going to!  Now it’s time to pay deposits, schedule new student orientations, and try not to freak out.

 

 

Travel Burnout, Race Nerves, and Life Moves On

FOOD

There’s no sense writing about my food while traveling since it’s always the same thing; salads, veggie burgers, steamed veggie sides.  Uninspiring and boring.

Of course, now I’m home and have had a few fun things.  I made my first batch of sprouts for the season!  My kids did a great job of rinsing them for the few days I was gone, so when I got home, I put them outside on the patio table to get their extra chlorophyll punch!  It helped that it’s been sunny and in the 80’s.

3 seed blend (broccoli, alfalfa, and radish).  So good in smoothies, salads, and wraps.
3 seed blend (broccoli, alfalfa, and radish). So good in smoothies, salads, and wraps.
such pretty sprouts!
such pretty sprouts!

One of the first things I did with these super food sprouts was to throw a handful into my green smoothie!  Spinach, pineapple, banana, strawberry, protein powder, flax oil, and sprouts.  Very much what I was craving.

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This morning I tried my hand at making a chia Fresca drink!  I buy the Syngergy Grape Chia Kombucha often, but at $4 a bottle, I don’t do it as often as I’d like.

1 cup coconut water, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 juiced lemon, and 3 drops stevia.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes for the seeds to gel up, and yum!  Major hydration and very filling too.
1 cup coconut water, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 juiced lemon, and 3 drops stevia. Let it sit for about 10 minutes for the seeds to gel up, and yum! Major hydration and very filling too.

FITNESS

Went for a nice run Monday morning, which I very much needed.  The past few weeks have been tough (I’ll explain more in my Life section), but there are days where everything hurts, and days when I feel great.  Monday was a feel great day, so went for a few miles.

LIFE

Friday afternoon post-dentist appointments (perfect scorecards for all the kids), R and I picked up AC and her daughter RC, and we headed for a girls weekend in DC!

The first night we stayed at the hotel and let the girls swim after dinner.  It was really crowded, but they had fun anyway.

how you hide your bottle of wine from the pool lifeguard
how you hide your bottle of wine from the pool lifeguard
R with her pool basketball
R with her pool basketball

Saturday morning we woke, had breakfast (I will say that the Hilton does have wheatgrass green smoothies and oatmeal that was totally awesome), then hit the subway to the Smithsonian.

RC and R holding my nieces project Flat M while on the subway
RC and R holding my nieces project Flat M while on the subway

We went first to the Museum of Natural History and then wandered around the monuments.  We intended to go to Chinatown and the Air and Space Museum and then do a nighttime guided walk to see the Cherry Blossoms (and the hike is guided by Japanese lantern!).  Yeah…two younger girls didn’t have the energy to do all that!  We headed back to the hotel around 330pm, let them rest a bit, then went to dinner.  After an in room movie, we all passed out.

the girls hanging out at a big tree in the mall area
the girls hanging out at a big tree in the mall area
Museum of Natural History!
Museum of Natural History!

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in the hands-on area
in the hands-on area

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touching an honest to goodness piece of Mars!
touching an honest to goodness piece of Mars!
crazy rock formations
crazy rock formations
the Washington Monument finally being fixed after sustaining damage in the earthquake in Aug 2011.
the Washington Monument finally being fixed after sustaining damage in the earthquake in Aug 2011.

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R and I signed a ball to raise money for a children's hospital in DC.  One of the fraternity guys took our pic.  It's my fav from the weekend.
R and I signed a ball to raise money for a children’s hospital in DC. One of the fraternity guys took our pic. It’s my fav from the weekend.
we saw a protest!  Yay, my daughter got to see democracy in action!
we saw a protest! Yay, my daughter got to see democracy in action!

These were taken at the WWII memorial (which is one of my favorites).  We took pics of all the states that matter to my family.

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Sunday was a trip to the National Zoo.  It’s a lovely park and the day was gorgeous.  What made it extra special is an old friend of mine from WI was there!  So…I got to see her for the first time in a little over 9 years!

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RS, her awesome mom CS, me, and R
RS, her awesome mom CS, me, and R

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almost none of the cherry blossoms had bloomed yet - but this one at the zoo was so pretty
almost none of the cherry blossoms had bloomed yet – but this one at the zoo was so pretty

We hit the road around 2pm and chilled out until bedtime.

So I haven’t talked much about some medical crap I’m going through, and I’m not going to get into the gory details, but I have recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affects my joints and connective tissue.  I’ve known for a long time that this was coming, but now that it’s here, it’s been a right pain in my butt.  Going gluten-free and as high raw as possible is even more important to me know than it ever has been.  And it’s been hard.  I’m also having some side symptoms that have been totally hellish – namely head to toe hives and sporadic swelling.  The hives are mostly under control, and we’re working on the rest.  I’m avoiding taking any meds, so my recovery may take a bit longer…even more the reason to focus on high-raw and gluten-free eating.

Anyway – the swelling and pain have interfered a lot with running.  I have a race this weekend and am a bit nervous, and even more worried that I may have to give up running.  NOT give up working out of course – but may be less impact such as swimming, biking, yoga, and strength training….all things I love.  But I love to run more than the rest, and the thought of losing that has me in a bit of a funk.

Okay, enough of that!  All things in time, right?  First things first – feel better and then deal with each thing one step at a time.  As long as I have a plan, I can fix anything 🙂

For now, I’m enjoying this 85+ degree weather and being home (and staying here) until late June!  I love to travel, but holy cow, I need a break!