3000 Miles Later…

This is going to be a quick preamble because I don’t know how to actually write about things like this.  On October 16th, my father passed away very suddenly.  With my mom in the hospital for several months, it hit my family even harder than anticipated.  I don’t really have a lot to say other than my sister and I (and our extended family) are reeling right now, but still trying to keep life and the future in the most positive light we can.  Rest well Dad.  Love you.  Miss you.

this is a little over a year old - last time he came to visit me in VA.
this is a little over a year old – last time he came to visit me in VA

FOOD

So it may seem silly to continue with my “regular scheduled blog programming” in light of the bombshell above.  But….my Dad would likely be really pissed if any of us stopped our lives because he decided it was time to go.  So…here I go.  Onward the way I think he’d want me to.

I was only home for a week from my work trip before heading back home to WI from VA, so food pics were a little limited.  Also – not doing much cooking (nor eating) the past week+, so this will be a little lack luster.

last night in WI - out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.
last night in WI – out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.
tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.
tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.
our black bean dip app
our black bean dip app
a road trip dish in Toledo.  Bleh, but I needed to eat
a road trip dish in Toledo. Bleh, but I needed to eat
road trip salad
road trip salad
Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin
Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin
baked a pumpkin pie this eve
baked a pumpkin pie this eve
Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels.  Glad to be home.
Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels. Glad to be home.

FITNESS

Ha.  Sorry – nothing to report here.  Lot’s of cleaning, packing, moving and things like that.  No runs.  No yoga.  No bike rides.  No time.

LIFE

The past week and a half has been all about my mom and my sister.  D held down the fort (like he always does) back home in VA.

My bday was the 19th, and that’s the morning I packed up my mini-van (hello…I have 3 kids.  What did you think I drive?!) and started the long drive to WI.  Not the best birthday ever, but not too terrible either.  I spent it with myself, my thoughts, and the occasional blasting stereo (hey, no judging.  My mini-van can totally rock out).  I think I really needed it – to get through all the sad/angry thoughts before I was actually around other people.  I stopped in Toledo, had a drink, dinner, and watched the debates.

Some of my travel tunes!  As a bday present, D got me Sirius radio so I didn’t get stuck with crap tunes on the drive!

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I stayed in WI a little over a week, and left on Friday mid-morning.  I stopped in Cleveland with enough time to study (I had class Sat morning) before going to sleep.  I hit the road in the morning and stopped at a travel plaza with free Wi-Fi to connect to class.  It was touch and go, and I kept losing connection.  I eventually gave up and hit the road again.  As usual, DC traffic sucked, but I made it home by 730 last night.  3000 miles later and with a heavy heart, but also positive experiences with my sister and her kids, my mom, my cousin SP (who’s an incredibly special woman), and the love of family, I came back to my home in VA and the amazing love and support of my family and friends here.

I spent it snuggled on the couch with D.  Then slept in today, grocery shopped, and told stories about my Dad.

Good night everyone.  Be back soon.

Much love,

Crissie

Misc pics of the week…

borrowed a pair of my sister's socks.  Didn't know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later!  Ooops....
borrowed a pair of my sister’s socks. Didn’t know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later! Ooops….
study spot in Cleveland
study spot in Cleveland
the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!
the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!
skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon
skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon
me in Cleveland after a day of driving
me in Cleveland after a day of driving
D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!
D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!

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my baby got glasses!
my baby got glasses!

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Bumble in a box!
Bumble in a box!
Kuma busted digging in the back yard
Kuma busted digging in the back yard
bday flowers from AC
bday flowers from AC
condolence flowers from JG
condolence flowers from JG
my and my big sis
my and my big sis
Atomic records in Milwaukee!  SO many memories of this place
Atomic records in Milwaukee! SO many memories of this place
my mom when she was 19.
my mom when she was 19.
R all grown up last weekend!
R looking all grown up last weekend!
Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace
Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace

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passed out pups
passed out pups
me an R at dinner the night before my bday
me an R at dinner the night before my bday

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.
Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my morning juice when traveling
my morning juice when traveling
breakfast BAS
breakfast BAS
and another
and another
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...
Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...
last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…
roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)
roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome
it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!
at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!
me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!
that’s my driveway and front yard!
dude kayaking through the street
dude kayaking through the street
view from my front yard
view from my front yard
blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.
blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase
Ginny jumped in my briefcase
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.
I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...
I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…
Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.
Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.
spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.
spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.
that tongue...
that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece
hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)
with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along
Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
me, JG and RM last night
me, JG and RM last night

 

 

Settling In Before Taking Off Again!

FOOD

I’ve been home a little over a week, and I’m (as usual), so happy to be back in my kitchen.

Smoothies are the breakfast of champions!  Well, maybe that was Wheaties.  But it should be smoothies 🙂

it's a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!
it’s a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

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not the only green smoothie lover in the house!  R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an "Apple Jack" smoothie
not the only green smoothie lover in the house! R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an “Apple Jack” smoothie

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The weather is starting to get all fall-ish, so I’ve made some warmer meals, like soups, chili, and (gluten free) pasta dishes.

still hands down my fav soup.  Post Punk Kitchen's Red Curry Soup.  Sweet potato, kale, and rice...what's not to love?
still hands down my fav soup. Post Punk Kitchen’s Red Curry Soup. Sweet potato, kale, and rice…what’s not to love?
black bean and sweet potato chili!  Leftovers for days (and days and days)
black bean and sweet potato chili! Leftovers for days (and days and days)
with sweet maple cornbread
with sweet maple cornbread
butternut squash and fresh sage pasta!  Recipe from Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls.  Made with chickpea gluten free pasta
butternut squash and fresh sage pasta! Recipe from Zsu Dever’s Vegan Bowls. Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

Other miscellaneous eats.

beets cooked in orange juice
beets cooked in orange juice
on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing
on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing
taco salad!  Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing
taco salad! Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing
grilled lime and sriarcha tofu with BBQ sauce "dressing" and grilled corn!
grilled lime and Siracha tofu with BBQ sauce “dressing” and grilled corn!
leftover tofu as a wrap...
leftover tofu as a wrap…
and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing
and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing
a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn't choke down.  Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.
a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn’t choke down. Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

FITNESS

Runs and rides!  More runs than rides though!

Two of my runs in the last week have found me in the middle of unexpected rain storms.  And when I mean unexpected, read it as “Crissie didn’t check the weather”.

Friday!
Friday!
Sunday...
Sunday…
Saturday (pre-ride).  It didn't rain :)
Saturday (pre-ride). It didn’t rain 🙂

LIFE

I’ve been home a little over a week now, and it’s been glorious!  Busy – but in a really good way.  Catching up at work, getting back in the groove of things, and then having a major project many years in the making go live!

The fluffy family members have been awesome, as usual.  Except for the afternoon Kuma decided to steal my highlighter and sticky notes while studying!

puppy kisses!
puppy kisses!
had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!
had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!
first grooming appt!  Came home with a cute Halloween bandana
first grooming appt! Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

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Bumble doing what cats do best...
Bumble doing what cats do best…
Ginny loves shoes.  Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones
Ginny loves shoes. Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones
guess who just walked in the door?  (hint, size 14's...)
guess who just walked in the door? (hint, size 14’s…)
I was cooking.  They both clearly thought I had something they wanted.  Until they realized it was kale...
I was cooking. They both clearly thought I had something they wanted. Until they realized it was kale…

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getting ready for the best holiday!
getting ready for the best holiday!

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Speaking of studying…

for anyone who wants to really understand merger and acquisitions!
for anyone who wants to really understand mergers and acquisitions!  Or for anyone hoping to pass an upcoming finance exam 🙂

Friday night my eldest and her boyfriend came over for dinner and Rock Band!

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And of course, morning pictures!

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And “others”

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!
me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!
getting ready for Halloween!
getting ready for Halloween!

Friday D and I have a charity golf event, and then I’m traveling for 5 days to support that project I mentioned.  Of course there’s the whole hurricane Matthew thing brewing, which thankfully appears to be turning east of Virginia Beach, but we’ll still get rains and winds.  After last months flooding, that means our region is still in danger of falling trees and flooding – so here’s hoping everyone in Matthew’s path stays safe and dry.  Oh, and this Friday also begins our 2 week exam period.  It’s going to be a chaotic couple of weeks!  But what’s new, right??  🙂