Falling Down the Mountain

Queue Jane’s Addiction here! And yes, while the lyrics are “coming down he mountain”, my experience was more about falling…

FOOD

Strangely enough, I don’t actually have that many pictures of my grub. I had a brief work trip and a long weekend ski trip, so there aren’t really any shots from that. But it’s been typical fare. Smoothies, salads, soups, oatmeal, curries, tacos, and pizza (okay, pizza isn’t that common for me, but it was a lunch out with JG at a local spot that has vegan cheese!)

I wish I had pics of the taco night. 14 of us in a rental house for the weekend, and taco night was the bomb! I made my awesome black beans and a big batch of rice. OPR made her tacos and everyone was happy with dinner that night!

FITNESS

Well, I was sick for a solid week, so that fully sucked. Nasty viral thingy where I just couldn’t get my fever down. It was so strange because I didn’t have any other real symptoms.

I would say skiing counted, but I’m pretty sure all I did was fall, so probably not!

Once I was back home, it was nearly my normal routine again. Runs & workouts in my home gym/garage. I was hoping to hit up some hot yoga, but thus far my week has been too chaotic to make any of the classes. It’s not looking like it’ll ease up until Sunday at this point.

LIFE

Well, I was only in the office for 3 days before heading out on a long weekend trip. A bunch of us rented a house and went skiing. 14 in the end (was supposed to be 16, but stomach flu sidelined a couple!). It was still awesome. All I can say is thank goodness for helmets! Without them, I’m pretty sure my kids would be in the ICU advising the doctors that yes, I am an organ donor. Skiing is most definitely NOT my jam. Turns out stopping is pretty difficult! I suppose starting with lessons would’ve been a good plan. Alas…next time…

And it certainly wasn’t all skiing. There was plenty of drinking and hot tubbing and even hit up a comedy club (which was actually a total riot).

Got home Sunday evening and hung with the kids, did laundry, and did some studying. Thankfully I had nothing on that front since I did it all early so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on our trip. Sunday was really about organizing the week ahead.

The Sunday prior, R got to spend a day being mentored by a NASA engineer! He volunteers at the school robotics team, and has been working closely with R on her areas. He has a home workshop he invited her to – and me as well since no mother in their right mind is going to let their daughter spend a day in a workshop with a stranger. He was very understanding of that and had brought it up as well. So I sat at his table saw and studied with R and he first used some CAD software and than began machining some parts for the project. She looked like she was at Disney, she was so happy!

Other than that, it’s been a pretty good week so far, with one exception. Our beloved cat Bumble (who is 18) is in kidney failure, and working with the vet, there is no longer anything we can do for her. We will be saying goodbye to her tomorrow, and it’s heartbreaking.

So not to end on a sad note, here are some random pics. I’m sure I’ll have a ton of Bumble in my next post…

Misadventures of a Delhi Market Trip

FOOD

I admit to not having many more food pics to share from India.  My second week there I got quite sick with “Delhi Belly”.  To be honest, it may be a very long time before I want to eat Indian food again!  More than a week later, and I’m still not 100%.  Since getting home it’s been super small meals – usually a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  Haven’t been eating dinner.  Partly I think because my sleep is so off and I’m jet lagging hardcore.

there were a few days where I couldn't eat anything at all.  On the 4th day - I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.
there were a few days where I couldn’t eat anything at all. On the 4th day – I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

I arrived home Sunday evening, and we were out of some of our basic groceries – and my creamy base for smoothies – bananas.  So on my way to work Monday morning, I picked up an acai green smoothie!

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After stopping at the market on my way home Monday, I was able to whip up my own smoothie this morning!  Orange, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach.

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Lunch was a BAS (Big Ass Salad for newbies).  Taco style!  Romaine, iceberg, onion, cilantro, tofu, black beans, cucumber, and salsa.  Thank you Moe’s!!!

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FITNESS

I went for a run before work this morning.  Actually – my sleep is all jacked up, so I was awake at 3:30am.  After spending 45 min trying to fall back asleep, I gave up and threw on my running clothes.  I put on a pot of java and took off.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after not running for a few weeks and not eating much, but it was honestly fantastic.  Not sure I can make this early morning thing a habit, but I dug it this morning.

LIFE

Other than getting sick as crazy, the rest of the week was good.  We have great speakers and classes as always, but mostly it was just amazing to be with my classmates.  We don’t physically see each other except during these residencies, and I truly dig them all.

The last day, however, saw some Delhi misadventures that are funny to think about now.  It goes like this…

6 people set off to walk to a market.  Success!  Those same 6 break up into 2 Uber’s to find their way to an Old Delhi Spice Market.  This is where our heroes take an interesting turn….

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!
BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

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In Uber 1 (my uber), driver turns the wrong way down an alley.  We’re blocked in (people and cows on all sides!) and some start banging on the car.  The driver gets out, and my anxiety level starts to notch up just a bit!  Eventually, he comes back, everyone rallies around to clear the way so our driver can back out of the alley.

We get close (ish) to the market (none of us in the car actually know where we are), and traffic is so crappy he kicks us out and tells us to walk.  We have a vague idea of direction (actually, BF seemed to have an innate sense of how to get there), and off we go.  We find it, and the “spice market” is actually blocks and blocks of small shops selling tubs/bins of spices, beans, and pastas.  Lot’s of street food vendors too, and it was fun to watch.

We actually manage to find our other 3 friends (thank goodness for WhatsApp and Google Maps!) and start walking together.  We got to stop and watch a shopkeeper toss bananas in the air just to be swooped up and eaten by the baboons!

We decide that it’s time to head back.  Based on craptastic traffic and our hotel checkout time – we needed to go.  Finding a way out (i.e. – cab, etc.) started to prove impossible.  So…NS (who speaks Hindi, thank goodness!) negotiates with a gentleman to carry the 6 of us in his electric scooter/cart thing.  We are quite the spectacle as we’re all piled in something made for 4, and start bouncing down the street.  About 6 blocks later – the front tire pops, and we’re on foot once more.

After a few blocks, NS negotiates with 2 tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) drivers to ferry us back to the hotel.  We’re back in groups of three, and I think our drivers believed they were in some kind of Nascar/Death Race/Bumper Car mash-up.   When not stuck in traffic, we’re literally flying down the roads.  Keep in mind that there are very few traffic lights or signs, and it’s a “first come gets the right of way” type of environment.  And lanes are optional.

Anyway…as we’re entering a round about, JC starts yelling at me “DON’T LOOK LEFT, DON’T LOOK LEFT, HOLY S&^$”.  Of course I’m sitting on the far left and anything coming at us (which was everything from busses, trucks, cars, rickshaws, and cows) would smash right into me.  Our little rickshaw would be toast!

As we were stuck in traffic, all manner of people walked up to ask for money.  One was a particularly tenacious and hilarious little girl who kept trying to reach into JC’s inner coat pocket.

We make it back to the hotel, and EA, JC, and I immediately burst into cheers and applause.  The driver seemed both surprised and pleased.  I guess he’s not usually celebrated for getting his passengers to their destination alive…

My flight left that night.  15 hours from Delhi to Jersey.  7 hour layover there.  Then home – just to be diverted during our decent due to a disabled plane on the ground blocking the runway.  We went to Richmond, refueled, then headed home.  Finally.

I was back to work immediately the next morning, and I admit that I’m struggling with jet lag for the first time.  I’m falling asleep between 5-8, and up around 3-4.  Then feel like a zombie (other than the whole brain eating thing) by 1.  Alas, it can’t last forever!

So, just a few other miscellaneous pictures before I try to stay awake another few hours before going to bed!

one of the days I couldn't get out of bed and sent D a "feel sorry for me" selfie
one of the days I couldn’t get out of bed and sent D a “feel sorry for me” selfie
watched several movies that day.  This popped up after every commercial.  It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.
watched several movies that day. This popped up after every commercial. It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.
last day of class!
last day of class!
hell no.  My cats love me.
hell no. My cats love me.

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scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.
scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.
in the Delhi airport
in the Delhi airport
in the Jersey airport
in the Jersey airport
missed these two so much
missed these two so much

 

Still Here – Promise!

Okay, last post was about Halloween.  I swear, I’m still kicking.  Just been – uncontrolled chaos!  I normally refer to my life as barely controlled chaos, but even I can admit it’s gone overboard!

Not going to try and do a 2 month update.  Many trips have ensued, family, school, work, friends, fun, tears, frustration, and an appreciation for life.

FOOD

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in my kitchen, and not making nearly enough of my super healthy eats!  Too much eating out or no eating at all, and I’m certainly feeling it.

But there were a few highlights!  One of them, is I got a new appliance!  An Air Fryer.  I picked up the GoWise on sale on Amazon, and it’s been a lot of fun to play with.  Kids love it, and it’s fun to have that fried food without added fats – which just end up hurting my stomach.

red lentil soup
red lentil soup
green curry.  of course!
green curry. of course!
tuna-less chickpea salad
tuna-less chickpea salad
butternut squash soup
butternut squash soup
a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath - topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing
a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath – topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing
air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried french fries.
air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried French fries.
Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies
Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies
air fried falafel
air fried falafel

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cream of broccoli soup
cream of broccoli soup
tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion
tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

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air fried tofu stir fry
air fried tofu stir fry
ranch kale chips from the air fryer!
ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

 

FITNESS

A few runs per week is about what I’ve been able to sustain.  One kickboxing session too.  Longest one was an 8 miler when I was staying with my sister on Thanksgiving weekend.

apparently this run was a little more difficult
post kickboxing – which kicked my butt

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a lovely Christmas morning run!  It was 50 and sunny and perfect
a lovely Christmas morning run! It was 50 and sunny and perfect

LIFE

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and her family and seeing my mom.  She’s now out of the hospital and hopefully on her way to a long, strong, and healthy life.

The week after Thanksgiving I was in Chicago for a week for a conference.  It was a great show, but the best part was staying with my best friend – who moved to New Orleans nearly a year ago!

I’ve been back home for about 3 weeks, and it’s been quite hectic between work, school, and prepping for the Christmas holiday.

Last weekend D took Kuma to the mountains for a long weekend, so it was mostly just R and me (M worked all weekend).  We watched movies, painted (pics of that later) and I studied.  All of us were sick for a few days this past week too, which sucked.  D had it the longest – pretty much a full week – and he’s still stuffy.

But last night for Christmas Eve A and her boyfriend came over and we had a blast.  Red beans and rice for dinner, movies, jammies, and board games!  I went to bed just after midnight, and left the rest of them playing card games!

And as she’s done since she was little – A woke us up stupid early for presents.  From there, it was our big breakfast tradition, cleaning, and lazing about.  I actually started packing for my India trip!  I NEVER pack early, so this is a major thing 🙂

Anyway, will leave you with a few fun pics!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful family if you celebrate, and if not – just an all around fantastic weekend.

~Crissie

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that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum
that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

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road trip Kuma!
road trip Kuma!
hide and seek Kuma!
hide and seek Kuma!
R out on M and R's boat in early November (it was a really nice day)
R out on M and R’s boat in early November (it was a really nice day)
at an artisan fair in Chicago
at an artisan fair in Chicago
saw this in a European lotion store.  Made me giggle.
saw this in a European lotion store. Made me giggle.
a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.
a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.
almost snuggling!
almost snuggling!

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Kitchen Krazies & Celebrating D on Father’s Day!

FOOD

Well it seems that the only motivation I needed to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen was to openly admit that I haven’t been spending any time in the kitchen!

Both yesterday and today were cooking heavy days for me.  D was out an about all day yesterday and a portion of today, and since I’m feeling better, figured it would be a good use of time (couldn’t handle being in bed anymore!).

So – some meals and meal prep fun!

coconut water, hemp heart, strawberry, banana, spinach green smoothie to start my Saturday
coconut water, hemp heart, strawberry, banana, spinach green smoothie to start my Saturday

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stovetop popcorn snack (though R ate almost all of it!)
stovetop popcorn snack (though R ate almost all of it!)
this week's salad dressing - a creamy and slightly sweet balsamic
this week’s salad dressing – a creamy and slightly sweet balsamic

Dinner was a lemon-thyme rice (using thyme from my herb garden!), smoky tofu, mushrooms, and curried cabbage.  To be honest – the picture looks terrible (I was outside with Kuma), but it was really good.  The cabbage was a touch too spicy (I guess I shouldn’t have used 2 tablespoons of Hot Curry powder!), but otherwise wonderful.

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I spent a lot of time outside on Saturday, and part of that was my typical weekly meal planning.  To make things simple, I grabbed just one cookbook off the shelf and went with that.  I was given a copy of the China Study Quick & Easy book, and I’ve honestly barely cracked it open.  I felt it was due some love, so all of this week will feature recipes from that book.  Most of Sunday’s cooking was either for eats today or for lunches during the week.

this morning's green smoothie was coconut water, banana, blueberries, vanilla, and spinach.
this morning’s green smoothie was coconut water, banana, blueberries, vanilla, and spinach.

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since I picked up a HUGE thing of blueberries from a local farm, made some blueberry lemon muffins to give A.  I'm sure her roommates will appreciate it!
since I picked up a HUGE thing of blueberries from a local farm, made some blueberry lemon muffins to give A. I’m sure her roommates will appreciate it!
Basil Pesto Hummus
Basil Pesto Hummus

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chickpea, artichoke, red onion salad with sundried tomato dressing
chickpea, artichoke, red onion salad with sundried tomato dressing
tomato, corn, and basil soup
tomato, corn, and basil soup
oatmeal-raisin cookies!
oatmeal-raisin cookies!

FITNESS

While I am feeling tons better, still not gym/running better.  I did take two long walks with Kuma yesterday and (so far) one today.

On a side note, we did a school project where we had to track some data point for about 2 1/2 months.  Many of us have fitness wearables and did that.  After actually creating process behavior charts with that data, a whole new realization that the entire point of having a wearable is to use the information.

I’ve noticed that I have not reached my step goal about 60% of the time, and had to realize that non-run days doesn’t mean non-walk days.  Since we did the project, the only time I’ve fallen below my goal was due to being sick.  I even spun the data this morning to check on things (creating charts, process limits, etc.).  Kind of fun and addictive, actually.

Kuma on our walk last night!
Kuma on our walk last night!

LIFE

I went to bed stupid early on Friday night.  Slept 11 hours – which I apparently really needed.  I started to feel human again yesterday.  I was up early, walking the dog, and studying before we had class at 10.  After class, I did the meal and grocery planning and then went back to school stuff.

We were supposed to have friends over, but with me not feeling well, we just couldn’t.  There would have been 5 kids (several pretty young) and a pregnant woman, and no way would I want to gift this to them!

So, instead I went about making arrangements for D to have a good weekend.  After a trip to get his hair cut and beard trimmed, he went to work on his book and then hit up a Tides baseball game.  He’s a huge baseball fan.  The Tides won, and he was home around 10.

And because I had slept so much, I wasn’t in a hurry to get to bed, so we stayed up until about 1am to watch a movie.

Obviously today is Father’s Day!  Since M & A both work today, they made special arrangements to spend some quality time 1:1 with D.  M surprised D by taking him out to brunch today – just the two of them.  M drove, so it really was a surprise until they arrived at the restaurant.  While they were gone, I went grocery shopping!

my boys!
my boys!

Before this though, just D and I were awake, and we enjoyed some quiet time.  We took Kuma for a walk (where she was an obstinate pup who kept stopping and refusing to move forward) while drinking coffee, and just chatting with each other and people who were out and about in the neighborhood.

D has spent the afternoon with R and me and relaxing.  Pretty soon he’ll be taking off to see A and have Father’s Day drinks!

To be honest – we don’t tend to make a really big deal out of things like this.  Truth is, we do a really good job of showing appreciation to each other every day, and while it’s nice to have a special day, we’re always really chill.  He’s a great Dad all of the time.  He knows how much the kids love him (and me too, of course) because they always say so.  So today is really about D not having to do anything he doesn’t want to.  It’s the “get out of jail free” day 🙂

I’ve been bouncing between studies, kitchen fun, and laundry.  Pretty much a near-perfect Sunday.

Blisters and Bruises

FOOD

Just being back in my kitchen makes me so happy!  Soups, salads, tofu, smoothies….all the grub that makes me so happy 🙂

While I was away, D was a cooking fool.  It was awesome, because he’s always insisted that he can’t cook.  He made up a tofu/potato taco dish that was such a hit, he made it again my first night home.  Which was awesome because I was pretty much an exhausted zombie all day, and it was nice to have him cook for me!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!
topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

After a good night’s sleep on Sunday, I was finally feeling my normal groove on Monday.  Forgot to snap a pic, but had a mango, banana, strawberry, chia, and spinach smoothie for breakfast (and a bagel I picked up for a work meeting – won’t lie!).  Lunch was some veggie pho, and dinner was a pressure cooker split pea soup loaded with veggies, thyme, and liquid smoke for some fun flavor.

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I also did one of my fav things – banana freezing.  Apparently no one else in my fam eats bananas with the voracity that I do, and when I got home there were several that were too brown for regular eats.  So – peel, chunk up freeze, and then bag up for banana soft serve or smoothies!

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag...otherwise they stick together and are a pain.  I speak from very personal experience on this one.
key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag…otherwise they stick together and are a pain. I speak from very personal experience on this one.

I started feeling not so hot on Tuesday so managed a BAS of romaine, onion, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and little else.

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Today was VERY not feeling okay, so I was happy for leftover soup…

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FITNESS

Full disclosure – I have about 342 blisters from last week.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the bottom of my feet are shredded.  I was averaging about 20 mi per day last week between morning runs and walking – and sadly most of my walking was either old flip flops or work shoes.  It’s literally hurt to stand!

Though yesterday morning was beautiful and I felt that since I didn’t run on Saturday (travels) or Sunday (zombie and foot pain day), that I definitely needed to run Tuesday morning.  Blisters were mostly feeling better and I figured it’d be fine.  About 1/2 mile in, I was annoyed, but insistent on ignoring them (I’m good at ignoring things – ask most of my family).  About 2 miles in I decided to turn around and head home.  I limped up to my front door and then left for work in flats (screw heels on blister day!).

chillin on the back porch after my "run" and before work!
chillin on the back porch after my “run” and before work!

I did yoga Monday and some light stretching today.  Some of the blisters have turned to bruises.  I think that’s a good sign.

LIFE

It’s so good to be back home!  The good thing is that so many of us were at the conference in Vegas last week, that I really wasn’t behind on anything.  That’s a good thing too, because it’s exam time for school, and all my free time is spent studying and getting prepped to knock those out.  2 this weekend, and 2 the weekend after!  5th class doesn’t have an exam, woo hoo!

I got home from the airport around 130am on Sunday, slept like crap, and was up super early.  So…zombie day.  I literally read all day and then curled up on the sofa with the family and watched the last Harry Potter movie.  It was kind of awesome to veg out though.

I also noticed that a whole bunch of people who traveled last week are in various stages of sick as hell this week.  Ugh.  Fortunately my job is pretty wicked, and as long as I have a computer and a phone, I’m good to go.  I have an empty inbox, multiple projects wrapping, and budgets reconciled!

One fun thing being at home during the day is the cats.  They certainly spend most of it sleeping, but they wander around until they find the perfect sleepy spots…

for Gin, it's seriously about sleeping in shoes.  The more recently worn, the better....
for Gin, it’s seriously about sleeping in shoes. The more recently worn, the better….
Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!
Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!
and an undercover kitty when they're not
and an undercover kitty when they’re not

And finally, morning pics!

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yes it's me.  Yes I'm sick so look like hell!
yes it’s me. Yes I’m sick so look like hell!

 

 

My Life (mostly) in Pictures!

FOOD

It’s been a good few weeks on the food front.  D and I have pledged to go out to eat less, so that means more fun food at home!  And…since I do most of the cooking, they more or less eat what I eat!

Not that they’re complaining – heck, even D decided one evening to make dinner and whipped up an amazing tofu stir fry!  Other yumminess includes tacos, smoothies, salads, wraps, falafel burgers, squash, pasta, homemade breads and soymilk, and Indian food, just to name the highlights of the past weeks!

last night's multicultural dinner!  Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta.  Don't judge...
last night’s multicultural dinner! Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta. Don’t judge…
Taco Tuesday!
Taco Tuesday!
leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday
leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday

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kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup
kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup
D's delicious stir fry
D’s delicious stir fry

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roasted acorn...
roasted acorn…
to make a yummy sauce...
to make a yummy sauce…
for mac no cheese!
for mac no cheese!
salad dressing
salad dressing
Indian feast!  Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies
Indian feast! Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies
fresh bread and rolls for the week
fresh bread and rolls for the week

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rice pudding breakfast!  Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup
rice pudding breakfast! Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup
fresh soymilk
fresh soymilk
dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker).  Secrets of a busy household!
dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker). Secrets of a busy household!

FITNESS

Running and yoga – as usual!  Can’t complain though, they’re what’s most readily available to me.

D and I are talking about building a home gym over the course of the next few months.  We both want to workout, but finding the time (or the desire) to go to the gym just isn’t there.  All 3 kids really want this to, so for now we’re doing research and pricing and will go from there!

LIFE

Well 3 weeks of life is a LOT of life!  With that said, no major complaints or anything.  There have been a couple illnesses, but nothing tragic (thankfully).  Between work, school, and family, I’m pretty much never bored!

I got to see several classmates last week, which was just amazing.

(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC
(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC

My fluffy study buddy, always willing to “help” (aka…get in the way)…

VERY intent on that equation...
VERY intent on that equation…
at least it's R's homework this time
at least it’s R’s homework this time

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Random shots

LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car
LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car

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at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!
at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!

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she loves shoes....
she loves shoes….
one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow...
one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow…

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And finally, the morningpictures!

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