Friday Free-For-All – 07/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Long time, no see. Yikes. I haven’t been reading blogs or writing at all lately. We’ve been super busy with getting ready for Vera’s first birthday, then traveling for a family reunion, so blog stuff took a necessary back seat. Also, I haven’t really been running or working out much for the same reasons, so there hasn’t been much to write about. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things next week, but no promises. Ben will be away and I’ll be solo parenting for five days which isn’t exactly a recipe for getting stuff done.

We turned our hot water heater up, and it is AWESOME. It turns out, our heater was on the lowest possible setting. I am one of those people who likes surface-of-the-sun-hot showers, so this is great for me. I’m also excited to see what a difference it will make for laundry and dishes and such.

I bought my first piece of non-maternity, non-nursing, non-workout clothing since before I got pregnant. I bought a new dress for a wedding this weekend, and honestly it feels like such a BIG DEAL to be buying an item of clothing just for me, for “real life.” And it looks damn good, if I do say so myself 🙂

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We finally got the pull up bar out of the basement. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but just never got around to it. Doing an unassisted pull up is my biggest fitness goal, so I’m trying to do some exercises each day to work toward that. It makes me miss CrossFit. *sigh*

What’s your biggest as yet unachieved fitness goal?

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Friday Free-For-All – 06/28/19

Friday Free-For-All

Happy summer vacation to us! We just finished the first full week of Ben’s break, and we have been seriously getting after house projects. We cleaned the basement AND the garage, and finally got our garden going. Yay!

If you’re looking for some new running bottoms, check these on AmazonMy girlfriend Nikki swears by this brand, Baleaf, and got me a pair of the compression shorts for me birthday. All of their shorts, capris, and leggings have side pockets. The fit great too; no sliding down my butt or riding up my thighs. And the shorts are only $20! I can’t wait to get some leggings and capris too.

Baleaf Shorts

Photo from Amazon

I’m on a running hiatus at the moment. Remember how my left heel was hurting me after the VCM relay? I took a full week off and it seemed to be doing better, but it’s been up and down ever since. It never hurt WHILE I was running so I was reluctant to take another break, but I’m trying to be responsible and take care of myself. So no running for a week or two, and then we’ll see where I’m at. In the meantime I’m very busy with prep for Vera’s first birthday party (!!!!!), and I’m doing hip/glute exercises with my resistance bands every day, and rolling my feet and calves.

Vera’s first birthday is this coming Wednesday and I’m having ALL the feelings. It feels like this year had absolutely flown by and I can’t believe my baby is about to be a toddler. Frankly, I don’t really miss the newborn baby stage. Vera’s early infancy was very hard. Nowadays, she’s so much fun! I’m very excited to explore the toddler stage with her. I’m also very excited because both my and Ben’s entire immediate families will be in attendance–his sisters are coming in from Prague and DC, and one of my three sisters is making the trek in from Detroit (the other two live here in VT). We don’t have a theme or fancy decorations, and we’re not buying a smash cake. We’re focusing on a simple celebration with good food and plenty of adult beverages. Because honestly? The first birthday is more of a celebration for us having kept a kid alive and not killed each other for an entire year than anything else, haha!

Did you do a big, blowout party for your child’s first birthday?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/07/19

Friday Free-For-All

I cut off about five inches of hair this week. You may have already seen this on Insta, but just in case you missed it, VOILA! I always love having long hair, but with summer coming and a baby who loves to grab/eat/tangle said hair, it was time for a good chop. It feels so much healthier and lighter, and I’m very happy with it.

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Possible unpopular opinion: I really dislike when people post novel-length captions for their photos on Instagram. For me, Insta is about photos, not words. I don’t want to spend a ton of time reading a full-length race recap or your entire running history when I’m just trying to scroll through and get caught up. In my opinion, that kind of thing belongs in a blog post or FB post, not underneath your Insta photo.

We finally took steps toward having a vegetable garden this year. We originally had big plans to have a fairly large garden, but that kind of went by the wayside. This weekend we just went to the hardware store and grabbed some seeds. I started a few things inside, and this weekend we’re just gonna drop some seeds in the ground and see what happens. Even if we just get a few veggies, it will have been a learning experience and possibly be a net zero cost situation. Eventually we do hope to have a “homestead” situation with a large veggie garden, fruit trees and bushes, and chickens for eggs, but that stuff costs money to get started, and we don’t have any right now!

Our lilac is going crazy, and it’s making me so happy! This lilac was hugely overgrown when we moved into the house, and didn’t flower much last year. This spring I aggressively pruned it, and that seems to have done the trick! I got this white bud vase for a whole dollar at Goodwill, and it’s perfect for showing off the beautiful purple blooms.

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What’s your favorite flower? Mine is actually the Gerber daisy, but Lilac is a close second.

Friday Free-For-All – 05/31/19

Friday Free-For-All

Injury update: My foot is feeling better, thank goodness. I’m planning to give it a full week of rest before attempting some easy runs, just in case. I suspect that it’s something to do with my Achilles tendon and/or tight calves, so I’ve been doing lots of foam rolling and mobility stuff.

I’ve been on a sourdough baking kick. In fact, I’ve got some in the oven as I write this post! I’ve been working on getting sourdough “right” for a while now. I tried several different recipes and methods, and it just never turned out well. The resulting bread was perfectly edible, but it wasn’t the sourdough I was going for. Finally, I got serious. I bought myself a kitchen scale and started following Jen’s recipe and instructions at Peanut Butter Runner. She gives step-by-step instructions with videos, which were SO HELPFUL. Most of the recipes I followed just said something like “shape the dough into balls.” OK, but HOW??? Using Jen’s instructions has yielded perfect bread each and every time, and I will never go back to store-bought bread.

 

Sourdough

PERFECTION

We are counting down the hours to summer break. It’s been a tough school year for Ben, and we’re all starting to feel the stress. Thankfully, the end is in sight now; the last day of school for teachers is June 18, and we can’t freaking wait. Vera is just at such a fun age now, and I want Ben to be able to experience it too. Plus, we have so much still to do around the house and yard, and so much fun stuff on the docket this summer.

What’s one thing you’re excited for this summer?

Friday Free-For-All – 05/03/19

Friday Free-For-All

I’m running a leg of the Vermont City Marathon Relay. This is a super last-minute addition to the calendar, and I’m pumped! One of Ben’s coworker’s mother’s team had a last-minute vacancy and I jumped at the chance. I’ll be running the longest leg (6.6 miles) with the most elevation (Battery Street hill), so I guess I’d better start throwing some hill training in!

Vera had her 9-month well child visit this week. Which is funny, because as of today she’s actually 10 months old. As expected, she’s perfectly healthy and hitting all the major developmental milestones. Growth-wise, she’s still very petite; she’s in the 19th percentile for height, and actually moved way up to the 29th percentile in weight (from 17th percentile at her 6 month appointment!).

My in-laws bought us a plum tree. They just showed up at our house with a tree for us, haha! It’s a Mount Royal Plum, which according to my research is extremely cold-hardy, and “so prolific that planting a second tree would be absurd.” It won’t bear fruit for a couple of years, but when it does, I can’t wait to make ALL the plum recipes.

What are your plans this weekend? I’ve got a bridal shower and a birthday party 🙂

Friday Free-For-All – 04/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Woohoo, spring break! Ben’s break begins today, and we couldn’t be happier about it. The last few weeks have been a bit of a slog for both of us, and we’re ready to have some family time. Also, ALL OF THE PROJECTS. We need to get our garden prep going and take care of some stuff around the house that we’ve been neglecting.

Sleep training, round two. We’re also planning to use this break as an opportunity to try to give up overnight feeds with Vera. At her age, it’s not at all necessary, but it’s become a habit that is messing with our sleep and driving me a bit crazy. I haven’t had a night of uninterrupted sleep for almost 10 months and it’s wearing on me. I’m not at all looking forward to the process, but I’m looking forward to the results.

My husband is a cookie gobbler. I bake a lot, because homemade treats are cheaper and generally better tasting than store bought. Recently, I had to start dividing up cookies into “mine” and “yours” batches, because otherwise Ben ended up eating twice as many cookie as I did, and I was not happy about it. Seriously. That man can eat four enormous cookies in one go, whereas I like to make mine last a bit longer. So now we have separate containers.

My race is three weeks away. I’m getting very excited to race again. Unfortunately, fundraising is going a bit slower this year than in years past. A large portion of donations used to come from my work colleagues, and now that I’m not working anymore, well, those donations aren’t happening. I still have time, and I still have some family who are planning to contribute, but I don’t think I’m going to hit $1000 this year. If by chance you feel moved to contribute, the link to my fundraising page is here.

Do you have a spouse who eats a disproportionate amount of treats?

Friday Free-For-All – 04/12/19

Friday Free-For-All

SPRING! It’s finally here! My daylillies are coming up, my rhubarb is coming up, and all I want is to be outside. It’s supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow, and of course, that’s the one day this week I have indoor plans. Whomp whomp. I’m hoping for more warm, sunny days next week so I can attack our long list of yard work during Vera’s nap.

My first sourdough came out… ok. It’s got a lovely, crusty outside, and a nice, springy inside, but it really doesn’t taste like sourdough. It’s odd. I don’t think it’s an issue with my starter; the dough rose just fine. I’m not sure. All I can do is keep practicing, I guess. And over time, my starter will get stronger, so the flavor might get better. I’m also excited to try other recipes–sourdough pancakes, anyone? English muffins? Mmmmmm.

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Two of the audiobooks I had on hold through my library came in at once. That’s a whole lot of listening. And audiobook rentals only last for seven days each, so I’ve gotta push through them both quickly. Thank goodness for my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones!

Do you like audiobooks? When/where do you listen to them?