Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ben + Janelle

Wednesday evening, I drove up to Omaha for a long (busy) weekend.

What's a road trip without 10 years worth of homemade CDs?

Thursday morning, I hitched a ride with my family to Okoboji, Iowa for my cousin Ben's wedding.

Street near the resort. Ben went to Morningside College so I took a picture of the sign!

The wedding was Friday evening on a golf course behind a resort near the lake.

Groom's mom getting ready


New dress


With my maternal grandparents (hi Grandma and Grandpa!)

Vows. Perfect weather for an outdoor wedding!

Yum. Next time I go to a wedding, don't let me sit by the cake table!

Heather and Libby- love these girls!


Cutting the cake with an audience


I guess the music was too loud when it started


Haven't worn these shoes since my own wedding! (I don't think I've had a pedicure since then either).

Dance...


Dance...

Dance...

Me with my cousin Kate, an RN-in-training


Garter toss
My cousin Brian (the groom's younger brother) caught the garter on Friday, so in a few years we'll know if tradition holds up. At my Aunt Kate's wedding 10 years ago, my cousin Matt (the groom's older brother) caught the garter and I caught the bouquet. Matt was the next one in the family to get married... in September of 2007. I got married the next year... in September of 2008.  Ben caught the garter at my wedding, and then HE got married less than 2 years later!

No pressure, Brian ;-) But given the fact that his mom pulled the garter out of his hands and threw it back, I get the idea that we may be done with weddings for a while.

Congrats Ben and Janelle and thanks for inviting us. What a fun wedding!

Friday, July 30, 2010

CSA Week 12

The fruits of my labor this week: I helped pick these cherry tomatoes!



Pattypan squash


Tomatillos







Canteloupe




Beets




Cucumbers


Carrots


Ross' favorite: hot peppers

Sadly, I had to give some of this produce away to my friend Johanna because I'm leaving town for almost a week. I know she'll put it to good use, though!






Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fair Share Farm

As part of our CSA membership, we have to work two 4-hour farm shifts this summer. I worked one this morning and helped pick pole beans and cherry tomatoes. It was fun, but I was ready to go home by lunchtime. I loved the summer I spent working at Wenninghoff Farm in 2004, but I'm glad I don't have to do it again!

Producing good, clean food is hard work. Organic produce isn't so overpriced, it's just realistically priced for the manual labor that has gone into growing it without pesticides, crop dusters, and harsh artificial fertilizers.

Here are some pictures I took at the end of the morning once things were winding down and people were starting to leave.



















Most of these pictures are obviously from the flower patch. The vegetable patches were further from the house. I didn't feel right taking pictures while other people were picking and once we got cleaned up, I didn't want to walk back in the heat of the day. Fair Share Farm is a beautiful piece of land and while it was inconvenient for me to drive an hour each way this morning for 4 hours of work, it's always good to know where your food comes from and see the work that goes into it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

...Every now and then I get a
little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears

This morning I got to my car at 6:20 and it wouldn't start. Ross had already been at work since 6:00 (yes, we both work weekends and holidays) so I had to call him, make him leave work, drive him back to work, and then drive myself to work. I surprisingly wasn't that upset about the car thing in the moment- I'm sure I wasn't fully awake yet. And I was only 10 minutes late to work.

I spent an inordinate amount of time preventing fussy babies from reaching the meltdown point.
But it really wasn't a bad day at work, all things considered (that phrase always makes me think of listening to NPR in the car with my dad: "...and I'm Linda Wortheimer").



...Every now and then I get a
little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by

I probably shouldn't blog when I'm this tired. I'm not sure why I'm still awake (these days, 10:30pm is SO past my bedtime). I just got done with 3 shifts in a row. Certainly not terrible, but not great. I'm afraid I'm already getting "burnt out" on my career, considering 4 or 5 shifts in a row sounds impossible even though it's only been a few months since I've done something crazy like that.

I've still been working a lot (big surprise... 60 hours this week) but I'm not totally dead on my feet. This must mean I'm adjusting to the day shift schedule again.  My healthy lunch habit kind of falls apart after the third shift in a row, but I did manage to run 3 times this week in addition to working 5 shifts! And I have a much-needed and long-overdue vacation coming up soon, with 2 actual vacation days off-- not just some travel crammed between longs stretches of work. My first time off in 10 months!



...Every now and then I get a
little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes

I was drinking a canned Starbuck's espresso this morning, looking at the break room calendar and thinking, "why does this seem like an important date?"  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Or a ton of feathers (well, 2000 pounds is 2000 pounds, but you know what I mean). It was so significant, yet so... not. July 25, 2008 was supposed to be the day I married my college boyfriend. It would have been a long engagement (over a year and a half), and it ended after 2 months instead.

I married Ross on September 19, 2008 instead.

When I think "Brian," my mind somehow remembers him as a high-schooler when I just had a crush on him, instead of picturing him as the Brian I dated for so long. Is that odd? Maybe it's my brain trying to protect me?

Ross and I started dating 3 years and 1 month ago, and even a month into our relationship, I found it hard to believe there was ever a time I didn't know him. Even then, I knew we were never not meant to find each other. Imagine how weird that's going to feel after 50 (God-willing) years!



...Every now and then 
   I fall apart

Thank you Ross, for holding me together.




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You Are So Much Stronger Than You Think

My gym membership has officially expired. I loved having a membership in Texas because they had just built a gym right down the street from us. Here, the gym is a good 10-20 minute drive, depending on traffic. This drive stresses me out to the extent that it cancels out any endorphins I earned during my workout! Plus, we're not exactly rolling in the dough with two full-time incomes anymore. A gym membership just doesn't make sense right now.

I'm getting used to running outside again (my first love) and doing random speed workouts on the apartment treadmill. Running in the heat is SO MUCH HARDER than I remembered! Early in the summer, I was good about getting out early to beat the heat. I'm dragging lately, and even if I got up early I'd still have the humidity.



My last three workouts have been some of the hardest of my life (at least it feels like it at the time, even though they've been nothing special). The other day, running an eleven minute mile on the track took so much effort I felt like my Garmin should've been reading an 8-minute-mile pace!

Fortunately, my July Runner's World made me feel a little better: Every five-degree increase above 60 degrees Fahrenheit can slow your pace 20-30 seconds per mile.  This would mean that the effort it takes me to run 12 minute miles in 90-degree heat could be the same as me running a 9 or 10 minute mile at 60 degrees, the ideal running temperature. After my run the other day at 90 degrees and 60% humidity, I definitely believe that!

For now, I'm so proud of every single workout that I complete and I've adopted this runner's mantra: You are so much stronger than you think. You are so much stronger than you know!



*It takes patience to become the best runner you can be... running is a long-term sport. It is set up for people who value delayed gratification and who like hard-earned success* -Anthony Famiglietti, two-time Olympian and six-time national champion

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Homemade Nutri-Grain bars

One of the perks of being chair of the Developmental Committee is that I get to choose the snacks we have at our meetings! Humor me, please. If I'm going to put hours of work in to be one step ahead of all the committee members, I deserve some relaxing time to try a new recipe. And to be honest, I love being able to share a new recipe with a group of people. Ross an I can eat a batch of baked goods in about 3 days without thinking twice.

Today, I introduce to you Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars. I cannot claim this amazing recipe... I found it here. Don't let the name fool you though-- this is not exactly a health food. The recipe is very buttery. It did occur to me that I could replace the butter with peanut butter and make PBJ bars, but I have to follow a recipe perfectly once before I try to alter it.


The most exciting ingredient was the local jam I used! I bought a jar of strawberry-rhubarb preserves when we went to Jamesport with Ross' parents and this was the perfect recipe for it.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cold salted butter
1.5 cups flour
1.5 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup jam

Mix all ingredients (except jam) together, adding cold butter last and forming crumbs. Press a little over half the crumb mixture into a buttered 9×13 pan and spread jam on top.  Leave a half inch “no jam” edge so that it doesn’t run out the sides!  Top with remaining crumbs and press lightly into jam.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Cool and cut into 16 bars.

Next time, I may sprinkle some crushed walnuts on top for crunch. So easy to make and so delicious!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Veg Head



So what do I DO with all those CSA veggies?  I doubt you're wondering, but in case you are I present Exhibit A: gnocchi with pesto and roasted vegetables.










YUM. Even Ross approved (minus the tomatoes).