Spring is coming

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Lambs from the farm down the road.

“She had forgotten that summer would come again, that the green would spread over the frozen fields, that the earth would be turned up to the sun and the seed sown, and that the meadows would renew themselves. Was this what strengthened these New Englanders to endure the winter, the knowledge that summer’s return would be all the richer for the waiting?”
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Earlier this week I drove past the farm near us and saw they have lambs. For those who don’t know me, I love sheep. They make me laugh and smile, because they’re so dumb. They run because another sheep starts running, and the fact that they have little tiny legs and a big body makes me wonder how they even stand up (it’s because all their mass is fluffy wool).

Anyway, when I drove past the farm and saw lambs it reminded me that Spring is coming. This past winter has been really difficult, depression-wise, for some reason. I’m not sure if it’s added responsibility at work (especially now that our Annual Campaign fundraiser is starting) or the fact that I was so happy all summer that winter seemed all the harsher. Whatever the reason, I’ve been struggling. When the sun set at 4:23 p.m., I thought I’d never see the light again. It felt so hopeless.

It should be noted that this winter hasn’t been bad, weather-wise. While the rest of the country has been freezing, we have had decent weather. Sure, it’s dropped to the 20s a few weeks, but it’s been relatively dry, and a couple weeks ago it was even in the 50s and sunny. So weather-wise, I clearly have nothing to complain about, right? And yet, it still seemed too cold, dark and difficult for me.

But gradually the sun started setting at 4:30, then 4:45, then 5 and later. In a few weeks we will change the clocks and I’ll be leaving when it’s light out again. Spring is coming.

2013 seemed to fly, and when I think back about events that I think happened last year, they were really 2012. Life keeps moving. Soon enough it’ll be spring, then summer, and we will have days of sunshine. I’ll be so hot again I won’t want to move. I’ll want to keep the kids at work outside as long as possible.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel of depression, and finally, I see it. I’m not out of the tunnel yet, but at least I know it has an end.

Easy Canvas Prints (review)

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I was contacted by Easy Canvas Prints to do a review in exchange for a free canvas print.

I love canvas prints, so I was very excited to order another one! The first problem was which picture to choose! After trying several, I decided on this one, because I think we look cute and it was taken in a brewery.

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One of the things I liked about the site was it told you whether or not a size you wanted would be ok with the quality of the picture. Since this was taken with an iPhone, I appreciated that. It still came out great!

The print arrived the day before it was scheduled, which made me very happy. I was also pleased that it had a little hook for hanging, and it looks very sturdy! I have bought two other canvas prints, and neither of them look like they have as much thick wood around the edges as this one.

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I also like that it has the date on the back, even though the picture was taken a couple years ago.

I had the option of a colored edging, to have the picture wrapped all the way around, or to have a mirror image for a little more depth, which is what I chose. I really like the way it all turned out and would definitely buy from them again!

*Disclaimer: I received a free canvas print in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own*

In 2013 we…

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Remember that time I totally unintentionally stopped blogging? Yeah, oops. For some reason I didn’t have a lot to write, and I feel like blogging has become so commercialized that to be perfectly honest I haven’t even read a blog in at least 6 months. I check in on some from time to time, but I guess life got away from me, and I didn’t feel like blogging.

However, I always get sentimental around the new year, and this year is no exception. So I’m posting yet another year in review (except that I don’t read blogs anymore, so this is my first!) Mostly this is for my own record, but some may find it interesting.

So, in 2013 we…

In January I started the year off right with a raging case of bronchitis. We celebrated our 3 year anniversary on January 2, with take-out Chinese food because I was sick. We went to the Melting Pot for our usual anniversary dinner the following weekend.

In February we bought new furniture, finally! We bought “his and hers” recliners and a couch with a pull-out bed (which was used for the first time about 8 months later!) We watched the Superbowl with friends and I interviewed for a library position at the Seattle Public Library on Valentine’s Day. I found out about a week and a half later that I didn’t get the position.

In March we celebrated Geoff’s 27th birthday and installed a ceiling fan, a 10 hour feat. My mother-in-law came to visit for Easter, and I took a part time position at a newspaper.

In April I headed back to Massachusetts for my grandmother and great-aunt’s 80th birthday party. We celebrated 7 years together and I started running.

In May we started working on our garden for the summer. It was bigger than last year’s, so it took a little work. We went to our first Mariner’s game of the season, and sat in a suite, thanks to an awesome Groupon. I think the Mariner’s lost, but it was a fun game.

In June I ran my first 5K! School let out on the 19th, on the 20th I was let go from the newspaper for budget reasons (for obvious reasons I didn’t publicize this!) Thankfully, God knew what he was doing, because I was able to get a full time position starting the following Monday at summer camp. I worked the camp with kids going into Kindergarten again and loved every minute of it. Well, most minutes…
Our nephew came to visit along with my brother-and-sister-in-law, and we went to a Cubs/Mariners game. The Cubs won it in 11 innings, my first game with extra innings. We also made it onto the big screen, another first in my life!

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This requires a picture because, hello cute nephew!

In July I ran another 5K. We saw the Red Sox lose to the Mariners in awesome seats.

In August Geoff and I did a Foam Run 5K. We went to Emerald Downs to watch horse races. I accepted a position as a supervisor at the same site I was at during the last school year. We cruised to Alaska.

In September I turned the big 30, and my family came to celebrate. My mom, dad, sister and mother-in-law all came up and we had a great visit. I settled into my new role as a supervisor and had about a million staffing changes for the first few months.

In October our nephew turned one. (Apparently that’s the only thing that happened in October!)

In November I surprised my best friend by flying home to Boston for her surprise 30th birthday party. We celebrated Thanksgiving with friends.

In December we headed to Utah to celebrate Christmas with my mother-in-law. We also went to Idaho to see Geoff’s grandparents and his BFF who we haven’t seen in over three years. We talked about plans to rectify that.

All in all, 2013 was a good year. I have some very specific goals for 2014, not really resolutions. I won’t list them out here, so as not to bore you any further, but I think 2014 is going to be a good year too. For starters Geoff will graduate with his first Masters degree. It’s been three years coming and I just can’t wait for us to be 100% done with school!

How was your 2013? Can you believe it’s 2014 already? Where do the years go?

CSA week 1, part 2: spring garlic

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See that weird looking thing with the roots in front of this picture? That’s spring garlic, sometimes called green garlic. It’s basically garlic that is picked early, and it isn’t as strong as regular garlic. I had no idea what to do with it, so, Pinterest to the rescue!

We tried a recipe called Green Garlic Fettuccine, except we used spaghetti. It wasn’t bad, although I kept eating pieces of garlic “skin” that I didn’t like. I did peel the garlic, but it probably has that all through the bulb, or whatever you call garlic.

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Anyway, the consensus was we would cook this recipe again!

Stay tuned to see what we get next!

 

CSA week 1: radishes, spinach, and pasta, among other things

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Geoff and I have been talking about doing a CSA since the first summer we were married, and it never really worked out. This year, however, a CSA share came up with a drop-off location at Geoff’s work. So, we signed up!

I’m a terrible vegetable eater. If I had my way, I’d never eat my veggies and if I did, it would be broccoli. Every night. So this is perfect for me because it gives me a chance to get out of my veggie-comfort zone. I decided it would be fun to blog about it. The CSA is 20 weeks, so I can’t guarantee that I’ll blog about it every week, nor do you want me to, I’m sure. I figured it would be interesting to talk about the recipes we try and the things we get in the box.

This week we got:

Lettuce
Baby spinach
Radishes
Spring garlic
Strawberries
Spring onions
Fresh pasta (1 pound of wheat spaghetti)

We decided to do the pasta add-on because we love pasta and figured fresh pasta would be fun to try.

Right away I wrapped the lettuce and spinach in paper towels and put them in a bag in the fridge. This seems to have kept them fresh, thank goodness. I have trouble with eating a whole head of lettuce, despite my best efforts so hopefully this keeps it fresh. The strawberries we ate right away because, yum! They were so red and delicious, I was sad that we only had a small box! Oh well, hopefully we’ll get more.

I’ve never had radishes or spring onions (which are basically just onions that are pulled early in the season, I guess) and I’d never heard of spring garlic, so I did some Pinterest-ing!

I pinned a few things, and we tried this recipe for the radishes and onions. I don’t normally like onions and was surprised that these really did taste sweet! The radishes weren’t bad either. All in all, we really liked this recipe, and it was easy. The lemon really made a difference, so if you make it, don’t forget that part. We used half the fresh spaghetti and I totally didn’t take any pictures.

To use some of the spinach and an apple, we made this salad. Um, delicious. We left out the almonds because we didn’t have any, and I’d honestly take it to work if the apple wouldn’t brown by the time I ate it. Hmm, maybe I will still try. Anyway, no pictures of that either because this idea only came to me recently.

Since this post is getting long, I’ll save the spring garlic recipe for another day. Stay tuned.

The post you’ve seen before

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I feel like I read this post every few months. The one where a blogger admits that they’ve started running. That they didn’t realize it could actually be fun. That a few months ago they could only run 30 seconds at a time, and that was rough, and now they’re running a 5K.

Now it’s my turn.

On April 17 I went for a walk outside. Geoff was at school and I didn’t have the energy to get into the car and drive down to the gym, so I went for a walk. This was two days after the Boston Marathon bombings, mind. Something that hit home like no other recent disaster, because my dad was at mile 24.2. I have no idea if that’s what prompted my random, I think I’ll try to run a little bit idea, but that’s what I did.

The next day I started the C25K program. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who literally wants to go from walking to running in a few months. For that person who thinks you can’t do it? You actually can, with this program. The first week I ran for 30 seconds and walked for a minute. That wasn’t bad. Then I started running for a minute at a time. OK, getting tougher. Last week I ran for 15 minutes straight. On June 8 I ran my first 5K.

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Here’s the cliche part of the post. If you’d told me at the beginning of April that I’d run a 5K in 2 month’s time, I’d have laughed in your face. I’d have told you I am not a runner, I have no desire to run, and that if you saw me running you better run too, because clearly something’s coming after me.

Am I a runner now? Can I call myself a runner? With one 5K under my belt and another planned for the Fourth of July, I think I can finally call myself a runner. I have a PR, I have a goal, and I have a plan. Will I be running a half or full marathon any time soon? Probably not. At this point the idea of running for 3-4+ hours straight really isn’t that attractive, but I’ll no longer laugh in your face if you suggest it.

For now, I’m enjoying my shorter runs, and the accomplished feeling that comes with achieving a goal that used to seem unattainable.

 

That time I was famous

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I recently discovered Buzzfeed. First of all, best website ever. I could lose myself in the funny articles. (I definitely don’t read it for actual news because, let’s be honest, it’s not a real journalistic website and people shouldn’t treat it as such.)

Anyway, the other day, when I called Geoff on my way home from work, he told me I was on Buzzfeed. Um, what.

It’s true. This article, which I hadn’t yet read, features my keys. That’s right, “Get ahold of a gym keychain”? My keys.

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My favorite part is that I actually do go to the gym and use that keychain!

Sadly, though they linked to my old blog (thanks for the source!) I have yet to become blog-famous. At least I’m Buzzfeed-famous.