We took a walk

Last night, even though it was below 40 degrees, I convinced the husband to take a walk after dinner. This took some serious convincing so that fact alone might be worth a blog post. Our 9yo heard us talking about a walk and asked if he could go along. Of course! And so some of us (me) more bundled up than others took off in the dusky hours to walk a few miles.

We were out for 45 minutes or so and I’m not sure the boy stopped talking the entire time. Interesting things I learned from mister chatty pants last night include:

1. He prefers houses with both stone and brick because they look stronger.

2. It would be cool to buy 6 or 7 lots and build a huge house on them.

3. If I would have let him scramble through the mud to sit in one of the earth movers I would be a much cooler mom. (There are new houses being built in the back of our neighborhood.)

4. If no one has named the numbers that come after billion, J has plenty of ideas.

5. He thinks it would be fun to go kayaking on the various ponds throughout our neighborhood.

6. When walking down the middle of the street (in the new, as yet uninhabited part of the neighborhood) he decided it was fun being so “rebellious.”

7. He thinks he’s faster than his mom.

Let’s talk about that last one for a minute. I concede that he is faster than me over a very short distance. I also concede that my days of being faster than him are definitely numbered. But right now? Right now I’m faster. When you have a boy with an ego the size of Texas, it’s important that he recognize that someone – a girl even – is better than him at something. So when he suggested we race, I surprised him by accepting the challenge. I kindly waited until we reached the top of the big hill and were not quite a quarter mile from home. I let him say “ready, set, go” and then we ran. And I had to run hard and he was right by my side for the first minute maybe… and then I pulled ahead… and then he cried uncle when I got to our next door neighbor’s driveway and he was still across the street.

And then I asked him who was faster and he said “I am.” ?!?!? So I asked him again and he admitted that his mom is faster (but then he mumbled ‘over longer distances’). Now he wants to race the local 5K against me and told me I don’t have to stop with him if he takes a walk break because he’ll just pass me later. If he’s still this cocky about it when the race rolls around in June… I’m going to have to take him down. ;)

Easter menu planning

I’m a creature of habit. I go to the grocery store on Monday morning and then again on Thursday – mostly to buy more milk, bread and produce. Before I go the store I plan out a menu for the week. And this week that means I get to plan an Easter brunch!

I have more ideas written down on my piece of paper than I need for my small gathering. Here are a few ideas that I’ve used in the past, some of which might make an appearance on our Easter table:

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Crock Pot French Toast This one comes out like a cinnamon bread pudding. Soooooo good.

Make Ahead Scrambled Eggs

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Cream Cheese Dessert Dip

I’m thinking I might go cajun this Easter though just because it sounds good. Perhaps some etouffee or Red Beans & Rice. I need to go narrow down my menu!

Happy 5th Run-iversary to me

I hit a milestone this weekend. I’ve officially been running for five years. What started as a whim with a friend to participate in a fundraising 5K has turned into a regular habit.

On that April day I had no idea that I was sparking something that would take me far more miles than I ever thought possible. I would never have dreamed of running a half marathon… training for a full marathon… going out there and tackling triathlons. No, on that April day in 2009 I was just hoping to run three miles without stopping and to not embarrass myself. After that, I found myself running a couple of times a week. And then I found myself trying to push the running boundaries and about seven months later, I registered for my first half marathon. I think that November day when I clicked “register” for an event that was six months in the future – an event that would require training and distance running – was the day I started calling myself a runner.

As my Race Reports page notes, it took me a while to consider myself a runner. But if the past five years have taught me anything, they’ve taught me that it’s not about pace or finish order. No, running is about meeting challenges, making friends, breathing fresh air, feeling rain drops on your skin, making footprints in the snow, seeking the shady routes on a hot summer day, noticing the beauty of the world around us, finding trails, pounding sidewalks, planning training schedules, daring to line up at a race start, cheering (or crying) as you cross a finish line and planning your day around getting out for a run.

Today I’ll celebrate my 5th Run-iversary by running the same distance I started with. I’ll even tackle that same hill that was so hard that first year (a hill I’ve run repeats on countless times in the years since). I’ll cheer for myself when I finish in my driveway. And I’ll already be thinking about where I’m going to run tomorrow.

Things I’ll miss from Spring Break 2014

Another spring break has come and gone. We were able to take a nice three-day trip and then have a few days of total relaxing. I think my son spent two entire days on the couch in his pajamas. But we don’t usually have that kind of downtime so I let it slide.

Here are the things I’ll miss from Spring Break:

  • The extra hour or two of sleeping I got each day.
  • A road trip with my kids!
  • Feeling warm sunshine on my skin – I think I’ll miss this most of all.
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  • Looser schedules (That still involved me taking an awful lot of time away from work driving people places… that doesn’t seem fair.)
  • Creating memories and experiencing new things.
  • Baby snuggles
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  • Fun lunch dates at breweries.

And now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. I updated my April calendar this week and I have to admit there are some days on it that scare me. Sometimes three kids are sooooooo busy!

Cinnamon Waffle Cookies

I don’t know where I saw it but today (March 25) is International Waffle Day! This holiday originated in Sweden and its official name is VĂ„ffeldagen (I don’t speak Swedish but I’m going to wish everyone a Happy Vaffledagen today because its fun to say even if I am mispronouncing it). The holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation and is also considered the start of spring in Sweden. It became a custom for Swedish families to celebrate the two events by making waffles on this day.

I don’t know what waffles have to do with the Annunciation or spring. I’m not Swedish. My church does celebrate the 25th as the Feast of the Annunciation. And I love anything having to do with waffles. So I’m going to celebrate this holiday!

I thought about making waffles for the kids for breakfast but then decided it would be more fun to surprise them with non-breakfast waffles. There are cookbooks dedicated to using your waffle maker for non-breakfast items. I don’t have one of those but I had a couple of ideas in mind. So I did what I always do when I have a recipe notion… I searched the Internet to confirm my assumptions. And then I picked these for our after school snack:

Cinnamon Waffle Cookies

  • 1/2 cup of butter softened (two sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of cinnamon chips

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed for three minutes.

Scrape the bowl and add eggs one at a time. Continue to beat on medium for another 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Set the mixer to stir and spoon in the flour. The finished batter should have the consistency of a sticky cookie dough. Stir in the cinnamon chips by hand.

Preheat your waffle iron and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place generous tablespoon-sized scoops onto each section of the waffle iron. Bake for about 90 seconds – until golden brown (you’ll know after the first batch if you need a little less or more time, I baked mine for 1:40).

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Remove and place on a wire rack to cool (they will crisp up on the rack).

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