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10 miles. Done and done.

I go through phases in life where I get somewhat obsessed with one thing, thinking about it, talking about it (sorry, Matty B), obsessing over it.

So it is with running these days.

I ran 10 miles this morning. If I say it was fabulous, will we still be friends?

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I ran 10 miles this morning. 2 miles of silence, 2 miles of music, 6 miles of Joy the Baker podcasts.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. The weather was perfect. Sunny, but not too warm.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. I was on the Whitman College campus when an elderly couple, flagged me down to ask for directions. I apologized, letting them know that I didn’t attend Whitman and was purely running through. The lady made my morning by telling me that I looked like a college student. I guess my hair doesn’t look gray when it’s sweaty.

I ran 10 miles this morning. It was easy. Well, it was hard, but compared to last week’s 9 miles, it was easy. And then I came home and sat at the table for 45 minutes eating watermelon and peaches.

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I ran 10 miles this morning. And then I took the kids over to my parents house under the guise of “watching football,” except we all know it was just an excuse to lay on the couch and let other people entertain my children.

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Also, spinach/banana/strawberry/protein powder smoothie.

Also, yay Broncos!

I ran 10 miles today. And then at the grocery store I saw this poster and got excited because my crazy running obsessed brain saw “fun run”.

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Normal people will note that this event is a baked potato bar called Potato FUN at Quail RUN. No running. Just eating potatoes.

I might have a problem.

She & Him, 37/52

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: eating the chocolate chip cookies made because of the stress of…

Him: …the first Kindergarten field trip, the hair salon:)

Mac ‘n Cheese Taste Test

Pre-kids I was certain that my future children would not subsist on Mac ‘n cheese, hot dogs, and PB&J alone.

They would enjoy thai food, pesto pasta, and maybe even some veggie sushi.

And then real life happened. And we do our best. We really do. We expose. We bribe. We demand “just one bite.” And still, Mac ‘n cheese is the obvious winner.

At least I’m in good company.

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J Man invited a friend over for lunch. To clarify, this is Fearless Friend from swimming lessons. FF’s mom and I were trying to determine the lunch menu to suit her highly allergic youngsters and my highly picky ones.

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Enter the Great Mac ‘n Cheese debate of 2014.

On the left, the blue box, Kraft Mac ‘n cheese.

On the right, the questionable white pouch, Leahey Gardens Macaroni and Cheese.

FF’s mom was happy with the ingredient list. No dairy, and no soy.

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The powdered “cheese” looked suspicious, but doesn’t all powdered cheese look suspicious?

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Us moms took a preliminary taste test.

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It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good. It tasted very strong of nutritional yeast, but with aluminum undertones?

We didn’t say a word to the starving kiddos and served up lunch (vegan for all).

Fail. Total, utter fail. Kids, shockingly, took one bite and then devoured their PB&J. And maybe, if given the option of this vegan Mac ‘n cheese and thai food, I might enjoy some long awaited pad thai…

Has anyone found a good vegan Mac ‘n cheese in a box?

Two Truths About Chocolate Chip Cookies and No More Tears

J Man, from the backseat: “Ok, here’s the deal. When we get home, you make some chocolate chip cookies and daddy will jump on the trampoline with us and then when the chocolate chip cookies are done, you come out and say, “Cookie time!” and then we’ll stop jumping and eat chocolate chip cookies. Is that a good plan?”

It’s been a week of packing lunches and remembering to put the show-and-tell in the backpack. A week of dentist appointments (yes, still more!) and field trips (have you ever singlehandedly put six car seats in a suburban?). A week of staff meetings and team meetings and committee meetings.

And remarkably, a week of no tears.

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That might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but J Man’s first two weeks of school were…emotional. There were tears over lost PE shoes (that were right in front of his face), and broken art projects. There were tears because I forgot to put the ice pack in his lunch box. There were tears because his pencil was too sharp.

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This week, miraculously, no one cried at school! Not even Matty B!

Certainly, this was cause for celebration. And because I love cookies and because J Man asked so nicely and because chocolate chips, these happened.

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I’ve bragged before about the best chocolate chip cookies ever and I continue to stand by my word. But these cookies are a very close second.

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I got the recipe from a sweet little cookbook compiled by the hot lunch lady at my favorite elementary school in Portland. This particular recipe is from my friend, Bev, and I don’t think she’d mind me sharing it.

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I omitted the oatmeal, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. And the cookies are amazing. And this recipe is fabulous, but I think I discovered two truths about chocolate chip cookies.

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1. Always add a taste of molasses. Bev’s recipe calls for a tablespoon and the flavor that molasses gives is warm and cozy and spicy and…perfect.

2. Follow Bev’s instructions at the bottom of her recipe. I made the dough in my food processor which allowed the chips to be slightly chopped up for more chocolatey goodness everywhere.

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The PE shoes are in his locker. The lunches are packed. Hopefully the pencils aren’t too sharp.

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No more tears:)

Carrot Curry Soup

I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything that looked this…gross. I’m just going to show you a picture right away, but I’ll make it small so it doesn’t fill your entire screen.

Are you ready?

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Blast. I don’t know how to make it small. I’m sorry. I won’t show you anymore.

This recipe for carrot curry soup looks awful. But it tastes really good so I had to share.

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Just don’t make this for someone you want to impress on a first date. Or second. Or third.

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And definitely don’t make this for your picky children. Unless you tolerate potty talk at the dinner table and we do not.

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And for sure don’t make this for your skeptical co-workers who probably make fun of your vegan-ness behind your back. Unless you tolerate potty talk at the dinner table and we do not…

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Make this for yourself when you’re cold and craving something warm, comforting and a little bit spicy.

This is a spin on my broccoli soup recipe, with the addition of roasted carrots and curry powder. It looks gross, but it tastes great.

And if you didn’t know better from the picture below, you’d think that Miss Rae’s ice cream cone is the opposite: looks great, but tastes gross?

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What is wrong with my child?

Carrot Curry Soup

Ingredients

3 cups roasted carrots
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews (I soaked mine about 4 hours.)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a vitamix or high speed blender. Purée until desired consistency. Heat and serve.

Are you still a runner if you walk?

Let’s talk about running…and walking.

Old thinking (mine): if you walk, you’re not a runner.

New thinking: do what it takes to survive, even if that means walking.

I had 9 miles on the docket for today. That’s 14.49 kilometers and thinking of it that way makes me feel even more proud.

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I finished. Yes, yes, I did. But it was hard. Hard. And I walked. Twice.

Here’s the scoop. A few days ago I ran into a gentleman who also works at the university and is a hardcore athlete. One wall in his office is covered with race bibs and medals. We always have a lot to talk about. I mentioned that I was running the Walla Walla 1/2 and found out that he was the race director. Yay! I’ve got the inside track! He questioned me about my training and then said something very interesting.

“You know, it’s ok to walk. On my first 1/2 I ran for 5k, walked, ran for 5k, walked and ran the rest of the way.”

Hmmmm…

In my brain, unless you run the whole way, you’re not a runner. But his statement opened up a new concept that I wholeheartedly embraced today.

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I started out with my typical oatmeal/banana/peanut butter combo with a couple of mini chocolate chips and a handful of hemp hearts thrown in for good measure. Plus coffee. Of course, coffee.

And I was excited. Anxious to get out there. Ready to do this.

The first four miles were ok, but then my body said, “ok, I’m done for today.” I wasn’t even halfway. Uh oh.

I had a gu with me and some water, so I told myself that I could walk at five miles and take the gu and water. (In the past I’ve totally made a mess while trying to eat and drink while running, so this seemed like a logical thing to do.)

I had this PowerGel brand, only citrus flavor. It tasted like lemon curd and I loved it. I ate it slooooooowly, because I did not want to run again.

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I finally convinced myself to get back at it, but I never really found my stride. My water was gone already, so I decided that I could make it to Shopko where I knew of a refrigerated drinking fountain. I barely made it. I almost called Matty B to pick me up, but I only had two miles to go and convinced myself that I could do this!

The shoppers at Shopko must’ve thought I was crazy. Red faced, hot, sweaty, disheveled and maybe a bit disoriented, I filled up my water bottle and went back at it.

I did it. Eventually. But I walked twice and thank goodness I’d had that conversation with my friend because I feel no guilt. None. Ok, maybe a smidge, but I’m getting over it.

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20 miles for the week.

And my current plan is to sit on the couch, watch some football, and eat some snacks.

Anyone else have this same stigma? Running is good, walking is bad? I’m trying to retrain my thought processes…

She & Him, 36/52

I made a Shutterfly book. I’m a sucker for those “free 8×8″ books. When I order one, I feel like I’m being a good mom.

I wish Shutterfly gave me money for showing you my book, but alas, I’m just happy for the promo code…

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Click here to view this photo book larger

You’ll love Shutterflys award-winning photo books. Try it today.

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