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WIAW: PDX style

I’m in my beloved Portland for a conference. I miss my family. The complimentary coffee is pretty bad, and if I hear the words “web strategy” or “content collaboration” again, I will scream.

Also, bonus points to anyone who knows what API, CMS, or MOOC stands for. And don’t think I’ll give you any hints because I don’t know what they mean either.

But the food? Oh, the food. I do love my Portland food.

Today, for What I Ate Wednesday, some thoughts on food in Portland.

Thought #1: Conference breakfasts aren’t always awful.

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Don’t get me wrong. There was a bevy of breakfast meats and pastries on display. However, at the end of the buffet was a big pot of Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats, strawberries and caramelized pecans. Delicious.

Thought #2: I’m not the only one who takes pictures of the food I eat.

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Coffee and treats with my friend, Gabs at my absolute favorite Crema. I love love their Spanish latte.

Thought #3: When inviting a friend to lunch, you should always choose someone who likes the same flavors you do so that you can share.

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Blossoming Lotus~ we shared the Fig/Brie sandwich and the Thai wrap. We loved both, but the Fig/Brie sandwich was the ultimate winner.

Thought #4: Best fall drink I’ve had yet this season=Pumpkin Chai latte

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Also, the best accompaniment to a Pumpkin Chai latte is gossip with a good friend:)

Thought #5: You shouldn’t even step into a dressing room to try on patterned leggings after eating an enormous Chipotle bowl.

You will regret it.

Bad news? I’m. Uncomfortably. Full.

Good news? No patterned leggings.

She & Him, 42/52

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

She: At preschool, in the “sensory table”~

Him: Hipster (play) glasses~

Thursday Thoughts, XVIII

1. Miss Rae’s preschool is awesome.

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They got to make applesauce yesterday and she loved it, but apparently OD’d on it because for a snack this afternoon she requested “apple, no sauce”…

2. My aunt Pam pitied us with our sad little watermelon…

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Remember this?

And she brought us a GIANT delicious watermelon from her garden.

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It’s so good and it’s that last little reminder of summer…

3. My co-workers got me a headlamp for my birthday.

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Headlamp selfie.

I love it because I feel so much safer now when I run in the early mornings. Also, this 100% trumps last year’s gift from them which was a block of tofu with sticks and leaves stuck in it…

4. I had 7 child-free, work-free hours to myself this morning. Angels were singing. In case you were wondering, this is what I can accomplish in 7 CF/WF hours:

1. 55 minutes of yoga
2. 5 loads of laundry (washed, dried, folded, put away)
3. 10 toenails painted
4. 2 episodes of Giada deLaurentis
5. 1 Facebook post
6. 1 amazing spinach, raspberry, banana smoothie
7. 2 loads of dishes
8. 4 rooms vacuumed
9. 2 rooms dusted
10. 4 miles, run
11. 1 refrigerator cleaned out
12. 3 sets of bed sheets changed
13. 1479 pieces of watermelon eaten

It was a very productive morning!

5. Are the following cookies inappropriate to take to a Christian school for snack?

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They look adorable (and delicious) (and easy), but I don’t want someone mad at me because they’re kinda “halloweeny”. Also, is “halloweeny” a word?

Cinnamon Chip Blondies

FYI: I’m a really good mom.

There’s a very popular kid’s gymnastics class at the university. This summer, whenever we would walk by the gym, J Man and Miss Rae would longingly crane their necks, looking at the boys and girls whose mommies loved them enough to sign up for Kidnastics.

So I talked to the program coordinator and she said, “The Kidnastics moms are crazy. On registration day, line up early.”

Registration opened at 9 am. I got in line at 7:15. I was number 12 in line. I waited for 2+ hours and paid a large sum of money so my kids know that their mommy loves them.

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And so they owe me, right?

Today was the first cold, rainy day we’ve had this fall. I needed something warm and sweet.

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J Man wanted chocolate chip cookies. Sorry, dude. We’re out of chocolate chips. Matty B, what do you know about this?

Miss Rae wanted sparkle glitter cookies (her current favorite color being sparkle glitter) but the only sparkle glitter we possess is in the form of Christmas decorations and it’s just too soon.

Could we also mention (being that it was the first cold, rainy day this fall) that the only activity that sounded appealing to my children was going outside and jumping on the trampoline.

I did not want to go outside. Cold. Rainy. Enough said.

I even pulled out the play doh. These are drastic measures because I almost hate cleaning up play doh more than I hate being cold.

Almost.

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All of this to say, sometimes I come first. Sometimes I get what I want.

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And I wanted Cinnamon Chip Blondies. And maybe it was because they were sick of eating play doh, but the king and queen loved the Blondies and in turn, proclaimed their love for me.

And sure enough, that pushed me over the edge.

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And I braved the cold with my coat and fuzzy socks and slippers and coffee.

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FYI: I’m a really good mom.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Walla Walla 1/2 Marathon Recap

To be clear, I didn’t win but I did finish!

There were a number of cards stacked against me on this race, the most significant being that I was at work until 1:30 am the night (morning?) before.

Proof? This is what I was doing at 2:02 am, trying to get my brain settled down from a crazy night of volleyball/soccer tournaments.

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You’ll notice that I won. Also, Subway is pretty adamant on their bacon opinions.

I had my clothes all laid out the night before, so even though I wasn’t asleep until 2:30, my 7 am wake-up call wasn’t too harsh.

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1/2 cup of coffee with almond milk and a couple spoonfuls of oatmeal with hemp hearts, cacao nibs and chia seeds was all that I could stomach.

Right before I left, J Man said, “Will you win this race?”

“Probably not,” I answered, “but I will finish!”

“Oh,” he responded, obviously disappointed. “When will you win?”

I guess I should’ve shown him my solitaire skills.

Apparently 7 am was cutting it a little close. By the time I parked, used the bathroom and found the starting line, they were counting down “10-9-8-7…”

And we were off! At least I didn’t have time to sit around and get cold.

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I took my first ever running selfie at mile 3. I ran the first three miles sans music, just being in the moment.

At mile 3 I listened to my friends Joy and Traci gab away on the Joy the Baker podcast. They got me through to mile 9 where I switched over to loud music. Loud music makes me run faster.

My 1/2 marathon playlist:

Best Day Of My Life, American Authors
Til I Collapse, Eminem
Sour Cherry, The Kills
Roar, Katy Perry
Radioactive, Imagine Dragons
Happy, Pharrell Williams
I’m All About That Bass, Im The One
Brave, Sara Bareilles

And then my phone died at mile 11. And I was scared. By this time there were a lot of people waaaaay ahead of me and a few people behind me and I felt alone.

And then someone yelled “Way to go, Holley!” (Or something like that).

It was my dad:) He was parked along the side of the course and just hearing that one shout of encouragement gave me enough oomph to go those last few miles.

As I got closer to the finish line, I could hear it before I could see it. And I got really emotional! I had been training for what seemed like so long and I was so tired and this was really hard…and then it was going to be all over. I had to purposely stop thinking about this “journey” (I hate that phrase, but it fits the best) because it was choking me up and making it hard to breathe.

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And just like that it was over.

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I did it! The official results aren’t posted yet, but I think I was between 2.10-2.20.

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As soon as I saw these little cheerleaders I lost it. Luckily, they were too distracted by their (my) pretzels to notice.

Some final thoughts on the WW 1/2:

1. The course was well marked. There were 4 aid stations with water, Gatorade, and Gu. In general, great race.

2. I almost got hit by a car. Around mile 12.5, a volunteer directing traffic (wearing official garb and holding a giant stop sign) waved me across the street but a car ignored her stop sign and almost crashed into me. She would’ve if I hadn’t stopped short. Yikes.

3. My two goals were a) to finish and b) to run the whole way. I accomplished both of those goals, (I walked through water stations) but I think I could’ve been faster. I was so worried (based on poor sleep the night before) that I was going to hit a wall, so I kept checking my pace, seeing 9.33 or 9.45 and forcing myself to slow down.

4. Afterward I felt pretty nauseous. Is this normal? I really didn’t want to eat anything until about 5 hours later when I craved ketchup (probably for the salt) and satisfied that craving at Walla Walla’s very own greasy spoon, Clarette’s. So good.

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Thanks to my mom, dad and Aunt Pam for coming out and cheering me on!

Thanks to Matty B for babysitting for hours while I ran 10-11-12 milers on Sundays.

Thanks to Unk C for really wanting to eat Clarette’s with me.

Thanks to J Man for believing that I could win:)

She & Him, 41/52

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

She: Red Wagon at the pumpkin patch.

Him: Breakfast in front of the fire.

I guess fall is here!

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp=Meh.

There are some statements that I will never make.

1. “Hey kids! Would you like some Tum-E Yummies?

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Every time we go to the park and I see another toddler sucking on one of these bottles of artificially blue sugar water, I die a little inside…

2. “Matty B, I cleaned off the kitchen island so you can dump piles of mail on it. And while you’re at it, could you also subscribe to some more catalogs?”

3. “I sure love committee meetings.”

But one phrase that takes the cake? The phrase that you never thought you’d hear me say?

“I shouldn’t have put peanut butter in that recipe.”

But I said it. And I meant it.

It all started when we went to the pumpkin patch.

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And even though it was 80 degrees outside, I got the “pumpkin” in me.

Meaning, l wanted a chill in the air. I wanted some hot cider. I wanted to sing the doxology.

I got none of those three.

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So I settled for pumpkin carving and apple crisp.

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Specifically, this peanut butter apple crisp.

And it was good. So good that I’ve been dumping the leftovers on top of my morning oatmeal.

But I shouldn’t have put peanut butter in that recipe. It totally overpowered the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg that I’ve come to love in apple crisp!

A few days later, my friend Renee made an awesome (vegan!) apple crisp to share at the office. It was amazing. Full of all those fall spices I’d been craving!

Another phrase you’ll rarely hear me say?

“I’ll have thirds…”

But I broke that rule with Renee’s crisp. Renee, will you share your recipe?

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