Weekend Runs & Bookworm Fun

Ingredients for a perfect weekend:

  • Running
  • Running with husband
  • Running with friends
  • Wine or Champagne
  • Books, reading, book club
  • BRUNCH

This past weekend involved all of the above… and I can’t wait to have another just like it.

Saturday, Mr. Speedy took me a nice long 13 mile run that has hilly trails sprinkled throughout.
This sounds very pleasant.
Even adventurous.
But it was actually quite dangerous.

This was all fine and dandy until we hit about mile 7, and were running aimlessly on a trail that clearly was a loop (WHICH MEANT WE WERE DOOMED FOREVER) and I began to panic that a) we would never escape the forest b) be forced to eat leaves and eventually c) die in each other’s sweaty arms.

As much as a death in each other’s sweaty arms would be romantic and somewhat epic, I was starving and really wanted a Panera Bread smoothie and it was my goal to get one. I complained to Mr. Speedy that we were lost, and probably going to be lost for hours, and that I was hungry and also had to go the bathroom. And forgot to brush my teeth.

He told me to stop being so dramatic and continued to drag me through the never-ending trail…. and we eventually re-surfaced to an open area that was familiar. Good thing he was with me.

Looking down at my watch, it was clear that we were actually only lost and running aimlessly for approximately 13 minutes. BUT- that is a long freaking time to be running around in uncharted territory that is thick with trees and rocks and creepy animal sounds.

My legs post-trail run. Little bit of mud. I have no idea how my socks stayed that clean???

My legs post-trail run. Little bit of mud. I have no idea how my socks stayed that clean???

The next day, I met two girls from book club to do a 10 mile run prior to our Brunch meeting.

I was VERY EXCITED for this run. Running with people for the first time is like a blind date, except you already know you like the person and want to spend time with them.

Ok- that is actually a weird reference and doesn’t make a lotta sense… but basically, I was EXCITED.

It was a blast running with these ladies. We chatted, enjoyed the weather, talked about everything from work, love, babies, periods, food, and just enjoyed our run. The one gal (I’ll call her Harley, because she just bought a Harley which makes her the coolest), ran 5 with us before going home to shower before the brunch. She was pretty funny because she sprinted off mid-run, let us catch up, and then was like ‘I regret that sprint.’ Ahhhh….. so different from running with Mr. Speedy!

The other girl (I shall call her Poly because she is getting her PhD in Political Science which is freakin’ amazing!), stuck it out for the full 10 and did awesome. I think she may have surprised herself with her overall run time. Poly is doing the Detroit marathon in October so I hope we can get some long runs in together! Makes it so much less painful.

Running with these girls makes you really cherish being able to share the sport. In some ways, running kind of allows you to open up and talk about things maybe you wouldn’t normally. It’s a raw sport and you are just yourself. Everyone is in the same boat, striding along one step at a time.

After running, it was time for book club brunch! Everyone brought something and it was delicious. We had a new member who made a blueberry-lemon-crazy-good-bread-cobbler. I strategically sat myself in front of it…. and Poly made HOMEMADE BAGELS.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD HOMEMADE BAGELS?

You have not eaten a bagel until you eat a homemade one. I told her that if I ever get really sick of something tragic happens, please just give me a bag of bagels. It’ll fill my heart and tummy with pure carb joy.

 

We discussed the books The Devil Wears Prada and Where We Belong (both very fun, summer reads).

I ate 4 bagels and 6 cookies.

The cookies were from my friend (I shall nickname her NY because she used to intern there). This Friday, NY and I, along with our friend Greek (that is her nickname because she is super-duper Greek) will be traveling to the Upper Peninsula for a girls’ getaway.

Here is the group:

SNL, Greek, and I.

NY, Greek, and I. This was at my bachelorette party- ignore my penis necklace.

We are touring the famous Pictured Rocks via kayak. NY is convinced this is dangerous – but it is not.

My co-worker recently did this and check out her picture:

Pictured Rocks!

Pictured Rocks!

How awesome does this look??? I plan to take many pictures and not tip my kayak over from pure excitement.

What is your favorite food at a brunch??? BAGELS. I SHALL EAT THEM ALL.

Sincerely,

Lily

The Worst Souvenir Ever

We bought the worst souvenir ever while on our honeymoon in Paris.

Coffee and map reading.

Coffee and map reading.

I know what you are thinking -

How is that possible? It was your honeymoon! Everything should have been oozing romance and perfection. What prompted you to purchase something that would have been anything less than satisfactory?

I had such HIGH hopes for this souvenir too, it makes me so sad to think that it is now hidden away in my closet, stacked between heavy books not easily moved.

It is not a common souvenir.
In fact, it was custom made, right before our eyes.
One of a kind.
A complete original.

It is not one of those cheesy dime-a-dozen key chains with the Eiffel tower or a neon-green shirt with ‘City of Love’ sprayed across the chest in obnoxiously large font.

Nope. It is way better that.

It is a charcoal drawing/sketch of my portrait done by a seemingly talented artist who was standing right along the Seine, just next to the Eiffel tower.

As if, this was the most convenient place for an artist to create art.

Moments before we found the artist.

My camera bag is only slightly large. Moments before we found the artist.

He caught our eye because he had just finished a sketch and it was stunning. The woman looked beautiful. She had deep shades to show the contour of her facial bones and her eyes were smiling. Immediately, Mr. Speedy asked how much and agreed I would be the subject.

However, the artist’s work that we just saw, and approved of, was taking a break so his co-worker promptly stepped in and began my sketch.

This is so exhilarating! We can frame this and always remember our honeymoon and Paris… I thought as I sat and positioned myself to look at the artist.

I used to be an model for the Art Department at grad school and it was my favorite job ever. This brought back a flood of memories and kind of gives a person a whole new level of value that they can keep to themselves. I can be the subject. I am the subject. I am being art.

However, after some time and sketching, it was apparent something was very very very wrong.

Mr. Speedy kept snooping, peeking over the artist’s shoulder, and making these contorted faces as if he just bit into a rotten apple.

And when the artist was finally done and wiped his brow, as if to say You were difficult… but I am a master, I held my breath hoping it was a notable likeness.

To my horror, this is what he saw in me:

My neck is a size XXL. Just to let you know if you buy me a button up.

My lips are NOT that lush. Those eyebrows… did he miss out on how the thickness? My neck is a size XXL. Just to let you know if you buy me a button up.

Man. I am a man.

Man. I am a man.

WHAT IS THIS.

WHAT IS THIS.

We payed the artist, and walked away with our sketch (if you can even call it that, it is more like a long-lost twin brother), and wondered how on Earth did the man think that this looked anything like me?

“I feel like he looked at you, and any type of flaw, like your thicker eyebrows or freckles, he altered your face. I don’t like it. I love your face and this is not it,” Mr. Speedy said.

It’s true – my real features are pretty plain – I have small lips, large eyes, thick eyelashes, crazy eyebrows, freckles, and a very thin neck.

Mr. Speedy things that this portrait looks like….

  • Me as a male football player
  • Me as an male army sargent
  • Me if I got lip injection, a nose job, and tweezed all my eyebrows out
  • Me if I was not me

I guess in the future, if we REALLY want a portrait done, we should probably go with an artist who is a bit more legitimate than a man sketching tourists along the Seine.

Sincerely,

Lily

p.S. On a completely unrelated note, I just figured out our iPad has Photobooth which means I can take pictures like this:

20140717-183610-66970429.jpg

A Painting for 100 Days

Mr. Speedy and I have been officially married for over 100 days.

I just love this picture. It is so.... quiet. Peaceful. If I could picture a heart that is content, it would look something like this.

I just love this picture. It is so…. quiet. Peaceful. If I could picture a heart that is content, it would look something like this.

100 days.

This is basically the gestation period for a pig… which is actually QUITE ironic because we just bought this delightful painting of a pig.

This painting made me laugh so hard at the shop, that I knew I would never get tired of looking at it. It’s one of those works of art is just so simple and plain and ordinary, you kind of feel like you are looking at the extraordinary. It is the type of painting that instantly resurrects a smile from my face.

It makes me feel like I’m looking at something out of storybook:

I wanted to name him 'Saturday' because we bought him on a Saturday, but Mr. Speedy named him Chester.

I wanted to name him ‘Saturday’ because we bought him on a Saturday, but Mr. Speedy named him Chester.

It was done by a local artist that obviously has some impressionistic-like talent. The brushstrokes are fantastic:

Chester. I'm smitten with you.

Chester. I’m smitten with you.

I still need to frame this. I was thinking a gilded gold one to contrast with the black background? He deserves a decorate enclosure, don’t you think?

Looking at this pig, reminds me how darn thankful I am to have Mr. Speedy.
A husband that allows me to buy a farm animal painting on a moments notice.
A spouse that is okay with my taste in decor.
A partner that supports my random needs or wants.

This painting will always remind me of our first 100 days or so together.
It’ll remind me of this summer.
Waking up late and finding each other under the sheets.
It’ll remind me of meandering around an antique shop, looking for everything and nothing all at once.
Picking out items and pointing, as if silently asking ‘Will this work?’
It’ll remind me of saying yes sometimes to things out of the ordinary.

Like this painting.

When I chatted Mr. Speedy that we have been together for same amount of days that it takes a pig to reproduce, his response was this:

2014-07-15_1023

Did I mention I love this man?
He doesn’t even realize how directly he speaks to my heart, my soul, the marrow of my bones.

A painting for each cornerstone in marriage.
What an unconventional, romantic way to go about our life together.

MUSHY, I KNOW.

Sincerely,

Lily

 

 

 

Summer Sand

This summer has been filled with sun, sand, and sangria.

Ah. Just the way I like it.

Nieces running in the sand.

Nieces running in the sand.

For the 4th of July, Mr. Speedy’s sister, her husband, and their three children drove in from Nebraska to join us on Lake Michigan in a beach cottage.

Randomly, the property also included a train caboose:

Boxcar Children, anyone? If you know what I am referring too then we are probably book soulmates.

ANYWAYS, we spent three full days burying our toes in the sand, drinking my sister-in-law’s yummy margaritas that involved a number of things and tasted like the most delicious thing ever to hit your lips, and just being together. My brothers even joined us. Here are a few favorite snapshots:

The men in my life.

The men in my life.

Possible Titles: Lover of Me. Lover. I Drool At You, Eternally. Let Me Stare At You.

Possible Titles: Lover of Me. Lover. I Drool At You, Eternally. Let Me Stare At You.

Can we just take a moment and appreciate the utter cuteness of tiny Lillyan—-

Look at those blue eyes.

Look at those blue eyes.

Question- what do you get when you have some seashells with tiny holes, weeds, and time on your hands?

Answer: Fancy crowns only mermaids would wear.

I channeled my inner-Pocahontas and weaved this seashell crown of weeds for my niece, Londyn to wear:

Fancy!

Fancy!

Cool, RIGHT?

We even found a flower to add to it. She had to pose by her Uncle Speedy, sound asleep:

Hello? Are you alive?

Hello? Are you alive?

One of the best parts about this trip was spending time with my sister-in-law.

She is totally an inspiration for the type of mom I want to be- hard-working, supportive, organized, AND did I mention she teaches Jazzercise and is in super shape? Yeah. In between meal preps, bath time, and poopy pants, she does it all.

This e-card sums reminds me of her:

bahahahhaha

bahahahhaha

Also, her and her husband are the cutest. She will hate me for posting this picture BUT can we just comment on her hubby’s dreamy look towards her? UM SWOOOOOON:

If this is not a look of love, then I don't know what is.

If this is not a look of love, then I don’t know what is.

I loved hanging out with them.

This was our first time hanging out with another sibling married couple. It was like a rite of passage and we passed with flying colors… at least I think we did. They didn’t run way screaming to get back to Nebraska.

On a completely unrelated note, my sister-in-law is an excellent cook. She made this bean recipe that is BEYOND any type of pork n bean thing you have had. If you like beans with a BBQ, you must try this out:

Bean Casserole
1 can pork and beans
1 can kidney beans – drained
1 can butter beans – drained
1/2lb browned hamburger
1/2lb cooked bacon
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 TBSP vinegar
Mix all together, put in a casserole dish and bake at 350 for an hour. Howeer, she does suggest to put it in a crockpot for a better flavor! 
WARNING: Don’t eat like 5 cups like I did…. you will regret it the next day and your husband will question ever sitting next to you in a car again.
Sincerely,
Lily

Date a Girl Who Runs

Recently, my dear awesome friend Megan sent me this article about dating a girl that runs.
I lovedddddd it.

It is posted here, but I went ahead and provided it – along with my own interpretation :)

 

DATE A GIRL WHO RUNS

I started running at a very young age.

I started running at a very young age.

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to go the distance, even when the going the gets tough.

Because it will get tough. Her side will hurt and she didn’t eat breakfast, but you won’t hear her complaining because she’s in it for the long haul. (Actually, I do complain if I get hungry and my side hurts- usually in the form of ‘My side hurts and I’m going to eat the next squirrel I see.”)

Date a girl who runs because she doesn’t need you to be her therapist or to fill her up because she has her beat-up running shoes to do that for her, and this means that you can just be you. (TRUE- Mr. Speedy knows that when I’m in a mental block, I am in dire need of a run to clear things up.)

Date a girl who looks at food as fuel, not an enemy; she sees her thighs as gladiators slaying the beast of her demons, not as objects to cover up in bed. Date a girl who thinks of her body as a tool, an instrument to play, taking it to its limits, and not as something she hates. Watch her eat a stack of pancakes or plate after plate of eggs, never worrying about the calories. (<— never worrying about calories??? Food is fuel but I like to be conscience of what I’m fueling with… so I do think about calories but have no problem eating an entire box of cereal or bag of trail mix. Also, I like my thighs.)

Watch how she never asks you if these shorts make her look fat. Because they don’t. And even if she’s a big girl, she won’t care what you think because she will feel powerful and strong. When you’re with her, you’ll feel powerful and strong. (I usually ask if my shorts are giving me a wedgie….)

Date a girl who runs because she’ll know how to be alone without you, and sometimes she’ll need those solo runs. (Like when I’m on my period and I run at turtle speed and am BLOATED LIKE A WALRUS AND WILL CRY IF A LEAF HITS ME. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.)

Date a girl who runs because she’ll also know how to adjust her pace to fall in step with yours. And if you’re worth it, she will. (Racing? No, sorry, I will not adjust my speed #notworthit Sorry. Training? Ok, we can be peas in a pod.)

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to sprint when needed, and she knows when to make long strides for hours, if that’s what it takes. (LONG STRIDES FOR HOURS- Sign me up! Ha, no. I don’t do that.)

Massage her feet and legs when she’s achy and listen when she talks about gear. She’ll appreciate you taking the time,  even if you’re not a runner, or rather, especially if you’re not a runner. Runners are focused and they notice, so she will notice. (MASSAGE = HEAVEN. MASSAGE ME FOREVER PLEASE AND THANK YOU.)

Date a girl who plans her vacations according to trails because so much of what we’ve lost is that connection to nature and how it feels to see a rabbit at sunrise hopping next to you. (I don’t want to be anywhere near rabbits… but running while on vacation is part of vacation for me.)

Date a girl who knows how to walk it off when she’s hurt, and she will get hurt. If not her hamstrings, then her heart.  If you’re lucky, she’ll come over for a sweaty hug. (I SPRINT at the end of a race mainly because I want that sweaty kiss- forget the hug. And water, lots of water.)

Date a girl who runs because she’s got more on her mind than makeup and keeping up with the neighbors because she’s too busy trying to keep up with herself, outpace herself, outdo herself. If you want her to stay interested, set your own intentions about how you can be a better You. (Keeping up with the neighbors….. I don’t even know my neighbors *sad*).

Date a girl who runs because smiling while you sweat is sexy, and she knows that. (I thought smiles were friendly…..)

And she knows that she looks her best after a long run, even if there’s dust all over her cheeks, and her nose is sunburned. She knows she looks amazing because she is smiling.  In fact, she’s almost always smiling because she’s always releasing endorphins. (I do not agree with this- after long runs I have lots of boogers and salt caked on my face and look like an exhausted bum).

Date a girl who runs because she has great skin from all the hydration, and it’s so soft under your touch. And even if she has wrinkles, her brow is serene when she gazes off into the distance. And they’re probably laugh lines, anyway, because of those endorphins. (“Brow is serene” <— this is something that I will NEVER EXPERIENCE because my eyebrows are Italian and need to be waxed like every other day).

Date a girl who runs because she can’t be moved, and you wouldn’t settle for anything less. (Moved? Is that like swooning? Or crying? I cry a lot.)

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to quietly, patiently work every week on a goal she set that’s half a year or a year away. She’ll be working on her time, her distance, but what she’s really working on, is herself. (Awwww I like this.)

Date a girl who runs because if you’re reading this, you want to work on yourself and she’ll help you. (Let’s go for a run!)

My first marathon... this was at the half way point and I had a very mean face and was on fire.

My first marathon… this was at the half way point and I had a very mean face and was on fire.

A ‘Repeat’ Type of Weekend

This weekend was full of fun times-

We froze at a baseball game.
Got severely fried by the summer sun.
And survived the dangers paddle boarding.

Really, it was fun.

The company was the best and this was the type of weekend I’d just like to hit a ‘repeat’ button and do again.

So happy we were all together!

So happy we were all together!

Friday was the baseball game where the temperature dropped and people actually were wearing winter hats and gloves.
It was also Polish Night at the game which means we got to watch a traditional Polish dance show.
And sing the national anthem of Poland.
Random.

Saturday was a total blast – we made a big breakfast and then hit the beach.

We (and I mean all four of us) did not think to use sunscreen because the day started off a bit chilly therefore it is impossible to get any type of burn….. (right?)
I actually spent the first hour underneath a blanket – yeah, I was that person:

beach

DON’T I JUST LOOK LIKE A BUNDLE OF HAPPINESS?

Eventually, I shed the towel and we all enjoyed the day in the sand.
The boys played cornhole like 354 times.
Us girls layed out (aka BURNT OUR BODIES).
I people watched. (OK- I really just watched babies and toddlers because they are so darn cute in their little sunhats and attempts to eat sand.)
Paddle boards were rented and paddled around (which is a total blast by the way- do it!).
Drinks and snacks were consumed.

From the beach (and before we realized how truly burnt we were), we met Mr. Speedy’s friend and all went out to eat at Vinsetta Garage.
This place is a little gem in metro-Detroit so naturally, our out-of-town guests had to eat there!

This is what marriage does to you.

This is what marriage does to you.

I orderd the EV1- a vegan patty that was amazzzing.

I ordered the EV1- a vegan patty that was amazzzing.

After dinner we all went home and reazlied we were severly burnt, had to rush out and buy Aloe (and Twizzlers because they make everything better), and take turns applying goops of it all over our bodies. All of us blamed each other for not putting sunscreen on. Our tan lines are horrific.

Sunday the boys got up early to go watch NASCAR, and us girls had a relaxing day together.

First – mimosas and brunch!

I got a boca burger... I don't know what is with me an these things lately!

I got a boca burger… I don’t know what is with me an these things lately!

Second- we toured Meadowbrook Hall.

I love this historic home and you can throw events here. I tried convincing Brosef-in-law’s girlfriend that she should probably just get married here… I would help plan it. I think I convinced her… to never tour a historical home again with me.

It is only 88,000 sq ft. No big deal.

It is only 88,000 sq ft. No big deal.

After our cultural activity, we learned that her flight got cancelled and decided to cook a fabulous meal for our men.

We both like scallops but had never tried cooking them… so we gave it a whirl.

And it was FANTASTIC. If you like scallops, you’ll love this:

Ricotta Lemon Pasta with Seared Scallops and Sugar Snap Peas

So tastyyyyy.

So tastyyyyy.

What you need:

  • 1 package of pasta (whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 lb of sea scallops (I counted on 4-5 scallops per person)
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 package of sugar snap peas (or regular peas, or whatever veggie you prefer)
  • Thyme, Basil, sea salt, pepper
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)

1. Cook the pasta (while it is cooking, move on to step two). When finished, set aside in a bowl, but toss with some olive oil so it doesn’t get clumpy and sticky.
2. Rinse scallops and pat dry. Sprinkle with pepper, olive oil, and some lemon juice.
3. In a large skillet on high heat, heat up some olive oil and butter until foamy.
4. Place scallops in skillet, single layer. Squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top if you want. Cook, turning once, and until brown on outside… about 2 minutes (these cook very fast!).
5.Remove scallops and set aside.
6. In large pot over low heat, heat up lemon juice from at least one lemon, about 3 Tbl. olive oil, a hefty scoop of Thyme, Basil, and dashes of pepper, salt. Add sugar snap peas and let simmer for a few minutes. Toss in the pasta and mix. Add the ricotta cheese and mix gently until everything is evenly coated.
7. Pour pasta/snap pea mixture into a serving dish. Top with scallops and serve!

Us girls really set the mode for the post-NASCAR dinner, pulling on the candlesticks and wine glasses:

After our feast of seafood, we all settled in and watched a 3D movie which is the only time it is socially acceptable to wear shades indoors and if you are like me, wear your regular glasses under the shades. Yep, I felt like a real winner wearing two sets of glasses.

All in all, I loved everything about this weekend !

What was your favorite thing about this weekend??? Burning my bellybutton was a highlight but drinking mimosas and having a girly brunch was probably my favorite thing!

Sincerely,

Lily

Weekend Visitors

This weekend we have some Nebraskaian’s visiting.

Mr. Speedy's brother and his girlfriend.

Mr. Speedy’s brother and his girlfriend.

Aren’t they a good looking couple? Wowzers.

I’m pretty pumped for this visit because:

  • Guest room/bathroom: I love prepping these rooms and getting them all hotel-like for people to stay. You better believe there will be mints on the pillow.
  • No more headphones: Mr. Speedy recently bought these headphones, which cancel out all noise (a.k.a. ME) and cause him to do puzzles for  hours at a time while I melt in a pile of boredom in the corner. This will not be happening this weekend. Also, I loathe these headphones.
Hello? Talk to me. Stop with the puzzle.

Hello? Talk to me. Stop with the puzzle.

  • Friday Night Out: We are going to the Tigers baseball game  and then Greektown in Detroit. I’m super pumped for this night out but also have a serious concern about falling asleep during the game and getting smacked with a fly ball. I might need to take a power nap in the car.
  • Family: We don’t get to see Mr. Speedy’s family often sooooooooooo this is such a special treat!
  • Brothery-Interaction: I find it really entertaining to watch Mr. Speedy and his brother interact. They don’t look alike, have different personalities, and interests. Yet…. they are very similar. It is a phenomenon. A mystery.
  • Motivation to Beautify our Home: So… I have like a box full of picture frames that are… just collecting dust. It is an eyesore. Our walls needed a change. Knowing that we are having visitors motivated my inner-home-decor-I-need-to-fill-frames side. Naturally, wedding pictures were chosen because they are pretty, professional, and make my heart happy.
  • Beach day: There is a beach like less than two miles from our house. We plan to go there. Best thing about going to the beach is no one judges you for falling asleep in your bikini, in a public area, in the middle of the day. I was made for the beach.
OUT. Asleep. Party-pooper = ME.

OUT. Asleep. Party-pooper = ME.

Sunday the men are going to watch the NASCAR race (Mr. Speedy is an avid fan- fun fact).

My dear sweet husband asked if I wanted to go and this is pretty much what I said:

So while the men are gone, us girls are going to do girly things… that don’t involve NASCAR and most likely involve glasses of Sangria under the sun.
I’m super duper excited!

What’s your favorite thing to do when you have overnight visitors? I like to watch them while they sleep…. KIDDING. THAT IS CREEPY. I just like to host! (But not like a vampire…. another creepy comment. Never mind. I’ll stop writing now.)

Sincerely,

Lily

Summer Time: Wedding Video, Fun Dinners, and More

Lordy, did I fall off the blogosphere or what?  I apologize for my extended absence !!!

First, here here is some REAL mushy mush….. our wedding highlight video complete with interviews:

NorthFox Media….. is THE BEST. Hands down. Hire them.

So…… here is what is new:

  • My name is officially changed. I am no longer bearing Pirate’s last name.
  • I signed up for a marathon in the fall. It is already starting to consume my brain.
  • I think I might be addicted to cereal. Specifically, Raisin Bran and All Bran.
  • My running injuries are pretty much healed…… ::happy dance::
  • My tiny niece is actually a llama:
How cute is this?

How cute is this?

What I’ve done lately:

  • Got tan. KIDDING. I don’t tan.
  • Got to hold a 6 week old baby. My running friend brought her cute baby boy to practice last week…. and I think I felt my ovaries leap for joy. Oh dear.
  • Fed a dog a pretzel. This is a big deal because I am learning to be friendly with canines and share my beloved carbs.
  • Cooking: Somewhere between pre-wedding and post-honeymoon I realized that I hadn’t really cooked any decent dinners for my man. My Mom has been cleaning out her cookbook collection and gave me magazines from like, the 80s, that are full of easy recipes. Sundays I have been planning our dinner menus for the entire week and making new things, such as:

I also made a gorgeous pork dish with a brown-sugar-red-wine glaze (are you drooling? I am.) but didn’t take a picture because we had a guest over and I didn’t want him to think ‘WOW MR. SPEEDY’S WIFE COOKS AND TAKES PICTURES OF HER OWN FOOD. WERID-O.”

Anyways, life is good.

This past weekend we travled to West Virginia with one of our running groups for a half-marathon. TOTAL FREAKIN BLAST.

Here is the group together:

We are a happy bunch.

We are a happy bunch.

My shorts are the shortest.... what does that mean?!?

My shorts are the shortest…. what does that mean?!?

During the race, someone yelled ‘GO BILLY!’
Naturally, I thought they meant to say ‘LILY’ so I corrected them as I ran by, screaming ‘Thanks but my name is LILY!’
And then…. a tiny voice breathed behind me, ‘My name is Billy.’

Here is a shot of us running together:

Lily and Billy.

Lily and Billy.

Poor Billy. I dragged him through mile 7-11. He was a senior in high school and every time he got a little behind, I yelled ‘Come on Billy!! Billy get up here!’

He probably regretted admitting that he was Billy. Oh well, good job young runner whom I will probably never meet! I hope you do well in college.

(Clearly, I’m a creep).

I was happy with my time at 1:33:53…. totally tanked at the end but this is proof that my IT Band is getting stronger and bandier (is that a word???).

After the run, we all drove a very windy path to one of the runner’s property and stayed for a few nights. It was a little slice of paradise. Woods. Fresh air. Mountain creeks. Natural waterfalls. This place had it all.

Mr. Speedy and I got to sleep above the barn with a large Elk head looming on a wall. It was kind of like sleeping in a Gander Mountain. All was fine and dandy until people started talking about ticks and bugs. If you don’t remember, I actually got a tick once in Nebraska. It was the single most terrifying moment in my life. I FREAKED OUT. Mr. Speedy had to light a match and BURN that nasty little thing out of my back. My spine was in danger. Gah. I can’t even talk about it.

So when people start talking about ticks, I FREAK OUT. You better believe that every night I swiftly stripped down, and demanded that Mr. Speedy fully inspect me. There was nothing sexy about this task. I also made it clear that if even JOKED about a bug burrowing into my skin, he would be sorry (I actually never really thought of a decent enough threat). I also took a hair-dryer (because ticks don’t like heat) and hair-dried my already dry body to the point that it was practically burning.

Just in case he missed any….

Obviously, I’d be a GREAT camping companion.

Yes. I can relate.

Yes. I can relate.

We did have the opportunity to drive this feisty little vehicle that had no windshield or doors. It could go over rocks, mud, branches, you name it.

Here we are when the vehicle is not moving:

Oh this is so nice.

Oh this is so nice.

And here I am when the vehicle was moving:

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

Obviously, I highly recommend anyone riding in one of these so they can look simply attractive and totally gorgeous. Your date will surely just drive faster and don’t mind the bugs that get lodged into your pupil, they eventually fly out.

I’m wearing a helmet next time.

Have you gotten a tick before?
What have you made for dinner lately?
Gone anywhere fun?

Sincerely,

Lily

Taking time to heal (and enjoy it)

This year has not been the greatest for the running in my life.

For my love life- it has been perfect.
For my travel life- amazing.
For my friendships- I love them all.

But for running- this year has been flat-out miserable.

First, I got Achilles tendinitis back in late January.

To allow my leg to heal AND stay fit for the wedding, I biked a lot. I went to the gym at my condo and biked and biked and biked.

Fast forward to right after the wedding, I tried running and discovered that the outside of my right knee was KILLING and my I.T. (ilitobial) band was injured. Most likely from a ill-fitting bike. So for a solid two months, I was unintentionally biking my knee into an injury while intentionally trying to let my Achilles heal.

What a cruel merry-go-round of events.

That bike did some damage.

That bike did some damage.

The past two weeks I have been very bitter about all of this, while trying to let my body heal and get my IT band strength and stamina back to normal.

I was suppose to run a half-marathon this Saturday – THE HALF THAT MR. SPEEDY AND I MET AT- but had to switch to the 5k.
I had to back out of my marathon next month.
I have been bashing my body, a lot.

And I really don’t like bashing my body. I highly dislike that and embarrassed to admit it. You know- those thoughts like you only ran a mile, that barely burned any calories, better eat less, you should be working out more, etc.

Thoughts like these can quickly creep up and seep deep and poison your entire day.

We have all been there.

Honestly- isn’t it funny how when we are limited in our normal exercise routine or not working out as much as we did before, there is this great assumption and fear that suddenly you will shrink into a less-attractive, lazier version of your former self?

I need to kick-out the negative thoughts and focus on positive words, like this:

I would like to plaster this on my wall and read it every day.

I would like to plaster this on my wall and read it every day.

Really.

One of my favorite sayings of all time -

The greatest gift you can give yourself is unconditional love.

I give Mr. Speedy unconditional love.
I give my family that too.
I plan on giving our children that type of love too.

Why am I denying myself during this time?

Just because I am running less or moving slower – is that reason to love myself a bit less too? Not grab the slice of pizza or second glass of wine?

Mr. Speedy has been SUCH A SAINT.

I have been moody and disappointed.

Just yesterday, we went for a run and he lead the way, taking a completely off-beaten path that was scenic and new to us both. When we got back to our normal path, he immediately stated how nice it was to run in between the trees and see something new.

And you know what I said?

“That was short. We aren’t going to get our full 6 miles in.”

He really should have slapped me across the cheek for that.

Instead he was quiet and said, “I thought you would have enjoyed the trees and seeing something instead of cement.”

He took the time to run a new route, one that was full of nature, and all I could think about was if I was going to reach my goal of X amount of miles. I completely missed out enjoying the beauty around me. I completely was rude towards my running partner, who choose to run a slower pace with me.

I was completely acting selfish and missed out on a beautiful run with the love of my life.

Well, enough of that behavior.

ENOUGH.

Every single day. Be kind.

Every single day. Be kind.

New mindset-

I will heal. I need to be patient. I will enjoy my runs, no matter what the pace/distance. Saturday I will run the 5k and be happy I can do that. I will be able to cheer on others competing in the half.  I will run a marathon again, just not in May, and this OK. I will eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I will remember to tell Mr. Speedy each and every day how much his support means to me. I will appreciate every new run with him, no matter what the distance.

I will enjoy myself. And be kind.

How did you work through an injury? Tell me what kept you positive.

Sincerely,

Lily

 

 

 

 

Citrus Spring Pound Cake: with a can of pop

For Easter, I was in charge of dessert and was debating about what to make until I discovered we had a tiny can of Sierra Mist (like Sprite) pop in our garage.
Literally, it was a mini-can at only 7 oz. I have no idea where it came from or who left it there.
I took this as a sign from the baking gods and went with it.

A few weeks ago, I had found this absolutely divine looking citrus pound cake from The Pioneer Woman (here).
It just so happens to involve one cup of 7-up (or Sprite or Sierra Mist).

So I just had to make it.

Picture credit: The Pioneer Woman.

Picture credit: The Pioneer Woman. Her baking is like art.

The only thing I altered was I added an orange to the mix. I don’t think you can have zested lemon and lime and then omit orange.

Also – I WANT HER BUNDT PAN. It is a Nordic Ware Jubille Bundt pan and… I have dreams about this pan.

And finally, if you have a KITCHENAID MIXER (this is the one I have)- this will make this recipe oh-so-easy. I relied heavily on mine.

Ingredients

For the cake-

3 sticks of butter
3 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup 7-up (I used Sierra Mist)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. Lemon, Lime, Orange zest (that is one of each)

For the Glaze-
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl. (of each) of lemon, lime, orange zest — dried for at least 30 mins.
1 Tbl. (of each) lemon, lime, orange juice
1 Tbl. water (might need to add more)

Do you spot what is by the couch? Creepy.

Do you spot what is by the couch? Creepy.

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Zest all you lime, lemon, orange. Doing this ahead of time saves you a lot of time. Be sure to save the juice for the glaze.

Zested and it smells so good!

Zested and it smells so good!

3. Bust out that mixer and  make sure you fit it with the paddle attachment (not a whisk). Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing throughout the entire process. Add the flour and salt, one cup at a time, mixing. I did all of this with a medium to medium-low speed.

4. Then on LOW (put it on low or else you will make a mess), slowly add the 7-Up until combined. Add your 1 Tbl. of each zested fruit. Mix well.

Mixer made it easy-peasy.

Mixer made it easy-peasy.

5. Spray your bundt pan generously with nonstick baking spray. Add large spoonfuls of batter into the pan until it is evenly filled. Smooth out the surface.

6. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.

7. Carefully turn it out onto a cake pan and cool.

Letting it cool.

Letting it cool.

Glaze

Dried zest.

Dried zest.

1. Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl, whisk until thick but pourable. Use a spoon to drizzle it all over the cake. Let it set, then serve it up!

2. You can use extra zest to sprinkle on top and even cut some fruit pieces to decorate the bottom.

 

All done!

All done!

Sneaking into the background.

Sneaking into the background.

Happy Easter!

Tell me-

What is your favorite Spring dessert to make?

Sincerely,

Lily