Birthday Baking

Happy Birthday to me!  I sort of forgot that it was my birthday this week until my dear coworkers brought in a German Chocolate Cake and a Carrot Cake to celebrate.  Yum!  I am so thankful for my department and for my amazing colleagues who bring joy, humor, fresh perspectives, and constant support to my workplace.  Last night I again forgot that it was almost my birthday until I went to the mailbox and was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of colorful envelopes addressed to me.  Being a mother, my own birthday seems less important.  It almost makes me feel frivolous or even selfish to celebrate my own day when my world revolves around our child now, but thankfully my wonderful family and friends have reminded me to spoil myself and celebrate my day.  I am spending the day with Ady and Kua, planning to go for a walk and read some books at the park (all my favorite things!), followed by dinner with the hubby tonight.

This morning I tried a new recipe for homemade Pop Tarts!  I admi…

Race Training with a Baby on Board

Despite staying active and fit for all 9 months of my pregnancy, the road to recovery has been long and has required patience and perseverance, but I am finally starting to get back in running shape.  I did a lot of walking the weeks after having the baby, and gradually progressed to slow, short-distance jogging.  I started doing a weekly TRX strengthening class this spring, and while I am always really sore for days after the class, I realize how important it has been for me to start incorporating planks, single-leg squats, hamstrings, and back extensors into my workup to prevent injury, build up my core strength, and support my pelvic floor.  In June I started training for my first post-baby Half Marathon, which I plan to run in mid-September!  As part of my training program, I ran a 5K trail run last weekend and placed second in my age group!  (You may ask, were there only two people in my age group?  No, there were at least three, ha!)  I am signed up for a 10K road run in early S…

Morning in the Mountains

It was one of those cool, refreshing summer mornings, with a chill in the air after a rainstorm that cleared away yesterday's humidity.  These kind of mornings remind me of summers in northern Minnesota, when the air is damp and chilly, with drops of dew resting on the leaves.  I sat outside with coffee and a book, watching the dog explore the yard and listening to the mourning doves, enjoying a moment of stillness before the chaos of another day began.  I love the solitude and serenity that morning brings.  

After the baby woke up, we headed up to the mountain for an early hike to celebrate Kua's birthday.  Our little pooch turned six yesterday!  The sky was overcast initially, with the clouds sliding rapidly across the sky over the mountaintops, but the mist and clouds were lifted as the warmth of the morning sun began to break through.  The trail was still damp from yesterday's rain storm, but it was a beautiful and refreshing day in the woods.  Our six-year-old dog stil…

Peace, Independence Day, and the Winsor Trail

This Independence Day, I have found myself reflecting on context of the Declaration of Independence, and how Americans still strive and fight for the same ideals today.  In 1776, the Declaration identified the values on which this new nation would be founded and the philosophy of this new government.  America was born as a country in which all people are created equal and have the same basic rights, and the purpose of government would be to secure these "God-given" human rights including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The colonists had seemingly unwavering hope and faith in the creation of this new nation, mutually pledging "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor" to these free and independent states.

Yet, despite this foundation composed of freedom and equality for all human beings, here we are, almost 250 years later, still fighting for equality and justice in our country.  We still live in a country where people are discriminated…

Books of 2017


And just like that, 2017 is half over (what?!).  In six months I have traveled to four states, celebrated my sister's wedding, hosted almost a dozen visitors, watched a newborn baby learn to crawl, sit, and eat solid food, started Half Marathon training, maximized my crock pot use, savored "me time" with a happy hours and a few pedicures, and read a lot of great books.  Here are a few of my favorites from the first half of the year, with my complete 6-month list below.  (Ady's favorite books, for the record, are ones about animals, especially if the pages contain fuzzy textures!)  Ahh, if only there were enough time to read everything.

Top 10 so far for 2017...
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
The Last Mile, by David Baldacci
North Haven, by Sarah Moriarty
State of Wonder, by …

Tuesday Tidbits: Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!  Summer is a time for energy, socialization, music, exercise, and celebrating life.  It's a time for watching the sunset, hiking in the mountains, watching the trees and flowers blossom, listening to kids laughing in the backyards, and enjoying cocktails on patios with friends.  There is so much to do in Santa Fe in the summer -- art festivals, live music, the Farmer's Market, free movies, restaurant events, beer and wine festivals, Folk Art Market, the opera, and the list goes on!  Ahh if only there was enough time for everything.  Here are a few tidbits about life lately...

1.  We enjoyed the first week of this year's Music on the Hill series last week!  This is a weekly, family-friendly event every summer at St. John's College, exhibiting a variety of musical performances throughout the season.  The first week featured a jazz flutist.  Although the air in Santa Fe has been hot and smoky lately, I'm glad we were able to spend some time outsi…

Ady's Baptism Weekend

Last weekend we celebrated little Baby Adyson's baptism.  It was a very special few days of family, nature, community, and love.  The journey that led us to this celebration actually began several months ago, before Ady was even born, and involved many discussions about our roots and values.

I grew up Catholic, sang in the church choir, served as a lector and Eucharistic minister, and got confirmed and married in the Catholic church.  While I have never agreed 100% with the teachings of Catholicism, I appreciated the community that the church offers and the traditions that connect people throughout time and around the world.  I am not a religious person, but I believe that going to church cultivates good habits; I thought I would always belong to a church to some extent, and that it would always be a Catholic church.  

Jaycob and I sustained many frustrations during our marriage preparation four years ago as we dutifully fulfilled the requirements of the church to plan our wedding,…