Fall Feels

Happy Fall!  The leaves are changing and there's a chill in the air!  I love this time of year.  A few Tuesday Tidbits about life lately...

1) The evolution of pumpkin spice cracks me up.  What started as a novelty to celebrate the flavors of fall and create a bridge between the iced lattes of summer and the peppermint mochas of winter has become the ultimate symbol of the Basic B, and even the focus of racially charged jokes (AKA that all white girls like pumpkin).  So I won't perpetuate this by going on and on about pumpkin spice like I usually do... but I did have a salted caramel mocha frappuccino at the end of a long work week and it was heaven in a cup.  :-)

2) One of my favorite things about the weather turning cooler is diving into warm, cozy, flavorful fall foods: risotto with butternut squash, pork chops with cooked apples, wild rice, and homemade mac and cheese.  I baked a blueberry pie and peach cobbler for our friends' outdoor wedding celebration earlier this mo…

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon 2017

13.1 finisher!

This morning I ran the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon, my first Half since before I was pregnant with Ady.  While it wasn't my very first Half, and I didn't set any personal records, this accomplishment feels important for other reasons.  I started running again last spring, after more than 6 months off, so training for this race felt like starting at zero again.  It took me longer than I anticipated to build up my core strength, achieve my normal level of endurance, and add miles after having a baby.  I didn't have as much time to train as I have in years previously, but I made it work.  I squeezed in my long runs, usually with the stroller, and often early in the morning.  I dealt with exhaustion, soreness, and a fussy baby from time to time, but I persevered.

Running a Half after having a baby also represents balance in life, for which we all constantly strive.  While being a mother is my most important role, I am still a person and an athlete, and training…

Wholesome Baby Food

Ady is such a good little eater and has enjoyed all the fruits and veges she's tried already.  Her favorites seem to be bananas, mango, and sweet potatoes!  Milk is still her primary nutrition during the first year of life, but we're familiarizing her with solid foods, different flavors and textures, brightly colored fruits and veges, and the social aspect of dinnertime.  I have been experimenting with some nutritious pureed recipes to add variety to her diet, including some of the suggestions from The Wholesome Baby Food Book by Maggie Meade.

As parenting in general creates opportunity for self-reflection and contemplation, preparing meals for my baby has also led me to reexamine my own food choices.  I have always been a fairly healthy eater.  I eat breakfast every day, I like fresh ingredients, I frequent the Farmer's Market, I bring healthy snacks to work, I have never had a weight problem, and fast food is a rarity in our house.  We cook fresh food for dinner most nig…

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…