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2013 Reflections

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2013 has been a year to remember.  It has been a year of change in many ways and a year of transition from the life I used to know to the life I have now.  I have a new last name, a new family structure, and new ideas of what friendship means.  Change has come abruptly and unexpectedly at times but has encouraged adaptability and forgiveness.  Amid the chaos I have also had some fun and noteworthy experiences!

Looking back on this memorable year, here are some of the highlights...
1.  Getting married to the love of my life on October 19th.
2.  Lots of hiking in New Mexico, including Santa Fe Baldy, La Luz, Bandelier National Monument, and Wheeler Peak (the highest peak in the state).

3.  I competed in 2 triathlons and took the gold in my age group in Santa Fe.

4.  I set 2 personal bests in 5K runs at Buffalo Thunder and the Santa Fe Triathlon.

5.  My first niece, Rielle, was born in February.

6.  Santa Fe continues to feel more like home with our amazing group of friends.

7.  I started volunt…

Winter Reflections

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Life is a dance between the Active and the Passive.  When living actively, we revolve around Doing, Achieving, Accomplishing, Improving.  We look at our To Do lists.  We make things happen.  We accomplish tasks and take steps forward.  We plan our schedules diligently.  We live with the mindset to not save things for tomorrow than can be accomplished today.  In our Active state of living, we are productive and timely.  This must be balanced by the Passive, in which we Allow things to happen around us and make time to Observe and Reflect.  Allow our minds to wander to new territories.  Listen to our bodies and rest when we are tired.  Notice details in the world around us. Most of the time the Holidays become all about the Active, about Doing.  We have things to bake, presents to wrap, parties to attend, To Do lists to complete.  But winter should be a time for the Passive, for Allowing.  Have meaningful conversations with each other.  Take time to read or knit or just watc…

Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyere

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I got this breakfast strata recipe from a friend of mine who is an incredible cook and baker (as in, she cooked dinner for all of her guests at her own wedding, and can make the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet).  I made it for a Bubbly and Brunch bridal shower I hosted and it was a huge hit!  It's delicious, not too heavy on the carbs, and meat-free for all those vegetarians.  Plus, you can make it the night before and stick it in the oven in the morning, so it's perfect for holidays, parties, or cooking for visitors.  (I'm not crazy about shallots, so I only used about half of what the recipe called for.)  Enjoy!


BREAKFAST STRATA WITH SPINACH AND GRUYERE

Ingredients:

8-10 slices of supermarket French Bread (1/2 inch thick) or Italian bread 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened4 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10 oz) thawed and squeezed dryTable saltGround black pepper1/2 cup medium dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc6 oz …

Holiday Running Streak

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My sister and I are 13 days into The Holiday Running Streak and still going strong!  What is The Streak, you ask?  The Streak is a nationwide challenge to run (at least one mile per day) every day from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. The holidays can be the most difficult time of year to find time for exercise, but also the most important time of year to keep the over-eating in check and reduce stress in healthy ways.  The holidays are full of excuses for not working out -- my inlaws are in town, I have to bake cookies for a holiday party, it's 20 below windchill, I'm too hung over from that entire bottle of Baileys I drank last night.  But The Streak is a fun way to stay motivated, knowing that hundreds (maybe thousands?) of runners and non-runners all over the country are committed as well.   The Steak is about making running a priority and finding time to run every day, no matter how busy our schedules get.  This may mean running early in the morning before the su…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

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Winter has officially hit the Land of Enchantment at full force!  I felt like a kid on Christmas when I looked outside this morning and saw piles upon fresh piles of fluffy snow covering every tree, car and bush in sight.  There's always something so exciting about the first heavy snowfall.  I couldn't stop smiling.  The only member of my family more excited than me was Kua.




After a quick bowl of oatmeal we unburied the truck and headed up to the mountain for our second snowshoeing adventure of the season.  We were the first group of people on the Aspen Vista trail, so we had the luxury (and the burning of the hip flexors) of paving the trail through the fresh, untouched snow. 




I spent the afternoon baking cookies.  As per house rules, I refrained from setting up any Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, but as of yet there is no clause prohibiting listening to Christmas music in November, so I jammed out to N'Sync, Mariah and Glee (while Jaycob went to the bar to watch…

Mrs. Ross

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I guess it's time to catch up on my blogging before all my followers send a search party!  Jaycob and I have been married for four weeks today.  And a wonderful four weeks it has been!  Every asks me, "How does it feel to be married?"  But it's a difficult question to answer.  It definitely feels different to be able to call each other husband and wife, and to have the awareness of this life-long commitment we have made, but the feeling is hard to describe.

In some ways, not much has changed on the day-to-day front.  I read a blog recently in which a newlywed stated, "It feels like we decided to throw a party last month and promised to keep loving each other, and then got right back to our lives."  To a certain extent, I see where this bride is coming from.  Jaycob and I already had a great relationship.  We already loved each other whole-heartedly.  We were dedicated to one another years ago.  We established a joint bank account and a (mostly…

Fall!

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Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year.  I love watching the leaves change and feeling the temperatures grow colder in the morning and evening.  It is so much fun to replace my flip flops and swim suits for scarves and boots.  I get so excited about pumpkin spice lattes, yummy apple desserts, sweaters, candy corn, oh and this adorable candle holder I found at Bath and Body works last weekend!


My favorite blogger (The Brown Eyed Baker) just posted the most amazing list of pumpkin recipes!  What better way to get into the autumn spirit than with some moist pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting?!   Pumpkin Recipes

The aspens are not yet at their peak color in Santa Fe, but they were still quite beautiful during my trail run last weekend....












This year, fall is especially exciting because our "Fall in Love" themed wedding is only 12 days away!





Santa Fe Triathlon 2013

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A couple weekends ago Jaycob and I competed in the Santa Fe sprint triathlon.  This was my last race of the season and the one I was most looking forward to.  Before I talk about the race, here's an overview of the other races we did this season...

Atomic Man Duathlon:  This was our first event in April.  It was a small race, and although the ride was hilly I really enjoyed this course.  I was mostly just doing this one to finish and didn't really worry about my time.  I cramped up during the final run portion but overall did okay.  I placed first in my age group!  (I should mention that I was the only one in my age group...)  I competed in the short version of the race ("Little Boy") -- 4K run, 15K bike, 4K run.  Jaycob did the "Fat Man" course -- 10K run, 40K bike, 5K run.  I definitely want to do this one again next year and hope to do the long course.

Cochiti Triathlon:  This was an open water event (one of the few in New Mexico) -- 800 meter s…

Labor Day Weekend Adventures

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The four-legged, furry daughters and I had the house to ourselves last weekend when Jaycob went on his annual Labor Day fishing trip to Lake of the Woods.

I missed him while he was gone but had a busy and productive week of hiking, baking, and spending time with friends!  I made a pescatarian dinner for a couple of my friends while watching my favorite movie of the early 2000s...Zoolander!  "Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features, it doesn't mean we too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."  On Friday I went out with some friends to Marble, my favorite brewery/tasting room in Santa Fe.  That night my good friend Spencer proposed to his beautiful girlfriend, Emily, and that same night my best friend Shelly got engaged to her now fiance Marek!  Next year is going to be an exciting year for weddings.  We celebrated with a-few-too-many margaritas at Maria's on Saturday.

On Labor Day our friends all got together for dinner.  Here were my c…