Patchouli and Herbs- Spring Break Edition

Oh the joys of not working…

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So far, Spring Break is everything I had hoped it would be. All of those idealistic visions I had in my head on how my break would unfold have come true.

My brother and sister-in-law came out for a visit the first half of the week and we spent three and a half glorious days frolicking around Denver.

Uncle Ben, (as the girls call him) and Bridget are the same spirit animal. They both could spend hours and hours perusing through comic book stores, listening to records, talking about the bands that they like, or judging which movies are the best.

While we were eating dinner together one night I commented on how they would probably be school friends if they were the same age and you know… he wasn’t her uncle and all.

Ben agreed, “Yeah, we’d totally be emo together and could bond over our angst.”

Then everyone at the table proceeded to bust out their smart phones and show what kind of music they listened to when they were in middle school. Uncle Ben admitted to having a thing for Kelly Clarkson but Aunt Stacie won the battle when she busted out some hardcore heavy-metal-screaming-lead-singer type of song.

We all just gaped at her because you never would guess. She’s a middle school math teacher who wear’s adorably fashionable clothes and knits with her small group friends in her free time.

I admitted to my R&B phase. But what I didn’t tell them was that I used to dance in the mirror to TLC’s Waterfalls wishing I had T-Boz’s abs. Or the fact that I went to bed at night listening to All For One’s, I Swear wishing I had a boyfriend.TLC

Ahhh, I can smell awkward tweens from the early nineties as I type this (CK1 and mint chewing gum). And I can’t help but cringe at the fact that we slow danced to Boyz II Men- I’ll Make Love To You at junior high dances. (Umm… eeew?) This is obviously before my discovery of Gwen Stephani.

Ahem. Anyway, back to the present…

The first full day that Ben and Stacie were in town we headed for downtown Denver in search for Voodoo Donuts. According to Bridget it is a tradition to stand in front of the store and take a picture of you holding the pink box. At her school this is an instagram must.

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We didn’t even know what to choose donut wise, so we let the guy at the counter pick out a dozen for us. Then we took them to a used comic book store/coffee shop that Bridget had been wanting to visit called Mutiny Information Cafe where we each took little pinches of the different donuts so we could try them all.

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Then Penelope proceeded to run amok while Brent and I chased after her threatening to put her in time out if she screeched out loud in public again. Stacie sat back and drank coffee while Ben and Bridget listened to records and checked out the comic books.

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Two peas in their pod… (Notice Brent in the back ground trying to corner Penelope before she darted around another book shelf.)

I actually forgot my phone on this occasion so I used Bridget’s phone to take pictures. I had to text them to myself in order to write this post. Have you ever looked in a tweenager’s phone before? It’s equal parts weird… and awesome.

When I tried to text the photos to myself I couldn’t figure out what my “name” was.

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Turns out I’m under “Where am I” which is actually pretty much spot on… However, I would actually prefer to be referred to as “Strawberry milk” or better yet, “THE UNIVERSE ITSELF”.

Anyway, here are a few moments from Bridget’s perspective on this trip.

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This area is very much what you would expect from Colorado. A lot of shirtless blonde dread headed hippies out and about playing hacky sack in their front yards smelling like patchouli and “herbs”.

“What’s patchouli?” Stacie asks.

“Hippy deodorant,” Ben responds.

After scoping out the local shops we headed toward Cherry Creek to our favorite burger joint, Cherry Cricket. We were all in agreement that we needed something in our bellies beside sugar and caffeine.

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I debated on whether I should get a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich, but I caved in. It would be a shame to go to my favorite burger place and not order a burger. So I went the moderation route and ordered the smallest size burger. I opted to eat only a few fries from the communal basket and ordered water instead of beer or soda. Later that night we created a salad bar of sorts to try balance out all of the other debauchery.

The next morning everyone ordered breakfast burritos from a local joint down the street. I decided not to join in and made eggs for breakfast instead. We had debated on what to do for the rest of the morning and decided that Ben and Stacie should go on a hike in order to get the full Colorado experience.

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Afterward everyone was still full from their breakfasts so we had frozen yogurt for lunch. We were all pretty worn out after the hike, so we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the back yard testing out the ol’ hammock. That night I made skinny taste chicken enchiladas and we tucked in for the night and watched the old Star Wars movies in our jammies.

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Ben and Stacie’s last day was spent in true Colorado style, hiding indoors during a spring time snow shower. Stacie, Bridget and I braved the elements long enough to go to a local artisan shop so that Stacie could find a souvenir for a friend. Lo and behold we found some patchouli soap just in case she wanted to head back to Missouri smelling like Colorado… minus the herbs.

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As Ben and Stacie drove off toward the airport that afternoon the sun came back out again just in time to give them a sunny Colorado goodbye.

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Stay tuned for Spring Break Celebrations part 2… and we’ll just pretend like I didn’t listening to Boyzzzz 2 Men the whole time I was writing this post.

*** What kind of music did you listen to when you were in Junior High???***

…LYLAS 🙂

Head Start on Spring Break!

Let’s do some math. Tons of exercise + eating super clean and healthy.

According to my calculations that should equal about a twenty pounds weight loss this week.

Unfortunately, I’m horrible at math… and super impatient and entitled.

What?! I did what I was supposed to do for five days, so that means I should get what I want. Right?

I weighed in this morning feeling deserving of the calculations above. Instead, I weighed in at 198.2… exactly what I weighed last week.

Upon further reflection I realized there may be a slight difference between what actually went down and what went down in my head. I exercised five days in a row. I mostly ran, and ran, and ran… only my run isn’t quite what it used to be. Instead, it was more of a run, and then a hobble, and then a walk. Repeat that process over and over again for about three miles and that’s pretty much what I did.

Eating wise I made healthy recipes, some of which my family deemed as questionable but ate anyway, because they love me. I was prepared for work, bringing well thought out breakfasts and left overs for lunch. And if I drank coffee I opted for no sugar.

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Then on Thursday I had the brilliant idea of making rice crispy treats for my students in celebration of the impending spring break. I followed the microwave recipe in order to save time and ended up making rice crispy bricks. It took ingesting about six treats to figure out that they were inedible.

It didn’t matter because even if they did turn out, I wouldn’t have been able to share them with the kids anyway.

I was halfway through my first period class on Friday when I got a call from the babysitter alerting me to the fact that Penelope got bit by her dog.

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The babysitter felt horrible, but Penelope wasn’t even phased by it. I got my classes covered and picked her up to take her to the doctor right away. She didn’t cry when she got bit by the dog but cried when I came to get her because she wanted to stay. (What a little weirdo.)

After the appointment we stopped by the school so that I could make sure everything was set for the sub for the rest of my classes. When we walked in everyone crowded around her with concerned looks on their faces. At first Penelope was confused as to why they were coddling her. When they asked her how she was she simply said, “Good.”

Then she figured out what they are fussing over and when they asked her she would say, “Not good! I got bit by a dog!”

When they asked if it was a big dog or a little dog it started off as a little dog and then she got into the art of exaggeration, “It was a big dog!”

Before I knew it she was making announcements in the hallway, “I got bit by a DOG!”

And of course they gave her all of the attention she was craving, she roamed the halls giving fist bumps and high fives. After her moment of celebrity she insisted that I take her to the “worm factory” to make her dog bite better. The “worm factory” is actually a burger joint that serves ice cream with gummy worms in it.

So that’s what we did.

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… and I helped myself to a burger and fries too.

Yes, I was eating my feelings. Because lets face it, this dog bite was more traumatic for me than it was for her.

The silver lining was that we got a head start on our Spring Break! Spring Break is my dress rehearsal for summer.

SUMMER!

The next morning we started our break off with the cutest birthday party ever. Penelope’s best buddy Lucy turned three and had a Curious George themed party. Seriously… Cutest. Thing. Ever.

It was everything you envision when you decide you want to have kids. I just love this age!

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Later that after noon it was time to celebrate Lucy’s mom’s birthday. Andrea had Lucy two days before her own birthday and decided this year to treat herself to a spa day. She invited me to come along. I couldn’t justify an entire spa day but I did offer to pop by for a pedicure and provide some company.

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Andrea was still getting her facial when I arrived at the fancy shmancy hotel. So what did I do? I found happy hour in the adjacent bar of course!

It was the perfect way to kick off Spring Break. Andrea and I giggled and talked in the dark ambient light. Then I left her to enjoy her hair treatment and makeover while I went home and played in the yard with my kids.

For me, perfectly painted pink toes in green grass is a true sign of good things to come. Sure enough, as we dug around in the garden clearing the way for the new season we found a little surprise.

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A little head of lettuce that somehow rebirthed itself from last year’s crop!

It’s just the beginning of good things to come. We have exciting plans make for the week ahead… family coming to town, kites to fly, picnics to be had, frolicking to be done. You know… the usual.

So if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go ahead and get started on that 🙂

Four More Weeks!

Spring break is over. I think we all need to have a moment of silence…

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I didn’t realize until this week just how much of my freedom had been taken away from me during this student teaching process. I’ve basically just filed my life away so I can just get done with school. After this fabulous week of hanging out with my family and playing outside I don’t want to go back.

But I must. Booooh!

I’ve just got to suck it up a little bit longer because my last day is on the calendar.  Just four weeks away, and then I will officially have my master’s degree! YAY!

Then I can get back to doing what I do best. Living life to the fullest and then blogging about it 😉 Speaking of which shall we see what I’ve been up to during my free time?

Let me tell you… I did everything I wanted to do during my break. I played out side with my girls every chance I got. On one particularly beautiful day we went to the Littleton Museum to see the farm animals.

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(They told us to come back next week because they will have baby piglets and lambs!)

We also went the The Market in Downtown Denver and had a coffee/chai tea date…

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We hung out in book stores where Penelope ran around like a maniac and Bridget and I judged books by their covers…

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I didn’t actually read any books this week because every time Penelope went to sleep I snuck outside and prepped my garden. I couldn’t help it, I’m just so excited about all of the fresh veggies I plan on growing!

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So far I’ve planted rainbow carrots, gold/red beets, mesclun, assorted lettuce, rainbow swiss chard and red/purple potatoes.

When I was done with that I tried to relax in the sun for a bit… but I couldn’t. I had a hard time just sitting back to relax. I found it hard to find a change in pace. I’ve been so busy lately that it just felt wrong to sit there and do nothing. Besides, I may have been off from student teaching but I still had grad work to do and lesson plans to make.

Therefore, I chose to multitask… a little bit of planning and a little bit of sunshine.

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I had also planned on working out a ton during this time and I managed to go for one glorious run. My hips have been bothering me lately and I thought when I bought new running shoes I would correct the problem. I was sorely disappointed to find out this wasn’t the case. My run was great, my lungs felt great my muscles felt great but there was just something a little off. Afterward I was in pain, but it wasn’t “out of shape” pain it was “you’ve got something wrong with you pain”. I was hesitant to go see a chiropractor after what happened this time last year but I gave it a shot anyway because something needed to change. I went in thinking they would pop me a couple of times and send me on my way. Fast forward half an hour and I’m laying on a table with half of my butt crack showing as some stranger is taping a hot pink “H” onto my lower back.

Turns out I was way more jacked up than I thought. I’ve got SI joint issues and it’s causing my pelvis to rotate, which is causing my hips to hurt, which is causing my back to be super tight, which is causing me to have head aches and leg pain and foot pain. Therefore, I have six chiropractic appointments and two massage appointments scheduled for the next two weeks. Oh, and some dry needling too… in the butt. (It’s as awkward as it sounds.)

During this time I’m not allowed to go running (which is a bummer) but I’ve got to get straightened back out first. However, I do have to do a lot of ab exercises because this whole mess stems from my super weak core muscles. (It always goes back to that damn diastasis.) I’m seriously contemplating getting a tummy tuck to fix the issue but that will be way down the line. My chiropractor says that I need to do all that I can to strengthen those muscles anyway, otherwise the recovery from such a surgery would really suck.

Even though I couldn’t go running I did ride my bike and go for lots of walks. So it didn’t cramp my style too much. I also ate a lot of healthy yummy food.

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Including a Downton Abbey themed meal Bridget and I made to eat while we caught up with our favorite show…

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All of that fresh air and healthy eating must have done it’s job because when I weighed myself this morning I weighed 182.8!

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for summer to arrive! I can’t wait to go for early morning runs, visit the farmer’s market and ride my bike to the pool. Like I’ve said, I’ve only got four more weeks of waking up at 4:30 in the morning and working until 11 at night. In the mean time, I’m going to try not to lose focus on my health and continue to try to balance out the whole life-family-health thing I’ve got going on. Wish me luck!

The Spring Break “To Do” List

Guess what…

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IT’S SPRING BREAK… YAY!!!

I can not tell you how excited I am! I only have a few more weeks of student teaching left and then I will be free to roam my garden barefoot picking weeds strawberries, going on long bike rides and lounging in the grass.

I just LOVE this time of year!  As I watch green things resurrect themselves from the brown desolate ground I just can’t help but get the feeling that something great is just around the corner. I wake up every morning with that bubbly giddy feeling, fueled by the sound of chirping birds inviting the sun to come out and play.

I feel like I’ve got to live it up while I’ve got the chance! Therefore there has been a “To Do” list designated for this week alone…

The Spring Break “To Do” List

1.) Plan my garden and get it prepped for this season.

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Say hello to my little friend(s)… thyme, chives, strawberries and tulips

2.) Have a drink… or five with my hubby.

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Banana Bread Beer. Yep, that just happened… twice.  Chased down with an Apricot something or other, a white gorilla drink (?) and a sour apple beer thingy. Needless to say, Brent and I had found a specialty tap house within walking distance from our house. This seemed awesome at first until I realized that the alcohol content of these beers tend to double that of regular beer. We came home in fine spirits until Brent popped a wad of chew into his lip.  (A new habit he formed while on wild land fire deployment the previous summer.) In an attempt to show him how gross it is to have a significant other with a disgusting habit I also popped a wad of chew in my lip. Every time he spit I spit determined to keep it in as long as he did. I was on a mission to gross him out. Let’s just say my little plan back fired.

I puked… Sandlot style.

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Never again… never.

I guess you can say we can scratch that one off of the list.

3.) Watch Divergent with Bridget.

Remember a long time ago when I told you that you should read this little book called Divergent? Well, the movie finally came out and I was charged with organizing a 6th grade ditch day to take a bunch of kids to watch it on the last day of school before spring break.

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It was SO. GOOD. Bridget and I kind of want to watch it again so that we can look at the actor who plays Four. We were both slightly disturbed to find that we both have a crush on the same actor. I was secretly pleased when Bridget looked up his age, “He’s so old… he’s like  29!” Ha! Ha! I win… never mind the fact that I’m happily married to your father.

3.) Cook Yummy Healthy Stuff.

Before spring break started Brent posted a link to this recipe on my facebook page with the caption, “Please, please… pretty please.” So that’s what we’re having for dinner tonight.

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I’m also looking forward to Pinteresting my heart out and sipping on coffee while I browse through food blogs and plan all of the other yummy things I now have the time to make.

4.) Catch up on my trash TV.

I’m behind on Teen Wolf…

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Reign…

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and Downton Abbey…

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5.) Reacquaint myself with my inner athlete.

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My body needs a good ass kicking. I miss my muscles!

I weighed myself after the whole banana bread beer debacle and I weighed in at 185.8. I was feeling abnormally hung over puffy during this weigh in so there’s no telling how much weight I actually lost this week. However, I’m feeling more motivated than ever to shape up for this upcoming summer. I just can’t wait!!!

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