Tag Archives: Hiking

Three and a Half Weeks

*blows dust off keyboard*

It has been three and a half weeks without posting. I assure you, it’s not without good reason. If you attempted to visit this site in the past week or so, you probably noticed that my URL lead to the great internet wasteland. Yes, this discovery put me into such a mixture of panic and confusion that my only consolation was cleaning the house in a frenzy in attempt to suppress and deny the fact that my blog disappeared and I had no idea how to get it back up. Thankfully, my unofficial webmaster, John, came to my rescue, thumbed through my files, played advocate to my host, and managed to get the site back in the air. I owe him so much!

But enough of that. What have I been up to since I last posted?

Well, I hosted two separate Thanksgiving dinners!

The first one was with my local friends, Justin, Aubrey, and Kris. You may remember that last year I also celebrated a Thanksgiving dinner with them. It was so exciting this year to have a more pot-luck dinner! Edgar smoked a turkey (first time ever! I’m a convert.)


It was so fun having everyone contribute!



Justin made sweet potato pie! It’s been several years since I’ve had sweet potato pie, but his may be the best one yet. Winking smile


My plate. See the gluten on the top? Heh… yeah. Bane of my being. But the turkey! And the green beans! Oh my! The green beans were sauteed simply in garlic, butter, lemon, and red pepper flake. LOVE.




Of course, we all ate too much and had to roll ourselves to the living room, find a place to unfold, and moan and nap our stomachaches away.  I will admit that this was my first experience with obvious GI gluten poisoning, but other than that, it was totally worth it!

The second Thanksgiving dinner was with my family and my in-laws. They all came in town and we had WAAAAY more food than could possibly be sampled on one plate, but it was all (that I tried. I was good about avoiding gluten by this point, since up to that point I’d effectively and regrettable gluten-poisoned myself twice in one week) wonderful! I also loved having my family in town. It was the first time my youngest sister had even seen my house, and I’ve been living here for over a year!

Baked goat brie with Crofters, Glutino crackers and pecan nut thins! My mom brought me a WHOLE BUNCH of gluten free boxed goodies she found on sale for me! Thanks Mommy!





In between these two dinners, Edgar and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary! We decided to take a trip to Palo Duro Canyon to finish hiking that trail we started but never completed last year, then spend the night in the cabin where we spent our wedding night.








It was wonderful seeing familiar places with fresh eyes. I feel like Edgar and I have grown so much in the last two years!







Then the weekend after Thanksgiving we visited Edgar’s parents in Canadian since they wanted to take us out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant just inside the Oklahoma border. I don’t recall the name of the place (sorry), but I was excited that they had a vegetarian menu! I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t like depending on meat so much in my diet, especially from sources that are not guaranteed responsible or sustainable, and I usually find vegetarian dishes to be more culinarily creative. My spinach enchiladas with avocado cream sauce were pretty delicious! Winking smile


Since then the school of music wrapped up its season with the American Family Christmas concert, where I sang a nerve-wracked solo that I feel was sub-par in my usual tonal quality, but Kris, a vocal music education major and my harshest musical critic, was very positive with me in his review (though admitted proper breath control would have corrected my tone). So I probably shouldn’t beat myself up over it. After all, it’s only the third vocal solo I’ve ever done, and it’s certainly better than my first! Winking smile


Not long after that concert my computer started acting up, and Edgar had to do a full wipe of the hard drive. This of course meant that he moved all my photos to his external hard drive which I had no idea how to access until last weekend. My bad luck with computers never ceases to amaze me.


So there you have it! That’s been my life as of late, in addition to the norm, y’know. Winking smile I look forward to finally getting back in the blogging groove after a busy month!

Happy Exercise

I have spent the last several hours listening to Swing era music via Pandora and iTunes, and it really brings back memories.

Did I tell you that I did swing dancing in high school? Well, it was only during my senior year. My homeschool group started offering classes in social dancing. I learned square dancing, cha-cha, rhumba, waltz, foxtrot, and various forms of swing dancing (west and east coast, balboa, shag, charleston, lindy-hop, etc.). Before long I was visited the Southside Preservation Hall every Tuesday night for an evening of swing lessons and dance with several of my friends! Unfortunately, this habit died off when I moved away to Plainview, which is a full hour away from the nearest Swing club.

I consider swing dancing to be a major "happy exercise" for me. I’ll go into the details of my "happy weight" musings some other times, but now I’ll discuss how I like to exercise.

The best exercise-related advice I ever heard was that the most effective exercise is the one you’ll stick to. It doesn’t matter that running burns a kajillion more calories compared to ballet, if I hate running, I won’t stick to it. If I love ballet, I’d be more likely to stick to it and create a long-term healthy habit. In the end, I’d burn more calories overall during ballet than I would in running. Make sense?

But calories isn’t the point of "happy exercise." During my weight loss, I considered exercise for the sole purpose of burning calories. It earned me an ice cream cone or a Dr Pepper. But over time I learned to focus on what I love doing and slowly stop focusing on the calorie burn and focusing on fitness, flexibility, strength, a personal connection and awareness to/of my body, and fun!

When I’m zapped of energy or in an inactive slump, I remind myself of the activities I particularly enjoy, and it isn’t hard to get back into activity! For me, I love:


Though in this 100+ degree heat, I admit the last thing I want to do is hop around a sweaty aerobics room. Just sayin’. But when it’s chilly out, I could do Zumba all day long!

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Social Dancing

I haven’t had the opportunity to do this in almost five years, but I’ve enrolled in an evening social dance class for the fall! And I may or may not have been practicing my lindy step in front of my computer a few hours ago.

(Ryan and me dancing the Jitterbug in 2006)



Another activity to not do in hot weather, but otherwise awesome!



I could honestly stroll around all day long.

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Okay. “Frolicking in water” is more appropriate. Swimming laps ain’t my thang.

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My bum hurts for days after every visit to the bowing alley.



I’m slightly addicted to this instant stream video on Netflix, especially since it’s too hot for me to enjoy more cardio activity. I love this because it combines everything I love about the ballet-ish-ness of yoga and pilates, but doesn’t bore with me unnecessary details or endless downward facing dogs. Seriously, my short hamstrings aren’t getting any longer. I’ve given up being able to form a right angle with my body.

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I enjoy a more leisurely ride. Though, again with the current heat thing…

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Running 5Ks

I honestly don’t understand this, because I really dislike running. But for some reason, participating in races and competing against myself in that event just gets my endorphins moving at a strength greater than my distaste for the general practice of running. I’ve run three so far and I’ve got the Race for the Cure in Lubbock in mind for this coming October.


Climbing Trees

What? This is totally exercise.

image (source)


What do you like to do for activity?

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