>On the menu

>Today as I was driving to work for the last time until who knows when, I realized that in a few short weeks I will be cooking. And not just on Sundays for the week, but several times a week. Not only will I be cooking, but planning meals and shopping. This is very exciting because I will be able to cook for two people. It means that leftovers won’t go as far, but I will be able to share my budding culinary prowess with someone special.

I got the new issue of Women’s Health in the mail this week. I never used to be one to care for the recipes in magazines. That was boring stuff. Well, not anymore. I found this delicious-looking recipe for tropical guacamole.

Tropical Guac
Avocados are rich in healthy, belly-trimming monounsaturated fats. Because this dip is bulked up with fruit, it has fewer calories per scoop than traditional guacamole. 

1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chopped jalapeno
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped pineapple
1/4 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup chopped cantaloupe

Mash avocado and salt together with a fork. Gently stir in onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. Fold in pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe. 

Yum. I love guacamole and I love fruit. This sounds like a plan. I will probably ditch the jalapeno, though. I like spicy things, but sparingly. Like, as a twice a year thing.

I also have a steak in the freezer I can thaw and make kabobs with yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, onion, pepper. I’m sure you’re wondering where this girl is gonna grill. That would be the George Foreman grill/griddle combo my parents gave us from their camping stuff.

I’m going to make tuna salad. What’s tuna salad without Miracle Whip and sweet relish? Gotta buy some crackers or pita chips to go with that. Maybe I’ll make my own…

For breakfast, I’m going to get some bagels to make them with peanut butter, bananas, and strawberries. Sounds delicious.

Needless to say, my husband will be spoiled most evenings with these sorts of foods… I’m sure he’s thankful that I’ve taught myself how to cook over the past two years.

I’ll need lots of healthy, filling options because sometimes I like to workout twice a day. Today I went to BodyFlow, and this afternoon I’ll be going on a run with Tim. Tomorrow morning, I’m planning on getting my butt out of bed at 5:00 to go to BodyPump, and Saturday is my long run with Gabi. We’re shooting for seven miles, eight if we feel good.

Bring on the summer! I’d better enjoy the rain while I can… there’s no water in the desert. 😉

>Runner’s Survey via Run with Jess

>What is your favorite type of cross training? 
Yoga, BodyFlow and BodyPump. I love how strong and lean my body feels after these classes.

What is your favorite song to run to? 
“Move Along” by All-American Rejects, “You Deserve” by Hillsong, “Stronger” by Kanye West

What brand of shoes do you wear? 
Brooks Adrenaline. I got fitted for a shoe that would help with overpronation. A little pricey ($110) but totally worth a great fit.

Do you wear a hat when you run?

I tried wearing one in the winter, and it didn’t keep my ears warm. The rest of my head was burning up. I wear a headband (BondiBands are great!) or just pull my bangs back with bobby pins.

What temperature is your favorite for running? 
50 degrees… I can wear shorts and a t-shirt and not feel too hot.

Do you have any big races coming up? 
I run the Washington Cherry Festival 5K on June 4th. I have a half marathon and marathon tentatively scheduled in El Paso. I haven’t registered for those races yet.

What is your favorite distance? 
For a long run, 10 miles. For a race, probably a half marathon. I’ve never raced in a half marathon though.

Are you a morning, noon or evening runner? 
Never at noon. I don’t get why you’d go out in the hot sun in the middle of the day unless you had no other choice. I like both afternoon/evening runs and morning runs.

Do you run solo or with a buddy? 
I prefer to do most of my runs alone, but for the long weekend runs, I love to run with Gabi!!
What’s your favorite post run snack? 
A smoothie with fruit, milk, ice and protein powder.

What’s your FAVORITE race?  My favorites so far have been the races in downtown Chicago (Hot Chocolate 15K and Shamrock Shuffle 8K). While the marathon was amazing for the spectators and the achievement of such a distance, running in a huge city with 30,000+ runners brings a sense of importance and community.

Do you wear a Garmin? If not, how do you track your runs? Yes.. hubby got me the Garmin Forerunner 405 for my birthday and I’m in LOVE with all that it can do.

What is your least favorite race?

Honestly, probably races like Race for the Cure, which are more focused on the charity than the race itself. I personally don’t know anyone in my family who has died from breast cancer, so the cause isn’t near and dear to me. I do think, however, that it’s a great race for a rookie. There are water stations along the way and a fun finish.

>On a new journey

>The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Graduations and parties that follow, first grade shenanigans at the zoo, and cleaning on steroids. I’ve been home for only a couple of nights in the past few weeks at a decent time. For me, that’s before 6PM. I love my evenings at home, cooking dinner for one and sewing or reading.

As you can see, I’ve also been blogging quite a bit (Check out the “Why I’m Alive” tabs above). It feels so redemptive to get my testimony out there; God has done great things! I am slowly but surely learning how to live a life of gladness and thankfulness. I’m learning that God wants us to have an “inexpressible and glorious joy“. Our God is a God who redeems and restores! Sharing my testimony has been so freeing; I wish I could describe the feeling with more eloquence.

Even as my husband and I continue on this journey together, I know God has great things in store for us. We are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

These last few weeks will be busy. I can’t believe next week is June already! We have been waiting for June 2011 for two years now. I will be running a 5K, going to see Hillsong with my bestie, and spending more time with friends and family.

As Aaron’s return approaches, I find myself calm and collected. No, really. I’m serious. If you ask me if I get nervous or have butterflies before I see him, I would reply with an emphatic “Yes!” as I wait with anticipation at the airport. But this time is different and new. For the past two years, we’ve known that we would only be together for a short period before going back to our geographical bachelor and bachelorette statuses. Now, we are moving in the same direction, at the same time, together.

I find myself not worried. I still have a list of things that need to be done, but overall I am not anxious. As things like small group, worship band, piano lessons, and long Saturday morning runs with Gabi are coming to a close, I wait with excited anticipation for what lies ahead.