Monday, December 28, 2009

Who loves Polar Bears?!??!

I love Polar Bears a lot. I get pretty depressed whenever I think about how more and more starve to death each year because the ice doesn't form soon enough for them to begin hunting... thanks climate change.

BUT on a more positive note, because of my love for the bears and for running, I will once again be running into Lake Washington on January 1st. Best race of the year, hands down.

Dunc will be joining me this year and we will be competing as a "Double Dip Team" - which means both our times will be added up together to compete for the title of most awesome Male-Female Double Dip Team EVER! I am hoping after almost a year of improved fitness that this time will be much improved:

Elizabeth Evans
bib number:1451
location:Seattle, WA
overall place:172 out of 712
division place:12 out of 94
gender place:42 out of 347

If you can't find a freezing lake to run in to honor the polar bear, check out these sites and hey, maybe support the cause?

Happy Almost New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day! And Brother's Birfday!

Happy day after Christmas! I hope you all are enjoying a relaxing Saturday after the holidays. Dunc is working half a shift at Whole Foods and Napoleon is currently resting his head on my hand while I type... his very subtle hint that he a) would like some attention b) would like to go on a walk or c) would like both with a treat added in for good measure. He has become an increasingly spoiled dog since (for the first time) he was lucky enough to spend Christmas with us.

He was a very good Christmas dog:

Happy Holidays!

Funny face. I love it when he makes this face.

Although there is far too much light in this photo, I love it. He looks like he is celebrating Christmas in the snow!

Do these photos seem even more awesome than normal? Hopefully they do, because Dunc received a new lens for our camera from Dad and Thonky and WE LOVE IT. Unnecessary photo taking ensued after unwrapping:

Necessary. Dunc's doing.

Blurry, but I love the mid-yawn capture.

On top of all the holiday fun, today is my big browsky's birthday. Rob is lucky enough to have his birthday right smack dab after a major holiday. Usually he has the pleasure of celebrating his day driving home from Portland, but today he is spending his day on the slopes of Crystal Mountain and we will be dining on Seattle's finest burgers this evening (burger joint TBD). So in honor of Rawb's day of birth, I give you a tribute:

He was quite the professional child.Wearing argyle and Top Sider's...

Making his own Halloween costumes...

And attending school in the finest of forms... with a mullet...

He grew up to be a fine man:

with great hygiene and pearly whites...
(He also snagged him an awesome lady that we are so happy to have as a part of the fambily!)

And always acting in the most serious manner.

That's my brother Rob!

Happy Birfday RAWB! Much love!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Eve!

Once upon one month ago, I mentioned some recipes that I would be making for Thanksgiving. I did in fact make all the aforementioned delights, and they were indeed delightful. I meant to do a whole Pioneer Woman thing and photograph all my steps, but the light didn't last and taking photos of every step is REALLY time consuming, so here is what I captured:

Some of the ingredients for the Vegetable Strudel...

The mushroom photos are my favorite.

Some ingredients for the AMAZEEEN (as us Washingtonians pronounce it) Cranberry Chutney... seriously, make it for Christmas. I ain't lying...

And the buttah and the buttah + flour for the extremely buttery and delicious pie crust for the Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie (also delicious and got rave reviews from my Papa).

But the real point of this post is to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!!! Why? Because I love you!!! And for many of you, we won't get to see your lovely faces this year. So to appease your need for visual contact, here is a string of our pre-Christmas/late Birthday celebration on Sunday:

You better watch out!

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

I bet you enjoyed that... homemade Christmas sweater in all its glory...

Merry Merry!!! Much love to you all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pre-Thankful Part II

Since the internet's hatred of Thanksgiving hindered by complete list over the weekend, I am going to attempt to sneak more Thanks under the internet's nose. Tricky, I know, but I think with a little patience and cunning, I will succeed.

I will attempt to do so.... right now!

Nouns (mostly) I am thankful for continued....

If you missed out, I am also thankful for these: Family, Duncan, Animals, Friends, Hearth & Home...

6. The ability to run, dance, jump and generally frolic. I think far too often, the simple (or maybe not so simple) things are taken for granted. With a few minor injuries in the bag, I have been trying to more thoroughly appreciate the fact that I have a body that allows me to run half marathons, dance while cleaning, dance while running (yes, sometimes I cannot help it and end up busting a move while running), dance at weddings, dance at work (only the most professional of dancing of course, like the foxtrot), dance at parties (I like to dance),  walk my dog, jump on the bed, rustle and shuffle fall leaves and jump in puddles.

7. A job, with benefits. I enjoy supporting the work of the University of Washington and as for the bennies... I use them, a lot.

Photo Credit - Atomic Taco via Wikimedia Commons

8. Dunc's Whole Foods employment, which he enjoys and also provides us with a discount. Hooray for delicious, nutritious, affordable food!

9. Girls on the Run! I love volunteering with this group and it only keeps getting better. For example, last week I met my "girl buddy" to whom I am her "running buddy". We ran a practice 5K together and will be running the race together on December 12th. My girl buddy is the coolest 8 year-old I have met in a long time. Why, you ask? Welp, when all the 3rd - 5th grade girls at the program site were asked who their favorite bands were, she said the Talking Heads. Take that Jonas Brothers!!! How cool is that?

Photo Credit - Rolling Stone

10. VACATIONS! And traveling in general. Traveling to see family, to tropical paradises, to the Oregon Coast. What a wonderful way to spend time.

I am exceptionally excited to have a mini vacation beginning in one day. I just wish we could gather and give thanks with all of our family that stretches from one coast to the other... everyone, please move closer. THANKS!

I will be spending all of Wednesday cooking, baking and photographing with my Mamsie. I see a food post in the near future. Until then, much love to you all, Happy Thanksgiving and have fun cooking up a storm.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Pre-Thankful

So I just tried to be a good blogger and come back with a vengeance... a full post with a list of 15 things I am thankful for, a bajillion photos, and my recipe list for Thanksgiving this year in case anyone needed inspiration.

Unfortunately, the internet HATES it when you give thanks and erased all 2 1/2 hours of work. Thank you internet. You are awesome. But as it is now midnight and I have lost all creativity and spunk, that leaves you, my dear friends and family, with a much shorter post.

In the words of one of my favorite characters:"Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

First, I give you my list of people, places, animals, things (NOUNS?) I am thankful for... well maybe a few verbs or adjectives might fall in here too:

1. My FAMBILY! All of you, "nuculur" (nuclear), extended, in-"law", made-up (read: Waddams-McGillicuddy)...And instead of the 10 photos showing ALL my loved ones that I am so dang thankful to have in my life, I give you this:

Look at that all American fambily!

2. Duncan Face. Although he most certainly fits into the above category, he deserves his own number. Dunc, you are the awesomest of the awesomes.
Aaaaaaand! I love you.

Here, have some love pretzels.

3. Animals! Ours, yours, theirs, the Arctic's (I'm talking to you Polar Bears!), the kingdom in general... the animal kingdom that is.

4. Wonderful friends... and the best race cheer squad EVER.

5. A roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in the fridge and a bed to call my own!

I had 10 more, but me sleepy. So I will share more later. Because SHARING IS CARING!!!

Photo cred- Scholastic via Amazon

And now, I will provide you with the kick booty recipes I will be mixing up for Thanksgiving (my first as an omnivore in 6 years!):

Mushroom, cheese and vegetable strudel (Only change to recipe: I will be creating single serving pieces like triangles of spanakopita.) I made this last year and it was an awesome vegetarian entree and totally tasTAY!

THE BEST Cranberry Chutney in existence. Seriously. I cannot tell a lie... or was that someone else. Regardless, I am not lying when I speak of the level of deliciousness this recipe achieves.

Pumpkin Pasties Harry Potter style. Basically Pumpkin Hand Pies made with an incredibly flaky, tasty crust. (Logan, if you haven't tried this crust, do it!!! Just follow all her tips and you will bust out something awe inspiring.)
Side note: I will also be making vegan pies that will not have such a buttery crust, but still good... no butter... thus not buttery.

A new addition to my cooking repertoire, Smitten Kitchen's Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie. I'm excited for this one. PIEEEEEE!

So there you have it! THANKS for reading and THANKS for being awesome. I will be back with more THANKS soon! I promise.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Half! It is finished!

I did it!!! Hooray! Yesterday at approximately 10:56 am PST, I completed my first half marathon in the picturesque Bavarian village of Leavenworth, WA.

Since Leavenworth is about 2 hours away from Seattle and my race started at 9 am, we thought it would be a good idea to stay closer and avoid a 6 am wake up call. Methinks it was for the best. Hence, on Friday afternoon, we headed to a cabin ("An Oasis") in the Plain area of Washington. No, that isn't me being silly and calling the area around Leavenworth "plain"... there is an actual town east of the mountains called "Plain". If you want to draw the tourists in, that is how you do it. Believe you me, that town was HOPPING! Horses, goats, old trucks, a market - it was CRAZY!

Anyway, back to the cabin. Duncan and I were joined by Rawb, Sarah, Colin and Liz. The first night after enjoying a massive pretzel with some beers at little restaurant in Leavenworth, we picked up my race packet and headed into Plain for some pre-race enchiladas and sleepy time! Woo sleep!

Then, 7 am wake up for me! I have a terrible time sleeping before races, so it was no problem. I tried to down some oats and hydrated a lot. Rawb, Sarah and Dunc left with me to bid me farewell for 13.1 miles of awesomeness.

Here I am with my game face, stretching before the race.

And I was off!!! Oh, it was really cold. I don't know, like 35 degrees cold? I wore that coat for about 3.5 miles until I ran into my awesome full crew of cheerleaders:

Yep, they are spelling "BETSY" for me at about mile 4... but I couldn't really read it... I see it now, very clearly.

I only expected to see them here and then at the finish, but this crew was most excellent and took their job very seriously. I saw them again just about at mile 9 at the top of the last hill on Duncan Rd. (what a crazy coincidence!!! My boyfriend's name is Duncan!!! WHOA.):

That is my surprised running face. It was nice to see the gang again, it got hard after mile 9.

After Duncan Rd, I was looping around through neighborhoods back to the start at the US Fish Hatchery, when I hear this crazy car yelling and blasting "You're the best around, nothings ever gonna keep you down!" 

I knew I would probably get to see my team once more before the finish, and there they were at mile 12:

Still waving, I was very happy to see them. That's how I got the juice to beat those two goof balls behind me.

I was cruising at around 8 minute miles through the last couple of miles and check this out...


Smashed by goal (1:59:59) by almost 4 minutes!

After some water, a bit of food and electrolyte replacement, I was pretty dang pleased with the race:

Got a sweet medal, an awesome finisher's sweatshirt and a delicious breakfast.. pumpkin waffle! Yum!

Plus, we were in town for the first weekend of Oktoberfest in Leavenworth. Which apparently means you need to wear funny hats... the boys tried it out, but in the end decided against these beauties:

With Dunc's love of German food and my need to replenish my calorie stores, we all happily visited King Ludwig's for dinner and demolished a massive platter of food...

Drank some delicious German brews

And clapped along to the totally sweet Polka band

We had some awesome times at the cabin and in Plain, but I think I will leave it up to Dunc to recap the good times at An Oasis.

Thanks to everyone for all the race well wishes. I couldn't have done it without all your love!

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