Tuesday, July 29, 2014

pumpkin energy balls

With all the working out and training that I've been doing for triathlons, running, and beach volleyball, I thought it would be nice to have a great snack to eat before or during workouts.  So I've been pinning a few on Pinterest, and finally decided to try one!

These have oatmeal, pumpkin, and chocolate chips as the major flavors, all things I like.  They are no-bake so to speak.  That means the chocolate chips are never soft or melty and the oatmeal only softens by being with the pumpkin moisture, not because of baking.

So I made them and refrigerated them separately before putting them in a container since they are a little soft when made.

My verdict on this recipe is mixed.  The only change I made was to use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of white chocolate as the recipe called for, but that was just because I was using what I had on hand.  As a quick way to ingest some energy that is healthy, this totally worked.  I kept mine about a week in the fridge.  But I didn't love them (I ended up throwing the last few out).  So although it did the job of sustaining me during workouts, I don't plan on making them again.  I'm still searching for something yummier....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

coolest library table ever!

When I was in Ohio I stopped by the ATI Library to have lunch with Kris and see the library where I "got my start" in the professional library world.  I miss working with Kris so much, and I totally miss how crafty she is!  They had a table that was either the wrong color for matching other things or wasn't in great shape, I forget (I want to say a weird color that was too 'red'). 

In any case, the solution was to cover it with book pages:

Yes, that is Kris' handiwork and a great solution!  Here are a few closeups:

Yes, she even did it with flower-related books, which is just perfect for an agricultural school library, no??

Thursday, July 24, 2014

fourth fireworks and dress-up

The Orrville July 4th fireworks are always insanely awesome!  The first time Andy ever took me to see them, I was blown away.  There is a mini finale, then the main finale is just a ridiculous ongoing and super loud event that is laughable it's so awesome.  Also, the first time he ever took me to the fireworks, he asked me to marry him.  So we go back every year as an anniversary of sorts, which is why we're always in Ohio for July 4th!

Here are just two shots of the fireworks themselves:

While we were visiting, we also went to church and then out to eat with the family.  Since we don't dress up all that often, I grabbed a few photos with the camera sitting on my car.  :)

I like how my belt matches their flowers!!  I can't say I planned that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ohio beach volleyball

I got to play a sand tournament while I was in Ohio with my old partner Tiffany!  It was so much fun to play with her again and catch up.  The weather was also gorgeous...a great day if you don't count our actual performance.  We did okay, but it had obviously been a long time for us plus she had a baby recently, so it took us half the tournament to remember how to play :)

I asked Andy to take some pictures and he did the best he could (I don't have a great "sports action" camera and I forgot to tell him about the repetitive/burst setting).  So here are a few fun pics:

The two best action shots were the last two of Tiffany.  So next tournament I'm going to put my camera on the repetitive setting to see if we can get some action shots of me :)

Thanks for a great day Tiff...had a blast!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

linus' tree is huge!

When we were in Ohio, we drove by our old house to check it out.  We noticed that the tree we planed in the backyard was huge!  We call it Linus' tree because that is where we buried our kitty that died

To give some background, this tree is a dawn redwood, and I won it at a work event back in 2008.  This is what it looked like when I got it (pre-planting):

So barely taller than me, right?  So then there was an update on the blog two years later and this is how tall it was:

So we were amazed at how much it had grown since we moved out two years ago, not to mention in the four years since the blog update.  So I did what anyone would do....park in the church behind our old house, run up to the tree, and make Andy take my picture with it as an "update".  :)  It didn't appear that they were home, and I made sure no one was out there!  But here is the most recent picture:

I put the red arrow at the top of the tree so you could see where it was since it blends in with a lot of the other trees.  But isn't that mad crazy??

Friday, July 18, 2014

picnic and helping around the house

July 4th is a great time to visit the Holderman house because there are often other siblings around and visiting.  This means when a lot of the boys get together, Andy's parents get lots of help!  So there is help installing a new light...

Fixing the drain...

And of course the most important part...making the homemade ice cream!!

With all the family visiting I got to see Savannah...such a cute baby with more hair than I had at age three I think.  Andy took a picture of this because it's a rare sighting of me holding a baby!  HA.

Then it was time to play games like we usually do at the holiday picnic.  Mark brought some cornhole boards:

There were some really close matches and hilarious how we can all throw it in the hole and then on the next turn miss the board completely!

This was my "in flight" shot of Andy's mom throwing a bag!

The Holdermans also play a lot of croquet.  I've learned I'm not very good compared to the brothers.

But this time Andy and I each won a game!!  I never knew the rules or how to officially play until I started dating Andy....and then I learned how dangerous it is when Tim gets poison :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ohio golfing

We went to Ohio over July 4th as we usually do.  That is the anniversary of our engagement on 7/7/07.  (I don't have a blog posting about our engagement to link to since I started my blog the month after!)  We visited Ohio for about a week, and I tried to be so good about getting some pictures.  I took some good ones, and then seemed to fail spectacularly during certain get togethers, go figure.

I did remember to take a few while we were golfing with "Brother Tim".  It's funny, that is Andy's brother and we always call him Brother Tim, even though we really don't talk about any other Tims on a regular basis...so it makes him sound like a monk :)

Golfing in Ohio in the 'country' is so pretty:

Here are the boys teeing off:

See I remembered to take pictures, but of course only on one hole.  Then remembered in the parking lot as we were done to get one more picture:

The miracle of this golf outing is that I won!  I don't usually beat the boys, but they struggled on a couple holes where I played decent so I barely won by two strokes.  Yay me!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

my new baby

No no, not that type of baby...it's my new bike!!  I got a new bike, triathlon specific, off ebay, used.  So excited, but sadly it arrived only 20 minutes before we left for our trip to Ohio.  So before we left, this was the only way I'd get to ride it:

We unpacked it real quick to make sure nothing was wrong with it, then left it like this as we drove off to Ohio!

But the good news is I could get it assembled, fitted, and then ride it when we returned.  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

carnitas for delicious tacos

The only way I ever usually cook a pork roast is in the crockpot.  I'm not sure why...it's not a requirement.  But I do love crockpot cooking and it is convenient to have supper basically done when work is over.  So I never purposely sought out another way of cooking.

But then Andy got me a dutch oven for our anniversary, so I scanned my saved recipes in Pinterest to find a recipe I could make with it, and up came a recipe for Crispy Pork Carnitas.  I love Mexican food.  In fact it might be the thing I miss most about living in San Diego...that or the weather.  In any case, I love any excuse for Mexican food.  So I was making pork tacos!

Isn't my red dutch oven just adorable?  Those are the carnitas after they were done, waiting for the rice to finish so we can assemble tacos.  If you look closely in the picture above you will see the spoon on the spoon rest with a nice chunk of pork on it.  That is the obligatory bite to make sure it's not poisonous.  Because the first four bites might not have been accurate.

Here is my sad excuse of a taco picture.  This was my second taco and I could barely take the time to make it let alone take a picture:

Didn't even have time to clean up the corn I had trailed on my plate.  All of this was just getting in my way of shoving that taco into my mouth!!  So in other words, I really loved this.  The pork was so tender, and it had a great flavor that I liked.  Add hot sauce and sour cream, and I was in love.  Andy thought it was okay (translation: he ate two tacos and thought it was decent, but didn't shovel it in as fast as possible like I did).  That does mean I get all the leftovers, which is great! 

So the verdict is I recommend you make this recipe for pork tacos.  Delicious!  Whether I keep it or not...well I can't decide.  I want to, but I also don't want to make an entire pork roast for myself if Andy doesn't really like it.  So I'm on the fence....but I seriously recommend.

Monday, July 7, 2014

my first beach volleyball tourney this year

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog (which I can count on my fingers and MAYBE branch out to my toes) are wondering how on earth I could come up with this title for a blog if I basically announced I was retiring from volleyball in November.  Um, yeah.  Because I love volleyball, and I have hopes I can play again on a semi-regular basis.  I played two indoor tournaments this winter on a girls net, and although I was sore, my knee survived.  So my hopes soared into thinking maybe I could play beach volleyball again!

Well the only way to test whether or not I can play is to actually play and see if it hurts my knee.  That is scary and not my ideal way to test my knees, but it's the most accurate.  My hope is that since losing 65 pounds and training for triathlons, I would hold up better than previous years.  So here I am at the tournament:

Andy was all day score keeper on our net (for which he got a free t-shirt, thanks Roman!).  So he couldn't take any action shots of me.  But I did manage to get a couple of a game on our net while I was not playing:

It was a queen of the beach tournament, which I LOVE.  You go without a partner, play with the other girls on your net as your partner, then the person with the highest record/point difference advances to the playoffs.  Then you do it again and rotate through the other girls as partners until the end and there is one winner, hence queen of the beach!  I usually do well at these tournaments because I'm what I consider 'a good helper'.  I talk a lot to my partner, I can play left side or right, and I am sort of a utility player. 

So the verdict was that I played all day, and was VERY sore for the next five days.  Not shocking.  My left knee (which is the one I hurt last year playing volleyball) was sore for a couple days, but I iced like a fool and kept it moving with swimming, walking, and running.  I also took lots of anti-inflammatory drugs, but not more than I should be taking.  In any case, a week later and my knee felt normal!  Which is great news for me, especially since I have two more sand tournaments on the books. 

The other verdict is that I was the queen of the beach :)  The most exciting part of that is not the title but the victory t-shirt and free prize ball!  I need a new ball since I have one of the old types, so that is most exciting!! 

You apparently can't take the desire to play volleyball out of the player.