Back in Seattle!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there, especially Mike’s and mine!

Mike and I are back in Seattle!  Seeing everyone was great, and meeting our niece Penny for the first time was wonderful!  She is SUCH a sweetheart!  🙂  As nice as it was to see family and friends, it’s really nice to be home again.  Piper definitely missed us, but her cat sitter said she was actually a lot more laid-back this time than previous times, which was encouraging (it was probably because the cat sitter brushed her every day, which is a guaranteed way to get a relaxed Piper).  🙂

Mike and I got home Wednesday afternoon, and especially given the three-hour time difference, it was really nice to only have two days left of work for the week.  Both Mike and I actually had a lot to get done at work, so they were long days but it was still only two days.

I went to get a haircut shortly, and my hair stylist has been doing a lot of juicing lately.  It was very inspiring to me.  I get tired of eating giants salads and soups.  Somehow juicing (and/or green smoothies) seem like a much more efficient way of getting all of those antioxidants.

I am pretty confident that juicing is very much like making hard-boiled eggs.  I used to put off making hard-boiled eggs because it sounded hard.  And hard-to-get right.  (What happens if you over or undercook the eggs?  Who knows?)  Also I never seemed to have spare eggs around.  Also, who wants to mess with hard-boiling eggs for breakfast before work?  And peeling them can be a pain.  All in all, the whole proposition seemed intimidating.

However, several months ago I decided to give hard-boiled eggs a try and make up a bunch on the weekends (thus alleviating one of my concerns with making them… that I wouldn’t have time in the morning before work).  And now I am seriously an expert at making hard-boiled eggs and it takes me literally about one minute of active time for each batch.  Crazy, right?  How could something that seemed so overwhelming be so easy (for those of you who have happily been making hard-boiled eggs for years free of any negative inhibitions, you can’t fully understand what a wake-up call this was for me).

It was about far more than just making hard-boiled eggs.  It was about how EASY something becomes when you’re used to it.  Not even just easy… effortless.  Take something that you know how to do well.  Think back to when that was a new thing for you and how you felt doing it.  It could be anything… from driving a car, to changing a diaper.

Everything was hard at one time.  As elementary as this observation is, internalizing this concept is very freeing because you stop viewing new things as difficult and start viewing them as effortless things that you just haven’t done yet.

SO.  To bring everything back to juicing, as difficult as juicing sounds (I have to have all kinds of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables around, I have to figure out what kind of juicer I want, I have to figure out which fruits and veggies taste good together, I have to get a sense of how much whole produce translates into how much juice, I have to clean the juicer every single time I use it), I need to look at juicing as something effortless that I haven’t learned yet.  It’s amazing what a difference in attitude can make.  If you view something as being too difficult, you’ll lose motivation before you ever start and you’ll never get anywhere.  If you start out with the assumption that your goal is easy, and you just have to get used to it, it’s remarkably easy to get started.

Since Mike and I were in Michigan on Monday we didn’t see the new Mad Men episode, so we watched that on Wednesday when we got back. The past two episodes had been so decidedly light after all of the darkness of the rest of the season that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and the show to revert back to its darker side.  That definitely happened in the latest episode.  We thought it was thought-provoking, but it wasn’t very relaxing to watch.  Is anyone else following Mad Men?  Any thoughts on this season??

I also cooked up a new dish two weeks ago that’s super healthy and super easy, and that Mike liked.  It’s an asparagus rotelli dish, and it was really simple!  Fresh lemon juice, fresh lemon zest, chicken, asparagus, gluten-free pasta, and a little Parmesan cheese.  I was very impressed.  I was also impressed that Mike didn’t notice anything weird about the pasta even though it was gluten-free.  He had it for dinner four nights and still enjoyed it at the end, which is rare!

Today I have beef stew going in the slow cooker.  I asked Mike what he felt like yesterday and he said something hearty with root vegetables.  That traditional beef stew has been a standby recipe for the past couple of years… it always goes over well and Mike really enjoys it.  I keep the recipe pretty much the same except that I also add in freshly minced garlic.

Mike and I didn’t feel like doing much yesterday, so I finished the online mixed martial arts (MMA) class I was taking through NASM that gives me continuing education credits towards renewing my personal trainer certification.  I almost have enough CEUs to renew now.  The MMA class was really interesting.  I know a lot of people involved in various martial arts (tae kwon do, karate, jijitsu, etc).    The course also presented some interesting statistics about the prevalence of martial arts worldwide (judo is the second most-practiced sport worldwide, after soccer!).  It’s interesting because training for martial arts performance definitely requires a different strategy than training for general fitness or even for something more specific like weight loss or muscle gain.  I keep thinking about trying out martial arts training myself, but I feel like I’d rather put the time into yoga.  I have been trying to talk Mike into trying the martial arts studio a quarter of a mile from our apartment though… I think he would really enjoy the discipline and steady progression of martial arts if he gave it a chance.

Yesterday Mike and I went up to check on our garden, and we were SHOCKED!  The garden is booming!

Our garden... the wide view

Our garden… the wide view

I know it looks a little overgrown, but if you look closely all of the overgrown plants are just thriving kale, lettuce, and garlic plants!  The garlic stalks are 2 feet long, the two different kinds of kale I planted are a foot and a half high, the lettuce has all developed into heads, and the arugula is so healthy and bushy that it’s flowering like crazy (who knew that arugula has little yellow flowers?  I didn’t know that, but it definitely does!).  And our rosemary tree is ridiculously healthy.  It’s turning into a huge bushy tree.

Our garden... the closeup view

Our garden… the closeup view.  There is seriously NO room for any extra veggies!!

I think I can definitely start snipping off rosemary for Mike’s and my food.  I’m also planning to pick some of the lettuce and some of the kale leaves today.  It is CRAZY that the seeds I put in the ground were about the size of a coffee ground granule and somehow now everything in the garden is two and a half feet tall.  Even though I know God designed them to grow like that, I can’t get over how crazy the concept of minuscule seeds growing into huge plants is!

Yesterday Mike and I stopped by Mike’s favorite camera store and Mike examined cameras.  He’s currently in love with a sony DSLR with a Zeiss (sp?) lens.    I seriously think he goes into camera stores so often mostly because he loves talking about cameras with other people who know as much as he does about them (I definitely don’t fall into that category).

I realized on Thursday that Father’s day was this weekend, so Mike and I got Father’s day cards in the mail, but they will get there late.  Somehow I was thinking Father’s day was the weekend of the 22nd, but no!  It’s this weekend!

Mike isn’t a father unless you count cats as children, but our cat definitely appreciates him.

Mike with Piper

Mike with Piper… so cute!  🙂

She loves lying on his stomach while he naps on the couch.  🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  Mike’s and mine has been laid-back so far and pretty much filled with errands and chores but we’re fine with that.  🙂

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