I have three separate ideas floating around in my crazy noggin and I’m going to see if I can string them into one giant post. I don’t know. I may have to move the cookie making portion of the post.
Let’s get started.
I know I need to finish up the Universal Studios/Harry Potter recap post. I fell into a bit of a slump this week. I had such a great week the week before with a grad school weekend and then an amazing trip to Orlando with Meg and our magic golden pass (which won’t make sense until I actually finish that post. I know.) I got home from vacation on the 9th, even got great news from Claire about something at work that I didn’t want to happen, NOT happening! And THEN they made the announcement that our office was going all casual all the time. That’s right – I can wear jeans to work every. single. day. I was on a roll! And yet, the slump was starting to set in. Life is a roller coaster not unlike the ones I had been riding just days ago…(I acknowledge that is a super cheesy metaphor. Let’s get past it.) What goes up…must come down.
So, I’m working through the post great week blues and little things keep irritating me. Getting the grade back for a paper I was kind of terrified of and getting a really good score, but one that could have been .5 points better had I not made some silly editing mistakes. Cranky that friends of mine are far away in Richmond, Cleveland, Memphis, Columbus, Boston and New York and I don’t see them more. Grumpy that the travel budget I typically use to see these friends once or twice a year is being eaten up by monthly trips to glamorous Toledo, Ohio for school (which is so worth it, I know. Man, the inner dialogue in my head is driving me nuts – can’t imagine how it must feel to read this.)
And then yesterday happens. I won’t pretend that I can even imagine what those families are going through this morning. It’s Christmas – those kids had presents under a tree already, you know? Parents just thought it was another regular day. There’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t been said or even adequately expresses how heartbreaking yesterday’s tragedy is. We never know when the biggest days of our life are going to happen.
Which leads me to the running part of this post. This morning was the one year anniversary run, if you will. I ran the Reindeer 5K last year as the official beginning of my training program for the 1/2 marathon that I thought I’d be running February 2013. It was hard to get up for it this morning. I’ve run races by myself before, but this morning was different. It was cold and windy and gloomy. I had a heavy heart from yesterday. But I got out of bed, synced up a new playlist called “31” and got dressed. I only had to walk across the street to the park for this race. There was no excuse not to be there.
Me last year getting ready for this race…
Me this year! I wore the same shirt.
True story – I love to over tilt my head in photos. Moving on… Earlier this week I ran a 5K in right at 31 minutes. Excellent. I made that my goal for the race this morning thinking race adrenaline and excitement may even push me faster.
This happened a few days ago…Awesome!
Not the case. I got out there and struggled. Still thought about going home and getting back into bed. No one would ever know. I didn’t go home. I started running. I do like running through Tower Grove Park so much. And I was just running. And I knew I wasn’t fast and I didn’t feel like I was running great. That’s fine. My overall goals are always just to finish and preferably not finish last. I figured I’d settle into a rhythm soon. And I was fine until just after mile 2 when my usual running mantra almost made me burst into tears. During the half marathon training I would repeat to myself that I was running for those who can’t. That took on a whole new thing this morning after yesterday’s shooting news. Six year olds who just showed up to school are now the ones I was thinking of. Running for those who should have been running around on a playground.
I kept it together. I focused on some guy and told myself to stay with him. I ended up passing him before we crossed the finish line.
This morning. Eh.
Not quite as fast as I would have liked. But I finished. It’s officially my best race 5K time. I guess the Color Run was the last timed 5K I did and it was just under 34 minutes. The Girl Scout Run I did I averaged a 10:37 min/mile and this was 10:19. So, it’s improvement. We get better.
But I’m still a little cranky about it. This is my grumpy face.
We’re done with the grumpy now, though. Because life is just too short to be grumpy. Because you just don’t know what the next day brings. And last night, after a day of sad, tragic news – I got to spend the evening with this chick –
And her mom…
I watched that kid tuck into some fruit puree like nobody’s business.
And we drank delicious wine from Trader Joe’s. Delicious and cheap!
But most importantly, we made cookies. I taught Angela all these fun techniques I learned last year when I was working at the cooking school. We made real royal icing with meringue powder and so much powdered sugar. The funniest moment of the night was when Angela, 20 minutes after tasting the icing, blurts out, “I can still feel it on my teeth!”
She only referred to me as being really bossy about the way I decorate cookies a dozen times, so that’s not so bad. There’s a really funny clip of Amy Sedaris on the Martha Stewart Show and Martha says to Amy: “I try to make things look like they should, and you just try to make it look like it does.” I use this clip when I train the Disc Profile all the time as an example of S style behaviors. Martha wigs out when Amy tries to add the salt – it’s pretty funny. Anyway – apparently all of my S tendencies came out last night while making cookies.
Who decorated it best?
I know it’s not a competition, but I am really proud of my cookies.
We also made Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ummmmm… I’m not sure about these. I love the Friday Favorites post on the blog Iowa Girl Eats. She always compiles a list of fun stuff from around the web that I would have never found on my own and I have been inspired to try more than one thing she’s put out there. This time it was these cookies, which were really from a blog called Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Here is a link to the recipe…and below is the picture she posted of the finished product.
Photo from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Here is how Angela and I’s cookies came out…
I do not know how she still has those legitimate caramel chunks in the cookies. Ours melted into gooey (and delicious) little pools. The cookies also spread out more than I would have liked. I do not know the cause of this. They taste good. No amount of good camera work is going to make them look like the original photo, though. Oh well. I don’t know if I would try them again. The caramel kind of sticks in your teeth as you eat them. They’re tasty. They’re a good idea. They don’t exactly pan out.
Anyway – there you go – three posts in one. A slumpy week that ends in sad perspective brought on by a tragedy, a year later run and cookie night in America.