Soaking up the surroundings

Let me preface this post with a short, concise statement.

The following has no theme, no streamline idea or consistent discussion. It is a jumbled up, photo-filled, discombobulated rambling concoction of my recent adventures. The same as life, it doesn't make sense and it doesn't have to. 
We've enjoyed the delicious confections from local cupcake bakeries. 

and some of us got sad when the entire blob of buttercream popped off...
Carl had to walk around Church Street one afternoon looking like he'd pissed his pants because Jordan accidentally spilled a glass of water while out to dinner. 
The weathers been nice enough lately that I've been able to bust out my maxi dresses.
And sit on the back porch drinking yummy local beer.
I've admired the simplistic beautify of happy sunshiny daffodils.
And the rainbow sprinkles on this years first creemee. A maple vanilla swirl. 
The family (even Bobbi Jo) has congregated on the front lawn to play frisbee and soccer and football.
I've spent rainy Sunday afternoons basking in all of Barnes and Noble's quiet, calming glory. Smelling the fresh ink in crisp cookbooks, running my hands over the shiny vibrant pages of children's books from my past.  

Carl and I have enjoyed cute messages from Mama Lynne and Papa Garry (who have officially booked their flights! We look forward to a fabulous 10 days with them this July!)
and I've made the hubs favorite Nigella Lawson Toad in the Hole. 

For the first time Sonya and I savored the unbelievably delicious food at The Farm House Grill, a restaurant on Church Street that's menu is made up entirely of local ingredients from local farmers (including the beer, wine and cider!)  We'll be back again very, very soon.
And while Sonya and I were eating sophisticated organic yumminess, the boys were stuffing themselves full of 16oz pulled pork sandwiches. 
We clapped and cheered on chair-balancing street performers.
and posed at the windy waterfront.

We've gone for family walks and made silly faces.
The Englishmen never leaves the house without his football...
Last Friday I gave blood for the first time in my life. And although I nearly fainted and walked away with a nasty bruise, I'm excited to do it again very soon. That day I lost a pound and saved 3 lives. Truly a win win situation.

Sister and I have gone for bike rides under the blue sky.
And the hubby has had to shoo Bobbi Jo away from his ham sandwiches.
For the first time since I've been back in the states, I've made my famous Lemonies
And Lovely Lemon Lemon Bread
On Monday I began my half marathon training, and savored the breezy comfiness that is Mom and Dad's front porch swing.
Mom took this weeks 70 degree weather as a sign to set up her comfy-miss-matched outside lounge on the front porch. While Dad vroom-vroomed around the lawn with fresh fragrant mulch.
This morning I sat in the sunshine on the front porch. Slowly sipping away at a piping hot cup of Vermont Blend Green Mountain Coffee, I listened to the birds happy songs as I admired the vibrant green tulips beginning to make their grand entrance and an abandoned bird nest left over from last Fall. It felt good to sit. To smell the earthy Spring air, to hum along with the birds and grumbling far away tractors. To taste fresh coffee and to appreciate the humbling beauty surrounding me. It felt good to do nothing at all but soak it all in.  
I hope today you're able to do the same. 

Happy Weekend, love bugs. 


Get Moving for Boston

Last Sunday afternoon Carl, Sonya, Jordan and I headed to the Burlington Waterfront where we donated/participated in the Get Moving for Boston fundraiser/5k for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. If you read my Boston Strong post last week you'll already know about my desire to seek, share and spread 'the good'.
This experience was just as humbling as I'd hoped it would be, and it makes my heart so unbelievably happy to acknowledge that Sunday was truly a shining brilliant moment of good in a world that is every now and then polluted with unthinkable bad. Because regardless of the bone chilling wind, freezing waterfront temps and lack of sunshine, over 500 people gathered, all sporting a yellow and blue race bib, to attend in the Get Moving for Boston 5k in Burlington. Even more impressive? Over $10,000 was raised.

Senior citizens, teenagers, college students, babies, toddlers, mothers, fathers, police officers, marathon runners, firefighters and even dogs participated. All of us huddled together, as one, in hopes of making a positive impact in the lives of those innocent families who had no choice but to be effected by the reckless selfish decisions of two evil men. 
And we did. All of us. We made a difference. We demonstrated compassion and warmth and hope. We ran and walked and shuffled and dance and skipped. We united. We proved that although there are people in this world capable of unimaginable bad, there are also those filled with faith, consideration and love. There are those who are good. 
I'm so very thankful I got to be a tiny part of the good there that day.


So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday
Happy Wednesday, love bugs!

As always I'm linking up with Shannon and saying a big fat SO WHAT if...
  • I'm so paranoid about the bear around our house that I spend the majority of my runs scanning the fields for a giant black blob. I'm still not sure what I'd do if I ever saw it, but you can bet your ass my pace would be awesomesauce that day. 
  • I still haven't shared the photos from our Walk For Boston race on Sunday.  
  • I hate American Idol. So last year.
  • I've been craving Butter Pecan ice cream so much lately I drool just thinking about it (too bad it's like 80 billion Weight Watchers points)
  • (Speaking of Weight Watchers)...I weighed myself last Monday to discover I'd gained 12lbs since I flew home from England last November. (BOO!) Thankfully that reality check was just what I needed to kick me in the ass and hop back on my dieting bandwagon. I'm happy to report that I weighed myself this Monday and am 5lbs lighter. Yay! Like a boss.
  • I've had 4 Dunkin Donuts Butter Pecan Iced Coffees in the last 2 weeks. 
  • I'm obviously currently obsessed with all things Butter Pecan...
  • I've been so busy that I haven't read many blogs lately...or written much on mine.
  • I crack my knuckles all day long.
  • I always eat cake so fast that I get that nasty cake clog in my throat. And that shit burns! You'd think I'd learn.
  • I'm spending my days stalking eBay for deals on Polar Heart Rate Monitors.
  • I want to punch Nicki Minaj in the face and remind her that shes 30 years old not 19.
  • I'm so unbelievably excited for our first huge thunderstorm of the year.
  • I'd rather spend my money on cute pillow cases or workout clothes vs going out to a bar. 
  • I don't like seafood.
  • I wish I could swim in a pool of spaghetti like that old woman in Patch Adams.


    Otter Creek Mud Run

    This morning I ran on trails for the first time, dodged dog shit, almost twisted my ankle on a numerous rocks, was passed by 12 year old children, covered my brand new favorite running shoes in mud, had to walk the final sections of 2 separate hills and came unbelievably close to puking. 

    But this morning I also ran my fastest 5k yet. 

    Regardless of the mud puddles, the rocks, the hills, the watery feeling in my mouth around mile 2 or the why the hell am I doing this shit? thoughts. I did it. I finished my best time yet, a final time of 28:36 and a pace of 9:13 per mile. I genuinely could not be happier. 
    As with all of my previous races, Sonya was right there beside me for the on your mark, get set, go! Only this time, our friend Danielle also joined us as well. Danielle, the daughter of our families long time friends and Sonya's Godparents (I also claim them as my adopted Godparents) Keith and Annie, was an avid runner before the birth of her ADORABLE little boy, Spencer. But now that Spencer is almost 2, Danielle has recently started to get back into running. Today was her first 5k since Spencer's birth, and it was so much fun to watch her kick butt and take names. All 3 of us worked our asses off this morning as we trudged through those muddy-dog-poop-speckled-trails and climbed those horrendous hills. We achieved goals, set new personal records and had fun. Hell, we were practically the 3 freakin Muskateers. 

    "Sonya, give us a thumbs up!"
    Danielle, I want to congratulate you on a fantastic run today! You achieved your goal of running your first post-Spencer 5k under 30 minutes! You rock! Running this race with you today made me even more excited to be teammates in our upcoming KeyBank Vermont City Marathon relay next month. You kicked ass and I'm so proud of you :) High five, Momma! 
    Sonya, you kicked some serious ass today girlfriend! You finished today in 33 minutes, which was your fastest 5k to date! (Holla!!!) I am so very proud of you for sticking with your running (even though you claim you hate it! Haha!) and being my fearless bear-protector as we venture down our road each afternoon. I couldn't ask for a better running partner. You're my bestest friend, my baby sister, and sharing these special achievements with you has been a blessing. xoxo
    I also want to thank my hubby, parents, grandmother, uncle, cousin and 'brother-in-law' (aka the cheering-squad)  for their encouragement and support today. 
    Love you all xoxo

    Today was another success in the running world of Amanda. Not only did I run my fastest 5k to date, but I also got to donate and participate in Vermont's Get Moving For Boston. Tonight I'm going to sleep tonight with a happy heart and tired legs. 

    (Be sure to tune in tomorrow when I'll be sharing my Get Moving For Boston experience. But now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming. In other words. I'm tired as hell. Goodnight.)