Archive | August, 2010

Natural Beauty

30 Aug

I took this photo after my run yesterday …


Click on the photo to enlarge

… and the photo doesn’t even do it justice!  I am so happy we bought the annual pass.  Can you imagine how pretty this is going to be in the fall?

Not a lot to say about today – working, e-mailing and trying to get some ordination-related things ironed out.  After yesterday’s long run, I’m giving my legs a break, but I will probably head out for a walk soon.

Goodnight all!  Tomorrow is Wear a Dress Tuesday!  Who else is wearing a dress?

Stone Mountain: Take 2

30 Aug

So after yesterday’s soggy trip to Stone Mountain, Bruce and I decided to try again.  I wanted to get in a longer run and Bruce is always up for a trip to a place with water, so after church we ate a late lunch, packed up the car and headed out.

When we went to Stone Mountain yesterday we decided to buy an annual pass.  It’s good for a year and pays for itself after four visits, so we decided it was definitely worth it.  We can hike, picnic, run, walk, bike, fish and take advantage of all the seasonal things Stone Mountain has to offer!

As soon as we parked I pretty much headed out running on the trail.  I wasn’t sure how long the trek around the mountain was, but I was thinking somewhere between four and six miles.  I figured I would see how I felt and walk what I needed at the end.  In the end, I ran all but 1/4 mile around the mountain and my sensor told me I had gone 5.39 miles in 56:09!  I took the walking break around mile three and my average pace was 10:24.

And I was smiling at the end of it!  I am seriously starting to feel like I did in college and I couldn’t be happier.

After some gatorade and stretching, I got in the car to find Bruce.  Anyone want to wager a guess as to what he was doing?

“Somewhere with a fly rod in his hand” is always a pretty safe bet with my husband. 🙂

Now that’s a man on a mission.

Since I’ve been able to get in a couple of good runs, it was time to make a decision.  The Thanksgiving 1/2 Marathon:  To run or not to run?

To run!

My friend Chris and I (and possibly his sister) are going to run it together.  I cannot wait!  This is going to be my first 1/2, so any and all advice is appreciated.  I have a feeling I am going to making good use of our Stone Mountain annual pass and the 5 1/2 mile loop around the rock!

I’m off to fold laundry and read in bed – living the dream!

I Swear The Sun Was Shining When We Left

29 Aug

Remember that beautiful weather I couldn’t wait to get out into this morning?

Yeah, me neither.  But we’ll get to that.

Bruce and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and lower temperatures and hike up Stone Mountain this afternoon.

I don’t know what happened.

If you are wondering if we got rained on, the answer is yes.

If you are wondering if finally reaching the top (albeit soaking wet) was completely exhilarating, the answer is yes.

If you are wondering if we are currently curled up on the couch in sweatpants eating pizza …

… the answer is yes.

Goodnight y’all.

Wear a Dress Tuesday on Facebook!

28 Aug

Good Saturday morning!  It’s a beautiful 81 degrees and sunny right now – as soon as I hit publish on this post, I am heading outside to enjoy the gorgeous day!

I spent the morning parked in front on my computer with a cup of coffee in my hand and Frank Sinatra on Pandora working on a Wear a Dress Tuesday Facebook page.  Friends are starting to tell friends who are telling friends and it’s hard for me to connect personally with everyone like I would like to.  I thought I would create a centralized page (on a forum that most people are on) where people could read up on the history, the mission, how they can join up and how they can get in touch with me!

Fun!  Click here to get to the WADT page on Facebook.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

On Faith and Road Signs

28 Aug

I don’t know why I think about these things when I’m out running.  But I do.

Moreover, I don’t know why I then go back out with my camera to take pictures so I can share my thoughts with you all.  But I do.

Enjoy my commentary.  TGIF y’all.

I hope these aren’t my only two options.
I think this is what they refer to in seminary as “discernment”.
Dear God,
No Kidding.
Love, Sarah

Psalm 118:24

27 Aug

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Every since I posted about perspective I’ve been trying to wake up in the morning and start the day with Psalm 118.  I’m hoping that even on the days when the last thing I want to do is rejoice, saying those words will help me believe them – and then help me live them out.

So what am I rejoicing about today?

The Weather:

It is a glorious 82 degrees right now!  Dare I say we’ve seen the worst of summer … ?

No, actually, I don’t dare.  I don’t want to jinx it.  Universe – forget I said that.

A Good Run:

The combination of the break in the heat and eight solid hours of sleep last night have done wonders for my mood and my energy.  I was completely focused (read – productive) at work today, came home and made a quick dinner and headed out for a run.  After kind of an ‘eh’ run on Saturday and a couple of long days at work, I didn’t really have high hopes for today’s run.  I was thinking two miles … maybe.

I ended up running 4.02 miles in 42:53!  I didn’t take any walking breaks, which means this run marks the longest I’ve run straight through since I was a senior in college!  The run honestly felt great – almost back to my old self.  I’m definitely planning on taking the next two days off, though – I don’t want to push my knees.

I would break down the run, but for some reason nikeplus isn’t giving me the breakdown.  Hmm …


This Face:



I’m pretty sure she can teach me a thing or two about laying back and enjoying life.

What are you rejoicing about today?

Photo Tip: Sunset Clouds

26 Aug

I was out for a walk with my camera last night* when I saw the most beautiful reflection of sun-setting light coming through the clouds.  I immediately went trigger happy, only to realize that every photo I took looked like one big cloud and a couple of trees.

Frustrated, I started throwing all of my settings to their opposite extremes (I’m not sure what that says about me), hoping to figure out what I needed in order to capture this dusk light.  I finally was able to snap this …

Turns out the secret to capture this backlit sunset is a fast shutter speed.  The settings on my camera were as follows:
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/400
F/Stop: 8.0
I love the way the fast shutter speed was able to trick the light and black out the trees and power lines to give a cool silhouette** effect.  I wonder if that’s how the Pioneer Woman is able to get those cool morning cowboy shots that I love so much?

I wish I hadn’t gotten annoyed by my initial photographic ineptitude and deleted the “before” shots, because it really shows how important that shutter speed is.  So much for not being a perfectionist.

FYI – most point and shoot cameras can be put on manual settings and the shutter speed can be controlled.  Read your manual to find out how it can be done and experiment a little!

I’m hoping to get an early morning hike in on Saturday so I can see what happens when it’s sunrise light, as opposed to sunset light.  Cross your fingers that the weather cooperates!  I’d love to have more time to experiment and really figure out what I’m talking about.

Has anybody else ever experimented with silhouettes?  It’s a cool shot, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to get it!

*What?  Doesn’t everyone take walks with their cameras?
**That’s a really hard word to spell.

A Bird’s Eye View of Rollinsteer

26 Aug
Alternatively Titled:  I am the only person in the world who can compare a day of service to Angelina Jolie.
Our students had their service learning component of orientation (aka Rollinsteer Day) today, so the morning started off early and filled with yellow shirts … 

I ran up to the top floor of the parking deck to get this photo.  Talk about a sea of yellow!

The building on the left is our brand new (state of the art, yada yada yada) building!  There is a lookout deck from the top floor of the new building that gives you a clear view of the skyline.  Coolest.  Thing.  Ever.  I’ll sneak up there at some point and see what I can get.  The bridge in the middle connects the new building to the old (which is currently being renovated as well).

It’s weird to be spending so much time with students who are getting ready to start back and school and not be starting back myself.  What am I going to do with myself without classes to go to, books to skim read and papers to write?

Probably read this.

Don’t judge me.  You know you’re just as curious about her life.

Goodnight y’all.

Pasta Chicken Stir Fry

25 Aug

Have you ever just walked into the grocery store with absolutely no clue what you were going to buy?  That’s what I did yesterday after I got off work.  I wandered around and tried to figure out what I was in the mood to make for dinner.  I started in the produce section (a really great idea if you’re trying to create something healthy!) and built the meal from there.  Here’s what we ended up having for dinner …

Pasta Chicken Stir Fry



You’ll need:
1 box Penne pasta
1-2 Chicken Breasts
2-3 cups Snow Peas
1 Yellow Onion
4-5 stalks Celery
1 Cucumber
2-3 Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese
Vegetable Oil

I started by boiling my chicken (I feel like all of my recipes have been starting off that way lately!).

I turned my cast iron skillet on medium-low and heated up some oil.

I have had some stir fry disasters and I came to the realization last night that it was because I always try to rush the process and turn the stove on high.  The key to good stir fry is slow, low heat cooking.


Rinse your snow peas and chop off the ends … 
… and then throw them in first.
Dice your onions next … 
Keep your heat at medium!  I had mine at medium-low because I was using cast iron, but if you’re using another material, medium will probably work.
Next up – celery!  It adds kind of a tart flavor.
I used 4-5 stalks.  You could probably get away with less if you’re not a big celery fan.
The cucumbers were next – I added the vegetables into the stir fry in the order that they would need the time to cook.  The snow peas and celery needed more time than the cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.
Lots and lots of green.
At this point in the process, you’re going to want to get some water boiling to cook the pasta.
Back to the stir fry … 
The chicken should be cooked by now so take it out of the water … 
And chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Throw the chicken in the stir fry and start to wonder if everything is going to fit in your skillet.
Time for something other than green – tomatoes!  The tomatoes go in last, because if they spend too much time on the heat they’ll get mushy.
The tomatoes give the stir fry a fabulous sweet contrast.  Yum.
Once the pasta is ready … 
… throw it in with the stir fry.
Um, carefully.
Stir everything together … 
… and then try not to eat it right off the stove.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Devour. 

Wear a Dress Tuesday – Thanks Mom!

25 Aug
It’s Wear a Dress Tuesday!
I wore a new dress today!  On Friday after kind of an ‘eh’ day, my mom offered to take Bruce and me out to dinner.  Then my sister told me I should take my mom’s credit card and buy myself a new dress to make myself feel better.
So I did.
Sometimes I suck at being a grown up.
(Thanks Mom!)
Today’s facebook status … 
Wicked + Wear a Dress Tuesday = The Perfect Start To My Day

I love the story behind the horse in Sara’s picture:  In today’s picture I’m standing with the Breast Cancer horse stationed outside the doctor’s office. All throughout Germantown you can find these horses. They’re each a different color. Some of them sparkle. They’re not all Race for the Cure horses. They each signify something different. Different businesses “rent” them out and the monies go to charities. I really like this pink one. We stopped to get a shot.


Kari:

Well … this is a funny story.  Remember when I said last week that Kari was going in for ankle surgery? This is her version of what happened:  So this week you get the off the body shot… I tried to take a picture in the mirror, but the flash was wayyyyy bright. Then I tried to do the self timer life last week, but it turns out that’s a lot harder to do with only one leg. So I game up, took it off, and added the one shoe… Which, ps, I got on super clearance sale at Bandolino. The end! :).


And she only put one shoe in because she’s currently wearing a boot and only wears one shoe.  That’s called WADT commitment.

I got messages from a few other beautiful women who couldn’t get pictures taken.  I feel like I should find someone who can do a really good tutorial on taking full body self portraits for WADT!  Anyone?

***

I’m off!  Someone (ahem, me) forgot to write her newsletter article and it’s due, um, tomorrow.  Whoops.

Happy WADT!

xo,
Sarah