Friday Free for All

It’s certainly shaping up to be a great day.  Here’s what’s happened so far as well as the plan for what’s going to happen the rest of the day.  (I guess by the time I post this it will all have happened, but I digress).  Jacks and I both started the day off with a run.  I wasn’t necessarily planning on getting out this morning, but it was still raining and I can’t pass up a run in the rain.  I don’t know what it is but I absolutely love it.  I’m also super proud of Jacks, she did 5.2 miles.  That’s awesome! Breakfast today is oatmeal with all the fixings.

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We’re just going to hang around the house for a bit, and then we’ll be off to our favorite vet’s office Caring Hands Animal hospital for Olive to get her nails trimmed… Weird fact about our dog, she just LOVES the vet.  She’s so bizarre.

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We’re going to head down to Arlington after that and sell some gear at a consignment shop, hit up a great little bakery/coffeeshop, Bakeshop, and probably get a smoothie for a snack at South Block.

Salted Oatmeal Apricot Cookie!
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Dogs want smoothies too!
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Lunch is/was a nice big salad.
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We’ve got a massage planned for the afternoon, and then, one of the most fun things we’ve had in the plans for awhile.  We’re going to make dinner with both Connor and Bethany.  We’re still trying to figure out the exact menu, but there is just something about cooking together and breaking bread together that is awesome.  It’s been a huge blessing to have the two of them around a lot lately.  It’s kind of sad that they’ll be headed off to British Columbia in a week.  But I’m really excited to hear those stories as well.

Speaking of the massage, that seems to be one of those things that often leads to comments about us having a great marriage.  I find that kind of interesting, but it really does help to put things into perspective.  I do think we have a great marriage, but it takes a lot of work.  As a man you can’t give up on dating your spouse.  It may be easier for us in not having kids, but I’m going to challenge you to look at your priorities.  Even without kids, we have to make an effort.  It requires putting things on the calendar, and it requires putting the phone down and talking.  It also takes a very clear understanding that it’s a commitment.  And for us it’s a covenant as well.  We couldn’t do it without having God in our lives.  We were trained several years back as marriage mentors, what I would tell you out of that is that we got so much more in our own marriage when we were helping others.  It required us to really look inward at ourselves.  I know there are a lot of people out there that are struggling at hurting.  I’d encourage you all that getting help and talking to people isn’t a sign of weakness.

I hope and pray for you as the readers to have a great day, and if any of you needs prayer, I’m always happy to do that.

A beautiful day to get outside!

Hey y’all.

Thanks for the wonderful response to the post the other day. Knowing that people are reading and care, certainly does make a person happy to put their thoughts out there. I’ve got a recipe coming up here one of these days, but for now, I figured we’d just keep sharing life.

We’ve got a good old four day weekend going. I needed the break and so far it’s been really nice and relaxing. The day started off with a nice fun run with Jackie and Kaitlin. I had a great time with Mike and Eddy for our church Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting. And then the bulk of our day was spent with our friend Connor who just got back from Peru. He was part of a team of 13 that went with Leadership Excursions/Endurance Leadership. We were very excited to get to hear all about how God was working down there. Both on the team that went as well as with the orphanage there.

We made some sandwiches featuring Herbivorous Butcher “meats”. Oh my delicious. Jackie’s favorite is the “turkey” slices, I personally like the “pastrami” the best. Whatever way you slice it, it’s all good. Connor was a fan, which is always a plus, when your omnivorous friend, digs the food.

We had planned to drive to Maryland to check out the Red Shedman Farm Brewery.  We’ve picked up some of their raspberry cider in the past and it’s super good.  We thought it would be fun to put the dog in the car and head out there to hang out and try some beverages while playing some games and catching up.  It was perfect for all of that. First off the Farm has beer, cider and wine.  We didn’t check out the wine today but we sampled everything else.  Its set in such a beautiful location, there are rolling hills and trees everywhere.  You’ve got the vines for the winery surrounding all the sides of a nice little grove with picnic tables set up.  (In retrospect, I really should have taken some pictures of the property… gotta get back in the habit.)

We tried a flight.  I personally thought the best beer was the Lunatic Fringe.  A Belgian IPA that was infused with habanero.  Jackie was a fan of the Raspberry Cider, and Connor’s favorite was the Farmers Daughter, a wheat beer.
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Here’s Connor and I just enjoying a moment there on the picnic table.  The beard is so much bigger isn’t it!
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Connor fell asleep with Olive in the car on the way back.  But he woke up in time to show us a rocking backflip off a tree.  After we got a good video we wanted to try to do a boomerang video…Well it didn’t work quite as well, but it’s super funny to watch.  🙂

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The real highlight though was hearing the stories, and challenging each other on what’s going on in our lives.  Connor asked the question as to what our greatest fear is.  I’ll tell you what, it takes a good friendship to get vulnerable and really share that.  It’s been a blessing to have him here as an intern and getting to know him.  Between him and Bethany we’re going to be really sad when this season of life is over and we have to go to remote relationships.

We’re going to end off the night by going to see Despicable Me 3.  I’m excited, Jacks is super excited.  It should be a whole lot of fun.  We’re going to sneak in some Earth Balance White Cheddar Popcorn.  😉

Encouraged to keep telling our story!

So today we we’ve had the great opportunity to have some friends over to the house and talk about our ongoing journey in life.  We’re talking about a both our faith journey and our journey with veganism.  I’ll tell you what, I think that the world is ready and ripe for change.  People want relationships, people want to feel better, and that’s a good thing.

We watched a great documentary  the other night, “What the Health” on Netflix.  That prompted us to share with everyone we know that they should all watch it.  It certainly reaffirmed our thoughts about what we’re doing being right.  It’s also had some of our friends wanting to make substantial changes in their life.  We know how hard that the change was so its pretty fun to answer questions and help along the way.

It’s also been a really fun day.  I started out with an 8 mile run, it’s crazy hot out here in Virginia these days, so it was a bit of a hard run for me.  I had to take a few walk breaks to make sure I didn’t die, and that was even at 6 am this morning.  (For the record, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and somehow running has become such an important part of my life.  I just get to get rid of so much stress from doing it.  We’ve got a lot of runs coming up and we’ve just done a few races.  One just last weekend was supporting such a great cause, A fight against Human trafficking.  Here’s a race picture for y’all.)

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Then we went off to our favorite Doughnut shop.  Glory Doughnuts in Frederick, Maryland.  Check out the dough and my BBQ Tofu Club.  What a breakfast.

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We went from there off to Root’s Market in Olney, MD.  Our favorite grocery store shopping ground.  They have so many great products that we can’t find anywhere else and they are almost always the first place to get to roll out new vegan products.

Now it’s a restful afternoon, we’re having this great conversation, yes I’m blogging while talking, but hey that’s because these friends have all encouraged me to do this again.  In the mean time, here’s a few other pics for you all to know that we’re still alive and doing well!

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Hopefully we’ll catch y’all again soon!

We haven’t blogged in a few days… We’re still alive

Hey, so we finished The Abundance Diet as you all know and it seems as if we’ve gone on a hiatus.  While not really intentional we kind of have.  We’ve been slammed with activities the last few days.  I’m not complaining about it at all because it really was a whole lot of fun.

Tuesday night we went to Wolf Trap (A national park, which is an outdoor theatre venue, very cool), to see a concert with Colony House, Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors, Switchfoot and NeedToBreathe.  It was a really great show, we enjoyed it a lot.  Colony House was my favorite, but all the bands were very talented and fun to hear.  Jackie and I weren’t really familiar with NeedToBreathe so it wasn’t as exciting and it was still going strong at 10:30 when we had decided to take off.  I’m just not the late night person I used to be.  We got this great shot before the show where God showed us the reminder of his promise that he’s never going to flood the earth again.  Totally beautiful.
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Wednesday we were back at Wolf Trap again to see Jim Gaffigan.  Oh my gosh, he’s so funny.  He had an opening act by Ted Alexandro.  Ted was also really great.  I’m so impressed by comedians, I can’t come up with one funny joke let alone a whole routine.  I will never think of music class, summer, Netflix or donuts in the same way.  If you get a chance to see them you should, you’ll get a good ab workout with all the laughter.   Untitled

Today I took of from work at around 1.  It was really nice to be able to spend an afternoon hanging out with Jacks.  We took Olive out to the Village at Leesburg to hit up the Bean Bar.  Totally our favorite coffee shop.  It is literally the coolest coffee shop atmosphere.  It also helps that they have great coffee and beers/wine.  They also do up some really good food, but not a whole lot of the vegan variety.  Afterwards we went to the Farmstead at Willowsford Farm here in Ashburn.  I LOVE the place, its such a wonderful little family run place in a planned community.  The best thing about today.  We found organic SWEET CORN.  That is such a hard thing to do these days.  It was incredible.
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So you may be asking how we’re doing now that we’re 4 days removed from the Abundance Diet plan.  I’d say we’re doing pretty good.  We’re doing our best to stick to whole foods.  We packed a picnic for the concert that was oil free hummus with veggies.  We had some crackers and a bit of chao cheese with that.  Finished it off with some grapes and some yummy brown rice syrup crispy treats.  So while we did have dessert we really made a conscious effort to not use refined sugar and we kept the portion size reasonable.  I’ll say this, now that we don’t have the actual plan in front of us, there is a lot more temptation to have other stuff.  It all really goes back to the thought that moderation is key and you have put thought into what you eat.  If you have junk around the house then you’re going to be eating junk food.  There are definitely no regrets, it’s just very interesting where the mind goes.  We’ve also pretty much stuck to gluten free.  We’ve had a bit of wheat here and there, but I’ve been concerned that if I go back to having a big load of wheat that I’ll overload my gut.  Hope you’re all doing well, would love to have more interaction with you all.  We’ll do our best to keep up with the posts.  🙂 I’ll leave you all with this picture of the meal I put together for Monday night and an eat and repeat this evening… Delicious.  Soy Curls, Homemade baked beans, green beans and coleslaw.   Untitled