Love…Every Day

 

imagesI wanted to write this post-Valentines.  When all of the sugar and luscious, syrupy, candy-coated goodness of that day had passed.  I love Valentines Day as much as anyone (not really) but I can appreciate the 24 hours of outpouring some like to live in.  I believe that this should be an ongoing, and every day occurrence if you are in love.  To some degree.  And not designated to one day a year.  When you are with someone that you love and adore, every single day, there should be some sort of “Valentine” going on.  It doesn’t have to be flowers, chocolates, lattes, cards, gifts, teddybears, butterflies, ladybugs…Oh wait, there I go dreaming about Spring…but…Some.  Sort.  Of.  Shower. Of.  Love.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Simple as it may be, it goes a million miles.  Something selfless.   Isn’t that what we as Christians get every day?  A pouring out of love in our every day lives?

The week since Valentines has been hectic in every sense of the word for me.  Do you ever have “one of those days?”  Of course you do!  I think that cupid shot an arrow in me that was tied off on the other end of a rocket.  I have realized exactly whats been going on from a spiritual aspect, and that has helped tremendously.  I don’t do “busy” and when things start to spin for me, I always have to sit down, take a step back and look at things through another lens.  I need to peel off another layer of me, and put on more armor.  

Training is going well, but I am still dealing with a tiny calf issue.  Deep water running….(it pains me to even write that) has helped, and I think between that and a slight bike adjustment, I am good to go!  I also feel that this itty-bitty injury, was just another aspect in this week that was trying to weigh me down.  Peel a layer, put on the armor.

I admit that I am grateful for days and times like this.  It makes me realize that I am not in control and Who truly is.  It reminds me of Who to cling to.  It makes me feel ok, about taking a day to sit.  And do absolutely nothing.  Sit and listen, only.  Especially when the enemy has me busy.  It makes me appreciate my husband who dries my tears and takes my hands in his and prays.  My kid, who never forgets to make me laugh.  And my friends who pray for me and with me.  It keeps me grounded and soaking in what’s important.  It makes me aware of how broken I can be and how right in the midst of that brokeness, there is colossal growth.  An outpouring of love, a confirmation of advancement and improvement.  A challenge.  That…. is love, everyday.  That’s where we should be living.

everyday-Valentine

  

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Roasted Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

After an absolutely amazing morning with some really extraordinary friends and a workout….ahem….deep water pool run…I decided to come home today and make a comfort food.  For me, this is always a favorite, and mixing in some sweet spices was just the icing on the cake.  This is a way to get a little sweet treat alongside a little protein.

photoRoasted Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

2 Cups of raw almonds roasted

1 Vanilla Bean, sliced and scraped

1 tsp of unrefined sugar  I used organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp course sea salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon (you can add more to taste.  I like just a hint)

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Sweet vanilla bean mixed with course sea salt.

Preheat oven to 350 and spread almonds on cookie sheet making sure they aren’t overlapping.  Roast them for 10-12 minutes.

Remove and allow nuts to cool.  They will heat up in the processor, so I allow them to cool about 30 minutes.

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Look at that gorgeous roasted color

Place almonds into food processor and process until a smooth butter starts to form. (This could take 10-15 minutes depending on your processor)  photo 1 copy

Add in sugar (optional) vanilla bean, sea salt and cinnamon.  Process until butter is smooth and creamy.

*Store in an airtight container.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

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As a runner I am always looking for ways to hit the pavement EVEN when its cold outside.  Today…I woke up to temps that were negative 2 with a wind chill of negative 25.  Thats CHIILY!!  I can run in some pretty cold temps, but today…NO!  It’s not going to happen!

Most of us runners L O A T H the treadmill.  It’s only a necessary evil on the days that you just cannot be outside.  Safety first!

photoHere’s some great tips for keeping warm on these bitter cold, winter days.

LAYER! Thin, wicking layers are a must.  DO NOT wear cotton.  Cotton holds in that sweat and will keep you cold and wet.  Try 3 layers, a base, middle and outer Gore-text to keep the wind and precip out.

With forty percent of your body heat being lost through your head, make sure you wear a nice warm hat.  If it’s really cold, cover your face and mouth with a face mask or buff.  It warms the air you breathe as well as protecting your face.

Gloves. Protect your hands and feet.  Although nice wicking running gloves are great for most days, when it’s this cold, mittens are a better choice.  They allow your fingers to share heat.  Hand warmers are a great choice to slip into mittens to avoid getting frost bitten fingers.  Add a wicking sock liner under a warm polar fleece or wool sock, but make sure you have enough room in your running shoes to accommodate these thicker socks.  Also Gore-tex shoes are a great idea if you will be running in slush or wet snow.

Two words:  YakTrax. images-1

Make sure you let someone know your route and a general idea of your start and finish time.

Run with a buddy if they are brave enough to head out with you.

Carry your cell phone.  This is a HUGE NO for me usually when I run…but for these temps, its in the Spi Belt.

Make sure that you are replacing fluids even if you don’t feel like it.  When it’s cold, I am never thirsty, however, you are still sweating, and not drinking can lead to dehydration.

Have a warm change of clothes and  a nice hot beverage to get you warmed up when you finish that bitter cold run.

Always be safe out there.  And remember there are a lot of fun ways to get in that exercise on these cold days if you decide against the run.  Skiing; cross country or down hill and snow shoeing are two of my favorites!

How do you stay warm on these bitter cold days when you’re just itching for that outdoor run?

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