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Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Tribe

I'm quite certain that my weekly runs with this group are a big part of what gets me through tomorrow's Dallas marathon.

That and running with my Marathon Man. He's pacing me - pray for him and hope for the best for me!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall in Texas

Temps in the upper 60s and lower 70s at the end of November - plus a 4-day weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving?

We'll take it. And we'll also spend most of it outdoors.

1. Nine miles around White Rock Lake

2. Naughty neighbor kitty, Cupcake.

3. The Plano trails...the leaves are finally starting to change colors!

4. Taking Old Glory out for a spin.

PS - we replaced our iPhones and I couldn't be happier with my new iPhone 6. I can take photos again!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Not-a-Dive Expedition: Small Business Saturday Edition

Kelly and I walked to a new local bakery that popped up a couple of miles away from home - Millstone Bakery.

What we found: A wonderful family-owned bakery.

Bright and clean, with family members manning the bakery and the service counter The owners are Belgian, but have lived in the United States for nearly 20 years. This bakery is a long-held dream - they waited until their children were old enough to allow for the time a small business requires.

We ordered an almond croissant and hot chocolate. The croissant was delicious. Not greasy, not overly sweet. The hot chocolate was easily the best I'd ever had. It was made from a Belgian chocolate liquid base and just warm enough to be soothing without being scalding hot.

The owner chatted with us while we ate. We learned that the breads are all preservative and corn syrup free. Plus they bake the European way - just what they need to sell the next day, and hopefully not more than that.

Translation - they run out of bread and pastries by the end of the day but that's the plan.

He gave us a slice of the multigrain bread and a baguette to sample. Both were delicious. The multigrain bread was super-tender and I was shocked to learn that it didn't contain any dairy. Neither did the baguette.

Because their bread was so amazing, we've decided they'll be our new provider. They are convenient to stop in on the way home (for Kelly, that is - they close at 5:30 every evening) and the bread is more than worth the $1 more than we pay for Nature's Own bread at the grocery store.

Plus it's a family-owned business and we really really want them to make it.

North Texas and particularly Plano/Allen/Frisco friends - Millstone Bakery is located on the southwest corner of Legacy and Independence. Stop in!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just Another Saturday Night

Rest and relaxation - and that's just the furbabies. Typical.

[ Plus rooting for K-State ... beat TCU!! ]

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eatzi's Pizza Friday

We've been long-time fans of Eatzi's uptown Dallas location and were thrilled at the opening of an Eatzi's closer to home.

A few weeks ago we finally stopped in for Friday pizza night. The deal: $10 pizza, choosing from a set menu.

The pizzas available last night included mushroom, hot coppa, chicken alfredo, warrior, margherita and cheese. All are thin crust, oval and cut into 8 pieces.

Some things you should know to make your purchase experience go smoothly. You need to pay for your pizza first - also note there's a single line, on the far side of the store, for the bank of cash registers. While paying you'll tell the clerk what you want. Take your receipt to the pizza station, hand it over and wait a few minutes for them to pass over a piping hot pizza along with your receipt.

We ordered a margherita (good as expected).

The rock star, however, was the warrior pizza. The warrior was amazing and I'm sure we'll order it every time from now on. Topped with chorizo, jalapeno, cilantro and some type of spicy crema it was an amazing flavor combo.

The pizzas aren't heavily covered with toppings, making this an easy pizza to eat and the crust cooked all the way through (not doughy - hooray!).

The downsides of Eatzi's Friday pizza night?

  1. The crowds.
  2. It's so good we'll want to eat it every Friday night. Not good when you have early morning long training runs at the lake the next day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When Things Become "THINGS"

I've focused on being intentional this year - truthfully longer than a year when I look back at things I included on my most recent 101 list developed in late 2012.

Intentional has meant a lot of saying no to things. Even to things that I truly enjoy, like frequent dinners with friends and spontaneous trips and...writing daily on this blog.

It's not that those aren't good things in my life, it's just that they aren't the best things for me to do right now. I'm not crafting nearly as much, or cooking wildly wonderful meals, or doing fun crazy activities, or fill-in-the-blank.

I suppose that might make me boring (and I do think that maybe I am that at times), but it also is keeping me sane.

Work is very demanding and if I want to have a good work-life balance, I need to make sure that I'm not trying to squeeze too much on either side.

So while I'd like to be more involved in off-hours things with coworkers (like stopping in for happy hour or going to cheer for our soccer team), that's not a good use of my time right now.

And while I'd like to have lunch with friends nearly every day, I can't be away from the office that much.

What I need is to do my work, connect with my husband, get exercise, spend time with God, invest in a select number of personal and professional relationships and pet the furbabies.

These are the essentials.

Everything else is optional. If I have time to blog (like I have today, giving me a chance to prewrite several posts), then I will. If I don't, then I don't.

I'm ok with that.

And here's the crazy thing - I've discovered not the only one feeling this way. Because life is busy and overfull, I've lost count of the number of people I know who are stepping back.

Good! More power to them! [My new response is: Don't ever apologize for making time for the truly important things in your life.]

All that being said, I do feel a slight need to rant.

Why can't we just let things be? It's not enough to slow down just to slow down.

No - you choose to slow down because it's a "thing" that everyone is doing.

And because it's a "thing" it has a name. Most recently I've seen it pop up in the blogging world, it's slow blogging, as in, "I was really pushing myself but now I'm an advocate of slow blogging." Why not just say that you need to take a break or find balance?

When will we learn that it's ok to simply do things that we need, rather than having to name and claim and group-ify our actions?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Things That Are Important to Know

You can't do it all.

You need others in your life.

Listening is important. Being heard is, too.

Eventually "later" will be now.

Time and energy are not infinite. Love is.

You should live out the character traits you'd like to see in others.

Good writing skills always matter. The same is true of math skills.

Eventually others will discover if you're all talk and no substance.

Don't fear failure. Fear not trying.

The way things appear today is not a predictor of how they will be in the future.

Hope is powerful.

Laugh often.