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6 Nov

Okay, so I admit it. I’ve been avoiding the blog…a little. Around mid-September life got back to being crazy with school and work. Unfortunately, I ran out of hours in the day and so blogging took a backseat for awhile.

I would be lying and doing my readers a disservice however, if I did not admit that my absence was partly due to feeling a little “off the wagon” so to speak. I struggled throughout October particularly and found myself making easy, bad food choices more than I’d like to admit. I’d been dwelling on those choices and generally lazing in a “guilt-funk” that made me feel pretty grumpy.

Finally, finally I feel like I’m out of that place of negativity and getting back to feeling like Neen. It is amazing how rejuvenating it can be to stumble, recognize your own weaknesses, accept that you have them, and then resolve to strengthen them as best you can. Because honestly, while there were some food struggles, it has ultimately been a wonderful autumn thus far…Let me share some of it with you…

In mid-September, I finally joined the Energy Club gym in Shirlington so that I could keep up running during the cold months to come. What I’ve found there so far is a great community of gym-goers and instructors. Everyone is incredibly friendly and I’m enjoying the classes (particularly Flow Yoga and Body Jam) more than I ever thought I would. My goal for next year? Run the Army 10-miler.

Yoga has been particularly good for working through negative or intrusive feelings. It’s soothing and empowering all at once—a very unique blend of emotions.

October 3, 2009

I run AIDS Walk Washington (5k) and finish in around 26.5 minutes. An exhilarating experience that raised over $800,000 for the Whitman-Walker Clinic of Washington, DC. I was nervous with it being my first race, but I kept thinking of all of the people that sponsored me. That was what ultimately gave me the boost I needed during the last stretch up Pennsylvania Ave. Hearing the announcer say my name as I crossed the finish line was pretty cool too.

October 9, 2009

Joe and I take a trip to Smith Meadows Bed and Breakfast to celebrate our five-year anniversary (awww). While staying at their lovely Summer Kitchen Cottage on a 400-acre sustainable farm, we cooked a great meal, walked the grounds, enjoyed cigars and champagne by sunset, and were treated to an amazing breakfast prepared by the B&B proprietor. It was honestly the most peaceful place I have ever been in my life.

mid-October, 2009

Mystery Food 2009 comes to an end with a final basket loaded with squash, peppers, tomatoes, apples, salad greens and fresh HONEY! I was thrilled. Thank you to Leigh at Bull Run Mountain Farm for a wonderful CSA season.

October 31, 2009

I put the final touches on our fabulous Halloween costumes. Joe and I hit the town Saturday night as Batman villains The Riddler and Poison Ivy. I took most of my Ivy inspiration from how she appeared in “The Long Halloween.” It ended up looking better with less leaf-applique than I originally did. Joe’s Riddler costume was centered mostly around the amazing lime-green polyester suit that we found for a rather inexpensive price on Amazon. (Seriously, what can’t you find on that website?) He took inspiration from several comics and I did my best to bring his vision to life with limited time. I wish I’d had more time to sew more question marks on the suit, but he says he liked it simple.

A busy month and a half, huh? Somewhere in there I juggled work and a full course load and managed to get the flu (ugh). No one can say I’m (to use an Alton Brown expression) a unitasker! I’ve been doing some cooking as well and getting back into using the crockpot more now that the autumn chill seems more permanent. I’ll post some new recipes soon—stracciatella is on its way as well as a slow cooked tomato-cubanelle sauce that I guarantee will impress even your grandmother.

Until then friends, stay healthy and get out there and VOTE tomorrow.