Saturday, April 30, 2011


"Pearl" egg dye kit
Waiting on Easter brunch
My brother the chef :)
What a difference a year makes! Last year I was cooking my own Easter dinner and eating it outside on a folding lawn chair in the middle of the hood in DC, and this year I'm surrounded by my family and eating a delicious meal prepared by mom.'s good to be home! My sister dyed eggs with Sam and me using a new kit we saw in the store. The eggs were suppose to be "pearlescent" but they never really turned out quite like the box picture. I guess some things are just better the old fashioned way ~ vinegar, water, and colored Paaz tablets :)

Walking into Easter morning mass this year was the only thing that made me miss DC. My parent's parish is building a new church so mass has been held in a gymnasium for the past few years, including Easter mass this year. In DC, I was fortunate to attend Easter mass at the National Basilica with a large group of nuns that had front row seats. Nothing really compares to being in the Basilica for mass! Beautiful!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finish Line :)

April 23rd we checked in at the registration table, lined up at the starting gate, ran and walked 'til our lungs almost burst, and crossed the finish line :) 5K officially completed! Wohoo! Sam finished in 35 minutes and I was a little further behind at 45 minutes, but I was just happy to not die along the course! Ha! Not having my inhaler meant my lungs felt like lead the entire time, which didn't always make for a nice race, but it was exciting to be part of a 5K. We received official numbers and these cool ID tags for our shoes that tracked our time when we crossed the finish line.

A big thank you to my mom, dad, sister, and brother who also came out to raise awareness for Autism!!

Now, back to the training for our next 5K in September for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ready, Set, GO!

Sam and I are currently in exercise mode, which accounts for the lack of posts lately. We signed up for a 5K benefiting autism research and general awareness through my school, which means my co-workers are also participating, which means I needed to get in shape. So, we started a "Couch to 5K" program a couple weeks ago where you alternate running and walking by various increments each day. Well, the program is 10 weeks long and the 5K is next weekend....see the problem??? We upped our training to every day (the program gives a break every other day) and in addition to running, we have started biking more. This past weekend we rode almost 12 miles in 1 hour 7 minutes with temperatures in the 80's! Go figure our luck that the weather turns exceedingly hot right when we want to be outside exercising in cool weather. We've tried to stay right on track with the running....but a slight mishap last night has put Sam out of commission for a couple days. We were running around a circular garden in his neighborhood on a sidewalk, when Sam decided to go "off road" and promptly jammed his foot into a sprinkler head in the grass. Poor guy tumbled down face first and got a severely stubbed toe :( Thankfully after icing it last night and again today, he said it is feeling better and he'll be back to training this weekend.

So, that's a little update on my life right now. Working by day and training by night! Will I be ready to run the entire 5K?? Absolutely!! (although realistically I'll be walking and running, but hey, I gotta keep motivated!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yellow Springs, OH

One of many trees decorated with knitted/crocheted swatches
Even the telephone poles had fabric wrapped around them
And to go even a step further, there were crocheted blankets for the rocks.
Everything deserves a little love :)
What hippie town would be complete without a tie-dye shop?!
Sam, along with our wonderful hosts for the weekend, Chrissy and Joe
Notice the unfinished bridge we are about to cross
Making our way from one side of the bridge to the other
Looking down at the end of the bridge
Yellow Springs!! It's actually more orange, but when the rocks dry they look yellowish
Another pretty waterfall

This scary looking owl was right in front of my face

Welcome to Hippie Town USA! Sam has a couple friends who live in Yellow Springs and invited us for the weekend, so we had a fun-filled couple of days dodging rain clouds to see the sights....and what interesting sights there were! It's really a quaint, charming little town, with lots of historic houses and unique stores. Very different from any town I have visited, which made it so much more fun to explore and take pictures! Walking into downtown Yellow Springs, the first thing I noticed were the "knitted trees" ~ lots of tree trunks covered in handmade swatches of yarn and fabric. Charming yet puzzling at the same time. My jaw just about hit the sidewalk when I saw telephone poles and ROCKS also covered. If that doesn't say tree-hugging-granola-munchers-live-here, I don't know what does! Ha! I saw the Tie-Dye gift store on our last day and had to take a picture. Again, this is apparently a town where the demand for tie-dyed items is so great that it needs an entire store devoted to just that :)

We spent Saturday afternoon hiking in Glen Helen Park. Our tour guides, Chrissy and Joe, took us on a beautiful hike through the woods to see the actual yellow springs the town was named for. A teenage girl stopped to taste the water said it tasted like a penny...look again at my picture of the putrid orange water and you'll understand why I took her word for it! Really, someone would try it?!?!? But it was cool to see and then we hiked further to look at another cool waterfall. I'm big on waterfalls, so it was well worth the occasion rain shower :)

After the waterfalls, Joe insisted we see the "Raptors" kept in the woods. Now, I know dinosaurs are extinct, but I was game for anything. Turns out, it's an animal rescue sanctuary with mainly owls and yes, a couple "raptor" birds (birds of prey) that looked like vultures. I was peering very closely into one of the cages looking for the owl supposedly on display, but didn't see anything, so I turned away. Just then, I hear Sam, Joe, and Chrissy say "look what was right in front of your face!" and there was the owl sitting in the front corner of the cage, just inches from my nose, yet somehow I completely missed him! Wow! I'm lucky to still have my nose :)

Enjoy the photos of Yellow Springs, OH and plan a day trip to go hiking when the weather is nice. I can't wait to take my bike back and try out the many bike paths I saw!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Orchids and Butterflies and Glass, Oh My!

Orchid exhibit

Funny, drooping orchid
New hybrid orchid naturally pigmented blue

I held this blue butterfly!! (not me pictured, tho)

Newly hatched butterfly

Glass blowing workshop
Finished glass rose. What a cool process to watch!
Chihuly glass

The Franklin Park Conservatory has always been one of my favorite places in Columbus. It's like visiting the tropics while never leaving home :) Last weekend, Sam and I went to see the last day of the orchid exhibit, the new releasing of butterflies in the gardens, and a glass blowing workshop that ties in nicely to the existing Dale Chihuly pieces of glass art displayed through the conservatory. Oh, and there was a wedding taking place all at the same time, so it was crowded!! But, being a teacher, I am able to get a huge discount on a year membership for myself and a free guest, so that's what I did and I'm so excited to be an official card-carrying member of the conservatory :)