Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

What a beautiful and amazing day today is. Easter weekend entirely is special but the power of today is so humbling and convicting. I am deeply moved this year by Easter and the story of selfless sacrifice of what god has done. I have intense respect for what so many think and believe and obviously there are differences the world over when it comes to faith.

Today, I celebrate and rejoice in what I believe. I cry out with joy over the great blessing and grace that is so mercifully given to me by no work or deed of my own. I thank the lord for his provision, sanctification, redemption and true, unconditional love. I thank him for the gift of life through the death of his son. I thank him for loving me so much that he would offer me the precious opportunity to walk through life with unending mercy, hope and grace. I am so humbly grateful and words won't ever explain the peace I feel in knowing who I am in him.

Happy Easter to each of you. May today affect your hearts radically and may we all be moved by the enormity of this holiday.

"And who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." ~Romans 1:4

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April's Been Ca-razy...

Holy crap, I'm pretty sure my head hasn't stopped spinning since this month started. I've been super swamped but I'm finally having a slower day so I thought I'd write a quick update. Life has been tremendous but I'm running on fumes right about now. I'm looking so very forward to this much needed three day Easter weekend ahead.

Most importantly, I got my MRI results back and there is no serious damage to my knee. It looks like my pain is consistent with ITBS, or 'runner's knee', which I was afraid of in addition to something more serious. It's manageable but chronic pain which is difficult to contend with but, above all, I am truly grateful that I don't need surgery or anything like that. The orthopedist said I need physical therapy and to continue taking these anti-inflammatory meds. I'll go back for a follow up in a couple of weeks to see how that's all going. I really am thrilled with this news overall. I know several people (especially Allison!) who suffer from ITBS and it's super painful. I've never struggled with it before and I just know that darn 15K I did in the wrong shoes back in December aggravated this. It's tough not to get mad at myself for making a dumb decision but whatever, onward and upward.

I've started trailing regularly in the kitchen at Hearth and it's been absolutely awesome. It's such hard work, especially after the long bikes rides I've been doing each weekend, but it's so worth it to me. The guys in the kitchen have been wonderful to me and so welcoming. I've primarily worked with Adam who has really had great patience in explaining each thing he does quickly but in full detail. I've learned so much already and I cannot wait for the coming months to bring on even more education for me. With each day I go in, I feel a little more like I'm a part of the Hearth family and that's so special. It'll be awesome to see how things unfold as I continue to gain the staff's trust. I'm so excited to continue this 'internship'!

It's hard to believe Easter is already here! I love thinking back on this time last year when I was up in the beautiful Finger Lakes area sipping wine at the vineyards and relaxing at the lovely Mirbeau Spa. What a fabulous weekend that was! This Easter is more low key for me (albeit not nearly as relaxing without my pinot noir body scrub :P) and I do look forward to that. I have a three day weekend ahead and I intend on enjoying every aspect of it. A day trip to Cold Spring might be in the works for Friday but we haven't finalized that just yet. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to Easter Sunday service at church and to finally being able to indulge in bread and pasta once again. I can't even believe I gave up both of those for lent especially when I'm riding my bike so intensely on the weekends. (A bagel with peanut butter is my go-to fuel for running or cycling so it's been tough improvising!) Anyway, I'm kind of thinking Easter dinner should simply be a double baguette with Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam triple cream buttery, earthy delicious cheese. Oh, the gloriousness. I'm pretty sure that and some of my expensive Napa wine club cabernet would make for one of the better Easter meals I've had, ha!

Speaking of cycling, what a tremendous ride we had on Sunday. It was such a gorgeous day! We rode out to Piermont and it was just beautiful. There's this adorable little town that we stopped in for lunch and sat along the water to eat which was wonderful. Hooray for the sunshine:
Another fun thing to note is that I booked tickets to Denver in August with Colleen! Me, her and Allison are heading out to visit her sister, Christina, and I'm SO pumped about it. I think we're actually gonna see Yonder Mountain at Red Rocks too which is just so awesome. I've heard about how amazing Red Rocks is for years from Brant so finally I think I'll see it for myself. :) I've also never seen Yonder Mountain live so that will just kick ass if we end up doing that. I've got Vermont coming up in May and then hopefully West Palm Beach in June so lots of upcoming fun to be had!

Other than what's mentioned above, I've continued on in my brunching and restaurant hopping shenanigans which is always spectacular. I've had a couple of belated birthday dinners and I was also able to make it to the tail end of lovely Suzanne's birthday celebration a couple of weekends ago. I had to miss eating at Momofuku with the crew (SO sad!) but I was able to meet them at Zum Schneider after which was awesome. Later on, we went back to Jeff and Suzanne's and I was lucky enough for them to share some of their leftovers from Momofuku which was freaking delicious. Jeff may or may not have actually gotten into some of them while we were at Zum:
Yeah, I don't blame him. That pork is outrageously good.

All in all, life has been fabulous. I hope everyone is doing great and that Spring really decides to show up and stay for a while for goodness sake. Fingers crossed...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jimmy Takes On Golden Gloves

I love boxing. I always have for some reason. When I was little, I honestly wanted to be Rocky more than anything and I love those movies so much (except the fifth, booo). There's a scene in Rocky IV where he's training and he runs in the snow, throws logs, does abs hanging upside down...all things that I convinced myself I could and would do one day, ha!

My choice last year to hire the amazing boxer, Jimmy Clarke, as my personal trainer has been one of my best decisions, ever. He's totally driven and motivating and he crushes me weekly. The best part is I get to live out my boxing dream every Monday night, heehee. I'm definitely an aggressive person when it comes to working out so boxing has been an amazing fit for me. The addition of it to my workout routine has helped increase endurance and stamina for me like you wouldn't believe. Jimmy just knows what he's doing and he's freaking good at it. It sounds kinda sick but I also get a sort of odd satisfaction when my knuckles get busted up. It's like my battle scars or something. :P

I've been super excited for him this past month because he's been fighting in the Golden Gloves tournament and doing awesome. He won every fight leading up to the finals which took place last night at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. I have a bunch of friends that train with Jimmy too so a big group of us decided to get tickets and go support him. I've never been to a live fight so I was totally psyched up for it!

We met at Tempest Bar for a few beers beforehand which is where Camille proceeded to pull out her special surprise of the night - Jimmy heads on a stick. I almost peed my pants because there were nearly 20 of us going and she'd made enough for everyone to wave around. When we got settled in our seats, I couldn't wait to take a picture:
Hahahaha! Holy crap, were they funny. We definitely went crazy screaming for him though and I think everyone around us loved Jimmy as much as we do. With Golden Gloves, the fighters are only allotted three rounds so the fight itself was really quick. It was so great watching Jimmy do his thing:
Unfortunately, Jimmy lost the fight and it seemed really unfair. Scott sent around an article about it this morning with this blurb:

In the following fight, the crowd saw a standing-eight count in one round, then a fighter fall almost entirely out of the ring in the next.

James Clarke landed a right hook to Joseph Scalafani in the middle of the second round that sent him into the standing-eight in the 165-pound novice class.

As he stood waiting for the bout to resume, Scalafani became even more determined to win."I just said to myself I'm not losing these gloves," Scalafani said. "I worked too hard the last four months to come up short."

Scalafani landed a flurry of punches right after the eight count and continued his momentum into the third. Toward the end of the third round, the two became tangled up in the corner and Clarke refused to let go of Scalafani. Scalafani pushed his opponent off and Clarke fell into the ropes, sliding through and almost falling fully out of the ring.

The referee penalized Clarke for holding and minutes later, Scalafani was announced the winner by a 3-2 decision.

We all felt so sad for Jimmy. He'd worked so hard and it was tough seeing him lose. We took him out for a beer after to console him:
Hahahaha! I'll always giggle about this. It was an awesome evening overall and a true pleasure going to support our boy. You're a winner to all of us, Jimmy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Runaway Dorothy

If you're anything like me, you're in dire need of new music. (Thanks so much to those of you that have helped me out in this area recently, by the way.) If you fall into this category and you like free stuff, check out 'Runaway Dorothy'. They're offering their complete debut album as a free download which is pretty cool. Wow, I sound like a TV ad...

Their stuff is mellow (a little "whiney" at times, honestly) but there's great harmonica on a couple of songs and it's got a nice feel overall. Check it out:

Hope everyone is having a terrific week so far. Oh, and feel free to send me any music suggestions you might have, too. I always welcome that!

Friday, April 1, 2011


It snowed this morning. In April. What a mean and cruel April Fools joke, Spring. You suck.