Thursday, February 26, 2009

4. Fast for 24 hours

This goal is done. It was pretty rough at times, but I made it. Luckily, I only had to do it for a day! This came on as our church raised the challenge to fast for the entire day on Wednesday and to eat a small bag of rice as our meal for the day. With that small bag of rice, it made it to be not a true fast, but I treated it as such throughout the day. I began my fast at 9:30 on Tuesday night and went until Thursday morning's breakfast at 7:30. I went 34 hours with only a small bowl of rice and had plenty of moments where I didn't think I could make it. There were many times where I looked at a bag of goldfish crackers, or a block of cheese to suppress my hunger, but at that time, I just prayed to God and prayed for strength and prayed for the people around the world that deal with those pains day after day.
The reason for the call from our church is because we have begun a partnership with a church in Nicaragua. Over the past few months we have been learning of the extreme poverty that they are dealing with and the hunger that they go through. Our bag of rice represented one meal for them and that was all they would have for the day. I was humbled to think that is what children are expected to live off day after day. It changes your perspective to think, this is all I get, and I hope there will be food tomorrow. That is truly a different way to live. I am so thankful to live where I do and how I do so that I don't have to have these worries for me or for my family. It also makes me proud to be in the church we are in where we are working to make a difference for those kids and families down there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

21. Try a new meal I would normally not try

Today was the day. I could feel my day was coming soon, but I didn't know where or what it would be. I tried food today that would not have passed my test for trying ever before I had started this list. I am a picky eater. I have gotten a lot better, but I am still pretty picky. Today we had parent teacher conferences and our wonderful PTA provided dinner. It had the asian theme to it. At the dinner was a huge spread of Oriental and Indian dishes. Last year if they had this meal, I think I would have relied on rice filling me up and been satisfied with that being my meal. Today I branched out. I tried everything. I even matched the coresponding sauces with their meals. It was crazy. When I sat down with my food, I felt proud. I was doing it! I started with Indian rice, I followed it with some somoas which were pastry type things filled with potatoes, peas and some other spices. I had a "salad" of chick peas and what seemed to be the makings of guacamole. I was told this was a traditional indian salad rather than using lettuce. It was really good. I would eat it again. I finished it off with an Indian dessert that was shredded carrots yogurt and some spices.
I have to say. This was no typical meal and I steped up to the plate. When I finished, my entire plate was empty. I even went up to get more when I was finished. That salad was really good!
This is not my coming out party to try new things all of the time, but as I have been slowly learning, it isn't too bad to try something new every once in awhile.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

23. Visit new restaurants

I finally made it to the restaurant Jalisco's Tacos. I drive by there twice a day. I have wanted to go there for years. It is not the most attractive place. It is just a restaurant with a few booths and Mexican food. That's enough for me. We were the only white people in there. To the best of my knowledge, we were the only ones that spoke English. That was apparent when I asked what the bowl of limes was for and the waitress brought back more napkins and a couple more forks. It was fun to take a break from the normal chain restaurant and finally step inside the place I have driven by probably a thousand times.
As a bonus, friends of ours asked if we wanted to go our after church today. We ended up going to a place called Mother's Pancake House. We had six one year olds and six adults. It was one of the more interesting table of twelves you will ever see. The kids all handled it well. The food was really good. It was voted best as having the best pancakes in town. I would agree, mine was pretty good.
I now just have one more new restaurant to go to. There are plenty of options, we will see where I get to go, and when I get to go there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's dinner

Six years ago, I cooked my first dinner for Melissa. I was in college at the time and had never really cooked a meal up to that point. Back then, I thought I would surprise her with a steak dinner. So that's what I did. The steaks were joined by some mashed potatoes (straight from the box), some corn (right out of the can), and some Sweet Hawaiian Rolls. Pretty easy dinner. For the last six years, it has been the same meal every Valentine's Day. I know that beyond the steak, the meal isn't too great, but it is something that I really like doing. I like the tradition. I look forward to it each year.
One change to this year's meal that I did not really like was that we had to use regular potatoes. I thought we had a box of potatoes, but I was wrong. I know, regular are much better, but the thing I like most about the meal is that it is the same every year.
Oh, also for dessert I buy brownies from the deli. They are really over priced, but it is what I get every year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

10. Mercedes Marathon

I ran a marathon yesterday. I can't believe it happened! On Friday evening I was looking up the phone number for the hotel to check into their cancellation policy. Less than 36 hours later, I was in Alabama running in a marathon. It's crazy to me. I had been sick for the entire week before the race and even stayed home from school for one of those days. Friday after school I went home and went straight to bed because I didn't have the strength to even be standing up. I went a long way from that moment to Sunday morning. I was really happy that I woke up able to breathe normally on the day of the race, and that my throat didn't hurt too much. I definitely was not at full strength, but I was good enough.
We woke up less than an hour before race time. Slowly got ourselves ready and left the hotel 15 minutes before the gun went off to start the race. It was nice being able to relax before everything began without having to worry about logistics of parking and travel. Just before the start of the race, my hands were shaking and I was nervous about being able to finish, but I knew I had to give it a try.
For the first half of the race (13.1 miles), I did pretty well. I kept at a pace that I would have been happy with whether I was sick or not. The second half didn't go as well. I kept thinking about how I knew I couldn't over-do the race and run myself into the ground because: 1. I was sick 2. I didn't want to get more sick and have to miss more school 3. We had a 10+ hour trip in the car home and I needed to be in good enough shape to keep Matt awake/entertained 4. I had to drive for some of the way home and if I pushed myself, I wouldn't have been able to drive. I'm glad I didn't over-do myself and was able to finish the race and make it home safely.
Overall, it was a fun and I'm surprised and happy to have been able to do this with my brother.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Birmingham with my brother. We've got a race down there. It should be interesting! We're leaving at 5 a.m. Saturday and getting home around midnight on Sunday night. Yep, down and back in about 43 hours! More than half of our trip will be in the car. It's going to be worth it though. Just wait until you see what the medal looks like. (pictures will follow) Boy am I glad we celebrate President's Day on Monday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

47. Go out on a date with Melissa every other month

Melissa and I got out without the girls the other night. It was nice. Her brother had laundry to do so he volunteered to come over and watch the girls for us. It was a nice chance to get out, do some shopping and get dinner without distractions. We went to Chili's. It's a pretty easy place to go. I always know there will be something I like. I was considering getting something really weird (for me at least) to knock out goal #21 (Eat a meal I normally wouldn't try), but the chicken crisper tacos looked too good to pass up. They were good and tasty. I don't know if I will have them again, but they were good enough for a try.
After Chili's, I went out to a Redbox, (If you haven't discovered Redbox yet, check it out. It is only $1 a night to rent. We love it.) and picked up the movie The City of Ember. It is based on the book which I read to my students over the past few weeks and I wanted to check it out. It was a really good movie. I felt like a lot of things were left out of the movie that needed further explaination, but it was good. I think this is the first time I have read a book first, then watched the movie afterward. I have to say the book is much better.