Ten Thursday Thoughts

1. I have been baking again! Two weekends ago I made double pumpkin muffins (my first pumpkin baking experience of the season – sad I know). I actually have the recipe from Women’s Health but found the blog linked above with the recipe all laid out. Then, on Tuesday night, I made super easy chocolate cookies: one box of devil’s food cake mix, two eggs, a third cup of oil, and any chips (I used mini Reese’s Pieces). Sugar…mmm.

2. Speaking of cookies and sugar, a few friends and I are doing a cookie exchange Sunday morning. We each come with one cookie done and bake the other together. Cookie suggestions?

3. On the cooking front, I made Brody’s favorite dish that I make: baked ziti with Italian sausage in mornay sauce. It makes great leftovers, so Brody is bringing over a container of it to Barret and Kelly (parents of the adorable Owen).

4. I love how these thoughts are like a chain and not totally random – do not expect that to continue for the entire post. Anyways, this past weekend we had our annual Friendsgiving. Erin and Tom hosted, and unlike last year’s wine-filled celebration, we were all pretty tame. The reason? Babies!

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Left to right: Avalyn (6 months), Owen (6 weeks), and Reed (2.5 weeks)

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The boys holding babies and watching football

5. Bret Bielema left the Badgers. I don’t really care but do think it’s odd he didn’t wait until after the Rose Bowl. Montee Ball, James White, Melvin Gordon, and Bielema made an appearance at the UW basketball game we were at Sunday afternoon with the Big Ten Champion trophy, which was cool but now he seems like a phony.

6. Costco, which is a half mile from our house, has been open for over three weeks and I haven’t been once. I am embarrassed.

7. Although I have no races planned for a while, I have still been running three miles a few times a week, often with Brody and the dogs. Ya for family exercise time!

8. It is so sad how early the sun sets at night. I have been trying to go to the dog park at least three times a week but have been avoiding going alone when it’s going to be pitch black.

9. Our house is semi-ready for the holidays: the tree and the outside lights are up and some decorations are out.

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Tonight Brody and I decorate the tree, and tonight St. Nick comes (or maybe he was supposed to come last night – whatever).

10. Last but definitely not least, I am pregnant!

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Stay tuned for more details.

Have a great night!

Welcoming Fall

Happy first day of fall!

Can you believe it’s already September 21st? Just insane. Before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and…well, you get the idea. Does time go by faster the older you get? It sure seems so.

While I love many things about fall, which I’ll detail below, it is NOT my favorite season. With fall comes winter, and this Wisconsin born and bred girl does not like the cold. Last winter was the best winter I could’ve asked for: it snowed twice and was not very cold. Please, Mother Nature, give me another winter like that.

And yet, there are some pretty, delicious, and fun aspects to this season.

1. Cooler temps for running

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Last year, the weather for the Haunted Hustle was perfect – I wore pants and long sleeves for the entire 13.1 miles. To my surprise, I even found myself enjoying running in the snow and even colder temperatures.

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Mel and I smiling after a ten mile run last winter. I’m excited for more of these runs!

2. Sweaters
As mentioned above, I dislike being cold. I must be a cold-blooded person. Sweaters and dress pants are my weekday uniform, and for weekends, I swap out the dress pants for jeans or yoga pants. My sweater collection needs a little pick-me-up, though, and the $10 gift card to Kohl’s I received in the mail may come in handy for that. In the spring, I try to pick up a few discounted sweaters at Gap or Old Navy, but I think I forgot to do that this year. Yup, definitely going shopping right after I hit publish.

3. Butternut squash
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I haven’t talked about it at all, but Brody and I did a CSA this summer. For the last few years, I pressured Brody to do one, and he finally caved in this year. The farm dropped the goodies off right at his office. Very convenient. Unfortunately, I did a craptastic job of using the veggies and herbs (especially the herbs). Lots of veggies were roasted, lots of salads were made, but sadly, lots of produce was thrown away. Sad face. But, one item that will never be go to waste: butternut squash. This baby will be morphed into soup, likely using Liz’s posted recipe.

4. Costco opening (only this fall)
Sometime next month, the Costco a half a mile from my house opens. Two weeks ago, the actual signs were up and it became real. I am both excited and nervous. Shopping for food is like a hobby for me, and now I’ll have Costco, Target, and Woodman’s all within a half mile of each other. You know where to find me every weekend.

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Also, have you had their frozen yogurt? It is delicious, and I told Brody I will probably go just for that.

5. Uggs and ballet flats
My feet aren’t pretty, and I blame it on the years they spent in pointe shoes and now running shoes. Flip flops are great, and my feet love to breathe, but I prefer to hide them from my coworkers and students. On cold or snowy mornings, I wear my Uggs to school and then switch to ballet flats, many of which are colorful. Hmmm, maybe I’ll look at shoes at Kohl’s, too.

When I start to complain about all of the negatives that come with fall (e.g. shorter days, dark mornings, grading on the weekends, etc.), I will look back on this list. I will also remind myself that time goes by too quickly and to slow down and appreciate moments in every season.

Question:
What do you love and/or dislike about fall?