Tuesday, March 12, 2013

G-dub's Birthday and Botanical Goodness

February has come and gone...hard to believe it. Tim traveled to the west coast quite a bit, which actually seemed to make the time fly by even more, because I kept myself very busy. :)

However, we have been fortunate enough to have some fun despite our chaotic schedules...we ran the "Love the Run You're With" 5k in Arlington, which was a blast! The day was sunny, but cold...29 degrees to be exact. BUT...I broke my previous PR time by 44 seconds, thanks to my great pacer-husband. I was thrilled about it (the cold made me run faster, I just wanted to get done! :)

Pre-race: Tim, Steven, me, Starr (our cheerleader)

Post race: Tim, me, Sonni, Kol (had just run a 50k race the day before!)

I went to get a new pair of running shoes after the race, and I found this sign. I think I need it.

We celebrated Valentine's Day at our favorite "splurge" restaurant, Cedar. The chef loves cooking vegan food, and we had one of the best meals we've ever had...it was incredibly tasty! Our menu consisted of: Roasted Beets & Poached Seckel Pear with pickled onions and arugula, Grilled Royal Trumpet Mushrooms with truffled white bean puree, parsnips, heirloom carrots and cranberries, and Fried Banana Cigar with pear sorbet, pomegranate reduction, and spiced walnuts.

So. Amazing.

Something else that was amazing was our trip to the United States Botanical Garden, right outside the Capitol in DC. We saw so many green plants and gorgeous flowers!

Tim and I had the day off in honor of President's Day a few weeks ago. So naturally, we decided to use our Mt. Vernon Annual Pass (which my parents gave us for Christmas), and go to George Washington's house. Mt. Vernon is only about 8 miles up the road from us, so it is very convenient. When we arrived, we  were informed it was their busiest day of the year...they get 17-20,000 guests that day alone! We ended up sitting on GW's back porch and enjoyed the view of the Potomac, reflecting on what it must have been like to live there centuries ago...

At the end of February, Tim and I went to hear Rip Esselstyn speak at the Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria. He is the son of the famed Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, who is featured on "Forks Over Knives." Rip is the founder of the Engine 2 diet, which supports the idea of a plant-strong diet and lifestyle. Rip was a professional triathlete for over a decade, then decided to become a firefighter in Austin, Texas.

Here is how the diet came about: apparently, firefighters love challenges. One day, while sitting around the firehouse, all the men decided to see who had the lowest cholesterol, so they went to a local lab to have their blood tested. The results were shocking...in fact, one of the men, JR, had a cholesterol level of 344, which is, as Rip states, "knocking on death's door". The next day, they decided to adopt a plant-strong diet and see how it would affect JR's health. The results were amazing...JR's cholesterol dropped to 196 without any medication, and he lost 20 pounds. That's pretty incredible. Check out the website for recipes and more info!

Who says healthy cannot be delicious?! :)

Until next time.. :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Military Man...

Tim and I have met some wonderful people since living here in Northern Virginia, and especially through our church, Portico Arlington. Rich and Ashley are two of those people. They moved to this area last summer from Korea, because Rich is in the military. In September, they had a baby boy, Everett, who is super adorable... and has some incredible hair!

Rich will be deploying to the Middle East very soon, so we decided to throw him a surprise going-away/birthday party (his birthday was in mid-February) at one of his favorite restaurants, Chadwick's. It was hard to keep a secret, but turned out to be quite a success...He was so surprised!

Little Miss Audrey waiting for the fun to start!
Audrey found a friend! She was so cute looking out the window waiting for the guests-of-honor to arrive!
Party decor, thanks to the help and creativity of my friend Starr!


Rich and Baby Everett

Enjoying food, fun, and great company.

The whole gang!

We had an after-party at our house, complete with delicious desserts from Shilla, a local Asian bakery.

Photos of Ashley and Rich atop a Green Tea Cake!

Peanut Butter chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate mints, and Red Bean Walnut cookies.

Blowing out his birthday candles!

We barely made a dent in all the cakes...

We will miss you, Rich! Good Luck and we will see you again soon!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inauguration 2013

On Monday, January 21, Tim and I had the unique opportunity to attend the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Now I'm not going to get into politics and what I think, who I support, why we went and whatnot...but what I will say is that we probably won't ever get a chance to do this again. It is times like these where I think to myself, "I can't believe we live in DC!" People traveled from all over the country to witness this, and we simply got on the metro and rode to Tim's normal stop.The pictures below can better illustrate the day:

Our big invitation packet, thanks to our good friend and Kansas State Senator, Garrett Love!

The line to get into our entrance.

The security guy took a photo of us with my camera to make sure it was actually a camera. We were bundled up because it was super COLD!

Our ticket in!


We went to our designated spot but didn't last long because of the crowd, so we decided to go back and watch the cars bring all the important people to the Capitol. We had a great view!

The black car is Obama's car, you can faintly see his white shirt in the back window. Notice the camera van in front of him. I can't believe we were so close!

We were able to move closer to the actual stage.

Vice President Biden getting sworn in.

If you look under the guy's hands in front of me, you can see Obama. We were about 300 yards from the podium!

Another shot.
The crowd stretched clear back past the Washington Monument!

Close up screen shot. He looks so "presidential"!

What an awesome day!