Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Risks and Rewards

Well, these storms over the past few days have been quite devastating. Besides my poor flowers getting a little beating, we didn't have any real damage to our home. However, just north of Fort Smith was hit hard by flash flooding. And unfortunately Mason Creek Farm, the farm where we are CSA members and get our organically grown veggies, was not spared. I was sent an email this week from the owners with pictures of the damage:
The owners will be spending the next 3 weeks rebuilding the fences and clearing the debris, which means no veggies; fingers crossed that the already established veggies will survive for the weeks to come. I guess this is what it means when they say, "you share the risks and well as the rewards of the farming season" when you join a CSA!

On a brighter note, tomorrow is the ROYAL WEDDING!! Guess who has the DVR set?
Isn't she flawless? Oh, what I'd give  to be a royal princess...

But even more importantly, tomorrow is my 25th birthday!! 
I have a feeling 25 won't be near as monumental as 24 (I won't be getting married, I won't be moving to a new city, and I won't be starting my first grown-up job...yeah, 24 was a big deal) but I know it will be amazing! I can't wait!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Singing in the Rain

Man, this spring weather is killing me! If you aren't sick of rain yet, just give it a few more days...
But as the saying goes, "April Showers Bring May Flowers".... but my flowers arrived a little early this year.
Last weekend Josh and I spent the day working in the yard and giving the exterior of our house a spring face lift. Last year we just bought a lot of the same kind of flowers; this year we went crazy and bought random flowers of all shapes and colors. Let me introduce the cast of characters:
White Verbenas
Neon Star Dianthus
Royal Gerbera Daisy
Zonal Geranium
Mounding Perennials- flowers large white blooms in June and attracts hummingbirds!
I don't know the name of these...but they are beautiful!

And, like last year, Josh did all the hard work while I took pictures. He's such a trooper! I'm lucky to have a man who enjoys yard work. 
This past week our new additions have been soaking up all this yummy water; now Josh and I get to sit back and watch them grow. However a little sunshine might help that process...

What is your favorite flower?  My favorite is lilies! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


or Community Supported Agriculture! Have you heard of it?

This year Josh and I joined a CSA, which according to our farm is a place where 

"people sign up to receive a share of locally grown produce over a growing season. By joining you express your support for a locally grown food supply and for the farmers who grow it. CSA members pay for their shares in advance, allowing growers to plan ahead and purchase supplies for the coming season. In return, you will receive a weekly share of fresh, high quality produce that has minimal impact on our planet's resources by being raised naturally, organically, and sustainably."

I first heard about CSA through reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen. This book isn't full of 'hippy, all-natural talk' but has made me think about what I put in my body. Pollen explains how commercial farming has actually caused the nutrient value of our food to decline and small organic farms actually produce better, nutrient-rich produce. (Do you like how I used produce and produce in the same sentence? I'm so cool.) Coming from a family who owns their own business, I love supporting these local farms. (Shout out to Horton Brothers Printing...PS Mom: You have got to update the company photo. Is it like 15 years old?) And on top of it all, not only are Josh and I eating more veggies but we are getting the best food for our money.

Our farm is Mason Creek Farm from Fayetteville, Ar. This past Friday we drove and picked up our first basket. It contained: spring lettuce, sorrel, spearmint, garlic chives, pak choi, and broccoli raab. 
So what was the first thing I did when we got home? Google searched what the heck these things were! Seriously, I have never heard, much less eaten, much less cooked of half of these veggies. Needless to say, CSA has forced Josh and I to experiment with foods we never would have touched before...and it's a lot of fun! Our menu this week consisted of chicken chow mein, sauteed broccoli raab, beef with pak choi, penne with sorrel, spearmint tea, and lots of salads! Whew..thats a lot of good eaten!

The only down side is that the amount of food we get is ridiculous; there is no way two people can eat all of these veggies. Sadly, we are probably going to waste some of it...a person can only drink so much spearmint tea.

So stay posted! This is only basket 1 of 8. I can't wait to see what the growing season brings us!

If you are interested in finding a CSA near you, this is the website where I found our farm

Are you apart of a CSA? What do you think about eating locally? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Being 'The Visitors'

Despite the fact that we have lived in Fort Smith for over 10 months, Josh and I still feel like we just moved here. We still feel like we are visitors to this city and we have yet to establish any roots. In my opinion this is because we have yet to find a church home. We have visited (and revisited) countless churches and can't seem to find one that fits us. It gets quite discouraging; so much in fact that we haven't even visited a church since the new year. We make excuses of being out of town or having friends for the weekend but it is pretty obvious, we are exhausted of being 'the visitors'. 

Being 'the visitors' at church means you constantly have to introduce yourself, repeat your story of 'looking for a home church', and make awkward small-talk to well-meaning members. I know it's part of it all, but Ugh! This is the reason that Josh and I have started conducting our own little church at home. Each night we sit down and spend time together with God, and on (most) Sunday mornings we eat breakfast while watching online-sermons from our previous church in Little Rock. Words cannot describe how amazing it is to grow closer to God and to each other. I love reading and praying over God's word with Josh; it has truly been a blessing to our marriage. 

But it is time we find a congregation of believers here in Fort Smith. We need the Christian fellowship and support only a church can bring. That's why we are heading back out there again...we are going to visit (and revisit) more churches in attempt to call one home.

Please pray that God leads us to a place that needs us just as much as we need them. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A List

1. Look what I made this morning before work. Yum! I've had the peanuts for over a month, just waiting for the perfect time to whip up some smooth and warm peanut butter! Seriously, it's stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth good! And it was super easy to make. I just adapted the recipe a tad from Kath Eats...I like my PB extra smooth.  
2. I am currently in a running e-mail conversation with my one of my favorite bloggers, Tina from Carrots N Cake. It makes me love her even more that she takes time to chat with little 'ole me. I'm not gonna name names, but not all bloggers return emails.

3. I had zero motivation to workout today. Not eating well (a patient brought me pizza) + getting out of work late = poor exercising stamina. As a result, I pumped out a quick weight-lifting workout plus a few abs and called it a day.

4. My dad is coming this weekend and I'm super pumped. This means that Razorback sports are in the forecast and I couldn't be more excited. Baseball? Yes please! Red and White football game? I'm in! I haven't seen my dad in over 2 months and this is actually the first time he has come up to visit alone...I can't wait to have him all to myself. My dad rocks!
5. My birthday is quickly approaching and I am turning 25! This is a HUGE birthday...I mean, my twenties are half-way over. Crazy!! I'm slowing inching to 30 and I am not liking it. Don't tell anyone, but I am already using wrinkle-free night's never too early, right?

What age are you dreading?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cabin Fever

This weekend was quite the whirlwind. Josh and I traveled 45 minutes north to Devil's Den State Park to spend the weekend with friends. 

Quite beautiful and relaxing. I could have spent the entire weekend listening to the water.
But we had more important things to do. Like eating.
And hiking
over trees
and through waterfalls.
The hike itself was only 1.5 miles because we had some goofing around to do. What is a weekend with friends without silliness?

Have you ever seen Jessi in action?
As much as we enjoyed the time with friends, we were ready to get back home and relax; we are such home-bodies!

How did you spend your weekend?

PS. We had a nice and relaxing evening tonight (after my 4-mile run). Josh was in charge of the menu and he rocked it!

Is that a little grill I see? Yes it is...the first grilling of the 2011 Spring season! This grill will not get much rest over the next couple of months. I am loving this weather!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Library Love: Born To Run

I love to read. I grew up watching my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mom spend countless hours pouring over books. And now that I am almost one-year post graduation, my appreciation has only grown. Lucky for me (and my monthly budget), Fort Smith has one of the biggest libraries in the state of Arkansas.

My most recent read was Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.

I first picked up this book because it was a 'running book' and I needed some motivation. (It was a sad time. Please don't make me talk about it.)  The author is actually someone who initially believed he was not born to run, but after exploring the secret world of the Tarahumarah Indians his philosophy changed. McDougall unveils the history and culture of the Tarahumarah, who live in the seemingly uninhabitable Copper Canyons of Mexcio. Then he and a handful of ultra-runners (crazy people who run 100 mile races) travel to Mexico to compete with the Indians in a treacherous 50-mile race. It's pretty epic.

My only complaint: Skip chapter 28...I wish I would have. It consisted of 31 pages attempting to prove the notion that evolution has made humans into naturally born long-distance runners. How I longed for the author to realize that our highly complicated and intricate bodies could only come from a Higher Creator.

However if you truly feel that you were not built to run and have zero motivation to try, I would recommend this book to you. You do not have to be a runner to read this book, but warrning: You will want to be a runner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just Imagine...

...that the following is a picture of me with the oh-so-awesome Ben from Ben Does Life.

Because I accidentally deleted the actual one from my camera. (This is the one I took a fellow running-buddy and the only other picture I have of Ben)

Complete disappointment!

Ugh! And the picture was super awesome too. You'll have to trust me on that one.

Ben came and told his inspirational story to the running group Women Run Arkansas-Fort Smith (which is a 10-week running clinic I have yet to really discuss on here, but plan to soon). He has done amazing things and it was awesome to meet him in person!

Just Imagine...
...that even though it was in the 50s today, I enjoyed a wonderful warm weekend with friends. Which included friendly games of Bag-O:
 A fun game of Quelf:
 And a little too much of this:

I blame WrestleMania (and my husband's nostalgic love for wrestling) for the hours spent in front of the television instead of basking in the beautiful sun. 

Now, let me just imagine that it is Friday because I have super fun weekend planned. I'll give you a hint: Devil's Den State Park!