The early release/sneak preview of the *Gordon and Danika Christmas Letter* is now available on machaggis.net newsletters.
2 beds, 1 futon, and a couch,
2 stomach flues,
2 board games,
1 birthday celebration,
and 1 hike makes for a very successful visit. The family left this morning and I feel like I might need an extra week to catch up on sleep. But we had great fun together and it was wonderful for us all to be together again.
Highlights of the week:
Ed- Playing Cranium.
Gordon- Christmas morning and dinner.
Danika- Christmas morning.
Laila- Everything! Good food.
Karima- being with all 3 girls, seeing eagles at Discovery Park, ZigZag Café.
Tessa- well, it was a string of pleasant events and Thursday was a REALLY good day.
Culinary highlights (my own):
Cioppino on Christmas Eve
Lailas panko shrimp and citrus couscous
Flying Fish lunch- esp. the raja (skatewing)
Coconut Crème Pie bites from Dahlia
Prawns in Garlic Sauce with Broccoli and DanDan noodles at Seven Stars Pepper
Our Christmas got off to a lovely start. Santa was extremely generous and it seemed as if we opened presents for hours! I think he was making up for the fact that we didn’t see each other last year (my immediate family, that is). In any case, we relaxed, ate goodies and drank mimosas all morning. Late morning we all bundled up and headed down to Golden Gardens for a blustery, seaside walk.
Sometime after lunch, I started to feel a little queasy and the stomach flu hit me full force in the middle of dinner. It was not pretty and I was basically in bed by about 5 pm (with periodic trips to the toilet). I stayed in bed until 8 am the next morning and although weak, was not in terrible shape. We went on to host a Boxing Day Party and I did my best to play the hostess. 48 hours later I’m more or less 100%. Unfortunately, G has the same bug now. Worst part of all this is that there is only ONE toilet in this house and SIX adults. I don’t imagine I’ll forget this Christmas anytime soon. As G said, at least we know we won’t be sick on New Year’s Eve this year!
Um, not exactly. It’s 55 degrees here and I’ve got a bunch of windows open to air out the house. It’s been unseasonably warm all week and very, very wet. It feels so like spring I actually have the urge to go outside and work in the yard (plant, weed, whatever). I’m not going to; I have plenty of other stuff to get done, but the possibility exists.
Luckily, I am in no way attached to a white Christmas. If I was, I would travel to Buffalo to be with my family every year. Last time I was home for the holidays there was 7 feet of snow in one week. I prefer this weather to be honest. Coincidentally, the last time I had Christmas in Buffalo was also the last time I spent it with family (mine or G’s) in any way. This afternoon, we’re heading to Sea-Tac airport to fetch my entire immediate family. Our first Christmas together since 2001. I hope they can adjust to the lack of snow.
Here’s the Sex Pistols”
So says the t-shirt of one very hip 3 year old we saw yesterday. We were at a Christmas party with friends and someone’s kid had this shirt on. I thought it was pretty funny, in an odd kind of way. Then we started singing Christmas Carols and the juxtaposition was just too weird for me to wrap my head around.
This is why I run. They should bottle this feeling- nothing comes close. I just finished a standard weekday run (4 miles on the treadmill). It wasnt particularly fast, nor was it slow- in other words, a very unremarkable run. Yet the adrenaline rush is amazing. G thinks I might actually get more out of my workouts now that Im only exercising 3 times per week (the idea being that my level of exertion is actually higher). I think he may be right- my runners highs have been kicking butt. At least, when Im not doubled over from stomach cramps! But I guess that comes with the territory. I think I’m safe as long as I don’t eat anything too rich before running.
G got on my case for blogging that I called in sick and then ran errands. What if someone from my work happens to see it? (Note: I WAS sick, though certainly I was capable of doing some chores.). Today, I heard about the kid in Florida who was convicted after making a confession on his blog. Maybe G had a point….
This weeks trail run met all the requirements of a successful outing. We ran for a perfect length of time (about an hour and 38 minutes)- long enough to get a great workout and not so long that were completely wiped out for the rest of the day. The weather was lovely- a bit warmer than it has been and blue skies yet again. Both G and I had some new gear so that was fun. Gs already blogged about his shoes; my new item was a water bottle with a hand strap and a little pouch. You wouldnt think a water bottle would be so hard to use but both G and I struggled to get water out of it. Ill have to practice with it at home this week. This weeks damage: one ankle injury and a fall (no injury there). My ankles not too bad but I gave it a pretty solid WHACK from a fallen log. Its kind of bruised and swollen but seems OK otherwise. I dont think its going to prevent me from running.
I was developing a cold at the end of last week and by Sunday it hit me full force. Aside from the endless snotty tissues following in my wake, I really dont feel too bad. I took a sick day today and have been using the time to wrap Christmas gifts, do some holiday baking, and run a few errands. T minus 4 days till my family arrives
My procrastinating self failed to make dinner reservations before the proposed date night on Friday. When I finally got around to making some calls on Friday afternoon, I couldnt get a reservation to save my soul (not if I wanted to eat anytime between 5 and 9:30 pm, anyway!). So I decided to make a meal at home that would closely replicate what we might order out. After work I headed across town to Whole Foods and loaded up on goodies for the meal. The evening was a huge success- we ate our 4 courses at a leisurely pace while sipping champagne and catching up on each others lives after a busy work week. Heres what we ate:
1st course: Steamed Mussels with Garlic and Shallots. Served with a crusty baguette.
2nd course: Lemon-Rosemary Cornish Hens with Roasted Potatoes and French Green Beans.
3rd course: Two excellent cheeses- a Rosemary Manchego and a Roquefort.
4th course: Fudgy Espresso Souffle with Raspberry Sauce.
The only down side was that we both had 2 sleepless hours in the middle of the night. Alcohol and rich food combined to keep us up. But it was well worth it. If no one steps up to host New Years Eve, I may just repeat the endeavor.
My doctor has recommended that I work out a maximum of 3 times per week. She also wants me to gain 5 or 10 pounds. I agreed and have been attempting to follow her advice for the past 3 weeks. I must say, its a very different mindset for me. Some of my observations to date:
1) I have a lot of extra energy now that Im not working out every day. For instance, today I was walking home from work. It was a beautiful, winter day- sunny, blue skies. The outline of the Olympics against the sky was crisp and the mountains were colored by the fading light. It was all I could do not to break into a run. OK, realistically, I would have gone home and changed into running gear first, but it was hard to ignore the impulse.
2) Its amazing having this extra hour in the middle of my day- what most people call their lunch hour. Normally, I eat at my desk and use my lunch hour to work out. Now Im only doing this every other day so Im left with 3 lunch hours per week. On Monday, I went grocery shopping, took the groceries home and put them away, returned a video and mailed a Christmas package. What else can I do with all this free time??
3) I can definitely feel my fitness level slipping. Its not the end of the world- Im still getting in 3 runs a week. But the difference in my ability is noticeable already.
4) I seem to be eating an awful lot, but surprisingly am snacking less. I suppose thats because my meals are much bigger than normal. Ive also discovered a new food love: Brown Cow Cream on Top Yogurt. Oh man, I may never be able to eat low-fat yogurt again. This stuff is luscious and rich. It is to low-fat yogurt what heavy cream is to skim milk. My favorite flavors thus far are chocolate and coffee.
5) Im experiencing a lot of runners lust. Hearing about other peoples training plans, long runs, etc. makes me quite envious. I think in 2005 Ive been in the best shape ever and am really keen to try my hand at another marathon/other races/whatever. Basically, I want to push myself to see how far I can go. But obviously, I cant do that right now. Its a bit like being injured. Watching from the sidelines is never fun.
Im planning to keep this up for 6 months or so. More observations to come.