Saturday, December 22, 2012

Climbing Mountains

We know it is Christmas time and should do a post about Christmas, but We've been saving this post for a looong time now and  finally have found time to write it all out.
Each daughter, on their 16th birthday got to go on a surprise trip to somewhere new and interesting.
I, Nan turned 16 in I got to do something I have always wanted to do. Hike part of the Appalachian trail!!   So on October 21st mom, dad, and me drove 2 hours into the mountains...

Birds migrating on the way to the mountains
There was a swing at the cute little cabin we stayed in
And a river across the gravel road
It was late when we finally got to the cabin so we cooked up some dinner.
Sauteed veggies, shrimp, sweet potato fries and salmon with sauteed onions.

The next day we set out to hike the Appalachian trail... 
And we met a lady hiking with her pet goat...
So cool to be there!!
On the trail.
It was a beautiful day 

Eating a gluten free sandwich for lunch

Dad was tired

We loved hiking carvers gap, the day was beautiful and the hike was the perfect challenge!
That night we cooked apple compotes in the fire and potatoes for dinner outside our cabin.

We also roasted organic chicken apple brats 

And mom and I goofed off...

SUCH a fun day! Loved every minute of it! 

The next day we made a big breakfast and drove to climb Mt. Mitchell, Highest peak east of the Mississippi River.
This was the view as we rode in the car.

It was definitely a difficult climb, we got lost once...but so fun!  

Proud we made it to the top!

Eating some lunch at a picnic table on top of the mountain.

And then the descent back down...
 I loved both mountains we climbed so much! Each day was just as fun as the last. After hiking, we piled into the car and stopped at a little country shop to buy fresh apples and other vegetables. Then we drove all the way home.
It was an incredible experience and one I will always remember! I was homesick for the mountains weeks afterwards!  For the sound of the river laughing outside my window in the morning, the smell of pine and fresh cool air, cooking over a fire, the way you stand on top of a mountain and feel nothing else really matters  and for getting to know my parents a lot better! Yes I loved turning 16!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Promise of sunshine

It is a sunny day today and even better it's been a week of no LBS for Nan.  I am encourage and excited!  She has recognized her symptoms and has been willing to stop it  before it sets in.  I am so proud of her and we both give the glory to God, who has strengthened her resolve to get well.

We've had a fun December so far.  We watched the Greensboro parade with Mary, Cate and Gabe.  Here Nan, Mary and I are watching it from a parking deck. 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Walking in December

"In December keep yourself warm and sleep."


Life has been good. Mom is finally back from her looooong stay in Atlanta (only 1 week). And everything's back to normal, except for a certain four-legged furry thing named Lilly. I'm watching her while her owners are out of town for a week. She is the sweetest thing, she follows me everywhere!

Pretty sure Lilly did this...

Since not running I have been walking a lot lately, especially with these crazy dogs! I never knew how peaceful and restoring walks can be. They clear my mind and bring fresh air to my lungs. Not like running, I can actually gaze at the beauty around me and take it all in.
This December I will be sleeping a lot, but also walking, sipping rich hot chocolate and trying with all I have to keep warm. My dad mercilessly keeps the heat on 70 and I would much rather have it on 90. But oh well my two pairs of socks, long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt and pants will have to do...

Clyde looking thrilled about our daily walk...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Red noses and Chili

                                    "When all aloud the wind doth blow,
                                     And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
                                     And birds sit brooding in the snow,
                                    And Marion's nose looks red and raw."

I do not particularly love winter because it's cold and grey...and cold and grey, but I absolutely love December! December really shouldn't even be counted as winter, because everything is bright and happy and no matter what everyone looks jolly and glad. Christmas does have a lot to do with that of course.

Picture by

Like mom said so much has happened in so little time. I'm currently trying desperately to gain weight, not just to look better, but for health reasons. Me being underweight surprisingly affects my low-blood sugar a lot. So for now, much to my despair, I'm not running, or biking or swimming or anything, just walking and doing yoga until I gain weight and my blood sugar becomes steady. I love to run and I hate watching my sister Cate take off without me, but I know it's for the best.
It's hard to ignore or pretend nothing happened the past few months. My blood sugar going up and down. But I'm on a new path, and mom is too. We're in this together.

Mom is out of town to help with my sister and her new baby so I got to make dinner for Cate, dad and me.
I thought it was a good night for chili. Mom makes this for us often. It will always be a favorite.

Nonstop, No-Chop Chili  By Cookinglight

3/4 pound ground round 

cooking spray

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn (I omitted)

1 cup bottled salsa

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon sugar (I did 1/2 teaspoon of stevia)

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (16-ounce) can chili beans, undrained

1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Cook ground round in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in water and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time goes by...

Yes so much time has gone by since our last post.  I have found it difficult to find the right moment to sit down at the computer and put this on our blog.  I have composed several posts in my head, but they haven't found their way here yet.

One reason is very exciting to us!  We were in Atlanta awaiting the birth of Piper Virginia Hull, who was born on November 13th to our oldest daughter/sister, Lauren.  We had the fun of caring for two year old Gabriela while her mommy and daddy were at the hospital with Piper.  Such joy!

While one life is beginning, another very dear to us is ending.  My dad's brother is in the care of hospice and while we wait, I am reminded of how fragile and short life really is on this earth.  My uncle has fought a brave fight against throat cancer and I will always remember what a strong, courageous and encouraging man he has been. 

So much has happened in the LBS saga of our lives.  So many ups... and just as many downs.  There is so much to tell, so many victories and lessons learned, and now the layers are being peeled away.  One by one... and it is painful, not like the peeling after a sunburn, but like the peeling of a skinned knee, where the wound is exposed to the air.  Hopefully we can document these times and see how God is healing precious Nan.  I won't lie, it has been hard.  But at the same time it has been good and Nan has given me courage to go to the hard places with her ... and even within my own self.

My beautiful granddaughters, Ela and Piper (just one week old here).