Monday, December 22, 2008

A full day of sweets making

So, this morning I made Carmel Pecan Turtles for an hour or so.

Then, I went to a Central Market cooking class on cookies. It was really fun, being taught by a real pastry chef and culinary teacher, and I learned some really good how to properly cream butter or how to tell when you're over-heated chocolate. Each group made four cookies, and it was lots of hands-on fun. When we were done, I got to go home with this lovely platter of cookies.

Clockwise, starting at the gingerbread boy, there's Apricot-Walnut bars, Angel-Date cookies, Fudgie Brownies, Orange Macaroons, Lemon Bars, Pecan Snowballs, Fruitcake Cookies, Almond Spritz, then Pistachio Crinkles, Pumpkin Cookies and Cardamom Sandies.

So, after stopping at the Party supply store for some decorative bags. I make Buttermilk Pecan Pralines, from the good ol' standard, the Joy of Cooking.

Then, I packaged it all up, including this Frito & Reese's Brown Sugar Candy and Marshmallow Peanut Butter Gobs I made yesterday, into 20 goodie bags to give away to family and friends.

*Wooh* Time for tea and a few well-earned treats. tea really...Casey and I braved this cold night to go deliver the goodies to our friends around town. A few were left in mailboxes, but most we got to deliver in person...and it was fun saying hello to folks. We even got to see Mercy Place's newest member little Luke Diehl, a week old today. Very cute little guy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A few observations on the 26.2

Here's a shot from the start. That was fun. Lots of cheering, whooping and confetti.

Along the race route, there were lots of volunteers and spectators handing out things, cheering, ringing bells, holding up signs. I even got some low-fives from some very cute little kids. But my absolute favorite water station was on a portion of the race where there are two hills called the Dolly Parton's. The large, hairy men at that station were passing out water wearing HUGE fake breasts and blond wigs. The desire to hug them was strong. I did not, but they made me happy in my soul as we were going up those hills.

On three separate occasions, people were giving away beer. I actually saw a few crazies take it. Of course, I saw a few people passed out on the ground, too. One of the beer giver-awayers also had free doughnuts and a sign saying "19 more miles to go!" Now, is that kindness, or sabotage, I ask? Lots were handing out good stuff...water, gatorade, cookies, orange slices, candy...but the beer remains a mystery to me.

So, if you missed us, this is a video of what it was like, for 26 miles. I'm the one in the light green tank and Casey is next to me in the red shorts. I was feeling really good by that time as the finish was in sight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And this marathon is dedicated to...

my husband, Casey. Without his support and encouragement, I wouldn't have finished. The first part of the race was just fine, but around mile 12, I started getting stabbing stomach pains (Gatorade Endurance is bad juju.) and had to walk/run a lot of that mile. We kept going, despite strong winds and fatigue, but I was very discouraged a couple times, especially when the 4:15 marathon group passed us. As silly as it was, while running a marathon, I started crying, but Casey encouraged me and made me feel better. He was awesome like that. By the last 5 miles, we were both so tired, that simply finishing was all we wanted to do, and we did. We actually finished really strong, even if it wasn't at the time we'd planned and trained for, 4 hours, but rather at 4:24. But we've done our first marathon, we survived it. And the next will be better. And no more Gatorade Endurance.

We also had lots of support and encouragement from folks on the race course, including our friends, Michael and Darrah and Robin too. That was fun. Dad spotted us the last mile or so and ran ahead so we could see him at the finish. It was good for him to see us finish.