Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  I hope that you all enjoyed your weekend and for those of you not in Upstate New York, I hope that the majority of it was filled with better weather than we had.

I had a really nice weekend filled with lots of relaxation, getting caught up on things around my apartment, and seeing friends.  On Saturday I got a workout in at the gym in the AM...  a little running and rowing. Then I came home to bake some cookies to bring over to a friend's house.  I am not much of a baker, so I just did a packaged chocolate chip cookie mix with some M&Ms thrown on top, because, why not?

Pay no attention to the missing cookie in the top right...
The [majority of the] cookies were brought over to my friend's house for a small cookout/party to celebrate the long weekend... and his upcoming move to the U.K.!  It was fun to get together with all of my friends for one last hurrah at his house.  Of course, there were some shenanigans involved.

But mostly just lots of laughter and of course, delicious food.  I swear, there are some really amazing cooks in this crowd of friends!  My friend Andrew has hosted a number of parties at his house over the past few years... most notable are his annual Thanksgiving with deep fried turkey and his New Year's Eve parties.  Everyone always brings a different dish and it's so fun to try everyone's cooking.  Yesterday included a couple delicious salsas, cheesy bread, pizza, perogies, stuffed peppers, burgers, homemade baklava, key lime pie, and of course, my cookies.  Everything was so good!

I feel like I must have written about Andrew's get togethers in the past and the delicious food spreads that always are included, but I can't seem to find any blog entries off the top of my head, besides this old Thanksgiving post.  This surprises me because the food that my friends bring to these things is always killer.  It's an end of an era with Andrew moving away so I hope that in the future someone picks up the tradition of the annual Thanksgiving dinner and New Year's Eve parties!

On Sunday I got up early and went out on a 5 mile run.  I was really proud of myself for doing those 5 miles because that's the longest I've run since the half marathon!  The motivation came from a tweet that I received from my friend Kelly on Saturday evening.  Kelly is in the hospital battling cancer and she sent me a message on Saturday saying she was thinking of me and asking me to pray and run for her every day. I thought to myself, if Kelly is strong enough and brave enough to take this on... I can get out there and run for her.  I did 5 miles for her, thinking of her throughout the whole thing.  When I wanted to give up, I thought of what I would say to Kelly if she were to say she wanted to give up, and I kept going.

You know, since I wrote the post about trying to get in shape "on my own" my motivation has and my most successful days of being healthy, have come with motivation from my friends.  My colleague, N, pushed me through the Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile run.  Then, Kelly got me up and out running this weekend.  And I've also received some amazing encouragement from all of you out there.  It's made me realized that I'm not so much on my own in this after all.  So thank you.  And everyone else out there, put some miles in this week for Kelly!

The rest of Sunday was spent catching up with a friend and her two ADORABLE kids.  I've mentioned before that one of my favorite things about my job is meeting people from all over the world and experiencing their cuisine... I've written about both Ghanain and Persian food before.  On Sunday I was lucky enough to have lunch made for me by one of my Indian friends.  Everything on the table was delicious and I told her next time we hang out, I need to come over while the cooking is taking place so that she can teach me how to prepare Indian food.  However, for the time being, she sent me home with leftovers and some ingredients and seasoning to try it on my own.  I can't wait!

I went out with some of my favorites on Sunday evening -- it's become somewhat of a tradition when we have a Monday holiday to go to one of our favorite bars on the Sunday night.  They have a regular 2-for-1 special on Sunday nights, but it's not something we usually take advantage of.  UNLESS... there is a Monday holiday :)  Lately these traditions I have with my friends, the annual events and the get togethers that come and go remind me of how long I've been living in Albany and what an amazing home and family of friends I've made for myself here.  It boggles my mind that it's been 5 years!

Today was a pretty boring day, but nice because the weather finally turned warm and sunny!  I was in spring cleaning mode and got my apartment ready for upcoming nice weather and visitors.  I cleaned up my porch and moved the furniture back outside then spent quite a bit of time reading today.  Woohoo for summer!

I'm currently in the middle of "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook.)  I had to sort of laugh at myself today at the irony of the fact I spent my day cooking and cleaning... and taking breaks to read Sheryl's book all about breaking gender roles and empowering women in the workplace.  It's a really interesting read and I recommend it not just to women out there... but to anyone with a sister, mother, girlfriend, wife, or female friend who works!

I also got in another 3 miles today running for Kelly (I'm trying to fulfill her request of running for her every day) and ate dinner outside on the porch.  I had roasted some mushrooms and onions earlier and ate some of those with leftover Indian lentil stew and whole wheat pita.  Not a pretty picture, but a delicious, delicious meal!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for the [short] week ahead!  I have a visitor coming to stay with me next weekend so Friday cannot come soon enough for me!! XOXO.

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