IT’S NEW YEARS EVE!!
Welcome to the end of 2009, everyone. Are you ready for another year? I’m going to get a bit reflective here, but we’ll save that for the end of this post. There’s so much to discuss!
In my haste, I forgot to mention a VIB (very important bloggette) in my last post.
I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Caroline in March when I went to Los Angeles for the student Emmy awards. She is an amazing person and fun blogger at the Banana Cabana. Caroline — I’m so sorry that this picture was buried and I hope you know how awesome I think you are! If you haven’t read her blog, check her out.
When I last left you, we were about to celebrate this…
And so we did!
As you can see, I got all of my favorite sweets Family and candy is all I could ever ask for, my friends. We had a wonderful morning opening gifts, enjoying each other’s company and listening to Christmas music. That thing Papa Bender is holding above is a vegetable pan for the grill. Fitting for him, no?
This is an old recipe that comes with a waffle maker, so I thought it might be nice for you to see for yourself. I’ve blogged about it before — our special trick is to add an extra egg white for fluffiness.
We served it up in our waffle maker with berry fixins ready to go on the side.
They came out beautifully. Picture perfect on Christmas morning!
We enjoyed our waffles with center cut bacon on the side. I topped mine with fresh blueberries and blackberries — nothing else needed. My mom also substituted whole wheat white flour for all-purpose flour, which gave these a much heartier taste and texture. I really enjoyed it.
We spent the rest of our Christmas day with extended family and friends. It was nice to see people that I rarely have the chance to see and we enjoyed plenty of delicious food.
There were also “chestnuts roasting on an…” oven rack.
Holy. Yum. If you have never tried roasted chestnuts before, I highly recommend you get thee to a store!
Apart from Christmas, it has been a busy time in Arizona! Last Sunday, I met up with the amazing Heather, Deb and Bekah for lunch at Pita Jungle. CD’s mom and Bekah’s mom were also in attendance! They had all gone on a hike earlier in the day that I could unfortunately not attend due to timing, but we still had a great time catching up over food
I took one look at the menu and decided I had falafel on the brain. I ordered a platter with pita.
I ordered white pita by mistake, but the girls kindly let me have their extra whole wheat pita. Thank you!
We gabbed for about an hour and I found out all about Bekah’s future in culinary school — I received some fantastic granola from her that is proof she is going to be big! — Deb’s adventures in San Francisco and delicious citrus and nut butter generosity, and Heather’s overall amazingness and fantastic mother-in-law It was wonderful to chat with everyone!
After lunch, we decided we saved enough room to hit up The Gelato Spot. This was my first experience here and I was quite overwhelmed by all the delicious options (not that I was complaining). In the end, I decided to go festive with a scoop of peppermint gelato. I was not disappointed — it was very refreshing and creamy, with a stick cookie served on top that was perfect for dipping.
It was wonderful to spend time with these fantastic bloggers.
Speaking of great people, I also had the chance to meet Melissa for breakfast on Wednesday! She was in town for a short visit with family and we made the decision to meet up early and start the day off right at First Watch. I’m a big fan of it, but Melissa had never been so we decided to fix that.
There are a lot of great options — healthy and not-so-healthy alike — on the menu here. Everything from pancakes to oatmeal to omelettes and much, much more. In the end, great minds thought alike and Melissa and I both decided to go with the Tri-Athlete Omelette: an egg white omelette with sliced mushrooms, onions, tomato and green chilies.
Served with salsa, a dry English muffin and fresh fruit. It made the perfect morning pick-me-up.
It was SO nice to see this girl! Melissa and I have been phone, video chat and texting buddies for most, if not all, of 2009 She is truly a blessing and I am so thankful to have her as a friend! I enjoyed hearing about her upcoming move across country for her new job. I hope she gets a lot out of the experience.
I’ve enjoyed reading other blogger’s reflections on 2009. It makes me so happy to see how far people have come at achieving their dreams and accomplishing their goals.
You may recall my post recapping 2008: I 8 Gr8 in 2008. It was so much fun to do that last year that I can’t help but follow suit again this year. If you’re interested, read (or click) on!
- January 12, 2009: My Journey with P90X Began
- February 7, 2009: My Roommate and I Find Out We Won a Student Emmy
- February 13, 2009: Blogger Dinner at Thai Spoon + Sushi!
- March 16, 2009: Bender’s 1st Blogiversary!
- March 23, 2009: Trip to LA for the Emmys (and meeting Caroline!)
- April 11, 2009: Foodie Adventures with Mara
- April 19, 2009: My 5K PR in 25:42!
- May 3, 2009: Finishing P90X (and making a cheesy video)
- May 6, 2009: The Day He Put a Ring On It
- May 19, 2009: Blogger Weekend Extravaganza!
- June 25, 2009: Pomp and Circumstance
- July 8, 16 and 21, 2009: Mother-Daughter Trip to Maui (and here and here)
- July 24, 25 and 26, 2009: BlogHer 2009 (and here and here)
- July 28, 2009: Recapping Sarah’s Chicago Trip
- August 10, 2009: Getting My Own Domain and Meeting More Foodies
- August 25, 2009: A Dream Come “Tru”
- August 26, 2009: Getting the Job!
- September 27, 2009: 6.2 in 54:01!
- September 28, 2009: Puttin’ on the Ritz (in memory of my grandma)
- October 3, 2009: Follow Every Rainbow, Find Your Dreams
- October 21, 2009: I’ve Got Lucky Taste Buds
- October 29, 2009: Lo and Val at SoupBox
- November 16, 2009: Cheers for 6 Years!
- November 21, 2009: Bender + Bird Food…Eating!
- November 30, 2009: Bender Family Thanksgiving
- December 2009: Every. Single. Minute. 😉
As evidenced by my inability to choose just one event every month, it has been quite the year. There have been so many positive things that have happened and changed me for the better. I can say with confidence that I am a stronger, more fulfilled person than I was one year ago today. There have been a lot of challenges, but I have gotten through them with the love and support of my family and friends.
This brings me to my 2010 resolution:
Love the ones you’re with.
Sounds simple, right? But too often, I can get caught up in the need to be on the computer, on the phone or just the “need” to do this or that. I lose sight of the people who are in my company and forget how important it is to take advantage of every moment I have with them.
This includes myself.
When I say, “love the ones you’re with,” I’m not only speaking of others. I also need to work harder at making sure I love myself! I’m sure we’ve all made this promise in one form or another at some point in our lives. My goal for this next year is to continue to get to know myself better — to learn what works for me and what doesn’t, what makes me feel my healthiest, happiest and most energetic. I’ve got a lot of stuff figured out, but I know that there is still a long way to go. I think I’m up for the challenge.
There’s much more to say on this subject, but since this post is already a mile long, I will leave it here for now and only ask a simple question:
Are you with me?
Happy New Year! Thank you, as always for stopping by and sharing! I value every comment that I ever receive and count my blessings that I’ve “met” all of you.