I am in no way shape or form a gardener. Although I'd really like to be.
My mom would try and get me to help her garden. Planting flowers, digging weeds, watering things...etc. But honestly, I really didn't enjoy it. Mainly because there were bugs involved. And not just any bugs, spiders. Spiders are the spawn of satan in an eight legged form. They are absolutely terrifying to me.
Unfortunately weeds are a part of life. They creep in, and suffocate the life around them. They infiltrate all areas and it takes some digging, sweat, dirt, and encounters with spiders to get them out!
Lately, we've been getting rid of a lot of "weeds" in our life. We've been selling a lot of our things, and deciding what's worth bringing home and what's not. We've been eliminating a lot of material weeds in our lives, and even thinking about when we move home...I can't wait to get rid of all the things that we absolutely do not need cluttering our lives!
Weeds have taken over our yard
Thankfully I have a ready and willing helper :)
I've felt recently that not only do I need to be getting rid of the material "weeds" in life, but also some emotional ones. I truly believe that Satan sows these weeds into our hearts and minds just to suffocate any bit of life trying to grow and flourish. I also believe that people in our lives can also plant these weeds. It's starts with a comment or remark, and it can really take root and crush anything of worth that might have been growing. Usually I'm pretty good at keeping up with the regular weeding sessions, but I feel that I need a deep clean. That too many have sprouted up and I've really let myself get crowded.
I think the hardest part is actually getting through the de-weeding process. I like some of the weeds. I hold on to some of those weeds. They are my excuses, my reasons for acting certain ways, they are something for me to hide behind. But hiding behind Satan's and other people's lies are no way to live. And I've got to stop making excuses.
It's time to roll up my sleeves and start pulling like crazy. It's time to discern what is of importance, what is truth, and what needs to get lost.
I'm ready to live life unburdened and let myself thrive.
And hopefully at the end of the experience it'll look something like this. No, it's not perfect but that's ok. I don't expect perfection and know that all of those remaining little green specs will be taken care of by someone much more capable than me. I fully trust that God's going to get me (and Jon) through this and that he will be doing the majority of the de-weeding.
And hopefully he'll be the one confronting all the spiders.
I figured, because I haven't even gotten my Vibram Five Fingers yet I should really be calling these posts. Barefoot and Vibram Adventures... because all the running I've done has been via my own little toesies.
In high school two of my best friends and I would compare our feet. Melissa's were dubbed cute and well proportioned, Joelle's were cute and little, and mine were...ugly. You see...I had these lovely large lumps on the sides of my feet called bunions. I'd like to thank my mother and grandmother for those babies. They were large, disfiguring, and gave my feet a bit of an odd look. Plus... wearing any sort of dressy shoe was a complete pain.
Because I apparently had "the worst bunions ever seen on an 18 year old" my doctor suggested they be hacked off. And when I say hacked off I mean my foot splayed open like a 8th grade science dissection project, pieces of bone removed, a pin shoved in, and then everything sewn back up into a neat little package that can't be walked on for 2 months.
Look at those lovely scars
Even after the removal of my bulbous bunions my feet still weren't too pretty, the scarring is still quite noticeable and that doesn't exactly make for a beautiful view. But to be honest that just doesn't matter much anymore. After not being able to walk on my feet normally for a few months after the surgery I became to appreciate just how miraculous those things attached to the bottom of my legs actually were.
Now, as I've been barefoot running I think I've come to see just how absolutely incredible our feet truly are. Not only can they get us anywhere we want to go... but they have 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. How freaking out of control is that!? In such a tiny space all of that is crammed in.
It's still hard for me to believe that so many intricate details go in too such a small and confined space. For such a small part of the body it really does have an impact on our everyday lives. We don't fully realize how much we rely on them until we can't use them or they are hurt.
What I've really been learning during this whole barefoot running experiment is how much we need to take care of our feet. After I've gone on a run it's amazing how nice it feels to scrub them down and give them a little rub down with some lotion. My feet love me after I do this and I really think that it's a key component to keeping my feet healthy and working in prime condition. It's also the key to keeping the rest of my body in sync. I've realized that when my feet hurt it effects the rest of my body. My ankles, legs, back etc. They are the key ingredient to the rest of my bodies happiness. So, regardless of whether they are pretty or not, I love my feet and love the fact that they do so much for me! So whether they are pedicured, dirty, buniony (is that even a word?), or not so pretty looking take care of your feet! They are the ONLY ones we get!
Right about now all of the new recruits from Canadian Connection are in their orientation and about to be sent off to their new schools.
It's a little bit insane for me to think that two years ago, Jon and I were in the same position.
Two years ago we started one of the biggest adventures, we moved ourselves half way across the world, and we began life...in Korea.
I still remember that first week of orientation and our first week in our new town.
When I think of first stepping into our new apartment I was horrified. The old couple had actually cleaned, but of course the construction crew that re-did the wallpaper left it a MESS! I didn't know if we were going to make it, and quite frankly all I really wanted to do was start to cry and then grab the next plane home.
I am so thankful that we did stick it out and have managed to make a life for ourselves here. We've come a long way. Not only as a couple, but as individuals. I can see growth and change in the both of us and I'm excited to see how that transpires to life at home.
I thoroughly love looking back at some of the first pictures we took when we got here and remembering how freaked, excited, nervous, and happy I was to be in Korea land. I hope all the new recruits coming in have as amazing of a time as we have.
On the plane... that was one loooooong flight.
Enjoying the lovely Korean architecture :)
I made friends with the locals right off the bat.
Jon enjoying our first massive Korean meal!
I think the even crazier part is that we'll be leaving in less than 6 weeks. I can't get over how quickly the time has flown and while I'm really pumped for Europe and Home... I know it's going to be hard leaving a country I've called home for the past two years. I'm already starting to miss paces I know we won't be seeing again.
But such as life, everything changing, moving forward, and trying to adapt to it all. I'm thoroughly looking forward to where we'll be two years from now!
Honestly, it's been a bit on the refreshing side to not be on the blog, figuring out pictures and putting up posts. Buuuuuuuut for the very few who actually do read this I thought I'd put up a little something fun ( and photo intensive) !
This past week I've made this...
This is by faaaaaar my favorite summer time pie. Other than strawberry rhubarb, frozen strawberry, blueberry and a million others, what can I say... I LOVE pie.
My mom always makes this pie in the summer and I love to re-create it. And each time it gets a bit easier. The first time I made it, it did not go so smoothly. I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack.
I was making it for Jon's family as a "thank you" for helping me fix my car. We'd been dating like a month and the pie HAD TO BE PERFECT. Needless to say the experience was not so perfect and it included 50 calls to my mom wondering why I hadn't inherited her natural pie cooking abilities.
It tasted great, and I'm thankful that it's gotten easier in time.
Alright... on to the pie!
First we'll start with the Whole Wheat Crust
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
3 tsp water (although I add a smidge more)
use a fork to mix it all together and then put it on some wax paper.
Roll it out nice and thin! Then you get the fun job of transferring to the pie plate.
I make Jon help. Then I poke a few holes with a fork and bake it in the oven for a good 10-15 min at 425.
Now onto the filling... the BEST part...
2/3 c sugar
4 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon ( I add waaaaaaaay more)
1c. Whipping cream (we're all about healthy here in the stainbrook casa... gotta' get that dairy in :) )
First throw the peaches into some boiling water, and continue to let them boil for half of your life because they need to soften up enough for you to peel the skin off. ( I usually do this while I'm making the pie crust... it seriously takes the peaches FOREVER.... FOOOOOOR---EEEEEE--VVVEEEER..
While the peaches are boiling away and the crust is baking we make the rest of the filling.
You may be tempted to stick our finger in and sneak a lick ... but that's a little unsanitary. So grab a spoon :)
By now your peaches just may be ready... drain them and rinse them under cold water... and while they are under the freezing cold water peel off the skin.
They'll look lovely, appetizing, and diseased....
Now... in the actual recipe you are apparently supposed to be able to cut them in half and lay the halves in the pie. This has NEVER happened for me. So roll with the punches and just cut off large chunks around the pit and place 'em in your pre baked crust.
Then pour on the yummy addicting filling that you haven't been sneaking tastes from while you were waiting for the peaches and crust.
Then put it in the oven for 35-45 min at 400.
After about 20 minutes or so the top will be nice and brown, to make sure it doesn't burn you'll want to make a tent fold out of foil and put it on top for the rest of the time.
Our visitors left, and the Stainbrook casa seems quite empty. After 2.5 weeks of playing tour guide we are now back to the last 6.5 weeks of our time in Korea land.
As much as I love visitors and would give up my daily routine at anytime for anyone that chose to come over and visit us, I really do enjoy our daily routine. I really started to miss our day to day happenings and all that, that entailed.
With that said, I feel like we aren't doing things that are quite "day to day." We've been looking at booking hostels for Europe, figuring out some plane tickets, and spending A LOT of time on the computer and the Wii. But that's ok, they are all things that need to get done and with school starting next Monday I'm pretty sure our daily grind will be back into business.
With all this routine stuff going on we've also picked back up our workout routine. As boring as it may be for some of you to read about it, it's one of my passions, it's my blog.. and you can quit reading this now if it's that bad. :)
Jon has decided to start up his own workout routines with running everyday and figuring out some good resistance training with the new resistance bands my mom brought over. I'm really proud of him for creating his own schedule and hopefully sticking too it :) It hasn't always been easy to motivate him, but he seems really excited about creating his own plan, so maybe that's the key...letting him create it! I'm excited for him and anxious to see how it goes!
As for me I'm back at Insanity. I started month 2 today and quite frankly I was terrified. All the reviews I read made it sound like Jon would need to resuscitate my dying body afterwards. I knew I would need some....
Oh Korea...only you would come up with something like this.
But quite frankly I did have to keep asking myself if I was ready for the craziness that was about to ensue. I decided I was and gave it a go! It. was. HARD! But I made it through without having to be scooped off the floor. I actually did better than some of the others in the video... which always makes me feel like a champ.
Along with the Insanity I'll also be doing 2 days a week of P90X arm weightlifting, and still testing out my barefoot running skills 3 days a week! It sounds like a lot, but truly it won't be. Actually... after such a long workout hiatus I'm pretty pumped to get back into the grind. I was only able to work out 7 times in the 2.5 weeks we were vagabonding around, which is better than what I'd hoped for... but still not enough for me!
Needless to say, we are happy to be home living life at a relaxed pace, soaking up the rest of our limited time left here.
Are you a routine person? Or do you like to change everyday? I think I'm a mix of both... I need some structure and some flexibility just to keep me on my toes!
As you all know by now my lovely VFF's are not here yet :( But my mom has sent them back and hopefully I'll be seeing them in a few weeks!
I decided that I would tough it out instead and go straight up barefoot! After my first barefoot run I was excited to get back on the track and work those foot muscles. But of course my plans were put on hold as we had loads of visitors!!!
I was willing to put my barefoot dreams aside for the good of the visitors :) And it wasn't too hard to do. Now that it's just Jon and I again, I'm back out on the track! It was so nice to just go out again and see what my little toes can do.
I interspersed .25 miles running with .12 walking so that I had a little break in between the runs just to get my feet used to it. It took me awhile to get back into the groove and find my stride. The 1st two times of the running my pace was around 9:50 (not too shabby considering I haven't done really any running since June) and the walking was at 16:30 BUUUUUUUT as I kept on, my pace got better, my form improved, and it became so much easier! My pace dropped down to around 9:19 for the last two rounds of running and the walking was about 15:45. I loved that my body adjusted the way it did... such a great feeling!
With all of our visitors I got a slew of questions about this barefoot running "craze" and I tried to explain why it's so good for our feet, but a lot of times I'm not quite so great at explaining things. Another blog I've been reading up on is The Edible Perspective , Ashley and her husband live in Colorado and I'm secretly hoping that when we move out there we'll become BFF's and run around in our Vibrams together. Her and her husband went to a free barefoot running clinic and I'm pretty jealous. But the information she was able to get was incredible!!!
Because we still have visitors, blogging has been put on the back burner to an extent.
As I'm going through all of the photos from the last visitors I can't help but feel just completely blessed by all the people we've had take time and money to come see us! Thanks!
So, last year Jon and I went to see some lotus ponds, and ever since then my Mother has decided she needed to see them! So we did!
It was a HOT day... ,and truthfully as bad as I feel for ya'll in MN you have no idea what heat is, but I still managed to get some fun shots of the very few open lotus blossoms. So beautiful, I think they may be one of my favorites!
I was really itching to take one of these bad boys for a cruise...but no one was with me on that one.
Jamie and Danielle thoroughly enjoying the heat :)
These leaves were HUGE and the texture was so much fun!
I love the little pods in the center.
Pretty in Pink!
I love the lotus ponds and it's just one more place I'll really miss visiting when we're back in the good 'ole