Friday, February 27, 2015

5 Things

1. Yesterday we had a snow day, so I Mr. Branflake and I headed out to dinner with some friends and then watched the Theory of Everything at their house. I can't believe it's taken us this long to see it. I mean, he's a physicist and has actually read A Brief History in Time and studied everything Hawking wrote about. Right now on our bookshelf we have Hawking, Penrose, Godel, and all the other big names in physics and now I finally feel cool about it.

I'm joking. I've always been proud of my astro-physicist. Sometimes I lovingly referred to him as my astrologist and he loves that.

2. I got a fitbit, so now I can track all the thousands of steps I take when I teach or have to walk through a Whole Foods parking lot on a Friday night.

3. I've been craving nothing but avocados this week. Pan frying them in coconut oil with a fried egg on top is heaven. Heaven. It's all healthy fat, so now I'm patiently waiting for my eye lashes to grow thicker and my stomach to get smaller. 

4. That's my new laptop above. It's long overdue. I think it was three years ago when we started budgeting for it and it took me that long to figure out what I wanted. It's true what they say: "Once you go Mac, you won't go back."

5. I made some delicious chicken noodle soup using the plethora of leftover carrots from a Peter Rabbit gender reveal party I co-hosted. One pot has been feeding me this week and it's been so nice to have something quick and warm when I come home at night. I'll post the recipe soon.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Things You Love About Your Body

via Curves and Curls

I adore this. It put into perspective the huge double standard I have with my body. It's been a while since I've done my self-esteem exercise where I name five things I love about my body, so here goes:

1. I love that, even though I'm massively Vitamin D deficient, my body can still run, dance, wake up early, and recover. My body is resilient and I often take that for granted.

2. I love my cheekbones because they're my mother's and they're the reason I look like her so much.

3. I love my flexible hips. Middle splits has never been an issue for me.

4. I love the place where my collar bone meets my shoulder. There's something inherently graceful about that meeting of bones.

5. I love my hearing. I can hear well beyond normal range. I can easily pick up songs in a crowded restaurant and whispers from unsuspecting students who are shocked when they I tell them I can hear their murmurings. 

What do you love about your body?
I'm supposed to do this exercise every time I say something negative about my body.
I haven't exactly been doing it, but it's proven very helpful in the past to get over my hangups.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Note from a Student

I laughed because I didn't realize I wore my Washington Ballet jacket that much.
I guess I do...

My heart melted. Just melted.

The end.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Life Lately

Sometimes I catch a light flare just right.

500 Days of Summer. I've never seen it before and I think it's now my favorite movie. "She's like the wind...." "Sir, you're going to have to get off this bus."

Every day before I teach, I make a salad of mixed greens, diced beets, blue cheese, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinegar. It's filling, flavorful, and a good mix of savory and sweet.

I'm cutting down the amount I'm exercising and limiting myself to thirty minutes a day. I want to make it sustainable and not something where I'll say, "I exercised for two hours so I can eat whatever I want." No, I'm going to exercise for thirty minutes and eat sensibly and not in a way that's dependent on my workout routine. Eat to workout, not workout to eat. 

I finished my vitamin prescription and I'm still low (I was 13 before and now I'm 14). I'm on over the counter pills and will get retested in a few months. Fingers crossed they figure out the problem so my body can recover faster and stronger. I mean... I guess this is depressed me?

I promised myself I would take one extra modern class a week to keep in touch with the dance community in DC beyond The Washington Ballet. It would be nice to dance in a company, but finding time is tough. I'm determined to keep my body in shape until I can do so again and I've luckily found a few places that offer advanced modern for professionals. 

Classes always start out very slow but then the ending combination makes me want to crawl back into bed and hide (read: they're ridiculously hard). But it's the best thing for me because it makes me stay sharp mentally and physically.

Oh dear. I'm not reading as much as I usually do. I'm determined to finish Women in Love by the end of the month though. I'll let you know how that goes.

This weekend I'm throwing a baby shower on Saturday and a gender reveal party on Sunday. It'll be a busy weekend of teaching and getting things ready for the parties, but I feel very lucky to be so involved in my friends' lives. There are some lovely people out here in Virginia and it's an honor to help them celebrate their joy. 

Oh dear. It's tough because my mom was the glue of the family, but we didn't realize at the time. I don't think even she realized it. But she did so much and was always the peacekeeper, so I'm realizing that grieving for her is more than just missing her, it's an entire group of people learning to live life without her.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bamboo Walks

On Sunday, Cyd and I went on a walk in search of bamboo in the midst of freezing temperatures. Virginia has odd pockets of thick bamboo forests. In the Spring and Summer, they nearly overrun neighborhoods. In the Winter, they're surrounded by frost and crunchy fallen leaves. 

I know you can't tell, but it was literally freezing during this walk. I think it was hovering around 8 degrees, not counting wind chill. Gusts were clocked in at 60 mph that day. I'm pretty sure I had a runny nose in all these photos. But we have a tradition of walking on Sundays and snow, ice, or frostbitten cheeks wouldn't get in the way of that. After sitting in church for three hours, all we wanted to do was move our bodies and be out in the world. 

And of course these Sunday walks are made a million times better because Cyd is a photographer and has the gift of capturing every scene just right.

By the end we were frozen, invigorated, and giddy. We ended our walk with hot cocoa and more girl talk at her house, a fitting ending for a cold, wintry afternoon.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

dear diary

dear diary,


i love the smell of
fresh pears being split in two and devoured in seconds

...i love the sound of
girlfriends gathering around, sharing secrets and creating laughter

...i love the taste of
sweet treats from my students,
corner bakery cupcakes from the school manager, 
trader joe's kettle corn.

...i love the sight of
trees in virginia.
you would think i have gotten used to them,
alas... they are always making my heart beat faster

...i love the feel of
snow falling lightly on my cheeks, like wintry kisses on a dreary day

what do you love today?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Go Where the Waterfalls Are

Three friends, one sky, countless rocks to climb, and magnificent water falls to fall in love with. Sometimes I can't believe I live here.

My phone froze and shut down, so I wasn't able to capture everything, but I hope it was enough to help you see the magnificence of Great Falls, Virginia. I've been there a few times before, but seeing the waterfalls frozen in time and feeling the Winter wind wash through my hair was something I wanted to record on here so I'll never forget.

I posted a video on Instagram so you could hear the water, but I'm not sure how to post it on here.  I wish you could hear it though. It's like rolling thunder between the rocks.