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Showing posts from April, 2011

Country Music Half Marathon

Tomorrow is the big day and I am a bit nervous. Last night I watched this preview video of the route and it looks like a lot of hills. I know that I can easily run 8.5 miles {my longest training run was 10 miles about 2 weeks ago}. I also have no shame in walking, I just hope that my training pays off and I can complete the course.

In the Still of the Night

If you have watched the news in the last 24 hours you probably realize that most of the Eastern United States was hit pretty hard by a series of storms. Alabama, in particular, was hit very hard over the course of an 18-hour period yesterday.
Daniel got up for work as usual and left about 6AM. Our weather radio went off at 6:45 saying "take cover" and Daniel called me to say that TVA employees were taking cover. I groggily grabbed my laptop and herded Sophie into the coat closet with me. For an hour I surfed the internet and listened to ongoing tornado warnings on our weather radio.
At 7:45 I finally got the all clear and came out of hiding. Most of the morning was sunny but right around lunch time we had another warning come up. Daniel was out to lunch with a couple of his co-workers. Instead of heading back to TVA they came to the house and we passed the time playing Rook.
They got the call to go back to work but within an hour Daniel called to tell me to take cover agai…

We're Having a Baby: How We Told Our Families

Do you know how hard it has been for me to not write anything about being preggo? I actually started keeping a personal journal so that I could look back and reference it and share parts of it on the blog when the time came. When we told our families, my sister confessed that she had started stalking me on the internet to see if I was writing a secondary blog somewhere. Thankfully I was smart enough to keep it offline!!!

We decided to wait and tell both of our families the weekend of Easter. It would be the earliest time we could see my parents and we really wanted to do it in person. This also allowed us some time to wrap our heads around the fact that we really were pregnant.

Friday we asked Daniel's mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law to meet us for dinner at Cheddars in Smyrna, TN. Unfortunately Daniel and I were about 15 minutes late to the restaurant and the rest of the family was already seated. We sat down and the waitress took our order. When she was finished, Daniel hande…

Passing the Torch

About 10 years ago Daniel bought his first motorcycle. It was a Ninja 250 sport bike and he was thrilled to have it.
We were dating at the time and we enjoyed many rides together. Not long after he purchased it, we went to Gatlinburg with his family. We took the opportunity to ride up to Newfound Gap. The views were beautiful.

Shortly after we were married, Daniel went out for an afternoon ride {alone} from Cookeville to the Maryville area to ride Tail of the Dragon {which happened to be out of cell phone range}. It ended up storming and I was very worried when six hours later he still had not made it home. 

I assumed that the worst had happened and I had absolutely no idea where to begin looking for him. He finally arrived home and informed me that he had had to take cover at a gas station b/c the weather was so bad. After he stopped riding, he learned he that had ridden through a tornado warning and near an actual tornado.

While he was still an undergrad at Tennessee Tech, we would o…

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:

Monday Dinner: Tomato Florentine Soup with fresh Bread {Recipe adapted from Good Life Eats}. This was a great recipe. Unfortunately my camera setting was messed up so some of this week's pics are kind of crappy. Daniel gave it 4.42/5 stars. For dessert I made these Outrageous Oreo Chocolate Brownies {Recipe adapted from Erin's Food Files}. Daniel gave it 4.7/5 stars. I was a little disappointed that the Oreo flavor wasn't stronger.

Tuesday Dinner:Stuffed Bell Peppers {Recipe courtesy of my friend Laura}. Daniel gave this 4.5/5 stars which is high considering it was a vegetarian dish. Wednesday Dinner: Daniel and I went running {getting in some last minute training for my upcoming half marathon}. Afterward we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Buena Vistas, and split the Mex Tex Fajitas. Thursday Dinner: Blackened Chicken with Rice and Sauteed Zucchini {Recipe courtesy of my mom}. This is a family favorite and one of the first meals I…

Greeting Cards: Easter

Have a Happy Easter!
*This is the fourth in my series of twelve "I Love You More" cards 
that I have designed and will be posting throughout the year.

© Cheree Moore


When I was 14 years old, I went on a backpacking trip in Colorado with my church youth group {Wilderness Trek}. Our goal for the week was to summit 14,036' Mt. Sherman. This particular year there was a significant amount of snow on the ground and most of the trip was a difficult slog through deep snow.

I have many memories from this trip including a fake bear attack on the girls tent during the night and hiking in circles because our guides wanted us to have the experience of a long hike even though the snow was too deep to get very far up the mountain.

One night we were camped in a valley {I believe our high camp} and we were awakened by a storm. I remember laying on the ground in my sleeping bag and being terrified because the lightning was so bright it was like day and the thunder was bouncing off the mountains around us and shaking the very ground we were sleeping on. The wind was whipping our tent and the two other girls on the trip and I were all awake and pretty scared. The s…


My sister's house has a lot of windows. 
Earlier this year my sister, brother and I went on a scavenging trip to see if we could find any good bargains on home decor. We were specifically looking for artwork and curtains. What we discovered was that we couldn't agree on anything because the three of us we have wildly different taste – evident by our different abodes.
Anyways, my sister was becoming frustrated that there were no curtains she liked and everything seemed to cost a lot. While perusing at Target, she stumbled on a fabric shower curtain that she really liked, but she wanted it for her dining room. 
*What the original curtains looked like.
There were a few of problems with this:  1) This shower curtain would be too short for her windows. 2) She didn't like the grommets at the top. and 3) The curtain panel was too wide.
I told her that we could fix the problem by purchasing 4 shower curtains {that happened to be on sale at a ridiculously low price}, then we would cut eac…

52 Books: Book 20

On a recent visit home, my dad lent me several books {I had been complaining about how small my local library was}. Having completed the C.S. Lewis trilogy he loaned me, I am now delving into a series of historical fiction. This series by Fiona Buckley begins with To Shield the Queen and introduces us to the heroine: Ursula Blanchard.
Ursula is a lady in waiting to the queen when she finds herself questioning two mysterious deaths. Her desire to know the truth leads her to uncover a plot against the Queen. While a work of fiction, the novel centers on the historical romance between Robert Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I as well as the death of Dudley's wife. 
Ursula reminded me a bit of Nancy Drew and I enjoyed the historical components of the novel, but I have to admit that I have read better historical fiction. This is good light reading if you are looking for a quick read.

My Sciatic Nerve

Are you tired of the running posts yet? Don't worry, only two more weeks and then I will be done with this long-distance running stuff.
On my runs that last longer than 8 miles I am discovering that my sciatic nerve is not my friend. Evidently it gets compressed somewhere around mile 8 and it hounds me for the rest of my run. Not fun. I generally recover within 12 hours of my run.
I have had problems with this nerve before – namely whenever I use an elliptical machine and that nerve gets pinched which results in my feet going numb after 30 minutes of exercise. 
So, what's a girl to do? I went to my yoga teacher for advice {she also happens to teach Phys Ed at a community college and has done so for the last couple of decades}. I described my pain to her and she said that it was likely that my sciatic nerve was getting pinched. She gave me some suggestions for stretching afterward to relieve the pain and also gave me pointers on what I could do during my longer runs including vary…

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:

Monday Dinner:Taco Salad – my mom made this dish often when I was growing up. There is something about cold lettuce and warm meat that makes me happy. Daniel gave it 4.6/5 stars. 

We had these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies for dessert {Recipe Adapted from Blue-Eyed Bakers}. They would have been better if I had had the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels from Trader Joes. Tuesday Dinner: Pan-seared Steak with Baked Potato and Corn. Simple and yummy. Daniel gave it 4.7/5 stars.
{via} Wednesday Dinner: Frozen CPK Sicilian Pizza.
Thursday Dinner: We celebrated a friend's birthday at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant. Daniel and I split the Supreme Nachos.
Friday Dinner: I was craving Japanese food so we tried the local Tokyo Japan restaurant. I had the Hibachi Chicken. It was surprisingly good {and cheap}. 

Saturday Lunch: Nachos with leftovers from Monday night.

Saturday Dinner: Leftover Red Beans and Rice from last week.
Sunday Lunch: We went to Crac…

Definitely Not a Hare

{image via} I am not a fast runner {not even remotely}. Most likely I will never be fast. And that is okay with me. Over the course of training for my first half marathon I have learned that I can hold a 12-minute mile pace comfortably for the first 6 miles. After that I slow down to a 15-minute pace. Like I said, I am not fast.
Today I completed my first 10 mile run. It was tough, but I managed to do it without walking. I don't have any grand hopes for my first half marathon... I just want to finish without walking.

52 Books: Book 19

I just wrapped up the third volume of the sci-fi trilogy by C.S. Lewis: That Hideous Strength. In this final chapter we learn that the dark forces of the universe are plotting to take over earth completely. They are using the scientific group N.I.C.E. {the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments} to recondition humans to their liking. Ransom, our hero from the first two books, is countering this attack by creating his own organization {Logres} to fight N.I.C.E. and the unseen dark forces.
During the course of the book it is revealed that the wizard Merlin {from the time of King Arthur} is to come back to life. Both N.I.C.E. and Logres are hoping to use Merlin to win this epic battle.
The title "That Hideous Strength" is taken from a poem written by David Lyndsay in 1555, Ane Dialog betuix Experience and ane Courteour, also known as The Monarche. The couplet in question, The shadow of that hyddeous strength, refers to theTower of Babel. This is an important element when i…

Menu Recap

Last week's meals were as follows:

Monday Dinner: Tomato Orzo Soup {Recipe here}. Daniel gave it 4.6/5 stars.

Tuesday Dinner: Black Bean Burger {Recipe from 20 Something Cupcakes} with Baked Onion Rings {recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes}. Daniel LOVES Black Bean Burgers so he gave this meal 4.73/5 stars. I am not a huge fan of Black Bean Burgers, so I would rate it 3/5.

Wednesday Dinner: Sauteed Chicken, Mushrooms and Asparagus on a bed of Whole Wheat Spaghetti. This is one of my favorite dishes for simple, fresh ingredients. Daniel gave this dish 4.2/5 stars.

Thursday Dinner: We ordered pizza from Papa John's

Friday Dinner: Red Beans and Rice {Recipe adapted from CDKitchen}. Daniel gave this 4.73/5 stars. I made it in a crockpot {including the rice} and it was perfect to come home to after an evening run.

Saturday Dinner: We had leftovers for lunch then headed to the Walls of Jericho for some hiking. We were home by 7PM, but I didn't feel like cooking. Daniel heated up mor…

Walls of Jericho

Today Daniel and I headed up the the Skyline Wildlife Management Area to visit The Walls of Jericho. We had heard that it was a pretty sweet hike and since the weather was nice we thought we would give it a try.

The Alabama State Park website calls it the "Grand Canyon on the South." I have heard this slogan applied to several gorges in the southeast so I don't buy into the hype. It is a pretty canyon, but definitely not a "grand canyon." If you are purely looking for views, I would suggest you hit up Cloudland Canyon on Lookout Mountain {Georgia}.

Anyways, The Walls of Jericho is a pretty hike down into a gorge. At the end of the canyon you find a series of waterfalls and pools that you can wade in. There is also an entrance to a cave that you can access here. We were short on time and weren't equipped for spelunking so we just enjoyed the scenery.

My personal lesson from the day: Wear proper shoes and don't be stubborn.

Since it was a warm day, Daniel and…

52 Books: Book 18

I just completed Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. It is the second book in a science fiction trilogy that Lewis wrote. The first book, Out of the Silent Planet, introduces us to the main character of the series: Ransom. In the opening book, Ransom finds himself a hostage who is being taken to Malacandra {or Mars}. Ransom learns that Mars is an old planet and that none of the planets have had contact with anyone from Earth in a very long time.
In the second book, Ransom is sent to Perelandra {also known as Venus}. Here he discovers that Venus is a relatively new planet and the only humans are one woman, The Lady, and one man, The King. It soon unfolds that the story of temptation in the Garden of Eden is playing out before Ransom's eyes.
Early in the book, Weston, one of the scientist's that took Ransom hostage in the first book, arrives on the planet. Weston no longer appears to be inhabiting his own body and Ransom realizes that an evil force is controlling the scientist's body {…

Guest Post on Cheap Food Here

Today I am guest posting over at Cheap Food Here. If you want to try a great recipe for Chicken Florentine Pizza, you should definitely check out my post.
Chicken Florentine Pizza
Cheap Food Here is the brainchild of my friend Ashley. Ashley happens to live in Costa Rica and her blog offers great recipes as well as an insider's perspective on great {cheap} food to be found in the country of Costa Rica. If you are looking for healthy {cheap} recipes or have any interest in Costa Rica, you should check out Ashley's blog.