As usual, the weeks are flying by. We have been baking and cooking in preparation for the holidays and the results have been quite impressive!

Homemade apple pie.

Above: Smoked chicken. Next up: Iron Bowl smoked shoulder!

There is so much to be thankful for this year, I wont bore you with my list. The important thing is that I have one and that it is lengthy! Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday. I absolutely love the spectrum of extravagance that comes along on this one day every year. The food is elaborate, the company is giddy and the conversations are endless. I have been invited to a friend’s parent’s house for Thanksgiving and while I am excited about spending Thursday with some of my favorite new friends that live in this city, there simply is no place like home.

I hope that where ever you are spending Thanksgiving this year it involves good food, quality time with family and friends, and lots of relaxing. It’s been such a fruitful year.

happy thanksgiving,


walla walla

Last weekend John and I snuck out of Portland for a few days and headed east to Walla Walla, Washington for Harvest Release weekend. It’s an easy four hour drive along the Columbia River Gorge. Every time I drive along the Gorge reminds me of when my dad and I packed down the Jeep and made the trip to Portland. The midwest route we took was pretty anticlimactic until we hit 84W and got our first glimpse. Dad, drawn to any body of water, made me pull over at the first vista point we came to just to get out of the car and enjoy it for a moment. Needless to say, it’s breathtakingly beautiful and makes a four hour drive completely worth it.

Unfortunately, I took ZERO pictures on our trip so this post is a little uneventful. Many of the wines we tried cannot be found outside of the Pac NW so I would recommend trying one if you see it listed on any menu.

John is a wine club member at Reininger so this was a BIG stop for us. While there we had the opportunity to taste the 2012 Carmenere straight out of the bin. How cool is it going to be to pull out that cork in 5 years and remember getting to taste it firsthand before it was even bottled?

We had an amazing dinner at Brasserie Four and breakfast at a new spot, Bacon & Eggs, where we split a tall stack of blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict – I was full for the rest of the day!

Before heading out of town we stopped by  Rotie Cellars where we ran into a great couple visiting from Memphis, TN–it’s a small world!

My legs have seen fresher days. I have taught two early morning spin classes, taken 2 yoga classes, and logged 30 miles this week already–planning for a 12 miler this weekend to put me just over 40. Slow and steady wins the race.

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is two weeks from today. Makes me miss my family just thinking about it. Love you Mom, Dad, & Michael… Thanksgivings just aren’t the same without y’all around!

same brain bragging rights

On Saturday one of my very best friends is tackling something pretty dang monumental and I couldn’t pass up the chance to sing her praises before she sets out to cover 140.6 miles.

We have an ‘understood’ friendship; we don’t go way back but we might as well. The first time we hung out was on a 20 mile run around the Magic City. She was training for the Dallas Marathon and I was training for Memphis. The two races were a week apart so it just made sense that we should tackle the miles together rather than solo. It was quite possibly the fastest 4 hours that have ever passed. We chatted every step of the way and I am certain it’s where and how the foundation of our friendship was set.

We are so similar it’s frightening. We often text each other simultaneously across the country with the same thoughts – texts full of good advice given and received, texts of random questions and answers, and most importantly texts that leave me laughing hysterically so loud I could probably be heard all the way in Alabama. While we think the same, she surpasses my athletic abilities by leaps and bounds. She is driven and disciplined and works hard to accomplish her goals. When she gives her all, I am inspired, even called, to give mine – even if her all and my all look NOTHING alike.

This weekend she will become an Ironman, although most would agree… she already is.

I am so unbelievably proud of you Hannah! IM Florida is going to be a walk in the park for you. You are trained and you are ready. I will be following you (#553) every step of the way on Saturday and sending up massive prayers for no injuries, a calm swim start, an easy bike ride, a FUN marathon… and a behaved belly 🙂

Thanks for pushing all of us to laugh more and be better versions of ourselves every day.

lots of same brain love from coast to coast,