Friday, December 24, 2010
And not just for coffee!! This all bothered me so much yesterday, which is why I felt the need to vent and blog about it. So I urged my hubby to call his mom, and just talk to her again, but also to let her know that, for me, doing a big dinner with them was something that I really really love doing, that is would really mean a LOT to me if they would stay for the big ol' turkey dinner. He even told her (gently of course) that we were a bit offended that she had told us not to do it. I guess to her, making a big dinner like this and all the effort that goes into it, is totally not worth it, and is NOT something she enjoys (which I kind of suspected). So, she thought it would be the same for me.
Anyway, I am really glad that we got it all worked out!! At first, I was kind of disappointed when my hubby said they were gonna come, because I had already gotten to the point where I was hoping they wouldn't come AT ALL!! But that disappointment quickly faded, and my mind quickly jumped to how I could make it TOTALLY AWESOME FOR THEM!! WOOOHOOO! So excited.
I know my MIL can be a real pain. Sometime she is nearly impossible to be around. But when it all comes down to it, she is my family, and family is very important to me... ESPECIALLY AT CHRISTMAS!!
So tomorrow, this country girl from Washington State is gonna pull out all the "fancy" she can muster!! I want to have a wonderful time with my family, and make wonderful memories.
Here is my menu for tomorrow:
Pears cooked in white wine, vanilla, and maple syrup, cooled and then wrapped in Proscuitto, served over Feldsalat (don't know what that is in English), and dressing made from the juices from the cooked pears.
Warm Appetizer (doing 2 appetizers, since that is the official "fancy" standard for Germans!):
Candied sweet potatoes
Sauteed green beans with almonds
Sweet potato pie
A VERY traditional German dessert called "Vanilla Flammery topped with a white wine foam"
I make EVERYTHING from scratch - except for the bread for the stuffing - I bought the loaves. I am SOOOO EXCITED about this! I am hoping to make this super, super nice for both my family and my in-laws!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!!!!!!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Ok, let's just get it straight here - I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! To me, it seriously is the most wonderful time of the year. I love the anticipation, I love the festivities, I love the decorations, I love the music.... LOVE IT.
Here in Germany, people celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas day. Christmas Eve, they have a big dinner, usually duck or goose, or maybe ham, and then open their presents in the evening. Since we moved here 4 years ago, we have spent Christmas Eve at my in-laws, which I really enjoyed. My MIL made a nice dinner each year, and we opened presents, and had a great time. Then last year, I invited them to an American-style dinner on Christmas day. And we all talked about it, how we should make that our tradition, our mix of German and American traditions - Christmas Eve at Oma and Opa's German style, and Christmas day at our place American style.
After the big turkey dinner that I made for them, which they seemed to have REALLY ENJOYED, I told them I absolutely loved doing that for them, and that I would love to do it this year too, and every year, really. And I meant it. I love cooking, especially for guests, and especially for Christmas!!
A few weeks ago, we even talked about the Christmas plans with them, and they said we would do the same as last year - Christmas Eve with them, and Christmas Day with us.
Before I proceed, I have to give some background on my MIL - she doesn't like me so much. She doesn't really like anyone or anything. She is very snooty, and ALWAYS CRITICAL! Within the first year I was here, we had a big falling out, because she would go to my husband and criticize me, especially my housekeeping, and just say all sorts of critical things that were none of her business. It was horrible, because I never got to defend myself. Then she pushed it too far by telling me point-blank that I needed to NOT work, because I had started working for the family business just 12-15 hrs a week, taking our infant son to work with me, and she didn't like it. Anyway, it all blew up, and she became EXTREMELY hostile toward me. We couldn't even talk to them for a few months, because she was so nasty toward me. We tried to talk it out with her, and get her to see our side of things in a gentle way, but it didn't work. A few months later, I got up the nerve to approach her without anyone else around, and we talked things out and "patched things up." But I feel like she still doesn't "like" me, she only tolerates me. She STILL criticizes me and my interests and the things I do. NO POSITIVENESS AT ALL!! It would hurt my feelings, but I am used to it now.
Anyway, the last couple of years have been better, mainly because we moved further away from them - we WERE living in an apartment directly upstairs from them!! What a nightmare! But she has still gotten into these nasty moods with us here and there, criticized me, criticized our decisions, even complained to NO END about how horrible it is to come watch the kids for us!! Seriously, why did we move to Germany??? To let our kids grow up knowing Oma, what? Was that really a huge factor?
Ok, back to the real subject at hand - Christmas. I have been totally stoked about Christmas, and Christmas dinner. I have spent many moments over the last year thinking about how I could even make this year better for them. It is really special to me.
So a couple of days ago, my husband tells me that his mom called him at work, and said she does NOT want us to come on Christmas Eve, because we are supposed to get a huge snow storm tomorrow, and she doesn't want us on the roads (they live 40 minutes away when the weather and streets are good.) Plus she specified she doesn't want to go through the hassle of making a big dinner for us.... Ok, no problem. I am not offended at ALL about that, really. I can understand. Cooking and such is really not her thing. She doesn't love it like I do. She is really not even that great of a cook.
BUT THEN, she said she does NOT want ME to make them a big dinner either! But that they will STILL come on Christmas Day, but just for coffee. WTF??? First of all, she's backing out of an invitation from me, and saying its too much trouble - WHEN I WOULD MAKE THE DINNER ANYWAY FOR MY OWN FAMILY, and secondly, she is TELLING me what she will have when she comes???? Since when do you just tell someone what they should serve you when you come?? WTF is coffee on Christmas Day? That is not a celebration! That is not festive! I want to make memories for my kids (and for myself) of having wonderful Christmas dinners together with Oma and Opa, not stupid Christmas coffee. Plus, cooking for other people, serving other people, ESPECIALLY FOR CHRISTMAS, is something I WANT TO DO. It is, yes, a bit stressful, but it is also a HUGE JOY for me, something I want to give them, something I want to do for them. They are my family, even if I do not have some rosey relationship with my MIL. But to just come for Christmas coffee? To drive through the nasty roads just for coffee? That seems so silly to me. Why can't she just accept this gift from me? It is like, since she doesn't want to do it, she won't let me, because she feels like she is indebted to me, but I don't see it that way AT ALL. (Let me just insert here, that she has turned down my invites to dinner on several other occasions too, like she just doesn't trust my food or something. She is so critical of everything I do.)
Anyway, I am REALLY REALLY IRRITATED about this. And frankly, if they aren't coming for Christmas dinner, I really don't want them to come at all. I would rather just hang out with my family. I don't mean that to be spiteful, but I really don't see the point in them just coming for coffee, and I don't like being told what I should or shouldn't offer them. She is so extremely rude. Unbelievable. Here's another vent about her: recently my husband and I arranged for her to come watch the kids so I could go to a race and then we could go shopping. Before she EVEN GOT there, when my hubby talked to her on the phone, she was already acting really witch-y. From the moment she stepped in the door, she was just on edge, and stressed, and making a huge deal out of everything. I didn't even want to GO, she made me feel so bad. After my race was cancelled, we just went shopping, which was fun, but then I went running when I got home. I accidently texted HER instead of my husband to let him know how far I was from home.... She immediately CALLED HIM and continued to rant and rave about how stupid it was for me to go running that late (I was almost done when I sent the text at 10 min. before 9 pm), and how I had other things I needed to do with my time. AND THEN how she didn't appreciate BEING LIED TO about the race.... She accused us of already KNOWING the race was cancelled, and that we just wanted to go shopping. WTF????? Needless to say, we will not be asking for her help again any time soon.
But, anyway, I will not let this spoil my Christmas for me, my husband, and my kids. We WILL have a great time and a wonderful Christmas. I am so excited about my turkey dinner, I simply cannot wait. I am so glad my hubby loves turkey and even sweet potatoes (even though most Germans swear they HATE sweet potatoes... they just don't know how to make them!), and that he is super excited about his big American turkey dinner too. =)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Or so I have determined.... UUUUGGGHHH! Why is it that I can be SOOOOOO disciplined, and then, after several slip-up days, it ALL goes out the window?!?!?!?
Up until last week when my friend was here, I was doing really good this holiday season. I was avoiding most all of the holiday treats that Germany pumps out every year!! It is so easy to get sucked into all the different holiday cookies, and chocolate assortments, and goodies EVERYWHERE! In past years, I have bought TONS of that stuff. But this year, I was laying low. I only got an Advents Calendar, one where you open one little chocolate a day, and I hadn't even been touching it. I had decided that I would only eat it when I REALLY WANTED chocolate. =)
But then I dug into some chocolate. At first, I just wanted to try these one chocolates, because we had gotten them as a gift, and we weren't sure what they were. One piece led to 2, then 4... And it was like, the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat it. Like opening the stupid chocolate-eating flood gates! Then I thought, "Screw eating right!" and started scanning the cabinets for more junk!!
A few days later, my friend April visited. (We had a BLAST!!) She wanted to drink Glühwein (I have heard that is called mulled wine in the States?? not sure) every evening. She had never had that before, and really liked it. So we ended up drinking a good bit while she was here. And then I wanted her to try some really yummy German chocolates, and OF COURSE, she SHARED!! How was I supposed to resist?
But even after she left on Friday, I still had a horrible time with my eating the last few days. Seriously!! It is so annoying! I know that when I eat a diet full of vegetables, and good protein, and whole grains, I feel GREAT! My food tastes wonderful, and is filling. I have more energy and just feel more satisfied. I can feel that my body is well-fueled. But eating chocolates and cookies and sweets, which are my weaknesses, just leaves me feeling HUNGRY, and shaky from all the sugar!
But we are creatures of habit. I read an article a few years back written from an athlete who had finished the Iron Man. He said he would get up really early on Sunday mornings, do some 5 hour bike ride, and go to church with his family. He started to take his family out to the local pizza place after church for lunch, where he would eat 3000 calories of pizza because he was so hungry (I am grabbing these numbers out of the air, because I can't remember exactly, but you get the picture!). And after only a few times of doing that, he started craving his Sunday afternoon pizza, even while STILL SITTING IN CHURCH! So, then he thought, "This can't be a good way to fuel my body." So, he started eating a huge fruit salad after his workout, to restore his carbs. And he said, it wasn't too long before he started craving his fruit salad before his bike ride was over.
That is the way I feel. I have such a tendancy to let bad eating habits creep in. And when I do eat junk for several days, then junk is all I reach for, like it is habit! But when I train myself to eat good, then the good things are what I crave. But building those good habits and keeping them is always harder then letting the bad ones creep back in....
So, I have determined, I am going to be very cautious and careful as to what I eat over the next few days. No more binging on the junk. There will be some "free days" in there where I will not watch so much, but I want to get healthy food into my body. I don't want to be a total flop over the holidays, because I know it will be EVEN HARDER to get back on track afterward, after the holidays are over. Plus I will just feel better if I eat better. After all, I am training for a marathon, and every bit of fuel counts.
So, here's to sticking it out through the holidays!! Hope everyone is having a great time with their families!!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I had an AWESOME, AWESOME week! CRAZY and AWESOME! My friend was here visiting from Alaska, a very dear friend... we go way back. And she's crazy. We had a blast, but that is a blog for tomorrow or something...
Running, I kept up great, inspite of being up late on several nights, and drinking more than my share this past week. Yesterday, I ran 17 miles, and I CANNOT BELIEVE I FINISHED IT!! Seriously! First of all, I had been slightly sick, fighting a cold all week. And on top of that, on Friday was my hubby's birthday, his 30th birthday. Here in Germany, that is a BIG deal! They usually put on these crazy loud parties when you turn 30, but more so when you are single. Fortunately, he didn't get tortured with the embarrassing things they do to you when you are single and turning 30. But his mechanics and a few other crazy employees came over, bringing TONS of drinks with them. We drank HARD, quite honestly. Things got crazy. I usually don't drink very often, but when I do, I can put some hard liquor away.
So, on Saturday, I wasn't feeling good - head and sinus cold topped of with a touch of hangover. Not bad, just a bit weak. I had 17 miles planned, but I was really afraid I wouldn't finish it. I decided to just get out there and give it a try though!! I HATE running on Sundays, so I just wanted to get it out of the way if possible. So, I set out for my 17-mile loop (there is no turning back once I get out there!), and told my hubby to be prepared if I call and he has to come get me!
BUT I DIDN'T HAVE TO CALL!!! OMG! That felt like such a HUGE victory! Not only did I not have to call, but I kept up a GREAT pace, in spite of the snowy way! Plus, the run was just gorgeous.... here are some pics:
These first 2 pics were taken just about 1 km away from my house, just starting out...
What a WINTER WONDERLAND!! That section took my breath away!!
The beautiful sunset....
After it started to get dark, I passed this house that had a bush, out front along the sidewalk, decorated with lights... but covered heavily with snow! Thought that looked cool!
So, Week 8's plan looked like this:
Monday: 9 mi Steady run, BodyPump
Actual: Ran 9.6 miles, but skipped the BP due to a snow storm that was blowing
Tuesday: rest (Yep!)
Wed: 4 mi EZ + 6x 20 sec Strides, BodyPump
Actual: ran 5 mi TR, went to BodyPump
Thurs: 5.75 mi with intervals
Actual: Ran 7 mi with intervals
Fri: rest (and my hubby's b-day, so I am gonna do something special!!) (Yep! And we got crazy!)
Saturday: 17 mile long run.
Actual: TORE UP those 17 miles through the snow!! WOOOOOHOOOOO!
Week 9's Plan:
Monday: Tempo Run 6.5 mi, BodyPump
Wed: Intervals 5.5 mi, BodyPump
Friday: 18-19 miles (Not sure, but I am going to try a longer loop.)
Saturday: a light 4 miles
Friday is Christmas Eve, so I will do my long run then. My hubby will have off work, and we will spend the afternoon and evening at my in-laws house, having a nice dinner there. Then on Saturday, Christmas day, we feast again, but at my house!! I make a big American dinner for my in-laws! So, I figured: do the long run on Friday when there is less pressure, and take it easy on Sat.
So, there is my plan! I am LOVING my marathon training! I am getting more and more confident with each long run!! Hope everyone else is having a great time tearing up the trails! And a HUGE "Happy Holidays" to everyone too!!
P.s. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!! I am such a big kid!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Yep, as you probably have already seen, I didn't run that 10K I had planned to run. We got to the race, and they were letting everyone that it wasn't gonna happen... Bummer. We had gotten a good bit of snow (a LOT for us), about 6 inches or so. Seriously, after I got in from my run on Thursday morning, this was what it looked like outside my window:
And on Thursday afternoon, this was my backyard:
Then on Friday, it warmed up and got over 40°. Plus it rained. All the snow melted really fast, and it was just a mucky mess at the race, which was on trails through a forested natural park in Hamburg. I was bummed. But it DID mean that my hubby and I had more time to get that Christmas shopping in kid-free. We had a GREAT time!
Plan for Wk 7 and actual:
Sunday: Rest (Yep!)
Monday: 6-8 mile run, BodyPump and Combat
Actual: Ran 6+ miles, did BP and C
Tuesday: Rest (Yep!)
Wednesday: 6-8 mile run, BodyPump
Actual: Ran 8 miles, BP
Thursday: 4 mile TR
Actual: Ran 5K TR
Friday: Rest (Yep!)
Saturday: 10K race in Hamburg
Actual: Since the race was cancelled, I ran 10.5 miles at home (16.9 K)
Finishing week 7 means I get to turn the page in my training notebook to Week 8!! I know, a silly accomplishment, but it still feels good! Page 2 of 3, Week 8 of 18! Here I come!!
Plan for Week 8:
Monday: 9 mi Steady run, BodyPump
Wed: 4 mi EZ + 6x 20 sec Strides, BodyPump
Thurs: 5.75 mi with intervals
Fri: rest (and my hubby's b-day, so I am gonna do something special!!)
Saturday: 17 mile long run.
Wishing everyone happy running this week!!
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