Let’s Make a List!

It’s Wednesday, so I figured today I would make a list. It might be kind of like high/lows. Or maybe just random stuff I have been thinking or doing. Perhaps I will just make a list of things I love about Branch — though I do think that list would be too long to post on the internet. {what’s NOT to love about him?!? he’s the best!!}. At any rate, here we go.

1. I have just about had it with promotional e-mails.

Does ANYONE like getting ten plus e-mails a day, none of them actually written to you, all of them trying to sell you something? I try to unsubscribe but then somehow things keep. on. coming! In my grief-ridden state, my patience is muuuuccchhhh lower than it used to be, so anything that was “on the fence” or “slightly annoying” prior to Branch dying, is now excessively obnoxious and immediately eliminated.  If it’s not careful, the entire internet may get the boot.

2. We spent Sunday afternoon walking/hiking with Kimberly.

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Sunshine! Ocean breeze! Torrey Pines is the best! And I can check “6 mile walk” off my half-marathon training list.

3. Thin-crust pizza is delicious.

4. We stayed at the #1 hotel in America.

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I don’t know who decides things are #1, but whoever it is named The Grand Del Mar as their favorite place in the US, and boy can I see why. We were gifted a two night stay there earlier this week, and wowzers! Sooooooooooooooooooooo fancy! Beautiful landscaping, gorgeous pools, yummy food, and incredible service made our “getaway” totally extravagant and relaxing. What a treat!!! Thank you thank you thank you for your generosity, my lovely friends. {you know who you are! hi!!!}

The pools at The Grand Del Mar are always warm, so even though it was a little crisp and not exactly pool weather for our stay, we spent time wrapped in towels laying on comfy lounge chairs and reading books and magazines. A neighborhood duck apparently had the same idea, and hopped in for a quick swim.

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5. I am not looking forward to Easter.

It’s not even April yet, but it seems like Easter is just around the corner! I don’t usually have anything against Easter — it is, after all, an incredible holiday celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. I honestly just don’t know if I can handle it this year. Holidays are super hard, and I have found that EVERY holiday — even silly ones like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day — has been more difficult and sad than I had anticipated. I am not planning on avoiding all holidays forever, by any means, but this first year I would just like to take a back seat. To skip anything official. To visit Branch’s grave and drop off little flowers or plants.  To take a trip to Paris and cry with Glenn there. Hey, at least we would be in Paris! I bet tears taste a little less bitter when you’re sipping champagne and eating a baguette under the Eiffel Tower.

6. I am cooking again.

I don’t know if I told you guys, but for a while I didn’t cook. Pretty much for my whole pregnancy, actually, and then for a month or so after Branch. Well, I’m proud to say I’m back at it! Most of my recipes have been simple and Weight Watchers friendly, but it has been fun to plan our meals, grocery shop, and be in the kitchen again.  It has also been a lot easier to eat at home since we are still in hibernation, with no plans of emerging anytime soon!

There’s my list! Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday. And, just for kicks, here is a picture of us with Branch when he was 3 days old. What a cute little muffin!

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Much love,
~Kristin

Whoopsie Daisy

I forgot to blog for a month and a half.  Oops! Sometimes life and doing and working and being and learning and growing just take up all of my time, and I’ve decided that is ok.

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I walked/ran a half marathon through Washington DC.

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My littlest sister Katherine drove me to the Baltimore train station in the pouring rain. We hadn’t anticipated the downpour, or the fact that the Baltimore train station is super far away from where my parents live, so I missed my train. Not to worry, Amtrak was glad to take an extra $150 to get me where I needed to go. Thanks, Amtrak.

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I rode a {last minute} train from Baltimore to Connecticut to spend the better half of a week with some precious lives: Julie, Gracie, Piper, and Brian {not pictured}. We ate hot dogs, pizza, and apple pie. We also sang karaoke – a first for me, but definitely NOT a first for Julie, who we used to call Julie Mraz in college because she basically turned into Jason Mraz every time he came on the radio.  She really loves to sing.

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Glenn took a day off and we went to Disneyland. I love him. I love Disneyland. I love Southern California in general.

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I ate a chocolate croissant for breakfast. It was worth it. It usually is.

Have a great Wednesday!

~Kristin

 

Open for Business

Our restaurant opened!!! I think most of you know that we have been working with Chick-fil-A for the past few years with the goal of opening our own restaurant. And it happened — on Thursday!!

Last week involved lots of emotions, lots of excitement, and lots of delicious chicken. Here are some of the highlights — if you follow me on Instagram you have already seen a handful of these.

The official “passing of the baton” from Rachel to Glenn. One of the only moments I teared up during our dedication dinner. It was such a special and symbolic moment, and brought the hard work, craziness, and gratitude of the past five years to the forefront of my mind.

Our “executive team” — Kimberly and Matt {do they look familiar?!} — running excitedly through a tunnel of people cheering on their start at Chick-fil-A Encinitas.

Glenn receiving a custom “Chick-fil-A Encinitas” surfboard. He is determined to actually surf on it.

Waking up at 4:30 on opening day to be there to welcome the First 100 guests and tear up, once again, as a bagpiper played Amazing Grace. What IS it about bagpipes? I cry every time I hear them!

Seeing a line of cars go through our drive through — even though it was a rainy day {which we all know is a death-sentence here in Southern California}.

We are elated to be open for business, and can’t wait to serve YOU. Please come say hello if you live in the area! You can find us, six days a week, at 194 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA.

See you soon,

~Kristin

 

Summer Twenty-Twelve in Pictures

There was a broken starter.

There was a race.

There was first class.

There was Japan.


There was the plague.


There was Las Vegas.

There were nieces staying with us. And nieces in the hospital.


There were babies. So many babies!





There was the fair.

There was a marriage conference in Arizona.

There was the 4th of July. And the Big Bay Bust.


There was Lake Powell.

There was hair.

Then there was less hair.

Then even less hair.

There was a road trip with Flat Stanley.

There was the beach.

There were thirtieth birthday parties.

Aaah, summer.

Catching Up

It’s been too long. Far too long.

I’m sorry, internet! There’s just so much going on, I simply can not stay on top of it all. And I want to share every. single. second with you but that is simply unrealistic and unhealthy. Oh, and you might not actually be interested in every moment of my life. SOOOO my friends, just like I did a while back in this post, here is an update from each category. And then some.

Arkansas – I am no longer there. If you didn’t know that, I am sorry. I would have thought the weekly posts about running on the beach would have given it away.If you want to read a little about the move, you can click here. If you want to read a little bit about our dreams coming true, you can click here.

Fashion – I have new running shoes. And new running clothes. Because all I do is run.

Ok that’s a lie, I work, I hang out, I sleep, I eat. But a lot of what I do is run, so all the new clothes I have purchased recently are super cool running clothes. Are you interested in a running/workout fashion post?

I am also *trying* to dress cute whenever I leave the house, especially if it’s for something professional. This is what we call “classing it up”. I will do my best to post pictures. Actually, here’s one of my outfit my first day of work. My favorite part of this outfit is that a stranger stopped me at the mall to tell me how much she loved my top and ask where I got it.  Goodwill. Awwww yea!

Work – I have a job! I started working right before we moved down to San Diego from LaLa Land. I am working at the University of San Diego again, different department but same division as before. I LOVE being back on campus. And I LOVE working part time. And I LOVE getting a paycheck. It’s been a while.

Favorite Things – Alright people, here’s the deal. Everyone is doing something favorite-thingsy. And even though like one of the basic definitions of life and human existence is that we are a strange combination of copy-cat and original — I am just not that into doing what every other blogger I read is doing. Or maybe I am. And maybe that’s why I’m blogging at all. Blurg. Bottom line: I need to get over myself. Favorite things post to come in the future.

Friends and Family – My baby sister is on crutches, #3 is moving out here at some point in the near future, the 2nd in command is dominating the hotel industry {and hooking me up with awesome hotels to stay at!}, and my parents are going on dinner dates where my Dad tells my Mom how he believes aliens are everywhere. As for the married-into family? I am living with them. And I like it. Keith-As-I-Live-And-Breathe {which is what I call my father in law} kills the spiders in my room, Janice makes me eggs. It’s awesome.

Los Angeles – I kind of miss it. Don’t crucify me. I am an eternal San Diegan and would never sell out for LA, but LA was fun! I loved driving 40 minutes to the coolest places on the West Coast. I loved meeting up with Matt and Sandy almost every weekend. I loved riding bikes in Santa Monica. I loved having 4 Lululemon shops within 20 miles. I loved that Ryan Seacrest was my local morning show. I seriously loved LA.

Personal – What does this category even mean?? The most personal things happening right now: my husband is gone and I really miss him, I have blisters on my toes and skin that’s been rubbed raw from all of my running, and I’m struggling with setting up healthy boundaries {ie. I say YES too often and NO, well, never}.

Recipes – I have not cooked in months. I can not WAIT to get all my stuff back and cook up a storm! I recently acquired two new cookbooks and I’m reading through them eagerly. This weekend I came up with a recipe for a tangerine margarita. Here’s a teaser photo.

Restaurants – Are my second home.

Running – I completed The Five Experiment! It was great! I ran 100 miles in a month and I enjoyed {almost} every mile. I am keeping up my 5 runs a week, but am not being as nitpicky about the distance. Last week, for example, I ran 3.5 miles one day. I have decided I really like the 5 mile distance, though. It’s long enough to be a good workout no matter what, and short enough that you don’t feel like you can’t make plans at night.

San Diego – Love it. It’s as good, if not better, than I remember. May Grey is in full swing, and is a great reminder of the Ah-mazing climate we have and the fact that this blessed marine layer keeps our temperatures so moderate all year long. Last night I practiced skateboarding at the bay with the fam, and then we ate fresh fish at Point Loma Seafoods. How could I complain when this is just an average Sunday afternoon in San Diego?

Travel – Here’s what is coming up this summer: a trip to the ATL next week to celebrate the completion of Glenn’s Operator training — aaaand to celebrate the fabulous Kelly Reynolds’ birthday. BAAAH! I can hardly wait!

In mid June we are going on a Murdock Extravaganza to Las Vegas. I am pretty sure we are going to try to all fit into one car, and I know for a fact we will be eating at some serious buffets. Then later in June, Glenn and I are going to Scottsdale, AZ for a Family Life conference called Weekend to Remember. We will be staying at the Firesky Resort and I’m puuumped.

Weight Loss – I lost 1 pound during the Five Experiment, and have lost another pound since. Two pounds. Boo ya!

Phew. I’m exhausted.

Happy Monday my friends!

~Kristin

 

An Update from each Category

Arkansas: Yep, we’re still here! The weather is crazy, the people are chatty, Boulevard Bread is still my favorite, and we have made some fun friends, which we are so grateful for.

Fashion: It is difficult to take stunning fashion photos of yourself. It is especially difficult to take stunning fashion photos of yourself when all you have been wearing lately is running clothes or a mummy-bag winter jacket. I will try to get into something blog-worthy soon.

Favorite Things: My favorite things have all come from the thrift store or the Dillards clearance rack this past month, and sometimes I feel bad blogging about things I have that are awesome but were just lucky finds at Goodwill, because what if YOU want to buy it for yourself and can’t??!! Argh, these are the things that keep me up at night, people!

Friends and Family: I love my friends. I love my family. I love that I have friends and family all over the place. Sometimes its sad, like when you want to see them and can’t, but more often its awesome.

Personal: My sister told me the other day that I had bad breath, and now I’m totally self conscious about constantly having bad breath. I would just pop in a piece of gum, but my Costco box of Orbit Wintermint just ran out. Woof.

Recipes: Fruit Tart, Bran Muffins, and Thomas Keller’s vegetable soup have been my latest kitchen creations. Mmmm.

Restaurants: Tomorrow night I am going to a new one! In Memphis! For steak! I am really excited! I will tell you all about it when I get back!

Running: OH EM GEE I love my Little Rock running buddy Keri. I don’t really understand how God or His timing work, but I am just grateful that I get to be Keri’s running partner even if its only for a short season. We meet 2-4 times a week in the wee small hours of the morning and run and talk together. I love basically everything about it, except for the time when my jacket was stolen.

San Diego: Two of my closest friends at home are having babies like RIGHT NOW {or very soon! Hi Jess and Sheri!} and its sooo weird for me to think that I won’t be there to meet the little munchkins right away, let alone that I will never live in the same city as them again without them having children. I am, however, VERY excited for the baby boom that has taken over my social circle back home, and can’t wait to hold all the little bambinos.

Travel: We head to Memphis tomorrow to celebrate our anniversary, then next weekend we are grabbing Kimberly and meeting up with the Reynolds in Nashville where I will turn 30! AAAAH! I! AM! SO! EXCITED!

Weight Loss: I lost the 5 pounds that I had gained over the holidays, and am working on more. Yippee! I have also been drinking an EXCESSIVE amount of water. I always thought I drank a lot of water, but wow, now I really drink a lot of water.

The end. Bless you for reading all of this. I love your face. F’real.

~Kristin

Oh My Eyebrows!

Five years ago, when two of my three sisters were following in my footsteps and working for the greatest retail store on earth- Nordstrom – I was introduced to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio. Melissa, my brow expert, has changed my face {for the better} forever.

If you are not familiar with Anastasia, let me fill you in. It’s the best. They follow the natural bone structure of your face, arch of your brow, etc, and give you the best brows on the planet for a mere $30.

If that isn’t enough for you: Anastasia loyalists range from Oprah to Kim Kardashian. See? I knew you would want to go!

Here are my eyebrows before. I made my chauffeur/friend Piper take this picture of me to document just how bad it was. She is completely opposed to facial hair so I’m surprised she even allowed herself close enough to my brows to take the photo.

Here are my brows after. Amazing! Or, in the words of Piper: “SO much better!”

Please let me know if you need me to send you Melissa’s phone number. You can also check your local Nordstrom to see if they offer the Anastasia Brow Studio in your area. If you don’t live near a Nordstrom, may I suggest moving?

~Perfectly Arched Kristin

A Day in San Diego {La Jolla, to be exact}

Hi everybody!

Last week, when I was back home for a mini vacation {so amazing! thank you chick-fil-a for giving us the opportunity to take time off!} I spent a day with my friend Erin. Erin likes to call us “frenemies” because when we first met we didn’t exactly love each other. I thought she was crazy {which she is} and she thought I was sassy {which I am}.

One fateful day, after Erin and I were put in charge of the year-end celebration for our students, we entered real friendship. Our friendship involved weekly {sometimes daily} lunches at Nordstrom Cafe and regular trips to The Coffee Bean for iced tea.

Last week we decided to switch things up a bit and head north to La Jolla. My favorite little spot in La Jolla is The Cottage. They have THE best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten in. my. life. Here is the California Benedict with bacon instead of turkey. I *highly* recommend this.

Just look at that egg-y avocado-y hollandaise-y perfection.

As happens with most close friends, Erin and I order together and share everything. Flying Forks, if you will. She chose wisely. Chilaquiles, or, breakfast nachos. This is served with a scone. A perfect scone. A scone that melts in your mouth and leaves you begging for more. A scone that, when covered in The Cottage’s house-made strawberry-vanilla jam is worth spending $5 a gallon to drive all the way to La Jolla from Little Rock. If only I had a car….

Following our breakfast at The Cottage, Erin politely escorted me to Lululemon where I purchased TWO pairs of the world’s greatest stretch pants. One for running, and one that can take me from “the gym, to yoga, to hanging out” which I have worn EVERY day since purchasing. This was my first Lululemon purchase, and I had been saving my spending money for mooonnnttthhhsss because, believe it or not, these things don’t run cheap.

It should be noted that Erin hates shopping, so while I was trying on everything in the store, she was looking through a gigantic scrapbook she found displaying all sorts of locals in their Lululemon gear.

Our final stop of the day was another first… for Erin. SPRINKLES cupcakes!

The coolest part of this trip to Sprinkles was that we each scored a free cupcake because of social media! I follow Sprinkles on Twitter, and periodically they tweet “passwords” you can whisper to the cashier to receive a free cupcake. Right before we ordered, I checked to see if there were any new tweets, and sure enough, if we whispered “fresh squeezed” we would each receive a FREE tangerine cupcake. It was so cool! It felt like we were part of some secret nobody else in the store knew about.

To end this post, I leave you with a short list of recommendations:

1. Befriend your enemy, you never know, you could make a great new friend.

2. Join Twitter and follow ME: @kristineats.

3. After following @kristineats, follow @sprinkles to get free cupcakes from time to time.

4. Share your food with friends. It’s really fun and sharing is caring. Sharing is some people’s love language, actually. Some people like me.

That’s all, folks! Much love to you, have a beautiful day.

~Kristin

Cool Breeze

As you read this, I am on an airplane headed to The Motherland.

It will be 60-70 degrees while I am there. I will get cold at night and put on a sweatshirt with my shorts. I LOVE wearing a sweatshirt with shorts. I LOVE cool nights. I LOVE the ocean breeze. I LOVE carne asada burritos sold by a man who does not speak English.

See you on the flip side.

~K-Money

Seven Facts or Vacation and Why it’s Awesome

7. Celine Dion rocks my socks off. I don’t need to go into detail, but she’s still pretty awesome and not “washed up” like some people claim (ehm, ehm, Sandra). Definitely worth the money, definitely has a great voice. Also, I’ve recently decided she has aged very well and, seemingly, without having any “work” done. She has real wrinkles and it’s refreshing.

6. People still smoke cigarettes. Who are these people? Idiots, that’s who. I mean really. WHO is still smoking cigarettes? Unless you’re in Berlin, pretending to be Anthony Bourdain, or want to die a slow and painful death — why would you put those stinky cancer sticks into your mouth and willingly inhale??? I’m talking to you, Las Vegas.

5. The Bellagio Buffet (where 4 of the gals I was with are seated, above) is still the best. I’ve had the others. None compare. Except for when it comes to the dessert bar, in which case Paris takes the {literal} cake because they have a guy standing there making fresh nutella or jam crepes.

4. Talking about whether or not Rob Bell is a heretic, the impacts of generational sin, wounds we are all still processing, and what servant-hood and humility look like in marriage is socially acceptable. Even in the city of sin. So what if everyone around you is seeing double through their wayfarer’s and reeks of last night’s vodka tonic? Being true to yourself, no matter where you are, is always what is most attractive.

3. Don’t try to drive from Las Vegas to anywhere outside of Las Vegas on a Sunday at noon. Definitely don’t stop at In-N-Out first. You will be met with more hungover wayfarer’s and a lot of traffic. Your burger will be delicious, however.

2. California is the best place on the planet. I’ve visited and lived in a lot of places. There is nowhere my beat up Vans and I would rather reside than my home state of CA.

1. Living far away from home is hard. Even if it’s temporary. Even if it’s beneficial. It’s still not fun. How great, though, that we live in an age where travel is so simple and weekends to catch up with friends are a reality.

And an extra number, ’cause it’s Tuesday:

1.5. Husbands are the best. Especially nice ones. Like mine.

For another fun re-cap (and more pictures) of our trip check Erin’s blog HERE.

Have a great night, all! Much love and thanks for reading.

~Kristin