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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Christmas Bucket List , 2013

Before you get all judgy-mcjudgerson on me, let me make one thing clear:

I love Thanksgiving.


I love the food.


I love the family. I especially love Uncle Aaron at the kid’s table.

I did NOT shop on Thanksgiving. And if you want the truth, Matty B is currently purchasing all of our Christmas gifts on Amazon because the lack of shopping in Walla Walla makes me a little emotional.

But Christmas. Oh, Christmas! We’re listening to Vanessa Williams Christmas (for the record, this is Matty’s CD, not mine…) and I can’t stop eating peppermint Oreos (What? They’re vegan!)

Certainly you need no help planning out your Christmas activities, but in case you’re looking for some inspiration (or you just need a distraction from the peppermint Oreos), check out the Bryant Christmas Bucket List, 2013:

1. Drink hot chocolate while reading Christmas stories by the fire.

2. Decorate gingerbread houses and cookies.

3. Visit the Grotto in Portland.

4. Look at Christmas lights.

5. Donate food to a food pantry.

6. Watch a Christmas movie.

7. Visit Santa.

8. Build a snowman.

9. Make peanut brittle.

10. Participate in the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak and run a mile for every day between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. I’m 3.1 miles in already!

I’d add #11. Go caroling, but I think I’d be vetoed by my family and I’d feel pretty silly doing it alone.

What’s on your list? Ice skating? The Polar Express? Whatever your pleasure, I only have one request. If a crazy lady shows up at your house, caroling alone , just feed me peppermint Oreos and I’ll be on my way…


Turkey Trot 2013

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for 20 years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” John Bingham

This quote totally speaks to me.


I ran the Red Cross Turkey Trot this morning. 5k. Flat course. Other than it being 28 degrees, this wasn’t a painful experience.

I made the “B’s” in my life come along:


Matty B and Aunt B. They talked zombie movies. I tried to concentrate on not getting frostbite.


Aunt B is actually a speedy little lady. She was kind enough to scale back at the end so that I could catch her and we could cross the finish line together. I need her to pace me on all my runs!

My favorite part of any race is when the finish line comes into view and you just go! All the “reserves” you’ve been holding onto are exhausted and you just run.


Ok, ok, my real favorite part is when it’s over and you feel so great and so accomplished and then you go get hot coffee.

Long live Dutch Bros.

Long live running.

Long live my two running buddies.

P.S. My ankle was a rock star. No problems.

P.P.S. While you might think otherwise from the above pictures, none of us are medicated. We all look pretty out of it…

P.P.P.S. Matty B thinks that my cold weather running attire makes me look like a bank robber. I think his cold weather running attire makes him look homeless. I guess we’re even.


Growing up, I was blessed to live close to both sets of grandparents. One day when I was in kindergarten, Grandpa Bernard, (the grandpa we’ve been recently living with) was babysitting my brother and I.

I was a somewhat creative, incredibly bossy child. On this particular day I was reading an issue of Highlights for children (anyone remember this magazine? Probably most often found in pediatrician’s waiting rooms…) and I ran across a game that involved ranking pictures 1st, 2nd, etc. based on what stage the picture was in. This specific game was numbering the creation of a rag doll. 1st the material is cut, 2nd the body is stitched, etc.

I took this game as instructions for how to create a rag doll and I was determined to follow suit, grandpa my accomplice.


God bless my grandpa. The doll shown above is the doll. Grandpa actually helped me sew this doll and then use a marker to draw on her ugly face.

I’ve learned the past 24 hours that there are many different ways to say that someone has died. They’ve passed away. They’ve left us. They’ve expired.


Grandpa is gone. I’m relieved for him, but sad, nonetheless. I could tell you hundreds of stories that would make you laugh or maybe even gasp, but tonight, I leave you with a picture of this handsome man whom I am so proud to be a descendant of.

Miss you, grandpa…

Currently: brought to you by the letter B


Currently Eating: BLUEBERRIES on top of the biggest bowl of oatmeal you’ve ever seen. We went to Maple Counter for breakfast. I could’ve fed the entire table with my oatmeal.


Currently Reading: BOOKS, specifically “Quack and Count”. Non-children’s books? Maybe in a few years…


Currently Planning: BREAD, specifically for stuffing for Thanksgiving. Love, LOVE this holiday!


Currently Drinking: BREVE, in honor of National Espresso Day. This is an important occasion. There might be Dutch Bros. later…


Currently Missing: AUNT B, and this is a stretch because we aren’t actually missing her since she flew home yesterday! Welcome home, Aunt B!

Ode to Oats

I woke up super sore this morning. Before you think that it’s because I really rocked it hard at the gym the day before, don’t be fooled. I’ve been slowly jogging, trying to carefully work my ankle up to my previous level of fitness.

Nope, I was sore for one reason alone: I’m getting older. And before you start telling me that this theory is hogwash, let me share with you the headlines from a magazine that Matty B recently purchased for me.

“Vegan menus for adults 51+”
“Vegetarian Independent Living”
“Quick and Easy Dishes for Seniors”

Naturally, it has made me wonder if he’s pulling my leg when he tells me that he likes my gray hairs.

The next step, of course, is to ask the gods of the internet, because they know everything. Thankfully, according to them, my real age is 28.7. Phew!


Regardless, let’s not tempt fate, hmm?

According to Health Guidance, oatmeal slows aging. I’m in.

Monday breakfast:


Rolled oats with flax seed, cocoa powder, pomegranate and cocoa peanut butter.

Tuesday breakfast:


Rolled oats with almond milk, spinach, chia seeds, mango, banana, and pomegranate.

Wednesday breakfast :


Rolled oats with pumpkin, flax seed, soy yogurt and maple syrup.

Thursday breakfast:


Spinach, almond milk, banana, oats, peanut butter, cocoa powder smoothie.

Friday breakfast:


Steel cut oats with almond butter and jelly (my favorite!)

Oats every day for a week? I feel my gray hairs disappearing as we speak…

Birthday Boy

Matty B turns old tomorrow.


On your birthday, you’re supposed to get exactly what you want. This is why his (early) party consisted of pizza, football and ice cream cake.


I really lucked out with this one.

There’s about a million reasons why I adore this man, and today you get a random sampling.

1. He cleans up after me. He cleans up before me. I like a super clean house but I’m surprisingly messy. He works really hard to make sure that I can relax when I come home from work and not fold piles of laundry instead. Although, sometimes I want to fold piles of laundry, but this is a personal problem worthy of discussion on another day.


2. He’s super handsome. I love this picture of him with Rae. Nothing sexier than a daddy holding his baby girl’s hand…

3. He tries a lot of really healthy, really awful tasting stuff. As picky as he is, he’s an awful good sport about trying my “kitchen experiments.”

4. He totally gets me. And this actually makes me mad. Why? Because sometimes I’m frustrated about something and the rational 1% of my brain knows that I shouldn’t be mad, but the other 99% of crazy that lives in my head is just furious and even if I say, “I’m not mad”, he knows that I’m mad and it bugs me…



5. He’s the best daddy ever. J Man and Miss Rae are so lucky!

So am I.

Happy Birthday, Matty B!


WIAW: Red and Green

It’s all I can do to keep myself from playing Christmas music. I have a rule that proclaims the following: “No Christmas music shalt be played before Thanksgiving, whither thou wantest or not.”

I’m having a hard time following the rules. I could blame the red Starbucks cups. I could blame my mom for already having her gifts not only purchased, but wrapped. I could blame Matty B for constantly humming “Up on the Housetop”.

Whatever it is, the holiday season is in me! My meals and snacks today are proof as my unintentional theme was red and green.


Breakfast: spinach oats, with banana, mango, pomegranate and coconut. My family ate Cheerios and looked at me warily.


Snack 1: super cold, super crunchy grapes. Love ’em. Add these to the list of fruits J Man won’t touch. Matty B made him eat one yesterday and he chewed and chewed and chewed and finally said, “I can’t swallow!” He’s missing out.


Lunch: 1/2 veggie wrap and side salad from the cafe. They had a vegan chickpea salad that was so good, I didn’t even need dressing for the greens. Who knew cafeteria food could taste so delicious?


Snack 2: I stress ate a pomegranate. The sweet crunch of the arils is absolutely addictive! If you’re keeping track, this is yet another fruit that J Man doesn’t like. I made him eat one little aril. “Mmm!” he said. Excitedly I asked, “Do you want more?” He refused.


Dinner: brown rice, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms and Mama Pea’s Yumm Sauce. I’d share the link, but it’s gone, as she isn’t blogging anymore!

I didn’t have anything red for dessert to continue on with my pattern, but I’m desperate for some peppermint ice cream. Does So Delicious make a peppermint flavor? Is it too soon?

The countdown is on…