Reunited (And It Feels So Good)

IMG_0218Last weekend I rekindled the flame with my first love. And no, I don’t mean Jon Bon Jovi, although he did tag along for a little bit, reminding me to keep the faith, that one day, I will feel like a normal person again. I’ve been struggling – big time – with my running lately, and as is bound to happen, the less I do it, the less I feel motivated to do it. Last Sunday morning was on course to be yet another opportunity to run squandered, blown off with a sigh and followed by wistful regret for the rest of the day. Instead, I laced up my shoes, grabbed my iPod – something I rarely do, but I knew I’d need a little extra help – and headed out the door. I returned home 7.5 miles later sweaty and feeling like I had a new lease on life. I had worked out a few stresses in my mind, and felt ready to tackle the rest of the day and be the best mom I could be. I believe in some circles they call that balance. I call it feeling normal again. Continue reading →

A New Kind of Marathon

IMG_8664Autumn has long been my favorite season. For running, for traveling, for baking, for being outside… simply for being. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. Autumn is typically the time of year when I run the most miles and some of my best races. This autumn, though, things have been different. Very, very different, in fact. I’ve hardly run any miles at all, let alone any races and certainly no marathons. I withdrew from the November ultramarathon I had signed up for, and I have traded my morning runs for walks. I have fallen woefully behind in my quest for 2,017 miles this year, while pushing to the back burner other things that normally occupied my free time, including writing in this space. Instead, I started a new kind of ultramarathon this autumn… one that requires a different kind of endurance and involves more sleep deprivation than any running race I can imagine. I became a mother.
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Back in the USA

IMG_7932It’s been a little more than two weeks since we arrived back in the USA. We have spent the time reconnecting with family and friends, relaxing in nature, and trying to readjust to all of the little things that make the United States unique. The reality that we aren’t simply on vacation, soon to return to our home in Latvia, is starting to set in… not necessarily in a bad way; rather, in a time-to-move-on kind of way. We’ve recovered from our jetlag, and hearing English spoken all around us has started to feel familiar once again.  Continue reading →

Goodbye, Latvia

IMG_7906It’s a strange feeling, watching all of your earthly possessions disappear from plain sight as they are wrapped in paper and placed in boxes and sealed with multiple strips of thick packing tape, the bulk of which will not be seen again for the next year and a half. When they do make their next appearance, it will be in a land far away, a place completely unknown to me, but their job will be the same as always: to make the unknown feel familiar, to make a house or an apartment a home. Continue reading →

Living on Plants in Riga

IMG_7834When M. and I made the decision to transition to a vegan lifestyle nearly two years ago, I was initially concerned that making such a huge change would be extremely challenging, particularly considering that we were living in Riga, Latvia, where meat and dairy make up the centerpieces (and sides) of most meals. I wasn’t sure quite where to begin, especially when it came to dining out, but it didn’t take long for us to figure out how to make fantastic plant-based meals, where to shop for vegan ingredients and other products, and which restaurants offer the best plant-based dining experiences. For a long while now, I’ve wanted to put together a little “being vegan in Riga” guide, and now – just days before our two years here come to an end – I finally feel that I have a strong enough grasp on the concept do it. Continue reading →

Daytime Date in Denmark

IMG_7455In our effort to maximize our remaining time living in northern Europe, we have tried to take little trips here and there to see a few more places before we move back to the U.S. for a while. At the end of May, we took advantage of an inexpensive flight to travel to Copenhagen for the day. At just under an hour, the flight was smooth and easy, and best of all, as we were traveling only for the day, we didn’t have to deal with any bags. Our little daytime date turned out to be one of the most fun days we’ve ever spent together. We discovered that Copenhagen, even on a chilly, cloudy day in May, is a gem of a city! Continue reading →