Saturday, June 12, 2010

Soccer - My Sport of Choice

It's interesting to see how many people become instant soccer fans when the World Cup is going on. Me, I used to eat, sleep, breathe, and dream soccer like it was my life for the majority of my life. Ever since I was able to walk, I had a soccer ball between my feet. Soccer has helped define who I am. My competitiveness, eagerness, self motivation, and desire to live a healthy lifestyle all stem from my soccer playing lifestyle. I made some of the greatest friends, traveled all over the country and internationally, learned some life lessons, and I miss playing more than I thought I would.

I can vividly remember being on the field and playing the game like it was yesterday. I remember the feel of my cleats on my feet and the ground pounding beneath them. The smell of the freshly cut grass. The sensation of running so hard for so long that you feel like your legs are going to fall off. Slide tackling on wet grass that carried out the slide much more than you thought was possible. The natural feeling of striking the ball at my feet. I loved creating plays and the incredible moments when I could watch the ball sneak past the goalie's dive. Most of all, I love to remember my teammates who played beside me. Those girls helped me get through some tough years more than they will ever know.

During the summer season, when we were out of school, we'd often have two-a-day practices. This photo reminds me of our early morning practices when the grass was still wet from dew. We had some intense training sessions that we ... learned to appreciate.

This photo reminds me of our late night games. The feeling of stepping out onto the soccer field at night with the lights all lit up is incredibly energizing! Night matches were always so fun during the summer when it would still be in the 80's long after the sun went down.

Soccer is full of beautiful plays:

And some hilarious mishaps:

That must be what a concussion looks like. I got a concussion once, where I went one on one with the goalie in an indoor game. Somehow we ended up colliding at full speed and I flipped over her and my forehead broke my fall on the indoor track field turf. I wonder if that's what I looked like smashing into the floor for a split second. Well, all I know is that I had the floor pattern indented in my forehead for a good week and had to wear a neck brace, and I'm not posting a picture of that!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sunday was an awesome food day!

My husband is studying for the national board exams for medical school, and I am in the midst of taking a semester length course condensed into 4 weeks, while maintaining my full time work schedule. Needless to say, we are quite busy right now, and it is not very fun. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we’ll both be done less than 2 weeks.

I love cooking, and usually have a lot of time on my hands to find great recipes. However, with our crazy schedules right now, we just don’t have much extra time to cook. But with the long holiday weekend, I finally had some quality kitchen time apart from my busy life. I was recently intrigued by a new recipe I saw on a friend's blog for Vanilla Yogurt Pancakes and really wanted to make them. I had never made pancakes from scratch before, but was so excited by the recommendation, I just had to try out the recipe. They turned out to be the best pancakes I’ve ever had! They were thick, light, and absolutely delicious. Next time, I think I’ll add wild blueberries to the batter! Yum! The pancakes went very well with my special smoothies made from vanilla yogurt, frozen berries of all sorts, soy milk, honey, and sliced almonds. The almonds give the smoothie a light nutty flavor, a slight crunch, and added protein! My favorite addition to a Sunday brunch! I tried to take pictures of this delicious spread, but they just didn't do the food justice. Next time.

After a relaxing afternoon at the beach enjoying the upper 80’s, clear blue skies, and getting some quality people watching time in, I was so ready to make my recently discovered favorite dish. If you like pasta, you’ll love Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Pancetta. Before trying this dish for the first time a couple of months ago, I had never cooked with pancetta before, but I’m so glad I tried it because it’s awesome! I love bacon and any dish that includes it, and pancetta is like fancy bacon! Plus, the asparagus, green onions, and light sauce make this a great spring/summer dish! Another great aspect of this recipe is that it makes so much food! It’s enough for my large appetite, my husband’s three sizeable helpings, with enough for leftovers! Give it a try when you’re feeling creative! I got a semi-successful picture of this dish:

Yup, Sunday was an awesome food day.