Easter weekend recap

What I did:
  • Friday night Clay and I took advantage of the spring weather and met up with some friends at the drive-in movie theater just outside of town. I was beyond anxious to see the evening’s features—The Lorax and The Hunger Games—but I can honestly say that I was disappointed with both of them. The Lorax was just … boring … and I am such a snob that I have a hard time liking any movie that’s based off of a book. (The only exceptions have been Like Water for Elephants and The Help.) The Hunger Games movie had so much hype surrounding it months before it was even released that I figured it had to be as awesome as the book. Sure, I know that certain elements have to change in order to properly adapt a book to the screen, but to me, the fantasy and intensity of the actual story was just lost in the film. However, what I did appreciate most about the movie was finally having a visual of the amazing costumes Cinna created for Katniss. I felt tears spring up in my eyes when she twirled in that gorgeous red dress with flames on the bottom—it was perfect.

    Still the best book I've read this year!
    Clayton and I had radically different feelings about being at the drive-in.

    But gosh, I have so much beef with the movie as a whole. (I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those of you who haven’t had a chance to see it yet, so I’ll keep my criticisms as vague as possible.) I tried to appreciate the movie from the perspective of someone who hasn't read the book, but I couldn't help but judge it. As I said above, the most disappointing element was the complete lack of intensity in the actual Hunger Games. Katniss spent a lot of time alone in the arena before she met up with any of the other tributes, but the movie skipped most of it, leaving me to feel like the whole thing was rushed. Most importantly, The Hunger Games series is written with Katniss’ narrative and that narrative includes so many internal battles that the movie didn't articulate simply because the film couldn’t tell us her thoughts. If she wasn’t saying it out loud, we had no idea what she was feeling. And to me, her inner dialogue was the most important facet of the story.

    And please, don’t even get me started on the mocking jay pin. For reals.

    All in all, I think the movie was brilliantly cast. Jennifer Lawrence was a perfect Katniss, and I can’t imagine a better Cinna than Lenny Kravitz (although I wish they would have made Haymitch a bit surlier). Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman was spot on and I think Elizabeth Banks as Effie was an interesting choice.

    I know if they would have portrayed the actual Hunger Games more realistically the movie may have lost its PG-13 rating, but I think I was just expecting more. Either I'm really hard to please, or I just had far too great of expectations going into it.
  • In non-related movie news, my herbs are sprouting or germinating or blossoming or ... whatever it is that herbs do!

    • When the clock struck midnight on Sunday morning, the sound of Diet Coke cans being opened echoed throughout my in-laws’ house. Clayton and I officially survived 6 weeks without Diet Coke (we didn’t cheat once!), and out of all the years of Lent I’ve gone through, giving up my precious diet soda was probably the most difficult. For as big of a deal as we made going without Diet Coke, one could have easily assumed Clay and I thought we were like, dying for the sins of the world. We celebrated our foray back into the world of carbonated beverages 3 times over the course of Easter Sunday, starting with a canned Diet Coke and finishing the day off with $1 fountain Diet Cokes from McDonald’s late at night. Clay even ran to the grocery store around 10 o’clock that night to buy a few cases, and when I came down the stairs and saw the familiar silver and red cardboard boxes, I got a lump in my throat.
      Reunited and it feels so good!

      I got the whole gang back together again!
    • After an early morning Easter church service, Clay and I drove up to my mom’s house to celebrate Resurrection Day with a wonderful dinner that included spinach-stuffed lamb and her famous garlic green beans. After gorging ourselves in the name of Jesus and sipping Moscato wine, we broke out a deck of cards and spent the afternoon playing euchre. I was too lazy to switch chairs, so I ended up being partners with my mom, marking the first time that Clayton and I hadn’t been euchre partners in at least 6 months (which was fine by us because Clay and I have been going through a rather embarrassing losing streak). As a result, my mom and I won both games, thus confirming my suspicions that Clayton is indeed the weakest link on his and my euchre team. And the only thing that made me feel better than weeding Clayton out as the giant anchor holding us down as partners is the fact that when my mom and I made it to 9 points, she happily obliged to taking a visit to the barn with me:

      I'm not sure who's getting the better end of the deal here.
     What I ran:
    • Saturday morning I slept in far later than I wanted to (I think I was trying to sleep away my disappointment over The Hunger Games), and I didn’t get outside to run until the early afternoon. Having about zero motivation to take on 12 miles (I was only scheduled to run 11, but I decided to just make it 12 miles … like a boss), I decided to stay on my tried and true running route rather than venturing off into hilly no-man’s land like last weekend. Now, I’m not sure if running 10 miles uphill last Saturday gave me supersonic running abilities or what, but I completed my 12 mile run in 1:38:08 which averages an 8:10 min/mile pace. Being the completely self-doubting, un-trusting individual that I am, I kept questioning the validity of my GPS. Did I really run 12 miles that fast? My goal pace for the May mini is an 8:25 min/mile, there’s no way I ran 15 seconds faster than that. But, after checking and rechecking my route and time, it was true—I did run 12 miles that fast … just like a boss. Saturday’s run was the longest run of my entire training schedule (I’m supposed to do 12 miles again this Saturday, but I have 10 k race that morning that will split it up the day into two small 6 mile runs), and I couldn’t be happier because that means we’re getting that much closer to race day! 
    • On Saturday I started to notice a weird pattern in my running: After I hit mile 10 on any given long run, I start to get loopy and my brain feels like it has the consistency of jello. I’m still able to keep moving (and obviously at an okay pace!), but around that point in my workout, my thought processes stop making sense. I don't even remember stopping to look for cars as I crossed intersections at the trail. For the entire last two miles of Saturday’s run, I kept looking around me in a bewildered trance, just like the video of that kid after the dentist, asking myself, “IS THIS REAL LIFE!?”

      I have aspirations to run a full marathon at some point in my life, but if I start getting delirious with just 12 miles, I can't imagine what I'd be like running 20 or more! (probably dead)

    David After Dentist - Is this real life?

    • Sunday’s recovery run was pretty uneventful. I still had a lot of tightness in my upper thighs from Saturday’s run and the tops of my feet were sore, so I took it slow. It was pretty late by the time we got back from my mom’s and settled in (okay, we took a nap), so I stayed inside on the treadmill. I listened to some of my favorite Glee songs and totally zoned out while TLC's Long Island Medium provided extra background noise (and I don't know if you've ever seen that show before, my goodness! That woman's hair is epic!).

    What I baked/cooked:
    • I volunteered (as tribute! ha ha ... just kidding. Hunger Games reference!) to be responsible for our traditional Easter Sunday carrot cake this year, and it was quite the endeavor because I’ve never made a carrot cake. Sure, I’ve eaten tons of carrot cake, but how to actually bake one was a complete mystery. So much so, I was completed confused when I saw that the recipe called for raisins. I didn’t even realize carrot cake had raisins in it. Has it always had raisins it in? The specific recipe I found online called for crushed pineapple as well, and even the check-out lady at Wal-Mart agreed it was weird. But, like she said as she handed me my receipt, “How can adding pineapple to anything ever be bad?” So I went for it.


      Gosh, baking is SUCH hard work ...

      And I totally overestimated how many carrots it would take to produce 6 grated cups. I bought 4 bags, but ended up using less than one 1 whole bag. Ooops. I felt like Bubba from Forest Gump as I tried to devise ways to use the rest of the carrots before they went bad: “I can steam carrots. I can put carrots in a stir fry. I can slow cook carrots with a roast. I can bake carrots into a meatloaf. I can toss carrots in a salad. I CAN MAKE LIKE 15 MORE CARROT CAKES …”

      My favorite part of the carrot cake-baking process was eating making the cream cheese frosting. As you all know, I’m a huge advocate of frosting PERIOD, and I always welcome the opportunity slap it on something. Again, I went to the powers that be online and found a quick, easy recipe for a thick cream cheese frosting that called for only butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. In less than 5 minutes I had a double-batch of creamy frosting ready to be spread on my cakes (I’m sorry, but something about that last sentence sounds inappropriately sexual. I apologize).

    •  Due to the holiday and going to the drive-in this weekend, I didn’t do much in the way of cooking. So while I slaved over baking a carrot cake on Saturday night, Clay decided to help me out and make dinner. I don’t know how he did it, but my hubby came up with his own recipe for fried chicken that is so awesomely delicious I’m convinced he stole it from Colonel Sanders himself. I’m not even a fan of fried chicken, but the way he makes it is so light and crispy, I’d be a fool not to love it. And yes, I am woman enough to admit my husband can prepare chicken far better than me.

    I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, too!


    1. i can't say that i disagree with your thoughts on The Hunger Games. although, i didn't think about most of those things until after i read this. but i still really liked the movie! i can't think about it too much though because i start hating both the book and the movie because i start thinking about how it is about a bunch of children killing each other because a society deems this necessary. why do i enjoy this book/movie?!? see, have to stop thinking about it.

      and the mocking jay pin? did you not like who gave the pin to katniss? if that is the case, i actually loved that her sister gave her the pin instead of the mayor's daughter because that was my favorite relationship in the entire book - never forgetting that katniss was there because she sacrificed for her little sister (dang, am i going to cry right now?!)

      also, i loved all of your play-by-play pictures. i agree, the chicken looks awesome! and your process of making the carrot cake, even more awesome.


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