August 23, 2011

golf carts and very tasty birthday breakfast

Last Saturday was Ryan's birthday which means, we get to be the same age for 10 days and then I become older then him, again...

Oh well, you gotta grow up sometime.

We had a wonderful day together, and although it was almost 100 degrees, we still managed to find our way to the golf course in the late afternoon. This is a photo of my super hot golfer husband hitting balls at "the stables" before we started out for our round.

We (I keep saying we, but really it was only Ryan) played at Langdon Farms in Aurora, and everything had a "farm" theme, hence the stables for the driving range. It was a very pretty course. I drove our golf cart and decided that when I retire, I want to be the girl that drives the carts and sells food and drinks to all the players! Golf carts are so much fun to drive!

After hours of heat and sweat, we were starving and decided to stop into the Bar and Grill for Happy Hour where we ordered pulled pork sliders and quenched our thirst with a cold beer from these cute drinking jars! It's just so much better when it's in a cute jar!

But, before all the sweat, golf carts and drinking jars we started our day with breakfast at Tasty 'n Sons? Have you been there before? Oh my goodness, it is actually amazing. I kinda wish that I lived across the street from it so I could just go there everyday.

Tasty 'n Sons is in North Portland and is the perfect Portland breakfast location. They have a great selection of items to choose from. We ordered three plates to share. Please don't think your typical breakfast joint where your cheese omelet is dripping off the side of your plate. No. This place has it down. The dishes we ordered were small enough so that we could order a few things to share and still not be super full at the end.

I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the food but it was so good all thoughts of photography left my mind the moment the meal was set before me. But, I did snatch a photo of our mimosa in this super cute little glass!

My favorite dish of the three that we tried was one of their specials for the day, biscuits and gravy. Let's just say, I REALLY wanted to lick the plate. You just have to go and check it out. I promise that you won't be disappointed.

What breakfast spots in Portland do you recommend? Please share by leaving a comment!

August 19, 2011

broiled pastrami & turkey sandwich with cheese and avocado

Oh Patsrami, where have you been all my life?

I know that I promised that my next blog would be about my journey to learning to live a healthy life, but I just had the most amazing sandwich and I absolutely could not wait to share it with you!

I knew I grew up a little sheltered but I didn't realize how sheltered until this week when I had my first ever taste of pastrami. Yeah, that's right, the meat, the kind that you can just throw on a sandwich and call it good. How I missed this amazing goodness until I was almost 30 (yes 11 days and counting) I do not know.

So, for lunch today I hurried home to my cute little package of pastrami from Trader Joes and whipped myself up a darn good sandwich if I do say so myself.

Pastrami, for the rest of my fellow sheltered friends is just cured beef. It is typically cured in a salt brine with some other good spices and then smoked. The package that I picked up from Trader Joes happens to have no added Nitrates which is a very good thing.

Lunches can become a little boring when you have the same turkey and cheese sandwich day in and day out. Thankfully, Ryan is a good sport and has never once complained about my lack of creativity in lunch packing. But, every once in a while it's fun to mix it up a bit.

Like I said today I made the best sandwich I've had in a long time and the best part is that is was so simple and easy! A slice of turkey (also from Trader Joes) a slice or two of pastrami, once slice of pepper jack cheese and sliced avocado.

Now I'm only gonna say this once (not really) but the most important part is the salt and pepper that you put on top of the avocado. Doing this really brings out the flavor of the avocado and makes it less bland.

Now the next most important part is the broiling technique. This is just how I do it and it works for me, so I think it will work for you too! I take one piece of bread and place my turkey, pastrami, avocado (don't forget the salt & pepper) and cheese on the bread and place it on a pan. Next to that I place my other piece of bread that will become the top to my amazingly amazing sandwich. Next I place the pan under the broiler in my oven and keep and eye on it. Once the cheese reaches the desired melty cheesyness and the bread "top" gets a little brown, place the top on the sandwich and flip the entire sandwich so that bottom gets a chance to get all crunchy brown too.

There is no need to waste any fat calories on dressing or condiments. With the melted cheese and rich avocado this sandwich is ready to go! You can make this sandwich with so many other things such as crisp romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, really whatever you want.

Wow, I'm getting hungry just thinking about this sandwich. I think I know what I'll be having for dinner tonight!

Broiled Pastrami & Turkey Sandwich with Cheese and Avocado

2 slices of good bread (I recommend Good Seed by Dave's Killer Bread)
1 slice of turkey
2 slices of pastrami
1/4 medium avocado - sliced
I slice of pepper jack cheese
Salt & Pepper

Layer turkey, pastrami, avocado and cheese on once piece of the bread, making sure to salt and pepper the avocado. Make sure the cheese is on top and place the bread on a baking pan. Place the empty piece of bread on the pan as well and place it under the broiler.

Broil for about 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Make sure not burn your empty piece of bread. Once the cheese is done, place the top on the sandwich and flip the entire sandwich over to give the bottom side a chance to get brown and crunchy.

Once that is done, remove from the oven and enjoy!

August 10, 2011


In my blog post the other day I mentioned that because of Ryan’s job at Nike we are really beginning to re-think and change the way we take care of our bodies. We always try to live healthy lives, but as the years go by we realize that our bodies aren’t getting any younger. Our metabolism is slowing down, our joints are stiff, our bodies are just changing.

The research that Ryan and the team he works with is doing is revealing that the recommended dosage for moderate to vigorous physical activity per week is 150 minutes. That’s really only a little over 21 minutes a day. Ryan and the others on his team are practicing what they preach and have thermometers for everyone to keep track of their physical activity each week. I was jealous and wanted to get on board, so I made my own weekly thermometer to track my own physical activity too!

It’s been fun to keep track of my physical activity each week. Ryan and I got bikes earlier this year so Ryan has been biking to work 3 or 4 days a week which is 20 miles round trip! I on the other hand only have one, very uphill mile to climb before I get to work. We really love riding our bikes! It's fun and a good workout too!

Being disciplined to live healthy isn't easy. It's not always easy to eat the right things, eat the right amounts, or get the needed exercise. It's hard for me. In my next post I'm going to talk about my fight to live healthy why taking care of my body is really such a big deal to me.

August 5, 2011

too wonderful

My cousin Angie and her husband Ryan are pregnant with their second child!

I was thinking about them as I rode my bike to work this morning because today they find out if they will be having a little baby boy or a little baby girl. As I thought about my own personal predictions it struck me that God already knows the gender of this baby, He doesn’t have to guess or make predictions like we all do, He already knows. And, more then that, He knows everything about this baby, things that doctors don’t know and can’t know, things that will happen in the life of this baby. He knows everything.

I was consumed with the bigness of God in that moment. I felt small. But I also felt comfort in the reminder again of God’s sovereignty, His goodness, His grace when we don’t deserve grace and His mercy when we don’t deserve mercy.

Psalm 139:1-16
"O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence"
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
even there Your hand will lead me,
and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, "surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
and the light around me will be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to You,
and the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to you,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
wonderful are Your works,
and my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
and in Your book were all written
the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was not one of them."

A lot of people I have conversations with talk about there being a higher power. They say that they just know there is something bigger then them out there. I feel the same way. I felt that way this morning as I rode my bike with the wind in my face.

I know Who this Higher Power is. Romans 1:20 talks about it this way, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." That higher power is God, the creator of the universe and of the little baby girl that Ryan and Angie will have in about 4 1/2 months from now!

August 4, 2011

just do it

So here I go, I'm just gonna do it, and attempt to update you on what’s been going on in our lives this past year!

Because I believe that I failed to mention it last year, Ryan did graduate from Portland State last fall and we were all very proud and relieved (mostly me) that he was finally done with school!!! Congratulations hunny!

The fall was a busy time for us, my little brother Jacob graduated from high school and went off to the University of Oregon. So now we have another Duck in the family and that makes Ryan very happy because now he has someone who can get as excited as he does about watching the football games in the fall.

And then my other little brother Joseph got married last October to Nikki. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year already!

At the start of 2011, Ryan continued to work part time at our church and also for the Hillsboro school district. We were very thankful for the work, but there was a huge underlying question in our minds of, “what’s next, when are we going to really move forward, what are we going to do?” These feelings and questions where often accompanied by anxiety and in some instances even distrust. It was tough.

The Lord lovingly kept us in that state until both Ryan and I had worked through surrendering our desire for control, and confessing any sin that was keeping us from being able to move forward. The minute we did that, the stars started to align!

Doors just started opening for Ryan. It began with Ryan applying for a job in customer service at Nike Golf. For over a month Ryan was so faithful to network and develop relationships with people at Nike Golf. While this job seemed like the dream job to us, the Lord had another plan. Through all of Ryan’s networking, an opening in a brand new department at Nike was make known to him.

It seemed to good to be true. The job would fit him perfectly, it was as if it were tailor made to fit just Ryan… maybe it was. Well after about another month of phone interviews and one face to face meeting, my husband was hired on at Nike in this new department! I was so ecstatic! I couldn't stop smiling for days! We both just felt so blessed (and still do)! Right now Ryan is contracted through Kelly Services to work at Nike, but we are praying that he will get hired on as a permanent Nike employee.

Ryan works as an operations specialist for a brand new group whose focus is to demonstrate that there is a major global issue surrounding physical in-activity. Their goal is to have Nike lead the way on re-incorporating physical activity into our lives. It’s a very neat thing to be a part of and is even changing the way that Ryan and I live our lives.

It’s almost been three months now that Ryan has been at Nike and almost every day he comes home from work and says “I have the dream job”. I just smile. We couldn’t have planned the details of Ryan’s job better if we had tried. We are so glad that we gave everything up and let the Lord take it for us.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, accoring to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21