44 Miles and a Cheese Ball

Crunch time is on. November will be here before I know it, and I am determined to have the list completed. So with that in mind, last week I took time to cross two items off.
Wednesday was for cheese making. And really I don't have a lot to say about that process, expect that the fresh mozzarella I usually pick up at Wegmans or Aldis  is about 100% better. Mine turned out a bit rubbery and flavorless. Perhaps I should try again to perfect it, but I am no perfectionist... Next time I'll save myself the hassle and let someone more experienced be the maker. 
And Saturday, that was for biking around a lake. On the list I had mentioned Seneca Lake, however, over the course of the last 10 months I came to my senses, realizing that 77.7 miles is FAR. Sure I relay raced around that lake three consecutive years, but my feet had a rest in between each run. I don't own a good road bike, and the seat on my bike isn't exactly, um, comfortable, so with a bit of convincing I was able to talk myself out of that idea and decided that Canandaigua lake, with it beautifully doable 44 mile route would be the choice.
Late July or early August I pulled out my bike and Carson and I started going for morning bike rides to begin training. That lasted for about 1.5 weeks, until one morning I walked out to the garage to discover that my bike had been attacked! Our puppy, Mia, had gone to town on the bike seat, shredding what little cushioning there was and leaving a bare metal seat. I could have kill that dog that morning, but somehow to this day she still remains alive and well, with teeth that shred anything left in her way.
That put a stop to our training. I should have picked up another seat somewhere, but didn't get around to it.
So when Saturday morning came around, I borrowed a bike seat from my dad's bike, and off we went, Carson, myself, and my sister Kate. 
What I forgot to mention is that I kept checking the weather before we left, and there was a good chance of rain around 11 am. Instead of driving to Canandaigua, which is about 25 minutes away, we changed around plans and biked around Keuka Lake instead. It's the same milage as Canandaigua, but rather than driving we could simply leave on our bikes from my house to get started. Plus, we know a lot of people who live around Keuka Lake, and with the chance of rain, I knew I might need someone to bail me out and pick up Carson.
The first three miles, which are all down hill, were torturous! I couldn't catch my breath for anything, and bike wouldn't coast. I had to work to go down hill! It sounded like something was rubbing, but every time I stopped to try to figure out what was going on I didn't see any issues. I was imagining the rest of the ride, wondering how I was ever going to make it. I'm a fairly strong and fit person, my lack of training was embarrassing.
Finally I stopped once more and gave the entire bike a good go-over. And that's when I noticed that Carson's bike seat had slipped from its normal position and was actually resting on the back tire, basically working as a brake. A few minutes later that problem was fixed, and my legs which were already beginning to feel like jelly were peddling with ease.  The rest of the ride was sure to be a breeze.
The first section of the route is a narrow winding road with a lot of rolling hills. Carson did really good for about the first 10 miles, then he started complaining about his lot in life. When we finally pulled in to Hammondsport, which was mile 17, he was so excited to get out of that bike seat and stretch his legs. I bought him an ice cream cone to munch on while Kate and I enjoyed coffee and a Bikers Bar, a homemade cakey granola bar, from a coffee shop next door. 
That break was all he needed. Carson was excited to get back in the seat as we headed off, ready to complete the ride. 
There was an official bike race happening around Keuka that morning, but all of the races were going around it the opposite way we were. That kept Carson entertained for quite a while. He would way and say hi again and again as we passed groups of racers.
At mile 33 my mom, bless her, came and rescued Carson. He was still doing really well, but he looked sleepy, and I knew he wouldn't be able to sleep well in that seat. 
We still had 11 miles to go, and they were definitely the most grueling. Not because the terrain was rough, not at all. I have tired, and hungry, and my lack of trained and non road bike were all catching up to me.
But we made it!
Almost 5 hours later, as we were pushing our bikes up my drive, I thanked Kate for joining me and made a pledge to never again go for another bike ride. 


What I'm Loving

  1. This amazing family!
When I was 18 I moved to Jamaica, a tiny little island in the West Indies, and spent a hard but completely wonderful year working at a children's home on the west side of the island.
While there I nannied this little boy, who was then 2 years old. He taught be so much about what it means to love and care for someone, to fight for them. Daily I prayed that God would bring a forever family into his life. Shortly after I moved back to the States, his parents were able to adopt him and bring him home! They flew in to New York a few months later so he could be the ring bearer at my wedding. I hadn't seen him since.
Then last October they welcomed another child to the family, Kenroy's sister, Oneisha. Oh the joy and celebration! The highlight of this past weekend was being reunited with them, and watching them as a family, one of my favorite families!
God works in such wonderful and mysterious ways... His plans for these precious kiddos was so much better than I ever dreamed possible. Because of that, my heart is full.

2. The view from our deck

This view is always breathtaking, but especially so in the early autumn months when fog lingers over the lake and the leaves are fringed in shades of orange and yellow. Our deck is basically like a second dining room in our home. Every evening throughout the summer when the weather is nice we eat dinner out there, and even in to late September and early October we will most likely be out there, bundle up a bit warmer, but still enjoying it immensely. This is my favorite spot in our house.

3. The Rachel necklace
(Center tray) I recently become an ambassador for Noonday Collection. When my sample items arrived, I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the silver and gold pieces and didn't pay much attention to the other, more colorful items or those made from paper beads. But then I heard the story behind that Rachel necklace, so I picked it up and tried it on. Since then I've worn it 3-4 times and really like it. It goes great with a black or chambray top, but I think it would pair well with stripes or autumn tones too.
Rachel is a lady who works with Noonday's artisan partners in Uganda. Before she found employment there, she was going to have to give her daughter, Olivia, up for adoption. She was very poor and was not able to provide for the two of them. Someone in the community heard about the situation and introduced Rachel to Jalia and Daniel, the owners of the Ugandan business. They hired her to make paper beads, which is very intricate work, done by rolling thin strips of paper tightly around a toothpick. The beads are used in many necklaces and bracelets sold by Noonday.  From the income Rachel was able to earn, she can now support herself and her daughter Olivia.
The Rachel necklace is made from paper beads, seed beads, and ethically harvested bone. I love Noonday Collection because of the style of the products, but it is because of stories like this that I am so eager and passionate about sharing it will all of you.
Purchasing and wearing these pieces are truly impacting lives all over the world!

4. ThredUP
ThredUp is running a really fun promotion right now, where you can get $20 off your first order is you use this link. But the deal gets even better, because once you purchase something from ThredUp and share the link generated for you, you will also get rewarded with $20 in store credit whenever someone signs up under your referral link. I 'purchased' all of this without spending a penny, because of friends using the $20 promo off their first order. Unfortunately over half of these items are going back, because either they didn't fit or I simply didn't like them. But ThredUp offers free shipping on returned items if you are refunded by store credit, so I'm still not spending anything and I will have store credit for the next time I need something updated in my wardrobe. Try it, you can't lose.
What are you currently loving?


23. Go Paddle Boarding

23. Go Paddle Boarding | sarahesh.com

23. Go Paddle Boarding | sarahesh.com
23. Go Paddle Boarding | sarahesh.com

Paddle boarding has been on my hit list for a good long time. I first discovered it in a Life in the Finger Lakes magazine, and ever since then I couldn't forget about it. I love anything to do with the outdoors, and usually what I would choose would be a bit more high energy and intense, but this looked leisurely, something that we could do as a family. 
So paddle boarding was added to the list
But summer came and life was busy and it just didn't happen... until yesterday. Herm took part of the day off for Labor Day, so we headed up to Rochester first thing in the morning. We stopped at Pour Coffee Parlor, a favorite spot of ours, for a breakfast of Lumber Jacks and Lumber Long Johns and Panamanian pour-overs. From there we to Bay Creek Paddling Center, where the fun began. 
Carson was so excited to go on a 'boat'. He could hardly stand the wait as we filled out paper work and signed a few legal forms. Finally, all was set and we were off. 
None of us had gone paddle boarding before, but it is quite simple, and we were off without much hassle.  Carson started out on my board. He sat near the front and as we began to move along he got more and more brave. First reaching his hand into the water, then dangling one foot, and finally both. Just as I was about to warn him that he was going to fall in if he got any closer to the edge, he slipped off the board and went for a little swim. 
I jumped in after him, and once we were both back on the board, he sat in the very center, hardly moving for at least five minutes. But eventually he ventured out again, this time dragging only a foot or a hand in the water, and hanging on just a bit tighter. 
Irondeqoit Bay is the perfect place to go, because there are waterways through the marsh, and you can also head out towards Lake Ontario for more open space. 
We rented the boards for an hour, and the time went by far too fast. Carson wasn't ready to say good-bye, and neither was I. 
From there we made a few more stops, included Pittsford Farms Dairy & Bakery for some delicious ice cream and milkshakes, before we headed back home again.
It was such a perfect family outing, and I will eagerly tell you that if paddle boarding looks like something you would enjoy, get out there and make it happen!
Now... on to our naps!
23. Go Paddle Boarding | sarahesh.com


A Day in the Life

We were gathered around the long rectangle table, its glossy top smudged slightly from finger prints and muffin crumbs. Its the same table who used to sit around every Thursday morning before work. We were all single back then, all friends since childhood. 
Life has changed, a few of us have gotten married and become moms, some moved across the country, and some moved back again. And in the midst of all the change, our moments around that long cafe table have become sparse. 
But two weeks ago, on an early Thursday morning, those of us who are still living in the area were found leaning in, laughing, sipping lattes, and catching up on life around that glossy but slightly smudged table. 
So Sarah, what does a typical day look like for you? The question caught me off guard. What does a typical day look like? It can vary so much day to day and week by week. And yet I often struggle with the feeling that my life is mundane, every day repeating itself. 
I couldn't forget that question, so I've been mentally noting what my day to day life looks like. Kaylie, this post is for you.
Monday, August 30
6:30-6:59: Woke up and began the first day of BodyRockTV's 30 day fitness challenge. Carson tried to join in on the workout. Baby burpees and lunges are hilarious. I think I burnt 50 extra calories from laughing at him.  I typically like to get up earlier, but Carson hasn't been sleeping well for the past 3-4 weeks, which means I haven't either. That extra hour of sleep in the morning is much needed. 
7:00-7:45: Devoured a homemade breakfast of eggs, avocado and fresh salsa. Read a few chapters from Isaiah about caring for the orphans and widows, started the first load of wash, and spent some time catching up on social media. (For the record, I won't be recording that throughout the day. Just know that I probably logged in to Instagram more than the 1-2 times I mentioned it.)
7:46-8:46: Took Carson and Mia (our puppy) out for a walk. Mia finally learned how to follow along when on a leash, so I thought it would be the perfect time to teach her to run. We may have averaged a 12 minute mile. That pup wasn't in a hurry and her attention span is next to nothing. I'm hoping she catches on before too long, fall and winter are the seasons when I get out and run the most. 
8:47-9:30: Balanced the checkbook, prepared a few items to take in to the bank, and went over our budget from last week. I can be pretty religious about this. Every single Monday it needs to happen. And nothing makes me happier then when all the numbers balance to the last penny. Also wrote out a grocery list and added other errands to it, and grabbed the bedding from the dryer to made our bed.
9:31-11:45: Went for groceries and made 4-5 other stops, included Wagers Cider Mill for fresh apples and cider and donuts. At the grocery store Carson insisted on sitting in the cart instead the child seat. Which was perfectly fine until we were going through check out. Aldis, where I often shop, doesn't hand out grocery bags, I bring my own. So as the clerk scanned the items she placed them in the cart. Carson started to throw the veggies, the spinach and avocados and mushrooms, back at her. She thought it was so funny. Me, not so much. I'm just thankful that avocado didn't knock someone out cold.
11:46-1:30: Gave the cider and donuts to Herm and his crew, who were working to replace our garage roof. Made lunch and put Carson down for a nap.
1:31-2:31: Worked on a few things for my Noonday business. This all feels so new to me, it's definitely a learning curve. I've been so impressed with the training that Noonday offers though. My first trunk show is this coming Saturday.
2:32-3:45: Cleaned out our new-to-us vehicle. For the past year we've been driving a tiny 1995 Ford Ranger. It did the job, it got us from point A to point B, but during that time we set money aside every week to go towards something a bit more practical. We finally had enough money, and found something we liked, a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Driving the Ranger never bothered me, but this Tahoe is luxurious. The seats are so comfortable, the sound system is amazing, it doesn't boast a cassette player (haha!), and there is room for groceries and lots of kids. People keep asking me how soon we plan to fill it up. We are working on it folks, good things and tiny people take time. 
3:46-4:40: Cleaned the deck and did some yardwork. Can I just admit that with a toddler and a puppy it often feels like for every step forward I end up taking five steps back? If I clean the windows, 30 minutes later they look worse than they did when I started. If I sweep the deck off and wash it, Mia will shred something or Carson will throw sand all over it. And if I wipe the kitchen floor up, it's almost guaranteed that Carson will somehow sneak his puppy dog into the house and they'll both slip and slide all over it. Job security, right?
4:41: Realized I should probably think about what is for supper.
4:42: Thought about something else, and got distracted, probably with Instagram.
5:30: Hey, when are we going to eat supper? Herm worked from home today. Supper is earlier. Darn it, what to make?! Last minute idea? Burgers, which seems to be the last minute idea at least three times per week. Why does meal time happen so often?
6:30-8:30: Went with Herm to look at a job he will be doing later this summer. It was at a friends place, so while he was figuring out measurements and colors, Carson and I splashed our feet in their pool, explored the orchard and climbed all over the old trucks and tractors. We spent time chatting with our friends too. Their backyard patio is a dream!
8:31-9:30: Home again. Gave Carson a bath and put him to bed and began to think about putting myself to bed too. It was a full day.
So there you have it. The long answer to a short question. Next Monday will probably be completely the same, yet entirely different.
What does your average day look like?