Week 28 – Thesis Defense

#192 Pokémon Go

10 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Ah, Pokémon Go, I’ve been waiting for you!

So far, it’s been as fun as I thought it might be to run all over town to catch ‘em all. And Eevee looks like my dog, which kind of explains why they keep flocking to my house.

Thankful for technology that brings a world that was a blast to explore during childhood into (augmented) reality. And to the dog park at Alton Baker for being the best place to catch Pokémon. I’m sure Beignet is thankful as well.

#193 Mom & Aunt Viv Visit

11 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Mom & Aunt Viv got into town yesterday. We are getting visitors left and right this summer and we absolutely love it.

Later this week, Deanna’s family gets into town.

Also… Slowbro!

#194 Thesis Defended!

12 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Twelve months of writing, three months in South Africa, 240 pages of work, and I can now celebrate a Masters’ thesis successfully defended!

Honestly, today was the fun part. I just got to stand in front of my committee and talk for thirty minutes about my time working with orphans and vulnerable kids in South Africa. Those kids are the best though and I can easily talk about them for hours.

I’m so thankful to have the kiddos as a part of my life for forever in some way, to have Deanna so willing to join me on my research trip, for the staff at 5Cees being accommodating, for my academic committee actually being really fun to work with, and for my friends and family willing to sit through academic jargon to watch me defend. I’ve got a great team!

#195 Day at the Public Market

13 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Spend the day acting as tour guide to my mom and aunt and took them to the one part of town I’m most confident that they’d enjoy… the Fifth Street Public Market!

I got to treat myself to a slice of Mereguez pizza with some amazing lamb sausage, plus a bottle of drinking vinegar soda on the side.

Also, while they were shopping, I managed to grab myself a Sandslash. Pretty swell.

#196 Energy Bars

14 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I hit the halfway point of my 2016 cooking goals! Of course, right when I hit the halfway point, I started to get busy and skipped a few weeks.

I felt pretty determined to not let another week pass me by without crossing anything off, so in spite of this week probably being my most sedentary week of the year (I’ll be sitting on a plane for over 60 hours) I cooked up my most high octane food item. Power bars.

Considering most power bars taste kinda weird and have a weird texture, I figured it would be hard coming up with a standard to gauge how well I did this recipe. I somewhat based a lot of the ingredients off what I could recall from a Good Eats episode with peanut butter, tofu, wheat germ, and oat bran being the main components. I also got pretty excited at my grocery’s bulk section when I found things like dried whole bananas and cherries to include.

When it was finished, I actually thought it was pretty good for a power bar. The texture was still a little bit funky, I blame the tofu, but everything kind of melded together and formed a cohesive taste that was dominated by the peanut butter and bananas- and that’s a solid combination right there.

#197 Lola’s Love

15 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Sometimes I wonder what qualities exist in the type of person God allows to live that long. I think it’s a strong suggestion that Lola’s presence on the earth was needed for nearly a century. Her Love. Her gentleness. Her care for her family.

When she would wake up at three, I wondered what she was doing. How many things were there for her to do at three in the morning?

She prayed. For each of her kids. And grandkids. And eventually, great-grandkids.

Lola’s Love was so large that it ends up sounding statistical. Ask anyone in her family and they’ll start rattling off a tally of family members. Kids? 9. Grandkids? 20. I guess it makes sense that she lived so long, she always put up astounding numbers.

Lola’s very long life was spent surrounded by Love, and at the end of the day, no matter how many years we get, I think that’s all we could really want. To know that we have Loved and been Loved. Lola spent nearly a century giving and receiving Love as freely as possible.

#198 Sweetwater Grill

16 July 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Thanks to Deanna’s family coming into town, I had the chance to eat at the Sweetwater Grill for the first time.

This place sits right on the Willamette River, with an outside patio area adjacent to the North Bank bike path. I used to run right by it while training a lot, but I didn’t realize it was connected to the Valley River Inn and I definitely didn’t realize how delicious it was.

I ordered some fish and chips, and they were great! It was a thicker but less floury breading unlike most fish and chips and it was great. It refrained from ever getting soggy and had a great crisp that went well with the quality of the fish. I also tried a bit of Deanna’s dungeness crab chowder… that was a really good soup! The menu wasn’t the biggest or most inventive, but the tastes I got were all well-executed.