From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Good morning! First off, thanks for the many congrats yesterday. Love you all bunches for the tons of support you have given me in so many things this year. I hope I can return a little bit of that love through this here blog as well. Smile

So yesterday I had my first parent-teacher “conference” for Makenzie. She seems so sweet and innocent…until I get called in for a conference.


Kidding! It wasn’t like that. Just a standard meeting with the teacher to go over her development in certain skills. No surprises at all. She’s bright, talkative, and “spunky”. I love that new term the teacher used to describe my sweet girl’s touchy attitude. Winking smile

That’s how my day started. Now, let’s get to how it ended.

After a full day with the kids and getting things done around the house, I got myself out the door for a run in the afternoon. By the time I hit the road it was shortly after 5 pm and looked like the sky could drop open at any moment.

I didn’t care, though. I wanted the time outdoors. I did one warm-up mile, then proceeded to up the pace for the remaining five. I really want to continue with regular speed work. I find it a fun challenge. Plus, it helped me end my run quicker. A very good thing considering how dark it got so quickly.

I didn’t realize it would be almost pitch black by 6 pm. I finished just in time as it started raining shortly after I got in the car.

After my run, I stopped by the library to pick up a few new reads. Thanks for all of your recommendations! I put a few of them on hold, then found a new James Patterson to grab while there. I also got sucked into the running section. I foresee lots of reading in my future. And I love it.

By the time I got home, I didn’t really feel like cooking up a full dinner. That meant turning to a quick fix meal option.


Campbells canned soup. Plus a pepperjack grilled cheese.


I love making my own soups, either in the crockpot or a quick 20 minute recipe on the stove, but last night just called for the emergency pantry stash. I know most of you can relate. Your secret is safe with me. Don't tell anyone smile

Have a great day! See you in the afternoon!

  • Do you ever use canned soups or similar products? I hate how “bad” the blogging community makes them seem sometimes. Who gives?!
  • Does the earlier dark bother you or do you enjoy it? I actually enjoy it.

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55 Comments to “From Beginning To End”
  1. I actually love the time change. I run in the morning, so having the light is so nice! And getting dark early gives me another reason to slip into my PJ’s a bit earlier and get some much needed reading done 🙂

  2. I don’t like the early darkness, it’s a bummer to do all my midweek runs in the dark. 🙁 My headlamp is getting lots of time this year though!

  3. I’m definitely a fan of canned soups! They’re a quick, easy option!

    I’m not, however, a fan of it getting dark earlier – it’s hard with having a desk job, I feel like I miss all the daylight hours this time of year! Fortunately, my office has a LOT of windows, so that helps a bit.

  4. I can’t get over how cute your little Makenzie is!

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the canned soups! I love making my own, and I would absolutely agree that they are “healthier” than the canned versions. HOWEVER, sometimes a canned soup just has to happen. There’s definitely much UNhealthier choices out there! I personally love the canned Amy’s Organic Soups. I don’t eat it a ton, but I keep a few on hand for when I’m in a rush or don’t feel like cooking.

  5. Aww what an adorable picture of your little one! I use canned soups for convenience purposes all the time. It’s a bad habit, but I’m a busy mama!

  6. oh yes of course I use canned soup … if I put soup into a meal plan for the week, then it’s always homemade … like this week is potato and leek … but we often have soup as a quick lunch on the weekend with grilled cheese or toast and that’s always from a can

  7. They already have parent-teacher conferences in PRESCHOOL!?!?! Seems crazy early to me – but I’m glad M got 5 stars!! 😉

  8. I don’t mind using canned soups every now and then because I really can’t do it all from scratch. I try limit the amount of processed food I feed my family, but sometimes you just need a simple go-to. And with grilled cheese? Always a winner in my book!

  9. Khushboo says:

    I love using canned soups as the basis of sauces! Nice going on the speedy run!

  10. Kelly says:

    That picture of M is PRECIOUS!!!!

  11. Tina says:

    She is too cute!

    I use canned soups every once and a while too.

    Actually the getting dark earlier does kinda depress me a bit. It makes the winter feel a lot longer to me.

  12. Jamie says:

    This is probably worse that yours, but I made tuna noodle casserole last night with canned cream of mushroom soup. I know it isn’t the healthiest meal but it is easy and the whole family likes it. I wouldn’t even know how to make it without the soup. And hey, it’s still better than fast food right?

    • Tina says:

      We make our enchiladas using cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup all the time. It makes a better enchilada sauce!

  13. Italian Wedding Soup is my go-to quick meal too! I love it for a warm, hearty comfort meal. When I was in college, I used to cut up breakfast sausage to try to make my own – kind of embarrassing! Now I just stick with the canned kind 🙂

  14. RunEatRepeat says:

    I live off canned soup in the winter. I’m not trying to make soup from scratch every week.

  15. What a productive day you had, Tina!! I’m impressed 🙂 You are really taking your running up a notch, eh??

    I know I tweeted you congrats, but congrats again – I know how nerve-wracking those tests are, and it feels like (and IS) a huuuge accomplishment to see those four letters… (pass 😉 )

  16. That picture of Makenzie is amazing! I LOVE canned soup and any soup ha:) Great workout and congrats on getting certified!

  17. It’s pitch black here by about 4:45, I’d take 6 any day! I always keep a stash of a couple of cans of soup in the pantry for quick lunches or dinners. Amy’s chunky tomato is my favorite 🙂

  18. Annie says:

    I like autumn & winter so really don’t mind the dark 🙂 although not really a fan of the early morning darkness when I leave at 7.30 to go to uni!

    I usually only eat canned soup because I find making my own quite messy and requiring a lot of faffle especially when I’m at uni. So of them are really really good! But I do drink (and make) homemade soup when I’m back at my dad’s 🙂

  19. I honestly always use canned soups! I think they’re really good and if you get low sodium, they’re not all thaaat bad 🙂 I like the darker earlier only because I like it to be lighter earlier.

  20. gaah, teach me to enjoy the earlier darkness. it makes me so depressed!

  21. Kris says:

    um, canned soup is bad? wow.

    I love my scratch-made soups, and do this often, but Jason and I both love soup and always have our favorite canned flavors available (boxed too). I had canned soup last night for dinner, added leftover rice to it and it was fantastic! I had no time and it was literally a 2 minute meal.

    are people saying it is “bad” because it is a convenience packaged food, or… that it comes from a can? I’m confused, definitely! 🙂

  22. Canned soup is just necessary sometimes! 😉

    I don’t like driving home from work in dark, but now that’s it dark earlier, I feel like I have more downtime when it gets dark earlier because my brain seems to shut off around 8 instead of 10 or 11!

  23. lindsay says:

    Oh yes! i do the same. I stock up on Amy’s simple soup mixes (like split pea, black bean, vegetable, etc) and then just add chicken, turkey, etc. Life saver for sure!
    Glad you got in your run.

  24. jobo says:

    running in the dark intimidates me, but I bet I would like it if I did it. And yes, nothing wrong with a canned soup now and again 😉 I have a great simple soup recipe that takes about 20 mins (to add to your 20 min stash!). 3-4 potatoes, rough chopped, couple tbsp of olive oil, add whatever ‘flavor’ you want for the soup base (tomato – big can of diced tomatoes, carrot, big bag of baby carrots, black bean, big can of beans etc), add a can or two of water, a bunch of seasonings. cook till veggies are soft, puree, add back to stove, add a little more water if it needs loosening, and serve. SO good and pure tasting 🙂

  25. Mellissa says:

    I am eating a can of soup right now at my desk for lunch 🙂 I have no groceries and am not about to go fit food for 4 days when I will be gone for 2 weeks.

  26. Ugggg, I HATE when it gets dark so early. I always feel like I have no time left in the day to get things done, when in reality I still have several hours before bed!

  27. i love canned tomato soup! i used to be a campbell’s purist but i love the one in the box from trader joe’s and also progresso makes a couple of good ones. but most other soups i only like homemade.

  28. hmmm, thx for the soup/sandwich suggestion. Not enough sleep last night, along with rainy weather today has left me feeling pretty blah, so soup & a sandwich sounds like perfect comfort food! (Maybe after lunch, I’ll get started on some homemade soup for dinner!)

  29. Heather says:

    I typically don’t mind the early dark, but this year it’s really playing tricks on me. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE running outside after work, and in the other months of the year, I even walk home from work for a little heart-pumping warm up. Now, it’s dark before I even leave the office and my boss refuses to let me walk home [there is no sidewalk for the first 3/4 of a mile or so, so it is incressingly dangerous in dark.]

    I’m trying to make changes and find ways to get runs in either in the morning or somewhere lit at night. So far, running the same quarter mile on the sidewalk near the main road near my house round and round and round seems to be doing the trick. I’m also going to see if the local high school track keeps lights on in the evenings for the community or any practices.

    • Tina says:

      I think the local track would be a great option. Pretty sure ours keeps lights on until around 8 or 9. So hopefully yours does too!

  30. I’m not a big canned soup fan. But that is only because I am not a soup fan in general. Except black bean soup. That is my exception:) I am with you… I love the early darkness. It makes me want to cuddle up under a blanket and read or watch TV. I think I need to follow your lead and take a trip to the library.

  31. Heather says:

    canned soup all the time! When I went to the ER last week, I ate canned soup for days after!
    what a sweet pic of M! when I was a teacher I hated conference day. oy. lol!

  32. I just had canned soup yesterday. Sometimes it’s just plain convenient and I don’t mind it now and then. It’s NBD really!

    Spunky! I like that. I think I’ll describe myself that way ;-P

  33. I like the early darkness, but it definitely has the dog’s eating schedule all screwed up. They start their wet-nose-nudging a full hour and a half before their actual supper time!

  34. Spunky…haha…love it.

    I like boxed soups better than the canned ones– the Pacifica ones are my favorite!

  35. Jamima says:

    Canned soups are a life saver sometimes, couldn’t agree more! I often just add in some fresh veggies that I have in the fridge so I can feel like I’m eating something half home made. 🙂
    Your daughter is adorable!

  36. I like to make my own soup, but there are some really good canned versions! No hate from me there! Haha 😀

  37. I hate how its getting dark so early lately, but I love how its no longer dark when I wake up in the mornings. So I am conflicted, I suppose! =)

  38. I am the same with you, I love homemade soup but I also have some emergency canned soups on hand! I recently just ate one because I was feeling sick and too lazy to make my own soup!

  39. Diana says:

    The complete women’s guide to running is awesome!! You will love it. I’m one of those who feels like she gets faster by reading about running so if you’re anything like me, sitting down with a few chapters of that will make you feel like you just worked out! 🙂

    I have to say, I hate to be whiny, but I am despising the early darkness this year – my new job requires me to be at work crazy early so the evening is the only time I have to run and it is dark and scary out there!!

  40. Oh I love canned soups! You can get fairly good ones that aren’t too expensive and they are great when you’re in a hurry! I find that I eat a lot of things that aren’t considered “great” by the healthy living community…oops. As long as it works for me though right? I don’t mind it getting darker earlier on the weekends, but when I go to class and it’s light out and then leave in the dark and have to go home to do hw it can get really depressing!

  41. I used Amy’s canned soups ALL THE TIME when I want a quick warm meal. Beef them up sometimes, or just eat them as is!

  42. Lee says:

    Makenzie looks so grown up in that picture!

    I like canned soups just fine, especially Progresso.

  43. I used to get canned soups all the time, but now that I can’t eat gluten or soy I’ve been warned to stay away. I don’t mind running in the dark, sometimes I actually like it! As long as where I’m running in the city is well-lit and safe!

  44. Denise says:

    I love this time if year for sleeping, but I dont get much else done:)

  45. STUFT Mama says:

    This getting dark business by 5 pm is FOR THE BIRDS! 🙂 Good thing you finished your run just in time.
    That little Mackenzie is just WAY to cute. Glad the conferences went well too!

  46. Anna Marie says:

    Your daughter is so cute!

    I agree with using canned soups! I in fact enjoyed a canned tomato soup tonight with my grilled pepperjack cheese and hummus english muffin sandwich. Soooooo good!

  47. Hey! I have that book! (The Complete Book of Women’s Running, that is). Big fan. Or at least, I’m a big fan of what I’ve read…which is barely anything so far because I haven’t had time haha. Christmas break where are youuuuu?

    I do not like the early darkness at all. I don’t like being out alone after dark, and now that it gets dark so early I feel like I’m always either stuck at home or scared silly walking around at like, 6 p.m.

  48. All I have to say about this…… I love grilled cheese.


  49. KelleeMove says:

    I live in the north-end of the country (Seattle), so it’s currently completely dark here well before 5:00. This I do not like. Not at all.

    I also don’t like canned soup, though it *has* made an emergency appearance on my table from time to time. I’ve been spoiled, though, with homemade long enough that the canned stuff just always leaves me wanting. And, yeah, there’s that sodium issue. Some brands are better than others – just takes some label reading. But I try even harder to avoid all canned foods now since learning that many of them are lined with BPA (that nasty chemical we so diligently avoid in our plastics). I’m so very, very lucky to live just a few short blocks from an organic food co-op with THE BEST deli soups, salads, etc. (Seriously, their food is incredible.) Because, yeah, with two kids and a crazy work schedule? There are nights when I am just NOT going to be cooking. No way! 🙂

  50. The days seem so short right now. I know they’re the same, it just gets dark early but it makes it harder to get things done. By 7…I’m ready for bed! LOL!

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