Life is flying by at an alarming rate these days. I was worried about the time I’ve taken off between work and school and now I just want that time to SLOW DOWN.

As is typical, I would have no memory of the past two(ish) weeks if I didn’t have Flickr. So, here’s what’s been going on:

We thought Jon’s child #3 and MC (not what we call him, but works here) would be discharged from the hospital the morning after my last post. Unfortunately, MC was doing some gagging and choking that the doctors wanted to monitor for one more night. Jon and I stayed overnight to give her mother a break since she’d stayed the night before.

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I haven’t slept in an uncomfortable pull-out hospital chair since Jon’s cancer surgery – which I thought about all night.

It was freezing, so we dressed in layers. I woke up the next morning with a super sore throat that turned into a cold or sinus infection or something that lingered for the next week. It sucked.

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They discharged the next afternoon after waiting around forever.

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(For some reason, the waiting and the need to gain approval to leave from the hospital staff just irked me. I have a lot of patience in almost all arenas of life, but feeling trapped in a godforsaken hospital just pushes some buttons. Kept that to myself, of course, but damn. I’m irritated now just recalling it.)

Jon drove them to her mom’s house and dropped them off for the week and we went home and promptly sat on the couch for hours without moving. We were both totally exhausted from having spent nearly every moment of the long weekend at the hospital and we didn’t even have to do any of the work of producing a child.

OMG this baby. They visited a couple of times before coming home for good the weekend after he was born and each time they left we sat around talking about how we couldn’t wait for them to get back.

5 days old:

Not sure that I've ever met such a completely content baby.

Got in some good practice making faces tonight.

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They’re home!:

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Mason, day 11.

This baby.  (day 12)

Post-dinner walk. #100happydays

He’s just the cutest little thing ever.

Clearly the cutest baby ever.

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I could post pics all day.

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He apparently has something to say.  #faceoftheday

So sweet.

Other than loving on a baby, we’ve been cooking and have had friends over and I’ve been meeting Jon for lunch most days since I’m free, etc.

Repeat of last night for brunch. #starving #nevertooearlyforgreens #bringonthepie

All my mommyblog reading over the years paid off when I was able to introduce Jon’s child #3 to lactation cookies.

I now know more about lactation cookies than a non-lactating person should probably know, but any reason to bake cookies, right?  #100happydays (31/100).

I followed that up with learning how to make a pie. Blackberry!

Won't win any appearance awards, but I made my first pie today. Blackberry! #100happydays (34/100)

I worked a day (at my job). I’ve been working out with the trainer and doing the homework she assigns. I’ve also been trying to run here and there and have some idea that I might start training for a half marathon in October. I’ve done one week of Hal Higdon’s plan so far with the thought that I might keep up with that and re-join my running group when they start the fall session. We’ll see.

Taking advantage of the 64 degree morning. Might be enjoying this jobless situation a little more than I should.  #100happydays (32/100)

I completed my licensure application and am just waiting to hear back with approval so I can take the exam. (Took nearly 3 yrs to accomplish 3000 clinical hours + 100 supervision hours. I was SO anxious to send this packet.)

Took nearly 3 yrs to accomplish 3000 clinical hours + 100 supervision hours. Just have to wait for approval + an exam date. Almost there! #100happydays (30/100)

I checked in at the university and picked my office.

Claimed my office today. First come, first served re: the space and furniture, so being local paid off.  #100happydays (33/100)

Just loving life right now. All that stress about having nothing do? Completely gone.

Not feeling so great today, but that just means couch time with my favorite person (who may have begun to grow weary of my pic taking ways).  #100happydays

I’ve totally failed at keeping up with the Iceland recap, but I am committed to finishing. I love going back and looking at this stuff later – I’ve just been swamped since we got home and haven’t had the time to sit and focus on it. I’m now (mostly and temporarily) unemployed, though, and can add 10+ hours to my days for a little while. I don’t start the PhD program until mid-August and am staying at my job just one day every other week (essentially so I can continue working with a few long-term clients and because I love it too much to just outright leave) – so I will have time, I hope. Soon.

I intentionally gave myself this break between working my FT hectic job and the start of school, but I’ve been super stressed about it since I made the decision. I don’t handle boredom well. Love me some structure and routine and stress. I had a running list of projects and other things to accomplish (to fill up my time) until I decided that I need to take the month to learn how to just BE. To exist without pressure. To have nothing on a list for a day … or a week. I need to learn how to not be anxious over free fucking time. For real. So the list is gone.

(Though I haven’t quite been able to erase the backup one in my head.)

So the big news?

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Mason (middle name Cade) was born at 11:57pm on 7/3/14. 7 pounds, 10.8 ounces. 2 weeks early.

We had been on baby watch for a while because Jon’s child #3 had been slightly dilated for a couple of weeks and her doctor had been telling her she was ready to go – so his somewhat early arrival wasn’t a surprise.

7/3 was my last FT day of work and I had been joking for a while that she needed to hold him in until I finished everything I needed to finish … and she did. She was being admitted to the hospital as I was wrapping up and leaving my office for the day.

She had the easiest birth experience ever, I think. She arrived at a doctor appointment for a regular check-up that afternoon and was at 6cm and having contractions (that she was unaware of). The doctor told her to walk around for an hour and come back to be rechecked. At that point, they walked her over to the hospital and got her all checked in.

We hung out with her all night and she was fine. Didn’t even seem uncomfortable. I think we were all hoping for a 4th of July baby, but the nurse checked her around 11pm and said she was ready to push – surprising all of us – so they got that ball rolling.

She said exercise is harder than what she had to do that night. Said she’s felt worse pain. Said it was “easy.” She had an epidural, so I guess that plus her age plus the fact that she’s in pretty good physical shape just afforded her a really simple birth? I don’t know. Everyone was sort of surprised that she seemed so unaffected. I’m just very glad everything went well.

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He is seriously the cutest baby ever.

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Jon’s child #3 is doing SO well. Breastfeeding got off to a great start, too.

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There’s been much debate about what we’ll be called – and there’s a story to be told here – but we’ve decided on Poppy and Sassy. It has grown on me. I’m embracing the uniqueness of it.

I joked to Jon that he’s already looking the part (in this picture) …

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… though I still can’t quite believe he’s a GRANDFATHER.

They’re going to be spending the week with her mother before coming home and I’m already anxious for them to get here.

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Have I mentioned that we’re doing another round of whole 30 shenanigans? It was Jon’s idea this time following the debauchery of Iceland (and of life, in general, lately), so I’ve been doing it along with him.

It actually hasn’t been much of an issue this time around because I haven’t been logging anything or obsessing (which is ALWAYS the problem). I’ve just been eating. It’s really not that far from my typical way of doing things. I’ve eliminated dairy and rice and white potatoes and the random restaurant indulgences I enjoy a couple (or few) times a week.

We’re on day 21, I think. The only time I really struggled was yesterday when I very seriously wanted to inhale a pizza and came thisclose to ordering one on the way home from the hospital. We had been up all night the night before because of Mason’s birth and had only slept about 3-4 hours before going back to the hospital – and had then spent all day with them. We left the hospital close to 8PM last night and I was just dying. Exhausted. Starving. We got home and I ate nearly half a container of dried apricots while Jon quickly cooked dinner listening to me whine and bitch the whole way.

I’m in it for the long haul, though, I guess.

Exercise-wise – things are the same. I’ve attempted to run here and there, but I didn’t join the summer session of my running group because I’ve just had too much going on the past month. Also? It’s blazing hot.

Barely made it 2M w/out dying (88 degrees didn't help!), but survived my 1st attempt in a couple months. #100happydays

I’m still doing at least 2 strength training sessions each week, though. And the dog walking, of course.

Gym happy! So much more fun with a friend. #100happydays

I’ve had so much going on and so many changes happening at once that I’m trying to do whatever I can to keep the emotional demons at bay. Best course of action I know is good nutrition, exercise and sleep.

Day 1 in Iceland
Day 2

Day 3:

We woke up and had breakfast at Hótel Lækur.

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And headed out …

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Have I mentioned that we traveled the Ring Road (or Route 1)? It’s an 828 mile route around the island that connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. The highlands cover most of the interior of Iceland and are uninhabitable. The roads to/through the highlands were all closed when we were there since they’re only open late June – August. We didn’t have a 4WD drive, anyway, and were expressly forbidden from attempting any craziness and were given a map by the car rental people showing where we weren’t allowed to go – so we stuck with the Ring Road. Happily.

Our driving plan for the day:

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This was our longest drive of the trip – and likely the most scenic. I hesitate to say it was my favorite day, but I’m not sure why I feel that way. It was my favorite day.

As with day 2, I’m not sure that I have everything in perfect order, but I’m pretty sure this was our first stop:

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Eyjafjallajökull is the volcano that erupted in 2010 and caused air travel problems to/from Europe. We could see it from Hótel Lækur the night before – and it was super foggy since it was early morning – but we stopped, anyway, and took pictures.

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Shortly after that stop, we stumbled upon Skógafoss.

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We decided to climb the stairs to see what we’d see.

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Jon was willing to go all the way.

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I just wasn’t. Too high.

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This is where we temporarily lost our car keys and panicked.

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At some point, we stopped in a small town called Vík. It’s the southernmost village in Iceland with a population of just over 200 people. I didn’t know anything about it until we arrived there.

This is what I learned (via wikipedia): “Vík lies directly beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. Katla has not erupted since 1918, and this longer than typical repose period has led to speculation that an eruption may occur soon. An eruption of Katla could melt enough ice to trigger an enormous flash flood, potentially large enough to obliterate the entire town. The town’s church, located high on a hill, is believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood. Thus, the people of Vík practice periodic drills and are trained to rush to the church at the first sign of an eruption.”

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While we were in Vík, we stopped at a grocery store and picked up some stuff for lunch.

(banana, blueberries, turkey, yogurt, cottage cheese, a cheese and ham filled croissant and some cinnamon/chocolate cookies – we shared this stuff)
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Lunch happened a little while later at a beautiful spot we found as we drove. We were pretty much alone on the road by this point (as we were for most of the drive after day 1), so we just pulled over, rolled the windows down and ate.

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I gave up on my hair at some point. It was just too windy to care.

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We discovered throughout the day that the landscape (and weather) changed dramatically over and over.

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The lava fields were astonishing. I was completely fascinated.

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At some point, we found this:

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THEN, we found Jökulsárlón.

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I have never experienced anything like it. Ever.

It’s all – the whole day – really just indescribable.

We spent 8 hours traveling that day with all of the stops we made and the time we spent walking and gawking at stuff.

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Our stop for the night:

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Dinner was fantastic!

(Cauliflower soup)
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(Langoustine)
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(I chose vegetable lasagna.)
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(Jon chose the fish of the day – cod.)
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(Rhubarb pie for dessert.)
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I spent the evening reading and Jon spent it watching movies on his iPad. I had done very little (almost zero) reading about Iceland prior to the trip and hadn’t even really read anything about the stuff we’d be seeing since Icelandic Farm Holidays arranged our accommodations and gave us the driving route (for instance, I had no idea we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us that morning until the owner of Hótel Lækur asked where we were headed and told me about the distance). I was super interested to learn more at this point, though – especially about life, in general, and about social issues like homelessness, poverty, access to education, medical care and mental health services, etc. The most fascinating thing I learned? Their prisons? Only 1 (of 6) has a capacity over 25.

Anyway. I had some trouble sleeping that night but had a great time reading. Jon was generally able to sleep pretty well.

11:42pm

Up next: my second favorite day of the trip.

We’re home!

Made it back around 11PM Thursday night and were both sound asleep at home by 12:30 after making it about 20 hours awake and traveling.

We spent yesterday (Friday) doing very little. I woke up around 6AM and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and unpacked everything and generally got our lives back to normal. It rained while we were gone, so the floors were in great need of mopping (because of the dogs), so I dusted everything, swept, vacuumed and finally mopped.

(I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’m super obsessive about cleanliness and organization … so uhhh … yeah. Awake at 6AM unpacking and cleaning. That’s kinda my thing. Makes me happy to have everything in order. Also, there’s just no way I could have sat on the couch all day in peace knowing suitcases weren’t put away and the floor was dirty.)

Anyway.

After that, we mostly just hung out at home having an Orange is the New Black marathon. We went out to lunch at some point and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for ice cream. Wound up finding a super sale on random, semi-old cut flowers (since I always browse them), which helped with the post-vacation dreariness I was feeling. Jon had a doctor appointment (just blood work for an upcoming oncology visit) and a hair cut scheduled, but I stayed on the couch while he did both.

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We’re doing more of the same today. I’m still feeling pretty wiped out from the trip and the party we had a couple of days prior to leaving and the chaos of getting both work and home stuff taken care of before disappearing for nearly 2 weeks, etc. My goal is to spend this weekend doing absolutely NOTHING.

(Except laundry and grocery shopping. And the dogs really need a bath. And I should probably attempt a short run or two. The necessities.)

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So, I left off with the day we made it to Reykjavik: Day 1.

The next morning, we got up and headed downstairs to wait for the rental car company to bring our car.

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Ate breakfast at the hotel buffet, too.

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We generally had no idea what was in store, but here was the plan for the first day “on the road” – Reykjavik to Hella:

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This part of the trip covered a portion of the Golden Circle route (“a popular tourist route in South Iceland, covering about 300 km looping from Reykjavík into central Iceland and back”) – so there was a lot to see. Also? A lot of tour buses.

I may have things out of order, but I’m pretty sure we stopped at Thingvellir National Park (where the Icelandic Parliament, Alþingi, was established in the year 930 AD) first.

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After that, we made it to Geysir and Strokkur (geysers).

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I know we made it to Gullfoss (waterfall), too, but I seem to have zero pictures – likely because it was super crowded and I was becoming super hungry. I seem to remember that we didn’t feel like dealing with all of the people to make it down the path to see it in full glory. We ate lunch at the Gullfoss Café (tourist/souvenir shop), though, because we weren’t sure we’d find much else once we left the area.

(Jon had lamb stew, I had tomato soup. We split a tomato/mozz/basil panini. Pretty good.)

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We did a bunch of driving to get to our hotel once we left the waterfall area and had FANTASTIC views.

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(This is Hekla – a volcano. First I’ve ever seen.) (From the windshield, so spots = bugs.)

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That night, we stayed at Hótel Lækur, just outside of Hella.

It was great. Super nice owner and staff. Beautiful location. Nice, clean room with a pleasant view (of horses!).

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Hekla was in the distance.

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As was this:

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Hótel Lækur has one seating for dinner each night with a set menu. Ours was fantastic.

(First course that night was leek pie and shrimp.)
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(Second course was chicken, sweet potato and zucchini.)
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(Favorite course was ice cream in little puff pastries.)
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After dinner, we just hung out together and walked around some since it was a gorgeous night.

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Definitely had many “can you believe this is really happening” moments. Seriously great first day on the road.

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Up next was our busiest day of the trip.

So, we left Reykjavik after I last posted and started our road trip around the country. I’ve been uploading tons of pictures (to Flickr), but have had no time to do anything else despite a strong desire to record the memories. Will get to a blow-by-blow when we get home.

For now, OMG. That’s all I can say. This place is stunning.

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All of this uninterrupted time together has made me ready to quit our jobs and do … something else.

We've been out looking for the Lagarfljót worm (http://www.icelandicroots.com/the-lake-monster-at-lagarfljot/), but apparently this won't be our claim to fame.

And the food? Excellent! I haven’t needed the snack bag at all.

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We’re headed N today and will be making our way around to Reykjavik by Wednesday night.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

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We made it to Reykjavik!

We left Detroit yesterday afternoon and flew into LaGuardia. From there, we traveled to JFK, checked in for our next flight, dropped off our bags, hopped in a cab and went to dinner at a restaurant Jon found in Queens via yelp – Don Peppe. We had an 8 hour layover, so why not?

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The food was fantastic and the staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. It was a great way to kill some time.

My goal is to take a selfie in every town we encounter for the next 9 days. Will Jon be able to bear the weight of my narcissism? Time will tell.

Our flight to Iceland left at 11:30PM EST and arrived here at 9AM local time. It was a 5 hour flight, so we both tried to sleep as much as we could to mimic a typical night. I generally don’t sleep on flights, but I was exhausted, so I slept a few hours.

We did something a little different this time around and booked some aspects of our trip with a travel agency – Icelandic Farm Holidays. This is what their website says:

Icelandic Farm Holidays is an award-winning, leading expert in rural Iceland with over 30 years of experience.

We offer a wide range of self-drive packages, guided tours and day tours all year round in addition to a vast accommodation network of bed and breakfasts, country hotels, self-catering cottages and apartments and traditional farms all around Iceland.

The Icelandic Farm Holidays Association was founded by farmers in 1980 and the travel agency by the same name is still majority-owned by the farmers themselves.

As an EarthCheck certified organisation, Icelandic Farm Holidays is committed to sustainable tourism.

We chose one of the self-drive tours. They have provided us with a basic route and some suggested things to do along the way and they have booked our accommodations for each night along the way. They also picked us up at the airport this morning and will be providing our rental car.

We can do whatever we want (completely on our own) – but they have provided lots of information.

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Today was spent in Reykjavik, so we were picked up at the airport and dropped off at our hotel (where we were able to check in despite it being just barely 10AM). We wanted to do nothing but shower and sleep, so that’s how we started our day. We wound up sleeping just an hour, though, so we wouldn’t screw up the entire day.

We ate lunch at the restaurant in our hotel when we woke up, which turned out to have a buffet.

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They had a bunch of gorgeous desserts out. I, of course, wanted to try every one of them – but I refrained from going too crazy. Jon and I each got some to sample.

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After lunch, we figured out how to take the bus into the city so we could walk around (and find a bank to exchange currency).

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It started pouring rain, so we just stayed on the bus as it made its way around and got to see a bunch of the area. I’m glad things worked out that way since it offered us a chance to see a lot of stuff we probably wouldn’t have bothered to see (i.e., residential/outlying areas).

We walked around a lot once it finally stopped raining and we were brave enough to get off the bus we were on.

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Stopped for coffee + beer + bathroom once.

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Stopped for dinner at Le Bistro. There were only a couple of other people there since it was fairly early, so we had a quiet dinner together (by a window on a busy street so we could people watch).

(Jon and I split a cheese board and beef bourguignon.)

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Beef bourguignon for dinner.

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We headed back to our hotel after dinner since we were both pretty exhausted. There was some minor confusion about what bus we were supposed to take (or rather, what direction) back – but it all worked out and we got on the right one.

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I was ready to sleep by 7PM, but we needed to kill time – awake – so we went back to the hotel restaurant for dessert and hung out for a while.

In my world, dessert happens at least twice a day on vacation.

It’s 10PM here now and I’ve been awake for some ungodly amount of hours and am delirious – but I think I’ve made it long enough and will able to get on track. Time to sleep.

Super fun first day.

It’s happening!

Adventure begins! Free flight situation means we're spending a day/night in Detroit (Ann Arbor!) and afternoon in NYC - as if those things are a hardship.

We have a sort of crazy situation before we actually get to Iceland since we booked via frequent flyer miles – but we’re on our way.

We’re currently at the tail end of a 22 hour layover in Detroit. We arrived at 2pm yesterday, so we rented a car and drove to Ann Arbor for the night. I haven’t been back since I graduated, so it was nice to reminisce. We drove past our apartment and walked around campus and walked around downtown, etc.

It was fun to sort of step back into this old life for a day. Drove by my apt, walked around campus, hit 3 restaurants in one night. About sums up my AA experience.

The weather was fantastic, so we had a great dinner outside.

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Jon was in the mood to drink, so we made it to a couple of different places to accomplish that …

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Fun night.

We woke up this morning and stopped for breakfast on the way to the airport. We’re now sitting and waiting to fly to LaGuardia.

One last feast before heading to the airport. Fantastic 22 hour layover.

We’ll have about 8 hours before we fly out of JFK to Iceland, so I suppose we’ll find something to do in NYC for a few hours since we have to leave one airport for another, anyway.

I am super excited about Iceland, of course, but have had a fantastic time in MI. I’m glad things worked out this way.

We’ve rented a car and will be driving around the Ring Road that travels around the island, but that’s our only plan for Iceland at this point.

A friend (who has been there) suggested that we bring some food, just in case – so I packed a small bag. I’m not sure what to expect food-wise, but there’s some idea that I might not be super thrilled with my choices since I don’t like lamb or some seafood (i.e., I don’t like lobster). Either way, I’m excited to see what we find and hope I don’t have to rely on (boring) granola bars and almond butter.

First time packing food for a trip. Trying to prevent total gluttony and/or the hangry.

I didn’t pack any running clothes, but I did pack my Garmin in case I decide to walk for miles on end, I guess. I haven’t been running much lately, anyway, and don’t see myself pushing it.

In other news … life has pretty much been the same. I’ve been doing the strength training thing a couple of times a week. Been skipping runs for reasons mostly unknown to me, but somewhat due to a perceived lack of time and shift in priority. I co-hosted an engagement party at my house on Sunday and had 55+ people show. It was awesome. I chopped off several inches of my hair.

Before:

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Still not totally sure how I feel about it since some of the layers are pretty aggressively short.

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Time to go!

Such a sweet face.

Life sped up some after my last post, which is sort of amazing since I was barely keeping up as it was.

Up first, Mother’s Day.

My mom came into town for the weekend, which was fun. We mostly just hung out, walked the dogs a lot and ate a lot of ice cream.

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Jon left town that Saturday to head to Vancouver. I took a few days off later in the week and flew up/over to hang out with him!

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Quick overview:

I got there around noon on Wednesday, so we spent the afternoon/early evening walking around downtown (where he was staying). Jon’s a little familiar with the downtown area since he has traveled there a few times, so he was a great tour guide. We stopped for dinner in Chinatown as we walked, but I was delirious with exhaustion at that point from the 5 and a half hours of flying and 3 hour time difference. What I remember of it was fun.

Thursday, we left around 7:30AM and headed out in a rental car to explore the area. We stopped in Deep Cove for breakfast (at Honey Doughnuts & Goodies).

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Picked up some snacks for the road, too.

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Several people mentioned the frequency of rain to us – but we lucked out with gorgeous weather.

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I don’t know that I am aware of everywhere we went that day since I was sort of just along for the ride (meaning I had planned/read about nothing), but I know we stopped at Mount Seymour to see what we might be able to see (not much).

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We also stopped at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park because I’d read about it in a random brochure as we drove and it looked fun.

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Jon was opposed once we got there and discovered the price, but I figure you have to do at least ONE gimmicky/pricey thing on a trip.

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Turns out I am NOT a fan of suspension bridges. I practically ran across.

I didn’t mind the treetop or cliff walking so much, though, since the bridges were smaller.

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But I certainly didn’t lollygag.

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I wouldn’t do it again, but it was a fun way to spend an hour or so.

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We ate a quick lunch in North Vancouver somewhere along our driving route (at Hurricane Grill).

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We stopped at a park along the way to see what we’d find, too, and walked for a while.

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Found water (and the top of a lighthouse).

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We wound up in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver …

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… and decided to stop for a snack to share after walking around looking at stuff (at Troll’s Restaurant).

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After that, we went back to our hotel and (later) ordered pizza to be delivered for dinner. I was too tired to walk anywhere else.

Friday, we were both awake at 5AM, so Jon went in search of something open that early with food and coffee.

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We walked down near the convention center and rented bikes for the morning to explore Stanley Park.

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It was another gorgeous day for it. (This is obv instagram enhanced – but only slightly!)

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We ate lunch near the convention center since we could sit outside and people watch (at Tap & Barrel).

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I had grown weary of the bike riding after a few hours of it, so we turned them in at lunch and walked around the park.

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A lot.

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Once we made it back to the hotel, we both took naps and then I skipped dinner. Jon ordered Thai delivery but I was just tired of eating. I had, however, picked up more sugar at a shop we passed on the way back to the hotel earlier in the day …

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We were awake super early again on Saturday, but we waited around until something opened instead of relying on doughnuts again. We had a typical diner breakfast (at Joe’s Grill).

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Walked back, gathered our stuff and headed to the airport to start the long trek home.

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Got home around 11PM last night and found our happy babies (who had been in the great care of Jon’s 2 daughters).

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Such a fun trip!

I ate a ton of junk, obv, but also walked and biked many, many miles. I assume it’s got to balance out somewhat. I don’t really care if it doesn’t, though, since it was just 2 and a half days.

I’m thinking I’ll probably run a few miles today once I get myself motivated to do something other than sit on my couch. I didn’t run at all last week since I skipped the running group on Tuesday night to pack and get ready to leave. Might as well bite the bullet and get back on track.

It’s been another good week. Jon left last Sunday morning and was gone all week and it stormed and rained a couple of days and I had a dog puking incident that necessitated baths for both before dawn one morning – so I guess it technically could have been better – but it really wasn’t so bad.

This weekend, especially, has been nice.

Everyone is always thrilled to see Jon.

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The weather has been gorgeous, too.

Too gorgeous not to do our reading + iPad watching outside today.

Had to take advantage and spend the afternoon outside yesterday.

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Oh, and this assembly happened:

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Monday: Strength training homework (40 minutes), 30 minutes on the elliptical while I was at the gym, 2M walk with Molly when I got home from the gym.
Tuesday: Running group started up again! I think I ran about 2-2.5M between the warmup and the goal for the night. I walked Molly about a mile when I got home.
Wednesday: Strength training with trainer for an hour. Walked Molly maybe half a mile because it was raining on us.
Thursday: Running group’s core class (30 minutes of circuit training stuff – 12 stations, I think, of things like jumping jacks, pushups, planks, squats, etc. for 40 seconds each before rotating). Molly and I made it about a mile once I got home because I was starving.
Friday: Nothing. Didn’t even walk Molly because Jon came home and did it.
Saturday: 3M run
Sunday: So far Jon and I have walked Molly our 2M route. Will likely run a few miles later this morning.

So, running:

I’m doing the SumSPEED program. Here’s what the website says:

Throughout the SumSPEED program, runners will have a schedule that is light on quantity, but high on quality. We will be focusing on hills, intervals, drills, fartleks and strengthening exercises such as plyos and core work. The mix of running and strength-work will be a new approach for many and provide a new stimulus that will break even the most competitive runner out of their training “rut”.

We met at the Univ of TN track on Tuesday night and did this:

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We broke the mile by resting for 45 seconds after each 400m. My goal was to do the mile in about 10 minutes. We broke the 800 with 30 second rests. I didn’t have a HR monitor with me, so the coach did my HR manually (because feeling my own heart beating creeps me right out). I think the max HR on the broken mile is accurate because I caught her right when I got off the track. I had to wait around for a minute after the 800m while she did someone else, so the 126 is definitely not max for that. Either way, I calculated the threshold and tempo info based on 174.

The program has changed a little bit this time around. Instead of receiving a plan for each day of the week, we were given mileage to spread out however we want. I chose the lower end: 20M for the week, which makes my Saturday long runs 6M (which – see above – I obv didn’t do). We are supposed to do our threshold and tempo runs whenever we want throughout the week.

Realistically, I don’t know that I’m actually going to run 20M each week. We’ll see. I do 2 days of strength training that I’m not willing to give up and I enjoy the running group’s core class (making that 3 nights of non-running exercise). The running group meets 2 days a week, which would get me to about half of my weekly mileage if I’m able to do the prescribed long run each Saturday. That leaves 2 days of the week free to run the other half of my mileage – or rest or whatever.

Problem: I did not feel ready to run 6M yesterday and doubt I’ll feel ready to run 6M next weekend. I ran 3M yesterday and am ok with that. If I run 3M on Saturdays and 2 or 3 on Tuesday nights, that leaves 15M for me to make up during those 2 free days I have, though. Highly unlikely. Especially since I need at least one rest day. I’m sure I’ll eventually be fine to run 6M – and very likely CAN right now – I just don’t really want to push it.

My plan is to run on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the group and to try to fit in some miles here and there as I can. No pressure. This is supposed to be fun, so I’m just going to alter the program to fit my lifestyle. I only have a few free hours each day to try to balance all of the things I need to balance. I’m going to fit in what I can, but I’m not going to drive myself crazy over it or create unneeded stress. Maybe my 2M walks with Molly each day will become 2M runs?

I need the group for motivation to run (and accountability), for fun, for socializing, etc. – so that’s what I’m using it for.
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I think I’ve figured out why I haven’t been super motivated with the food pictures lately.

This is what’s typical these days with the exercise and the dog walking and the spouse traveling:

Monday night – mashed up a few eggs with some mayo and jalapeno slices and plopped it on a plain rice cake.

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Tuesday night I switched it up and just had turkey, swiss and spinach rollups (that I eat more like tacos) – likely because I ate the egg thing for lunch.

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Wednesday night I felt wild and added a couple of graham crackers.

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And here we are yet again on Thursday – just with pepperjack cheese this time.

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I’m pretty sure I ate some combination of these exact things for lunch each day, too.

Here’s a snack I threw in my purse one day, though:

(an ounce of mixed nuts and a box of craisins)

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Things always improve when Jon gets home. Friday night we went out for pizza. Yesterday, we took a couple of his kids out for lunch to celebrate his child #3′s 21st birthday. We ordered fried green tomatoes (with goat cheese grits) and fried okra to split.

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I wound up ordering scrambled eggs, sausage and home fries because apparently I hadn’t had enough eggs even though I ate TWO DOZEN from last Sunday morning to Friday afternoon.

(In my defense, I think they’re good/easy protein that just happen to be really simple to cook since I boil a dozen at a time. Plus I like them.)

We had leftover pizza for dinner last night and I, of course, had my fair share of cake.

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Today, I’m feeling sick from the pizza, cake and fried stuff and am ready for my plain rice cakes (and eggs).

The past week is the kind of week I’d like to repeat over and over. Nothing spectacular happened – was just good.

Exercise-wise, things were pretty typical:

Monday: Walked Molly our 2M route around the neighborhood
Tuesday: Walked Molly our 2M route
Wednesday: Trainer for an hour after work, walked Molly 2M when I got home
Thursday: Strength training homework at the gym for 45 minutes, 30 minutes on the elliptical
Friday: Spin class at 5:30AM, 2M walk with Molly after work
Saturday: 2M walk with Molly, 1M walk to/from a new beer market that opened nearby
Today: The weather is gorgeous so I’m sure I’ll walk Molly. Might also find a gym class to do. Or maybe I’ll sit outside and read.

I failed on the food pictures thing, which is a shame since Jon cooked several really good meals. Just don’t have it in me lately, I guess. We went out to dinner on Friday night and I remembered, but the lighting was horrible.

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I ordered a fairly simple salad (spinach, couscous, grilled artichoke heart, feta, roasted red peppers, grilled portabello, grilled shrimp, no dressing because I didn’t like it – mixed it all up before I remembered the picture) because I was craving cake and thought I might get dessert.

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I wound up feeling full, though, and put off the cake craving until yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. I almost had Jon convinced to make a homemade pound cake, but it was going to take an hour to bake – so we ran to the store and picked one up.

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Just felt like it was finally a good day for cake.

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I went to the (previously mentioned) support group yesterday and left feeling super … something. Weird again, I guess. There was a lot of us (overweight) vs. them (thin) sort of talk – assumptions of judgment, assumptions about different life experiences, etc. What’s most interesting to me is I felt very much as if I fit in with/understood the group, but it was apparent that some of them didn’t feel the same about me. Not a big deal – I’m just there to keep things safe and on track and understand very much how uncomfortable it can be to feel vulnerable in front of a potentially judgmental outsider – but I can’t deny that I wasn’t impacted in some way just from listening. I don’t really know yet how to articulate what I’m thinking. Body stuff is so complicated. We all think we’re so alone and unique in our struggles (myself included, of course), but that’s so rarely the case.

Anyway.

That was my week – a couple strength training sessions, a spin class, lots of dog walking, decent week at work, good food, sunshine, Jon in town. I want another one just like it.

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Have I ever mentioned that Molly is super affectionate?

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Henry follows us everywhere we go (seriously – everywhere – we are never alone) and wants to sit nearby or on our laps, but he doesn’t like to be touched. Just wants to sit there.

Molly, on the other hand, is constantly trying to get us to pet her or hug on her.

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She really is so sweet.

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