I can’t believe another month has flown by. Classes start in 2 weeks.

I was thinking the other day that I need to remember not to panic when confronted with wide open spaces of time because I always fill it – and it always flies by.

Except then I realized that this is my last “free” summer. I have 2 semesters of classes left before moving on to my dissertation. So – yeah. Not sure why I just realized that.

Free is a funny way to consider what’s been going on this summer, anyway. While I might be “free” from the confines of an 8-5 situation, I’ve been reading/researching/writing and have a pretty decent draft of a paper I’m hoping to submit for publication before the end of the year. I worked on getting some data in good shape and have an IRB application going. I’ve also been working on a couple of workshops that I’m doing at conferences in the next few months (with the help of some co-workers I recruited). And I’ve worked 8-5 at my office twice a week.

I think it’s just been a weird adjustment to drop the needs, demands and expectations of others. Everything I’m doing is self-motivated and self-directed since I’m not working with anyone at school interested in my substantive area – though I do obviously have classes where I have to earn grades (and have a great mentor who helps me navigate my path). I’m kinda liking the ability to work at 6AM on a Saturday or take a nap at 3PM on Tuesday if I feel like it.

I like the freedom.

Anyway. Things always work out. I think I’m mostly over the adjustment hump.
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I’ve been plugging away at the weight loss situation and I feel like my clothes are starting to fit better. Honestly, though? I’m not trying that hard. Just trying to swing my ways back to smaller portions on a more consistent basis.

I’m still eating the same stuff I’ve eaten for years now.

Rice cakes with hummus and salsa have been a favorite this summer.
Having a rice cake with a little bit of black bean hummus & salsa. Guess Molly is, too. 🐶

I’ve been making a big salad each weekend for easy weekday lunch-making (had already tossed it around and everything had migrated to the bottom).
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Still ordering meals from my trainer here and there. Typically every other week, but especially on weeks we know will be busy. I take them for lunch sometimes when I’m working in my office.
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Jon made (baked) chicken nuggets for us one night with the coconut flour/flaxseed meal/etc. recipe he’s used for a long time. We had them leftover for days, which was great.
Haven't had chicken nuggets since my long-gone paleo days.  (ground chicken, flax seed meal, coconut flour, eggs, some spices and butter) #bakednotfried 🍴😋

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I bought a new protein powder and tried it with almond milk in a shaker thing and in a smoothie and I still HATE IT no matter what. Always have, likely always will. I get sucked in every now and then when I feel bad about my low protein consumption, but I just can’t do it. They all taste fake and gross to me. I’ll go through this again in another year or so, I’m sure.
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Jon still cooks most nights we don’t have trainer meals.
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I still eat plain yogurt and frozen blueberries nearly every day. Some days with almond butter on top.
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And I’m still eating the shit out of these homemade muffins that I make with oat bran, egg whites, chia seeds, yogurt, bananas and a little honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. I try to make a big batch every weekend.
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(I just realized I eat at a desk while working A LOT.)

We’re trying not to eat out much and have been mostly successful. We’ve fallen into the habit of taking MC to Salsarita’s once a week when his mom is at work at dinnertime – but I don’t count that since we walk there and back and since I can eat pretty basic stuff.

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It’s the pizza and the Mexican food that’s the problem. Always a work in progress.
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Exercise is the same, too.

I’m still working out with the trainer twice a week – once during the week and once on Saturday morning.

I go to the gym two or three additional times each week to do the elliptical for 30 minutes. Jon and I have also been going to the greenway quite a bit for walks at night and on the weekends. We walked 5 miles on Sunday because it was a nice day and we felt like being outside – and then another few on Monday night after dinner.

Running is … not happening. I run here and there, but nothing like I used to. I’m just not feeling it lately. I’m still planning to do the 13.1M on my birthday, but it will be more walking/slow jogging than anything. I’m ok with that. Just want to do it, in general, and see what happens.

(Plus I know where I want to go for dinner and what cake I want – so 13.1M of exercise will hopefully balance all that. Maybe.)

Overall – I’m pretty happy with my activity level. I’m lifting heavier and heavier weights, which makes me happy. I still prefer that over any other form of exercise, which is likely why I’ve consistently stuck with it all these years.

I like walking with Jon or with the dogs because I like being outside and I like moving and I like being able to talk to him while doing it. I like that we can just spontaneously go for a walk with minimal effort/planning.

What I DON’T like is having to stick to a training plan. I think I would enjoy running more if I could let go of the idea that I need to be training for something and could just run for the hell of it. I could get behind running 3M or so a few days a week for my 30-40 of min of cardio (instead of the elliptical) – so I might try to work on that when it’s not blazing hot outside.

I just can’t seem to stick to something that requires extra planning or focus. It was great when I had the space in my life for it, but I’m just not there anymore. I have enough with the dogs and a household full of people and school and blah, blah, blah. I can’t do the running group anymore, anyway, because classes conflict with it.

Maybe I’ll have room again sometime soon. For now? Just keeping on with what I can do …
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Henry’s doing well. He’s not thrilled that he has to go in his crate when we eat (so he doesn’t get MC’s dropped food) or that he can’t have popcorn anymore, but he’s otherwise pretty ok.

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We’ve raised his insulin dose again and he’s on a maintenance allergy med to try to prevent skin problems (that could be problematic re: diabetes), so he seems to feel pretty good. He’s been super playful lately, anyway.

These dogs.  ❤️❤️❤️

Had a little problem with a new groomer. Asked her not to shave Molly. This is what we got:

Took Molly to a new groomer bc the old (great) one closed. Told her we'd shaved her in the past & didn't want that done again. Assumed she'd know how to cut her hair since she's a professional groomer and all. Well. Even HEAD and EARS have been shaved. Sh

Our old groomer did a great job – but closed and moved away.

So.

Molly looks kinda crazy – and I was REALLY DISPLEASED that they even shaved her head and ears – but I guess it’s ok. It’s just hair.

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She looks so scrawny without it.

Henry spent the day at his vet's office and I'm thinking they missed each other.

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I guess I need to start looking for someone new.
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Ok, how about some baby pictures from the past month?

I swear he’s a genius. Jon played the trumpet and then gave it to MC to try and he IMMEDIATELY made a loud hooting noise with it in his mouth.

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It embarrassed him when we laughed, but it was so funny. He just knew it needed to make noise and I guess he decided to quickly go with what he knew how to do.

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❤️❤️❤️

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He looks so much like a little boy these days.

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❤️❤️❤️

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I can’t believe this sweet boy is a year old.

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The past year has FLOWN BY. It’s sort of scary how quickly time is passing these days.

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He has the sweetest, most joyful nature.

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He’s crawling like a champ, pulls up on everything, walks along the furniture and stands alone for short periods of time.

His favorite word is “ball” and he LOVES balls. He also loves pointing at every round or circular object/picture in sight and exclaiming “ball!” He loves when we see balls in books and squeals and points and kills me with the cuteness.

I’m convinced he’s a genius, of course.

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He loves to read books. We keep a bunch of his books in a basket in our office, so he’ll insistently start saying “ba” (for book) and pointing when we’re nearby. He kicks his little legs and gets SO excited when we get to the basket.

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He also says “da” for dog, “yum” for food/water (along with a firm pointing of the finger to indicate he wants some), “mamama” for his mom and I swear he’s saying “pa” for poppy, though it often sounds like ball. He points at Jon, though, or reaches for him when he says it – so I think he’s trying. The other day he said “ha” in an effort to mimic me saying “hush” at Molly.

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And the best? He says “bye” and screams it (and waves) whenever anyone leaves a room or leaves his presence or if he hears a door open/close. It sounds SO southern. I don’t know how to describe it, but it sounds like he’s saying “baaaa” – like a person with a super southern accent. None of us really sound like that, but we’re starting to mimic him when we say it back so it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s really the cutest thing ever.

So he was TERRIFIED of balloons for his 11th month pics, but flat-out loves them now. Who knows? Baby brains are funny.

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We had a really fun 4th weekend.

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MC’s birthday was the 3rd, so we had a party that afternoon.

Jon’s child #3 wanted to do some kind of theme, so she went with beach balls and bright colors. Perfect for the ball loving baby, but simple.

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(I’m so glad we did this every month.)

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The party went SO well. We had been hoping for good weather and had sprinklers and a little pool and all that – but it rained.

So we hung out indoors with all the beach balls. Not a big deal.

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People from both sides of her family came from out of town, so we had a real dinner to feed everyone.

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Jon marinated and grilled a bunch of chicken and we did the fajita buffet that we’ve done for other parties. It’s SO great for large crowds. Everyone always seems to enjoy it.

A friend of Jon’s child #3 made a cake, a smash cake for MC and cupcakes and brought them over the night before the party. She came in with this cute little beach ball cake when she got here – which we thought was the perfect smash cake and totally gushed over – and then she brought in a SMALLER cake to be the smash cake. We all just sort of didn’t say anything because I think we were too surprised.

We stood around talking about what to do after they left. I thought we should buy a new (larger) cake and just go ahead and use the small (cutest) cake for the smash cake since it was perfect for that, but Jon’s child #3 didn’t want to hurt her friend’s feelings.

Molly solved our problem, though. We turned around and found her chowing down on the little smash cake we didn’t want.

Seriously. MINUTES into the whole thing.

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SO STRANGE. She never touches anything. She’s not a counter surfer and never steals food – even if we drop it on the floor.

Finding a decent/plain cake at the last minute proved to be a problem, but it worked out.

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I think this cake – the one intended to be for the party people – was the perfect little cake for him.

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He did not, however, appreciate the singing.

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He wasn’t really into the cake, either, which was kinda funny because he kept giving everyone dirty looks.

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He LOVED opening presents, though.

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Fun day. I still can’t believe he’s SO BIG.

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Jon’s mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephews stayed with us for the weekend, so we spent the 4th here. Jon grilled stuff and we were able to spend time outside between rain showers – so that was nice.

This is pretty much what Sunday looked like after everyone left:

I guess the weekend wore them out. Haven't heard a peep for hours. 😴😴

Great weekend.

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Ok, so I left off at the day we went to Bryce.

The day after that, we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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We didn’t feel like doing much hiking, so we just took the trails that led to the overlooks.

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It was pretty fantastic, of course.

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❤️❤️❤️

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Made it to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 🗻☀️❤️

We packed snacks, so we ate those …

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… but we ate lunch out in Kanab, UT with some help from yelp.

(we split a salad & a really fantastic roasted vegetable enchilada)

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After that, we drove through CO City, Hildale and Centennial Park because – as I said – I was interested in seeing the places I’ve read so much about.

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After THAT, we saw a sign for a national monument so stopped and checked it out so we could get a stamp.

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It turned out to be pretty interesting.

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(hard to tell, but there are 2 bulls staring at me – that’s as close as I was willing to get)

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The next day, we needed to get to our last park of the trip – Zion.

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Unfortunately, it was our least favorite. It’s beautiful – but it was SO CROWDED. We parked and got on the shuttle that takes you to trails and other areas (cars not allowed), but got off at the 2nd or 3rd stop and went back to our car. Just wasn’t worth it. The trails would have been packed. The shuttle was crammed and miserable. Etc.

We left and drove to a different part of the park:

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We just looked around briefly, though, before leaving.

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We were sort of disappointed about Zion being a bust, but I had one last stamp stop that I wanted to check out near our cabin, so we did that.

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Turned out to be the BEST IDEA.

We had no idea what to expect and thought it might be like Pipe Springs (meaning just buildings to look at), but we found trails and had so much fun.

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It was a little scary, though.

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Those exposed cliff edges? VERY REAL.

I am somewhat afraid of heights and froze at one point when I looked down and saw basically a complete drop into the canyon what seemed like less than a foot away. Turned around at that point because I just couldn’t continue.

Great last day!

(this was the “safe distance” from the edge I was ok with – unfortunately, the trail didn’t stay that wide)

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It was really very beautiful – and MUCH BETTER than what we would have dealt with at Zion – except there was no one around to know if we fell off.

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I’m very glad we stopped at this place. Perfect for our last day in Utah.

I'm really glad I didn't let my fear of heights hold me back (most of the time).  Also glad I didn't die.  👍👍

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We hiked about 3-4 miles and then drove to a peak Jon read about that was right down the road from where we were hiking.

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Gorgeous view.

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We went back to the cabin for dinner.

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The next day was our last day of the trip.

Got up early and drove to Las Vegas.

Definitely not in Utah anymore. #lastdayofvacation #readytogohome

Jon took me on a walking tour of all of the hotels/casinos since I’d never been there before.

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We walked and walked and walked looking at stuff for several hours before stopping for dinner.

We got some ice cream after dinner and ate it in bed watching a movie.

Living it up in Las Vegas. #icecreaminbedbeforedark

Got up at 4AM and headed to the airport by 5. Took note of the people outside still partying/walking around/etc. from the night before and realized I probably have more in common with the CO City residents than most of the Las Vegas vacationers, which is sort of bizarre to consider. (don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t gamble …)

Anyway. The end.

Super fun trip.
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These two are back at it again.

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I’ve been a little worried because while Henry seems to feel better, in general, he hasn’t been completely back to himself. Molly hasn’t even tried to play with him until this morning.

I noticed last night, though, that he was super eager to play with one of MC’s balls and ran around chasing that for a while – and now he’s playing with Molly – so hopefully he’s starting to feel even better than he did when he first came home.

Taking a little mid-play break.
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I am SO sore from my session with the trainer on Saturday. It’s crazy what happens after just a couple of weeks off even though those weeks included a LOT of activity. Just not the same.

I need to run. I didn’t run at all while we were gone, so I’m way behind on the Higdon plan. I’ve got 7 weeks until I’m doing the half distance (for my birthday), so I guess I need to get on it.

We’re home from Utah! Got home on Wednesday night.

I had intended to keep up with short details and pics throughout, but the wifi was spotty at the second cabin and we stayed pretty busy toward the end of the trip. I’ve been trying to upload all of my pics this morning, but that’s going to take forever – so it might be a little bit before I get it all done.

I will never finish some sort of documentation of the trip if I wait much longer – which is what wound up happening with Iceland last summer – and I like having details to refer to – so I’m motivated.

Anyway, here’s at least what happened the day after I last posted:

Bryce!

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We took a few trails that connected together to make a 7 mile loop.

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It was awesome.

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I’ve never seen anything like it.

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We had packed a cooler full of stuff for lunch, so we found a picnic table at a campground and ate there after our hike.

(ham, cheese & spinach for roll-ups with cherries and carrots)

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It was pretty hot and we’d already hiked 7 miles (and I was pretty exhausted since the last part was mostly all uphill), so we decided to just explore the area vs. doing more hiking after lunch.

We have one of these:

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So we went in search of places listed so we could get stamps.

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We went to several places we never would have bothered to learn about without the book, so I’m super glad we took it.

(Plus we got a ton of stamps – 9, I think – which gives me some sort of thrill. Weird, I know.)

(That Canyonlands sticker doesn’t really belong there, but I buy them and put them in there, anyway.)

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As we were exploring the area – actually headed into Arizona – we wound up finding Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

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Crazy.

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My feet were hurting from the earlier hike and it felt like the surface of the sun out there – so we didn’t stick around long.

We headed back to the cabin and took showers and cooked dinner and crashed.

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Such a fun day.

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We made it to the Grand Canyon and then headed into CO City, AZ and Hildale, UT the next day. I’m fascinated by cults – especially Fundamentalist LDS – so wanted to at least drive through the area I’ve read so much about.

Hopefully I’ll get around to getting the pictures from the rest of the trip uploaded today.
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So we got home on Wednesday night and I spent Thursday catching up on life. Went back to work yesterday. Re-started with the trainer this morning.

Missed this crazy girl. Will be so happy to have Henry home soon. ❤️❤️❤️
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Henry came home on Thursday!

He’s still not 100%, but the vet thinks his blood sugar might drop some (overall) once he’s been at home for a little bit and is less stressed. Her office is nice and calm, but I’m sure he was stressed by other strange animals coming and going each day and being in a cage so much, etc.

We’re checking his urine every morning and monitoring the ketone situation via these things. I’m super alert and panicky about his health now, of course, so I’m happy to have this ability to monitor what’s going on (outside of watching for increased water drinking – and the biggest sign something is very wrong: peeing in the house).

He gets 2 shots a day and is completely unfazed. Doesn’t even flinch.

So far, both dogs are 100% fine eating twice a day vs. free feeding – and Henry seems to love his new food.

We have recurring alarms on our phones to remind us to start the food & shot process at the same times every day, so it’s a little more of a chore – but totally worth it.

He's home!

He seems to be a little more tired than usual, but he’s definitely perky and seems to feel much better than he did before all of this started.

He’s going to spend the day at the vet in a couple of weeks for a follow-up glucose curve (they check his blood every two hours) – so we’ll have a pretty good idea where things stand then.

Anyway, we’re glad he’s home. We missed him a lot.

I’m glad to be home, too. Utah was fun, but – as always happens on a long(ish) trip – I missed my life.

We’re having a much needed morning of doing absolutely nothing. Nothing active, anyway.

Jon’s been catching up on a little work and I’ve been watching the news and we’ve just been enjoying a morning with no pressure – nowhere to be, no plans, etc.

So, Arches National Park. I think that’s where I left off.

We got up super early that day and packed lunches and headed out. It was raining a little (but no thunder or lightning), so that made the morning hike AWESOME. Not too hot, no sun, etc.

(Those mountains in the background are where our cabin was located.)

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We hiked several trails – all fairly short ones – and had a really good time.

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It’s just gorgeous out there.

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We’d hiked about 6 miles by noon, so we stopped for lunch and a short break. The picnic areas were pretty full, so we just ate in our car.

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We did a little more looking around after lunch and hiked a couple more miles, but we headed to Dead Horse Point State Park at some point mid/late afternoon.

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We decided to hike around the rim vs. doing the drive to the overlook, so that tacked 4 more miles on for the day. I was pretty tired and it was blazing hot, but I’m SO GLAD we did it.

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The view was outstanding.

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By the end of the day, my garmin said we’d hiked 12 miles.

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We drank TONS of water and were constantly coated in sunscreen, so we fared pretty well.

Really fun day.

The next day, we went out to breakfast in Moab before heading to Canyonlands National Park.

(ginger pancakes with apple butter – SO GOOD)

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We didn’t have plans to hike as much, so we just drove around and did some small walks to overlooks and stuff like that.

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We probably walked a few miles, but nothing major.

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We drove back to Moab for lunch and went to the only brewery in town. It wasn’t super great, but I guess we also could have chosen better options.

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We headed back to our cabin by late afternoon and just hung out reading. It was MUCH cooler in the mountains, so we were able to have our windows open and were able to sit outside. Jon grilled dinner for us again, though I don’t recall eating much since my stomach was killing me from the kinda junky day.

Really glad we chose to stay up there vs. in Moab. It was a great escape from the crazy heat.

We got up and ate a huge breakfast (trying to finish up the eggs and yogurt) before heading out of town yesterday morning.

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We took a scenic route (Hwy 12 Scenic Byway) from Moab to our current town. I’d read about it online and we almost didn’t do it because it added some time to the drive – but I’m really glad we went for it.

Pictures just don’t do this place justice.

(especially when I take them from the car window as we’re driving)

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It was – indeed – a very scenic drive, which made the time fly by.

We talked and listened to podcasts and stopped here and there.

It was great.

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We wound up going through Capitol Reef National Park, making it our 3rd national park of the trip.

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We stopped there and had lunch from the cooler.

(leftover pork chops & corn on the cob & cherries)

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Really gorgeous place.

Picnic time. 🌳☀️👍

The drive took us through so many different landscapes. It was crazy.

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Everything is just SO beautiful.

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This is basically what we’ve done so far:

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We got to our new cabin around 445 yesterday and checked it out before heading to Cedar City to grab dinner and do some grocery shopping.

We rented this cabin via vrbo.com and I’m super happy with it. It’s way bigger than we need, but it’s super comfortable and is a nice change of pace (meaning we have a bedroom and a huge tv – two things we didn’t have in the tiny one-room cabin). No hot tub, though – which is too bad.

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We’re in the middle of nowhere, so it took about an hour to get to Cedar City last night – which meant we got home super late. For us. I think it was after 10.

55 degrees up here with no sun.

It was 55 degrees outside when we got home.

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That just seems CRAZY given how hot it is during the day.

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We’re right between Bryce and Zion, so we’re planning trips to both, of course. We’re also planning to make it to the Grand Canyon. Temps over 100 are expected this weekend, so we’re planning to get everywhere super early.

Just not today.

Today … I don’t know. Maybe nothing. We were up at 530 again this morning which means we’ve already had a solid 4 and a half hours of lounging – but neither of us are super motivated to do much – so we’ll see.

I swear we were met with blank stares from every single person who asked about our vacation plans – to the point that it became almost comical after a while – but I have ZERO regrets (nor did I expect any).

This place is beautiful.

There's no way to really capture what I'm seeing. 😮🗻🌲

We wound up using yelp to find breakfast in SLC before heading out of town Sunday morning.

Heading out of town, but first - breakfast!

I REALLY wanted all the biscuits – or at least a waffle – but I stuck with yogurt and granola (which was fantastic, but was … plain yogurt and granola).

I think I’ve reached a point I never thought I’d reach in this lifetime. One where I can enter a restaurant and TRY to eat something decent (most of the time) vs. gravitating to the junkiest option possible. I just don’t like feeling sluggish and crappy and I think that’s starting to outweigh everything else. Even on vacation. Weird.

Anyway, we ate and then headed to Moab with a short stop in Provo.

(No affiliation, just interested.)

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The drive was gorgeous.

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We rented a small cabin in the La Sal Mountains – SE of Moab – 25ish or 40ish miles away depending on the route taken down the mountain.

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It’s a one room cabin that’s perfect for us. Super adorable.

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This was a really great choice.

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So anyway, we spent the afternoon driving the La Sal Mountain Loop Road (a super scenic drive around the mountain). Ate lunch in Moab and then grocery shopped.

Came back to the cabin, Jon cooked dinner and then we spent some time in the hot tub once the sun went down.

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Yesterday morning, Jon cooked a pretty decadent breakfast.

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After that, we headed out to explore the trails around our cabin.

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A cat lives at the cabin, so she accompanied us the entire way.

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We also drove on some of the roads around the cabin and checked out some other trails.

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We spent the late afternoon taking naps and reading and otherwise just hung out together.

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Beautiful day!

Today, we’re headed to Arches National Park. Just waiting for the sun to come up. Awake at 445 again this morning.

Our view of the red rock canyons from up here is gorgeous. No way to capture it with my phone camera (which is all I’m using these days) – so I’m super excited to head down there and hang out.

We’re on vacation!

We arrived in Salt Lake City around 1 on Friday after a pretty uneventful morning/afternoon of traveling.

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We picked up our car, dropped our stuff at our hotel and went out exploring the area.

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Found Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake.

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Also drove around and found the University of Utah (and the College of Soc Wk) because … I was just curious and am weird like that.

We usually use yelp to find places to eat when we travel, so we did that this time, too. Wound up at a Thai place downtown (I think – I guess it was downtown? Seemed like it.).

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We were pretty tired after dinner since we’d woken up before the crack of dawn, had flown across the country and had been out exploring for a while – so we went to sleep at like 8pm (MST).

Unsurprisingly, we were up at about 5AM yesterday. We wanted to walk around the city, so we did that once the sun was up and things were starting to open.

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We took a tour of Temple Square and hung around there for a while. Seems like a bunch of weddings were happening. Festive morning!

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It was an outstandingly gorgeous day.

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We walked to see the capitol building and checked out houses along the way.

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Jon dropped and broke his sunglasses while we were walking around, so we wound up talking to a salesman while buying some new ones. He suggested we drive along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, so we did that.

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We stopped some along the way, of course.

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Took it all the way to Wyoming and had to stop on the side of the road to note that.

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We had a sort of weird day of eating. We ate some fruit and oatmeal at our hotel, but stopped at a restaurant downtown to eat more since we were still hungry once places started to open. We split some steak (breakfast) tacos, but also (because why not?):

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We stopped in Park City for lunch and ate at a Mexican restaurant. Wound up with so much leftover that we ate our leftovers for dinner as we drove back to SLC (after making it Evanston, WY).

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Fun day. Really very beautiful. We did all the things we enjoy. Exploring, learning about new places, eating good food, hanging out together, etc.

We’re headed to Moab today!

I am SO GLAD this trip worked out. I was so disappointed when we initially canceled it. Traveling is a life priority for us, though – so we just had to make it happen.

It’s been super easy and laid back so far – something I’m hoping will continue. I love traveling overseas – and I would never call it stressful – but there’s an ease to travel in the US that I’m appreciating this summer.

One thing I didn’t think about, though: our phones work. Having to make an effort to disconnect. I’m never going to want full disconnection, but I think I kinda like the sporadic availability when we travel overseas. Didn’t know that.

Anyway, we woke up at 5AM again today – so we’re just hanging out waiting for breakfast places to open.

We’ve had so much going on the past week or so.

Most importantly, I came home from work one afternoon and found that one of the dogs had peed on the floor. I didn’t know who it was – but was very surprised. The next day? Same. By the day after that, I discovered Henry had been peeing under our bed. This was so unusual I freaked out. I can’t recall the last time he’s had an accident in the house. YEARS. Many years.

Even more odd was his behavior. He usually acts sheepish and weird when he does something “wrong” – even when Molly does something “wrong” – and ALWAYS tells on her – so it was strange that he was seemingly unaffected by it.

We took him the vet Saturday morning and he’s still there.

Diabetes.

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His glucose isn’t dropping as it should – or his body is just slow to respond to the new insulin regimen. Below 250 is what we want (even though that’s high – dog numbers are similar to human numbers). The lowest its been so far is 320. Highest has been over 600.

The vet told us he lost 3 pounds over the 4 weeks since she’d last seen him. I have some kind of residual cancer trauma because I swear that was my first thought when she mentioned the weight loss. I started crying when she said she was thinking diabetes because … diabetes? I can handle that.

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I can learn to give shots and can adjust life to accommodate this. Not a big deal. I wasn’t overly surprised, anyway. I knew the water drinking and the peeing were signs of diabetes.

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I guess he really started having noticeable problems about a week and a half ago. That’s when we noticed he was drinking a lot of water, anyway. I didn’t notice the weight loss because I rarely pick him up. He had been eating normally (and continues to eat normally while hospitalized). The peeing is what really got my attention.

It’s been a sad week. I miss him. Our house is SO quiet without him around. He follows me everywhere I go and is nearly always in my presence, so it’s just … weird.

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He’s been with us for every life adventure we’ve had over the past 9 years.

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We met with the vet for a long time last night and watched a video about diabetes and learned everything we need to learn. I’m going back this morning to practice giving injections.

He’s doing really well and seems fine. The vet described him as “stoic” – which is SO true. He never displays any sort of signs that he’s sick (like lethargy, vomiting, refusing to eat).

Cataracts are really the only BIG problem associated with diabetes in dogs, but he had cataract surgery a few years ago – so we’re good.

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We seriously have the best vet ever. We’ve hired her assistant a few times to dog sit when we’ve traveled, too, so I’m really glad he’s with them.

We’re due to leave for vacation on Friday, so he’s going to stay hospitalized while we’re gone. I AM SO GLAD.

I had been worried they wouldn’t be able to keep him so long since it’s a small practice – but he’s not really stable enough to come home yet and I REALLY don’t think it would be wise to have him come home to Jon’s (grown) daughters (who live here and are staying with Molly, etc.) at this point.

It’s just too much for them to learn how to do his shots, etc. Plus, we’re going to have to work on training both dogs to eat at certain times vs. free feeding, which is what they’ve always done.

Just not a good time.

I had been working on alternative options – just in case – but I was super relieved when the vet immediately said she also didn’t think it would be wise to transition him to someone else right now since this is all new and his care will be complicated, etc.

This is really shitty timing, but it’s going to work out. A HUGE stress was relieved when she so quickly said she wants to keep him.

It’s beneficial for them because they can continue to monitor him and get him regulated and get him used to the shots and the new eating pattern, etc. It’s beneficial for us because we don’t have to worry.

Hopefully he’ll be all good to go when we get back and I’ll have my shadow again.

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We had 40+ people here just hours after leaving Henry at the vet on Saturday.

Jon had a “thank you” party for his employees and their families since it’s been a rough year for all of them.

It was so great. Probably the best party we’ve had.

I panicked after he sent the invite and people started RSVPing because while we’ve hosted a larger party at our house – we’ve never hosted a full-blown dinner for that many people. Or had people bring kids.

I intended to take pictures of everything before and during because I feel like it turned out really well, but I just didn’t. Completely forgot.

We set up everything but the food in our backyard. Used the shady area for the tables and our sunny area for games for the kids.

I wound up renting some tables, chairs and tablecloths, which worked out really well.

Picked up some cheap flowers from Kroger and some citronella candles and “decorated” as cheaply and simply as possible.

(Remembered to take pics as we were cleaning up.)

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We had a local BBQ place do the food and I picked up a bunch of stuff from a local bakery for dessert options. These two things proved to be the BEST IDEA EVER.

There’s no way we could have cooked for 40 people without being ready to die by the time they showed up.

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It was a really fun afternoon/night. I looked around at one point and everyone was talking and laughing and music was going and kids were running all over playing. It was just good.

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I’m glad we did it. It was somewhat shadowed by the sadness surrounding Henry’s news – but the adrenaline that accompanies that many people showing up at the door took over pretty quickly/easily.
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What else?

I ran 7 miles the Sunday before last. Then promptly ran 0 miles last week.

I don’t remember what happened during the week (probably just laziness), but I was exhausted on Sunday from the vet situation and the party the day before and just didn’t feel like doing my long run. I added an extra day of strength during that week, so that was good, I guess.

So far this week, I’ve done an hour of strength with the trainer and am hoping to run this afternoon. I want to get at least one good run in today or tomorrow, anyway.
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I guess that’s about it. Just working, stressing about Henry, coming down from the party anticipation/stress and trying to get ready for our vacation.

How about a million cute baby pics?

He’s 11 months old now. Still definitely not a fan of the balloons. We didn’t anticipate this problem when we started, but hopefully we’ll get a decent picture next month to round out his first year. (FIRST YEAR!!!)

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(I think our selfie days are over. He just WILL NOT look at the camera.)

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Well, an opportunity for me to work a little more than was typical during the academic year presented itself late last week, so I jumped on it.

I need to do some writing and put together some workshops – and I want SOME summer freedom to gear up for the next hectic academic year – but I think it’s going to work out really well to work PT for the next couple of months.

I really don’t think there will ever be a time when I will be able to fully let go of practice and exclusively embrace the academic world. A couple of days a month during the academic year kept me going, but I’m happy to be back a little more regularly.

Plus, it gives me a reason to get dressed.

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(It’s too bad these pictures are so bad. I need to figure out a new place to take them because I like being able to look back and determine what looks awful, etc. as I attempt to learn how to dress myself – but I don’t really have an option other than the hideous mirrored closet.)

I kept the blue/green shirt from Stitch Fix and am glad I chose to do that. I don’t know that I love it with this skirt and cardigan, but it worked out ok. I think the cardigan is just too big.

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We had a fantastic weekend. We knew the weather would be really nice, so we made plans to be outside as much as possible.

On Saturday, we got up and did our bootcamp (that is going to continue indefinitely!) and then headed out to a local Medieval Faire.

The day was, indeed, very gorgeous – but the faire kind of sucked. We’ve been to others that have been much better.

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It was nice to be outside and to be walking around, etc., though.

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And it was fun to just hang out with everyone.

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They had some “healthy” food options – so I guess that was a point in their favor.

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Jon and I left that night to drive a couple of hours to Abingdon, VA. We got there in time for dinner, but that’s about all we had time to do (meaning we weren’t able to see a show at the Barter Theatre, which had been discussed).

We had Virginia Creeper Trail plans for Sunday!

We rented bikes and took a shuttle to the top (Whitetop Station) with plans to do the entire 34 mile trail back to Abingdon. I really had no idea what to expect (since this was Jon’s idea) and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing until the shuttle driver mentioned it would take AN HOUR to get to the top. I immediately sort of panicked and asked Jon if this was a Mount LeConte situation.

I’ve written about that, I’m sure? The time (in 2008) Jon told me we were going to take a “little hike” and I wound up on an ALL DAY hike on a strenuous 11 mile trail?!?

I was probably 50 pounds heavier and not nearly as physically fit/strong – but I did it.

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I had never heard of Mount LeConte or any of the trails, so I had no idea what I was doing.

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I guess I just trusted him to not try to KILL ME.

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Anyway, it’s surprising how often I say things like “is this a Mount LeConte situation?” You’d think I’d learn. (Or maybe I know I need ignorance/a push to do this kind of stuff?)

(Edited to say: I wrote about it when it happened (both before and after). I’m going to have to alter my story when I tell it now that I’ve gone back in my blog archives. Looks like Jon DID bring lunch and DID let me stop to eat – so I guess it wasn’t quite as bad as I’ve been saying. I said this, though, which is totally the story of my life: “Honestly, I was terrified throughout most of the hike. Nothing but sheer determination got me up that mountain.”)

So, anyway, I panicked in the shuttle when I heard the ride up would take an hour because that seemed like a long way. And I had no idea where we were going. And that just seemed …. FAR. Too far from our car.

But – as always – I did it. And it was fine.

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The first half was super easy since it was all downhill.

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It seriously required ZERO effort. I was nervous since I hadn’t been on a bike in ages and I slowed myself WAY down and didn’t just barrel down – but it was fun.

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Also? GORGEOUS.

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Someone told us that most people stop at a little cafe in a town (area?) called Taylor’s Valley to have lunch or get a snack or whatever. She warned us that we wouldn’t find anything else until we were done – but she must have thought we were stopping at 17 miles (halfway – which is apparently a popular option) in Damascus, VA.

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So we stopped at the cafe since it was lunchtime and we were hungry – but it was a mistake.

These were really some of the best options:

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(That’s a turkey reuben and potato salad for me.)

(The “famous” chocolate cake was pretty good – but it was clearly straight from a box. Not a big deal because I like a Duncan Hines cake as much as the next person – just thought it was odd that several people mentioned it and it’s prominently promoted on their signage – yet it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary.)

We discovered much more stuff once we made it to Damascus and should have waited – or really, we should have just done the whole trail and eaten lunch in Abingdon when we were done – but we were hungry and unsure what to expect.

Next time? We’ll either pack a picnic or wait until we get back to Abingdon.

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The final 15 or so mile ride from Damascus to Abingdon was flat or slightly uphill and much more sunny in spots, so it was harder. I had to exert some effort, anyway. And I was no longer cold.

It was so awesome, though. Such a fun day.

I think it took 5 hours to do the 34 miles (including all of the picture stops and the lunch stop and a couple walk breaks because OMG did it hurt to sit on a bike for so long).

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Such a fantastic day! 🌲🚴☀️

Afterward, we drove home and grilled some stuff for dinner and had a friend over.

We spent Monday being pretty lazy, though we did get a 4M walk in on the greenway. Jon wanted to go out to breakfast, so I told him we could go if we walked a few miles immediately afterward – so that’s what we did. I really didn’t feel like running and the gym was closed because of the holiday, but wanted to do something. Especially if I was going to eat a waffle – which I did.

Looking forward to another weekend, for sure.
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We’re doing ok – activity-wise – this week. We did the previously mentioned 4M walk on Monday, had our hour with the trainer Tuesday night and I waited for Jon to get home to do a 4.5M walk/run with him last night. Turned out to be more walking (so I could talk), but whatever. I got the miles in and we spent an hour talking, so it was good.

I’m a day behind on the Higdon plan this week, so I’m currently working on building up the motivation to head out for my scheduled 3M run before it gets too hot.

We’re taking a break from the trainer meals for dinner this week, so one night I just had yogurt and fruit. Last night we picked up dinner from Panera on the way home from the greenway and I had my least favorite version of the strawberry salad:

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Not sure what we’ll do tonight, but I’ll come up with something, I’m sure.

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Jon and I watched Fed Up at some point over the weekend when we ran out of our typical stuff. It was ok, I guess. Nothing surprising or earth shattering.

I’ve waffled back and forth for a long time about labeling food “bad” or “good” and have tried not to be a hypocrite – and really don’t care what other people choose to eat (except Jon because CANCER) – but I think I actually have some pretty strong opinions about “bad” food. I guess all the movie did was reinforce that.

It sort of pissed me off, too, that there’s a lot of money/manipulation behind helping people feel like processed shit is a “good” option.

I was definitely reminded about where I started and all of the turns my path to better health had to take (and is still taking).

I used to eat SO poorly. Like, really poorly. And I SMOKED. Sometimes I seriously can’t believe I used to be a completely different person.

This person:

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I had to change EVERYTHING.

I’m not sure anyone would be able to walk away from an experience like this without some opinions about “bad” and “good” food choices.

I’m not sure I would be able to maintain a 100 pound loss without the opinions.

So I think coke is poison but I eat ice cream every Saturday? Eh. I’m ok with that. That’s been my path. Mileage varies.
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I’ve had a pretty active week so far. Spent an hour with the trainer on Monday, ran 4M on the greenway yesterday and did 2M on a different greenway early this morning.

It was SUCH a nice morning. I was actually kind of cold when I started.

The run sucked, though. My legs were tired and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m going to try to walk a few miles tonight to see if that helps with the soreness leftover from Monday night (with the trainer).

Great morning to be outside. 👍⛅️🏃

Unfortunately, I was home, had cleaned/straightened up the house and baked some oat bran/apple muffins by 10AM … and was quickly out of things to do.

This whole thing is really making me consider what makes me happy, what impacts/produces anxiety and what sort of stress I’m ok to live with. I think I was too busy adjusting to Jon’s child #3 and MC last summer to think much about it that time around.

I need to make some plans to fill some of my days with something other than writing (for school/publication) because it’s depressing being (mostly) alone at home for hours and hours every day.

I definitely have more stress juggling everything when I’m working or in FT classes (or both), but I’m happier. I just miss it.

(Someone remind me I said that when I’m bitching when summer is over and I don’t have all of this freedom.)
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Jon took some co-workers out to dinner last night and invited me to tag along – probably because he can hear the desperation in my voice by about 5PM each day – so I got dressed in something other than running clothes or raggedy jeans.

The lighting is horrible in our room and the angle is weird, but whatever. I don’t have any inclination to figure out what to do about it right now.

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This is seriously the most comfortable dress ever. Old Navy. I think it’s this one. I found it on sale and think I paid something like $13-15 for it, so I have it in a peach/coral color, too. It’s super loose and flowy and not too short, which is often a problem for me.

I put a cardigan over it.

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Hopefully I’ll have a reason to get dressed again soon.
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Nothing much has been going on, I guess.

I’ve been tweaking the oat bran recipe my trainer gave me to try different stuff.

I made them with unsweetened apple sauce and raisins today. Turned out pretty well. Super simple.

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They’re just 107 calories each. 1 1/2c oat bran, 1c unsweetened applesauce, 1/3c raisins, 1/2c yogurt, 2/3c egg whites, 2T chia seeds, cinnamon & nutmeg.

We’re still ordering dinners from my trainer most weeks and still love the convenience.

I’m addicted to two new things. )Well, three – if you count the oat bran muffins.)

Love pecans, love these!

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I’ve been ordering strawberry salads every time I go out lately, so I decided to make one for lunch at home today. I didn’t have any chicken, so I used ham. I didn’t have any blue cheese, so I used some shredded 3 cheese blend Jon picked up over the weekend. I also didn’t have candied pecans, but that’s probably best. I rarely use much dressing. This has a little balsamic & olive oil.

So good!

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I guess that’s it.

(helping me with planks)
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❤️❤️❤️

My tv watching companions. 😬

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