So, November.

Our 9th anniversary happened.


I was in the final stretch of the semester and was super busy, plus anniversaries just aren’t really a big thing for us – so we didn’t do much. But it happened.

Married for 9 years now. Makes me sound like some kind of adult or something. ❤️❤️❤️ #100happydays (47/100)

We’re planning a trip for our 10th. Likely some place tropical. Good excuse, right?

Thanksgiving also happened.

We spent the actual holiday with my family in the Memphis area and then drove home (6+ hours away) and nearly immediately headed to the Atlanta area (3+ hours away) for Jon’s brother’s 40th birthday party.


Going on too many hours in the car this week. #worthit #100happydays (54/100)

It was a fun long weekend, though. I’m glad we were able to make it both places.

I wrapped up nearly all of my work prior to Thanksgiving to ensure a decent winter break. I needed some time do to NOTHING, and I’ve pretty much accomplished that. I’m working on my dissertation proposal and have a huge stack of books to read to prepare for an upcoming class, etc. but I don’t have any pressing deadlines.

I had a list of stuff I wanted to do during this winter break and I’ve accomplished nearly all of it – with a month to go!

I cleaned out and organized all of our closets, have done some yard work, cleaned out and organized book shelves and all of my school stuff. Etc.

Basically took care of everything that went into disarray during the semester. And caught up on a ton of podcasts in the process.

I’m done with Christmas shopping and wrapping and mailing.

AND! I turned our upstairs into a playroom for MC (with Jon’s help).

This is something I’ve been wanting to do, but couldn’t justify taking any time to do it until the semester ended.

We’d been using the space as a guest room, but it’s really perfect for MC.

It’s sort of odd up there. It was obviously the attic at some point, but someone turned it into 3 rooms – one large space and 2 tiny rooms that have built-in platforms for beds. One of the rooms is so small only a very small child can walk in it, yet it has two bed platforms.

(Doors to the 2 rooms at the top of the stairs – that tiny door is maybe 3 feet tall at most)

(Beds in the tiny room – one platforms fits a twin bed and the other fits a full, so we put both in there – the ceiling really is RIGHT THERE)


(Bed in the other room – this is all that fits other than a small chair in the other corner – but an adult can walk around in the room)

Weird. I guess the upside is we always have plenty of room for guests?

Anyway, the large space is what I wanted to use for MC.





I left the bed and tv and everything, which worked out. Got rid of a bunch of junk and turned the closet up there into a baby stuff storage closet.

(The lighting is so bad. Dreary day, not much inclination to edit photos.)


I’m still working on it, but it’s functional now and is working out really well. Looks like a totally different room. We’re slowly migrating his toys up there.




(He’s saying and signing “more” here to get me to keep reading. We have no idea how he learned to sign, but he just … does it.)


I don’t know what else we’ve been up to. November was a whirlwind of activity re: school then I went into full-on domestic mode and now … I’m not doing much.

Jon had his work holiday party last Friday night, which was a lot of fun. Several people gave toasts and talked about how much they appreciate him (as their boss) and it made me weepy. I’m happy things are slowly getting better and he’s settling into his new role so well.

My party is this week. I had a gala at school a few weeks ago and we went to a fundraiser for my work a few weeks ago, too. All fun events.

The tree is up and I’m done with presents as of this morning. It’s crooked and a strand of lights is out and I haven’t gotten a decent picture … but whatever. Good enough.

(Sunday morning tv watching. Not sure what happened to MC’s pants.)

I haven’t been taking many pictures lately because I just haven’t been in the mood (as evidenced by above – best I’ve got).

I’m also on a short hiatus with the trainer and the gym. Just taking a short break until the new year starts.

This has been my general attitude about exercise lately:

Social work gala + made it to last call elsewhere afterward last night + 30 degrees this morning = glorious morning to start running again. 😁🏃#justdoit #100happydays (49/100)

I think I’m just in some kind of funk right now. It will pass.

I love the start of a new year, so I’m looking forward to 2016. I think I need to go with a full-blown goals & objectives list for the new year. I know Jon wants to start running – for real – again and train for a half marathon. I don’t want to do anything that time intensive, but I’ll come up with something. I think part of my funk comes from feeling aimless.

I love a good health kick and I think we need one. My food choices have been less than stellar lately and I’m feeling it.

One thing’s for sure – I might quit and/or not accomplish goals, but I’ll never quit trying.



I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but seriously: time is flying.

I have just a few weeks of this semester left. Coming up: one more semester of classes (that will be super light) and a dissertation proposal.

October was kind of a whirlwind.

My aunt died, so we threw the dogs in the car and made a very quick trip to Memphis. We spent more time driving there and back than actually seeing her – but I’m really glad we were able to do it. We left the day she died.

Travel companions. ❤️ #100happydays (21/100)

The very next day, we flew to Denver.

Whirlwind week. 🌛🗻✈️ #100happydays (23/100)

We had a little bit of time to sightsee around the area, but we mostly stayed downtown.


My conference had something like 2,500 attendees, plus there was a zombie crawl, plus it was marathon weekend. Pretty festive downtown the whole time we were there.

It was a good trip. My workshop went well. Jon has some customers in the area, so it worked out really well for him to work while I did conference stuff.

We did the hay ride and pumpkin patch afternoon when we got home.



🎃🎃🎃#100happydays (33/100)


This child LOVES animals. Or, really, dogs – and animals that look like dogs.



So I've mentioned that they love each other, right? 😍😍 #100happydays (36/100)

Halloween happened!


MC was scared of us, which made me feel bad – but seriously, Jon’s costume was the best yet.


MC was fine with Jon once he took his sunglasses off, but he never came near me even though he would say my name (he calls me “da” right now) and point.

He thought the tattoo was fascinating.


Super fun night.



My hypochondriasis paid off. I had a little red spot on my face near my nose that didn’t appear to be typical (for me) acne. Turned out to be something that I can’t remember the name of, but it’s a pre-squamous cell carcinoma stage. (I seriously can’t google anymore because the images make my stomach hurt). Anyway, they froze it, which created a blister. It’s gone now – just left with a red spot. I suspect it will be red for a while. My skin damages easily and takes FORRREVVVVER to heal.


I’m worried this thing didn’t go away completely because the red spot is still kinda raised, but I have a regular whole body check in January.

So – I guess that was the month. Some fun mixed with sadness and a lot of work. I guess it all balanced.

MC is even more like a little boy these days. He’s 16 months old. CRAZY!

He’s super opinionated and says a ton of words (or really communicates with us – not sure other people would understand his words).

He started daycare, so he got sick for the first time, which was super sad – but he’s mostly been his happy, energetic self.


Jon's a sweet Poppy. #throwback #handsintheair #100happydays (34/100)

He can throw a spectacular fit.


But he’s mostly just the best baby.



I haven’t weighed myself in ages. I honestly can’t remember the last time.

I’ve been trying to get over the feeling that I’m rapidly gaining weight and trying to just learn to be ok with where I am at any given time.

I feel like I’ve taken training wheels off and am still a little wobbly.

My brain tells me (all panic-like) that I MUST be gaining weight if I’m not strictly monitoring and paying attention.

I have a few events coming up over the next 2 months, so I’ve been shopping more than usual. Imagine my surprise when I was able to grab a ton of dresses in my normal size – the one I’ve been in for several years now – and they all perfectly fit and looked great, etc.

It’s so weird that my mind says one thing, but reality is another.

This no-weighing thing is something I’ve needed to do for a long time. I just reject this notion that I will be a 100 pounds heavier again if I don’t monitor and watch and stress.

Just don’t have time for that drama anymore. I can do this maintenance thing without it. I’m clearly doing just fine.

It’s just scary.

Time’s up. I have appt with the trainer to get to. Going to try to run after my hour with her.

Keepin’ on keepin’ on.

Ok, almost 2 months has flown by. CRAZY!

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just start somewhere and hope to hit the highlights.

School is going well. I’m about halfway through the semester (or close). One more semester of coursework to go. I should be doing something right now because I have a million things to read/write/work on, but I have a headache, so …

Henry and Molly are both great. Henry’s diabetes is under control and Molly doesn’t look so ridiculous now that her hair is growing out. They both still love MC and he still loves them back.

She's such a sweet girl. 👶🐺❤️ #100happydays (7/100)

Henry decided to get in on the book action this morning. ❤️❤️❤️


I turned 35.

I didn’t run the 13.1 distance because I didn’t feel like it (we all saw that one coming, right?). Jon took the day off to hang out with me and we had MC that morning … so I went to breakfast with them instead of spending my morning running/recovering.


My mom and aunt came into town the weekend before to celebrate. My aunt is not doing well (cancer/brain tumors), so my mom has been taking her to see a bunch of stuff she’s never seen. She’d never been here, so the mountains were the goal.


We went out to breakfast one morning and I made the lemon/blueberry cake I love and we just hung out having a quiet weekend. It was nice.




I did a workshop at a conference in the DC area with some colleagues – and Jon tagged along. Super fun weekend. We ate a ton of good food and just generally had a really good time.



Headed to Denver soon to do something similar at a much larger conference. Both nervous and excited – but mostly excited. I haven’t been to Denver since I was a kid. The workshop is like ONE HOUR of what will hopefully be several days of fun.

I’m running again with the running group.

I’m just making it work with my schedule, which means I spend at least one morning each week running at 5:45AM. I’ve missed it.

Slow and painful, but I'm so glad I have the (mostly mental) space in my life again. #100happydays #running #canicallitrunningatmypace? (3/100)

Jon rejoined, too.

(And MC tagged along – in a stroller – for a Saturday run.)


I still work out 2 times each week with the trainer. Nothing has really changed there.

I’m just doing the 5k running program – so I’m not pushing it or anything. Just want to get some cardio a few days a week … and be outside … and be social. I go to their once weekly circuit training class, too.

So – I guess I get about 4-5 days a week of pretty good exercise (depending on how many runs I do on my own). Seems like that’s been my norm over the years, so I’m happy with that.

Jon turned 47!

We celebrated his birthday weekend traveling to see his child #4 play soccer, his mom came into town … and then we spent the actual night eating take-out in front of the tv, which is exactly what we both wanted to do.

We have a good life.

Celebrating his 47th with take-out sushi and TV. ❤️🎉🎂🎁🎊 #solucky #100happydays (6/100)

Jon has a (sort-of) co-worker in town from Germany for several months, so we’ve done a bunch of fun stuff with her lately. Took her on a hike her first weekend here and have hit a ton of restaurants/bars and other sightsee(ish) stuff over the past few weeks. She joined the running group with us, too, so that’s been fun.

Last Friday, she threw an Oktoberfest party for their work people at our house. The plan was to do it in our backyard, but it rained all day – so we moved it indoors.

Disappointing, but it worked out ok.


She taught me how to make spaetzle (which she served at the party).

Learned (watched) how to make spaetzle today - then ate it with cheese and sautéed onion and now I can never have noodles from a box again. 😋🍴🍺 #oktoberfest #100happydays (4/100)

And then I HAPPILY ate leftovers (with cheese and sauteed onions) for several days.


She had (drinking, obv) games planned for the party, so we did that stuff in the garage … and we were able to do SOME things outside when it stopped raining.



Fun night.

So MC is like … a little BOY.



He walks! And eats real food with us (though still breastfeeds, too)! And communicates!

(This dinner = a trainer meal consisting of salmon, eggplant & asparagus plus cottage cheese straight from the container (that MC and Jon both LOVE) and sparkly water from a can. Pretty typical these days. We don’t have a ton of time to cook – but we haven’t reverted to junk.)



He’s the sweetest, smartest baby EVER. For real.


I guess that’s it.

Just keepin’ on keepin’ on.

Life is really full and busy these days, but it’s full and busy with fun/rewarding/challenging things that leave me with little room to dwell on whether I’ve entered food into myfitnesspal – so I just don’t. I’ve been making adjustments to my diet here and there and my pants fit. Could be looser, but I guess I’m probably within 10-12 pounds of my lowest weight.

I’m good.

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.

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).

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.

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 🍴😋


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.


Jon still cooks most nights we don’t have trainer meals.
This was a chop a bunch of stuff and stir it up kind of night.  #plusrice

I still eat plain yogurt and frozen blueberries nearly every day. Some days with almond butter on top.

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.


(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.



It’s the pizza and the Mexican food that’s the problem. Always a work in progress.

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 …

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.


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.


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.



She looks so scrawny without it.

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


I guess I need to start looking for someone new.

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.


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.






He looks so much like a little boy these days.






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


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


He has the sweetest, most joyful nature.


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.


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.


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.


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.


We had a really fun 4th weekend.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


He did not, however, appreciate the singing.


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





He LOVED opening presents, though.


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


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.


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.



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


It was pretty fantastic, of course.





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

We packed snacks, so we ate those …



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

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



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.


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


It turned out to be pretty interesting.



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


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


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:


We just looked around briefly, though, before leaving.


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.


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.



It was a little scary, though.


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)


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.



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.  👍👍


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.



Gorgeous view.


We went back to the cabin for dinner.


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.


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.

These two are back at it again.


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.

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:



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



It was awesome.



I’ve never seen anything like it.


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)


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:


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


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.)


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






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.


Such a fun day.


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.

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. ❤️❤️❤️

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.)




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


It’s just gorgeous out there.






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.


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.



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.



The view was outstanding.



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


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)



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.


We probably walked a few miles, but nothing major.


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.




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.



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)


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.


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


We stopped there and had lunch from the cooler.

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


Really gorgeous place.

Picnic time. 🌳☀️👍

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


Everything is just SO beautiful.




This is basically what we’ve done so far:


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 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.




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.


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


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.)


The drive was gorgeous.


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.



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





This was a really great choice.


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.


Yesterday morning, Jon cooked a pretty decadent breakfast.


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


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




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





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


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.


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


Found Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake.


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.).



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.


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


It was an outstandingly gorgeous day.


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


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.


We stopped some along the way, of course.


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



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?):


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).


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.