Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Considering Things

I'm older now. 33. That's not very old. I'm really ok with my age.

Since my last post, I discovered my toe is not broken, just badly bruised. I let it rest for 48 hours, then ran again and did just fine.

The new shoes are also doing great. I wear them whenever I run on the road or for longer than a loop around the track. I still have my vivo trail shoes and I love them, but I'm careful to not run too far in them or on the road.

I'm a little behind on my marathon training. Oops! But I did run 15.7 miles last weekend. And I'll see how far I can go this weekend.

Weight loss has been a no go. I found my resting metabolic rate, I changed the way I was eating, and then I stopped tracking. I put 10 pounds back on and haven't gotten it back off. J and I have talked about it a bit, my sister and I talked about it, and this morning I just made up my mind. I have a bottle and a half of the amp'd up that I took to lose this 10 pounds, so I'm trying it again. I'm going to be good and track my food (help keep me on track!) and keep the training.  I do not expect to lose all 10 pounds before Hawaii since it's only a month away, but I'll see what I can do.

In other news, my awesome doctor decided it was time for me to see a specialist about the headaches. I had an MRI already, but the neurology referral is being more troublesome. Doc had to resend it, and I finally got my referral letter. I called the doctor's office, and they haven't received their copy of it yet. The neurologist's nurse did inform me that he specializes in stroke complications, and it's likely to be quite a while before they get to me.

Ugh, right?

So I called the referral line and they told me the best way to go about getting a different doc. I get to call other neurologists and see who can get me in soon, then call the referral line back and let them know. They'll resend the letter and send the new doc a copy. Then I can get an appointment. OMG! So much work! Oh well, I want to get this in before Hawaii if I can. I don't expect much in the way of results, but it's worth a try. The fioricet seems to work well, however.

So that's it, I guess. My life is health and fitness now. I guess it could be much worse. Well, and Remy and Duke. Can't forget them.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stupidity

It's a quiet day in my house today. The TV is on, the cat is curled up on a newspaper article (sent from my MIL), and the dog is napping on the floor. I am sitting with my foot propped up on my giant stuffed white reindeer (Whitey) with an ice pack.

What? Why am I doing this? What did I do?

I did something stupid.

This morning the pup and I went for a run. It was a good run. We stopped at the dog park as always. I sometimes tip the cement water bowls up on their edge and clean out all the debris that builds up in them.  I did that this morning, but instead of gently lowering it down, I let it fall. And it fell.

ON. MY. TOE.

The corner of the square cement bowl hit the big toe of my right foot. My first thought was that I had broken it. I went ahead and filled the water bowl so Remy could get a drink, then we went home. I limped the whole way. It was pretty damn painful.

I put ice on it right away and called mom, like a good kid.

I was able to shower and get dressed, get some breakfast, but I can't walk for long without being in quite a bit of pain. So my shopping that I had planned for today? Canceled. Lunch plans were canceled anyway. Just resting up so I can handle going to the west side for my harvest box later.

I considered going to the ER, but decided to tape it myself and wait. It's taped. A big part of me wants to go to the ER anyway. I have always wanted an X-ray of my weird feet and I finally have an excuse. But then again, they may not decide to X-ray, and I would waste my day at the ER just to have them do what I've already done - tape it and ice it. Also, I realize that an X-ray wouldn't really be necessary and I don't want to be that person who raises healthcare costs by getting unneeded care. Damn morals.

The worst part of all this is that I'm 6.5 weeks out from the marathon. Six and a half weeks! That is what makes me feel like a complete idiot. I may have broken my toe so close to the marathon. I plan to rest it as much as possible today and tomorrow. Any of my nurse friends are welcome to give advice as well.

If J is reading this, I'll be home for lunch today! *insert cheesy grin here*

Friday, November 29, 2013

Stitch Fix The Second

Originally I was supposed to get this Stitch Fix on Wednesday. Then shipping was moving slow and it said Saturday. Doorbell rang today. Guess what? Stitch Fix!

J didn't seem to understand my excitement, but then again, I was having a girly moment. It came as we were getting ready to go get some lunch, so I waited until we came home to open it. I don't have all the pretty pictures this time, but I do have pics of the items.

Right on top was a green sweater from Oxmo. I grabbed it and said it was so me! J even started joking that I had pulled it out of the closet, not the box. They were spot on with this one.
It's green and see through, perfect for layering.
Wrapped with the sweater was a pair of skinny jeans from Kut From The Kloth. I wasn't sure about them, since I am often hit or miss with jeans, but they fit perfect and were very comfy. They have a good amount of stretch and are soft and comfy. 
I actually wanted some dark skinnies!
 The next bundle had a dress, a sweater, and a jacket. The sweater is from Tea N Rose. It's awesome. I put it on and then discovered the pockets. Pockets! I love me some pockets. It's light weight, so it would work in the summer as my AC sweater as well.
it's also my colors. 
Next was the jacket from 209 West. Black and red, very fun style. I put it on, zipped it up, and went to put my hands in the pockets. What? Pockets? Not this time! It has zippers, placed on the seams, and reinforced on the other side. BUT NO POCKETS. Seriously! Just that alone would piss me off every time I wore it, but it also laid a little funny on my chest. It's going back.
love the idea, not the execution.
Finally the dress. It's a shirt dress from 41Hawthorn. Buttons do not get along with my chest. I liked it on the hanger, I like it in the box, I liked it laid out on my bed. I did not like it on me. It didn't fit in the bust, and lost my shape through the waist. Going back.
it has tab sleeves, which are apparently a popular thing now.
So, keeping the first 3, sending 2 back. And the prices were more along my way of thinking this time. I'm a cheapskate. This gives me some great clothes to get through the winter with. Time for your added bonus - Me in the clothes I'm keeping, with a tank top. (Not the greatest pics, but I don't claim to be a photographer. I leave that to my sister.)



Interested in giving it a try? Yeah? You know you want to. Just use this handy little referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3189571

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Time To Get Serious

About my head, that is. I saw the wonderful Dr. Cobo on Friday. She looked at my migraine journal, agreed that I was still having too much pain, and went into action.

I'm trying a new drug, Fioricet, but she said this is the last of the standard drugs to try. So she is also setting up some referrals for me. I had an MRI done back in, oh, 2004 I think, with no results. They actually said my brain was normal. My migraines have changed quite a bit since then, so she figured it's time for another one. Also, I have a referral for a Neurologist. And Optometry, mostly because it's been so long since I've had a full eye exam.

Now, being on TRICARE, I get to wait for them to contact me about the referrals, which sucks. But, I don't have to pay for it, so I'm not complaining too much. I haven't had to use the fioricet yet, so I don't know if I get any of the side effects. I'll update more as I get the referral appointments done.

I also talked to her about my foot. When I ran the half marathon last weekend, my right foot was very sore after. I had some pain during my runs and any time I was on my feet for a long time through the week. The pain came from the ball of my foot at the big toe joint, and was felt mostly on the top of my foot. Doc said it was a common runner's injury dealing with the metatarsals and tendons. It could be healed with rest, or made worse with running too much. I had already decided to rest on Thursday, and Friday was a rest day anyway.

So, I did not run this weekend, which was an easy decision to make with the freezing temps outside. I also ordered a new pair of running shoes - Merrell Bare Access Arc 3. Long name. It's the Merrell zero drop line, with more cushion. Vivo doesn't really make a running shoe with cushion, so I went back to Merrell. Of course, the nearest store to carry them was up in Ruidoso, and they only had in the hideous hot pink ones. Amazon to the rescue! I got black. They get here Tuesday. Yay!

Anywho, we are moving forward on the head front and learning how to be a long distance runner.

Coming up....
The end of the Big D, Thanksgiving with the Nesoms, and my next Stitch Fix!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Update Needed

Ok, so it's been a month since I posted. It's been a busy month. J has been crazy with work. I have just been crazy, but that's nothing new. So, updates:

Weight:
sucks. I'm back up to 155. But I also haven't been tracking calories. I've adjusted myfitnesspal to 1500 calories. I will log calories burned as well and remember to maintain a deficit on days I workout. 1500 is my minimum for rest days. We'll see how that goes before talking to the girls at the Wellness Center about it.

Fitness:
Ran a half marathon yesterday in 2 hours 26 minutes. Not my greatest, not my slowest. I really felt like I could go faster for most of the race, but I was watching my heart rate and trying to not get it too high. J had the same issue with heart rate - going at the speed that felt right pushed the heart rate up "too high."

Marathon training is going well. I had one week that set me back, thanks to a weather migraine and some super craziness with Rear D Life. I'm skipping the next "slow down" week for training. The weekday runs are feeling good, and even Rem has kept up - up to 6 miles! The cool/cold mornings are wonderful for him. I think I need to invest in another pair of long running tights.

Cycling is my cross training now. I did pretty good on the Tour De Tolerance, especially for doing the whole thing by myself on a windy day. Honey was just in for a tune-up, so the next ride should be pretty smooth.

Migraines:
Like I said, I had a migraine that put me out for a week. Then another the next week. I had a friend and my mom mention that I seemed to be having them quite a bit lately. Yeah. Not a good sign. I went ahead and scheduled a doctor's appointment for next Friday. I wasn't supposed to follow up until a month from now, but I feel like I've had them too much lately. Also, the prescription strength ibuprofen barely touches the pain. I need something different. Or I need someone to tell me what drugs I can supplement with. I've been keeping my pain journal, but I'm having lots of icepick headaches lately.

Mental Health:
Stress hasn't been too horrible the past month. Even with J being crazy busy, I haven't had too much anxiety. I've managed to do what needs done most days, and when I don't get things done it's not from anxiety. I think the Celexa is working wonders. Now we just need to get the pain management figured out.

Other News:
Big breakthrough - I talked to my brother. Like, a real conversation. We spoke on the phone, and he sounded more like my old brother (pre-psycho-ex) than he has in a long time. It was a good conversation. It was a long time coming, but I'm glad it happened. I've missed him. I believe I mentioned our relationship in my Yom Kippur post, and I'm glad that it's coming around to a better place this year.

I think that's it! I'll try to be a better blogger. Maybe I'll do a post on how I'm trying to decorate for Christmas this year even though I'm a total Grinch. It's for J. I must really like this guy. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Got My Stitch Fixed



I signed up to try Stitch Fix. It's a fashion website. It reminds me of True&Co but with clothes instead of bras. You fill out a style profile, and then a stylist picks out 5 items for you. You get to try them on at home and keep only what you want.

I got my box today. It was just the cure for my almost-panic-attack after touching a worm thing that I had thought was an apple stem. It still gives me shivers. Moving on.

I opened el pretty box. (be patient with my spanglish)


I marveled at the pretty insides and unwrapped the tissue paper.


I was so excited I forgot to snap another pic until I had untied the belt that was holding the bundle together. I took out the pieces and decided the only way to get pics was to put them on hangars. I got 5 tops in my first fix, but I'd kinda asked for that. I'm not big on accessories and I have lots of jeans.

The tops:
black and blue striped cardigan

dark red henley style top

gray blouse with a little ruffle

brown print tunic with navy blue trim and belt 
gorgeous black and white print dress
Then I tried them on. I'll save you from the pics of that. I ended up having a bit of a personal debate about some of the items, but turned to the sound advice of the same friend that referred me to Stitch Fix in the first place.

Let's go in order of the pics here. The blue and black was a Hell Yes before I even put it on. So me.

The red top fits and looks good as long as I leave it unbuttoned. If buttoned, it stretches across the bust and feels a bit tight in the shoulders. Unbuttoned, it fits well and looks good. I decided to keep it.

The gray top was a debate. I tried it buttoned, unbuttoned (there's 1 button at the neck), and with the cardi. I even tried it with a different bra. The final try on was when I figured out what was bothering me about it - the neckline. When buttoned, the shoulders pulled in a bit so my bra straps showed, and the neck hit right at the base of my throat. That drives me nuts. I spend the whole time tugging at the neck. So no, that just won't do, which is too bad because I was warming up to it, even with the ruffle.

The brown print I wasn't sure of. I almost liked it when I put it on, but I hate it on the hangar. Amber helped here with a resounding NO. Definitely not for me.

Finally, the black and white dress. I was so excited. I wanted this to work. Alas, my bust pulled the elastic waist up into an empire cut, which would work if that lead to bunching fabric in the back. I finally made up my mind on this one when I imagined it in a store - I would never buy it with a fit that poor, so back it goes.

That means I ended up keeping 2 of the 3 items. Not too shabby for a first go. Especially considering my odd body. There was a priority mail envelop at the bottom of the box with postage paid. I folded up the clothes to return and wrapped them in the tissue paper. Into the envelope and seal it up so I don't change my mind. Online, I filled out a simple survey about what I liked and didn't like in each piece.

Now to price. Here is where I need a disclaimer - I'm a cheapskate. I hate spending money on myself. Tops are normally only purchased if they are $15 or less. These tops where more than I would ever walk out of a store with, no matter how much I love them. But I felt a little better about getting them this way. Must be how they catch us.

I will do this again, but I have to wait a while to justify the price. If you want to try it out, please consider using my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3189571. I had fun doing this. It's great for us introverts to get some shopping done without having to brave the malls. It's a great way to try things you would never pick for yourself in the store. You might be surprised by what you end up liking. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fitness Update, & My Dog Is Spoiled Rotten

I'm on Week 4 of my 18 week marathon plan. This time, like the last time I used a training program, I'm adapting it to fit my schedule. Last week, I woke up on Wednesday after not sleeping all that well and did NOT want to run. So I did yoga instead. I pushed my 4 mile run to Thursday and my second 3 miler to Friday. Over the weekend we went biking up in Cloudcroft, NM (which is a story all on it's own) and I did my 5 mile run.

Yesterday, I took Remy to the dog park. That was about it. I hadn't slept well and was tired all day. But a decent sleep last night made it better and Rem and I had a great run this morning. I'm pushing my next 2 runs back a day each again this week, because tomorrow is a bike ride with the Brigade Commander. It's a fun group to ride with, and biking is great cross training.

I think it's going well. We have a long weekend coming up, and I have a 9 mile run scheduled. I have to make J come with me, or he won't be up to the marathon distance for our race! He's so in love with cycling that he isn't running as much. He does enough running for PT during the week, but I'm going to make him do the long runs with me, or at least at the same time. He's quite a bit faster than me.

The new diet is interesting. I did a little online research and found a group that confirmed one of my suspicions. At Eat More 2 Weigh Less, I learned, or confirmed, that I will gain weight at first. And I have been. My body has to get used to getting all the fuel it needs and learn that it doesn't have to store it all up, but can use it right away. I'm retraining my body's digestive system.

And now for my cute, spoiled dog story of the day. On our run this morning, we hit a bit of the trail early on that was overrun with goat head thorns. They were all over the track and on either side of it. We couldn't go a foot without Remy getting thorns stuck in his paws. My poor pup! I looked around and realized we had to go on a few feet to get past the thorns.

So I picked him up. He weighs somewhere between 55 and 57 pounds. I picked him up in my arms and carried him a few feet past all the thorns. He seemed awful happy. I used to carry him sometimes as a pup and he always loved it. He thinks he's a lap dog that should be carried around in my purse. Of course, he was also happy to start running again, thorn free, when I set him down. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Iron Soldier Sprint Triathlon 2013 (or, Take 2)

J and I did the Iron Soldier Sprint Tri again this year. You might remember that last year was our first ever tri. We missed out on the spring tri (and tons of ever things) because we made a trip to KS to visit J's family. No regrets, and hey, we ran a half marathon that weekend.

So, Saturday, September 28, we got up early to make smoothies and load up. We had packed most everything the night before, so there wasn't much to get done in the morning. Which is good because I'm still not much of a morning person.

We parked and headed to set up in the transition area. The tri was at the new aquatic center this year, so a different area for us. And it was cold. Like, I should have put on warm-up pants cold. We went back to the Jeep to eat our smoothies while the sun came up and started to warm things up.


There were many more people doing the tri this year, so I was number 216. The pool didn't seem as bunched up as last year either, maybe some people learned their lesson about reporting their 400 meter time accurately.

The calm before the storm
I finished the swim in 09:45. Better than last year. Woohoo!  The hard part was going out into the cold after the warm pool. My first transition went faster as well since I had on tri shorts. Throw on tank, socks and shoes, helmet, and gloves. Grab bike and jog to bike area. It was a bit chilly since I was still wet, but the ride dried me off.

The bike portion was 15 miles instead of the 17 we did last year. I finished the bike in 51:16, which is a 17.6 mph average. I felt fast, and I didn't feel like I had to save energy (like last year). Although I did have jello legs at the bike dismount, but that's normal.

that's me in the middle
I wobbled to the bike rack to change shoes and head out on the run. Somewhere in there I noticed that I scratched my leg on something, but didn't worry about it. Time to run. I settled into a comfortable pace and pretty soon J caught up to me, just like last year. It turns out my pace was a bit slower than last year and I finished the run in 31:19.

just enough breeze for extra crazy hair

My total time, with transitions, was 1:36:38. That's 15 minutes faster than last year! In overall standings, I came in at 133 out of 265. In women's standings, I'm 23 out of 73. And in my age group (30-34), I came in first! Ok, technically I came it second, but the lady in first was first woman overall, so she got a trophy and I got first for age group. HO. LY. CRAP.



It was after the run that I saw my friend Bambi and she asked what I did to my leg. Huh? OH YEAH! I scratched it and it was suddenly hurting. Like, quite a bit. I scratched it pretty good, just shy of bleeding, I think. But whatever. I took first in my age group!

You can't see it, but that's my scratch

matching socks were part of my anniversary gift

just showing off

We cleaned up and went to Taco Bell for lunch. I think we earned it. Then we headed out to pick up our packets for the next day's bike ride.

J's version of the Tri will come when he has time to sit and write. Unfortunately, the MWR photographers did not get a single pic of him. I got a few to work with. Pensive Perspiration

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Anti-Diet

J and I did our testing at the Army Wellness Center. It is a 3 part test series, and not everyone does all of them.

First, we did the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Body Comp tests first. RMR is how many calories your body would burn in a 24 hour period of you laying still. So, if I were in a coma, I would burn 1472 calories in a 24 hour period. I laid still on a bed with a breathing mask on for 16 minutes and a machine monitored my breathing and some other stuff. I don't understand it all.

This isn't so startling until you consider that most diet plans recommend around 1200 calories per day. Well sure, that would work for me, and did back when I was out of shape and (likely) had a slower metabolism. But now, I workout regularly; I run 3.5 miles on an easy day; I spend 4 hour on my bike in one ride; My metabolism is higher than their recommended intake. SO, if I were to sit on my but all day and eat 1200 calories a day, I would lose weight. Lazy person's dream!

But I'm trying to NOT be lazy. I want to be in shape and have a lower body fat percentage. OH hey! That brings us to the next test - Body Comp. I had to wear spandex shorts (compression shorts, now-a-days), a sports bra, and a nylon swim cap (that they provided). I got in a contraption that looks like an escape pod from a sic-fi movie and they shut me in. I think it pressurized, from the sounds it made, for 45 seconds. Then the guy opened it, shut it, and ran it again.

I got out and they printed out my results. Turns out my body is 36.1% fat and 63.9% everything else. That's higher than I expected. I don't know why. I have big boobs. I have a whole blog about my big boobs. And boobs are made of fatty tissue. I'll post more about that on that blog.

That was part 1.

Part 2 was a VO2 Max test. We did that this morning. It measures your cardio and respiratory health. They put the same breathing stuff on me and put me on a treadmill. It started slow with a slight incline, and both speed and incline increased every 3 minutes until I hit  85% (I was wearing a heart rate monitor). According to that test, I am excellent. Yes, excellent, close to superior.

Finally, Part 3 - the Metabolism Class.

They require that you attend the class to get your full results from the RMR testing. We each got a printout of our RMR results, a list of online resources, and a sample 7-day meal plan, specific to our individual caloric needs.

Based on my RMR and how much I work out, They recommend that I get 2200 a day to lose half a pound a week. I would like to lose 1 pound a week, so I set my daily goal at 2000. If I stick to my new training plan for the marathon, I'll burn plenty to accommodate that.

I got J signed up on My Fitness Pal (I'm char362, BTW), and we customized our calorie goals according to our test results. We'll use this week to get used to the changes, like adding in 3 snacks a day, and really dive into it next week. This also gives J a chance to get used to the food tracker app.

So. This is the new plan. Eat more food to lose weight. Well, J is actually trying to gain back a little of what he lost while being sick all July. But anyway, I was, in a sense, starving my body. By not giving it enough calories, it was storing fuel as fat. If I eat more, my body won't feel the need to store it all as fat and will be more willing to burn it as needed.

Of course, we have to still eat healthy, and I need to make sure I'm getting enough protein. We both need to work harder on balancing our meals and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. But we're doing this together, and that makes it all seem a little more manageable.

P.S. If you want to estimate your RMR, check out http://www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditure-advanced (and thanks to Jaci for that link, and for putting this whole idea in my head a while back).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Challenged

Today was the Oryx Challenge.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur.

Today was also my first day back on birth control after the week off.

I have learned to never have this combination again.

J and I signed up for the Oryx a while back, knowing that it was the day after Yom Kippur. I didn't realize it would be the day after my girly week, but thought I would be fine. We rode 62 miles last week to prepare for it and my riding has greatly improved lately.

Today sucked.

I was doing OK for the first, oh, 20 miles or so. It's a very slow climb to the turn-around, and once we really started climbing, I bonked. I fell back behind the group and just kept pedaling away. By this time, J had fallen back with another rider from our group who was having some shoulder issues. Joe, the group leader, came back to pull me up the hill, but just keeping in his draft had me feeling like I was going to puke.

I have never had that feeling on a bike ride before.

I did not puke, but I did let him know I couldn't keep up. He went back up with the group and I slowed down to try to recover. J and Chelsey eventually caught up to me and J helped us struggle up the hill. I actually stopped at one point just to breathe. It was not fun and I felt weak. Our group was headed back down while we were still about 3 miles from the turn.

(If I had puked, I would have come home and ordered this tshirt: http://fab.com/product/til-you-barf-tee-men-s-gray-319582/?ref=sb-sq-till%20you%20barf-p1)

We did finally make it up the damn hill, and we were glad to stop for a few minutes. I chowed down a peanut butter chew (homemade, they are amazing), refilled my empty water bottle, and we got back on the road.

This was the fun part - going back down the hill we had just climbed. It was a great recovery time as well. However, even the tiny little climbs that would usually not bother me were slowing me down today. I was not doing so hot.

J and Chelsey stuck with me the whole way back, and we finished in 4 hours. My feet were sore and I couldn't wait to get those bike shoes off and put on my flip flops. Our group had finished a while before us and headed their separate ways, so we did the same. We picked up some Taco Bell for lunch and headed home.

Looking back, I could have been pushing more food into my body during the ride. With yesterday's fast, I probably should have had something to eat about every 20 miles. I didn't, and I suspect it hindered me. But also, I don't think I will ever sign up for a ride or run the day after Yom Kippur. Well, unless it's something easy like a 5K.

I did it, I finished my ride. It was just about 60 miles, which is actually 2 miles short of a true 100K, but I'll take it, today.

Next event is the Iron Soldier sprint tri on a Saturday with the Chili Pepper bike ride the next day. I only signed up for 40 miles on the Chili. I think that is much better.

Now I'm going to go make some soup.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm A Bad Blogger

I haven't blogged in 4 weeks. Oops.

I had my follow-up with the new Doc today. Still loving her. The blood work she did was all satisfactory, so we're going to continue with the medicine she gave me last time and hope to see continued improvement. Because, yes, I did see improvement. I'm not napping as much. I'm not feeling constantly overwhelmed by little things. I think my road rage is even improving. A little. Maybe.

However, she didn't like how often I was having head pain. So we've added a new drug, called Elavil. I'll take it at night since it should make me sleepy. Like I might not wake up to roll over at night, but just sleep through.

So we'll follow up again in 3 months, which would be December.

In other boring news, I have been cycling a lot more lately. I really love Honey and have fun riding her.  I actually did my longest ride on Sunday with J. We did a full 100 Kilometers (62 miles). Of course that had a stop halfway at the Bean in Old Mesilla. And an Italian cream soda at the finish.  But next weekend is the Oryx Challenge, and I'm signed up for the 100K. We have a group we've been doing shorter rides with, and we'll do this one together.

The sprint tri is also coming up, and I haven't been in the pool at all. However, I know I'm much stronger on the bike than last year, so I think I'll do OK.

Healthwise, I'm on the mend. I'm getting strong with my cycling and keeping up the running distance, though I really need to start pushing that out. I do have a marathon to prepare for.

In January.

IN MAUI.

So excited for that. OMG. I love Hawaii. I haven't been to Maui, so it will all be new. And fun. And exciting. And OMG I'M GOING TO HAWAII!

That's all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anxious Much?

Today was my first visit with my new doctor. I like her. 

She listened to my concerns, asked questions to get more detailed information, and is working with me to find a cause and solution. She did NOT pass me off as a paranoid hypochondriac, which is how the last doctor made me feel.

So, I had 4 vials of blood drawn to do a bunch of tests, but she also gave me a little quiz. My results say that I'm overly anxious. She wants me to try a medication to increase my serotonin production. If that's really the problem, it would definitely explain my mood swings and anxiety, but can also cause the fatigue and some other physical problems. 

The medication takes 3 weeks to really work, so my follow up appointment is in 4 weeks. We will discuss the blood work results, how the medication makes me feel, and also go over the headache journal I'll be keeping. OH yeah, low serotonin can also be causing headaches. Yeah. 

I feel good. I feel like I'm finally being listened to and finally getting somewhere. The soldier that drew blood didn't even leave a bruise. I'll start my new medicine tomorrow and use the notes app on my phone to help me journal my headaches. I think I'm going to add my emotions to the daily entries to track mood swings. 

I hope I can get something figured out before I move. I'd hate to start over with a new doctor.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

8 Years

***warning to my friends with deployed husbands - I'm gonna get mushy about mine.

I have been married for 8 years. Today is my 8 year anniversary.

It's crazy. It doesn't feel like it's been that long.

aw, so sweet
So where were we 8 years ago? I was still at my insurance education editor job. J was a substitute teacher, and I don't remember if he was still at the gas station or not. I think I'd made him quit by then. That job made him angry.

Anywho, we lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment. We somehow managed to pick what would be the hottest day of the year to get married on. Family and friends came to Kansas to celebrate with us. It was pretty damn cool.

We were married July 23, then J left for Basic Training on August 19. I adopted Duke on August 24. That was the start of our family.

Then I look at us now. I used to have plans to add some color accents to my simple wedding dress and wear it as a formal for military balls. NOPE! I lost weight and got in shape, and that dress is too big now. On our honey moon, we hiked a trail in Steamboat Springs, CO that goes up one of the ski mountains. I was exhausted. It wiped me out. Now, I've run multiple half marathons and I'm planning to do a full marathon. I really want to go back to Steamboat Springs now and try that trail again. I think I have come so far that I would conquer that hill.

J had started running again when we got married, and now he's done multiple marathons, and his crazy 3 day bike tour. He can swim. That in itself is huge for him. He's active duty Army - see, we've swapped roles. I used to make the money and he did stuff like cook and clean. Now he's making the money and I'm cooking and cleaning.

And of course, we still have our grumpy-old-man-cat Duke, but we also have Remy. This is J's first house dog (as opposed to outside ranch dog), but it's something I always knew I would have. I always said I would have 1 cat and 1 dog, and I do. I feel like our little family is complete. (Sorry moms, no kids in the future at this point, still no urge to be a mom to humans.)

Together, J and I have learned to cook and eat healthier (no more frozen chicken nugget and french fry dinners), we've found ways to enjoy getting and staying in shape. I really believe that our relationship has only gotten stronger over the years. Yes, we have arguments, yes we disagree, yes there are times when I want to just shake him (and vice versa, I'm sure). But overall, I feel that we have grown together over the years, and helped each other learn more about ourselves.

J played a huge part in me gaining self-confidence, which lead to accepting myself as I was and allowed me to commit to making myself better. That's when I started my weight loss journey. I'm glad I did. I'm glad I can now look at that mountain trail in Steamboat as something fun and exciting instead of something challenging and dreadful. Although losing weight and getting in better shape didn't help the migraines like I thought it would, it helped me in so many other ways. I will never be very skinny, but I want to be healthy. I'm enjoying what I have in life, so I want to be healthy enough to make it last a long time.

I'm rambling, as I tend to on this blog. But it's a good day to ramble on about my relationship. I've been married to J for 8 years. We've been together for 12 years this September. I'm happier with myself now, thanks to being happy with J. I'm looking forward to all the adventures still ahead of us. Life is pretty damn good right now, and I expect it to keep getting better.

never imagined this 8 years ago!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Where You Live


Just thought of this.

And. OMG! Two blog posts in 1 day!!

Anywho. Today is the first day this week that I haven't had a headache (if the week starts on Monday). I started having some constant, non-OTC-responding pain Monday evening. I took tramadol (my prescription pain killer) and went to bed. Tuesday and Wednesday both, I woke up with pain or pain soon after. More tramadol.

Yesterday, Thursday, was the first day with just OTC pain killers. Today was the first drug-free day (minus daily meds).

What triggered this? The weather.

I've noticed that humid weather fronts moving into our area are triggering headaches/migraines for me.

I don't remember having this problem in KS, where it was always at least somewhat humid and I didn't have the dry skin and eczema problems.

I think, having lived here for 4 years, the body is used to our dry, drought climate. I am no longer tolerant of humidity, as much as I may miss it. When a humid front moves in, I get arthritis and/or migraine issues. This week, I got the migraine as the humidity really set it, and didn't get rid of it until we had a day of real rain.

I think it's the drastic difference between normal days (dry) and weather fronts (wet) that triggers my migraines and/or arthritis while living here. My arthritis was almost non-existant in KS, and my migraines had more noticeable stress triggers. My stress is greatly reduced here, since I don't work, and the only recent noticeable trigger was the weather.

I'm hoping that our next home, somewhere more humid and with more regular rain, will see a reduction of weather triggered pain problems. Let's find out next year, huh?

What A Day,,,

It started with my lack of motivation to exercise. No excuses, I felt lazy.

Then I get a text from my husband that he was hit by a car on his bike ride. He's OK, but a little beat up. He even finished the ride before coming home. I helped him clean up, bandage up, and get ready for work.

I went to my Friday morning craft group to get something embroidered for a project I'm working on, and the embroidery machine somehow caught the threads it had already sewn. No going back. I might have to try appliqué, as much as I hate that stuff.

I took J lunch. A high point.

Remy got dropped at the groomers.

Then, I sold my old Trek road bike, Rhoda. I didn't tell the new owner about her name, since he's a Master Sergeant in the Army. It didn't seem to fit him. But he's new at road biking, had a friend that's into it helping him pick the bike, and eager to ride. I think Rhoda is in good hands and will get the miles she deserves.

Then I picked up Rem and he did much better at the groomer's than last time. He would not stay standing for them last time he went, but I told them about his "up-up" command and he did good this time. He looks great, and even though he has some shy-bum, it's not as bad as usual. Silly dog.

In other good news, J and I will have a new nephew next week! This is on J's side, and it's the first of the next generation of Welch (in our family), so it's very exciting. I'm looking at when we can afford to go meet him.

Otherwise, I'm feeling good. Still a little gunk from the weather, but my migraine that I've had since Monday night was gone this morning, and J is almost over the crud he got from me. We are healthy and well/mending and just going to get better. J will heal from his scrapes and bruises, I will get over my migraines and allergies, and we will do great on the triathlon and bike rides this fall.

All is well, tonight.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taking Charge (Or Trying To)

I've been working on a quest to get healthy for a while now. Y'all know that. Today I made another step that has my nerves up, so I'm blogging to give myself confidence.

I made a doctor's appointment to talk to him about my thyroid. Yes, I did this once before, but all he did was run a test. My results were on the lower end of normal, but in the normal range. So I figured I was good.

That was almost a year ago, and since then I've done some random internet research and reading. I've seen multiple site/groups that say the one common test isn't always enough for a real diagnosis. The more I read, the more I think I am a likely candidate for hypothyroidism.

Want to know more? Here's what the Mayo Clinic says.

Now, I've had some issues with my doctor. My last appointment, he didn't even realize I'd been to see him previously. My files were right there on the computer in front of him. He also didn't seem to care that I'd started taking an herb he had never heard of. He just said if it works, go with it. Yeah. Good thing I've done my research and know what drugs it can interact with.

Well, I made the decision today to give him one more chance. I could ask for a new doctor, but even if Tricare says it's OK, I don't know how long it would take to get a new one assigned. So, one last try.

I'm going in armed this time. I found 2 hyperthyroid symptom checklists. I picked the ones I have and made sure there weren't any repeats. Numbered list gives me 40.

Forty.

4-0.

Now, many of these can be symptoms of other things, or just random things that make me me. But I want to know. I want someone to tell me why I can't get rid of the vertical ridges in my nails. I want to know why I can sleep 8 hours at night, take a 1 to 2 hour nap during the day, and then sleep another 8 hours. I want to know why I've gotten moodier the past couple years, with anxiety issues I didn't really have before.

I'm hoping he'll listen to me and help me. Or at least refer me to someone who can help me. I am willing to be told that I have a healthy thyroid. That would be welcome news. I just want to know why I'm having these issues.

As usual, this got a little rambley. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Big 5-0

I meant to write this a few days ago but kept getting distracted. I need an excuse to sit still for a bit, so here's my blog post.

This past Sunday, J wanted to take me for a long bike ride. He was sure I could do it, but I was nervous. The plan was to head over to Johnny Lolita's, ride from there up to The Bean in Old Mesilla, then back. Of course, you don't stop at a coffee shop like The Bean without getting something, so we had coffees and scones. And you don't stop at Johnny Lolita's without something, either, so iced coffees completed the ride.

So what? What's the big deal?

It's 25 miles between coffee shops.

TWENTY-FIVE MILES.

TWICE.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I rode 50 miles. This is the longest bike ride I have ever done. And I wasn't completely destroyed at the end! Although my knees were sore later that day and the following day. Just means I gotta do this stuff more often.

Especially if I want to do 60 miles in September.

Mind you, this was all easy going for J. He even snapped some pics on his phone.
riding through pecan groves
It was a great day to ride. Some headwind, but not as bad as it can get here. Lots of humidity, but I've been missing that. Well, lots for here. The fields were all green and lush. We could smell crops of onion and cabbage and saw the corn. I started thinking about making some soup. The pecan groves were being irrigated and you could smell the fresh water. I even saw what I believe was a Snowy Egret. It looked a lot like this guy:
Photo from the NM Ornithological Society
Finally, to celebrate a successful ride, we stopped at Chipotle for some burritos to take home. It was a nice way to end a 4-day weekend.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Attack Of The Crud

When I get sick, I really get sick. Especially if it's anything to do with my sinuses. I thought I was getting a cold last week, but by Friday I was having a horrible cough, no voice, and gunk in my eye. I ended up going to the Quick Care Clinic on Saturday morning. That means it was bad. I don't like seeing doctors.

The PA I saw was awesome. She listened to all my symptoms, listened to my breathing (and coughing), and it all was quick and painless. She said there weren't any signs of infection, i.e. sinus infection, but it was probably a viral upper respiratory infection.

So I got a breathing treatment, then picked up an inhaler of the same stuff and some decongestant. And headed home. The inhaler made the cough worse at first, but it started get better rather quickly. The gunk was moving through and not making me lose my voice.

By Sunday I felt good enough to take the dog for a walk. We even tried a very slow run for a block and a half, but that left me winded and worn out. More rest. Each day has been easier, more energy, less coughing. I even got some sewing done and finally finished a couple skirts I've been working on forever.

Today, Wednesday, I went for a group bike ride. It was another Brigade ride, so not too hard. I did well, only a little cough during the ride. It's when we got back to the parking lot and stopped that I started coughing. I rather expected that, though. It's like running in cold air: soon as you stop running, you start coughing. At least that's what happens with J and I.

Of course, all this is just in time for the Individual Aquathlon. It's a week from Friday. What's an Aquathlon? I think they made up the term because what they do isn't a traditional Duathlon. It's usually run-bike-run, but here they do run-swim-run. Yeah. You run a 5K, jump in the pool to swim 400 meters, then jump out and run another 5K. J and I want to do it. I know I can run it and swim it, but now I've had to stay out of the pool for a couple weeks. I'm worried about my lungs in the water.

We plan on checking out the new pool here this weekend, where the event will be. It used to be at the pool a block from my house, but now they have a big fancy aquatics center, so I can't just walk over to the event. Damn. But we'll get in that pool once or twice, and hopefully I'll be back up to full health by then. I better be.

I'm not looking to make any awesome times or anything. It's just fun to try, and good to get us in the right mindset for the sprint tri in September. I think I can already beat last year's bike time, so I'm rather looking forward to the tri. Plus, if I get some good tri shorts, I can cut down my transition time.

Ok. I'm starting to ramble. Time to get ready for a little shopping before my lunch date today.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Honey

So, one thing we figured out on our vacation to Colorado is that I would fit better on a women's specific bike. We looked around a little while on vacation but didn't see anything for me. J is also looking for a new bike, but had something more specific in mind. I was just looking to see what was out there.

Before we left on our trip, we had seen a nice looking Felt bike at one of our local bike shops. Once we got back from vacation, we headed back to that same shop, hoping to get more info on a bike for J. The bike I had seen before was still there. It wasn't like anything I could find online, even on the Felt website.

So I asked about it.

Turns out it's a 2011 model that just never sold. Felt doesn't even make the ZW6 anymore.

World, meet Honey.

Honey, meet the world.
I've been on 3 rides on her, and so far, I'm in love. The seat is made to fit a woman's butt, and mine doesn't get as sore on rides. The handle bars are set for a more upright position, and are just a bit smaller and closer than men's bikes. I don't even mind the little bits of orange on her.

I did already have my first crash. On Sunday, J got me to go on my first group ride with the Team Army Fort Bliss Cycling. It was all guys, and all faster than me. They said they would set a "slow" pace of 16 to 18 mph. Ha! Well, I managed to keep up for a good chunk of the ride. J made sure to stick with me and not leave me behind. After a rest at the shoppette, I really started falling behind.

The group leader fell back to make sure we didn't lose our way and finished the ride with us. We came up to a stop sign, and instead of coasting through, the two guys suddenly unclipped and stopped. Well I unclipped, got my foot on the ground, and managed to keep going until the rest of me was on the ground. Turns out there was an MP that they saw and I didn't. That MP did come over and make sure I OK, which I was. Just a little road rash on my knee and a couple scratch's on Honey's brake lever. I have some white enamel paint that should take care of her. I'm healing up just fine.

Doing that fast ride, which really pushed me and left my legs like jello, prepped me for Tuesday morning. We did a group ride with J's Brigade Commander (and his wife) who just got a new road bike. It was a much slower pace and I was glad for it. No trouble keeping up, and I felt better on the bridges than I usually do. I think only part of that is due to Honey's smoother shifting. 

Home Sweet Colorado

Ok, almost caught up with all my blogging! Time to talk about our summer vacation.

J and I spent a week and a half in Durango, CO and the surrounding area. We went there last summer and loved it, but really decided to go back this year when J signed up for the Death Ride Tour. We headed up to Durango on a Monday, checked in to hotel downtown, and headed out for dinner and a walk.

Now, if you know either one of us, you know that we love Colorado. We both have family there and we plan to settle down there, someday. We don't know where yet, but somewhere in Colorado will be our home. So of course heading to the mountains around Durango was exciting for us.

Also exciting was finally convincing my husband that our vacations don't have to be planned out to the last detail. Some of the details surrounding the Death Ride we couldn't plan, because we didn't know, but the rest of it I left pretty open, too. J needed to ride and acclimate, and I wanted to relax. We managed to do a little of both most days.

We did a couple rides together, which slowed J down and kept him from overdoing it, and spent one morning on our own (he rode, I ran). The afternoons were lazy ones spent napping, strolling around downtown, or checking out the local bike shops. Durango is a fun little town. We had thought about getting out on the river in kayaks, but decided we were too tired.

at the memorial for Baker's Bridge
Come Friday, we had to head up to Silverton to get ready for the Death Ride. If you haven't been there, Silverton is tiny. There isn't much to it at all, and the Death Riders had taken over the whole town. They had a big pasta dinner at one of the hotels, but the rest of the town shuts down early, so we didn't have much choice but to get to bed and get ready for the start the next day.

I was in charge of taking pictures with J's camera. Sometimes I wonder why he even bothers. I'm not a good photographer (apparently my sister took all those skills from the gene pool). Even with J's fancy camera, it took me all 3 days to get some really good shots. But I snapped pics of everything I could think of, and tried to get some of J.

pretty view, and faded hair

Everyone took off from downtown Silverton. I got a coffee, checked out of the motel, gassed up the Jeep, then headed along the same route. I passed J, so I knew it was OK to stop at a pull-out along the mountain road and get an action shot.

Woohoo!
Then I scooted on into the next town to check into our next hotel. I got lucky and our room was already clean, so I was able to check in early. Then it was out to get myself some lunch and wait for J to show up. This became my pattern for the next few days.

Telluride was a fun little town, for the whole day we were there. It was gorgeous. They were prepping for Ride The Rockies to start the next day, so this was yet another little mountain town overrun with cyclists. I hopped on my own bike and rode around a bit to watch for J. When he did make it into town, I promptly lost him again, until he called me on someone else's phone (his died) to tell me where he was. We were lucky to be checked in already, so J could clean up right away and we could get some food in him.

A section of downtown was blocked off for the RTR party, so we wandered over there and found some grub. And some bike shops. And a great view.

main street of Telluride

We ate dinner at Brown Dog Pizza, and it was awesome. If you are ever in Telluride, I recommend it.

The next day was another ride, another early start, and another day of me following along in the Jeep. (I did go for a run along the river in the morning before taking off.) But this day had not just the 300 Death Riders, but allllllllllll the RTR riders as well. The trip from Telluride to Durango is only 111 miles, but it took me quite a bit to drive it. I wasn't able to stop anywhere and get action shots. I don't even know when I passed J.

I made it into Durango before our room was ready (same hotel as before) so I just parked and walked around a bit. J knew how to get to where we were staying, so I wasn't as worried as in Telluride. As J arrived in town, our room was finished and we got to go in and clean up. Again, it was an afternoon of food, rest, walk, and more food.

Monday was the last day of the ride, when most of the riders waited for the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to take off before starting.

here she comes!
They took a back road for the first part of the ride, then joined up on the main highway. I shot ahead to Silverton and was too early to check in, again. So I wandered back to one of the water stations and waited for J.

just keep pedaling!

I made it down to the finish area and didn't have to wait too long for J to show up. They had a BBQ set up, so we just ate there and watched the other riders come in. It was relaxing and nice weather. We later discovered that the brewery we ate at last year had shut down, so we found another place to eat dinner at, and headed to bed. Like I said before, Silverton shuts down early.

We didn't head home right away, but took a whole day to lounge around in the hot springs pools up in Ouray, Co. We lounged, soaked, and got a little sunburnt, but had a great time before heading back home.

You can read all about the ride from J's point of view over at his blog, Pensive Perspiration.

All that travel crammed into not much time left us both pretty worn out. It's nice to be home and not worry about going anywhere anytime soon. I'm sure pup likes it, even though he enjoys his kennel time. He's a very family oriented little guy.

So there you have it: the whirlwind recap of our vacation. And I'm just about caught up with my blogging. 

Scaredy Pup

Had to share this little story from today.

We live on an Army base. It is not uncommon to hear some Artillery booms from time to time. Nothing super close, nothing real loud, even the airplanes from the nearby airport are louder, but we do hear them.

There were some artillery booms this morning while Rembrandt was outside. I don't know what was different about today, but something scared the pup. He desperately pawed at the door to come in, and would only go back outside when I made him come out with me. His tail stayed down between his legs.

So I brought him back in, but he could still hear the booms, and was still getting scared. The crazy pup climbed into my lap. Well, first he tried climbing up from under my TV tray, which wasn't about to work, so he finally went around it. He knows he's not allowed on the furniture, but he was all the way up in my lap. All 60 pounds of him. He kept trying to get his whole body curled up in my lap, but he's just too big! I finally got him to sit next to me for a bit, but he trembled the whole time.

When I'd had enough (which wasn't long), I made him get down and grabbed his blanket. I wrapped it around him and tried to soothe him. He sat still, but left a puddle of drool on the floor. I had to leave for an FRG thing, and Rem thought he would just come with me.

It took a wrap in the blanket and some more soothing talk about how safe he was at home to get him to stay in place so I could leave. He didn't even want his usual cucumber chunk.

So I left and went about my morning. I was out for about 3 hours. Came home, and everything is just fine. He did save his cucumber chunk in his food bowl until I got home, then happily gobbled it up. Now it's time for his lunchtime nap, which is followed up with an afternoon nap. He naps a lot in the heat.

I'm still not sure what it was about today that scared him so much, but that poor guy was trembling in my lap and doing the anxious drool. I have a few scratches to show for it all, but nothing bad. Hopefully he's learned that he's safe at home.  I hope so, because our next home is more likely to have those artillery sounds more often.

Silly puppy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Five Trails In One Weekend


Since J came home in April and started work right away, his family didn’t get a chance to see him. However, while he was gone, we got word from our old Boy Scout Troop in Kansas that a couple of our scouts had achieved the rank of Eagle. We had brought these boys into the world of Boy Scouts, bridged them over from Cubs. J was their first Scout Leader. We took them on their first Boy Scout campout and all froze our asses off.

So of course, when asked to be a part of their Eagle Court of Honor, we couldn’t say no. The timing worked well, since J would be home and get to see his family. It was a fast trip, fly out Friday and fly home Sunday. We squeezed in as much as we could. It just so happened that the Five Trails Half Marathon was happening that same weekend. I couldn't say no. 

Friday afternoon, we flew in and got our rental car. We stopped in Weston, Missouri on our way to his folks’ and bought some wine at one of our favorite wineries, Pirtle. Getting in to town, we said Hi to his dad and changed into running clothes. Yes, we flew there and went for a run. I was slow and tired and felt miserable. I was starting to worry about Sunday. J’s mom was home by the time we finished our run, so we showered and all had dinner.

hanging out
Saturday morning, we had brunch with the whole family: mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law. Then we headed to Lawrence, where we used to live. We appreciate this town much more now that we don’t live there, but moving away was probably one of the best things we could do for ourselves. More on that another time.

We met my good friend Justin downtown and picked up some sandwiches to take back to his place. His wife and brand new baby were at home, so we ate lunch there. I, of course, was dealing with a cold, so I didn’t get to hold the precious little girl. And she was precious. Just adorable.  (No, this does not mean I want one.) I had started a quilt a couple years ago when Justin and Jessica got married, but it took me a long time to finish. It was nice to finally give them the finished product.

finally finished!
We headed over to the church where the Scouts meet. J changed into his dress blues and we helped make sure everything was ready. It was great to see our Scout friends again. The Court of Honor was fun and brought back many good memories. We had a great time catching up with old friends and celebrating the achievements of these young men.  We took ourselves out to a nice dinner downtown that evening, and stopped at a great coffee shop, The Java Break, before heading back to the folks’ place.

Sunday morning came early. We got up and got ourselves some oatmeal for breakfast. The real stuff, not instant. J’s mom drove us over to the middle school where we would start and finish. We checked in, got our packets, and hung out. They had the school cafeteria open for all of us, which is lucky since it started raining. J had a visor with him, but I hadn’t brought anything. My mother-in-law is always prepared, and had some hats out in her car, so she let me wear one to keep the rain out of my eyes.

with mom before the run
The race started in the rain, but I felt good. J paced with me for the whole run, which is fun until he tries to be all motivational and just makes me angry.  He’s still learning. But we appreciated the cool rain once we started moving, and took the first and biggest hill better than I had expected. The run itself was fun and hilly and exhausting, but what really made it a great race was Dora. She would hop in her car and drive up ahead on the route, get out, and cheer us on from her new spot. She was there when we turned a corner, cheering, snapping photos, and making us laugh. And she was there at the finish, waiting with her camera.

J's smiling, I'm exhausted
It wasn’t the greatest half marathon I’ve ever run, but considering that I was running with a cold/sinus infection on a hilly route, I’m proud of it. It was fun to run in the rain, even though it made for some blistered feet. We went home after the run, downed some water, and just lay on the soft carpet in Dora’s craft room.

Once we were recovered, we cleaned up and headed to J’s little brother’s house. Our sister-in-law cooked a big dish of lasagna for us, and we gobbled it up. We were definitely hungry after the run, and the lasagna was wonderful. We visited, snuggled with some kitties, watched a movie, and headed back home.

Think we’re done? Not quite! Dora took Monday morning off and we went downtown to the local bike shop. It didn’t have any brands we were interested in, but it was fun to look around, and they have a coffee bar inside. We wandered around downtown and ended up buying a couple small things that fit in the suitcases.

It was finally time to come home-home. We said goodbye and headed to the airport. The flight home was pretty easy, nothing big. We made it home in time to head to the kennel and pick up the pup, and come home as a little family.

As fun as that weekend was, it was packed to the brim. It’s nice to come home to my pup and cat and just take it easy for a couple days.  Not that I took it too easy, since I was then getting prepped for the Colorado trip. That’s another post. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Goddaughter, Or, My Weekend At Krystal's


Y’all have heard me talk about Misty. She’s my BFF. Like, if we were sexually attracted to each other, we’d be married. Instead, we each fell in love with someone else, but got matching tattoos to make our friendship permanent.

Misty currently lives on the east coast. That’s hella far from El Paso. She also has a baby girl that just turned 1, Sophie, my niece and goddaughter. She’s an amazing little girl. Being so hella far apart, I don’t get to see them often. I did fly out and spend a couple weeks with them when Sophie was just 3 months old.

Misty has a big family. She’s the youngest of 6 and has multiple stepsiblings.  She has more family than I could ever keep track of. However, her oldest sister, Krystal, is also my friend. Krystal’s 3 daughters call me Aunt.

Well, Krystal had gone back to college and graduated just this May. Misty and Sophie were flying out for it. Krystal, by the way, lives in the same state as I currently do. Actually within a day’s drive. So, with Misty and Soph so close, how could I not go see them?

I drove out on a Saturday. Misty had flown in a couple days before. I got in just a little before the graduation, so I met everyone at the college. It was great to see everyone again, and actually meet Krystal’s husband for the first time. (He’s a cool guy.)

We went out to eat after graduation and got all caught up. I hadn’t seen Krystal or the girls in quite a while. The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. Krystal and I dyed Misty’s hair. We watched some movies. We talked. A lot.

I headed back home Sunday. It was a fast weekend, but definitely worth it. I’ll take every chance to see them. Sophie is an amazing little girl. I was more excited about Misty having a baby that I would be for myself. It helps that I love being an aunt.

I don’t know when I will get to see them again, but we are going to do some facetime/skype dates. I want that little girl to know who I am. I want her to be a big part of my life. I hope I can be a huge part of hers.