Behind the scenes of a perfect day.

This was wedding weekend and I thought I’d take the opportunity to let you know about the behind the scenes fabulousness that was our life.

Where we stayed:
Months ago I found a VRBO (sean informed me this was “vacation Rental by Owner” which I officially did not know. Full disclosure I hadn’t ever bothered to look or even think about it because I didn’t care enough. But I do like knowing things so there you go). This was a house in Evergreen, CO at the top of a mountain…7000 ft and change if I remember correctly. There were two queen size beds…super comfortable… and two twin beds. These are homes people either buy and use as rentals or they are homes they use themselves and rent out when they aren’t using them. This is the case for this rental. It was fully stocked. Anything we could have wanted, the house was there. We did have a few tiny issues but they were so minor they were things we’d have problems with in our own house, you know?

1. A full length mirror.
2. The trash can in the kitchen has a terrible lid so it kept falling. You know you’d have this problem in your own house so you’d put that on your list. Get a new trash can.
3. The stairs going down to the house were a bit tall for my mom and sister so I might consider a ramp or something. I didn’t have a problem with them but someone older might.
4. Shaughnessy washed theboy’s shirt after the rehearsal dinner and it came out with rust from the washer. Sean was in town so he stopped and picked up another one from Target. That could have been bad but it was easily fixed.
5. The shower was #notmyfavorite

1675 sq ft.
one full bath, one half.
Average cost $180 a night (for that much space in Evergreen is crazy good)

Could those issues be any more minor? They were pretty minor. The woman who rented to us was so amazing. She was kind and helpful and very communicative. She let us go in early and when a gift was accidentally found to have been thrown out in the trash (still in box and everything) she dug through the trash (!) and is meeting me in town to deliver it. She’s quite wonderful. I gave her and the house a complete five stars and if I could give them more I would. She was great.
On VRBO she is Peace of Mind vacation rental #795862 and she has 66 reviews with a rating of 4.9 (six people rated her a 4 star but their ratings are all great..ha)
I would stay there again.
The view from the deck…photo credit by Shaughnessy


Yeah, it’s that beautiful. Anytime anyone thinks about moving away they just go to the mountains. It cures all that ails us.
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Shaughnessy and my mom have beautiful and adorable short cute hair that suits them so perfectly I’m incredibly jealous. Catherine has long lovely hair you can actually do something with. I have…hair. Celiac hair thankyouverymuch.

So I hired Hilarie Austin. She is also the photographer at Serendipity Photography by Hilarie Austin. Catherine’s hair turned out darling and I really loved it.  I’m sorry I currently don’t have photos. I have very difficult hair though and my favorite Princess Anna has frequently told me how awful it is (she says it with love and I don’t mind at all). My hair wasn’t long enough and it just wasn’t my favorite to begin with so it wasn’t Hilarie’s fault it was my hair’s fault. She did a beautiful job with what she had to work with. If I had it to do over again I would have left it down. I really wanted it down but the day before Evergreen had TERRIBLE wind and more wind was predicted.  I envisioned crazy wind photos. Well we were only in photos for about 3 minutes anyway and there was no wind at all that day so it wouldn’t have mattered. I’d rather have good hair. I was really self conscious of a tiny little head with stupid hair the whole night. I wanted to hide in a closet.  I should always go with my instincts. And with what Shaughnessy says. She suggested it when I said my head hurt. I should have listened.
Hilarie was darling. She was funny and nice and very very talented. I would totally hire her again. She did a great job on both of us.

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For our makeup I hired Ally Wright Triolo. She is also on Instagram at @beautynouveaux .

She did a really beautiful job coming in with suitcases and airbrush plug-in things, brushes and tools and seriously…that girl had stuff. She was not messing around. She was so fun and man we really lucked out with great people that day.

And oh…the eyelashes.

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Our “getting ready” day was so fun. It was relaxing and laid back…talking and laughing and eating pizza and drinking beer.
Okay, I didn’t do either of those things. But it was there.

The day was really just the perfect way to relax before a big event.

The guys were also VERY stressed and began getting ready hours before the event…


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Shaughnessy and I went for a run that morning….you should know we were at the TOP of the mountain. The top. The…top. Really.
The driveway starts out like this….



Terrible, right? Really not pretty at all.
And the road continues with the fall leaves, babbling brooks, deer nibbling at the side of the road…it’s incredible.
Here’s a sign on the way up the mountain to give you an idea of the road…



It’s pretty freakin’ steep and windy.  So we innocently ran down the mountain completely besotted with runner’s bliss. In the back of my head I knew we’d have to go up and it would not be good but…the down was just so great. So I encouraged the bad behavior.

It was windy and steep and the most beautiful fall mountain road you’ve ever seen.


Photos all by Shaughnessy

We walked back up. There was no running up that mountain.

Shaughnessy may have been able to run it but I totally walked. Although I was texting for part of it and I can’t concentrate and run at the same time (wedding day stuff) and also talking so I definitely had no air.

I’m going to say it ranks as one of my favorite runs ever. It was so good. I loved the weekend for those little moments. There were butterflies and leaves flying and birds chirping and deer nibbling and it was like a Disney movie. Shaughnessy said she was “Snow Whiting it”. Ain’t that the truth. What a perfect day.  It was short run….like two miles total I think? Short and sweet.

And there you have our day.
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Run on…

Wedding weekend!

My son got married this weekend.  They were so beautiful  and the wedding was just what they wanted. There were beautiful bridesmaids and the little girls….the absolute cutest.  The groomsmen were handsome and I was so glad to see them! Some of them are like my own kids (okay really just one…shout out to Corey Joe but Mike is a really close second. I do love him). There was a horse drawn carriage (he didn’t really have to go very far so…) but he was there and a bagpiper with quite a lot of personality and it was all really beautiful. 

I have hardly ANY pictures.  And every photo I have I totally stole it. I will share the few that I do have though…


photo credit: Melanie Pfeffer
Then there is my incredible daughter because seriously look at this:

 photo credit: Adam and “the iPhone 8” –

I know, right? You have no idea how freaking smart she is. She’s crazy smart.
My mom took a ton of pictures. I just am a giant fail. That’s what I should have been doing!  My mom and my sister, Catherine, they looked SO GOOD> I had the photographer take photos but I never step in when there is a photographer so I didn’t take photos over her.
The flower girls…yeah, they were pretty adorable.


photo credit: one of their parents. Nichole I suspect. I stole it from her FB
And Grandma Dot saved the day with a photo of theboy…



yeah…he was totally that cute. The bow tie was killer. He has that swoopy wavy hair that women love but everyone that has it hates.  He’s my favorite.

Can we talk about how perfect the weather was? It was the clearest day ever. The sun was bright and warm and it was gorgeous. It was Evergreen so it got cold pretty quick and that was no joke for all the girls in short skirts and my mom. She’s easily cold, like me. I had a jacket with me and it went well with the dress so it worked to wear it. Thank the Lord. I would have died in the cold. My poor mom kept going to the car. She was pretty cold.
Let’s face it. The important part, the wedding, the weather cooperated for that.

These kind of events, my husband and I decided, expect joy and love and the stuff your most favorite wedding movies are made of. I think a key ingredient to that component is…interestingly enough…alcohol. Because it was all there. The beautiful people, your best friends, your family, great food and dancing. But I have such anxiety in those tight spaces and I can’t hear well and I can’t talk to people and it’s difficult to travel from one space to the other and I can’t drink to relax so I can’t even really think well (hence the no pictures) and so I was…quite anxious with all those people and I didn’t know most of them and talking to anyone was difficult. Theboy reached meltdown phase right after the toasts when he figured out he drank all his juice and there wasn’t anymore. He was done and loudly proclaimed it. I felt SO bad. But once he left my table I don’t sit still well so I was a ball of energy needing to expel it.

My daughter has recommended I get an edible the next time and trust me, it’s crossed my mind. It’s a fleeting thought. Why leave Sean out in the cold. He can’t have one for his job and he’s in the same boat as me. We are apparently not good at these events. To be clear, it’s not the event, it’s totally us.  Also, I felt very out of my own skin in what I was wearing and how my hair was and everything. I wasn’t very confident. I didn’t feel very comfortable and that makes me feel conspicuous.

Which brings up the whole … how many men do we know that were borderline inappropriate with us and that was pretty uncomfortable…
Shaughnessy and I batted that conversation around for awhile.

Melanie, Megan’s mom, bought Sean and I gluten free cupcakes…I love that. So great. My mom had already bought me SIX cupcakes so…
we won’t talk about how many cupcakes I’ve eaten this weekend.   If there was ever a weekend to indulge it would be wedding weekend. So much deliciousness.

I’ve thrown a wedding. It’s an incredible amount of work. She did a wonderful job. I’ve been that stressed. I was her. Mine had issues. Hers had issues. They all have issues. None of them matter because everyone had a wonderful time and it was memorable and beautiful and and just what Alex and Megan wanted.

Alex Michael had to speak at both the rehearsal and at the wedding and he’s so well spoken he did a beautiful job.  He’s charming, funny and gracious.  I’ve lost count of the number of people that have told me what a wonderful man I have for a son. People tell me that about my kids so much and I never, ever get tired of hearing it. I’m just so beyond grateful because I know I only had a small part in it. They’re just such great people I’m the one that is so lucky to be a part of their lives (thought I’d say blessed there, didn’t you?  hashtag blessed! <say with a very sweet voice  LOL I can hear Shaughnessy’s voice and I am out loud laughing.)
See? I get to be their mom.  Doesn’t get better than that.

Running talk probably will resume tomorrow…thanks for being patient!

Let's find some beautiful place to get lost | Anonymous ART of Revolution

Run on…

 

Malachi will never be the same. Or he will but I won’t.

Sean and I went to church on Sunday and after church spent a considerable amount of time working on the computers there.

Edited to say: Sean spent a considerable amount of time working on the computers there.
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We then went to breakfast and by the time we got home it was one in the afternoon. We’d been gone for four hours. Malachi had trapped himself in the bathroom. Now…I don’t want to get into details as to why he likes to go into the bathroom but let’s just say he’s  a dog and I have a cat. But I’m pretty careful to keep things VERY clean so he doesn’t have a lot of success and we’re always on him about going down there. So like any little kid would do, the minute the parents were gone he was down the stairs and BAM! got himself locked in there.

At which point he  forgot his intentions and COMPLETELY FREAKED THE HELL OUT LIKE OH MY GOSH I’LL NEVER GET OUT WHAT THE HELL!!!

So when we got home four hours later I’m surprised he hadn’t keeled over from a heart attack. There was urine (yeah, he wet himself he was so scared) toilet paper and cat litter EVERYWHERE in this bathroom. He was COVERED in it and the bathroom was covered in it. I mean….it took me an hour to clean a bathroom that’s like four feet square.

I actually felt bad for him.

Sean..did not so much feel bad for him.

So there was that.
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he may not go down there for awhile…
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I’ve had a fever for three days. Low grade (99.5 to 100- I usually run 97.6 thank you thyroid), nothing exciting but I feel pretty confident it’s Celiac related. I’m not sick. I’m able to work out, do my normal stuff. I just feel a little under the weather. No one has to call in the doctors or anything. Just…under the weather and super tired. And of course my brain is just not working at all. I tried to have a conversation with my sister the other day and I seriously couldn’t come up with any words. Like…WORDS.

Poor thing. She just had to listen to me say, “um” for about five minutes while I tried to make my brain work.
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I watched the rest of The Keepers OH MY GOSH. What a piece of work, this documentary. Just really. I cried through half of it at least. So intense. I went through bouts of anger and sadness and complete and utter disbelief. And of course you put your own kid in these situations and then you want to kill someone that they are hurting people like this.

My biggest problem with these documentaries and true crime podcasts is that they don’t actually solve anything, they just present the information and at the end they know longer have 10 people frustrated, sad and wondering who did it, now they have 5,000,000 people frustrated, sad and wondering who did it.
Can you tell I’m not good at puzzles? I like them but God help the person that loses one of the pieces.

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Today I watched the Lady Gaga documentary  Gaga: Five Foot Two and I thought it was intimate, painful and vulnerable. There’s so much more to her than a meat dress which I think so many people just assume and dismiss.  I can’t imagine the demands of her life and the physical pain she lives with. I live with pain but I don’t have to be on demand all the time.  Adrenaline is a powerful drug.
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#myworkoutwas

60 pushups (yikes)
50 squats
3.5 milesinthecoolairitwasfreakingamazingjustsayin’youshouldbejealous
15 minutes of strength with weights

At which point I collapsed asleep.
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Run on…

 

Jimmy Kimmel is my hero.

  • Jimmy Kimmel is my hero. Jimmy Kimmel is everyone’s hero. A hero doesn’t have to jump in front of a bullet. Sometimes he’s the  guy in front of the camera making a lot of noise and demanding to be heard about what’s right and what’s wrong and we need to stand up for what’s right. He’s the guy who’s the first to say he didn’t stand up before it was his own kid and now that he knows better he’s going to do better.
    https://youtu.be/cOlibbx5sx0?t=1We all need to do better and if we don’t call our senators we aren’t doing better. Here’s the list of people to call. Do it today. We have a deadline and we have do make ourselves heard.  Being complacent is just not okay.

The numbers begin 202-224:

Graham 5971
Cassidy 5824
Capito 6472
Murkowski 6665
Collins 2523
Gardner 5941
Flake 4521
McCain 2235
Portman 3353

  • I went to the grocery store last night and found THIS:


Skosh not included.
The world’s smallest WAFFLE MAKER!!!  I of course HAD to have it. And its RED. For those of you that don’t know, all of my gluten free appliances are red.

  • Puerto Rico is 100% without power. 100% WITHOUT POWER> That is insane and I don’t even know how to process that. I hope we are stepping up and sending help. I’m reading as much as I can but I’m not reading massive headlines that say we’re sending help. But hey, Trump is praying so there’s that.

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  •  I’m in crunch time right now so things are definitely stepping up. Sean and I both have 437 things to do every day and I’m trying something new. I’m attempting actually going to bed by 11pm.
    It could be ridiculous but I’m trying. It’s definitely not easy. I don’t fall asleep right away and I get very antsy to get back out of bed. I have no patience.
  • Today I’m finishing up my work here at home, running some errands and I thought I might go hiking but it’s suddenly 90* again…

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  • I have just now found out that 730 South, my FAVORITE restaurant, is closing on Sunday. I’m so sad. They have such great food and it’s safe for me to eat there. It’s so hard to find great places to eat that I don’t have to drive an hour and a half for. And if I do, it’s usually a chain place. Everyone goes on about eating at chain restaurants but when you don’t have a lot of choices you’re just so grateful for the option  you don’t  complain about the lack of unique choices. 730 South was such a gift.  I’ll miss them.
  • back to the workout…I’m going to do a quick HIIT and run this evening when it’s not so hot. I won’t hurt anyone though…

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Run on…

What it’s really like eating out as a Celiac.

The nightmare in Charlottesville is terrible and I feel like that’s such an understatement. My heart goes out to Heather Heyer’s family and all those who were injured in what is a huge stain on our country. It’s so shameful. These nazis and our president who took his own sweet time with his address…(it came out today..sadly). It was all just really really bad. As you can see I am not great with the words today.
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So…I went to the land of no internet for a few days…the land of MT (#thestatenotthekid) and I had an amazing time and I had a frustrating time. Mostly great though! (if only the weekend had stayed that good, right? ~giant shadow over the country)

My sister is the superintendent for the art department for the state fair. She works INCREDIBLY hard. It’s ridiculous how hard she works. She is up at ridiculous hours and goes to bed at ridiculous hours…in other words she’s keeping my hours but for valid reasons and not because she’s a chronic insomniac.  (you can find her work here…Fairy Ring Beads and Things) All of this while in a constant motion of creating her own beads and jewelry that are in demand almost daily. I don’t know how she does it, she’s the busiest person I know. Fair week. Her daughter is getting married next year right after the fair, I’m not sure if that will be the year she breaks or the year she gets her wonder woman costume because she really is a superhero.
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Warning, this is long. You can skim. ha… Or skip the whole thing! Tomorrow’s should be better…yeah, I can’t promise that. In my head it always is but then I get obsessed with topics like this an I write a book.

MT needs to step up and get some gluten free places to eat.  I made due with what they had and was pretty happy. I know for a fact a lot of strict Celiac’s would not have done what I did. I ate out every meal (really just three because I don’t eat much) and it was at the same place every time…Red Robin. We have zero to zero choices in Billings for gluten free. I always get a salad (and sometimes french fries) and I always give them a lovely and very polite talk about what I have while also pleading with them to be especially careful.

Someone close to me told me it’s no fun going out to eat with someone who won’t eat and just orders a glass of water with lemon but I have to counter that with it’s not really fun having this disease and I’m doing the best I can. It’s difficult being the person who can’t eat anything and feeling the pressure to eat just so someone else doesn’t have to eat alone.

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease three years ago and once that happened the days of going out to eat to enjoy a meal with family or friends really became completely unrealistic. This doesn’t mean I don’t go out.  It means my intentions are decidedly different and the philosophy eat to live don’t live to eat  (either Socrates or Benjamin Franklin…no one seems to be able to decide) is my new way of living.  I go with the thought that I am blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with these people and I get to enjoy the company I’m with and really that’s what I’m in it for. I’m excited to be there with my family and friends and great conversation.  I carry protein bars with me, I grab bananas and fruit and I eat things that are easy and fast.

In the midst of  the day to day normalcy, however,  of “let’s grab lunch” and “where can you eat”, the lines become blurred.  I of all people know how frustrating it is to do the restaurant search and in their zeal they can forget that the most important thing here is that I take care of myself.

It’s stressful to me.

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Most of the blogs on Celiac are dedicated serious gluten free bloggers who mostly cook and eat gluten free at home and seldom eat out. They are careful and very strict. They exercise, they take care of themselves and a lot of them are on other restrictions like no soy or no dairy and they eat paleo or they eat all organic. These are people who take what they put into their body very seriously. One blogger in particular is so careful about his vacations he hires a chef.

These are not people that eat at Red Robin. They don’t eat at PF Chang’s and they don’t eat at chain restaurants in general.  They call the chef of expensive restaurants ahead of time and have conversations to reassure their meal will in fact be safe to eat or they eat at exclusively gluten free restaurants. If that’s available. NO MEAL will EVER be easy again.

I know people that carry a cooler in their car and travel with their own food. They refuse to ever eat at a restaurant because realistically it’s just.not.safe. and this is the best way for them to stay healthy.

On the other hand, I know Celiacs who go to your average wing restaurant (or really any restaurant that jumped on the bandwagon and threw a “gluten free” label on a couple food items) and just ask for “gluten free”.
There’s nothing safe about walking into just any restaurant and asking for gluten free and calling it good. Most of the time cross contamination will be extensive and you are definitely not safe. I think 50% of gluten free has to be cross contamination from other foods, utensils and the general kitchen area,  servers who uninformed, and serving dishes that can be cleaned but not deemed safe for Celiacs. These are people who haven’t been taught how to eat Celiac safe and I’d bet they aren’t safe in their own kitchens from lack of information.

We can all blame our GI doctors for this since we all got the same diagnosis. “You’re Celiac. Just eat a gluten free diet and you’ll be fine.” Yes…those exact words. But we all know there is so much more to it than that.

Gluten Dude was just writing about a most wicked of sickness he got and he couldn’t imagine how he’d been glutened. Of course, anything is possible, however the best line I have heard yet is when he wrote, “I think having an autoimmune disease means your body is in fighting mode much of the time.”
Yes.  Right there.  And you just have to figure out how to handle it in a way that works for you. Some part of me almost always feels out of balance, I just have to roll with it because that’s life.  I manage my own self. That’s the big thing with me.
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In a perfect world I will get to run tonight…(cross your fingers!! I have theboy all week for #babecamp so it’s a busy busy week)
You get what you work for quote

Run on and be healthy.

Some days we’re pretty and some days you get the real thing.

  • I felt so much better on Friday I ran a ton of errands. It came back a little in the afternoon like a bad boyfriend but I took some Excedrin and kicked that sucker to the curb. I talk big. I never had a boyfriend like that. Hey, I read Pinterest.  I got my HIIT workout in which felt AMAZING and headed to bed fairly early so I could rise and shine at 4:30 to do the Manitou Incline with Michelle.  I took a good half hour off my incline time which was awesome. It was way cooler Saturday than it was in June when I did it and I felt so much stronger climbing I would love to get to do it again.  Solongo wants to try it on Saturday and I might give it a shot. I do love climbing. Check out this hair…hahhahahha. I love it. When we got to the top Michelle WHIPPED out her camera and I took one look and said NO WAY. My hair was all up in funky clippies and I looked totally whack. So I grabbed my clippies out and shook my hair out and gave myself two minutes to recover from climbing 2000 ft in one mile and just had a good time with my friend who looks this beautiful ALL THE TIME> Every picture. Always beautiful. Here you go People. The real me. ha. Don’t be scared.
  • I went to church on Sunday morning ~they haven’t seen me in a while and are always surprised when I show up. I’ve decided when I go to church now and they express surprise I’m going to look at them and say, “I was just here last week!” like they should know that. So far it’s going well.
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  • Our priest spoke about The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and how when Moses comes down off the mountain he’s been stylized. How hilarious. If God is thinking of providing divine intervention and styling people I could use some stylizing…
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  • My dad was a hairstylist and you couldn’t leave his shop until you looked like this. ha. As a matter of fact my dad looked like that. Here’s a photo of the three of us…Alex Michael, me and my dad, it’s pretty tame but my dad could be wild. So.much.hairspray. My poor husband’s hair wouldn’t move for three days after getting a simple cut.

    My dad was ridiculously handsome. Look at my super round ~what the heck is wrong with me (before we figured out I had hypothyroidism-Celiac) oh look you’ve gained 30lbs~  face. ha. I still love the picture because I have his face and my kid has his face. Family. I do love family.
  • I didn’t work out on Sunday, I wanted to go to the Shrine of Cabrini but I was waiting for Sean to get back from camping and that took way WAY longer than I thought. When he finally did come back into town we ended up going to a late late movie and seeing Detroit. This is a true story of what happened in Detroit during the riots of 1967 and the Algiers Motel Incident when three black kids were tortured and killed by police (allegedly…) and nine others were beaten and emotionally abused during the entire incident. I highly recommend it to everyone but my mother (it’s okay, she really doesn’t like movies). It is a hard watch. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I actually got nauseous and physically ill and what was happening on the screen and felt chills. I couldn’t imagine one of my own kids having to go through what these kids went through. How terrified they must have been. An amazing movie.
  • MT’s girlfriend, Allie, just came over and while I was in the crawlspace getting something for her she found THE WORLD’S BIGGEST FREAKING SPIDER RIGHT NEXT TO THE CRAWLSPACE DOOR HOLY FREAKING COW.  So then she called a wonderful friend to come over and kill it and he was awesome and he said WOW THAT’S A BIG SPIDER alerting both of us that wow. that’s a big spider. huh.  So yeah, I was on the phone with the pest control guy telling him how I was being held hostage by THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SPIDER>
    Nick is my hero. You’re my hero Nick. Nick doesn’t read my blog but he’s my hero.
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  • I have my Botox appointment today and I’m very not excited, especially since I have to travel today. Every time I fly…I get a migraine. I’m optimistic that the Botox will help and some preventative assistance from my doctor. He’s pretty awesome. Not looking forward to a repeat of last week.
  • I didn’t run again today, It poured rain and I was ridiculously busy. I’ll see if I can get something in before I get on the flight tomorrow but even tomorrow is tight. Worst case, I’ll do something after I land. It’s a short flight.
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    Run now, there may be time days, weeks, months when you can't...
    Every day. I feel like this every day. The need the pull the force. I know how necessary it is and I have to do it.
    Run on…

But they were only LITTLE snakes.

Friday night Sean had an event to go to so I figured man…I’m goin’ to the the Incline and I’m gettin’ my climb on.

I headed down there late so the sun was setting but I didn’t care. The park is made up of several small “areas” that go together to make one big park. There’s an amphitheater, multiple playgrounds for multiple age groups, a covered picnic area you can rent out with firepits, a soccer field, the incline and a zip line. It’s pretty huge. When I got there the sun was setting so there were fires going at all the sites and the trees had white Christmas lights on them around the amphitheater for a concert. It was pretty gorgeous.

I joined a few other people and climbed the incline, ran down the trail and did that three times for a total of about three miles give or take.  Since it was getting dark the mice and bunnies felt comfortable making themselves known on the trail. I thought it was a giggle since you couldn’t tell what it was darting across your toes but it made some people a little uncomfortable.
snake!

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Just kidding Michelle…
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Saturday Michelle and I went hiking at White Ranch Open Space Park. It was seriously GORGEOUS. Also, they weren’t kidding about the open space part but that’s for later.


Photo credit: Michelle because I am too lazy to take the photos from my phone. 
Yes, that’s a thing. My phone is across the room. Michelle’s photos are right here on the computer. 
Don’t judge me. Its 1am and I’m really tired. Also, we took the Rawhide trail and every single time I read it I sang “rawhide”. even in my head. Ask Michelle. I did it. It was irritating even to me but I couldn’t stop doing it.
Anyway…

This trail was incredible at the beginning. Truly beautiful, the views, the trail, everything. It was technical but not too technical. It was interesting and not crowded. It had everything. It was like the perfect boyfriend.
And then it got clingy and we dumped him like a bad habit.
We apparently went 4.5 miles all total. So I’d say the first half was good and the second half became out in the open, much wider trail (almost like a small road) and all painfully uphill. Not “hey, this is a cool trail that’s challenging my climbing skills”. No. More like ~apparently you felt the need to experience a death march~ uphill.
Okay, okay. I’m CLEARLY exaggerating. But it was hot and it was uphill and we’d get to the top and turn and there’d be MORE UPHILL and MORE ROAD and MORE NO TREES and I totally lost interest. I’m like…what the hell? If there isn’t anything interesting then I’m just on a long boring walk and I’m hot. Hell, I could do this in Aurora and have ice cream at the end. What’s at the end of this for me?
Not ice cream. 
I was very disappointed because the beginning was incredibly promising and I really really loved it. There are a bajillion trails in the area so maybe a different one would offer a more interesting hike but I doubt it. Sean looked it up when we got home and it rated that hike as the most popular in that area. I still kind of want to try again though. On a cooler day maybe I won’t dislike it so much. I don’t usually mind the heat that much but the uphill made me not like it. It was tragically boring. Michelle is totally the only thing keeping it fun. I love her. She entertains me endlessly.

You should see her freak out when she sees a snake.

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Yep. It’s a lot like that only with running around. hahaha. I love it.
We saw TWO snakes on this trail and her reaction is priceless. Fortunately both snakes were small and neither was a rattlesnake. But just in case we implemented an early plan for what to do in case she gets bit by a snake. I clearly can’t carry her out so I’ll get to cell service and call for help and then get back to her to keep the snakes away. CALL FOR HELP CALL FOR HELP.
It’s a plan.
Hey. I’m not proud. I’m exactly the same way with spiders.
I came home, showered and went dress shopping. 
::sob:: I’m so over dress shopping
~~~~~
Sunday I had a migraine so we skipped the big workout/hike/let’s do something wild and awesome together and instead we….
didn’t.
We did, however, go to lunch with Adam and Shaughnessy and theboy and laughed our asses off because we could. Damn that was a good time. We sat at lunch for like two hours.
730 South. This place is great and I highly recommend. also Celiac safe. I spend way too much time at this place. I should work there. I need the discount.
Then I went….
DRUMROLL….

Dress shopping again. 

I KNOW>
I think I’ve made progress though. And also I brought several people over to the dark side of the dress situation so now I’m not so alone.
I’ve eliminated some that were possibilities, I’ve found one that might work and I’ve found a few that are definitely on the radar.
I’m feeling better about things. I’m going to work on that and rehearsal dinner stuff this week. I’m sure everyone is thinking…what’s the big deal? but anyone that really knows me must know I can’t rest until I get these things checked off the list so I can stop worrying.
~~~~
Today I am going to run and HIIT.
It’s also 93* so holy cow… it’s hot. IT’S HOT.
And I’m sure I have errands and such to get done but my brain is no longer working.
What are YOU doing today? Something interesting?
~~
Love to my friend who lost her brother this week…
Hope you guys have a good Monday…
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Run on…

Camping…do you love it or hate it?

I have always joked I will hike all day long with you straight to the door of a Holiday Inn. I like bathrooms. Bathrooms and showers.
That’s not really a joke, I really do like bathrooms and showers.

Oh man did I want my hair washed.

Lesson #1…dry shampoo. Why…WHY did I not think of dry shampoo?
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There’s really no help for the restroom situation. I have a disease that requires clean normal bathrooms to maintain  any sense of comfort and dignity.
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It makes for great small talk.

So on that note…let’s discuss the pros and cons of camping:

Pros:
um…Colorado. duh…

Great hiking!
Get away from the city
Mostly no electronics… (my phone had some limited service for which I was grateful. I don’t love the #noscreens trend. #buckingthesystem)
family time
fishing
#greatoutdoors #alldaylong
new experiences
pretty sure most of that is redundant and boils down to Colorado is awesome and that’s reason enough.

Cons:
the bathrooms (a polite word for them. yuck yuck yuck). 
You need to limit what you carry in
Bears (you can’t have anything but clothing at your campsite. Nothing. Not even a bottle of water. Everything has to be               packed up to a bear proof food lockers)
It’s so very very cold at night and in the morning
the dirt in the tent which can be unavoidable sometimes (we had Malachi with us)
no shower (that didn’t bother me but…my hair. Oh man my hair)
and really…sleeping on the ground isn’t comfortable…those pads aren’t fabulous. They say they are but they aren’t.                       Don’t take mine though…it’s better than nothing. LOL
~~~~~
Eleven Mile State Park Review
This is our experience with Eleven Mile State Park.  The good the bad and the ugly. Overall I would say we really had a great time but I don’t want to gloss over the unfriendly parts of it.

Shaughnessy made the reservation online but I’ve done a quick trial and it seemed fairly user friendly. The cost is $18 a night plus a $10 fee for the first day registration because they can. So for two days it’s $46. A reasonable price for sure.

We reserved two back country sites and they were very near the water and the water sites were an oasis. It was so beautiful. The site says the back country camp sites can be 1/2 mile to up to 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot. They had very easy trails to follow, there were restrooms (so gross but I’ve seen worse) and of course the bear proof food lockers. Those were all up at the top of the hill from the campsite. It may not be the favorite way to camp but it’s safe and they go out of their way to provide these options so you can safely camp there.

Sean and I went early to get the lay of the land and we were glad we did because we couldn’t freakin’ find the site to save our lives. In the end this was to our benefit because it was kind of a hidden site and we weren’t bothered by other campers.  The first site we got to had the previous campers name still on the reservation stick and number of the site. It also had trash all over it. The final straw was a small pile of little chipmunk corpses under a tree. Like…five of them. This did not look like an animal did it, it definitely looked human and it was pretty awful. We were horrified and refused to stay at this campsite. We traveled next door to the secluded nearby site that did happen to have our name on it. This site was much better (and pretty gorgeous) however it also had some trash in it. Considering the high bear warnings everywhere it was concerning. We cleaned up the small bits in the second campsite, the worst part being (TMI here) a used feminine hygiene product. Yeah, that was tough to clean up but it also called the bears.  And I didn’t need my grandson to see it.
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grossgrossgross

Knowing someone comes by and changes out the names for the sites…it’s pretty disappointing they don’t do a quick sweep and clean up trash there. It wouldn’t take anything to get the names of the people that were there before and charge them a trash fee on their credit card. Put that in large letters on the website as they are checking out so they know it’s going to be there. If I have to acknowledge a box before I can “pay now” you can bet I read it. When people pay money they are more inclined to behave accordingly.

Our neighbors included college kids  on one side and a family on the other. The college kids were there with beer and a need to socialize. They didn’t really bother me but I know they kept Shaughnessy and Adam up with their talking. The family on the other side kept all their stuff at their campsite encouraging bear activity. They also had two dogs who were sometimes on the leash and barked if they saw you. They rarely saw us so that was fine.

I’m actually pretty scared of dogs and on the last day when I went up to use the restroom one of their dogs rushed me and jumped on me.  When this happened I freaked completely out and screamed my ass off. The owner gave a “sorry” in that “I’m only half sorry” kind of tone that says I’m making way too big of a deal about it and then she insisted loud and terse that “he’s friendly..he’s not going to hurt you.”.  You have to say that like you’re irritated with me. ha. She clearly was. I had some minor scratches running down my legs (I was wearing shorts) and I was shaken up. Again, people that feel like they don’t have to follow the rules. We had Malachi with us and he was on a leash 99.9% of the time. If he wasn’t he was in the tent. We were always completely aware of him.

We would totally go back to this campground. We liked it a lot. The upsides definitely outweighed the bad and no place is going to be perfect.
EDIT:
We passed probably ten campsites and they were clean and beautiful and just as perfect locations.  And every campsite we hiked around seemed clean and beautiful and totally up to standards. Of the probably twenty plus campers in our area I would say there were the two who were slightly difficult and all the others were quiet and polite.  I do not believe you will always run into this. I actually believe the opposite is true. I would definitely not judge camping by our run in at this one campsite. And we will totally go back to this campground and we want the same campsite even…it was lovely, secluded and so close to the water and fishing. It was perfect. We just ask for better monitoring of the campsites so everyone gets to walk into clean beautiful campsites and not what Sean and I walked into.


Mountain Quotes | Looking for some inspiration? Check out this mountain quotes article to inspire you to move and go on an adventure
this is so me.
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Run on…

 

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…

Wild ponies have inhabited Assateague Island for hundreds of years. Some have suggested that the wild ponies of Assateague trace their origin to horses released to forage on the Island by early settlers. However, the evidence strongly sugests that they are the descendants of the survivors of a Spanish galleon which wrecked off the coast of Assateague. This story, which has been passed from generation to generation on Chincoteague Island, is stronger than fiction. source

More history of the Chincoteague ponies…

When I was little I read this book called Misty of Chincoteague. There was actually a series but this was the first. It’s a true story based on the ponies of Chincoteague Island. I loved it immediately. I loved the idea there was a pony island and these beautiful ponies lived there wild and free. It made me so happy and like all little kids, I used to dream I’d get to go visit the island.

The book was written in 1947 so that dates me a bit (not too much, I was born twenty years later) but I still loved it even with its age.

When we decided to go to Virginia I somehow got a twinge of…I wonder??  And I pulled up Google to see if Chincoteague Island was anywhere near where MT was stationed. It was four hours away.

Four hours was totally driving distance OR it could be really really far away depending on who you’re asking. MT is definitely up for an adventure and didn’t hesitate. He dove right in and said we could totally go.
~~~~~
Day 3 started  innocently enough. I threw a quick dress on and some sandals with a little heel because I was going to be riding in the car instead of walking everywhere. It was super comfortable and easy.
I chose to ride in the back seat, I’m shorter and I figure for long distances it’s just more comfortable for the tall people to be in the front.
If you guys recall, Sean plays a game called Ingress. In DC it’s an opportunity for new portals and whatnot (I kind of know what I’m talking about and kind of not). Just off base there was a trail where they were going to go “just a little ways on the trail, just a few feet” and I said okay…no problem. I’ll just stay in the truck.

I mean I’m in my dress and little sandals. Who goes hiking in that??
So I stayed in the backseat, turned myself so my feet were up on the seat and I was leaning against the door and I played on my phone. MT left the truck running for air conditioning and I waited. and waited. and waited.
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they were gone like…a half an hour (that’s a long time). While they were gone there was a woman standing in front of the truck for a while on her phone. It was kind of random and I watched her for a minute but whatever. I just went back and forth. Phone…random woman. Phone. Random woman. Eventually she left and I stopped caring.

Nearly a half an hour later MT comes back without Sean. He’s sitting there waiting with me and a police officer pulls up with a base MP. He comments that they aren’t here for us. Then they walk up to the truck…

“Maybe they ARE here for us”, he says…

The officer looks in the truck and says, “nevermind. We got a report of a truck with someone lying down in the back. We check these things out to make sure there aren’t any dead bodies but everyone seems fine here”.

THE CHICK ON THE PHONE

Yes. The chick on the phone who ACTUALLY LOOKED at me. I LOOKED at her. I WATCHED her on the phone with the cops. What a twit. I was leaning against the door and my feet were up on the seat but I could see straight out the front window and I could see her on her phone! What did she think I was doing? Head up…head down…head up…looking at her. We LOOKED at each other.

I can’t even. Seriously.

He took MT’s information so he could have it for his report and then he and the base MP left. So…

that was exciting.

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You can imagine Sean’s confusion when he came back to us with all the police cars. Ha. I always was a trouble maker.
~~~~~
We left from there to head to the island and things got better from there. I mean, they would have to. I was dead and then I wasn’t. It was tragic and then it wasn’t.

I died and then I didn’t.

Reports of my death and all that…
It took four hours and LOTS of heavy traffic but we eventually got to the island and then I really did die of sheer joy. It was an incredible feeling. Driving to the island…over the bridges (the bridges!) and the water (oh man the water!) so incredible. Our hotel room didn’t suck. That’s so happy! Parking was awful. AWFUL. But we went out to dinner at the ONLY place open at a ridiculous hour of the night and ate outside in beautiful breezy ocean air on a sandy beach and had crab legs. IT WAS SO AWESOME.

Then we sat around the fire and enjoyed the evening and thought…this is the best night. It cannot get any better than this.
And then it maybe did.
~~~~~
Day four:

Day four we headed down to the docks to meet up with Captain Dan! (please say that like a super hero. I’m sure he doesn’t but that’s how I say it in my head… CAPtainDAN!) We took a lovely boat ride that was several hours long that took us all the way around the island and over to Assateague island where the ponies are kept now away from prying annoying people.
It’s well known I don’t love being wet but I love the water so much. I could live on a boat and Sean and I have dreamed many times of boat living and sailing around the world. We would do that in a heart beat. So those hours on the water were incredible.

    

     
Assateague Island is a national park now and could not be more lovely. The ponies are on the island and protected.
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We went from there to the beach where Sean and MT played in the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of hours and had an amazing time. I could watch that forever. I hated to leave. It was the fourth of July weekend. Apparently the island’s busiest weekend of the year. An insane time to be visiting and the beach showed it. But it didn’t matter. There were people everywhere but people were great and we had a wonderful time just playing on the beach, in the water and having so much fun. Day four was the best day.
~~~~~
Travel Quotes | Travel checklist: complete.
Run on…

We need to come to Georgetown more often…

Holy Hot Batman…it reached 103* in Aurora today. That’s nuts. I do not appreciate that kind of heat and I’m a little upset about it. I would like to point out it’s 6pm right now and it’s DOWN to 100*. Thank you climate change (global warming…whatever).
MT’s girlfriend, Allie, stayed at the house pet sitting (side note: Skosh fell in love with her and may have tried smuggling himself out in her bag) and we were so grateful. We just totally relaxed and trusted they would be taken care of. Skosh is pretty easy but Malachi is definitely a little more difficult with his anxiety (thank you Shiba Inu puppy genetics) and life in general.
We flew #Southwest We loved nearly every bit of the experience. We didn’t love not getting to sit together and we each got kind of not great seats but in the grand scheme we would get terrible seats with any airline so there you go. Every single employee we ran into was not only cheerful but had a great sense of humor and seemed happy to be there. What is #Southwest doing right? While we waited we were originally told there would be a four hour delay (gasp!) then they stepped it back and said half an hour so actually they apparently fly like I parent.

We headed out at noon and ended up landing in Virginia at 8:30pm to like…90* heat and 147% humidity.
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No no. It’s possible. Totally a thing.
I loved it immediately. I mean, I couldn’t do a thing with my hair and if I lived there I would totally go super short again like I used to. It was awful and hung super straight the whole time. NOT my most flattering for sure. But my skin…oh man. The moment we landed my skin said, “so this is where all the moisture is!”
yes. Yes it is. And you’re welcome!

I loved every minute of it. It was delicious. NO ITCHING FOR FIVE DAYS!

For me, the Itching Celiac (#weirdblognameideas) that was a big deal. I mean, I moisturize like there is no tomorrow. I keep lotions and oils and everything in the house. I am a moisturizing fool. It does me no good.
MT hates it. To his defense, you do feel sticky and hot 90% of the time but really…it was so worth the trade off to me.

Whenever I trip plan I live in fear with each step of the way.  It’s the worrier in me. Did I screw up the flight? I panic until we’re on the plane. Did I screw up the hotel room somehow? I panic until I’m in the room.  What about tours or events? I panic I panic I panic. Finding hotel rooms for the four days was seriously difficult. I got the last ones, no joke, all over the place because it was the fourth of July weekend. Each room apparently only had one bed and they threw a rollaway in the room or there was a pullout. I offered to sleep on one of those for him but he would have had to sleep with his dad and well, there’s not enough love there. Whatever.  Next time I do this I’ll totally upgrade and my kid gets bonus points. He suffered. His bed was thisclose to the air conditioner and he froze his ass off. I OFFERED. I offered many options. He stayed.
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I didn’t really have a whole lot of control over this one. It was just too tightly booked and no give. But I still felt bad. I wish there was another option so he’d have somewhere more comfortable. I would have considered a second room just so he could be comfortable. He suffered through it. I was bummed. It wasn’t about me though, it was about him and we really didn’t want him uncomfortable.
~~~~~
I don’t sleep well when I’m out of town and definitely not when this much stuff is in my head so I woke up at like…4am. So when I woke up I decided to go for a walk in incredible cool foggy Virginia morning air. I should have run but I thought I’d run later. It never happened so I’m glad I got my four miles in earlier. Then we walked all over DC so I at least got exercise that day!
~~~~~
On our first day we headed into DC to “see the monuments”. Only we didn’t really want to see monuments because we’ve already seen them before so we kind of wanted to see stuff we hadn’t already seen before and if we walked past monuments then…that’s cool. They’re monuments. Who doesn’t like those? We spent a very VERY hot day in DC with 8,476,300 people who also happened to be in DC at the same time. People were nice and polite and patient considering how crazy it was.  We used to play a game at the dinner table “give me your highs and lows for the day”. So I asked the guys for their best moments of DC…here’s what we came up with.

  1. Exorcist steps. The steps the priest fell down in the movie The Exorcist. I don’t watch horror movies (well I for sure don’t) but this movie I did. Sean and I watched it many years ago when we were really young because the whole world watched it and it felt like it was important. The steps are in Georgetown and I could live there it’s so beautiful. I loved Georgetown so much. As we pulled in to our parking spot just down the street from the stairs, three darling girls walked past the car. MT silently watches. Then says quietly, “I need to come to Georgetown more often…”. I’m sure Allie would disagree.
  2. Arlington National Cemetery. An event in and of itself because it’s so lovely. We loved the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the guard change. I don’t know how they do it. It was so unbelievably hot and muggy and they were out there in those heavy dress uniforms my own boys have a love/hate relationship with. It’s beautiful in all it’s dedication and tradition.
  3. We wandered from there to the White House. I can’t link it, the page has Trump’s face. I might explode. Full disclosure I did not want to go there. I’m not exactly feeling super patriotic  and I could care less about the White House right now but we were within a half block of it really so we kept going and check it out it was smaller than I thought. Huh. It always seems so blessed huge. While we stood there, we took note of the many uniformed secret service surrounding the building and watching the crowds. Also, MT and I took note of the running vehicle with the two plainclothes officers sitting in it across the street. Totally not average citizens due to the vehicle being in such close proximity to the White House. At some point a guard realized someone had left a backpack behind. Upon much LOUD questioning, no one claimed it and we were all hastily evacuated out of the area. The two guys in the car were suddenly very much involved and right in the center of things.  The guards kept moving the perimeter further and further back…street upon street upon street. Bomb squad people came in. It was pretty damn exciting. What happened then? Oh, yeah…we don’t know. Wasn’t on the news and we didn’t stick around but it was still cool.
  4. We finished the day at GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar which absolutely was the best place we ate at the entire time we were in Virginia. Gourmet grilled cheese, tater tots, beer, tomato soup…I died and went to heaven. SO GOOD> All Celiac friendly. Seriously…amazing. The servers were soo great. They helped Sean out with his soy allergy and were just overall a total “10”.

~~~~~

The world is yours for the taking...will you stand in the way of YOUR LIFE?
Run on…