Up in here, up in here.

This summer has been such a good break. Right after school got out, our girls flew with Jake's mom to Oklahoma. That had been planned for quite some time, even before I was working at WNS. We weren't sure if I would have a job that would require me to work through summer, and one of Cora's favorite holidays is "Church Camp" with Community of Christ, so we wanted our girls to be able to go. In the midst of their summer plans and getting a new job, Alice the Poodle figured out how to get out of our apartment. 

Enter Crazy Town. 

After she figured out how to get out, we talked with housing about getting a knob, rather than a handle. The answer was no. We figured out how to set up a barrier to keep her from reaching the handle. She couldn't get out, but she started barking. And barking and barking and barking. She was miserable and couldn't be left alone. We were prisoners because someone had to be home at all times. We haven't been to church as a family since March. Jake taught a course during the last quarter, so we found a great doggy daycare, but we were spending a small fortune. 

We decided it would be best for Alice (and all of us) if she went to live with my parents. She's stayed with them a couple of times before, and they love her (and she loves them!), BUT, both of them work, and they live in Arizona where Alice can't be in the backyard while they're away. As we started to see the severity of Alice's separation anxiety, we thought it best if she went where she had a constant companion. Jake's parents have a dog, so she would always have "someone" with her. They graciously agreed to be Alice's keeper for the duration of our time in grad school. 

That was a long story to say that right after Jake and I dropped Tracey and our girls off at LAX, we hit the road for Oklahoma with Alice. After a few days in Oklahoma, we flew to DC where I had a conference for work. The conference was great, mostly for the other educators I was able to meet. Four full days of workshopping together made for some fast connections. I was the only West Coast educator there, the others were from the DC area and NYC. I conferenced from 7:45-3:30 every day, and then we set out exploring. My favorite part of DC was Georgetown, and my favorite memorial was Lincoln's. We saw both of those things on a day when we walked over 13 miles. We were visiting the Lincoln Memorial when a sudden thunderstorm happened. It was wild! And it was so fun to watch the storm roll across the city. Earlier in the day we were visiting Georgetown University, and we were stuck in the middle of another downpour, but we were inside Healy Hall, which was amazing!
(Healy Hall, Georgetown University)

(View of Washington Monument from Lincoln Memorial not long before the rain came)

After DC, we flew to NYC for a long weekend. Everyday we walked over 10 miles. I loved the energy of the city. We continued the rainy trend, but I didn't mind. It rains so infrequently in L.A. that I welcomed every drop. My favorite parts of NYC were Greenwich Village and Washington Square, the sunset from The Met, and The Cloisters. I also loved when we wandered into the Cathedral of Saint John. It was right before a mini organ concert, and happened to be on the Fourth of July. The sampling was all patriotic. The last piece was an improv on America the Beautiful. I was overwhelmed. 
(An area at The Cloisters)

(I'm obsessed with Mary/Baby Jesus art. This was one of my favorites at The Cloisters)

A few other random things - 

Some of my irrational fears: Small towns and Walmarts in small towns.

Beach bum: Since coming back to Los Angeles and hanging out on the beach, I'm like 22 shades darker. And my hair! It's so much blonder. Certainly not pre-pregnancy blonde, but I stop and stare at it when I pass mirrors.

12 years and 8 months: That's how long it's been since I've been to the dentist. Um, that's how long it had been since I'd been to the dentist before I went today. Yes, T W E L V E years. And E I G H T months. 3 pregnancies (that's not an announcement, but counting my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage at 12 weeks), hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), 35 months of nursing - all of which can be taxing on teeth; I was prepared for the worst. I'm happy to say that I'm still cavity-free. I have experienced some mild bone loss from some calcifications that had grown on my four lower middle teeth where my permanent retainer is. He said my teeth were really clean, which was a relief because I'm admittedly not a regular flosser. Yay for the luck of good teeth!

Gluten-free: I've been fully gluten-free for a little over a month. About a year-and-a-half ago, I was doing some major elimination dieting trying to cure the rash on my face. In doing so, gluten was something I eliminated. One of the things I really noticed during gluten's turn being taken out of my diet was that I didn't have as many migraines. I took note, and moved on, eventually reintroducing gluten. About three months ago, my migraines started coming back with much more frequency. I thought back to the gluten note, and eliminated it completely (I'd already greatly reduced my consumption of gluten). I've only had one migraine in the last month. This is HUGE! They'd been coming 2-3 times per week again. It is definitely debilitating. 

Because I'm 98.2% vegan, going gluten-free has been a bit of a curveball. I hate labels. I wish I would have never said that we were "vegan" when we went vegan almost 6 years ago, it was just a word to describe how we ate. In the last month, I'd say I'm much more of a gluten-free vegetarian, but I don't want to wear that label either. I try to eat food that makes me feel my best - Mentally, emotionally, physically.

Not done yet: Tomorrow morning we're heading to Colorado to spend time with Jake's parents and bring our girls home, but not before stopping in Utah for Jake to do a bit of research and for some cousin time. When we get back to L.A., Jake will start teaching a summer course, and the girls and I will have a few weeks before we start school. Jake is on the job market this fall. There are two job openings so far, and we can't wait to see what else will roll in. I'm grateful this summer has provided a much-needed reprieve, and especially that Jake and I have had so much time together. 

Final note: I took a picture and sent it to Jake after the dentist today. I couldn't help but think back to when I posted a photo of the rash that had consumed the right side of my face. Today I'm make-up free (minus mascara) and rash free. I was left with scarring, but it's still surreal that I have my skin back.
(February 2015. Yes, it was painful.)


1 comment:

  1. You are a beauty! I miss you and Jake and girls every day! So happy the west coast has been so good for all of you (Sorry Alice had to move away!) Hope we cross paths again soon! Hug Jake from me!



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