Tag Archives: cocoa

The Place I Go to Get Away

hopepp9

The family dog and me, circa 1999

Have you ever had a special place of solace, somewhere you could go to think, or get away? It could be a quite coffee shop with comfy leather armchairs, or a wooded trail with scenic overlooks. Mine is a quaint, little park, just up the road from the house where I grew up.

My memories at this park go back to my early childhood, before the park was even a park. My siblings and I used to walk the two-tenths of a mile up the road with our friends to explore what seemed to us like a HUGE expanse of land at that very young age. The owner of the land lived in a sprawling one-story home on the property, and let the rest of it pretty much go wild. As wild as you can be in the middle of the suburbs, that is. There were a few unique features about the property, primarily the stable building and carriage house that sat a couple hundred yards away from the house, which had several actual stalls for horses – a novelty to a bunch of kids from the suburbs! And, as if that wasn’t cool enough, there was also a historic log cabin on the property that appeared unoccupied and abandoned, making it quite mysterious to our group of young adventurers.

When I was around the age of 10, the lady who owned the property passed away and there was a big uproar about what would be done with the land. I don’t remember much about it all, except that people were debating whether the land should be turned into a park or used for a new housing development instead. My siblings and I were rooting for the park to be built – a playground sounded much more fun to us than just a bunch of new houses. In fact, my entire family was pretty deeply invested in the park idea, to the extent that my mom took my sister and me to some of the city hall meetings regarding the outcome of this land. I felt pretty grown up, listening to the aldermen and townspeople discuss what should be done.

Eventually the decision was made: the land would be turned into a park. We were ecstatic. After waiting for what seemed like forever, the land was cleared and the park built, and our town held an official ribbon cutting ceremony on a hot and humid day in June.  It wasn’t long before we were up there all the time – taking the dog for walks, playing cops and robbers with our friends, and just reveling in the excitement of having our own little park. It was a pretty big event in the timeline of my childhood, to say the least.

Fast forward a few years, and the park had sadly lost its shiny new allure and become just another landmark on the drive home every day. I was about 13 years old, and was beginning to go through one of the most confusing times of my life – that terrifying transition known as “puberty.” I’m pretty sure every girl can relate to this in some form or another. All of a sudden, it seemed I’d lost complete control of my emotions and fallen prey to things like mood swings, random crying spells, and other unexplained behavior. My brother joked (years later, when I was able to laugh along with him) that he could have said “Pass the butter, please,” and I would have broken down in tears. It wasn’t quite that bad….but close.  😉

And so, I returned to that park on those days when I just didn’t want to be around anyone. On my toughest days, I would go up there just to cry, where no one could hear me.  I didn’t even know what I was crying about some of the time (oh the joys of being a girl!), but it felt good to cry it out. On the better days, I would take my journal and sit on my favorite bench to process things in my favorite way – with paper and pen.

This park was my spot. My place to get away and deal with all the crazy things I was feeling at the time. Somehow it was comforting, just sitting on my bench and being there.

senior1

Senior year of high school

A few years later, it was my senior year of high school, when I had taken up running as a form of exercise. That park became part of my usual route. The path around the perimeter of the park was only ½ mile long, but I loved running up there, doing a few laps, and heading home. Altogether, it was about 2 miles. As I became a more proficient runner, I abandoned the park for longer routes and busier roads. I’d run 7, 8 or 9 miles at a time, sometimes to the Walgreens on Manchester Road or the seminary a few miles away, but as I ran out of my neighborhood, I always went past that little neighborhood park.

Then again, during another crisis in my life, the park reappeared as a place of solace and comfort. It was 2011 and I had moved home suddenly from India and begun treatment for my eating disorder. This park was there for me (not that the park had a choice, really…) during my recovery from anorexia, when I woke up daily at 5am to run. Obsessed about hitting at least 6 miles before I would allow myself to head home, I would often stop in to this little park to finish out my quota for the day. I remember running along that ½ mile path, thinking about my meals the day before, trying to count my calories and make sure I hadn’t gone over. I remember pushing myself to do one or two more laps, because I knew it would quiet the voices in my head and make up for any calories I’d missed from yesterday’s tally.

Months later, after many sessions with a counselor and a lot of hard work, I begun loosening up on my restriction and extreme exercise habits. But now, my battle with food took on a whole other twist. I couldn’t STOP eating. I began eating in secret, bingeing on large amounts of food, making myself sick, and being afraid to leave the house because of how “fat” I felt. In reality, I’d only gone up about 2 sizes in pants, but it happened so quickly that I was sure everyone had noticed and I felt embarrassed to even leave my house. I wore t-shirts and sweatpants whenever I could get away with it, and baggy tunic-style tops the rest of the time. I was so mad at myself for “losing control” with food and didn’t know how to stop the bingeing and weight gain.

Overnight it seemed, I’d become lazy and unmotivated. I’d completely lost my interest in any kind of exercise. It was all I could do get outside and go for a walk, but when I did, I would go up to that park, often in tears, and slowly make my way around the trail. I would mourn the long-gone days of 5am morning runs and the “high” they gave me. I missed the sense of control I used to have and the way I made my body obey me. But, looking back now, I can see that this was an important time in my recovery. During those months, I learned to exercise because I wanted to. I learned (slowly) to give up my compulsion and obsession with working out, and I gradually won the battle over binge eating. As my eating balanced out, so did my exercise routine. Now, I looked forward to those walks in the park and always felt refreshed and content as I soaked in the beauty of nature. Being outside filled me with hope, even on my toughest days. I began once again taking my Bible up to my favorite park, to read, journal, and think. I would talk to God as I walked, sometimes thanking Him for recent baby steps of progress in my recovery, other times begging Him with tears to get me through this hellish struggle. So many ups and downs, but many of them spent at that same park.

By the fall of 2012, I was in a more stable place in my recovery. I had begun to find myself again, learned to relax about my weight and diet, and found new hobbies to enjoy, now that I wasn’t obsessing about food all the time. I’d recently broken off a toxic relationship that had been feeding into my poor body image and insecurity, and I was feeling alive and free. Exercise was a part of my life, but it wasn’t my whole life. I ate a balanced variety of foods and stopped counting calories altogether.

My sister (left) and me, at her wedding

My sister was getting married, and I was the maid of honor. For once, I didn’t diet in order to feel comfortable in my dress. This was a huge step for me, and I felt the gravity of it and the progress it signified. The morning of my sister’s wedding, I woke up and realized I had about an hour until the day began with the arrival of the hairdresser and bridesmaids. I decided to walk up to my favorite park, and just enjoy the brisk, November morning. The temperature was perfect – the sun was out but the breeze made things just a little bit chilly. As I walked by the playground, I stopped to swing on the swings and go across the monkey bars, reliving all the times I’d done those things years ago.

As I left the park, I decided to run the two-tenths of a mile back to my house, but not because I wanted to burn calories; I actually just wanted to run because it felt like the best way to express the peace and happiness in my heart. As I sprinted down the road to my house, I felt like a little kid again, and the excitement of the day ahead made me giddy and free.

A year later, in 2013, I found myself in a new, much healthier, relationship with a guy. He and I went up to the park together in the evenings and made our way around the trail, often with my family’s dog in tow. We’d enjoy the sunset as we discussed our plans for the future, places we wanted to see together and things to check off of our bucket lists.

This is right before I started jumping...

This is right before I started jumping…

By the fall of 2013, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand, and I was jumping up and down. (Literally, I started jumping and waving my hands around like a crazy person when he proposed… I’m fairly open about expressing my emotions…)

As we’ve made plans for our wedding and future life together, I’ve continued to visit this park from time to time, just to walk and think about everything happening in my life. I’m a very internal processor, so I need those times of solitude to sort through all the swirling thoughts in my head. Being outside, at that park, calms my heart and helps me relax. There are usually kids playing on the playground, who often ask to pet my dog. It feels comfortable and right, being there at that park where so many landmark moments in my life were spent.

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a Thursday morning and got ready to move my fiancé into our new place. We had an appointment to sign our lease together at 10, but I was wide awake at 7 because I was so excited. I leashed up the dog and walked to my park once again, enjoying the morning sunshine and spring breeze that felt just right. As I meandered along the path, I saw the big open field where we used to play catch or kick the soccer ball, or just run around with our childhood friends. I hollered at my dog and the two of us set off in a sprint across the field. We finished with a collapse on the other side of the field, and as I lay there in the grass, I realized how much this park has meant to me throughout my life, and the idea for this blog post was born.

Friends that know I’m into fitness have asked me if I plan to run on the morning of my big day…some even mentioned they’d heard of brides who run a race on their wedding day, which made me exhausted just thinking about it. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a quick run around the neighborhood, or maybe I’ll opt to sleep in and sip coffee on my parents’ screened-in porch. But at some time that morning, before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, I know I’ll make my way up to my little park that holds so many memories for me. Maybe I’ll be swinging on the swings or sprinting across the field. Or maybe I’ll just be sitting on the bench with my journal in hand, soaking in the excitement of the day.
1482862_10201127369570802_544860964_n

Advertisements

Who Keeps You Healthy?

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the American Recall Center and asked to participate in their latest campaign, “Who Keeps You Healthy?” which is a way for health bloggers, like myself, to share about the person in their lives that motivates and empowers them to be healthy. I was excited to participate in this campaign and began thinking of who in my life I would highlight in this post as the one who keeps me healthy.

My dog came to mind, because she is always eager to go for a walk, which often motivates me to get out in the fresh air. My parents have influenced my health by always having healthy, whole foods around their house and encouraging me to cook and bake since childhood. My fiancé helps me stay motivated to work out by going with me to the gym and always being up for a hike or jog at the park.  the beagle girl

However, as I thought more about all of the things that go into “keeping me healthy” I realized that the true credit for my health really goes to someone else.

I’ve been through quite a journey with my health, including a battle with anorexia, followed by binge eating, and then wrestling with poor body image for years. My weight has fluctuated a lot. I’ve gone through periods of restrictive “healthy” eating and periods of binge-ing on pizza and cookie dough. I’ve made tons of health resolutions, workout goals, and learned to give myself some grace along the way.

When it comes down to it, my health these days is the best it’s ever been, and I don’t say that lightly. I’ve thought I was healthy many times in the past during my eating disorder and subsequent recovery, and I often fooled myself. But the kind of health I am living out at this point in my life is not just a healthy BMI or number on the scale, it’s a health that encompasses my emotional and spiritual life as well.

1097965_392214087544816_872314355_nThere have been many times in the past several years of my journey where I was “doing all the right things” in terms of health, but I was unhappy, stressed, hating my body, and frustrated at not being able to control my appetite and cravings. I’ve come to learn that health is so much more than just eating the right foods or getting exercise every day.

Health to me means being happy with my body, focusing on things besides how many calories I’ve eaten since breakfast or whether I worked out enough this week.  In a lot of ways, health for me is measured by how LITTLE I think (or obsess) about my health. Health for me is having a career I love, being in a nurturing relationship, and finding time to enjoy hobbies and downtime. Health is taking time in the morning to pray and be at peace, and taking time to enjoy the little things each day. It’s getting enough sleep, and letting go of worry and learning to forgive. It’s knowing when to skip a workout and read a book in the sunshine instead.

My health journey has meant letting go in so many areas, and just living life with more joy and peace. Giving up my obsessions with being skinny, learning to eat ice cream again without guilt, and finding a balanced workout routine that energizes instead of exhausts me.

And I’m not saying I’ve “arrived” at the pinnacle of health, but I’ve made so much progress from where I used to be. There were a lot of people that helped me along the way, as I mentioned above. But in the end, it was only by God’s grace that I got through the hellish trenches of my eating disorder and made it to where I am today.

1474395_10201127367930761_1712911136_n And it doesn’t end here. There are still days where I feel fat or frustrated with the size of my body. Especially since getting engaged, there have been more frequent thoughts in my head taunting me to start a diet or design a new, intense workout plan to prepare for the big day. I’ve had moments where I questioned my evening bowl of ice cream or the occasional potato chip feasts with my fiancé while watching a movie. But then I hear another voice in my head and heart, telling me to remember how far I’ve come and the work it took to get here. Reminding me that even when I was a size 0 and obsessively in control of everything that went into my mouth, I wasn’t happy.

Even when I was the epitome of a “healthy eater,” I wasn’t actually healthy. I was emaciated and depressed.

1098478_392213077544917_769335534_nThere’s no doubt in my mind that God and His grace is what has enabled me to get healthy again. And it’s His voice in my heart that keeps me healthy, gently reminding me to embrace freedom and never look back.

I’m so thankful for the many friends and family members that have been there for me throughout my journey, and above all, the faithfulness of God to lead me where I am today.

For more information on the American Recall Center, check out their website here!

Goin’ to the Chapel…

My sister will be tying the knot on Saturday! Wedding Countdown: 4 days!

This past week has been crazy – a frenzied mixture of cleaning, running errands, making phone calls, and other last-minute details! I can hardly believe my sis’s big day is almost here!

The beautiful bride-to-be!

Saturday night, the bachelorette party commenced! First, the girls all gathered at our house and we started with wine and presents:

Around 6:30, we headed over to Maggiano’s for dinner, which was delicious! My sister and I both ordered the Grilled Salmon Salad and were delighted this meal! A lot of the girls ordered pasta dishes and we all raved about how much we enjoyed our dinner. Maggiano’s is a great restaurant with a very peaceful and elegant atmosphere – perfect!

One side of the table!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a couple hours of giggling, wedding discussion, and delicious Italian food, we hit the road again and ended up at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square. I had never been there before, but so many people have given it great reviews. My sister is a huge chocolate fan, so this was a perfect place to get dessert and drinks! The menu at the Chocolate Bar is amazing – unique, homemade desserts, fun drinks like Dark Chocolate Martinis, and much more! The lower level is more of a bar atmosphere but upstairs is very quiet more of a restaurant feel. The Chocolate Bar does also have a full dinner menu, although we stuck to dessert and drinks. I split the Flourless Malt Cake with my friend Sarah; it came with a scoop of coffee ice cream in the middle! I nibbled away at the cake for the most part, and Sarah took care of the ice cream – perfect set up for dessert sharing! The cake was rich and filling…just the way I like it! 🙂

Sporting our tiaras at The Chocolate Bar!

We made it home around 11:30…not the latest bachelorette party in the world, but we were all pretty tired and had almost lost our voices from talking and giggling for 6 hours! Sunday morning, I woke up with the worst headache, even though I didn’t drink at all at the party! (I was one of the drivers) I joked with my dad that it was a hangover without the alcohol. Not fun at all! I lazed around most of the morning and finally got dressed to join my family for lunch at Senor Pique. I felt so out of it during lunch and my stomach felt a little off, so I stuck with a marinated tilapia appetizer dish that was served with pico de gallo and avocado.

I knew I would feel better if I got in a short workout, so after lunch I headed to the gym to spend a little quality time on the

Spinach smoothie

elliptical. I ended up feeling inspired to pump some iron, so I knocked out a great upper-body workout that I made up as I went along. It felt so good to sweat and clear my head!

I came home and made another great spinach smoothie!These are my new go-to refreshment!

********************************************************************

Despite the craziness with the wedding preparations, I’ve still found time to take pictures of the Beagle…

“Are you seriously taking ANOTHER picture of me?!”

Squirrel Sighting!

I’ve also managed to get my health coaching website set up! Check it out: HopeDarby.com!  I’m accepting clients now! So excited. 😀

I’m off to edit and finalize my Maid of Honor speech for the reception on Saturday! Eeek!

Weekend Happenings

It’s been a full and fun weekend so far!

Friday evening, I went out to dinner with my friend Megan who was in town for the weekend. She was craving Chili’s, so that’s where we went! I chose the grilled salmon and it was surprisingly delicious! Often when I order fish at restaurants, they cook it too well-done for my taste…and I always forget to order it medium-rare. This salmon was cooked perfectly, though – win, win! After dinner with Megan, I drove about 40 minutes to a completely different area of town to attend an event for International Crisis Aid. I’ve volunteered with ICA in the past and I really love the work they are doing.

Here’s a blurb about ICA, from their website:

“International Crisis Aid’s mission is to assist in sustaining life, bring encouragement to those suffering and collaborate with other relief organizations in bringing necessary foods, materials and medicines to people in times of crisis, particularly where life and death situations exist. Additionally, we attempt to bring public awareness to these situations and to solicit citizen involvement whenever and wherever possible. All assistance and resources are traditionally secured in the country of need when possible, so as to develop relations with the local business people and foster a true spirit of cooperation.”  (source)

Specifically, ICA is doing a lot to stop human trafficking – both overseas and here in the States. Human trafficking is a huge – and sickening – problem. It’s basically a form of slavery and it’s still going on in our world today.

The stats on human trafficking even here in the U.S. are unbelievable; here are some links I found online:

Human Trafficking: The Facts

The FBI on Human Trafficking: “It’s Sad but True”

Sex Trafficking in the United States

On Friday night, Pat and Sue Bradly, the founders and directors of ICA, spoke briefly about the work they are doing and the new safe home they are opening here in St Louis for victims of sex trafficking. A couple months ago, I visited the safe house with a group from my church and helped paint and clean the house in preparation for its opening. Pat and Sue stopped by while we working and my friends and I got to meet them and hear more about the work ICA is doing.

With the founders of International Crisis Aid, Pat and Sue Bradley

Saturday

On Friday afternoon, I sent a quick text to my mom, asking if she was interested in a Saturday morning hike together. She responded with an enthusiastic “YES!” so Saturday morning we hit the trails at Queeny Park, with Cocoa in tow.  🙂  The temps were brisk but not miserably cold by any means…my favorite kind of weather! We had a great 4 mile hike and fun conversation on the trails as we walked. Love my mom!

Enjoying the fall weather!

And of course, no post would be complete without a picture of my Beagle love…  😉

Saturday afternoon, my sis and I went shopping for dresses for her wedding rehearsal and dinner! I came home with two amazing dresses but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep either one because I just don’t feel like spending the $$$ right now. I did get them both on sale (at Dress Barn) but still…I keep asking myself how much I’ll really wear them or if I truly need another dress.  Will probably end up taking them back, haha.    😛    The sister and I had a great time together, though. After our shopping expeditions were completed, she took me out for a late birthday dinner at a new-to-me restaurant: Big Sky!
Can’t rave enough about Big Sky! It’s an amazing place and I will definitely be recommending it to everyone I know. haha. The food is from local farms, the meat is grass-fed, free-range, etc etc. Everything tasted so fresh and healthy – the health coach in me was in heaven! 😉  I was in the mood for fish (again) so I went with the pan-roasted trout and my sis got the swordfish. Both of them were delicious and mine came on a bed of fresh spinach with goat cheese sprinkled on top. Goat cheese is one of my absolute favorite foods, which I largely why I chose the trout! And it did not disappoint.

I didn’t get to take any pictures inside the restaurant, but I did snap one of this cute wood plaque that came with the check:

Good rule of thumb! 😉

Not only is the food delicious at Big Sky, but the decor and ambiance is delightful as well! They also have great service and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. I would definitely give this place 5 stars! I wish I could eat there more often, but because of my current budget, it’ll probably just be a special treat, reserved for celebrating birthdays and such. Oh well. I can still dream about relish the memory of the amazing goat cheese and delicious trout…  And if you’re ever in the St Louis area, I definitely recommend you take me there you stop by Big Sky!

This morning, I completed my “Burnin’ Leg Workout” in the comfort of my basement…and it definitely did the trick! My legs are still feeling wobbly and weak after all the lunges and squats. Love that!

Went to the late service at church today with my siblings and a few friends. It was good; the main thing that stood out to me was what the pastor was saying about being a leader. He said that we can each be a leader in some capacity – whether it’s at school, at work, in our families, among our friends. We always have opportunities to be a good example to others; to lead in a godly, humble way. This was really thought-provoking for me because I can easily grow lazy about this kind of thing and just go through the days without much thought of how my life can be a blessing and example to others. Good stuff to think about!

Off to watch some Sunday afternoon football and hang out with my fam!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!  🙂

It’s been awhile!

It’s been over 2 weeks since I posted on here! No particular reason, except that I haven’t felt in the mood to write about it until now. 😛

To summarize:

– Oct 18th – My 22nd birthday! Went out to lunch with my parents at one of my favorites lunch spots, Jason’s Deli. That night I babysat for some friends…it was actually a really fun birthday.

– Oct 20-22nd – Spent the weekend hanging out with friends that were in town, helping another friend move, etc etc

– Oct 23-26th – Volunteered at a fundraising event for Urban K-Life in St Louis. It was an elegant dinner and auction at a beautiful hotel downtown. I volunteered at it last year and had a great time helping again this time! After the event was over, the volunteers all headed up to the 360 Bar on the top of the hotel, which has incredible views of the downtown area! I’d never been up there and it was a great time!

– Oct 28th – 5 Mile Glendale Firehouse Race with my friend A, and that night a birthday dinner with my family at Canyon Cafe. Their chips are to die for, seriously! I always fill up way too much on the chips. Oh well. 😛

It was freezing at the race!

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this blog, despite the lack of posting lately. 😛  I’m not sure which direction I want to take it…if it should be more of a personal journal of my life, or focus more on health/fitness/nutrition topics and information. Or maybe a mixture of both?  I do love blogging but sometimes I just don’t make the time for it, which is a horrible excuse. Here’s to blogging more faithfully in the days to come!

The ever-adorable beagle. 🙂

Plyometrics and Yoga – the perfect balance

Well, it’s been a few days since I wrote anything on here! I’ve had a busy week, but overall it’s been a good one. 🙂

Tuesday was a fun day! Last time A was over, she lent me a couple of her P90X DVDs so I decided to try the Plyometrics one on Tuesday afternoon. I used to do a lot more plyometrics and miss them a lot! Plyometrics are high-intensity and include lots of jumping around, explosion-like exercises…just my kind of thing! 😛 The P90X DVD was an hour long and it was INTENSE. I did a LOT of sweating and may or may not have said some nasty things to Tony Horton while we were doing yet another set of jump squats. It’s a love-hate thing for me. I love being pushed so hard in my workouts but I hate it in the moment. All of that to say, I really loved my first P90X experience! I often get distracted or bored during workout DVDs, but this one was intense and the instructor was funny (corny?) enough to keep me entertained. Win, win!

After sweating bucket-loads in my basement, I came upstairs to shower and get ready for A to come over. Tuesday morning I had been at Schnucks to check out their newly-expanded gluten-free section! It is amazing! I spent over 20 minutes geek-ing out over all the gluten-free pastas, baking mixes, cookies, flours, and other goodies. I came home with a gluten-free chocolate cake mix and decided to make cupcakes for A because she loves chocolate. 🙂 I never ended up icing the cupcakes because everyone agreed they were plenty sweet without it. So, I guess they’re technically more like chocolate muffins. 😉 Regardless of the name, they got rave reviews from A and my family!

A and I had a fun girls night, complete with facial masks, painting of the nails, and some girly chick-flicks. (of course!) We watched Last Holiday, which was such sweet movie, and an old classic: Roman Holiday! I guess we were in a holiday theme, for some reason…

Wednesday morning, A and I had a date with Bob Harper. Well, via his Yoga for Warriors DVD. 😛 My calves were TIGHT and sore from the plyometrics on Tuesday so the yoga felt amazing; hurt so good. 😉

After enjoying some delicious oatmeal for an 11am brunch, we decided to do some shopping because I needed black pumps for an interview today and A had some gift cards she was eager to use. I never really wore pumps at my previous job. Because the attire was pretty casual, I stuck to flats and wedges, which are much easier on my feet. But, I figured it was probably time to get some classic black pumps…good thing to have on hand, right?

We did some serious damage at the mall, as well as TJ Maxx! But almost everything I got was on sale or a fall staple that I will wear a lot, so that made me feel better about the $$. I got some cute shirts, leggings, black boots, black pumps, and two classy skirts! Really happy with the purchases. I hadn’t been shopping in so long because once I quit my job I decided to really cut back on spending money to be wise about it all. I haven’t even allowed myself into a mall for several months, haha!

This afternoon I did a bunch of studying for IIN and also skype-d with an out-of-town friend. I’m contemplating heading out for a swim at the gym (this morning I did my usual upper-body strength training routine) and probably relaxing with my family tonight. Rumor has it that my sis and her fiancé are coming over for dinner. 🙂

Have a great night!

P.S. Cocoa and I played “fetch” for awhile on Tuesday and I couldn’t resist taking some adorable pictures of her, playing with her ball.  😉

At a Glance

8:30am –  Roll out of bed after a somewhat restless night; drive to nearby park for a run

9:15am – Gorgeous 4.2 mile trail run in the sunshine, complete with a deer sighting!

10:15am – Delicious bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, emails, and shower

12:00pm – Walk with Cocoa around the neighborhood; lunch

1:30pm – Appt with oral surgeon about my swollen gum…He prescribed antibiotics to knock out the infection that is causing the swelling. If the infection and swelling returns, we’ll probably need to extract the wisdom tooth.

4:00pm – Took Cocoa to another local park for another walk! LOVED how much time I got to spend outside today! This fall weather is amazing. After our walk, relaxed on the grass while Cocoa sniffed around and watched the dogs walking by. 😉

5:30pm – Dinner with my fam and a movie afterward…can you guess what it was? Mission Impossible 2!  Haha! We are on an MI kick lately! Working our way through the series.  😛

Aaaand now I’m relaxing on the couch and contemplating sleep.  Yes.