Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 9: Teefs

Today I finally got my wisdom teeth out. I've needed it done for probably 2-3 years now, but out of embarrassment I told the dental assistant they'd only been bothering me for a few months. 
*** I feel like I should go ahead and mention that I'm pretty loopy on my painkillers right now, so please forgive me if this post is less than coherent ***
Where was I. Oh yeah, getting my teeth pulled. The dentist's office warned me not to operate heavy machinery, lift heavy objects, or make important decisions within 24 hours of surgery, so it was really lucky for me that Shane works from home and could drive there and back. 
***  And when I say I'm pretty loopy, I mean I can barely hold my head up to write. If Shane asked if he could turn the backyard into a crocodile refuge right now, I'd say "sure, why not?" *** 

Contact lenses were a big no-no. I couldn't even drink water for 6 hours before the surgery, so of course I woke up with a mouth that felt dryer than the Safari Sahara. 
*** I mentioned the painkillers, right?? ***
I didn't go to an oral surgeon. Thanks to my dentist's new 3D x-ray machine, he saw that the extraction could be done in his office. My bottom two teeth were partially "erupted" a.k.a. out of my gums, and the top two were still completely inside my gums, so there'd be a lot of cutting and poking around in there.

*** So yeah, I may have sprung $300 for sedation instead of a shot to numb the area. The only catch is that they could only give me pills, gas, and some sort of gross liquid...they couldn't fully put me to sleep. ***
After taking the initial set of pills, I got to lay in the surgery room covered in a blanket with the lights dimmed and wait for a while. After a sufficient amount of time, the dental assistant came back and gave me quite a bit of nitrous. I thought, "isn't it funny that people use nitrous in cars to make them go faster, but it makes people go slower?" This is when I realized the pills were working. Then I started to think maybe the nitrous wasn't really working. They immediately came to give me liquid medicine, and when I tried to sit to take it, I realized that the pills AND the nitrous were certainly doing their job. 

The picture above is the creepy skeleton 3D with which they determined my dental extraction fate. I got to stare at it while I was waiting on the pills. The dental assistant turned it off when she saw me staring intensely at it. I also had one headphone in, listening to my California Dreamin' Pandora station going. I was so worried about the procedure that I knew I had to have something to calm me down a bit. 

Since they couldn't do an IV, I was awake for the whole thing. Well, kinda awake. The liquid medicine had me really going in and out. I remember feeling like they put a crowbar under a tooth to try and pop it out. I remember them moving the mouth-propper-opener-thingie and asking me to open my mouth wider, but my whole mouth was so numb that I couldn't, so then I pulled my chin down with my hand. Thankfully they had numbing stuff on a q-tip they put wherever they were about to put a giant shot, so I didn't feel that either. 

At the end, when the dental assistant handed me my glasses and helped me to the door, with a mouth full of gauze I asked, "What do they do with the teeth??" I mean isn't it right about now when they show up with a little sealed medical sandwich bag with teeth? She looked at me and said, "Those go into the biohazard bin" with a concerned look on her face. So now I'm the creepy one who thinks, oh, I could still ask her to go rescue them, but what if it's really a giant bin full of teeth, how would she know which ones were really mine? And then I'd have some random stranger's teeth?

I'm not sure why I'm so concerned about the teeth. What would I do with them, make a necklace?

I'm at home now, where having slept for most of the day, I'm currently blogging and sending Snapchats right as the meds kick in and the ghost teeth quit aching. 

My husband Shane deserves a huge shout out for being so amazing and taking care of me in my time of need! I mean, they recommended eating crackers to settle my stomach, so he goes out and gets me oyster crackers so they're small enough to not hurt my teeth. He's so thoughtful and amazing. He also got frozen yogurt and made jello and chocolate pudding. Oh and mashed potatoes for dinner! 

We'll see if the loss of wisdom teeth affects my school grades. I mean do they make you smarter or what? And also, why can I feel no stitches? Are there liquid stitches in there? Or did they just leave the flaps to flutter around in my mouth? I know I shouldn't mess with them for fear of dry socket. I also can't exercise vigorously for a week, so that'll be fun. 

I should probably go now, a post any longer would be an important decision, and I don't think I'm in any sort of position to make those. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 8: College, take 2

Tonight's post is going to be a short one because I have six ridiculous chapters of biology to cram in by my test on Tuesday, and a couple sections of precalculus homework to catch up on when I find time. 

I enrolled at Nashville State Community College last fall and took two online classes while working full-time. I already have a Bachelor's degree in Merchandising and Design, but job options here in Nashville are extremely limited in that field. You either have to be really fashionable (I'm not), highly experienced, or willing to work retail management forever. Employers are getting really specific now on what degrees they're willing to hire. And the ones who are just looking for any sort of Bachelor's, those seem to all be sales jobs, administrative jobs like I had, or handing out flyers at the mall. Yep, I've been on that interview. It was listed as "entry-level marketing," which I've learned is always mall flyers or door-to-door. 

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give up my experience at Tennessee Tech for the world. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I made some lifelong friendships. And while taking classes, I loved my degree! The classes were fun and cool, but out in the real world, I'm realizing that I should've pushed myself in a different direction before I used up my one degree's worth of Tennessee lottery scholarship money. 

This time around I decided to go for a more versatile choice, and I'm majoring in Computer Science. I'm no computer whiz, which is a shame because a lot of people work their way into jobs like I want with experience alone...but I'm at least computer literate. I am really enjoying my Computer Science 2 class and I am doing better than expected. I am hoping that with enough determination, I can learn anything I set my mind to.

Precalculus 2 also seems to be going pretty well so far. I admit, even after Precal 1 last semester there are a lot of times I google "how to multiply fractions" and other algebra basics because it's been a while since I've touched any of that stuff. My new favorite thing is the online homework system. You get immediate feedback on which questions you got wrong and you can even have it walk you through the solution. There's really no reason to get less than 100% on any homework assignment because you get unlimited chances to get every question right.'s a bit rough. It's a joint lecture and lab for three hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a lot of times the teacher will talk for two and a half hours, leaving us to squeeze in lab real quick right at the end. She is a nice lady, but it's so hard not to zone out. Our tests are exhaustive and basically our whole grade. It's also a Biology for biology majors class (stupid MTSU gen. ed. requirements) so it gets into detail. 

I wasn't sure what to expect out of community college and was hoping I wouldn't be ten years older than all of my classmates. In reality, there is such a diverse mix of people and I have a feeling that teens are in the minority there. 

Also, I don't know if it's just because I've been out of school for four years or if it's because I'm actually pushing myself, but I am working harder than I ever have before. Throughout high school and college #1, I got good grades without even really trying. Now I spend hours and hours each week on homework and general studying. And I am making study flashcards for the first time in my life. 

I have most of my college trajectory planned out in detail, and with luck and determination, I'm hoping to make it through with my second (and hopefully last) Bachelor's degree in another three-ish years. It sounds overwhelming to think that it will take that long to finish, but for a better chance at a fulfilling career -- with better than minimum wage paychecks -- it's a small price to pay. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 7: Wednesday weigh in

To see all past weigh ins, click here. To see our whole weight loss journey, click here.

On January 16, 2014, Shane and I committed ourselves to a healthier lifestyle and drastic diet overhaul. We were sick of the way we looked, the way we felt, and the impact our poor choices could and would have on our current and future health. 

On March 10th, 2014, I shared my first weight loss post with all of you and revealed I'd lost 9lbs from my highest ever recorded weight of 226lbs. Revealing my actual weight for the whole internet to see was the scariest thing I'd ever done...until today.

Today I am sharing my first ever full body progress pictures. I've shared update pictures before, but never any as revealing as these. I dress carefully to camouflage my shape and am super picky about what gets posted. But I've been having a rough time with weight loss recently, and this is (hopefully) the kick in the ass that I need. It's going to be really hard to push "publish" on this post, but it's for my own good.

Our problem isn't a lack of exercise. Shane and I have gone to our local YMCA 3+ times a week for an hour or more each session for a year now. We've built a lot of muscle and I'm really proud of that progress. But losing weight and getting in shape is about 80% diet, 20% exercise. And what I'm not proud of is how far we've backslid into poor eating habits. We're a great team, but it goes two ways. We either motivate each other, or we co-enable our bad habits. We ate a ton junk food while we were snowed in last week. It all tasted so good, but felt so terrible. 

We have recommitted to ourselves to healthy eating habits and back to tracking calories on MyFitnessPal. If you're looking to get healthy yourself, you should join MFP and friend me! Find my profile here: Lehorner6. I've set a goal of 1500 calories per day for now, which may be subject to change based on how it affects my weight loss and energy levels. It's been three days since I started tracking again for real. I'd forgotten just how nice it feels to want a chocolate chip cookie and actually have room in your daily calories to eat one! I'm pretty much eating cookies and losing weight, which is the best of both worlds.

I've procrastinated enough, it's time to share the pictures. 

My progress: I have lost a total of 41lbs...I'm now at 185lbs.
45.5% of my goal complete!

Shane's progress: He has lost a total of 41lbs...he's at 268lbs.
32.8% of his goal complete. 

In case you didn't pick up on it...Shane and I each lost 41lbs. Crazy, right? 

I'm nervous and excited about this next phase of our transformation. We have had a great first year of our new healthy lifestyle, with 6-7 months of solid weight loss, and a whole year of exploring exercise. We've also been through our first plateau, about 6-7 months of weight fluctuations with no real loss (although we have been building muscle and losing fat, our bodies haven't really gotten much smaller). I'm hoping we'll get over that plateau very soon. 

I plan on posting regularly again to keep us accountable with our progress. We've both got a long way to go on our weight loss and fitness goals, and ultimately it will be a lifelong process. But if I could feel better about my beach body this summer, that would be fantastic.

Day 6: Night at the movies!

We broke our normal weeknight routine tonight with some help from our friends Faith and Kaylis. They had gotten free tickets for an advance screening of the new Will Smith movie Focus and had an extra set of passes. Shane and I don't go to the movies a lot because we're on a tight budget and are super picky about what we do see, but who can turn down a freebie?

Sneak peek ticketing works differently than regular movies. Regular movies can sell out, but sneak peeks hand out way way more tickets than they have seats and it's first come, first serve when you get there. Tonight's movie was set to start at 7:30 so we got there at 6:45 to get in line...behind the couple hundred folks already there. The line snaked throughout the whole lobby and we got real worried we weren't going to make it in. Rumor was the first guy in line showed up to the theater around 4:00. I'm all for a free movie, but I'm not that committed!

This is like 1/10th of the line. A lot of people had already gone in and we were making backup plans to walk around the mall instead. I felt bad for the poor lady checking passes, she looked so frazzled. I overheard her later saying the promo team had been told the screening was going on at another theater 15 miles away and they'd gone there first, whoops!

No worries though, because we made it in. We were on the second row and had to look straight up at the screen, but at least we weren't in the front row! Those poor people. 

Left to right: Shane, me, Kaylis, Faith
 Shane and I had to look up the movie trailer after we heard about the passes, so it wasn't like this was a movie we'd been looking forward to for months. We normally stick to comedies and don't see many dramas, but I thought the movie was pretty good. If you haven't seen the preview ( watch it here ), a quick synopsis with no spoilers...Will Smith is a pro con artist and brings a new woman into the group, teaching her the tricks of the trade. It was crazy seeing just how much they stole, and how easy it seemed! Especially the parts where they'd be pickpocketing...makes me want to be extra careful when I'm out in a crowd. 

I give the movie a 7/10, only because drama-type movies aren't my absolute fave, and while it was good, it wasn't the best movie I've ever seen or anything. If you're a Will Smith fan, it's a must go. For anyone else, it's a good movie that most would enjoy, even if it's just when it comes to Netflix / Redbox.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 5: Fashion police

We don't have cable at our house. Don't worry, it's a good thing...those companies charge way too much for the same stuff we can see on Hulu a day later for way cheaper. But that sometimes means we miss out on big live events, like the Oscars. 

Just because I didn't actually see the Oscars doesn't mean I can't do a little fashion commentary and give out some awards of my own. While everyone else in the world watched the red carpet, I browsed my 2014 iPhoto library to bring you...

The best / worst / wackiest fashions of the year! 

Last spring, my sister Hannah graduated from cosmetology school, so of course we had to throw her a party! It couldn't just be any party though, we had to go all out and do a photo booth with hair related props. What says "we're proud and we love you" better than your mom in purple dreadlocks and your dad in a snazzy mullet & stick-on fu manchu?

This hat will always be the one that got away. That is, until I go back to that outdoor store, buy the hat, then put it in my closet where I forget about it and never wear it. I saw it while shopping for TomorrowWorld supplies but just couldn't commit. 

Forever 21 makes some questionable fashion choices and this hat is one of them. I don't know, maybe the hot new trend was to look like Rolf from Sound of Music? It was also oddly small, so I could only wear it by balancing it on top of my head. If anyone is looking for the perfect accessory for their toy soldier costume, you now know where to go. 

You know how sculptors can see a beautiful statue in their minds when they look at a block of marble? That's apparently what happens with Shane, watermelons, and sharpies. He drew this cool dude at a summer pool party. We felt guilty to cut into him after that. 

My sister and I went shopping together and both picked a velvet dress from the clearance rack. Once we put them on in the fitting room, we realized why it was on clearance. We looked like a pair of drapes from the Munsters' house, and like we'd both gained at least 30 pounds. If we needed to look like oversize twins from The Shining, this dress would be perfect. 

Don't you hate when you go out to a bar Halloween party and your group is the only one in costume? Shane totally rocked that hot dog and got quite a few laughs from me along the way. 

I can just picture the kind of girl who would wear this shirt. She's one of those who always says "I hate drama" but constantly has huge facebook arguments with everyone she knows. 

Shane fell in love with this (rather expensive) jacket at REI, which I thought matched his hair just a bit too much. He was a pretty cute for a giant carrot, but the jacket didn't make it home with us.  
We did the Color Me Rad 5k with several friends and had a ton of fun. You're supposed to wear all white and get bombed with colored corn starch every few feet. We wanted to make sure we got our money's worth out of the race, so we got as close as we could to every color station. As a result, my white running sports bra will forever look like it's been tie dyed. 

Sheldon and Charlie get groomed fairly regularly, but sometimes right before his appointments, Sheldon's nose/forehead hair will get so long he turns into a sheepdog and can't see. Shane's solution was one of my star shaped barrettes. Sheldon has no appreciation for fashion though and shook the barrette out of his hair within a minute. I had no choice but to pull out the scissors for a preliminary trim.

Yes, another Halloween costume. This year we bought a total of six. Our local Bargain Hunt store had a sale on closeout Kmart costumes for $5 each, which is a steal! We bought a pair of inflatable costumes, but this one is by far the best. I love how "muscly" the arms are, and the fact that the whole thing is way to short for Shane. See those black things around his calves? That's the hoof shoe covers. The back legs floated behind him and never quite touched the ground. 

This year we finally made it to a Renaissance Festival, which was super fun! We thought watching the jousting tournament would be the perfect finish to the day, but Mother Nature had other plans. The sky opened up and running back to the car was like running through a carwash. I obviously wouldn't make a very good interstellar hitchhiker because I was totally unprepared and without a towel.

I know I'm probably a little biased on this one but I can't help it. Shane and I sometimes take dressing room selfies when shopping to get the other's opinion on clothes. His are usually pretty cute, but this one takes the cake. He might get a little embarrassed that I'm sharing this, but it can't be worse than the hot dog or the centaur, right?

That's it for this year's awards. Congrats to the winners! 

To the runners-up, just remember it's an honor just to be nominated. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 4: 27 is the new black

I still can't believe I turned 27 in January! I never even got used to the idea of being 26, and I accidentally told someone I was 28. It's somewhere in there. 

Shane threw me an awesome early birthday party with all of our friends, and made me a delicious Funfetti cake.  Of course I'm really forgetful, so I forgot to take pictures of anything but the cake. What can I say, it was THAT good. 

Just looking at it makes my mouth water. I love it and hate it when Shane bakes. I love it because everything he makes is delicious. And I hate it because everything he makes is DELICIOUS! He's a much better baker than I am too, and it makes me jealous of his skill. I've yet to master a two layer cake and he went straight to four!



I went to Knoxville to spend a week with my parents and sister, and since I was there on my actual birthday day, I got a second party! Lucky me :) 

My family introduced me to the magic that is The French Market Crêperie and we're all a little bit obsessed. Of course birthday cake #2 had to be a plate of their delicious imported French macarons. Gosh, why do I keep making myself so hungry? I may have to take a Nutella break here in a minute. 

The awesome Hello Kitty in the background was one of my birthday presents, and yes I did pick it out myself. I also got a macaron kit and recipe book so I can fuel the addiction at home. Best of all, a running watch that I can use to help run off all the cake and macarons! Solid plan, if you ask me. 

We had to do something fun to celebrate, so my parents, my sister, and I went to Painting with a Twist, one of those paint while you drink places. Continuing with the French theme we HAD to paint the Eiffel Tower in the snow. 

Our paintings turned out really, um, differently from the example picture. Not bad, but not fantastic. We weren't even drinking while painting. My tower turned out a little chunky due to the fact that I refused to use the stencil and insisted on free-handing the shape myself. One lady got pissed that her picture didn't look "realistic" enough. I don't know what she was expecting, just look at the sample. And also, how did she expect to learn how to paint a photo real Eiffel Tower in just two hours?

I've been to one of these painting places before, and that time it was ALL women in attendance. My dad was worried that he would stick out like a sore thumb, but turned out that was me and my sister. It must've been some sort of couples night, because my sister and I were the only ones in class without dates. 

Here's a blurry picture of the whole family with our paintings! We had a good time, especially because our painting neighbors were pretty entertaining. 

Aww, aren't we adorable? I'm sure you can tell, but left to right it's me, my dad, my mom, and my sister, Hannah.


The most permanent and most painful gift I received that week was this amazing ink from Shane's sister's fiancé and our new friend, Doc Cooper, owner of Saint Tattoo (you should check out his instagram). I let him completely design the piece, which is a tribute to my sorority Delta Gamma. My only stipulations were that I wanted an anchor, the Greek letters ΤΔΗ, and three of something to represent our three founders. 

He based the piece off of two different designs by Ben Corday, a famous tattoo artist from the early 1900s. It's totally traditional and I'm absolutely in love. It's motivated me to work hard on leg day so I can show it off well this summer! 

So far, 27 is turning out great! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 3: Life goal updates

A few years ago, I wrote a life goal list in lieu of making New Year's resolutions. I was reading over that list the other day and realized I've checked off quite a few since then! Here they are: 

1. Build a birdhouse from scratch

I have always been crafty but never got comfortable around power tools, especially our circular saw. I'm working on that one, but in the meantime, Shane helped me with a few steps of this project. This one definitely counts as a Flashback Friday, I made these over a year ago!
Did you know that you can buy a single cedar fence plank at Lowe's for $2-3? And one plank is plenty of wood to make a birdhouse, and maybe have a little left over? Cedar is amazing for outdoor uses, and you don't have to worry about poisoning your little bird family with icky pressure-treated lumber chemicals. 

I have a few things I'd do differently next time, like make it just a smidge taller (turns out my interior height was a little too short for most birds) and actually use wood glue in my nail holes (seasonal changes made the wood expand, nails pulled out, and the thing fell apart). 

If you're interested in building a birdhouse of your own, I highly recommend this pattern by Martha Stewart. It's Audubon Society approved, which means birds will love it, and you can customize the entrance hole size for your local birds. 

19. Actually give up Dr. Pepper for a while. And no cheating. 
Seriously, that stuff is diabetes in a can.

I'm honestly still surprised that I accomplished this one. I'm proud to say that I have been Dr. Pepper free for around a year now and have no plans of cracking open a can anytime soon.
Don't get me wrong, I love Dr. Pepper as much as anyone else with working tastebuds. Unfortunately the negative health effects are undeniable, especially when consumed in mass quantity. Since I have no self-control with the sugary goodness that is soda, it has been indefinitely banned from the Horner house. 

Banning the good doctor was one of the first steps in our fat to fit weight loss effort and probably one of the most important. It was a really hard step, but we've held strong on it, and I'm so proud of us. My new best friends are our under-sink water filter and my Nalgene bottles, they serve me well. 

20. Dye all of my hair pink. (and also blue)

Back in December I quit my job to go back to college full-time (more on that in a future post). Since I wasn't working for 'the Man' anymore, I decided it was time to go crazy with some all over hair color! Life's too short for boring hair anyways. 

The plan was always to go pink as soon as I could. I've had pink highlights before but never had the guts to go all the way. Once I got to the Sally's hair color aisle though, I had a moment of panic. They didn't have my preferred brand, and none of the pink options jumped off the shelf at me. 
So I went for blue! With a brief stop at Draco Malfoy blonde, thanks to the bleach. Since this was December, a time when a lot of red is worn, and my hair was that perfect shade of turquoise, I looked like Thing 1 for a while. 

Sadly, after nearly two months with no touchups, the blue was looking a bit janky. Especially around the roots. I looked like I was going bald. So with a little more bleach and a new dye kit, I went pinky-purple! I got it all over my face, neck, and scalp. Once at the gym I sweat so much during my run that my whole neck turned drippy hot pink, which I'm sure was entertaining for everyone in the row behind me. 
I'm not too sure about the brand of dye I used, because it has faded a LOT in the week and a half it's been on. I've got half a bottle of my favorite brand dye in a dark purple and there's a good chance it'll be in use real soon. 

22. Run a 5k (Done!). And maybe a marathon (We'll see).

This year we didn't just run a 5k, we ran FIVE 5ks and a 10k! I never thought I'd see the day when I could run for more than a minute without having a heart attack. I am really proud of this accomplishment and I really do hope we are able to keep it up. There is a such a magical feeling when you cross that finish line. 

From the big picture and then clockwise, we've got: 

1. Maryland Farms YMCA Firecracker 5k - first time I ran an entire 5k without stopping once :)   (read more here)

2. Color Me Rad 5k - ran this one with our friends and had a great time!  (read more here)

3. East Nashville Tomato Arts Festival 5k - who knew tomato art was such a big deal? Or even a thing?

4. Ugly Sweater 5k - we can't run in sweaters so we went for ugly (but actually cute) t-shirts instead. 

5. Farm Bureau Holiday 10k - I ran for an HOUR! Okay, there were some walking bits thrown in there, but it's not my fault the route was super hilly.  (read more here)

6. The Great Pumpkin Run 5k -  this was honestly my least favorite race this year. Turns out it's really hard to run through a corn maze, because you're constantly worried about slipping, the turns are nauseating, and corn stalks are pretty sharp.  (read more here


And for scientific purposes, here's the full list! I'd say 4.5 goals complete is pretty awesome progress. 

This is just what I've got so far, I plan on adding lots more fun stuff to this list in the future. Let me know in the comments if you have any ideas to add to the list!

My Life Goals

1. Build a birdhouse from scratch. 

2. Drive a manual transmission car on the interstate and in city traffic. 

3. Knit a sweater that is cute, actually fits, and wear it in public. 

4. Watch a French movie without subtitles. 

5. Change a tire. 

6. Wear a bikini to the beach and not worry about how I look. 

7. Make an awesome music video (like this one). 

8. Actually make the wedding scrapbook I promised on our first anniversary. 

9. Learn all the words to an epic rap song. 
Or just write my own. 

10. Make 100 hats to donate to charity. 

11. Make a YouTube video with 10,000+ views 
(and I don't even mind if I'm doing something embarrassing in it!)

12. Learn to speak with a convincing British accent. 

13. Be vegan for a month.

14. Get my scuba license. 

15. Shoot a gun. (Did that one here)

16. Perform something, anything, in front of an audience. 

17. Develop my own style of drawing. 

18. Start my own business.

19. Actually give up Dr. Pepper for a while. And no cheating. 
Seriously, that stuff is diabetes in a can.

20. Dye all of my hair pink.

21. Finally learn how to do a cartwheel. 

22. Run a 5k.  And maybe a marathon. 

23. Write a book, even if it's self published.

24. Bench press 100+ lbs.

25. Join a protest for a worthy cause.

26. Do a handstand.


What's on your list?

Day 2: SNOW!

Since Sunday, everything in Nashville has been coated in a layer of ice and topped with a sprinkle of snow. We have even more in the forecast for tonight! 

Based on the way things are going, it's likely my Golf won't make it out of the driveway until spring. They've finally managed to clear most of the major roads, but our neighborhood is treacherous. If I had ice skates, I'd take them for a spin. 

I'm really thankful that we insulated under the house this summer, or we'd be frozen. We've been extra lucky that our power hasn't gone out, I know some have been without for days. 

Our backyard hasn't been so lucky though. Our tropical oasis bamboo privacy screen has turned into a pile of limp spaghetti. 

I'm hoping / guessing that they'll bounce back? If not we're gonna have some problems, because the view of the neighbor's yard is bleak. 

Our gutters also filled and froze, and then overflowed to create an icicle jungle, which is magical. 

Charlie and Sheldon have enjoyed playing around in the snow. We even let them off leash for a while so they could explore. Don't worry, Shane was close by with his daddy voice ready in case he needed to call them back. 

Sheldon had such a good time I could barely get him to sit still for a picture! He spent a lot of time running around the car, hoping we were going for a ride.

Charlie really likes the cold and wants to spend a surprising amount of time in it. We basically have to drag him in after potty breaks. My theory is that the white snow makes the brown squirrels so much easier to spot. 

** Note to readers: if you see Charlie's bare patches on his legs, don't despair. He has pretty serious skin allergies, which we work hard to keep under control with help from his vet. He's okay, I promise.

I am thankful that I got to spend this impromptu vacation with Shane and the doggies. We've had fun watching tons of Hulu and vegging out on the couch for nearly a week. Plus I finally got a chance to take the tags off my snow pants (had them 5 years now?) and break out my snow boots (which I almost got rid of a few weeks ago). 

Three school snow days have spoiled me, I'm not ready to go back to the real world!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Take 2: 40 Days of Posts!

Last March I was a little frustrated with myself. I hadn't written a post in 2+ months and had hit a serious creative block. I decided I would give myself a major challenge and write 40 POSTS IN 40 DAYS

It worked pretty well and got me out of my slump. However, nearly a year later and I'm right back where I was then. 

So here we are for the 2nd Annual 40 Posts in 40 Days!

My disclaimer from last year works too:

"I've spent too much time lately coming home from a busy day at work [now school] and stressing out about the next day. I have also gotten caught up in a bad habit of starting a blog post, worrying about if it's "special" enough to write about or if anybody will read it. I'm just gonna write. If people read it and like it, awesome! If not, that's okay too. I'm doing this for me. Will all the posts be good? Most likely not. But guess what? They're getting published anyways!"

I'm going to keep this post short because:

1. Let's face it, I've got 39 more days to fill. 

2. I've got school early tomorrow morning and it's late...and I'm NOT a morning person.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a fresh new post :)