Lessons Learned

First off, let me just say we need more love in the world. I’ve stepped away from a lot of social media and news the past few months because I simply can’t handle it. There is so much hurt and destruction and it’s all stupid. But even if I remove Facebook from my phone and stop reading news articles, I still hear about stuff. It can’t be ignored. People still suck. Which sucks, because people also have such a capacity to be really, really awesome. So let’s focus on the awesome. With enough light we can obliterate even the darkest of darkness. /rant

Okay, onto my self-centered, petty musings!

So, I’ve learned something new recently. If I announce that I plan to do or am doing a Whole30 on my blog, I will not finish it. The Whole30s I’ve successfully completed happened when I hardly breathed a word on the blog, or I would wait until like Day 20 to mention it. But I posted last week that Hulk and I were doing a Whole30 together. And then we went away for the weekend with friends to the cabin in the middle of the woods that’s off the grid with no wifi or internet. I consulted our friend over menu options, and bought a ton of Whole30 food to share, so I thought we would be good. But then we get there, and it’s vacation, and the kids are all in bed and the adults are playing board games and hanging out on the patio, and why not a cocktail? It feels festive. It’s just one. Ugh, terrible decision. Totally not worth it. But as guilty as I feel, at least I can chalk it up to a learning experience. Next time, stick with the program!

The other think I’ve learned lately is that I will always regret sleeping in and not going to CrossFit, but I never regret getting up early to go to the gym. Even if I barely got any sleep and I’m exhausted, I never regret going first thing in the morning. I can always try to catch a nap when I get home, or sleep in tomorrow. Just something to keep in mind when I try to hit that snooze button at 5:15am.

Part of my June Whole30 was to also give up coffee for the month. I figure since I was up to about 5 cups a day, it was about time to give myself a Caffeine Holiday. Although I didn’t stick with the Whole30, I learned that I really don’t miss my morning coffee all that much. It’s really nice having one less thing to do in the morning, and not spilling coffee all over my pants in the car, and washing out travel mugs with that gross stale coffee smell. I miss the taste and the ritual of a hot cup of coffee in the morning when I’m working at my desk planning my day, but for the most part once I’m focused on work I don’t even miss it. I thought about replacing my cup with a tea or hot lemon water. Which I can do if I want. But I really like not having to fix myself a hot beverage of any kind in the morning. My laziness has no bounds, apparently. Once the month’s up I’ll probably indulge in a cup on weekends, maybe, but I do not want it to become a morning habit again. Because withdrawal. *shudder*

That’s all I’ve learned for now. Go make it a great day!

It’s Friday!

Good Morning! It’s Friday! Yay! I have nothing special planned today, just a bunch of random ramblings and latest happenings.

I worked from home yesterday because I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon. Apparently I am a total creature of habit because I never think to blog when I’m at home, only when I’m on the train. So if I’m not on the train, I guess I forget to blog? Weird. Anyway, I’m off to wrap this week up, and then I’m in Pittsburg again for the next two weeks which are my last travel weeks until after the little miss is born. On one hand I’m kind of bummed. I love traveling, and it’s going to be soooooo boring! 😉 But I will enjoy being at home for a while to establish a “new normal” and get some nesting out of the way before life dumps a huge load of change on us in November.

Squish don’t care. Gramma ‘Nise sent him this really cool Thomas the Train interactive book that is totally preoccupying his time these days. It has a million buttons that all make noises, which is the best when it’s 6:30 in the morning. Thank you, Gramma! 🙂

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Aside from that, we have quite a few things on deck for the weekend:

  • Still have our college buddy visiting us for the weekend. The boys have plans to go out about every night, so I’m expecting some mimosa- or bloody mary-infused brunches followed by lots of naps during the day. I’m totally down with that.
  • I NEED to make a hair appointment before I take off for Pittsburgh. I hate it when my hair is in my eyes #shorthairproblems
  • Hulk found a couple more open houses to tour. As always, they look totally promising on paper. Still, I love house hunting. It’s fun to dream. I say only two weeks into serious house hunting. Let’s see where I’m at in six months!

In other updates, my back feels much better now from straining it the other night while cleaning. I iced it a few times and just took it easy. I still feel it twinge, but I’m able to stand up and sit down without much difficulty. Needless to say, I am not too keen on any heavy-duty housework in the near future.

Finally, kombucha.

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All the kombucha ❤ If we do move into a house with a normal-sized kitchen, I am totally brewing it at home. Until then, my Starbucks budget is now making way for my GT’s Kombucha budget.

That’s it for now. Have a most wonderful weekend, and make it a great day!

Power Breakfast

Good morning, and happy Monday to you! If you’re catching up from over the weekend, here’s what you missed:

A potluck with some friends

And

A really cold summer day exploring SF

Last night my little bro came over to hang out. We read stories and ate blueberries. That’s what you do, right?

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Made the family a typical breakfast of bacon, eggs, and apple slices. Power breakfast!

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I’ve got a full day planned, so I’ll see you later tonight. Make it a great day!

Best Lunch Ever

What is up? Check it out, I am still awake and coherent enough to write a post. But I have no guarantees on how long this will last, so we’d better get cracking.

Last night I made paleo chocolate chip cookies from “Make it Paleo”. I had too many. Bad things happened to me. Don’t eat too many almond flour-based baked goods, kids.

Today for lunch my coworkers were talking up this food truck. I’m always down for food from a truck, so I tagged along. Plus, I forgot to grab my packed lunch from the fridge this morning, so it was more of an “oh darn! Now I have to go out for lunch *wink*” situation.

Anyway, we headed to the food truck place, and found not just one food truck, but a total food truck party!

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So much awesomeness.

I was directed to our truck of choice, where I had spare ribs and “kamikaze fries” which are waffle fries topped with all kinds of craziness.

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And a cupcake. You know. Because.

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Then after work our neighbor invited us to a dinner party. We made chicken cacciatore.

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Yum.

And now that I’ve eaten myself within an inch of my life, it’s time to say goodnight! See you all tomorrow.

Thursday Things

Oh man, you guys. It’s almost the weekend. And almost April, can you believe it?

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I had a minor freak-out yesterday when I realized the year is 1/4 over and I hadn’t really set or tracked any progress on my goals at all. 2014 is slipping away like grains of sand through my fingers! –> bonus points if you can guess what pop culture reference I paraphrased that from.

Anyway, I don’t feel like doing normal stuff, so here’s a random post. Random stuff. About me. Because it’s all about me.

  • I’ve lived in six states: Minnesota, Texas, California, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
  • Growing up, my parents owned a karate and dance school. Karate and dance were not taught in the same class, that would just be too much awesome to handle. But my first job was assistant teaching classes with my folks.
  • I have wide feet. Like, really wide feet. I can’t wear heels or cute, strappy shoes. Well, I probably could, but it quickly turns into extreme pain. I like pain less than I like fashion, so, there you go.
  • When I was a kid we had a cat named Dusty. He weighed 23 pounds. Once a woman asked if she was pregnant. My sister answered, “He’s a boy cat.”
  •  In 2011 Hulk and I went to London for a babymoon. Best. Trip. Ever.

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  •  If I could have any food in the world, it would have to be a perfectly seared ribeye steak, medium rare.
  • Hulk and I both did competitive cycling in college. I was the 2006 Nebraska Women’s Category 4 State Champion. Because I was the only women’s cat. 4 racer to show up that day (<< Hulk keeps reminding me to leave that part out).
  • Speaking of athletic accomplishments, to date I have completed five half marathons, two full, one half iron man, and about a couple dozen bike races. I think I still owe a race report on the North Face Half Marathon back in December. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
It sucked something fierce!
It sucked something fierce!
  • I am a complete and total introvert. I am uncomfortable meeting new people, I prefer small, intimate gatherings to huge parties, and the perfect day ends with me alone in bed with a cup of tea and a book. Which is what I’m about to go do right now!
  • Once I did a coworker a favor. When asked what he could do for me in return, I responded, “I want a pony. Dapple grey. I’ll name her Clip Clop.” He came back the next day with a BLACK pony. Didn’t listen to me at all. But Clip Clop still won my heart.pony

Okay, I think I’ve allowed you to procrastinate doing something actually important long enough. As always, thanks for reading my nonsense for this long.

Any random thoughts for this Thursday?

The Big Run

Yesterday, I had the most satisfactory realization that I will never, never again in my life have to run further than what I ran that day. Unless I’m running from zombies, of course.

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Actually, it was more like 15.3 miles because I was turned around in the Presidio and ended up almost to Pacific Heights.

I started out down to AT&T Park, thinking if I headed South a bit it would be easier to cover my training plan’s requested 14 miles. Since I covered 13 miles a couple weeks ago doing an out-and-back to the Golden Gate Bridge, I didn’t think I would have to go much farther to make a 14 mile course.

The day couldn’t be any better.

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I also ran into another race in Chrissy Field. It was the Mermaid run, or something? I ran against the race, which was probably a little rude. But whatever.

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I sort of missed the turn to go up to the bridge, so I took the trail over the batteries towards Baker Beach.

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Didn’t suck at all.

At some point, I thought I forgot my sunglasses. This was when I remembered where they were.

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I showed that to Hulk, to which he responded, “Hey, those are MY sunglasses.” Well, Dear, now you know what to get me for Christmas.

Since I overshot the miles coming back, I started walking once I hit 14. I probably could have ran the rest of the way home since I was feeling fabulous (who would have though bringing food and water would help performance?) but decided not to chance injury.

I did a lot of things different on this run than I normally do. These are all pretty no-brainers, but for whatever reason I thought for the longest time I could do without. I sort of can, but I suffer on my longer runs which is never fun. Here’s what I tried this time:

  1. Music. I’ve been running without music, but definitely find that it’s hard to push through sometimes without a motivating distraction. So I would like to thank my sponsor for making this run possible, the Pitbull Pandora station.
  2. Hydration. I don’t always bring water with me because there are a few drinking fountains on my route but they’re at awkward locations. This time I bit the (looking like a geek) bullet and wore my Camelbak, throwing a could Nuun tabs in for extra kick. It was so nice to drink a few sips of fruit punch Nuun whenever I wanted, and I only had to refill once and never felt deprived.
  3. Food. I usually bring a Powerbar with me, but it’s not my favorite fuel source and I find myself putting off eating it because I don’t want to. The Powerbars we have are ancient, left over from Hulk’s professional sponsorship days, so they’re pretty stale and hard to chew. I splurged a bit at Whole Foods and bought some delicious Honey Stinger energy chews which are basically eating candy while running. I had to pace myself because I wanted to eat all the bags right away.

I had energy through the whole run and even sprinted in the last mile. My legs hurt, but I still felt like I wanted to just go. So I think I found my sweet spot of how much I need for what type of run. Someday I might have it all dialed in and have less decisions to make while preparing for a run.

After my run, I adhered to the couch and basically pretended to be a puddle all day. Puddle on the couch, puddle in bed, puddle on the floor while Squish insisted I should play trains with him. Then Hulk had the brilliant idea to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with some friends. Pizza post-run = winning.

I gave Squish my phone to distract him while we waited for our food, and he took about a million selfies.

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My iCloud is out of storage and my phone hasn’t backed up in two weeks, so I might need to start curbing this behavior. Or delete some darn photos. Most of them are pictures of eggs, anyway.

Okay, so I’m done now. Did you do anything fun or epic this weekend? How do you fuel for long runs, have you figured out what works for you yet?

All the Candy

It’s my birthday! Yay! To celebrate, I’m wearing jeans and Uggs to work.

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Favorite. I don’t care how 2004 Uggs are. They are un-freakin-believably comfortable.

I have a feeling y’all are curious how Squish’s Halloween turned out.

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ALL THE CANDY!!

My little monster figured out pretty quickly that it was candy people were dropping in his bucket. Once that revelation dawned on him, it was game over. As soon as a piece would plop in his bucket, he immediately wanted to eat it. Wrapper and all. He actually took a bite out of a KitKat bar the way a shark would take a bit out of a surfboard.

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Needless to say, his costume now needs some spot-cleaning to remove the chocolate stains. But he was with good company. There were many other small creatures at the mall.

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And Auntie ‘Manda stopped by too.

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He was disturbed that we made him pose for the camera. There were more interesting things to destroy do at the time.

After Squish ran amok burning off the sugar and went to bed (yeah, THAT didn’t take long at all), we all hung out with some friends drinking wine for a while. And maybe ate all of the Halloween candy. Then all the kids went out to see what the bar scene was like while this momma went to bed. Party animal.

Hope you all had a happy and festive Halloween, and if you don’t celebrate Halloween I hope you had a happy and festive Thursday evening! Have a great weekend!

A Present to Me, from Me

Happy Tuesday! Since yesterday’s post was such a tome, I’ll keep today’s quick and simple with the eats and runnin’s. Annnnd, it’s Treat Yourself Tuesday, brought to you by Becky at Olives ‘n’ Wine! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to link up, so it’s good to be back 🙂 Squish is still […]

Stomping Grounds

Saturday I was in my hometown of Elkhorn, which is (I guess now) a neighborhood in the west side of Omaha. It used to be an independent town but was annexed by Omaha several years ago. We were there for the funeral services for Hulk’s grandmother who had passed away last week. After the services, I had to run 8 miles on Saturday so I thought I would use it as an opportunity to check out my old stomping grounds.

There are two things I really miss about Nebraska. One is the sunsets. I don’t know if it’s the air or the plains or what, but sunsets in Nebraska are always spectacular. The other thing I miss is fall. I loved fall growing up. I loved the weather, the crunchy leaves, and the distinct smell in the air that hints of winter on its way. I hate winter, but I love fall.

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And the skies get so, so blue in October.

I started out along a little bike path past the city park we used to play.

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I wanted to take Squish there to play for a little nostalgic, generational indulgence but we didn’t have the time.

Then I turned and headed to “my” side of town. Hulk and I grew up on opposite sides of the main highway through town but didn’t meet until high school. The Qwik Shop gas station/convenience store on the corner was sort of the halfway point between our houses. When I was old enough, my mom would let me walk there with a friend to buy candy. I would stretch the couple bucks she gave me as much as possible and try everything.

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The trees look so big now coming up to my old neighborhood.

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I grew up on Pearl Circle, but with the Omaha annexation the city changed all of the street names to align with the Omaha streets. Now it’s Blinny Circle.

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Again, the trees on my old street look huge.

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And the house where I grew up. Not much has changed. The front garden is gone, and it looked like where we had an above-ground pool is now a playground. It’s kind of a wonky picture, because people were giving me strange looks at this lady running and stopping to take pictures with her phone every two blocks.

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They decorated the yard with mini ghosts and pumpkins for Halloween. Adorable!

Then I ran around the neighborhood to where the neighborhood used to end and cornfields began. Our ‘hood was surrounded by cornfields back in the day, and the farmer would clear a path between the houses and my elementary school so we kids could walk there without having to take the street. The path used to run through here, through these houses.

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And this used to be cornfield.

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And this.

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This post really should be titled, “This Used to be Cornfields”.

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Anyway, here is my old elementary school, Hillrise.

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Hey Amanda, you don’t have to worry anymore about where you’re supposed to stand. They now have the grades marked on the wall on where the kids are to wait in the morning for the classrooms to open.

This playground was built at the end of my 5th grade year. They did a ribbon cutting ceremony and all of the graduating 5th graders received a piece of the ribbon. I think I still have mine. And it was probably a good thing that the kids playing on the playground were unsupervised when I took the picture or there might be some weirded out parents alarmed by the lady running and taking pictures with her phone every two blocks.

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After touring my own little ‘hood I headed back over to Hulk’s side of town. He grew up in the “old” part of Elkhorn where the town was originally founded. There are a lot of cool old buildings and historic stuff from back in the day.

I ran by the community pool. This is where we took swimming lessons as kids, spent a lot of time here in the summer, and I mustered a poor, half-hearted attempt at swim team for two summers since Hulk was on a competitive team all through high school. There used to be a high dive, but it looks like it’s been replaced with a super awesome water slide.

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Oh, and I forgot that they have to winterize here. It’s a thing. I was sorely disappointed when the first drinking fountain at the park I came across was already shut down for the winter. So I ran the whole time with no water.

Then I cut through downtown to a bike path that took me further west out of the town. There’s the water tower!

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It was a bit of a slow pace for me, but after being on a plane for 7-ish hours the day before and having a crappy training week I was just happy I put 8 miles on. I did walk a bit the last half mile or so.

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After my run, I came back to the house to find a Squish meltdown in progress. After the super busy morning with services and family, I assumed he’d just had enough, but the usual tricks weren’t working for him and he was completely inconsolable. Then his grandma took his temp and found he had a fever. Of course he did. So I got to take a sick, tired, cranky toddler with me back to California.

We had a layover of a couple of hours in Dallas/Ft. Worth, so we had a quick dinner and played in a kid’s play center we found. Then the flight was delayed an hour. Then another hour. Then a half hour. By the time we finally boarded, Squish and I had been in DFW for six hours.

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Squish was totally over DFW by this point.

Apparently the cause was heavy fog and winds in SFO, and it affected pretty much all air travel in the US. It’s one of those things that if I had known we’d be there for six hours I would have planned our time a bit differently – had a “real” meal at a sit-down restaurant, spent more time in the play zone, would have let Squish nap in the airport since I was trying to keep him up so he’d nap on the plane, etc. But, whatever. We made it home eventually, and the pilot did a rockstar job at landing in the heavy SF winds. That was a crazy bumpy landing. Squish slept through it all, and I was amazed at how many times he’d nearly be bumped out of my arms, startle, then clunk back asleep.

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This week will be all about getting Squish better, and making sure Hulk and I don’t get sick on top of it. Plus, it’s my birthday week (woot!) so I’ll be planning that, too. Mostly by harassing people for presents. I like presents.

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Geeze, I look like a hobbit in this one. But I’m a hobbit with a gold iPhone 5S, so I don’t care.

My train has been super delayed, so this is a super long post. You can thank Caltrain.

Are you still close to your hometown, or is it long gone like mine? What sort of things do you like to do when you visit old stomping grounds?

The Train of Life

Hey, kids.

Well, this train o’ life just keeps on rolling (can you tell I’m commuting right now?). We received some sad news this week. Hulk’s grandmother passed away after a year-long battle with lung cancer. She was a remarkable, inspirational lady and will be missed. Everyone in the family is headed to Omaha this weekend for the services. Although I’m glad Squish will be able to visit his grandparents, it’s a bummer of a reason for the trip.

Hulk’s been out of town this week, and I’m finding myself just through-the-bones tired. Even though I could probably use a workout, I’ve been sleeping in every morning and still zombie-ing it through the day. If it wasn’t for my grueling 6-mile-a-day bike commute I would be doing nothing. Which is probably my problem. Maybe tonight I can get a light run in after Squish goes down.

In my rush to catch my train yesterday morning, I completely forgot breakfast and didn’t even realize it until I was sitting at work with a grumbly tummy. I grabbed a Kashi protein bar to hold me over to lunch, which I commended myself on packing before I forgot it for a change.

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Spinach salad with hb eggs, tuna in olive oil, cucumber, and carrots.

I realized that with Hulk out of town my evenings have to be completely on pointe and organized. As soon as I walk through the door Squish wants dinner NOW. So I absolutely threw together a flurry of a beef has with a cranky, hangry toddler on my hip in about 10 minutes. I even chopped the squash with one hand. Total mommy award for this one.

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Ground beef, onion, and squash on a bed of spinach.

Once Squish went to bed I cooked another batch for lunch/dinner today. Now all I have to do when I get home tonight is throw it in the microwave and dinner is served!

Since we have to clean out the fridge before leaving this weekend I found the last of the leftover oatmeal and cooked apples Mom had made when she visited this weekend. I topped it with a dollop of yogurt and some cinnamon for a festive flair.

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And coffee. Always coffee. Hulk had roasted a batch of beans before he left, but he grossly underestimated how much coffee my mother and I can go through when left to our own devices. I had to make an emergency run to Peet’s to pick up some more beans yesterday morning. I should really learn how to use the coffee roaster, but every time I try a batch on my own I either end up with barely roasted beans or I set them on fire. Both are not good.

Squish was a good helper getting mommy’s bike ready for the road. I noticed that he isn’t much taller than my bike pump. How intimidating would that be to pump a tire with a pump taller than you? The world must be crazy big in the perspective of a toddler.

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With my fatigue, the family news, and still adjusting to this new normal of a schedule, I realized yesterday that I really need to focus on taking care of myself. It’s going to be a crazy next couple of weeks with all the travel and adjustments. The last thing I need is to get sick. So last night and for the rest of the week I’m focusing on getting sleep, eating clean, and lots of water. Hopefully this will get me through and out of the sleepy slump I’m in.

Well, I’m off to catch up on your blogs and get set up for another crazy busy day. Have a happy hump day! It is Wednesday, isn’t it?