Saturday, October 28, 2017

W Girls Do Disney 2017 Trip Report: Part 3

Our 2nd park day was to my favorite park, Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is always the epitome of Disney magic for me. I will say our day got off to a rocky start though, it is kind of a long story. But we were basically verbally attacked by a family for "line jumping" when getting on the bus to the parks, which we definitely didn't do. And it was definitely #petty (as we joked through out the day, any one else see that Jimmy Fallon skit)?

But can was talk about how cute we were in our matching outfits and ears? We had decided we would dress alike on MK day, and I found some cute matching shirts and ears off of etsy. We got so many compliments throughout the day.

The highlights of this day were riding Peter Pan first (per tradition), dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant, and all the rides that were basically walk-ons after half the park left after the  firework show. So many of the rides just feel different at night, especially Splash Mountain & Big Thunder Mountain. And believe it or not, no ride scares me more than Splash Mountain, it's that big drop! Gets my heart racing every time.

I ate at Pinocchio's Villiage Haus for the first time, which wasn't bad, and we of course loved our dole whips.

I however did lose my phone when it fell through the cracks of the seat on the Peter Pan ride, but through the magic of Disney, they were able to mail it back to me a week later (which explains the decrease in the amount of pictures taken the rest of the trip). All of the pics going forward, I got from memory maker or from my friend's phone.

When I realized I would not have my phone for the rest of the week (and I didn't know if I would ever get it back at that point), I decided to not make a big deal of it. I could have been really upset, but I decided not to let it ruin my day or damper my friends' fun.

But I will say not having my phone allowed me to be more present, and I only missed it when my friends were checking their phones at dinner, and I had nothing to occupy me.

We closed down Magic Kingdom that night, just the way I like to roll in Disney.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My Favorite Project Life Layouts: Jan-June 2017

These are some of my favorite layouts from the first half of this year. I did monthly project life this year, instead of weekly. I also used the layout size 6 X 12.  So some months were busy, and they had many layouts. While other months only had 2 layouts. I always made one layout a month, which served as a title page of sorts, with miscellaneous photos. Looking at the layouts I decided to feature, apparently they were usually my favorites! 

Most of these layouts featured products from Studio Calico's Documenter Kits. Disney Layout is from Say Cheese/Simple Stories line.

Faith Hill/Tim Mcgraw Concert + Set List & March for Science

My 31st Birthday Layout.

This layout was from my trip to Lexington.

Stay Tuned for the 2nd Half of 2017 at the end of year! 

Always, B

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Running Ragnar Great River

As soon as I finished my Tennessee Ragnar, I knew I wanted to do another one. One of the women on my first Ragnar team, told me they had spots left on her Ragnar Great River Team, which is a relay from Winona, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, that follows the Mississippi River. Since Adam has family and friends in that area, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to take a little trip together. I could run the race, and he could visit with his people. 

We drove from Alabama to Wisconsin over two days, spending the first night in Champaign, Illinois.  The second night Adam dropped me off in Winona to spend the night with my team, and he went on to Minneapolis to hang out with friends.

I was nervous as I didn't know anyone on the team but one other person, who would be in the other van. But I bonded with my team, by going to dinner with them the night before the race. Everyone seemed so nice, and I started to relax a little. 

We (Van 1) got up bright and early to head down to the start line. It was a beautiful venue on the river bank. Once our first runner was off, we started the process of leap froggin' with our runners to get to the next exchange point.

I was  runner number 4, and my first leg was 6.6 miles. I was happy when I took off to find that my pace was right where I predicted it to be. My leg ran by the riverbank and also through beautiful farmland. And I snapped a few pictures as I went.

I was happy when I finished my leg, and after all our runners had finished their first legs, we had some downtime as Van 2 was out running.

We stopped at a little restaurant called The Pickle Factory for lunch, and we then headed to our next exchange point in Stockholm, Wisconsin. We were there a few hours waiting for Van 2 to catch up with us.

Stockholm was this itty bitty town with the cutest little shops. I took time to explore them before catching a quick van nap. This exchange spot also had s'mores. I hadn't had a s'more in so long, and it felt like such a treat. 

It was dusk when Van 1 set out again. By the time it was my turn to run, it was pitch dark. My second leg was a little over 3 miles. I started on a big hill, which gassed me for a little bit, before I could calm my breathing. This leg was so dark at times, that I would feel a little nervous until I spotted another runner or van. 

At one point, I grew concerned because it seemed that a directional sign was leading us to run through a corn field. Another runner behind me was just as perplexed, we talked it over, but we decided to keep going straight (which was correct). I was so happy when I saw the lights and orange cones of the exchange point, since I was worried I had taken a wrong turn, which is my biggest fear during these events.

After our 2nd legs were complete, all my vanmates spread out where ever they could find a place, and we all tried to catch a couple of hours of shut eye. Although I never slept too deep, and I woke often, it was better than nothing.

As the sun rose, it was time for us in Van 1, to complete our third and final legs. Day 2 was noticeably hotter than the day before, so I was happy we got to run before the hottest part of the day. My last leg was my shortest, at a little over 2 miles. It was definitely more of an urban route than my last two runs, as we inched closer to Minneapolis. 

Once our entire van was through running for the day, we had breakfast at IHOP, as van 2 was completing their last set of runs. We took this pic to tease van 2, as earlier in the trip they had posted a picture of their selves eating a meal, but they had no food in front of them (obviously they were waiting for their food). So we said at least we all could afford our breakfast!

The finish line was in a park near the University of Minnesota. We had about two hours to kill until all our team would meet up at the finish line. Adam got to the park to hang out with everyone while we waited. We had blankets, and we just laid out under some shady trees to stay cool.

Finally our last teammate rounded the corner, and we were able to run across the finish line together.  It was another great Ragnar experience. 

Even though I was extremely tired (and probably smelly), I still wanted to hang out a little with Adam at the Mall of America after the race. I had visited there a long time ago (maybe 15 years ago), and I really wanted to go back. We did a little shopping, and we had dinner at the Melt Shop in the food court.

The next morning I caught a flight home, and I picked up my Linky from my mom's house, which he had been staying with (terrorizing her pet rabbit). Adam stayed on in Wisconsin for another week, visiting his family, before driving home.

It was a quick but fun trip all in all. And I'm still down for another Ragnar!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

5 Days Post Op

Last Friday, I had three procedures. I had abdominal skin removal, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. I was pretty nervous, but it was something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and it ended up going fairly well.  I did not only do this for cosmetic reasons, the extra skin has also caused me health issues. As I would get rashes underneath the fat rolls, and I have suffered with back pain, throwing my back out on multiple occasions.

I am pretty pleased with the results. It is so crazy to me to have a flat stomach.  The fat roll the surgeon removed from my abdomen weighed 15 lbs! And in weird news, they made me a new belly button, as they removed my old one. That fact blew my mind.

Recovery is going OK. I haven't been in an immense amount of pain, but I'm taking my pain pills on a regular schedule to avoid pain. I do have a lot of medications, even one in shot form. I have two drains attached to my abdomen in order to drain excess liquids from surgery. But those are having to be emptied less and less as the days progress, and I'm hoping to go down to one drain pretty soon.  I also have to wear a binder around my stomach at all times to keep it compressed.

I've been overall pretty tired, napping a lot, and taking a shower takes up almost all my energy. But I'm starting to walk more and more, and just today I walked to the end of the street and back, which is good progress. 

I've been overwhelmed with gratitude for Adam, and how well he has taken care of me. Every morning he empties and cleans my drains. He makes sure I get my blood thinning shot and all my medications on time. He reminds me to stay hydrated and makes me walk around, even when I don't want to because my incision is hurting. He has prepared almost all my meals. He has helped me shower. And since I have to sleep in the recliner downstairs, he has slept every night on the couch. We are having a family camp out in the living room. He is amazing, and it is such a reminder that I am so lucky to have him. 

Heck, he even filled in for me at bowling league night.

Even Link has been quite the sweetheart. He seemed to understand when I first came home that I wasn't feeling well. He stayed by my side, and he often times looked concerned. And not once has he tried to jump on my lap or up on me, like he typically would. He has such a gentle heart.

My friends have also been super supportive, checking on my frequently with text and calls. My friend Lark stopped by on her day off to visit, and she brought me Starbucks & cookies. And another friend, Anna, sent me some adult coloring books and colored pencils. How sweet and how fun!

The best part of having this operation done is that it has reminded me how loved I am. I'm usually pretty independent, but it is nice to know when I need help, there are so many people willing to do so.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Scrappy Plans for 2017

Now is the time of year I start to plan how I want to document the next year. And this post is really just a way for me to work out my thoughts. And this is how I "begin with the end in mind."

Over the last three years, I have slightly varied how I document every year. In 2015,  I documented every week in a 12x12 album.  Then, I wanted to do a smaller size in 2016, so I used a 9x12 album. And this year, I used a 6x12 album, with monthly spreads instead of weekly. Some months had more spreads than others, and that was fine by me. 

I also made mini albums (both paper, digital, and through the PL app) for vacations and December Daily. And I enjoy mixing it up with different mediums. 

This year I want to go back to a weekly format, using the Project Life app. This I will consider to be our yearbook of our lives together. I want these to be printed as photobooks, and I plan on having two of these for the whole year. I will do one page per week, and I will add an extra page if there is a big event that needs more documentation. 

But I want to keep playing with paper. So I plan on keeping a 6x8 album, which will be my "selfie" album. And no I don't mean an album filled with just selfies, although I imagine there will be a few. But it will be an album filled with all the pictures and things I love.  If I want to do a page devoted to coffee or clothes, I will put that there.

I also picked up this Zelda themed album the other day from Hobby Lobby, and I'm excited to turn this into a mini-album all about Link. Since he is named after the video game, Zelda. I think it will be super cute. 

Lastly, I plan on making a big album for our Alaskan cruise in May, and some sort of mini-album for my Disney trip in September.

I'm hopeful for successful documenting in 2018!

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vegas Solo Yolo Trip: Part 2

During my 21st birthday trip to Vegas, somehow I didn't make it down to Vegas sign. And I know it's touristy and cheesy, but I just had to go.  It was really fun to see something you see in pictures and movies all the time. And in true tourist form, I wore my Britney Spears t-shirt, I had pre-bought before the concert.

After seeing the sign, I walked down to the beautiful Venetian hotel to visit Carlo's bakery. I used to watch the show Cake Boss all the time, and their pastries just looked so good! I was happy to find out they had a location in Vegas. I got two of their specialties, the cannolis and the lobster tail. Both desserts were amazing. But the cannolis rocked my socks off!

I really wanted to pamper myself this trip. So I booked myself a day bed at the pool. The adults only pool, which made me super happy, no noisy kids. I adore kids, but I don't like to be surrounded by them on vacation.  And boy oh boy, did I love hanging at the pool. I was there a total of four hours, and the waitress just kept bringing me frozen drinks. It was over 101 degrees, so I took frequent dips in the pool. And I loved swimming, surrounded  by high rises!

When I was done at the pool, I took the most glorious nap, before heading down to the mall in the hotel, where I had booked a blow out with drybar. I've always wanted to go to one of these. I loved the yellow decorative touches, and all their products smell so good. I even ended taking some products home with me. They brought me cocktails, while chick flicks played on the Tvs, as they did my hair. I loved my blow out, nice and straight with some wavy touches, and the style lasted so long. I felt pretty.

I was so excited when the concert rolled around. They had costumes on display from some of Britney's most iconic music videos. I also got a Pina Coloda in a souvenir cup which I ended up keeping, and I turned it into a vase for faux flowers in the craft room. 

The show was amazing, and I had excellent seats. I danced throughout the whole concert. She was just pure fun and it was electric. I was so glad I went, and it just made the whole trip. I would even go again, if someone would fly me out here. 

Below is a video from the concert:

I also scrap-booked this whole trip using the Project Life app on the plane, and I even had the print order submitted an hour after I arrived home. I mod podged memorabilia from the trip at the beginning and end of the album. Here is a little video flip through of the album:

The trip was everything I hoped it would be and a perfect weekend getaway. I'm looking forward to more solo trips in my future.

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