My Favorite Thing

28 April 2014

When I look back at my day, most often my favorite part is spending time with my dog. I love my husband, family, and friends and I wish I had more time with them, but often my days are too busy to just relax with the people I care about.

As a result, one of the few times I get to be happy and carefree is when I get to be with Odin. Recently we've been riding to the dog park every day to run around and meet friends. Now that it's warm we are making lots of new friends there! 

One of the best parts about where I work right now is that it is so close to home that I can come home during a lunch break and take Odin on a walk. 

I've been very lucky with my dog and while we are still working on some training, I can without a doubt say that he's is one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

I leave you with a video of Odin playing fetch. Mostly because I'm so excited (yes, six months in and still excited) to have a dog that plays fetch. Sorry to swoon over my dog here but these thoughts come to me all the time and I feel like I don't express on my blog just how much of a difference Odin has made in my life.


Build Up

23 April 2014

I'm currently working on a paper that involves some basic research on the Gardasil vaccine. I realize that I find it rather interesting, but that trying to find sources that are not cluttered with scientific jargon proves to be difficult. It actually makes me excited to begin school in the fall. Hopefully this will be a little easier with practice!

In other news, I ran a mile yesterday on top of going to Jazzercise for a full session. I'm feeling good! Well, I mean, I'm proud of myself... but my body is a little achey today. That's a good thing too though.

Happy Hump Day!

Staying on Top

22 April 2014

It's so close to the end of the semester and that means I am juggling four or five different assignments at any given time. Right now I'm trying to pick one, finish it, then move on to the next. The end of the semester also means I'm signing up for my summer courses (which is never as easy at it sounds). The good news is there is roughly a two week break between spring and when I begin Organic Chemistry at the end of May. 

Right now I'm trying to maintain a balanced life of school, work, friends, and time outdoors with Odin. Exercise is starting to climb back up now that it's warm and I have my fitbit charged again. 

Here's what I consider staying on top of things:
- See at least two friends a week
- Work out at least three times
- Finish all assignments at least a day before their due date
- Fulfilling all obligations (work, church, others...)

Skyland Resort

18 April 2014

One of my best friends, Allison, came back to America from Leeds for the week and to celebrate being reunited with headed up into the mountains. For the first time in my history of visiting Skyline Drive I ate food that I had not packed for a picnic on a trail.We met at Skyland Resort, about 45 miles south from the northern end of the Drive and ordered some (adorably themed) drinks and a hummus plate. We chatted for hours over the meal on top of the mountain catching up on our lives. 

The views from the Resort were spectacular. I'm a camper myself, but maybe one day I'll splurge and spend some extra cash on a cabin up here. The views are probably worth it.

Since we didn't have a bunch of time and we wanted to be able to talk instead of huff and puff on our entire journey we jumped into her car listening to some music and decided to chat as we drove to Big Meadows about nine miles south on the Drive. 

Along the way we stopped at each overlook and leaned against the car to take in some views. Of course we snapped some pictures as we're both kind of addicts. 

Triumphantly taking on the urge to block every panoramic view. 

Allison and I climbed around on outcrops and were braving heights that each of us had been nervous about prior. 

This shot actually wasn't posed. She had just climbed up six or seven feet from the ledge below. I really adore her.

I swear i went out to the edge of that outcrop there. Sometimes I just get overwhelmed with how beautiful our valley is here. 

We drove back to Skyland and the sun was slowly sinking. We talked and talked and it felt like no time had passed since we last spoke and hung out together. It's amazing how true friendships can withstand time and distance. 

Allison and I will always share the Park together and laughing over dramatic and girly things together. I am so thankful for the way our lives just happened to cross paths. 


This week has been filled with drinks, hugs, high fives, and congratulations; I have officially been accepted into pharmacy school. I'm very excited to get started in this program and it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. What a relief to know that come the fall I will be truly on the path of my future career. A sense of proud accomplishment has washed over me and there is a strong motivation to prove myself, so, here's to a great four years in my new program!

Skyline Drive: Lands Run

16 April 2014

On Sunday afternoon my family went up to Skyline Drive and hiked the Lands Run trail. A year ago Noah and I did this with my friend Allison and had a great time so we thought bringing the family here would be a good choice. 

At Dickey's Ridge visitors center with a great view. 

Since we brought the pup with us we had to take turns going into the visitors center. While I waited under a tree Odin sniffed around then sat right next to me almost as if he was looking at the mountains and contemplating the meaning of life.

Before hitting the trail we ate our lunch (I had hummus and pretzels!) and we chatted. The van made a great travel car for our adventure because Odin got a great space to move around and we had a semi-built in picnic table. 

This was Odin's first foray into a stream and I was very excited. My love of water has had me hoping all winter long that he would take to it like I do. What do you know? He does! He was splashing around a little and grabbing drinks. Next stop - lake house. 

I sat down to take a picture and Odin knows me so well that he sat right on the mossy rocks beside me and faced the camera with no command. What a ham. 

It reminded me of my childhood years. Most of my memories with my dad are of band concerts and hiking on Skyline Drive. It was cool to do this as a family unit again because we haven't done that in probably five years. 

All in all we had a great trip up to Skyline Drive, as always, and it's got me aching to get back out in the sunshine and hit all the trails. The summer weather has given me an itch.

PSA - Totally had a tick on me when I got home. So, with the good comes the bad. Be sure to check yourselves after outdoor activities cause those little buggers are sneaky.

Ladies Day Canoeing

15 April 2014

Ashley and I hit up the lake last Friday and decided to canoe. We haven't had the opportunity to do this together yet and we were both pretty excited.

The day started off with us grabbing lunch at Bonnie Blue and chatting about guys, interviews, school and graduation. After lunch we decided it was a warm enough day (compared to the terrible winter we just had) that we had to get outside. The sun wasn't directly on us but it kept us warm while we paddled around the islands. This was the first time for me being in the back of the canoe. You really have all the control when it comes to stearing and a lot of the pushing! I have a whole new appreciation for Noah taking the back all these years.

Getting out with Ashley is exactly what I needed. I feel so thankful!

Bonnie Blue

14 April 2014

Last week I stopped in at Bonnie Blue twice. Once I met my mother-in-law for coffee before my pharmacy interview and later I met Ashley for lunch. It's a unique lunch spot in our town. I hesitant to call it a lunch spot even because it's a little short on both parking and tables to eat at. A lot of people order their food to go. 

Blue serves Route 11 potato chips, has signs plastered on their windows for local events, and has handwritten signs with a very stylized interior. 

I will say there's practically nothing vegetarian. You can grab a few sides to go and it's pretty good for coffee. However, if you eat meat you're in heaven. They've got lots of fresh cooked choices for you. 

All in all I would say you have to try it if you live in Winchester because there's no other place in town quite like it. 

Walky Dog

08 April 2014

It's a day with blue skies here after some rain and I'm enamored. All the overcast days from the past few months seem to have seeped into me and I'm just starting to get my pep back!

Last week my Walky Dog leash came in too. So now I'm testing it out with Odin. Having a lot of fun with it so far though it is a little weird to have another creature attached to your bike with you. Looking forward to finding more roads around here that I can bike on.

Spring Mornings

02 April 2014

Finally, finally, we are getting some spring weather mornings here. Did I mention that it snowed again last week? Yuck! This morning I woke up and heard the birds outside chirping at 6:30 and I was excited. Odin and I headed out for a walk around our neighborhood just to get outside and experience that morning sun. It was lovely.

Harry Potter World

01 April 2014

...via iPhone

So, yes, I am still trying to convince myself that I'm fine not having my D40's pics any more... but let's be honest and say that it still really sucks to lose pictures from my trip to a place that I actually had on my bucket list. But, moving past that....

Harry Potter World was amazing. As a lifelong Potter-addict, it was so exciting to be there. I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up a little bit when walking through Hogsmeade. Yes, I'm that geeky about it. 

Favorite things:
-Buying a wand (yes I have a wand now!!)
-The Forbidden Journey through Hogwarts Castle
-The atmosphere and scenery
-Going to the bathroom and having them styled with Moaning Myrtle talking to you

Things that are over-hyped:
-Butterbeer (it's good, but it's basically just cream soda... not as special as a lot of people make it out to be)
-Ollivander's. Buying a wand is cool, but waiting 45 minutes to see a three minute show is NOT. 

I think I would have been happy to sit in HP World all day but alas we toured through all of universal. I really liked the Marvel character area too. I like the x-men. I even had a picture with Rogue, my mother-in-law, and Wolverine but that's gone too. I'd like to remember acting goofy with them forever though. ;) 

All-in-all, Universal isn't quite as magical as Disney Land (I like the commitment from the employees in the animal kingdom), but the rides are more fun and you get many different atmospheres/feelings in Universal that you don't get in just one park at Disney. 

If you're a Harry Potter fan, you definitely need to get your booty down to Orlando one day!
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