Tag Archives: summer vacation

Home, Sweet Home!

Oh man is it good to be back home!!! Obviously we had a lot of fun while we were in Branson, but I was very ready to get back home and see my puppies! All of which we did. 😉

We packed up the truck, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by about 1:30 pm yesterday. So we got home around 4:30, which wasn’t bad! But we ha d a lot to do when we got home! First we had to put the chickens outside (they were staying in our spare bedroom since it was so hot and I wasn’t going to be here all day to take care of them while we were gone) and start cleaning up the mess they made. That’s been a super long process that involved having to buy an air filter because all of the dust they created was really bothering my asthma.

But before we were able to do that we had to run to Tractor Supply to get more chicken feed, dog food, and cat litter. After that we made our way to the kennel to pick up the dogs. Haha for whatever reason the lady who runs it wasn’t there so we had to wait for a few minutes, but I was perfectly fine with that because I got to play with her goats again! But she didn’t take long to get there and get the whole dog situation squared away. Haha the dogs were sure happy to see us and didn’t even give the goats a thought as we were loading them into the truck! Pretty impressive for a group of border collies. 😉

After we picked them up we had to run back home, drop them off (but in the backyard because they all smelled terrible), and then we were off to Walmart to get the air filter thing I was talking about and a few groceries since we basically had no food at the house haha. So after we got home from all of that, Luke bathed the dogs while I did more work on the bedroom. I felt like I was in there forever but didn’t get a lot done haha. But it was getting late and I still needed to shower, so I did that and then Luke and I went to bed.

Luckily today though I was able to get that room mostly cleaned out. There is still a bit of a mess in there, but it’s sooo much better than it was yesterday! Today I also had to unpack everything, do a ridiculous amount of laundry and just get the house clean in general. But I got all of that accomplished, and even had some time to dye my hair! Haha it’s been a busy and productive day. 😉 But Luckily that means I shouldn’t have a lot to do tomorrow and will finally be able to relax a bit.

So yeah, just wanted to do a quick little update to let you know that we made it home in one piece and the dogs don’t hate us for leaving them in a kennel for almost 5 days haha. I’ve got a lot more to talk about for tomorrow though, so be on the lookout for that! Some exciting stuff is officially kicking off tomorrow. 🙂

But for now, I’ll wish you a very happy Saturday and be on my way, because I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done tonight. Until tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 4

Today was our last full day here. Tomorrow, probably at some point in the morning we’re going to be heading bark home to Kansas. We’ve had a pretty good time here, but oh man do I miss my puppies! Haha I’m sure they’re doing fine, we haven’t gotten a call from the kennel or anything so that’s a good sign. 😉

Anyway, this morning I got to enjoy my breakfast and coffee on our front porch and hang out with Luke’s mom, before it got too crazy hot. We had a heat warning today and I believe it was the hottest day we’ve had while we’ve been here.

While we were hanging out Luke and my brother-in-law went to Walmart to replace the fishing stuff that got stolen yesterday. Honestly no one is too upset about losing the cheap fishing poles, it’s just my leatherman’s tool that literally everyone is upset about. Haha it kinda feels nice to know that everyone cares so much just because that thing meant so much to me. It still really sucks that some asshole stole it…

Anyway, once Luke and my brother-in-law got back from Walmart we got all of our fishing gear ready and then headed down to the river. I didn’t stay out long though. It was crazy hot out and we were under a heat advisory, and you all know how well I do in the heat. 😂 So after like, 15 minutes I went back up to the cabin haha.

Pretty much everyone else went off to do their own thing, so I was alone for awhile. I kinda started to get our stuff packed but up and in order so we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow, and then I just kinda chilled by myself and read a book. 🙂

Then this evening we had a big family cookout with like, over 20 people. Every one was grilling and hanging out and having a good time. But then a thunderstorm rolled in. Every one had to rush around to get everything off of the grills, put stuff inside, and round up all of the children. But once that was done a bunch of us just stood out in it and watched it. Hahaha we ended up getting soaking wet, but we stayed out in it the whole time!

Once the storm past we were able finish up our festivities. After everyone ate we went down to the river and swam for a little bit. Now we’re back in the cabin and getting ready to play some board games!

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 2

I was hoping I was going to be able to run while we were here, but the little town near the cabins we are staying in is super shady, and I don’t have my pistol (we’re in Missouri so I can conceal and carry without a permit anyway), and I forgot my pepper spray. So I’m thinking that’s gonna be a no go.

Not that it matters much anyway. We had a little too much fun in the river yesterday (meaning me, Luke, and on of my brother-in-laws ((the other one who was with us is underage)) had a little too much to drink. 😉). It was fun though!! But after all of that and then going to bed super late, I probably wouldn’t have run this morning anyway. 😂

More pictures from yesterday:

I finally got to play with my Garmin VIRB! I’ve had it for over a year, but haven’t really had a reason to do much with it. But anyway, sorry that all of the photos are just stacked instead of in a nice little collage. I’m doing this all on my phone so I can’t do that stuff. And honestly even if I could, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around with stuff like that and make these posts pretty. 😉

Anyway, woke up this morning to Luke cooking breakfast. That was pretty awesome!! 😄 Luke, me, and one of his younger brothers ate breakfast, got ready, and then had to wait for everybody else to get ready to go. Luke’s mom had a bunch of stuff planned for today and we wanted to leave the cabins by 8 am. But of course we didn’t. Haha but we were only 20 minutes behind our schedule, so that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Especially considering all of the small children that our in our group.

So when I was told we had a busy day today, I thought that meant we were actually going to do fun stuff. But nope. Our group split for a little bit, and everyone who had small children went to some kids thing, and we went to two army surplus stores and then Bass Pro shop…Not gonna lie, I don’t understand the appeal of going on vacation just to go shopping, but whatever.

Just a fun sign I saw in one of the army surplus stores bathrooms. I had to go through their backroom yo get to the bathroom and it was weird. 😂

After we were done shopping and the people with kids were done with their thing, we all ate lunch, met back up, and went to this animal safari thing. For the most part, I wasn’t a fan… The enclosures for the animals at the park thing were just pitifully small and didn’t have much going on. It was really sad. One of the tigers was just pacing around his small little area. Poor thing.

The actual safari part was a little better. All of the animals out there got to roam around in herds and obviously loved getting treats. Our tour guide was telling us that some of the herd animals they had were rescues and being rehabilitated, so I guess that was something. Still though, I wasn’t entirely sold that their whole operation was a good thing. It was kinda fun feeding the animals.

After the slightly depressing animal “safari” we all went to a pizza buffet thing to celebrate one of Luke’s brother’s birthday’s a little bit early. After everyone ate we played in their arcade for a little bit. Now that was a lot of fun! We played a few games, rode go karts, and several people cleaned out the claw machines! Luke won me a blue llama on his very first try which was freaking sweet! I named him Carl. 😉 Then he won a pink llama, who still had no name, and the worlds cutest hedgehog, who is apparently named Hans. Haha so obviously I’m the world’s happiest camper!

That place closed at 9 pm, so that’s when he left haha. We’re currently on our way back to the cabins and I think we’re gonna have a bonfire once we get there. That should be fun!

Anyway, that’s all for today! Tomorrow is gonna be a more laid back day because we don’t have anything planned. We’ll probably spend some more time in the river though. 😉 Happy Tuesday!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: July 9th-15th, 2018

Woohoo!! I was back at it this week! 🙂

Well, kinda haha. I didn’t get as much done as I probably should have, but I still ran, and did a little bit of strength training, and stretching, and that’s much better than nothing!

And Good thing too! Because this week was the last week before our little family trip to Branson, Mo. I’m not sure how much running I’m going to be able to get done while we’re there. Luckily we won’t be gone for long. We’re leaving tomorrow morning and will be driving back home by Friday, so it’s nothing too crazy.

Monday:

  • 4 treadmill miles
  • 13 minutes of yoga

Kicked off the week with 4 miles on the treadmill! We had anther air quality alert from Sunday-Monday evening, so I figured it was best to do my run indoors. Had a little fun with this run and did kind of a ladder workout. Increased my pace incrementally  going up and then back down. It was actually a lot of fun!

Is it just me, or has this summer been particularly brutal?!? We’ve been getting heat and air quality warning like crazy here in Kansas. Hopefully the next 3 months wont end up as more of the same…

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Tuesday:

  • 3 more treadmill miles
  • 15 minutes of strength work

Tuesday brought another heat and air quality advisory with it. So another treadmill run was had. Haha Luckily Luke and I have been going for short little walks in the evening. Obviously that’s not gonna be the same as the pounding I’d do while running on the asphalt, but at least I’m still spending a little bit of time out on the roads. Photo is from the night before on one of our walks, because running on the treadmill doesn’t exactly come with very exciting views. 😉

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Wednesday: 

  • 15 minutes of pilates
  • 10 minutes of stretching

The heat warning continues!! I didn’t think it was safe for me to run outside and I really didn’t want to get on the treadmill again, so no run for me on Wednesday. Did a few other things in place of running though, so there’s that!

Haha so, since it’s been so hot out I’ve been having to keep ice in the chicken coop to keep them cool! They do not like being so hot, so it’s been kinda hard on them. But they’re doing ok. Every couple of hours I have to run out there, change their water, and give them more ice.

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Thursday: 

  • 3.33 treadmill miles

More time on the treadmill. Fun! 😉 I just kinda hopped on with the intent to see just how long I could stay on. Apparently the answer was 3.33 miles. About then I was absolutely dying of boredom. Haha but at least it was something! Thursday night Luke and I went on yet anther little walk around the neighborhood. It was hot, humid, and gross, but still kinda nice. At least the sunset was pretty. 🙂

 

Friday:

  • Did lots of work in the garden

So, yet another day without a run, but I was still pretty busy!! I spent quite a bit of time weed eating in and around the garden, pulling weeds, watering the plants, pruning back my tomatoes a little bit, and then picking and washing tomatoes and a few zucchini. Oh and did I mention it was another crazy hot day? Haha because of course it was! We are in desperate need of some rain and a break from all of this heat…

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Saturday:

  • 3 miles

Oh hey! I ran outside on Saturday!! It was the first day in like, 3 weeks I think, that we haven’t had a air or heat warning and the first day in forever where the high was only 85. Crazy stuff, man! So obviously I had to get out while the weather was a little more decent! Unfortunately it was still pretty humid and I only ended up making it 3 miles before I felt like death and had to quit. Haha the humidity and heat just saps everything out of me…But I ran outside and I was still very happy about that! Even if it wasn’t a good run.

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And then FINALLY, Saturday afternoon we had a little thunderstorm roll through! It rained for a little over an hour and then stayed cloudy for pretty much the rest of the day which was great! We really needed the rain and a little break from the sun. It was fantastic!! But unfortunately it’s not looking like we’ve got much of a chance of that happening again anytime soon. There’s supposedly a few chances for more rain next week, but they’re really low; 30 and 40%. But hopefully that will change and we’ll get more rain. It’s been terribly dry and hot here and we need as much rain as we can get! Even if it does make the air more humid. 😉

 

Sunday:

  • 2 miles

On Sunday my mother-in-law, her two kids (haha obviously Luke is her kid, and so is my brother-in-law. And obviously they are my brother and sister in law as well, but really I just consider them to be more of my brother and sister. Haha it’s just that our family, especially Luke’s side, is really big and gets kinda confusing and I don’t want to have to go over all of that on here. That is a lot of long stories that are not mine to tell. So, for all intents and purposes, this is what I’m going with hahaha), and her boyfriend stopped here on their way from Minnesota, which is where they live now, to Branson, MO. They didn’t stay long, they just wanted to take a little pit stop on their way there, and we’re gonna be there on Monday anyway, so it’s not like we’re not going to see each other again for a while. So they just kinda hung out for an hour or so and then hit the road again.

And once they left I did too! But on foot. 😉 It was yet another super hot, super humid day, but I wanted to run outside again, so I did 2 easy miles. Well, they were slow anyway. Haha they sure didn’t feel easy! But I know it was good for me. Doing tough summer runs like that is only going to make fall running (and hopefully training for and then doing those two half marathons is two days) that much more enjoyable!

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Total weekly mileage: 15.36 

Meh, that’s not that great. But honestly it’s a lot better than I thought I was gonna do, so I’ll take it!

Anyway, I spent a lot of time yesterday packing for our family trip and today I’ve finished that up, gotten all of the animals situated, and took care of everything in the garden that I had wanted to do before we leave. So we should be good to go! Tomorrow morning we’re going to drop the dogs off at the kennel, which is going to be terrible and heart-wrenching and I’m not looking forward to it. Every other time we’ve ever gone anywhere we’ve either been able to bring the dogs with us (can’t do that this time. The owners of the cabins we’re staying in don’t allow pets), they’ve stayed with my mom and dad or Luke’s dad, or someone has been able to stay at home with them. But this time we couldn’t do any of that. So a kennel it is! And my family owned a kennel, I grew up working in it, so I know they’re gonna be fine. It’s just that they’re gonna be so sad and confused because they’ve never been to one before and they’ve never been left alone with people they don’t know (except for Dean who got neutered and had to stay at the vet over night, but that was the only time). They’re probably going to whine, cry, be pitiful, and not eat the whole time they’re there and like, think we’ve abandoned them or something. And that just makes me sad haha.

Obviously it works for some dogs. Sure, they miss their owners, but they’re friendly, like other dogs and people, and think they’re just on some fun adventure. Like I said, I worked in a kennel, I’ve known many, many, many, dogs like that. I’ve also known dogs like mine who don’t particularly like other dogs or people (it’s just a border collie thing. They have their family and they don’t care about anything else) and don’t understand why they’d ever get left behind. Dogs like that tend to be a pain in the ass at a kennel and don’t eat. I hope they don’t cause too much trouble. My dogs don’t listen to people the don’t know/like, so that could be a problem…but I just kinda foresee them being sad and pathetic the whole time they’re there and that just kinda makes me sad haha.

Like with our Florida trip last year, I’ll probably be posting our adventures here everyday. Not sure how that’s all gonna go down since Luke and I are really tight on cash right now and after gas to get there and back we’ll only have about $200 while we’re there.  So we probably won’t be doing much…

Anyway, I hope you had a fantastic week and are staying cool! Happy Sunday!

~Ashley

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It’s Going To Be A Long Summer…

Good thing I have a treadmill now, because this keeps happening…

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I can’t run outside in this!

Well, technically I could, but it probably wouldn’t end well for me. Especially not with that air quality warning. So I’m just gonna stick with my treadmill for now and hope that I’ll get at least one day this week that I’ll be able to run outside, because I’m not exactly confident in my ability to run anymore than 5 miles on the treadmill haha. I did 7 a few weeks ago, but I wanted to absolutely die by the time I was done. 😂

Plus training for “Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” officially starts on the 22nd of this month, and I’d really like to do most of those runs outside. Having the treadmill is nice, but it’s just not the same as running on the road. And since both half marathons I’m doing in November on on the road (well, part of one is on a paved trail 😉 ), I know it would be best to do a pretty good majority of my running on the roads. But if this weather keeps up I’m gonna have to suck it up and run on the treadmill. I’d rather do that than risk my health by running outside in dangerous weather conditions. Says the girl who intentionally runs during thunderstorms and has an absolute blast running on ice haha. But for real though, I’m really sensitive to the heat and I have asthma. It’s not bad, but I still have to be careful when the air quality sucks.

So I’m not exactly thrilled about the weather and the prospect of starting out my half marathon training mostly on the treadmill. But at least I have that option now! If we would have had this kind of weather last summer, before I had the treadmill, I’d have been completely screwed. Sure I’ve got the stationary bike, but that probably wouldn’t really help that much. But anyway, I haven’t really been completely stuck inside. Luke and I have been going for little walks in the evening, right around sunset, so it’s not too crazy hot out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot, humid, and gross out. But it’s decent enough to go for short walks in. I’m not confident enough to actually run in it though haha. But at the very least I’m getting outside and moving around a little bit.

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I’m currently dreaming of chilly October nights. 🍂🌙🦇🎃

What really sucks about this weather is that while we’ve had plenty of heat, we’ve had hardly any rain. Like, it’s for real been weeks since we’ve gotten any rain, and the last time we did it really wasn’t much. So I’ve been kinda struggling to keep our garden going. All of our plants are just wilty and sun burnt. But I have gotten a pretty decent amount of strawberries and blueberries! I think I’m getting towards the end of those plants producing though. I’ve got 3 nice little watermelons growing, my peaches are slowly starting to get bigger, and my zucchini plants are producing like crazy! And my tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe! The plants have had little green fruit on them for a while now, but it’s been so crazy hot that it’s taking forever for them to turn red. I picked a whole bunch of nice little cherry tomatoes yesterday though!

We’ve also been keeping the tiny raptors outside for the last week or so. They’re finally big enough to keep out in the coop, and obviously we haven’t had to worry about it being too cold for them! I run out there to check on them several times a day though. I don’t want them getting too hot. But so far they seem to be doing really well!!

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They’re getting moved back inside this weekend though, but only for a little bit. Our family trip to Branson, Mo is next week and we don’t want them outside while we’re gone. Luckily they’ll only actually be on their own for 3 full days. Luke and I are leaving Kansas on the 16th, probably in the late morning. First we have to drop the dogs off at a kennel. I grew up working in a kennel, so obviously I know they’ll be fine, but they’ve never been boarded before, so I know they’re gonna be completely freaked out. Poor babies… Luckily the’re all going to be kept in the same kennel run together, so I think that will help. I’m going to make it very clear that I do not want them separated. Sometimes they growl and snap at each other and when they play it can look like they’re actually fighting, but they’re not. They just work things out between each other like that.  And if you know dogs then you probably know that, but some people tend to freak out the second teeth start snapped at each other. But anyway, then we’ll be in Branson the 17th, 18th, and 19th, and then we’re driving back home on the 20th. It’s only a 4 hour drive, so I think if we leave early enough we’ll be there in time to pick up the dogs before the kennel closes. If not then I guess they’ll just have to spend another night there.

Anyway, I got the dogs’ vet records for the kennel this morning and I’ve kinda sorta started packing for this trip. Haha I guess I should get on that, huh? I mean, I’ve made a list and pretty much know everything that Luke and I are gonna need, so that counts for something, right? We’ll both probably still wait until the night before we leave to actually pack. 😉

But that’s all for today! How’s the weather where you are? Hopefully better that it is here in Kansas…

Your treadmill bound friend,

~Ashley

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Hello Kansas!!

Thank the Lord baby Jesus we are finally home!!!!

So Saturday/Sunday I rode in a bus with Luke’s mom’s family from Florida to Illinois. We spent 22 ish hours on a cramped, small, uncomfortable, bus. The ride was only supposed to take 14 hours…but oh well, we finally made it to our respective families houses in Illinois. So I stayed at my grandma’s house. That was really nice though, I always enjoy spending time with her. 😄

So last night I took my uncle’s new dog, Luther (who I’m 90% sure is part pit bull and maybe part border collie) for a walk last night. Haha I’m used to my 3 border collies who are all very high energy, in very good shape, and can go on very long walks with me, so it was kinda funny that Luther could barely make it a mile. I mean, he enjoyed the walk and he tried really hard, but near the end I kinda had to drag him to keep him going haha. My uncle doesn’t exactly walk him so I guess he’s not used to it. That’s alright though, we both had fun and he was nice and tired last night. 😁

But our short little walk, and drinking lots of water has helped the swelling in my ankles go down. They’re still a little bit stiff and swollen from the 22 hour bus ride, but they were much better this morning. 

Yesterday verses this morning.


So anyway, this morning I hung out with my grandma for a little bit, and then Luke (who was stayed at his dad’s house last night) came to get me at 9:30 am, and then we were off to Kansas! Except not really, because Luke forgot some stuff at his dad’s house and we had to stop back there before we could leave. But we did and it was all good. 😄

 After an uneventful 5 hour drive back home (which felt kinda short after the drive to and from Florida), we came back to a house of dogs who were very excited to see us (Finn wouldn’t let the other dogs get near me haha), a very sad garden full of weeds and dead and dying plants, and the house is a huge wreck and a lot of stuff seems to be broken…so I’m dealing with that right now. Fun times. But hopefully by tomorrow things will mostly be back in order. 


Until next time! 

~Ashley

Hello Illinois!!!!

I don’t I’ve ever been happier to be here! I also never ever ever want to step foot into another bus like that ever again. Haha I guess you’ll see why I feel that way by the end of this post. 

We left the rental house in Florida around 9 am yesterday. We drove for a while and took a slight detour once we got to Georgia. Luke’s mom wanted to stop in Senoia, GA because that’s where they film a lot of The Walking Dead, along with several other movies and TV shows. 

So we got out and walked around a bit. It was pretty neat to see some of the stuff from the show. We saw the walls and some of the houses and a church from Woodbury, the train tracks that led to terminus, and we saw The Walking Dead cafe (although it was closed when we got there). Plus the town was super pretty in general and it was kinda nice to be able to walk around and stretch our legs. 


(Sorry about how awkward and not so pretty this post probably looks with all of these photos. I didn’t bring my laptop with me, so I’ve had to post from my phone and obviously I have a lot less control over that kinda thing on mobile.)

Anyway, after we had seen everything that we wanted to see in town, we all piled back into the bus and we drove around to see a few other of The Walking Dean sets. We also saw the cemetery that was Pet Sematary. I’ll admit that was really neat, even if it was only a brief glance and I couldn’t take any pictures. I’ve officially seen that and the hotel where Stephen King wrote The Shining, so I’m on happy Stephen King fan. 😄

After our little The Walking Dead tour, we tried to continued on our way. After a while we stopped to get food and Luke and his mom switched out so Like cold drive for a while and his mom could rest. 

I ended up kinda in and out of sleep for most of the time that Luke drove. The bus we were on was super cramped, super uncomfortable, and not designed for long road trips like this, so sleeping comfortably was out of the question. I ended up leaning my pillow on the table in front of me, leaning forward at the waist, and sleeping like that. It was kind of awful. Anyway, I fell asleep a little after we passed Nashville and swhen I woke up we were pulling off the interstate to get gas and I saw a sign that said we were in Marion, Illinois. I swear I’ve never in my life been so happy to be in Illinois! 
After we got gas  Luke and his mom switched places and she drove the last 2 and a half ish hours back to our final destination. Except Luke and I never exactly made it there. We went passed Luke’s’ dad’s house and she ended up dropping us off there, and from there was going to drop off Luke’s step sisters and their whole group off at their mom’s house, and then she, her two remaining kids, and her boyfriend were finally going to their final destination (which was Luke’s grandma’s house). The trip from Florida to Illinois was supposed to take 14 hours ended up taking us closer to 21…

Anyway, I have no idea if any of them made it, but she dropped us off without our suitcases and just told us that later in the day we could all meet up at Luke’s grandma’s, get our luggage, and then help clean out the bus. I’m not sure when we’re going to do that, but I guess it’ll probably happen later this evening. 

Anyway, after we were dropped off at Luke’s dad’s house, we hung out there with him, Luke’s step mom, and his 2 other brothers for a while. The Luke dropped me off at my grandma’s house, and they all went to have Lunch at his other grandma’s house. 

So after I talked to my grandma for a little bit, I took a much needed shower (luckily I had a clean shirt in my carry on bag, but I had to put my dirty pants back on. Oh well.), washed my tattoos for the first time since Florida (although I did put a little bit of A&D on them in the bus), took a nap, and now she’s currently making sure I get good and fed. 😄

So yeah, my day has definitely improved, but it started off pretty rough. And while I was in the shower I noticed that my ankles were CRAZY swollen! Like seriously, it was bad. I guess I should have brought my compression socks with me on this trip, but I totally forgot…

Yeah, see that big lump? That shouldn’t be there…


Luckily the swelling went down a bit while I was napping, but their still pretty stiff, swollen, and uncomfortable. So right now my primary objective is drinking lots of water, and I’ll probably take my uncle’s dog, Luther for a walk tonight once it cools off a bit. Hopefully that will help with all the swelling. But for now I’ve got my feet elevated and I’m drinking lots of water, like I said. 


Anyway, that’s all I’ve got from now! I hope you have a great Sunday! 

~Ashley