One Year

An entire year has passed since I uprooted the life I’d been living for more than six years and moved 80 minutes away to start a new job in a new career field in a new city. As usual, in some ways it’s seemed like a long year and in other ways it seems like it was just yesterday I was moving into my new apartment. A year of “firsts” of is over; that may have been the most exciting part of this past year – experiencing all the “firsts” in my new apartment in my new city. First Thanksgiving, first holiday season, first birthday (although I actually spent that in paradise…), first run, first foster, etc.

It has not been an easy year (actually, it’s been one of the hardest), but I don’t have any regrets. So much than my job and home city have changed; as cliché as it is, events – work and personal – over the past year caused me to change but that’s not a bad thing. I am infinitely happier in my new career than I ever was in my previous one. Personally? I’m working on it every day. There will be downs – there have already been downs – but I had to move on in a new career field and allow any other changes to happen as they may.

Here are some highlights from the past year:




I think I count four chins in this photo.

Dad’s Retirement Party


Amanda’s Wedding

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St. Croix/Birthday

Battle Royale


Fleetwood Mac Concert


Pet Photo Session

Hershey Half-Marathon


I hope the next year has just as many highlights and a few less low-lights.


St. Croix, Take II

Almost exactly two years after first vacationing in St. Croix, I was back again last week. My parents are down there for five (!) weeks; they usually spend roughly 10 days in St. Croix each time they visit but since my dad retired in April, they decided to stretch it to five weeks this time and I joined them for one of those weeks for my own vacation.
And it was wonderful. A perfect mix of relaxation and exploration. I was there for a total of seven full days, including Father’s Day and my birthday, which made the whole week a bit more special. Of those seven days, four were beach days and three were touristy-type days which was the perfect mix.

The beaches were fantastic, as was the water, and the historic sights we visited were fascinating. I also must have read four books all in one week and went through wine just as quickly. Hey, it was vacation AND my birthday week.

My dad joined a gym down there and I tagged along with him for four of the days I was there (I have a CrossFit competition at the end of July so I couldn’t afford to slack on my training too much) and also dropped into the CrossFit box down there twice (shout-out to 340 CrossFit). Holy heck, no AC + CrossFit = near death. I have never, ever sweat so much in my life. And each time I went, running was involved, so in addition to lack of oxygen inside, we were subjected to ungodly hot temps outside. I still had a blast, though. It was CrossFit, after all!

All in all, it was so good to get away. I did not check work email once and was really able to disconnect and relax. Lots of time to reflect on the past year, especially on my birthday. Year 32 was the most eventful year I’ve probably ever had – some good, some not-so-good. I’ve taken steps forward in some areas of my life and steps back in others. Such is life, I suppose.

Anyway, here’s a photo dump of my wonderful week in St. Croix! And for those of you wondering, an update on what Lucy was up to while I was gone is at the end!



Estate Mount Washington


View from Hams Bluff


Whim Plantation


The only way you’d get me on a bike would be after stopping at the full bar






And Lucy? She was being dog-sat by a wonderful friend who stepped up big time when I was in a pinch. Lucy had a blast and was spoiled beyond belief. She honestly didn’t seem all that excited to see me when I got back!


Yes, a pool was bought for Lucy and the other resident dog. #spoileddogs


Told you, spoiled

In a Funk

The past two weeks or so, I’ve been in a definite funk. Not sure if it’s the fact that vacation is so close but still so far. And while it is vacation and I. cannot. wait., there’s still stress involved – making arrangements for Lucy, traveling solo, packing, etc.


Cannot wait to be back here.

I have managed my (diagnosed) depression well for quite a few years now but there are still ups and downs with the downs being probably a bit lower than the average person’s and this is just one of those down times.

But it also hit me the other day – I’ve been without a foster for just about three months now, one of my longest stretches. It’s been a conscious decision – I knew I needed to wait until after vacation – but fostering gives me such a sense of purpose; I feel lacking in purpose without a foster. So I am definitely going to foster again, I just have to find the right foster. I live in such a small apartment (680 square feet) that I’m limited to dogs who don’t need a ton of space and aren’t overly energetic (there is absolutely nowhere to burn off steam in this apartment and with it getting to be hot outside, outside time will be limited for short-nosed dogs for the foreseeable future!).


Foster #6, Blossom. Her dad sent me this photo a few weeks ago – clearly living the life!

There are still far more good days than bad days and I am loving life in my new home. I feel more refreshed than I ever did at any point during the 10-plus years in my previous career field. To be blatantly honest, it’s wonderful not being the boss anymore! Some people are meant to be bosses and while I’m not saying I’ll never be a boss of anyone again, right now it’s so freaking nice to not be in charge of anyone.

And Lucy has, of course, kept me sane and happy. I just love spending my weekends with her and while she won’t show it, I think she likes our new arrangement.


Celebrating National Best Friends Day.


There’s been a lot of this going on.


Spending lots of time outside.

A Staycation with the Doggies

This past week I was off from work for a staycation (I hate that word for some reason but it’s appropriate in this case). Marty went on the annual vacation with his family to the Poconos; I normally go but my parents were unable to watch Lucy this year and we had just paid to have Isaac dog-sat only two weeks ago when we went to St. Croix. It was easier (and much cheaper) to have me stay behind with the dogs.

Things went fine until Thursday; the dogs were well-behaved (I don’t think Isaac humped Lucy once) and while the week was a tad on the boring side, it was definitely relaxing.

Isaac clearly thought my daily afternoon naps were taking relaxing too far.

Isaac clearly thought my daily afternoon naps were taking relaxing too far.

The three of us had a nice routine each day – until Thursday.

On Wednesday night around 8 p.m., our landlord informed me he’d be over the next day at 8 a.m. to put in our new windows. Which meant I had to deal with two dogs (one of which is petrified of everything and one of which hates everyone) on my own. Fun stuff.

The minute the workers knocked on the door, Isaac went bananas and Lucy cowered in a corner. I had to pen Isaac in the kitchen, then upstairs as they worked their way to the different rooms, while Lucy was a ball of nerves. In fact, she was so scared she ran faster than I’ve ever seen her run right out the open front door, knocking over and breaking a flower pot in the process.

After 20 minutes I’d already had enough so a coach from my gym offered to take Isaac off my hands until they were done; Lucy and I then went on a long car ride until they were done.

This is pretty much what the three of us looked like the rest of the day:

I found out later that day that apparently my vet will board dogs for just $8 a day; so my word of advice? If you have more advance notice than I did, put your dogs somewhere when work is being done on your house. Lucy still hasn’t recovered; I can’t go near our curtains without her freaking out because one of them fell down in the middle of the night after they weren’t put back up properly on Thursday.

I should have a more interesting post on Monday; we’re approaching a year (!) of fostering Isaac and I’m hoping that on Monday we’ll take a major step toward making him more adoptable.

PS – The week of relaxation allowed me to PR at my first 5k in 8-9 years with a time of 22:39, good for third in my age group and 58th of over 1,000 runners. Probably the highlight of my week – I never do well at athletic endeavors!