Monday, December 22, 2014

To Beard or Not to Beard

This is a discussion I've been having with a lot of women lately. Beards are apparently "in" and man is only measured by his ability to grow a full thick beard.

Hal has recently become obsessed with beard growing. He kind of just let his scruff out, and then started to notice it was much thicker than it used to be, so he let it keep growing.
I'm not going to lie, his beard was pretty impressive. He combed it and put beard oil and mustache wax in it to make sure it wasn't all crazy. It was not a bad looking beard.

But man I hated it. I hated kissing it with a passion. Mustache hairs up my nose? No thanks!
So I'm curious ladies. Where do you all stand on the whole beard thing? A few weeks ago we were with some other couples and every single girl there said they were not a fan of the beard. My best friend on the other hand apparently loves the beard. My sister in law also likes her husband better with a goatee.
Hal shaved his off for his CPA exam and I rejoiced so loud you might have heard it.

But apparently the beard is back to being grown. You may hear my tears as soon as it gets to the length of poking me in the nose.

Do you like the beard? Or is a goatee your thing? Or do you secretly want to shave it off in the night like me?

And just for a little holiday beard joy...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Funny Friday

Selfies are a funny thing. Sometimes they're just necessary, you're somewhere amazing for the first time and no one is around to take a picture. As you can see in my last post I just went to Philadelphia with some friends. We went to see the Liberty Bell in all her beautiful glory.
But the problem started when we tried to take a selfie while standing outside in the rain with our umbrellas and the Liberty Bell in the background. The first attempt was not so head was completely blocking the bell and my arm was in the way, so we kept trying.
And then it just started to go downhill from there. 
It's really hard to hold up two umbrellas to protect ourselves, and of course none of our phones have front facing flash, so we couldn't see the picture we were attempting to take.
We finally got the above picture, it was SO close, but nope. And then my phone battery got too low to use the flash. I remembered that snapchat had front flash, and below was the attempt from that.
But heck, we're returned Peace Corps Volunteers, some of the most resourceful people around. We don't give up that easily, no way, and finally the next picture ended up with magic.
I'll give twenty bucks if someone can figure out how we lit the picture above without a flash. 

Alright, I'm impatient. We used the flashlight apps on the two other phones to light ourselves and take a selfie.

And that's selfie dedication. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


A good friend of ours was speaking at a conference in New Jersey a few weeks ago. We decided we had to get together, so we met in the middle and settled on Philadelphia, which was especially fun since none of us had ever been there before.

Hal decided the night before we were supposed to leave that he should be responsible and stay home and study for his next CPA exam. Boo grownup life.

That left us with my very first all girls weekend. And it was such a blast.
Trophie and I drove up from DC, which was just a short 2 1/2 hour dive. Not bad at all. We did airbnb for the first time and it worked out perfectly. We were a 20 minute walk from downtown.
Now if only the weather had cooperated with us...right after this picture was taken it started raining, and didn't stop for the rest of the day. We were walking to what we thought were the Rocky steps. Just FYI, the Rocky steps are not the courthouse. But I'm so glad we ended up not being in the right place, because we decided to talk to the Liberty Bell and stumbled upon this treasure.
It was probably one of the best flea markets I've ever been to. We all walked away with something and I knocked out a bunch of people on our Christmas list.  We could have spent hours inside the market. Vintage clothes, pictures, ornamets, and amazing new crafts as well, jewlery, purses made from kimono fabric, and even a stand where they made their own shoes. I would highly recommend it if it's open while you're there.

Sadly we couldn't stay there all day, we had Little Cambodia to get to.
We met up with the Mullers, another married couple we served with and they showed us all of the little Cambodia sights.
We ate curry, lok lak, wedding salad and Tim even had some good 'ol frog legs. They walked us around Little Cambodia and we went inside a Cambodian grocery store, a Cambodian movie store that literally could have stepped right out of a market in Cambodia. It was so perfect. We saw the local wat that sadly wasn't open.
We said goodbye to the Mullers and headed back to the house for a few minutes to rest. Then we realized if we didn't get up and go we were going to end up spending our only night in Philly sitting on the couch, so we bundled up and headed back out into the rain.

We may have gotten splashed by some cars  and ended up a bit wet. Poor Erica got it in her mouth!
Our last stop was the Liberty Bell. We went at night since people told us not to bother waiting in the line to see it from the inside. You have no idea how much effort the below picture of all of us took for us to get, but we did it!
We had such a blast in Philly I don't think any of us were ready to leave. We fit a lot into our one day in the city and we ate so much delicious food. Even though we didn't get to see everything, it's ok because it gives us a reason to go back. Especially since Hal didn't get to come...and had food poisoning instead of studying. Poor Guy. We'll be back, we promise!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas For Him

Buying presents for boys can be hard. They like practical/useful gifts. Like makeup and pretty things are useful? When we first got married I gave Hal lots of sentimental gifts that I spent so much time making. He always put on a nice face, but seeing his reaction when I made him an emergency car kit for Valentines last year, I knew he liked it so much more than a picture book of our first year of marriage. Whatever.

So here's my little hipster guide for Christmas Gifts for the man in your life.

1. Charles Tyrwhitt Dress Shirt
White herringbone slim fit shirt
Randomly one day we received a catalog with a great coupon for a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. We had never heard of them before, but we checked out their store in DC. Hal is kind of obsessed with his dress shirt from there. His has a herringbone pattern on it, and he just loves the quality of it. Can't go wrong with a really high quality dress shirt. Plus they often have their shirts on sale for $39.

2. Personalized Tie Bar and Cuff links
Antiqued Brass Tie Clip and Cufflinks Set, Choose Any Letter - Personalized Tie Clip, Letter Tie Bar, Antiqued Brass - Made to Order
There are a ton of cuff link and tie bar sets on Etsy. You can get ones handstamped with your initials, and even include a little cute secret message on the inside of the tie bar.

3. Multi tools
There are so many cool multi tools these days, and seriously, what guy doesn't love one of these credit card sized multi tools? These just scream manly. 

4. Birchbox for Men
Hal loves his birchbox. He's had it for two years now and has lots of products he loves, from this face lotion, this shaving cream, to anything by Billy Jealousy. Let's be honest ladies, we want a well groomed man, and birchbox for men leads to that. He always gets a full sized product in his. He's gotten ties, socks, bottle openers and all sorts of cool stuff I wish I got in mine. 

5. Beard Stuff
What is up with the beard trend lately? I'm pretty sure Hal thinks having a beard is the manliest thing in the world. But when your man works in an office, he needs a well groomed beard, so get your man some soap just for his beard. I also happen to know this shop has a beard balm coming soon.              
6. Horn Comb
Hal was given this comb as a gift, and he has been kind of obsessed with it. It's manly, but pretty, and as an added plus, he will finally stop stealing your brush.                                                                      

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lyme Disease

This post is an update to the last time I posted about maybe having Lyme disease. I feel like this blog has been a bit of a downer lately, and I promise I'm not posting about this to get sympathy comments. But I know I would have liked to find a blog about what someone went through when they were diagnosed. I still get comments about my posts I did on Dengue Fever; so hopefully this will help someone in the future feel a little less alone.

Was that too dramatic? Well, then you're in for it with this post.

I had my follow up with my doctor this week. I elected to do the better non insurance covered test to get clarity on my diagnosis.
I have officially been diagnosed with Acute Lyme Disease. Poop.

After meeting with my doctor last time and thinking she was crazy because I didn't have any of the symptoms and had never noticed a tic bite, but I started to notice that I actually did have symptoms. I remembered how my shoulder hurt every day for weeks for no reason. For a while I couldn't carry my purse on that shoulder anymore. And how after I played ultimate frisbee; even though I didn't hurt anything my knee hurt so bad I couldn't go up and down stairs for a week. We went on a hike a few weeks ago and both of my knees hurt so badly afterwords even though I didn't injure them.

I've always prided myself on my memory. I have a really good memory, but lately I find myself forgetting things, or not being able to recall the word I'm looking for. I completely forgot to patch my boss into a conference call last week. It's so frustratingly not like me.

But the worst is fatigue. I had a day a few weeks ago that I literally couldn't get out of bed. I have never had anything like that before. It was kind of scary to feel like that.

I don't want to be a hypochondriac and think I have every symptom under the sun; because I don't. I don't have a lot of the worse neurological symptoms. I don't want to use this as a crutch. I've reached this weird Catch 22 point; where I don't want to give into the symptoms and use them as excuses, but I am just so exhausted most of the time. I'm exhausted when I wake up in the morning. I don't want to give into it because I was happily living my life before I knew I had this, but at the same time my symptoms seem to be getting worse, and I don't know if it's because they are actually getting worse, or if it's because I am more aware of them now.

So now I'm starting on a crazy 6 week medicine regime. My Dr. follows the international recommendations for lyme disease instead of the CDC's recommendations. I'm starting to take 3 supplements twice a day on top of the three supplements and birth control I was already taking. And then I have to ease myself onto antibiotics. Start with once a day, then twice a day, then two in the morning and once at night, then add in a second antibiotic.

It's all a little bit overwhelming honestly. I know that I will be ok, and am so lucky that while lyme is not curable, you can put it in remission. There are silver linings in this. It has gotten me to be healthier than I've ever been in my life. But I'm not to the point where any of that is comforting yet.

Honestly, I'm scared. It feels like someone just told me I have cancer. But then I feel bad for thinking that because cancer is infinitely worse. It's scary to know that I will have this for the rest of my life; and that it can come out of remission if your immune system gets low or you have to take immune suppressants. It's scary to know that I have this inside of me forever.

It's just scary, so I'm letting go of my normal crazy control and am just giving myself some time to be scared, to be sad, and eventually I'll reach the point where I'm ok and I can be comforted by those silver linings, but for now it's ok to be sad. 
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