Friday, November 13, 2015


Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. What's not to love about getting to dress up in whatever you want, hang out with friends, and eat delicious candy? It's a holiday centered around being silly, how could you not love that?

Hal and I went all out this Halloween.  We had a wedding on Halloween so we decided to make the most of my church's trunk or treat.
Double cookie monsters. What's better than that? Hal was working in Seattle all week and flew home on a red eye Thursday night.  When I got home from work on Friday I set him to work on the car's cookie monster costume. We dumpster dived at our apartment's recycling dumpster for cardboard boxes. Hal free handed the designs while I cut the shapes out and we painted the night away while watching Hocus Pocus.

I hadn't ever decorated the car before for the trunk or treat, but I'm so glad we did. All of the kids loved it. Now we'll have to think of something amazing next year to top this.
We also decided to try out cat costumes because we're evil cat owners. Tuk Tuk tolerated her costume while Pepe did not. The first dragon costume didn't quite fit him since he's so long and he kept walking backwards to try to get it off.  The second costume was more successful, but equally hated.
And lastly, on actual Halloween we went to Hal's co-worker's wedding. I think Halloween is such a fun wedding day. They had the cutest touches of Halloween all over the reception hall. I think my favorite part was his shoes. They were normal dress shoes with a skeleton feet outline. 
We had a blast with all of their fun Halloween decorations and felt so lucky that they invited us to be a part of their special day. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A little Lymey Lyme update

I haven't updated on my Lyme since July, so I thought it was due. Even if it's just for me to look back on years from now when it's in remission to remind myself of everything I went through to put it there.

October marks a year since I had the potential diagnosis of Lyme; since I started tests to confirm the diagnosis. I can't believe it's been that long. I'm coming up on my year mark since I began treatment. 1 year on antibiotics.
Since July I've had a lot of ups and downs with my treatment. My Dr. has taken me off of Malarone, which is used to fight babasia, a common Lyme co-infection and started me on a tincture instead called Sida Acuta. Unfortunately for the first time in my life I'm having an allergic reaction to something. I get large red bumps that randomly pop up and itch endlessly. I'll have 10 or so for a week, and they'll finally fade away to just make room for another set of itchy bumps to pop up.
She also started me on a new antibiotic called Refampin. It supposedly targets the body differently than other antibiotics and every time I pick it up the pharmacist stressses using a backup method of birth control. Thanks for the psa, I think I get it.

In September I started having a relapse of herxheimer reactions, where you have too much die off and your body is filled with toxins, and you feel like you're gonna die. It had been months since I had a full blown herx, so it was kind of a surprise to have some when my medication hadn't changed in a while.
Unfortunately they continued for a while. I had days where I woke up so exhausted I literally couldn't get out of bed. It's a level of exhaustion that I can't really explain, but it's not your average level of tired.

I saw my Dr. recently and my medicine regime is starting to change yet again. She wants to start phasing me off of antibiotics now that it's been almost a year, and replacing them with herbal tinctures instead. I've just started the tinctures and have to build up to something like 30 drops of each twice a day. I've also started weaning myself off antibiotics, I'll be doing three weeks on, one week off. I was kind of surprised when she suggested this because I've been so sick.
I bought this heat bed from my Dr. It's this little bed like thing I lay in that goes up to 108 degrees over 40 minutes while you just sweat your brains out. It's actually been the best thing for helping my treatment. Sweating out all the toxins has led to no sick days for the first time in over a week.
So my treatment is changing yet again and I don't really know what to think. I trust my Dr, but it's hard to feel like I'm ready to go off antibiotics when I've been so sick lately. I've been so lucky to have Hal spend all his spare time to take care of me, and friends be so kind and bring me a care package. Sometimes treatment and symptoms can be so overwhelming, but it's really comforting to know I'm surrounded by people who care about me. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cincinnatti Peace Corps Wedding Weekend

This month brought our second Peace Corps wedding of the summer. Two wonderful people, Stewart and Bret finally tied the knot in Cincinnati.
I love hanging out with RPCVs. I forget that we're all similar in the way that we're down for anything adventurous, so we started off the trip with walking from Cincinnati to Kentucky. Really, it's just over a bridge, but it was non stop raining with blowing wind and about 50 degrees outside.
Which also then took us to this really cool park along the water which was irresistible and led to going down a large metal slide which was basically a water slide in the freezing cold rain...twice.
Stewart's parents own the cutest little pink cottage I've ever seen in my entire life. I'm not joking. It was just as amazing inside as it was outside too. It was the perfect place to host a wedding, especially when like 30 former Peace Corps volunteers are all together.
 Unfortunately Hurriane Joaquin made for a cold gloomy day, but no one let that stop them from having a wonderful day and a beautiful wedding.
The food was amazing, her dress was beautiful, the people were wonderful, it seriously couldn't have been a better day. It was the perfect excuse to drive 8 hours and see so many people I haven't seen outside of Cambodia, especially since they got married 4 years to the day from when we all swore in as Peace Corps volunteers. Here's our K5 gang sign 4 years apart from each other.

Happy Wedding Stewart & Bret!! Thanks for letting all of us be a part of your wonderful day.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kiawah Weekend

After our amazing time at OBX, I continued down the coast to Kiawah Island for a very special bachelorette party.
One of my very favorite people had her bachelorette party on Kiawah island, so how could I resist? Friends? Check. Beach? Check. Have a Blast? Check.

It may have been a long drive there, but we had a good time. We went to dinner and ate brownies and chilled without the Netflix. I love when people all take the time to just talk and laugh instead of everyone being linked to their devices.

They had seen a shark the previous day so they hadn't even been in the ocean yet.
Well the beach was pretty much empty and we got right in. This was the laziest beach I've ever been too. The waves were almost non existent. it was great for relaxing in, but not so great for teaching someone to boogy board, or showing off your new found innertube tricks.

Before I headed back to DC we had to round out the trip with one last tradition.
It may have taken us 3 years to get this down, but we're getting pretty good at this jumping thing. And since I'm writing this post ahead of time, I can't wait to celebrate the wedding day of Stewart and Bret. Stewart was my very first Peace Corps friend that I made. She ended up sitting next to us on the flight to Cambodia. We shared our snacks with her, and a friendship was set pretty much right then. I'm so excited she's marrying Bret, a fellow volunteer and how great it has been to watch them get together and seeing their relationship progress.

Congrats Stewart and Bret!

Monday, October 5, 2015

OBX Part Deux

I'm so behind on blogging lately. Work has been really busy, and I guess just life has been really busy too. I guess I've reached the point where I'd rather just enjoy the moment and not worry about taking enough pictures to make a full blog post. So I'll blog when I want to instead of stressing about keeping up with all the posts and what not.

Over labor day weekend Hal and I decided to go to the Outer Banks with some friends. We went last year with 4 other couples from church and had an absolute blast, so we went again this year. This time there were 8 couples in one beach house, and we had an absolute blast.
I didn't take hardly any pictures, but just know that just means we had a fabulous time and I didn't want my phone to die on the beach. We also learned that Hal and I are pretty much the only ones who like sea foam. Something about it seems just so magical to me. So when the waves were crazy after a storm, I had to play in the seafoam.
We basically spent 3 whole days playing at the beach and never wanting to leave. We also learned that innertubes can be just as fun as boogie boards, and are much less work to ride a wave. I can't wait until beach time next summer to have more fun with the tube.

RIP beach, we'll miss you until next summer.
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