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What’s Up, Buttercup?

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Life has been super busy this past month and I realize I haven’t been too chatty on here. Oh sure, advice posts and a couple outfits thrown in, but little with what’s going on beyond the blog.

Emerson’s enjoying kindergarten so much, and it’s crazy how much she has changed since she began school. She has picked up new mannerisms, phrases, and incredibly goofy jokes that only make me laugh because of her hysterical snort-filled laughter after sharing the punchline. She has a bunch of friends, but plenty of elementary school drama where so and so cut in line, someone else said something mean on the playground, and another person who made her angry yesterday is now her newest friend. Usually when I come home from work she says the day was “fine” and I have to force any details out of her, but after we’ve read bedtime stories together and turn out the light, we have a bit of time snuggling on her bed and she then shares her day beyond her homework assignment. I’m treasuring this time because I know all too soon I’ll be lucky to get “fine” from her no matter the time of day!

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Me and Karl in Charlottesville; the top in October 2006, the bottom this past weekend

Last weekend, Karl and I headed down to Charlottesville, Virginia for the weekend. We last visited in October 2006 and it was one of our best trips together. I revisited posts I wrote on a now-defunct personal blog regarding that trip and it’s so funny to see how different we are eight years later, but still how much fun we have together when we travel. We did completely different things this trip, stayed in a different hotel, but we did stop by Monticello to eat one of Jefferson’s figs (on our last trip we toured Monticello and thought it was so cool to pick figs from trees planted in Jefferson’s time). Since our last visit, Monticello is set up differently so we’d have to take the tour to visit the trees; we didn’t have enough time so we just bought some seeds so we can plant a bit of Monticello in our vegetable garden.

This weekend away reminded me how wonderful short trips can be. Long vacations take so much planning and can be so busy you feel you need a vacation after your vacation. Charlottesville is only 2-3 hours from us so the drive doesn’t wear us out and there’s no need to pack a lot of stuff. I was able to fit everything from shoes to curling iron in my Everlane Weekender and we didn’t have to refuel the car until we got home.  We'll be doing more short jaunts in the future.

Before we left for Charlottesville, I had an appointment with my orthopedist. A month ago I visited and he said the bones (the two parts of my radius and the bone graft) weren’t fusing, so I had to keep a brace on to protect my arm from re-breaking and couldn’t start physical therapy. Well Friday they did x-rays and the bones are fusing! I now only need to wear the brace when in a crowded situation where I could get bumped (mall, concert, riding the Metro), or when driving (in case of a fender bender, can’t be too safe). SUCH good news because if it hadn’t fused, I would need another operation where they’d have to replace the graft with a portion of my tibia. I start physical therapy this week and can’t wait to get my wrist working and gain back the strength in my right hand! Nice to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

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The day of the big snip, wearing it sleek, and showing there's still enough for a little ponytail

Though it’s been in outfit posts for over a month and I shared it on Instagram, I never mentioned on the blog that I cut my hair. In August or so I had my hair cut to around my shoulders, but a few weeks ago I went with a graduated bob. While my hair in the front still is the same length as before, the back is short enough that I feel a breeze on my neck when wearing a crewneck. It takes far less time to dry and style, and I’m having fun playing with it. Sometimes I do it sleek and straight, but usually I do it in a messy combination of waves and curls and the natural fizz that happens. The older I get the less I want to waste precious time on my hair, especially when it just returns to its natural state with some humidity, sweat, or rain. I think I'll be keeping it shorter for a while.

Since Whole30, I have really changed up my eating habits. While I’ll still indulge in an ice cream cone or cheeseburger with bun, those treats are now treats and not the norm. I have only had pasta once and it wasn’t as awesome as I remembered it. I don’t eat a lot of cheese or dairy now; we do have goat cheese in the house, but I don’t get cheese cravings like I used to. I had one beer post-Whole30 and it made me feel so gross I’ve stuck to wine since (and the occasional bourbon and ginger when say, in Charlottesville on vacation…). I haven't eaten beans much, and while I am eating seed oils again I've cut down drastically on soy.  The main thing I still crave is sweet, but I’m able to control it far more than I did in the past. I don’t feel as though I’m restricting myself or that I’m on a diet, I’m just making better choices and they’re not as difficult to make. I can see myself doing a yearly Whole30 to do a body restart, Karl has also started eating more paleo and we’ve seen such a difference in how we feel I doubt we’ll go back to our old ways.

I’m still walking, but to be honest not as often as I’d like. A minimum of twice a week, but I feel best when it’s at least four times. I had my back go out last week for the first time since I think Emerson was born and I think it’s lack of yoga. My arm is nowhere near strong enough for yoga, but the walking and my modified yoga stretches each morning I think was keeping my back happy enough. But with my shoulder compensating for the lack of wrist movement and me not walking regularly, my body gave me a big slap in the face with my back. Well I heard it and even went walking while away this weekend!

And that’s pretty much what’s up. Lots of the same, but the same is really good. We’re busy, but we’re working to make time to enjoy one another as a family. We’re taking advantage of this great weather and spending as much time outside as possible. I hope all of you are enjoying your fall and would love to hear what you’ve been up to!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Such good news that your bones are behaving themselves! Here’s to lots of quick and thorough healing.

    On the short breaks issue – I’m a big fan. I don’t like long drives, so if we do manage to get a weekend away, it’s never more than a couple of hours. (Of course NZ and England are much smaller countries). I do really need to actually get around to going away as our weekends get busy so easily.

  2. When I was in DC, I used to drop in for a Restorative Yoga class at Tranquil Space yoga near Dupont Circle. It was on Fridays, but I see that it is now on Sundays. It was all stretches and supported bends. It might be just the right thing for you right now if you are anywhere near a Tranquil Space studio.
    Just before I left for Europe, I had my classic bob cut off into an edgier, looser short bob. Didn’t know if it was the right move, but I am loving it. And I was surprised to see so many sharp, short cuts in Germany and Switzerland! I should have sat in the Marienplatz with my camera taking shots of the great haircuts to bring back to my hairdresser. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to do that although spending a sunny day with a nice beer at an outdoor café would have been fabulous.

    1. K does a blend of kigong and restorative yoga and it’s so good, but the doc said to wait because not only should I not really work my wrist, but my elbow, my shoulder, and overcompensating for these things has caused some back and neck issues. But it is the BEST! Oh gosh, that does sound like a nice use of a sunny day! Glad you had a great trip! 🙂

  3. So happy to read about your fall adventures, and the good news about your arm starting to heal! Just a tip that may work to get Emerson to share her days in more detail – try the phrase “Tell me about…” This seems to work on almost anyone, from the college students I teach, to pre-schoolers at church, to my latest bad date. “Tell me about” is an essay question, not a head shake or monosyllabic response. It can elicit entire paragraphs from even a teenager. I can occasionally even sneak it in on my grown kids, but since I taught it to them during their early dating days, they’re on to me now.

    1. Thanks for this, I tried it last night. I came home just long enough to drop off my laptop, brush my teeth and kiss everyone hello and left for the PTA meeting. When I came back Em was in bed but not asleep, waiting for me and since the meeting I knew about a STEM project her class was doing and I asked her to tell me about it and we ended up chatting about that, the songs she learned in music, and much more! 🙂

      1. Yay – glad to see it hasn’t lost its magic! I initially learned that phrase when interviewing guests on a local cable show, but have used it much more in everyday life.

  4. Hooray for the good news about your arm! And your new hair looks fabulous – you have awesome hair. xo

  5. I am a frequent visitor to your blog and enjoy your fashion and your take on life. I like that you post wear-able outfits and practical advice.

    I have been following your arm saga as I, too, broke my arm (last March; a nasty hit-and-run bike accident). Your bone fusion is *great news*; mine isn’t healing despite surgery to put the pieces back together, and in the next few days I’ll find out if I need to have a radial head replacement 🙁

    In any case, I related all-too-well to the challenges (in dressing yourself and in navigating everyday activities) that you have faced. I, too, miss yoga desperately (not to mention biking). Surprisingly, I’ve been able to swim as the plate and pins are strong enough for that (and it has saved my sanity, not even exaggerating). You are def on the road to your previous healthy self, and I will be soon.

    So happy to hear your good news, and good luck going forward.

  6. Personally not a good year but improving. Developed vision problems in June turned out to be fast growing cataract in left eye but right eye also had one. Surgery finally last month on eyes two weeks apart. I had very poor vision all summer but hopefully will only need reading glasses. Have to get a makeover as I rarely wore eye makeup but now that eyes are not covered by glasses anymore… And I can buy over the counter sunglasses!

  7. Our budget doesn’t allow for long vacations, so we’ve opted for the shorter ones as well. My husband and I went to Niagara Falls for an extended Labor Day weekend and had a blast acting like tourists. Last week, we went to Albany for business and make a mini vacation out of that. Again, we enjoyed the time away.
    Glad to know your arm is healing. Just take it slow and ease back into everything you know is familiar, including exercise.
    Emerson (do you ever call her Emmy, by the way?) is growing and becoming her own person. You are wise to take advantage of the quality time you spend together with her.

    1. Yep the shorter trips are far kinder to the budget too, which is nice right now with all the post-insurance bills rolling in! And nope, being her own person, Emerson is EMERSON and not Em or Emmy (though I do call her Toadie, a nickname from when she was a baby). She will correct anyone who calls her anything other than Emerson 🙂

  8. That all sounds really lovely. Glad to hear that your arm is getting better. My middle child left for college this fall, and my youngest is a senior so my life is heading quickly for a big change. It’s all exciting/terrifying. I’m trying really hard to slow down and enjoy it all, but it’s hard to watch the last few soccer games and attend the last school meeting without being a little sad. However, taking lots of weekend road trips to check out colleges has been a blast, and I think my husband and I will try and do more of that (without the college part) once we have more time on our hands.

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