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  • Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category





    I’ve been seeing ThredUP mentioned a lot lately and I finaly decided to check it out. Someone had posted a link to $10 off your first purchase with the company and I thought it was worth it to see what they may have. Instead of going with the typical brands that most people into fashion would go for, I instead went for brands that you might find at REI or Outdoor and hiking brands. It is rare to find good outdoor clothing brands at a Goodwill or other similar stores.

    Some of the brands I searched for were Patagonia, Lucy, Mountain Hardwear, Prana, Icebreaker, Arc’teryx, Stonewear Designs, and REI. One I forgot about and looked at later was Marmot. It was hit and miss on some of them, but I did find a few things in a size that I could wear. For those who don’t know, ThredUP is an online consignment/thrift store. You can get some super nice brands for very, very cheap. Items you would definitely not find, or rarely find, at a general thrift store. You can send them your stuff, too. I haven’t done that yet. There’s a whole process where they send you a bag and you ship your stuff off to them and they will either give you money or credit towards the store. It helps you to verify which brands they accept before sending your stuff off to them.



    Lucy is a brand I found years ago when out shopping with my parents at the Southlake Town Center near where they live. I found and fell in love with a pinkish-orange shirt that I wore to pieces. I still have it and wear it for yard work.


    I have several Icebreaker pieces, but they do not come cheap. Sale items are even generally still over $30 or more. This shirt I wore on the Florida Trail is an Icebreaker shirt my dad got me at Christmas before we went on that hike. I really love it—can’t fit into it at this second—but I love the merino wool hiking shirts.


    Mountain Hardwear items are also not very cheap. Another outdoor company I love!


    Columbia is a popular brand and you can find affordable sale items of this brand at places like Academy and Sport Authority, even REI. I liked this tank, though, for my lunchtime running this summer so I threw it into the mix.


    Stonewear Designs is an even more niche brand that is difficult to find a lot of places. I’ve eyed their stuff on many occassions, particularly when mentioned on other hiking or climbing blogs. I’ve just never had the opportunity to purchase anything from them. What was great about this particular piece was that it had never been worn and still had the tags on!

    And a bit more of a review…

    If you are interested, use this link and you can get $10 off your first purchase—it helps ME because then I can get $10 for later….and so on and so forth down the line with you if you end up buying and then you can share your link with your friends. So far I’m really pleased with the service and I may look into it for getting Forest clothes in the future.

    I’ve got a lot of ideas and posts up my sleeve in the coming week or two, but until then I thought I’d share some things I’ve bookmarked in recent weeks and months.

    +I heard about the Qalo silicone wedding band on two fitness podcasts recently. I wish I’d known about it (I wonder if it was around 5 years ago?) when I hiked the AT and FT. It is super affordable and much more realistic for hiking than even the simple silver band I wore.

    +My brother made a video of his kids fishing during a campout back in April. Love it!

    +The map and plant geek in me loooooves these density gradient maps from BONAP.

    +Anne of Green Gables fans were full of sorrow back in April when Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert Blythe in the three Sullivan production films, passed away suddenly. A generation of girls were in love with him back in the 80s and 90s. I’m pretty sure, no I am sure there are I love Jonathan Crombie and I love Gilbert Blythe doodles scrawled in some of my old diaries. This write-up in the New Yorker summarizes what he meant to many of us.

    +I found the Hike It Baby site a few months ago and didn’t really share it with anyone. Then my friend Keely happened to find it as well and she took the initative even further and decided to lead a hike. AND she’s got three sons, the youngest being three or four months old. Anyway, we’re going to join her and some others for a short hike this Saturday. Looking forward to it and maybe I’ll lead a hike around here sometime soon.

    +The Crybabies podcast with Susan Orlean (of The Orchid Thief fame) and Sarah Thyre. For the more sensitive of us out there, the ones who easily cry. Gah, there was a commercial that came on right after Forest was born and it would rip me to shreds as I sat there holding Forest while he nursed or napped. I can’t even think of what it was now but I can picture the scenes. Also, if you want to punch me in the gut, play Holocene.

    +This Rich Roll podcast episode with Dr. Garth Davis. As much as I am loving my chicken thighs and pulled pork, I am looking forward to going back to being mostly vegetarian eventually.

    +This great article about lifting heavy in relation to the myth about being ‘bulky’ from doing so. I’ve got a working out post being written in my head at the moment that maybe I’ll write-up here soon.

    What about you? Any good links to share?


    This time last year I was starting 100 Happy Days and gearing up for my baby showers. This year I’m just trying to stay on top of things around the house and anticipating Forest’s first birthday in 3 short months. 3 months, y’all! I was looking at the photos and videos from the days surrounding his birth and thinking that we didn’t take enough video! But, I think I’m going to put together the videos I do have and share them on his birthday. I forgot how tiny he was! It’s easy to forget sometimes.

    Our summer is full, full, full…at least the first half. We haven’t planned the second half yet. A month ago I sat down and came up with a rough came plan for our weekends until mid-July. With three sets of grandparents and two sets of aunts and uncles, everyone wants to make the round to see the baby every 2-3 months. With balancing all of those visits, plus trips for ourselves and time at home, it is essential that we get some kind of game plan months in advance. Forest is getting better at travel, though by the end of a trip gets really fussy about having to be in the car yet again, so we’ll be able to make trips to DFW more often where we can see groups of people at a time instead of having everyone filter through down here one weekend at a time.

    I’m looking forward to a vacation we’re taking with my parents to Port Aransas in July. I haven’t been on a vacation to the beach in years, muchless to Port A. I’m excited for Forest to visit the beach, too! I’m thinking of all the seafood to eat (no shrimpdon’t eat shrimp!), shopping, salt marsh explorations, soaking in the sun, jumping waves….ahhh, yeah!

    We’ve had such a wet spring here already and this last week or so has just really done us in. I’m sure a lot of y’all have seen the flooding issues around Texas. Thankfully what you saw in Houston did not directly impact us much. Though, the day after all of the major flooding in Houston proper, we got some rain that closed off roads around our house and office which had our office closed on Wednesday. The pond came up into the yard, higher than a usual small ‘flood’ but not as high as July 2012. A week ago I mowed our yard and had to avoid a few spots because they still had standing water and it was rather mushy. I was planning on mowing again this weekend but everything is still saturated too much, so I’ll be postponing it until later this week. I think we’re supposed to have some sunny weather this week which will help dry everything out a bit.

    The garden is quite a disaster, too. Well, the flower garden is mostly in order because I’ve been busting my butt with it the last two months. I only have to mulch 1/2 of one bed, and it’s a small bed, and finish pulling the weeds in the path and around the beehive. I need to get my suit on for this and do it one evening. It might take two evenings to do, though. The vegetable garden, however, is an utter disaster. Chris had kept it pretty maintained until March sometime and it kind of got left to Mother Nature after that. I started working my way through that yesterday but it is going to take some heavy duty work. The beds will be easy to pull but the path is more compacted and the weeds are harder to pull. I can’t work out there in the evenings because our baby monitor signal doesn’t reach that far out when he’s sleeping upstairs, so I’m really relegated to work out there on weekends or maybe if I come pull weeds for 20 minutes during my lunch break.

    Anyway, here’s a list of some summer ‘goals’ I’d like to accomplish:

    + Read three books. I miss reading a lot. I seem to spend my evenings catching up on blog reading, or my new habit—watching YouTube vlogs—, but I could spend 20-30 minutes reading a few times a week. When we went camping at Brazos Bend a few weekends ago I read the last several chapters of Outlander in anticipation of the last two episodes of the tv show so. Reading it really made me miss reading in general and I think I can bust out some books now.

    + Work one day a week for 1-2 hours on editing my book. I already started this one. I realized one day that I didn’t have to sit down and do it every day…sometimes I get in that all or nothing mode with creative endeavors. If I work one day week on it the book will eventually be completed! Small steps!

    + Continue to stay active in the heat. I haven’t run in a week or so—all this damn rain—but the last time I really ran the heat and humidity was pretty rough at noontime. I may be switching to rollerblading for the summer. I have a 5K on the agenda with a friend sometime in August and I really need to get my running up to that level by then. I can run a little over 2 miles straight at the moment, but haven’t pushed myself for 3 yet.

    + Organize my studio. If it takes me all summer, that’s fine. I just want to make it useable for fall and winter when I have a lot more time indoors.

    + Get the garden and yard in maintenance mode. I have a few ‘big’ things I want to get taken care of and then I want to get into a mode where I’m just maintaining it instead of having to do major work.

    Those are the big ones. We have several house projects and organization projects that need to get done around here. Plus, I’ve got a list of blog posts I want to write…oh, it’s never ending!

    What’s on your agenda for summer?

    There’s a short vlog/synopsis at the front and then a lot of is clips from the San Antonio Botanic Garden, Sea World, and the San Antonio Zoo. There’s a lot more from the zoo…I got a little movie happy on that end. Sorry for the ad, I found a song from Free Music Archive that is supposed to be an Attribution license under the Creative Commons license but You Tube is claiming the owner is monetizing that song—so…I may revise that section soon. A little frustrating!

    It’s a long one….feel free to skim around! I’ll have some other posts later this week with photos! We had a great weekend and I’ll share more soon!




    Chris and I first came across jeweler Dawn Vertrees at the Redland Orchid Show at the Fruit & Spice Park in Florida back in May 2008. Later that June Chris got me a ghost orchid necklace of hers for our anniversary, which I really love!

    Fast forward to the morning of Forest’s birth and he presents me with the necklace above. I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile and finally remembered to get a few photos the other night. Unfortunately babies and necklaces aren’t exactly a winning combination so I haven’t worn it very much. I could wear it to work but I often forget. A few weeks after we were home from the hospital Chris showed me Dawn’s post about creating the necklace.

    My husband is pretty cool! I could totally turn this into a collection. Hehehe!

    Instead of doing a long write-up I shot a video instead of how I make my lactation oatmeal as well as a review about some nursing tops I bought from Latched Mama a few weeks ago. The nursing sports bras I mention were these from Target but they aren’t showing up on Target’s site any longer. You may be able to find them in the stores still.

    There’s a cute baby apperance about halfway through. :)

    I’ve written about podcasts I listen to a few times before but I figured it was time for another list.


    +One Bad Mother
    +The Longest Shortest Time

    Fitness/Healthy Living

    +Rich Roll Podcast By far my favorite fitness podcast. I’ll even forgive him for having the Food Babe on a month or so ago.
    +Lift Like A Girl Podcast
    +Real Food & Beyond
    +Strong Woman Radio
    +Rise & Resist
    +No Meat Athlete

    +The Scot & Sassenach An Outlander tv show podcast
    +Picture Shows & Petticoats My cousin Elizabeth’s podcast for period piece tv shows. Usually they cover Downton Abbey but she’s also covering Outlander. I’ve been a guest a few times during the first half of season 1 back in August and recently joined for the first episode this half of season 1 and will be reappearing again soon!
    +I also listen to a variety of shows from AfterBuzz TV for Scandal, Mad Men, Better Call Saul, Homeland, Downton Abbey, to name a few.

    +Ferm Up A Fermentation podcast
    +Fermentation Podcast Another fermentation podcast

    +The Girl Next Door
    +Elise Gets Crafty
    +Pickled Okra My cousin Elizabeth’s podcast with her friend Jolene.
    +Radio Free Burrito from Wil Wheaton. Just discovered this one.

    +Pox & Puss Podcast AT related for the most part and generally hilarious!
    +Trailside Radio A PCT thru-hiker is doing this one as he hikes the trail this year. I really loved the second episode where he interviewed two female hikers who often hike solo.
    +The Trail Show I was interviewed by them about the Florida Trail last year! I like to listen in big globs, waiting a few months and then listening to a couple of shows at once.

    I also will randomly listen to episodes of Invisibilia, Freakanomics, This American Life, RadioLab, and a host of other NPR/public radio type shows. There are also other podcasts I listen to but not on a regular basis and usually just to check to see if there’s a topic I think I’ll enjoy that they are covering.

    Got any recommendations?


    I’m in one of those spells where I need to be quiet despite the fact that there is all sorts of stuff rattling around in my head that needs to be written here. Needs. It doesn’t necessarily need to be written, but I want to write. I like going back through my archives on occasion and seeing what I’ve done in some particular period of time. It gives me a reminder that when I feel like life is just hectic or complicated and hairy, that I was enjoying something at any given time—even if it was just that a plant was blooming in the garden.

    Last week I spent a lot of time trying to work on another flower bed, weeding it and getting mulch laid down. On the weekend I would get spurts here and there, an spare 30 minutes or an hour where Forest would oblige me by chilling out in his walker on the porch or reclining back with his pacifier in the stroller. If it wasn’t the weekend I’d spend an hour—if I could—after Forest went to bed before the sun set, getting more work done. Weeds and overzealous plants that needed thinning were pulled, thrown into the grass nearby or into one of the bazillion 5-gallon buckets we have, to later be added into the compost pile.

    I miss the days where I would come home from work and hurriedly eat dinner and then spend 2-3 hours in the yard every evening if I wanted. I’d be on top of the weeding, mow the yard, weed-eat the edges where the mower wouldn’t get, pull the grass out from around the trees, weed and take care of the vegetable garden. I can’t do that anymore. My focus is tending to one thing at a time, which is to get the flower beds into a manageable condition before the heat of the summer takes over. Chris does a lot of what I don’t get to but even he isn’t keeping up to the pace he used to.

    Something I also want to do is spend time in my studio. I realized a few weeks ago that there are many hobbies that I just won’t ever have the time for or be good at, really the desire isn’t there. One of those is sewing. I have a ton of fabric that I had stashed over the years or it was handed down to me from my mom via my grandmother. I don’t need it. I’m not going to sew. I have done blankets in the past and even started one a few months ago for my friend’s baby, but it hasn’t been finished yet. It really just left me incredibly frustrated. So, I want to go through that as well as go through some of the general crap in my studio that I don’t need or want. It’s really all very low priority-wise but in my mind I want to do it.

    The blog here needs a re-design, too. My book needs to be completed on the editing end. Sometimes I get a rush of energy in my mind to complete it but then I just very blah with it because it doesn’t seem very appealing to me to complete.

    In other words, my creative juices are just not flowing. I can’t even finish reading books these days. I had a pile of them checked out at the library and renewed one of them three times before I just returned it because my head wasn’t in the game. Most of the time, at the end of the day, what sounds good is laying on the couch and watching tv or catching up on blogs.

    Hopefully I can get out of this creative funk someday soon.

    + Fitbit! I got one for Christmas from my parents and while I initially thought I wouldn’t be that into it, I really do love it! I took some time off from using it back in January but ramped it up in February. The goal is to get 10K steps a day. Prior to having Forest I don’t doubt this wasn’t a problem because I either worked out every day or did yard work in the evenings. Now it is much harder. I’ve started helping out my step count by working out during lunches when the weather is permitting and if I am not far off from my step count I have been known to walk up and down my driveway or do laps around the house a few times to rack up steps.

    + Better Call Saul: As someone who is usually late to the game for any good tv show, I’m happy to have hopped on this ride from the beginning. It’s a Breaking Bad spin-off and if you haven’t watched that show, go do it now! That said, you don’t need to watch BB to watch BCS, but it does help in some aspects.

    + Enjoy This Time Dear from Coffee & Crumbs and a similar post Don’t Carpe Diem from Momastery.

    + Beginner 5 Minute Ab Workout from Sierra Social Hub—holy crap, this hurts!

    + Chel’s Peerless Watercolor Storage….it’s just pretty!

    + Bird Spit from Pure Florida

    + Mungo from 6512 and Growing

    + Beginners Guide to Going Stoveless from Rambling Hemlock

    + Appalachian Trail: The Sheltered Life from OMails…shelters, oh shelters.

    + It’s not like you were interested from Ben Hewitt regarding math and unschooling. Love all of his thought provoking posts even if I don’t always agree. His comments section is also great fodder for good discussions and ideas. It led me to this Death of Math which was even more thought provoking, especially as a self professed math hater. As someone who does better when I can visually ‘see’ something, math can be difficult for me to understand. Plus, sometimes I think very abstractly and don’t always think in the manner more linear minded folks do which makes learning math from others difficult for me.

    + For some reason I’ve revisited the Myers-Briggs personality type tests again recently and got the same results that I got last year. I took it a few more times via different sites and still came up with the same results. I did this because INFJ is considered the most uncommon personality type and I didn’t want to be throwing off the results. I know I’ve taken it in years past but I don’t remember what the results were back then. Anyway, I started reading a bit more into my INFJ results and I’m not sure what I think yet. There are some YouTube videos with INFJ’s talking to other personality types, discussing differences, etc that I’ve also watched…anyway, just something interesting. You can take the test here.

    Got anything good to share??

    I knew it was there.



    I thought I’d come to terms with it, but it bubbled up when I saw the Bradley Method book tucked in my nightstand drawer a few months ago. It came rushing to the surface when I tried to listen to a podcast interview of a blogger I like describing her most recent and second Bradley birth. I got a few minutes in and had to turn it off. I hated her and hated that she got what I didn’t. AND both of her babies were larger than Forest.

    I’m still a bit pissed off that I didn’t get the labor and birth I wanted. What’s ironic is that I’m actually not upset with having a C-section, if that makes any sense. That doesn’t bother me. My scar doesn’t bother me. No, what bothers me most is that I didn’t get to experience what I had prepared for.

    In my head this is how it was going to go down, or some version of this scenario: I was going to be doing some evening gardening and walking around the yard and feel the first twinges of contractions. We’d go out for dinner and come back and watch tv or a movie. Throughout the night labor would progress. Sometime the next day I’d reach the point where contractions were coming one right after another, maybe even get to transition, and we’d rush out the door for the hospital. In the birthing room at the hospital I’d be able to breathe through the contractions and maybe it would take longer to push than I thought, but Chris would be right there helping me along. I would be in a position I’d feel comfortable in and then *bam* Forest would be out and in my arms, all gooey and sweet. I’d get that first hour of nursing and bonding right away. There’d be pictures and quiet talking, glowing smiles and tiredness all wrapped into it all. We’d text and call our family and friends and have several hours together as a family before anyone arrived.

    What bothers me are the what-ifs that will never be answered because hey, I have the most awesome child in the world (as every mom says) and he got here safely (despite some scary moments with the epidural). What bothers me is those moments the week before, the feeling of being pressured into induction because of the fear he’d be too large. But, what did we know? We wanted a safe delivery of our child and despite knowing about all of these pressures for induction and c-sections from the childbirth class and from all of the birthing books that I read, we went with the flow and lead from our midwife and ob. What else would a parent do? I am sure someone with more fortitude or the experience of another birth might have fought it, but when you aren’t sure of the outcome of it all and you just want your baby to be safe and sound…what else do you do? Sometimes I think maybe I shouldn’t been so scared of the c-section and held out to go into labor on my own and if nothing progressed well once I was in labor on my own, then gone ahead with the c-section. It does nothing to think of the what-if’s though.

    I just feel cheated. Which is really a very stupid thing to say and to read. In fact, re-reading what I’ve written here I know I sound very selfish. But the feelings are still there. It’s a loss, the loss of a moment, of something I’d been thinking about for many months prior to the actual events. And it isn’t like I think about this every day. I don’t. Not even once a week. But it’s those little times where something triggers the feelings that are still there in my heart.

    So there it is, a postpartum battle wound that is healing but likes to rear its ugly head every once in awhile. One day I’ll be totally at peace with it, but for now I think I’ll attempt to avoid triggers when I can and accept the feelings as they come.

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