April 15, 2013

I’ve been waiting to write this post for a while. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was to let my city start to heal, maybe it was to make sure that I did it justice, or maybe I just wasn’t ready yet. Whatever the reason, here it is.

April 15, 2013 started off like any other gorgeous spring day in the city. Chris had just gotten on a flight to L.A. for work, and I was taking the dog out for a walk. I remember how all I could think was “Today is perfect.” The sun was shining, there were a few puffy clouds in the sky, and it was warm, but not hot. Almost perfect conditions for one of my absolute favorite days of the year – Marathon Monday.

I instagramed this photo with the caption "Happy Marathon Monday!"

I instagramed this photo with the caption “Happy Marathon Monday!”

I had treated myself (and Zoe) to a dog walker for the day so that I could go watch the marathon and not worry about her. I packed my waterbottle, snacks, and my cell phone and headed off to my spot – just beyond Mile 26 on Boylston Street, in front of the Gucci store near the Prudential.

Mile 26 - my spot.

Mile 26 – my spot.

I’m starting to shake as I type this. It’s still so raw and emotional.

I got to my spot at my usual (absurdly) early time – 9am. Each year I end up next to the same man from Philly. We’ve watched his wife run by together for 3 years now. The funniest part is that we’ve never exchanged names in all our time standing on the side of the road together. Our morning went as it usually did.

With the country still reeling from the horrors in Newtown, CT, the BAA had done it’s part to pay tribute to the victims. It’s hard to see from my picture, but the Mile 26 marker was decorated with the town seal from Newtown. Families of the victims had been invited to sit in the VIP stands at the finish line. I believe there was a moment of silence held at the starting line for those young lives lost.

I started my usual obsessive checking of twitter. As the crowd built up around us, I announced the updates of both the Marathon and the Red Sox game. We watched as the wheelchair racers came through, and I clapped and screamed for them. Then we watched as the elite women came through

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Shalane Flannagan in third

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Followed by Kara Goucher.

Then we watched the elite men come through:

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And finally it was getting to the fun part – watching everyone else come through. Those who train as hard as elites, and those who have an elite love of the sport. We watched my Philly friend’s wife come through. A few minutes later he took off to go find her. I was standing with another woman we had met that day, I believe she was from Ireland. We had watched her husband run by much earlier, around the 3 hour mark. She stuck around with me until it was mostly charity runners were coming through. Then she also started walking back to her hotel to meet her husband. I was still waiting to see a few friends run by, so I hung out a little longer.

Everything from this point on is cemented in my brain in slow motion – it will never go away.

I was laughing at a bunch of people walking down the sidewalk across from me with giant “Life is Good” heads on sticks when the first bomb went off. My initial reaction was that it was a cannon. This is Boston after all, on Patriots’ Day, so cannons aren’t abnormal. In fact, here where I live, I hear a cannon at 8 am and at dusk every single day. I remember looking down Boylston Street, and seeing the smoke from the “cannon” in what I thought was Copely Square. The conversation in my brain went exactly like this:

“That’s cool, they shot off a cannon for the winners”

“wait, the winner went through a while ago.. there’s no reason for a cannon…”

I heard a man behind me say “That wasn’t good” and the cop in front of me grabbed his radio and screamed “What the F- was that?!” and took off running towards the noise. That was when I got a little nervous. I picked up my bag – just in case – and the second bomb went off. It was just about a half a block away from me on the other side of the street. I turned and started running in the opposite direction. I was immediately swallowed up by a stampede of people running the same way. I watched a few people fall and get stepped on, luckily good Samaritans helped them up. I watched people scoop up their children and sprint. I watched as the happy faces and cheering spectators turned into terrified, running masses.

I remember thinking “The bombs are coming this way, they are just going to keep going off all the way down Boylston. I NEED to get out of here” I also remember thinking “I need to get to the hospital, they are going to need all hands on deck”. I got stuck in the crowd and got pushed into the Prudential Building.

As soon as I got inside the door, every muscle in my body tensed up, and I knew immediately I had to be out of that building – what if it was the next thing that exploded?

I sprinted out a door and kept running until I could get to a spot where I wasn’t in the stampede. At that point I was next to the Hynes Convention Center. Everything in my body was screaming at me to get away from the buildings – to keep running, but I had to know what was going on. I called my mom and begged her to tell me what had happened. At that point it hadn’t even hit the news. What felt like an eternity to me, hadn’t even been 2 minutes. She and my dad were on their way into the city. They were watching as a massive line of emergency vehicles went barreling past them. Then she told me there were two bombs that had gone off. I told her I was safe and that I was going to run to the Esplanade and then walk home.

As I was running towards the river I called the hospital. I told the charge nurse on my floor what had happened. She still tells me to this day that it was one of the scariest phone calls she’s ever gotten, and that at first she thought I had lost my mind.

I realized I had been meaning to meet up with a bunch of friends who hadn’t made it to me yet. I began the frantic phone calls and text messages to find them. With the exception of one of my friends, everyone had been at home when the bombs went off. One of my friends was in between the 2 bombs that went off. She got pushed into the basement of a random building and then was forced to flee to the river via back alleys and people’s basements. Luckily though, she was safe.

The walk to the hospital was one of the worst of my life. There were people crying and just looking shocked all over. Runners with their space blankets on trying to find their families. People screaming out names trying to find each other. Frantic phone calls were being made. The only other sound you could hear were sirens. So many sirens.

I wanted to cry, I wanted to throw up, but nothing happened. I just kept walking.

Two of my friends met me at the hospital. The moment I saw them the flood gates opened. I couldn’t stop crying. The reality of what had just happened was so overwhelming. When I finally calmed down we walked into the lobby of the hospital. I had been wearing my Marathon jacket from 2009, the year I ran, so people immediately thought I had been running. I had a reporter ask me some questions, but I just wanted to go home. My floor was doing OK at that time and didn’t need me to work. The City of Boston did an unbelievable job of dispersing the victims so that the hospitals were able to handle all of the injuries safely and effectively. It still, to this day, blows my mind that so many lives were saved.

Walking home from the hospital felt like an eternity. As we neared North Station we saw groundskeepers sprinting to all of the trash cans, tearing them open, and duct taping the doors open. That was when we heard the first reports that the bombs had been in trash cans. I refused to walk through North Station. I still couldn’t stand the thought of being inside a building. We walked the long way around the outside.

At some point in all of the madness I remember that I called Chris. He was still in the air at that point, flying to California. I would find out later that since he was flying Jet Blue, the TVs on the plan were showing reports of the bombings. He had to wait 45 minutes, knowing how close I was to them, to find out I was safe. I left him a message and as soon as he was able to, he called to see if I was OK.

There were also innumerable text messages and phone calls. All of my friends and co-workers know where I go on Marathon Monday, and I feel so blessed to have so many people who care about me. I got to the point where all I could do was copy and paste “Yes, I’m OK” to the over 65 text messages I got within the first 5 minutes after news of the bombings hit.

When I finally got home, I felt like there was a weight on my shoulders that I couldn’t shake.  I was devastated. What hurt more than anything was that the people who had been targeted were the charity runners. These people aren’t in it to win it, they are in it for the fight, and for their love of the sport, and for their love of their charity.

I have said it a million times and I will continue to say it “I don’t understand why runners – it’s not like we even run with sticks!”

One of the eeriest things for me is the immediate change in my tone that can be seen on twitter:

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Even after all this time, it makes me cry every time I look at it. It goes from being what it should be – pure joy – to what it quickly became – shock and sadness.

The immediate outpouring of support for my city was incredible. The donation to the One Fund from the London Marathon, the ad in the Chicago Tribune, and even local support such as the lighting of the Lenny Zakim Bridge and the TD Garden in the BAA colors of blue and yellow helped to dull the pain.

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The memorial became a place where you could go to just pay your respects, and thank those who had rushed in when the rest of us ran away. People left everything from balloons, to shoes, to their own Boston Marathon medals. There were jackets, sports jerseys, flowers, and signs. I brought down my singlet and my sister’s T-shirt from the 2 years we ran. I added on a bib number with “BostonStrong” and 617, which is the main area code here.

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People decorated the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture:

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There are so many things I will never forget. I will never forget the sound of the second bomb – to this day my gut instinct is to take off running at loud noises. I will never forget the faces of the people I passed on my sprint to the river. I will never forget that feeling in my stomach. But there are also good things that I will never forget. I will never forget the intense feeling of pride at being both a runner, and being a citizen of the City of Boston. I will never forget the amazement at the outpouring of support. I will never, ever, ever forget the bravery of those first responders.

My city has been forever changed, but the good news is that I know it has made us stronger. As President Obama put it “We may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up, we’ll keep going. We will finish the race. (Source)

So come April 21, 2014 you will see Boston, once again in all of its glory. The sidewalks will be packed from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. Thousands of people will cross that finish line and we will come back, and we will finish OUR race.

Beautiful Mondays – DIY Salt and Sugar Scrubs

Welcome to another round of Beautiful Mondays! I’m taking today off from writing, and have turned the blog over to my sister Beth, from Boston2Berkeley. She offered to write the following post, and I’m so excited to have my very first guest poster on PastaFreeRunner! Please enjoy – it’s a good one – and make sure to show Beth some blog love!

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Hi, everyone!  I’m Beth, and I blog over at Boston2Berkeley.  I’m a huge fan of all kinds of homemade and DIY kitchen projects.  While I usually write about food, Kate and I thought Beautiful Mondays would be the perfect place to show you all how to make a few body and face scrubs.  These are all made with things you probably already have in your kitchen; not a single scary ingredient in sight!

sea_salt_scrub

The premise behind these scrubs is simple.  Both salt and sugar will act as an exfoliant.  Simple white sugar tends to be more gentle than the coarse kosher salt that I’m using.  Sea salt will be even more coarse; just pick whichever one you have on hand or feel comfortable with.  I usually use sugar for a facial scrub and salt for a body scrub.

The second component of the scrubs is oil.  Salt and sugar won’t dissolve in oil the same way they will in water.  You can use any kind of oil here; I’ve used safflower oil, olive oil, and almond oil all successfully.  Olive oil will have a stronger smell than something more neutral, so keep that in mind when you’re picking an oil.  Some people love the smell of coconut oil, but it’s solid at room temperature, which makes it harder to mix in the salt or sugar evenly.

The final component is scent.  I like using vanilla sugar (just pop a vanilla bean in a jar of sugar; the sugar will become completely infused with the scent of vanilla) and citrus zest together.  You can also get essential oils in almost any scent.  My grocery store carries them, but Amazon is also a great source.  The bottles are tiny, but you only need a few drops.  I have both grapefruit and peppermint essential oils that I’ve used with great success.  Pick whatever scent appeals to you!

Vanilla Lemon Sugar Scrub

lemon_sugar_scrub

  • 1 cup vanilla sugar (sugar that has been stored with a vanilla bean for at least a week)
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Store in a small sealed jar (canning jars are perfect for this).

Peppermint Sea Salt Scrub

peppermint_scrub

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil* (see note below)
  1. Mix together the sea salt and safflower oil in a medium bowl.
  2. Add 5 drops of peppermint essential oil and stir.  (* different manufacturer’s make their product at different strengths.  Start with 5 drops, and add more as necessary.  I’ve found ten drops works well for me, but your taste might be different)
  3. Add more peppermint oil as necessary.
  4. Store in a small sealed jar.

These are so simple to customize and quick to make.  Plus, with a cute label they’d make a great gift!

A Little Bit of Random

The lovely Krysten over at The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail tagged me in her 11 Random Things blog last week! I had taken a few days off from the blog to give me time to re-direct, so I am just now answering all of the questions, and I’m having fun doing it!

Here are the rules:

1.       Post these rules
2.       You must post 11 random things about yourself
3.       Answer the questions set for you by the person who tagged you
4.       Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5.       Select 11 peeps and tag them on twitter, facebook, or on their blog

11 Random Facts:
1. Before I was born my Mom spelled my name “Katy” on a Christmas card to my Dad. Once I was born it was spelled “Katie”. When I hit the 6th grade, I changed the spelling of my name to “Katy” to prevent me from having to write my last name on everything since there were two Katies in my class. I found out about my mom spelling my name with a “y” at Christmas the following year. Weird.

2. I once sliced open my elbow on a cat food can top. I was taking the trash out, and there was a can lid in the bag. While holding the bag up to walk down the stairs, the top sliced my elbow. A few stitches later….

3. I once swallowed a music box key. That was another trip to the ER.

4. I also once thought I could fly, and ended up with a broken collar bone. Long story short? I wasn’t really the smartest child.

5. I went to Catholic school from kindergarten to 8th grade, and then went to public high school.

6. I went to the same university as my father and my aunt.

7. I am the 4th generation of my family to live in this house.

8. My sister and I are 2 years and 2 days apart. I always loved saying that. In fact, I still say it! When people ask me if Beth is older I say “yep! we’re 2 years and 2 days apart”

9. My mom insisted on dressing us as if we were twins, Beth always in purple, and me always in Pink.

10. I named my cat Phoebe after Phoebe from Friends, simply because of the song “smelly cat”

11. My husband and I only met because we lived on the same floor in our dorm Freshman year of college. We literally never would have run into eachother otherwise! None of our classes were on the same sides of campus, we hung out with completely different people, and were interested in different things. Not to mention he’s a Yankees fan.. ewwwwww…

Now moving on to Krysten’s questions:

1. What is your theme song for this year and why?
Maybe it’s because I’m from Massachusetts, but I feel like my constant theme song is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. It’s a great running song, and it’s even better right before last call! (not to mention Glee does an awesome version of it! Please see question 8)

 

2. What is the one thing you could never live without?
    Music. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am always singing, humming, harmonizing, or whistling something. It tends to get me in trouble at work actually…
I 100% have to give my mom credit for this one. She indulged my want to play the piano, bought a piano, paid for lessons, and let me play and sing along way too loudly all the time. In fact I still do it when I go home 🙂

 

3. Who or what inspires you?
    Being a nurse means I have the privilege of meeting people who inspire me every single day. I spend a lot of time with people who have made it through events that most people wouldn’t have the strength or faith to fight through. I am regularly in awe of these people, and always hope that if I was ever in their position, that I would fight with the same strength and grace.

 

4. What is your dream vacation?
     Destination Marathon! It’s actually not so crazy when you think about it. You get to see so much of a place when you have to run 26.2 miles around it! Maybe the Great Wall Marathon, or the London Marathon. Actually, any marathon not in North America!

Source: google.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

5.  Brag time, tell me what you are most proud of accomplishing?
  Running the Boston Marathon in 2009 for the Massachusetts General Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Team. It was a huge undertaking for a girl who had never run more than 6 miles, but where there’s a will (and a damned good reason) there’s a way. After losing a good friend to CF the previous February, I NEEDED to do something to help the fight against CF. I joined the marathon team, raised over $3000, and met my patient partners at the top of Heartbreak Hill for a hug, and a picture. That moment definitely ranks #1 on my list 🙂

6. Sparkles, yea or neh?
    Is that even really a question?? Of COURSE its a yea!

 

7. What is the best thing you ever ate?
  I would probably have to say the fish we had in Hawaii on our Honeymoon. The “worst” option was usually Mahi-Mahi. Everything about eating in Hawaii is better than home. The open air restauarnts, the warm nights, the gorgeous views, the smell of the ocean, the company.. you name it. 

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
Glee. I’ll leave it at that.

Source: google.com via Lynze on Pinterest



9. What is your favourite form of exercise?
Haha, I love that you spell favorite with a “u”! 🙂 Running. Clearly. It gives me time to myself, I can go at my own pace, I get to see different places, and it makes me feel great about myself.  Not to mention that people are always way more impressed by “Oh, I ran a quick 7 miles this morning” than “Yup, I did 25 push-ups before work”



10. What are you afraid of?
Oh man, take your pick! Heights, flying, the dark, spiders, falling (which happens a little too frequently for me.. Falll Rissskkkk), anything that makes me jump, and ghosts.

Source: bluquote.net via Jodie on Pinterest



11. Who is your celebrity crush?
Am I allowed to have a celebrity crush on a team? Is that way too typical Boston?? 😉

Source: myredsoxtoday.com via Kristina on Pinterest

Now for my Questions:
1. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
2. What is your dream job?
3. What is one hobby of yours you wish you could make a career of?
4. Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner and why?
5. Favorite childhood memory?
6. Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest? Why?
7. What is your goal for the year?
8. What motivates you to get out the door and exercise?
9. What is your favorite holiday, and why?
10. What is your blog about, and why did you start writing it?
11. What are you listening to right now?
And last but not least, I am tagging:
Sara from Run Around Sara
Holly from Pink Runner
Kimberly from Sunny State Of Mind 
Caitlin from Caitlin Lives Well
Amanda from Kitchen Misfit
Krissie from A Philly Nerd Girl
Thanks Krysten for the tag! I had a ton of fun doing this, and can’t wait to see the posts from the people I tagged!

Change is good.

Lately I’ve been feeling like my blog is more of a cluttered mess, rather than the fun, organized, informational – and mostly personal – place I’ve been striving towards.

Source

Kara was over last night for dinner, and she and I had a long talk about the blog. It was great because I was able to spit out what I wanted from my little corner of the internet, and then we were able to put it into a much more organized format.

I left my kitchen table feeling much better. I left ready to create a place that is informative, that helps people, but most of all, is a release for me. The blog was started originally as a place where I could talk about my newfound gluten allergy, but it has become so much more to me.

The blogging world has showed me so much already. I have learned about race training, nutrition, cooking, organics, and most importantly, that putting myself out there has great rewards. I’ve “met” amazing people, people who I never would have spoken to in my life- and they have changed me in such great ways.

The blog will be undergoing its own changes in the next week or so. I’m not leaving, I’m changing. Change is good, and I feel that taking the blog in a slightly different, slightly more organized direction will allow me to make this space what I want it to be.

Organization has never really been my strong suit. Ask anyone who knows me, and you’ll hear about how I can never find ANYTHING. How my friends all tell me to show up a half hour before I’m supposed to be there, since I’ll be lucky to make it 30 minutes late – usually closer to 45 minutes – how everything gets done at the last minute, and my house is usually a mess.

What you’ll also hear though, is how I throw myself into projects. How the things I love get attended to with a passion that boarders on obsession.

I’ve decided to place my focus more on the things that interest me, but could also benefit others.

I will still go on my random rants, and I will still take millions of pictures, and I will still use parenthesis like it’s my job.

But I will also feel better about this little place. I will feel better that I am learning, and that I am sharing what I learn with all of you.

This weekend will be a time of preparation for me. Starting Monday, you will be coming back to a blog that will *hopefully* be fresh, organized, exciting, and informative. Please stay tuned, and feel free to let me know what you think of the re-direction.

Pasta That Kardashian?!

While having lunch with Kara today, I took a peek at some of the search terms that have lead people to my little corner of the world. It ended up being a hysterical adventure that I had to share! Half the fun was figuring out how people searched certain terms, and ended up here. I’ve put together my top 5 favorites, as well as links back to the posts, enjoy!

Leaf Blower Blowing Leaves: 4 views
::Really? 4 views for this one? Someone was quite persistent! This came from this post about  a day off, where I saw some of the guys from DCR cleaning the park across the street.

We like to break out the shovels early in Boston...

Pasta That Kardashian: 1 view
:: This one came from this post where I talked about a quote from Khloe Kardashian. But really? Pasta that Kardashian? Is this some weird fetish I don’t know about??

How To Make a Manger Scene on Cake: 1 view
:: To be completely honest with you, I’m not sure how this one came up. I can only guess it was from this post about my Christmas decorations

Rock em Sock em Robots: 1 view
::This one is pretty straight forward. My sister-in-law gave us Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots for Christmas this year. We always get the best gifts from her!

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!

Vampire Biting Wrist: 1 view
:: The New Yorker figured this one out for me. Remember this post about my wrist splint? The caption on the picture is “Vampire write bites!”

Vampire wrist bites

What are some funny search terms that have turned up on your blog? 

Puppy news!

Let me just jump right into the post I teased you all with yesterday.

Background: For as long as I can remember I have begged for a dog. In my parents defense, Beth and I had one when we were little. His name was Morgan, and he was insane. He used to chew through doors (yep, seriously. 5 that I can remember) to get to my mom (he had a *little* bit of separation anxiety). I remember one fateful day when my mom, Beth and I came home from wherever, and there was a hole in the door that they had just put up the day before, and I remember my Mom calling my Dad crying in frustration. So you can’t really blame them for not wanting another dog. We always had cats (sometimes upwards of 5 at a time!) and the usual kid pets, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs so we were never at a loss for animal companionship. But there is just something about having a dog…

Fast forward a few years to college.

I lived in Boston (shocking. I’ve never really left the place!) and all of the apartments I lived in allowed cats, not dogs. I love cats and missed having some small furry animal around, so Middler year (Go Huskies! 5 year co-op program and Middler year? Yeah NU!) I adopted Phoebe. My grumpy, bratty, soft, little pain in the butt (hence her nickname: PB) that I can’t imagine life without. She’s my shadow and my day sleep buddy. Not to mention she’s my secretary! 🙂

Working hard!

Beth and I are such crazy cat ladies, but cats are great pets and we love ours to death!

Normal convo, right? wronggggg… 🙂

Back to the dog-

In all truth, when the New Yorker and I were talking about maybe getting married one day, I flat out said to him “it’s me and a dog, or nothing”. Now, he never had a “real” pet growing up (a 20 year old iridescent shark named “Sharky” just doesn’t count in my book) so he was more than a little hesitant to let me have a dog.

Something about my winning personality – or just him wanting me to stop begging EVERY.SINGLE.DAY – made him change his mind and we finally decided that I could have my puppy after the wedding.

Ok, here we are today. We’ve been working with a Boxer breeder (I’ll address breeder vs. adopting from a shelter later, but let’s just say that it has been a long and constant disagreement between The New Yorker and I, and I had to give in somewhere in order to get my puppy – I support animal adoption!!) with the hopes of having our puppy in the spring.

I woke up yesterday from my day sleep to an email from the breeder saying that the dog who was being bred that we had a hold on our puppy from hurt her leg and that they did not want to breed her and cause more problems. (I need to insert here that this woman is amazing, and very knowledgeable. She really is such a responsible breeder – DO YOUR HOMEWORK if you are going with a breeder so you do not end up with a puppy mill!!!)

I cried. I called the New Yorker at work, and was completely heartbroken. I had been waiting for this little bundle for so long, and now it was going to be even longer.

While I sniffled and felt bad for myself, the New Yorker read the rest of the e-mail. “Hey Kate? I’m pretty sure this says that we can have pick of the females from the other litter which is due in March”

oh.

OH!

Apparently there is a second dog that they were breeding and she will be having puppies in March. Everyone who has put a hold has asked for a male, so we are a go for a spring puppy! Best news? She is due March 21st and my birthday is March 20! I’m hoping she is born on my birthday – how perfect would that be?

Mom is a 49 lb sealed brindle

Mamma

and Dad is a 75 lb sealed brindle as well.

From Codman Hill Boxers

I’m hoping for a small-ish (50-55lbs) girl who will LOVE running with me 🙂

So there you have it. My puppy novel. I cannot wait for my little bundle of fur – only 4 months to go! Then you will all have to endure about 65 billion pictures of her. Hopefully you don’t mind pictures of adorable puppies! 🙂

 

What is your favorite pet and why?

I graduated!

Well folks, it’s finally here… the dreaded S-word….

Yuck, snow.

I really was starting to think that we were going to make it through a Boston winter without seeing any of this stuff.. I may be certifiably crazy!

Today took me back to the doctor’s office for another appointment for my hand. While it’s still unclear as to what is actually wrong (tendonitis? Arthritis? Something else all together?) it was determined that I’m getting better. I’m down to more of a dull ache in my hand rather than the all out stabbing pain I was experiencing before.

I also graduated to a smaller splint!

Old splint:

well at least its pink?

New splint:

I have to wear the long splint while I’m sleeping, but I get to be much more useful at work and wear the small one while I’m there. Thank god. I was starting to lose my mind!

In other news, I re-did my blog’s layout! 

I got Photoshop Elements 10 yesterday and started playing around with it. One thing led to another, and next thing I knew I had a new header. Then of course I needed a new background (if you give a moose a muffin…) which took me to a new theme, which made me lose all my pages (and frantically tweet Katy Widrick asking her to invent teleporting) and so on and so forth. Beth and Kara both were forced to look at about 40 different versions of my new setup – lucky for me they were both willing and really helpful! I think I FINALLY found a setup I like, but I might have to delve into the idea of self hosting to get what I *REALLY* want out of my blog. That, however, is a problem for another day 🙂

What do you think of the new layout?