Guess Who's Back...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Well HELLO there! Long time no see! Literally. I've missed y'all and I hope you've been well!

Believe it or not, it’s been seven full months since I last blogged and while I seriously needed the impromptu hiatus to sort out my life, I’ve been itching to get back to my little corner of the interweb for quite a few weeks now. I feel a bit rusty and I've got a lot to catch up on, so you’ll have to bear with me while I get back into the swing of things.

For today’s post, I thought a life update was in order. There's been a lot of change since January, so let’s get to it!

Fur-baby love

Blog world, meet Archie! We adopted this little furball from a rescue back in April and we’ve been smitten ever since. He’s half labrador retriever, half American foxhound, smart as a whip, loves to swim at the beach, play fetch, eat ice cubes, and snuggle with us in bed. He’s growing like a weed and keeps us super busy, but it’s worth every early morning and every wet-nosed kiss. His big brother Carlisle is his best friend, even though the kitty isn’t always so sure about him.  He turns seven months old in September and I can't believe how big he's getting! 

In loving memory of Paul Leonard Larson, Jr. 

Not long after I stopped blogging, we got word that my sweet grandfather had passed away. It was a heartbreaking loss after his long battle with Parkinson’s disease. I miss him and think about him every single day and it honestly still hurts to talk about it. He was the patriarch of our family and a truly a brilliant and honest soul. The world is quite a bit dimmer without his wit and wisdom. He taught me so many things as I was growing up and was one of the greatest storytellers of all time - which is probably what I'll miss most about him. It's hard to sum up how great of a man he was in only a few short words but all I can say is that I hope one day to raise sons as strong and genuine as him. 

A little R&R

The thing I've been most grateful for over the past seven months was the chance we had to recharge, relax, and reconnect. During the break, Mike and I made lots and lots of time for ourselves which was more than a little necessary. After the new year, and after my major confession about my struggles with anxiety, I felt strongly that the only effective solution was to slow down and take care of us. We took weekends away for just us two, hung out around the house, reinstated weekly date nights, and recharged our batteries. While somehow life stays crazy enough to keep us perpetually seeking these periods of down time, it’s been nice to know I’m not alone in my pursuit of a calm and simple life. Having Mike there to recognize when I need to step off the hamster wheel and recuperate has led me to realize, yet again, how big of a blessing he is in my life.

Home Improvement

With all that down time, we've also been making major progress on our little house. From outdoor landscaping to basement renovation, we've been quite the busy bees. I was hoping to share the progress photos I had been taking along the way but due to a corrupt file transfer, I lost all of my pictures from January through mid-May. Major bummer. In the end though, I think this was just another sign that I need to learn to keep things simple. As a result, I've decided room-by-room updates with before and after photos will suffice. I can't wait to share what we've been up to, so stay tuned!

Grad School Milestones

YOU GUYS, I'M MORE THAN HALF WAY THROUGH GRAD SCHOOL! Although it's really only been two years, it feels like twelve. I passed the half way point in the Spring and after my final this week, I only have four more courses to take! Working full-time and going to school is much harder than I thought it would be but I'm so glad I'm pushing through it anyway. (P.S. - all you mommies out there doing this, working, and raising babies - you are rockstars! Please teach me your ways.) While I'll finish up my master's next year, I want to walk at graduation and unfortunately, that will have to wait until the Spring of 2018 since Hopkins doesn't do a Winter commencement. It may take me three and a half years to complete this baby but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Woohoo!

Frequent Flyer

I never thought when I started working at my new job just over a year ago that I'd get to travel to Europe as much as I have. Four times in ten months! On my last two trips in February and June, I got to explore the most beautiful parts of the Netherlands and while it was an incredible experience, part of me was really sad that Mike wasn't there to see it with me. When I got back home this last time, I swore I wouldn't go back unless he could come along. So, on top of our vacation in Iceland next month, he's tagging along on my next work trip in late October! Our plan is to hit Paris for a weekend, explore Belgium while I'm there for work, and then on the second weekend, pop over to London. We're cramming in quite a lot, but the more we plan the more excited I get for fall!

Becoming A Bookworm

I know this is probably old news to most people, but have you heard of the OverDrive app? I discovered it in early May and have not stopped using it since. I'm completely obsessed. If you haven't heard of it, allow me to change your life. It's an app that works with your public library to bring eBooks and audiobooks directly to your phone or tablet. It doesn't require data after you download the books so it's perfect for reading or listening on the plane or in your car. I loved it for my long flights to Belgium and back! The best part is that it's free as long as you have a library card and here's a tip - if you have more than one card like me (since I've lived in three different counties) you can use them all to get a wider book selection. With all the reading I have to do for school, it's been great to be able to read or listen to something on the side for fun. The first week I used the app, I cranked out four audiobooks. Trust me, it's that addicting!

Blates on Blates on Blates

Aside from school and work and travel and puppies, we've been making time at least once a month to hang out with the Baltimore blog babes (and now boys). I can't even begin to describe how much I have grown to love this crew right here. From O's games and dinner dates to NYC trips and wine tours, Mike and I have had a blast spending time with them on every blate. It's crazy to think that in a few weeks, we'll be celebrating ONE YEAR of real-life friendship. To have met these ladies and their guys not even a year ago and to already be able to call them some of my best friends... I'm one lucky girl, that's for sure.

Well that's about all I've got right now. I'm so glad to be back in the blogosphere and I can't wait to catch up with all of you and see what you've been up to! Seven months of un-read blog posts, here I come!


  1. YOU'RE BACK! SO EXCITED!!!!! I cannot believe its been seven months since you blogged last! We sure have missed you but I'm so glad you were able to step back and take care of whats important, spending time with Mike, friends and family and relaxing! So much has happened in seven months, but I'm lucky to have known about this all first hand <3

    1. Thanks girl! I'm so glad to be back! :)

  2. YAY!!!!!!!! I am overjoyed to see your blogging again. I loved this recap. It's so great that you and Mike have been able to take time for yourselves and enjoy life. I can not wait to hear about Iceland and London! Two places I really, really hope we can see next year. I can't believe we are a month away from our one year anniversary, time has flown by and I'm SO thankful for the friendship we all have. I can't wait to keep making memories with all of you! xoxo

    1. I can't wait to share all about Iceland and London! You have to add them to your list! It's a shame I can't just pack in you my suitcase! haha

  3. I'm so glad that you're blogging again!! And I can't wait to see more pictures of Archie!

    1. Thanks Lauren! I will definitely keep the Archie content flowing :)

  4. YAY! Welcome back! I can't wait to read more about your home improvement and travels!

    1. Thanks girl! I've missed the blogosphere so much! Can't wait to catch up! :)