10 Days…

There are 10 calendar days to kill until our FET. At my check on Friday morning, the labs were exactly where they should be, my ovaries were quiet, and my uterine lining was 6.something with the triple stripe they like to see. We’ll check everything one last time this coming Friday. I am trying my absolute hardest to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, but—well, it’s hard.

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We spent the weekend camping at El Capitan State Beach, which is probably one of my all-time favorite places to go camping. It’s notoriously difficult to get a reservation—you have to plan many months in advance—but if you enjoy ocean scenery, it’s totally worth the wait.

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This year, we camped at site #4. I had no idea what to expect because I’ve never stayed in this particular part of the campground before, and I don’t know that I’ll camp in that area again. We were right next to a dry ravine where a family of skunks have made themselves at home, and they didn’t think twice about strolling through our campsite. Once the sun set, we had to be on guard for every rustle of leaves. No way was I going to end up with two skunked dogs. Fortunately, we managed to avoid being sprayed, but it didn’t make for particularly relaxing evenings.

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We weren’t as prepared for this trip as we usually are. Somehow we managed to forget the “camping box,” which is the precious container that holds all of the crucial elements—can opener, corkscrew, lighters, utensils, spices, etc. We also forgot dog food. Whoops. Once I sorted that out with a trip to the store, we thought we were done with surprises. And we were—for a few hours. Until we woke up Saturday morning and tried to put the water on the stove to make coffee and learned that our stove was broken. Propane was shooting straight out of the part that connects it to the stove. Fun.

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Of course, as long as you have fire, you don’t NEED a stove, but we planned our meals around that damn stove, so things were a bit complicated. It’s hard to cook pancakes on an open fire. Oh well. We managed!

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Complications aside, it was a nice weekend. The fresh air, sunsets, and stars were positively medicinal. I’m trying my hardest to hold on to that peace as we roll into another week.

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Happy Monday, all.

Three Squared

Today is the 9 year anniversary of the day I met my wife. It’s also our 6 year wedding anniversary.

I don’t know what I’d do without my Catch. I don’t know who I’d be. I don’t even want to know.

It feels like we’ve grown up together over these past years. The difference between 24 and 33 is pretty significant. At 24, we were most concerned with who was bringing the vodka and how soon we could take each others clothes off. Actually, maybe that’s a bad example because we still worry about those things–although vodka is often replaced with wine, so surely that’s a sign of maturity, no?

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank the universe for this woman—my partner—my wife—my best friend. I would not trade the life we have together for anything in the world.

I framed this picture from our recent camping trip for her for our anniversary. We were up early that morning to go fishing at Donner Lake. I was wandering with my camera, and Catch was behind me, fishing pole in hand. The sun was rising, and the lake was quiet and still. It was in that moment that it occurred to me that no matter where this year leads us, we will be just fine. As long as I can share these moments with her, my life will be complete.

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Happy anniversary, my love.  There’s no one I’d rather be lost with.

Away

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So, we skipped town last weekend for a quick 2-night trip to El Capitan State Beach.  Right next to our tent, there was a little flat spot with room for our chairs and a dog bed and a direct view of this:

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We spent quite a bit of time in that spot.  The pups thought it was a great place to nap.  And beg for treats.  Twix does a mean high five with the right motivation.

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Highfive

We also spent some time at Arroyo Burro dog beach, which is only a 20 minute drive from the campground.  Dogs aren’t allowed on state beaches, so we took them to the dog beach at low tide on Saturday.

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Playtime

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The added bonus of low tide at the dog beach? Tidepools!

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Tidepools

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Naturally, we made it back to camp in time for sunset. I wouldn’t want to miss this.

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We were up early Sunday morning, and made our way quietly to the beach with the dogs to catch the sunrise.  It was quick enough not to get caught by anyone who would yell at us about dogs on the beach, but long enough for the dogs to find a dead lobster to roll on.  Good times.  Beautiful sunrise.

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Not a bad way to spend a weekend.  I hope we can do it again soon!

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El Capitan

Just Enough

I don’t feel right talking about how perfect our weekend in
Cambria was because poor Catch was so sick—but even so, it was pretty perfect.  I think Catch’s horrid cold
really forced us to lay low and not run ourselves ragged trying to SEE ALL THE THINGS.

We ate dinner at the same restaurant two nights in a row because a) it was fantastic, and b) it was a 3-minute walk from our hotel.  Not very adventurous, but totally indulgent.

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There was wine.  We sat on a blanket and rested our backs against a giant piece of driftwood and drank wine out of plastic hotel cups as the sun set.

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There were seals–everywhere.  Sunning themselves on rocks.  Playing on the beach. 

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There were tidepools filled with starfish and neon colored anemones.

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Tidepools

Naps were taken while the fireplace flickered.  Cider was sipped as the fog rolled in and settled for the night.

Catch picked out yarn from a local shop and requested a new hat for winter dog walks.   

We even stopped and picked a few baskets of apples in an orchard on our way home. 

Apple_orchard

Weekends like this don't come along often, and I am trying my hardest to hold onto it.  I needed this.  We needed this. 

I popped that first clomid last night with a sip of water, a quick kiss from Catch, and a silent prayer.  I love these weekends away, but I would have been just as happy to be the couple across from us at lunch playing with a giggling baby girl as I was to be the sunset couple on the beach.

Road Trip – In a Nutshell

I could write a book about our recent road trip.  Having a July anniversary has given us an excuse for some fantastic summer vacations. This wasn't an Alaskan cruise, but it was still a fantastic way to mark the 5 year anniversary of our (real) wedding (also the 8 year anniversary of our first date.)

We left on Friday afternoon and made it all the way from California, through Nevada, a snippet of Arizona and into Richfield Utah that night.  We had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at an Applebee's in some random little town in Utah around 9 pm. Oddly enough, it's not the first time we've had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at Applebee's in some random little town off a highway around 9 pm.  

After day 1, things improved dramatically and we found ourselves here:

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(Spotted Wolf Canyon, Utah)

And then finally, here–my sister in law's ranch house near Fort Collins, CO:

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This guy's name is Phil.  He cracke me up.  If 80s hair bands were comprised of chickens, Phil would have found his calling for sure.

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I love it there because I get to dote on the horses… it's all my little girl fantasises come true!

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We left Fort Collins a few days later and headed through Wyoming and into Hill City South Dakota.  

We saw the Crazy Horse Monument

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Mount Rushmore 

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We rode the "1880s Train" (pretty self explanatory)

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Saw a gazillion deer everywhere we went

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Had a few drinks…

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Visited Sturgis just a few days shy of Bike Week (I didn't feel out of place AT ALL)

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And finally, hit the road again toward home, stopping along the way in…

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For a night of camping here:

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Under these:

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I'd say we have a knack for taking some pretty fantastic trips.  

 

Getaway

My mom and I have been trying to find the time to get up to one of our new favorite wineries for months.  It's just a few hours outside of L.A., but we when we managed to make our schedules line up, there'd be rain in the froecast.  We were envisioning a picnic lunch with a bottle of wine in the sunshine, and a rainy weekend wasn't going to cut it.

Then, Saturday happened.  We left her house around 9:30, and by 11:30, we were headed into the rolling green hills of Foxen Canyon near Santa Maria.  We tasted wine until we couldn't stand it anymore, and then turned around and headed to our hotel room in Santa Barbara.  It was about 40 minutes away from where we were, and on our way, I took us on a detour through another canyon I had discovered while camping with Catch a few weeks ago.  

We drove up and up until we ended up high in the hills with a slightly hazy, slightly sunny, beautifully green view of the Pacific Ocean…

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When we'd had enough of the wind threatening to blow us right out of the hills, we headed to our hotel and found it situated across the street from the beach.

Our room was on the ground floor with a patio overlooking pristine grass, palm trees and sparkling blue ocean.

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I wish I'd taken some photos while we were wine tasting, but I was so wrapped up in the wine and the rustic scenery that I never took my camera out.  I did manage a few photos at the beach, though…

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I came away from the weekend with eight bottles of wine from Foxen Vineyard and a few more from Kenneth Volk.  It was a perfect weekend–the kind you want to try to tuck into a bottle so that you can take a sip and remember the feeling of the warm sun and the smell of the wine and the ocean anytime you want.

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I'm still waiting to feel 100% human again–this cold has really kicked my butt, and I'd be happy to wean myself off of the box of tissues any day now.  

Fortunately, the sickness didn't stop us from going camping this weekend.  We were going to cancel, but I told Catch that there wasn't much difference between me being home sick on the couch or sitting in front of a nice warm campfire with my tissues.  

I am so glad we went.  I needed this trip so badly.  I didn't even realize how badly I needed it.

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We chose site 81, opting for priivacy rather than an ocean view.  It was fine with me because it forced us to go on some fantastic walks to enjoy the ocean.

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El Capitan State Beach is one of my all time favorite weekend camping spots.  Close enough for a weekend, but with scenery that makes you feel away.

We enjoyed our campfires… especially Rolo because he was COLD. He's really not the biggest fan of camping.  

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We walked for miles–it was so beautiful I could have kept going forever…

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I think I wouldn't mind living inside one of these photos forever…

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We spent a good hour sitting in front of a fire trying to figure out when we could go back.  I hope it's soon.  

Red, Orange, Yellow…

Yesterday, Los Angeles broke a a 30+ year old record for lowest recorded temperature on that day.  We put on scarves and sweatshirts and took the dogs for a walk just before 5 o'clock.  I'm glad we don't live in a place where winter is brown and white.

Red berries

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Oranges

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The last few bright leaves on a small maple tree


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Yellow leaves

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A Stroll…

Leaving Rolo at the vet hospital was totally draining. Walking out of a vet's office with my dog's collar and leash in hand was reminscent of putting my childhood dog down when I was nineteen.  Not a fun thought when my sweet baby boy is seriously ill.

When I got home, I was sleepy and depressed, and rather than do any of the productive things I had planned to do, I curled up on the couch with Twix, an oversized fuzzy blanket, and NCIS re-runs on cable.  Catch took one look at me when she got home from work and insisted that I get dressed because we clearly needed to go out for a walk.

With only one dog to walk, I was able to bring my camera.  I really do love our neighborhood.

Sunshine hiding behind beautiful puffy rain clouds 

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Twix wants to know what the hold-up is. I'm clicking away.

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This is one of my favorite plants on our walks.  Orange buds with purple flowers–and it's winter.

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I love the branches on this tree.  

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More sunshine hiding behind clouds twoard the end of our walk. I hate the house, but love the lines of those tall, whispy tree branches silhouetted in front of the cloud.  

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A Houndful of Issues…