My Forever Love for Juice Boxes

I write to you today with a frog in my throat, feeling humble, scared and grateful.

Last week, immediately after my Endo appointment, we headed to FL to have a reunion with 2 other families. I felt like a badass driving down because my A1c returned to a territory I want to stay in, reading at 5.6 (a non-diabetic range). Yet, just when I think I have a routine, a plan, momentum, I realize I am at a loss.

Days into the trip I woke up with a blood sugar of 383 mg/dL. “Wtf?!” I haven’t seen a high like this in years.

Is it bc we ate a late dinner? I always have a high fasting when I eat late; but not this high. Was it the Prosecco I drank last night?? Maybe the alcohol made me low, I didn’t wake up, and glucagon shunted into my bloodstream??

Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping enough? I was often the first to go to bed because I know less than 6 hours of sleep makes blood sugar control hard, but I’ve had 2 newborn babies and my blood sugar never behaved this bad.

Was it because I was less active than being at home? I was still running and swimming. Was I dehydrated severely? No.

What’s going on? Is the insulin bad? It worked fine yesterday and the day before and since then I haven’t stored it differently. I had it on the bathroom counter; maybe the room got too hot when we had our showers?

I take action – I’m aggressive with my basal/Tresiba for the day, upping my dose from 8 units to 12, then layer on another 2 units, making it 14. I take an intramuscular injection to correct the high.

Is it the heat? I always go really high with high humidity and temps above 80F. But I’ve lived in Australia with 100-degree temps and no a/c and it never got this bad.

Two hours later I’m only at 220 mg/dL, arrow across. Blood sugar goes up 2 points. I take more insulin.

Trying my best to keep my fears and frustrations to myself, I head to the beach with everyone.

I see diagonal down on my CGM. “Yay, the insulin is working.”

I have some dried mango in my beach bag in case the insulin begins working too well.

I’m in the water and run back to our things, aka my phone to read my blood sugar via my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and grab my daughter her floaty.

Double arrow down reading 45 mg/dL. Where is the mango??? I eat it.

Five/ten minutes pass and my friend comes back to get her son a snack.

I actually start feeling really scared. I started praying. The mango isn’t doing a thing, still 2 arrows down (this means my blood sugar is dropping 4 points per minute).

My friend pulls out a cooler with juice boxes for the kids. Amen! Juice will help.

I chug the juice.

I’m so low my CGM can’t read my blood sugar. CGM reads, “LOW” double arrow down.

My friend has no idea I’m scared for my life at the moment. Am I going to go into a seizure?

I ask my friend to get my husband. I start crying. Am I going to die because of this damn high blood sugar, now firing back?

Thirty minutes in, I level out, head back to our house and over-analyze everything for the next 2 days with 1 more similar low blood sugar scenario. The second time I used maple syrup to bring my sugar up, followed by a juice. I asked my husband to hold me until the carbs kick in. 

I threw out my current pen of Fiasp for fresh insulin starting day 2, but I robotically took the same Tresiba day 2, and I was hesitant to take another full dose of a new bottle. So now day 3, it’s confirmed on what the problem was…

Spoiled Tresiba/basal insulin.

Sometimes I think I’ve got this disease, but it can be mean, scary, horrific. Diabetes teaches me day in and day out to make my time count and I’m so grateful for my insulin, my CGM, my juice box, my life.

I had a great trip overall, diabetes won’t taint it, and I’m happy to be home to ground myself and make a difference in this world. 

This scary event was a gentle reminder of what it may feel like to be newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or going through a confusing time of diabetes management. There is always something to learn, and I should have been more bold with changing out my insulin sooner.

Healthy Travel Tactics

I’ve flown to Australia a number of times (that’s a 32 hour commute, door-to-door, oye) and have camped in a tent a fair-share and while making a number of mistakes, I have a good sense of how to pack and prep for travel, keeping my health goals (optimal weight and steady blood sugars) in mind.

Recognize (Good & Bad) Habits 

  • Use your trip and adventure to observe, learn and break negative habits. Perhaps while traveling you notice you don’t need a routine morning snack, or you may notice when you are home, there is something in your environment triggering a need to eat/drink. Observe with curiosity, learn what you can tweak and apply the positive change (skip morning snack and eat 3 meals a day. Snacking is not necessary for weight loss and in fact, can cause weight gain. Nonetheless, when we snack between meals, we are stacking insulin, which is not ideal).
  • Eat the local cuisine and use a hunger scale to guide you on how much to eat. I say this daily to clients: “Eat when you are hungry and only when you are hungry.” When we eat the right amount of food, our body can still thrive and in fact, can better extract nutrients. Depending where I am, I will ask to box up my leftovers and will pass them onto someone less fortunate living on the streets.

Food Is Fuel Not Entertainment

  • Life a full life, so your food can be fuel (boring). Find pleasure in the new area you are visiting and activities that make you happy, so it’s not the food that is the highlight of your day. When we view food as fuel, we have a better appreciation for what we are eating and listening to how much our bodies need. This is easier said than done and takes practice.
  • Seek color and vegetables when and where you can. One thing about the USA,  Starbucks is easily accessible and I know I can go there tol buy a salad and enjoy that for breakfast (if needed). As well, I will travel with some powders to help increase the nutrients in my food for the day.
  • Pack convenient whole real food. I have a snack pack ready to go every time we hit the road. A few of my go-to’s: carrots (they are crunchy, filling, and tolerate varying temps), indivual pack of olives (shoutout to #TraderJoes), jerky (Epic has a number of flavors and they prove to be the best), nuts/seeds, apples, dark chocolate, canned salmon/tuna, mustard packets, plastic utensils, bars (Larabars, Collagen Bars, to name a few), and Jilz crackers.
  • Have a water bottle on you at all times, and make it a point when at the airport or on the plane to hydrate. In flight and at higher altitudes, we dehydrate more quickly, which can raise our blood sugar levels. I have learned my blood sugars go up as we take off, and about 30-45 minutes, after landing, my blood sugars drop. I adjust my insulin and eating to work with this.

Immunity

  • Pack some probiotics to help keep your bowels regular and support your immune system if exposed to new bugs. As well, pack magnesium and potentially melatonin to better adjust to a new bed and/or timezone. My suitcase always has an eye mask, earplugs and Sleepy Time tea it.
  • Slow down when you eat and take smaller bites. Use your vacation to recalibrate how quickly you consume your food.
  • Sneak in movement early in the day if your plans for the don’t involve any. Pack plenty of dry-fit wear and comfortbale shoes, so you have no excuse to not sweat. In the least, strive to do a number of pushups, lunges, squats in your hotel room.
  • Intermitent fast to prevent overconsumption of food on your trip and to support your healthy gut bugs, insulin resistance, and blood sugar.

Diabetic Prep Specifically

  • For overseas travel register with IAMAT – and if you have an AMEX, you can use the conceriege service to help you locate a local doctor if you run into a situation where you need one.
  • If you are on an insulin pump – call your pump company and ask for a loaner pump for the extent of your trip. As well, make sure you have enough supplies well ahead of time, to ensure you have a surplus to take with you on your travels, and if needed request a new Rx from your doctor’s office for anything you are running short on.
  • Download a country specific carb counting app to help measure the amount of carbs you are eating.
  • Take extra supplies with you and don’t leave everything at the hotel when you go for a day trip.
  • Split up some of your supplies with a companion, and definately do not check any bags with supplies in them.
  • Change your pump to the new time zone as you arrive. or while in transit.
  • I personally use the plastic case that comes with new pillowcase sheets to hold all of my supplies and I also have a mini cooler, that’s intended to keep baby bottles chilled for my insulin. Find something compact and convenient to store your supplies.
  • Wear a medical I.D. and add an ICE (incase of a medical emergency) contact to your phone. Here is a how-to on setting that up.

Enjoy!

  • Travel is good for the mind, body, and soul.
  • Eat things that are off your plan that are only worth it. Just because something is local fair, it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Eat things that you really want to eat and will enjoy without guilt.
  • Laugh, live, explore and enjoy the people you are with and the places your seeing. Don’t let your health goal draw in any stress.

If you need any guidance for your travels and beyond, don’t hesistate to contact me [email protected].

On the Go? Constantly Traveling? #Health #NoExcuses

Along with yesterday’s blog post, “Client FAQ: When Traveling What Can I Prep/Eat?” I thought I would elaborate even more.

Too often I hear of reasons people cannot focus on their health due to workload, work travel and just always being on the run. Guess what? This doesn’t give you a hall-pass to eat at Five Guys, Popeye’s or Taco Hell. Sorry, I mean, “Bell.” But let’s be realistic. Just as you plan meetings each day/week, you can also plan in short workouts and meals, portable or not. To assist in the thought process here are some pointers to help you along.

What to pack in your handbag/suite-case:

  • Macadamia nuts
  • Wild tuna in water, canned
  • Willd salmon, canned
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Lindt 85%/90% dark chocolate
  • Grass-fed and gluten free jerky
  • Dried fruit (prunes, figs, dates)
  • Raw fruit, portable

Now onto meals…

Breakfast:

  • This is where some of those hard-boiled eggs can come in hand. Pair a few eggs with a to-go coffee and be on your way to your first meeting.
  • Breakfast joints/diners – over-easy eggs, bacon or gluten free sausage. Double score if you can get some sauteed vegetables (spinach, mushrooms) and if the eggs are organic free range.
  • Starbucks- black coffee or tea, Kind bar and some fruit – or –
  • Starbucks black coffee or tea, Protein pack: Cage-free egg, white Cheddar cheese, honey peanut butter spread, multigrain muesli bread, apples and grapes, but perhaps avoid the bread and peanut butter. Assess dairy for your best needs – or –
  • Starbucks black coffee or tea and one of their hot sandwiches sans the bread (and perhaps cheese)
  • Subway ask for one of the egg breakfast sandwiches without bread
  • McDonald’s ask for scrambled eggs and apple slices – or – fruit and walnut breakfast, avoid eating the processed yogurt.
  • Burger King ask for scrambled eggs and apple slices – or – ham omelette sandwich with no bread
  • Dunkin Donuts has a large breakfast sandwich menu. Ask for one of the breakfast meat/egg combo without the bun.

Lunch/Dinner:

Arby’s the Roast beef plain is your best bet. You can pair it with a plain salad or apple slices. Their Angus beef is gluten free but not the purest of proteins. It contains soy as a filler. Their sauce is also heavy in corny syrup. Corned beef is on the same level as the Angus beef as id the Roasted Turkey. If you are itching for a condiment the sauerkraut and aoli is at least gluten free.

Subway – you can build a salad with an assortment of vegetables and proteins.

Chipotle – this is my go-to place. Their products are locally sourced, when able, and their meat comes from grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork and free range chicken. I opt for the pork, because it is not cooked in soybean oil. The purest order is their bowl – choose a protein, I go for all 3 salsa’s (not the corn), lettuce, and guacamole. This is more than enough food even without the rice, beans and cheese. #EatClean

Jimmy Johns – I love  a place that has an unwhich. Instead of bread, Jimmy John’s wrap a sandwich in a lettuce wrap. Depending on my schedule I may get double meat and always some avocado.

If I you have the chance to sit-down somewhere, perhaps with a client, ask for a gluten free menu and build/choose a meal starting with protein and then pair it with some vegetables, and this does not include French fries.

Even if you order room service, choose real food, in it’s purest form (salad, steak, fish with steamed vegetables and some wine for dessert), and do not overeat. You are already likely to not sleep well in a new bed and having a full stomach will not help.

On the go often? Dismissing your health is not a choice. Small changes can have big outcomes. Start today.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

 

Client FAQ: When Traveling What Can I Prep/Eat?

I easily answer this question once a week. Regardless if I have a client traveling for the week for work, on the road daily for sales meetings, or just plain busy, people always want to know what to pack/snack and eat for their meals.

Client Question: Kelly, I’m on the road this week, what would you pack to keep things healthy and satisfying for all 3 meals?

Kelly: I know this gig well. The last 2 years I was on the road weekly and sometimes weeks at a time. Depending on what your travel looks like, here are some ideas:

hard boiled eggs are great for early morning flights. Even better, pair 2-3 eggs with some raw veggies. Get a coffee at the airport and you are good to go.

In your handbag/briefcase have macadamia nuts, dark chocolate, fresh fruit, even canned tuna or canned salmon. You can pick up a plain salad from about anywhere and top it with some solid protein.

If you are staying somewhere overnight, don’t hesitate to go to the grocery store and a gourmet gas station and get a few items for your mini fridge. I’ve bough large bags of dark leafy greens, guacamole, deli meat, olives, etc to have for dinner after a long day. I may have paired this with a glass of red wine, but I was saving money, managing what I was eating and I didn’t feel exhausted after a long week.

No doubt though, eating in on the road is not always realistic. My go-to’s are Chipotle (bowl with pork, all 3 salsas, lettuce and guacamole), Jimmy Johns (an unwich with extra meat and avocado) or a non-chain restaurant and build/choose a meal based on protein and vegetables. Of course. always gluten free.

While traveling, sleep can be rough and the travel can dehydrate you. Always have some water on hand and bring along some herb teas to help you wind down in the evening.

More snack ideas can be found here.

What are your go-to foods while traveling?

My South Africa Travels: Part 1

I have the fortunate opportunity to travel to South Africa closing out 2012 and am truly amazed by the beauty of this country and the pureness of the food.  Thus far, I have tried a variety of new things including capaccio springbok, which is basically raw, thinly sliced game meat and while on our safari tour in Kruger National Park, we snacked on some droewors (dried sausage) or what we (Americans) would call beef jerky and drank some Pinotage (similar to Pinot Noir) at sunset.

So how can I describe the interesting observations I have collected in South Africa? Perhaps I will start with how everyone walks EVERYWHERE here. There are certainly plenty of cars and taxis, but when we drove the 5 hour route to Kruger National Park, there were people, rain or shine, walking along the highway and the streets throughout our travel. Many of those had their thumb out too, hoping to bum a ride.

While I prefer to branch out, trying meats and protein sources that are not regularly seen in the grocery at home, I soon realize that chicken forms an integral part of the South African diet. In the 1960s it was standard practice to grow and butcher free range chicken to meet the demand, but with a growing population the chickens were quickly processed differently by being genetically modified and grown a third quicker and heavier. Go back to old standards, trust me, it’s better and worth the time investment in the long-run!!

Carrying on, some more observations and facts I have learned thus far (and I want to note, these are observations and facts that I have researched. In no way do I intend my comments to be prejudiced or to categorize):

  • The total production of raw milk in South Africa increased from just more than 2,200 million litres in 2004, to just more than 2,600 million litres in 2011.
  • Only 3% of egg laying hens are free range. The remaining lay eggs in small battery cages.
  • Identifying authentic free-range and organic produce in South Africa can be tricky for consumers, as there is no official legislation in place for free-range or organic farming in South Africa.
  • At present the South African law governing organic farming is still in draft form.
  • The first free-range eggs were introduced onto the shelves of Pick ‘n Pay andWoolworths in 1991, and in 2004 Woolworths banned all battery eggs from its shelves. Eggs that are not labelled “free-range” or “barn” are from caged hens. Free-range eggs from pastured chickens are quite different in terms of their egg yolk color and egg shell strength.
  • Contrary to what I thought before coming to SA, I have been drinking the tap water. South African water institutions are considered to provide some of the highest quality of drinking or potable water in the world.
  • Gluten free requests are hard to understand and not successful when I ask. When eating out, and after asking the waiter/waitress about the need to avoid gluten, they don’t understand what gluten is. I have been fine working around this by opting for seafood and vegetables but failed miserably after eating a salad with a mustard vinaigrette  Most mustard jars I have read, have wheat in them.
  • Malls are pretty popular here in SA, and they are straight up BIG. Huge. We have spent some time in the Mandela Square mall and it’s chalk full of shops, fancy steak houses, seafood restaurants, cafes,  a food court and 2 grocery stores.
  • The lunch hour in the malls are always swarming with people. Goodness, I think regardless of the hour, there are people everywhere. I found it really neat to see large lines at the grocery store where business men and women await to order their lunch from the deli. Bravo! An excellent healthy choice when eating out on the lunch hour.
  • Many menus have meals made with cous cous. As well, I have seen menus with interesting Low GI labels and “Healthy Options.” Specifically on a breakfast menu the “Healthy” meal choice was 2 eggs, pork sausage and grilled tomato. Do you think you could find this on a USA menu? Maybe a paleo one, but for the most part a “Healthy” meal choice I’d see in the States would likely be an egg-white omelette with lots of whole grain bread. South Africa, one point.
  • If you are walking about be careful of traffic (and safety overall). Thus far, the walkways and signals don’t empower the pedestrian to cross a street. This is a bit different than the Green walking man in Australia that I experienced; which also ticked at a pace of how fast we should be moving across the street. I have confidently crossed a walkway with the right signal to do so, and then cars feel at ease to power towards me. This has added a skip in my step! And not in the right way.
  • I did a little bit of grocery shopping to have some snacks on hand and I am grateful for the amazing selection of macadamia nuts and “trail mix.” However, trail mix is marketed as Safari mix. Don’t you love it? I do, and the dried fruit in the Safari mix is pure, and delicious. As for the nuts, they are dirt cheap. I got a snack bag for R33 which equates close to $4USD.

As I am part-way through our amazing trip in South Africa, I will collaborate more things I find interesting and follow-up in a Part 2. Until then, cheers to you and good health, Kel

References:

Compassion in World Farming, SA

Tying in Health When Traveling

This month was uber fun, yet, I have sat on an airplane more than I have laid in my own bed. With late dinners and early mornings I bank on my diet to pull me through these busy events.

I take my hat off to anyone who is a consultant and is always on the road. It is tough – routines are forgotten, meals are unplanned, and sleep…good luck. Yet, I have some go-to habits that help keep me sane including clean eating.

1. Food

You don’t always know what you are going to eat or when. If I didn’t pack my go-to travel foods, I would go on famished or even drowning myself in whatever I could get my hands on.

I always carry food on my trips, well at least all the types of food I can travel with from state to state in Australia (here you are not allowed to take fruits, vegs, meats and many other quarantined items from one state to another). While traveling I am constantly bouncing from one meeting to the next. What could be a fast food drive through, I turn into a quick stop at a park (if I am lucky) and eat something I have on hand. My travel foods include: hard boiled eggs, canned tuna in olive oil (100% olive oil), macadamia nuts, and dark chocolate. All these foods are good, nutrient-dense and satisfying. Since I can’t take vegetables from one state to another, I may pick up a salad and dress it with my tuna and hard boiled egg. If my flight is bright an early, I will again often source a hard boiled egg or two.

2. Fitness

Regardless of where I am traveling and for how long, I have a workout outfit, comfy shoes to swap out my heels for to get in a quick walk, goggles and a swimsuit. The best way to get to know a city is on foot. When a day of meetings wrap-up, I will throw on some joggers and get in some fitness before the sun goes down.

3. Fasting

If there are no good food options and my blood sugars are pleasing, I will partake in an intermittent fast. I may also do a fast when my meals are too plentiful, for example last week I was at a conference and there was a buffet breakfast, morning and arvo tea (which means coffee, tea and food), lunch and then a dinner. Grains avoided or not, I still overate and an intermittent fast gets me back on track. I usually only fast for about 14-16 hours, eating dinner then again the following day around 11am.

4. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is key. I take an empty water bottle through the security at the airport and top it off right away and continue to do so throughout the trip.

5. Sleep

It is not always a good nights sleep in a new place and new bed, but I take some decaf tea with me, along with some magnesium supplements to help wind down. I also make the bedroom as dark as I can (block the clock) and turn the thermostat on the cold side.

6. Me time

Travel can be lonely but also an awesome opportunity for some personal time. When on the road set aside time to just relax and digest any stress going on in your life. Depending on where I am, I like popping downstairs to the hotel bar and getting a nice glass of red  and get comfortable in my room by reading or catching some cable (we don’t have cable; crazy? Yes).

These are just a few things I have adapted in the last year and will continue to strive for optimal health, diet and fitness when wining and dining.

Cheers to you and good health!

Time For An Update

Life’s been a whirlwind.

Starting in March we went on a 3 week holiday visiting about everyone we knew in the US. Nothing short of spending time in Vegas, Missouri (sister and new baby), Indiana, Cincinnati, Columbus and Chicago. Exaggeration nil, I think we met up with over a 150 people – it was awesome to be back and hard work.

   Yet thpace e didn’t slow nor has it. A few days after returning to Melbourne and doing a final parental-approved clean sweep through our house, my mom came to visit for 3 weeks. We engulfed ourselves in adventures stemming from a pub crawl in Sydney, hot springs in Victoria, a wine tour, 15k run (I smashed my husband’s time), wild life tour, and many nights out on the down and loved every bit of it.

  
We certainly haven’t left time for any grass grow beneath us. Currently we entertaining another bout of friends from Chicago for 3 weeks.

This time adventures include footy, a trip to Cairns, white water rafting, snorkeling, wine tours, zip lining and more.

  
In all fairness it has been a bit challenging to eat right and keep blood sugars level. Yet, it’s been a blast and I am always aiming to put my best foot forward. Nonetheless I have many posts to come – addressing acupuncture, meditation, mental health/diet, vitamin K2, recipes and more.

Thanks for your patience and stay-tuned. Cheers to you and good health.

Silly American: #5

With some help from my husband, we have come up with the below. This information is helpful all and anyone traveling to Australia, particularly from the USA. Note-to-self, opt for cider, you will have a much larger variety of gluten free options.

Cheers to you and good health!
The O’Schmidt’s

  • Pot 285 ml (10 fl oz) – Small sized beer in Melbourne (yes, Sydney and Melbourne have different size beers)
  • Schooner 425 ml (15 fl oz) – Small sized beer in Sydney
  • Pint 570 ml (20 fl oz) – A pint is pint
  • Stubby – Bottled beer (example, I want a “stubby” of Corona)
  • Light Beers = low alcohol beers (don’t order a light beer unless you are on probation)
  • Blonde Beers = light beers in the US, (example Pure Blonde = Bud Light)
  • Shout = round of drinks, Australians take this very serious, see video for some info on shout “politics” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfdW4iCSmFE

My 2009

I can easily say this past year has been the most growing year for me and the best classroom is one that involves traveling. I feel like I’ve come a long way in 26 years at this point in time and it’s been an adventerous road. From a career change, to my highest volume in traveling in a year, here is a look of what my last year looked like:

January – Madison, WI
Devils Head Ski Resort
I think I nearly broke my tailbone on this snowboarding trip! As I slipped into my snowboarding boots, I was breaking into a complete comfort zone with my boyfriend. I had not snowboarded in nearly 6 years but I thought my slick skills would come back as quickly as riding a bike. Hah! I was wrong and my butt felt it. I couldn’t sit normal for a month after this trip but it was all worth it. I plan to go back this coming February to prove myself.

February – Columbus, OH
Watched my high school friend, Andi, get married! It was gorgeous winter wedding and a quick reminder of how quickly we are all growing up.

February – Portage, WI
Cascade Ski Resort
I think I observed more of the resort than the slopes on this trip. Lots of ice and some “ice cold ones” to make up for it. Ironically, I ran into an old friend at the resort and had a blast with Schmidtty (the bf).

February – Scottsdale, AZ

My first big girl trip with Schmidtty. I flew to AZ after work on a Thursday evening and landed at 1AM Chicago time. I was dead tired from the work week, yet, managed to mingle with new friends and (funny story) found myself driving the “drunk bus” home after the others finished the bachelor party. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except the fact I had not drove a car in over 2 years. No lie. An officer pulled Schmidtty over for not having his car lights on. Schmidtty blamed late travels and not knowing the functions of a rental car for not having on the lights. The officer suggested the sober passenger girl drive the car; me. I just met these new friends and was putting their life at risk with my pathetic driving ability and confidence. To say the least, I screamed like a girl once I turned onto the highway but we made it in one piece. The wedding was a blast. It was small, yet, perfect. We hiked while in AZ and made the most of this great trip.

April – Louisville, KY
Ran a half marathon with my sister, her husband and Schmidtty! It was so cool and we ran on the actual Derby course. We also visited my sister’s new and first owned home. The best part of the house was the awesome wedding gift on the walls. Two paintings from Paris. Did I mention I got them the paintings?! Drove to Evansville, IN and met the boyfriend’s family and learned his roots.

May – Put-N-Bay, OH
Hosted my best friend Jamie’s Bach party. No more details needed.

June – Columbus, OH
I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding; Jamie. An awesome time and pictures to prove it!

July – Viva Las Vegas!
My second “big girl” trip with the boyfriend. I lost about a hundo; not bad.

August – Columbus, OH
Went to see the new family members on the O’Connell side (babies). I saw my cousin’s, Sarah, house and enjoyed the weekend with relatives.

September – San Franscisco, CA
Went on a weekend trip with the boyfiend and we explored the farmer’s markets (amazing is an understatement), the city, Napa, the bridges, Alcatrez, amazing food, wine and motorcycle tour and more. It was one of the most fun weekends we have had together.

September – FL for family vacay
This was a hoot. All 3 of my siblings and their significant others and my parents. My dad had one rule, “Don’t embarrass me.” I am pretty sure we broke that rule once or twice.

September – Sky Diving in IL!!!!!!!!
This didn’t make my mom too happy…

November and December – OH – Home for the holidays