Monthly Archives: February 2012

here we go…

leaving work now. need to stop at target and buy gloves and then i’m off to the airport. everyone’s flights are being delayed– i am hoping i am one of the lucky ones.

next stop: st. petersburg.


medifast – week 1

Day 1 –
Weight: 132 or 133 (Okay, I’m guessing, I don’t own a scale)

since i ordered my products but they had not arrived yet, jen gave me a bunch of leftover things she didn’t really want. these didn’t really consist of the actual meals, but rather the snacks and drinks. i have a feeling my first few days might be a bit miserable. 🙂

“Meal” #1: Chai. {9:00AM}
Ugggggggggh this was terrible. I was in the office before Jen because she had a meeting, but she had given me a box of the chai from the day before so I knew I could get started. She did warn me ahead of time that the chai did not stir up well and she had a special little mixer ball thingy to give me, but since she wasn’t here I mixed it with extremely hot water, stirred for an extremely long time…

…and had an extremely miserable breakfast.  Luckily, I’m not normally a breakfast eater anyway so I was able to choke down most of it, diluted the leftover stuff at the bottom and have some more. The taste wasn’t terrible, but the consistency was enough to almost make want to give up on the diet.

“Meal” #2: BBQ Bites {12:15PM}
These weren’t so bad. I don’t think I would’ve eaten the whole bag (even though it was relatively small and hadn’t had much in my stomach before) if I didn’t already know I was going to be starving for the rest of the day. They are puffy snacks that have a bit of a BBQ flavoring to them. Overall, I’m glad I also bought these because I think they would be good mid-day snacks (I really like to snack during the day). I am already craving meat, though.

“Meal” #3: Hot Chocolate {3:04PM}
Jen gave me the little mixer ball thinger. I used it with my hot chocolate. I wasn’t watching my hot chocolate and let it spill over a bit (unfortunate), but now our office smells like a giant chocolate cookie. This stuff is really good. I am also apparently behind schedule, I need to get my fourth meal in before my “lean and green” meal.

“Meal” #4: Parmesan Cheese Puffs {4:00PM}
No, no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no,  no, no…

Ahem. Um, I don’t like these very much. Jen says people either love these or hate them, but she hates them. And I concur. I couldn’t finish the bag.

“Lean and Green” {6:15PM}
I had a 5oz chicken breast (skinless, which is unfortunate because the skin is the best tasting part) and about 1 cup of broccoli and some carrots. I also had two pickle spears because those were in the “additional snacks” list I looked up.

“Meal” #5: …Eggs.
Um, I forgot my additional meal at work and didn’t want to go grab it, so I fixed up two eggs and removed the yolks from one. Then I scrambled it up, added two tablespoons of salsa, and devoured. It was only like 150 calories, 160 tops, so I think I’m okay.


Day 2

Meal #1: Pancakes. {8:00AM}
The pancakes were actually pretty good. The box said it made 3-4 mini pancakes… and it would, if you were expecting tiny pancakes that a toddler could eat. Instead I made 2 small pancakes, heated up the sugar-free maple syrup packet, and enjoyed a nice breakfast. The pancakes also made the house smell pretty good.

“Meal” #2: Cappuccino {10:00AM}
Also pretty tasty, seems like a normal cappuccino to me, although it feels strange that this counts as a “meal.” There is a bit of extra foam as well, I don’t know if it’s because I overshook the powder or what.

“Lean and Green” {12:00PM}
Everyone at work is eating at the lunch table together and since Jen didn’t provide me with any “real meals” I decided to take my lean and green at lunch time. Since our office is right above Noodle Zoo, and they have the best salads in town, I got spinach caesar salad with sun-dried chicken but without Romano cheese (ugggh I love cheese, this is the hardest part).

“Meal” #3: Cold Orange Drink {3:00PM}
This looked kind of weird, but tasted just as described- cold, orangey, and drinky.  I still feel weird that these are considered meals.

“Meal” #4: Chicken Noodle Soup {6:00PM}
Again, don’t judge me for not following this plan…. I need a real meal, I can’t just eat puffs and drinks and feel satisfied. I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup from the cupboard. It had about 220 calories total and I didn’t drink all the broth.

“Meal” #5: …my first “real” cheat
It was Joey’s birthday party, and I really couldn’t NOT go. And if I couldn’t NOT go then I couldn’t NOT drink a glass of champagne while I was there. That would just be rude… especially when the event was called “Champagne Showers.” I also ate a bit of ground beef and pasta, 3 grapes covered in cheese and walnut, and 3 tiny meatballs. Sue me.

Day 3

A full day of cheating. Once a year Baconfest comes to Des Moines– this year the event sold out in 20 minutes and there were 4,400 attendees. I couldn’t get tickets, but was told by a friend I could get in for free if I dressed up as a zombie and agreed to pass out samples. Um… done and done. But you can’t be on a diet at Baconfest. You have to eat bacon and drink booze, it’s almost a requirement.

And then I had a flippy cup tournament that night. Our team is still undefeated. But we played with light beer, so it all cancels out. 😉

I know, I’m really stretching it here. Today was a bad day for diet… but a good day for life.

Day 3 (Day 1?)

“Lean, the meatless option” {11:00AM}
I took part of my “lean and green” for breakfast and ate 3 scrambled eggs, but only with one of the yolks. I also added two table spoons of fresh salsa, because that is delicious.

Meal #2:  BBQ Bites {2:00PM}
Had a bag of the BBQ bites on the car ride up to Mason City. I also probably lost a lot of calories performing a concert in my car. 🙂

Meal #3: Cheese Pizza Bites {4:30PM}
These are about the same as the BBQ bites- both puffy and slightly flavorless with a hint of what it’s supposed to be. I don’t mind them, they are filling, but what I’m really craving is an actual cheese pizza. From Casey’s. mmmm…. Casey’s pizza….

Meal #4: Chicken noodle soup + salad {6:00PM}
Again, don’t have my real meals yet. Had a can of condensed chicken noodle soup, a total of less than 180 calories and it was “heart smart” (Thanks, Campbells!). Also had my “greens” from my lean and green; had a small salad with cucumbers, toms, and shrooms.

“Meal” #5: Cappuccino {10:00PM}
I had my  cappuccino and 20 pistachio nuts as my snack. Evan and I cuddled up on the couch and watched this weird western movie called Blackthorn. The movie was okay…. the pistachios were glorious.

Day 4 
Weight: 131 – although to be fair, I don’t know if I really lost any weight yet because this was the first time I stepped on a scale

“Meal” #1:  Hot Chocolate {9:00AM}

Meal #2: {11:00AM}
My last package of pancakes… I really hope I get my real order pretty soon. I’m really gonna start cheating with cheese and bread for meals pretty soon. 🙂

Meal #3: Cheese Pizza Bites {1:00PM}

“Meal” #4: Cold Orange Drink {3:00PM}
…the strangest thing. It’s only been a couple of days, but I am not as hungry as I would normally be having had this little of actual food in my stomach. Having said that…. my next meal will be shameful.

“Not really Lean nor Green” {5:30PM}
Aggghhhhh real food. So, I cheated bad here… last night Evan made a cheese quesadilla and my mouth started to water. Since my meals still haven’t arrived (tracking says by tomorrow) and I am working out tonight I decided to make myself a chicken and cheese quesadilla. I also added mushrooms and salsa. And I’m going to run for a half an hour out of guilt and shame.

[half an hour later] Oh gosh. I’m so full. Seriously. This might have been a mistake.

I went to work out the Y- ran for about 15 minutes, walked 25 minutes. Around 300 calories burned.

“Meal” #5: Cappuccino {9:00PM}

Day 5

“Meal” #1:  Hot Chocolate {9:30AM}

Meal #2: {11:30AM} Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
My meals have arrived!!! Under the direction of my good friend Jessica (I do what Jessica tells me to), I picked the chicken and wild rice soup to try first. It was pretty good, though it didn’t look the most appealing. It also didn’t seem like there’s a lot there initially, but I’m learning to eat slower since this diet and I found I got full (enough) from it.

Meal #3: Peanut Butter Crunch bar {1:30PM}
Full enough, sure, but my stomach was still craving more substance. I got myself out a crunch bar and cut it up into small pieces (like the directions implied). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that I loved chocolate and I loved peanut butter…

…these are really good. Score one for Medifast!

But I still took my snack (pistachios) because I wasn’t quite full.

“Meal” #4: 55 French Vanilla Shake{3:30PM}
These are not bad and shake up pretty easy in the mixer- but I have to remember to use cold water. It tastes strange lukewarm. Although it’s time for my next “meal” I put it in the fridge so it’ll be a bit more frosty when I get to it. It would definitely be really good blended.

Lean and Green {5:30PM}
Mmmm, salmon. I love salmon. In the summer time Evan and I throw salmon on the grill all the time. Seeing that winter weather in Iowa are not really conducive to grilling, I decided to bake the salmon (he was frozen with a glaze/seasoning and didn’t want to fry it off). I also had a small side salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Meal #5: Apple Cinnamin Soy Crisps {9:00PM}
I’m so excited with all of my options now that I had to make sure I got a little bit of everything today! These are pretty okay. The actual pieces don’t really have much taste to them, but I enjoy the cinnamon and sugar.

Day 6
Weight: 129.6

“Meal” #1:  Hot Chocolate {9:30AM}
I mixed it with a bit of a leftover Americana that Evan brought home– my baby likes his coffee like he likes his women– strong. and bitter.  🙂

Meal #2: {11:30AM} Beef Vegetable Stew
This soup is thicker than the other and the taste is okay, but I like the chicken and wild rice more. I will say this one seemed a bit more filling, though.

“Meal” #3: Vanilla Shake + Sugar Free Dr. Pepper {1:30PM}
I gave up on pop a long time ago because it was either pop or alcohol and, well, let’s be real. But in reading drinks that I can have while on this diet alcohol is a no-no (shhhh about Saturday!) but sugar free pops are okay. I read online about a girl who mixed her shakes with pops and thought that sounded like a pretty good idea…

…it’s an okay idea. I don’t know if I like it yet or if I just made both of them worse.

“Meal” #4: BBQ Bites  {3:30PM}

Lean and Green {5:30PM}
Ugh, I cheated again. I’m not going to lie– I crave real food. And it’s National Margarita Day, who can turn that down? I had 3 small enchiladas with shrimp, crab, and cheese, lettuce, and mexican rice. I didn’t eat the shells or the mexican rice, though, so really it was my protein and veggies… and two margaritas. C’mon. They were $2.50 a piece!  I had to see my friends before I left the country, I mean, what if I never returned?!

Meal #5: No meal number five. I’m stuffed.

Day 7

“Meal” #1:  Cappuccino {9:30AM}
I also spilled some scalding hot liquid on my pants, so that’s fun.

Lean and Green: {NOONER} 2 Eggs + half a salad
I also added some mango salsa to the egg, which is extremely HOT so I got out my diet root beer (see next meal). I love eggs and they say you can do 3 eggs as a substitute for meat once a week. I did two and a half a salad thinking I might have my last egg and salad later in the day.

“Meal” #3: Vanilla Shake + Root Beer {1:30PM}
I can’t have real beer, but I can have sugar free root beer!

… I drove back to Des Moines after this (a storm was a brewin’ and didn’t want to get stuck in Mason City and miss my flight) and about half way home I realized I forgot my stuff.  Looks like the diet is officially over, for now. Let the vodka be poured.

Conclusion: I’m fairly certain that this program works- if you can stick to the diet. I definitely cheated on it and still lost weight. And if I was more overweight or really needed to drop some poundage I would consider continuing the program. But… I really like food and I was missing a lot of my favorites through this diet. All in all, it was good and a good experience. It helped me count calories easier and break meals up into six small meals through the day. But my mouth is watering just thinking about the real food I’m going to consume soon.

Starting weight: 133 (estimating)
Ending weight: 129

february is for <3ers

forget philadelphia, it’s february that’s for lovers! ❤

oh, february. with only 29 days (leap year!), it seems our time together flew by so quickly. i feel like i barely got to know you. but here are some things that i will always remember about you:

  • evan successfully did not propose to me on valentine’s day, which was my only request for 2012. (i have no problem if other couples want to get romantic and sappy on february 14th, but that holiday honestly means nothing to me. i’d rather have romance and affection happen spontaneously rather than forced.)
  • i officially made it through a month of “a photo a day.” it was even more boring than i imagined or anticipated.
  • experienced the most pain in my life– got my side tattoo updated and expanded.
    (how lovely are your branches?)
  • evan decided he was selling his old toyota camry to grant for 2k. after having his heart set on a station wagon, he finally changed his mind and bought himself a 2009 toyota matrix. it’s a burnt orange color and super cool. it also only had 24,000 miles on it. now i have to learn to drive a stick so i can take it out too.
  • i tried to diet for about 1.5 weeks. i cheated miserably. still lost around 2-3 pounds though, so not completely unsuccessful.
  • baconfest! 4,400 attendees this year. i didn’t get tickets in time, but because “i know people” i managed to score free tickets by being one of the few “zombie helpers” during the baconapocalypse. basically i handed out bacon for about 15 minutes and then ate and drank away the rest of my day.

    (mmmm…. brains bacon)
  • basketball season is officially over.  😦  we ended with a record of 4-6, which isn’t bad, but isn’t great. we really should have won another game against a certain team, but oh well. while i’m sad it’s over, it was fun while it lasted. hopefully see you next november!
  • got my federal and state tax return and with it paid off all my credit card debt. now to build it back up for 2012. 😉
  • i will get to spend the last week of february in st. petersburg, russia. stressful (leading up to it), cold (while we are there), but extremely worthwhile and fun (i imagine).

while february really was a great month, i still stand by my statement that i think march may be the best month of 2012. stay tuned to see if my premonition is correct.


when i was an eighth grader (at age 13), my doctor told me at my routine check up that it looked like my growth plates were sealing. standing at a towering 5’3″, the thought didn’t really bother me too much. i was an eighth grader with much more important issues on my hands (like boys) and i wouldn’t worry about adult things until i was an adult.

my junior year of high school (at age 16) my doctor told me that i had gained two pounds from the year before and was now at 112. he said that was not a big number, but since i wasn’t growing any taller, if i continued to gain two pounds every year i would get to a point where i would become obese.

first off… not things you should ever say to a teenage girl. girls already have body complex and confidence issues and a doctor telling you that you might be fat in a few years certainly doesn’t help. but it was laughable at the time because i was ridiculously skinny. ridiculously.

fast forward a few years to my freshman year of college. while most people went off and gained the “freshman fifteen,” i actually lost weight my first year. i wasn’t stressed, i wasn’t unhappy… i just lived on the third floor of a complex that didn’t have elevators. i didn’t drink too much. and apparently my metabolism was still BOOMING as well because i also don’t think i worked out past the required semester of P.E. i had to take (liberal arts school).

okay, now let’s zoom ahead to 2012. eight hours a day at a desk job. i work out very minimally (i hate working out). i cook but i also go out to eat for many meals. i drink… a lot.

and i am still 5’3″, but now i weigh around 130 lbs.

i am not saying i am fat, by any means. i don’t have a complex. but i now get what my doctor was saying– as we get older, we aren’t as active (i was playing volleyball, basketball, track/golf in high school). our metabolism slows down. we start to partake in adult beverages that take up way too much of our calorie count to be healthy. and i have been content to do nothing about it for a long time because, like i said, i don’t look particularly large and… well, that’s all that matters in life, right? 😉 no, that’s not superficial at all.

but pants that i have from four years ago aren’t fitting the same way that they used to. don’t get me wrong- i’m still ecstatic that i can fit into them. but i’m coming to some realizations:

1) my metabolism sucks now. probably because i eat super unhealthy foods and a lot of them.

2) i am not active. i will go to the gym once, maybe twice a week. during basketball season i will play for one night a week. i do kettle bell training here and there… but i’m not getting in the daily exercise that i know i need.

3) i’m not going to lose any weight by the activities listed above. in fact, as a doctor once told me, i’m probably going to continue to gain weight and not grow taller and slowly but surely turn into a little 5’3″ round ball.

and i will not have that. so me, who thrives on challenges and knows i have to do something a bit drastic to get results, has been persuaded by my good friend jenny to try the medifast plan.

medifast is proven to work… which seems like an awesome start to me. it’s 5 pre-created “meals” a day plus one “lean and green” meal you prepare yourself (lean protein like chicken, salmon, beef + veggies). if you follow the program you are guaranteed to lose 2-5 lbs a week. jen thinks i might lose more because “i’m young and active.” the products are sold through take shape for life, a program dedicated to weight loss and healthy living through medifast and… um… other healthy things.

so i’m not going to be ridiculous– i’m not trying to lose a ton of weight. i just want to lose 5-10 lbs and then maintain that weight through a healthier lifestyle. evan and i have recently started eating better, and i’m trying to be more active, but initial steps are difficult and it’s hard to see results right away. i figure if i have something to jumpstart it all i will feel more ambitious to actually improve. plus, like i said, i thrive on challenges. eat these things and lose weight? yeah, i can do that for a week.

(if you’re interested in buying metifast products, buy through my friend jen’s site:

overall, i bought about a week’s worth of food and the total came to $100. that seems like a lot, but it also included shipping and handling (which you don’t have if you spend over $150 on product), and there are also different deals for people who want to continue using products for prolonged periods of times, which i didn’t want to do. overall $100 for 7 days costs me about $14.30 a day. much more than i spend in a day in mason city, but much less than i spend when i’m in des moines. but the thing i like most about it (so far) is that it’s minimal effort on my part- i just have to pay and eat. and lose weight.

genius. i’ll let you know how it goes.

russia [[rough agenda]]

friday, february 24
– arrive at des moines airport at 2:00PM (they just got full body scanners so apparently international flights must be ready 3 hours in advance)
-board plane at 5:00PM
-arrive in minneapolis at 6:15PM
-find amsterdam gate. (no panic this round, traveling with co-workers)
-depart for amsterdam: 7:10PM
-sleep, eat, read, pass time on a plane

saturday, february 25
– arrive in amsterdam: 10:50AM
-find st. petersburg gate. try not to act annoyed or grumpy.
-eat, then probably feel less annoyed/grumpy.
-arrive in st. petersburg: 7:00PM
-get ride to 5-star hotel (i’ve never stayed in a 5-star hotel before). check into said hotel. [grand hotel europe]
-start to look presentable
-find a nice place for dinner [potentially teplo]
-discover night scene. [metro or taleon club]
-stumble back to hotel. i mean… no, it’s okay. stumble back to hotel.

sunday, february 26
-sleep in. try to get over jetlag
-sightsee, be a tourist.
-buy gifts. take too many photos.
-eat lunch.
-more sightseeing. more photos
-find way back to hotel to get ready for opening reception
-meet with robert regarding sales training videos
-meet with chandru for interview
-opening reception; meet up with product managers and technical service
-final final, in the words of the famous dr. james w. kessler (who will be there, making it officially a final final)

monday, february 27
– wake up early
-meet with justin for interview
-quick breakfast
-meeting kickoff from 8-9AM.
-start regular ol’ graphic design workload
-interview presenters of poster session a
-meet with monika for interview
-walk to group dinner at terrassa
-walk back to hotel
-final final

tuesday, february 28
– wake up early
-meet with betsy for interview
-quick breakfast
-start uploading and editing video
-start regular ol’ graphic design workload
-present during poster session b
-attend ‘branding update’ session
-attend ‘personal development’ session
-tour of the hermitage & russian dinner
-final final

wednesday, february 29
– wake up early.
-meet with corey for interview
-quick breakfast
-start uploading and editing video
-attend ‘personality types’ session
-start regular ol’ graphic design workload
-interview presenters during poster session c
-closing sessions and awards
-catherine’s summer palace tour & dinner
-dog sled ride around alexander’s park
-meet with RC for interview
-eating at mansarda with potentially one of the best small groups available
-final final

thursday, march 1
-wake up
-email my niece and wish her a happy 5th birthday
-meet with tom for interview
-quick breakfast
-attend ‘one ag’ session
-start uploading and editing video
-hopefully grab other ag people for interviews, if necessary
-hopefully grab other ag people for interviews, if necessary
-pack up
– arrive at st. petersburg, russia airport: 4:30PM
-board plane at 5:30PM
-arrive in paris, france airport: 6:00PM
-find verona, italy gate. have a minor panic as i can’t find verona, italy gate
(i suspect this will happen). have some nice stranger help me.
-depart for italy: 8:35PM
-arrive in verona, italy: 10:10PM
-have another minor panic attack thinking bruno forgets to pick me up at the airport.
-ride with bruno to destination.

{apparently i’m flying out thursday night instead of friday night, threw off my italy agenda}

italy [[rough agenda]]

friday, march 2
– arrive at st. petersburg, russia airport: 4:30PM
-board plane at 5:30PM
-arrive in paris, france airport: 6:00PM
-find verona, italy gate. have a minor panic as i can’t find verona, italy gate
(i suspect this will happen). have some nice stranger help me.
-depart for italy: 8:35PM
-arrive in verona, italy: 10:10PM
-have another minor panic attack thinking bruno forgets to pick me up at the airport.
-ride with bruno to destination.

saturday, march 3
– wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, soak in italy
-road trip to cinque terre, italy (approximately 2.5-3 hours away)
-eat lunch in cinque terre
-sightsee, be a tourist. soak in italy.
-buy gifts (optional). take too many photos (not optional).
-eat supper.
-discover night scene.
-stay in cinque terre?

sunday, march 4
– wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, soak in italy
-road trip to pisa? (approximately 1 hour away) or continue to be amazed by cinque terre.
-sightsee, be a tourist. soak in italy.
-buy gifts (optional). take too many photos (not optional).
-eat lunch. maybe drink lunch.
-drive back to verona (approximately 2-2.5 hours)
-check into hotel
-final final?

monday, march 5
– wake up, find a way to veronella
-catch up with des moines office- review projects and workload
-work with benjamin on SOT (sound on tape) bytes
-interview benjamin
-upload interview; make sure sound bytes come out okay
-work with koen on SOT bytes
-interview koen
-upload interview; make sure sound bytes come out okay
-do graphic design/other video work, if time allows
go back to hotel, YEAH RIGHT
-go explore soave castle
-sightsee, be a tourist. soak in italy.
-night walk through the vineyard (don’t get face ripped off by werewolves)
-back to hotel in san bonaficio
-final final

tuesday, march 6
– wake up. grumble. press snooze.
-car pool to veronella.
-catch up with des moines office- review projects and workload
-study video script/interviews. come up with more defined shot list.
-go shoot b-roll for video.
-discuss with koen additional footage/editing needs for lunch & learn
-pierrick or bruno to give factory tour for internal usage
-upload video content; make sure footage comes out okay
-do graphic design/other video work as time allows
-drive to verona, sight see, supper.
-unless that’s boring, then lake garda it is.
-final final

wednesday, march 7
– wake up way too early. grumble. can’t press snooze.
-taxi to verona airport. arrive at airport: 6:30am
-catch flight to paris, france: 7:40am
-arrive in paris: 10:50am
-go practice my french (kissing) on strangers.
-board plane for usa: 1:45pm
-get stranded in minneapolis for a bit: 3:05pm (time zone throws me every time, just doesn’t look right)
-get back to des moines: 4:12pm
-no final final

tattoos are for sailors

when i was a junior or senior in college i decided i wanted to get a tattoo on my side. after a bit of disagreement (with my then-fiancee) on size and placement, i finally agreed that a 3 inch or so tree on my right hand side was reasonable. i made an appointment, explained to the tattoo artist what i wanted, went in for my tattoo…

…and i walked out $100 down and disappointed. the tattoo was nothing like i had imagined or anticipated. but it was painful, it was costly, and i’d just stick with it because, hey, i was a broke college kid who hated confrontation and had nothing but time on her hands.

fast forward five or six years. some more money, a bit more ambition, and an extreme desire to make the tattoo on the side a bit more pleasing to the eye.

yes, it was going to cost a nice chunk of change. a quoted $150, to be exact.

yes, it was going to be painful. but it was going to be much better than what was already there.

yes, let’s rock.

i got my tattoo at river city tattoo in mason city, iowa. i highly recommend them, though i would suggest if you go there you go to brad, because he’s the owner and he’s fantastic.

my appointment was at six thirty, but i got a call around 5:45 asking me if i could come in early. i had nothing going on, krista had just arrived to my place and we were chit-chatting, so we made our way over to the tattoo parlour. i had krista drive because i didn’t know how much pain i’d be in on the way back. about two blocks out i started getting nervous and a bit more quiet. krista reassured me it was going to be awesome, then kicked my ass out the door and inside the building.

i filled out paperwork, played the waiting game, and a bit before 6:30 i got to go back to brad’s office for my session.

the guys in the shop were pretty cool. brad was a good time- kept me laughing (when i wasn’t in my stoic state and a needle wasn’t in my skin) and josh seemed like a cool enough guy that i would hang out with him in real life. i had the guys there walk me through their tattoos to help me keep my mind off the pain, and having krista there also helped because she kept conversation rolling and documented the whole thing for me.

i walked out of river city tattoo at around 8:30, head reeling, side aching, but extremely happy. i got home, took some ibuprofen and kicked back with ev for the rest of the night.

the pain? yeah, it was kind of intense. but i’d do it again in a heartbeat, it was totally worth it.

about 30% done… this is after he put on the numbing cream, which made my experience at least 1.432x easier. 

most of the old tree gone, starting on the new canvas area

…is that blood or blossoms? 

the final-final. the four heart shaped petals below represent my mom, dad, brother and me. a bit of a family tree, one would say. 🙂