Weeeeellllll.... let me tell you.... A large portion of my summer has been spent recovering. Literally. WARNING...this paragraph is going to sound really negative and wallowing in self-pity, so just skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to hear it. School had me so stressed out that I was beginning to have trouble breathing toward the end of the quarter. I began to have these anxiety attacks and then my breathing would get all shallow. It really felt as though I would pass out whenever one of these episodes came about. Thinking about school and homework too hard seemed to trigger it. One time, it even happened in the middle of class as the teacher was talking about something that didn't make sense to me in the least (he was a sweet guy but really went off on these tangents that made absolutely no sense). Those closest to me know of my extremely high standards when it comes to school, and how much I care if my grades don't reflect the hard work I put into it. I let it get to me so badly that I lost hours and hours of sleep, and not to mention pushed myself way past my limits of sanity. Before long, these attacks would happen even as I tried to relax. It was annoying to lie down only to feel like there was no air in my lungs, and the hypochondriac in me thought that I might have asthma. That is when I realized that I hadn't exercised for a long time - since starting my Accounting program six months before. Part of it was because I put on quite a bit of weight and none of my dresses fit me anymore. Turns out stress can do that to you as well, especially combined with never exercising.
After school ended, there was somewhat a sense of relief, but my breathing problems still continued, for a good few weeks. Then, Brandon and I went to Utah for five days for my little sister's wedding. We had a blast spending time with my siblings. Brandon flew home two days before I did, but on my last day, I had an AMAZING hike with my mom in the beautiful Utah mountains, and honestly it was a big highlight of my trip. Not only was it really fun to catch up with her one-on-one, but I was reminded of just how much I missed the endorphins that hiking and other exercise can give you. When I got home, I immediately packed some dumbbells into my work backpack (I already had a yoga mat at work that I never used, really). I decided to allocate my lunch break for exercising from now on. It has made all the difference. My breathing problems have gone away completely. Also, I have more energy now. I can't say I fit into my dresses yet, but this didn't happen to me overnight and it isn't going to be resolved in a couple of short weeks - it may even take a couple of months. For now, I live in leggings and a t-shirt, and my mom got me some new dresses that I can wear for the time being. (THANKS MOM <3)
In other news, Brandon and I went on a pioneer trek for church. We were asked to be the "Ma and Pa" of about ten kids. HAHA!!! We do consider ourselves to be outdoorsy, but only up to a certain extent. We were supposed to pull a handcart, cook with dutch ovens, make a tent out of wood boards and some tarp, and keep up with the youth - all while wearing pioneer clothes...FOR 3 DAYS. Oh my! But it did turn out to be fun. The kids were so cool, and I really liked all of them. They helped to make the food at night, and not one of them complained or acted disrespectful. I have lots of funny stories about the whole experience, but this blog post is getting kinda long. I will say, that we had to cross a river, twice. At one point, it was so deep that it reached my chest, and the current was so strong that I was literally floating away from my group. That was really scary. Also, we weren't skilled enough to get the tarp tents to stay up, so we all just ended up sleeping under the stars. I saw tons of shooting stars and it was so beautiful! In the end, I had a sunburnt nose, and Brandon had all these grotesque bug bites around his ankles. We were eager to get back to our shower and soft bed. Having said that, it was cool to have the opportunity to do that together.
At the moment, I have been catching up on some summer reading. The library is my best friend these days. I am re-reading a book from my childhood, "Summer of My German Soldier," and I am taking on Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road." I also finally got around to reading, "The Fault in Our Stars." Brandon is working his tail off on a hard work project at the moment, and I don't envy him at all. Poor thing. But I am proud of him and how hard he works so that our life is great. Nabi the cat is as stuck up yet adorable, as usual. I have a few pictures of him to share! YAY!
Nabee's favorite place to curl up and have a snooze - right by Brandon's gym stuff.
Nabee spying on us. He hides behind the blinds, then pokes his head out the other side and really thinks we can't see him. LOL!
Nabee loves to hang out on the windowsill, but this day was so hot, he fell asleep from his laziness! WOW! I never saw that happen before. haha.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Talk to you soon! xoxox
~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son