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Wow, I am so delayed in writing a post.  I’ve had a lot of things going on this month, and what can I say, July ran away from me!

San Francisco:  this was such a fun trip.  I’ve found that I’m more fond of the smaller vet conferences than the large ones, even though they typically don’t have much more to offer than lectures, but the advantage of that is that we are done early.  The past two conferences I have been to I frequently got out around 7pm, sometimes even 9pm or 10pm and still walked away with about 20 hours of CE (continuing education) to claim.  However, I left the PVC with 25.5 hours and didn’t get out after 6pm any single night, and I still didn’t go to *every* lecture possible.  So not only did I get an awesome educational experience, I also had plenty of time to explore the city.  One of my friends had suggested that we go to the same conference, so I had someone to hang out with for the weekend, which was so much better than going by myself.  I think we spent most of our time down at Fisherman’s Wharf, although we did swing by Pier 39 a couple of times as well as (of course) visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and Telegraph Hill.  Funny story about the last two — there was a lot of walking involved, and not just city walking, but “San Francisco walking up 45 degree angle hills for 90% of the time” walking.  And true to my impeccable navigational skills, I managed to get us lost coming down from Telegraph Hill, winding up on the wrong side of the tower and realizing that there isn’t a straight shot walking down to the piers.  Oops.  Then the Golden Gate Bridge the next day, which was a 2 mile hike from the nearest bus stop, and that’s before you begin the ascent to the actual bridge.  Yeah, pretty sure my friend wanted to kill me for that one.  But it was an awesome time, and I got so much out of the conference that it was just an all-around win-win situation.

Next stop was a trip to Indiana to visit my mom’s side of the family.  I figured, “hey, it’s Indiana, sure it gets hot, but we are close to Lake Michigan, so it can’t be too bad, right?”  Every single day I was there it was over 100 degrees, for the first time since 1947.  Go figure.  And considering I was coming straight from SF where the temperature didn’t get above 70 (or maybe even 65), it was insanely hot.  Thankfully I got to lay in a pool most of the time and got a nice tan for the first time in, well, EVER, so there was that.  Not to mention getting to spend some quality time with my grandmother and aunts and uncles.  It’s always enjoyable going up there, even in the case of a record-breaking heat wave.

Back home now and back to work.  Trying to get the house ready for a big cookout later this week, plus a float trip with some friends over the weekend.

In other news, the final session of SouLodge for this year is open for enrollment.  I swear I’m not paid to talk about it, but it has done so much for me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally that I feel I can’t NOT talk about it.  And what has been the most amazing is that even after a session ends, the friendships don’t.  I don’t make a habit of “friending” people on Facebook that I don’t personally know, but with the amazing support and love I have found in the SouLodge community, I’ve made exceptions, mainly because even though we haven’t met face-to-face, I truly feel that they are friends.  When my friend Deb went into the hospital, I went in and asked for support and prayers, thinking that the usual would happen, a few people would respond and that would be it.  What I didn’t expect was over 100 replies throughout the whole ordeal, continuously offering prayers and good thoughts, or for people to continue to ask for updates.  These women genuinely CARED for her, even though they had no idea who she was, only that she knew a member of their community, and they adopted her into their hearts out of love.  It is an amazing community — it isn’t just a course, it’s literally a community and in some ways, a way of life, and I am only sad that I did not find them sooner.  So, if you would like to see what I find so amazing, now is the time, because starting next year the program will be different, and while I have no doubt it will be just as incredible, I have loved the sessions currently and would encourage every woman who is looking for something more, even if she doesn’t know what exactly, to check it out.  I have a link in my sidebar to take you to the website where you can read more about it and enroll if you feel so moved.

Now time for pictures, and hopefully my next update won’t be 6 weeks from now!

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Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about this! I had an amazing time in San Francisco, an amazing time visiting family in Indiana, got to go to a friend’s wedding (with its own excitement!), and after a, well, amazing week and a half, I head home tomorrow. I will have an update with pictures later this week! (And hopefully early in the week!)