Final Surgery

On Nov. 2nd 2020, I had open brain surgery. I was in the hospital for two weeks and rehab for two weeks. It was torture; I just wanted to go home, but rehab was necessary because I had some functional delays in my left hand and leg.

I was considered an emergency case, so with or without the pandemic occurring I was having surgery.

The night before surgery was a long one. I finally had a sweet roommate (Hi, Beth!) and we both didn’t sleep much at night. I fell asleep Sunday night after midnight for a few hours before I was taken to my pre-surgery MRI at 2 AM. There was nice lady who had to shave parts of my hair off so she could attach sticky buttons to my head for the surgeon to follow like a map during the operation. I was a zombie at this point, but after the MRI, they took me back to my room. I believe I was scheduled to be in pre-op at 6:30 and they woke me at 6 to get ready.

I was in surgery for 14 hours which caused my face to swell up like a balloon a week later… I’ll spare you the pictures of that.

Most of the ICU I genuinely don’t remember at all so some of the gaps were filled in by family. I also learned that each side of our brain controls the opposite side. So because I had surgery on the right, my left side was affected and impaired. My mom said I wasn’t making a ton of sense at first and when I did speak, it was only to answer a question directly asked to me. I learned too it was taking me at least 20 seconds to come up with a response.

After a little less than a week in the ICU I went to the step down unit. This is where I started to come to. I wanted to leave the hospital and recover at home. I truly had no idea how long recovery would take. I also really noticed how weak my left leg was. I was very unbalanced and wobbly on my feet.

Initially, my team thought I had a stroke due to weakness on my left side so I had a spinal tap which thankfully I barely remember due to good ‘ole morphine. My left arm, leg and fingers were much weaker than my right side.

This was a particularly miserable time because I was weak, could barely feed myself, but wanted to leave the hospital desperately. Plus, being in the hospital while COVID was going on was particularly challenging due to the daily changing visitor policy.

Because of the weakness on my left side, I left the hospital to end up at rehab for 11 days. Just as I ended rehab, many things started to improve. I was really ready to go home at this point and continued to not sleep through the night because of all the noises and stress from the hospital. The only consolation in rehab was that I didn’t have any IVs.

My new years resolution is to not be negative; but during this time in the hospital and recovery, complaining was all I had and I was very frustrated that I couldn’t sleep.

My mom came to visit everyday in the hospital and rehab and stayed in a hotel about five minutes away from my hospital. I was still very disoriented, but it was so nice to have company. Because of COVID, she was only allowed to stay for an hour each day, but they usually let her stay a little longer. The timing of my surgery was perfect because shortly after I was released, the hospital stopped allowing visitors altogether.

When I got home, I started having outpatient therapists come to the house for speech, occupational and physical therapies. I continued outpatient therapy at a local hospital and graduated from there. I have to say though most of the issues I was having with strength are almost fully resolved. The biggest issue I had was short-term memory loss, but that was a problem before anyway!

There is a tiny piece of a different AVM remaining in my brain which should be radiated away, and I have one more angiogram to confirm that the original is healing well.

I appreciate all your prayers and outreach of support through the last couple months. I am beyond thrilled it’s behind me.

Surgery Four

At this point, I’m content. All I can say is God is good.

I feel like through this year I’ve experienced a lot of “when things don’t go as planned” scenarios and to be frankly honest I’m over it. Yet, through the diagnosis, complications in surgery, the pandemic and juggling different jobs this year, God is constant and He is faithful.

Yesterday was my last (fifth) embolization and that’s the last embo officially checked off the list. On Monday, I’m having open brain surgery. Just a little longer and I can heal and put this whole ordeal and year behind me! I think everyone can agree it is time for 2021. OVER IT.

Anyways, surgery four was another whirlwind. My embolization went great and I was out of surgery around noon. I slept most of the afternoon away and got most of the annoying equipment taken out of me since I was going home the next day and didn’t need all that for overnight.

Around dinner a doctor told me he was having trouble finding a strong pulse in my right foot, which after what happened previously with an artery cutdown, I wasn’t really buying it. I could not believe it would happen again and I wasn’t letting it even pop into my mind. The doctor told me not to worry, but they would monitor it for a while.

Unfortunately, he came down and told me his fellows wanted to send me for a CT. By the time I returned, everything progressed quickly. I was seen by four familiar doctors from vascular surgery and anesthesia and told I needed to have surgery immediately.

The doctors could no longer find a pulse in my right foot and I told him I wanted to refuse the operation. I just got out of surgery and was feeling better and had eaten and now was supposed to go through the whole nightmare again?!

I gave in and decided to have the procedure and sobbed as they put me under and I went to sleep. The side effects were too severe to not have the surgery, but I was wishing there was any other way.

When I woke, it was the middle of the night so thankfully I slept that night. Usually the hospital makes me so anxious I don’t sleep, but anesthesia and some powerful drugs did the trick that time.

By the morning, I was only not in pain when I didn’t move. I had 16 staples at the bottom of my stomach reaching down to my thigh. Every little movement hurt, but if I wanted to get out of the hospital I had to prove I could get up on my own and walk a certain distance down the hall.

Made it home next day though thanks to my persistence, but recovery was much longer with staples along a four inch incision. It was hard and painful getting out of bed and moving my leg since the incision was over the right groin. One day though it just changed. Suddenly, there was no more pulling and pinching as the skin healed and it was wonderful.

For most of the two weeks recovering, I wasn’t doing much productively. It’s been very depressing to not be able to go about my regular routine. I miss working and getting dressed, but I’m trying to focus on the positives. God has been good in so many ways.

The nurse practitioner on my neurosurgeon’s team is fantastic. She’s kind, thoughtful and always has a solution. I had staples practically pried out of me once I had healed by a visiting nurse who didn’t know what she was doing. Diedre (Dr. Oligvy’s nurse practitioner) gave me the number of the nurse in Beth Israel and got me in the office that day where the staples were taken out correctly.

Even though, it was challenging, I felt God’s presence through every aspect. From wonderful and caring nurses to quick recoveries and fully healing. God is evident and I’m very thankful I’m alive.

Surgery Three

Hello friends!

My third non-invasive surgery was scheduled for August 22nd which went smoothly and successfully. Not to say all of my neurosurgery procedures haven’t gone successfully, but there seems to be issues during closing at the groin.

The left leg was used accessing the femoral artery at the groin and there were NO complications following the closure!!!!! After a small incision was made at the beginning of the surgery, a closure device is used to seal off the initial incision.

My plan of care at this point hadn’t changed. Dr. Christopher Olgivy planned to do 3 more angiograms with embolization while using a glue-like substance to fill the AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and essentially seal off the malformation’s access to a blood supply.

I had severe headaches during the month following this procedure and the doctor was hopeful the brain was working on its own to close off the remaining blood vessels. I was also told my brain was getting more blood flow than usual and that could attribute to the headaches as well.

I’ve been doing “eh” in the mental aspect. I’m struggling with coming to grips on all these procedures, feeling headache-y and having open brain surgery soon. I hate the unknown. I hate no knowing what the recovery process will be like for me and having to lose a patch of hair on the right side of my head. I know it’ll grow back, but I’m devastated.

Currently, I have stopped working and wonder what I will do for work after the recovery process is over. I’m stressed but managing. In the meantime, I’ve become quite the homebody and decorated every inch of the apartment, finished all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek and have HGTV on a never-ending reel.

I am thankful. I have my best friend to hang out with everyday and my mom got to stay with us for over a week while I recovered, which was wonderful to spend time with her. Hope friends and family are doing well.

Beach Day in Rye, New Hampshire

This is a new area I’ve been exploring and I’m all for the quaint little beach towns. If you’re looking for a quieter beach destination to relax by the ocean, then Rye, New Hampshire is perfect for you! It’s a great spot for families and it boasts way less traffic and overall congestion than Hampton Beach.

There’s a bath house just before you walk onto the beach and you can park just behind the surf shop for the day for $20 or if you’re lucky right along in front of the ocean for a little less!

The local surf shop called Summer Sessions has the cutest boutique for clothes (and brands like Billabong and Free People), surfboards, and general merchandise. The inside is also the home to the Sandpiper Cafe which has amazing smoothies, sandwiches and acai bowls.

We have been really lucky this year about having perfect beach days! The last two times we drove to the beach it was raining in the morning, even rained on our drive last time, but cleared up to be the be sunny, warm and beautiful!

My boyfriend and I love grabbing dinner in Hampton Beach. Hampton is full of young people, families and activities. It’s much busier and loses the slower pace of Rye, NH, but, there are so many restaurants or bars to choose from as well as arcades, mini golf and little beach shops to keep yourself occupied.

My favorite restaurant is the Sea Ketch Restaurant on Hampton Blvd and it’s located right in front of the ocean! The second level has a full menu where you can sit indoors or on the porch with an ocean view. The third floor and above serves fried foods and beverages and is fully open to the outdoors. There are three levels of decking to sit on in the breeze of the ocean and take in the views! It is definitely the place to be which means there will always be a wait.

Let me know your favorite spots by the ocean and maybe we’ll take a drive and check them out!

Surgery Two

Well, we had such high hopes for this surgery and so many people fervently praying and I should be offering more praise and thanks, but I’m just frustrated.

Erik drove me to the hospital at 5 AM for our 6 AM arrival. I was brought up to pre-op and Erik waited on floor above until he was allowed to sit with me. My surgery was scheduled for 7:15 so pre-op was a whirlwind of signing authorization forms, speaking with doctors and getting hooked up to all my equipment. I briefly saw Erik and then I was whisked away to the operating room.

When I woke up in recovery, I was thrilled. It was around 11:45 and I was so impressed with how quickly I came out of the anesthesia and was in recovery.

I was very drowsy and about to fall asleep again when one of the nurses acted concerned about finding a strong pulse in my foot. I really thought nothing of her remark because I had no idea it was so important to find a pulse in your foot. She was very good at keeping me calm and not alerting me to worry.

But, they were concerned enough that I took a sleepy trip to a CT scan and then waited for my results. My next visitor was the resident on the vascular surgery team who informed me they would be operating today on my leg.

Now, it was about 3 in the afternoon and I was only told so far that there was not a strong enough pulse in my right foot that matched my left foot.

When the neurosurgeon closes the incision from the angiogram with embolization, he uses a closure device that pulls the area closed from underneath and allows the artery to seal. Unfortunately, the device sealed a little too much. The closure device sealed off a few millimeters of my artery and was restricting the blood flow to my right leg.

Within 30 minutes of receiving the news, I was rushed back into the operating room to repair the area.

Thankfully, everything went well with the vascular repair and the only drawback was an ugly inch and a half incision and the inability to walk well. I basically sat with my legs up for a week on heavy painkillers.

The vascular surgeon reassured me that I would have no problems with blood flow in my leg in the future. They could’ve left the damage to my artery for a few years even, but it would’ve only caused problems in the future and was better to resolve as soon as possible.

I feel very negative of this surgery due to the complication, but I know there are so many things to be positive of.

  • A successful neurological surgery.
  • A successful vascular repair that I will never have to worry about again.
  • No headaches again!
  • Relatively speedy recovery with no further complications.

I have so many things in my life to be thankful for, life events to look forward to and things to accomplish. I know this is only a season and I’m trying to focus on the positives, but sometimes the negatives outweigh them in my mind.

Thankfully, I am a little over a month post-op now and almost can fully stretch out and ever run! The incision is so much smaller, flatter and hopefully soon to be disappearing altogether! Yay!

A Few of My Favorite Things… on Long Beach Island

I wanted to share just a few of my favorite spots to shop, eat and play. Long Beach Island, New Jersey is a great place to spend a week by the shore with friends or family. I’ve got you covered for every meal for your first day on the island and some of my favorite places to visit. Enjoy!

There is no other option for breakfast other than Uncle Wills. The cutest part is they are themed with all kinds of pigs! This is by far the best place for food, environment and service! The restaurant has been established for over 50 years and it’s popularity has never wavered! Did I mention the food is delicious?

Just a little slice of heaven at Uncle Wills.

So, when Mom and I vacation on the island, we have a routine. For years there was a bookstore next to Uncle Wills and I went there every morning to shop for a great on-the-beach romance novel. Unfortunately, they moved down the island and then subsequently closed, but something even more right up my alley appeared in their place. How to Live is an eclectic beach home decor store than has a perfect mixture of new and old from fashion to art and everything in between.

Then, right across the street, How to Live: Bayside has the same charm and quaintness with an addition of vintage and restored furniture and decor. One of my favorite things about these two stores (which are owned by the same people) is the uniqueness of every accessory they have. It’s almost like antiquing but where everything is already at the finished product and restored.

Shortly after breakfast, we make our way back to our hotel room to relax, do some reading and get ready for the beach. I’m all go-go-go so usually this means Mom relaxes while I go sit by the pool.

For lunch no one wants to leave the beach so we pack a lunch most days. Incase you want to venture out, there are so many great delis and sandwich shops down Long Beach Island Blvd. You can quickly find a lunch spot within 5 minutes via bicycle or car.

For dinner, my personal favorite is Howard’s. While sitting right by the bay, watch an incredible sunset as you dine on delicious seafood and wine (it is BYOB). They are usually busy and I would plan to get there early. Howard’s Seafood Restaurant has been there for 70 years and is a staple of the Long Beach Island community.

Enjoying my seafood scampi

For an after-dinner activity, outdoor mini golf is all the rage on Long Beach Island. There are immersive, challenging courses around the island to satisfy the most avid mini-golfer.

Every year my parents and I visit LBI, it is almost a nightly occurrence to play mini golf. To be honest, I’m terrible at it and my swing is way too powerful, but I continue to try. There has been one time or two where I finally defeated my dad and boy it was satisfying.

Settler’s Mill Adventure Golf and Mr. Tees Family Arcade are two of my favorite. The Settler’s Mill has two 18 hole courses that are right in the heart of Beach Haven and steps from shopping and restaurants. Mr. Tee’s features a wild and challenging 18 hole course that really thinks out of the box or the classic waterfall 18 hole course that is great for families and small children. Mr. Tee’s also boasts a small, yet fun arcade with everyone’s favorite: Skee-ball.

Yes, my outfit is extra. I know.

Looking for a place to stay? There’s homes and townhouse to rent or multiple hotels to choose from with built-in pools! When I was three years old, my parents bought me to The Sea Spray Motel in Beach Haven. We went every year for a week for 13 years before we skipped a year or two. I’m not gonna lie the decor is very outdated, but there is a gorgeous built-in pool and the hotel is in such close proximity to the beach it makes up for the look of the interior. You can walk to the beach or bay in 5 minutes or less.

And just in case you needed one more reason to go, there are 18 miles of beaches too.

Love, Olivia

Update: My First Surgery

To be honest, I stopped sleeping well about three nights before from my scheduled surgery.

All of the fascinating aspects of my diagnosis disappeared the more discussion and scheduling became reality. I dreaded going into the hospital and considered if I could chose not to have the procedure altogether. But alas, I had to get over my fears and just show up.

The night before my procedure, Mom and I stayed in The Inn at Longwood Medical in Boston. I was starving and ordered room service a couple hours before my midnight cut-off from eating and drinking. It wasn’t worth it, but at the time I was hungry. It was a long night of tossing and turning, and we were up to start the day at 5:30 AM.

Per hospitals guidelines, you shower with an antiseptic body wash the night before your procedure and the morning of. The soap has that sterile smell which, to me, is just a depressing way of reminding you what you will be experiencing for the next couple days. It’s a precursor of what is to come.

Mom and I walked to the hospital from our hotel. It’s right on Brookline Ave. so we took a five minute stroll in the early morning. We checked in at the front desk at 6:30 and we were escorted upstairs to pre-op. I spent about two hours in pre-op where I talked to my doctor, authorized forms for neurosurgery and the anesthesiologist and was hooked up to an IV.

We prayed before my surgery and I knew I would see Mom in a few hours.

Then I was off. The surgical room has that same sterile smell and it’s a little nauseating knowing what’s about to happen. My nurse anesthetist described the medication he gave me just before they rolled me downstairs as ‘feeling like you’ve had 4 margaritas,’ which I found amusing, but he was right. By the second round of happy drugs, I was sound asleep on the table.

Then, I woke up in recovery.

Every two or three hours, I have a neurological exam (even through all hours of the night) where the nurse asks me my name, where I am, today’s date and does a variety of motor skills tests. Recovery is nice because I can just sleep. The nursing staff makes sure I’m with them and then they let you dose off. I spent about 4 hours in total in recovery and then was brought to a room on the Neurological ICU floor.

I want to give an enormous thank you to my nurses. The first night I was ever hospitalized, on June 15th, I was originally told Erik could stay with me. At that time, we had no idea what was really wrong with me and I was scared to stay alone. When I was put in a room; however, there was a miscommunication and he could not stay the night. I cried for about an hour. My nurse promised to check in on me more and really strived to reassure me. They truly went above and beyond and really made me feel comfortable there.

So, this time I was hospitalized for my surgery, I had the same two girls again and it was really nice to see two familiar faces.

I was told after the angiogram of the brain with embolization I could have mild concussion symptoms like headaches, trouble concentrating and dizziness. But when I woke up from surgery and from that day on I have not experienced one single headache. No dizziness either and no trouble concentrating. THAT is God. His hand has been in every aspect of this journey and I am faithful that he will see me through.

I was released from the hospital the next day with an incision the size of a pea. My surgeon went in with a catheter and injected an onyx glue into the blood vessels in my brain and shrunk a little less than 20% off the mass.

I’m truly thankful for the support of my friends and family and a successful first procedure.

One down. Onto the next one.

Trusting God Through 2020’s Challenges

There I was waiting alone in a patient room for the doctor to return with the results of the CT scan. The doctor noted my headaches could be my only symptom of COVID-19, but she first wanted to start with a CT to rule out anything obvious. I sat with my hands folded together and prepared myself to have my first COVID test.

Unfortunately for me, the urgent care doctor returned and believed my brain was bleeding.

I’ll give you a little background to why I first went in to urgent care. Because of COVID closing all the gyms in New Hampshire, my boyfriend and I started working out in the field of the local high school. We were running stadium stairs and the track every day since March and I was starting to build up my endurance. At the beginning of June, I started to become winded very easily and had to cut my workouts short. I started getting severe headaches around this time and after two weeks they seemed to only be getting worse. I was unable to sleep the night before I went into urgent care and drove myself in thinking I’d be given some type of medication and sent home.

Instead, I had my first ambulance ride from urgent care to the local hospital. They were so attentive the whole time I was there, quickly took my vitals, hooked me up to two IV lines and then rolled me off to a high contrast CT scan for a better picture.

After some time, the Emergency Room doctor came back in our room. He used the biohazard garbage as his chair and scooted in close to my bedside. Erik, my boyfriend was with me at this time, and leaned in to hear what was found. The doctor explained I had an AVM and believed it had ruptured. They had called a second ambulance and I was going into surgery that night to have it repaired immediately.

What is an AVM you may ask? Gooooooood question! An arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal cluster of blood vessels on the brain. My AVM was formed in utero and is rather large in size. Conveniently for me, my AVM is on the surface of the brain which makes it less complicated to remove. 

The doctor tried to comfort me by saying they were very reassured that I still had my sight, vision and mobility due to the initial impression that my brain was bleeding. It was quite shocking to hear. It’s amusing thinking about it now because I am thankful my brain wasn’t actually bleeding. At this point, though, I had no idea what was actually going on. 

My ambulance shortly arrived and I rode solo with two EMTs to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Erik was instructed to drive separately and meet me there. That was probably the most nauseating ride for me. I naturally get car sick and at the time I still had a headache. Overall, it was extremely painful driving backwards through the pothole-filled streets of Boston.

I was checked in at the ER of Beth Israel and my EMTs said their goodbyes and wished me luck. They stayed with me for about 15 minutes and made sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. They were sweet. 

I was wheeled into the main room of the ER where the real fun began. I was seen quickly by multiple residents of the Neurosurgery team who asked what happened to me and how the headaches began. To be honest, I don’t know what brought on the headaches. I believe after hitting my head that I had a concussion; however, it’s also extremely possible that those headaches were just God’s way of revealing to me what needed attention in my brain. The medical staff still do not know the exact reason I had headaches and of course there is room to speculate further. Maybe the bump to my head could’ve caused a small bleed, but since the AVM is so large, it covered the area where there was blood or the AVM was the cause of the headaches and there was never any bleeding.  

I spoke to a resident in the ER who explained I was going to be monitored overnight and have an angiogram in the morning to view the AVM up close. I have to be honest I was confused. I was originally told I would have surgery that night to put a shunt in over the bleed and now that plan was changing right in front of my eyes. I decided to trust the medical staff and doctors that they were doing the right thing for my case.

In the morning, I went in for my angiogram of the brain with contrast dye. I was awake for this procedure but sedated. For those of you interesting the medical portion keep reading… for the rest of you skip ahead! An angiogram is done with a catheter. There was a small incision made in a major artery in my arm and the catheter pushed up the artery into the brain. I believe from here they insert the contrast dye which does burn at point of entry and the back of the throat. I was instructed off and on to hold my breath for about 10 seconds while the dye moved through the body and then to resume breathing.

The angiogram is where the neurosurgical team was able to confirm their initial observations on my condition. A doctor is this particular field of neurosurgery is always going to come highly recommended due to the rarity of an AVM. An AVM affects less than 1% of the population and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center came highly recommended. 

I was only in the hospital for two nights and had a Functional MRI the day I was discharged. There was a panel of doctors that consulted on my case that same morning and came up with a plan of action. 

So, first, my AVM has to be removed because the risk of a hemorrhage or stroke will only increase over time. Secondly, the AVM requires 2-3 non-invasive surgeries called an angiogram with embolization of the brain. The plan is to treat the abnormal blood vessels with an onyx glue, which will seal off the blood supply and shrink them. Finally, I will have brain surgery to remove the remaining blood vessels and take out the shrunken ones. 

Even thought, this is a heavy subject, I am so appreciative and grateful of everyone who has been there to support me. I really don’t know where I would be without my friends and family and I am so grateful for your thoughts and prayers. I trust in Jesus and I know He is right here to be with me through these trials.

Deuteronomy 31:6 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Traveling in New England

For the past ten years we have taken trips from Kittery to Camden to Bar Harbor. I love traveling with my parents in Maine. They’re very laid-back people who love eating, sight-seeing, shopping and relaxing. We love exploring the different towns along the coast trying local restaurants and artisan shops. I wanted to share a few recommendations for places to stay, eat and explore!

This October, Mom and I stayed in The Lighthouse Inn and Carriage House which sits right on Nubble Road and is minutes away from Long Sands Beach. Though it does not directly overlook the water, the ocean is less than two minutes away. The quaint hotel features updated rooms, a continental breakfast and a large pool. The staff was exceptional nice and the rooms were very clean. We really enjoyed our stay!

York Beach is located only 15 minutes from Kittery Trading Post and outlets. York Beach is a perfect location to stay to avoid the traffic of Route 1 and be next to the beautiful ocean views.

If you travel just over the bridge into Portsmouth, New Hampshire there are restaurants that offer riverfront views and cozy, but elegant dining. The River House Restaurant has deck or indoor dining, even through the winter, with fantastic views. The Seafood Linguine was rich and flavorful and definitely recommended! We didn’t get to try out the bar scene so that’s another reason to bring us back!

Each year we’ve eaten at the Sunrise Grill. It’s is a cozy breakfast spot right, loved by the locals, in Kittery, that has fast, friendly service and delicious food. The coffee is amazing by the way and open year round! 

If you’re interested in a bakery for breakfast or dessert, The Beach Pea Baking Company is the perfect choice. They are an all natural company focusing on the quality of their products. The company caterers and has a large sandwich and salad menu too. I tried a mousse tart and it was so rich and amazing. I was so tempted to buy a whole cake! I can’t wait to go back and try more of their products. 

We made it to Fox’s Lobster House on their last night open for the season. We had a slice of bumble-berry pie after dinner and man, it was tasty! The restaurant is situated next to the Nubble Lighthouse and the dining room overlooks the lighthouse and the cliffs. The view is incredible! We visit every year and it’s become a family tradition. Everything on the menu is tasty. Whether broiled or fried, the seafood is cooked perfectly and one of the few restaurants that still serves a baked potato. If you order the lobster it’s market price and all the desserts are off the charts.

One of our favorite spots was The York River Landing. My mom and I had always wanted to eat there and well we should’ve gone years ago! It was so good! For lunch, I had steak Fattoush, which was full of fresh veggies and absolutely delicious. The restaurant has 36 craft beers on draft and a large menu of alcoholic beverages. My mom had a lobster roll and it was one of the best she’s ever had! Definitely a place to add to your list!

For our last day, we ate at Shearwater at The Stage Neck Inn located in historic Old York for breakfast. The hotel and restaurant is situated right on cliffs on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and features a buffet style breakfast complimentary for guests staying in the hotel, but also open to the public. We sat right along the windows with an incredible view of the ocean that stretches as far as the eye could see. There are walking paths located along the cliffs near the rocky beach that features another incredible views of the hotel and ocean.

We did spend a day traveling into New Hampshire and got to experience all the gorgeous fall foliage! Fall in New Hampshire if definitely something everyone should experience once in their life and I will be covering fall in New England in a future post! I had such an amazing trip and weekend. Always wish it could be longer, so until next year!

Solid Foundation

It’s amazing how a busy schedule feels like you don’t have time for the ones you love. In a relationship, it can be so daunting to not have time to spend with your significant other. When life gets crazy and there’s not enough time in the day, it’s so nice to know your person understands and is there to support you. I was talking about this with a girlfriend the other day and it rings true in my own life. Without the background of knowing my boyfriend and building a foundation with him, I would feel so overwhelmed currently. Let me give you a glimpse into my routine. I work two jobs and am finishing my degree online. Not only is there the pressure of spending time with friends and family but also making time for self care. I have become a regular gym attendee and the gym is now a great space for me to relieve stress and challenge myself physically. Though I may feel overwhelmed at times, I’m thankful I have a solid rock reminding me to keep going and strive for more.