Tuesday, April 4, 2017


And yet another post- I know, it is hard to believe you get two posts in 1 week after complete silence for almost a year. That's what happens when my husband works a lot of overtime!

Over spring break I had the opportunity to help lead a short-term study abroad trip to London and Rennes, France. The topic was history of crime and my colleague has been doing these trips for over 20 years now. This is definitely his area and it was exciting to see his passion come out during the trip. While he did most of the lecturing during our 'crime walks,' I did get to add in my two cents every now and then. As this was my first time to go, I wasn't sure all the topics he could cover. Now that I have seen it, I will be able to contribute more in the future and introduce topics such as comparative corrections and juvenile justice.

Part of the original Roman wall around the City of London.
We had to get a picture in front of the Easter Island statue at the British Museum
The requisite fish and chips (delicious!)

Outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London
More of that complex
My colleague doing his thing during a crime walk
If you're ever in the UK, you have to try
this chocolate bar. It is unlike anything I've
had in the US and it is SO good!
Outside the Tower of London
Matt came with me for the first leg to London and we had a great time exploring the city together. When he went back to the US, I, along with the rest of the group, took the Eurostar train from London to Paris where we then caught another train for Rennes, a small town southwest of Paris. 

Inside the Tower of London
My colleague, who is a London native, took us to Broad Street which is known for its Indian food. You literally barter for your meal. As you walk down the street, you are approached by different individuals, each representing their Indian restaurant. One will offer you a complete meal for say, 9 pounds, and then the next will offer you the same deal for only 8 pounds. You can then ask the earlier guy if he will reduce the price, etc., until you reach a deal you're happy with. I let my colleague handle that part and the results were delicious!
I took the train one day to Cambridge to have a couple of meetings with colleagues there. While exploring the vast campus (the University of Cambridge is made up of distinct colleges, each with its own grounds), I absolutely fell in love with the beautiful grounds!
This was part of King's College
More King's College
While waiting at King's Cross station for your husband, one must get their picture taken at Platform 9 3/4! 
Given its smaller size, it had a much more relaxed pace than London did and it felt nice to breathe and just wander. The city was absolutely beautiful- old cobblestone streets and buildings dating back to the 13th or 14th century. I spent many hours just exploring and also enjoyed walking around the large park. 

Welcome to Rennes!

This was actually the largest women's prison in France. I, along with a smaller group of students, were able to tour the facility. It is the only all-women's prison in the country.

Switching gears, back to pretty buildings!

One of the original gates into the city.

Rennes' city hall

The park they had was absolutely gorgeous!

On my last full day before flying home, I had the day to spend in Paris, solo. In order to maximize the number of things I got to see, I opted for a bike tour of the city. I highly recommend this as a great way to see the city! We got to see most of the major sites and it was actually fun riding a bike through the city streets.

Notre Dame

Not a bad way to end the trip!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hardy Update

So this post is really for my aunt Paula who has all but given up on me updating my blog. Look-- a new post! Hooray! Plus, we have important things to discuss, namely how our new dog Hardy has been adjusting.

On Valentine's Day we got him a nice treat from the local
dog bakery. We didn't get ourselves anything, but we did have
to get him something :)

Watching people from the study

Yes, he loves cuddling.

Static fur FTW
In short, he has adjusted. He has more than adjusted. He has made himself quite comfortable in our home and firmly established himself as the center of our lives (he would like to think so, at least). Hardy really is quite happy and I am so glad that he doesn't seem to hold on to any of the issues he had from his first few years of life. 

He loves going under blankets.

It wasn't even particularly cold that day- he just burrows
While his isolation anxiety is gone, there are occasions where he decides to use kleenex or magazines as chew toys, completely ignoring all of the toys on the floor. We have just started keeping those items away from his reach and that has solved that issue. 

He only looks innocent...
Hardy absolutely adores walks. And when we get home. Those are the highlights of his day and it is adorable watching him jump and run around the house in circles. He hardly barks (we are so lucky!) but when he does, you know it is because he thinks you are ignoring him. 

He apparently thinks stats are boring.
I could go on and on but I can't make it too obvious that I am a crazy dog-mom, or is it too late for that? :)

Yes, we got him a sweater. My defense is it gets really cold
here in north Texas. You can tell he appreciates
having it on during our walks! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Oh Hardy!

I know. The time of the year when I theoretically have the most 'free' time I completely slack off in blogging. Life has been pretty busy this summer but it has also been a time of a lot of growth and amazing opportunities. One of the biggest changes is that we became parents! Meet Hardy, our 3-year-old Maltese-Terrier mix (though I've also been told long-haired chihuahua):

I know, he is pretty adorable.

Though he only weighs 8 lbs, he has been quite the handful. We quickly discovered he had pretty severe isolation anxiety. He was able to escape from a variety of baby gates and was generally frantic and unhappy when he was alone. He was rescued from a hoarding situation so we don't think he had ever been alone before. We hired a trainer and started working with him. He has gotten so much better! We can go about 5, 5 and a half hours where he is sleeping/laying down while we're gone. While it isn't up to the 8 hours it will need to be once the school year starts, we are so encouraged to have this improvement! 
He likes to keep me company in his chair while I work. He is
wearing his thundershirt here- helps with the isolation anxiety!
He has definitely made himself at home and has quite the personality! While at first he was very wary around Matt, he has warmed up to him considerably and will keep him company if Matt's the only one home. However, once I'm home or if my lap is available, you better believe he is my dog. We have found that he loves the garden store (seriously, he was prancing around it the other day he was so happy), peanut butter (but what dog doesn't?), and makes dinosaur noises. He doesn't bark (really, unless we're gone) but he makes little screeches like a dinosaur when he is super excited and wants our attention (typically after we get home).

This was the first time Hardy got in Matt's lap voluntarily. HUGE deal!

Yeah, he kind of likes me...

While he has caused us to adjust our lifestyle and schedule, he is definitely worth it. I mean, how can you not love that face??

Yes, everyone should have more Hardy pictures.
Doesn't he look comfortable?