Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Any recipe that includes wine always somehow seems too fancy for me so I'm pretty sure that I would not have made this on my own but for most "normal" people this is actually a pretty easy recipe.  We prepped and threw everything in the inner crock pot dish on a Sunday and left in in the refrigerator overnight.  On Monday morning before work we put the dish in the crock pot, turned it on and then we didn't have to worry about dinner for the rest of the week.  The meat was so tender that it melts in your mouth and so full of flavor! We liked it so much we made it twice in one month.  I use the word "we" loosely.    The only thing I did was cut up the produce but I helped so technically we did do it together.  

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small white potatoes, halved
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • Cut up potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and onions and place it in a large bowl.  
  • Season the meat with salt, pepper and paprika.  Put flour in a bowl or plate and dredge the meat in it until all pieces are covered.  
  • Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and brown meat on all sides.  
  • Remove browned meat from the pan and put it in a large dish with the vegetables.
  • Add can of tomato paste to the pan and cook until it turns bright red.  
  • Add cup of red wine and mix it in with the tomato paste until it starts to boil a little bit.  
  • Add two cups of beef broth.  
  • Add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk it together until it thickens up and then season with salt and pepper and add the sprigs of thyme.
  • Add the gravy to vegetables and meat.
  • Cook in crock pot for 8 hours on low.


Adapted from recipe found here

Watching Airplanes

At the beginning of December I had 300 sick hours and 300 vacation hours.  I don't even think they like us to accumulate more then 270 vacation hours but no one sent me an e mail about it yet like they did the last time I hit the limit. I am a hoarder of a lot of things including paid time off.  I'm not sure what was more upsetting for me.  Burning through 80 hours or the surgery itself.  I'm ridiculous like that.  So ridiculous that I was really close to going back to work after 2 weeks even though I wasn't sure I was ready.  As if I'll ever truly be ready, but that's besides the point.
On Friday we had a nice little day date almost as good as our very first one six years ago.  It was 80 degrees outside.  We got sandwiches and full fat potato chips from Capriotti's and took them over to Balboa Park.  It's near the airport and there's this one spot we like for picnics where the airplanes roar overhead and seem almost close enough to touch. I'm not sure what was better.  The bright sun beating beating down on my face or the wine we brought from home that we drank out of solo cups.  I felt the way I imagine a pig in the sunshine feels.  The mud, the sun, the lack of responsibilities beyond eating the next meal.  Except instead of mud we had a nice blanket to lay on and instead of slop or whatever it is that pigs eat we had juicy Italian subs that are the best I've ever had. Sorry Subway.  I love you and your low cal sandwiches but Capriotti's wins the taste test every time.

Afterwards, we walked over to Extraordinary Desserts and sat outside eating this decadent tiramisu something or other cake with lots of frosting.  I'm still not sure if I believe him, but MJ says everything on the plate is edible including the flowers.  He ate one so I did too and it just tasted like grass.

And then on Saturday we went to Red Lobster.  We might be restaurant snobs and I may not eat seafood but it was lobster fest.  MJ loves their lobster, we both love Cheddar Bay Biscuits and I had a gift card that I won in a giveaway.

Eight cheddar bay biscuits (between the two of us, I'll let you guess which one of us ate the most) and 4,000 grams of sodium (in my meal alone-wow!!!) later we went home where I inadvertently got hooked on Scandal.  How does this happen? It begins innocently enough. I'm relaxing on the couch with MJ when he casually starts watching a new series on Netflix. Bam, I'm hooked even though I'm determined not to take on any new shows. It's not the first time it happened. Probably won't be the last. 

When I was laying on that blanket in the sun with MJ's head in my lap and his arms wrapped around my legs I realized that taking the extra time off was totally worth it.  I'm lucky to have that much time available to use.  My health needed that extra week and I'm so glad I didn't miss out on that beautiful day with my husband.

Taking a 3rd week off meant 32 more sick hours gone but that's okay because moments are meant to be had not hoarded. 

Life Lately. . .

Taking nice long hot showers in the morning.  I'm usually a night shower person.  I like to wake up as late as possible before work then I often work out afterwards but I've been taking showers almost exclusively in the morning for the last three weeks.  It's a nice refreshing way to start the day.  I'm scared to see the next water bill.

Reading actual books.  Well, on Kindle for i pad anyways.  I used to read all the time but I've been so busy reading blogs that I don't have time for books too.  I read two books in two weeks and am finishing up a 3rd.  They were all free on Amazon.

Eating peanut butter toast just about every single day for breakfast.  Still addicted. I can't get enough of that warm gooey goodness melting on top warm crispy bread.  There have only been 4 days over the last three weeks that I ate something else!!  When I get stuck on a food I am stuck on it and it could be weeks, months or even years before I ever decide to change it up.  I ate a Peanut Butter Sandwich for breakfast for about 2 years straight.  Notice a Peanut Butter Trend?  I'll be going back to egg beaters on work days but weekends will continue to be all about peanut butter toast.  With coffee.    

Watching Girls.  We don't have HBO but this was THE one show I wanted to binge watch while I had time.  I watched two seasons in two days.  I love the realism of the characters and the situations that they encounter.  They are real girls with flaws, money problems and insecurities.  I can relate.  It's so perfectly quirky and I'm officially hooked.  Can't wait to start burning through season 3 as soon as MJ gets it for me from wherever it is that he gets it.  I've also been watching the Olympics.  I watched all 8 hours of the short and long program ladies figure skating coverage. 

Wearing mostly pajamas.  I have only gotten dressed about 5 times over the last 3 weeks. 

Enjoying days that seem to last forever.  I haven't been at 100% over the last three weeks but I have been thoroughly enjoying this staycation full of time to myself.  I'm getting up early, reading, blogging, writing, watching TV,  watching movies, a few low key outings and staying up late.  Days like this go on and on forever in a really wonderful way.

 Mexican pizza I made for dinner

Appreciating my wonderful husband.  He's taken care of the laundry, dinner, dishes, cleaning house, errands and everything else on top of his long work days without complaint.  Wednesday was my first day out to the grocery store and making dinner and it felt really nice to finally do something for him.

Soaking up this amazing weather.  I'm not sure why this is happening and I haven't been going out that much but every time I do it's warm, sunny and beautiful.  It was about 80 today and we were enjoying it.

Dreading work on Monday.  No real explanation needed.  I'll be going from a whole lot of wonderful freedom and relaxation to a whole lot of work and I probably won't be 100% recovered for another three weeks or so.  I'm expecting a rough transition.

I Wore Pink

In case anybody cares:  Cardigan-Victoria's Secret, Dress-Target
You may or may not remember this but last year I got ditched on Valentine's Day so I wasn't sure what to expect this year if anything.  He claims it wasn't a ditching, I beg to differ but either way I got over it and we moved on.  You can read the gory details here.  He suggested that maybe we would celebrate it every other year but nothing was agreed upon, so imagine my surprise when Mr. Valentine's Day hater suggested we make reservations in early January.  Okay, sounds good to me.  I'm not one to turn down a dinner date so I went with it.  We each chose two places and picked one out of a cup.  His pick Truluck's won and I thought it was really sweet that he offered a do over since I don't like seafood and there isn't a single appetizer on their menu that hasn't been ruined by lobster or crab.

I had to put on a bra.  And actual clothes.  I swapped my glasses for contacts and even put on a little make up.  Coming out of pajamas for the first time in a few weeks was slightly traumatic but I think I cleaned up okay.  
Date Night

D Bar was my pick.  We went there last month for dessert and I loved it. I spotted their Mac and Cheese with Chicken so I vowed to return and order it.  They had a special five course menu which is kind of annoying especially when they don't put it online and you want to try their regular menu.  It was actually a decent deal for $55 each but we really didn't feel like eating all that food so we went a la carte.  If the Mac and Cheese was not an option I would have been mad because it was truly the best I've ever had in a restaurant.  It's really hard to find good mac and cheese.  Theirs was really cheesy, full of flavor and had tons of crispy breadcrumbs.  MJ got the short ribs.  For dessert I got the Chocolate Molten Lava Thingy that everyone else has.  Really, that's what it said on the menu and it's always my first choice if they have it.  MJ got the Banana's Foster which he would never have been able to get had we shared, which we usually do but we wanted our own.  This was probably not the best meal for someone who's been sitting on the couch for the last two weeks and won't be exercising for at least another 4-6 but oh well.  It's Valentine's Day!

It was a dinner that we could have done on any other night.  I said no gifts, but I did get him a little something because I really appreciate how well he's taken care of me and the house the last two weeks.  I had another suggestion about Valentine's Day.  I'm thinking we'll only celebrate it if it falls on a weekend.  If V Day is a Friday through Sunday it's just another excuse for date night.  Totally doable.  If  it's basically another date night for us then what do I care about Valentine's Day if it's a Tuesday and we both have to work all day? Not a whole lot.  I mean, I did survive last year without it and if we don't go out on the actual day then I almost don't see the point.  The longer we are together the more insignificant Valentine's Day feels.  He shows me so much love all the time that I don't really care what happens on February 14th.  Or maybe it's just his attitude rubbing off on me.  I think we have one or two more Valentine's Days before we take a long break. 

On Saturday I went with MJ to his flag football game and took pictures.  It's so much fun seeing what kind of images I can capture. He loves his sports.  Saturday morning is football and on Sunday morning it's basketball.  He is up and out 7 days a week.  I felt a really achy and stiff afterward so on Sunday I stayed close to the couch.  On Monday we went to the movies to see Robocop, then out to lunch.  Robocop was really good and it felt amazing to sit outside and eat with the sunshine on my face. It was an absolutely gorgeous warm weekend so I'm glad I was able to get out to enjoy it.

Am I glad to be healing nicely?  Yes.  And I can't wait to feel 100% like myself.  Do I ever want to go back to work? No.  NEVER!!!  Life is just too good without it.  It's a bummer that I need that paycheck to keep it that way.  One more week of rest left.

On Being Lazy

Every day when MJ came home from work  last week I was in the same place doing the same thing. Sitting on the couch in my pajamas watching TV.  By the 4th day I was actually starting to feel a little embarrassed.  He's at work all day, there are dirty dishes in the sink and yet there I sit day after day on my butt.  He's taking care of everything. Monday I changed it up and when he came home I was upstairs. Taking a nap.  The theme of last week was mostly pain management and this week it seems to be fatigue.  I'm sleeping on my sides more comfortably though and I'm finally able to cuddle up with MJ again.   

I can't sleep in so every morning I wake up early to do nothing.  I take a nice hot shower, put on my jammies and check the status of my swelly belly which is improving every day.  My belly button is no longer a bloody hole.  Eww!! It's now a scab.  Still gross!  I bring my pillows downstairs and pop a pill. I'm eating breakfast at the table now and when I'm done I arrange my pillows around me on the couch just so with my ipad, iphone, remote and water bottle within reach. And you know what? I love it. It feels so wrong to admit that I love being lazy but I really do. I love that for once in my life there is not a damn thing I have to do.  I have no responsibilities.  I feel like a bum but this is what my body needs me to do right now.  Last Friday I tried something different and it didn't go so well. 
My first post surgery outing was Friday after being inside the house for an entire week.  MJ needed to drop his car off at the dealership for service really early in the morning and we'd stop for breakfast down the street on the way back.  Easy peasy right?  We both thought it would be good for me to get out.  Big mistake.   The dealership is only about 20 minutes away.  On the way there I was aware of every single bump.  I only had to stand briefly while he turned in his car and got a rental but by the time we were half way to breakfast I was feeling it.  I walked in there like I had a stick up my butt determined to enjoy it.  When I got home I was immediately on my back surrounded in pillows with a very swollen belly and pains for the rest of the day.  That delicious veggie hash was worth it though!

It really just goes to show you how much we are actually doing every day just being out in the world even when we think we aren't doing all that much.  Just when I thought I was feeling good my body said not so fast lady and told me to go back to sitting on my butt.  My parents came down on Saturday but I haven't gone anywhere since. 

When I got home that day I opened this sweet little care package from my mom and literally burst into tears.  I was just sobbing.  I'm not really sure why.  I'm emotional but usually not THAT emotional.  I was in pain and flustered that a 2 hour errand did me in and there was just something about these simple yet thoughtful gifts that really touched my heart.  Sometimes it really is the little things that mean so much.  It was so sweet that she found these little things that she knew I'd love.

Laziness is not considered an attractive quality. We are taught that lazy is bad.  Most of us anyways.  And the ones that see lazy as a way of life don't usually get very far.  But why does it have to be so wrong when it feels so right?  I wouldn't want to marry someone who sits on the couch all day for no good reason.  What kind of life and what kind of relationship could you have if you did absolutely nothing?  As tantalizing as it sounds even if I never ever had to go back to work I would not make lazy my new occupation.  Not that I wouldn't want to 'cause it's actually pretty awesome; but ultimately I really wouldn't like myself and I'm pretty sure MJ wouldn't like me either.  I'm no overachiever but I have to be productive in some way or else I feel like crap.  Obviously going to work every day is the main thing but in addition to that whether it be working out, writing, blogging, cleaning, errands, paying bills, I have to do something that feels like I did something in order to feel good about myself.  No matter how good it feels to do nothing eventually the feelings of guilt and disgust at myself would eat me alive.  It's hard enough not to feel down on myself right now even though nothing is what I'm supposed to be doing.  

Last week sitting up without back support and holding my arms over a keyboard was exhausting but I'm getting stronger so this week it's different.  I'm still usually sitting on the couch by the time MJ gets home but in the morning after breakfast is novel writing time.  It would be ridiculous not to use some of this precious time off for that.  Even though I do nothing else I'm already feeling better about myself. 

Victoria's Secret Giveaway

Even if you don't believe in Valentine's Day or giveaways for that matter, most women wholeheartedly believe in Victoria's Secret myself included.  Shane put together this awesome giveway to give one lucky lady a $215 gift card to spoil yourself silly!  I know, I know...there are a lot of entries and the odds of winning is just that; odd but you never know unless you try.  Take Faith for example.  She says she never ever wins anything and hardly ever enters but she took a chance on my last giveaway and won.  She didn't even complete every entry.  This one is bigger, but like I said; you never know unless you try.

Giveaway will run until February 14th. All entries will be verified, so play nicely.  Good Luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Too Many Crazies

This is probably old news to some of you.  It happened last month and I was probably under the same rock I tend to be hiding under when big news hits.  Or maybe I haven't been doing enough cardio.  I'm always more up to date on the news when I'm spending time on the elliptical.

Last month a man shot another man in Florida because he was texting during the previews in a movie theater.  It's so ridiculous it sounds like a joke but it's not.  The victim Chad Oulson was in the theater with his wife and he was texting his daughter during the previews.  A man sitting in the row behind him; Curtis Reeves didn't like the texting and told him to stop.  He got up presumably to make a complaint.  When he came back Chad stood up to ask if he went to tell on him.  They argued, Chad threw popcorn and then he was shot dead right there.  The shooter was a retired police officer.

What the hell?  Sadly, I shouldn't be surprised because of all the public shootings that have been going on for years now, but really?  A wife has to lose her husband and a daughter has to lose her father because some guy is either mentally unstable or just had a really bad day?  Maybe Chad should never have stood up, maybe he should not have thrown popcorn but regardless, that is absolutely no justification for this man's crazy and reckless actions.  Apparently the shooter is claiming self defense.  I know that by law you don't have to physically touch someone with your hands for it to be considered assault but a gunshot is an extreme defense to popcorn thrown especially when the texting that started it all didn't even warrant a comment.  The entire situation should have never happened.

There is no texting allowed during the movie and obviously no weapons allowed inside.  How can he get so angry about someone else not even technically breaking the rules when he was breaking the law by having a gun?  I wonder if he had the gun on him the whole time or if he went and got it from his car when he walked out?  Not that it matters.  The movie they were there to see was Lone Survivor which features a beautiful tribute before and after to people who fight and die for their country.  People dying oversees in war is hard enough to take but to die in a movie theater for texting?  There are hardly words to describe how sad and ridiculous that is.  It makes me so angry that people take guns and killing so casually. Like it just something to do.

I heard on the news last week that a Girl Scout selling cookies door to door had a gun pulled on her.  Apparently, a man answered the door with a gun at his side. He pointed the gun at her saying she should know better then to come to his door before slamming the door shut.  Who even knows why.  Her dad saw it happen, called the police and he was taken into custody.

It's a crazy world we live in.  I used to sell Girl Scout cookies door to door and I don't think anyone would ever imagine back then that something like this would happen.  I also used walk to and from school in junior high and now if I had kids I'd be terrified of having them walk to school when kids are being kidnapped right out of their homes. 

There are too many crazies in the world and sadly it just seems to be getting worse.

House Arrest

I really appreciate all of your comments on my last post.  I was so scared!  It was nice to see some of the comments before surgery.  I gave myself a pass and didn't reply, but this is me giving you a big giant reply all thank you right now.

Friday was a really long day. As long as it was for me it was even longer for MJ since I was basically unconscious for part of it.  We left the house around 8:30 and didn't get home until around 7pm.  It was all very organized but there were many stations to get through.  We checked in, I was sent to pre op where I got these cute little purple non skid socks with white paws on them and a purple gown.  The coolest thing about this gown is that it had a ventilation system.  When I got all trembly and freaked out about the IV they were able to put the hose right into a hole and heat me up from the inside out.  I really need something like that for work where it's always freezing.
My own surgery collage.  I look so awesome I couldn't just decide on one.
I was in surgery for 3 1/2 hours.  When they wheeled me into the operating room Wake Me Up by Avicci was playing. Usually I listen to that song at the gym but it was perfect operation music. "So wake me up when it's all over." So they woke me up when it was all over and I had 3 holes in my belly.  My first thought was; I did it!!  It's over!!  Once the anesthesia wore off I moved onto the final recovery station before you get to go home.  It took me about an hour to eat 2 crackers because I was still nauseated.  I nibbled on them like a rabbit and was rewarded with two Percocet.  They don't rush you, but I was really tired and I know MJ was probably really over it by then.  Once I finally finished those crackers I moved onto next challenge.  Nobody goes home unless they demonstrate the ability to get up and go potty.  Less then two hours after surgery I was standing up and hobbling my way to the bathroom.  Standing up brought on more nausea so I asked for a barf bag just in case but I didn't need it.

I'm a big wimp and a huge chicken.  Like most people I hate needles and pain.  Surgery it not exactly something you put on your list of monthly goals but it felt like a big accomplishment.  As I was wheeled out of the hospital I felt really proud of myself for being stronger then I thought I would be.  MJ thought I'd be a complete disaster but I wasn't.   I didn't even take the anti anxiety meds that I asked my doctor to prescribe in case I needed it to get in the door.  The worse part really, was getting the IV-which they had to do twice because apparently I have tiny veins.  After that you are knocked out for everything else that's gonna hurt.  My doctor the surgeon was awesome and everyone was so nice. The pre op room is huge and kind of like an assembly line with rows of patients on each side waiting for the operating room but the nurses are so attentive. There is an entire team dedicated to getting you prepped, attending to your surgery and then taking care of you after.  They made me feel very comfortable and well cared for from start to finish. 

On the day of surgery I ate 9 crackers.  2 at the hospital and 7 later that night.  I call it the surgery diet.  I don't recommend it.  On Saturday I was still eating light.  MJ had football in the morning so my parents came down early to be with me.  My mom is so sweet.  She brought flowers and made me soup.  By Sunday my appetite was back to normal.   I've been eating leftovers for 3 days from a super bowl party I didn't even attend.  MJ went to his friend's house (with my blessing) to watch the game.  I ate a slice of pizza for dinner two nights in a row and today I started in on the Chili.  

On night one I was almost in tears trying to get up for the bathroom in the middle of the night but it's taking me less time to get up now and I'm getting more and more mobile every day.  Being forced to sleep on my back all night makes it hard to get comfortable and I miss cuddling with MJ but overall I'm doing okay.  The drugs are doing their thing so I haven't really been in too much pain.  Mostly just discomfort. Every time I move.   Totally manageable.

MJ has been taking such good care of me.  He makes sure I take my pills, he feeds me.  He took my bandages off when I was too scared too look at my incisions and coaxed me into the shower when I was afraid of getting them wet.  You gotta love a guy who helps you put on your underwear when you can barely stand up, waits on you hand and foot, sees you in tired old baggy pajamas for days and still calls you cute.  He's the best.   I don't know what I would have done without him. I am mad at him for "accidentally" scaring me so bad that I screamed hard enough to hurt my belly.  He's really going to have to stop that when we get old or he might cause a heart attack.

It's still really hard to believe that my only job for at least two weeks is to rest.  I can't drive.  I'm not supposed to be cleaning, doing errands or working out.  I can sit on the couch watching TV all day long and be a total and complete bum without guilt.   How often does one get an opportunity like this?   Pretty much never and it sucks that it requires major surgery to get it, but I'll take it.  I haven't gone anywhere since Friday's surgery.  It's like being on house arrest without the ankle bracelet and the introvert that I am is totally embracing it.  Normally I loathe the rain but after months of oddly warmer temps we finally got some.  I didn't mind it one bit because I got to burrow under the covers all morning and then spend all day in jammies.  I got out of bed when I felt like it and gingerly made my way downstairs to set up camp on the couch.

Mj thinks I'll get sick of it but I'm not so sure.


I really hate hospitals. Who doesn't? Every time I go to one I see something I wish I hadn't seen.  After I see it I can't just unsee it so there it is burning an impression in my mind until it finally fades away and I move onto something else to obsess over.

I was there for an MRI.  Gosh those machines are huge and loud.  I had dye injected in one arm and an organ relaxer in the other.  I'm so glad I didn't know that MRI's can come with shots or else it would have been one more thing for me to worry about.  I didn't find out until just before I changed  into my lovely hospital gown.  I survived and then I headed to the lab to do my blood work and went back to work only to feel like crap about 30 minutes later and have to leave early.  I guess it was all just a little too much for me.  When I got home I laid between the cool sheets burrowed under the covers and thought to myself that this time in two days I'm probably going to feel about 10x worse then this.  Maybe 50x worse even.  I napped and was thankful to feel like my old self again in a few hours.

Do yourself a favor and don't google your surgery before you have it.  I mean, it's a good idea to be well informed and the internet is nothing if not informative but the two weeks that I spent obsessively dredging the internet for every possible horror story known to man was pretty exhausting.   I mean, chances are you can't not do it but just know that it's probably going to freak you out more then anything.  It's really, really hard not to think of all the things that could go wrong but at some point you must take a chill pill and let it go.

If you are reading this right now it means I'm on my way to the hospital and it's taken a lot of soul searching, anxiety and second guessing to get here.  It's a hard decision to make when there are no solid answers. About anything. I haven't mentioned it to anyone I know outside of family.  Telling it makes it real. Your last day at works makes it even more real. I'm sort of in denial that it's happening because technically, even up until the moment I arrived at the hospital I could change my mind and bolt.  I never saw myself doing that but you can't tell someone that you are having surgery one day and then show up for happy hour the next.  You don't tell someone something like that unless you know for certain that you are which I did; except I like to keep my options open until the very last minute.  I have a very difficult time making decisions about even the smallest most insignificant things let alone the slicing of my skin.  If you are reading this right now it means I waited until the very last moment to hit publish just in case I changed my mind even though I knew that I wouldn't.

I wasn't sure if I'd mention it here, but it felt really weird not to.  Not that I tell you everything because I don't but this is a big deal and this is my blog and it really just felt like I should.  I don't know if or when I will feel comfortable talking about what kind of surgery I'm having but I know that today is not that day. This is my first "real" surgery anesthesia and all so I don't know how I'm going to feel or what to expect.  If I'm not active in blog land you'll know why.

Oh, and that thing I saw at the hospital that I wish I could unsee was a deceased person.  Not exactly the kind of thing you want to see on the eve of your first surgery or EVER for that matter.  Lying on a stretcher snugly wrapped in a blue blanket from head to toe was the unmistakable form of a person who had taken their last breath.  The worst thing about it is that the guy was lost.  He rolled that stretcher up and down the hallway right past me twice trying to figure out where he was going.  The MRI's are done on the basement level and I think that's also where the morgue is. 

I can't unsee it but I'm desperately trying to push that image out of my mind.  It's routine surgery.  The people who love me tell me that I will be okay and as terrified as I am I believe them.   I am young.  I'm healthy.  I'm strong.  I plan on taking lots of drugs.  I'll be okay.

Please send good thoughts my way. I'll check in when I can.