Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 New Year's Goal

I was supposed to participate in a race today, since I was recovering from a cold during the race on Dec. 8 that I had originally planned to count as my December race.

When the alarm went off this morning and I made it into the kitchen for some breakfast, I noticed that it was pouring. Not just a little sprinkling of rain, but water coming down so fast and hard that I couldn't see the marsh in front of the house, and when I opened the porch for it sounded like a waterfall.

Sweet hubby and I decided that it should count anyway, even though we went back to bed.

I tried, twice, to participate in a race in December. December is not a month when many races are available in my area, since most people don't want to run in the cold and are busy with other holiday stuff, too.

I cheered hard and loud at the race on Dec.8, even though I was getting over two days of not being able to talk well enough to teach new material at school.

Even though we decided not to participate this morning, because of the cold and downpour, I'm going to count my 2012 resolution to run a race a month as a success. the final did keep me motivated to keep running and training between races, which meant that overall, I was more physically active in 2012 than I had been the year before, and that was the real point of the race-per-month goal.

Here is a quick review:
January: Cold Winter's Day
February: Race for the Place
March: Special Olympics and Cooper River Bridge
April: Heart and Sole/Girls on the Run
May: Get in the Pink
June: Fresh Fest
July: Media Maratón Valle del Elqui
August: Run Wild
September: Brunswick Family Assistance
October: Color Me Rad
November: Turkey Trot
December: Girls on the Run/Race into the New Year

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope that your holiday was as wonderful as mine.

Well, most parts of mine, at least.

Sweet hubby forgot to take his allergy medicine on Christmas Eve, and snored all night long. He wouldn't roll over when I tried to make him, either! The snoring combined with my now overactive bladder did not make for a very restful night, which made the festivities seem too long on Christmas day.

My immediate family gathered for breakfast at my mama's house (I took cinnamon rolls...yum!), which is a tradition. We help get last minute things done until the grits are ready and my dad is home from rounds at the hospital (ahhh, call on Christmas morning). Then we listen to Christmas music while we eat -- Mama's favorite is Johnny Mathis, so I don't think I'll ever be able to really feel like it is Christmas morning without Johnny playing.

After breakfast, we went to see what Santa had brought, and then to open gifts from one another. I was sooooo excited to get two of the big things on my list -- a silhouette cutting machine and a new sewing machine! Yay! Time to do projects!

My siblings, sweet hubby, and my parents all seemed happy with their gifts, too.

My dad went to pick up my grandma and her sitter, and my mama's sisters started to arrive. Grandma had a little bit of present opening time, and then we started bustling around the kitchen getting the food ready for dinner. There were 22 people eating dinner, ages 2-96. Pretty special. And the food was amazing (as usual).

After dinner, we all sat around talking and watching old holiday movies until suppertime. The men with smartphones checked the weather, saw a big storm rolling in, and decided to head home....I was kind of grateful, since I was feeling so tired.

We packed up our things, said goodbye, and came home to crash.

I'm constantly surprised by how incredible exhausted I am all the time! I'm also getting very spoiled with daily afternoon naps -- which I'm sure I will not be able to continue when school starts back next week!

Christmas Eve was tiring, too -- I had my first official prenatal appointment in the morning, which took FOREVER for not a lot -- bloodwork and an interview -- I didn't even see a doctor. The bloodwork I think really got to me -- I had a bad headache for the rest of the day and was very tired. I did my best to help my mama and sister with the normal Christmas Eve preparations. I did NOT fall asleep during church, and I managed not to be unpleasant at the annual Christmas Eve soup party.

Overall, this holiday has been tiring -- even though most of it has been geared around relatively relaxing and fun activities.

I'm hoping for some rejuvenation at the beach later this week -- I love being at the beach, even in the winter!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

i am...

getting excited about christmas!

not excited to have found a HUGE limb down from a tree that has limbs over our kitchen.

scheduled to have my first prenatal appointment on monday.

having said tree removed from my yard on Wednesday. By the sketchy tree service the recommendation of a friend of the family recommended since he retired last year and which I can't find a website for on the internets to help me feel better about not checking around with other tree services who do have websites on the internets....

putting off the gift wrapping, but it really must be done pretty soon.

also putting off the grocery shopping and hoping that sweet hubby will do the rest of it without me (he made me go to Sam's this morning, since I have the card and he doesn't).

gearing up to clean the kitchen and start some laundry.

wishing the house would clean itself.

going to meet roommate's new kitty this afternoon!

hoping, hoping, hoping for a nap pretty soon.

dreading the school thank you notes -- all those gifts from kids! so many thank you notes to write!

signed up for a race on dec. 29, which I'm planning to walk, not run, since I haven't been running since before I found out I'm pregnant, and somehow I don't think it would be smart of me to try to run a 5k without training right now. And this one will be the last one in the 2012 New Year's Resolution series....I don't think I'll be setting a New Year's goal this year. Unless it is something extremely vague and unmeasurable.

still reveling in the amazing dancing of West Side Story, which we got to see as part of sweet hubby's christmas gift on Thursday night.

hungry.

maybe going to call some more tree services.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God is Good.

God is good.

If you'll remember, a few weeks ago, I had a sort of strange experience where I thought God might be giving me signs. Signs that I had prayed for, but still didn't know how to accept as signs from Him.

God is so BIG, and so AMAZING.

It took a lot for me to announce that I was going to believe that the verses God was giving me were truly gifts from Him.

It was totally worth it.

I have claimed God's promises, and God is making them come true.

Guess who is having a baby in August?!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

8

There are 8 days of school left before the holiday break.

There are 34 students who are getting more and more excited about being on said break....

It is not my favorite combination.

Throw in a cold, this whole past week, that made me lose my voice and my patience....I was not the nicest teacher.

One of my parents thinks that her child is being bullied, when many other students think her child is the bully. Her child threw a laptop at another on Thursday and was suspended. It didn't happen in my classroom, so I don't really know all of the details. I do know that her son had already been having a rough day, and that her son has anger management problems. I also know the other child involved had a bad reputation last year for stealing and lying, and may not be truthful about his participation in the situation.

I think it is sad that some students think it is funny to provoke others. My students had a guidance lesson this week on "sandpaper words" and "velvet words". During the lesson, they demonstrated that they clearly knew the difference. In real life, though, they continue to speak like sandpaper to each other.

My students are in a funny position -- they know each other too well. Most class groups are totally different from one year to the next, as students move in and out of the district and get re-mixed each year among all of the teachers in the next grade level. In the immersion program, there are only two class groups to mix the students within, and no new students move in to the program. Occasionally students move out of the program, but very rarely do new students join. These children bring up with them a shared history much more closely resembling the relationships between siblings than classmates. The bickering, the picking on, the instant support, the knowledge of which buttons to push....It can be lovely to see, and also disheartening, too. I hope that they will figure out a way to support each other better through the years, to put aside leftover hurt feelings, and to realize the amazing gift that they have -- most students never get to know their friends so well.

8 days to go -- school days -- and I'm already hoping that they fly by.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

waiting

I stink at waiting.

Waiting Waiting Waiting Waiting.

That's all.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

i am...

thankful for my family.

snuggled up in a blanket on the couch at the beach.

learning some interesting family history from about 8 generations back.

waiting for sweet hubby to wake up.

checking out sewing machine deals online.

drooling over silhouette cutters.

considering working on the awful puzzle we started at memorial day weekend and haven't been able to finish all summer and fall (at the beach, so not always available).

wishing I had the pictures from last night's walk on the beach at sunset to share.

excited about the boat parade we're planning to watch tonight.

avoiding doing work for the class I'm taking.

filling up on pumpkin pie.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

God's promises


So as the whole world knows by now, I'm in a rocky place where my faith is concerned. I want to have great hope and put all of my trust in the Lord, but over and over so far my greatest desire seems out of reach.

In my quest for some sort of balance, I've begun to write my prayers down, instead of simply praying them in my head. (This is in addition to talking to good friends, my godmother, my counselor, my sweet hubby, running on a semi-regular basis, etc.)

It has been good for me, so far, because it is forcing me to take the time to slow down and focus and to really be intentional about trying to be thankful, even when I don't really feel thankful. It is forcing me to recognize feelings and questions that I have about this whole infertility experience that before I hadn't been able to fully form or fully recognize.

It is also forcing me to be more open to hearing God's response -- this taking time to really pay attention also gives me a time and place where I am quiet and trying to listen.

And so one day last weekend I prayed for a sign. My prayer went something like, "God, just let me know which way my life is supposed to go -- let me know whether I should be hopeful without fear of having my faith, little though it may be, ripped out from under me if we find out that we really just can't have our own children."

I don't normally pray for signs. I don't know if I really even believe in signs, most of the time.

The one other time I have actively prayed for a sign was actually the beginning of my romantic relationship with sweet hubby. I prayed for a long time before sweet hubby and I were a couple, because I thought he had a girlfriend but I really really liked him and we were starting to spend more time together. I was determined not to come between him and a girlfriend, not to do anything to mess up his relationship, and I was determined not to be the one to initiate anything physical. I prayed to God that this boy would kiss me by a certain date, and if he didn't, that I would let go of my feelings for him. And funnily enough, after I started praying so specifically about needing this particular sign before a specific date, we had hardly any time alone. I started to get worried, and then I kept reminding myself that I wasn't supposed to be in charge. I wasn't supposed to be orchestrating or trying to make sure that we had an opportunity or anything -- I was supposed to wait and see and be open to both possibilities (that we would get together, or that we wouldn't).

And wouldn't you know, even on the very last day, we still didn't have any time together alone? We lived in a sort of boarding house, and I had accidentally left my water bottle downstairs. When I went back downstairs late that night to retrieve it, there was sweet hubby, all alone, and his eyes lit up to see me. He initiated the kiss that I had been so impatiently waiting for. And the rest is history.

Was it a sign? I'm not entirely sure, but clearly I'd like to believe that it was. It sure felt a lot like a sign and an answered prayer when it happened.

I *want* very much to believe in signs now, because the one I think I received over the weekend could be so incredibly encouraging to me right now. I have been praying for God to let us know definitively whether we will have our own babies or need to explore other family-growing options.

So there I was, sandwiched between my mama and daddy at church on Sunday morning, and we began to sing the hymn "Come Ye Thankful People Come". The third line caught me off guard and put a smile on my face -- "God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied". The hymn isn't really about whether I can have babies or not, though, but it felt like God might be whispering to me.

Just a little bit later, we began to responsively read Psalm 113. And here, my heart just about jumped into my throat. Could this really be what I just read? Look at verse 9 of this Psalm -- "He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord." Really, God? Is this a coincidence, or is this for real? I made a decision that I was going to have to look the Psalm up again later, just to see if I had made it up and it was all in my head.

When the sermon began, I didn't know whether I would listen or not. I like my pastor just fine, but sometimes I totally tune him out when he talks about topics that are upsetting to me -- like when he tells lots of stories about how important it is to be a parent, which seems totally out of reach to me right now. I started off listening. He told the story of someone who recognized all of the many, many small things that led to big things, with the understanding that she couldn't control any of the small things and couldn't control the big thing, but that she recognized the way that all of these small things came together in exactly the right way for the big things to happen. I know that sounds vague, but I've forgotten the exact story, even though I recall it was about an author.

And so I've been left thinking about the small things. Small things that I'm hoping, very much, are adding up to a big thing in my life -- small things that I'm hoping will turn out exactly as God has planned, and exactly as my heart desires, all at the same time.

I've been thinking about how I developed a good relationship with the counselors that I used to work for, so that when I needed to reach out for professional help coping with the emotional journey that infertility brings, I was comfortable enough to actually do so. I've been thinking about how my godmother struggled with infertility, but I never knew it until I confided in her a few weeks ago, and she can fully understand where my heart and mind are in this process of really wanting to have children and questioning and doubting and being on an emotional roller coaster almost all the time and the effect of the extra hormones from treatment and all of it. I've been thinking about how letting our social/travel calendar revolve around "good times to be apart" and "times that we should be together" has grown my relationship with sweet hubby and encouraged him to verbalize to me the importance to him of growing our family and has allowed him to demonstrate to me that he is willing and able to put our family ahead of his immediate desires to travel or spend time with friends. I've been thinking about how two of my good friends from college, while they have no problem getting pregnant themselves, both have an older sister struggling with infertility. I've been thinking about how my mom decided several years ago that she wasn't going to ask us prying questions about when we were planning to have kids, and how when we are at parties and such and people ask me in her presence, she'll automatically defend our childless-ness with the statement "I don't even ask them about that -- it's not my business". And this from my mama, who loves me, but with whom I do not discuss anything truly personal -- this from my mama, without me ever telling her that we're trying to have babies and that it hasn't been an easy road.

The little things, I'm discovering, are pretty amazing. And I have great hope (this week, at least) that these little things will add up to something amazing. I'm hesitant to claim Psalm 113:9 as a personal promise from God to me, but on Sunday morning, standing there, reading it aloud, it sure felt like a sign. It felt like a promise, from God to me, that he does, actually, have a plan for me, and that the pieces of this plan will come together the way God wants them to, and that God's plan includes my desire of having children of my own.

I'm a little bit afraid to claim this promise, in case it turns out that we really can't have children of our own, and rocks my faith in a way that I can't recover. But mostly I want to claim God's promise, and to use it to shore up my hope and have a positive attitude and not worry so so so much all the time about where and when and how and whether I am doing enough.

Please pray for me.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

some things

1. I finished my 8k race this morning in 56 minutes. I was surprised to be able to run the whole thing, even if I went super slow. This also means that I only have one more race to go in order to meet my 2012 New Year's Resolution Goal of running a race every month. I'm pretty excited to be 11/12 of the way there!

Thanks to sweet hubby for taking this little picture after I got home.

2. I had an HSG on Thursday, which was surprisingly painful but apparently had a good result -- no blockages or anything. So it's back to waiting and not knowing why I haven't been able to get pregnant yet.

3. There are two school days before Thanksgiving, and I am probably more excited about the break than my students are.

4. I'm making the pioneer woman's cinnamon rolls for our UMW bakesale at church tomorrow. It's always tempting to eat them all and not save any for the bakesale.

5. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is hilarious.

6. I just finished reading the book Fireflies in December, and while it was really good, I wasn't anticipating the content when I started reading it. Maybe I should have read the back of the book first? It gives a very good glance into small town southern life with the Klan. Parts of it were hard to read for a wimp like me.

7. We saw my godsister sing in her high school production of Little Shop of Horrors last night. The songs are so catchy. Some of the singing could have been a little bit better, but overall, it's hard to go wrong with such an entertaining show. Who doesn't love Audrey 2 and Seymour?

8. Sweet hubby is selling seats at the last home football game of the year. I think he will be glad when this game is over and the seats are put away for another season. He'll be tired when he gets home, but he agreed to help me clean out the attic this weekend.

9. In addition to cleaning out the attic, we'll be putting up some of our Christmas decorations -- yay! I'm ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and ready to get cheerful!

10. I really, really, really would like you to pray for me -- that I'll be content with whatever path God has for me. I really, really, really would like to have sweet hubby's babies, and I'm doing all the different things medically that might help with that....But there is still a possibility that I won't ever be able to have babies. Please pray that whether I have babies of my own or not, that the experience help me to grow in my faith, rather than turn away from it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Monday

And only 6 more school days until the first of the breaks -- Thanksgiving break!

One of my absolute FAVORITES!!!

I'm so excited to spend time with my family.

We'll have dinner with about 35 other aunts/uncles/cousins and then take a long walk in the country. We'll eat dinner in the afternoon and snack all day and then have supper before we leave, too.

We'll play games and talk and laugh and chase the little ones around and Uncle Richard will fall asleep in front of the TV. Or in the middle of a conversation. (He has narcolepsy, which we didn't know until a few years ago -- it was a great revelation. Now he takes medicine before all family gatherings, which helps him stay awake for all of the fun!).

I'm trying to think positive and get excited about the family time coming up -- it's helping me get through the trying days at school....mondays. And all the other days, too!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I am...

definitely going to vote today.

looking forward to hanging out with my godmama for a little bit today, and letting her give me insight about what I should do with infertility treatment and faith.

listening to mumford & sons.

and the cat purring.

up early on a day with no school, but that's ok.

glad that sweet hubby still has to work today, since we just took a big financial hit.

trying really hard to give up my worries to God and trust that he will provide (financially and family wise).

annoyed by my messy house.

glad I went for a run yesterday, when it was 20 degrees warmer and so much less grey outside.

ready to register sweet hubby for a full load of classes this spring, after his part time student status this fall.

hopeful that one day he will actually graduate and get a job he loves.

full of chai tea from the dutch store in the mountains -- yum.

deciding which apple dessert to make with the many apples we still have from picking apples a few weeks ago.

going to put the sleeping bags back in the attic.

planning to put up some little shelves in my closet and rearrange a few things around the house.

fixing to cry my eyes out when I meet with my godmama since I'm such a wimp.

trying to focus on how loved I am and how big of a blessing it is that I have people I can turn to (even if it is hard and awkward for me) when I have big questions about what following God should really look like.

hoping you'll pray for me today (and tomorrow, and the next day, too, probably).

ready to get started.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

adult decisions

(No, not x-rated, you're looking in the wrong place.)

I was supposed to go on a college church retreat this weekend. And I didn't. I was very "unresponsible" and made the best decision for me -- not to go. I would have loved spending time in the mountains. I would have loved getting to know some of the students a little bit better. I would have loved spending time taking in God's majesty while watching the sun rise or set over the lake, singing songs of praise, hiking, walking the labyrinth, or sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch.

Except that this weekend, I wouldn't have loved any of those things. They would have been a burden to me.

And a church retreat? I'm fairly certain that it is not supposed to feel like a burden, but more like a blessing.

When sweet hubby's good friend called me and texted me to see if he could ride with me, I said no. I couldn't handle the idea of talking to this man for three hours in the car after the week I'd had. So I made the choice to say no.

When the same friend texted me about 1/2 hour before I was supposed to leave, to see if (even though I don't have a key to the building) I could pick up the food they had accidentally left behind, I was super annoyed. I told him I didn't know if I would be leaving that day after all. He told me that sweet hubby and roommate both have keys to the building. (Roommate doesn't live here anymore, sweet hubby had an opera to perform.) I told him I still didn't have a key.

About 15 minutes later, roommate called me and asked why I wanted to get into the church.

I told her I didn't, that the friend wanted me to, and that I thought I might just not go on the trip after all, and I started to cry.

You see, I had a horrible week.

Stressful, stressful, stressful, and no one to talk to about it during the week, since sweet hubby was at opera rehearsal every night until way past my bedtime.

Roommate convinced me that I was making the right choice by saying no to the trip. She came by the house, let me cry and vent a little, then told me she was breaking up with the girl she had been seeing. She was worried it would take a long time, so we made a plan -- I'd open the bottle of wine I had been thinking about all week; she'd buy chinese food and break up with the girl, and then she'd come back to my house and we'd watch funny movies together.

It was just what I needed. I got to have a little cry, I got to have a little relaxation, I got to have some good laughs. Runaway Bride is funnier than I remembered. Mean Girls will probably always be my favorite. And friends like roommate? They aren't found often.

The irony? The exact man who was driving me to my decision to stay home called the girl who convinced me it was the best decision. And he thought he was calling her to get me to do him a favor.

So instead of spending this weekend in the mountains, I've spent it at home. At school, grading papers and papers and papers. 4 hours worth of papers. 4 hours worth of papers that had me stressed out because of how long it was going to take me to get caught up with another week of meetings after school every day and during planning time and no free time to focus on school. And eating lunch with my family, since I wasn't actually in the mountains after all. And watching the opera that sweet hubby has been rehearsing for months now. And drinking wine and watching movies and laughing and crying and talking to my best friend. And napping for three hours, since I was tired.

These things, too, are gifts from God. These things too, help me to see his Majesty. His grandeur. His amazing love for me. He orchestrated this weekend for me to stay home, to truly appreciate not packing and unpacking and sleeping in a sleeping bag and talking to 19 year olds and crazy Brazilians all weekend.

After the week I had, this weekend at home has truly felt like a gift from God. I'm all about the adult decisions right now. As in, I'm an adult. Even though I said I would go on this trip, it is not the best choice for me right now, so I'm not going.

It is a powerful feeling, this making adult decisions that are the best choice for me, regardless of whether they show my commitment to the things I've said "yes" to doing. Perhaps I need to start practicing how to say "no" more often, again.

And on a side note....Just a quick list of the things that made this week so very horrible in the first place:
1. full moon=crazy kids
2. Halloween=crazy kids
3. poor parenting=crazy kids
4. late night opera rehearsals=poor sleep
5. dr.'s appt. Monday=sad, stressed Eli trying to decide how much infertility treatment to seek
6. late night opera rehearsals=not talking to sweet hubby about infertility treatment decisions that need to be made, and preferably this year before we start our insurance deductible again
7. new tires and struts for my car=bank account woes
8. RISC visits at school=extra goal setting and the implication that I'm not doing enough at school
9. immersion leadership meeting=listening to teachers from other schools whine about things that don't really matter for 2 hours instead of being productive
10. Halloween=unproductive afternoon
11. girls on the run=no time after school for planning on the one night sweet hubby didn't have rehearsals or performances
12. phone calls from a parent who thinks her child is struggling in school but the child is really not
13. parent conference after school on a friday
14. planning/packing for a church retreat the same weekend sweet hubby is in the opera
15. medication changes for my most aggressive student
16. report cards
17. PMS. On top of all of the rest of it.

It was all just toooooooo much. But it is over now....And next week will not be much better. But I, personally, am better, because I spent part of my weekend catching up on school stuff and relaxing and not driving 3 hours to the mountains and 3 hours back.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

five minute friday

Yes, it's already Saturday morning.

That doesn't mean anything, really.

I'd still like to link-up at the Gypsy Mama, so I'm going to.

The word of the week: voice.

My voice rises, gets louder, then at the breaking point, gets really quiet.

"No te escucho," my students say. They look at me, quiet down, and I begin again, with my volume so low that they must strain to hear me over the hum of the air conditioner.

It's so loud that most of the time I can't hear myself think.

Between the excitement of doing science experiments and the fair and halloween and birthdays and the promise of so many fun things, it is not until I am very quiet that my students finally start to hear me.

My voice; when I use it the right way, is a tool for learning. It is a tool for encouraging, a tool for loving.

When it gets loud, no one can hear it.

When it is quiet, people lean in to listen.

Not only in the classroom, but in life, in general.

I don't want to hear those who are loud at me, trying so very hard to be heard. I want to hear the voice of those who wait to speak, who wait to have my attention, who are interested in making sure that I hear clearly the importance of what they say.

And I want to hear, clearly, that still, small voice, reassuring me, encouraging me, loving me, that comes from above.

10/12 is not so bad

In January, I set myself the New Year's Resolution goal of running an organized race at least once every month in 2012.

I can't believe I'm actually 10/12 of the way there!

In August, my running buddy spotted a groupon for "Color Me Rad" -- one of those trendy races where people start out all dressed in white and people throw color at them until they are all sorts of rainbow looking.

I agreed to run with her, thinking it would be nice to try something different, and the groupon made the price of the race really affordable.

And then, school started, September happened, I more or less stopped running.

Oh no!

Except I was still running a little teeny tiny bit. Coaching Girls on the Run, occasionally meeting up with running buddy for a walk/jog, rarely heading out on my own.

So not running much, but running a little teeny tiny bit.

Last Saturday, it was time to put on a white shirt and find out what I would really think about having people throw stuff at me as I ran. And also time to find out whether I could, in fact, actually still complete a 5k.

And on both accounts, I was pleasantly surprised.

Running buddy, her sister and I started out all dressed in white:
And ended up a little more colorful:


We ran almost the whole thing, except for the super steep uphill part that EVERYBODY walked.

And aside from how gross it was to get the color powder in my mouth, it was kind of exhilarating to be in the middle of such a big crowd of happy people basking in a rainbow powder fight.

And so I am officially only 2 races away from completing my 2012 New Year's Resolution.

I'm starting to think ahead -- what should my 2013 New Year's Goal be?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

changing

I have been in a slump.

A self-deserving, self-pitying, ugly place.

I'm trying to get out.

I'm trying to appreciate the little things, to look on the bright side, to find the silver lining.

It's hard.

I want so badly to make big changes in my life, but it is overwhelming.

I want so badly to be satisfied with what I have, but I live a life of coveting.

I want so badly to be a giver, to let go of what I have, and to know that I will always, always have enough.

I want to put my faith in God, and the promises Jesus told us of, and have those promises as my rock.

I want to clean out the house, simplify, and be satisfied.

But somehow, I am always wanting more, and not of the right things.

I want more stuff. More pretty clothes, more pretty dishes, more food in the refrigerator, more furniture, more bedding, more. And more, and more, and more.

I want children. I want babies to fill up my house and my heart and my time, rather than just my thoughts of how I probably won't ever have them and jealousy of those who do, especially those who do and don't (or didn't) want them.

I want friends close by, rather than so spread out that the effort of keeping in touch with them exhausts me and creates stress about misinterpreted emails and no phone calls and then whirlwind visits once or twice a year and pretending that our lives still have things in common. I want friends here, now, who know and understand where I am, even if it is this ugly place of desire.

I want my house to be clean, my yard to be pretty, and enough money in my bank account, but I don't want to have to work for any of these.

I want to support local businesses, and not encourage slave labor, but I don't want to make the effort to seek out products made in the US.

I want women to have more rights here at home, but I don't want to go to the rallies and be seen.

I want fair, affordable health care for all, but I don't want to give up the convenience of being able to call my own doctor whenever I'm sick, or my money, or my choice of health care plans.

I want the world to be a different place, but I don't want to be the one to change it.

And this is how I get stuck in the ugly place, the place of desire without action.

This is my commitment to start making changes.

I commit to cleaning out, bit by bit, my house. I commit to letting go of the clothing I don't wear, the things I don't use, the books I will not read again.

I commit to use the things that take up space in my home.

I commit to enjoying the people around me and seeking out personal connections here.

I commit to shopping less for things, especially clothing.

I commit to changing my attitude, even though it may take time.

I commit to participating in the next women's rights rally here.

I commit to becoming a person I can be proud of, a person who lets her values dictate her lifestyle and spending.

Hold me accountable. Ask me how it's going. Encourage me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I am...

enjoying a Lori McKenna song that I don't know all the words to.

a little cold on this rainy, cloudy, super grey day.

listening to sweet hubby start the supper preparations....his mama's lentil recipe, and sopaipillas....yum!

hungry for that delicious supper.

ready for my crazy kids to come back to school tomorrow, after their long weekend, parent conferences, and my work day in the classroom today.

sad not to be at the beach, where the weather was amazing this weekend. And the company was even better (thanks to both running buddy and roommate!)

hopeful that the next round of fertility medicine will do the trick, but trying not to be *too* hopeful.

overwhelmed by my schedule...directing a wedding this weekend, traveling to pick apples, going to see Pilobolus perform, and all within about 36 hours.

expecting the kitty cat to snuggle up tonight, since it's actually pretty cold out, and therefore in.

not using facebook anymore, and hoping it helps me to be more productive in real life.

starting to take a class tomorrow afternoon. One more thing to mix into the after school crazy business.

wanting a little bit of Rob Ryan's loveliness in my life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

i realized, as i was driving home today,

That I have definitely been avoiding dealing with real life.

I'm not coping well.

I wish I could just be pregnant, already.

I wish that the fertility drugs would work.

I wish that it wasn't so ingrained in me and everyone else that babies are the natural and expected next step.

I wish that it wasn't so socially awkward to be married for more than 5 years and still not have kids.

I wish that I wasn't jealous of the random women I don't even know that I see in stores who are pregnant.

I wish that I wasn't sort of happy that the pregnant teacher on my hallway will probably be out for the rest of the year, and I don't have to see her waddle and be jealous all day long.

I wish that I could talk about it without crying, because I think it would help me feel more normal.

I wish that I didn't feel like such a disappointment to friends and family when they'd like to hear happy news.

I wish I didn't feel like my body is failing me.

I wish that I could be finished with this tough season.

Instead, I'll keep enjoying date nights with sweet hubby, crying on the way to school, and surviving month to month....one at time, and each one, one more I can handle.

Slowly, I'll get used to it.

I hope.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

this weekend

I did things my way, in the middle of a group trip.

It felt good.

Like I'm a grown up.

I know, it's ridiculous....but at 31 I finally feel like it is ok for me to say, "I'm too tired for this activity; I'm going to bed."

And no one complained.

I mean, I get up at 5:30 every morning. It's not unreasonable for me to be tired and ready to sleep around 9:00.

I wanted to skip the fire? I skipped it.

I wanted to skip the silly games? i skipped them.

I wanted to skip the ball game? I skipped it.

There was too much other fun to be had.

Like, naptime fun. Or sitting in the sun, fun. Or swimming in the lake fun. Or running the trail around the lake fun. Or adventures finding walmart fun.

It was a great trip. Lots of fun spent hanging out with the college students. Lots of fun singing praises to God. Lots of fun eating and eating and eating. Lots of fun talking about what it means to be an outsider, and how we are called to this life of being different.

Lots of fun, lots of love, lots of great time connecting with each other.

And of course, it was wonderful to be away from home.

(Now, the kitty cat is purring at me, though, which I miss when we're away!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

life, lately

Life lately has been a little bit sad.

Ok, a lotta bit sad.

My travel buddy's dad passed away on my second day of school, so I quickly made arrangements for an awesome substitute teacher and a last minute flight and was able to spend the day before the memorial service and the day of the memorial service with my travel buddy, her mom, her brother, and her sister. Although it was hard for me to make the decision to leave my classroom and my new group of students so early in the school year, and for three whole days (the most I've ever taken in a row!), I have no doubt that it was the right thing for me to do.

When I got back to the airport, my mama told me to run, go hug David, because he was picking up his daughter to take her to the hospital to see her mama, Sister, who, after three long years of awful, awful bone cancer that had spread to lots of other places, had a heart attack in the hospital. I hugged his neck, told him I love him (he's been my boyfriend all my life, even though he was always married to Sister), and went back to my mom, who let me know that this was probably the end.

And she was right. Early on labor day morning, we got the news. By labor day night, we knew when the funeral would be, and before we were home from the beach I had my same amazing sub lined up for Friday.

It was another beautiful ceremony, and I bawled my eyes out. Sister was a petite woman with a gigantic joyful presence. She always cried when we sang the hymn "Seek Ye First," and even when I was little, she would tell us that she wanted it sung at her funeral. When we sang, I came undone. I will probably always come undone at that hymn. Just as I will come undone at "Jesus Loves Me", since my mama has already made it clear that we will sing it (one day in the hopefully far, far off future) at her funeral.

Although I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be pregnant, the weekend confirmed my suspicions, and it made me a little sadder, too. Sweet hubby and I did finally decide that we'd try infertility treatment, but it is definitely with mixed feelings for me.

I know that many children are conceived with the aid of medical intervention. I also know that many children are not conceived by the aid of medical intervention. I am a Christian, and I also believe fully that God gives in accordance with his plan. I have doubts about the necessity or rightness of medical intervention, as I feel like I am somehow trying to intervene in God's plan. If God didn't want me to have children, and I go to great lengths with a fertility specialist to conceive a child, and it wasn't meant to be....I'm not sure. At the same time, I know plenty of people who consider medical intervention the "miracle" they were praying for. I also know people who have a faith such that they can interpret God's promises for their own lives and make declarations such as "Within the year, I'll have a child", and fully believe and see through to the end these statements.

My faith is not of the sort that would lead me to make demands of God. My faith is not of the sort to lead me to believe that medical intervention is supposed to be my miracle (at least not yet). My faith is sort of on hold....I'm not letting go of it, but I'm also not growing in it, the way I wish I was, especially in light of being given a trying circumstance that would really be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the world and myself that I have my faith in God, in His perfect plan, and the good things He has in store for me.

You can pray for me, if you want.

Friday, September 7, 2012

five minute friday

The word of the week at The Gypsy Mama is "Graceful".

She stands, poised, a half smile on her face. She can't believe that so many people have come, so many people have told her the things she already knew.

She shakes hands, embraces, offers to explain the pictures at the front of the room.

"He told me the world needs more artists."

"The smartest person I know always wanted to emulate him."

"He was so giving."

"Chicken is famous at the office."

She recounts the story of the last day, of him mouthing to her that she is a beautiful person, her telling him the same, blowing kisses to each other to the very end. She tears up briefly, but continues speaking.

She is unsure whether heaven exists, where souls go when the body fails.

She is disbelieving that he will not be there any more, will not request her used ink cartridges, will not ask her each time he sees her if she is ok financially, will not hold court at the dinner table this holiday.

Yet she greets each guest with her best, poised, smiling the best she can, graceful in this moment of closure.

Graceful, like the dancer she is.

In memory of Bill MacGregor, and in loving honor of his sweet daughter and my traveling buddy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I am....

listening to sweet hubby play "rhythm heaven fever" on the wii.

excited for students to come back to school on Wednesday!

a little bit sad that i will have to start getting up at 5:30 a.m. again.

watching the silly kitty nap.

happy that my best friends are back in town (and me too!) for a while.

looking forward to labor day.

glad i ran with my sister today, just before it started raining, because it was way too gray to want to run by myself.

gearing up for a long day of working in my classroom and then staying late to meet the parents at school tomorrow.

thankful that the university church started back up tonight....it's crazy how much more i connect to God there than at my morning church.

still praying for the MacGregor family.
(That's my travel buddy.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

I am...

finally registered for an August race -- the 25th. Too bad August doesn't have 32 days, because I'd rather have found a race another week away. I've only been "running" twice since the 1/2 marathon in July....And that was a month ago.

searching for the motivation to get out of bed and onto the road -- running. only two weeks (less than, really) before the next race!

not giving up on my new year's resolution -- it's there to help me stay fit, not to help me be a super fast runner.

grumpy that I'm not at the beach anymore.

excited to go back to work on Wednesday, especially after a quick trip to my classroom this morning.

thankful that sweet hubby voluntarily helped me set up my classroom this morning, doing all the heavy lifting.

a little bit disappointed with the colors target is using for their college dorm storage stuff -- I was hoping for some nice, new, shiny, pink containers for my classroom....but their "pink" is a bright coral, and not a color that will coordinate with what I've already got.

a little bit glad that I didn't like the colors at target....because my wallet is definitely happier without new containers, even if my classroom would have liked them...

excited to see two of my best friends this Friday for movie night -- One of them, I haven't seen since MAY. Way too long! (I had supper with the other one tonight, and had seen her briefly twice since returning from Chile, too!)

wishing I had some new J-41s to start the school year with, but really think I have enough shoes in my closet to make buying them ridiculous.

relieved that my dad realized my mom was right after my cousins crashed the last few days of our beach vacation and didn't actually spend any time with my grandma, after all, even though that was supposedly the motivation for bringing my grandma to the beach earlier than planned. (I had NEVER seen my parents fight like they did over that one....at least my dad can admit it when he makes a mistake!)

not looking forward to the massive unpacking/straightening up/laundry/rearranging/putting away that tomorrow is promising....we left all of our mess from Chile at the house to go on to the beach, and now we have added the beach stuff to the pile....YIKES.

thankful that sweet hubby went to the grocery store today, so I didn't have to!



Thursday, August 2, 2012

chile, in fotos

Just a few highlights....


















And I'm missing several pictures from other people's cameras, too!

Monday, July 30, 2012

annual college reunion beach trip

SO MUCH FUN!!!

It was a little hectic getting down to the beach on time, but sweet hubby and I managed to arrive the night before the friends and babies were due to fill up the beach house. (We arrived from Chile, unpacked, repacked, and headed out in the same day!)

This year, there were no last-minute trips back home to cope with the house being broken into -- thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. House-Sitter!
We played hard all weekend, and this morning, in the rain and thunder, the friends headed home.
We watched movies on the big screen, played some putt putt, swam at the beach, kayaked, went for a boat ride, and had a picnic on a private beach.

SO MUCH FUN!!!




Thursday, July 26, 2012

I am....

back in the states!

at the beach!

waiting on some college buddies and their families to arrive.

hoping sweet hubby won't be grouchy when I wake him up to help me clean this house before the friends and families arrive.

getting happy about going back to school in a few weeks.

happy to be in the hot weather again, rather than freezing my toes off in the snow.

excited for boat rides and sunshine!

glad the car place still had my tire, five weeks after my daddy had dropped it off to be repaired and I left the country.

still praying for the MacGregors, who have finally received a diagnosis -- Graft vs. Host disease, attacking all of Mr. MacGregor's muscles, including his heart and lungs. Treatment for GVHD has begun, but I'm unsure what the response to it so far has been.

probably too excited that today is payday.

surprised that my mama had an architect draw up plans to add bedrooms to the beach house, so that we'll actually have enough rooms for all of the newly married couples.

almost ready to start wading through the pictures from our visit with sweet hubby's family, but still feeling a little daunted by the enormity of the task.

still thinking in Spanish.

What are you doing?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

hard times

My dear, dear travel buddy is losing her father.

He was diagnosed with pre-leukemia a while ago, and endured several different treatment options to change his blood counts and reverse the course of the disease.

The major complication, throughout his treatment, has been a decline of mental stability.

He was diagnosed as schizophrenic a whole so, which wasn't a huge surprise to those who knew him well, and also fits hereditarilly with my travel buddy's twin.

The situation has progressed, and I've just been informed that the family is all together, at the ICU, waiting for her father to have a permanent release from the increasing confusion and delirium that has played him since February, when he received a bone marrow transfusion.

In short, the doctors don't know what is causing the increased mental problems, although they have done every imaginable test and many of them twice.

This is a very hard time for my travel buddy and her family. If you pay, please pray for the MacGregors.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

i am...

Wearing my teal blue snow suit and about 75 other articles of clothing, too.

Drinking navegado rico beside the wood stove.

Enjoying having the lights on in a town that has been dark for several hours...my electrician father-in-law knows how to create a back-up system!

A little bit bummed to have lost my first chance to run in several days to snow.

Looking forward to the pictures of our excursion to the country, where the road were almost frozen and the snow kept falling.

Waiting for the asado that the menfolk are preparing for supper, yum!

Starting to think that the emails I send from my tablet don't actually get sent, which could be why I haven't heard from my mama in over a week.

Getting excited about seeing the cat and going to the beach in a few weeks.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Chile

This trip has been a rollercoaster ride so far. Great times spent with family and friends followed by long stretches of frustration. Such is life in Latin America.

We arrived to RAIN. RAIN rain RAIN rain RAIN.

Several days later, we finally had some sun, so we headed up to Lonquimay, a town near a volcano. Since it was Sunday, nothing was open. We wandered back down the mountain to Malalcahuello, and treated ourselves to a night in a five star hotel with a thermal pool. That is definitely one of the highlights so far.

Another fun time was spent in Temuco with sweet hubby's best friend and his future wife. I discovered an amazing initiative in some of the parks here....outdoor, one size fits all, workout machines. There was what seemed to be a complete set at the park in Temuco. Here in Curacautin, there are only two machines, outside of the local hospital. Prior stared at me like I was the most peculiar thing they had ever seen the day I decided to use them after a run.

That has been hard, too. I'm planning to run a combined half marathon in a couple weeks, and it is almost impossible to train for it. It is very cold here...it snowed yesterday. There is NO culture of exercise here, so my in-laws think I'm some kind of novelty when I do manage to go out for a jog. Also, every single make I come across has to acknowledge my presence, by either whistling, honking, or making an obscene comment. One day, I was so lucky as to have a whole high school full of boys scream things like, "casate conmigo guachita rica"....I'm already married, thank you very much.

The other thing that seriously grates on my nerves is the constant questioning about when we plan to have children. As you probably already know, so far sweet hubby and I are unable to have children, which has not been easy on my mental health to begin with....and the constant questioning is about to drive me over the edge. Good had been good, though, and my mother-in-law, who used to ask insistently, over and over, "Cuando me vas a dar un hijo?" actually has not asked AT ALL. I suppose sweet hubby's threat that I would leave if she mentioned it actually made it through. It bothers me that the shortest answer and surest way to change the topic when people ask is to tell them that we're trying....in my opinion, it's not anyone else's business whether we are trying or not, whether we want kids or not, why we haven't had them yet...people live their lives a million different ways for a million different reasons.

When we are out and doing things, I'm having fun. When we are stuck in the house because of the cold, for long periods of time with bad tv s and not much to do, I'm struggling. Three more weeks to go!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

beach!



This is where I'm spending some time with my family.

It's pretty nice.

It rained ALL DAY on Tuesday. And the boat is stuck way up high, out of reach of the broken fork lift, at the marina.

But my mama and sister and I are still having some adventures together, and sweet hubby has set up a big screen in the downstairs....

And all in all, being on vacation is nicer than being at work.

P.S. My real house has a house sitter -- we're hoping there won't be any break-ins this year!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am...

gearing up for a crazy summer.

happy that the training group I'm in for the next three days decided to skip the lunch break and be finished at 1, instead of 2:30.

skipping out on taking my grandma to the doctor (Thank you, sister, for being available by phone when I was not!).

thinking about re-packing for Chile, since I probably didn't do very well yesterday.

writing a list to pack for the beach.

trying to decide on a dress to wear to a good friend's wedding this Saturday.

more than ready to meet our house sitter for the summer -- the pastor of sweet hubby's best friend, who has been reported to be "much more responsible" than the best friend, who also happens to be the same best friend who was driving sweet hubby's car when it was stolen about two years ago. (Not to be confused with the break-in, which was slightly less than one year ago....it was an eventful 12 months.)

admiring the pretty flowers sweet hubby bought me for my birthday (which was in April, but his gift was to buy me flowers each month for a year).

sitting on the couch in the middle of the day -- woo hoo summer!

considering running before yoga tonight, but it probably won't happen.

amused by the silly kitty.

halfway finished with my 2012 resolution...July will be in Chile.

pretty sleepy....nothing wrong with an "I'm finally out of school for the summer" nap!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

6 (school) days until summer!

And O.M.G. are the natives restless.

So are the parents.

I arrived at school this morning, early, because I had agreed to cover someone else's morning duty, to find a lovely email from a parent to an administrator, asking to meet with us about "events in the classroom."

No mention of what said "events" were.

The administrator had responded to the email before I had a chance to see it, stating he was too busy in the next couple of days, but would be happy to meet after that.

I freaked out. This particular parent always thinks she is right. (I'm sure she really is always right. The problem is that I always happen to be right, as well.) This particular parent likes to make a big deal about everything. This particular parent does not have a history of letting go of issues that have already been settled.

After I freaked out, the bell rang, and I realized I was already late for covering the other teacher's morning duty. I walked down the hall to count bus students as they lined up for breakfast, where I ran into the administrator.

He wanted to know what the mom wanted to talk about. I wanted to know the same thing.

Since he wasn't going to be able to meet quickly with the parent, my team teacher suggested I try another administrator.

And boy, did I ever get lucky. The TOUGHEST administrator from my school was the only one available to meet this afternoon with me and the parent. I filled her in on the child's recent behavior in my classroom, coupled with my potentially very controversial refusal to help him with a graded assignment after he didn't pay attention to the instructions, reminded the administrator of recent interactions with the child's parents, and sent a very kind and upbeat email to the child's mother, letting her know that we were available to meet with her and could we please have more information about what we were meeting about?

Her response? There was no particular event, just a lot of events that had been going on in my classroom all year.

All year?

And you've waited until there are six days of school left to address these events?

Really?

Note to parents: Please address any situations that make you uncomfortable with your child's performance in school, disciplinary actions taken at school, etc. as soon as you possibly can after they occur at school. It is not helpful to your child, yourself, or your child's teacher to wait until there are only 6 days of school left before summer.

So I was nervous all day at school, and hence extremely unproductive during my planning time and after school time, waiting for the meeting to start.

Another note to parents: Let your child's teacher know what you are upset about. The teacher probably needs time to collect his/her thoughts about what the circumstances were whenever what you are upset about happened. Just like you are, the teacher is human and may not have a perfect memory. (I mean, really, he/she is only responsible for educating a whole room full of students who all have their own personalities, academic strengths and weaknesses, in addition to managing a bajillion random things that make life better/more fun for your child on a daily basis, all while trying to ensure that another little darling doesn't hurt any other little darling emotionally or physically....)

My administrator ROCKS. She let the mom vent a little bit, let the mom rant, and then supported me ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Even in my controversial decision to not help the child on the graded assignment since he had refused help the day before. She backed up both me and the other administrator about several issues that we thought had been dealt with and put to rest with no consequences to the child more than a month ago.

And then the mom? She thought it would be smart to chime in about how much her adorable, sweet, conniving little angel always begs her to help him with his homework, to do it for him, to let him use a calculator instead of showing his work....And how, once she is sure that he knows what he is supposed to do, SHE WON'T HELP HIM.

She was NOT pleased when I pointed out that I was using the same strategy.

My administrator, smart lady that she is, changed the subject. And she managed to cut the mom off of her rant, since she couldn't let ANY of the previous issues this year go. Even though we had dealt with each and every issue as soon as we knew that they were issues.

After the meeting, I profusely thanked the administrator. I mean, really. She kept me from being rude to this mom, from digging myself into a hole, and from quitting my job.

I'm sure you've heard that most new teachers quit within their first five years? If I didn't have such a great administrator on my side, I would have already joined that statistic, especially with the group of kids I had last year.

Fortunately, I'm still employed.

And I had good (emotional) fuel for a run this afternoon.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/12 of the way to meeting my goal!

Well, May is busy.

The end of the school year is kicking my behind, just like I knew it would, and I am falling further and further behind in my running....just like every year.

Saturday was the race of the month -- the Get in the Pink 10K. It was SOOOO much better than the 10K I participated in during the month of March.

This one started on time! It started early in the morning, rather than in the hot sun! (7:15 was a little tough, but the weather was so much better for running!) It didn't have so many people I thought I would trip over anyone!

Overall, it was a MUCH better race experience. My time was much more along the lines of what I expect of myself -- I finished in 58:16, so appropriately under but close to the 60 minutes or less that I was hoping for.

The course was not too hilly -- although it did have a couple of big hills. One huge downhill, one huge uphill -- kind of like the failure of a bridge run in March.

One of the best parts? There was also a 5K going on. It began 30 minutes after the 10K. There was one particular place on both routes where the two routes converged. Sweet hubby ran the 5K while I ran the 10K. He spotted me as our routes were running towards each other and gave me the biggest, more encouraging wave.

The second best part? A friend of ours (who runs much more frequently than I do) was also running the 5K. I noticed her in front of me on the last stretch to the finish line....So I gunned it and passed her. It felt so good to finish before her! Petty, perhaps, but it made me work harder to make my goal.

The sad part? Even though I was running as fast as I could across that finish line, some mean man jumped right in front of me and took my photo finish. There are absolutely ZERO pictures of me crossing that finish line.

The only pictures I can come up with are these two beauties of sweet hubby. Don't be too jealous. Not everyone can rock his outfit.




Monday, May 7, 2012

frustrating day

Before an hour of school had passed, one of the assistant principals had come in to my classroom to follow up on a situation that started Friday afternoon with a student and the students' parent.

He chose to follow up in English in my classroom while I was teaching.

***

Another teacher on my hallway is pregnant.

I am not.

She announced it today.

I was not prepared.

I do think I managed to say congratulations, and not cry.

That is a small victory.

And there were others in the room to ask the usual questions about due dates, and such.

***

My (afternoon) students are dishonest and disrespectful.

I'm over it.

19 days left with this bunch.

My team-teacher and I are counting down together.

***

The principal of my school played a video that had been put together for a board meeting during lunch for the students, while we teachers ate outside for our last duty-free lunch of the year.

She said she was just showing the student portions of the video.

I heard my voice, speaking in English, when I walked back into the building.

I took an extra few moments in the bathroom to calm back down before walking into the cafeteria to claim my students.

We tiptoe around the hallways, whisper with parents, send kids out of the room to have adult conversations in English.

I never, never, never speak with my students in English, and do my best not to let them hear me speak in English.

It's an essential part of any immersion language program.

My principal, the one who has insisted and supported us all along in the endeavor of not letting our kids hear us speak English, played the video that ruined the illusion.

***

It's been a frustrating day.

I'm hoping that the moon will be less full and less close to the earth tomorrow, and that state testing will go better than expected.

Pray.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

i am...

praying for sweet hubby as he completes an exam....it's almost (almost almost almost) the end of his semester and he's a little nervous about passing this class. He's in the exam RIGHT NOW if you want to offer a prayer, or if you aren't reading this on Tuesday evening, pray for his professor to be merciful and kind when grading.

eating peanut butter m&ms. yum.

excited about the new camera and tripod that are in my classroom, thanks to donors choose!

hoping we can save enough spending money for Chile, since sweet hubby didn't get as many hours at work as he was hoping for this month.

counting down -- 23 more days of school before summer, and 3 of them half days!

anticipating lots and lots of sweat as i attempt 7 miles running later tonight....it's only about 90 degrees outside.

skipping a church dinner. Spring is too busy to keep up with everything.

a little overwhelmed by the crazy school scheduling stuff going on -- so many tests! so many celebrations! so little time to actually finish teaching the standards we are supposed to finish teaching before our students move on to the next grade level!

wishing that sweet hubby will go to the grocery store before he comes home, since I hate to grocery shop and hate to be out of milk.

happy to be reading Mary Oliver's Why I Wake Early, especially the title poem. It reminds me of a Psalm. I think I might make it pretty and frame it in my house.

what about you?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's race day, again!

Today was my April race, towards my 2012 goal of a race a month. So far, it is definitely helping me to stay motivated and keep running....even when I don't feel like it. I always have the next race that I need to train for. Sweet hubby took this picture of me while he was half asleep this morning -- it is definitely hard to get up so early sometimes on Saturday mornings, just to go for a run!
Today was the Girls on the Run race. So I didn't have a fast time, because I was more concerned with making sure that my running buddy, a fifth grade student, was having a good time. My running buddy needed to walk several times and ran/walked at least a mile with a serious stitch in her side....but when she saw that finish line, she SPRINTED it in. I mean, I didn't know I could go that fast -- but I told her it was my job to keep up with her. This spring has been my first experience coaching Girls on the Run. It is really a very interesting program, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It has given me the opportunity to get to know some girls at my school that I don't teach and that I can't talk to throughout the school day (since they aren't in the Spanish immersion program and don't speak Spanish). I shared my coaching position with another teacher, so we split the after school responsibility. I coached one afternoon a week, and the other teacher had the other day. While this made the time commitment easier for me to handle, I do think that I would have had an even better experience with the program if I had coached both afternoons. I think that the girls liked it enough and that the coaches enjoyed it enough for us to have another team in the fall -- so maybe I'll be a two-days-a-week coach then. I do, however, recognize that my time was spread pretty thin between Girls on the Run, school, and having a student teacher this year, all on top of the normal crazy schedule stuff. It has been a busy spring so far! 5 weeks and 1 day of school left to go before the summer crazies begin!

Monday, April 23, 2012

help, please!

I'm very, very close to meeting my class project donation goal.... but I still need a little bit of help. PLEASE consider donating a little bit to my class project at donor's choose.... It is very easy! It is rewarding! It helps students take their learning to a higher level. If you think it sounds like a neat idea, but don't have the funds to donate yourself, please consider spreading the word....whether it ends up being my project that is funded, or someone else's, any teacher who is desperate enough for monetary help for the classroom will be overjoyed to have your help serving his or her students. I also heard that if you use the code "MORNINGJOE", your donation will be doubled!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

getting older

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by. It seems like it was so recent that we celebrated the big 3-0....

But 31 has come, and I'm sure it will fly right by, too.

No big party this year....a nice, quiet dinner out for me and sweet hubby, followed soon by a family dinner. Two of my favorite ways to celebrate.

I spent the rest of spring break at the beach with my god-family. They adopted me as their godchild as part of my wedding ceremony with sweet hubby, to guide us and mentor us in our marriage. I think it is a pretty darn cool tradition.

It was fantastic. Lazy days, strawberry picking, a long-ish run (for me), a few meals out, a boat ride, and on and on and on. It was a nice break from school. Oh, did it make it hard to return....But we're back in school for another couple months before our next (big!) break. It is hard not to feel stressed about how much is left to be taught before state testing....before the end of the year....but I'm trying to take it one day at a time.

And before I know it, it will be over!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

therapy

It was amazing.

I cried the whole time (that was predictable).

But I was also able to voice my feelings in an honest and non-judged way that made me feel like it is actually ok to feel the way I feel about not being able to have babies (yet?).

It was awkward to go back to the place I used to work, to sit in the waiting room and fill out paperwork, to run into another therapist in the hallway and explain that no, I wasn't just visiting....

But overall, it was a really good experience.

I heard the things I needed to hear, said the things I needed to say, and have set some challenges to myself for coping with more and more of my friends and acquaintances becoming pregnant.

And I feel good about it, like finally acknowledging this challenge in my life to the people who are actually living alongside me will make it both more real and also less of a burden. More real in a way that I may or may not really want it to seem more real, since more real means I will actually have to start accepting the idea that I may never have babies, but less of a burden, that others can share my heavy heart and lift me up and help me to focus on the positive.

I'm sure it was not a coincidence that just 20 minutes before the appointment I found out another friend is expecting a baby in November.

I'm sure it was not a coincidence that my brother made his comments on Easter.

I'm sure it is not a coincidence that sweet hubby and I keep trying and no baby.

I trust in God, I trust in God's timing, and I trust in God's plan.

I'm sure it was not a coincidence that I worked in a therapists' office for so long, either, just so I would know exactly who the right therapist would be for me, and just so I would really, truly know that I could call if I ever needed to. And knowing my therapist was really a blessing for me -- I knew of her faith before hand, she knew of mine, she knows of my family, and I didn't have to waste time explaining my personality or getting to know her...after some quick catching up, we jumped right in and the tears began. So did the challenges and the metathinking and all of that good stuff.

So I'll go back...not next week, maybe not next month, but I will go back. It was helpful for me to be uncomfortable, to talk, to cry, to share something so personal to a person, rather than just writing. Helpful, but hard, but only in the best ways.

I'll probably be less apprehensive next time, too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

pink things

Yay! Pink things!

While they are everywhere in my life....they are seldom new and exciting, and therefore often fail to make an appearance here.

My Easter dress, though, was nice a pink! (Thanks, mama!)

It has been a while since we have gotten all of the family together in a picture...Actually, not sooooo long, since the wedding in September, but we didn't take my grandma with us to the wedding. It was after surgery on her eye, and she just hadn't recovered sufficiently.

I have a folder full of family pictures from the past few years, that I copied from my mama -- it goes like this: holiday, holiday, birthday birthday birthday holiday birthday beach holiday holiday birthday birthday birthday holiday birthday beach holiday holiday.....and so on -- because we apparently only ever take pictures of our family during holidays and birthdays. The folder makes me giggle -- and I love to flash through the pictures in order and watch our hairstyles change -- since the locations are almost always exactly the same!


The other pink thing....well, I guess it's not so pink, but a little bit redder....Sweet hubby and I picked strawberries last Sunday (and he finally got the picture to me). YUM. I love picking strawberries....I love eating them in the field....I love making desserts out of them.....I love eating them for lunch....I love sharing the time with sweet hubby.....All of it. Pink from the inside out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

apprehensive....and "i" statements

so....tomorrow I have an appointment to see one of the therapists that I used to work for. This is a first for me.

I believe in the healing powers of psychotherapy. I do. I just....never have believed in the healing powers of psychotherapy for myself.

This means that in the many years I scheduled appointments, ran insurance, did billing, and in general convinced other people that it was perfectly normal to see a therapist for anything as simple as "coping skills" to things as difficult as major depression and anxiety, I never actually saw a therapist myself.

I mean, I saw the therapists every day....

but I never scheduled an appointment as a direct reaction or coping strategy for something going on in my own life.

Until now.

The appointment is tomorrow, and I'm feeling apprehensive. I'm hopeful that acknowledging my anxious feeling will help me be less prone to nervous tears tomorrow. (I cry when I'm really nervous. It's not exactly a helpful coping strategy. Also, I sweat when I'm nervous. Like, buckets of water, sweat, which is also not a helpful coping strategy.)

I had thoughts of canceling the appointment -- thoughts running through my head like, "oh, you're doing fine, plenty of people get jealous when their friends announce that they are pregnant again" and "Oh, whatever, no one has asked or hinted in a long time that you should have babies soon."

But then, things like family gatherings happen, and I am reminded of why I thought this appointment would be a good idea in the first place.

Family gatherings like, say, Easter dinner. Yesterday.

When we were all sitting around, watching my cousin Rebecca wrangle her one year old, and my older but unmarried brother decided to make the comment that next year that would be me.

Hahahaha. If only he had a clue how insensitive his comment seemed to the girl who wants very much to have a baby, has wanted very much to have a baby for some time, and apparently lacks the ability to have a baby, I'm relatively certain that he wouldn't have made this comment.

But he doesn't have a clue. Because sweet hubby and I decided not to share with our families and friends that we are trying to have a baby, so that they wouldn't start asking us all the time about how it was going. And sometimes I think it is a great decision, not to be asked all the time about how the whole process of getting pregnant is going.

Other times, however, I think it makes the whole process more difficult. If I had told my mama when I stopped taking birth control two years ago, by now she might have hinted about the wonders of fertility drugs, or other such things. If my mama knew that we were trying to have babies and failing, she might spread this news quietly and behind the scenes to my aunts, who would spread it to my cousins, and then magically, without me ever having to laugh awkwardly and suggest to my brother that maybe, since he's older and seems so interested, he should just have the babies himself. Which got a little laugh, but not such a big laugh as my Aunt Lou C. responded that maybe he does have babies and we just don't know about it yet.

And so, this morning, I woke up thinking in "I" statements.

I-statements which will most likely never actually be shared with my brother, but which are making me feel powerful within my head, anyway.

I-statements like....
I feel uncomfortable when you say that I'll be next to have babies because I really probably won't be even though I wish I could, and I would like for you to keep your big mouth shut.

I feel sad when you say you want nieces and nephews because so far I can't have babies and I would like for you to go find a wife and leave me alone.

I feel angry when you suggest in front of others that I should have babies soon because you don't know how long I've been trying to do just that and I would like for you to stop saying how much it looks like sweet hubby would like to have a baby of his own when you see him playing with other babies.

I feel disappointed when you think it is appropriate to suggest that I should have babies because it really isn't appropriate to make your sister sad in public, and I would like for you to not assume that all couples who enjoy playing with babies want one of their own and/or are capable of having babies.

I feel embarrassed when you tell me I should be next to have a baby because my body is not cooperating and I would like for you to let me grieve this in private, rather than force me to think about it in public.

I feel ridiculous when you tell me I should have babies because I want to but I can't think of any good way to acknowledge publicly that I want to but am unable to without making everyone in the room full of extended family feel extremely awkward and sad, and I would like for you to stop thinking that it is ok to make comments about when I should have babies.

And so, as these I statements keep swirling around inside my head, I think I will be quite well prepared to express myself to my therapist tomorrow, at the appointment that I am eager to have, because learning some coping strategies is exciting to me, and anxious about, because I'm sure I'll be a sweaty, tearful mess.

I'll let you know how therapy goes.

Plus I think it will be awkward to see my old boss in the waiting room, and have him know that I chose to make my appointment with someone else. But he's a therapist -- they are typically very understanding people.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

last saturday



This teeny, tiny, little, itty bitty photo makes it look like I was feeling much more accomplished and much more victorious than I really felt as I crossed the finish line.

The 10k that I managed to finish in about 60 minutes last year took me 65 this year. Last year I managed to finish the whole thing running, but this year I had to walk three times.

The picture above looks celebratory....but I was actually very disappointed.

The race conditions were harder for me than I imagined they would be. My running buddy backed out of the race at the last minute, leaving me to run by myself, in a sea of 40,000 people. The race was delayed for (at the time) unknown reasons for an extra hour of standing in a corral with strangers, after a brisk walking warm-up and light stretching, which I'm sure wasn't any good for my body or my morale.

I started off too fast, and when I got to the uphill climb of the bridge, I wimped out. I got a cramp in my ribs, which is unusual for me, and had to wimp out a second time. And nearly to the finish, I wimped out again.

The distance shouldn't have been a problem for me after the training I've been doing this spring, and especially after some of the training times I've managed with that Saturday morning running group that I've had such a hard time getting in to. But it was. And I was disappointed.

And my disappointment has turned into a new resolve. In May, instead of doing another 5k, I'm going to do another 10k. I'm going to give myself another opportunity at the same distance, even if the actual race is quite different. And even if I have to run by myself, without a buddy to cheer me on or for me to cheer on, without a buddy to help me pace myself, I think I'll be able to have a more fulfilling race experience.

So far, in 2012, I've participated in 4 race events....January, February, and two in March. April is at the end of the month, with Girls on the Run. And that will be fun, fun, fun!

(So I skipped the running group this morning to go to yoga class with my mama, and that makes it 4 weeks in a row that I haven't gone running with them....maybe 5 weeks? I'll still give it another 2 tries, but I've also found out more information about a Monday night group that I'll be trying out in a couple of days, provided that spring break doesn't turn me into so much of a sloth that I can't get dressed and out the door.)