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


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.)