Friday, November 27, 2009

brought to you by the great pumpkin shortage of 2009. or, in other words, happy thanksgiving!

happy turkey day, y'all.

i'm pleased to report that our first thanksgiving as a married couple was uneventful and full of pie.  because of work schedules, we were only able to spend about a day with family before we headed back to collegetown.  it was lots of driving, but worth it. we made pie (well, i played assistant to musicboy's butternut squash pie masterpiece, which might sound nasty but is AMAZING and is the only 'pumpkin' pie that i actually like). we hung out with musicboy's family. we ate food and we played games.  we drew names for christmas. we were pushed to come up with what we wanted for christmas (and we couldn't think of ANYTHING. weddings are like christmas and birthday and every gifting holiday on CRACK. i would be pleased, i think, if i got nothing but silly stocking stuffers from everyone.).  we drove home.  all in all, it was a good milestone.

here's a snippet of my thoughts on such a momentous occasion:

1) i miss my grandma's mashed potatoes.  they kick every other mashed potato's butt. they also clog arteries but seriously.

2) i think holidays and traditions make it even more clear how very different families are. i get along with musicboy's family very well. i don't know them incredibly well yet, with perhaps the exception of his immediate family, but i have always felt like we were very similar.  his family jokes a lot, like mine, and they are very close, like mine.  but i am beginning to see even more clearly how different they are. that's expected and not at all a bad thing...just a little bit unexpected. 

3) i think it's both enormously cool and daunting that musicboy and i get to CHOOSE how we want to handle holidays, what traditions we want to continue, and what approach we want to take toward things like Christmas and gift-giving.  we got to talk about it as we drove home last night, and one of the things that i love most about our relationship is how similar we are in our thinking about things like this. 

i like that we're thinking about it. i like that we are focusing on the things that are important--what we want to focus on, what we want to teach whatever little ones we have, what we want the season to really be about--and it's teaching me what parenting must be about.  you have to think ahead. you have to make decisions ahead.  and you DON'T have to do what your family did. there's this miraculous ability to pick and choose the best and infuse it with your own sense of individuality, with who you are as a couple. i think there's awesome power in that, but only if we take advantage of it. 

i hope we really take advantage of it. 

4) i miss baking.  i bake all of the time, but i miss baking with a purpose.  no pie making for me this year. i'm tempted to make an apple pie anyway, but considering the fact that i've eaten more pie in the last 36 hours than anyone should legally be permitted, i'm going to stifle that urge.

5) oh college football. we're entering the VERY.SERIOUS. portion of the season, and i'm excited.  musicboy and i will be in collegetown stadium this weekend, on a beautifully crisp fall day, for the last home game.  i'm excited.  next week is a VERY.IMPORTANT.AND.NAILBITINGLY.YIKES.WHAT.WILL.HAPPEN. game as well, and then it will be well and truly into bowl season. 

ah. i can't talk about it anymore. one week at a time.

i don't think i've been this excited about christmas decorating and festivities and everything as i am this year.  we're getting our tree on monday.  i think we're getting a live tree, i think, even though it will cost us lots and we will have to buy all of the assorted accessories (i.e. tree stand, etc.), because we will be here in collegetown until VERY shortly before the holiday and i don't want to spend my whole december feeling all BOO SCROOGEy because my house isn't decked out.  also, see above riff on creating traditions. 

i really should go and do the piles of laundry that have, well, piled up since i fell victim to the death mucus scourge of 2009, but the iron bowl is on and i really really really want to watch it.  bah.  what should i do?

(i'll probably wait to see how it goes...and if it's pretty ugly, i'll go wash clothes. if not, i might just have to do them later.  maybe i'll grade now and so i'll feel less lazy?  hmm.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i ought to own stock in kleenex after this week.

there comes a point in every relationship when you realize that that whole "for better, for worse" thing is for reals.

i think my realization that musicboy loved me truly and magically and amazingly no matter what was yesterday when, despite my being a phlegmball of death mucus and having the woe-is-me misery to go with it, he hugged me tight and told me how grateful he was that i was his wife.

i knew he loved me before, of course, but he has weathered the first time i have gotten well and truly SICK like a champ.  when i get sick, i get MISERABLE.  i can handle nausea.  give me a broken bone and i will suck it up AND go hiking on it two weeks later.  give me raging menstrual cramps and i will cringe a bit and maybe ask for a backrub, but overall i suck it up.  give me a raging case of something-that's-not-congestion and i will probably handle it well. i may take more naps than usual, i may whine a little (i do's not a pleasant character trait, but it's there), but i will deal. 

what i won't do, though, is sink to the depths of misery that a powerful cold plummets me to. i'm not sure why it is.  but i go all internal.  i don't really want you to pay attention to me, because i'm gross, but i want sympathy.  i don't really want you to do something for me, because i feel guilty, but i don't want to do anything myself.  essentially, the spirit is willing but the flesh is SO weak. 

(oh. and i'm SUPERoversensitive.  that's a new revelation.  it could be cold + birth control = CAHRAZY.  either way, i've had to seriously monitor my reactions to things.   luckily, i just haven't wanted to talk much because of the sick, so i haven't had the chance to go seriously crazy. thank you, sore throat.)

about the time when i think i cannot handle it anymore, that's usually when it begins to get better. but i have about 12-24 hours of pure misery before it turns the tide. 

(i believe, i hope, oh my gosh i wish that i am on the upward swing of that. i feel less like i want to die and more like i have hope and want to take a nap.)

it was in that window of pure misery, when all i wanted to do was cry but refused because it would just make MORE snot (sorry, y'all, but it's true...), that musicboy hugged me and told me how much he loved me.

i think we've learned something about each other this week.  i've learned that he really doesn't handle me being sick well.  i've learned that he feels helpless and that he just wants me to be better. i think that was a revelation to him as well, how much he hates seeing me sick.  i think that might be the sweetest thing i've ever seen.  it's been an interesting thing to watch, as he has transcended his feelings of helplessness into just asking what he can do and doing everything he can think of.  it's what i do, so i understand it.

i've also learned that, unlike many stereotypes to the contrary, musicboy is NOT a baby when it comes to being sick.  he handles it like a champ, and if he actually comes home and sleeps or rests because he's sick, it means he has the serious plague. i don't think i realized that until i got what he had, and it knocked me flat.  it makes me feel like a little bit of a wimp, but i think he just has a superhuman immune system.  i'm glad, because he's going to be a teacher and that's just walking into a petri dish of yuck.  but i'm also glad to know this because it will help me to take care of him better.

this soul-sucking virus has also put a shining spotlight on how i deal with illness myself, helping me to understand even more clearly how much i never want musicboy to feel inconvenienced or grossed out by my yuck, but how much i need to get over that because, honestly? we're in it forever.

and i feel like there will be a lot more colds and piles of tissues in our future.

i'm up for it. after this week, i know he is too.

that's incredibly comforting. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009


musicboy was sick this week. well, actually, he probably still is since the congestion is still lingering.  musicboy never gets sick--at least not full out sick.  he will start to feel rundown, so i will pump him full of vitamins and he will sleep more and he usually bounces back.

the fact that he did get sick tells you much about how stressful this semester has been for both of us.  also, we eat like crap most days despite my desire not to.  lately i have just not had the energy to do much that's healthy. i do try, though.

this illness began with a sore throat...which i started to get on thursday night.  by yesterday, it was legitimately hurting and by the end of the day, it hurt to talk at times.  this morning, when i woke up, i just wasn't talking much.

musicboy, who had to go to work this morning, said that he wished he didn't have to go to work so that he could take care of me.  instead, he made sure to get me all of the things that i needed, including all of the appropriate vitamins and water.  it was the sweetest thing he could have said to me, i think, in the whole world.

i am grateful for him.  so much more than i realize until moments like this when i realize how much he does and how much he loves.  i am grateful that we have all that we have, that we are blessed with all that we are blessed with.  i am thankful that this sore throat hasn't turned into a hideous cold, and am genuinely hoping that it won't. 

i know it's the season for gratitude, and it seems trite. but i really am blessed and just wanted to say so out loud. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


of the friends that i have known that have lost significant amounts of weight (i.e. body transformations), very few of them have kept it off. 

i've been thinking about that lately, i think in the back of my mind, because i am afraid to be one of those people. especially once musicboy and i decide to have a baby, when i know my body will change, i don't want to be backslide so much that i end up where i was before.

most of you didn't know me then.  i look a lot different now than i did. but more than that, i think i approach things differently. i used to eat when i felt bad about life, used to use food as comfort. it was my go-to way of dealing.  stressed? ice cream.  sick? carbs.  depressed? bake something...and then eat it all.  i don't think i ever COMPLETELY got over that, but i think i learned to rein it in and be very conscious of that tendency.

except for last week. when i was feeling SO SICK that i didn't want to eat anything, all i wanted to eat was crap.  so i decided that i would just eat whatever i felt like eating because in the end, because i was eating so little, it would be fine calorie-wise.  when i started trying to eat more, more regularly, i didn't change what i was eating.   and i found myself wanting to eat cookie dough when i was feeling sad or down, and that scared me a little.

don't get me wrong.  i understand that we all cope how we cope and the fact that i was worried about it in the moment, and recognized old, well-worn paths of behavior in the moment even if i chose to still eat spoonfuls of dough, speaks volumes about how aware i am of my habits.

but the fact that i am somewhat afraid to weigh myself right now also tells me a lot as well.

today i saw some recent pictures of one of those people who had been inspirational to me as i embarked on losing weight myself.  i'm not judging in any way--i have gained my fair share of inches over these past four months of stress and newlywedded, cookie-baking life--but i was just sad.  i so want it to be easy. i so want everyone to be successful.

to a certain degree i don't understand why it's so difficult to keep it off.  except when i realize that it takes every day effort and life doesn't always afford that.   it takes everyday dedication and sometimes life just makes us feel too tired to try to dedicate our whole effort to all of these things.

but that worries me.

i've been thinking about all that's coming in the next semester.  in the next six months, i will finish my dissertation. it will be the end of a six-year journey that began when i came to collegetown 130 or so pounds heavier and a lot less clear about who i was.  over the past few days, as i've realized that these are the months before the big stuff starts happening, the new chapters in life that will bring with them so many new challenges, i've been wondering if now is the time.

i have been stuck at this particular place in my fitness and weight for about eight or so months.  i'm okay with that--it's how i kept off the first 90 pounds for a year and a half before the second round came--but i'm thinking that if i don't do it now, i won't do it.

after seeing the pictures of the friend, i read the blog of another friend. she is probably one of the few who has kept the weight off, but she doesn't seem content. her last blog post focused on wanting to finally get where she had been trying to get, her goal weight, instead of trying to be okay with what wasn't really okay with her.

the reality is that, as much as i wonder if this is my happy weight, that my body likes because it seems to want to stay here (or in a 10 pound window of here), i feel the same way.  i never got where i wanted to get. i stopped just short.  i'm still 12 or 13 pounds away from where i desperately want to be, and about 20 or 25 away from where i would LOVE to be. 

those i tell about the end of the dissertation talk about it in terms of a marathon.  what a great parallel and this next section that i'm gearing up for is the equivalent of miles 23 through 26.  i'm far from a marathon runner, but essentially? i'll be pushing through, around, and past all of my walls. 

i think i'm at the same place with my weight and fitness. i can either go for it, believe in myself, make sacrifices to do what i know i need to do now or i can always wonder if i could have done it and didn't. 

a friend of mine is considering joining the expensive gym in town, the one that has three locations and is open 24 hours a day.  i normally would say that it's too expensive, that i can do it on my own.  the reality of these four months has taught me that i can't.   it feels like a great extravagance even still.  we can afford it, right now at least, but even if it meant pinching pennies hugely, i wonder if it would still be worth it.  i think there's a greater cost without it.

i don't want to say that i will weigh 30 pounds less in six months. i don't want to say that i will go to the gym every day and that i will manage to do all that i'm doing now and add dissertation and working out into the mix.  the reality is that i don't think either of those goals are actually attainable.

but the more i've been thinking about this, the more i'm realizing that i have the opportunity right now to prepare myself--physically, emotionally, and in every other way i can think of--for the life i want to lead.  it's going to take being selfish a little bit, learning to not feel guilty for letting musicboy contribute, learning to take time for myself and be okay with it, learning how to dedicate myself, at once, to personal and joint goals. 

it feels like it's time.  i think i'm ready again. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

yin and yang.

last night, after unexpectedly receiving a belated visa gift card in the mail for our birthdays, musicboy and i went out for family night on a real date.  the kind of date where you go to dinner and then a movie and then ice cream and try not to think about the calories.

the kind where you make out at the stoplights and cuddle in the movie theater.

the kind that make other people want to throw things at your windshield because they're so shocked that you're "multitasking" in the privacy of your own vehicle at a stoplight.

the kind where there is no talk of dishes or laundry or any other life-related thing.

it was lovely. it was preceded by a family home evening lesson on seeking given by my brilliant musicboy. it was a really good reminder that we should be seeking the Lord first and early.

yesterday was good.

then i woke up this morning in a FUNK. seriously though.  i did not want to face my day, which is my longest day. mainly, it's the tutoring job that i hate.  i used to not hate it so much. i used to be able to find joy in it.  i think since i have decided that i won't be coming back next semester (though i have yet to communicate that to my boss, despite all of my other teaching plans being basically cemented), i no longer see it as anything other than annoying. it could also be because i get zero break there.  even when there are two or three of us there, which is the rare portion of my time because i am normally by myself, the constant stream of students makes my head swim and my eyes cross.

and basically i am just ungrateful.

all that said, today is the flip side of yesterday.  which i sort of hate.

but i miss my musicboy and i'm exhausted (and have been, combined with nauseous, for at least a, i'm not pregnant) and i'm tired of this semester and i want it to be over. i want life to be easy.  i want the work to be done.  i want a BREAK.  even on the weekends, i find it very difficult to find a break. it's not because i don't get them--i'm lazy when i need to be so--but because i'm always thinking about what i should be doing or what has yet to be done or what needs to be thought about or planned or ohmygosh what will i do next?

it's really rather exhausting.

and on that happy note, i need to read my scriptures.  i haven't really sought the Lord much today, and He's the one who can help with all of this.

update: i read a conference talk, and this was one of the quotes. "Adam was told, “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake,” which meant for his benefit, and “by the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”3 Work is a continual burden, but it is also a continual blessing “for [our] sake,” for it teaches lessons we can learn only “by the sweat of [our] face.” you can't tell me that the Spirit isn't real. i needed to read that right then.

excuse me while i get to work and seek to find the blessing in it. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

ho-hum is status quo.

i'm fairly sure that i dreamed of butternut squash last night.

yeah, i don't know.  except that there is a butternut squash above my microwave waiting to be cooked. i think i'll tackle it tomorrow. i have never made it before, but i think it will be yummy.  it sounds like it will be.  we'll see if musicboy likes it as a vegetable rather than as a pie. 

i realize that my blog has been anything but interesting lately, rarely thoughtprovoking, and likely very internal. 

sorry, i guess, except that i'm not sure i mind it so much. it's strange how much changing your blog voice and location changes your output.  butthenagain, so does changing your life.

i'm not sure which is which right now. i do know that i spent four something hours importing and editing wedding pictures, then uploading them and printing them, then uploading them again to facebook.  the printing went well--some of them are quite gorgeous.  some of them didn't turn out very well, so we'll see what my photog can do with that.  but overall, i'm quite pleased. i also finished my thank you notes, with the exception of the few that i don't have addresses for, for which i cannot be held responsible. 

or so goes my story.

but i'm pleased to have that off my back.  i should probably have done something more academic or teacherly in nature, but i didn't feel like it. so it was either watch judge pirro and cruise facebook, hoping something interesting happened, or do something like that.

i think i chose the better part.

i will try to do the same today, although it will likely begin with a bagel and HGTV.  because that's just saturday morning to me.

at least the bed is already made.

Friday, November 13, 2009

in the meantime, part deux.

yeah, so remember how i said that i was trying to wait patiently and be all logical?

i'm just going to straight out admit, right here and now on the internet, that i suck at it.

S-U-C-K. megasuckage.

instead of being moderate about it, i have turned it into a bit of a fixation. so.  today? i'm not going to do that.  i think i will go for a walk.  it's beautiful weather.  i think i will go to the grocery store. ooh. maybe i'll walk to the grocery store.  yeah, probably not.  my poor car desperately needs gas, so i think i will do that. i think i will finally finish my thank you notes and send them off. i think i will make the bed and do the dishes and maybe watch a christmas movie, because for some reason it feels like that would be a good thing to do and miracle on 34th street is calling my name. 

i will say, however, that musicboy is excellent at being logical and at reigning me in from the crazy fixation. i want him to be proud of me, so i'm going to suck it up. 

and maybe make chocolate chip cookies. i made banana chocolate chip muffins/bread last night, because i had some bananas that were turning nasty and because i thought they'd taste good, but i'm not so sure that's what i want. i've wanted chocolate chip cookies, however, for like 9 days straight.  maybe i'll just buy them instead? 

anyway.  this is my admission that a) i am not as good as i'd like to be and b) at least i'm still trying. 

happy friday, all. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

in the meantime...

shiny leggings are not pants. please put something over them.  an oversized shirt isn't good enough. 1987 would like you to learn from their mistakes.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


i've always had quite the imagination.

when i was little, it was a huge aid to me.  i could entertain myself, a skill i'm sure learned from my mother, grandmother, and grandfather who always encouraged me to make up my own games.  it pains me when i see children who cannot do that for themselves. on sunday nights, when i watch the kids for the choir nursery, i love seeing how the older kids make up games and stories and plans and schemes, letting their imaginations run wild.  one of the fathers called in "save the world" play. i liked that term.

my imagination has also always let me be the most avid reader. i can literally lose myself in the world of a book, letting time go by and dishes pile up and meals go uneaten while the fiction that i have invested in plays itself out.  i love that, obviously, since it's what i've chosen to do with my life. 

(as a small caveat to that, i wonder if i can still do this really with classic novels. i can definitely do it with young adult novels, which is why i have a burgeoning collection, but i'm not sure i can turn off my critical eye when it comes to bronte and austen and all of those guys and gals.)

but my imagination has a flip side too.  when confronted by the potential for conflict or confrontation, i can imagine my way into many a scenario that has little grounding in any kind of reality. i can imagine whole conversations, how they'll go. if there's any gap in my information about anything, you can be assured that, in that case, i will fill that gap with the most negative potential solution.

i don't think i do this because i am a pessimist, though you may not see how that could be true. i think i do this because i am a worst-case scenario preparer.  you may not see those as different, but i do. i firmly believe that life takes courage, so if i can imagine surviving the worst-case scenario, i go forward without question. even if i think there's a chance that i can get through without being scarred for life, i usually go for it. 

(regrets are worse than battle wounds.)

i am actively trying to fight this tendency.  there's one area of my life that is very difficult for me to do this in, but i am trying very hard.  my imagination just desperately wants to go full force in one direction, using any and all evidence that might possibly support that idea to make me sure of its truthfulness. 

but, see, i've been wrong before.  so i'm trying to keep myself grounded, take every day as it comes, and wait and see.  that's not at all standard operating procedure for someone like me, imaginative as i am.  if i actually am right and not jumping to some serious conclusions, i'll know. i always do.

but in the meantime, i'm trying to let reason rule the day.  it's a challenging road to travel, being both imaginative and a woman.

we'll see. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

yeah, i don't know.

i am crazy tired, which makes little sense since i have gotten more sleep lately per night than i had in the entire eight months before our wedding. we average 8 or 8 1/2 a night on good days.  i got almost 7 last night.  i shouldn't be this tired.  whatever. i am. i have been for a few days.  i'll take a nap. all will be well.

went to rural cc for my class this morning, which was planned halfway, and walked in to see the dean of our department sitting in the back for a surprise! observation.  yay.  luckily, i think i did pretty well.  i was happy with it, even though most of it i pulled out of thin air.  i was glad i wore a skirt.

we celebrated 3 months of marriage yesterday. musicboy wore the tie he wore on our wedding day to church, and i wore my wedding pearls.  it was sort of sweet.  then we spoke in church, worked in the nursery, went to a farewell for some missionaries, i went visiting teaching, and then we went to choir where i worked in the nursery again. 

and then some stuff happened which i don't really want to air out to the internets, but involved me getting blamed for something entirely miscommunicated to me and probably handled very badly. how did i react? cried.  cried hard because i was trying hard and nothing makes me more RAWR than when i'm actually doing my level best and someone accuses me of not doing enough. long story short to this non-story: my husband totally validated my reaction and someone called and had my back.  and i'm not at fault. and i have no more responsibility in the matter. it could not have worked out any better at all if i had tried any harder.  i love Heavenly Father.

other than that, life continues. the weeks bleed into each other sometimes, and sometimes they crawl by so slowly.  musicboy left his phone at home so instead of immediately going to sleep for a really desperately needed nap ( eyes hurt with tiredness like i was up all night.  what the heck.), i'll head over there to give him his phone and get a hug in return. 

then i'll come home and plan a lecture that i have to videotape (good grief...ugh.) for big university class department.  i hope it doesn't suck.  but right now? i might not care.

in other news, i fixed up our little planter garden plot outside and it's SUPERCUTE.  i win.

sorry that this is newsy and sort of fractured, but see above comment about SOVERYTIRED. 

the end.

Monday, November 2, 2009

healthy fail.

i just ate two chocolate chocolate chip peanut butter cupcakes that i made for the halloween party but then promptly forgot to bring so i had 22 of them in our house.

upon thinking that i might eat a third one (after lunch, no less...), i smashed them up in preparation to throw them away.

and then ate the frosted crumbled top of another.

i HAVE to workout today, even though i have no time.  i am pleased to report that something like 14 or so are now in the trash. they were good, but they were getting stale and they were posing a serious threat to my pants size.

oh, excuse me, i have to go check the birthday brownies i'm baking for musicboy.

oh man. i'm gonna get so fat this week.