Tuesday, July 27, 2010

open palms.

this sunday in church, a new family in our ward spoke.  i'll admit that, lately, i've been having trouble tuning into the talks at church.  last week, i caught some bits and pieces but i find myself inevitably distracted by the truly adorable and very vocal children that i teach for the other two hours, marveling at how good and rambunctious and smart they are.

it's spiritual, in a way, to watch them interact with their families.

but, really, that's no excuse for not doing my job and attempting to feel the Spirit while i'm there. 

so this week, i think i tried more. i'm not sure that i walked in there trying to try, so to speak, but i ended up doing so because i was completely compelled by the first speaker.  i wasn't drawn in by her steady delivery or by her incredible insights.  i was completely enraptured by her total honesty.

here she was, a relatively new mom who had moved with her husband all the way across the country so that he could start the MD/PhD program at collegetown U. 

she won't see him again for 7 or 8 years.

she's uprooted her life for what's right for her new family, leaving friends and roots and goals and familiarity behind her. 

and she chose to talk about humility--because it was something she felt like she needed to work on.

i just love it when people are straight up like that--when they stand up there and admit that they are the farthest thing from perfect at this particular topic. i don't love it when it seems like it's a trite and easy way to begin the talk. i love it when it comes from the gut, when you are up there already feeling exposed and you are absolutely honest about your own particular weaknesses.

it's not a vulgar disclosure. it's just a moment of true humanity that i find absolutely fascinating, because i automatically find myself in the boat with the speaker, grabbing an oar, and saying "hey. i'm here. let's row together."

i just get it.

one thing she said, that provoked all kinds of thoughts in me, was that she hadn't really been asking the Lord what HE wanted her to do or be. she'd been thinking a lot about her goals and what she wanted to do, but she hadn't really been asking the Navigator Himself if those paths were His paths.

and that struck me as something very true for me.

i'm so all about these goals that i have, and so utterly frustrated when i don't meet them, that i hold on so tight and i micromanage and i just don't see progress.

i can't see who i am sometimes, i can't see what's happening around me, i can't see the path behind me and i sure as heck can't see the one in front of me because my nose is pressed tight against a stumbling block of my own creation, one that might once have been a small pebble but has now reached gargantuan proportions requiring a massive crane and a passel of large men to move out of my way.

it never occurs to me, you know, to go around it.

that maybe, just maybe, right now i don't need to climb it, or kick it, or even really deal with it at all.

maybe, just maybe, now is not the boulder time.

since sunday, i've been thinking more deliberately about what it is that He wants for me.  what should my goals be? it occurs to me, today actually, that perhaps the things that i think are actually concurrent goals are really conflicting ones.  neither one of them are bad. in fact, i would venture to say that both of them are very good.

indeed, both of them might be the best kind of worthy goals, though i would argue that one is of more eternal consequence than the other.

but while i've been thinking that one of them is really necessary to do in tandem with the other, perhaps i'm wrong and He's right.  perhaps, the gentle tugging at my mind and heart that says that i need to just LET GO tells me that one, actually, will only happen when i stop focusing on the other.

it makes some logical sense, but really not entirely. 

but that's okay, because in my mind, all i can see is a fist holding tight, all tensed up, grabbing so hard--and then it just letting go. and with that open palm comes peace.  and ease.  and just going with the flow.

if you've ever been standing on a bus or a tram, you know what i'm about to describe to you.  your instinct is to stand ramrod straight, fist clenched around the pole or handhold that has been allocated to you.  you think that such a posture will actually help you stay stable.  if you've done this more than once, you know that such an instinct is entirely wrong.

the best way to deal with the erratic motion of a moving vehicle is to sink into your knees a little, relax, and let the movement move you.  when you go with it, you don't fall across your neighbor's lap.  when you move with it, you stay stable.

i think it's time to move with it instead of beating my fists against a boulder that, in seven months, has moved not an inch. 

i think it's time to relax.

i think it's time to focus on doing what i love and doing it just because i love it.

there is a time and a season for fists tight, knuckles white. there's a time and a season for gritty, determined, teeth-clenching focus.  i just think, maybe, that's not every season.

sometimes you have to just do what you know works and do the best you can and sink into your knees a little. 

and sink to your knees a little bit more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


i have looked in the mirror the past few days and seen good things.  that may sound weird, but it's been rare to happen the last few months.  instead of seeing my hips as too big, i see them as proportional to the rest of my body. instead of seeing larger-than-i'd-like arms, i see the definition behind the little extra padding.

i see good things, and that's a good thing.

this especially happened while we were in the moving truck. perhaps it was a combination of exertion and the determination to get things done, but i saw the person i used to see when i used to be pleasantly surprised by the mirror.

that was a nice thing.

that said, i tried on my dream jeans, the ones that only fit in the dressing room for about a minute and a half on some dream day in which i entered old navy and my hips shrunk at least six inches, and they don't even come close to fitting.  so, it's time to get back at it, i think.

i'm thinking of letting jillian michaels back into my life because, much as i love combat for many reasons, jillian was what was working last time i was consistently losing weight. i don't know why, and she bugs the crap out me, but shred might be my answer.

this seems ironic, but possibly it's because it's only 20 minutes and it combines strength and cardio. possibly, that's all i need right now. 

it's worth a shot, i think.


i wake up every morning at 7 now.  most of the time i go back to sleep, because i don't have to get up at 7 to do my life.  i think it's because the morning light pours through our new windows and i am very, very aware of light.  that's not a bad thing--i'm actually quite pleased--because i'd like to get in the habit of getting up much earlier.

fall classes alternate between 7:25 and 8:00.  i will not be sleeping in for four months.

which is too bad, really, because i don't think i've ever been so tired.  i think i say that a lot, but yesterday i was so tired that i wanted to cry. i had slept pretty well the night before, but...i felt like i had done one hundred million heavy exertion things when really all i did was grade papers, do laundry, and run errands. then i made cookies (which turned out terribly), muffins (which turned out worse), and different muffins (which, because they were from a mix, weren't bad at all) for the people who helped us move.


i've been having dreams again. last night's was superelaborate and strange but not, and i woke up thinking something was true that wasn't.  it featured basically all of the people from musicboy's family and mine as well, and it was realistic enough for me to think it was real. 

i like that my brain is working but sometimes i don't like dreams like that. i'm never sure if they're a sign of something or if they are just me being me.


i went to target yesterday and there were hordes of people there.  all i wanted to get was a baby gift for a friend and something for the house (i hadn't yet decided what--i just gave myself permission to spend a tiny bit of money to get something off of my list of things i want but don't really NEED).  there were little children everywhere, as if they had been sprinkled with water or fed after midnight.  some of them were more like the demon guy with the pointed ears; some were cute and cuddly. but there were just so many of them.

i found myself thinking it must be august with all of this aisle traffic. but it's not. it's the second to last weekend in july. 


when i was little, we didn't buy my school supplies until right before school started. that was probably because i was obsessive and wanted to USE THEM right then.  but i also remember having oodles of fun putting my binders together with my little dividers and zip-up pencil cases.

it was good times.

i can't wait to do it this year too.  but good grief--there's like a month!

let's slow it down, shall we?


i read about what's going to happen at graduation. i got an email from the Provost (don't get excited--it was a form letter) expressing that i needed to read about it, so being the obedient soul that i am, i did.

and i cried a little with the magnitude of the fact that i am graduating.

i did it.

i really did it.

pretty cool.

now if i could just figure out what to decorate my cap with, and how to be clever in such a small space, i would be GOLDEN.

because i have no idea.


i also did exit loan counseling. i didn't cry then, though i possibly could have for entirely different reasons. instead, i just thought--if we can pay them off early, awesome. if not, i'll just keep working to make these payments and it will be fine. 

that was also nice.


i'll leave you with this one final word: blueberry muffin frosted mini-wheats.  delightful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

yep. still moving.

three accent walls are finished.

the kitchen is basically unpacked and we've cooked at least twice here (three times if you count a dinner of pita bread and cereal as "cooking").

our mattress is on the floor of our living room, where we spent our first night in our new house. i slept quite well, and was happy to sleep downstairs away from paint fumes until they resolved themselves.  it, plus the new-old desk and desk chair and assorted desk items that i have tossed into boxes and hauled over here, will be moving upstairs today.

my least favorite part of the move thus far was friday, when we were trying to get to three different places at the same time, basically, to pick up furniture and hit EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT within a 20 mile radius.  it was so frustrating, and i'll admit to letting the stress get to me a little bit. 

my favorite part was yesterday. we were getting ready to paint our bedroom wall and our song came on.  so we danced in our new bedroom, with dropcloths and stepstools all around us.  it's moments like that that remind me why i love my life so much.

the "everyone comes and loads and unloads the truck with all of our big furniture" move happens on friday evening, since musicboy works on saturday mornings.  i think we'll get some help.  here's hoping.  no matter what happens, i'll be pleased to have it done.  long moves are nice because you can do it at your pace, but good grief they do drag on.

oh, and the old place speedily fixed our faucet and our hot water, so at least i can clean.

is it friday yet?

Friday, July 16, 2010

something REALLY good must be just around the corner...

...because yesterday? BAD DAY.

i mean such a bad day that i ate my feelings.  with pretzels and twizzlers and steak and shake.

(hey, at least i knew that i was doing it. and stopped myself from doing more damage than i did.)

i had a pretty good morning--i felt like my class went well, and i got a chance to talk to all of them about their speeches and give them some feedback/advice. i always like doing that, because i feel like i am genuinely helping them and it gives me a better sense of what's going on.

so that was good.

and then i did some other stuff and felt productive. 

and then i got an email from my supervisor at collegetown u, who said that my student evaluations were in and they were REALLY low.  so she wanted to talk to me, to "brainstorm" ideas to help students be more satisfied.

in so many ways, this hit me like a mack truck. i felt at once like i was being told i wasn't a good teacher, like i was being yelled at, like i was being fired.  it was a perfect storm of emotional angst, and i cried. 

lovely musicboy was there, and we talked about it.  foremost in my mind was the fear that i wouldn't get the classes for the fall that i had been scheduled for, that this somehow would make them automatically kick me to the curb. 

we decided that was highly unlikely, since few supervisors want to "brainstorm" with you if what they really mean is "have you pack your bags," which after subsequent emails with her seems the case.  essentially, i think i'm on probation with them. they'll see how willing i am to change and adapt to what they want me to do, and then they'll see if i'm a fit for the department still.

makes sense to me.  i see where i could be less of the hammer thrower and more of the supportive, empathetic cheerleader. i will look forward to the suggestions that she has.  i'm open to it.  it makes sense.

(also, i am aware that we will be taken care of no matter what. that is not far from my mind, and it was one of the themes of what musicboy told me.)

however, at the time sense was not really the main character in this little drama.  visceral, gut-level emotional reaction was. 

and it went on for HOURS. i didn't cry for hours, but man did it sink me a bit. 

so i went to the drugstore to get newspapers so we could finish packing our kitchen. and i bought candy. and i packed two boxes and then lost the will to think of what to do next, so i sat down. and then musicboy started packing and i felt guilty and he said "do your dissertation instead" so i did all the changes to my dissertation (which did NOT take as long as i thought it would, except that i lost all of the formatting on my references page so i had to italicize EVERYTHING again which was annoying) and then turned it into a pdf using a free trial from acrobat.com (TOTAL BLESSING! i thought i was going to have to go on campus) and then i submitted it.

which means that, other than turning in a stupid piece of paper which i will do today, i am done.


(as long as they clear me, that is.)

and then i went and spent copious amounts of money at target for the new house, the whole time knowing i could probably have gotten things cheaper at walmart but not wanting to go to walmart AND target at 9:30 at night because...well...i just didn't want to.

so we bought our slipcover and our shower curtain and our doodads and our hizzelypops and our snickwaddles (sorry...channeling dr. seuss) and used our gift cards and it was still expensive but what are you going to do?

and today seems like a brighter, better day.  i woke up not tired. i woke up smiling. i woke up knowing that we made it to today, the day we get the keys for the place that will be home for the next while, which feels like a whole new chapter of awesome opening up before us.

so i'll go to school today and give an exam that i hope everyone does supremely good on, and knowing that my exams tend to be challenging, i will keep an eye toward questions that everyone misses so that i can throw them out.  i will consider a curve, and i will hope that i am doing enough to prepare students well for their public speaking opportunities. 

and then i will come home and unplug appliances and put boxes in my car and think happy thoughts about a whole new house while trying to figure out how to get as much as possible into my deceptively large cargo area.  i will try to plan for the essentials, like toilet paper and cameras, as well as for the non-essentials, like convection ovens and crockpots. 

(we're moving our kitchen over first.)

and then i will go to our new home and get the keys, wait for musicboy to get off work and meet me there, and we'll turn the lock together.

i'm very much hoping there will be no need for twizzlers today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ride the wave, man. ride the wave.

we went for frozen yogurt/low calorie ice cream tonight before dinner but after our church responsibilities because i had a coupon that was expiring in two weeks but mainly just because i wanted to, and we saw someone that i used to know way back when when i was single and in the different ward.

we proceeded to have what i consider to be one of the most awkward conversations i've had in a good long while.

you should know that i have inherited my dear mimi's ability to talk to almost anyone, so the whole time we were talking (probably three minutes total) i kept trying to ask questions that would cut the awkward.  i think this person is awkward in general, or that i read her facial expressions and lack of eye contact as her feeling awkward, but regardless...my attempts just didn't work.

and i got in the car and felt a crushing sense of sadness.  i told musicboy that i just don't think we have any friends, and that it makes me sad.

and then i teared up.

THIS PERSON WAS NOT MY FRIEND IN THE FIRST PLACE.  acquaintance, yes. but we never hung out. i didn't run in the same circles.  i hate to say it, because i don't want it to sound cavalier or unfeeling, but i didn't ever really feel the loss of this person in my life. that's not to say i don't think nice and kind things about her, wish her well, and think she looks SLAMMIN' right now (she's lost weight and boy howdy does she look good), but...you know how it goes.

this, in tandem with the gleeful euphoric domination of yesterday that found me cracking jokes and just feeling incredibly GOOD about things in general, tells me one thing.

the mood swings, man. i gots 'em.

readjusting my hormones?  what a ride.  it's not pretty, but at least it's an adventure.

don't forget.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

red tape.

today, i'd like to talk about bureaucracy.

the kind of bureaucracy that allows editorial coordinators to turn tiny tyrant, sending out an email to everyone who (GASP!) hasn't taken the time, inbetween changing ellipses to ... to . . .  in a 200 page document and TEACHING THE FUTURE LEADERS OF OUR PLANET, to insert a dissertation title into the special secret editorial electronic system that their name would be REMOVED FROM THE GRADUATION PROGRAM if they didn't respond to the email within an hour because i had been sent REPEATED messages to do so.

i got the email two hours after it was sent.

rather than get panicked, i just got mad.  here's what i sent:

I only received this message. Yes, it was on the checklists, but I was not aware that there was an immediate deadline for the title.  I have entered it, though it is more than an hour after you sent your message. I am graduating this term, and have met every deadline thus far. It seems monumentally unfair to me that because I didn't get my email (because I was teaching a class here) within your hour timeframe that my name should be removed from the program.
Please advise as to what will happen from here.
twenty minutes after this email, rather than send me a reply, another email was sent out to the list of mighty slackers like me (ahem.) who had yet to comply.  instead of throwing down the hammer with an hour deadline, it stated that everyone needed to reply TODAY.
(much more reasonable but still annoying as sin.)

the last thing i need in my life right now, with moving and the dissertation editorial nonsense and teaching and just life, is a tyrannical bureaucracy cramping my style.  please. give me a break.

my goal now is just to get this stupid thing done and passed off as soon as humanly possible. i really just want to be done.

it figures that, after all the effort and stress, the dissertation process would end with as much annoyance as possible.

perhaps it's their gentle way of kicking us out the door and not making us want to look back fondly.  it works.

ps--i realized that my name never got changed in the collegetown u system, even though i thought it had been.  now i think i might graduate as teachergirl maidenname rather than teachergirl maidenname marriedname.  this makes me sad, sort of.  i'm going to try to get it changed in time, but we'll see.  i might be able to have them announce the right name, but the program will probably have the maidenname.  i definitely will demand that my correct name be on my diploma.  oh dear.  i'll be so sad if it's not.

gah.  more bureaucracy. i'm so over it!


Friday, July 9, 2010

friday superlative round-up.

stupidest thing i've seen: a guy on a bike, crossing against the traffic (he was in the crosswalk, but the light had not yet turned red so he was risking getting hit), paused in the center to wait for traffic but was still sort of moving forward as he looked down at his phone to text/call someone.  as in he was moving on a bike, not looking, and creeping ever-so-quickly toward imminent bodily injury.

the whole time i was watching, i was a) thinking he was an idiot and b) planning how i would explain what happened to the police.

i'm sure this is what people think of people who text while they drive. i see their point, i suppose.

most unexpected kindness: we went to the stadium yesterday to work out. i haven't been to the stadium in a while, and last time the stairs killed my knee. so, instead of doing stairs, we worked on running. i can do okay on a treadmill, but running outside is really difficult for me. we ran inclines at first (ran up and down the ramps, walked the rest) and tried to run the spiral ramps up to the tippy-top of the stadium. 

(my glutes screamed at me for that one, and i stopped twice. i wish i hadn't stopped the second time. i wish i had told them to shut up. i will next time.)

after we did that, we started running halfway around the stadium.  we set a goal, and my wonderful husband coached me along.  running is easier for him, and he is motivated now because he wants to play intermural rugby in the spring. 

i felt like a complete loser because it was really hard for me.  like REALLY hard.  i kept going, but it was hard for me.  as i was running the second time, i saw this girl running the opposite direction and she smiled quite widely at both of us.  as we were circling, walking after i had done the third half lap, she passed us again and when she did, she looked directly at me and said "high five!" and slapped my hand.

i was surprised. i didn't know her. i think she just saw that i was doing something that was tough for me and admired me for it. it was encouraging and embarrassing and a whole host of other things that i can't really put my finger on.  but most of all, it was kind.

best deal i've found: bermuda shorts for $7.50.  in my size.  that fit great (and are even a little bit big, though i am not holding my breath until i wash and dry them).   sometimes retail therapy really does work.

thing most likely to bring me to my knees: the frustration of stalled weight loss.

thing most likely to bring me the most lessons: how i have chosen to deal with said frustration, and the people who genuinely care enough to try to understand and, then, help. i feel like the first part is the most important, really.

mind-boggler: how does one bookshelf of books fill SIX OR SEVEN BOXES of heavy death? how are there still books? how did i become a person with only one bookshelf of books? do i really care about any of these books anymore, really? how did this happen?

i really dislike box hunting, but have been relatively successful thus far. i think i will just keep looking, every day, for boxes.  worst case scenario? we have too many, and i just go put them back in the cardboard-only dumpsters from whence they came.

and, as a caveat, how on EARTH did it become only one week until we get the keys to the new place? and how ON EARTH will we ever be ready?  

i wish i had a personal assistant to do the following:  faxing my stupid signature page so that i can get my stupid transcript released from my stupid MA alma mater. why are they the only ones who care this much about my stupid privacy? i got a 4.0. i don't care who knows it. JUST SEND IT ALREADY WHEN I PAY YOU YOUR MONEY, PEOPLE.

the irony is not lost on me: in one week, we receive delivery of our washer and dryer. guess what i have to do tomorrow because we're almost out of underwear? you guessed it.  hello, laundromat. i will not cry when i bid you a fond adieu. or maybe not such a fond adieu so much as a "suck it. i hate you." adieu.

it's really nothing personal.

worst timing ever: thanks, property management company, for letting me know THREE WEEKS before our lease is up that we are responsible for professionally steamcleaning our carpets before we check out. thanks for letting us know that during the peak of move-out season. thanks for adding one more REALLY ANNOYING thing to our to-do list.  thanks. 

i better get every dime of my deposit back if i have to clean the carpets, because WHAT DO YOU DO AT ALL?!?

biggest regret: taking this online class. i'm burnt out, i don't want to do it, and now i just hate it. two more weeks. two more weeks. 

reason that i am reminded that i live a pretty great life: my husband is a wonderful partner. he just knows when to fill in, and when to back off, and when to support, and when to encourage, and when to push me to talk when i need to talk. he just wants to know what's going on in my head, and i love that. i love that i can look at him and know when he's worried so that i can do the same for him.  i love that he loves the angry beavers and made me watch it and now we use "spoot" all of the time in every day conversation. i love our daydreamy conversations about decorating our new house. i love our anxiety-laced planning for a very busy fall. i just love how we fit, and how being best friends just makes everything from dirty dishes to job complications easier and more manageable. 

come what may, i love it.

have a great weekend all. think of me, up to my eyeballs in papers and boxes, as you have some well-deserved fun. at least it will be airconditioned. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

yes. i see the theme.

we all have trials, and i get that. they're catered to our individual circumstances, to teach us what we need to learn.

what, in fact, do i need to learn from the fact that, no matter how i try, i seem to be gaining weight instead of losing it? despite feeling smaller, fitter, and in better shape than i was when i got married, i am twenty pounds heavier and it just keeps creeping up.  i know that ten or fifteen of those pounds are a direct result of ice cream and cookie consumption. i don't hate on that.

i hate on the fact that i am so deeply frustrated that it makes me angry. i don't like how that feels.

say what you might about not letting the scale dictate what your happiness level is, i do NOT want to gain back all of the weight i have lost. i count it a personal failure.  i count it a disaster. i count it my worst nightmare.

so what am i to do? why is it not working?

but beyond that, how do i deal with such significant amounts of frustration? the only thing i can think to do is to weigh myself once a week, be vigilant and do what i know to do, and wait.


i hate waiting. i HATE IT.  i hate that this particular trial is so much easier for other people. i hate that i can watch a show like jillian michaels' losing it and see people lose 53 pounds in six weeks. i mean, i get that they're at the beginning, and i'm likely at the end, of the journey, but still.  it's SO frustrating.

i'm doing the right things! i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing!

but then it occurs to me, as i write this, that there are often times that we are not immediately rewarded for our efforts. we are often doing the right things and being the right people and yet things don't happen that we want.  it's usually because the time isn't right or because we don't understand the big picture.

perhaps i'm never going to weigh what i want to weigh. perhaps i will spend my whole life dreaming of the wonderland that i hope to reach, dreaming of a number that may never happen.

perhaps that is true.

but perhaps, more likely, i am meant to continue to learn patience.

perhaps, more importantly, i am meant to learn to live well continuously, rather than in fits and starts when my pants get a bit tight.

perhaps, more importantly, i am meant to build muscle and skill and stamina and healthy habits that will translate into healthy eating habits for children and healthy pregnancies and healthy families.

perhaps, most importantly, i am meant to finally be able to see myself, if even in glimmering spurts, the way my Father in Heaven sees me and NOT the way the flawed and fallen world wants me to see myself.

perhaps, in those triumphant moments when i achieve something spectacularly hard that i didn't think i did, when i feel muscles that i didn't know i had, when i see my heart rate is lower than it used to be, when i feel my body changing, i am meant to not anticipate results but to recognize the success. 

perhaps i am meant to be content.


after i wrote this, frustrated and feeling a bit beleaguered, i went to walmart to buy a food scale so that i can more accurately measure the things that i am just guesstimating at. i've been meaning to do that for ages. while i was doing that, i stopped into the clothing section.  they had some shorts for a song, so i pulled what i thought was my size. 

i prayed as i hit the dressing room. i wasn't sure that they would fit, because sizes at walmart are ODD and also me and pants are not good friends.

they not only fit, but they fit beautifully. i bought two, and cried a little, and thanked Heavenly Father for a tender mercy that tells me that i must be doing something right.

and to just hold on and keep doing it.  good work is rewarded eventually, even if it's not in the way we expect. 

i'm still holding on.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

you can tell it's 2010...

...when the majority of your class emails their speech topics to you using their phones from class.

hot diggity. technology.

Monday, July 5, 2010

we now rejoin your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress...

oh HAI.

how are you? enjoy your long weekend? eat a hot dog or FIFTY NINE like that whack job who won the nathan's contest? bake a pie? sing a song? wave a flag?

yeah, me too, except for no hot dogs or pies, but there was a fake cake incident that may, in fact, have resembled my mom's tragic sugar-free birthday cake Incident of 1984 (ish?) that lives in family infamy.

(lesson: don't use both applesauce and banana as substitutes for butter and eggs unless you just want sort of bland muffin things that don't taste much like anything except a hint of banana.  second lesson: if i added heaps more banana, it would make a pretty slammin' banana muffin.  third lesson: the calorie count was still too high. the end.)

my husband still ate them and thought they were good. that's why i married him.  he's sweet.

but things have been happening, and exciting things at that, and so i have a few type of update-y things that may or may not be interesting to you. i will separate them with these here little -- things so that if your eyes glaze over with boredom, you can skim down and quickly discern when that nightmare of a long story is going to end.


like that? see?  easy as pie.  or cake. or fake cake. whatever.


we are the proud owners of a REAL WASHER AND DRYER. it is not yet in my possession, but it is OURS.  we paid for it and we paid EIGHTY DOLLARS LESS for it than we were expecting. and it wasn't even on sale. it was just one of those unexpected yet AMAZING blessings that keep pouring upon us with regularity.

sometimes i think provident living is amazing. know why? because when you live within your means, and are happy to do so, you get to sometimes live outside your means because your means expand with blessings.

it's kind of awesome.

so, for the money that we budgeted for the washer and dryer alone, we got a washer/dryer and a beautiful rug for our new house.  like the big expensive kind, not the industrial scratchy kind. like the kind that they have hanging on display and you just sort of lovingly pet and wish you could take home with you.

that kind.

take that, budget!


i am a craigslist addict right now.  i found a desk, desk chair, and adorable coffee table for $50--and the woman is going to keep them for me until we move on the 16th. i found a couch that was going to be $50 and then they reduced the price because, honest people that they are, they found that the zipper was broken.  so they're keeping it for us and they reduced the price too.  $40 ugly super comfortable couch? YES PLEASE. i will cover you with something beautiful and look at you every day and think "i got you for a song..."and i will be happy.

i'm still on the hunt for a dining room table, but i may have a few leads, so there's that.  oh, and i got some shelves too.  they were probably the most expensive, but they're cute and LALALA i got a couch for $40. so there.


class is going well. so far, most people seem to know what they're doing in both my public speaking classes and my online classes.  we'll see how much that keeps up, but so far so good.

i'm also reminded that the longer i teach something, the better off i am.  i am getting better and better at teaching public speaking. it's less foreign and more organic to me, and that's always good.


body combat update.  i went to class on saturday, and that same girl came back. this time she was in front of me, and rather than feeling all maternal and "i understand where you're coming from" about her, a whole psychological redux of my teenage years of yuck, and i was just annoyed.

she stopped a lot.  (and this from someone who also stops)  she didn't even seem to try to do the punches correctly.  and it was in front of me for an hour. it was annoying.

this, however, was tempered by today, when i took advantage of my day off to go to a daytime body combat class taught by a different instructor.

(i love my instructor. she's by far the best.)

because i obviously knew what i was doing, and because i was up in the front, a whole host of people who were behind me were obviously watching me and doing what i did. 

i can't tell you how much i liked that.  when i see people struggling in class, i really don't just systematically judge them. i'd like to help them.  but logic says that if you're not getting the cues that you need from the instructor, you look around to find the participants who look like they know what they're doing and parrot them.

(that's what i do in a new class. that's what i did my first few times in body combat.)

i'd like to be someone who could be an example for someone.  it makes me feel like i'm helping someone to be successful.  and, if you take the time to come to a class like this, don't you want to be successful? 

i think so.  i just wish girly who keeps coming back would watch me. i could help. 


i think that is all. except that whole thing about no hot dogs? i think that ends today.  it is shaping up to be a hot dog, fireworks (it was raining on saturday here for us), packing boxes kind of day.


you may now continue with your personal business.  thank you for your attention.

Friday, July 2, 2010

adjusting to summer.

walking across campus twice a day every day is good for my metabolism, but not so good for my appearance.  it's usually about 80% humidity with a heat index in excess of the stated temperature, so one must take precautions and preparations. 

every girl must have the following tools in her summertime arsenal:
  • a go-to updo that works with almost any outfit.  i have a couple of them perfected, and they look decent and cute without forcing me to deal with hair on my neck. i can't stand hair on my neck in the heat.
  • a slammin' hair spray that will weather any weather.  i found mine before the wedding, and it's worked wonders. i only hope that i can find it again once that increasingly-lighter-with-every-day can finally runs out.
  • a small towel.  maybe you're one of those people who can face the stifling heat with just a gentle glisten above your upper lip. if you are, bully for you, but i sweat.  so, before i hit the classroom to try to convince them that i am more than a sopping mess of heat stroke, i duck into the nearest bathroom and try to mop up.  
  • the ability to sense when it actually is cooler, and great gratitude for a breeze.  sometimes hope is all that gets you through.  
  • an umbrella. it rains whenever it wants around these parts, and unless you want to get thoroughly soaked before or after work, you need to make sure you are prepared.
  • flip flops. no matter what shoes you actually might end up wearing with your chosen outfit, you must always have flip flops for the journey.  summer shoes are not always comfortable, but flip flops are. so when my outfit necessitates a different shoe choice, i wear my flip flops to walk in and then slip my other shoes on.  
so far, it's been going well.   i think i might actually be adjusting to the weather now, something i thought would assuredly not happen on the first few days. spending all day every day in the air conditioning for six weeks or so tends to make that adjustment a bit more difficult.  but i'm doing it, and classes are going pretty well, and i can't complain much, except about how i can't sleep much or well, but that's a post for another time. 

have a wonderful holiday weekend, all.  i can hardly believe we're into july. i'll be spending mine grading (no new news there) and packing. 

(two weeks until we move! yay!)

i hope yours is full of fun and rest or whatever you want it to be filled with.