27 September 2012


I am at my wit's end. I'm going to be totally raw and honest here, because I need help, advice, and encouragement. I feel like it's going to sound petty. Like I should just deal with it. Please don't tell me to just deal with it. Please don't tell me that that's parenthood and I need to get used to it. If that is your opinion, I don't need to hear it right now. Even if it's true. I don't think I could handle that right now.

I am beyond exhausted. I know, I know. I'm a mother. Babies are tiring. And goodness, Emily, you're not even working, think about how hard all those mothers have it who don't get to stay home with their kids! See? I tell myself it. I know it.

But this goes beyond tired. I can't sleep. John sleeps better at night than I do. Sometimes it's just waking up multiple times and I can get back to sleep. Sometimes it's insomnia. Sometimes it's somewhere in the middle.

For the last four months, I've been putting off total exhaustion by napping during the day, whenever Johnny napped, usually for about an hour or hour and a half. It worked pretty well. For some reason, I've always been able to sleep better during the day than at night. And it has kept me going.

Johnny has stopped napping.

I don't know what to do.

If we're in the car mid-day, he'll sleep. If we're at home, he will go to sleep. I will thank God and lie down myself. And fifteen to twenty minutes later, he will start screaming. Just as I'm dozing off, usually.

He's fine, he just wants attention. He wants to watch me and interact with me. Which is great! I have a happy, loving baby. But I am so emotionally exhausted that I'm getting angry at him. How stupid is that? I shouldn't be angry at him for not napping - God knows he's not maliciously taking away my sleep time.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what I'm asking, even, really. I guess...is this a normal phase? Is there a way I could get him to sleep longer? Is there a way I could sleep better at night? (I've tried so many things. This is not a new problem.)

I am sorry if I come across as complaining about a normal mom-thing. I don't mean to. I just...I need help.

Blessings on your travels,

23 July 2012

My Little Womulet

For the past two months, the only time I've had on the computer has been one-handed, while I'm nursing. Not very conductive to posting on a blog, or writing emails, or chatting. So here is my somewhat overdue update on my little one.

Womulet number one is the sweetest thing. He is truly a "perfect baby." I know, I know, everyone thinks their child is perfect. But I mean it in the sense that people outside our little family would say it. He took to breastfeeding like a champ from the beginning. He started sleeping through the night at six weeks. He doesn't fuss unless something is actually wrong (needing to burp, too warm), and stops crying as soon as it's taken care of. Also, he's awfully beautiful. Not all babies are. But he's crazy cute. To illustrate my point, here's a picture:

(His left eye had a little infection at first. So imagine that, but without the puffy eye. And bigger now, since this was at three weeks, and he's two months today. He's only gotten more beautiful since then. I just haven't had time to upload our newer batch of pictures.)

All this to say: I got lucky. I'm being spoiled. Our next child will likely be an absolute terror. But for now, I'm just enjoying my little angel, who woke up about thirty seconds after I started writing this, and has just been cooing and smiling at me the whole time, even though he's probably hungry.

Off to play with my little womulet.

Blessings on your travels,

21 March 2012

Why I Plan on More Anyway: An Addendum

Add not being able to eat dairy (or maybe just anything with fat?) in the early morning or evening now (due to heartburn) to the list of complaints. And that is all the complaining I will do in this post.

I imagine that some people, upon reading my last post, would be surprised that I am already planning on having more children even though my entire pregnancy has been fairly miserable. I would not blame them. I am more than ready for this to be over, and feel like I must be crazy to already want to do it over again. Multiple times. Because we want a big family.

I know many women get over the whole "I am never putting myself through this again" thing a while after they give birth. I mean...look at what you get out of it! And misery is retrospect is not as bad as in the moment. One of my best friends was telling me about a coworker who had a truly awful pregnancy, making herself and everyone around her completely miserable for nine months. The other week, my friend overheard this coworker telling a customer how wonderful pregnancy is and how much she loved being pregnant. Did she forget? Was she just lying because she felt guilty about being miserable? Or maybe she just realized that it was worth it, and that the end is worth the pain of the process.

The last is what I am hoping for. Because I refuse to lie to people about how I have felt. And I doubt I will forget. But maybe a good analogy is that it is like running a marathon. Except for this marathon, you have not trained at all, and you just get thrown in and told to run. So you feel like crap the entire time. But when you reach that finish line...well, I hate running and I can not imagine any reward being worth running a marathon, but I hope you understand my point here. (It's a marathon where they give you a baby at the end!)

I hate being pregnant, but I love children. I want to be a mother more than anything. I am simultaneously excited and terrified out of my mind. And even though I have nine more weeks of this to get through (I told my dear husband last night that I would be so happy for womulet to be premature if I could be guaranteed no serious complications or health issues), I know I will willingly go through it again, probably soon. And again. And again. Et cetera.

Because I see little kids in the store, and giddiness bubbles up inside of me, and I think, "I get one of those!" And I see dads with their toddlers and can not WAIT to see my husband with our children, because I know he is going to be one of those amazing, adorable dads that the kids worship and vise-versa. And because my dad nearly threw out his back, leaping out of his chair and flinging his arms in the air, when we told my parents that we were expecting, and I know that he is going to be the most amazing grandpa ever. (He has been waiting for grandchildren ever since he and mom decided to not have more kids.)

So yes. I am miserable. And I have a lot that I can and do complain about. (God bless my patient, loving, wonderful husband.) But I already know it will be worth it. At least until they become teenagers.

Blessings on your travels,

14 March 2012

Why Pregnancy Sucks: A Complaint

They do not tell you, you know that? They say it is wonderful and magical. Which it is. But it also sucks.

Maybe I have only known people who have had lovely pregnancies, who got a little sick first trimester, who felt amazing second trimester, who slept just fine and can not wait to do it again. Maybe. Or maybe it is all just lies to propagate the species. Maybe everyone just forgets how much it sucks once baby comes. Because I do believe that it will be worth it. But it also sucks.

I am at thirty weeks, now. Almost to seven months. I still get morning sickness, though not as often as at first. But more suddenly and violently. I was not able to eat meat for the first five months. Any meat. At all. (I still can not handle pork or fish.) And eggs were suspect, and hot cereal and most vegetables were iffy. Potatoes were my friend. Of course, they always have been, but that was my primary sustenance. For five months. Five. Months.

I am exhausted and have been the entire time. I did not get any sort of energy-boost for my second trimester. In fact, that is when the fainting and dizzy-spells started. Yes, I am getting enough to eat. No, we do not know why my body hates me. It seems to happen when I am too warm, which is apparently when I am warm at all, so now we keep the house at about sixty most of the time and I have been wearing light clothes even though it is usually still really cold out. Because as much as I hate being cold (a lot. I hate it a lot), I hate fainting more.

Once I got the dizziness under control, the insomnia set in. I have not slept well since mid-January. Again, we do not know why my body hates me. I will be so sleepy, we will go to bed, my dear husband will be dead asleep in fifteen seconds, and my brain will decide to switch back on. "Doo-bee-doo. Here we are. We are lying in bed. Sure wish I could sleep. Hey! Let's think about everything! Everything in the WORLD! That sounds like a good plan." Stupid brain. Or my muscles will go into spasms. This is another thing: my muscles have gotten so tense. I have to stretch multiple times throughout the day to even have a possibility of relaxing at night. The sleep has been helped by magnesium supplements and exercise and drinking more water and having a little snack before bed. I do not know if all or one of those things helped, but I am sure as heck not trying to figure out which specifically is helping. But I am still only getting a few hours a night, partially due to the insomnia, and partially due to the whole "pregnancy makes you have to pee a lot, and also makes it so you are not comfortable in any position when you are lying down" thing. (I have, since I can remember, slept flat on my stomach. Now the only position I can fall asleep in is on my left side. And then only sometimes.)

It is a self-perpetuating cycle: I do not sleep well/can not get to sleep until really late, so after dear husband leaves for work, I go back to bed and sleep for several hours (I sleep a lot better during the day). But then at bedtime, I have not been awake for long, so I have trouble getting to sleep. Repeat cycle. But it is better than no sleep at all. Because I have tried not going back to sleep or napping, but then I am just entirely exhausted and still have insomnia. Usually those nights end up with my dear husband waking up to me sobbing into my pillow because I have been lying there for four hours, and have tried eating, and have tried taking a bath and stretching, and have tried freaking everything and nothing is working and why does my body hate me and waaaaaaah! So we have decided that sleeping during the day is probably a good plan.

I fell on Monday. On the stairs. I do not know how it happened. One second I was going down the stairs, and next, I was clinging to the rail with both hands, with my feet flailing beneath/below me trying to regain my footing. Thank goodness I was holding the railing, or I would have tumbled. Womulet is fine; I did not hit my torso area at all. As it was, though, both my arms got yanked and my left leg got twisted really badly. Why does this fall under "Pregnancy Sucks"? Because pregnant people do not get to take medicine. I can have Tylenol. Which helps a very very little bit. But I am not allowed to have any sort of anti-inflammatory medicines. Which is really what I needed/need. Because Tylenol kills the pain for a little while, but does not really help my muscles heal at all. So I am stuck with two VERY sore arms, and back twinges, and leg cramps (my leg has mostly healed now, but my arms are still killing me). Two days later. It sucks.

There are other little things. It is annoying to not be able to lift or maneuver things. Bending over is difficult. Getting in and out of bed (or the car. or up from the couch.) is ridiculously strenuous. My hormones have made my emotions even more haywire than usual. I do not know how much longer I will be able to drive, because my legs are short and I have to sit really close to reach the pedals, but my belly is already almost touching the wheel - I am not going to fit for much longer. I have heartburn and Tums do not help. It all sucks.

I am tired of this, and ready for it to be over now, please. I really really hope that I forget how miserable I have been for the past seven months (and likely the next two), because we want lots of kids. And this sucks.

Blessings on your travels,

16 February 2012

Silence and Peace

We are going to the monastery this weekend. It is a much-needed retreat. I am hoping for silence and peace. However, in the past, I have not found what I was hoping for, but what I actually needed. Only God knows what I truly need right now. I hope it is peace. But the last time I hoped for that, a group of a dozen or so people were visiting who treated the place like a hotel - one that they owned. When I went hoping for solitude, there was a family with seven children who were very very friendly. (Incidentally, I am now married to their second oldest.)

I think that it's good that we can't dictate what we find or experience at a place like that. The monastery is not a retreat center, or a resort. If we go, we open ourselves to God and his plan. The schedule and rhythm of the place does not conform to what we think it should be. We get up early, we go to services, we eat sparse meals, we work. Not what most Americans would call a vacation. I think that even at many "spiritual retreat" centers - whether specifically affiliated with a religion or not - the experience is more tailored to the individual. But visiting the monastery inevitably gives me so much more than a traditional vacation or stereotypical "spiritual retreat" does.

There are good things in both. And certainly you can grow in the latter, or close yourself to growth in the former. But I am looking forward to this weekend, and learning what it is that I need right now.

Blessings on your travels,

11 January 2012

Thoughts of the moment (while making dinner)

Shepherd's pie (actually cottage pie, with beef instead of lamb) is delicious. Adding celery and peas, because I have them.

Three of my favorite fruits are avocados, kiwis, and grapefruit. All three of these you can easily eat by slicing them in half and scooping the fruit out with a spoon. I am attempting to decide whether this fact is part of what makes them favorites, or if it is incidental to my love of them.

I actually don't have any fruits that I dislike. Except olives, which I don't count anyway. Condiments aren't a fruit.

I don't care as much for pineapple or cantaloupe as for other fruits. They are what I consider "not my favorite fruits" - I don't generally get them because I love all the other fruits so much.

Why don't more savory American dishes call for cinnamon? This is a horrible slight to a wonderful seasoning.

Yes, Pandora. I'm still listening. Like I have been all afternoon. Baby needs his Chopin, you know.

Blessings on your travels,

02 January 2012

New Year

Yeah, so I'm really bad at this. Sorry.

In my second-to-last post, I gave a year's update which essentially said, "hey I didn't post for a year because my life was radically changing and I just got married."

Now, four months later, it's time for another one of those. See, soon after my last post, I got pregnant. Yay! Babies! Womulets! (that one's for the Reynolds clan.) Despite my excitement, I have been exhausted and unwell for the last several months. I am only now getting a chance to catch my breath. During my online silence, real life has been pretty crazy. Quick overview:

  • I got more and more depressed at my job, working for B&N as the digital sales lead. In September, my husband got a great full-time job at a stable company, so I resigned from that position, taking a huge cut in both salary and hours. This was a big leap of faith, but as my husband told me - the money was not worth the pain it was giving me.
  • I found out I was pregnant.
  • Dropping to a part-time bookseller helped my stress and anxiety attacks, but I was still pretty miserable. It used to be that I loved working there. I mean...a bookstore! What more could I ask for? But the nook has destroyed the soul of the company, and is now destroying the souls of those who work there, who have loved the bookstore in the past and hurt to see the changes in policy and priorities.
  • At the beginning of November, my husband's workplace hired me on seasonally - full time at good pay. I quit my job at Barnes and Noble. Just over two years ago when I started there, I would not have expected to ever quit to leave for another job. I figured I would work there until I became a stay-at-home mother. It breaks my heart, how soulless the store has become. I hope that not all of them nationwide are becoming like that, that it had more to do with our specific management, but I fear for the worst.
  • Working at my new job allowed me to get out of retail before the holiday season. This was wonderful! I was able to spend Thanksgiving weekend with family, and we had a week off for Christmas, during which time we visited my husband's family, and spent the day before Christmas at my parents' house. I'd forgotten how nice it is to actually have a break at the holidays. Or maybe I'd never known - after all, during school it was more a time to crash or catch-up on school work, and I'd been in retail ever since then.
  • Now that the seasonal job has ended, I am staying at home. I am a housewife and soon-to-be stay-at-home mother. This has been the best thing for my mental health that I could have asked for. I am finally able to start getting our home into order, to cook good meals, to keep things clean and organized. To rest. To read again. To spend time with my husband in the evenings. To gestate :D
Our current situation is much more difficult financially. I freak out about it about twice or three times a week. My darling husband has so much more faith than I do - he is so strong for me, and I need that so much. I am so thankful to have him by my side.

Now it is a new year, and time for goals. I hope to write on this blog at least once a month. I have done it before. I know I can do it. Perhaps I will update more often, but I won't feel bad if it is only once a month. I hope to have an efficient organization system in place before womulet number one comes along (I'm due in late May). I hope to have enough faith to give first, then budget from what remains after our tithe. And to live off that budget, and not ever dip into savings for daily needs, and to NEVER charge to a credit card. Also, I'm stopping picking my nails. For real this time.

I hope the new year finds you well, dear friends.

Blessings on your travels,

03 August 2011

Easy Homemade Granola

I grew up eating this granola by the bowl (much to the chagrin of my mother, who preferred to use it in moderation, sprinkling it over yogurt). Now I am making it. Because it is 1) easy, 2) delicious, and 3) inexpensive.

I make a double batch from the original (my measurements, not the originals, are listed below in the recipe) because honestly, a single batch lasts about two days. Buying everything in bulk at Win-Co, a double batch only costs a little over six dollars.

That’s reasonable, in my opinion. It might be a little more expensive than, say, cheerios. But it is way more delicious, nutritious, and filling. Did I mention it’s easy? And it’s a nice alternative to hot cereal (my preferred breakfast) when it’s so hot out.

Here we go: Homemade Granola of Awesome

1) Mix in a large bowl:
- 2c rolled oats
- 2c chopped nuts (I use walnuts, because they’re cheapest)
- 1c sunflower seeds
-2c wheat or bran flakes

2) Stir together over low heat until melted:
- 2/3c honey
- 4T peanut butter
- 2t vanilla
- 4T sesame seeds (The original recipe called for these to be stirred in above, but in our experience, they just fall to the bottom and end up clumping together. Stirring them into the melted deliciousness helps them get a more even distribution.)

3) Pour -2- over -1- and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated. Spread on a cookie sheet (we have found a broiler pan works well) and bake for 25 minutes at 325*, stirring every five minutes.

4) If desired, add 2c dried fruit. (This is not something I desire. But hey, whatever makes you happy.)

So obviously, for about 25 minutes, it does require attention. But not difficult attention. More of a make-sure-it-doesn’t-burn sort of attention. And speaking of burning, if you do make a single batch (halving my measurements above), about 15 minutes in the oven will be fine. Or it will burn. And then it tastes nasty and you end up eating cheerios the next morning anyway and throwing it away and starting over. (trust me. personal experience, here.)


Blessings on your travels,

15 June 2011

Hello. It has been a year.

I am sorry to not have written in so long. A lot has happened in the last year. I left school, met a boy, got a promotion at work, got engaged to the boy, married the boy, went on a honeymoon.

So now you are all caught up.

I am going to attempt to do better, again. For a long time I posted at least once a month. I would like to write more often than that. I enjoy writing, and it does seem to help me deal with stress. I do still journal, and have occasionally posted on my other blog (www.poorerquarters.wordpress.com). But that blog is more...journey-orientated, while this one has always been more of my random thoughts and happenings, and sometimes rants. It seems all right to keep them both.

I hope you are still visiting, dear readers. I hope you have not abandoned and forgotten my lowly little blog, here.

I miss you.

Blessings on your travels,

05 June 2010

In Defense of My Driving Habits

I am just going to be up front about this and admit it: I drive under the speed limit on the freeway. I promise that I am not a bad driver. In fact, I am quite a good driver, and often had to navigate very full Los Angeles freeways on a time crunch and did so successfully. And so forth. I am capable of driving with traffic, and even of driving more quickly than traffic, doing all the crazy sort of weaving in and out that I dislike so much in other drivers. But when I have the choice (which is most of the time), I drive about five miles per hour under the limit, at least when in town (long-distance (to Seattle, for example) I drive about five miles per hour over the limit). I have various reasons for this, which I will lay out like so:

One. Isabel (my lovely car) gets her best gas mileage at about fifty-five miles per hour. So it saves me money, in theory, to drive that speed (speed limit on the freeway through town is sixty).

Two. It greatly reduces my stress. Several facets under this point being,
A, When driving the speed limit or above, one has to worry about passing frequently, or speeding up and slowing down as necessary to stay with traffic. When you are driving under the speed limit, everything else generally flows around you, and you have to pass much less often. No more stress about openings and timings. Just stay in the right lane and let everyone else worry about their own selves.
B, I have noticed that many, if not most, drivers refuse to get up to speed before merging onto the freeway, even when the on-ramp is long enough to allow it. People tend to merge at about fifty or fifty-five, and then speed up the rest of the way. (This makes no sense to me - I get up to sixty if I can, and then gradually reduce my speed.) I have found that driving at fifty-five makes it so that I rarely have to brake or accelerate to allow someone to merge. It puts enough distance between my car and the car in front of me to let someone in. Occasionally, some genius merges at about forty-five, and then accelerates to seventy posthaste, which baffles and momentarily upsets me. As a general rule, however, much less stress when going by on-ramps.
C, I never have to worry about getting pulled over for speeding. Because I do not speed. That is a pretty simple one, I think.

Three. It does not significantly add to my driving time. One reason I drive more quickly on long trips is that that five miles per hour does add up on a trip across the state (in five hours, the slower car would be twenty-five miles behind the faster car; increase the difference to ten miles per hour and the faster car is fifty miles ahead). But on a fifteen mile drive (which is about the longest one can go in town - from the Maple/Ash exit to the Sullivan exit) it really makes no difference. Multiple times I have seen someone speeding along, weaving in and out of traffic, only to pull up behind them at the stop light when I exit. And if the light does not manage to be an issue for the faster car, it is still a negligible difference, a minute or two at most.

So. There is my defense, take it as you will.

Blessings on your travels,

18 May 2010

All in.

I moved out of my parents' house, into an apartment.
So life is still a little crazy.

I promise I'll be back when I get things settled.

Blessings on your travels,

15 April 2010

Best Thing EVER.

Dear JaneGirl (and others, but mostly for Jane).
GUESS what I just held.
If you guess that I just held an emu egg, you guessed correctly.

: D

How did I attain this, you ask?
There is a man who comes to the clinic who RAISES EMUS! He has an EMU FARM! How awesome is that?

You can not comprehend how excited I am right now.
I hope you are doing a happy dance, too.

Blessings you your travels,

29 March 2010

I am tired

And overwhelmed. So...yeah.
Things should clear up soon. In the process of making some major decisions right now, should have some more time for writing soon.

Blessings on your travels,

10 February 2010

If I Patronized Companies Based on Their Advertisements

There are some really stupid advertisements on television. But some are good. If I were to choose certain companies or brands based solely on their advertising:

Transportation: I would purchase a Ford truck F-150. Their advertisements are visually appealing, with just enough humor. Good colors, good font, not sappy. I do not like car advertisements that are sappy.

Insurance: AllState. I really like the AllState guy. Are you in good hands? His voice is just so pleasant, and it is a good catchphrase for an insurance company. (Traveler's comes in a close second, but they have not had advertisements here for as long, and at the endings of their commercials, a person reaches out of the frame to pull up an umbrella out of where the text is, and that annoys me. But the rest of it, very visually appealing.)

Soda: Coca-Cola. I love their commercials. There are few that I have not liked over the years. This one is probably my favorite. I also especially like one of their most recent ones, which encourages recycling. The ending is precious. (I can not find it on youtube, though.)

Alcohol: Budweizer. I strongly dislike Bud Light's advertisements, but the ones for Budweizer almost always make me smile. I love the ones with the horses especially. Like Coca-Cola, they tend to put out "feel good" commercials, and those work for me. Or, they would, if I were the sort of person who purchased according to what I liked on the television.

Jewelry: Kay Jewelers. With the exception of their recent "In all the years I've been coming here, I've never seen a storm this bad" advertisement, which is just too rediculous for me, their commercials make me tear up. It is all right to be sappy when you are advertising jewelry - they do so without going over the top. Also, Every Kiss Begins with Kay is a clever slogan, and one that they have had for a long time. I do not like it when companies change their slogan, so this puts them even higher in my opinion.

Blessings on your travels,

27 January 2010

Keeping Up

I am only posting because the month is nearly over, and all of last year I posted at least once per month, and I would be unnecessarily upset with myself if I broke that off now.

It is not that I do not have anything about which to write: I do! But I do not have time. Ever. I might get to have a full night's sleep again after the summer quarter is over. Perhaps. But right now, the semester is only just begun (we are currently in the middle of the third week, and only the second week of clinic, so the first barely counted, really) and I am running on empty. I do not know if I can keep this up.

I talked about this feeling with one of my clinical supervisors today. Some people do not like her, but she is one of my favorites because she is blunt. If she thinks you have said something stupid, she will let you know, and that is good for me sometimes. I could not handle it if everyone was that way, but having her tends to be beneficial. I was talking about how I did not know if I could make it another year. She told me to stop thinking about it like that.

"Say, 'I can make it through the end of February'," she said to me. I sighed.
"I can make it through the end of next week...I think," I replied.
She gave me a look. "I can make it through tomorrow," I said decisively.

There are lots of things I want to write about, to tell you about. At the top of my list is some half-formed thoughts about life lessons learned from children's literature, specifically Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. But she shall have to wait, because I have already spent more time that I have available on this post.

Blessings on your travels,

23 December 2009

The Spice of Life

I am a firm believer that basil is the spice of life, despite everyone else insisting that variety has that title.
Pandora keeps telling me that I can add variety to a station, wondering if they might be permitted to show me how to do so. I already know the process, and am simply not interested. But it does cause me to wonder what strange combinations might be found by merging some of my stations.
Byzantine Chant with Iron Maiden, perhaps? Or Journey with Beethoven? Merging my Coldplay station with my The Killers station would be fairly anticlimactic, I am sure. But some others might prove interesting.
Perhaps when I am feeling more bored and adventurous. Possibly when unable to sleep some late night, tired of playing solitaire, I shall add some spice to my apparently drab stations.
Blessings on your travels,

15 December 2009

Winter is Apple Pie Time

I have never associated apple pie with summertime, although many people seem to do so. Summertime is too hot for much cooking - heating up the oven does not make much sense when the air conditioner is trying its hardest to keep the house cool. Winter is when we bake. It has always made sense to me, even when I did not understand about utility bills.

My mother makes the best apple pie crust I have ever had. I make a fairly decent one, following her (incredibly simple) recipe, but she has the touch. Her crust recipe makes a little bit more than needed for the size of pie pans we have, and so part of her making an apple pie was always to also make a cinnamon pie. Cinnamon pie is essentially pie crust rolled out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and baked. It is delicious.

It is also very messy. One of the house rules was that cinnamon pie was to be eaten on the front porch. In the winter. I remember standing out front, all bundled up and shivering, eating cinnamon pie with my sister. Because it was worth the cold.

My mother made apple pie last week, and a cinnamon pie to go with it, of course.

I sat carefully at the table, leaning over my plate and biting ever so gently, and then thanked her for not making me stand outside.

Blessings on your travels,

04 December 2009

Five Things

One: Facebook tells me that today is Josh's birthday. My engagement calendar tells me that Wednesday the ninth is. I am not sure which to believe. My impulse is to believe my engagement calendar, because I have had friends who put down false dates for various reasons. Of course, I do not know why Josh would do that. I also do not know why I would have the wrong date written down. I am more likely to make a mistake about this than Josh is, though. Happy birthday, dear friend.

Two: I have seven school days left until the end of the semester. In that time, I have two days of classes (though only one left of research methods. and the people rejoiced.), two sessions of clinic, one session of APD diagnostics, two final exams, two final projects, and one final presentation. I feel much less overwhelmed than one might expect from that list. I actually feel that that is adequate time for everything and that all will be well at the end of this next week and a half. I certainly am looking forward to break, though.

Three: I am frustrated at my Dad and his constant refusal to try new or unfamiliar things, especially food. "Oh I love Thai food! But I do not like peanut sauce. Or coconut milk. Or curry." "Well, Mexican's all right when your mom makes it," (which means chicken burritos) "but I do not really like Mexican restaurant food." Gah. I love trying new foods and it makes me upset when he will not.

Four: It is freaking cold here, and I miss California. I am all for winter, and snow. But right now it is too cold and too dry to snow, so it is mostly just miserable and windy.

Five: A coworker wants to set me up with another coworker (whom I have met once). I am not sure how I feel about this.

Blessings on your travels,

04 November 2009

It is good that I love my job.

I had a hellish day yesterday. It seems that every time I think that things are evening out and looking up, everything crashes down again. I do not want to post all the details, but essentially I got pulled out by two professors during lunch and told that I am unteachable, have anger and confrontation issues, and that I will not make it in the professional world. Needless to say, it was a lovely conversation full of fluffy bunnies and rainbows and butterflies. And lots of tears and stuttering, too, but that is usually a given with me. So it destroyed pretty much my entire day.

And then I had to go to work at five thirty.

I was not looking forward to it. After my lunchtime discussion I nearly called in and told them I was sick. But I went.

And, wonder of wonders, it made me feel better. Because I love my job. I love the store itself, I love being surrounded by books, I love the music, I love my coworkers and managers, I love (most of) our customers, I love that I get fifty percent off items in the cafe (hot cocoa for a dollar and thirty cents? yes, please!), I even love straightening up at the end of the night.

I realized again last night how grateful I am not not be at Albertson's anymore. It would have destroyed me to have had to go work in the deli last night. I probably would not have made it through. But being at Barnes and Noble gave me energy and some happiness where I had none.

Praise God for small reliefs such as that.

Blessings on your travels,

27 October 2009

Only a Year?

Today marks one year of my being back here. I still do not want to be here, although a lot of healing has happened over the past twelve months. I am more hopeful for the future, now. I think I have grown; I hope I have, at least. It is hard to believe that it has only been a year - it seems so much longer than that. But then again, it also astounds me that it has been a year already. Time has always seemed paradoxical to me, I suppose.

Not much more to say about it, really. But it needed remembering.

Blessings on your travels,

19 October 2009

As Insanity Plateaus

Just a quick update, tonight. Life keeps on going, as it is wont to do. I have settled into what seems to be a good routine. I am finally used to my class/clinic schedule (half-way through the semester), and getting a decent amount of sleep. I love clinic so much, which is encouraging as that is what I plan to be doing for the majority of the rest of my life. I wish I could talk more about clinic, but HIPPA forbids it, so I shall refrain.

I also love my job. It has been a long time since I have been able to say that, and it feels wonderful to be able to do so. For I while I said I loved Albertson's, but that was more of a reaction against ICT than affection for the job itself, and I was really fairly miserable there. But Barnes and Noble! I still get giddy when I think about it. Sometimes I will be there, at night, straightening books on the shelf, and just start giggling, uncontrollable happiness welling up inside of me. It has been a long time since I really enjoyed what I am doing, and it feels nice to have that again.

Acclimating to my schedule also means I now have a tiny bit more free time than I have in the past few weeks. I get to go see Where the Wild Things Are with Glennda tomorrow, and I am incredibly excited about it. It was a defining book of my childhood, and I have only heard good things about it so far. Also, spending time with Glennda is the best part of being in Spokane, so tomorrow evening is doubly lovely for that reason.

I am looking ahead more and more, trying to figure out where my life is headed, where I am going to end up, even just for my hospital internship. I will be applying at hospitals in the Seattle area and the LA area. I think I would be happy in either place - I just do not want to be stuck here. It is still a while out, but planning is a good thing.

I had a good talk with a dear friend last week about healing. It is a difficult thing. I think I will write more on that, later.

Blessings on your travels,

05 October 2009

Missing Torrey

This week I got an email from a professor:
"Congratulations, you earned one of the top four scores on Exam 1 in Neuropath. Nice work!"

This email was addressed to three people (including myself).


I miss Torrey folk, with whom I could have had an amusing, nerdy moment.

Blessings on your travels,

22 September 2009

Why I Am Absent

School is horribly hectic. I have very long days, and a lot of reading and preparation work. I also started clinic last week, which is fun but very very time-consuming. I also started my new job last week, which is wonderful. However, during my application and interview process, it was established that I was looking for twelve to fifteen hours per week; this week I was scheduled for twenty-three. So. That was fun. I had a chat with the scheduling manager tonight, and he apologized and said that he did not realize he had scheduled me for so many hours, and would be sure to keep it around fifteen in the future. But still, fifteen hours is a lot of time. Occasionally I eat and sleep, though not as often or as much as I should. Somewhere in my insane schedule I need to get the second part of my two-step TB test (sounds much more like a dance than it really is), and find some time to get to the chiropractor (I have not been in two weeks. I am in pain, but have had no time to go. Bad things.) On top of school work I have (a lot of) reading for my catechism class that I need to get done, as well as church services Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings in addition to Sunday mornings. I am taking the bus to school, which means that I have to leave my house an hour and fifteen minutes before my eight o'clock class starts (luckily I can be a morning person if needed, and riding the bus allows me a bit of reading time). It also means that I am on a tight schedule for how long I can hang around the school getting things done after class or clinic is over.


I am sure that you can understand why I have not written to inform you about how my graduate studies are going, or how my clients are, or whether I am enjoying my new job. I am hopeful that things will settle down after another week or so (I have two exams next week for which I have not yet begun to study), and then perhaps I will be able to catch up with people.
Be assured, I miss you, and would love to talk. I am sorry I do not have time to do so, but this too shall pass, however painfully (like a kidney stone).

And all will be well.

23 August 2009

On Starting Again

My orientation for my graduate program starts in an hour.
I am excited and nervous and scared to death.


I was going to write more, but that about sums it up, and I do not think I can put the rest of my thoughts and emotions into words right now.

Blessings on your travels,

05 August 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Driving back to Spokane from Seattle is always difficult for me. Interstate Ninety goes across Washington (and all the way to Boston, for that matter), but to get to that freeway I have to drive on the Five South (which stretches from Canada to Mexico) for a few miles. This time was the hardest: a full tank of gas, a good eight hours before I would be missed, enough clothes to get by for a while.

In my head, I know that Seattle is not much closer to LA than Spokane is - only about a hundred and fifty mile difference, since from Spokane one cuts through the middle of Oregon. Pythagorean theorem at work, there. But being on that road, it seems so much closer, so much more possible. Yesterday I cried as, at the last second, I took the exit for I-Ninety. Twice I nearly turned around and went back, ran south.

But I know that I can not go back, not yet. I have school starting soon. I have a job. But two years is so long to wait to be back. So much can happen in that time, and I am so afraid that I will never be able to return. I constantly fear that I am losing my friendships, that I will end up alone.

I am still angry that I was forced to come here. I am still lonely and hurting. I do not know if I will heal from it, because it hurts, awfully. I do not know if I want the pain to lessen, if I want to be comfortable and happy here. I want to go back; I do not want to become complacent here, stuck here forever. I am so scared of that.

Blessings on your travels,