Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shooting Up

No, not like THAT. Tonight's shot night. I know I mentioned in another post that I have health issues. Well, to be specific, I have A health issue: rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I was diagnosed one month short of two years ago. It's almost my anniversary lol. RA is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system goes a bit nuts and attacks the joints and the tissues around the joints, primarily. No known cause, no known cure. Lol, my body sure can pick 'em huh? My causal theory is genetic predisposition (which come to find out there is...waaay back in my family tree) triggered by some sort of physical stress (for me, losing 60 lbs in 3 mths MIGHT have done the trick...silly emotional turmoil affecting the physical!) If left untreated, RA can progress to a system-wide chronic inflammatory disorder. Lucky for me, I'm getting great treatments! Two of which are injectable in form: Enbrel and methotrexate. The combination of these wonderful drugs is what has me in remission.

Enbrel is what they call a biologic: it targets a specific response of my immune system and shuts it down. Which means it's easier for me to catch colds and stuff, supposedly. I haven't had any issue with it yet (knock on wood), but I try to be careful anyway. Methotrexate is actually a drug they use in chemotherapy with cancer patients. I take a much MUCH lower dose than that, but the drug is the same.

To be clear, remission in RA does not mean the disease goes away...just that it is successfully managed so as to cause the least amount of pain/discomfort. My joints are still stiff for 5-10 minutes in the morning, and my elbows will never be the same...especially the right one, which doesn't straighten all the way anymore. Good thing I'm tall...I can still reach things on high shelves! Lol. My ankles and my knees don't do very well with high impact...walking's ok, but for exercise I use a stationary bike: absolute lowest impact of any cardio machine I've found yet! All in all, there are so many diseases that could be and are a load worse than the one I've got. Yes, it's still a pain in the ass, and yes sometimes it still frustrates the hell out of me when I can't do something I used to be able to do...but the other day I opened a new jar of jelly all by myself, and the week before that, a new jar of pickles! When at one point I couldn't even pull socks on my feet because it hurt both my feet and my hands/wrists too badly, every accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how small, and no matter how long I've been in remission. At least, that's what I have to keep reminding myself when I start getting truly frustrated and, yes, occasionally depressed about the whole thing. But that doesn't happen as often as it did! I'm slowly coming to terms with my new limits...but that doesn't mean I'm giving in! I still push the envelope, so to speak, and sometimes that works out fine, and other times I have a flare.

A flare means the remission is over, temporarily. Then I do whatever I can to undo the reason for the flair--take it easy for a day, relieve some stress, cut salt waaay down in my diet, use heat packs, whatever! Then the medicine kicks back in and does its job.

Which brings me back to the prompt for this blog. Tonight is shot night. I have a sure-click (think like an epi-pen) of Enbrel, and a syringe and vial of methotrexate. The Enbrel I push a button and endure while it dispenses the medicine into my leg with a highly painful burning sensation. Four deep, slow breaths, and generally it's over. Then I get to measure out the methotrexate into the syringe and inject it into my leg. I HATE that part. I will never understand how people can shoot up for recreational drug use...the action of sticking a needle into your own flesh is sooo counterintuitive that even now, after almost a full year of this medication, I still take AT LEAST 5 counts of 1-2-3 to inject. Gah. My stomach's always in knots for the hour that I let the Enbrel reach room temp (it has to be kept refrigerated), not because I'm afraid of the shots, but because I know they're going to hurt and there's not a damn thing I can do. Then comes the day or two of low-level nausea and bone-deep weariness. I attribute the nausea to the methotrexate, and the weariness to the Enbrel...but I can't tell for sure. I take them both on the same night, at the recommendation of my rheumatologist, to get it all over with on the same day. The positive thing is when we decide to have a kid I have to go off all of my medication...which means any nausea then could be a pregnancy sign! Lol. Oh, and RA goes into remission during pregnancy, though it often comes back worse after the baby's born...but that's ok...we're gonna risk it at least once!

Anyway, all of that said, these drugs truly are wonderful. Within 2 months of starting Enbrel (almost a year and a half ago) I could walk normally, put on my socks and shoes by myself, and handle buttons with ease! After 3 months on the methotrexate (it took a bit longer to kick in) I was just about up to the level of remission I'm in now! Which is to say, the disease is still there, but I can function pretty much normally. Granted, I'll never be able to work out like I did in high school again--with my elbows, lifting weights is problematic and I'll be hard-pressed to ever do a push-up again, and my knees and ankles pretty much rule out bleachers and even regular running. But that won't keep me from living my life to the fullest, getting back in shape (I am DETERMINED!!! lol), and being the best me I can be! As corny as that last sounds, I am determined to find out what that means, on all levels--because that, friends, is self-knowledge.

Throughout this whole process, my family has been supersupportive and loving. However, noone has done quite as much for me as my husband. He was the one to help me put on socks and shoes the holiday season after I got diagnosed. He pushes me when I'm giving in too easily--physically and emotionally--and holds me when I've done all I can, and when it all gets to be just that much too much. He has helped me see all the ways in which I can still be useful, helped me find my new definition of useful, and just basically has been so all-around wonderful with all of this that I don't know how I would have gotten through it without him. I'd have gotten through, but the journey would have been much more hellish. I sure do love that man! :-)

On that uplifting and positive note, it's time for me to go "shoot up". I realize this post was not quite in the same vein as my other just thinking posts, but it's what was on my mind tonight. Nor should this blog be read as a definitive definition or description of RA...that's why I included the link to the Arthritis Center's Disease Center RA page ;-). This is just what was running through my mind tonight.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Age of Unbelieving

AMC is showing Bedknobs and Broomsticks tonite. I loved this movie when I was a kid, and watching it now, I realize how good it really is! There's a lot of history, some mythology, and all around fun all thrown together. The animation reminds me a GREAT deal of the Jungle Book and Robin Hood...which is one of my FAVORITE movies of all time. There was one point in particular in Bedknobs and Broomsticks that made me start thinking.

There's a song, towards the beginning of the movie, that talks about the Age of Unbelieving. For some reason, that struck a cord with me. In today's world, children are encouraged to grow up (in my opinion) way too soon. Their imaginary friends are discouraged, their daydreams torn down, and their creativity put into boxes that are "acceptable". I think this is a shame. Granted, the Age of Unbelieving comes to each child at a different point. But why the insistence on it coming soon?

I remember believing with all my heart that all I had to do was stumble across the right wardrobe, hidden door, secret room, etc., and I would be transported to another world. I would make plans as to what I would do once I found myself I would blend in, who I would talk to, what my course of action would be, and the like. I also never doubted the existence of dragons, fairies, magic, talking animals, or mental abilities (telepathy, telekinesis, and so forth). I listened to fairy tales with the utmost attention and intensity. When I could read, I devoured science fiction and fantasy stories, the one that finally engulfed me (and does to this day) the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey.

Of course, with time, I reached the Age of Unbelieving. Except, I didn't. I realized that the fantastical things I read about were confined to the pages of my books and to the realm of my imagination, but part of me to this day will not give up on their existence. In the back of my mind, beyond logic and education, I still believe in dragons, magic, and all the rest. How can I not? The world would be a much less satisfying and mysterious place, if therein did not exist magic and its creatures! And so, though I'm way past the Age of Unbelieving, I choose to believe.

Yes, I know they're not real. But why can't they be? At least in the realm of belief. After all, belief doesn't always reflect reality. So, why should children be discouraged from believing? Eventually they'll reach the Age of Unbelieving, and realize their daydreams aren't real in the traditional sense. That the dragons, fairies, magic, other worlds, all of it, exist only in their heads. But, in the incredibly potent and apt words of Dumbledore (via J.K. Rowling), "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry (substitute your name for Harry's), but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Anyways, I was just thinking.

***Note: I realize there might be some confusion regarding my "Dumbledore via J.K. Rowling". If you see the character as the product of the author, then technically it should be J.K. Rowling via Dumbledore. However, if you see the author as giving life to a character that was simply waiting for their pen stroke, then truly the author is the medium through which the character's words are delivered. Guess which point of view I ascribe to? :-)***

One of Those Moments of Clarity

It's interesting how the past interacts with the present, and how the past can show up in the present. It makes you think.

In a previous post, I mentioned a former friend. I heard something about them the other day--life is funny sometimes--and from all accounts, their life seems like it is going to be a very difficult one. Upon hearing this, I realized something. I no longer feel any pain, anger, or hurt from their past actions. When I think about the past, about that former friend, I actually pity them...they don't understand so much about life, the right things to do, or healthy relationships/friendships. When I heard about them and their life the other day, I felt sad for them. Sad! After so much time of feeling hurt and angry! I've finally moved beyond all of it, am so far removed that it feels like another life. In realizing all of this, I realized I actually wish them well. I never wished for ill to happen--I'd never wish that for anyone--but now, I actually hope that this former friend will come to understand that they have the ability to be a better person, and I hope that realization will lead them into healthy relationships and a better, happier life. I know I'll probably never know if this comes about or not, but that doesn't matter. I don't need to. In my moment of clarity, I found a deep-seated peace about all of it that's been coming on for awhile now. In a twisted way, I'm actually grateful for what happened--not that they showed themselves to be a bad person/friend--but that through the whole experience, I became a stronger person, and my relationship with my husband became so much stronger and closer.

Speaking of my wonderful man, he surprised me by coming home early today! It was such a wonderful surprise. I'll wake him up from his nap soon. Poor guy's worked 50-60 hours a week for the past couple of weeks--big project at work just kicked off! After I wake him up, I'll make us dinner, and then we'll spend the evening reading together, playing with the pups, maybe watch a movie...who knows? It's Friday night after all!

Another thing I'm at peace about--I start school in a month! A month from this very day, I will be helping challenge and shape the minds of young students! I'm so excited. I'll be helping add to the family coffers, so to speak, and finally be starting the next stage of life. Grad school wraps up this next week, and I should have my degree conferred by the beginning of August.

My classes are going well, my career is about to start, and my marriage is incredibly happy and so much fun! I feel very blessed. My life is wonderful, and the future is bright!

Anyways, I was just thinking!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Strawberries and Blackberries

To me, no other fruit means summer quite like these two fruits. Except maybe dewberries/raspberries. Watermelon also has its place. But strawberries and blackberries seem to carry all the sweetness of summertime, with the tartness that (to me) mirrors the sting of the sun during a Texas summer. What brought that up?
I just ate a plate of strawberries and blackberries for lunch...and it was wonderful! Driscol fruits are amazing.

It made me remember when I was a kid, and my little brother and I would go pick blackberries and dewberries from the vines that grew on the back of our fence. Now, behind our fence is a neighborhood--manicured lawns, beautiful houses. The wild berry vines don't grow there anymore. And the trees we used to picnic under so we could get out of the house have pretty much all been cut down. Some still stand, but they are no longer part of the woods we'd ride our bikes through on exploratory trips to the bayou. Now, our childhood summers weren't the summers of our parents and grandparents...but they were pretty neat. We'd stay outside all day. We'd hang out together, but little brother would also go play with his friends and I would go up in our backyard fort with a book. Not a whole lot has changed in that respect lol...I'd still rather go hole up somewhere with a book!

It's nostalgic, thinking about how much has changed where we grew up. And how much has changed in the world in general...parents today wouldn't dare let their kids go for an unattended bike ride through some woods leading to the bank of a bayou! I hope our kids will be able to have a childhood that incorporates the outdoors and summertime. That said, I'm glad it was another time when we grew gave us lots of great memories.

They are fun memories. I guess the combination of the blackberries and the fact that my little brother rolled his car this morning in Colorado brought them back. He's fine, the car's not. He's mad at himself, but only bruised up a bit with one cut. Thank God. I believe everything happens for a reason, and that what's meant to be will be. I'm just glad little brother walked away. It's funny how much we've grown up, and how much he will always be the little brother I want to protect and take care of...even when I know I have to let him make his own decisions and mistakes. But I'll always love him.

Later today I think I'll go buy some more strawberries and blackberries...that way I can still taste summer even if all the rain is keeping us indoors.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


One of the graduate classes I'm in right now is a philosophy course. It's focus is philosophy of education, but my professor (who I've had before and LOVE) is never content to stay only within the focus. He challenges us to explore all aspects of our class. With this in mind, our first book this semester--Sophie's World--was an introductory philosophy text couched within a fictional story. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in philosophy, loves to read fiction, and doesn't want to take a philosophy class.

In this class, we discuss books after reading them via an online discussion board. The two books that followed--Nel Noddings' Philosophy of Education and Dr. Slattery's Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era--were equally engaging, if more academic than the first.

One statement that I made apparently kicked off a side discussion. In my essay, I emphasized the questioning part of the philosophical process, and how that aspect can be applied to every aspect of our lives. My position was that questioning can only strengthen things in our lives, and aide in our pursuit of self-knowledge, which to me is one of the most important things to achieve.

Well, did that generate some feedback! I had questions asking what it was ok to question, what it was appropriate/useful to question, what I was questioning currently, etc. All of these questions I answered, clarifying my position.

In regards to what it is ok to question: EVERYTHING. From personal perception, to relationships, to religion, nothing should be held above being questioned. Too many times, the hesitancy to question comes from a fear that finding what we believe is either wrong, or built upon misconceptions. This only serves to perpetuate a lack of self-knowledge. Questioning things reveals inconsistencies and fallacies, and once those are revealed, they can be confronted and corrected. I'm not saying it's a comfortable or easy process...but it is a very worthwhile and rewarding one to go through.

In regards to what is appropriate/profitable to question: This is a bit more complicated. I'll deal with appropriate first. To answer a question with a question: Who defines what is appropriate? Society? Our background? How we were raised? I don't think it is ok to allow any of that to determine whether or not we question something. What is appropriate to question is whatever the individual feels needs to be questioned. Allowing other influences to determine what is appropriate is allowing other people to dictate the direction of your life journey, which I feel is a dangerous thing to allow to happen. As far as what is profitable, again, who determines that? My answer is the same...that choice is up to the individual.

Yes, I realize that saying it is up to the individual that it opens the door to people choosing not to question anything, ever. Or to conform to society's expectations in regards in what to question. But that's the right of the individual to choose. That said, I do wish more people would undertake the challenge to challenge their beliefs about their lives.

Another note about questioning that one of my classmates brought up: the motive behind questioning. This point made me pause, because for me, questioning has always had the purpose of strengthening. He pointed out that some people use questioning to destroy or to create division and bad feelings. I honestly hadn't considered that. That motivation turns questioning into something harmful. Basically, questioning is a tool and a process...and as such, can be used for the aforementioned negative reasons or for good and healthy reasons--growth, strengthening, self-knowledge. It's also important to figure out the right questions to ask in a given situation.

As for the question as to what I'm questioning now, I didn't answer that on the discussion board. Partly because I think the person meant as far as my educational philosophy, and since that's in a constant state of flux, I didn't really have an answer. In regards to what I'm questioning personally, I didn't feel like sharing that with my philosophy class! Lol. But this, this is a good forum for it.

I'll start with what I'm NOT questioning. Who I am. Who my friends are. My relationship with my wonderful, loving husband. My family relationships. Basically, my relationships with the people in my life, and with myself, are sound and strong. :-)

What I AM questioning: my religion. Ok, be careful with how you read that! I am NOT questioning my FAITH--I am a Christian. I believe in God, and that Jesus died for my sins. That said, I'm questioning quite a bit about how Christianity is practiced today. I haven't been able to find a church home for several years, either because the preacher does not meet my expectation (I like preachers that put things in historical context and delve into the original meanings of words) or the general atmosphere does not encourage any questioning or deviation from the group mindset. If this post tells you anything about me, it's that I don't like environments that stifle questions or insist on blind acceptance.
I was also a Religious Studies minor in college, and learned a great deal about the history of Christianity. I know that many things that churches claim are "Biblical doctrine" are actually tradition that formed because of the choices made at the First Council of Nicea. Which isn't a bad thing at just makes me wary of accepting "doctrine" blindly. And it also makes me question how much of that is applicable to today. That said, I do believe in the Bible...I just believe that it was a product of man, inspired by God, and as such is not infallible. (See what I mean? My questions can get me into trouble!) I do think that what I call the "red text"...that is the words of Jesus/God...are the core of instruction on faith and how a Christian should live. Not that I'm perfect and always manage that, but hey, the only one who ever did was the Son of I'm ok with not being perfect.
I also really like certain Eastern religious traditions and philosophies. Taoism has aspects that I really enjoy, in particular. So, I'm in the process of trying to reconcile my faith with my religious questions and inclinations, and trying to find a church home where I can be a part of a community who is open to new ideas and to questions.
Should be easy, right? :-P

Well, that's about it for tonight I think. I'm going to go finish laundry, make sure the dogs are good to go for the night, and spend some time with my hubby before we crawl into bed! I do hope, if anyone's reading this, that you won't be afraid to question things in your life as you feel the need.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Girls, Guys, and Friendship

The past couple of days, I keep getting questions regarding whether or not guys and girls can be just friends. At first, I just ignored it as one of those questions that inevitably pops up from time to time. After all, I can't count how many times my mom and I have had this conversation since I was literally in junior high. So, when the first instance arose, I passed over it as just another occurrence in the line of occurrences of this question. But then the question came up again today. And I started thinking about how my answer to it has progressed over the years.

As I attempt to formulate my answer, I would like to be clear: when I say "relationship" I mean a committed relationship, not a casual dating relationship.

Originally, I thought that girls and guys could be friends without any problem. That train of thought lasted up until college. By that time I started realizing that they guy-girl friendship dynamic was way more complicated than I had imagined. At least, it is when one or both of the people in question are in a relationship. When a single guy and a single girl are friends, then there aren't any complicating factors, other than potential feelings that might develop...but then both of them are free to pursue those if they choose. And after all, the best relationships start out as friendships.

However, when a romantic relationship exists on the part of one or both outside of the friendship, there is the potential for problems. Some may ask, why? I mean, presumably if the individuals in question are in a relationship, then they are committed to that relationship and won't let a friendship interfere. That's what I used to think. Now I know it's nowhere near that simple.

What could I possibly mean? Well, let's set up a scenario. John and Mary are in a relationship. John has a friend, Marcy, with whom he hangs out fairly often. Now, to examine the potential problems. Mary and John are in a fight/rough spot/long distance relationship/whatever. John talks with Marcy about the situation. Marcy gives John advice. John leaves this exchange feeling better. Not a problem at first glance. However, it happens a second time. And then a third. Gradually, Marcy becomes John's sounding board...a position that should by Mary's. In a relationship, it is important for the people to communicate their frustrations and feelings to one another, to keep that connection there. What John has done is take that connection Marcy. This makes him feel even more distant from Mary, and Mary probably senses this. If Mary is aware of Marcy, and knows that John is investing more time in their friendship than in Mary and his relationship, feelings of jealousy and hurt may surface. That can damage John and Mary's relationship more, and if left unresolved, can turn the whole thing into a downward spiral.

Another situation, same cast. John and Mary have a great relationship, but do not share many interests. Marcy and John share quite a few interests. So, Marcy and John pursue these interests together, leaving Mary to do her thing. The shared interests create a bond between Marcy and John that John and Mary do not have. They spend a great deal of time together pursuing these interests, and Mary spends more time alone. This can lead to John and starting to enjoy Marcy's company more than Mary's, and lead to him feeling more of a connection with Marcy. Mary can feel left out, hurt and resentful that John shares this bond with another girl instead of her. Either way, a sense of distance may once again enter into the relationship between Mary and John.

To be clear, John could easily be a Jill, Mary a Mark, and Marcy a Matt. I simply chose the cast I did because, in my experience with this question, it seems that it is more often the friendship between a girl and a guy that causes issues in the relationship between said guy and his girlfriend rather than vice versa.

Basically, the problem with having friends of the opposite sex when you're in a relationship is the potential for your significant other to take the back seat to those friends (not just once or twice, but repeatedly and often), both emotionally and in time spent. When you're in a relationship your significant other should be your relational priority when compared to your friendships (obviously, I'm not talking about familial relationships here...just friendships).

In a guy-girl friendship, the person in the relationship needs to be extremely careful not to cross the emotional intimacy line with the friend (or the physical...but that should go without saying) and to be very aware of the feelings of that friend. If you're in a relationship and your friend of the opposite sex starts developing feelings for you, you need to be paying attention in order to be aware of that. And then, for the sake of your relationship, you need to back off of that friendship. Also, if the person is a true friend, they will watch themselves as well, and give the advice of a true friend when asked about relationship issues: you should talk to your significant other about this.

If they don't give this advice, they are probably not as good a friend as they pretend to be. Members of both genders are sometimes only out for what they want, and have no issues with interfering with someone else's relationship in order to attain their desires. Personally, I think this character trait is much more common in girls than guys, and the guys I've talked to don't seem to realize that girls can be so devious.

All that said, issues of all kinds arise in relationships, both from the inside and the outside. Those arising from the inside can be just as dangerous--lack of communication, lack of listening, etc.--as outside factors. Issues are normal...every relationship deals with them. The big thing to remember is that issues need to be talked about in order to find resolution. Not every relationship is meant to last, but good issue resolution can help give relationships their best shot, and can help those relationships that are meant to be to stay healthy and happy.

Now, I don't intend for all of this to imply that I don't think guy-girl friendships can exist and be healthy. I have guy friends, and my husband has friends that are girls. The whole point of my thought-ramble is that these friendships can be more complicated than they first appear, and can endanger a couple's relationship if care is not taken.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Starfish and sparrows

Faith and hope.

To me, that is always what starfish and sparrows have represented. Or at least, they have since the sixth grade when we read Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle (awesome book). The other day, I was trying to figure out which represented what. I saw a sparrow flying, and that kicked off the thinking.

I guess I should start by defining what faith and hope mean to me, respectively. Faith is trust. Hope is belief, or choosing to believe. Now some might say that they really are the same thing...or that faith is belief moreso than hope. Those are valid points of view. Mine just happens to be different. Faith is an action, hope an attitude.

Did you know that sparrows mate for life? Well, I don't know that they do in actuality, but in literary tradition they do. To me, for a little bird that faces all of the dangers in the world--hawks, cars, windows--to mate for life, takes hope. A choice to believe that their mate will return safely to them everyday, that they will make a life together. These little birds live with hope.

Starfish then represent faith. It's not a default delegation, but rather has it's own reasoning too. I once heard the story (as many people have, I'm sure) of the little girl walking along the beach, throwing beached starfish back into the waves to save them. An older man came up and asked her if she thought she could really make a difference...after all, there were hundreds of starfish on that beach. The girl looked at the starfish she was holding, looked back at the man, and flung the starfish out into the water. As it splashed back into the waves, she said quietly "I made a difference to that one." Ok, so I know the moral of the story is that every act of kindness makes a difference, no matter how limited or small in scope. That is not the purpose of my retelling the story though. It seems to me, those starfish would have to have a lot of faith...trusting that someday, someone would throw them back into the ocean. Even though the odds are against them, starfish choose to trust in the good in the world, and in the individual. Thus, starfish live with faith.

That might not be the deepest analysis of why sparrows represent hope and starfish represent faith, but then it doesn't really need to be deep. And yes, it anthropomorphizes sparrows and starfish completely, but I'm allowed to do that too. It is, after all, my brain, and my reasoning.

To make a connection to real life, I think marriage requires both a starfish and a sparrow outlook. In marriage, you believe, hope that you and your spouse will remain safe in this life, and that the two of you will make a wonderful life together. You choose to trust that your spouse will keep your heart safe, honor their vows, and support you as you walk through life together. And vice versa.

Of course, marriage has other aspects than just these two--things like love, the deep, abiding kind, respect, commitment, etc. And of course, the greatest of all of these is love. But I think faith and hope are tied for a close second.

Anyways, I was just thinking.

***On a slightly morbid note, our bird dog caught a sparrow mid-flight the other day, and snapped its neck. It was a great catch, and I was a proud mama, even though I started crying like a little girl.***

Friday, July 18, 2008

Life Stages

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine. We've known each other for several years and she helped me through a rough time, even if she wasn't as loyal at the time as I would have liked. But we got past all that and she's a good friend, even if we now live in two different cities and don't really see each other. We keep up with each other via Facebook and MySpace and occasional phone calls. It wasn't so much the content of the conversation, but the conversation itself that started me thinking.

I am at the point between life stages.

I'm not in college anymore, even though I'm finishing up my grad degree. (Technically I should be writing my final paper now as it's due Monday. But, I have the weekend for that.)

That said, I'm also not working. I start in a month. Almost to the day actually. I start unofficial training Aug 16, official training/prep time Aug 18th, and the kids come Aug 25th. Until then, I'm a grad student and housewife, which I must say is quite the position to get used to! Not the student part...I've been doing that for 5 years. The housewife part has been an adjustment...not that I didn't clean and launder when hubby and I lived together before, but now that he's working, it's only fair that I do all (or at least most) of the household stuff. And I don't mind's actually a nice routine...but sometimes I wish for something a bit more productive. I just hope my hubby was listening when I told him that this is all going to change when I start teaching! Ok, not ALL of it, but it's definitely going to be more of a team effort on the home front.

I'm married, and it's wonderful, but (unlike quite a few couples our age) we don't have any kids other than the pups and (also unlike quite a few couples our age) we won't for 4-5 years. Aside from my health reasons, we want to make sure we're financially set (not ready...I've been told you're never ready lol) before we bring a little one into the world. I'm looking forward to it being just me and my hubby for awhile yet ;-). That said, it's making it hard to find a church-home where there is a group of people our age at our place in life. So many babies! Lol. But being married is the best experience and adventure I've ever had, and I've had some adventures!

And as for what prompted this blog, I feel like I'm in-between groups of friends as well. Not that I ever really did well with "groups" of friends--my one attempt at it led to a disaster. And it's not that I don't have friends, and good ones, right now. There's my hubby, my two best friends, and our couple friend (as in, two friends that are a couple). A lot of my hubby's coworkers who are also our friends are filtering back into the area, but they're all going to be working. I guess I'm just waiting to fill in our circle of friends with people of my acquaintance--again with the theme of being in-between.

On that note, it's just interesting how the people that make up your life shift and change...and how they don't. Of my college friends, many have drifted away, either through moving or just growing apart. I hope life is treating them well. One, through their unrepentant betrayal, is no longer a friend. A few have remained good friends despite the distance and the growing. Even fewer became lifelong friends, that neither distance nor time can take away. It's funny though, through all the interconnections in life I still hear about all of them from time to time, and even from most of them. And of course, family is always there...and mine just got bigger! It's nice to be able to keep in touch with the people from your past...even if it sometimes leads to a melancholy blog like this one when one reflects on precisely where one is in life right now.

Well, melancholy isn't really the right word. Pensive would be a good substitute. I don't feel melancholy at all...quite the opposite in fact! Life is wonderful...I'm cuddling with my puppies, the kitchen is clean, my schoolwork (except the aforementioned paper) is done, my wonderful hubby will be home soon, and we're going to try to go see The Dark Knight this weekend. And even if I'm in between stages now, the world keeps turning and soon enough I'll find myself flung into the next stage. So, I'll enjoy the in between time while it lasts and use it to prepare for the next stage of my life!

Anyways, I was just thinking.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I've had several blog-type pages over the last five years. My first, a Xanga, I shut down because it was written during a time in my life that was painful, and though I cherish the lessons I learned through that whole mess, I didn't want to rehash it every time I went to blog.

My second blog accidentally got deleted.  It chronicled my study abroad experience in Spain the summer before my senior year of college. Once I got back to Texas, I decided to stop using that blog--it existed as an unadulterated record of a wonderful time in my life, and I hate that it is gone.

This blog I'm really setting up for those occasions on which I feel like rambling on my current thoughts. That's not to say bits and pieces of life events might not make it in (often they are what kick off my ramblings), but this is really just so that I can vent, celebrate, and contemplate without having to keep a strict logical order to things. Fair warning: that means this blog has the potential to cover any and all topics that cross my mind! So here goes!


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