Another One Bites The Dust….

Spring 2011, you were a difficult semester.  And, unfortunately, you are only transitioning into the mad dash of summer thesis-writing.  Honestly, I don’t have any more to give.  Where I’m going to muster up the will to finish this program is beyond me.  If you love writing, never go to graduate school…I loved writing too, once;)  But at least, for now, my final paper and final reflections for Middle Eastern Lit are turned in and I can probably afford a day or two to regain my sanity..or at least, what’s left of it.

I’ve been thinking for the last week or so about a new tattoo.  Recall, if you will, Birthday Adventure #1:

And Birthday Adventure # 2:

2010 was uneventful in terms of body art.  I planned to get another tattoo, but time and money never lined up properly.  My 2008 tattoo was extremely significant; it had been exactly one year since my dad’s emergency bypass surgery and ensuing two-week hospital stay.  It also marked my taking control over my depression and anxiety and seeking treatment.  So, exactly one year from what was undeniably the darkest moment in my entire life, I did something I’d always wanted to do.  On my birthday in 2009, I did it again, forever commemorating my connection with my lineage, paying homage to my folks and indelibly marking myself with pride at who I am.

2010 and–thus far–2011 have proven to be years of challenge and struggle, and I think that, once I’m on the other side of the struggle, it will be time to commemorate in ink my survival again.  I’m thinking either the middle of my back or the inside of my wrist…what do you think?

I Got Nothing…

This is happening right now:

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You may notice that she’s in her harness.  We’re trying to get her used to it as we are working on getting an ultralight camper in the (relatively) near future and we want to be able to take her with us, which would require that she be on the harness/leash pretty constantly.  After half an hour of flopping around like she was dying, she’s discovered that the harness is not a torture device and is contentedly napping between my knees.

Today is supposed to be a thesis-working day, but thus far, I’ve made myself breakfast and watched the DVRed season premier of The Deadliest Catch.  I do intend to work hard on it today, though.  I promise (Dad).

The past few weeks haven’t been so great, honestly.  I need an adjustment to my meds, which won’t be coming until the 29th, and I’m going to have to pay out-of-pocket, which also sucks.  Work has been really stressful, which is both good (we’re getting more business, which is *excellent* for us) and bad (I’m having trouble keeping up with it all). My grandma fell and broke her wrist and her hip and had to have surgery.  We did get a nice weekend in the mountains last weekend, though (pictures to come…it was beautiful).

Unfortunately, this week showed me the ugly side of corporate America.  We had some “restructuring” which didn’t impact me directly, but affected the guy who took a chance on me six years ago and hired me even though I didn’t have any experience and knew nothing about the industry.  He’s a really good man and a good leader, and I feel blessed to have gotten to work for him.  He’ll still be with us, but in a different capacity, and it’s been a really hard thing to process while trying to keep up morale among us.  I still have a job, though, and I am grateful for that.  And I’m even more grateful that I love my team.

I’m also struggling with trying to let go of the desire to accomodate everyone.  I’ve always been that way, and it often leads me into friendships where I care about the other person more than they care about me…which breeds a lot of resentment on my end.  Detaching myself from that is something that I’m vowing to work on.

There’s no detaching me from this right now, though:

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🙂

Monthly Update, I Guess…

Check this out:

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I saw it at Metrolina Expo last weekend….I texted the picture to Joey and he told me to buy it.  So, I did.  It looks better on my wrist anyway:)

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It’s been quite a month here in Chez Weaver.  I’ve deferred my graduation until summer to give me more time to put in a good effort on my remaining class and have another two months after that for my thesis.  That has helped immensely with the stress, but couple that with some work stress that I probably shouldn’t blog about, and it’s been a month of aggravation and futility.  I’m working through it, but for some reason or another, I’m finding it to be more difficult than I have in the past few years.  I’m going to wait until school is done to make sure it’s not just my life circumstances before I start reevaluating my meds, though.

We’re taking a “staycation” this weekend…skipped church today and haven’t gone anywhere and done much.  Yesterday, we did visit the new Grand Asia Market in Stallings, and it was really cool.  They’ve got a restaurant, sushi bar, and bakery and a full grocery store…there was so much stuff I’d never seen before!  Also, their spices are really cheap, so I think we’ll go there from now on to get our spices and some produce.  And, there was like FIFTY kinds of tofu.  AWESOME.  Love me some tofu.  Mostly, though, we’ve relaxed, watched some tv, and worked on school stuff.  I got one of my novels for my thesis re-read yesterday, and I plan to go back through all of the research articles I have on it today.  But right now, I’m having coffee and chilling on the couch with the windows open getting ready to watch Ice Spiders on Syfy:)

I’ve been eating Primally for the past week, and I’ve already lost 8 pounds.  I forgot how easy it is and how much I enjoy it.  Since I’m on the fence as to where I lie on the spectrum concerning the Christian view of the Creation versus Evolution debate, I’m not necessarily married to the Paleo Diet…there will always be room for cheese in my book;).  However, I’ve been impressed by the simultaneous ease of the lifestyle and inventiveness that it inspires with food.  This morning, I made “Primal Panckes” with eggs, almond flour, cinnamon and vanilla.  Topped with warmed strawberries and hand-whipped cream, and you’ve got some tasty goodness for sure. 

Other things I’ve noticed in the past week:

  1. I’ve had a headache (part of what they describe as the “carb flu,’ I think.
  2. However, I’ve had more energy and greater focus.
  3. Much to Joey’s pleasure, I’ve had less gass.
  4. However, my poop has been like rocks (I need more green veggies, methinks)
  5. Sweetened things are waaaay too sweet to me.  I had Joey put 1/2 a pack of Truvia in my coffee this morning, and he’s already done two “warm ups” for me without adding any sweetener.  It was too sweet to begin with.
  6. I’m less hungry in general
  7. I have a better sense of when I am actually hungry as opposed to when I’m simply wanting to eat.

Also, I’m on a self-imposed “Facebook Hiatus.”  I’d been thinking about it for the last three weeks or so, and my friend Shannon posted yesterday that she was doing it.  We texted back and forth about it for most of the day, and I decided to go ahead and do it also.  I’d actually considered deactivating my account entirely, but I’m not ready to take that step yet (I’ve reunited both with my best friend from third grade and my best friend from sixth grade, so I do think there’s a use in Facebook).  However, it can take over your life.  Joey and I are also going back to “dumb phones” next week and getting rid of our data plan (for unrelated reasons), and I’m actually excited about it.  I never thought I would be…but I’m sick of hearing the notification indicator going off, honestly.  Texting with my close friends is good enough for me.

So, there you have it folks.  I’m hoping to blog more often…I miss it…and I think I’m starting to figure out how to navigate these next few months.

Valentine’s Exorcism Fun!

Like my Valentines Day gift?  Now Joey and I both have wedding bands with skulls on them!

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It’s been a day of relaxing so far…watching Maury and waiting for Joey to get back home.  We’re taking advantage of the coupon book that we bought last year and going out to a new place for dinner…I’ve got two picked out, one in Myers Park and one in Dilworth.  We’ll see where we end up.

I have come to the realization that I’m not going to be able to stay sane, lose weight, do well in Middle-Eastern Lit and successfully complete a thesis within the next six weeks.  I got an email about graduation and they actually allow graduate students who have completed all other requirements to do a “summer graduation” at no additional cost.  My thesis would have to be submitted by July 18th…of course I’d have it done before that…I wouldn’t want it hanging over my head before my birthday, but it would give me a couple of additional months to work on it and I could quit doing a half-arsedL job in Middle Eastern Lit and instead really enjoy my last class of the program.  Sounds like a winner to me!  I emailed my advisor yesterday and she’s already let the appropriate people know, and I can’t *tell* you the weight that’s been lifted off me.  I feel like I won’t have to put the whole rest of my life on hold, and honestly, the anxiety had gotten to the point that I was nearly catatonic when I got home from work in the evenings.  Now I can actually spend time with friends and work on taking care of myself, too.

Last night was such an excellent night…we went over to Shannon’s house and hung out by the bonfire with her ad James and her folks.  It was like old times.  I missed that.

2011: A New Year!

Today is going to be a good day!  It’s MLK day, so I’ve got the day off, and the morning is being spent like this:

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I can never pass up a Shellikins on the lap; it’s a rarity for me, since she usually wants to be on Joey all the time.  So, it dawned on me that, because things were so crappy, I’d neglected to post the resolutions I finally came up with for the year.  Here we go!

  1. Further My Education; (1) Graduate, (2) complete PhD applications
  2. Improve my health, fitness, and weight.  (1) reduce takeout to once a week, and make it last two meals if possible.  (2) Plan meals one week in advance. (3) eat mostly paleo and reduce refined carbs, (4) incorporate exercise every day!
  3. Lead a more peaceful life/reduce stress:  (1) Yoga at least once a week, (2) read Bible and pray every day, (3) have one fun outing with Joey every week, (4) establish morning and evening routines, both for myself and with Shelli, (5) incorporate 15 minutes of cleaning the house per day.
  4. Be a better friend/more thoughtful person
  5. Tighten back up financially, (1) the aforementioned reduction in takeout, (2), meal planning (getting our grocery/toiletries budget back down to $50 per week)

In an effort to improve both #2 and #5, we bought a Wii with the Wii Fit Plus package!  It was a bit of a steep up-front cost, yes, but when we did the math, we’ll save about $300 over the year over our memberships to our gym, which just isn’t convenient to us and doesn’t really fit our schedules.  I prefer to workout in the morning, but to do that, I have to get there at 5 am, right when the gym opens.  As much as I’d like to, I just can’t get myself up at 4:40 to be ready to leave at 4:45.  However, I can get up at 4:55 to do thirty minutes in the morning before I get in the shower!  Or even get up at 5 to do 30 minutes since it won’t really hurt to be five minutes later.

Here’s our home-screen:

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Initial thoughts:

  1. I do not appreciate that the little voice goes “Oooh!” when I step on the balance board/scale.
  2. It hurt to see my BMI and have the little voice tell me I’m obese and to imitiately change my Mii (avatar) into the chubby girl you see above.
  3. It’s TOTALLY awesome that you can enter your pet!  Shelli is just under 8 pounds, by the way, which is very healthy for her, so we’re not trying to change her weight with it.  However, she did NOT appreciate being held so that we could get her weight.  She got pretty pissed.
  4. It’s FUN!  It’s really nice to have something to work toward, and the games are great for a workout.  When I played it at my friend Katie’s house over the weekend, I was really sore the next day from the workout that I got…but it doesn’t usually feel like exercise because it’s a game.  Good stuff!

In other news, my prospectus draft has been submitted and I’ve gotten feedback, so the next step is revision and resubmittal, and then hopefully it’ll be good enough for submission to my committee for the meeting.  I’m feeling positive about it now rather than overwhelmed and my advisor is very involved in my progress, so I don’t feel nearly as lost.  Middle Eastern Lit has been interesting so far; I’ve read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, which was thought provoking and made me uncomfortable with my own thoughts/beliefs and assumptions.  That’s the sign of a good book, my friends; confronting uncomfortable realities isn’t a bad thing.  Too many people shy away from it.

That’s all; Maury is about to come on!

I Want To Go Camping…

So, I had a little free time today and one of my blog recommendations in Google Reader was for an ultralight backpacking blog.  I have such a romantic idea of camping, so it was probably a mistake that I spent so much time there, because now I have this horrible yearn for some peace and quiet and a tent by a creek. 

Eventually, I’d at least like to get to a lightweight backpacking level, if not ultralight, although I doubt I’ll make it that far because it seems that things like TP are considered to be extra weight.  I don’t care where I’m pooping, folks…I’m going to have some TP.  However, the idea of being able to pack my tent and sleeping bag in my backpack and go.  However, for now, I’m pretty thrilled with car camping:)

Isn’t that view from inside the tent cool?  I really loved fall camping, even if it was cold and wet (we had sleet and ice sheets falling off the tent).  We probably won’t be able to go until May, when I’m done with my classes (there’s not much room for the “distance” aspect of “Distance Ed” with these, unfortunately), but I’m already looking up campgrounds!

And, with a camp-chef like Joey, I know we’ll eat well!

In other news:

  • I had a very pleasant surprise upon filling out my graduation checklist.  I’ve just got one more class and my thesis to go!  Time flies when you’re miserable and overworked!
  • I’ve got to be honest…I’m just not really enjoying literature from India.  It’s either too dry and mundane, or there’s incest.  Weird.
  • It is currently snowing.  The yard is now covered, but the news people are still saying that there won’t be any accumulation on roadways and there probably won’t be much ice tomorrow.  Balls to that.  I really wanted a snow day.
  • I miss the Olympics.
  • My VITA-MIX came!!!!  But I’m afraid of it:(.  I think that its massive power is overwhelming me.  I think I’m going to make a smoothie in the morning to take to work, though.  I could use something that doesn’t make my insides beg for mercy.
  • I’m so freaking ready for James to go home.  THAT’S going to be the camping trip of the ages when he gets back.
  • I have  been a slack knitter. 

Mommeh, you should knit less and play with me more.  And feed me more.  And watch me eat.  And wait for me to want attention.  If you would just do that, I would never, ever sharpen my claws on the furniture…

Fitting It All In…

This has really been an excellent weekend, albeit there’s been a lot on my plate.  I mistakenly scheduled two of my big presentations for classes on the same week, and I had to spend most of the weekend working on the paper that was due Friday and then the presentation for today (and now I’m furiously reading a novel for the other class so that I can do my other roll for the week).

However, I also made sure to take time for myself and for fun; there’s been much knitting!  I finished my mom’s scarf, so I got to give that to her for Valentine’s Day.

I’m working on this pattern for my Olympics project…isn’t it cool??  I’m partway up the first sleeve, so I’m hoping to finish my novel early enough today that I’ll have plenty of knitting time (since I haven’t perfected turning pages with my toes yet;)).  We’re mailing James’s present tomorrow, so I’ll be able to post my most recent knitted project soon!

We got five inches of snow Friday night!!

It was SO beautiful!  The drive home from the in-laws’ house was pretty harrowing Friday night because none of the roads were treated, but it was the perfect kind of snow…soft, powdery, beautiful, and mostly melted by later Saturday afternoon.  The kids got to play and build snowmen, but the roads were totally fine by Sunday morning!  We piled up and stayed in and watched MST3K and the Olympics while I knitted and did school stuff!

Joey and I really aren’t that big on Valentine’s Day…I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s like Christmas with the commercialism.  We’ve done gifts in the past (one year, Joey bought me an organic cotton shirt from the Mutts Comic website with Mooch and Earl on it that said “Saving the world, one kitty at a time”), but usually we just wait until the weekend after V-Day and go to a new restaurant as a special night.  We’ll have to pick someplace this week:).

Last night, we had two of my girlfriends over, Shannon and Katie, and we did an Italian FEAST for them, with salad, buttered whole-grain bread, baked ziti, and tiramisu.  We just hung out and knitted and watched the Olympics; it was great!!

On the dockett for today:  Hobby Lobby for some yarn, grocery shopping, and then reading, reading, reading, and more reading!  Also, I’m looking for a new devotional book…anyone have any suggestions?

Here’s a send-off pic of my little baby Valentine:)