Friday, May 18, 2007

Official move

Ok, even though I'm not thrilled with how it looks, all posting will be happening here from now on. Update your blogrolls and bookmarks!

Various things

I'll be moving here soon. I know, it's very exciting. I hate the colors and the only link I have is to West of the Boulevard (coincidentally, the one switching me over there happens to run West of the Boulevard...). But it will be up to my liking soon I hope.

The first students I ever taught have their 8th grade formal this weekend. It's nuts that they will be going to high school next year. I can't wait to see all of the wonderfully awkward pictures that will surely be taken.

I had to buy new workout clothes because the ones I have ARE TOO BIG. If that isn't a victory, I don't know what is.

I can walk today. This is very unexpected after BodyCombat. Nevermind that I'm walking as if I were 9 months pregnant.

I have a very exciting evening planned. I'm going to the gym soon. Then I will get dinner and watch T.V. while I eat it. Then I will go to bed. It's sure to be a rip-roaring good time!

Tagged

So, I've been tagged and I need to post 7 random things about myself and then tag 7 other people to do the same. Here we go, here we go now.

1. My first thought when I got my diploma from UR was, "Ha ha! I've tricked them all!"
2. I love looking at maps but I cannot read them.
3. I'm obsessed with people's triceps and I'm convinced that everyone else's are better than mine.
4. I think all of my friends are incredibly good looking.
5. I rarely take medicine when I have a headache.
6. Kate is my oldest friend who I still see on a semi-regular basis. We met in 3rd grade. Which was almost 18 years ago. W.T.F.
7. I cry whenever I watch the end of The Color Purple.

There you have them. I will do my tagging later so I can make wise, unexpected choices. CAN YOU HANDLE THE SUSPENSE!?!?!?!?!?!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

TMJ update (because I knowing you are all dying to get the latest)

Well, it's been over week since the Gum Chewing Punishment set in. I called the dentist last night and left a pitiful message asking them to call me back as soon as they could. I meant that as around 9:00am. They took it as 6:42am. At least they are efficient.

Anyway, I can't get in until Wednesday afternoon. All they are going to do is tell me that I need a NightGuard. The same NightGuard that my insurance still won't pay for. Luckily I have some black market connections so I might be able to get one eventually. I'm basically going in the hopes of getting an official diagnosis of *something* and some advice on how to deal with the pain in general. Until then I've been ordered to not chew gum and to avoid any foods that can't be sufficiently mushed up with my tongue. Awesome.

Butt Status: Kicked

I went to BodyCombat at Gold's Gym tonight. It's basically a lot of shadow boxing and jumping around and kicking and what not. Oh, and dying. Did I mention the dying? Dying for a solid hour and then much soreness follows the dying. It was great.

One thing I've learned from trying out several of the classes at Gold's is that I'm not much of "move around person." Sure, I exercise, but that typically takes the shape of running or riding a bike. The classes I feel the most confident in involve balancing, stretching, and holding ridiculous positions for a long period of time. Things requiring me to move more than two limbs at a time while running/jumping I find to be very difficult. Still, I press on and I think I'm a good sport. I know I looked absolutely ridiculous punching and kicking-it was pretty obvious that I have never been in anything that even resembled a fight (slapping, scratching fights of my childhood don't count). The whole time it was like my arms and legs were saying, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!" But, it was really fun and I think I'll go back. Once I can walk again.

No, I'm still not going back to BodyJam. Dancing around other people is not something that will help my self-confidence and I'm sure my lack of rhythm is very distracting for the other students.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Pity Party is Over!!! (...for now)

I walked into the bathroom this evening, about to step into the shower after this evening's trip to the gym, and what did I find (or not find)? The scale. Ross has hidden it. I think that's a pretty strong message. I have very strong OCD tendencies and they have all been chanelled into weighing myself 5,436 times a day. Ross knows this and knew that extreme measures had to be taken. So, it's gone. I can't find it. Believe me, I looked. But as he said, "We don't need that anymore." We know we're doing the right things and that should be enough encouragement.

So, here's the plan: I'm giving myself a break. I'm still going to exercise and I'm still going to eat what I'm supposed to eat. But, the days of torturing myself over what the scale says have come to an end. Weighing will only happen at the gym. I'm going to try to do it just once a week. It's going to be very hard, but this needs to happen for my sanity.

I'm sure there will be days when it will be very hard to resist the urge to fold myself into the food scales at Kroger, but those will pass. It took two years to get where I am, so it's going to take some time to get where I want to be. I just need to accept that, get over it, and stop making my husband worry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Plateau

I'm seriously about to have a break down a la Lilly Allen. (The funny thing is, I *just* saw her on TV and thought, This girl looks like a lovely, normal-sized woman. What a nice thing to see.) I'm stuck on a weight that I'm not happy with. It's not that I'm concerned with numbers, I'm just not particularly pleased with how this number represents itself on my body and in my overall state of mind. The number could be 327 and I wouldn't care as long as I felt comfortable in that skin. I'm not comfortable in this skin at all and I'm having a hard time finding something to like about my physical appearance. And you can say that your physical appearance shouldn't dictate how you feel all you want, but you know that isn't always true-when you look like death, it's hard to not feel like it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Real life encounter of the best kind

Ross and I were in Ellwood Thompson's this afternoon when I heard someone call out my name. I looked over and didn't see anyone I recognized. My first thought was, "Oh, Lord, this could go either way."

My recent experiences with a certain someone have made me a little weary of the many somewhat strangers out on the Internets. I wasn't certain that this encounter would be about this blog, but I had a feeling.

Well, it turned out to be none other than Patience, wife of Jorge, and mother to the ridiculously adorable/gorgeous/did I mention adorable? Josiah, Jackie, and Lucy. We met, we hugged, and I got to see 3/4 of the wonderful family that I don't know in person but I feel like I know so much about. I don't know if any of you read their blogs, but they are seriously some of my most favorite ones out there. They both give such great insight into how to live what I think is the best kind of life: one with kindness, intelligence, and laughter. Plus, I think they give us all hope that you can still be cool after you have kids.

Friends, it was so great to meet you. Hopefully we can all get together soon. And I hope Josiah's presentation on squids went well-I didn't think about asking him until we had parted ways.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekend Wrap up

Friday: Got a job, picked up Ross, went to the in-laws, chatted it up, listened to Ross play the ukulele, went to bed.

Saturday: Went to the gym, went to Matthew's graduation party, celebrated Mother's Day with in-laws, played some dominoes, went to bed.

Sunday: Went to the gym, puttered around the house, went to church, celebrated Mother's Day with my mom, visited with siblings, going to bed soon.

The weekend seemed much more eventful while I was going through it. I'm truly exhausted and desperately looking forward to some downtime next weekend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My favorite friend

It was 1:00am and Zapp was very determined to see what I was doing on the Internets. I took the opportunity to capture her beauty for all of you to behold. As you can see, we have matching eyeliner and we are very much in love.

Appetizing.

Upon pulling up to the drive thru window, I had this conversation...

Cashier: Here ya go. I'm trying to hurry because I really have to take a sh*t.

Me: *blink* *blink*

Friday, May 11, 2007

Facing the Consequences

I woke up this morning feeling like I had gotten punched in the face I knew it couldn't have been Ross (this time, at least) because he was off saving Richmond last night. I spent all day trying to figure out exactly why it hurt to both open *and* close my mouth.

See, I have the TMJ. Well, actually, we all have the TMJ. For some reason, having a problem with your TMJ is described by simply stating that you have the particular joint causing you aches and pains. It's like instead of saying you have a headache, you would just say you have a head. I actually have TMJD which is far worse than just having the joint. I developed this in college with it first making its appearance in the form of me waking up at 3:00am in a complete panic because I couldn't open or close my mouth. Seriously, it's like someone comes along, wires your mouth shut, and kicks you in the jaw just to make sure you've been completely crippled by the pain.

TMJD tends to be pretty cyclical with it's symptoms and mine hasn't flared up in quite a long time. Episodes come along with stress...or with eating anything chewy like gum, gummi bears, gummi worms, really anything that might have gum in it. Basically anything fun and wonderful.

Well, I realized I had gum yesterday. Actually, approximately 40 hours ago and I probably chewed it for all of 10 minutes. And I'm still experiencing throbbing, soul-splitting pain in my jaw. I mean, come on. Is this really necessary or in anyway proportionate to what I did? It's like slicing the skin between someone's toes with a dirty screwdriver because she wore flip-flops.

So, I will spend much of today and tomorrow with a heating pad on my face, cursing the good Lord for creating the gum tree whose sweet, sweet nectar taunts me so.

Excitement abounds

I accepted the offer and as of the end of June I will officially be a copywriter.

More importantly, Ross got a ukulele today and he's learning to play the song from Joe Versus the Volcano.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Personal Space

I went to Target this afternoon buying more versions of the T-shirts I wear everyday (except these are V-neck-CRAAAAZY). While I was standing at the checkout counter, a man got in line behind me. And by behind me I mean *right* behind me. It was almost like he was trying to snuggle. He was standing so close to me that the cashier actually started ringing his stuff up with mine and putting it in my bag. I responded by declaring, "No, he's not my husband." WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!? That doesn't even make any sense!!! Awkwardness ensued and I kept my eyes on the floor and hurried out of the store with my bag 'o' shirts. Seriously, I should be kept in a basement somewhere.

To all those trolled.

I'm sorry if you were one of the people bombarded by a comment about me. I have no idea who this person is and I don't care. I'm just sorry that you have random comments on your posts now. I just think it's incredibly lame that someone has nothing better to do than not only harass me, but also harass the people who know me, on here or in meatspace. I'm sorry for the inconvenience and hopefully this person is satisfied with all of the annoyance he/she has caused. If you want to be taken off of my blog roll, I understand. Just let me know.

Well, I'll be...

So I got a job offer. I'm still kind of stunned, partially (ok, totally) because I was told that this blog helped me get the job. The formal offer comes tomorrow, so it won't be official until then. Regardless, I think I've earned myself a nap.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Things I remember from when I was little...

When my sister and I used to take baths, she would always make me sit in the part of the bathtub that was more shallow while she lounged in the deeper part that held more warm water.

Also, my sister used to have to blow dry my hair when we were little. If I screamed because of any tangles, she would hit me in the back with the brush.

I used to never want to listen to the "Nightmare on My Street" by Will Smith because it scared the crap out of me. Yeah, that's right.

When Roger Rabbit came out on video, my parents let us stay up until midnight to watch it. It was crazy and awesome.

One snowday, my mom made sausage biscuits and we ate them while watching Gone With the Wind. One of my most favorite memories in life, hands down.

My brother ate English muffins all of the time. Like, if I were to draw a picture of the brother of my childhood, he would be holding an English muffin.

My mom had this beaded purse that I coveted. I have no clue what it looked like, but I remember exactly how it felt when I held it in my hands.

We were only allowed to have three Oreos at a time when we were little. One time I ate six. I felt so bad I went and told my mother immediately.

*AMENDMENT*
Some people who are exceptionally lame and have problems understanding tone when they read things (and who claim to "know" me, but obviously not very well considering what I'm about to say) think that I posted those memories about my sister to portray her in a negative light. Someone who "knows" me knows that I love my sister (and brother and family) more than anything in the world. She is one of my most favorite people in the world and anyone who suggest any different is just not fortunate enough to know her as well as I do. Forgive me for sharing something that came to *my* mind on *my* blog and made *me* laugh. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Status

For those of you interested, no I haven't found a job yet. I have a third (yes, that's right, third) meeting with a company tomorrow for lunch and another interview set up for Monday.

I have started taking things down in my classroom. This is making the kids very sad and me very excited. It's making the whole concept of leaving very real.

I am still not pregnant, nor do we plan on that happening anytime soon. While I love the idea of having a baby, I'm not ready to give up my body or awesome hang out times quite yet. Also, Ross keels over and dies at the very thought of it.

Things are growing nicely in our garden. I will post pictures of the first harvest.

I have now lost 10 pounds as a result of going of the anti- anxiety medication and not eating gross food. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and I'm very proud of myself.

Shooter is still the fun police and Zapp is still dumb.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dear Creatures on the roof/in the attic,

I'm going to keep pretending that you are not there as long as you keep not busting through my ceiling and keep not eating my face of and/or clawing my eyes out.

Regards,
Your tolerant, appreciative downstairs neighbor

Look what I found!


Do you know who these people are????

Marriage.

I'm only 25 so I haven't done a whole lot, but I can say without hesistation that marrying Ross is the best thing I ever did. This realization came to me this morning as I looked over and saw him sleeping. He was lying there (having taken ALL of the sheet, as per usual), with his face smushed into the pillow, lips pouting out, hand curled up under his chin as if pondering something. I love seeing him like this. It's not because it's the only time he's quiet (which is the complete truth-he goes from dead asleep to 574,657 miles per hour in 4 seconds flat). I love seeing him like this because this is how he always looks in the morning. I look at him and think, "That's my Ross." It's the most comforting thought and pleasant feeling I could ever ask for.

As of June 7, we will be married for 4 years. True, that's not the longest marriage in history (unless we are talking about Hollywood history), but it's the longest out of our close friends. We love our marriage and we take pride in it. That's not to say that we think we are better than other people. We have our problems. But we love how our marriage started and how it works.

Ross and I met in high school. We started dating the summer before junior year. We broke up the fall of senior year. Then we kind of got back together that spring. We were definitely not together that summer, but we were back together the in the fall of 1999. A romance reblossomed and sustained with the help of Instant Messenger. That's what we'll be naming our first born out of gratitude.

We got engaged in the fall of 2001. That's right. He was almost 21. I had just turned 20 a month earlier. It is absurd to me to think of that now, but that's how it went. We were married a year and half later.

It would be completely accurate to say that Ross and I are growing up together. We are so different than how we were when we first met, even from when we first got married. A lot of people warned me that it was dangerous to get married so young. You change so much in your 20's and that could mean changing in ways that don't compliment one another, thus drifting apart.

Things have changed. They are so much better than I could have ever imagined. I am so proud of the person Ross is becoming and I am grateful that I have been here to see this new person take shape.

I've changed, too. Ross requires me to be honest at all times. I don't know if he realizes this, but it's true. There's no point in trying to pretend to be something I'm not, because he knows me so well. There is no room for being shy or pretentious. You are who you are, and you're loved totally and completely, no matter what.

We laugh all the time. All. the. time. Before Ross came along I was extremely self conscious. Now I'll pretty much say anything, especially if there's a chance that he will laugh. You know, a laugh where he tries to talk but can't because he's so tickeld by something I've said or done. When that happens, it's like the heavens have opened up and angels are singing.

Ross and I have the expectation for each other that we will always be kind, whatever that means or whatever that looks like. I think that our shared desire to do good is one of the strongest joining forces in our marriage.

My love for Ross has not only grown exponentially, but also changed profoundly. He is my partner in every sense of the word. We are in this together and I'm so proud to be able to say that.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Defatting update

So apparently I am the incredible shrinking woman. My pants which were a little snug two weeks ago can now be taken off without unbuttoning them. Convenient, yes, but not a very flattering fit.

Also, Ross made delicious wraps with our delicious organic vegetables for dinner. Seriously, you should consider joining something like Sprout. Everything tastes amazing and the cost is equal or less than what you could get a grocery store. We've been eating our first batch for days and we still have tons left. Plus, you get new stuff every week. I cannot wait until Saturday to see what we get. This is ideal for me considering my stomach has decided to not tolerate anything that does not provide me with my essential daily nutrients.

The Best Compliment Ever

Ross said this to me the other day:

"I realized that you are just like Princess Leia."

I stared at him with my jaw hanging open, both in awe of what he said and of how touched I was by it.




Announcement

I've decided to enable the option on blogger that requires me to moderate comments made here. I'm only doing this because some people have nothing better to do with their time than be idiots, and I don't want my relevant and productive audience to have to read their asinine comments. I guess this means I'm famous now since I have strangers who hate me. It's the price you pay, friends. It's the price you pay.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Knitting Project Glimpse

So, I've decided that my MacBook, Boots, needs a cozy. He's not heavy or bulky enough to warrant his own back, but he needs something to keep him clean and scratch free. So, I'm knitting him a cozy. I know, it's very hipster/etsy/craftster of me.

Very untrue to form, I actually planned this one out. Here's an out-of-focus picture of my plan:

I don't count stitches because I don't have the patience. This one doesn't require me to as it's just a rectangle that will be wrapped around Boots and then seamed to get the right fit. It's all being done in garter stitch will requires little to no effort and allows me to watch ridiculous amounts of TV while working on it. I've never made button holes before, but luckily these will only be decorative rather than functioning. I've knitted about 3 inches of the 22 required. It's taken me awhile because it's pretty thin yarn. I figured doing this in bulky yarn with huge needles would be too much of a cop-out.

I'm very motivated to get this one done, so maybe you'll see it soon!

P.S. Follow up interview tomorrow. Fingers! Cross 'em if you got 'em!

Weekend Wrap up

Friday: Work and such. Got a very promising phone call regarding employment. Gym. Went to Zach's birthday party. Sang a lot of Billy Joel. Watched Jake stuff himself into every major appliance in the house.

Saturday: Gym. Lunch with in-laws. Nap. Visit to UR campus with Phanie and her new bf. Dinner at Sticky Rice with friends. Back to the house to fall asleep while watching the fight.

Sunday: Woke up with a headache. Lunch. Gym. Came home. Showered. Went to Lowe's and bought a peony bush. Home. Now trying to convince Ross to take me out to dinner. It's not working.

Why I don't imbibe with the alcohol

I had a whopping 2, count 'em 2, ciders last night and my head is now pounding. This after I spent the tail end of last night falling asleep on the couch while a large group of people were watching "the fight" in my living room. I think due to my healthier living as of late, my body goes into complete shock when I consume anything that has little to no nutritional value. I guess that's a good problem to have.

The thing I don't get is why people *keep* drinking after they start feeling drunk. I mean, I think it's fun for about 5 minutes and then I just start thinking, "Why the hell did I do that? I'm just going to feel like crap and I just consumed hundreds of empty calories." It's entirely possible though that I've only ever been extremely "tipsy" and never actually drunk. Maybe being drunk is awesome, but I don't think I could ever get over the hump of the tipsy awareness of the fact that I could potentially do or say something quite embarrassing. I mean, more embarrassing than anything my lucid self would do.

I dunno, I think I'd rather spend the evening drinking Diet Coke (of which I drank 2 liters on Friday night, thank you), singing Billy Joel songs with Ross and MattWhite, and watching Jake try to stuff himself into the oven (oh how I wish I had pictures of that to show you).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco de Mayo!!!!

Today is Cinco de Mayo!!! Probably the only reason a gringo like me has to be super excited is that I have an excuse to drink an inordinate amount of margaritas (Because that's what it's about. And the chips with the salsa.)

In honor of the festivities, I leave you with this:

Actually, this is basically for Susan, what with her love of all things dachshund (No, I don't understand why either, although she explained to me why their legs are so short. I'm not going to tell you-figure it out for yourself. It's like a Cinco de Mayo Scavenger Hunt!!!)


*Believe it or not, there *are* actual Cinco de Mayo Scavenger Hunt that tell you what the day is all about. Perhaps clicking here, or here would be a better way to honor the day than trying to find out about a dog that originated in Germany.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A thought...

The company I interviewed with yesterday is working on promoting and licensing this out to various businesses. Looking briefly at what it's all about, I thought that public school administration and staff would benefit from exploring this idea. Then I had a thought and I wanted to see what the Internets would think about my thought...

What if public education were run like a business?

I asked Maura what she thought about my thought. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Holy Lord

I love living in the city. Seriously, I do. But, there are two things that I would call "undesirable" about my surroundings: birds and cats. Here's why...

We don't really have what you would call darkness in the city. Street lights run all night. Street lights that stand right alongside trees. Trees with birds. Birds who think the street light is the sun. Birds who consequently chirp 24 hours a day. All day and night with the "GOOD MORNING!!! HELLO!!!!! GOOD MORNING, NEIGHBOR-FRIENDS!!!!!"

First of all, I hate cats unless they're kittens (like my kitten named Boots who Ross will never let me get so I ended naming my MacBook Boots instead). My hating of all things feline kind of puts our city cats at the top of my shit list, even above having to trim your fingernails and people who somehow believe that throwing cigarettes out of the window isn't littering. See, a lot of cats in the city are stray cats. STRAY AND CRAZY. They cry and fight and cry and fight and cry and cry and cry all night long. Except their crying sounds like babies rather than cats - babies being thrown into boiling hot water.

If I were a super hero, my power would be "selective deafness."

Hokie Healing

Mosaic, Blacksburg local yarn store, has started up a wonderful project. They are accepting 8" by 8" knitted squares that will be sewn together to make blankets for the families of the victims of the VT shooting. Click here for specifics.

Jane has already done two and a ton of other knitters at my school are working on theirs. When they heard we were participating, Mosaic even sent us a box of soft, yummy yarns to use, each skein accompanied by information regarding the gauge. As you can see from Mosaic's blog, the love and healing has started to pour in. I'm slowly but surely getting mine done:

(I made the picture small so you couldn't see how gross I looked after going to the gym.)

If you knit, please consider doing this. The pattern can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It's also an excellent first project if you (or even your kids!) have ever wanted to knit.

Stewart over at The Yarn Lounge has awesomely offered her services to be a collection spot for squares, or you can always send them off yourself. I'm sure she and any other local yarn store owners would be willing to help you pick yarn and get started on your square.

I know that pulling the knitters together at my school and starting on my own square has helped me deal with the grief. I need to feel like I'm doing *something* for these people whose lives have been shaken to the core. Please consider making this small but touching contribution that will allow the victims' families to find some comfort, if only for a little while.

Exhausted and Hungry

One interview down. It went well I think. I'm not going to say anything else for fear of jinxing it. The other interview that was also supposed to be today and then got move tomorrow has now been moved to Monday. So, I'll have some time to breathe over the weekend.

All I want to do is eat pizza, but no. Ross is insisting that we not be fat. I spend all morning and afternoon not being fat so I feel like I should get a little break for dinner. But Ross spends all day being fat so he thinks he needs to be good at dinner. This could create some serious tension in our marriage.

Anyway, Ross and I went to Ellwood Thompson's yesterday and got some of this "organic food" that all of you keep talking about. Friends, they have samples. It's like Costco but with better lighting. Ross was appalled when I took more than one sample, but I maintain that if there is no sign discouraging multiple trips, then eat I will. We bought organic turkey, organic salad, organic salad dressing, organic smashed potatoes (I guess organic is too classy to be mashed), organic yogurt, and organic turkey dogs (which only have 6 grams of fat in them!) We had turkey burgers last night and you could actually tell the difference. The salad was crazy good, too. We'll be having the turkey dogs tonight. I'll be sure to let you know how it all went, what with you waiting at the edge of your seats and all.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Many Exciting Things

Grown-up:
I bought a suit today. I realized that most companies might not be too keen on me showing up in Danskos to interview, so I figured I needed to drop some cash to look nice. If you know me, you know I don't wear suits. I tried on a couple "standard suits" and the saleswoman at Ann Taylor Loft could tell that I felt completely ridiculous. So, she located this for me which I bought. I love it because it's nonstandard but still looks nice. None of the jobs I'm interviewing for are mainstream companies, so I think it will work. And if they don't appreciate it, well, I'm sorry, I can't work for a company that has no fashion sense. I also got some pink shoes to go with it. PINK SHOES?!?!??! How can your day get any better???


Almost De-fattified:
I have lost approx. 7 pounds since going off the Lexapro, AKA "the make you slowly but surely fat and only slightly less crazy pill." This is very exciting. I'm OCD and I weigh myself in the morning and at night, every day. Don't worry, I'm still eating (ask anybody, I'm probably eating their food, too). I would just go crazy if I didn't know. So each day I have what I call my "starting weight" and my "ending weight." Well, as of the last couple days, my ending weight has become what my starting weight used to be. And my starting weight has become numbers that I have seen in quite a while but have missed very dearly. I'm almost back to my pre-medicine weight, but if I just loose a couple more pounds I'll be comfortable with that I think. I had kind of a break down last night because I felt like I had been left in the dark with this whole concept that anti-depressants make you gain weight. And then I realized I was being amazingly-bratty and ungrateful for the fact that this medication (and my wonderful doctor who put me on it) brought me back from an abyss of sorts. I can deal with a little pudge. It's kind of like a badge of honor.


Productive:
My bonus-brother initiated the tearing (well, kicking) down of our front yard "fence" yesterday. I put "fence" in "quotes" because a real fence wouldn't be that craptastic. I mean, it was plastic. I. hate. that. fence. Matt being the great guy that he is destroyed the entire thing in about 20 minutes. Ross and I spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up the teeny tiny yard it surrounded. Then, James in all of his awesomeness arrived in his equivalent of a white horse (a noisy white van) to carry away all of the leftovers. When we pulled out the fence we both thought that James would probably want it (he and his lovely wife have a penchant for dumpster diving), so we didn't completely demolish it. We asked him to help us carry the pieces to a bigger dumpster than we have in our area. In true Murphy form, he decided he would just take the pieces. I love the Murphies to the maxx.

P.S. Working in the yard is just as good as going to the gym. I already can't move my arms.


Miracle:
You may remember that I mentioned a little girl from my school who was involved in a terrible fire. She got badly burned and spent 8 weeks at the Shriners Hospital in Ohio. Well, our girl came back to school today. Her classmate were SO happy to see her and she couldn't wait to get back to school. My kids have been so thoughtful about how to make the transition back into school easy for her. The hospital sent a wonderful woman to come and talk to the kids about how our little girl looks different now and what she has to go through each day to get better. I was so proud of our kids. They asked such thoughtful questions that had more to do with her well-being rather than about the rumors of the specifics of the fire. The hospital representative said it was the best group of 5th graders she had ever spoken with. A compliment like that means so much.

Employment:
I had to turn in my official letter of resignation today (eek!) but that was balanced out by three calls for interviews. I have one on Thursday and I'm calling tomorrow to figure out specific dates for the others.

It goes without saying that with all of this excitement (yes, for me this is much excitement) I'm pretty wired and I probably won't get much sleep. But hey, at least it's wired because of good things.

*UPDATE* I now have another interview. Originally it was going to be tomorrow at 3:30 but it just got moved to Friday at 3:30. So I will leave work early tomorrow and slightly early on Friday. I'm refusing to get excited due to a neurotic fear of disappointment.

O-M-G! a J-O-B!

I have an interview on Thursday at 2:00. I can't believe it. Even if I don't get it, it's such a confidence booster to have someone suggest that they are maybe, possibly considering hiring you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

4-16-07

Weekend Wrap up

Friday: Taught every second of the day, as in I was up there talking the ENTIRE day. Picked up Boots (oh, and Ross) from PharrOut offices. Came home and fell deeply in love with Boots. Went to Nic and Kate's for birthday celebration.

Saturday: Watched the Remus. Met my mom's new puppy. Took a long nap. Went to a cookout to see Jeremiah and Emily (from Colorado, now off to Florida) and played Chicken Foot. Came in second place to Jennifer Murphy. Came home. Try to go to bed but couldn't stop watching Walk the Line. Finally got to bed.

Sunday: Went to the gym. Went to Lowe's to buy tomato plants and other various sundries. Got Arby's for lunch. Rode bikes to church. Got cussed out by someone who doesn't seem to understand that bikes are actually supposed to be ridden on the road, but whatever. Enjoyed church, even though there were no babies to take care of. Rode bikes home. Ate some dinner. Now I'm doing some laundry.

Tomorrow is the day of blogger silence in honor of the victims at VT. Hope to hear from all of you on Tuesday!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cuteness....is.....crippling..........(thump)

More Fun with Photo Booth

I call this one "Conjoined Bliss."

I would show you the rest but I don't want to blow my wad, as some would say.

Very little work is going to get done wit Boots's arrival.

Don't you wanna get with this?

Good News

My school has been recognized as a Distinguished Title I School by the State of Virginia. This is very exciting and the superintendent had really nice things to say. It was a very happy morning, friends.

Boots, I love you.

Boots is here and I love him. He is a him because the kitten would be a him. You know, the kitten I can never get because of Ross's black black heart.

I had been thinking about Boots all day. It was arranged for him to be delivered to Ross's office to ensure his safety. However, all I worried about all day was what Ross was going to do to him.

I arrived at around 4:15 to pick him up and actually met River City Rapids who was there being interviewed with Ross. Even though I know his name is John, I will only ever call him that to his face, I'm sure. Ross and I still call Jorge from This Mudi Life "Hor-hey" rather than how it's actually pronounced like "George" because, well, I'm a jerk and I'll call people what I want.

Anyway, Boots is gorgeous and delicious. He has made realize how much Windows requires you to work against your intuition to get things done. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to get Boots to do things because he makes TOO MUCH SENSE.

Instead of a crazy cat lady, I'm going to be a crazy MacBook lady.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just all kinds of wonderful nonsense

I got into a stand-off with a K or 1st grader today. As in the staring contest variety. It's really quite shocking how gutsy some of these little ones are. And how I seem to be able to transform a stubborn child into a mooshy pile of slobbery tears just by looking at him. I kinda feel bad about it. No I don't.

I'm having trouble sleeping because I'm so excited about the arrival of my new, beautiful, delicious computer. I am naming him Boots because that's what I always wanted to name a kitten if I ever got one and I know I'm not getting ever because Ross has a black, black heart. So, the MacBook will have to do. I'll take pictures of Boots and post them as soon as he arrives. It's crazy because I'll *use* Boots to post *pictures* of Boots. It's a crazy, upside-down world we live in.

I got to have burritos tonight. We (meaning me and my awesome friends) call them "byou-reetohs" (as in with a long u) because my friend Matt's wonderful mother calls them that and I think it's effing adorable. I don't know if she realizes that she calls them that, but I love it. I think of her whenever I eat them...which is a lot. I know you're reading this, Nancy Schneider and we love and miss you!

Tomorrow is Friday and that is fabulous beyond compare. Except we have to dress nicely because of some top-secret visitors at our staff meeting. This could be extremely exciting or extremely anti-climactic.

Jane gave me a pattern and some yum yarn to knit this. I seem to have lost all patience for, well, everything really and I've had a hard time starting it. The yarn is so thin I almost can't handle it but it's so nice. Maybe I should double it up. Jane? Help?

Saturday morning is the day of Remus. He will be arriving at my house early for much playing and snuggling. My mother will also be bringing her new puppy over. A baby AND a puppy. Ross will be running for the hills and I will collapse from all of the heaven in my house.

Blah blah Ross is famous

Just kidding, I'm very proud of him for this. Apparently all of the news stations are all up in his grill about interviewing him. He was on channel 6 last night but you probably couldn't see him, what with him wearing an orange T-shirt and sitting in front of an orange wall. I think I've convinced him to actually shave his neck for the next appearance at the end of the week.

Congrats, hubs & co.!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Update-o de Life-o

Sooo I didn't get the integrator job. I was upset for all of 2 minutes because I realized it was really a cop-out and the safe route for me to take. If I want to branch out, I need to really branch out.

What was waaaaay harder than I thought was telling my wonderful principal that I'm still not coming back next year even though I didn't get the job. She had such wonderful things to say to me, that she was sorry to see me go but was proud of me and excited for me. It's going to be really hard to leave the people I work with, but it needs to happen. At this point I really want to come back to teaching at some point, but I just need a break.

Thus the frantic job search begins. It seems that none of the people I've applied with are as frantic to hire me as I am to get hired. Oh well, someone will realize how fabulous and smart I am at some point. All I can say is that last week gave me some major perspective on life and this whole situation is in no way a bad one.

Keep your little fingers crossed, Internets!

Monday, April 23, 2007

SO VERY EXCITING.

Ross does not like to spend money. At all. Even on necessities, i.e. milk and bread. He figures there is just something else in the pantry to eat. He doesn't understand that I am from Richmond and if you don't have milk and bread, you might as well throw yourself off the Mayo bridge while yelling "It's Po-white!" and "It's not the heat, it's the humidity!"

However, I came home from working out today (2 hours, friends. 2 hours of the working out.) and Ross said, "Do you want to buy you a new computer tonight?"

Left was right. Up was down. The heavens opened and God shot me double-finger-guns and a wink.

I paused and then calmly, very calmly said, "Ok," being careful to hide any excitement as not to scare him back into his hole where he sits and count his gold bars.

A little back story. I got the blue screen of death on my laptop the other night. This laptop (a graduation gift to ME from my in-laws) has been through much. Specifically ScottPharr and some water, as well as constant jacking-up from Ross who can't just leave things alone. This is not to say that Ross broke the computer. It's just that we've been through much together.

Anyway, I figured that I was screwed and I just wasn't going to get another computer until blah-blah-blah released the new blah-blah-blah in June. I was not happy.

But then I remembered that the thing that needed to be bought was smooth and shiny. How silly of me to think that this would wait! We have needed a new furnace since 2003, but furnaces aren't sleekly designed! This was a *need.* And when you need something, it's a responsibility.

Thus, tonight, we made us a purchase. Actually, we made me a purchase that Ross has promised not to touch even though he was nice enough to initiate the whole thing. Thanks to some extra miserly ways in the past, we are somehow able to afford a lovely, lovely MacBook that will arrive in 5 business days.

I. am. so. excited.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Babytown heaven

There was a baby explosion at church today. We have been talking about starting child care during the services, but it had never been an issue. I am actually the person who is supposed to be coordinating it, but as of last week we had one child at church who was only 3 weeks old so it wasn't a big deal.

However, today we were blessed with several little ones. Lots of people said that hearing babies coo and little kids whispering made it seem more like church. Halfway through the service we made an announcement that child care would be available starting immediately. I got to spend the rest of the service with a sweet and adorable little friend while her mom got to sit with her husband and enjoy the service.

I loved being able to do that for her and I can't wait to see other members of our church serve in that way. But I like being with the little ones for purely selfish reasons. I get so much joy from comforting them or making them laugh. It's seriously addictive and exactly what I needed after this very, very long and rough week. It was wonderful being at church and getting to see all of their little faces. To me, God is never more present than with a child.

Many blessings to those little ones tonight and I hope I get to see them all next week.

Hokie Pride

Ross and I decided at the last minute to go to Blacksburg this weekend. Thanks to the awesomeness of my sister and bonus-brother, the dogs were taken care of and off we could go. I really think this was the best thing we could do. We got to Blacksburg Friday evening and got to spend some time with Nic, Kate, and Kate's wonderful sister Julia ( a student at Tech).

Saturday started as one of the hardest days of my life. We went to campus and saw all of the memorials set up for those we lost. I can't even explain what it was like. Ross took some pictures so I'll be sure to post them. They are so sad and touching at the same time.

We left campus for Narrows, VA to attend the funeral for Jarrett Lane, Alicia's brother. The whole time we were there I just kept shaking my head. I couldn't believe what was happening. However, the service was a beautiful memorial to Jarrett. The turn out was phenomenal and there were so many heartfelt tributes made to him by the small town that raised him so well and loved him so much. It hurts so much to see people you love in such pain. You just want to take it away and you can't. After the funeral we got to spend some time with Alicia and her husband Daniel. It was wonderful to get to see them and hug them. You never really know what to say in those situations, but you just want them to know that you are there and you love them.

We had planned on only staying one night, but ended up staying over Saturday night, too (thanks again to the awesomeness of my family). After getting back to Blacksburg we went to the drillfield for the alumni/student picnic. And by picnic I mean the most awesome, kind thing ever. Ross and I got a chance to meet the VT police chief which was amazing. Very emotional, but amazing.

We ended our evening by spending more time with friends and then finally collapsing and getting some much needed rest.

I'm glad we went. I'm still exhausted and my head hurts and I have a deep wrinkle in my forehead from choking back tears for two days. But we both feel like it was what Ross needed, what we both needed.

Go Hokies

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

THE FAT IS BACK!!!

I cannot stop eating. Like at all. Watch out. If you resemble food, I will eat you. Even if you are a mushroom smothered in cilantro you will GET IN MY BELLY.

Kind of normal again?

I didn't have much time to think of the chaos of the last few days because of major drama at school. I won't get into specifics but I will tell you that I spent much of the afternoon furrowing my brow, shaking my fist, yelling, "What's wrong with these kids today??!?!?!?!!?!?" and demanding that if anyone gives birth to a girl they should just put it back so it finishes cooking and comes back out a boy. Sounds like business as usual to me.

Blame

I don't understand why people are choosing to assign blame to VT administration and law enforcement for this tragedy. I cannot stand how people are choosing to play Monday morning quarterback about this. It is so inappropriate and uncalled for. Obviously, VT has taken steps towards an investigation by asking Gov. Kaine to appoint a team to look into what happened. A call needed to be made and they made it. We cannot fault them for that.

The person to blame is dead. No one else is responsible for this. And what really gets me is that it seems the people doing the majority of the finger pointing are not even the ones who have truly suffered.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yikes Stripes!

I have found out over the last few days that LOTS more people who I know in meatspace actually read this blog! Like LOTS AND LOTS from various (waaaaaaaaay too various) parts of my life. Imagine an obscure part of your life and then think about an obscure person from it and imagine that that person knows everything about you. You don't *mind* that they know it, but you just wish you had knewn that they knew it.

But, I won't be lame and delete stuff that I'm less than proud of. Well. Not *all* of the stuff I'm less than proud of. This is like when Jennifer found out people actually read her blog and realized that she might have been making some HIPPA violations based on what she was posting. Except, I don't think my family can sue me for telling hilarious/touching stories of our dysfunction or expressing frustration with work can be grounds for dismissal. I hope. Hmmmmmmm...

Comments, Internets! Leave comments so I'm not working in the dark here.

What a day...

I'm not even sure what to say. I spent the evening with some of my most favorite Hokies. We cried and prayed for all of the students at Tech, thanking God for what a great place it is. I didn't go to Tech, but I spent many weekends there. It's a very special place to me, and even more special to my friends who went there. I just hope that when the healing starts, we think about the things we love about Tech and not the nightmare of this one day.

Wear your Hokie colors tomorrow to show your support. I know I will.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wooooo boy

So this has been my first week completely off of Lexapro. I've spent the last few weeks lowering my dosage but last Saturday marked my first time being completely off of it for almost 2 years. Boy howdy am I glad that this week fell during Spring Break and not during a time where I had to, oh I don't know, function in any capacity.

It hasn't been terrible, just odd. The absence of it in my system combined with the antibiotic I was on for bronchitis made me have no appetite whatsoever. I seriously think my stomach shrank. I lost about 6 lbs. in a week. Sure, it's nice to see that on the scale, but it wreaks havoc on your body. It was like all of the systems in my body were freaking out and arguing with each other. Luckily that seems to have balanced out a bit. I actually want to eat and I'm letting myself eat whatever I want at this point so I can feel normal again. I'll worry about eating really well once my brain is balanced back out.

Apparently the best thing for the withdrawal systems is to just sleep. When you're sleeping you're not aware of the craziness going on, and part of the withdrawal is being exhausted, so I guess it works out. I'm a little nervous about having to go back to work tomorrow. I have yet to deal with actual stress without medicinal help in quite a long time. By the grace of God, however, we have a few relatively normal weeks coming up so I can ease back into the chaos.

Prayers for an easy transition would be appreciated. I'm having a hard time with the fact that there is a very real possibility that this won't work and I'll have to go back on it or some variation of it. And by hard time I mean breaking down into tears in line at Wal-Mart with poor Ross having no clue what's going on.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fr-easter pics

Click here to see pictures from our first annual Fr-easter (Easter with Friends). We are contemplating also having a Fr-anksgiving, Fr-alentine's Day, and Fr-abor Day parties as well. Stay tuned! The pictures are courtesy of Jake Lyell, the best photographer in these parts and, dare I say it, the world. Highlights include Sam's mom (AKA the cutest and nicest woman ever), MattWhite rocking out to Billy Joel, James stealing candy from children while gambling, and several people playing dominoes. We are lame and AWESOME. HE HAS RISEN!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guess where I went today!!!!

Here's a clue:


Sorry. It's probably a little off color to put a picture of a speculum on my blog. But, considering *I'm* the one that had to spend some time with this God-awful instrument today, I only feel but so bad.

Yes, I saw my good friend Dr. Miller today. I love Dr. Miller, despite the fact that I shudder each time April approaches as I know it's time for that annual exam that only 50% of the population must have. He's a very kind man and he keeps it relatively warm in his examination rooms, which is nice. However, I don't like how I have to spend so much time waiting in his examination rooms. I would much rather wait in the waiting room where clothes are allowed. When you are in the examination room you have to wear a hospital gown. Well, I guess it's a gown. It's more like the suggestion of a gown. The word "gown" implies a garment of much breadth that give you coverage. This gown opens to the back AND front and you have to sit "just so" to keep all of your goods covered. At least I've learned to keep my dignity and keep my socks on during these visits.

Everything went fine. Then of course he asked me when I was going to give him some babies. I thought this was odd. I was under the impression that *I* get the babies. He really should have asked when I was going to give him some more money. Then he told me that things were really "ideal" for me to start "working on that." He even said I looked perfect. I said "Thank you?" I mean, what do you say when some compliments your reproductive health? Rather than compliments, I would prefer a coupon that excuses me from next year's exam.

All of this took 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes of examining after 55 minutes of waiting. Waiting in the examining room, not in the waiting room. I guess it's better than him examining me in the waiting room. Oh well, the walls in his new office are so thin that I got to hear all of his conversations with his other patients. I now know that the lady next door is having bladder issues and the girl across the hall will only quit smoking when she gets wrinkles. On a much more exciting note, I got to hear a woman hearing her babies heart beat for the first time. It sounded like WHUH WHUH WHUH WHUH mixed in with her saying, "Oh, wow!" over and over again. I must say, that was very exciting. I imagine it would have been more exciting to have heard it while wearing underwear, though.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

What I learned from BodyJam*

1. I cannot dance.
2. Most people cannot dance.
3. I do not like dancing.
4. I do not like people looking at me while I can't dance.
5. I will not go back again.**

*BodyJam is a class at Gold's where you dance a lot. Like, you have to follow steps and stuff. And you dance. For an hour. The whole hour.
**Please check the class out for yourself. I had a lot of fun but it's just not for me.

Where were you when...

...Bill O'Reilly went insane-o?

Me? I was in bed watching it live on the television. Take a gander at this. Your mind will be blown so make sure you are wearing a hat to collect the bits-they can be hard to get out of the drapes.

Still hilariously hilarious.

I got this from Dooce who got it from The New Yorker. Enjoy, dear Internets.

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Went to work for our one hour of staff development. Came home and slept a ton. Went to Patient First. Got poked, X-rayed, and diagnosed as having bronchitis AND tiny veins. Came home and went to bed ridiculously early.

Saturday: Slept for infinity. Went to in-laws to celebrate FIL's birthday. Ate some food that I'm sure tasted good but being that I couldn't smell anything, tasting was out of the question. Went upstairs and slept in the guest room while hubs played Wii and dominoes. Went home and went to bed.

Sunday: Slept for more of infinity. Cleaned the house. Saw Phannie for a few minutes. Went to church. Saw FSC's first baby on our first Easter which was very special. Came home. Had many friends over for Easter celebration. Went to bed before everyone left. Realized that I have lost all muscle tone in my body from not being able to work out for a while due to the death.

Today: Woke up *still* feeling like death. Can't sleep until the Verizon guy finishes what he's doing to give us better cable and Internet. Want to go back to bed so bad.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sick. AGAIN.

Fortunately *this* death held off until Spring break started so I won't have to take time of work. I was doing ok earlier this week-just really bad allergies that actually required me to get eye drops. Stupid Richmond. However, I took a turn for the worst Friday morning. My chest was super congested and I had a 101 fever. I knew those symptoms didn't really come with allergies, so I decided to go to my most favorite place on Earth: Patient First.

I got there at around 6:30 and didn't leave until around 8:30. No, it wasn't because of a long wait-it was because it was apparently time for me to fall apart.

I went into the examination room and after asking 879 times if I was pregnant or nursing and when the last date of my period was, the doctor decided he wanted to do some blood work AND get a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia. Sounds pretty easy, right? Yeah no.

Apparently I have the tiniest and deepest lying veins in the history of medicine. They stuck me in the right arm, left arm, right hand, left hand, and even my right middle finger before realizing that maybe the whole blood taking thing wasn't going to work out. So, they sent me off to X-ray where they had me stand up and breathe in and out lots and lots of times-not the best thing for someone who is having trouble breathing and who had just been treated like a human pin cushion. BTW, getting stuck in the hand HURTS. A LOT. Especially when they have to do it TWICE.

So, I passed out.

That's right. I keeled right over onto the poor X-ray technician, probably exposing much of my upper half. After sipping some orange juice and resting, I managed to stand up long enough to get my X-rays and waddle back to the examination room.

They had me put on my sweatshirt and a blanket with hopes that warming me up would make my veins more accessible. Didn't work, but luckily they figured out it wasn't worth it before sticking me again.

The doctor came back in and chatted with me for a while. We talked about how Richmond is seriously the worst place in the world when it comes to allergies. He actually said to me, "And I know you know, because you were 'Made in Richmond,' as I saw when you were X-ray." Nice bedside manner. Anyway, it was ruled that I have allergies on top of a nasty case of bronchitis. I was given a decongestant and a packet of antibiotics and sent on my way.

My fever finally broke last night. I realized this when I woke up in a pool of my own sweat actually feeling like I wasn't being roasted from the inside out. My coughs are being quite productive (yum!) and I can kind of take a deep breath without dying. God bless modern medicine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring Break Project

Each time we're on a break from school, I take on some kind of project. Christmas break of 2005, I painted my office. Last summer I did a crappy job of fixing up the downstairs bathroom. This spring break I've decided to spruce up the upstairs balcony that is attached to my office. I figure this is a relatively low-key project and I won't be too depressed if I don't get much accomplished. It's just a nice feature to our house that we never use because it has become yet another crap corral for the Catrow family. It is currently home to the old air conditioning unit that was switched out last summer for the high-tech model-rather than putting it, oh I don't know, INSIDE we decided that we would just take care of it later. That phrase is the kiss of death for us. You'll also find the remains of a beaded curtain (yeah, that's right) that the former owner of this house just left hanging in our weirdo bathroom. All items are thoroughly infested by spiders and other deadly creatures, I'm sure.

I'll be sure to post pictures once it's started/in process/complete.

T-2 days!

Deep in the love

I love my husband more than anything in the whole world. I called him yesterday afternoon and basically told him he needed to make himself scarce so I could have the evening to myself. He did so without question. We reunited later that evening to take care of an unexpected guest (Remus who ended up staying with us until the wee hours of the morning while his mom was at the hospital-no worries, she's fine). My cell phone had died and Remus's parents called Ross to see if we could take care of the little one. Ross had no clue where I was, but was ready and willing to take care of the little buggar on his own if necessary. I was so proud that he was all set to help a friend out, even when it was COMPLETELY out of his comfort zone for an undetermined amount of time. Plus, Remus loves Ross so much and it's nice to see them entertain each other.

Hearts to the hubs!

P.S. Also hearts to the BodyFlow class at Gold's. Times of fun to the maxxxxx.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Ate pizza and saw TMNT with friends. Fun was had all around. Don't bring up gummi worms around Justin. Ever. Chomp chomp chomp.

Saturday: Fully planned on trying out the BodyFlow class at Gold's but got an unexpected call from Jenni to babysit the Remus while they move into their new house. Called my sister to come over and join Remus and I for lunch. Realized that people will move out of your way if you have a stroller. Tried to get Remus to take a nap. Took him for another walk. He finally fell asleep on my belly, drooled all over me, and caused me to get quite a kink in my neck. I love him but I was very happy to give him back and relish in my life of watching Nip/Tuck, eating Oreos, and chatting with my hubs.

Sunday: Woke up in time to convince the in-laws to take us to lunch. Chowed down at Five Guys. Bought 4 new plates at Target to "try them out" (whatever that means, Ross said it). Went to Lowe's and bought a scabiosa plant because it was one of the flowers I had in my bridal bouquet. Realized that scabiosa is quite an unfortunate name for such a pretty flower. Did some Dr. Oz exercises. Went to church. Only drank water at social time afterward, did not eat extra-large cookies sent directly to our congregation by the Good Lord. Did not get Taco Bell. Went to the gym. Got McDonald's instead of Taco Bell, but opted for the Mighty Kids Meal rather than the adult meal. Chatted and ate with the hubs. Tricked the Internet into thinking I'm pregnant. Will shower and go to bed soon.

T-4 days until SPRING BREAK!!!

New Life

God is so good. He has blessed us with a new life. We just discovered it today and I couldn't wait to share the news with all of you. This was very much wanted and somewhat unexpected, but we are so grateful that is happening to us...










...the radishes have started to sprout in our garden.



HA HA!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Everyone should know this.

When someone is drinking water and it's gone down the wrong pipe, you don't need to ask them 35,342 times if they are ok. When this happens, all you want to do is cough to get the water out, not have to nod your head every 2 seconds to make bystanders feel better.

P.S. The church friends DID have the baby! And, yoga was awesome to the maxx. I can't wait to go next week.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Things you should be thrilled about

  • I've lost 1 pound and I don't care where it is.
  • Big Phannie is coming to RVA Easter Weekend.
  • We *think* some friends from church had their baby.
  • Tomorrow is Friday.
  • I've gotten two, count 'em two, kind and supportive emails from a parent who used to scare the bejeezus out of me.
  • I'm trying out the Yoga class at Gold's tonight.
  • Yoplait yogurt (shut up, Ross, you win) was on sale at Kroger: 5 for $3.
  • I've already had 64 ounces of water today.
  • Today is the last day of our SOL simulation testing.
  • This list is finished.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Prickly Pear

Apparently one of the side effects of going off of Lexapro is a tingling sensation, sometimes described as "electric shocks." Boy howdy, that has kicked in today. I wouldn't describe it as an "electric shock" but rather "pins and needles." All over my body. All of the time. It's not painful, just weird. Stretching and massages are apparently the best treatment for this. Gift certificates or cash donations will be accepted.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Other exciting news...

I talked to my doctor last week and we came to a decision. It's time for me to try going of my anti-anxiety medication. I've been on it for almost two years and I was ready to give myself a chance. He was really wonderful about the whole thing. I think a lot of doctors would have just said "Ok" and sent me on my way. After a couple days of phone tag, we actually got to talk about it in depth. He asked me why I wanted to go off of it and what coping strategies I was going to use instead. We talked about the importance of keeping up the exercise and the strategy of saying "no" to things (and people) that expose me to unnecessary stress. He assured me if it doesn't work out that I shouldn't be disappointed in myself and we will figure out the best thing to do next. And to think I was actually going to switch doctors.

It Is Well with My Soul

This hymn gets me every time. Particularly this verse:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Either I sing it louder than anyone in church or I can't get the words out at all because they get me so choked up. I think I love this verse so much because is what I have the hardest time grasping. Probably because when I forgive people, I don't *really* forgive them for a while. Dr. Phil would say I'm a "scorekeeper" because I tend to log people's mistakes in my mind and hold on to them for a long time. I can't believe that with all of the mistakes I've made and continue to make, big and small, that someone actually forgives me totally and completely.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New member of the family!

This is Sadie! No, she's not ours (unfortunately). My mom and step-dad will be getting her in the next few weeks. I can tell by looking at her that I'm already her favorite. Her teeny tiny ears kill me with their cuteness. She will be staying with us for a week in June and I am SO EXCITED. Hopefully my two gigantic pups won't eat her.

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: I was going to take the day off but I couldn't get the sub I wanted, so I went in anyway. Dealt with a lot of Spring fever and the accompanying insanity. Went to the gym after work. Came home and showered. Met up with Ross at Nic and Kate's for poker. Only stayed for a little while because I was so worn out from my long week. Came home and watched many episodes of Nip/Tuck.

Saturday: Forgot to turn off my alarm. Woke up at 7am and was *this* close to getting into the shower because I thought I had to go to work. Went back to bed. Woke up and went with the in-laws to Ginger for a yummy-in-my-tummy lunch. Went to Lowe's and bought stuff for our square-foot garden. Started constructing said garden. Cheered Ross on as he bravely went under our house (the crawl space is seriously like 2 feet by 2 feet) to turn on the water line to our hose. Met up with Jenni and Mark for sushi. Went back to their place to see the cutie-pie Remus. Marvelled at how he is becoming a real person. Met up with Jake and Rachel at Mom Siam. Ate Jake's rice. Went to Can-Can and got overpriced drinks. Came home and went to bed.

Sunday: Got up and went to Lowe's to buy additional plants for the garden AND to exchange my gardening gloves that had a right AND left hand one. Finished up the garden and planted the vegetables. Went to the gym. Came home and showered. Went to church. Conned Ross into getting pizza for dinner. Did some laundry. Watched some T.V. To bed soon.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 23, 2007

A miracle.

Today I am wearing my size 4 jeans. This hasn't happened in a long time. I will celebrate by stuffing my face with cafeteria pizza.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dear Nip\Tuck,

Why oh why do you have to be the best show ever? How could I have been so foolish as to not watch you all along? You're the cream in my coffee, the salt in my stew, and I love you and all of your ridiculous situations with everything that I am. With every episode, you get more and more far-fetched...and more of my heart.

Until I have Season 3 in my trembling, in-love hands,

Valerie
A.K.A The number one Nip\Tuck fan in the whole entire world
A.K.Ak TNONTFITWEW

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Taught my booty off, got caught up on my grading, went to the gym, came home, took a ridiculously long nap, ate some pizza with friends, totally effed up my bamboo stitch scarf to the point of no repair.

Saturday: Hung out with Maura, bought some clothes, watched a lot of TV, got Wendy's for dinner, watched half of Tea with Mussolini, went to bed.

Sunday: Awesome time at the gym, went to the grocery store, cleaned the upstairs, did some laundry, got Taco Bell for dinner, watched The Natural, more laundry, to bed soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Where are we going, Ross? And why are we in this handbasket?

Ross and I got this in the mail last week:

It's probably hard to read, but it tells us that "something good is about to happen." And I mean, it must be true, because they wrote it in all caps and put it next to a floating Jesus. However, according to the letter, the "something good" can only happen if you write down your prayer and place that prayer, along with the prayer "handkerchief" (which was really just a piece of paper that they bought from Michael's that *kind of* looks like it could be a handkerchief) back in the envelope to be sent back to the church BEFORE BREAKING THE SEAL OF THE LETTER. Oops...

OMG!!!!!! As you can see, the seal is most certainly broken, and I can tell you that I broke it before any prayer page or prayer "handkerchief" were place in any envelope. I wonder how the church (and Jesus) would feel if they saw what we did to their prayer "handkerchief":

Ross used the other half to write down our grocery list. It's possible that the word "tampons" was written on this. I hope Ross remembered to pick up some ice packs to keep us cool IN THE FIREY PITS OF HADES.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I think I threw up my brain.

Ever since my experience with the Norovirus (or as Ross likes to call it, "The Winter Vomiting Disease") I have become incredibly stupid. Often when I walk into a room I forget why I am there. I love Wikipedia and often go there with excitement, but by the time the page loads, I don't remember what I want to look up. It's starting to take a long time for me to come up with words when I'm talking. No one else has seemed to notice. Maybe my brain worked at super speed before and the Norovirus has simply put me down at everyone else's level. Or it might be that I no longer need to know anything beyond the required intelligence of a 10 year old.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Frantic to the Maximum, Can't Relaximum

I've applied for 4 jobs. They are:
1. Technology Integrator
2. Media Specialist for Virginia Historical Society
3. Director for the Carver Promise
4. Donor Relationships Manager for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fund

Looking at the requirements, I actually might be somewhat qualified for each of these, but who knows. Uncertainty is not something I do well with, as we all know. I also don't do well with having to wait for responses. Why aren't they all pulling their hair out and demanding, "WHY DOESN'T SHE WORK FOR US YET?!?!?!?!?!?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Life Freak Out

I'm getting a really bad feeling that I didn't get the integrator job. Now I am scared to death because that would mean having to actually find a job. As in, looking in the newspaper and equivalents in order to find positions that are somewhat related to my skill set. I AM NOT GOOD AT THAT. I have gotten every job I've ever applied for and I don't know how I will react if I don't get this one. I'm absolutely terrified of not having job-it's almost crippling to the point where I don't want to do anything about it. Teachers have job security like none other and it makes me nervous to let that go. I think I'm going to hyperventilate and throw up at the same time. It's especially frustrating because part of me is saying, "Just forget it. Keep teaching. You like it and it's stable." I want to punch that part in the face.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Pretty easy day, almost wrote someone an office referral for not covering her mouth when she coughed, got hair highlighted which took 2 1/2 hours but turned out cute, dinner with in-laws, watched VT basketball game with friends.

Saturday: Gym, felt sorry for myself, shower, felt sorry for myself, tried to go shopping, felt sorry for myself, bought nothing and came home, cried some because I felt sorry for myself, watched Nip/Tuck while knitting and felt a little better, to bed late because of the time change.

Sunday: Fed people at Loaves and Fishes, came home to eat lunch, took a short nap, off to church, praying, singing, etc. etc., shaved Ross's head, got dinner, have a headache, will grade some papers and then go to bed.

A Haircut.


















Before.



























During.



























After.




















Cutie Pie FO

I made this for our friends Georgia and Benjamin. We met them at church and love them to bits. They are both in medical school right now. They were, as the put it, "hit by the baby bus on the way to school." Their little girl is coming in two weeks. I thought if she had a cute hat she might be enticed to come out.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

And that, my friends, is what we call progress.

I felt the black cloud coming yesterday evening. I'd had a rough week at work and was feeling especially unhappy with my life and what not. I can't explain where this desperate feeling comes from, but I can tell you that it is powerful and is capable of making you think about dark things. I don't mean dark thoughts as in hurting myself, but rather thoughts that really aren't worth your time thinking about.

Up until last year, my response to such a feeling would be to go to sleep. Or lie in bed trying to sleep. There would be unexplained crying, too. However, yesterday was different. As I felt the hopeless feeling coming on, I jumped up and told Ross I needed to go to the gym. Being the astute and wonderful husband he is, he knew exactly why. He kissed me and told me drive safe.

Rather than wanting to take to my bed, I'm now trained to crave physical activity when my mind has gone loopy. Obviously, this is a much healthier and more productive option. After just 10 minutes of running on the treadmill and breaking a little sweat, I felt better than I had in days - not just because I had made the healthy choice, but because I finally was understanding how to take care of myself on all levels.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tattoo #2

Ever since I got my first tattoo, all I've wanted to do is get another one. A lot of people have asked me what I would get. Here's a sneak peak:

No, I wouldn't get the whole cover. I want to just get the bird. I chose this because this book changed my life. I seriously cry every time I read it. It showed me that it is possible to be a proud Southerner without taking on all of the stereotypes people attach to that. I think it articulates growing up in the South better than any other book I've ever read. It shows the beautiful and hilarious relationship that siblings have with one another, too. Since I love my siblings more than anyone else ever will (sorry Jen and Matt), I clearly connected with this aspect of the story. Also, Atticus Finch is one of my heroes and I hope to be the kind of parent he is.

As you can see, it means a lot to me. I would love to have a piece of it with me always.

P.S. Thanks to Mrs. Klein, my freshman English teacher. I read this book in her class. We would talk about it all the time and she'd cry right along with me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A teacher's dream come true.

Well, I don't know if I would go *that* far, but this is pretty close.

As many of you know, teachers are on their feet all day long. When I sit down to lunch, it's literally the first time I've sat down in 3 hours. Consequently, we teachers often have aching feet. Sure, we have our Dansko's that help, but sometimes the only thing that will help is a foot massage. OR THIS:

First, it's 100% natural which is great. For some reason I'm comforted by the fact that, if necessary - like if zombies attack and we are stranded upstairs - Ross and I could live off of my Burt's Bees products for several days. Not only that, it works. As the tube says, "This wonderfully natural formula combines pure Peppermint oil, Parsley Leaf oil, and Menthol to soother and calm tired feet." I was not aware that so many of those ingredients had to be capitalized - you learn something new everyday. Anyway, the tube doesn't lie. In fact, I would even say that the tube holds back. This stuff WAKES UP YOUR FEET! Seriously, I've been using this consistently for a week and I've never known my feet to be so awake. It's heaven. Pure, golden, delicious, Peppermint Infused Heaven.

I just blacked out for 20 minutes

So I just had my interview for the integrator job. I remember going in, saying hello, saying goodbye, and walking out. Hopefully that's not all I did. I get so crazy nervous in situations like that. I could have gone in and recited the Gettysburg Address while standing on my head without even realizing it. I don't find out for 6 to 8 weeks (I remember hearing that part). Not it's waiting. I'm not good with waiting either.

Churning

There is so much to be stressed about today. The kids take their first part of their SOL Writing test. This part of teaching is incredibly hard because as much work you put in to preparing them, it's up to them to do it. On top of that, they are still dealing with the aftershocks of the recent tragedy in our school and its surrounding neighborhoods. To update you on that, the little girl has been transported to Shriners Hospital in Ohio. She is badly burned but fortunately unconscious, so she's not feeling anything.

Also, my interview is todaya t 1:40. I haven't had to do anything like this in a long time and the familiar stomach ache, nervous shaking, and overall feelings of mediocrity are starting to take over. I know I will be fine once I get in there, but I don't do well with anticipation. I'm ok with whether I get it or not, but quite frankly, I don't like it when people are looking at/evaluating me. The whole interview is only supposed to take 20 minutes. It will all be over by 2:00. Then I can go to the gym and watch Dr. Phil while I workout. Just gotta get to that point.

Ross and the PharrOut crew also have a big presentation today. He's not used to having to actually "talk" so he was a little nervous. I just told him to cut back on saying "I mean..." before every sentence and he should be fine.

I'm hoping there will be much celebration in the Catrow House once this day is over. We lead a very quiet life, so today is a big deal for us. I'm just ready to have it all been done, get in bed, watch Nip/Tuck, and snuggle.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Insanity came at me from every direction all day at school, came home, napped a little while, had dinner with Ross's parents at Casas Grandes, celebrated 5th anniversary of my step sister's successful bone marrow transplant, came home, went to bed.

Saturday: Gym for the first time in two weeks, watched 5 minutes of a Room With a View then turned it off after 5 minutes because it was SO BORING, watched Punch Drunk Love, watched a million hours of America's Next Top Model, ate pizza, watched Secretary, went to bed.

Sunday: Gym, came home,, had lunch, watched the History Chanel, made communion bread, went to church, got Taco Bell, watched Shalom in the Home, snuggled with the hubs, did some laundry, going to watch the Jesus Bones show, might be Jewish tomorrow.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What a Nightmare

This is a family at my school. Please keep them in your prayers, particularly the little girl in the hospital. I will post more information when I know it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Friend


My friend Remus turned 1 year old yesterday. Here he is last weekend enjoying his first taste of cake. He kept wanting to share his mushy, drooly cake with everyone. While he was opening presents, his mom and dad realized he had what can only be described as a cake-booger coming out of his nose. He's the cutest, sweetest baby in the whole wide world. He's attracted to anything electronic and likes to make popping noises with his mouth. He prefers to stand up while getting his diaper changed. He has very sensitive skin. He loves loves loves his puppy dog and thinks banging his hands on a table is just about the most fun thing ever. All of these things make him one of my favorite friends.

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

The 1/2 month of faaaaaaaaaaaaat

I haven't been to the gym since my death period. I wanted to make sure I was completely well before I even considered physical activity. Honestly, I didn't feel 100% until yesterday. I think it was only then that I had finally made up for all of the calories I didn't consume last week.

I thought about going today. Ross is out watching a basketball game with some friends and I got all my extracurricular work done ahead of time. I was even home relatively early. But no. I took a nap instead, simply because I hadn't taken a nap all week. I feel like crap now and I know I would be feeling great if I had gone and run for just 30 minutes. But oh well. I'll get back on track this weekend.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So, I guess this is really happening.

I finished my portfolio for that interview I told you about. I also told my team members at school that A) I'm interviewing for that position and B) either way it goes, I won't be back next year. I almost (almost, almost) wanted to cry when saying it, partly because I'm happy/excited, partly because I'm sad/scared. I told them that I need to step away from teaching in the classroom for a little while, to focus on other things, namely my own life. Teaching is all-consuming. Don't get me wrong. It's wonderful. Wonderful. But I require myself to give 100% to everything I do. And as we know, mathematically, that can't really happen. I've always said that I never wanted to be someone who was defined by what their job is, and that's how things are now. I owe it to myself and my friends and my family to be emotionally available. I have no idea what is going to happen. I know what I want to happen and I know how I want the next few years to look, but who knows how it will really go. It's funny. Normally I don't do well with being in limbo, but I'm liking not knowing what to expect.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday: Did an interview at the Belmont Butcher for West of the Boulevard News (should be up Thursday), stopped by work, praised the good Lord that I had a great substitute, got caught up on grading and lesson plans, met Ross at his parents' house, went with the mother-in-law to Five Guys, watched a few episodes of Nip/Tuck while grading and knitting, sleep.

Saturday: Did NOT go to the gym, laid around the house, went to celebrate Remus's 1st birthday (!), ate at Zeus Gallery Cafe, came home and watched tons of TV while Ross was downstairs with MattWhite watching a million YouTube videos, more sleep.

Sunday: Slept SO late, hung around the house, went to church, ate some cookies, went to dinner at Joe's with MattWhite and his parents (free food!), came home, not watching the Oscars because it's too stressful for me, gotta go to bed soon to rest up for my first day back at work in a long time.

Here's a cute thing for you to look at:

This is not my baby or any baby that I know. Nor is this my puppy or any puppy that I know. I'm too lazy to upload cute pictures taken at Remus's birthday party (there was cake up his nose at one point), so I just thought I'd google "puppy and baby" so you'd have something to look at until I get my act together.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ok, seriously...

Does anyone else think that Britney Spears is *this* close from kicking the bucket, either by her own hand or by some crazy accident? What with the shaving the head and the in and out of rehab and the Kevin Federline being the stable parent, don't you feel like E! True Hollywood Story has just written out the script and she's following it? I feel like any day now I'm going to go to people.com and find out that she did herself off by drinking gasoline or something.

I'm going to feel really bad if that actually does happen. Probably a lot like how Michael Douglas felt after Princess Diana died and he said that the public wouldn't have the same reaction if Mother Teresa died. AND THEN SHE DID. AND THEN THEY DID. AND HE WAS A WRONG BUT JINXING MAN.

Who's this?


Take a guess...

She works hard for the...well...hmmm

This is going to be a busy week. On top of playing catch up from last week (BTW, I am feeling wooooonderful now, thank you), I have a million balls up in the air.

First and foremost, the 5th grad SOL writing test is on March 6th and 7th. I will be teaching my rear end off from now until then, trying to fine tune the little darlings. Also, I have a feature due for West of the Boulevard News on Thursday. The guy in charge sure knows how to crack the whip-AND he's not even paying me. On top of that, my interview requires quite a bit of preparation. Thankfully, I got my work for PharrOut done. And honestly, I kinda love being busy with this kind of stuff.

Since I've had two whole posts without a picture, I thought I'd let you see what it looks like when I work. At least when I do writing work. My teaching area is always very organized and uncluttered-you have to set a good example for the little ones. Anyway, here it is:

I love this spot with all of my heart. If you zoom in you can see all kinds of crazy stuff. For example, that piece of paper with the well-blocked off text includes such lovely tidbits as my occassional tracking off weight and measurements, co-workers phone numbers, and a primitive log of my time spent working for PharrOut. Please also notice the beautiful portrait I did of Ross. He did one of me too but, fortunately, that one is blocked by my laptop. Enjoy!