I still am being run ragged by my schedule.  Late-night phone calls with Chef probably don't help, but there's no changing what time the kitchen is open until at the restaurant where he's working.  But we promised to talk each day and it truly is the best part of the day.  I've got a lot going on--what else is new--but I am racing towards the finish line that is the end of the school year, along with an interim finish line that is May 2, when my leadership program will be done. . . culminating in a presentation at our conference.  The good news is that our group did not have to rewrite our presentation, only do some revisions.  

The bad news is that that I don't recall whether I used cards for my talking points or if I did them from memory!

So, in addition to finding and sifting through my folder from July (which had gotten shoved aside when I was hired for my new job) for those cards that might or might not exist, I want to work on. . .

  • budgeting (I'm using YNAB as recommended by a few of the Not Alone Series gals). I've watched a lot of tutorial webinars and while some of it was helpful, I think the approach I'm taking makes the most sense for me.
  • getting all the required paperwork in to the state to get my permanent teaching certification--hopefully my old school will fill in one of the forms for me. . . I've just been too afraid to approach because they might not do it just out of spite. Or lack of organization.
  • charting. Trying to figure out all the NaPro/Creighton codes? I'm second-guessing myself a lot, and getting frustrated.  I have another "tutoring session" scheduled tomorrow which I hope will clear up a lot of the confusion.  And I just need to keep trying and not get discouraged by my perfectionist tendencies, because I really want to find out if there is something to help me not feel so lousy each month.
  • Getting in all the projects and assignments for each grade at school.  Some of which I am attempting for the first time.  Many, actually.  But they need to be done so I'm completing the curriculum and I have grades to enter.  (You know, my least favorite thing, grades. Ugh.)
  • Healing my little diverticulitus-side-effect completely, coming off the annoying medicine, and getting back to my normal, healthy eating regimen.  I'm tired of watching my weight creep back up and feeling there's nothing I can do until I'm done with this "low fiber" requirement.  I miss real fruits and veggies.

I know it's a lot to get done.  But I'm pretty sure at the very least I will be doing a happy dance on May 3 because I'll be almost there.



Finally, an Update with No Snow in It

When I started this post on Monday, it was 72 degrees and sunny. It shouldn't shock me anymore that the temps took a nosedive again and now it's so cold and rainy.  Just raw.

Not as shocking: I've been busy. . .

  • Dealing with the changes to the school calendar as there were no allocations for snow days (!) and they needed to steal back two days
  • In-service was pushed back to Holy Thursday (should've been Wed. but they made the kids come in for classes) so I had Good Friday and Easter Monday off
  • Spent the in-service pounding away at planning lessons for the rest of the school year; there actually are not that many weeks left, I realized upon laying all of them out
  • Tried to put things together for the end of the month when I have a conference and a presentation out of town. . . including asking for a jury duty deferral (that's what I get for renewing my driver's license! And this is for my county not federal like last time) and figuring out paperwork.  Still have to get our group back together after not talking for the past few months and coordinate the actual presenation
  • Took the plunge and am looking into NaPro/Creighton to see if my new GYN can confirm I have a hormone deficiency.  I've been in PMS hell for too many months.  (Plus, not gonna lie, still would like to be a mom.)

But as I enjoy my last day of a shortened "spring break," I am happy.  Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I went to Mass with Chef (tried to sit with Younger Sister and her fiance' but it was so crowded they couldn't save room for us!) and then we went to my parents' house for the grandkids' egg hunt and family dinner.  We spent pretty much the entire day together.

He loves my family and they love him!  (As if it would've turned out any other way.)  Probably didn't hurt that he brought a kick-ass pasta salad (bowties with roasted garlic, tomatoes, and fennel in a balsamic dressing? YUM) and helped with all sorts of things like setting the table and hiding the eggs for the kids.  We got to take a walk around the neighborhood (that he used to see only from the school bus window years ago) and leafed through a few family photo albums. Mostly to prove I was crazy about spaghetti as a kid to the point my face was covered in sauce once.

I wish it had been a longer time for everyone to spend together--even Younger Sister had a 24-hour whirlwind trip and was frustrated--but I really do see more get-togethers like this in the future.  And while I'm exhausted and I miss Chef terribly (hoping to see him Friday but I have to work early on Saturday), that hope for the future is really keeping me going.

As is the promise it eventually will be Spring.



Snow Day, Again

Or perhaps we'd call this a snow-and-ice day following a snow day.  Some roads didn't get plowed in time for the school buses, and some are just plain full of ice.

Does anybody else have winter fatigue?  Do you have the following symptoms?

*Not being able to get warm for hours after having to stand outside in the cold for more than 15 minutes

*White-knuckled commutes featuring long wait times warming up the car (oh and BTW the car's giving attitude like "Here's a CHECK ENGINE light for no apparent reason")

*Too much laundry from all the layers you put on to keep warm

*Feeling isolated because it's too icy or snowy to drive or even walk anywhere

Yeah, those all stink.  Spring is around the corner, I hope.

Other than that, things are O.K.  I mean, things are great with Chef (bad weather interference aside), the Cat is her usual crazy calico self (as a matter of fact, she just slurped herself while sitting next to my laptop and lobbed cat spit on my screen!), and I'm crazily busy with work, but those are really good things.

If I could just calm the anxiety about other things (how soon before the car needs replacing, how can I afford a new car, will I get to keep my job for next year, and so on), I think I'd get a lot more rest and have a lot more energy to keep up with things.  

It was a real treat to have yesterday off, but honestly all I did was catch up on sleep (O.K., a few TV shows, too) and actually cook something nutritious (with leftovers to freeze).  I realized I hadn't done real grocery shopping in close to a month.  I guess awareness is the first step towards making things better.

But at the very least I am hopeful that things are on their way to getting better.  And, as my word for the year requires it, I have to trust that they are.



Snow Day Snippets

At last, I had my first official snow day of the school year today.  And it wasn't a total nightmare digging out my car, unlike last winter (here, here, and here). Oh yeah, and no old people have hit my car. Yet. (I think the guy from last year is doing his handiwork elsewhere now.)

Not that I love doing short bits, because I'd really love to expound on some of these, but, well, time has not been on my side for the past three weeks and I really need to take advantage of this day off to do some catching up with my life.  It has been really difficult to get things moving--you'll see why in some of the following bullets--but I'm hoping that things will start moving forward.  Especially if I just keep trying.

So, what's been going on?

  • The Super Bowl party mentioned in my previous post was smaller than expected, which was fine with me.  Got to meet Chef's cute little niece (and he was asked to be her godfather, which put him over the moon) and aside having to cover up my really bad nausea from the antibiotics I was still taking, things went well.  Chef's little bro thought I was OK (his dog didn't, but the dog seemed to hate anyone who had cats).  And Chef's bro's in-laws, who hosted the party, were absolutely lovely.
  • Of course, that night, Chef's entire right hand looked swollen in spite of two prior treatments and antibiotics for an infection in his finger and I (firmly but lovingly) asked him to see the doctor in the morning. By Monday night, he was in the hospital having emergency surgery.
  • Althought I didn't see it until later, this article came out the same week I was spending that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night visiting Chef in the hospital.  The bottom line of the whole thing is the same reason I agonized over saying it myself: Don't say it unless you are "ready to do the work" that loving someone requires.  I didn't expect to be put to the test so soon, but when the person I love was in pain, sleepless, and lonely in the hospital, I hurt for him and did what I could to distract him from the pain (hint: crack jokes because you're even funnier to someone on painkillers!) and, thanks be to God, was able to get him to fall asleep after that first awful post-surgery night of no sleep.  Seriously, he was out cold and didn't wake up when I took off his glasses and kissed him on the forehead before slipping out.  Later when he woke up and asked the nurse where I was, she told him I'd left because he was snoring--nice nurse, huh?
  • As of right now, his hand is healing really nicely according to the doctor.  He will need a little physical therapy and obviously is not working. 
    That probably was the scariest part of the whole ordeal--it wasn't his dominant hand, but still, he needs both his hands to work.  (Also? Not easy to ask for help with things, but God bless him, he has been bearing it patiently.)  So any and all prayers are welcome that the healing and therapy go well and in a timely fashion.
  • I've been doing my best at school but let me tell you, it is extremely difficult to teach when on top of being tired and worried about someone you care about, your students haven't been outside for recess or much of anything else because it's so darn cold out. Please can winter be over soon???
  • That's why this weekend was great: in-service on Friday which is simultaneously encouraging and frustrating (meeting with the librarians from the other elementary schools), Saturday was a really nice dinner out with Chef's parents and godparents (I passed with flying colors) followed by drinks and conversation at the location of our first date, and then Sunday, for the first time, I cooked him dinner and he loved it.
  • Sunday's menu was Fire-Roasted Tomato and Lentil soup (from here), Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken and Green Beans, and a Baked Pear Dessert, tweaked so it didn't have chopped nuts to bother me (from here which I owned for years but hadn't used much).  I really enjoyed cooking for him, but I'm worried I've set the bar too high--but maybe I'll just make this and all my problems will be solved (yeah, I'm a little skeptical).
  • All my problems except The Cat's poor table manners, that is.  Guess who jumped on the dinner table three times--once to try to eat the roses, and then twice to get to the chicken.  I guess it was that good!

This is about all I can allow myself to do right now--gotta go do some annoying paperwork and see if I can get the bedroom righted at least somewhat (because that's where you put all the stuff you want out of the way when you're cooking dinner).  I hope to return soon!



My Theme Word for 2015

Can you believe we're already a month into 2015?  I can't.

Probably because I've been dealing with ridiculous, incorrectly-predicted winter weather, not to mention an all-nighter in the ER last week. 

Yeah, four years without a problem, and I got blindsided.  I'm so angry about it I can't even discuss it further.  Except to say that once more I feel betrayed by my body and I hate having my flaws, if you will, exposed. (Because you have to admit them to SO MANY: your friends, your parents, your new boss, your new boyfriend.)

But that's a pretty good segue into my theme word for 2015, actually.  You might recall that last year was my first time selecting a word and I think that Confidence worked out pretty well.  (If I do say so myself.)

This year's word?


My brain had been churning the idea of choosing a new word on New Year's Eve, considering how everywhere I looked I saw/read/heard stuff about making resolutions (which I have stopped doing).

But it wasn't until I was out on Date #2 with Chef that it really crystallized for me, without my realizing it.  Our perky server (a teacher, naturally), was asking out of friendliness I'm sure and it just rolled right off my tongue.

"I don't make resolutions, but I choose a word for the year."

She was intrigued and asked if I had picked one yet.

"I think it's gonna be trust," I said without even a pause.  She was impressed.  I think I surprised Chef a bit, too.

It's going to be a challenge, I know that much.

Right now, I'm in a new job that I'm still learning and don't know what will become of it at the end of the school year (just passed the halfway point this week, BTW).  I'm in a new relationship and it feels so vulnerable to say I have a health concern I deal with every day.  (Some people really consider things when they're looking at a future with someone who could get sick from time to time.)  So I have to trust he won't run.

And I'm totally annoyed with said health concern right now because I thought I was doing all the right things to keep it at bay.  I don't trust it to calm down and stay calm for a long while.  Maybe it won't be four years again but four months.

But I have to trust.

I'm about to go to my first get-together with Chef's family.  I've already spent time with his parents (see Date #2 and they remember me anyway) but his younger brother doesn't remember me and his cousins are dying to meet me.

I'm anxious.  I don't feel 100% right now with all the antibiotics making me queasy and I'm back on the effing low-fiber diet I hated so much in 2010 that doesn't really offer all the healthy choices I usually enjoy.  I'm not wearing the jeans I'd rather be wearing because with the stomach upset it's hard to get them buttoned.  (Ugh.)  But I have to trust that the way I'm feeling is temporary, that things will get better. . . and honestly, who wouldn't love meeting me?  

I have to trust in the confidence I built up in 2014.



Recap: Six Word Summaries

Oh, hey.  How's your new year going so far?  Mine?  Oh, it's pretty good.

Seeing it's been over a month since my last post--sorry!--I thought I'd bring you up to speed, but in an easily readable format.  So I give you: the past month, six words at a time. . .

Christmas: Seven Fishes, Midnight Mass, and family.

Date #1 (12/26): Much talking; kicked out at closing. (Bonus 6: postponed date was worth the wait.)

New Year's Eve: Date Number Two and we're exclusive. (Bonus 6: Hug and kiss from his mom!)

Date #3 (01/04): He cooked me Chilean Sea Bass.  (Bonus 6: Then he said Three Little Words.)

Back to School (01/05): Eased back in with reading program.

Date #4 (01/08): I said Three Little Words back.

Date #5 (01/11): He made arrabiata properly for me.*

Date #6 (01/18): Soup, snuggling, and good talks.  (Bonus 6: Checking off my Big Love List.)

That oughta get you going but definitely feel free to ask any questions in the comment box and I will answer as much as I can!



Really Odd Odds'n'Ends

None of these items have much in common, except that they happened since last I posted:

  • Report cards: done.  Eight and a half hours (yes, practically another work day) and a horrible cold to work through.  But they are done, hallelujah.
  • There have been a lot of children absent this week--missing on average five students per class.  Part of it is illnesses that are going around, another part might be the start of Hanukkah (but not much if I understand our student body demographics), and one more part that made the national news.  I'm not going to link to it but something terrible happened over an apparent custody battle and one of the areas was around but not really near us.  But apparently near enough that all the regional school districts said the kids can't go out for recess.  Two days of that and I'm begging for mercy.  Even with all those kids out.
  • At least after a jam-packed day of holiday-crazed, formerly-sick kids who haven't been outside, we got to have kittens in the library after school!
  • One of our afterschool clubs had a guest speaker who brought foster kittens (and a dog who was overjoyed to be around 40 children!).  The B&W kitten is trying to make a break for it.
  • I might have run into someone I went to school with over Thanksgiving weekend while out to dinner with my parents, someone who in turn by trying to track me down, found Older Brother and asked him for my digits. (Which Older Bro kindly asked me about before giving them out.) A week of phone tag might have ensued and then I might have had a couple of phone conversations. . . and I might have been asked to dinner this weekend.
  • Not quite ready for Christmas.  Tree is assembled but not decorated.  Gifts are 99% purchased but 0% wrapped.  And I don't think Santa would be wanting to make a pit stop if he saw my bathroom so I'd better clean that up, too.  (Sometime when I am not working because of course I had to take one for the team and am working the weekend before Christmas.)

A week from now, I'll be on vacation! Yippee!!!