Friday, March 27, 2015


I am officially five work days away from spring break and some quality time with my Batwin! Y'all, words cannot express how excited I am to finally have some down time to chill with friends and relax. I need it. No, seriously, it's not a want at this point. It's a need. My head may explode without this time off.

The new diet is going better. Turns out, cutting out sugar, dairy, and all gluten/wheat products comes with a special kind of hell called withdrawal. Yep. Nothing says "yay for my health" quite like four days of feeling like I'm going to die.

I passed out on Monday before getting in my car to go to work. I also could not consistently focus on any one thought or get rid of my massive headache all day Monday. Needless to say, I missed work. Can't risk passing out on the morning commute! 

Things did get better after that and I am feeling way better now though. We are adapting to our new way of eating. My body is still pretty pissed. I'm dropping weight like a bad habit. I'm down more than five pounds since Sunday. Nt the worst side effect I've ever experienced....

I also recently discovered that Revlon is no longer a drugstore disaster from the 80s. Either that or my taste in cosmetics has time-warped because I'm loving their stuff right now. My go-to lipstick is Revlon and I just finished painting my (short, bitten, neglected) nails in the cutest pink nail polish called optimism. 

It's the little things in life. Pink nail polish and withdrawal symptoms fading quickly. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's all try to stay positive

About two weeks ago a huge emotional bomb was dropped around here and since then we have been dealing with the fallout. Not going to lie, I've been doing a pretty awesome impersonation of an angsty teenager with my tear-filled journaling sessions lately. It's been an overwhelming couple of weeks.

First of all, we are no longer pursuing adoption. This was not my choice, but after months of planning and prayer, my husband is not ready to go down that road. It feels right for me in my heart as our next step, but he feels pretty much opposite about it. After some long and honest talks with each other, and a good bit of prayer, we decided to pursue fertility testing instead.

Yes, that's right. We are embarking again on the TTC rollercoaster. This time with the added bonus of being poked with needles and getting on a first name basis with our doctors. Again, not my first choice, but it feels like the right thing to do at this moment in time. The blessing and the curse of marriage is that you have to be willing to meet your spouse where they are and honor their feelings as much as your own. As much as I have emotionally invested in adoption as my hope for finally becoming parents, my husband has done the same for fertility testing. It makes sense to do one before the other, so here we go.

It's a lot to take in, but I am trying to stay positive and stay focused on the fact that Steve and I have the same goal: to become parents.

We actually had our first meeting with the fertility doctor on Friday. We both took the morning off of work for our initial consult, and it was a good thing we did because holy crap was there a lot to take in!

The doctor looked at my charts from the last two years (yay sympto-thermal method for keeping me organized!) as well as some other information we provided for her and it would seem that we have a lot of issues going on between the two of us. Over the next month we are being tested for a bunch of things before meeting with her again to receive an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

Ok, now for the childish complaining (what's that? You thought the whole post was already full of that? Just wait...)

One of the things the doctor wants me (and Steve by extension) to do is adopt a special diet to help manage the inflammation caused by my IBS and get my weight into "a more ideal range". Yes, that's what she said. Nice lady.

NBD, right? WRONG!

I love food. I love making it, eating it, giving it to other people, buying it, preserving it... the whole nine. On this diet I will be cutting out all dairy, all sugar except the kind naturally occurring in my food, and all grains.

Yup. No bread, no cheese, none of the good stuff. It's lean meats and veggies (and 1/2 cup of berries per day) for the next two cycles. Then, depending how I handle it, I can slowly introduce natural sugars (like honey) and small amounts of grains (like quinoa and brown rice).

As I write this I'm eating what passes for breakfast on this new adventure of mine: chocolate chia seed pudding. Doesn't sound too bad, right? It's not. Not too bad. That's the nicest thing I can say about chocolate pudding and it makes me sad. The way Steve reacted you would have thought I was poisoning him.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unexpected encouragement - AKA: my students' parents rock

This week has been rough. In fact, rough does not even begin to cover it.

I've got weird sinus congestion going on, it has been rainy all week, the dog pooped all over the house Tuesday, my voice gave out mid-week, the custodians ruined the new rug I bought for my classroom less than 24 hours after I brought it to school, and all of my planning time this week was eaten up by meetings. Not even so much as a lunch break was had all week.

As I'm sure you can imagine, by Thursday afternoon I was 100% done with having to effectively function as an adult and less than enthusiastic about conferences.

Don't get me wrong, I love my students and their parents are (for the most part) as engaged and concerned for their kids' education as any teacher could hope for. I just was not in the mood to have those necessarily in-depth discussions this week. Especially not via a translator. Especially not after I had already worked a full day.

I did participate in conferences though and, believe it or not, I am grateful I had that time.

More than 30% of my parents showed up which is a bit of a record for me, and every single one of them told me thank you. Every. single. one. They thanked me for giving my time, for putting forth extra effort to help their child, for being encouraging, for making their child excited about school. They thanked me. One mother told me she thought I was amazing for being able to give each child so much care and attention when I had so many of them in class at one time.

It made my year.

No, seriously, I think those comments will be the thing that gets me through the rest of this year.

Also, I am looking for some way to learn Spanish. If anyone has any recommendations for how to go about doing that, please let me know. This round of conferences really drove home for me the fact that I need to be more accessible for these parents. They need to be able to call the school to talk to me and know I will be able to understand them.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Catching up

I apologize for my absence lately. It seems like February always gets away from me... not just because it's so short either.

Some interesting things are happening around here as of late. I applied for a super cool and exciting Summer Writing Institute and had my interview yesterday. I'll share more about it if/when I am accepted. For now, suffice it to say that it's a huge opportunity which would give me an entire month to give myself over to the creative process of writing. Not to mention I would be working with some incredible people within the literacy and language field.

Steve and I have also begun the process of modifying our home to accommodate the adoption process. What I mean by that for the most part is preparing our two spare bedrooms to actually serve as bedrooms. One of them is currently an office and the other serves as our version of a guest room. It has a dresser, an air mattress, and my super awesome 1970s paisley covered chaise. It also has all of our Christmas decorations in the closet. Clearly, some rearranging must be done before children can occupy that space.

Our first step in making this change has been to move the office downstairs. We have a space in our living room which has been kind of empty and unused since we moved in, so we decided to put a desk there and make it an office nook. After all, we don't really need a whole room for an office since neither of us work from home. I'll post pictures of the office nook once it's finished. Ok... I lied. I'll post a pic when stage 1 of the office nook is done. I imagine it will have a few different stages as we determine our true office needs. For now we plan to have a desk, computer, and our printer there. We will see what else we end up with.

My plan is to keep track of all the changes by posting about them here. We will see how successful I am with that.

That's it for the positive stuff keeping us busy. Unfortunately, there have been some not-so-positive issues happening too. Our pipes burst downstairs and completely destroyed the downstairs bathroom and entry hall. The bathroom needs to be gutted and the ceiling needs to be replaced in the entry hall. We are having a little communication issue with our homeowners insurance at the moment, but we hope they will get it together and get things done really soon.

We also did our taxes and found out that we owe Uncle Sam quite a bit of money. We have never owed before in either of our lives. It was quite a shock. Turns out, my new job as a teacher (and the sad little salary that comes with it) was enough to push us into a her tax bracket. And I can only claim a maximum of $250 in classroom expenses on my taxes. I literally laughed at our accountant when he said that. My mother has spent more than that on my classroom this year. We won't talk about how much I have spent. Let's just say it's a multiple of $250 and leave it at that.

Today is not the day for another teaching related rant. :)

Besides all of that, we are all healthy and in one piece, so we really can't complain. I'm looking forward to March and the fun times up ahead. Our parish is a very proudly Irish parish which means we are looking forward to an epic Saint Patrick's Day celebration as well as the Saint Joseph's feast. This month is also my last month before spring break and the last month before we begin our adoption classes! I don't have to tell you how excited I am for those things. :)