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Two things. First: today is a good day.  Not only did my wonderful, amazing, fantastic husband sleep slightly-less-comfortable last night so that I could get a good night of sleep (by sleeping with the bed at an angle, which makes me sleep deeper and him sleep lighter for some reason), but the visit with the doctor seems to have actually helped my breathing.  A steroid shot in the hip seems to have reduced the swelling in my nose to the point that I can, once again, breathe.  That plus two new prescription allergy medicines (xyzal and singulair) and I have FINALLY.. FINALLY woken up without feeling like I needed to immediately take a pain killer for the pressure in my head. Thank you Jesus!! Modern medicine once again helps!
 
Waking up able to breathe, feeling like I got enough sleep, it’s amazing what those two things can do for a person.  I feel brand new.  I feel like if this keeps up, I’ll be ready to start working on some other projects.  Projects to help me get more balanced.
 
I initially thought that my primary goal this year was to get to my target weight.  However, the more I think about it, the more I realize it is much more than that. When I think about how much work the weight loss is going to take, I realize that my REAL goal this year is to obtain a little bit more balance in my life.
 
See, I want to get down to my target weight (160) and I was doing REALLY good until December.  Have you ever made 500 cookies over the course of a month and NOT put on a few extra pounds?  So I was at 190 (I am putting my numbers on the internet, WHAT!) and now that the holidays are over I’m back up to 200. 
 
200 isn’t bad – still better than my max weight of 250 (ohmywordIjusttypedthat) – but I have a extra problem there that has prevented that number from going down in the first half of the month.  I’m going to say it. Are you ready? I quit smoking.  Yes, yes, I smoked. I’m not proud, and most of you probably didn’t even know.  It’s terrible, I know, but I honestly enjoyed it.  I didn’t smoke around Benjamin, and I had quit when I was pregnant, but I didn’t stay quit.  So anyways, I finally made up my mind that even though I enjoyed smoking, it was going to slowly kill me (and I didn’t want to die from something so stupid), so I quit.  I’m done. No more. Not another single one in my life, I hope, so help me God.
 
But with me quitting smoking I’ve been having a very hard time controlling my eating.  It’s kind of like, I finish a meal and I really want a cigarette but I can’t have one, so I think: “Oh, I’ll just have seconds, or maybe I can have something sweet to reward myself for not smoking!”… yeah.  Not good.  So one of the ways I have tried to cut down on my calories is by drinking more coffee in the morning.  I’m up to about 4 cups before 10am on the days I work.
 
Do you see where the balance thing comes in?
 
I’ve been trying to be cognizant of these issues, even if I haven’t really taken much action to prevent the overeating.  I’m self-aware enough to know that I can’t just change all my bad habits overnight.  It’s frustrating, but luckily I can be patient.  I have to ease in to this or I’ll stress myself out to the point that I cave and smoke.  I don’t want that, but I also don’t want to be overeating. 
  
Balance.
 
I think if I can figure it out, 2012 may be my best year yet.

Tomorrow is my final follow up with my surgeon that charged me 5k to do nothing to fix my nose.

Well, no, it is more like she charged me thousands of dollars for a surgery that was supposed to stop my recurring sinus infections that only repaired my deviated septum.

I’m not really sure what I want to tell her tomorrow. I feel like I was promised one thing, given another, and am powerless to do anything about it.  Justin is coming with me and hopefully he will help me tell her how horrible the last few months have been health-wise. A sinus infection that lasts years is terrible. I’m tired of tossing and turning so I can breathe, I’m tired of blowing my nose, I’m tired of taking pain killers every day. I’m just tired of it.

So I will go tomorrow and paint her a picture. We shall see how it goes.

Grief is a funny thing. It has affected me in so many different ways throughout my life and sometimes it doesn’t feel fair the way I feel. Grief forces me to feel a way I generally don’t want to feel – angry, mad, sad, numb, relieved…etc.

The past few nights I have not slept well at all. You could say I am grieving – and that’s exactly what I am saying – although I don’t have a very good reason to grieve right now. Hmm. I don’t know that I’m wording this very well, let me try again. There’s nothing new that has happened in my life that gives me a reason to be grieving. There.

I kind of feel like this grief may be residual grief that I never really worked through with my folks. Maybe certain things didn’t get dealt with because of the huge big crazy tragedy that was their death. Maybe I didn’t deal with some of the stuff because I was too busy caring for others.

I’ll probably never know.

I know what triggered this, but I won’t elaborate here because the trigger isn’t a part of my story, it belongs to someone else. It’s not important any way. What is important, though, is that I recognize that grief is OK. Even if the grief hits me almost three full years after their death.

So the part of grief that has hit me is this crazy inability to stay asleep. I can’t close my eyes without thinking about terribly depressing subjects and seeing floods of “what ifs” race through my consciousness. When I finally do wrestle myself to sleep, I wake with a start at the slightest disturbance around me. I bolt up, heart racing, and take forever to get back to sleep. As you can imagine, this has been slightly irritating.

So what do I do?

I recognize that this is normal. I recognize that grief is weird and strange and affects everyone differently and maybe this is how I have to grieve – one piece at a time – so I don’t fall apart at the seams. I recognize that my mind has to process things in its own time. I recognize that my job is to sit here, tired, and remember that through all this – the grief and the pain and the sleepless nights – I am not alone. I recognize that this sucks, but that it’s part of life. And I blog about it, so that maybe someone out there googling how to deal with grief will find these words and know that they, too, are not alone.

A few months ago I started walking to work. It’s a little under 2 miles, so if I leave my house at 4:30 AM I can make it to work with plenty of time to shower and even stretch in the gym. It’s been a good setup – if I follow through with it. But it seems like something always comes up.

First I was sick. Then I slept in. Then I got a weird cyst thing on my right foot. Then I got a blister on my right foot. All of which are things that prevented me – at least a day or two each – of begging out of the jog so my hubby would drive me. A few weeks ago I went to get a mani/pedi with my cousin. Well, the lady took a chunk out of my right heel (literally – a chunk of skin – it’s going to scar). So that prevented me from walking for a few days while I gave it time to heal. Then I was too tired because of the overtime I’m getting at work. Then I get a ride so I can take my work clothes and food in to work with the intention of walking the next day.

It’s always something.

Last night Benjamin, still re-adjusting to being home after a weekend in Houston with family, did not go to bed until almost 10pm. Then he was up at 2am with a fever – so of course, so was I. To be blunt, four hours of sleep is not fun, and I didn’t get him back down to sleep until the tylenol kicked in at 4am. I’m supposed to wake up to walk to work at 4am. Do you think that happened last night? Oh, no. I went back to sleep for an hour and got what sleep I could!!

It’s always something.

I was doing really good eating healthy and going to the gym. One busy weekend where I didn’t make it a priority, and I haven’t been back since. Add to that a bad day and cake readily available at work…

It’s always something.

I find more and more in my life that the things that are important to me NEED to be my priority. When I list the things off the top of my head that are “important” to me I get this list: Faith, family, fitness, friends, finances and my “fun” stuff. Side note: I initially had “health” instead of fitness, but my OCD wanted it all to match.

After I thought about what I just wrote for a few minutes I added my career and my home to the list. Because even though I wouldn’t consider them “major priorities” they are things that are important to me – my career gives me great joy, satisfaction, and helps pay for everything I do. My home is the place I live and I want it to be a happy, relaxing place to build memories.

How in the world am I supposed to fit a reasonable amount of time for each of those things into my life without scheduling myself to death? How can I balance the “fun” stuff like playing video games with taking the time to do a bible study, or pull some weeds or do the dishes without putting myself on a schedule? How do I stop myself from letting those pesky “somethings” distract me from what is really important?

I know this is not a new problem for anyone, and I’m not the first or the last who will ask these questions. Everyone is going to have a their own way of balancing their life, just like everyone has their own priorities. I think the best I can do for now is to identify areas I need to improve on and focus on them a bit more. At the end of each day (or week, or month) I want to sit down and ask myself, “did I spend enough time with friends? Did I read my bible enough? Did I keep up with my chores and do fun things with my family?” And if any of those was lacking, I’ll make that my focus the next month.

Review, tweak, ad infinitum. Such is life.

Things on my mind right now:

1. Copper door hardware. I’m leaning towards these or these, but I think Justin might like these (with these knobs) better. I didn’t realize how difficult the knob vs. handle decision was. Depending on the design, we will probably mix it up. Also, hi, copper door hardware is expensive! Especially for 21 doors and 7 drawers. Especially since I’m going to have to more than likely replace most of the kitchen cabinet hardware including the hinges (2 per door, ouch). If I wasn’t I could just get some antique copper spray paint and call it a day.

2. Ladders. We are going to buy one. Maybe this one. I love that I can get free shipping on a 54 pound item though Amazon. Amazon, you are my hero.

3. Dear Jesus, I am so glad we are able to do this without going into debt. I mean, besides the actual cost of the house. That will set us back. But all this random stuff we have to buy. Although, I have to admit, I am EXTREMELY tempted to throw caution to the wind and go ahead and spend a ridiculous amount of money to install custom closet stuff before we move in… would be sooo nice to just paint and move right into my pretty closet but I think good sense (and the need to buy things like flooring and paint) will win out over the stuff I want. Will have to save pennies for the closet upgrades, I think.

4. The brain pain I have been experiencing (and subsequent bad taste in my mouth) that is somehow due to allergies has gotten MUCH worse since going to the ENT and getting on their spray. This depresses me. I’m kind of hoping that it’s one of those get-worse-before-it-gets-better things, but I don’t know for sure. Will be calling them on Monday. It pretty much made the first half of my shift at work miserable and almost unbearably unhappy.

5. My son is 8 months old. That number is unreal! He’s almost one! My coworker has a great philosophy: parents throw their 1 year olds huge birthday parties not for the child’s sake, but in celebration that they’ve made it through the first year. I never would have understood that before, but I do now. I am so in love with this tiny little version of Justin and I, and I daily get reminded of all the great things I get to teach him and introduce him to when he gets older. I can’t wait, but I’m also enjoying this time of exploration.

6. My family is possibly planning a vacation in August and I miss them all so much, I hope we can work it out so that I can go.

7. I miss my parents so much. I’m hoping to be distracted on the 2 year anniversary of their death (which is quickly approaching) but honestly, there’s a part of me that just wants to curl up and cry the entire day. Why is it that it hurts more now? It just feels more fresh, more raw.

Anyways.

Let me add one more so I can end on a happy note.

8. Justin and I wanted to do our bedroom in brown and blue, but I love this so much I think I might make him add YELLOW!

The hour is quiet. It’s just a hare past midnight on my Friday. Yes, I know it’s Sunday night (aka Monday morning) but today is the last day of my long work week. I love working Sundays because even though I’m at work, it’s still kind of a day of rest. Criminals don’t do a lot on Sundays – and if they do, they get caught pretty quickly, which is nice. The world is quiet in calm preparation for the week ahead.

At work I have a rotating schedule every two weeks. One week I work a WHOLE LOT Monday through Sunday (64 hours) and then the next week I work Wednesday and part of Thursday (16 hours) and am off the rest of the time. While this setup leads to one exhausted Jennettiee for the long week, it also leads to a very happy Jennettiee during the short week. I love having that many days off – days I can spend up and awake with Benjamin and we can make up for the lack of time together the previous week. Days I can have lunch with my friend Leslie and watch a movie with my husband. Ahh, sweet serenity.

So today is my Friday. I have lots of plans for next week! Starting at 9:30 tomorrow morning we go back out in search of a home to raise our family in. We’ve been searching since Octoberish, and haven’t found the perfect house yet. We found several that were perfect – but for whatever reason they weren’t perfect for us. And that’s OK. It’s easy to get frustrated or feel like we have to find something now now now ! But we’re in the luxurious position of not having a time table. Sure, we’d like to find a house before the interest rates climb into the sixes, but if that’s how long it takes then we’ll be OK with that. We’re more interested in finding a good home we can love and build and grow in. A home that preferably has room for us, Justin’s brother, his parents, the dogs, the pool table, and maybe a little nook for me to have some space to myself. Maybe.

I’m also planning on baking some bread! I’m a test baker for Peter Reinhart’s new cookbook – Gluten Free, Carb Free breads. I’ve received the first few recipes and I am SO excited! This is a huge deal to me for several reasons. One, I’m a HUUUGGEEE Peter Reinhart fan. Two, I haven’t been able to eat bread lately since I’m low-carbing my way to my target weight. Three, because I haven’t been eating bread, I haven’t been baking bread. I’ve missed it a lot… bread baking makes me incredibly happy, so I’m eager to get back into it. For those of you who care, he’s ataining GF/CF by utilizing many techniques that people have already used, almond flour, flaxseed, xantham gum, etc… he’s just (hopefully, probably) doing it better and more awesomely. One of the things I really respect about him is his passion for bread, and I can’t wait to see how that translates into these healthier breads. It’s a good week to be low-carbing it at my house!

Anyways. Also planning on going to the doctor. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I’ve essentially gotten to the point that I have to get something to fight the ridiculous infection in my head. I’m pretty sure it’s sinus related, but it’s been progressively getting worse and now my ears are starting to ache too. So, after much fighting it, to the doctor I go. I’m hoping they’ll be able to suggest a solution other than antibiotics, but I’m not very hopeful.

So there are some of my plans. Ahh, to have them written down! Speak of plans, I find it funny the way our minds work. Justin can’t stand plans. If he gets a day off work, he doesn’t want to make any plans. He wants no commitments, no schedules, nothing to stress him out. I’m the opposite. I want to maximize my time to relax, so I’ll plan my relaxation around the duties and must-dos. I like to have order. That drives him crazy sometimes, but luckily I don’t force my plans on him too often. I wonder, times like this, when I’m busy planning away, which side will Benjamin take to? Will he be like his Daddy, impulsive and carefree? Or will he be like his Mommy, obsessive and detail-oriented? Time will tell. In an ideal world, just like Justin and I balance each other out, Benjamin will be a good balance of the two of us.

Anyways. I keep reading all these amazing blogs from these people who make a living doing this. Can you imagine?! I think if I was going to do that I’d have to have more focus. And be a better writer. And blog more. And since I don’t see any of those things happening anytime soon, I guess I’m just going to have to be happy writing mediocre to a few readers, knowing that in the end, the blog is more for my sake than anyone elses.

Nyah!

Day 10 – Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I’m changing this question to “SomeTHING you need to let go of, or wish you didn’t HAVE” because I’m tired of trying to think of negative things about people. Sheesh!

So. Something I need to let go of.

About half of my belongings. Seriously. I’m not a fan of clutter, but I am a big fan of things. The downside to one is the other. It drives Justin CRAZY. So, I’ve been thinking about working hard at getting rid of things. Selling things, throwing things out, paring down and putting up. I’m actually a HUGE fan of organization, although you’d be hard pressed to tell based on my house.

The clutter in the house has slowly been grating on my nerves to the point that I pretty much get angry anytime I think about it… and I can’t even IMAGINE how much it drives my husband crazy. His tolerance is way less than mine!

I’ve done OK keeping up with Benjamin’s clothing (easy when I’ve got 2 ladies who just gave birth to boys to pass clothing down to) but going through anything else has been on hiatus. Something about having a brand new baby makes for a slow move to organization!

I’m also still recovering from adding an entire extra household of stuff to my belongings from my parents stuff. I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff, but some of it that I couldn’t part with at the time. I knew I’d be able to eventually though, so I put it away to a time and a place where I would be able to part with it. For instance, my mother’s curio cabinet. I couldn’t dream of getting rid of that right after she died, because of course I would want a curio cabinet in my house just like her!

But if I’m honest with myself, I’m not the type to have an entire cabinet filled with knick knacks. I’d much rather have them scattered amongst the house and hidden in surprise places. So, out goes the curio cabinet.

I have 350923 vases of my Mom’s. Ok, maybe only 30, but that’s still a RIDICULOUS amount of vases. I need to get rid of half, and send them to my sisters or something.

There are still some things I won’t be able to part with. I can’t stand the idea of losing her tea set, or some of her angel stuff, and I don’t want a million tiny ceramic animals from Red Rose tea but dang it, I can’t stand the thought of giving them away! One day I will.

I’m really going to try this week to sort through some stuff and put a few things on craigslist. If nothing else, I’ll have to start getting ready for Christmas. And eventually, moving.

Justin and I are getting ready to hit the money-saving train hard.  We will still be putting money towards the restoration of the 1965 Mustang but pretty much every extra penny will be going towards savings.  Our goal is 5k in a year, but that MIGHT be a bit much.  We will see.  That basically breaks down to 200 dollars per pay period.  Eeek!  That’s a lot of mexican food, pizza and delicious bacon. It’s also a lot of gas money down to Houston and vacations.  But we have been thinking a lot about purchasing a home in the next few years and if we do we want to have a good down payment.  So, save we must.  I don’t think either one of us is sold on the idea of owning – we both like the convenience of calling the rental company when our property has a problem – but I also don’t want to be paying rent when I retire.  And people keep telling us it’s better to own – although, like I said, I’m still not convinced.  So, we’ll spend another year here and think things through. 

Anyways.  In the meantime I’m going to be saving my pennies for the things I want.  I figured I’d make a list so I could refer back to it when I want to spend the extra 2 dollars I have on something else.  Maybe I’ll sell a few things on Craigslist to get this stuff.  Who knows.

1.) The Wise Man’s Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
His book The Name of the Wind was recommended by Greg Dean (author of the often-hilarious Real Life Comics) and I finally got tired of him talking about how amazing it was so I finally bought it.  And it was that amazing.  It was one of the best fantasy books I have ever read, and for someone who reads a lot that’s really saying something.  I’ve been looking forward to this book since I got done reading the first one and am SO excited about its release.  That being said, if I can manage to I’m going to wait for paperback.  But I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I’m pretty excited.

2.) Diablo III – Blizzard!
Some of you geeks are familiar with the Diablo games. Amazing fun. I adored Diablo II and have many happy memories playing that game (moooo!) My Uncle Rick and I enjoy discussing Diablo tactics and who doesn’t love a good time throwing fireballs at people? Exactly. We bought an actual computer specifically so we’d have something to play Diablo III on. It just needs to come out before our box is completely outdated!

3.) Genesis: A Commentary - Bruce Waltke
I got recommended this by someone on the Internet Monk site and ever since then it is my go-to-drool-over theological book. Genesis has always been one of my favorite books of the bible and I’d like to dive in a little deeper to what someone else sees in its beautiful writing.

4.) The Flavor Bible - Karen Page, Andrew Dorenburg
It’s funny, if I had to pick one thing on this list… well, Wise Man’s Fear would win hands down. But if I had to pick a second thing, this book would be it. I’ve been droooooling over this book for ages. I love to bake (and am pretty darn good at it sometimes) but I’m not the greatest cook.  Just ask my husband.  I do OK but I’d really like to know WHY it is that I really like adding celery powder to things, or why a hint of vanilla in the strangest of dishes makes the back of my tongue happy in ways that I didn’t expect.  And this book does things like this (pulled from the book, totally not trying to steal, just using it as an example, please don’t sue!):
Celery
Season: year-round
Taste: astringent
Botanical relatives: carrots
Function: cooling
Weight: light
Volume: moderate-loud
Technique: boil, braise, cream, raw, saute, steam, stir-fry

And then gives a huge list of things that it goes well with.  Like humus and fish and blue cheese.

I like that it would teach me why I use the flavors I use and how to combine them better.  I’ve been wanting to create a new kind of banana bread for my roommate Jim that doesn’t taste like traditional banana bread, but I want to know what flavors go well with banana that are not exactly traditional.  And trying to google for that is useless.  Go ahead, google “savory banana bread” and see? You get nowhere. 

So, anyways, eventually I will get that book.  It’s available wirelessly which leads me to…

5.) Sony Reader
Maybe. Most likely. It seems like the best of the readers out there right now and I like that I can store the entire library on it at once.  I’ve been debating digital books for a while internally and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to get over my hesitation because it’s the way of the future and coming this way no matter what.

Not that I’m going to get rid of my library.  I was about to say that most the books I have are out of print anyways, but upon checking I was amazed to find a lot of my rare books are still in print (or being reprinted as classics).  Jack Chalker’s Well World series is still in print, although my 1980′s copies are better looking.  The Three Christs of Ypsilanti is being reprinted as a classic, but since I have one of the first few editions I’m pretty sure mine (hardcover with the dust jacket!) is worth a bit more.  I have the paperback box set of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from 1970 that is retro and beautiful and in great condition. 

Anyways.  There is no way I would willingly part with most of my books.  They are a comfort food to me, ya know? I like to devour them on rainy days and cold days and sunny days.  But new books? I have no problem buying those digitally.  I would love to carry around a dozen books to read based on my mood at that particular moment. No need to bookmark or dog-ear? Sold! Searchable? Even better!  And if I decide I really want some paper to hold (or take to the beach to get sand-encrusted) I have a ton of books at home to choose from that I’ve decided to keep on hand.

Although it would be nice to get rid of my Tom Clancy books. They take up an entire shelf all on their own!

6.) LOTR trilogy: extended editions on blu-ray
I join the protestors on Amazon.com by being irritated at New Line for releasing the theatrical versions a full 2 years before they’re planning on releasing the extended editions.  We all know exactly why they’re doing this, to sell the theatrical versions to the people who are impatient and the extended editions to them again in a few years.  That doesn’t make it right but hey, it’s a capitalistic society (for now) and I can’t blame them for what they’re doing. I can be irritated and refuse to buy the theatrical version though, and that’s what I’m doing.  Estimated release for the extended edition is 2011-2012. 

7.) Running gear
I’ve been utilizing the treadmill at work but I’m hoping this winter to upgrade to outdoor workouts. I won’t have the drive/gumption to do that unless I have some way of tracking my progress.  I’m thinking that I need some sort of pedometer or heart rate monitor or distance tracker or something.  There’s some pretty awesome gear out there – Nike has Nike+, Addidas has miCoach, so something along those lines that will track where and what I’m doing when I go out and “hit the streets.”  I don’t really know what I want yet – I’m still new to the running thing – but it’s on my list assuming I don’t throw my running shoes away in defeat ;)

Edited to add:
8.) Sew Everything Workshop: The complete beginner’s guide
I really really want to learn how to sew.  I want to learn for lots of different reasons.  One, with me losing weight, I’ll need to be able to modify my clothes to fit me.  Take them in and what not.  Also, I’ve always wanted to be able to make my own clothing.  It would be a helpful skill if I ever decide to decorate my house. I would be able to make my own pillows and whatnot.

But I am notorious for picking up “hobbies” that then sit there by the wayside for ages without so much as a glance in their general direction.  I did very much enjoy cross stitching when I did it, so I think I’d like sewing.  This book is across the board the #1 recommended book for beginners, and it looks like most of the stuff in there I can sew by hand.  I would, of course, have to sew by hand initially so that I could develop the skill.  If one day down the line I were to obtain a sewing machine that would be groovy, but I obviously can’t justify that much money right now.  I think I’ll sell my beading stuff and buy the basics for sewing with it.  I’m not really sure where I will find the time, but I’m pretty sure I could do some basic learning stuff while I have down time at work.  Especially if all I needed was a small piece of fabric and some thread. 

So, there you have it.  My wish list.

Core dump, because I need to .

Marriage: Awesome, as usual. Justin and I took a lovely 3 day/2 night trip to Galveston before I started back to work. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast and spent a ridiculous time people watching at the beach. We had an absolute blast. Benjamin stayed with my cousin Teresa and behaved himself.

Benjamin: Holding his head up like a champ! He likes to play flying baby and he spends a lot of time sitting with Mommy on the couch watching Daddy play call of duty. We’ll discuss the merits of infants watching video games later. He doesn’t cry when we watch Daddy, so it works. Justin is desperately trying to get him to say “Dada” as his first word, and it’s so cute I hope it works. We’re slowly starting to integrate sign language into our communication with him. We know it’s early but we figure if we get into the habit now, it will be easier for us later. I’m still not able to exclusively breastfeed; apparently the trauma of the end of last month was just too much. I’m drinking the nasty tea, I’m taking the fenugreek and still seeing very, very, very minor (if any) changes. But thank God I’m still able to provide a little – I know so many who can’t – so for now he’s a breastfed/formula fed baby. And he seems pretty happy with that. He’s definitely happy he’s getting fed enough food now, that’s for sure!!

Work: I started back to work last week and it’s amazing and fun and just as great as I remember. I will say it again: I don’t think I could happily be a stay at home mom. I am truly a better person for working the job I work and I can’t imagine not doing it.

God: I’ve been reading my bible almost every day for the past few months and it’s been pretty amazing. I’m actually reading parts I haven’t read in years (like Job and 2 Corinthians) and remembering how much I love them. I also just started an intense study on Daniel with some ladies at church and so far it’s pretty awesome. We meet on Tuesday afternoons and I only get to go on my days off because really? An extra 2 hours without sleep on Tuesdays just wouldn’t work for me. But the study at home is awesome and I’m really enjoying looking at scripture more in depth.

The other day Justin and I were talking about how we feel like we’re wasting some of the gifts God has given us – but neither of us know how to start utilizing them better. Not to mention when to find the time. But it’s something we’re thinking about and praying about and we’re just hoping God will help us figure out what to do.

Health/Etc: Ooof. Here’s the big one. Working on changing my diet (not going on a diet, but changing my habits) and exercising more to bring my weight to a healthy number. Right now it is not a healthy number. I’ve never been one to obsess about the number, but I would like the size of my pants to decrease, ergo, must lose weight. I’m working on a modified version of Atkins.

Let me tell you. I did Atkins back when it was a popular fad diet (my dad was a diabetic, he did it, sue me, I lost 35 lbs on it!) and the Atkins of today is not the Atkins of yesterday. This focuses on whole foods, lots of veggies and drastically increased the allowed carb count for the first phase of dieting. Due to breastfeeding (and not wanting to lose too much weight too fast) I’m skipping their first phase and going straight to what they call “ongoing weight loss.” So far I’m down 15 lbs since early August. I’m going for slow and steady here so even though I COULD be losing more I’m not trying to. Although my weight loss will definitely increase in the next few weeks as I am going to start… dun dun dun… training to run a 5k!

Ok. “RUN” is a bit of a strong word for what I’ll be doing – most likely just jogging and walking. I’m going to be following Fitness Magazine’s “Beginner Training Plan: 6 weeks to a 5k” and I’m starting it…. in 4 hours. Nervous am I, yes. Last time I tried running I got shin splints that WOULD NOT GO AWAY. I’m hoping this time I can prevent them, and I’ll also be working out on a treadmill so that should help. I’m nervous. I’m writing about it so you guys can keep me motivated. The 5k is to benefit Officer Reed’s family and I really want to help them out any way I can. It’s good incentive when I’m already signed up for the race, ya know? Kind of have to prepare now!

The bonus here is that I get acclimated to running, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never been able to manage for a cornucopia of different reasons. Forget “choosing an exercise you enjoy!” I chose the one I’m the most scared of. Heaven help me!

Anyways. Justin said if I get down to a target weight that I’ve set that he will take a dance class with me. Yes, I do have the best husband ever, and no you can’t have him. :) It’s good motivation for me because I love dancing and am absolutely terrible at it. Once I get down to a healthy weight for myself I’ll re-evaluate my diet and see if I want to stick with the eating plan I’m on or if I want to change it to one that has more carbs. So far I’m doing good limiting myself to “real” food – I’m not doing any of the bars, or using any of the super-processed-fake-foods that Atkins and the other brands have. In fact, I just saw some fake low-carb flour but it had so many ingredients I couldn’t pronounce I didn’t even consider it. Boo on fake food! Yay on being healthy!

I’ll let you know how my exercise goes this week. And if I can, I’m going to try to keep updating a bit more often.

We shall see.

Benjamin and I are sick. I’ll fill everyone in on the fun stuff later, but we got sick while vacationing in California. Somehow between camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and staying in the valley we got a bug, or an allergic reaction, or something. Mine is definitely an infection in my head that might have moved into my lungs – I won’t know for sure till tomorrow, I think I’m going to have to go to the doctor. Benjamin is fine most of the time, but at night especially he has been sounding really congested and stuffy. He’s really too young to get medicine so all we have been able to do is keep his airway open and keep an eye on him. No fever, so it’s possible it’s still just allergies he’s having a hard time kicking…. but again, I’ll know more tomorrow because he has a doctor’s appointment.

The downsides to this sickness are as follows: I know that they’re going to put me on an antibiotic if I go to the doctor, which will open up a huge amount of health issues for Benjamin and I in regards to nursing. But that’s besides the point anyways, because he hasn’t been able to nurse the past few days because he doesn’t breathe as easy laying down. And I can pump and feed it to him, but my supply has seen a decline since this all started and I’m not sure what the culprit is. It’s incredibly frustrating. I took some sudafed, which has been known to affect milk supply, but I only took ONE dose (and I really needed it, I felt like my head was going to pop because of the pressure) and that was 2 days ago and my supply is still going down. I’m drinking enough water, eating healthy, and still problems.

I’m seriously frustrated. But, as long as everyone can be healthy (or on the way to healthy) by next weekend I’ll be happy. Because next Wednesday (September 8th) I return to work. I’m excited but nervous, and I definitely have to be on the ball when I go back. So we’ll see what happens.

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