Monday, September 28, 2009

Missing in Action (Blog Update)

Hi Mom (and other random blog readers who I can only identify as a series of random digits and ISP locations),

You've probably been wondering why I haven't been blogging lately. Well, you probably aren't, since I do call you nearly every single day... but for those other loyal random digits out there, I thought I best put up this under construction memo.

I was busy looking up the lyrics to "I've Got A Feeling" last Friday (that Oprah video link just really catapulated that song into all-time-stuck-in-my-head-status), when all of a sudden pop-up's galore started flying across my screen. Most of the words that entered into my head at this point aren't fit to type. You can imagine.

Fast forward to a week later, an inordinate amount of time spent on Geek Forums, and painstackingly tiny tweaks to get my computer back up and running. As it stands, I've gotten all but the search engine hijack cleaned up which means no Google, Gmail or *GASP* Blogger. I know, it hurts me just to write it.

In the meantime, I hijacked my lovely hubby's computer to tell you not to desert me. When I return I shall regale you with Music, Thankfulness, stories of life in the Dash, and a step by step instruction complete with appropriate cuss-words for removing a search engine hijack from your computer. You can skip that last part if you're not feeling it, I won't be offended.


PS, in the meantime...Happy Blogiversary to Moi.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday (and a little extra)

Last week I was really not feeling the thankful list, after having an out of the blue headache for 2 straight days and a mess of other trivial things that were all up under my skin. I felt immediately better after I did my list, and woke up on Friday feeling rejuvenated, peaceful and content again. And headache-free. In light of all that insta-happy, I've had kept on-going Thankful Thursday list all week. So bear with me, it's a bit long. Beats a long to do list, though.

- Our house. I love our every room in our sweet, sweet little house.
- My sister, who is visiting me Saturday.
- last minute wins on the football field by WFU
- Photography class. my head is spinning with new ideas after 2 hours of f-stop and shutter speeds. watch out, those on the other side of my lens.
- Brett Harris' music. Having it on in the background while I work is just insta-happy.
- My hubby, for all sorts of reasons, but what's standing out now is yesterday when he came home from work early on Wednesday and instead of going to bed, offered to walk Buds so I could go in to work earlier. However, letting himself get tasered at work? Kind of weird. I love him anyways.
- Cooking. I love creating food.
- A healthy family
- Steffie, who is always sending me emails about dogs and cats in GSO who need a home. She has the biggest heart in the world, and she sent me Buddy.
- Lots of happy coaching clients this week having big successes. Happy clients, Happy Megs.
- Fresh squeezed lemons into sparkly water
- Grace Little, entering the world this week. Congrats, TJ & Kelli.
- Picking out the teeniest little WFU dress for her. I don't know what it is about tiny clothes, but I think it makes the serotonin levels of every 20 something woman go bonkers... if the staff in my office are any indication.
- My Aunt Barbara. Her birthday is on Sunday and I love her dearly.
- Heather, and a surprise early morning coffee date, and lots of overly excited talk about public health and research, and emails that make us both giddyhappy.
- Al Fresco Au Natural Chicken Sausage. So delicious.
- Trigger Point Massage. Hurts so good.
- Really fast staff meetings
- Homemade salad dressing
- Fiction books before bed
- 9.4 miles, yes we did.
- Post run soak with this stuff
- A husband who is happy and purposeful in his career
- New season of Biggest Loser
- Libraries
- Coworker bringing me back chai from India. Amazing how delicious the real thing is.
- Catching up with a happy Sarah K. I'm happy you're happy, girl.
- Rain, rain, rain. And more rain.
- Good health insurance, and not having to use it very much.
- A wonderful doctor, and very boring appointments.
- Friendships that are so comfy, you just pick up the dish towel and start drying while the other one is washing
- Buddy's baby steps to less anxiety. Lying down in crate? A big step.
- Date night
- Mastering the pumpkin spice latte at home
- A peaceful mind and a happy heart

This one? Always makes the happy list. Good boy.

Yo Starbucks, Imma let u finish, but this chai...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Music on a Wednesday (The Oops Edition)

I know, I know. You have needs, and I have neglected you. Your ears thirst for music, and I left you parched. Fear not - I have not forgotten you.

Enjoy this audio deliciousness. I downloaded this as a free itunes song about 6 weeks ago and it's been stuck in my head ever since. They remind me a little bit of Postal Service, but a tad bit more ethereal. Maybe like Postal Service after a few glasses of vino.

(Nothing to look at, so put it on and go back to Facebook or Twitter or, as a last resort, work.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Confession, yall. I almost skipped this tonight. I'm feeling really blah for no good reason, and was really much more inclined to make a list of all the things that are bugging me. Which is, of course, precisely the reason I need to make this list instead. Here we go. Dig deep.

Happy Things, Today:
- snuggly noodle dog curled up into a little ball on his bed, dreaming of pup-peronis no doubt
- a weekend trip home to see my wonderful in-laws, including mom&dad, sis and nanta&pa
- Matt having an entire FOUR days off. 96 hours with my hubs? Yesplease.
- weighing in the woman today who , after 28 weeks of nothing, finally lost 7 lbs. and she got below 200 for the first time in DECADES. yes, I cried. So did she. (can you believe she hadn't quit? Amazing. I love my job.)
- working from home tomorrow. make up optional.
- my camera
- My mom. Isn't it annoying when someone calls you when they're in the car and they just talk for like 20 minutes straight all about themselves? I do this to my mom all the time, and for some reason, she keeps answering the phone when I call. Bless you, Mom. And thank you for always magically knowing when "I just don't sound right."
- spinach salads with goat cheese and almonds
- Massage for the Cure. Mine is booked and I can't wait. All this running = return of the trigger points.
- WFU Football... chance to redeem themselves this weekend? Either way, there will be tailgating and that is good.
- naps
- wino list serve. daily emails from best friends? good.
- wikipedia
- Christmas shopping. I started today. And not for myself.
- this
- Alannah. Are you out there? I'm thinking of you today.
- walking barefoot across Poteat Field
- news that my grad school best bud is pregs with tweens!
- my sweet little cousin is just starting college and still, amazingly, thinks i'm smart enough to email for advice. I love her, and I'm so excited for her.
- that now that I'm done writing this, it's bed time. (In my wonderful bed that my husband made. Definitely list-worthy.)

Barefeet on Poteat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Music on a Monday

I almost forgot it was Monday, it has been such a delicious non-Monday-like day. This is what's currently delighting my earbuds. I tried to find a good live performance, but no dice. So, this shall do. Happy Labor Day, ya'll.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Prone to Wander

I didn't grow up going to church. I went on a few occasions - accompanying my many Catholic friends to mass, attending with my grandparents only to be shuttled off to an awkward Sunday School class where I'd cling to my sister like saran wrap, and even attending a Catholic summer camp where Mass was given 3 times a week out on a hot tennis court. I was not drawn in, but not either turned off.

My first vivid encounter with religion was mid-high school, when a friend(?) of mine got rather judgmental on some of my choices. As it turns out, God does not love beer drinkers. Of all the many rejections and turmoil of high school, this one stands out to me the most. I had never had my character discounted right to my face and the experience stung.

It took me a little while before I became curious, much less open, to having a little more God in my life. I give a lot of credit to my first roommate in college, Steph. She is one of those people who just shines light from the inside out. Being a college freshmen comes with a handful of drama along the way, but Steph always remained calm, content and steadfast. I felt like she knew some secret to life that I was missing out on. She talked to me a lot about her relationship with God, but she never once made me feel inferior for where I was in my relationship with Him. I knew innately that Steph had something I didn't, but it took a few more years before I really began searching.

What a classic cliche it is to find God in the midst of a crisis. My senior year of college everything seemed to fall apart at my feet. I lost a lot of confidence and happiness in the midst of a really toxic relationship that I refused to leave, citing "not giving up" as my reason for consciously choosing unhappiness. Then, one morning I woke up and my health was gone - just like that. I thought I had food poisoning, and when those lovely symptoms persisted for a month, then two months, and ultimately continued on for another year, I thought I might never live a normal, healthy life again. Somewhere in the middle of this madness, I started praying. I wonder if God ever just rolls his eyes when we wait until the sky falls down on us to look up.

It was a year later that I stepped foot in a church for the first time in probably ten years. To this day I have no conscious memory of how I chose the church I went to in Baltimore. It was 30 minutes north of the city. My parents are Catholic and Methodist, and it was Presbyterian. I knew no one there. But one day I googled a church, drove there and walked in. And I discovered what it was to worship. I can still remember the feeling of tears pin pricking behind my eyes and my nose as I heard, for the first time, the type of music that made me feel connected to this amazing feeling of love.

Throughout the next three years, my relationship with God grew bolder and more beautifully. I talked to Him, all the time. It was no longer just when I needed Him, I made it a point to tell him all the time how thankful I was. When my colitis flared up again, I constantly fought against the pervasive "why me" feeling to try and find reasons to be grateful - even if it was sometimes just being grateful for a well-timed public restroom, a hefty dose of steroids or a boyfriend in the medical field who didn't seem to mind all the talk about my colon.

In the spring of 2005, Matt asked me if I would join him on a mission trip to Belize with his church. I was so excited to go, and I just kept expecting that I would have this MOMENT where my relationship with God would be forever and indelibly changed. The trip was lovely, and I was so moved by the love that the church community in Belize shared with us, by the exuberant joy and peace that the kids we played with in the school had, and the longing, vast need for love that we saw in the kids in the orphanage. But I never had that MOMENT, and I left the trip wondering if my relationship with God was different than other peoples, and if I was still missing something.

The smile that brings me back to Belize.

Sometime after moving to Winston-Salem, I found myself praying in my car on my way to work. I never like to put music on when I drive early in the morning and it felt natural to just begin talking to fill the silence. Sometimes out loud, but mostly in my head. Soon it became a routine, and an amazingly calm feeling would descend over me as I parked my car and headed into my day.

On September 7th, 2007, I was driving along Silas Creek Parkway, chatting away to God per usual. Only all of a sudden, I realized He was answering. I don't know how I know this, but I heard Him as clear as if he was sitting right next to me. I asked him so many questions, I could barely contain my thoughts. I was afraid that at any moment, I would begin to question if this was really happening and lose the experience. As soon as I got to work, I ran to plug in my computer and write down as much as I could. I knew I wasn't remembering everything we talked about, and I was afraid if I didn't capture it I would lose the feeling forever.

In that moment, I realized what I had been missing in my life was a dialogue with God. My relationship with God was completely one-sided. "Hello, it's me, again... you listening?" Even in my prayers of thanksgiving, I never once stopped talking long enough to see if He had anything to say. I have been able to recreate that moment on Silas Creek parkway many times throughout the last two years, and it's remarkable to me every single time I stop to listen, God is actually talking back to me.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But I wouldn't trade the peace of mind and overwhelming feeling of happiness that these conversations have given me in the 2 years to have the sanity of my last 25 years back.

I haven't been to church regularly since I left my church in Baltimore, and I've had this nagging feeling that as a believer in God, I have failed Him by not showing up on Sunday. The last time I did go, one of the songs chosen for the service was called "Prone to Wander." Ironic, yes?

How can I be so prone to wander
So prone to leave You
So prone to die
And how can You be so full of mercy
You race to meet me and bring my back to life

I have been feeling distant in my relationship with God lately and I blamed this on my lack of attendance to church or regular devotionals. I realized this morning that my wandering has nothing to do with my location at 11:00 am one day a week. My wandering has much more to do with allowing the chaos of every day life to prevent me from conversing with Him and to using being tired and busy as an excuse to why I'm failing to let His light shine through me.

How can I be so prone to wander from the one thing that makes everything else shine brighter? How can it be so easy to slip from the routine of being with Him? The simple fact is that He is right here, waiting for me to talk to Him, expecting nothing from me but my return to Him. How can You be so fully of mercy?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Things, Today:

- functioning alarm clock
- my 7:15 am class
- Pumpkin Spice Latte is BACK
- My husband
- health insurance
- Heather forcing me to write out my goals for this year. Even though they made me a little nauseous.
- Living in The Dash. I love my city.
- Jessie getting engaged this week & Pam getting married in a month.
- Emily P. It's her birthday today. Words cannot describe how much I love this girl.
- Wives. Specifically, wives of other residents. Who else understands the joys of having a laundry basket of nothing but scrubs, of meal planning around unpredictable schedules, and the loveliness of a no-make-up wearing, Steel Magnolias watching, tortilla chips for dinner kind of night when your hubby's on call?
- Zac Brown Band. Seriously, how do all your songs make me happy?
- Coming home to a non-barking Buddy today
- our house, our neighborhood, and the back country roads to get there
- my sister being employed
- my aunt's blog about my 3 yo cousin. Just seeing that blondey's face every day in pics makes my heart hurt with love.
- 3 day weekend approaching
- Oikos yogurt with honey. Heaven.
- having a chance to spend last weekend in MB with Kim (and Peduncle)
- health. 3 yrs, 6 mo and counting.
- running. sort of.
- running partners. definitely.
- mom & dad
- new client tomorrow
- how good a 10 minute nap in the car mid-day can feel
- post-rain pretty sky
- fall weather, perfect for running and knee high boots
- a peaceful mind and a happy heart

Squint. That there's a rainbow.
Definitely makes the happy list.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, Maybe Because Waking Up 4:45 am is ABSURD.

Last night I had a dream that I was able to turn my alarm clock off by only using my mental powers.

This would be a little less ironic if I had not, in fact, failed to turn my alarm clock ON last night in the first place. I woke up this morning and reached for my glasses to look at the clock, expecting to see that my alarm was about to go off any minute.

5:48, the blue lights blinked back at me. An HOUR late?!?

I grabbed my cell phone to be sure I wasn't seeing things. 5:48, the screen confirmed, sending a blue glow through the room. I cursed, grabbed the phone, and stumbled into the bathroom. As I furiously tried to multi-task brushing my teeth and putting mascara on, my husband called from the next room... "what happened?"

"I forgot to turn my alarm clock on!" I yelled, as I ran through the house, grabbing coffee mug, dog leash, and my laptop.

"AGAIN?" he asked, in disbelief.


This is, in fact, the 3rd consecutive Tuesday morning, I have either not set my alarm or set it for PM instead of AM. 3 weeks in a row!

I am totally a morning person. There is no time of day I like better then 5 am - 7 am. So you would think, of all people, I would have no problem setting and using an alarm clock to get up. Yet here I am, 3rd Tuesday in a row, sporting unwashed hair and pretending the milk in my coffee is going to substitute for breakfast.

A year ago, when I was asked if I would teach a class at 6:30 am every Tuesday, I readily agreed. At the time, I was just finishing up training for the Baltimore half marathon, and I had been running every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5 am. If I can run at that hour, I can teach at that hour, right? And in theory, if I started working around 6, I could stop working much earlier in the day, too, right?

Why do theories so rarely stick when thrown against the wall of real life?

The Tuesday class was such a success, capturing a number of full-time-workers who had never been able to do the daytime classes we previously offered, that in June we added a Thursday 6:30 am class.


I didn't realize how much I love my mornings... for me. I miss running during that time, tremendously. I transitioned over to running Monday & Wednesday mornings, which was formerly my early morning office hours where I did lots of planning, writing and development. (Quadrant II.... important and non urgent.) I miss my a.m. writing sessions, tremendously.

When I stop and pay attention, I realize I don't really want to teach anymore at 6:30, and I think I've been, in a way, subconsciously setting myself up to do just that. I want to run, and I want to have my planning periods back on M&W. ::::insert me stomping my foot and sticking my lower lip out as far as it goes::: I know I sound whiny, and I am feeling that way, a little bit. I'm committed to Tuesday group til Feb 2010, and Thursday group til October 2010, and truthfully, I'm okay with that because I just adore the people in these groups. But will I do it again when these groups finish? N.o.p.e.

I am lucky that I have the flexibility to set my one-on-one appointments for whatever time I want - be at 10 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon. I can also read, write, and develop classes any time day or night. So in that sense, I do have a great deal of leeway with how I spend my day and have been successful if working out a schedule that works for me. But from this, I have learned a valuable lesson.

Set the alarm.

Okay two lessons. Know thy self. And thy self's most functional hours of day. In the future, early mornings will stay on my agenda... but the only commitment I'll make will involve sneakers or a keyboard.

(And for the record, I have been on time for my classes, but have sacrificed a few things along the way including exercising my dog, personal hygiene and breakfast. All rather important.)

Sure, feel free to skip my walk.
Just know you'll pay for it later when I give you THESE eyes when you get home.