Quick Takes (Saturday)

1.  I didn't get to my takes yesterday, but since randomness is all I've got for today, I'll add my two seven cents in a little late.

2.  I had a first on Thursday - blood drawn.  The nurse even commented, 'you're 32 and you've never had your blood drawn?!'.  I will say it wasn't as bad as I would've expected - and I suspect I'll be making up for my lack-of-need-for-doctors-and-hospitals in the coming months.

3.  But, having 4 vials of blood drawn and then deciding to run a {very} hilly, trail 5k in 92 degree heat plus humidity was not one of my better decisions.  It was such a bad one that for the first time I didn't finish the race.  I did spend some time with one of my friends and former roommates, so it certainly wasn't time wasted.

4.  The Man has a new accessory - crutches :(.  He slipped on some wet pavement wrestled with a bear and felt something tear in his knee last night.  After trying to convince me that he could wait until Monday to have one of the PTs he works with look at it, and then not eating lunch because his stomach was upset from the pain, I decided he had a choice - Urgent Care or the ER.  We spent a couple of hours in the ER and it seems he's torn his ACL.  How severe of a tear won't be for sure until he has an MRI.  For now - it's crutches, ice, and Percocet.

5.  My dad came to sit with me and keep me company while I waited for Cliff.  I told him it wasn't necessary, but I did appreciate it.  I think he appreciated the excuse to watch golf instead of pull weeds (he convinced the receptionist to put golf on the TV in the waiting room).

6.  Mei Mei and Kali don't know it yet (mostly because if you say the word bath, Kali gets ridiculously excited), but they are both getting a bath this afternoon.  It's hot.  They're itchy.  So the three of us will be heading over to the local car wash to the Doggy Wash.  Too bad The Man's on crutches, I'm sure the pictures of this would be hilarious.

7.  Speaking of pictures, I have so many that need uploaded and edited.  Maybe if I say that next week's Quick Takes will be a picture edition I'll actually do it.  I guess we'll see, huh?

Have a great {rest of your} weekend and be sure to visit Jen for more Quick Takes!


What Pours Out

It's been 2 days at my new job and so far, so good.  There's been lots of settling in and figuring out just what it is I will be doing and meeting of new people and getting lost on my way back from the bathroom.

And there is an underlying sadness.

Maybe it's because as you meet new people you get to answer the question 'Do you have any children?' over and over and over again.  And when you say 'not yet' and you work in an office full of Catholic women you get the look that asks 'why?' and you quickly change the subject.

Or maybe it's because I see my doctor on Thursday.

Or maybe it's this underlying conflict that is there over having a new job instead of a new baby.  I see so much potential with this job, and I know that it will give me opportunity to spread the word about NFP and build strong marriages, but I don't want to be driving to an office every day.  I want to be home, staring at a sweet face.

I don't want to have a closet full of new 'business' clothes.  I want to have a closet full of maternity clothes.

And yet, I am so grateful for my job and so hopeful for the difference I will make.  I have a list a page long of goals that I want to accomplish (and I am so grateful to all of you who offered and have shared resources) and a longer list of the steps I need to take to get to the goals.

I want to write about other things (like NFP Awareness Week and the end of the NFL lockout!), and yet every time I sit down, it's words like these that pour out of my fingertips while tears pour out of my eyes.  And yet, when I do talk to someone IRL who knows, the tears won't come.  I come across like this is no big deal and it doesn't hurt this bad.  Heck, I've even cracked jokes.  But that's what I do.  And so, when I come here, the 'real' comes out.

Someday this will be a happy, cheery blog again.  I hope.


Quick Takes

1.  It was a bittersweet end of the day today.  I'm excited about moving on and for my new job, but as I said goodbye it was a bit hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I won't be going back there on Monday.  There are lots of reasons that I left, and the timing has changed about 15 times, but leaving a place that I've put so much of 'me' into is still a little hard.

2.  One thing I won't miss is being a supervisor.  Many will tell you that I was good at it, but I did not particularly enjoy it.  Maybe it's because I care too much, or that I expect too much - I was accused of both - or maybe it's something entirely different.  One way or another, it was my least favorite part of my job.

3.  But oddly enough, being a supervisor was sometimes my most favorite part of my job.  But I realized that I most enjoyed supervising when I was in fact teaching.  I enjoyed planning and leading staff meetings and staff development trainings.  I enjoyed modeling good practices for a teacher who was struggling.  I am looking forward to continuing to teach others become stronger teachers and caregivers through my new job and through continuing to teach and provide trainings.

4.  It's as hot here as it is across the rest of the country (I'm praying for an awesome thunderstorm sometime tonight.)  But every time I start to want to complain, I remind myself of the fact that it could be gray and dreary and snowy AND that there are plenty of people who have it worse off than I do.

5.  And then I saw this on a friend's Facebook status:
I was going to complain about how hot it is... then I realized that at least: 1.) it isn't 109 degrees; 2.) I'm not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I'm not dressed in a full BDU uniform and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and 4.) there is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! Thanks to all who serve!
And I was reminded that I'm blessed to be sitting here in front of a fan drinking a glass of wine.

6.  My mom, my Nan, and I are going shopping tomorrow!  It's been a few years since the three of us went shopping together.  We used to go every year for my birthday, but we haven't for a while.  Tomorrow we are on Mission:  New Job Clothes!  I've been wearing jeans or kahki's and t-shirts for the last 18 months and my feet are itching to get back into some cute high heels and dress clothes.  Mom and I got a head start on Monday of this week - and I'm hoping we get as good of deals tomorrow as we did then (I got 4 - F.O.U.R. - 4 pairs of Gap pants for $23 total - they are usually $60 each!).

7.  Be sure to visit Jen for more Quick Takes and have a great weekend!


A New Road

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job.  The new job starts on Monday.  I am so excited and ready to start, and I admit it has been hard to focus on my current job.  The month that seemed so long a month ago has flown by and the 'last day' is finally here.  I've finished up most of what I wanted to and trained my replacement as well as I think I could have.  Ideally, the two of us would have been able to exist in a bubble for about 3 days and not get distracted by all of the daily happenings of a child care center, but obviously that didn't happen.

Starting Monday, I head down a new road that I didn't even see on the map a year ago.  This time last year, I was planning to give a presentation that I thought would pull me back into the world of education and deaf/hard of hearing children.  But on Monday, I will begin my job as Coordinator of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.  And let me tell y'all, I am so. very. excited.

Is it a coincidence that I start during NFP Awareness Week, on the anniversary of Humanae Vitae?  I think not.

Many in my 'real life' have asked 'what will you be doing?'  An honest answer is that I'm not entirely sure.  I know I will be overseeing the marriage preparation program for the state.  But other than that, the path has not been set.  The goal of the position is to strengthen marriages and families in the state of West Virginia.  And while I don't have a degree in theology (though, I am praying about a Ph.D.), I do have experience working with lots of families, I have a degree in Child Development and Family Studies, and I have the training as an NFP Teacher.  I have a passion for strengthening families and helping others.

Oh, and I will be in a perfect position to ensure that when you google NFP and West Virginia you get something useful.

I know that this job is huge.  I know that I have much to learn.  I am humbled and honored to have been selected as the best candidate.  I pray for the guidance to provide what is needed to the families of West Virginia.


The Roller Coaster

The car has left the station and is heading up the hill.

Click-clack.  Click-clack.

The anticipation is building, the hope starting to creep in.

Click-clack.  Click-clack.

As we reach the peak, we'll put our hands up and anticipate the car being let go.


We'll go upside down and around, wondering what is next.


Then, the ride will come to an end.


We'll re-enter the station.

We'll get out of the car.

And we'll get in line to wait do it all again.



Quick Quotes - Harry Potter Style

Jen graciously hosts each week - I wonder how many linked posts will be Harry Potter related this week?  I know I won't be the only one....right?  To commemorate the release of the final installment in the the Harry Potter movies being released today, I thought I'd share {one of} my favorite moment from each of the 7 books.  (There are so many favorite moments in each book, these are just the first ones that pop into my head when I think of that book...today.)

1.  From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone:  when Harry and Dumbledore talk about what Harry sees in the Mirror of Erised.  It's such a beautiful moment that reminds us what is really important, while Harry's best friend sees himself as winning quidditch accolades and being named Head Boy, Harry sees his parents.  And Dumbledore's comment to Harry is beautiful 'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.'

2.  From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:  when Harry frees Doby.

3.  From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:  the discussion in the Shrieking Shack between Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Sirius, and Wormtail.  I love backstories and this was one of the best, and one I had not completely figured out before it was revealed in the book.

4.  From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:  the grave yard part when Voldemort comes 'back'.  It's not exactly a happy part, but it was beautifully written and the detail of 'priori incantatem' was one of my favorites.

5.  From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:  when Harry and Sirius discuss the Black Family Tree Tapestry.  Again, I love backstory, but I also loved this moment between Harry and his Godfather.

6.  From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:  is the whole thing an acceptable 'part'?  No?  Ok, well then, it would be the times that Harry and Dumbledore spend researching Voldemort's history together.

7.  From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  the entire part from when Snape dies and gives his memory to Harry until Harry emerges from the pensieve knowing the truth.  'Look...at...me.'

What were your favorite parts?  (And be sure to visit Jen for more Quick Takes, I'm sure there will be one or two that are not Harry Potter related somewhere in her list - though I'm not sure why ;).)


Emotions I Didn't Know I Had

I'm supposed to be working on the reading and reflections for my online classes, but instead I'm here.  Why?  Well, The Man and I determined that it was time to tell my parents about our struggles to get pregnant (is it technically in- or sub-fertility yet?  10 cycles...working on #11), and as I hit 'send' on the email I feel the emotions starting to overwhelm me.  The Man's parents already know (my MIL reads here - hi mom!) - but my parents do did not know.  We chose to send them an email rather than telling them in person for a couple of reasons 1) my parents are divorced and are never in the same place and I always feel guilty when I tell one something before I tell the other and 2) this way I can cry and eat junk food in private.

Yes, putting it out here made it real because so many of my friends IRL read here (hi ladies!), but telling my parents reaches a whole new level of 'real'.  I wanted so badly for this 'telling' to be one of past tense.  Of struggles that were short-lived and a memory.  But it is becoming clear, the more I read and talk with others that there are probably real problems going on here.  Not to mention the awkward mini-silences every time someone mentioned us having babies - there was always a tiny brief second in which we exchanged a quick glance and then laughed it off.  Those laughs had started to feel like lies.

And then there is my new job.  Oh yea, I haven't told y'all yet.  I got a new job.  One that wasn't anywhere close to being on my 'career radar' until recently, but that I am super excited about.  I will write about the details another day.  It's just very interesting.  Instead of holding a new baby, I will be starting a new job later this month.  One that will put me in the midst of working with families and married couples and sacramental preparation and NFP.  One that will put me on the road to a masters' degree or PhD in theology (I'm leaning towards Ph.D.).  And while I didn't plan this, I just can't stomach the idea that God didn't give us a baby so that I could get this job but I have wondered.  Oh, the things I think for just a little taste of the answer to the question 'why?'.

It is an odd thing to plan for a new job when praying for a baby at the same time.  It is hard to put into words the interesting set of emotions that are taking place.  It's like trying to plan for two lives at the same time - one where there are children and one where there are not.  It's balancing the hope and the reality while planning for both at once.  I often say when I exercise I find muscles I didn't know I had and through all this I am finding emotions I didn't know I had.  Just like those muscles, these emotions hurt.  Some because they are stretching me just a little a lot and others because they are sharp, shooting pain.

For now, it's nice to know that now my parents know and there is a new job to prepare for.  For now, the emotions will come and I will get used to feeling the ones I didn't know I had.