November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo

Every year I attempt to accomplish NaNoWriMo and fail.  It has become a disheartening tradition.  The worst part is, I've been defeated so many times that I've already defeated myself in my mind this year.  Writing a 50,000 word story shouldn't be that difficult.  It's just over 1500 words a day.  A lot of the papers I've written for classes have been way longer than that.  Not to mention I just finished knocking out a master's thesis on a topic I'm not even that passionate about.

As a side note, I just went to check how long that paper actually is.  As it turns out, it's completely gone from when I wiped my hard drive.  I somehow didn't copy that particular folder over and overlooked its importance.  That's really kind of depressing considering how much time I put into that thing.  I'm not even sure if it's available online where I had it loaded anymore.  Probably not.  And since I didn't have to print it out, it's well and truly gone from this world.  Sad.  Face.

The point is, I know that once you're defeated in your mind, you've already lost.  So how can I possibly get undefeated and come back?  I'm talking about being on the verge of quitting something I've been passionate about since before I was able to write.

Then I remembered this blog.

Sure, much of the blog is incoherent thoughts all kind of thrown together onto a page and published out into the uncaring world of the internet for whomever to read and judge, but it's also something else.  This blog?  I wrote in it every day during Lent.  EVERY day.  Except the one time when I forgot.  Or two times.  I may not have come anywhere near 1500 words, but I did it.  And I doubt I would have stuck with it so tenaciously if I didn't enjoy what I did, right?  I mean, I'm stubborn and I've stuck with a ton of stuff that makes me miserable, but surely this must be something I enjoy if I'm willing to cling to it year after year as a Lent tradition.  Hell, I even get excited to write in it during Lent.

Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself of something, but I'm feeling like I need a win here.  I already missed day 1 of NaNoWriMo due to writer's block and doubt.  I have around 3000+ words to make up if I'm going to get back on track.

We'll see how this goes internet friends.  I feel like this year is do or die, sink or swim...and the water has already started out murky.

October 13, 2013

Being a mommy

I just read my last blog post.  It's been a while.  My life has changed drastically since June 1st.  For instance, instead of setting the iPad on my giant tummy and typing, I'm reaching around a sleeping baby with the iPad propped up on the nursing pillow.  Bishop ate and then passed out on me.  Now I'm hanging out till he's done napping because every time I try setting him down, he wakes right up.  Luckily this does not happen at night.  We have the best sleeper ever.  I told John that it feels like we don't even have a baby at night cause once I put him down, I know he wont be awake again until at least 7 am.  This allows me to be a functioning human being during the day instead of having to make sure I get enough naps.  

It seems like so far we are getting the best of everything as new parents.  I had a pretty standard, uncomplicated pregnancy, I had a 4 hour labor (not easy but short), and we have a relatively chill baby that is now sleeping a 10 hour stretch on a typical night.  Not to mention he's pretty much the cutest thing I've seen in my entire life.  And he has my nose.  It looks way cuter on him.  

Hopefully baby #2 is this good.  I wont keeps my hopes up though.  

June 1, 2013

5 more weeks!

Until I get to meet this baby!  I'd like to say this blog post was a self motivated effort to keep this blog alive with updates about my life.  Actually I just wanted to use the keyboard on Johns new iPad. I never use keyboard anymore  because I hardly ever get on a computer.  However the iPad with a keyboard feels a lot like working on a mini laptop.  It's pretty awesome.  The only not awesome part is that he got this iPad for use at work which means I can only play with it when he's home.  I still have to find other ways to entertain myself when he's gone.  I cover about half the time with napping.  Making babies takes a lot of energy.  I'd say they need it to help them grow but really it seems like he's just taking all my energy and using it to kick me all the time.  At least I never have to worry if he's okay.  He tells me constantly.  In fact he's nudging my ribs right now.  He knows I'm talking about him.

We're going to Sac-Con tomorrow.  I mainly wanted to go so I could dress up as Louise.  Except I'll be Louise when she gets older and gets knocked up.  It's gonna be sweet.  Except it's gonna be really hot.  It's already 86 today and its only 12:30.  I guess that means we're going swimming later :) 

May 21, 2013

End of 10K

I was too tired to post yesterday.  I pretty much fell asleep right after dinner and had been running around since I got out of school, one of those days.  I did manage to finish the 10k!  Woo!  I missed my goal of 15K but just barely.  Unfortunately, my schedule got very busy and I ran out of time to keep walking even that extra bit.  I can't even make up for it, because my pedometer decided to run away RIGHT after I recorded the last of my steps.  I have no idea where that sucker went to, it's just gone.  My students decided they wanted to tally up how far I went and it came into somewhere around 450K for six weeks, just under half a million steps.  I find it both impressive and equally sad that I can't even make half a million steps in a little over a month.  Either way, I'm feeling better and even looking a little better.  I noticed today that since I've been outside so much walking I've picked up some color and lost some weight.  I look happier too.

To celebrate the end of the 10K, I blatantly did not walk today.  I'm kind of regretting that decision now, but it gave me some time to do other things I might have put off if I had gone for a walk...and I'm pretty much a night owl anyway so maybe I'll still go out for a bit now that it's cooling down.  So, yay!  I did it!  I did 10K steps a day for six weeks!

Now onto the next project:  journaling every day for a month to help someone out with their master's thesis.  I think God is just giving me opportunities to work on my writing and continue my spiritual growth now!

May 11, 2013

One Week To Go

I just wanted to update on my 10K, I don't really have a lot to talk about, though.  I'm still keeping up with my goal and I only have 8 days left.  Yay!  I'm actually kind of looking forward to being able to walk as much or as little as I like.  I started to discover I really don't like being bound to this pedometer.  It's like a constant reminder of potential success or failure.  Even if you try not to be consciously aware of it, it seeps into your consciousness and takes over.  I'm finding myself becoming more and more preoccupied with at least getting 10K and less and less able to focus on anything else while I walk, which is something that has become annoying to me.  I'm already easily distractable and I think the whole point of doing this was to get better at my prayer life and to start trying to make choices which would help me to become more active.  If nothing else, I think I succeeded in laying the foundation for both.

I'll try to put up a few more updates this week!  After that, I'm not sure how often I'll keep up with this blog.  I'm trying to find a job and life is starting to catch up with me.  If nothing else, I'll be back during Lent!

May 6, 2013

Walking For Life...FOR LIFE

I have felt a lot better since I started doing this 10K a day.  I usually have more energy during the evenings and have found myself able to relax much better than I ever have before.  Who knew that I only needed to get a bit more exercise to balance out a little?  I've since decided to continue this regiment of sorts after these next two weeks are up.  And also, I can't believe that we're in the last two weeks of this walk already!  Six weeks seriously goes by very quickly!

Walk for Life update:  In less than 36 hours, I obtained my goal of $150 to donate to the pregnancy center for teen pregnancy prevention and health care/adoption options for pregnant mothers.  I should have totally taken a picture of the t-shirt I got for the event, but I can't find my camera at the moment and am too lazy to go look for it.  Maybe I'll update a picture later.  The walk itself was pretty easy.  I do twice that on a given day (as it turns out, my pedometer isn't accurately tracking my steps).

Special thanks to everyone who sponsored my walk!  You guys rock!  Also:  Woo!  Two weeks left of 10K a day!  I almost made it!

May 1, 2013

Walking for Life!

This is my shameless plug of the week as well as an update!

I've hit a bit of a wall with the walking thing.  I've run into a ton of stuff I'm doing all at once so my steps have gone from "I think I can do 15k a day" to "OMG how am I going to get in 10k?!".  Even with all of the craziness going on right now, I've decided to participate in a 2 mile walk for life on Saturday.  Typically, it takes an hour for me to walk 2 miles, so I don't really forsee this being a problem.  Not to mention, I get to raise money for a good cause, and get my walking in early so I can finish my paper due this week!  It all falls into place.

For my friends who actually read this:  would you be willing to donate to my cause?  You have my number, text, call or otherwise message me (if there is another way to do so from your phone that will contact my phone...I don't have fancy iPhone-nonsense!) or you can hit me up on facebook.  Prayers and support are likewise acceptable, but contributions help more!

Oh yeah, the update:  I've made my 10k every day so far and we're almost done with week 4!  Two weeks left to go!  Woo!

April 27, 2013

Not Sure if Luck or a Higher Power

I've had a rather week this week.  There has been SO MUCH going on that I haven't even had time to settle down and write a blog.  It started last week when my supervisor wasn't keen on the final project I had for my students.  She wanted something more "fun" for them.  I rather agreed with her, mostly because Greek mythology was what sparked my interest in theology to begin with, so I decided to create a shiny new project with just three days to go before Monday when it all needed to happen.

My weekend disappeared in a flash.

It literally took from Saturday morning to Sunday night with brief intermissions for my niece's birthday, mass, and walking to finish the lesson plans, graphic organizers, rubric, mythology packets, and sample projects for the class.  But it was totally worth it!  The kids seemed to really get into the project and I think I may only be missing a handful of projects from students here and there.  Not too bad, really!

Consequently, I was left feeling like the whole rest of my week was off in some way.  I had some other obligations this week which resulted in me leaving to get to class an hour before it started when it takes an hour and a half to get there.  I mentioned to my sister that the only way I was going to make it was if I hit every green light on the way up...and somehow I did.  Which never happens.  I don't mean rarely happens, I mean in all the year and a half I have been driving at various times of the day to get to this chool, I have never ever ever hit every green light all the way up to it.

The following day got even better.  My folks left for the weekend and said they were going to be taking one of the cars with them.  Not even giving this a second thought, I left all of the things I needed for class in one of the vehicles.  When I finally made it to the point that I was ready to leave in the morning, I looked outside to see the wrong car in the driveway.  Why is it that despite evidence to the contrary, we sometimes think that our own force of will might change a horrible situation into a better one?  I intentionally grabbed the wrong set of keys hoping that somehow trying to open the doors with them would prove in some way that they had not taken the car I needed with all my stuff in it.  Alas, this was not the case.  The keys did seemingly nothing and I had to accept the fact that EVERYTHING I needed for class was gone for at least two days.  Resigning myself to beg the other team of teachers at my school for their copy of the day's lesson materials, I quickly grabbed the right keys, locked up the house, and ran out the door...only to find the car I needed with everything still in the driveway on the other side of the house to my confusion, irritation, and intense relief.  I turned to get the right keys and go back into the house only to realize that I had only grabbed the keys to the other car, not the house keys, and was completely entirely locked out of the house (possibly for two days or so) with no way of getting into the car to rescue my materials.  In a moment I can only attribute to willful denial, I decided to try to open the car door anyway and somehow, somehow it was open!  My sister managed to let me into my house a little later and all was right with the world, but I have to say, all these coincidences the last two days which have somehow worked out in my favor, I'm not really sure they're coincidences at all.

Despite my busy schedule, I have kept up with my walking and praying with God.  I have successfully done 10k every day for the first two weeks of this adventure and we are coming around into the home stretch of week 3.  Sunday we will be halfway done with this challenge.  My step count has even gone up a little.  This week, I've started to break 10k with a new record of over 13,000 steps.  My new goal is to try for 15K over the next couple of weeks if time allows for it which has become my new adversary actually-time.  I no longer feel the same fatigue and exhaustion as I had been feeling in the first couple of weeks.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I now have to walk because I am more energized when I do, I'm also more relaxed now that I have created this walking routine in my life.  I didn't get stressed out over the weekend when I was spending the whole time working on projects for class and I didn't even freak out all that much when all of those frustrating situations were coming up.  I was able to set aside that frustration and anxiety and key into my rationality to work through the situation better.  That being said, I fully endorse walking 10K a day.  It's good for you!

April 26, 2013

Awkward Yoga

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a little person moved into your stomach and started re-arraigning all the furniture?  And then about every week or so, they decide their apartment's not big enough and start stretching the walls out?  That's pretty much exactly what being pregnant is like. 

Today I am exactly seven months pregnant and this is what I've learned so far: just when I think Bishop has found every awkward position he could possibly be in, he finds a new even more awkward and uncomfortable position.  I think I've figured out his motives.  Whenever he makes me feel uncomfortable, I feel the need to rub my stomach so that he calms down and stops practicing his awkward yoga routine.  Then it hit me: he's exactly like his father.  He's just trying to manipulate me into rubbing his head.  It's just like when John sets his head on my chest as a subtle way of telling me it needs a massage.  Bishop is just trying to push his head through my stomach so that I'll reach down and start rubbing it.  Boys. 

I guess it could be that he's just so anxious to meet us that he's trying to get out.  That makes me feel a little more loved and little less used.  Either way, I can't wait to meet the little guy.  And it's only partially because I'll be able to sit and lay down in whatever position I want. 

April 23, 2013

The Bloggess

So... I was supposed to blog about this a while ago.  Probably the week it actually happened.  It has now been exactly 3 weeks since we went to see the Bloggess.  I guess I've been in a post-lent stubborn laziness.  Better late than never?  I guess. 

Anyway, I met the Bloggess!


















See?  Proof.  That is Teresa and me standing right next to her.  John was there too.  He took the picture.  She also signed my book.  I'd post a picture but... then I'd have to go take one and that might delay the writing of this post for another 3 weeks.  Nobody wants that. 

So, we got to meet her before the reading and official book signing.  Why?  I blame the bookstore but luckily everything worked out nicely.  Apparently there were tickets I was supposed to purchase for the event in order to enter the store and be seated.  I did not know this because there was no mention of purchasing tickets on the bookstore website which I checked the second the tours dates were announced and then I checked again about a month before the event.  Of course they had added it sometime between then and the event because we checked as we were standing in line in the hopes that we could still get tickets. 

But they were sold out.  The Bloggess being the awesome person that she is felt bad that there were people who showed up that couldn't get in for the reading so she came out to meet us and sign our books before the event started.  Then we stood around talking about what we might do since we drove an hour and a half and weren't about to just turn around and go home right away.  About 2/3 of the people standing in line left right away.  Then after a few minutes the store manager said we could come in and stand in the back as long as we weren't blocking anyone's view.  So Teresa and I came in and were able to see and hear the reading and the Q and A.  Plus we didn't have to pay for tickets.  It was pretty awesome.  We also didn't have to wait in line for the book signing since we already met her beforehand. 

Also I have to say she's a lot funnier in person which is saying something because she's really funny on paper.  

All in all, it was a successful adventure.  Here's a bunch of other pictures I took in the bookstore. 

Poster of the book cover
























Taxidermied animals



























My view from the back
























Attempted close-up

April 18, 2013

Emptiness

Since I became Catholic, I started doing a lot of self-reflection.  Recently, I've been contemplating the reasons for my sins.  This isn't just because I'm supposed to be going to confession regularly, although it does help.  I think being consciously aware of the things I'm doing wrong will help me in the long run.  Kind of like when I started taking Tai Chi to help with my anxiety and depression.  I eventually learned how to sense when I was heading into a panic attack or a low period and what I could do to alter these instances, alleviating some of the worst of these disorders.  I.E. if I can figure out the symptoms and the indicators for my behaviors/thoughts/etc., I will be better able to circumvent them in the future.

Something I keep coming back to is a sensation of emptiness or longing.  These sensations were beginning again today and their familiarity caught my attention.  Perhaps these are indicators that I'm not spending enough time with God.  Today, I took my walk with my Dad which didn't really afford me much time in prayer with God.  I've taken walks with other people during this 10K, but I've never really encountered this detachment before.  Of course this is the first day in a while that I haven't spent a great deal of time in prayer either.  I had also caught myself trying to think of things I could do to ignore or offset this emptiness and I think this is when I finally made the connection that I've been using distractions to interrupt my time with God.  Separation from prayer leads to an accumulated sense of emptiness or longing, which leads to a need to do other things to distract from this feeling, which eventually leads towards sinfulness as it manifests either in frustration from lacking fulfillment in some sense or in other ways.

This really isn't anything novel or new.  Essentially, I'm just restating how intentionally or unintentionally neglecting time I usually set aside to spend with God makes me feel empty and causes me to stray.  It's the same things people have been saying for a while, but until I really noticed it in myself, I hadn't really understood it.  Whether or not I spend time in prayer while I'm walking, I still get to count the steps towards the challenge for this school, but ultimately I feel like I took a step backwards today (no pun intended...even if I get to count those too).  I shall have to try again tomorrow and in the meantime set aside some time tonight for some praying.

April 15, 2013

Rainbow Umbrella

I tried to go walk three times today.  Each time, it was raining.  The first trip, I got to try with my nephew until it rained too much for him.  The second one included a brief bought of hail which was all kinds of fun and exciting.  The last time I tried, I was smart enough to grab an umbrella.  That did the trick.  I managed to make my 10K today, rain and hail and all.  On my way back to the house, I noticed that the umbrella I happened to grab was my mom's rainbow umbrella.  It made me start to think about the story of Noah and the arc and how God set a rainbow up in the sky as a sign of a covenant between God and humanity.  This actually helped me for some reason.  I got about halfway to my goal today and wanted to quit again; cold, rain, and exhaustion does not make for a pleasant experience.  Yet when I saw the umbrella, it just made everything better.  Sometimes we just need physical reminders of things we should be remembering and thinking about.

Today, I couldn't focus on the rosary.  I kept thinking of some hymns as I walked though and eventually started to sing them until the cold sucked the joy out of me.  I should get a hymnal to learn more songs one of these days so I can sing praises along with praying.

UPDATE:  The end of the week means we total our step count.  As of Sunday, I am officially over 75,000 steps!  I'm doing better than I thought I would have at the onset.  Woo!

April 14, 2013

I Got the Call

I was really looking forward to going out and walking at our farm.  I anticipated having an easy time of walking and getting 10K by going out there.  Instead, it took me twice as long to get 10K.  Fancy that!  It seems like the pedometer I have picks up steps done in town better than in steps done in grass or mud.  I don't really understand that one, it's strange.  Despite the annoyance of trying to get 10K with the pedometer not really picking up steps, I did enjoy being able to go out and walk the property again.  It's been so long since I've done that.  I definitely remember it being so much harder to walk the length of our farm before, when I was a child.  It was hardly difficult at all now.  Such is life and growing up.

I discovered when I went out today that I felt called to prayer.  This is the first time I've ever really felt a calling to prayer.  It was as if I needed to be praying while I walked, the words just coming forth.  To be honest, I've never really prayed much in the past, so I'm rather in uncharted territory.  So feeling the need to pray, not just intending to or wanting to, was another new experience for me.  I'm not really sure what it means, whether I'm developing a habit or whether it's something more.  I really feel like I should talk to someone who has had more devotion to prayer than I have.  Maybe my sponser from RCIA.

Tomorrow marks my second week of walking 10K with God.  If I didn't quit in my first week, I hope this bodes well for the next five.

April 12, 2013

The Problem of the "City"

Since I discovered that it seems like it's easier to walk around town and pray (I still can't explain why other than the distractions of town seem to help with keeping my mind focused on one thing), I've been doing that.  After my walk yesterday, though, I just didn't feel like posting anything.  I had a very strange incident that made me wonder how often similar things happen around town, as we have moderate population of special needs and vagrant people who walk around town quite often.  To elaborate:  I had someone scream incoherently at me and then toss a pop can at me from the side of the road.  Since I was praying, I really wasn't expecting that and I sort of froze.  Luckily, that was exactly what I needed to do to have the can miss me.  I have no idea if anyone can get hurt from a pop can being thrown out of a car window at low speeds, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

This incident just made me really sad for those people.  I have no idea who they are.  There was absolutely no way they could have known who I was; I was walking around town in a hoodie I never wear with the hood up and they did this while my back was turned to them besides.  This seems to suggest that they do this indiscriminately...unless they actually did somehow know who I was.  Either way, it was a blaring reminder that people can just be so hateful no matter where you are.  I'm seriously more worried for the other people they may do this to, however.  I suppose I should have recorded their license plate number and called the police, but I also didn't want to make a scene if I wasn't hurt.  I don't know.  Maybe today I'll go back to the parks.  At least there I don't have to worry about being attacked from a car again.

April 10, 2013

Breaking 10K

I actually broke 10K today, but I had to get help.  For some reason, snagging a group of people to walk with made it easier to forget how long I had been walking.  Oddly enough, we still talked about church and God for most of the walk.  Well, perhaps not all that odd, except I didn't tell them what I was doing exactly.  Somehow the topic just got brought up and that lasted for a good portion of the trip.  I only made it through 2 rosaries today while I walked, but that's ok too.  I remembered all of the mysteries we were supposed to meditate on today which was part of why I was saying five the last two days.  I kept forgetting to announce the mysteries and so I just counted each rosary as one mystery instead of each decade.  Is that even a valid form of praying the rosary?

So far, my total is in the 11,000's.  I also somehow managed to get 3k in today at school.  Woo!  Another first!  I honestly wasn't sure that I was going to get in very much today.  It's been on the brink of storming all day and has been at least overcast, if not torrential downpour (like this morning).  I was pretty sure that I was either going to have to go walk around Wal-Mart or finally break down and find a place I could get a subscription to the gym at.  For some reason, after coming home and getting some food, the cold outside didn't seem so very cold after all and it wasn't raining so I decided to go for it.

Interesting lesson of the day:  going into a park to pray and walk is highly distracting.  Walking around town and praying (where there is so much more going on and so many more  people) less distracting!  How does that even happen?  Perhaps we're trained to block out so much more when we're in town than when we're trying to relax in woodsy areas, I don't know.  All I know is that it was easier to pray the rosary without an actual rosary and walking around town than it has been when I'm trying to pray in the woods, walking around, and coming across others along the way.

Crash

I didn't post yesterday.  For some reason, I was so exhausted from the combination of the events of the day and lack of sleep.  We had a field trip yesterday and I also did my 10K.  By the time I got home, I pretty much ate dinner and then fell asleep.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I typically stay up at all hours of the night.  Passing out close to 7pm is a new experience for me.  My body must have been pretty shocked too, because I kept waking up at odd hours of the night convinced I needed to get to work.

On a side note, I've been consistently averaging 5 rosaries during my walk.  This usually gets me around 7,000 of my 10K and takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.  Over the course the day at school, I average around 1,500-2000K so that leaves me about 1000 to make up when I come home from school.  I can't help but think that if I got up earlier, I could get a lot of walking in, instead of doing it at the end of the day.  But then again, if I was that tired last night after I came home, I shudder to think what the last class of the day would be like.

One problem I have been coming across is that I'm just not sure about my prayer techniques.  I didn't pray very often until recently.  Pretty much it was only when people asked me to pray for them.  I wonder if there are any good books out there on prayer.

EDIT:  Oh yeah, I made my 10K yesterday too.  Two for two!

April 8, 2013

10K a Day Feels Impossible

I am clearly not as active as I should be.  This is what I learned today.  After calibrating my pedometer about midway through the day, I determined that I maybe walk about 2k steps while I'm at school.  This is based off the fact that I walked about 1000 steps since lunch to the end of the day.  I went home and collected some prayers that I could meditate on and pray while walking, then I went to this nifty park behind the schools to walk and pray.

Lesson of the day #2:  while it's possible to read prayers and walk, it is not very effective.  I think I need to pick some prayers that I know or memorize a few and say these whenever I do this because reading and walking isn't going to do it for me.  I did manage to memorize some prayers while walking, through.  I was saying a variation of the rosary today, but it wasn't one that I was familiar with, so I'm not sure how well I was meditating on it as much as I was trying to get it right and walk.  Fun times!

Lesson #3:  it's really hard to memorize prayer, pray, walk, and do all this while others are walking/running by.  Being outside and with so much distraction I'm sure I lost my focus a number of times.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Lesson #4:  sometimes when you're ready to give up on something, you can find inspiration randomly.  About the fifth walk around the park, I was thinking "maybe I won't be able to do this" and then there was a random snake.  For some reason, it just made the association to scripture for me and I found the inspiration to finish my first 10K.

I'm not sure how I'm going to manage this tomorrow, actually.  It's supposed to be raining and I don't really have a gym I'm a member of.  I wouldn't mind walking out in the rain, but I really can't afford to be sick.  I'm still determined not to give up in the first week.  That would be depressing.  I may just settle for working out on some of our equipment at home.

Woo!  I finished my first 10K with God!

April 7, 2013

Prayer in Motion

Monday, we're beginning a "10K a Day" challenge for six weeks at the school I'm doing my student teaching in.  This is meant to promote health awareness at school.  I'm assuming the intent is for students to see teachers being conscientious of their health and therefore act as a model for healthy lifestyle choices for their students?  I'm not sure exactly, that's just my assumption.  They gave me some literature on it, but I admit, I pretty much read it and forgot it.

I've known for a few weeks that I was going to participate in this activity, but I also decided to mix some eastern philosophy into this project.  Having studied Tai Chi a few years ago with some really great people, I've started missing the act of meditation in motion.  Since I've begun to pray more towards the end of Lent, the idea began to develop that I might do "prayer in motion" instead of meditation in motion.  My idea is thus:  I want to do 10K a day with God; walking with God if you will-although I don't intend to limit myself to just walking, I may do some meditation on scripture while I practice Tai Chi.

As such, I decided to continue blogging daily while I do this 10K a Day.  I want to keep myself honest and for some reason I seem to do that better when I record publically than when I don't.  I can't say for sure that I will blog every day, but I intend to try.  We'll see where this goes.

April 4, 2013

Angels and Hoods

I've been watching The Bible again.  The voice over is still kind of irritating, but I'm interested to see how they finish the series out.  I think I vaguely remember at one point hearing about why angels are always depicted wearing hoods, but I can't remember the reason.  This actually made me realize that I know very little about angels at all.

For a while, I think, I struggled with the idea of angels because of a book I had read when I was younger which struck me as being completely off the wall and outside of Christian beliefs.  For some reason, it always made me leery in the future about learning anymore about them.  I dont' really know how much good literature is out there about angels, but if there are some good books, I'd love to read them.  In the meantime, I'm left wondering about what the deal is with these hoods.  All the angels in The Bible are depicted with them, and I think it was mentioned in Dogma, and I know I've seen this in other movies and paintings, but I guess it's just something that never really sank it.  I think it's kind of a neat characteristic of them, though.  Another thing I've always wondered about is the "choir of angels".  I think I really need to get a journal to write down all these questions I have and start recording some answers.

April 2, 2013

Respite

I needed to take a couple of days to decompress and reorganize my thoughts following Lent.  I had thought for a while that I might journal for msyelf, but I can't find any of the empty journals I usually keep on hand and I hate using notebooks for that purpose.  So, instead I decided I might try to post more on a regular basis.  I may even beat Angela into posting more until she has her baby.  I have lost my leverage over her, however, aside from the shame of not posting.  SHAME!

Okay, okay, I said I was done on the whole confession topic, but I lied.  So sue me!  I tend to come back to things over and over again.  I apparently have "Context" as a top strength which means I think a lot about the past and apply it to the present.  I digress, however!  So, while I was confessing, I was told about a book to read that would help to put some things into perspective.  I couldn't find it at the library, so I ended up buying a copy (it was less than $20, so it wasn't a bad deal).  After reading a bit of the first chapter and paging through it, I can definitely say I wish I had had this book whe I started dating.  I don't really know I would have listened to it at the time, or if I even would have read it, but it already seems like it's a pretty level headed response to the 'dating scene' in modern days.  Before I go about recommending it, I intend to put it on my reading list and finish it at a later point in time.  Stay tuned!

March 31, 2013

Love!

I just want to conclude the Lenten portion of our blog with this:

In my entire life, despite my interest in theology, my devotion to Christ, and my general attempts at "being a good person", I have never really understood the concept of "being in love" as an analogy of one's faith until today.  I am completely in love with the Catholic faith and traditions.  It totally makes sense to me now.  I'm also really looking forward to seeing how my faith grows and matures.  I don't know whether I should keep this to a private journal, or whether I may continue to document these transitions through public blogging, however.  We'll just see how things go.

Sometime towards the beginning of this blog (maybe more  around the middle, I don't remember), I mentioned that I was concerned that doing a blog for Lent wasn't "good enough" as giving something up for Lent was.  Upon reflection, I'm extremely glad that I had the opportunity to document the last stages of my journey from Protestantism to Catholicism.  I also think that doing these blogs with more relation to my faith has given me the opportunity to reflect more truthfully about where I am and where I stand with God.  When Angela and I started this blog, it really wasn't our intentions to be overtly political or religious.  We just wanted an outlet to write and a way to keep our relationship together after college.  I think this year, our blog became something more for me.

I hope sincerely that this little project will continue-if not over the course of the year, at least next year for Lent.  If this happens to be Angela's last year, however, it has been an honor and a privilege for me to work with someone as amazing as her.

March 30, 2013

Lent: the epic conclusion

We are 100% done with moving out of our old apartment.  We spent all day cleaning it and getting the rest of our stuff out.  John turned in the key and we never have to look at that place again.  It was nice at first but that place got smaller and smaller the longer we lived there.  Also there were people that just moved in upstairs and liked to walk around A LOT at all hours of the night.  Now we get to be the noisy upstairs neighbors because we're on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a 3 story building. 

So Kris officially became Catholic today.  She texted me and I immediately rushed to change her "about me" page to reflect her new life change.  She demanded that I do so.  Then I discovered that she had already made some edits which have apparently been there for months.  I deleted them.  That's my page to edit. 

Happy Easter!  from the Methodists AND (completely official) Catholics! 

Christ is Risen

You'll have to forgive the disjointed nature of this post.  I'm rather on an emotional high right now, so I'm going to be typing excitedly and I don't overly care much about coherency.

The ceremony at our church was pretty cool.  They do a candle light ceremony for Easter.  I have never been to one of those before.  It started with the lighting of the fire then the lighting of the Jesus candle, then all of us got a lit candle which we shared with the rest of the congregation.  My candle didn't want to stay lit.  It went out twice.  I was not to be deterred by an extinguished candle, however.

This entire time during Lent, the Church doesn't ring the bells during mass.  This is like, my favorite part of mass, so it's pretty sad for me.  I always wait for the bells to ring during the mysteries, but they don't for nearly two months.  Then today, the bells just rang and rang.  It was totally awesome!  The bells coupled with the incense and candles made for a very surreal experience.

I think more than anything, the point in mass that really got to me the most, however, was being able to participate in the Eucharist finally.  I have to admit, I cried.  One has to understand that this has been an extremely emotional journey for me.  I had always intended for my first communion in the church to be taken with my grandmother, but she passed away before this could happen.  I still think she was there with me tonight.

Today is the last day of Lent.  Jesus has returned from the dead and all is right with the world.  I'll probably do a follow up post tomorrow just to finish out Easter anyway.  Maybe that one will be more coherent.  One can only hope.  For now, I think I'm just going to go to bed.  It has been a very long and very rewarding day.

Good night all, and hello to all of my new Catholic family!

March 29, 2013

Food

My pregnant self looking at the volunteer list for Easter morning service: "OMG, there's gonna be breakfast!"  Suddenly I'm very excited about going to church at 6am.  I let my stomach make a lot of my decisions nowadays.  Then later on Easter day we're going to the in-laws house for even more delicious food!  It's gonna be the best Easter ever.  All of the non-drinking holidays are just fantastic when you're pregnant.  I almost wish I had been this pregnant during Thanksgiving and Christmas because I feel like I would have enjoyed them more.  I'll probably be super pregnant on 4th of July which will just be fantastic for my stomach.  Technically I'm due on the 5th but I really don't expect this child until at least a week after that.  But its okay because we have a pool that I can see from our apartment.  I'll probably be living in it by the time this baby decides to come out.  Of course I might have to drag our mini-fridge out there... Or get John or Kayla to be my personal go-fer. 

Irrational Irritation and John Wesley

Today, I am struggling with something I have been dealing with for a long time; an inexplicable irritation with humanity in general.  I recognize that I have anger issues.  This is something I have been fighting for years and years.  I have made a lot of headway with meditation, Tai Chi, prayer, and a dedication to trying to be come a less angry person.  I tend to go off on ranting tangents because it helps me to reflect upon my thoughts, organize my feelings, and articulate the nature of my current "problem" with the world or certain people.  However, there are times when I see injustices-either directly in front of me, or in the world at large-which just get me so worked up that all I can do is despair at the state of humanity, the depth of our hatred towards one another, and smolder about it.

I wanted so much to write up a post today articulating my current irritation.  But in the middle of doing so, I was suddenly reminded of John Wesley and went about looking for one of my favorite sermons from him called "Catholic Spirit" (referring to the definition of "catholic" as universal).  It's kind of funny how sometimes all it takes is a clear head and a fresh perspective and the worries of the world can disappear.  I also think that I've finally discovered something that will help me with my anger problems in the future:  just having good literature to refer to does wonders.

Since I am nowhere near articulate enough to emulate John Wesley, I want to share a link to this sermon with anyone who reads this blog.  I hope you take the time to read it, meditate on it, and take it to heart.  I can only imagine what the world would be like with a little more catholic spirit and a little less hostility...it's something I still need to work on.

http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-39-catholic-spirit/

March 28, 2013

3 days

Of posting left before lent is over.  That's including today cause I'm not done writing yet. 

So I went to the mall today because I wanted a different earring for the top of my ear.  I was looking for a stud with a flat back which apparently people only wear as face jewelry so none of them match.  I bought 2 different lengths because the person working there said they were interchangeable... They are not.  It's a good thing one of them was on sale for $1 because it's pretty much useless now.  And that is why you should never trust anyone at hot topic to know what they're talking about.  I mean I don't expect every employee to know everything about everything they sell but they could at least admit if they don't know stuff.  I didn't ask either.  He just told me as if he was 100% sure.  Lies....

Whimsey and "The Countdown"

I was out walking around and window shopping today when I came across a pair of fuzzy pink rabbit ears.  They were only $1, so naturally I bought them.  In order to complete the transaction, they wanted my e-mail address and phone number.  Now, for other stores, for other purposes, I have totally played along with this because you're shopping and you're not really thinking.  But for a $1 purchase, this just suddenly struck me as ridiculous.  So I said, "Um...No."

This seemed to catch the poor sales girl off guard, for a brief moment, both of us stared at each other.  I don't know whether she thought I was joking or not, but I was pretty serious.  Eventually, I broke the silence by saying, "I don't need a ton of sales ads over a $1 purchase," and we moved on with our lives.  Despite the discomfort from the sales girl, I wore the bunny ears for the rest of the day.  It was only after I caught a glance of myself in a mirror that I saw how ridiculous they looked and this made me laugh and smile.  I hope I made other people laugh today.  Maybe I'll wear them tomorrow with an outfit they don't clash with and see if the same result applies.

I kind of wanted to wear them tonight and go to church service, but I accidentally fell asleep after my nephew left and I missed the window of opportunity to go tonight.  I totally could have too.  I don't exactly know what a "lord's supper" service is like, but it sounded neat.  I think I heard the the priests wash feet also.  Ah well, there's always next year.

2 more days and I am officially Catholic.

March 27, 2013

Crocheting

I bought some yarn today so that I could make Bishop a baby blanket... which means my child will probably end up cuddling with a couple bundles of yarn.  I really can't remember the last time I started crocheting something and actually finished it.  It's okay though because my mom has already made one blanket for him and has started on another so my child will be warm enough.  I would kinda like to learn how to knit too because I hear that it's easier than crocheting.  Maybe if I could knit, I would follow through with more projects. 

I should go start my blanket.  Give it a fighting chance. 

On Prayer

As stated in an earlier blog, I've taken to praying for others every night.  So far, no one has given me any specific requests, though.  What a shame!

While I was at Wal-Mart yesterday with my parents, I found some "scented" prayer candles.  I use the term "scented" lightly.  They have a smell, it's very hard to detect without lighting it and impossible to detect after lighting it.  I was a little disappointed, but for about a dollar a piece it wasn't a terrible deal.  They even come with a neat prayer you can say while lighting them.  I never really know with these kinds of things, though...are we meant to light them and keep them lit?  Because that seems dangerous, to leave a lit candle going like that in a house.

So, I've taken to using these candles to help with my focus while I pray the rosary.  So far, I have been pretty consistent in the amount of time it takes for me to pray it.  I'm sure 15 minutes is really short in comparison to others, but I'm not sure how to pray the rosary and make it take longer.  I'm not just rapid firing through payers here, it just seems like it doesn't take very long to get through it.  I think I need some literature or something about how to pray the rosary, but so far the internet hasn't been very helpful in those regards.  Maybe I'll end up picking up that cd from church after all.

One thing I can say, though:  praying has helped me calm down for bed.  I've had a few nights where I've been so exhausted, I've hardly been able to keep my eyes open while praying the rosary, but those are really exceptions to the rule.  Typically, I find meditating on the mysteries and scripture passages relatively easy.  Further, I typically hae problems calming my brain down enough to fall asleep when I'm ready for bed.  Praying before bed has helped me to relax my brain, giving it something to focus on, and allowed me to fall asleep afterwards.  I've been told before that meditation would help, but I've never really been able to make it work the way prayer does.

That's it, that's all I have.  I'm out.

March 26, 2013

Bloggess

I finally got my book!  It's the book by the bloggess who we are going to see next week.  I'm gonna get it signed!  It's gonna be fun times.  Bishop is super excited too.  He's kicking me right now.  He's gonna hear this story for years about how he met the bloggess before he was born.  I might even post a blog about it even though it's after Easter.  Maybe. 

Aftermath

This is the last post I plan to write dealing with confession.  To be fair, I'm really only talking about it because I don't have anything else to talk about today.  I've been reading a book on psychopathy, but I'm not sure I really want to discuss that at all.  It's been interesting, if a bit unsettling.  But I digress...

So, I do actually feel a lot better today.  Who would have guessed?  These things that I've been struggling with all my life, put into perspective, and coupled with a few words of absolution really have left me feeling better.  It's almost doubly so because there was no judgemental repercussions involved with telling someone about the wrong-doings in my life.  This is something I have struggled with time and again in Protestant churches.  Whenever I have talked to a minister of some sort about something very private, it has either ended up as church gossip, or they have told my parents about it.  Not so with the Catholic church.  I know that what I said isn't going to get spread around, because the priest can't say anything to anyone.  Also, there's something therapeutic and freeing about being able to unburden your conscience on someone else without fear of social reprisal.  I don't know.  Overall, the whole being nervous thing was for nothing, especially since I really do feel better now than I did before.

And that's all that I'm going to say on that.  Four or five posts about one topic is even too much for me.  Sorry!

March 25, 2013

Setting up

We're still in the process of setting up our apartment.  It's kinda hard when we have random things back at our other place still. 

I told Kris I was gonna post about pregnancy and kittens.... Because apparently that's all I know how to post about.  I would.... But it's really hard to concentrate because there's people here and my husband is talking really loud right next to me.  I feel like I'm gonna start typing about cartoons and whatever else he's talking about. 

Anyway, yay for 200 posts.  Here's 201.  That doesn't feel very significant. 

Confessions of an RCIA Candidate Part III

I just got back from my first confession.  But I'd like to back this up a bit.

I had such a hard time today with wrapping my head around the idea of going to confession today.  I couldn't eat anything past noon and I was just a nervous wreck on my way to the church.  I did manage to memorize the act of contrition prayer, but I had such a hard time trying to remember it that I accidentally ended up remembering that and forgetting what I needed to confess.  Our church had three other priests to help out with the reconciliation services for Easter, so I had every intention of going to someone I didn't know, but my sponsor recommended we go to one of our priests...the one who was doing face to face confessions in public.  You can guess that my heart was really pounding by now.

So there I stood in line, mentally rehersing the act of contrition prayer and the other things I had to say, compiling a mental list of things to confess that I kept thinking about, worrying about having to do a face to face confession and wanting nothing better than to walk out of the church, because this is the thing that I have been dreading.  And...it was really no big deal.  I did manage to remember most of everything I needed to confess, at least the important parts, but then I didn't need to say the act of contrition prayer, so....yeah.  Life is like that sometimes.

I guess I feel better now, but I don't know whether I feel better because my sins have been absolved or whether I feel better because I'm done with my first confession.  I'll know tomorrow.

As a side note:  This is the 200th post for our blog!  Woo!

March 24, 2013

Confession Part II

We had our discussion about confession today for our last RCIA class.  It's great how people can keep completely alleviating my concerns only for them to resume worse than ever.  I don't want to go tomorrow.  I know it's pretty much because it's just a new experience, that it's uncomfortable and all that jazz, but...no, no.  I am really freaking out here.

They ran through a fake confession for us to watch and get an idea of how things go.  I think I either zoned out or just was too freaked to really hear how it went, but I don't remember ANY of it.  Augh!  I guess on the one hand, I'm glad that I'm converting now before I get too much older.  Doing a first confession in my 20's is easier than doing it when I'm older, but still pretty difficult.  More updates tomorrow, for now I'm going to try to distract my mind with other things.

March 23, 2013

Funnest day ever

Heavy on the sarcasm.  We got the bulk of our stuff into our new apartment.  We had a lot of help, thank god, because my physical abilities are less than acceptable.  Now our apartment is a mess but it doesn't even matter as long as our bed gets put together.  Now we just have to organize, get the rest of our stuff, and clean the old apartment.... Later.  Right now it's rest time. 

Passion

I remember going to see The Passion of the Christ when it first came out in theatre.  It was pretty intense coming from an impressionable young high school student.  Tonight, our church is previewing the movie again.  I think I may go see it.  It would be nice to get a Catholic perspective, considering the first time I saw it I was still very Protestant.  I don't know exactly if my opinion of the movie will change any, or if we'll even have a discussion afterwards or anything...more or less, I think I'm just looking for an excuse to get out of the house.  The first day of spring break was today and despite looking beautiful outside, it is still freezing cold.  I just feel the need to do something somewhere that isn't here.

March 22, 2013

Moving Day's Eve

I hate pregnancy brain.  I just left my purse with my phone in it at our new apartment.  I didn't want to go back so I won't see it again until tomorrow, which is moving day.  When we got back to our current apartment, I filled a box with my desk stuff and I spelled my own name wrong.  My first name.  The one I've had my entire life.  Earlier in the week, I left my parking permit that I was supposed to put in my car at the new apartment.  I just feel like I should not be entrusted with any important documents right now.  I'm sure something is gonna get lost in the 10 minute trip from this apartment to our new one.  Spoiler alert: it's probably gonna be my brain. 

I'm gonna try to get some sleep now so that I'm not completely useless tomorrow.  I know I'm gonna be at least mostly useless but hopefully not completely. 

Time Travel

I went on my first field trip today as a teacher.  We took all the rascals to Medieval Times today.  I don't remember this place being so big.  Since all these school districts are broke, it was literally three schools:  an elementary school, another middle school, and us.  Since our middle school had about two hundred kids, we got four of the six knights of our very own.  Even with the odds on our side, not a single one of our knights managed to win.  Our knight, of course, was the best knight though.  He was the cutest and he pandered to the to the crowd the most.  He even killed all the knights he fought, until the last one came back up and stabbed him.  Cheater cheater!

Incidentally, I did eat the chicken.  I am a horrible horrible person.

March 21, 2013

Boring day

Nothing exciting happened today.  I packed 3 1/2 drawers of clothes.  I watched kittens fight... And nap.  Etta almost fell in the giant box for the tv.  She pulled herself back up right before she slipped in completely.  It was epic.  Then she continued playing with the box.  I guess she didn't learn her lesson.  Or maybe she did cause she never fell in.  She likes to tempt fate. 

The two of them seem to be doing really good together.  They keep each other distracted when I wanna kick them out of our room but they are still social with us when we're in the same room.  Its win win.  Except when I finish a meal and they're both sleeping on me.  I just have to learn to not feel bad about disrupting sleeping kittens. 

Confidence Shaken

Today is such a strange day.  I am battling a total breakdown of confidence.  It's a lot of stress all kind of coming together at once, but it's also a resurgence of old/new fears.  Also, I am pretty sure I have anxiety disorder, and I can definitely tell it's kicking up again.  The whole fear of confession coupled with my insecurities as a teacher, combined with concerns about being able to find a job, since a ton of schools are being closed in my area, and tied neatly together with general concerns about appearance and likability result in nervous wreck of a me.

I'm not really sure what I can do to get over this other than just working through it, so I guess that's what I'll do.  Really short post today, I have a lot I'm working on.  I'll try to post something of more content during spring break.

March 20, 2013

Follow Up

So much of what I have been listening to and reading has revolved around prayer that I've decided to try to pray the rosary every day.  I've never really been good at keeping up with that, but this was the last thing about my faith that my grandmother taught me before she passed.  She clearly felt it was something important enough to teach me and I know she always went to church early so as to be in time to pray the rosary.  She gave me my first one too.

I started thinking about how I spend so much time worrying about myself recently.  I mentioned in an earlier post about how I really liked the idea of doing those random acts of kindness.  Now I think I've found a way to bring these two concepts (praying the rosary and random acts of kindness) together.  Instead of praying for myself, my intentions are to pray for others.  I think this is applicable.  I did some quick reading online (because everything on the internet is true) and it seems like you can pray the rosary for someone else.  I guess I should double check with my RCIA instructor, but I don't see why this wouldn't be doable.

So, if anyone has prayer requests, let me know.

Packing

I packed two whole boxes today!  I also threw away some stuff that would have taken up room in boxes.  At this rate, I'll have six boxes packed by moving day.  Maybe I should pick up the pace.  Or I can just get rid of all my stuff.  Decisions....

Spring breaks next week.  I can't believe lent's almost over.  I don't even feel like I talked about anything important in my blog this year.  Maybe I should step it up next week... Or next year.  Actually I'll probably be worse cause I'll have an infant next year.  He'll be demanding all of my time.  All of it.  There will be none left over.  Probably. 

March 19, 2013

We signed the lease

So we're moving this weekend.  It sounds exciting and it should be exciting but I'll be way more excited when its all over.  I hate packing.  I just want all my things to magically appear in our new place.  Its not even the heavy lifting cause I'm not allowed to do that anyway, I just don't like organizing my stuff and putting it in boxes.  But it'll all be worth it when we actually have room for all our baby stuff.  Also we'll get to hang out with Kayla all the time.  The shenanigans practically write themselves. 

I'll leave this post on a cute note... because kittens.

Guten Tag!

I was stumbling around on our stats block today and discovered that 18 people from Germany have patroned our blog.  Wow!  That's the second most after the United States.  I realize the stat counter probably determines this if people accidentally end up here, but I still think it's neat.  One of my goals is to visit Germany one day.  Actually, I'd love to teach there.  In fact, I can't help but think I partly went back to get my Master's in education to be more marketable in other countries.  (Please hire me!)

In all seriousness, though, I have caught the travel bug.  It was a little weird being in Canada last year, seeing another flag flying and receiving different currency, but ultimately it was amazing.  I'd love to go back, but even more so I want to go to other places now as well.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll end up living outside of the U.S.

I wonder what I have to do to get citizenship elsewhere, and if I could keep my current citizenship...

March 18, 2013

Books

I started selling some of my books on Amazon.  I have too many of them I don't read or even look at so I thought I could make some money off them.  I actually sold one on the first day.  I was kinda surprised.  It was one of my history texts from sierra college which is over 6 years old.  Maybe it just hasn't been updated in 6 years. 

A lot of my books have teeth marks on them.  One was in almost perfect condition except for some bite marks on the cover.  I can't even be mad cause I know they were from Olive. 

I put off blogging too late today.  Now I'm all tired and can't think.  At least I didn't forget. 

Loneliness

Lately I've been feeling quite lonely.  At first I thought it was a number of things.  Anxiety over all this homework stuff, rushing through weeks just trying to get things done, less time I spend with family and friends, or perhaps the fact that most of the people I used to talk to just aren't around anymore.  Mixed with this feeling of loneliness, though, is an intense desire to spend a great deal of time at my church.

I put in the last of my CDs today and the speaker was talking about how prayer is integral to having a relationship with God.  I'm wondering of my desire to spend more time at church is a recognition that I really pray well when I'm there.  Otherwise, my prayer life isn't all that great.  I always say I should pray more, but sometimes I feel so awkward praying.  It also doesn't help that I loaned out my prayer book...although really that's more a cop out.  I could download prayers from the internet for free and pray them or meditate on scripture.

I was more or less surprised to learn that I think my loneliness stems from a lack of relationship with God.  I guess I should really start praying more and I think I may even keep a prayer journal or something.  I have to wonder if anyone I know has had much experience with that.  This is something to look into.

March 17, 2013

It's St. Patrick's Day


I have a tendency to find these things.  I'm not really bragging.  It's just something I've done since childhood.  Since it's St. Patrick's day and since I didn't really do much of anything neat for the holiday other than going to mass, I decided to spread some luck around the internet.  No, this image isn't mine.  It's not one I found, other than on the internet, but it's a very nice four leaf clover nonetheless.  I hope everyone had a good St. Patrick's Day and I hope no one has too bad of a hangover the next morning.  It is Monday after all, people!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2013

The Big C

So, I've been putting off this post because I just haven't wanted to think about my big hang-up with becoming Catholic:  Confession.

I am completely petrified about confession.  I have talked with a lot of people about it, and even though my concerns are alleviated, it doesn't really help the situation any.  First off, I'm slightly claustrophobic and those booths aren't very big.  I could open the window to talk with the priest face to face and make it seem like there's more space, but that leads into my second fear.  I don't trust people very well.  Like, at all.  I've had problems in the past with the church where I have gone to someone I trust to talk about issues I'm having and the next thing I know, it's church gossip.  While I have been assured that priests cannot under any circumstances break their silence on this issue, and while I realize I don't even have to worry about it, this has been so common an occurrence in every protestant church I've been a part of that I can't get over my anxiety.

The third issue is that I have to make my first confession at an age where I have a lot of significant things to confess for.  As if my anxieties weren't enough of an issue.  Working up the courage to go, let alone say all that I've done wrong to be forgiven is nerve wrecking.  I know I really ought to talk with Father about this, because I'm pretty sure he could help out, but I don't even know how to bring something like this up.  Two more weeks and the big day arrives, so I guess I better figure something out.

Etta and Broyles

Now I have 2 kittens crowding my belly.  Whenever I sit down, double the cuteness ends up on my lap.  Although usually I pick Broyles up cause he's still being shy.  Etta just plays circles around him while he's still trying to figure out where he is.  Broyles is a little cutie.  He looks like a little bear.  I'm glad Etta has someone to keep her company at night now.  They slept in the shoebox together last night.  So much cuteness.  We need a bigger apartment to contain it all. 

March 15, 2013

Girls Night

Tonight is girls night.  That's a night when girls get together and say all the things they can't say in front of boys.  Also sing karaoke.  And drink.  Except I don't get to drink, but I do get to drive home in peace and safety.  It's going to be fun times :)

So we've officially been approved for our new townhouse!  We're gonna have more space and a roommate!  Kayla being to lucky one who gets to live with us.  Now I'll have another person to bug besides John.  And our kittens will have another person to harass.  It's a win all around. 

In kitten related news, Etta has figured out how to climb up the mattress propped up in our living room.  She knows how to get down, I've seen her do it, but it seems like every time I come home, she's up there whining at me to get her down.  Does she forget?  Or is she just being lazy?  Either way, I just pat her on the head and tell her I know she'll figure it out and she always does. 

Missing the Point

Today, I was grading papers from the day before, when I came across an interesting problem.  I used a common technique to teach my students some new information:  accessing prior knowledge.  Unfortunately, this completely backfired.  I was trying to help them to learn about Copernicus, and somehow accidentally taught them he proved the earth was round.  Not only that, but one student seemed to think that he "proved the earth is flat!"  I don't even know.

I learned that I need to be careful when accessing prior knowledge.  Apparently it can accidentally confuse your students.  I guess everyone focused on the earth being round instead of the earth orbiting the sun.  After today, though, I have to say I really felt like I failed some students...especially if they are under the misconception that the earth is flat.  Ironically, in teaching about the middle ages, I may have accidentally set some students back to that era of mentality.

Oops.

March 14, 2013

Definitely probably moving

Well I never got my lemon tree.  Someone else got the house and we had to keep looking.  We did find a spacious townhouse.  We're the only ones who put in an application so its pretty much ours.  The downside is we don't get a yard but the upside is we don't have to buy appliances and the master bedroom is huge.  If all goes well, we could be moved out before April. 

I saw Bishop kick my stomach today.  Its the first time I've seen movement from the outside.  He moves a lot especially when I lay down.  I guess my rest time is his workout time.  He's gotta practice his awesome crime fighting moves for when he becomes Batman. 

Elation!

Last night was pretty much my last class.  It wasn't all that interesting, except my sister couldn't find a babysitter so my nephew was along for the night.  The most exciting part of the evening, however, was coming home to song after song of awesome rock music.

Now, the problem when I listen to the radio and it's playing awesome rock music, is that I have a tendency to drive a little over the limit...and like a maniac...all over the road...as I rock out.  I don't club and I don't really dance, but for some reason the combination of a vehicle capable of high speeds and awesome rock makes me insane.  But in this case, I think it was worth it!

After tonight, I have exactly six classes and one exit interview left on campus and student teaching.  In two weeks, I will be Catholic.

This journey is almost coming to an end....and so is Lent and our Lent Blog.  It's like a great big culmination!

March 13, 2013

Day 2

So today I went to the same school to do the same job as yesterday but it was even more awesome.  After 2 periods, I had a prep period and as the students were coming in for 4th period, the teacher came back and said I could go.  So I got to leave an hour early.  The students weren't happy because they were supposed to finish watching Willy Wonka but they didn't get to since the teacher was there to teach.  They had to do actual work and I got to go home and rest. 

It was a good day.  Also I have Willy Wonka songs stuck in my head. 

White Smoke

Looks like there's a new Pope elected into office.  I'm pretty surprised by how quick the turn around was.  If I recall correctly, I thought the election of the last pope was a while.  I certainly didn't anticipate them voting on a new one before Easter.  I don't know why I'm so surprised.

I'm actually looking forward to seeing what will come next.  I know the election of the last Pope wasn't so long ago, but I don't really remember much about it.  Last time, I also didn't have much of a vested interest in what was going on.  I think other things were making my life 'too busy' to care.  Also, I wasn't quite ready to become Catholic yet.  I mean, I suppose I could always read about the process on the internet somewhere, but something about watching it play out just seems so much more interesting.  I wish I would have been able to come home early today in time to see the white smoke on the news for myself!

March 12, 2013

Recurring Forgetfulness

So, I sat down to write my blog today and instantly forgot what I was going to write about.  I've literally sat here for an hour trying to remember, but it didn't help. I thought perhaps if I looked through some news articles or talked to people online this might help, but again I struck out.  I have absolutely no idea what my idea for today was.  This is troubling.  I think lack of sleep has been making me extremely forgetful lately.  So, instead of making a lengthy post, I think I'll try to catch up on sleep and do something more significant tomorrow.  Ironically, I have a half day of school tomorrow, so maybe if I go to bed early tonight and then nap tomorrow afternoon, I'll either remember what I was going to write about today, or think of something to write about for tomorrow and (hopefully) retain it!

Half day!

So I showed up for a half day of subbing today and guess what.... It actually is a half day!  The last 2-3 times I've showed up for an early half day, I've ended up staying a full day.  One time there was just a mistake in Subfinder and they changed it to full day after I got there (of course I agreed to it first).  Another time I showed up for a half day and I got a call from the office asking if I could fill in the rest of the day for a different teacher because he had some emergency.  I panicked for a second this morning when the secretary handed me the sub folder and my roll sheet went all the way to period 6 but when I asked her, she explained that the computer prints all periods automatically and the teacher would be back for the last 2 periods.  What's even more awesome is I'm pretty sure I'm getting paid for a full day because I'm here for 4 1/2 hours... for 2 days in a row.  I'm getting paid 2 full days for teaching 3 periods a day.  I need more jobs like this. 

Of course the best way to ensure I don't get roped into more hours than I planned is to book late half days.  That way I show up around 11 and leave when school ends.  They could call and ask me to come early but I don't usually answer the phone when I'm sleeping.  It's much harder to say no when I've already gotten myself ready and arrived at the school.  My only excuse for declining is not bringing lunch which, given my current state of growing a child, is a really good excuse but it sounds really stupid coming out of my mouth.  This is why I always bring extra snacks because I can't say no.  It's twice the money and I've already made it out of bed.  If it's an easy class, I'm really only getting paid for being awake.  If it's middle school, I'm cursing life and its horrible injustice. 

Also I got super lucky with these classes.  I have one period of advanced freshmen and two periods of seniors.  He also has two periods of regular freshmen but they're both after lunch and I'll be gone.  Only the most well behaved students for me :)

March 11, 2013

Almost fail

I almost forgot to post again.  I'm really slipping.  I only remembered cause I checked Facebook and saw a status update from Kris and thought "oh no, I didn't blog yet!" 

So I had my first WIC appointment today.  It is waaaaaaaay easier than applying for medi-cal.  I didn't even have to wait to see someone.  It's nice to have an assistance program that's actually pleasant to go to and deal with the staff. 

Bishop has been moving like crazy the past few days.  He's getting bigger... And stronger.  He likes to work out when I'm ready to sleep.  Boys....

Stolen Hour

I don't really remember getting hit hard by daylight saving's time before.  This year, however, it is really hitting hard.  I even tried to sleep as much as possible this weekend to make up for the world taking an hour of my life away from me.  It didn't help.  I am completely exhausted!

On the plus side, I've stumbled onto something.  When I am completely exhausted, I can write.  I don't mean I can necessarily write well, but I can get words out at least.  It feels like I have completely stopped caring about how I sound or what the content is.  When I'm this tired, I can somehow ignore all of my insecurities because I have just stopped caring about them.  Now, the question to ask is:  is what I've written any good?  Ok, well maybe the second question is:  can anyone understand what I was saying?  I may be an unconsciously fantastic writer who doesn't make a lick of sense.  Or maybe I am a completely boring writer who makes a lot of sense, who knows?

It's time fo rme to go to class now, so I'll end this here.  I just hope I can make it to and from class without falling asleep tonight.  Woo!

March 10, 2013

Sunday post

So since I missed one day last week (that no one even noticed), Kris is making me post on Sunday to make up for it.  That's right, Kris has become the lent blog police.  It's a serious task which involves monitoring the writing habits of two individuals during lent, herself included.  That means I'm the only one who gets in trouble if I don't write. 

Actually we should be holding each other accountable but.... I've got other shit to do.  Not as much stuff as Kris... but stuff.  Besides she's really good at monitoring herself.  I'd hate to take that away from her.  Because I love her.  With love.  And kittens. 

On the Verge of Victory

I spent today working on the rest of the assignments I need to do for my last two classes, which end this week.  I am so close to being done with my Master's that I can taste it.  Really, all I will have to do thereafter is finish my certification, which translates to completing all of the requirements for student teaching.  I was concerned about this at first, but now that I'm familiar with the school and the classroom I'm in, I am really looking forward to this.  Although this is the longest time of the year.  The only break left is Spring Break for most schools, and possibly a day here and there for parent-teacher conferences.  Not only that, but I'm pretty much picking up the teaching job from now until the end of the year.  Woooo!

Even though I will have one more paper to write, I'm actually a lot more relaxed than I have been throughout this entire experience.  One more paper almost seems like nothing in comparison to everything else I've had to do.  Now I just need to worry about finding a job!

March 9, 2013

This is my angry meow

Etta is pissed.  Every night we put her to bed in the bathroom.  We don't trust her on our bed cause she pees on it and if we left her just outside the bedroom, she would scratch on the door.  So we shut her in the bathroom and to show her displeasure, she uses every possible variation of angry meow she can.  It's kinda funny listening to her.  It's like she thinks if she can just find the right tone of voice, the door will magically open.  Or maybe she thinks it'll make us feel guilty and let her out.  Unfortunately for her, our desire for uninterrupted sleep is much stronger than our feelings of guilt.  Also my desire to not get peed on. 

This is why I'm glad they don't stay kittens forever. 

Shallow But Deep

I woke up in one of my 'weird' moods today.  I never know whether to attribute these moods to depression or not.  I don't feel sad in particular, but I definitely feel like something is a little 'off'.

For instance, the world just seems a little less sane today.  It feels like so many people are talking about insignificant things.  I'm not the least among them, I realize.  This whole post is about my perception on things, and really that's kind of trivial as well.  Today it just seems more evident to me.  I found myself on facebook looking at posts and wondering "Why am I even here?"

It's not just "the problem of facebook", though.  The whole focus of everything just seems wrong.  I wish I could put my finger on it.

March 8, 2013

My Turn...But Not Really

So, it's my turn to miss writing about something for Lent.  After giving Angela grief about it, I'll be surprised if she doesn't say something.  I have an added bonus though.  Because she's two hours behind me and this blog is set up on "her time" the only way anyone would know that I missed a day was if I said something.  Which I am doing, because I have honor.  If you want to get really technical, I haven't gone to sleep again, so this might still count as part of "Friday".  It's at least Friday in spirit!

I told Angela she should write on a Sunday to make up for missing a day, but since I write on Sundays I can't exactly follow my own example.  I suppose I'll just have to post twice today!  Which is fine, because I fully intended to write today anyway.

I suppose I owe this to Angela, though:

Possible alien abduction

Today I subbed for a half day.  I wish I had some exciting story to tell about it but it was just boring.  I watched kids do art then I watched them play basketball.  The teacher forgot to finish his sub notes though.  He said he would be back on.... I don't know cause the notes just stop right there.  It's like he was abducted in the middle of writing it.  I didn't feel the need to launch an investigation though cause I saw him outside the school as I pulled into the parking lot.  Plus he came back 8th period.  That must be what he wanted to write. 

That was all my excitement today.  An unfinished note.  Can you imagine my level of boredom if he had finished it?  Thank God for ADD. 

March 7, 2013

Teaching Christianity...Part I

Oh look!  A topic that coincides with both aspects of my life!  Hooray!

My students are learning about the middle ages and medieval Europe.  This means I get to teach about Christianity in a public setting.  I'm a little nervous about this because I'm not really sure how much I can elaborate upon the material covered in the textbook.  I suppose as long as I'm not telling students what to believe or teaching them prayers or whatnot, I'll be fine, but it's always a fine line to walk.  Parents are funny and we've had instances during the year already where students have gone home and misrepresented conversations in class to the chagrin of their parents.

Even so, I like that I get to teach about something that I actually know quite a bit about.  Well, not that I'm not doing that now anyway.  This entire semester has been great because I've been able to cover all the civilizations I know a lot about, and only had to deal with two lessons in one I don't know very much about at all.  So, I guess it's just nice that I get to talk about something I'm very passionate about, even if I can't say too much about it...or something like that.

Maybe I should have waited to write about this topic until after I did those lessons...

Let me amend this title:  Teaching Christianity Part I

Kitten magnet

I've noticed an odd phenomenon lately around this apartment.  Whenever I sit still long enough, there's a sleeping kitten on me.  When I finish my morning cereal, I have to move a sleeping kitten off me.  Anytime I sit on my bed: sleeping kitten.  I waited an hour to get my lunch today because I didn't want to disrupt her nap.  She wasn't even done either, I had to move her cause I was so hungry.  I'm laying on the bed as I write this and she's actually not on me.  She's curled up under my arm.  I kicked her off the bed when she farted while curled up on my chest.  Farting is not cute, even for kittens.  Especially so close to my face. 

Sometimes it's cute having a tiny fluffy shadow.  Except when she wants to play and tries to trip me EVERY STEP I TAKE.  I've never had such a cuddly kitten.  I blame the pregnancy.  Olive used to be a daddy's girl until I got pregnant and then she was all over me.  I guess kittens are sensitive to pregnancy too. 

March 6, 2013

Etta talking to my baby

"Oh hey Bishop, I can't wait for you to come out of there and yank on my tail!"  That's what she said, I heard it.  And she was in no way being forced as this picture may suggest. 

Random Acts of Kindness

I've been seeing a lot of stuff on the news about random acts of kindness and it's made me start thinking about my own life.  When I started this Lent blog with Angela, it was because we both wanted to "do something" for lent, but we couldn't figure out what.  Giving something up, we decided, was commendable, but doing something was better.  I don't know how we came to the conclusion of writing a blog.  I think it was a natural solution to the ongoing "We should start a website/blog" conversation we'd been having for some time.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually really like doing this Lent blog.  I like taking time out of my life to devote to writing.  That's kind of the issue I've been struggling with this year, though.  Am I really writing a blog for Lent because this is in some way a testament of my faith, or is this a way to get myself to write?  Based off of the content of my blogs for the last two years, I think I've come to the conclusion that it may actually be the latter.

Here's where the random acts of kindness come in.  I was reading an article about a girl who is honoring her grandmother's life by doing 89 random acts of kindness.  She's been talking about her journey in this process online and it's become an inspiration to many to follow her example.  I think that's awesome!  I think it's so awesome that this time next year, I want to come up with something I will actually do in service to God...and then I guess blog about it because I like this yearly blog tradition regardless of what the motivations are.

March 5, 2013

Snow Day!

I am so ready for spring.  I have been for weeks now.  Ever since we had that warm day in February, I have been dreaming of flowers and birds.  We had two weeks of unseasonal warmth.  We didn't even have a 'white Christmas'.  And now what do we get?  Snow!  Really, I don't mind too much.  We had such a bad drought last year that the snow will probably help when it melts.  I think that's how it works anyway, although I know some probably goes back into the atmosphere.

Today I decided to catch up on some homework.  I have a paper left to write, but I can't really concentrate on it.  I keep thinking about the Lighthouse cds I got from church.  The idea of listening to theology while I drive is such a novel concept, but it didn't go far enough yesterday.  Now that I've had time to think it over, my desire to listen to theology has pretty much extended into my everyday life.  I am literally drooling over the idea of finding some podcasts to listen to...ok well no, not literally.  I just realized how stupid that sounds.  I'm not salivating as I type...yet.

I really should have used today to investigate some areas I can get podcasts or other lectures for free to put on my iPod.  I guess that also means I'll have to figure out a way of getting my iPod to download music onto this computer so I don't lose my play list.  Hmmm...seems like an awful lot of work with the potential for huge pay offs!

Oh no!

I can't believe I forgot to blog yesterday.  I guess I've officially failed lent this year.  I'm gonna blame pregnancy brain.  It's seriously starting to get me.  There was a lot of small things today that made me feel stupid.  Then yesterday I was driving around with Kayla and I kept forgetting where I was going.  *sigh* It's gonna be a fun 4 months.  Then when the baby's actually here, I'll continue to be stupid from sleep deprivation. 

Anyway, yesterday Kayla and I went to Walmart and she bought our baby a Captain America onesie and a little tshirt with a dinosaur and robot fighting! They're both adorable.  It's nice to have friends who just wanna buy your baby stuff cause it's cute.  This baby is gonna be so spoiled :)

March 4, 2013

Integration

Yesterday I made a donation for some CDs from church.  I've been listening to a couple of them since.  But I also decided to watch the History Channel's version of "The Bible" as well.  That's actually what I'm doing right now.  I'm not sure that I agree with their portrayal of events so far.  It's like...a Discovery documentary about lions.  We see what's going on, but the narrator cutting in is awkward.  Especially since there's really no need for a narrator, they have actors and sets.  They had the opportunity to tell a story instead of telling about the story.  Very strange.

As for these CDs, they're actually really good.  They're entertaining, there's a lot of good theology, and they have kept me from speeding on my to and from places.  Music tends to pump me up too much and I get the road rage, but listening to someone talk?  Who knew?  Lighthouse seems to have a good collection so far from what I have listened to.  I already want to get some money together to donate for more.  I only donated enough for five, but I think I'm going to blow through these pretty quickly.  It makes me wonder if there are any websites that offer free lectures for download so that I could put some of these on my iPod.  Then I'd be in business.

I think this is the first step twoards a new addiction.  I've never really liked the idea of listening to books on tape or anything like that while driving.  I typically enjoy listening to music.  It gives me time to think and put some thoughts in order.  I have to admit, though, I felt really relaxed driving too and from school listening to someone talking about theology.  Instead of reading more, I'll bet I start getting out of control with these CDs.

March 3, 2013

Saints and Cell Phones

Today I remembered the post I wanted to make yesterday.  I also can't remember the last time I actually wrote something about my spiritual journey, so today I'm not taking my sabbatical.  But that's ok too.  I should probably get on trying to do better with my Lent blog, seeing as there's only three weeks or so left.

One of the first weeks of RCIA, we learned about this neat little prayer that was suppose to evoke the help of St. Andrew to help you find lost things.  I thought it was kind of interesting, but I haven't really tried it.  It's just one of those things that stick with you for some reason.  Then yesterday I completely lost my cell phone.  I mean, this sucker was gone.  It was on silence on top of everything else, so there was absolutely no chance of finding it.  I had been all over the house, I'd cleared off every table, I'd gone through boxes and garbage cans, I'd looked in cushions and on the floor.  It.  Was.  Gone.

In a fit of desperation and complete giving up, I used that little prayer from RCIA.  Not two minutes later, my Dad walks into another room and comes back with my cell phone.  It had somehow made its way into our basement.  Go figure.  I'm convinced cell phones are evil buggers that try to lose themselves when it's least convenient just to make our lives miserable.  That's on top of going off at inappropriate times, failing to work properly when we need them to, and arbitrarily dying when you absolutely have to make a phone call to name a few of their delinquent behaviors.  While I'm not saying a Saint had nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than to come down into my house and find my misbehaving electronic device, it was rather coincidental...and bears watching.

Although if there is a Saint that wants to come down and finish my homework for me like a magical shoe-making elf, I'd be very grateful.