Wednesday, July 17, 2013

so there IS a reason (or two)

i've spent much of the last few months frustrated. with myself, my body, my lack of energy or motivation to do anything at all.  

i've stayed busy, accepting babysitting jobs here and there and teaching a few piano lessons all while working 40+ hours a week. that's true. and i've attempted to make time for friends and family time in all that, but sadly have failed to do that as much as i wanted to.

and i have been tired. and i have been sick for what seems like an extreme amount over the last 10 months or so, but the last couple of months have been especially vicious.

and i've been sooooo frustrated. by being sick and tired. and being tired. and being sick.

so when a mere week after being out of work with a stomach bug that i won't detail here i woke up with a fever of 102.8 (which is pretty high for someone whose norm is 97.5) i was mad. my throat ached, but so did my whole body, and i was freezing. so i was a bit unclear whether i was dealing with strep, flu or the plague, but i knew whatever it was i was not a fan.

and i couldn't leave the bed, until my husband came home after lunch and insisted i call my doctor so that i could go there instead of a walk-in clinic.  he drove me mainly because i was in no condition to drive.

the nurse practitioner who saw me couldn't tell me exactly what was going on because both the flu and strep tests came back negative.  however, she visually diagnosed strep, put me on an antibiotic to deal with that, and told me that this was clearly a mean illness of some sort because "i've never laid eyes on you, but you look like you feel awful".

i did.

and that feeling (and fever) didn't go away for several days, and even when it did, i.was.exhausted.

anthony insisted i call the doctor, who responded "if you still feel this way on tuesday, come in for a mono test".

fast forward to tuesday and the myriad of tests they actually ran...and the following day when i got the call.

not only do i have mono that's been hanging around for an undetermined amount of time, but i also am severely anemic.

well, ok then.

lots of things cleared up with just those words. i'm not being lazy, there are actual medical reasons why i cannot bring myself to work out on a consistent basis even though i desperately want to be moving.

i often fall asleep on the couch these days is because i have reasons to be tired!

i've been taking iron for a week now, and anthony told me yesterday that he can already tell a difference. as for me?  yes, i still fall asleep on the couch once in awhile, but its for 20 minutes, not two hours. yes, i'm still exhausted, but exercising isn't out of the question. i finally am starting to get a tiny bit of "me" back, and for that i'm excited. and grateful.

i'm grateful that the tests she ran for more serious things have not materialized as anything (at least not yet--and i don't expect them to). i'm grateful that for the issues i'm dealing with there is a somewhat simple fix. i'm grateful that i have a co-teacher who is understanding that sometimes i just need to sit for a few minutes (usually with one or five children clamoring to be on my lap...and that's ok). i'm grateful that the acute antibodies weren't present in the mono test, so i CAN work...and that none of my students seem to have caught anything from me.  i'm grateful that when my job description changes in a month or so i should be back to feeling normal again. (i've been interim teaching the pre-k class since april 1, but go back to the admin team and add teaching music to all the classes in mid-august).

it could have been worse.
it could have been different.
and without a case of strep from hell, i would never have discovered that these other things were going on.

so with that said...thank God for a case of strep throat.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

...mic check...1...2...

what would i say about the months of silence?
well, nothing. 
what would i tell you about the things i haven't said in those months?
well, plenty

i would say that the payment i get in hugs and smiles and oh yeah illnesses ;-) far outweigh any paycheck i could ever receive

i would say that i never imagined that working in a preschool setting would be so rewarding

i would say that A and i are happier when the house is tidy. i would also say that when one of us is sick, it becomes a lot harder to keep tidy. we definitely work as a team around here, and i adore that

i would say that grown adults who know better can be vindictive and attempt to steal your joy because of their own bitterness all while wearing a sugary smile and proclaiming their love for Jesus
{i could write an entire series on the southern facade that i.desperately.hate. just be real for crying out loud. yanks have that one over southerners hands down}

i would say that only you can let someone steal your joy
{in other words, neener-neener, aforementioned person didn't win ;-) }

i would say that car shopping when you HAVE to car shop isn't as exciting as it seems to be
{moment of silence for lora's amazing finally died last month. and i have shed more than a couple of tears.}

i would say that fresh flowers in the house brighten my mood immensely. fresh flowers that my husband pick out for me just intensify that!

i would say that i fall more in love with texas each time i visit 
{year 2 for going on a missions trip to a children's home in the hill country. heart partially there}

i would say that getting your garden planted two months {two MONTHS} late just means a longer harvest period
{fingers crossed}

i would say that the God-encounters that you allow yourself to be aware of are more amazing that you could ever come up with by any stretch of your imagination

i would say that i have wanted to come type out long versions of each of these snippets and felt a block of some sort.  so for now they are snippets.  fuller versions on request...or as i have the time to tell them

but really, it doesn't matter what i have to say about the months between january and july.  we did a lot of living during those months.  times spent with great friends, playing board games, crashing on the couch to watch movies, having family over and A *finally* getting his youngest sister and i to watch the LOTR trilogy, taking time for a date night or two, celebrating my birthday and hosting gatherings for each of our best friend's birthdays, A speaking for the first time at our church plant...and there were also tears and hurt, and pain, and stress and confusion and wondering if we had made the right decisions about several things.

and that's life.

the next six months will hold much of the same, and i await it all expectantly.

life without pain means you forget to feel.  because of tears, i feel joy more radically.

i'm not going to make any promises i can't keep. but my desire is to be here, to be real, to live life authentically in this tiny blip in the internet where i get to have my real voice.

so for the good, for the bad, for all the lovely moments in i am.

oh, and if you take the time to be sweet and comment please include what you drive and why you love it. did i mention car shopping is a pain?!


Monday, January 21, 2013

swagbucks extravaganza TOMORROW!!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Swagbucks is celebrating the month of January with a bunch of Swag Codes - if you can get them all, you'll have an extra 65 Swag Bucks at the end of the day!

They'll be happening all throughout the day at random times, so check their blog, Facebook and Twitter for potential clues.

If you have the new Toolbar installed you'll be able to check for Swag Codes all day long!

I've written several times about how much I love swagbucks, and y'all I promise it's totally legit! Through gift cards a large percentage of our Christmas gifts were FREE!

If you haven't joined Swagbucks yet, click any of the links in this post to join the fun and start earning reward points that you can exchange for free stuff like gift cards!

Use the code JANTASTIC during sign up - that way you'll start with 100 Swag Bucks instead of the usual 30. Enter the code exactly as it appears with no spaces.

  carry on :-)

recipe of the week: buffalo chicken stromboli

i originally published this recipe a couple of years ago, but that version contained some ingredients that i no longer allow in our home. so here's the much healthier, real food containing and yummier version that we eat now!

buffalo chicken stromboli

1 ball pizza dough from trader joes or your favorite pizzaria
1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup hot buffalo wing sauce (i use frank's red hot)
1-2 tablespoons straight up hot sauce (i use frank's for that too)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fiesta blend cheese (i use whole foods brand)
1/2 a large red onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
2 stalks celery, diced
your choice of dressing on the side (ranch is my preferred, naturally)

you guys, this recipe is so.stinking.easy. every time i make it i mean to take pictures of the whole process, so next time i PROMISE i will have them for you :-)

spray a baking sheet lightly with olive oil (i have a mister that i use...i definitely prefer real olive oil to any other nonstick spray substance)

while the chicken is cooking, roll out your pizza dough--it helps to be more oval or even rectangular for this recipe.

mix the chicken and the hot sauces together, and put down the center of the dough in about a 1-2 inch wide strip (depending on how wide your dough is)

top with the onion, then the celery and shredded carrots

put the cheeses on top of the veggies

then start "braiding" the pizza dough
it'll look something like this when you finish. i then mist the top with a little more olive oil so that it'll brown nicely
 bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on your desired brownness.

and naturally, enjoy.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

it's a great day for hockey to come baaaaaack!

so, there was this silly little lockout
{those are the nicest adjectives i can use to describe it. feel free to replace}

and now it's finally over. so, naturally we are having a gathering tonight to watch the first hockey game the preds have played all season.

until then it's the normal saturday cleaning, laundry, tv, cooking, errands run...

anything spectacular happening in your world?


Thursday, January 17, 2013

thursday's ten or so: the january goals edition

so i've been a little lax on the blog this year, but that's ok. i've been formulating a new plan for what i'm going to be doing this year in terms of goals, and i've come up with a fun way to combine one of my favorite things (making lists) with another favorite (pinterest).  this year instead of having random goals that i can't really "track" i'm trying to do ten things a month that fall into the categories of:

1- try new recipes (because we all know i love the cooking)
2- improve overall health
3- do something creative
4- invest in relationships (God, husband, friends, co-workers, etc)
5- have FUN
6- organizations/improvements in general

so, i'm creating a board for each month (not all of them exist yet) of things that somehow fit one or more categories.  here is january's list

1 - start a "blessings" jar for 2013. more on that as it comes {creative, fun, relationships)
2 - create a vegetable soup recipe that both anthony and i will enjoy. i hope. {recipes, health}
3 - try the meat/egg in muffin tin recipe {recipes}
4 - recipe for tortellini spinach bake {recipes}
5 - recipe for hashbrown quiches {recipes}*
6 - get in a routine of exercising in the mornings {health}
7 - recipe for balsamic carrots {recipes, health, relationships (because it's mainly for A)}
8 - recipe for blt pasta salad {recipes}
9 - reorganizing the kitchen utensils/counters/drawers {organization}
10 - trying the mint tin storage solution {organization}

this month it's a bit recipe-heavy. hopefully the months will even out a bit...this was just my first attempt at a monthly goals board.  we're a little over halfway through the month, and i have done a few of these already! i'll post pictures/give an update at the end of january or beginning of february along with feb's goals! i think this is going to be fun :-)

*swapped this one for another salad type recipe that i realized i'd rather have in warmer weather! perhaps the low 20s this week made me reconsider!

join me?
or at least share some of this year's hopes/dreams/goals with me!