Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Friday, I rode in a cop car…

This exercise guru conned me into participating in a workout routine called “Gutmageddon” on Thursday. She really didn’t have to persuade me much, as I’m a bridesmaid in this beautiful woman’s wedding on Saturday, and I’m eager to get my arms in better shape. However, on Friday, I was ridiculously sore. So, in order to stretch out my muscles, I decided to go for an “easy” three-mile run around campus after work.

Problem No. 1: It was hotter than weather.com predicted (They said it was 83 degrees. Lies. It was 91.).

Problem No. 2: I apparently can’t run and talk at the same time.

A friend of ours pulled up in his car next to me while I was running and called out, “Hey, where’s Kyle?” I turned to answer, and when I did, I either tripped over the uneven road (likely) or my own feet (also likely) and sprawled out on the concrete.

It wasn’t just a sprawl, though. It was a flip over, roll-around-like-a-dead-fish, eat-the-asphalt type of fall. You know, those super embarrassing ones. And, of course, about fifty cars were around. Frankly, I am thankful I didn’t get hit by a car.

Our friend was so upset. “Are you okay? Are you okay?” he kept asking, looking completely worried.

“No, I’m fine, I promise!” I said, quickly inventorying where I felt pain, mainly my hands and my shoulder. Shockingly, I didn’t see any blood, just red and bruised skin. Shrugging it off, and I waved at him, and to prove that I was fine, I answered his question about my hubby and headed off to run again, assuring him that the only thing truly hurt was my pride. And, at that moment, that was the truth.

I got to my turning around point and ran about a half mile back when the heat and my knee, which was a bit sore, started to get me. I glanced down and saw a nice little bump and red mark on my leg. Rolling my eyes, I decided to try to walk it off instead of run it off.

And that’s basically when my knee gave out.

I realized at this moment that I could not make it the extra mile back to my car. I MIGHT could make it the half mile to my car if I cut across campus. I started hobbling across a parking lot when it dawned on me that there might be a real possibility that I would pass out.

Then I saw it: the blue emergency campus police phones.

I hesitated for several seconds, not wanting to call the cops for something this asinine but also knowing I had another huge parking lot to go across as well as some walking areas for students. Also, God bless them, my students had written a story on the campus police in the spring, saying how most of the calls that came in were from students who had minor issues, like a flat tire, or their car wouldn’t start, or stuff like that. People like me.

I hit the call button.

The cop was super nice, and he said, “Ma’am, do you need us to send an ambulance?”

Good grief, PLEASE don’t send an ambulance!!!

“No, no, I’m good. I just need someone to take me to my car,” I mumbled.

In less than five minutes, a cop pulled around to take me to my vehicle. And he asked if I could drive home. Yep, most definitely. I would make it home if I had to drive with my left foot all the way.

I will say, though, that it’s nice to know that even with dumb situations like mine, the cops were super friendly and helpful. They didn’t act like I was wasting their time (which is what I felt like) or that I was an idiot for tripping while running (also what I felt like). They were great.

So I guess next time one of them slaps a ticket on my car, I should be nicer, right?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Betty and tomatoes

Let’s start with the less interesting news, shall we? ;)

My tomatoes have been repotted. They have survived crazy weather and, more importantly, ME and have thrived. Let’s just hope that they survive shoddy replanting as well.

Okay, but now for the better and much more important news!! I’m about to burst with excitement!

My mom just called; Betty’s doctor said the tumor was GONE and the cancer is GONE!!! Yes, seriously, that just happened! I am just ridiculously happy and bouncy and very (obviously) animated, lol!!!

God is our Provider, and He saw us through this trial and so many others! God is good, all the time!

There’s a song we sing at church that every time I hear it, whether at church or in the car, wherever, I just tear up because I respond to the words and know how true they are. I remember singing this at the first of the year when we found out Betty had cancer.

“I will remain confident in this; I will see the goodness of the Lord.”

Sometimes it’s hard to worship. It’s hard to worship when you see loved ones suffer. It’s hard to understand why bad stuff has to happen. Maybe that’s why we’ve focused on God’s attributes in our Sunday School lessons for so long. =) We may not feel like worshipping, but we worship until we feel it. We don’t feel it and then worship. We worship despite our attitude, mood, and situation. We worship til we feel God move.

We’re not God. We don’t see what He sees. But we know He loves us and hears us and mourns when we mourn. I never felt alone, and I hope my aunt never felt alone during this period. I hope she knew that she had a family support system, a friend support system, and, most importantly, God supporting her through this crisis.

And we have been told that the type of cancer she had was aggressive and very well may come back. But right now, in this moment, when it was so hard to worship before, we worship now joyfully.  We thank Him for His goodness and mercy and praise Him because He is our Savior Almightly.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? -- Psalm 27:1

Monday, May 23, 2011

I edited my profile for the first time in two years...

...because my husband's no longer "a counseling intern pursuing his master's degree." He is a multi-systemic therapist with a master's degree. =)

My baby's a master, lol!!

We had a fabulous weekend celebrating, too. My family came in, and we grilled Friday night and just enjoyed the fact that at least one of us won't be taking summer classes.

The hubby, the "master" of the grill


So funny story with his hood. See that orange color? Yeah, counseling is supposed to be BLUE. We realized this about 30 minutes after this picture was taken. I ran all up and down the assembly center in heels to get him the correct light blue color. Apparently the people who sent us the incorrect hood thought he was getting his master's degree in engineering.

Shaking the university president's hand in his light blue hood. ;)

Me and my friend Tara, who somehow we found in the midst of 849 graduates and their families. Tara's getting hitched to the guy on the left in the next picture.

My dad, hubby, and me

My mom, Hubby's mom, and the new graduate...laughing at who knows what!

I barely remember my bachelor's graduation, and the same goes for Kyle's. We graduated within three months of each other and were married less than a month after Kyle's graduation, so neither graduation seemed as important as our wedding. But I vividly remember my master's graduation because I knew the hard work and time that had gone into accomplishing that. Same with Kyle. He's worked so hard and excelled as a student. I'm so proud of him and so thankful that he was offered such an awesome job and was able to start work before he even graduated. God has blessed us with a supportive family and friends, and I'm just really happy for my husband.

Yeah...it was a good weekend. =)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I (apparently) make stuff

So this past weekend, this lovely lady and I let out our inner craftiness as she directed me in the way of one of my first craft projects. It’s probably not a surprise that she’s also the one who made sure I made this Christmas treat a success.

This time, however, we crafted a fake mosaic found here. I LOVE mosaics. Absolutely love them. And it looked fairly easy for me to accomplish, which was also a necessity for a craft project. And…it turned out good!

First was my trip to Hobby Lobby for party supplies, which was honestly how this project got started. I mean, I was already in Hobby Lobby. Why not run by the craft section? And ask what the heck mod podge was (yes, that was a question of mine – also turns out, for those of you with allergies, that you shouldn’t use mod podge indoors. Fair warning).

The first step, though, is to paint your board. =)

I LOVE painting (on most occasions). As my mosaic was going to be full of earth tones, I picked a bright gold color that makes me think of sunshine.

FYI, I used a plastic board canvas. $2 and works awesome.

Second – make the stupid little one-inch squares to cut out. The drawing of the lines and the cutting was SO STINKING BORING. Seriously – splurge on the paper cutter if you don’t have one. It’s so worth it.

And even though I used a random pattern, yes, I had to have my one-inch squares separated by colors into bowls. Because I’m apparently borderline OCD.

Half a row finished!

I got really excited about halfway done and almost quit there. However, I figured I could finish this project in an afternoon (which I did) and figured it would get lost in the many craft-projects-I-started-but-never-finished stashed in our spare room, so I pressed on and kept gluing one-inch squares to my canvas.

Ah!! Now for the mod podge!!

And, ladies and gentlemen, perhaps my second “real” craft project, a perfect addition to the kitchen table that I use for decoration instead of eating, ha!

What craft project have you done lately? Or are you more non-crafty, kind of like me? =)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Running with "Da Crew"

The story of running with “Da Crew” begins with a haircut. No, seriously.

Angie, my friend who cuts my hair, was doing just that when her husband came in with their adorable three-year-old daughter. Chris started telling me about this group that runs five miles at 5:30 a.m. Intrigued (and missing my nights when I have to run in the evenings), I asked if I could join, and he told me the time and location of their next run.

I could hardly sleep the night before the run. Would I be able to keep up? They run a 10-minute mile on average. I can do that for about three miles, but would I be able to hold out for five? I was also super excited. I was going to run with a group! I hadn’t done that since last fall, and, at that time, I was the leader of that pack.

I woke up at 5:10 a.m. the next morning to give myself about 15 minutes “wake-up” time. I took my super duper asthma inhaler right before and met Chris and three other runners – two men, both over six feet in height, and a petite woman wearing a reflector vest. All of them were very obviously experienced runners. So let’s go over this running crew:

One guy is in the military.
Two are over six feet tall and have ripped calf muscles (It’s a shame that I look at calf muscles on practically every runner.).
And one is this small woman who just has that “running” look.

And then there’s me. Who started running two years ago.

I was quite intimidated, but…I kept up.

Repeat: I. KEPT. UP.

And I was addicted. There’s something about running in the middle of the road in the dim light of the day with no cars that’s invigorating. Something about being awake for three hours before I go into work and knowing that the run is out of the way that is relaxing. Something about running with the “big dogs” and keeping up that fills me with confidence.

It also helps that I’m running places I’ve never run before. And I don’t have to keep up with time or distance or location. I just run. And listen. One of the guys is a big history buff, and he always has fun tidbits about the town or World War II or anything. So I don’t have to talk and get out of breath unless I want to jump in on the conversation. I can listen and be totally entertained.

However, this morning when I woke up at 5:05 a.m., I received the following text from my running contact: “I’m still sick. S.D. is meeting you.”

S.D. is LEGENDARY in our running community. She has a 26.2 sticker on the back of her car and can run anytime, anywhere. When I saw that message this morning, yes, I did slightly panic. I’d been to the allergist the day before, who informed me that my breathing capacity isn’t really up to snuff (and also gave me about three prescriptions to fix this little issue I’m dealing with).

So this morning I dressed, pulled my hair back, took my asthma pill and two inhalers (everyone who has run with me is thanking God right now that they didn’t run with me hyped up on two inhalers) and headed to the track, our meeting place.

I kept up. Up hills and down hills and at a 10-minute per mile for five miles.

Yeah, I feel pretty awesome today. How ‘bout you?

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have a confession.

In the past 5 1/2 years of marriage, I've never made breakfast on weekdays.

Never. Ever.

There are a few reasons why, too. First, neither me nor Kyle enjoy breakfast right when we wake up. My perfect breakfast time is 9 a.m., after my coffee and three hours til lunchtime (which is also probably why I need an afternoon snack). Usually breakfast consists of oatmeal, granola bars, or English muffins with something yummy on the inside. Also, I like to sleep a little later, so why eat during those precious morning minutes when they could be spent sleeping?

But, as I've been often waking up at 5 a.m. to go running with Da Crew (story to be told at a later date) and Kyle is a Type 1 diabetic who needs a healthy breakfast before work, we have begun having breakfast.

This morning I made Apple Pumpkin Softies, and the vote was a hearty YES on these. They're light, not too sweet, and they pack well for a 9 a.m. second breakfast, lol!! Another benefit is that most of the ingredients, like the spices, flour, and eggs, are already on hand. The most time consuming part was shredding that dang apple. I should have used two, but as I was running behind this morning, I only used one. Also, they make a LOT, so I'm planning on having these tomorrow, too!

Apple Pumpkin Softies


2/3         cup all-purpose flour
1/2         cup whole wheat flour
1/4         cup regular rolled oats
1/4         cup toasted wheat germ
1              teaspoon baking powder
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1/2         teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon ground ginger
1/8         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1              egg, lightly beaten
1              cup coarsely shredded apple (such as Granny Smith)
3/4         cup canned pumpkin
1/2         cup packed brown sugar
2              tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3         cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4         cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, combine egg, shredded apple, pumpkin, brown sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Fold in pecans.
3. Drop batter by a measuring tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with dried cranberries. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (I actually baked mine for about 15 minutes) or until firm to the touch and lightly browned on top. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Servings: about 24 cookies
Calories 78
Carbohydrate 13g
(Recipe from Better Homes and Garden)

Friday, May 13, 2011


(Take Two.)

First, they started as seeds, and, within a week, they began to grow.

Now, a month after planting, they've almost ready for bigger pots.

Maybe my non-green thumb is turning green after all. =)

Monday, May 9, 2011


Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
Isaiah 40:12

To celebrate cinco de mayo last week, Kyle and I went to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

We’re dealing with it. As I keep reminding Kyle, this is new, foreign, and unwanted. We don’t want this disease. We don’t want the anxiety, the frustration, and the pain that comes with it. But, then again, God didn’t really ask our vote on that matter.

However, I am not blaming God for this illness. No, I am taking – or at least trying to take – the opposite route: I want to praise Him.

Even though my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, there is no long-term damage to his kidneys, liver, or any other organ.

Even though my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not cancer or something worse.

Even though my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, we have such an amazing group of friends and family who called/texted/visited to make sure Kyle was okay.

We found out an answer that day; he didn’t have to endure more tests to determine what was causing his rapid weight loss.

We are both pro-active fighters, which means we’re getting a handle on this disease right now and making sure we take care of it the best way possible. We’re both used to research, and we’re both becoming quite knowledgeable about diabetes.

We caught it now, not six months from now or six years from now, when long-term damage could have been done.

So, see? We have been blessed. =)

I talked with a friend recently about various spiritual matters, issues that I was/am dealing with, and she made a good point: God sometimes doesn’t heal us in the way we want. Would I choose for Kyle’s diabetes to disappear? IN A STINKING HEARTBEAT. But that’s not what God gave us. We’ve been dealt this hand in life, and praise God that it’s not something worse. So what do we do now?

We praise. We worship. We show how God has been good to us even through this trial. We trust Him; we only have our limited, sinful human eyes to see this world. We don’t see what God sees, but I hold true to two worldviews that I’ve always had:

1. We live in a sinful world that is not perfect.
2. God knows our pain, knows our heart. And he loves us all.

With those two points in mind…how can I not praise the One who gave me my wonderful husband, my supportive family and friends, and these doctors who are working so hard for Kyle?

I will remain confident in this; I will see the goodness of the Lord. And I will sing of His goodness.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Conference in San Antonio

Welcome to San Antonio! Plane left at 6 a.m. on a Thursday and I was home by 8 p.m. Friday. First order of business in San An, after riding on the city bus for 50 minutes, missing my stop, hopping off and hiking a mile and a half (kudos to me for only taking a backpack on this trip) to the hotel was, well, of course, to check in.

Nice digs.

The hotel was right in the center of downtown San Antonio, which was great, because I could easily find my way around the town and some good places to eat.

Lunch on the River Walk by myself....

Well, not QUITE by myself. =)
Once you feed one, all of them come up to you.

Gazing out the window during the conference.

My students, my coworker, and me at the Alamo

Short trip, yet a good trip. =)

Monday, May 2, 2011


"He did resist the assault force, and he was killed in a firefight," an official said. NBC News reported that he was shot in the left eye.

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." 
- Mark Twain

"Don't celebrate death; celebrate justice."
--Derek Webb

Osama bin Laden is dead. Terrorism is still alive. Evil is still alive. This can be seen as a moral victory, but for those who lost loved ones in the war or due to any terrorist attack, even bin Laden's death cannot bring the dead back to life. 

However, this was a historic occasion. I remember where I was nearly 11 years ago during 9/11 -- I was in math class in high school, and I heard that a plane had flown into the Twin Towers. We thought it was an accident, though.

Then the Pentagon was attacked, and we realized this was no accident. This was pre-meditated. This was intentional.

I left school early and was glued to the news for the next 24 hours. Scared, I called my dad, who drove 18 hours from his job to be with me and my mom. I just knew we would go to war immediately. I just knew this would be something like WWI or WWII.

I remember the day we declared war. It was my roommate's birthday. We sat in our dorm room, eating cake, and watched the firestorm over the Middle East.

And, now, I remember the moment I heard that U.S. forces killed bin Laden. My husband and I had been watching the last Michael Scott episode of "The Office," and his brother texted him with the news. We immediately paused the show. He turned on a news channel, and I turned on the computer after not finding any news via my smartphone. We stayed up to watch the president's speech. And then we went to bed.

Where were you May 1, 2011?