Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas is over!

I thought about adding a frownie face after that title. Well, I did add one, but then I hit the backspace key and made it a smiley face instead.  And then I deleted that too, so that people wouldn't think I'm some pagan or something horrid like that.  As much as I loved Christmas and all the craziness that comes with it I was exhausted for most of my trip.  I did too much, as usual.

Also as usual, my granddaughterly guilt got the best of me and I worked hard to snuff it while I was in town. Mama and Papa aren't doing much cooking anymore, so I try to make a ton of healthy meals while I'm there so they can have some choices in the freezer. I made Senegalese peanut soup, chicken divan casserole, Italian beef (or turkey) and polenta casserole, baked ziti, a huge batch of meat sauce, butternut squash casserole, salsa and black bean soup, crockpot minestrone, and a couple loaves of harvest bread.

A couple of my triumphs.
I'm really not crazy. I've been tested.
Other than that, I was busy hanging out with kiddos and taking way too many pictures.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Holy cuteness.  This Christmas just had to go and kick every other Christmas I have ever had in the groin.  Children make the holidays so much better.  Their excitement and crazy antics made even my favorite childhood Christmas (the year I got the TI-83 plus graphing calculator... yeah I'm a nerd, why do you ask?) seem just silly.  Watching those kiddos grow up is going to keep me young, I think.  :-D

It was a really great visit.  I also went out to a fondue dinner with besties Cassie and Elisha (so much easier than buying presents for each other!) and then went out to the pub to see other friends as well.  For several days my calorie count lingered at around 2100 calories... on Christmas it was at 2700.  I'm not proud, but at least I was honest with myself.  How many people actually count points or calories during the holidays?  This is quite difficult at the in-law's home where the wine seems to just magically appear in your glass when you could have sworn you just finished it a second ago...

Our trip was just about the perfect length of time- our families were just starting to drive us crazy (kidding!).  But, we were missing our bed at home and I had finally caved in and started taking steroids to calm my lupus and it was making me feel wonky.  It was around time to take our leave at day seven. In fact, it was actually cut a tiny bit short by a winter storm warning the night before we were due to leave.  We packed it up in record time and missed ALL of the storm.  We were very thankful to have such great weather and road conditions on the drive up and back.  I was not prepared to have huge anxiety attacks (at least not on the ride up to Spokane... on my way back I brought extra "juice", a tip from my awesome MIL!).

Now that Christmas is over we have to get back on track.  All the laundry is clean (just not hung up), we've discussed tearing down the tree (frownie face), and I purchased many of the ingredients for my upcoming Food Lover's Cleanse (more to come!).  In a day or so I'll go over the rest of my plans for the new year.... it's time to focus on Kara!

I hope everyone had a great holiday!  
Celebrate SAFELY tomorrow night and have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The semester is officially over with the exception of the silly requirement that I need to snail mail a copy of my thesis to my advisor. I made it clear in our last meeting that my draft would be much more like a rough outline, but he still insists that I mail it instead of emailing it. Sigh.
I'm so thankful to be finished for the semester. I've been sleeping in and trying to take it east. However, my joints seem to get pissed off due to the most ridiculous things. I did the dishes two days ago and I still can't type (what I'm currently doing is using maybe four fingers, total). My knees are also killing me. This could have been caused by wearing my shapeups for too long of a time or wrapping presents on the floor yesterday. Regardless, it's silly.
But, work needs to be done before we go to Spokane. I'll have to find the strength somewhere. Speaking of which, I went in to be reevaluated at physical therapy. It's this stupid deal that the insurance people want. They measure my range and my strength, blah blah blah. Not surprisingly, I've gotten worse. I've lost so much strength in the past year and a half. I feel so weak... constantly. My doctor asks me if it's because of my lupus or because of grad school that I don't exercise. My answer is "yes?" Next semester will be better. Stay tuned.
Since it's obvious that my thesis won't be worked on until after a paraffin wax treatment, I guess I should go wrap more presents. Pray for my knees.

Friday, December 3, 2010

thanks, lupus!

It's thirty minutes until class starts. I'm blogging on my phone-how hip and techie of me.For the past week I've been waKing up more tired than when I laid my head down the night before. I thought it was the vicodin at first, but no-just general fatigue.
I was pondering on my way to school what I would write on that page of my thesis where I get to thank people. Obviously, my husband is first on that list. His patience and understanding and his support in my graduate school quest has been amazing. I wouldn't be here today without him. My grandparents are going to be on that page as well-they don't understand my desire to be a social worker but they still listen to me rant about school and clients with interest. My thesis is on sexuality, a taboo topic to their generation, but they have never spoke a bad word about my topic or my passion for advocating for the LGBTQ population. I'm very fortunate.
But to my main point: Would it be weird to thank lupus? I am so strong because of my disease. People are struggling in this semester of grad school. A cold or a difficult paper brings other students to their knees. Their minds wander to quiting or failure. Never for me. I feel like I can accomplish anything. Thank you, lupus. I would be quite the wimp without you.
So... Thoughts? Should I give a portion of a page to recognizing how lupus has strengthened me?