Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Perspective

After writing my previous post, I got in the car and headed to pick up a friend for dinner. A song was playing on the radio. Frankly, I don't remember which one. However, it put things in perspective for me.

My grandpa had a massive heart 'something' (not a stroke and not an attack) my senior year of college, right before graduation. The paramedics spent the entire way to the hospital trying to revive him. The doctors at the hospital continued to try to resuscitate him. After awhile, the head doctor said, let's give it one more try. Miraculously, my grandpa was revived.

He spent the next couple of weeks in the hospital undergoing tests, etc. When my grandpa came to he wasn't very pleased to be here on earth. He told an amazing story about his journey to heaven. Honestly, if it wasn't coming from my grandpa, I'm not sure I'd believe he made a trip to heaven and came back. After moving through frustration and realizing God must have a purpose for bringing him back, he's been a faithful witness of his experience and of God to everyone he comes in contact with.

A couple weeks ago, my grandpa found out he had a mass in his abdomen. After running tests, they found it to be cancerous. The doctors at his hospital don't want to do surgery because of his heart, however, they informed him of a doctor who might be willing at UCDavis.

On Monday, he met with the UCDavis doctor. The prognosis is hopeful. On Friday, they will run a test to see if the cancer has spread. If it has not, then the doctor will preform the surgery to remove the cancer on July 12th. If it has spread, they will try and make him comfortable the remainder of his days on earth.

When my grandpa made a comment about wanting to live, but being content with also meeting Jesus again, the doctor replied, "don't you think God has enough people in heaven and could use you here on earth a little longer?"

My grandpa loves God, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let Him take him yet :)

So listening to the song this evening made me stop and pray for my grandpa. Additionally, the song made me think of the ridiculousness of my last post. I'm not sure God really cares about my teeth or my immunizations, but I do believe he cares because his child cares/worries about those little insignificant details of life.

But even more-so, I care about my grandpa and as I stop to pray for him, I'm reminded that life is a gift, even the seemingly insignificant, frustrating, and stressful parts. :)

Extra Expenses

Moving is expensive. There are direct moving costs, Uhaul trailer, gas, hotel, etc. There are also indirect moving expenses like new cleaning products that you got rid of to make space, or a behind the toilet space saver because your new bathroom is going to be 2x2. Undoubtably there are also the fees for school, which is understandable. However, there are also hidden fees and expenses that one doesn't budget into their plan.

Now, I have been blessed. I have only had to purchase 2 boxes, wardrobe boxes to use in my transitional home. Otherwise, I would have been completely supplied with all the boxes I needed (I've accumulated them over the years).

So what are these unexpected fees, you might ask?!

Well.

Oil Change
Tire Rotation
Other car related concerns
Dentist Appointment**
Dr. Visit***
Parking Permit
And other miniscule costs that add up

**Today I went to the dentist. Afraid I may have a cavity in my front lower tooth, I scheduled an appointment before I headed out to Georgia (and lost my dental insurance). So today, she did a cleaning (yay) and even deep cleaned with a waterpik. This of course...not in the budget. AND...after 29.8 years of a clean bill of health, I mean, teeth, she found...cavities. I was in shock. AND, none of the cavities were in the place I thought. :/ She tried to comfort me by saying these are small cavities, the kind little kids get, they aren't really a big deal. No comfort.

On top of that, in talking with a friend who also has thyroid issues, she says her doctor told her to talk a calcium supplement because 1. people with thyroid problems don't metabolize calicum as well and 2. your thyroid can decrease your amount of saliva resulting in less ability to fight cavities...grrr...dentist agreed.

And, to make matters worse, the dentist can't get me in before I leave. So, I'm stuck. My options are...
1. Try and find another dentist here (in the next two weeks) that will fill the cavities
2. Cobra for a couple months so I can get them filled in GA
3. The University has a dental office on campus, after calling them, I found out student insurance doesn't cover basics. However, they said they would work with me to make it as affordable as possible (ie: small cavity may be able to be cleaned & sealed, which is cheaper).
4. Pay out the wazoo for dental care. Boo.

None of these options are great. Anyone have any other suggestions that I haven't thought of?

***Tomorrow I'll be heading to my general practitioner to get immunized. Fun. After thinking I was in the clear, I took a closer look and realized that I need a TB test (for sure) and maybe a tetanus (10 years is up in Aug 2011).

Additionally, if you were born in 1980 or later (great...just make the cut) you have to have a chicken pox vaccine. WHAT?! Well, fortunately, I've had the chicken pox...right, so no vaccine. Not totally...instead, I get to go in for a titer, where they test to see if I've had chicken pox. In some cases, if the chicken pox weren't severe enough, you have to get the vaccine. Crazy.

So all this to say, my indirect expenses for moving & starting school have increased. Not to mention the stress of trying to get all these things done in the next week and a half is adding unwanted stress.

Deep breaths.

Yes, sometimes I talk to myself :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Harry Potter

I began the Harry Potter saga last Spring when I borrowed the beginning of the series from one of my CLs girlfriends.

Now...It is finished.

Last night at 1:24am, I finished reading the Deathly Hallows (book 7).

Good books! I'm glad I finally got around to reading (and finishing) them. Do I get my, "I read Harry Potter button now"?!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goodbyes

I've always known it's harder to leave than to be left. I said my first goodbye tonight.

Goodbyes suck.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gut Paks & Gorillas

At 12:29pm there was a knock at my door. The day had come. It was time to go. After locking my door and situating myself in the vehicle, we were off.

Crazy.

The car ride wasn't as long as I had anticipated. The conversation was good. We talked about life, anticipation, friends...and before I knew it, we had arrived at our destination.

Vitek's.

Yes, that's right, today...for the first time ever in my life, I ate...a...gut pak.

After having made my bucket list of things to do before I leave Texas, the Smart's offered to help me cross a few things off my list. Originally, the plan was to help me document some of the uniqueness of this city (the catfish truck, the gorilla). But on Thursday, I received a disturbing email from Beth stating that the catfish truck was no more. Apparently, it got tired of sitting on land in a giant ugly truck and found it's way back home into the Brazos....Okay, I really have no idea where it is now, but doesn't that make for a much happier story?! Ps the catfish is a fake catfish so it really can't find it's way back anywhere.

Wow. Detour.

So, Peter, Beth, AJ, and I ate at Vitek's for lunch (another item on my bucket list). It was...actually really good. Beth and I split a small order while Peter and AJ tackled the normal sized order. :)

What's in a Gut Pak? I know you're asking yourself this...well, here's the sign. Classy. :)
Peter and AJ with their Gut Pak.
And Beth and me with our small order to split. :)
Aside from the fact that I wasn't able to get AJ's cutie face in the picture...I did pretty good.
After getting our fill, we headed to Austin Ave in order to take pictures with the gorilla. For those of you who don't know, this giant gorilla lives in someone's yard and is repainted every so often. Today, the gorilla was outfitted in some blue pants a white and red button up with a I (heart) MOM tattoo on its shoulder.
Yay for checking another item off the Texas bucket list...but even more importantly, I had a good time with the time with the Smart's! I thoroughly enjoy their family and it was neat to share these memories with them!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Facebook Hiatus Over?

I've been without facebook for awhile, over a year. And to be honest, I've enjoyed my life without it. However, I also realize it's a good way to keep in contact with my friends and family, especially as I transition to a new place.

As I've contemplated reactivating my account, I had a friend who challenged me to write about some of the things I've learned this year w/o facebook.

Strange as it may sound, I have learned quite a few things about myself and the use of this social networking site.

*I like simplicity.
*I like technology.
*Nothing replaces face to face interactions, not snail mail, not email, not a facebook message, not a phone call, and not a text.
*I am thankful for my friendships.
*I am lucky, I have friends...true, deep friendships!
*I think we as humans crave deep friendship and for some, they desire it so badly that they seek to find it on facebook (or other social networking sites).
*Facebook sometimes made me feel like a stalker. Like I was privy to parts of peoples lives that weren't meant for the whole world.
*Technology is suppose to improve our lives and make us more productive, yet, we work later and often bring our work home?!
*I am a skeptic; all the information people make available about themselves on the internet makes me nervous.
*I don't like the pressure to reactivate my facebook.
*I just don't like societal norms. But let's not get carried away and throw out all societal norms, especially ones like bathing and deodorant.
*I don't like feeling like an outsider.
*If you don't have facebook you miss out on things. Most of the time, I don't care, but sometimes, it sucks.

And here are few things I learned that I want to unpack a bit more...
*I believe in levels of friendship.
*On facebook, I feel I can maintain closer (fictitious) levels of friendship than I would in real life.
*I'm afraid I don't know how to be disciplined when it comes to facebook.

These three things I've learned have a lot in common. A long time ago, in a philosophy class far far away, we learned about Aristotle and his thoughts on friendship. He describes three types of friendship; a friendship of utility, a friendship based around pleasure, and a complete friendship. For me, I believe there are these types of friendship, but I also think there are friendships for a lifetime, a season, and a circumstance. Aristotle would probably argue that mine are intwined and embedded in his, however, he can't argue, because he's dead...and that's not the point. For me, facebook allows me to take friendships that were for a season or a circumstance and give me the facade that they're for a lifetime. I can maintain a false sense of relationship. Meaning, I can look at someone's photos, see their updates, and in some way feel connected to them, more than I actually am. Thus creating a false sense of friendship...redefining friendship. Now, I'm not one to have many friends on facebook. So the friends I have, were/are at one time...friends. But many have simply become acquaintances or friendships that were intended for a season. Now hear me too when I say that some of the friendships I have are for a lifetime and with that, facebook is a superb tool in allowing them (and me) a glimpse into each others lives in ways that only technology can allow (without being in person, obviously). That being said, I also have a hard time being disciplined in the area of facebook. I know this sounds funny and some would say, just limit yourself per week or so many minutes per day. Well, I get sucked in. I know it has something to do with my longing for friendship and the mentioned above.

I'm sure I will think about these things and more as I continue to contemplate my facebook hiatus.

But one this is sure, as I think about these things, I'm reminded how grateful I am for friendship and community. I have been privileged in this life to experience true community and for that, facebook can aid but never compare.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Template Design

Blogger just updated their template designs...yay, it's about time! I'm sure I'll be playing around with this in the next few days. :)

I'm so excited!

Ps. It's the simple things in life; like new design templates.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Triathlon Training

A few years ago I began training for a triathlon. Unfortunately, two months before race day I had surgery to remove half my thyroid. Needless to say, the triathlon was put on hold.

I enjoy working out. I enjoy sweating (when you're suppose to be sweating ie. working out; not ie. b/c it's 103 and humid outside and you're simply walking 20 feet at a leisurely pace). I enjoy the feeling after a good work out, when you're tired but energized. AND I do much better about motivating myself when I'm working toward a goal.

Recently, I decided to look up triathlons in Texas with hope for some motivation. With triathlon season coming to an end, I'm pushed to find times/days/places that would work with my transition from here to Georgia. I found one the weekend before I leave. That may be pushing it. So I started looking for some in Georgia. There IS one at the end of August. After getting super excited and mentally preparing for training, I realized that's the day of our doctoral retreat. Bummer.

All this to say, I've begun training anyway. I'm following some sort of schedule from beginnertriathlete.com. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a race this season or not, but if not, I'll just be ubber prepared for next season (if I keep it up). ;)

I'm going to do a sprint... someday. Although distances varying, the general milage is as follows (usually no more than):
800 meters (.5 miles) swim
18 mile bike
10k (6.2 mile) run

For me, the sports get progressively harder. Swimming is my most comfortable, then biking, and then...running. I want to be a runner. But I don't love it. Anyway, I swam a couple of days ago (I'm out of swimming routine/shape), ran 5 miles yesterday (I didn't know I could run that long), and biked 12 miles today. I think I can do all three individually just fine. It would be a matter of putting the three together, yikes.

Anyone who has ever done a triathlon, any tips? Or anyone who wants to train for one, feel free to join in the fun! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thoughts!

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going! I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will doesn't mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you! And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, though I may seem lost, and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone!

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cabo

I go through spurts. Sometimes, I blog often. Other times, I go weeks without a post. In reading a friends recent post, she made mention that it's often harder to post about bigger life events such as travel, vacation, or holidays. I'd agree. I'm not sure why this is exactly, but it seems to be true for me.

So here is a picture diary of our Cabo trip.

Sunday.
In order to save over $150 dollars on a plane ticket, Sarah, Karen, and I flew from Austin airport to DFW. There we had a 6 hour layover.
After closedown, moving, and everything else involved at the end of an academic year...we were tired. We spent part of our 6 hours taking naps :)
We also spent part of our 6 hours walking around the airport looking for dunkin' donuts and developing new forms of exercise.
video
This was the view from the plane as we began to land in Los Cabos. It was a beautiful sunset!
Monday.
We woke up Monday morning, leisurely, and thought we'd just hang out by the pools and scope out the resort. However, Meg's family decided to go into town...so we scurried and hurried and joined them. Additionally, we decided to take a self take each day. We, however, have MORE than one self take from each day ;) We've gotten pretty good at them.
The sunset view from our balcony. Beautiful.
So Meg and I shared a room, and Karen and Sarah shared another. After a long day of walking around, we decided to use the jet tub to relax our feet. We had some bubble bath supplied by the hotel and little did we know...you only needed half a cap full. And even that with the jets was...ummm a picture's worth a thousand words. Needless to say, we also had bubbles in the tub the next day.
Tuesday.
We had a leisurely day hanging out by the pools! I could have probably spent all day in the pools!
The resort had a free appitizer dinner sort of gathering for all the guests. We got dressed up and enjoyed all the freebies...especially the guacamole!
That night, I decided to set on the 'beach' and watch the sunset. Pure. Bliss.
Wednesday.
More pool time at the resort. Lovely.

Thursday.
We headed into town for breakfast, then 'lunch' at Senior Sweets, then a few hours at the beach.
It's a pastry, with coconut gelato inside, and chocolate drizzled over the top. Yumm.
After time at the beach we met up with Meg's family for a sunset dinner cruise.
Friday.
More pool time. Did I mention I brought Harry Potter audio books?! I made it through half of number 6 while laying out! :) In the morning, Meg and I learned how to make mojitos and chiliquiles.
That night, after dinner, the four of us and Meg's family headed to the file pit for smores. After taking a few self pics, we look over to Meg's mom, dad, and aunt to see this...oh the mockery ;) LOVE it!
Saturday.
We hung out at the pools during the day, took a little walk on our private beach, and more hanging out at the pools :)
That night we headed into town to check out Cabo Wabo! It was a hilarious experience! We watched some overly confident, fully independent, interpretive dancers...and so many more!
Sunday.
We planned to have a leisurely morning. However, after receiving a phone call from Meg's dad at 9 that check out was at 10...we scurried. But seeing as how our shuttle to the airport wasn't until 1pm, we had breakfast at the resort and then hung around until it was time to go home.
I took advantage of the few extra hours and went back to the beach, listened to Harry Potter, and waded through one of the pools while the others took naps in cabanas ;)
We were sad to leave...but happy to have experienced Cabo together!
The End.