Hello, March!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 | Posted under Monthly Check-In

1a6f25772c3f9d1f5983782d8c9cab4fIt’s been awhile since I’ve done a monthly recap, for no other reason than I simply forgot to do it. I haven’t been blogging as much lately and it’s something I want to change! So here I go!

Apply to new jobs. I met with the director of my program last week to formally transfer from the counseling and psychology program to the marriage and family therapy program. She mentioned during my interview that she really encouraged me to find a job in the field to make it easier to get a practicum (i.e. internship). I now have a meeting on Wednesday with a student adviser to work on my resume — because my current resume has absolutely nothing to do with mental health — and figure out what kind of practicum sites I should apply to. My plan is to do my program in two years, which doesn’t give me a lot of time to get everything done. It’s kind of stressing me out.

Find a therapist. Which leads me to this goal. The program director also encouraged me to find a therapist when I told her how anxious I get with all of this. She said all good therapists have a therapist, which I think is really good advice. Therapists really need to know their own issues in order to help others. But of course, finding a therapist also makes me anxious so yeah. Loads of fun there.

Workout at least 3 times a week. I have put on a few pounds in the last couple of months, which is not horrible but it’s the wrong direction! I want to keep losing, especially since I lost close to 25 lbs. last year. I’d really like to keep that trend going this year. Exercise is a big part of that, especially with some of the running goals I have.

Eat healthier. This also brings me to this goal. Eating healthier is so important in losing weight and I have been eating pretty crappy. It’s showing up in both my weight and my blood sugars. I need to cut down on some of the carbs and sweets and focus on eating more protein. And just less food, in general.

Read more. Finally, I need to read more for pleasure. I did pretty well during my break from school, but now that I’m stuck with textbooks, I haven’t been putting in the fun reading time like I was.

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Coffee Date!

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | Posted under About Me

I love coffee, so let’s have some together!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… about all the TV shows I’m watching! Erik and I have a number of shows in our queue. We rarely have the chance to watch them live, so we use On Demand quite a bit. Our favorites right now are The Walking Dead (and The Talking Dead), Downton Abbey, The Originals, and The Vampire Diaries (those last two are pretty much my influence, but they have enough blood and cuts and back-stabbing to make it interesting for Erik). Most of these end in the next month or so, but then the new shows start! We’ll be watching Game of Thrones and then later this summer, Orange is the New Black. So good! Do you have any favorite shows? Any shows that you converted your significant other into watching?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that my weekend is looking pretty full! On Saturday I’m having brunch with Lisa, then I’m volunteering with the Junior League of Minneapolis for our annual fundraiser, and then in the evening Erik and I are going to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show. Ahhh the joys of homeownership!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…. that I definitely am tired of the winter! I really want to go running outside and it just won’t warm up!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’m not sure what spring or summer races I’m going to do. I had in mind a half-marathon in April but now I think I will just do the 10K instead. I don’t think I’m going to be physically ready to do a half-marathon in only a few weeks. I don’t want to spend the money on a big race and not do very well in it. But I am tempted to sign up for a marathon in the fall! I’m thinking about the TC Marathon here in the Twin Cities. Erik is doing the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, and that’ll be a lot of fun, but yeah, I really need to figure what I’m going to do so I can start training.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’ve been doing a lot more hot yoga lately. I definitely like it a lot but I don’t know if I’m quite head over heels in love with yoga. I enjoy it though and I’m glad I got the gift card from my mother-in-law for Christmas. I’m also still going to Orangetheory Fitness and today, I sprinted for 30 seconds at a 7.0 MPH (that 8:34 min/mile)! Woohoo!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’m having crazy baby fever over here! OMG I want a baby! But it’s totally not going to happen for awhile because of this little thing called school and money. Sigh.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that my cousin had her baby boys! She was having twin boys — fraternal — and they were born last week. Their names are Abel and Gabriel (after their grandfather and their dad, respectively). Cute, huh? One of the little babies has a heart defect though, and it’s really sad. He needs a couple of surgeries in his first year of life! Yikes! So please pray for him, his baby brother, and of course, his parents and hopefully everything goes okay. We’re hoping to see them when we go to Oregon this summer for a friend’s wedding.

 

What’s new in your life? 

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This Week

Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was getting a free side and a $20 gift card to Famous Dave’s because we had to wait so long for our order. It should have been a low of the week, but we weren’t really that bothered by the fact our order was slow (I mean, we were a little bit). Then we find out that the manager wants to give us extra food and a $20 gift card for the inconvenience, so we were like “Score!”

The low of my week was dealing with some not so happy feelings regarding moving away from New York.

I’m currently reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I started it on the flight home from Mexico and haven’t really read too much of it since we got back, but I’m definitely planning on picking it up again. It’s different than a lot of fiction books I’ve read, which I like, because I’m not usually that interested in reading fiction.

My workouts of the week were Orangetheory Fitness on Wednesday and Modo Yoga Minneapolis on Thursday. I really wanted to do more, but it’s been so cold this week! I also need to remember to hydrate more before yoga. I felt really sick last week so I tried to do better this week, and I did feel better but I need to remember how draining the heat can be. Need more fluids!

The best thing I ate was some German gnocchi at Burch Steak. So yummy! (Most of the money I spend is on food, so it makes more sense to talk about food — besides, I love to eat!).

My plans this weekend include having dinner with Erik’s nephew and his wife. We haven’t had them over since we moved into the house, so it’ll be nice to show it off to them.

How was your week? 

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Life, Right Here

Monday, February 16th, 2015 | Posted under Personal Essays

It’s been a little over a year since we moved to Minnesota. Our one year  move-a-versary was while we were in Mexico, so I didn’t have a chance to properly reflect on it while we were there. But now that we’ve settled back from our trip and things are returning to normal with school and work, I’m starting to think about it a little more.

It all started last week when I was at work. I casually mentioned that I had moved to Minnesota last year, and the customer — who I presume to be a native — scrunched up her face and exclaimed, “Why’d you move here?!”

I was completely taken aback by her tone. “It’s a great place to raise kids, but then get out!” she continued.

Uh. Thanks.

It certainly didn’t help my overall discomfort about living in Minnesota for the past year. I have trouble putting my finger on it, because honestly there’s nothing wrong with Minnesota. It’s nice enough, you know. Minneapolis is a nice city. We have a nice house. We have a nice family. It’s… nice.

And it makes sense. Every time I explain to people (which is more often than I really want at this point) that we moved here because of cost of living and to be closer to family, it sounds right. But it hasn’t really made it any easier. Because we gave up friends and jobs we really liked and a city we both really loved to move here. It was the practical, responsible decision but I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing.

There are a lot of regrets about how I did things in New York. I regret not trying harder to find a career I liked in New York City. I regret not handling money better. I regret not being more insistent that we try to work it out, because I really would much rather be living in NYC — or in Westchester — than here. It’s just the honest truth.

Then over the weekend, I saw a Twitter exchange between Ashley and another blogger that struck a chord about moving. Ashley had asked about the adjustment, and the other blogger replied that it took about 3 years to start making real friends and five years to feel settled. And it’s completely true. It’s always a huge adjustment to move, and it’s even harder when the move wasn’t really something you wanted in the first place.

I also read San’s beautiful post on Saturday about how things don’t always go according to plan or happen exactly on a perfect timeline, and it really resonated with me. I identified with it because I feel like even though I’ve met a lot of mile markers for someone my age, there are still things that nag at me. The fact that I don’t have a job that I really love — let alone a career — and that we don’t have kids yet are things that weigh on me everyday. I’m six months out from being 30 and I just feel like things should be more settled. Or maybe it’s because my life seems somewhat out of sequence. The fact that I’m married but without the stability of a career is awkward to me. Sometimes I look back at the last five years and wonder what the hell I’ve been doing because it doesn’t seem like I have much to show for it. Two failed grad school pursuits that basically forced us to leave New York because we couldn’t afford it on a single income.

If I had just…

A lot of people say that comparison is the thief of joy, but I don’t think I compare myself to other people very often. But I do compare my life to the life I wanted. I had things I wanted to do, and the fact that I couldn’t make it happen is a constant burden. I don’t know what to do about it other than to throw up my hands and admit defeat. I couldn’t make it happen and now I have to make the best out of my current situation.

Which then circles me back around to the fact that my current situation isn’t even that bad, and then I feel even more guilty for not appreciating what I do have.  I feel like a whiny baby which is probably why I hardly ever write about how I really feel anymore.

So that’s where I am today.

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Our Trip to Mexico

Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Posted under Travel, Uncategorized

You may remember that a couple weeks ago, I went to Mexico. It feels like an eternity since I got home, so I don’t blame you if you forgot. But I finally got around to uploading photos from my iPhone, Erik’s iPhone and the waterproof camera we used when we went jet-skiing and snorkeling. Here’s a brief look at our trip:

We stayed at the Grand Residence Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. It’s about halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s a quiet fishing town, a little touristy, but not nearly as bad as the larger cities. We never went into Cancun, but we did spend an evening in Playa.

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Our first day was just a day to relax at the beach. We woke up late, at a lovely brunch, and I read Joyland by Stephen King (courtesy of Kathleen and her postal book club). Both the beach and the book were awesome. In the afternoon, we went jet-skiing, which was alternately super fun and quite scary. I did not fall off, which was quite the achievement. That evening, we went into town and had a nice little Argentinian dinner (empanadas FTW) and wandered a bit. There was also gelato.

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We were supposed to get up nice and early on Monday for our drive out (yes! we drove!) to the Mayan ruin Chichen Itza, but we overslept, so that didn’t happen. We didn’t arrive until nearly noon, and didn’t get a chance to eat lunch before starting our epic three hour tour of the ruins. Our guide was adorable (“Now, let me tell you…”) but I was getting a little hangry by the end. After our visit, we drove to Valladolid, as we were told by the concierge it’s a cute town. He was right. We saw the cenote Zaci and had traditional Mayan cuisine, some Cochinita Pibil.

A note about driving: We rented a car using Easyway Rent a Car, which is located near the Cancun airport. A representative waited with us until the driver came to take us to their location. The car rental was not cheap ($290USD) but Mexico requires a lot of additional insurance which drives the price up. Driving in Mexico is very easy. The rules of the road are similar. The main differences are that there are speed bumps everywhere and the posted speed can change rather quickly. It can go from 90 KPH to 100 KPH to 80 KPH all in the matter of a mile. But we kept an eye on the signs and had zero problems. I highly recommend renting if you are going to be exploring the area. The flexibility to go where and when we wanted was really nice.

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Tuesday was my 21st diaversary, and we started out with a quick breakfast and then a Mayan massage. It didn’t really live up to my expectations, which was disappointing as I love a good massage. After the massage, we went back to the hotel to get dressed for our dinner in Playa del Carmen. The drive down was easy, but parking was challenging, which was expected given the size of the town. Our dinner at Yaxche was more classic Mayan food — a marinated fish for me, and lobster for Erik. Plus margaritas and chocolate chalupas oozing with fudge. Yum. We also scored a cute seashell nightlight, and a hand-painted vase.

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Wednesday was our last full day. We had breakfast in Puerto Morelos at a little cafe. I had a traditional Mexican breakfast of tortilla chips covered with a spicy salsa and eggs. Then we went on our big snorkeling adventure. It wasn’t nearly as colorful as I had expected, but I definitely recommend doing it. Hopefully next time I won’t be so anxious about breathing underwater! We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, I happened to meet another diabetic on the beach, and then we had a huge final dinner.

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Although Thursday was our last day, our flight wasn’t until the evening so we took our sweet time leaving. We had a final buffet breakfast (so good), and then after packing and putting the luggage in the car, we spent a couple hours reading on the beach. We finally headed to the airport in the late afternoon. We were greeted with a fifty degree temperature difference upon landing! It’s supposed to be only five degrees (!) tomorrow and I am gazing longingly at these photos…

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We’ll definitely be back, and at the very least, an annual winter escape to the tropics has definitely made the Nimlos must-do list!

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Flowers die. Children shouldn’t.

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | Posted under Diabetes

SpareARoseWithLeaf-225H-3There are a lot of things I could talk about today. My trip to Mexico. How my second semester of grad school is going. The fact it’s February and nearly sub-zero outside. But instead I’m going to talk about something very serious and very important.

Every day, children around the world die from type 1 diabetes. It doesn’t seem possible that nearly 100 years after the invention of insulin that there would still be children dying from diabetes, but it’s true. Without insulin, diabetes is fatal. It was fatal for anyone diagnosed before 1921, and it’s still fatal today for children living in developing countries.

The International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program was to meet that need. By providing insulin, glucose meters, test strips and education, the IDF helps 15,000 children in 48 countries. It’s an amazing organization, and I’ve had the privilege to meet several members of the IDF staff over the years. But it needs our help.

From now until February 14, the Diabetes Online Community is rallying together to “spare a rose” for the Life for a Child program. What does that mean? Basically, donate the value of one or more roses that you find in the typical Valentine’s Day bouquet. That’s just a few dollars, but it can make a huge difference! A $5 donation will provide a child with insulin or test strips (which are necessary to monitor treatment) for a month. Last year, we raised $27,000 and this year, the goal is $50,000!

For the cost of a single cup of coffee….

I know it sounds like something we hear all the time on television, but in this case, it’s totally true! Diabetes does not have to be a killer, but it will be if we don’t get insulin to these kids.

I hope you will consider sparing a rose this Valentine’s Day. Thanks!

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As Of Late

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 | Posted under About Me, School

Hey.

I feel like this post breaks one of those unspoken blogging rules where you’re not supposed to apologize for being really busy and not blogging, or announcing that you’re not going to be blogging for awhile and how sorry you are.

Well, I’m sorry.

But I’ve been really busy.

I started the spring semester at school last week. On the docket for this term are Foundations of Family Therapy, Counseling Theories and Techniques, and Psychopathology (a fancy term for “how to diagnose people”). I had a false start with that last class. I registered, but then at last minute read the syllabi for the different classes, and decided to switch to different section that sounded more well-rounded and challenging. I had that class last Thursday and decided that the professor would annoy the living daylights out of me if I had to listen to her for thirteen weeks! So I switched back to the class I had originally signed up for.

I had that class tonight and this professor is so much better! I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like him either, but I’m grateful that wasn’t the case. And I’m not the only one who didn’t like the first professor — I noticed a girl from my class had switched into this class too! I also recognized a bunch of faces from last semester, so that was nice. We’re kind of like a cohort, but a big cohort, so there are some repeated faces along with new faces for each class.

I’m also working about twenty hours a week now at Pier 1. It’s going good. I like the staff and I mostly like the work, although retail is difficult, of course. I’m not working at actual locations for the running store during the winter, because it’s so slow, but I’m still helping to manage their social media and newsletter. In March, I’ll start getting more hours again, which will be great.

I’m not exercising as much as I had been in the past, but my weight seems to be pretty stable in the low 190s. Definitely still higher than I want it to be, but significantly lower than where I was at this time last year. I feel like I’ve been doing a little too much of boredom eating, which is sort of my thing. I’m not really an emotional eater because I usually don’t have an appetite when I’m really upset. But sometimes I use food as just “something to do,” ya know? It’s annoying and I need to work on it.

(Now excuse me while I eat this unnecessary bowl of popcorn.)

I just finished my first book of the year! Of course, I started it in December, so it’s not really that impressive. I read Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. It’s for the postal book club I’m in. It was pretty good, although the author was primarily focused on the lives of mothers, which I am not. However, since I plan to be a mother someday, I still took notes. But it just wasn’t as relevant for my life as I had hoped, which was a bummer.

We leave for Mexico in three days, and I’m so very, very excited about it. A little nervous, because Erik and I are debating whether or not we should rent a car so we can have a little freedom. Read some horror stories about that, but also a lot of stories from people who have had no issues. Eep! I’ll let you know next week what we decided to do and how it paned out!

Any last minute advice for these first time Mexico travelers? 

 

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This Week.

Friday, January 16th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

d8556eb96ecb54962990e0ec9630b93cThe high of my week was going to Modo Yoga. I finally registered the gift card I got for Christmas with the studio, so now I can use the MindBodyOnline app to reserve space in their class. I already use it for Orangetheory Fitness and it is super easy to use. I can look at what times are available and reserve a spot, but I can also cancel if something comes up. No need to call the studio or show up wondering if they’ll have space for me. Do you use MindBodyOnline?

The low of my week was my first class of Psychopathology. I did not like the professor’s lecturing style and so I’m going to try to switch into a different class. Hoping it works!

Something on the internet I loved was this article on Minneapolis. They highlighted our neighborhood as an example of good development, which was nice to see since we just bought a house there!

For my workouts, I completed two workouts at Orangetheory Fitness, one class at Modo Yoga and one class at Yoga Sol.

The best money I spent was on coffee. I’m not kidding. I had to wake up super early yesterday morning for work, and didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I got a venti cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso at Starbucks and it perked me right up!

My plans this weekend include a weekend seminar class on counseling LGBTQ families, working at Pier 1 and seeing my friend Laura from New York, her husband, and their baby boy! She gave birth after we moved so this is my first time seeing him. So excited!

 

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Currently.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 | Posted under Currently

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ReadingOverwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. It’s the book for the postal book club that Kathleen is hosting. I’m almost finished with it, which is a good thing because I have to send it off in a couple days! I can’t say I’m too crazy about it. It was an interesting concept but the author focused to much on the experiences of mothers, of which I am not. There were some applicable takeaways but for the most part, it was just a lot of things I can look forward to! Or not.

Starting… classes for the semester! I already had Foundations of Family Therapy on Monday and I’m so glad I reworked my schedule so that I can take it. She is a really funny professor, and the Director of the program to boot so she’s a good person to know!

Writing… a couple new articles for a diabetes magazine, called Diabetes Forecast. One of the articles is actually three short profiles of three of my friends, so it’s super fun to write. I love when I can use my connections with the diabetes publications to showcase some of my favorite people. And I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting to see if another pitch of mine gets accepted. Keep your fingers crossed!

Feeling… quite a bit sore today. I had another chiropractic adjustment because of my bum spine and instead of making my back feel all happy and wonderful, I’m in a lot of pain! No idea what happened.

Watching… Downtown Abbey and eagerly anticipating the return of The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Also needing to catch up on Sister Wives!

Practicing… a lot more yoga lately. I’m still not comfortable calling myself a “yogi” or anything, but I probably go about once a week right now. I have a traditional yoga studio nearby and a hot yoga studio a little further away, so I have my options for what is going to be convenient whenever the mood strikes me. I’m still going to OrangeTheory fitness two to three days a week. I’m really excited to see they are expanding. They just opened a studio in Manhattan this month, and they are opening one in Portland later this spring.

Excited… about Mexico! We leave a week from Saturday.

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What I Struggle With

Friday, January 9th, 2015 | Posted under Personal Essays

STRUGGLETaking a cue from Lisa and Nora with my own little (ha!) list of things I struggle with. Baring the soul is where it’s at.

 

Being Patient – I know patience is a virtue, but it’s a skill I have not yet mastered. I’m not just talking about little things, like waiting for the light to turn green. I’m impatient about big stuff. Like how much longer it will take before I’ll be a licensed therapist. How long we have to wait before we’re ready to have kids. How long it takes to save up money to remodel our house. I don’t like waiting (it’s probably why I’m in debt). I want what I want when I want it (yesterday!).

Feeling Like I Fit In – I often feel like I don’t really fit in. Whether it’s other bloggers, people in the diabetes community, co-workers or acquaintances at church. It always feels like everyone has a “group” and I’m just, you know, hanging out. It’s like if I’m already there, great, but people aren’t going out of their way to include me in things. For example, there’s a diabetes conference coming up in March that I’m not going to, and I’m pretty sure no one’s going to wonder about me. It’s not that I don’t have friends and it’s not that I think people hate me. But a lot of time I just don’t feel included or invited and it feels so childish and immature to talk about this kind of stuff, but it’s definitely something I still struggle with.

Missing New York - I don’t think this needs much explanation. I struggle with missing NYC. It’s not that I hate Minneapolis, but it just isn’t a place I imagined I would be living and I still struggle a little with the fact that we live here now. I definitely experience more homesickness (for New York) here than I did when I moved from Oregon to the East Coast and I think it’s mostly because I really wanted to move and live there. I didn’t really want to move to Minneapolis. I understand why were here, and it’s not a bad city (really, it’s not, -35 windchill notwithstanding). My feelings about this are complicated and I struggle with that.

Letting Go - Sort of in a similar vein, I struggle with letting go of things that happened in the past. Decisions I made. Things I did or didn’t do. Things I said or didn’t say. I know we all have those “what if…” moments. I try to not live my everyday life with regret, but it’s hard not to think about what could have been if I had handled things differently at various stages of my life.

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