Bombing Math Tests

The hormones presumably have caused me to have some very bizarre dreams lately.  Be they mundane or bizarre (aliens anyone?), I keep finding myself in dreams that I become so emotionally involved in that even after waking up two or three times in the middle of them, I go right back into them after falling asleep.

Last week, one of these dreams happened to be about a math test.  Now those who were around me in any form of schooling know that the subject of Math has always caused me a great deal of anxiety.  One way or another, it was ingrained in me that when it came to math some could and some couldn’t, and I obviously was one of the ‘couldn’t’ crowd (I could go on a diatribe about how that idea is erroneous and terrible and about how I think the teaching of math is sacred and if I were actually ever going to teach again, I would want to teach math so that my classes would know there is really no such things as ‘coulds’ and ‘couldn’ts,’ but that would take me even farther off course than this parenthetical did).

Yes, I dreamed about a math test.  I dreamed about completing the test.  I dreamed about feeling cautiously optimistic about the test.  I dreamed about having the test handed back.  I dreamed about seeing a ‘D’ at the top of the test.  And I dreamed about trying to work with the teacher who gave the test to grasp the concepts and shoot for a higher grade .  The teacher, by the way, was extremely unhelpful.  It was all very typically school-type Val.  Anxiety about studies.  Panic about tests.  Complete and utter despair over a grade I didn’t like.

I was so involved in this particular dream, that when I woke up sometime in the early morning hours and Husband happened to as well, I was mid-sob.  Husband asked if I was ok, and promptly went back to sleep.  I didn’t answer anyway.  I was too upset.

So I spent some time pondering the whys of this dream.  Surely it had some great insight about myself.  Surely it contained some great nugget of wisdom that I should carry around with me.   Surely I could learn something from the fact that despite the fact I know first hand that there are worse things in life than ‘D’s’ on math tests, this dream still caused me a sense of sheer terror.  But, I’m not sure what these lessons and insights may be.

However, later in the weekend when I was going through my FirstClass orientation for online classes at Asbury I felt the same sort of panic beginning in my chest.  I felt the same sort of anxiety.  I felt a distinct question, “What in the hell do I think I’m doing going to Seminary?!”

I don’t know the answer to that.

Another thing I don’t know is when to start….  I am officially supposed to enroll for the January term.  I see no possible way to have enough money by then to begin to start then.  If I start then, I would likely take off the Spring term as finals week would happen to come just shortly after I welcomed a tiny new family member into our lives.

I got ballsy enough to email my advisor and ask some questions, and it looks like I have some options, but all of the options look scary.  All of these possibilities look scary.

And I have to wonder…  Can I do this?  Can we pay the bills if I do this?  Can I be a Mom to not one, but two little ones and do this?  Can I navigate through the world of an online classroom?  Can I block out enough time away from my family to fly back for intensives?  Is this doable?

Not only that–but, do I have what it takes to wade in over-my-head into theology?  Have I got enough smarts, or gumption, or whatever it may take to tackle learning Greek and Hebrew?  And is it overshooting entirely to think that I am in any capacity cut-out for professional ministry of any sort?

Or did I bite off more than I can chew?

These are questions I don’t have answers for.  These are questions no one can answer for me.  They are questions that I’m just going to have to figure out as I go along. 

I just wish I could get that terrible, anxious feeling that I’m about to bomb a big Math Test out of my system.


Countdowns and Clearness

Six days til Lung Cancer Awareness month starts.  (Our ribbon is clear.  Our color is clear.  That’s because it’s the ‘invisible’ disease…  Dude–Maybe Lung Cancer could be made sexy if we made see-through apparel that said “Think Clear”…  whatya think?  Yeah…  Ok…  Tacky.)

17 Days til we Satellite Walk here at home with our friends in Boston.  We’re 75% of the way to our fundraising goal.  Come on!  Don’t you wanna help us get to the big 100% mark???

Sponsor Me, Please.  🙂

Driving Rain

Husband unexpectedly came home after PT today to make his lunch and give me a kiss.  While he was here he told me that there was a “rain storm warning” in Seattle and we might get to see some of the action.

And I wished for it.  Oh did I wish for it.

Back in Illinois I found great catharsis in Thunderstorms.  The feeling in the air would change…  The ions would find themselves out of balance and the little hairs on my arms and the back of my neck would stand up just a little…  Then the first slow, big drops would come down with some thunder….  In a few minutes it would be totally on top of us with the rain pounding down–cascading in big sheets of water.  The lightning would flash and the thunder would crash and I’d stand at the window, or inside the door, or sometimes right outside and I would feel it.  I would feel the storm beating down on the earth and it would release something inside of me…  The spun up anger, the ball of nerves I carry around many days over both the trivial and the catastrophic things of life, the pain and tension I hide behind my shoulder-blades–Somehow the storm took all the hard stuff that I struggle so much to get out of me, and pounded it into the ground with the rain.

So here I am in the Northwest…  Close enough to Seattle that the first thing we are asked when people find out where we live is, “Oh but it rains all the time there, right?” (It doesn’t).  We’re in the rainy season.  But the thing is…  Rain here is altogether different than rain in Illinois.  Rain here looks a lot like a fine mist.  A really good rain looks like an Illinois sprinkle intensity with a lot more water coming down at once.   There are no thunderstorms.  And these “Rain storms”–the one where the sky gets really serious and terms like “gully-washer” come to mind are few and far between

Today I needed the rainstorm.  I got really mad at the world last night.  Mad at still being so sad over the loss of my Mom.  Mad at still being in a place in my life where I so easily feel alone.  Mad that so many big things still have such looming worries and uncertainty hanging over them.  And tired…  tired of feeling so much all the time, and tired of worrying about it all.  Today has been a long day of much teariness, and I’ve looked a lot like the weather outside (indeed the weather coupled with the hormones may indeed be part of why I feel so dreary. )  I’ve been dreary, dark, dank.  Full of missing my Mom.  Full of worrying over deployments that may or may not happen.  Full of wishes that Mom could be here to welcome this new child into the world.  Full of sadness and uncertainty when I want to be full of the brightness and joy of this great expectation.  I have a lot of feelings that would do well to be pounded out onto the ground….  To wash my world clean if only for a moment, so that when the skies clear again everything may feel a bit lighter, fresher, brighter.

Instead…  Well, instead I just got a dreary day.  Aday where the greyness hangs around you like a robe that’s too big and hangs in your coffee cup, and the rain spits all. day. long.  Cold, and damp, and dark.  But not cathartic.

I really could have used that rain storm.

October Giddiness

On the opposite spectrum of the blahness (see previous post and note that WordPress completely losing half of this post didn’t help….)–let me just say that for some reason, I am positively giddy about October this year.

First of all–there’s all the fallishness of it.  The colors…  The bite in the air…  The smell…  Wood burning stoves in the area started up making those beautiful wispy smoke pillars above all of the chimneys and that, well…  That smell!  I just love it.

Ok–Two words–Seasonal Treats.  Apple Cider.  Roasted Marshmallows.  Apple Pie.  All things pumpkin.

This year I have tried to enhance the experience of fall with my musical selections.  I found myself wistfully wishing for holiday music, and realized I shouldn’t skip ahead–I needed to musically LIVE in this moment.  So…  I pulled out Norah Jones.  Nothing says fall to me like Norah Jones music.  Today we added some Allison Krauss, and Nickel Creek for the perfect fall mix (ok.  I added some Kansas too–one shouldn’t be too mellow, even in fall).

And the leaves….  I know I’ve overdone it on waxing poetic on everything else, so I’ll try to go easy, but I just love watching the leaves turn colors and fall.  I know it is silly to get so excited about a simple drop in cloraphyll levels, but I can’t help it.  The golds, and reds, and blazing oranges just can’t be glossed over.  This all just adds to my intrinsic love of trees in general.  Then of course there is the delicious crunch that comes from shuffling through the leaves once they’ve fallen.  Yes my friends–this is the essence of the autumnal thrill!

And then there’s the Halloweeniness of it all!  Halloween is far from my favorite holiday, but I’m having so much fun with it this year!  We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and Little Miss helped us pick out three great big pumpkins and one that was just her size for carrying.  We made our own spooky decorations for the front door today.  Soon we’ll get to carve the pumpkins.  Then Little Miss will get to dress up in her adorable little costume and go TRICK OR TREATING.  That’s right…  We will get to take my little half-pint to friends and neighbors homes and oh!  The adorableness of it all!  Not to mention the candy.  Of course I will need to limit Little Miss’s intake of it all.  I will find the need to permanently rid the house of some it so she doesn’t ingest too much.  Oh yes…  Mommy will be able to help with that!

(And then there is the delight of making up words like “Halloweeny” and “Fallish” and “Octoberness” for posts such as these.  Talk about fun.)

I think part of my giddiness is the fun that having a child brings to all things childlike.  I am delighted about experiencing these things with Little Miss, and trying to see them through her eyes.

On top of that, the giddiness comes from the reality of Navy Life.  No matter how silly the holiday may be, it is still one that we get to celebrate TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.  Choosing and carving pumpkins, decorating the house, trick-or-treating–they may seem mundane or trivial, but they are family rituals that our ours and feel wrong when one of us is missing.  We go on with life, and live up all holidays the best we can, when Husband is gone, but when he is home we revel in them. 

As such…  I am positively revelling in the utter Octoberness of it all.



I am to the point of my day where I just feel blah.  It happens nearly every day.  It usually doesn’t last long, though sometimes it does.  Sometimes it means I’m tired.  Sometimes it means I haven’t eaten recently enough for the baby and my blood sugar to be happy.  And sometimes it’s just random blahness.

I don’t often feel the need to talk myself out of the blahness these days.  I don’t want to go put on a cheery movie, or make some hot cocoa (come to think of it–chocolate really hasn’t done it for me, since bean made bean’s appearance).  I’m ok just feeling blah.   And I’m tired of trying to talk myself out of any of my feelings.  Really…  they ALL serve a purpose, right?  In a few minutes, I’ll go get a shower, get the mail, and try to forge ahead with my Bible Study homework.  The topic this week is “sin.”  That is sure to work me out of my blahness.  (right)

The blahness might come from my sifting through the last couple of years–which still seem very real and revelent to the present.  They might come partly from worrying about the future–how everything is going to work out when bean comes out to meet us.  Whether or not Husband will be here.  When future deployments may loom.  What tricky, twisty new difficulties may be in store.

Or maybe it’s just my time of day to feel blah.

Regardless, I embrace the blahness and resolve to continue on with the day. 

Here I go.

The joys and tragedies of an OB visit

Reverse insomnia got me up much earlier than I hoped to be up.  But I may as well use the extra time to blog, right?

So I had my first OB appointment for the new bean yesterday.  It was actually quite an adventure.  Quite a day. 

The first thing that I must say is this:  Of all the places to try to ‘save on military spending,’ why, oh why do they think that gowns for women’s OB/GYN visits at our Naval hospital should be a logical cut?!  When the corpsman left the room yesterday and gestured over to the exam table with the Kleenex-product sheet which would have maybe covered half an ankle to cover  my bottom half, and the…  lovely salmon, paper shirt/vest/jacket thing that covers exactly half of each boob (flap on each side) and leaves the whole rest of you exposed for the top half of me…  Oh, I got so distracted explaining the outfit that I lost my sentence.  Anyway when the corpsman gestured over to those ‘garments’ (to stretch the meaning of the word) which I’d rather enjoyed my Midwestern break from, well…  It was just a demoralizing thing. 

However, I exercised a bit of non-compliance.  Call me crazy, but I like to be clothed for first introductions.  So I sat tight and explained to the doctor that meeting people naked is not my favorite thing.  She hesitated for only a moment before doing the ‘beginning of visit’ spiel and excusing herself for the disrobing/ineffective covering with Kleenex-product crappiness.  However this caused me panic for the rest of the day:  Was it rude of me to insist on being clothed when she walked in?  Ahhh well….

Guys who may read, I really will spare you the gory details of the visit, only to say this–I was proud of my socks yesterday.   My theory is, if you gotta be in stirrups, wear fun socks.  I wore socks with cute little puppy-dogs on them.

We were lucky enough to get an ultra-sound yesterday to make sure our due date is correct (that’s another place they’ve decided to cut military spending…  our facility is Nazi-like about u/s’s).   Anyway–We were very excited to see that our bean has hands…  Little hands that beanie likes to wave around A LOT.  Such cute teeny-tiny hands that already have FINGERS!  Our bean has fingers!!!!!!!

So we ooed and ahhed over the bean, and it was time for me to try to get off the stupid table and put on something other than Kleenex-product.

Problem is, I injured my back, back when I was working with kids with disabilities…..  and since having Little Miss this injury is exacerbated when laying in certain positions–turns out these are the positions necessary for Kleenex-product wearing appointments….  Oh joy.  So I’m splayed out for the world to see and Can’t.  Freaking.  Move.

Husband and I managed to get me into a position where pain was gone and movement was possible and I re-robed…  Gave one last withering glare at the kleenex’s I’d covered up with, and waited for the doctor to come back with our beanie-pictures. 

Beanie pictures in hand, we got candy from their trick-or-treat bucket (ok…  so the candy was just supposed to be for Little Miss, but I figured after they did all THAT to me, I deserved a chocolatey snack on their dime!), and headed out.

I wish that I could continue on in my dry, but I hope mildly comical tone for the rest of the post, but to be honest I must say this….

The joy I expected to feel over the ultra-sound and the relief at finally being able to see a doctor…  (and liking her!) were over-shadowed…  I wasn’t sure at first, exactly why.

But…  it didn’t take long to realize that the problem was that something huge was missing.

My Mom. 

With Little Miss, I rarely got out of the parking lot of the clinic before calling her to tell her every detail of each doctor visit…  That nagging question of whether it was rude to be non-compliant and stay dressed to meet the doc–I wanted to ask Mom, because I KNOW she would have said, “Heck yes you did the right thing!”  The u/s pictures that we were given extra of “for the grandparents” well…  it’s just that there’s a grandma that should have gotten to have one of those photos and can’t.  And I cried.  I cried a lot.

But hey–if an OB visit can’t strip you of all defenses and reduce you to utter vulnerability, nothing can, right???

And–Amanda–How’s that for a Wal-mart moment?  😉

The Hunger Site

I just thought I’d do a little plug for The Hunger Site.  If you haven’t been there before the premise is this:  Visit the site and click on a little button and Voila!  People who desperately need food get fed.  It’s ingenious really.  Sponsors–who you will see listed after you click–give money to feed kids because they know us clickers have seen their sponsorship. 

Then when you’re done visiting the hunger site click the tabs at the top of the site’s home page to visit The Breast Cancer Site to fund mammograms (see–I DO think pink), the child health site which provides health services for kids around the world, The Literacy Site which provides books for kids, and then….  if you love animals and thinking green you can also visit the Rainforest Site, and the Animal Rescue Site.

You can do this once a day.  It’s just clicking…  and the clicking actually makes a difference!

I think it’s a really cool place on the web.  Plus, my cousin works for them.  (Hallo, Cousin!)

So go click.  Now.  🙂  It’s just too easy not to.