Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do, Re, Mi...

A cute, young counselor at my school once told me a phrase that describes and encompasses all teenage girls around the world:

"They are all starring in their own movies."
Very true my friend, very true. I can remember how the slightest pimple on your nose was cause to fake a cold and stay home from school because surely that little imperfection on your face was going to be hot gossip in the morning. All hopes of going with Josh the cute boy from Science class to the Fall Carnival? Dashed to shreds because what was lurking on your face could not be cured by Clearasil, nor covered up by Cover Girl. You walked the halls all day paranoid and listening to snippets of whispered conversations all around you. Waiting to hear those key words that would confirm your greatest fears that indeed yes...everyone had noticed and yes...everyone was grossed out. Your only respite was the bell ringing for the final time at the end of the school day when you could rush to your locker, haphazardly grab your books and then bolt to your mother's car waiting in the side parking lot. As you clambered into the car, blinking back tears behind your beloved Olsen-twin inspired sunglasses, you guiltily prayed the same complexion fate for the most popular girl in school. After all, what teenage girl doesn't like to see the mighty ones fall?
Living in the head of a teenage girl is like being a cast member on The Hills. You live your life like it is perpetually being filmed, only Zac Efron isn't dancing in the gym and nobody bursts out in unanimous song. Thankfully, the "life in movies" aspect of youth fades with time and is unfortunately replaced with cold and harsh reality of adulthood and leaving you...at times...peeking in the gym still looking for your dancing basketball team.
I wasn't a girl who saw her life enhanced on the big screen, but instead there was always a soundtrack playing along inside my head. Every dramatic outburst and every serene moment had it's own accompianment. From Eagle Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight" to Bush's "Glycerine" and Dixie Chick's "Fly" to TLC's "Scrub" in high school and more recently from Sia's "Breathe Me" to Candi Staton's "You Got To Love;" moments and events in my life are not chronicled in my mind by date and time...but by song and verse.
What was playing on the radio at that moment that encapsulated my feelings at the particular time? How did I use this music to express emotions in my head and heart that wouldn't have escaped otherwise? Without the ability to retreat into the CD collection of my youth and iTunes of today, I doubt that so many of my memories and emotions would be as clear to me as they are now.
When I envision the processional, recessional, first and last dances of our wedding I don't really picture my dress or his tux...I am invoking the emotions I want to have at that moment, as well as the emotions I want to convey to our guests. Having said this, it might be a little bit easier to understand why I am being so meticulous in my wedding music selection. The obvious songs have been thrown out and needless to say Canon in D will not be played at my wedding. But that leaves me at a conundrum - I have to choose several pieces of secular music that are meaningful to include in our ceremony and reception.
Here are my thoughts so far:
- My entrance to the wedding: Picture a cloudless sky on a beautiful March day in Texas. There is a slight breeze, just enough to keep me from sweating and blow my hair romantically a bit. My dad and I stand at the glass doors of the hotel from where I can see Craig standing nervously and uncomfortably in his borrowed suit, anxiously waiting to get the "show on the road." As the music starts, I take a deep breath and step out into the gently setting sunshine with my dad as the guests turn and stand to see us walk down the aisle. I am holding my head high and with confidence...my eyes focused only on Craig and the smile that is spreading across his face. I look to my right and see slight tears beginning to form in my daddy's eyes and I pat his arm - I know he'll be okay once he sits next to my mom. This is one of the biggest moments of a girl's life and I know that I will be confident and serene...after all, I am getting to be with my best friend forever so I have chosen a song that exudes that peacefulness as well as a hope for the future: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Irael Kamakawiwo'ole.
- The Recessional: Same day as above, about thirty minutes later. Craig and I kiss triumphantly as everyone claps. This truly is a celebration of our lives and our love and what better way to start a joyous occasion than with "Beautiful Day" by U2. And yes. It also pays homage to Craig's beloved band.
- The First Dance: There are some songs that play on the Oldies station that, while driving in the car with my mom, will cause her to completely abandon the conversation and sing along softly with the most faraway look on her face. I dare not speak a word during these songs because I almost feel as if I would be uncomfortably invading something quite personal. After the song finishes and the DJ returns to the airwaves, she quickly snaps out of her daydream and automatically picks up the conversation where we left off. I've never asked what these songs mean to her not because I don't care...but because I know that it's something quite special for her and my dad. I cherish the fact that a simple song played on a radio station while running errands on any given day can remind my mother of how much she adores and loves my father. Our first dance will be this type of song...it has me pausing and reminiscing already and I haven't even married the guy yet. I've (well...WE'VE...but really I chose and he agreed) chosen U2's "All I Want Is You." Yes, I know...it's another U2 song - I told you they were an important band in our house. About a year ago at this time of the year, Craig was working like a dog all through the week and through the weekend to produce these basketball tournaments. I hated the fact that these tournaments took time away from me even though the payout was pretty fantastic. I finally sat him down and told him that I didn't care about the money the tourneys brought in. I would easily give up the trips, the dinners, the presents and the lifestyle that came with the time and effort he spent organizing and running these tournaments if it meant I would be able to be with him. At the end of the day, all that monetary stuff meant nothing to me...all I wanted was him by my side. So...one night last summer, I was driving in my car listening to U2's greatest hits of the 1980s and number 14 on the disc was "All I Want Is You." When I really listened to the lyrics, I nearly had a wreck. Bono was able to put every emotion I had for Craig into simple verses accompanied by gut-wrenchingly emotional guitar riffs courtesy of The Edge. Upon moving into our house, I reiterated my feelings to Craig and shortly thereafter, gave him the lyrics framed with pictures of us for Christmas. It now hangs in our bedroom.
- The Last Dance: During those angsty years of singledom, I would always listen to David Gray's "This Year's Love" on the way home from another purposeless night at the bar, trolling for guys. I longed for the love that the lyrics professed and I would pray that someday I would have not only "this year's love" but the love that would last the rest of my life. At that point in my life, I was very lost, lonely and cynical. I didn't think it would ever happen...and then Craig came along and showed me everything I always thought I didn't deserve. He's been the best thing to happen in my life and I know that his love isn't just for this year, but for every year of my life.
And let me clarify something...I have not and do not anticipate me being a "bridezilla" about much having to do with this wedding. Not about my dress, the colors, the date, the sight, the photographer, the flowers, the cake - NONE of it! But the music! Oh the music is going to be perfect...because when I look back at my wedding pictures I will have that soundtrack playing in my head and I will want to remember those wonderful emotions on the day I married Craig.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Fever

Week of: April 26 - May 2

First of all - how did last week turn out?
- Our girls didn't perform as well as I had hoped they would at the District Championship meet. We had a few valid injuries and the girls just didn't have it on the day of the meet. Regardless, I was still proud of them and happy to wake up on Wednesday morning and know that I could actually leave school at 4:15 for the rest of the school year.

- Thursday night, Craig and I took our good friends Doug and his wife Linda to the game 3 of the Mavs-Spurs play-off series. It was a blow out for the Mavs which made us happy but unfortunately, our Spurs loving friends were not so excited about the outcome.

- We had dinner at my parent's house on Friday night with the whole family plus my mom's college roommate and her husband. My mom made a big batch of lasagna which was absolutely delicious. It was a lot of fun and even more fun when Dwayne and my dad decided they wanted to go to the Mavs game on Saturday so Craig worked his magic online and got them two great seats for the game.

- On Saturday, Craig took off early from his tournament and met me at the house around 1:00 and then we were off to another Mavs play-off game. It was a long game, but the Mavs came out on top 99-90. After the game, we headed over to Doug's house for crawfish and beer which was a lot of fun until around 9:30 when I suddenly got very tired. I was asleep before Saturday Night Live came on.

- So all in all, it was a great week but it was very busy and now I am exhausted. I think Sunday mornings are my favorite time of the week because I get to sit in bed and listen to my iTunes, play on the computer and drink my coffee. Sigh...

I am looking forward to...
- My friend Jennifer coming to stay with me on Saturday!!! She lives in Ft. Worth, which on a map isn't that far away, but with all the traffic it would take close to an hour, if not more to get to her house! Her husband is going out of town and she doesn't want to stay in her house all alone so she's going to drive up on Saturday morning and we're going to go shopping, lay out by my pool, eat a scrumptious dinner and have some drinks. Plus...she gets to see my house for the first time!!

- Considering the doctor's diagnosis last week, I'm going to take a stab at playing volleyball again on Wednesday night. It truly is my release that gets me through the week...both by looking forward to it and reveling in the awesomeness afterwards. I think it will also be a great test for my body and my knee. It's been feeling better, but at the same time...I have definitely been staying off of it. The weird thing is...it hurts most when I'm driving for a prolonged period of time. I guess it's something about the position. Hmm...weird.

I wish I could fast forward through...
- I have four days of TAKS testing this week starting on Tuesday and finishing up on Friday. I'm only testing on two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) but I will have to be "actively monitoring" which means up on my feet walking around making sure there everyone is acting and testing appropriately. Ugh. It's just mindlessly boring and strangely exhausting. All in all, it's just a long week that leaves the kids absolutely pooped at the end of the day as well as unmotivated to do or learn anything else for the rest of the school year.

- The remaining five weeks of school. I had the revelation last week that my kids don't want to do anything nor do I want to teach them anything. Brilliant. But, unfortunately, I still have to fill about four weeks full of meaningful learning experiences without losing my mind or creating a riot in my classroom. So, my plan is to do everything fun. We'll talk about South America, but instead of doing worksheets and taking tests, we're going to create a soccer ball full of information about a certain country in South America. Instead of reading and answering questions about Antarctica, we're going to read a short description of the weather and then create an outfit for someone going to live in the frigid climate conditions that exist in our southernmost continent. It's a lot more fun for them and a lot more hands-off for me and hopefully, I'll be able to keep their attention a little bit longer.

Right now I'm obsessed with...
- Picturing Craig as my husband. All through this wedding planning adventure so far, I've focused all my energy on my mantra: "At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what happens, good or bad, because Craig and I will be married." And I've been really envisioning that lately. I truly never thought I would find someone who I am so incredibly compatible with and I'm really starting to get excited about the whole marriage thing. Obviously, we live together and it definitely feels like we're married...but I can't wait to see the ring on his finger. Sigh...I know that March 13, 2010 seems really far away, but I also know that the months are going to fly by and all of a sudden we'll be on our honeymoon and it will all be over.
- Coffee in the morning. As the school year winds down and the days get warmer and longer, it takes a bit more energy to get out of bed and ready for work in the morning. In fact, there are only a few things that really inspire me to get up and at 'em (like my mother used to say). Those two things are my morning coffee and the cute spring dresses, skirts and flip flops hanging in my closet. I believe it to be in the best interest of my coworkers and students if I have both of these things in or on my body before going to work - I will be in a much better mood.

On my mind...
- As with many twenty and thirty year-olds around the world, Craig and I bought our U2 tickets last week. Their Dallas concert is on Monday, October 12th or 13th (can't remember exact date) of next fall and we are absolutely 100% pumped. I've never seen U2 in concert, but it has been on my bucket list for a few years now. I love U2, but mostly their older stuff because that's when they were actively writing music that reflected the chaos and violence that existed in Ireland during the 1980s. In a way, they remind me of the hippie generation of musicians that used their lyrics to promote a particular point of view, or to make a statement about situations in the world. So I'm a big fan...but Craig is a MUCH bigger fan. In fact, for the last tour he followed them to New York City, Dublin and Hawaii...in addition to the Dallas concert as well. I told him that we will be unable to do that this year because, as much as I love U2, I love my wedding even more. U2 and their songs mean a lot to Craig because I think he is able to express how he feels about something in his life without putting having to put it into his own words which is very difficult for him. Just watching his physical response to certain songs of theirs can give you great insight into his very protected psyche. Anyways...we're super stoked about the concert and I'm even more stoked about hearing their played at our wedding. If only I could find a way to actually get Bono TO our wedding to perform...hmm...I might have to send him an invite...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Results...

Craig is at basketball tonight and quite frankly...I'm glad I have the house to myself tonight. Today started out a little rough because I'm not a patient person. I wanted my MRI results and I wanted them this morning. So when I threw a frustrated mini-fit in the coaches office after being sent to voicemail (for the second time today) I was even more enraged when I was told that I needed to "not over-react and to be more patient"...or something else insulting to that effect. I was not in the mood to hear those words. I wanted to hear: "I'm sorry you're having to wait for the results. I know that you're anxious about what the MRI showed. I'm sure they'll call you back as soon as they're free." But no. I didn't. Don't worry...I might not have been comforted but the tournament sure as heck got finished.

Sigh. I know that patience and compassion are virtues. I get that...but when both of us need those things from each other over a course of a month - it gets a bit exhausting! He's got to schedule and organize a 58 team tournament for this weekend which I know is time-consuming. And it doesn't help that as soon as he thinks he's finalized the tourney someone either cancels a team or another team wants to play, and honestly...how can you turn down a team that's willing to give you almost 300 bucks?! So he was having to return to the drawing board repeatedly as well as deal with disgruntled business partners and clients. And to top it all off? Because of our district track meet last night, he didn't even START on schedules until 10:30 pm. Plus...his knee is still hurting him and his doctor appointment is tomorrow morning at 9:30. I am praying that the doctor can find a way to just fix it once and for all.

The good news is that while I was typing that last paragraph, I did begin to have a little bit more sympathy for him.

And I'm frustrated. My knee is still hurting and it's a weird hurt - if I sit around and do virtually nothing (like I did this weekend) my knee feels fine. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of staying in my pjs everyday watching Oprah. I do have to be up and on my feet for the better part of a day. It's the up and moving around part of my life that is bothering my knee. I did finally talk to my doctor around 5:45 this afternoon and he said that he was surprised by my MRI because it only showed a "small tear" in the meniscus. He said that surgery was not the first option and that I should come in for a Cortisone shot sometime in the near future. If that doesn't clear it up, then we'll look at going in and cleaning up my knee arthroscopically. Call me a skeptic, but I'm a little...well...skeptic. Although I know that my knee is nowhere near the carnage that Craig has but the Cortisone shot did absolutely nothing for him. It seems to me to be a little bit of a band-aid method of medicine. I'm no doctor, but I am under the impression that a meniscus cartilage tear doesn't just heal up all on it's own. And another point...does the doctor expect me to sit around and not do anything physical? I am jumping out of my skin to get back on the volleyball court. Give me a white ball and a wall and I will work out any and all aggression I have in life. I haven't had that outlet in three weeks. I have a feeling that in order for Craig and I to continue in the relatively blissful harmony that we have...I'm going to need to get on a volleyball court STAT. And if I can't? Give me some anesthesia and clean me out. I don't want to hurt anymore and I need to get back into the game.

On that note...I was also disappointed about the diagnosis from the standpoint of "My knee hurts bad. I can barely walk at night because it's so stiff and swollen. I am having sharp and dull pain on either side of my knee." This has been going on for three weeks. I kind of feel like a big, fat crybaby right now. Growing up there were lots of times that I wouldn't feel good but I still had to go to school. I tore ligaments in my ankles twice and never saw a doctor about either of them. My parents generally had a "suck it up" attitude and when I did finally get sick...I always felt guilty because I knew that they were taking off work to be at home with me. More so from my mom because she was a little bit more verbal about being busy at work. She might deny it but I have a memory like an elephant and I did sometimes feel guilty because I knew that there were more "important" things that had to be taken care of at work instead of taking care of me. It also made me feel like I was faking. Case in point: last summer's debacle with the appendix. Everyone thought I was hungover and no one actually believed that I was sick! I felt guilty having my mom come over and take me to the doctor...my dad didn't think we should go to the ER. It was sweet, sweet redemtion when the doctor's announced that my appendix had to come out the next morning. So maybe I feel like I'm back in that position...like I'm faking or something and the "faking" is backed up by photographic evidence that there really isn't something wrong with my knee. So I guess I just feel like I have to "suck it up" and get on with life.

And one more thing because I'm bored...

What Was I Doing Ten Years Ago:
- I was playing lots of basketball.
- Dating and breaking up with Nick W.
- Finishing up my less than illustrious career as a JV high jumper.
- Hanging out with Ali, Leigh Ann and the basketball boys.
- Fighting with my mother.

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. Lesson plans (completed!)
2. Get doctor's results (small meniscus tear in right knee)
3. Take a nap (delightful)
4. Discuss morning's conversation with Craig (not yet - gotta quit being actively angry)
5. Catch up on DVR (done!)

5 Places I Have Traveled:
1. London, England
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Munich and Berlin, Germany
4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5. Rome, Venice, Sorrento, Florence, Naples and Capri, Italy

5 Snacks Or Treats I Enjoy:
1. Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks
2. Strawberry Limeade from Sonic
3. Popcorn
4. Chex Mix type snacks
5. Green apples

5 Places I've Lived:
1. Hurst for about 18 years
2. Dorm room at UNT in Denton
3. Apartment #1 with Elaine and apartment #2 with Lauren in Denton
4. An apartment in Euless all on my own for 2.5 years
5. A beautiful new house with Craig in Flo Mo!

5 Jobs I've Had:
1. YMCA After School Counselor (Senior year)
2. Lifeguard at NRH2O (Summers after junior, senior and freshman years)
3. Children's Courtyard After School Counselor (3 summers during and 1 summer after college)
4. TAKS and 7th grade Math teacher (one semester)
5. Volleyball coach and 6th grade Geography teacher (wrapping up 3rd year)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Six weeks left of school!!!

Week of: April 19 - 25

First of all - how did last week turn out?

- We had the longest track meet ever...three entries in each event from seven schools!!! We had a few of our girls qualify for the district meet and a lot of girls get really close - 5th or 6th place. The weather cooperated and it was only mildly chilly once the sun went down. Unfortunately, it was hard on the legs and hard on the body - Wednesday morning was a long one that's for sure.

- Craig and I both had our doctor's appointments for our knees on Wednesdays both of which could have turned out a bit better but I know it's something that we'll get through together. Acting out of love (and pity) my parents took us out to dinner on Friday night and we went to Babe's for some fried chicken...mmm...definitely a dinner to soothe the soul.
- Saturday morning I oke up early with Craig and went to see his 4th grade basketball team play in a tournament that he was not in charge of. Unfortunately, they did lose...but they were playing against 5th graders. Either way, they were still pretty cute and vaguely reminded me of my early years in the sports. It also gave me a glimpse into the future of Craig coaching our own kids which was very sweet to see.
I am looking forward to...
- Track season ends on Tuesday night at the district meet. Due to circumstances outside of my control, track season has been incredibly difficult this year. From scheduling practices to fighting for facilities with the boys...it's been a long season. But I'm excited to see my three long and triple jumping 7th graders compete on the district level.
- We've got a lot of things scheduled for this weekend: the Mavs/Spurs game on Thursday night with our friends Doug and Linda (Spurs fans), dinner with my family and my mother's college room mate on Friday and then a crawfish boil at Doug's house on Saturday afternoon and evening. Hopefully Doug won't poison our crawfish after our Mavs beat his Spurs on Thursday evening. :)
I wish I could fast forward through...
- I have an MRI tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. I'm not looking forward to it for many reasons, one of which is me having to take the afternoon off from work. I hate missing school and I hate taking days off. Although I have a great substitute coming in...it just makes me nervous. Especially when I have to leave because of not fun reasons like being stuck in a closed in tube for thirty minutes while they take pictures of my knee.
- The Non-Qualifiers Track Meet on Monday night. Yes. You read that correctly. Our district is going for the "Feel Good District of the Year" and they love to make sure that every student is included in every sport. We have a track meet for those kids that didn't make the district track meet (or any other meet for that matter). I understand the mindset of making sure that kids feel like they are included and that their hard work during practices has been appreciated, but I also think that it is feeding the entitlement that so many young people have today. So many parents are afraid of telling their children "no" or acknowledging that their child might not be the best at something. I can distinctly remember my mother telling me not to get my hopes up for making the 7th grade basketball team...and this was the night before the teams were picked! Okay...so maybe I was a little bit cocky but she just wanted to make sure that I knew nothing in life was guaranteed and that there is always the possibility of someone being better than me. I think that kids who never realize that there is someone better than them out there never strive to be anything better than what they already are.
Right now I'm obsessed with...

- I made the mistake of baking a loaf of Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for Craig the week that he had his knee surgery. He immediately became addicted (with the statement of "Baby you're a liar. You always said you can't cook. But you can. This is goooood." Yeah...he had just taken a pain pill) and now requests a breakfast-y type bread baked for him at the beginning of the week. This week's bread? Cinnamon Streusel. We'll see if he likes it as much as the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Regardless, I have enjoyed making something yummy and delicious for him to eat in the mornings.

- Putting more stuff up in the house. I kind of go through spurts of inspired decorating...and latent decorating. A couple weeks ago, Craig and I cruised around one weekend afternoon and stopped by a few home decorating stores in addition to my beloved Target. I got some pictures developed as well as picked up a few frames. I've spent the past few days putting things in frames and then hanging them up. Craig said to me today "it's starting to look like we live here." Yeah...because the laundry on the floor and the dishes in the sink don't?!

On my mind...

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Sports Philosophy

Today at lunch with my teaching comrades, I was asked an interesting question. I had just finished relaying my tale of woe of this past week: the two doctor's visits and two possible and very impending knee surgeries right on the heels of one. As is the case with any injury or surgery, people were curious - wondering why on Earth was a woman as young as 25 having major knee problems? That answer is easy - I've been playing competitive sports since I was eight years old which calculates to be about 17 years spent on courts and in gyms. Most of those 17 years have been spent sprinting up and down a basketball court, dodging left and right trying to get to the basket as well as jumping up for the rebounds of badly aimed shots. In addition to the time spent on the court, many hours were spent on the track and in neighborhoods, pounding the pavement to stay in shape and in the weightroom, racking and unracking weights to build powerful muscles. And now that my glory days are behind me, what am I left with? A few scars here and there, creaky joints and most importantly the mindset of "I can and I will because there is no other choice."

And then the question was asked "So when you have a daughter are you going to let her play all these sports, even though you know the possible outcomes when she is your age?"

I smirked to myself, glanced down at my finished lunch plate briefly and then raised my head and looked at this person with confidence and pride in my voice and said clearly for the entire table to hear: "Absolutely. Without a doubt."

I look back at my childhood and youth and realize that some of my proudest moments came from the basketball court. And the moments I'm not so proud of that occurred after I quit basketball and during college when most flag football games were played with a slight inebriation? I had nothing pushing me to be the best person...Friday nights were party nights because there was nothing I had to wake up for on Saturday morning...I wasn't accountable to anyone for my behavior or the shape of my body. I ate what I craved, drank enough to suppress the guilt and smoked all the way along with both. There was no true purpose to my body so I didn't care what I did to it.

Looking at myself today, I know my body has a purpose. It might not be as shaped or toned as it was in high school, but I can feel that it's healthier. Accepting one's body as it is is a continual purpose because a woman's body is constantly changing along with age. I will never be the 135 pounds that I graduated high school at, but I'm okay with that. Because in high school, I was the post that was always getting pushed around on the court because of my willowy figure. Now? I'm the big girl on any court that is intimidating, but along with the power and the determination to back it up. I'm proud of using my thighs to jump so that I can hit the ball - they have a purpose and the serve me well. Sure...I'm like any girl in that I would love to have a flat stomach again and maybe one day, I'll feel compelled to get into an actual work-out facility to tediously tone up...but until then, I'm just going to play sports and have fun.

I want my daughters to have the same emotional and character building experiences as I did while playing sports. I learned...
- the game isn't over until the last buzzer sounds. You always give 100% no matter the score.
- life doesn't revolve around one person. It takes a whole team of people to achieve something great.
- it's really not about losing or winning. All that matters is setting a goal, putting your heart into it and seeing your goals realized.
- sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it. Even though you might not agree or like it...just get it over with and you'll feel much better.

I don't care if my daughters become Division I athletic superstars. I don't care if they even become All-District competitors. I wasn't either of those things, and I still learned great character traits regardless of my notoritiy in the athletic world. I truly am convinced that children become better adults through any and all competitive endeavors. From band to baseball, choir to karate and theater to triathlons...the messages and the lessons are the same. I just want my kids to be strong, independent, confident and determined adults who treat others with respect and tolerance...and sports taught me all of those things.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


You're not going to believe this...but I have a been diagnosed with a "possible medial meniscus tear." I have an MRI scheduled for Monday and then once that is read, the next step will be discussed. When I asked the doctor what "next step" meant he gave me that "you know what I'm talking about" look and I already knew what was going to come out of his mouth: scope and repair...which just means surgery. Great.

If this sounds familiar...it's because Craig was diagnosed with the same thing about three or four weeks ago. And he just went back to his doctor today because his knee locked and popped twice last night. He was given a cortisone shot and told to come back in a week for another check-up. If it's not better by next Thursday...he'll have another surgery to repair whatever other damage is still in his knee.

At this rate, we're just going to have to have our mothers move in with us because we won't be able to take care of each other. Thank God for two spare bedrooms, three potties and two flat screen tvs.

All joking aside...right now I'm just searching for God's purpose in all of this. Honestly....because I don't understand it. I'm the type of person that will totally jump on board with something as long as I understand the purpose. If I can see the end result or the big picture of whats trying to get accomplished, I will support whatever is necessary to get there. So I have to figure out the purpose of putting both of us through knee surgeries within a two month span. Last summer's appendectomy really showed me and my parents that Craig was in this for the long haul and it also finally put an end to my nasty little smoking habit. But I just don't get this one yet.

And another reason I'm a bit frustrated? Two - possibly three - knee surgeries? A bit expensive. Especially considering I'd rather that money go to a trip to Boston and Maine this summer...but more importantly the wedding!! Sigh...I'm going to go get some ice cream. Mint Chocolate Chip always makes everything better.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Belated Sunday

Week of: April 12 - 18

First of all - how did last week turn out?
Craig had knee surgery on Friday, April 3rd so he was mostly recovering last week. In general, his surgery went much better than expected and therefore his recovery should not be as long as we thought it was going to be. Although I had absolutely no problem taking care of him while he was immobile on the couch...by Monday afternoon after a long day back at work, I was ready for him to be up and moving on his own again. We had a sit-down pow-wow about the status of his recovery and how I was beginning to get a wee bit exhausted. On Tuesday, Craig was able to get up and go to work, but he only stayed halfway through the day before I had to take him home - he was still hobbling around on crutches and that became exhausting for him. When I returned home later in the day around 5:00, he seemed genuinely relieved and excited to see me and promptly handed me a card. It was a "Thanks for everything" card with a handwritten note from him regarding an appointment for me on Friday at a local spa that he had made. Sigh. On Friday morning while Craig was at his first rehab appointment...I was getting an hour massage followed by a facial and then a pedicure. It was exactly what I needed. I would love to report on other things that happened last week...but honestly it seemed like everything mostly circulated around his knee.

I am looking forward to...
- Working on my scrapbook of our Vegas vacation last summer for my 25th birthday. I absolutely love to scrapbook - but I'm not one of those crazy soccer moms that have the scrapbooking suitcase (yet). I just love the process of picking out paper, stickers and pictures and organizing them all into a creative memory. It's something creative and hands-on for me to do while watching a mindless movie or television program.
- My doctor's appointment for my bum knee on Wednesday at 3:30...keep your fingers crossed! I don't think we can go through two knee surgeries in one month. On one hand...I just want to know what iswrong andhow we're goingto fix it...SOON!

I wish I could fast forward through...

- Lesson planning. I know that this item has been on the "fast forward" list for several weeks now. But please realize that there are 7 weeks plus finals week of school left. We teachers are as "done" as the kids are with school. This is the last long stretch which is always the hardest because there aren't anymore holidays or days off between now (just after Easter) and the end of school. I'm just not inspired right now to come up with fun and inventive lessons.
- Making and going to a doctor's appointment for my knee. Yes. MY knee. A week before Craig's knee surgery, my right knee began to become a little bit sore and swollen feeling in the back when I would come home from work. I just chalked it up to being on my feet all day and resolved to rest more (ie: sitting at my desk). The Wednesday night before Craig's surgery (April 1st) I played two hours of volleyball and could barely walk when I got home. Okay. So the pain had migrated from being isolated to the area behind my knee, to encircling my entire knee (sides, front and back) and even somehow worked the soreness down my calf and up into my thigh. With a sinking feeling, I knew that the aches and pains in my knee was NOT normal soreness from standing all day, but instead something is structurally wrong with my knee. Great. I told Craig it was kind of sore, but left it at that because I didn't want to seem like I was trying to get attention away from his surgery. I felt guilty complaining about MY knee problems when he was about to go into surgery for his. So I ignored it and went on about my business of taking care of him throughout his ordeal. I was intensely jealous of his pain medication, as well as the super awesome icing system they sent home with him from the surgery center. But I kept my mouth shut because I knew that he truly needed them, while my pain was only secondary and something I felt that I could easily ignore. Fast forward a week to tonight. I played outside briefly with my nephews and sister-in-law (and Andy the dog) with a few blow up beach balls out in the side driveway of my parent's house...and I cannot walk properly because of pain and swelling. I no longer have pain strictly in the evening, but it is waking me up at 3:00 in the morning and bothering me all day. As I type this, I have it wrapped up and hooked up to the ice machine (which is so totally awesome) as well as propped up on two pillows...and it still hurts. So...I promised Craig (who I believe is tired of me whining) that I would call the doctor tomorrow to set up an appointment for my knee for sometime this week. Wish me luck...

Right now I'm obsessed with...

- VH1's Tough Love television series. Yes it is a reality show, but I think it actually has a pretty cool and much needed premise. It's all about a tough talking male matchmaker who is putting eight or so misguided in love girls through a boot camp on how to find a good match in a man. It's not just about dressing the part or saying the right things. This guy host really tells the girls how it is - how their behavior, actions and patterns are setting themselves up for dating and love disaster. I can see so much of myself in some of these girls...some of them are so obsessed with the "type" that they see themselves with that they completely are forgetting to look at the person behind the "type." I'm proud to say that I could be a "Tough Love" graduate - Craig is the exact opposite "type" that I pictured myself with a few years ago...but yet he is exactly everything that I ever wanted in a guy and I couldn't be happier.
- Our engagement party invitations. We're having a small engagement party with our families and bridal party at the beginning of June at the horseraces. We've reserved a suite through Craig's basketball company and we're really looking forward to a great evening of horse racing, eating and a Cross Canadian Ragweed concert afterwards! As soon as we set our plans in stone with the park, I immediately knew what I wanted to do for invitations. I dragged Craig to Target and picked up these blank invitations with RSVP cards. They're tan with green imprints of dandelion looking flowers on them. I saw them several months ago and knew that they would fit in perfectly with the vision of the wedding I wanted to have. I bought a pack of 50 for 34.99 and asked Craig to just trust my vision - I had a creative plan that I knew would look great. I typed up the wording of the invitation with all the necessary details as well as one of my favorite Beatles quotes at the bottom: "All you need is love. Love is all you need." I printed one off and handed it to Craig. His response was honest and genuine: "Wow sweetie. These are really good. They look great - you did a great job. You're so good at stuff like that. You should really take an art class or something."

On my mind...

- Lindsay Lohan. Britney Spears. Paris Hilton. Nicole Richie. They've all had their public meltdowns and their drunken insanity nights. Great! Good to know that for awhile there, they were all normal twenty-something women. The media constantly seems to be attacking these girls for their lack of underwear, excessive drinking and overall obnoxious and unbecoming behavior. This week, Lindsay's head is on the chopping block because of the extremely destructive manner in which she seems to be taking her apparent break-up from Samantha Ronson. I am in no way condoning their behavior but I would like for the media to swing the camera lenses at their own twenty something daughter who is in her late college or early career years. Chances are...their daughters behavior is not that much classier than the young starlets we see splashed across the covers of US Weekly and written about in Perez Hilton. Unfortunately, I'm sure that if I had people following me around at 22 years old with cameras...they would have captured the same scenes as the ones Paris, Britney and Lindsay have provided us with. Am I excusing them of their behavior? Certainly not. I do feel like they chose their lifestyle and subsequently chose to be in the public eye. In doing so, you must know that most of your freedom and privacy is going to be given up or restricted. You just have to know that everything you do will and is going to be front page news! But here's the most important point I'd like to make....regardless of status of celebrity-hood, when women behave like this to the extreme that Britney and Lindsay have, it goes beyond the carefree adventures of youth and enters the much more dangerous arena of addiction, mental illness and life threatening situations. These girls are crying out for help and as a nation, we sit back and observe their adventures as if it were a sport. Sit back in your seats and eat your popcorn as you witness the self destruction of young, talented and beautiful girls. Doesn't sound like your idea of fun, huh? So today I'm making a resolution and even though it most likely won't do anything to really help their personal situation...I'm going to stop reading and being fascinated by the slow and torturous demise of the young starlets like Lindsay and my beloved Britney (although Brit Brit does seem to be on the path to awesome-ness once again). I'm not going to sit around and watch these women destroy themselves because I've been there and I am glad it's not all caught on tape.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ha, ha, ha!!!