Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Liberation Day (!!!!!!!!!!)

Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

Today, 4 weeks and 5 days (or 1 month and 5 days; or 34 days and 2 hours - but I wasn't really counting...) after my surgery, my therapist told me that I am allowed to go CRUTCH-FREE*.
* As long as I take it slow, don't go crazy, and don't walk very far. Baby steps.

PEOPLE. CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW EXCITING THIS IS?!

This is how happy I am.
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Seriously. THAT happy. Except without all the crazy dancing, because that's bad for my hip.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Special Birthday

Today would have been the 13th birthday of my sweet cousin, NMLH. She passed away after a long battle with a malignant brain tumor on December 1, 2012. She was one of the kindest people that has ever graced this Earth - always ready with a smile or kind word and a helping hand; a drawer extraordinaire; an animal lover and cuddler. Such genuinely wonderful people are so rare, and I am so honored to have had the pleasure of loving her and being part of her family.

I read a story once about a little boy whose dog passed away; afterwards, the veterinarian and his parents were discussing what a shame it is that dogs' lives are so much shorter than humans' lives. The boy piped up, and said he knew why: "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

I know this is the same for her.

For the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, go here.
My aunt's fundraising page, raising money for the PBTF.


{I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16}

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five Thumbs Up Friday

It has been a long, emotional week for me, and I could not be happier that it is finally Friday. Despite that, there were a few bright spots to share with you...


Thumbs Up: A belated recovery treat delivery: cookie monster cupcakes (the rest are in my belly):


Thumbs Up: Bought a LivingSocial deal for a Durham Bulls (minor league baseball) game on May 9. We're getting a large group of friends to go [post-exams for my law school friends], and it's $1 snack night. Includes hot dogs, fries, and popcorn. Score!

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Thumbs Up: A family friend's delivery of several tasty Tastefully Simple goodies, including this Savory Wheat Beer Bread that I made. Pair it with a soup and it is fabulous.
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Thumbs Up: My order from The Twistband arrived! I bought a LivingSocial deal for 12 of these bad boys, and so far I am pleasantly surprised. I've seen them popping up everywhere, so I wanted to try them out. They definitely won't hold my hair during exercise, but for everyday wear they're fun and colorful - and look prettier on your wrist than a plain hair tie!

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Thumbs Up: I did a little interview with the PR team at work for our blog. They're doing a series of staff profiles to give a little bit more of a human side to our online coursework. I don't know when they'll run it, but probably sometime in May. It was a fun way to break up the workday (and I got to answer a question about Harry Potter)!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

One Month

Today officially marks four weeks post-surgery! To be honest, I had hoped that I would be much farther along by now. I think it is a combination of the things that my surgeon originally told me along with my total frustration from being sidelined so long when I am an extremely active person. I haven't exercised hard/MY way since October, and before that I haven't exercised without pain since August. So, by this point, I'm pretty frustrated and can also see the weight I'm gaining, which isn't something I'm overly worried about, but it's never fun (and summer is coming...).

I have tried my hardest to remain positive and optimistic over the past four weeks, but it's been very difficult. I'd thought the first several days post-op would be the hardest, but my mom was around and we expected me to feel bad - I'd just had surgery, after all. By now, though, I'm going stir-crazy and I can't do any of the things that make me the happiest, and I generally feel pretty lonely & isolated because of all of this. My goal for the next four weeks is going to be to stay as positive as possible, which hopefully should get easier as we move forward and I {finally, one day} transition completely off the crutches. We'll see.

*Edit: as my mom pointed out, it's important to try to remember how far I've come. It doesn't seem like much from my perspective, but when my mom left after the first week, I was still on two crutches, couldn't do anything for myself, and was only just recovering from several days' worth of nausea. I felt pretty terrible and was generally quite miserable. Despite my frustrations, I still am improving everyday.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When I see a cookie....

....I just can't forget about it.



{Your Wednesday night thought. You're welcome, all.}

Boston BIC Bands

There's a lot of merchandise going around supporting the victims and those affected by the events at the Boston Marathon, especially products whose sale benefits The One Fund. All of these are worthwhile and important items, and there are several t-shirts I've been very close to purchasing. This morning, I found {via a mention on Carrots 'N' Cake} this BIC Band. 100% of the purchase price will go to The One Fund.

I actually don't own any BIC Bands, even though I've heard wonderful things about them, because I find them pretty pricey for their function (and my hair stays well with Goody elastics). This one, however, is one I will be purchasing.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World Beer Festival

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, presented by the "All About Beer Magazine." When we bought the tickets a couple of months ago, I had thought that I would be off crutches by the time this event rolled around (apparently there was a miscommunication between me & the doctors, but whatever). Or, really, it was more like I didn't even consider the possibility that I would still be on crutches for this event.

Well, turns out that I was in fact on TWO crutches, and not the one crutch I had assumed, when it came time for Beer Fest. We got to the entrance and the man handling the wrist bands was like, "Wow. This is probably not a really good idea. It's pretty crowded and people tend to be drunker during this session." So that was great. Then we got inside, and the tents looked like this...

The biggest issue actually ended up being how to hold my glass, rather than the crowds (people were generally really nice and courteous, and probably a dozen people told me what a "champ" I was for being there). We each got a sampler glass to use as we went around to the different breweries to get a taste.

Luckily my friend JM is my girl, and we figured out a great system. She basically ran around with my glass and brought beer to me while I stood in the middle of the tent where I wouldn't get trampled. 

Me with JM and her boyfriend DM {photo courtesy of carolinanightlife.com}
As to be expected, it was a very cool and festive atmosphere. There were three large beer tents set up along the sides of the square, and then in the middle there were some educational/instructional tents, as well as food vendors. We didn't eat or take advantage of the educational sessions, but I thought those were nice features.

I didn't end up taking a lot of pictures of the festival itself (just of people) because it was pretty difficult to manage myself and my crutches and a camera all at once. While the festival was fun, I'm not sure that it was worth the price tag (tickets were $50). I'm sure I would have enjoyed myself more if I weren't on crutches (a couple of strangers had to help JM help me get into the bathroom) and if we had gotten there earlier (we spent over an hour waiting on a cab that was supposed to arrive within 20 minutes). My friends had also been off doing other activities during the day, so all of the guys had already been drinking for a while. I also wish there were a way for me to keep track of the vendors I really enjoyed and the beers that I would want to check out in the future - trying to remember them all does not work.

It was a fun evening, but I'm not sure that I'll do it next year. It was nice to get out of the house, though. Crutches are making me stir crazy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Morning Blues

I have been trying to come up with something exciting to talk to you guys about - I still owe a recap of the World Beer Festival as well as my weekend in Chapel Hill - but I am just having a hard time this morning.


I have been seriously lacking motivation lately as far as work goes, and I'm having immense difficulty figuring out my housing plans for school next year. On top of that, my apartment has had a million maintenance issues lately - right now I don't have a toilet because the person who installed it did it completely wrong and it was missing an entire part so it wobbles (I almost fell into the bathtub last week) and last night I found mold on my windowsill - and I really need a vacation, I'm pretty lonely, and I am so super tired of not being able to walk. That's really the biggest thing. My outlook on life goes up and down based on how bad I'm feeling about my hip situation, and I really need to change that and focus on the positives as much as possible. It's so easy for me to get down on myself because of all the things I can't do, but I need to work on looking at all the things I can do.

On the bright side, it's Earth Day! Love your Earth.

{source}

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five Thumbs Up Friday

This has been an incredibly long week. For me, for America, for everyone. I had the news on in the background all morning while I worked, but finally had to turn it off because it was just too much. It seems a bit non-PC to talk about trivial things at the moment, but I think it's also important that we try to come up with positives from this horrifyingly violent week.

Thumbs Up: I am walking with only one crutch! Huge news. Awkward/sometimes painful, but progress.

Thumps Up: My friends & I bought tickets to see the Zac Brown Band when they come to Raleigh in June! We went last year, but this is an exciting surprise because we didn't think they were coming back. Luckily, they just announced that they are!

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Thumbs Up: Since I now have one free arm, I was finally able to vacuum the apartment for the first time in three weeks. It was incredibly wonderful to de-dog fur.

Thumbs Up: I get to see lots of my club soccer friends tomorrow in Chapel Hill at the UNC club team's annual 7v7 tournament. There's only one more year of students that were in school when I was, so it's getting bittersweet. I haven't missed a 7v7 tournament since I started college!

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Thumbs Up: Many months later, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, and today I'm purchasing the DVD. When I first saw the movie, I rewound it to watch the ending 3 times in a row. Simple pleasures, people.

That's it for me- have a good weekend, y'all. Let's try to spread some positivity, encouragement, love, and strength. Prayers and thoughts for the people in Texas and Massachusetts, and people affected everywhere.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oops.

Do you ever have those times when you're like, ohmigodishouldnothavesentthatemail or ohmigodijustpressedreplyallandinsultedmyboss? I'm assuming the answer to that question is a resounding YES because we are human and stuff happens. If the answer is no, I don't want to be your friend.

This morning I was replying to someone who'd asked for information about our organization and our mission. I had copy/pasted some things from our website into the e-mail body so I could work off of the 'official' position in composing my response. And then, because it's Thursday and because my computer and g-mail both hate me, while I was pasting something, it sent my e-mail. Half-finished, with random pastings in different colored text at the bottom.


This was me (but I actually hit myself in the face):

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Then I deleted that e-mail (out of sight, out of mind, right?) and sent a finished, normal, mistake-free one within the next two minutes - so maybe he won't notice? I also figured out how to enable the "undo send" feature on g-mail. So there's that.

At least it wasn't as bad as that time that I sent out an e-mail that my boss had edited using track changes and sent back to me... and the version that sent out to 60 people still had all of those track changes and strikethroughs and edits, even though they weren't on my screen when I sent it. That was the worst.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hey Now, You're An All Star!

Last Friday night, I went to Duke with several of my friends to see Smash Mouth play at the outdoor amphiteatre there. Along with much of my generation, I was in love with Smash Mouth when I was younger! "All Star" was actually the first song to which I memorized all the words. My brother played competitive travel baseball for a long time, and after they won important games one of the boys' older brothers would play that song his boom box (remember those?!).


I've played soccer at Duke before, but the fields are on the edge of campus, so I'd never been on main campus before. I'm not sure what I expected - obviously it wasn't going to be full of trash or something - but I have to say (grudgingly) that it was much nicer and prettier than I had imagined. I'm not really a fan of Gothic architecture, but I can appreciate the handsomeness of the buildings (though maybe not the gargoyles). I also don't think an university can truly be an university without brick pathways [instead of asphalt], but I'm pretty biased. 

Being on campus felt like I was at the fair. Partly, I'm sure, because I'm not in school anymore, and being on campus somewhere other than UNC felt a bit foreign to me. Duke is also a private school, but I guess I never put together the consequences of that -- that alcohol is allowed on campus. Even the fraternities were on campus. This just boggled my mind and I could not get over it.


Smash Mouth sounded... okay. I think the lead singer was kind of drunk by the time the concert started (at a whopping 7:15pm) and he seemed a little bit creepy. They weren't super young when we were in middle school listening to them, and they are not young now.

We still had a great time! The weather was perfect, so it was a great evening. I had to crutch a total of about two miles to get to and from the arena, but my friends are the best so they helped me through it and we made sure to take several breaks.


On the way back to the car, we stopped into the Duke Chapel. After studying abroad in Italy, I have a healthy appreciation for beautiful cathedrals, and I could definitely appreciate this one. Gothic architecture may not be my favorite, but it sure did look beautiful at night. And the organ was just gorgeous!

It was a wonderful evening. See ya later!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston

It is with a heavy heart I address what happened yesterday at the finish line of the Boston marathon. My heart aches for the city and for everyone who was there running, spectating, or volunteering. The finish line of any race, but especially a marathon, should be a place of joy, celebration, and pride. People trained so hard for this, and it is such an accomplishment just to finish!

In our reality of 24/7 news it has seemed lately that the world is getting darker and darker. I was so pleased to see on social media yesterday the focus that most people were placing on the small acts of heroism: the first responders, the people who ran towards the explosion to help rather than away from it, the runners who crossed the finish line and didn't stop but continued to run straight to the hospital to donate the blood they knew would be needed, the people who freely opened their homes to anyone who needed a place to stay. The list goes on. Thank you to everyone who restores hope.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected. Hug your pets and call your family.


Some stories worth reading:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/15/if-you-are-losing-faith-in-human-nature-go-out-and-watch-a-marathon/

http://www.businessinsider.com/inspiring-images-from-boston-2013-4

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9176985/boston-marathon-explosion?ex_cid=grantland33

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Don't Become a Teacher"

A new article came out on Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago with the title, "A Warning to Young People: Don't Become a Teacher." Considering I just agreed to sign away over $20,000 to earn a degree to do exactly that, this is obviously something that interested me. [Thanks to Josh over at Teachers Can Smile Too for mentioning it on your blog!]

Ever since I made the decision to point my life & career in this direction and apply to graduate school, people from all sides have been warning me to think through things carefully, that teaching is a difficult and often thankless profession, that they know someone who knows someone who hated teaching or they quit after being a teacher for two weeks.

The most interesting part of all of this unsolicited advice is that out of all the people who say these things, none of them are teachers. In fact, every single teacher that I know and have spoken to about my decision - some my high school teachers with 30+ years of experience, some friends of mine from high school/college that have been teaching for only a few years - tells me that not only do they think I would make a great teacher, but that they love teaching. And that they are so excited for a young person with my bright mind (toot toot  - that's my horn) to be pursuing such a profession: because it is important, they say, and because there are too many so-so teachers out there, they say. Mostly, they say, because they just love teaching.

I know teaching will be difficult. I know it will be challenging and I will work much more than 40 hours per week and have to work on the weekends and I won't make very much money. I also know that I love social studies, and children, and the feeling that you get when a light bulb goes off in their heads and they get it. And I know I wouldn't be happy in a normal 9-5 corporate desk job [I've tried]. I need a job that is varied and engaging, and allows me to give back, help other people, and make a difference.

So, you can warn me all you want, but I'm not going to listen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five Thumbs Up Friday

Happy Friday! I feel like this week has been dragging on and on (on Tuesday I could've sworn it was Friday), so I'm really glad it's finally {almost} the weekend. I have a couple of exciting things on my agenda the next few days, so it should be a good one!

I've decided every Friday I'll recap five highs from my week. With all of my hip issues, I've realized how important it is to keep things in perspective. I will get well eventually, and in the meantime, I need to focus on some smaller victories. If I can look back at my week and see more highs than lows, that's a good thing!


Thumbs Up: I made some excellent chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast today.

Thumbs Up: The little girls' soccer team that I help coach won our make-up game on Wednesday. The girls actually listened to us and were generally in the right spots. Also got a cool coach's shirt!

Thumbs Up: Free Cone Day!
{source}

Thumbs Up: On Tuesday night, I had dinner with my aunt, her parents, her brother + his girlfriend, and her sister. They are not family by blood, but it felt like family. It was needed and appreciated. [Also some great cookies]

Thumbs Up: Saturday night is the World Beer Festival in downtown Raleigh. I did not consider the fact I would be on crutches before I bought my ticket, but that is a bridge I will cross when I get to it. It will probably be a challenging and frustrating evening, but I'm hoping it will also be really fun!

{source}


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Physical Therapy ... and Puppies

So what does physical therapy look like when you are two weeks post-surgery and still on crutches? Not much. Right now my therapy sessions look like this:

Heat
Manual therapy - hip rotations and movements
Small ab holds/ab engaging exercises (small press ups/hip flexor stretching, angry cat stretch, quad sets, glute sets)
15-20 minutes of non-resistance biking
Ten minutes of icing

So, in short, it's really exciting. But when you can't put full pressure on your foot, it's pretty difficult to do exercises. Once I'm off crutches (next week, we are hoping), things should get more exciting, and hopefully we'll be making more progress.

It's hard to be going so slowly and feel like nothing's improving, but both my surgeon and therapist have emphasized how important it is to take it slowly and not strain or push through pain. Doing recovery correctly the first time is easier/better than developing soreness/ additional pain/ stress reactions. Patient recuperation is so hard for athletes, but considering I haven't exercised without pain since last August, I think I am going to survive. I'm just waiting for my emotions to catch up with this mental acceptance of the situation.

I tried to do a search for some of the manual hip exercises my therapist has been doing with me, but I don't think they really have names so I couldn't find anything. However, Google did return this incredibly relevant photograph. So here you have it:


{source}


Life has been pretty challenging and frustrating lately. Most obstacles are related to my hip, but also some things on a more personal level. I've also been pretty lacking in motivation during work these days.

Kind of like this {via pinterest}:



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goodbye, Sutures!

This morning I had my two-week surgery follow-up appointment, where I spoke with my surgeon about my recovery and also got my sutures taken out. This is very exciting, for several reasons:

1. My incisions look good! Always a relief.

2. I can start transitioning in the next few days to walking with only one crutch. The best part about that is that I will be able to actually carry things once in a while, and maybe even go grocery shopping without needing an assistant (but let's not get crazy).
Additionally, with one crutch, I will be in less danger of falling down the stairs or tripping over the dog. Both big pluses in my book.

3. Most exciting: I can finally shower without saran-wrapping my leg (the sutures couldn't get wet). Until you actually have to do this, you have no idea how annoying this is. And I can finally work on scrubbing off the rest of the orange stuff that has covered my leg for the past two weeks.


Want to see some mildly gross pictures of the inside of my hip? This is my surgeon repairing the tears in my labrum. I think the Carolina blue stitches add a nice touch (I'm sure the surgeon really planned that out). Carolina girl inside and out!!



My surgeon reiterated that my hip looked pretty terrible inside, and much worse than it should look for a person my age. There were all sorts of abnormal growth, spurs, and soft cartilage (where it should be hard like a wall). Luckily he fixed it all up and made everything smooth and groovy. I should never have any problems with this hip again. Hooray! He said about 50% of his patients end up coming back to see him about their other hip, but it's not something that we need to worry about until (if!) it starts hurting me. 

One happy note: he said my running prognosis is good. I may not be able to run a full marathon (I didn't want to push my luck this morning to ask), but should be able to get back to more intensive running. I'm planning on asking my therapist tomorrow what his thoughts are. This makes me the happiest of all.


As a hump day treat, here is a picture of a panda dog, via Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency):



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Free Cone Day

Happy Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!

I love Ben & Jerrys. And I love free cone day. During sophomore year of college, I had some stomach troubles for several weeks that made me a bit nauseous and caused pretty much all food to look and taste pretty unappetizing. But, I could always stomach a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone or milkshake. So that's what I did. Since then, it has held a special place in my heart, and free cone day is one of my three favorite days of the year.


The line was pretty long. Probably because it was so HOT in North Carolina.  Like, low-mid 80's hot. We had a very cold March and an incredibly prolonged winter, and now we've jumped straight into summer. I don't really like summer all that much. (My ideal weather would be 64-75 degrees all year round, with a few days of snow. If anyone knows where I can find that, hook a girl up).




They set up some hula hooping in the square next to the store for the little tykes to distract them from standing in the sun. I thought that was a nice touch and very thoughtful.



Cone day was a bit of an adventure, because there's not much parking right near the store. I had to crutch probably about half a mile to get to the store to stand in line. Once I got to the front, I realized that I had to figure out how to hold an ice cream cone while still using both crutches. While I tried to figure this out, I got ice cream in my hair.

The good news is: I got my ice cream. One cone of Cherry Garcia. And it was delicious.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review: Wonder by RJ Palacio (and a small note on kindness)

My aunt was in town last week and she graciously came over to my apartment to have dinner with me and my mom and to deliver several books for me. I've been reading like a fiend since surgery, and I was more than happy to take them off her hands. I have read three of these books in the last four days (told you, weekend on crutches is not very exciting). The latest book I read, called Wonder by R.J. Palacio, really struck a chord with me and I decided I'd like to do a mini book review, with some additional thoughts of my own. I apologize in advance for the length. I promise it is worth it.




Summary from the inside cover: August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He's about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

{Spoiler Alert}

To put it simply, I loved this book. It is written for kids/young adults, but I was still very engaged with the text the whole time. I couldn't put it down! The author changed the narrative perspective every few chapters, which I thought was really interesting and added a unique dynamic to the story. Much of the story was told by Auggie, the main character, but there were also sections narrated by his family and friends. It was a very cool feature to hear some of the same events from several different perspectives, especially because a big theme in the book is how you see yourself versus how other people see you. Auggie sees himself as an ordinary boy, but most people don't (can't) see him that way because of what he looks like. [Auggie has a real syndrome, called mandibulofacial dysostosis. Also known as Treacher Collins syndrome.]

Auggie finds it very difficult to make friends at his school, because few people are willing to look past his face and just be his friend. He goes through a lot of torment at the hands of his classmates, and his best friend turns his back on him so as to appear cooler to others. There's an incident near the end of the book where Auggie stands up for himself against some bullies and several boys in his class protect him. From there, everyone is much nicer to him, he wins a courage award at the commencement ceremony, and bully Julian's parents decide that he won't return to Beecher for the next school year. I did shed a few tears throughout the book - mostly when the family dog died - but we end happy.

{End spoiler alert}

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My Thoughts

During Lent this year, I did a little experiment. I was pretty depressed about my hip and the effect it was having on my life, and was discouraged by some people in my life who gossip, talk about others, and generally have only negative things to say. I decided that during Lent, I would not gossip, have negative thoughts, say negative things about myself or others, curse, or complain (boy that's a lot of things). More than that, I would try to come up with a positive in every situation, give someone the benefit of the doubt, and attempt to stop the complaining of others, if possible. Every time I found myself failing to do so, I put a piece of paper in a jar to hold myself accountable. The papers were associated with a monetary value and I will be donating the corresponding amount to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at the end of this month in honor of the kindest soul I know. 

I found this incredibly challenging. Keeping myself from thinking negatively or complaining was very difficult, especially with surgery looming. It got easier as the days went on, and I found myself feeling happier and generally more optimistic about life. It sounds obvious, but it is better - and easier - to be kind. I'm happy to say I have maintained this attitude even after Lent ended, and am hoping to continue on in this way for a long time.

I've also been thinking about how important this idea will be when I am in the world of teaching. Students, especially teenagers, can be mean. MEAN. These days, with smart phones at everyone's fingertips (not mine!), it is easier than ever to make lightning-fast judgments in the split second it takes to press 'enter.' This is so, so dangerous. As a teacher, I know it will be important to be kind to my students, but also to try to instill some of this kindness in them, to be reflected in the way they treat their classmates. I've found that it's harder to reform bad habits than it is to teach/learn good ones in the first place.

{source}
At the end of Wonder, the middle school director, Mr. Tushman, speaks at the commencement ceremony. In his speech, he mentions a line from The Little White Bird by J.M. Barrie: "Shall we make a new rule of life... always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?" Mr. Tushman goes on to say, "What a marvelous line, isn't it? Kinder than is necessary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.... Such a simple thing, kindness."

I love his words. They are true. Kindness is a choice, which is the most important thing. It is so easy to get caught up in life and work and relationships, but you don't know what every other person is going through. It is best to be kind.

{source}

I'm cleaning out the sticky notes gadget on my computer, and wanted to move this quote to a place where I'll always be able to access it. When I saw this, all I could think about is the profession of teaching. Teaching is so, so challenging, and I know it will be immensely difficult for me - especially the first year - but I would not be happy with a career that didn't make some kind of difference in peoples' lives. Teaching is not a very lucrative profession, but it's a meaningful one. Ultimately, the latter is more important to me.

For a long time, I wanted to work with animals/be a veterinarian. Though they are vastly different, I think teaching and the practice of veterinary medicine have a lot in common. Mainly: caring for and nurturing those who may not be able to speak for themselves, and hopefully improving each person's (or animal's) life in some way. This is truly work that is worth doing.


"The best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
 -Bridge to Terabithia

My Love Life

Expectation:



Reality:



{via #whatshouldwecallme}

Sunday, April 7, 2013

BREAKING NEWS

North Carolina's P.J. Hairston is returning to North Carolina, sources told CBSSports. Still not sure about McAdoo and Bullock yet.


PJ is coming back. This is fantastic news. We so hoped he would!! No news yet on Reggie or JMM. My very professional, educated, and fact-based prediction is that Reggie stays and JMM goes.

This is how excited I am right now:

{source}


Weekend With Crutches: A Snapshot

When you have crutches, things are hard. You can't carry things or really do anything for yourself. I am a largely independent person, so you can imagine how difficult this is for me - it is especially hard for me to ask for help. I have, however, mastered moving my right crutch with my armpit (which I am sure is quite bad for me, because I've been told that a lot of important veins and things go through the armpit, which is why you're not supposed to lean on crutches with your armpits. But I digress.) so that I can carry a plate or cup or something with my right hand. It is very impressive, thank you.

I get tired very easily from crutching around (it's exhausting!) so this first functional weekend post-surgery has not been anything to write home about. Much of my group of close friends still live in Chapel Hill, for graduate school and job reasons, and several people came to my apartment Friday night to watch a movie with me so that I didn't have to move. It was very kind. As a side note, we watched Zero Dark Thirty, which is immensely suspenseful and thrilling (even though you know how it ends), and very well made, and everyone should see it. Also I've never seen Jessica Chastain in really anything except The Help where she played a hoity toity southern lady, so this role as CIA agent who's dedicated 10+ years of her life to finding UBL is just about as different as it gets.

A fierce and sassy Jessica. {source}
Saturday I stayed in my pajamas most of the day (lack of motivation due to previously-mentioned 7am hammering), went on an excursion to Old Navy and Target, and went to Chapel Hill to watch the Final Four basketball games. I moved around so much! And nobody at Target offered to get me one of those automated wheelchair thingies so I had to crutch my way around to the umbrellas and coloring books. I was so exhausted! The good news is that driving becomes less uncomfortable each time I do it (sitting upright in that position really irritates/hurts my hip), which means I am getting better every day. Getting into the car is challenging but now I can do it fairly easily. Hooray! It's the little things.

This morning I went to church, and the good southern congregation was appreciatively impressed that I was at church on crutches. I got a lot of "God bless you"'s from strangers, so I feel sufficiently blessed & prepared for the week. Hallelujah. This afternoon will be spent tidying my four vases of flowers, two buckets of candy, and five bottles of wine that I've accumulated during my convalescence (thank you, friends). And I can finally watch the new episode of Doctor Who that aired last night. Praise.

Matt Smith (Doctor) and Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara) on a motorbike.
Love. {source}  

Happy Sunday, y'all! It looks like spring is finally here!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Graceful

I've dropped a crutch on my foot four different times today. Crutches were not meant for clumsy people. Which I am. So, things are going well.

Angry GIF

A new housing development is being built next to my apartment complex. Strangely, I can never hear them doing work on the weekdays. But, without fail, they start hammering at 7am every Saturday. (Please excuse the language.)


{source}



Friday, April 5, 2013

This is the super-nifty ice machine I've been attached to more or less all the time for the past week. It has two straps that can go around whatever limb you need, so you can walk around in it and keep it on all the time (dreams do come true!). I even slept in it a few nights. And, it's all mine - the baby we brought home from the hospital. I own it now. I wonder how much I paid for it? I guess I'll find out once I get billed post-insurance....

{source}

A Surgical Story - Reader's Digest Version

Funny story: I typed up an entire [long] entry on my surgery and when I tried to paste a URL I wound up deleting, then saving, my work, so that I saved a blank page and all of my previous work was deleted. I told you I could be technology-challenged. After that "D'OH" moment, I took a lunch break to regroup and eat Chipotle. I think I'm ready to try again. Here's hoping I don't delete this, too...

I have been an athlete and soccer player my whole life, but never liked running - because, let's face it, running is boring. Despite this, I decided my 2012 New Year's Resolution would be to run a half marathon, so in January I started training for the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon in April. After I did the first long training run, I was hooked. (I had been warned, but did not listen.) After my race I still maintained my long run schedule, waking up at 6:30 every Saturday to spend some time with my mind and my music. I then signed up for the Parks Half Marathon that September. Late August, I started to experience mild hip pain while doing my long runs, which progressed to pain during all runs, which progressed to pain while walking. I ran the race anyway, and actually improved my previous time by 14 minutes and finished in 2 hours. My hip starting hurting at mile 2, and I decided that since it was going to hurt anyway, I might as well pick up the pace.

Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon, April 2012
 After the race I took it easy for a while, but every time I tried to run the pain returned. In October, I finally went to the doctor, and she thought I might have a labral tear or some kind of sprain in my hip. She advised taking more time off of running and doing physical therapy to heal that area. I did two months of therapy and actually managed to work running back into my exercise routine, in segments of about 20 minutes with no pain. Unfortunately, it didn't last and the pain returned.

I went back to the doctor and had an MRI done, which I was told showed that the labrum (cartilage surrounding the hip) looked intact, so then I had a cortisone injection in hopes that that would relieve the pain. (Cortisone injections use really big needles, by the way). No luck on that front, and the doctor finally decided it was time to send me over to the hip surgeon.



Finishing Parks Half Marathon, September 2012
A long story and another four weeks of physical therapy later, I was in the operating room at the hospital for arthroscopic hip surgery. Arthroscopic surgery means that instead of opening up my whole hip, the surgeon made a couple of small incisions through which he threaded the camera and tools to make the pairs. I had at least four tears repaired, and he filed back the bone that had grown abnormally, causing the tear in the first place [along with a bunch of other medical terminology related to impingement and cartilage that I still don't understand. I think there was something about FAI?]

Turns out it was a blessing in disguise (and I'm talking really really good disguise. Like, spy-worthy), because he found that my hip was much much worse than he would expect for a person my age. In fact, if I hadn't had the surgery, I would have had to have a hip replacement by the age of thirty. Yep, you read that right, hip replacement by 30. Luckily (?), now I should never need a replacement, at least on my left side.

My surgeon gave me a bunch of pictures of the inside of my hip/views of the bones that were taken during surgery. This one is much more pleasant. {source}

Since the incisions are smaller, recovery gets to - supposedly - be a little bit easier. The first several days were pretty unhappy, but I am now improving everyday, even though life on crutches/with pain remains quite challenging. I'll be on crutches for a total of about 2 weeks, and should be running within 3 months. Before we knew I needed surgery, my 2013 goal was to run a marathon; unfortunately, this may be out of the cards for me now, because of the extent of the damage (though I will find out for sure at my follow-up), but I'm hoping to negotiate being able to run more halves (halfs? That situation is awkward.) in the future.

A New Blog Is Born

Hey, y'all! My name is C and I am twenty-something southern lady from Maryland who's made a home in North Carolina. I use the word "y'all," and this is my blog.

Why is the address In Roy We Trust? Well, because, in Roy we trust. Proof (from many years ago):



Why am I starting a blog? Great question. I have always been terrible at keeping a journal - even when I studied abroad - and sometimes technology eludes me (I don't have a smartphone and struggle to understand how to work any sort of Apple product. I like to pretend this is endearing rather than shameful.). The short answer is because I just had hip surgery and my life has turned into a lot of laying on the couch. Since I just finished watching all three seasons of Downton Abbey and life has suddenly turned dull and empty without Lady Mary and Anna Bates, I need a fresh outlet of diversion while I recover. And, hopefully, to continue down the road when I return to graduate school this fall and embark on a path of becoming a high school social studies teacher. In theory, this will be a blog about running, teaching, graduate school, post-surgery recovery, and life in the South.

But, let's be honest, in practice, the only real reason I started a blog is so I could have a place to post all of my favorite photos, memes, gifs, links, and funny e-cards about baby animals, Harry Potter, and Disney.

A tasting:






And, finally, the truth we've all been avoiding:

(Coincidentally, this is all actually true. Especially the parallel parking part. In Maryland, you have to successfully parallel park to get your driver's license. In North Carolina, you do not.)