Brain Dump

1. It’s been a rough month or so.  There isn’t really anything I can put my finger on that has made it rough, but it is rough just the same and it’s put me in a major funk.  Maybe it was because collectively our family was sick for five weeks in a row and I’m having a hard time getting back into normal life.
2. I have a love/hate relationship with the shirt I am wearing today.  It’s a plaid, flannel, button up shirt with solid panels on the sides under the arm.  I love it because when you look at me from the front it gives the illusion of a trim woman as your eyes focus on the plaid and the cream colors panels and accompanying love handles fade into the background.  I hate it because when you look at me from the side, it gives the reality of a lumpy woman with a c-section belly.  To be fair, nearly all of my shirts give that reality when looking at me from any angle, so I should really just be happy right?
3. We are moving to New Jersey.  I don’t want to move to New Jersey.  If I had my way, in four months time we would be basking in the sun on a ten acre farm; chickens pecking happily in the backyard, children running around and climbing trees and I would proudly call myself a Texan.
For those of you who don’t know how the PASS/MATCH system works, when you apply for a post graduate dental specialty, you put your application packet together at the PASS website and basically check which schools you would like to apply to.  You pay a fee for each school you want to apply to and PASS will send your application to the schools.  Each school may or may not contact you for an interview.  After you interview at each place you were invited to, you rank which school you like best at the MATCH website.  The school then ranks the applicants.  All of ranking information gets fed into a computer and on a certain day (Jan 30 for this year) the computer spits out where each of the applicants will go for their residency.  It is a binding contract and you are required to go there.  You can’t appeal or apply somewhere else.  It’s done.  There are far more applicants than there are positions available.  Most residencies only take one or two students a year and in the morning when people get the email, many people are told that they didn’t match and have to make other arrangements or try again the next year.
Of the three places where Matt interviewed, he probably liked the program at New Jersey the best, but he ranked it last because we both felt the other two alternatives would be better for our family.  While on paper the ideal place would have been Texas we both prayed that we would want to go where we were supposed to go.  After months of prayer and fasting Matt ranked Connecticut first, Houston second and New Jersey third.  We really felt like Connecticut was where we were supposed to be.
Imagine our surprise last Monday when he matched to New Jersey.  We had talked about what we would do if he didn’t match at all, but matching to New Jersey wasn’t even on our radar.  The kids were confused.  We had spoken only of Connecticut and Houston and if I ever mentioned New Jersey it was always followed by “But I really don’t want to go there.”
Our family home evening that night was centered around the fact that Man’s ways are not God’s ways.  Matt also talked about the blessings of the Lord.  Some blessings we immediately see for what they are.  Some blessings we may see as a negative in the beginning and only recognize them as true blessings in hind sight.  Finally, some blessings we may never know about, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there (think of the car accident you didn’t get into because you were 10 minutes late getting out of the door that day).  We all felt a little better after FHE that night.
The fact still remains however that I am terrified and I have shed no small amount of tears over this.  I’m sure New Jersey is wonderful in general.  I know the taxes are really high but it is beautiful in that part of the country.  The problem I have is that while I have heard great things about New Jersey, I have heard nothing but awful things about the area we will be in.  Newark is dangerous and while we don’t have to live in the city, my husband does have to spend nearly every day there, likely at all hours of the day and night.  Newark is 30 minutes from NYC.  NYC is a great place to visit and even for some people to live in, but I would feel much more comfortable if we were a few hours away.  Close enough to visit on Special occasions, but not so close that we would be living in NYC urban sprawl.  If we were to live far enough away that the taxes would be manageable, the commute for Matt would be really rough.
Then there is the enormous elephant in the room.  I am an unapologetic, outspoken and passionate conservative.  Can you see where I’m going with this?  I have a hard enough time making friends with people who agree with me.  I am plagued with the fear that it will be a very lonely six years.
On the bright side we are very close to nearly all Revolutionary War sites and other historic landmarks.  30 minutes to NYC, one hour from Trenton, an hour from Pennsylvania, four hours from Boston, four hours from Washington DC.  We would also be five hours from where I grew up and two hours from my favorite Aunt and Uncle.
4. Spencer threw up again last night.  We cannot seem to kick these bugs!
5. I hate trying to loose weight.  Contrary to what people say, sometimes it isn’t just a matter of calories in and calories out.  I’m not talking about quality of food choices (though that definitely plays a roll) nor am I talking about the aerobic vs. anaerobic (though that also plays a roll.)  I’m talking about the fact that I can only wear so many “hats” before they all fall off my head.
I realize some people prefer the “balls in the air” analogy, but for me hats work better.  Some of the many hats I wear include the maid, theologian, teacher, nurse, nurse’s assistant (you know, the one who cleans the bed pans), accountant, runner, economist, horticulturist, taxi driver, marriage councilor, body guard, political analyst, writer, referee, entertainer, child psychologist and don’t forget the chef’s hat.  Some hats are bigger than others and some change their size depending on the day.
For example, somedays the maid hat isn’t very big and therefore not at all a burden.  Other days it seems to swallow my whole face.
And some hats I can never take off.
Do you see where I am going here?  I can’t do everything I need to do to be the mom I need to be and be great at the things that don’t have a direct effect on my children.  I have to make dinner, keep a clean house, play with my kids and raise them in truth and righteousness.  Those are nonnegotiable.  We have chosen to homeschool and are active in our church.  It’s best for our family and is what I need to be able to be the mom I want my kids to have.  Those are also not up for discussion.
I gave up learning to play the piano long ago.  I put it on the “someday” list and tell myself “for every thing there is a season”.  Some things aren’t as easy for me to give up.  I would really love to be able to overhaul our family’s diet.  I hate that we eat so much junk.  I would love for us all to be “almost vegan” maybe with a family treat a couple times a month.”  But I can’t do that without taking a leave of absence from at least one of my many other jobs.
Which brings me back to loosing weight.  The first week of my new plan was great.  I was getting up at 5 in order to workout in the morning before the kids woke up.  Then I would leave to go to the gym as soon as Matt got home from work.  I was focused and easily able to stay within my calorie goals.  I worked really hard and it really paid off.  It was on again off again with illness, but by the end of the month I could count on one hand the number of dinners we were able to have as a family and I missed my husband.
So I started working out in the morning and either running on the treadmill at home or with the kids before Matt got home from work.  Then the second workout got nixed all together.  Now I’m dealing with trying to convince myself to bother even every other day.  It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’ve always got a huge list of more important things to do.  Like eating and sleeping.
So I look online for motivation and see great things like “if you are tired of starting over then stop quitting” and think of George Washington and how I am supposed to be diligent this month.  Then I think for every time there is a season and maybe now is just not the time to try and loose 35 lbs.  Then I think “but it will only be harder the older I get”.
Part of the reason why it was so easy for me the first several weeks was because I was leaving the house for my workout.  I was going to the gym where I had a chunk of time without sticky hands, poopy diapers, breaking dishes and extra noise.  I love my job just as much as the woman CEO workaholic claims to, but even she doesn’t actively work at her job 24/7 like I do.  I admire those women who don’t feel like they need the occasional break from motherhood, but I am just not one of them (which leads to massive amounts of guilt).  From the time I get up in the morning until the minute I go to bed I am a mom of young children.  I go to bed when they do (because I go to bed early, not because they go to bed late) because I seem to need more sleep than the average person.
What it all comes down to is if I want to loose weight, I have to choose between time with my husband and family meals or feeling capable of handling all that I need and want to.
Keeping up this kind of schedule is very stressful for me and my family.  When I’m stressed, I eat and cry.
So is this a matter 0f “not quitting” or “for every time there is a season”?
Do I want to be happy or not fat?
6. I will never have tile floors again.  We have broken more dishes in the last year than all of the previous eight years of having children combined.
7. Jack is almost two and still doesn’t sleep through the night.  Gross, huh?  No wonder I’m a grump.
8. So many opinons, so little time.  SOPA/PIPA, SOTUA, tax season, the birth control mandate for Catholics, the abortion pill in vending machines.  I could go on and on.
9. If all goes as planned, by the end of the day today I will no longer be in need of glasses or contacts.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for that.
The End.

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