Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Riding Down the River

Somehow, it is the last day of August. My summer, which was filled with endless good intentions, has ended. Faith is in school, I am in school, we are all newly adjusted to our fall schedule and all is well, but man, I kind of wish summer had lasted just a LITTLE bit longer. It just seems like we didn’t get to play enough.

It is wonderful, however, to be able to open the windows for the first time in months without feeling like we’re suffocating from the heat and humidity.

In one last summer hurrah, Jeff and I and some friends went down the river. In what might be the most redneck mode of free entertainment, we basically just sit on inner tubes and ride them down the Chattahoochee. What would be a ten minute drive on back roads that parallel the river is a five hour ride on tubes. We take coolers full of drinks and food, and shove them into their own tubes, which we tie onto ours and we just sit back and let the river take us down a little farther south. We always bump into rocks, cover ourselves with bruises, and occasionally flip over when we try to navigate little rapids. We have sometimes lost the contents of our coolers and almost always lose our sunglasses. When the river is down we have to scoot along the more shallow areas and when the river is up we fly along in a more fun and terrifying ride. We always try to cover ourselves with sunscreen but most of the time we end up getting burned anyway. We always straggle out of the river at the bridge where we end our ride, dragging our tubes behind us, soaking wet, red, sore, and dehydrated, usually missing some article of clothing that we went in with.

It is one of the most fun things we do all year.

We always get into the Chattahoochee up near where we live in Northeast Georgia, where the river is clean, long before where it gets near Atlanta and is . . . not so clean anymore. Once on the river we occasionally see kayakers going by, but most of the time we are all alone in our little group. We’ll see houses sometimes, high on the banks, cabins isolated from the rest of the world. It is quiet and peaceful and tranquil. It feels like it is some part of nature untouched from the rest of the world and it’s our luck to be able to enjoy it. It’s several hours of the kind of fun you have when you’re a kid, just a thrill to be moving fast with the sun on your face, laughing until your sides hurt. It just makes me feel alive.

Now, it’s nearly fall, and the river will quickly get cold. And another year until the next river ride.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Too Much Booty In the Pants

Not too long after I had Faith, when I was still in that awkward time of being too small for my maternity clothes but too big for my pre-pregnancy clothes, I decided to start taking very small, very comfortable baby steps. Those tiny steps led the way to bigger leaps and one day, nine months post-partum, I was the most fit I had ever been in my life. I allowed photos to be taken of me in my swimsuit on vacation and didn’t want to burn them when I saw them later. I enjoyed shopping for clothes. I enjoyed having a level of energy that I didn’t have before.

Then there was James. I thought I would re-create the post-partum magic, and it was going well for awhile and then all of the sudden, it halted. There was a few pounds that I just couldn’t shake. Actually, no, it’s that I wouldn’t shake them. I just lost the drive. I lost the motivation. I started eating late at night, after the kids went to sleep because I enjoy eating and I enjoyed being able to do it without some sort of interruption. I started buying more junk. I stopped exercising. Anyone who does this knows that it’s very fast to start moving downhill. In no time I went from being about 6 pounds from my goal weight to 20.

Now the summer is almost over and the fact that I wasted much of it bemoaning my own lazy self has kicked me back into gear again. If that hadn’t of, then my nutrition class surely would have. One of our projects for the fall is a self health assessment, which I’m about halfway through with now. It’s an eye-opener, for sure. Even some of the time when I thought I was making healthier choices, I really wasn’t.

So here we go, baby steps again! Hello, treadmill. Hello, cauliflower. Goodbye, chips and queso (until the weekend that is).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School Days

I am now already knee deep in my fall semester at school although it only started last week. Yet, I’ve already had nearly ten chapters to read, in several different books, and an essay to write.

Nursing school, I am predicting, is going to kick my ass.

I should have known from the start. We had an orientation that was like no other orientation that I’ve ever been a part of. It was an event that lasted all day long, with various faculty and former students taking turns and talking about the program, its difficulties, and how even though we would most certainly lose hope at times if we stuck with it then one day we would graduate. It wasn’t the most, ah, motivational thing I’ve ever heard. In fact, it was terrifying.

We ended up pairing up afterward, each first year student with a second year student (those who passed anyway), and my partner had some words of advice for me. I actually was making good notes, and got some surprisingly good study tips, and then the ax fell. I was told that after they spent four to five hours a day studying that their final grade was only a B.


I am a 4.0 student. I have made the effort to be a 4.0 student. I love having my GPA at what it is, I relish in being the dork who makes only A’s, I can’t help it, this is what I’ve become. And honestly, I need it. The state of Georgia has an excellent financial aid program that funds tuition for those who make the grades for it, and by crackity, I’m going to get my financial aid!

All the stress aside though, I must say I enjoyed looking through the syllabus. Whereas my other lab modules consisted of things like dissecting brains, kidneys, fetal pigs and the like, and occasionally examining the molecular structure of the basic cell, our first lab module included things like “making an occupied bed”, “giving baths”, “lifting a person”. Begin at the basics we did, and I actually had fun in lab.

I’m excited about this semester, and I’m not even going to pretend like I’m not. It is, however, going to be a lot of work. Here’s hoping I can get through it.