Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Blog

As someone who is very anxious about any sort of change, this gives me spikes of nerves to say, but I'm ready to stop posting here and start only posting at my new blog. It's in the process of getting a makeover by the talented Emily at www.theblogfairy.com, but I couldn't wait to start posting over there! It's still me, but a bit less stream-of-consciousness and a bit more organized. And hopefully the new look marks the turning over of a new leaf health-wise.

My intention for that space, besides keeping track of my weight loss and the lessons I learn through that, is that it will be a place where I can report on and keep track of other things I'm learning about like ways of living that are greener, healthier and more organized. Right now I'm working on learning about being more environmentally conscious and will be posting some tips I've read about related to food, eating and restaurants later today.

I don't know if anyone still visits me over here, but if you do and if you'd like to know where I've gone, the new address is www.rachelsroad.com

Hope to see you there!

Refusing to sit on the sidelines

I always knew I was stubborn - maybe that's why it takes me so long to learn simple life lessons and make long-lasting, healthy changes.
I'm starting to change my mindset, however. I'm not letting myself avoid experiences because they make me nervous. I do have some real problems with anxiety and I try to be gentle with myself about that (e.g. I'm not ready to step on a plane or take a cross-country road trip yet), but I'm not avoiding the little things that I worry will be embarassing or uncomfortable.

Last week I faced a big fear when I went on that long hike in the Tennessee summer heat.
Today I'm taking some of my kids to the pool....in a swimsuit! In public!
On Saturday Ryan and I are going out to a local club where actual people will be able to see me! :)
And in two weeks we have our big Farm Community 'family' reunion and even though I haven't lost the weight I wanted to before seeing everybody again, I'm going to focus on being myself and having a great time no matter what that paranoid little person who lives in my skull thinks people are whispering about me.
I'm ready to get out there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Update from June 17th: Turns out the girls weren't scared at all and wanted to clamber up and down rocks to get all the way to the bottom of the biggest waterfall.

I was way braver than I thought I'd be because while focusing on the well being of little ones, there's not much energy left for my own anxieties. On the way back up I overheated and got a bit worried, but slowed down, drank water and everything turned out fine.
Here we are almost at the water's edge. We stayed down for awhile, dipped our feet in the water, found dragonflies and looked for rocks for one of the girls' rock collections. The hardest part was the long trip back UP. We emerged from the experience exhausted, but totally unscathed, picnicked on fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers and topped off the day with a trip to Marble Slab for sundaes and to Walgreens to print out some pics for them to keep and show their parents. Fun!

100th post!

I don't really have anything momentus to type about for this occassion, but I thought it was a nice milestone to mention :) I've rambled on for 100 posts without finding any sort of regular posting rhythm or consistent theme....yay? I do want to eventually become more defined and regular, and I'm working on that. I'm setting up a new blog that should be up by July. Right now I'm looking for a good Blogger template. I know what I want, but I don't know what to call it when I'm searching for it. I want 3 columns with the largest on the left, and I want a space to insert a Picasa (or whatever) slide show that spans across the top of the 2 right columns. So, basically I want the 1st column to start at the top, but I want the other columns to start below a box for a slide show. It's times like these I wish I could just write code.

This week Ryan and I started our own little BL competition. We weighed in on Monday - I was at 173.5. And we're going to weigh in every week to see who's lost the biggest percentage of weight (you know how it goes). Prizes for each week are going to be massages if he wins or back tickles if I do (like very, very light back rubs - it relaxes me). We might add different prizes, but since those are free and we couldn't think of anything that would be better, we're sticking with that idea for now. We're going to go in rounds. The first 'round' is 8 weeks long. At the end of that 8 weeks, whoever wins gets to plan a weekend trip for the 2 of us. It's not like there's a lot of pressure to win, because neither of us would plan a trip that the other wouldn't enjoy...just a little friendly competition to keep us focused.

My eating has been so-so and I haven't been exercising. Yesterday Ryan and I planned to meet at the gym, but I've been feeling very strange and didn't feel up to it. I've just been having a lot of dizziness and headaches or head pressure. I've also been feeling funny in my chest which is a very annoying lifelong theme for me. I've been short of breath, probably from allergies, but since I'm paranoid I always think there's something wrong with my heart, which makes me anxious - and I feel that in my chest too so it makes it all much worse. I've also been really exhausted and have been extra sensitive to the heat. I think all I need is a good, solid week of enough rest, hydration and clean eating. I'm going to keep the exercise gentle for now.

Today I'm going hiking, but since I'm taking a few of my students with me (and maybe their older sister whose in middle school?) it won't be too strenuous. It's not that I don't think they're capable of climbing down the rocky parts, but it makes ME too nervous to watch them do it! So we'll stay on the trails and see some waterfalls. It should be fun :) This is going to be my busiest week for the summer with plans to do things with kids from school. Yesterday I took 2 to the library to see Safari Greg and then out for lunch. Today - hiking. Thursday I'm taking my regular 3 to see the same show at the library, check out new books, play in the park, and work on a few reading skills. And on Saturday, Ryan is going to come with me when I take that same group to see a play at the Children's Theater in Nashville. I can't wait! 2 of the kids are boys, so I asked Ryan to come with us so I'd have someone to supervise the boys' bathroom trips. It's not that I don't think he'll enjoy "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" :) I just need an extra hand.

I've got to plan a picnic for the girls and I for our hiking trip...I have no idea what they like to eat...probably something not vegetarian that I don't know how to make....hmmmm....maybe they'll be happy with PB&J :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

starting summer

I just got back from a week in Chicago. I saw some of my best friends, visited with my family, tried to stay busy and ate a lot of birthday cake/petite fours. It was great! It's not actually my birthday until July, but since I won't see my family again before then we celebrated summer birthday's together early.

During the week I went shopping for makeup, scarves, tank tops (unsuccessfully), and a few things at Ikea. I went to a White Sox game (Gasp! Horror!) even though I've been a HUGE Cubs fan my entire life. But, hey, the Cubs were out of town, I don't hate the Sox, and I wanted to see a game. Plus, they were playing a team that has a few of my favorite ex-Cubs on it. The park was really nice and still very new-looking. I was shocked to find out that they had veggie hot dogs, too!

Early in the week I helped one of my friends by grading papers at her school all day and then met another of my friends for dinner at a cafe where her super-talented jazz drumming husband was playing that night.

On the way up to Chicago we stopped at a place in Indiana that has something like 270 flavors of popcorn! We tried a few and bought a few more to try later. Honestly, they were mostly not really my taste, but it was a fun experience recommended by the widower of my former work friend and colleague.

Other than that I got a cute summery pedicure (purplish-pink with a rhinestone flower on each big toe), ate at some great restaurants (Harry Carey's, Blind Faith vegetarian cafe, Goose Island Brewery, Wholy Frijoles Mexican restaurant) and enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather in beautiful Chi-town! The only thing I didn't get to do was spend time at the lake - the one day I had time, it was freezing and rainy all day. Maybe I'll have to go back soon :)

I was too busy to exercise, but did walk a lot. I didn't really pay attention to my food choices either. I just enjoyed my time and came back at the exact same weight I was when I left town last week: 171.

My mom drove back with me yesterday and is flying back out today. I didn't ask her to do that, but she worries about me doing the 10 hour drive by myself and I had free plane tickets, so that's how it worked out. Before she leaves I'm going to take her for a walk in our local park and maybe go see the Appalachian Center for Craft which is on the way to the airport.

Tomorrow I have a literacy conference all day and I'm tutoring a group of students at the library in the afternoon. After that I hope to get started on my summer routine of exercise, studying teaching writing and practicing Spanish. I can't wait!

Here I am with mom and Ryan at the Sox game in Chicago

Saturday, May 30, 2009

School's out!

Today is the last day of the school year! I don't know why it's on a Saturday, but apparently this isn't out of the ordinary in my crazy little town. There's no bus service and a 10 AM dismissal, so I'll be surprised if any kids actually show up. I can't say that I'd send my own kids if I had any.

We have a fund raiser for our school playground at 11, a memorial for a co-worker who passed away from breast cancer last week at 3 :( :( :( and then will be cleaning, cleaning, cleaning in preparation for my mom to get here tomorrow.

It's been a crazy-busy last few weeks of school. I've been scrambling trying to make plans to see a bunch of my kids this summer and get our files in order. It should be fun! So far I made plans to meet regularly with 3 of my kids going into 2nd grade. I gave them each backpacks filled with stuff that I want them to work with this summer and am going to see them once a week. Mostly, we'll go to the library, look at books and study, but I planned field trips to the zoo, a children's theatre and a minor league baseball game.
I'm trying to get in touch with the parents of 3 boys who are going into 3rd grade to ask if I can take them to the science museum/planetarium at the end of June, and I already got permission to take one group to the library when they're having a special animal-guy guest, another to the hands-on museum, and another to a picnic at a nearby state park with waterfalls.

I'm so glad I decided against continuing grad school this summer - I never would've been able to do this stuff if I hadn't.

I'll be in Chicago next week seeing some friends and family. I want to try this semi-fancy vegetarian restaurant I've never been to before (Green Zebra), help one of my other teacher friends out at her school, maybe see a play, get a pedicure, shop for makeup and a new bag or purse and go to a baseball game. Unfortunately, my Cubs are on the road, so it'll be a White Sox game (gasp!). At least they're playing the Indians which is the team a few of my favorite ex-Cubs were traded to this winter.

By the way - my garden (er...Ryan's garden) is HUGE! We picked broccoli last week, have been picking lettuce and herbs for a few, and just saw the beginnings of baby tomatoes, cucumber and squash! I'm such the proud mama!
I'll post pics later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

been busy

I've had a very elementary school-teacherish week.
After baking up a storm Monday night, I set to work on these pinatas with my kids. They designed, planned and started them at school, and I just got finished making what we didn't finish (most of it). Whew!
I think they look pretty cute :)
They go with units on plant parts, weather/wind/energy, and shapes (round things)
We break them Tuesday.