Showing posts with label Health and Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health and Fitness. Show all posts

It Wasn't Me



My husband has a red mark on his neck - and I did not give it to him!

I went and watched Derek's hockey game last Sunday. When I say I "watched", I mean that I paid attention when I saw that he was on the ice, and I read my book when he was not. However, sometimes I don't do the best job looking up from my book right when Derek is back in the arena. But I do see alot of his plays, and I think he's pretty much amazing. Our kids are going to be little athletes, I'm sure of it. And I'm going to go watch their games too.

I did watch enough of Derek's game to see that one of the players on the other team had long blond hair. It was hanging out of the helmet and flying behind them as they played. I wasn't sure at the time if it was a girl or a guy out there (kind of hard to tell with all the hockey equipment, you know). But if it was a guy I wanted to give him a haircut.

Little did I know that while I was blissfully unaware and distracted by my book, my husband was hit by one of the opposing players. They took their hockey stick and whacked him right on his neck above the shoulder pads.

That's supposed to be against the rules, but the referee didn't call it (come on, Ref)!

Well, I found out that not only did some nasty player slash my husband like that, but it was that long-haired girl player. Just because she is a girl doesn't mean she shouldn't get a penalty!

I tell you, when I found out I wished I had seen it happen so I could have jumped out on the ice and yanked on that girl's blond tresses.

I wouldn't have actually done that.

But, boy, I would have wanted to.

You can all pray for me and my anger issues now. And I bet you're feeling sorry for my future kids too.

Senate Votes On Obamacare Tomorrow - Contact Your Senator ASAP

The senate is voting on Obamacare tomorrow. This plan will be disastrous for healthcare in America. A new study by Price Waterhouse Cooper on "The Potential Impact of Health Reform On The Cost of Private Health Insurance Coverage" came out this past week, and this plan is scary. Get ready for healthcare costs to at least double if this bill passes. Also read this article by Ernest Istook from The Heritage Foundation on how "'Reform' Means You Pay More For Healthcare" for a brief summary of the study.


If you are against this new healthcare plan you need to contact your senators tonight before they go in to vote on this plan tomorrow! Hugh Hewitt has a list of "Democratic senators that need to hear from you" along with their contact information. If your senator is on the list, call or e-mail them ASAP! Even if your representative is not on the list they still need to hear from you. We need to stop this bill now.

Here's what I wrote to my senator:

Senator,

I am against Obamacare in all it's forms, including the so called "moderate" plan. I just heard about the new Price Waterhouse Cooper study, and I cannot afford Obama's healthcare reform plan. Please vote no on Obamacare, or I will do everything I can to get you voted out of office when you come up for re-election.

Sincerely,

Callie, RDH

Short and sweet. That's all it takes, but make sure they know that they are out of office next year if they vote for this.

Pass The Hand Sanitizer


Earlier this week I went shopping with my mom. I actually did fairly well - I didn't spend too much money! Sometimes I just like shopping too much . . .

Ever since I was young I've had a slight dislike of thrift stores. I'm not sure what seems so horrible about them, because alot of times I'll comment on some cute article of clothing or decoration and I'm told it's from a thrift store. You can get some great stuff from them, so they really can't be all bad. But whenever I leave I feel like I need to sanitize my hands.

One of the items we were trying to find yesterday was a little baby gate so that we can block off a section of the basement for Ralphie when we're gone. We've been trying to keep him in his kennel, because Quincy does fine in hers, but Ralphie is a really small dog, and he just can't hold it. It's so sad when we get home and he comes out of the kennel all wet - he looks so relieved just to be out! But then we have to give him a bath, and he just looks so lovably pathetic. Ralphie hates baths.

My mom is quite a smart shopper, so she thought it might be worth it to check a thrift store to see if they had a baby gate that was inexpensive (those things are not cheap if you buy them new). I walked in there, and I was fine as long as I just looked, but once I picked something up I got that annoying urge to wash my hands again. Honestly, thrift store merchandise can't really be that dirty! Most people probably wash things before they give them to a thrift store (at least we always did). Sometimes I think I have a mild case of OCD.

Anyway, we were on our way to another section of the store, browsing as we went, when what do you think I saw? A pair of roller skates! I couldn't believe it, because roller skating has been on my mind since I visited my friend Hazel. I was actually thinking about calling different roller skating rinks to see if any of them were selling their old skates. I think it would be fun to have my own pair so that I could skate around this lake in town if I wanted, or even skate on our cement pad out back (we have this huge cement pad next to our house that will eventually hold a garage). I love skating - it's one form of exercise that I truly find enjoyable.

The skates were a size too big, but they were only six bucks! I figured I could stuff a little bit of toilet paper in the toe and they would work wonderfully; and for six bucks you can't go wrong. Do you know how much skates cost brand new? If you can even find skates - they aren't too common anymore. I can't do roller blades because my ankles are too weak - I've never been able to hold my ankles straight when ice skating or roller blading. I really like the stability of the four wheels on roller skates.

Well, needless to say, I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that. So I bought the skates. I haven't been able to try them out yet, but I'm pretty excited! Maybe on Friday, since I'm planning on spending the entire day being lazy and having fun. It's been a crazy two weeks.

I think I need a skating buddy though - maybe I can convince Derek to skate with me if he gets a pair.

Come to think of it, I was so excited by the skates that I don't think we ever ended up looking for a baby gate for Ralphie at the thrift store! Never mind it was the entire reason we went in there in the first place. Oh my.

And just in case you were wondering, I did sanitize my hands once we were in the car. Twice.

Turquoise Colored Contacts

Just in case you were wondering, my eyes are worse than before. Yay me! In a sarcastic kind of way. And I also apparently have astigmatism. I still don't understand what that means. Maybe I should wait until my eyes are about as bad as they can get, then get lasic eye surgery so that they won't get worse after the surgery. What do you think?

I did find an advertisement for a rather interesting product though, and I looked them up when I got home. They are Fresh Look colored contacts, and they look so fun! I went to the website and got a certificate for a free trial pair (yay!) - I think I want to try the turquoise colored ones. I plan on bringing my coupon to my eye doctor when I go back to pick up my new contacts after vacation, and hopefully they'll be able to give me a trial pair, or at least order them in for me! I'll take a picture once I get them. If you wear contacts you can get a coupon for a trial pair too at this website.

Speaking of vacation, you may be asking yourself "Shouldn't Callie be packing?" Yes, I should. I'm procrastinating.

A Frenzy of Packing and Cleaning (Except For This Blog Post)

This week and next week will probably not be my best blogging weeks. Why, do you ask? Because we are leaving on Friday for vacation!

This year we're going to visit Derek's brother and sister-in-law out east, and we're heading up to Washington D.C. for a couple days while we're out there! I'm really excited, because I've never been to D.C. before, but I've always wanted to visit the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, etc. In fact, those items are on my "100 Things To Do Before I Die" list, so I'll get to cross a couple more things off after next week!

I think it will be a really fun trip. I'm totally excited to see the Smithsonian (which I recently learned is actually nineteen separate museums - we're only going to visit a couple), and the Declaration of Independence. I also really want to see that big statue of Abraham Lincoln and the National Monument. I'm actually afraid that we won't get to see everything we want to on this trip, but we're going to do our best!

This week will most likely be a frenzy of packing and cleaning before we leave at 3:00 AM on Friday morning (ouch!). I'm already really wishing I had taken tomorrow off work, because this afternoon is really the last chance I'll have to pack before we go. I was going to have the whole day, but yesterday I lost my contact lense (I hate having to have corrective lenses of any kind - I need to get lasic), and now I have to spend half of the afternoon at the eye doctor. I shouldn't even be writing this, I should be cleaning the bathroom.

The trip to the eye doctor today is necessary though. I'm blind as a bat. I also hate wearing glasses. I'm hoping they will be able to give me a sample set of lenses, because I really don't want to have to wear my glasses for our entire trip.

You know how the worse your eyes are, the darker the shadow of your glasses will be? Well, just to show you how blind I really am:



Yeah. Pretty bad, huh?

Alright, I guess I'll go clean that bathroom now, before I leave for town. Rats. I'll try to write another brief post before that insanely early flight on Friday. But if I don't get a chance, now you know why.

I Did Some More Research . . .

Yes, I'm addicted to research. I need to know all the facts before I can really make a decision. Please see the addition to my previous post, because it is in answer to the thought that the available research is inconclusive on the birth control issue.

I agree that it is somewhat inconclusive, because a specific study hasn't been done to show what happens after breakthrough ovulation when on the pill. But based on the information that is available, I think the chances are significant that birth control pills could have an abortifacient effect, and until a study is done that could show otherwise, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Please see the added information in my last post, because it's important to know everything, and I spent alot of time finding all that stuff for you guys! Just consider me your own personal research assistant.

Important Information About The Birth Control Pill

I haven't written alot of posts this week, because something came up on Wednesday that required some research and prayful consideration.

On Wednesday evening I was browsing through all of the new blog posts, and I came across a new post on my friend Amber's blog. If you'd like to read her post, check it out here.

Amber wrote saying that one of her friends had recently brought to her attention a fact about the birth control pill that she had not been previously aware of. She wrote that the pill works in three ways to prevent pregnancy:

1. Prevents ovulation (we all knew this one, right?)

2. Thickens the cervical fluid to make it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg.

These first two effects are contraceptive - they prevent conception, that is, the joining of the egg and the sperm. However, there is also a third effect that I had not heard of before.

3. Thins the lining of the uterus so that if an egg is fertilized, the feritilized egg will not be able to implant in the uterus. The fertilized egg would then die and be lost with the next menstrual cycle.

I am very pro-life, and I believe that life begins at conception. But this third effect means that the pill can cause a fertilized egg (which I believe to be a human being) to be lost. It's an abortive effect.

This information sent me reeling. I hadn't ever heard of this before, and I was pretty skeptical. I knew some methods of birth control, like IUDs (intra-uterine devices), caused fertilized eggs to be lost, but I had never heard of the birth control pill doing the same thing.

I'm very scientifically minded, so I decided to do some research on this before making a decision. Here's what I found out.

First I tried to find other resources that would give me information on whether or not this effect actually occurs, or whether it was just one of those theories that some anti-birth control person had come up with that didn't have alot of supporting evidence.

Every medical website that I checked listed all three effects of the pill. I checked out my specific birth control, and though the website for my birth control didn't list that third effect, it was confirmed to me by the other medical websites I checked that said low-dose hormonal birth control (which is what I take), does thin the lining of the uterus. I couldn't find one website that said that the pill does not thin the endometrium - every website either listed that as one of the effects, or didn't refer to it at all, but I couldn't find a source refuting it.

In addition, the statement that the lining of the uterus is thinned with hormonal birth control made sense to me. Don't most birth control pills broadcast that they can give you shorter, lighter periods? The lining of the uterus, or endometrium, is what is shed during your period, so if the period is lighter, the lining of the uterus must have been thinner.

I found a good paper on this topic written by a couple pro-life doctors, as well as an abbreviated version of the information in a book entitled Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn. Please see resources 1 and 2 for links to those resources.

I was pretty disturbed by this information. I didn't want my birth control to have that effect. I like the pill - my periods were extremely irregular and heavy before I started the pill, and I liked the lighter periods and knowing when my period would be.

I wondered how often "break-through ovulation" occurs on the pill. I mean, the pill makes your cycles regular, and if ovulation almost never occurs on the pill, Derek and I could just guess the time that I would ovulate, if ovulation were to occur, and we could abstain during that period.

However, after a little more research I found out that in a study performed by Dr. Don Gambrell, JR. 4.7% of women on high dose birth control had breakthrough ovulation (meaning they ovulated even though they were on the pill), and 14% of women on low-dose birth control (50 mg or less) had breakthrough ovulation (see Resource 3). And apparently the only hormonal birth control that is really available today is of the low-dose variety. That means that you'll probably ovulate a couple times a year, even on the pill. If you ovulate and don't get pregnant, it's because one of the other two mechanisms kicked in. If the sperm never reached the egg, there's no problem, but if it did reach the egg and there was no pregnancy, then the egg was unable to implant and was lost.

What about staying on the pill and just trying to guess when you ovulate and abstain during that time? Unfortunately it seems that it is possible to ovulate any time during the month (see Resource 4). Even if you try to monitor ovulation through taking your basal body temperature or cervical mucous, those methods really can only tell you when ovulation has already occurred, or when it is imminent. In order to ensure that the egg isn't fertilized you have to stop having sex about seven days before ovulation, because sperm can survive for up to seven days inside the woman's body. I couldn't find a reliable way to predict ovulation that far in advance.

My conclusion from all this information hunting was that, yes, hormonal birth control of any kind (ring or pills) can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, which, in effect, is very early abortion. Breakthrough ovulation can and does occur on hormonal birth control, and it is difficult to determine if and when ovulation occurs until after the fact, making the option of abstaining when ovulation is suspected to occur unreliable. *(Note: See update to this information after the Resources section.)

Update 8/2010: Since writing this post I have done alot more research on the signs of ovulation and how to predict ovulation in order to prevent , which appears to be alot more do-able than I originally thought. However, I still think it would be difficult to predict ovulation when taking the birth control pill, because of the additional hormones that the pill introduces to the body and the effects of those hormones on the quality and amount of cervical fluid (see the above list of the effects of the birth control pill). Changes in cervical fluid consistency must be observed in order to predict ovulation and prevent the fertilization of the egg. It would be very difficult to identify changes in cervical fluid when taking hormonal birth control because the pill causes a dry-up of cervical fluid, and that sign would then be obscured. Therefore, my previous concerns with adequately predicting ovulation when taking hormonal birth control are still valid.

I thought all you married, pro-lifers out there had a right to know this information. Each couple has to evaluate the information and decide for themselves. Hearing about this has resulted in a few restless nights, a ton of time spent researching, and quite a bit of prayer, but we finally came to a decision.

Knowing all this information, Derek and I could not justify continuing to use hormonal birth control. If the abortive effect of the hormonal birth control were to occur it would most likely be extremely rare, and may not even happen at all; however, there is a possibility it could happen, and there is no way to reliably prevent an egg from getting fertilized, should breakthrough ovulation occur.

If there is even a chance that a human life could be ended because of our choice to take birth control, can we really justify it? Derek and I couldn't. And believe me, I tried. I researched every avenue and excuse I could think of, but nothing can assure me that losing a fertilized egg won't happen. I really don't want to stop taking the pill - it makes my life so much easier and better, and I honestly don't think I'm ready to be a mother.

But do I want to answer to God someday for continuing to take the pill, even though I knew there was a possiblity that I could be losing babies by taking it? I don't want to be judged for that someday.

I believe every human life is precious, and I believe human life begins as soon as that sperm fuses with that egg. I have to try to do what is right, even though it's not what I want to do right now.

I prayed before I even began my research that the Lord would show us the right choice, that He would make the choices so clear that there wouldn't be a way that I could pick the wrong one. And I feel like He made His opinion on it pretty clear to me.

To be honest with you, I'm absolutely terrified! I don't want to get pregnant right now, and even though Derek and I have a pretty good plan for not getting pregnant, the chances are certainly higher that we might. But there was a fork in the road - choose my own way, follow my own desire and stay on the pill? Or do what I know is the right choice, take a leap of faith, stop taking the pill, and trust in the Lord to take care of us? If I really call myself a follower of Jesus, I have to choose the second. And I think my Jesus will continue to take care of me, whether we get pregnant right now or not. He's never let me down so far, and I really have no reason to believe He will now!

For a little more information on how we plan to try not to get pregnant, check out Resource 5 and 6. I'll do another post ASAP on our game plan, just in case any of you are interested.

My original post stopped here, but another question was brought up in the comments section which I spent some more time researching. My response and conclusions are below.

Brittany, my dear blogging friend, brought up a point in the comments section that referred to how some doctors think the research is inconclusive on whether the thickness of the endometrium in pill-users can cause fertilized eggs to be lost. So yes, I did more research! Here's some more stuff I found out.

I did a little more research on why some doctors think the research is inconclusive for the third effect. I found a research paper (see Resource 7) that stated that some doctors think that if breakthrough ovulation does occur in women who are taking birth control, the associated increase in estrogen will help to thicken the lining of the uterus at that time. There are no studies that show that the endometrium does thicken after breakthrough ovulation, but there's no studies that show that it doesn't either. That's why some pro-life doctors are okay with birth control, because there hasn't been a study done to see what the endometrial thickness is in women on birth control after breakthrough ovulation.

I did a little more research on the average pre-ovulatory endometrial thickness in women who are not on birth control. If the difference in thickness between women who are in the pre-ovulatory phase and women on birth control is pretty significant, that would be some information that I would consider helpful in my own decision-making process.

The average pre-ovulatory endometrial thickness in women who are not on birth control is anywhere from 3-8 mm (I found one page that said it could be 3 mm, but I lost that page - one resource I found says 4-8 mm usually before ovulation - see Resource 8). In the ovulatory phase (right before and after ovulation) it is usually 6-10 mm thick, and post-ovulation it increases again to anywhere from 7-14 mm thick.

I found a study (see resource 9) that measured the uterine thickness in pill users and non-pill users, and concluded that "Endometrial thickness was significantly smaller in the pill-using group, correlating with the well established fact that oral contraceptives cause atrophy of the endometrium". "In the pill-using group, endometrial thickness was 1.1 mm in both phases . . ."

In women on birth control the thickness starts out at about a third of the thickness of the lowest number I could find in a pre-ovulatory, non-birth control estimate (1.1 mm compared to 3 mm). The minimum thickness for implantation to occur can be anywhere from 5 mm to 9 mm to 13 mm (see Resource 1 again).

Since the thickness starts out so much thinner, and stays that way throughout both phases of the cycle, it seems to me that it would be questionable whether it would increase in thickness to the point that it could support implantation after breakthrough ovulation, if the thickness increases at all (remember there are still no studies on what happens after breakthrough ovulation on oral contraceptives).

The third effect of birth control seems to be pretty well accepted in the secular community (and why shouldn't they accept the evidence as it is - it doesn't affect their belief system like it does ours). The debate on whether that third effect does indeed happen seems to be mostly within the pro-life community - because it affects our pro-life belief system so much, I think it's harder for us pro-life people to be totally objective on this. But the secular community can be pretty objective, because they don't care if it inhibits implantation or not. I think more research should be done on the thickness of the endometrium in pill users after breakthrough ovulation. Until more studies are done, there is just no way to be sure what exactly happens.

I think the secular community to be more objective (as much as it pains me to admit that) on this topic because of their lack of belief that they need to change their behaviour depending on whether or not the third effect happens. So I'm going to go with the thought of the group that I would think to be a little more objective on this issue, until more research is done.



1. Larimore, Walter L.; MD. Stanford, Joseph B.; MD. "Post fertilization Effects of Birth Control and Their Relationship to Informed Consent." Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:126-133. Link: http://archfami.highwire.org/cgi/content/full/9/2/126

2. Alcorn, Randy. "A Condensation of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?" Link: http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/prolife_birth_control_pill/A_Short_Condensation_of_Does_The_Birth_Control_Pill_Cause_Abortions.shtml


3. Schibler, Ann. "Growing debate over abortifacients: abortifacients, drugs or agents that cause an abortion, are commonly sold to women who think they are getting substances that prevent conception altogether." The New American, January 21, 2008. Link: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-33824001_ITM

4. Grunebaum, Amos; MD. "Ovulation Issues", MedicineNet, WebMD Live Events Transcript, February 2, 2004. Link: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54668
Quote:
"Member question: Is it possible to ovulate the day after you stop bleeding?

Dr. Amos: It is possible to ovulate any time in your cycle, even the day after you stop bleeding. Most women usually ovulate around CD 14 or so, but much earlier and much later ovulations are possible."

5. A website on information on pregnancy. Check out this link for some good information on how to prevent pregnancy when you are not on the pill. Link: http://www.epigee.org/guide/natural.html

6. TheBump.com's Fertility Chart. Link: http://images.thenestbaby.com/tools/pdfs/fertility_chart.pdf

7. Johnston, James P; D.O. "Do Oral Contraceptives Cause Abortions?" Updated january 7, 2005. Link: http://www.prolifephysicians.org/abortifacient.htm.

8. Daiter, Eric; MD. The New Jersey Infertility Treatment Center. "Procedures Tutorials" page. Link: http://www.thenewjerseyinfertilitytreatmentcenter.com/ultrasound_cases.php

9. McCarthy, Shirley; MD, PhD. Tauber, Cheryl; RT. Gore, John; PhD. "Female Pelvic anatomy; MR Assessment of Variations During the Menstrual Cycle With Use of Oral Contraceptives". Radiology, Volume 160, Number 1. 1986. Link: http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/reprint/160/1/119


*Update 8/2010: Since writing this post I have done alot more research on the signs of ovulation and how to predict ovulation in order to prevent or achieve pregnancy (see the post "The Fertility Awareness Method" for more information). Predicting ovulation appears to be alot more do-able than I originally thought.

However, I still think it would be difficult to predict ovulation when taking the birth control pill, because of the additional hormones that the pill introduces to the body and the effects of those hormones on the quality and amount of cervical fluid (see the above list of the effects of the birth control pill).

Changes in cervical fluid consistency must be observed in order to accurately predict ovulation and prevent the fertilization of the egg. Hormonal birth control causes a dry-up of cervical fluid. It would be very difficult to predict ovulation by identifying changes in cervical fluid when taking hormonal birth control, because that sign would be obscured as an effect of the pill. Therefore, my previous concerns with adequately predicting ovulation when taking hormonal birth control are still valid.

Anniversary Stuff

Derek and I agreed to make something for each other for our anniversary. This is what He made me: a jewelry box!





It's made out of Walnut, and the cross on top is a special African wood. I thought he did a beautiful job on it! He filled it with candy and wrote me a love note to go with it. It was a beautiful gift.

This is what I made him, if anyone was wondering.



It's one of those card deck books. On each page I thanked him for something, or wrote something that I love about him. I was worried when I gave it to him, but he really loved it! And he loved to read everything I wrote for him too!

Some anniversary pictures that we took at my parent's house (we're actually standing right in front of the place where we had the ceremony).







It was a special anniversary! It doesn't seem like it's been a year, but at the same time it feels like we've always been together.

Today I tried on my wedding dress. It still fit, thank goodness! I don't think I'm bigger than last year, even though I'm a pound or two heavier than what I weighed last year. I think it might be attributed to better muscle tone, because I know my muscles are in better shape than last year. I love that 30 Day Shred DVD!



I have a touch of the first year anniversary blues though. I think it's just because I keep thinking about how this time last year we were in Hawaii. I really need a vacation.

Honeymoon stories are coming soon!

Tying-the-Knot Thursday - Bringing Pale Back!



Yesterday was sunny and warm. Being conscientious about my skin, as I am, I whipped out my handy-dandy spray sunscreen and sprayed my skin until it was nice and wet and shiny. Ah, sunscreen! What a wonderful invention.

I am a sunscreen fanatic, because I don't tan. I have very little melanin in my skin. No, I burn. After the redness fades, and that scorched layer of skin peals off, then I look a little darker, but barely. In fact you probably couldn't even tell there was even a hint of darkening unless I showed you a non-burn-tanned portion of my body next to the "tanned" area. Yep, it's that bad. Rather than go through all that pain for negligible results, I just apply my sunscreen and supplement with bronzers and for that summer glow.

As I was utilizing my lovely Banana Boat sunscreen, I started thinking about this time last year. I had decided a long time ago that I would be a pale bride.
What's with all these normally very white people running out and getting spray tans before their wedding? Is it only me, or is the point of getting all dressed up for your wedding to look like an absolutely beautiful, somewhat more glamorous version of yourself? Well, I've always been pale - I saw no reason to go dye my skin an unnatural color just so it would be a nice contrast with the white dress. I decided to bring the pale bride back!

Well, this did present some difficulty, it turns out. I didn't realize it, but staying pale during a very sunny summer is rather difficult! I've always been pretty conscious of not getting burned, and protecting my alabaster skin. Yes, I said alabaster. I read a novel once in which the author joked that some pale person made up that term in order to make themselves feel pretty. I was very offended - pale skin is pretty, in my opinion. But I digress.

Like I said, I normally try not to burn or tan in the summer anyway, but if I get a little too red one summer afternoon, it's not the end of the world. But when you are trying to stay pale for your summer wedding, it is the end of the world! If I got even a little burn it would leave me (a) looking like a lobster in my pure white dress, or (b)with the dreaded tan line (which doesn't look so great on your wedding day).

I had to cut out a lot of activities. No swimming for me last summer until the honeymoon, no "sirree". No spending extended periods of time in the sun unless I had sunscreen nearby (SPF 50 or higher, preferably). I even made Derek stop and buy me sunscreen before we could go to an unexpected outdoor car show one day. He humored me - he's pretty understanding.

Well, I made it! I made it to the wedding without a single burn. I was able to be the pale bride that I had always thought I would be!

Too bad it didn't last long. The last day of our honeymoon we spent the day lying on the beach. I sprayed myself, but I threw caution to the wind, because after a quick dip in the pool, I didn't re-apply. I think that was one of the worst burns I've had in quite a while. I could barely walk - it made the, um, classic honeymoon activity rather difficult later that night, and the plane ride home was oh-so fun. But I made it to the wedding, and the pictures are pale-skinned! That's all that matters, right?





Aveeno Sunscreen image taken from aveeno.com. This is my favorite, because it is SPF 70, and it gos on really nice!

I couldn't get a picture of the Banana boat sunscreen that I used yesterday, but you can see it at bananaboat.com. This stuff is a little more oily than the Aveeno sunscreen, but I just found out it comes in SPF 85!!! I'm going to go stock up on some of the high-powered stuff for the rest of the summer.

Working Out: Physically and Spiritually


Here is my promised update on my new workout routine. See here for my initial review of the 30 Day Shred workout DVD.

Well, I did the level two workout of the 30 Day Shred DVD this morning, and the level one again this afternoon. I can feel my muscles toning as I speak!
The level two workout definitely gave me that "I think I'm going to die" feeling a little bit more than the level one, which is what I'm looking for. In addition to the jelly blob feeling. That's what made me decide to just do one workout this morning - I don't think it would be very good for my body to do two of those workouts back to back.

After meeting my friend Ashley for lunch and eating a rather large chicken parmesan sandwhich, I decided it wouldn't be a bad thing to do the second workout this afternoon. I'm feeling really good about myself right now. The endorphins are flowing.

As important as I think it is to keep my body in good shape, I think it's even more important to keep in good shape spiritually. It's a little harder to know if I'm doing a good job growing my spiritual muscles though. Physically we have soreness and visible results to let us know if we're doing a good job. But there is no spiritual soreness - and while looking back we may see that we've grown, when we're in the process of growing it's hard to tell if we are in fact moving forward or just standing still.

My blogging friend Brittany recently brought to my attention an online summer Bible study that looks fun. The book they are going through is called "Me, Myself, and Lies" by Jennifer Rothschild. I was thinking I might do the study too, but I'm not sure yet: but I thought I'd direct you all over to her blog, just in case you're interested.

Even if I don't do that Bible Study, I think I'm going to try to get more involved with some sort of Bible study this summer. It's important to keep spiritually fit.
No matter how much I work out and keep my body fit, someday I'm just not ging to look like I'm twenty anymore. It's inevitable that our bodies will age and our outward beauty will gradually fade. But inner beauty and spiritual strength is what counts and it lasts forever. I just want to encourage all of you ladies to consider joining me intrying to get more spiritually fit this summer as well! Let me know how you plan to grow in the Lord this summer - maybe we can all keep each other accountable!

Above image from Amazon.com.

Shreddingness And My Wedding Weight


I just finished the first workout of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! Everyone has been talking about what a good workout DVD this was, and I was getting sick of my other one, so I decided to buy it. It was a hassle trying to get it though. First I ordered it off the internet, but then it was deemed undeliverable to our address (which is weird because lots of other things have been delivered here just fine). So I decided to go try to find it in a store, and I had to go to a few different places before I found it. But find it I did.

I was pretty excited to try it, because Jillian is my favorite trainer on the Biggest Loser, and I'm determined to stay as lean as possible through my married years (which will hopefully include the rest of my life). I have been slacking as of late - I want to be at my wedding weight by our anniversary (and I'm three pounds away). I'm starting to find it hard to believe I was really that light at my wedding. I feel like I'm in good shape now, but somehow I'm three pounds heavier! Anyway, we'll see if Jillian can work some wonders in the month I have left until our anniversary; of course she'll probably make me gain muscle, which will make me heavier . . .

So I jumped right in to the workout. I decided to start with level one, because that's what Jillian said to do. Other workout DVDs that I've done have left me feeling like I'm going to die by the end of it. I must say that at the end of this DVD (at least level one) I didn't feel like I was going to die - I'm expecting that feeling tomorrow, however.

This DVD did do something that I haven't experienced with other DVDs though - it made my muscles quiver. In the middle of the second round of strength training my body was quivering. It was kind of a weird feeling. If my muscles are shaking, she must have worked them pretty hard. It's funny, because the individual exercises didn't feel that hard while I was doing them, but goodness, together they make you feel like a blob of jelly. That's always the sign of a good workout DVD: the jelly blob feeling.

I'll let you know tomorrow how sore I feel. Right now I have aspirations to do the level one workout and the level two workout tomorrow, but we'll see how much pain I'm in.

So, any of you have a few pounds to lose? What's your strategy? Anybody else set a wedding weight goal, like I did?


Above image from Amazon.com.

Dry Socket Paste and Pregnancy Tests (Gasp!)

I'm off to a graduation party within the hour, so I don't have alot of time for a great, well-thought out post. But I thought it was time for a quick update.
I've been in pain all week! My lower right wisdom tooth socket has been hurting me terribly all week - I've been on pain meds the entire week as well, which I'm sure is just fabulous for my liver.

I've decided I have a great boss - she gave me dry socket paste to help ease the pain! It was great stuff - it made it feel better right away. I was thrilled. My boss also bought me a Starbucks since we had to work on a Friday yesterday (which we usually don't), so I thought that was really nice!

I finally went in for my follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon, and he cleaned out the hole (which I haven't been able to do, because it's been so painful). I'm hoping it will heal up quickly now and stop hurting. To my friend Hazel: thank you for the get-well card! I got it today. It did not come too late, because I wasn't able to forget my wisdom teeth were gone, due to the pain all week!

Thank you to all of you who gave me encouragement after my breakdown the other day. I'm doing much better mentally now - I know the Lord has a plan, and I'm just trusting that He'll work everything out before the kiddos come along. That's all I can do, right?
Speaking of kiddos - you know how they make you take antibiotics after a tooth extraction? I'm assuming you all also know that antibiotics can mess with birth control pills. Well, yesterday in the grocery store I bought a pregnancy test. I thought it would be good to have one around the house just in case, and especially this month, because I did finish the entire bottle of antibiotics. I felt pretty funny walking around the grocery store with that in my cart - I was thinking that I hope I don't run into anyone I know, because then they'll start expecting an announcement any day. And I'm not expecting to give one anytime soon. Derek and I aren't trying to get pregnant or anything. I just thought it would be good to have around, because . . . well, just because. I just thought it was interesting what a weird feeling it is to buy a pregnancy test - you all should try it sometime to see what I mean! I'm laughing to myself as I type this. Anyway . . .

That's about all that's new in my life. What's new in all of yours?

Four Gaping, Painful Holes Where They Used To Be

That's what I have after this morning. Yes, the surgery is over, and everyone tells me I am doing surprisingly well! I think it's just because that Vicadin is amazing stuff, but I do tend to recover quickly from dental procedures.

I woke up this morning and had to remind myself not to eat or drink anything. It was torturous. I was getting hungry by the time we got down to the oral surgeon's office. I wasn't allowed to eat because I got IV anesthetic. More on that later.

We arrived at the office, and I admit that I had a few butterflies. It didn't help that we ended up having to wait in the lobby for a half hour past my appointment time. By the time they brought me back I was pretty calm though.

They brought me back to this rather cold surgery area, and they had me sit down. We just jumped right in, which was surprising to me, because I was expecting some of the preliminary stuff. Before we started I told them my current weight, because I didn't want to get too much general anesthetic - not a good thing. Like I said previously, I tend to over-estimate my weight on health histories - don't ask me why, I guess so that they don't look at me and think "She is definitely not that light," or something.

So they laid the chair back and one girl covered me with a ton of blankets, one girl secured a blood pressure cuff around my arm and then started sticking monitors on my shoulders and rib cage, and the doctor put a little clippy pulse monitor on my finger. The assistant made me feel good by telling me how tiny I was (I don't think I'm tiny, but I like it when people tell me that I am, even if it isn't true).

Then the machine behind me kept making these obnoxious beeps. After the doctor had secured the nasal hood for nitrous oxide over my nose, he moved the finger monitor to my thumb. More obnoxious beeping. Apparently they couldn't get a good heart rate on me because my fingers are too cold. That doesn't surprise me - my fingers are always cold - I don't get the best circulation in my hands. They've been that way for forever. So he rubbed my fingers a few times, piled a few more blankets on me, and secured the monitor again. It must have improved somewhat, because we finally proceeded.

Next he tied a turnacut around my arm and told me to make a fist. Then he told me to let my arm hang down and slapped my hand a few times to get a good vein. Then he inserted the IV - it hurt, but I'm good with needles, so not a biggy.

Finally we were ready to begin. He told me they were starting the general anesthesia, and it would come on gradually. I didn't feel anything for a few minutes, but suddenly I felt a burning sensation in my thumb. It spread to my fingers and started traveling up my arm. I was a little freaked out by that - I've never gone under before, and I wasn't sure if it was normal. But when I told him that my arm hurt he said it was okay, it was just the medication.

He said the ceiling would start to move. And it did. It started moving back and forth. He told me I could go ahead and close my eyes, and I did - the rest is gone from my memory. I vaguely remember a few pulls and tugs, very slight pain on the lower teeth, and then I was awake again. They asked how I was doing, and I said I was good. Apparently Derek was in the room again at this time talking to the doctor, but I have no recollection of that. I remember hearing the doctor's assistant giving Derek the instructions on my medications, but now when I try to remember what she said I can't - I was still kind of out of it.

One thing that I thought was funny was that I had local anesthetic to numb up my enitre mouth, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to keep me calm, and general anesthesia to knock me out - that's a lot of chemicals running around in my little body! No wonder I was out of it.

Finally I started becoming a little more alert - and once I was more alert, my first instinct was to start crying. I have no idea why, because nothing hurt, and I wasn't uncomfortable. I just wanted to cry. Somehow I managed not to cry, even though everyone kept asking if I was okay. My sister reports this same reaction when she had her teeth out - I think it was just a side effect of the medication. After a few minutes the urge to cry went away.

I was pretty dizzy - they had to hold my arm and support me while we walked to the back door. During this whole thing my mouth was stuffed with gauze and my entire mouth and tongue was numb - but that wasn't stopping me from talking. I was talking alot I think. While Derek went outside to pull the car around and the nurse was stadning with me (again asking if I was alright), I must have been talking way too much, because she told me that I should try not to talk too much.

Again, that didn't stop me. I talked alot to Derek in the car. He said he thought I was cute, because even though I could barely formulate proper words, I was still talking alot and making jokes. I think I must have sounded hilarious - I could barely understand myself.

I was a little uncomfortable because I couldn't swallow. I think my throat was a little swollen, because I tried and I just couldn't swallow. It went away after a half hour or so.

We made a few stops around town before we headed home. We had to get frozen fruit at Sam's Club, books for me at the library, and bananas and clam chowder at Walmart. I was being rather high-maintenance; Derek had to go into each place twice just getting me everything I wanted. He came out of Sam's Club with frozen strawberries and blueberries so he can make me smoothies (he's so sweet), but I wanted mixed frozen fruit for my smoothies, and somehow it seemed like a really big deal that I didn't have mixed fruit (I think the effects of the medication weren't quite gone yet - it's really not that big of a deal). He was so sweet and went back in and got me my mixed fruit. Thanks Babe!

Derek also bought me magazines - This Old House magazine (which has been really interesting to read) and In Style (which I always look at in the check-out line, but have never really had a copy of). Thanks again Honey!

After taking that dumb antibiotic pill (that's a whole other story - I'm bitter about the antiobiotic, because it will mess with my birth control pill, and I'm not happy about it), which I had to take on an empty stomach, I fell asleep on part of the way home. Then Derek stopped and bought me a pomegranate Jamba Juice smoothie because he wanted me to eat somehting (it was 11:00 AM by then, and I still hadn't eaten) and take my pain pill (which needs to be taken on a full stomach). It's working really well - I'm no longer numb, and I still feel no pain. Once again, amazing stuff! It's actually about time for my next Vicadin though . . .

Since we got home I've been watching TV and reading my magazines, alternating between gauze stuffed in my mouth and drinking an amazing mocha latte iced drink that my mom bought me from our local coffee shop. Thanks Mom!

My sister was here for a while, and she's coming back again later bearing movies! We'll watch movies and read magazines together. Thanks for keeping me company, Rach!

I have alot of great supportive family - they make the experience almost fun!

One last thing - I got to keep my teeth!!!! They are so cool - Even though they are kind of bloody and have tissue stuck to them still. But they are fascinating! This is what I do for a living, People - I'm actually very glad that I find it fascinating, or my job would be miserable! I'll try to clean them up a little and take a picture.

So that was my lovely wisdom tooth extraction/sedation/pain medication/magazine/non-coherent adventure of the day! All of those are first for me, by the way. Here is the journey documented in pictures.


Me before the surgery.



Derek and me being nervous.


Me after the surgery - I think my cheeks are a little swollen.


My swollen throat and bloody gauze. Hope that doesn't gross any of you out.


My Jamba Juice.



Me enjoying my magazines.



My super-cool teeth! Aren't they neat?! They look just like my model teeth from school - I'm keeping them! Once again, hope it doesn't gross you out!

Terribly Random

I'm feeling terribly random today, so this will probably be a terribly random post.

["Shout out" to my new follower, Emily! I wanted to comment on your blog, because your dogs are adorable, but for some reason I can't comment - so I'm hoping you'll just see this post instead. I'll try again soon.]

First, I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day! Mine was nice - we went to a family picnic on my husband's side of the family, then bought Batman: The Dark Knight and came home and watched it. I hadn't seen that movie in forever, so it was fun to watch it again. Derek has been wanting to get it for a long time, so we decided to use the rest of the fun money for this month to get it. I'm glad we did.





I took a walk this morning, and I on my walk I thought I would take a couple pictures of our house. I love where we live - it's a rural area, and the subdivision we live in is quiet and safe. Perfect for walking. So these are pictures of our driveway, and of our house. Forgive the paint - Derek says he wants to repaint the house, because apparently that paint is awful. Derek is great at making the outside of the house look great, while I ask "What's wrong with it?" On the other hand I keep the inside looking good while he asks the same thing.

I'm going to walk to the mailbox later and see if my new workout DVD came in. I'm following Katie (and didn't you get it too, Brittany?) and trying out Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout DVD. Everyone says it's great, and I think I've seen about as many improvements as are going to happen with my old DVD. You need to get a new one every now and then to work out new muscles, or the same muscles in a different way, you know?

If any of you think of it, I would appreciate prayers this coming Friday. The day has arrived for me to say goodbye to four members of my body, namely the wisdom teeth. I was hoping to keep them around, but back in February the tissue around the lower right one became swollen and achy - and a month later the other one did the same thing, so it's time to let them go I guess. Rats. I will keep you updated on my surgery. I get to have general anesthesia, so I probably won't remember anything, but I'm a little nervous about "going under". I never have before. I decided I will weigh myself that morning before surgery and tell them my precise weight before they figure out the dosage of anesthesia - I usually over-estimate my weight on health history forms, so if I don't tell them my current weight, they will probably give me a couple pounds-of-body-weight-worth too much. And too much general anesthesia is not a good thing! I want to wake up when the surgery is over.

Finally, I followed Jessica onto this website called "A Virtuous Woman", that's kind of like Facebook, but for Christian ladies. It looked kind of fun, so I thought "Why not?". If you all decide to join too, you can request to be my friend on there - my "name" on there is Callie Nicole. Didn't want to give my real name, because I'm a little paranoid about doing that on public websites, but this way all my blogging friends can still find me!
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