Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well...

The interview was this morning. I honestly have no idea if it went well or not. I don't think I did badly but I just don't know. I absolutely cannot read this principal. All I can do is pray now. Please pray.
PS: Aerosmith on Saturday! I'll be busy packing and getting ready tomorrow. I sure could enjoy this trip more if I knew I had a job!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10 am tomorrow

I'm not going to say much because I don't want to jinx it. Just know that I have an interview at 10 am tomorrow morning and I'm thrilled. I bought a new shirt and got my hair cut today (7 inches completely gone:check out my twitpic). Pray hard that this works out. I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Exams, Shredded Wheat, and the military

Well I know my posts have been pretty grim lately but I'm slowly trying to work my way into a better mood and I have some news tonight that has definately helped!

Drumroll please.......................

I passed my Journalism Texes exam! I am now certified to teach in 4 certification areas...Business 6-12, Technology EC-12, Journalism 8-12, and ECH-4 Generalist. Now...If I could just get a full time job!!! I'm debating if I should email the high school principal I spoke with in may and tell him that I passed the test. I want to do it but I'm afraid it would be like beating a dead horse. They posted a BCIS position for one day and immediately pulled it down. He knew about me and that I was interested but they chose not to fill the position anyway. I mean what do you guys think? Should I?

In other news...I had the opportunity the eat lunch with one of my favorite people on Friday. Rebecca was my mentor teacher at Eden during my first year of teaching and I'm very glad to say became one of my very best friends. We've been emailing back and forth periodically this last school year but since I'm a terrible penpal I've missed her and the other teachers I taught with terribly. She came into town on Friday for a workshop and we were able to meet for lunch and get caught up! Her workshop actually turned out to end at lunch so she was able to come by the house after we ate so we talked for about 4 hours! I was so happy to hear everyone is doing well. I regret leaving Eden more than anyone can imagine. I wake up from dreams about teaching out there and just cry sometimes because I miss them so much. For the first time in my life I truly had a job I enjoyed and co-workers that I adored. (Don't misunderstand...I've enjoyed previous co-workers...just not the jobs...and at the last job before teaching I hated the job and especially the co-workers.) Becca had lots of great news for me and it was really a highlight of my summer. I still remember all of the reasons I needed to leave and how it was the smartest decision but when I remember the good times and in the face of not being able to find a full time job here in town once again...it seems like the stupidest decision I ever made.

Speaking on jobs...(which its seems is all I ever talk about anymore)...I applied for a job posting today that I found on the internet. A non-teaching job. I know...I'm getting desperate. It is actually kind of scary because I am HIGHLY and I mean HIGHLY qualified for this job and it sounds like it could be fun but I really do not want to NOT teach. It is actually located on the air force base about 2 miles from my house. I would basically be a trainer of sorts developing lessons plans and creating web based training courses for the military. It is actually exactly what my masters is for. The master degree that I'm pursuing is a masters degree in Instructional Technology with an Emphasis in Distance education. You can go look at a more in depth description of the degree here. I really would miss teaching and my students. I had always figured that someday I might move out of the classroom and maybe into an outside education/training industry like this but that was not going to be until years from now. I don't know...I may not even get called for an interview. I like working with the kids, having fun everyday, getting off early, having my summers off. I tear up anytime I think about not seeing the little ones everyday. Not hearing, "Mrs. Johnson! You look beautiful today!" every morning would make me sad. lol I just want to get something full time sooooooooo badly. Kevin is getting more and more worn out from both working and going to school full time. I want to help him so badly. Am I making a bad decision applying for it?

I guess I should give a diet update...IT IS TERRIBLE! I still cannot figure it out. I've bought multiple books and every book tells me different things. One book said I could have shredded wheat...another book said I couldn't. Very contradictory things. I tried to go grocery shopping and it was a complete disaster. I couldn't even find most of the things that it said I could have. I've been doing research and the closest diet to the low glycemic index diet is the South Beach diet. I think that tomorrow I will go to Hastings...once again...and buy the South Beach book. I know a little about it from my research and I know that the first 2 weeks will be horrible but I think that overall it will be easier to follow. We will be leaving for our vacation on next Thursday so I'm going to have to think long and hard to decide if I will be starting it now or waiting until we get back.

Speaking of vacation...lol...5 days until I see Aerosmith in concert! I'm so excited! It doesn't seem real! I have so much to get finished and to prepare for our trip so it will be a busy week! I'm going to try to finish working on the computers at Trinity and get all the laundry/dry cleaning done and I have an appointment to get my hair cut and get my puppy dogs groomed. We will actually be gone for 9 days and 8 nights because my Business Education conference immediately follows the Vegas trip so I'm scrambling to get enough close together for that long. I haven't wanted to buy clothes in forever because I wanted to be losing weight so I am extremely low on summer clothes that fit. I found a good sale on Friday morning and was able to get 2 pairs of denim capris ($14.99 each!) and 3 solid color t-shirts. I also bought one really pretty purple shirt that I love so I'm hoping I can add this to the one pair of capris and 1 pair of black gaucho pants that I have been alternating all summer long and maybe have enough to last all week. I'm going to miss my beautiful furry baby girls so much but I'm so grateful that I have wonderful dog sitters/house sitters coming to stay with them. I will be able to enjoy myself so much more knowing that they will be well taken care of!

I will mention briefly that I did get to go to watch Harry Potter on last wednesday and I loved it! As I always say...the books are better...but the movies are great! Well I guess I've rambled on enough and I will finally go to bed. Goodnight Guys...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some good news...Some bad news...and a book made for dummies?

Ok so yesterday we went to our initial appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist and I love her! She was so nice and really took the time to talk with us about everything.

The good news is that she is sure she will be able to make me ovulate and eventually have a baby. She is the very first doctor who has ever taken me seriously when I talk about the issues I have. Most doctors say "oh you have PCOS", throw some birth control pills at you and then they are done. They tell you to take the pills because that is the only thing they can do for PCOS and then blow you off. She was so nice and was able to explain causes and theory behind the majority of my problems for me.

The bad news is that we learned that apparentally I'm not the only one with reproductive issues in mine and Kevin's relationship. The VA did a test on Kevin's semen about 2 years ago. Kevin takes a lot of medication for his PTSD and we wanted to know if it had any effects. They gave us the paperwork for the tests but never explained what it meant. We brought the paperwork to our appointment and the doctor explained that Kevin does have a low count issue. We had to fill out a medical history and she explained that it is probably due to a hernia that was repaired on Kevin when he was a baby and due to his medications. She actually spoke to Kevin about his issues before she even addressed mine. I was quite suprised. I didn't know how to react because as disheartening as the news was I actually felt a little relieved to know that I wasn't the only one broken. Crazy, huh? Kevin has lost 60 lbs since that test and she wants him to come in for another test in a few weeks. The only insurance Kevin has is through the VA so we will have to pay for the entire thing by ourselves. I also found out that my insurance has no coverage for infertility so once again we will be paying on our own even though I pay almost $400 a month for insurance. She seemed really confident though that she could treat Kevin with Clomid (yes the same drug they give women) and that it would help him.

I explained to the doctor that I have never ever wanted to be the pregnant woman who is so fat you can't tell she is pregnant or to have all the complications that come along with pregnancy in obese women. That is why I started really trying to lose weight 14 months ago. I've battled my weight my entire life until I just started ignoring it during college. All that mattered was doing well in school and taking care of Kevin. I explained that I have been on Weight Watchers and that I had gotten to a plateau and then never recovered. I have gained about 10 pounds back from the original 40 that I lost. She explained that the effort I have made is great and that WW is great in helping you track what you eat but that my body is going to respond differently than most people. She said for me to truly lose weight I need to utilize the low glycemic index diet or glycemic load diet. She suggested I buy a book called "The GL Diet for Dummies" because it gives the best explaination of the diet. She said I need to use this diet because I'm insulin resistant.

I've known since high school that I was insulin resistant and that this caused my body to produce more insulin than the average person. This doctor actually took the time to really explain what it meant to me personally. Basically I have a metabolic condition that causes my body to store fat at a higher rate than normal people and my body reacts to certain foods differently than it does in normal people. When I eat certain foods my body produces high levels of insulin which in turn causes my blood sugar to be very volatile during the day...at some points shooting sky high or dropping really low. At times this makes my stomach hurts, makes me feel shaky, or sometimes I almost cannot keep my eyes open because I'm so tired and lethargic. The latter actually happened during a class I was teaching this summer and I was actually concerned I was going to have to get some help. Luckily we had a short break so I ate half a snickers bar and it made a huge difference.

My doctor wants me to lose about 20 pounds before we start any ovulation inducing which is fine by me. She said that I don't have to start then if I'm not comfortable with my weight yet. I have an appointment scheduled to go back in 2 months so I'm trying to figure out this diet and work really hard.

After we left our appointment yesterday we went straight to a book store to buy the book. I actually found a couple of Low GI cookbooks that I bought also. I started reading the book on the way home but I am so frustrated! It is so hard to understand and figure out. Some foods are bad and do not need to be eaten on a low GI diet such as white bread and pasta. BUT sometimes if you add a protein and fat rich food (such as parmesan cheese) to the bad foods then it will lower the overall GI and become good for you! This is because the fat and protein rich food delays the rate of the stomach emptying and slows down the rate of digestion of the food. When food digests more slowly it helps stabilize my blood sugar during the day. I also supposed to eat every 3-4 hours during the day. It is so confusing! The doctor explained it would be hard but how can you diet when you don't even know what you can and can't eat! I assumed it would be like a high fat, low carb diet but it isn't at all. I've spent all day reading this book and I'm still not getting it. I've been trying to look up the glycemic values of specific foods on the internet and am not having any luck. I'm also having issues because this diet does not really mesh with the WW mentality that is locked into my brain. I tried one of the recommended breakfasts this morning and couldn't help but think "This is so many points!".

She also made me take a blood test yesterday to check for prolactin levels. I believe that is the word she used. She wants to make sure that I do not have an adrenal disease that has many of the same symptons of PCOS and is often misdiagnosed and can leave some symptoms untreated. My mother is thrilled that the doctor suggested this because she had seen an episode of Mystery Diagnosis in which a women with an adrenal issue was misdiagnosed and she has been nagging me constantly saying that I have it. I was really suprised because I hadn't even considered it and then all of the sudden the doctor was talking to me about it.

My final instructions were to start taking my metformin 3 times a day instead of 2 and to start taking fish oil pills everyday along with my Yaz and prenatal vitamins.

I know this post has been ridiculously long but for the first time in my life it seems like there is hope that I might actually be a mother someday. I could really use your prayers so that I can figure out this diet and see some results. I'm not unreasonable...if this diet really works and I start losing I will wait until I'm at an even safer weight before starting the fertility treatments. It would be better for me and for the baby. But if it is a waste of time I will starve myself until I lose the 20 pounds and then begin the treatments. I want to be a mother someday and if God wants me in this body to do it...then I will. But I would rather be healthy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Short and Sweet

I'm going to quickly ask for your prayers. Tomorrow is my appointment with the Reproductive Endocrinologist. Kevin and I will leave really early tomorrow morning to head to my appointment. It is in a town about 2 hours away. Pray that we will hear some encouraging news.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I know what I want...

I want my life to be about something else than worrying about money, trying to find a job, working at a job, not being able to have a baby, not losing weight... I've been reading through old posts today and I want something more! I want to have a pregnancy or a child to post about. I want to have interesting things to say about fabulous books I've read, rooms I've decorated, places I've visited, items I've sewn/made, or great meals I've cooked. I want to know how to write a book or design blog backgrounds. When people ask how we've been I want to be able to say something besides "Fine, we just work and do homework all the time." I want to know that Kevin is happy in his job and not so tired all time. And that he gets to do things he loves like working in the yard, hunting, camping, or visiting with friends & family (none of which he has time for now). I'm just so tired of worrying.

I get so mad at myself because I know we have so many wonderful things in our life. We own a wonderful home and a reliable car. Kevin has a steady job that allows him time to get to his doctor appointments with the VA. I have a job that allows me time to do my homework for grad school and to be able to feed/care for/help Kevin. We have amazing family and friends that we love dearly. Overall, We have good health. I mean as morbidly obese as I am it's a miracle I don't have diabetes or high blood pressure or a number of other serious problems. Kevin is a healthy man and is able to get the help he needs to care for his PTSD. He came home from Iraq with no life-changing physical injuries.

I'm in some kind of funk that I just shake. I don't want to own the most fabulous house. I don't want to have the most prestigious job. I just want to be happy and to have there be more about my life than worry.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An anniversary of sorts...


Seven years ago today I woke up as sick as I could ever be. I had a terrible stomach virus the entire night before and was still not feeling great the next morning. But my adorable boyfriend named Kevin was in town for a short time and I wasn't about to let a stomach bug get in my way of visiting with him. So up I got and dolled myself up ready to spend the day with my sweetie. We drove around town looking at sights, walking around, and taking pictures like we always did. One of our favorite past times was to "cruise" around town. At one point Kevin drove by a little white gazebo surrounded by a beautiful flower garden so he stopped the car. We got out and had fun posing for pictures by the river and all the flowers. (We were a little picture crazy back then!) At one point I took a break by sitting down in the gazebo and asked Kevin to join me.

He looked so handsome! He was all dressed up in his uniform since it was the 4th of July. We were going to go our hometown later to watch the local fireworks show but first we were just having fun taking pictures. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to call such a handsome man my boyfriend. At that time I just desperately wished he didn't have to go back to California and the Marine Corps in a few days. As Kevin walked into the Gazebo he asked me to come look at something. I stood up and started walking to his side when he turned and met me in the middle. He had picked a beautiful daisy (my favorite) for me. As I reached to grab the flower I felt Kevin slip something on my hand. I look down only to see Kevin lower to one knee and that a beautiful white gold diamond ring on the ring finger of my left hand. Then he said the words I'll never forget, "Katy will you marry me?" and before I could answer he followed with "Your dad said it was ok!" I stuttered out a yes as well as I could and then everything starts to get blurry because it went so fast. I remember laughing and crying and Kevin asking a passing runner to take a picture of us. I immediately called my mother and best friend who of course already knew of his plans. We spent the rest of the day telling the great news to everyone watching the fireworks show. It was a day I'll never forget and always cherish.

I love you even more today than I did back then Kevin Johnson! Thank you for asking me to be your wife and making me the happiest woman in the world! Thank you!

*The above picture is almost immediately after Kevin proposed. Please excuse the quality of the above picture. I cannot get to the scanner right now so I just snapped it quickly with the camera on my phone. My hair is wind blown, my face is red because I've been crying, and a passing runner snapped the picture for us but you know...I still love the pic.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies




Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup splenda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips (11.5 oz package)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, Splenda, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat until creamy. In a seperate bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Gradually add dry mixture into wet mixture until completely incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Nuts are also optional. Drop teaspoon size balls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 14 minutes (my oven is weird...yours will probably be anywhere from 8-10 minutes) at 375 degrees. Remove from oven...Cool and eat!

Makes approximately 36 cookies.
3 points each

Disclaimer: This is not a weight watcher recipe. This is a I'm depressed and want some chocolate recipe. :o)

Happy 4th of July My Friends!

So it is the 4th of July and I have absolutely nothing to do well nothing fun anyway (chores don't count.) I will get to go over to my brother's house later. He is making a brisket and other goodies. It will be fun but that isn't until much later. I did get to have a nice chat this morning with my brother in law that is deployed to Iraq using Yahoo Messenger (I would have killed for Kevin to have things like messenger and skype when he was in Iraq!). All morning I've been ridiculously bored and lazy and if you've been paying attention to my twitter you might notice that I've been a little depressed lately.

I've been frustrated due to my current work situation. I love my job but as I've mentioned before it is only part time. This has put a financial strain on Kevin and I and is a little disheartening. I put in 3/4 as much effort as the other teacher's at my school with about 1/4 of the pay. I still have grading and lesson planning to do on weekends like other teachers but I do not get paid for ANY of it. I very rarely get to work my full hours for the week and when I don't work...I don't get paid. I have the summer off like the other teachers but am not bringing in ANY income at this point. I am on COBRA health insurance that is continued from Eden but it is limited to 18 months. This means it will lapse in April of this next year not to mention it is EXTREMELY expensive.

I really do LOVE working with the kids. They are absolutely adorable. I get to work with computers and kids. What could be better? BUT...Kevin is killing himself going to school full time and working full time. He gets NO sleep. Almost everynight I get up 2:30, 4:00, 5:30 in the morning and will find Kevin snoring in the desk chair in front of our computer. Kevin is doing SO well in school and I'm so proud of him but I know he cannot continue at this pace. I was hoping to find a full time teaching position for next school year so maybe Kevin could drop to 1/2 time or 3/4 time at work.

As I mentioned earlier this year I had a meeting with the principal at a local high school. He spoke to me about teaching Yearbook and BCIS this next school year but they were waiting to hear if the BCIS teacher was leaving for certain. The yearbook teacher had already given her resignation. The biggest issue with my certification area is that there just aren't that many positions overall much less available. There are approximately 10 BCIS teacher positions in my town. 5 at each high school. There was 1 opening the year before last when I was not certified and no openings this previous school year. Because Kevin works here in San Angelo I don't really have the option to move around like most teachers (especially couples) do.

I've been praying so hard that a position would open up. I know I shouldn't really pray for something so specific and selfish but I have been. Well last Friday night I checked the school district website and that morning that high school had posted an opening for a BCIS teacher. I was thrilled! There was actually a possibility. I spent that weekend in a gloriously happy daze just thrilled that there was actually an opening. I was going to get a letter of interest together to formally note my interest in the position and turn it in on Monday. On monday when I sat down to write my letter I opened the website to reference the job posting and it wasn't posted anymore. My heart just sank. I called the HR office to ask about the position and the HR clerk told me that "they had decided not to fill that position at this time. They are going to do something else." It was all I could do to not start crying in her ear right then and there.

I want so badly to ease the financial burden on Kevin and I and to give Kevin a little rest. That job would have allowed us to pay off our debt and let Kevin work less hours. I've actually worked for 4 seperate employers this school year trying to make more money. I've taught at my current school, subbed for two different school districts, and now I'm teaching part time for the Extended Studies department of ASU. And still people tell me what a slacker I am because I only work part time.

I took the certification exam to teach Early Childhood through grade 4 in January and passed it. With a very decent score actually. I don't want to say its my second choice because its not really. I think I would enjoy either BCIS or elementary the same I just have more experience in BCIS and think I'm better at it. Yesterday I put in a letter of interest for an elementary position. I highly doubt I will get it but at least there is an opening. There is just a sheer advantage to seeking an elementary position because there is just a larger number of positions. I mean in comparison to the 10 BCIS teachers there are hundreds of ECH-4 teachers in the school district and there are actually positions open.

Honestly deep down in my heart I would love for nothing more than to be a stay at home mom at this point but that just isn't possible or feasible. I have truly been on my weight loss journey for 1 year and 3 months now and still have only lost 40 pounds. I'm not even close to being able to concieve and healthily carry a baby. With the debt we got in because of the floor renovation fiasco that went down last summer it really wouldn't be a possibility if we had a baby right now anyway. If I actually told you the amount of debt that I'm worried about you would probably laugh at me but to Kevin and I it is a big deal. For the first 6 years of our marriage Kevin and I paid off our credit card bill everymonth in full. We never had a late payment, always had a nice savings account, and always saved for retirement. This has changed and neither of us are comfortable with it.

I'm really torn as to what I should do in the coming months. Do I stay at my current job where I'm not compensated for all that I do and lose another year of creditable teaching experience or should I look for something else completely. I have a business degree and business experience from before I went into teaching. It isn't nearly as fulfilling but I could go find a job in a completely different field and make money. I just don't know what to do. And as much as I try not to get down on myself for the first time in my life I'm honestly beginning to think that if I was not fat, I would have a full time teaching job at this point. I just keep trying to remind myself to count my blessings but it is really hard to cheer up.

So now that I've got all of those depressing thoughts off of my chest I'll try to write a happier post. What do I do when I'm bored and depressed? Why I bake of course! Which is probably the worst possible thing I could do I enjoy the baking process and Kevin and I both like the products at the end. I've been experimenting with cookies and next I'm going to post the newest recipe I've done. Take care everyone!
Love,
Katy