Friday, May 15, 2015

Sully Bear

If you don't like cats or pets, might as well skip this post.

I have been volunteering at the local animal shelter for about a year and a half and it has been a great experience. I am learning so much about animal welfare and it has helped me realize my ultimate dream of working in that field. When I first started volunteering, C had one request: don't bring any animals home. We already had one feisty cat, Caesar, who we weren't sure would ever get along with anybody else. I reluctantly agreed, but after about six months of volunteering, I had already fallen in love with three different cats (all of whom were adopted, yay!) So C knew it was a losing battle, and we made a deal: if I got another cat, he could get a different car.

Fast forward to last June, when he picked out the car he wanted and I found the perfect cat. Sully was a big 16-pound guy who was as gentle and mellow as they come. For the first couple of hours, we weren't even sure if he could meow. It took a week or two, but he and Caesar became friends and now they are best brothers. Every vet visit that I took Sully to, they would tell me that he was overweight and we should work on that. He was on a pretty regimented diet, so I didn't think too much of it. After all, when we adopted him from the shelter he was already a pretty big cat so I figured that was just his size.

In the past couple of months I started noticing that he was losing weight and I could feel his ribs and spine more than ever before. He also had a wound that wasn't getting much better so I took him in for a checkup. He weighed in at 12.1 lb, so almost a 4-lb weight loss in just a few months (which is a lot for a cat - imagine losing 1/4 of your body weight in a couple of months!) I also mentioned that his thirst had become insatiable and he was using the box a lot more than Caesar. They took some blood and urine and sent us on our way, and I took him home fearing the worst.

The next morning, the vet called and gave me the news: Sully has diabetes.

She went over the basics: insulin shots twice a day and a different diet. With my volunteer work at the shelter, I have been able to get to know some amazing people who foster and care for special needs cats, so I reached out to one of my friends who has a diabetic cat for help. Her advice along with the help of the staff at the vet has helped us realize that it will take some time and patience for both cats to adjust, but that Sully can still have a good life with us. It makes me really sad every time I think about him having to get shots and make such big changes in his life, but I also am grateful that he has something treatable.

He is a very unique cat. When we first got him, we noticed some trigger signs that he may have a history of abuse. Since living with us, he has relaxed completely and seems to feel very comfortable. He has a special bond with C and showers him with lots of love. I am hopeful that this won't change his personality, but that he will continue to feel better as we get his blood sugar regulated.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

28 and Pregnant.

In October, Chris and I took a trip to the East Coast to visit my sisters and see NYC (Chris has never been). Since he is studying civil engineering, he has a special interest in bridges and other unique structures, which there are plenty of in NYC. His professor also gave them an extra-credit assignment over fall break to take pictures of themselves with the class textbook in front of something cool that applies to civil engineering, and the best pic would get extra credit points. So we went all around the city to find the best bridges and took pictures with Chris and his book in front of them. It was such a fun trip. Then after a few days there and in New Jersey, we drove to North Carolina to spend a few days with my other sister. Super fun.

When we got back, I found out that I was pregnant! It was perfect timing, because the first trimester was super tough and I am so glad I wasn't sick on the trip. It would have ruined it completely. I am now almost 18 weeks along, and the sickness comes and goes. In the first trimester it was pretty much nonstop, so it's getting better but still not totally gone. I have also been able to exercise a little bit in the past few weeks, which I couldn't do at all at first, so that has been great.

Almost six years ago, my roommate found out she was pregnant and it was pretty crazy. She was going to be a single mom, which she knew would be really tough, but she went through with it and had her little boy five years ago today. I lived with her until her son was about three, so I have a really close relationship with both of them. I have seen firsthand how tough it is to have a baby, so I feel like I am a little bit more prepared than someone who hasn't ever lived with a newborn. During her pregnancy, MTV started the series "16 and Pregnant" and my roommate and I would watch it together every week.

Since I found out I was pregnant, I started recording every episode of 16 and Pregnant to "get ready." Chris thinks this is a very strange thing to do, since we are not 16, but I am so interested in the stories of these girls. I am happy that I have a stable relationship and home to bring this little girl into, but it still feels scary and overwhelming to know that I am going to be completely in charge of this tiny person.

Monday, August 11, 2014

July and August

Well, the good news is that I have been running consistently for all of July and August! After my last flare-up, I went back to the doctor and he gave me a list of shoes that I should be wearing with my orthotics. I noticed that under the running section, all of the shoes listed were stability shoes....which got me thinking.

Last fall, I went to a different running store to get some new running shoes (because my favorite running store closed). I wanted to start from scratch, since I had been wearing a version of the same shoe for the past 7 years and started wearing stability shoes when I was about 70 lb heavier. So the salesperson watched and recorded me running on the treadmill, then told me that I really didn't pronate much so I probably didn't need to be in stability shoes anymore.

Now, I am no doctor but this is the first time in my running life that I have ever had foot problems, and I hadn't drastically changed any of my habits. I was still running every other day, using Hal Higdon's training method for half marathon #5, same plan I used for the other four, and pretty much doing things the same way I always had. So I started to wonder if it was maybe because the stability shoes I had been wearing this whole time had been keeping my feet more stabilized.

So I went back to that running store and got similar shoes, but the stability version (Mizuno Wave Rider 10) and lo and behold, my problems are solved! (knock on wood) I have been sticking to treadmill runs, partly because it's unbearably hot outside and partly because I want to be able to stop if I have any pain. Thankfully I haven't, so I have been slowly increasing my mileage and getting back to running every other day. HOORAY!

The rest of the days are spent with my two cats, who are best friends and should have been together all along, and with my family, some of whom came to visit in July, and at camp, where it rained for most of the days and was quite chilly. It's been a busy summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

plantar fasciitis is a four-letter word.

Well, I'm just going along in life, complaining about being busy and being happy that I am running again, and BOOM.

Plantar fasciitis rears its ugly head again.

The doctor warned me that it can flare up at any time, and I might be able to run a lot with no pain, or I might run a tiny amount and suddenly feel it again. So, apparently he was right. I am trying to figure out if there is any option (besides another shot in my foot, yikes that was brutal) like maybe wearing a walking boot or something so that I can at least walk around at work and for things I have to do, without being in so much pain. I'm not sure if that's really something they do, but I am trying everything I can. I'm taking some time off from running, but I want to stay active with biking, swimming, weight training, etc. I am just frustrated with this.

Especially because my #1 favorite 5K is coming up next weekend and it doesn't look like I'll be able to do it. It is the best race ever because husband proposed to me at the finish line, it is one of the first 5K's I ever ran when I started running, it costs $8 and includes a huge bag of candy (it's sponsored by Nestle), and they give away tons of prizes at the end! I've never won anything at it, but the same year that Chris proposed, my dad won a new TV! So I am so sad to not be running it with my parents this year. I didn't run it last year either because it was the day after my grandpa passed away. So sad.

But I am trying to be positive and not lay around and cry all day. I got a Fitbit so I am going to work hard on sticking to the diet plan that it gives, to try to lose weight and ease up on the pressure on my poor foot. My usual tactic is to just become very lazy and mad at everyone, but that's not really working out for me... I am also doing anything and everything I can to help with the symptoms- ice, night splinting, etc. Fingers crossed!

Friday, May 23, 2014


The past couple of months have been so busy around our house. Suddenly both husband and I have new jobs at church, which have more responsibilities, so one of us is often running to or from a meeting...and on the days we don't have those, we are running to a friend's choir concert, babysitting, trying to catch up with friends, or somewhere else. I am wiped out and looking forward to a long weekend. Although we didn't have much planned for the weekend at the start of the week, pretty much every day now has something planned, so it may not be as relaxing as I hoped...and we don't even have any kids. It's hard to imagine getting it all done when we do.

It's helping me realize that I have to learn how to prioritize and sometimes have the courage to say no to things. I imagine that becomes easier when you do have children, since their schedules dictate what you can and can't make happen, but I need to work on that now. Sometimes it's okay to say no, and not give a myriad of reasons why it just won't work out. It's really hard for me because I want to accommodate and make things work, since I feel like my schedule is probably the easiest one to alter, when I am making plans with friends who have kids, or more rigid work schedules, or whatever else might make their life seem busier than mine. But I am realizing that because of this personality trait, I am coming home late, feeling exhausted, and struggling to get to work on time because I am just tired from running around.

So I am making my life and schedule a priority. I remember when I was losing weight, and I was extremely rigid about my workout time. I went at a certain time every day, and nothing short of a stress fracture could stop me. My life definitely had less going on then, but I still think that I need to bring this mentality back. When I am working out, everything else feels so much more manageable.

Anyway, I'm done with that for now. I got a treadmill a couple weeks ago, and I have been running on it a lot. I'm still having an issue with my hamstring, but when I run slower on the treadmill, I don't feel the pain like I do when I run outside. So, I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Well, I've been running 2-3 times a week for the last month and it's going well. I have some weird knee pain when I bend my legs certain ways, but they don't hurt at all when I'm running, so I have self-diagnosed it as a problem with my new mattress. It's pretty plush and I sleep on my stomach, so I think that somehow I am hyper-extending or twisting them in the night, since I was waking up every morning with horrible pain that would slowly diminish throughout the day. I started putting a pillow under my ankles and it has helped a ton.

Anyway, back to running. I am up to 3 miles, and aside from one tougher run this week, it's been great. I feel so much better about myself and everything in my life when I am able to run. I planned out my 12-week half marathon training plan for a race on June 21, and then the next day, I got a wedding invitation from my cousin for the same day. It's a cousin who I have only met a handful of times, so it wouldn't be the worst thing if I didn't make it. I am still trying to decide what to do. The race is put on by my work, so the entry fee was pretty low, and it is an annual event so I can always run it another year...and I was already feeling hesitant about trying to increase my mileage so much after coming back from injury...

But I am still not totally decided. So I am going to keep training and see how things go. And find out which of my other cousins are going to the wedding, since that may play a big role in whether I go or not :)

In other news, we had a chocolate fountain at my work today to celebrate one year in our new office building. The past week and a half have been very difficult at work, so this was a fun break. We switched to an entirely different software program that basically impacts a huge number of our jobs, and it has not been easy. The software has crashed every single day since it launched. So I am ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A busy couple of weeks.

So I started easing back into running at the beginning of last week - did 1.25 on the treadmill last Monday, then another 1.5 this week. The first run felt pretty good (although I was super out of breath, can't believe how fast I lost my endurance!) - it was awesome to be back to running, but I did feel some pain in that hamstring again. So I foam rolled like crazy and then tried it again, and this past Monday's run felt so much better! I had a tiny bit of pain just after I stopped running, which subsided quickly and by the time I left the gym, I didn't feel it at all. Hooray! I am signed up for a 5K at the end of April, and then a half in June, so I am hopeful that I can get there by then.

We went to Vegas last week for husband's spring break, which was so fun. We saw Bill Cosby (!!) live, which was one of the coolest things for me. I have been a huge fan ever since I was a little kid, because it was one of the only TV shows we watched at my house. We had a bunch of episodes recorded on VHS tapes and would watch the same ones over and over. My dad saw him once when I was around 8 years old and brought me a signed picture, and I still have it! The autograph is pretty much worn off, but I still display it proudly. I have a neighbor who comes over every Tuesday for dinner and 2 episodes of The Cosby Show and it is the highlight of my week. So, it was AWESOME. The trip was fun too, it was really warm so we went swimming and ate good food. Very relaxing.

We got some big news while we were there - husband's parents put their house on the market and put in an offer on a house in Daybreak (a planned community in Utah). It is in a 55+ community, so his dad is looking forward to saying goodbye to yard work. Husband isn't that upset about it, but he isn't as attached to things as I am. I am sad because I have always felt so welcomed and comfortable in their home, and we stayed there for a couple of weeks over the summer while our house was flooded. Plus Caesar (our cat) absolutely loves going there because he loves the stairs and the huge basement where he can run around. So it is emotional for me, although not nearly as bad as when my parents sold my childhood home...

The good news is that their new place will have a full gym, so they are going to give me their treadmill!!! I am super excited about that. Husband kept saying that we didn't have room, but after some convincing (and begging...and offering to get rid of stuff...) he agreed that we could make it work. YAY! It is a perfect one for me too, because his dad has a lot of joint pain and arthritis so he picked one that has an extra cushioned deck. So it will be easier on me while my body tries to heal.