Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mommy says....

I got an email from my mom today saying that I needed to post something new. She's right, like usual. Sorry it's been so long! These last few weeks have been filled with lots of stuff happening, so here's another "update on my life" post.

School: As of March 25, 2005, I owe the University of Maryland $6747.50. This means that I am a fully re-accepted and registered graduate student again! Yay! Now I just have to figure out how to get student loans. I've never done that before. I'm still loving my classes and am having a great time remembering, learning, and relearning this semester.

Work: I'm working part-time at my church as the Assistant to the Minister of Worship and Music. That's probably the longest title I've ever had (well..."Engineering Projects Coordinator for Baghdad" was long too). I work Monday through Thursday, 9AM - 1PM. I got my first paycheck last week. :) That money should support my habits of eating and having a place to live. But more importantly, last week I was handed the form to fill out for insurance and told that the effective date was the day I started working - March 7th - not April 1st or May 1st as had been discussed previously due to the money needing to be put into the church budget and voted on by the congregation. So, many thanks to our office manager Bob and our Finance Committee for helping me out with that. But talk of insurance leads me to...

Evan: I was handed the form on Tuesday I think and given my numbers on Thursday, so Friday I went to my new "Primary Care Physician" which I had essentially chosen at random from their book and got a referral to a gynecologist about Evan. For some reason it never occurred to me with my previous two lumps to 1) go to a _female_ doctor (my doc was male, as was the surgeon he sent me to - both great guys, but they just don't understand), and 2) go to a doc who specializes in that system of the body. I didn't have the info with for the GYN I wanted to go to (the Women to Women Clinic which had been highly recommended) so they gave me a referral to someone else and told me to just call and it could be changed easily. Since it was supposed to be so easy, I went ahead and made the appointment with WtW. I called the doc when I got home to get the referral changed, but got sent to voicemail, so on Monday I stopped by again and they took care of it for me. Then I had to call some referral service for the chain (Patient First), and then I was officially referred to WtW. appointment is at 10:45 tomorrow morning. I'm not so much concerned about what the doc will say, but I'm ready for this appointment to be done with. This week has gone by _really_ slowly as I've waited for Friday to come. It's always been the "not knowing" that was the issue for me, so waiting for the appointment (especially after all of the drama surrounding getting the insurance) has been difficult. I'll update you all on the "results" as soon as I'm ready.

VeryNiceBoy: On a _far_ more pleasant note, on Friday, March 18th, "VeryNiceBoy" (forevermore "VNB") officially became my boyfriend! :) He's very nice. :) Have I mentioned that? :) But please be thinking about us as we get to know each other better and learn how to interact with each other. It's been 6.5 years since I've had a serious, long-term boyfriend, so I'm a "little" out of practice (although some old habits have come back to me far too quickly). But he's a very nice, Godly man. So nice, in fact, that I keep wondering when he's gonna wake up and realize that it's time for him to fall off the face of the planet, never to be heard from again, like so many other guys have done. Fortunately, _he_ keeps wondering when _I'm_ gonna wake up and realize that I'm "too good for him," so maybe neither of us will take the other for granted. My parents and sister came up to visit last week and seemed to like him. I'll go to meet his parents and sister in a couple of weeks, but apparently I've already gotten some major "brownie points" with his mom by asking for help on his favorite recipes. :)

Speaking: I'm being offered more and more opportunities to speak about my experiences overseas. A few weeks ago, VNB and I had lunch with a married couple from our church because they wanted to hear about my time there (they're also a newer couple, so they just wanted to get to know folks). A few months ago, I got to speak to some folks from our Hispanic congregation and will get to speak to their youth group this Friday night. On Sunday, I've got another lunch date with a family from church (they're inviting the pastor and his family and some others too - which reminds me...I need to tell them about VNB and make sure he's invited too :), and then we've got a group that's going to France over the summer (which has a very large Muslim population) and they want to hear methods for talking to Muslims. Eventually, I'll also set up a time to talk to my church about things. I'm almost ready for it emotionally, but the service hasn't really come together in my mind yet so it might be a few more weeks. I'll definitely let y'all know when that's happening just in case some of you want to make the trek here for it. But, for all of my issues with "the Company," I'm really excited about telling folks about living and working in Iraq and working with Muslims.

Devotions: I need to update the sidebar, but I've recently started a new devotion. Oswald and the Names of God book just weren't "doing it" for me. It annoyed me that except on very rare occasions, I didn't need the Bible at all for either of them. So, for a while I just wasn't doing anything. But now I've got a plan and I'm starting to stick to it. In the mornings after my alarm goes off when I'd usually just doze until I had to get up, I'm going to start reading through "The Message" translation of the Bible. That particular translation is a "modern day" language translation, and the translator didn't put in verse numbers (although there are chapter numbers and each page has a header stating the verses on that page) or many "topical" headers, so it reads much more like a regular book. I'm just going to read as much as time allows each morning. I'll be on Genesis 9 tomorrow. I think this'll give me a new perspective on Scriptures, many of which I know well and have heard to the point that I don't listen anymore.

That's all I can think of right now, but I'll definitely let you know the outcome of my appointment tomorrow when I'm ready to share.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I've apparently not been in much of a writing mood lately. I'm pretty sure it's because 1) so much is happening right now, and 2) some of it isn't for public consumption yet (nothing too much that's bad, in fact it's mostly very, very good...I'm just not ready to share with everyone on the web yet).

But in the "so much is happening" department, I started my new job officially today. I am no longer unemployed (although I'm still uninsured until the first of April)! I'm now the Assistant to the Minister of Worship and Music at my church. So far it's been _really_ exciting. Especially since this week the youth are in charge of the services. :) But it'll be a good job for me - mostly low stress - as I focus on school.

School's still going great (although I'm _still_ not officially registered...any day now, they keep telling me). I really love the classes I'm taking, even though they're a lot of work.

I've had a cold for the past three weeks. For the first time in my life, I literally lost my voice. It's mostly back now, although I still have a really sore throat, especially at night. I went to the doctor a week and a half ago (despite my uninsured condition) and they said it wasn't strep. I'd rather not have to go back, so I'm really hoping this'll go away soon. I've made improvements though - I finally didn't need Nyquil last night and today was the first pain-killer-free (and more importantly, pain-free) day (for the last week or so, someone has been stabbing an ice pick into my right sinus...pretty much 24/7). Now I just have to get to the point where my throat doesn't hurt so much that I can't sleep. But drugs are my friend. :)

I've also helped start a new Sunday School class at my church. It's for "older" singles. The church has a great group of folks who are in college or are college-aged, but it hasn't had anything specific for folks who are post-college in a long time. I finally got fed up with it and started my own class. We only had three people on Sunday (including myself), but that'll change as people transition out of other classes and once I actually call people and invite them to come. :) It was my first time teaching adults though. Apparently, for someone who knows me relatively well, it was obvious that I was nervous, but I did alright. We're studying "The Gospel of Jesus Christ According to Mark." I'm going from notes that I took as we studied Mark in hopefully the whole "discussion" idea will catch on by the time we get to the point where I came back to the States and my notes end (chapter 8). :)

But between a new job and another new massive time-sink, I'm struggling a little bit with keeping up on my course work. It's mostly just that I'm not having the time to do all of the extra things I was doing before, so I feel like I'm falling behind. I'm also not getting to watch as much Buck Rogers or play as much CivIII which leaves a big hole in my life. ;p

But...ok....I can't keep it a complete secret...the new massive time-sink is a VeryNiceBoy. :) That's his name. And he's nice. And I like him. And, wonder of wonders, he likes me too! At the same time! And he's willing to admit it! (And no, he's not "Mystery Date.") He even lives nearby!

There's probably a place that's typically very warm which is enduring a cold spell at the words mentioned above.