Reflected on Cicadas

A short while ago we were getting reports on these giant bugs who were last seen above ground 17 years ago. I didn’t notice them until this past weekend, when my husband identified their whirring buzzing to me. Now, I keep seeing these GIANT flying bugs EVERYWHERE.

Vaguely, I remember my mom showing me a clear amber exoskeleton in a beetle shape, and I realized that it must have been the last time these cicadas were around, in 1996!

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If you want to be really grossed out here is the molting process:

My nerdly self was curious and decided to research more about these bugs. For 17 years they live underground in their nymphal form getting their nutrients from roots, then they emerge, molt, mate, and die after about two months! How crazy is that?!

I did the math today and I realized the next time that these bugs emerge above ground in !!!2030!!!!!,  I will be 43 years old. I daydreamed for a moment realizing what that would mean: Likely, we’d have kids, kids who would be in their early/late adolescence! Husband and I would be celebrating 21 years of marriage!! It is crazy to think about how life and myself could be different in that many years.

When I was a child/teen I eagerly awaited being an adult. You look forward to those days where you have freedom, you have privileges, etc. For me, I remember sitting in church pews staring at the middle aged ladies singing in the choir. I envied them. I felt like they’d arrived. In my teens my life was so open-ended. But them, they knew who their “soul mate” was. They understood themselves, knew who they were, they had “arrived.”

I’m 25 now, will be 26 by the end of the year, and I still don’t think that I feel like an “adult.” I’m guessing this means that in some ways I’ll never “feel” like an adult. At least if we are equating “perfection” and “arriving” on the same level as “adult.”

In contrast to these cicadas, we have a long larval life as well (approximately 18-20 years), but then we have 60 years of living as an adult. A wise woman brought this to my attention this past week, the idea that we have 20 years to grow and quickly develop, and the rest of our lives to get over it/work through it. We only have 20 years of “preparation” until we are to live out potentially 60 more years. And we wonder why adolescence is marked with such tumultuous feelings?

So I guess that means we should all be a little more patient with ourselves. It is going to take more than 5/6 years to begin to adapt as a “young adult.” It will take more than a few years to be a good wife. It will take more than 4 years to build a great marriage. Things take time.

I struggle with this because I worry if something isn’t “correct” now it won’t necessarily be correct later. However, I think the idea is to have a clear and good direction that you are traveling, staying on course so to speak, but knowing that the destination is decades in the making. A plant isn’t going to grow any faster by staring at it, and definitely not by pulling the stalk up with my fists. Instead, we have to balance the concept of daily active growth while knowing the harvest is eternal.

Think about it, in 17 years I’ll be able to reflect on the changes since the last cicadas graced us with their presence! See ya there! Yes, I’ll still be blogging when I’m 43 ;0).

Participated in Couch to 5k (week 1ish)

From my first color run, I’m pretty sure that I made it clear that I’ve never enjoyed running. However, since that event, my friend and I were inspired to actually begin running…it can’t be too hard to build up to it…

The first week after the “run” I was sick with sniffles, so I couldn’t start anything. But, finally, I decided to try this Couch to 5k outline.

COUCH TO 5K RUNNING PLAN

I’ve done this fairly consistently for about 3 weeks now. I did take about 5 days off while my dad was visiting for graduation. According to MapMyRun, (seriously fantastic free gps/fitness app and website) I’ve done 7 walk/runs ranging in distance of .68 to .96 miles.

When I first began I decided, like my friend, I’d double to time, and introduce myself to it slower. I was pretty skeptical about walking 5 minutes than jogging 2 minutes, and walking for another 5 minutes. However I did it, and was surprised on how easily my body complied. The first couple of times I did it, it was exciting, I was looking forward to it. Then, the 3rd/4th time I did it my “runs” were TERRIBLE! I kept getting distracted by the dog pulling on her leash, bra straps falling down, snot running out of my nose, ear buds falling out of ear, watching for cars, dropping my cell phone etc, feeling like my lungs would burst, and jogging more like a min and a half instead of the two full minutes….which was discouraging because I was doing this same routine for the 3rd week…when I should have been able to walk 5 mins, jog 3 minutes, and walk another 5 minutes.

I talked to a few friends wondering when it would get easier. Specifically, I asked “When do I begin to receive these fabled endorphins?” One person told me it’d be two weeks of consistency, another told me it’d be a month. I tried to be patient with myself knowing that even experienced runners must have “off days” do to random factors in their lives.

So I keep calm and “run” on. I say “run” since I’m still mostly walking. Something that I’ve noticed has been a motivating factor is getting “gear.” It’s the idea of getting specific presents for myself that I’d only use during running time, that makes the idea of running more exciting. One of these has been running shoes. Husband and I were waiting out a few paychecks, and I had this idea of hoping to spend no more than 25-30ish dollars which is nearly impossible for a good pair of running shoes. By God’s amazing grace He allowed me to find minimalist shoes Vibram Five Fingers KMD Sport LS for only $20. AND God knows the intimate desires of our hearts…they were PINK! I’ve only run in them a couple of times my feet are still adjusting to walking/jogging in them by hitting my forefoot first. I thought minimalist shoes would be better for me to learn a better running form.

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Also, I ditched the dog. I loved the idea of running with her, building our relationship. However, she needs to be better leash trained before she runs with me, because she’s a stubborn beagle who pulls. :-/

Learned that the answer to the runny nose while running…is simply to wipe on your sleeve, okay going hard core now.

This past week I was able to jog 3 minutes, and I literally felt like I was dying…feeling so frustrated, feeling like this is supposed to come more naturally to my body by now. Then, yesterday I jogged 2 mins unable to do the 3 minutes. Instead of beating myself up, I’m working on being patient with myself and my body. Maybe it is just going to take my body even longer to “get with it.” Its okay if I have to do 5mins/2mins/5mins for several months. In an awesome picture I saw on Pinterest…even if I’m the slowest person out there…I’m lapping everyone who is still on the couch!

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Another aspect that I think may be holding my body back is that I haven’t been stretching before and after. Basically, I have been “running” every other day, I have a hip/hop 30 minute workout I do with my friends, but otherwise I have a sedentary job. Therefore, I’m thinking if I purposefully stretch every day, even when I’m not running, it may help. I really like these blog posts about before and after workouts.

Have any great ideas/tips about getting into running? Please share! :0)

Completed 1 Semester of Internship

On May 5th I completed my first semester of internship! Here were the stats: Week #21 Face to face: 81.25 (my goal was 1/3 of the 240 which I surpassed!), Individual Supervision: 11.5 (out of 25), Group Supervision: 9 (out of 25), and Related Activities: 229.75 (out of 310). A grand total of: 331.5.

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It’s pretty incredible to have already accumulated so many hours! It does mean though that the accumulation will slow throughout my second semester of internship, through to my third semester of internship. However, I enjoy the idea of giving back to my site helping the office manager with daily tasks, and helping to increase our marketing/networking in the community.

One feat that I accomplished this semester is that I never duplicated an outfit to work. This challenge was to inspire me to create more outfits, instead of just wearing a shirt and pants. I challenged myself to be creative with what I had. Researching on Pinterest to see different color and style combinations. This was something that would not be necessary for everyone, but helped me develop more confidence in my professional abilities and presence.

I’ve been able to participate or observe many different types of therapies: group, cothearpy, individual, EMDR, pre-marital, and family therapy. Family therapy has been one of the most inspirational to assist in. I feel like there is something magical about the idea of helping a family push tighter together to withstand the adjustments that they are having to face.

I’m excited about my second semester and continuing to grow in experience. I know that the summer can be kind of slower, but I’m trying to remain steadfast in the truth that God will bring the people that He wants to work with me in His timing.

Celebrated My Husband’s 26th Bday/Cuddled a Wolf

I’ve found a new use for #throwbackthursday posts…to help post articles that are a few weeks past! (I promise I don’t procrastinate…it’s just that life happens).

At the beginning of this month I had the opportunity to celebrate my husband’s 26th birthday. It was in the middle of the week, and we live in a small apartment, but in discussing his social desires with a friend, this friend agreed to let us borrow his house to throw a bash.

My husband titled it a “Crazy Libertarian Bash” on the facebook invite, causing me to have some anxiety about the event. He also invited friends from several different friend groups, which increased the anxiety. I tried explaining this to him before the event,  the pressures the wife can face as the predetermined “hostess” basically that I feel responsible to mingle and help create a cohesive environment. We just laughed at the differences between us, my husband picturing me to be happy as a hermit, and me picturing him as “disgustingly extroverted.” I’m truly not an introvert, any of you could attest to my loquaciousness, however, my husband makes anyone look like the biggest introvert with his ability to talk to a stranger and make a new best friend.

One thing I’d like to highlight though, is the way he uses his social abilities. I’ve seen other people talk to others to build themselves up, to meet famous people, to brag about who they’ve met, or to simply make themselves feel popular. Husband has that sort of desire, but his people oriented-ness really shares his heart. In his aims of meeting new people, it is always about the other person, trying to get them to laugh, to feel better about their days. He frequently compliments our female friends, especially our single friends, as a Christian brother, wanting them to know how beautiful the Lord thinks they are.

Quick rabbit trail to brag a little on my husband: in college I prayed specifically for God to give me a ministry partner. Back in those days I was a youth ministry major and planned on serving in a ministry position in a local church. God granted me someone working in the IT field, with a passion for people, but with a desire to support himself with an outside career. For awhile I wondered how God would work this out, being confident that He had brought my husband in answer to my prayers. In the end, I think my husband teaches me more about real life ministry than my classes ever did (which is saying a lot considering the awesome examples I learned under). He is ministry oriented without seeking a position to serve from. He truly SEES people, if that makes sense. His heart goes out for the homeless on the street. He’s not afraid to talk with them, or buy them lunch. He does ministry “outside of the box” that sometimes ministry majors turn it into. Basically, I’m a ridiculously lucky girl to be blessed by such a great ministry partner in my life :0).

So, of course, when the giant crowd of people arrived, I didn’t have to worry about being the hostess as my husband is a great socializer and mingler. Surprisingly, despite the different “friend groups” there everyone meshed really well. I think this shows the way that my husband is incredible about loving the people around him.

I was happy to see some of these traits observed and commented on by others. Our friend made him an incredibly awesome cake. (She also made our awesome wedding cake!). The cake’s design was a surprise, but definitely fits my husband’s character with the Gadsden flag, voluntaryst colors, and AR-15. I laughed thinking that the cake was now an “assault cake.” The rifle was made out of rice crispy treats and covered in fondant.

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After singing to the birthday boy had ended, my husband took it upon himself to serve everyone slices of cake. A few people were surprised that someone else wasn’t cutting the cake in his stead. However, this is truly the servant husband I married :0).

Another friend of ours brought an awesome new member of their family to the party, a 7 week old tame wolf. She was adorable! Her paws are giant, you can tell she’s going to grow up to be a large dog. It was fascinating learning about her diet, and other behavioral aspects of owning an exotic animal. A few of us even managed to coo an adorable baby howl out of her; it was priceless! Daisy the beagle was not so certain of the wolf puppy.

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Most of the evening was spent snacking around the bonfire as husband invented crazy stories. We laughed the night away.

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Walked For My Master’s Degree

This past weekend I was able to do something really exciting, walk for my Professional Counseling Master’s degree! I say “walking” because I have not yet technically graduated. I’m done with all of the course work, and am continuing in my real life field experience for a few more semesters. You can walk with up to 6 credits outstanding. I did the same thing for my undergraduate degree.

 

For awhile I debated about not walking, this would have been my husband and my’s 3rd time participating in graduation, and it can be extremely hectic. Technically, I also viewed this spectacle one year while working at the campus bookstore, that was not a pleasant experience. However, I discovered that several of my undergraduate friends would be graduating as well, so at least I wouldn’t be by myself. Also, I figured it would be a great opportunity for my dad to visit again, since he was unable to attend my bachelor’s graduation.

 

By Friday midday the traffic was already a nightmare! Luckily, my school keeps getting smarter at how to host an extra bazillion people on campus, so check-in was very painless and smooth. They’d reserved parking spaces for the graduates (sorry to my friends who are staff members for this sacrifice), and provided a large option space to check in to pick up our reader cards.

 

Dad and I spent the morning looking for a suit for me. I’d only wanted a couple of jackets to dress up outfits, but conceded to a full suit, because really its probably time that I have one.

 

That evening was the baccalaureate speech, but we decided to reserve our strength and avoid campus for the night. Instead, we decided to watch “The Host” at the cheap movie theatre. I had been looking forward to this movie. Overall, I was fairly impressed with the film adaptation. However, I think they “overamped” the relationship aspects and reduced the sci-fi elements that made it so intriguing. It is first and foremost a love story, the idea that love can conquer all. The problem is that when you play hyped up music trying to make the scene “epic” it ends up loosing the true love sense that it could have other wise had.

 

Saturday morning came too quickly. They tell us to be on campus by 7:30, despite that we don’t start walking onto the football field until 9:00am. I remembered from my first graduation that really you could show up by 8:45am and still be fine. So when we were running a little bit late I wasn’t worried. I met up with the Xtreme Impact Costa Rica 2009 crew quickly. This group is probably the most cohesive mission trip group, that has consistently stuck together since they first met before college. I would say that unity is really what set our high school trips apart. It was an honor to graduate with them. The last generation of XI supervisors were in the bunch, so we took a photo together. xisupervisors Due to rain storms the previous night the grass in front of the visitor’s center was vastly squishy. I was happy I’d chosen to wear my “touristy” sandals in lieu of cute flats that I actually cared about.

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While waiting someone teased me about the blog title. Someone else decided “hey we should play that game” lol. Yes, I did use my fall back of “never have I ever fallen asleep in class”

IMG_1587 While lined up suddenly, I heard some people call my full name. I turned in surprise, not recognizing their faces. They quickly explained that they recognized me for my decorated cap, from our counseling Facebook groups! I felt like a superstar/famous person for a second. We chatted for a moment and I said I’d see them at our degree presentation ceremony later.

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The opening ceremony passed by fairly quickly, teasing the different silly aspects of the ceremony. Overall though I’d say the speaker was one of the better one’s we’ve had recently. She was actually a Christian, sharing a Christian message. It was inspiring hearing her discuss her career journey. There were moments when the doors to her dreams were slammed shut in her face, but now she sees that without those crushing moments she wouldn’t have the incredible job in news journalism that she has now.

 

After the first ceremony, Husband, Dad, and I booked it as it looked like the sky was finally about to burst down on us. We retreated to Husband’s office where we’d camp out at least until traffic cleared to head home, or waiting until the actual degree presentation. Another brilliant development by the school is renting several golf carts to bus people around in. Many of husband’s friends and coworkers were the drivers, so we may or may not have taken advantage of this in order to get lunch.

 

Finally, it was time for the 3:30 counseling degree presentation! Much to my surprise and enjoyment, a person I knew from real life was also graduating! My team leader from this past year’s Italy trip was walking in this ceremony. :0) He’s actually completely done, so I’m slightly jealous. 

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It felt nice to have that moment of having my name called, and walking across the stage. Though it signifies less to me that I’m done. For me it is more of the extra “oomf” to stay strong through my several semesters of internship. It was exciting to meet with some professors of intensives, getting a photo with Dr. John Thomas to taught my first and final intensive!

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The weather was gorgeous and sunny, it had yet to thunderstorm like the weather reports had promised. We took advantage of the bright sunniness taking a few obligatory shots with our DSLR. 

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Husband simply rolled his eyes at me, but I thought you’d like to see that they’ve officially demolished our dorms.

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Watched the Midnight Premiere of Iron Man 3

I discovered last night that the “midnight showings” for which I’ve seen countless movies may actually no longer exist. In high school and college I’ve watched: Star Wars Episode 3, one of the X-Men movies, Pirates 2 and 3, Twilight movies, all of the Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games, plus I’m sure others that I can’t think of at the moment. In my small town midnight showings were one of the few things to do, and we watched them despite having classes and exams the next day. There were even a few times we dressed up.
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However, apparently movie showings at 12:01 am have no longer been the case throughout the fall after the mass murder at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in July 2012. It seems after this mass murder at a mall (the ONLY theatre in the town in which guns were PROHIBITED) people have frequented midnight showings less. Therefore, Taken 2 decided to have a 10pm showing and more people showed up, so the rest of the industry copied this move.

Husband was going with a group from work, for a “group bonding” event with their department, but at the time there wasn’t a ticket for me. So I decided to continue with Day 2 of my Couch to 5k program. Of course right as I’m finishing the walk/jog and covered in sweat he calls me to inform me of my procured ticket if I can get to the theatre asap. Here is the couch to 5k program that I have been using:

COUCH TO 5K RUNNING PLAN

While waiting in line, as the police officers scanned the movie goers, we discussed the 9pm move slot. Whoever purchased the tickets for the department was told by our particular theatre that the move was due to increasing safety. They said that police officers are able to respond quicker to an emergency at that time of the night. To us, those who understand that the problem is gun free zones, and not what time of night an event happens, it is laughable. Too, not only is it about the gun free zone, but it is about the popularity of the event and the massive crowd atmosphere.

On one hand I’m sad of the way that life changes in response to tragedies, and how many changes I’ve seen during my life time. I used to remember at the airport being able to wait at the gate as the family member’s planes arrived and departed. I remember not having to worry about how many ounces of liquids were in my containers while packing my suitcases. I remember going through airport security without having to remove my footwear. I remember airport security before having to worry about the choice between body scanners and being groped in front of my high school missions teams. Its sad to see how many of these changes have been infringements as well.

That being said….9pm movie showings are AWESOME! It’s basically the same thing, with crowds of people, but instead of fighting to stay awake after a long day, loading up on candy and coffee, then driving home on deserted roads at 3am feeling very unsafe, then being sleepy the following day, I can actually be home BEFORE midnight! It is really a wonderful and more practical invention. Everyone wins because the movie people can still “count” it for opening weekend in their spiffy numbers.

It was entertaining watching this super hero flick with a bunch of geeks who fangirled over some of the product placement like exadata (which, by the way would never been in van, as its a very expensive server system). To be fair I think it was less fangirling and more “oh my goodness we can’t get away from work and Oracle!”

On the movie itself I was entertained, but I am easily entertained. As a counselor I was interested watching this super hero wrestle with anxiety and PTSD type symptoms after the events in the Avengers movie. I also appreciated the relationship dynamics between Stark and Potts, and what he was willing to sacrifice in the end in order to focus on her, to make her the priority in his life. Stark has a moment of self actualization and understanding his own personal identity as Iron Man.