I'm Still Here.

I've missed this place.

I spent the summer writing frequently on here, sharing my fears, my miscellaneous adventures in facing them, and reading your encouraging and inspiring comments. Then suddenly, it fell out of my life. And I sure have missed it. I've missed you!

A lot has happened in a month, but I haven't had the time to write about it because, well, school started back and I do work in a school, so I'm spending nearly 50 hours a week at work now. And that's resulted in me having a lot to say but not enough time to say it. 

This first month back at work has been madness. I mean, tear-causing, chest-pain-inducing, pit-in-the-stomach madness. It wasn't like this last year. Then again, I started this job in January, in the middle of the school year. I haven't done the beginning of the year thing yet. There is SO. MUCH. PAPERWORK. Every single student, from 8th grade to 12th grade, has to fill out a pink form- a two-sided health assessment form. The contents of that two-sided pink paper then have to be reviewed and entered into the computer by...me. And with each pink form I scanned over, I came closer to the terrifying realization that I alone am responsible for the medical well-being of over 700 kids. 


Anyway, everyone keeps telling me it will settle down after a while, that August and September are always like this, but it gets better. In the meantime, my shaky, white-knuckled hands can barely hang on. 

I did start up another Biggest Loser contest at work for the faculty and staff again. That's given me some joy. Our initial weigh-in was a week ago, and since then, we've lost 12 pounds as a group. That's a pretty solid start! I love seeing these teachers getting excited about making healthy changes in their lives, and I am so thankful that I get to be right in the middle of it, leading the pack. I wish I could find a job doing only that. Weight loss and healthy living has become such a strong passion of mine, it would be incredible if it was my sole focus as a career. 

Oh, and this time I had the presence of mind to take BEFORE pictures! I wish I'd done that last year, because our winner lost 113 pounds, and his transformation was absolutely incredible. So I really wanted to do that this time around. Here's mine:

Outside of work, I've done some other big things over the past few weeks, a couple that I plan to elaborate on soon. 

1. I went on a date with a guy I met online. 

I felt like such a girl! I slept with my hair in socks to achieve those lovely sock curls. Here's what it looked like the night before...

When I took the socks out in the morning...

(Hello, sweetie)

After I tamed the craziness and changed outfits 15 times...

I really did change clothes about fifteen times. I haven't been on a date in so long, I didn't know what to do! 

But yeah, I drove far away and out of state to meet him in Douglasville, Georgia. We ate at Olive Garden, then went to see a movie. Aaaand I haven't heard from him since! (Okay by me; felt kind of mediocre about the whole thing. I just prayed that we'd feel the same since I'm tired of being in relationships with one-sided feelings, and I am glad we shared the "meh" feeling!)

2. I became a vegetarian.

A healthy vegetarian lunch on my desk at work

I haven't eaten meat in over a month now. Sooo much to say about this; it will get its own blog post soon. For now, I will just say that God has shown me a lot of things lately about food and animals and health, and I am choosing to make some changes in my own life.

3. I went to an Anniston Runner's Club social.

...Biggest fail ever, but I did go. 

An RSVP-only Saturday night social event at Mellow Mushroom. I went alone, thinking it would be a bunch of tables pushed together to create a giant, long, Last Supper kind of table where everyone sat together and talked. Um, no. Each "party" had their own table; everyone was paired up in couples or sitting with their families. And since I signed up for 1, I had a table by myself! So I was just there, alone, awkwardly trying to make eye contact with someone, hoping they would talk to me. No one did. So I didn't even stay to eat. I lamely pretended to get an emergency phone call and got the heck outta there.

Ugggghhhh. Yes, that's me socializing.

At least I tried.

4. I ran over two miles without stopping.

YEAH!!!! My goal for 2013 was to run one mile nonstop, and I reached it in January. Then one day in August, I ran 1.5 miles, then realized I still felt okay, so I kept going and made it to 2, then I kept going and finally stopped around 2.25 miles.

I thought it might be a fluke; maybe I miscounted my laps around the track or something. But I did it again the next time. And again a third time. My running is slow, but I don't have to stop for walking breaks for two whole miles! (So now I have a secret goal to run 3 miles nonstop before the year is over.)

5. I went to my first high school football pep rally.

As a homeschooler, the only things I knew about high school where what I learned by watching Smallville and One Tree Hill. So when I had the chance to go to our first pep rally, I went excitedly and got all kinds of embarrassing chills and watery eyes. This is just like that one episode of Smallville where Lana was cheering at the pep rally and Clark played his first football game!!! Oh yeah, and the battle cries reminded me of Narnia. Why am I so extremely nerdy and lame???

I really did feel like a traveler in some faraway land, observing the pagan ceremonies of a foreign culture. What is this ceremonial "victory line"? What is this strange, sacred ritual of the Spirit Stick? 

Yeah, this whole working in a public high school thing? Never-ending culture shock.

And oh yeah. I'm really excited about autumn. My new layout might be a bit premature, but I don't care. I've been drinking pumpkin spice lattes for the past two weeks. I'm ready!

So. What in the world have you been up to? I'm trying to make an effort to read blogs again, and to update on here when I can, but I still feel quite disconnected and out of the loop. 


Anna Marie Schaefer said...

Gaaah, I miss you so much! There are several bits of information here I can't wait to talk to you about more!! In your before picture for the BL contest you look so pretty and healthy. The jogging achievement is amazing. I've never in my life heard of a "social" where people only talked with people they came with. And meatless???? Love you! Talk soon.

Jennifer said...


Thanks for your comment! I was so excited to hear from you!

(You NEED to make a blog!)

Lacey said...

The sock-curl before/after picks were hilarious! "Hello, sweetie." Hahaha that is so funny. You looked gorgeous as always though!! :)

And wow, I totally identified with the highschool culture shock thing too! I still have no clue what a pep rally is like but I'm determined to go to one some day. Several years ago my sis and I decided to be totally daring and go to our hometown highschool's football homecoming game. It was the weirdest, most confusing experience of my life. We almost sat on the away team's side but then noticed that hardly anyone was sitting there and finally figured out why, haha! This line -- "I really did feel like a traveler in some faraway land, observing the pagan ceremonies of a foreign culture. What is this ceremonial "victory line"? What is this strange, sacred ritual of the Spirit Stick? " TOTALLY cracked me up, hahaha! So funny.

Glad you are back on Blogger!! I got on tonight and hope I am back for real, haha.

Jennifer said...

LOL Your story about almost sitting on the away team's side... sounds just like something that would happen to me! I'm glad we are not alone in our homeschool-induced social awkwardness. (Nobody get me wrong; homeschooling is awesome!)

Thanks for commenting! I am sooo happy to see you back on Blogger!!! :)