Sunday, October 26, 2008

mayor's cup

So as expected today's race was fast, I mean seriously there are some fast girls in the area. Now when I am out and about running I feel quick, I consider myself to be in good shape, but it's crazy just how quick some girls are out there.
It was a humbling experience when I was dead last 1 mile into the race and yet my mile split time was 6:24. I can run a mile faster than that, yet knowing there was still over 2 mi to go, I knew I couldn't kick it in yet. So I decided to still to my pace and I knew that as some hills came I should be able to get by some people, which I did. Mile 2 I ran through at 13:30 and managed to pass about 5 people, finally finishing at 21:02. I wish I had looked at the clock as I was coming in the final turn because if I knew that I was that close I would have started to go faster sooner just so I could at least break 21. Either way, it was a great day. Awesome people, awesome atmosphere, awesome weather(even though it seemed to be drizzling while driving in, it cleared up beautifully!).
There's something about the feeling post run which is great. I should be doing some lesson planning or school stuff now; however, just reflecting on the day is more desirable at this point. So, I am going to go have some tea now and enjoy the feeling before the reality of the work week sets in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

strength from within

Strength. It can come in different forms.
This morning four of us went to the trails to run and do yoga. While other people were sleeping still or lounging around the house we went out in forty something degree weather to run, to have fun, and become stronger. At my apartment Sumner showed amazing strength as she lifted her body off the ground with her hands and balanced in positions that I could barely contort myself into.
However, I am pretty sure that I witnessed the strongest person I know right now earlier this afternoon, my brother. No, he doesn't lift weights, he's not a wrestler or football player, never has been, never will be. In fact he stands at a meager 5'8" or so and tips the scale around 100 lbs. While he may also be the weakest 24 year old I know, he is also definitely the strongest. Once again he is back in the hospital bed, getting out of it 2 times today to do his walk around the block.. aka the nurses station and meander around 8 west in Boston Medical Center which unfortunately has become like his second home over the past 2 years. While he appears to be weak in his bed, he is far stronger than myself or anyone else that I know for that matter. He really inspires me and amazes me. Throughout his sickness he has never raised his voice or taken his frustration out on anyone. If I had to live a week in his shoes I think I would have gone out of my mind, yet he never complains. At times I want to scream out loud for him, tell him it's okay to let it all out, and yet he just seems to go with the flow. He is so thoughtful of others... his visitors he wants to make comfortable, making sure there is a chair or at least a little space in his hospital room for you to stay awhile. He can't even eat solid foods, and yet he knows his nurses like chocolates and sweets, so he makes sure that my mom keeps the candy dish stocked, so when they come in to take his vitals and give him his meds and ivs they can have a treat for the road. Truly, it's amazing. Today wasn't the first time I'd been there, actually I can't count how many times I've been there, yet I can drive to BMC like I am driving to my own house. I don't know Boston well, yet getting to Harrison Ave is a piece of cake, I've done it too often. Just seeing him there today though really made me think. I went stayed a while and left, and yet while I am sitting here comfortably typing away, he's still there. Still half sideways in a bed because of tubing going in and out of his body, probably watching the Red Sox on the tv built into the wall, Curious George by his bedside, and probably about to say goodnight to my dad and other visitors who wandered in. And when he wakes up, he will still be there. Not only that, but I am the type of person who likes to have a plan, I like to know where I am headed... have a goal and work towards it. But I can't imagine the thought of not knowing when you will finally be able to live a normal day. While I sometimes don't feel like going to work in the morning, he hasn't been able to apply for a job he would probably kill to work and yet he doesn't complain. He truly is so mentally tough. He has such faith that things will work out. I only hope that I too have some of those genes, although I am grateful not to be in a position right now where I have to find that out and yet at the same time I wish I could trade places with him, let me be in that bed so that he too can be living life, not waiting to see when his life will be his again. Although I know even if this were an option, no way would he take it, he's just too strong.
He's amazing, he's my little brother.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

hurry up.... and wait

For some reason this Jordin Sparks song keeps reappearing in my life. Very rarely do I watch vh1 in the am, yet while having some breakfast like 2 weeks ago I turned to that channel and this video was on. I watched it, thought about the words, and ever since it's on repeat... in my head of course.
I know, once again it's been how many weeks since I blogged? But we're not going to go there. I just came in from a run, and feel the need to write. While running for a solid hour so many thoughts travel through my head and with no one to come home and spread all of my ponderings to, this is the best way to get them out.
Hurry up, and wait... speaking of which I had to hurry up and get out of school today so I could squeeze in a nice run, only rushing of course to now wait.... wait for what? Well, I need to wait for a moving company to deliver my new futon. Finally, some furniture for upstairs! Still needs a lot of decorating, but furniture first. So I am waiting...... all day I was waiting actually. In fact it's been over two years that my whole family has been waiting, waiting, and taking one step at a time. Diseases of any kind are tough to battle with, especially when part of the healing process is just waiting. Waiting to see what meds do and don't work, waiting to see how surgeries heal, waiting for infections to disappear, waiting for doctor's news, waiting for test results, waiting for any good news. Well after lots of waiting I got bad news yesterday. While shopping at Shaw's I got a phone call. "Hello?" I say... "Hey Jul, you sound sick." (Dad) "Yeah well I am, I've been fighting off a cold." (me) "Well, you're not the only one who's sick, your brother is too." (Dad) ....more words, followed by my tears.... never before have I welled up with in an aisle of Halloween candy. Long story short, my brother has been having pain... went in for an mri and cat scan and it turns out there is a hole in his pouch, so he's having surgery tomorrow afternoon to repair the hole. It sounds good, although this means he also has to have the ostomy bag put back on to his stoma, so he won't be able to go to the bathroom again. I think I am more frustrated than his is, he has been so calm throughout this entire struggle, it truly amazes me. I can't imagine myself in his shoes, yet have felt his pain along the way. Everyday I hope and pray that this struggle will soon come to an end, in a positive way.... even though a couple of weeks ago the end looks like it was in sight, I guess it was just another turn in the road and there's a lot more road to go in the distance again.
Well I waited long enough... I was interrupted a little while ago, my new futon is here! (Not the exact color I thought it would be... thought it would be a darker brown, but I will make it work!.. to quote Tim Gunn... speaking of which, I am bummed that I no longer get Bravo, I miss Project Runway!)
On a more positive note, I had some great positivity with the team this weekend. We did a great run and yoga session in Uxbridge, then had the Wayland XC race on Sunday. It wasn't my best performance by any means, but the girls team got first for the day and the guys got second. Just being there with everyone, catching up again and being among positive friends and teammates is wonderful. I am looking forward to more of it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

wake me up when september ends

Ok so seriously, I once again have been slacking off with regards to writing in here. I swear, I totally have intentions of updating, but then life seems to get in the way, either that or I just end up laying down because I am exhausted from long days of teaching and working out. Once again though, I can't complain. I love teaching, love running, love working out, love my apartment. I love the fact that I will be meeting with some program heads on Wed, so I can see if Worcester State's CAGS program in Reading is something to consider starting up in order to become a Reading Specialist. If not, then I am going to continue looking at BU and BC and get my apps going for there. Commuting to and from boston wouldn't be the easiest thing to do on a regular basis; however, if it's something I want to do I know I can make it work... WSC though is definitely more convenient for location.
So September ends this week, seems crazy, almost October, my students are already starting to talk about Halloween... which is on a Friday this year, so happy about that, I won't have to deal with the aftermath of exhausted trick or treaters who are on a sugar high and bring a pound of chocolate and skittles for snack the next day. Halloween on Friday just makes my life a whole lot easier.
Today has been such a good day so far. Usually rainy days make me feel lethargic, sit around, lay around, watch tv, and just kind of succumb to the assumed laziness that goes along with a rainy day. (although I'm looking outside right now and it's not raining any more? weird) Anyways, it was raining this morning; however, before breakfast I got working for a little bit on some school work, had breakfast, threw in a load of laundry and got back to working again. We have a login now from home so I can access our district's server, which means I can access any files and programs on my computer at school, it's fabulous! Although now I have no excuse for not doing something because I left it at school. But yeah, I got working on somethings for school, then around 11 realized my energy level was slowing down. I got changed up and headed to the jcc, which is only a 6 minute drive away! Upon getting there I was still not super ready to run, even though in my head I was thinking "Julie you're not leaving here unless you crank out at least 7 miles, no excuses." It seemed pretty quiet there when I walked in, so I still didn't feel too invigorated; however, after opening the door to the fitness center it was like a surge of energy burst into me... there were a bunch of people running, biking, lifting, etc. and it was like "snap" I'm ready to run. I hopped on a treadmill, with a rascal flatts playlist on my ipod and just starting going. I really didn't have any target for times today, just to run at least 7. So I started off taking it easy... even though there were others running they weren't going too fast so I wasn't too inspired to step it up. After about 4 miles at an easy gait I went up a bit, then decided in my head that I could run another 4 at a faster pace, then I would jog at least another mile to cool down, which is what I did. I wound up finishing 8 miles in 60:22, then slowed it down and ran another mile and a half, ending up with finishing 9.5 for the day. I then proceeded to the mats for my sit up routine and stretching, then back out into the rain to drive home.
When I tell people at the end of the day at school that I am off to run or going to the gym they think I am crazy, saying "aren't you tired, or don't want to go home and rest?" but actually working out and running makes me way more energized than if I lived a sedentary lifestyle. I don't know if it's a runner's high or whatever endorphins kick in, but whatever they are, I guess they're my addiction, my drug of choice perhaps and if that's the addiction I have in life, then I am willing to come out and say it, because that's an addiction I will take any day.
Today was like no other, the run totally brought new life to me. I came home and the cleaning that I had been putting off all weekend miraculously got done, and fast too. There's something about cleaning a toilet that I hate, but I plunged (haha- pun intended) right it and did it in like 30 seconds, cleaned the rest of the bathroom, switched loads from the washer to the dryer, and then proceeded to wash the counters and appliances in my kitchen. I made some lunch and then while eating I planned stuff for the week, cleaned up from lunch, and worked on a bit more school work. Which leads me to well, now, when I realized that since I have all of this energy I should face the music and check on my blog to see when I last visited... Sept 7th wasn't the best news, but I figured I can't put it off any longer, I better blog before September ends.
As I always say, I should blog more, maybe I will, maybe I won't, maybe I should make it a routine to do it after running, use my endorphins positively? We'll see, until next time, whenever that is...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

it's a beautiful day

So once again a couple of days have gone by without posting, but I'm back to teaching full time now, so life gets busy. Anyways, after my first day of school, I had two more successful days before the weekend came. And by successful, I mean that I was able to get through the days and manage to wake up the next day and do it all over again. I love teaching, but after working only half days during our summer program I forget how tiring it is to be in front of 19 7 or 8 year olds from 8-3. It may not sound like a long day, but then throw in an hour or two of planning and correcting and it lengthens up a bit. Still I had a good first half week of school. I think it should be a good year, although it's amazing how young they still seem. By the end of the year they grow so much, then to start all over again with a new group it's just a shocker to remember where we begin again every September.

I really should have started a book five years ago when I began teaching, because it's totally true that kids say the darndest things, they are too funny. On Friday I was reading a Scholastic News article with my kids and it was talking about the recent hurricanes that have been hitting the US. We started talking about the direction that the hurricanes were moving and so I drew a compass on the board and showed the kids how to remember which way is which.... I made the arrows with the "N, E, S, W" in their positions and then told them. Always remember "Never Eat Soggy Waffles...or if they prefer Never Eat Shredded Wheat." Well doesn't one of my kids say "Actually, I kind of like soggy waffles, but my mom told me don't eat soggy bread." Clearly I wasn't really getting through to some of them with my way of remembering cardinal directions, but it gave the aide that was in the room and myself a good laugh, so I clarified what I was talking about and then moved on.

I was so happy when Friday night came, all I wanted to do was put my feet up and relax, so I did, it was wonderful. Yesterday I went to the gym in Auburn, then stopped off at the rents to pick up some paper goods, did some errands and returned here to shower and head to church. Since I am no longer living close to St. Joe's, I have been going to Christ the King and have to say I like it better. The church is very welcoming and is beautiful, yet simple. I love the stained glass and in the afternoons the light has shone through it very nicely. Aside from the fact that it was rainy when I got out, I enjoyed mass, then headed to the store to buy some cream for today. I actually vacuumed here for the first time (I really am not a slob, I just haven't found the need to vacuum yet) and tidied up a bit, knowing a big part of the fam were coming this morning.

I got up early this am, well 7:30 is early for the weekend, and went to the jcc to run on the treadmill. I had a goal of 7 miles and met it... in a time of 53:30, which is respectable, at least for me right now. The key for me is to not get injured and stay in decent shape, I am not totally heart broken if I am running mid 7 min mile pace, yet I am not gonna lie, I would like to try to be faster, but I am content with where I am at/ headed. I came back and showered, really quickly, because my Nana was meeting me here at 9:45 to start the big coffee pot. I had my first "party" well pretty low key party, it was actually a brunch which is pretty easy to host, but it was still a good time. I invited the local Collins side relatives over, so there was about 25 people here for some donuts, coffee, and many baked goods...banana bread, pumpkin muffins, poppyseed cake, irish bread... could be forgetting some things, oh yeah, awesome fruit salad, juice, etc.... such a good brunch and it was great to see my fam and have them in my place!

Now it's back to the life of a teacher... time to correct summer reading book reports and plan some readers' workshop lessons for the week. Also at some point I am actually excited to go do a few errands and enjoy the sunshine. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

1st day

Starting up my fifth year of teaching today! There's something about the first day that is great, excited kids, excited teacher, clean room, fresh wax on the floors at school, everyone semi-dressed up... I wish this energy could be bottled up and taken out come mid January when it's cold, dark, and dismal and I'd rather stay in bed. Well I need to get ready to meet my 19 new kiddos today. Hopefully I will post later with details of the day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

early thirty

So last night I was home visiting and my aunt and uncle and cousins stopped by.  After talking to them my uncle invited me to join them on their bike ride this morning... the only stipulation was that they were leaving at 6:15 to go on the ride.  My aunt had to watch her niece at 8:15, so we had to get the ride in before then.  I accepted the offer and was excited to get a good workout done early in the day, although my body wasn't too thrilled about my decision come 5:15 this morning when my alarm went off.  Regardless, I jumped up out of bed, had a cup of tea, got changed and drove to auburn to pickup my bike.  I rode over to their house and was ready to go at 6:15.  They were running a little late, so it gave me 15 more minutes to wake up.  

We had an awesome ride... just over 2 hours, about 30 miles.  My aunt was riding to hopkinton to watch her niece, so my uncle and i rode out with her just over the half way mark and then rode back.  We started in auburn, then proceeded through millbury, sutton, and grafton, coming just short of upton.  Some of the roads were a little hilly- old common road can be a little tricky when you have pedaled 25 miles already, but i enjoy riding up hills, so it was challenging, but fun.

The only thing not great about the ride is that now it is noon time and i am ready for a nap. I am hoping that some lunch we rejuvenate me, or at least give me a little kick of energy so I can go do some errands.  I had an ems gift card from one of my students from last school year that i want to use.  I am still using my nalgene bottle and want to go there to replace it with an aluminum bottle so I am not drinking in any toxins while I chug my water daily.   While out shopping I may stop at Dick's too, Caitlyn recommends that I get a stability ball to help with preventing any future injuries... it sounds like a good idea, so I want to investigate and possibly buy one of them.

Oh one more thing that I wanted to write.  At the gym there are random quotes posted on the walls and one of them caught my eye, "Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going."  I see it so many times there and I think about it more and more.  The more you want to make something happen, the more you realize you just have to do it.  When you do something frequently enough and make it a part of your normal routine, then it becomes just that, a routine, something expected to happen.  As the school year begins again I hope my routine continues to go well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

big brother with little sister

So this is going to be short and sweet as I am on my way off to school to do some planning and copying things for next week when school begins.

I had a good night last night, my sister, although not so little any more since she's bigger than me, yet I will always be older, slept over my place so we could watch big brother together. It was a double eviction last night, if you watch the show you know what I mean, if not well I am not going to get into it right now. Anyways, a good night, it's nice that she and I get along well now and can hang out.

I told you this was short and sweet, I really have to leave now and head to school. Maybe if anything exciting goes on I will post later... two in one day? Wow, now that would be a first.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

wild turkeys

So it's been two weeks... my goal was to write daily, I have a plethora of excuses as to why I haven't, but that's all they are excuses and I don't like excuses, there's no excuse, if you want to do something, you do it. Plain and simple.

I woke up in my new place this morning to something I've never woken up to before... wild turkeys outside my window. At first glance I saw four of them, then after putting on my glasses, I realized there are actually six. I am definitely not living in the country now, in fact I moved from a town to a city; however, the land behind me isn't inhabited, by people at least, so I do have some new wild life neighbors. Last week while driving off somewhere I had to stop and let two deer cross the road that leads into the complex. It's kind of cool to be living in a city (not a huge city, but technically a city nonetheless) and still have some neat stuff in nature.

Back to what's been going on in the past two weeks... first things first, and most important... my brother was FINALLY discharged from boston medical center after way too long of a stay there this summer. He had two surgeries last week, having his gall bladder out in order to cure the pancreatits, and then had the reversal surgery done from his initial surgery in january in order to remove the ostemy bag and reattach his small intestine. The surgery went well, although he hadn't eaten for like 3 weeks and when they reintroduced food to him a short time later he threw it allllll up, setting him back a little and definitely not helping regain his strength. He was down to 98 lbs when the doctors realized that this guy need nourishment, the ivs aren't enough. A whole nutrition team was sent in hours later and it was pretty amazing what they do. Based on his numbers in his blood they put together a whole bag of nutrition for him to go through the TPN line. He had a 39 cm tube that was put in through his arm and would deposit the "food" just about his heart. It changed daily what he received... they could determine how much potassium, calcium, etc. he needed and would make a daily batch especially for him. It was great because after a day or so on this he was able to eat again and then was finally getting the couple thousand calories he needed to actually have some strength. So now he's at home, just resting and trying to regain that strength still. I sincerely hope that that was the end of his hospital stays and he can now get on with his life that has been put on hold for two years since graduating from college.

School starts next week. No I am not a student, I am a teacher and yes teachers, like students also don't look forward to the end of summer. Don't get me wrong, I love my students dearly; however, they're just something about summer ( even though I teach summer school) that is so nice. It's great for example that right now I am still sitting in my pajamas at 8:30 in the morning. Next week at this time I will have already been up for a couple hours, showered, changed, and will probably be teaching a Fundations lesson. Even though I am technically not "back to school" I've been going back there everyday this week, just to get my room ready. It's gross how much dust accumulates over the summer and how long it takes to reorganize things that in June I just decided to throw in a bin and deal with in August... well yeah that's what I'm dealing with now.

After school I will be going to the gym to hopefully run on the treadmill. I got new running shoes yesterday. I was running in the Asics 2130 model; however, I ran in two pair of them and seemed to have not had the best of experiences with them. While some people have said it's probably not the shoes, I definitely can be mental at times and decided to go back to my old faithful brand of nikes. In high school I ran in the triax, then went to air max triax of different sorts, and even ran in a pair of shox in college. My trusty shoe adviser told me to go for the air triax structure... I overpronate so this shoe has the support I need, not as much as the asics, but they are comfortable and I'm hoping that a new shoe will alleviate the shin splint/ knee painish thing that has surfaced over the past week and a half or so.

Tonight is also a big brother night. I am the oldest in my family, my brother is younger, but I am talking about the television show. I am not a huge tv junkie; however, my sister and I get hooked on some bad "reality" shows. So tonight will be a big brother viewing, which I am sadly excited for. Part of it though is that it's nice to be able to spend time with her and because she's not working tomorrow, she may spend the night here. Well I should actually start the day that I began writing about now... hopefully I can keep up with the blogging from now on. No excuses.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

done with summer school!!

So now that it is August 14th, I am finally on summer vacation, or whatever is left of it! Today was also the day that Matt went in for surgery, well two in one. He had his gall bladder out and also had the reversal done from his surgery in Jan. He no longer has an ostemy bag, so hopefully the gall bladder being removed will heal his pancreatitis so he can finally be on the road to recovery after being sick for almost 2 years.

My sofa and table and chairs are being delivered tomorrow! I am excited to get some furniture into my new place and move in there this weekend. Hopefully I can be unpacking this weekend, then be living at my new place while I trek in and out of school next week to try to get my classroom ready.

Hopefully I can get running more soon, I have been good about keeping in shape, but with so many things going on I feel like I am very run down and have only had the energy to do some cross training and running every other day. Another thing I need to work on is getting more sleep, although I am thinking that will come with my own place. My family is up late and I can't sleep, then I have to be up early... my body is greedy when it comes to sleep and wants at least eight hours, I've been getting less than seven lately which is inadequate for me.

Well that's all for now, I guess another thing I should improve on is my blogging.

Friday, August 8, 2008

it's hard to be positive when things just seem to keep on going wrong

So another day and yet what appears to be another problem. My brother had an mri which revealed that his gall bladder now has to come out too, which was going to be done as an emergency surgery, then the docs decided to do it when they do the reversal surgery in the future; however, neither of these events can take place until the infection that is still growing inside of him clears up. They drained it again today and he's still on meds for it, but it just doesn't seem to want to go away. Since he can't eat once again unfortunately he got put on a feeding tube tonight. I hate how bad things happen to good people, it just doesn't seem fair.

More craziness in the household right now too... I am currently trying to waste time as I anxiously await the arrival of my mom from Italy. She was on vacation with her best friend for two weeks and has been in flight today; however, my sis and I got word from my dad like 2 hrs ago that he was waiting for them at Logan and it seems their flight was diverted from London... due to storms in Boston they sent them to Maine instead. So my mom is now probably sitting in Bangor Airport biting her nails off, I'm sure she wants to get home so bad and it probably upset that she won't be in Boston early enough to visit Matt at the hospital, since visiting hours ended at eight.

As far as my day, I was in Paxton this morning until like 1 meeting with my colleagues and discussing our plan of attack for the upcoming school year. I am definitely excited to finally have a year when we're all working together. I've been teaching for four years now and it has yet to happen because others, well another, was unwilling to cooperate, so it really just made for an isolated classroom which I taught in. Don't get me wrong, I love my room and my kids, but I am thrilled to be able to open the door, switch kids, and really collaborate with our lessons.

After Paxton I was home for lunch and a little cleaning, I really wanted to make the house look nice and clean... I know my mom and dad are going to be physically and mentally exhausted when they finally get home later tonight (or who knows when?) so I don't want them to come home to a mess. Then I had some me time, I went to the gym for my work out, although lately I haven't had my usual desire to bang out a nice long run, instead, my head has been hurting in addition to my right knee, so I've been doing a lot of cross training every other day, and running on the days I don't cross train. Anyways, today I did the elliptical for like 1:20, then some situps and stretching. Sometimes that stretching is the best time, I feel fatigued and my body feels like it's been used and I feel at peace too... a nice feeling to have.

Returning from the gym was a return to reality when I learned about the feeding tube, but I had to continue with things to do, including grocery shopping, dinner making, showering, and packing. Packing up my room here has been strange. I have moved away to college, moved to Spain for a semester, but never moved to a residency of my own, all my own. A new address. My own couch and tv. For the first time I will be leaving here knowing that I can return if I have to, but hoping that I am finally independent and starting a new phase in my life.

Well if anyone is actually reading this, then I hope I don't bore you; however, I find this to be pretty helpful for me right about now... it's nice to reflect on the day and sort of put things in order and in perspective. Despite the many things that seem to be going wrong right now, it does make me grateful for the many things that are going right and for all of the support of others who have been there for my family helping us to get through it all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

here it goes

So I decided to start blogging... maybe it will help to make sense of all of the things that run through my head throughout the day, it seems that my mental thoughts have reached their maximum capacity, so perhaps this could be a way to sort them all out. My life seems extremely hectic and crazy lately, some of it is good, while others aren't quite so good.

I just got home from week #5 of teaching summer school, which I love doing don't get me wrong, but something about having to be up by 6:30 am over the summer doesn't seem right, oh well only 1 more week to go. I've spent the afternoons driving out to Paxton, not to work on my classroom yet, but to work on making a bookroom which I suckered myself into doing, somehow I can't say no. The school got 900 titles, with 6 books in each title... do the math and you get 5,400 books that I've had to go through, level, label, and shelf.... fun way to spend summer vacation.

On top of school stuff I have also finally decided to make the big move... after four years of living at home after undergrad I am finally leaving the nest. I am so excited to move next week and have a closer commute to work along with an awesome place; however, I didn't realize how much work it takes to pack up a room in a house that I've lived in for the past 22 years of my many clothes, books, and random things to go through.

Also, family issues have taken over lately too. My brother has been sick for two years, had his colon taken out in January and has since had 5 infections... well maybe the same one five times, but I'm not sure. He's been in out of Boston like it's his job, which he hasn't had since graduating college. He's currently in Boston Medical Center and has been there for about a week with pancreatitis now and was recommended to have his gall bladder out too when he goes in for yet another surgery.

Well it's lunch time for me, then some house work to do (mom's been in Italy for 2 weeks, so I've also become the one to cook, clean, do laundry, etc.), followed by some "me time" at the gym, then back here to try to find some boxes so I can do more packing!