Here’s to!

2015! May you bring moments of joy, moments of learning, and for whatever happens this year…may I grow into a smarter, more caring, and more understanding person that I am this year. May I treasure my blessings, and give thanks for all I have been given. May I not forget what I have learned through the journey of life so far and may I write the next 365 pages of my life looking forward to an amazing future! The future is written, yet unknown to me…I look forward to finding out!



It is almost 2015!!!! Officially where I live it is New Years Eve! Last 24hrs of 2014 are here, hard to believe. Of course on the other side of the world like Guam, it is also 4:30-5:00pm. For them, 2015 will be here in less than 9hrs. And then we will celebrate and prepare to start the Spring 2015 semester.

I spent today downloading a few apps that I hope to use in 2015. The first app is a recipe and meal planning application. Hunny and I are going to work at eating healthier this next year. And we hope that with meal planning we will not only plan our finances better but we can also start being a bit healthier.

I also downloaded a financial expense tracker application. It is nice to work at ways to be on top our finances. We know that if we want adoption to happen, we need to set some better goals for ourself. We have also decided that 2015 will be our planning/preparation year. We will work to be healthier, we will work to be financially healthier, and we hope to develop some healthy habits to live by. I know it is easy to say that now but I hope that we stay true to our goals.

Hard to believe this is my last few days of vacation! It is back to work on Monday! No doubt it will be a nuts week. I have a big event on the 30th so it will for sure be a busy few weeks. But I am ok with the back to work, I like my routines and being home for two weeks changes things. Granted I have gotten my home cleaned, I’ve made some great goals and I have enjoyed naps! Those have been super nice! But i am ready for my normal! Especially because that means my last semester of school will be here! 🙂

My hubby and I are also are praying that we depend our spiritual walk this next year! That we instill between us some of the things we want for our future kids. Devotional and prayer times were part of my growing up years, I want the same for my future kids. So I downloaded Sara Youngs “Jesus Today.” It is a short devotional on my iPhone. I read Sara Youngs “Jesus Calling” devotional for two years and loved it. This devotional is proving to be spot on with where our life is and the things we are facing. There are many things I praying over for 2015. These include a job, future career for myself and my husband, direction on where to live, student loan repayment, and future kids. These things are more are constant on my prayer list that is for sure. I also pray for direction for my rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibro treatment. I pray for all my many doctors as we work hard to balance the effects of meds and decreasing the effect of the diseases. Not an easy task by no means!

Here is to an awesome 2015 year! I know much for my life will change! There are many unknowns, but I am ready and willing to face those challenges head on! 2015, bring it on!


Dec 30th

Yup hard to believe it is December 30th (AGAIN!). This time in the years past, I have been preparing for my Spring courses. Some years it was Criminal Justice course, other years I was digging into my Counseling books, and most recently I have been working on my Educational Leadership coursework. And this Spring, I am filing for graduation! I am preparing to see what the world will bring next. Hard to believe time has flown by so much.

This time next year, I wonder what I will be doing? Where will I be? What will I be doing? I have been spending a lot of time this break in prayer, thinking about 2015 and how I know life will change. I am praying that no matter what happens, I continue to grow/deepen my faith. I pray that I will continue to  mature, that I will continue to advocate for living life despite RA, Lupus, or Fibromyalgia. I know there will be challenges, and I know that no matter what those challenges are….that today I am determined to face those challenges head on.

Many I know are facing different struggles. I say a prayer for them! I hope that I can continue to be a friend that they need in their tough times. And I pray that no matter the pain, no matter the exhaustion, that I continue to stay focused on my goals and dreams.

Happy almost 2015! J

So much information!

We have spent the week looking through adoption information, both domestic and international. The first thing I have realized is wow the cost!! Major $$$. It is amazing how getting a child can cost so much, not that having a child naturally is cheap. Most adoption agencies have at least a $35,000 to $50,000 estimate.  Granted not all of that has to be paid upfront but that is the expected estimated cost to get a child. Some agencies say that international is cheaper, some that that a domestic adoption is cheaper. We have also seen some very interesting “requirements” to adopt (depending on the agency). Some of those requirements have been both parents over 30, both parents having a BMI of under 31, both parents having a net worth of $80,000, and parents required to have $10,000 in their bank account for each member of the family (or potential) family each month to cover expenses. The process has been enlightening that’s for sure.

I see the infertility specialist on January 6th, I’m interested to see what she has to say. Granted, I am coming to terms with the fact that a natural child for me is likely not going to happen. I am also coming to terms with the fact that these diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia have a long reach. I was reminded of that today, when I went to the eye doctor. My eyes are SO dry that I cannot even wear contacts. In addition, my eyes are so dry that my vision is being affected now. I can now not make out anything with out my glasses, my distance vision is extremely poor  and my near vision is not improving. My doctor prescribed drops (again) but you can only put in so many drops. Hopefully something will change for the better!

Good news, I have finished writing my entire dissertation! The entire thing is written, except the abstract/acknowledgement section. I will just be working on edits for now until my final defense (hopefully early January) and then I hope to have a smooth transition with graduate studies/the library. I will be filing for graduation as soon as the semester opens! YAY! Feels good that is for sure!

But now I’m back to Spring Cleaning 🙂 #moreworktodo #takeadvantageoftheenergy



You know that one thing you hate to do….but sometimes that one thing is something that needs done? That’s how I feel about a few things in life…moving is one of them. I hate the packing, living in boxes, dumping everything in a vehicle (s) to move, and unpacking. I would love to hand someone my keys, and say move me/unpackme and I will be back when it is all over! HAH! RIGHT! Wouldn’t that be amazing.

Well another I also hate to deal with are car dealerships! Yes, not that every single person who works there is horrible or mean….but it is just a LONG LONG LONG process that I personally hate. But today my husband and I set out to see what we could to do trade in our 2013 vehicle as the miles are adding up and I know that the value is going down. So we started at one place and after 1.5hrs……….we turned down their offer and left. Driving to another dealership I was hoping that we would have much better luck…and YES WE DID! We traded in our 2013 for a 2015 new model of a new car. I have never driving the new car model or brand. I’m excited to have a new car and hoping that the next three years with this vehicle are going to be as good as we have experienced with our old car.

Needless to say I am exhausted. The dealerships chair of course were NOT comfortable in any way. I feel like my lower back is broken so I’m making my home on my amazing couch. I realize “wow so much gets done on my couch.” I have written my dissertation predominately from the couch. I have written SOO many class papers from the couch. But the amazing thing is that the papers got done and yes the dissertation is just about done. My Christmas gift to myself will be to get all my edits done that I have so that way I can start January with just editing editing and editing as my dissertation chairs get me the edits to fix. I love the fine tuning to the dissertation. I’m am so blessed to have amazing chairs. They have worked with me over break, they have helped me in so many ways. I am definitely blessed! 🙂

back to work I go! Merry Christmas all!


One of those weeks

This week has been one of those weeks. Life has been crazy, many things going on. I have finally finished work for this year. No more work until 2015! Well that is my full time job, I am spending every day working on edits that my chairs have for me. They both have been doing an awesome job helping me get this dissertation ready to go to Graduate Studies/Library in the Spring. I am also working hard to write the final chapter. I don’t know why it seems so hard, I’ve written/erased so many times as I write the final chapter. I have four pages done, which is close to what the chapter might end up still! I haven’t reached the end, at least not in my mind. And I am learning that there can always be a better way to write and say things, the cool part about editing my dissertation…is that I remember writing it. Then given a few weeks (or more) and other people reading it…I see how it could have been better. So the document is turning out to be really good! I’m very excited to see what the final pieces will look like in the Spring.

We also have been doing a lot of thinking about our future. We received news this week that wasn’t new that I wanted to hear. I guess as a young woman (under 50 feels young right!) the words “infertility” are hard to take. Many thoughts come up, like why did I want to wait so long before I started my family. I always rationalized that if I was done with my education before I started a family..then I was making a smart choice. I saw countless times where the woman would stop her education/stay at home and then something would happen. The woman would then struggle to find a job, gain experience, and take care of her kids. I was determined that before I had a child I would be settled, have my career, and my education. Although now I realize that I won’t be having a baby of my own. That hurts, it hurts because in a way (while I cannot “prove it”) I feel that a lot of the problems I have are from my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. I know I was so excited when I heard of biologics available that could potentially allow for childbirth. I thought the words my first rheumy told me of not being able to have kids because of staying on meds, I thought those words were likely to change. It is a big adjustment, now we are thinking about what will our future be with kids.  At this point we have several options including an egg donor, national adoption, or international adoption. Much to think about for sure, an adjustment that will take time. The good news is that I did get an appointment with an infertility specialist, she is supposed to be very good. And she so helped work me in to see her in January. It is a new journey on this RALF journey.

I’m off to learn more about structure coefficients! 🙂 My reliability generalization study is demanding I add a bit more statistics for clarity sake. I trimmed but I also need to add a few more. YAY!

Thank you all for your prayers, support, and love! I have appreciated growing along side you this year!



Flaring! Flaring sucks don’t it! I hate it when I flare and I wish I could stop it once it starts but I haven’t managed that yet. I worked a LONG day these past few days. Working 8.5hr days and not many breaks. Today I ended up working on a project from 7:30am until 3:30pm! I did not move all day! I couldn’t believe it, but as soon as I moved I realized how stiff I was :-(. And now my knees and hips are so swollen! But the good news, only a half day tomorrow! Hurray! Then 2 weeks of break!

Goals for the break period = edit!!! I will be editing my dissertation and preparing to do all the paperwork I need to do in order to graduate in May! I will also be working on a professional what I need to do list. Yes time to start planning for what is next! Praying that the lord answers many unspoken prayers.

But tonight, I’m off to rest and hope this flare goes away soon! #spoons


Crazy week

The crazy week that no one could plan! This time week before last my hubby and I talked about how we would have one crazy week, we had so many things to do. Now that our week is over, so much happened that we never planned for…doesn’t it always!

We were expecting to go to a wedding this weekend, and I’m so sad for my friends because that did not happen. I can only imagine being so close to such a huge event and then it doesn’t happen! 😦 I have no words for them, just prayers as their is substantial hurt on all sides for all involved.

Then when I got home from work on a Thursday, I had to take Bruce back to the vet. His allergic reaction wasn’t healing so he needed an antibiotic shot! He has to get sjors versus oral antibiotics because oral meds would affect his Chrons disease medicine. So when we got back we noticed there was lots of water in the drive way…turned out the main water line to the house broke! 😦 Irrr not good.

Then after working to see what to do to fix that problem, we noticed HOA had posted a notice that we needed our paint redone on the house! It was like really? Sad part was they couldn’t even tell us where, so now they have to come back by and take pictures. But hey at least the water line is fixed now!

Matt went to get food on Thursday night, after the water line and vet visit, and he was around the corner from our house when he saw a cat running across the road. He stopped to not hit the cat, and a 100 pound lab hit the drivers side of the car. Apparently the dog was chasing the cat, because the owner of the dog didn’t close their gate, so the dog ran out when he saw the kitty. The unfortunate pain of dealing with insurance followed. The owner did not feel that it was their fault, although he finally said he would “check” his homeowners policy. We filed our claim immediately and after several phone calls on Friday, we got the car to a body shop. $1000 later we hope to have repairs done this week or early next. Amazing to me the process of it all, thankfully enterprise was able to get us a rental car right away. I’m driving a car that feels like a boat but at least I have wheels. Downside is we have to pay the deductible 😦 thankfully it isn’t a huge amount but I’m still wishing the owner of the dog would pay it. Although our insurance company says that is not likely, :-(.

The good part of this weekend, Matt was able to complete his first KSW test of the year. First one he has done since he took a break and came back. It was tiring but he did well! And after a restful afternoon we went to a Christmas Party last night at a Brazilian Steakhouse! Yummy!! The food was delicious! I of course loved my shoes!

Crazy weekend yes? Nuts weekend! I finally got a call from my doctors, I have to go in for more tests etc. So back to the doctors I go! Amazing how RA/Lupus can cause so many problems! But we got to see Christmas lights!!!

But the week is past, I have a 3.5 work week this week and then I’m off for Christmas break! Yay! I hope to spend my time editing and writing my last chapter. My final defense I hope to schedule either Jan or Feb. I am required to present my results which I am excited to do. Then hopefully by feb. I can start ordering my graduation stuff 🙂 I’ve been told my final defense is expected however to plan on graduating, it is so reassuring to hear your co-chairs be so encouraging. It takes so much stress off when you know that they have you in the right track!










I still remember

A good friend of mine left today, she flew back to her home in Berlin. I thought about her today as the hours went by. Then as I was walking out of work, I picked up the phone to call and leave her a voice mail and she answered! Lufthansa had been delayed, she was boarding about 20 minutes late. We talked one more time before she boarded and then she texted me right before the doors closed. As we talked I remembered the day I got on a plane with two suitcases, I remember seeing the mountains of my home disappear beneath me. I remember thinking, wow will I ever come back to this country? Will I be the same? What will change in my life? Will I be successful? To a 16 year old college freshman, the world seemed overwhelming. I was headed to the United States, a country I never knew as home. I was determined to be someone, I was determined to be successful. Now almost 12 years later, I look at what I have done in my life. I look at the things I have accomplished and wonder have I reached the success I hoped for when I was a child.

I have earned two degrees, and I have a third degree about 90% complete. I have a home that I call for the most part my own, I have a car, a cell phone, furry kids, and yes most importantly a husband. I think back to when I was a 16 year old kid in Honduras….did I ever expect to make it this far? In 12 years would I have guessed that I would have made it this far?

I know I would not have guessed that for the past 5 years I would have been battling RA, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia. I know I would never have thought I would have suffered the intense pain daily that I suffer now. I know for sure I would never have thought I would make chemotherapy and biologic injectable meds my life. As a child you would have to chase me to give me a shot, never in a million years would I ever have guessed that I would be self-injecting a medicine (a biologic no less!). WOW! What I have experienced in these years.

As I said good bye to my friend, I remember telling her “you will be successful, don’t be defined by what life has throw at you to this point. Be defined by the future you make for yourself.” Her home is Berlin, she is returning home and for that I am happy! I am happy she is going back to family and friends that are her normal. When will she return to me, I have no idea! I do know that I was blessed to know her for the time I did know her. She taught me many things, and by the time her flight lands in Frankfurt tomorrow morning…I will have spend considerable time thinking of her traveling. As she and I said when we said good-bye via phone today. It is not good-bye it is a see you later!

I said “see you later” to my home country! And yes I do think I am going back one day! I am definitely proud of what I have done. I am proud that I have worked hard, I am proud that I am advocating for myself. Too often it is easy to hide the pain, mostly because others don’t see it. You can look amazing, yet feel so rotten. And while I tried to do that myself..I realized the value of others knowing your pain so they might understand ONE DAY how much of a fighter you are in life. So I am thankful that I remember where I came from, I remember life’s lessons, and yes I remember the feeling of urgency that I must bring awareness to the life of some one with an invisible illness. It is hard to bring awareness, it is a bareness that sometimes I wish I could hide. It is a weakness that I wish I didn’t have, a weakness because I have to be honest that I am not a tank, I am not mighty and strong all the time. Nope instead there are many days that even zipping up a skirt brings so much pain that I cry. Sometime brushing my teeth make my fingers hurt so bad. Sometimes just rolling out of bed pops both hips and bring such pain. BUT I will refuse to let these pains win! I will remember where I came from, and not be defined by where I am today. I will be defined by what I do tomorrow.