Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Hard to Dance, With a Devil on your Back

This one's a little hard to write. But sometimes- in order to find my motivation in life, I have to get it all out there. Put it all on the line in order to motivate myself to change. So here it goes.

I have so much to "dance" about. But i'm quickly learning that it is hard to dance with a devil on your back. (If you haven't heard this song by Florence and the Machine, or remake by Glee, wow, you are missing out. It's called Shake it Out...Thank me later.)

I have the best husband who is willing to love me through anything.

I have the best family in the world, and I got to add the other best family in the world last August

School is going so well- a year and a half until I have my Masters!
It is almost Christmas, where I get to spend time with my family and friends.

Nothing to complain about here!

But for some reason I am stuck.

But like the song goes on to say... "it's always darkest before the dawn."

I think the devil knew how happy my life could be, so he jumped right on my back in order to ruin it the best he could. And for some reason I let him... but in the end that visual has helped me to get the motivation to SHAKE HIM OFF!

Or in my choice of methods...RUN him off!

In a moment of weakness, or as I have decided to call quarter-life crisis...I signed up for a marathon. I've finished a few halfs in my life,


but every time I cross that finish line I think i've said something to the extent of, "I don't know how ANYONE doubles that."

But my motivation is this-

if i'm going to be running a few hundred miles in the next few months, i'm bound to find myself somewhere along the way right?

No more of this negativity toward myself and my body. Because if I am going to finish this marathon me and and body are going to have to be the best of friends right?

So it's time to love myself for what I am and run my little heart out.  BYE devil. You have no place on my back any more.

Devil- consider yourself SHAKEN OFF! as of...NOW

Side note: if anyone out there runs or knows how to run...feel free to give any and all advice cause I NEED IT!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Days of Summer

I should be studying for finals.

Ehh...I should actually be studying for the GRE.

Not like my whole life of school and career is on the line or anything? All resting on this one dumb 4 1/2 hour test? That is in a week? Well shoot...

But Jonathan is gone at a final, the house is clean*, I made dinner**, and I can't find another distraction...which brought me to the revival of the blog. The distraction of ALL distractions.

**really, really rare

And thus we see. I am blogging.

Where better to begin?

the. summer. of. all. summers.

March- Engaged
April- Pick a dress, engagement pictures, get all addresses, last minute trip to Cali, say goodbye to Jonathan
May- Bridals, fly to Africa
June- Africa
July- Africa
August- Africa, fly home, see Jonathan, bridals, wedding, honeymoon, school.

Yep. that happened. And i'd like you all to notice that "plan a wedding" was no where in that list. I can thank my Mom and Sister for any and all things that were at that wedding. Other than Jonathan,  the rest was picked by my talented mom and sister.

So, let the unload of summer pictures begin!

Where better to start?

Down in AFRICA!

The place: Uganda

My crew:

The Cause: Put Solar power in maternity wards of health centers like this

In order to deliver babies like this

Now that i'm home I can sort of explain what we did there. It's one of those things that is hard for me to explain. But here I go...

Last December 2 non-profit organizations joined together to install solar power into maternity wards in Uganda. We Care Solar has created a "Solar Suitcase" that is made specifically for maternity wards, and Safe Mothers, Safe Babies has good relationships with people in villages in Uganda. So they paired up and installed about 20 of these Solar Suitcases into rural health centers and hospitals.

Us three students were sent there to evaluate that project. And not only that- we were supposed to evaluate our evaluation methods. You follow?

So we went to see how these Solar Suitcases were changing things for the health centers. Were more mothers delivering there because there was light now? Was there less maternal and infant deaths now that they have light to deliver the babies? Was there no influence at all? In addition, what is the best way to measure this stuff? Do interview work? Surveys? Etc?

So that was the cause. 3 months of interviews with health care staff that practically don't speak english, traveling between 10 health centers, seeing the births and c-sections of far too many babies, and trying to survive in a place far, far from home.

So with that- let the summer of all summer posts begin!