Here we go again

I'm 23. I have rheumatoid arthritus.  I hurt.  All the time.  Tonight I hurt so much I'm in tears.  I need to get a new Rheumatologist.  I went to one a week ago (my medicine has run out, not that it worked for this pain anyway) and he did absolutely nothing for me but tell me that we need to see if there is Joint damage and to keep taking Aleve because it will heal it.  This time the flare-up is in my right toe.  I've had it for about three months now....maybe four.  It hurts to walk.  It is agitated if anything touches it.  Let alone when it gets kicked by the dog or my boyfriend while we toss and turn in our sleep.  Aleve isn't working as it should.  So here I am, reduced to tears on the couch at 2:00 in the morning trying, just trying to make it feel better. 

I'm not asking to be healed.  I haven't had a flare-up in years.  Two or three years, I think.  I can live with this, and I believe I have this disease because the Lord knows I can live with it.  I'm not complaining about how life isn't fair, I'm not asking 'why me'.  I did the second time it flared up.  I was 20 then.  Now I'm not.  Now I'm back to the 19 year old who knew the doctors had a solution and that we would all work together to find one.  I'm 23 now.  I work full time, go to college and pay my own bills.  I have my own health insurance.  I'm scared to go get anything done because of how much it's all going to cost.  That's the whole-hearted truth.  I need to.  I probalby can't get into a new Rheumatologist for about a month. 

I've subconsiously started walking so the pressure isn't on my big toe when I walk.  This means that I'm leaning and the pressure is all being put onto the side of my foot.  This is not good.  I don't know how to fix it, though, without not being able to walk.  I'm at a loss right now...and that's the last thing I want.  To be lost.  However, these "break-downs" always happen in the middle of the night.  When I can't call a doctor or make any progress and the only thing to do is wait until I see the first rays of the morning sun.  Part of me thinks I need to go to the hospital.  See if they can give me better drugs.  I don't know what else they could do for me, though.  At least when I was 19 and my knee swelled up they could drain it.  I don't think they could do that in my toe.  However, a cortisone shot wouldn't be half bad either.

I need to get some sleep.  At least try to.  My alarm is supposed to go off in four hours.  My dad's going to be awake in one.  Maybe I'll wait until I can call him.  He might not know what to do, but he at least can make me feel better emotionally.



I'm trying to love my body.  Scratch that, I'm trying to like my body. I'm not ashamed to let the world know how much I weigh.  I don't think it's acceptable, even though I've been told by numerous people that I 'carry it well'. I know some people are going to laugh at this number, but for my 5'4" frame, it's not acceptable.  Especially when I'm only 23 and have to run the Warrior Dash in less than a month.  The number? It's 158.5 pounds.
 The boyfriend and I recently got gym memberships, and by recently, I mean three days ago.  I've taken a huge interest into what is going into my body.  Instead of playing the Monopoly game at McDonalds (which I got addicted to...all I ended up with was enough Coke points to 'buy' a years' worth subscription to Cosmo and 40 free Snapfish Photos) every day, I'm now kind of on the Special K Challenge and work my buns out.  Today was an 'off' day, because I'm sore.  Tomorrow will be another 'on' day, after work.  Which is at 8 am tomorrow morning, and I've been closing all week so that will have a nice jet-lag effect.  Anywho.  I eat a bowl of Special K in the morning, Snack (usually the crisps) and then a protein shake, then another snack (the healthy bars) then a regular healthy dinner.  Tonight was baked chicken in cream of mushroom soup with green beans and only one semi-healthy roll.  I got to 1150 calories (I'm trying to stick to a 1200 calorie diet).  Not bad, I say.

The only problem with this Special K dealio is that it's just so darn expensive!  I know there are other alternatives, but geez louise they're yummy!  I also know that I need to just eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full then work out like normal.  I'm hoping that in five weeks I will have dropped ten pounds if I keep on the way I'm going.  That's about fifteen dollars a week, though.  Yikesabee.  Why is being healthy so expensive?  Granted, I could switch over to Apples and Oranges, Bananas, etc. ....but what fun would that be? I mean, isn't that the 'old fashioned' way of losing weight?? Who does that anymore?! Me.
That's right,
After I run out of this special K stuff, though.  It's so darn yummy right now!!


One Year

I've been here in Austin for a year now.  One whole year. A lot can change in a year, and when you look back and realize where you were, how you got here, and how far you've come (let alone OVERcome), you finally actually realize and put into perspective that stupid saying.  One year ago I was scared, nervous, excited, anxious, and just so jaded.  Now I'm confident, still excited, happy, and I feel like I'm achieving something. 

Let's see.  Here's my year in a nutshell.
Move to Austin
Start work
go out with Aunt Nette (every chance I got)
social butterfly much? Hello.
Halloween, so close to going downtown.
Amanda came down for Thanksgiving
(by the way, I'm making friends, too...)
Met Steve
THANKSGIVING! Amanda and I had a blast
(she made out with an Australian).
My confidence came back somewhere in between meeting Steve and Thanksgiving.
Christmas Parties :)
Started Texting Steve (like...everyday)
Christmas Eve--best one I ever had (hello to a whole pan of Rice Crispy Treats and It's a Wonderful Life on the couch with Aunt Nette)
Christmas Day
Texting Steve (like I said, every day).
Lunch with Steve
New Years Eve (I made him come over around 10 when I found out he was spending it alone)
First Kiss :)
Snow in Texas!!
Exclusive with that boy!
Official with that boy!
Valentines Day
Somehow my confidence came back tenfold
Now it's March?
Huge fight with Aunt Nette
Back in School
getting sick of my job...
Baseball season!
Best Birthday Ever :)
Move in with Steve.
Getting fat and happy.
Get an Internship with Bobby Bones Show
Football season!
Quit internship (credits wouldn't line up)
Back in School!
And here we are :)

*whew* I'm freaking exhausted.  Like I said, a lot can happen in a year.  I'm as fat and happy as ever (yea...trying to get rid of the 'fat' part).  I'm ready for the next year :) Bring it on!



I've always believed in the phrase Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend. My diamond, however, isn't your typical shiny thing. Mine is covered in dirt, has nine players on it, a roaring crowd around it and smells like hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks. My diamond is a baseball diamond. The AL Division Championships happened last night. This is the first season in a while that the Detroit Tigers have made it to the postseason. Yes, there is only One October...and we made it this year! Watching Valverde (Papa Grande) strike out Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) leading the Tigers to Victory (3-2) against the Yankees AT Yankee Stadium was one of the best sights ever. Now the Tigers go on to play for the AL Championship against the Rangers. I like the Rangers, but they have nothing on my D-town Tigers. Detroit needs a miracle, big time. The Lions are helping in this miracle, going on a 4-0 winning streak. The likes of which Detroit hasn't seen since...oh I don't even know when. Not in my lifetime (that I can remember).
Baseball. America's past time. My favorite Diamond. That's love.
Don't get me wrong, my birthday is in April, and April's birthstone is the diamond. My birthstone is THE Stone. I don't want a diamond until I get THE ring. Until then, I'll take my peanut smelling, dirty, messy diamond.


We don't need no water....

For the past week, there have been massive fires surrounding Austin.  I've never seen with my own eyes the level of devestation this blaze has left in it's path.  Unfortunately, the drought and heat left Central Texas in perfect condition for a wildfire.  Which totally happened.  At one point, Austin was completely surrounded.  The biggest blaze was in Bastrop and for days (three, to be exact) the fire was 0% contained.  Which is a stupid phrase, if you ask me, but as I learned more about wildfires, it made sense.  There were 200+ firefighters fighting this Bastrop fire, not to mention how many were up in Steiner Ranch (which lost 25 houses and 360 acres), Pflugerville and Cedar Park.  The Bastrop fire is now 50% contained, with over 34,000 acres destroyed and over 1,000 homes gone as well.  The fires broke out over Labor Day weekend.  I didn't know about them until Tuesday when I went to my internship (YES! I got an internship!!With The Bobby Bones Show.  Syndicated in four states, and holy crap this will look good on a resume! That's another story, though). 

Tuesday morning I was in the studio with the Hosts (Bobby, Carlos, Lunchbox, Amy and Alayna).  They sent three interns out to the WalMart by the studio to collect water and Gatorate for the firefighters.  They had taken three truckloads to a food bank already, and by the time the show ended and the rest of the interns showed up, there had to be at least 1,000 cases of water and gatorade.  We filled up a truck-bed and eight cars with the fluid.  We made a caravan on the way to unload all of it.  Every single one of us helped, trying to show our support for those trying to put out the uncontrollable fire.  I mean, It's almost a week later and it's ONLY 50% contained.  The fire has spread out to Lockhart, which is 30 miles from where the blaze originally started.  We filled up seven pallets five feet high with water and Gatorade donations.  I mean, it's a ton of stuff.

I was allowed to go out to Bastrop on Friday and Saturday to staff the Bastrop Home Depot.  That was a humbling experience, let me tell you.  I wanted to hug every single person, cry with them, take them home and give them a hot meal.  The Red Cross came out on Friday to put together clean-up buckets (some people were being let back into their neighborhoods, but not many).  All together we gave out over 1,000 buckets, and we hand-made sifters as well.  Some people came through absolutely in tears, others were so jovial still, saying that it was just stuff.  Others apologized for their messy cars as I loaded them up, saying, 'We've been living out of it...and this is our home right now'.  There were others that came through the line with nothing.  I loaded up one car with his bucket, sifter, shovel and rake, put it in the trunk.  He had about six picture frames in the back, and I asked if he wanted me to put them in the bucket so they wouldn't break.  He said Yes, and Thank You, that was all he could save from his house before it went up in flames, and he cherished those six pictures.  So many people had stories just like that.  Others were so happy, saying we were doing a great thing and they were so grateful that we were doing this for them.  They said that this meant a lot that we were willing to help out.  Then there were those people who had worked their whole lives for that house, and they lost it all, but were in such good graces becase, 'it's just stuff, it doesn't matter, we can always get more stuff.  We're okay, our kids are okay, and that's all that matters'.  This is farmland, too.  So many people had pastures and horses.   Most of the animals got out okay, and they're still finding others. 

One man sticks out in my memory completely.  He pulled up in his Chevy and on his shirt it said 'Mackinac Island' with a picture of a carriage on it.  I handed him the bucket and said, 'Woohoo! Mackinac Island! I'm from there! Well, Michigan...not the island.'  He smiled and said, 'Well, this is a donated shirt, so...' and he drifted off.  My heart absolutely sunk, realizing that he had nothing, and told him the shirt looked really good on him.   My job was keeping moral up, not bringing people down.  As much as I felt bad and was shocked at my surroundings, I didn't let it show.  Not until a woman came up to me and when I asked if she needed help finding anything, she started crying and said, 'everything'. 
She was pulling into the Home Depot parking lot and saw two firetrucks racing down her daughters road.  Little fires keep popping up here and there, and she was scared that for her daughter.  I gave her a hug.  It was instinctive, and we sat there talking.  She has seven kids, and their house was one of the first to go up in flames.  They know they have no home to go back to, and she was very angry.  Her mom and sister were evacuated, and they were complaining about it.  She has nothing, and hasn't complained once.  I couldn't even imagine.  That's what people need, though.  Some to tell their stories, others to have a joke told to them.  They need support.  I'm a one woman support team.  I talked to her and her children (once they came in) for about an hour.  We picked out new house layouts, and she started looking at the upsides and stopped worrying about her daughter (the fire was put out really quick, and everything was alright).  When she left she gave me another hug and told me I was just a doll.  She thanked me for everything, when really she had nothing to thank me for at all.  I was just an ear.

It's amazing to see the whole community coming together. People up north in Austin (which is 30 minutes away from Bastrop) are housing complete strangers' animals.  The Animal Shelter is holding animals until owners can come and get them.  We had one man call the Radio Station on Tuesday and offer his ranch in N. Austin.  Gave his phone number and address saying 'to call if you need animals housed'.  He called back within 45 minutes saying he was full and couldn't take anymore...he lived on 2,500 acres.  Donation centers are filled to the brim and can't hold any more stuff.  Home Depot has been amazing at donating materials, and people have been so grateful.  It's amazing to see that just giving them a shovel and a pair of gloves (which is the minimum when we ran out of supplies) brightened their day.  It's September 11th today, and although what happened 10 years ago is still fresh and stings, we need to take care of what is happening in our own backyard right now.  FEMA is came in on Tuesday, and people are starting to regroup and get back on their feet.  The fire isn't even completely out yet, only 50% contained, and they're still trying to make the most of it.  So here's to them, they're troopers, and I have a lot of respect for them, because they lost everything, yet those people are still happy and making the best of everything.  I hope I can be like that if anything disasterous ever happens to me.  They're an inspiration.


I love you...

This is exactly how I feel about him. It's not changing, it's not going away, and this is how I know I'm 100% head over heels madly in love.  Even though I'm frustrated with him, I wouldn't change anything.  I wouldn't change our rental that needs major improvements that I want to buy, I wouldn't change working on my car with him at 11:00 at night, I wouldn't change waking up at 6:30 to his alarm every morning (yes, even weekends).  I wouldn't change the dirty kitchen or his moods.  I wouldn't change him.  I won't change him.
I just have to be aware, be concious, of how I affect him.  I have to realize he's trying to protect me, and I have to appreciate, respect, and be thankful for that.  With realizing that, he needs to realize that I'm trying to make him comfortable and realize that I'm doing all I can. 
We just both need to realize.


My last post I talked about time-outs.  It seems that doing so is necessary again.  Not talking about them, but actually doing it.  Boyfriend is in a funk, one that is seemingly caused by me.  I'm a fixer, I want to fix this said funk, but I can't.  Only he can.  He has to get over his issues and I need to understand why these issues are here.  It all seemed to have started because of this badass internship I have.  I've only been there three days, and it seems he and I have 'had words' about it more times than I can count.
His view: I'm acting younger.  I'm excited about it and acting like a 13 year old girl.  I'm naive and going to put myself into a situation I shouldn't be in, and because I'm being naive I won't realize it.

These were (except for the putting myself into a situation) all things my ex boyfriend had said, as well.  Except he also threw in that I was immature because I liked bright colors (I mean...what?!).  I'm 23 now, and I'm looking at it from his point of view.  I'm not as naive as he thinks I am, but I don't know how to prove that to him.  He's happy, but not acting like his normal self which is freaking me out.  There isn't anything wrong with that, but I feel like a lost little puppy. 

This is how I know we need another time-out.  However, I'm not going to listen to myself.  'Oh, what was that, Kristen??  You feel like you two need to do an activity together so you can prove to him that you're not going anywhere and he needn't worry?  Yea--that's a great idea.  It's only going to bum you out that he doesn't want to hold your hand or kiss you or put his arm around you.  Sounds like a banner idea--let's do it!' I can just see the fail happening now.  I've been more emotional and shown more weakness around him in the past two weeks than I ever have, and the only other time I was this frustrated with him where I felt like I just needed to go away was during Rot Rally.  I actually thought about leaving last night and going for a run or somethign to just get away-but that's what immature people do.  They run away.  I stayed.  I fought.  We compromised. 

Yet I still need a time-out.