Saturday, July 30, 2011

getting my mojo back

I'm off on my spiritual weekend, working on my yoga juju.  Say a little prayer for me that I'm not freaking out about all of the things we have going on in our little life right now and that I'm able to pray and meditate and quiet my mind a bit.  Hopefully I'm busy journaling and working through the many feelings and emotions I've been struggling with lately.  I'm going to work on something powerful I read in one of our books:  I can't control the pain that happens to me in my life, but I can control my level of suffering brought on by the pain.  I don't have to suffer so much if I actively choose to suffer less.  Obviously, this is way easier said than done, but it's something to work on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I feel like I'm working 3 jobs right now and doing none of them well.  My regular 35ish hours a week job downtown, my yoga training and condo stager.  I came home from an 8.5 hour work day tonight and started packing the condo for the second time this year.  The only reason that I've stopped to sit down and write this now is that I've completely filled the four boxes that Adam brought home for me.  Our closets are practically empty.  I have no idea how I'm going to figure out what to do in the kitchen since the realtors want our main "pantry" storage piece gone, but that will have to be for Saturday night or Sunday since I have no where to pack anything.  I have no idea where to put the things we use for cooking.  I have a feeling we'll be eating a lot more sandwiches and things that don't require a lot of utensils, pots, pans or appliances.  For someone who likes to cook, this is so incredibly difficult for me.

Must keep my eyes on the prize, which will be bigger closets and a bigger kitchen in Dallas.  But oh this is and will be so rough.

I should have gone to yoga tonight but my butt was bugging me quite a bit on the walk home and as I've been reaching, bending, folding and packing.  I am also exhausted from a long day of work and classes yesterday.  I got home from class a little before 10:30 and by the time we crawled into bed it started thunderstorming like crazy and every time we'd start to fall asleep there'd be another loud crack of thunder.  I have no idea how late we were actually up but I think it was well after Leno was over and the TV had switched off.

Adam left for Springfield, Illinois tonight (thank goodness for free last minute airfare, we are so lucky) to see one of his grandmas.  She's not doing well, which is very sad.  I enjoy her company quite a bit and I know Adam has always felt close to her.  I'm thankful and blessed to have him by my side, these past couple of years have been trying on us in the grandparent illness department.  I'm glad that he'll have the opportunity to visit with her and hopefully have a bit of one-on-one time.

It's been a long week and I'm hoping that my very long weekend of yoga (this weekend we focus entirely on spirituality and they call it our "juju weekend") recharges me instead of drains me.  We have a lot of work to do before we can put the condo back on the market next week.  I'm overwhelmed and afraid of what is to come regarding the sale of the condo.  It's been a really rough week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

i had a bad day

Yesterday sucked.

I took the day off work, so in theory, it should have been an awesome day.  I had plans to go to two yoga classes during mid-day, but after the first one, I was in a lot of pain.  It was taught by one of my favorite instructors and she told me to go home and get some balance.  I've been having a lot of pain in my right glutes for a couple of weeks now.  It will fade away and then I'll go to a class and push too hard one time and it comes roaring back.  Sometimes it's so bad that it hurts even to sit.  I keep forgetting how much I'm putting my body through on a daily basis this summer.  Accruing about 120ish hours of practicing straight yoga is a lot to do in 9-10 weeks.  I skipped the second class and came home and promptly put way too much Bengay on my bum.  I thought that it was actually burning my skin the pain was so intense.  Moral of the story:  go easy on the topical pain relievers!

We met with two realtors and mostly I just sat there feeling stupid on so many levels.  Lots of the things we did to stage the place weren't the best ideas.  We have another huge pile of work to do and probably several more boxes to put in storage.  We only have two closets (and let's be real, it's more like one and a quarter real closets because they are so small).  We used to have them totally full to the brim and when we originally hit the market,  we downscaled a ton.  Both realtors thought we needed to put away another half of the stuff that's currently in them.  Which basically means, we'll each get to keep a couple of outfits to work in and a couple of things to play in.  Everything else has to go somewhere and our storage locker in the basement and our extra storage unit we rented are almost full.  Our kitchen has a butcher block that we use as basically our pantry and there's a drawer where we keep all our silverware.  That also must go.  I have no idea where we'll put our silverware!  That's a basic need!! WHAT???!!!  (I am obviously extremely upset about the silverware.  It's just my thing I'm choosing to harp on.)  Mostly I just felt dumb because we made so many mistakes during this process of trying to sell the place.  I still harbor huge worries that the illusive buyer for a place like this doesn't exist anymore because the banks have tightened up financing (rightly so!).  I'm afraid we'll do all of these things and again have no results.  I'm not sure I have the words to express how disheartening this has been for me.

It's just extremely frustrating.  I don't have any words to say how angry I am about all of it and I don't know how to not be angry and to not take it out on Adam.  And all of this is happening right when Adam has an out-of-town trip planned and I have my huge weekend of 20 hours of classes and my final exams the next weekend.  It's the worst timing possible to have to re-overhaul the house.  And it makes me beyond angry because we've already been living on eggshells without a ton of our stuff for four months.  My patience has completely worn thin and to find out we still have a huge to-do list of things to fix, buy and do is maddening.

Mostly, I just need to pray on, meditate with and just work out all of the anger I'm feeling.  Adam is not the place to unload my frustrations and I want to get better about not doing that.  This has just been the most challenging process for us.  I've let it bother me way more than it should but I can't help but feeling in the back of my mind that this condo is going to prevent us from moving to Dallas and following our dreams.

Monday, July 25, 2011

just as usual

Changes in this world
But flowers will open
Each Spring
Just as usual.

Japanese folk Zen

We were asked to memorize a quote for training yesterday and this is the one I picked.  It actually came from one of our texts that I don't particularly care for, but the quote spoke to me since we have been/are going through/will encounter so many changes since we got married in October.  I've lost sight of the fact that there are many things in life that bring continuity a few times.  I think it's a reminder for me to not let my world get rocked so much because there are still so many things that happen just as they should.

I'm admittedly not a "quote person" and it was hard for me to work in my quote and what it means to me in my teaching (although, I will admit they gave me one of the "surrender poses" where everyone is basically laying in a tough stretch (half pigeon if you know what that is) and I had a decent opportunity to talk about it).  It was hard because I followed an especially poignant moment where one of my fellow trainees talked about her quote during the half pigeon series and I felt kind of inadequate.

Bottom line is that yesterday was hard.  We had to be at the studio at 8:00.  Not having to be at work until 10:00 has spoiled me, it's not that I sleep in but I'm used to having space in the morning to do some of the things I don't have time to do at night.  Because we were teaching to each other, it meant that we were basically practicing yoga, the same sequences over and over, from 8:00-11:30 in the morning and again from 1:30-4:00, with an advanced class sandwiched in between.  My back is aching and my right glutes that have been bothering on and off for weeks have flared up big time (here's a random tip, just enjoy your yoga sometimes and don't be like me and always looking to feel some sort of sensation and push your body past it's limits).  I wasn't called on to teach until the very end of the afternoon so it was a long day of being kind of nervous and wondering which section I would teach.  It was also our last day of teaching clinic, which makes me sad and a little nervous.  I will miss getting the feedback and the opportunity to improve.  While I'm very happy to be so close to finishing the program, I am extremely apprehensive about what my next steps will be while we're still here in Chicago.  I'm not looking forward to not having the distraction of 20 hours of classes a week while we're still trying to sell the condo and get our situation sorted out.

Because even though it seems like everything is changing, there are still so many things that will happen just as usual...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

fifteen days and forty-nine hours

I have only 15 days until the formal end of my classes.  I have 48.75 more hours to earn by then.  Luckily, we have three intensive 8 hour days between now and the end so I should have no problem getting to the hours I need.  It's just hard to be standing at the bottom of this mountain and looking ahead to what I need to accomplish in a short amount of time.  All of this is kind of silly pressure that I'm putting on myself to finish but I want to be done with the certification as soon as possible so that I can hopefully continue to substitute teach at work between now and our move.

In relation to the move, I have so much anxiety that the condo won't sell and we won't be able to go to Dallas for some reason.  It's been a rough mental battle for me this week.  I know what I should be working toward feeling but my mind isn't cooperating with me and I have spent a lot of time anguishing over things that I have no control over and worrying about things that aren't going to happen.  What a waste!  Things are good.  We finally got the condo off the market yesterday after tons of unnecessary trauma!  We'll be hearing from two potential realtors soon and we both have high hopes that re-listing with a bigger company will help draw more traffic in and someone will take a shine to this place.  Again, why do I worry about things I can't control?  What I can control is working diligently on my 49 more hours.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Ironically, I had a pretty bad case of the hiccups last night on the way home from dinner and we were having a good laugh about that.  One of my friends from San Antonio was in town for work and he took us and our friend Heather out to a really fun dinner in Boystown.  I'm so glad we got to do that, it was another thing that I hadn't put on the bucket list but still wanted to do.  I didn't take any pictures though.

Sadly, we're having a few more hiccups with the condo sale/realty switch that are not really bloggable.  Just know that it's been really stressful and upsetting.  I feel like I came into this home sale with a fairly realistic attitude.  And by realistic, I kind of mean pessimistic.  I know that for me personally, this is not a home I would buy and I feel like I can identify all of our weaknesses that people pick on (size, non-existant kitchen, very small living space due to the weird layout, etc.).  However, numbers don't lie and when I look in our price range in our neighborhood, there are no other two bedroom units on the market.  Everything else is a one bedroom and priced higher than us.  It doesn't explain why we've had such a small amount of traffic.  We're stretched to the limit and priced as low as we can go, which I believe is an aggressive price and we just need a realtor that is on board with that and will move this unit.  Due to some money, potential contract and other issues, we're still on the market with our original realtor as of this morning.  At this point, the time is every bit as important as the money and it has both Adam and I tied up in knots.

It's hard to celebrate a big move that we've been working towards for almost a year when the details aren't falling into place.  We're in a rough spot and I wouldn't wish this home sale on my enemies.  I've learned so many valuable lessons.  We'll never buy again without a very sizable down payment.  I want to know we have the security of having a great deal of equity put in from the start in case we ever see property values plummet again.  Our next place will provide us with room to go, rather than being a place we outgrew from the moment I moved in.   It will have entertaining space so that we don't have to go out to eat to see our friends.  This is all going to be quite a few years down the road so we can have time to recover from this both financially and mentally.  I'm totally ok with being renters for the time being.  I'm ready for this skewed version of the American Dream (in our case nightmare) to be over.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

off the market

When I started posting here and intended to document our long journey home to Texas, I had no idea the condo would end up being such a debacle.  I knew it wouldn't be easy to sell but I also never imagined it would be this darn hard.  We worked hard to get it ready to sell; we have been diligent about keeping it clean and ready for the few showings and open houses we have had; we dropped our price twice to what is essentially a "short sale" price level.  None of it has worked so far, obviously, as I'm still sitting here and we've had no offers to date.

On Monday, Adam passed all the background and drug checks and was cleared for hire by his new company.  He had a call with our "relocation consultant" from the company hired by his new company yesterday (did you know there were such things as relocation companies and/or consultants?  yeah, me neither).  In order to receive the generous realtor benefits they are willing to provide, we would have to ask our realtor to release our listing and go with a new realtor.  Adam met with our realtor last night while I was in class* to do that.  So, I believe as of today, we are off the market.  I am not 100% sure where we go from here but I think we'll end up meeting with two potential realtors selected by the company here.  For some reason, everyone is still positive and upbeat about us selling the place and being able to move in September, despite the fact that it's only about 40 days away!  I am trying to remember all my yogic teachings and to remember that I can't control the pain I feel, but I surely can control the extra suffering I inflict on myself about this.  It's out of my hands and while it may be painful to deal with at times, I don't have to suffer for it.  It's only a condo and it will soon be gone from our lives, to be immortalized only here at Nard Dogs so we can remember how crazy a time this was!

*class... oh yes!  this is a little post-script to my heatwave post from yesterday.  I had class last night from 6:00-10:30 and let me preface some of this by saying that I am in HOT YOGA teacher training.  I frequently practice for 75 minutes in a room heated to 103-105F with 40% humidity.  I am used to sweating my face off on a fairly regular basis (i.e. 6-10 hours a week).  Last night we had a hot class before our lecture hours and I have never been so overheated in my life.  I had to take a moment in child's pose and I never have to do that because of the heat.  After class, our instructor told us that she had never turned on the heat in the room, it was all us and the heat from outside that made the class so warm.  After an uber quick short shower, we were back in the same (unheated, yet inferno-like) room from 7:30-10:30.  And all of this was after riding in the train from work that was so crowded, I have no idea if the AC was on because I was working up a fabulous butt sweat on my seat.  In summary, I was basically without air conditioning in 112 heat index with some sort of Houston-like humidity reading from 5:00 when I left work til about 10:45 after I walked home.  I think I'll be JUST FINE when we move.

(and yes, I am getting a little bitter about people thinking it's funny to discourage us because of the weather)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

excessive heat warning

Just a little public service announcement for everyone who likes to give us a hard time about moving back home to Texas and how darn hot we're going to be...

For the rest of the week, our temps here in Chicago are almost as high as you're experiencing in Texas although, you have to remember the same lake breeze that brings us bone chilling winter wind drops off TONS of Houston-style humidity in the summer.  It was 43% in the A/C'ed yoga studio I was in on Monday afternoon.  We're under excessive heat warning and they do that here because so many places aren't air conditioned.  Imagine that, Texans!  Everywhere you go, it's probably a nice 68 inside.  Here, many places don't have that because we only need it for a couple of months a year.  They have to go around and do well checks on people that don't have air conditioning to make sure they aren't stuck in their apartments dying (mainly elderly).

Also, food for thought... here, I walk 5 blocks from our condo to the train.  These aren't little cute downtown blocks like back home, they are real city blocks.  I'm usually drenched with sweat and sucking on my Nalgene water bottle by the time I reach the platform.  Then I get on the train which is only sometimes air conditioned and if it's crowded, no amount of A/C matters anyway.  I get off downtown and walk six blocks to work (one of these blocks is the Sears Tower block just so you can get an idea of how long a block is here in Chicago).  I can almost guarantee that I won't be walking that far unless it's for an exercise based reason in Dallas.  I'll be getting into my car and turning up the air conditioning to my desired level and I won't be sharing my car with up to 100 other people.

So, for those who like to send us the weather forecast and ask us if we're sure, just look up the average temps in Chicago from December to May and remember that, yes!  WE ARE TOTALLY SURE about this.  Thanks!

our chicago bucket list

1. Girl & Goat
2. Greektown
3. Kuma’s Corner (Kristin Geiger wants to go too)
CHECK 4. Revolution Brewing
CHECK 5. Sol del Sur/Whirlaway
6. Spiaggia
7. Rock-It River North
8. Trinity
9. Schoolyard Wednesday night
CHECK 10. Redmond’s Thursday
11. Cheesie’s
CHECK 12. Park Grille outside
13. Tango Sur
14. Piece
15. Watch the sun rise over the lake
16. Show / Brew-n-View at the Vic
17. Higgins- DUH!
18. Wrigleyville Street Fest
19. Late night for Blues at B.L.U.E.S, Kingstone Mines, or Buddy Guys
21. Modern Wing of the Art Institute
22. Little Italy for Italian Ice
CHECK 23. Yoga on the Beach or Park
24. One last comedy show- Second City
25. Sapori Trattoria
26. Mil-e-wakee for a Brew Crew Game
27. Movie in Grant Park
28. Oven Grinders



Monday, July 18, 2011

changing my point of focus

changing my point of focus

When I started yoga teacher training, or "yoga school" as Adam and I affectionately call it, I had an attitude that now disappoints me a little.  I guess to be fair to myself, there were quite a few of my classmates that already knew each other or were really close with some of our instructors.  I don't know if it was internal jealousy of that or my natural tendency to want to fit in immediately too, but I was really skeptical of quite a few of them.  Everyone comes from different and unique backgrounds and surprisingly, as we've continued on, there has been very little competition.  I think most of us realize that there are TONS of teaching jobs available and we all have different plans and places we plan to take this certification.

I was reading one of my classmate's blogs and her initial reaction was so different than mine.  She had nothing but good things to say about everyone!  I was whining in a prior post about how everyone was still in college, had all this free time that I don't have, and that they are all young and I didn't think I'd end up making any friends at all.  

It's all about my gaze on a situation, my point of focus.  I took the narrow view, the negative one, instead of looking at this as an opportunity to never feel alone in my practice.  We read in our first book of the program about spiritual partners.  I'm lucky that Adam comes with me to yoga quite a bit and we do feel a connection to each other before and after class.  I forgot that this intense program would give me 20 other spiritual partners and kindred spirits.  I didn't think about the support and love we'd get from all of our instructors.  I wasn't able to see that I'd always have a familiar face to look to in the studio and a room full of people to motivate and inspire me when I didn't feel like dragging myself to the 8th class of the week.  I had no idea I'd find people that would pray for me when I was feeling all those feelings about the dog.  I didn't allow myself to look at the blessings and only saw people that already knew each other and seemingly didn't like me.  

What a valuable learning experience it's been!  In a way, it's been a microcosm of my entire Chicago experience.  I came here living one of what I lovingly refer to as one of my "past lives" and I have only a couple of relics of what that meant for me left in my current life.  It's been 99% great changes but none of them easy.  I have walked into rooms of people that all knew Adam and each other and didn't know me.  Sometimes it was an easy fit, other times not so much.  I do want to take what I've been able to learn about myself through this and carry a more positive point of focus into my next life.  I used to think that there is a limit on your life of how many good friends you'll be blessed with and that I must have reached mine.  Luckily, God has proven me wrong.  There are no limits except the ones I choose to place on myself.  

Either way, I have no idea how things will end when we're done with our initial training program.  I know quite a few people will continue on for another 4 weeks, I would love to take that journey with them if we end up staying in Chicago slightly longer than we originally thought we would (see: condo issues).  If not, Adam and I can take the free community classes that they'll be teaching.  I'd love to be in the room to support them all.  If I'm not able to continue the journey, I do hope that at least through Facebook I can hear about how they are all doing, what they end up teaching and be a supportive force.  I know I'll need the same in return.  At the very least, they've taught me that there is always room in life for more friends and that first impressions don't always mean everything.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I just finished week 6 of 9 in my teacher training program.  I'm SO happy that time is ticking by and that it's almost over.  Working 35ish hours a week and doing 25 hours of school is wearing me thin.  I'm having less and less time to do the things I want to do and I miss that.  I know that it will all be worth it in the end but I'm going to be excited when the end gets here.  The only unfortunate thing is that the next two weekends of class are even more intensive and we'll be spending even more time in the studio.  While I love my time there, I also love free time and time to spend with Adam and our other friends.  I'm looking forward to going back to my personal yoga practice that is on my terms, not because I'm working crazy hard to accrue hours.  My perfectionism has me wanting to be ahead of everything and everyone.  I want to finish my 200 hours and be ready for certification on August 7th, the day the program officially ends.

The condo has me freaked out.  We keep dropping our price and then inexplicably seeing less and less people coming through.  I think we might be missing the window of time in the city where buyers are actively looking.  Most people don't buy or shop for properties during the winter because the weather is so terrible.  It's incredibly frustrating to make big sacrifices and see even less results.  We should be getting hooked up with the relocation company soon and I am equally interested and afraid of what they advice they will have for us.  I get very nervous that this opportunity will pass us by if we can't figure out how to sell this house.  We can't afford to pay for it and any type of housing in Dallas at the same time.  Renting is a really bad option for us because we'd still be subsidizing the mortgage every month and we'd lose a lot of the relocation benefits offered to us by the new company.  When you're already going to lose a significant chunk of money, it becomes even harder to turn down any assistance offered.  The housing market just crushes me.  I have no interest in buying any sort of real estate for many years in the future.  This experience has been worse than I thought it would be and I was pretty darn pessimistic when we started out.

Overall, I shouldn't complain.  Things are good.  We have each other.  We're both healthy and active.  The condo is just a bump in the road and I'll be done with my classes and certified before I know it.  It's just been a hard, full and stressful few weeks.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

little update

My little canine friend went to his new home last night.  I was pretty torn up about it all day yesterday.  I'm not sure why but visiting the shelter and meeting the little guy brought up a lot of feelings in me.  A little sadness, a lot of grief and even some worry about the future, our future.  It was just one of those days.  I set my intention in my yoga class to think about the animals we met and ended up having a little cry out in savasana at the end of class.  Luckily, it was so hot and humid that it probably just appeared to be sweat.  One of the girls in my class had to put down her family cat yesterday.  It was a day to think about and remember the animals of the world.

I'm so happy for and at peace about the little guy.  If the people loved him enough to make sure they got back to adopt him yesterday, it gives me the faith that they will love him as much as Adam and I would have.  I know our little friend is waiting for us in a shelter in Dallas and we'll be there soon enough to bring him to a loving home.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

gut wrenching

I'm starting to feel that life is less about timing and the illusive "perfect timing" and more about taking opportunities when they cross my path.  It's not that I think I should just wait for things to happen to me, but I think I want to open my eyes to messages that I might have overlooked in the past.

For some backstory, I have been begging Adam to get a dog since we were dating for about a month (I think I had him convinced way back when but I was the one to back down since I was still flying the friendly skies and that would have been a lot to put on him).  (Also, I was 100% convinced we were eventually going to get married so breaking up and figuring out the dog situation never crossed my mind...anyhoo).  We've gone back and forth about this about 100 times over the past three years.  We've had different "deadlines" that have come and gone and one or the other of us has always been the so-called voice of reason in waiting to adopt a dog.  I should mention that we are totally sure we will find a rescue as we aren't particularly interested in starting with a puppy.  I also believe that there are way too many dogs out there looking for their forever homes to get a dog from a breeder.

Fast forwarding through all of that to yesterday...  as part of teacher training, we were assigned to do a Karma Yoga project and do some volunteer work in the community to give back.  Karma Yoga is a pretty big part of most training programs and lots of studios do projects with their members on a regular basis.  The one that our group leaders set up was at the local animal shelter.  On a totally random note, I realized that I am, in fact, quite allergic to cats.  I was in the cat rooms for about 2 minutes before the sneezing started and I didn't even touch any of them.  But OH! the baby kittens.  So cute, but I digress.  Our main job for the 2.5 hours we were there was to just socialize with the animals.  This is a seriously posh and awesome animal shelter, y'all.  It's totally cage free and the animals live in this immaculately clean rooms waiting for someone to take them home.  It was a blast!  My partner and I spent the first two hours having the time of our lives with the dogs mainly since she has a bit of a cat allergy too.  I saw quite a few cuties that I wouldn't have minded taking home but they all had various "things" about them that wouldn't make for a good fit, like needing to stay with the dog from their previous family, etc.

The last dog we made our way around to was new to the shelter.  They claimed he was a chihuahua but I think he had to be at least part terrier.  He was exactly the same size/weight as my dad's rat terrier and had the same body structure as Milo, except for being white with black, he was all "blond" with a tiny little white patch at his third eye center (this is a total yoga thing, the space between your eyebrows, also one of your chakras and the seat of your enlightenment).  Y'all, he was such a doll.  We were instructed at the beginning to not sit down with the dogs and let them climb into our laps because that encourages "alpha dog" behavior.  As soon as we went in the room, he was the only dog to not flip out and try to rush us at the door.  This little guy just laid in his bed, almost skittish to see us.  My partner and I walked over and started very, very gingerly reaching toward him and giving him little pets.  We both sat down near his little bed (oops, oh well) and slowly he opened up to us.  We stayed with him for probably 25 minutes and he melted our hearts.  I was almost crying when we left.  This dog was my ideal dog!  He was so relaxed and mellow but once he trusted us, he was affectionate and loving.  He just needed some time to feel us out.  I got his profile sheet and did the required research on his background.  No problems!  He was judged to be a "constant companion" dog in their personality research on him, which is what Adam and I would need, a relaxed dog that doesn't need tons of exercise and just wants to love on us.  As we were walking out and I was about to find the volunteer lead to talk about him, we saw the sign.  He's being considered for adoption by another family.

This brings me to so many mixed emotions!  I would have walked out with him last night if they didn't have strict pet counseling policies that would involve Adam first meeting the little guy (they are so smart over there).  I do hope that the family picks him up today and that they love him with all their hearts.  He is so special.  When we were leaving all of the other girls from my program were around when I was asking the front desk girl about him.  Apparently 90% of the time that someone initiates an adoption, they do come back and pick up the animal when they say they were going to.  These people said they would come around 6:00 tonight.  I asked if I could call at 7:00 after we get out of our group yoga practice because that is when their adoption hours are over for the day and they would kind of forfeit their claim to him.  She said that I could of course call and ask after him.  All of the girls were saying we should use our intentions in tonight's practice that he still be waiting there for me.  It was so funny.

I came home so excited to tell Adam all about it and he didn't have the reaction I was hoping for.  Going back to what I first mentioned about timing, well, obviously the timing for this would be crazy stupid.  But when is there going to be good timing?  We agreed we'd get a dog right after we buy our cars in Dallas, however, we'll be insanely busy then too!  It's never going to be easy to go and get a dog and try to incorporate it into our lives.  Just like having kids, is there ever a good/easy time?  After MANY tears (mine) and a little heart opening (his), we agreed that I can call and ask about him tonight at 7:00.   I know the chances are slim that he'll still be there and I do hope that he is adopted by a loving family.  I just believe that if he isn't, that this might be our message from God to take a leap of faith.  I can't describe the way he worked his little way into my heart last night.  I'll keep you posted but I think we should go ahead and have our fingers crossed that the original people come for him today and that they love him as much as I already do.

And yeah, I don't plan to volunteer at the animal shelter on a regular basis.  I have NO IDEA how people do it day after day.  It was completely and utterly gut wrenching.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

trial by fire

Last night I had a pretty unique and cool opportunity presented to me.  I was sitting downstairs at work (I work at a health club, just for reference) and around 5:00 my boss called down and asked if I thought I could teach a yoga class at 6:15.  I reminded him that I'm only halfway through teacher training and he said to think about it for a few minutes.  Apparently the regular teacher had an accident and was unable to come in at the last minute.  I realized that I needed to build a bridge and just get over all my fears and do this.  I have no idea where I'll be able to teach in Dallas and I doubt I'll be so lucky to find somewhere to teach in the brief time that we're here between my program finishing and moving.  Plus, I need all the experience I can get to find my teaching voice and learning to lead a class.  

Adam and I were already planning to go to a class together after work anyway so I had my mat and some clothes to change into.  He hurried back downtown because thanks to AT&T, I was unable to catch him before he took the train all the way home.  I bought him a pair of shorts to practice in and we headed up there together at 6:15.  I wasn't sure at first if I wanted Adam to be there or not but in retrospect, I'm so glad he was there.  

I just followed my instincts and used what I've been taught so far and I made it through about 55 minutes of class.  It was basically the longest public speaking "presentation" that I've ever done... I think.  I can think of probably 25-30 things that I need to continue to work on but I'm only halfway through the program.  5 weeks ago, I would never have imagined that I could do what I did after such a short time.  It's definitely a testament to my teachers, I learn and have learned so much more from them than I thought I would have.  I have another post brewing in my mind about some of the instructors that lead our program and the impressions that they've left on me.  

But the practice teaching we do together every Sunday is what prepared me and gave me the courage to do what I did last night.  I am keenly aware that I was so lucky to have the opportunity to work out some of my personal kinks and conquer some huge fears!  I am so grateful that my colleagues had the faith in me to do it and the support I got from everyone before and after was much more than I expected.  I'm lucky that I have a husband who will turn around and head back into a rush hour commute to be there to support me.  I know he was nervous for me too but when I got nervous in class I could go be around him to ground myself again.  

As our group exercise manager told me before class, anything I could do with them for 45-55 minutes would be better than having to cancel the class.  I am thankful that my 10 students allowed me to share my passion with them.  And I'll never have to be as nervous for my "first class ever" again. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Onward and Downward

As Jen mentioned in a previous post we are headed back to Texas (hence the Downward). I can't begin to explain how excited, nervous, scared, anxious, etc. I am about all of it. However given my recent therapy I can safely say I have the proper and healthy tools to deal with whatever this situation throws at us. First, I have to say it was a huge confidence boost to land this job. After so much rejection, which is inherent in any job search, it's nice to get a win, and a big win it is. I will miss Chicago dearly, but I am excited for the next chapter of our lives to start.

The main stress left in my life now is this #%*+*ing condo. I'm hoping with the new low price this will finally sell and we can move on. I'm trying very hard to let go of this since there is not much I can do to make it sell. My recent intention in yoga has been "let go". I kind of discovered in my last therapy scission that I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to some things. Which is very common for people who suffer from anxiety like myself. I have been dealing with it by trying to let go of the stress that the condo brings me. It is not easy, but yoga, and Jen have been a huge help. I certainly have not completely let go of it, but I feel I am making progress. Jen and I do everything we can to make the condo sellable, and one day god is going to bring in the right person who will take good care of this place and make it their home, much like Jen and I have for the last 2 years. Slowly but surely we are on our way to a new chapter and I think I'm ready for it with open arms. Ready for the ups, the downs, and everything in between. So basically, I'm ready for life to continue on with me being an active part, no longer waiting for my chnce to come, but making my chance come and taking the opportunity and running with it. Running all the way home to Texas.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I touched on it briefly in the last post, but I am realizing I use the word journey an awful lot when I refer to the job hunt process.  In my mind, this has been an epic journey of extreme highs and lows.  I can remember being so mad after my grandmother died and probably saying to Adam in a fit of anger something to the effect of, "Well, there's no point in trying to move back home now."  (I was really mature in handling my grief.  NOT.)  It's been an Oregon Trail for the two of us and I have wanted, countless times, to just give up and quit everything here and start over down there.  Luckily, I have a much more sensible partner who wanted to do everything he could to do this the "right way".  Mainly by having a job and a money source before we moved.

I was angry at Adam and various companies and most of all God, so many times during this process.  Oh, I was also angry at my dad a lot.  If I heard one more "it's only money" in relation to the condo sales process, I thought I'd probably lose my mind and need to be committed.  All I'm trying to say is that this entire (there's the word again) journey was really damn hard for me and us.  I feel pretty grateful to have reached this point with about 90% of my sanity still in tact (see, I haven't gone completely new age-y).

During all my reflections, and I've been reflecting a hell of a lot, I have come to believe that we were both in need of time to heal.  Adam might want to elaborate more on what the healing has meant for him, but for me, it's been learning to deal with sad things and move past them.  Instead of taking on my own personal grief and the grief of others and holding on to it for inordinate amounts of time (inordinate, say like 22 years of being sad about something that happened when I was 7).  I was meant to learn from Adam what a good thing therapy could be for me.  I only went to three sessions before yoga school took over my free time, but in conjunction with that, I know that it put me on a jumpstart to being able to move on from pain.

I was obviously meant to do this yoga program.  I wavered so. darn. much. about signing up because I was worried I'd get halfway through the program and Adam would have to leave and I'd be stuck here selling the condo by myself.  Naturally, when he went to interview in Dallas my first weekend of classes, I about lost my mind as all my dream (really, nightmare) scenarios were coming to fruition.  I had no idea it would be another 4 weeks before he would get an offer, thankfully.

I mentioned it yesterday, but we did collaborate on a Chicago Bucket List of mostly restaurants we've been meaning to try or really want to revisit just once more before we leave.  Having the next 2 months to accomplish those things is a blessing.  I think it will give us just enough time to knock most of them out (and we're making a big dent this weekend, since I'm off from lectures and clinics).  I'm able to see this city in a new way again and appreciate it more, instead of being angry that I'm stuck here.  The fact that it's summer and the weather has been fairly decent has a lot to do with that I'm sure.  I used to have a tab on my old blog that was titled "Things I love about Chicago" and I used to fill it up, it was a huge part of how I used to write.  I feel like I'll be able to think about and talk about Chicago from a place of love again this summer, our last summer here.

I didn't mention much about it yesterday but I am just so lucky to have Adam in my life.  When I was reading what this company had offered him, I was so proud.  I've known all along that he deserves better than what he has and to hear that there are others who feel the same way makes me so happy for him.  I hope with all my heart that he finds happiness (as much as you possibly can at work) in this new position.  We are fairly certain he's not going to be bored!  When he puts his mind to things (and sometimes getting his mind there takes a tiny bit of prodding), he is the most meticulous and thourough person I know.  For example, when he's assembling anything around the house, he reminds me so much of my dad (even though they have vastly different personalities) because he becomes this determined perfectionist.  I can only imagine how that translates to his work life because the things that he's doing are so detailed.  I know he will be successful, I just hope that he gets what he wants out of this new position and new lifestyle.

Mostly, I've been feeling fairly "healed" lately.  As much as I'd like to be, I am not done with sorrow or despair.  I know we'll have more negative things cross our path in this life, but this year and this journey has given me some of the tools to be better equipped for the next time.  I had to take charge of my own mental healing before I could be ready to cross over to the other side.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

for all intents and purposes

I used to blog when I was marathon training, but eventually that was over and I didn't feel like I had as much focus in what I was writing about and stopped.  When I started putting words down here, it was as much about keeping my mom informed about what was and is going on with Adam and I, as it was intended to be a journal of sorts to document what I knew was going to be an exciting and partially frustrating time.  When I started "The Nard Dogs", I thought we were a week away from Adam accepting a job offer.  I had no idea that it would evolve into this outlet for healing for both of us.

We went to this amazing local brewpub last night and while we were sipping on some of the finest local beers Chicago has to offer, we were reflecting a little bit on our journey to get to this point.  It's funny how in the middle of a rough patch, we (well, at least I sure as heck do) constantly throw our hands toward the heavens and question God's motivation.  It's human nature and the ego to do so but I wish, just once, I'd learn to stop and enjoy the toughness knowing it's only going to make me a stronger person.

Right before we got married, this job search for a new life in Texas got started.  I made a bet with Adam for 30 brunches (brunch bets are kind of our "thing") that it would take him more than a year to find a job.  Obviously, I hoped I'd be wrong.  So if you do the math, he's been searching for about nine months now.  It's been mentally tough on both of us at various points over that time.  It's not easy to hear that your husband was in 2nd place for something he thought might be his dream job with a great company.  It's probably even harder for him to come home and tell me that he didn't get an offer.  He's taken two trips to the DFW area for interviews, which I know can't be easy on the mind or physical body.  Having the stress of the condo on the market hasn't done us any favors either.  

Getting past the drama that got us here, as of July 1st, this blog can finally be used as it's original intention.  Adam, pending background checks, will be working in downtown Dallas starting sometime in mid-September.  Obviously, we still have a condo in Chicago to unload, but the relocation package is going to help us immensely with the decisions we have to make there.  Our realtor is completely on board and we've amped up the aggressive marketing.  We'll get to choose our living situation when we move and we've never had a chance to go through that process together.  I am hoping we'll have room for my patio furniture that languishes in our basement storage locker now.  So many of the things that we've put on hold and sacrificed for this project can now start to happen.  YOU GUYS- we can get a DOG when we move (something I have been begging to get for three years now).  It's going to be a complete and total lifestyle change but I think it's one that we're ready for and excited about.  

Like I said, we were doing a fair amount of celebrating and reflecting last night.  We were at the brewery because it was one of the 20 or so items that are on our "Chicago Bucket List".  It's a place that is so uniquely Chicago and it's conveniently located in my old neighborhood.  I realized that three years ago yesterday was the day that my roommate and I drove up around 8:00 a.m. from driving (in separate cars, y'all) all night in from D.C.  It was July 1st that moved in to our Logan Square apartment for our new beginning.  I had no idea that it would only take me a couple of months to meet Adam and have my world completely flipped upside down.  I never imagined that I would eventually end up celebrating another new July 1st beginning with my husband, a beginning that will take our lives full circle and back to the place we were both born.   

P.S.  I'm going to be making a lot of bacon waffle brunches for Adam to work off my 30 brunch bet!
P.P.S.  If you know us in real life, this is definitely not going to be "Facebook Official" for quite some time so please don't write anything incriminating on our walls.  Thanks!