Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anniversay #1

It has been a year since our wedding! I can't believe it! Time really does fly when you're having fun, I guess :)
Kristin and I decided to spend our first anniversary in Duluth. She researched hotels and made a reservation at The Inn on Lake Superior. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and after taking in some of the sights...

We got ready and headed for dinner. Along the way we discovered that Duluth was a Christian town proudly displaying the 10 commandments.
Kristin also met a new friend.
We finally made it to Bellisio's - a little Italian restaurant we chose in honor of our favorite restaurant in Carmel (where we spent our honeymoon) La Dolce Vita.
After eating (the food was fantastic!) we had the waiter take a photo of us to put in our anniversary book (fantastic wedding gift we received from the Klombies'). Unfortunately it turned out blurry, but I'll post it anyway.After dinner we headed back to the hotel to make s'mores (I think it's a perk all hotels should offer). Then we headed out to a bench by the lake to look at photos from the wedding we hadn't seen yet, reread our wedding wishes that people wrote for us, and Kristin gave me what may be the best gift ever. Since the first anniversary gift is paper she filled a jar with quotes and thoughts for me to read every day for the next year. It looks awesome and I'm excited to read a new thought each day. She spent a ton of time making this, and I love it!

On Monday we spent the day relaxing, shopping, and eating more yummy food! We ended the day once again with s'mores and a dip in the heated pool on the roof of the hotel.

(Anyone know why they are selling
Sand Point, ID shirts in Duluth?)

Tuesday we slept in before getting ready to head home. We headed down to the the lake one last time. This time we took the wedding bouquet we had from our wedding (it's been riding in the back window of my car for the past year) and threw it into the lake.

We also headed over to buy a wind chime we had seen on Monday. It's now happily hanging on our deck.We finally said goodbye to Duluth and headed home only to discover we had left a gift bag with our pictures, wedding wishes, and Kristin's gift to me at the hotel! Thankfully we realized it was missing only 10 miles down the road. I would have cried if we had lost all of those things!!

Anyway, all in all it was a great trip and a wonderful anniversary. Neither of us had been to Duluth for an extended period of time and we loved it! We're already planning what we'll do on our next trip!! Now we're home again and the unpacking and returning to real life will begin...as will the second year of our marriage.
And now, excuse me while I get a little mushy. I love this woman. With everything in me, I love her! She makes me laugh every single day and reminds me that life isn't always supposed to be as serious as I tend to make it. Although this year has had its ups and downs, she has stood by my side and supported me through it all. Here's to many more spectacular years together.

(Click here for more pictures)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

Wow. I’m dragging today. I officially go around 50 minutes of sleep last night. I couldn’t sleep. I tried doing my meditation exercise from my class. Made it through the full 45 minutes and I was still wide awake. Granted, I had things on my mind, but lately I’ve been able to put things aside and haven’t had a huge problem with sleep. So, I got up for a bit, went back to bed when Kristin finally went to bed (around 1). She was snoring in a few minutes. I stayed there for about an hour before I finally got up. I decided I would search iTunes for some sleep meditation tracks.

So I start sifting through them. Started the search with “sleep meditation” and moved to “guided meditation” since I tend to relax more with guided meditation than other versions. So the search for the perfect track turned out to be fairly difficult. Which begs the question: why are most meditation CDs done by creepy men? The only two women ones I could find on iTunes sounded like they were high or something. I finally found one that had three different sleep tracks, each about 25 minutes long. It had good reviews, and the guy’s voice wasn’t too bad, so I decided to download it. By this time it was about 3 a.m. (yes, it took me a full hour to figure out what meditation tracks I wanted to buy). They took FOREVER to download because they were such huge files. It was 3:45 by the time I got them downloaded and put on the iPod and headed back to bed.

I started with the first meditation track. It was called something like sleeping with self hypnosis. It started off okay. He said to listen to the sounds outside of the room. I couldn’t hear anything because I had the ear buds in. Then he said to listen to sounds inside the room. All I could hear was Kristin snoring and the cat purring on my pillow. I realized that sleep was really not going to come easy even with new meditation material. I tried to focus on the guy’s voice and what he was saying, but I realized that it reminded me of a therapist I saw several years ago who always wanted to hypnotize me. I would always tell him no because, frankly, the idea of being hypnotized scares the crap out of me. As the track continued, I realized the therapist had used the same imagery of going down 20 steps to relaxation. Before last night I never realized he had actually tried to hypnotize me, though, and so it freaked me out. Obviously, at the end of the 25 minutes, I was still wide awake.

The second track was called yoga something for sleep. It wasn’t like you had to do yoga moves, but, similar to the meditation I do for my class, it was all about becoming aware of different parts of your body. Jon Kabat-Zin’s version is very slow and deliberate. When I first started listening to it I thought I was going to go crazy. I would think “are we really still on the little toe of the left foot?” This guy’s was fast. Just as I began to visualize my little toe he was on to another part of the body. It wasn’t restful at all, so of course at the end of the 25 minutes I was still wide awake.

When the third track started I realized it was after 4:30. My alarm was set for 6:15. No good. The third track was called deep sleep meditation with ocean sounds. Nice. This one would surely put me right to sleep. So I’m listening. He’s talking. “Drift.” He said. So I drifted. “Float.” He said. So I floated. It was truly lovely (even with the snoring and the vibrating cat next to me). At one point he said “now listen to the music and the sounds and drift into a deeper relaxation.” So I was totally doing that – finally starting to drift to sleep when all of a sudden he started talking again and I jerked awake. “SHUT UP!” I yelled at him. I had been so close! I had to laugh, though, because he was talking about sending thoughts into the subconscious (I’m guessing he assumed most people would be asleep at this point) – things like “I’m calm.” “I’m happy.” “I am satisfied at my job.” “I work hard.” “I am a good person.” It was weird. And there was no way I was going to fall asleep after that.

Around 5:30 I considered just getting up but decided to give it one more shot. I threw the iPod on the floor and tried my old trick of counting backwards. It must have worked because next thing I know it was 6:15 and my alarm was going off. Two Excedrin and two Diet Cokes later, here I am. Falling asleep at my desk and waiting for my phone to ring. It’s gonna be a loooong day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nothing new...

Nothing much new to report, but I've been receiving pokes from Kristin and harassing anonymous phone calls urging me to post something. Anything. So here I am.

I've been staying busy even with school out for the summer. I had all sorts of plans with all of the extra time I would discover once I didn't need to study and go to class. Unfortunately, the extra time has seemed to just disappear. I'm not sure where it has gone, though.

I started taking a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at University of Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. It's based on Jon Kabat-Zin's research about the benefits of meditation. I had read his book, Full Catastrophe Living, a couple of times and finally decided to just go ahead and take the class. So far I haven't loved it, but I'm going to give it the full 8 weeks before I make a judgement. I can see the benefits, I think it's just random issues of my own that are making it difficult to enjoy the class itself. Anyway, I'll post more about what the class is like and what I think about it after week 4 and again after week 8.

Kristin and Jehn had a yard sale this past weekend. I don't really get yard sales. I'm a huge throw it away person. If I don't need it I toss it or donate it. Spending the time to sort it, price it, and then sit in the hot sun and wait for people to come sift through it and try to bargain down from 25 cents just isn't my gig. They both seemed to love it, though, and that's all that matters, right? (Proof is in the smiling picture of Jehn below)

Part of my plan for my extra time this summer was to do more "fun" reading. I looked forward to whittling my Goodreads list down. I have been busily reading...and what kinds of books have I been reading? Pretty much nothing that was on my list. For some reason I'm addicted to therapy, social work type books. Books like The Mummy at the Dining Room Table: Eminent Therapists Reveal Their Most Unusual Cases; Schopenhauer's Porcupines: Intimecy and Its Dilemma; Shrink Dreams: The Secret Longings, Fantasies, and Prejudices of Therapists and How They Affect Their Patients; The Boy Who Was Raised a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrists Notebook; and Crazy all the time: On the Psych Ward of Bellevue Hospital...just to name a few. Crazy, I know. But I'm learning a lot and I'm getting excited to get back to school in September.

So, that's my 'nothing new' update. Hopefully I'll have something new, fun, and exciting to share soon :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

4th of July 2008

Kristin and I went to the great state of South Dakota for the 4th of July holiday. We always have a great time there, and I love going (hoping to make it there at least once more before the summer is over!!). We spent a lot of time relaxing (sleeping), hanging out on the deck, and spending time with the family. We were able to see Heather (Kristin's friend from Florida) and little Santiago. I even got to see lots of lightning bugs which was fabulous!

Thanks to Mom and Dad Moe for the hospitality (once again), for putting up with Kristin's antics, and for not hating me for sleeping all the time (I think I need to come for a week or two...spend the first half getting caught up on my sleep and the second doing stuff!!).

I've heard good and bad things about using the photoshop application to display pictures. I may try something different in the future - but for now, another slide show: