Health Update & The Spoon Theory

When I started this blog a few months ago, I intended to (in part) keep track of my health; I was imagining things were moving towards healing and me feeling better. Unfortunately that has not been the case. You may have seen some posts on social media asking for prayers/good thoughts/good vibes as I’ve been dealing with some health issues, so I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone as to what’s going on with me right now.

I started a medication that should have helped with both my fibromyalgia and my UCTD, in November. The medicine can take 2-6 months to take effect in the body. Within 3 months I felt like I was seeing a difference, and feeling better, but other symptoms had started. Unsure what was causing these symptoms, I was pulled off the Plaquinil in mid January and told to wait to take anything to treat either the fibro or UCTD until we had a full health picture.

December was when I really started to see the new symptoms causing problems. They were (and still are) affecting my life: work, physical fitness, weight, sleep patterns, ability to fulfill prior commitments. I won’t detail what was going on because it’s a little TMI. But, it was difficult to make it through work most days and I lost about 4 pounds in about 5 weeks- which to some of you sounds great, but for my frame is not normal or healthy. My PCP was not helpful and finally in late January when I saw my rheumatologist I received a referral to another specialist who could help with what I had going on. The GI has run a plethora of tests, none of which has come back conclusive to any one thing causing these ongoing symptoms; we were able to eliminate any cancer in my GI tract though, so at least there’s that. He has put me on two new medications and I’m waiting to follow up on those in April, although I’m not convinced they’ve made much of a difference. He did say he didn’t think the Plaquinil was the issue and allowed me to begin taking that again.

Coming on and off of Plaquinil has messed with my health and emotions quite a bit. I’m hoping it doesn’t take the 2-6 months to take effect because if so it’ll be April or June before I start feeling better. And if you guys don’t understand this when I hurt, then I don’t sleep, and when I don’t sleep, then I hurt more, and then I don’t sleep more, then I hurt more, etc, etc. It’s a really lovely cyclical form of torture.

On top of being unsure what all is going on with my body, I had a really bad flare on the 10th of this month. I let it go for a few days, before seeing my rheumy on the 16th. I woke up on the morning of the 10th and could not walk properly because my left foot was swollen and it hurt to put pressure on it. My assumption was that I had hurt it while working out or had slept on it wrong. I went to work the following week with it wrapped, in a walking boot left from high school, or both, trying to keep pressure off of it, hoping the swelling would go down. I convinced myself based on the area of the pain that I had a stress fracture or a bunion and started buying and using bunion pads and moleskins. When I saw my rheumatologist on Friday morning, he took a look at my foot, and gave me what may not have been great news, but did explain what was happening. I had a flare, which in some people can last weeks; I am used to flares in my back, neck, hips, knees, not my foot; but my foot was experiencing inflammation (seemingly from high levels of stress, and the switch ups on medications, and lots of tests that required prep before hand) and the joints were so inflamed it looked like my toe had slightly come out of the joint. So he pulled it over, stretched it, and gave me some medicines to help fight the inflammation and get the flare to go away… we aren’t quite there yet, and today is Tuesday….so it’s been a long few days.

Before leaving his office, he and my health coach felt the need to talk to me about my stress levels and what it was doing to my body. I was told I need to start operating under the spoon theory. This means each day when I wake up depending on how I feel I have between 5-7 spoons (some days I might have more but for now I need to operate under the assumption of so few spoons) and each activity that uses energy takes away a spoon that I can’t get back for the day. I am not allowed to borrow spoons from the previous day or the next day, not knowing how my body will feel and how many spoons I will receive the next morning when I wake up. Once my spoons are gone for the day, I am not allowed to use energy on other things, I’m done for the day. So I have to learn to prioritize. I have to learn to take care of my body. I have to learn that I cannot do all the things, all the time, for all the people.

Yesterday I tried the spoon theory for the first time. And it was really hard. I got up after not sleeping much the night before and felt like I maybe had 3 spoons, maybe more, but definitely not 7, 10, or 15. I decided to push through my day anyways, try to borrow some spoons I might not have used on Sunday, and maybe steal some from Tuesday. By about 1 pm I was done for the day. I was exhausted. I felt like I couldn’t think straight. But I had more to do. I had another class to teach, I had a class to attend, I had a meeting to play secretary at, I had tests to finish stapling and preparing for today’s test, I had emails to answer, a license renewal application to work on, a PD module to complete, a paper to write, a presentation to prepare, I needed to shower and dry my hair. So I kept borrowing spoons and hoped a quick yoga session would restore me at least one spoon…. Hint….I love yoga and it was great, but it was not enough to replenish my energy storage room of spoons. By the end of last night, I was miserable. I thankfully slept better last night than the night before and woke up feeling like I have a few more spoons today. But I know adjusting to limited amounts of spoons a day will not be easy for me. I am Type A and I want to do all the things for all the people, but I physically cannot at least for the time being.

So for now, I work on using my spoons wisely, I prioritize, and I stop when I can’t handle anymore. And for each person who has asked “what’s next” after Saturday did not end the way I expected, I don’t have the answer for you yet, right now I’m working on counting spoons….but I promise as soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know, but I want to make sure it’s worthy of spoons before I do it.

Miss Capital City Farewell

I know many of my friends and family do not live in the Raleigh area and were unable to make it to the Miss Capital City/Miss Clayton/Miss Cleveland Pageant on Saturday evening. Therefore, I would like to share my farewell as Miss Capital City with you all here. 

Savvy Shields, Miss America 2017, spoke the truth to “Compete for yourself, but Serve for others.” As Miss Capital City I aimed to model my year after the verse Isaiah 6:8 “Here I am, Lord, send me.” My community service platform is “Volunteerism” because I wanted to do the most good, in the most places.

I stand before you tonight hoping you agree with me that my year has been marked by service to others. I served with 16 nonprofit organizations. That included raising $1100 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, collecting 754 pounds of food for Second Harvest Food Bank Metrolina, and donating over $600 of goods to Urban Ministry Center of Charlotte.

I want to spend my last moments giving thanks.

Mom, you’ve been my greatest supporter and my road trip warrior, thank you for being the biggest part of this journey.

Dad, thank you for walking alongside me at the suicide prevention walk two months after your quadruple bypass.

Alexandria and Cameron, thank you for being my sounding board for the year and for always making me laugh.

Grace Ann, you were the best roommate. Thank you for prayers and daily devotions. I am beyond lucky to call you friend.

Caleb, you have been there from day one of this journey, you have jumped into this adventure and have taken steps to get me in contact with nonprofits I wanted to work with. There are not enough words to express my gratitude, and there’s nobody that could’ve been better to have beside me on this journey.

My Miss NC sisters, your beauty and strengths are astonishing. You have built me up, you have prayed for me, you took care of me when I was sick. I love you all and I am thankful for your sisterhood. You filled my bucket, and I carry that with me everywhere I go.

The Wildes, I couldn’t have asked for a better Princess’ family. You guys have been there for everything. You have become family and friends, and I am beyond grateful. You went so far as to hold tarantulas and snakes with me as we worked with Eastern Exotics to preserve wildlife. You will forever be part of my family and I love you eternally.

The Miss North Carolina Organization:  Thank you for running this scholarship organization that women like me can compete, make friendships, and serve. Thank you for teaching us to “fill buckets” and to be a titleholder who gives back.

Kate Peacock and the Kate Peacock Teaching Fellow Scholarship Committee, thank you for choosing me from all of the applications you read. I poured my heart into my application, using the vulnerability I often find difficult to show, and you honored me in a way that will forever hold a special place in my heart.

The Nonprofits and Service Events: (Carolinas Aviation Museum, Convoy of Hope, Urban Ministry Center Charlotte, Stop Soldier Suicide, Charlotte Geek Gala & Muggles Market, Queen City Harry Potter Alliance, Second Harvest Food Bank, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Charlotte, Levine’s Children’s Hospital, Activate Good, Charlotte Special Olympics, Lucky’s Toys for Tokens, State Farm Neighborhood of Good, Warm Hands Project, Eastern Exotics Wildlife Preservation, Make a Wish, National History Day) : To each organization that opened their doors to me, thank you a million times over for allowing me to serve alongside you. You are the change I want to see in the world, and I am blessed to have been a part of your work.

My sister queens and committee:  Thank you for your help and friendship this year, I will forever be a Capital City girl.

My students and coworkers:  Thank you for donating cards to be distributed at nursing homes, asking about Miss North Carolina, donating to causes I was working with, and for celebrating with me when I brought home the Teaching Fellow Scholarship. You have taught me daily over the last three years what it means to serve. You are forever my Husky Family, and I am grateful you were all along for this ride.

The Kisers and the McCarleys: Thank you for letting me tell your story.

My Savior:  What You intend is good, and you chose to give me the gift of service this year. You opened doors that I could have never imagined possible. You created me with a servant’s heart, ready to be encouraged by serving others, and and giving my whole heart to those things I am passionate about. You gave me strength to work full time and serve on weekends. You gave me initiative, motivation, and confidence to contact each organization asking to serve alongside them, and then had them say “YES!” Thank you for letting me bloom as you planted me this year.

I am walking away from this year with my cup overflowing with blessings. In the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” George Washington sings a song entitled “One Last Time.” This has been my “one last time.” As I become a “forever queen” tonight and crown my successor, it is truly a bittersweet moment. I have been blessed beyond measure by my time as Miss Capital city. Thank you.

“In the Mourning” of yet another high school shooting

Let me begin this post with a few disclaimers. First, I am a high school teacher, but I am not sitting with my students right now, I am home sick, and I will touch later on the fact of how this has broken me this week. Secondly, I am a registered Republican, but according to a few of my friends, I am an extremely “liberal Republican.” Thirdly, this post will not be eloquent by any means, because I am writing with pure emotion, and my heart is broken today. But if you’re sticking with me so far, let’s go.

Today children who are the age of the students I teach are being prepared by a funeral home to be buried. Today teachers, just like me, are being prepared for their funeral and burial. If the news was right, some of the funerals begin today. Not only are these people just like the people I see daily being buried, their families just like my family are mourning them, their work family who are just like my work family is mourning them, these students who are just like my students are mourning them and wondering how they will ever move on with their lives.

I did something I rarely do today, I sat down my cup of coffee, and if you know me my morning cup of coffee is important….I sat down my cup of coffee, so I could cry. I watched two young ladies stand on camera and BEG for their to be change in this country. One said she could not shower, use the bathroom, or sleep alone because she is so distraught in the aftermath of seeing her fellow classmates and teachers gunned down.

Then, mere moments later, the same news outlet silently scrolled the pictures of the victims. There was another thing I wasn’t used to….silence. My coffee cup remained on a coaster, and I wailed into my grandfather’s rocking chair at the lives lost and the hearts broken as a result. The silence, that I so often claim I want, was deafening. It physically hurt me to cry, yet I could not stop. My heart was broken for each of these lives lost, and the people they left behind.

So somebody somewhere is asking in their head: If you’re such a great teacher and you care so much, why are you not at school today?

Great question, somebody somewhere, let me explain. If you are new to this blog or don’t pay attention, I have a chronic pain disorder and an autoimmune disease. On Wednesday, I had more medical testing done to try to diagnose some irksome symptoms I have been having for over two months. I had taken yesterday off to recover, and unfortunately my body is not recovering at the pace I would like it to, so here I am stuck at home for another day. (yes, I’ve cried about that too). It has been hard being away from my kids for three days. It breaks me to know that I just want to hug all of them in the aftermath of this news, and I won’t be able to until next week. So, doing what I could I left them a message on Google Classroom, where they should be doing their work, so I can see it from home. The message read like this:

In light of everything that has happened nationally this week, I just want to remind you, you are each cared about. I am so thankful to teach each and every one of you. All of you have things in you that make you special, and you all have a bright future ahead of you. Strive to achieve those dreams. Be safe over your long weekend. Can’t wait to see you all on Tuesday!

My kids know that every Friday I give what we call the “Friday lecture.” I urge them to make smart choices, and we go through the places I don’t want to visit them: the hospital, jail, or the funeral home. It breaks my heart that today there are students and teachers visiting two of those three places as a result of this tragedy. I have buried one student in my teaching career, and it made me unbelievably sad, so I cannot imagine burying 14, nor do I want to think about it. Burying one still hurts my heart. This week actually marked the one year anniversary and I cried about that, mere hours before the news broke that 14 students had been gunned down when they were trying to head home for the day.

THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE NEW NORMAL FOR OUR CHILDREN. Our children should not have to practice drills to know what to do if someone is trying to murder them while they are at school where they should be safe. Now, does my school do it? yes. Do I hate it? Also yes. I joke with my kids if I look out in the hallway and it’s clear we’re making a run for it. Yet, I also know in my inmost being I would do everything in my power to shelter them in place and fight an armed assailant off and if it meant risking my life I would give my life for theirs.

As I typed that statement, my selfish 20something inside me was like “oh no girl.” I am 24. I am not married. I have no biological children. I am in grad school. I have student loan debt to pay off. I have some awesome best friends. and I have four fur babies that I love to death. And I have a man in my life, whom I would love to marry. But would I stand in front of my children and block them from death, even if it meant that my own life would be cut short? Yes. I tell them from the get go that I prayed over who would end up in my classroom and that I don’t have biological children, so they now have become my children. Once mine, always mine. At the age of 24, I have over 400 children who have come through my classroom and they are all MY CHILDREN. I wish that the adults of this country would realize the responsibility we have to protect these children. My 400 are also your children, they are the future, and they are awesome, and they don’t deserve to be gunned down in their prime.

Oh god, Logan, didn’t you say that you’re a registered Republican? Yes. I registered as a Republican when I turned 18. I am extremely fiscally conservative, yet I am extremely socially liberal. But even registered as a Republican, I realize that something is wrong. There is something wrong when my children have to fear being at school. There is something wrong when someone who has been flagged by the FBI then LEGALLY owns an assault weapon and guns down 17 people and almost makes an escape.

We need gun control. We also need mental health reform. We also need to teach our children AND ADULTS to love and be kind.

The young man who has been arraigned and who is sitting in jail with no bond, because he slayed 17 people, is a young person. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. He is the age that I would have taught my first year after graduating college.

I have worked in a day homeless shelter. I have a parent who works in the government’s social service field. I have seen those who are flagged “mentally ill.” Mentally ill is not a label that means that you wake up one day and decide to gun down 17 innocent people. In fact, one of my favorite people in the world is “mentally ill” and that person is known to hug me and sing me a song when they see me…    Yes we need mental health reform and perhaps that should be part of the conversation but that does not need to be the whole conversation. We cannot leave gun violence and gun control out of this conversation. If you want to say that the assailant (I refuse to speak his name and make him famous) did this because he was mentally ill then why are you not acknowledging the fact that our government’s gun laws allowed him to legally buy the weapon even though he is quote “mentally ill” and there’s an issue there.

This conversation needs to be had by both sides of the aisle without a government shutdown. Yes, we need mental health reform. yes, we need stricter gun control laws. Yes, we need to teach love more often. Yes, my kids did grow up in a generation where they were given a participation trophy, but that doesn’t mean that they grow up to be violent. Yes, we need to take time to mourn. But finally yes, this is the time for the conversation to be had.

As a reporter said this morning, we mourn the 17 lives lost, but we also need to acknowledge the survivors, they are the ones who are going to make the change.

I believe in this generation. I believe they are going to be the change we want to see in the world. I believe they are just as tired of mourning those we lose, and nothing be done about it.


“Immigration,” for my Dreamers.

This will be by far the most controversial blog I have written thus far…potentially the most controversial that I will ever post. Yet, here we go.

As a writer’s note, I started this post on January 31, 2018. I didn’t know when I’d finish it, but I intended to write and review it for at least 24 hours, hoping somehow “23 and me” would return my DNA results this week.

They did…I received my results the morning of February 5th.

The point of this writing is to remind you that every single individual in America is descended from an immigrant, if they are not an immigrant themselves. The lack of understanding of this concept is, in my opinion, one of the largest issues in this country.

Let me repeat my point:

Every person who came to America was an immigrant.


They were also immigrants, they walked (maybe rode a Mammoth *insert my students fake laughing at corny joke about Mammoth here*) across a land bridge called the Bering Strait during the Ice Age, while following a food source…I promise, look it up. Even North Carolina is liberal enough to teach this to high school students. And I am sorry, not many of you are full-blooded Native American, so the argument is irrelevant for you.

They are so many people terrified of “illegal immigrants” taking their job and land. What do you think white “Americans” did to the Native Americans? Goodness, please let me get you a history book, or verbally teach you a history lesson. It’s pretty bad.

I fully expected my “23 and Me” test results to show multiple European ancestors, potentially some African, and probably some Hispanic…If I was lucky some Native American. In America, it is assumed I am white…and physically I am. But I’m what I like to call a “mutt” made up of many different backgrounds.  I guarantee if you did an ancestral check you would see you are too, no matter your race/social/economic/cultural background.

The answer to my DNA did in fact show my “mutt” background.

99.3% of me was made up of DNA that means at some point, my ancestors came to America from Europe. I was 89.8% Northwestern European (think Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, etc), 5.7% Southern European (think Italy, Iberian Peninsula, etc), 2.0% “Eastern European” (like Poland and former satellite countries, like Bulgaria), and 1.8% “Broadly European” (I take that as “so European” they couldn’t even figure it out). And are you ready for what the other .7% was? WEST AFRICAN and SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN (somebody call my African friends and family from my mission trip because this made me extremely happy). I was not Native American, Asian, or Oceanic, in any way according to my DNA.

Yet, my “23andMe” ancestral results solidly conclude that my ancestors were immigrants.

So, why exactly are people terrified of immigrants? Here’s how to stop that: Work hard for your job, be educated, be kind and loving, annnd stop being a racist. It is not endearing. It is actually offensive.

To my DreamersI love you. I love what you bring to the table. Keep doing what you’re doing. Work hard for what they call “The American Dream.” I believe in you. I cannot wait to see how you prove wrong anyone who does not believe in you. 

This post is a little different

If you’ve never met my mom, she’s pretty cool. She drives me crazy, but she’s also my best friend, as it should be. She goes by many names including: mom, Mumsy, mama, mooooooom, capt reg, Regina, aunt Gina, Gigi, aye girl, regggggg, Reggie….I think I got them all, if not sorry, reg.


My mom does a lot for us. Like a lot. She runs the world basically. She works all day, takes care of us, takes care of her coworkers, does her job well, takes care of her mom, works out, has an amazing ability to sleep in a chair while HGTV is on the tv, works in our church nursery, helps out my brother with homework and sports stuff, really likes pageants, picks really good wine, listens to me complain or brag about work, likes Facebook and to text, loves Jesus, speaks truth unapologetically, has handled missing my sister after her move with an impressive peace that I wouldn’t have, and she’s just cool. Oh, and she also finds time to take part of yearly traditions with me even when life is crazy. She also makes a really awesome chicken pot pie that is life giving.

So today, I read a devotion, and it asked how they could pray for the women reading it. Typically I would’ve thought about the hectic beautiful hard mess that is my life, but instead I thought of my mom. And I posted the following comment…

“Normally after reading these I think of the prayer that I need to deal with the tough situations of my life. Today, I was moved to ask for prayer for my mother. She is a mother of three, her name is Regina. She works serving others as a social worker who trains those who want to be foster parents. She is not an only child, but she is the only one who lives near her aging mother and takes steps to care for her that have to be done by someone close by. In August, my dad/ her husband, had a heart attack and quadruple bypass a month before my sisters wedding. My mom took off work then worked from home to care for him and make sure he fully recovered- which praise be, he did. My mom helped plan and pay for my sisters big day. My mom helped prepare me for a pageant and to begin grad school as I work. My mom doesn’t miss a game that my little brother plays in, and helps raise money for his teams. On Sunday, my mom’s best friend Mandy, had a stroke and had hemorrhaging on her brain from the stroke. They have been best friends for over 40 years. They share life. They share memories. They share love. A lot of people are praying for Mandy to come off the ventilator she is on, and to have healing for her body, and peace for her family- which is beautiful and wonderful, and I praise god for those prayers. My mom has been relentless in her prayer for her friend and has spent many hours in the hospital waiting for news, waiting for Mandy to wake up, supporting mandy’s Husband and daughters, before coming home to still take care of her own family and go to work the next morning. This morning I want to lift my mother up in prayer. For her peace. For her sanity in overwhelming circumstances. For her to felt taken care of. For her to feel loved. For her to be restored and rested. For me to be the daughter she needs. To hear her laugh more like she was able to do yesterday while we enjoyed a snow day. Please think of her. Please pray for her. Help me pray for her to be covered in love and peace.”

So today’s post is different. Today’s post is to say my mom rocks. Today’s post is to say if you have a minute lift up my mom in prayer today. Today’s post is to say call your mom, or give her a hug, or send a prayer or good vibe her way. Moms are cool….they wiped your butt for a long time, and cleaned up your puke, and made you spaghettios, and cheered you on through what you were doing, and now that you’re grown enough to be reading this maybe she’s the one who needs a hug today.


“Write hard and clear about what hurts” – Hemingway

I tried to come up with a witty title for this post, yet, none really seemed to capture what I’m feeling in this moment…The best I can come up with is “write hard and clear about what hurts,” thanks Hemingway. One of my favorite pins also reminded me that I own every thing that has happened to me – and it is my story to tell, because if someone wanted me to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.

I am absolutely positive that there are some people who could write negative things about me. I have not always been the best person. I know there will be times that I fall short and will not be the best or nicest me that I can be. I understand that human nature means we hurt each other, because we mess up from time to time. I will not always behave as my best self, whomever you are reading this, neither will you.

However, today my heart hurts. It sincerely hurts. I physically feel ill about what I am writing about.

I don’t live for the approval of others, but it also bothers me when I don’t know what I did to hurt someone and they don’t like me for said unknown reason. Today I can think of two people who this applies to in the last week. These two people cut me off in the last week, (or it has become apparent in the last week), and I legitimately have gone over and over interactions with them and have no idea what I did to them to make them dislike me. And it bothers me. If I hurt these individuals I would like to apologize for what I did…or at least defend myself.

Yes, I have said repeatedly one of my goals of 2018 is to be more savage and be able to cut people off without a second thought when they hurt me… But, I am really really bad at that, like really awful. I don’t want to hurt people, I actually despise it. I’m the one left laying awake at 3 am wondering what I did. At my core, I am a peacemaker. I actually cried over unfriending someone on Facebook a few weeks ago, and I had chosen to do so because they expressed opinions that supported rape culture…  it just really bothers me to upset someone. I can act really hard, it’s part of my reputation, it’s part of what I need to do to handle 16 year olds on a daily basis, but I’m actually just a big softy who’s heart is way bigger than it should be. I’m basically the grinch.

So, if I have done things to offend you, if I have ever hurt you, if I have ever made you want to cut me off, if you think at my core I want to revel in someone’s pain (legit someone said this to me about two weeks ago !!?!?), Please know I’m sorry…please know that isn’t me. I want it to be me. I want to look out for my own good, yet it isn’t me yet….

  LOL probably never will be….SOS.               college/savage me come back …

I guess my conclusion to this is, if you’re one of those people, I’m sorry, I would appreciate knowing what happened so I don’t repeat that action to someone else. Or don’t, I’ll probably still be awake at 3 am overthinking the situation, it’s fine. (That May be passive aggressive)

i also would like to note, that these two individuals were two of the people I mentioned in my blog a few weeks back, yet I wanted so badly to forgive them and still be their friend, I guess I should’ve believed them when they showed me who they were.

To those of you who still have my back and still love me, then please push me to be more savage and look out for myself, maybe give me a hug because my heart is hurt right now, encourage me to be better, I promise I’ll always be there for you and that I’ll write warmly about you because you behaved well.


Accomplishments in 2017

A few days ago I sat down and typed up my goals (not resolutions) for the year of 2018. I reflected on the fact that in 2015 I also made a list for myself of 15 things I had accomplished for the year. So today, I want to write about (at least) 17 things that I accomplished in 2017.

  1. I won the Kate Peacock Teaching Fellow Scholarship. I poured my heart into my application with vulnerability about what it means to me to teach where I do and with the style that I do. A committee read through multiple applications and chose mine to win a scholarship for what I have done and hope to do. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life as I ran, ugly crying, across the stage to hug Miss North Carolina 2014 Kate Peacock and accept the scholarship with her namesake then to bring it home to my students and school.
  2. I got into grad school. I have wanted to apply for years but wanted to pay off some of my undergraduate loans before doing so, the scholarship gave me more confidence, and I applied and was accepted. I cannot wait to start classes next week.
  3. I survived, not one, but two, surgeries. I have always been really scared of the word surgery. Like that sounds horrifying to me. I had a septoplasty to correct some issues with my sinuses in March, and it was as terrible as it sounds. Then I had to have one of my tendons cut open and released in November to resolve a trigger digit, and it was even worse than the septoplasty, but here I am typing and living through it.
  4. I put on a brave face when I was terrified of losing my dad. My dad had a heart attack and quadruple bypass in August, and I can admit, it was really super-duper scary. But, a month later my daddy walked my sister down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams. Then a month after that he walked around uptown Charlotte with me in the suicide prevention walk that I was extremely passionate about. He now is the proud owner of a treadmill, graduated cardiac rehab, has lost weight, occasionally orders bbq chicken instead of beef at carolina bbq, and is back at work….oh, and has the ability to run around the living room when UGA wins the Rose Bowl. Go dawgs!
  5. I decided to #treatyoself and mark something off my bucket list, and bought tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra the one night they were in town. I even took a day off work the next day so I could sleep in. by the way, 10/10 recommend going to one of their shows at some point in your life.
  6. I also decided to road trip to Chicago to see Hamilton live in action. Also 10/10 recommend it. While we were there we TILTed out of a building 94 floors up, so I was just super adventurous this year, I guess.
  7. Along with the adventurous note, I held a snake…actually more than one…for the first time, and I didn’t cry or throw up or anything. I actually had a really great time, also held a tarantula, and fell in love with the sweetest Argentinian Tegu named Jabba, and learned that reptiles who aren’t turtles aren’t that scary. Thanks, Eastern Exotics.
  8. I was in my first wedding as an adult. I’ve been a flower girl and junior bridesmaid. But I had the privilege of being my sister’s Maid of Honor and was able to stand beside her as she got married.
  9. I met the author of my favorite book. Thirteen Reasons Why has become popular for other reasons, but it will forever be my favorite book. I read it months after it came out, long before it hit the mainstream, and I fell in love. Jay Asher, the author, visited my local library and I got to meet with him before he went out to talk. We talked about my platform and the way his quote in the book “Everything affects everything” helped shape my role in serving others. He even noted that I had a cover on the book that is no longer in print. It was amaaaaaazing.
  10. I served with 12 different organizations as Miss Capital City!!!! I worked with STEM demonstrations at Community Day at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, I served the low-income and homeless of Gaston County at Convoy of Hope, I donated over $600 of supplies to Urban Ministry Center, I volunteered with the 5k event of Stop Soldier Suicide, with the Queen City Harry Potter Alliance of Charlotte at the Geek Gala’s Muggle Market we collected 754 pounds of food for Second Harvest Food Bank Metrolina, at Levine’s inaugural Kids Helping Kids day I helped make cards and blankets for patients, at Activate Good’s Craft for a Cause I made cards for soldiers/goodie bags for first responders/and capes for superhero ill children, I cheered on athletes at Charlotte’s Special Olympics Fall tournament, I donated to Lucky’s Bar and Arcades first Toys for Tokens, my students donated 53 cards to State Farm’s Neighborhood of Good campaign to be taken to local nursing homes then they sent another 50+ with me to a nursing home where some family members work, and at the Warm Hands Project’s christmas party I made Christmas crafts with kids and read christmas stories.
  11. I went to Miss North Carolina. I competed along 43 other beautiful and talented women who are each volunteering with something their heart is passionate about. It was an honor.
  12. I went on my first ghost tour. Charlotte’s History and Haunts tour indulged both my inner history nerd and my inner Wednesday Addams.
  13. I went to my first fraternity beach weekend and survived. I also painted a cooler for it and it was decent.
  14. I was a big girl and asked a man to date me for the first time in my life. He said yes, by the way.
  15. I was nominated for new teacher of the year. I didn’t win, but I was one of only five names on the list, so not too shabby.
  16. I legitimately got into yoga. I’ve liked it for a while but never made it the concentration of my work outs, until this year. I actually got a yoga mat. I completed a 30 day yoga challenge, and I’ve made it a regular part of my life.
  17. I found a doctor who could diagnose what was wrong with me. After 8 years, I finally was diagnosed by a rheumatologist, and felt comforted that my health problems had a name. I have started exploring what works best for me to treat fibromyalgia and UCTD.
  18. I learned to eat salad and like it. It’s like my go to order at zaxby’s now…
  19. I found my niche with my students. I finally am comfortable with my students and my material and have a good time with two of my three classes. They have a sense of community that i have busted my butt to cultivate and I will be sad to see those classes go in a few days.
  20. I paid another one of my loans. Two down, two to go.
  21. I became an alumna of Kappa Delta sorority, which made my heart smile.
  22. I prayed through a singular devotion for the course of lent. I prayed over what it means to be a godly woman, and I hope I became a little closer to being like Jesus in 2017 because of it. Maybe in 2018 I’ll do even better.

A year is over. A new one starts. We’ll see what gets accomplished in 2018.