Category Archives: Status Updates



I’m an extrovert, I guess. But even extroverts need to be alone sometimes.

Introversion and extroversion aren’t absolute categories, really. They’re more like extreme points on a spectrum. We all fall on different points in this spectrum, moving up and down it as our moods and health and circumstances change. Lots of books and blogs are out there to tell introverts that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone. To be quiet. Extroverts need that reminder too, not only to help them understand the introverts in their lives but also to help them understand themselves.

Most peg me as an extrovert because I love to talk and hate to eat lunch alone. But I have some introverted qualities too. When I was an infant, I would cry to be put down for nap. During beach vacation my family took when I was five, I scared everyone by sneaking away to watch Scooby Doo by myself. The same little girl who made friends with everyone just needed to be alone.

I’ve always found that my introverted qualities strengthen during the summer. School takes drains me of both physical and emotional energy, so I need the summer to recharge. This summer I’ve needed more time to recharge than ever.

I’m in the middle of one of the biggest transitions I will ever make. I’ve only just finished up my graduate assistantship, an intense yet fulfilling period of my life. And my wedding is in 53 days. The wedding plans are placing a lot of demands on me, of course. There’s more than just the wedding plans to think about though. I’m going to be a wife in 53 days. This thought makes me feel very young and very full.

I’ve not withdrawn completely. I can’t withdraw completely and plan a wedding at the same time: I have phone calls to make and meetings to attend and decisions to make and shopping to do. I’ve spent several Saturdays in a row shopping for my wedding. But when I’m done with the shopping and the calls, I’m ready to be alone.

When I look back on this summer and wonder why I didn’t read more or blog more, this post will remind me why. I just needed a little quiet.



Couch to 5K Challenge Days 19, 20, and 21: This post is not an excuse…


…it’s more like an update.

The past two weeks have consisted of moving everything out of my office

My office as I was packing it up

It was like packing up the last two years of my life.

and my dorm room

My dorm room, half packed

Just looking at the picture makes me stressed.

My stuff packed up and waiting in the hallway to be moved

This was just the first carload of stuff. I had three carloads total.

and moving all of it into a new dorm room


My room for the next three months.

My room for the next three months.

My graduate assistantship ended on May 3rd. I still have a semester left of graduate school, but since I will be student teaching in the fall, and since it’s physically impossible to student teach and meet the obligations of a GAship at the same time without cloning yourself, I’m just a student now.

This week  I started a my new summer job proofreading, moved into my new dorm room, and met my new roommate, who has been forcefeeding me delicious homemade Chinese food.

I’ve also transformed into something of an introvert as I’m still recovering from the semester. I don’t anticipate I’ll be blogging much for the next month, since I’m pouring all of my social energy into wedding planning. But I have completed a full week of Couch to 5k. Finally.

[Tuesday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 130 mg/dl

The workout: 5 minute warm up. 5 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking, 8 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging. 5 minute cool down.

Post-workout blood sugar: 188 mg/dl

[Thursday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar: 116 mg/dl

The workout: 5 minute work up. 8 minutes jogging, 3 minute walking, 10 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking, 8 minutes jogging. 5 minute cool down.

Post-workout blood sugar: 128 mg/dl

[Sunday’s] Workout

Pre-workout blood sugar; 156 mg/dl

The workout: 5 minute warm up. 25 minutes jogging. 5 minutes cool down.

Post-workout blood sugar: 74 mg/dl





The Story


When I put on my running shoes yesterday for my Tuesday jog, I realized that I had left my iPod in my fiance’s apartment. No Couch to 5k for me, so I walked and jogged willy-nilly for roughly half an hour so I wouldn’t lose any gains. I’ll have to resume Couch to 5k tomorrow; in the meantime, I’ll tell my engagement story in lieu of my Tuesday update. It’s more interesting than my Tuesday update anyway.

When asked when we were getting engaged, my boyfriend would always say, with unruffled seriousness, “I’m waiting for Nel to propose.” I attend a Christian college, so my boyfriend and I have been routinely asked this question ever since we hit the six month mark in our relationship. Since we’ve been dating for three years now, it’s gotten to be a running joke in my family that I was going to propose.  Recently, even my mother and my boyfriend himself were ribbing me about when I was going to pop the question.

I knew the proposal would come fairly soon, so I could laugh when they asked and tell them I was still saving up for an engagement ring. Yet  I wasn’t even faintly suspicious when my boyfriend suggested we go hiking this past Saturday.

We don’t typically do things like go hiking in the middle of a semester. But last week was particularly busy for me and I needed some time with my boyfriend without papers or other people around. Hiking seemed like the perfect break from paper grading.

Once we actually got to the hiking trail Saturday morning, however, I began to feel hopeful. I was pretty sure he had already bought a ring, since he had recently made some vague references to “spending all of his money” on “food.”

We hiked up to a beautiful waterfall, taking several stops so I could catch my breath and feel like an old woman. When we got to the falls,  we sat down on a large rock to enjoy the view. When my boyfriend started rifling through his backpack for something, I sat up, tense, alert, and expectant. Was this it? Was he really going to propose today?

And he pulled out a hoodie.

A few minutes later, he started rifling through his backpack again and pulled out the book we were reading for book club. I laughed at myself for being suspicious;  I was entirely too happy that morning to be disappointed.

When he stared looking for something else in his backpack, I assumed he would pull out beef jerky or something. And that’s when he pulled out a ring box.

He handed it to me without ceremony and said, “I got you a ring so you could propose.” He insists he also said something about “being tired of waiting,” but I don’t remember it. We’ll probably argue about this detail for the rest of our lives.

I opened up the ring box and made some sort of noise between laughing and crying before asking him, “Will you marry me?”

He said yes.

A Rose for a Child


I sometimes complain about how little money I have. I often complain about how much my diabetes supplies costs. In reality, I know I have more than enough. Some people don’t.

A coalition of diabetes bloggers has come together to create the campaign “Spare a Rose, Save A Child” to raise support for the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program. The initiative is simple: buy one less rose and give the money you save to Life for a Child. Think about all the costs associated with managing diabetes: the insulin, the test strips, the meter, the lancets, the doctor’s appointments and consider making a small donation this Valentine’s Day. You can learn more about Life for a Child and donate to the program at the International Diabetes Federation website.


Be a Blessing


Sunday, I was frantically getting ready to teach the next day and wondering why schools decided that 8 am was a good time to schedule classes.

Ryan was dying of brain cancer. 

Puts some things in perspective.

I didn’t know Ryan or his wife Meri or their four boys. I have been reading Meri’s blog since this summer, so I’ve gotten a tiny taste of what life with three diabetic boys is like. Yes, you read that right. She has four  boys and three of them have type 1 diabetes.

She’s now a  single mom of four boys, three of whom have type 1 diabetes. I was challenged with this call:

GiveForward: Schuhmacher Family Miracle


  • Consider the medical bills related to three boys with diabetes.
  • Consider the medical bills related to a courageous battle with cancer.
  • Consider the bills related to daily living – house, electricity, phone, gas, car, etc.
  • Consider just the food bills related to four growing boys!

Ryan was the sole source of income for his family. Please help us support Meri through her financial needs so that she and the boys can focus on what is really important.

As a college student, I don’t have much. But I do have a little, and small things add up. Consider being a blessing for this family in their time of need. I promise you won’t regret it.