I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands

I went to bed at 9:57 last night, you guys. NINE FIFTY SEVEN.  I haven't been in bed before at least 11:00 pm for the last month or so.  Probably another factor in the crappy mood I've been in. BUT- I am feeling so good this morning; I can't stop smiling.  I'm gonna leave work a little early so I can go pick up my packet for the race.  And I'm going to dinner tonight with my dad, brother and sister for Brenden's birthday/going away party for my dad and sis.  They are going to Ohio for the next month or so; my dad is selling and Mariah is going to be his T.A. for his online classes.  Gonna miss those fools.

And tomorrow, Landon and I will be getting up at 5 AM so we can get ready and drive down to the Tulip Festival where I will run that half marathon.  There is only a 40% chance of rain which I am happy about after this morning's commute in a BLIZZARD.  I mean, it'd be fine, I ran all winter in the snow, but I was happy when I dropped into the Salt Lake Valley and it was only a little cloudy and there was no snow.  Perks of living in the mountains- April snow storms are guaranteed.

I did manage to bust out a six mile run last night.  It wasn't raining or snowing when I went, but the wind was ridiculous.  It's been that way all week and half the time it feels like I'm running in place.  I would legitimately rather run in snow than in wind.  My left knee was a little whiny at the end of the run, but other than that I felt great.  I'm just going to take it easy tomorrow and it is going to be so fun! I can't wait.  When I was paying the $80 late registration fee the other night, I told Landon this was my gift to myself for getting through the semester.  He just looked at me straight faced  and after a couple seconds he was like, "I can't believe your idea of a gift to yourself is running 13 miles."  He's right.  There was a time when that was not the case.  And that time was my entire life up until last year.  I still weird myself out sometimes.

Ahhh, you guys, I feel so good right now.  It's amazing what kind of stress was lifted off my shoulders yesterday as I submitted all of my schoolwork and washed my hands of the semester.  And this next semester is going to be substantially kinder to me since I'm only taking two classes instead of five.  So, it's not like I'm getting a summer vacation, but I'm cutting myself a little break and I feel really good about it.  ONE DAY I'LL GRADUATE.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Stay tuned for many pictures of the race tomorrow and if you want a play-by-play of it all add me on snapchat! Username: whitneycalle.  LOVE YOU!!


Late Night Purchases

I did it, people! I just sent off and submitted the last of my homework and projects and I'm officially THROUGH (with this semester)!!  I want to blast music and have a dance party because that's what I used to do when I was going to college.  My roommates and I had many-a dance parties during and after finals wee.  But this time, I'm at work and surrounded by equipment and humans who probably wouldn't appreciate a spontaneous rave.  But in my head, I'm having the party of the year.


And now I will enjoy the next week and a half of my life with every fiber of my being until summer semester starts up.

I shall begin that week of bliss by running a half marathon on Saturday.  That's right- another half marathon.  It's the Tulip Festival Half, the one I ran last year.  I've been really bummed that I wasn't going this year.  I was going to run the 5k with my mom and sister, but it sold out before we could register.  And then last night (nearing midnight) I was like, "Whatever.  I'm doing it."  

As you all know I don't drink, so this was as close to a late night drunk purchase as I could get.  I mean, let's be honest  the state my brain has been in these last couple weeks?  I may as well be intoxicated, and my Uber is the Struggle Bus.  
So I registered for the dang thing.  Which, funnily enough, I don't think I should have actually been able to.  I went to the website to register and as I scrolled through all the info on it, I was met with red bold letters and asterisks that said, "**This race is sold out**" and I was all, "What?!  It wasn't sold out the other day when I was looking at their Facebook page!"  So I went to their FB page and saw a link to active.com and I clicked that where I was redirected to their login page.  I bought my tickets through that website last year, so I logged in and it had all of my info saved for me, I just had to put in my credit card info and I was registered in two minutes time.  I was so surprised and I told Landon, "I don't think I was supposed to be able to do that..."  Right after I got the email confirmation and my ID number for the race and I was like, "I wonder if I could have registered for the 5k that way..." So I went back to active.com and out of sheer curiosity tried to register for the 5k, but I was met with the three race options blacked out with a message under each saying that they were all sold out.  I refreshed, tried to login manually and I went back to the other website and I could not find an option that made it possible fore me to register for any of the races.  So I don't know how I did it; how I managed to find some wormhole in the Internet.  I'm chalking this up as the Universe cutting me a break after these sucky couple of weeks I've been struggling through. Like, "Good job, Whit.  You made it.  Now go run 13 miles because for some reason  you like doing that, you freak."

It will be interesting to see how it goes, though.  This is one of, if not the hardest half marathon in Utah and I definitely have not been running like I was training these past few weeks.  And I don't have nearly as good of an elevation advantage like I did with the Zion Half.  But I'm not going into this with any expectations except to have a good time, take it easy and enjoy all of the flowers and endorphins.  I'm so excited.
#tbt


This Train is Bound for Glory...Eventually

You guys-- there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm SO close to being done with all of my homework and projects I can taste it.  But instead of sprinting towards it with full force, I feel like I keep tripping and dragging my body through one assignment after another.  Are you guys sick of me whining and crying about school yet?  BECAUSE I AM.

I just want it to be done, but it feels like when you're dreaming and you're trying to run as fast as you can, but you are stuck in place.  Plus, it doesn't help that Hawaii is in 15 days and so instead of doing homework, I'm booking spray tan appointments and buying swimming suits online.  How could I possibly focus on Marketing 101 when the warm beaches of Hawaii are calling my name?

Another thing I'm worrying over is the fact that I've gained 5 lbs since my race and despite eating healthy and continuing to work out and run, I. CAN'T. LOSE. IT.  Don't try and tell me I'm crazy because I am and I won't listen.  I came to the conclusion that the reason it won't go away is because I'm not running those high miles I was when I was training for Zion, so as a result of that diagnosis I have begun training again.  I don't actually have a race in mind- picking one is on my to-do list, but it's race season and I'm sure there is one nearby in roughly 10-12 weeks from now.

ANOTHER THING that my body is doing that is pissing me off is ADULT PUBERTY.  Have you heard of it? Me either- until a few weeks ago when Jenna Marbles did a video about it and I was like, "So that's what's going on on my face."  Seriously you guys, it's like I'm 16 all over again because homegirl CANNOT keep her face clear no matter what she does.  I wash it in the morning and in the evening after I work out.  I use spot treatment, I moisturize (from time to time) but no matter what I try, I'm stuck with the face of a teen on the body of an almost 26 year old.  I just bought this new facial mask that everyone hails as the miracle worker off Amazon, but if that doesn't get the job done, I'm going to a dermatologist because this is ridic.  It's about time I crack open that HSA anyway...

Ugghh, I'm tired of how whiny I've been these last couple weeks.  I haven't really been feeling like myself because I'm so stressed out and my emotions are all over the place.  I feel bad for anybody who has had to deal with me lately.  I'm really trying to have an attitude adjustment and hopefully with the close of the semester and my trip off of the continent I will be able to do just that.

*Screams Internally*

First of all, I just want to say thanks to everyone who sent me such sweet messages on Tuesday.  The support I felt from all of you helped immensely.  I can honestly say that I've never been so sad in my entire life.  I have still cried about the whole thing at least once a day since, but it's getting easier.  Tuesday at work though was just- a nightmare.  I literally couldn't speak to anybody about anything even if it wasn't about Tukae without tears spilling over.  I made each one of my co-workers feel so uncomfortable that nobody talked to me after I cried at them.  Which, I'll be honest, I was totally okay with.  I didn't want to talk to anyone.

So on top of losing my pup, I've been buried under a mountain of homework and final projects and my sanity has gone completely out the window.  I find myself cursing my decision to go back to school nightly.  Last night, I literally went for a stress run at 11:00 PM.  And I had been on a 5 mile stress run about five hours earlier.  Last week, I just kept telling myself, "I just need to make it to the end of the week." And that carried over to this week, and will continue into next week.  Like, that's what my life has turned into- "I just need to make it to the end of the week."

Seriously considering exchanging my round trip flight to Hawaii for a one-way and just never come back.  Working full time (soon to be overtime) and going to school full time is a nightmare.

Remember how they gave me an award for a positive attitude?  No one knows why.

I just need to make it to the end of next week.

Tukae

I don't even really know how to start a post like this.  Yesterday, we took my little Tukae dog to the vet to be put to sleep.  He was 16 1/2 years old and has been really sick for the last few months; you could feel tumors all over his little body.  He was all but completely blind and deaf, and sometimes he  would fall down just because his little legs would give out.  He spent most of his days sleeping because he was in too much pain to do much else.  But even with all of that, you still never met a happier, more loving dog.

Tukae was and will always be a vital part of our family.  He came into our lives one Christmas morning and has been the best thing for our hearts ever since.  He slept in my bed every night, and even after I moved out and got married, whenever I would come to visit he would find whatever room or whatever bed I was in and sleep with me.  He was the best cuddler. And that little dog was more adventurous that most humans.  He had a love for life and our family that went far beyond mere words.  We took him everywhere with us- boating, camping, hiking, you name it.  He loved to ride on the four-wheeler and on the front of my dirt bike.  He didn't love to swim, but he loved riding in the boat with the wind in his fur.
(that was the picture of him that I opened up on Christmas morning 16 and 1/2 years ago.)

And he was smart- oh, he was smart.  He was still learning tricks up until he started to lose his sight and hearing.  He knew when we were trying to teach him something and he wouldn't give up until he learned what it was.  And when there was a treat on the line, he would roll through his set of tricks, one right after the other just to get it.  That was my favorite though, he knew how to communicate with us.  The relationship we had with that little dog was so much more than just a pet; he was the heart of our family and we all understood each other.  He knew when we were sad and he knew when we were happy.  He knew when we were packing for a trip and he knew when he was invited or when he was going to be left with Grandma.

I hope he knew how much we loved him.

I hope in his last moments he wasn't afraid, and that he knew we were with him.

His health has been declining for the past couple years, and I've known the whole time that I wanted to be there for him when it was time to let him go.  I didn't want him going into that room alone and afraid.  I wanted to be holding him and petting him and telling him how much I loved him.
I took the day off work and went to my mom's early in the morning.  When I got there, my brother called the vet and made an appointment for 1:00.  We spent the next few hours snuggling and loving on Tuk.  He just laid in his bed and took in all the attention.  I laid my head down next to him and listened to some music and he put his head on my neck and his paw on my face and gave me kisses.  He was always the best at comforting me when I was sad.
When it was time to go, Mariah and I got in the back seat with him.  We had his bed on our laps, thinking he would want to lay on it for the ride.
But he was up and wanting to stick his head out the window.  Mariah had to hold him up the entire time because his little legs weren't strong enough to stabilize him through the driving, but she didn't mind.  He had his head out the window the whole way; his little white ears flapping in the wind with a big ol' smile on his face.  He was the happiest little dog, right up to the very end.  I'm so happy he was ours.
When we got inside the vet's office, he knew where he was.  Even without being able to see, every dog knows the vet and no dog likes it.  That was the reason I wanted to be there.  I knew that this was going to be the hardest moment of my life, and that I was going to be sobbing the entire time.  But I also  knew he was going to know where he was.  After everything he had done for our family in his life, I didn't want his last moments to be alone on a table, confused and afraid.  I wanted him to be comforted by his family.  We brought his bed in and I held him the entire time.  When the doctor came in, she asked if we thought he should be sedated.  After a moment of thinking, we decided it was best because a dog groomer hadn't been able to get near him for years without them almost losing a hand.  We knew that Tuk would be extremely stressed and upset without it.  Brenden took him from me while she gave him the shot.  She told us it would sting a little and his little yelp as she gave it to him shattered my heart into a million little pieces.  But immediately after, Brenden handed him back to me and I felt his body slowly relax.  It had been years since I felt him that calm and relaxed in my arms.  He'd been in so much pain for so long, so he was always very cautious with letting people touch and hold him.  That was such a tender mercy for us to be able to hold him like that before saying goodbye.  To know that he wasn't stressed out, scared or in pain at the very end was everything.  The doctor left the room after giving him the sedative and gave us a few more minutes with him like that.  It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, to say goodbye to my best friend.  To be the one who says, you've done what you needed to do and you can let go now.  I absolutely believe he was specifically sent to our family with the purpose to bring happiness to our lives; to ease our heartaches and trials which would be many.  He completed his mission with every fiber of his being right up until his last heartbeat.

When the doctor came back in, I gently laid his little body down on his bed.  She gently shaved off a little patch of his fur to put an IV in his tiny arm.  I leaned down and put my face to his and kissed him and told him how much I loved him.  I told him thank you for everything.  I told him that it was all going to be okay.  The doctor injected the drugs and within just a matter of seconds, he was gone.  I held his little head and kissed him again, tears falling onto his fur.  The doctor left the room again and I just stood there next to him, petting him and telling him how much I loved him.

I'm happy our family was able to be there with him.  I'm happy he wasn't alone or afraid or uncomfortable.  He slipped away so peacefully and despite the throbbing in my heart, I take comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain.

I held his little body the entire drive home.  I couldn't stop petting him, he was still warm and it just felt like he was sleeping in my arms.  When we got home, I laid him in his bed in the grass next to the garden.  The clouds had cleared and the sun was warm on us.  He always loved to lay in the sunshine and he did it often. I laid my head next to him like I had been doing all morning and I told him over and over how much I loved him and what a joy he was to have in my life.
After I felt like I had said my proper goodbye, my mom wrapped his little body in a blanket.  He tucked his favorite monkey stuffed animal inside with him, and I put him down in the grave Brenden had dug in the garden. Mariah, Johnny, my mom and I picked little bundles of wild flowers and laid them on top of him.  And then as we were all gathered around his grave, my mom said a prayer thanking God for letting us have him in our family.  And as we all stood, I gently buried my little dog.

I'm glad we brought him home and laid him in our garden.  I'm glad that I will be able to look at the flowers growing where his body was laid and know that he is in them.  I'm glad that I will be able to talk to him often, even if I won't be able to hold him.  I'm happy he is in a better place, out of pain and able to see and hear and run.  I'm happy that I still have all my memories of him and that I can visit him there.

But above all, more than anything- I am so happy he was my dog.

Cracked.

So, I haven't been in college full-time since Fall 2011.  And while I didn't forget the pains of the last couple weeks of the semester?  I kind of "forgot" the pains of the last couple weeks of the semester.  It's probably a lot like how labor is the worst pain ever, but then you have a baby and you completely forget about it.  I don't know.  I've never had a kid.  For all I know, I might rather be in labor right now.

In this last week alone I have busted out literally 33 pages in research for study guides.  I've put together 1 1/2 presentations, two papers, discussion questions galore, and a butt-load of research for two final projects that are due next week, but are not even anything concrete yet; just a jumble of ideas and about 20 pages of hardly legible notes in my notebook.

All of that- IN FOUR DAYS.

My brain cracked a little yesterday.  If you follow me on Snapchat, you'd have seen the exact moment when it happened.  I was reading in one of my sales textbooks and it was talking about like, keeping your cool in front of the customer, or something.  Even if they say something to you that catches you off guard or offends you.  It said that if that happens, instead of freaking out and being all defensive to say, "Wow, I've never thought of it that way." And then it says to find an appropriate way to excuse yourself, literally turn your body away from them and to genuinely think about their point of view.  Like, really talk yourself into believing that they have positive intent and were not trying to offend you.  Then, once you've gained composure to turn back to them and say, "I can see why you think that way." And I- LOST IT.

I was in my office all alone with tears streaming down my face at the mental image of me turning away from a customer and having an internal negotiation with myself while the customer stands there behind you.  It was hysterical to me.  I was trying to stifle my manic giggles, but the more I thought about it, the funnier it got.  I couldn't handle it.  And it was like, from that moment on for the rest of the day the smallest thing would send me into a fit of laughter.

I was at the gym after work busting out a quick work out before I had to go home, make dinner, pack lunches and do MORE homework.  I was really pushing it because of all the stress I needed to break down and sweat out.  Well, I did sweat; like a fat, old man.  I was trying to take a #sweatyselfie (don't judge me) for my exercise instagram account when my eye liner started to bleed and this black sweat drop rolled down my nose.  (Gross, right?  I had a lot of rage to get out.)  And Snapchat got this horrifying new filter yesterday that blacks out your eyes and makes you look possessed (literally my worst fear).  And even though it makes my stomach hurt to even look at, I couldn't miss the opportunity of the black tear.
Disgusting, right? bahaha it still cracks me up.  It's so gross, but I was laughing so hard.  Luckily, I was the only one in the gym and nobody had to see that.  

Even between work and homework and cooking and whatnot, I've still made it to the gym for about an hour every afternoon.  It's been my saving grace this week.  It's been my "me" time, and a serious stress-reliever.  I mean, I'm still stressed, but I haven't cried yet.  And I'm gonna call that a win.

Unless you talk me about my dog.  You can expect immediate water works if you do that.

uggghhhh. Just get me to next Saturday.

Goodbyes Are Hard.

To say this weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions would be a very cliche understatement, but alas, my brain can't come up with a more original description for you on this Monday morning.  As I keep mentioning in previous blog posts, Park City shut its gates for the winter season this weekend and I'm still in denial over it.  Landon and I wore our traditional "Last Day" tutu and zebra leggings that we wore last year.  I also wore a shirt that my mom and sister made that they were going to wear at the finish line of the Zion Half, but apparently they thought it was a "pinterest fail" and made the other ones.  I thought it was adorable and they let me have it along with three others.  Landon wore the Han Swolo tank I bought for myself but it ended up being way to big for me.  All in all, I thought we looked great.  It always makes the last day on the mountain a little more fun.  I was so excited about the outfits that I completely forgot gloves, so I boarded bare-handed and took extra precaution when needed because I really didn't want to go down.

We got our traditional breakfast Kolaches before we went and that was a high point for me considering I hadn't had any carbs last week and I could hear the Hallelujah Chorus singing as I devoured them.  I don't think that tradition will be put away for the summer though; I plan on getting those bad boys before mountain biking on Saturdays now.

Saturday night, I got a call from my mom asking me what our plans were for Sunday.  I told her we were going to Sunny's to do our taxes (nothing like waiting till the last minute).  I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted to have a Tukae Party.  Tukae is our family dog that I've talked about here a time or two.  We got him Christmas of 1999 right before the whole Y2K scare, hence his name: Tukae.  He has been the best little dog for the past 16 years.  Unfortunately he is blind, deaf, and really sick and not getting better.  She thinks it is time to put him out of his pain.  She wanted to get everyone together to have a lunch and day with him watching home movies and sharing stories.  I told her I didn't think we were going to be able to make it up and she said, "Well, what about next Sunday?"  And I told her (through a waterfall of tears) that should work for us.  So, now I've got that hanging over my head, and I've literally cried about it at least 6 times since that phone call.  I'm crying now.  It' ridiculous.  Tuk was my first dog, so I haven't dealt with anything like this before and I'm taking it pretty hard.
Yesterday was good, though.  We had a delicious lunch at Sunny's and I got to play all day with my little niece, Abby.  And when she was properly worn out, we snuggled while she took a nap on top of me.  It melted my broken heart into a puddle and I felt some very real baby hunger bleed into my system.  It was wonderful and terrifying.
Landon got our taxes filed and we were stoked with the little chunk of change we'll be getting in return.  We've got big plans to pay off student debt! Woo! Anyway.  Like I said, a rollercoaster of emotions and I'm just trying to deal with them all while cutting carbs back out of my life.  It's been great.

Saying My Goodbyes to Winter

Good morning you beautiful humans.  As I am writing this I'm am simultaneously ignoring probably six other assignments for school and pretending that I have more time to do them than I really do.  It's been 3 years since I was in school last, and I forgot how quick the end of the semester sneaks up on you.  Like, the first eight weeks drag on and then BAM! It's finals.  And I think I've done a pretty o.k. job of keeping up with most of my homework this semester, but I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to open my text books right now.  Why is that?  When it's the most important part of the semester? Crunch time.  And I'm just like, "Meh... I'll get to it."  I don't think I will be taking this heavy of a work load next semester, trying to juggle all of this kind of burned me out.

Aside from procrastinating on schoolwork, I've been saying my last goodbyes to winter.  Utah is it it's transitioning phase, which basically means it will be 70 degrees one day and a blizzard the next.  That's a typical April here, but once it gets that all out of it's system, we are looking at sunshine from here on out.  And unless it's dumps on us again (which I'm not ruling out) this Saturday is going to be the last weekend Park City is open for boarding, and I'm just not ready to say goodbye.  We went last Saturday and it was beautiful.  They got about 15 inches in last week's storms so the snow was awesome for spring skiing, the sun was bright and warm, and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky.
We even saw a moose just chillin' out on the side of the run.  It was a baby moose, but it still was the size of a horse.  We mostly observed it from the lift and higher up on the run because those babies are not to be messed with.  And it was by itself, so we were on high alert for the mama to come out of nowhere.  I was trying to take a snapchat of it and for some reason I can't just stand when I'm clipped into my snowboard, my balance is so off, so I made Landon hold me in place while I snapped really quick.  Once I sent it, he was like, "Okay, let's go!" and he let go of me to start boarding again.  And what should happen other than me falling on my already injured and still very sore left butt cheek?  Nothing.  That's exactly what happened.  Landon felt horrible and I'm still hobbling around; I'm starting to think I will never heal.

Other than that, I'm just focusing on trying to get my abs back.  I am starting a high-protein diet today and probably going to stay on it until Hawaii, which, I'm sure you all can imagine how excited I am about.  It's good though, I need structure or else I have no willpower when Landon brings home Little Cesar's Deep Dish Stuff Crust pizza.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go wipe the drool off my keyboard after I just typed that.

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