It’s a Girl! (Which we already knew..)

I HAVEN’T EVEN WRITTEN ABOUT HER. All I’ve been writing lately are thank-you’s! I’m tired. I always feel worn out. I get frustrated. And the love that consumes me each day is crazy. Most of you know why.

Lydia Ruth Meyer was born on September 1, 2016. She weighed 6 pounds, 3.8 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Oh my goodness. I love her more each day! Man, by time she’s grown up, I won’t even know what to do with all that love! I say things that I used to think was dumb, like, “I can’t even.” But I can’t even finish that sentence because of all the emotions that overtake me before I find a reasonable word. My Facebook page is flooded with pictures of my new little daughter (it’s weird to say that I have a daughter! But I do!), because of so many family and friends living so far away. Lydia grows and changes every day!

To catch you up to date on health stuff. Lydia is incredibly healthy. For this we are all so very thankful! I, however, have not been up to par. Two weeks after Lydia was born, I started another relapse. I had been warned that one would likely come, but I thought it would have been right away. I went to see my OB for a checkup and was admitted to the hospital with a uterine infection. I was on the baby floor, though (because it was pregnancy related), so Lydia could come visit me! I stayed there about two days before coming home. Three weeks later, I was back in the hospital. I went in to the ER on Monday night, and was released Saturday. This one was bad. I had a bladder, kidney, and blood infection all at the same time. Needless to say, I was septic when I came in and was a good part of the week, too. Urine retention is common in people with MS. I just didn’t know it had been happening to me for months prior. That is why what started as a bladder infection, backed up to my kidneys, and got my blood, too. I am still on IV antibiotics three times a day, but thanks to home health, I can stay at home and do them myself. My 14 days will be up soon, though, and then I will be on oral meds. I’m getting catheterized four-ish times a day, too. I keep wanting to do it myself, but that’s hard, and I don’t have all the dexterity in my hands and fingers I once did. That will come, though. The doc said that my bladder is super stretched out, but by getting cathed daily, it will build that muscle again.

My mother stayed in Kentucky with us longer than she had planned on. She decided to stay longer after my relapse began to make sure we were okay. That’s actually one of the reasons I wanted her there first—because I thought a relapse would come right away.  My MIL was coming the next week, so we put her on Lydia duty—that’s why she came! To meet Lydia and help out with her care! My mom had “Anna duty.” She knows what to do when I have a relapse and how to help. She had been taking care of me so long with this MS headache. Even when I relapsed in January for a while, she brought me home to Cottonwood until I was strong enough to go back home. She was not going to go back home until we had hired a caregiver to be with me and help take care of Lydia whenever Doug was gone.

The week with both moms was a little bit stressful, probably because there has never been so many people in our house AND so much was going on! But it was good. My mom did the cooking, because she loves cooking, and she’s good at it. And my MIL was oh-so-helpful with Lydia and other things around the house! It was nice not having the full night duty for almost a month! God’s hand was so much at work before my mom left, though. We inquired about getting a caregiver through a government agency, but it was going to take way too long. We decided to hire privately, and we got a name the next day! So, before the week was up, we had hired Karen and her adult daughter, Amanda, to trade off being caregivers for me and Lydia. It has been so awesome! I don’t feel guilty for taking a middle-of-the-day nap, because I know Lydia is being taken care of, and I know that my body has to heal in order for me to take better care of Lydia by myself one day.

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Doug’s and my first post-baby date! We got all dolled up and everything!

Lydia Ruth is a strong and determined little girl. She has parts of both Doug and me in her, as well as traits from others in our families. As with all children, I’m sure, similarities toward one parent or the other will depend on whose family we’re visiting, and who this or that friend knows better. She is doing GREAT developmentally, and is even doing a few things sooner than the internet says she’s supposed to, which makes this mama smile big. She has to be able to see at all times. She hated the bassinet we’d gotten, because it had high sides, and she couldn’t see what was going on. So we put her in a crib at three weeks. Apparently I walked before I could crawl at 9 months, and I’m kind of expecting the same from Lydia. She loves when we hold her up so she can put weight on her legs and feet. When we put her on her belly for “tummy time,” she tries to scoot—almost crawl (if her body were strong enough)—as far as she can. She’s been trying to lift her head since day two, and now she looks around and takes everything in. We took her to church for the first time yesterday, and we put her in the “Sprouts” nursery for kids 0-24 months. I think she liked it! She didn’t sleep much when she was there, but boy, was she tuckered out when we got home! Lydia started smiling at things and at people about 5 weeks—the internet said that wouldn’t start until 6 weeks! One of our caregivers said about Lydia, “It’s like she’s frustrated with her baby body that can’t keep up with her!” My mama heart just beams with pride for my girl. Even at her two week visit, the doctor commented on how alert she was! Soon, it’ll be time for her 2 month visit—the one that includes shots. Lydia is generally a happy baby, and Doug and I couldn’t be more excited about her!

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I only have two or three actual pics of Lydia smiling. Here they are!

I am so overwhelmed with all of the prayers being said on my behalf, as well as the prayers for Doug and Lydia. I am so thankful for them, and for each person who is whispering them for us! When I was in the hospital this last time, I saw God’s hand at work every single day. As I go to bed at night, I have been identifying the ways the God is moving in my life – physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am so very thankful that I am still here, able to be a mommy to Lydia, and a wife to Doug. Thank you for all of the physical support, and prayer support that we’ve been receiving. We are blessed.

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Preparing For Our Firstborn!

I ask a lot of questions. I read a lot of blogs and articles that are relevant to what I am interested in/looking for. I have joined the local “MOPS” group here in town. Doug and I only have one more week of our child birthing class, and they have gone into detail about how to care for a newborn. I have gone over my baby registry time and time again, sure I am missing something. I look at my friends’ first baby registries. I ask questions to other mommy friends of mine who have at least two children under 5 (because I refer to them as recent “seasoned” mommies). But. I still feel like I have no stinkin’ idea what to do to get ready for this baby!

Doug takes his Step One COMLEX exam (his board test to be taken THIS summer—there are three before he can become a licensed physician) on July 12. THEN we will begin “officially” preparing for baby. Many women have told me it’s called nesting, but Doug is gonna help me, too! (Which is why we’re waiting until after his test.)

So many people have asked what I still need. Then, I just direct them to my Target registry. I don’t really know, but that registry is a start! When I was born, my grandpa on my mom’s side built my parents a changing table, where the top can come off and it can be a regular dresser, so it can grow with baby. He was very handy with making wood things. Because I’m the oldest AND the first to have a baby, I inherited it. That dresser was in my bedroom the whole time I was in middle school and high school. I am excited that I have something my grandpa made, and excited that I get to use the changing table! We have friends from church who are done having kids, and have offered us things like a pak-n-play or even baby/toddler girl clothes. Doug and I plan on doing the exact same thing after we’re done with kids!

I have written this baby girl a few letters, and I have thought about her and included her in some of my quiet times with Jesus. I will share some pictures of my Bible art journaling to show you, and because I’m just so excited! I have been thinking about her a LOT. Even Doug has baby brain—he recently asked one of his friends, who got married the same summer as us—when they were jumping on the baby train, ha!

Baby has been super healthy the whole pregnancy. As for me, my health is so much better than it was! I am doing PT, and I keep getting stronger! I’m basically learning how to walk correctly—AKA, re-learning how to walk with a cooperative left leg. And, as I said in one of the first posts published after my pregnancy was announced, I REALLY want to stick with what I learn in PT this time. For the first time, I actually have a reason bigger than myself—my child. I only have a few weeks left of PT, but I am doing so much better than I was before I started! And, my last post (published before this one) talked about me doing the things I love once again. This is as much for my health as it is for my sanity, even AFTER baby arrives!

-Anna

Any advice from other seasoned mommies out there? Leave a comment below!

Things in Lists

Things I Find Easy:
– Being happy when Dr. Wile E. Coyote comes home for lunch and seeing him when we’re both at home in the evening (which, such as last night, was 9pm. Other times I’m home.  Other times I’m at work and it’s like 6 or 7).
– Writing Christian-based stories, poems, and blogs (and, if you’ve been following my blog here for awhile, may have seen a few stories and poems here and there, also! Feel free to check out the archives).
– Sleeping in our super-duper comfy bed (thanks, Papa Meyer!).

Things I Find Difficult:
– Remembering that my husband loves cell biology and is also a neat freak because of it (thus, the farm girl in me who doesn’t mind dirt and fat in meats gets only a tad annoyed).
– Researching agents who represent christian authors (and trying to figure out how to go about this whole “publishing” thing).
– Being a morning person after much disrupted sleep (because the whole symptom thing kind of stinks).

Things I Find Often:
– That I like to pray for my husband because God is super faithful.
– That I  looooove to write (and make lists, apparently) — I can’t stop, even if I tried.
– That I notice the MS, especially when I forget about a few of the exercises.

Things I Find Sometimes:
– A crabby husband (but don’t worry, he’s usually good at letting me in on why he’s stressed and a little….uncooperative?  Then I can help).
– An empty notebook (you know, the college-ruled kind that is on sale right now for back to school stuff.  *cough*).
– Stretching works!

Things I Find More Often Than I Thought I Would:
– An Anna hug when needed eases some stress and brings comfort; a Doug hug when needed is a release of tension and anxiety and no-more-words-just-ahhh.
– More than one book on our bookshelf by one author.
– Stretching works.

Things I Plan on Finding:
– Date night every week (smiley face).
– A whole lot of students that I can teach something at my music lesson job!
– A helpful exercise routine that my PTs keep telling me about..

Things I Hope to Find:
– Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is amazing!
– An agent who is interested in selling my book!?
– What? Not even strangers notice the MS?

 

Other Things to Update You With:

– Dr. Wile E. Coyote is adapting to this med-student thing, and by next year, he’ll have it down.

– Work for me at Sound House Music has picked up a bit (and we expect it to pick up more with school starting and word getting out that I can teach all percussion, brass, woodwind, and piano).

– I have an infusion scheduled for Friday because THE ORDERS FOR MY MEDS CAME IN (after three weeks to a month of this hassle, mind you, but it did come!).

 

Sign-Offs:

– Peace out.

– Love you all!

– I like lists.

Anna

An Update: Orientation Week Has Begun!

On Monday, Dr. Wile E. Coyote began orientation for med school! He has met his classmates and professors, has sat through tiring shpeals (is that a word?), and been pretty tired the whole day through. Everyone from home asks me “How’s married life?” as if that is a valid question. HELLO! I’VE BEEN MARRIED FOR A MONTH! HOW COULD IT NOT BE AWESOME!? Ahem. Yeah, it’s been going great. Now that I’m a distance away from everyone, I feel more of a need to keep “y’all” up to date on what has been going on in our lives!

My job at Sound House Music: I am the new lessons coordinator. After The Student came home on Monday, we went into SHM together, and he helped me move heavy stuff and decorate 2/4 lesson rooms that were not being used for lessons that night. I met 2/3 existing lesson instructors, also. So, two of the rooms we got vacuumed out and a little more than just posters up on the wall. I plan to go back more this week. It’s been a lot of background and behind-the-scenes stuff, and I’m kind of at a standstill until some more people get back to me. I’ll start getting paid when I start giving lessons. SHM has never had band lessons given through them before, so hopefully, there will be a lot of people jumping at it (even though I’m a little inexperienced, teaching music is one of my faves). And maybe, I’ll even get to give lessons pretty much full time (which would be awesome!). We’re looking for a guitar instructor now, because there is a waiting list of guitar students. And I’m trying to get ahold of some band teachers to discuss this new lesson thing with! And they were in need of a percussion instructor, too—good thing that’s my forte!

Dr. Wile E. Coyote and Med School: As I mentioned, this week has been orientation week. Earlier this month, the First Year and I were trying to get plugged into a church and into whatever else.   We met a few people for lunch or drinks (sweet tea and pop…which they call soda here). So, we’ve talked with a lot of second years already. Doug told me after the first day of orientation that he feels so much more prepared than so many of the other first years seem to be. And I think he is! If I can be so vulnerable as to say that there’s been some stress already at the thought of constant studying, prioritizing, and getting everything done well? On both of our parts. We’d much appreciate some prayer. But it’s exciting, and Dr. Coyote is excited to be a student again! He LIKES learning, which is good for him at this point in life. So, him and a bunch of other med students or healthcare professionals or students are talking about something and I just shrug. I’M A MUSIC TEACHER. I don’t really care about some of the things they discuss sometimes. It’s interesting. Last night, we had a church meeting thing—the pastor’s wife got up and spoke about whenever her husband asks for testimonies, it reminds her of her grandma. “Don’t you have something to share for Jesus?” she’d ask. And as a girl, she didn’t. All this avoiding doing things for Jesus, and now she’s a pastor’s wife. I can relate. I would always tune out when someone would tell me why something happened or what was going on inside my body. I still have troubles listening when they tell me to stretch or exercise. And now I’m married to a man who will be a doctor! Irony? Nah. Go back to this post. God totally knows what he’s doing. Anyway, for classes, the students have to dress up professionally, so that’s another point of this week. Getting them used to getting dressed up and sitting in a classroom for hours of lecture. But hey—my husband looks good when he’s leaving for classes and coming home.

The Culture: I have been asked many times about this from folk back home. Nothing strange finds its way to OUR table, because I’m the one cooking. And I’m a Scandinavian and also a farm girl who grew up on a diet of steak and potatoes. And I haven’t had too much practice in cooking except for scrambled eggs and toast. And Minnesota’s infamous “hamburger rice hotdish.” You know, one of those meals where there IS no recipe, everyone just knows it? So, I’ve been beginning to go through cookbooks and following most of the directions and trying things out. (Thanks, Karen and Pam for the cookbooks, and everyone else who gave me fun new recipes to try!) I’ve been learning a lot. I learn by DOING, which is why this is good. The culture! That’s what this paragraph is about. I love the three-part harmonies that are so rich. Every Sunday, we can sing a contemporary song, but with the harmonies, it sounds totally different! And, I don’t know what’s in the water here, but there are so many people who, music just comes naturally to them. I was talking to my boss at SHM, and he said that he doesn’t like it, either. I mean, it’s cool, but we’ve both put in HOURS of practice, and those kind of people can just pick up a new instrument and play beautifully. Music is big around here. And I rather like it. The driving—apparently it’s only here in Pikeville where there seem to be no rules, but one must be careful and not too slow. Just go with the speed of traffic, because they don’t necessarily always follow the road signs. Just an observation.

Everything else: Wonderful. Our house is all set up, and kept tidy for the most part. It’s not big, but it’s home and it’s OURS. It’s been unseasonably cool this summer, and I am NOT complaining. We are making friends and hanging out with them a bunch. I have been learning to slow the speed of my speech. Even though I still have to repeat things a lot of the time and need them to repeat things at times. Also, I wouldn’t mind picking up an accent. It would be fun. However, my accent is unique, as well. I met someone who knew a Minnesotan years ago and was fascinated with the accent of the drawn-out “ooh”s. I guess I just have to meet in the middle or something. I’m a good mimicker, though. Just ask for an accent and I’ll try my best! 🙂

 

Keepin’ it real while living in this brand new state of Kentucky!

Anna

I’M MARRIED! And God is good :)

Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” Basically, this is saying that Christ completes us. Not a soulmate or lover. Christ. In Genesis 2:18, God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And then woman was formed.

Anna and Doug Meyer
Photo credit: Byron Bredlow

Here I was, all ready to gush about my recent wedding and the awesomeness that it is being Mrs….Wile E. Coyote (AKA Meyer). And then the Lord just kind of tapped me on the shoulder. Christ completes me. D and I do help each other and kind of fill in gaps, but we are not the fullness of the other. I knew this, and I just want to make it clear. (Now that I found where it is stated super clearly in scripture!) D and I are our own, independent people. We have individual relationships with God and with our own friends. We are two totally different people. What a miracle it is that God can take two very different people and make them ONE! “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). When someone gets married, relationship priorities shift. Parents don’t help make big, important decisions. The spouse does. Parents may give advice, especially when sought out, but the number one person in a married person’s life is their spouse.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I have been praying since we started dating that our relationship would be glorifying to God. He has been hearing our prayers. This I know because of a few things: the doc (student) and I started dating in August. We were engaged on New Year’s. Married on June 28. Everything in our relationship has just landed in place. It’s incredible. Our wedding was focused 100% on God, and all our guests could see it. We didn’t have alcohol at our reception, but it was a PARTY! That fact really spoke to the place where our reception was and the people helping us out there. Those who we’ve shared our story with have been encouraged, and those who have been watching our story unfold have seen it, too.

So here we are, living in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Lord has been hearing our prayers for this place, too. Awesome landlords, we fell in love with a church the first full day we were here (Sunday), and we’ve been invited out to supper sometime this week by a couple that has lived here for a while (from Minnesota!?). Anyway, we honeymooned out here with minimals and some wedding presents. Dr. Wile E. Coyote’s parents will be out here next week with a U-Haul and the rest of our stuff. So, it’s been a challenge filled with late-night Wal-Mart runs when we realized how smart we were and forgot a blanket for the bed, a pillow for me, and laundry detergent? Ha.

I’ve only been married for like, a week, but already I have been hearing prayers answered there too. I have been praying that God loves my husband through me. I have been given this patience I didn’t know I possessed when I really just want to yell. I have been showing grace, when other parts of me fight it. Ya’ll who aren’t married yet? Patience and grace are huge things you notice real fast.

I felt like I needed to update you, my readers, on my life. I can’t even really talk about being married yet because it has been 10 days. That’s it. But those 10 days have been awesome and filled with road trips, no schedule, and a plethora adventures—exploring new cities, going to new restaurants that are common in the south, and talking with all those nice people with different accents. (Although, I guess since we’re the outsiders here, it is us with the accents!)

Keep it real, my friends!

Lovin’ life and livin’ in the moment,

Anna MEYER

Lord, where are you goin’ with this?

Music. Teaching. Writing. Pastoral Care. All my life, I have been led in these directions.  I am at a loss.  You know when I said, “This is the first time in my life I have no idea what’s happening in the future and I’m okay with it”?  Well, those words are coming back to bite me, because I am not necessarily okay with it anymore.  I just want to know what I’m going to be doing so that I can focus on that and refresh or gain even more knowledge in that area.  I didn’t pass my Praxis education tests to get the score for Kentucky, and I’ve heard from a few different sources about this Christian writer’s conference in Michigan in less than a month.  Do I stop looking for teaching jobs and write more?  I honestly didn’t even know where in the Word to turn to, so I googled the phrases, “God’s will + circumstances” to see what I’d get.  I came across a few awesome articles/blogs.  One of them told me to ask myself these questions: “Where has God been leading us? Has He been doing something even when we couldn’t recognize it?  In the light of all God has been doing for us, does what we think we hear God saying through our circumstances make sense?” (Edmondson).  The thing is, God has been leading me toward all four things I started out this post with.  Even when I don’t see it, I look back and realize he has been making me better at those four things.  And now I don’t know what circumstances are saying, because anything makes sense right now.

What I do know is that God has been making it very clear to both Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I that he has a plan for us, and that we are to be in Pikeville, Kentucky for a season.  He has led us to that path in a way that one can’t question.  This last week, Dr. Coyote, my parents, and me drove down to Pikeville (a 2 day drive from anywhere in the upper Midwest).  It was great.  We looked at our apartment that we had signed the lease on a month earlier (smiley face), D went and turned in some forms in person to the school, and I followed up on some job leads I had.  Basically, there have been 3 music teachers hired in the last year, and unless any music teachers are married to a med student who will be moving on soon, there won’t be an opening anytime soon.  But I picked up the sub application for two districts.  And the newspaper, where I sent my resume the week before, was still in the process of looking at all the resumes that have come in.  But the music store.  The music store is looking to expand on the private lessons it offers to band students.  There is a man who gives drum set lessons who would like to focus on something else, so I could potentially have his students.  The owner of the store said we would stay in contact, and that they would probably be able to use me.  So excited!  I love giving lessons.  I love having that relationship with a student and passing on knowledge and watching them grow!  So, ideally, I could be almost-full-time giving lessons, and maybe I could write?  That would be awesome. And while we were there, we also took in some of the sites and got a feel for the town where much of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud took place.  (And I didn’t even really know about the Hatfield-McCoy feud.  I do now!)

The Lord alone knows what the future has in store.  I’ve been finding verses that I feel the Lord has been speaking to me through lately and writing them on index cards so I have them with me to look at again and again.  Verses that calm worry (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:34), calm chaos (Psalm 46:10a, Psalm 37:7a), encourage perseverance because He is with me (2 Chronicles 32:7, Exodus 14:14, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6), command me to love him (Joshua 24:15b, Matthew 22:37-39, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and tell me that he’s got it (2 Corinthians 12:9).  These are only a few verses I read often to calm me and remind me that the Lord is near.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote told me that he thinks the Lord is leading me in 4 directions on purpose.  I know God has been teaching me trust through every single thing he seems to be doing in my life, but this is another one of those things.  He also tries my TEACHES ME patience every time I turn around, as well, smiley face.

Music, pastoral care, teaching, writing.  I don’t really know what God has in store for these things, but I dream of a job where I can use all these things that the Lord has been preparing me for at once.

 

Do you look at verses for comfort or have some memorized to repeat to yourself when you need it?  What are they?  Does God talk to you through circumstances or does he sort of just leave you waiting and trusting until the almost-last-minute? 

 

Anna 🙂

Student Teaching, SDMEA, and Remembering Reasons

Student teaching is seriously getting better all the time.  However, I still have a long ways to go.  I’ve been praying that the Lord will show me direction and all that.  How do I even know I want to be a band teacher?  I heard somebody say that they had wanted to be a band director since 7th grade.  Um, I made the decision my junior year to finish college and “we’ll see what happens next.”  But this band teacher thing….I kind of like it.  But I still question?  Ugh, I digress.

Today (Friday), I went to SDMEA (South Dakota Music Educators Association) instead of school (excused, of course).  I always love clinics and stuff, because I learn things that I didn’t even know I needed to know.  One session was called, “Why Didn’t I Learn That in College?”.  The simple answer being there’s no time.  Also, I am super thankful to Dr. Schilf for teaching us a whole lot more in Secondary Methods than other people learned in their undergrad programs.  Like that marching band drill we had to write?  It wasn’t much, but it was at least SOME experience.  Writing a budget?  Mapping out exactly what we’d like in a band room if we got to help design it (a woman who graduated from Augie when I was a junior was actually asked that and, wa-lah!  She had ideas already).  During that session, we were told that in student teaching, one will learn more than all the previous years of college.  And during the first year of teaching, one will learn more than student teaching and college combined.  I stayed after and talked with the presenter about putting my foot in the door and looking for a job in Kentucky.  Oh my gosh, did he tell me some good stuff!  Like to look up all of the schools near Pikeville and watch their pages for job postings.  And to even find the contact info for the band directors at those schools and shoot them an email, introducing myself or something (to get my name out there).  To go on to the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) website and look for job postings there (but I think they’d all go on the national page, anyway?).  I seriously made a list today.  Now, a lot of the middle schools don’t even HAVE a band director listed, but I’ll call the schools and check it out.  I also talked to a friend on Tuesday who moved up to Sioux Falls to student teach when she didn’t know anybody here.  She said to talk to everybody.  So I’ll ask here, first.  Anybody know of some young women in Pikeville, KY, looking for a roommate next year?  (Never too early, right?)

About when I was finishing up my general music placement and just this last week, I remembered why I actually did want to be a band director.  I want to teach these kids music.  In band, they’re either there because they want to be or because Mom and Dad say so.  But even if Mom and Dad say so, they’ll eventually love it, probably.  If they play through high school.  I want to teach kids to play their instruments CORRECTLY so that they won’t want to quit because they don’t know what’s wrong and it’s too hard to fix later.  I love the light in the eyes of a student when he or she discovers what a key is for or that they can get a partial higher than they thought they could.  I love being surrounded by music and sharing my love of it with students.  I love having relationships with students, so we can talk about life other than band.  I love talking about band, of course, and I love watching a student improve.  It is such a great feeling.  To know that they know more than they did, or that they can play better than before?  My day is simply made.  A random high-five when I’m walking through the commons, a “Hi, Ms. Olson,” in the hall or even as a student is leaving the band room, a lesson going so successfully well and the students don’t talk out of line but respond to me as I direct from the podium.

I feel like these last few days, I’ve been in a good mood in general.  Which is way better than the “I don’t want to move or do anything” mood I had toward the beginning of the week whenever I’d get home from school.  Even though Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I don’t get to talk during most of the week (like either of us has time!?), we still email and text and he makes me smile and points me to Christ all at once.  We got to know each other better through snail mail, you know.  And emails just get better and better as we get closer (even though we live 10 hours apart).  I feel like that’s a topic for a different post.  Or girl talk.  Whichever.  (Gush.)

Smiley Face,

Anna

Did I just have mud rubbed in my eyes?

It’s crazy how you don’t notice things God is doing sometimes, and then suddenly, it’s like your eyes have been opened and you see him everywhere.  Like how I had a pretty great last week at the elementary school, and I received hugs from students as they were leaving the room as I stood there for the last time with their class.  Today, I drove around a lot, and it rained tons.  But on my last drive home, I saw two different rainbows.  Beautiful.  And those cloud formations were just lovely.  There’s also something about a combine in a field that makes me smile.  And last weekend, I got to go and see Dr. Wile E. Coyote in person (we met halfway in the middle, which happens to be the town he went to college in, so he knows it well), and we went on dates and spent time together and read the word together.  It was great.  Or noticing that South Dakota, where I live, doesn’t have the gas tax that Minnesota has?  (It’s ridiculous.)  Getting to spend time with Youngest Sister and hang out with Sarah and have discipleship with my girls and find such enjoyment playing music!  Music is a whole ‘nother beauty in itself that I could go on and on about.  But I have in the past.  I went out for lunch with the ‘rents, and my mom was joking that she would call Doc WEC’s workplace and ensure that he had November 29th off so he could come for thanksgiving.  Seriously, if anyone knows how to get one off work, let me know.  Thanksgiving is also my birthday.  Just sayin.

Looking around, I see the many blessings that have been in my life.  My family, the opportunity I’ve had to go to school and become a teacher, my friends.  Dr. Wile E. Coyote is a blessing, and we point each other to Jesus so much.  The fact that my family lives so close to me for a time?  The fact that the pre-doc was accepted to med school already?  So many things.  And while I ask for more and expect the LORD to continue to do wondrous things, I can only say thank you and praise him for what he has done so far.  I look back on my life in its entirety and see how far he’s brought me.  I submitted my book proposal last week.  I ask for prayers for that.  And for the future and all that encompasses it.  I trust God with it, and I am super happy that someone is standing next to me, holding my hand and walking and trusting with me the One who holds all things together.

Smiling especially thankfully,

Anna

Three Year Blog-iversary! (and random stuff)

Oh, hey, everyone.  It’s been awhile.  It’s my three-year blog-iversary.  Just mentioning the fact.  My stuff has been all over since I started, and it’s pretty much still that way.  I have grown and maybe even matured a bunch since I started.  But I’m still me, so I still think about things like I always do.  Today, no poetry (but I have a bunch of others you could check out while you’re here if you haven’t).  I’ve been learning how to shamelessly plug and advertise so that someday, people like you might pick up this book and recognize the author “Anna E. Olson” and at least read the back of the cover.  Not that I’ve even sent in my book proposal yet, but the book is pretty much done.  But I haven’t had time for it lately anyway.  You may be wondering how life is going, as I am student teaching general music to a bunch of heart-melting kiddos and still involved in a lot of things and dating this awesome guy who had a great med school interview today and will be hearing from two different schools this week.  If you pray, stop right now and just say a little prayer for the med schools, that he’ll be accepted and they’ll think it went as well as he did (and, of course, that God will be there, leading throughout).  Okay, thanks.  Wherever he goes to school next year, I’ll teach.  There is so much else that will have to happen, but knowing a PLACE is the first step.  Also, pray for this teaching thing.  I’ve been getting pretty wiped lately, and I can’t use my fingers as well as I used to.  I don’t think I’ll ever play like I did last semester, but I’m okay with that.  God’s got better plans than me just being a musician (trust me, I have, like, options A, B, C, and D in my head.  I’m hoping that God will combine a bunch of those).  Updates:

Student teaching.  Exhausting, and I’m realizing more and more how quickly one has to move, and therefore how much STUFF a teacher has to have planned.  There’s a ton.  I get to teach RHYTHM next week, which is one of my favorite things and makes my top-14 list.  Probably.  Unfortunately, there’s not really other people or students that are as fascinated with rhythm as I am.  And the first graders haven’t even SEEN rhythm before, so I’ll introduce that to them, as well (kind of freaking out, kind of excited).  It’s fun, being with those kids!  I’ve got two more weeks before I move to the middle school band.  And I’ll be qualified for everything in South Dakota, so I could potentially do everything or anything in a town located in, for example, Indianapolis or Kentucky.  Just saying.  And that’s exciting.

Dr. WEC walking with me! :)
Dr. WEC walking with me! 🙂

Dr. Wile E. Coyote.  Because you are all wondering (probably, like three of you: my aunt, my grandma, and somebody who is about to go and creep on my Facebook page because they missed something…”who?”  Yeah, go and check out our pictures, we’re adorable).  So, the distance thing is challenging, especially when he works second shift and I don’t get home from school until after he’s gone for the night.  But we’re making it work.  Have any of you done distance relationships?  How have you made it work?  We will get to see each other a weekend in October, and I know people who have to be apart and/or Skype alone for a lot longer than we’ve had to do.  (Katrina and Seth, I give you guys internet high-fives right now.)

Other stuff.  So, I’m section leader of the percussion at the College/Community Band.  There are five of us, which is way more fun than ten, because we all get to always play!  And I’m in percussion ensemble for the semester (because I love it), and a lifegroup with the church I go to here in Sioux Falls, I’m discipling two girls (a sophomore and a junior at Augie), and I just signed up to be on the visitation outreach team through church, as well.  I’m looking forward to it.  And, of course, I’m lesson planning and trying to get to bed early because I get up early, and talk with the pre-doc.  Smiley face.

Anna Olson, Dr. Wile E. CoyoteFaith thoughts.  I’ve been feeling like God gives me themes each week.  Whatever the sermon is on seems to be what I read in the word, too.  Maybe.  This week it’s been about serving others.  Or if I read about something in the morning, a lot of things will relate back to that.  AND Dr. WEC and I talk about what God’s been teaching us all the time, so that’s really encouraging, too.  I watched the Avengers last night with one of my roommates and made a list of some spiritual analogies so that I could include them maybe in my book proposal.  It just astounds me sometimes.  I LOVE the storyline of the movie, because all of the other avengers movies are tied in.  I also LOVE the storyline of God’s story.  The authors of both really think things through and tie things in together and make some things come back and have perfect timing, and just…EVERYTHING!  It makes me excited.  Because I’m an author, too, although not a good one, yet.  I respect things well-written.  Which is why I’m drawn to BBC television and cast aside the American stuff.  Off-topic, just thoughts.

Anyhoo, I hope you all are doing well.  I like reading blogs of friends because I like to keep up on you, too!  And a lot of my stuff lately has been updatey.  More stuff to come.  It won’t be so long in between this time, I hope.  Have a blessed day!

Anna

Falling and Updates

I fall a lot.  I mean, not as much as I used to.  Experience has made me better at miraculously catching myself at the last minute.  I wear a Bioness brace on my left leg, and when I describe it as “a bionic, electric brace,” all the little kiddos at school are impressed. It lifts up my foot higher than I can on my own.  Also, I trust God to metaphorically fall, which is improvement from my younger years.  See?  I am so much better at getting back up.  And getting hurt less—or maybe noticing it less?  Better at gracefully falling, too.  I don’t think I actually bruised when I fell onto a counter a little over a week ago.  That one was funny—it was like slow motion and I had time to realize that I was falling and greet the counter before I hit it.  I fell on Thursday night, and it happened fast, so when I realized I was falling, I thought, “uh-oh.”  Then I was just like, “huh.”  I remember after I went on summer project in 2011, I fell head over heels for Jesus.  I don’t know if I’ve gotten back up from that, but I don’t want to.  Speaking of head over heels….

On Monday and Tuesday, I had appointments at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Just so happens that Rochester is almost a halfway point for Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I.  He came!  I liked him tons before, but I think I tripped over my own feet during our days together.  It was the first time we’d seen each other since December 2011, and though we’ve been Skyping regularly, holding hands was even more fun than looking at a blurry screen because one or both of our internet connections isn’t all that great.  Just like giving someone a look instead of snapchatting it to them is more effective, so is physically being with someone.  We know of couples that have made it through Skype or email or letters alone, so I understand that we’re kind of fortunate (especially that Skype and email are free and so easily accessible…), but it’s still hard.  PATIENCE is what we’re learning.  And I guess it’s good for our communication skills or something like that.  (Find a positive when there’s negativity looking down at you!)

Update on student teaching: I am loving it, and I get more tired all the time.  I am taking on more and more (slower than that, but faster than I think), and it won’t be long before I have full reigns.  Scary, I say.  The good thing is that there is an actual teacher in the room, so that when I have an “oh sh*t” moment as he refers to them, he is right there to snap the class back into shape.  I am slowly learning names.  My cooperating teacher doesn’t think it’s super good that I know any names at all yet, because they are the names he keeps calling out for talking in class.  But we play name games with the bigger kids.  It’s scary when they decide to call on me too, and I’m scrambling for names I don’t know.  Was there a Hannah somewhere in this class?  Or maybe a Jack.  There are tons of Bradens.  I have not miscalled a name yet.  During that game.  When I’m teaching a song and I call on a student, I ask that student their name.  Knowing names is huge for discipline.  How I wish I knew the names of some of the boys in the last first grade class of the day.  And, do all little boys find it more fun to sit with their knees inside their t-shirt, or is it just the ones that are “cold” when they come to the music room, even though we’re roasting in there while it’s 95 degrees outside.  The things I wonder.  I am learning tons, though, and it is so fun!  Ask me, and I will sing you a song that will get stuck in your head and you might not like much.

Friday (tomorrow, today, yesterday…depending on when you read this) starts Lifelight in South Dakota, and I am so excited to discover the things that God is going to do there!  It’s a free Christian music festival with Christian bands that’ll be there.  Like Building 429, Newsboys, and others that I don’t remember right now because it’s not a good time to think.  I’m not at school right now, silly.  The ground at Lifelight is a little uneven, and it’s HOT outside.  Will I fall?  Probably.  But I’m used to it by now.  Besides, the ground is softer than cement.  (Gravity and I have a love-hate relationship.  This is why I call myself an earth bender when asked.)

Anna