Thursday, October 17, 2013

7 Quick Takes #17 : On Worry, Hard Work, NFP, Confession, Cooking.

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Worry/Anxiety is kicking in.
I have a lot of work to do this weekend. I have a pharmacotherapeutics exam, a pharmacotherapeutics workshop, a medicinal chemistry workshop and quiz, ALL on the SAME day (Wednesday). I have a lot of lecture notes to get through this weekend...  I also have to watch a video that the school recorded of my counseling session with a patient who had shingles and was picking up Valtrex....(The patient was an actor hired by the school), then write a reflection on how I think I did counseling the patient..what points I missed etc etc.  And I work my full 10 hour shift on Saturday at the pharmacy. And the flu season is on the horizon. Soon, we'll be rolling out Zpaks and amoxicillins faster than we do our Vicodins haha. Winter is coming. Winter is coming. Soon, everybody will be hanging out at the pharmacy on Saturdays with stuffy noses, puffy eyes, and sore throats....and what am I going to be doing? Running around the pharmacy like a chicken with its head chopped off....making sure everybody can get their medications in an efficient and timely manner.

Basically, I need to stay on top of my game this weekend.
No laziness, no wasting time...ALL hard work! 

"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord, rather than for people."   Colossians 3:23 (NLT)


# 2

Plus, I'm stressing out because this might be a lonely weekend. My husband might be going to Michigan for the weekend, because my parents are moving and he will be helping them out with some painting and replacing the floors, etc. I know that's a good thing to do on his part and it's great that he's such a hard worker and gets along with my family so well. But I already had a pretty lonely week. We barely saw each other this week. And barely communicated. I was okay all week...going to God instead for company; but loneliness is starting to kick in again. I'm not even exaggerating when I say we barely saw each other. My husband is still working night shifts (4:30pm - 3:30am) and I go to school full time during the day time, as well as work on Thursdays and Saturdays. So I get like a 30 second glimpse of him when he gets home at 4am and makes enough noise for me to open my eyes and recognize his presence, while half asleep. The only day we really get to spend together are Sundays. We go to church, cook dinner, and then I study while we're spending quality time in front of the TV. It's tough man. I'm not gonna lie. We're freshly married and it's tough not seeing each other. You all know how lonely it can get without our husbands.

But you know what? That's okay.
I know that this TOO shall pass.
If I wasn't Catholic and didn't know the beautiful truths of Redemptive Suffering and Carrying Your Cross to be a worthy disciple of Jesus...I would despair, and be depressed, and take it out on my husband. But instead, thanks to my beautiful Catholic faith, I will NOT take it out on my husband. I can suffer in silence and offer it up to God...and I can go to him with all my troubles and hide in his embrace...and of course pray for endurance and perseverance for the ups and downs of married life!

# 3

I went to adoration last night as well as confession. It felt great to be "CLEAN" again. Confession is amazing. It is such a great sacrament for us Catholics. Not only does it require a thorough examination of conscience...which is a good spiritual exercise and makes us realize how great of sinners we are and how Great God is to love and forgive us. But it is also a great exercise of HUMILITY. When we are ashamed of our sins and we have to tell all those sins to a priest, we approach the confessional with great humility and shame....we feel embarrassed to have committed those sins (usually sins we've been guilty of OVER and OVER again). We are drowning in our shame, but then an amazing thing happens...The Lord FORGIVES us all of our sins and TAKES AWAY our shame. And we feel clean, RENEWED, and alive again. And we promise to be better people this time.


Oh yeah, and today is 2 months since our marriage!

So I made a meme to commemorate it!

  I love my hubby and I love married life. I'm not kidding, pretending, or sugar coating...Married life so far has been pretty blissful! :-) And I know that hard times will come, but I'm least with my attitude. Haha.



And Naturally, as a newlywed wifey..I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking for my hubby. We both come from families that cook homemade meals almost every single day.

Here are some of my late cooking adventures.
I made 3 homemade soups from my mom's old family recipes. They were made completely from chicken stock, canned soups, etc. Basic ingredients: raw meat, raw veggies, seasoning, and lots of TLC over that stock pot haha! These are pictures of my first attempt at mommy's soups...and they turned out delicious..tasted just like the ones I used to eat at home. I think I have my dad's hand when it comes to cooking (and my dad is PRO) just comes so naturally to me.

Red Borscht / Barszcz  - aka Polish Red Beat Soup 
(this is actually the Ukrainian it was made with sour cream and also potatoes...
hence the pink appearance. Polish Barszcz is dark red/maroon in appearance 
as it does not have sour cream in it...and also, instead of potatoes, it is served with Uszka)

Tomato Soup with noodles

Chicken Soup with Egg Noodles
I will post my family's very own recipes to these eventually. I want to make each one at least one more time before I do that though...because I don't have the actual amounts/measurements of ingredients....My mom just explained to me what to do and I just cooked from my heart, not really from an exact recipe.



And some of my late baking adventures

 Banana bread with chocolate chips....

I don't know what this is one is called. It was supposed to be Polish apple pie/cake from mom's recipe....but I didn't have enough apples. So I improvised and made a fruit pie instead. Threw in some blueberries and strawberries (which we picked earlier this year in Michigan and froze) on top of the apples. Sprinkled with lots o sugar and it turned out delicious!!! My hubby loved it!!

# 7

Can any experienced (or not) user of NFP help me out a bit?
I'm fairly new to NFP. Freshly married (2 months, as you read above).
I'm a self-taught NFP user....and for being self-taught, I think I'm doing extremely well with it! There were some confusions at the beginning, as I didn't know my body well yet.  I had about 3 months to learn it before our wedding. We weren't able to take a class...which I know is recommended because for beginners, who do not know their body yet, it is often hard to tell signs of fertility and infertility right away... The more I know my body now..the more picture-perfect my charts are becoming. So the overall trends are great and I can tell my fertile/infertile phases from them...The only issue I'd been wondering about are my temperatures.
My temps have been pretty low. I mean off the charts low sometimes. I know for most people, they are in their 97's before ovulation, and go into 98's after ovulation. My temps before ovulation are most often in their low 96's (mostly around 96.4-96.5). There have been instances when my pre-ovulation temps were 96.2..even 96.16 at one time..which was literally OFF my chart. I couldn't even properly chart it because my chart didn't go that low. And then after ovulation, there is an increase, but only to about 97.5. Is this okay?
I know one reason for low temps could be hypothyroidism....but I doubt that, since I don't have any other signs or symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels. Does anyone know what else could cause low basal temperatures or whether this is something I should even worry about? Any and all help/advice is appreciated :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

P.S. I also posted earlier this week in honor of 40 days for life...featuring my favorite pro-life memes.



  1. Prayers for this busy, crazy week for you!

    Lovin' the meme and the food!! Looks great!

    1. Thanks for your prayers Lianna! Those are always appreciated :-) Have a great weekend!

  2. I can't guess why your temps are low. You might want to look into the Creighton method of NFP. It does not rely on temperatures. Good luck on your very busy week.

  3. Yes, I use the Creighton method and it is very simple to use: it's based only on the presence/absence of mucus, and what the mucus looks and feels like if there is any. The only problem is if you forget about what you observed throughout the day...I've been struggling with this the past week or two I've been really stressed. I hate to suggest taking a notepad into the bathroom with you, but you do what you gotta do.

    1. Thanks Judy! I will consider that! I do love sympto-thermal b/c as we all know, sometimes it's hard to discern mucus...or we simply forget and the temp gives me extra assurance. So far, the temp trend itself has been great, and has coincided with the mucus trend...I was just a little concerned about whether some of the low temps might mean health issues

  4. Hey I just found your blog through 7QT and love your beautiful attitude and writing! Yes the beginning of marriage is beautiful and wonderful and tough, your hubby working nights must be, but you have the greatest attitude about it, thanks for sharing!
    I also use Creighton NFP, so dont have a lot of experience with reading temp information, but I suggest trying to get in touch with a teacher, or one thing I have found Facebook to be useful for, there are some GREAT groups of Catholic women who can be a great help, look up (NFP Catholic Style) There are lots of teachers and very helpful women in there who might be able to help!
    God Bless,

    1. Thank You Amy for the advice and for your compliments! I will definitely look into the facebook group you suggested and also look more into the Creighton model. I swear there is just never time to read up more on NFP...being a full time pharmacy student and also part-time work...but I should prioritize and get to it! :-)

  5. Hi Agnes, it might be too late but I found your post only today.
    I (+ my husband of course) am a NFP teacher from a Polish organisation sister to American CCL (we use the same teaching program). Once you have the appropriate temperature rise you should not be too worried about the temperature level (this might be just the characteristic of a particular thermometer!). But definitely you should consult your charts with a certified NFP instructor. Best greetings! (I felt tempted to write this note in Polish but I quess it might have seemed awkward to other readers) ;)

  6. Don't know if the low temps are still an issue for you or not, but I recently starting trying to learn NFP (getting married this month), and I also have off-the-charts-low temps. You might get your TH3 (thyroid) levels checked. I did. Mine are normal, but I am borderline. Also, I have low progesterone, and low temps sometimes go hand in hand with that. I basically have just been trying to take charge of my health and read Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition also. It addresses low temps and other issues from a holistic/Catholic standpoint.