Continued Recovery

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It was a short week at work for me, because today and tomorrow are the Spiritual Directors International annual conference, which I’m attending virtually. Very excited to dig into more aspects of this field I’m pursuing with my degree.

This morning, I had my 6-week post-op visit with my surgeon. She was really pleased with how everything looks, and I’m happy with how I’m feeling, so I was in and out in about 15 minutes, which was great.

My husband has been out of town since Tuesday, so I’ve been getting back into the swing of taking Nova out on my own (now that it’s been more than 6 weeks and I’m less worried about getting pulled around by my 50 lb dog). It’s been interesting, I’m a little stiff now that I’ve suddenly increased my activity level, but it’s been lovely weather than past couple of days, so I’ve been enjoying our walks. Poor Nova has been especially clingy the last couple of days with her other parent gone; they’ll be back tonight, so I’m sure she’ll be thrilled.

That’s all for this week, but I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova content from the week:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I was supposed to go back to work on Monday, but thanks to some paperwork-related nonsense around potential accommodations, I still have not been cleared to return. So this week has felt like a lot of hurry-up-and-wait.

I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied while I wait. This week I’ve helped a friend brainstorm about a game they’re designing for a class, gone to lunch with my mom, worked on my spiritual direction website, read, listened to podcasts, listened to music…and spent a fair amount of time compulsively checking my email, waiting for news about the work situation. I don’t mind the extra time off, but the waiting isn’t my favorite.

I don’t have a whole lot else to report on this week, but I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova content:

Winding Down, Gearing Up

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s gone from late winter straight to summer here in the Twin Cities this week (it was in the 40s last week, and yesterday we almost hit 90F), which has me feeling very thrown, and grateful that it’s supposed to calm back down to a much more seasonable 60-something in the next couple of days. Still, I’m glad for the sun that’s come out and the feeling of life re-emerging.

I am also re-emerging – this is the final week of my medical leave, and I’ll return to work on Monday. I’m a little nervous, and part of me wishes I had another week or two off. But at the same time, I’m looking forward to getting some structure back in my life. I don’t honestly know if my anxious brain could handle one more unstructured week.

In the meantime, my Comparative Religious Ethics class is wrapping up this week, and I’m trying to get my final paper written before the deadline (tomorrow at midnight). I have accepted (mostly) that it’s not going to be my best work. I think I can get it done in time, and I’m happy to see that I have a bit more focus than I did a couple of weeks ago, at least.

I still have another month of my Spiritual Direction class…because it’s through a different university that’s on a different timeline, that class will end right before my summer classes start up. I’m a little bummed that I won’t have a break between semesters, but at least this is the less stressful class. This summer I’ll be taking a class on Buddhist scriptures and one on early Christian theologies. I’m looking forward to both of them.

As I get further out from surgery, I’m trying to remember to stop and appreciate the feeling of rightness in my body. It feels more like it’s…mine. The fact that I never have to worry about menstrual cramps again (which I occasionally got mild versions of even after almost a decade of taking testosterone), or that if I were to lose access to testosterone, will never need to worry about my period coming back, is giving me an even deeper sense of peace and rightness within my body than I expected. So that’s cool.

I should get back to homework, so I’ll leave it here for this week. As always, here’s your weekly dose of Nova:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been a decent week – recovery continues to go smoothly and although I’m still figuring out the limits of my energy, I’ve been feeling good overall.

This week has included listening to a handful of audiobooks (all books I’ve read before, because it turns out I have very little capacity for new information right now), knitting, and building a bunch of Lego sets:

The bouquet was a surprise gift from a friend, and was a delight to put together. My husband built the bonsai tree and the T-Rex, and I built the rest. This has been a really great way to keep my hands and brain busy, so I ended up ordering a couple of additional sets, which should get here today!

On Tuesday my cousin and I went to see the new D&D movie. We enjoyed it immensely! I was pretty beat after that excursion, but it was worth it.

Not a lot else to report on at the moment. I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova moments from the past week:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am 9 days post-op from my hysterectomy, and feeling pretty good.

The procedure itself went really smoothly – the whole care team was fabulous, and the only thing that was less-than-stellar was the number of attempts it took to get the IV going, but that was unsurprising (my line is always “I’m not afraid of needles, but my veins are”), and even through that the nurses were really great. I haven’t needed to take anything heavier than ibuprofen for pain since the day of surgery, which was a pleasant surprise. I was feeling so good last Friday (three days after surgery) that I joined my husband and best friend for Nova’s morning stroll around the park across the street – I was a little wobbly when we got back inside, but mostly thought I was fine…until about 5pm that evening when I just crashed. I’ve been taking things a bit more slowly since then and letting myself sleep as much as I feel like I need to.

Really, recovery has been remarkably easy so far – the biggest challenge has been some brain fog and an extremely short attention span. I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve gotten from family and friends – surprise care packages, gift cards, sweet notes, visits…it’s just been really lovely to feel so cared for.

Since I don’t have a whole lot else going on right now, I’ll leave you with some extra Nova content this week – she’s been a trooper with having the household routine totally thrown off.

Almost Time

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am extremely distracted this week as the countdown to my hysterectomy gets smaller and smaller. We’re now less than a week away, which is absolutely wild.

I am blown away by the number of people who have offered support while I recover, and I am so, so grateful. Particularly with the news being what it is these days, I am painfully aware of how lucky I am to have this access and support. I wish it was like this for everyone.

A couple of months ago, I got really excited about the idea of tablet weaving, and ordered a loom and some other supplies. And then I kind of forgot about it…until this past weekend, when the loom finally arrived! I’m excited about it again, because I think this will be a really good recovery activity – I’ve found a simple pattern that I don’t need to think about too much.

I’ve also got a couple of simple knitting projects lined up, and am compiling lists of podcasts, books, movies, shows, and video games that friends have recommended for while I recover. I am going to be on medical leave from work for four weeks, and I’m trying to focus on my rest and healing and not worry too much about what chaos may be happening at work in the meantime.

That’s about it for this week. There will likely not be a blog next week, or if there is, it will go up late. See you on the other side, and in the meantime, here’s some Nova content to tide you over:

Ticking Away

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. It’s been another wild week at work, and I’m scrambling to get everything I need to done, because surgery is now officially less than two weeks away. I am excited and anxious and a little bit overwhelmed, but I’ve also been completely bowled over by community support leading up to this, and for that, I am grateful.

Last night I went out for drinks and dinner with two of my best friends, and it was delightful. I’m finally starting to feel more connected here. It took a long time for me to feel like I had connections when we moved to Chicago in 2012; having to leave those deep connections when we moved back to MN in 2021 was hard, and I’ve been struggling a bit to figure out what community looks like for me here. But reconnecting with old friends has been lovely, and I’m tentatively letting down some roots in a handful of other places – an in-person D&D group, a potential songwriting group, my seminary classes…it feels like I’m starting to settle in more, and it feels nice.

I don’t honestly have a ton to talk about this week – a good 90% of my brain is focused on surgery and everything that needs to get done before then, and there’s not a lot else going on. But I’ll leave you, as always, with some quality Nova content:

Snowy Sick Day

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! We’ve gotten a whole bunch of snow in the last couple of days here in the Twin Cities. Nova is thrilled.

Last night I went to bed early with a headache, hoping I could sleep it off. I woke up this morning with less of a headache, but a very stuffy nose. I ended up calling off from work in the hopes that resting more will mean I’m not sick on my retreat this weekend. After a few more hours of sleep, I’m feeling somewhat better. Fingers crossed that this cold doesn’t get any worse in the next 24 hours.

I’ve lost some steam with FAWM – I’m holding steady at 9 songs. Hoping to get at least one more written over the weekend, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself. I’ve already tripled my output from last year, and seeing as I’m still working and in school, that feels pretty good.

Not much else to report today. I’m excited to head up north for my solo retreat tomorrow and hoping the weather (and my immune system) hold out so that I can go.

I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova photos:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. This post is going up late because it has been A Week. I was anticipating a fairly laid-back January at work, and the last two weeks that has…not panned out as expected. It’s been kind of bananas, with a lot of people needing things from me and me also trying to do a better job of staying on top of the myriad of things that fall under the purview of my position. In addition to work being wild, school has started back up and there have been some technical difficulties with getting my class rolling (not just for me, but for the whole class). And today, for reasons I have yet to figure out, my back and several other joints are cranky. So I’m feeling a bit discombobulated and out of sorts today.

There’s been good stuff lately too, though. Monday I got to spend a lot of the day hanging out with my best friend, and that was lovely. I’m also experimenting with a new hobby (although now that I’ve figured out the basics it’s on pause until I get the proper equipment) – tablet weaving!

A knitting podcast we listen to sometimes was talking about weaving, and my brain latched onto the idea, and then one thing led to another and here we are.

I’ve also been reading a really lovely book called Legends & Lattes, which is billed as a novel of “high fantasy and low stakes” and is basically the fantasy equivalent of a cozy mystery, I think. It’s so good! The writing is excellent and the characters are interesting and it’s just a blast to read.

I think that’s where I’ll leave you for this week. As always, here’s your Nova fix:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to the last Thursday of 2022! What a year it’s been. 2022 brought a bunch of changes, challenges, and revelations. To highlight just some of what happened:

  • I started my graduate studies in Spiritual Direction at United Theological Seminary.
  • I did a sleep study and found out I’m really bad at breathing when I sleep. I consequently ended up getting an APAP machine, and it has been life-changing.
  • In April I made a last-minute trip to Chicago to see a friend in a play, and got to catch up with some of my favorite people.
  • I went on my first big company trip to New York City in May and got to meet a bunch of the people I’d only known through screens for the past two years.
  • I got my Carrie Fisher tribute tattoo.
  • We made it back to Song School after a couple of years away; I took a performance class with Amy Speace that was also life-changing.
  • The end of August marked a whole year with Nova, and we had a party to celebrate her 3rd birthday.
  • I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in September, and that’s brought a whole bunch of new medications and routines into my life.
  • We talked my best friend into moving into our building, and we live in a sitcom now, and it’s wonderful.
  • I took a songwriting class online with Sue Demel through the Old Town School of Folk Music and actually wrote some songs that I’m pretty happy with.
  • I passed all of my first year of seminary classes.

In addition to all that, we helped several members of our chosen family navigate a variety of crises, and I started making some new friends at school and through D&D.

My big, overarching goal for 2022 was to learn to approach life with more curiosity and compassion and less of a need for control. I think I made pretty good progress, although there’s definitely still room for growth. It’s leading me straight into the goal for 2023, which is to lean into vulnerability and unapologetically ask for what I need. As my therapist reminded me a couple of weeks ago – “you don’t need to be perfect to ask for your needs to be met.”

I think I’m going to wrap it up there for the year. I hope your holiday season has been reasonably gentle and that you’re able to go into the new year feeling refreshed. I’ll send you off with these holiday photos of Nova: