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"I am older then I once was, but younger then I'll be that's not unusual

"It isn't strange
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same..."
-The Boxer, Simon and Garfunkel

So it's been a crazy time since I last sat down to journal back in early April. There have been a few times I have tried to write, but found my head to be so clogged up that the thoughts would not budge. Like that big hairball in the drain that the "other drain cleaner" can never move. How's that for a visual?

The past almost-two months have seen friends and family fall ill, both Pete and I have a birthday, me find a friend I thought I had lost, and lose something else I was hoping to find. It's been some of those stretches of time when I feel like I have learned more and felt more and done more then ever in my life!

Work, mainly, has been what's been taking up my time. With the wedding coming up and my hopes with Pete to have a future together, I have been working pretty much every hour God sends and putting away money in a way that I know would do my penny-saving Mom-Mom proud! Thankfully, the hospital has been shorthanded, so any hours I want are there for the taking! The bad news is that even my endless enthusiasm for work is starting to strain a bit, so I am looking forward to not only the wedding and the honeymoon, but just having a partner in general to lend reason to all of this hard work.

Of course, for a few reasons, a few roadblocks have come up in our path to Grown-Up Land and our habitation there, all of them which leave me with so much on my mind. But, hopefully, the next few weeks will make things a little more clear.

One thing I have been doing the past month, something for MYSELF, is that I have gone back to my pole dancing class!!! It's a blast and so good for me! I know it sounds like an insane thing to do, and in my heart of hearts, I am in it more for the sort of off-kilter Cirque de Solei factor then any deep dark dreams of a job at Club Risque! It pretty much just feels bad-ass when you can hang upside down using your own strength!! And after a long day of work and planning and sometimes being sad for other people or sometimes even being ashamed of yourself, a little dose of bad-ass is a good thing!

Oh, and I also turned 31 on May 3rd, or, as I like to call it, 29...again! That actually was such a fun night! Pete and I went into Philly to see "Hairspray" at the Academy of Music, which was awesome!! And the Flyers won that night, even though they then went on to get massacred by the Penguins (God damn stupid Sidney Crosby- I hate that little jerk!).

Another downside to the past few weeks is that we found out two people Pete and I love very much have cancer- his Uncle George and his best friend Bob. They were both very difficult pieces of news to get, but with good doctors and lots of prayer, they will both be just fine.

It's all been so crazy, and I kind of feel like I only journal when I am feeling crabby about something. But, it's nice to have a place to get it all out, and a far cry from the days of my little cardboard-bound journal since in this case, there's the slight chance I might get some construtive criticism/advice! So, I'll just keep tapping away on this keyboard and hoping for the best!

:-)

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{...stream of consciousness}

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The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
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