brain dump

IMG_8775We’ve been going on summer night walks. Do you ever want to walk forever? Someday I hope Andy gets home before 7 pm, so dinner doesn’t go til 8, and if that ever happens, I know in the summer nights we will walk and run and bike, and I hope it’s for forever.

I always thought when I was like, 25, I would have life figured out. No more freaky decisions, sure of everything, no longer scared of people, easy peasy. Why did that not happen?

Andy took two summer classes this j-term. It’s been all summer, but for two weeks, man that was pure torture. I thought we were going to die. Why does everything bad happen on the already worst weeks and then no one has time to make dinner and I don’t even know the last time I cleaned and I want to get rid of a million things.

Speaking of, do you ever just want to throw everything away? Lately all I want to do is get rid of everything. I want to downsize (even more) (except have a huge kitchen of course) and just be f r e e. Seriously, it’s going to happen. I know. Also, I want to go to the beach.

We’ve been married for over 4 years and 2 months. I still just have the best husband. He is so supportive of me and what I love and he works so hard. Also, he puts up with my moods, like when I go around throwing everything away and getting out the calculator thinking we can afford to go to the beach tomorrow.
I’ve been really sentimental about old photos lately and my new goal is to have photo books (I’ll have room for them because I’m throwing everything else away, ha!). So that is our new presents for each other, having more moments together, but also hopefully getting them into books to remember forever.
The last few nights we’ve been playing Skip Bo every night. I actually prefer it to Nertz, but I hate admitting that. I keep wondering when there will be a night where we just stop playing or we’re too tired, but I think we are addicted.
I miss a lot of people but I am so happy we have time to travel soon.

August is such a weird month when your husband is in school. I really want it to keep being summer (actually, I really want to re-do this summer. why does school make everything go so fast yet painfully slow?) but I also love flannel and the beginning of new seasons. Only about one more week until school starts. I think I could throw myself on the floor flailing and crying. I think most of the time I remember it worse than it actually is. This entire next year Andy learns Hebrew. I hope to learn the art of being happy, even with late nights and Hebrew learning.

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a little bit of life {an update}

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“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.”
L.M. Montgomery

March.  I am so happy for a new month.  I can feel the hope of more bike rides and quiet walks. I have not meant to leave writing and be more quiet lately. Life has been good, but a little overwhelming. I am easily overwhelmed and this semester has felt especially hard. I probably get like this every semester during the last half, but being in seminary this semester has been tough for all sorts of the same reasons it is hard on everyone else. All my dreams seem to be in the future and the present problems seem like a mire that I will never be able to escape. Most days I just feel like I’m living life to get through the now. Being in seminary creates an environment where I am constantly trying to remind myself that our life is not “on hold.” Life is going on right now. We are living right now. We are not waiting for the real world to begin. We are creating memories right now. We are a family right now. I am called to live in the right now. As I look at the calendar and realize how this season is fleeting, I want to enjoy it. Some days it is so easy. Some days it feels unbearably hard. I want to remember why I am here. I want to look back upon this time with fondness.

A little late, but a few March goals:

*spend 15 minutes a day enjoying something {a book, sunshine, knitting}

*serve Andy by doing more chores

That is it. Some of my goals last month were a little too unrealistic, although they pushed me to get more done than I probably would have. I want to take this month slow though, and have time to ponder and enjoy. I do hope to get a meal plan post up soon. We had some good food in February! xo

good listening

The two chapel messages this week were such a comfort to my soul. I’m posting so I will remember them, but I hope they are encouraging for others as well. I feel inadequate to write my thoughts down at the moment, maybe that time will come some day. For now, I am thankful for hope. I am thankful the past two years my “Sunday school view” of the Bible has been shattered and prepared me for these messages. I am thankful for the Old Testament. I am thankful that after all the disappointments and failures and sin in the Old Testament, God was faithful and sent a King that finally could do everything perfectly. Links below:

for such a slime as this

hope for a weak soul

Dear Andy

(sidenote: I wrote this on Monday, but I often have a hard time publishing what I write the day I write.)

Dear Andy,

Today I got a glimpse into your life. I went to one of your classes with you. Previously I tried to prepare for the class by reading all the material you were reading. After one chapter I deemed that ridiculous and that I had other things to do with my time and proudly gave up. The one chapter was boring, hard, and gruesome. The other five chapters plus 20 pages of online reading I’m sure would have been worse. Class was okay, if you like dark, freezing cold rooms, and watching me fidget like a five year old stuck in a three hour long class filled with explanations of definitions. And then we departed ways, each of us going to our separate jobs. I wondered how you did it. Every single week, plus two other classes (and this class is your “easy” class) and another job thrown in. Plus, me, of course. I was proud of you before and I knew your life was hard, but, wow. You are the best, my perfect companion. Tonight I will gladly do all the dishes, fold your clothes, and read what I want quietly in my reading corner. Thank you, dear.

looking back and looking forward

It is a new year here for us. We have been here for one year (actually 14 months!). It saddens me and excites me at the same time. I am sad to realize how quickly time does pass in seminary. I am excited that we are no longer new here. We know people. We know places. We are almost kind of settled. It’s a new school year and we kind of know what we are doing. It is still summer, so I am not done with my “summer to do list,” but looking at it, all I can do is laugh. We had someone else pick blueberries for us. (Does that count or just make us the saddest couple ever?) I went through one of those phases where I felt like I deserved a gold star just getting out of bed (anyone else have those or am I just crazy?) and on top of that I had an upper respitory infection for a month. Andy worked every Saturday so we didn’t do random fun things like go to the farmer’s market. We still are not moved. I don’t think we saved any money this summer (and we’re both pretty extreme savers). But we’ve had fun and went to Disney with Andy’s family (the happiest place on earth and I got to feel like a six year old for a week!) and enjoyed beautiful weather and ate some amazing food and found a lot of things we needed for free or pretty close to free. For this last part of summer I want to look forward and focus on big picture things. I want to:

1. be creative and complete this self-portrait challenge
2. read. we are here to learn and lately that is all I want to do. i have a growing spreadsheet of over 100 books I want to read. i think if I focused I could read 1 (or more if they’re small!) book a week.
3. be a friend

So, friends, happy new year! May the rest of your summer days be like a warm hug, as they have been to us.

around here

I hate moving. I get really emotional about everything. I get restless and can’t think about anything but nesting. I worry we’ll have the worst neighbors and that we might have made a very bad decision. I freak out about how much stuff we have and want to throw everything away. I start to wonder if Andy would notice any missing books. I stop cleaning everything except the bathroom. I try to convince Andy we could afford a dog.

I’m not a pro-mover. This is my third move. I dream about settling down in a house with Andy for the next twenty years. I dream about actually picking out a place because we like it, not because we had to take the first thing available. But my perfect dream probably does not have as many memories and funny times as our life: cleaning every day to try to get rid of smoke smells, asking the 80-year old neighbor if he could turn down his hip hop music, waking Andy up in the middle of the night to kill bugs, having your apartment at eye level with all the students that walk by and just wanting some sort of privacy, walking out your door and getting nauseous from all the smells, spending three weeks trying to find the laundry room. Andy, it’s been a good three years and I promise I didn’t get rid of any books and I promise I will be okay just like the other times because I love you.

So far, this summer has not gone at all like I hoped. With trying to move, Andy ending up taking a summer class, being sick, volunteering for things I didn’t plan on, and Andy working more and during the times of summer things like berry picking and farmer’s marketing it really feels like “the summer we’re trying to survive.” But I’m learning that the Lord takes care of us, not me. I’m seeing the Lord provide for our unexpected moving costs. I’m seeing my prayer “help me to be a friend” answered in ways I didn’t expect. I’m learning to just enjoy life. I’m learning life kind of is having all your plans messed up and your house in chaos. I told Andy I realized that I let having a messy apartment dictate my mood and how I feel and think, when I should only find my peace in God, not in a clean apartment and organized life. (Although I do think there is something to say for having order, but I should not let that be my definition of peace and a good mood.) So, I’m learning to enjoy now and not be sad that we might only get four things checked off our summer fun list. I do hope next summer is slower. I do hope we do not move again next summer unless that’s a move with a house, dog, and baby, but I think that dream is still a little farther off than I hope.

Emotional Needs {Marriage and Family, SWI}

This was part of my homework for this week and I found it so helpful I wanted to share (definitions and instructions follow). Andy and I ranked our top five needs and then for fun we ranked what we thought was the other’s top five needs. I would say I know my husband extremely well and I was way off what I thought his top five were so the exercise was very helpful for me to know what he really cares about and for him to know what I really care about (although he pretty much had me pegged). This brought on good, sweet conversation and a focus to work on what we are both really wanting in our relationship. I liked this much better than “the 5 love languages” because it is more broad. I encourage you to take 30 minutes to get away with your spouse and really be honest and transparent with each other.

Emotional Needs:

Sexual Fulfillment a sexual relationship that brings out an enjoyable sexual response in both of you, and that is frequent enough for both of you.

Conversation talking about the events of the day, feelings, and plans, showing interest in your favorite topics of conversation, using conversation to inform, really know and understand you, avoiding angry or judgmental statements or dwelling on past mistakes and giving you undivided attention.

Recreational Companionship developing interest in your favorite recreational activities, learning to be capable in them and joining you in those activities. If any prove to be unpleasant to your spouse after an effort has been made, negotiating new recreational activities that are mutually enjoyable.

Honesty and Openness giving accurate information, positive and negative feelings, events of the past, daily events and schedule, plans for the future, not leaving you with a false impression: answering questions truthfully.

Attractiveness of Spouse keeping physically fit with diet and exercise: wearing hair, clothing, and if female, make-up in a way that you find attractive and tasteful.

Financial Support provision of the financial resources to house, feed, and clothe your family at a standard of living acceptable to you, but avoiding travel and working hours that are unacceptable to you.

Domestic Support creation of a home environment for you that offers a refuge from the stresses of life; managing the home and care of the children, if any are at home, including but not limited to cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, house cleaning and child care.

Family Commitment scheduling sufficient time and energy for the moral, spiritual and educational development of your children; reading to them, taking them on frequent outings, training and disciplining them on a regular basis.

Affection expressing love in words, cards, gifts, hugs, kisses and courtesies, creating an environment that clearly and repeatedly expresses love.

Admiration respecting, valuing and appreciating you; rarely critical and expressing admiration to you clearly and often.

Spiritual Leader taking the initiative in cultivating a spiritual environment for the family, a student of the Word living out a life founded on the Word of God, leading your wife to become a radiant Christian, and leading your children in the things of the Lord.

To help you rank your needs, imagine that you will only have one need met in your marriage. Which would make you the happiest, knowing that all the others would go unmet? That need should be #1. If only two needs would be met, what would your second selection be? Which five needs when met would make you the happiest?

Resist the temptation to identify as most important only those needs that your spouse is not presently meeting.

One More Step:

All spouses have expectations in their marriage. Many expectations the spouse is not aware of or they have a false sense of what those expectations really are. Write down your expectations–being as specific as possible–then share them with each other. This will give the spouse the opportunity to say, “This seems reasonable; I think that can work” or “I’m not sure I can live up to this expectation because…” Being honest with your expectations can prevent a lot of pain later on. This exercise can actually be done every few years. As you grow, and your household situations change so will your values, attitudes, and needs.