Taking Stock 01

As expected, we had a wonderful date. We went to Panera, and I was quite impressed. I got the pick 2 deal- a half chicken cobb salad with avocado and a half turkey and avocado BLT. Wonderful, wonderful! We had a really good talk about the future, and what our options are.

Right now it’s looking like the PhD, but we’re praying through it and considering all the options. It was really good to talk it out… and we processed a lot of feelings/fears/expectations we hadn’t discussed before. Even in the midst of such uncertainty, and even though tears came out of my eyes voluntarily, I’m so confident that we will be exactly where we are supposed to be. I am not worried about “missing” what God has for us… I’m just struggling to trust/understand His timing.

Next, we went to Target to do the return which should have been a completely painless experience, but I just have to be real… shopping is a little hard for me right now. Just when I feel like I’ve made a break through in confidence, I have a little attack of insecurity.

We hit Sonic on the way home for a small treat. My husband- have I mentioned he’s the best?- watched American Idol with me. And, we were both sound asleep by 10:30. No, it was not the most action-packed date night. We ate healthy food, had tough conversations, ran an errand, and ended up on the couch. Maybe this makes us old, but this was so much more romantic than a fancy dinner or a grand adventure. My husband listened to my deepest fears and concerns,  he didn’t chide me for being afraid or for crying. He was not frustrated I wasn’t more energetic. He was just there.

One of my favorite bloggers, Keira, does a Taking Stock post every once in a while. I thought it could be fun, and a good way to check in! So here it goes.

Making: sweet and sour chicken in the crock-pot, and stir fry when I get home.
Cooking: up a plan to get my house under control.
Drinking: water. SO MUCH WATER. I have been flavoring it with lemon juice or cranberry juice.
Reading: “One Last Thing” by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue… and I’m not rushing. I am enjoying it too much!
Wanting: to be completely and totally content.
Playing: Carcassone on my Kindle. All the time.
Wishing: the weekends were longer.
Enjoying: Norah Jones on Spotify.
Waiting: for 4 o’clock (worked through lunch so I’m leaving early).
Liking: the furniture we got for the back porch. It is so perfect, and I’m glad we get to enjoy our little outdoor space!
Wondering: how long a double batch of pancakes will feed the guys.
Loving: my new rainbow flips flops. They are so comfortable (now that they are broken in) and such a safe solution- no more slipping and sliding in my sandals! 🙂
Marveling: at how fast the grass is turning green, and how fast the flowers are popping up. Wasn’t there just snow on the ground?
Needing: some quality time with my sewing machine.
Smelling: Bath & Body Works Paris Amour.
Wearing: my favorite jeans and a long sleeve shirt with a colorful scarf. It’s casual Friday, AND FREEZING!
Thinking: about the job I had this time last year, and how miserable I was! I’m so thankful for God’s provision.
Knowing: I have a Saturday morning date with my love. I’m super excited about going out for breakfast, hitting a yard sale, and enjoying some madness!
Opening: my own closet to shop for my Easter dress.
Giggling: at the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Feeling: the need to make something pretty. I think I’m going to re-work my mantle decorations and make it more springy!

 

Dear Josh,
I am coming home to you very shortly, via Dollar Tree, Michael’s, and Old Navy. I’m really excited about spending a weekend with you… and concentrating some more time just us. This work week has been long and tiring… and I’m so ready for some rest with you. And to really destroy your bracket (let’s be honest).

signature.bird

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Fight for It

First off, I didn’t blog about our date last week, but I really must.

Last Wednesday night, we had the BEST date night. We finally made it to Outback, with a coupon and a giftcard. We had a 3 course meal and only had to pay the tip. Thank you, family, for blessing us with date nights! Josh got steak, I got Parmesan crusted chicken, and we split it… so we got the best of both worlds. Book-ended by salads and cheesecake, and punctuated with quality conversation, we were both so encouraged and uplifted by our time out.
He even went to Old Navy with me (just to do a return… no one wants to try on clothes after eating steak, am I right?)… yeah, he’s a keeper. Sidebar, I ordered shorts from Old Navy in the boyfriend style. I thought cool, they won’t be like super tight. Instead, they were so huge they literally fell off. I don’t know what was off (new style altered the size??)… but it was bad.

My meal plan made some progress (though we’re consuming leftovers tonight). Josh had a weekend class, so we was gone until 9 on Friday, and gone from 8-5 on Saturday. Since I had no plan for Saturday, I decided that we would have a super nice meal which doubles as the “I don’t know what else to make”/we have leftover asparagus meal. I made Garlic and Herb Tilapia, rice, and asparagus, with a side of french bread. Yes, it was a hit. Don’t spread it around, but Josh told me he is starting to LIKE asparagus… sea salt, Parmesan, and repetition work miracles. Honestly, this is one of my very favorite meals. I felt like a legit cook, piecing together the different parts, making sure the flavors complimented each other, and it only took 30 minutes to throw it all together. (That’s why we have a huge bag of Tilapia fillets in the freezer.)

But, I skipped a lot of happenings. One of my favorite girls got voted off Idol…. boo.
I got up early with Josh on Saturday, and when he left for class, I caught up on shows. Around 10am, however, there was a ring of the doorbell. I looked out the window, and saw a mini van and assumed it was my only friend with a minivan (Charissa!), and happily threw the door open to see… well, not Charissa. Instead, I realized the van was full of elderly African-Americans, and two of them were on my front porch. Our front porch is TINY. And, as I discovered, it is very awkward to talk to someone through a glass door when you cannot open it, or you will open it INTO them. So, I stood awkwardly as they (Jehovah’s Witnesses) invited me to a celebration of Jesus’ death. I was so very confused. Because it was 10am, I had not finished coffee, and I was hoping that friends had stopped by, I did not even think to engage them in conversation over the fact that I celebrate Jesus’ resurrection (Easter).

When Aaron got up, we did our chores. For about 3 hours on Saturday, ALL the laundry was done, the carpets were all vacuumed, the counters were clean. I love a clean house. Then, we rewarded ourselves with Downton Day 2. We’re almost at the end of season 2… and I am so very distraught. (WILLIAM. MATTHEW.) We continued to Downton until Josh got home. 🙂  Then we had a feast, and played Kingdom Builder.

Sunday… was a rough day. I didn’t go to church, and Josh and I had a long emotional discussion after he got home. It was hard. There were lots of tears, but we needed to have it and I think we’re better because we did. We finally updated our budget for this month, and talked about how to protect time for just us. There have been-and are so many- distractions of how we can use our time. The hard thing is that the distractions aren’t bad uses of our time, but I think we have really become aware of the fact that our relationship needs time. It can’t starve through the week, and be ok on date night. It needs attention, and it needs constant care. So, we’re trying to be intentional. We’re trying to protect time together, which has really proven to be a challenge. We’re trying to have grace with ourselves, and each other, and on Sunday that meant we ordered Pizza because we spent the afternoon talking about serious stuff.

This week, things are really looking up. We are past the insanity… Josh’s weekend classes are over for the semester. The rest of his work is all online, and he has been able to alter his schedule to make more time for me, in the evenings and weekends, and Aaron on the weekdays. I’m SO thankful. Josh and I were given perspective last night doing the budget, looking at the craziness of February (a huge insurance payment, high electric bill, days lost at work due to snow, going out-of-town) and realizing all our needs, and even most of our wants, are met. We’re eating healthy food (minus pizza, ok), we’re together, and Aaron is able to live with us without us feeling strained. We are so blessed, and so quick to forget.

Are you wondering about the title? Let me explain. I feel like I have had to fight for a lot of things recently: time for myself, getting my exercise in, choosing to eat healthy, protecting time with my husband, and most of all fighting for joy. I have viewed fighting as a bad thing, but I’m not sure anymore…

 

Dear Josh,

We still have so much to learn… but I think this weekend was so valuable. I often think that our intense discussions/fights are bad because we love each other so we should get along…. and I often try to avoid them. However, I think I often miss the point because we need to fight, not for the sake of argument, but because we’re fighting for our marriage.

Thank you for listening to me, I needed to be heard. Thank you for growing with me. And, thanks for making my sandwiches every morning. You’re the best.

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PS
This is my 100th post…. so that’s pretty cool.