Friday, May 28, 2010

da-RAMA

Emphasis on the RAMA.

I always thought I'd be an actress. As a child, I was very dramatic and was always making up skits to perform at home and the first in line to take part in our church's plays. I loved the theater and had serious plans to pursue acting. In my senior year of high school, God led me a different direction (for which I'm so grateful), but my love of acting is still deeply ingrained in me. At a very young age, I remember putting the back of my hand up to my forehead, doing my best (which was really very awful) Scarlett O'Hara impression, exclaiming, "Woe is me, the world is over!" and flinging myself onto the couch. I mostly did it to make those around me laugh, but you can see the kind of child my parents had on their hands.

It would appear I may have passed that particular gene onto my child. He signed, "more" to me yesterday and toddled into the kitchen - a sure sign he wanted a snack. I opened our cabinet and pulled out a fig newton, one of Jude's standard favorites. As I leaned over to hand the fig newton (or figgerty newton as I call them when I'm making up random words to my toddler) to Jude, he open his mouth as wide as it would go, pushed the fig newton away, and wailed.

Huh, I thought. That seems a bit much.

Then Jude ran as fast as his 18 month old legs could take him into the living room where he very dramatically flung himself face first on the carpet. He buried his face in the carpet and proceeded to scream...apparently at the audacity of that offensive fig newton.

"Dude." I said, "Seriously? A simple 'no' would've sufficed."

Then Jude lifted up his head to see if I was still looking. When he saw that he did in fact, still have an audience, he continued his little performance - adding in a kicking of his feet for extra good measure.

This behavior has since only heightened and I'm now the lucky recipient of Jude's attempts at the Oscar anytime I dare take away a toy, give him the wrong snack, or any other random thing he deems offensive. I have to admit, I both cringe and giggle (or criggle, if you will) at his antics. At least we know he comes by it honestly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

grandparents are the best!

Or so said Shawn twice this past weekend. The first time was Friday morning when Jude awoke at his usual 7:10 am. Shawn stumbled out of bed to go get him when my Mom met him in the hallway and said, "I can get him if you want. Go back to bed." As he climbed back in I asked, "Everything okay?" to which Shawn responded, "Yep. Grandparents are the best." before we both drifted off to sleep for another half an hour.

The second time was at our city's minor league baseball game. Jude had spent the first three or four innings contentedly sitting on mine and Shawn's laps, but started to get antsy. "We'll get him," my parents said, and Jude was instantly amused by a different person holding him. Shawn stretched out his arm around me, scooted closer and sighed, "Yep. Grandparents are the best."

Our weekend with my parents was awesome, and even though Jude was confused by the extra people, he warmed up to them quickly. Jude especially enjoyed cuddling with Grammy and throwing a ball with Grampy. He quickly learned that he could get lots of smiles by doing the sign for "dog" (which for us is sticking your tongue out and panting), and took full advantage of his around-the-finger-wrapping abilities. Basically, we're incredibly grateful that my parents chose to drive eight hours to spend with us and love on their sweet grandson. It meant more to us than you know.

Our little family is also looking forward to getting to spend time with even more family this weekend! Shawn's parents, sister, nephew and niece will be driving in from Ohio. Jude last saw his cousins when he was merely a year old, so I'm looking forward to watching them interact and hang out!

And before I forget, I wanted to mention that I have a brand new Serwa Chic website up and running. I'm so thrilled to offer more products and easier use for the customer. Not to mention uploading new products is significantly easier for me. Serwa Chic just celebrated its one year birthday - crazy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

curious george taught me how to compost

We've been talking about composting for awhile. I've always liked the idea, but the truth of the matter is that neither Shawn or I have green thumbs. Shawn can belt out a song in a way that makes you want to sign him a recording contract on the spot, and I can make my child's clothing, but at gardening...we fail miserably. So while the idea of composting interested both of us, we realized we should probably first have something planned for the compost before starting.

We've spent the past three springs in our house trying to tame our wild foliage. It was crazy. When pulling up weeds in our beds, we'd often find rusted parts of random tools, cinder blocks, picture frames, and all manner of weirdness. I'm really not lying when I say it took us three years to completely level our landscaping so that we could start fresh. This was finally the year that we stopped finding random things in our yard, so we've made a plan. We've planted some flowers and will be purchasing bushes to put in the beds along the front of our house (the bushes won't go in until the fall, however). Do you know what bushes need? That's right - good soil. And cheapskate me loves the idea of finding a way to take something that could be expensive and doing it myself.

And then there's Curious George. Because our lack of composting wasn't just because we had no place to put the soil, it's also because we were kind of intimidated by how to start. One morning, Jude and I watched as Curious George learned all about composting. Even though the crazy monkey tried to compost in small containers throughout the house (thus frustrating the ever-neglectful Man in the Yellow Hat), I got the message loud and clear. If a fictional cartoon monkey can compost, so can I, dang it.

I did some research and found out that you can make a compost bin out of an old trash can with a locking lid (cheapskate didn't want to shell out a few hundred bucks for something I wasn't sure we'd stick with). The majority of my instructions on just how to go about turning a trash can into a compost bin came from HERE. The only difference is that Shawn used a drill and drill bit to make the holes. And behold, my friends - our beautiful compost bin.


I have to admit that I get a weird sense of satisfaction when I can compost something instead of throwing it away. I'm looking forward to using our home made soil to improve our landscaping, and if I'm ever not pregnant I'm also looking forward to using it for our very own vegetable garden. It's actually ridiculously easy, and I'd highly recommend it. In fact, if you get started on your own bin now, the compost should be ready by the time you're looking at improving your fall landscaping.

Besides, if Curious George can do it - you can, too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

boys and peeing

We had our first pee related incident last night. Jude has never been one to pee on or in anything but his diaper. Even as an infant, I think Shawn got peed on once and Jude peed in the bath tub once. For about three weeks now, Shawn and I have been slowly working on preparing Jude for potty training this summer. We've gotten a potty chair for him, sit him on it naked every couple of days, and say/sign, "potty." We also sign and say the word, "potty" when we're using the bathroom. Well, when he's in the bathroom with us. We're not total weirdos who like to say and sign everything we're doing.

So I was giving Jude a bath last night, and he got extremely grumpy. This isn't normal behavior for him, bath time is usually the highlight of his life. I thought I'd give him a break for a minute, so I took him out of the tub and cuddled him, during which he started pointing to his little potty chair. "Do you need to go potty?" I asked. Jude responded, "eh? eh!" which prompted me to go ahead and sit his naked self on the potty. Jude immediately threw a fit, got up, and walked out to the living room. Whatever, I thought. I'll give him a minute or two to stop being cranky and then put him back in the tub to scrub him down really quickly.

After a minute (because, to be honest, it takes me a full minute to get my pregnant self up from a sitting position) I followed Jude into the living room. Where he proceeded to stand in front of his high chair and just let it go with the peeing. For a minute, I was torn. Do I get frustrated that he didn't follow instructions and pee IN his toilet and now I had carpet to clean? Or do I take a step back and realized that my adorably butt naked son is curiously watching himself pee on our living room carpet and allow myself a little giggle?

I chose the latter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

go ahead, try not to smile

Wednesdays are tough on Jude as our little kiddo who thrives on structure and schedule gets his entire schedule thrown out of whack. He usually doesn't make it bed until a good hour and a half after his bed time, and sometimes that can leave him a little giggly.

A couple of caveats to this video - 1) Jude loves his Tylenol bottle. We keep it in his diaper bin, so sometimes he reaches in and grabs it. I don't know what it is about the bottle, but Jude just loves to hold it. Don't worry, we took it out of his hands before he fell asleep. 2) That particular Wednesday, Jude had gotten into (and smeared....on his body) an entire Vaseline jar at the sitter's house. He was apparently coated in Vaseline. Amie (the sitter) gave him a bath, but it's pretty incredible how hard it is to get Vaseline out of a kid's hair. Patrice, I have a new found respect for you. It took three separate washes with Dawn dish soap to clean our little grease monkey. Of course I didn't have time to bathe him before we went to church that evening, so I fielded many questions of, "Was he playing the water?" "Did he just have a bath?" and "Is that all sweat?"

I have to admit, I thought it was pretty funny. He looked ridiculous and we could spike his hair in all sorts of cool ways and watch it stay.

But anyway - I dare you to not smile while you watch this video. If you're able then you are obviously a stronger person than I:

video

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

simplify

I'm sorry that I haven't had the chance to post more anniversary-related details, but we certainly had a lovely one. We were able to escape to a cabin in the woods on Friday night, which was wonderful. It was actually the first time I'd ever been away from Jude for the night (trust me - this had nothing to do with not wanting or needing a night away), and it was awesome. Shawn and I spent about 24 hours away, and we spent every single hour relaxing. We took a nap, watched a movie, sat on a porch swing, went for a walk, and read - all without having to worry about when Jude would awake, or the laundry, or sewing, or work. We slept in until the whopping hour of 8:00 on Saturday morning, and I took a nice long bath in the cabin's jacuzzi tub while Shawn drank coffee and read on the front porch.

We knew this would be our final chance to get away for a night together before Baby Deuce is born, and we wanted to take full advantage of it and come home rested. Within moments of arriving at the cabin my shoulders literally felt lighter. As our time together continued, I found myself remembering what it was like to be Shawn's wife and friend before being Jude's Mom. I forgot for awhile that I was pregnant (not like 'I drank wine' forgot. more like 'I didn't feel the usual aches and pains of pregnancy' forgot), and I could feel myself becoming less and less stressed. Shawn and I spent most of our time just talking - with no agenda or plans - just sharing our thoughts on our past, our present, and our future. As we pulled out of the driveway to come home, my soul felt renewed and my heart felt full. Like most parents, we did our best to not talk about Jude and focus on one another while we were away, but we couldn't help our excitement to see him and hug him. I do believe we not only came back a better husband and wife - but better parents as well.

In other news, we've recently gotten rid of our second car. It was a very old powder blue Buick and since it wouldn't have been worth much, we just donated it to (nerd alert!) NPR. Me staying home will significantly reduce our need for a second car, though we're still unsure of how we're going to work out Sunday mornings. Shawn heads into work around 5:30 or 6:00 am. He can sometimes sneak out right before Sunday School to pick up Jude and I, but that can get complicated if he's teaching, if his teachers are late, or if there are last minute worship details to which he needs to attend. Having one car will certainly demand that we both be flexible and plan our days and our trips wisely, but it feels nice to simplify our lives. Beyond that, our budget line item for "gas" has been slashed in half without my income, so we're hoping moving to one car will help us spend less in gas as well. As my time in the work force dwindles, we're moving towards a more simple, less complicated lifestyle. In fact, I haven't been able to get the Shaker Hymn "Simple Gifts" out of my head for the past couple of weeks. I've been singing it around the house lately as Jude particularly loves to "turn, turn," along with the lyrics - perhaps showing his support for our family's simplicity (or perhaps just because he really likes to turn in circles when he hears music).

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free,
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

snapshots

I had a very well thought out and intentional anniversary post almost finished. Blogger was being weird and wasn't letting me save it, but it was okay because I was almost finished. And then Jude pushed the power button on my computer and the computer just shut down. Saving nothing. So I tried again today, but I can only upload a few pictures. I'm so frustrated with trying to get the rest uploaded that I'm in no frame of mind to wax eloquent about our last five years. So enjoy the photos, and maybe I'll be mushy tomorrow. :)








Friday, May 14, 2010

five years ago

...I married my best friend. I knew he was sweet, thoughtful, Godly, and hardworking, but I had no idea the man I would discover him to be. Five years later, he's proven himself to be a man of character, integrity, and wisdom. Shawn remains my best friend but is also now my comforter, my solace, my sanity, my laughter, and my leader. His presence in my life is evidence of God's love and provision for me, as I certainly didn't do anything to deserve his (or His) love.


We're taking some time this weekend to spend with one another and celebrate our marriage, but I'll be back with more wedding photos soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

walk for life

Shawn and I helped out at Salem Pregnancy's Walk for Life a couple of weekends ago, which was a blast! It was a little strange attending my last SPCC event as staff, but I have no doubt I'll be back as a supporter and eventual volunteer. Shawn and I were on balloon duty, so we got there early. Jude was thoroughly bored of the balloons after five minutes, so Shawn took him to the playground to burn off some energy.






...meanwhile I diligently cut, curled, and tied ribbon...




And for the fun of it, here are photos from last year's Walk for Life:




Wednesday, May 12, 2010

dear God, thank you for a good appointment

Jude had his 18 month appointment today, and the doctor said he's a genius and is ready for grad school. Just kidding...but Jude is doing well. He now weighs a whopping 20 lbs. 14 oz and is 30-some odd- inches long. That puts him in the 1st percentile for weight and the 5th percentile for height - perfect for his growth curve. While my gut (and inability to catch a deep breath) tells me that Baby Deuce will be a bit bigger than Jude, I really hope I can remain calm if he drops down on the growth chart as Jude did. It's crazy to remember all of the energy I spent worrying about Jude's weight - only to see that he's happy, healthy, and cute as can be.

The only concern I wanted to bring up to the doctor is that Jude doesn't seem to be talking as much as his peers. Don't get me wrong, he babbles all the time - but it doesn't seem to me like he says actual words a lot. To prepare for this appointment, I kept an eye on Jude this past week and jotted down any words he said. It turns out that he's talking more than I think he is! Even though his words aren't all very clear (for example, "thank you" is more like, "dah-oh"), our doctor said that as long as he was communicating the thought with a consistent sound that it counted. So in no particular order, here are the words Jude can currently say (and for kicks - how he actually says it):

1. Mom (Mmmm-mmmuh---muhmm)
2. Daddy (Daa-yee! And yes, it's always said with an exclamation point. This is by far his clearest word)
3. All Done (ah-duh)
4. Yes (Des)
5. Church (chooch)
6. Jesus (Jeeeee-suh)
7. Dog (Da)
8. Moooo (Mooooo :))
9. Paci (eye-see)
10. Juice (jooce or joot)
11. Hi (hi. hi. hi. hi. hi. This word seems to get easily stuck on repeat)
12. Thank you (dah-oh)
13. There (der)
14. Hello (hey-yo? He says this when he's pretending to talk on his cell phone)
He also signs All Done, More, Puppy, and Water. We're currently working on Help and Potty. I noticed a big difference in his vocabulary when we started signing with him. I think once he realized that he can communicate what he wants in a way that we understand he took off in learning words.

The doctor was also very impressed with Jude's social skills. He said Jude made great eye contact, and he interacted with the doctor right away. He asked if Jude could hand him the car he was playing with, and Jude happily gave it to him, then pointed at it to ask the doctor to make it go. The doctor asked him a few other questions ("Where's the car? Where's your belly?), which Jude understood and to which he responded.

...And then came the dreaded shots. The nurse let me hold Jude in my lap, for which I was grateful. I'd really been hoping to avoid the look of, "How could you let them do this to me?!" The sweet bug got one shot in each leg. He cried and kind of stiffened the affected leg, and I gave him his paci and some kisses. Once the nurse was finished, she said "Okay buddy, we're all done!" so I signed "all done" for him to let him know no more were coming. I was amazed that he immediately stopped crying. He wanted me to cuddle him for a minute or two before getting him dressed, but was then perfectly fine. Oh, the joys of being able to communicate with your child!

Once the appointment was finished, I was attempting to do damage control to the now demolished office. I asked Jude to hand me his car that was on the floor, and I held out my hand. Jude excitedly ran to me, put his hand in mine, and then grabbed my other hand. He then bowed from the waist and closed his eyes. I momentarily thought, "Is my child bowing to me? I mean, I'm a good Mom, but certainly not that good," and then I realized he wanted to pray.

"Dear God," I said, "Thank you for a good appointment for Jude. Thank you for reassuring Mommy, and thank you for growing him and molding him. Thank you that he knows you and loves you, and God...thank you for his life. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen"

Jude lifted his head up, let go of my hands, and clapped.

Father, thank you for counting and knowing the hairs on Jude's head. Thank you for loving him more than I'm capable of. Thank you for his sweet spirit and his independent nature. And God...thank you for his life. Amen.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

old school sunday

Mamas - we love you so very much!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

happy mother's day!

I may not have the chance to post tomorrow, so I wanted to wish all of you mothers and mother figures a very Happy Mother's Day. The world would likely come to a crashing halt if it weren't for you and your influences. Thank you for your sacrifices, your love, your tenderness, and your discipline.

I've been reflecting today about how blessed I am. Both my Mom and my Mom-In-Law have shaped the kind of Mama I am today. I understand how blessed Shawn and I are to have Moms who support and encourage us as opposed to criticize and tear us down. I can't count the many times I've been told by my Mom or Shawn's Mom that I'm a great mother and am doing a wonderful job. Those words have meant more to me than I could possibly relate, and it couldn't mean more to me to hear it from those two women. So thank you for being wonderful mothers to Shawn and I when we were young, and for continuing to be loving, nurturing, and encouraging to us as adults. Thank you for loving Jude (and Baby Deuce) as much as we do, and for being an amazing influence and example of women of God for him. Shawn and I recognize and appreciate how blessed we are to have your presence in our life.

We love you so very much, and we want to thank you for loving us enough to sacrifice, enough to call us out, and enough to support us. Thank you, Moms.

Friday, May 7, 2010

all is well

I had another appointment for Baby Deuce this morning, and I found myself a little nervous about it this time around. This was the glucose appointment, which meant that I'd have to drink what is basically liquid sugar and be tested for gestational diabetes. I tested negative with Jude though, so it wasn't that part that was making me nervous. Because of the contractions I've had, I decided to have them check to see if I've been dilating or if the contractions have been doing anything funky. My fear was that the doctor would find changes in my cervix and that I'd have to start modified bed rest.

As an aside - Shawn has informed me of the possibility that not everyone in the world would like to hear about my cervix, or in fact - have a visual of my irritable uterus. I am aghast that my cervix and uterus wouldn't be of fascination to everyone, but I suppose he does have a point. So this is my official disclaimer that any of my posts having to do with pregnancy, childbirth, and/or postpartum recovery will probably contain lots of words that many of you would really rather pretend don't exist. I'll try to post a forewarning so that you can skip said details and can get back to Jude cuteness ASAP.

That being said - "Your cervix looks great!" is what I heard the doctor exclaim. She said that so far there wasn't any cause for concern, but that they'd keep an eye on things. She also mentioned that she could feel either the baby's head or butt bouncing up and down on my cervix (he was going nuts-o because of the glucose drink). So thanks for that, kiddo.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to know to that I can continue as I have been! I'll still try to take it easy when I start contracting - just in case - but no need to fear bed rest anytime soon. Can I get a whoop whoop (or if you're from North Carolina, a yee-haw)?

The results of the glucose test are determined from a blood draw, and I should have those within a week or two. The glucose drink is about the size of a bottle of water, and you're supposed to drink it all within five minutes. The nurse and I were talking about my contractions and she was taking my blood pressure as I was drinking, and I ended up finishing it in about a minute and a half. After the nurse left the room, I could overhear her discussion with the doctor.

Nurse: "She just finished the drink and would like to be checked because of contractions she's having."

Doctor: "Wait. She finished the drink already?"

Nurse: "Yep, it couldn't have taken her more than two minutes."

Doctor: "Wow, really? That has to be a record (said with awe, by the way)."

"Weeee-he-ellll," I wanted to answer with a slight swagger to my step. "That kind of extreme tolerance for sugar isn't something everyone has, and I have to say - I've trained for this exact moment. That's right. I eat it in moderation, but my preferred dessert would put the average person in sugar shock. I've been known to have double chocolate brownies sprinkled with Reese's Pieces and drizzled with caramel sauce for dinner, and I'd say it's paid off today, wouldn't you? I mean - holding the record for being able to drink liquid sugar in a minute and half is puh-retty dang impressive, eh?"

And then I realized that these facts are probably not something of which I should be proud. So when the doctor proclaimed her amazement at my fast-sugar-drinking talents, I simply replied, "Yeah. I figured I'd drink it quickly to get it over with."

But secretly...I'm a little proud.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

jude goes to prom

Well, he didn't go to prom as much as he ran around the yard while we took pictures of Kayla going to prom. That's right, one of my small group girls - whom I've known now for five years - headed off to prom. I've rarely seen 1 Peter 3:3-4 epitomized so well.


I cannot tell you how much I didn't want to put this picture up, but my deep affection for Kayla mandated that I get over my selfish-whaleish self, and post it. I would also like to add that I used to be significantly taller than Kayla. Allow me to present to you Exhibit A (Shawn and I may or not be watching a lot of Law & Order lately):


And she is now in 10th grade, going to proms, and will soon be taller than me. Hmph.


We were trying to get Jude to smile, and one of our tricks is to ask him to show us his belly. He usually smiles because he knows tickles are coming. It looks like he doesn't quite trust what tickles may be coming his way.

The entire time we were taking pictures of the prom-goers and talking about where they were going to dinner, whether they'd dance or not, and how nicely everyone cleaned up, I couldn't help but realize that my small group girls are growing up. Not in a - i'm so old -kind of way, but in a- these girls are going to make a difference in this world. these are some amazing, Godly girls, and i can clearly see that He has something big for each of them- kind of way.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

living on love

In just eighteen short work days, I'll become a stay at home Mom. I've talked pretty openly about my excitement for this transition - a dream Shawn and I discussed when we were trying to get pregnant with Jude, a dream I physically ached for in Jude's early days of infant hood, a dream I secretly believed would never happen, and eventually - a dream I realized needed to be a reality for the sake of our family and our marriage. I'm officially counting down the days until my family can be my utmost priority. I'm looking forward to keeping Jude on a consistent routine, and I'm looking forward to allowing Shawn freedom in knowing that he can work hard and his home and son are well cared for.

I won't beat a dead horse - you all know why I'm so passionate about staying home. What I haven't discussed in as much detail is what our new budget will look like. The budget I affectionately call our "Livin' On Love," budget (formerly known as our, "Holy Crap, We're Broke As Heck" budget). I have to admit that I haven't always had the best attitude about what our new budget will look like - mostly because this woman knows how to stretch a dime and I was having a tough time stretching our dimes to cover everything. I actually think "haven't always," may not be the best description. How about - I have been stressed out, freaking out, worried, anxious, angry, upset, guilt-ridden, and did I mention freaking out...about what our new budget will look like.

We inadvertently found ourselves in a catch-22 a few months ago. I needed to give at least a six month notice before leaving my job, so we needed to make a decision by the beginning of November. Even though we knew things would be extremely tight, we decided to commit to me staying home. I'm not exaggerating when I say that we then got pregnant about a week after I gave my notice. On the one hand - had I known that we were soon going to have two kiddos to raise on one income - I don't know that I would've quit my job. And to be honest, I struggle with feeling really guilty for doing so. On the other hand - there's no way we could continue our game of "pass the Jude" with two kids. We would have to put our kids in daycare. The cost of daycare alone (not to mention all of the "extra" costs associated with such) dwarfs my income, plus I know I'd struggle with the guilt of that decision, too.

So here we are. As of June 1st, our family will be officially living on love. That's not to say our bills won't be met because - by the grace of God - they will be. It IS however, to warn our family and friends that we will be cheap. We won't be able to go out to eat with you, and we won't often be able to do activities that cost money. You may just have to accept a tight hug and "we love you" instead of a gift at Christmas or your birthday, and we won't be doing any traveling in the foreseeable future.

We're sacrificing - a lot. So much that it frightens me a little, honestly. Thankfully though, Shawn and I both agree that the stability and sanity of our household depends on these sacrifices. When we look back at these years, we won't be thinking about the game systems, clothes, or dinners with which we lived without. I pray that we'll remember the times we chose the health of our family, our marriage, our children, and Shawn's ministry over trying to keep up with everyone around us. Doing difficult things doesn't come easily or naturally, but at least in our case - it's necessary.

Monday, May 3, 2010

old school sunday

I forgot to post an old school Sunday photo yesterday, so I hope you don't mind if I catch up today. Mine and Shawn's 5th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 14th, so I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about our last days as "two," and our early days as "one." This photo was taken at our wedding rehearsal on the 13th of May. I don't remember who took it (though I appreciate them doing so, it's one of my favorites), or even at what point during the rehearsal this was taken. What I do know is that embrace right there is one of my favorite places to be - even five years later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

home sick

I'm certainly not prone to being home sick. In fact, I went to college, spent a summer in the Pocono Mountains, went to England for three months, and then moved eight hours away from my family - all without feeling a bit homesick. To be clear - I love my family, am very close with them, and missed them. I just never ached for home or cried over not being near my family.

Until recently. I wouldn't say I'm home sick as much as I am family sick. I miss being around people who know us and love us - not because of what we can do/have done in ministry - but because we belong to them. I miss being able to talk candidly with someone except Shawn about my fears, stresses, and frustrations. I miss having parents around who know we're completely stubborn sometimes, but desperately love us anyway. This "family sickness" of mine has been so strong at times that my heart tangibly aches.

This is something I've largely kept to myself though - I haven't wanted to make either of our families feel guilty, and I haven't wanted to make Shawn feel guilty that we can't travel for awhile. So I'm positive that you can imagine my delight when Shawn told me that his Mom, Dad, sister, nephew, and niece will be visiting on Memorial Day weekend! And then I heard from my Mom this week that they'd be coming down for a visit in May, too! I cannot wait to see our family and for Jude to see his grandparents, aunt, and cousins. It's funny to me that I've been so sad over missing family for the past two or three months, and we'll get to spend time with so much of our family all in one month! I'm so grateful to see God providing for us in everything we need - even my emotional homesick needs.

Besides, I mean really - who wouldn't want to see more of this face?