Saturday, March 21, 2009

Preview of Coming Distractions (aka: Prayers for Us)

*After finally finishing this eternal post and being, humbly, reminded that I used to criticize others who use their blogs as emotional dumping grounds, I realize that reading the following post may not be up everyone's alley. So, if you're in a hurry or don't have the emotional energy to invest, here's my status in 3 lines:

Busy, but trying not to break down.
Wondering, but trying not to wander.
Distressed, but trying not to doubt.

For you others who like to go through people's emotional dumping grounds, looking for signs of what is to come like an Armenian grandmother reading the dregs of her coffee cup, this one's for you:


Whew, what a week! Who knew my thirties would begin with such activity?

Since my birthday 2 weeks ago, I have:
*went to a "preggo party" where we swapped stories, gifts, and ate with abandon

*seen Owen read another sight word ("bee") without context clues

*traveled to Texas (and back)

*ate with my mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law

*attended a wedding for Kris and Abby

*socialized at Richland Hills Church with old friends

*ate with my parents-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, niece and nephew

*sewed up a storm with Mom for my baby and a friend's

*crawled around the Arnold's attic to retrieve baby items held in storage

*taught 2 weeks of school (with one GRRReat day of being called a crude name...and a great day of a written apology by Mr. Potty Mouth to follow)

*took 50 kids on the city bus from Roosevelt HS to Fresno State's library and helped them conduct research with my co-teacher/friend

*attended 2 Lamaze classes (no, it's not just the breathing)

*had one flat tire on the way to work (to my father-in-law, no, I did not change it myself)

*four separate medical appointments (including 4 lbs of weight gain, 1 Rhogam shot, 1 failed diabetes test, and the 3 hour follow up test...results yet to be determined...looking at the above list, perhaps there was too much eating in the days prior to my appointment)

*hosted brother-in-law for the weekend (insert Michael and Bryan giggling like school-girls at dumb jokes and much potty humor while I'm attempting sleep)

So, maybe I need the next Lamaze session to be the breathing class because I'm TRYING to slow down. But, life just keeps coming, no?

The weekend in Texas was REALLY difficult for me. I haven't been that emotional during this pregnancy (I should check with Michael to see how biased that perspective is, but he's at the movies with his brother), but I was overwhelmed with emotions while at "home" and bottled most of them up...only to be released through wracking sobs in a bathroom stall at the DFW airport before boarding back to Fresno.

The year we spent in the Metroplex seems like a figment now...and so I wonder, what will this year in Fresno feel like later? I told my mom that I feel like a person who has a teaching job for a year in one state and KNOWS they should be investing in their state's retirement system because you can't benefit without some initial sacrifice of money and they really don't know how long they'll be there. And so, the worker puts in and puts in, and over time, they do start seeing some dividends on their investment...only to move states after a year. So, do they leave their money behind (to grow at a slower pace) or do they pull it out (with an obvious penalty) to reinvest at their new place?

So, being with family at home, work friends at the wedding, and old friends at church was tough. It reminded me that I do have "accounts" still open, and I need to give them some attention...I can't hole up here in Fresno and shut off old friendships. And, as I returned here, it reminded me that I can't withhold time and energy from people here either just because I'm afraid of the "withdrawal fee" later.

Long, financial analogy aside, I feel like that person (and have been that person in AR, CA, and TX with my money). With every place we move, I have to invest myself. We made a decision long ago when we moved to Pasadena not to hold anything back from potential friends and communities, no matter how long we thought we would be somewhere. But having roots in so many places is difficult. Either you are drained by having connections so far flung (a really wide root system and, yes, I AM grateful for the ability to maintain social connections through technology) or you are stunted by severing ties. I don't know how to give it my all without feeling later that I'm penalized for my investment. So, there were friends that I wanted to see, but I chose not to while I was at home. Not because I don't miss them but because I miss them too much to only spend a rushed lunch on an already crowded weekend. (Forgiveness and mercy, friends whom I didn't see?)

On top of all that (BREATHE), I do not know the answers to the following questions posed to me last weekend by at least more than one person:

*Are y'all going to be in Fresno next year?

*How many job prospects does Michael have in Fort Worth?

*Will you be teaching next fall?

*If you do, who will watch the baby? And Owen?

*If you move, when will you be moving?

*If you don't, how will you afford to stay home if Michael is just starting out?

*How much will those student loans be when he's done?

*Really, you still have the red truck...selling it anytime soon?

*What date will Michael be defending his dissertation?

*Will you be going to his graduation June 13th if the baby is due June 9th?

*What if Michael doesn't pass his licensure exam this summer?

*What are you doing for Owen's birthday April 8th?

*When will you be posting pictures of Owen on your blog next?

*When will be your last day of work before taking maternity leave?

*What will you name the baby?

*Is it a boy or a girl?

All VERY legitimate questions that I too would like to know the answers to, but, for now, only God knows the answers to them. Some of the questions I need to be seeking answers to through prayer to the Lord and the counsel of wise people, and some of them, I need to release from my grip and over-active analysis and give back to Him who is in Him who has called us to this Him who has faithfully led us since the days Michael and I accepted His Him who has always invested in us, despite sometimes (no, often), a rather poor return for His sacrifice.

So, could you take a deep breath with us as we plunge into this busy season? Please pray specifically for the following blockbusters in our world of coming distractions:

*Owen's 4th Birthday - April 8th - May he feel loved and celebrated for the joy he is!

*Michael's Dissertation Defense - mid-April - May he be affirmed for his diligence!

*Teaching - May - Have you ever been around a freshman in the Spring? May I have energy to endure and wisdom to decide when to let go!

*Baby - late May/early June? - May he or she be full of life and surrounded by love!

*Graduation - June 13th - May it become a reality and a celebration!

*Job - anytime* Lord! - May Michael use his gift of listening to bless others while being a financial support to our family!

*note my hesitation to say "anywhere" too. The desire of my heart is to be nearer to family, and I feel demanding to ask much more. Still, maybe if YOU ask... :) As if He didn't know my heart already, right?

Please be patient with me.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Before You File a Missing Persons Report...

Hibernating, nesting, contemplating a Unibomber cabin in the Sierras...whatever you want to call it, I know I've been laying low. A more accurate description would be "laid low". I don't know if it's being 4 years older or having an almost 4 year-old to keep up with, but I'm pooped at the end of the day...and the middle. At least I'm fresh when I wake up, but then again, I've usually been asleep for 10 hours. Enjoying that part while I can, at least...not the collapsing part, but the deep slumber that follows.

Vital Stats:

Height: as tall as a hunched crone

Weight: gaining

Blood Pressure: so low every health care provider must comment but my temper makes me feel like it's about to go through the roof. I have to sing the "Have Patience" song to myself more than Owen

Tummy: getting bigger, measuring at 26 weeks (which I am)...waiting until I'm not wearing pajamas when Michael gets home to take a picture...maybe I'll try in the morning before I leave for work.

Speaking of...if I can't have the baby until the end of the school year, and at the end of the school year, my students are supposed to be ready for geometry...well, I'm never having the baby. California teachers, can you verify that 3rd quarter stinks? Texas teachers, can I get an amen that 4th six weeks reeks? Anyone else, would you be willing to substitute teach for me for the world's longest month: March? Spring break is in mid-April, so, again, "Have Patience".

We have been having fun as a family on the weekends. I've remembered to take the pictures, just not stayed awake long enough to post them at night. So, especially for the grandparents, here is Owen, who is oblivious to the fact that Momma is having a difficult time keeping up:

What have we been doing?

Michael and Owen have been hanging out on Saturday mornings, and I've been working on a few side projects. Monkey cupcakes for all the kids at the Wilkinson's Super Bowl Party, pillowcases for some friends, a patchwork basket & some travel tissue holders for purses (pictures of those later). The last photo is of our family Oscar party food.

On the radio, they were saying that the Oscars are the Female Super Bowl. So, since I consumed enough chips and dips watching the Cardinals/Steelers, I made a girlie meal to watch The Wrestler/The Dark Knight showdown. Homeade quiche, sliced apples, supremed oranges, coffee, and sparkling pomegranate juice...a meal to increase the estrogen in us all. The boys took it in stride, and my main man kicked my butt in the Oscar balloting. Granted, Michael had seen 11 movies compared to my 3, but a girl had to try.

A couple other projects are half-done, but that's a post for another day (or month). I've also been stalking furniture on Craigslist and cloth diapers on eBay. This weekend I hit the jackpot on both (thanks Heather!), so I feel "nested".

But this time, I'll try not to stay in my cave for so long...lure me out with chocolate covered apples or baby name suggestions that will end all arguments between the Mr. and me.