Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, Wednesday

Mr. Wonderful just left for the last night of work for the week.  I'm feeling blah and lonely and I really don't have time to launch into some other distracting activity before practicing music with the fambly, so here I am typing away.

  • I had a lovely walk with the doggie this morning.  I wandered all over the south side of town and ended up by the Methodist church before turning around and heading home.  The dog nearly died of exhaustion.  Poor, miserable little creature.  We are going to have to make a habit of this.  I discovered a house with a beautiful raised-bed garden, which made me rather covetous.  We have all of the gardening supplies necessary to get things growing, plus our little seedlings are begging to get outside.  Maybe we can dig up the back yard this weekend.  Anyway, on my walk I determined that it really isn't fair for owners to let their puppies wander around unleashed and then scream and holler at them when they come check out my dog.  I decided that hymns and praise choruses fill the mind while walking on a cheerful spring morning.  And I found lots of lilacs tucked into a back alley when I was avoiding Being Seen.
  •   Right now my sewing regimen for the next few weeks includes one junior bridesmaid dress (I don't even want to type how much the fabric cost...I'll be doing a lot of praying and hand-washing), six bridesmaid dresses, and five flower girl dresses.  The good news is that I only have two weeks of work left at the soda fountain.  Then the sewing machine will start humming again.  
  • Speaking of sewing, I am feeling proud of my little self for taking some absolutely no-good-very-bad maternity jeans and altering them so that a) they actually fit me and b) they are somewhat cute:

I took two inches of extra material off of the back, converted the waistband to a low-rise fit and added extra elastic so the pants would actually stay up.  Then I cuffed the bottoms and voila!  Capri pants.
  • We are one step closer to buying our house as of signing the purchase agreement papers this afternoon.  This had been a months long process of waiting to qualify for a loan, waiting for the loan guy to work on our application and then waiting for a convenient time to sign a purchase agreement with our landlords.  Thankfully our landlords are super sweet and flexible folk who have been very kind and accommodating as we waited.  Since we were able to squeak in the signing of the purchase agreement before the end of the month, we will now qualify for the first-time home owners tax incentive.  Woo!
  • There is a dark blue storm cloud hanging out in the northwest sky.  It's pretty, but I wonder what this means for practicing with the fambly.
  • I want to start reading more.  Reading used to take up lots of my time, but now other things crowd it out.  Steve shared a magazine article about poetry with me the other day and it made me really miss studying and analyzing literature.  I did get an interesting book in the mail today (gotta love a free trial of Amazon Prime), so I think I'll work my way through that first.  We finally finished the Steinbeck book a few evenings ago, so we need to pick another Read Aloud book, too.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Peace is Relative

I don't know what I ate before I went to bed last night, but it did not encourage peaceful slumber.  Every drawn-out dream consisted of multitudes of people all talking at once, all requiring my services at once, all having issues at once.  In my dreams, I kept looking for Steve, only to find him sleeping somewhere.  (Hmm.  Is that really a dream?)

When I got home this morning, I discovered that Florianus had escaped from his kennel and absolutely ransacked the house.  There was trash from the front door to the back door (including about a week's worth of coffee grounds strewn hither and yon), torn up toilet paper was littered everywhere, and one of my tennis shoes was completely filled with urine.  This made me crabby.  Steve entered the door a few minutes later covered in ink and bearing tales of a woeful night of work complete with lazy coworkers and a difficult supervisor.  Fun stuff.

But there is nothing quite like climbing back into bed after venting these frustrations, snuggling up until the sheets get warm, and feeling all of the stress melt away as we enjoy the peace that comes from being together.    There is nothing quite like watching my sweet husband quickly drift off into well-deserved sleep, leaving me alone to lie there thinking and praying.  There is nothing quite like being shocked into near-laughter by the purposeful kick of the Baby.  Today I'm grateful for the blessing of our little morning "bedtime" routine and the peace and joy that it affords in an otherwise chaotic time.

(I'm in the picture somewhere...we need to get back into the swing of self-portraits. :-))

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby Talk V

Today was the last of the monthly baby appointments.  Now we get to move on to having one every two weeks.  Time is flying by so stinking fast.  Now when people ask me when I'm due the response is, "July!  That's just around the corner!"  They are right: it is just around the corner.  July still feels hot and far away to me sometimes...but it's only a whopping 10 weeks away.

I wanted to be able to post something along the lines of It's a Girl!  Or It's a Boy!  But alas, no such confident remarks will be heading out into cyberspace.  Baby Rodgers was even cooperating, but the doctor said that she wasn't confident enough to give any definite answers.  Phooey.  I say that it's a girl.

I had the chance to stick up for myself, though, and that's saying something for Amelia-the-People-Pleaser.  I was scheduled for a glucose test, and having read about the customary procedure (fast for 12 hours, drink a glucose-concentrated beverage, wait an hour and then get tested), I was convinced that it would most likely make me sick.  I eat a relatively low-sugar, high-protein diet, and I really can't go for more than 4 hours without eating (even at night), so the thought of shocking my already whacked out system with a truck-load of sugar seemed like a bad idea.  Mom helped me determine the alternate course which consists of consuming a large number of calories an hour before the test.  (Why doesn't everyone do this?)  Having cleared this with the doctor last week, I thought I was good to go.  

This morning I had a large breakfast with more calories than I care to think about, and then we tootled off to the appointment.  After the routine stuff was completed, I was frustrated to see a lab worker come in with a bottle of the high-glucose junk.  After I mentioned that I had discussed the alternative with my doctor, the lab worker insisted that "we only do it this way because there is no way we can know how much you have eaten."  I repeated as firmly as I could that I had already discussed this with the doctor and when the lab worker continued to push drinking the glucose, I asked if I could talk with the doctor.  Confusion therefore ensued.  I heard the doctor explain the alternative process to the lab worker.  A nurse came in and said that I needed to go eat something and then come back in an hour for the test.  I said that I had already eaten an hour before, as instructed, and was ready to take the test.  The nurse left.  I heard more discussion and then the original lab worker came back and finally drew blood.  She told me that they used to have people eat 27 jelly beans to raise their glucose and that just made them sick.

It was pretty dumb.  Steve said that you really have to know what you want before you go to these appointments.  I replied that this was the reason why I was reading as much as I am about the subject.  This is also why we are making a birth plan.  So much confusion over something so simple just isn't necessary, and confusion over bigger issues is a scary prospect.

In other baby news, Steve and I went to a baby store in downtown Kearney last Saturday.  I can understand why people go nuts decorating a nursery.  I mean, how fun is that?  Unfortunately, we would have to turn our entire bedroom into a nursery, and since the Baby will be spending most of its time with me in the living room or with us in bed, I don't think that revamping all of the bedroom decor will be necessary.  But it looks like a fun excuse to get crafty.  Ah, domesticity, how I love thee!

Friday, April 23, 2010

To sleep or not to sleep

With a husband who works nights and with my increasing need for naps (again), I've been thinking a lot about sleep lately.  Are we getting enough sleep?  How much is enough?  Why can I sleep for 9-10 hours a night and still be unable to keep my eyes open in the afternoon?  Should I feel guilty about "sleeping in" nearly every day even though my body obviously needs it?  Why do I feel more righteous when I drag myself out of bed earlier than necessary in order to run around and get more things done?  Why is our crabbiness almost always associated with how tired we are?  When are we ever going to be on the same sleeping schedule again?  Why do none of these things seem to bother Steve?  (The last one isn't really a concern.  Sometimes I wish that I had his ability to just let things go, though.)

I found it ironic that a featured article in this month's National Geographic Magazine focused on sleep.  Not only did it detail the physical function of sleeping, but it also noted how much sleep affects how we live.  It is obvious that people who are entirely unable to sleep will eventually die.  However, the article also noted the dangerous effects of pushing one's already fatigued body...and this is something that is a regular occurrence for millions of people (anyone who has spent whole semesters on less than 5 hours of sleep a night can relate).
We sleep on average about an hour and a half less a night than we did just a century ago. Some of our epidemic of insomnia or sleeplessness is probably just our refusal to pay attention to our biology.  The natural sleep rhythms of teenagers would call for a late morning wake-up - but there they are, starting high school at 8 a.m.  The night shift worker sleeping in the morning is fighting ancient rhythms in his or her body that order him or her awake to hunt or forage when the sky is flooded with light.  Yet he or she has no choice.
 We fight these forces at our peril.  In February 2009 a commuter jet en route from Newark to Buffalo crashed, killing all 49 aboard and one on the ground.  The copilot, and probably the pilot, had only sporadic amounts of sleep the day leading up to the crash, leading the National Transportation Safety Board to conclude that their performance "was likely impaired because of fatigue."  This sort of news enrages Harvard's Charles Czeisler.  He notes that going without sleep for 24 hours or getting only five hours of sleep a night for a week is the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent.  Yet modern business ethic celebrates such feats.  "We would never say, 'This person is a great worker! He's drunk all the time!'" Czeisler wrote in a 2006 Harvard Business Review article.
 The article goes on to say that a study of first-year medical students working 30 hour shifts twice a week resulted in one out of five admitting to a fatigue-related mistake that caused harm to a patient, while one out of twenty admitted to a fatigue-related mistake that caused the death of a patient.  Scary.

Sleep is important.  I know that since my body is busy growing another little person that I will need more sleep than normal.  I don't think my life is going to fall apart if a sleep a few more hours and actually feel able to go about my responsibilities instead of living in a perpetual fog.  And I know that I will be less crabby if I'm well-rested.  Who wants to be around a crabby Amelia?  Not me.  I don't want to be a sluggard and just keep on sleeping from laziness if I really am feeling well-rested, but I do think that I need to put aside some of  the deeply ingrained expectations of "early-to-rise-makes-a-better-Christian-girl" and just take care of what my body really needs.

(At the same time, I really want to go jump on my husband who has been sleeping for 12 hours.  Tee-hee.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Revive us again

Anyone who lives in the Midwest knows how long and cold this past winter has been.  I don't know if I have ever appreciated green grass and budding trees as much as I have once Spring finally decided to stick around.

This little guy poked up out of the corner of our flowerbed yesterday.  What a delight to see yet another sign of Spring.  We didn't plant him, or even know that he existed.  It makes me want to plant bulbs in every yard we call our own, just so that others can enjoy the surprise.
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.  
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.  Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.  Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.  Psalm 85:6, 10-13

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Prioritizing the right things

Do you ever feel like your life consists of running from one event to another, even when those events are happening in your own house?  This has definitely been the case for me lately.  Combine the frantic pace of life with strange sleeping patterns, never really seeing my husband (i.e. quality time is sporadic), and the perpetual hormonal roller coaster, and you wind up with a Really Crabby (and Weepy) Amelia.  This has been building in intensity over the past few weeks and finally came to its anvil-cloud condition on Friday when Steve said, "Either you need to start enjoying your every day routines or just quit doing them."


Then the torrent of tears...again.

But he was right and it's true: trying desperately to get things done at the expense of my relationships and my own sanity is plain ol' wrong.  How can God be glorified in my life if I'm not enjoying the life He has graciously given me?  Now I know that sometimes life is busy and we can't help it.  But I knew that this wasn't necessarily the case for me this time around.  Thanks to not attending church on Sunday morning (long convoluted story which I will share sometime) I was actually able to spend some time doing what my soul really needed - reading the Word, praying, worshiping, and seriously evaluating why I do what I do each week.

What I discovered was really interesting:

  1. The actual outside of the house activities (aside from work) don't take more than an hour.  But I am involved in some extra out-of-the-house activity of the week.  Just the act of knowing that I'm going to have to prepare to go somewhere in addition to work really puts pressure on my time.  
  2. I do not prioritize spending time in God's Word each day.  This results in guilt and more time wasted on the computer and then more guilt.  Wonderful.
  3. I don't know how to prioritize my preparation for the outside of the house activities in which I need to participate.  For example, I teach a Bible Club every Thursday afternoon.  Sure, the club itself only takes an hour out of the afternoon, but the preparation takes a good 1-3 hours each week.  The nebulous "must prepare for club" thought haunts me on a daily basis.  
  4. Household responsibilities are maintained, but like the prep for outside of the house activities, there is no set time to accomplish them.  Thus laundry always feels like LAUNDRY and cleaning the kitchen is like a little black rain cloud over my head all day.
Conclusion?  First, I need to have time set aside for reading the Word each morning.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Second, I need to plan specific times to prepare for the extra activities and stick with those planning times.  Third, I need to make sure that I have one day completely free from extra activities - no leaving the house again after work.  Fourth, I need to pinpoint exactly what needs to happen on a daily basis to keep the house going and then STOP when those responsibilities are completed.  Just because I have a spare half-hour between supper and going out to practice music with my family doesn't mean that I have to frantically start reorganizing the basement.

Life really is swell.  It's not how much I'm doing (because in reality I'm not doing that much), but really how I approach activities and responsibilities.  Hopefully a changed attitude toward daily routines (which God will ultimately have to work in my heart) will have a positive effect on my relationships, especially my relationship with Steve.  (Who always seems to be sleeping.  Oh well.  Maybe someday we'll both be awake at the same time again.  Hey, at least he'll be good at getting up in the wee sma's with the Baby.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pink Happiness

I am a complete sucker for pink gerber daisies.  When I walked into Wally World yesterday, these were screaming, "Amelia!  Take us home!"

How could I resist them?

Especially when a Certain Happy Event which happened nine months ago today involved so many of them?

Happy Sunday, happy Spring, and happy Nine-Monthiversary to us.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Cat and The Duck

Some new friends came to call.  First there was The Cat:

And closely behind was The Fish.

While they seem to be an unlikely pair, The Cat and The Fish appear to be reserved in their hostility and have peacefully joined the other Animals in their adventures.  

Check out Alissa's pictures of The Fish at her blog.  Then you can follow her blog because she writes fun and honest things about life (with lots of pictures as illustrations).

In other news, it was another pretty rough week in the emotional department.  Hooray for hormones, right?  But I just got home from a really swell day at the MOPS Leadership Summit meeting and my head is full of positive, refreshing things.  Must needs go process....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thinking in Stories

I read on another blog recently that once you start writing consistently on a blog the tendency creeps up to start mentally blogging every life situation.  This is true.  I'll make something, or have to deal with absurd customers at the soda fountain, or play a funny game of Spades with Clevi, and all the while I'm figuring out how I would cleverly turn it into a blog post.  Throughout the week Steve responds to my antics with "You should put that on your blog."

I was thinking about this phenomenon of mental blogging, and then it struck me that even before I had the tangible outlet of this blog, I was always thinking in stories - always trying to turn life into some kind of narrative. This probably started at a young age when I got sick of trying to get my paper dolls to keep their clothes on and decided to just make up a mental story about them while they sat there in front of me.  It continued when I was older (okay, maybe too old) and I wandered around the hills behind our house for hours pretending that I was an Irish immigrant, a coal-miner's mail order bride, or a nurse in the Revolutionary War.  Then when I had to be more socially together and do things like get a job, turning work incidents into parts of a novel made the afternoons speed by.

Thankfully, I seem to have married someone who is also able to think in stories.  Florianus, for example, is a lazy daschund who thinks only about eating, sleeping, and barking at the Catholics.  However, our narrative-forming minds have turned him into this complex creature with varied emotions, desires for fame and fortune, and personal preferences that are decidedly German.  Poor dog.  Our Baby's homemade toys are taking on a rather Winnie-the-Pooh life of their own these days, as well.

Thinking in stories helps annoying situations - like when Debbie-the-Crazy-Neighbor comes over and asks for a ride so that she can return an already laundered shirt to the store because "it shrunk."  Or when the ASI people send us a note in which every sentence ends in an exclamation point.  We can always use characters like these for our future books.

Is thinking in stories or mentally blogging merely an introverted act to escape reality?  I don't think so.  I find that it gets my mind off of myself, it engages me in my surroundings in a new way, and it heightens observation and creative thinking.  Besides, the Bible is essentially a narrative.  God thinks in stories, too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pregnancy and Poetry

I found the marker for our Wipe-Off board.  This brings great joy to my soul, so I decided to work on a little poetry for Steve.  Clara came over and I eagerly said, "Looky, Clara, I wrote a haiku!"  She walked over to the fridge and read it:
There once was a fellow called Tickle
Whose wife was in quite a pickle
His fingers got frisky
She was in a tisk-y
And nothing could be heard but a Giggle
(Or a Gickle, depending on how much of a Stickle you are at rhyming.) 
"Pretty funny, huh?" I said.
Clara looked at me.  "Yeah, but that's not a haiku.  That's a limerick."

Yes, I know the difference between a haiku and a limerick.  Yes, I know how to write both of them.  It pretty much confirmed that I have lost my marbles completely.  Pregnancy brain strikes again.

But here's a real haiku, just to prove that I can do it:

Steve tickles his wife
Throws her on the bed with glee
Fun despite the shrieks

Ha.  There you go.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The "Umm" post

We got home rather late from a date escape and I realized that I hadn't done my Bible study questions for my Mom's 6am (yes, 6AM) study through the book of Romans which would take place the following morning.

Me: Oops, I totally forgot about Bible study.
Steve: Oh, that's too bad.
Me: I actually went through this study a few years ago on my own.  The answers to the questions will be practically the same.
Steve: How's that?
Me: Well, I still have the same problems: I'm too self-focused and I don't always believe that God loves me.
Steve: I love you.  I hope I can show you that God always loves you.
Me: Actually, you do that all of the time.  I was thinking about writing a post about it.  I had a really good title, too.
Steve: What was that?
Me: Umm....

So this is the "Umm" post.  I really have been thinking for some weeks about how God uses Steve in this way, and I really did have a good thought-provoking, spiritual title - but between having a major case of pregnancy brain and then blowing out any remaining brain cells into whole colonies of Kleenexes (thank you, Spring Allergies), I honestly can't remember.  The content (albeit long) remains the same, though.  Here goes.

I struggle a lot with the idea that my worth to other people is based primarily on my performance.  I'm a first-born and I take the whole "Be ye perfect" thing seriously.  Basically, I figure out what I think I can do to make people like me and then go at it with tremendous enthusiasm expecting the results of being told, "Amelia, I don't know what we would do without you!"  This feels great and shoves the doubts of failure into a cobwebby corner for at least a little while longer.  Unfortunately, those doubts don't stay there.  There comes a time when I can't do everything, or be everything that I think people want me to be.  Then the doubts come flying back in my face and resound through my mind: You are a failure.  You can't do it.  They won't love you anymore.

Examples?  After graduating from high school, I stayed home for a few years taking online classes, working, and helping my parents with household responsibilities.  I was very secure in my position as the Indispensable Amelia.  Then came the fateful day when I left to study at CEF's International Headquarters twelve hours away from home.  One semester later, I returned home to discover that (gasp) life had continued just fine without me and (even worse) my siblings were doing a perfectly capable job at my old performance standbys.  What did this mean for my perceived worth with my parents?

Enter Steve and the Dating Phase.  The ingrained habits of perceiving worth through performance fired up again.  It was easy to figure out which conversation topics, outfits, and silly presents got results.  Enter the Marriage Phase.  Yet again, I find myself constantly believing that as long as I can keep a great house, make splendid (and varied!) meals, talk intelligently, and generally "keep it together," I'll be the Amelia that Steve can't live without.

Enter the most important relationship I have: my relationship with the Lord.  If I can just keep on being that Good Little Christian Girl who reads her Bible every day, talks nicely to people, prays a whole bunch, and desires him with every ounce of my being and never gets distracted, God will keep on loving me.  In fact, he'll love me more than ever.

Then comes the days and weeks when the performance flops: no home-cooked meals, no empty laundry baskets, no deep dark discussions on the effects of Evangelicalism.  No daily devotions, no hour-long prayer sessions, no ability to desire anything spiritual.  Fail.  Fail.  Fail.  The crazy thing is that deep inside I know that my relationship with my parents won't change (they are my parents...they have to love me, right?), my relationship with Steve won't change, and my relationship with God definitely won't change.  But my mind doesn't want to believe it.  My proud flesh still wants to have some reason to glory in think that somehow the blessings of secure relationships and especially my sanctification are my own doing.

This is where it becomes evident that God in his wisdom gave me a husband who reminds me of the truth of grace over and over again.  Sometimes the reminder comes through words: I love you no matter what you do or don't do.  You don't have to perform for me.  Your "being clever" isn't what drives me.  Many times it's just sitting and holding me on the couch while I sob out everything and really truly not caring if I act like a total idiot.  Other times it's physically getting me away from the performance areas (like going out for a walk or to a restaurant for dinner) that reminds me that he loves me for me.  That's all.  End of story.

Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."  While I don't think that Steve would ever want me to suggest that he has achieved this command fully, I do believe that he obeys it fully and is the constant picture to me of Christ's contra-conditional love for the church...and that includes me.
But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:4-6
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved....  Ephesians 2:4-5
 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10
 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39
The struggle with performance-based worth may last a lifetime.  But Steve truly reflects the steadfast love of the Lord to me on a daily basis.  I can't escape the reminder  Will I believe him?

God, who is the source of steadfast love and grace, assures me through his Word that it was he who loved first and nothing I can do will change that.  I can't escape Christ.  Will I believe him?

The Octopus

Installment #2: The Octopus

He began as a blob of a head with questioning eyes looking at his eight severed appendages.

All was going well with the tentacle attachment when his creator realized that he had become a Septopus.  Oops.

With the correct number of legs affixed to his person, the Octopus can now begin to go his thoughtful way in the world.

Which includes meeting The Duck.  The Duck was confused about which tentacle to shake, so the Octopus decided to relieve the tension by suggesting that they take a trip to visit Other Animals.

The Duck, remembering a previous encounter, decided not to stick around.  The Octopus felt bad.  
The End.

Want to join the fun?  Lion Brand Yarn is featuring a collection of Spring Animals patterns on their Facebook fan page.   Alissa and I are already going at the task of creating the entire crowd, and you can get into the spirit by pulling out those crochet hooks and knitting needles and making some of these great little guys for your favourite little people (or for yourself...or for our Baby).

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Duck

Apparently toys that don't look entirely freaky are hard to come by (or buy) these days, as evidenced by the shelves at Target and Wally World.  Besides having parents to play with, we want Baby Rodgers to have nice whimsical toys that feature wholesome materials, quality construction, and definite character.  In short, we are making our own...or rather, I am making toys.

Installment #1: The Duck

(We have to keep it hidden from Florianus.  It looks too much like the Former Chicken-with-a-Squeaker.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stephen and Amelia: A Grand Day Out

If there is one area in our married life that produces the most friction, yet also the most joy, it is the fact that I am a Do-er and Steve is a Chill-er.  The Chill-er won out over the Do-er this week when, in his great perception, Steve decided that we needed to spend some serious time away from our little house, little dog, and little work-a-day lives.  He bought tickets for us to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform at the Lied Center, I made reservations for a night at the Holiday Inn Express, and we popped into the Bronco for 36 hours of escape.

Highlights of the adventure include:
  • Running into Target on the way to find an appropriate piece of maternity wear for the theater (since I have been wearing jeans and a shirt to most everything lately).  Steve actually found the perfect dress before I did, the helpful little stinker.
  • Screaming out Part Three of the Steinbeck book over the grumbling of the Bronco and the roar of the wind on I-80.
  • Stopping at Starbucks in downtown Lincoln for a quick change in the bathroom, and then going to Panera for a snack.
  • Realizing that I forgot to bring the camera with us when we got out of the Bronco in the parking garage.  Wow. 
  • Concluding that we were meant to live in a larger town and in warm weather.
  • Seeing the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform all of Shakespeare's plays in 1.5 hours.  We sat in the balcony and there was no one in front of me (glory be!).  The play was very clever and well-performed, but it tended toward the raunchy side.  That was disappointing, but what do you expect from comedy these days?  We agreed that the condensation of Hamlet made it worth staying until the end of the show.  "OOB!"
  • Finally finding the hotel (we bless the GPS, but it just didn't like getting us to Belmont Street) and discovering that I had accidentally made reservations for the night before.  Oops.  They were nice and straightened it all out, but I felt Really Stupid.
  • Concluding that Applebees is the only restaurant open at 11pm on a Tuesday night, and is therefore a blessed sight.
  • Wandering around Lincoln the next day:
We went to the Capitol.  This is such a fun old building.
Funny little statues.

Brown city of Lincoln, as seen from the top of the capitol.  It was really windy and creepy up there.

Windblown us.

Morrill Hall (science museum).  We just avoided the two busloads full of elementary school children.  
Steve: Well, now we have seen the demise of philosophy, and here we are looking at the demise of Marxist education.

There was a line-up of thrift stores and antique shops on O Street, so we kept sticking coins in the parking meter and spent about 3 hours perusing the junk.  It was so fun.

We kept coming back to this Starbucks over and over.  Like probably five times.

Only to be outdone by the Panera Bread across the street which saw our faces many, many times over the course of the day.  We weren't very adventurous in the eating department.

Home again, home again.  But only after doing the Baby registry at multiple Targets.

So the Grand Day Out ended, as they always must.  It's amazing to get away from Small Town USA to an only slightly larger town and realize how small and far away all of our every day stresses are.  It was also good to remember that God can use these escapes to restore our perspective on Himself, to allow us to enjoy each other and enjoy Him.

Now I wish that I could randomly give Grand Day Outs to other couples...or singles...or families...or grandparents or....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Talk IV

With much anticipation we finally went to the long-awaited doctor's appointment this past Monday to discover...absolutely nothing.  This Baby who moves around and kicks like crazy on most mornings decided to be perfectly still, cross his/her legs and just sit there while we looked on in amused disappointment.  Wow.  If this Baby insists on being an anomaly, so be it.  The doctor keeps commenting on the beauty of the child's brain (since that's about all there is to be seen).  I told Steve that he/she obviously wants to be loved for his/her intellect and not just looks.

(Okay, after a hard week, I was really looking forward to having something positive to think about - like the gender of the Baby - and to be thwarted in this was the pits.  I should not have put mascara on that morning.)

But anyway, I think that it would be great if nurses could introduce themselves before poking, prodding, and handing me containers for urine samples.  Don't you think that would be the polite thing to do?  I mean, they know pretty much everything about my physical self and I don't even know their names.  Maybe they should just wear name tags.  Maybe I should just be more of an investigator of persons at nine in the morning.  The new nurse on Monday made all of the same "it must be a girl" jokes and then got onto the subject of names.
Nurse: Do you have names picked out?
Me: Yes. (*thinking* Do you have a name?)
Nurse:  Oh, that's nice.  What are they?
Me: Um. Harriet Alice or Edmund Paul.
No-Name-Nurse: Oh.  Those are old names.  But then again, you have an old-fashioned name.
Me: Well, I suppose that I do.
No-Name-Nurse: My mother had the name Aweilda.  That's an old name you don't hear very often.
Me: Um, no. (*thinking* Oh, yeah, like you ever hear that name.  I don't think that Harriet or Amelia are really in the same "old name" category.  Thank you very much.)

Having given up on the idea of knowing what the Baby is, we went ahead and created registries at Target and  Steve thinks that registering for baby stuff is way more fun than making a wedding registry.  For starters, you really only have to worry about one section of a store which makes life much less complicated.  Plus, it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to go gaga over towels, cribs, undershirts, and strollers that are covered in cute little ducks, owls, or turtles.  We will probably have a better time than the Baby with the bath toys.  While I grant that we are pretty dorky folks, it was fun to be able to participate in Babyness together.  Sometimes it's hard because I have to think about baby stuff all of the time (after all, I'm lugging the kid around for nine months), while Steve's mind gets occupied with other things.  It's not as if he doesn't want to think about the Baby, but it is sometimes difficult to know how to get both of us involved at this point.  Registering made us even more excited about being parents, and more eager to see and interact with this wonderful little person.

I still can't bring myself to sew anything for the Baby because I can't get into this gender neutral mentality.  However, I am allowing myself to make some other things which I will post pictures of in the very near future.  Maybe tomorrow.