Friday, June 24, 2011

A Re-Occurring Theme

Last weekend Aaron had Spiritual Formation class in Charlotte. I went with him and hooked myself to our friend's Netflix and watched almost 17 episodes of Dexter from the beginning of the 1st season, (never seen it before, was pretty sure I didn't really like it right away, but it grew on me.....). When I wasn't watching Dexter, I spent time at Trader Joes, ate great food with Aaron, and went to one evening of his class with him. It was fun meeting people and being a student for a night. The lecture was very introductory but good about depth in spirituality. There was also a session the head of the counseling department came in and spoke about 'attachment theories' with children and adults. It was interesting. I really get psychology, even though I don't buy it all because some is just really hard efforts to put everyone in some kind of box. Anyway, if you don't know about it, you should read something on it because it is interesting. And I may have learned something about my rearing and how I relate or attach to people, that I found helpful.

Saturday we met up with the Heaslips and had dinner and spent time catching up. I love that family and Aaron and I are both super encouraged with good time with them. Sunday church was incredible. Its hard not to wish we lived in Charlotte merely to hear this pastor every Sunday. I've only heard him twice but he has a presence that you know the Holy Spirit is with him. And you know they spend time together through the week. He told great, to-the-point stories about his week. He spoke on Revelation 10 and 11, Aaron said it's probably the most debated scripture in Revelation. I loved it. It was hearty. And we watched a video clip from a documentary done in 2009 about Martin Luther King's death. There was a great tie-in for that, it wasn't random at all. Revelation speaks about being a witness and the title of the movie was "The Witness". I think he said it could be found entirely online. .... To top it all off, the church had a tent outside and staff that made root-beer floats for everyone in celebration of Father's Day. (Aaron's first technically!)

At our smallgroup this week we talked about comparing themes in Adam and Eve's lives and Noah's. This may seem obvious but they were also witnesses. This theme has really impacted me. After talking about the two different stories for over 45 minutes, the covenants that were made, the missional aspects of these scriptures; the fact that these people witnesses came back to me. I've just never thought about it. At first I was annoyed a little, because I am impatient and kind of wanted to move on. There's lots of "be fruitful and multiply" and "spread about the earth" but outside of relationship and love and the reconciliation, I felt like what we were talking about was pretty elementary, until the simple re-occurring theme from earlier this week dawned on me. Noah was a witness to something incredible. Building a huge boat in the middle of a drought was probably really lame, even if he did have faith. Getting on that boat and seeing the world around him get swallowed up probably didn't feel all that great either. Spending 40 days and nights on that boat probably got a little old. I don't imagine him and his family to be playing endless games of texas hold-em and singing road-trip songs the whole time. .... Then the last few days when he was sending out birds to try to find some land, I bet those were some LONG days. Even if he knew God would in the end save them.  .... So the story is concluded with everyone getting off the boat, surely celebration, a rainbow and a covenant. I've never appreciated this story like I do now. ...... The thought to really bow my head every time I see a rainbow hit me. The thought may be silly but there's so much packed into it. We were focusing a lot on what was being said about mission in these passages in Genesis. The fact that these humans experienced what they experienced, then told the stories for years and years to bring God the glory. All of this put a new meaning to the word 'witness' for me. Previously the word annoyed me because it made me think of irritating people that want to be seen as righteous and surely have good in their hearts but are so busy trying to tell "their story" that they don't ask questions or want to understand the people that they're talking to. I realize these thoughts are simple but I love it.

Today I'm going to yoga at noon and writing some letters.
Gender specific ultra-sound in just over 2 weeks!
My Toyota is working great with new breaks. I am enjoying it so much.
We're having dinner with my sister tonight at her new apartment and tomorrow I'll be hanging out and helping with a friend's wedding all day.
And I guess I should note that last night, many people remarked on the baby that was obviously growing inside my belly. Hooray chub! It's getting baby shaped!

Love, love, love, love, love.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sidenote: Why I like blogs, Why I hate blogs:

OH Man.
I was browsing through my "subscribed blogs" while Aaron was playing guitar beside me this weekend. He stopped to look at some pictures of a cute family of 3 talking about how they spent their fathers day, tons of tattoos and attractiveness with trendy iPhone photos. He asked a question I think then got upset and said "I don't want to look at these" and got up and moved away to continue playing guitar. I thought he was just fussing to discourage me from spending time online but I asked him "what's wrong?" and he said "looking at those photos makes me feel like I'm missing out on something. No matter what my life is like, when I see pictures like that I can't help but want something about what I see." ..... WOW. You may think this is silly, but I know my husband, and when he's hurting, or confessing something that he thinks is gross within himself.

I started thinking. I don't get upset, or necessarily envy the things I see on people's blogs... but then I realized, I enjoy seeing these blogs because I like hearing about the exciting things in people's lives. I even enjoy a post about an outfit and why someone is so proud of it once in a while. People write mostly about the things in their days that they are most proud of or happy about. It's in some ways a really, really positive way to spend your time, sharing what you love about your life. I enjoy doing it and am inspired by other people's cute pictures and sweet date photos and ideas with their husbands or families, picnics in parks, camping trips, icecream moments, or craft ideas.

THEN, you think about how these things do affect you. I have had a few conversations with Aaron, never impressed with anything that keeps me on the computer for long stretches of time; he has brought up the idea that I am comparing myself to the people I see online. I have insisted this isn't true. I really do like the blogs most that are by people that I know and they just share about their lives. It's easy to make fun of the people I don't know and lighten the pressure I may feel looking at pictures of how adorable their families or evenings are by telling myself and him "these people spend way too much time thinking about how they are going to share what they're experiencing with their blog friends instead of really enjoying what they're going through."

I've been really motivated to blog about my daily activities merely because Kaki is a few countries away and I like feeling like she's still living things out with me. I don't like realizing she hasn't been informed of something that I really enjoyed or experienced days or months down the road when I want to laugh about something - then she gets the LONG back story. And because I care as much as I do about Kaki, I figure anyone else I care a lot about could share the same with me by posting it online. So I like that. I like being an open book. Of course I like sharing my joys. I also like sharing my struggles. More than people probably always want to know, but I love sharing how I'm learning to rely on my Maker. And as much as I want to learn to be a "gentle and quiet spirit", I want to learn to be open and strong in prayer. I want people to know they can ask me to pray for them because I will, and I don't want to take myself or my problems so seriously that they are too big to share with the world. Privacy is something that I am not sure I care much about in some ways these days. I don't want privacy any more than is needed to experience intimacy and intentionality with friends and family. For a long time, I haven't understood why people keep as much to themselves as they do. I don't think I so much process things externally as I strive to live as externally as I can. Really experiencing what I go through. I feel like I get much more fellowship this way. Does that make sense?

ANYWAY, I don't like blogging because I do judge people. A lot. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I could do the things I see other people doing. Inspiration does cross over with envy at times. I loved that Aaron shared what he did and was so aware. I don't feel the way he feels necessarily but think any creative person, or less creative for that matter, would feel some version of it browsing through blogs, magazines, tv? Any media these days. Even a silly Relevant Christian Magazine article could bring this out.

I'm not sure what the solution is. I think I had decided a couple times in the past weekend to stop writing a blog. At the chance I wasn't being entirely honest. I don't know if anyone is encouraged by the things I write about that aren't easy or I am enjoying. That's what I'd hope for. I did start this to write out thoughts to make a baby book but maybe I should let the letters I want to write to my little one be just for my little one and friends until I get published. HAH.

Anyway. Hooray writing. I love writing. I think I like it more than I like other art forms that I have experience in. It's the only one that I am confident I can be truly heard with.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday! Bloody Sunday.

Thankful! Thankful am I. The past week was beautiful. Light on work but full of friends and food and nature.

 The bowling action shots were all blurry but appropriate for our friend Jeff. He has some serious bowling moves and it'd take quite the camera to keep up.

 Best friends Class of 2002.

Wednesday went bowling with a great friend, Jeffery 'Squirrel' (Earl) Watson. We went walking downtown, and just because, Aaron and Jeff took me to get my favorite lavender creme brulee from the Chocolate Lounge.

Thursday we all went hiking/swimming with our friends Jon and Chelsea Atkinson.

Yesterday Aaron and I hiked about 4 miles atleast through some of Dupont Forrest and about halfway through it started pouring rain. It was such a gift. I love having reasons to get soaked in rain on a warm day. I didn't take any pictures yesterday, I guess I'm glad cause the camera may not have made it through the rain. But there were 4 large waterfalls and a gorgeous lake, a few sweet bridges. Living in the mountains of NC is such a gift. I'd love to live somewhere else for a season but this place is packed full of beauty.

I've been eating tons of fruit. This is notable because I don't usually let myself spend much but have decided eating mostly organic produce is going to reward me. And I took a picture. HAha. Kiwis are supposed to be one of the most nutrient packed fruits, and I learned that I should be scraping the fuzz off and eating the skin. It's like eating a thick globe grape skin.

Cravings have been high for everything Cracker Barrel so we made a weeks worth of casseroles and cornbread muffins. Wednesday's 'broccoli cheddar chicken' and hashbrown casserole. Mmmm. I think we made too much cause I'm not really going to want to eat it all week but that's the way I seem to fulfill my cravings, I overdo them so I am forced to crave something new. Tacos and mexican food are the only things that I can't seem to get enough of.

So, it's Sunday. We don't plan on cooking anything or exerting ourselves. Relaxing, more crackerbarrel, church, and a dollar movie are likely in the midst. We'll be inviting whoever is interested in coming home and helping us eat our casseroles.

I'm thankful for sweet moments with friends, even sweeter moments falling in love with my husband this week, simplicity, creation, and God's provision.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Small Group!

Buchanan home group started back last night. We have a few new people who came, I'm pretty excited about it. I think there's only 4 returning that are still in town. We've missed having people over and it's really been a blessing to get to know the people in our group. From the start our group wasn't at all our ideal, and of course we knew the benefits of diversity but Aaron and I would both admit we had moments of wishing we had more in common with everyone, whether it be marriage, hobbies, or lifestyles. Also, it seemed like in 3 months, the same combination of people never showed up at the same time. As we've gotten to know these people though, I'm confident that the immediate differences between us have pushed us to know each other in a really great way. As much as our relationships are very much still starting, I'd like to believe that we've skipped over some superficial stuff and jumped right into eachother's lives. Last night I was joking about how unorganized our times together had been, commenting on how we might change it up this time around and one of the guys said almost shocked "I thought we'd had great conversations" ... I was trying to take some blame for some disorganization but it was really good to hear that affirmation. I think people are really enjoying meeting here. There's three girls in our group for the summer, and maybe a fourth coming if it works out, so I am excited to pursue more women and experience discipleship.

I was going to take some pictures just for fun but ended up not thinking about it, also I would have felt really awkward, cause it felt really new. Everyone brought taco supplies and we had some AWESOME tacos. Mexican cuisine is an absolute pregnant favorite, so I was very happy with the many ingredients we had last night. Almost everyone came by 6:30pm and everyone was gone by about 9:40pm. It was so nice. I'm really looking foward to getting to know these people more.

Here's Aaron after making himself a late-night banana milkshake, (I got him hooked), and I myself, am very happy with a stomach full of tacos, watermelon, and an all fruit popsicle!

 And this is Aaron addressing some very important mail. I have just finished writing my blog.

Sorry for all the pictures, I just want you to get the feel that you are sitting here with us.

You can tell he thinks I'm funny and enjoys being a part of my posts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Update, or Not

No Dr.'s appointment until June 14 so no new updates. Aaron tried to listen to my uterus Sunday. I bet you can't hear an infant heartbeat at any point without technology but it was fun trying. We've started thinking about songs to familiarize the baby with when he/she can hear. Aaron asked me Saturday night if I was pushing my stomach out while I was brushing my teeth with my shirt off. I wasn't, and we both started cracking up but it was nice that he noticed cause I've felt my body taking a definite new shape. Instead of the usual little soft spot'o'chub under my belly button, on a moderately flat abdomen, my whole abdomen has become very circular. My uterus is still pretty low but I can feel and see a big difference in the way my belly looks. I have heard too that the weight gained in the first trimester can be the majority of the weight you gain. I don't think that's the case for me cause I think I've only gained 5lbs. I just want my thighs to stop getting bigger. I had plans of getting in shape before I knew I was pregnant so the big exercise regimens are on hold, and as I go further I dread the work it's gonna take to recover physically. If there are permanent changes, I'm not scared of that. I just want to take care of what I do have control over. I spent some time yesterday looking at fitness magazines about eating healthy and working out. I wrote down a few preggy-friendly recipes. I'm excited to get it together! Though I ate Mc Donalds for the second time this month. Ick. It absolutely made me happy then grumpy.

Sheena Heeslip and her family stopped by to see us Monday night. Aaron is beyond smitten with their baby. I've never seen him with a little girl, it's adorable. She's 3 months and she giggles in these heart-moving bursts. Sheena kept saying "I can't believe you guys are gonna have one". ME either. In under 6 months hopefully! If the little bugger is on time or early.

So weird! What kinds of goals do other people set in 6 months time? I always think of a year when I set new goals because I can't imagine big changes in shorter amounts of time, though they always happen. .... NO big deal, I am just hoping to have squeezed out a little human by December.

Our friends "The Valentines" have the same wedding anniversary as us, a year previous. We didn't realize we stole it when we set the date, but since then, I decided anyone that did set the date on our date, I would be excited to share the anniversary with them. (Especially if I liked them a lot.) Anyway, they also had their first child the last week of November the following year. This isn't motivation to have the baby sooner, but I myself would prefer a November birthday to a December one, so I'm hoping thats when it comes. I think we'll be done copying them after that. We don't have family in GA to move closer to.

Salon Business is slow. Steady I guess but slow. Each week I make the appointments as the days crawl by so God is providing but giving me plenty of time to just sit back and dream about what it'll be like to hold a baby in all this free time in a few months. Hooray baby! Haha.

I have been thinking a lot about the ways I'm going to be busier with a child but relationships with other women mean so much to me, I can't imagine being happy without good girl time. I'm excited that in some really cool ways, as much as my life will be entirely different with a child, it will still be the exact same. Just a new responsibility of providing for a little one. Other than that, still seeking Christ and growing with my friends and family. I love that as we go further into life, as much as the adventures are unknown ahead of time, our purpose stays the same. I hope I can really rest in that. And remember it when I get overwhelmed. .... I'm not afraid of sleepless nights. I can go longer than anyone I know without sleep. Haha. I'm the loser kid at every sleepover that would out-talk everyone else while they dozed off. I'd go to sleep because there was nothing else to do. Or when I have craft projects I'm excited about, I don't know how to put them down until they are finished. I decided that the thing that may help me most in preparation is if I could learn to pack snacks for myself throughout the day while I'm pregnant, I will be better at parenting. I think it will transfer into many different types of planning and being organized once I'm toting a young'un around. I just need to remember to eat, cause when that baby comes, I hear there won't be any forgetting to feed them.