Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Out with the old

Today is the start of my 30th week of pregnancy. According to all the e-mails I get monitoring my progress, there's 70 days left. That's about two months to finish preparations for baby. Our little girl was on our minds a lot over Christmas, knowing that next year, there's going to be a baby crawling around getting into the presents, playing with the boxes her gifts come in instead of the toys, probably no 10:30pm Mass on Christmas Eve. Family have been very generous in already buying gifts for her, so I've been able to be pretty good about my commitment to not buying her clothes, as tempting as it is.

We're still working on cleaning out our office/spare bedroom to turn it into a nursery. This is our most recent addition.

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find an indoor, adult-sized rocking chair in Texas, by the way.

As my husband and I received gifts for Christmas, we're sticking to our in and out rule. We get something new, we get rid of whatever it's replacing. As I go through closets and drawers I'm amazed at how much stuff we have, even though we've been working on this purging process ever since we married and moved in together a year ago, but we keep finding more we don't need. It feels so good to let go of possessions, reminding ourselves that we can't take it with us.

Matthew 6:19-21 "Don't store up treasures here on Earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

This will continue to be a challenge as babies come with literally stores of stuff you can acquire. We're hoping to set a good example for our daughter and try to keep our home as simple as possible. We've already decided that instead of making Christmas Day a day of presents, that it will be a part of the Advent and Christmas seasons, with a small gift on St. Nicholas Day and the Feast of the Epiphany, teaching her why we give gifts to one another.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary

This weekend my husband and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that a year has already gone by. We met two and a half years ago, set up by a mutual friend. I never thought that this random guy I talked to on the phone once before meeting in person would turn out to be my answer to many prayers and the daddy of my future daughter. But I knew within a couple of months dating that I loved him and after he survived meeting my family a few months later, that he was THE ONE.

That's not to say this year has been all romance. Being married is hard sometimes but it's the good kind of hard, like when you'd rather stay on the couch and eat ice cream but know you'll feel better if you work out instead. I prayed for years that if God wanted me to be married, then He'd put someone in my life to get me closer to heaven, and that has been so true. I didn't know what sacrifice really meant until marriage, having to let go of what I want to do and say sometimes to make him happy, keep the peace, or because it's not the best thing for us. That's not to say I have a controlling husband, but this fiercely stubborn and independent woman has had to submit sometimes and let him take the lead in our relationship and decisions.

I didn't realize the importance of communication until being married. We joke sometimes about him not being able to read my mind yet, but seriously, I have to remember that. Just because I think it doesn't mean he knows it. It's been so important for us to discuss everything, from what we need to get at the grocery store, to who's using the car and should we buy a house. Our communication styles are different; he's very linear and I am all over the place and we have to take that into consideration. One of the things we learned in our premarital classes was when is a good time to talk to one another. For me, not first thing in the morning, for him, not after about 9:30 at night. He is a phone person, I'd rather send an email. But because we frequently make the effort to engage the other person in the way they best respond, a lot of arguments have been avoided.

I thought that we'd be spending all this time alone together as newlyweds, but it's amazing the demands we have that get in the way. We can be our own worst enemies, both of us are very social humans and have a difficult time saying no, but we're learning that we have to make our time together a priority. And I really do love it when we do. I used to say my friends, "How am I possibly going to meet someone that I don't get tired of hanging out with and talking to?". But it happened; we always have something new to talk about and enjoy doing similar things, and especially since a baby is coming, cherish the time alone while we have it.

My husband still surprises me, even when I try to be such a planner. He makes me laugh, keeps me from being serious all the time, works hard to provide for our family, has a servant's heart, and motivates me to remain disciplined in our spiritual life. I cannot wait to see him as a father; our little girl is going to be so adored by him. He already talks to her (sometimes in Spanish since I'm wanting a bilingual baby!) and it just warms my heart every time. I am so grateful that God gave me an imperfect person that's perfect for me, and I hope that he is learning as much from me as I have from him.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Traditions

Outside it actually feels like December should today, though I've been in the Christmas spirit since last week. You may not be able to tell if you saw our house. We have out the Nativity set that I played with when I was little, our stockings sitting, waiting to be stuffed and some pretty towels in the kitchen and bathroom, but that's about it. My inability to lift things over 20 lbs and a general discomfort pretty much all the time prevented me from decorating a tree. We're still trying to get rid of things to make room for baby so I just couldn't bring myself to pull out more stuff for just a month's time. I did buy a new ornament for this year; this and the wedding ornament I bought last year will be on a tree next year, I promise!

Been listening to a bit of Christmas music. A friend shared She and Him's album, which I'm liking a lot. Zooey's voice reminds me of Patsy Cline. Tomorrow will be the first movie of the season, White Christmas.

My husband and I are starting new traditions this Advent in anticipation of sharing them with our daughter in the years to come. Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. I'm not big on Santa, so we will celebrate this day instead. Nothing big, but we bought little gifts for each other in honor of this Saint's generosity.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gaga and I love Nebraska

Most of the people who read this blog are my facebook friends so this post may be a little redundant if you were reading your newsfeed last week, but Lady Gaga inspired me to write.

See, I am a GLEEk but a cheap one, so I watch the episodes on Hulu for free, which means I'm a little behind on the most recent episodes. Yesterday I watched the Mash-off episode that featured excellent song and dance, in particular, Gaga's song "You and I" about Nebraska, among other things. So after immediately downloading the song and listening to it repeatedly, I decided to write about our trip back home for Thanksgiving.

If you want beautiful scenery, don't go to Nebraska in the fall. From about November through March it's pretty much gray skies and brown grass. Summers on the other hand, are gorgeous, especially when you get in the country with a beautiful blue sky and green fields as far as you can see. No matter when you're there, you get to see the stars. I didn't realize how much I missed them until I moved to a city where you can see the constellation Orion and that's about it.

Speaking of missing things, I also don't realize how much I miss my family until I'm back. Things just fall into place so easily when I'm with them, despite only getting to see most of them maybe twice a year. Facebook, text, and email make it easier to stay in touch, but there's something about being with the people who've literally known you your entire life, have seen the good, bad, and ugly, and love you anyway. There's no pretension with the people back home, what you see is what you get. They work hard and love their families and are satisfied with what they have.

I also took my husband to my "happy place" (that's not the mall): Memorial Stadium for a Husker football game. The week leading up to the game, he said that he didn't understand why I was getting so excited. Now that he's seen the Sea of Red, he gets it. We ate our Runzas and cheered the Big Red to a victory with 80,000 of our friends. He didn't want to leave, and our lingering paid off; we got to take pictures down on the field, which I'd never done before in the years I was going to school at UNL.

Since this was the last trip back home before the baby is born, my BFF hosted a shower for me. People were so generous in helping us prepare for the little girl. As I was putting everything away yesterday (while listening to my new GLEE downloads) I realized she's going to be wearing a lot of pink, not that there's anything wrong with that!

It was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving, sharing stories, and eating way too much. Hard to believe that the next time we go back we'll have a baby with us.