Lots-o-change

So, I told you yesterday that Brian was bragging on me. Gosh– still makes me blush. Anyways… the bragging was centered in large part around the changes going on at my job.

Next year, I will leave the elementary school and go back to being a middle school teacher. We are restructuring parts of our school, so I will still have my beloved 6th grade, but I will also have 7th and 8th grade. I will teach English Language Arts to all three grades, and then teach Bible to 8th grade. It’s another BIG change in a series of BIG changes.

In the last two years I met the love of my life, got engaged, got married, got involved in a new church and a new missional community, moved from south to north Austin, moved in with a MAN and a dog, started at a new job, switched to elementary school, wrote all new curriculum for that position, began turning the bachelor pad into a home for two, got a hematologist and a blood disorder, started a major development program through church, got a new missional community, and now, got a new job.

THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF CHANGE IN MY LIFE.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now. I am much more so than I used to be– that’s for sure. It just feels like I never get comfortable in anything, or else I do and that’s when the change comes. And what complicates this further is that I’m a natural planner– so I plan for all of these futures that never occur.

Our reading last week for Women’s Development was the book of Malachi. In chapter 3, God tells us that he does not change. I smiled when I read it because I learned that verse last semester when I learned about the character of God, specifically God’s immutability, or unchangeableness. God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises (yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations).

This is such a comfort! With all of these changes in position and location and role, my God stays the same. He stays holy and true and perfect– even when I am none of those things and shaking my fist at him that he changed things on me again!

The other part of my life that is unchanging is that I have Brian. I know that some people don’t see marriage as a forever- relationship, but Brian and I take marriage very seriously. We entered into a covenant relationship with God, and that relationship is for life– which I pray will be for many many more years. Our relationship changes, and we as individuals change, but Brian is always there.

After those last two paragraphs, I am reminded that I cannot complain about all of this change. It is my reality– it’s what God has decided for my life. I see the joy in almost all of the changes I listed above, and I can already see joy in this job change to come. No matter what the new school year brings, I have my God and (God willing) my Brian by my side.

Family

Christmas with my family has been different this year. Different, but good. We have a nephew we did not have last year. We’re married now and it’s old hat for everyone.

We’ve had a really good time seeing everyone. Seeing a baby’s first Christmas is awesome, and so was shopping for him. My parents are enjoying being grandparents. All around its been a good time.

But it just feels different because we’re married and I can’t quite explain it. The closest I can get is to say that this year Lindsey and I are our own family. It’s weird, I used to be closest to my parents and my sisters, but now I’m closest to my wife. Marriage really does change things. And that’s good.

Kids

Today I saw my nephew for the first time in months. He’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. He’s also getting so big that I’m afraid we’ll miss out on his cute baby years living so far far away.

I’d be lying if I told you that we don’t see that kid and think about kids of our own. We both want them, and he’s one cute argument in favor of getting the show on the road. But the time is not quite right.

I know that both of our mothers would love to hear differently, but that’s where we are at. Besides, how fun is it to be the aunt and uncle? We get to spoil him!

A much needed weekend

We’re getting close to Christmas and the holiday stuff is heating up while the rest of life may be slowing down. Our packed schedule has been an overdone theme on this blog, but I’m hoping that in the next few weeks that can change.

This week however was not a week where anything slowed down. Lindsey is exhausted and I have not been sleeping well. Pile on a lot of work stuff for each of us, add church and… well, you get the idea.

This weekend needs to be restful. It may or may not turn out be. Lindsey has a test for WDP on Sunday, and I have one on Wednesday. Lindsey has a church thing tomorrow and she will do a lot of studying, but I’m hoping we’re cresting the hill and heading to the downside. Hopefully by the time Lindsey is done with her test on Sunday we can get around to the Christmas decorating that we really want to get to.

Late on a Friday night I don’t have a lot of insight to offer except to say this, I’m glad I have someone I love by my side. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have in fast times and slow. But I’m hoping slow is coming.

Unless you know

I didn’t write about this earlier in the week because I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate or not. However, Brian showed me this article today and I realized that this HAD to be my post.

So, Tuesday afternoon, I’m walking towards my classroom. A woman I’ve had maybe two interactions with before walks towards me. With her hands on her hips she says (and I quote), “Well, if I wasn’t sure before, I am now! The other women and I were talking and I just KNEW you were pregnant.”

(Insert screeching record noise and gasps here.)

Yup. She said that. Nope. I’m not pregnant.

I smiled graciously. “No,” I replied, “I’m not, but we’re talking about it.” I managed to get that out as her hand reached towards my stomach. 

This is not the first time this has happened to me. I’m not a skinny girl. But I was feeling particularly cute that day (up until that point) and I still have NO IDEA what made her so sure. Guess the marriage gut is showing, but seriously, lady? Seriously?! 

This is like Ladies 101. It’s basic. You don’t say anything unless you know for sure. And I don’t usually say anything unless the pregnant person references her own current state of pregnancy. Even then I feel awkward about it.

The woman didn’t skip a beat. She kept talking, though the topic had changed. In fact, I got to listen to her talk for a good ten minutes. I smiled and nodded a lot. I wanted out of there, but I stayed.

This woman had no realization of her incredible blunder. The reason I know not to do something so inconsiderate is because I have the mother I have. She taught me not only this social norm, but also that other people don’t need to see my bra straps and that a thank you card should never thank someone generically for “their kind gift.” But apparently there was no one like my mom with her infinite wisdom in this lady’s life. I just pray she does not victimize other poor women with muffin tops.

No, this woman did not intentionally harm me and she probably didn’t even realize she could have. I understand that. And it probably helps that this has happened to me before– twice in Turkey. And there the humiliation was perpetuated by the fact that the Turkish women who made these inquiries did not accept my response (in Turkish) and would repeat themselves, and touch my tummy and mimic holding a baby. “No baby!” I shouted at one of them in frustration.

But this time was different. The old Lindsey would have taken this really personally. She probably would have skipped a few meals. She would have told all of her girlfriends in an effort to receive obligatory praise and compliments. She would have called her mommy and said bad things about this woman. She would have replayed the event over and over in her head and avoided the woman at all costs thereafter.

I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I told Brian and my close teacher friend at school. Brian was wonderful about it. And actually, I think he has a bigger role in this than I realized at the time. I’m not freaking out about this because this careless comment didn’t ruin me. I’m pretty accepting of myself and I think that’s a relatively recent development. Like, within married-time recent.

Brian tells me that I am beautiful every day. Every day. He literally never misses. And he usually says it multiple times in multiple ways. And I don’t receive his compliments well about half the time, but that never never stops him. I realized this week that his words have sunk in. I am beautiful. My husband tells me so and I believe him.

Brian saved telling me about this article until today. He wanted to be a safe distance from the “incident.” I laughed out loud. It’s wonderful. The graphic is my favorite part. Please people, unless you know FOR SURE, keep your mouth shut!

Crazy-blessed

We clebrated six months last week, so Saturday night, Brian took me to Uchiko.

Uchiko is one of our favorite places. It has amazing sushi and a wonderful atmosphere. It is also the place he took me on the night he proposed to me. I referred to it as returning to the scene of the crime.

We were adorable. We smiled and laughed and held hands. We talked about that night so long ago– how I knew what he was up to, how he had to wear a jacket in order to hide the ring box, the thoughts that were running through our heads. Then we talked about the last six months and how much our lives have changed. We kept telling the other that we loved them. Brian kept telling me how beautiful I am.

On Sunday, I could feel the effects of our date. We needed a night like that– a night to reconnect and remember. Even though we only left the house for church yesterday, we were so in love as I did housework and he studied. We were swoony and smitten and probably gross in the eyes of cynics– good thing none of those live in our house.

I love my husband. I have loved the past six months. I can’t wait for the years and years ahead. We are some crazy-blessed people.

A rose by any other name

I was joking with two teachers about names today. We were making both of their names sound a little ghetto. A little street. Tough. You know, because that’s so necessary where we teach… ;-)

Anyways, at one point, they turned to me. They toyed with my first name. It didn’t work. No matter what you emphasized or how you said it, I didn’t sound like a thug. Nope. Sad.

Then they turned to my last name.

My last name still seems new to me. And in my new workplace, they only know my new name. I’m getting used to it. I can tell because I’ve only slipped up once when speaking about myself in the third person (something I do often in the classroom). Don’t judge– it’s effective for think-alouds.

So they said it. Then they said it again. And you know what? My last name really didn’t sound ghetto at all. Nope. Not in the least.

Then suddenly, one of them turned to me and said that my last name was cool. I smiled. I thought about it. You know what? My name– first or last– will never sound ghetto or tough or anything even close to that realm. But as for the cool part, I would definitely have to agree :)

We missed it!

Monday was a special day. It marked something important for us. Monday was September 10th– six months after the day we were married. But we missed it.

We’ve been crazy busy. I guess with the OK trip this past weekend and all the nutty work stuff, it just slipped our minds. But in true female fashion, I will now make sure we mark it ;-) (A girl’s gotta do what she can to sneak in a date night every now and then…)

So, on Saturday, my handsome husband will be taking me to the scene of the crime– to the place he took me the night I got this sparkly ring and he got down on one knee. I’m pretty excited. I love me some sushi and some romance.

Six months. Sigh. We made it half a year. Half a whole year. It feels pretty epic right now. You veterans are laughing, I’m sure, but it’s big for us. Half a whole year!

For half a whole year we’ve lived side by side, day in and day out. We’ve learned each other’s habits and eccentricities. We’ve experienced a myriad of the other’s moods, highs, lows, struggles, and victories. We’ve been to a beach, some hospitals, the Big Apple, parties, dinners, sermons, conferences, and on errands. We both changed jobs. We both made mistakes.

And every day, one of us sits down to write about it.

Thank you for hanging out with us for the first half a whole year. Stick around. I feel like the adventure may only just be beginning…

 

Rocking chairs

We’re spending a lot of time together lately. A lot.

With me on my summer break and Brian working from home a great deal of the time, we are together a lot. We often have two, sometimes three meals together a day. It’s a lot of togetherness. And you know what it has made me realize?

Brian is my best friend.

Really. Brian is my closest, dearest, most favorite friend. And I love spending time with him. We talk or sit in silence, read our own books or watch a show together, study the Bible together, run errands– and in all of it I realize over and over how much I enjoy him.

I’m reading ‘Real Marriage’ by Mark and Grace Driscoll right now, and I’m sure I’ll post a review when I’m done, but the very first thing they talk about is the necessity of friendship in marriage.

We respect each other and genuinely like spending time together. We know each other’s likes and dislikes– Brian likes sweets late at night and Lindsey likes to eat breakfast right when she wakes up. Brian does not like a post-it note to-do list and Lindsey does not like hearing the person next to her chew their food. Brian is versed in my personality quirks (the myriad of them) and I am versed in Brian’s dreams for the future.

Knowing these things about each other, trusting each other, and just generally liking the other person make us stronger as a couple. It may sound obvious to say that you should be friends with your spouse, but many couples lose sight of the friendship, let it go by the wayside, or do not take steps to cultivate it. Right now, I’m daily blessed by my best friend and the chance to hang out with him and get to know him better. I can’t help but think that the time we’re putting in now is helping to build the foundation we want for the years to come.

Let’s face it– in 50 years when the looks have gone, the bodies are wrinkly, and the kids have left the house, B and I will spend hours rocking back and forth on the front porch. When that day comes, I want sip my lemonade, adjust my dentures, and rock next to my very best friend.

 

Why I don’t recommend marriage

On March 10th everything changed, and Brian became my husband. It’s been amazing. I love being married. So, logically it would follow that I would recommend marriage to a single person. I would not.

Here is what I would recommend…

Marriage is incredible and incredibly difficult. You need to find someone you can share your “crazy” with. If you don’t know what that means, then you don’t know yourself very well. We’ve all got it (though, some hide it and some where it on their shirtsleeve). You need to be okay with their crazy, and they need to be okay with your crazy.

Once you see that it’s a crazy that you can live with, then you need to make sure– darn sure– that this is the person you want to argue with for the rest of your life. Gasp! You argue in marriage?! Yes, dear ones, you argue. You argue, you disagree, and you get frustrated.

Once you have found crazy that works for you and decided you can argue with this person until you’re 80, then you should make sure that they understand marriage is for life– like, really truly understand that it is for life. Husband has a mid-life crisis– you stick with him. Wife cheats on husband– you stick with her. You decide you are no longer “attracted” to this person and just don’t “feel connected”– you stick with them.

I would really like to whole-heartedly recommend marriage to my friends, but after being in it– even just this short amount of time– I can see that this would be wretchedly difficult and nearly impossible if Brian and I weren’t confident with the three things I just mentioned.    So, I don’t recommend marriage, but instead, I recommend waiting for a partner that you really want for life– for good, for bad, and for crazy.

I can deal with his “crazy”, I can argue with him for life, and we’re in it forever. I recommend one of these.