Saturday, March 29, 2008

5 Years Later. . .

Today is Casey's and my fifth anniversary. Five years ago today, we vowed to love each other and be one flesh for as long as we both shall live. We celebrated last month, when Casey's mom was in town to watch the girls. It was our first overnight alone together since we've had children (over 3 years!). It was quite wonderful to have time just to ourselves. Casey surprised me with a dance lesson at a nearby dance studio on the way to dinner that day. I was completely taken by surprise, which has been difficult for him to do most of the time. He's really getting the hang of this surprise thing. This is the second time this year that he's done something I never had any idea about until it was happening. Even when we pulled into the parking lot and I saw the studio, I thought to myself, "That would be really great to do sometime, take lessons together." But of course it quickly went out of my mind as a possibility for us that day, since it would have required planning and it is expensive, and we were already spending a pretty penny for our night at the Tamaya Resort. With buying a house and keeping our old one, Casey was feeling the financial pressure, and he is very financially responsible, so of course it was out of the question. After we parked and started walking away from the car he told me "Oh, and we're going to have a dance lesson before dinner." I almost cried. Casey has known since before we started dating how much I love dancing. Any time we have a chance to (at a wedding, usually), I beg him to dance with me. He isn't confident in his dancing ability (even though he's good when he does it), and doesn't like to do things he doesn't know how to do very well.

That 40 minute private lesson was a great surprise, and told me that he hadn't forgotten how much I love dancing, even though it isn't something I talk about much anymore. And it meant so much, knowing how outside his comfort zone he must have been. Placing my desires above his own because he remembers what I enjoy and wanted to do something that I'd really like. (He had looked at some jewelry and decided against it, then thought of the dance lesson. A much better choice, I must say. He knows me.)

Thank you, sweetheart, for 5 wonderful, loving, fun and challenge-filled years. You are my best friend, and you're still the first person I want to spend time with at a given moment. May God give us many more years together, and may we grow to love one another more with each passing year.

It's a Boy!

My sister's husband called in the middle of the night to say that my sister had the baby around 11:40 p.m! All I know so far (I was a little out-of-it when he called) is that his name is Caiden Alexander and he weighed 7 lb. 11 oz. and is 20 inches long. I hear through the grapevine that she only pushed 15 min. (5 pushes!) and he was out! I'm jealous! What a "textbook Bradley" birth! (Things Bradley almost touts as to be expected if you do it their way! I imagine the Bradley website would love to post her birth story. This exact kind of story is why I took Bradley in the first place!) I'm so proud of her/them. They are so excited (and tired)!

This very much leads me down a mental path I'm already on called: "The longer you wait to go to the hospital, the less time they have to mess with you and derail your birth." I've been told this, and am a pretty firm believer in it by now. One common theme among many of the people I know who acheived their goal of unmedicated birth (in the hospital) is a short stint in the hospital while laboring (anywhere from a few minutes to 6 hours or so). Of course, there are exceptions on either end, but in general, this is what you can expect: the longer you labor in the hospital, the more interventions you'll have.

I really cannot express how excited I was to hear that her experience was a good one (as far as I know--can't wait to hear every detail she wants to tell me!). I really never know what to expect when someone I know gives birth. This was such good and relieving news to me! Congratulations, you two!

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Baby Sister's Having a Baby!

My littlest sister (8 years my junior) is having her baby very soon! Her husband called at 9:30 to say they were heading to the hospital--she was in labor. I left a message letting him know that whenever she did have the baby, we'd be one of the ones who wouldn't care what time of day or night they called, and he called back saying that he was getting the stuff from the car. She had been admitted and was 7 cm! She's been laboring all day at home (I'm impressed)! How much more fun is it to get to the hospital and be shocked that you're so far along, instead of shocked that you're only 2 cm? Anyway, he said she's coping well w/the obviously strong contractions and hasn't mentioned wanting/needing meds. So far, so good. I hope for her sake that the next few cm are not slow-going. Hubby's totally excited and encouraging; comfortable w/the birthing process and tackling his role in it. Surely that is a help even when a woman experiences really strong contractions. I'm proud of them. Don't know if I can sleep tonight--so excited. Wonder if it's a boy or girl. Casey says girl (just because it bothers Brett to say that).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Drama Junkies, etc.

Ever wonder if you're the only one who has a hard time dealing with certain people? It seems to me that some of the people that I find most difficult to deal with are not in the least bit of a struggle for others to not only spend time with, but they actually seem to enjoy their time with them. I wonder what's wrong w/me? It's not that I can't get along w/them--I can "get along" with practically anyone--it has more to do with feeling like I need to detox after spending time w/or talking w/them for any lengthy amount of time. And it's only a couple of people in my life that I feel that way about, but it is such a big struggle for me to understand why I have such a hard time w/them and what I should do about it!

The main temptation is to not be gracious, to call them on it and just say, "Get over it." or "Believe me, your life is NOT that hard, if you consider this is a major problem." Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who speaks her mind, and people just knew that. So much of my struggle is with not daring to speak my mind, and instead having the thoughts just build up in my head of things I wish I had the boldness and (gracious way) to say.

It seems that the few people with whom I struggle this way have several things in common. Issues like a lack of truth and integrity. I never know how much is actual and how much is exaggerated or half-truths. Drama junkies, too. Everything's either way better or way worse (usually the latter) for them than for anyone else. Things that are completely normal that probably many people deal with without freaking out about it are a huge deal that require tons of attention and talking through and false alarms and crying wolf, etc.

Energy-suckers. I feel like the very life has been drained out of me if I spend too much time talking w/them. I find it's just better the less I know about the lives of these people, since so much of what happens to them has everything to do with the choices they've made, and I want to yell, "COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!" because the problems are generally miniscule in the scheme of things. Part of why I've written out some of my experiences (my birth stories are a good example) is because I don't necessarily tell people everything that is happenning with me or what difficulties I am currently dealing with on a particular day (or even a big event). If someone asks me how my week/day was, I will usually respond positively. Even though there may have been several problems I encountered, I usually consider the problems normal and par for the course. In fact, I have a feeling that what will eventually make up most of my blog postings will be expressions of struggle in some way or another. Just as a way to vent, per se, since I don't really do that verbally. (My poor husband is the usual exception to this rule: he knows so much more about me than anyone else. I will express to him thoughts or feelings that I would not think of expressing in a normal conversation with a friend.)

I think in some ways, my blog will become a "this is how my life is, if you really want to know," chronology. Someone who doesn't spend at least an entire week living with and observing us would have no idea many of our experiences or what we do, or the fact that we have problems just like any other family. Not that I'm not real w/people. I'm willing to admit my shortcomings and struggles with my own character issues to any aquaintance, and that our family is not in the least bit perfect. But the whole "my life is so hard" stuff is just not really part of my verbal expression. Life is hard. Everyone has difficulties and struggles in some way or other. I'm sure my life is quite average for people who are in a situation similar to mine. And I don't assume that my life is crazy out-of-the-ordinary. That being said, it may not be very apparent in my postings that I am this kind of person, since I will probably start to sound like "one of those people" I can't stand. So you didn't get enough sleep last night, huh? And this surprises you why? Oh, because you thought someone had promised somewhere that moms were supposed to get a good 8 hours uninterrupted sleep after the initial newborn phase? And your kid is throwing up, is he? And he was so unthoughtful as to keep doing it throughout the night? And not even warn you beforehand? And he's 2 and this is the first time you've experienced this? (Be thankful he hasn't done it on a regular basis till now!) And your daughter doesn't listen when you tell her to do or not do something? And you're too tired to discipline? Struggling with consistency, because it would mean getting up and doing something about it just about every 5 minutes?

I can totally relate. I think that's my point. My life isn't that much different, I just don't always need to verbalize what is surely an average mom experience at some level. But perhaps I do, and perhaps that's where this blog comes in.

Anyway, just a late-night musing/ranting. Ah, sleep awaits. (And no, the next post will not include me whining because I'm so tired, since I made a choice to do without sleep.)