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lucky 13

It’s national women’s day today. We did not know when we picked a wedding date, whose only qualification was to match our spring break, that we picked National women’s day.

I, personally, find it fitting. It’s not often talked about, accepted, or PC to talk about the way a husband supports and maintains a strong woman. There are so many examples of how abusive men hold women down, push women down, and try to strip us of our strength.

But that isn’t the whole story. Those negative examples do exist, but so do the positives. There are men in relationships with women who support them and build them up. Men who compound our inner strength by combining it with their own. Some men know a strong man does not need a weak woman to ‘balance’ them. They know two strong partners make a partnership stronger.

Today marks 13 years since Bycemaster and I began the process of learning how to pour our strength together. It took many years from the day we walked down the aisle promising to love each other through sickness and health, richer or poorer, and all of the in-between, to even begin to figure out how to be strong together. I am also certain we’ve more to learn.

We started deep in the poorer, two college students making no money and have travelled to the bills get paid and there’s some savings! We’ve had many years of health and are now walking through a season of sickness. There are some serious health concerns going on with Bycemaster’s family of origin right now. Things I don’t feel are my place to share here (but we’d still love prayer!)

But the sickness is also within our own family. It started last Saturday with what we now believe was a massive panic attack. It unfortunately did not stop there. Bycemaster has continued to have weakness and shaking as well as continuing attacks almost everyday, many days more than one. He is moving forward, but it’s been a 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of dance, and treatment feels slow to take affect.

It’s been debilitating to watch, I can only imagine what’s its been to experience. Life has been slower since. Most everything outside our home has been cut. There’s been lots of sitting, lots of holding hands, lots of breathing together as we wait for the anxiety to lesson and his heart rate to drop back down.

These past few years especially, as we’ve walked this adoption road (more than 2 years since we started researching agencies) I’ve rested on, relied on and channeled his strength for my own. Through my identity crisis leaving the office to come home and our homeschooling transition (and continuing journey!) I’ve relied on him to hold up my arms when I could not go on. I would often hear top executives at work talk about how they never could do it without their wives there to support them. To be honest, it felt like lip service at the time. But I’ve felt it in action. I know, my greater strength comes not from me, but from us. As I’ve watched him ‘down’ this past week I almost didn’t remember how to go on, on my own.

I know I’m never truly alone. I know God is always there for me. Even know He’s given me little reminders lest I forget. I also believe he’s given me this partnership. Functioning without it’s strength has been a stumbling, draining process, but it is one I feel honored to do.

This man has been my rock through so many break downs, family drama, work insecurities, baby struggles and a whole host of anxious thoughts. He’s been there for me to lean on and cry on. He’s prayed for me and leant me his strength so I could go on. There’s been relatively little in comparison where the roles have been reversed. So even though it has been so hard to see him ‘down,’ and even though it’s been hard to single parent and take care of him for the last 11 days. Even though I’ve had my own moments of breakdown and fear, I am honored to be able to lend him my strength as we lean on God together.

We promised lots of things on this day 13 years ago. Things neither of us knew much about. Life has a way of teaching, if you let it. It has imparted much wisdom and much love.

I would marry him again in a regular or racing heartbeat. Here’s to lucky 13!

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and the rain came down part 2

So I put off taking the phone out of the bag for just shy of 40 hours. I would have left it longer, the longer it’s in there, the longer I can hold onto the inane hope that it will start again. But Neil ripped the band aid this morning, and it’s gone. Surprise.

I’d already decided it will not be replaced with another smart phone, dumb phone, maybe, smart phone, no. I probably should have made this decision a few fixes ago, hindsight is 20/20. Neil is getting the latest iPhone when it comes out, in less than two months, at which point I can have his current one. I’m tempted to do without a phone till then. We’ll call it a modern day social experiment! We have an old, old, old iPhone, I would still have that for 911. I have facetime on the iPad. I mean when I was making a list (yes I actually made a list) of things I’d need to do without my phone, making calls didn’t even occur to me till #15

1. tell time outside – watch (would need to replace batteries or buy a working one)
2. period tracker (sorry guys, but this is essential!) – regular old X on the calendar (to later be confused with our X on the calendar for school days!)
3. couponing apps – Neil’s phone or iPad (thankfully I’d just submitted all my current stuff this weekend)
4. runs – le sigh, old school here will be hard, map miles before, add to website, music (I don’t know if I want to walk on the dark side here, can I run without music?!!?)
5. publix ad – iPad again, been making this switch anyway
6. Bible – it’s been a lot of years, but I could go paper again
7. ereader – this one will be hard, but I can steal the iPad from the children (Jena, reading over my shoulder as I write, gave audible protest to this one)
8. weather – it’s summer, the weather will be the same for another two months, my addiction won’t return till fall
9. music – computer for home, and I guess we’ll be all Story of the World audio for the car, 19 hours of fun!
10. facebook – computer
11. camera – been wanting to use the real one more anyway
12. gps – yeah i’m pretty much screwed here, no new places without Neil!?
13. banking – computer
14. texting – iPad when home, when out, screwed again
15. phone – family and friends can skype or facetime with the iPad, thank God the mortgage is done

So there’s my list, with comments, of course (who would I be without comments!). Am I forgetting something vital? I feel like I hit most of the things I use daily on my phone. Since I mostly work at home, this seems like it will be mostly a non-issue. However, when I leave the house, things start to get problematic. Granted I’ve gone months without leaving before, you can reference here and here to see why I was stuck in the house for almost 5 months. I’m not certain this situation calls for another house arrest. Perhaps a new places house arrest? Am I taking the social experiment too far? Perhaps, but the thought of making this some sort of experiment is actually somewhat exciting, I mean, I am nerdy like that. I need something to make me excited about this people. It sounds kinda freeing, to not have a phone for a while. I’ll have to relearn a whole different way of doing things. I’ll be a pioneer! (kidding, kidding, I know not having a smart phone is not the same as being a pioneer….) However, I am sure there are less extreme versions of the social experiment that would be acceptable as well.

So that’s where you all come in, help! Suggestions? Am I completely overlooking something major in my post phone traumatic state here? (not to be confused with real traumatic stress, you know, that actually matters) What do I have for options? Do you want to see the social experiment? Do you want to give me a phone? (kidding, kidding, maybe) Do you want to give me encouragement? (yes I know you do, so please do so, out loud, that’s why I love you people) So do what you all are so good at, help me please!

cause I don’t have enough to do

So I have announcement, one that I fear may confirm everyone’s suspicions that I am, indeed, crazy. We’ve decided, or rather I’ve decided and used my magical powers of persuasion to show Neil that he should decide too (which he did, I make a convincing case when I believe in something) to home school. Why? Well because I get bored easily and I need a challenge, ha ha ha. No really, I’m beginning to wonder if that isn’t the real reason, though I have an entire page of other more legitimate reasons (part of that convincing case). It really boils down to family lifestyle. Right now we have the availability to not have our family life consist primarily of running from one place to the next and not having our kids see each other near as much as they want to (yes they actually WANT to play together, most of the time). So seize the day! right? Right?

Anyway. For those that are already homeschooling I would REALLY appreciate some pointers.

I know I need to send off a letter of intent, but after that…well there seem to be a lot of options after that. What did you chose and why? What are the differences?

And curriculum pointers please, specifically reading. I am a bit nervous about that one. I learned young enough that I don’t remember a thing about the process, so I’m starting from scratch! But some sort of Bible that would cover all their ages somewhat would be fantastic as well. Anything else you’ve absolutely loved or feel has helped you out in your process, I’m all ears! Advise away, I’m asking for it! Now how often does someone actually ask for advice, seize the day people!

moving on up…the street

We’re moving! The end of a stressful crazy housing saga will be coming to a close in just a few short weeks. But I have not been blogging in oh forever so let me back up.

Before the holidays (read MONTHS ago) we were having dinner with my parents. My dad was talking about how he wants to diversify his retirement, stocks suck, property good, something official, like that. One thing leads to another and they are asking, since we currently rent, would we rent from them?

At this point alarms are going off for the wiser, more experience lot of which I will now count myself. But past tense us gave it little thought before saying sure, why not? Oh I don’t know, because looking for housing is a nightmare, looking in the foreclosure/short-sale market is a special breed of insane, pleasing 7 different people with one home is virtually impossible, the area we live in is blowing up right now, and I really didn’t want to move AGAIN. Yeah those might possibly work for a few why nots. Those did not become apparent however, until months into this process when I am beyond stressed out dragging umtine kids to look at places left and right that were nice, but I felt guilty I could not make “it.” But it doesn’t matter now, because this morning an offer was finally accepted! And it’s NOT a foreclosure or short-sale so an acceptance actually means something!

We are moving about 5 units up the street from our current place. I am losing a bit in the kitchen, I like our current floor plan better, and it has oak cabinets everywhere (that will be changing eventually!), but I am gaining a balcony and a garden tub and extra space in the kids’ bedroom and even a bit of a lake view, which will trump the upcoming construction this place is slated to get across the street. Neil has always liked that floor plan better, and happy wife happy life! But, you know, the man version…I couldn’t think of anything catchy. Nothing rhymes with husband…busband, rusband, loveland! Wow that was special. Moving on.

I haven’t got to the best part, it’s move in ready. I mean it’s painted and upgraded and significantly cleaner than this place! It looks like no one ever even used those bathrooms, and there’s no fingerprints or scuffs on the lower portions of every wall…is that what houses with adults only look like?

I am so relieved it’s all over, the move seems like nothing compared to the search. Now that it’s over we are very grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to the move. There really was a win-win out there.

I am a bit puzzled as to how you do this type of move though. I’m not exactly experienced with in neighborhood moves. Do you rent a truck for a move up the street? Borrow some pick ups? Create an assembly line? Walk it down? I suppose we’ll find out! Anybody have a longtime dream of becoming a mover? I have an opportunity for you, and I’ll even feed you..something. It will hopefully be the last time for a very long time.

signs of a baby turning big boy

See that scribbling? It is no longer all over the page in random circles with no heed paid to lines already drawn on the page.

He has graduated to concentrated scribbling.

My baby is gone.

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