So, How’s Married Life?

We are coming up on our one-month marker this Tuesday and people want to know: “How’s married life?”

We have spent the first few weeks moving in, unpacking, and looking for crevices in our new place to store all of our acquired treasures. We have honeymooned,  soaked up the sun, and cooked a family meal for part of Fred’s family.

We have fought over little things and big things – Yes, fought! (I know. I have now tabled my idealistic view of newlyweds which involved a lot of time spent one-on-one with a few trips outside of the house to grab a cup of coffee…I’m still coming to terms with the fact that the world doesn’t stop when you’re first married. Ha!)

Our opposite schedules mean that we have been cramming all of our newlywed excitement and learning into shorter periods of time. I wait up for my husband to come home from his “workday” every night and he wakes up early every morning to see his wife off. It was difficult to start (I LOVE my sleep), but the routine we’re building is beautiful. We have one night during the work-week, Saturday mornings, and Sundays (I love Sundays!) to spend together without infringing on sleep schedules – and we take full advantage of that time!

Ultimately, we love being marriedWe have joy together.

Whether we’re taking care of chores, swapping stories, digging into the top layer of wedding cake…uhh…I mean…enjoying a meal together?, or disagreeing about the right way to plan our day, we’re doing it out of this new depth of love and happiness. It’s fun!

We’re fun.

And married life…is great!

Give thanks!

Today I am grateful for:

  • Clean dishes
  • Weekends with Freddy
  • Check marks on my wedding to-do list
  • Sunshine
  • Family
  • Countdowns
  • Gatherings with friends
  • Dark-chocolate-covered raisins
  • H2O
  • Snail mail
  • My fiance’s ability to set me up for success
  • September parties with family
  • God’s plan
  • Ada Bible Church messages
  • Pandora, my workout buddy
My heart is full with room to grow!

Go ahead. Lose yourself in love.

Remember when I used to blog? Yeah, neither do I…

The truth is, I’ve been so terribly busy these days that I just can’t seem to find the time! Those people who blog all of their wedding plans, I’m convinced they’re jobless. Or not planning their wedding. Or much more efficient than I. Regardless, they’ve got something I don’t. So instead of blogging all of the details of my wedding, I’m going to go the other equally annoying route and gush about my beau:

Yesterday, I came home from work on my lunch hour to empty cupboards. Later in the day, I mentioned my misfortune to Freddy. Today, he called me to say he would like to make me lunch if I’d come over on my lunch hour. He didn’t just invite me over for grilled brats and fresh fruit, however; he also hand-washed my car while I was there! All within the confines of my lunch hour!

And do you know why he did that?

No reason.

He’s my favorite. And I’m not blindly won over by food and a clean vehicle. I’ve got lists of reasons why he’s the creme of the crop.

A story:

Some time last month, I was sitting at the bar at one of his restaurants. A woman (whom I was later told was in the middle of separating from her husband) was at the bar drinking with her friend. When she found out that I was engaged (and not at all interested in joining the man-hating movement), she demanded that I tell her what I loved about Fred.

You know what’s funny about love? I could have rattled off a number of things from my lists right then and there, but I didn’t.

I think that when you really love someone and take pride in protecting your relationship, you don’t open it to negativity. I understood that she wasn’t looking for a reason to hope and so I couldn’t bring myself to tell her how I’ve learned that a man (of God) will protect, love, honor, cherish, respect, challenge, seek to understand, listen, and be patient with the woman he loves – and have fun doing it!

She didn’t have the right to breathe her sickly negativity into my healthy relationship.

I decided shortly thereafter that people who make me feel as if I have to defend God’s purpose and match for me are to be treated delicately but without personal sacrifice. Instead of investing my emotion into the conversation, I simply asked aloud, “Why do I love him?” and caught his eye across the room. We both smiled at each other and winked. We held our gaze while laughing and I forgot about the woman’s accusing tone.

You can lose yourself in love, you know.

And that’s not always a bad thing…

My Feet Don't Touch!

I feel like a child right now. I just finished my interview and I’m trying desperately not to start counting my chickens before they’ve hatched.

 I’m just really excited!

This excitement is making it difficult to focus on anything else. I’m currently sitting at a table in the library on the downtown campus rocking back and forth in my reclining chair. Every time I get all the way reclined, my feet can barely skim the floor.

Gah!

One week from tomorrow to hear back about a possible 2nd interview. Keep your prayers steady! 🙂

Emotion: Joy

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

So here are a couple of things: Posting twice a weekend is actually a lot harder than it seems. I’ve been getting out and trying to make the most of each day – which is what I wanted to chronicle in my blog – but by doing that, I pass up prime writing opportunities to get out and see friends or family or get lost in my car for hours at a time. I’m not scrapping my goal, but it ought to be mentioned that it takes effort to meet it; I suppose all that really means is that I’ve chosen a worthy goal! Another thing is that while it’s fun to answer 50 random questions, that’s not the direction I want to take this blog – so questionnaires are out. The former post will be my first and last; those things are better left to MySpace anyway!

I actually have a ton to relay about my week – so I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t sit down on Friday to split this up a little more and catch things while they were still fresh. My mom mentioned today that some writers take notepads out with them and jot ideas or images throughout their day so they don’t lose things. Now I know that’s probably not the coolest thing to do, but I’m considering adopting that into my routine. I figure, I have so much junk that I carry around in my purse currently that it’d be a nice change to have something useful in there taking up space!

This week was a big week. It starts with the weather. Sans my adventure with cross-country skiing this year, I didn’t participate in any exclusively winter activities. I hate being cold. And I’m very impatient in winter traffic. But if Michigan has no other redeeming quality (which would be untrue – Michigan really is a great state, despite the current economy), it does host a change of seasons worth experiencing. Winter may not be my favorite season, but the contrast it provides lends to the preciousness of the other seasons. I think it’s such a natural stimulant to walk outside and feel your shoulders relax when you realize the cold you’re bracing for has dissipated and rather than a sharp cold bite, it’s a warm breeze that you face. Or driving home from work, opening the windows, and getting that blast of hot pavement, fresh buds, and barbeques; it’s a scent that revs my soul. This weather immediately lifts my spirits and I have found myself this week, if this is even possible, smiling a little bigger and with a little more frequency.

It’s energizing – the warmth of the Spring sun. The downside is that it makes sitting in a cubicle stifling. What was once an accepted part of my day becomes an obstacle standing in front of me and the outdoors. It’s not right! Toward the end of the week, I couldn’t handle it anymore so I decided I had to leave early to hold onto that feeling that I’m living rather than alive. That’s when I first experienced the release of tension in my shoulders. I was so pleasantly surprised when I walked outside that I laughed out loud and allowed a skip or two on the way to my car. Mind you, leaving early means leaving at 9:00pm but it was early enough that I felt compelled to call a friend for a drink on an open patio. We ended up sharing a bottle of wine and talking about the things we want out of life. I love how friendships evolve as people enter new stages of life. We’ve been friends but I feel like the past few times we’ve gotten together, it’s been a new friendship. We’ve come to appreciate similar things and look for similar things out of life. I’m hoping over the summer we can orchestrate a road trip together – bringing along anyone who would be open to the idea. I think there are friends you can do that sort of thing with and those you can’t. Better yet I think at an earlier point in this particular friendship, we would’ve been the friends that couldn’t – but that’s what I mean about evolving.

It’s not chronologically sound, but early that day I made either one of the best or worst decisions that I have come across in quite some time. Well, to be honest, I know in my own heart that it was for the best. Those of you who know me well enough know that I have struggled with embracing a career in public accounting. I’m capable. I’ll walk across the stage at the beginning of next month to accept an undergraduate degree from the GVSU School of Accounting and perhaps find a way to use my skills within a company or in an unforseen way, but this week I closed one door that I believe was opened. We had to fill out self-evaluation forms and questionnaires at work to round out our internships and one of the questions simply asked: “Are you interested in a full-time position?”

8 words. Eight simply posed words that could either set the course of my future or derail it. Eight words that potentially employ me in a downtrodden economy or send me packing with nothing more than well-wishes and a few months’ worth of built up leeway in the bank. Though it might seem dramatic to measure these eight words with such weight, let me explain to you what these words mean to me:

If I check “Yes,” I commit myself to an upcoming year in the Masters of Science in Taxation graduate program that I began this past summer. I commit myself to focus on a career in public accounting and set aside winter months and the transition to Spring. I commit myself to studying for the CPA exam within the next year and sitting for as many sections as I can within the shortest amount of time. If I check “Yes,” I can’t do it half-heartedly. My dad has always said to take pride in everything you do, no matter what you choose. If I do this, I’m doing it.

If I check “No,” I shut the door. I tell a company that I have been lucky to work with that I am going in a different direction. I gather up all of the recent encouragement and talks of employment that I have received within the past few months and I hand them back with gratitude and humility. I change course and get off the path that I’m on. I notify my graduate program director and let him know that I will not be attending for my MST. And I walk away. I can’t do it half-heartedly. If I do this, I’m doing it.

And I did. Heart pounding, hands shaking, nervous excitement crackling head to toe, I checked the box and pressed “Send.” I know that my decision was right for me because through my fear, a smile broke out on my face that expressed the lightness I felt in my heart. “Are you interested in a full-time position?” … “No.”

I can’t do things half-heartedly. And if I am hesitant with my future, I run the risk of getting swept up in someone else’s. If I can’t be confident in my decisions, I can’t expect anyone else to be either – and if I’m going to convince others that my heart is being called in a different direction – I better start with my actions.

I can’t help but relate it to my trip to Ireland. My favorite way to explain my trip is as follows: “Two days in Dublin. One day in Ireland.” We took that train to the coast without a plan. We walked through miles of neighborhood and left the paved street to hop a little stone wall overlooking rolling hills which eventually led us down the bluffs to the cool, splashing water. I tell that story all the time but it’s so much more than a retelling of a single day out of my trip abroad to me. It’s a reminder that the best decisions often come from setting aside the plan and veering from the path. Checking “No” brought me back to that wall in Ireland and I can’t wait to get my feet wet again!

It’s a big thing to transition from word to action.

Hello, perfect song. I’m so glad I found you. “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You” Griffin House]

Blessed Easter to you!