Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bruce, Bruce, Baby.

I haven't actually taken the time to craft a legitimate Bucket List, but there are a few items that are on this not-yet-existing list that are complete no-brainers.  One of those items has always been:

Attend a Bruce Springsteen concert with my Mom and big sister, Lindsay.

Why, you ask?  Well, I grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen. My Mom has always said, "I've been in love with two men my entire life, Bruce Springsteen and my husband, and I married one of them!".  My favorite Christmas songs are Bruce's and I've always loved watching my Mom dance and sing along to his music.  I could go on but basically, Bruce Springsteen sang the soundtrack of my childhood.

It just so happens that Bruce is on tour right now, and was in Detroit a couple of weeks ago.  I found out a little late, though, and my Mom had already made plans to see him there with her hubby and some friends.  I was a little disappointed, of course, but knew that he's a legend and I would probably still get to see him some day in concert.

However, I underestimated my Mom's 'fun gene'.  Just a few days after he performed in Detroit, he was scheduled to perform in Cleveland.  I jokingly mentioned to Mom that we could drive to Cleveland on a Tuesday night (a 4 hour drive on a work night) and was shocked when my Mom called on Monday night and said, "Well, do you want to go?  I'm going to get us tickets!"

We all decided that fun trumps sleep and with my pending departure, there is no time like the present to make a great memory!  We bought tickets and left our little town in West Michigan in the early afternoon to make it in time to see The Boss in Cleveland.

and let me just tell you, IT WAS SO WORTH IT.

Of course, we didn't quite make it home problem free.  At about 3:00am and an hour away from home, we got a little visit and souvenir from the Michigan State Police.  He delivered our ticket with an apathetic, "Sorry to put a damper on your night".  (Though I highly doubted the sincerity of his apology!)  

I am just so thankful for the fun experience and that my Mom has been a living example of what it looks like to seize life and make the most of every moment!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A lil update for my blogging friends :)

Hi friends!

My last post was a bit of a downer blog, I know, but I'm determined to stay authentic and honest during this transition to a new home in a new country. Thank you for your grace and encouraging words, I appreciate them immensely!

I am really super happy to share with you that Josh and I are officially 100% funded, which means that we have full clearance to head overseas!  We sent in our visa paperwork on Monday and are waiting for the "go ahead" to buy our plane tickets!  Hooray!  Hoorah!  It's finally here!  At this point, we are looking at May 14 or 15 as our potential departure date.  We decided to wait until then for several reasons:

1. We have friends getting married on the 11th and 12th and we thought that would be very much worth staying for.

2. I will finally be out of my first trimester that week!

3. Waiting four weeks will give us proper time to decompress from fundraising as well as sufficient time to say 'goodbye' to our friends and family here.

Overall, we are feeling super confident that this is the best plan for us.  All along in this process I have simply trusted that God would work things out for us to leave exactly when we are supposed to, and that is precisely what's happening!  In fact, I just remarked to Josh the other day about how our original plan of starting to try for a baby once we arrived in our new home was completely flawed.  Now that I am experiencing what a first trimester is actually like, I am SO thankful that I didn't have to go through it at the same time as adjusting to a new life/culture/home/language/diet.  That would have been too much for my delicate heart and exhausted body to handle, and I am just thankful that God knew me better than I knew myself, and timed everything so that we will be leaving at the start of my second trimester.  Grace, I tell you,  grace!

As far as pregnancy symptoms go, I am under the impression that I am experiencing a bit of an easier trimester than most, which only makes me feel worse when I handle it poorly!  I truly didn't know that this was the level of exhaustion I would be functioning in, or that my sense of taste and smell would change so much, or that I would have a nearly constant bad taste in my mouth (imagine sucking on a penny after every meal and that's about what it's like), or that I would just feel downright lousy on most days.  Still, I am so incredibly thankful to share that today I am officially 9 weeks pregnant.  Every day I get to be Momma to this little baby is a great day, and I am so thankful for the ease of pregnancy I have had so far.

and I suppose the last bit of news to share is something that I've known for a while but have been putting off writing about because it makes me sad.  When we move, I'm going to have to stop most forms of social media, most disappointingly, I'm going to have to stop blogging.  I've known this for a while and I suppose it's been responsible for my lack of regular posting the last couple of months.  I don't know if I will be able to pick it up again at any point during our 3 years overseas.  I do know, however, that writing in this space has been excellent outlet for my creativity and has been an intregal part of my emotional and mental health/sanity the last few years.  There is something about writing about life that helps me to make sense of what I'm feeling, or to see the meaning and reason behind life's best and worst experiences.  That being said, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do to continue writing.  I'm thinking about just creating a private email list that will essentially still be blog posts, they will just be directly sent to friends/family/anonymous readers (I know you're there...)  Once I figure out exactly what I want and will be able to do, I will let you all know!  

If you've made it all the way to the end of this post, then you deserve at least one picture.  How about this one, of my sweet husband delivering flowers, a card, and tiny baby socks the day after we found out we're expecting?  Ohhhh it just melts my heart every time I look at it!  

Monday, April 9, 2012

A few honest thoughts about moving, change, and time travel.

I've been thinking about this 'secret' from the Postsecret blog quite a bit lately.  

Recently, I asked Josh a simple question, but one that I have found myself repeating over and over in my head.

"Do you think that right now, the life we are currently living, is the happiest we will ever be?"

Because I've gotta tell ya, our life currently is filled with so much love and joy that I can't help but think the answer to that question is a big, loud, resounding "yes".  This - right here - is the happiest we will ever be.  Not that it's all down hill from here... I just keep thinking that, at the end of my life, if I could time travel to any phase of my life, I think that the one I am currently living in would have to be an excellent choice.

My family all lives within a block of one another.
Josh and I are so so so happily married.
We are expecting a baby!
We have the cutest pup.
Our family is alive and well and healthy.
We have rich, deep friendships that fill our lives with meaning.

I just... I don't know how it could get better.  Maybe once I meet this little one I will, but right now I'm just standing in awe of the moment that we are living.

and I think tonight I'm feeling a little sad because I can feel the moment slipping away from me.  Brian and Kyrie (my twin brother and sister-in-love) are moving to California on Thursday.  I am so happy for them and so proud of them and so excited for them, but this is going to be one of the first big goodbyes that I'm going to have to do.  Brian and I have never lived more than 45 minutes apart and now we will, quite literally, be on opposite sides of the planet.  Separated by a 12 hour time difference!  Their relocation marks the end of a glorious 10 months where we all lived so close together we could walk to each other's homes in less than a minute.  Quite honestly, it's really sad to think about.

Did I cherish it enough?  Did I take it for granted?  I don't know.  All I know is that I have about 5 weeks left to enjoy the rest of the life we've built and created here and then it's time to start over from scratch in a new country.  Please don't misunderstand me, I'm excited about the move we are making, I just think that tonight the not-so-exciting part has hit me rather hard.  Plus I'm pregnant so... emotional double whammy.

Tonight, as I allowed myself to cry over the fact that my dog isn't going to be my dog anymore, I started thinking about the fact that people much braver than me blazed trails for the gospel in places much darker and remote than we are moving.  Did you know that the first missionaries to Sierra Lyon packed their belongings in caskets, knowing that they were never coming home but would end up being sent back in them?  Does that not BLOW YOUR MIND?  As I cried tonight I thought about them.  What did they know about Jesus that I don't?  What gave them the courage to leave under those grim circumstances, and I'm a blubbering fool who will be able to Skype with my family hours after I land in our new home?  What am I not understanding about the gospel that they got?

I'm going to make the most of the next five(ish) weeks.  I'm not going to let myself fall prematurely apart (although I'm fighting tears for the 4th time while writing this) but I am going to imagine, probably a lot, that I've time traveled back and am re-living this brief season of complete joy in my own past.  Perhaps it will help me get a full grasp on how blessed I really am, and help me to squeeze out every ounce of life that is left to be lived here.