Monday, May 28, 2012


If you've been keeping track, you must be aware that my job is ending soon.  If you've been paying attention, you'll know that is quite a cause for celebration.  If you know me in real life, you might perceive how petrified I am.

For the last 3-4 years, my life has pretty much been all about kids.  Babysitting, classes, nannying, student teaching, mini-teaching, more classes about how they learn, how to teach them, and then nannying some more.  This is my comfort zone, even if I'm unhappy in it.  I know kids, I'm good with them, and I can ace any interview involving them. 

And now.  Now I'm getting ready to venture into this completely unknown space where there are no kids and none of my knowledge base matters.  I'm so. so. SO unbelievably ready for this place, but I'm also scared out of my mind that I won't be welcome there.

I know my personality.  I'm a hard worker, I love learning new things, and I am organized and professional to a fault.  But personality doesn't show up on a resume, and so as I read job descriptions and begin to think about the application/interview process, I have never felt so unprepared for something in my life.  The idea that I'm not actually technically qualified for jobs in most any area outside working with children, and that therefore someone will have to be willing to take a chance on me, is, well, unnerving to say the least.

However... my fear has forced me into an unusual place.  I pray all the time about this situation, knowing that for me to find the right job for me in this time in my life will take nothing short of a miracle.  It's nothing I can do on my own, because I don't have the skills and experience needed.  So I pray before, during, and after I look at job descriptions.  I'll be praying later today as I try to piece together a resume that focuses on skills acquired but doesn't include wiping noses (or butts for that matter), teaching the alphabet, or my repertoire of children's books.  I'll pray over each email, phone call, or interview, knowing that only with God's help will I end up with something that makes me happy.

I will not allow myself to settle for another nannying, preschool worker, or babysitting job.  I am determined to be patient (not my strong suit...sigh) and wait on the Lord while He does the work of preparing me and my future workplace for each other.  And wouldn't you know it, in all that praying and practicing patience and forced reliance on God, I'm feeling a little less afraid and a little more hopeful.

When I have good news, you'll be the first to know. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Step Closer

I've mentioned briefly before how I don't want to portray my marriage as some perfect union of two people who just love and love and never screw up.  Because it isn't, and thank goodness for that (I think).  I want to be honest about the ups and downs so others feel comfortable being honest about theirs.  

So.  With that lovely intro, last night, the huverbee and I had a Talk with a capital T.  This was a unique talk, because I had been putting it off for a while.  Lately, I've been feeling very unhappy in our marriage, and I had adopted this attitude of resignation, this feeling that things would never get better and so I just needed to adjust my expectations of happiness and stop with all the pity parties.  It was totally unfair to both me and the heebab, and so last night I finally gathered the courage to open up.

A big piece of the fear I felt toward this particular conversation actually stems from the amount of love I have for my dear beloved.  I was well aware of how my feelings portrayed him as the bad guy, and I was terrified of hurting him.  I never want him to question my love/commitment for him, and I was so scared that's what his response would be.

Out of this fear and unhappiness came something absolutely beautiful, a revelation about each other that has the potential to change the way we interact.  But woah Nelly, let's slow down a teensy moment.  Let's set the scene before we jump in:  I wrote a while ago about love languages, and how people seem to view them as a magic marriage-saving potion.  I've also mentioned how silly I think this is.  BUT as I was reading a book on marriage, I was reminded of the quiz I wrote about that told both me and hulzer that our love language was quality time, yet I never feel like he wants to spend quality time with me. 

As I mulled this over, I was struck by a thought that was later confirmed by our Talk.  Ok, you may re-enter the scene.  So I asked this man who is my husband, "Husband, when do you feel like we are spending quality time together?  What does that look like for you?"  And he proceeded to tell me that he loved watching movies with me, or watching a Blazer game, and even gave me some background about why those things feel important to him, bless his unusually talkative heart.

Now this may not seem like a revelation to you, but oh my stars, it explained so much!  You see, quality time to me REQUIRES conversation.  It absolutely must include some form of deep, meaningful communication, or else it's a bust.  If you are laughing to yourself at the way this must play out, you are one smart cookie.

On a normal night, this is what might happen.  I will be sitting in bed on the computer, and the H will call from the other room, asking me to join him on the couch in watching TV.  I will respond negatively, feeling like he is trying to "cheat" on our quality time together by just having me sit next to him while he watches the game he would have watched anyway.  But what is really happening is that he is asking for my presence, asking me to show him love by wanting to be next to him and participate in this activity with him, even if we're not saying a word.

Are you seeing the light, my friend??  It rocked my world to be honest.  If I go sit with him and watch a show or a game or a movie and know that I am satisfying him, serving him, loving him, then it's all worth it.  It completely changes this meaningless activity into an easy and wonderful way to serve my husband.  He's not cheating on anything, but simply trying to tell me how to love him.  And I'm finally listening, hallelujah and amen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Good Advice

So there I was, letting Pinterest suck the day away, when I came across this fantastic article full of marital advice.  I swoon for this type of thing, so of course I immediately devoured the entire thing.  It's full of some atypical advice, most of which I heartily agree with even after being married for less than a year.  

There were several that were very poignant (ok fine I teared up at a couple STOP JUDGING ME AND MY FRAIL EMOTIONS!), but one really hit home for me:

10. Stop thinking temporarily.

Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given. It sounds obvious, but really making it a given is hard. You tend to think in “ifs” and “thens” even when you’ve publicly committed to forever. If he does this, I won’t tolerate it. If I do this, he’ll leave me. If I get fat. If I change jobs. If he says mean things. If he doesn’t pay more attention. It’s natural, especially in the beginning of your marriage, to keep those doubts in your head. But the sooner you can get go of the idea that marriage is temporary, and will end if certain awful conditions are met, the sooner you will let go of all kinds of conflict and stress.

In the devotional that my hooboo and I are currently reading, they talk about how Satan will most definitely try to attack your marriage because it's something that is so precious to God, and can be such a powerful witness of your faith.  I can identify without a doubt where I have felt attacked in our marriage, from even before we tied the knot.

I read a lot, you see.  Blogs, books, newspapers, magazines, pretty much anything I can get my hands on.  And you know as well as I do that marriages are no longer the commitment that they used to be, what with that 50% thing hovering over them.  So even though I am 1,000% against divorce (especially after being in the middle of one as a child), it still gets in my head.  It seems like everywhere I look, people are cheating on each other with the tiniest provocation, and a seed gets planted in my brain.

Sometimes when I'm having an especially bad day or Monsieur Winn and I are having a particularly distasteful argument, I can literally almost hear Satan's voice whispering in my ear.  

"You better let him buy that ice cream/electronic/video game, or he'll start building resentment toward you, and you won't even be able to look at each other 5 years down the road."

"Nagging again?  He might get awfully tired of only hearing criticisms and seek out someone who is a better listener."

"He didn't kiss you goodnight?  Maybe you should have changed out of your pajamas today...""

It's super hard to put these in writing, and I shudder just to think about them.  I'm not saying all of these don't have a nugget of truth in them.  I do need to let him splurge every once in a while, but he's also benefiting in so many ways by my good money management.  I do need to cut down on the nagging, but occasionally he really does need a reminder.  And I probably shouldn't stay in my pjams all day, but I'm allowed the occasional day of doing nothing.

The lie behind all of these is that my adoring husband would leave me at the slightest sign of a bump in the road.  And if you know him at all, you understand how ridiculous that is.  He is fiercely loyal, and if I allow myself to admit it, he's as crazy about me as he was when we first met.  

I love being married.  Of course it's not always super fun and perfect, but I love having my best friend around all the time and having someone to lean on when I'm not doing well.  Reading that advice today reminded me that it's ok to trust that God put us together for a reason, and to have faith in my H's capacity for love.  

So the next time I hear him at the door while I'm still in my sweats, I'm not going to give in and feel guilty about it.  I'm going to giggle at how comfy I am and invite him to put his sweats on too!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Moment

Last night, I had a "moment".  I threw my hands in the air and said these words to my heebab in a mildly insane voice: "Sometimes I just want to be immature! I want to turn on hip hop music and shake my buns, I want to have photo shoots and giggle, I want to have a farting contest!"  Yes, friends, this was my moment.

Let's back up a teensy bit.  I had had a really long day at work, got home and immediately went grocery shopping and started dinner, only to realize the dish I had picked out (and started) was going to take too long to cook and we had somewhere to be.  I then proceeded to throw a tantrum (aren't I a gem?) while my ever-patient huzzah threw some pasta in a pot.  

Then we went to the church so Sir Boy could run sound for worship practice, and I just felt tired and off all night.  Cue "moment" on drive home after I realized how insanely boring I must appear to all those around me.

During college, I felt so incredibly free and happy to just be myself, and now I am still struggling to find that.  We've lived here in Portland for almost 10 months (woweee!), and I still don't feel like we have any friends who I can truly be myself around.  I have small talk or even serious conversations with people, but we never share a joke or have a wee little gigglefest.  I can't steal food off of their plates at restaurants or sing them the made-up songs that are always in my head.

I'm tired of being so serious all the time; I'm even boring myself.  But I guess in the past I always let the other person be weird first, waiting for permission to show off my self-created genius choreography to that song on the radio.  How do I cross that little bridge of polite behavior, when I really just want to burn it to the ground and do a jig on its ashes?

I think I'm pretending to be a grown-up, even though I still don't feel like one.  I don't have any answers yet obviously, but my wise man-mate suggested this solution: 

"Let's go home and do all those things then!  We can dance around and play games and giggle."

Exasperated me: "It's not quite as fun when it's just the two of us."

"We can have our cat join in!"

Dear Lord, there's no hope for us.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hey Hey Vacaaaay

Well friends, I definitely left you hanging, didn't I?  My apologies for the lack of action around these parts, but I had a vacation to plan and attend.  And it was wonderful.  Heavenly.  Perfect.  All of those annoying adjectives.

Hubra and I have been planning this for quite a while now, ever since we got our generous tax return.  We both needed it because our jobs are not our favorite, but the boy especially was in need because he had a very long week before we left!

In short, he had to work this phone from Monday-Sunday, starting at 5:30 on weekdays and 24/7 on Saturday and Sunday.  It was the worst!  He was stressed about it and it woke us up in the middle of the night more than once (okay, fine, twice, but still).  Needless to say, some time away was extra beneficial for him. 

Anywhoooo, we went and spent 2 days in Tillamook, Oregon and spent the other 2 in Oceanside.  Here are some fancy pics from the week!

Stopped in for a wine and cheese tasting!

Toured the factory and got some ridiculously amazing ice cream.

This happened, of course.

My favorite place on the trip!

We climbed that dune and those cliffs!

About halfway up.  Notice those tiny people at the bottom!

The view.

Waaaaay up high on the top of Cape Lookout.

Mitch found me the first 4-leaf clover I've ever seen!

There was a paragliding conference in town!

We went kayaking, I think it was Mitch's favorite!

Our beautiful oceanfront hotel room with a jetted tub!
 The best part was that we had set a $700 budget for everything- food, souvenirs, lodging,  activities, gas, all of it.  We spared no expense- ate out, went kayaking, drove 40 minutes just to eat at a restaurant we'd heard good things about, and still came home with $84 leftover!  It felt so good to be able to enjoy ourselves without worrying about the money- a taste of what's to come when we're debt free someday.