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Showing posts from 2013

Public Displays of Affection

During the Thanksgiving Joseph and I were engaged, I was chatting with my future mom-in-law at the kitchen counter. This was the second time we had met and the first time we had really gotten to spend some time together. The topic was, of course, the wedding, and how Joseph and I had met. My dad-in-law overheard us talking and stepped in to enjoy the part when Mom was telling me about meeting him. Their eyes met and they exchanged loving glances across the counter. They grinned at each other like a pair of newlyweds. (You know that scene in West Side Story, when Tony and Maria see each other on the dance floor and suddenly the crowd around them fades to black and it's only the two of them singing to each other? Yeah. It was like that.) I giggled and slid quietly off the bar stool and let them have their moment. They celebrated 30 years of marriage last month. 

Just this past weekend, Joseph and I were holding hands and enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas at the mall when a …

Mamma Mia

The house was quiet. The fire was warm. The coffee sweet and creamy. The sun peeked out behind the changing leaves of an autumn morning. My mom was sitting next to me and we were quietly chatting about the day’s plans. I felt like a little kid again. Like I wasn’t married, or had a child of my own, or had even ever left home. It was nice for a moment to be my mother’s daughter and to simply enjoy the simple things we loved to do together.
My mom and I had always been very close when I was a child. I was her only daughter. She was my hero. I remember the sound of her voice singing me to sleep as a very young child and reading me books as I got older. I remember the smell of fresh laundry as she took it off the line and the smell of her perfume when I snuggled up to her on the couch. I remember the late nights she spent helping me study for a spelling test or holding me when I was too sick to sleep. But as I grew into a teenager, we started to drift apart. I had very different ideas of …

Opposites Attract

There are many moments when Joseph and I look at each other and wonder how we ever became friends, much less spouses! We are as different as two people can be.

For example, Joseph likes to play during the day and get work done at night. Many times I have been heading to bed when he has just started to pull out his tools to start a project. Ugh! 

I like to wake up early and get my work done and then relax in the afternoon and go to bed early. My poor husband has been pulled out of a deep sleep many mornings by a very energetic wife ready to start the day! 
Is it fast, high, and dangerous? Then Joseph considers it relaxing. My idea of relaxing is, well, relaxing. Not inducing a heart attack. I prefer a card game, a cup of coffee, or my journal. 
I could be alone all day and be happy as can be. My husband would curl up into a ball and die without people around him. 

When Joseph considers a purchase, his first question is "Is it fun?" My first question is "Is it necessary?"…

Great Expectations

I was frustrated. Every time I put my paddle in the water, the voice behind me would tell me I was paddling too fast or too slow or too crooked or too straight. The voice was my husband's, sitting in the back of the kayak with Lydia sitting in her carrier on his chest. I muttered that he could paddle his own darn boat if he was gonna be so picky. But he didn't hear me and instead fussed at me for not putting my paddle in the water enough. After the umpteenth time of being told what I was doing wrong I slapped the paddle on the water and snapped, "Leave me alone!" His reaction was to repeat all the wrong things he saw I was doing in a louder tone. Thanks, man! Like I didn't hear them the first time.


I was used to steering a canoe full of campers who didn't know their left from their right. I always knew where we were going and how long it would take to get there and back, and where to avoid rocks and shallow water. I knew how to tell my camper in the front when…

I Will Survive

Some days my heart has an all-out-no-holds-barred personal pity party, complete with the worlds saddest violin music playing in the background. I mope and complain and walk around and let every little thing get at me. I sigh. I cry. I wonder why I don't fit in and why things can't just be normal. I then gripe to my husband, my best friend, and the Lord. I want to run away. I want to start over. I want to not have to deal with [enter situation here] anymore. Everyone else in the world is so happy, and nobody understands me. 

I was telling the Lord about my latest tale of woe--how angry  I was at my husband for taking me and our brand new baby so far from everything I knew and loved (I was so angry, for a few moments I had honestly considered buying a plane ticket back home) --when I heard him abruptly stop me in mid sentence. He very tenderly but firmly reminded me of military women, bravely raising their children and keeping up a home without seeing their husbands for months at…

Love Is All You Need

I will never forget that moment:  I didn't need a doctor to tell me that was a little girl crying. It was delicate and feminine. It will remain forever ingrained in my ears. The most beautiful sound I have ever heard!

I will also never forget thinking "this was not the way it was supposed to go." I longed for my child to have been born at home, into her father's hands. Instead she was born emergency C-section. 
I was ecstatic about having a little girl (especially since Joseph and I were both sure Lydia was going to be a Daniel!). But I was internally struggling with the idea that my body had failed. My faith had failed. I had failed. Again. As a woman. As a mom. Old memories of losing my first baby girl reemerged with a vengeance. Why couldn't I get this pregnancy and baby thing right? What was wrong with me? 
I don't know what I would have done without my husband during that very vulnerable time. Joseph was the one who sat with me through every contraction. He…

Coming Home

It's good to be back. To write again in my blog after nearly 7 months is like coming home--cozy, warm, familiar. It's like walking in the door and being greeted by the smell of coffee brewing and the feel of a strong hug.

It's good to have a place to return to when you've been gone for a while. I am 600 miles from home at the moment. My husband, new baby, and I traded the warm southern suburbs for a quaint town in western Pennsylvania. It's where he grew up. And I understand now why he wanted to return. It's beautiful here. Mountains, rivers, lush green everywhere. Crisp, cool air in the evenings.  Farmland sprawling as far as you can see. Amish country. Things are homemade. You eat out less and stay in more. You can drive from one end of town to the other in 15 minutes. And everywhere you go, people are on bikes or out for a stroll. You can get to almost anywhere on a bike. Or by kayak. The creek runs along the entire length of town.


Life is significantly slow…

Go Create!

I was soaking in the tub a few days ago, admiring my big belly and dreaming about the little person inside, when my thoughts turned to how amazing even that very moment was. I was taking part in the very act of creating life even as I breathed in and out! The sheer wonder of that covered and filled me and all I could do for a while was marvel at the beauty and wisdom of my Creator. What an honor to be a woman! What an honor to be carrying a baby! What an honor that the Lord doesn't just have babies pop out of the ground or grow out of cabbage heads. They develop and form IN us, and most days I don't even realize what a miracle that is!

Then I started thinking about one of the most wondrous creations of all--myself! There is no one else like me. No one that loves the things I do or can do the things I can do. I started to get excited when the Lord started to show me that I could do whatever I wanted to do. I could open a food business with my love of cooking, or an organizing bu…

Sacred Vows

I was chatting with a friend about the state of marriages in our world today, and we were both so saddened and frustrated by it. She is single, and she feels that every day her hope for a beautiful relationship diminishes. All around her married people are cheating on each other, leaving each other, and going on to the next spouse seemingly without any remorse. What is the point of even being married in a world like that?

I was raised by a very old-fashioned mom who taught me a lot of things that I resented in my youth and now am so thankful for. Without either of us realizing it, my mom did a great job of teaching me discretion, graciousness, and tact. And I have recently come to find that these things all stem from a deep understanding of what things are sacred and intimate and to be treated with extra respect.

There are many subjects in our American culture that should have been kept sacred that have become public. We don't even notice it anymore, because we are surrounded by it…

Happy Birthday!

Marriage Is Not for Wimps turned 1 year old last week! I honestly never thought I could carry something this far without getting bored, but all your encouragement, support, and feedback has kept my love of writing going. You all are some of the best readers, and I look forward to another year of sharing married life with you!

I do apologize for going over a month without writing anything. I'm at the very end of my pregnancy and the nesting instinct has taken over, so all I want to do is clean, organize, and stock food and baby things like it's the end of the world!  But I certainly want to make sure I write about the many joys and challenges of being married and pregnant before my little person comes into the world. Because then, it will be a whole different story!

Here's to another year of Marriage!