Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Funny How My Pathetic Attempts at Trust Always End Up Overwhelming Me With Grace

It occurred to me last night that this move will be doable. I don't know how. I have a very flimsy plan. But all the concerns I've been holding onto so tightly are just slipping away - like when one tries to grasp sand in his fist. The more I voice my doubts, the more obvious it seems that my arguments are weak and pathetic.

I saw the new apartment last night. There is space! And there are closets. And - perhaps - I might even like it better than the current apartment. Maybe.

I also attacked the packing.

First came the list for my mother-in-law and Baby Sister - who are beyond wonderful! They are going to help me pack while I'm at work. I just left them a list of things to pack and they are going to make it happen. When I return home this evening there will be magically full boxes, ready for transportation.

As I was explaining the list to Baby Sister she just looked at me and asked, "And what else?" As in, it really won't take us 3 hours to pack the things on your list - add more to it! Well... Ok... I guess the packing won't take quite as long as I had anticipated. The list increased.

Ryan also informed me that we have two strong men to help us from his Christ Renews His Parish group. One comes with a truck. More blessings!

So, all three of my original concerns are answered: a free truck, volunteer crew, and no penalties for leaving early. I barely moved my will in the direction of trust and I am already answered tenfold. Amazing. Grace.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Moving Madness

We have 5 short evenings until our big move on Saturday - and I'm currently stuck at work where I can only contemplate the tasks at hand. I'm itching to start some real packing!

I'm also covered by a general feeling of apprehension as I watch the clock slowly tick down the last hour of work. We're walking straight into chaos tonight. Who knows when it will end?

Tonight Baby Sister arrives to spend 2 weeks with us before Lilo and Joel's wedding. She's taking a summer course and needs a place to live. But I have to be responsible and feed her! So I must go grocery shopping (Ryan and I have been living off free food in various forms for the last month or so) and then check out the new apartment (we received the keys today) so I can plan on how exactly to move all of our stuff.

Baby Sister has assured me that she is quite excited to be living with us and helping us move. It must be nice to be so carefree! I think she will be most helpful. Well, when she's not working like crazy on her accelerated Intro to Greek language class... But I'm determined to just let the chaos happen and trust that somewhere in the midst of it all the necessary aspects of moving are occurring.

It should be an interesting week, to say the least.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are We Crazy?

Last night Ryan informed me that we are not moving mid-July as I had anticipated, but next weekend instead.

I replied, "Sure, honey, whatever you say. I'll follow your lead wherever you go and do what you think is best because you are my husband and head of our household and you only have our best interests in mind."

Only it came out at little differently, more like, "No freaking way I'm moving in a week."

Did I mention that the intended moving weekend falls between 3 wedding weekends, one of which is his sister Lilo's wedding, and it will be the same weekend that Lilo and Joel move into their new house?

After some tense discussion (in front of his mother and sister too, as we were at their house when the discussion arose) I played the "I'm pregnant, tired, and it's past my bedtime" card to avoid any further discussion. I also tenuously agreed to move in a week, so long as Ryan provided me with certain proofs of sanity insurance: an inexpensive moving vehicle, a volunteer crew, and permission to leave our current apartment early without penalty.

Are we just plain crazy?

Ryan thinks this coming week will be the calm in the storm for his summer graduate work. He doesn't really get a "break" for the summer. And the closer we get to August the more involved he becomes with this masters work. So, moving early means one less thing to deal with in July. He's willing to push through, pack and move in a day, and be done with it.

I, on the other hand, have a great opportunity to surrender my desire for control and trust unconditionally. My head knows that we can do if we have to (because we packed and moved in 3 days last summer), but my heart was so set on having another peaceful month. We have 3 weddings and traveling to do in the next 4 weeks. I just wanted to be able to enjoy myself before I had to think about moving.

And I like our little apartment. Let's be honest. I am comfortable and I dislike change, especially when I don't know all the details. What if the new apartment (which happens to be in a dorm) is not as nice as the one we have now? Last summer we upgraded. It's far more difficult to downgrade. I am cringing at the thought of a bad change.

The silver lining today is that I've decided to follow Ryan's lead and be at peace with moving next weekend. I can shove the whole decision making aspect of the move onto his shoulders and just show up. Right now I don't know how it's all going to work out moving day. But Ryan has enough enthusiasm for both of us. I only have to agree. And God will take care of the rest.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Big Two - Our Second Anniversary

Today Ryan and I have been married for 2 years. That seems like both a long and a short time. In the overall scheme of life 2 years isn't very long. And we hope to be married for many, many years. At the same time, I can't imagine not being married. It's so natural to me - to be Ryan's wife. It feels like we've always been married, it's just so right.

It's interesting to think back on how our lives have progressed in the last two years. Here's a synopsis:
  • May 2006: Graduate from Franciscan University
  • June 10, 2006: Our wedding day
  • June 2006: Move into a new apartment, town, and school; Prepare for graduate school
  • August 2006: Ashley starts a temp job on campus and Ryan's graduate school classes begin
  • October 2006: Ashley begins a brief entry into her favorite ministry, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • May 2007: Ashley's temp job becomes a salaried position, Ryan's stressful 1st year of graduate school comes to a close
  • June/July 2007: Move to a new apartment
  • August 2007: Ryan changes departments and advisors (the best change ever!)
  • September 2007: Joel's accident happens and very long recovery begins*
  • February/March 2008: Ashley & Ryan attend Christ Renews His Parish retreats, and enter into a new ministry with the church
  • April 2008: Find out we're having a baby!
  • May 2008: Ryan's 2nd year of graduate school ends
And coming soon...
  • June 27, 2008: Lilo and Joel's wedding (postponed from December)
  • June/July: Move to another new apartment
  • August 2008: Begin job as Residence Directors and Ryan's 3rd year of graduate school
  • December 2008: Welcome our first baby into the world
*Note: Lilo is Ryan's younger sister and Joel is her fiance. At the end of September he burned over 65% of his body when his car caught on fire while he was changing the fuel line. He spent 6 weeks in a coma, 2 and a half months in the hospital, and they had to postpone their December 2007 wedding until June 2008. This past spring he spent another 6 weeks at the Mayo clinic. He's had about 10 surgeries so far, but the end is not yet in sight. Right now Joel has partial use of his right arm and hand and very little use of his left arm and hand. His face and most of his legs were not burned in the fire - it was his chest, back, arms, and hands that suffered the worst burns. Prayers for our family are greatly appreciated - especially as their wedding approaches. Please pray that Lilo and Joel are able to enjoy their wedding day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

2nd Doctor Appointment

Wow. I am so ready for this next week to be over. Then I am officially in the 2nd trimester. Everyone keeps telling me that it gets better in the 2nd trimester. And I need more energy. Not only is the blog suffering, but my general life is on hold as well. So, I will do the best I can to catch up and restart, beginning today...

Ryan and I went in for our second doctor appointment on Thursday, June 5th. It was actually pretty short. They just gave me the results of my blood test and told me to bring back a food journal for my next appointment. Then we were able to listen to the baby's heartbeat. It was amazing, but surreal - I am not sure that I really feel pregnant yet. I don't think that feeling will occur until I actually feel the baby moving around.

Part of me was a little disappointed that I didn't suddenly feel different when I heard my baby's heartbeat. I guess I had expected some kind of supernatural change to come over me. Other women have talked about it being the moment they felt like a mother. I didn't really experience an overwhelming sense of motherhood. In fact, I thought, "Huh, that's a strange sound coming from my abdomen..." My head and heart are not really connected in the situation. I know I am a mother, but I don't yet know I am a mother.

One thing that struck me this week is the size of my baby. He or she is now approximately the size of a lime. I can imagine all the tiny features on a baby this size. And my stomach is starting to protrude just a little bit (although I still pretty much look like I really need a good ab workout to the general eye). I also found out that the baby will respond to pressure on my stomach. If I poke my stomach, he will move in response. I can't feel it yet, but it's happening. So cool...

Anyway, it's my bedtime now. I need as much sleep as I can get these days. And since I want to have some energy tomorrow, I really need to wrap up my evening pronto. Don't worry - I'll be back soon!