Thursday, February 25, 2010

walking the dog and reflecting on lent

In our attempt to help Loki (the dog) understand that I am "in charge" and that my words should be obeyed, I have been walking and feeding him and we are trying to be very consistent in how we treat him, hoping to teach him that his position in the household in relation to ours (Cesar Millan would say that we are showing him that we are the leaders of the pack.)

One of my favorite things to do it to walk him - be it on a sunny afternoon or at dusk with snow falling softly around us. It may seem a little unfortunate that we have begun our daily walks in the middle of Minnesota's winter but it does have it's advantages:

- there are less people out (because it is freezing), which means less distraction for Loki

- the snow banks on either side of the sidewalk act as physical buffers and visual blinders

- and I am learning to control my voice when I get frustrated

Last week as we were walking, I watched him, trotting along by my side with the leash dragging in the snow, listening to my voice, and frequently turning his head up and to the right, looking at me. He is learning - that our words need to be obeyed and that his place is at our side.

And it was a good word picture of what I have been thinking about lately: looking for my place in relation to God's greatness.

How do I worship and praise my God, who is eternal and supreme? who commands the seas and the winds? who forms babies and grants me each breath? How do I fear him, giving him the reverence and honor worthy of my God, King and Creator? I don't know ... I want to walk by His side, obediently, frequently turning my head, looking at him. I can't fathom his greatness and if I did contemplate what I can understand, I believe I would live each day in awe of him and that my life would be different.

Monday, February 22, 2010

after a ski weekend ...

200. "valentine's week" last week. my husband cooked and cleaned. :)
201. and I accepted his help (which is sometimes hard for me to do)
202. my husband's cooking
203. mango lotion
204. changing my name at work
205. the beginning of lent
206. a road trip with friends
207. skiing for the first time this year! yay!!!
208. laughter
209. meeting new friends
210. good conversations
211. ron ray, who planned the weekend
212. fabulous Thai food
213. being greeted by Loki when coming home
214. back rubs
215. inside jokes
216. soup simmering on the stove
217. clementines (on sale). how many is too many to eat in one setting?
218. watching the Olympics
219. mid-week coffee with my friend Jackie
220. putting up pictures on the walls of our house
221. oatmeal. welcome back into my life.
222. being intentional.
223. friends that understand what it means to work night shifts and give me the space for my sleepy state of being that follows
224. God,
225. his sovereignty
226. and his compassion.

again, multitude monday is an idea from here

227. learning how to do that -- using a word to link to a website. (that was one of my goals when i signed up for blogger. yep. seriously.)

Honeymoon quotes and pictures

Olema, California

"Today our flight was three hours delayed and then we sat in front of a crying kid the whole flight. Now we are having trouble with the rental car but it doesn't matter, I couldn't be happier." - Chris
(that was the only glitch of the whole trip)

later that evening, while driving the windy-ist road we have ever been on, in the pitch black, through the redwood forest north of San Fransicso:

"wouldn't it be great if I tossed my cookies in the rental car on the first day of our honeymoon?" -Rachel
(I didn't but was fairly car sick)

"make sure you close the gate or the chickens will get in." -the info given to us by the owner of the cottage where we stayed the first night.

"We have learned that, when tasting wine, it is a good idea to dump your glass into the craft even if you like it so that you can drive afterwards." -Chris

Napa, California

(couldn't flip this pic)

- garmin

"There hasn't been a Ghirardelli factory here for forty years." - the woman at the info booth
(all was good though as we had an ice cream sunday)

San Fransisco, CA
"This is California's forth major storm system in four days" -the weatherman
(we saw lots of rain but that was it. one flooded road and we used the umbrella that we packed every day.)


Monday, February 15, 2010

after a work weekend ...

183. Glistening snow.
184. Slippers
185. Remembering the joy of a hobby (knitting)
186. A "good morning" from a patient who had been non-verbal all night
187. Friends having babies and friends who are going to have babies.
188. warming my feel against my love when I climb into bed in the morning. (i'm not sure HE is thankful for this but it is really nice of him)
189. Wet Task wipes at work. I have this ritual of cleaning my work area and then the surfaces in my patient's room before starting to work. it makes me feel better, working in a germ infested hospital and all.
190. The Lambeau mugs the Michelle gave me. I use them work and they make me happy.
191. Sunrises over the Mayo buildings downtown.
192. the lunches my husband packs me
193. phone messages from my brother -- the only form of communication I think he believes in.
194. not paying for our valentine's evening activities. don't get me wrong, someone did but we did not. (thanks Gina and Erik!)
195. my co-worker reading to me from a funny book on a night shift
196. nice residents
197. the spot bot. We bought this little carpet cleaner with gift cards from the wedding and I used it to clean the stairs last week ... i scrubbed and cleaned the stairs and just for fun, went over the bottom step again, to see if the water was any cleaner and the water was still black (blech - but I guess the comes from not cleaning them at all, except vacuuming the last two years). and i sat at the bottom of the stairs thinking that it would make sense to go over them all again. i did not. it made me feel all "wifey" and the stairs are cleaner than when I started.
198. grapes
199. clean sheets on a freshly made bed

Saturday, February 13, 2010

trusting ...

Before our wedding, I had kind of put off thinking about moving to where my husband (I love calling him that!) gets accepted to doctoral school. ... moving ... school ... moving ... new job ... new house/apartment/neighborhood ... did I mention moving? I think it was sort of a coping mechanism - my life was going to drastically change with our marriage and I didn't know if I was prepared to contemplate another big change. I have always felt at peace about the situation and I believe my trust was genuine then ... even if I didn't flush out my thoughts and feelings completely. And now, after our wedding and the first few weeks of our marriage, I have taken some time to think (and feel) about this change coming up.

I do this now knowing that the big change of our marriage has (so far, graciously) been a smooth transition, an answer to prayers - ours and many others. I can see God's faithfulness and provision for us during this season of change. We prayed and talked about and prepared for this time, and I think God has blessed that. And knowing that has helped me approach this:

I LOVE my life.

I like, Rochester, yes. And the bike trails along the river.

I like my job, yes. And my co-workers and the Healthy Dan.

I like my house, yes. And playing in the dirt in my yard. And that my house is becoming our home.

But I LOVE the fact that when I walk into a room, I don't know which person to hug first.

I love the times when my house is too small to hold our friends.

I love being an hour from my parents and about two minutes from his.

It makes me sad to think about leaving. That is kind of an understatement - I feel like going into mourning when I think about leaving. And, then, thankfully, I am able to think past the initial sadness. All too often I get absorbed in the emotions of a situation which causes me to not think clearly about that situation. Anyway, I digress.

While we will (hopefully) be selling the house, the people who have filled it and made it HOME will still be present in my life. And I find comfort and joy in that thought. It will change our relationships but it wont end them. I find comfort in that truth. All of the things in my life - my job and house - are meant to be for God's glory and it is good for me to remember not to hold them too tight. He is faithful and will provide for my relational and emotional needs. I trust this now and I choose to trust this as we wait to find out where he gets accepted and then as we prepare to move.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

161. French press coffee. Holy. cow. It is like super coffee.
162. Knitting baby hats.
163. days off
164. moving, sorting and purging
165. a fire in the fireplace
166. evening walks as the snow is softly falling.
167. snow pants
168. candles

(yes, from Christmas)

169. being a dog owner
170. being taught consistency from being a dog owner
171. the excitement of said dog when i simply get up in the morning

172. Finding new meaning in verses memorized long ago

173. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11:28-30

174. New plates
175. Grocery shopping with my husband
176. Let's face it: doing anything with my husband =)
177. quiet mornings
178. seeing the sun after several days of clouds and snow
179. listening to Michael Buble
180. meds that make my husband feel better
181. an answered prayer: a baby's heart healing
182. the quilt made for us by my aunt.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

with a grateful heart

144. Looking at pictures and remembering the last few months:

145. Watching Chris cook with his niece and nephew.

146. B family dinners

147. Red gumballs as the holly in the centerpiece during such a dinner

148. The last two dates with my fiance and being proud that we intentionally made time for us during the busy wedding planning.

149. The sight of dozens of shoes of my family members as they all crowded into my house.

150. Friends who come over after church to "just stop by" and stay for hours as we decided to finish watching Battlestar Gallactica.

151. Going back to work after being away for awhile ... looking for the "new normal" after much excitement and change.

152. Finding the "little white box" which contains microscope slides that are important to a little boy across the ocean.

153. Shoveling. it's like playing in the snow for grown-ups

154. Listening to the TRUTH: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

155. Excitement over a coming ski trip with friends!!!!!!!

156. Icy trees

157. Biking at the gym on the cool bikes.

158. A fantastic Friday evening: girlfriends, chicken garlic pizza that was $2 after coupons, and several episodes of 24.

159. A dog that appears to be sleeping but as i walk by her little tail wags.

160. Writing thank you notes as I am reminded of everything we have been given, material items but more importantly the people behind the gifts and our relationships with them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

my "top ten" favorite moments of our wedding

134) At the end of the night, one of Chris' friends gave me a big hug and told me that he has never seen Chris so happy.

135) Right before I went down the aisle, our friend Ian: "I am SO excited! You are beautiful."

136) One of my aunts (and I can't remember which one, which is a little disturbing but some of the day is a blur) told me that she had fallen in love with Chris because of the way he looked at me ... especially as I was coming down the aisle.

137) The dance with my dad.

138) Our friends and helpers. We were blessed by the many people who used their gifts to help the day run smoothly. From our family and friends who were our attendants, pastor(s), musicians and ushers, who decorated the hall, helped put together programs and tied the napkins, took pictures and prayed for us and supported us. I believe the day is a good example of Christian community working together and I am blessed by everyone that was involved.

139) Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.

140) Jill, our friend, my personal attendant, rocked! She has organizational/attention to detail-like gifts and an amazing, calming spirit. And (yes, she is too good to be true) she is great with kids. I will remember playing "I spy" with the little girls before we went into the church.

141) Chris' mom kept calling me "Mrs. Brenna" at the reception - and I guess I am!

142) Our vows.

143) My husband!! =)