Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Things

When we moved I knew that things would be hard and then things would get better. And then, suddenly, without warning, the homesick-ness would slap me and demand to know why I had forgotten about it because it is still very much there. It was a strange combination of things that caused that to happen.
We had two couples over for dinner last weekend and it was lovely - nice to cook with Chris for other people in our house, exciting to get to know these new friends better, and fun to teach them a new game. At one point I realized that it seemed a little strange as they were waiting for us to be "hosts." Apparently (of course!) entertaining is different when it is with people you just met vs. friends who have shared your life for several years. Why I didn't realize that before that evening is beyond me but I think I recovered enough so that it wasn't awkward. And while I am so thankful that they came and they were very polite guests, it made me miss that people who have "fridge rights" in our life and who will sit at our table and drink wine while we finish cooking and who help themselves to whatever they want.
Then, a few days later we accepted our buyers counter offer and we now have a closing date for the end of October.
 I AM thankful ... and (to be honest) also sad and relieved and frustrated that we will lose money. It is the last physical thing that ties us to Rochester and while I thought I had dealt with most of the sad feeling about moving and selling the house, having a date, a finite ending of that phase of my life, is sad. 
And so, Monday night had me curled up on the couch with a black ball of sleeping warmth in my lap wearing smart wool socks, sipping good earth tea and watching 24 on netflix.  Comfort things ... coping mechanisms. I'm not sure it is a grand idea to list the things I miss ... so I will do it only once ...  I miss my yard and the dirt beneath my hands ... I miss my old job for so many reasons ... I miss our friends (the things above are in part comfort things because they remind me of them) ... and dinners at Mom and Dad Brenna's ... and worship at Salt and Light. I know that I miss these things because they are good, because I am blessed, because God is faithful. He is faithful and will continue to provide, in this place, in this phase of life. And my gratitude list will continue to grow.
And so, for today ...
934. being thankful when it is hard
935. family
936. friends
937. my handsome husband's sweet kiss as he gets out of bed (and I get to sleep for much longer)
938.calling Chris' parents "Mom and Dad B" ... somehow, in the last few weeks, that has begun to stick and I like it. =)
939. I am thankful that our house will be sold next month. It is an answer to prayer and an example of God's provision.
940. New friends around our kitchen table
941. and a mostly successful "mission" to convince them that they also like board games  =)
942. yummy smells from the crock pot
943. Walking the dog through neighborhoods - instead of just apartment land
944. the smell of fall air
945. chunky peanut butter inside the kong, helping to keep Loki quiet while I sleep
946. Chris' listening ear as I talk/vent about my work schedule
947. fantastic deals at local grocery stores. (HyVee does not compare!)
948. encouragement from a woman I hardly know
949. hoodie weather
950. comfy socks
951. tea in my favorite mug
952. truth touching my heart
953. a leisurely walk through the orchard that is a few miles from our apartment
954. planning when to go home next
955. planning fun things to do with friends when they come to visit!!!
956. the cappuccino yielding house supervisor from last tonight
957. finishing P90X workouts and knowing I am getting stronger because of it
958. and ... ummm ... skipping P90X and going to get ice cream ...
959. spending an afternoon with my grandma
960. the flexibility to adjust schedules in order to have quality time
961. long conversations about money, the next few years, and what is really important to us
962. mornings when i get to fall asleep in my husband's arms
963. An improvised cookie recipe turning out okay -- our oven isn't working, we didn't have milk and I wanted to make them healthier - and, after all that, they are pretty tasty.
964. reading my sister-in-laws blog and knowing that we share the same feelings from moving even though we did it in different countries for different reasons and in a different stage of life.
965. layering clothes
966. the hat for Chris taking shape beneath my hands

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner @ the Brenna's

Some people have recipes that have been passed down for generations before them written in their grandma's handwriting with directions for "to feed a family" and "to feed an army." Some people use recipes from television shows, where it inevitably takes longer to make it in a normal kitchen where chopped garlic doesn't magically appear in a bowl. Some people use recipes from Good Housekeeping or the Food Network magazine where the recipes have been tested and tried under various conditions, using substitute foods and methods.

I have my own recipe. It reads like this:

1. Fall in love with a man who loves to cook.
2. Marry him.
3. Do your best to pick out the things he needs from the store.
4. Compliment him.
5. Encourage him to try new things and cook for dinner parties.

So, here's what we've been having for dinner:

Speaking of dinner parties, we had a mystery dinner for some Rochester friends awhile ago, the menu had items such as: "plant naked pain", "cruel beer me", and "sporadic poet carpets." We had a great time cooking up some good food: deviled eggs, cold cucumber soup, barbecued ribs and creme brule. And watching them try to figure out what to "order" and putting together their plates was a lot of fun too.


Friday, September 17, 2010

wow, it's friday already ...

901. amazing meals made by my husband
902. spending an afternoon with my sister-in-law
903. time to recharge work-flattened batteries at my in-laws house. (Rochester peeps, we were in Roch less than 20 hours, which is why you didn't hear from us)
904. beginning to look ahead (after a few weeks of just going week to week) and seeing the fun things we have in the words
905. working two weeks of day shifts/orientation classes
906. random connections
907. country music on the radio and 80 degree days in September
908. waking up in the morning well rested
909. lots and lots of throw pillows, soft and colorful
910. seeing our house in Rochester, empty and looking good, feeling a little sad and knowing that it is okay
911. my kind co-worker and her husband who took us to the Brewer game - first row seats behind the dugout. I'm afraid it will make all other trips to Miller Park seem boring
912. Realizing that my great idea to avoid the highway (specifically the 894-94 interchange) like the plague may be a little over board and successfully driving to Marquette by myself on those roads
913. menu planning with Chris for two dinner parties coming up: one with people from his school program and the other for Rochester friends when they come to visit (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY!!!)
914. my friend's nice, pregnant belly -- SO excited to meet Baby Ely in October!
915. and another friend's news of another Spring baby next year
916. coffee with my cousin for Arizona at my grandma's house
917. plugging in a CD of old favorites on a short road trip
918. trees turning from green to cold
919. the game of Caylus taking over our kitchen table

Dear Rochester

Dear Rochester,
It has been a month since I have had a 55906 zip code and a bit longer since I have had a purple acorn tag on my license plate, a sign to the people in the know that I work for Mother Mayo. In many ways it was a hard month as I pinned for the calm, familiar things and streets that run north-south and east-west and kind of make sense and the easily accessible bike paths. I especially longed for the many friends that lived within 10 miles of my home and the dinner, coffee dates, walks and game nights that provided.

As I longed for the things of "home" I realized that I could either long or choose to be thankful, praying that saying good-bye and this transition and the things of my past will help me build a strong and vibrant future. 

There is comfort in knowing that we will be back. We will be back to visit family who are like friends and friends who are like family. We will be back (hopefully soon) to sign our house over to it new owner. We will be back for birthdays and Christmas and vacations -- and, even though it will be different, we will be back for dinner, coffee dates, walks and game nights.  We will be back, indulging in the oasis of my in-laws house and eventually bringing tiny babies back to be loved on. (don't read anything into that sentence, okay?)

The honest to goodness things I am leaving behind -- the electronic signature in patients' medical record, the various flowers planted in one small plot on East River Road, the epithelial cells and sweat on the bear creek trail -- don't compare to what I have taken with me even though they did contribute to my quality of life. (that is SO a nursing phrase)

In a strange and hopeful way, I hope that leave Franklin/the Milwaukee area hurts as much as leaving Rochester did ... because then I will have been involved, I will have connected, I will have lived

and I will have loved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

simple things

883. the cool air creeping into our apartment ... a reminder that fall is coming
884. monarch butterflies
885. nice, soft (and new) carpet
886. an afternoon alone to read
887. stretching ...
888. ... after working out with Chris ... P90X ... Bring It!
889. meals that don't involve turning on the stove
890. pictures on the walls
891. getting to know new friends
892. a quiet dog
893. finding some proper biking paths
894. fewer mosquitoes
895. wearing my favorite clothes
896. cold water in a sweating glass
897. the abundance of food in our fridge and pantry
898. hearing Chris' wedding ring clink as he washes the dishes
899. a job that I really like (even though it seems like I don't know what I'm doing all the time right now)
900. a fun evening planned - date night and Loki's adventure all rolled up into one ... so I must get going!