two years

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Front of the churchI’m a bit late in writing up this post, but I was off celebrating our anniversary with my dear husband. :-)

Two years ago today, Paul and I stood in front of our church, our friends, and our family and repeated the sacred vows, promising to be committed to each other for the rest of our lives. And what a fun two years it’s been! We look forward to 20, 40, 70 more years together!

This morning on my way to work I listened to our wedding CD. It was so much fun to hear those words again. I think I liked the ceremony the best – it was exactly how I wanted it. I uploaded a few video clips from it on YouTube (I apologize in advance for the shakiness of the camera – next time we’ll know to find a tripod!).

My bridesmaids (Amy, Tree, Melissa, and Beth) processed in to the theme song from the “Anne of Green Gables” movie. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece, and I could listen to it over and over! I am including the video here so you can listen too. :-) And see the pretty bridesmaid dresses! (My mom made them!) (In order that you see them: my sister, Amy; my college roommate, Tree; my college suitemate, Melissa; and my childhood best friend and matron of honor, Beth… and then a few glimpses of Olivia, the flower girl and daughter of my college suitemate, Beth :-))

My matron of honor, Beth, found out the night before our wedding that she had to do a toast during the reception. I think she did a great job and it was the only time I cried on my wedding day. :-)

The best man toast by Isaac was also great and entertaining. (You hear the story behind the string ball!) :-) And around 3:24 is the song he wrote and sung for us, which I highly recommend you listen to! (He said he would record this and have it to us in 2 weeks… now, two years later, I’m still waiting, Isaac! ;-))

Digging through my archives:
Obligatory last post – written the day before our wedding
Reader, I married him – reflections about the wedding
Time flies when you’re having fun – the vows we said to each other at our wedding
365 days – one year later
Flickr photo album – highlights from our wedding


jeans

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I just want to say that today at Target, we found men’s jeans – ready for this? – size 28/30.

I know, I didn’t think they came that small either!

(For those of you who don’t shop for men’s pants, that’s a 28 inch waist. And you wonder why I feel fat around my husband!)

It was SOOOO great to see a pair of pants fit Paul! I’m doing a happy dance. And praying that we have the same luck as we try to find some khakis and other work pants for him. :-)


we did it

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We submitted the application to join the CARES team – the first step in this process! Your comments were so encouraging, and convinced me that I don’t have to be the Outgoing Extrovert to do a good job. I am excited, yet nervous! We’ll see what they say! (We need to find 3 references too!)

We are praying that if God doesn’t want us to do this, that He’ll close doors. We still have to be accepted by the organization, and then matched with an apartment complex that needs someone about the same time that we’re available. So God has plenty of chances to close doors, though I hope He doesn’t!

I’m getting excited about this opportunity. :-)


decisions, decisions!

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I mentioned that we have currently been deciding what to do about housing coming October when our lease is up. We have three options (stay where we are, do an apartment ministry, or buy a condo) and we decided to break up the three options so they somewhat stand alone. Options 1 and 3 are very similar, because both involve renewing our lease. Also, we don’t have to decide between the two until October at the latest.

The other option is being a part of an apartment ministry team. We need to decide this soon, by mid-August when we have to give our notice to our current apartment if we will be moving out. We are going to make a decision about whether or not to do this first, before we try to bring in other options and confuse ourselves! :-)

I contacted the people from Apartment Life to get more information, and let me tell you, it sounds like a great program. Talking to them on the phone really dispelled some of my fears, namely about the comfort, security, and location of the apartment. She said they would give us a choice based on our preferences. She also said that almost all the apartments are in more affluent areas, and in places where we’d be able to live without fear for our own safety. We could be picky about where we wanted the apartment to be – she didn’t think it would be a problem to request a complex near a train station. She also talked more about the program itself, and I was pleased.

I want to take the idea of free rent out of the equation, and treat it more as a perk rather than a reason. I don’t want to pursue this just for the free rent, but rather because we want to serve the people we’d be living with and ministering to.

It sounds like fun. I picture myself in the position: working hard, putting together a welcome package for some new residents. Making a card, baking some cookies to include. Printing out a list of things in the area, an invitation to our next apartment-wide get together.

Then I imagine myself putting it all together in a little bag, tying it with a pretty bow, and setting out for the apartment of the new residents. I imagine walking up to the door…. and suddenly fear takes over me, I set the bag down, knock on the door, and run.

Oops.

See, that’s where my most major concern is (actually, my only concern at this point). I might be outgoing in a group of people where I know each other, but I am SO shy when it comes to new people and new situations. I’m friendly if you approach me, but I’d rather die than approach you. (Of course, if everyone had a blog, then I’d be fine. Blogging makes it easier for me to meet strangers. ;-))

I’ve been somewhat introspective recently, because I am trying to figure out myself and decide whether or not I could handle being put in a situation where my job is to meet new people and make friends. The planning and organizing part of the job sounds like SO much fun! I already have tons of ideas, and I want to do them all NOW! :-) But the thought of building those new relationships makes my heart tighten. I look at how Paul and I are – we go to a newlyweds Sunday School class every Sunday morning, and we’ve made a few friends that we feel comfortable with. But if our friends aren’t there, or they are talking about football, we go hide in the corner and talk to each other. We usually have a conversation that goes like this:

Me: “We should talk to people.”
Paul: “Yes, we should.”
Me: “How about that couple over there? They look nice.”
Paul: “Yes, they do.”
Me: “You go.”
Paul: “Me? It was your idea.”
Me: “Yeah but I don’t want to go.”
Paul: “Neither do I.”
Me: “So we’ll just stand here and talk to each other.”
Paul: “Sounds good to me.”

Yikes. The more I think about it the more I wonder why I’m thinking I could handle something like an apartment ministry! The commitment is for 18 months, and I am just so scared I’m going to be SO burnt out before we get close to being done. Paul said that is his gut feeling too. I think the thought of meeting new people terrifies him even more.

And just to complicate things… Logically, aside from the shyness part, I would totally do this. I like everything else about the program and think I could handle all other aspects. And it is a ministry. Doesn’t God promise to equip us and not worry about it? Didn’t He tell Moses to go lead the Israelites out of Egypt? And when Moses protested, God provided his brother Aaron to speak for him? Am I just making excuses? That my faith is weak?

I don’t feel that God is telling me to pursue this, but I don’t feel the opposite either. A friend told me that if God wants me to do this, then I won’t be able to get away from it. I don’t want to ignore an open door because I’m scared, but I don’t want to intentionally put myself in a stressful situation for 18 months.

Paul and I realize if we say no to this, we’ll probably never get this opportunity again. However, we also realize that there are lots of opportunities to minister to those around us; it doesn’t have to be this particular way. There will probably also be ways we can minister in areas that are more comfortable to us. However, again, I know that I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). Hence my dilemma.

How about you? Have you ever entered a situation that goes against your personality? Would you advise for it or against it?


happy birthday to AJ

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I have like 2 minutes to get a post up before I miss my little brother’s birthday. :-) I thought I’d repost something I wrote two years ago for him when he turned 21! I hope you enjoy. :-)

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(Originally published July 22nd, 2006)

In one week, I will be getting married. Wow!

But more importantly, today is my little brother’s 21st birthday! It seems hard to believe. Just 21 years ago, I was in the hospital asking my mother in my little 2 1/2-year-old-voice, “Who’s the baby’s mommy?”

AJ and I haven’t always gotten along… In fact I can remember one day during church he punched me in the stomach. So much for being good missionary kids. :-) I used to chase him around the playground hitting him though. Wow, now that I think of it, I’m surprised people (i.e. my parents) would allow that! Poor AJ. I think we became friends when I finally learned to listen to my mother and ignore him. Wow, what a difference that made!

Despite the fighting, AJ and I used to play together. We didn’t have many other playmates, so I would convince him to play Barbies with me. “You can play Ken, AJ,” I would say. Then AJ would proceed to give Ken superhuman strength, having him lift cars and other heavy objects, until I protested so much I made him leave. We would play Legos together though, for hours on end. I would give each little person names and personalities, and AJ would build the coolest boats or spaceships (we went back and forth between Lego Island and Lego Spaceship).

AJ also consented to play dolls with us. I had a lot of dolls – a family of 12 actually, and a dog. Each of them had distinct personalities and carefully picked names, plus birthdays I would celebrate on arrival. (Rainbow’s birthday, for example, was 2 weeks ago today… a fact which I acknowleged in an IM to AJ, inviting him over for a birthday dinnner. She would be 16 today. Crazy!) AJ had a bunch of stuffed animals with very creative names like “Bear” and “Dinosaur” and “Bunny”. It was fun, though.

AJ and I went to the same high school for 2 years, before I graduated and went on to college. We had mutual friends during that time, and often hung out together after school. I have fond memories of that time. We used to go to Big Apple Bagels, movies every week in the summer, stuff 9 people in a taxi, watch 3-2-1 Penguins… It’s been really fun to have him as a brother, and I’ve enjoyed being friends with him (much nicer than being enemies!). I hope he moves up to Atlanta so I can spend more time with him. :-)

Happy birthday, AJ!