Saturday, November 28, 2009

here comes Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner and I can hardly believe it! A year ago I was newly engaged and packing to move across the country, and now here I am, married, with a baby soon to arrive! Ryan and I are grow closer with each passing day, and every day I thank God for bringing him into my life. ** :) **

The baby is growing right on schedule and I have had no troubles other than normal pregnancy inconveniences. She kicks me quite regularly, turning and rolling and poking me in the ribs. I am SO looking forward to the day she's in my arms!

We're trying to start our own holiday traditions... first being cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. Yum! I also made a pecan pie (for only the second time in my life!) and methinks that will become a tradition as well. Tonight we put up our first Christmas tree. It's so little and cute, sitting atop our entertainment center - no more than two feet tall, with sparkling black and white and silver balls. The perfect size for our bitsy apartment! I'm looking forward to the coming weeks, spending them with my love, and making more traditions as the holidays get closer.

A company Christmas dinner, a baby shower, a trip to Michigan to see my family... that's what these next few weeks hold! Three cheers for the holiday season!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

little bits of progress

Baby registry - done. Stroller, car seat, bed, various blankets and trinkets. SO much fun!! The girls at work are planning a baby shower. How cool and sweet is that?! I'm slowly piecing together a maternity wardrobe... a pair of cute skinny(ish) jeans here, khaki shorts there, flowy tops here, baby bump sporting tshirts there. A friend is bringing me the maternity clothes she is now done with... Yay for passing things on! Let's see... what else? I thoroughly cleaned out my closet this week, making space for baby things. I have begun knitting a baby blanket. All fuzzy and soft and cuddly.... When I start thinking ahead to the coming months, I can't help but grin. And also..... (!) I'm pretty sure I've felt Caitlyn move! At 20 weeks, it's more than likely but it's weird at first... trying to distinguish between gas or stomach gurgles and teeny baby kicks. Weird, but amazing all the same. This is such an incredible adventure, that of growing a baby. More to come later! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the baby

Yesterday was our ultrasound. I cannot describe how incredible it was to watch the images on the screen of our little baby. It's a girl! She is so precious... Tiny and lively... she seems to like to wiggle around a lot! We could see little hands and tiny feet. Arms and legs. The ultrasound pictures captivate me... I cannot seem to stop gazing at them, in awe of the creativity of our God, and in wonder that this little life is inside of me, growing and forming more each day. I cannot wait for the day we get to meet her, and hold her in our arms.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

summer news

The summer is flying by far too quickly. It's been a little but of an adjustment for me, being here - in HOT Oklahoma, but I'm managing. Quite often, spending time outdoors is nearly impossible, but I do enjoy leaving my patio door open some mornings, and I rejoice when the days are mild and not scorching. We've been blessed to be able to take a few little trips... I've been home to Michigan twice! Once in early June for the siblings' graduation parties, and then Ryan and I went last week for our wedding reception. It was a lovely time, and SO wonderful to see friends and family... as a married couple. Also, we were able to go to Houston over the 4th of July weekend and spend time with P.J. and Paulina. They are such a wonderful couple, and growing together so much. I'm very proud of them.

A bit of big, exciting news.... In early June, Ryan and I found out that we are expecting a little one! Our bundle of joy is due to arrive around Valentine's Day. :) My morning sickness (or rather, "all-day sickness") is mostly over now, but I still tire rather easily. We had our first doctor appointment a few weeks ago and were able to hear the heartbeat.... Quite an amazing thing! God is SO creative and amazing.

In the time I've been married to Ryan, I feel as if my eyes have been opened to what God is doing in our lives so much more than I ever took time to notice before. Beginning with Ryan's ankle ordeal and God's provision through all of that, and on to month-by-month, and day-by-day, provisions... I'm amazed. Last fall I was introduced to the song "God of this City", and I have fallen in love with it. At the most random moments, lines run through my head... "For there is no one like our God..." and "Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done - here..." It's such a hopeful song. A reminder of all that God is, all that He always will be, all that He wants to do in each of our lives and in the world... A reminder of the hope that He provides...

You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are....

You're the strength in our weakness
You're the love to the broken
You're the joy in the sadness
You are...

There is no one like our God....

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done...

He is good, isn't He?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

late night

It's nearly midnight, and I am home alone. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and a glass of chardonnay are my company. Ryan has to work through the night, a rarity. It's a reminder of the months we spent apart, and I am SO grateful that those days are over. God has been good to us and blessed us incredibly beyond measure... Thinking about all the things that have happened in the last year make me wonder what He has in store for the future. I'm excited to find out!

Hmmm.... what's new in my world...? Tensions at work seem to have smoothed out. My hours remain high for a week or two more, but I'm pacing myself to make it through with a smile. I get to go home to Michigan in a month for the sibling's graduation parties, and I really can't wait to be there. *grin* I'll get to hang out with the fam, spend some time with my old Starbucks crew, and see Michigan in the beauty of early summer.

We are looking at houses, toying with the idea of buying one before the summer is over. The possibility excites me. I think I would feel one step closer to being a "real"grown up. A house... a yard... a lawn to mow... neighbors and a street... It'll feel so weird after so many years of apartment-dwelling.

Plans are coming together for our receptions. They're going to be ultra-simple and casual, but I hope lots of fun. It'll be great to see so many near and dear people. :) July 11 in Tulsa, and August 1 in Michigan. Save a date for us, and prepare for an afternoon of chips, salsa, dessert, and plenty of laughter. Maybe some pool fun too?

That's all for now folks... 'Night!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring time, and everything is green and blooming. I LOVE it! Well, apart from the sighting of a baby garter snake close to my front door. I know, I know... it was dead. AND it was only a harmless and friendly kind of snake, but I DO NOT CARE! It still freaks me out. However, consistently warm weather is such a gift from God. It makes my soul happy to be able to enjoy the fresh air so much more. I must enjoy spring for all it's worth, because I fear I may have a hard time surviving the summer heat...

We have finally gotten the living room all pretty and devoid of boxes. We were gifted a lovely bookshelf, and now it houses many many books, and pretty little decorations. It looks quite lovely and artful, if I do say so myself. Ryan and I spent an afternoon arranging and sorting and rearranging, and we are quite pleased with the results! I'm anxious to have people over now.... now that the living room actually looks like a home. :)

The last few weeks of work have been rough. I have battled homesickness and exhaustion, and I want them to go away and leave me in peace. By way of many conversations and times of going back and forth with my manager, I was finally able to change my availability while remaining in my current position. I will close only once a week, and work on one Saturday a month. I see other women doing so much with their time - working and being married and having a family and social life, and balancing it all, and I wonder how they do it. Because, at this point in my life, I don't seem to be able to manage it. Without my evenings and weekend hours to connect with my husband and my new surroundings, my life and emotions get ALL out of whack. I don't want to be a moody and stressed out wife. I want to be cheery and buoyant and content. And so, to achieve that, I'm cutting back my hours. And I couldn't be happier.

So long for now.... the land of delectable caffeinated beverages calls....

Monday, March 30, 2009

one more day

Another Monday. Another week ahead of me. Where does time go..... ?

A freak snowstorm blasted us on Saturday. Six inches or more. It was all sloppy and wet, and the walk from our apartment door to the truck was lick wading through muck. It was a beautiful mess. Wonder of wonders, Sunday dawned sunny and clear and warmish. Now everything is melted and everything is springlike again. I guess this is the land of extremes...

I'm starting a new part-time job this week... nannying! Two adorable kiddos, ages 2 1/2 and six months. It'll be just a few hours a week, but I'm SO looking forward to it! Ryan and I went to meet the family last week and we totally clicked on many levels. I have a feeling we just may become good friends...

Ryan and I started on our search for a "community group" last night. We'll visit a few before we settle in to one. I'm really looking forward to making a connection with some people here. It was really a blast to hang out with the couples last night. For the first time in my married life, I spent some solid time with married couples who actually are around our ages! They were totally fun and cool... Twas so refreshing!

I'm off to run errands and then work in the world of delicious coffee aromas... Cheers!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

random and scattered

My sisters are coming to visit me! It's been barely two months since I last saw my family, yet I miss them so incredibly much. This visit will be a great big boost to me - I've been battling homesickness quite often. :( They will be here sometime over the weekend..... Three cheers for that!

Today, we go for a second post-op checkup for Ryan. Our fingers are crossed that he will be given clearance to begin wearing a boot and be done with the crutches. Poor guy has been on crutches for a good ten weeks already... He will be SO pumped if the doctor says go ahead.

Last week, Ryan had to drive to a prospective job site that was three hours south-east (I think that was the direction), and I was able to ride along. We saw BEAUTIFUL scenery... mountains and rolling hills, neverending pine forests, lightening storms... it was very refreshing. I've been in the city for so long that I forgot what it's like to stand in the middle of nowhere and hear nothing but the wind moving through trees and birds singing. God's creation is amazing and breathtaking. Now I want to go camping and spend days in a place like that.

And my last random topic - I've been observing people during times of worship at church, and it's so interesting to me how people act out their worship in different ways. It's also inspiring to me.... to let myself lose my fears of what people around me may think and lose myself in praise and adoration of my Savior. That's what it's all about, anyway. HIM. Not me. I see people raising their hands, closing their eyes, singing their hearts out. I see heads bowed. I see dancing. I see joy, gratefulness, adoration, excitement. It's also been impressed on my heart the huge example parents are to their children in this area. A mother in front of me singing with abandon, arms lifted high. Her young daughter - no more than five - stood on the chair next to her, one arm around her mom's waist and the other lifted high. Following her mother's example. A father at the end of our row, holding the hands of his three year old son, dancing around during a lively, joyous song. Leading by example. These children will grow to love worship and have no fear of showing that joy. I want my kids to be like those kids. I want to be a parent like that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

in the middle

I'm in the middle of another week. Work is fine. I think I have clicked pretty well with everyone and found a niche. Ryan is healing, day by day. Last week was pretty rough for him, dealing with pain, lack of sleep, and nausea for several days. Not fun! We go Tuesday for a check up and have fingers crossed that he will be given a walking cast and permission to be more active. I have taken up regular exercising again. Three cheers for me! Not so fun... (today kicked me in the pants!) but I do love the results.

People keep asking how married life is, and my answer comes easily... A huge, resounding "Great!". We have slipped right into things and literally have had no major adjustments. It's wonderful. *happy sigh* I love waking up every morning next to him... My very best friend and the love of my life. Yes, I know we are newlyweds, and that people say it won't last - but guess what? They're wrong. We will have rough times, yes, but just watch... we will be hopelessly in love for the rest of our lives. So there all you pessimistic people!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

i've lived a year's worth of life in only a few weeks

The plan was to move me from Lansing to Tulsa in the week between Christmas and New Years. Ryan's one-way plane ticket was purchased and everything was set. He would arrive, we'd visit family, say goodbyes, and then drive away with as many of my belongings as would fit into my car. One week before our plans were to begin, my car broke down. Miraculously, it quit in a parking lot, and didn't leave me stranded, but the needed repair meant replacing the engine. Too expensive, considering the age of the car, not to mention that I still owed the bank a considerable amount. NOw how was I going to make the move? Frustrations were many those next few days. Tears were shed and many prayers were sent upwards.

At almost the last moment, without us mentioning anything, Ryan's employer offered to let him use his company truck to make the trip to Michigan, and not only that, gave Ryan a bonus specifically for the trip. Our gasoline and food would be paid for! We were also able to get the plane ticket cancelled and now have a credit with the airline to use in the next year.

Long story short, on the way up to Lansing, late at night, Ryan fell and broke his ankle in two places. He had to use OnStar to get an ambulance. Gel, Dale and I made the trip from Lansing to Springfield, Illinois, in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to get him from the hospital. Our Christmas was very eventful! Moving was now going to be a bit trickier. My family pitched in LOTS and helped me get everything packed up. Moving day arrived and I made the entire drive from Lansing to Tulsa with Ryan in the backseat, foot propped up on boxes. Looooooooong drive.
Friends helped unload in Tulsa, and I began to settle in at my new place. Things were not going to go as planned with my new roommate, and after a visit to Ryan's doctor, we found out that we were facing surgery in order for his ankle to heal properly. He had no insurance, I had no car, and we needed to remedy the housing situation relatively soon. Many prayers were sent upwards again and again.

An offhanded, joking comment, "If we were married, you would be on my insurance right away, and that would cover surgery." And we stopped in realization of how many other things would be easier and fall into place if that were the case. Rent - we'd only be paying for one place. We could get financing for a car. We would have help with medical costs. And many other things... We prayed. We talked to each of our families. And we jumped into wedding planning. Detail after detail fell into place, and our awe at God's goodness grew. We found an apartment. I found a wedding dress. My family made the long drive safely. A week and a half later, I found myself walking down the aisle of a country church, looking at the smiling faces of so many dear people. As I stood at the altar, looking into Ryan's eyes, my excitement grew with every phrase I repeated. "I do..."

Ryan and I were able to get away for a short weekend, and then returned to life at it's extremely fast pace. Doctor's appointments. Work schedules. Grocery shopping. Selling my old car via long distance. New drivers license details. Setting up a household. It's been busy!

We've found a church we love. It's similar to Trinity, the church I was attending in Lansing. It kind of feels like home. Once Ryan's foot heals, we're going to join a small group, and I'm anxious for that.

Speaking of Ryan's foot... We have met many delays. It's been an uphill battle, working through red tape and insurance details. We were misinformed of dates of Ryan's eligibility for coverage and ended up having to reschedule surgery. We thought it was all settled, but were then informed by the doctor's office that we would have to pay a LARGE deductible, plus what the insurance wouldn't cover BEFORE they would even schedule the surgery. It looked impossible for us to come up with the amount the requested. We trusted God completely, but didn't know where to turn or what to do. It felt as if all our options were exhausted. And then, late this last Sunday evening, Ryan's mom called us. Her church has been praying for us for several weeks, and they felt led to take up an offering for us. The generosity was abundant. When she told us the amount given, we were shocked to the point of tears. It was almost EXACTLY what we needed.

That is our most recent miracle. And if anyone ever asks me how I know God provides, I will be able to tell them story after story, from my own life.

I love being married, and am so grateful for the words of encouragement, the prayers, and the support that our friends and family have been. Thank you all!

And that, is my life of the last month. Moving, broken ankles, driving 900 miles (twice!), moving again, planning a wedding and getting married, surgery, new workplace.... I'm ready for a vacation!

Monday, January 26, 2009

just a monday

I know that I said my next post would be a life update, but I find myself short on time. So I will just ramble about nothing for a few moments and then clock in to work. The life update will come soon. I promise.

The weather is cold, and I'm fighting off a head cold, I think. I've been drinking many mugs of green ginger tea, loaded with sweetner, to help it go down. Like Mary Poppins sings, "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down..."

P.J. and Paulina are here, on their way to Houston. We've had a riot so far, eating, laughing, talking, and things like that. They've brought along their menagerie of animals, too, which is interesting. A cat, a dog, and a rat. Yikes!

Ryan and I had a miracle take place yesterday. I will have to include that in a future sharing session. When things look bleak and hopeless, keep plodding on, one step at a time, and trust that God will provide and continue to show His care as much as He ever has.

Friday, January 23, 2009

again and again

Again and again I resolve to bring a blog back to life. Again and again I let other things get in the way. Once again, I make that resolution... to post often. Here is post number one. May there be many more to follow.... Having to travel to a nearby Starbucks or other wifi spot will complicate the process some, but I am determined to follow through!

The next post will be a life update. The last month has seen HUGE changes in my life, and I'm excited to share my news with everyone. (Or no one, depending on if anyone reads what I write...) I want to use this page as a way to keep in touch with those who are close to me in heart, but far away in body. Hundreds of miles seperate me from those dear friends and family now, and I don't want to lose the connections I have.

May the weekend bring you joy and refreshment!