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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Recap

Matthew 28:5-6 
"The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.'"

Easter has come and gone, and while I meant to post something meaningful and reflective, it just didn't happen. I take comfort in knowing that my Lord reads all my blog posts... even the ones I don't post, except in the quiet of my heart.

I'm reminded now of this song by the favorite band of my preteen years, and still a solid fav today, Jars of Clay: "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet." Below is the best video version I could find online.

So, even though I'm a few days late, HAPPY EASTER! He is Risen!!!! :)

We began the day with church, followed by a drive an hour west to his family's house, where we tried not to eat too much since we knew there'd be a second feast later on at my family's dinner. Oh the joys of double holidays! (and double heartburn!)

Seeing as how this is our first Easter as a married couple, this was the first year Doug was invited to my family's Easter dinner. So he got to witness the kids' (and I use that term loosely, referring to my two cousins who are both decidedly over 10 years of age) outdoor Easter egg hunt, watch us discover our hidden baskets of chocolate goodies (don't feel bad for him; he got his basket at home that morning), and enjoy my grandma's legendary cooking. We finished up shagging fly softballs in the backyard. An awesome fam day indeed.

Also on my mind lately... I just realized that we are mere days away from May. Days! As in, less than a week! As in, by this Sunday, it will no longer be April. How did this happen? Aw, who cares. Bottom line: summer's comin. Man, took it long enough. Chicago winters are notoriously cold and long and windy and did I mention COLD? Warm weather has been a really long time coming, and I am so ready to kiss my poofy winter coat good-bye. At least until October(ish).

In other news, last night I went back to school. No, I'm not pursuing my master's degree or even taking a park district course for fun. (Although I am considering doing that this summer. So far cooking or art are in the running.) But no, last night I went with my hubby to his pharmacology class, which is required for his job. So there I sat, among the pharmacy tech students, attempting to absorb information such as:
1. If you repackage tablets of Ambien into blister packs and the original stock expires in December 2012, how long are the repackages good?
2. If the doctor orders 30 mL of Quinine qid for 7 days at 20% concentration, and the stock is a 75% concentration, how much saline solution will you need to dilute the stock and fill this prescription?
3. If my IQ lowers 5 points for every algebra problem I fail to complete, how lucky am I that I'm not the one taking this class?

So, yeah.... Aside from feeling unusually stupid whilst listening to the nice professor talk about drugs and such for 3 hours, it was great fun. Actually, I'm not gonna lie. I really did enjoy the class. And the prof had that perfect mix of strong teaching, real-life examples, and dry sense of humor. His name, fittingly, was Dr. Whit.

That's been my last few days. In case you skipped to the end of this post, here's a summary.
  • Happy Easter!
  • It's almost summer!
  • I'm so glad I'm not in school anymore!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pessimism Epiphany

Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

I'm definitely a "glass is half empty" type person. Which type are you? And why? Get out your boxing gloves. It's time for a Nature vs. Nurture smackdown!

At a family dinner with my in-laws (I still feel weird calling them that, but it's way easier than "my boyfriend's family," which is what they were for four and a half years) on Sunday night, an interesting topic came up.

My sister-in-law's husband (let's call him "Bob" because... well, because that's his name) said something about how I seem to always imagine the worst case scenario. This is a jinormous understatement. I am the definition of a worry wart, even though I will try to pretend sometimes that I'm all free and easy and who cares about danger? Not me! I laugh in your face, danger. Ha! That's a fun little game I play in my head, but even if it temporarily fools you, I know the truth. In reality... I'm about 87 percent scaredy-cat and only 13 percent open to trusting things will work out. Pessimism in person, that's me.

Anyway, Bob's (very astute) point was that I need to relax more and just have fun in life. I agreed and said something like, "Yeah, I know. But it's hard to do that when you've been conditioned over years and years to just wait for the next thing to go wrong. This year is probably the calmest of my entire life, but it's actually stressing me out because there's no trauma, no catastrophes, and barely any drama. How long can this last?"

We went on to discuss who in the family would take care of my and hubby's (future) kids if we both were to die in some horrific car accident simultaneously, leaving poor little Henry and Mikey (not their real names) as orphans. My father-in-law (whose 85-year-old mind is still sharp as a pickax) said it was pointless to discuss it since the odds of something happening to either of us are minuscule, and the odds of us both dying at once are next to nothing. We'd have a better chance of winning the lottery, even though we don't play! "I know, I know that," I said. "But I can't feel at peace about this until we figure it out. Just in case. Because you never know...." You never know. That's my excuse for letting myself get all worked up and worry-filled on a regular basis. That's why I can't trust things will work themselves out... or that God will keep His promise to work out His plan for my life.

This whole conversation sparked a little epiphany in my brain. See, I've been really stressed out lately, and I couldn't figure out why. Everything is going well. I'm in my first year of marriage to my perfect guy. I have a great job, and I get to do it with people I consider good friends. I have two (spoiled but) adorable kittens, and an awesome house to call home. My family finally accepts my husband as part of my life, so there's no more drama about that. All told, things are going really well for me... so WHY am I so stressed out?

Answer: I am already anticipating the next tragedy, which is surely crouching just around the corner waiting to devour my too-good-to-last, finally-not-horrible life in one huge bite.

Do you guys ever struggle with this "waiting for the Thing that will surely ruin my life" type of emotional complex? Although I bet I'm hard-wired with few optimism genes (aka "nature"), I'm guessing my personal history (aka "nurture") makes me an extreme example of this type of pre-pessimistic fear. So who wins the boxing match, nature or nurture? Um, neither. I win. By figuring out it was the lack of stress that was... stressing me out. Go figure.

Still, it helped to label it and get it out in the open... or on the internet. I'm sure I haven't seen the last of my "the worst is yet to come" fear issue, but at least for now... for today... I ain't gonna let it win. Take that, fear! Booyah!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Never Say Never

Little Fievel Mousekewitz was right! Never say never.

I just got word that my friend's sister (the one who swore she would never ever get married. EVER.) just got married. Today. At the courthouse. They're planning a shindig for next summer, which should give me enough time to begin getting over the shock.

She and her boyfriend were already living together for several years, so (forgive me for being old-fashioned and fundamental about this, but) marriage was basically a formality at this point. But still! The fact that they went ahead and sealed the deal, complete with heirloom rings, made me happy... perhaps for no other reason than that it gave me hope for the things that seem impossible.

So why did they suddenly decide to get married? What was the motive for such a complete reversal? Not love, not religion, not family pressure, not anything internal at all. No, they decided to tie the knot because of... health insurance. As unromantic as that sounds, it reminds me that we need to give God a little credit for creativity. Even when we make decisions for what we believe are our own reasons. Even when we do the right thing at the wrong time. Whether it makes sense or not. Mysterious ways, indeed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life update on the past month(ish), plus a random Halloween photo

(Photo of me and hubby at Halloween last year. There's no reason for including this photo in this post except that it's MY blog, and I want to, dang it!)

Ok, guys, I'm really, really behind on keeping you updated on my life. Here's what's been going on....

I've been watching a lot of TV. That might not sound like much, but when you've been stressed out at work, you don't really want to come home and read Edgar Allen Poe or clean the attic. So, TV to the rescue. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy.... My favorites of late include Man V. Food on the Travel Network, Biggest Loser on NBC, Pawn Stars and American Pickers on the History Channel, and lots of ESPN and the Weather Channel... Those last two are when hubby steals the remote, but yeah. Some people say "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts." I like to say that "stressed" spelled sideways equals "me sprawled on the couch ingesting hours of soothing cable TV." Nothing detoxes quite like a remote in one hand and a diet Pepsi in the other.

I also helped a friend move, finished crocheting an adorable baby-sized afghan, and got my and hubby's taxes done! Well, we paid someone (Thanks, Winnie at H&R Block!) to take care of that last part, but still. I considered it an accomplishment.

Also, last week hubby and I celebrated the five-year anniversary of our very first date!! It was actually our "define the relationship" talk, in which I decided I would "give it a go and see what happens." After all, I figured, what have I got to lose? Hands down, BEST RISK I EVER TOOK. Definitely worth celebrating. :) That should deserve a post on its own, but most of it would be too personal and despite being a blogger, I'm really a very private person. (Stop laughing.)

Other than that, the past few weeks I've been working a lot. No, really. Editorialites (such as myself) do our work about 9 months ahead of a book's release. Kinda like pregnant women, come to think of it.... Anyway, since we have lots of new books releasing every fall, that means every spring is our "busy season." Ironic that tax accountants and editors have the same busy season, but tis true. Thus, I've been a busy little bee at the office (and sometimes at home, too) trying to perfect Fall 2011's coming literary attractions.

My friends have been busy lately too. I just found out today that another friend (second one this year) got engaged! And two other friends just had their babies last weekend. Wow, apparently everyone is gettin' hitched and birthin' offspring. Spring is in the air, indeed. I suddenly feel left out since I was planning my wedding last year and have not yet strapped on the baby belly.

Related to that (spring, not the baby belly), baseball season in officially upon us. Which means I have to set aside at least a quart of blood/sweat/tears every week for the Chicago Cubs and whatever hapless mischief they can muster. But who knows, this could be the year they go all the way! World Series, here we come! </endwishfulthinking>

That's been my life recently. Here's hoping the next post will be more substantial (and not three weeks in the making).