Thursday, April 24, 2014

Me, Myself, and I

I'm in Pittsburgh this week, sitting in a lovely hotel room, sipping hot coffee by the light of an open window, while my dog and baby play on the blanket at my feet. Last night Joseph ordered room service and ate his amazing dessert while watching hockey on the king-sized bed. 

It's not that we paid hundreds of dollars for our room or planned months in advance for this trip. A few days ago, Joseph told me that he was going to be working in Pittsburgh again this week, and instead of moping about him being gone, I said, "Maybe we can join you!" My husband gave me a surprised look but said "Sure!" I had packed all three of us girls up that same evening and we were headed out the next morning. And in a way that is not characteristic of me at all, I chose to take unknown backroads in order to avoid paying the tolls, instead of taking the tried and true freeway. 

Ready for a road trip! 
As I was driving past lovely farmland and hills and over rivers, with my two girls sleeping in the back seat, I was chuckling at myself the whole way. The old Sarah, the Sarah that had to have everything planned and mapped and scheduled out 6 months in advance, was truly gone. In her place was someone I still don't quite recognize, but whom I'm getting better acquainted with each day.

As we were eating dinner last night, Joseph told me he was glad I met him here. He said that he missed having the freedom of being single and coming and going as he pleased, even though he also loved being at home with me. He said having me there was the best of both worlds--he could hang out with me and we could have an adventure together. I acted like I was offended for a moment, but I knew what he meant. It was nice to just get up and go on a whim, and to actually enjoy it. I guess we've done it so many times in our marriage now, that I'm finally warming up to the idea. But I also realize that our freedom to come and go as we wish does have some planning running in the background. A few month ago, I wrote about how I was intentionally not doing things, like eating out constantly or spending money on frivolous things. These spontaneous trips have come from that. I've been packing all of our lunches and taking my own coffee and water with me everywhere. I've cut down our cleaning supplies to just vinegar and baking soda and we use rags to clean with. We use reusable containers to store leftovers in and Lydia uses cloth diapers. It's amazing how all those little choices have saved us enough money for the things we really want to do. So maybe the old Sarah isn't quite gone; maybe she's just learned to better serve her family with some "hidden" planning. Maybe these two Sarah's can continue to work well together :) 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Same, But Different

Joseph and I recently celebrated four years of happily ever after! We didn't do anything super-romantic for our anniversary but we did spend time marveling at how much has happened in these few short years and chuckling at how much we've changed! 

For instance, both my family and my in-laws have visited us this past month, and I haven't felt the need to clean and organize until my fingers fall off! I had to force myself to be okay with my messy room and with no guestroom set up, but I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had with them instead.

I've been enjoying painting and sanding and working-out in front of other people. That's huge! Pre-Joseph Sarah spent time reading in her room or out for a walk by herself. 

You know that ad right after the previews but before the actual movie when they give the whole bit about not using your cellphones? I turned to Joseph and said "That just makes me want to pull out my cellphone and text someone right now!" To which Joseph gave me a smile that said, "My work here is done. My wife is officially corrupted." Okay, so this may not sound like a good change, but it is. I used to be so afraid of breaking rules and getting "in trouble". 

And Joseph has been changed too. We got pulled for speeding a couple weeks ago (we had been talking and didn't realize the limit had dropped) and I watched as my husband apologized to the officer and humbly accepted the ticket. The man I first married would have gotten frustrated and blamed the officer for the ticket.

I realized also that Joseph had spent the whole day with his dad while he was here visiting...willingly, I might add, and he really enjoyed it. 

I used to be so afraid marriage would change us. I'm so glad now that it has. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Sometimes you gotta stop writing about your life long enough to actually live it...that's what March was like for us this year. Our munchkin turned one year old, my family was in town, we had our anniversary, and we took a weekend trip. On top of the drama of our car getting totaled and the sewer backing up...twice.  The weather even got nice enough on some days to do some fun furniture refinishing on the porch. And of course we have a lot more events to go to now that Spring has officially arrived.

I have kicked myself for not taking more pictures of all these activities, and not being as disciplined with my recording of these events and memories as I'd like to. But I'm doing my best. I've taken more pictures now then I ever have in my life (probably because Lydia's life is so full of firsts). And I started earlier this year to write daily in my journal again...something I stopped doing regularly because of all this moving business. I even started a journal to Lydia, recording, in short notes from Mommy, all her special days, her first-times, and each new thing she's learning and doing.

Maybe it's because I turn 30 this year, or because I now have a child that copies what I do and say, or because I realize that so much of my marriage has been one big rush from place to place and activity to activity, but I've realized that my life consists of moments that will later become memories. Those memories will make up the fabric of my life, and the stories that I will tell my children and grandchildren. "Remember when Daddy...?" Or "here's the picture of that time when..." I want Joseph and I to look back at our marriage and remember laughter and fun, whether in the stressful times or the mundane times.

Ready for our first stroller walk of the season! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life as I Know It

It seems everyone got to go somewhere for Spring Break. Florida, California, Mexico, South Africa. Everyone around me is off doing something somewhere warm and sunny. This is the time of year Joseph and I normally have also taken for the hills, literally. Our anniversary is only 2 days away and we usually rent a cabin in the mountains and enjoy a relaxing weekend. Not this year...bummer! We have extra expenses, some unforeseen and last minute.

So here I am, longing to be off somewhere exotic and fun. Longing to travel and see new things. I was quite disappointed and feeling left out of the excitement. I was sharing all this with God and I heard him say to my heart Sarah, love, look around you. You are living the life a lot of people wish they could. 

Huh? Daddy, my life is far from exotic and fun. I'm a stay-at-home mom. The most exciting part of my day is driving to the grocery store. 

But there as I was folding towels in the laundry room, the Lord turned on a little light in my head.

I am on my exotic vacation...I live 600 miles away from the place I call home. I have an entire city to explore. Coffee houses and restaurants and museums and parks. More people to meet than I have ever known. People of every imaginable ethnicity with every sort of talent and all sorts of stories just waiting to be told. 

I am living the life I always wanted. I am married to the most incredible man. Have the most beautiful and peaceful child. I attend a church and school that at one point was only a dream of mine. I am healthy and have full use of all my faculties. 

What the heck am I sulking around for?! 

Lord how much time do we as people spend complaining about what we don't have and comparing ourselves to the fun everyone else seems to be having? Open our eyes, Daddy, to see that we are already living the life we always wanted. Make us grateful people, Father. Grateful for the parents that drive us crazy but are still alive. The children who push our buttons but are healthy. The dog that vomits on the couch but is always happy to see us when we get home. The job we have that others can't find. Show us the beauty of our cities and towns and neighbors and friends that still needs to be unearthed. 

Listening to friends play music at our new favorite coffee place. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Insert Jeopardy Theme Song Here

Valentine's Day has come and gone, and the promised post from the hubby has not yet just has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Joseph has worked long days all week and has been catching up on schoolwork when he is home. We've both been up a lot at night with a baby with a fever. So the blog has been the last thing on our minds. Thanks for your patience and for your continued encouragement! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You Can't Make Me!

At the beginning of this year I made a commitment--a commitment to not commit, because what I don't do with my time is just as important as what I do.

I will not do housework when I would rather be reading or crafting (this is sooo difficult!).

I will not sign up for any volunteer opportunities just because no one else is. 

I will not meet with people who only take and won't give.

I will not eat just any kind of food simply because I'm hungry.

I will not waste my time on reading meaningless articles.

I will not complain about people. 

I will not eat out when I can eat at home or pack a lunch.

I will not buy cheap things on a whim.

I will not feel guilty about buying something for myself. 

Sometimes you have to stop the gears for a moment, a day, a week, and take inventory of your life. I have to let go of so many things, because there is so much I want to do this year.

I will work on my wedding scrapbook once a week until it's finished (we got married almost four years ago!)

I will pick up the guitar again once a week (I put it down when I got too pregnant.)

I will read to and with my little one every day. 

I will work out 4 times a week (and drop 20 lbs of baby fat). 

Our vacation last summer: the southern coast of
Puerto Rico)
I will only read things that are educational and uplifting.

I will buy new clothing for myself and feel good doing it.

I will save all that lunch money to go on vacation twice this year with my husband. 

I will eat nutritious food so I can really enjoy the occasional indulgence (tiramisu!).

I will only have people in my life who bring out the best in me. 

I will only sign up for activities that I am truly passionate about. 

I will buy only lasting, beautiful things for myself, others, and my home.

I will ask the Lord to show me the beauty in each person so I can encourage them.

As women, and wives, and moms we live under so much pressure to take care of everyone else, and then we wonder why we're so beat-up and worn-out at the end of the day. Give yourself permission to not do this year. Be free to do the things you love! I look forward to hearing all the stories! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

He Said, She Said

I received quite a lot of feedback from you all in regards to the "Spirit of Boyfriends Past" post. Thanks for all the encouragement!

I noticed that I always get the most feedback when I do a post on dating or courtship, so I've been thinking...this means that a good chunk of you ladies (and the occasional gentleman) are single and looking to be married--and you're looking up to us! Woah! This means a lot to Joseph and I; it means that our relationship is making a difference in people's lives! Yay! anticipation of Valentine's Day, I've invited Joseph to visit with us and tell us his side of things next week. It's always fun to hear! If you have any questions for Joseph, please write them in the comments section below and he'll get on them this weekend.

Thank you all again! Have a great weekend!