Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Internal Musings

Just finished reading Kate Braestreps' book "Here If You Need Me" again. I think it's one of those you just need to read periodically, to remind you of essential things, to keep you grounded. I appreciate her honesty, her openness about her thoughts and situation, and how it affirms the holiness of certain moments in our lives.

I'm trying to orient myself to once again be aware to the holiness and blessedness of events and activities in my life. Being tired and grumpy and overwhelmed most of the time has leached that awareness out of me, bit by bit. It's too easy to see problems and troubles, less easy to see them as possibilities and blessings. I'm so easily haunted by mistakes I've made, the work not done, the words unsaid or unfortunately said. I think "failure" is my mind's default setting when analyzing myself. My question is how to be gentle, forgiving and loving to myself, yet bracing and kick-butt to deal with the things that stymie me.

Right now Lil' Princess is begging me to play with her. I think the plan is to go downstairs and play with Play-doh. So further internal introspection will have to wait. Maybe there's some good therapy to be found in Play-doh!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Night Thoughts

The doctor called this week - the gestational diabetes test turned out to be negative - Yay!

RevDad's parents, and his sister's three kids are visiting this weekend, and all the kids are having a great time together.

I'm re-evaluating my sense of self, call, and attitude tonight, after a conversation with my mom-in-law about our future plans.

The little bun in the oven has been moving and kicking tonight, which is lovely. My in-laws brought the crib out with them (we stored most of our baby stuff at their farm), so I'm looking around my study (soon to be nursery) and envisioning where it will go. That's a good feeling.

Good night, I'm tired. I'm sure the kids will be up bright and early!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blood Day - sounds lovely, eh?

So today I went in for the 3+ hour gestational diabetes test. It was a l-o-n-g morning. They took my blood for a baseline, had me chug a bottle of nasty orange-y stuff, and then took more blood after 1 hr, 2hrs, and 3 hrs. But I wasn't allowed to leave the lab area the entire time, which consists of a few ancient uncomfortable chairs stuck in a kind of hallway outside of the actual lab. And the air conditioning was blasting the whole time, so I froze! I'm not sure when I'll get the results. I shouldn't really complain though, the staff were very gracious and encouraging, and one very nice lady got me a blanket and talked with me about books. And the staff who were around at the last blood-letting were cheering for me, and offering their best wishes for a good outcome to the tests.

Ever since my dad was diagnosed with a blood disorder back when I was in seventh grade, and had to have blood drawn several times a week for a long time, I've grown to appreciate phlebotemists (sp?). They're often the last person the patient wants to see, but by and large all the ones I've met have been patient, good-humored, and very skilled. One of the patients who came through the lab today was an elderly woman in a wheel chair, who was obviously miserable and in pain when she came in. She was having a hard time with getting poked by a needle, and whimpered for a while. The tech was so gentle and reassuring, and did about the quickest blood draw I've ever known. The poor lady was quickly on her way, one of the available techs wheeling her to Xray instead of waiting for an aide, and speaking soothingly and encouragingly as they went. I was impressed with their compassion and professionalism.

So now I'm home, with a sore arm, getting ready for tonights family service and tomorrow's funeral. Lil' Princess was NOT happy to wake up and find me gone this morning, and ticked off that I didn't get home till after lunch. So she's been a little...difficult this afternoon. But for the moment she's happy to watch a princess movie while I snatch a few moments.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pre-marital Part 2

So tonight was pre-marital Round 2. I have been grumpy and off all day, in anticipation of the evening. I had to miss teaching at VBS to do this, which made it a challenge for the rest of the VBS leaders, but they rose to the occasion to make it possible for me to be gone. But that didn't help my mind-set any, trying not to start resenting this couple who could only make tonight work for our meeting. My stomach was twisting as I waited for them to arrive - late of course.

And then something surprising happened. It actually went pretty well. I walked through the marriage service with them, emphasizing the promises they'd be making, and how as a community of faith we take this very seriously. And then I asked them if this was truly what they wanted, if this was what their intentions are. And this actually led to some conversation.

It became clear that the groom will not do the inventory because his reading and comprehension skills are minimal, and plus he has some extreme family disfunction in his past and some current drug abuse issues that he doesn't want to own up to (those were primarily the questions he was freaking out about on the inventory). But he is committed to going through with the marriage. When I asked if we could talk about their relationship in our sessions, and about their goals and plans for the future, he did agree to commit to that. When I teased him that that meant he'd actually have to talk, that made him smile. It really seemed to help when I affirmed how uncomfortable he'd been feeling with the process and about me as pretty much a complete stranger. That put him more at ease.

The bride also relaxed quite a bit with this session. She opened up a bit, and was able to be more direct with the groom. She knows what she is getting, she fully knows the horrific upbringing he survived, his intellectual limitations, his immaturity, and his forays into substance abuse. But she still wants this, and is pretty practical about their chances together. I didn't find any rose-colored glasses here.

I still can't help wondering why in the world they want to go through with this. But they have committed to the process (adjusted for his intellectual and emotional limitations), and seem to have taken most of the chip off their shoulders. I still have misgivings, but feel better about it now. Maybe I'm just fooling myself, but I think we can do some positive work together. Sigh. I hope.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Painful Pre-marital

This evening I have experienced the most painful, disturbing and down-right AWFUL premarital meeting of my professional life. And I have counseled well over 50 couples at this point, which had made me thinking I'd seen alot. Oh no. Tonight I was introduced to a whole new level of awful.

It was over several hours ago, but I just can't seem to get it out of my head. I am incredibly disturbed by the obvious multitude of ugly issues the groom is not dealing with, and the serious denial the bride is in. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he has absolutely no interest or desire to get married, or continue to support or have anything to do with their 1 1/2 year old son. So I am at a loss as to why they even showed up tonight, and why this wedding is happening. I was almost to the point of straight out asking them this blunt question, but realized that I wasn't going to get anywhere with him tonight. I decided to let them talk some things over before we meet again on Tuesday. If they even show up on Tuesday.

The atmosphere was ugly, so many unsaid things hanging over them. They were reluctant to even come into my office, and struggled to answer the simplest of questions without tension towards each other. The groom refused to answer most of the questions on the inventory, but couldn't or wouldn't tell me why. He just seemed pissed off and uncomfortable. The bride just didn't deal with him, acting like nothing negative was happening. Every attempt I made to make him more at ease, to establish something positive with him was ignored.

Wow. It was just really bad. And I'm still trying to process it. I'm really not sure what I'm going to say to them. Knowing what I know about their history, I think that their marriage is a huge mistake. Even after I share my reservations, I can totally see the bride dragging us through this painful unproductive process, in her determination to get to this wedding. She already sent out the invitations, before she even verified with me that I'd do the wedding. Her family has such a tenuous connection with faith and church, I don't want to jeopardize that. But I feel like I'm witnessing a train wreck. I've never refused to marry a couple. There have been a few that I insisted that we do some extra work before the wedding, which actually worked out quite well. The couples involved were able to see that they needed some more guided conversations. But I don't see that awareness or capability in this couple. It will be a miracle if I can get them to talk about anything more than the practical details of the service, and even that will be like pulling teeth.

Ugh. I am just haunted by this evening, with an ugly feeling in my gut. I don't know what to do, and don't know if anything I tried to do or say would even be received, or understood for that matter. Ugh.

It's gonna be hard to fall asleep tonight.

Friday Five - Grocery Shopping

This week's Friday Five from the RevGals has to do with food shopping...

1. Grocery shopping--love it or hate it?
I usually really enjoy grocery shopping - the satisfaction of finding everything on the list (almost like a scavenger hunt at some of my local stores!), looking for new items, getting ideas for meals. If I'm rushed, however, then I dread it. It becomes a chore instead of an adventure. Takes all the fun right out of it!

2. Who is the primary food shopper in your household?
That would be me, except that RevDad can be counted on to pick up the little something we need now and then - milk, bread, etc. Now that I'm the one working part time, I have the time to do it, and do the big stocking-up trips. And now that Lil' Princess is off from school, I have a very enthusiastic helper! She always has ~interesting~ suggestions!

3. Do you have a beloved store like TJ's which is unique to your location or family?
This question makes me wistful...being in the boonies, we are very limited in our options. I can drive 10 miles to the nearest grocery store, which has an extremely limited selection, most of which is past its expiration date (and don't even go NEAR the produce section, it will make you weep with dismay). I can drive 30 miles to the next nearest grocery store, which has a slightly less limited selection, fresher foods, and ridiculously high prices - and none of the lovely goodies all the RevGals mention, since mild taco sauce is as exotic as it gets. OR I can drive an hour and go to Walmart. More selections, better prices, and no soul.

4. How about a farmer's market, or CSA share, as we move into summer? Or do you grow your own fruits/veggies/herbs?
There is a sort of CSA share available which does drop-offs in a nearby town. It provides some fruits and vegetables for those who pay their membership dues. I haven't gotten directly involved, since you can only buy in bulk, and we are only three people in our family, and I don't know how to (or really right now want to learn to) can or freeze or dehydrate. My RevFriend in that town did take part last year, and we split some of what she bought, which worked out nicely. That reminds me, I need to ask her if she is interested in doing that again this year.

5. What's the favorite thing you buy at the grocery store?
Hmmmm...locally, I can't think of anything I get particularly excited about. When we do our big trip to Walmart occasionaly (whoopee!) I do look forward to stocking up on my chai tea. Which is getting dangerously low right now, good thing we're going on a little vacation next week, and I'll have access to a larger grocery store. Yes, one of the highlights of vacation, for me, is going grocery shopping at a place that has a lovely variety!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calamity Jane and Pie

I read a storybook about Calamity Jane to Lil' Princess this morning, which totally enthralled her. She's a girly girl, and the opposite of brave and intrepid, but something about Jane's story connected with her. Right now in her imaginary play, instead of her princess waiting to get married, her princess (Sleeping Beauty) is a doctor who is saving the lives of all the dolls. The bad guys made them sick, and so the princess has to save them. (I just got the update, one of the dolls is really sick, and so the doctor princess is going to give them all magic ice cream which can heal owies.)

I grew up being told I could do anything that I wanted to do, a strong empowerment of women message from my mom. It has been...interesting to have a little girl who loves stories of damsels in distress whose only goal is to be married, being saved by princes. I've tried to encourage her in other directions and messages, so its so nice to hear some of it sinking in.

Hmmm. All this talk of all different kinds of flavors of magic ice cream is making me hungry...and there's nothing really to snack on here at home. Except cheese. Which is not what I'm craving. Maybe Lil' P and I need to do a little road trip to the nearest town where we can find some ice cream. No, better yet, pie! Yeah, I'd really like a big slice of pie...banana cream, or apple, or strawberry...strawberry rhubarb!! Ooooh, a big slice of slightly warmed strawberry rhubarb pie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ah, heaven! Though unfortunately, I think we'd have to drive several hours to get to a town that has any. Sigh - guess I'll have to be happy with cheese. But man, that pie sounds good!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Baby Tracking

Maternity countdown -

baby is moving around a lot at all times of the day or night

can't fit into regular clothes anymore, have brought out the maternity clothes

get hungry more often, but don't need to eat a whole lot at one sitting

running out of room on my lap for my daughter

getting dizzy and light-headed when I stand for any length of time (which makes leading service a challenge, let me tell you!)

weepy and overly emotional at random times

tired a lot of the time

getting impatient to get the nursery done

At 27 weeks into the pregnancy, 6 pounds gained

So we're progressing pretty well!