Thursday, May 26, 2011


After my crazy post from yesterday, I am happy to report that we are alive, and the string of crazy events has not continued. 

Luke went to bed still feeling a lot of pain, but by this afternoon, he was bouncing around the house all hyper from sitting still for 24 hours. He says it still hurts, but you wouldn't know that from how he's acting; hopefully he won't become too stir crazy and re-injure it. 

Our car will be fixed by the end of the day and I'll pick it up tomorrow so we can head out of town and see our boys! Fixing it is going to cost an arm and a leg, and we haven't decided yet who has to give up what. I figure since Luke's back is already hurting, he won't even notice a few amputations. And does he really need both arms and legs to study? He disagrees with me though. 

I also went to bed sore (and with weird pains springing up as the day progressed), but woke up feeling fine. So whatever damage she did to me, it was only temporary. In addition, I got a text message from a friend saying she knows of an awesome masseuse and is going to buy me another massage! I seriously felt like crying when I read that. It's like an extra dose of grace--I don't really need to be pampered like that, but I was kinda looking forward to it. What a sweet gift.

And tomorrow we get to see our little guys!! I think it will be a shock to suddenly have to do the work of taking care of them again, but I'm really excited to see them!! This is why rich people have live-in nannies: you get to have your kids with you all the time, but you don't have to endure the endless cycle of diapers and bottles and snacks and diapers and toys and did I mention the diapers yet? 

Today Luke is working on his paper (he won't get as much done as we had hoped, but he's still making great progress) and I got my hair cut (finally!). I'm taking the day to catch up on some projects around the house. Despite the setbacks of yesterday, I think we're still going to get a lot more done than if we had the kids here. 

And really, if we are going to have a day like yesterday, I'd much rather that it happen without the boys around! Can you imagine all of that with the kids in tow? Thank you, God, for Your generous grace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thunderstorms Today

Nope, I'm not talking about the local weather. Nope, not about the not-so-local weather. Remember that expression "when it rains, it pours"? Yeah, we're having thunderstorms today.

Let's start with how today was supposed to go. The kids are still at their Grandparents' house and loving every minute of it. Luke and I just took the past 4 days doing whatever we wanted (um, within budget, that is) and it was stupendous. We set aside today, tomorrow and early Friday to be hyper-productive while the kids are still gone. Luke was going to work 2 full days, and spend the rest of the time on a marathon-paper-writing-binge with the hopes of getting a solid first draft of his first section. That accomplishment would bring much joy and satisfaction and encouragement to both of us. I was planning on getting a hair cut that I needed about 2 months ago, and cashing in on an awesome deal for a massage that I spent the last of my Christmas money on. Then I was going to go to Bible study tonight and spend the next two days catching up on things that are hard to do with kids around (delivering donations of clothes we don't need anymore, organizing the file cabinet, etc). We expected it to be as awesome as the past few days have been---in a very different, but equally satisfying way.

Then I woke up this morning. The clock told me that it was an hour after the time that Luke had set his alarm for. I immediately woke Luke up, announcing the time, and he jump out of bed. And screamed. And then spent the next half hour nursing a (presumably) pulled muscle in his back.

In hindsight, we should have just crawled back into bed right then and there. Oh, how silly of us for thinking things would improve.

He eventually made it to work (very late) and even manged to get a few things done, but he is in a lot of pain right now. He's certainly not in a condition to abuse his body and stay up all night fervently working on a paper. So, yeah, I guess that whole "let's be encouraged by getting a big chunk of the paper done" was merely an exciting daydream. Awesome.

Meanwhile, the craziness and tardiness of the morning forced me to cancel my hair cut. It's rescheduled for tomorrow, but I've given up on optimism at the moment. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not planning to make it through writing this blog post without dumping water on my laptop or something. You think I am being overly dramatic, but you haven't heard about the rest of the day yet.

So I go to my massage. Did I mention I paid the last of my Christmas money on this? And then used my valuable kid-free time to actually go and get it? And, ya know, it's a 90-minute professional full-body massage. There are a lot of reasons for me to have very high expectations. Right?

I should have been worried when the masseuse was waiting outside the bathroom door for me. Um, awkward. Or I should have thought twice about my expectations when she couldn't get the fitted sheet to stay on the table. Or maybe the self-conscious conversation that she kept making should have been a hint. But no, I was still optimistic at that point in the day, so I missed all of those clues.

I began being a little concerned when I simultaneously noticed two things: 1) the hip-hop music from outside the room was as loud as the soothing instrumental stuff she had playing from the boom-box on the floor, and 2) when she was massaging my hand, she meticulously got every finger, but completely ignored the palm. Despite my momentary doubts, optimism prevailed. Ok, so it isn't going to be utterly perfect, I thought to myself,  but at least it will be a massage. I'll just enjoy what I can of it. Mistake've lost count.

By about halfway through, I realized that I was wondering how much longer it would be. Not in the "I could lay here forever" sort of way, but in the "I've got better things to do" sort of way. There were points (like my feet) where I realized that Luke can (and does!) give MUCH better massages. Then the fitted sheet came off again and was curled around my toes and when I pointed it out, she asked if it was ok to just leave it that way. Um. No. After awhile I noticed that my neck was uncomfortable and I was getting a headache. I tried to change positions to make it better. The hip hop music was still blending with the instrumental stuff. When will this thing be over?!?!

It did finally end, and as I was getting dressed afterwards, I noticed that they had set the clock in the room ten minutes ahead of my cell phone. Up until that point I was still trying to stay positive about them and assume the best: they are merely unprofessional (the music, the sheets, etc) and the masseuse is simply not that good at her trade. But the clock was the final straw. Now they are intentionally trying to cheat their customers. For a moment, I considered not tipping her at all.

So I left there disgruntled and with a headache and hopped on the highway to find a coffeeshop to sit in while I prepared for Bible study and waited for it to start. The optimism returned. Oh how foolish of me.

Traffic hit a bottleneck and I was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me. That's a fairly normal occurrence for that road. What isn't normal is that my brake pedal felt like there was a brick sitting under it. I succeeded in slowing down enough to avoid an accident, but now I found myself on a busy highway in a big city with stop-and-go traffic and no brakes (nor any shoulder to stop in even if I could manage to stop).

Somehow I made it to an exit ramp and was able stop and make some phone calls. From those conversations I figured out that there was a good mechanic about 2 miles away on streets that I knew well, and that the brakes were there (if I pushed hard enough, and with enough stopping time). I decided to drive to the mechanic with my flashers on. I don't know why a pedestrian would dart in front of a car with their flashers on, but that woman is lucky to be alive.

I made it to the mechanic with nothing more than a few heart-stopping situations and a very sore ankle (did I mention I sprained it a few weeks ago? It's pretty much ok now, unless I use it too much---like braking in city traffic with no power brakes).

So now I am dehydrated from the crappy massage (I didn't stay to drink the water that I should have because I was so annoyed) and I have a tension headache from the crappy massage and I am pretty emotionally drained from the crazy car stuff. And you are all thinking that this story is over. NOPE.

So I walked (on the now-hurting-again sprained ankle) to find somewhere to sit and calm down (facebook, of course) and get some water and a snack. As I am walking, my knee starts hurting. This knee acts up sometimes (and has done so for years), but I know what triggers it and can avoid those things or be prepared for the pain, so it's usually not a big deal. But I recall that as she was massaging my knee it hurt. Awesome. Now my knee is screwed up. I shouldn't have left her a tip. Are you keeping track of this? My right ankle is sprained and my left knee is screwed up, and my car broke down. I can't figure out which side to limp on.

I hobble past a few Starbucks because I don't really feel like a hot chocolate and that's the only thing I like from there. I settle on a bagel shop because they told me the wifi from the hotel next to them works in their restaurant. Liars.

As I finish this and consider whether I should go to Bible study tonight (I could theoretically get there and home on the train, but do I really want to? And I'm not at all prepared), or just go home, I notice that the wind has picked up and the sky is dark and I recall that they said there were supposed to be severe thunderstorms this afternoon and I haven't seen those yet. I guess they are arriving now, right when I plan to limp to the train to go somewhere.

So maybe this post was about real thunderstorms after all. Didn't I tell you something else was going to go wrong? I guess the sky is going to spill water on my computer for me. And here I was thinking I had been so careful with it.      

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Nutshell

SO MUCH has happened in the past few weeks. Some of it I need to process (and writing is a great way for me to do that) and some of it I just need to tell people about. So here I am. Oh, and this has been written gradually over the past week, so some of the references are a little off as far as when things have happened.


It seems like an eternity ago, but I'm pretty sure it was just last week. After 2 years of studying and studying at Wheaton, he is finally DONE. Oh, I mean, well, he has one little paper left. And by "little" I mean, only 30-40 pages (that's writing, I don't even want to think about how much reading that involves!).

So we went through the ceremony, which was pretty exciting, but he still has a little more work to do. We're hoping that he'll be able to finish by the end of June, but who really knows? It's for an independent study, so there isn't a real deadline. And it is for credits that he doesn't need, so he'll graduate even if he fails, it'll just screw up his GPA (not that I expect him to fail, that is all just to say that there's really not a lot of pressure on this paper). But even with all of that, the end is near.


Judah is crawling, Ayden is tantruming, and they are finally playing together. Judah can finally shove some food into his own mouth (not much, but some anyway), which means that there is hope that he will someday be an independent child instead of a needy infant. Ayden has finally learned the concept of whispering, which has led to some success in having them share a bedroom again (Judah has been camped in the living room for months now). They chase each other and wrestle with each other and yell at each other and share food with each other and all kinds of brotherly interactions. 


I mean that quite literally. I was really losing it for awhile. The first 2 areas listed here are major contributors to this third one. There is routine and balance in my life, and for the first time in 3 years I find myself NOT pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or some combination of those things. Yes, it was this time 3 years ago that we got pregnant with Ayden and my body has been some alien object ever since. I find myself asking Luke to do something around the house, then realizing "oh, I can actually do that myself for once." That is a great feeling. We can also credit an awesome counselor and the arrival of summer as major contributors to my mental health status. I simply love sunshine.


This deserves an entire post of its own, but a blurb will have to do for the moment. We have been asked by the mission board that we are applying with to slow down the application process. Because we have been in SUCH a crazy period of life, they think it would be best for us to wait to go to Denver to complete the application process (probably until the fall, but the specifics haven't been decided yet). For one, they think it would be good for us to have a period of calm in our lives before we jump into fundraising and preparing to move. In addition, there were some things that they wanted to evaluate more carefully (like my mental health) that they didn't have adequate time to explore with the deadlines that we were initially aiming for. 

Despite my impatience, we feel really good about this. Their decision was obviously made with our best interests in mind, and that is very reassuring to see in the mission board that you are hoping to join! In addition, they handled it all very appropriately; they flew us to Denver for one day so we could talk about everything face-to-face.

There was a second reason that they wanted to fly us to Denver and talk. We're a little less certain about what to make of it. They are very excited to have us join their organization, but they want us to reconsider Rwanda. Yep, you read that right, and yep, we were pretty surprised about it, too. To clarify, they didn't say we couldn't go to Rwanda, just that they weren't certain if that was the best field for us to join and they want us to think and pray about that decision some more. 

Their reasons are based purely in concern for us and our ability to fit in well there and thrive. I'm not going to get into all of it here, but again, we found that their motives are genuine concern and care for us. Although I can see how they came to have these concerns, I'm not sure if the reasons are completely valid. So, right now we are opening up to the possibility that God may be calling us somewhere else, while hoping that He is still calling us to Rwanda. If Rwanda isn't where He wants us, then He has something else that is even better than Rwanda. 


Luke's parent's have offered to take the boys for a week so we can have a little bit of a break, so I am taking them down there today! Meanwhile, we will spend the first part of the week ignoring all demands from work, church, school, or anything else. Then the later part of the week, we will take advantage of some time to get things done without constant interruption. THEN, as if that isn't great enough, we are going down to join the boys and their grandparents for a few days over the weekend. So the next few weeks look to be a nice break from the normal routine. I am REALLY looking forward to it!!

I think that will have to do for now. God is good. God is leading. We feel really good about life right now, despite the recent uncertainty about our longer-term future.