Thursday, February 12, 2009

Muscular Armpits Be Challenged!

Remember a long time ago when my armpits were stronger than my abs? NOT ANYMORE!!!!!!
BOO-YAHHHH!!! (Yeah, I'm aware that just dated me a little bit)
I lifted weights yesterday for my workout, and my biceps are coming back wonderfully! And under my post-baby skin stuff, I have ABS! I really do! :D And that skin stuff is progressing slowly in its shrinkage. Little by very little. And my pants SUDDENLY fit nicer! I noticed the other day that my legs looked smaller, even though I was sitting with my thighs all spread on the seat! (You better know what I'm talking about there).
And today when I went swimming and did the butterfly, I actually felt POWERFUL again instead of like I was going to die. Oh, happiness and healthiness!

Oh, one more thing. And this feels so good because it's the first time in my life that I've been so successful with New Year's Resolutions: I'M DOING IT! ALL of it except for harp and sewing machine, isn't that crazily wonderful?! And I'm still trying with harp. The sewing machine will happen soon enough. I'm not too worried. :) Besides, we're going to move soon, so it's not exactly on the to-do list.

Seminary and the Future

Michael will not be hired.

His teachers and advisors pulled all the strings and fought harder for him than they have for anyone. They love Michael, and he is an excellent teacher. There really is no doubt about that!
One of the teachers at least got an interview (a step towards being hired). It's really tight this year. And even though we think--kindly so--it might have been a fluke that that one teacher had a good lesson the day he was watched. Michael prepares his lessons in his office while that teacher has classes and notices lots of struggles in that teacher's lessons. But don't think we feel bitter. We feel hopeful for that teacher! It is quite a blessing he is getting so far!

When Michael told me, for some reason I felt like congratulating him. We finally had an answer! This has been the longest job interview, to say the least. Just to hear yes OR no is a relief. It's been a hopeful maybe for about two and a half years. We're so blessed to not feel any grief over this!

I believe I have been prepared for this moment. All my life, I've had to learn to adjust to rapid changes. Our Army family moved about every two years. You find out you're leaving, and you let your mind slowly unravel from the things to which it's grown attached. The unraveling tendrils tentatively reach out for new dreams and adventures, exploring the imagination for what this next chapter will be like. You learn to love more; you keep old friends and build new ones into the picture. You learn to change; you have a chance to prove you are better than you've been before.
So when this moment came, I felt a great peace wash in as I forgot all dreams of a career in seminary. Instead, excitement surged in, surrounded by scenes of the newly possible future. Michael could dedicate himself more than ever to his passion of composing! I would have more reason to be successful in my Mary Kay business! We could live ANYWHERE we want! For as LONG as we want! Michael will study music, in any school from the thrilling schools of Estonia to the romantic coast of Oregon to the family central of Utah.
It feels like a long, deep, clean breath of fresh freedom.

We had our cry about seminary a long time ago when Michael returned from being watched with a request to "improve." He did improve. And in the meantime, we realized more so than ever that seminary might not happen for us. We kept hoping, but the reality stayed apparent. There's still a strange chance that Michael may be needed--the hiring process actually continues through September. If he were offered a job, he'd take it. He loves the youth and loves to teach them. But we're not dangling for life on that chance anymore. It's hard to say if we ever did, come to think of it. We have no regrets, we've put everything into seminary together that we could. Perhaps we always loved the vision of a composer's life and wanted it the most. Maybe I just think so because I've let go of seminary... All I know is that we're incredibly blessed. I know Heavenly Father will continue to bless us. We've seen it; He blesses all these men and their families who dedicate themselves to the chance they might be hired to preach the gospel. He honors us for our faith.

....imagining myself leisurely strolling the streets of Estonia with my little boy's hand in mine while we look in shop windows, happy with life....

....imagining us running along the crust of the ocean, our feet making soppy puddles in the dark sand of Oregon....

....imagining living in the same neighborhood as even one relative, stopping by for something as little as saying hello....

And Drive, Drive, Drive

I wanted to be alone in the car
just to drive
no other cars on the road
me and maybe my music
driving faster than I should
I think I'd go 80 or 85
that's the most comfortable angle for my foot
I would think a little bit
and drive, drive, drive

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cramps and Cookies

Anyone else get antsy when their husband's gone and they hear an ambulance outside?

The last few nights, I haven't slept well. No big reason (bad mattress, cramps, et cetera). So I've had hours at my disposal to daydream. Sometimes almost in response to the dream I had a while ago about another baby. By the way, that post is kind of embarrassing me. It's so very much a naked heart post. Yuck. It's all true, but it feels maudlin to me now that I've written it and shared it. I suppose that's what happens when you share something really personal. You have to be more careful than that, don't you?

So you know what I daydream? I dream that I have a fancy Mary Kay car, beautiful clothes, a gorgeous yet modest home with lovely furniture and a sparkly, organized kitchen. I dream that Michael is hired as a seminary teacher. Ender is usually walking in these dreams, and sometimes I go further into the future when we can play Legos together, and he'll think I'm the coolest mom. Michael will come home from work, and we'll show him what sweet things we've done together. Sometimes Ender will be sick, so I cuddle with him in a blanket and watch a kid movie. I dream of having a flawless pregnancy--or beating the odds of a bad one. Always happy, never grumpy (and don't make fun of me, because these are daydreams. I'm totally allowed to dream). I dream of living in the same neighborhood as a sister. I dream of non-snowy weather, like going for a bike ride in the autumn time, breathing crisp air and smelling the sharp scents of dried leaves. Sometimes I daydream that I'm this totally cool Young Women's leader. That's...that's a sillier wish of mine. : AHEM! ANYWAY, a recurring daydream of mine is that I have my own exercise studio lined with mirrors and windows, shining over a bright hardwood floor. I do yoga, pilates and even dance. It's the most embarrassing thing even in my mind, I tell you. P.S. - Rae, you wondered once how to underline on your blog, saying it's mysteriously left out. The shortcut is ctrl + U. I also like to daydream that my mother is visiting. I just miss her.

Like I said before, our plans are not changing. But I have thought more and more about what it would be like to be pregnant with a second or to have a second child. I'm getting more comfortable with the idea. And even though nothing can fully prepare me, I feel more emotionally steady with myself and the prospect of being a mother of multiple children. It's nice. And in the meantime, I love having my one little Ender to baby.

To baby? To mother? Whatever. He gets babied because I mother him. I like to be babied, when I get that nasty swamp of cramps in my gut? Euuughghghhg. And Michael is all too willing to convince me that I don't need to wake up at 5:30AM. Of course I don't. I need my rest. :) The wonderful thing about that is I don't even feel guilty! Why would I! I didn't exercise yesterday, but I did wonderful things and succeeded in my determination to make it a happy day for my boys. And I'll exercise today, so it will be at least 3 times this week. It's fine, it's wonderful.

I have three cookies left sitting on a cookie sheet on top of the fridge. Part of me whispers that I should eat them so I can finally clean the sheet. Yes, that really is my reasoning. I ignore the smart voice that says "Duh, just put them in a bag or something." Part of me whispers that I should throw them away because they weren't cooked all the way through. But that voice is just dumb because who cares if they're a little more like cookie dough than cookie? I eat cookie dough, too! WITH EGG!
I do try to take salmonella seriously, I do. It's just harder when it comes with chocolate chips.
I'll leave it to you to decide what I do with those cookies...