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Interests: I love reading, the usual girl things (shopping, talking, etc), cooking dinner with friends, hiking with my husband, going to church, trying new things, watching movies, and having good conversations. I like a good argument sometimes, but never a senseless rambling. I'm interested in politics and history, and anything international. I love dancing and singing.
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In yet another effort to combat my recent tendencies to focus on the negative things in my life, here is a list of some things I'm thankful for:
1) The chocolate hershey kisses sitting on my desk, just begging to be eaten;
2) A husband who texts me throughout the day to remind me of his love and his prayers;
3) A father who emails me to let me know he is glad for my recent blog, along with a reminder that my boyfriend is now my husband;
4) A sister who hangs out with me every week and lets me vent my heart out;
5) A close friend whose brief chats during the week keep me encouraged and feeling connected:
6) A little, cuddly kitten who provides hours of endless entertainment by scampering around the house, managing to find every single one of my hair ties and distrubting them generously all throughout the house, pouncing on the big, bad, mean toes that are wiggling under the blanket, and sprawling out on my chest and purring so loudly that it sounds like a chain saw is in the room;
7) A puppy whose about to have puppies, so I can't really call her a puppy anymore;
8) A respite (momentary though it might be) from stress and busyness in my hectic work life;
9) The new jewelry that I'm going to get tonight (previously ordered) - it's so pretty: gold-tone, with little glass beads that have flowers suspended in them (a necklace and matching earrings);
10) A job that is paying off my student loans (or much of them);
11) Finances that enable us to eat out regularly (particularly at our favorite restaurant, El Patio, and bi-monthly guilty pleasure trips to Taco Bell to satisfy my junk-food cravings);
12) Ripe avocadoes with a little bit of onion salt sprinkled on;
14) My itouch (Christmas present)
15) Have I mentioned anything having to do with food yet - well, in case you haven't guessed - I'm thankful for food;
16) Cheesy Christian romance novels
17) The Olympics, and in particular, the couples' figure skating;
18) A mother who cooks us amazing meals on a regular basis;
19) Carbonated beverages; AND
20) - are you ready for it, the grand finale? The thing I've been building up to for this whole list? Get ready, because I'm also thankful for - rice crackers.
We have a new addition to our family, and we're pregnant...and, our new addition is a female kitten named Lucki, and it's Lady, our lab, who is pregnant.
We figured that before having children of our own, it was probably a good idea to do a test run on some helpless, tiny, cute, cuddly little animals and make sure that we have what it takes to keep a dependent being alive. In my thinking, it can't be that hard - Lucki just needs to be fed twice a day and she takes care of her own dirty work, and Lady takes slightly more work in that she has to be let out to take care of her business. How much different can raising a child be?
In all seriousness, neither Josh nor I is so deceived as to think parenting is the same as having animals. Having a combined 16 siblings has assured that we at least have an inkling of what having children will mean - both the joys and the sorrows, the challenges and the easy things. And I don't believe that we'll choose to discipline our children by using squirt guns or a shock collar.
For that is exactly how we discipline Lucki and Lady, respectively (no, we do not use the shock collar on Lucki). Lucki has an affinity for eating our big corner plant, which is up on a table, and we find no greater pleasure than in practicing our aim with the squirt gun. Then we watch with delight as she careens around the house in indignation, and eventually comes back to sit on our laps and lick herself with obvious disdain for such human foolishness.
Lady, on the other hand, exhibits proper repentance when she is disciplined. Never have I seen a dog so eager to please and so quick to apologize. Most of the time, we don't even use the shock collar, since a stern word and pointed look will suffice. Though, every once in a while, when the mischevious mood overcomes her, Lady will grab the nearest item that she knows is off limits, and toss it in the air right in front of our faces until we give her some attention. This is similiar to when a child does some hilarious but inappropriate, and you know some correction is needed, but it's all you can do to keep the smile off your face. See - there you go, a similarity between parenting and raising a dog! I knew there were parallels...
And, that, folks, is all I have to say at this time...
As many of you are aware, I have been consistently struggling for some time with work-related issues. However, I've been told, in no uncertain terms, that I need to cultivate a thankful and joyful attitude and heart. And when your Creator and Savior gives a direct order, you'd better obey.
So what does this mean for me? It means thanking God every day for my job, my coworkers, and my boss. It means learning to accept that God has a purpose for me being where I am at this moment. It means living for TODAY and not yearning towards the future "greener pastures" that I think might be there. It means trusting that God knows exactly what He's doing. It means relying daily on God's grace and not on my own strength. It means actually taking joy in the circumstances that usually cause me dread. It means looking out for ways in which I can bless others, prefer others above myself, and choose to give up the right to be right. It means making the concious daily choice to be grateful for what I have and not dwell on what I want. It means praying for and encouraging others, in order to take my mind off myself. It means to consistently check my negative thoughts and replace them with Godly ones. It means to hope, not to fear. It means to speak wisdom and encouragement, not gossip.
I get perhaps 1/4 of this assignment done propertly and correctly each day. But all I can do is keep trying and relying on Jesus. It comforts me that He cares enough about me to take a moment to specifically speak to me about His wishes in this matter. And I take His command also as a promise - as I strive to have this thankful and joyful heart, He is promising that it is possible, that He will help me, and that reward (even if not the one I'd like) will come from my obedience.
Current mood: anxious
I'll apologize beforehand for the sentiment that will pervade this blog post. As a newly married woman, not only am I allowed the usual amount of emotion due me as a member of the female persuasion, but I am also allowed an additional amount by virtue of my recent change in marital status.
But I'll try and get that out of the way immediately. I love being married: I love the feeling of being one half of a God-ordained whole; I love the comaraderie that comes with living with the man who was designed to compliment and complete me; I love the little lessons (even the hard ones) that I have the opportunity to learn; I love the emotional intimacy that is evolving as we learn more about each other and about how to love each other better; I love knowing that this man has given his life and heart to me and would quite literally die for me if necessary; I love the silliness, the tender moments, the laughter, the tears; I love "keeping house" (yes, even doing the dishes and the laundry); I love planning and cooking dinners; I love coming home and knowing that there will be a husband with a hug, and an enthusiastic puppy waiting for me as I walk in the door; I love the challenges and the expansion that is taking place as God begins to mold into the wife He wants me to be.
Okay, now that that is over with - on to other things. Unfortunately, at this moment, marriage and preparation for it has pretty much consumed the last few months, so I don't really have much else to write about. But never fear, the time will come again when you'll be regaled with tales of howling cats and chocolate-induced comas. As a small taste of what will once again come, I'll leave you with this little story:
Apparently, we've been adopted. By a female cardinal. She visits pretty consistently - at least 2-3 mornings per week, in between our 6:25am initial alarm and the 6:34am snooze alarm, she comes knocking on our master bathroom window. This is not so bad when we have to get up anyway for work. It becomes a little less amusing on Saturdays. On those days, we cover the window with a towel. At first, this seemed to discourage her, but one morning, after putting the towel up, we were just drifting back to sleep when all of a sudden we heard a knock on the front window. Lo and behold, our little feathered friend was now visiting the living room.
We're not sure what the purpose of these attempted visits is. Time and again she will throw herself against the window, and she doesn't seem phased by the fact that no matter how many times she does it, there is always a solid wall of glass meeting her.
I suppose we should be complimented by her persistent attempts to establish personal contact with us. However, we recently had a discussion about the morality of killing a little bird: at what point are you justified in "removing" a nuisance such as this one? Is a little interrupted sleep really worth the taking of a life? We haven't quite come to any conclusions yet; however, Josh has begun training Lady to consider cardinals as a very tasty potential snack....
We were attacked by a ravenous, ferocious, vicious, and clearly anguished member of the feline family last night. I can come to no other conclusion. I was jolted out of the beginnings of a very peaceful, satisfying sleep by the sound of mad howling coming from underneath my window. And I am not exaggerating. This cat was literally screeching at the top of its little lungs. At first I was certain that a murder was being committed on our very doorstep. Then, I realized that while the noises were unearthly and frankly rather unnerving, they were not coming from the throat of a human. Still, with some trepidation, I tiptoed to my window, carefully pulled back a tiny portion of my shade, and peered out into the darkness. Please note that this is exactly how a Brightmoorian is trainted to approach potential outside threats. Stealth is called for, and then perhaps your shotgun. The gun wasn't needed on this occasion, however, for all I saw at first was...nothing. Then, as my eyes adjusted, I could faintly make the outline of a cat frantically throwing itself around on the ground, presumably at an [invisible] opponent. I have to admit, I had a weak moment where I actually gave thought to some of the superstitions about cats. A shiver did manage to go up and down my spine. However, I managed to collect myself, and climbed back into bed, secure in the knowledge that we were not being antagonized by a group of rabble rousers, but rather only by an apparently deranged cat. The rukus continued, with the cat sounding as though it was either very viciously attacking something else, or was being viciously attacked itself. But as I saw no other animal, I concluded that the cat must be suffering from hallucinations.
15 minutes later, the cat was still howling. And no, I don't think it was howling at the moon. Besides, it's wolves or dogs that howl at the moon, not cats. Once again, I climbed out of bed and peered out my window. And once again, I saw...nothing. This time, though, it was because the cat had changed locations and was now carrying on its painful-sounding symphony underneath my other window. Now, the four-footed nuisance was sitting on our back patio, facing the blank wall of the house, and pitifully wailing into the night.
I cannot explain it. There was no opponent, there was no other apparent threats, it was not freezing outside, there are an abundance of little rodents in our yard for cats to feast on if they so choose, and I certainly had no previous relationship with this animal that would give it the impression that it was being grievously wronged by being kept outside. Just as I was looking around for something that I could chuck out the window at the cat, it stopped its noise.
This morning, I looked outside, half expecting to see the sad remains of this poor, neglected cat. But there was no sign of it, which is probably a good thing, because my soft heart might have gotten the better of me and I may have succumbed to its whining from the night before and given it some food. That would have set a very undesirable precedent. For, I do not relish the idea of having my very own howling cat to send me to sleep every night with visions of fur flying, teeth bared, and claws extended.
So ends the saga of the cat.