All the Hatred

June 5, 2017

Well, I’m at the point in pregnancy where I hate everything and everyone. It’s a good look. Five more weeks of my stellar attitude before the postpartum tears kick in!

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I hate right now:

I hate trying to heave this painful belly from side to side in bed. I hate not being able to sleep on my back. I hate my swollen fingers, feet and face. I hate my very limited clothing options — I only have so many shirts in size “whale.” I hate the kind and well-meaning comments I get asking when my due date is and how have I not had that baby yet?! Or the comment I received yesterday from an older gentleman who asked, “Is that one baby in there or two?” When I responded “one,” he said “whoa!” and gave me a disapproving/disappointed/incredulous look. So that was encouraging. I hate that I have no appetite and nothing ever sounds good, but I still manage to eat bags of Chicago Mix popcorn (the Costco-sized bags) and gain 48 pounds a week. I hate that I’m always hot. I hate that I’m never comfortable. I hate that putting up a picture in the baby’s nursery gets me out of breath. I hate the waddling. Hate it.

I’m the one on the right.

I could go on. But, guys, I really like to avoid negativity.

As you can tell, I’m a treat for Andrew to be around lately. Poor guy. Yesterday we ate leftover salad out of a bowl for supper. Because nothing sounds good, so I can’t think of anything to cook and poor me! Also, poor Andrew who often offers to cook, but as previously mentioned, nothing sounds good.

Theo seems to be doing fine, though. He spends his time wearing flip flops or rubber boots and “helping” Andrew with the yard work.

He also likes to suddenly be up every hour in the night and completely wide awake around 4 a.m. Who knew there was an 18-month sleep regression? Not I, said the cranky 35-weeks pregnant lady. Last middle-of-the-night, I got up with him and thought he might be hungry, so I gave him a cracker, which he should scarf down in .2 seconds. Instead he licked at it for three years while smiling up at me with very awake eyes. Not cute. (But also, very cute.)

Who can stay annoyed with him?

Overall, I’m actually fine, guys. Calm down with the drama. This has really been a much better pregnancy than my last one, and it went quite quickly. I feel more prepared for postpartum life than last time, and adequately prepared/terrified for labor. The baby is growing well, and he finally moved to a head-down position, so overall, I am very grateful! (And also, crabby.)

So, what have you guys been up to? Enjoying spring/summer? Eating normal meals at normal times? Going to Target? Anyone read or seen anything good lately? I hear Wonder Woman is all the rage.

The other day I was feeling so discouraged about the world and our sin. Whether it’s family drama or terrorism or constant political fighting, it is wearing and often feels hopeless. It is why the prophets and the psalmist often cry out, “How long, Oh Lord?” We don’t know how long. But what it comforting to me is that, in the midst of it all, God is doing a new thing — do I not perceive it? He has made a way in the desert through Jesus. The hope that we have — the forgiveness of our sins and the reverse of the curse — is real. And one day, everything will be as it was meant to be. So we cling to that hope and we share that truth — that Jesus saves — because it is true and right. And in the meantime, for those of us who are disciples of Jesus, we do our part, through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, to walk as He walked and share His good news.

Well, how’s that for some positivity?! Optimism is just in my nature, guys.

OK, Theo is napping, which means I probably will too.

Kisses!

 

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Back to the Grind

April 5, 2016

Sorry I didn’t blog last week, guys. We were on spring break! Andrew had the whole week off, so we went to Fairmont, BC and enjoyed the mountains and hot springs. We had good friends, good food (I’m fat), and great weather!

So beautiful! Also, SO many deer droppings.

This week Andrew is back at work, and so far today Theo has peed on my bed and thrown up on me twice. So I guess spring break is over.

Theo loved getting to spend so much time with Andrew last week. He is such a fun dad and took Theo swimming and on walks and showed him what it feels like to play on green grass. By the end of the week, Theo would just stare at Andrew with an adoring smile any time he was around.

Best friends.

I, on the other hand, am old news. I get a smile with some vomit. The other day, Theo started burrowing his head into my shoulder, which I thought meant that he wanted to give hugs to his favorite mommy. But then I realized that he was just sucking on my shoulder and getting saliva all over me. Also, he has recently figured out where his food comes from, which means that he is constantly pawing at me in a very ungentlemanly fashion. But whatever. Look at this sweet face.

From this plaid button-up, you would think that he’s a gentleman.

Ugh. I am feeling stressed. I am still waiting on this work visa extension, and if it doesn’t come this week, it affects my legal status, my maternity leave payments, my healthcare and my ability to travel. So, seriously, if you think of it, I would love your prayers that it shows up in my mailbox like now. Thank you so much!

Our washing machine broke the other day, which was a fun treat. It would get stuck on the spin cycle and to get it to reset, we’d have to open up the drain and let all the water gush all over our laundry room floor, which meant millions of mops and sopping towels. It was super cute. But $300 later, it’s fixed and I get to wash towels for days.

Guys, I am on a cleanse. After last week’s spring break eating and the previous weeks of no-excuse-for-all-those-chips eating, I have got to get. on. it. So yesterday I worked out and ate some pineapple. (In my world, a cleanse means trying to eat fewer Doritos.)

Did everyone see the NCAA championship game last night? (Only if you have TBS.) Such an awesome game! Also, I won both of my brackets because I’m a basketball genius (very lucky).

So now apparently Trump wants to give forty lashes to women who get abortions, and then keep abortion legal and then outlaw abortions, and then give free abortions to everyone. Or something. Nice work.

OK, nap time is almost over and I still have 700 loads of laundry to do. As I was stressing about my work visa, this verse popped into my mind: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” So, let’s do that today!

He's a very trusting kind of guy.

He’s a very trusting kind of guy.

K, bye everyone! Smooches! (Why? No one knows.)

We Took Ill

March 7, 2016

I meant to blog last week, but I was too busy dying. Of vomit. And other things. Other. Things.

Oh, you guys. Last Monday night, a couple of hours after dinner, I told Andrew my stomach felt weird. So I went into the bathroom and had a small episode. Then ten minutes later, Andrew had an episode. Then we spent the rest of the night having episodes from every orifice in our bodies. It was the absolute worst. Andrew threw up at least ten times and his eyes are still bloodshot (a week later) to prove it. I didn’t throw up as many times, but I had a terrible fever and did things like almost vomit on my baby while nursing him. It was a classy night.

Next year’s Christmas card. This is probably somewhere around 3 a.m. Monday night. We shared that bucket. For vomiting.

The next day Andrew’s mom had to come and hang out with Theo while we limped around, took naps, and nibbled on crackers. We’re still not sure what it was — we thought it was food poisoning, but I also got a cold and terrible cough out of the deal, so maybe it was a flu bug? Either way, it was awful and I haven’t been that sick in a long time. I am still recovering and I’m even missing strollercize, and we all know how I hate to miss a good workout.

When you’re sick, your baby suffers too. From poor fashion choices.

So, basically, March came in like a lion in the Snyder household.

My work visa expires in a month, which means that unless the Canadian government hurries up and grants me the extension I applied for four months ago, I will no longer have healthcare or be able to work or leave the country. So, pretty please, Canada?!

Guys, I miss Target. Oh Joy has all these cute new baby clothes that I don’t have access to. And in April, Marimekko is doing a special line at Target and I won’t even get to see it! My life is hard.

Oh boy. Here’s a thing we need to discuss: Trump and Hilary winning Super Tuesday. Way to be crappy, America. I don’t get this Trump thing. I literally know of no one who is supporting him, but apparently tons of insane people are. Does everyone understand that he basically wants to be a dictator and silence those who disagree with him? You know, like people who lead in North Korea and the Middle East. And he says pretty awful sexist and racist things? And he has no actual plans for running a country besides saying a lot of loudmouth things? And the KKK loves him? And his rise to power looks and sounds eerily similar to a guy in Europe in the 30s? I doubt any of you wise blog readers support Trump, but if you have a friend or family member who does, I actually implore you to talk to them and explain that they should rethink all of it. ASAP. Especially if they claim to be Christians. I honestly believe that anyone who votes for Trump would be elevating nationalism above their faith and that is no bueno.

He’s happy to be Canadian and is imploring his American friends to make sure that it’s #nevertrump.

Speaking of Trump, our sermon at church was so very good yesterday. Our pastor started out by asking if anyone was following the election cycle in the States. (This drew a loud chuckle from the crowd because, America, you are a huge international laughingstock with this ridiculous election. Be proud.) Anyway, our pastor pointed out that of all the ridiculous things Trump has said, the one with eternal consequences is when he said that he has never asked God for forgiveness. (You know, because he doesn’t need it.)

We’re doing a short sermon series on some of the lament Psalms in the Bible. Psalms of lament are actually a huge chunk of the Psalms, and they often ask questions of God or cry out to Him. Yesterday we looked at Psalm 130 — a lament over sin. The Psalmist knows that if God kept a record of sin, no one would be able to stand before Him. But thankfully, with God there is forgiveness of sin when we confess and repent. The sermon was so good — a reminder of our sin, of God’s great grace, of His Gospel, and of the hope we have in the God who will Himself, through Jesus, redeem Israel of its sins. Seriously, if you have a few minutes, watch this sermon — it will convict and refresh you!

Theo just peed all over the floor and then whined loudly while I took a 2.5 minute shower. #keepingitreal

Would anyone like to come stuff these cloth diapers for me? I’d rather watch Netflix. #keepingitrealer

Speaking of Netflix, we watched Fuller House. It was terrible, obviously, but so was the original Full House. So they stayed true to themselves. I did love the nostalgia, though, and they had some funny moments. Also, that Max kid. I’m not going to lie — he cracked me up.

OK, I feel that’s all I have to report on. I lost the last week of my life, so I’m going to try to catch up today by thinking about maybe making supper tonight. I have goals.

Have a great week!

So, in case you haven’t heard The News, I’m pregs. As in, pregnant. As in, with child. As in, it feel like there’s a tumor in my abdomen.

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Crazy, hey?! (Canadians say “hey” all the time. Even more than “eh.” I’ve started saying “hey” a lot, and I’m not proud of it. But our child will be Canadian, so I’ve got to get used to it. But don’t you worry, it’ll be ‘Merican too.)

So, I’m almost 14 weeks pregnant, and the baby is due in mid-November! I wouldn’t say I’ve been feeling good, but I know I could be feeling worse. I actually haven’t thrown up at all, which I find pretty amazing. I do get headaches and nausea and oh, the tiredness. I’m not a very awake person to begin with, but pregnancy fatigue is a thing, people. Andrew has been very kind to me lately by not calling me lazy when I am constantly asleep at 7 p.m. He also let me cry in his arms for literally 45 minutes the other night when I was worried that I’d gained weight in my face. (I think I’ve got the pregnancy hormones completely under control.) And he’s been great about foraging through the garbage for food because all cooking has basically ceased the last three months in favor of me eating any/all crackers or other carb-type foods I can get my hands on. (Yes, I’ve made us ramen noodles for dinner because I’ve had a sudden craving. Again, not proud. But man, ramen noodles are delicious sometimes and you know it’s true.)

Little Tiny Tucker is apparently the size of a peach this week and you’ll be glad to know that he/she finally has a thyroid. Phew.

So now that I’m pregnant and will be having a kid, does this mean that my bloggy will have to become a mommy blog? I don’t even know what mommy bloggers do, I just know that a lot of people do them. The one mommy blog I’ve ever read is Big Mama, and she mostly just talks about what she did that day, or cute dresses she saw online, or what TV shows she is watching, or what she made for dinner. She also sometimes posts pics of her daughter and talks about some stuff that they have done. So basically, my blog is already a mommy blog, even though I’ve never had a child. I’ll just replace tiny animal pics with pics of my new baby. Perfect, nothing has to change! OR — just throwing this out there — maybe we can just add pics of my baby to the tiny animal ones, right? We’d miss the wittle baby piggies, wouldn’t we?

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Speaking of which, I realize that it is silly to talk about the possibility of my blog changing when I never even blog in the first place. But do you think becoming a mom will make me blog more? I am betting on “yes.” Because did you know that Canadians get a year of maternity leave?! Take that, America! You have some catching up to do!

So during my year of learning how to care for my baby, which will likely involve a lot of sobbing (me), feeding (me), burping (me), sleeping (me? please sometimes me…) I’m guessing I may want to tell you all the things. So let’s look forward to sometime in January when I may be sane enough to write you a note or two.

Guys, what has even been going on with you? How is Target? (Target is now closed here, so my baby will look like a hobo. It’s all up to Jilly Bean to send me darling Target items.) How is everything else?

Andrew and I have been learning a lot about trusting the Lord with all kinds of things — money, our baby, our future, etc. He is worth trusting, so we try to do it.

So that’s our big update! I could also update you on how my pants are all getting quite tight or how we are watching Big Brother Canada (and it’s the best, don’t even hate), but I’ll refrain. I’ll try to blog again soon — I miss you guys!

Have the best day! I’ll be over here trying to keep up my no-vomit streak!

 

Target is closing all of its Canadian stores.

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Who knew that my first blog post of 2015 would be about something so devastating? What am I supposed to do now, shop at WalMart?! #nothankyou #nothappening #never

I’ve been receiving texts, emails, and Facebook and Instagram posts all day from family and friends offering actual condolences because they knew I would be in mourning over this tragic turn of events. I’m not sure if I should be a bit embarrassed that my name is so closely associated with a cheap retail store in the minds of my friends, but whatever. It’s the truth. I love Target and it is leaving me.

It may be too soon for me to speak — raw emotions and all that — but I have been moving through the five stages of grief since hearing this heartbreaking news this morning (I move quickly), and I thought I’d share my processing with you, dear readers.

First, denial. I woke up this morning to a text from a friend who shared the news that Target Canada was closing. I shouted “NO!” and woke Andrew up. (Actually.) Then I Googled it (similar to Asking Jeeves, Mom) to see if it was actually true. My heart sank as articles confirming the worst started streaming insensitively down my iPhone screen.

Then the anger came rolling in. Canadians. Target is the best thing to have ever happened to you. You literally only have WalMart left as a “comparable” option. What if you want something not ugly? Where are you going to go now?! Why on earth didn’t you shop at Target more?

Next came bargaining. I tweeted Target Canada, Target US, Target Anywhere today and asked them to at least start shipping to Canada from the U.S. online store if they’re going to shut down. I need me some Target somehow. (Seriously, if you are a Target employee/executive who is reading this (quite likely, I’m sure), please consider shipping to Canada!)

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

Then the depression set in. I may have actually shed a tear. (Not lying.) Now I know that everyone comes to my blog for my practicality, preciseness, lack of drama, and refusal to exaggerate. But I do want to point out that I understand that the closing of a retail store is not an actual tragedy. I am still clinging to a very slight grip on reality. There are clearly things around the world and family and friends who are dealing with real, heartbreaking and difficult things that are immeasurably beyond me not getting to buy Nate Berkus lamps any longer. A lot of what I’m saying is for the sake of my favorite friend: hyperbole. But I am actually feeling a bit sad about Target leaving, and here’s why:

1. I get all of my everything there. Clothes, snacks, shoes, purses, makeup, deodorant, nail polish, thank-you cards (maybe someday you’ll get a wedding thank-you), gum, rugs, lamps, shower curtains, shampoo, toilet paper…you get the point. Target is my go-to. They have cuter, cheaper stuff than most places. I love it.

2. In a weird way, Target feels like home to me. In case you don’t know, the very first Target opened in Minnesota. The Target headquarters are located in downtown Minneapolis. When I was growing up in Minnesota, WalMart was scarce, but Target was everywhere. My mom loved shopping there, and it’s just where we went for all of our household needs. When I moved to Colorado after graduating from college, I would often go to Target by myself after work. I would shop for stuff for my house, buy a shirt or two, and check out the latest makeup. Something about being at Target while living so far away from home was comforting to me. It reminded me of Mom and Auntie Faye and all the times my brother and I would buy cherry Icees from the Target food court.

I lived in Colorado Springs for six years, and then I decided to move to Denver to work on my Master’s. It was a big change and I missed my friends. I was living alone for the very first time, and it felt weird. My apartment in Denver had a Target less than a mile away, and I remember going there for the first time after I moved and feeling a bit less lonely. I stepped into the store, and it was familiar, a comfort.

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Then one day I met a Canadian boy, and I liked him a lot. We started talking and texting and holding hands. We decided to love each other, and then get married. This meant that I would move to Canada, which is kind of a big deal. And, as silly as it sounds, when I heard that Target was opening in Canada, it made me happy. It made me feel like even though I was moving away again, this time to a whole different country, there would still be a piece of home there. I could go to Target and it would feel familiar, I could look at the same items my mom was looking at, and somehow it would feel like I was not quite so far away.

So, as trite as it may be, that’s why I am actually sad that Target is leaving Canada. It is my place. It feels homey and comfortable, and that will soon be gone. But thankfully, in the last few months, home is now wherever I’m with Andrew.

But the question remains: where will I get everything cute from now on?

The next step is acceptance. I’m not quite there yet, mostly because I enjoy being dramatic and exaggerated for as long as possible. But it will come, I’m sure. And if not, you have lots of Target-related blog posts to look forward to. (I think next will be a pictorial essay tour of my home in which I point out all the things I got at Target.)

So, I am sitting shiva today. Send BBQ chips and flowers to cheer me.

Target Canada, you will be missed.

 

 

Updates from a Matron

October 24, 2014

Guess what I am supposed to be doing? (The answer is “not blogging.”) I should be writing a freelance lesson. But yesterday was my Jaci’s birthday and her one request was a new blog post, and I aim to please. (Also, I aim to procrastinate.)

You guys! Hi! Last time I wrote a blog post was more than two months ago! I’ve had a whole wedding since then. And moved. And bought a couch. I’m an old married woman now. A matron, if you will.

Umm, I would like to interrupt this post to show you something. I’m at a coffee shop, and the guy behind the counter keeps doing something back there with his leg. It just pokes out from behind this post and bounces around. When a customer comes in, he’ll go serve them, and then he comes right back here to do this. What do we think is going on? No one knows.

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I guess I should give some updates because you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to know the daily details of my life. (No you haven’t.)

* Andrew and I love married life! Like, I love it so much more than I thought I would. I mean, I assumed I’d like it and everything, but it’s really just been the best. Something changed once we got married. I’m so much more comfortable and peaceful and content. It’s just really, really nice to know that Andrew is here for me no matter what, and vice versa. (I have a lot of married wisdom to offer because it’s been a whole two months, so I’m clearly an expert.) All that to say, I don’t regret or want to wish away the years that I was single, because those were really great times too, but I’m enjoying this new stage of life a lot. Also, when you are married, you have someone who will tell you that all of your decorations and clothes have flowers on them, even though you didn’t think of yourself as a flower person, but apparently you are.

If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram (denise_ruth) then you’ve seen enough of my wedding pictures to make you wish I had never discovered Pinterest. So, I won’t post any more here.

Except maybe just one.

Denise and Andrew Wedding (844)

* As I mentioned, it was Jaci’s birthday yesterday. And my mom just reminded me that it is my Grandma Betty’s birthday today. Betty Kay, hope you have a good day. (That was birthday poem, guys.) Jaci was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and I hadn’t seen her in literal years, so it was so fun to get to reconnect. She should move to Canada. So should all these other girls.

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*I’m not counting that above picture as a wedding picture. It’s a friend picture. I’ll stop now.

* Leg update — he’s still at it.

* My friend Suzanne just wrote a book, you guys! So, if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, you should definitely buy her book because she’s a great writer and has three little kids, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also doing a giveaway for a free iPad, so you should definitely enter!

I wanted to pin the giveaway on my Pinterest page, but I figured if I did that no one would read the text and they would assume that I’m preggers, which I’m not. And then I’d have to write a whole blog post about how I’m not preggers, but my friend wrote a good book, and I just wanted everyone to know about it, and how when I am preggers in the future our baby will be nameless because Andrew and I will not be able to agree on a name, so little “Buster Brown” (that’s what we’ll have to call him until we agree on a name) will grow up to be socially inept because his parents could never agree on what to call him, and we’ll have to write our own book about parenting and how not to do it, and how important it is to name your children, and it would’ve wasted a lot of time and space to have to write all that… Where were we? Oh yes, get Suzanne’s book. And enter the drawing.

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* In other need-to-know news, I tried on this jacket today. Do I need it? (It looks better in person. And, also, what should we do with my hair? I don’t like it.)

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* So Andrew and I are leading a small group, and we’re all reading through the New Testament together this fall. We’re using this Books of Bible, which is the New Testament without chapter and verse markings.

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Andrew and I have been reading it aloud to each other, and it’s been amazing, for the following reasons: 1. It’s God’s Word, and therefore it is sweet. 2. This study encourages us to read the books of the New Testament in big chunks, like it was written. So, when we read one of Paul’s letters, we read the whole letter at once. It is how the original listeners would have read it, and we are noticing all kinds of new things. 3. Andrew and I are constantly thinking about and discussing the Bible together, which is so cool. 4. We have great discussion with our small group and learn a lot together. 5. This version of the Bible reads like a book, and it is cool to see the whole of God’s story this way. 6. God’s word is always useful and worth it. It shows us who He is — full of mercy and grace. Anyway, it’s great. Jesus is great. The end.

* Leg update — he was doing both legs at the same time for a minute. Fancy.

OK, I have to go. This lesson is calling my name. (Or a nap is calling my name. Who’s louder — that’s the question.)

Have a good weekend, friendsies!

Responsibilities

May 21, 2014

Best friends!!!

It has been so long! How have I survived without you? More importantly, how have you survived without me? I mean, it has to be tough to get by day-to-day without all the reports of what I’m whining about, what I’m watching and what kind of chips I’m eating.

Have you been so sad not knowing whether I’m wearing yoga pants or my Colorado sweatpants? (p.s. Andrew is not a fan of the Colorado pants. I don’t know why.)

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Anyway, dry those tears, my darlings. I’m here today.

Well, obviously, I haven’t been blogging as much because I am a worker. I work. Like a lot of days out of the week. Who made these work-week rules, anyway? I have working responsibilities now, you guys. These responsibilities include: getting up earlier than 9 a.m., showering earlier than 10 a.m., being dressed earlier than 11 a.m., smiling at people earlier than noon, watching fewer than 43 hours of Netflix by 1 p.m., etc.

Responsibilities.

I am in my third week at my job, and so far so good! I am still getting settled and learning and like such as. I am being a good listener, and so far, people still think I am nice, so I have them fooled. I did begin to share some of my Old Testament weirdness, but there’s only so long I can hold it in, you guys!

On Saturday, the church I work at hosted a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. That’s right, SCC saddled up his horses and headed to The Deer.

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I never loved old Stevie (that’s what he’s asked me to call him) when I was younger, but the concert was actually pretty good. He shared some cool stuff and led us into a really beautiful time of worship. Mostly, hearing his songs reminded me of being a teenager, which reminded me of dc talk, which made me literally yearn for a dc talk reunion tour. Guys, if that ever happens, I will cry. Like actual tears. Of joy. And then I will go to each and every concert on the tour. What will people think? I don’t really care.

On Monday, we Canadians celebrated Victoria Day! It is a very important holiday to those of us who are Canadian (I’m not Canadian). I think it’s maybe about the queen? It’s basically Memorial Day, but a week early. We honored the queen by going to Calgary to shop and eat brunch at this cute little diner with cute little signs.

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My hair looks very long and droopy in that picture. Kind of like Lady.

Lady

I am busy not eating sugar ever. Do you know what is delicious? Sugar.

Guess what is coming up in two and a half months?!

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Notice that my phone service is provided by Bell. A foreign phone company, because I’m a foreigner now. I hope I remember how to speak English when I return to the States. (I think I will. A lot of people seem to know it up here.)

OK, I best be going. I’m a worker, remember. Responsibilities.

Have a jovely day, besties! I’ll try to talk to you again soon!

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

How’s work going for everyone? Wearing running pants all day is going well for me. (Don’t worry. I haven’t been doing any actual running.)

So, it’s #noworrieslent everyone. I’ve been posting pics over on Instagram (denise_ruth), but in case you aren’t cool enough for Instagram, I thought I’d re-post some here for a little pictorial essay time. Let’s call it “Hakuna Matata: A Filtered Picture a Day Keeps the Worries Away.”

I eavesdropped on these ladies at Starbucks a couple of weeks ago. One of them was talking about getting a visa for her Canadian fiance! Mr. Ponytail and I both felt her pain.

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These really don’t have anything to do with No Worries Lent, but I had to capture them on camera, obviously. Because these are some shorts you can buy at Express right now. Apparently to wear. In public.

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Guess who came to visit me last week? (Hint: it was not that guy in the sweatpants and red sweatshirt.)

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Andrew’s visit helped a lot with No Worries Lent. It was so fun to see him and show him the wedding venue and hang out. We also took engagement pics! Actually Matthew John Photography took engagement pics — if you want to get specific. We can’t wait to see them!

Anyhoos. We had a lot of fun! I miss that guy. We should try living in the same country someday.

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How can you worry when you’re hiking around Garden of the Gods on a sunny day? Answer: you can’t.

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OK, here’s a thing: Ashley has been so kind and generous and wonderful to me the last few months. She has given me a room at the famed Boyer B&B, and has let me sit on her couch a lot. It is probably annoying to have a whiny, waiting girl living in your home, but Ashley has put up with me like a trooper. My only complaint is that when I make her delicious (not delicious) sugar-free treats, she shuns them.

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Diana and I went to brunch yesterday. None of this was sugar-free or fat-free or calorie-free. But it was delicious. If you are in Colorado, you must visit Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. It is my favorite.

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This really has nothing to do with worry, but look at the vintage windows I got this weekend! We went to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and I loved it. Have you ever been to one? People donate doors and cupboards and light fixtures and furniture. And cute windows you can use to decorate your wedding!

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Umm, we went to a thrift store and found this sign. If you get hurt, they are not reliable. Don’t depend on them. For reliability. (Or, I’m guessing, liability either.)

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Saturday night the Jewish holiday of Purim started. Purim celebrates what happened in the book of Esther when the Jewish people were saved from total destruction at the hands of a mean guy named Haman. People usually celebrate Purim with a masquerade party. They do this because Esther is the only book of the Bible in which the name of God is never mentioned. Not once. Weird, right? But if you look at the story — a Jewish woman becoming queen, the plotting of Haman, the wisdom of Mordecai, the strength of Esther, the tables being turned on Haman, and the surprising triumph of the Jewish people — it is clear that, although God’s name isn’t mentioned, he is clearly at work behind the scenes. So people wear masks as a reminder that we cannot always see or feel God, but he is always there, guiding and working.

My friends and I read the story of Esther on Saturday night. We talked about ways we hope God is at work behind the scenes in our lives right now. We talked about how important it is to look back and remember and celebrate the things God has already done for us — because in the here and now, it is easy to forget and complain. It was a good night for No Worries Lent because it reminded me that God is never absent, even when he is not obvious.

Okey dokey. I best let you get on with your day. Have a good one — no worries!!!

Let Me Tell You A Story

March 3, 2014

Oh hi, you guys.

My friends and I did a practice table setting for the wedding the other day. The best part about this is that we’ve had fresh flowers in the house all week! And the last few days, I’ve needed the brightness of these pretty flowers in my “Made in Canada” mason jar.

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So late last week we found out that my work visa was denied. Canada hates me. Or something. Not sure. I do know that all hope is not lost. My potential employer is still looking into options, so we will see.

But overall, I am discouraged.

I am tired of never getting to see my fiance — I miss him all the time. I am tired of not having a steady job. I am tired of worrying about money. I am tired of living out of a suitcase. I am tired of explaining that even if we got married tomorrow it doesn’t automatically make any immigration things easier — it is all a long process with more waiting and more unknowns. I am tired of Pinterest and Facebook and Netflix. I am tired of being lonely and bored. I am tired of trying to be strong in this completely abnormal and difficult situation.

I’m tired, guys.

Thankfully, the people around me aren’t as tired as I am. Andrew has been so encouraging and faithful and hopeful. I thrive on expecting the worst, and he’s one of those optimists. (I’m glad.)

So, I continue to wait. I have no clue about a timeline for anything at this point. I am looking for temp work and hoping that Canada eventually decides to call and invite me to take Rob Ford’s job.

I have felt so sad and sometimes mad about this situation. One hour I feel a bit hopeful, and the next, I am so discouraged. I am not feeling all that resilient anymore. But, the day we found out about the visa, both Andrew and I saw my friend Heather’s Facebook status — a couple of verses from the Psalms. And at different times, we were both reminded that the Lord is in this. Even when it is hard to see.

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

So, that’s the update. If you think of it, please pray that something will work out sooner rather than later. That would be good.

This is also good when you are feeling sad.

sitdownOnce upon a time, I ate your hamster this morning.

OK, have a good Monday, friends! Thanks for your prayers!

Points For Discussion

February 19, 2014

Here are some things I would like us to discuss today:

* This Wendy’s Ciabatta commercial. Why is it a thing? No.

* Have you guys been watching the Olympic snowboard cross races? Why is this a sport?!?! Basically someone dies in every single race. Five snowboarders race through a crazy course at breakneck speeds, and at least two of them crash and break their entire bodies every single time. I don’t think I’ve seen one race where everyone has finished. Every race. Someone dead.

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* I made these Thai chicken quesadillas the other day and they were delicious. I highly recommend them.

* Here’s a girl HOLDING A TINY HORSE!!!!! Please share your thoughts of joy and love about this best picture ever in the comments.

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* Speaking of Olympics. (We were speaking about the Olympics a couple points ago, you guys. Please keep up.) Did everyone see that sweet young skier with the wife and baby? And he loves Jesus? And he does crazy flips on skis? I liked him. Also, apparently all the cool skiers and boarders live in Colorado. Let’s go meet them. And … I’m super happy for the American ice dancers. But also, they kind of bug me. Like, cut your hair, Charlie. And calm down the eye makeup, girl whose name I am too lazy to look up. Anyone else? No? Just me because I’m a horrible person?

* My friends and I have been working on wedding craft projects. And if you know me, you know I am not good at craft projects. So, basically, my wedding will not look pretty, and things will probably fall apart in the middle of vows. But if you’re there, just smile and tell me I did a good job anyway. Thanks.

* Just waiting for news on the work visa. #storyofmylife. No updates.

* Finally, in conclusion, to end with: Has everyone seen the best video ever?! Landry and Crucifictorious are with Amber and Max at the Luncheonette! Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. Together. You must watch it because: Landry is the best. Billy Riggins might be there. Tim Riggins is mentioned. So many FNL references. Texas Forever.