Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love Story Part 16

Click here for Part 1

The stress of having a college boyfriend started to take its toll. Kyle loved me but he also loved college life and didn’t always want to travel home every weekend. He was starting to make friends especially through church and there would always be activities he would want to go to.

His faith also started to become an obvious divide between us. I was baptized Catholic as a baby but never received my first communion or confirmation. I didn’t particularly enjoy church growing up but I do remember the hymns and the stained-glass windows. I remember the sun shining in, warming the stiff wooden pew coloring it in a rainbow of greens, oranges, and blues. I remember the tap of my patent-leather shoes clicking against the tiled floor trying to keep time with the steady, familiar tunes. There were periods of time where my mother tried her best to get us to church but it was hard and she had greater battles to fight than trying to corral fidgety kids into a car with a crying baby on her hip. So church turned into a holiday event on Christmas and Easter. Because of that I didn’t have much knowledge of faith.

I knew of Jesus Christ through a two year stint at a private Catholic middle school. I remember the old priest sitting on my desk in the front row causing nervous glances from classmates wondering how the small desk was holding up his large stature. I remember playing Jesus Christ in a reenactment we did of the first sacrament where I memorized his blessing of the bread and wine. I remember hearing the parable of the sower and wondering what kind of seed I was. Obviously I didn’t understand that I was actually the receiving ground. I learned about the Savior’s life but not about believing in all that he could do for my life. I was given small moments of chills down my spine as the sun shone through those stain-glassed windows as I sang of faith and love in and omniscient God.

So I knew God existed. I had prayed to him in times of need or sadness before but my knowledge and faith was without peripheral vision. It was such a small line of sight, but it was something.

Kyle’s faith was always on the table for discussion. He brought it up in casual moments quoting a scripture he had read and studied and slowly it became a part of our nightly talks. I was so curious to learn about this faith of his so seemingly different than my own. It seemed like he always had an answer. Especially to questions I had never even thought of before. Why were we here on earth?

As our religious discussion increased so did my desire to be around Kyle more. Unfortunately, Kyle starting having a slight opposite reaction. It wasn’t that he no longer loved me but through our discussions I was slowly increasing his excitement to go on a mission and he didn’t really see the point in having a girlfriend while he was out. He would be gone for two years and the only communication would be through letters. No visits and no phone calls. What was the point?

April came with Kyle’s birthday and I, trying to be the best girlfriend ever, wanted to somehow sneak into his dorm room and decorate it with a ton of yellow things I had gotten at the dollar store and surprise him with a visit from me. So the surprise visit from me came first. He was excited and wanted to bring me to a church activity with him that night. But I needed to decorate his room, somehow I had to convince him to leave me in his dorm room while he went to an activity.

“Why don’t you come with me?” he asked

“Oh I think I am just tired from the drive here and I don’t really know anyone. Really, it’s fine if you go. I will be fine. I just need a little rest.” I tried playing it cool.

He gave me a weird look, “well I feel bad just leaving you here…..” he seemed deep in thought as he came up with a perfect solution in his mind, “if you really don’t want to go and are tired why don’t you just go back to Yakima then. I think I will be at this activity for awhile…”

Suddenly I was deeply hurt. Was he trying to get rid of me? Didn’t he want me here with him, even if it was just in the same town? My mind raced with reasons he would ask me to go back to Yakima after I had only been there for about an hour.

Tears pooled in my eyes and my cheeks flushed with color. My body started to tremor as months of bottled up worries suddenly emerged.

“I don’t understand, “ my voice was shaky, “I came up here for you. I am always coming up here. Driving, spending my money to see you, picking you up and taking you back to Yakima so we can spend some time together. It’s always me. I feel like I am making every effort to make this work and you are just sitting back riding along not really caring.” I had found my voice and I was mad.

His expression changed as I went off on everything I had done to make the relationship work and how I felt he was taking advantage of it all. Then I told him about my plans, about how I wanted to surprise him with a fun decorated yellow room and how he just wanted to get rid of me.

He was speechless.

Then he tried to mend it all.

“Gina I am so sorry I didn’t know…” But his apology sounded weak and insincere in my ears after my own glaring rampage.

“I’m going.” I tried leaving the door but he blocked the way.

“Let me go, I can’t do this anymore” I pushed past him confidently imagining myself as every strong heroine I had ever read about. I thought I knew what I was doing but with each step further from the door my confidence weakened and I was shaking with fear of what I was losing by the time I reached the elevator. I pushed the button and waited. I waited for him.

Wasn’t he supposed to come rushing after me? That’s what happens in every great love story right? He chases after the girl.

The doors opened and I stepped inside hoping for a flash of his face before the doors closed. The elevator lowered and my heart sank with it. I held onto a small thread of hope though. The stairs! Oh the glorious stairs, Kyle loved the stairs and often we would race between the elevator and the stairs to see who could get down faster. So then I imagined puppy dog eyes on the other side of the elevator once it reached the bottom. The doors opened and…..nothing.

I waited in the lobby for a minute thinking that I might have beaten him in the elevator for once but he didn’t come. I somberly walked out to my car, the world a frozen gray surrounding me. Once in my car I couldn’t budge. What had I done wrong? Could I really just walk away so easily from my first love? Why didn’t he chase after me? Questions flooded in and then I started to get mad again. This guy was supposed to love me and just gave up with one step out the door? I sat there stewing and finally I just had to know what the heck he was thinking. So I called him.

Each ring brought flutters to my heart and at the sound of his croaking, “Hello…” the tears poured out.

“Why didn’t you chase after me?” I openly asked, “Here I am waiting in my car and you didn’t come after me…”

“Wait right there.”

The line went dead and soon I saw the most handsome young man I have ever seen walking towards my car with tears in his sky blue eyes. He opened my door and hugged me. He held me close as he choked out, “I thought I had lost you…”

We talked things out that day in the car, where we had miscommunicated, where we had both been wrong, and how we could fix it all. Turns out once I left his room Kyle was a complete mess and fell on his bed in tears completely overcome. I told him next time I try something like that he better always chase after me.

That day was crucial in our relationship. It marked our first official fight and the resolution revealed how well we meshed in working things out together. We also realized that we had something special. A love that comes once in a lifetime. Plus I got Kyle to not go to the activity and we spent the entire day together.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A good movie quest

So we don't own a lot of movies. Maybe 15 or so. Too many being Audrey Hepburn classics. We dont really have a budget to buy movies but if we did I would want to fill my shelves with wonderful, inspiring, funny classics.

It is hard these days to find movies without a sex scene, sad but true. But  I love a good looove story. I just don't want too many intimate details.

I want Pride and prejudice. Sleepless in Seattle. Pursuit of happyness.

I know there are more. So friends will you help me in my quest to find good wholesome movies? Can you think of any? Please share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teeth and Hair

Max is now 7 months. It's really unfair actually the way these babies grow up. I mean one minute they fit in the cradle of your arm and then next they are quickly crawling over to the movies and pulling them all out one by one (after of course taking a nibble on a select few).

He is army crawling like a champ and up on his knees rocking trying to figure out knee-hand coordination...a tough thing I would think. Oh, then he does some mountain climbers for good measure. On top of him trying to get into everything he finally has teeth. Two to be exact.

His two bottom teeth decided to pop out at the same time one day. He was hardly fussy, just wanted some cold applesauce. Then today after a friend commented on his hair I realized....HE HAS MORE HAIR!

When you are around your baby it is hard to see the slight changes and then suddenly I realized he is getting more hair, it's filling out. I am not sure how I feel about it since there isn't much you can do with a little boy's hair except peak it into a faux hawk which I do on occasion when I'm feeling a bit crazy but mostly I like his side part which he will forever have because of an unfortunate (or possibly fortunate...)cowlick right by his right temple.

So my baby is growing up and I had a good sigh over it and went to play hearts on the computer while Papa gave him a bath and got him ready for bed. When I came in for scripture reading and prayer his whole face lit up with sheer joy/excitement/happiness/supreme utter bliss. Oh it was the best face, one that likely will never be caught on camera but the face said, "THERE YOU ARE FAVORITE MAMA OF MINE! I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU AND NOW YOU ARE HERE AND OH JOY I CAN HAVE SOME MILK!!!"

I love this little babe of mine. I love that he still cuddles me and sometimes gets so excited he bends into the crook of my neck. I love that he will still fall asleep on me, his breaths getting heavier by the second. I love our 5am feedings, pulling him out of his crib and into my arms, as he feeds we both relax. Sometimes I doze and sometimes I cherish the moments he will still let me stroke his face and kiss his velvet rosy cheeks. I hold his hand and kiss his chubby fingers.

I even fluff his hair.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blood Stains

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, Isaiah. 1:18

I glanced at the watch on my wrist. 4:44 am.

Max was crying, stirring from his slumber thirsty for some snuggles and okay mostly milk from his mama. I wandered out of my room into his noting that the light in the living room was still on.

My in-laws were here for a visit this weekend and they were occupying our living room, sprawled out on the couch, a blow-up mattress, and a hunting cot my father-in-law brought for himself. I could hear my father-in-law snoring and as I sat and nursed and rocked my baby I wondered why the light was on.

I figured they had all fallen asleep with it still on and so I decided to wander into a mine field of sleeping persons to turn it off after laying my babe back in his crib.

Only it turns out someone was awake. My sister-in-law, an 8-year-old with spunk and a bossiness that comes from not having any siblings at home was sitting on the couch wipes her nose.

"Oh...you're awake. Are you alright?" I asked.
"My nose is bleeding." She responded grogily, still heavy from sleep. She pulled her hand away and I saw a smearing of blood across her face and on her hand and on my couch and.....I sighed.

"Come here and I will clean you up." We walked to the bathroom where I stopped the bleeding and washing the blood that was caked to her face and hair and hands. Then I decided to tackle the blood stain on my couch. After all blood is not something you want to let sit and settle.

Our couch is not a prized possession, in fact it was given to us by a church leader who needed to empty out a storage unit. He had a deadline and we needed a couch. It was a win-win. It is an olive green couch and I actually adore it. You sink in and never want to get up. That's my kinda couch.

I wanted to save the couch from looking like a crime scene and so I traced my memory for stain removal. For some reason I used to think warm water was the key. For some things it is. But it has to be like boiling lava hot water. Plus couches are tricky since you can't really put them into the washing machine. I remembered that cold water is magic for stains so I wet a rag and got to scrubbing. With my mother and father-in-law sleeping away right next to me. I gently rubbed and slowly the blood started to come out until you couldn't see it any longer. I was glad my memory served me well and after checking with my young sister-in-law to make sure she was alright and stopping the blood flow one more time I turned off the light and went back to bed.

Except I wanted to make certain that cold water was the right thing. So I grabbed my phone letting the bright LED screen blind me momentarily. I searched, "remove blood stains" and saw that I was correct and in fact if I had used hot water I would have permanently set in the stain. PHEW! Glad my 5am brain was working.

Then I couldn't get Isaiah 1:18 out of my head. Sins are like blood stains, scarlet and quick to set in forever. The Savior through his atonement can remove those blood stains with living water. Now I don't imagine living water was ever boiling lava hot. In fact when I imagine it, it is like being so thirsty and being given a nice cool glass of water that perfectly quenches your thirst. But sometimes we don't think clearly and when we see someone we love sinning, we forcefully hand them a mug of hot water. "Drink it!" we order. We try to force feed the atonement by pouring the scalding water down their throat. Well of course this isn't received well and usually that person we love is scarred and the blood stain of sin sets in, nearly impossible to remove.

I woke Kyle to tell him my thoughts and he responded with a sleepy, "that's cool..."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Pink Pants

What are the style rules for being able to wear hot pink pants? I mean when is the cut off age? Surely there must be one. Right?

Well that thought alone convinced me to hop on the colored denim band wagon. I hopped on at Value Village where they had quite a large selection of vintage and modern colored denim (hello high waisted tapered pastel pink pants!). I went with a non vintage selection which is incredibly bubble gum pink.

Each time I wear these pants I have to muster up the courage. I mean they are quite loud....but in all reality aren't I loud. At least I am when I am around other adults. Our home is actually quiet when it's me and Max. Unless I am trying to get him to laugh. Then I am loud again.

I really do suggest getting a pair of hot pink pants. They are incredibly spunky yet entirely feminine. I love wearing them with a white top and navy sweater. Or my chambray shirt from Target.

What else does one wear with hot pink pants? Suggestions?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Friendships

I am a middle child. In my opinion, being a middle child is not so good for developing and maintaining friendships. At least being the middle child in between boys. I grew up learning how to entertain myself. Reading, playing pretend in the backyard, and playing barbies were largely solitary acts.

Do you remember in grade school how ranking your best friends became very important. We would rush around recess asking our friends where we stood in their mind. The goal obviously was to be number one to your number one. When people asked me who my number one was I always felt bad, I remember seeing sad faces if I named a particular person so I started saying my own name. I would get goofy looks and then in my very wise third grade mind would explain that I was my best friend. Then I would proceed to name who my number two was.....

Brittni entered my life around first grade but it wasn't until third or fourth grade that we really started to click and our friendship flourished. My adolesence is jam packed with memories on her grandpa's dairy farm and acting crazy at camp. We started to choose different paths in life and it caused a pretty big rift for awhile. But we still cared immensly for each other. She is one person who I have been able to maintain a fairly strong relationship with over the years.

I bring this up because recently I had the chance to visit with some dear high school friends of mine. Our relationships had drifted considerably since we graduated despite going to college in the same city (and for one at the same college).

I let our relationships go. I declare sole responsibility. I sabotage friendships. I can't handle when life makes big changes and when it does my mode of adaptation is to let go of the old and grab hold of the new. I tried doing this with Brittni when I was going to middle school. I came over to her house and sat her down and we had a talk about how I was going to be a mature sixth grader and I couldn't be friends with an elementary school kid. She cried and then I felt bad and realized it was kinda silly. I am glad Brittni didn't let me destroy our friendship.

So I kinda stink at frienships because I grew up being used to hanging out with myself. I definitely crave friendship but often times I am extremely content to sit and read or surf rather than to call a friend over. Both are great, one requires more effort.

Being able to visit with my old high school friends I was so excited to realize that it's harder to destroy friendships than one might think. Beyond the time past hangs powerful memories of laughter and giggles which is always stronger.

I am grateful for a husband who is ultimately my best friend. I am glad he is there to go through every life change with me. He is my constant no matter where life may take me. I am grateful to have had him through the change from high school to college from apathy towards God to religious zeal.

I hope you do good to maintain your friendships. They are such precious things that are often too easily let go.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Turns out green is cheap.

I was at Joann Fabrics the other day. Buying some PUL fabric. It's a fabric that is used for cloth diapers, wetbags (what you throw a dirty cloth diaper in to keep the ickiness in), and probably some other things. I was buying it to make a wetbag since the ones I had found to purchase were $15 and I had found a tutorial online that would let me make three for $10 I was going ahead with making my own.

A lady in line asked me what the fabric was for and when I explained that I use cloth diapers she then asked, "Do you do that because it's the "green" thing?"

I laughed because as much as green is in style (and arguably good for the environment) it was not why I cloth diaper. I cloth diaper because it is INFINITELY cheaper. In fact I have gotten even greener and made my own cloth wipes. I was washing diapers anyway, why not throw some cloth wipes in instead of having to separate it all.

I also make all of Max's baby food. Again, I do this because it's cheaper. It's also not hard. I make a big batch and put it in an ice cube tray and then put them in plastic bags in the freezer. I just plop two in the microwave for about 30 seconds and we are good to go. I also usually add some rice cereal to thicken and provide extra vitamins and such.

So being green is actually cheaper and I mean look at that baby in the cloth diaper. Being green is also CUTER!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Scenes from A Sabbath Day

I love Sunday. It is a day that we worship God and spend extra quality time with family. We read on the couch and watch Max learn to crawl chasing shadows. I might also indulge in a rootbeer float or two.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reclaiming myself

I have felt a bit lost lately.

My day revolves around a 17 lb bundle of joy. Feed him, change him, play with him, make sure he doesn't pull the portable heater on top of his head. I work out at the YMCA for about 40 minutes a day (if I manage to make it there and if Bubba decides to cooperate for the childcare).

I relish in those minutes where I can run, zumba, do pushups.

That's my problem. As much as I enjoy working out, I don't consider it a passion. It doesn't fuel my soul. I need soul fuel. Everyone does. And everyone's looks different. I'm still not quite positive what my soul fuel is but I want to find it.

So I am sewing ( I made a wetbag (with help), diaper pail liner, bowtie, and am currently in the process of making cloth wipes) Ok so those sewing projects still revolve around a 17lb baby. But still I said it's progress.

I also bought some hot pink jeans at Value Village (I couldn't bring myself to actually spend more than $10 on a pair of hot pink pants). It definitely helped.