Monday, February 28, 2011

at what point...

... will you stop making me feel like you see me as a threat?

... can you understand that i sincerely want to be a good friend?

... does my marital status make me 'safe'?

... will i stop getting un-trusting glares from my friends' girlfriends/wives?

... will i be able to have guy friends again?

or at what point...

... did i bring this on myself?

... do i have to just make myself let go?

... does the title of 'best friend' become preceded by a 'used to be'?

... do i let you win?

and at what point...

... will it no longer feel like losing?

... will it stop hurting?

... will i be able to completely forget?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a calendar year.

 this year, i somehow ended up with a lot of calendars.

this one, i got from work. after hardly using my work-issued desk calendar last year, i opted for the smaller version for 2011. i cross off every day of the week in a different colored hi-lighter, which results in a lovely rainbow effect. i am hoping that my hi-lighters will last all year, otherwise my pattern will be broken, and who knows what kind of uproar and anarchy will ensue if that were to happen. it currently hangs on my brand new bulletin board (not pictured because i got it after i took the picture and was too lazy to re-take the picture) on my desk.

another desk accesory that is all but required in the cubicle world is the tear-off desk calendar. mine features Peanuts cartoons - in full color! on the back of each day is a little bit of bonus fun including (but not limited to) sudoku puzzles, mazes, word searches, fun facts, and the occasional joke. i originally bought this calendar as a Christmas exchange gift for a gift exchange that i didnt end up going to, and since it wasnt exactly the type of thing i could hold onto and regift next year, i just decided to use it.

this is one of my favorites. this shy groudhog named Jean is the second offering from the Calendar of the Month Club from each month features an adorable paper-craft calendar that is fun to create and fun to have on my desk. January's calendar was a 'cat-loving yeti' who still sits up on my desk. i have gotten multiple comments and compliments on them, and i cant wait to see what next month will bring.

at home, hanging in my kitchen (on the might one day become a chalkboard wall), i have this gem. its another thing-i-bought-as-a-backup-Christmas-gift-and-never-found-the-right-person-to-gift-it-to calendar that i found here, and it was too cute and fun to not use. the best part is that the bottom of each month doubles as a super-cute postcard, so i get to share the cute letterpress designs with a friend every month!

and just in case this isnt enough calendars to be impressive and over-excessive, you should just know that we also have an Office-quotes tear-off calendar in our front room, i keep a calendar on my work computer, and i also try my best to keep the calendar on my phone up-to-date with my goings-ons so i can mostly avoid over-booking myself (cause im in SUCH high demand lol) and some days i wish i just had a big calendar at home that we could write all our stuff on just to have it all in one place. because despite all of the calendars in my life, i'm still not what anyone would consider organized...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

weekend ski adventure.

so two weekends ago, Mark and I went on our first married weekend trip. we went up to New York to visit some friends of ours from school, and to spend a day skiing with them.

just to give you some perspective on our relative abilities on the slopes - Melissa and Caleb both own their own snowboards, and live 20 minutes away from a ski resort. Mark has gone skiing almost every winter of his life up to this point, and his most recent ski experience was in Colorado. I have gone skiing a grand total of twice before in my life - in middle school. any guesses as to who the weakest link was?

it was a great weekend. we chatted, we laughed, we drank hot chocolate, we played games, we watched movies, we ate good food, we went to church, and i couldnt walk for three days after!

i think i'm going to have to go skiing more frequently from now on, because i do believe it would be a lot more fun if it didnt hurt quite so badly...

Monday, February 21, 2011


if i can be completely honest, open, and real with you internets, i have some thoughts i just need to put into writing... if only to have a record of them in a week or two when the impact of them has possibly faded a little back into the haze of the mundane everyday.

the past few weeks, well actually most of this winter, for me has been not-so-good. i have laughed less, cried more, been less productive and less motivated than i have any other year. its been hard for me to find my joy - not in the beauty of the snow, the love of my life, or even a good project. my to-do list has grown at a rate that is way faster than i could even imagine being able to keep up with. as a result it has taken most of my energy on any given day to just make dinner, keep the kitchen (relatively) clean, and (almost) stay on top of the laundry. it was like treading water, not moving forward with anything, and barely keeping my head up.

i have been so consistently stressed that the smallest imperfection in my day had the power to cause a major mental meltdown, whether it be a snowy driveway on my way to work that made staying in bed crying all morning with no tangible reason the only solution, or a shopping trip alone that led to a mini-breakdown in the dressing room in a shirt that actually made me look fantastic, or just sitting and thinking too long about my seemingly insurmountable un-done to-do list. it made no sense to me why i felt like my life was out of control, like i had no time to do anything, like i was a failure.

i was an absolute wreck.

yesterday morning in church, my pastor said something that really stuck out to me: "when your idol (what you worship) shakes, you shake." this hit me hard, because i know that i have been easily shaken this winter. i think i've been trying too hard, putting too much pressure on myself, expecting myself to somehow be the perfect housewife. my expectations have become my idol. in a sense, I have become my own idol.

i need to shift my focus back to the One who is truly worthy of my worship and adoration - my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - and trust that everything will work out according to His perfect plan.

yesterday was a good day. Mark took down our Christmas lights off the front porch and started hanging some picture frames in our bedroom. i did a monstrously-intense cleaning of our bathrooms and crafted something little and fun. we made a good lunch and thought about doing the dishes afterwards. i washed a load of towels, and even put them in the dryer (theyre still in the dryer). we went to the evening church event and cheered loudly for the baptisms.

we made forward progress. we had some fun. it wasnt perfect, and we still have a long way to go.

i am still an absolute wreck.

but that's ok.

because my God is perfect, He's bigger than any of my plans, and He is in control of my life, and He is unshakeable.


i've had this song by Francesca Battistelli running on repeat in my head today, and it makes me smile.

"i lost my keys in the great uknown,
and call me please 'cause i can't find my phone.
this is the stuff that drives me crazy,
this is the stuff that's getting to me lately,
in the middle of my little mess i forget how big i'm blessed.
this is the stuff that gets under my skin
but i've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
it might not be what i would choose, but this is the stuff you use... break me of impatience
conquer my frustrations
i've got a new appreciation
its not the end of the world."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MVA: take 4.

a couple Fridays ago, i decided it would be a good day to take some more time off work and head back to the MVA to try and get my car registered in the state i am actually living in. i left work in what i thought was plenty of time to get there, sit and wait for. ev. er. until they called my number, and still get to the science fair on time (dude - apparently i'm qualified to judge science fairs now! how cool is that?!)

well, the universe had other plans.

this is the light where i sat and waited to turn left to get to the MVA. for FIVE light cycles. people were getting out of the turn lane it was that bad. and then when the light finally turned green, the lady in front wasnt even paying attention. i honked my horn at her ignorance.

this is where i waited for TWO HOURS for them to call C63. apparently everyone thinks that Friday afternoon is best spent sitting on uncomfortable metal benches.

and this is what FIFTEEN MINUTES OF REAL WORK BY MVA EMPLOYEES (five of which were spent trying to figure out what was wrong with the printer) got me! ugly new Maryland plates with lots of red on them to clash with my beautiful orange car! tada!

i was late to the science fair. and my plates still arent actually on my car (but they really enjoy riding in my passenger seat)... sophie doesnt have a place to put front plates... any suggestions for what to do about that?

maybe this saga will end eventually. maybe all my stuff will finally get to be all tied down to one place that i can call home. maybe the solution was really simple and it just took me the long way around to get there. maybe i'm just a little slow to the uptake ...

... or maybe i should just continue to blame it all on the MVA...


i got my new plates put on my car! on Friday i called the dealer to find out if i needed to get a bracket for my front plate, and they told me that it just bolts right to the bumper - and upon closer inspection i found the two little indentations where the plate should go. one pretty quick and painless trip to my local mechanic later, and sophie is now the proud owner of a hip and trendy maryland nose-piercing!

Monday, February 14, 2011

a love letter.

Dear Mark -

i have been married to you for 4 months 1 week and 4 days. we will have been together as a couple for 2 years tomorrow. it seems like its all gone by so fast, but at the same time its like i've known you forever. we have had some really good days, and we have also had some pretty ugly days. but we are learning. and there is no one else i would rather learn with and learn about than you.

you are my best friend, the first person i want to tell my stories to, and whose stories i always want to hear. you confide in me, and you always have been and always will be completely honest with me. you rub my back when i need it, or even when i just want it. you hold me tight when i just need a good cry. you are silly with me when i need to be reminded that i'm not too old and dull to chase you around the basement in pursuit of a stolen bag of M&Ms.

i love all the little things: the way you hold my hand, that half-smile look you get when you look at me, the way you know how to make me smile, when you do the dishes for me without me having to ask, how you tell me i'm beautiful even when i dont think so, when you let me pick what we watch on tv, the way i fit perfectly when i snuggle next to you on the couch, and a million other little moments that tend to get lost in the typical everyday.

i love the way that you laugh at me when i screw up, or fall down, or do something completely irrational. and i love that you help me clean up my messes, pick me back up, and will always encourage me to do things that i never thought possible. i love the way we are learning to agree to disagree on things like football and other not-so-important issues. most of all, i love that your love for me does not surpass your love for God, and your desire to serve Him with your life.

i know it is really cheesy, but i love you more today than i did 4 months 1 week and 4 days ago, more than i did during a tearful pre-goodbye the night before graduation when i told you that i thought i might love you, and definately more than i did 2 years ago (tomorrow) when i hesitantly agreed to be your girlfriend. and i am excited to see just how much i will love you 2 years from now, 20 years from now, and however many more years i am blessed to be your wife.

Happy Valentine's Day
with love, Amanda