Monday, April 23, 2012

Everyday bliss :)

B and I have been busy these past couple of weeks getting the baby room finished :D it's been so sweet having this time together to prepare for our little person. Having it done (except for curtains and a couple of little things) made it so much more real. We can't believe that we are going to be parents! lol I'm kind of tired so this post will be more of photos then anything but I like to document happenings.

 Many of my family members protested when we informed them that we weren't going to find out the baby's gender. It did pose a challenge when thinking of decorating ideas but I love this shade of green we found! this is the closet with little clothes and accessories :)

This is an old wardrobe that belonged to my grandmother. It is one of my favorite pieces in the house and I really didn't want to move it. So we are going to use it to store diapers, towels, and other odds and ends in the room.
Of course we also had to put the baby bed together :) I told B it was his rite of passage into fatherhood assembling it lol. Look at how he reads instructions:
Wish I was that flexible lol I had to take this pic cause I thought its was too funny to pass up.

He did a great job! :D

So he finally got his shift that we had been praying for (praise the Lord!). Things have been so much better after him starting this new one, things finally feel normal again! Never thought 24 hour shifts would be normal to us but they actually work out better and we are able to see each other more than when he was working mon-thurs. I was also able to seize the opportunity to nab him for some maternity pictures. My little sis was kind enough to take them for us, and did a great job!

ah loved them all! would put more on here but the pics are a bigger size since she has a way better camera than I do, therefore it is taking forever to load them on here. I look huge though right? lol B and I have been getting a kick out of everyone that we run into; whether it be the grocery store, the mall or at the park. People are always commenting on my belly and saying congrats, makes me smile :)
You know, I think just the little everyday things are truly the happiest moments of our lives. Though a single afternoon may seem insignificant at the time, those little moments add up to a lifetime. And I fully intend on getting better at cherishing every moment!
Enjoy YOUR everyday moments and be sure and tell us about your special memories :)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Keeping it real when your husband doesn't work a 9 to 5 job

So I thought that I would write a little post about some of the things that B and I try to do to keep things fresh in our marriage. There is no particular order, just a collaboration of things that we have found that works for us. You might have ways of handling the stress and busy schedules yourself. If so, please fill us in! :) I hope that you enjoy this little list of things that we do and I hope that it is helpful to you in your own life :)

1. Okay this I do have to put at the top: COMMUNICATION. No relationship will last very long if there is no communication. This is ESPECIALLY true when your spouse works in EMS or Law Enforcement. When B is on shift we are constantly (well, he can't ALL the time lol) texting each other about our day, encouraging each other, and making plans about what we are going to do next on his days off. Even if he doesn't answer right away (or in five hours lol) I at least know that he is going to read my text and get back to me. Also, let me say that if you are unhappy about something, whether it be about your spouse's work or something at home TELL them about it. Don't make them guess. It never works out because they usually have no clue what is going on. Find a good time when they can sit down with you and really focus (read: NOT after coming home from a 24, 36 or 48 hour shift. Brain function is minimal at best and is occupied with one thought: SLEEP) on what you are saying. You can also write things down so they can read it on their time and talk to you about it when they next see you. There have been many times that I have written an email to B or dropped a five page text telling him about what I was thinking/feeling. He loves knowing what is going on in my head and really values what I have to say. Your spouse loves you and wants the same. Opening the door to communication is KEY in making our marriage healthy and happy.
2. Learn to laugh things off. It makes life so much easier. They deal with life and death situations at work all day long. It is a breath of fresh air when they can home to you and your attitude is one of a carefree spirit. It's also good for letting go of petty arguments. Example. My big pet peeve: clothes on the floor. My husband's bad habit: leaving clothes on the floor. Scenario numero uno:
Me: <walks into room> "Wow, what a mess!" *clothes left in a trail from living room to restroom, from restroom to side of bed*
My husband: <from kitchen> "What did you say honey?"
Me: "I said I wonder who left this big mess in the hallway. AGAIN."
My husband: <at my side now, sheepish look on his face> "I don't know but they sure are in big trouble!"
Me: <chuckles> "Yeah, one of these days he's getting a 25 to life sentence."
If it's not life or death, then it isn't serious enough to get angry over.
3. When you can't laugh it off, learn to lean on each other. There will be times when things just suck, to be honest. Those are the times that you are tested to your limit and you think that the world is either going to end or you are going to need some serious therapy lol. Don't push each other away; you can make it through!
4. Make time for rest. I usually try and make sure that when B gets off his first rotation that we have absolutely nothing planned for the day so that we can sleep in and be lazy. Sometimes they have so much crap that goes on at work dealing with patients, coworkers, and hospital staff that they need the time to unwind and not have to answer to the clock. If you are on a strict budget, this might be a day where you want to plan your little extra spending money on food and a movie rental.
5. Encourage each other in your interests and hobbies. B loves to run, and I encourage him to go to the gym and run for an hour even when I don't feel like going and haven't seen him in a while. Not only does it let him relax but it's also great for his health, which in turn makes him more capable of doing a good job at work and taking care of me ;) Also, when you are interested in what they like outside of work it's something that you can talk about other than work on their days off (nobody wants to talk about work on a day off!) I didn't know a lick about soccer until we married. Now I can tell you who is ranked number one in the British Premier Soccer League. Scary, I know ;) and usually you'll find that what they are interested in, you become interested in as well, and vice versa. It's kind of cool how that works out. 
6. Plan for the unexpected. Your spouse will more than likely be called to work an overtime shift when you least expect it or plan on it happening (like usually after they haven't had to in a month and things are really slow, and you two plan this amazing weekend full of fun stuff to do. That's when it usually happens lol) or be held over at the least convenient time. Just be aware. It WILL happen. Let it go and move on. There's no use in crying over spilled milk, so to speak.
7. Pray for your spouse! This should be at the top of the list as well. There is little that we can do to protect our spouses from danger or the heartache of seeing people mutilated and dying at work but we can intercede for them in prayer while they are serving others. I cannot stress this point enough!
8. Take care of yourself. You can't be 100% to your spouse if you are not taking care of yourself. Get a massage. Read a book. Watch a movie. If you have children, don't be as hard on yourself; it's OKAY to not do anything when the kids are napping/busy with their own things. Call up your friend, sister, mom, aunt, grandma, grandpa, etc. and talk about your day. Better yet, make plans to meet up with them. Keeping up with the other relationships in your life helps to make things feel balanced and is a great support system in your time of need. If you guys live away from family make a Skype date so that you can see friends and family face to face. Also, joining in community and church activities opens the door to new friendships and learning experiences, and is worth looking into. Encourage these things in your spouse as well! Also, talk with your spouse about making alone dates for you. Meaning, they watch the little ones and you get an hour nap or go out and eat by yourself. Just remind them that it is VERY important to you to have some alone time and that you will do the same in return for them.
9. Make sure that you are diving into God's word together on a weekly, if not daily basis. Jesus said, "When two or more are gathered together, I am there among them." There is no better glue for keeping a marriage together then a relationship with the Son of God :) . In fact, when you are close to God you are closer to each other. I can vouch for this.
10. Dream together. I know this sounds really cheesy but I'm telling you it's important. B and I have all these plans to travel the world and try new things. Now, half of these things we will probably never be able to do but we don't tell each other that. It's our time to not feel like adults but rather like kids again, and I really enjoy it :) it's also a good way to learn new things if you research the places you want to go and the things you want to do.
Well, those are my thoughts. I know that you have probably heard most of them or maybe all of them but I just thought that I would put it out there :) Like I said I'm sure there are ways that you have figured out how to deal with things, if so please share! I would love to hear from you by comment or drop me an email :)
Have a blessed day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A testing of faith

My first real blog post since taking such a long break has a very serious subject matter. I have been debating whether or not I wanted to write about it but I feel like I need to talk about an ongoing struggle we have been going through.  I actually wrote a little bit about it back in November, the very night that it happened (if you want to read that post go to Nov. 11 and click on "We can only be certain of one thing; God's presence). I didn't go into detail because I was so scared that night and I felt so overwhelmed I didn't think I could handle putting it all down in words.
I'll give a quick summary and then I will give my thoughts on the following days and months until now.
So, B was on one of his regular shifts. I was home running errands, keeping house, etc. I hadn't talked to him in a while, which I'm used to, so I thought that I would call him up and see if he was free or on a run (or napping lol). He answered the phone after a few rings with his usual, happy "Hey honey!". I smiled and asked him what he had been up to and went on to talk about a couple of runs that he had been on and for some reason as he was talking I was getting this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Then he started telling me about his last run. How they had gotten a call for Metro backup to a well known crack house downtown. A woman was passed out in a pile of garbage and the homeowner "had never seen her before". The cops helped them load her up and they took her to the hospital to be treated for a drug overdose. Not a common story of his but one that didn't surprise me. Still, something didn't sit right with me.
Me: "Hey, did something happen while you were transporting her?"
B: <long pause> "Why are you asking me that?"
Me: "I don't know, I was just wondering."
B: <another long pause> "Well, yeah something did. She attacked me when I tried to check her blood sugar; I was stabbed with her needle."
Me: <Silence>
B: "I'm so sorry baby, I didn't want to tell you until they finished all the blood tests."
Then really quietly he said, "All I could think about was you and the baby."
This conversation lasted about two minutes and then he was called in to take more tests. He apologized and promised to call me back as soon as they were done. Now, all this happened at about 11:30, midnight my time. I was alone at the apartment, no family within a hundred miles, and it was too late to call my church family. Insert my pregnancy hormones on top of it all and you understand how I fell into a crying heap.
Why? out of everyone in the whole city why did my husband have to pick up THAT patient at THAT exact moment?
Now back to the present time. B has passed his blood tests the past two times he has gone and will undergo his last test the 2nd of May to be released or undergo treatment if he has Hep. C or HIV. Thankfully, she tested negative at the hospital for HIV. Though the nurses did tell us that she still could have contracted it in the past three to six weeks before the incident happened. But that was the only thing that they tested her for (which I was NOT happy about at all!) Also, the needle was not hollow that he came into contact with so that is the best possible scenario you could ask for in this crisis. Still. He is my husband, my sweetheart. And I still worry. Since November we have had our ups and downs. We don't talk about it much except when he has to go in for his next screening. But when we do, I can barely stand it. My throat closes up and I can't speak. He understands, and we hold each other. I had a lot of questions for God. Why would He let so many things happen at once? In our first year of marriage? Is it really fair for us to be tested so much, didn't He care?
First lesson I learned, we can't question God. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him, and to be frank He doesn't answer to me.
Second lesson I learned, God loves us so much. I can't count how many ways He has shown us that He is caring for us, providing for all of our needs, and protecting us (like B and his partner almost getting creamed on the highway the other day going code 3, LONG story). He is Faithful!
Third lesson I learned, life is SO short. I have to say that I stop myself now (not all the time, I'm not perfect) when I get in a disagreement with B or my other family members and friends. It's not worth it! Getting angry is so silly when we could be speaking to our loved ones for the very last time on this earth. We have no guarantee in this life that we will live to be 100 years old. No one can know. When I sit in eternity and look back on my earthly life I want to know that I lived to fulfill my purpose and that I loved with all my heart.
A great, great gift that we received in all of this was our little baby. I think we found out a month and a half before he was stuck. I was super excited but also freaking out because I knew that it was going to be a huge change and I was scared about all that parenthood entailed. Afterwards, my outlook changed completely. Suddenly, raising a child didn't seem so scary (though I know it WILL be hard) and I began feeling even more joy at every kick and movement, anticipating when I would finally meet our sweet angel face to face. God in His mercy knew that we needed someone to make us smile and I can't wait until the baby is born so that our little family will be complete :)
To say that I don't worry would be a lie. I have so many thoughts that keep me up at night sometimes, that it is overwhelming. I am being reminded constantly that it is not about how much faith that I have in God to take care of things but the fact that the God that I have faith in is greater than my circumstances. Make sense? When my faith is at it's smallest God is still Himself. His greatness doesn't depend on my belief; Halleluiah!
One of my favorite Britt Nicole songs is Walk on the Water:
You look around, staring back at you
Another wave of doubt, will it pull you under? You wonder
What if I'm overtaken? What if I never make it?
What if no one's there? Will You hear my prayer?

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won't let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more, so don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

So get out, and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don't wait, and don't you turn around and miss out
 On everything you were made for, I know you're not sure
So you play it safe, you try to run away

If you take that first step into the unknown
He won't let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more, so don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

Step out, even when it's storming
Step out, even when you're broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you
Telling you to give up

Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid
So what are you waiting, what are you waiting for?

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you
You know you're made for more, so don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water
Walk on the water, too

These words are so true and I find myself singing them often. There are also several verses that I have come across that I cling to:
"When you pass through the waters,  I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,  they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;  the flames will not set you ablaze."
Isaiah 43:2

"You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there;  if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn,   if I settle on the far side of the sea,  even there your hand will guide me,  your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139: 5-12

" Even to your old age and gray hairs
   I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
   I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

Now, I am not going to pretend that I am 100% worry free all the time and I have more days than I like to admit that I waste thinking about how awful we have it. Thankfully, God is not afraid to give me a righteous kick in the behind to get me to realize that I am so blessed. I can rest assured that I am His and He is mine. Forever and for all time He will never leave me.
 I am so thankful for this precious life that God has given me; for my friends, family, and especially my husband and baby. I can't even count the ways that I am blessed, they are too many!
However,  I'd appreciate it if you kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Prayers are powerful things and I have no doubt that God hears every one of His children's pleas. Thank you everyone for letting me have this little therapy session, haha! Sometimes it's healing to just talk about things. I hope that I can keep up with more posts then what I have been doing lately but I can't promise for now ;) Hope you have a blessed evening and thanks again for stopping by!