Soooo... it's snowing. And I love snow, but I hate driving in it. I get to go 'home' for lunch every day, i drive the 5 minutes accross town to my parents house, usually to eat leftovers and then back to work 20 mins later. Every day. Except... today. I am looking at the snow going, I hate driving when it's snowing, but lunch would be nice... but i hate driving when it's snowing... and my stomach starts to growl... and so now I am trying to decide what I hate more: Growling stomach or driving in the snow. Stomach or snow, stomach or snow? Currently stomach is winning, (or losing, i'm not sure which way that goes)because it is nice and toasty warm in the office and I have yet to move from my desk... But I am SUPER hungry.
We had to go shopping for some dress clothes for my grandma's funeral because Z's dress pants were 'lost' (and later found in a closet we both looked through several times, we found them when we got home, i laughed so hard, i almost cried) and he needed a new white shirt and tie. It's not quite February yet, so the deal is still on with his 3 month beard, but when I met him today he was clean shaven (my preference!). I was waiting outside the dressing room while he tried on the new pants and shirt and when he stepped out in the new outfit my pulse got a little faster. Boyfriend looks NICE in a crisp white shirt (most guys do, but mine in particular). I know he prefers his facial hair, and I know he hates dressing up, but today he was doing it for me (and a little for grandma who commented on his 'whiskers', but mostly for me.)and when he was standing there with the 'do you approve?' look on his face I just wanted to kiss him and tell him thank you... but the sales guy was standing there and it would have been awkward... so I took a mental picture of my handsome fiance, and nodded my approval. He changed, we paid and left, but I squeezed his hand and thanked him on the way out of the store. I love him a lot, and I know he loves me, and I so love the way he decided to show me today, even though I've been crazy emotional and sad, and probably not easy to put up with this week. I know grandma prayed for years for this man who is to be my husband. If she were still alive I would be sharing with her this little moment over the phone, and she would be tickled. I guess her death is the reason I had today's moment of affirmation though... so in some ways, there are little gifts that grandma is still giving us, even though she is gone. If... thats not too weird to say.
Somehow I just can't quite make this work in my head. The following are my cousin's thoughts on Grandma's death, as stated in her status on facebook: All I can say is, there better be one hell of a party in heaven when she gets there. Hmmm... haha. Grandma is a wonderful woman and has been a generous servant, and great prayer warrior all her life. I am certain she has a victorious welcome awaiting her in heaven. :)
There was one thanksgiving that my dad was so ill, we were not able to travel. Grandma Sass (his mom) came to spend thanksgiving with us that year. I made the big meal, dad was too sick to eat it, grandma was too worried to eat. She got angry at me for cooking and said-- "NO ONE WANTS TO EAT YOUR FOOD!" But I made it anyway, and everyone did eventually eat the food I made, and we were all glad there was food available even though no 'family meals' occured that thanksgiving. This was the thanksgiving we coined one of our favorite catch phrases: Out of control, just like grandma. (A phrase with meaning that crept into the vocabulary of friends, roommates, co-workers, and roommate's co-workers, all stemming back to Phyllis Sass and her so overwhelming it was comical, out-of-control concern for her sick boy. I love it, haha, I am so glad it has become a part of our language. It makes me smile. But I digress...) On that thanksgiving, I didn't really know what to do to care for my dad, or my family. There was probably, really, nothing I could do. I was definitely not in control of the situation, so I hid out in the kitchen. I LIKE the kitchen because it's a place where I do have control. And there is stability. If you put milk, sugar, and eggs together and heat it for the right amount of time, you will always get custard. It never fails. And even if something goes wrong, and it does fail-- no one gets hurt. No one gets their feelings hurt when your pie crust is too dry, no one get hurt becuase your meat is too tough, no one drops dead because your bread didn't rise. And worst case scenario when you have a kitchen disaster, you can always order a pizza. So the kitchen is a safe, ordered place, where I have control, where no one gets hurt when I screw up, and where I can work through the issues outside of my kitchen and outside of my control. Cooking is cathartic. Or as my mom likes to say, Valerie cooks for therapy. The other beautiful thing about cooking is on the other side of my therapy I have created something that can bring comfort, nourishment, and love to someone else. Win-win. Seriously. Right now... things are pretty out of control. My housing situation is about to change and I have no control. My grandma is about to die, and I have no control. My family and friends are hurting and greiving and I have no control. It's bitter-sweet right now to say it, but my life is 'Out of control, just like Grandma." So I am retreating to my kitchen until I can get a handle on things... even if, Grandma, no one wants to eat my food.
I don't know if you still read my blog, but if you do, I just wanted to let you know that I miss you like super a lot. And I was thinking about calling you to talk, but i know how awkward we both are on the phone, and I don't want to deal with awkwardness right now, my life is already too awkward. Thats not to say I don't want to deal with you, just... do you ever really really want to/need to connect with someone but really have no idea what you are feeling or how to talk with them about it, so you just don't and then you become more and more frustrated, and introverted and angst-y, and yucky? I kinda feel like if I could figure out something to say, and we talked I would feel better. But I can't think of the first thing to say after Hi... soooooo... well, here's this instead. Maybe you can find it and appreciate my situation, and if you don't find yourself in a similar one, consider contacting me in some way. (shrug and smile) Valerie
So we had our first premarital counseling session last night. It wasn't so bad, not that I thought it would be bad, but you know, counseling isn't always fun even though good comes from it. Any way, last night was light on the not-fun parts so that was cool. On the way home we were assessing our time spent with our lovely pastor that evening and agreed that counseling was going to present us with questions that are tough to answer for two reasons. Reason #1: It's gonna force us to be brutally honest and vulnerable in assessing and confronting issues we have. Reason #2: Sometimes we just don't have a clue what Donnie is trying to say. There was one question in particular he asked last night that we both walked away going... HUH?! But I guess in the it held some validity because we spent a fair amount of time on the way home discussing what we think it meant, how it should have been phrased differently, and then our answer/thoughts/conclusions. I think we were terribly insightful, here's what we came up with: The question was something to the effect of: What times in your marriage will commitment run thin, and what will you do to prevent or change the situation. (or... something like that) Here's what we decided: First of all the idea of commitment 'running thin' threw both of us. We agreed that commitment is not a quantitative thing... so you aren't a little committed, medium committed, or a lot committed you are either committed to something or you are not. Black and white. Where it gets gray are our feelings toward the commitments we make. There are times in our lives where we commit to doing something and (especially toward the beginning) we really want to do it. We may even feel like we GET to do it (how lucky are we???) As time goes by, the want to/get to can wear off and our feeling becomes, I am only doing this because I need to or because I have to. Has the commitment changed? No. Have our feelings about our commitment changed? Yes. So here's what we think Donnie was getting at: Once you pass the get to/want to and you are feeling the need to or only the have to, then what? We think that's the point where you say, well, this sucks but I made a commitment and so I am going to put in the effort and push through a couple days/weeks/months of the have tos. Or in a marriage: daily make the decision to put forth the effort to meet the needs of your spouse. (Donnie called it dying to yourself, or mutual submission I think.) And also pray. We think that if you are honoring your commitments by putting in the effort and you continue to make God the priority in that relationship that he's gonna honor that too and get you moving back toward the want to/get to feelings. That's not saying you'll never have bad days where you feel dreadfully like you are only doing it because you HAVE to... but hopefully those days or feelings will become fewer. This discussion kind of flowed into a discussion about commitment and effort/action. I think that you can put effort into something that you are not necessarily committed to, but you can't be committed to something and put no effort into it. Saying you are committed to something but putting no action/work/effort into it is not much of a commitment at all and a lot more like a lie. Oi. Zachary likened this to faith without works... and we both decided that in a marriage relationship once you have made that commitment you have to continually and put effort into it to 'prove' to your spouse that you still honor the commitment you made. And that's all I got. I feel good about the ideals we have established thus far(smile) and I hope we don't find in the future that we are WAY off course. Of course, if we are, most likely Donnie will read this and next time he sees us say... Um... NO. Then we will probably get more homework. (grimace) Maybe I shouldn't so freely share my thoughts and revelations on a blog our pastor/premarital counselor has access to. Hmmmm...
I don't make new years resolutions... because those are lame and rarely stick. I do, however have some goals for this next year, and I like to set 'quantitative' goals, because they are easier for me to wrap my brain around and achieve. For instance I would like to read more this year, but rather than Resolving to read more... I have decided I want to read 12 books this year cover to cover (yeah, I know, I am a ridiculously slow reader, but my recall is incredible! :) hehe) Other goals for this year: Um, get married. I also would like to create a list of at least 14 dishes I make that Z likes. That means in theory, we could have 2 weeks of dinners without a repeat. I'll let you know how that goes. And I am continuing on my journey toward becoming a better housekeeper by tackling one room each day. Kitchen one day, then living room the next, then bedrooms the next, then bathroom... repeat. One room at a time is much less overwhelming. And I don't 100% have the hang of it yet, but I have gotten better at picking up after myself as I go, especially with dishes in the kitchen. And last but not least, Z told me I need to make a resolution to stop leaving my keys in the front door... I am just horrible at remembering, and I can't come up with a good method to break myself of it. I'm thinking maybe a sticker chart... hmmm...