Archive for March, 2010

A Toast

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to pause for a moment to celebrate and honor someone tonight. A man who embodies Christlike love for his wife and a servant’s heart toward his family and others: my husband, Mike.

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Pregnancy (especially the first, I imagine) seems to bring out the most joy and the most frustration that exists in a marriage. Moments exist where we tear up together (first ultrasound), where a tender glance is shared when I absentmindedly rest a hand on my stomach and Mike rests his hand on mine. But there are also moments when I ask Mike if I can email him a link to something from across the room, because getting up hurts. And that can be more than a little provoking.

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It is these potentially frustrating – even ingratiating – times that my husband has shone brightest. I don’t want to boast, but I do want to honor him in a way that brings glory to our God for what He has done in Mike’s life (and mine).

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I’ll just say it: I’m a complainer. And trust me, there is endless fodder for an unreformed complainer when the topic is pregnancy. Everything from exhaustion and fatigue to nausea, cravings, smell aversions, food aversions, mood swings, dry skin, the inability to eat and drink many yummy things, back pain, sciatic nerve pain, imbalanced clumsiness, and so much more!

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But Mike has consistently and – the kicker – joyfully served me in a way that relieved me whenever he could. He packed up about 90% of our Falls Church house. I did about 5%, and our friends did the other 5%. I, meanwhile, went to bed at 7:30 every night. First trimester was spent largely in slumber. My nausea could be fought with random things (cheese and cold water, namely) and he put up with my nightly cheese quesadilla dinners as if it was gourmet food. Cravings for little debbies and gummy fruit snacks were tolerated without (too much of) a raised eyebrow. Instead he simple said: “Do you want that? Then go ahead and get it.” Love him.

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Food aversions and cravings were fickle but strong. Me: “If I eat what I brought for lunch today, I think I might vomit.”  Mike: “Well then go out and get something.”

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Perhaps this doesn’t sound saintlike to some of you, but then again you might not know the extent of Mike’s planning and budgeting character. He’s Rainman meets Boy Scouts meets Ben Stein meets Dave Ramsey… weird combo, I know. So for him to “go with the flow” and suggest an unplanned meal out without question is nothing short of a gesture of love toward his nauseated wife.

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Mood swings were met with equal patience. I cried: he comforted. I lashed out: he drew me in. I shrank away: he gave me space, but told me he loved me (and told me how beautiful he thinks I am… *swoon*)

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Did you know dry skin can be a side effect of pregnancy?? So weird! The other night I hollered to him downstairs to ask if he would get off the couch, traipse upstairs, and put (girly smelling) lotion on my back, because I felt like a crocodile. His response? “Sure, baby – be right there” without a hint of impatience or weariness.

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And the most recent: my stomach, albeit not much in pounds/weight, has become quite round. So I’m front-heavy and my back has been aching a lot. Not to mention my sciatic nerve began hurting about 6 weeks ago (my doctor’s comforting response: it’ll get worse before it gets better). Have you ever had sciatic nerve pain? Has it ever been almost constant? Severe? Make it almost impossible to get up? Hellooooooo, pregnancy. Yesterday I started to get up and then fell back down to my seat, half out of pain and half out of I-didn’t-get-enough-momentum-to-counteract-this-belly/weight-in-front. Second try, Mike gave me a gentle push to help me up. It was sweet and helpful, and nice to not have to ask a humiliating question like “Mike, I know I’m a young, spry 26 year old, but can you help me get off this couch?” A simple nudge and no comments or judgment. He is caring for me in a way that makes me feel really excited about growing old with him.

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I guess the point is this: Mike isn’t patient or kind or gentle or loving on his own, but by the grace of God. God gives him these gifts to share with me, for my good, and to His glory. And God has given these to Mike in abundance. He has given Mike grace and power to serve me during an incredibly needy time, and so I guess the toast (glasses raised?) really goes to God. He made Mike, and he sustains him as a Godly husband who, I can’t help but say, is a fine example for so many young men of what a husband should be.

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So, my friends, please join me in raising your glasses to God our creator, sustainer, and redeemer and to Mike, his best creation. Cheers.

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Pictures!

Our camera cable was lost for a while, so this blog will be picture-heavy as I try to catch up!!

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About a month ago, we went to Costa Rica for a mid-winter tropical getaway. It was perfect! Hot, bright, windy days laying by a crystal clear blue infinity pool… ahhh. Until the parasite hit. That part was no fun, but it was at the end, so it could have been worse. 🙂

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This is our first day there. We wandered the pool area before sunset.

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The view from our dinner table the first night.

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This is the view from our room!!

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This is at a place down the beach from our hotel. We walked about 45 minutes down the beach to find it. It had hammocks all over the place, with great views of the sunset.

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We took a boat tour that lasted all afternoon. It included a full bar (ginger ale for me), appetizers, snorkeling, sea kayaking, a sunset view, and t-shirts at the end. This is when we first got on the boat – I was grabbing the side rails so hard because I was afraid I was going to feel seasick any moment. I never did, though! It was the first time I went snorkeling, and it was AWESOME!

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Then we got back in town, and a week later were slammed by not one, but two blizzards! Check out the not-so-sunny weather photos below:

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Bailey went flying through the snow. We unleashed him, and he was in heaven!

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The snow was up to my knees here. Then, 3 days later we got MORE snow, breaking all DC metro area records!

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Our adorable, freezing puppy

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The plows came through, finally, and piled the snow in the middle of the fork in our street. That’s a two-story house behind our snow mountain!

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And, many of you have been asking to see baby bump pictures, so here you go!

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And last weekend was Lois and Grant’s wedding! Lois Wise is now Lois Abbott!

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What a beautiful bride!

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Lois’ wedding present from me? Getting to touch the belly. I must really love her!!

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A good lookin’ trio, if I do say so myself!

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Hope y’all enjoyed the photo update!

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