Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tales of babies, babies, and more babies...

*Writing this, I am 29-ish hours out from meeting little Alivia Grace - happy birthday!

Maybe it's because I work where I do, or because our friends are starting to have babies, or because it's spring... but lately babies have been on the mind. Constantly. It's kind of ridiculous.

Jim, being 6.5 years older than me, is at that point in his life where his friends (and graciously mine, by association!) are reproducing. And it's very exciting. The first one of his group of high school friends became a father at 5:46 AM yesterday. Others will soon follow. One of my dearest friends, who has been trying to get pregnant for 3.5 years, just discovered she is pregnant with twins! Another of our dearest friends has the potential to adopt in the very near future. Two of my friends are planning on getting pregnant this fall.

I love pregnancy, birth, and newborn babies. That's the reason I work in the field I do. There is something so wonderful, so miraculous about the whole circle of life. I love that God has allowed me to work somewhere where He is so evident to me in everything I do and see. That and I get to spend my days/nights holding babies. What fun!

However, the recent epidemic of pregnancy among our friends has elicited two thoughts in my brain: a) I love having job security! and b) Why not us? The "why not us?" question has circulated in my brain and openly to my husband, who views things slightly less skewed than I do. I believe this is because he doesn't possess as much estrogen as I do.

Jim's view is a) he doesn't feel ready to be a good father and b) we are not financially in a place for a child. He is far more concrete in his views on this than I (and my emotions) are. And it's true, financially we are not in the best place for a child. We know we could do it, if we had to. But it's not where we would like to be for the sake of our child's future.

So - to answer the many questions we have received since we were married - we are not actively trying to get pregnant. Actually, we are actively trying to NOT get pregnant. However, this did not work for two of our friends (!) and ultimately we know God is in control, no matter what steps we take to either get pregnant or not get pregnant. The moral of this story is, if I were to be pregnant tomorrow, it would be amazing and awesome and such an incredible blessing. But otherwise, don't be expecting this body to be popping out babies anytime soon!

Jim came to the hospital to visit little Alivia Grace and her thrilled parents yesterday, and after he left, Alivia's Daddy told me he thinks we will be next. Hmm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tales from "Moving 101"...

I have a running list of updates going for the 2008 year. I'll post them to get those of you new to our blog "up to speed" on our life so far (which would be most of you, considering this has only been up for 2 days!)

Update #1: After six months and 13 days of unemployment, Jim was called by Quinault Baptist Church to be their new Worship/Youth Pastor! We are so amazed and blessed by this opportunity.

Update #2: I am finishing (finally!) my LAST semester of nursing school. It's hard to believe, but I will have my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing May 9, 2008! Yay for almost being a "real nurse" (as opposed to a fake one!)

Update #3: I have bangs. It was slightly traumatic, but I seem to be recovering nicely.

Update #4: After 6 months on the market and 1 month off the market, we have sold our house. And we have 3 weeks to find an apartment and move. So between finishing clinicals and classes, taking finals, applying and interviewing for nursing positions, and working, I will be looking for an apartment and packing my house up. YIKES - but what an amazing blessing at the same time!

Update #5: We have found a great new "pad"! And after two days of packing (following two days of Daja confined to her bed with sickness), we have moved in. Unfortunately it's not as easy to unpack as it is to pack :(

Elaboration of Update #5: What a comical time this was for us! As usual, the basic laws of JimandI's universe apply: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Let's begin with step one...

Step One - Packing
We opted to move in the weekend of March 14 - 16, figuring this was the best time because a) it was right at the end of my spring break, and b) I did not have to work. Instead, I worked the nights at the beginning of the week. My schedule looked like this: Work Monday night, sleep Tuesday, pack Wednesday and Thursday, move Friday and Saturday. I went to work Monday night thinking "wow, I really don't feel well" and left Tuesday morning thinking "give me the bottle of NyQuil and nobody will get hurt!". I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in bed, getting up only to replenish my body's NyQuil supply. I still did not feel up to snuff on Thursday, but knowing that we were going to move the next day (plus I had my first "real job" interview on Friday!) I dragged myself out of bed and starting packing my house. Luckily for me, one of the women from our church came over and packed my kitchen while I blew my nose repeatedly.

Step Two - Moving, Part One
Part one began on Friday morning. Being the loving, considerate, and deperate person I am, the I called on two of my friends to help me start moving the "little stuff" - one was 39 weeks pregnant, the other has congenital heart defects. Between the three of us, each handicapped in our own special way (I'm pretty sure my handicap is mental), we were able to move some quite a few small items.

Step Two - Moving, Part Two
Part two began on a gorgeous Saturday morning. Jim was scheduled to umpire at the little league jamboree all morning, so we agreed that we would wait to move until one in the afternoon. I spent the morning doing one of my favorite pastimes - shopping for storage and organization solutions. I stopped for to pick up lunch at Bruchi's around 12:45, and in the 10 minutes I was inside waiting for our food, it began to rain. Not the "spitting" rain, as Jim so delicately puts it, but pouring rain. Hail, in fact. I made it home, where a group of people from our church had arrived to help us move the "heavy stuff". We voted to move small boxes first in covered vehicles before moving the furniture in the now-wet-and-muddy trucks. My mother managed, while carrying a box of glassware, to slip and fall on the driveway. At the time, it appeared that she had just scuffed up her knee, so I didn't think anything of it... Later she found that her hand was in quite a bit of pain and she could no longer bend her leg. Needless to say, after four hours in the Emergency Department, we discovered that she had broke her hand and probably has some ligament damage in her knee. She is currently still at home, laid up with a cast on her hand and a splint on her leg.

Besides those few "hiccups", we were able to successfully move. Jim finished up the move for me while I took my mom to the hospital. Of course, when I returned late that night from taking my mom to the ER and home again and then running around the Tri-Cities trying to find a pharmacy open on a Saturday night... I arrived to our brand-new apartment full of random furniture and boxes with no rhyme or reason or walking paths... and my OCD took over my body and put me fight-or-flight mode (fight-ing with my husband over the lack of work he did, flight-ing to get everything unpacked and put away!)

But don't worry, the TV was set up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Band Stuff...

I am a musician. I'm pretty sure that and my love for doing laundry are the reasons why my husband married me :) In public, I play the violin, but I am a closet drummer/vocalist. Thanks to the revolution that is Rockband, I can come out of the closet (not like that - stay focused people!) and drum/sing to my heart's content. And when they come out with a headset microphone, I can do both AND look like Britney Spears! (Just kidding about the Britney Spears part... I hope I don't look like that...)

Luckily for me, I have dedicated friends who allow me to indulge my ambitions. And we have a band. Dr. Awesome, Bam-Bam, and Daja-Star (collectively known as "Jason Is Jealous" - great band name, I know) get together on a regular basis to rock out. No Rockband song can defeat the musical talents of Dr. Awesome, Bam-Bam, and Daja-Star... except maybe that song by The Who...

Watch out Jeremy Eder... one day I will out-drum you... maybe.

Tales of a Pastor's - no, wait, sorry - Minister's Wife...

After six-point-five long months of unemployment, Jim was called into the ministry. I was (and am) so thrilled to see Jim get the chance to do what he was created by God to do... It is a dream come true for us. My desire for Jim was to see him in a job doing what he feels is God's will for his life, and I truly believe that leading worship and youth is that for him.

The part that I must admit I was hesitant about when we accepted the call from Quinault was my part - Pastor's *ahem, I mean* Minister's Wife. Me? A Minister's Wife? Really? It was (and still is!) difficult for me to remember that if God called Jim to be a minister, and me to be Jim's wife, than He must have called me to be a Minister's Wife.

Everyday is a new learning process for me. No one gives you a book detailing every part of being a minister's wife: "Pastor/Minister's Wives 101". Well, maybe that course is offered somewhere. Perhaps at my husband's alma mater :) I am still mulling over elementary decisions... What is my ministry role? What ministries am I supposed to be involved in? If my husband leads the youth group, do I need to be there? What time do I need to be at church? What time does church even start? Where am I supposed to sit during church? What am I supposed to wear at church? Fill in your own questions here...

Another aspect of being a Minister's Wife: Your husband's time is no longer yours alone, or even yours to share. This part I am sadly not adjusting well too. After six-point-five months of my husband ALWAYS being home ALL THE TIME and driving me CRAZY and I was NEVER able to have a moment alone at home, the new question is: When will my husband be home? Is he coming home? Will I ever see him again? That last questions passes through my head when I watch him walk out the door at 6:45 AM Sunday morning, knowing that he will not be home again until 9:30 PM or later that night. I had heard these complaints from various pastor's wives I know, but it's one of those things you think "That won't happen to ME"... just like my little 16-year-old patients who seriously believed having sex wouldn't cause THEM to become pregnant.

For all my complainings and grumblings, there are so many blessings involved with being a Minister's Wife. Quinault is an amazing church with truly wonderful people that I have the privilege of knowing and serving. The more I attend church and allow myself to open up to these people, the more God blesses me with their friendship and love. And even with the sadness of leaving our old church, I know that there will be new wonderful beginnings at this new church. I am looking forward to the "firsts" I get to have - "first" VBS (yes folks, I am using my musical/cheerleading spiritual gifts to lead music again!), "first" mission trip with the youth, etcetera, etcetera.

I will try to sit here and dwell on those blessings while I wait for my husband... again... Either that or I will watch another rerun of The Office. Win-win situation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mine? Mine? Mine?

Speaking of jobs...

As many of you know, since I do not possess children to delight in myself, I spend a considerable amount of time each week delighting in other's children... at that perfect age when they are cuddly and warm and don't talk back and are completely satisfied with simply having something (anything!) stuck in their mouths... AKA less than 48 hours old. The best part is they actually pay me to do this! Well, not just that, only for the wee hours of the morning when I am working night shift and don't want to do actual work so I hide in the nursery snuggled with a randomly chosen baby. Yes folks, I am a labor and delivery nurse. Or at least, I want to be a labor and delivery nurse (currently I am a labor and delivery nurse technician). For the past three years I have had the delight of coming home at 7:00 (AM or PM, you pick) smelling of amniotic fluid and placenta, and for some reason (unknown to my husband), I want to continue this tradition.

So, in this quest (And being the good-little-almost-graduated BSN student I am!) I carefully constructed my cover letter and resume and filled out an application for a full time R.N. (that stands for "real nurse" in my world!) position in the Birthcenter at Kadlec Medical Center. I was called back for an interview two weeks later, so I carefully picked out an interview outfit and practiced answers to the ridiculous questions everyone is asked in an interview situation (What are your strengths? What are your weakness? If you could be a food item commonly found in the refrigerator, what would you be and why? Who comes up with these questions and why? Seriously people!) and lined up the appropriate references.

A week before my interview, I stopped into my manager's office to have some paperwork signed prior to the interview and she asked me "What is your back-up plan?" My heart dropped. Back-up plan?!? I don't have a back-up plan! I hadn't even considered applying to other places of employment. I spent that final week before my interview mulling over this predicament. By far my favorite suggestion for a back-up plan came from Dr. Ortolono: Night cook at Denny's. As appealing as that idea was, I decided that my back-up plan would be stay-at-home wife. Jim told me he supported me in this, but I think secretly he would have been disappointed to not have my impending salary :)

I'm not exactly sure how to share the interview story, so I'll just post the basic transcript (slightly edited to allow for time). Prior to my interview, I was sick to my stomach with nervousness over how it would go.

Daja arrives for her interview ON-TIME (yay for me!) and enters her manager's office. Manager and assistant comment on Daja's attire (very professional) and invite her to sit down.

Manager: Why do you want to work here?

Daja: Umm.... Umm... I like it here? *sweating and fidgeting nervously

Assistant: Oh my gosh, don't be nervous! We love you and want you to stay here and work for us forever! You totally have a job! Don't cry!

Manager: Thanks, you totally gave away our hand. Remind me to never take you to Vegas.

Daja: ... *hyperventilating due to combination of nervousness and relief

The next 15 minutes we spent discussing whether or not I should renew my nurse technician license in June. And that was it. Moral of the story folks... Daja has a full-time job. In labor and delivery. As a registered nurse. This is also very exciting has it seems that everyone we know is getting pregnant. Yay for job security!

Young and old? What are you trying to imply?

I have spent the better part of this morning sitting in a classroom listening to my classmates plot and plan for the cumulative result of our semester long research project... a poster and 11 minutes to ramble about it. The more I think about the time I have devoted to this project throughout the semester and the end result of ALL this work, the more depressed I become. So instead, I have chosen to surf the internet and nod occasionally at my classmates to indicate that I am paying attention to whatever they are stressing over... and by the grace of our Great God I stumbled over the "blogspots" (-Is that the right word? Help, I'm an amateur blogger!-) of many of you who are now reading this and I was impressed. Heck, I was inspired. I wanna be cool like the rest of y'all! So here I am... rambling (-Sorry Tami, I know that's your word!-) on and on about the pathetically small issues occurring in JimandI's life (-No Dad, not "Gemini"!-).

And now I feel that I must address the unconventional title of this blog since I am sure there will be whisperings/rumors/posts in the prayer bulletin to follow if I don't. And also because the other day at DOXA practice, I parked in the "New Parent Parking" spot at Quinault and Jeremy Eder asked me if I was trying to imply something... "Young and old" does not mean that I am pregnant, or adopting, or trying to steal a child anytime in the near future! I chose this title because a) as many of you know, I am "young" and Jim is "old"... and don't ever let him forget that! and b) if God allows, EVENTUALLY I would hope there would be "young" Browns running around (at least younger than me!). But at this time there are no future Browns to be had. I say this with caution, knowing that when I plan, God laughs. He always does. I'm pretty sure God takes great pleasure in wrecking my carefully thought-out plans (Hello, Jim? Really God?)!