Friday, July 27, 2007

Side By Side Living

Well, I've been told by many that I need to update, and I've even wanted to myself! What's kept me has chiefly been the inexplicable aversion of this particular computer to blogger. I don't understand it, but it takes usually 3-4 tries, often with several minutes of blank screen at a time, for the editing pages to load, and I've gone whole hours, attempting multiple times, to no avail. Sometimes the pages just won't load. Thankfully, posting original entries is easier than editing older ones, so at least this should work. It's not that I've been too busy to post, per se, it's more that if I have to choose how I'm going to spend a 2 hour chunk of time, with a wedding, ensuing marriage, new teaching jobs, and buying & adorning of a home all bearing in on me in less than a month, there are other things that quickly take priority.

So, how's life been as in-state fiances? Well, it's been life. =D Some of it has been great. Let me list some highlights: sushi at our friends Tony & Angie Hepp's place (I rolled my own for the first time, and Ryan tried it all, even finding he liked the roll containing raw tuna the best!); Bible Study on Thursdays at Tony & Angie Taylor's (I know, two couples with the same names); a Sunday afternoon spent working together on VBS laminating, coloring & cutting; reading Harry Potter 7 out loud to each other, a chapter at a time; the weekly ritual of me bringing him lunch at work (on our 1-year anniversary, I surprised him with a scrapbook of 'Our Story' and take-out from the Kashmir, where we had our first date if you recall-- another time I managed to drop my entire soup bowl upside-down, lol); church small group every other Sunday evening; the Church Wedding Shower hosted by Jillian & Brian Preston for us last Sunday-- we sat out in Shelby Park, and ate BBQ and even gluten-free hamburger buns for me (made my day); evenings talking with Glen & Bethany (the couple I live with), and often laughing very hard at Glen; Sunday lunches with a whole motley crew around our "table" (we have to sit in the living room cause the kitchen table only seats 4), with a large percentage of the food being consumed by Rob Smythe (a favorite tag-along in my mind); watching Transformers with Lyle, Ryan's work buddy, and Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix with Ashlea, my roomie from last summer; Q'dobas and Moes meals; strolling through the mall hand-in-hand, looking for wedding bands or a queen-sized bed; the increasingly frequent spells when Ryan cracks me up and I can't stop laughing, no matter how much it hurts! (then he starts laughing at me, which makes me start up all over again) He's gotten a technique down pat called 'Seductive Eating'-- guys, never, ever try seducing ANYONE with it. I also must mention David Devasto's week-long visit last week. In his honor we had quite a number of great times, including our Dairy-Del ritual. Dave was with us that fateful day last summer when I first met Ryan, and when Ben Hedrick dared me to eat...well, you know. Anyway this year, Sarah, Karis (now a very cute 1-year old), and Ben joined Ryan, Dave, John Letoto & myself one night after VBS. Before we arrived, Bed told the servers to give me, no matter what I ordered, another bubble-gum-covered-chocolate-cone. They did, to my utter astonishment, and everyone's laughter. It was as gross as I remembered it, but this time, I just fed the coating (aka gross part) to Karis, who loved it.

So, to sum it all up... living near Ryan is wonderful, AND it also gives us opportunities to practice forgiveness and forbearance like you wouldn't believe. We're now in the same local community of faith, and part of the package is friction. I'm quite the sinner (I know you're shocked, right hehehe). We've had to learn how to relate to each other in a group all over again, had to address questions of teasing and what a united front means, and how we show respect for each other all the time. We've had to (and still are) grow in bearing with daily annoyances and grievances, which has led to lots of confession of sin and forgiveness. Glen & Bethany really have encouraged us in this; we're trying to take into account each other's family's 'culture'-- how things were handled, and what was expected in our different families growing up. We're learning that the "one-flesh" marital unity doesn't come by becoming clones of one another, but rather by each becoming more and more united to Christ, so as a part of that we're trying to be more diligent in encouraging one another towards Him. There have been some hard conversations, some real soul-searching, and even crying. But it's all been in a context that makes the overall taste so sweet that I wouldn't trade it for anything. We've discovered that we'd much rather talk than not! So this week we've tried to make time to just talk, to just be together.

Pre-marital counseling has been really good, and it's led to some good conversations. [I have much more to say about that.] This past week wedding prep has picked back up, and today actually felt a little overwhelming, especially in relation to the work I have to be doing getting ready for school next year. I'll start teaching the day after we get back from our honeymoon! So I have to be READY, and 2 weeks ahead of time, because I won't be thinking about lesson plans on the honeymoon, let me tell you that!

Well, packing must be done. We'll only be in Greenville 2 nights, and my sisters have way cuter clothes than I do anyway, so I'm not too worried. =D Like I said, I've got more to say about pre-marital counseling, and also about my own spiritual state & growth. There's lots of thoughts, as always. I just finished CS Lewis' A Grief Observed if that gives you any hint as to the direction of some of my musings of late. Also working on The Moon By Night (Madeleine L'Engle) and The Sacred Marriage, as well as Margaret Paton's Letters from the South Seas (so encouraging!).

Loved and with love,

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