Today my dear friend Sina celebrates another year of life, and even though she'll likely never read this blog post (her being on the computer is slightly unlikely), I wanted to give a shout out to her. =D I don't know what I'd do in Louisville without her. She and her family are so much a part of Ryan's & my life, from church to picnics in the park (like the one we were both just at) to carpooling to Dorothy Sayers (the school at which I teach and which her kids attend) to collaboration on shopping, home renovation/decorating and cooking. When I need encouragement, or advice, the Lord often has been pleased to provide it through her. Several times she's even told me, quite lovingly and plainly: "Christina, that's just a bad idea." That's a true friend for you! May Christ be ever more plain in her, and may He continue to get glory through her life and character. And may He be pleased to let me to grow up to be more like her! I am so blessed by the many wonderful, godly examples of true Queens among women all around me!
Overall Scope of Days: settling in
Married life? Well, it should comfort you viewers to know that Ryan & I just purchased a digital camera with wedding money, and will be photo- documenting much more of our lives' lively little details! (and the less mundane, like, oh... Barcelona next week. =D) But we've at least begun the "settling in" process; I've bought all the remaining bedding, appliances and household wares we "needed," as well as stuff to renovate, clean and organize our new home. Wedding money has been wonderful for all of that! I've read the instruction manuals for the Crock-Pot, blender (by which I learned that our particular brand can grind coffee beans!), bread-maker, pots & pans, silverware, dishes, mini-food processor, ice-cream maker, electric skillet and dehydrator, opened and washed all the Pyrex, steel mixing bowls, gadgets and Tupperware, linens and towels, started converting family recipies to gluten-and-soy-free versions, and begun my garden patch (composting is fun!). Doubles and extras have been exchanged, TV trays, futons, desks & shelving assembled, and I'm starting to get into a routine of cleaning and household chores. I love cooking from scratch, though it's always an adventure (especially as a lot of the gluten-free dishes are unfamiliar territory for both Ryan & I AND my Mom!). Thankfully Mom's just a phone-call away (hehehe I'm still on their cellphone plan, so it's FREE!!), and Sina's got great recipies in a pinch.
More importantly, Ryan & I are learning how to talk to each other and best love one another. It's a balancing game of both letting love cover over sins, and being honest and unafraid to confront sins in each other. We've had some late-night conversations and less-than-happy exchanges... And we've come out the other side already feeling we know and trust one another more. This morning we took a walk around Shelby Park, to the mailbox on Oak St. by our church-- our mail still isn't being reliably picked up/delivered-- and we read Children of Hurin (JRR Tolkien) while we walked, and enjoyed the gentle fall sunshine and chilly air. We are in a particularly laugh-y mood today, and it's fun.
What have I been doing? Well, household errands, teaching-- I should be planning lessons right now-- church activities... We've had our first lunch guests now! Our plan is to always be ready to invite people over for lunch after church on Sundays, so no one has to eat out on the Lord's Day. So I'm getting in the habit of making an extra couple servings of whatever, and making sure we have enough home-made ice cream to go 'round. I love being able to do that!
Primitive Hospitality: Ryan & I, and Ashlea at our Sunday lunch "table" two Lord's Days ago
Ryan & I are in a Newly-Weds Bible Study through our church, which meets once a month at the home of (in our group's case) Jim & Marlaina Rairick, who also "happen" to be in our care group! I carpool to/from school with the Shueys on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and I try to save up stories of my little ones for them. They all laugh, even Jenna, though I think she just does it to do it. The little minx. Morgan Shuey came over yesterday for a Latin Party-- we baked cookies for my Pre-K classes (in honor of the phonogram 'C' which we officially start next week) and studied Latin together. I enjoyed pulling up the old knowledge in my head, and the challenge of teaching a new pupil. Ryan still teaches at the Transformation House once a month, and goes most Tuesdays to encourage the guys there-- afterwards last Tuesday, Lance & Josh, two friends from church, came over and enjoyed hot fresh cookies and home-made ice cream while they got "The Tour." Ryan likes giving that. =D We have some awesome ideas for this place... some of them rather... fanciful, heheh. Starting last Sunday I began helping in the children's Sunday School with Ryan. I'm observing/being the back-up for the Girl's Small Group Leader, and the plan is for me to rotate in and lead next quarter. I actually get to lead tomorrow, because Rebecca'll be out of town! What else... Ryan & I had our first married double date last night, to see 3:10 to Yuma with Ben & Sarah Hedrick (yes, the Dairy-Del couple). I snuck in my organic soybean-oil-free popcorn, hehehe (see Ryan's blog for his take on the flic). Ryan valiently persists in seeking to educate me in the ways of rock music, drilling me in which band sings what songs, and how to tell them apart. "I'm a music connaisseur, too," he says. I tease him by retorting that he's a "music" connaisseur, with hand quotation marks a la Andrew Whaley. I guess one more thing is that I also jumped into this year's "Spiritual Friends" mentoring program at our church, and am paired with a girl named Amanda Brainerd, who's been married almost 3 years, and I think will be quite a good match for me. We met on Monday to talk a little, and she bought me a "Java Julep" (mocha frap with peppermint- yumm and we were mutually encouraged, I think, over the course of nearly 2 hours of talking and asking and sharing. God be praised-- He creates unity out of nothing!
Tomorrow: O Day of Rest and Gladness!
All right, I've been on here long enough. I'd best get going. Soon as Dave & Sina call, I'm off to celebrate a little with them and give Sina her present. Happy Lord's Day to you all!
--quite the blessed new bride