Melody and I have begun taking walks together. She uses her small legs and square feet to walk everywhere now. She is tall enough to hold onto my finger without me having to hunch over and waddle as we walk. This is a grand change! Now I enjoy walking together. Yesterday we went to Rogers to do some cruise shopping. (I love trips!) We were in a large new shopping area with wide sidewalks along the front of the stores. Melody and I slowly walked the length of the entire parking lot. She stopped at leaves, stomping on them with unsure feet and voicing excitement when the wind carried them away. I held her up to a tree full of popcorn type blossoms. I picked a blossom and held it toward her. Her fingers reached for it and carefully grasped the tiny stem. She carried it and touched it to her face for about 50 feet.

As we do new things together, like taking walks, I am filled with joy. She is becoming more and more of a companion. She says Hi and Bye to me about 25 times every day. I love it. Yesterday I put her hair in pigtails for the first time. They were pathetic little sprouts. As her hair thickens and my finger learn they will improve. We ended our outting at Barnes and Noble in the play area. I bought a Tazo iced tea (a new discovery for me). Melody romped around the kids section while I read a book about wok cooking. She fell asleep less than five minutes after we drove away. I felt happy for the discovery of mommy/daughter walks. I hope these pleasant times together stretch on for many many years.


getting ready

We leave early early Thursday morning for our cruise!!! (Our flight departs at 5:45am. Ugh.) I am busy with the details of getting ready. I have fun doing this sort of thing – as long as I start a few days ahead of time. But no matter how early I begin preparations, I am always packing late into the night before the trip. My goal is to NOT do that this time.

travel pillow
chads haircut
formal wear

The list goes on and on. I am super excited, but trying to manage my expectations at the same time. Chad and I had a wonderful week in Cancun for our honeymoon. Since then every time we’ve tried to vacation for just us, it has been a flop. We’re hoping with all our hearts that this time will be like our Cancun experience. The all-you-can-eat food should help!

I need to keep busy while Melody naps! (She is staying here with my mom. At first I felt unsure and panicky about it. Chad felt strongly that we need this trip for one-on-one time together, so I breathed deeply, prayed a little, and said, “Okay.” Since then I’ve felt peace about leaving her. She’ll be at home and she knows my mom well. Pray for her, if you think of it!)


housework whining

The battle of having a clean house has returned. For a few weeks I felt on top of it. I came up with a system that was working fairly well. On Mondays I'd stay home and work on the house pretty much nonstop. Of course I took lots of breaks for Melody -- diapers, meals, books, play, etc. But my goal for Mondays was to end the day with a neat, clean house. The rest of the week I did about one load of laundry a day, cooked dinner most nights, hung out with friends during the day, and kept things tidy at home. By Friday things were getting grimmy. The weekend arrived and Chad was home. He isn't a slob. He's actually neater than I am, most of the time. BUT, during the weekends I am not able to pick up after myself, Melody, AND him. So I decided to just relax about the house on the weekends, knowing that Monday would be the catchup day.

This worked well for awhile, but it also really wore me out. After several weeks of it, I started slacking. We left town for a weekend. I took a Monday off. Soon, the house was too far gone to fix in one day. At that point it felt like a mountain of a project again. Discouragement came and I ignored things even more. The spiral continued until we remembered our friends were coming into town this weekend. (!!!) I made a list of everything to do before their arrival. Last night after Melody went to sleep (7pm) I started working. Four hours later I wasn't finished yet. UGH. Now I'm exhuasted and I haven't even gotten to the master bedroom and bathroom yet. (It's the worst.)

I'm almost 30 years old. Shouldn't I have this house stuff figured out by now?


sleep vs thoughts

The baby woke at 3:30am needing a bottle. I took care of her and returned to bed in less than 15 minutes. Despite the short amount of time awake, sleep did not return easily. I tossed and turned for hours. Jumbled thought tumbled around in my head.

the dog needs to go to the vet
what should I add to the stirfry to make it better next time
the spare room needs clean sheets
melodys new demin overalls will bleed onto white/pink clothes
the floors are all dirty
my tire needs to be fixed
email is broken
freelance is undone
babysitter cost too much
do I want a new job
I'm a bad teacher
what should I do with Melody's crazy hair
why can't I finish her room
the bathrooms are dirty
I'll make chinese chicken salad for lunch tomorrow
I don't have all the ingredients
I'll ask ellen to bring the things I don't have
that is rude
I'll go to walmart for the third day in a row
the dog needs to go to the vet

These thoughts sprinted in ciricles until the alarm sounded three hours later. I am exhausted this morning.


the bedroom verdict

I will be making an annoying trip to Target very soon. I get to return the items I bought for our bedroom. Yesterday I set it up so Chad could decide what he thought. I made the bed with the wine colored blanket and matching shams. I strategically placed three funky pillows in front of the shames. The sequenced one went in the middle. I took care to tuck the still-attached price tags out of view.

The next task was to display the odd assortment of window panels. I purchased three, all different, but similar in funky-ness. We don’t have trim inside the house yet, so we don’t have curtain rods up either. Because of this I used thumbtacks to hang the curtains. I arranged them with fake gathers to simulate the real deal. My plan was to buy an extra long curtain rod and hang various mismatched panels on it to create a wall of fun fabrics.

The biggest chore of the bedroom makeover was putting away the four loads of clean laundry that was piled on the floor. Bleh. That wasn’t nearly as fun as working with the new stuff. Chad arrived home from work and the folded clothes were still strewn across the newly made bed. I made him stay out of the room until I finished the laundry. Then he came in to see the new room.

His reaction was mild but sure. No. He laughed a little and said it was really different. He was surprised I liked it. I usually go for stripes, symmetry, mod, solids, etc. Not glitter, beads, shimmer and richness. The hippy look has lurked in the recesses of my preferences for a long time. It goes with the part of me that wants dreadlocks, nose jewelry, long carefree skirts and gardening as a hobby. In college I always admired the girls who had these characteristics, but I didn’t have the guts or know-how to go there myself.

I guess I should have embraced it enough to decorate my dorm room with beads and velvet, because now that I’m married my opportunity is gone. Some of you may be screaming as you read this because you think I need to stand strong and keep the Target stuff. But the thing is, I am totally okay with returning it. Even as I piled it onto the conveyor belt at the checkout line, I was unsure. This uncertainty was not because of Chad, but because of myself. One of the main reasons I wasn’t sure was because we keep things for a long time. We’ve had our current bed covering for over five years. I wasn’t sure I could commit to keeping the swanky look for that long. It was too much.

Chad said he’d rather us buy something at full price (!) than settle for something just because it was on sale. He’s right; I would not have chosen the same stuff if it hadn’t been for the 75% off sale. When it comes to discounts, I’m very weak. The truth is, I rarely see something I absolutely love, sale or not. Maybe it’s the inner critic inside that has a hard time finding the perfect stuff. As I browse I innately critique designs, color combinations, and the like. (I’m the same way with recipes -- always trying to figure out what to add to make it better.) Because of this, our home goes undone with mismatched stuff. Maybe in forty years it will be complete and pleasing to both Chad and me. Then again, if that were to happen, I’d probably be way too attached to it all.


a special smile

When we first met your eyes were the surprise
But after awhile it was your smile that captured my heart

From a distance you caught my eye
Your honest face would break into a slow smile
The substance of that smile was good, pure and honest
"Does he smile at others this way?" I wondered

Months later Grandma Frieda commented
"That one, Chad. He smiled at me. It was different and special."
She had seen it too

Now we are married
I still love that honest smile
Behind it is character, joy, understanding and love
The kind of love the bible speaks of
I'm slowly learning of these things
Maybe someday when I'm old someone will say,
"Her smile. It's different. It's special."


super target lust & feeling low

My trip to Dallas was fun. I was able to spend time with my fun aunt and some relatives I don't see very often. Melody was a big hit, saying "hi" to everyone with her toddler wave. Being on a trip without Chad was hard, because I was the only parent for a few days. I ran and ran and ran keeping her dressed, rested, fed, and content. I am tired now. I'm also thankful as I realize how great Chad is at being involved and helping out.

One of the highlights of the trip was Super Target. I went there four times during the four day excursion. I found a 75% off sale and bought stuff for our bedroom. I went with an asian-swanky-shimmery look. I got a queen blanket with shams for under $20 and several beaded pillows for under $5 each. Sales make me happy. The catch is, "Will Chad like this new look for our room?" It's pretty different for him. He's more into corduroy, wood, flannel, etc. A lot of wives make their homes whatever they want and don't worry about the husband's likes/dislikes. For the most part Chad lets me do what I want, but I like to make sure he likes it, too. Tomorrow I will set up our new room and see what he thinks. I won't be distraught if I end up returning everything and waiting for another 75% off sale on a look we both like. I'll keep you updated.

When I shop at places like Super Target, I suffer from small town discontentment. I browsed the aisles with a Starbucks mocha. (Skim, half the chocolate, with whip cream, extra hot -- I've become one of THOSE coffee drinkers. When I first started drinking coffee a few years back, I'd hear people order with several specifications and I'd wonder what the heck they were talking about. Now I'm doing it!)

Anyway, the perfect rows of oranges and lettuce in the produce department appealed to my aesthetic instincts. I noticed healthfood brands, which I'd only seen at healthfood stores before. Also, the organic milk was 30 cents less per half gallon than low price leader Walmart. (Gasp!) I also enjoyed driving on the busy roads and being in the hustle and bustle. Dallas is NOT a city I'd choose to live in, but it had a hint of the things I like about highly populated places. Now that I'm home, I'm enjoying rural things like stars, quiet, trees, etc. I'm not unhappy here... but I sure enjoy getting away often.

I am still having trouble being motivated. My class is tonight and once again, I'm struggling to prepare enough to feel like a good teacher. I think I'm borderline depressed again. It's always hard to know how I FEEL, but when I get apathetic about things I love, I start to wonder. I haven't been very good about taking my antidepressant every single time. I've been on it for 10 months now and I've been toying with the idea of weaning to see how I do. Maybe this is why I'm not as religious about taking it every single time I'm suppose to. Maybe I'm subconciously trying to see what happens if I slow down with the dosages. I know this is not the right way to wean from a drug. I guess it is time to see the doctor again. Even that feels like a huge mountain. Could that be another Depressed Rebekah sign? I don't want to blame every lazy feeling I have on depression though. I think this is why I fight accepting the fact that I'm not doing well. I equate accepting the depression with laziness or giving up, even though that does not make sense.


slacking, party & trip

Lately, I've been behind on everything. Housework, meals, teaching, freelance, bills, even blogging. For awhile I was on top of things. I don't know how it happened, but I lost my motivation. I fell back into the pattern of going places to escape the undone house. I hate living that way.

And about the class I'm teaching... I love the idea of teaching. I love the university and the students. I even enjoy the subject matter. So WHY is it hard for me to stay prepared and motivated?? I don't understand. I need a kick in the butt or something.

Another thing that's bugging me is that I have nothing to say when people ask how I'm doing. "Good, good. I'm fine." Blah, blah, blah. There is nothing new to report. I end up talking about Melody instead... "The baby is walking!" Yesterday someone replied with, "Great! But how are you?"

"Uhhhh.... good, I think?" I haven't had a case of humdrum life in awhile. It's not fun.

Last weekend I had a birthday party for my brother and his college roommate. They turned 19 in the same week. Christopher invited 10 of his guy friends over for dinner, a bonfire, and some gun shooting. I made thousands of enchiladas and a german chocolate cake from sratch. I think I used every single utensil, pan, and dish in the kitchen. Twice. It has taken three whole-hearted attempts of kitchen-cleaning to get everything back in order. I also made a huge Happy Birthday banner with eight pieces of poster board and acrylic paints. I combined uppercase and lowercase letters with four fun colors to create a silly up-and-down type design. Chad and I hung it over the couch in the living room.

By the time everyone arrived, I was too exhausted to enjoy hosting. After several hours of hoop-la I was ready for an empty quiet house. I was slightly nervous with the college age guys. Chad and I don't know how to relate or act around them. Maybe it's because for the first time we're the older ones?

Tomorrow my mom, Melody and I leave for a trip to Texas. We'll be gone four days to visit family and go to a wedding. Maybe this girlie roadtrip is what I need. I hope so. Chad will work on the house while we're away. He's looking forward to being able to focus on the projects without being distracted. There are still many many things left to complete before our June deadline. The stress of these projects is probably the biggest contributing factor to my funk.