Sunday, March 30, 2014

Little Happies - Daffodils, Puzzles, and Pedicures

Twice last week friends asked me what I was up to, besides work, and I struggled to think of anything. Thanks to BlessedToBe's "Little Happies" I decided it was the perfect time to reflect on the little things have brought me joy in the midst of this busy season.

1. Daffodils - I picked up these lovely flowers for $1.49 at the grocery store last week. Amazing, I know! They make me smile whenever I walk past them. As long as they are in stock I plan to keep them blooming at home.

2. Puzzle - My dear hubby decided to give up for Lent. Kudos to him! The first week or two were pretty rough ...until we decided to buy a jigsaw puzzle. We are working on a view of St. Peter's Basilica from the river, at sunset. Our evenings have been filled with "puzzle-ing", listening to music, and chatting. It's such great quality time together. When this one is done, we just might have to start another one.

 3. My sister's blog, Struggling with Surrender - My sweet, younger sister has a tough cross. Please send some prayers her way. A few weeks ago she started posting something she is grateful for every day. This is often easier said than done, for anyone struggling. I am inspired by her efforts to be thankful, and appreciate the little things. I know she would be blessed if you paid her blog a visit. ;)

4. Pedicure - This is one of my favorite splurges when the weather gets warmer (ok, maybe that still awhile in coming). I go to a little place owned by an asian family and for about $25 my feet feel happy, and my toenails look pretty for the next month. I can't wait for sandal weather.

5. Pan.dora - I've been using the Pan.dora radio app at work and the gym lately. My favorite two stations are "Tenth Avenue North Radio", which is one of my favorite Christian bands, and "Jim Gaff.igan Radio", which produces 6-8 minute clips of clean, funny comedians. A great pick-me-up for sure!

6. New book - Hypothical Future Baby: An Unsentimental Adoption Memoir. A gal in my infertility support group  recommended this book to me. I am only a fifth of the way in, but love, luv, love it! It's the story of a couple from England who, being unable to conceive, embarked on a journey to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. It is funny, heartwarming, sad, and joy-filled. As the author talks about the lows of infertility, the draining process of adoption, her hopes for her baby, and her faith in God, it feels like we are chatting over a cup of tea, sharing our hearts, and even laughing together at the situations we find ourselves in. It's been awhile since I've picked up an adoption-related book, and I'm glad I started with this one.

It's so good to pause and remember that even in this busy season, I have much to be grateful for!

Thanks for stopping by. Peace and blessings to you this week.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Change is in the Air

We decided to make some changes this summer.

Hubby has been working on this dissertation on and off since fall, but its tough to get any meaningful work done with his full-time job and teaching as an adjunct. Ultimately he would like to teach at a Catholic seminary. Finishing the doctorate will give him the credentials he needs.

This summer he is quitting his full-time job and working part-time as director of religious education (DRE for grades 1-8) at a smaller parish. He will have summers off and two full days a week to focus on research and writing his dissertation.

We decided it was a good time to do this, since we don't have kids yet and I am working full-time at a job I like. It feels weird though, since I'll be the primary contributor to our finances. I'm also a little sad to postpone buying a house a while longer. 

I'm still SO glad that hubby can do this!!! First of all because he is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G teacher and writer and has so much to offer the Church. Also once he has the doctorate, his job prospects will be better for our long-term financial future. 

A few people mentioned to me: "Maybe this is why you haven't had kids yet, so you have the opportunity to do this." For some reason this rubbed me the wrong way.

There's no doubt in my mind that God wants to use hubby's gift of teaching, but I really hope it's not true that God didn't bless us with kids for 4.5 years and counting, so hubby could finish his doctorate sooner. Am I terrible for thinking that? 

There are ways to continue your education while working and being a parent. We both desperately wish we had kids, even if it would make the doctorate difficult or impossible. 

Anyway, that was a little bit of a vent. 

Hopefully good things will come out of this decision! We are also going to pursue adoption again in the summer, and see how things work out.

On a side note, I might be a little out of touch awhile. When I started my new job I learned that my main duty for the next 2 months is income tax preparation. I like preparing taxes, but the crazy hours are rough. I'll be working every day, every weekend, until April 15th. April 15 is Tuesday of Holy Week, so I'm offering up working so much as part of my Lent. 

Easter can't come sooner enough!