This Week’s Three

So, I missed Thursday by a few dozen hours. Whoops, sorry. But figured I would go ahead and blog the week anyway as it’s been full and good and a little unexpected.

1. Some days there are no words for everything you are feeling. There can be joy and sorrow, happiness and hesitation, disappointment and relief, defeat and hope all at the same time. This week has had a few things like that. They sit mostly on the “good” side but are still taking a while to get our minds wrapped around them all.

2. Nothing says “summer” like a road trip. In the past week we took two semi-impromptu trips and both included a good amount of rain. We saw friends by the beach and family near the mountains, each for a couple days. While brief, it was much needed and quite enjoyed. Trips like these are a huge part of what makes me excited and inspired. The hubby and I recently had a discussion however where he made note of the distinction between a “trip” and a “vacation” (to me they are usually the same thing. To him, a vacation includes almost no agenda and clearing of your head–preferably in a cabin in the woods. I see a vacation as going somewhere and trying new things and gaining new experiences. Honestly, when it comes down to it, I couldn’t care less what you call it, but I’m glad to understand what the difference is for him. Knowing things like this as a couple helps to better communicate expectations and goals when we take time off to go somewhere.

While in Asheville, we checked out Moog--where all sorts of electronic instruments are made
While in Asheville, we checked out Moog, which is where all sorts of electronic instruments are made

3. A season of change is upon us. I wrote a little last week about beginning again and I keep being reminded every day how much we are about to enter into something new even without knowing what it is. We have some friends moving this direction, new opportunities, new challenges and new direction in what we want in life. When life gets stuck in a stagnant stage I seem to grow impatient quickly, yet when there’s time for constant growth and change I can get overwhelmed or panic. One day at a time though, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted once more is known.

Me + You

There is one relationship that I value above the rest. When we’re talking about humans, my relationship with my husband matters more (only God can trump it and I said humans here). That doesn’t mean I don’t care about what’s happening in the lives of others or can’t be friends with people. Quite the contrary, but when it comes down to priorities, he comes first. Over a job, over friends, over school, over hobbies, over other family even. Having a good relationship in my marriage is beyond important to me. So I will do things that might seem ridiculous to some if it protects my marriage—whether it’s setting aside extra time or saying no to a good thing sometimes. In a society that sometimes overvalues a career or “success” I choose my marriage.

I can’t say I always know best how to do so or have the perfect relationship. I wish this was the case, but we are imperfect people who have to live in love and a whole lot of grace. We have misunderstandings and disagreements. Well-intentioned statements go awry or maybe even less than well-intentioned words slip. Gosh some days it’s tough to figure out what the heck we should do in certain situations. Some days it’s the most wonderful carefree thing in the world. Regardless, we made a commitment to each other to stick together. Nothing is allowed to mess with that. I will guard and protect this relationship with all that I’ve got. Because this relationship matters the most to me. Plus, the better we are, the better our other relationships will likely be, too. So if I ever seem to talk to much about him or us, this is why. He’s my guy.

See Me Run

Saturday I considered writing about my goal to one day run a 5k. If you’ve ever mentioned anything about running to me in the past, I probably mentioned in return that I hate running. But come September, the Color Run will be in town and if you’re going to run, might as well have bursts of color coming at you to distract from the panting and leg wobbling. Instead of jotting that down, I decided to try jogging. I even got an app to direct me between walking and jogging so I could work up to it. And that sore calf from Tuesday’s yoga? It’ll loosen up.

Well, it didn’t loosen up. Not exactly. I got maybe a mile from home on the path when it felt like that left leg burst. It didn’t really but there I was, in the middle of a path nowhere near the street. I called the hubby and explained/whimpered/cried the situation to him. He came to save the day. I don’t know what I would have done without him because at that point, walking was not an option. He carried me a third of a mile until we were able to take the path into another neighborhood. Then he continued to run all the way back to where the car was parked and drove over to pick me up. By the time he brought the car around, my mind was made up, we were headed to the doctor’s office.

On the way over we took turns moaning in pain. While I had done something to my calf, he had strained his back carrying me. I randomly had a few suckers in my purse and we chomped on those all the way to the appointment, trying to focus on something other than the pain. He wheeled me in and asked for an ice pack from the front before sitting down. And then promptly returning to the front desk to request a second ice pack for himself. We were quite a pair. They took a few x-rays, put on a splint and handed over some crutches and a prescription. By the time we got home, all either of us could do was lay on the couch watching Netflix while we iced our respective injuries.

Despite the severity suggested in the first appointment, Monday’s doctor visit said otherwise. I’ll be on crutches a little longer and maybe do some physical therapy, but I’ll be alright. I’m very thankful to not need surgery or have to deal with this long-term. But most of all, I’m thankful for my husband. This whole ordeal was somewhat ridiculous, but it was one more reminder that we are in this together. And depending how long it takes to fully recover, there’s a good chance you’ll see me attempt that 5k anyway.


We Made It

I am so tired, and sore, and exhausted that I am struggling to lift my fork to eat this crepe (you read that correctly – there’s a crepe place where I live! And I can eat them!). My little arms are screaming at me but my brain is racing. The past 24 hours have been insane. I think I’d like to take a week-long nap followed by a day-long shower.

But as of this moment, we have a home. We live somewhere. And we slept in our own bed last night for the first time in over three weeks.

We also have too much stuff.

Taking all of our worldly possessions down from the storage unit, out to the truck, down the ramp and sidewalk stairs and then finally up the flight of stairs to our new apartment has left us with this realization. We have too much stuff. We aren’t sure how or why or when we acquired all of these things, but the new way of life is “less is more” from here on out. That or, next time we move we’ll sell everything we own and then buy it all back over time. With each step we questioned the worth of the items we spent so much time, money and physical pain to keep. Over a thousand dollars to rent a truck and drive it halfway across the country (Penske is the way to go), another hundred for a climate controlled storage unit for a month, a couple hundred dollars in boxes/tape/rope/blankets (even with the donation of boxes from friends)…it all adds up. And for what? A life lesson learned the hard way. Less is more.

We did have a garage sale beforehand though and felt we got rid of things, which freed us up to make some purchases that we are so glad we acquired here instead of lugging across the country. Before loading up the truck, we snagged some major craigslist deals. We bought our first washer and dryer, a nice couch set, a bike rack and the hubby upgraded his bike for his new daily commute. We left a car back in Iowa to sell and will try and live on just one car for awhile.

Everything went so quickly, and overall, so smoothly. We’ve really been blessed by that and all we’ve been given. We had great friends help us pack the truck, wonderful relatives providing us with a “home base” (and friendship, meals and muscles too) and have been blessed by the kindness of strangers as we pick up these miscellaneous items and navigate around town. As we made a midnight run to Walmart last night for cleaning supplies and ice cream, we looked at each other and said, We did it. We made it. It certainly wasn’t done alone, but we did it together. We drove across the country, just us. We packed the bulk of our house and moved the bulk of our things and will inevitably unpack all of those things – just us. Hubby said last night that he felt like we were newlyweds all over again. Just figuring things out with a fresh start. Stuff or no stuff, the best thing we’ve had on this move was each other. Call me cheesy, but I’m pretty thankful for my husband and getting to do this thing together, with him. This thing called life.

The List

Ever since we started talking seriously about moving, I’ve been considering “the list” – which of course consists of everything we need to do before we go. In order to do that, one must first define what it means to be from around here. What do I need to do here before going there? Which of these things declare my obvious residency and lack of tourist naivete? And then, do you do things you’ve done 100 times just one last time? Or do you do things you’ve never done but have heard you should do?

Over a month ago when I first drafted the above paragraph, I had high hopes of achieving the impossible. I wanted to live and breathe Des Moines, the state of Iowa and the entire Midwest as much as I could. While in theory it may be a good idea, it just can’t happen. Sure, I’ll try to see a few people in the next few weeks and use all of our Groupons, but we’ve got to start thinking about what’s ahead. There’s preparations to make, jobs to find and a house to pack. Not to mention, current jobs still to work and everyday life to live.

I think sometimes I try too hard to pack it all in. I’m constantly thinking that I’ve gotten better about overcoming my tendency to over-schedule. But I still find myself running around trying to do it all and pretending that in the end it will be worth it and we’ll be happier and better because of it. It’s the same trap every time. Instead, we wind up exhausted and annoyed about our commitments regardless how fun they may actually end up being. So, I think we will have to remember Iowa for the memories it’s already provided instead of the ones I was going to try and cram in during our final days. I can’t deny that our last week here is already packed full, but I will vow to try to reign in on the incidentals. These days aren’t about discovering Des Moines – they’re for spending time with established friends, packing and prepping to move and most importantly, being together through it all.