New Home Week: Redux

We have Wi-Fi at “The Parsonage!” Having internet hooked up is the cherry on top of a pretty perfect day.  [smile]  We are at that point of the move in process that we are beginning to get into a routine- a beautiful pattern of life together. We woke up this morning or more accurately Caleb dragged me out of bed this morning to go on a walk/run to the church and back.  After showers, I dropped Caleb off at work and I went out to do some errands.  We met up for lunch and then I spent the afternoon preparing an early dinner before Caleb’s evening meeting which we ate at our kitchen table.  [smile]  This day has been so fun and I cannot wait to celebrate more ordinary days like this one!

Beautiful table amidst the boxes.

Beautiful table despite the boxes!

In other news: in the last week and a half I have unpacked the essentials in the kitchen and our clothes in the master bedroom.  Our house, while not decorated and thus sorely lacking in personality, is fully functional.  And let the hallelujah chorus begin because after 7 weeks and a handful of days we are no longer living out of suitcases!  [smile]

With the all the chaos of the last week and my inability to post, I’ve decided to try the New Home Week theme for the next week.  There is so much I want to share about our new place and the process of moving.  Below is a preview of coming attractions:

Friday: “The Saga of My First Pintrocity”… featuring the perfected recipe for Caleb’s Birthday Cupcakes!
Monday: “Growing in Gratitude: 633, 782”
Thursday: “His and Hers: Humor”

– Margaret

New Home Week!

Over the threshold of our first parsonage!

Over the threshold of our first parsonage!

We had the best end to our first Sunday at the church– a chance to hang around the parsonage for a couple of hours before move in day on Tuesday.  One of our members snapped this picture after Caleb scooped me up.  We’d done the traditional carrying over the threshold into our apartment after our honeymoon, but it felt completely appropriate to practice the ritual again at our first parsonage.  [smile] Like then, now we’re entering a new chapter both as the preacher’s family and as “homeowners” with new challenges and new joys!  I am so excited!

To celebrate the big move day, I’ve decided to try to work all the posts this week around the theme of our new home.  Thank you for all your support through the transition process and for helping us celebrate!

-Margaret

His and Her’s: Wednesday

It feels like we are on vacation here at my parents’ house.  Everything is so new and unknown it is a bit like we are living in a rented vacation house except for the absence of the beach or mountains to draw the tourists.  We are still surrounded by boxes and everyone is living out of suitcases for the most part– another vacation-esque aspect of life here. We have also been in a media deficit which is frankly beginning to make us all a little stir crazy.  [smile]  Cable and internet hasn’t been installed so we’ve been watching movies in the evening and mooching a very weak wi-fi signal off one of our new neighbors.  The frustratingly slow wi-fi and the quiet lull of vacation time that has set in all over this house are the cause of my not posting yesterday.  Well it was that and it was also, I must confess, the reading coma I slipped into yesterday afternoon.  [smile]   Thankfully Caleb found something fun to occupy him.  A brief account of mine and Caleb’s very different afternoons follow.

Her Wednesday afternoon:  It seems like at least once a year I have one book that captures my attention so greatly that I can’t put it down and I find myself camped out on the sofa, a bed, or the porch for hours at the time just reading.  During these periods of reading binges, my sense of hearing is cut off for a time and all awareness of the world around me is blocked.  I move only to readjust my body as my arm begins to cramp from holding whatever paperback has infected me.  It is the most glorious state and always feels like a gift.  [smile]

I started reading Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani a few weeks ago, but haven’t gotten very far into the story until yesterday when I think the vacation atmosphere; the need to veg out; and the lack of cable combined to create the conditions for the perfect reading storm.  I read at least 75% of the book over the afternoon hours and tried to finish it last night until my eyes, tired from reading all day, grew too heavy. Reading all afternoon and being completely distracted from all the change that is surrounding me was exactly what I needed.  [smile]

His Wednesday afternoon:
Caleb spent his afternoon mowing and edging the lawn!  It sounds like the least fun activity to me to occupy a lazy Wednesday afternoon and I worry that y’all will think I’ve allowed him to do all that work while I laid back relaxing, but he insists that mowing is his hobby.  [smile]

I’ve tried to figure out what he finds so enjoyable about an activity that leaves you feeling so sweaty and earthy smelling and we’ve had many conversations on the subject.  Occasionally catching a glimpse of him while he circled the house yesterday on the new-to-us riding mower that came with the house, I think I’m beginning to understand why he enjoys mowing so much.  First, he seems to be able to zone out while following the serpentine mowing path around the yard.  He’s also told me many a time that he loves the instant gratification of seeing your hard work turn into a beautiful and neat lawn.  He takes pride in the most precise edges and I think it is so cute how he wants to make sure I notice.  I think the fact that we don’t have a lawn that’s he’s responsibility currently is also appealing.

Two very different afternoons, but both enjoyable and renewing in their own ways.  Discovering new joys through seeing things from a bit of a different perspective is one of the things I love most about life together with Caleb.  Yesterday was one of those kind of discovery days.

-Margaret

His and Her’s: Waffles

His and Her’s: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together”

Still no air conditioning, but we are trudging through and crossing all our fingers that the AC guy will show up today with the part that he ordered on Monday.  Hopefully we will be chillin’ like villains by this afternoon.  [smile]  In the meantime, we’ve found that maintaining our sanity while living in and packing up a hot house requires that we indulge in a few rewards throughout the day.  Last night we ate dinner out and then picked up a movie to watch at home.  And this morning we are headed to my favorite place to eat breakfast out… WAFFLE HOUSE!

If you know me at all you know of my love for this classic American diner.  I got onto the Waffle House bandwagon a few years ago when I moved back in with my parents who at the time liked to eat out there about one morning per week.  We’d always visited every once in a while when I was a child, but eating out there once a week really convinced me of how special these restaurants are.  I love to watch how community happens at Waffle House, especially between “the regulars” and the wait staff.  Though my parents don’t eat out at Waffle House as often as they once did, they are still regular enough customers to have a couple of waitresses who visit their table just to say hi during each visit.  I’m convinced that the church could learn something about what it means to welcome people from the Waffle House hospitality model.  Perhaps I’ll explore that topic a bit more in the future.  [smile]

Another thing I love about Waffle House is it’s predictability.  The coffee is strong and if you have a good neighborhood diner they’ll even make a fresh pot when you arrive.  The waitresses are down to earth and friendly.  The waffles are sweet and the grits are perfectly creamy.  And at our table at least the consistency of service is matched by a consistency in conversation.

For years my mother has always kidded my dad and I on our waffle eating technique.  Waffle eating technique?  In answer to your question, yes there are multiple ways to eat a waffle.  My dad and I meticulously cut our waffle following the lines and squares and my mother inevitably points out how silly she thinks we are.  Its a sign of our very rigid type A minds, she says.  In return, we appropriately mock her free form slicing of the delicious waffle before her.  We laugh about how there is no way that the other person can enjoy eating their waffle quite as much when they are using the wrong technique!  [smile]

Caleb’s first visit with us to Waffle House was secretly a test to see where he would fall in the waffle eating spectrum.  Funnily enough seems like us type A’s are attracted to free form thinkers because Caleb eats his decidedly less meticulously than me and my dad and more like how my mom eats hers.  [smile]  I guess its kind of a silly thing to notice and even sillier to bring up in conversation regularly, but we do and I’m glad.  Watching how Caleb eats a waffle is a reminder that he brings something different to my life.  As clique as it is to say so his differences complete me.  I am so fortunate to get to laugh and cry and argue and agree through life together with him.

-Margaret

His and Hers: Socks

His and Her’s: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together”

This morning I woke up and put on Caleb’s socks, which are frankly a lot like mine except a bit bigger and so understandably comfier.  My feet were cold and I missed him.  He is the muse for my musings.  [smile]

Caleb’s socks got me to thinking about one of the things I appreciate most about him– he makes me feel secure with the messiness of who I am.  In other words he loves my sweaty feet. Honestly, my feet sweat.  Not all the time, only when I’m nervous or hot or cold.  It’s always been something that has made me feel really insecure and it took me a long time to be able to laugh about it with my friends and family.  I was also really nervous about sharing this thing I don’t love about myself with Caleb, but Caleb being the awesome guy that he is instantly covered my insecurity with warmth and comfy love kind of like his socks.

One of the things I didn’t realize about marriage or falling in love before having embarked on the journey is that sharing in life together is a lesson in learning to love yourself in more honest ways.  I’m emboldened to share about my foot insecurity because Caleb has shown me that I am loveable even with sweaty feet.  The real joy of learning to love yourself more honestly is that it opens up the possibility to love others more honestly too.  Learning to love the messiness of others’ lives is what it means to proclaim the gospel.  I am so thankful for Caleb for teaching me that.

-Margaret

His and Hers: THE Chair

Have you seen those chairs in Brookstone?  The big black leather chairs that give you a total body massage.  The chairs that cost almost as much as a small car and that you can “test drive.”  The chairs like the one Caleb is reclining in in the picture below.

"THE Chair"

“THE Chair”

This is “THE Chair.”  You know what I mean… this chair is that one object we just can’t get on the same page about.  Caleb loves the chair.  I do not.  [smile]  Given our current living situation (this chair would take up all the space in our living room/dining room/kitchen in our tiny apartment) and our current grad school debt, the topic of THE chair doesn’t come up very often, but when it does we simply can’t agree on the role of THE chair in our future life together.  Caleb is convinced that when we build our dream house THE chair should have a prominent space in our living room.  His dream is to recline in THE chair in the evenings while watching TV.  I am convinced that when we build our dream house THE chair should reside in its own dark closet!  [smile]  Relegated to the dark to sit in THE chair, I’m hoping it will loose all appeal.

The chair fully extended!

The chair fully extended!

Visits to any shopping mall inevitably devolve into visits to THE chair.  We march into Brookstone together ready for the battle to ensue.  Both of us secretly convinced that this time we will finally win the other over to our side. [smile]

Caleb says, “Just sit in THE chair.  I know you’ll love it.”

I retort, “THE chair is pinching me!  I feel trapped.”

“Everyone will love to visit us because they get to sit in THE chair.”

“Only one person can sit in THE chair at a time.”

“It’s just so comfortable.  Maybe we could put it in our bedroom.”

“It’s just so ugly.  I don’t want to put it anywhere in our house.”

After we’ve both made our closing arguments, we each look at THE chair, sigh, and walk out of Brookstone leaving THE chair behind… “for now” says Caleb, but I say “forever.” [smile]

-Margaret