On Waiting and Cabinet Making

cabinets

I’m living in the midst of a second remodel in our 3 years of marriage. My mini-kitchen that I’ve set up in our dining room looks more like a campsite with my portable stove and the endless dust and dirt that ventures over from our demoed kitchen three feet away. Let’s be honest. We’re basically eating in a construction site.

Carl and I have “kitchen” on the brain. We’re eating, sleeping, and breathing kitchen decisions right now. Carl will even wake up in the middle of the night thinking of what kind of crown molding we should have on our cabinets. I spend every spare moment scouring the internet pricing out different options and trying to figure out what an air switch is. We are currently in cabinet decision mode. Do we have inset or overlay? Stained or glazed? Shaker or…???

These cabinet decisions are reminding me of a conversation I had about 7 years ago with one of my comrades in the single days. We were sharing about how bored we were with the same prayer request – the same longing and hoping that God would provide a spouse. We were so bored with that request that we just took a break from praying about it completely. Instead, we just hoped to be on the other side… knowing full well there would be plenty of other challenges awaiting us in marriage. Other struggles, decisions, and compromises that would eat up our mental space and keep us up at night… like making decisions on kitchen cabinets. And, here I am. I’m no longer praying for a spouse, but cabinets are front and center.

And please don’t misinterpret this. I am in no way comparing cabinet decision making to waiting in singleness. That kind of waiting is some of the hardest I know – long, cruel, arduous, messy. I remember going to a church women’s retreat in my mid-thirties and attending a seminar on this lovely topic of waiting. When I entered the room, I was taken aback by the married women milling around. What were they doing here? What could they possibly be waiting for? I mean, isn’t the only thing we’re waiting for a spouse? I was obviously in a cloud of my own misery. That seminar was an eye-opening reminder that we are always in the process of waiting for something – waiting for that test result, waiting to conquer the cancer that’s entered our body, waiting to get pregnant, waiting for a loved one to come back home. That seminar knocked some sense and perspective into me. Ultimately, we’re all longing for home – where the worries of this world will disappear and the deepest longings of our heart will be satisfied.

In Christy Nockels song, Waiting Here for You, she shares about this longing and how in the midst of it, we are waiting for our God…

Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s you we adore
Singing Alleluia

You are everything you’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we’re desperate for your presence
All we need is you

** I highly encourage you to listen to this song by clicking on the song title above.

Timing the Tears

sunset

I’m finding that as a Mommy I can’t always engage in my emotional state when I need to or want to because I often just need to hold things together for my busy toddler. I can do this most days, but right now it’s an effort. A friend and I were talking yesterday about when to time the tears when we just need to let down, let the stress roll off our shoulders, cry out for help during a trying season. It’s an interesting concept to set aside time to cry and grieve. It’s another reminder that as a Mommy, my time is no longer my own. Well, except nap time. But as soon as I put the buddy down for his nap, it’s not like I can just say, “ok… grab the Kleenex. Let it out.” It feels awkward to be so pre-meditated with my tears. But I know that bottling up emotion won’t be healthy for me either… as evidenced by the lovely zit forming on my chin. It’s easier for me to keep busy, check things off my to-do list than to deal with everything that life throws your way.

But when I heard this song, it almost made me drop to my knees. It’s my heart’s cry right now. The words pierce me to a point where I need to stop what I’m doing, open my hands, and surrender yet again. This has been my nap-time song lately. As awkward as it is, this song has helped me time my tears, and remind me of the eternal hope I have, even in the midst of a difficult season.

 

Being a Mommy is Dangerous

danger

When I lived in San Francisco, my parents often worried about my safety. If we were ever chatting on the phone while I was driving, circling the neighborhood for a parking spot, they would often ask to keep talking with me until they new I was safely inside my apartment with the door locked. And, I admit, there were times when I got a little sketched out while walking home on Geary in the dark, and opted for running in the middle of the street until I made it to my destination.

So, now I live in the “burbs” where people don’t lock their doors and neighbors hang out in their front yards and bring over freshly baked blueberry scones. I feel pretty safe here. But, no one prepared me for the dangers of living with a 2-year-old. Have I ever gotten into a fist-fight? Nope. Have I ever taken a self-defense class? Thought about it. Have I ever gotten a black eye before? Well, not until my face got in the way of my toddler’s stick whacking. Serious Mommy danger. You should have seen the looks I got at the grocery store. If anyone asked, I was prepared to say, “You should see the other guy!”

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The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: All in a Day

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Do you remember that time when you used to take long, hot showers, you washed your hair regularly and had uninterrupted time to straighten it? Wait… let’s start over. Remember when you used to brush your hair? I know Moms don’t get much “me-time” anymore, but when you do get that rare moment, I suggest changing out of your bathrobe and slipping into your wedding dress once again. You don’t even need to brush your hair or take off your slippers, just lounge in your dress. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and reminisce back to a time when people were waiting on you (yes, YOU!), doing your hair, your make-up, holding your veil, giving you sips of Perrier, touching up your lipstick.

And… end scene. Nap time is abruptly over.

waking up Waking up in your wedding dress is another great option over the typical sweats and baggy T-shirt.

IMG_3870Thus concludes the Wedding Dress Housewife photos for the time being. Thanks to my good friend Lori for being the photographer, and for her creative genius. We are collaborating on more photo locations and wedding dress appearances. If you have ideas or requests, send them my way!

The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Doggone Doggies

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Dearest Sutter,
How I love thee and loathe thee and love thee some more.
You silly, anxious, snuggly, crazy, playful, barking doggie.
Our chocolate-eating, squirrel-chasing, stink-bomb evacuating lab.
How your hair sheds and floats around, ending up in the most peculiar places
(like our dinner plates).
How you dance in speedy circles after depositing your “gifts” in our back yard.
Oh, how you bark and jump when we have a dance party in the kitchen.
How you cock your head, and plead for more, more, more.
Oh, loyal, sweet-loving pup.
Our second child.
Our Sutter Butter.

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The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Diaper Duty

baby 4

Nothing says “fancy” quite like a dirty number in your babe’s diaper. So, why not get dolled up for the occasion? Color coordinate with your babe’s ivory Pampers, champagne-colored Seventh Generation, or snow white Huggies. I assure you, it will make this task seem all the more charming.

P.S. I apologize for the delay in this series. Note to self. Never start something right before the holidays.

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The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Yard Work

 

Wedding Dress Housewife!
Night and day it’s Wedding Dress Housewife
Make the bed, change the diapers
Wash the dishes, do the laundry

And the yard work and the mowing
They always keep her hopping

She goes around in circles
Till she’s very, very dizzy
Still they holler
Keep a-busy Wedding Dress Housewife!

We can do it, we can do it
We can help our Wedding Dress Housewife
We can make her dress so pretty
There’s nothing to it, really
We’ll tie a sash around it
Put a ribbon through it
When dancing at the reception
She’ll be more beautiful without exception
In the lovely dress we’ll make for Wedding Dress Housewife
(Lyrics adjusted from Cinderella’s “The Work Song”)

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The Wedding Dress Housewife

In honor of our 3rd wedding anniversary today, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off a new series of weekly posts entitled “The Wedding Dress Housewife.” How did this idea originate, you ask? Well, people always say that you only wear a bridesmaids dress once. And, of course, the same is true for your wedding dress – which everyone says should be cleaned and preserved in a humidity controlled air-tight box which you can look at only through a plastic window (all in the hopes that your daughter will have the same style and taste and want to wear the dress you wore 30 years prior).

The Wedding Dress Housewife is here to say that there is another option! In the posts that follow, you will see many other ways that a wedding dress can be incorporated into the routine and even mundane tasks of life. So, to all the housewives out there, toss out the yoga pants, skinny jeans, and capris and rediscover the joy of being all glammed up in white.

My wedding dress on our wedding day.

My wedding dress on our 3rd anniversary.

Commitment

 

This past weekend we celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws, Gary and Johanna. Their story is very different from the expected love affair of our day. There was no quest to find the perfect soul mate, there were hardly any dates between the two of them, and there was no elaborate proposal. The most important thing they knew was that both came from solid, Christian homes where faith in God was the foundation. After they got married, Gary moved back to the States as he had joined the service, while Johanna stayed home in Holland. They were separated for the first year of their marriage! After that year apart, Johanna left everything that was familiar to her – her home, family, friends, language, culture – and joined Gary in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talk about culture shock. Now, 50 years later, they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and have made a loving home founded on God’s amazing love and grace.

My parents always told me that whenever I got married, I wouldn’t just be marrying some guy… I would also be marrying his family. I am honored and blessed and proud to have married into a family that loves and enjoys one another, is committed to one another, and gives all the praise back to God for holding each family and marriage together.

Congratulations Gary and Johanna!