Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Birthday, A Valentine's Day and An Anniversary!

February is a very busy month in the Picker house. I (because I cannot consult a calendar) decided to squeeze my wedding day into a month, already shortened by that egotistical Caesar Augustus, that had both my birthday and a major couples' holiday in it! Therefore, the days between February 10th (the day before the commemoration of my birth) until the 22nd are sort of hectic. Here is the brief rundown.

My birthday: not a big number year (28, but who's counting?) but definitely a fun, fun day! I started the morning off with a phone call from my mom and a special necklace from Joel. I had been unable to find a certain pendant I wanted and he managed to conjure up the exact thing!
Then I planned a lunch with some friends. I went with Susan, Heather and Lorena to Red Robin for some "girls only" time. It was fantastic-definitely a highlight of the day- not to mention that Susan's friend is an employee there and she scored me one of their fabulous mile high ice cream desserts! I had a PWOC board meeting in the afternoon, but still very fun.
Then because my co-teacher in Awana shares my birthday (what are the chances?) we planned a special evening for our Trek kids. I made marvelous red velvet cupcakes-so tasty!- and everyone made pizza together. We had goodies for the kids and we exchanged gifts. Then Joel had bought the cutest ice cream cake for me and we capped the evening off with that at home. Jocelyn picked out fun kitty slippers for me and I also got tons of gift cards and money-what more could a girl want?

Valentine's Day: We started the fun early because Jocelyn wanted to have a party with her class at our Friday Bible study group. She took donuts, a craft activity and Valentines stuffed with bubbles, pens and candy to all her and Carson's friends. It was a big hit.
Our wonderful Life group leaders offered to babysit for our class on Saturday the 13th. They live a little over half-way to Denver so we decided to go all out and make our date at the Cheesecake Factory! I love that place- we had a little over an hour wait but it was totally worth it. Besides being kid-free gave us a chance to troll the mall and actually made waiting fun. I love, love, love people-watching with Joel. Our food was fantastic, the service was great, and I knew our little guys were being loved on. Really a practically perfect evening that was topped off by my favorited Tuxedo Cream cheesecake. Yum!
Then on the actual V-day we continued our tradition of celebrating at home. We had heart shaped pizza and gave the kids fun goodies. I was a little under the weather so I glad that we were staying in. The kids thought there gifts were great and Josie graciously swapped her new pink puppy for Carson's red one. He has always wanted to have a "Puppy Wuppy" (Robyn gave Josie a pink puppy when she was 1 and it is a fought-over stuffie in our house) and red just wouldn't do. So now our boy is the proud owner of his own Puppy Wuppy-in pink!

Anniversary: Our 7th anniversary was yesterday. We elected to stay in again, due to the fact that it was a Monday. Joel and I love a place called Borriello Brothers pizza so we ordered in. (Are you detecting a theme here?) The kids went to bed early and we just enjoyed snuggling on the sofa watching the Olympics (I love the Olympics!!!). It was a nice relaxing evening. And because my mom and dad sent us a little "something" we have decided to make a plan to go out and really celebrate sometime soon in the near future.

In all it has been a good month. They all only come but once a year, too bad!:) I am planning on adding photos. Hopefully they will show up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In A Funk

So, I feel like I haven't posted anything meaningful in a 'coon's age (isn' that a great southern expression?!) and when I have it has been forced. I don't know what my deal is but things just aren't flowing. I wanted to put up a fun post about my birthday but I think that will have to wait. I am kind of having a pity party and it is taking a while to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I don't know what my deal is, nothing in particular is wrong. I think perhaps I am ready for a change, I just don't know what I want that to be. I am kind of having the "everything you say comes back to bite you" problems-i.e. any positives comments I have made about anything I am saying,thinking,doing, learning etc. are quickly being proven incorrect. I guess I just need to hang in there 'cause we all know "the sun'll come out tomorrow" or maybe the next day...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Vendetta

I have a vendetta against Valentine's Day. It seems that it is another one of those holidays that promises more than it delivers. It makes love seem like it is about chocolate, flowers and skanky lingerie. It preys on vulnerable people, forcing it to be about "feelings" and "things" rather than a true commitment to True Love. I capitalize that because those poor words are so tortured in our everyday lingo that they have practically lost their meaning. I am talking about Love like how God treats me, not fluttery, butterflies-in-my-stomach, feelings. That is illness, not Love... True romantic Love, unlike the boy-meets-girl-so-they-can-have-casual-sex "love" portrayed widely by the media, is a covenant commitment, witnessed and sanctified by Love Himself. It is only found in marriage and can't truly be experienced before then.

I don't have the perfect marriage. There is no way that I can, because I am not perfect. My life lately seems to be filled with people who can't make a go of it-I am crying right now over the crumbling covenants around me. I don't often post things that are too heavy, that is not so much fun. But with Valentine's Day around the corner I can't help but wonder what happens to these people. I doubt anyone wakes up in the morning and decides, "I don't really feel like being married anymore, I think I will start the proceedings for a messy, heart-breaking divorce, disappoint everyone around me and generally change my life forever." No, but I also firmly believe that you can't "fall out" of love any more than you can "fall into" it.

Every day, Joel chooses to love me (not so easy, trust me, you know if you have read my blog at all!) and every day, I choose to love him. Notice, I did not say that I choose to love him back. My love for him cannot be any more dependent on his love for me than vice versa. I have to willingly serve, submit, pray for, comfort, support and love him no matter what he does for me. That is what I am called to do by the Lord, and I hope that I can do that until I die. It isn't easy, but nothing worth having comes easily. Every day, Joel is my "heavenly sandpaper", helping to perfect me to glorify my King.

I did not really appreciate how sacred marriage is until I started reading about covenants. My marriage is a sacrifice of myself before the Lord, He promises to be everything, and I promise to give everything. I am not worthy, of Joel, or the Lord. But as I pray and fight against the dissolution of marriages around me, I know that the Lord has allowed these things to show me that I have to be on alert every day to guard against the forces of evil working against my marriage. The greatest one being my own selfish, human nature. I don't want a perfect marriage, but I want one that will last.I KNOW that I can have a triumphant marriage-a true, forever covenant,-if I remember that it isn't about me, it is about Him. That will make for a pretty happy Hearts Day...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Road Rage and Regrets

So, Wednesday was one of those days that didn't go exactly like I wanted it to. Or at all like I wanted it to...Joel has been on profile for a while (for you non-military folk, that means he has had a special list of physical restricitions, due to his ankles) and because of that he was allowed to remain behind while the rest of his unit went to "the range" overnight. That was great, and I finally was able to plan my dentist appointment, which was almost 2 months overdue. They had a cancellation and could fit me in Wednesday afternoon. Well, I usually have nothing planned on Wednesdays but we also needed to renew our military ID cards.

Imagine the DMV...then remove 1/2 the chairs and increase the wait time by 30-60 minutes and you have the DEERS office (don't ask what that means, it isn't important, it just designates the place where you get ID cards). It is awful, horrible...I won't go on. Well, we thought we had planned enough time but obviously we were too optimistic. We arrived at the office around 12:30 pm and waited. And waited. And waited. Carson spent most of the time running around in circles until he fell over, repeatedly. Joel spent the time looking glum. And I spent the time looking at my watch. At 2:14 pm they finally called number 92-our number! Hallelujah!
But we weren't home free yet. After several jibs about my first name (thanks, Mom) and repeating herself to Joel (I think he went into his happy place and we couldn't coax him out) the clerk was done and we were finally finished at 2:32 pm. About 10 minutes after I should have left for my dentist's appointment. We raced home, and Josie and I had to switch cars because Joel needed Carson's carseat so he could take him to work.

Finally on the way-I should only have been about 5 minutes late by my calculations. Until I reached the school zone a scant two blocks from my house. The four way stop was jammed with traffic. I waited, all the other sides went. And went again. And again. What the heck?! I waited and finally threw the truck in park to see if there had been an accident. Oh, nope, just the car three vehicles in front of me. Waiting to turn into the school. The driveway in front of the school was jammed with cars and instead of turning the other way so the rest of the traffic could move the person was just waiting until the line of cars inched forward. NO!NO!NO! This should not be happening...I was livid, literally shaking with frustration and anger. It seemed that the world was conspiring to make me miss my dentist's appointment. I honked, I fussed, I fretted. This worked to no avail on the incomptent, excessively rude idiot in front of me. And those are my nice words! Finally the stupid person started moving. Twenty cars had piled up behind me and I was beyond consolation. So...I yelled at the crossing guard. Like some redneck teenager, I stuck my head out the window and screamed,"Someone needs to tell those parents to not block the stop sign! Traffic needs to be kept moving!" I don't think I have ever seen eyes as wide as the eyes of that crossing guard. I am certain that she thought I was certifiably crazy. I think at that moment I was.

Still shaking I made my way to the freeway entrance. Josie was chattering excitedly in the backseat. I think I had made her nervous, and she did not know what to make of her wild mother. She kept repeating the things I had said, "stupid driver", "what the heck?!" and other not-so-nice things. If at all possible I was more frustrated when I realized the street I had been planning on taking was completely backed up. I called my mom. After talking to my mom and Joel and the dentist's office (who said it was fine that I was running late) and yelling a little more I started to rejoin reality.Jocelyn was still muttering to herself and in an effort to calm her I tried to get her to talk to me. I told her I was sorry for yelling and she says, "Mom, you should just pray about it. Don't be mad at the lady, Jesus will take care of it."

That comment simultaneously made me feel better and worse. Better, because I knew it was something she had heard me say many times before. Worse, because even my 4 year-old knew how to fix my problem and I had chosen to ignore the obvious (and best) solution and in trying to solve my dilemma all by myself I had made it worse instead of better. So, because it is never to late for prayer, that is what we did. I apologized to the Lord (I may have prayed that He would give the crossing guard amnesia over the incident) and to Josie. I prayed for patience and thanked Him for the graciousness the dentist had shown concerning my tardiness. And I may have thanked Him that I was driving Joel's truck, because if I ever see that crossing guard again I will be in my car and she probably won't recognize me...

I especially thanked Him for Josie. I need someone to keep me in line and she does a pretty good job. I also prayed that next time I would listen to the Holy Spirit, Someone who refuses to try to yell above me. I was pretty humiliated upon reflection on my little escapade but hopefully I won't forget it anytime soon.


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