Friday, October 21, 2011


I struggle a lot with my opinion of the internet.  It has outstanding qualities, and it also has many pitfalls.  One of the things I worry about in regards to blogging is the idea that it is not person to person communication. It's mass communication.  And I worry it might lessen my relationships somehow.  Like if I blog about it then maybe we won't talk about it.

So thus far I've used my blog mainly as a project list.
But I think another big reason I've held back is fear.
Fear of rejection and being hurt.
The internet is a big place, full of lots of opinions.  They things I say may get trampled on.  I don't know if I'm ready for that.
I also don't know if anyone really wants to know what I have to say.

But, today, I let all that go and I share.

This week (well, almost 2 weeks now) has perhaps been one of the most challenging weeks of my life.  I've had other hard weeks, but this one has been by far the most physically demanding, pressing its weight down on emotionally exhausting.

It starts with good news.  But you know how sometimes you wait so long for a blessing, and then when it comes along you see that it brings its own trials?  Well that's what happened.

Blake got a job.

He's been working on his PhD since we got married in 2007, and the goal is to finish up in December.  SO I had been trying not to worry over whether he would find work in this economy --- I was doing my best to lay it in God's hands.  And I thought that was hard work.

Then he got a job, and the hard work began.

I started out excited and happy.  I was looking up all sorts of goodies about Ames, IA --- next home --- with the lovely help of Google.  (I tell you what you can almost move in before you move in with the internet nowadays, with all the stuff you can learn and see!)
These are the flowers Blake got me when he decided to take the job.  Red and Gold -- the colors of Iowa State.  

But then our realtor came and all of a sudden reality set in and I began to understand I was moving.
Moving away from my first my-family home.  Moving away from friends.  Moving away from family.

As those emotions came over me like a mirky fog, I was attempting to tackle the list of improvements our realtor suggested we make to our house before we list.  So I had approximately one week to accomplish all this --- with a toddler.  And with poor Blake slaving away on his dissertation that needs to be completed before his next job starts in January.

So every time J slept I worked.
Master Bathroom Before
Mudding so kindly done by my mom before our realtor came.

Master Bathroom After
New color
(If you aren't used to painting, don't start with a small bathroom
it was SO much more work than a large room --- no space to move, too many objects to paint around!)

When I got in bed my body ached --- ached from the bruises a heavy ladder digging into my shoulder.

Ached from painting and painting and painting.

Drywall patching to be painted over

Ached from installing tile (press and stick in the utility closet, but that's still more work than I bargained for.)
Hideous old vinyl -- partially torn out (remembered to take photo too late)

New press and stick that matches the wood floor pretty well!
Nice $5 solution. 

And I think I just ached in anticipation of missing the life we've enjoyed here.

Oh the cuteness!

Then on Tuesday my car wouldn't start.
God was so good and helped us get it going again for $5.00.  But the whole ordeal was taxing and kinda crazy.
After talking to my dad on the phone and wiggling the power on the battery, I drove about a mile to Auto Zone.  On the way it started to kinda smell, and my dad told me to make sure nothing was on fire when I got there (it was my fault for not asking if it was okay to drive that mile to Auto Zone and just going) --- this of course freaks me out because J is with me!
But nothing was on fire.
The really nice worker guy there ended up installing the battery clipper-oner-thing (I forgot the name already), which was awesome, because that's not technically his job, and therefore is free!  But since he was the only worker during most of this adventure, he spent his time between fixing my car and ringing up guests and answering the phone.  So what I expected to be a 12 min trip turned into a two hour event.  I hadn't brought any toys or snacks for J.  So after walking around a chilly parking lot and then corralling a 16 month old from all the interesting things on the shelves, we ended up in the back seat of our car.  J is still a nursing machine, and she was not taking 'no' for an answer at this point.  I was feeling rather ridiculous nursing her at Auto Zone --- land of men --- as a man works what felt like inches away from our backseat.  I wasn't really worried about myself so much as him, I didn't want him to look up from under the hood and feel like a total weirdo.  So after assessing the situation longer, I realized I hadn't seen his face for quite a long time,
You can see his arms, but not his face, under the hood.

so it should be okay.  And we accomplished a nursing session --- albeit a nerve racking one, but a J-approved one nonetheless.  She did really well through the entire car fixing event.  But it was definitely draining experience.

Wednesday night (well technically Thursday morning, since it was midnight), J's running nose turned into wheezing and puking after a few hours of her waking every hour not feeling well.  So we made a trip to the ER from midnight to 2am.  They made sure she didn't have pneumonia
We can't get over how J can pull off cute even in xrays!

and gave her a breathing treatment and a bit of medicine and she was good as new.  Actually she was good as wired.  The medicine was giving her a baby buzz --- so once we got home we had to play until around 3am.  Needless to say, I was so tired it hurt.  And when she woke up at 7am wanting to nurse I was praising the Lord because I was terrified she would be doing the every-hour thing again.  Four hours' sleep never felt so good.

After that I spent the morning tracking down her prescription.  I thought I would be going through the Walgreens drive through so I was still in my pjs and slippers.  After coming back 20 mins later, as instructed when dropping off my prescription slip, I was informed that they actually didn't have the medicine (why they don't check that initially is beyond me) and that I would need to go to the hospital pharmacy to get it.  That equaled parking in the parking garage, walking through its muddy floor in my slippers and smiling all the way past the large number of people seeing me makeup-less, wearing pjs and slippers.  (I felt rather silly, but honestly was too tired to care.)  So about two hours after starting this adventure I finally got home with the medicine, and poor Blake (who was watching J) can actually start working on his dissertation now!

And that brings us to today.  J seems much better, I wake up sick.  And generally disappointed.  Luckily J was really good for me today.  For example, this morning she ate a grapefruit as she watched Sesame Street while I laid on the couch wearing a sweater, covered in a hoodie, wrapped up in my babywearingcoat, topped off by a blanket, accidentally drifting in and out of sleep.  I was so appreciative of her being so good. After that she took a nap, and so did I.  And thankfully after that I was feeling a lot less sick.

So with all that out of the way, this weekend we plan to remove the ivy from my house (which I think is pretty, but I guess not everyone will, so the realtor says it should go) and clean off its little sticker feet, as well as clean out the garage and send some of our things away to Granny's house, since she is being kind enough to bring their trailer over to cart off our things so we can look more marketable when we list on Monday --- so we can hopefully get our house sold before January (any takers??).

Deep Sigh.
It's been a big week!

Even though it's been hard, we've had moments of wonderful.

Playing in the leaves for the very first time
You can see the ivy we need to remove on the brick. :( 

She LOVED it!

And even though I thought I would never get the list of tasks our realtor asked us to do done, God somehow made a way for me to do it.  Friends came to our aid.  And I've been given that promise of running and not (fully) growing weary.  The waters have come, but they have not overtaken me.  I've been getting phone calls of prayers I wasn't expecting, and being blessed by His love in others.  

He has been good, even when life does its best to not feel good.  

If you can, would you keep us in your prayers?  The days leading up to January seem daunting to me.  And the days after, so unknown.  
{Thank You!}

The weekend after this --- putting up a privacy fence!  Stay tuned!


  1. Lydia, I appreciate you sharing your recent hurdles. Makes my life seem completely normal and reminds me that God is good all the time! I am so happy to hear Blake got a job and your house is looking amazing :-) Hope you're feeling better. You will be in my prayers!

  2. Wow Lydia-I was wondering how soon you guys were moving-Drew and I moved in three weeks across the country, and we barely made it, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a baby and a house to add to the mix, man. Well, at least Iowa is really chill:) I know how you feel, I was so excited when Drew got his job in San Francisco, my dream city. But, now I can't find a job and it's wrecking me. Be good to yourself, we'll be praying for you guys.

  3. Lydia - I got emotional just reading through this. You have had a hard time lately. I'm so happy Blake has found a job in this sucky economy, but I completely understand how something so wonderful can be a mixed bag full of things that make times a bit rough. I'm glad J is feeling better. I don't think she could get cuter if she tried - she's an absolute doll!

    I love your posts - keep posting as you have time because you inspire me to be a better homemaker and I've begun trying (ever so painfully slowly) to make our house more homey. And it sounds like you need to post just as much as people need to read your posts. Your blog may be that constant thing in your life as things around you change that helps you to maintain your sanity and hold onto your ties with other people! I'm sure that once you are settled you will find wonderful people in Ames, IA to share your life with, but it is always hard to leave friends and loved ones. I'm wishing you all the best. ((HUGS))

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