Friday, July 31, 2015

July in Review

According to my iPhone, the last month has been quite eventful! 

Our front yard lost its forest, and my front rooms gained a TON of sunlight! It's an ongoing project, but we've made a lot of progress. And by we, I mean he - that wonderful, hard working man I am fortunate enough to be married to!

We fought the great raccoon battle of 2015. And I think we won! This guy had been bothering us quite a bit. Each night he would get into our compost and garbage bins and root around. Shayne had the great idea to put something heavy on the lids (we used old brake discs from my car) and after a few more nights of listening to the raccoon attempt, but fail, to get into the cans, the noise stopped! Now we can go to sleep in peace.

A pregnant lady has got to be able to sit comfortably, and we were seriously lacking in the comfortable outdoor seating department. After taking pictures of every available chair, testing them all out, and discussing it at home with Shayne, I bought two of these blue mesh chairs. Mine has gotten quite a work out this month - trips to the beach, campfires, watching my man work outside, and sitting riverside on a weekend away - and it is truly comfortable! Worth every penny. 

Yep, I just wrote a whole paragraph about a lawn chair. That happened.

I finally finished re-painting the dresser for our baby room! Due to my limited energy and and the discomfort of crouching over my pregnant belly, this project took a lot longer than I had anticipated, but I'm so happy with the way it turned out! I'll write a little more on this project when the room is all put together. It is a special piece with a lot of sentimental value so being able to use it for our growing family makes me pretty happy.

I'm not sure how well you can see them, but I am covered in mosquito and black fly bites this year. The bug population seems to have increased greatly on PEI and of course, they swarm to me!! It's never been this bad before, so I must be giving off some sort of delicious scent because of the baby. 

My baby grew, a lot. Big baby, big belly. Big backache! Big smile.

I burned dinner. This one hurts to admit, and makes me want to cry. That pan is totally ruined now, and dinner was NOT salvageable.

As my energy levels wane, we are eating a lot more "easy" dinners. One night it was mac N cheese, another recent evening we ate bacon and eggs. Whatever works!

To celebrate our one year wedding anniversary, we went on a movie and ice cream date. We watched the Minions and laughed through the entire thing. After the movie, we picked up COWS ice cream cones and ate them by a lovely fountain downtown. It was nice to be able to talk about the last year and reflect on everything that's happened. This handsome guy, my Shayne, is my very best friend & I'm so blessed to call him my husband!

My "uncle" Jake & "aunt" Jacqui came to PEI for their vacation and brought along a beautiful baby quilt in the colours our nursery! Aunt Jacqui does wonderful work. I'm so excited to use this blanket with our little one. And check out those colourful fun! (And for the record, we don't know what we're having, so don't get any ideas based on the blue quilt! :P)

Our baby got biggggg. Did I already mention that?

The middle week of the month was the busiest. Our church hosted a Vacation Bible School and over 160 kids came! It was noisy, busy, and wonderful. I filled in volunteer gaps and helped in the kitchen.

After many nights of waking up in a panic because of this recurring dream that I would go into labour and not have a bag packed, I put together the baby's hospital bag. Perhaps I'll break it down in a separate post. It's full of the basics, and hopefully nothing extra. I'm praying that our stay in the hospital will be short lived.

Oh yeah. The baby - it got bigger again. ;) The doctor noted at my last appointment that "this baby has a really round head", after feeling my belly to make sure Baby D was getting into position.

We now have a new (to us) car. After months of truck problems we threw in the towel. Shayne sold it in a matter of days - in fact, he was already getting calls only a half hour after listing the truck! We're now VW people, with thanks to our pastor, who is moving away and wanted to sell his car. The Jetta should last us for many years to come!! looks cool, right?!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

5 Things I've Learned in My First Year of Marriage

We've been married for a year now, and I can hardly believe it. Sure, we've settled into some routines, but "whirlwind" still feels like a good way to describe the past twelve months. I've learned a lot of lessons. Here are five, in no particular order.

1. A smile and a hug at the end of the work day can make all the difference.

This may sound a bit "June Cleaver" to you, but I've found time and time again that our evenings start off on the right foot if I'm able to welcome my husband home with a smile and a hug. Maybe it's for him, but it's definitely for me, too. After spending a whole day by myself, I need that warmth and physical contact. It's become my habit and seems to work for us, so I encourage you to give it a try for yourself.

2. Food is a really big deal.

Living on a newlywed budget can make this hard sometimes, but healthy, full meals are a really big deal. Both my husband and I experience that not-so-lovely emotion known as "hangry" but more often than not, after a good dinner, we return to our normally pleasant selves. I've made an effort over the last year to prepare meals that I know will be a hit, and to my surprise, I've only burned dinner once! That's a story of its own which I may share some day when I don't feel like crying about it.

3. Winter can be hard.

Perhaps its because the honeymoon phase was wearing off, or perhaps it was because I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant only five months into marriage, but let me warn you anyway: winter can be hard. Those long months of reduced sunlight, days on end of snow storms and freezing cold temperatures make any winter something I endure rather than enjoy, but this past season felt harder than others. I found myself fighting a battle against first trimester nausea and exhaustion, spending many days and evenings bound to my couch or in bed, all the while struggling with my emotions about being pregnant. I know I failed to be a helpful and supportive wife a lot during those months, and it weighed heavily on me. Thankfully, the season changed, the sun came out, and my second trimester brought energy and health. My husband was my rock through it all, even though he too was fighting a battle against winter blues.

4. Always devote time to growing your marriage together.

Just because you're married now, and you get to see this wonderful spouse of yours each day, does not mean your relationship will automatically grow. Make sure you take the time to talk to each other about more than the every day stuff. Go on dates, even if you don't think it's in the budget (this just means you have to work it in!) Dating your spouse makes a big difference in your relationship. I've learned this over the past year, and I'm sure as our family grows, dating each other will become even more important.

Do devotions together. We read the Bible together after every meal. This helps us grow in our understanding of Scripture together and often ends in some interesting discussions. We are also reading a marriage devotional that was given to us at our wedding. It is designed to be read a chapter per week for a year, but we've fallen a few weeks behind due to my next point.

5. A year flies by, especially when your calendar is dictated by field work.

When I said "I do", I became a farmer's wife. My husband loves what he does, and I love to see how happy it makes him -- exhausted, but happy. During the warm months, this means we don't see a lot of each other, so it's a little like being single again. A year flies when you're only with each other part-time! I'm thankful for tractors with buddy seats and especially thankful that I get to at least say good morning and good night to the hardworking man I married.

When I look back over the last year of my life, this first of (Lord willing) many as wife to my Shayne, there are many more lessons I've learned than what I've shared today. It has been a year of ups and downs, but isn't every year? We have grown so much closer as we've navigated this marriage path and I daresay we are more in love each day.

Now, as we prepare to become parents next month, I thank God for allowing me to tackle life with this guy, my very best friend. There's no way I could do it without him. Insert all the heart eyes here!

What are some marriage lessons you could pass on?
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