Friday, February 26, 2010

Confessions of a Seminary Wife-I

I mentioned before that Jesse has been taking a seminary class from our local church ever since we returned from Spain. This will go towards his degree in counseling and getting his feet wet now will help the big transition to fulltime school. Currently, he's a fulltime employee at my uncle's business and a very parttime seminary student. Let's not forget he's also a fulltime husband and Dad. That's right. I'm married to Superman.

So as Jesse is getting used to his new life as a student, I'm also starting to prepare for my new role as a seminary student's wife. We've decided that at the end of each day, we want to have a healthy marriage and family. If that goal is met each day than we've done our job. However the reality of how that works is going to take some hard work and organization. I'll have to do some things that are typically "Jesse's duties." I would rather do those things so that I can spend some down time with Jesse.

The biggest thing that is going to change for me is my schedule. I'm a person that really prefers functioning without schedules. As a teacher, I absolutely LOVED when I had a schedule disruption which is not typical. But while living in Spain I learned that I function much better when I create a schedule to follow for my day. I get more things done, and I’m more intentional with my time too.

Since we are finally settled down in one place, this was my first full week to test out a consistent daily routine for me and the kids. The kids are now taking naps at the same time in the afternoon so I have about 2 hours each day when I can work uninterrupted on various tasks, like creative income opportunities! Yep, being in seminary is also not the easiest thing to do, financially speaking. Later, I’ll have to write about some of our plans and ideas for making that work too.

Overall, this has been a really great week. I’ve been able to spend good time with my kids, while also getting things done on my lists. Here are some tricks that really helped:

Skype-Yes you read that right. In the mornings while Sammy is sleeping I put Jesse’s computer in Sammy’s room and then call my iPod touch so I can listen to hear if he wakes up early. I can work out with Renae in the room and Sammy is just a Skype call away. Currently, both Renae and Sammy are sleeping and the computer is in Renae’s room. I’ve seen her pick her nose, and practice summersaults on the bed. The things people do to get settled into sleep . . .

Lists-Each night, I make a list of things that need to get done. I divide the list into afternoon and morning chunks. This may sound weird but I even included things that aren’t really ‘To Do’ list items but I liked being able to mentally see what I needed to get done.

Getting Out-I love being out of the house in the community. This was nice for me to know that I had certain mornings planned away from the house. I think Tuesdays will be our library day as there is a story time Renae can go to. And besides, all of the international Moms congregate together at the library so I’m going to try and weasel my way into that group. I guess I forget that I’m not the foreigner anymore!

Being flexible-I sometimes feel like an expert on this (usually in an annoying sort of way when working with others). There were a few afternoons when Sammy woke up from his nap way early and it meant I couldn’t get all of the stuff done I’d needed to do during nap time. Oh well. I made up for it when Jesse was studying and didn’t want me hanging around him anyways. There was also another time this week when I purposefully decided to throw my schedule out the window because God brought something my way and I knew it was time to just sit and listen.

When we move into our own place and Jesse starts seminary fulltime we will have to be even more organized. But for now, I’m enjoying having a husband that only takes 1 class at a time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've Become THAT Blogger

Yep. It's finally happened. I'm THAT person. I only update every few weeks, and when I do it's a random post about random things. I promise that once we are in The Bubble (aka living on campus at a seminary) I will update much more frequently. For now . . .

This past month saw us between  Jesse's Mom's place and my parents place. I can't believe we've been back from Spain for a little over a month! How fast the time has flown. For anyone that reads this blog that prayed for our transition I want to say thank you. We have all transitioned really well. Renae is absolutely LOVING all of the people and places to see here. I think one of her strengths is adaptability as well.

Jesse got a job working for my uncle which is a huge blessing! I knew our chances of Jesse getting a fulltime job for just 3 months were slim to none. We are now living with my parents and getting back into the groove of attending our phenomonal church and small group. It feels good to be back. Alright. That's all I have for now (and possibly the next few weeks if I continue to be THAT blogger.)

Ok . . . I updated to the new (new to me) blogger and I can't figure out how to get text below my pictures. And since the kids are waking up from their perfectly sequenced naps I don't have time to Google it. So . . . just know that Renae and Taylor are best buds, Uncle Dan came or a visit, Sammy and Beck finally met each other (and showed their school spirit), and I crossed a border and went to a Hawkeye game to watch one of my old small group girls play. Peace out!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So What's Next?

We are officially back from Spain. Duh. It's been about 2.5 weeks since we landed in Des Moines after 2 attempted flights from Chicago. As we talk to people we haven't seen in 2 plus years we find ourselves answering this question often: So what's next for you two?

Kansas City-our future home.

The short answer is seminary. Not for me of course. I mean really, could you imagine me spending hour upon hour arguing theological issues with 30 year-old know-it-alls who carry pictures of their 5 children in their wallet? I don't think so.

Kansas City Bar-b-que . . . so good.

I'm looking forward to sampling more.

Jesse however is braving the treacherous waters of "cemetery" (southern Baptist joke-lingo for seminary). We're quick to point out that he's not going to get his masters of divinity or other pastoral or intelectual type degrees. No way. My always teasing and pestering husband is headed off to get his degree in Counseling. And because he gets asked this often, YES he does want to listen to people talk about their problems. As his very emotional and sometimes overdramatic wife, I have to say he's very good at helping the pyschos of the world see the truth in a situation and lovingly direct that person to calm down, chill out, and breath.

Spurgeon and the library. Jesse's new best friends.

The cheaper housing we hope to live in.

So what will life as a seminary family look like? I was able to gain a little bit of an understanding after our campus visit last weekend. We were able to talk to a current student and his wife. I asked them "Financially, how does it work?" Their response? "It doesn't." Great. But their reality was on paper, it never looks like it will work out but each month, God provides. Everyone makes some compromises, wether it means taking out loans, or having the wife work, or accepting help from various sources.

The brand spankin' new pricier housing. Maybe someday . . .

Our reality is that I'm still going to stay at home with The Girl and The Boy while Jesse attends school full time, works part time, plays jungle gym to the kids and gives me weekly therapy sessions. Seriously. I think he'll be able to fill up most of his practicum hours from home with me. Possibly Renae too as she kind of takes after me . . .

We enjoyed our time away without kids. Probably too much.

I won't be totally useless around the home though. I plan on becoming One of Those. You know which kind of Mom I'm talking about. The kind that makes her own baby wipes; cuts coupons from 50 different ads then argues with the store manager when he tells her she can't get 100$ of groceries for 10 bucks; sells items she could throw away on ebay just to earn a few dollars; buys items on sale just because they are ridiculously cheap; teaches Spanish lessons from home to help the family income.

OK, at least I know I can for sure do that last one well and stick with it. I also plan on learning how to better schedule my day so that I can spend some good quality time with my two awesome kids each day, and be totally willing to drop anything the minute Jesse says he has a spare moment to have fun with me by watching a movie or playing a game. Neither Jesse or I are huge planner or schedulers but we are entering a whole new world.

So we're diving in. And I'm going to be writing all about it on my new blog coming in May. If you're interested in hearing what our life is like living in a total Christian bubble with (most likely) a few weirdos, keep reading. When May rolls around I'm sure our life will get very interesting . . .