April 25, 2011

May Days On The Way

I can't believe how quickly May is approaching. I don't know if I've ever been so excited for it. It is the birthday month for the both of us. We've had a lot of fun the last few years...

And we really can't wait to party as
{Mr & Mrs Harnishfeger}
Max's birthday is the 15th and mine is the 22nd, and we plan on making a big celebration of it.
We're going out for a birthday dinner with Max's family on the 14th. I'm planning a birthday (hopefully outdoor) bash-a-roo for the 15th. And we're spending a few days in Portland visiting my sister and her husband the week of the 22nd. A party with my family is yet-to-be-determined.
Lots of excitement.
Not to mention the three concerts Cathedral Pearls are playing in May.

Max and I have been talking about birthday lists and it got me in the mood for some online shopping, just finding ideas. I've been especially on the hunt for something long and flowy in the dress department. And something boxy in the purse department. And for shoes... don't even get me started.

Anyways, I thought I would share a few things I've found to be especially noteworthy.

I always say I have more dresses than I can wear, but let's face it, I am a dress fiend and I can never have too many!
I've been doing a LOT of hunting for Max too but that I will have to show later.


For the Modern Wife

Surely I can't be the only one.

We just had our 6 month anniversary (which is crazy), and I feel that I've already learned so much about what it is to be a wife, and it is a LOT different than I expected.
It has gotten me to thinking back at the various roles that have been asked of women, wives especially, and comparing them with the array of to-dos for the modern wife.

For the greater part of history there have been two main roles for wives- mother and housekeeper. Considering the state of their technology, that was no easy task.
When the second world war came, life for women took a huge leap. They were taking on all kinds of roles. The world was in shock and terror.

But these days, I think things have gotten a bit out of hand. The expectations we put on ourselves is off the charts and quite ridiculous.

Let me first say that marriage is wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But it was quite a surprise to learn that it's less of the fairytale dream world I had expected, and a lot more like learning and growing with my best friend, with a lot of laughter and love mixed in (hallelujah).

So right about now I'll come back around with what I am getting at.

In this "Modern Age" we are bombarded with images and ideas of who we ought to be. We all acknowledge this. At the ripe age of 23 I was sure I was over the "pressure" and quite comfortable being who I was. 
And then, BAM! I was hit with the "Call of Duty": 
Do absolutely everything you can to be A Good Wife. Anyone feeling me on this?

You know in cartoons when people have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? They go back and forth telling them what they ought to do, and then the head starts spinning and there's a lot of yelling? Yeah, I do that every once in a while. But it's not just an angel and a devil, it's couple dozen voices telling me that I need to get on it, and get going on a couple dozen things, RIGHT NOW!

wash the dishes, grocery shopping, switch the laundry, clean the bathroom, make the bed, fix dinner, dust, sweep and mop floors

These are what I like to refer to as "the usuals"
And here's the added load for the "modern wife" (it really is blissful)

career; get in shape; never settle with simple cooking; buy organic and local food; re-decorate your house with the newest diy projects; girls night out; date night; volunteer; family time; bake; write a blog; plant a garden; weed and water the garden; be informed and ready to debate the hottest news topics; re-vamp the wardrobe with the season's must-haves; fashion shoot of the new amazing outfits; new iphone; STARBUCKS; paint the nails; cut and color the hair; vacay ; tan; sushi; music; movies

Okay, it's getting ugly.
And I didn't even put kids in the equation.
But I'll stop.

So here's the swap I've been making (thank you Max for all your patience):
Throw all the worries out the door, 
Resist hiding under the blankets, 
And think on these things-

 38 Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. 41 But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: 42 but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I really like this too.

April 18, 2011

Hanging Reminders

I really love clothespins. Especially little miniature ones. In my before-marriage days I had strung twine across my walls and clothespinned pages from magazines of interesting advertisements and inspiring fashion shoots. It then became littered with pictures of the adorable nieces and nephews, and then little notes and letters from Max.
For the wedding I really wanted to incorporate pictures of our childhood, various adventures, and the journey of us together. The venue where we did the wedding had a big whiteboard, so I sewed up a quick slipcover for it and strung our pictures across.

It turned out really fun and we love this image capturing both of our lives in one single shot.

Max and I had talked about doing something similar in our house, but I didn't want it to look to chaotic or overwhelming. I really can't stand living in clutter and disorganization. Saturday I had a good amount of "me time" and thought it would be fun to put up little pictures of places I want to go visit someday. So I did some online image hunting, printing, cutting, and hanging.

This is my reminder to not settle for staying where I am and keep believing in the dreams and desires in my heart, even when they seem far fetched and blurry. I hung it above our long mirror in the hallway. I love bringing cheer and "carrie-ness" to all the random places in our house.

Also, here's a bit I wrote that I frequently come back to as an encouragement that travelling doesn't have to be a "bug" we get over, but a way of life.

There’s an itch in my feet, a sigh in my lungs, a burning in my heart. Origin unknown, but conclusion indubitable, I must travel.  From whence this all came, and how I will be cured, ‘tis unknown.  With so much left to explore, monotony is unthinkable, and sure to hatch insanity.  There must be way. A time and place. But how to get there and when to arrive?

April 16, 2011

A Time to Breath Deep

Last night was a time for great celebration. 
For the last 4 months the husband had been working nights at a restaurant downtown. Which means I was going solo to parties, dinners, movies, and the like. I'm blessed with some really terrific friends who made it not so terrible. But it was getting pretty depressing for both of us. Our opposite work schedules were like a fork thrown into the mechanics of our newly married life,  causing a few unnecessary dents and dings.

However, a few weeks ago Max had a good talk with one of his managers and they thought it would be better for both of them if he shifted to prep work in the daytime. Glorious news!
So we had a night out to celebrate being together on a Friday. We went to a fun little Italian restaurant about an hour away, hello organic and delicious food. Taking a drive somewhere we couldn't just hop in the car and go to any day made it extra special. Our drive was accompanied by a soft rain and good music, so it was all a real success. After dinner we did a little shopping and I got to pick out some goodies. But probably the best part was watching 12 Angry Men together at the end of the night. (A fantastic movie that everyone ought to see.) We both kept looking at each other and saying, I'm so glad I get to be with you, on a Friday night!

After a lot of lonely times, it felt like taking a deep breath and falling safely into being in love with your best friend.

Here's the gist of what I've discovered: At the very beginning of it all when God said it is not good for man to be alone, He was completely right. As John Milton quoted, “Loneliness is the first thing which God's eye named, not good”

That's really is something. 
And I've really got a whole lot of something to be thankful for.

April 9, 2011

Springing Into Creativity and Productivity

Now I am sure of it, spring has sprung! I always know when the season has really changed because I get this wonderful itch to create. I spent one evening this week making little hair clips and headbands. Another little chunk of time making a tissue paper for a friend's birthday, which led to me getting very carried away and making one giant flower for our branches, and then scheming about more wall art. I absolutely love making things. Even if they're not immaculate works, I did it myself, and that is enough for me! I was also very excited when we got our pictures in the mail. We had gotten several black frames for Christmas and I have been dying to get some of our wedding prints in them and up on our walls. Friday afternoon the husband and I spent a couple hours working out a decent structure and now we can finally can sit on our couch and look at something much more attractive than a blank wall.
I have to say that I am very pleased with the way things are turning out. Project by project we are turning our house into a home. I still have a big thing of fabric that needs to become our bedroom curtains, and a heap of gold frames that I need to print the images for and hang in our bathroom (I've always wanted to hang lots of pictures in a bathroom and transform it from a loo to a louvre). But these last few days have been so productive, I am sure they can wait.
I would also like to mention that I gave the inside of my car a good clean, which after a nasty winter, was a very fulfilling transformation. Even more exciting is the fact tomorrow will be the end of Max's last weekend of night shifts! Goodbye lonely nights, and hello to similar schedules. Glory be! And that is far more wonderful than any house decorating advances could ever be.

Here are some pictures to log the fruit of my labors. Enjoy!

April 2, 2011

Drip.Drip.Drop.Little April Showers

I don't know if I have ever been happier to have April arrive. Yesterday was gorgeous, with a sunset that made my heart spring with hope that maybe, just maybe, warmer weather and bright colors are on their way! It was fantastic. And today I awoke to the rain drops beating down. I really like it actually. Today it comes with peace and gentleness. It reminded me of something I had written a quite a while back. It was actually one of the first little bits of writing that I ever showed to my now husband. Here's to April showers, and the soon-to-come flowers!

Dreams like raindrops are falling from the Heavens. 
You get that one, while I chase after this. 
We’ll catch them in our jars and watch them bloom. 
Whatever we do, we mustn’t put a lid on the jar and set them on a shelf. 
For then death will be certain.
Curling up to become as potpourri, creating the stinging aroma: What Could Have Been
No, we’ll take them everywhere we go. 
We’ll show them to all the nooks and the crannies of our lives, bringing their light. 
Dreams caught in our jars are our buds of hope. 
They’ll change the world. 
And when the moment arrives, 
After we’ve nurtured and fortified them all we can, 
We’ll let them go free to finally fall into the earth. 
But this time they fall with purpose and spring up with new life!