Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Change Will Do You Good

We've had a more than average amount of changes in our lives this year. New house, new city, new state, new jobs, new careers, new church and so many more. With all of these things taking place, there need to be a few more. There need to be some lifestyle changes and some changes with how we spend our time.

For the past week or so, I have heard three sermons about how we spend our time and keeping negative influences out of our lives. I need to be more careful about how people influence my emotions and my daily life. I need to spend more time putting my husband before me, putting God first, focusing on myself, and creating a great life for us here.

Brian's starting school in two weeks. Which means, the reason we moved here is finally happening! This kind of scares me though. There's a lot of pressure put on Brian to excel at school, pressure mainly from himself. This is a life changing event for us. While he is in school, he will also be working full time. Which means, our time together is going to be strained. So, I need to make it a priority to put him first and make the most of our time together. Life will be stressful for the next year or so. Money will be tight. Trust in God is key.

That's where the next change needs to come in. I need to learn more to trust God and His plan for us. Trust that bills will get paid, school will exceed Brian's dreams, my job will continue to excel, and our family and friends will be supportive. This is what needs to be done in our lives, once school is done, we both believe our little family will be better off for it.

Putting more time into myself is also something I need to focus on. I need to spend more time in quietness and in prayer. Reading quality books and discovering more things I am passionate about and rediscovering the ones I have let slip. I need to surround myself with positive, uplifting people and take out the negative influences. Work on relationships that are supportive and encouraging. Also, work on my physical health. Get ready to start a family and be the best mom I can be when it is time for that to happen.

Being more focused on these three things are so important. They are essential to our lives here. Being here is sometimes hard for me, I feel lonely and miss my family and friends a lot. So, I need to make those moments with them meaningful and be around people who are supportive and loving of us. We need more friends here that can uplift us as a couple and be a support system for us here too. That's one of my major prayers here lately.

Well, that's my emotional post for the night. It's been an emotional weekend, a good weekend, a stressful and revealing weekend. With my focus more on these three things, I can't wait to see what changes will happen in our lives and marriage!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My grandparents

Since I moved away from Cleveland in 1995, I have realized how much my grandparents mean to me. I grew up living no less than 10 minutes from my mom's parents for most of my childhood. I vividly remember my brother and I go over to Busia and Dziadzia's house after school (Grandma and Grandpa in Polish). Busia would pick us up from school at St. Martin's and we would go to her house, watch the Disney Channel and eat fruit roll ups. The Dziadzia would come home from work and we would all eat dinner together until our parents picked us up. For Christmas, we have carried on their family traditions. We break traditional Polish bread and greet each other, eat wonderful Polish food, Dziadzia says the dinner prayer, Busia coordinates the procession of the baby Jesus, we sing Christmas carols, and share gifts. For Easter we would always have Easter egg hunts in their front yards, they would hide tons of eggs for us kids. I always prayed that they would be able to travel to my wedding when it came time, and two years ago they made the trip down to Georgia. My dziadzia, who is in his 80s, polka danced all night with me, his daughters and other grand daughters. Our friends are still amazed at his stamina!

Busia and Dziadzia couldn't be a more perfect couple. He is sweet, empathetic and funny. She is honest, loving and a natural caretaker. They love each other more than most couples do. They have been married for over 60 years and not a day goes by that I don't pray Brian and I have the same fortune they have. They raised 6 wonderful daughters, have 21 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and many more have married into the family. Dziadzia has a Purple Heart from World War Two. Busia was a stay at home mom, raising their daughters. Dziadzia bakes wonderful treats and homemade breads. Busia cooks fabulous meals where everyone wants the recipes.

My Dad's parents, Grandma and Grandpa, lived about 30 minutes away from us growing up. Grandpa had a stroke before I was born, but that didn't take away his sense of humor or love for the Cleveland Indians. Summer days were filled with Grandpa sitting on his big front porch listening to them on his radio. When Grandma would baby-sit us, she always would take us to McDonald's to get apple pies, a treat we didn't get often. My brother and I remember Grandma peeling potatoes at her kitchen table for every holiday. She makes the best stuffing in the world. Grandpa loved watching his grandkids and he loved laughing with us. Grandma took care of him for years, showing what it means to keep your wedding vows through sickness and in health. Grandpa passed away when I was in high school. He also fought in World War II and shared stories with us. Grandma is a country girl who grew up in West Virginia. She still tells us stories of growing up on the farm. Grandpa's family were coal miners in West Virginia.

Watching people age can be hard and sad at times. I have these remarkable, wonderful people in my life who are having to deal with life and the unfairness of it. They are becoming forgetful, getting frustrated easier, but still taking on life as it is dealt to them. While it is hard for me, I can only imagine what it's like for their children. How do you go about telling your parents they need to move somewhere safer, or they shouldn't drive anymore?

I love all of my grandparents very dearly. Moving here has been a struggle because I realize that my kids may not have what I did growing up by having family so close. But, I am beyond grateful that I did have the opportunity to have them so close to me growing up. I miss them every day and love them more all the time. I cherish my talks with them, and the silly cards my Dziadzia sends me. I love his jokes, my Busia's encouragement, and my Grandma's questions. Simply put, I love them and miss them so, so much...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Friend Factor

The past few weeks have been great. Brian and I were invited to share in our friend's wedding in Atlanta. We felt very privileged to watch two people totally in love start their lives together. While we were in Atlanta, we were able to spend some great time with my parents, lots of friends at the wedding, and even more friends for a lunch in Buckhead. We've had some visitors, which we just love to have. Work is going well, I'm learning more and more, but still sometimes getting stuck on what seems to be so basic to others. Church is great, I really enjoy working with the class I get on Sundays. But, one thing is missing. Friends...

We've been very blessed in our lives with amazing friends, many of whom are like family to us. Unfortunately, they all live in other states, or live in NC but just are not that close to Charlotte. When I met Brian, one of the first things I learned about him was I would have to love his family and friends as much as he did if I was going to be a part of his life forever. Lucky for me, that was easy. Brian has friends as far back as elementary school. They are all married now, and even luckier for me, all of their wives are amazing. When we go to Louisville, it feels like we live there and never miss a beat. When we aren't there, both of us miss everyone. We get to visit a few times a year, and some of them are able to come and visit us throughout the year. Since I only have a brother, I always longed for a sister, some of them are just that to me.

We've shared infertility struggles, weddings, birth celebrations, birthday parties, luaus, 4 Thunders Over Louisville, vacations together, camping trips, new houses, big moves, and so much more just since I have met them.

Our friends from Atlanta are just as wonderful. While we don't have as long of a past with most, the bond is still great. I know I can call any of them up at any time and they would be there for us no matter what. We've shared so many life experiences together that we are all grateful for. Moving away from them was hard, and it put a bit of a strain on these relationships initially, but that got fixed rather quickly.

So, we have great friends all over. But, what I am missing while living in Charlotte, is having those types of friends here. We have met people, hung out with others, shared a few meals together, but I still miss our Louisville and Atlanta friends. I miss they terribly. I know things will change and as we get more involved in church, volunteering and meeting people at work it will get easier and we'll make more friendships. But, nothing will ever replace what we already cherish. Nor do we want to replace what we already share.

Since living here, we've had a good number of people come to visit, and it has been wonderful to know people want to come here to see us. September will bring around another great wedding in Atlanta. In October, we are planning a big weekend here with a group of friends to go to a race. Next February we plan on going up to Louisville for the triplets birthday party. And we could never forget Thunder in April.

While it can get easy sometimes to focus on what we don't have here in Charlotte yet, it's peaceful to know what we do have. We have wonderful friends who we cherish greatly. We've created memories, shared tears, cooked meals, planned trips, watched families grow, and learned to hold close to our hearts the people we hold dear.