Monday, February 28, 2011

Keep the change?

Our romance began in the good ol' North Grand Mall in Ames, Ia. I was managing a hair salon and Scott managed a shoe store. With both of us working 50+ hours per week and only two store away from each other we were bound to meet. Scott would walk by daily and I would look at him with curiosity. It wasn't a love at first site thing, it was more like "why hasn't this guy talked to me?" I didn't think that way because I thought I was amazing. I thought that way because I was a mall "lifer" and I knew everyone from the store managers to the janitors. He didn't know my name so he nicknamed me "Regis", as in the salon that I managed. Couldn't he come up with a better name than that? Seriously.

Finally, Scott strutted into my salon. He asked for a haircut and I purposely put him on my books because I wanted to know what this boy was all about. It may have had something to do with his piercing blue eyes and sharp jaw line. He sat down in my chair and showed me a picture of Mark from the punk band Blink182. How adorable. A man after my own heart. (Smile and sigh) He had no clue that my Blink182 obsession dated back to junior high. I rocked that haircut with ease. After the mall discount the total for the cut came up to something like $23.96. Scott carried $24 and some change in his baggy shorts pocket. Keep the change? As he left the salon I thought, "unbelievable, this guy just gave me a 40 cent tip!" Less than impressive...hmmmph.

A week went by and a few hello's were exchanged. About 8pm Scott walks by Regis, gave me a confident stare and stopped dead in front of me. "Uhh...I should probably get your number so we can hang out sometime." Really? That's how you are asking me out? I loved it. No fake charm, no messing around. This kid got right to the point and really didn't even ask a question, it was more of a demand. So, with a gun pointed at me, I handed over my digits. Neither one of us really knew what happened. Scott tells me he felt incredibly stupid and I felt like I had the Jedi mind trick played on me.

Two weeks went by before Scott had the nerve to dial me up. Even then, it came in the form of a text. "Come down to Journey's." As I walked down the mall I heard cheers coming from within some stores. Obviously, Scott had worked up some nerve to ask me out and told everyone about it. Here we go again...Scott-" you want to hang out sometime?" I reply equally unenthusiastically, "Sure, when?" This was so awkward. "Tonight?" "Sure. What do you want to do?" "Do you want to see a movie?" "Sure. What movie?" "Do you want to see Amityville Horror?" I had already seen this movie but I love scary movies and Ryan Reynolds, it was a win win for me. There it was, the date was set up in the least romantic way possible and there were hearts floating out of my eyes.

The start of this date was ridiculous. First of all, I still held a grudge for the lame tip he gave me 3 weeks prior and now he was taking me to a dollar movie in the mall that we basically lived at. I anxiously waited outside and he waited inside. We both thought we were being stood up. Finally, he let me know via text message that he had been waiting inside for a while. I thought, "good, make him wait for me." He paid a hefty $1 for my movie ticket. My senses were heightened and I took out my checklist of necessary physical features that I desired and wanted to avoid. I could smell cologne...check, I looked at his shoes for style...check, then I scanned for weird deformities on his hands. I observed that is pinky fingers were abnormally small compared to the rest of his fingers. I made a note of that. Other than that, his breath didn't smell and he decently styled the haircut I gave him. As the movie got rolling I suddenly discovered something about Scott that I thought would've been a deal breaker. It was how he breathed. This was not a specific thing on my list that I looked for but I definitely made note of it. At that point I was unaware that he had a deviated septum (a nose issue). He breathed through his nose loudly, like really loud. I wondered if it would ever stop! It continued the whole movie and didn't ease up. I put that on the "comments" part of my checklist. "Breathes loudly"

After the movie I gave him a chance to redeem himself and take me to a fancy restaurant...Perkins. We talked about bands, where we grew up, and shared some stories. Typical date stuff but something was different with him. He had no charm and no big red flags stood out to me as instant deal breakers. At that point in my life I had some major baggage and it took little to no effort to dispose of a man that made me the least bit uneasy. If I didn't see a future after two dates it was "sorry Charley." Scott kept a steady head about him and gave me space but also made a strong point of how much he enjoyed spending time with me. He stayed cool, collected, and came to my rescue in quite a few damsel in distress situations. For instance, he drove all the way to Omaha to pick me up from the airport when a friend forgot me. He got me cold medicine and watched me sport all the side affects from the meds. I was unaware that Scott already told everyone that I was the girl of his dreams and he was ready for the pursuit. He loved me and I knew it. It wasn't long before we talked about spending our lives together.

This is a brief overview of our courtship but the point is when you know, you know. God placed this man in my path and we both knew that our journey was meant to be fused together. Exactly one year after we met that fated day in Regis Salon we married. I'm not perfect and he is not perfect but we are perfect for each other. I say "Scott is my entertainment for life." Scott still says that I'm the girl of his dreams. It seems only natural that we carry this love onto another generation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Tri

Don't let the title of this post deceive you. We were not "trying" to get knocked up. Without going into too much detail, if we were "trying" it would've taken two years. That's how long we had been leaving it up to God. I'm thankful for those two years because we had great vacations, a missions trip to Taiwan, and we opened our dream salon and spa. The timing is perfect but neither Scott nor I would ever say we were ready for a baby. We were absolutely content with our lives. Contentment oozed more into routine comfort. Easy, busy, controlled, and our biggest concern was where we were going to vacation next.

About week six is when I fell ill and tired. Nausea had set in morning, noon, and night. As someone who claims to be healthy, I suddenly felt like I had been running a marathon on a full stomach through the night. I woke up tired and immediately nauseous. Eating was a task. Drinking water disgusted me. I worked through the nausea one client at a time. Some of them instinctively questioned me. I'm guessing it was my bloated, green face that gave it away. Dramatically, I told Scott that I was sure I was going to die. I told him that he must take care of me! That involved taking off my shoes, providing me bread to gnaw on, and taking on all household chores until further notice. God bless this man and his generosity!

This undesirable insanity gave me some comfort because it was a sign that baby was still growing. God gave me some grace and it eased up around week 10. It hit me here and there but I no longer felt like vomiting on my clients and that was so relieving. What if that really happened? Oh my gosh, that would be horrible! If you are a client of mine you should be thanking God that I didn't.

Week 10 I jumped back into working out and I felt like a million bucks! I was eating a ton of protein and staying off the junk food. I suggest that to anyone who has the yucks in the first tri. Nausea was replaced with hormonal outbursts of weeping for no dang reason. This was annoying and didn't make being pregnant any more desirable. As I started to tell people I would get this response, "Congratulations!!!! Are you guys excited?" Hmmm...that response haunted me day and night. I couldn't come up with an answer that deemed itself worthy without explaining my whole life story and what led up to this surprise party in my uterus. I'm a horrible liar and answering yes made my eyes dart side to side. I dare not answer no. That would leave me the worst human procreator ever! To some I gave an in depth explaination as to why I hesitated to jump on the happy baby ship. To others I mildly averted the question or answered yes with a contorted face and my perfected "uncomfortable laugh".

The verb excite "is to arouse or stir up emotions or feelings." Excitement, for most, I think translates to "elated." Elated means "very happy or proud, jubilant; high in spirits." Sorry for the english lesson but this is how I process things. Either way, I felt like I couldn't put this life changing event into one single word. Still, I had moments of uncertainity and more often than not I wondered how I could control this situation. That's probably what bothered me most. NO CONTROL!?!? What does that look like? In my current situation, it looks like a fetus. An adorable, naked fetus that is composed of a little Scott, a little me, and a heartbeat created by God. Slowly, I am excepting this beautiful plan that God has for us and it's truly, uncontrollably beautiful. Beauty is "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or pattern, or something else."

Ask me if I'm excited...My answer is "it's a beautiful."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here we goooooo

Starting this is not easy for me and quite frankly I don't want to. However, I feel strongly led to write about this life changing event. Scott and I are expecting our first child. Even as I write I tear up. My emotions are everywhere! Let's start at week four just for kicks and giggles. Years ago I learned to be very in tune to my body and right as I realized that I might be ummm...pregnant(still not 100% comfortable with the word "pregnant") I went into a slight state of denial for about 5 days. These were the main symptoms that tipped me off.
-Crocodile tears would come to my eyes while watching a commercial, yelling at my dear sweet husband came without remorse, and a slight imbalance came over my body. Something just wasn't right.

Here's some background about Scott and me. My childhood dreams did not consist of growing up and having babies. I never thought that way...ask my mom. I told her to never expect a grandchild from me and if it did happen they would be from a different ethnicity and country. Scott didn't even think he would get married...HA! On our second date there was a child looking over a booth at us in a restaurant. We both rolled our eyes in annoyance. Right then I knew Scott was the man for me. How romantic.

When I grabbed the stick that determined our future I tried to be super nonchalant about it. Even Scott wasn't aware that I was ready to urinate on a stick to rid myself of these "symptoms" that I made up in my head. Initially I was prepared to just walk away and wait the three minutes then my life would go back to normal. In desperate curiosity I waited only 10 seconds and before I had time to blink it came up POSITIVE. There was absolutely no time to process anything. I screamed "Scott!!!! I'm pregnant!!!!" An instant later he was in the bathroom grasping for some words. All I really saw was his smile in the midst of my freak out. I was hyperventilating and he was trying to rejoice. My life flashed before my eyes, my future, my body, our relationship. This was all going to change forever. I knew God had this plan for us and for the first time in my life I was scared to death of His plan. After I began to breath again Scott took my breath away again. He said, "Right after you told me you were pregnant I loved you even more. It's hard to explain but my love grew for you." It was solidified that he was going to be the best partner, parent,and support in this crazy journey of bringing another life into our world.

Even after 22 years of knowing that God's plan is better than my own I lacked faith and trust. It sucked! I couldn't believe that something like this could rock my world in such a negative way. So many rejoice and wait years for news like this and I was ready to jump ship. I felt guilty for that but couldn't help the way I felt. A deep sadness took over. It may be a combination of hormones and whatever else. All I knew was that I couldn't pray hard enough for peace of mind. I had a good friend of mine pray for me. It was humbling to ask for help, especially in this area because so many people desire to be parents and we have so many friend that are parents. It made me feel so selfish. I truly wanted to have a better state of mind and not take this for granted. She prayed for me only desiring God's will. As she prayed I still had thoughts of negativity, sadness, and I was still grasping for control. Nearing the end of the prayer I felt no change. About one sentence before the prayer ended I felt relaxation. It was all up and down my body. Suddenly, I felt okay. Not amazing, not full of joy but okay. That was surely enough for me!!! I didn't need a revelation or a charismatic jolt of Holy Spirit. God gave me enough and I didn't feel jipped.

The next day I woke up to this super strange dream. Our child looked similar to Nemo and was swimming in and out of plants in my uterus. What? That's weird. Somehow it gave me comfort as we drove to our ultrasound. The ultrasound tech immediately picked up a heartbeat and put our baby up on the monitor. It was surreal and surprising to say the least. Our lives forever changed by that "thump thump thump thump." I cried, this time, tears of joy. Scott gulped back his tears and his face lit up while holding my hand.

The tech handed us a picture of a blob, I mean a baby, and we walked out grasping hands tighter than ever. This was just the beginning...