“Anniversary” antics

So, I wrote a post about how awesome my husband is here.

He is still awesome.  

Our “anniversary”, got ever so slightly less awesome, though.  Although it is a good story.

So, as I said before, our real anniversary isn’t until Friday, but I’m on call this weekend and Patrick’s brother is visiting, so we figured it is just a day, so we’ll celebrate early.

We were leaving town to go out to grab coffee and then supper and (surprise!) Inn (that I have been wanting to check out since we first drove past it a couple years ago) for the night when we stopped for a car stopping in front of us (on what is a really busy main city street).  I watched the van behind us stop just in time.  I then heard a car run into said van and said van ran into us.

Happy Anniversary, you’ve just been rear-ended.  In fact, you are the front car of a three car pile up.

Nobody was hurt, thank goodness.   Chuck wasn’t hurt either.  He just had a couple scratches on his bumper that buffed right out.   The van and the car behind us on the other hand were pretty dented up, but still drivable.  So, we had to wait for the police and the “quick” reports that took almost an hour.  

How festive.

And only minutes from the nearest Starbucks.  I could have walked there, but instead I just stood there and played 2048 (awesome game, by the way) and listened to the one of the passengers from the van behind us and the guy driving the car who hit us all catch up because as it turns out, they were neighbours (we seriously learned all the neighbourhood gossip from the old dude who had a heart attack the other night to who is going to college where). 

So, eventually, we get sent on our way and grab coffee and go get supper.  

I promptly feel terribly sick after supper.  It shouldn’t be that surprising, I wasn’t feeling well the day before or even that day, but it hit me like a ton of bricks after I ate (timing is impeccable).  It was bad enough Patrick had to go buy me Gravol.  And he had gotten us a room with a jacuzzi as a part of some last minute special.  We spent much of the night with me curled up hyperventilating (sometimes a change in your PaCO2 will alter vomiting signal in your brain… I really hate throwing up) and watching the Muppets movie (thankfully, this is one of Patrick’s favourites).  

Happy Anniversary.

I eventually felt well enough that I though the worst had passed and decided we should try out that jacuzzi.  Because that was a selling point for Patrick.  And because we were there now.  And I already ruined most of the night.  I hate hot water.  Between that and being still sick, I almost passed out.

Happy Anniversary.

The place we stayed was actually really nice and had a pool (that we didn’t use) and a good restaurant (that I feel I didn’t get to thoroughly enjoy).  I would like to one day go back not sick and not sore from being run into an enjoy it.  And getting to chill with the spouse and watch Muppets was actually a good night minus the blinding nausea.

We spent Saturday going for a short drive, then napping and reading until Child and D came over for games.  It was a much better day, even if I still wasn’t feeling great.   I read 2 books and we tried out our new Wii game.

If I believed in karma, I would say it was karma for winning rock paper scissors to get our own cabin when we were away last weekend (because we were one of two couples not doing anything special just the two of us this summer) and then going “away” for our anniversary after all (at least that is what my guilty conscience says).

Patrick joked that for 5 years, we just really wanted to give the “for better, for worse” and “in sickness and in health” thing a good run for its money.

Either way, it makes for a good and memorable story.

My Kind of Husband

I have the kind of husband who let’s me play in the waves at the beach for hours. Even if he’s cold.

He is also the kind who celebrates anniversaries a week early because Im on call on the real one.

My husband is also the kind who gives me cancer for our anniversary (the giant microbe kind) and is okay with the fact it is probably my favourite part of the gift.

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1 week to five years and we’re still alive!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

This week’s Photo Challenge is called “Unexpected.”

One thing that has been expected are the visitors, our lovely friends L&C who are here for the weekend.

I am going to do a big throwback to over four years ago to our honeymoon.  We discovered something unexpected…

Kittens!!

The inn where we stayed for part of our honeymoon had two kittens wandering around it.  We arrived and decided to go exploring the trails and gardens and such and stumbled upon them.   One was particularly friendly and made Patrick’s day.

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One of the best choices I ever made

My lovely husband Patrick has offered his services as guest poster extraordinaire again today and emailed me this to share as his blog contribution.  Later, you will see that he points out he proposed to me five years ago today.  And I, the heartless, forgetful one did not remember this fact until I was editing the post (fail.).

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference

I’m sure most of you recognize the above excerpt from Robert Frost’s famous and “inspirational” poem, “The Road Not Taken”. However, you may not know that it is the most misinterpreted poem of all time. Frost didn’t write it to inspire the masses or future generations as it has been used.

As I learned in one of my first university English Literature courses, Frost actually wrote it to mock an indecisive friend he often went hiking with. You see “Jimmy” as we will call him found it difficult to decide which path to take when they came to a fork in a road and would always wonder about the path they didn’t take after the decision was made.  I’ll admit that even after finding out this mind-blowing fact that I still sometimes think of the poem after I make a major decision and wonder what the outcome would have been if I decided differently.

We all make many choices everyday both consciously and subconsciously. In fact, you just made a choice by deciding to read this post and hopefully will choose to continue to read it.  Many daily choices are minor ones such whether to hit the snooze button one more time, what to wear or what to eat for breakfast in the morning.  Chances are good that those choices will not have great consequences… Unless, of course, you realize you forgot to put on pants/skirt as you arrive at work.

Of course, not all choices can be made so lightly or without foresight.  I admire people who have to make major decisions that greatly affect their own life or the lives of others.

With Remembrance Day coming up, I think it’s safe to include veterans and current military personnel in that category.  Let’s be clear – I hate war because of all the lives that are lost or changed forever as a result of it. I wish every dispute could be solved peacefully. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t support the people who sacrifice so much to protect the freedoms we take for granted.

Doctors/Paramedics/Nurses also fall into a similar category of making major decisions that affect others and themselves regularly.

How do you make major decisions?

I usually just flip a coin like a certain Batman villain.

Seriously though, there are a few things I usually do.  I talk it over with people who I respect and trust the most such as my wife/family, or long-time friends and mentors.  I pray about it and read the Bible- although admittedly not nearly as much as I should.  I reflect about how I handled similar situations in the past and the results of the decisions I made- both good and bad.  I try to honestly answer questions like, “What do I really want?” “What is the best choice for my well-being?” and “How will my decision affect the people closest to me or the situation?”  I don’t like to admit it, but I also Google articles that are particularly relevant to the situation.

But something I always do with major decisions is something Trisha recently mentioned she does – make a pro-con list. Clearly, another sign we are perfect for each other, right? Writing the list is often the best way to see what I really think about both sides of the equation.  If there are significantly more pros or cons then it makes it easier to decide what the best course of action is.

Now I’m sure you are wondering what one of the best decisions I ever made was where the pros were overwhelming?

Well you see 5 years ago on this very day I decided to ask Trisha to make an important decision.  “Will you marry me?”   I’m very happy she decided without hesitation to answer in the affirmative or to be more specific, “Yeah”.  I’m glad that she also found that the pros outweighed the cons to marrying me…  Or at least decided the cons were not a deal breaker!

I won’t go into all the mushy details of how I proposed.  But, the short version is I had us walk to one of our favorite dating places with a beautiful view of forest and water. It was drizzly and I was worried the heavens were going to open up, but thankfully they did not. I read her a story I wrote because that was the best way I was able to express how much she meant to me. We then went to her favorite restaurant, which conveniently was not far from my Grandparents house, where we later went to let them know the good news. We followed that with going to “High School Musical 3” with some of our best friends. That may sound weird but one of first dates was to see the first High School Musical so it seemed a very fitting way to celebrate.

I wasn’t able to be as spontaneous or surprising as I would have liked but when you live in different provinces there is only so much you can do in that regards. Still, I wouldn’t change it and it was perfect because of the beautiful, intelligent woman (don’t edit that Trisha!). I proposed to. The rest was just icing on the cake.

Looking back it’s amazing to think how the two crazy kids in the picture below, taken immediately after getting engaged, have changed and not changed since 2008.  We didn’t really know much about the realities of marriage or where we’d be living in a few years. In a way, we still don’t.100_2297

But we knew that we loved each other and didn’t want to live without each other. That was enough then and still is now.  I hope and believe that in 5 years or even 50 years we can say the same thing.  After, all, when I said “I do” it wasn’t just a one-time choice. It was a choice to try my best to love her every day as long as we both shall live no matter what. This is one road I thank God every day that I took and have no regrets about the road not taken.

My life/marriage as summarized in two Vocal Few songs

I have developed a new musical obsession with the band Focal Few featuring the lead singer from The Classic Crime and his wife.

Seriously, I have been listening to their two EPs incessantly for the last week.

I mean, any band that has a tagline, “A guy and his pregnant wife making music” has to be a win, right?

Two of my favourite songs from this group are two songs that I feel like fit with our anniversary adventure last week.  There is something about commemorating the number of years one is with another person that makes you think back to all of the stuff you have made it through.  There is also something about life that makes you think of all the things you have yet to go through.

“The Road” is one of those songs that looks back at how God has this funny way of planting you right where you need to be, even if it feels like it isn’t.  The journey is important to reaching a destination, but sometimes it feels like you are at a destination when you are still on the journey.

Looking back, it is easy for me to see how our apart time had each of us in places where we needed to be to get to where we are now.  At the time, though, not so much.  I am sure that is just like how I will look back at weekends on call while Patrick goes out camping with the church and such.

“We’ll Make It Some Day” has now begun to appear on my workout playlist.  I find it motivational, as cheesy as it is.

But, on a relationship standpoint, it is also great.  I feel like we have crashed and burned and made a million mistakes.  But really, we have come through them all together.  I also feel like we have spent much time saying “we’ll make it some day.”

Sometimes still, I feel like real life escapes us.  That we are doomed to always be trying to pay back my student debt, that Patrick will always be looking for a job, that we will never have a family of our own.  But, really, that stuff all comes.  And God makes a way for it to come in his time.  And we will look back at this time too and say that we made it.

Pretty cool stuff.

I find it all quite encouraging.

So, there you have it, my marriage as kind of interpreted in two songs by the Vocal Few.   

Less sappiness and nostalgia to follow tomorrow, I am sure.

Four (NOT the character from Divergent)

Patrick and I have been married for four years as of yesterday!

I realized  that is basically the equivalent of a standard undergraduate degree.  That is pretty crazy.

My life has been divided in fours for basically almost half of its existence.

Four years of high school, four years of undergrad degree, four years of med school.

Residency actually is the odd thing out being five years.

Now my marriage fit in too.  I know, most people do units of 5 as a big deal.  But, I was pretty impressed with the whole four thing.  So was Patrick.  He got us an appropriate ice cream cake (and made BBQ supper).  He reports the girl at the ice cream store was equally impressed by the whole four years thing. photo

Maybe four is the new five.

Okay, no not really, but it is nice to celebrate a wee bit (even if I’m not the celebrating sort).

We are so blessed.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

This week’s photo challenge with the Daily Post is called “Foreshadow.”

The whole thing seems entertaining, given I am sitting in my freshly cleaned apartment waiting for the in-laws to arrive for their first visit to our now year old new home.  But, that isn’t what I am showing a picture of today (trust me, you don’t want to see me all post-gym sweaty in a heap on the couch).

Now, folks… Don’t read too much into this…  Do not read into this, actually.

My foreshadow selections are proof that my husband, Patrick will one day be an awesome father.  One day.  Not at this exact moment.  He is amazing with kids, namely our “niece” and “nephews” (good thing, because he is a teacher) and he takes care of our cat like it he is his own spawn.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes

This week’s photo challenge with the Daily Post puzzled me a little.  I felt like the topic was a bit vague, “the world through your eyes.”  It suggests playing with light or angles and such to guide you to the viewer’s perspective.

I considered not doing it because I am not really the photography type, even though I quite enjoy taking random pictures.

Then, I decided to go with a photo from our recent adventures.  In this shot, Patrick and I are sitting on the edge of a rock face, enjoying the view with our feet dangling over the edge.  It was one of those perfect sort of couple-y moments in the midst of all the tourists out enjoying the lovely weather and scenery.  And I captured it from my perspective. IMG_3931

Cool stuff from Song of Solomon

Earlier this week, I noticed the Daily Post asked the question in one of their prompts, “tell us about a thing you will never write about.”  A few things instantly popped into my head, but when I get down to it, even those I might consider writing on if the time is right.

One of those topics that popped into my mind is sex.

Reasoning… Well, my parents read this blog.  My inner teenager says, “EWWWWW.”

Realistically, I have broached the topic a few times, mainly around concepts of intimacy and such.  And here I go again…

Our church has, for the past two-ish months, been doing a series on Song of Solomon.  People tend to be of two minds on this chunk of scripture.  Although I know most people won’t deny it is part of the Bible and relevant, many people (me included… the person who asks strangers about erectile function) feel uncomfortable with the poetry and the romance in this book.  Some people are even more uncomfortable with the fact that it is the “sex” book.  Other people are intrigued because it is different and it is about, well, sex and relationships.

It shouldn’t matter what any of us think because it is scripture and as rare and bizarre as it is to have it be a part of the discussion at church and small group, it is important.  It is Biblical wisdom.  Apparently it was shared at wedding celebrations back in the day (*gasps from the staunch). 

The series isn’t quite done yet, but I thought I would share what I have gleaned from the experience… And this is nowhere near the depth of which we covered it, or the depth to which God probably intends it.

One thing that I found interesting before we even get into things is the concept that Solomon wrote this.  Solomon with the million wives (okay, not a million, but a bunch).  That kind of weirded me out.  What does buddy with masses of wives know about real love?  The notion that the pastor put forth, as have several commentaries I have read is that these are supposed to representations of “every man” and “every woman” and that Solomon may be writing in generalities from his experience as influenced by God.  AKA… Don’t bash the book because of who the human attached to it is.

So, big themes that stuck out for me as a wife and as a woman.

Beauty.

Beauty is a huge concept throughout this book.  There are lines and lines of nauseating poetry complimenting one another.  Head to toe descriptions. And looks at how we measure beauty.

Even back then, culture and society influenced beauty (see S of S 1:5-7).  She was influenced by her past and her present.  But, the girl in this passage recognizes her own inherent beauty despite that stuff.  A good lesson for all of us.

Bigger than her recognizing her inner beauty, despite what she points out culture would consider flaws, is the guy and how he sees her beauty.  And talks about it over and over again.  He measures her beauty from a heart of love and she is transformed.

I wouldn’t have noticed it unless it was pointed out to me, but she really is.  As the cheesy dialogue progresses, she acknowledges her beauty more and loves him more.

Fascinating.

God made us.  Refer back to Genesis 1&2 for that stuff.

Full body beauty is appreciation of the fullness of God’s grace, God’s plan and God’s creation.  Married people are God’s gifts to one another.

The couple in S of S is big on the full body appreciation.  There are multiple chunks where they literally do head to toe descriptions of one another.  This points back to God’s appreciation and beauty in His creation, but also to the overarching concept of beauty.  That our denying our own beauty and uniqueness is basically, in a way, taking away from that of God and of our spouse.

Whoa.  Hang on a second… That is tough stuff to swallow.  Especially maybe moreso for women.  Many of us from a young age feel shame about our bodies, our imperfections.  But, our spouses don’t notice that stuff.  That is just part of our awesomeness.  And we should accept that.  Because that is God’s grace.

I am still working on wrapping my head around that stuff.

There is the whole pursuit thing that goes along with the beauty and leads up to intimacy.  God pursues us kind of like the young man.  He thinks we are beautify.  He thinks we are perfect.  He protects us and shields us from others.  We have a longing for wholeness and beauty and God is how we find these things.  Fascinating parallels.

Then, there is the whole intimacy thing.  Probably the other bigger concept.

Well, duh, you say… The whole book is basically about marriage and sex.

But, this is pure intimacy.  As in the way God intended.

And no, it isn’t perfect.

Check out chapter 5 if you want not perfect.  It is real marriage stuff (and some hilarious (at least to me) double entendre).  Wife gets ticked at husband for being out too late and locks him out.  He peels.  Then she feels bad and goes out after him.  And life gets really rough without him.  In the end, it is okay.  But bad stuff does happen, but it is important to remember that the security of relationship is huge.  And that the intimacy of marriage is stronger than a silly fight.  Marriage is a covenant.  You can’t just walk out of a covenant.  God makes it tough to do that.  He is big on covenants (think Noah and the ark).

But right, back to intimacy.

One of the reasons God sticks someone in your life is holiness. He will remake you (refer up to the beauty thing).  If God comes first, you worship your way out of the negative cycle of self harm and self indulgence.    Christ died for the church.  Man would die for his wife.  But, realistically, do we care enough about our relationship, our witness to address hard topics with grace?  To die to ourselves?

Intimacy does not equal nakedness.

Society teaches the opposite.  Most of us spend life thinking sex=intimacy.

That isn’t true.  Sex is a reflection of intimacy, but not intimacy itself.   Just like lust is really the opposite of love, but we sometimes mistake them for the same thing.

Intimacy requires honesty, dedication and selflessness.  Intimacy requires making room for Christ in a relationship and acknowledging a need for grace because we are flawed.  Intimacy is a togetherness while acknowledging one another’s beauty and space.

Intimacy exists in the concept of redemption.  Our identity needs to be rooted in Christ and not in our shame and guilt.  We lose out on so much when we exist in fear and guilt and when we let our desires drive us to sin.  We are all flawed, so grace comes up again and again.   We are perfect for each other, but we need forgiveness and remaking to enjoy that intimacy.

Marriage was God’s plan.  He made it to place protection for our humanness.  A container for passion, if you may.

Nowhere does this passage say sex is bad, that one gender is “better” or that beauty consists of certain criteria.  This passage simply addresses the importance of intimacy in a relationship in the realities of life and the importance of sharing in that kind of love in a covenant relationship.

Sex does not come until chapter 4.  At least that is what is assumed to be the wedding night and why they keep saying “do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  Because things actually drag along for awhile building intimacy and relationship before the sex comes along.   Sex came from all of the intimacy.  Not the reverse.  And yes, there is plenty more after chapter 4 (well, minus that bit where she misplaces her husband…).  Again, this does not go along with what society teaches us.  But, it makes sense if you follow the poetry along.  And it makes sense when you say that sex is a reflection of intimacy, not just intimacy alone.

Pretty cool stuff for a bunch of poetry.

I am not a gold digger

It is guest post time.  My lovely husband Patrick volunteered to submit a post in a potential series of posts that he entitles “Married to a doctor, but I am not a gold digger.”  I take no responsibility for any sappiness to follow.

The spouse and I.

The spouse and I.

Yes, I am married to the lovely Doctor (Resident) that writes this awesome blog but I am not a gold digger as some well-meaning, but clearly paranoid,  people actually asked  if Trisha if she was worried about that possibility in the past.  For starters, I don’t fit all stereotypical qualities of a gold-digger such as being younger (I’m older) or more beautiful (Trisha’s personality wasn’t the only reason I married her). But, the main reason I’m not a gold-digger is due to the fact that I broke the cardinal rule of gold-digging- I married her way before she was financially ready to fund my globe-trotting, “charge it!” lifestyle!

When we started dating, she was a poor broke student who hadn’t even applied to medical school yet but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with her. After all, I wasn’t looking for a doctor or lawyer but a best friend to have fun, start a family and grow old together with.  I had so much fun with her that I married her just before her 2nd year of Medical school (which many people see as crazy in itself) when her finances were increasing…  In debt, that is.  As you know she was studying in the isolated but beautiful Rock. We spent our first three years of marital bliss (most of the time) living in a basement (but nice) apartment without cable TV (everything is online now anyway) and “Jag”, a car that wasn’t old in years but was known affectionately as the car with all the miles on it at the service department.  Our main source of income was my part-time jobs which sometimes added up to full-time depending on how many hours I got.  I didn’t even substitute teach until the last few months there.  I think we will always look back on that time as a very happy and unique time in our lives. We didn’t live beyond our means but still had a lot of fun with all the friends, many who became like family in a place where we had none.

Anyway, now that I’ve proved that I ‘m not a gold digger I’ll share a few thoughts on what its really like to be married to a doctor in training.

I feel like I could write a blog about it myself and many people have done just that.  Most of the blogs I’ve come across on have been written by a female, however, the highs and lows are still very much the same- except of course my inability to personally birth our future children.

Studying to be a doctor is no cake walk as everyone knows, so it’s not that surprising that most people think it’s crazy to get married in the middle of medical school.  I’m sure that the same people think that I was crazy to marry a medical student because she clearly doesn’t have the time or energy needed to be a good wife after long days of studying and working with patients.  But I don’t think that’s true, at least not for Trisha.   Some people get tunnel vision when faced with challenging things and that is all their life is- eat, sleep and study (or other fill in the blank activity).  To each their own, but I’m very glad that Trisha is not that type. Yes, she is much focused but needs to have a real life that I and friends outside of school/hospital play a big part in.  That is not always easy, but we make it work because it’s more than worth it.   For example, Trisha was stuck in the hospital on call this past New Year’s Eve but I met her in the cafeteria to eat Chinese food and ring in the New Year a little early.  In the end I was actually glad I was home with the cat when midnight struck, so I could be there to comfort him (Jeter who is not a big fan of fireworks to say the least).

One of my main love languages is quality time, which may seem problematic with a wife who has a very demanding profession. I can’t say that I always get as much time as I or we would like.  But really who does?

We are both glad that we don’t work together (as many of her friends and their significant others do) because it makes reconnecting at the end of the day more interesting, not to mention our different working styles would probably drive us both crazy!  When Trisha and I first started dating, a person once told me about their brother, a teacher, who was married to another teacher and how perfect that was for them. Holidays and summer holidays together-what’s not to love.  In theory it does hold some appeal and we have married teacher friends who are doing just fine. However the reality starting out is not so rosy from the way I see it.  In most of Canada new teachers substitute for years before getting a full-time gig or have to move far away to get one (like to the Yukon). I don’t think it would be fun for Trisha and me to be competing for substitute and eventually full-time jobs, all while trying to make ends meet with part-time jobs that hopefully don’t interfere with teaching.  Plus, we would both be so sick of kids by the time we got home that we wouldn’t want anything to do with our own!  I kid (pun intended) about the last part but nevertheless I’m glad Trisha has chosen a profession where her chances of getting a job are a lot better even if we still may have to move farther away from home.

Does that make me a gold digger? I don’t think so but I’ll let you decide. All I know is that Trisha and I are still having fun and I think the best is yet to come.