Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It’s Official.

I'm a sap. In the past, I always prided myself on being a "girly girl" without being a "drama queen." Oh, I had my moments, I'm sure—especially in those pre-teen and teenage years. But overall, I was never one to cry at movies or say tearful goodbyes or… things like that. I didn't even like to think about doing those kind of things. Shudder.

But that person moved out about the time that I got married, and she has been replaced by a sappy, emotional glob of a woman. Being a mom has only exacerbated this condition.

And so tonight, I give you a sappy tribute to my evening.

It was a rare—much too rare—girls' night out. Yes, I posted the last time I had a night out with my girlfriends, too. Sap, sap, sap. Tonight I had Praise Band practice at church, and a babysitter for the entire evening, so I arranged to meet two of my closest friends at Panera after practice. (An interesting side note… don't schedule an outing at Panera at 8:30. They close at 9:00. And they will vacuum all around you until you leave.) As we caught up and gabbed about our days and our kids and our hobbies and our kids' hobbies and our news and our victories and our struggles… it struck me that, at some point, we entered a new phase in our lives. And it's an exciting one.

These girls and I have been friends for about 7 years now—and they have known each other for much longer than that. We went through the "young married" stage together… and even though one already had kids when we became friends and has parenting issues that I haven't reached yet, we were (ARE) still "young parents" together (and her youngest is in between my two, so we're experiencing that baby/toddler/preschooler stuff together too)… we've had date nights and girls' nights and play dates and birthday parties and all sorts of different stages together. And now we're all embarking on a new stage in life… the stage where we're really figuring out who we are, why we're here, what we're doing with our lives.


One of us is considering getting her doctorate. One has a book coming out. And me… well, I don't have anything that notable to brag about, but I think I'm finally starting to hit the "sweet spot" of where God wants me in ministry. It's amazing. We've all got so much going on.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying, "We're busy." We've always been busy. That's just called life. But tonight I realized we're all growing up, realizing our potential, becoming real, actual adults. Scary. And exciting.

Friendships change as you grow up. I've always known that, but I kinda thought once you were an adult, your adult friendships would just stay the same. I'm finding that's not the case. They keep changing, because we keep changing. I've seen friendships come and go, even as an adult. I've seen friendships take off like a rocket and then fizzle out. I've seen some that fail to get off the ground. But the true test of friendship is adaptability. My friendships with these two girls haven't stayed the same over the past seven years, but they have stayed.

I know I'm all over the map tonight. If you're still reading this, treat yourself to a cookie. (And if you have an extra, can you send it my way? In addition to becoming a sap, I've also turned into a bit of an emotional eater…….) But I guess I've just been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I will be turning 30 next year. (Yes, I know, it is still TEN MONTHS away… but I'm a planner, what can I say???) I think it's easy, especially in our youth-oriented society, to feel like you're losing something when you leave your 20s behind. But I just don't think so. My focus is clearer than it ever has been, my wants are deeper, my friendships—though different and harder to fit in than they were in my pre-kid 20s—stronger. I'm entering a new phase in life, and I've got great company. Thanks, friends. I'm excited to embark on our separate journeys together.

Alright, I need to go do something less sappy now. Like eat.

Katy’s Family Forest, part 11

Oh my GOODNESS, it's been far too long since I picked up my story. I am so sorry. How do you all put up with me??? Well, here I am now, avoiding the laundry that is calling my name, ignoring the fact that I am taking three trips in the next month and haven't even started thinking about them, refusing to see the dust gathering on the furniture. I have a blog that demands attention! J

Well, I'm sure you don't want me to get off on a huge tangent here, so I'll try to keep this part of the story as brief as possible. I went to lunch that day with Jon, his half-brother, and my cousin. Needless to say, she and I didn't have any deep conversation about her relationship with her destructive boyfriend. But during that lunch… oh yeah, and another one a week later… I realized that I was not quite over my childhood crush on Jon. Between that and some mad matchmaking skills of my cousin, Jon and I went on our first date on January 29, 2000.

That date was followed by a second and a third and… well, you get the idea. J After several years of dating and wondering how I would know when I had met "the one", I realized just how easy it could be. Within two months we were talking about marriage, and Jon officially popped the question on May 20, 2000. We were married on February 17, 2001, and have been living happily ever after ever since! J

Anyway, while we were engaged, we went to visit Jan. I honestly don't remember when she first met him—but I'm pretty sure this visit wasn't the first time. I could be wrong, though. But either way, there we were, an awkward little foursome: me, Jon, Jan, and Roommate Pam. Whether or not it was the first time Jan had met my husband-to-be, it was definitely the first time I had visited her—she had always come to me. And one thing became very obvious very fast: it was a two-bedroom duplex where only one bedroom was being used.

Yes, I'd had my suspicions, but I don't think I really believed them—or maybe I just didn't really want to face them. But now there was no question. And it became even more evident the next day when Pam came to me and Jon and said, "There are some things that Jan wants to talk to Katy about privately. She's uncomfortable to say anything, but I don't mind telling you—she needs some time alone with you." So later that day the four of us went somewhere and decided for some reason that it was better to take two cars… so I rode with Jan and Jon rode with Pam.

And that was when we had the talk.

"I think it's important that you know… that I am gay," she told me.

"I know," I said.

"You know?"

Why do we always think we're better secret keepers than we are? I remember trying to keep things from my parents as a child and teenager… they always knew. I think Jan honestly believed that no one had any inkling of her orientation. But the signs were all there, and it didn't take a genius to put the pieces together.

Anyway, it was an odd conversation, and it was one that could have ended a fragile relationship, but it didn't. I was honest with Jan about my view of homosexuality, but I also assured her that I disapproved of her lifestyle and not of her as a person. I have any number of flaws and sinful struggles, and if someone chose to just label and view me as one of my struggles, they probably wouldn't waste their time on me. But I would hope that people chose to see beyond those flaws and love me anyway. That's how I feel about Jan. I continue to wrestle with her stance on homosexuality and her view of Christianity (and there will be more on that later…), but I also continue to love her. And ultimately, it was good to not wonder anymore. It was nice to have all of the facts out on the table, you know?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pictures (or not) and an award!

Happy Thursday! OK, so I'm not FULLY back into normal posting mode yet, but I'm getting there. After all, this is the SECOND post this week. Woo-hoo!

I promise, PROMISE to post another installment of "Katy's Family Forest" within the next week. In the meantime, I wanted to post some pics from the conference for you all, but that is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I made a slideshow on Photobucket, but can't figure out how to embed it... Anybody have any tips for me????

For now, though, I want to share an award that was given to me this week--my first blog award! YAY!!! Courtney generously bestowed this award upon my humble abode here on the World Wide Web. :-)

Thanks Courtney! It is now my job to pass the award on to 7 other bloggers. Goodness gracious, how do I do just 7??? So here goes...

1. Erin is such a dear friend, and her blog is lots of fun too. Check out the very first ultrasound picture of the baby in her belly!!! :-)

2. BooMama is hilarious and sweet and oh-so-southern. :-) Her blog has been one of my favorite finds.

3. Everything Mom--a fellow Ohioan! I enjoy reading her blog because so often I feel like we are living the same life!

4. Toddled Dredge--So right on for moms with little ones! (It's hard coming up with something unique to say about each of these........)

5. Simplifying Motherhood--Trish Berg's wonderful blog about mothering and life!

6. Rocks in my Dryer--A warm, funny, honest look into the life of the Dryer family. This blog is SO well-known in the blogosphere, and there's a reason! :-)

7. And last but DEFINITELY not least, Bring the Rain--absolutely my favorite blog out there. I occassionally (read, "almost always") get behind on my blog reader, but I NEVER miss one of Angie's posts. She is a wonderful servant of Christ, and is equally transparent in her highs and her lows, her struggles and the funny observations of her beautiful girls.

So to the seven listed, congrats and thank you! Enjoy your new award!

For the rest of you who are waiting for conference pics (and details) and the next part of my adoption story, they're coming--I promise! I'll work on them during naptime today--we have enough clean clothes to last us through the weekend, so laundry is definitely not a priority.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We are experiencing technical difficulties..

I have a whole post written out for you all, but Blogger isn't letting me post it for some reason... I need to walk away from it for a while, or my beloved laptop will bear the brunt of my anger with the Blogger Gnomes.

But there is more coming, I promise.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What IS normal, anyway?

Good morning, Internet Buddies! :-) I hope you are all having a great week. I am finally emerging from the fog after a whirlwind weekend.

The conference was absolutely fantastic, and I am so grateful that God chose to make me a part of it. Our speakers were wonderful, the worship was great, the vendor fair was the perfect addition, and the women there were awesome. It was such a huge blessing to see it all come together!

This afternoon I will upload the pictures off of my camera, and I will post some on here for you all.

I promise to be around more, and I look forward to reconnecting with you all! I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sale, Sale, Sale!!!

Yes, this is about the conference! But this is great news!!!

Back-to-School Sale
Now through Friday, September 5, tickets to The Ultimate Roller Coaster Ride: A Conference for Moms are only $20!!! (Regular price is $35.) This is a great value! If you have been waiting to register, now is the time. If you have a friend you'd like to invite, now is the time! Remember, this price is only good until Friday, so register now!

We are also offering fantastic group rates until Monday, September 8. Groups of 20 or more can get tickets for just $12.50 per person; groups of 50 or more can get tickets for just $10 per person! For more information, please visit the web site.

Thanks for your time, ladies. I hope to see you next weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Update--Or, "Why I am a bad bloggy friend"

OK, I admit it. I am a very bad blogger right now! I fully intended to write two or three more posts last week--I have them riiiiiiight here. (I'm pointing to my head right now, you just can't see it.) But they never made it onto the blog.

So I feel I should be up-front with you... Until the conference is over (which is in less than TWO WEEKS now), I am not likely to post more than once a week, if that. After that, things will be much more normal, I promise. But right now I am streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessed.

Here's just a little sampler of what is happening: First and foremost is, of course, the conference. Not only am I busy with it beyond words, I'm also in need of much prayer for it. As I said in my last post, I am really trusting God for whatever happens, but it's not easy. I just really covet your prayers for this event and for me. This morning I have found myself repeatedly praying over Matthew 6:25-34, especially verse 27: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" I am praying that God will help me to be smart and diligent and effective in my preparations, and to trust Him with the outcome. Did I mention it's not easy?

And second, everything else. In addition to the conference, my MOPS group is also getting ready for a few publicity events AND the beginning of our MOPS year. And it's my first year leading the group. It's a very busy time.

I was in a car accident last week. Everyone is fine, but I was cited, and now I have the great joy of meeting with the insurance adjuster, getting estimates, and getting it fixed. I am supposed to meet with the adjuster tomorrow (at a garage), but now my "drivable" car won't start. Oh, and I have so much to do for the conference that I simply don't have two or three days to be "car-less" while it is fixed, either... Argh...

My dad is in the hospital. My mom took him in to the ER on Sunday with chest pains that went down his left arm. From what I gather, he did not have a heart attack but it IS heart-related. My dad has some stents in his heart, and they suspect that there is a problem with one of those. He should be having some tests done soon--but yesterday the machine broke, so they're not sure when.

But on the other hand, we had a wonderful weekend as a family. For the first time in over two years, my dear husband is starting to feel like he's not just treading water at work. He actually took off the entire weekend, which just doesn't happen in this house. In fact, I can't remember the last time he took off a "non-major" holiday. We spent a day at the beach, some time with my parents and his mom, and lots of time here at home with the kids. And Jon was so great about working diligently on laundry and dishes and straightening the house so that my week would get off to a good start, too. God has truly blessed me with him. :-)

So that's the basic update. There are other things, but these are the ones that I really wanted to share. I appreciate your prayers and look forward to being able to post more soon.