Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Baby

We had an ultrasound (done by Cody's Mum) the other day. We don't want to find out the sex so we were just there to have a look and to make sure the baby hasn't disappeared. Once I was there watching the baby move about I can't say I wasn't trying my hardest to spot something in between the legs. There were moments when I was convinced I had seen a 'hamburger' and then also moments when I was positive I had seen a wee 'sausage'. For some reason I was okay with stumbling upon the sex of the child 'accidentally' rather than deliberately. Discovering the mystery of the sex of our baby started to become a challenge and maybe it was like this for all of us there because I was being scanned for almost an hour! He or she just didn't want to show us. Oh well, I'm glad its still going to be a surprise.


When I first found out I was pregnant, Cody was away for a show. I tried calling him but he was in the middle of sound check and it was too loud to talk. So I ended up taking a picture of the pregnancy test stick, emailing it to him and then texting him to look at his emails.




I found it fun looking at Cody's and my baby photos and wondering what the mix of the two of us will produce. What will the child of a fiery sassy girl and a kind-hearted boy be like???



CODY.... what a cutie!!!!














Older brother, Lloyd and Cody















Rockstar in the making....












Cody off to school for the first time along with little sis Bets




OLIVIA....

Me with my Dad and Mum












Me, Jacob, Dad, James

Me with my older brother Jacob


Younger brother James






Me, James and cousin Billie




Not a pretty sight...I had a habit of doing this to strangers...like in the following photo

This is my response to a boy who splashed me




Friday, August 12, 2011

Grace For the Moment

I'm sitting in a Christian cafe in Rapid City, South Dakota trying hard to ignore the continual blast of (forgive me) terrible Christian music coming from the speaker above me. Cody is away for the morning working at the Harley Davidson rally. I don't think I ever would have imagined being here 2 years ago. We sure have been on a very long, interesting journey these last 8 months. I'm reminiscing about the adventures and changes that have taken place over this last year:

Cody and I get married in January in Christchurch, New Zealand (this seems like a decade ago). We move to Boise, Idaho 10 days later. We get legally married before a judge in a court. Two weeks later we pack as much of our belongings as we can into our hired Escort and take a 36 hour drive across the States to Charlotte, North Carolina. We are homeless for a few days until friends offer their condo to live in for an unknown amount of time. This condo was simply a dream place for a newly married couple to live and we were blessed to stay there for 4 months. My hometown experiences a 2nd massive earthquake centering a few kilometres from my parents home, this time killing about 170 people. I get pregnant. We move out of the condo into an insect-infested apartment. Cody and I take the green-card interview after a long immigration process and pass! We take a trip to California for a wedding, I drive 18 hours to Denver and meet Cody there a few days later since he had a show to perform. We stay with family in Denver and then drive to Rapid City, South Dakota where we have been for the last month and a half.

Throughout these months there has been a constant question mark over what we are doing and why we are in the place we are in. Nothing has really made much sense because its been one of those seasons where we want clear direction and probably easy circumstances to confirm the path we feel lead to take. But we seem to get neither. There have been battles with trying to find work so we have enough for food and rent. And then in the midst of this, I am going through a mini quarter life crisis because I have suddenly found myself uprooted from everything familiar and placed in the midst of total instability (from the outside), unable to replant myself because of this period of limbo. My identity has been stripped from all angles since everything I knew and thought I was seemed to be taken from me. I was working as a teacher, with a great supportive community of family and friends to suddenly someone with no job, no friends or family close by and no one who really knew me prior to becoming a married woman. I'm not saying any of this to have a pity party or to ask for sympathy, its more for myself to process and to help me see what God is doing. Trust me, I've had enough pity parties, meltdowns and tantrums to last me a lifetime and they never got me anywhere except amazement at how Cody can still love me in the midst of them. Sometimes I'm the most stubborn brat and won't want to let go but it'll only be a matter of time before I'm forced to since holding on just makes me more miserable.

Being in a different country definitely can be a challenge. Even though New Zealand and America are both Westernised countries, that does not mean the cultures are the same. For example its not fun to venture out of one self into unfamiliar territory and say something that may be considered funny back home only to receive a few smiles or at the most an attempted snigger in response. After experiencing a few similar situations like this a girl can start to lose a bit of self-esteem and question whether she has much of a personality at all. I'm sure ultimately all of this 'losing myself' stuff is good for me but in the process it sure is painful.

Cody does a great job at reminding me of what God is doing since I don't always see it - He is stripping me of false comforts and things that I found my identity in. Also, the foundational stuff that God is instilling in our relationship will over time prove to be invaluable. He wants me to find myself in Him only (not my job, not my family or friends, not my church, not my reputation not even Cody). I know in my heart He is definitely at work somewhere amongst all of this. I know I will see more sometime further down the track. I just pray that in spite of myself, I can still glean from what God had intended for me during this season. Because I think that I may have failed every 'test' that has come my way.

So right now I am preparing myself to become a Mama - well sort of, mostly just trying to find foods that I can eat that don't make me feel sick. I am slowly getting through a parenting book which is awesome (called Grace Based Parenting). I'm even doing "mama" type things like learning how to make bread, looking at baby clothes online...I guess that's about it for now, but it sure is a start! I am getting excited about heading home to have the little one, having my Mum and Dad around me while I get ready, and just being back in the comforts of my hometown. I know things will be different (not just the city landscape), but I am learning to accept that change will always be apart of life. I was recently emailing a friend back and forth and she was telling me what God had been teaching her in this season of her life and it really struck something in me. It is so simple yet so profound. God's grace is for the moment and the challenge is to rest in that and allow God's grace to envelop me, not to be too focused on looking ahead and getting outside of the Grace that He has to enable me for the NOW.