I’ve decided the best way to keep family and old buddies from former lives abreast of our goings-on, and the best way to keep things remembered for later years myself, is to type a journal every week. We’ll see how this goes…
This past week was wild. It seems not a moment after we got our feet firmly planted here in town we got as busy as we’re used to being again. I realized how crazy the week was when, on Saturday night as we skipped Jacob’s daily bath after getting home past his bedtime, it occurred to me that he hadn’t had a bath since MONDAY. Tuesday I was out late with Jacob to take a meal to new friends who just had a baby and then audition for membership in a local choral ensemble. After getting lost in the labyrinth of the university, we made it home starving to a late supper with Mike. Wednesday we were gone till 8:00 picking up our beautiful new piano from a sweet couple just north of the Kentucky border. Thursday Jacob & I accompanied Mike to his weekly choir rehearsal so I could help him select repertoire for the fall. Friday we dropped Jacob off with our new pastor’s family and went to catch an organ recital and a quick bite to eat at a Thai cafe. Saturday we attended a church picnic. And these are just our evening activities! This week will be a little closer to home, but no less full.
Mike is working as an associate instructor for the theory department, teaching two sections of a remedial theory course at 8 and 9 a.m. He’s taking a very full load of classes – singing baritone in one of the top two choral ensembles, taking organ lessons, and taking organ pedagogy, improv, and sacred music practicum. And he’s the music director for a PCUSA church an hour away. It’s nice that he managed to test out of the remedial history classes and that his AI position affords him 3 free credits to take in the summer, because he’s able to postpone the reading-heavy history classes till the summers when he can focus on them. So all he does for coursework is practice, practice, practice.
I am living the life of luxury by comparison, with only a house, a husband, and a baby to keep in order. I’m staying on my toes trying to learn to manage a home three times the size of what we had before and a grocery budget much smaller than I’d like it to be. I’ve figured out already how to make a mean wheat sandwich bread and I’m getting into the habit of roasting my own lunch meat for Mike. I’m getting involved in a Mom’s playgroup/fellowship/Bible study every other week and choir every Tuesday night and these will be my regular chances to get out. I’m excited to get into the habit of regular composition work now that we have our piano, which is being tuned as I type. I’m also staying busy helping Mike where I can (grading papers and stuff) and helping my best friend from college plan her wedding. Jacob takes a lovely 2-3 hour nap in the late morning and I’m devoting that time to non-household projects like composition or whatnot. I’ve made a handful of friends already, including a married grad student and two moms married to music grad students.
We are diving into the life we love of fellowship and hospitality and outreach and this coming week we have dinner guests coming 3 nights, all opportunities for the gospel. One is our next door neighbor, himself a music grad student and in the same section of the same small choir as Mike.
Despite all the routine busy-ness, God’s graciously given us an ideal schedule this fall. I rise at 5:00 every morning so by Jacob’s wake-up time of 8:00 I’ve finished a workout, shower, devotions, and made Mike’s lunch and shared breakfast with him and gotten the various balls rolling for the day. Mike is up at 6:00 to run and shower. He’s out the door by 7:45 every morning. 3 mornings a week he teaches his back to back sections of theory, the other two he attends the large-group lecture for the course. His days are full at school but with some good practice time.
And here’s the good part: On Mondays and Thursdays he’s home about 4:00, on Tuesdays he’s home after 6:00 just in time to snag a bite with me before I leave for choir, on Wednesdays he’s home by 3:00 and on Friday’s he’s home by 2:00! Jacob doesn’t see his daddy in the morning, but it is so great to have him home early on some days. He has regular daddy time every night while I get dinner ready and Mike gives him a bath and gets him into his jammies. Jacob sits with us at dinner and then goes down for the night at 7:00, leaving us several hours of grown-up time each night. We’re loving it!
Wednesdays are sacred “date night,” Thursdays Mike turns right around to go to church till late in the evening, and Friday afternoons we’ll kick back and get the weekend rolling. Saturdays are busy work days for Mike, though he gets to stay at home for the whole day, and Sundays are already filling with joyful church life, in the mornings at the PCUSA church Mike serves, in the evenings at the RPCNA church we’re growing to love. It’s a good mix and though we miss our PCA church in Minnesota sorely, we’re finding a satisfying mix of two things we love at these two churches: In the mornings beautiful, time-tested liturgy, in the evenings heartfelt simplicity and happy, noisy community. Mike is sweetly taking Jacob all by himself for evening church and this past Sunday night I sat and actually focused on a sermon all alone for the first time in months. It was luxurious!
We love our house and we’re growing to love our town more and more. Our only complaint about the town is the constantly congested traffic and miserably designed roads. There’s a lot to do here and everything we need seems right at our fingertips, compared with the metro madness we came from. We have been so blessed with all God’s given us here. He’s made it perfect, perfect, perfect for the three of us, even down to a tailor-made, if less-than-ideal, church situation. Things are still a bit tough and nerve-wracking as we scrape by before Mike’s paychecks kick in, but the Lord has watched over us and sustained us perfectly, no matter how miserably we fail to notice and be thankful. He even blessed us with a beautiful wooden crib last week, a hand-me-down gift from the RPCNA pastor’s family, since their youngest daughter has now outgrown it. Jacob’s graduated from the Pack-n-Play and seems happy in his new digs.
In our quiet moments we enjoy little quite as much as curling up to an episode of Burn Notice with bowls of half-frozen bananas doused in melted chocolate chips. (I’ve explained to Mike the nuances of my two different crushes on Michael Weston and Sam Ax. He doesn’t seem very OK with it, but then there’s the issue of his obsession with Matt Damon, so…)
We’ve already enjoyed visits from Cheryl Stewart and Jason & Kendra White in the last couple weeks and we are so thankful for how comfortably we can put extra people up in this space. It was great fun having Jason & Kendra here last weekend for long hours of conversation and fellowship.