Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thoughts while on vacation

So my return to blogging didn't happen quite as soon as I thought it would but I finally feel like I have space and thoughts.

In July I was talking to Adam about what a racket cable television is. As in, "Can you believe we are paying this much for cable? It's such a racket!" But this time I got the great idea to convince him that we should cancel cable and then think about becoming new customers again after the 60 days, because of the huge savings we would get. We counted out the days to see how many Michigan football games that would include (3) and called my parents to make sure we could go to their house to watch them. Read: we invited ourselves over so we could cancel cable, BUT I did bring food and we have really enjoyed cheering together! After we made sure we had plans for the games we would miss, I called and bid adieu to DISH and our $76/monthly bill.
At first it seemed a little quiet in our house but I got used to it quickly. We aren't really show watching people so I found myself only missing it when I would have typically "checked out" after a long day at work or to sit and put my feet up for an episode of Love It or List It.

Adam has been listening to the Tigers on the radio and we now find ourselves listening to podcasts or sitting and talking during what would have been TV time.
It has been good for us but we hadn't yet talked about the plan at the end of the 60 days.

This week we are on vacation in Colorado and having a hotel room means CABLE. Prior to coming out I did think about what a treat that could be to watch HGTV again after Isla goes to bed at 5:30 (because of the 2 hour time difference) and we are relegated to our room. BUT a surprising thing has happened. We did watch an episode of Love It or List It the first night so we didn't go to bed before 9pm but otherwise our trip has been TV silent. We started to watch a movie last night but stopped it after 15 minutes because I didn't want to waste time watching it when we could be getting vacation sleep. Tonight we weren't even tempted to turn it on because of wanting to read and talk.

Now I have nothing against tv (besides the cost) and that really was the reason we finally decided to go without it but if I am honest with myself I had felt an itching to examine this area for me for a few months prior. I felt that we used tv to "check out" and therefore had times where we didn't know where the time went or what we had done with our night after we had both been looking forward to time together.

We still haven't had a conversation about our next step in our war on cable but myself I could continue to go without. This quiet space has been good for me (I'm blogging aren't I?) and I think also for us. We'll have to see about those Michigan games though..... :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm back

After taking some time off to have our daughter Isla and get in the swing of being a mom I am happy to be back. I have had lots of thoughts during this time (mostly in the shower as I savor 15 minutes of getting clean :) but haven't been able to get them out. I am excited to process what I have been learning and also throw it out there so I can look back and remember both the good and hard.

I can't believe she is already 2 months old! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weary and Out of Rhythm

Entering into the third trimester I have been excitedly anticipating the arrival of our baby but also feeling very, very tired. I felt tired during the first trimester but this time around I am also feeling the busyness of preparations, childbirth classes, home projects and Drs appts. All good things but for someone who equates physical tiredness with emotional tiredness sometimes it is a bit overwhelming.

To combat this I have been trying to get good sleep, and rest when I need to. Last night was the second night in a row that I was in bed at 9:45 and the first night in a LONG time that I slept through the night without multiple bathroom trips. When I woke for the first time and rolled over to see 5:55 I couldn't believe it.

I happily crawled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. I know 5:55 is early but is sure beats a 2:00am bathroom break. I crawled back into bed and when Adam woke up at 6:30 I told him what a great night's sleep I had. Almost 8 straight hours. Now I didn't jump out of bed, but I did say a prayer of thanks and got out by 7.

I did my morning walk on the treadmill and headed to the shower. In the shower I found myself focusing on feelings of tiredness and being overwhelmed again. I twice reminded myself that I had a great night sleep and I should feel great but I still struggled with this feeling. I was balancing that with knowing I needed to grocery shop and get things done before going to work but it still felt heavier than usual.

Getting dressed I did a mental/emotional check in and realized it had been a few days since I had sat down intentionally to do my devotions and set aside time to listen. As I sit here in my comfy chair, mug in hand of course I am amazed at what a difference it makes in my life to recognize and make time for the rhythms that I need. Now I know I am type A and I don't mean to schedule every minute of my life but there are a few "should be non-negotiables" that when I stray from cause problems.

They are:
- quiet time and devotions- this has looked different for me in various seasons of my life but before going to Israel I had prayed for a hunger for reading the Bible and God placed a new sense of wonder and anticipation in my heart as I read. It's difficult to cultivate this without taking the time to read the Bible! Also I am a person who needs a Bible Study. Beth Moore studies have been some of my favorites and as I am working through her Daniel study I recognize that I am to be growing in my faith and ability to listen to God.

- exercise- used to be running now at 32.5 weeks pregnant it's fast walking and prenatal yoga :). Over the years people have commented to me about running and not understanding why or how I do it consistently. It is not out of a virtuous place let me tell you, I would go crazy without it. Case in point, if I ever seem stir crazy or anxious at home Adam looks at me and kindly asks if I have run today. That's my cue to do a self check and put on the running shoes. Running itself isn't magical. But for me it is a place where I can either work through thoughts or leave them in my driveway as I hit the road. It is also a time for me to open my eyes and look around, being reminded it isn't all about me!

- time with Adam- As I said in an earlier post besides time with God, Adam is my grounding person. He is a good listener and has an uncanny ability to balance me out and make me laugh when I am too serious. If we have been running around too much with activities and commitments both of us feel disconnected.  We work to maintain a good balance of us and other things. I know this will look different after we become parents but I am fiercely committed to it looking different but not getting forgotten or devalued.

- time with family and friends- I am soo blessed to have awesome family and friends who fill my cup constantly and also thankfully allow me into their lives as well. Whether it is over a coffee cup at Biggby, the phone or a meal out I need these times to be loved and love. God has taught me over the years that although my profession as a counselor means I listen and help clients, I also need to share and let people into my life. It has been a humbling learning experience but thankfully He has provided me with amazing people to "let in."

After processing this I find myself saying, "Meg why do you let yourself get out of these life giving rhythms?" And I think part of the answer is that when things seem busy I have a tendency to shrink my perspective and focus on the task things of life and base a day on what I got done etc.

So in true unconventional year fashion I am going to use this processing to remind myself to live in moments and keep my gaze wide so that I can see when I am relying on my own strength and hopefully get back on track quicker next time.

Headed out to grocery shop. Should be a great time to practice...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Babymoon, a success!

Before Adam and I embarked on this last trip before baby arrival we had a few goals for using our time. They included: connecting with one another outside of our craziness at home, baby/maternity shopping, seeing and experiencing the city, time with friends, good food and RESTING. 

I am pleased to say we accomplished them all!

Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe. I ordered a berry fizz and it was delicious. Brunch hit the spot for both of us. I had eggs and toast and Adam got strawberry french toast. YUM!

For our "night out" we went to a steak house for dinner and the to the play To Master the Art. It was the story of Julia Child and her husband in France. Adam had found the tickets and we had a great time. 

Outside the Shedd Aquarium. We both hadn't been there since we were kids so it was fun to explore together and see all the animals. 

One of the highlights was meeting friends to go out on the town. They planned and took us to the Signature Room in the John Hancock building and then to Lux Bar for a great dinner. This pic is from the 96th floor overlooking Chicago. It was BEAUTIFUL and we couldn't have gotten a better table. THANKS K and C for a great time!!

We did fit in some shopping as well. Adam was a real trooper and I purchased some maternity clothes and a hospital bag. A HOSPITAL BAG! It is crazy to think that I will be packing that soon in anticipation of our little one's arrival in about 8 weeks. 

As we wave goodbye to Chicago it seems like an appropriate ending to a chapter. Not to the end of adventures, as we spent a lot of time on our trip talking about adventures as a family of 3 and our (hopeful) plans for next year. :)

But an end to the Giroux family of 2. 

It's been a great 7.5 years, I can't wait to see what the next one brings!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week in Review

Ok, I know that I have been posting about my love for all things fall. But for the week in review I had to use a picture of these zinnias my mom brought me the other day. They make me happy every time I walk through the door and are a reminder of the summer that we had. 

Week in Review:

Monday, I had a fun time picking out glasses for my mom in the am and ended the day by getting a pedicure with one of my favs. Purple toenails are a great pick me up. And I can still see my toes, thank you very much!

Work was humbling this week. I felt very privileged that my clients let me into their stories and I get to be part of their healing and journey toward hope. I ended each work day thanking God for strength and words. 

Coffee Wed night with P. Good conversation and a reminder of how important people are to me. I get energized by my relationships and am so fortunate for the people in my life. 

Thank goodness I was energized when I left coffee because I headed home to pack for our long weekend in Chicago. This always seems to happen that I have the best of intentions to pack days in advance but always end up hauling out the suitcase the night (9:30pm) before we have to leave early in the morning. Olive is a good packing companion and with my somewhat limited maternity wardrobe it wasn't too hard to throw all things cute into the suitcase and then try to zip it up. 

Thursday we arrived in Chicago and after a 2 hour nap in the hotel took the city by storm. Well, almost 8 months pregnant by storm, but we were still able to do a little shopping and enjoyed time together exploring. 

Tonight it's dinner with close friends...what a great way to end the week!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time on the Trail

Me and my jog/walking buddy Olive post walk

Just when I was getting excited for fall weather we get two high 80's days in a row. Nevertheless, I was determined to get out and jog/walk this morning because we are going out of town this weekend which means great food and no walking. 

I loaded us up in the car and drove to the trail a few minutes from our house. As I went to grab my Iphone I realized I had forgotten my headphones. I didn't think much of it but was a little annoyed I wasn't going to be able to listen to pandora on my walk. To get to the trail we have to walk over this stone path and as I made my way over the rocks I was suddenly reminded of the sermon at church on Sunday. Our pastor is doing a year long series based on the book, Naked Spirituality by Brian McLaren. 

Sunday's sermon was around the word here and we were challenged to pray this prayer and go on a walk to connect with nature. 

Here I am.
Here You are. 
Here we are together.

The message was about recognizing that God is with us in this place wherever we are and whether we recognize it or not. As I bent down to pick up my rock for the walk I was thankful for the pause and reminder that I could just go for a walk, my plan, or I could acknowledge God's presence with me and open my eyes to what that meant for the day. 

I didn't have any huge revelations on the walk but I did have a less hurried and distracted sense as I walked. Instead of concentrating on efficiency I looked around me and instead of worrying about the day I found my thoughts drifting to family and things important to my heart. 

At the end of the walk Olive was happy to be back to the car. As I climbed in and saw my Iphone sitting in the passenger seat I was thankful for the times that my plan gets waylaid for a better one.

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Fall!

Yay! I love fall. A close friend told me that since fall is my favorite season it means that I: thrive with structure and routine (check) and like predictability (check again). I would also add that I love fall food and the traditions behind them. Case in point, I stopped on the way home from coffee today to pick up Robinette's pumpkin spice doughnuts and apple cider. 
Nothing says fall better than pumpkin flavored food and hot apple cider.

Also, nothing says pregnant momma like food cravings and counting down the weeks. We are just under 10 weeks and I have a new sense of anticipation as this is the same amount of time that I am taking off work after the birth of our baby. 

I have loved pregnancy and the anticipation of growing our family, but am also starting to feel more "pregnancy symptoms." I now roll, literally, out of bed each morning as sitting up is not working anymore.  Putting on socks has become somewhat of an athletic endeavor as I try to bend over without feeling nauseous or falling over, and I sound like I am constantly climbing stairs when talking due to shortness of breath. 

To balance out these negative experiences our little peanut consistently reminds me that s/he is there with jabs and kicks rivaling a pro soccer team, all at once. I mentioned to my mom I was a little concerned about the activity level of our little one and she just started laughing and reminded me that I don't tend to sit still well. That's true, but I always pictured our Baby G as chill. I might need to start rethinking my picture or hope that s/he takes a little more after Adam. :)