Friday, April 30, 2010

That Miserable Couple

Today is the day- it's moving day! This evening we will be loading up a uhaul and making the long 1-mile trek to the Medill- with the help of some awesome friends (shout out to you all!!), and with the sustaining power of pizza and beer. That's essential.

This past week Mark and I made a packing game plan. Essentially it was- come home from work, pack non-stop, cook or order take out for dinner, and pack some more. We kinda stuck to the schedule. We made tons o' progress on Monday- Mark cooked the Whipple's Last Supper while I went for a run (it was fantastico!). Tuesday we became easily distracted- partly because of my insanely intense wave of hunger that gave me tunnel vision for Indian takeout. We took a packing break to watch Lost, but then realized it was a re-run. Instead of turning off the tv to pack, we got hooked on Biggest Loser/Glee. Needless to say, Tuesday was not our most productive packing day ever. Wednesday, on the other hand, we took care of business! Some friends came over and helped us pack/eat Thai food. Yada yada, we finished packing on Wednesday night. Yep, you heard it- two days before moving day, we were DONE packing! Yeah, the New DeLews freaking rock.

So last night, Mark and I went for a run and then went out to a nice dinner. We had a groupon (we love groupons!) for a chic new restaurant in our neighborhood. You know, one of those places where the tables are real close to each other, so you have to try really hard not to hear the surrounding conversations? We were having a grand ol' time until we started overhearing the couple next to us. This couple was in their early-40s, hopefully not married, and horribly immature. Tidbits of what we heard- Lady: "You're a horrible date! I can't believe you're so awful. You're walking home tonight!", Guy: "Whatever. I don't even care..." Later in the evening, slightly yelling Lady:"I want dessert! I lost 15 pounds so I can eat whatever I want!" Guy: "Fine! Load up on sugar for all I care. I do NOT want dessert! I'm not eating any of that crap!" And the night continued to get worse and worse. They were absolutely miserable. I wanted to tell them to break up, but Mark held me back.

All that to say, the New DeLews made some important promises to each other last night- we will N-E-V-E-R become like that miserable couple. EVER. Now I'm not pretending that we don't have petty fights. Because we do. (thanks to my natural inclination to be petty). But in the midst of everything, we have a foundation of deep respect for each other- and usually that shapes the ways we argue. Disagreeing is inevitable, but we're learning that the way we treat each other during those disagreements is what's important. So, we promise to never be like that miserable couple- we made that vow on our wedding day, and we'll continue to uphold it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Joys of Moving

It's been a slightly stressful few weeks because the New DeLews are preparing to move apartments! Yes, the time has come to say goodbye to the Whipple- our lovely first year of marriage apartment located 0.6 miles from the El with drafty windows (that's a 15 minute walk in below zero hellish weather). At some point I'll write an Ode to the Whipple, but right now I'm so eager to live a measly 0.18 miles from the El- yes people, the Medill is drastically closer! For anyone who has moved before, you know that with moving comes a bit of stress. The past 2 weekends we have spent a good amount of time painting the Medill, which led to some strong marital discussions, I mean, agreements regarding the accent color of our bedroom wall. We took a long trip to Ikea during rush hour to find the perfect curtain that will hide the faux brick wall. And yet, we haven't really begun to pack. This will be the first time we pack up our stuff together as a married couple. It's kind of exciting, kind of unnerving. Why, you ask? Well as in many things in the New DeLews' marriage, Mark and I have different styles of packing. I'm talking about very different styles.

Emily's Packing Style Example A: Last night at like 10:30pm I wisely tried to start packing by rustling through a large bin that I have strategically placed next to my dresser. This bin contains all those things that I desperately need- old hair clips, random pieces of fabric that I used to wear in my wannabe-hippie stage (wait, I'm still in that stage!), 4 pairs of scratched sunglasses, and a sundry of malaria and typhoid pills. Like I said, I need these things. As I was sitting on the hardwood floor, digging through this bin, I realized that I hadn't used anything in this bin since my last move- a year ago. But what do you do? I haven't used the turquoise hair flower for 3 years and I had completely forgotten about it, but now that I rediscovered it, I may want some hair flair this summer. Much to Mark's dismay, back into the bin it went.

Mark's Packing Style Example A: Generally Mark keeps his dresser area relatively neat. As he likes to say 'it's easier and better to maintain a general sense of organization and neatness'. So already, Mark is one step ahead of me- he doesn't have a strategically placed bin! He's also been adamant about not buying anything over the past few weeks. Like when we were at Target, 'I don't want to buy anymore ziploc sandwich bags. I don't want to pack them.' So Mark's style is to decrease any extra stuff in order to ease our moving work load. Thus the reason he told me to throw out the hair flower.

All this to say, I'm starting to realize that we'll need an extra dose of grace with each other over the next few weeks. The truth is, we're having such a fun time getting ready to move and we like any excuse to hang out with each other. But we've got to make the plunge into this thing called packing, and decide to appreciate and learn from our differences. And that, my friends, is one of the coolest things about being married!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Holiday Feast

I'm not the biggest fan of holiday meals. I know, I know, everyone can get all riled up and angry at me for this, but it's true. The big slabs of meat, all the bones, the starches, and so many pies. I really appreciate the symbolism of holiday meals, people together, celebrating, etc.. But the food itself, meh. I think it's just too much at one time.

Even though I don't necessarily like eating these huge holiday meals, I really enjoy any excuse to cook a lot of food. So when we found out that some of our dear college friends were coming to Chicago for Easter weekend, the New DeLews made plans for the Whipple's biggest feast yet! With a total of 15 hungry eaters and only one oven, we knew that a cooking strategy was of utmost importance. After our Easter service (and after a very necessary coffee-stop) the New DeLews and Adam & E put on our aprons, sat down in the Whipple, discussed the 'master plan', and did a little 'Go Easter' team cheer. Yeah, sounds lame, but it was cool. Believe me.

The menu:
For appetizers (because dinner is never ready when we think it will be)

-Sun-dried tomato stuffed mushrooms
-vegetable slices with thai peanut dip
-broiled brie and apple slices on a baguette

Main course (yup, we're talking about 13 pounds of meat, people!)

-leg of lamb with feta and spinach stuffing
-full chicken with lemon curd topping
-rosemary roasted potatoes
-orange arugula salad

Dessert (most important)

And let me tell you, after 5 hours 0f cooking and 6 bottles of wine, we had 15 people sitting at our dining room table (which we had put 3 leaves in and moved into the living room), laughing, chatting, and enjoying wonderful company with each other. It was a such a sweet time. So this Easter wasn't just a typical holiday meal for me, I felt like we were actually practicing resurrection- although we remember the darkness of the Good Friday, because of Easter Sunday we are able to celebrate together the life that God has given us. Because of Sunday, we have hope. And it is so right to celebrate that hope with our community.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life Stages

All right, I'm just going to admit it. I'm going to admit one of my hidden desires that creeped up on me last fall. So here goes- a couple of months ago, I may have wanted a baby...
Yes, I know, at that point Mark and I had been married for only 6 months. And yes, I know, there are plenty of things that Mark and I want to do before we carry diapers in my purse rather than wine openers (because you must always be prepared!). And yes, I'm still a feminist. Nevertheless, the baby desire was present and strangely strong. And yet I couldn't quite figure out why. What had happened to me?

My diagnosis? I think that I was feeling more comfortable in my married skin and so I was looking for the next exciting life stage. Now this is difficult for me to admit, primarily because it reveals that I'm all talk. I love to talk about finding beauty in the mundane and being fully present in my context, but really, when push comes to shove ... I just want excitement. And strangely enough, the excitement of having a baby seemed like the next logical step to me. And of course, Mark thoroughly disagreed.

Of course, this baby-desire would wax and wane throughout the past few months, but it came to a halting stop about 2 weeks ago. Mark and I spent a long weekend in my glorious homeland- Northern California. We had a wonderful time with my family, being around when my sister got engaged (way to go, Isaac!), wedding dress shopping, and last but not at all least, hanging out with the cutest nieces and nephew in the world (Exhibit A). And may I say, Uncle Mark and Auntie Em were quite a hit with the kiddos this weekend. These dear kids are such a joy!

But as quickly as that 'baby-desire/discontent with my life stage' came, it left. Mark was prepared for me to be extra baby-desirous after spending time in California. And although my desire to eventually have children deepened, I was reminded of how special this time of our lives is, and that I shouldn't wish it away. Having the freedom to give our time to others, having tons of people over for dinner, enjoying the beauty of our mundane lives, these are wonderful things that I should cherish. With each stage of life comes excitement and banality. But we are called to be content in the midst of it all, and to live each stage to its fullest. And I believe that the New DeLews have a lot more to learn and enjoy in this stage of life.