a letter to shawn

Dear Shawn,

Remember your first birthday we spent together? Well. Not your first birthday. I wasn’t there for that. The first birthday you had after we’d met each other?

I went to the mall and searched for probably two hours to find you the perfect gift. Of course I told myself that it was only because you were such a great friend, but I was clearly lying to said self. I ended up finding a journal to give to you. It’s actually now the journal I use to write our grocery lists, but I didn’t know at the time you weren’t much of a journal-er.

Besides, it has some weird chinese lettering on the front. I’m sorry I was such a bad gift giver, but let’s be honest. It’s not easy to find a birthday gift that says, “Hey you. We’re good friends. But that’s all, because I have a boyfriend. I’m not romantically interested in you in the least, let’s just make that clear right here and now. But I do respect you, appreciate you, and have a lot of fun with you. And maybe someday we’ll get married, have two really cute boys, and move to Texas. But for now, we are Just. Friends.

That’s a lot to ask out of one gift, and frankly I think the chinese journal did a pretty bang up job at conveying my message.

So the evening of your birthday, some mutual friends of ours told me that they were throwing you a surprise party and that it would be MY job to bring you back to the dorm for it. You were in charge of organizing a Riley Armstrong concert that night, which was a huge success, and the party was scheduled for afterwards.

Our friends forgot to account for your tireless work ethic, though. I asked if you wanted to hang out after the concert and you said, “Sure, but I have to clean up first.” I told you it was no problem, that I’d gladly wait. So I waited in the bleachers of the gym while you cleaned.

Shawn, you pushed that stupid broom back and forth over the gym floor for like an hour.  I told you they had janitors for just that purpose, and the gym floor was plenty clean. I told you it was your birthday and you deserved to just let it go. I told you the floor looked great to me and didn’t need any further cleaning. I kept hopping up to ask you if I could help and you kept saying, “No, I got it. Just sit and relax.”

Sure. Sit and relax while we’re over an hour late for your surprise party. I finally tracked down a couple friends of yours, told them what was going on and begged them to help you finish up your stinkin’ sweeping so we could go. I think I told you there was some kind of RA emergency in the dorm that I needed your help with. I’m not a very good liar so you probably didn’t believe me, but I appreciate you pretending.

You hate surprise parties – especially ones thrown in your honor. I can’t lie – that’s part of what made it so fun to watch your reaction when you realized that you were walking in on your own party.

The rest of the party was pretty much a blur, but I vaguely remember giving you that journal. What I remember clearly though, was the hug afterwards. I was sitting next to you with both of our butts kind of propped up on the back of a dorm lobby couch. You reached one arm out towards me, I reached one arm out towards you, and we side-hugged.

Most. Awkward. Hug. Ever.

In our over six months of friendship, we’d likely never really touched. I mean, beyond you kicking the back of chair incessantly in Marriage & Family class or trying to fit something odd into my ear without me noticing. It was only days after that hug that I acknowledged my feelings for you to God and only a short time after that when I broke up with my boyfriend.

I think that hug sparked something in both of us, the awkwardness in it told us there was something more than either of us realized in our friendship.

Happy Birthday, Shawn. And thank you for hugging me. I still respect your tireless work ethic and my heart still skips when we hug. I’m so grateful for you and your life, and can’t thank you enough for choosing to spend it with me. I love you, and want to wish you an amazingly Happy Birthday, sweetheart.

Love,

Your Jenny

frivolous friday

Are you ready for more old school posts from my pregnancy with J. Bug? Here we go!

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6/26/08

“So How’re You Feeling?”…

I seem to be getting that question quite a bit lately (and Shawn’s getting the corresponding, “How’s Jen feeling?”). I love that people are so thoughtful in asking, but I realized that I don’t really have that interesting of an answer. A few weeks ago, I could talk about morning sickness, or fatigue, or concerns, or a myraid of other things.

Right now, my best answer is, “I’m feeling pretty good.”Don’t get me wrong, I’m not loving the heat, have had a bit of heartburn, and have had some weird ligament pains, but overall…I’m feeling pretty great! In large part, nausea and even extreme fatigue seem to be a thing of the past. It looks like I’m finally into the second trimester honeymoon!I’m feeling the baby moving more and more, which is such a great reminder as to why I’m willingly putting my body through all this crazy stuff. Feeling a baby moving inside of me is one of the weirdest, most wonderful feelings in the world. Shawn’s not felt a kick yet, but he did feel what was probably the baby’s head or rump brushing back and forth on the side of my belly.

I’m still adjusting to my changing body and the new challenges those changes bring. Getting up from the couch or the floor used to done without thought, and now takes quite a bit of effort! I’m finding that squatting is harder, and this belly is just…well, it’s in my way! I actually found that tying my shoelace was work the other day, and felt so typically pregnant!! Sometimes I feel ginormous and am surprised that I don’t actually look as big as I feel. At other times, I forget about my growing my belly and run it into things like…oh, the bathroom stall. = )

Luckily, nobody’s been around to see me look like an idiot and then apologize to our son, but it makes me feel goofy nonetheless.

Shawn and I are headed to camp on Sunday! I’m really excited, this is probably my last chance to go for a couple of years, and is also “my girls'” last year of Jr. High camp. I love camp, I’ve always loved camp, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you think of it, I’d also appreciate your prayers.

It’s going to be hot, and while I’m grateful that our sleeping quarters are air conditioned, I know how easily I get uncomfortable right now in the heat. I also know that I just won’t be able to be as active as I have been in the past (no rock climbing wall and zip line for me), and I’ll require more sleep than I usually do. I’m nervous about making it through the week with my sanity and relative calm in tact. We always come back exhausted from camp, but I really can’t afford to exhaust myself this time. Also, I haven’t let myself dwell on this, but if we have some sort of emergency, we’re not very close to a hospital, and are certainly very far away from our OB. Even with all that stuff in mind, I’m still really, really excited for camp this year.I think that’s really about it for baby updates at the moment. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

7/07/08

22 Weeks 1 Day…

Well, we’re home from camp…relatively unscathed! I was glad that I went to camp, but I have to admit that I’m even more glad to be back. I knew being pregnant at camp would be different, but I’m not sure that I realized how much a toll it would take on me physically. Shawn’s likewise pretty exhausted, but we’re limping through this week of recovery together. 🙂

By the end of the week, the infection I had thankfully cleared up (although Shawn thinks he might’ve gotten another sinus infection, and I’m battling what might be some kind of stomach virus…ugh!), so I’m really grateful to be done with antibiotics. I know the Dr. says they’re safe, but I feel really, really, REALLY unsure about being on medication so often.

On a lighter note, I feel the need to share Shawn’s first foot in his mouth pregnancy experience. First of all, please know that I have one amazing husband. He’s incredibly sweet and has made it absolutely clear that he still loves me and is attracted to me, and that he loves what my body is doing in holding our child. That being said….

The toilet in our master bathroom broke right before we left for camp, so right when we got back, we went on a toilet search. We found a great deal on a toilet at Lowe’s. It was originally about $280, on sale for $60 (We ended up not being able to get it, which is a long, frustrating story about the incompetency of Lowe’s. Feel free to ask Shawn, I’m sure he’d love to vent about it!). The toilet was wider than the usual toilet with an “ultra comfort” seat. We were talking to the manager, trying to figure out how to get the toilet, and he looked at us a little strangely. “Do you realize that this toilet is extra wide?” Shawn answered, “Yeah, we have room for it in the bathroom, that’s not a big problem.” The manager said tactfully, “I mean, this is a toilet designed for handicapped or overweight people, and I’m not sure that it’d be the best fit for you guys.”

To which Shawn replied….”Well, (pointing to me) she IS pregnant.”

Thankfully, I’m well aware that Shawn doesn’t actually think I’m overweight or handicapped, even pregnant, I was just surprised!

park pictures part deuce

Where was I? Oh, that’s right – just showing you some photos of my favorite little boys in the whole world enjoying their afternoon in the park. 

Sometimes the simple act of walking quickly makes him smile like that. Have I mentioned how much I love being a Mom?

Poor boy fell in some leafless bushes and got a little scratched up. That still doesn’t stop him from smiling!

Nothing makes me feel more like I’m a Mom to boys then when I spend twenty minutes stacking  rocks…

…and jumping in leaves

When I asked him what we should say instead of cheese, he said “macaroni pizza!” Then we both giggled and I took the photo – 

Sweet Bug was so proud of himself for picking up this stick that he insisted I take a photo of him. 

And as a pretty appropriate end to our park fun, Bug promptly fell off the tire swing moments after I snapped this photo. The ensuing crying was so dramatic, I scooped up both boys and headed straight home before someone assumed he was dying and called 911. Yes. He’s really that loud.

It was okay though – we picked up rocks, we threw mulch, we held up sticks, we stacked rocks, we jumped in leaves, and we dove head first into bushes. Pretty much, we enjoyed all the fun our neighborhood park had to offer!

park pictures!

A couple of weeks ago, Shawn was in Florida for a ministry conference. Being at home by myself with the boys isn’t as huge of a deal as they’re getting older, but I have found it’s incredibly helpful to plan at least one “out of the house” activity each day.

I think we all of benefit from a little change of scenery, and the boys enjoy being able to burn off some of their boundless energy. Because I didn’t want Shawn to feel like he was missing out on all of our fun, I also took tons of photos to document our adventures. Apparently I was especially picture happy on the afternoon we spent at the park, because this post happens to be part one of two park pictures posts.

I know, I’m sorry. But look at that face – wouldn’t you want eight thousand photos of that, too?

When we tell Bug to smile for a picture, this is the face we’ve been getting lately. It’s pretty stinkin’ cute AND it’s much better than the “look of death” we got previously:

Bear really enjoyed picking up rocks at the park. We went down the slide a couple of times and did a little bit of climbing, but clearly…picking up rocks is where it’s at!

…although picking up sticks comes in a very close second

I know it’s hard to believe judging by the way my boys are dressed, but I did indeed take these photos in February. One of the nice things about Texas weather is that we don’t worry about going stir crazy in the winter. Throw on a sweater and jeans, take ’em outside, and enjoy the beautiful February sunshine!