Thursday, July 19, 2012

looking forward...

i've come to a conclusion over the past few days:
     moving sucks.

not the moving part, actually. though i would in no way say i enjoy packing, it really isn't all that bad. we've accumulated a lot of stuff in 8 1/2 years of marriage (especially since the kids entered the picture) and packing gives us the chance to get rid of a bunch of stuff we don't need.

even the 800 mile drive with me most likely alone in the car with both kids for most of the trip isn't stressing me out that much. i don't mind long drives--and while it stinks that nathan will be in the moving truck instead of with me, it does mean that i get to control the music!

i don't even mind the unpacking once we get up there. i like rearranging furniture, and it will be fun figuring out just where to put everything in our new home (one i haven't even set foot in, by the way. that seems to be a bit of a trend for my family...but i digress).

so i guess it isn't the moving i don't like.
     it's the leaving.

i know, in the grand scheme of things, that 4-6 years isn't that long. when we're looking back when this chapter of our lives is over, i'm sure we'll talk about how quickly it passed. from where we are today, though,
looking forward,
it seems like a long, long time.

in a world where family is becoming an old fashioned concept, i guess my family is considered old fashioned. we are together a lot and for the most part we would all rather hang out together than hang out with friends. when i think about being gone the next five years, my mind can't help but linger on how many family get togethers we're going to miss.

what really got me, though, was saturday. my baby sister got married, which i actually made it through without a tear. the hard part came at the end: she left on her honeymoon, a cruise she won't be back from until after we leave for toledo on friday.

my own wedding was the last time i saw my brother, so though it is illogical and a bit paranoid, a tiny voice in the back of my head has been bringing up that very fact, telling me that saying bye at her wedding is a bad thing, that it means something is going to happen.
     let me tell you, sometimes those small voices you hear say some really crummy things.

i broke down monday while i was packing up the kids' rooms. it was like everything hit me at once and the emotions had to go somewhere.
     in this case, that meant tears and other fluids common to crying all over nathan's shirt...

i've been fine since then (though i'm sure won't be the case tomorrow when we say bye and pull out), but it put some things on my mind.
so, i'll end this post (which, by the way, will be the last one until we get settled and have internet access again) with what i wanted to say to my baby sister...

sarah,
i am so excited for you--a beautiful wedding with a gorgeous bride and a pretty great groom; a wonderful home with an amazing view to go home to; a brand new career you'll be great at; an amazing family to become a part of. it makes my heart smile to see all the ways you are being blessed and to imagine what blessing are in store for you.

at the same time, though, i can't help but feel like i'm abandoning you. as your big sister, especially since michael's gone, i feel like i should be protecting you (even though nathan reminded me that that's seth's job now) and it seems like that is going to be hard to do from 800 miles away.

you have all these amazing new beginnings ahead of you, but as amazing as they will be, they will also be hard. i'll let you in on a little secret: people say the early years of a marriage are the "honeymoon years," but they really shouldn't say that. it gives newlyweds the idea that everything will be amazing and fresh and new like the actual honeymoon was...and that just isn't the case.

the first few years are when you have to get used to all those quirks that seemed so cute and endearing in small doses but that will threaten to drive you insane! all of a sudden there is this other person right there every time you turn around, somebody who is stealing the covers, eating the last piece of bacon, and putting things back in the wrong spot.

through it all, though, remember that you are in this for the long haul. this is the guy you chose to spend your life with. when things get tough don't look back--
look forward to when you are both old and gray, sitting out on the porch together. 
look forward to becoming grandparents together, seeing the world go on through your family.
look forward to seeing your own children walk down the aisle while the two of you smile and cry together.
look forward to life, not backward to what used to be.

remember that God is the One who brought you two together, and though His plans may seem crazy at times, He always knows what He's doing and will bless you.

i know this whole teaching thing still doesn't seem real to you. to be honest, it won't seem real even when you go in for that week before classes start and hear all the administrators talk. it's not going to seem real until you are standing in front of that room full of students who are expecting you to have all the answers...and to be able to teach them algebra, of all things!

know, though, that you can do this. you know your stuff, and you are going to be an incredible teacher. don't sink into a rut because other teachers are telling you how it "should" be done--you will develop your own style, your own methods of dealing with discipline, your own way of getting through to the kids. do your best, but realize that you can't save every kid who walks through your door. all you can do is love on them and show them that you care. don't get too stressed out by the politics that are a part of teaching. do what you know you need to, and all that stuff will take care of itself. also, it's best not to take a page from pop and my handbook on teaching: don't wait on all that ugly paperwork (not that you would) because it isn't much fun to do on the last day!

if i have to be so far away, i'm glad tiffany is going to be right down the road from you. from what i've seen she'll make a wonderful second big sister. i feel better knowing she'll be there to take care of you. know, though, that i'm always just a phone call, text, or email away, any time.

i love you, kiddo.
~sissy 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your posts...this one is exceptional, beautiful and touching Mandy...you put those emotions into words so well, I could feel them! Sarah is already blessed to have you as her big sissy! Liz

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~Mandy