quinta-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2012

It's so lame to begin by saying it's been a long time since my last (and only) post because it's obvious and, well, lame. However, it has been a long time since my last (and only) post.... I'll confess that I thought that I'd be a natural blogger--bursting with clever thoughts and always over-analyzing everything as I am and all. But, for a while, the biggest thing that I wanted to talk about--trying to get pregnant--was a secret and, therefore, off the table. And, all the other stuff, like planning for our big summer vacation and starting a new school year got lost in the shuffle of day-to-day living. Not to mention, it had been such a long time since my last (and only) blog post...

But, the only way to get better at something, especially if you've only tried once, is to try again. Practice makes... well, let's just focus on writing post #2 before we think about what practice will make.

Instead of going for fantastic writing in this one, I'm going to focus on information: lots of information, hopefully organized enough to make sense to the one or (possibly) two of you who might read it with just a bit of color commentary thrown in.

So, what's going on in our lives?
1) We did manage to get pregnant. Hooray for us! Our baby boy is due on April 9th. It took us about six months of trying to get pregnant before we succeeded; we were just at the tipping point where the books and webpages suggest seeking help from a doctor. The primary worry was my age--I'm 35--which in the pregnancy universe is officially over-the-hill. My husband and I were both truly thankful that it didn't come quite to that and, after the initial what-if-it-doesn't-work-out fear passed, we both feel like God probably had/has the timing just right. (As an aside, we know and love several people who have had to deal with the frustrations of fertility issues, and we feel like we do not understand the pain and hardship that that must cause. We can only say, 'We love you!' and offer our prayerful support.)

2) Our current problem is space. We either need to find a new apartment/condo/house that we can afford (something nearly impossible in Rio's current housing market) or we need to seriously re-organize our current living situation. This second option (which is looking to be the more likely one as the time of the baby's arrival ticks closer) has been the source of some debate between my husband and myself (and, I'm afraid, some of my husband's dear kin). I imagine that the debating will continue throughout the next few weeks, but I have some pretty good ideas (thanks to pinterest). I will try to keep people informed of any breakthroughs in this area in the weeks ahead. After all, redecorating can be fun, right?

3) I'm on vacation from work for the 'summer' holidays. We were supposed to have a three-week break to accommodate Christmas and the New Year, but the Teacher's Union of Rio de Janeiro managed to lobby for a state law mandating that all schools be closed for the entire month of January. And, like magic, the three-week holiday became a five-week holiday which wasn't/isn't a bad thing, though it certainly was a pain to re-schedule the calendar for the 2nd semester. And, our 'winter' holiday is now much shorter. The good news for me is that I get plenty of time to rest and possibly redecorate my apartment. The bad news is that it is summertime in Rio de Janeiro meaning it is too hot to do much more than sit in front of the air conditioner; I'm six, going-on-seven, months pregnant and so don't have all of the freedom of mobility and/or comfort that I might wish for; and my husband doesn't have any vacation time right now. So, I guess there has never been a better time for me to try blogging again.

4) We are in mercenary mode when it comes to baby gifts. Baby things in Rio are generally four- five times the cost of baby things in the United States. So, if you know us and love us (even a little), feel free to check out our baby registry on Amazon.com. Right now, the designated shipping address is to a friend and colleague of mine from school who will be traveling back to Rio de Janeiro at the end of the third week in January--she's getting an extended time with family and friends back home and, as she's in Washington State, probably doesn't feel the need to spend her vacation sitting in front of her air conditioner. Thank you, Katherine, again, for your willingness to lug an extra bag this way. In order to find us on amazon, you can type in my name (maiden) or my husband's (good luck) in the registry section, not the 'wish list' section.

5) My visa process for Brazil finally appears to be nearing its end. We received notification early in December that I've been 'approved' for my spouse visa. However, when we dropped by the Federal Police,  they presented us with a list of (surprise) more documents to get and (no real surprise) more fees to pay. Once we have this paperwork together (along with the receipts of payment), we'll go back to a scheduled meeting, and, HOPEFULLY, that will be that. Please pray for us as we try to get this wrapped up within the next two weeks.

And there you have it. A random update on the ins-and-outs of our lives right now.

I hope that you had a blessed and merry Christmas, and that you're looking forward to 2013.

sexta-feira, 6 de abril de 2012

Good Friday/Sexta-Feira Santa

There are two things that make this day good. I should, of course, dedicate the bulk of my comments towards the ultimate good thing which is the annual commemoration of the actual day when Jesus Christ bore the iniquities of the world upon the cross, defeating death, and bringing freedom from sin to all. Oh holy, miraculous thing! However, I'd rather talk about what must be viewed (in light of the first good thing) as a much secondary good thing about Good Friday--a day off work.

T.S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month." This sentiment, while possibly true for his purposes, proves that he was never a high school teacher. For most educators, March is the cruelest month: no holidays, far from the beginning, far from the ending, illnesses that accompany weather changes, and an overall weariness. Students whine and drag their feet while teachers drag their feet and entertain acts of desperation in their day dreams. 

Then, a corner is turned, and April arrives. With April comes the hope of resurrection --not only the blessed promise of a resurrected Savior that accompanies Easter but also a resurrection of hope in the day-to-day lives of teachers and students everywhere. Finally, there is a day of rest! And maybe more if your school district is clever with its calendar. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel--the long school year--can be glimpsed, and footsteps quicken. In a month, both students and teachers will be running towards that end, but, for now, the pace is once again upbeat and light. No wonder we celebrate this season with images of birth and infancy in secular culture (eggs, bunnies, etc.)--life is renewed.

This is what I anticipate as I indulgently lounge on my sofa in my pajamas on this Good Friday at mid-day--a renewal of life. Yes, I have a stack of papers to grade sitting in my school bag casually tossed in its usual spot, but they will most definitely be waiting until Monday. Today, I will rest and relax and be grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for what you did for my soul on the cross (I know that I don't deserve it, could never earn it, and can only respond to it with love and submission)! And, thank you, God, for creating a world full of cycles, so that we can always find new hope in the next light at the end of the next tunnel.

Have a blessed, blessed Good Friday! Feliz Pascoa!

"Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." -Psalm 30:5b (NIV)