Friday, December 14, 2012

Everyday Life

It's a quiet day for me and I thought that I would take the chance to write here a few thoughts (updates, rambles, what have you).  I don't have anywhere to go till this evening and I am in my comfy clothes, working on the Christmas decorations.  Actually right now I'm typing a blog post and eating leftover soup, but you get the idea.

General life first...God has been good to us.  We have a lovely little place to live, are close to both our families, and in general are so blessed.  Joe has no shortage of work, and I am enjoying my part-time job as strings teacher at a small Christian school.   I like making food and Joe likes eating it (he's so easy to please--doesn't mind eating soup half the time), and we both like chocolate and ice cream and spending time together.

Tonight we are going up to Ellerslie for Michael and David's Advanced graduation.  I'm really looking forward to it (rush hour traffic notwithstanding).  It's a busy time--Sarah graduates from the Ellerslie Basic program on Sunday, and Bold Reflection has 3 performances within a week.  Joe and I are still participating in that interesting and entertaining group and we really have enjoyed it.  

My mom is an amazing thrift store shopper--she found a cute little Nativity set and a tree skirt for us. Christmas decorating our own place has been great, and I think it helps it to feel more like home.  We went to the mountains to cut a tree last Saturday and it's been so fun to decorate it and sit together by Christmas-light.  (Pictures on the tree coming once I get it fully decorated, hopefully.)

Today, when I finish the Christmas decorations, I am hoping for time to sit down and crochet and listen to Messiah.  My fingers have been itching to do some creating again, so I brought my thread crochet stuff over from my family's place yesterday and have been looking up all kinds of patterns (primarily of snowflakes).  I am looking forward to it.
I love Christmastime and want to make the most of it, not just let it fly by.  I have a couple of Christmas books out and it's good to take little dips into them here and there.  My favorite is a little volume of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas sermons.  This quote caught my attention the other day:

"We have selected from the Christmas story only the pleasant bits, forgetting the awesome nature of an event in which the God of the universe, its Creator and Sustainer, draws near to this little planet, and now speaks to us."

Well, I am going to get back to that Christmas decorating.  Have a lovely day, all!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Year Ago: epilogue

Actually, this was a year ago yesterday--one day into our relationship.  I stopped by the L's house before a job, and Joe came home for 10 minutes during lunch break to see me.  Erin was in town; she and her camera kept popping up around corners.  Hence the picture, which is a particular favorite of mine.  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 6

Tuesday, Dec. 6:  Dad had said that he would talk to Joe and let him know that he could call me, so I knew there would be a call forthcoming;  on the way to meet Lisa for coffee that morning, my phone rang.  It was Joe.  My stomach flipped (and didn’t return to normal for a number of days).  He wanted to go out with me, and we agreed to do dinner at Olive Garden.  It was a short, fairly businesslike phone call.

I was fairly normal (if a little bit happy) with Lisa; came home, got a few things done, and took a second car to Good News Club.  The idea was that I’d be able to slip out the front after seeing the kids off and not raise suspicion from the sisters by leaving separately.  I was rather edgy at club; I remember sitting there on the floor with the kids and my stomach was just a mess.  I was so excited and nervous, but I lived through it and was heading around the front corner of the building to the parking lot when…there came Sarah, around the back corner.  I just headed for my car.  She said she was going home with me and I said that it wouldn’t work out this time—I had errands to run, or something like that.  I didn’t wait for more discussion; I booked it for the car and drove away, heading towards Olive Garden (the opposite direction from home).  I was in the left turn lane at 80th when Mom’s car pulled up in the right turn lane.  Oh, great.  They’ll see me.

I was about 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and I just didn’t want to sit and wait.  I pulled in to Ross and walked around for a while, looking for nothing in particular.  I was still a bit early when I pulled into Olive Garden.  Not being in the mood for just sitting in a parking space, I decided to drive circles around a neighboring parking lot. I was just finishing my first one when I saw Joe’s truck pulling in; I pulled in behind him

To shorten a rather long story, there in the parking lot Joe asked to court me with the intent of marriage (neither of us remember his exact words) and I agreed.  That out of the way, we proceeded inside where we talked for nearly four hours and ate hardly a thing.  (We did buy a little food out of kindness to the restaurant.) I’m not sure I quite stopped shaking the entire evening, and Joe says he didn’t either.  We discussed all manner of events (“Remember this?”), discovered (for the first time) that our liking was mutual, and in general had quite a lovely evening.  

That night we told our families about it.  I’ve heard reports that Joe talked for an hour and a half straight when he got home; he was a pretty happy man.  (See picture below for evidence).  My sisters were quite un-surprised, having done a much better job than I of piecing things together.  (Sarah’s rather hilarious version of the story is posted here.)

Joe, after getting home from our first date

So...that’s a little piece of our story.  Obviously our relationship progressed--after many dates, phone calls, letters, and such, we were engaged on Feb. 26, 2012 and married on Sept. 22, 2012.  We’re happy.  God has been so good to us.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 5

Monday, Dec  5.   We had another Bold Reflection concert in the evening;  I came straight up from DU and met the boys at the retirement home where we sang.  Joe seemed more cheerful and even smiled at me a few times.  We all went to my family’s place after performing for some more practice.  Some of the boys (including Joe) stayed around talking afterwards, and I stood against the wall and listened for a while--wanting to be near and hear what he had to say, but not wanting to seem pushy.  

That night, about 11 PM, I was nearly ready for bed when Mom appeared around the corner and indicated that she needed to talk with me, leading the way down the hall.  Hmm, I wondered; she couldn’t talk in the kitchen?   My brain kicked into high gear.  We were heading to her bedroom—Dad must be involved.  Mom shut our bedroom door most of the way as we passed, apparently so the girls wouldn’t be aware of the meeting.  This was quite serious.  By the time we got to my parents’ room I was nearly sure that someone had asked about me, and I was just afraid it was someone other than Joe.  Dad took a look at me (I was probably very visibly anxious) and said something like “Well, I’ll get right to the point.  Joe Langemann is interested in courting you.”

That was probably the closest I’ve ever come to going through the roof with excitement.   It was just amazing to see the pieces fall together, to realize that Joe actually were interested in me, that God had planted the idea and had been in it all along.  Dad cut through my excitedness and asked, “So are you interested?”  I was.  :)  As I walked back to the living room I thought about having to try to control the crazy smile on my face when I was around anyone else.  

Mom and I talked for a while.  Then Rebecca came out and wanted to talk (our bi-annual-ish long sister talk; just happened to fall that night).  I thought I did a fairly good job of appearing as usual, though she may tell a different story.  She was worried about who Joe was going to marry, and I was laughing internally.  I did some journaling, and finally went to bed sometime in the wee hours of the morning.   

Joe didn’t know any of this, of course.  My dad had given him a wink and a shoulder squeeze that evening, and Joe wondered--was that very good or very bad?  

to be continued

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 4

Sunday, Dec 4.  I dropped the girls off at another event after church; as we pulled up one of them again mentioned another possibility for Joe.  Oddly (!) it hit me hard.  I left the girls to visit for a while and went to return some things to the library. As I was driving, I wondered why God would have me think and pray about him for so long if he were going to marry someone else?  I had just read Mimosa by Amy Carmichael and had really been challenged by her strong trust in God regardless of circumstances; it was a good reminder for me.

That night we had two Bold Reflection concerts.  I was watching to see how Joe would interact with me, and I didn’t see much out of the ordinary.  He seemed quite sober, didn’t ignore me but wasn’t overly friendly.  From his perspective, he figured out fairly quickly that I didn’t know anything yet.  And he was rather baffled by my mom’s behavior--was she wiping a tear from her eye during the concert because she felt so sorry for him?

to be continued

Monday, December 3, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 3

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 3, I had a job at DU.  Several of my siblings were going to be at the L’s that evening, so when I was finished I headed over there too.  As usual, when I turned the corner I was looking to see if Joe’s truck was there--it wasn’t.  I actually asked Angie where Joe was (I usually tried to refrain from direct queries about him) and he wasn’t sledding; apparently he was out doing something else.  I hoped that he would show up, but it didn’t happen.  Nor did he answer his phone when his brother tried calling him.  And, to increase the mystery, some of the L siblings seemed to know more than they were saying.  At least they were giving that impression.  :)    

Of course the girls talked about it on the way home: what had become of Joe?.   They thought he was out on a date.  I didn’t, but I thought that he might be out with some girl’s dad--it even crossed my mind that it might be my dad.  I kept these thoughts to myself, however, and when we got home I somehow got it through my head that Daddy hadn’t been anywhere that afternoon.  Which meant that if Joe had been out with some girl’s dad, it was some other girl’s dad.  My sisters actually had been talking about another “possibility” for Joe, and I found that I didn’t like that idea very much.  

Those same sisters ended up being a bit more strategic than I about figuring out what was actually going on.  Rebecca, who had her suspicions, went and asked Dad quite innocently what he had been doing that afternoon.  When he gave no response of substance, she formed her own opinions.

Dad had in fact been out with Joe.  They met at Starbucks for a talk and Joe asked for permission to court me.  He terms this the scariest thing he’s ever done, no close seconds.  (He has since found out that my dad is very awesome and not that scary.)   After a rather brief discussion, Dad told Joe that he would talk to Mom and pray about it.  (Side note: Dad was aware that I liked Joe.  I had told him some 18 months before that if Joe ever asked about me, I’d be interested.  He didn’t enlighten Joe on that point, however.)  

So...Joe was waiting for a phone call again, and I was processing the possibility that he was pursuing someone else.  

to be continued

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 2

Friday, December 2: Joe, who had been jumping every time the phone rang, finally got a call back from Dad.  I understand their talk went something like this: Joe asked to get together with Dad to talk about something important.
Dad:  “What’s the topic?”
Joe: “Marriage.”
Dad:  “Okay.  Which one of the girls?”
Joe: “Rachel.”
They agreed to meet on Saturday afternoon at Starbucks.

I had a school concert in the evening and had to miss a Bold Reflection gig.  The guys were invited to our place afterwards, and I was disappointed when I got home and realized that the L boys had left right after the performance; someone apparently had school to do.  (And someone else didn’t want to see me that night.)  Elisabeth and I took some time for a chat, and she asked if I still thought about Joe. (She had known for a long time that I was interested in him.)  I answered that my liking for him was still there, but it wasn’t a very emotional thing; it was more like something that God had showed me.  It did occur to me that that was a somewhat risky statement. :)  She looked a bit concerned for me and said that she honestly couldn’t see any indication that Joe liked me—or anyone else.  She said she’d be praying for me.  I wrote in my journal the next day:

"I got to talk with Elisabeth for a while last night...she asked right out about Joe.  :/  Interesting topic.  I’ve been more peaceful about it—kind of a be-quiet-and-see sort of feeling.  I don’t know."

to be continued

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Year Ago: Dec. 1

Thursday, December 1 was a fairly uneventful day from a love story point of view.  We had a CYS concert that evening in Highlands Ranch.  It was free, so I thought that some of the L family might come...perhaps (hopefully!) Joe would be among them?   William and Erin came, but to my disappointment Joe wasn’t there.  (Given the state of affairs from his point of view, this was a very intentional decision).  On the way home Rebecca and I had a good sister talk about guys and marriage.  Joe’s name did come up, though not specifically as a possibility for me.  I remember saying that I thought I would get married, but wasn’t sure when. Rebecca agreed with me. :)  

And on Joe’s end?  It must have been a long day; he didn’t hear from my dad.  

to be continued