Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Belated Saturday 7

This weekend was Ladies' Retreat with my church, and I wasn't on the ball enough to have this post written before I left. Alas, it is late, and I apologize.

1. Quick Halloween recap: the weather was horrendous. It was 45* and pouring rain. We all bundled up, stopped at each of my sisters' houses (my brother brought candy to us at our house - thanks, Luke!), then met some friends at a local church's Trunk or Treat. We did their 10 or so cars in the pouring rain - with coats, boots and umbrellas and still ended up drenched. I had originally planned on trick or treating in the neighborhood, but the weather was ridiculous. So we stopped at our friends' mom's house for more handfuls of candy, hit up Justin's parents' on our way home, and called it good. The girls' buckets were full and we didn't have to freeze all night. Win!

2. Justin and I attended our first ever "parent-teacher conferences" on Wednesday. I keep having these moments where I think, "How am I possibly old enough to be doing this?" Haha. Lucy got a great report. She's right on track academically and is improving socially, although there's still room for growth. Haha.  Exactly what we expected. And a likely formula for her life to come. She's not a prodigy. There are kids in her class who are better readers, better at math, etc. But so far, the academic part of school has been easy for her. She picks things up quickly and understands concepts easily. However, she will probably always have to work harder at battling her anxiety, accepting change, and asserting herself relationally. Sometimes I think I'm projecting my personality on her. Most of the time, I don't think any projection is necessary, because it's innate. Ha.

3. I have a friend who posted on her blog about taking the Myers-Briggs personality test. I took it in college, but I don't remember the result and was curious, so I took the one she linked to.  I am ISFJ:
The above picture is Carrie's result because she's way more tech savvy than I am. I couldn't figure out how to save the picture of my results, but our types were exactly the same and our percentages were extremely close. So you get the idea. I always feel like I fill these things out wrong. I think my results pegged me as way more empathetic/compassionate than I actually am. But I do put a premium on kindness, and I [generally] try very hard to avoid hurting people's feelings - especially people I don't know well (which is probably kind of backwards). 

4. All that's to say, we had a tiny bit of drama at our weekly Bible Study this week. I'm not about to get into the details, but a lady who had come at the beginning stopped coming and we just found out she was feeling a little attacked by some of us regulars. It's ridiculous that even though she's the one who was hurt, I took it personally. I was legitimately shocked (and offended) that anyone would think I could purposely be mean. The whole thing was a good learning experience for me. I was reminded anew that I don't take criticism well. My first response was to be mad at her for being hurt by me. How awful is that? And I also learned that even when I think I'm being kind and disagreeing in a friendly way, I have to be really really careful with my words. I can be blunt and straight-forward - especially in Bible Study where people know me and I know them and feel comfortable. She wasn't to that point yet and took my bluntness as an attack on her personally. Ouch.

5. Enough about that. Have you all been stalking the leaked Black Friday ads as much as I have?? It's one of my favorite times of year. And I know it's controversial, but I love the thrill of a good deal and the fun of doing crazy things to get it. Haha. I went when I was 31 weeks pregnant with Lena, so this time at 24, it will be a piece of cake! ;-)

6. And now the Ladies' Retreat recap. I wish I could remember how long I've been going to the retreat. I think I started in high school. I originally went with Niki and her old church. Niki and her married friends taught me alllll kinds of interesting things. Lol. I must have missed a couple years in college, but I know I've been going every year since I've been married. Now, Niki and I attend the same church, so we go to our retreat. It is the best. We get away for two nights, stay in gorgeous condos right by Lake Michigan (although it's always too cold to enjoy the lake), have someone else make us meals, hear inspiring speakers, get to know the other women in our church, and stay up to the wee hours of the morning talking about everything you can imagine - from boob jobs to parenting to whether or not you can lose your salvation. 

It's a different dynamic every year, depending on who comes, what the speaker's like, and how the retreat is organized. I think we all agreed that this was one of the best years yet. Our speaker was our senior pastor's sister. She lives in California, but flew in to talk to us. She has a great redemption story, and works in jail ministry, juvenile halls, and homeless shelters. I think I've written before about how women's events tend to be hard for me. I'm not a typical girly-girl, sappy, emotional drama queen (although a lot of my past entries might lead you to think otherwise. Lol). Retreat speakers tend to have big hair, big jewelry, lots of make-up, and lots of sappiness. They think when they're speaking to women, they can only talk about submission in marriage, godly motherhood, or the Proverbs 31 Woman. Those subjects are great and need to be talked about, but I want more than just that all the time.

Anyway, this year's speaker (Gina) was the anti-retreat speaker. Haha. She had kind of a rough life. She works in a rough environment. She's blunt and straight-forward and says it like it is. But she also loves Jesus and radiates a passion for him that is contagious. Her talks were engaging and convicting and inspiring. She was a great balance of funny stories, amazing anecdotes, and practical Biblical wisdom. I think we all really appreciated her. (Even the women who do love big hair, make-up, and sap.) ;-)

7. We had a lot of fun outside of the "sessions" too. Niki and I always go out to eat on the way to retreat and on the way home. Can't go wrong with Olive Garden and Red Robin as bookends to our weekend! For the first time in 13+ years, Niki and I didn't room together! I stayed with another friend who was at the retreat for the first time, and Niki was in the room next to us. So it was good for us to branch out a little bit, even though we still spent the majority of our time together. Haha. We love each other! We can't help it! We got to play some fun games (4 On A Couch is always a good time). We got to know some new people better. And we actually got an adequate amount of sleep!

One of the fun things we've been doing as a group for the past few years is the sock exchange. Everyone brings a wrapped pair of cute/funny socks and we exchange them white elephant style. It's always fun to see which pair gets stolen the most and who ends up with what. Last year, I got some awesome llama socks. I've loved llamas ever since Tina the Fat Lard on Napoleon Dynamite.   

So this year, I stole some cute arctic animal socks to go along with my strange animal socks tradition. They were adorable little knee high socks with pictures of penguins and walruses and polar bears. Here's what they looked like on my feet:
Cute, right?
Here's what they looked like on my calves:
Not so cute. Lol.
I swear I don't have abnormally large calves. I usually don't need to buy wide-calf boots. My legs are not swollen from being pregnant. But those socks did not fit. Poor bloated penguin. Lol. 

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