life

In the Hospital

I'm at the hospital this week, so I'll be unable to answer many emails, reply to comments, or post any new content. The spam hammer is still running, though, so you spammers out still won't get any mercy!

Please spare a prayer for me, as I still don't know what's wrong, but did get to experience some amazing new things, like using a toilet that slides out from under a sink, and curling up in a ball while someone withdrew brain juice from my spine!

Life will find a way...

This week I've been visiting doctors, getting checkups, getting tests, and generally being a lab rat. My health has been better, so any prayers you could spare could be appreciated... but enough about me!

Since I've been feeling not-so-good lately, and since the whole HHS mandate fiasco's been so annoying to me, I've felt relatively pessimistic in the past week.

Well, during one of the many waiting room visits (I hesitate to call them doctor visits, since I usually spend more time in the waiting room ;-), I heard a lullaby play over the hospital's PA system. Nobody seemed to notice it, but I asked one of the receptionists what the lullaby meant (I figured maybe it was employee nap time or something like that, being 3 in the afternoon...).

When she told me that a baby was just born in the labor and delivery area, a little tear caught in my eye. What a great thing to have happen while I was sitting there!

A few days later, I was back in the waiting area for a while, and just before I was called to get a test done, I heard the lullaby again (awesome!)... and about a minute later, another lullaby!

Routines and Marriage - Keeping it Together

My wife and I have crossed the one-year threshold; after achieving this milestone, she told me, "Once we get past a year, we're set for life, right?"

Jeff and Natalie - Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011: I'm trying to look normal, I think. Didn't work.

While it's not true that strengthening the marriage bond gets easier over time (it's always a challenge—but in the best possible way!), it is true that seemingly-insignificant things (like doing the dishes, emptying the trash, and saying daily prayers) we do in our marriage help a lot.

Our faith, for instance, needs constant attention and care. We have already had periods in our married life where we've fallen short of our committment to pray the Rosary daily, or to attend daily Mass more often. We continually struggle to make faith a priority in our relationship. But we push through, and keep on getting back into good habits of prayer—together as often as possible.

Keeping up with chores is another area where routine is important, but often done haphazardly. We have a wonderful chore spreadsheet, and we often go on 'cleaning rampages' where we complete a bunch of chores in a day (well, that's more me than my wife... she usually does her chores regularly), but we also skip chores some weeks due to a busy schedule. We're not living in a dump, and nothing is unsanitary, but things tend to go downhill quickly once you let the routines slip away too far.

Routines may sound boring, but they are important for a strong relationship.

Things are working out good

My wife came back from the grocery store today and recounted a heartwarming interaction with the bagger in the checkout line:

Wife: "I like that you're always so happy and smiling."

Bagger: "Well, I just like living, you know? Jesus is nice. Things are working out good."

I think this would be a pretty good prayer of thanksgiving during this consumeristic season.