Friday, July 10, 2009

Worth It Wednesday

Sometime during my first trimester, I decided I wanted to do something special and unique for myself during this time of pregnancy – a time I NEVER thought I would have. I waffled between getting a manicure/pedicure or getting a pregnancy massage.

In the end, I figured I could give myself a manicure, and since I can’t see my feet, a pedicure would be a waste of time. So, I decided on the pregnancy massage. It was no cheapie treat, either. I had to save up for a couple of months to swing the $60 splurge!

My cousin’s wife, Cari, is also pregnant, so I asked if she’d like to go with me. After rescheduling our original date, we set ourselves up for pampering this past Wednesday.

When I set up the appointment, I had no idea of the chaotic and complex direction my life would be taking this month. So, presented with a day off for the massage, I also had to schedule two apartment viewings and my non-stress test. At the last minute, we also decided to have lunch with Mom, Aunt Louise (Cari’s mother-in-law), and Cari’s sweet little boy, Dawson, after the massage.

I was stressing out a little, thinking I had way over-scheduled myself on what was supposed to be a relaxing spa day.

In the morning, Brett and I checked out Apartment #2 (our Apartment #1 experience is here). We really liked the apartment’s spacious 2 bedroom layout, the monthly rent amount, and the convenient location. We decided to put in an application, knowing full well our credit, bankruptcy, and current housing situation could possibly weigh against us.

But, you have to start somewhere.

I’ve been praying God will “put us where He wants us.” So, if the answer comes back “no,” then we know it isn’t there, and if it comes back “yes,” we will be praising Him all the same.

It’s hard to wait - even harder to know the answer might very well be “no” - but trusting means trusting. And so, I’m trusting and trying very hard to be patient.

After the showing, I headed across town to the Tranquility Café inside SwedishAmerican Hospital. If you have never been to the café, I can highly recommend it! There is a wonderful gift shop (lots of supplies for new moms, too!), a coffee shop, and a massage therapist on hand.

I signed in for my (FIRST EVER) massage. Let me just say – WOW! – it was truly amazing! All that scrimping and saving was TOTALLY worth it. The massage therapist, Linda, spent over 45 minutes massaging me, helping me relax, and seemed to bring all my energy back to the surface.

I could have run a marathon after she was done!

The baby must have liked it, too, because he slept like a little lamb through the whole thing.

My cousin’s wife was next in line, and while she was getting her massage, I sat in the coffee bar and just let the relaxation seep in from my head to my toes.

Afterwards, we met Mom, Aunt Louise, and Dawson for lunch at Red Lobster.

With my extended family, I am often torn when it comes to what to disclose about our financial/living predicament. Being a Rehfeldt, I’d rather have it all out there in the open. However, Brett is much more private, and it understandably annoys him that my family tends to be frank and sometimes VERY judgmental about situations they have not experienced.

It’s remarkable how people like to judge you when they know next to nothing about your unique situation. (I’m sure we’re all familiar with that feeling.)

It’s not so hard on me, as I am mostly anesthetized to family rudeness and the smart comment or flippant remark tends to roll off my back.

And, as you know, I am more than able to give back what I get when it comes to smart-aleck-ry.

Anyway, as we sat down to lunch, I told Mom how much we liked Apartment #2. She started to tell Aunt Louise, and I jumped in quickly to remind everyone that we aren’t counting any chickens just yet. Neither Brett nor I want to get our hopes up, because we’ve had enough hopes dashed lately.

Before I knew it, I spilled out all the financial hurdles that stand in our way to renting a decent apartment. I’m not sure what I expected from my Aunt Louise, perhaps a comment about how we should have made better financial decisions in the past, etc.

Instead, she nodded her head in agreement. She began to tell me how hard it was for her when she was looking for an apartment – a single teenage mother who had been kicked out of my grandparent’s house, addicted to alcohol, and completely on her own.

I felt a hot prick of tears come to my eyes. It amazing how hearing someone else’s hard-knock story can make you appreciate what you have. In my case, a husband, a family support system, and no addictions that could put my child in harm’s way.

I know how far Aunt Louise has come. Thanks to AA, she is a recovering alcoholic, sober for many, many years. She raised an incredible daughter, my cousin Tammy, who is, herself, a caring and loving mother.

Aunt Louise is also a generous, kind, and supreme grandmother. Which was firmly evidenced by Dawson who spent the entire lunch hour trying to crawl into his grandmother’s arms.

My family can be bluntly candid, sometimes even offensive. They can be loud, opinionated, and I can guarantee they’ll rarely let you finish a sentence. But they are also beautifully honest and truthful when they need to be.

Aunt Louise’s non-judgmental story reminded me how much we learn from our family. When she smiled that sad smile in memory of her darker days, I found myself wanting to comfort her all these years later. I knew she was telling me her story to comfort me in the midst of my trial.

At that moment, I was never so proud and grateful for my extended family. God loves the whole dysfunctional lot of them (just the way they are), and so do I.

After lunch, I went to a (thankfully) non-eventful, non-stress test. My OB was very pleased with Sam’s heart reactivity. He went as far as to say Sam’s numbers were some of the best he’d ever seen in a high, double-risk pregnancy such as mine.

Somehow, even with all this stress, our little Sam is holding his own.

The last appointment of the day was viewing Apartment #3. It was a very nice one bedroom layout, small but not tiny. The rent was more than reasonable, and it’s very close to where we currently live. We took an application but are waiting to hear back from Apartment #2 before proceeding any further.

By the time I got home and settled, I definitely felt like I’d had a full day. However, looking at the apartments made me feel like at least I was going in SOME direction towards getting ready for Sam. And reflecting back on Aunt Louise’s story gave me back the joyful heart and thankful spirit I’d been lacking.

I was also happy the $60 I’d saved had been more than worth it for the pregnancy massage.

I would have thought all the appointments and driving all over town would have left me stressed out, but the truth is that I felt like I’d been given a reprieve. Spending time with family, spending time with Brett looking at apartments, getting good news at the OB’s – all made me feel relaxed (I’m sure the massage didn’t hurt either!).

It was a middle-of-the-week blessing, and I’m counting it among one of the nicest days in this (soon-to-be accomplished) pregnancy.

P.S. – If you don’t mind, can you please pray God will provide a place for us live – that He would put us where He wants us in His perfect time? We would REALLY appreciate your prayers!


a joyful nusiance said...

I know without a doubt that he will provide a place for you and your family to live!!

Jennittia said...

I had a pregnancy massage once. It was a gift and what a blessing it was for my aching body! my prayers daily.

On a totally different note... I have to hugely apologize for a big blunder I have committed. I sent you a baby gift but forgot to include the card in the package. So if you get the package before the card, or vise versa, just smile and know that you are loved by your goofy, blond friend!!!!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Such a sweet story!

I've heard so many wonderful things about massages...and have yet to get one! Maybe someday. Heh. Maybe if this whole etsy thing works! ;-)

Ann-Marie, I love that prayer: "God, put us where you want us." We've prayed that so many times. God answers. We've even prayed over our vehicles that God will shut doors on decisions that would be bad for our family. The answers never cease to amaze me. Someday I'll tell you stories (but I'll stop rambling on your blog for now...)

You are in my prayers.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Okay, I know you've already made your baby, but this video is just too cute. For future reference...

Alice said...

I think it is also encouraging to hear Louise's story because you can see that your current situation is not at all permanent. She weathered dark times and is on the other side--you will too! I'll be praying about your apartment situation!

Juliet said...

I glad you like our wonderful strange family! They even like you. One thing you can count on from our family is always being there for one another.

It was great to have was so delicious.

And I too pray God will have an apartment close to us.


testing - testing aunt carol


Ann-Marie, why does this computer work sometimes and others - not??
On more recent update - Where you trying to tell me you weren't spoiled, lonely, selfish or a scoially maladusted "miscreants" (whatever that is??) Ha! Ha! No matter what our position or station in life the up-sides and down-sides. I love you just the way you are. Aunt Carol