Saturday, April 14, 2007

He is Risen!

Like father, like sonDad and the grandkitty
Betsy and Mark, tired after a very long Easter Vigil
Home sweet home, well, the parking lot anyway

Happy Easter! Mark and I had an absolutely wonderful Easter Triduum, though technically I think we celebrated a Quartet. We made it to 4 different Triduum/Easter celebrations at 3 different locations, making for a diverse and somewhat exhausting weekend. Despite the running around and trying to enter into the season, we thoroughly enjoyed the company of Mark's parents who hopped over the pond to join us for a week. Spending quite a lot of time with Mark's parents, celebrating Easter and the baptism of the baby daughter of a British-turned-Minnesotan friend of the family, and having dinner with a Scottish-turned-Minnesotan friend of the family, all on various days thoroughout the week of Mum and Dad's visit, left me feeling as though I was the one on a British vacation. It's a little odd being in my "hometown" and being nearly in the minority with my American accent, but certainly a nice change of pace. Mum and Dad flew home on Easter Tuesday, which to Mark's great delight left me feeling quite sad for a few days (I think I miss them even more than he does.) I hope and pray that we are able to see them again, soon! Mum and Dad just sent us a few pictures that they took during their visit with us, which I'm posting for the enjoyment of all.

Monday, April 2, 2007

What we've been up to

The past month has been a Lenten whirlwind of involuntary fasts of time, comfort, health, (solid) food, and sleep, for Mark and I. It began with Mark contracting a case of strep throat. That lasted a week longer than it should have due to his nurse-wife's inability to recognize feverless strep (who knew?!). That was promptly followed by a 3 1/2 day excursion to and from Leonard, MI with about 40 high schoolers for the annual YES retreat. After arriving home at 2:30 am Monday morning, we caught a few hours of sleep before Mark had his wisdom teeth removed at 1 pm. The surgery was difficult due to his age, impaction, and pre-existing TMJ, which was excerbated by the surgery and left Mark in serious pain for quite some time. (The picture of him is about a week out of surgery, with his heat-pack held by his cap, hands-free, so he can do some work on the computer.) Our Lenten soup dinners became not simply fasts but a necessity as the TMJ pain prevented Mark from chewing even after the holes in his mouth were safe from the risk of dry-sockets. In the midst of all this, I was trying to study for the impending Nursing Boards whenever I could find the time...which, unfortunately was not often and I lost about a month of studying (please pray!). Just as Mark was beginning to "turn the corner" in his TMJ recovery (a phrase used about 5 times in 2 minutes by the oral surgeon, last time we saw him), I headed off for a 4-day women's retreat in WI. I was originally VERY hesitant to go, as I felt I just needed some rest and study-time and a retreat with 180 other women, 2/3 of whom are strangers, didn't seem the way to achieve either of those. After much deliberation, and coaxing from my women's group, I agreed that I would go, study materials in hand, and tithe "my" time to the Lord. Though it should be no surprise, he generously blessed me and it was a truly restorative retreat, which also included nearly 6 hours of study time (more than I probably would've gotten over the weekend had I stayed home and tried to clean, cook, take care of Mark, run errands, etc.) This brings us to a very busy, but eagerly anticipated Holy Week. This morning I got another "all-clear" from my Oncologist and he also progressed me from seeing him every 4-months, to 6-months. Hurray! :) Additionally, we are thrilled to be able to share the 2nd half of Holy Week and the Triduum with Mark's parents as they arrive tomorrow evening for a week-long visit. I pray that Holy Week brings us all closer to the Lord as we follow His last steps to Calvary and await the celebration of His triumph over death and sin! (I also pray, perhaps selfishly, for a peaceful, study-filled Easter season!)