Thursday, February 12, 2009

*Warning* A bit of a rant

Well, as I was typing a letter to my little missionary brother last night, I realized that I haven't blogged in quite some time. While my letter to him was in progress I began to do a little reflection on my life for the past six months (Steve and I had our six month anniversary last week).
Now, don't get me wrong... I knew that marriage was by no means a problem solver, fix-all, or whatever other term you'd like to assign to it. I knew that it was going to take hard work, dedication, and a lot (A LOT) of patience. That being said, I'm experiencing things as a newlywed, that I never expected to encounter. Seriously, never crossed my mind. I'll be completely honest, I never expected the unexpected. I never planned for the worst. I didn't think, "That'll never happen to me" because I never thought about these things at all. The first of these being:

An unemployed husband. 5 months (almost to the day) after we joined the ranks of the blissfully wedded, Steve lost his job... and he still hasn't found another. Now, I know what you're thinking, "A month unemployed, that's not bad at all! Some people go for years!" Here's my reply to you glass-half-full-ers. True, a month is not a terribly long time, some people do go for years. But really, as a newlywed, do you ever plan for this scenario? We didn't. From day one I've always been the primary bread-winner. I knew it, he knew it... but it was always under the assumption that it wouldn't stay that way. Someday I'd be able to cut back to part time, stay home with kids, yada yada. Well, now I'm not only the primary breadwinner, I'm the only breadwinner. We live solely off my income and the small amount we get from unemployment. This may not seem like a challenge to some of you, but let me give you a little background look at our finances. Before we were married I was a single girl living on a new-grad nurse's income (about 40k a year). Not bad money. Then when we tied the knot we also tied our bank accounts together. We reduced our debt and combined our incomes. As a newlywed couple we got used to a very comfortable lifestyle. We could eat out when we wanted to, go to movies, Jazz games, plays, etc, and not have to worry about being financially burdened.
I think you can see where I'm going with this... living on a budget has been a big, nay, HUGE lifestyle change for me. I know, marriage isn't supposed to be about "me", but I need to get this off my chest. Prior to our marriage, Steve lived very much hand-to-mouth, paycheck to paycheck. He's used to living tight and making it work. Really, except for the giant boredom factor, I think he's taking the whole "lay-off" situation better than I am.

Secondly: (For the sake of possible younger readers, naive minds, etc, this next chunk will be written in a "code" of sorts)
Marriage is about communication. There are all kinds of communication: talking, listening, body language, and in the case of a healthy marriage... making soup. I get it, making soup is a healthy part of a marriage. It is necessary to feel close to each other emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Don't get me wrong, I knew before I got married, that men like to make soup (in general) a lot more than women do. In fact, men need to make soup on a regular basis. Me, I don't need to make soup so often. I never expected to have hang-ups about "cooking", but I do. I don't feel adequate in my culinary skills (Again, a little background: Steve is essentially a convert to the church. Before he decided to make some life changes 4 years ago, he led and "interesting" lifestyle, much different from my own. Hence, he came into the marriage with a lot more experience and knowledge than myself). I don't always feel like I know how to make the kind of soup he likes. I don't know if he's happy with the soup I'm making him now. And really, the biggest thing, I don't know how to enjoy making soup more often. Anyway, I know that using other forms of communication is the only way to solve this particular problem, I just need to find the courage to gather up my cooking utensils and get to cookin'.

And last, but not least: (If medical issues make you squeamish, I would quit reading now)
We haven't been making a lot of soup at our house lately, because there has been a sort of "leak in my kitchen" if you will... okay, it's a big issue. This leak, that normally isn't much of a problem, has been going on for almost 3 weeks now. And (I'm sorry, there's really no delicate way to put this), I've been passing a lot of clots. A lot of clots. I blame my birth control. Now, here comes the catch-22: I would love to go off the birth control. I hate the stuff. I hate the way it screws with my emotions, messes up my kitchen leak schedule, and all around how it makes me feel. But, I can't. I feel like we're still too newly married to risk getting pregnant right now, and really, in our financial situation it could be a total disaster. Anyway, when I contacted the doctor's office about it I was told that this is "normal" and I shouldn't worry about it. Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember a little bit from nursing school (and an even littler bit from high school health class), but 3 weeks is NOT normal. At all. Anyway, I have an appointment on the 24th, which can't get here soon enough.

Anyway, now that I've gotten a few things off my chest, I would like to end this little rant session with these parting words:
I have never, ever, not for one second, regretted getting married. Steve is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He balances me in ways he doesn't even know. He is smart, funny, and so loving to everyone around him. He will make a great father, and is already a great husband. I love him more with everyday and look forward to an eternity of getting to know him better than I already do. He completes me.


katiebugfamily said...

Ok Annicka, I have three little letters for you LOL. We all go through it, and yes the soup issue is well soup, what can you say? Sometimes its just not an option to make. lol. Talk to the hubby about your soup and ask for suggestions, if he prefers it a certain temperature. Ok, I'm totally rofl by this comment. LoveYa Annicka! ALL married couples go through this- I got preggo 2mo in, yah talk about hard. Anyway. Keep us posted with yourself, its fun to hear your stories!

Geovoni said...

I am sorry you are having such a hard time of things right now. I wish that I could help you out. We miss you down here in good old St. George. Just remember I am still expecting to be the dirty old man that lives on your street. Love ya tons crazy cat lady :)

Melissa Mae said...

We've all been there! And I promise, the first year is the hardest, but it just gets better. Especially the "making soup" part. :) As for the leaking problem, my sister leaks year round, with tiny little breaks, so don't get too scared. It happens. I'm here anytime you want to talk about ANYTHING. Love ya

Hilary said...

Sorry about the hard stuff . . . the one income after living off two sucks royally, I understand that! I was laid off three seperate times before I was married. Scariest thing I've ever been through. Amazingly though, each and every time I ended up somewhere better off, better suited for me, and with better potential and money. It could be that being forced out of a comfortable place will be what gets Steve into a different job/career that'll give you guys opportunities that you wouldn't have had. Good luck though, I know how stressful it is in the meantime!
And I'm glad you're going to the doctor, that'd freak me the heck out!!
And hon, he married you. Not just for your soup making skills, but because of all you bring to the kitchen! Relax about anything from the past, insecurities, hangups, etc, and with time, you guys'll totally find the soup that works best for you :-)
Take care!

Mr. B said...

Annie, I freaking love you. And here's to some good soup!

Lena said...

Annie, we need to talk. I have some issues with the BC too, and I think our tastes in soup are similar too. We should go to dinner!

Sarah said...

Annika, I hope it's ok that I have you & steve linked on our blog. I like to check up on you guys once in a while and see how you are doing! First of all, sorry tht steve lost his job. We're praying for you and all those who've been effected by the economy. Jeff and I were talking last night about how marriage is much better than we thought it would be, but it's also harder than we thought it would be. I had some issues with BC myself at first (feeling sick)... but it's gotten better. I hate the stuff too. Good luck!

Talina said...

Someone needs a (cheap) girls night out! If you want to get together to vent/talk or anything, give me a call! It really does help to vent to other newly and not-so-newly wed wives sometimes. Love you! And Steve is still in our prayers. I hope he finds a job soon.

jill said...

hahahahaha Annicka I love you. I'm sorry everything is such chaos for you right now, but at least we know it will work out somehow...the joy of Heavenly Father's micromanaging skills! :) Good luck making soup and fixing leaks and finding employment!! Happy valentine's Day!

Meg said...

Oh Selkie... I'm sorry that life is a little unpredictable! I can sympathize with everything that you just said. Trent lost his job a month before we got married and it took him 10 months to find a stable one... not fun. As for the soup... he married you!!!! Talk about it, try not to worry about it so much! It takes a while to figure out what kind of soup you both like. I hope that all these kinks get worked out for you soon!

Felicity said...

Ah...I love that you don't hold anything back :)


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