Saturday, March 06, 2004

Marriage links for the week  

Jeremy over at Parablemania looks at an article from The Economist that reports advances in the study of love's effect on the brain. He comes to the conclusion that the science confirms the Christian belief about sex making man and woman become one flesh. (link via Adrian Warnock)

Ryan has been posting pictures of his Leap Day baby over on his site, and that little boy gets cuter every day:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

It seems that many people today actively try to put themselves in bad relationships. Such people must really want to be miserable, but sometimes they just don't know how. Here's a list of ways to maintain a terrible marriage.

Can you put together a puzzle of the 48 continental U.S. States? Apparently, any American third-grader is supposed to be able to do. Here's an online quiz to test yourself. Even having lived in the Southwest, the West, the Midwest, and the Northeast, I failed the first time. I aced it the second time, though, so at least I'm a quick learner.

Friday, March 05, 2004

His and Hers I  

Starting this week, The Happy Husband will feature a weekly installment of a post called His and Hers. Every Friday, my wife and I will both ponder the same question and write a short answer from our differing perspectives. We're starting off with an easy one: Name your five favorite books, movies, and music albums. The only caveats are that each item in your list must be more than a year old, and that the Bible is not a book (the inspired Word of God inhabits a category all its own). I immediately bent the rules to the point of breaking, but Mrs. Happy actually stayed within the guidelines. Here are our answers:

Top Five Books
Mrs. Happy
Curt
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls Ecclesiastes, Solomon
Holes, Louis Sachar On Writing Well, William Zinsser
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett My Life and Hard Times, James Thurber
I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

I also should have included A Wrinkle in Time, Great Expectations, Cannery Row, and The Killing Joke, but I couldn't squash them all into a five-item list.

Top Five Music Albums
All This Time, Sting City on a Hill, Various Artists
Parachutes, Coldplay Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 1979 Original Broadway Cast (Stephen Sondheim, composer)
Dulcinea, Toad the Wet Sprocket All For You, Diana Krall
Greatest Hits, Simon and Garfunkel Tonight: Live, Take 6
I Am Sam Motion Picture Soundtrack, Various Artists 25, Harry Connick Jr.

Again, I should have included Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001, Appalachian Journey, and Alanis Unplugged, but for that draconian five-item limit.

Top Five Movies
Life is Beautiful The Princess Bride
The Shawshank Redemption The Sixth Sense
When Harry Met Sally The Muppet Movie
Forrest Gump Raising Arizona
Amélie This Is Spinal Tap

I also would have wanted to include Stand By Me, but figured two Rob Reiner movies were enough.

I should also note that Mrs. Happy is a little upset with me for sneaking in more than five selections in each category, since she had many more favorites she wanted to include. It's my blog, though, so she's just having to deal with her upsetness.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Work in progress (by Mrs. Happy)  

Howdy, bloggers and fans thereof! It's Mrs. Happily Employed, bringing you another guest blog while Curt washes dishes and cooks me dinner! That's right—things are gonna change around here, now that I'm a bread-winner. I'm being a little facetious here, but quite seriously I'm more than a little freaked out by some potentially monumental changes. You see, for the last couple of months I believe I have been engaging in somewhat of a "nesting" process, focusing primarily on improving domestic habits, cooking/eating healthier, getting into good physical shape, maintaining spiritual growth, and adhering to a reasonable budget. I'm nearing the ripe child-bearing age of 30, and it seems that we (particularly I) have been adjusting our lives in preparation for that future event. However, my Happy Husband and I both know that I need to work for a little while longer, both for increased financial security and to better establish my career before the inevitable break in employment when motherhood ensues.

On one hand, the acquisition of this job is a wonderful gift that enables us to move ahead with our responsible plans and break the uncomfortable stalemate we have been facing. On the other hand, I must now drastically shift my mind-set from that of a comfortable, cultivating housewife to that of a tired, stressed, busy career woman, newly committed to the mental well-being of a whole new set of needy people, and in a capacity that is completely foreign to me. I must admit that since I accepted the job, I've been incredibly anxious about the whole idea.

But here's what makes it okay:

  1. The proud and loving sound of my supportive husband's voice over the phone when I first told him the news.
  2. The congratulations from friends and family, especially those who have been praying for this very outcome.
  3. Celebratory free meals!
  4. The relief that we will experience with more income, and the satisfaction I will have in contributing to our funds and future.
  5. The knowledge and contentment that I will again use my God-given gifts to help others and grow further into the person He created me to be.
  6. The verse that I came across in my Bible reading this very morning: "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"—Psalm 56:3-4

So though my feeble human mind insists on freaking out once in awhile, I know in my heart that I am deeply loved and supported, that I am created to love and support others, and this job will be a reflection of those truths on many levels. I'll just have to do my nesting on the side.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Employment  

Back in December I wrote about Mrs. Happy's layoff from the best job she'd ever had. The months since then have been a little trying to say the least. We've had to curtail our spending quite a bit. We've had to deal with discouragement, distraction, and sometimes despair. We've discussed, argued, and tried to plan for the future in an uncertain present. But we've also had fun. Her wide-open schedule has simplified our lives to a great extent. She's been able to do more artwork than ever before. She's also been able to do some work at our church that would have been difficult while she was at her old job.

While looking around on the Web about a month ago, she came upon a Web site for a nearby outpatient day treatment center that focused heavily on fostering an artistic, creative environment. That seemed to be right up her alley, perfectly combining her education, experience, and passion for people and art. So she faxed them her résumé and a letter saying she'd love to have an opportunity to work there. The next day, they called and asked her to come in for an interview. A couple of weeks after that, they called her and asked her to come in for a second interview.

She had that second interview today. She called me at noon to tell me that it went well. She called me at 3:00 to tell me she got the job. This continues her streak of being hired for every job she's ever interviewed for. She's very excited and a little scared, because the particular job she's stepping into lies a little beyond her realm of experience. She's brilliant, though, so I'm confident everything will go well.

Thank you all for your prayers during this time. God is good, and He proves it to us over and over again.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

More tomorrow  

I took my wife out to dinner tonight, and there's no time left to blog. Celebrating marriage in the real-life hostile world takes precedent over celebrating marriage in the online world.

Oh, and Ryan's baby was born on Leap Day. So cool.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Going out  

Ever since we started tightening our budget, we haven't gotten out much. We love movies, but now we're saving money by renting everything through Netflix. We also love eating out, but now we're saving money by cooking more. Unfortunately, going to movies and eating at restaurants have always been our two main "things to do out." We enjoy playing games, doing puzzles, and creating art together, but those are typically home-bound activities.

One day last week we went shopping for a friend's birthday present. The experience reminded me how much fun we could have together outside the house. I miss going out with my wife, but I don't know what we can do without spending a lot of money. Winter is just beginning to break here on Long Island, so we'll soon be able to take long walks and maybe play some tennis. Other than that, I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.