Monday, June 29, 2009

July again

We are only two days from July, and that has got me reflecting on my life over the past few years. July has been an eventful month for BJ and I. In July of 2006, we got married. In 2007, we moved to Dallas. And, of course, last July we moved to Kentucky. Although we will have a lot of company this month, July is looking pretty uneventful in comparison to the past three years.

It is hard to believe that BJ and I have been married for three years, and it is even harder to believe that we have lived in three entirely different places. I keep trying to pen down how I am going to define my first years of marriage in the years ahead, and I'm not sure how to neatly phrase it. "We were never bored." Or maybe, "Where to now?"

BJ and I don't do anything the easy way. Every place we've been has presented unique challenges. In Abilene, BJ felt numbed by jobs that were miles away from this education and passion. Dallas was a battlefield; BJ may have been called a "heretic," but he wasn't going to back down from teaching what he knew needed to be taught. And now Kentucky, where we are still trying to get our feet steadily placed under us. The one constant throughout all of this change was the necessity for team work. We each had to muster every ounce of perseverance and fortitude we had to make it through to the next phase.

In some ways, I fear life becoming too settled. What has always brought BJ and I together has been an 'us against the world' mentality. In Abilene, we had to have patience, Dallas required strength, and Kentucky is demanding courage and trust in God. I probably don't need to get too worried about the sudden settling of dust around us, though. After all, BJ has a way of shaking things up when I least expect it. That is what makes being Mrs. BJ Gensic so much fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer days

Last year, we moved into our house at the beginning of fall, so this is the first time we have really been able to enjoy our yard and patio. As it has (finally) warmed up, we've been spending more and more time outside. I have a small, potted herb garden and a huge flower bed I am trying to take care of. Of course, I don't know anything about gardening, so my flower bed consist of every flower whose seed-packet picture was pretty. I'm guessing that once the flowers start blooming it will look like a collage a disorder. I'll have a better idea of what to do next year.

When I get home from work, I cook us a meal with our fresh vegetables from the CSA. BJ can't believe some of the things he is learning to like (turnips, radish greens, kale, etc.) According to BJ, I am stuffing him full of vegetables. After dinner, we hop in the pool where we are able to think of all sorts of ways to hurt each other. Pools are so much fun. Sienna generally hops in and takes a few laps. After the pool, I head in and either do some little house project or work on art. It's a pretty good system we have going here.

The miraculous part of all of this is that I am starting to see the slightest darkening of my skin. It's nothing drastic. I certainly wouldn't call it a tan. In fact, it is more just a subtle connecting of my freckles. Now let me be clear: I wear sunscreen when I am out (I will not be looking like a leather bag when I am forty). But a healthy glow doesn't hurt, whereas the glare off of my former paleness probable did hurt some eyes. So I'm going to embrace what BJ once called "a darker shade of white," and I will call it a "glow."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I'm missing about Texas

I like Kentucky, but some days I really miss home. Today, I'm missing...

...cilantro. No one puts it in their salsa here.

...bluebonnets. Bluebonnets are a part of life in Texas. We all grew up in Texas reading Legend of the Bluebonnets and being told that we were never to pick them. They taught me to respect my environment. They froze over when my grandmother died, and a few days after the funeral, they thawed out and continued to live for another month. When I graduated from college, my college girlfriends and I did a farewell photo shoot in a field of bluebonnets. I haven't seen a field of bluebonnets in over a year.

...three-digit weather. You don't think you'll ever miss it, but you do., family, and family.

...days without rain. It rains here everyday. BJ and I have been trying to stain our deck for two weeks, and we haven't had a forecast without rain for a long enough span to stain anything. I've never liked rain, and this is truly ridiculous.

I'm sure I could think of things I don't miss, but for the past few weeks, all I can seem to remember are the things I do miss. I've never been a proud, boasting Texan. You won't find any Texas flags in my house or on my clothes, and I won't ever try to rub it in that we are somehow a superior state to Kentucky or any other state. I'm not that sort, and I don't respect that kind of narrow-mindedness. However, it is my home, and I do love it. And, incidentally, I would sing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" if it would mean getting a number 4 from Los Arcos right now. Believe me, I would.

Monday, June 08, 2009

From BJ's sermon this week

"Next, we commit to standing up for what we believe in, for what is right. There are things worth fighting over on this side of life, and we will fight for them. But when the world comes to fight against us with its hatred and its animosity and its pain, we will bring none of those things. We will turn the other cheek. We will walk the extra mile. We will do the hard work of forgiveness before the sun sets on our anger, and contrary to what many will think, this will not make us pushovers. No, we will be the ones with the courage to walk a different path, because it is God who empowers us. Christ showed his followers where to make their stand, and we will do it. We shall not be moved, but in our hands we will hold self-sacrifice and love of our enemies. So Christ stood. So we shall stand."
BJ Gensic, "Does Jesus Speak to This" June 7, 2009

I know it is kind of brag-y to post his writing here, but I am just so proud of him. I can't help myself.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Curtains and more curtains and more...

I have lived in my house for nine months now. Each month, I fall a little more in love with it's numerous quirks and idiosyncrasies. The best part about having a home of which you really fell ownership is the never-ending process of molding that home into an aesthetic conglomerate that represents you, your family, and your taste. For me, this process has most obviously played itself out through the outfitting of windows. As of this weekend, I have officially sewn curtains or valances to outfit fifteen windows. Here is a quick run through of my sewing extravaganza.

First off, I made curtains for our living room when I was still at the rental waiting for our sell to go through. The trim matches our pillows:

The night I found out we would close the next day and get our house, I threw together this little valance out of scrap fabric from the living room curtains and pillows. I added the embroidery stitch by hand to keep it from being too plain:

Next, I decided to revamp my kitchen. Our house was built in the 1940s, so I was really wanting to capture a "Leave it to Beaver" feel without being too hokey. After thoroughly researching fabrics online and at stores, here is what I came up with:

After the kitchen curtains, I decided to remedy a problem that has irritated me since I got here. The curtains the previous owner left in the sun room where dark and heavy and didn't let any sun through. What's the point of having a sun room if the sun never comes through? So I sewed light-weight valances that let the light shine through:

Lastly, I wanted to give the guest bedroom a warmer feel by adding some curtains. Unfortunately, by this point I was feeling a little guilty about how much money I had spent on curtain fabric. To be more efficient, I made very simple valances and added an embellishment of ribbon to dress it up a bit:

So this is how I've amused myself during my first year as homeowner. Knowing me, I will soon get the itch to sew again, so if you are in need of custom curtains, let me know. Hope I haven't bored anyone too much. I just get really excited by fabric and thread and ribbons. And believe me, I know I'm a nerd.