Free From Distraction

I finally got my hard copies of my wedding pictures. That means I finally replaced the Standard Happy Couple that was sitting in the 8×10 picture frame I got at the bridal shower with a picture of the Real Happy Couple. I also got to set up the collage picture frame Grandma got for me–and HANG IT ON THE WALL. Hanging pictures on the wall officially makes a place a home, so Steve’s castle is now officially a home.

But, lest I get too distracted, I am NOT at home working on putting those pictures in a photo album. Instead, I am sitting at the coffeehouse where I work one job. I brought my computer so I can work on my other job, here, rather than going home with every intention of working, but instead getting distracted by wedding pictures and books and things.

It feels good to have a pretty steady freelance gig. I know it won’t last forever. Not much longer, in fact. But for now, it’s something I can turn to whenever I have an hour free to make another $10.

Well… I must turn back to the very exciting work that is reformatting NIBM’s archived newsletters.


I’m Alive!

On Sunday, I woke up feeling slightly icky. Much the same on Monday. Tuesday I was worsening, and by Wednesday I was sick as a dog and felt it, despite the copious use of NyQuil and DayQuil. Yesterday, I woke up feeling… not worse than I had the day before. Today, I am on the mend.

All that to say… sorry for not blogging more regularly.

However, I have good news too! My sister-in-law got almost all of the wedding pictures posted online. They are gorgeous. Even the pictures that make me think, “What is my face doing?” are pretty. In fact, most of the outdoor pictures are remarkably more beautiful than it actually was. Looking at those was definitely a bright spot in the day yesterday!

The other piece of good news is that I’m on the mend in time to go see my in-laws for the weekend. “In-laws” here having none of the negative connotation stereotypically associated with the term. I happen to love the family I married into like… well… family.

And the OTHER good news:

I have a freelance job with a company I haven’t worked with before! Granted, I haven’t been able to do much with it the past week. But now I’m better and am working on it, and I feel like an official freelancer.


Steve and I spent his break between class and orientation on a trip to see my parents and roommate and his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. Steve spent most of his time playing my parents’ Wii and computer games. I spent most of my time shopping.

I never used to be much of a shopper, but that was before I moved to a place where the nearest Books-A-Million is over 30 minutes away. My parents live right next to a huge shopping center with Books-A-Million, Target, Ross, PetSmart, a theater… EVERYTHING! It was beautiful. This morning, I’m wearing a new outfit and am sipping a caramel cappuccino that I made in the comfort of my very own home. My bathroom has decorative things that match each other. All of which probably matters nothing to you, but it’s a very exciting time for me.

It was also, of course, wonderful spending time with my amazing parents and roommate. And my kitties, who still claim me even though I’ve moved away from them. I also got to meet the new nephew. Jessi has banned me from comparing infants to reptiles, but my sister-in-law was so excited when I said her baby looks like a turtle. She thought the exact same thing and was surprised no one else had said it. But apparently, in normal circumstances, it’s a bad idea to tell a new mother her baby looks like a reptile.

What’s in a Name?

I’m a family person at heart. I’ve always been close to my parents, pretty much always got along with my brother, and always looked forward to my single yearly visit to my extended family. It’s true, some of them are a bunch of nuts, but they’re my family. They’re mine. And I love them dearly.

I’m a Shallahamer and a Yukie and a Carden. Each group is about as different from each other as possible, and even members of the same group can vary as widely as… well, as widely as members from any family can vary. My brother and I, for example, are about as similar as pine cones and pineapples. But we share a name, a history, and blood. You mock him in my presence to your peril.

I have another name too: Christian. Like the Yukies and the Shallahamers, each house where my family gathers can be quite different. Some of them don’t like each other much. I don’t always like all of them much. But we share a name, a history, and have been covered by the same blood. They are as much my family as the Shallahamers, Yukies, and Cardens.

As in any family, there are some members I speak of with an almost hopeless tone. There are those I resent sometimes for dragging my family name through the mud. However, I am no more worthy to bear the name than anyone else. I will wear it proudly, even when I want to sink my head in shame for some of my brothers’ and sisters’ antics, remembering the head of my proud house, and all that He gave so that I could call Him “Father.”