Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Wonderful Surprise

I love those kinds of days that start out as "just another day at work"--only to turn into a day you'll never forget.

I have been anticipating today for over a month. Two of my co-workers and good friends, Britny and Jessica, are both expecting. Jessica is having a girl any day now; Britny is having a boy around May 10.

Several of my co-workers and I have been planning a baby shower for weeks. We had the menu(Bertucci's catering!), the decorations, the registries, the gifts, the blue, the pink, the invitations, passing cards around the office to be signed...everything. We even did a surperb job keeping it a secret. (Secrets are difficult to keep in ANY office environment for those who don't know.)

So today comes. Everyone is running around, frantically whispering to each other about final plans. At 11:30- everyone disappeared, presumably decorating the conference room. Well that was my cue. I walked over to help... only to be denied. I was told that it was already set up; and that I was too late. Obviously I felt crushed. How did I miss decorating and preparing after weeks of anticipating? I went back to my desk to try and distract myself with work.

As the time approached for the shower to begin, I was told to escort the girls in so they wouldn't know anything was up. We walked in just as everyone shouted "Surprise!" I smiled as I watched Britny's face light up. She was staring right back at me with a confused look on her face. It was then that I noticed the room decorated with wedding gifts as well as baby. I was so surprised! On the table were framed pictures of Jim and me with "Congratulations Emily" written above.

It was such a gift to be able to share my wedding shower with these two young women who will be bringing children into this world any day now. Today I also had the opportunity to reflect on how blessed I am to work with such wonderful people. I complain a lot about my job- commuting, government loans, not having 3 months off in the summer, etc. But I truly do work with some of the greatest people I have ever known.

Thank you Lord for the gift of these people, this beautiful day, and my wonderful fiancee.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Unlikely Running Partner

As the title suggests, I have taken up running. *Pause for laughter to subdue* Seriously though, I have been running for about 3 weeks now. *Pause for my OWN laughter* I know it's crazy, and again where did I come up with this idea. But I am one who loves to plan ahead. I am getting married in 46 (woohoo!) days, and I want to be in shape. I don't desire to lose weight or eat healthy, I just want to be in shape. Especially if I happen to get pregnant within the next few months.

I usually run with my brother and we chat about life as we go. But yesterday he courageously volunteered to cook dinner for my mother. So, the IPod was my companion. (I needed a dose of George Harrison anyway.)

I took off, jogging down the quiet suburban street. I had gone a good 1/2 mile when a car driving toward me slowed down almost to a complete stop- staring inquisitively as they passed. I smiled and waved and gave them my best "yes-I-know-it's-weird-to-see-me-exercising-isn't-it" looks. They finally passed, almost hesitantly. I shrugged it off and kept jogging. Finally, I felt that feeling that you get when you know that you are not alone. (The same feeling that my roommate Demi got in Europe when we were in London, in a hostel, and she was showering. After feeling overwhelmed with this "feeling" while 'pooing her hair- she looked straight ahead of her only to see a big brown eye staring at her through a hole in the shower wall. Ek!!!!) Anyway, my feeling is not perverse. I looked to my side and then toward the ground to see my dog George running along side of me. He glanced up toward me as if to say "oh? So you are going outside of the electric fence boundaries without me? We shall see about that. I don't let you run alone."

I was completely shocked! Not only had George escaped the highest power, "stubborn" dog-collar, but he was running aside next to me at my pace, and not escaping for his life! The last time that George escaped from our yard, my fiancee and I chased him through the neighbor's yard, past the county line, through the hunters' stray bullets, across to the Civil War battle zone! This dog has never made escaping easy on anyone! Yet here he was, as proud as could be, running along side of me.

Thank God Jim driving along just at that moment. I'm not sure how much longer this would have lasted.