Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Relieved to Be at The Beach

So the four day trip to D.C. with Carter has left me in need of a vacation. Thankfully a trip to the beach was already planned with a stay with my favorite friends from law school (with Carter is staying about 20 miles away with friends).

Long story short--the trip was disappointing to us both, and it's left me with some things to think about. While I hate that only one of the four days together in D.C. was fun, I guess I am glad to be aware of what some of our potential issues are sooner rather than later. Right now I'm thinking about whether these are issues I want to deal with or not. I'm wondering when you cut your losses and acknowledge that a square peg won't fit into a round hole as opposed to when you dig in and try, recognizing that you're not perfect and that relationships are work. I'm reflecting on how I "should" feel about someone after dating for six months, curious if an absence of that "in love" feeling is my answer or if it's a product of a more mature, balanced and less physically intimate relationship.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate dating? If not, please be assured that I do. I don't mind being single; I want to one day be married; but I hate dating.

Random details of our trip:

The drive to the airport included an argument about whether or not easy fit tapered leg jeans were in style five years ago. You can guess which side I was on:)

We missed our flight but were fortunate to pay only $50/each to be on a flight that left only one hour later.

For the very first time I met a blogger in person, and it was fantastic. Jeff and I met via Kimberly's blog over two years ago. Jeff and his wife had two extra tickets (and excellent seats) to the Baltimore Orioles v. the D.C. Nationals baseball game on Saturday night, so we met up with them at the stadium for a fun game. Then they showed us around the harbor and were kind enough to give us a ride back into town. This was a definite highlight of the trip.

Attended a very cool church service at Capitol Hill Baptist on Sunday night in which various members of the congregations (probably more than 15) prayed for different members, organizations, etc. in the course of one prayer. It was obvious that this church family was open, honest, and faithfully praying for one another and others throughout the world.

We got our hotel rooms in a great location at a 4 star hotel for only $80/night through Priceline ("name your own price"). I'm addicted to this website now; it's a bit like gambling. Carter booked me a room at a Doubletree (yummy hot cookies) in Atlanta not long ago for $50/night, and Carter has gotten me a room at the Grand Hyatt for $75.

p.s. I'm grateful that I have no plans tomorrow and am spending the day alone at the beach. Given how much not fun the last few days have been, the prospect is especially delightful.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Slowly but surely I'm learning how to date in a way that is (hopefully) glorifying to God--and surprise surprise--much more healthy and balanced for me. Over the past ten years I have often chosen to learn lessons in this arena the hard way--from buying a house with someone I wasn't married to to dating a guy who told me he was a better looking man that I am a woman (Who thinks/says stuff like that? But more important who puts up with it? Yes, me.). I've lacked boundaries, wisdom, and the desire to seek God first. And not surprisingly I've created a lot of unnecessary heartache and drama and spent about eight years of my life in relationships that were ill-advised in many ways.

One of the areas I've made the most mistakes in is the physical realm, and just in the last few months I have been learning more about how mistaken I've been. I've always thought of myself as being more like a stereotypical guy when it comes to physical stuff, believing that I am objective and that kissing and whatnot did not interfere or influence feelings. In my mind kissing was simply fun and light-hearted and just not a big deal at all.

So I started dating Carter in November, and by our fifth date he had still not kissed me--which was a first for me. Frankly it was weird to me, and I was curious as what was going on in his head and wondering all sorts of things (i.e What's wrong with him? When is he going to kiss me? Now it's going to be a big deal when we finally do kiss. I don't want our first kiss to be on New Year's Eve and so forth).

But somewhere along the way I discovered that I liked not kissing! I was so clear-headed. I wasn't distracted or wondering when we were going to make out next. I was just listening to him, and his desire to see me again had nothing to do with the physical. So after seven dates of not kissing, I became a proponent of not kissing at all. Yes, I realize that seems absolutely crazy, but it's yet another reminder of the powerful nature of transformation. Seriously--the shock of liking not kissing is just now rubbing off; it's really amazing to me that I could like not having that as a part of a dating relationship since the physical aspect of a relationship was always a priority for me in the past.

Carter finally kissed me on our eighth date, but I am still grateful that a foundation for our relationship was laid before that happened; and I sometimes think I'd like to go back to not kissing because of the benefits mentioned above. Don't get me wrong--I love kissing Carter and could do it for hours (and have), but part of me thinks "I want to make wise decisions about dating; it's easier to do that without distraction and with a clear head, and if we are right for each other, we can kiss for years after we get married." Of course, the other part of me feels whiny and short-sighted and thinks about how much I've already "given up" and thinks "I really like kissing and shouldn't be such a teetotaler type."

p.s. I'm grateful for the cupcake Sarah bought me this afternoon and the "get a free drink" card my barista gave me this morning at Starbucks.

Monday, May 05, 2008

My Young Friends....

Several of my friends in Nashville are on the younger side, and well they think I'm old. After all, I will be 30 YEARS OLD next month. Case in point is a Gmail chat I had earlier today with Brian (the guest blogger from last fall):

Ally: In Destin I'll hang with my friends from law school and Carter will be nearby with friends.

Brian: sounds like an ideal time for an impromptu wedding

Ally: ha ha ha Why are you guys so set on us getting married?[smile]

Brian: cause you're withering away

me: nice. I knew you'd say that

Brian: ha

p.s. I'm thankful that I'm not sick anymore and got lots of rest yesterday. Being sick is such a reminder of the awesome health I almost always enjoy.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Flat Stanley Visits Nashville

A little more than a month ago I received the sweetest surprise in the mail--a long letter from my niece Alaina, telling me who she is (in case I forgot, I guess....or perhaps just an example of a second grader falling prey to the dangers of a form letter:) and who Flat Stanley is. For some reason I thought everyone had heard of him, but I've learned over the past few weeks that I'm wrong.

So in case you don't know, Stanley Lambchop is a character in a children's book; he's flattened when a bulletin board falls on him, and he makes the best of the situation, taking advantage of his flattened status and traveling via envelope to his friends. Alaina and her class asked that I show Flat Stanley around Nashville and take some photos of us together.

My photos are fairly predictable (food and children related:)....we shared sushi with FS and taught him to use chop sticks; included him in a birthday celebration for my friend Tara; took him to the Parthenon and a Vandy baseball game; talked to him about the homeless; and even took him on an Easter egg hunt. It was fun to have a companion with me for a few weeks too even if he is flat and made of paper. Hmm....there's something kind of nice about a man who is predictable, reliable, and has to go wherever I say....

Happy (almost) weekend!

p.s. I'm grateful for anticipation and having so much to look forward to, the least of which isn't a trip to Destin with friends for Memorial Day and a trip to D.C. with Carter. Speaking of Carter, I'm finally starting to feel ridiculous calling him the "guy that I'm dating" and referring to him as "my boyfriend." I'm silly.