October 17, 2011

Miss Understanding

Our internet service was down all day Saturday.

Because we have internet-based phone service, that was out all day Saturday, too. But since we both have cell phones that worked perfectly well, we weren't really that concerned about it. Plus, we knew we could check our voicemail once the service came back on, AND our phone service offers a voicemail transcript email service as well. We were totally covered.

When the service was restored, we checked our voicemail and listened to this message from Tommy's dad, who was calling from the Virginia Tech football game:

"Hi Tommy, this is your daddy. I'm just giving you a call.

How 'bout those Cavaliers? How 'bout those Hokies?

Talk to you later. Bye, I love you. ...how do I close this thing?"

(That last bit was him figuring out how to hang up the cell phone. Hee.)

And when we received the email transcript of this missed message? Here is what THAT said:

"Hi Tommy, this is your daddy. I'm just giving you a call.

Will you go hear little ears for the oldies?

Talk to you later. Bye, I love you. Supposedly."


October 5, 2011


I think maybe it comes from being an only child for so long before my brother was born.

I've always been bossy, and I've always known what I wanted.

In first grade, Ms. Yoder asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Every other girl said either "nurse" or "teacher." I said "actress."

When I was 10, my best friend Pam and I wrote out our life plans. (We were extremely ambitious -- or deluded -- for 10 year olds.) They went something like this:
  1. Graduate from college.

  2. Become zoologists or veterinarians. (I'm not convinced we understood that numbers 1 and 2 were related. We just knew we were supposed to go to college for some reason.)

  3. Meet and marry handsome men (professions optional) in a double wedding ceremony (obviously).

  4. Move to Africa, so we could study jungle animals. (We had no idea what this entailed, but I'm pretty sure I was envisioning living in a zoo that someone else would maintain for us while we got to pet the tigers whenever we wanted. That sounds awesome, doesn't it?)

  5. Have kids on the same day (obviously).
And...that's where it ended. Not surprisingly, our life plan closely resembled a fairy tale -- there were no actual details. Our husbands had no discernable qualities other than being handsome and being willing to put up with our propensity for living with elephants, and there was zero concern for what everyday life would be like. Would any of us know how to cook? Who would pay us to do this ridiculous job? Who cares? Wheee!! Let's go play Barbies now.


My life today? It's not a fairy tale.

We live in Ohio.

There are no tigers.

I write for a living instead of gracing the stage on Broadway or living a constant African safari.

My husband is handsome, but that's where his resemblance to my 10-year-old fantasy husband ends.

Our life is so much better than I was ever even able to dream it.

About 10 years and two months ago, my now-husband took my hand and led me into the bedroom of the house we'd just purchased together.

With a tell-tale small white box in his hand, he got down on one knee and said, "Baby, I just want to ask you one question." As I gasped and started getting teary, he looked up at me and continued, "Would accept these earrings for your birthday, and then help me up off the floor? My knee hurts."

Sneaky and mean. I forgot to put that on my list of husband pre-requisites.

10 years ago today, he got down on one knee again, with another white box in his hand, and he asked me for real. He claims I took forever to answer. I was just making sure there was actually a ring in there this time.

And then, exactly one year later, we did this:

And although we of course had plans for our life together, I don't think I ever really thought about what day-to-day life would be like.

How much football there would be.

How little cooking I would do.

How many times we'd argue.

How much hard stuff we'd have to endure and work through and somehow come out on the other side of.

And how not once, not even once, would I consider my life with anyone else.


When I think about the last nine years, I cannot believe we're the same two people in those pictures up there.

Together, we have grown calmer. We have gotten saner. We have weathered anger and sorrow and boredom and hilarity.

We have grown up. We have grown together. We have become SO MUCH BETTER.

This husband of mine...I wish I could adequately explain how special he is. Not many people know him the way I do; he's quiet and keeps to himself quite a bit, and he saves the best parts of himself for those who know him best.

I could write paragraphs and pages about the times he's built me up when I felt completely worthless, and the times he's held me as I cried and felt utterly hopeless. About how his faith has saved me (and us) more times than I can count. About his amazing, unfaltering belief in me that leaves me staggered and awed.

All those things are true.

But I'd rather tell you about this morning, when he woke me up at 5 a.m. to watch me read a note he'd written for our anniversary, watching me, eyes smiling as I got to the parts that made me laugh uncontrollably. (It takes a lot to make me belly laugh when I can barely see out of both eyes.)

This man wrote me three pages explaining how much he loves the "mundanity" of our lives. The way I never let him finish singing a song. The way I constantly drop food on my boobs. The way I spend days in my pajama pants that say "Big Money" all over them.

The fact that, in just five and a half months, we'll be calling ourselves Mama and Daddy. (Oh...I cannot tell you how just the thought of that makes me just shiver. And cry. Both in a good way.)

This man, this man I married. Our marriage. It's imperfect and weird and often smelly and mostly loud and occasionally rocky and sometimes so calm it might look completely boring.

I love it and him so much I feel my heart is exploding. (Probably all over my boobs.)


There's no way to adequately say how much, but baby: I love you. This year is going to be epic and scary and insane and sleep-deprived. I cannot wait to do it all with you.

Happy anniversary.

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