Wednesday, July 30, 2008

love story

Well, last Saturday was mine and John's five year anniversary. Since we celebrated early in San Fran (we are on a first name basis), I almost forgot on the actual day. John is gone this week on a mission trip, so it wasn't like I looked at him all day and forgot. I have a pretty legitimate excuse named Zoey. So around 11 p.m. I looked at my calendar, smacked myself on the forehead and texted a happy anniversary message to the boy. He never texted back, but it really didn't matter. As much of a celebrator as I am, our anniversary is usually pretty low key-nice dinner, tumble in the sheets, peck goodnight, and phew! one more year down.
However, this year I have the privilege of missing my husband like crazy on our anniversary, and it has made me appreciate him and our relationship so much.
I love, nee adore being married to John. I just feel so comfortable with him. That sounds so blase, because it really doesn't explain what I mean. Simply put, he is home to me. Plus, he is just cool. Some of my favorite times are when we are just hanging out with each other joking around or playing Guitar Hero-just being friends. We started out as friends, and I think that enriches our relationship so much.
John and I have a great love story. It is my favorite story, and in honor of the big 5, I feel like I should share, so here goes:
John and I have known each other a long time, because we were in the same youth group; however, John is two school years older than me, so we weren't friends. In fact, when I was in 8th grade, I tried talking to John at youth VBS because I thought he was really cute, but he totally gave me the cold shoulder. Because of that event, I thought he was a snob. Fast forward to the summer before my senior year (1999). I had been working with the same woman at VBS since I was in 7th grade, but that year there was a fluke. Mrs. Jones tried to get it worked out, but alas, I was stuck doing snow cones. I was really disappointed, so I was none to pleased when in walked John Knippers. My mind flashed back to the 8th grade skating rink incident. He was still pretty cute though. I decided to give him a chance, after all, he drove a Pontiac Firebird. The first day, we just laughed and joked with each other, and when I squirted juice down my leg, he mopped it off for me. One day after VBS, we went to lunch at Chelsea's deli, and at the end of the week, he asked me on a date. We went to see The Mummy, but had to leave early due to my curfew. Time went on, and John and I spent more and more time together. He was really starting to freak me out with how much he liked me and wanted to be with me. I was only 17 and had only had one boyfriend. So, when John would call, my family had specific instructions to either not answer or tell him I was not home. After a while, John stopped calling. I didn't understand why, but I was appalled, and somehow felt that I needed him in my life. I knew if I just made one small step, he would pick up where he left off, so I went to visit him at work one day, and sure enough, the calls started again.
This non-dating dating kept up for several months, until we slipped unconsciously into a comfortable friendship. One day John introduced me to a friend that he had met at school. I thought that guy was really cute, and eventually, he and I started dating behind John's back. Neither of us wanted to hurt him, but he found out and was hurt anyway. Still, he kept being just as good a friend to me as he was before. There was rarely a time that I was with Patrick that John was not there too. My sister used to joking call them "my two boyfriends." It never seemed strange to me, and the cement of our friendship continued to harden. Patrick and I started to drift apart as John and I got closer. Patrick went out of town for Spring Break, and John and I spent the whole week together. Patrick called me when he got back into town, but I only talked to him for a few minutes, because I was on the other line with John. That was the last I ever heard from Patrick. We never actually broke up; he just seemed to realize that there was something bigger going on. He even said prophetically once "Long after I am gone, there will still be you and John." Never a truer statement was made.
John and I continued to spend as much time together as possible. I appreciated him and his friendship so much, but I did not desire more. John brought me roses after Pop Show, came over to see me off before prom, and was in the crowd when I graduated. He was my best friend in the whole world. VBS rolled around again, and this time I requested Snow Cones. One day while scooping ice into the cones, I playfully asked John if he would be my "back-up." If neither of us were married by the time we were thirty, we could marry each other. John looked appalled, and I was a little confused by his response.
One night John was driving me to Wal-Mart to buy travel size toiletries for a mission trip when I looked at him for what I consider the first time. I watched him driving and realized that I never wanted to sit next to anyone else in the car for the rest of my life. It was like God knew that I was finally ready for this and he flipped on a switch in me that allowed me to look at John as something other than a friend. I realized that John had been waiting for me for more than a year, and he didn't really seem interested anymore. It seemed to be my turn to wait.
One night, John and I took my little brother to see the movie Chicken Run ( I know, I know, but it will always hold a special place in my heart). After the movie, John and I were goofing off in the front yard, as usual. He was standing close to me to block the light from the front porch. We were play arguing about something, when all the sudden, mid sentence, he kissed me. It was the kiss I had been waiting for my whole life and it literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. It was the kiss that said everything I needed to hear and everything I hadn't said. It was the best kiss I have ever had. I looked at him after we hugged and I said, "I am so in love with you." He told me he was in love with me too, and it was then that we told each other that we would get married. Three years and a thousand break-ups later, we did.
God was so evident in putting us together. From the mix up with VBS to the turning on of the love switch, God put each piece of our romance together. If ever I doubt the sovereignty of my God, all I have to do is look at my husband and know God is the master orchestrator.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

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That is me banging on the keyboard because I am throwing a silent fit. I can't throw it out loud because I might wake up the boss, and heaven forbid I do that. I took me a freakin' hour and a half to get her to really go to sleep. My parents came over to help me get her ready for bed since I am a mission trip widow. My mom and I bathed her and somehow managed to get her desitined, diapered, and pajamaed while she screamed bloody murder. Seriously. Cried so hard she made herself choke. No sympathy from the mommy. My blood pressure was probably through the roof. Ugh. We then handed her off to my dad (is my life a perpetual football game??) who fed her and put her to bed. She did not even stir when he moved her to her cradle. Totally unfair. That hasn't happened for me in a week. I thought she was sound asleep, when as my parents prepared to leave, she started crying. She is diabolical. She waits till she gets me alone to set forth her evil plans of slowly driving me insane. I put the pacifier back in her mouth and tiptoed out of the room. Just as I settled back on the couch, she started up again. Repeat routine for an hour and a half. She is the puppet master and I am her puppet. I finally decided to drug her with Tylenol. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I think she is teething anyway, so there all you who are judging me right now. Now, let's see if she actually sleeps all night long. ha. right. Single mothers deserve a BMW and liposuction for doing this job on their own.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I stole this

I completely ganked this from another blog that I read, but I liked it, and since I am having a quiet moment, I thought that I would fill in the blanks:

i am: avoiding housework.
i dream: about being skinny.
i think: that I made a mistake about my job. gulp.
i know: Christ died for me. Woohoo!
i want: to sleep in someday.
i have: a daughter.
i wish: Zoey could take care of herself sometimes.
i hate: waking up in the morning.
i miss: my freedom. sigh.
i fear: that I will never get over being too selfish.
i feel: like going to Target.
i hear: the hum of the computer.
i smell: like spit-up and baby.
i crave: cookies. all the time.
i search: for those dang bows of Zoey's that I lost. Where O where could they be???
i wonder: if my body will ever be the same.
i regret: some the things that I say to John sometimes.
i love: my family and friends. So much.
i ache: in the head. need some tylenol.
i care: about animals entirely too much.
i always: eat too much dessert.
i am not: sorry about the above statement.
i believe: in Jesus Christ.
i dance: with Zoey around the house.
i sing: all the time!
i cry: when I am tired or mad.
i don’t always: pray as much as I should.
i fight: with John about stupid stuff. I am mostly wrong.
i write: for me.
i lose: when I play against John aka the trivia master
i never: weed the backyard.
i listen: by asking questions.
i can usually be found: on the couch.
i need: to work out.
i am happy about: Kelly coming to spend the week!
i desire: long hair.
i hope: Zoey sleeps well tonight.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

finally...

Sometimes it freaks me out a little bit how alike people start to be when they have been married for awhile. John and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage on the 26th, and I have a whole new definition of "two people become one."
John flew to San Fransisco a full week before I did to do some training for work. I met him there last Friday for a little anniversary celebration. It was a wonderful trip. Lots of great shopping. Anyway, when searching for the perfect souvenir, I had in mind a shirt that I had spotted somewhere. I thought that I had seen it at Pier 39, but when we went there to get it, alas, it was no where to be seen. The two of us became obsessed with finding this shirt. We scoured every shop in Pier 39 and Chinatown. I finally had to admit that maybe I had made this shirt up. Perhaps I had dreamed the shirt and thought it was real. It's happened before. Just when I was about to chalk it up to craziness, John said that he remembered the shirt as well. He described it to me and said that he remembered seeing it in a store window, so I knew that it wasn't just me; the shirt did exist, and even if I didn't buy it, I must know its covert location. It plagued us the rest of the trip. Finally, exhausted, hungry, and irritable, the search ended and I bought another T-shirt.
Our flight was delayed on Monday, so John and I had some time to kill at the airport. We meandered through the shops looking for something to bring back to the niece and nephew. All the sudden we simultaneously halted at the same time, mouths agape. There was the shirt in a store window, just like John had remembered. It had been in the airport all along. And, although we arrived in SF separately , we both noticed the shirt and it stuck in both our minds. We had a good chuckle at how far we have come in the past five years and bought the t-shirt.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is a hit or miss

So, I had a really fabulous afternoon with two of my favorite girls in the world, and it really got me to thinking about how weird growing up is. I currently own 26 years of life. They have been bought and paid for with my youth. It may sound cynical, but I don't think I feel that way. The snapshot of the afternoon was one that could have taken place 10 years ago. It was just three girls sprawled haphazardly on the couch sipping soda, watching T.V. and talking about, you guessed it, sex. I felt like if I looked in the mirror, I would see my 17 year old self looking back at me. I miss her. Anyway, just when I was losing myself in the sea of nostalgia, a baby cried. The moment was like the page in the back of People magazine where they ask you to find the 12 subtle differences between the two seemingly same pictures. So, in our "Can you spot it", here are our subtleties:
1) All three girls have better hair and fashion sense. 2) All three wear a smile that is genuine and relaxed, not pasted on to impress someone of the opposite sex. 3) All three girls wear wedding rings (hence the smile). 4) Two of the girls carry a few extra pounds of post baby weight. 5) One has a small baby bump. 6) All have a few wrinkles created by worry and joy. 7) All three have learned a few things along the way.
Even though I know that I am not sleeping in anytime soon due to my precious three month old alarm clock, I think that my 17 year old self would approve of how my life has turned out. And, I would gladly trade in the old photo for the new one. Wine isn't the only thing that gets better with age.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Priorities

Becoming a mother has really forced me to examine my life and make decisions about what is really important. For example, my routine for getting ready in the morning (morning, afternoon, early evening-whatever) has had to undergo a few minor changes. Now, instead of stumbling groggily into the bathroom and hopping into the shower to wake myself up, I dart in and out of the bathroom snatching quiet moments to make myself presentable. I also do each step according to the order of importance. To me, the most important thing that I can do is put in my contacts then brush my teeth. If the routine is interrupted, then the two most essential things are out of the way. The next step is the shower. If I get lucky, I might get to shave my legs, but most of the time, that knocks off a step or two from the end of the routine. While in the shower, I wash my face. Often this is where the routine ends abruptly. Please note, no clothes have been put on at this time. Clothes have become somewhat of a luxury. If I am fortunate enough to go on, the underwear and bra naturally come first. In my former life, much of this routine was backward, and I spent a great deal of the getting ready process naked confident that I would be fully clothed by the time I walked out of my bedroom; I have now come to realize that if I don't grab every advantage, John may very well come home at the end of the day to a naked wife (some men may dream of this, but believe me, this would be the farthest thing from sexy. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld: "bad naked!") . The pants are put on next. Why you ask? Well, if I don't have time to put on a shirt, it is a lot easier to throw one on of the doorbell rings suddenly. Seconds, people, precious, precious seconds. You might think that the shirt would come next-oh no. Eye make-up takes priority over a shirt. It is essential. So, eyes, then shirt, then combing out the hair, followed by blowing drying and straightening the bangs, then the rest of the face is finished. If the angels are smiling on me, I might get to blow-dry my and straighten my hair the rest of my hair, but again, if I shave my legs, the chances of this happening are slim to none. This morning, I actually got through all the steps, but once more, a choice had to be made: Finish the routine or eat breakfast? A girl just can't have it all.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

In the bedroom

Last night, John and I decided that we would reclaim our bedroom by trying to put Zoey to bed upstairs in the nursery. I was pretty excited and nervous at the idea of sleeping next to an empty cradle. I think I have developed "mommy hearing", because the slightest peep from the cradle wakes me up, and let me assure you, Zoey takes after her dad and is a loud sleeper. She grunts, rustles, sighs, and goes to town on her pacifier. Sometimes, I can't tell if she is awake or asleep. It is pretty annoying. However, when we put her in her crib, my baby girl, who has grown leaps and bounds, instantly regressed to newborn size. The bed just swallowed her. It tugged at my heart. I kept thinking that she might get lost in her own bed. She might wake up in the middle of the night and not know where she is. As I stood over her bed watching her fuss and fret, I realized I don't mind her being in our room. I do miss the camaraderie John and I share through pillow talk and being able to claim our marital privileges in our marriage bed, but I love the idea of having all the people I love (cats included) in one room. There is such a security in knowing that if Zoey needs us, John and I are right next to her. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night frantic that something has happened to her, and all I have to do is look over at her and watch her breathing before turning over contentedly in my own bed and falling back asleep. I know that Zoey is growing up quite literally before my eyes, and before I know it, it will undeniably be time to move her on up, so even though sometimes I want to yell "Shut the hell up!" at 3 in the morning (yes, I know she is a baby, but I swear there are times when she takes pleasure in getting on my nerves), I think I will hold on to those soft baby sighs for just a little bit longer.

Happy 4th (late)

Zoey celebrated her first 4th of July in style (John and I didn't look so bad either:)) However, John did refer to Zoey as Aunt Jemima. I did not think it was funny.

Our little family. I totally made us color coordinate. John was not thrilled.


This is how we found Zoey when we got to my parent's house. What was she supposed to do? She didn't have any sunglasses.


John's girls

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Retraction

There are about a million different things that I should be doing right now while Zoey naps, but the truth is that I feel like I need to clear a few things up and share some other thoughts that have been floating through my mind. I think I shall start with the thoughts. *Let me preface this by saying that I may the worst person in the world when it comes to change. End preface.* A couple of years ago, I had the worst year of my life. It was my first year of teaching, and I was having a really hard time accepting being an actual grown-up and all that comes with that title. I may not have been outwardly rebelling against God, but inwardly, I was running as far away from him as I could. I was having a crisis of faith where I really did not know what to believe. I was questioning so many things including who I was as an adult, a teacher, a wife, a daughter, and a Christian. It completely sucked. However, just when I did not know if I could take any more questions, God rescued me. To this day, I am in awe of who my Heavenly Father is and how he knows just when to reveal himself to us. He allowed me to be completely broken and then he took all the pieces and made something that was even more beautiful than before. I am so humbled by the graciousness of God that I cannot help but smile when I think back on that year. I am so grateful for that time in my life even though then, I did not think I could get much lower. I am so grateful for having to walk through the valley, because it makes the mountain that much better.
Some of you may not know that I never ever intended on having children. Some people think that is a sad decision, but to me, my life was not missing anything. I had cats; they did the trick. I was also told that if I did ever want to have children, it would be difficult and would require fertility drugs. That didn't bother me in the least. To me, it just meant I could sex it up freestyle (sans birth control). However, God clearly had a different plan for John and I, because surprise! I got pregnant. I knew that even though I was not completely thrilled with the new direction my life was taking, God gave us this child for a purpose. It was clearly his plan that she be born to us. I did not know why, and sometimes, I still don't know. The good thing is that it is not for me to figure out. So, once again, God revealed himself to me in a new and surprising way.
God has continued to reveal himself to me through this depression that I struggle with. I am able to praise him even when I want to disappear, because my emotions do not dictate how good my God is. He is "my strength, my shield, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need." He is so very, very good.
Now, here are a few things that I need to clear up:
*I have a hot husband who is not only good in the sack, but he is an incredible father, and he never minds going the extra mile for his less than sane wife.
* I have the most beautiful daughter in the world who has the sweetest little bow mouth and kissable cheeks, AND she has started sleeping until 5 a.m.
* Even though my emotions get the best of me often, I have a good life, and I know that I am truly blessed.

Here is a little treat for those of you who stuck with me until the end.

video