The Way You Look Tonight

While shifting some things around at my mom’s house, I found the cd B & I played at our wedding.  I popped it in the car today, and though Thor howled at Etta James’ At Last vocals, like Hoo howls at police sirens, I had a great time listening.  The boy was dropped off at school before Etta had finished, so I got to listen to the rest by myself.

We’re coming up on our 10th anniversary.  The really nice thing is that if you’d asked me in December of 2003, what I thought December of 2013 would look like, I’d have described something like this exactly.  B and I have both progressed in our chosen fields.  We have a great kid.  We live in a place where we are all happy.  We have a goofy dog, wonderful family and friends, and we still like watching football from the sofa.  (I still don’t know what 4th and Down means, or whatever.  But I still like watching.)

I feel very fortunate to have this life, and very proud of all we have accomplished as individuals, and as a family unit.  Life can be hard, but we’ve all worked together to try to make life a little easier for each other.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always appreciated.

One of the songs on the cd is The Way You Look Tonight.  Sinatra’s version.  I love the opening lines.  “Some day, when I’m awfully low, when the world is cold, I will get a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight.”  I’m that way about B.

I can think about him and feel warm down to my toes.  You throw Thor into the mix?  Well, I couldn’t have imagined a world I love more.

Some day, when I am an old, old lady, I’m going to remember these days and feel so very, very blessed.

X Marks the Spot

This time, nine years ago, B and I were on our way to Galveston.  We would spend the night there, before embarking on our honeymoon cruise, the most of which I spent barfing.  But up until and in between all that, we had a really great wedding.

I do wish we’d had a videographer because the whole thing is little more than a happy blur, but I’m thankful for the great photography.  You know, all the little things went wrong that day.  We got the wrong flowers, the wrong cake, the heater was broken in the Bride’s room and my girls and I got shuffled around a few times while we were trying to get dressed.  My bouquet kept falling apart, and I had to keep grabbing flowers and poking them back into place.  It poured down rain, too, so much that the decorations the guys put on B’s car had washed off before we had even really turned onto the highway to leave.  It was a true deluge.  Still, it was all deliriously fun, and I was beside myself happy.

The icing on the cake moment for me came during the ring exchange portion of our ceremony.  The night prior, at our rehearsal, I had tried to put the pretend ring on B’s right hand instead of his left.  I don’t know right from left, and I especially don’t know it when it is facing the other direction.  So, when the pastor told me to put the ring on B’s finger, I looked down and saw that he had marked a big X on the fingernail of his ring finger.  I cracked up laughing because it was funny, and sweet, and so wholly accepting of me as a human being without a whisper of discontent–he took one of my greatest deficits and one of my most embarrassing weaknesses, and he turned it into a fond joke, like a very loving noogie–and I thought that was just the best thing ever.  How lucky was I to be marrying a man who would mark the spot?

I think that’s the best part of my marriage.  Our life together is funny and sweet, and wholly accepting of one another as flawed human beings, without even whispers of discontent.  That’s not to say we don’t get aggravated with each other, and it’s not to say that we don’t butt heads, but I know I am married to a man who so wants me as his wife that he made darned sure I knew where to put that ring.  I married a man who could have rolled his eyes at me, but who gave me a wink instead.

I have no recollection of our kiss.  I'm glad the photographer got it!
I have no recollection of our kiss. I’m glad the photographer got it!



Turning Nine

Tomorrow is our ninth anniversary.  Every morning of my life I wake up grateful.  No matter what goes on in my day, I get to come home to my husband and that is a truly wonderful thing.

I hope when our son grows up and is looking to settle down, he thinks we are admirable role models.  I hope we are showing him that two people can like each other, love each other, be stubborn, be moody, be happy, be silly, be sad, be at their best and at their worst, and be together the whole way.  I hope he is learning that mutual respect and genuine fondness make for a good marriage.  I hope he sees that loving people support each other, even when it means listening to something you’re probably sick of hearing (sorry, Honey), or coexisting with things you might not entirely understand.  I hope he looks at us and it makes him feel positive about his own future.

I like my husband.  Even at our worst, I always like him.  I respect him.  I admire him.  I am so proud of how hard he works to make our lives comfortable, and am just proud of him in general.  He is brilliant.  You will not meet a stronger intellect.  He is kind and generous.  He makes me laugh like no one else in the world.  He is good to our extended family, and has proven himself over and over again with his willingness to help.

There is nowhere else I would rather be than with him.

Every closet needs a good pair of work boots, and a good pair of heels.  So does every marriage.
Every closet needs a good pair of work boots, and a good pair of heels. So does every marriage.



What I Like About You

Today is my husband’s birthday.  And here are 36 reasons I love him–one for every birthday he’s had.

  1. He is as kind and loving to my parents as he is to his own.
  2. He is kind and loving to his parents.
  3. He treats me like I am his friend.
  4. He will spend part of his birthday at a friend’s child’s birthday party because he loves our friends, and because he knows Thor would enjoy it.
  5. His capacity for knowledge is boundless.
  6. His ability to manipulate that knowledge into understanding is unparalleled among our peers.
  7. His ability to use that understanding to make intelligent sense of any subject always impresses me.
  8. When you add to all that his ability to maintain what he has learned…well, I live with a genius.
  9. He uses his genius powers for good.
  10. He holds his son and hugs him, and kisses him, and he tells him how much he is loved.
  11. He is a very good father.
  12. He is always willing to help.
  13. When I forget, he makes the bed in the morning.
  14. He sings to himself when he is contented and happy.
  15. He uses funny voices when he reads to Thor.
  16. He is the best movie-going companion I’ve ever had.
  17. He is the best road trip companion I’ve ever had.
  18. He is always considerate when I am sick.
  19. He shares his books.
  20. Because when we first started dating, he caught me dancing by myself in an aisle at Barnes & Noble, and instead of laughing, he danced, too.
  21. Because he will listen to my music and only tease me good-naturedly about it.
  22. He has excellent taste in art and architecture.
  23. He is actually interested in going to see art and architecture.
  24. He is full of adventure,
  25. but he is not careless.
  26. He can be spontaneous, but is never impetuous.
  27. He works very hard for our family.
  28. He works very, very hard for our family.
  29. He never yells at me, or berates me, or tries to make me feel small when I’ve made a mistake.
  30. He is an excellent husband.
  31. His laugh makes my insides light up.
  32. He is gentle with Thor’s feelings–sometimes more so than I am.
  33. He is kind to my friends.
  34. He does his level best to make me happy.
  35. He makes me laugh.
  36. I can trust him, I respect him, and I genuinely like him as a person.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  It’s just the first 36 things off the top of my head–and it took no time at all to get them down.


For Sale or Lease

This time last year (and at this point I stopped writing the entry to go and renew my energy plan, having reminded myself it was about to expire!) we were planning our move from The Country House (that place in a pocket neighborhood, out by the cows) into The Town House (a literal townhouse apartment.)  It was a lot of effort, actual blood, sweat, and tears, but in the end, it’s been a fantastic decision for us.  We lost 700 sq. ft. in the move, but we gained exponential multiplications of satisfaction–especially as our daily commutes were concerned.  (And here I had to stop to make sure we had signed our lease for the next 12 months.)

We put The Country House on the market in April, and by August were starting to panic.  In those four months, we had about six views on the house.  Our realtor called with some bad news.  There were over a dozen homes in the neighborhood in foreclosure, some nearly twice the size of ours, listed at 5k less.  And the homes the size of ours…well.  Let’s just say we did the math, figured out our lowest asking price, swallowed back that lump in our throats, and dropped our listing by about 6k.  That got us two more views.

In mid-August, we contacted a property management company, to help us lease the home.  Our PM was excited about the house and the neighborhood, and was sure we’d be able to get renters in by Labor Day.  By early October, we had dropped our already majorly-inexpensive lease fee by another hundred dollars.  Thank Vesta (goddess of home and hearth for those of you who aren’t Classics nerds) we finally found renters, who moved in last week.

After PM fees, fence repair, carpet cleaning, pro-h0usekeeping scrubdown, and the dredges of half a months worth of utility and yard maintenance bills, we’ll break just about even on the deal in December.  But we did have to cut our lease so low that with PM fees, we are taking a small hit.  Much better, much, much better than a hit for the full mortgage and HOA fees, but still a hit.

And we were smart, y’all.

When we bought our house in 2005, we were approved for more than twice what we chose.  B was smart and paid us out of debt before we started our house-quest, so we went into our mortgage in an excellent position.  We bought WELL within our means, so that if something happened to one of our jobs, we would still have a place to live.  And then we both worked hard to improve our means.  I hope B won’t mind me bragging on the massive amounts of time, energy, and self-sacrifice involved in his certification classes that netted him better jobs.  I am extremely proud of him.

So what happened?

Well, we both got better paying jobs–and after I had been laid off, we needed those jobs.  A major factor in our move came down to Thor’s school.  It worked like this:

  • If we took the better paying jobs, we doubled our commute times.
  • If our jobs were 8–5 with no early mornings, or late nights, traffic would mean leaving the neighborhood by 6:30AM, and getting home around 7PM.
  • Thor’s school doors opened at 7:30AM, and the on-site afterschool care closed at 6:30PM
  • We were so far out of range, there were no other before or afterschool care options that fit our needs.  It’s not like you can just give a 5-year-old a house key and teach him to make a grilled cheese.
  • If we didn’t take the better paying jobs…well, that wasn’t an option.

See the problem?  And we sure couldn’t afford private school!

So we moved.  Best decision we made all year.

And really, thank goodness for the new renters.  We have at least 12 months of breathing room now, and hopefully they will love the home and either renew the lease, or want to buy it outright.  (I’m not even going to think about the what-ifs involved in repairs we might face next November.  No.  Not going to do it.)