Happy Birthday, I made you a card.
It is an interesting place when you can still remember cutting construction paper and hunting for the right colored crayon to create a masterpiece for your parents but are holding one of those cards in your hands made just for you.
Today isn’t my birthday, but it is a day that I give thanks and celebrate the greatest gift I have ever been given. She is the single best investment I have ever made and the current rate of return is off the charts.
My wife celebrates her birthday today and she is without doubt, hands down, the sweetest of the sweet. She is an amazing mother to our little girls and the greatest wife a guy could ask for. When she isn’t taking care of them and our family, she is molding a classroom of 3rd graders into the men and women of tomorrow. Her smile lights up a room and when she begins to laugh, there is no place on earth you would rather be than next to her.
She has long beautiful mahogany hair and blue eyes that can stop traffic. She is kind and thoughtful and her generosity knows no bounds. She has the heart of a servant and always just seems to know what to do to make someone feel special. She is the total package.
Just when I think that she couldn’t be more amazing, I look in the mirror and I am reminded of her patience and compassion and dedication to continue to hang in there with me. She didn’t have to say yes to that first date or any of the ones after that. I am thankful that underneath all of those attributes, she also pulls for the underdog and loves a good fixer upper.
Today we give her home-made cards and wrapped up presents to celebrate her birth. I hope she likes them because I will never be able to give her what she has given me. Her decision to do this with me is the greatest gift there is.
No Weak Today, She Stands Alone.
The last 4 days have been pretty crazy. This blog has only been up for a couple of weeks and somehow found its way to the “Freshly Pressed” page. I have been overwhelmed with the number of people who have wasted a click to stop by and read and have been very humbled by the kind comments and encouragement. I have said before that these posts are the only things that I have ever written that weren’t “due” or on the inside of a greeting card. I write these just to write them and the fact that there are people who are interested in reading it is very surreal.
I am very new to blogs in general and still learning my way around, but this week I am incredibly honored to accept “The Versatile Blogger Award” from She Can’t Be Serious and Broke Wife, Big City.
Now this award sounds eerily similar to those chain emails you get because I am supposed to list seven things about me and then pass the award on to other blogs that I think are versatile. I am not certain how I was deemed versatile since I have yet to write my post about how I spend summers entertaining street corners as an ambidextrous oil painter and opera singer.
As previously confessed, I am new to blogging so I will need some time to peruse the internets before making my nominations but I wanted to express my gratitude in a timely fashion.
Thank you very much for reading and for passing the award along. I am very grateful.
Oh yeah, here are seven things about me:
1. My desk at work and my desk at home still look like the inside of my 10th grade locker; I don’t know how organized people do it.
2. I fell out of a tree on Thanksgiving Day when I was 13 and fractured my pelvis, I shuffled around like an 90-year-old man for almost a month.
3. I really like saying Cheers, not just when I raise a glass but I think it is a great way to say goodbye.
4. I am pretty good at my job but there are parts that really bore me and I tend to slack on those. (I am writing this in my office).
5. I can’t imagine how much dumber I would be if not for the internet.
6. I own a guitar………I don’t play any instruments.
7. My wife read the entire Twilight series of books in like 4 days, now I have to compete with a fictional 17-year-old vampire.
P.S. If you have any great blog suggestions that would be totally sweet.
Remembering to buy stamps
There used to be a time that stamps were kind of staple in most houses with all of the bill paying and the letter writing and old-fashioned correspondence. Now with email and online bill pay, the only time you need stamps are when you are sending Christmas cards or Birthday invitations. Maybe it’s because we only buy them 3-4 times per year but we basically have to build in a one week “forgot to get stamps” buffer zone in our planning for mailing stuff. It goes something like writing the word STAMPS on a note on the refrigerator, forgetting them and then circling the word a couple of times like that is going to ingrain the concept into our brains enough that stamps are all we think about. Usually, there is no less than 3 times that we drive away from a grocery store and as we exit one of us exclaims ‘STAMPS!!” We look at each other and shrug and then drive on
knowing hoping that soon one of us will triumph over forgetfulness and get the chore done. If I manage during that week to remember to pick up stamps somewhere, I usually present them to my wife followed by some silly touchdown celebration dance. Finally remembering that thing that you keep forgetting is totally sweet. Yesterday we got a bright orange envelope in the mail that we can put a check into (if we can find the checkbook that never gets used anymore) and the mail-person will take the money and leave stamps in our mailbox! How are the most obvious ideas sometimes the most elusive? This solves all of those stamp forgetting problems. But I can see it now somewhere down the road written on note on the fridge circled three times “find orange stamp envelope!!”
Forgetting it is Trash Day
Surely I am not the only one that has been in the kitchen at 6:00 A.M. with their eyes still half closed trying to figure out if the best way to wake up would be to just make a pot of coffee or get in a fight about whose turn it was to set the coffee pot timer. Well it is at a moment like that still adjusting my eyes to the blaring kitchen light that I will hear a gentle rumbling down the block and instantly have a bolt of adrenaline course through my body and jolt me out of my haze. Caffeine works great to wake you up but not near as much as the sudden panic that IT IS GARBAGE DAY!! and you forgot to put the can by the road. Instantly my mind sharpens and I have military type precision and focus. I bound out of the house leaving modesty behind as I grab the can and make a dash for the curb in my pajamas. I see the truck coming down the street and realize I am going to make it in time. My mind relaxes and I am victorious. As my cat-like reflexes recoil and I breath in the sweet morning air I am wide awake and suddenly aware of a few things that didn’t garner my attention mid dash. My feet are soaking wet from the dew, I really need to cut the grass, it is kind of chilly this morning, the fly on these boxers does not stay closed very good mid sprint and that is quite a draft, oh hey there are the neighbor’s kids walking to the bus stop. That is one short-lived victory once you realize you are standing in your front yard in your underwear. Why didn’t I just remember the night before? Forgetting to take out the trash is totally weak.
Finishing a book
I don’t have a lot of time to read these days so on the off-chance I do actually make it to the end of the book I feel like there should be some kind of award at the end. Do you feel the same need to tell someone that you finished a book? I obviously am not well read enough. I will admit to having a short attention span, I will routinely get distracted on the most menial of tasks. Translation – “Honey why is the washing machine running with no clothes in it?” I tend to start lots of things and have lots of ideas but sometimes struggle a bit with the follow through. I mean if the over/under on the longevity of this blog being maintained was set at 3 months I would probably take the under and I am the one that writes it. That may be why I was particularly satisfied with myself to finish a book this week. There are 3 books that I was currently reading and let’s be honest, the other two are probably not going to be finished. A particularly interesting observation of my recent literary conquest is that I read almost the entire book on my phone. I would find time putting the baby to sleep, waiting at the doctor’s office,
on important conference calls to read a bit here and there. The funny thing about reading a book on your phone is that (Dear mom, I will call you and explain how this is possible) you don’t realize how close you are to the end. There are no dog-eared pages or realizing you are only 20 pages away. I just read along until BAM it was over. I realize that this is starting to sound like some case study in a freshman psychology text-book. The point is, it feels great to complete something. So, if you have just finished a book, good job buddy! (I just googled if it was OK to start a sentence with the word so.) Where was I? Oh yeah, finishing a book, totally sweet.
Is that what you are wearing?
You know there was a time in my life that I not only had the ability to dictate my own wardrobe choices but also was effective enough in those decisions that I was deemed attractive enough by someone to decide to spend the rest of her life with me. Not that my wife married me because of my tight rolling talents or the ability to curl the laces of those old bass shoes everyone used to wear. Somewhere though, over the last 10 years of marriage either my cutting edge sense of style has dulled or my wife’s confidence in my wardrobe selections has diminished. I am embarrassed to admit that I have on more than one occasion gotten that judgmental eye from her prior to going somewhere and jumped back into the closet to put on a different shirt. This is not an everyday occurrence and it isn’t as if she has hung one of those “days of the week closet organizers” so she can plan my outfits. Sadly though, I have been on the receiving end of the question “Is that what you are wearing?” “Uh…….no, I just put this on after my shower to wear while I decided what I was going to wear.” Is it possible that I am the only one that this has ever happened to? It isn’t like I am trying to leave the house wearing socks and sandals or one of those “Big Johnson” T-shirts. I do realize that my wife enjoys me being her arm candy while we are out in public but the wardrobe judgment is a bit emasculating. There is a better way to do this ladies, (assuming that this happens to more than just me) all guys are total suckers for compliments and ego boosts, so the next time he walks out of the closet with a Hawaiian shirt and a fanny pack, don’t crush his ego. Just tell him you were hoping he was going to wear that one shirt because you love the way it looks on him. We will never even realize that you thought we looked like an idiot in our original selection, we will be too busy feeling like a stud in that shirt you love.