Category: Hubs


Maintain the Silliness.

Our wedding story isn’t typical. Unless you consider that we had plans, and some of those plans didn’t happen. Then, I guess, it’s a pretty normal wedding day story.

But let me take you back. It was September 1996. Me? I preferred to be at home and let my friends come hang out at my place, but I was feeling restless. I had all these great friends, but I felt like there was some type of connection missing. I didn’t have a “music” friend. I didn’t have that friend that I totally bonded with on music and that had been the case since I’d graduated high school and moved away from home.

All my new friends from college and beyond listened to a bunch of chill type music. Music I despised (Phish and The Grateful Dead? Ick). I mean Dave Matthews Band has its moments, but one can only stand to listen to that for so long before one needs METAL! Until college, I thought everyone felt that way. Apparently not.

So one night in September, I caved into my roommate’s (here after known as Lady) pressuring and went to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Greek Theater on campus. There we met the roommate of Lady’s new co-worker (co-worker is here known as COW and co-worker’s roommate is LCR). I was immediately smitten, but I’m crap at meeting new people. I always feel self-concious and awkward and stupid beyond all belief so I didn’t say much. I probably barely made eye contact. In the end, it turned out he was fairly shy and felt painfully awkward, as well. (could have fooled me, but whatever.)

After the show and after COW had closed Club Red, we headed over to our place (on Betty Jo Drive, because you know that’s where ALL the fun happens!). The only way I can put this is that LCR and I bonded. We sat in front of the stereo and talked music and played song after song. We talked about what music meant to us (His favorite was Nine Inch Nails, but no worries, I forgave him) and we talked about bands and we talked about albums and we talked about lyrics and we talked about shows. AND WE TALKED. Until the sun came up.

Then we proceeded to talk as much as possible every day. This was hard for me because I was working 55 to 60 hours every week and trying to go to college. My talking time was very limited. So I gave up sleeping and eventually school and then decided to marry LCR.

I asked him. At the time, I wore a bunch of silver rings on my fingers. I pulled on off my thumb and asked him. He said yes. So a year and  a month after we met, we got married.

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Kids, really. Just kids.

We were kids. We were broke. We weren’t always sure if there would be food in the fridge. We sold items to make money so we could pay the rent. We got second jobs. Hubs went to work for Wal-Mart’s corporate office. (it was horrible, you should ask him sometime.) (on second thought, don’t ask him. It dredges up bad memories.)

Our wedding was simple. It was small. And it cost $50. I borrowed a shirt from my friend, Raye Donnovan, because I liked it so much. We bought $30 worth of daisies and made a bouquet and various flower arrangements for decoration. We had $20 to pay the JP. Hubs wore clothes he had, and I wore this black, floor length skirt that I was in love with at the time and the borrowed shirt. My mary janes were doodled on with markers. We packed our little town house to the rafters with friends.

My parents and brothers came all the way from IL and my grandparents came all the way from NM. Hubs’ friends from high school drove down from Chi-town and then went with him to kidnap his brothers. As many of our friends as could make it came to celebrate with us.

Everyone was gathered. And we waited. And waited. And waited. The JP never showed. To be fair, it was the University of Arkansas’ homecoming game that day. FOOTBALL WAS HAPPENING PEOPLE! How dare we get married. heh. Anyway.

All was not lost. My dad, being a minister in a past life himself and having married other people, performed the ceremony. So he walked me down the aisle (stairs), gave me away after asking himself who was giving me away, and then read the ceremony. It was amazing.

Wedding Cake

My Grandad took us all to have pizza on Dickson Street and there we ate and ate and had cake, made lovingly by Lady. Hub’s best man, D, gave a toast and food was had by all.

After the adults left, because, HELLO! WE WERE JUST KIDS!!, we had a largish party that was BYO. This party was attended by almost everyone I’d ever met and hung out with in Fayetteville. It was a grand ole’ time and the crossing of all the paths of all the people who didn’t normally hang out together was so amazing. There was no drama. There was just good times and new friends being made.

In fact, two of my most favorite people met that night and they’ve been married for 14 years, now. Pretty cool.

So, now, here we are, 15 years later. I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next fifteen and the next and the next and on and on into the end of the universe.

Happy anniversary to us, Hubs!

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Depression is dark and insidious and it has long, grasping fingers that refuse to let go. I thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when I made my last post. I just didn’t realize how long that tunnel was.

So here I am, blinking into the sunlight wondering where to start. With a story, I think. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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~My nephew, Kip, used to wake up and in his cute little 18 month old lisp and language make audible lists. “Cay-yub, Day-ya, Poppa, Gray-ya, Mom-ma, Sissy, Pootner, Chi-ya.” My brother, Kip’s father, used to call it his “systems check.” Like Kip was making sure he could, in fact, remember all the important words in his vocabulary. Kip sort of chanted this list to himself over and over as his brain booted up and started working properly.~

~Hubs told Pieces it was bed time. Pieces hid. Hubs, pretending his inability to locate Pieces sat down on the ottoman and put his feet on Pieces as if on the floor. Pieces giggled and giggled. Hubs, feigning surprise, at the little boy under his feet said, “Are you the boy I’m looking for?” Pieces, in a remarkably low voice, said, “No, I’m not a boy. I’m 16 years old.”~

~Chi, who is shoulder high to me now, sidles up to me and gives me a hug with his arms around my waist nuzzling into my armpit (which is a questionable place to put one’s nose). I hug him back and place my hand on the top of his head causing him to peer up at me. I smile and he says, “I know. I’m getting so big.”~

~On a recent trip to Louisville, my mom took the kids and I to see Seussical the Musical performed in spectacular fashion by a local high school. Pynni fell in love (she is my daughter after all) and really got into the standing, clapping and cheering that happened throughout the show and during the ovation. So my dad thought it would be a great idea to take her with Mom and I when we went to see the Broadway touring Mary Poppins. It turned out to be a really great idea and Pynni was already old hat. She stood and cheered, cupping her hands around her mouth to “WOOOOO!” punctuated by very mature sounding clapping after each number. Cracked me up every time.~

~My niece, Abshie, recently discovered texting via her iPod Touch. Since I have the appropriate equipment she can text me. She sends me strings of pictures, little comments about mundane things, thanks me for piano lessons, and says good-night. Too sweet.~

~At a stoplight at a busy intersection. Heard coming from the back seat, “Uh-oh, someone got copped.” Sure enough there was a cop with his lights on with someone either pulled over or broken down in front of him. It was gloaming and hard to tell. I was struggling not to laugh when I asked, “Copped?” Pynni said, “Yeah, people rob or kill and get copped.” Chi, highly exasperated, said…well yelled really, “NO PYNNI! Police sometimes just cop people because they can! They don’t just cop bad people!” So my kids think police nab the bad guys AND abuse their power. Nice. Oh! And I love the verb “cop”. Something only police do.~

So, as Chris Cornell has been known to say, “I’m gonna break my rusty cage, and run.” That may mean something completely different to him than me, but to me it describes what coming back to my blog has been like. Breaking out of the cage that seemed to stagnate my imagination and unshackle my ability to see the fabulous things that go on around me daily. ❤ you readers. It’s good to be out and free again.

For Becca. ❤

****CAUTION! SPOILER ALERT****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing up, we never believed in Santa Claus because we celebrated Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ. My parents made Christmas special in many, many ways, and I never once wished I’d had Santa be part of that. Yes, I was most likely that kid in Kindergarten who burst your happy little Christmas bubble by announcing loudly and with great conviction that “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS SANTA CLAUS”. We didn’t have stockings or set out cookies. We didn’t write letters to fictional men or mistake who gave us what.

What we did have was an all night fest of “WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING” on Christmas Eve during which we (that’s my brothers and I) would stay up all night and debate on whether 2 o’clock in the morning was too early to wake my parents up. (We generously waited until 3am, in case you were wondering.) We would then call Nanny and Papaw (paternal grandparents) and they would come over (having been awake since 2am waiting for us to call, btw) and after reading Jesus’ birth story, we would start what came be the most anticipated part of Christmas: Christmas Morning Games. These were sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate, games that my Dad would set up the previous evening (while we, the children, were “sleeping”) like Christmas Morning Scavenger Hunts, or presents that were for “Mom” until she opened it and it was for “Nanny” until she opened it and it was for “Tim” until he opened it and it was for me all along, or the time when Dad wrapped a phone number that I had to call and it rang in my bedroom (HOW DID HE DO THAT WITHOUT ME KNOWING?!?).

After all the paper was ripped off the boxes, Dad would present us with our Christmas Cans. In lieu of stockings, we had cans that we opened at the end of the presents part of Christmas. These were about the size of gallon paint cans and were usually filled with small things: tapes, cd’s, socks, money, candy, knick-knacks, whatever. Sometimes the best Christmas Games came in the cans that had the three of us working together to solve some sort of riddle and ended on The Gift that was for the three of us. So. Much. Fun.

After the mess was mostly picked up, and we were occupied with whatever we’d received, Mom and Nanny would make a giant breakfast that we would be eating by 5am some mornings and that breakfast was usually followed by Nanny’s chocolate cake and naps.

With all these great memories, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I LOVE this time of year. I love redecorating my house for Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving. I LOVE listening to Christmas carols on REPEAT. I LOVE the excitement that builds and builds for my kids and I LOVE watching their joy and excitement culminate on Christmas morning.

Even with all of that the Santa question loomed large for me. I have nothing against him, personally, but I had no idea how to introduce such a concept to my kids when they were little without lying to them and I make it point never to lie to my kids. Hubs believed in Santa and wanted the kids to believe in him as well. I shrugged and figured that was no big deal. Oh, how wrong I was.

First of all, my oldest child is not neuro-typical. He did not naturally latch onto this myth and I found myself constantly telling him lies to make him understand who this Santa person was. He just didn’t get it, and I was pissed off all the time because of how difficult the whole undertaking turned out to be.

Christmas Can-Cans

The Christmas after Chi turned three, he started asking random questions about this Santa person and what he heard upset him immensely. He really was not okay with the idea of some strange man in red rappelling down our non-existant chimney unbeknownst to the sleeping inhabitants of our house. It scared the ever loving crap out of him.

So I did, it. I told him that there was no such thing as Santa Claus, and there was much relief on both our parts. He understood in his own way the idea of a pretend person that he was NOT going to imagine coming to our house THANKYOUVERYMUCH, and I was much relieved that I didn’t have to lie to him anymore.

Now that I have Pynni and Pieces, I can see how easy it would have been, had Chi been other than he is, to perpetuate the Santa Myth with my kids without much effort, but that wasn’t the case and I’m not sad about it. We have stockings that they pull things out of while Hubs and I get our coffee. They open their presents, and take our time taking breaks to play with what they get as they get it. Afterwards, they get their cans and after that we have a big breakfast. We don’t have any grandparents living close enough to spend Christmas Morning with us, but even without Santa and Grandparents, we do just fine.

Last night Hubs asked me if I thought Chi would ever change. I turn and observe the following:

Chi is “walking” on the balls of his feet squatted down so that his butt is mere inches from the floor and his miles of leg are folded up so that his knees are pressed into his chest. He is wearing a long sleeve shirt and has pulled his hands up into the sleeves and spread them out to make a kind of oval shape in the fabric.  He is pressing these fabric covered hands into the floor in front of him as he zooms around as fast as he can, making but one of his deep and vast repertoire of noises. He notices me watching him and says, “I’m a level 2 vacuum cleaner.”

Hubs taking all this in right along with me, says, “You might need upgrades.”

I turn back to Hubs, amused, and say, “No. No, I don’t think he’ll ever change.”

I’m trying to be thankful. I’ve been living in Thwarted Land and unable to help my daughter in anyway. I feel like I’m throwing money at an issue that isn’t any closer to being diagnosed, or recognized, much less resolved. Doctors look at me after a round of tests shows that my daughter has “Perfect Vision!” and “Excellent Muscle Control!” and “Absolutely Nothing Wrong!” and they smile and beem and generally act as though I should be grateful. One part of me is, surely, but it seems to be very deeply buried. No, I don’t want there to be anything wrong with her. I don’t want her issues to be something awful. BUT SOMETHING IS WRONG and when that doc tells me there’s nothing, THEY AREN’T HELPING. They are closing off an open avenue. I try to see that they are narrowing the options of what is going on with her, but all I can see is that they seem to think that answers all the questions. IT MOST ASSUREDLY DOES NOT!

So in my efforts to try and view the world through less fogged glasses (HA! GLASSES!!) (In other news, I may be losing it.) and try to find the silver lining (it’s faint and hard to see these days), a list of what I should be thankful for (I’m sure I’m thankful, somewhere in my heavy, frustrated, broken, depressed and completely at a loss heart/brain).

I’m thankful for:

  1. My kids. They are well behaved and respectful. They are healthy and loving. They are illegally cute and make my heart expand painfully in my chest (no, it’s not heart problems, I had it checked).
  2. My husband. He didn’t fight me on getting Chi tested for his various pervasive developmental issues even when he wasn’t in complete agreement. He let Momma’s instinct lead the way. He has supported me in my writing efforts and my crazy homeschool notions. He tells me he loves me every day and holds me when I don’t feel strong enough to press onward (like during this time right now). He has worked his ass off so I could stay home with our kids and will work extra contracts if we need extra money for, oh say, a replacement car.
  3. My husband not being dead. Two weeks ago he was in a major car accident that totaled his Civic. A guy going 70 mph tried to merge with stopping traffic during rush hour and crushed the back, drivers’ side quarter panel of the Civic sending it into a spin that then hit the oncoming car and flipped it up over the hood of the Civic. In the end, the only part of the Civic not crunched was the front and rear bumpers, the driver’s side door, and the top of the car. Hubs walked away with a bump on the head and a lot of sore muscles and a severe case of shock. But he walked away. Yeah, I’m really thankful for that.
  4. My parents. They are ever supportive of me and my family. They are there if I have need of love, support, crying shoulder, advice, an ear, whatever. They don’t always agree with me, but they love me unconditionally and that. is. awesome.
  5. My brothers. I’m crazy thankful for them even if they are driving me crazy. T-bow has stepped up and been there for us without our second car in the form of Hubs’ ride to work. He also potentially risked his life to see if we were okay when our house alarm sent a silent signal to the alarm company that our house was being broken into at 2am last Friday. When no one could get a hold of us, he got dressed and came to check on us. Being a man of brains and no gun, he watched the house until the cops showed up. In the end it was a security system malfunction, but I am thankful that he cared that much. Doodle moved away, but I’m thankful for him all the same.
  6. My sister-in-law. I’ve been friends with her since 3rd grade. Having her here, in the city we live in, has been a blessing. We hang out and support one another. We trade off childcare whenever we need it. She has helped me a BUNCH during all of my many health crises. There really aren’t words enough to express my gratitude and thankfulness for her.
  7. My closest of close friends. They don’t live nearby, but I love them like sisters all the same. I miss them with a fierceness and I long for their presence. We can’t see each other often enough, and that’s a fact.

I guess I could list all the little mundane things I’m thankful for, but I’ll leave it here. Being thankful can be a process, and this process has made me feel thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving. In that non-supporting-the-genocide-of-an-entire-peoples kind of way.

We met 15 years ago.

We got married 14 years ago.

We bought our first car 13 years ago.

We moved to a new state 13 years ago.

We had our first kid 10 years ago.

We bought our first house 8 years ago.

We had our second kid 6 years ago.

We had our third kid 4 years ago.

How can I express how much you mean? The facts seem to speak for themselves, but they are so dry. So.

15 years ago, I met you and wanted you in my life in whatever way.

14 years ago, I committed myself to the person who’d become the love of my life and my best friend.

Today, you are still the love of my life. You are still my best friend. My favorite past times include you. My inside jokes include you. My favorite holidays include you. My favorite vacations include you. The most fun I’ve had includes you. My three favorite kids include you. 😉

Thank you, Matt, for sticking around and loving me. Thank you, Matt, for choosing me and caring for me. Thank you, Matt, for making our relationship and marriage a true partnership. Thank you, Matt, for believing in me and for being so DAMN AWESOME! I love you more each day, however improbable that sounds.