Monday, December 21, 2009

Lucky 13

Right before Christmas, on December 21st, Tyler and I celebrated being married for 13 years. It was a pretty simple "celebration" of him taking the kids to the dollar store for family night and my Christmas shopping (oh yeah, this year I scored some pink ankle socks, gum, and a black Bratz doll pez dispenser) and I stayed home and wrapped some presents for under the tree. We did go to dinner over the weekend, and in we've-so-been-married-for-long-enough-not-to-make-a-big-fuss fashion, we decided the dinner at Cheesecake factory with our friends would serve as our "anniversary dinner" after the fact. We didn't really exchange cards or anything fancy this year, just a couple texts throughout the day, and it was just right for me. Nice. Sweet. Simple.
I love being married to Tyler. The longer we get married, the more co-dependent I become on him, which says a lot for an independent person. I miss him when he's not home (even day-to-day) and it makes my life just feel right when he's around. We've definitely been working out the normal marital kinks over the past 13 years, and I imagine we'll work out a few more bumps the next few years (for example, how to get him to take a normal picture without making a silly face). I am glad that fateful summer of 1996 we decided that dating for fun just wasn't enough and that we should get married. We were young. We were dumb (even though we totally thought we had it worked out, we had no clue!!!) But we were in love and we knew we had a great chance to marry for eternity and build a great family.
Now, 5 kids later, we are in the midst of that great family. I always knew Tyler would be a great dad, and I have a hard time seperating his dad-ways from my strong affection for him. I feel very blessed to learn from him and to strive to follow his example. You know, the example of not blowing his mind in frustration with the kids. He's good at that. Me? Not so much. The kids all love to do stuff with him and I appreciate so much that he takes time to be with them when he has so many other things vying for his time.
I guess, when looking back, I want to remember this 13th year as a good time. Tyler makes me laugh and I've been able to crack a few funnies here and there. We have done some great things together and we have a great hope for our future. Being married definitely takes patience on both our parts, and I nag him far too much (still waiting for a constantly empty garbage can), and he lets his snarky side show when we are having "discussions." Under all that, though, I love him and can't imagine my life without him.
13 things to remember about "us" right now.
1. Our favorite place to eat our together is Viva Mercados
2. Tyler falls asleep nearly every time I make him go to the movies, but since we rarely agree on what to see, he lets me go often with my Mom and girlfriends without complaint. I complain when he rents his movies to watch at home.
3. At night, I play on facebook and he peruses youtube from his itouch
4. He serves as the Young Men's President in our ward and I am in nursery
5. Our favorite show to watch on TV together is "The Office"
6. While Tyler prefers to go camping, I prefer to go shopping (both are expensive, don't let him tell you otherwise)
7. He wears Dirty English cologne and Curve and I wear Victoria Beckham's perfume and White Diamonds
8. Tyler prefers to shop at Perry Ellis and I get my duds at Target usually
9. For his past times, Tyler likes to go fishing and he plays weekly basketball and softball. I enjoy lunch dates and girls' nights with my friends, reading, and scrapbooking.
10. Tyler now claims he's a Libertarian. I am still a Democrat.
11. Tyler's in charge of all the yardwork. I am in charge of all the housework. We both dislike our charges.
12. Tyler naps on the couch. I nap on our bed.
13. Our favorite thing to do together is go on dates . . . especially away, no-kid ones.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 Days of Christmas all for ME!

Warning: This post may seem as self-indulgent as it really is . . . proceed with caution ;)

If EVER anyone calls me before 8am on a Sunday morning, I am ROYALLY irritated. Who does something like that? This morning, I was that person. I called my parents' home and they, still recovering from my dad's rockin' faculty Christmas party the night before, were still asleep. I didn't leave a message. My mom called right back, all bleary-sounding and cozied in her bed (I'm sure.) To add insult to injury, I asked her for a favor. To add salt to the injury (which is like a wound), it was to babysit 4 of my kids this morning while we went to hear Tyler's folks' speak in their ward's sacrament meeting.

Why share so much background? Pretty much, Mom and Pops deserve a shout out (and Uncle Mike, who apparently heard EVERY word the kids spoke while he was trying to sleep in) because they watched our kids this a.m. and THAT deserves an intro. BUT, another reason is to explain this little idea I had for myself during my father-in-law's thoughts. Today is December 13th. That leaves 12 more days until Christmas and I need to do a "12 days of Christmas." However, I decided, since this year we can't do a secret Santa-y one and since I'm just not as well-connected as Andy (from The Office), I was going to make it a personal mission to do something that would allow me the opportunity to FEEL more, to better BE, to more easily DO the Christmas Spirit. I'm not exactly sure WHAT I am going to do each day; I think I will make that a conscious matter of prayer. Mostly my good, sweet friends and family and even my neighbors that I don't really know are on my mind, so I'd like to include them in my own little celebration . . . somehow.

This is a weird year for me, Christmas-wise. I haven't been able to "want" anything for a bit, so the idea of coming up with a list seems kind of foreign and selfish. However, I decided this morning, in that 9am sacrament meeting, that I do want to feel more of the Christmas Spirit. We've eliminated a lot of our hustle and bustle this season (by complete happenstance, not by design) and I have found more quiet time a blessing, unnerving, but in a good way . . . I think.

Anyhow, for the first day of Christmas, I wanted to take time to appreciate my testimony and the opportunity I have to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm grateful for my faith and my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Family is such an important aspect of my mortal life, that it just feels right when I broaden those ideas and feelings to an eternal nature. I know, even when (rather, ESPECIALLY when) I struggle, have burdens, or feel low that God cares about me. He does. He hasn't forsaken me because we had to turn off our cable. He sees what our family experiences and goes through and He wants it to be good for us. Further, I believe my elder brother, Jesus Christ, KNOWS how I feel (not that I think he cares that He misses watching Project Runway, but He cares for me and that it makes me a teensy bit sad); that He can relate to me on a level nobody else can. And THAT's who I want to have the strongest relationship with; for that very reason. Today, for our church service at 1pm, Tyler and I took shifts since Brock stayed home sick from church. One of the speakers, a recently returned missionary, talked about having a complete love for our Savior, a love beyond any other relationship we have, and I so appreciated that thought. I thought of all the different relationships I have (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.) and how they would be so incomplete without the Savior's atonement and without His example.

Anyhow . . . THAT knowledge is precious to me. THAT relationship I have has been confirmed in my life in really sad moments AND in really glad ones too. The whole reason we celebrate this season is BECAUSE we have a Savior, not because we have Santa Claus or ward parties or goody plates on our doorsteps (however, THOSE goody plates and Christmas cards [shameless plug for how much I adore fun holiday mail] are a really great part of the season for me . . . it's like friends and sweets and keeping touch and love and sweets all in one, you know.) I plan on making sure I remember all that this year. I'm going to push past my pride and my bad attitude and REALLY enjoy the next 12 days. Hopefully blogging about it won't feel like eggnog forced down your throat. It really will be a Merry Christmas.