Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The last day for the swingset

When Hope was 1, we purchased a swingset. It wasn't the wooden fort one I wanted, but it was a great metal one that was almost $600 cheaper. It had all the things a kid would want--swings, basket glider, airplane glider, slide and teeter-totter.

Over the years, we've removed the baby swings to put in the regular ones, taken down the slide because one of our dogs liked to pee on it and cringed when the girls decided to use the top bar to shimmy across. It has been a part of our backyard for almost 8 years now.

Tonight, it's being dismantled. When we originally bought it, it was something we just settled for at the time--it wasn't our first choice, but we "made do" with it. As I look at it now, I realize just how adequate it has been for our needs. No, it didn't have a fort on it, but my girls used their imagination to build a house in the corner of the yard. It didn't have monkey bars, but that didn't stop them from going across the entire thing and back. It wasn't made of wood, but can you imagine how rank it would have smelled with dog pee?

How many other things in my life do I think I am settling for and never realize how perfect they were for me?

Good-bye, fun metal swingset--we truly will miss you and can only hope another family enjoys you as much as we have. Your old home has now become the "soccer green."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

10 years ago

This Thursday, Brian and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary. To many, that is just a drop in the bucket, but I'm celebrating the milestone.

Brian and I come from very different backgrounds. We used to think we were a lot alike, but marriage has shown us just how different we are. He really does get annoyed at me for the way I squeeze the toothpaste and I've gotten used to always having a couple of home improvement projects in process at our house.

Here are a few of my memories since May 13, 2000...
Buying Indian Hawthornes for our backyard
Seeing a bookcase I liked and having Brian come home and build it
The piano bar on Sixth Street in Austin
Coming up with the crazy idea to put pickets on Hope's wall and lattice around her closet--and Brian going along with it
Watching George Strait at Texas Stadium
Sitting on the couch together when I was 7 months pregnant watching the 9/11 attacks
Bringing Hope home from the hospital to a huge stork sign in the front yard (ordered by Brian)
Conversations on our drives to the farm
Watching the man I love turn into the world's best dad
Realizing I was pregnant with Caroline and trying to figure out how that happened
Brian planting tulips along our front walk for Valentine's Day
Getting our 1st yellow lab Callie and losing our sweet English pointer Bubba
The Dallas Boat Show
The sound of the shop vac Brian uses to "sweep" the floors
80's music (esp the Richardson Wildflower Festival)
Brian potty-training Caroline in a week by giving her bubblegum (after it took me months with Hope)
Saturday morning pancakes
Kolaches that never made it home
Manicures and pedicures
Funnel cakes
Ft Worth Main Street Arts Festival

So many memories. We don't have what I would call a fairy-tale marriage. We argue--sometimes out loud, sometimes under our breath. We get frustrated with each other. We get cranky and snap at each other. We don't kiss as often as we probably should.'s real. I'm not a happily ever after kind of girl--give me a reality show any day over a romantic comedy. This is the kind of marriage that suits me. I am thankful God knew me so well to pick Brian for me.

So, while there have been many memories packed into the past 10 years, I'm praying that my 20 year list will quadruple what I have listed above.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunroofs are like a kiss from heaven

My car died the last day of last year. The week it died, my phone and camera also kicked the bucket (my phone revived after 4 days but the camera, like my car, never did)--anyway, I digress.

For the past 4 1/2 months, Brian has been taking me to and picking me up from work. After the first initial wave of panic, I tried to look on the bright side and think of how close this would force my family to be. I love my family, but some days being together can pull you apart. My dreams changed from wanting to be thin, live in a better neighborhood and have enough discretionary income for any last minute thing I want to do, to driving on a freeway for hours, BY MYSELF!!!!!

After looking at our options in fixing my Durango, we decided we needed to go ahead and get rid of it. In the beginning, I prayed fervently for the cost to fix my car to be minimal. When that did not happen, I started praying for another car. I didn't pray for any specific kind of car--I asked for the basics--let it run, have a/c, power windows would be awesome (in Brian's truck, the handle is broken off the window on the passenger side, so I can never open mine) and low mileage. Oh, and God, I don't need it, but it would feel like an extra-special kiss from you if it had a sunroof--I realize that is not necessary, but I'm gonna just throw it out there."

Funny thing we were looking for cars, every one we were presented with as an option in our budget, all had sunroofs--every stinkin one of them!

I wish I could say I waited patiently and embraced the time without my own car, but I didn't. I wish I could say it drew us closer as a family, but I don't think that happened. What I CAN say, is that while the interim time was hard, it will be a fading memory this morning when I drive myself to work, and again this afternoon, when I drive myself home (and maybe even when I sneak out during Sonic Happy Hour to get a slushie!).

While I don't see myself looking back on these last few months fondly, I do see the benefits of the hard time--things that would take too long to explain here, but are definite signs that God did not forget about me during that time. I never believed He ignored my prayers or left them unanswered--He just said "No--I have something different in mind for you."

Maybe it was because He wanted me to rely on Him during this time. Maybe because He wanted us to have a car with a lower monthly payment. Maybe because He wanted me to really notice when He gave me an extra-special kiss. I don't know why and honestly, don't really care. What I do know is that through this, my faith in Him remained unshaken and I truly believed He would provide--even thought I didn't know the timing. For a doubter like me, this is big.

So, if my hair is messier than usual on top over the next few days, just know that I'm savoring my kiss from heaven and the best kisses leave you looking disheveled.