Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nothing Else Matters...

                In a few weeks I’ll reach a milestone that in today’s fast food society is reached less and less.  On August 21st my wife and I will celebrate 20 YEARS of marriage!!!!!  Holy cow.  There are several thoughts that pop into my mind.  First, there is no way I’m that old! Second, there is no way my wife is that old!!!    The time has flown by.  It’s had its ups and downs and everything in between.  We’ve cried, we’ve hurt but most of all we’ve laughed and we’ve grown together.

                Nearly twenty years ago I’d just barely graduated.  I was a skinny geek who had no idea what he wanted or where he wanted to go.  I met a fine young woman who had come to visit with another friend.  I was hobbled by a soccer injury.  She gave me the total and complete cold shoulder and I was hooked!!  The rest is history, a year and a half later we got married and we’ve been making happy memories ever since.  In 1993 Monday night football was still on network TV.  Chipper Jones was a rookie on the Braves, Hoffman was a rookie on the Marlins, Raul Mondesi a rookie on the Dodgers, and Brad Ausmus was a rookie catcher for the Padres .  Toronto beat the Phillies in the World Series, Dallas won the super bowl, and Chicago won the NBA championships.  (So I’m a little sports centric…I can guarantee she just smiled at the Ausmus reference!)  There was really no internet and cell phones were still brick sized.  I drove a really sweet Mercury Cougar (which died and led to an even cooler Yamaha Scooter) and life was just getting started. 

Too often we get caught in this negative loop in life.  We see the bad, the poor, the ugly but seldom do we stop and see the good.  But you know what as I lean back and gaze back over the landscape our 20 years has created I’m pretty happy.  I see mostly good times, a life built and a family created.   We’ve done a pretty darn good job.  We’ve learned to communicate, to express how we feel to each other and how to sacrifice for each other.  We’ve grown up together.  Most of all though, after 20 years we are still very much in love with each other.

                I have had successes in life and I have had failures.  I’ve been up and I’ve been down.  I’ve had far too many jobs and even more hobbies I’ve attempted to pursue.  In the end my wife has always held me up and been my rock.  A lot of people don’t see that part of our relationship but I’m here to tell you that without Kelly I would not be the happy, fairly balanced family man I am today.  She has, over the years, supported all the cooky little things I’ve done, let me vent when I needed to, put up with all of my undiagnosed personality defects and in the end what more can a man ask for from his wife?  She’ll watch baseball, football, and even tolerates a bit of the Tour de France as well as a soccer game or two.  She’s the perfect wife. 

                Nothing I do is ever as good as it is when my wife is with me.  As much as I love riding my bike, if I couldn’t share my adventures with her (even though she’s bored to tears as I describe my latest ‘cool’ ride stats)the rides just wouldn’t be as cool afterwards.  Without her I’d never be able to see a doctor (I hate filling out those darn forms).  Without her I’d have no faith in me, I’d doubt myself at every turn but her support and sometimes stern reminder to shut-up keeps me going.  Due to my job we don’t get a lot of alone time or little dates except for a quick hour lunch break on Tuesdays.  There are no kids and often times we go to the same restaurant but I don’t care what food I’m eating because I’m really just happy that for a few minutes we get to hang out.

                Kelly you are my rock.  You are my inspiration.  You’re my BFF and life would just not be as fun if you weren’t in it.  So thank you dear for these years.  Thank you for your support, your love and your devotion.  Thank you for the countless sacrifices you’ve made for me and for our family.  Thank you for always being there with a shoulder to cry on, a stern word to keep me in line, and kind words to keep me motivated.   Thank you for an awesome 20 years.  I love you. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pause that.....

     Time does not stop for us mere mortals very often.  Try as we might the world keeps on spinning, the sun sets and the moon rises.  Tides go in, tides go out and the wheel keeps on turning (good song that last bit).  It is the way of things and as much as I wish it was otherwise it’s probably for the best.  Stagnation is never a healthy thing for any living organism, humans included.  As most of you know we recently welcomed a new member to the family.  My fourth child.  He’s awesome and for the past three and half weeks or so I got to freeze time, or at least put in in extreme slo-mo. 

                Last June I got to pause life for a twenty four hour camp out with the family and it was pretty awesome.  This time its nearly four weeks of pause time.  Now though, life is slowly beginning to speed up once more.  I’m not entirely sure I’m happy about that.  The isolation the family has had has been, well, pretty dang awesome.  There has been no school, no work and a whole lot of us just being a family.  I had grand plans for the time I was off.  Ideas to go camping, to take the three ‘older’ kids to a museum or two and to get out but none of those materialized.  Last night I spent time thinking about that and at first I was a little down about it.  I like to think I lead an active lifestyle but the past few weeks my life has been anything but.  I feel like I let the kids down a bit but then I thought about what we’ve been through and the fun little moments we’ve had and I’m not so sure I did.

                There have been many moments over the past few weeks that have brought us together as a family.  We’ve entertained Lil P together, we’ve fed and comforted him together.   In those moments when he was asleep and we were awake we’ve relaxed together.  We’ve watched TV, we’ve gone shopping, we’ve played video games and in the end maybe I didn’t let them down as much as I thought I did.  I just know with the two of the kids being 12 one day soon they’re not going to want me around, or at least they’ll pretend really really hard they don’t want me around.  Maybe in the end, as life creeps towards warp speed for me, and the family soon thereafter, the summer wasn’t as ‘wasted’ as I thought.  When Lil J was born it cemented our family together and now with Lil P I think the finishing touches were put on the family as whole.  The girls love the little guy and enjoy helping out.  Lil J has been very gentle around the new guy and seems very fascinated by the whole affair which is really awesome. 

                In about 36 hours I’ll be returning to work (can I get a big Darth Vader ‘Noooooooooo!!!!!!’?) and about three weeks from that older kids will return to school.  Two weeks after that my wife returns to work and the family will be diving head first into life.  I’m not sure we’ll have the opportunity to freeze life the way we’ve just done and I’m a little sad about that.  Life does not often slow down and I feel like we’ve put it off just long enough.  I hate to admit it but it’s probably time to hit the play button once more.  It’s always a bit scary when you restart that older computer you’ve had sitting on your desk for years and is covered with cobwebs. I very much feel like that old computer as I begin prepping for a return to life (Hey, I look good in cob webs).  It’ll be a fitful wheezing start but it will start and soon will be chugging away like nothing ever happened.  I’ll miss the alone time, the quiet moments spent holding a newborn and just watching him (they’re even fascinating when they’re asleep) but there will be new moments.  There always are. 

                So I’ve gotta say is ‘Stand back Life!’  I’m on my way back and you better look out if you know what’s good for you!