You thought I was done mentioning it

Sunday was my anniversary.IMG_0158

Eight years. Eight years of name calling and furious fights, snuggles and tv shows and approximately 673,000 text messages since we finally decided to make ourselves an us.

I have learned a great deal about myself in the last eight years.

I’ve learned that compromise is an art, and
that loving someone means loving all of them, even when they leave clothes in a pile and don’t throw away empty boxes.

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photo credit Addie Talley

Listening to bands you’d rather not.
Eating rice cooker Thai food and pretending it’s not revolting.
Not watching shows alone that you always watch together.
Learning terms that apply to their job so you have something to talk about.
Tolerating the pet they love.
Knowing when to lose.
Wanting their dreams to succeed, even if you feel left behind.
Even when they disappoint you.
Even when you disappoint them.
Always being ready to try again because whatever it is, it’s worth it.
Wanting to be better, because they deserve your best.

To my husband:

You infuriate me. You amaze me. You make me proud. You challenge me. You accept me.

You make me better.

And I love you.

 

Seventy times seven – for my husband

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Tomorrow is our anniversary.

Seven years ago, we cut out of Ava’s second birthday, we drove the silver Expedition to Selmer, and we got married.

I was nervous and I wasn’t. Looking back, I wish I’d worn something at least a little bit pretty as opposed to jeans and a potato sack of a blouse.

We arrived, we did our paperwork, and then a woman used her husband’s book (prayer book? Book of civil ceremonies? What exactly was it?) and we said our vows in an empty courtroom. I remember she got all choked up and I couldn’t help but wonder why. Was she overwhelmed by how sweet we were? How I didn’t have an engagement ring because we were broker than broke – but we had sweet engraved silver bands? I wonder where those are now. I wonder if, seven years later, that lady still works at the Selmer courthouse. I wonder if she teared up at every eloping couple she saw – and I know she saw a bunch.

Not much changed after that. We lived in the same apartment as before. We didn’t go on some big honeymoon getaway. But I was a wife. You were a husband. And somehow that changed everything.

It’s so easy to lose sight of what we had such a grip on that day.

So easy to say that we weren’t thinking of much besides how we wanted to join a church and they wouldn’t let us while we were living in sin.

Looking back from where we both stand now, the fact that church was a very real issue in our union is….kind of absurd.

But what was real then is no less real now. I love you. I love you even when I don’t like you. I love you enough to say that I’ve spent seven years being yours – and while I may have done a lot of things differently, while I may have taken different steps along the way, my best friend is eternally bound to me in one way or another.

I will never be sorry that you became my future. I will always be yours.

I love that we have grown over the years. Together, apart, together again. So many things have happened. Seizures and surgeries, jobs and houses. Failures and successes.

We’ve had so many roads to travel. You’re the best company I could have asked for.

We make mistakes and we take each other for granted. We do everything wrong.

But we’ll make it. We’ll be okay. We’ll be better than okay because that’s what we do.

Thank you for the past seven years. For our little girl. For being mine. For being what I always know is there.

I love you.

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Embracing the kook within

Historically I have never been what you would call a joiner.

It's all too much, man. Too much work.

It's why I don't have friends. It's why I find my own things and bury myself in them. Hell, it's why this blog has not died a raging fiery inferno death – because I do it whenever I please and big middle finger when I don't.

But my husband, he's a joiner. He gets all up IN all kinds of shit. And he does it because he's good at it. I support that. How could I not? It makes him happy. Happy him, happy me.

So in a grand gesture of solidarity and total outside-my-comfort-zone-ness, I am donning my brand spanking new JustUsGeeks tshirt, hauling around my weight in purple bluish memefont flyers, and going to a comic & toy convention.

Yeah, that's right. You heard it here first.

 

But you know what's crazy? I'm excited. Like, stupid excited.

So by the time you read this, Josh and The Guv and I (Catch that? Did you? Yeah, I said my name and his name but not Lucy's name. More on that later.) will be tooling off toward Kentucky. Or, well, Friday morning. So whenever you read this in relation to Friday morning. Because I think I'm going ahead and publishing this tonight.

 

See it? It's already happening. DARING.

Wish me luck!

Love and hate – a birthday manifesto

Dear husband, today is your birthday. To celebrate your 29 years on our planet, I have arranged a list for you. Things I love about you. Things I love about us. Things I also hate about you and us.

With love.

Part One, Hate.

I hate that you leave all your socks on your side of the bed where I forget to look until there is suddenly a mountain of smelly socks peeking over the mattress.

I hate that you have pretty curly hair and I DO NOT.

I hate that you are so tall that you can find things in the cabinet in two seconds after I have spent thirty minutes tearing pots and pans out into the floor.

I hate that you are so young. Twenty nine. Damn you. Your thirties are coming.

I hate that you can work all the PhotoShop nonsensery and I can do it no more than I can speak Greek.

I hate that I cannot even begin to play you in basketball.

I hate that I cannot stay mad at you for any time. It’s totally unfair.

Part Two, Love.

I love that you are my best friend. Full Stop. Everyone says that they married their best friend, but I don’t think everyone knows what they are talking about because we are on the wavelength.

I love that you (at least most of the time) listen to my opinion. You let me ramble with my psychoanalytic babble and my drawn-from-the-air opinions and what’s more, you agree with me lots of the time. Maybe you’re just pretending, but it’s the shit.

I love that when you cook, you ignore that I don’t like things like mushrooms and onions and weird shallot things and you put them in anyway – but you make them big enough to pick out because you want me to enjoy what you’ve made.

I love that you wait to watch our chef shows until we can watch them together.

I love that you hold onto things you love – like cooking, basketball – and you make a point to do them just for you.

I love that you have friends. I envy that because I don’t have go-hang-out friends, but I love that you do.

I love that you can argue with people like car dealers and bank tellers and people who are trying to sell things for way too much. It’s a strength you have that I lack. I admire that in you.

I love that we have so much more to go.

I love that you are supportive of things l love.

I love that you are mine.

 

So today, though it may not be the birthday you will remember always, I hope you can stop a minute and realize that today is a big deal because it brought me you. Years before either of us knew. I love you so much. Thank you for being everything.

Fifty shades of Magic Mike

It’s become a big deal these days for people to engage in being naughty. The Fifty Shades of naughty bondage, and this evening Magic Matthew McConaughey comes to theatres. Everyone seems to have an opinion on all the hubbub.

The first time I heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, it was on some Facebook status from one of those people who are on your Facebook because you know you knew them in high school but you just can’t place them and you accepted them because you didn’t want to be a bitch…

One of those.

And then I heard about it again on some talk show. Then my message board lady friends mentioned it. So I looked into it. I read it.

And here is my confession: it was entertaining. 

It was not as pornographic as I had been led to believe…but no big deal. I know where the porn button is on my computer (what – you don’t have one?). I’ve had sex before. I was not shocked at wrist tying or vagina balls or spanking. The writing was not exceptional, but not so repulsive as to drive me away (and what do I know, anyway? Who has the gojillion-selling book? Not I.).

So I read it and that was that. I was comfortable that I could have an opinion on pop culture and its latest craze.

Then it started – all the blog posts. All the Facebook and Twitter sharing of the blog posts. People were upset. People were offended.

Why, they said, should it be okay for church going, God-fearing women to be reading this overtly sexual book (and admitting it!), when they themselves frown upon their husbands having anything to do with pornography? THINK OF THE CHILDREN! God and Jesus and Lazarus risen!

I was amused at first, then the more I thought about this position…the less I understood it.

What’s the big deal? Read a smutty book. It doesn’t mean you cheated on your husband. Just like (here it comes, ladies) a little bit of man-panting after Kate Upton’s Hardees commercial doesn’t mean your husband is off banging his groupies.

It bothers me that we are, as a society and culture, so simultaneously obsessed and uncomfortable with sexuality.

I have kids. This means I have had sex. In most cases, that is the way things go. And I find it hard to swallow (wink wink) when Pastor Slickhair with his seventeen children tries to tell me that my sexuality is something I should never acknowledge.

Sex is just sex. It is human, fallible, biological, and primal.

Just like the person who eats nothing but McDonald’s and Twinkies is probably gross and unhealthy, so is the person who exists on nothing but hormones and lust. However, the person who eats leafy greens and soluble fiber? They deserve dessert now and then, right? Even more so when you have someone to enjoy the Twinkies with as opposed to having to sneak around.

I would much rather know that there’s porn stashed safely away for the taking than to worry that it’s being secreted behind my back. I’d rather be able to read a book about Anastasia whoever and her freaked out jillionaire sadist and have my husband poke fun at my “girl porn” than have to hide it and feel guilty.

Maybe that’s just me.

As for Magic Mike, I have no desire to go see it…mostly due to the visual attack of the movie patrons. Maybe I’ll catch it on DVD.

Oh Day of Days

There are many, many days in any given year that are special to me, for any number of reasons.

Today, though. Today is big.

Seriously – there are all of the feelings.

Eight years ago today, I had a daughter. She was perfect. She was beautiful.

She still is.

In Ava, I see everything I once was – and so much I could never be. Confidence and beauty and every hope and dream in the world. I want so much for her, and at the same time I’m terrified I’m unintentionally projecting some vicarious dreams. That’s not what I want. If she takes nothing away from my mothering, I want it to be the knowledge that above all else, I love her. No matter what. If she quits too soon, if she loves unexpectedly, if she makes the wrong choice. When she can be sure of nothing else in the entire world, she can be sure of me. That she is my heart.

For eight years I have been in this fog of awe that I could have ever produced such a spectacular human being, and it won’t lift any time soon.

Six years ago today, I married my best friend. We went on a whim to a courthouse and said vows in front of a stranger, and then we ate Mexican food.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been harder than anything else I could ever even think of doing. I’ve wanted to quit and I’ve wondered what we were thinking. But I’ve also had the most amazing times of my life.

I’ve never really believed in the concept of soulmates, but I do know that to find someone you can lock onto is a lucky, lucky thing. It’s unlikely and it’s messy and it’s embarrassing and it’s everything you think it shouldn’t be, but in the midst of everything else, it’s having a partner. Someone on your side. Someone who can hurt you like no one else – but chooses not to, not because you can hurt them just as badly, but because they want to keep you from hurt. Teamwork and frustration and heartbreak, joy and accomplishment and laughter and tears.

Maybe it isn’t Cinderella. Maybe it isn’t all unicorns and fairy farts.

But it’s spectacular. It’s the whole world. It’s a work of art.

 

All in all, it’s a pretty great day.

 

Running on…

Off and on over the past few years, I’ve attempted to become a runner. With varying degrees of intensity. My sister has also become a runner, but she’s for real, yo. She runs miles and miles.

I haven’t gone running in a long time. I do yoga pretty much daily and I haul around a 500 pound toddler, so I like to think that I’m not totally out of shape.

This weekend, the Coca Cola 10k happened.

I was inspired. Maybe a little depressed because there were children I could have birthed streaking right past me.

So, Josh and I have decided to embark on a runnerly journey, and it starts this week.

It starts this week because on Saturday, I’m pretty sure we are going to do the Gumtree 10k in Tupelo. I fully realize that I will walk the majority of the race, but I’m good with that. It’s a start.

Enlist

So the good thing about having a blog is that sometimes I can just randomly list things that I think, or that I want you to know. This is one of those times. Therefore….

  1. I saw The Hunger Games and it was so brilliant that I kind of want to weep because I have to wait so long for the next movies.
  2. I have not yet used shampoo on my hair since the last time we talked about it. My hair feels great, though I don’t know if it looks any different. Josh says (embarrassingly in front of other humans) that I have dandruff, but I used some apple cider vinegar and I don’t see any flakes, so maybe that took care of it.
  3. I registered for next semester this weekend, and seeing the words, “Classification for registration: Senior” kind of blew me away. I may have been so taken aback that I teared up a little.
  4. Lucy talks a lot more these days. A kind of whole hell of a lot. My other two were verbose, but she is…I don’t even know. Tenacious.
  5. Ava and I write letters to each other. I am ashamed to admit that the last letter (before yesterday) was sent months ago, and it has totally been my turn all this time. I feel awful about it. But she is just the sweetest thing ever and wrote me right back, so now it’s my turn again. Dammit.
  6. Ava also went shopping with her Nana yesterday and came home with two bras. This contorts my mind on so many levels that I can’t really even begin to describe. Yeah, I can, actually. I hid them. She’s been wearing little sports-bra/camisole things for a while now, but these are for real triangles and hooks. They have CUPS, people. I am not ready for this.
  7. Max is completely and totally awkward. I love him a ridiculous amount, but (I’m probably a terrible mother for admitting this) sometimes his oblivious dorkiness makes me cringe. He tries so hard – too hard – to be entertaining and cool. I don’t know how to tell him that he’s much more awesome when he doesn’t try.
  8. Josh and his friends are hosting a podcast. It’s actually pretty entertaining.
  9. The bedroom that we live in is getting kind of out of hand. Like the Hoarders people would have a field day in here.
  10. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. If you don’t know what that is, then I can only explain it as housewife porn. I have never really read stuff that is so totally and completely kinky. I can’t say for sure, but I may or may not be planning to read the next two books (it’s a trifecta of kink).
  11. I have started playing Draw Something. It makes me happy. Probably a little too happy. My favorite part is watching the other person try to guess my drawing. My username is Emylibef, so, you know…we should play.
  12. I missed my therapy appointment last week, and I feel like I stood up a friend. I suppose that either speaks well of my therapist or badly of my tendency to overpersonalize.
  13. My hair, since I already brought it up, is getting really long. I really like it, but I have these ridiculous waves of let’s-cut-that-shit-off and so far I’m pretty proud of how I’m holding up. I’m even growing my bangs out and that now means I have to pin them up in a weird little bouffant. I try to tell myself it’s a vintage look. Like it matters, since really Lucy and the cat are the only ones who ever see it.
  14. Lucy took this picture after she stole my ipad. I have, literally, three dozen incarnations of this photo on my camera roll.

That’s all I have for today.

 

 

Valentine’s, Cars, and a Subaru

So this week was Valentine’s Day.

I don’t really remember the first time I got anything for Valentine’s Day, but I think it was in the fifth grade when Grant Viola gave me a gold rope necklace. Looking back on that, we were only a grade older than Max is now, and that necklace was the real thing…so I’m pretty sure it was probably stolen. Where a fifth grader gets the idea to nab some bling, I don’t know. I mean, we didn’t hold hands or sit by each other or even really talk, so it’s not like he was trying to get into my Sears acid washed jeans or anything.

This year, for the Valentine’s, Josh and I bought a car.

This is a huge deal, because I have never done anything of the sort. My name has never been on anything big like that. I sound like I’m sixteen, but it’s true.

The car we bought is a 2005 Saab, which kind of totally goes against my internal conviction that we should buy American things, but we bought it American used from an American dealer, so I guess it’ll do. It’s actually a really very nice car, and it even has these things to warm your butt. We traded in our old car, so we’re still a one car family. However, I am holding out for the day I can finally have my Subaru dream car, which I know is also not an American car but GIVE ME A BREAK because I love them so. I love them so much that we actually almost bought one, until we (Josh) drove it and maybe it threatened to fall apart at every turn. Sad. But one day. One day.

Muckbrain

I’d like to say that I’ve been relatively quiet lately because I’ve been bustling busy, being scholarly and cleaning house and such. 

 

Alas.

 

I think the fairest way to say it is that I just ran out of words. Like I’ve said before, I have this calendar of post ideas and the idea is to jog creativity and such. And everything I’ve ever read about serious writing says that to be a writer, you write. You write on days when you’re sick and days when you’re tired and days when you have nothing to say. 

 

And normally I do. But for the past week or so, it just hasn’t been there. Nothing at all. I’m not depressed or anything, I think I just needed a bit of a break. So I took one. I didn’t Facebook like I usually do. I didn’t respond to emails. I didn’t really tweet. 

 

This past weekend was pretty lovely, and Josh and I spent most of it geocaching, which is perhaps the greatest thing ever. If you’ve never heard of it, concisely it’s like a worldwide scavenger hunt, and you participate using GPSs. You drive around wherever it takes you (there’s a handy iPhone app), and you usually end up going some pretty cool places. 

 

Josh and I started geocaching last year, took a break over the summer because damn it’s hot, and then we remembered a few weeks ago…”oh yeah, that’s super fun, let’s do it again.”

 

So we did. This weekend we went all over North Mississippi/Tennessee/Alabama, following blinking GPS dots, digging in the brush, climbing hills, and – in one instance – trying not to get sucked into the muck of a sulphur spring.

 

I don’t really know why I like it so much. I have a habit of scanning out the window while we drive, to see if I see any dead bodies in the woods. 

 

I never said I wasn’t, you know, weird.