Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lap One down...

After a brief hiatus, I return to you a woman who has officially crossed the one year mark of this wonderful marathon called marriage (which just FYI, will probably be the ONLY marathon I ever choose to run. Me + Running = bad moods and twisted ankles).

Yes, that's right. The husband and I celebrated our first anniversary this past weekend (March 12th). And for this momentous occasion we decided to create a several-day block of just getting to spend some quality uninterrupted time together - no gifts, no elaborate gimmicks - just us.

So we shipped Riley Mae off to Lolo and Pop's (my parents' grandparent names) and headed about town to surprise each other with various activities. Little did we know that we both had come up with the same theme - our honeymoon in San Diego. Jake's surprises included a couples' massage (best part of staying at the Se' hotel was their legit spa), a picnic (miss you, Seaport Village), and a movie, and mine were a trip to the zoo (the closest thing in Oklahoma to Sea World) and some random shopping in strip malls and bookstores (one of our favorite finds on our honeymoon was the Coronado bookstore). Also, we collectively decided to add-in a stay at the sweet little inn that we stayed at after our wedding (did I mention their breakfasts are divine?), and a trip to the newly discovered Old School Bagels (which I will be reviewing later this week).

All combined, this proved to be a memorable and much-needed weekend to just get-away (even though "away" was only 20-30 minutes from our apartment) and focus on the love and laughter that brought us through this past year... and will continue to help us keep on trucking through the many years to come. Because ultimately it's not about what you have, where you live, what you do, or how much you can spend on each other, but is about finding the love in the moments you do have--even if they are as simple as splitting a heavenly chocolate chip bagel with strawberry cream cheese.

Thank you, love, for making me feel so special this past weekend and for always making our time together a fun and joy-filled priority (even when our schedules fight us tooth and nail). When God told us He'd give us more than we could ever ask or imagine... I didn't realize how serious He was. You are more than I could ever ask for. I love you.

P.S. Here's to lap two!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just a little love poem...

So for the latest update on I.O.U. Blessings, I decided to go all photo-journalism on you... (with a bit of artfully added commentary, of course.)

I.O.U... a homemade card -and- a hand & self written poem.
Yes, that's right. I knocked out two blessings in one week via our Valentine's gifts to each other this year. What a wonderful way to express our love and save a buck. Score.
 This was my card. I tried to pull a little bit of pink in for the V-day theme... and then used my favorite color, green, to help make it a little more masculine. Not sure how well that worked, but oh well. I don't think my husband (who recently channeled Mrs. Doubtfire in his sleep) minded that much. The little diddy inside? I wrote it... and it may not be Shakespeare, but it's oh so very true. As i completed the last few details. I felt proud of this card. (Note the past tense).
This is the cover of Jake's card for me. See the perfectly stenciled antique-y chandelier? He did that all by himself. And even thought to tie on the raffia. What's that? I'm being showed up? Trust me, I know. Just wait until you scroll down and see the rest of the card...

 That adorable little "story of us" on top? That would be what I was referring to in my recent patience post... He waited four years... yes, you heard me. FOUR YEARS... to tell me he loved me. This card sorta makes it worth the wait, though :) Just wish he would have told me he was making a book though so I could have followed suit. And yes, that is the glory of a Beatles quote that graces the first page. Unbelievable.

Needless to say, my crafty, perfectionist, nostalgic, romantic at just the right moments husband won the Oscar--and my heart--for best card & sweet sentiments. Looks like the blessings are all mine. :)

P.S. Congratulations to my best friend and favorite curly-headed old folk (okay, she's really not old... but she displays her old soul in phrases like "it's raining cats and dogs" and "he was as slow as Christmas"--yes, she actually used that one today on the phone) for finding the love of her life (and partly mine for being so wonderful to take care of my best friend) and getting engaged this past week! Best wishes to the future Mr. & Mrs. Preston & Taylor Draper! :) I love you both! (a link to her fabulous and inspiring blog is here.)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tortoise meets Hare

::Note:: I actually wrote this two days ago, but forgot to post it. Better late than never?

Good morning everyone! Currently I am writing to you from Bethany, OK traffic court. [Insert gasps of shock and surprise.]

Yes, that's right. Your favorite (am I being too assuming here?) grandma driver got a speeding ticket. (No matter to the fact that I've never been pulled over for speeding in my life before this incident... or that we had just gotten a new car and I wasn't used to how the speedometer was all on the left side of the circle rather than a full moon shape like my usual car-- Gee thanks for your consideration, hidden motorcycle cop. 'ppreciate ya.)

So here I wait, hoping to see some good will on my spotless driving record's behalf. (Keep your fingers crossed!) And, as I wait, my mind is brought to the subject of patience. Isn't patience a funny thing? Just when we need it, it seems we've run out.

When "honeybottom" and I first started dating, I fell rather quickly (hence, the vomit.) Little did I know that God was setting up a wonderful round  of "Tortoise and the Hare"... All to sometimes humorously and other times painfully teach me a lesson in patience. As I will share in a post later this week... Jake loved to force patience on me during our dating relationship-- with the majority of my patience woes centering around a certain special three words.

But now, looking back--even though I still think the lengthy lack of those three words was a little excessive--I really am thankful for the patience that those times of trial and sometimes frustration taught me. Because whether it be a frustrating friend, over-protective parent,  disorderly descendant, or just a commitment-phobe-but-still-totally-THE-guy boyfriend... allowing God to use those people in your life to help you grow and mature and maybe just slow down a little every once in a while... well it's  priceless. (And by priceless, I also mean that seeing the moment itself is priceless. Because you gotta admit that watching an impatient person be forced to be patient is just plain funny.)

So here's to patience, finding a happy medium tortoise meets hare pace, and that classic, annoying song that your parents probably sang to you growing up.

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient
You only start to worry
Remember, remember that God is patient, too
Just think of all the times when others
Have to wait for you

::Post Script:: The judge decided that in order to remove it from my record (on top of six months of no speeding tickets--cake) that I have to go to defensive driving. Neat. Why is it that whenever someone in authority asks me my age and I say 21 they just automatically assume that I'm some crazy, irresponsible drunkard who deserves reprimanding and forced guidance?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mid-night's Terror

So I had a brief run in with absolute terror last night. And it went a little like this...

Once upon a time I was sleeping soundly in my bed, when all of a sudden an explosive sound jolted me awake. I was reeling... and my dog (poor Riley) was whining. Where was this horrendous sound coming from? I jerked my head around the room attempting to make my already blind eyes somehow see in the dark.

It only took a few moments to let the fog of being jarred during your deepest most wonderful REM cycle clear before I realized where exactly that awful sound was emitting from. And that's when the real terror struck.

It was coming from the bearded man beside me. (For those of you who haven't seen the husband lately, he's recently decided to grow a beard--who know's how long that'll last.)

There lay my normally peaceful husband, sound asleep (sound being the key word). Except for the fact that he was laughing. Cackling, even. I froze, watching my husband convulse with ridiculously hysterical sleep laughter.(If this story doesn't already chill you to your bones... Wrap your mind around what happened next.)

And then he spoke. Except for it wasn't really his voice. It was more of a high-pitched, Robin Williams turned Mrs. Doubtfire voice. "Well, what do you think about that? Hi-LAR-ious."

Seriously, that's what he said. Followed by several minutes more of laughter. At this point, Riley was cowering against me, as we both watched what seemed like something out of a scary movie. I seriously started to wonder if this was some sort of crazy nightmare where Jake was going to morph into Freddy Kreuger and kill me in my sleep.

Yet, finally, silence fell. And fortunately, I was so exhausted from the terror (and a collection of recent sleep-deprived nights) that I fell back asleep. But today, it still kind of haunts me.

Photo found here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love, Sweet Love

You know that cheesy Jackie DeShannon song that graces the opening or final credits in about every romantic wedding themed chick flick at least once? Well, these last few days, I've been singing it. (If you happen to have no clue what I'm talking about you can check out the song here... It's a real "shindig.")

And it's not because I've been spending my days thumbing through love notes or eating chocolates that were thoughtfully placed so I would find them. And personally, I'm glad of that. (and so is my waistline)

Instead (as a result of some torturous homework assignments and tests) this Valentine's day was a relatively "normal" Monday (we are celebrating with our usual Fazoli's and Northpark 50 cent movie) complete with class, work, and the Bachelor. Sure, I did throw in some chocolate covered strawberries at the end of the evening to feel at least a bit festive... but overall, it was a pretty standard day.

A standard, wonderful, remind me how incredibly good and loving our God is day.

Years ago, when reading the book "Captivating," God impressed upon me that his love for me was beyond fatherly. Outrageous, you might think... but I quickly found it to be true. God desires to romance me (and you too!) As I began to grasp this concept, I recognized that God would leave little "kisses" for me around... maybe it was a sunset or just a great conversation with a friend... but I knew it was him. Romancing my heart. And, in his true romantic fashion... he left a few more "kisses" for me this V-day.

It all started with a call from a good friend announcing that after years of trying, she is expecting. For those of you who don't catch the euphemism, think chubby cheeked, diaper-wearing, soft-skinned goodness.

I cried.

Because God is loving. He is provisional. He takes care of his children. His timing is perfect. And he makes beautiful things. babies, and much needed date nights. That was kiss #2. And surprisingly, it was not my much needed date night, but my aunt and uncle's.

You see, my uncle for the last year and half has been battling with Leukemia (you can read his story here.) Long story short, there has been a lot of nights spent focused on healing in the hospital, rather than marital dating and romance. But their love and faith never faulted... for God or for each other. And, a few weeks ago, by the grace of God, he was finally released from the hospital... and yesterday, he planned some sort of special series of events for my Aunt Keli. While I don't know the specifics of these details, just seeing my aunt's facebook status of excitement and anticipation reminded me of just how deep and wonderful the love of God is. It is inventive and impermeating and above all, it endures.

Talk about romance. There is nothing like being reminded of this love... and it's very living presence in my life and the lives of those around me. I'll take that over candy and chocolates any day. (Though I wouldn't mind a combination of the two.) And, while I'm sure that later this week I will experience a bit of husbandly romance in lieu of a late V-day date... yesterday I was perfectly pleased to relish in a bit of Godly romance.

"You really won't understand your life as a woman until you understand this: 
You are passionately loved the God of the universe." 
--"Captivating" by John & Staci Eldridge

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Got Shanked?

If I could think of two words to describe today... it would be the following:


The "tired" comes into play after a night and day of tossing and turning and pill popping-- all a result of these horrendous hereditary headaches that I get called migraines. (Thanks for these, mom)

For those of you who have never experienced a migraine, consider yourself lucky. Think getting stabbed simultaneously in the eye socket, temple, and base of the skull with multiple spoon shanks, followed by relentless twisting and compression until you almost have rationalized the temptation of poking out one of your eyes to relieve the pressure.

Fortunately, I withstood the temptation and I am writing this with both eyes intact. My brain is another issue. For the last 24 hours, I have been in an unshakeable fog--dizzy, passing in and out of consciousness, never really sure I'm awake or asleep. For all I know, I could be dream blogging right now.

Yet knowing that I have a husband who is right at this very moment picking up some "Which Wich" for his too-dizzy-to-stand-up-long-enough-to-make-dinner wife---well that's where the thankful comes in. That, and the numerous temple and neck massages, medicine and water retrieving, and puppy potty outings that he has taken care over the last day. And then, to top it all off, God gave me just under a foot of soft, powdery snow so that I could stay home and recoup without having to miss class or work.

Yes, thanks are definitely in order. So thank you husband, and thank you Jesus for helping me relax and have hope for days where my thoughts make sense and deep sleep does not elude me. And thank you, Mom (as crazy as this may sound), because despite the fact that you passed on these migraines... with them you also passed on an understanding of just how blessed I am during those lovely, shank-free times that populate the majority of my days.

I love you all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

First Date Jitters

photo courtesy of Kris Boevers

My friends, it has been far too long since I have filled you in on the progress of the I.O.U. Blessings Project. Maybe it was the snow days, the muscle relaxers (I woke up one morning with some crazy muscle spasms in my neck which may or may not have been a delayed result from slipping on the ice and falling down our stairs), or just plain laziness... but it seemed the only things on my mind this last week were caramel apple ciders, cozying up under a blanket, and the occasional snowball fight.

But alas, I have returned from a week-full of adventures to share. Most especially... this last week's coupon.

I. O. U.... a re-creation of our first date.

Sounds fun, eh? Indeed. And Saturday was the perfect day to create such a thing.

After a long and slightly frustrating morning [insert sad story about forgotten homework, piled with body image issues, and the cherry on top of Riley peeing in the apartment], we begun our adventure... which was actually pretty simple. You see, the husband and I's first date was somewhat of a non-date. Mostly because I tricked him into taking me. The story went a little like this...

[insert telephone ringing]

J: Hello?
B: Hey, whatcha doin' friend?
J: Just getting ready to head to the mall to look for some new jeans.
B: Is K going with you?
J: Nope, it's just me today.
B: You mean--you're going by yourself? What if you get hurt or stolen or--- raped?
(Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds. But this was all a jab at him after he and our group of friends had freaked out at me the weekend before when I went walking along the Bricktown canal 30 feet ahead of them by myself. Apparently, this is a sure-fire way to get taken.)
J: First of all, I don't think I'm gonna get stolen or anything like that. Second of all, I don't have anyone to go with and I really need some jeans... so I don't really have a choice here.
B: Well, I mean, I guess.... I could go with you... [insert long hopeful pause]
J: (attempting to mask his sheer joy of having an afternoon alone with me) Really? Sweet. I'll pick you up in ten.

Bada bing. Bada boom. And so was the commencement of our now almost 6 year dating relationship. Because while we only actually dated 5 years and then got married... in our world, you keep dating and pursuing long after you say I do.

Saturday was no different. We strolled through the mall holding hands and blushing at each other when we came out of the dressing rooms just like it was back on August 11th, 2005. Add some taste testing at Teavana and Williams Sonoma on top of that and you've got just a darn near perfect date. All it needed from there was some Asian food (on our first date, I exposed my sheltered meat and potatoes man to the wonderful world of ethnic food via Baluu, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant). For our second first-date, we chose Pei Wei (mostly because we had coupons for a free Korean dish). And, as if it couldn't get any better... Jake actually attempted to use chop sticks. Which for a fork slingin' country boy, is quite a monumental feat--all to impress his belovedly cultural wife. Be still my heart.

Now, I must admit, there was one rather significant difference from our real first date and this re-created one. Because on our real first date back in '05... I may or may not have vomited when he decided to hold my hand. (Don't worry-- I made it to the bathroom. He didn't even know it happened until 6 months later.) But really, what's a girl to do when the man of her dreams decides to do a little palm paso? Did I mention he had never held hands with a girl before [insert unison "awww"]-- or a boy for that matter [insert quiet snickering]-- and I just felt like I was under a lot of pressure to perform?

Whew. I thank the good Lord above that my nervous stomach didn't cause any sort of early demise to our relationship. And, while now confident in my hand holding abilities... I'm also thankful that I still do feel a little flutter in my stomach whenever his hand reaches for mine. Like it's our first date all over again. It's just a good thing that I've figured out how to keep my food down.