Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lesson #57: A Strong Husband is Pretty Handy

Here's my Sunday morning schedule:

-Wake up before the butt crack of dawn
-Try and get dressed and ready with little light while praying I don't wake Lyndon up
-Inevitably wake Lyndon up
-Scarf down some cereal
-Head down to Bellevue University at 6:30 for church set up, rehearsal, and service
-Tear down everything that was set up a few hours before
-Go home
-Try and recover

For some reason, I thought adding more to my morning and waking up even earlier would be a great idea.  I decided to wake up with enough time to make coffee cake for me, my fellow Christ Community friends who had to be there just as early, and the husband.  I was up at 4:30, mixing ingredients in my beautiful KitchenAid, trying to fully open my eyes.  We all know how far I've come with this coffee cake recipe, so I wasn't expecting any difficulties despite the early time.

The coffee cake was successfully in the oven.  I could almost feel myself wrapped back up in my covers, ready to drift off for a cat nap before officially having to wake up.  I was so close, and then I discovered I couldn't get the flat beater off the mixer.  No matter how hard I tried, that beater was convinced it needed to stay on.  Thinking it was because I'm really bad at thoroughly cleaning, my attempts became more feeble as I assumed the mixture had dried around it.  I fought for as long as my tired self would let me, but I eventually gave up and crawled back into bed.

Right before I left, I decided to try another plan of attack:

It reads: HELP!  I'm stuck and need a big, strong man to save me!

He's opened plenty of jars for me in the past, so I figured he'd help me without a problem.  I was right.  I was really right.  He sent me a text during rehearsal telling me that it wasn't stuck in the first place.  My 4:30 brain was convinced otherwise.  It's just proof that I should never wake up that early in order to be nice to others ever again.

I need to take a nap.  But before I do that, I'm going to finish eating this potato salad and watching Hot Rod.  Good grief.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lesson #56: I'm Still Adjusting

I've hinted at it before, so allow me to definitively state the following: housework and I are not friends.

Unless the dog hair becomes so much that I'm grossed out enough to clean or we have company coming over, I'd rather wallow in "filth."  I don't mean rats running around our rotting food on the floor, but I do mean clean and unfolded laundry sitting in its basket for a week.  I mean dirty dishes piling up because I don't want to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher.  You know, that kind of "filth."  I will say that I ironed a pair of pants and a shirt for Lyndon this morning, but that was only because he had an evaluation at work today.

I desire to fill my free time with things like Skyrim and Doctor Who.  If I'm cleaning, I can't fully enjoy those things.  Therefore, cleaning makes little sense to me.

The realization is finally hitting me: cleaning is never going to stop.  There's always going to be something that I have to do.  No matter how modern society attempts to be, we have an unspoken understanding that I'm mainly in charge of cleaning and he's mainly in charge of bringing home the bacon.  He's always taken full responsibility for that duty, yet I'm a total slacker.  My duties are so much easier compared to him, but I'm the one who lays about procrastinating.

I still need to vacuum, but I did pause Doctor Who to put some week-old basket laundry away.

On an unrelated note, this company thought we were dumb enough to buy things from their catalogue for Nala, so they sent us a copy.

If I don't get to order whatever I want from the Anthropologie catalogue, she doesn't get whatever she wants from here (which I'm sure is the dog equivalent of Anthropologie...or something).  Petco is just fine for her fancy butt.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lesson #55: Sometimes You Need to go Because He Needs You to go

Let me start out by saying this: we have zero luck with cars.  We've only been married for a little over two years, yet we're already out looking for our fourth car.  We're really good at being really bad with cars.  I don't know what it is about the two of us combined, but it's not fun.  The plan for today was to look at a car here in Omaha and then head to Lincoln to look at another car.  Up until last night, that plan didn't include me.  When Lyndon realized I was working in the late afternoon/evening, he asked me to tag along.

I hate looking at cars.  The only thing I have an eye for is whether or not the A/C and heat work, if there's a way for me to play my music, and how bad the interior of the car smells.  Those seem to be my specialties, so Lyndon graciously takes care of the rest.  While he's getting into the nitty-gritty of the car with the owner, I'm twiddling my thumbs.  The worst part is that the car we're currently on the hunt for is supposed to be for me.  I'm supposed to care about what car I drive, but I don't know anything about them; therefore, I rarely care or have an opinion.  I am useless.  Lyndon is not a fan of this.

The 2001 Elantra in town was decent, but we still wanted to look at the 2003 in Lincoln.  After driving for 45 minutes, we finally got there and started going about our car inspection.  It took us a while to notice, but we eventually realized that we hadn't been bombarded by a salesman.  That is absolutely not normal for a dealership.  We then found out that we hadn't been attacked because no one was there.  They were supposed to have been open an hour (agoio90-=plp[;,,,,,,,,,, c-that was Nala thinking she was helping with this post) ago, yet no one was in the offices.  Lyndon had even been in contact with them, giving them the time that we would be there.  We called and were told that it would be another 20-30 minutes until someone showed up.  We had already been there for an hour.

We decided to try another place we had passed in the hopes that this trip would not be a total disaster.  After walking around for five minutes, looking at cars, Lyndon decided to leave.  The problem with this place wasn't that no one was around.  The problem was that the people there neither noticed him nor said a word to him.

To sum up: we did not buy a car in Lincoln today.

Our moods were much improved when we made an impromptu stop at a roadside antiques shop.  For real.  That's our thing.

On the way home, Lyndon told me he was glad I was there with him.  He had never wanted to make the trip alone.  Looking at/buying cars is a stressful time.  He said he would have been furious otherwise.  So maybe I'm not as useless when it comes to buying cars as I thought.  It must have been my comic relief.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lesson #54: Marriage to a Restaurant Employee is Advantageous

Lyndon works hard to provide and protect.  He serves his country, and he serves you your food.  Being a shift supervisor at a restaurant is a demanding job, and Lyndon is no slacker.  His hours are awful, so we rarely see each other and usually eat dinner after nine.  As a couple, we're never able to go out with others because of his work schedule.  Working 12-hour shifts takes a lot out of him so our evenings stay very low-key.  Suffice it to say that he's exploring other options outside of this field of work.

In the meantime, however, we're stuck with the previously mentioned schedule.  It's either been that or some sort of variation, so it's nothing we aren't used to experiencing.  Supervising simply seems to be more exhausting than serving/bar tending.  I have a tired husband.

All of that majorly stinks, but we got to experience one of the upsides to his job tonight.  His restaurant has a "to go" option for people to use to order food so they can drop by, pay, and leave with their meals.  I learned tonight that when people fail to show up the food is usually thrown away.  If there happens to be a smart shift supervisor on duty, part of the booty is given to a server while he takes home the rest of the spoils.  And that resulted in...


"'It's fo' free!' so I was like, 'Sure.'"

Food that would have otherwise been thrown away was instead chosen to grace our table.  And by table, I mean our coffee table because we sit and watch shows like Cake Boss while we eat.  I don't know whether to take this as a blessing from God or a sign from God that even He was ashamed of my subpar grocery list yesterday.

"So what's the lesson?" you might ask.  Truth is, I'm not really sure.  Marry someone in the business of food?  Don't throw away food that's still good?  Realize God's blessings in little things?  Make a good grocery list?  You decide.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lesson #53: You Never Stop Buying Groceries

Days like today are when I wish I was super rich and could have my private, gourmet chef take care of anything.  Okay, most days are like that.  Today is particularly leaning towards that view, however.  I just got home from work and had to make a grocery list.  I then get to go buy groceries, come home, put them away, eat something, and go to rehearsal.

This is seriously the billionth time I've gone grocery shopping since getting married.  That might be a stretch, but I doubt it.  I either run out of money or I run out of ideas for meals.  And while I sit here listening to songs for rehearsal tonight, I'm drawing a blank.  I can't go out and buy ingredients and throw things together.  My brain doesn't work like that.  Never has, never will.  I have to have a solid list in which items are put under the meal they'll be used for.  My brain is a nightmare.

Since I seem to be more focused on listening to this music, my list has taken a turn for the worse:
string cheese
red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
tomato soup
Hamburger Helper
ground beef
shredded cheese
chips  Whatever.  I'm going grocery shopping.

Hello, end of the month.  You're a jerk.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson #52: Man's Best Friend is High Maintenance

It has long been a dream of ours to own a dog.  Considering both of us are vehemently opposed to cats (no offense, cat folk), it only made sense that we would get a dog as soon as we could.  That "soon as we could" finally came around after almost two years of marriage.  Living in an apartment that doesn't allow dogs kind of puts a damper on dog plans.  Plus, I figured I would start out with plants.  We kept (most of) those alive, so it was time to upgrade to a pet.  After a while, if she's still alive and well, we'll be able to upgrade again to kids.  It's a process.

So in March we met her...

in April we got her...

and in August we still love her.

Nala is almost six months old and has been hilarious to watch.  Shiba inus are notoriously distant and anti-social, yet she is the exact opposite of that.  Nala thinks every person she sees is a new best friend.  Every knock on a door in our hallway must be meant for her.  She loves people so much that she whines out of excitement when she meets someone.  Good thing we weren't banking on a guard dog.

Through the cost of shots, food, vet visits, treats, toys (that keep mysteriously showing up when I come home from work and Lyndon has a day off), and surprise health issues, we've realized how expensive dogs can be.  We did our research beforehand and calculated the costs, but it was still a nice surprise as to how big that cost would be.  So far, it's been worth it.  The only time I get worried is when Lyndon is convinced she needs a friend to play with.

Prepare for more posts about Nala because she's who I spend most of my time with.  Until that happens, here's a picture of her eating a clementine for the first time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lesson #51: Beautiful Quilts Belong on a Wall

Beautiful objects passed from family member to family member warm my heart.  I love seeing things that people were given or inherited from older family members.  That's what I want to use to fill my house-things that remind us of those we love.  I'm already excited to pass on some of the things we own to future kids!

When Lyndon was younger, he was given a gorgeous quilt made by his great-grandmother (in-loves, correct me if I'm wrong).

By the way, my lovely in-loves, I don't know the story behind this quilt.  I would love to hear it the next time we get to see you!

I'd always wanted to put it up but never got around to it.  As a newlywed who finally got to decorate an apartment, I just kind of put things up without thinking.  When we moved, however, I was determined to not make that mistake again.  This time, that quilt was going up.  With very little money to make this happen, we settled with a giant dowel and some screws.

Isn't it wonderful?  Wait, scratch that.  I only care about your opinion if you like it.  I demand to be coddled when it comes to my decorating taste/choices/skills.

The quilt is very old, needs some mending, needs to be cleaned somehow, and should be better displayed.  I feel like I'm not doing it justice the way it is.  If you happen to have any tried-and-true advice on any of these matters, I would love to hear it.

Good thing it's still pretty despite its owners' lack of quilt knowledge.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lesson #50: In the End, We Were Married

Every once in a while, I think to myself, I want to get married wedding was boring compared to this...if I could do it all again it would be completely different, etc.  The high ranking of Pinterest in my "Top Sites" has been followed by the nagging thoughts that my wedding could have been more beautiful, more detailed, more extravagant.  I see stunning dresses, creative elements, and beautiful brides and wonder why I couldn't have done/had all of those things.  While most Pinterest users are dreaming about what "might be" when it comes to their weddings, I dream about what "could have been."   I know all that I would change about our wedding if you asked me.

These thoughts bug me for a while, but then I remember how wonderful our wedding was.  I remember how he looked when the doors to the sanctuary first opened.  I remember how much I loved being surrounded by those I loved.  I remember his surprise dip for our first kiss as husband and wife.  I remember that we talked about his truck breaking down that day and his subsequent sunburn during the unity candle instead of talking about romantic things.  I remember the beautiful music, having a great time with my mom while we planned, the delicious cupcakes, the bachelorette party gone-almost-wrong, the fun I had during the week of, and so much more.  My wedding was a dream, minus a few details.

I was blessed to have the wedding I did.  It was beautifully God-filled.  As if that wasn't enough, my parents didn't go into debt for it.  Considering the average wedding costs around $27,800 ( and ours was right around $5,000, I'd say we made the right choice.

I'll continue to be plagued by thoughts of my "could have been" wedding.  It's not that hard to remind myself that in the end, I got to marry Lyndon.

That sounds like a successful wedding to me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lesson #49: God can Change Your Heart for Anything

We're still alive!  It's been forever since I've posted, I know.  Cut me some slack.  I went to Italy then immediately picked up our dog then immediately moved then unpacked all by myself then started an internship then went on a two week tour then came home to an internship.  Things have been a little crazy, to say the least.  I'll catch myself up by posting about each of those things.  For now, here's Italy:

A view of Rome from the "Wedding Cake" (Altare della Patria)

Venice (from the Rialto Bridge)-I totally got lost here.
Every year, Nebraska Christian College shuts down for a week in the spring, and every single person goes on a missions trip of some kind.  People spread out all over: California, Montana, Utah, Omaha, Texas, Honduras, Haiti, Trinidad, China, Italy, and plenty more over the years.  Our Italy trip was about so much more than sight seeing and singing every once in a while.  We were there for God.  Italy is a country filled with corruption, hopelessness, and emptiness.  Having faith and going to church is a tradition that you "just do."  We went to show them that there's something more, that God is so much more.  It was incredible to see that play out.  We got to do things like sing for mass in ancient, beautiful cathedrals (including the Vatican).  We met with a convent of women who never speak, and we got to sing with them.  We sang at a rest home in Cividale.  We got to sing to our elderly waitress in Marano Lagunare.  We ate with the Alpini and the community choir in Codroipo.  I got to see beautiful pieces of art and sculpting and architecture that I've only ever seen pictures of my whole life.  I can't begin to explain to you how incredibly beautiful that trip was.  

A view of Vicenza from Monte Berico
Cividale from the New Devil's Bridge

One of our days was spent in the town of Trieste, and that day forever changed me.  We went to a tiny evangelical church called Il Faro ( that had been started by some missionaries.  Before we sang for them, one of the missionaries talked to us about the town.  He told us that only .02% of Trieste's population believes.  At that moment, God changed my heart.  I believe that He'd been working up to that moment my entire life (my love for history, Italian artists, the language, and so much more), and that moment has changed me forever.  I originally wanted to go on the trip because I'd always wanted to go to Italy.  Why not serve God at the same time?  God used that love for Italy in an incredible way.  As we sang that night, it became evidently clear that this was not my last time serving God in Italy.  I'm not saying the heavens opened up, the clouds separated, and the angels sang to signal me.  I'm saying that I've never been more confident about something in my entire life.

I have no idea what that confidence will turn into.  I might get to go on another trip similar to that one, I might spend the rest of my life there.  Who knows?  When I got home, I wasn't sure what I was going to say to Lyndon.  How do you say, "By the way, you might be living in Italy at some point in your life.  Hope that's okay!" without causing an uproar?  The day after I got back, as we sat in a Denny's in St. Louis with his parents, I quietly brought up the experience I'd had that night in Trieste.  It was met with silence.

He has yet to say much about it.  He doesn't say anything as I decorate our apartment with things I got from Italy.  He never said too much when I told other people about that night.  I don't know if he's not sure what to think of it or doesn't want to hurt my feelings by what he thinks of it.  Either way, I'm glad he hasn't said much.  Even though he hasn't completely supported it, he hasn't completely shut it down, and for that, I am grateful.  I don't plan on bringing it up in the future.  I'm the one with the heart for Italy.  If serving God in Italy is in our future, I need to let God work in Lyndon's heart first.  So if you don't hear me talking about this subject, don't think I've stopped caring.  I'm practically bursting at the seams with excitement every time I even think about it.  I'm just waiting for my husband.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lesson #48: Who Needs Space?

We've done it.
We finally, officially found our future residence.

Spoiled by our current apartment, we thought we could afford the same luxury of space that we've been enjoying for the past two years.  We found a place that was only slightly smaller than our apartment now, and we applied.  After being approved and then budgeting, we realized how silly of a choice that was.

As was previously posted, we decided to start the apartment hunting process all over again.  This time, looking for a more appropriate one bedroom apartment, we ended up at a complex today.  We were worried because although we could certainly afford it, it is almost exactly half the size of our current apartment.  Yikes.  I kept encouraging myself with the thought, "Who needs space to move in an apartment anyway?"

But how pleasantly surprised we were!  Incredibly affordable, plenty of storage, and cheap pet rent.  The rent total is so inexpensive that we'll be able to swing a garage for all of our extra stuff.  They even have garages available now, which is the first time that has happened in our search.

We even lucked out with the same great deal that we had at the original apartment we applied for.  We'll be getting fifty dollars off our rent every month for our year lease.  I'm sure that doesn't sound like much to a lot of people, but that means the world to us.

I'm beginning to get involved in pre-internship things.  I sent out a resume for another job.  Lyndon is looking for a second job.  We found an apartment that we can actually afford.  We get our puppy (officially named Nala) in two weeks.  Lyndon takes his soldier to regionals (go Block!) next week.  I leave for Italy in less than a week.  The spring game/Jacoby family time is this weekend.

Things are looking up.  We just might survive these next seven months of my internship.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lesson #47: Penny pinching power

It's time.

We've crunched the numbers, and it's time.

Frivolous spenders, we will be no more!

Not that we were frivolous spenders, but the little frivolity we had has now vanished.  I have an internship, he has a job, we bought a dog, and we have our next apartment, but we're not sure how all of this is going to work out financially.  As I've said in previous posts, we're getting ready to dive into the world of grown-ups.

We're cutting as much out of other funds as possible to make sure there's food on the table, even if it ends up being ramen noodles every night.  Lyndon won't be able to be as involved on the paintball team as much as we had hoped.  The envelope for "homey" things will remain empty and dry for the next several months.

Money problems have always scared me.  Finances when I was younger were never secure, so I was always scared, always worried that there would be enough every month.  Getting married offered me a breath of fresh air.  I thought I would never be scared when it came to money situations again.  We thought we had our lives for the next few years figured out.  We weren't holding too high of expectations to realistically stick to; instead, we had a logical and realistic view on what our financial situation would be like.

It turned out that even that view was a little high-reaching.  Our plans have been postponed for various reasons, and that has hurt us.  We have some interesting months to look forward to in the all-too-near future.

Time to re-focus that trusting in God thing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lesson #46: No husband=No sleep

Distance might make the heart grow fonder, but it's keeping me from getting some shut-eye.

The husband and I are used to being apart.  A great deal of our dating relationship and engagement was spent long distance, and there have been multiple weeks of our marriage when we're off doing different things.  Not being together is old hat for us, but things have not been so smooth as of late.

Wednesday the 21st through Sunday the 25th was my gospel choir's tour.  We were out traveling the Midwest, singing about Jesus while Lyndon stayed at home.  It was a rough week for both of us and for different reasons.  I was struggling with emotional family stuff, and Lyndon was having a horrible time trying to sleep without me.  Luckily, I stayed in host homes and shared a bed with fellow choir gals every night.  Poor Lyndon had to sleep all alone.  Restless night after restless night made for one exhausted husband when I got back on Sunday.

I then ignored my homework in order to spend time with him.  I find reasons to push homework aside many times (like right now, for instance), but this reason was legitimate.  I had just gotten back, and he was leaving the next day for military things.

He's now off doing some military thing or other, and I'm the one stuck at home.  Last night, I think I got four hours of sleep.  That could be an exaggeration, but I really don't think it is.  The problem is that I can find plenty of things to keep myself busy during the day, but when I'm trying to go to bed all I can think about is the lack of husband sleeping next to me.  His physical presence is something that I've so gotten used to that not having him next to me is keeping me awake past all hours of reason.

Realizing this has brought me to two more realizations:
1. I'm grateful every single day that I have a husband who I get to sleep next to at night (usually).  Those who have lost spouses or have spouses overseas have incredible courage and strength.
2. I might need to invest in melatonin or something.

Apartment update!
We found a place!  It meets all of our specifications and should be affordable, too.  We're currently waiting to be approved, so we'll have to wait and see.
I've started collecting boxes, and Lyndon is looking for dogs.  Let's hope this works out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lesson #45: Apartment Treasure Hunt

Apartment hunting.

Lyndon and I have been living in the married housing apartments on campus for almost two years, but that won't be the case soon.  As long as someone is taking four credit hours, you can stay there.  The thing is, this is my last semester of classes.  All I will have left after this semester is an internship in the summer and my school's version of a music major's senior recital in the fall.  I won't be taking enough hours, so we're being kicked out (in the nicest way possible).

We've been looking for possible apartments/homes since January, but it wasn't until the past week and a half that we started actively looking.  This week has been filled with apartment/house hopping, and it's only Wednesday.  We've been overwhelmed, we're burnt out, and we haven't found a place yet.

As different as we are, we have been in total agreement about most of the places so far.  We have been having the same gut feeling/reaction toward each place we visit, so at least we're together on this.

Lyndon's mini rant:  Why do we have to go all over the internet to find different places?  Why can't there just be one complete site that covers all available apartments and houses?

We check property management sites.  We check  We check Craig's List.  We check real estate sites.  We check everywhere, yet one of the most promising places was a random complex I spotted while we were out looking.

Here's where I ask for your help!  Know of any great apartment/house hunting tips?  Know of someone who can help us (for free)?  Know of a place that needs awesome tenants?  Let us know!

This is what we're looking for:
1,000 square feet
No more than $700 a month
Dog friendly
2 bedrooms

Save us from the misery that comes with apartment/house hunting!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lesson #44: You can't predict the future

Even though Lyndon and I are married, pay bills, and actually have health insurance, we haven't quite hit the real world.  Student loans help cover our rent and utilities, we get tax breaks because I'm a student, and neither of us have found our careers yet.  We're kind of in this weird state between being college students and being forced to be grown-ups.  All of that, however, is going to change very shortly.

We thought the real world would have hit us much sooner, but through some unfortunate events, I'm not graduating this semester.  Instead of doing my internship last summer, like we were hoping, it won't be happening until this summer.  That internship will be another stepping stone towards more responsibilities and more "adult life."  We have to go apartment hunting, move off campus, pay rent and utilities every month . . . fun stuff.

The following is a list of problems that are keeping us from discerning where God wants us next.

1.  I don't have an internship yet.  There are only three months left until the summer, and I still don't know where I'll be.  There's one possibility right now (we're meeting tomorrow), but that's just a possibility and that's just one possibility.  Everything about our future is dependent on this internship.  Finding another apartment is the next step we need to take, and we can't even begin apartment hunting until I know where I'll be.

2.  Lyndon was recently promoted, but we're not sure if that promotion includes a raise.  He was so good at his previous job that he might've ended up making more per hour than he does with this new job.  A promotion should include a pay increase, but that might not be the case.

3.  The job that Lyndon has might not be his career.  He's not sure yet.  When we were dating, he was pursuing a different path that provided financial security for our lives.  He's not pursuing that anymore, and  that kind of pulled the rug out from underneath me.  He doesn't know what his future holds career wise.

4.  I have to make money this summer.  Our bills are going to get bigger and more numerous.  The never ending awfulness that comes with bills is going to increase.  I need to help my husband bring home the bacon, but we have no idea how that's going to work.  If my internship isn't willing to pay me (some internships offer that, some don't), they have to understand that I need to get a part time job in addition to my responsibilities with them.  I worked at a great daycare this past summer who would be more than willing to offer me hours if available, but I can't tell them anything yet.

Let me make one thing clear: my husband takes care of me.  We might not be living in the lap of luxury, but we have never been in dire financial straits.  He's been able to give me things beyond the bare essentials, and I am forever grateful for that.  My man works hard to provide, and he's done a great job thus far.

After a few breakdowns the past couple weeks, Lyndon has confidently reassured me that I don't have to worry.  He has bravely stepped up as my husband and has told me that he will always take care of me, no matter what.  I know that I can breathe easy because he will make sure that I am safe, happy, and protected.

Now we just have to bolster our faith in God, knowing that He will lead us to where we should go.

Lame video.  Awesome message.

Lord I surrender all 
To Your strong and faithful hand
In everything I will give thanks to You
I’ll just trust Your perfect plan

When I don’t know what to do
I’ll lift my hands
When I don’t know what to say
I’ll speak Your praise
When I don’t know where to go
I’ll run to Your throne
When I don’t know what to think
I’ll stand on Your truth
When I don’t know what to do

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lesson #43: Hostess with the "Mostest"

I enjoy hosting.  Having people over and taking care of them is what I truly love doing.  There's something about inviting people into my home, taking care of them, and showing them love that gets to me.  It's so great.  I'll take their coats, have food, get them drinks . . . I go all out.  Tonight, we had around 15 people in our teeny apartment to celebrate a friend's parents driving all the way from Montana to surprise her with a visit.  Another friend brought most of the food, we pooled our utensil resources, and there were plenty of mugs for hot chocolate and coffee (because winter is finally here!).  I had a blast.  And they did the dishes for me.  You can't top that.

The idea of hosting is a sort of "opposites attract" situation for Lyndon and me.  He would rather come to a quiet home where he doesn't have to worry about others.  If he can be fed, see his wife, and play video games all night, it's been a good day.  He's a man who enjoys his quiet time and gets it as often as he can.  It's not that he doesn't like people; he's more of an introvert who values his peace.  Because of this introvert tendency he has, we don't have people over as often as I would like.

Our group had to rearrange our original plans because of weather, and part of that change was meeting at our apartment instead of a restaurant.  I said it was fine without checking with him, so I was a little nervous.  He called me from the armory when they were on a break, and I cautiously told him the new plans.  He was incredibly gracious and had no problem with it.  I had dodged a bullet and just had to get my lazy butt up to clean before I was home free.

Growing up, my mom taught us to clean for guests.  It didn't matter how clean or how dirty our house was.  If people were coming over, we were cleaning.  Vacuuming, dusting, sweeping . . . any form of cleaning you could think of was done.  That is something that has stuck with me, so most of my day was spent cleaning around the apartment (Lyndon was certainly grateful).  I didn't even care that my day went to cleaning.  The cleaning meant that people were coming over, and yes, the apartment did need to be cleaned - win-win situation.

We were cramped, it got so warm inside that Taylor opened the back door, it was noisy, the kitchen was a mess (until the wonderful guests cleaned), and I loved every moment of it.  I don't ask to invite people over as often as I would like.  I try and stay very conscious of Lyndon's need for alone time.  I'm thankful that he's conscious of my hostess genes, too.

Now I just have to wait as long as I can before asking him if we can have people over again.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lesson #42: Baby crazy

Babies, babies, babies.
Good grief.  All the babies.

I thought I was still in the stage of my life when everyone was getting married.  Apparently, I didn't get the memo that we were moving on.  Married folk around me are either changing diapers or picking out paint samples for the future nursery, and I still thought we were in the day and age of wedding colors and finding the perfect "something blue."

I don't really want kids right now.  At some point in my life, yes.  I hope to surround myself with crayon covered walls and Kool-Aid spills, but I'm not there yet.  Lyndon and I have both said that we're way too selfish right now.  We want to be better at our husband and wife titles before we add mom and dad titles onto them.  Baby fever rarely hits, and when it does, it's more about being the mother of Lyndon's children.  That part overwhelms me, but child-rearing isn't at the top of my "to do" list as of yet.

What form of crazy do we currently have?  I'm glad you asked.  The answer to that: dog crazy.  We love dogs, and we're suffering right now.  We aren't allowed to have dogs in the apartment we're currently in.  It gets Lyndon down sometimes, and when that happens he comes up to me and whines, "I want a dog."  He sounds like an 8-year-old begging for a pet.  It's pretty pitiful, actually.  We aren't so dog crazy that we'll call them our children and carry pictures of them in our wallets, but you get the idea.

We even know what kinds of dogs we want: a bulldog named Sergeant (who we will call Sarge) and a shiba inu (name tbd).

A shiba inu because they're fun, playful, and energetic.
Look at that puppy.  Melt.
A bulldog because they're hilarious (partly because they're ugly) and lazy.
Both kinds would be manageable for the two of us, and both of them are small enough to be allowed in apartments.

I hope we're able to have children someday.  I know my life will change for the better in a forever kind of way.  At this point in my life, I'd rather have a companion who slobbers, poops anywhere and everywhere, depends on me for everything, is excited to see me when I come home . . . wait . . . that still sounds like a baby.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lesson #41: Conquer the family recipes

Last night, I had the ingredients for a few different baked goods options.  When I asked Lyndon which one I should make, he replied with, "Uh, coffee cake.  Duh."  As the mixer was working hard and I was adding the necessary ingredients, I thought back to my first, terrifying experience with making coffee cake.

Lyndon comes from a family of wonderful women who are wonderful cooks.  He has fond memories of eating all the delicious meals and treats they always made for him.  My mom has a few cooking tricks up her sleeve, too, but she's worked full time as an elementary music teacher since before I was born.  On top of that, she's always had a job at church.  She's a busy lady, so 100% homemade meals weren't always an option.  My family was always doing something.  There was always a rehearsal or a school event or a contest that we had to go to.  If it was fine arts related and wasn't sports related, we were a part of it.  We were like chickens running around with our heads cut off because we were so busy and involved.  We always ate together, but my Mom didn't have the time to spend a few hours making dinner.  I have no complaints; that's just the way it was.

When we got married, I realized that I would actually have the time (when not about to drown in school work) to make meals.  It was a strange yet exciting concept to me.  One thing that Lyndon wanted right away was coffee cake.  He didn't want any old coffee cake recipe either.  He wanted the coffee cake that his mom makes.  And what coffee cake it is!  The recipe was in a little recipe book that I was hoping to avoid for as long as possible: the family recipe book.  A few years ago, one of his grandmas compiled a list of her recipes based on family recommendations.  I didn't have very many cooking skills at that point in our marriage (truth be told, I still don't).  That book made me nervous.

It took a while for me to finally try this coffee cake recipe Lyndon had been asking for.  I avoided that book like the plague.  Around a month had passed before I decided it was time to face my fears.  I opened up to the right page, read the recipe, and was completely lost.  There weren't precise directions for me to follow, including a total lack of an ingredients list at the beginning of the recipe.  I was not off to a good start.  I ended up having to call Lyndon's mom for help, and she was nice enough to answer all of my questions.  After a time of exploding flour and my first experience with shortening (mega gross, by the way), the batter made it into the oven, safe and sound.  That first coffee cake won Lyndon's approval, and my cooking confidence soared that day.

I've had plenty of cooking success and cooking failure since we got married.  That fateful, coffee cake day taught me that the family recipe book is intimidating but conquerable.  I've since tried a few more recipes from the book with mixed reviews.  I guess I'll have to keep trying, especially since that coffee cake I made last night burned a little bit.  Oops.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lesson #40: Remember why you fell for him

The topic of this blog has been on my mind for a few days now, and I really wanted to do something about it.  And then I remembered I had a blog.  Duh.

Let's start at the beginning: I had an awkward phase.  When I use the phrase "awkward phase," no exaggeration is needed or implied.  I just spent forever looking on Facebook for a picture to display, but I realized that I didn't join Facebook until most of my awkward phase was over.  That was probably a wise choice.  This phase started around third grade (no lie) and went through a good portion of high school (no lie).

As far as boys go, I had one serious relationship before Lyndon, the mighty husband.  Suffice it to say that 16-year-old me was in love, but our almost year-long relationship did not work out.  I think I was starting to leave my awkward stage when we started dating, and I left not only the boyfriend behind but also the awkward stage.  All of a sudden, I had no boyfriend and no awkward stage.
Side note: I'm not trying to say I had an ugly duckling, beautiful swan situation.  I simply became less terrible looking.  Getting back on track. . .
I found out that boys liked me.  I found out that more than one boy liked me.  I didn't know how to handle myself, and I made some terrible choices.  That serious boyfriend had really messed up my ability to trust, so I didn't want to let anyone else in.  He had broken me, and for whatever reason, I didn't want to give someone the chance to fix me.  I couldn't take the risk.  Anytime a guy got close, I ran in the opposite direction.

That combined with my faith that was fizzling out, I wasn't in a good place when I met Lyndon.  Everything that had happened was becoming overbearing, and it was dragging me down.  I was never depressed.  I just stopped being myself.

He saved me.  Lyndon saved me.  Meeting him changed everything.  He pulled me out of the water that I was clearly dragging myself under.  He saved me from all those boys; he showed me what a real relationship with God was like.  I don't know what road I would have gone down without him.  He really was and is my knight in shining armor.  It was as if he solved all my problems; he was the perfect answer.  Granted, we both create new problems every single day.  He likes fried eggs in the morning, and they make the apartment smell horrid.  Right now, our dirty dishes go from the sink to the end of the counter.  We both have problems.

But tonight, as I laid in his arms, all I could think about was how he had saved me, how he takes care of me, how he protects me, how he provides for me, how he loves me.


Our first date.  Why did Lyndon want to take a picture of us on our first date?  I have no idea.  I must have liked him enough at that point to be okay with it, and I love that we have this picture now.
I love my husband.  I need to remember why much more often.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lesson #39: Love him while he's here

Inspired by the courage and strength of Molly. . .

For those of you who don't know, Lyndon is in the Army National Guard.  He is proud to serve his country, and I'm proud to be his military wife.  For the most part, the military has been incredibly good to us.  I can point to essential objects in our home and say that his service in the military has helped pay for them.  We are thousands and thousands of dollars out of debt because the military is paying for his schooling.  Even beyond the financial support the military has given us, my husband has found his niche.  I couldn't tell you whether or not he'll make a career out of the military.  That depends on the day, so you'll have to ask him.  What I can tell you is that there's something about him being in the military that completes him.  He was just made for it.

Life with the military wasn't always this fine and dandy.  Lyndon proposed to me three months before he left for training.  While Basic was only 10 weeks long (if our memories are right), he then immediately went to AIT training, which kept him for 16 weeks.  Our relationship had always been long distance, but this was entirely different.  He was gone from March to October.  Total bummer.

Even though he was never sent overseas or put in serious harm's way, the physical ache of missing the one I loved was always present.  A lot of people don't truly know what that feeling is like.  When I asked my parents what their longest stretch of time apart was, they told me around two weeks.  Two weeks!  I would have given anything to bring Lyndon home after two weeks.  My heart aches even now, remembering our time apart.

At Lyndon's Basic graduation.  He's so handsome.

There are thousands of men and women all across the country who are experiencing that physical ache in their hearts right now.  They have sacrificed something incredible, letting their spouses go overseas to protect you.  You sitting right there, reading this.  People have died to protect you.  A wife won't be able to fall asleep next to her husband tonight because he's serving his country and keeping you safe.  We don't have any idea as to what that's like.  My husband is sitting right next to me (playing Skyrim), and I honestly don't know if I've told him that I love him today.

I know there are a lot of different opinions about war and the decisions that are made concerning it.  Despite all of that, realize the sacrifices many are making each and every day.  Their sacrifices are keeping you safe.

Go kiss the one you love.