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.