Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The love of my life...part 3

3 years ago on our wedding day

2 years ago in (Balboa Park) San Diego where Matt was stationed

1 year ago enjoying hot chocolate and giant cookies (= making Stevie dance in the belly) at the mall

Today is our 3rd Anniversary. Wedding Anniversary, that is. We tend to acknowledge many anniversaries in our household (when we met, when we first started talking, when Matt came home from the military the first time and the 2nd time and homecoming of deployment, when we started courting, when we got engaged, when we got married, baby stuff...and on and on). We like to think back on those special days, but no, we do not officially "celebrate" them all. Unfortunately, my husband has to work today (why do anniversaries, birthdays, and fun occasions happen on Wednesdays anyway?), and to top it off, he has a final exam this evening. Oh well. We'll make the most of it, and maybe go out to a movie this weekend. Yes, we are quite the partiers. Spell check does not like that word, partiers. Apparently, it's only found in the Urban Dictionary. I didn't know I was so well versed.

Anyway, yes, it's our 3rd Anniversary. I did not marry a man in a sweater vest. I married a man in dress blues. Because I am supposed to write about such things pertaining to my post titles, I will share a bit about this man and our story (but you may have to come back to hear more). You might want to take a comfy seat...this could get long. If you've already heard it, you may want to skip this entire post (and the next couple) altogether. I met Matt, a young Marine on leave back in May 2005. He came with his brother to our church his last Sunday in town. Let me back up just a bit prior to our meeting. My mom knew of his coming to town...from Matt's brother. There was something about Matt, not even knowing him, that Mom told me, "We need to check this guy out." My mom would not rest looking for a man for me...well, until we found the one. Well, she paid me (it was either $5 or $10...I really needed it for something, being a poor college student and all) to meet him. She totally denies this now, but believe me, it happened. It was the first and last man my mom ever paid me to meet. She must have known he was going to be good! So, she paid me the whatever amount it was to attend our church's Young Adult Bible Study, thinking he would visit since his brother attended. Yes, my mother paid me to go to Bible Study. I would've been a rather regular attender of the group, but I had a class the night it met. This being finals week, schedules were a little jumbled up, and lo and behold I was "free." Well, I took her money and ran...ran far away from meeting the man of my study! I might as well have gone to the library for sweater vest man! When my mom found out (later that week maybe) that I did not attend, I had to pay her back. Well, Man of my Dreams, we'll call him Matt, did not go either. It was not meant to be to meet at that time...with payment involved I guess, or something. As far as my mom and I knew, Matt's leave had ended and he had flown back to Hawaii where he was stationed. "Well," I thought, "I think I handled that well. I avoided another one!"

The following Sunday, however, I was getting ready for church. The however part comes later. I was wrestling with my hair. Oh my hair. I never wanted curly hair. I had straight hair as a little girl, and my mom used to curl it while I'd rather spend my time on other things. I'd still rather spend my time doing other things than wrestling with my hair. It's curly, it's frizzy, it's poofy (must be another urban dictionary word)'s a hairdresser's nightmare. I remember thinking that particular morning, "who cares? It's not like I'm going to meet the Man of my Dreams today or anything." Here comes the however...However, I did!

I was sitting in the front row at church...still up front with my mom, when I noticed Matt's brother walk through the doors and behind him a very tall guy. I immediately panicked-thinking, warm, welcoming thoughts-"Hey, you're supposed to be gone!", but first gave him a quick glance to size up his appearance. He was handsome. Then I panicked. What if this guy knows people are trying to set us up? How awkward is that? What if he thinks I wanted to meet him, which was untrue! I was not a flirt. I never chased after guys. I figured if I chased him...he wasn't man enough for me. I was waiting on the Lord, as patiently as I could, for Him to bring the Man of my Dreams in my life. I wanted a man who pursued me, loved our God, and would love and treat me like a princess of our King.

Well, Matt didn't have any idea of the match-making connections others were trying to make. After church, I stood next to my parents (my dad's the pastor), who stand at the door to catch up with people and say goodbye. I didn't want to be cornered alone if any matchmaking people tried to connect us, so I huddled by my parents. As Matt and his brother left, we were introduced. He passed test #1 and #2 with flying colors. He looked me straight in the eyes and shook my hand firmly. He was super polite, and I thought, genuine. Those things were very important to me. As my mom talked about my "accomplishments," I got a look at what he was wearing, blue jeans, a button-up, blue, plaid, short sleeve shirt....and...and...running shoes. The first time I mentioned this to him, he got defensive. He said he didn't have any other clothes with him to wear that were dressy or whatever. I said, "Noo, your running shoes. They were the same exact shoes my dad had. I knew then. I knew that this could be something." I know it's silly, and probably lots of people owned those shoes. However, the only people I knew who had them were my dad and Matt. I respected my dad a lot. I still do. You know the saying, "you will grow up to marry a man like your father." So, there was something about those shoes...that feeling, that I will never forget.

More to share...

To Go Back to Part 2

Friday, December 11, 2009

The love of my life... part 2

I guess this is part 2. Feel free to read part 1 though it's not necessary.

My little boy is growing so fast before my eyes! The picture on my header is of my eager 6 month old Stephen. He was getting into the presents before I got my camera out. Once the camera came out, sweet little patient boy came out too. This is the only time I have seen him rest his chubby little cheek on his chubby little hand! Can't you just see the excitement and wonder in his little face? It's almost as if he's trying to guess what absoultely thrilling gift is wrapped in that disguising paper just for him. Maybe it's the rocket booster I asked for...or, whatever. What 6 month old does that? Apparently, mine. My husband said my joy of Christmas has already caught on to him. You know what? I hope so! Unfortunately, the presents he was digging into, 3 in particular, are for some nieces and my mom. What a sad boy I would have on my hands to open girly things! So he would not ruin their wrappings, I pulled that flat green one out that actually is his, so he could tear it up ...if it came to that. I'm not telling what it is though!

Matt has been pretty funny about Christmas gifts and Stevie. We can't talk about his gifts around him or wrap them in front of him because then "he'll know" of course. Well, one day I did wrap one of his gifts (a stuffed lion, shhh!) in his presence, and it was all I could do to NOT get Stevie to watch. It was hysterical. Umm, my little 6 month old, you are not supposed to see this yet. I actually had to hide it behind the box it was shipped in because he watched my every move (and normally he could care less).

Anyway, I am apparently the queen of tangents. This whole "series" is supposed to be about the love of my life. Well, reign those horses in because this is all somewhat related, in my head anyway.

Let's go back to this: My husband said my joy of Christmas has already caught on to him. You know what? I hope so! I love Christmas! I love picking out gifts and sharing them with others. Isn't it so exciting to see someone you love open up the gift you picked for them, and just see the smile! Last year, Matt and I gave my 2 year old nephew, Nathanael, an "electric" guitar. I was stumped as to what to get him. Well, I took him to Walmart one day like a month before Christmas. For something fun for him, we went down the toy aisles. The only toy he wanted to play with was the guitar. He loves watching all the musicians in the praise band at church. I figured, hey, the price was good, $10 for a black electric guitar with strings, that also played pre-recorded music when you pressed the frets. So, later on, I went back and purchased it. Well, the day we exchanged presents was a thrill. Nathanael had the biggest smile on his face and he played it ...ALL day! We even had a hard time getting him to open the rest of his presents. I was like, nice, he likes it. Guess what? He still plays it...regularly! Since he received it, he often plays up with our praise band on Sundays, now almost 3, rocking away...but reverently, imitating the other guitarists. It has been a year. The guitar no longer plays the pre-recorded stuff. There is a clunk inside it when you shake it because the music box is loose or something inside. Yet, it's still a prized possession. He plays on his own now! He doesn't need that pre-recorded stuff.

Wow, the thoughts I have on this just swirl. I love Christmas for more than the presents, but they are a meaningful part to me. I love Christmas because I love Christ! His birth is such an important part of His life. Ok, I know that sounds silly, but really! We couldn't be anywhere without our birth. Yes, His life was so much more than being a sweet little baby (and I do wonder what his cry was like...being Jesus and all, it couldn't have been the crazy cry I hear around here most days), but that's where our salvation stories begin! God chose for His Son to come as a baby! Our salvation, the forgiveness of our sins came through God's gift of His son, first as a baby, who then grew and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins! What hope and joy in that gift! Yes, God is into gift giving! That's why I love giving gifts! No, He is not Santa Claus, He is our Creator, the Author of our lives, our Savior. James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Of course, His greatest gift is His son, Jesus. The verse so often used and memorized so lots of things and places, let's not lose what it is really saying: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 He gave us His Son. It was not because we deserved way! Salvation is His gift to us because He, the Creator of the universe, loves us. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I don't know that any of the gifts I purchased this year will be such a hit as the guitar was last year (and still is) for my nephew, but that's ok. The gifts are meant to bring joy and bless, but not to outshine the Greatest Gift. So yes, I do hope Stevie is already catching on to my joy of joy of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I hope he catches it and catches it tightly to grow in his own relationship with Christ and to share the Hope and Joy with others.

There's still more to come...

To Go Back to Part 1

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The love of my life..

I am just beginning to type, and I hear a sneeze coming from my son's room. I'm hoping he can go back to sleep and finish his nap. We'll see.

So, I have many thoughts...and I'm probably just going to spill them on here for the sake of getting out of this lack of blogging funk. I have had some ideas, and then I just get busy. Ok, Stevie is now talking, or whatever that is, confirming that he will not be going back to sleep. Hmm, I probably won't get much done here. I guess that's an update. Stevie is now napping! Horray! However, this early nap, is often only a half hour. I'd like him to take longer naps for Christmas. (Oh, but he does when it's just him and Daddy home...on those rare occasions, he has been known to need Daddy to wake him up because he sleeps so long.) A couple posts ago, I asked for some diapering tips because my wee one was only in size 3. Well, he has jumped to size 5 (in Pampers), and I still don't know how that's possible. I know he has packed on some much needed pounds, but his cousin who is nearly 3 is in size 6. Anyway, big news! For my little guy, Target's Up and Up far...have been comparable to Pampers in the "containment" department!! This is so huge! Target's diapers are soo much cheaper. We still may use Pampers for some overnights and traveling (and they are softer material), but for the most part, we are using the blue and green dot ones. Incredibly manly, I know. They are no underoos, but someday, we'll get to those, and polka dots will be a thing of the past.

Speaking of his mom has been after me! She thinks my little boy, my little man, would look oh so cute in a sweater vest. He may look cute in one (I might admit), but I must stand strong. You see, my mom and I have a running joke ...not really joke..something...about sweater vests. I am not a fan of them. She tried and tried to hook me up with many a men in my young single days, and I just was not having it. I was her only girl, and she may have dreamed of those girly things we'd do together, but I wasn't exactly into all that. We'd go clothes shopping, and I always picked out the exact opposite...which was anything but frilly or "feminine." I've gotten a little better about those things in recent years. Anyway, I was talking about sweater vests and how my mom liked to try to find me a good young man to settle down with. I was along for the ride while my mom was running errands one high school day, and she needed to stop in the library. I was not in the mood to go in, and she tried to convince me to. She told me that I just might meet the man of my dreams in there. I told her "oh, great, a guy in a sweater vest! No thanks. The man of my dreams will not be wearing a sweater vest." I know, a total generalization, and I studied hard in school so I spent a lot of time in the I said, I was moody that day. Well, I never went in the library that day, and I certainly didn't marry a man who wears sweater vests. I married a man who wore coveralls and camis to work (at the time I met him) and jeans and a t-shirt and work boots on off days. He may wear other weird clothes (that almost lost his chance of marrying me), but I've yet to see a sweater vest. Therefore, just in case Stevie's woman of his dreams has the same thoughts about such vests, I'm steering clear of them. ;) Well, for now, and until my mom gets him one.

This really is heading somewhere, but for now, my son needs my attention. This may require several "parts." Hold my of them anyway... :)