"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where has the time gone?

This past weekend, the boys and I went to a graduation party for a young lady we use to live down the street from. I remember meeting Jennifer over 9 years ado when she was in the 3rd grade. Now, she is graduating and going off to college. I know it happens to everyone. I know everyone says it. Where has the time gone and how have they become so grown up?

It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing Marty home from the hospital. He was a big baby, almost 9 lbs, but he seemed so little to me. I could cradle him in one arm and he could curl up on my chest. Now, he is taller than me and I only have 3 years until it's his graduation party I'm planning and attending.

If I admit Marty is that old, I suppose I have to admit that Joey is finishing elementary school and will be starting middle school next year. It won't be too long until I have to say that he is taller than me too.

Even my baby, Gabriel, isn't a baby anymore. Gabe is wrapping up his kindergarten year and he's become so tall. He is actually taller than either of his brothers were at that age.

It's both hard and wonderful watching them grow up. If I do my job right, I have to watch them stumble and fall. It's the only way they can really learn. But, I also get to see them learn and develop. I get to watch them become compassionate, caring, hard working individuals. If I do my job right, my boys will grow into men and will make their way in the world independent of me and Vic. It makes me so proud watching them take their first steps along this road. If I'm truthful, the older two have takes more than just their first steps along this road. My boys aren't babies anymore and I just can't figure out where the time has gone.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I love LOVE!

Going with my theme from yesterday, I have to share this video. I'm sure most of you have seen it by now but it makes me smile...it makes me laugh...it makes me cry...it makes me happy. Take a few minutes and enjoy the world's most incredible proposal. This guy has set a standard no one else will be able to match.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

45 years, 16437 days, 135 anniversaries

45 years ago today, May 27th, my parents got married...
Today, on their 135th anniversary, they are up in Pennsylvania renewing their wedding vows. Yes, I said their 135th wedding anniversary. They were married in Japan because my mom was living there with her family (my Grandpa was stationed there) and, in Japan, an American couple ended up having to get married three times. They had a Japanese legal ceremony, an American legal ceremony, and their church wedding.

While a renewal of vows in Japan would have been romantic, by going to Pennsylvania, they are able to have their vows officiated by the same Catholic priest who married them 45 years ago, Monsignor Robert Thomas McManus (back then, just Father McManus). This whole event is made even more special by the fact that Monsignor McManus is celebrating his 60th year in the priesthood this month. I love the continuity of it all. I do know there will be one significant difference this time around. 45 years ago, on May 22th, my parents had completed the 2 civil ceremonies. Father McManus called them at my Grandparents house to congratulate them and to remind them that, in the eyes of the church, they weren't married until they got married in the church. My Grandpa laughed, commented that he knew he liked that man, and informed my dad that he could go back to the BOQ (bachelor officer's quarters) and my mom would stay right there in her bed. I don't imagine there is anything that would get them to sleep apart this time around.

My parents knew each other for a total of 10 months before they married. Out of those 10 months, they saw each other a total of 14 whole or partial days...living on opposite sides of the world will do that to you. And, despite that short span of time, they have weathered storms that might have torn other couples apart. They truly live up to those vows that they spoke 45 years ago and I only hope my marriage has the same strength and joy that theirs has.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Which He Channels His Inner Al Bundy

I had a very scary revelation earlier today. When my husband sleeps, he channels his inner Al Bundy. Those of you under the age of 30 might not know who Al Bundy is but you know the actor who plays him...Ed O'Neill/Jay Pritchett from Modern Family.

Now, Al Bundy was a character in Married with Children which was one of the funniest shoes on television. For the era it was on, Married with Children was groundbreaking and pushed the envelope of what was acceptable. Al was misanthropic, miserable, sarcastic, and judgmental. When Al was at home, you often saw him on the couch, in front of the TV, in a pose like this...
Yeah, Al sat around with his hand down his pants...something many men wish they could do.

Luckily, Vic is nothing like Al Bundy during his waking hours. I couldn't live with a man like that although I spent 10 yrs laughing at him on TV. But, I discovered my husband channels his inner Al Bundy when he sleeps. The past few days, when I've gone through our bedroom while Vic was sleeping, he was lying there sound asleep with his hand tucked into the waistband of his shorts. God help me...the Y chromosome is polluting his brain.

What embarrassing or funny trait does someone in your life have? Names can be falsified to protect the guilty...bwahahahaha.

Just the Facts Ma'am

Back in the beginning of March, I told y'all about our second trip down the Infertility highway. Then, I got all wrapped up dealing with Marty's never ending migraine (ended up lasting 2 months...until almost the end of April). I was so preoccupied that I totally forgot to write the post to tell y'all about the hopeful solution to our infertility issues.

To briefly sum it up, Vic was diagnosed as a diabetic in the beginning of 2006, shortly after Gabe was born. He has had a bitch of a case and it rapidly progressed to complete insulin dependence. His diabetes also tanked out his thyroid function and his testosterone levels. Vic is not only insulin dependent but he's extremely insulin resistant meaning he has to take enough insulin to stop an elephant in it's tracks (and high insulin doses cause weight gain).

For quite a while, Vic has been thinking about weight loss surgery. He was considering lap band surgery and, not long ago, finally made an appointment for a consult with a doc who specializes in bariatric surgery. He was very pleased with the surgeon he consulted with and Doc B will be his surgeon. However, Vic will be having gastric bypass surgery, not lap band surgery. Doc B said that he could make more money doing lap band because it is simpler and he can do more of them per day. However, Doc B said that if Vic insisted on lap band surgery then he would not be his doctor. He said he felt it would not be serving Vic's best interests to do lap band surgery. Doc B said that with the severity of Vic's diabetes and the large number of complications he was already experiencing that Vic needed to be aggressive in his treatment approach. A higher percentage of gastric bypass patients have full reversal of their diabetes that lap band patients  and, of the patients who don't have full reversal of their diabetes, there is a huge improvement. Both Doc B and Vic's endocrinologist are very hopeful that the weight loss and the ensuing improvement of his diabetes will reverse the peripheral neuropathy he has been experiencing. There might possibly be improvement in his testosterone levels and his hypothyroidism when his diabetes improves but, until then, he is being treated for both those issues. There are a ton of appointments he has to go through and a bunch of hoops he has to jump through before we schedule the surgery. Hopefully, it will be scheduled for sometime this fall.

Not really sure where we'll go from here. I'm 42 and Vic is 52. We are definitely pushing the edges of age for new parenthood (at least the ages we are comfortable with)...but, I won't say it'll never happen. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Down in the Dumps

These past few days, I've been feeling a little out of sorts...not depressed, not even sad, just out of sorts...and I'm not sure why. Things have been going well. My oldest son is finally healthy again. It feels good to have kicked that 2 month migraine in the ass. It's only 2 weeks until school is out for the summer and we have a lot planned.

I have a plan mapped out to get Marty up to speed so he can start tenth grade in the fall despite his medical issues this year. We also have a lot of fun summer activities planned despite Marty needing to do school work this summer. The week after school is out, the boys and I will be heading to my parents' house. Gabe is going to be attending Agapé day camp and Joey will be helping my mom to teach swimming and possibly going to a week of sports camp while we are at my parents' house. Joey's going to Boy Scout camp at Camp Raven Knob and (hopefully) BMX bike camp.We've even managed to structure our summer so Marty still gets to go to the big Lutheran youth gathering in New Orleans this summer. Unbelievably, I also have things to look forward to. In less than a month, I get to head to Charlotte for the Type-A Conference and, towards the end of the summer, I'm heading to New York for BlogHer.

Despite having all this to look forward to, I'm just not feeling upbeat. I feel kind of unsettle and not very content...sort of overwhelmed. It may just be the exhaustion talking...Gabe has had a few really rough nights lately. Maybe it's the fact that my best friend is pregnant and my baby craving has come back full force and, medically, we're not in a position to try to conceive and we may never decide to go down that road again. Who the hell knows what is causing this funk but I really want it gone.

So, to sum it up, I'm in a funk and I need amusement. Anyone have anything funny to share?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Windex Warrior

Come springtime in North Carolina, I turn into the Windex Warrior. Why, oh why would I become the Windex Warrior? Well, I hate ants. No, not the ants strolling around outside. I hate the little tiny sugar ants that come through the invisible cracks and crevices and feel free to stroll across my kitchen or across the bathroom floor and they hate Windex.

Photo Credit: asobitsuchiya via Flickr
Actually, I don't know if they hate Windex. They probably don't because they keep coming. But, Windex kills ants and is a relatively non-toxic way to do it which is good because it doesn't matter how much I clean, how much I spray, those little fuckers still come. I put out ant traps. I bag any open food in ziploc bags and still those fuckers come. We hit late spring in North Carolina and it seems like someone sent out a text to the ant community saying "Party at Kristin's house. Ant crack available." BTW, for those not in the know, Fig Newtons are ant crack. Seriously, I think they can scent Fig Newtons from a couple of miles away.

I hate those little things because seeing them crawling around makes my skin crawl. They make me feel like things are dirty even when I KNOW I've cleaned less than an hour prior.

Anyone have any tips on how to get rid of them for good? Preferably, a DIY method because I can't afford to pay someone to come do it for me? If you don't have any tips, just tell me about something you hate.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Dichotomy of Me

This week (not this calendar week but the past 7 days) has truly been odd. One moment I'm acting all adult-like and, the next minute, the inner child in me breaks her restraints and goes *streaking through the house.

One one hand,  I had to set the limits and explain to Gabriel why he is not allowed to pretend to be a puppy dog and drink from the toilet. I mean, I can hang with the pretending to be a puppy but a big ix-nay on the toilet bowl snorkeling expedition. This message becomes very hard to convey when your inner 12 yr old breaks free and has you laughing so hard you are crying and literally can't speak when you can your husband to tell him about the toilet snorkeling expedition.

I also spent part of the week proctoring end of grade tests at the elementary school. For those of you not in the know, proctoring EOGs allows adult volunteers to help oversee the testing process and helps ensure honesty  and deter cheating...at least, that is what they tell the parents. In reality, it's a sadistic yet subtle way to torment the parents. It is so mind-numbingly dull that it turns you into a gibbering idiot by the end of the day. I think they stole the idea from the master torturers who ran the Inquisition...yes, it is THAT bad. To counterpoint this distressing evidence of maturity, I offer up my week long fascination with drawing and coloring and the moment that I ran with scissors (I did, I really).

I've been a one woman example of the contrast that lives in all of us.

Has your week been more sober, serious adult or has your inner 12 year old gone streaking through the house?

* I promise, no retinas were burned by the sight of my pasty white skin.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

*Whoooooo are we? Who who! Who who?

Lori of Write Mind, Open Heart said, "We often ponder the question “Who Am I?” But for the first time the larger question was posed to me:"
If the question were asked by someone from outer space — WHO ARE WE? Who are we humans, we citizens of planet Earth?
Of course, this got me thinking. I'm not sure I have any definitive answers because I'm not sure I even have any finalized answers about who I am. However, I definitely have some thoughts on who WE are.

Humanity is both insignificant and all important. Truly, despite all our advances and all our developments, **Mother Earth could shake us off like a bad case of fleas anytime she wanted to. Earth survived whatever catastrophe killed off the dinosaurs. What makes us think she won't survive anything we might accidentally do to her. Yet, as a group, humanity has the intelligence and skills to make things better for the other inhabitants of this planet. No other group around has those abilities so that makes us all important.

Humanity is inquisitive, determined, and filled with an innate goodness. Humanity can also be greedy, backstabbing, and repressive. For every group that spreads hate and intolerance, there is a group that promotes inclusiveness and understanding. Humanity can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to learning from our mistakes but, usually, even the most boneheaded of us does figure it out.

Humanity is warlike. We can and have fought wars over the simplest (some would say stupidest) of things. There seems to be an eternal pissing contest going on often focusing on "my God is better than your God" which is incredibly silly because, by definition, a God is someone so far above us that we can't presume to compare and judge.

Humanity is peace loving. Despite these ongoing wars, despite evidence that we may never agree, we never ever give up brokering a lasting peace.

Humanity strives for advancement while longing for a simpler time.

Truly, the only statement you can make about humanity that is ALWAYS true is that we are truly a study in contrasts.

So, like Lori asked, who are we? What is your take on humanity?

*Sorry for stealing the title Lori. It was too perfect not to use it.
**A loosely paraphrased quote from the late, great George Carlin.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brainiacs vs The Ass Clown

Bored teenagers are a bad thing.

Bored, brainiac teenagers are worse.

Bored, slightly pissed off, brainiac teenagers can be truly dangerous.

Back in the summer of '86, I was a rising high school senior and I was being recruited by a ton of colleges including the Air Force Academy. That summer, I went to a summer science seminar for a week at the Air Force Academy. It was a blast. We got to hang out with other really smart kids. We participated in incredibly cool seminars ranging from a sort of computerized Risk game to helping with the scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin. We also acted like all teens did and had desk chair races in the hallways of the dorms and had a kick ass toga party one night.

Most of the Academy cadets who were working with us during the summer seminar were really cool. They were fun, helpful, and all around good representatives of the Academy. There was one cadet though that was a total ass clown. He was snotty to the guys and he ignored all the girls except the one he wanted to hook up with. He acted like an entitled asshole, not a military gentleman.

They had a bunch of activities planned for us including a field trip to Pike's Peak. But, on the day of the field trip, the schedule changed last minute and a handful of us missed the announcement that moved up the field trip time by an hour. Sadly, missing the announcement meant we missed the bus so we were left with more than a couple of hours to kill and very few of the cadets were left to supervise us. We started thinking.

My friend Matthew and I decided we needed to pull a prank. We really, really needed to pull a prank on the ass clown cadet and, we used information we got from him to pull the prank. During the toga party the night before, he was in his room with the girl he hooked up with...something that would have gotten him in a huge amount of trouble if he'd gotten caught. A huge group of us tried to make sure he got caught in there with her by locking his door from the outside. Sadly, we didn't know about one feature of the Academy dorm rooms that foiled our plan...the huge wall to wall windows. Well, we knew about the windows but we didn't realize that you could slide your window open, reach to the next room's window, and slide it open. Then, all it took was a swing across about 6 to 8 inches of space and you've escaped the locked room and avoided being busted.

Now, it dawned on Matthew and I that this process could be reversed and used to get into a locked room. So, we went to ass clown's hallway and tested doors until we found one that was unlocked. We then went from window to window, going through 5 rooms, until we got to ass clown's room. Did I mention that we were more that 3 stories above the ground and that we stopped to take pictures of each other hanging out the windows?

Once we were in ass clown's room, we started looking for something we could take and hide...something that would be big enough to be immediately noticeable but not something personal. Taking something personal just felt wrong and, we knew ass clown would panic if whatever was missing was Academy property...hehehe. We decided to take his mattress. Once we decided that, one of us took the mattress out the door and the other relocked the door and went back through the windows, closing them all behind and covering our tracks. I think I was the one in charge of the mattress and Matthew took the window duty but it was over 25 years ago so I can't swear who did which job. Once the mattress was out of ass clown's room and the window path was covered, we went looking for another unlocked door. The owner of the open room was the lucky recipient of a mattress in their closet...out of sight, out of mind.

Then, we sat back and waited.I don't think the Pike's Peak group had been back for even 15 minutes before chaos ensued. Ass clown discovered the missing mattress and, as predicted, he panicked. It took over an hour for him to find the mattress and, since we weren't the only ones laughing, no one ever knew who were the masterminds behind the Great Mattress Caper of '86...until now.

I think the lesson from my time out at the Academy was don't piss off a smart kid. They will get you back in the most unexpected way.

Anyone have any stories from your high school years that you want to share?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Save Me From My Children

Y'all, I love my children. I really do. But, sometimes I really wonder about them. Tonight, we had a moment that surpassed the dancing on the toilet moment. For those of you who weren't around 3 years ago, Gabe had a night where every little bit of sense fled his mind and he started dancing on the toilet and singing "dancing on the toilet is a great idea".

Yeah, the Cruz boys, specifically Gabe, lost their shit again tonight. Gabe stayed home from school today because he had a horrible sounding cough. But, by late afternoon, he was feeling better and he started bouncing off the walls. Shortly before his bed time, Gabe decided it was time to go streaking through the house. He pulled his pants down and went running in circles. The longer he ran, the more he giggled. Then the giggling got interrupted by him shaking his butt at Joey...because he loves to make his brother shriek. Truly, that didn't really phase me. He's a 6 year old boy. They seem to have a fascination with nudity at that age. But, I finally had to call a halt to those shenanigans because he was just getting too wild. I sent him to the bathroom to get ready for bed.

I should have known better.

I heard a few bangs and crashes while he was in there. Sadly, all noises that are quite normal when Gabe heads into the bathroom. Then, he comes strolling out with a shit eating grin. He looked at me and said, "I was drinking from the toilet." Without a question, I could tell he was telling the truth.

What the hell was he thinking. No one dared him. No one put the idea in his head. I guess he did it because the idea simply floated across his brain. I do have to admit I was torn between laughing my ass off and being totally repulsed. I sent him in to brush his teeth and the thought of having him gargle with hydrogen peroxide crossed my mind. Unfortunately, that tooth brushing didn't take because Joey heard what was going on, took off into the bathroom, and yelled "Do it again Gabe!" I heard the toilet seat go up and it was headdesk time.

While I was making Gabe brush his teeth for a second and a third and a fourth time, I called Vic at work to tell him. By the time I got through the story, I was laughing so hard I was crying because of the sheer absurdity of it all. I couldn't even answer Vic when he said "He did WHAT?" First, it was dancing on the toilet. Then, it is drinking from the toilet. I'm almost afraid to see what he comes up with next.

Clearly, I'm going to have to work hard to occupy his time this summer. Anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Halfling 2.0 is here!

Please head on over to Hobbit-ish Thoughts and Ramblings and congratulate Mrs. Gamgee and her beloved on the arrival of their baby!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Heaven for Your Feet (a Nature's Sleep Giveaway)

Not too long ago, I got the opportunity to receive a pair of Memory Foam Slippers from Nature's Sleep in return for doing a review and a giveaway. I jumped at the opportunity. I decided to be a really nice mom and get the slippers for Marty since (at the time) he had been dealing with a horrible migraine.

Since the slippers were going to be for Marty, I let him select which ones he wanted. Marty picked the Open Toe Terry Slippers with Memory Foam in mocha. The ones he picked are just like that white one to the right but in a fabulous chocolatey brown. I tried to get a picture of his slippers but the only time he's had them off his feet since he got them was when he was in bed and, frankly, I didn't think you wanted a picture of his hairy legs sticking out of the slippers.

The Nature's Sleep web site describes the slippers as having "visco-elastic memory foam in the bottom of the footbed [that] contours and cradles your foot for luxurious comfort and support". All I know is Marty has said they are incredibly comfortable and I know they don't have any noticeable wear and tear on them even after he's worn them day in and day out.

As a mom, I like that the slippers have a nice sturdy sole that will stand up to a trip down the driveway with the garbage can or a run down to the mail box. Also, the Memory Foam in these slippers withstands a lot of wear without getting permanently compressed which means they will provide better support for Marty's feet on the days he refuses to wear regular shoes.

The fabulous people at Nature's Sleep have offered me the opportunity to give one of my readers a pair of these fabulous slippers. The lucky winner will get to chose between the Open Toe Terry Slippers with Memory Foam up above or the Closed To Terry Slippers with Memory Foam in the color of their choice. All you have to do is use the rafflecopter form below to enter. And, while you are waiting to find out if you won these fab slippers, go check out the super memory foam mattresses and pillows at the Nature's Sleep website. If you find something you have to have, use the code BEARS50 to get 50% off your purchase.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Be Afraid...Be Very, Very Afraid

Last night, while I was writing the post about the Crusty Ass Pancakes, my oldest son, Marty, and Vic had a discussion that alternately scared me and made me wonder what kind of good drugs they had been taking. Yes, it really was that weird a conversation.

It all started a couple of days ago, May 2nd to be exact. That was when I found this picture that Anissa posted via worth1000.com
I'm sure you can imagine how funny everyone in my family thought this Star Wars take off of the Last Supper is.

Last night when I was writing the other post, Vic and Marty started discussing this picture and quickly decided the artist had the wrong people in the positions. For example, they said Luke should not be in the Jesus position. Their pseudo-philosophical discussion quickly gathered steam and veered off the tracks. Pretty soon they weren't limiting themselves to who filled what last supper role but they were figuring out who filled what New Testament role. I'll give them a bit of credit...they at least limited themselves to one trilogy (1, 2,and 3) instead of tackling the whole Star Wars mythology.

I mentioned the Star Wars Last Supper picture and asked who was in the Jesus position...

Marty: Luke was in the Jesus position but I don't think he should have been.
Vic: Then who should have filled the role?
Marty: Well, it depends on which trilogy you are talking about...maybe movies 1, 2, and 3.
Vic: Ok, should Anakin be Jesus?
Marty: Nah, Mace Windu was the main good guy who died in the end. He would be Jesus.
Vic: Yeah, and Palpatine would be Pontious Pilate.
Marty: stops to think
Marty: If Mace Windu is Jesus, Obi Wan is the next main Jedi. He would be Peter because Peter was the main disciple.

I sit and bury my head in my hands, just shaking my head.

Vic: laughing What's wrong, hon?

I don't say anything but just go back to typing.

Marty: And, Anakin is the one who betrays everyone so he has to be Judas.
Vic: Yeah, yeah, Padme should be Mary Magdalene. It's a stretch because Mary Magdalene was closer to Jesus but I think it's the best female role for her.

Marty cracks up laughing. After a few minutes, he gets himself under control.

Marty: We're either going to hell or God is up there laughing his butt off at us.
Me: Only in my house...only you two...Y'all need serious mental help.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has things like this happen. Should I be scared or just go with the flow? Does anyone else have any casting suggestions?

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Piece of Ass is Good for the Heart

Today, Vic and I went out on our bi-weekly date. We hit three locations, had some laughs, and spent a ton of money. Yup, we went grocery shopping..Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Aldi's. We were going through the store aisle by aisle and the cart was filling up. That's when he started...

Vic: Look hon. It's Crusty Ass Pancake mix.
Me: shoots Vic that look
Vic: No, really...you have to look.

against my better judgment, I looked

Vic: See, I told you...Crusty Ass Pancake mix...and it's even heart healthy.
Me: It is NOT pronounced Crusty Ass!
Vic: Well then, how is it pronounced? Cause it looks like Crusty Ass to me.
Me: Really? Crusty Ass? You had to go there?
Vic: I don't make this shit up. I just read it.
Me: still shooting Vic that look...
Vic: and, since it says heart healthy on the box, their new slogan could be "A Piece of Ass is Good for the Heart."

So, y'all, how would you pronounce the name of this pancake mix?
and, do you think Crusty Ass pancakes would go well with a side dish of Cock Soup?

Friday, May 04, 2012

When Vic Finally Stopped Being Stupid

Back when I wrapped up Vic's Story, I promised you our story and stories from the wayback machine. Life got it the way of my story telling. Between our extended house guests, Marty's medical crises, and all the other random shit life threw at me, my story telling mojo was wrapped up tight. Sure, I've been writing a lot but there have been a lot of times I've struggled with what to write about. Now that life is getting back to normal, the inspiration seems to be coming back. Have I got a story for you...

Some women have wonderful stories about their proposal. One of my friends from back in my rescue squad days has a story that will make you melt. On the day her husband proposed to her, he had set the stage. He had arranged for a picnic lunch after a hike in the woods to one of their favorite spots. He got down on his knee to propose to her with a ring he had custom designed. Its truly one of the most romantic proposals I've heard of...and, it really happened. My proposal was nothing like that. My proposal was better.

It was October of 1994, only about 5 months after Vic pissed me off enough to make me wanna kill him for the second time, and Vic had just gotten home from a 2 week stint at the National Fire Academy. He was telling me all about the different people he'd met up at the Fire Academy. He told me how a couple of the guys had come from a department somewhere up north and they'd recently lost a fellow firefighter in a fire. This firefighter who'd been killed in a fire had a common law wife. He had lived with here for more than 7 years but they'd never gotten married. When he died in that fire, she wasn't eligible to collect any of his benefits because she wasn't his wife. She didn't just lose him, she lost everything.You could hear in Vic's voice how badly this story affected him. Then, Vic looked at me and said "I can't let that happen to you. That's why we have to get married." We got married about a month later in a small civil ceremony.

Now, I know a bunch of you have to be thinking "How could she possibly think this proposal was better than her friend's proposal?" I don't just think it was better. I know it was better. Vic got over his sheer terror of marriage and commitment because he loved me. Vic decided it was more important to take care of me than it was to indulge his fears. Vic decided the love really does trump everything else. And, that perfect proposal I told you about in the beginning, they didn't last. But, the two warped, twisted people who could appreciate a proposal like we had, we're still going strong. In August, Vic and I will have been together for 20 years and, in November, we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. My proposal kicked ass.

Anyone else wanna share your story?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

My Not-A-Bucket List

The gorgeous, fantabulous Mo over at Mommy Odyssey prompted me to get off my ass and actually post this list which I've been working on for a while. I don't think I'd really call this a bucket list. Like Mo, this is more a list of hopes and dream and goals...some realistic, others, not so much.

  1. Go sky diving...I've always thought that this sounded like a fabulous adventure...so close to flying.
  2. Fly in a helicopter...I don't know why it seems so important or so different than flying in a plane but I really want to go up in a helicopter.
  3. Get my private pilot's license...the idea of flying just sings to my soul. The freedom, the grace, the beauty just calls to me.
  4. Participate in a NASCAR Racing Experience...I love to drive fast but generally don't because it's not safe on the open roads and the thought of higher insurance rates and tickets is a major deterrent. Years, ago, I once took my car around 110 mph (maybe more) before I started running out of open road. I'd love to be able to go faster than that in a safe, legal environment.
  5. Dogfight in military jets...there are places that civilians can learn to fly and then they go up with an experience pilot (usually retired military) and get to dogfight. Back to that love of flight...with something for the adrenaline junkie thrown in.  Of course, I'd have to dose myself with dramamine ahead of time (damn that motion sickness).
  6. Swim with dolphins...Dolphins are so graceful and beautiful and intelligent. I would dearly love to swim with them. Swimming with them at Sea World would be ok but I'd really love to travel to Australia and swim with the dolphins in the wild.
  7. Go to Dragon*Con and Comic-Con...the inner geek in me thrills to the idea of attending both on these Cons.
  8. Drive Route 66...I love the idea of a trip across the country on Route 66. I think it would be a fabulous way to see the sites.
  9. Participate in Kyle Petty's Charity Ride...Kyle Petty's Charity Ride raises money for Victory Junction, a camp for kids with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Somehow, the idea of riding a motorcycle across a good part of the country to raise money for a good cause sounds like a blast.
  10. Visit the Grand Canyon...I want to see it all and do it all in regards to the Grand Canyon. I want to raft down the river. I want to hike parts of it. I want to ride down into it. And, I definitely want to see the Skywalk.
  11. Go on a horseback tour of Ireland...My dad's family came from Ireland. Being able to see it on horseback would feed two of my loves at once. I'd get to ride and I'd get to see where my family came from.
  12. Renew my wedding vows...Specifically, I want to marry my husband all over again at the Duke Chapel. Now, the building Duke University calls a chapel is actually more like a cathedral and it has the most magnificent organ and vaulted ceiling. I truly would love to hold a ceremony there and, of course, we'd have the most kick ass wedding reception/party afterwards.
  13. Travel a lot...I would love to show my children the world. I grew up as an Air Force brat. One of the privileges that brought along with it was the opportunity to see the world (or, at least a large chunk of it). For an idea of the kinds of places I like to take them and the things I'd like to see with them, check out my Answers post
  14. Meet J.K. Rowling and have access to the Harry Potter backstory...I'd love to meet her. It would make my geeky heart sing. But having access to the fabled boxes and boxes of backstory that she created for the Harry Potter stories would send me to nirvana.
What would be on your Not-A-Bucket List? What do you fantasize about doing? If you answer on your blog instead of in the comments, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

This is my life...

  • I spent 9+ hours with Gabe's kindergarten class this week. I went on a field trip on Tuesday and personally shepherded 5 kindergartners around the NC Museum of Natural Science. That was an adventure.
  • If I had been sane, that would have been it. But, I would have felt bad if I didn't go in for my usual volunteer hours today and I ended up there for 4.5 hours instead of just 4. Remind me to avoid the classroom the day after a field trip.
  • My husband has worked 8 out of the last 10 days (tomorrow will make it 9 out of 11). That doesn't sound so bad until you consider each of those days was a 12 hour shift.
  • 26 hours of overtime in one week both sucks and rocks. It sucks because of the exhaustion but rocks because of the paycheck.
  • I think Gabe is going to grow a foot overnight. He has been eating so much that I think a black hole has taken up residence in his stomach.
  • I was doing so well at keeping up with all my friends' blogs. Then, Marty got sick and my schedule went to hell in a handbasket (where does that saying come from?). Even though Marty is finally back to normal, my schedule has yet to recover.
  • Can someone please tell me where to find the extra 6 hours I use to cram into every day?
  • Marty told me today that all he needs for his humor fix is and on facebook or twitter.
  • My sweet Jolie girl is about 12 years old which is old for a large dog. She's starting to slow down. She's healthy but is definitely showing her age (some cataracts, slightly diminished hearing, normal old age stuff). It makes me very sad to think we might not have her around for much longer.
  • I'd show you the latest picture I took of Jolie but my fabulous camera does NOT like to communicate with my antique laptop. She communicates just fine with our sleek, shiny new desktop which runs Windows7 but will not give me a peak into her files even though my laptop graciously acknowledges her presence. I guess it's below her lofty station to communicate with a computer that only runs XP.
  • To those of you who took the time to read my first public foray into fiction, The Dying of the Light, I humbly apologize for leaving you hanging this long. When Marty traveled into the land of the Never-ending Migraine, my writing mojo disappeared. I am working on the next installment and will try to have it to you soon.
  • I conquered the scanning issues for the book project I am working on. Please don't ask how...it was a painful battle but will be well worth the effort.
  • Since Marty is healthy (YAY) again,  he and I finally made it to the theater to see The Hunger Games and I LOVED it. What an incredible adaptation.
  • I think I finally figured out how to make my proposed design company (co-run with my sister by choice Rys) work in a simple enough manner that I can shoehorn it into my already full schedule...maybe.
  • I've been feeling some serious pangs of baby lust but, given our repeat journey into the Land of IF, there is no chance I can do anything about it anytime soon. This makes me more than a little ticked off with the universe.
  • Any more pithy. random observations will have to wait. Sleep is beckoning and, if I don't give in, I think sleep will bash me over the head with a frying pan.
What random things are going on in your life? Dish it, sister (or brother). I want the dirt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Best in Business Cards from UPrinting

Y'all, I first ran across UPrinting almost 3 yrs ago when I won a fabulous wall print from them in a blog giveaway. Then, 2 years ago when I first started thinking about going to BlogHer, UPrinting was the first company I thought of for business cards. My first set of business cards were traditional rectangle cards and,last year, I found their simply divine, die-cut business cards.
I simply couldn't wait to get some of my own. With UPrinting's easy online design interface, I was able to use my blog header to design these cards...
Now, I'm joining up with UPrinting to offer you the opportunity to get your very own set of these fabulous business cards. UPrinting is offering 1 lucky winner a set of 250 die-cut business cards. All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below.