Monday, February 27, 2006
This is my Ed. Almost two years ago I had the greatest honor when I became his wife. He has brought more joy and security into my life than I ever imagined possible ... even when I was a little girl that still believed in fairy tales. Before I fell in love with Ed, I was definitely jaded and a bit cynical about love. And to be honest, I often felt undeserving. There have been many events in my life that have caused me to question life, God and most of all, LOVE. Even through those really bad times, I knew I wanted to live and I was determined to make something of my life. And though I tried to disbelieve in God ... or blame God for certain circumstances in my life, I always failed. Deep in my heart and soul I knew that I would always fall back on the faith that God was watching over me. But love was a different story ... I always dreamed of the romantic, sweep-me-off-my-feet, turn-my-world-upside-down, until-death-do-us part, Romeo-and-Juliet love. The problem was I never waited for that type of love. Instead, in desperation, I began to latch on and "love" any male who showed any type of attraction for me. I don't mean I had sex with them ... my numbers are quite low compared to the national averages ... but I thought if I tried really hard, I could create the type of love that I believed should exist. At one point in my high school years, I thought I spotted the love I was looking for --- and I ran the other way. In my senior year of high school, I began to feel that "romantic love" for my 1st husband, but his life was turned upside down our sophomore year of college when his mother died of cancer. He was so hurt but refused to grieve. He spent all of his energy trying not to feel anything ... and he was very successful. Of course I married him anyway believing that I could "rescue" him. Needless to say, I didn't possess the abilities necessary to do that. During most of that marriage, I always felt there was a hole in my heart and that I was missing something very essential to my being. And I was.
The first stirrings I felt for Ed I attributed to purely physical desires. I didn't even want to dare think that I could find something meaningful. Even when he began to sweep-me-off-my-feet and turn-my-world-upside-down, I questioned whether I even deserved to find this kind of happiness. And when I found that every minute of my day was consumed with overpowering emotions for Ed ... I knew that I had a decision to make. I could take this leap of faith and jump into the arms of a man that made me feel more alive than I had ever felt ... or I could withdraw into myself and be a lonely, bitter single mom. I didn't want that for myself and I certainly didn't want that for CJ. With Ed, I started to let the walls come down that had barricaded my heart for some time. I opened myself up to the vulnerability and uncertainty of a new love. I was truly amazed to discover that there was a man that would love me, hold me and offer me a refuge ... and most importantly a man who would accept me with all my faults and celebrate me for all my attributes. I was overwhelmed to find a man that was willing to let down his emotional floodgates and allow me to witness tears of joy, pain, frustration and new dreams being born. Ed talked to me into all hours of the night ... he would run his fingers through my hair as he listened to my life's tale. He wouldn't hide the anger or sadness he felt as he learned about the people and events that shaped who I had become. His strong arms always offered a secure port and I would often fall asleep nestled in the crook of his arm. He was always up to an adventure ... whether it was a spontaneous trip to the beach for a weekend (we left at 8pm one night with 4 of our brood ... Hunterman was not here yet) or going bowling even though it had been years since he had donned a borrowed pair of shoes. He was quietly supportive when CJ's dad was killed and I was left to plan the memorial service and make decisions on final burial. He asked no questions when I would collapse into his arms an emotional wreck. He is the only person who volunteered to go with me to see CJ's Dad's wrangled mess of a Jeep and to collect any and all personal belongings that were left in the shattered glass and bloody metal. He understood that I needed to grieve for my first husband, dearest friend and CJ's loving Dad. He has never complained about the cluttered mess in his gun safe where I have been storing some of CJ's Dad's most valuable and sentimental possessions. Ed never once questioned changing our wedding month so that it did not coincide with the 1 year anniversary of CJ's Dad's death. He didn't even offer much of a protest when I told him that I truly wanted the 2 of us to go away on a cruise and have our wedding in Jamaica and to keep the celebration between the two of us. Although he wanted an intimate wedding at home attended by our children, family and friends he understood that I had experienced enough "drama" and that I wanted this part of our lives to ourselves. We did compromise by having the ceremony videotaped and by purchasing several hundred dollars worth of wedding/reception photos to share with our children. Ed has never made me feel like saving a penny is more important that seeing a smile on my face. And since we have been together, there have only been two occasions where he has thrown harsh words my way. And both times the apologies were accompanied by tears and both times were during some very difficult and trying events in Ed's life. And just yesterday when I was suffering from a fierce chocolate craving, he insisted we drive to Harris Teeter and fill our cart with any candy, cake, ice cream or snack that caught our fancy. He never flinched when the cashier announced the total amount (we won't go there!) and he never thought once about missing the Nascar race on TV even though he had planned his Sunday around that one event. He wants our children to see our love for each other ... he wants them to see us hold hands, hug, laugh and kiss. He wants them to know that loving someone should be joyful and celebrated. He is giving them what I always wished for as a small child.
Believe it or not, when I started this post this morning I was going to write about how I missed those stirrings of a "new" love --- the constant touches and soulful stares into each other's eyes. I was going to complain about the slow decline of romance. But this gave me the true perspective I needed. I am going to hug and kiss Ed when he walks in the door this afternoon and thank him for being mine ... and making me the luckiest woman in the world.
Friday, February 24, 2006
I'm afraid this post will be short and sweet as my batteries are drained. I really wish I did have a battery charger -- I need it. The chaos we call "Blended Family Weekend" will be starting in less than two hours and I'm not sure how I'll survive till bedtime.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Celebrating Good Times ... and Sick Times
The reservations have been made and I secretly spoke to Ed's office manager and got him the day off (no, he doesn't know yet!) so we can have a "mini-vacation" to celebrate our anniversary. Nope ... we're not headed to the Caribbean or to the mountains. We will be staying at an inn along the Outer Banks. We usually vacation at Sunset Beach, but since we won't actually be enjoying the water I thought we would try something different. I think it would be cool to see the wild horses and visit several of the lighthouses. I need to research a bit to find a really good place to eat for our anniversary dinner ... if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
Hopefully, we will be fully recovered from the crud that has descended upon us. Ed has been under the weather most of the week and I feel like I'm having an invasion of the bodysnatchers. Thankfully the boys seem to be okay ... Hunterman has been a snotbox most of the winter and CJ, my allergy and asthma prone drone is the healthiest he's been since the day he was born.
Evidently my Mom has fallen in love with Jax and has talked my Dad into buying them a little shih tzu pup as well. At least Jax will have a little buddy around!
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Heartwood's Jolly Jax
This is the new baby. The deal is now that I agreed to a housepuppy ... we can no longer indulge in discussions of a possible human baby. How long do you think Ed will stick to this deal??
I am completely exhausted! It is only 10:00 am and I feel as if I have been working 12 hours straight when in truth I've only been up for 3 hours now. All I have done is take Jax (the pup) out to pee and poop about 5 times, clean the kitchen and living room, get the boys dressed and fed (twice), clean up 5 puzzles 3 different times that Hunterman insists on dumping all over the living room while big brother CJ urges him on, make a new friend, put Hunterman down for his first nap and talk to my Mom.
I don't think the weather is helping. It is rainy, cool and so bleak. I just want to get lost in planning the perfect anniversary (March 4th) escape to somewhere tropical and exotic. We took all five kids to Aruba for a week back in September, so our vacation funds are quite low (or nonexistent, but I like to sound optimistic). You would think that trip would be enough to satisfy my adventurous soul for more than 5 months .... uhhh, wrong!! Did you miss the part where I said we took 5 kids?!!?!!?
Of course I can't help but relive the memories of our wedding/honeymoon cruise to Grand Cayman and Jamaica. If I scrinch my eyes shut really hard and get right over one of our scented oil candles, I can smell the beautiful flowers and I can even hear the waterfall that was behind us while we were saying our vows (but I am sitting next to our small zen fountain). I just want time to stand still and let us drink each other in ... I want the opportunity to put all my focus and energy into "us". And to have the warm ocean sparkling in front of us with exotic alcoholic beverages in our hands would be nice. Very nice.
In truth, we will probably end up in a decent hotel around here or if I feel like risking a winter blizzard, I'll reserve a log cabin in the mountains with a hot tub on the deck. But man ... Aruba, Jamaica, come on pretty Mama ............. (sorry, I can't sing!)
Monday, February 20, 2006
It's a Boy!!
I cannot believe it has been so long since my last post. I honestly don't know what has kept me from writing. Let's see ... there was the Super Bowl (Yeah, Steelers!), my birthday (Yeah, 33!), Valentine's Day (Yum, Shaba Shabu), federal and state taxes turned in (Yeah, refund!), taking CJ to his classes (Yeah, education!) enjoying beautiful spring weather (Yeah, 70 degrees) and a new addition to our family (Yeah, another boy!). See .... nothing has been happenin' here!
Our new little boy has embraced our hearts completely. He is a tri-color shih tzu puppy named Jax. The boys are completely infatuated with the little bundle of fur and Ed seems to prefer snuggling with him over me. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't yet taken a picture of our new love but it shouldn't be much longer.
I did take over 100 pictures of CJ and Hunterman the past couple of weeks. There is not much I enjoy more than taking pictures of the boys. I've posted some of my favorites above. Maybe tomorrow I'll have pics of Jax, too.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Walk Softly ... Carry a Big Stick
It seems like my boys' lives are moving at the speed of light. I just turned in a kindergarten application for CJ. If he is "randomly selected" for this charter school, he would start kindergarten in July!! I feel waves of nausea every time I think about this artistic, sensitive soul exposing himself to the harsh realities of bullies, criticism and insecurity. I know in my heart that CJ is ready for that giant leap into "Big Kid School", but I also know in my heart that I feel like I'll be losing a part of myself when that happens.
As for Hunterman, it seems as if he is changing, growing and learning by the minute! It is alarming how independent and self-sufficient he is ... up until the moment I try to leave him with my parents so that I can actually accomplish something in this house. He acts as if I'm tossing him to the wolves and spews out a scream that pierces my soul and I wonder if he will ever be ready for that small step into "Part-time Daycare".
I do know that as much as I dread loosening the apron strings a bit, I feel that I need more exposure to the Adult world. I need a time and a place to voice my opinions and share my "worldly insights" with others, without being interrupted every 2 minutes to referee or serve as waitstaff. I need to reconnect with grown-ups and establish a venue that allows me to be more than "Mommy". If I don't, I fear that I will free-fall off a cliff when CJ does venture forth into the real world and Hunterman does yearn to interact with other toddlers. And none of us want that!