Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. Lucky number thirteen! So I wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts with you, my husband, (and whoever else happens to read this soon to be novel length blog post). Now I don't often communicate with you through social media networks, I don't usually post on your Facebook wall or tweet you. I usually send texts or emails instead, guess I'm just old school like dat. But today is special and I am thrilled and blessed and thankful and frankly I want people to know just how amazing you are. It's going to be long and wordy and riddled with terrible grammar, bad punctuation and run on sentences but it's from my heart and it's all true.
Okay, so I just finished writing this and came back to add this. I really will be amazed if you get through reading all of this. It's so long! I just keep hearing Ross from friends in my head (It was 5:30 in the morning and you had rambled on for eighteen pages. Front and back!)
So, we have been together for seventeen years. Let me repeat that seventeen years!! It seems so odd to me when I think about it because I feel like we should be much older to be able to say we've been together that long. And God willing I hope we have many, many more years ahead of us. Sometimes I forget how old we are and I still think we're just two teenagers hanging out, but then Keegan starts throwing a fit or I try to get up off of the floor too fast and I remember I am no longer a teenager (although my TiVo season pass lineup may say otherwise). And let me just say thank goodness I am not 17 anymore otherwise I would still be rocking a unibrow, really, (really) bad hair, stirrup pants and bodysuits (seriously, how did I ever land you?!). I was a hot mess, with a crazy ex, a dysfunctional family and a high school drop out to boot. You must have been wearing some serious God goggles (yes, God goggles, even beer goggles are not strong enough to block out all that stuff). I'm still not sure what made you talk to me but I am thankful every single day that you ignored all the neon warning signs and still decided to venture into the danger zone. Are you singing Kenny Loggins now? No? How about now?
I am so grateful that we found each other early in our lives. Eventhough we were so young it feels as though I lived an entire life in the 17 years before we were together and that was plenty. God gave me such a gift when He placed you in my path.
I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not but a lot of stuff happens in seventeen years. A lot of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, mood swings, arguments, sickness, celebrations and strife. You have been right next to me through it all. I don't mean you were around and didn't take off when things got rough, I mean right by my side. Always present, always available for whatever I needed. Always the first to celebrate my wins and accomplishments, the first to offer help and the first to comfort me in my hurts and failures and to bring me Beef-A-Roo or Cold Stone to make me feel better (you really do "get" me).
It seems appropriate after last weeks teaching at church and today being our anniversary to use the verse from 1 Corinthians as a guide to explain to you how much you mean to me with my own little interpretation of what these words mean.
Love is patient
Yes it is, and man have you been patient with me. Even during those times when I don't deserve it, when I have worn out my own patience with myself, when no one would blame you for getting upset or walking away. When Keegan is being a crazy four year old and having a meltdown, yelling in his bedroom "What can cool me off?!" while surrounded by 20 fans. You are patient. When I am depressed about the exact same thing for 400th time and we have been through all of this before and you know we will go through it again, you are patient. Thank you.
Love is kind
You have cornered the market on this one buddy. 6,180 days have passed since we started dating (Yes I actually did the math and even accounted for leap years! But it could still be wrong so give or take a few.) In all of those 6,180 days I can't remember a day that has gone by that you haven't complimented me (usually more than once) or said something to encourage me and build me up or helped me out or given a back rub or offered to take something off my plate or surprised me in some way. I am positive that you are unaware how much this has all meant to me because I am terrible at telling you. Thank you.
It does not envy
I don't know how you do this because it is so easy for me to fall into it. You are always genuinely happy for me and others when good things happen to us and for us. Which sounds easy, why wouldn't you be happy for your wife, right. But even when it causes you more work or things aren't going so well for you or it inconveniences you in some way you are still the first to congratulate and you are happy for me and want the best for me. Thank you.
It does not boast
Even when you should! Not sure you know this or not but you are all kinds of awesome! You are good at everything! You are so talented and so freaking smart! I'm constantly in awe of you and all the things you have accomplished, all you have learned, your wisdom, your work ethic, your desire to learn more and do more. And in all of this you don't take credit for it, even in those times when, as your wife, I think you should be taking credit and it should be known what you have done and I get frustrated and annoyed, you remain humble and calm and genuinely thrilled to be able to have done all the things God has allowed you to do and recognize that He is the one who deserves the credit. Thank you for being awesome and being humble about it.
It is not proud
I'm going to flip this one just a little bit. You are not proud and boastful... of yourself. I think I covered that above. But you are always proud of Keegan and myself. Always. It is amazing to know that no matter what happens in my life, how much I screw up, how much I have failed, you are always right there cheering me on, pushing me forward, holding me up. Never telling me how I screwed up or should have done better but always celebrating my accomplishments, helping me to be better, reminding me of what what I did right, how I succeeded. It overwhelms me to see you with Keegan and to watch you encourage him and cheer him on. It is comforting and thrilling to know that our sons (plural! so weird to say that!) will grow up with a father who encourages them, supports them, loves them and is genuinely proud of them and wants to celebrate their accomplishments (all the while not wanting to celebrate himself). To know that they will have a better understanding of the love of God because of the way they are loved by you is amazing. Thank you.
It does not dishonor others
In the entire time we have been together (6,180 days in case you forgot) not once have you ever disrespected me. Not once! You have never called me a name or insulted me or tried to bring me down to make yourself feel better, even during an argument. Never. You have always, ALWAYS encouraged me. Even when we argue or I am being absolutely ridiculous, you love me and you show it. Again, I'm not sure you know what a gift this is to me. To know that I am safe with you, that I don't have to worry about trying to be something I'm not, to not have to pretend with you or be fearful of saying what I need to say for fear of what your reaction will be. To not have to worry about what you say about me to other people even when you're frustrated with me or sharing our struggles, I know that your words and actions will be truthful and usually more positive and forgiving than I deserve. Thank you.
It is not self-seeking
You always put us first. I know that in everything you do you always have what is best for us, our family, our marriage, in mind. You are such a hard worker and even when you are ridiculously busy and have no time, you make time for us. Even if that means you're going to stay up late working and then get up at 5:00am to get work done while we're still sleeping so you can be with us later in the day or make it to watch Keegan's swimming lesson or just come home to give me a little break. Please know that I don't take for granted how hard you work to make us and our family a priority. Thank you.
It is not easily angered
We all get angry, and we have gotten angry with each other a lot over the years but this is true about you, you are not easily angered. You are patient, you listen, you try to understand the situation, talk about it, give the benefit of the doubt and after all that if you do become angry I know you will handle it in a loving way. I never have to worry how your anger will come out or how it be directed. I never have to worry about your words or actions even when you're angry. Thank you.
It keeps no record of wrongs
You must have the worst memory ever because you seem to have no recollection of my faults and past wrongdoings. You never talk about them, never bring them up, never make me feel like I'm still making up for things. Just the other day when I was being ridiculous and let's just say unpleasant, you asked me why I was acting the way I was in the situation and I said, not very nicely, (sorry about all that) "why are you surprised?" and it occurred to me later that maybe you were surprised by my behavior because you had already forgotten about this fault in me, about the way I can be selfish and overreact and whine and be not nice. It seems like you give me a clean slate every time I screw up and fall short. Thank you.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
Speak the truth in love. That's what you do. Yes, you give me a clean slate when I screw up but you also speak truth to me when I need to hear it to help me become more and more of the woman God intends for me to be. To help me grow and not stay stuck in the same places over and over again. Thank you.
It always protects
In every way you protect us. You protect our hearts, our relationship, our family, our home, our finances, our friendship, our children, our marriage. I know that you will (and have) protected us even when it is at a cost to you. Thank you.
Again, I'm going to flip this one a bit. You do trust, me and others. But more than that you are trustworthy. I trust you. This may sound redundant. You're my husband, of course I should trust you. But it's more than that. I trust you in everything, with everything. I trust you with our lives, our marriage, our finances, our children, my heart. I trust you in every situation. Do you know what a gift it is to never have to worry about what you may do, or say, or spend or where you may go or what you will do once you get there? You have never given me any reason to do anything but trust you. You have given me peace and security in our marriage. Thank you.
We all know that I am not little miss sunshine. I'm not a glass half full kind of gal and I'm always going to have my "doomsday visions" so I am so thankful that you are hopeful, you are optimistic, you do assume the best. I am thankful that even when I am in the middle of a catastrophe that is all taking place in my imagination because I've let my mind run with the worst outcome of a given situation and I think your positive outlook is just crazy and foolish :-), you are there, again, always, calming me, giving me hope, reminding of the what is true, what is good. Thank you.
You don't give up. You have not given up on me, even when I have given up on myself. You always keep pushing, keep helping, keep hoping, keep praying, keep encouraging, persevering. I know you will always be there, you were there when things have been tough in the past and when they are tough again in the future I know you will be there. Thank you.
So there you have it, but in addition to all of the things above here a just a couple other things I think you should know.
You are funny. Man, I still remember those nights working at good old Chuck E. Cheese (for anyone still reading this first of all wow, way to hang in there and second the E. stands for entertainment, that's right, dropping knowledge on ya). Anyway, our relationship started with you making me laugh and smile and you still make me laugh and smile (even when I want to mope and don't want to laugh) you are the funniest person I know. You make me laugh all the time. Thank you.
I love that we each are fine being alone and having time to ourselves and that we still love spending time together. I genuinely enjoy being with you. I still get excited when I know you're coming home and I still miss you like crazy when you leave (and not just because it means I have to break out all my booby traps and weaponry :-) I'm thankful that we share the same dorky, sarcastic sense of humor. It's awesome, we are hilarious and this marriage would probably look a whole lot different if there was only one sarcastic jerk in the mix :-) (By the way, sarcastic name calling doesn't count, in case you were wondering. That's just fun.)
You are an amazing father. I saw something on Pinterest (of course) that said "Don't marry a man unless you would want a son exactly like him." and I can say one hundred percent that I would be so proud if our sons grow up to be like their father, I hope for that. You are the most amazing man I have ever known and I am eternally grateful that you are my best friend, my husband and the father to my children. Even after all of these words I have rambled on and on with I still feel like I'm falling short in explaining to you just how amazing you are, how blessed I am to be your wife and how much I love you. I know marriage isn't always easy, life isn't always easy but I am so happy that I get to do all of this with you! Happy Anniversary! Thank you for an amazing marriage and friendship! I love you!
Dynell (the half white trash one :-)
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've decided to start sharing with you some of my favorite things. Why am I sharing these things you ask. Because this is my rambling, nonsensical, no rhyme, reason or theme blog and I can. And maybe the three people who read this will also love these things and these new found joys will bring a wee bit of happiness into their lives. Although one of those people is my husband and he already knows this stuff, so no new found joy for him. And I know Sarah will read this and I've probably already babbled on about this to her. So this is for you...other person. You're welcome.
A few years ago during the writers strike when there was no new tv happening and I was shriveling up in the fetal position from the sudden disappearance of my beloved television shows (i.e. my lifeblood) some very awesome, funny people (Joss Whedon, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and my forever favorite Neil Patrick Harris) got together and decided to very quickly write and film what is now one of my most favorite things in the whole world and release it free online. It's called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog (yes, it's a musical).
This is one of those things that I can watch over and over, anytime day or night. I play the soundtrack frequently, it always makes me happy. It is funny and witty and sad and clever and fun and I love it and I think you should too.
It's about a guy named Dr. Horrible (NPH) who desperately wants to be accepted into the Evil League of Evil which is lead by Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin (he's an actual horse, that's funny). Dr. Horrible is plotting an evil scheme to impresss Bad Horse and he is also madly in love with and trying to impress a girl named Penny who is not evil at all. All the while he's trying to avoid run-in's with his nemesis Captain Hammer (who is a major tool, haha, get it, Captain Hammer, major tool, anyone?)
They released it in three parts, one 15 minute act each week. It was available free online for a while and then it went away. Thankfully it was released on DVD after a bit and then eventually on iTunes and of course I purchased both.
Ideally you would commit to watching the whole thing and then send me a message telling me how much you now love it too. You can find the whole thing on YouTube or you could shell out the $4 or $5 bucks on iTunes and own it so you can enjoy it over and over again as well :-)
But you probably won't do either of those things so here are a couple of my favorite parts (frankly every part is great) from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog. You can at least watch these, right?? Right??
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Today is Independence Day AKA the Fourth of July, at least it was when I started typing this soon to be novel of a post. The day we celebrate our independence as a country, our freedom. I'm forever grateful to all the men and women who have served and left behind family and friends and those that have given their lives for that freedom.
So last night as I was lying in bed listening to idiots fire off bottle rockets somewhere on the street behind us, I'm sorry that was harsh, I meant inconsiderate idiots. What? Get off my back, I had a three year old sleeping peacefully and I wanted to keep it that way. I wil extend grace during the appropriate non-sleeping, non tv watching hours of the day. Well, of course all of this got me thinking about the 4th and the subjects of independence and freedom and a few things entered my mind (After I finished mentally cursing the rocketeers of course. Uh, I mean, God Bless us every one...) First was of course, Lee Greenwood because he's like the unofficial Grand Marshall of Independence Day. Second was George Michael because, I'm sorry but Freedom is a catchy little tune. And third was an article I read a couple of months ago in Marie Claire about Afghan women, the injustice they endure and the fact that they have no independence or freedom (and you thought this was going to be a lighthearted post, silly you).
Are you familiar with the term "moral crime"? Yes? No? Maybe I'm the only one who was unaware what they were but if you are also unaware you might want to hide your breakables 'cause you 'bout to get pissed off. At least I hope you are because if this doesn't upset you at least a little bit on some level you may be a robot. Seriously, go check your batteries Mr/Ms R2-Wouldn't want to-BU.
Now,I knew that life for Afghan women falls incredibly short of where it should be but I was unaware that there are women and young girls (some as young as 12) who are in prison for what are deemed "moral crimes". Many of these women are in jail along with their infants and young children (who have been pulled from school to live in prison with their mother), with little shelter from the cold and heat and sometimes without milk for their babies. According to the Afghan Women's Justice Project these "moral crimes" could be things such as:
- Leaving your home without your husbands permission (A law was signed just last year requiring women to ask permission before leaving their homes. Obviously things are still moving in the wrong direction.)
- Refusing to marry your rapist
- Running away from your abusive husband with your child, then being sent to prison for kidnapping - with your child
- Murder-By-Proxy, where a male murders someone and assigns his prison sentence to a female family member
Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!?!?!?! Unfortunately no, these things are completely unbelievable but unfortunately, painfully very true.
What's more is all that is needed for a woman to be convicted of a "moral crime" is for two or more men to accuse her of it. That's it. No trial. No evidence. Just their word against hers and she's sent to prison.
The article shared the story of one such girl named Badia, a 16 year old girl, who ran away from her abusive 40 year old husband who beat her almost everyday since she was married off to him at the age of 12. TWELVE. After giving birth to a daughter and fearing for both of their lives she ran away, barefoot and into the snowy night. She was soon caught and is now in jail with her baby girl for leaving the man who beat her. Unbelievably, her husband was considered kind in her village for not having killed her and their daughter after taking a second wife, because Badia was considered useless and a burden for not giving birth to a son. Excuse me while I go punch a wall.
This brings me back to my last post. If you think about these things it's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like the problem is too big, too overwhelming, too "set in its' ways", too far away. But there is something that we can do. You can visit the AWJP website (the link is below) and sign the petition. Also, in an effort to raise funds and awareness Marie Claire commissioned a great "Not Guilty" T-Shirt which sells for $25 (pic below) Oh wait, not it's not because this stupid thing won't let me post the pic and I'm sick of messing with it so please just visit the site and see it and buy it or at least lie to me and tell me you did. Ugh, technology, why you do me like this?! Anyway, the proceeds are going to the Afghan Women's Justice Project. Their mission is to demand and provide humane treatment and legal defense for Afghan women and children incarcerated for gender-based inequality and injustice. The AWJP will distribute the funds to non-profit groups that are working to improve the lives of imprisoned women.
If you'd like to sign the petition, order a T-Shirt (and come on, we know that we all love a good t-shirt!) or learn more about the Afghan Women's Justice Project you can do so here AWJP.org
Or if you're like "I've got enough t-shirts, stop with the t-shirts already!" you can also go to that site and make a donation, no t-shirts involved.
And you can read the full Marie Claire article here Marie-Claire-Article
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. - Leo Buscaglia
I'm a pessimistic person by nature. Surprised? No? I didn't think you would be. It's just who I am. I will always prepare for the worst possible outcome of any situation, even if that situation is a day at the beach. I will prepare for a shark attack and a case of sun poisoning. I mean, I'm still fun. At least I think I am, I try to be. I love to laugh and I think I have a pretty darn good sense of humor. But, for better or for worse, I tend to notice a lot more of the bad and evil in this world than the good. While some people will always see the glass as half full I will always see it as half empty and another friggin dish to wash.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still joyful, still love hearing heartwarming, positive stories and I enjoy life. I know that life is filled with amazing things and amazing people and I am surrounded by a lot of them. It's just that there are times I get overwhlemed by this world and all of the bad in it. I struggle with not wanting to be ignorant about things happening but also trying to find a balance between being educated, doing my part and still finding the joy and goodness in this world and in myself. It's easy for me to end up depressed thinking about the kind of world my son will grow up in and to fall into what Shane Hipps calls, "Empathic Overload" and "Empathic Paralysis".
I saw Shane Hipps speak at a Catalyst conference a few years ago and he said something that has stuck with me (even though I can't remember the exact quote and will probably screw it up). Basically he said that we as humans were designed to be empathic but we were not designed to know about all of the suffering in the world all of the time. But as media and technology have progressed that is exactly what has happened and there are positives and negatives to this development. The positive is knowing what is happening and being able to make a difference globally and the negative is that we get overloaded and overwhelmed and eventually become desensitized to it and paralyzed thinking there's just too much to fix so we just don't do anything at all, globally or locally. After Googling Shane last night in an attempt to not completely screw up what he said (what would we do without Google?!) I found this great article speaking about Shane Hipps and what he says about this. You can read the article here RLC-Article-Shane-Hipps And you should read it. It explains all of this much better than I can.
So for me, I'm still working on finding that balance and avoiding "Missional Paralysis" (another thing Shane speaks to). I'm working on tipping the scales to the side of life giving thoughts rather than life draining ones and doing what I can instead of becoming paralyzed. But to some extent I am who I am so when I sit down to write, more often than not my focus goes to the negative thoughts vying for attention in my head. So, good or bad, that's probably the direction some of my posts will go in but I promise I'll try not to linger there :-) I guess I just felt like giving a heads up. Jeeze, I sound so depressing!! And this is me AFTER I've found hope in Jesus Christ and I know that this life is not all there is. Can you imagine what I was like before that...poor Jim.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Recently I flew back home to Illinois from California and it was a great trip filled with amazing, heart clogging food, great friends, teeny, tiny, beautiful babies, bad dart playing and creepy clowns. I'll write more about my trip later but right now I would like to write about my flight, or the thoughts on my flight home to be more specific.
After boarding my flight (window seat in an exit aisle, awesome), I made the perfect amount of small talk with the guy next to me. You know, the amount that says "Hi, I'm not interested in talking to you for the entire 4 hours that we'll be sitting next to each other but I will talk to you for three minutes to show you I'm also not a complete jerk." We confirmed that we were both flying home to California and not on vacation and then joked about all the extra leg room we have in the exit row and how I required none of that extra leg room (cause I'm short), good times, good times.
Now that all of that was out of the way it was time to take off and now I'm finally getting to point of this blog post. Haha! Gotcha sucka! That's a complete lie. There is no point to any of my posts. Anyway, we take off and I am amazed every time I fly that this whole flying thing actually works. Because in my mind, it shouldn't, this 2 trillion ton contraption should not be flying through the air no matter what any smart person says. It is amazing! And while this is happening everyone on the plane looks bored or annoyed or like they have better things to do instead of acknowledging the fact that we are hanging out in the clouds. Of course I also look bored and annoyed while staring out of the window because I wanna fit in, but inside I'm on a roller coaster with my hands in the air screaming "Ride the G!".
All of this made me think of the hilarious little YouTube video people know as "Everything's amazing and nobody's happy" by Louis CK. I'm pretty sure everyone has seen this but it's flipping funny so it's worth another watch. Seriously, the bit about the rotary phone, so funny!!
P.S. I almost watched a movie on Netflix or posted this while on my flight since I had free inflight wireless but I chose to read a book instead. A paperback book. Crazy, I know. Now watch the video. Watch it!!
Friday, June 24, 2011
The other night I was watching a new show that I enjoy called Franklin and Bash (What?! Me watching tv?! Cheesy, bad tv?! Imagine that.). Franklin and Bash are two "hip and cool", "up and coming", fight for the little guy lawyers who have just been hired into a firm full of stuffy, no fun havin, follow the rules, bring in the big bucks lawyers who have a kookie boss who likes to shake things up. (I smell highjinks.) We know Frannklin and Bash are the hip ones because they play COD, wear board shorts in the office and use phrases in the courtroom like "tap that". Textbook hip lawyer stuff. Franklin and Bash are played by Mark Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. AKA Zach Morris and that skater dude from Clueless who loved little Brittany Murphy and her drawings of Marvin the Martian just the way they were. You know, before she was all "Rollin with the homies".
Anyway, F&B were going to be trying the case of a girl who claimed she was fired from her job for being too beautiful and therefore too much of a distraction in the office. After being briefed on the details of the case they head to the lobby to meet said beautiful girl. Now, because of years spent watching after-school specials and Saved By The Bell I knew to expect a poor misguided, delusional "unpretty" girl waiting for them in the lobby. The typical poor ugly duckling that hollywood usually portrays by gussying a girl down with ill fitting clothing, massively thick glasses, terribly frizzy and unruly hair (sometimes a ponytail) and maybe a few giant zits to top it off. But to my surprise the girl turned around and she actually was beautiful! No zits, no ill fitting clothing, no frizzy hair, no bad glasses...What?! I did not see that coming. And to top it all off she was sweet, likable and good at her job.
Now, to try and paint a better picture here I'm going to do something that is going to cause me to be annoyed with myself and that is to say that she was not what I perceive the general population has deemed beautiful. Meaning she was not a size 00 (size 2 is no longer skinny enough. Now your clothing has to be made by elves and fairies who use thimbles as a guidline for waist circumference), there were no DD's in effect and her legs were not perfectly sculpted, smooth stilts. But let me tell you, she was beautiful.
So this is where I got annoyed. F&B excused themselves to go discuss her appearance with a colleague and said that the case was a lost cause because the client was in fact, not beautiful, not pretty and, get this, "not even last call in Alaska pretty". What the hell F&B?! I thought you were my boyz (that's right, boyz with a Z sucka). It was at this point that I paused TiVo (I love you TiVo) and took a minute to gripe to Jim about all this... and now I'm griping to you about all of this... whoever "you" are... is...
Seriously, I know this is nothing new and people have ranted and raved about this for a very long time but this girl was beautiful and they are flat out calling her ugly. It's like the bar for beauty keeps getting raised and unfortunately most of us girls do care at least a little bit about being able to reach that stupid bar. Now, we're not striving to do chin-ups on the bar but we at least want to have a chance to attempt a chin-up and then dangle there awkwardly when we don't make it.
At least when tv shows used to use an "ugly" girl they made an attempt to make the "ugly" girl look like maybe she wasn't having the best hair, skin, clothing day. And even hearing me say (write) that annoys me. That there is even a standard for what would make someone appear ugly. Why do frizzy hair, bad clothes and a not so great complexion have to be deemed ugly? I know my life would be a whole lot easier if hairy legs, zits and frizzy hair were in. I'm just sayin, I may have cured cancer or solved world hunger if I wasn't spending so much time shaving, plucking, exfoliating and straightening.
I'm not saying that I'm never guilty of being judgmental, of course I am. We all are. I just hate it. That's it. I hate judgeyness. I hate it when I see it in myself and I hate when I see someone being negatively affected by someone else's assessment of them. That's all.
Oh yeah, cause I know you(re) all dying to know. In the end F&B realized that once they got to know their client they really liked her and they decided that they were going to find a way to win the case for her. Not because they thought she was beautiful but because she truly believed that she herself was beautiful. Kind of feels like a back handed compliment but whatever. I'll totally watch it again next week, ugh.