Friday, May 26, 2017

Ode to My Better Half on His 40th

In the six plus years I've been crafting a blog, I can count on one hand the number of times I've written about my husband.

Not because he asked me to keep him out of the limelight or because he's not an insanely interesting, and charming subject to share with the world; but mostly, because he doesn't need it.

Different than me, he doesn't feel the need to document driving to the grocery store with 5,000 Instagram photos or to measure his self worth by the number of Facebook likes a post has.  He's just in general, uber comfortable in his own skin and except for his family, doesn't long for much in his life.

So without his permission, just for today, for one brief snapshot in the span of all that is, I want to publicly take a moment to honor 40 years of a man that's been rolling around the planet, because well, he's pretty extraordinary.

The first thing you should know is that he's ridiculously nice.  I mean the sort of type that makes you think, "Jesus, that guy is way too nice.  What's he hiding?  Where's the mean bone? I bet he's got bodies buried in the backyard." And you search and search, but alas, he's just an obnoxiously kind, over-the-top available, ever smiling, hard core laughing sort of guy.

Next up, if you need something, call Ray.  He'll listen to you vomit your shitty day and serve as your co-conspirator against the dicks of the world.  He's good for that.  He's also fucking strong.  So, if you need bunk beds moved or you don't want to front the Nebraska Furniture Mart delivery charge, he'll do the heavy lifting.  It's no skin off his back.  Really...I've watched him step up time and time again.

If you want to know where his heart resides, take a look at his kids.

When he's not at work, you'll find him serving lunch at school, guiding Kindergartners through computer lessons, reading bedtime stories, helping Sam earn merit badges in Boy Scouts, watching his daughters perfect pirouettes in the ballet studio, cheering from the sidelines at flag football and micro soccer games, complimenting them on their piano pieces, helping select Golden Sower texts from the library, introducing them to every genre of music, teaching them to go faster on their bikes, and how to catch the perfect fish, reminding them to not cut corners when mowing the lawn, and spending an inordinate time braiding Kate and Claire's hair just in time for school.

For a man who lost his dad when he was 8, he could give classes on what it means to be a father.

And when it comes to me, well, goodness.  He didn't really know what a high maintenance, OCD, worry fanatic he was inheriting when he said, "I do." And 13 years later, he still walks me down from the ledge and reminds me that tomorrow is a new day and that I am loved, always.

We are blessed beyond measure to share our lives with such a man, and so as we embark upon this special birthday, Sam, Kate, Claire and I say....thank you.

Thank you for taking such good care of us.  We pray that the next 40 years will bring you adventure, creativity, loads of movies, continued laughter with great friends, really good podcasts, lots of Sherlock watching at the gym, quiet moments with God and a continual reminder that you are so very loved.

Happy 40th, Ray...we are grateful to share in your special day...xo

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ode to 42

Here's to the turn...

the intentional change

the shift

the looking up, every now and again, to stand both in gratitude, but also

in expectant hope for newness

a different set of spectacles



for the painfulness and beauty of the presence

the deep space of

ordinary time

where it hurts to sink in

and there is nothing more or

better to do than to hold

the one who desperately wants to

read Dr. Seuss

and refrain from strangling the not-so-little

boy who cannot remember where he put his retainers or

why it matters if you wear deodorant

and to encourage the girl who

re-purposes milk cartons and old socks

and to laugh with the man

who gets me like no other

Yes, to all of it

and to all of them...


to the girl with brown hair

and blue eyes

and a soft gaze

and a heart that invites and wants to know more

about everything, really.

Ode to the squishy legs

and the lines around the brow

to the moments of weakness

and the ferocity of strength

may the 42nd year be filled

with the promise that you are indeed enough,

now and