Wednesday, June 23, 2010

50 Little Things That I've Learned Since I Married My Husband

50 Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband - Number Four
"Sometimes all you need is a long, country drive."

I always knew that I was meant to live in the country. I've never really liked the city, I've always been more comfortable out in nature where things are still untouched and silent. I like knowing that when nightfalls, the sky is actually going to be dark and you'll be able to hear the cricket's gentle chirp. I never lived in the country though, I grew up in a small city where things were touched, but they weren't overdone. It was still peaceful at night, even if the streetlights kept your room lit up all the time. One day I hope to have a home with a cornfield behind it, a creek trickling somewhere close by, but until then we have to settle on renting. We live in a small village now...and things are peaceful, quiet. You can hear the crickets at night and there are very few streetlights to keep you awake. But when I want to get away, I've realized that a country drive cures all.

There is just something about driving in between cornfields, homes spread out farther than the eye can see, windows down and the people (and pets) you love most next to you that makes me smile. It's so peaceful, so serene and a perfect get-away when the day has been tough. I never understood the purpose of driving around aimlessly until I met my husband. After we started dating, a lot of our dates included just driving around, seeing what we could see and just enjoying one another. I've found that the best place to talk about things is in the car, away from traffic and the hustle-bustle of the world. Life is slower when you're away from everything that moves so fast. It's more peaceful and gentle.

Now I love country drives. I love watching the rows of cornfields as we pass them, the cows, horses, chickens. I love rolling down the window and just letting the wind kiss my face, play with my hair and cool me down in the summer. I love holding my husband's hand and cuddling Mason in my lap, singing along to my favorite song or just sitting in the silence. I love watching the sunset from the passenger seat and taking in all of the beauty that we pass.

A country drive can smooth over a rough day, quiet a busy mind, entertain when the evening seems boring and bring a closeness to your family when you're feeling a bit distance. There's nothing quite like it and I've found that sometimes a country drive is all you really need.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband

50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband - Number Three

"No household should go without fresh salsa in the refridgerator at all times."

Growing up, we pretty much ate the same things. Living with two guys most of my life, most of our meals consisted of hamburgers, chili and pizza. When I got a bit older and moved in with my grandmother, I ate all of those wonderful southern homecook meals that people long for these days: cornbread and beans, corn on the cob, green beans, pork roast and mashed potatoes. It wasn't until I started dating that I fell in love with Chinese and Italian food...and it wasn't until I met my husband that I was introduced to my current best friend: Mexican.

Perhaps it was the money issue growing up, I could never imagine going to a restaurant and spending $10 a person for a meal. Or perhaps it was just the security of eating where we knew instead of branching out to something different. Whatever it was, I can't believe I missed out on so much for so long.

Now I love my southern foods, I love me a good bowl of chili or a pizza piled high with toppings. But nothing compares to sizzling fajitas in our favorie Mexican restaurant or more importantly: Fresh Made Salsa. The salsa is my favorite and after my husband and I were married, salsa became a family tradition and a 'must have' in our home. We will sit down, each of us a cutting board and each of us a knife and cut tomatos, onions, jalepenos and cilantro, mixing it all together with just the right amount of salt and lime juice to make a huge bowl of yummy salsa. (My husband's recipe, of course.)

The trick to salsa is to let it sit, let the salt begin to break down those yummy tomatos and onions and mix all those lovely tastes together. Then you have to find the perfect chips...or you can put it in an omelet, or on a turkey sandwhich, or with your hamburger (or turkey burger in our case). It pretty much goes with everything. I have my husband to thank for this yummy food, one of my ultimate favorites these days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband

50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband - Number Two

"The ocean is overwhelming, scary and oh so very beautiful."

(A picture of the ocean from our cruise boat this past spring.)

Before I was married, I had never seen the ocean. I had never been to a real beach, where the water stretches farther than your eye can see and you feel so small, so insignificant in this big, huge world. I had never tasted salt water or seen waves crash against the shore. I had never seen a jelly-fish or surfers or jeeps down on the sand. I had never experienced any of it and although I imagined what it would be like many times over, I could have never imagined how it would feel for real.

For our honeymoon, we went to Daytona, Sanibel Island, Fort Meyers and a few other various places in Florida. I remember when we pulled up to our hotel, we got our room figured out and then we walked down to the beach. I was in awe, I was terrified and I was immediately humbled. The vastness of the water that stretched on and on and on. The simplicity of the fact that there was more of this than anything else on this earth. That if I was to move out into the water, I would become lost, just the tiniest part of our world. I got up every morning and watched the sunrise. I found jelly fish on the beach and picked up bits and pieces of seashells. (Until we got to Sanibel and I realized that I could collect buckets and buckets of full ones.) I immediately fell in love, even if I refused to go more than knee deep into the water.

I am eternally grateful to my husband for that experience. Water is so peaceful but it can also be so powerful, so terrifying. It's an amazing gift that God has given to us to enjoy and love. We recently went on a cruise and I experienced an entire new level of ocean. Standing on shore and looking out on it's vastness is one thing, but standing on deck and seeing nothing but ocean is another. It's overwhelming but beautiful. I will say though, there is no better sleep than a bed in the middle of a gently rocking boat.

50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband

I've been slacking a lot in my writing lately. At the beginning of this year I wrote every single day, pages upon pages of things. It was one of my new year's resolutions. Now I can't say that I've wrote much in the last couple of months. I've been having so much fun focusing on photography and my new camera that I've forgotten everything else. So I decided to start a Blog Series: 50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband.

As I was driving home from lunch with my husband today, I started to think about all of the little things that he has taught me in the last couple of years. Most of them are insignifcant, but some of them have really come in handy. So, I don't know if I'll post one of these a day, or two or three, or combine them. But I know I want to come up with 50...and just thinking about it now I've already come up with half of that. I hope those of you who read my little tid-bits here will enjoy them and even possibly learn a little something yourself.


50 Little Things I've Learned Since I Married My Husband - Number One
"Old things have so much more character than new."

(This is one of my grandmother's mason jars, it has seen years of fruits and veggies, winters and summers filled with wonderful goodies.)

It all started with cars; pictures of cars, comments about cars, shows about cars, drive-ins, drag-races. My husband would talk my ear off constantly about the kinds, the different years and the different details that each year held to it's own. Reluctantly, I slowly began understanding bits and pieces of what he was telling me. My eyes became open to the different shapes and sizes, colors, rust and those wonderful huge, round headlights that some of them wore. I began to understand why a car would go so much faster than another although they looked and seemed exactly the same. (This usually has something to do with the size of a motor, how well it was built and the type of fuel it runs on...weight, and shape can have a lot to do with it too.) I came to appreciate older vehicles and the wonderful character they held versus the new, slick vehicles that they are coming out with today.

Then it spread into other things. First I bought a little red chair that previously belonged to his grandpa. We both loved it; it's faded, peeling paint and the fact that we have to occasionally glue one of the legs back in because if you bump it, it just falls right off. There is so much history written into the seat of that chair, so many children had played on it, had time outs. It has been used as a plant holder, a nightstand and so many other things. Nothing new could tell stories like that chair, nothing new could look so used and loved. I was so glad I snagged it before it was sold.

Now we have all sorts of 'old' things. Bottles, books, hats, pictures, papers. My husband has an old letter written by the mayor and the sherriff of Troy verifying that his grandfather was an 'outstanding' citizen back when he first got out of the war so that he could safely hitch-hike across America. And he did too. From Ohio to California and back. Can you imagine? We have books that have notes written in them from the 1920's, little love letters and signitures. It's just so interesting.

Our biggest collection is that of salt and pepper shakers. When we were married, our cake-topper was a pair of clear salt and pepper shakers. We got the idea from the movie 'Fireproof' and both agreed that it was perfect for us. Now we have at least 15 sets, most antique but a few new. We vowed every year to go on our anniversary and pick a new pair out, so our collection will just grow and grow. I just love finding unique pairs. My favorite is an anchor with a red (salt) and green (pepper) lantern hanging from it, a rope twisting up it's length. There's so much character in each piece and I honestly adore them all.

Nothing is quite the same as antiques, nothing screams 'history' and 'character' like their little nicks and cracks, well used edges, rust and torn pages. When I go shopping these days, I look at all of the new things that the world is coming out with. I see all the straight lines and slick textures, the simple designs and I can't help but pass them by. I'd rather have something more detailed, something that's turned a bit yellow with age and that can tell stories of years past. I wasn't always like that but my husband taught me well: Old things have so much more character than new.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day - My Husband

I woke up extremely giddy this morning. It took me awhile, but I found my husband Father's Day cards from the cat and the dog. I was even lucky enough to find cards with a Siamese and a Dachshund. Talk about effort! I also managed to find one from myself that was just for a partner in pet parenting...silly I know, but I love it!

The truth is, this is our family right now. We baby our pets just like they're our children. We make weekend plans only if we can include them in some way because we feel bad about the attention that we can't give them during the week while we're at work. They mean so much to us.

I look forward to the day that my husband becomes a father (and me a mother, of course). But we're in no rush. We would rather take our time and enjoy one another for awhile. We have small issues that we need to work through, but I think we'll make good parents one day. I mean, our pets sure do adore us, that's saying something, right?

Father's Day - My Daddy

It's hard for me to talk about my father. It's hard for me to explain the good and the bad and then expect the outcome of opinion to still judge him as a 'good' person when I'm finished. I still think of him that way though, a good person. I think I finally figured out why.

My mother to me, is not a good person. She left my brother and I when we were very young, my brother was so young that he didn't even remember her. My dad raised us, or at least he tried. We never had much of anything. We were pretty much the poorest people that I knew that could still afford to live in a house, even if that house went without electric or water from time to time. Things got a little better for awhile, my dad remarried and had two more kids, we had two incomes, always had water, electric, food...all the neccesities. But as much as I love her still to this day, our step-mother was partial and a bit mean at times. They soon divorced, took my brothers away and we were back to one income. Soon my dad had two more kids, same lady, but after the divorce. They were twins. Now there was child-support and weekend visits in which I was responsible for all the babies. But my dad had to work.

During all of this my father was a raging alcoholic. He got mean when he was drunk and sometimes he got over emotional and would tell us how proud he was of us and just cry. My dad never told us things like that sober. We were the family that didn't talk about feelings, emotions or life. We just co-existed in a home where we knew we could count on one another if the need ever really arised. I was lucky enough to make friends with a girl who lived a couple of neighborhoods over. Her mother was my gaurdian angel for the longest time. Without her I would have went through so many things without any help or guidance.

But still, through all of this, my dad was a good person. I truly feel like my dad always tried. I feel that if he would have known how, he would have done more, given more, loved more. I know my dad loves me. I know my dad would give the world for me if he could. But he can't and although he doesn't say it, I don't need to hear it to know it's true. So despite all the hardships during my childhood, I still think of my daddy as a good person. I don't look back with hatred but more sadness, for him, for us, for the situation. I love my dad and I'm pretty proud to call him mine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To be...

I feel confident right now. I feel secure within myself.

There's something about growing older that allows you to break your shell of insecurity and embrace who you are and who you are becoming fully. I feel that I'm getting there. Or are there. Maybe. Not fully but close.

I've got my life mostly figured out. Mostly. It's nice, peaceful.

I'm not rich. I don't live some super exciting lifestyle. But I'm happy, content. If I spend the day alone, just me and my camera, me and my notebook, me and just the world around me, I'm full of life. I've discovered that simplicity is the key to happiness in my life. The simpler, the better.

I find joy in sunshine. Like, when I go into work and the sun still hasn't come out and I walk to the front of the store and there it is, rising above the buildings. I fall in love. I just stand there taking it in. I soak up the warmth, I long for the burn in my eyes. It sounds silly, I know. But for a moment I'm at complete peace and total awe. And I really do love that burn, it's my favorite part.

I've found that I can totally appreciate a great painting, photograph, song or piece of literature. I mean, REALLY appreciate it. Like, stare for hours, listen for hours, read for hours. The same thing, turning it's meaning over and over in my head. I think I could get lost forever if you let me.

I've never really been that patient in my life. I've never really found peace in being alone or being simple. I like to move, I like to surround myself with company always. But there's a specialness to being that opposite that I hope to hold on to for a very long time. I like finding myself. I like feeling like that I've done just that: found myself. I like feeling like I know who I am, without influences of other people. It makes me just giddy inside.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This I promise...

will make very little sense. But I'm okay with that. I just have that itch.

This week has been exhausting. My body is not used to working 10 hour days and my mind is not used to being in charge.


So very much of it. It's overwhelming. But I handle it well, if I can say so myself.

I was used to the running, the picking up where others failed to follow through. But there's more of that now.

I open at 5:30. By 7:30 I have turned on the lights, unlocked the doors, baked and topped 7 'gourmet' cakes, 3 brownies, 25 cookies. I've made 10 pots of coffee, cut tomatoes, onions, cucumber, filled salt, pepper, sugars, creamers. I've made out checks, filled the pop cooler, started the muffins. All while running register, making the drinks, running the food, cleaning the tables...and more, so much more.

Some how I'm capable.

That doesn't stop the exhaustion.

Sore. Numb.

It's 9 p.m. and I'm fighting sleep with all of my might. I remember looking at the clock at 5 and wondering how pathetic I would be if I just went to bed then. Now I have more motivation to stay awake. Jeremy should be home soon. I hope. I haven't seen him once today.

I got several compliments today. Several 'you're doing a great job'. Several 'I really enjoy you as my boss.'

But that puts fear in my bones. Fear that they'll end up hating me in the end. Because although I'm their friend...I am their boss. And I know how they are. I know how much they slack when no one is looking. I know because I've picked up that slack for months now.

Good. Evil.

I suppose I should pick my poison. I'm just tired. Two more day, two more days and then two off. I cannot wait.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hush Hush

This is one of those times, one of those moments in my life that I realize I'm not exactly the person that most perceive me to be. It's one of those moments where I long to share things that are considered taboo, one of those moments where I spill my guts and later realize that it was something I should have kept secret.

But I don't want to. Silly, I know.

Knowing is one of the strangest things, tracking dates and listening to your body for little feelings. It's a wonderfully, mysterious strange that I have very carefully taught myself to do in the last year and a half since I've been married.

See, my husband and I prayerfully made the decision when we were married not to use contreceptives in our love making. We knew the risks that this meant, but we studied up, we read all about ovulation and tracking your basal body temperature and things that most men and women never learn about until they are trying to get pregnant. Only, we're not trying to get pregnant, rather, we're doing just the opposite.

A year and a half has gone by and I've never been late, I've never felt as if there's been any sort of little Ovenshire beginning it's life inside of me. I've always felt that our precautions every month have lead us to a baby-free comfort zone. Until today.

It's foolish I know. But there's only a few days out of the month that we normally try to avoid any 'accidents'. We know these days well, I track dates and temperatures, little feelings and pains. We knew that today was a 'prime' day for conception, we knew that when we met in the hallway this afternoon, lips locked, that we would have to be careful.

But we weren't...and we didn't care to be.

It's not that here, a couple hours later, I feel as if I'm on my way to being a new mother. I just feel a bit...dangerous, like I've broken the rules and now I have to wait to be 'caught'. More than likely, I will forget all about our incident here in a few days. I will move on, continue the month and the next without a second thought about it.

But right now I feel free. Silly, I know. But I love it.

And even though it's nothing too great, I just felt like sharing. Despite what others may think, despite that it may be on the 'taboo' side, I just wanted someone to join into my feeling of free.