Sunday, December 28, 2008

Different than last year...

Another New Year's Meme. I enjoy keeping track, tallying up the scores, making lists, reminiscing. I am not as talented with it as Molly, however, who provides a list every month. So, I turn to memes instead, easy ways of summarizing and looking forward. This one is different (though not a lot) from last year's, so hopefully I won't repeat myself.

1. Will you be looking for a new job? I am committed to my current job for a while, I believe, but I am never willing to dismiss the idea that we might up and move if necessary.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship? I'm always seeking new friendships, of course, but I am eternally happy in the romantic relationship I enjoy daily.

3. New house? I look constantly for fun, but I think we'll be here for another few years before we move.

4. What will you do differently in 09? Hmmmm...I will make small changes I'm sure; things like cooking, time management, and sleeping (I don't get enough) are easily tweaked until satisfactory.

5. New Years resolution? This year I resolve to both keep off the weight I shed in 08 and to lose even more. We were joking at WW about how many people will be joining us the first week of the new year, and indeed, weight loss is a very trite resolution, but it is nonetheless important to me.

6. What will you not be doing in 09? Hard to say. I'm open to most things.

7. Any trips planned? None, actually, which is remarkable considering the traveling I've done this past year (Arkansas, Dallas, New York, South Dakota, BWCA, and most recently, Jamaica). We will maybe venture to visit more people: Anne and Josh in OH? Les and Jonathon in AR? Angie in CA? Jen in TX? Val and Mike in MI? Dave and Abby in IL? People keep moving away, so our vacations could easily focus on them. 2010 already hold an international vacation, so we'll have that to look forward to all year as well.

8. Wedding plans? Not my own, of course, but this year Radley and Kelly, David and Nicole, and a cousin of mine are all getting married (so far, that I know of).

9. Major thing on your calendar? May 3rd and June 11th: due dates of my friends Kristin and Jessica, respectively. I am very excited for these wonderful women who will make even more wonderful mothers.

10. What can’t you wait for? See question 9

11. What would you like to see happen differently? Hopefully, our entire nation will experience a shift like we've never felt before. With Obama's election, hope really has been brought back to this country. I can't wait to see everything happen differently under our new leader. I realized after Nov. 4th, I've spent my entire adult life under GWB's leadership. I remember vaguely Clinton's presidency during my middle and high school years, but I was mostly unaware of how it affected me. Now, with a wonderful new man to take the reins, I wait with bated breath for the change that is sure to come.

12. What about yourself will you be changing? My waistline, I hope :-). I am also focusing on being a more patient person. I believe I'm doing well, but I'm sure I have a long way to go.

13. What happened in 08 that you didn’t think would ever happen? Sadly, I had little faith that our nation would elect a black president. I've never been happier to be wrong. Never been prouder to call myself an American. God bless Obama.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about? I always try to be as nice as possible. I will strive to be nicer to my students. Less sarcasm and all that.

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 08? Smaller sizes, I hope :-).

16. Will you start or quit drinking? No, I am quite content with my drinking level.

17. Will you better your relationship with your family? It's good and difficult at the same time and I doubt it will change much in 2009.

18. Will you do charity work? Yes. I definitely need to volunteer more than I do. I am becoming one of those people who writes checks instead of gives time. One should always do both.

19. Will you go to bars? I rarely do, actually, and I don't think that will change much. With a husband who doesn't drink, it's easy to avoid bars.

20. Will you be nice to people you don’t know? I think I'm already nice to people I don't know, but I will go out of my way to help others.

21. Do you expect 09 to be a good year for you? I expect every year to be a good year for me. Set your expectations high and enjoy living up to them.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now? That is a very hard question to answer. I believe all my changes are for the better, though. I am a better teacher, a better wife, a better friend; I am more fit, more educated, more available.

23. Do you plan on having a child? Yes, but probably not in 09 :-).

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now? Yes, of course, but it continues to get harder as people keep moving away!!!

25. Major lifestyle changes? Nothing major I can think of. We will try, however, like the rest of the nation, to be more thrifty as we approach another year of financial crisis.

26. Will you move? Probably not, but you never know.

27. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 09 that happened in 08? I don't believe I have the power to make sure things don't happen, but I will do my best to prevent all bad things from happening.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans? Another NYE date with Heather and Travas. Last year we stayed in; this year, I think we'll go out and paint the town. Or at least go out to dinner and to a club of some sort. Anyone available to join us?

30. One wish for 09? Peace on Earth and goodwill to all people? Too much? I wish for daily pleasures like stretching, cuddling with the dogs, cooking with my husband, fresh fruit in bright colors, a good book and a quilt, hot chocolate with marshmallows, text messages (or handwritten notes in Molly's case) from friends, smiles, hot baths, board games, and other happy things.

Happy New Year, all! Farewell to 2008. I tag Leslie, Bonnie, Jen, and Heather to also complete this meme, because none of them write on their blogs often enough (less frequently even than me!).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will we ever learn?

It was snowing during rush hour again today, for about the fourth time this year so far (we are getting SO much snow). But the traffic and the accidents and the idiocy seem to get worse and worse. When will MN drivers learn that the best way to make it through is to be patient, drive smart, and remember there is ice and snow under-tire? It took me 30 minutes to get from work to the clinic (urgent care...sick...needed drugs...about 10 miles), 25 minutes to get from clinic to doggy daycare (about 5 miles), and one whole hour to get from the daycare home (about 18 miles). Two hours of driving. SLOWLY. And half of it with dogs. Car after car in the ditch, many reports of accidents, and every road in every direction completely backed up. No, you can't slam on the brakes in ice and snow and expect to stop instead of slide and veer. Yes, you do need to keep your eyes on the car in front of you. No, you shouldn't talk on your cell and change the radio stations. No, you shouldn't expect to be home at the same hour. Yes, you should go the f#@* home and stay there, you crazy weather drivers!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It doesn't seem like that long of a time when you count it out in days. 1,461 days of feeling like a new person. Of feeling like shouting and a good way. Of being able to smile with ease, sleep in comfort, and dream happy dreams. Four years ago was our first date. Not everyone pinpoints this moment. Probably some people stop celebrating the small anniversaries of first dates, first kisses, first other special times, when they get married and have a "legal" anniversary. But I will never, ever forget these dates and times and experiences. That first date was the moment everything changed. Yes, the marriage changed things, too, but he was already in my life, already sharing a home, already loving me. It is corny, trite, and possibly unbelievable, but it really was our first date when I first thought, "I could spend my life with this man." I am sure he wasn't quite as confident as me (since I'm easily the crazy one), but we clicked from the get-go. You've all heard the story, but let's revisit for reminiscence sake:

Having known each other through friends for years, we never spoke more than a "hey" to each other before the summer of weddings (2004 was a little insane). Being newly single myself, every potentially single, dateable man was on my radar. At Anne and Josh's wedding (July), I considered Patrick, but he was dancing with another girl all night, so that was that. At Heather and Trav's wedding (August) however, we were both in the wedding party, and we were both the only singles. Sweet. Happenstance put us together at the reception for the formal wedding party dance, and then we ended up dancing all night. Some of us went out afterwards, and I invited him to join us. He said no. Again, that was that. In September, a random dinner gathering in the cities brought us together once more. I remember saying to Anne, "I plan on flirting with your friend Pat tonight; I hope you don't mind." But mostly, it was because I was coming off a really bad string of dates, was sorely depressed, and was planning on getting drunk. Indeed, I did get drunk. I remember awkwardly being forced to sit next to Pat at the restaurant (people moved very obviously and it was embarrassing), but I don't remember how the night ended. Up to this point, we'd never really had a real conversation. It wasn't until Thanksgiving at Heather and Trav's party (we would have seen each other in October at a Halloween party, too, completing the once a month thing, but he decided randomly to fly to Texas to visit family) did we actually, really, genuinely talk. A lot. I scarcely remember who else was at that party. And he ate two pieces of the apple pie I baked. I am an old-fashioned woman who likes nothing more than a man enjoying her cooking. My heart was all a-flutter. We were the last to leave. But, no request for a phone number even, let alone a date. Sigh. Heather took things into her own hands and told her husband how much I liked him. Travas told Pat, gave him my number. The next day he called. (It should be noted, I actually remember every detail of that first phone call, too, but I'll spare you.)

Fast forward two weeks later, the first time he could get down to Mankato (the first 6 months of relationship were long distance in nature). Stereotypically, we met for drinks after a hockey game. The bar we were meeting at was packed, so we walked about 5 blocks in the freezing cold to find a place with chairs available. Great way to start a first date. But when we got there, it became the perfect first date. Drinks and talking...for hours. We closed the place down without even realizing it. I thought our waitress was being pushy, coming back so many times, but it turns out she had only stopped over three times in three hours. We just had no concept of time. We talked about so many things. There was never a lull. Sigh. It was perfect. Over the next month, we followed this very movie-like, stereotype of a dating progression. Second date: dinner and a move. Third date: a dinner of convenience (I was in his neck of the woods). Fourth date: movie on the couch, out with friends for drinks and karaoke, sleepover. Fifth date: a friend's party, together, for the first time (we even potlucked it together, stopping at the grocery store on the way). It was New Year's Eve and he kissed me at midnight in front of our friends. Heaven.

The rest, as they say, is history. More or less. We've gone through a lot together in the past four years, but some things we've never done include: break up (not once, not even for a day), fought (like really fight, like say things you can't take back, walk out on each other, etc.), doubt. It is silly to think I was ever in love before Patrick. I just never knew what true, real, unconditional love felt like. It's the best kind. Some people think we moved too fast (moved in together after a year, got engaged after a year and a half, married after two and a half), but those people are crazy. I would've have married Pat after four dates. When you know, you feel it. And it was fabulous. Still is.

Next week, we fly to Jamaica to celebrate. A second honeymoon before your second wedding anniversary sounds extravagant, but we are just enjoying every minute we have together, and we love to travel almost as much as we love each other :-).

Happy first-date, day my life changed, anniversary, honey. I love you.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh, yeah!

I have happy news! Happy, happy, happy news! I received this happy news weeks ago (October 23rd, to be exact), and immediately wanted to spread the joy, but was told not to. I asked, "May I blog about this merriment?" but there were people who had not been told in person yet, and you know how the internet community can be. I bet you want to know the news. Actually, I've talked to most of you readers in person since then, so probably you all know, but to announce and rejoice formally:


My dear, wonderful, amazing friend Kristin and her (nearly) equally super husband Dan expect a new family member in May. Ordinarily, you might think, "a woman who's been married for four years in her; that makes sense." But with Kristin it's so much better than just making sense. It's perfect. I can think of few people as well-equipped to be mothers as Krissy (she hates that). I have known her since we were 3, and I've never met anyone as kind, honest, even-tempered, selfless, or forgiving as Kristin. She will be a fabulous mother. Many, many wishes of congratulations for my friend and her family.

I remembered I hadn't blogged this happiness when I was puttering around on the internet after dinner tonight and looked over at our first Christmas card next to me; it's from Kristin and Dan, of course! And it is the most clever little hand-made card. I shall try and explain it, but without images, it may be lost on you (if I were Molly, I would just take a picture of it and post it here for you to enjoy; I am not Molly): on the front, there is a ball of snow and it says "one" and then that ball with another ball on top of it, "two..." and then you open the card and there's the whole three-balled snowman and it reads, "and baby makes three!" Cute, right? See? Good mom and good cardmaker. No wonder I love her :-).

Also, coincidentally, I was shopping with girlfriends today (and baking Christmas cookies...yum!) and I bought the baby's Christmas gift. Yes, you can buy gifts for babies who are still in the womb. Yes, you CAN! It was one of those moments, where you just see something, not even looking, and think, "Oh. So wonderful. If only I had a baby to get it for..." Well, now I do! Okay, I don't have a baby. But one will be only a 30-minute drive away in a mere 5 months.

Love to Kristin and Dan and Baby.