Saturday, March 23, 2013

Total Darkness

A couple of nights ago, Ben and I walked out of my parents' front door and into total darkness. Ben looked up and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!" I froze and scanned the area. Adrenaline coursed through my body as I prepared to fight or flight.

"What?!" I yelled in a panicked voice.

"Look at the stars," he said. "They're amazing!"

Jeez, Louise. I quickly erased images of ferrel animals or hordes of birds or Walking Dead zombies eating us. What a re-lief.

We tilted our heads and stared at a blanket of twinkling lights that covered the sky.

"I forgot how many there are," Ben said. "I never noticed them in New York."

Easy to do in the hustle and bustle and bright lights of a big city.

Friday, March 15, 2013

House Hopes

Ben and I have been on the hunt for the perfect house since moving home in August. Now, don't let that sentence mislead you. We haven't looked every weekend... more like two (or possibly three) times.

No need to wear ourselves out or overdo it. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

The first time we looked at houses was right before Thanksgiving. We saw some nice ones, but none worth five years of savings.

I felt like Goldilocks as we wandered through homes. Some were too big, some were too small. Some were too busy, some were too bare. None were just right.

Then, the holidays came, which really slowed our hunt.

We didn't look again until a few weeks ago, in February. I'm pretty sure our realtor thought we'd either given up or permanently moved in with our parents (the latter crossed my mind a few times).

The second time, we looked at a few houses, not totally sold on anything, until... we looked at the last house of the morning. It had just gone on the market and we were the first people to look at it.

We all gasped, awestruck, as soon as we walked in the door. The house was amazing! Our realtor immediately turned to us and mouthed, "Get it. Get it!"

Ben and I just nodded, speechless.

The house surpassed every dream. We felt giddy and sick with excitement. We loved it!

Fast forward to now... Ben and I may soon own that house! We signed the final contract, passed the home inspection, got an appraisal, and now just need the bank to process the loan. We are so close to becoming homeowners.

For the next few days, we will keep our toes and fingers (and legs and arms and eyes) crossed.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vocabulary Lesson

I taught the word "debate" to several kids. We worked on a few strategies to help them remember the definition. I shared a personal story to make a connection between the word, its meaning, and how to use it in a sentence.

They loved the story.

They enjoyed it so much that they still use the word and example... daily. Dai-ly.

I told them that sometimes I got into trouble when I was their age. If I argued with my dad when I got into trouble he would yell, "This is NOT a debate!"

Of course, I never understood what "debate" meant. I just knew it wasn't good if my dad said it in that tone at that volume with flailed arms and a red face. I only understood what the word meant after I got ballsy enough to ask him (through heaving sobs).

The kids loved this story.

They loved that: 1) I got in trouble, 2) an adult yelled at me, and 3) they now got to point a finger and yell "This is not a debate!" to their teacher.

I don't know if many would agree with that strategy, but I don't care because it worked.

And, let's be honest, this is not a debate.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Routines Schmootines

Ben and I get ready differently. It took several years for us to understand that. Getting dressed to go out on a Friday or Saturday night once proved stressful. We shared some tense moments.

I get ready and take my time. I mosey from room to room. I put on a little makeup here. I brush my hair there. I make some tea. I wander to the closet. I watch the end of a Real Housewives reunion show. There's no rush.

Ben is the opposite. He waits until the last second and then races to get ready. He rushes from room to room. He picks out and puts on one outfit. One outfit!

It all sounds easy, right? Until...

He asks me if he looks good. Ninety percent of the time he does, but 10% of the time I say "no." "No" throws him into a tizzy, which I never understand. He doesn't plan his outfit the night before (like I do) or shop specifically for it (like I do). He picks it at the last second and then gets mad when it doesn't work. Fashion takes work, dude!

Tension escalates when we compete for the one sink in the bathroom. Ben wants to shave. I want to brush my teeth. We're at a standoff until Ben asks if I really need the bathroom.

Yes, I think, I do need it. That's why I'm standing there! But, I don't say that. Instead, I step away and grit my teeth as I relinquish my right to the sink.

Because I rework my routine to accompany his, I fall behind. Before I know it, Ben sits dressed and ready on the couch with a glass of bourbon and I gape at him in my bathrobe.

I then stress and bark orders like "close the blinds" and "take out the trash." Random and unimportant tasks that make me feel better since I am to blame (again) for us being fashionably late.

Finally, now five years into our marriage, we've been able to comprise and find a few solutions that seem to work.

Still, a bigger bathroom with a double vanity would be really, really nice.