Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Years

On this day, five years ago, something big happened. No, I'm not talking about the news helicopters from two Phoenix stations colliding while covering a police chase. I'm not talking about a particularly great prank on National Sleepy Head Day in Finland, either. That sounds like a fun one, though. Oh, but do me a favor. Don't ever let my husband know that day exists. Okay? Thanks.

Speaking of husbands, have you figured it out yet? That's right! Five years ago today, I got myself one. I married my best friend. And you know that whole cliché about it being the best day of your life? It kind of was. I mean, the day Dinah was born should probably be in the running too, but that whole labor and delivery part makes it ineligible in my book. That was a good day because of the end result; the day in general wasn't that fun, but my wedding day? That was a fun day!

I stood on a beach beside my best friend; our feet cooled by the ocean waves, and promised to love him every day for the rest of my life. It was a gorgeous day. The weather was slightly overcast, which only made the colors in the sky and the sand and the water seem that much more vibrant. Nature tends to speak of God’s glory anyway, but for me, the ocean is where I seem to feel it the most. The landscape magnified the joy that day of knowing I was being joined with the man God had created for me. What I remember about that day is beauty, joy, laughter, family and friends, and a sense of peace. I can honestly say I never got cold feet, not even for a second. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was meant to be doing.

And now, every day isn’t perfect, but I’m convinced that we’re perfect for each other. We may not be back on that beach today where we’d like to be, and we may not be able to do anything extravagant to celebrate this year. In fact, we are both working on our anniversary. Nevertheless, I’m still excited to go home to him at the end of the day and enjoy a weekend by his side.

But man, do I ever miss that beach!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Young Eyes Behold Old Glory

“The red and white and starry blue is freedom’s shield and hope.” – John Philip Sousa

Yesterday, I took Dinah to the Ear Nose and Throat doctor. She’s fine. Thank you for asking. The look on her face as he peeked into her ears and nose and throat, and puffed air into those orifices was one that said, “Mom…what in the world is going on right now?” Despite the look on her face, she did great. She never made a peep, she just held onto my hand for reassurance, the sweet girl. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I think she’s kind of great. She’s so very frustrating sometimes, when her giant attitude comes out, but at the same time, she’s the sweetest girl I know. Oh motherhood.

Anyway, next door to the doctor’s office is a bank that’s known for flying enormous American flags at all their locations. As soon as I got Dinah out of the car, she was mesmerized. She kept saying, “Daddy, look! Flag!” even though he hadn’t pulled into the parking lot yet. He was only a couple minutes behind us, but she seriously stared at that big, beautiful, majestic flag until he got there. I have to agree with her, there’s something so special about that flag. It invokes so many emotions and memories and thoughts every time I see it. I fully intend to teach my daughter to love and respect that flag.

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

There are times throughout our lives when we find ourselves in tough situations. It’s in those times that you look around you, and oftentimes find fewer people surrounding you. For me, the older I get, the fewer people I find there before the tough times even start. Life takes us in different directions, and sometimes circumstance or distance makes it hard to stay close. Friends become fewer and more precious.

When I was young, my dad had lots of friends in town. Most of them he saw daily at the coffee shop, or other spots around town, although he may not spend much of his free time with them. But a lot of times, if he needed something, he could call. Some of them he would go fishing with when he could. Then something happened in his life that really put people to the test. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The worse it got, and the more he was stuck at home, the less contact with people he had. And then, he went to the nursing home and it seemed like all bets were off. Some people care enough to ask about him. A few even have good intentions of going to visit, but don’t find the time.

There is one friend, though, that has stayed constant. He was a friend of my Dad’s in high school, and later roommates in college. When I was growing up, we saw him on occasion, but not regularly because he lived in another state. Now that Dad’s in the nursing home, Gary is his most loyal friend. He still lives out-of-state, but he visits when he can, usually when he comes to visit his mom. In between visits, he calls sometimes or calls my mom to check on him. He sends gifts. He sends postcards or hats from vacations. He lets my Dad know that he’s not forgotten. He has gone out of his way to do anything he could think of to make life easier.

He’s the kind of friend that everybody should have, but few probably do.

And, I’m incredibly grateful for the way he’s treated my dear dad…even before I was born.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wide Open Spaces

Two weeks ago, my little family of three loaded up the car and headed out west. We were meeting up with Dean’s siblings and their families for some sibling/cousin/meet-the-new-baby time over the holiday. It takes about 8 hours, assuming 2-3 stops to get to our sister’s house on the border of Texas and New Mexico. Normally, I’m not too impressed with the scenery in the western Oklahoma/Kansas/Texas area. I grew up in a place with hills and trees and creeks and rivers so the drive west can seem pretty bland to me. There is one good thing about flat, plain land, though. Sometimes it makes the sky seem huge. The picture I took while we were out there is almost symbolic for us right now. We’re feeling stuck in a rut, and lost in a tired routine. I love the wide open space of this picture. It makes me think of opportunity, and potential.

What about you? What does this picture say to you?