Sunday, October 23, 2011

Date Night.

Last night Chris missed our date night.
You're thinking, "What a jerk!", right? Well, don't. It wasn't his fault.
One hears, especially in a time of war, about the sacrifices that men and women in the military and public service positions make in order to protect us. They carry the ultimate form of commitment to our country and their families; a willingness to sacrifice their lives, a willingness to sacrifice time with their families, a willingness to sacrifice the chance for normalcy when they return- if they return. I know, because my brother spent a year in Iraq and is confidently looking down the barrel of another tour. This commitment has affected every area of his life.
I can't tell you in actual English words (or any other language for that matter) how proud I am of my brother.
I know you're waiting for the part where I let loose on the fallacies and selfishness of the politics involved in war, but this post isn't about that. It's about the fact that we have people around us who are willing to sacrifice themselves - their whole lives, not just black and white, live or die, but the fact that the day they decide to join the service they are changing their lives forever - for us. Usually we're strangers to them. I can say for a fact that I don't have the balls to do that.
When I was a kid we used to play the typical cops and robbers games. By the end of the game I would be in such a state of terror and anxiety that I'd be exhausted after my blood pressure and adrenaline evened out. The thought of someone being after me to fake kill me was terrifying. The thought of someone being after me to actually kill me is not a thought I can entertain. Because I can't handle it. I can barely watch suspense movies. I love them, but I can barely watch them. Chris has the fingernail marks to prove it.
Does that make me a coward? Probably, but I can't help it. My brother got all the brave genes.
So last night I was sitting on my mother-in-law's leather couch watching Sex and the City, drinking a glass of wine and worrying. At around 10 pm my husband stumbles into the kitchen reeking of smoke and sweat. I gave him a big bear hug anyway.
Last night was Chris's first big fire since joining the Reardan fire department. When I asked if he was scared he said, "Nah, it was actually calming and if anything I was sad for the family." That's a hero's response. That's the response every person has who puts themselves into danger for someone else. They do what needs to be done and they have a sense of sympathy - even empathy for those they are protecting. My husband is a hero. And I find that to be quite attractive...
So, thank you to everyone who has the balls to fight for us - whether it's in the military, as a cop, fire fighter or EMT or anyone who has ever taken on the burden and responsibility of another person's life in the face of danger.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Country Mouse/Country Family

What's really the difference between a country mouse and a city mouse?
A country mouse has one option of refuge when it starts getting cold. A city mouse, on the other hand, has many options. Your house, your neighbors house, the school, the church... really, the options are endless for the city mouse.
If you live in the city you can consider yourself lucky in this conversation.
I live in the country.

When I lived in Wyoming I also lived in the country, but in a loft apartment instead of a farmhouse. When the mice started coming in during the Fall I used live traps to kindly encourage rodents to remain outside. Or to instead find a spot next to the horses downstairs. An actual loft. More barn, less city-chic. 
The mouse problem stopped after escorting a particularly insistent mouse to Grand Teton National Park to live out its last days dodging Osprey instead of in my bathtub doing the backstroke. And I stopped leaving food on the counter. Just, you know, as a precaution.

My current country mouse situation requires a little more- how do I say this?- ARTILLERY.
Remember this game? Still one of my faves.
Was it not enough to eat half of my beans and tomatoes out of the garden leaving them pitifully amputated while clutching to their vines? Or worse, to help their fat little selves to my certified organic, locally grown peaches, pears and apples that were securely stored in the barn? How rude! Now they insist on munching through bags of flour, oats and appliance owner manuals?

I understand if, after reading this, none of my friends want to come over. It's gross. And it grosses me out. I wouldn't call it an infestation, but the tally of now deceased rodents is rising. Hopefully I'm winning the battle. I'd like to win the war, really.

Family Update:
We made it through the wedding! I hate to sound relieved that it's all over, but weddings are hard work. And I'm lovin' married life. It means there's someone there to remove the mouse carcasses.
But really... our wedding was everything we imagined it to be way back in January. It's so rewarding to plan and plan and plan and then see it all come together in a single day. Pics soon... I promise!

Chris and I went on a mini- honeymoon the week after the wedding to the Oregon Coast. That week marks the longest period of time we've spent with just each other. It was so great to focus solely on Chris and to have his undivided attention. Of course, I couldn't help but to call Jackson each night to see how his day was and say goodnight. It also marked, by far, the longest period of time I've ever spent away from Jackson.

People keep asking me if it feels different to be married. The short answer? No. It's impossible for our relationship to change just because we have a party. The long answer: I love looking at Chris and knowing that he chose me to spend the rest of his life with and that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. And with that comes a security in that there's someone taking this journey with you. I couldn't ask for a more loving, generous, hard-working guy and I'm so excited to live and grow with him, Lucy and Jackson.