Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twelve Short Years Ago

When we think about today's to do list, let's not forget about those that gave their lives and lost their lives today - 12 short years ago.
When we think about the horrible commute to work, let's not forget about the horrible commute of those in the airplanes 12 short years ago.
When we think about dropping our children off at daycare, let's take a minute to remember those children lost and the children who lost their parents on that devastating day 12 short years ago.
When we think about tonight's dinner menu, please don't forget about those who never made it home to dinner 12 short years ago.

When we think about the terrible fight we had with our spouses, take a minute or two to forgive them, because too many lost their spouses on that horrible day 12 short years ago.

When we think about the doctor's appointment we have today, try to remember all of those who still suffer from the effects of September 11, 2001 - just 12 short years ago.

I remember that day. 

Everybody remembers that day.

John was unemployed at the time, and was home in the shower when it all started happening and unfolding on the TV in front of me.
I was crying hysterically as I watched person after person jump out of the buildings to escape the fiery death that awaited  behind them.
John came out in a towel, asked me what was wrong, and all I could do was hold him as he learned about what was happening.
Olivia was just a baby.
She was drinking a bottle in her crib, unaware of the horror going on in New York, Virginia, and right here in Pennsylvania.
I have the unfortunate job to remind her year after year of the unthinkable actions that caused such devastating death and formidable loss that day.  I have to remind her that while she was just an infant, many people lost their lives and gave their lives just 12 short years ago.

I hate watching her face every year at this time as I sit down to watch the various programs that discuss in agonizing detail the terrible acts committed that day - just 12 short years ago.

But, that day has forever changed our nation's history. 

That day is a day I will never forget. 

That day, I will always remember those who bravely gave their lives to save those who were trapped. 

I will hug my husband and my daughter a little tighter tonight before bed. 

I am thankful that I don't have to think of a lost loved one that day.

I will never forget.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Slow Dancing by the Fire on Jeep Island

Well, as far as camping trips go, the last one we just ventured on was probably one of my favorites...
It is certainly in the top 3 on the camping scale. 

I know why I enjoyed this one more than I have the other countless trips.

I do try to have fun in each scenario we find ourselves in, but I have to admit that some camping trips I'd like to try and forget.

But, never this past one. 

I'll never ever forget this past camping adventure on an unnamed island on the Schuylkill river.  Well, technically, it isn't named by anyone that can put it on a map.  But, John named this island Jeep Island.  

Why, you ask?

Because when he first started camping on that island with his best bud Mike, they found a miniature jeep on the island.  You know, one of those cars that little kids ride around in?  Well, there was a jeep version of those cars on the island.  Hence the name... Jeep Island....

They've camped on other islands before too.  Throughout conversations with John and overhearing John on the phone with Mike, I have heard several names for the islands....
Let's see...
Jeep Island, Daytona Beach, Spider Island, Turd Island....
I think there's one more. 

But anyway, we ended up on Jeep Island.

And we had so much fun!

From the time we get to the island to the time we leave the island, my husband John is the most caring individual there is. 

This time was no exception.

We "docked" our "catamaran" that John made (don't worry, I'll post a pic of it later), and he helps me out of the canoe and always pulls out my camping chair, and orders me to relax and enjoy the view while he unloads and sets everything up.   Every single time.

Then, after everything is unloaded and set up, John will start making his coffee and he always asks if I would like a cup.  Then he'll make mine, put in the perfect amount of creamer in it, and hands it to me...

This particular trip was so much more than just enjoying nature or exploring some of the woods surrounding us...
This past trip was more of a "romantic getaway" for us.

I had no idea that this man had so much up his sleeve for this weekend...  I just thought it was going to be like the other camping trips we went on - and like I stated above, I always try to have fun no matter where we are...

John made me my favorite Mountain House meal, poured me something to drink and we sat there, at the fire eating our dinner.  The fire itself seemed to know that it had to burn for a long time....  It was so big and orange and warm, it was just perfection inside of a fire ring.

After dinner, John put on some music on Pandora.  And we listened to it and just sat by the fire.  Every now and again, we'd make some small talk, but we've been married for so long, small talk isn't always necessary.  We were just happy being there.  We were living in the moment, that is for sure.

Then, one song came on.  A song that - for my own girly reasons - I've been thinking a lot about.  It's a song we both danced to at John's senior prom.  When it came on, John was stoking the fire a bit.  He turned and looked at me, extended his hand, helped me up out of my chair, and locked me into a warm embrace that almost took my breath away. 
He quietly asked me if  "I wanted to dance."  

And so we danced. 

The moon above us, the fire next to us and the warmth of each others arms and just like that, I was in Heaven.  We were the only people on Earth that evening.  And it was something straight out of a Harlequin Romance novel... 
Of course, he didn't stop romancing me after our slow dance by the fire.  But, those other details, those very special and intimate details stay between John and me. 

Let me say though, that I didn't think I could love John any more than I did that evening before we danced on Jeep Island.  But, I was wrong.  I fell more in love with him that night.  And I cannot stop smiling. 

Some girls get flowers (don't get me wrong, I've gotten the bouquets every now and then too) and some girls get chocolates. 

I got what I needed.  A loving and caring guy.  A guy who is forgiving, compassionate, full of humor, and full of romantic gestures.  A guy that I know in the bottom of my heart, God sent to me.

I know alot of you are rolling your eyes or sick of my saying how good I have it.  How I hit the jackpot in the husband category.  And that's ok.  I really don't care what you naysayers think. 

John himself gets weird looks when he's with the guys and they're all complaining about their wives.  They look at him like he has three eyes when he says how happily married he is.  But, we are.  We are more than happily married.  We're practically giddy about our marriage.  And in December, we'll be married for 14 years.  And I'm more in love with my husband than ever before. 

My John takes such good care of me.  He really does... 
And it's the little things too that he does. 
Did you know that he put a lift kit onto his Jeep.  And that it's near impossible for me to climb in and out of it.  He keeps a folding stool in his Jeep for me.  Gets it out when I'm getting in and back out again when I get out.  How freakin' sweet is he?????   But those are the kinds of things that he does that makes me realize that he is the best husband in the world.

My heart and soul longs for John when he's away.  He truly is my other half.  And I'm not complete without that man...

So, roll your eyes and laugh at me if you want. 

But, while you're rolling your eyes, I'm busy being loved by the most awesome guy in the world....

two canoes held together by ratchet straps and polyurethane boards

two canoes held together by ratchet straps and polyurethane boards

my handsome hubby planting a kiss on my cheek for the camera <3

the view from Jeep Island

we sleep in hammocks when we camp

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Our Love

As someone who lives in  a state of pain 24 hours a day, when ever you pile on another ailment, it always adds to my personal and unending discomfort.
In this case, it's bronchitis.  Well, I think now, it's down a level or two to just a head cold.  Maybe it's a chest cold.  But, it actually feels like both. 

So, my feet and legs are quite bothersome and I can't lay down at night without coughing and "wretching around" - as John likes to call it - all night long.  First I'm hot, there goes the blanket.  Then, I start to shiver, back underneath my blanket.  All night, coughing, switching positions, sneezing... And since I'm this sick - my blood sugars are WAY out of control.  So, I'm also up a lot due to that. 


Last night, I got maybe - maybe - an hour's worth of sleep last night.  Scratch that.  Wait, it was less than an hour.  I turned on my Coast to Coast AM radio station, which shuts itself off after an hour.  And when I finally did doze off, I woke back up, listening to the same station....

Then, I turned on the TV.  I was trying to look for anything that might interest me.   But, in the wee hours of the morning, TV sucks ass.  So, I went out to the kitchen, grabbed my awesome new cell phone, a pair of headphones, crawled back into bed and started watching Netflix.  I ended up watching "Pretty in Pink" with Molly Ringwald.  Good movie.  Great 80's music.  I thought for sure, I'd start getting sleepy. 

I couldn't stop thinking.  Thinking of Olivia and her new school year. Hoping for a good year, void of homework fights and groundings...  Thinking of John and our upcoming short camping trip.  And then thinking of all of our shared dreams.  All of our moments of romance, laughter, and yes - even rage.

Which brings me to what I'm trying to say.

John is my soul mate.  I knew we were made for each other.  We were meant to be together.  Forever.  Even when we were younger and my parents forbid it, we still snuck around to just be with one another.  Even after my folks took him to court because he was an adult and I wasn't, we still fought tooth and nail to be together. 
There was absolutely nothing anyone could do or say or even preach to keep us apart from each other. 
We are in love and there will never be anyone else for us than.................... us.

So, last night... awake and definitely not sleeping.  I thought. 
I thought of John's senior prom.  I thought about how at 15, I was one lucky girl.  Getting ready to accompany my boyfriend to his senior prom.  When I got ready, I had all sorts of thoughts and expectations of what the evening might hold.
I put on my dress, my high heels, and did my hair and make up and waited for John to come pick me up...
When I laid my eyes on him walking up my sidewalk, I remember how he literally took my breath away.  There's my laid back John, always donning a sweatshirt and jeans... But, there he is... handsome as the freakin' devil in tuxedo....

We stood around and "said cheese" a million times for the parents. 

Then, it was time to finally make our way to the hotel where the prom was.  Up by the Berkshire Mall.  The Inn at Reading. 
It was beautiful.  That was the first time we danced a slow dance together. 
Songs like "Lady in Red" and "You Look Wonderful Tonight"  and even "Don't Dream it's Over" still bring me instantly back to that perfect evening with John....
The way we danced was perfect.
And it wasn't awkward.  We weren't straining to keep up the rhythm.  We just fit. 
And we've fit in every other way too since that evening...
There's not a day that goes by that I don't at least have a tiny thought of that perfect evening together.  It was (up until then anyway) the most romantic night of my life...

So, this morning, as I heard John climb out of bed, pour his coffee, and then sit down with me, I couldn't help but just be thankful that I have such a good, such a caring, such a romantic man to share my life with...

John is my whole world. 

Sometimes, when I talk about joining a Bible study or eating out with a girlfriend, John will remind me to talk badly about him.  Other women want to complain about their husbands, and will get annoyed if I have nothing bad to say about mine.

But, that's how it is with John.  He's really close to perfection.  There's just something about him that has embedded itself in my head and into my heart and soul. 

I could not have asked for a better man.  I really love my man. 
And I intend to stay here at home and get better so we can go on our little camping adventure this weekend. 
A tsunami won't stop me from canoeing down the river and beaching the canoe at the island of our choice, setting up a little campfire and just enjoying each other.... 

so, I guess that's it for now....
I'm sick.  And I'm in pain. 
But, I have a man with me in my life to make it a little more bearable. 
He's here to make my soup.  Hold my hair for me if I start to vomit.  Here to tuck me into bed and wash my hair for me if it hurts to bad to stand....
I love my John... so much...

And it's a complete love. 

Because he loves me too....