Category Archives: The Hubs

A Whole Lot of Nothing + Water Damage

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I have so many thoughts in my head, yet none of them have formed into a cohesive post. See, that’s how I write this blog. Something- a phrase, an action, an incident- will happen and it’ll just spark in my brain. I’ll think about it all day, writing and re-writing my post in my head. So when I do sit down to write, it pours out of me and I’m done in 10 minutes.

Not today. Really, not since school started. I have about 5 half-started posts in my head, but none of them are interesting enough or fleshed out enough in my head to put on metaphorical paper. Something will strike soon, but until then here is what’s floating around in my head.

> We’re almost to the end of the 3rd week of school and outside of not getting to school on time even once, things are humming along. We have no after-school activities until next month, so that’s been a huge blessing as the kid are adjusting to the work load.

> The weather has been the most perfect weather ever- cold nights and mornings and gorgeous hot days. Can it stay like this forever, please? (I beg that knowing full well we’ll most likely get our first snow in the next month).

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> We’ve decided on our vacation in March and next July and Aug, so at least when the snow starts to fly, we’ve got something to look forward to.

> We went to see Edwin McCain in concert earlier this month. He sang our wedding song, “I Could Not Ask For More,” so the Hubs got us tickets to see him for our anniversary. He joked in the week leading up to the concert that it would be a very quick one as McCain only had two songs.  You guys, we were BLOWN AWAY.  We didn’t know any of his other songs, but it didn’t matter because it was the perfect blending of amazing talent + intimate venue that added up to one of the best shows I’ve been to in a long time. Live music is always good, but really, really great live music is good for your soul. We left and my cheeks hurt from smiling for 1.5 hours.

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> We had a minor leak in the back of our refrigerator that went on for lord knows how long that has caused over $5000 worth of damage to my floors and ceiling below. So we’ve had water mitigation people, appliance repair people and contractors in and out of our house pretty much non-stop since last week. Really, it’s nothing more than an inconvenience- everything can be fixed and home owner’s insurance is  a blessing- but I’m calling uncle. I don’t want to adult anymore.

So, that’s the state of our household. 95% boring, 5% chaos.

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15 Years & Counting

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I read a book recently where the main character, Emma, met her true love, Jesse, in high school. They fell in love, left their small town on the east coast and created a new life full of globe trotting travels for themselves in CA. On their first anniversary, Jesse dies in a helicopter crash. Over the next 4 years, Emma moves back to her small home town and slowly, painstakingly builds a new life for herself- one that gradually included a new true love, Sam. A few months before Sam and Emma’s wedding, Jesse was found alive (think Castaway). Now a 30-something with a career she loves and life she adores, Emma has to figure out who her true love is.

I know, it’s sounds melodramatic- and it was. But it also posed great questions about who Emma wanted to be. Can she be the same person she was in her 20’s when she was married to Jesse- did she even want to be that person anymore? Could she and Jesse learn to love each other as they are now- not who they were 4 years and a life time ago?

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The Hubs and I got married 15 years ago this month. We were just kids- I was a month past my 23rd birthday and he was 25.  We had moved down to Washington, DC when I was 21, a few weeks after I graduated college so he could start his career with the Secret Service and I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

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I think part of the reason that I found One True Loves such a compelling read is that I don’t have a set delineation between young Heather and grown up Heather when it comes to my love life. I was in it when I was young and I’m still all in today at 38. The Hubs and I didn’t get to figure out who we were as grown ups separately because we, in so many ways, grew up together.

There were growing pains- so many growing pains. I remember after one particularly argument, the Hubs yelling at me that I wasn’t the woman he married anymore. And he was 100% correct- I am not. Where I had once been career/studies driven, now my career is a vehicle that allows me to live the life that I want with my focus on my family. My energies are no longer on moving up the ladder, but on juggling 55+ hours work weeks, Little League and lacrosse schedules, tutors and dinner times. Family comes first and the rest is just noise.

But there is so much joy in growing into adults together. We both had fantastic parents- but there are still so much we had to figure out. How do you cook? Who cleans? How do you keep pets alive? Raise kids? Own a home? Find friends that you both like to hang out with? How to discipline kids? How to react to disappointment and loss? How to keep your sanity when things are nuts? How to stay connected with each other when life is so overwhelmingly busy? How to grow as a person while still being the person your spouse needs you to be?

We’re not pros and I have no idea what the future holds. We’re still learning and growing and finding our footing. Some days we are totally in sync and have all our priorities in line. Others it feels like there is an ocean between us.  There are days I look at the Hubs and I’m just struck dumb by the love I have for him, tenderness literally washing over me. Days I get butterflies and can’t wait to dress up for a date night just to see the expression on his face. But there are just as many days where I grit my teeth when I see him- days when just the tone of his voice is enough to set me off. Days when sweatpants and a clean t-shirt seem perfectly acceptable, romance be damned. But most days? Most days are fun.

And there in lies that joy. Life shouldn’t be a flat line where you can see everything that’s coming long before it gets to you. The joy is in the ups and downs- in the times when we fit perfectly together and in the times we claw our way back to each other when walking away sounds a hell of lot easier.
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So- to my husband. Thank you for growing beside me these past 15 years. Thank you for still being able to make me laugh with just a look. Thank you for challenging me and making me be a better person. Thank you for being an amazing father to our kids. Thank you for putting up with me when the going gets tough and letting me hold you hand when we both know you hate to be touched. Here’s to many, many more years of marriage. I love you.

The Pen is Mightier

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16 years ago, the Hubs (then the Boyfriend) and I were on vacation with my extended family at one of my favorite places on earth. He and I had been living together for 8 months and even though we were young (I had just turned 22), we knew we were going to get married. We had looked at rings a month or so before because he didn’t want to pick one out that I hated. We narrowed it down to 3 choices and I told him that was all I wanted to know- I didn’t want to know which one he picked, I didn’t want to know when he was going to propose -the rest should be a surprise.

And even thought I said that- and I meant it – I was really, really hoping he would propose on this vacation. We lived in DC at the time, but we were on vacation with my family and were going to see his family on our way back home, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The Hubs knew this, so the very first day of vacation he pulled me aside and told me that it wasn’t happening. He couldn’t secure financing or a loan (remember, we were babies fresh out of college) and he wanted to let me know that upfront so I didn’t spend all vacation waiting for him to get down on bent knee.

So we went on to have a great vacation and I didn’t give it any thought. On our very last night, the whole extended gang of us on vacation went out to dinner. While there, unbeknownst to me, the Hubs asked for my Father’s permission while grabbing a drink at the bar and then asked me to go out on the docks to watch the sunset. While out there, he did get down on one knee and he asked me to marry him with the most perfect ring.

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Where we got engaged, 16 years later.

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That night, after we celebrated by passing a single bottle of champagne around the campfire for 15+ people to share, we talked about the life we were going to build. That life included our own home (check), kids (check), animals (check) and jobs we love (check 85% of the time).

What it did not include was the nitty gritty details. Like what happens when your kids find both the boy and girl version of “The Care and Keeping of You” books on puberty and then proceed to swap books and read them out loud to each other while crying with laughter. When the poor Bean read “penis” as “pen is”* I truly thought Scorch was going to hurt himself he was laughing so hard. And when we got to erections and periods? Forget it. Game over.

The crazy thing is the exactly the life we pictured and I’m so damn happy to be living it.

*I looked EVERYWHERE for the SNL “The Pen is Mightier” Jeopardy skit with Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery and I could not find it. Let me know if you do!

 

14 Years Later

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When I was in my mid-teens I discovered romance novels. Not the bodice-rippers, but the sweet novels where the heroine is a goodhearted mess and the hero is hunky and sensitive and loves to talk about his feelings. My favorite was A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux about a woman that literally prays for a knight to come save her and one does from 200 years in the past. A knight, folks. A real, chivalrous knight who wanted to wipe away tears, hold his woman all night long and cook for her.

Is it any wonder I was so picky about the men I dated?

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The Hubs and I got married a month after I turned 23. He was 25 and we thought we knew it all. We had lived together for two years outside of Washington, DC and were successful in managing stressful jobs, a crazy high rent payment and our relationship. Marriage was the logical next step and we both knew we wanted to be with each other so there was no point in waiting.

14 years later, I have zero regrets about marrying the Hubs. Not a one. Saying “I do” was the best decision I have ever made.

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The funny thing is the Hubs has never once cooked me a meal and we both hate to cuddle. It’s hot and uncomfortable and I think those couples that are always curled up like puppies together are too polite to tell each other that they can no longer feel half their body. As for talking about his feelings, no. Just no. He is, however, chivalrous and kind and funny and smart and dedicated to our family.

I find it hard to write about our anniversary or our marriage without feeling like I’m blowing sunshine (we are *so* in love and everything is perfect!!) or knocking what we have (this is hard work and we work at it every day damn, some more successfully than others!) when both things are true at the same time.

I do love the Hubs madly and I hope I always will. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t day that I don’t think about smothering him with a pillow. We deal with budgets and small town politics and work stress. We fight about decisions that need to be made and if we actually told the other person things we thought we did. There are days we just stay in separate corners of the house because just looking at each other sets our teeth on edge.

But we still hold hands, go on dates and go to bed early while falling asleep late. We send each other little messages during the day to let the other person know we’re thinking about them. The Hubs is still the first person I can’t wait to share news with. He’s the guy I know inside and out and one that always makes me laugh, even if I am avoiding him. He’s the man who knows my whole history for the past 17 years and who I pledged to love and honor in front of God, family and friends 14 years ago today.  He’s not anything close to a romance novel hero, but he’s the man I’m so glad to be writing my life story with.

Here’s to many, many more anniversaries!

The Speaker of the House

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The Hubs and I have been together since 1998- that’s 17 years for the math challenged. We’re creeping up on the point where I’ll have known the Hubs longer than I haven’t known him and that kind of blows my mind.  When you’ve known someone for so long, you (or at least I) see the whole of them and take what they are like, or what they do, completely for granted. I mean, he’s the Hubs. He’s awesome and funny and a temperamental diva. I still get butterflies when we go out on dates and I enjoy his company more often than not. But he’s my husband and sometimes I forget that his career path and life outside of our family is one that is, objectively, fascinating.

Last week the Hubs was the keynote speaker at a Leadership Awards Banquet at our local college (and his Alma Mater) that was recognizing students on campus that had made an impact in a variety of ways. The students themselves were an amazing group and gave me a ton of hope for our future but, selfishly, it was the introduction of the Hubs and his speech that blew me away.

It really gave me a chance to sit back and see the Hub’s through other people’s eyes. They didn’t know that he leaves his wet towel on the bed or can’t be bothered to actually put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of on the counter next to it. The audience doesn’t see the hours he spends weekly playing the kid’s sport of choice with them or the way Ron Swanson on Park and Rec makes him laugh until he can’t breath.  After 17 years together, I live with the good, the bad and ugly. So it was so freaking amazing to see him outside of our little family unit (where I’m the loudmouth) telling funny stories, sharing quotes and talking about his adventures.

If you ever get to see your significant other in his element, do it- it’s a great reminder of how just awesome that person is on their own.

 

 

There’s No Place Like Home

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Last weekend  I flew to San Francisco for 5 days to attend a conference. The day before I left, we were at a party with quite a few friends and the running joke was whether or not the house would be still be standing when I got home. The Hubs had never spent this much time parenting solo before. Ever.

Because of the flexible work-at-home nature of my job and the inflexible nature of his, a lot of the domestic stuff like shuttling kids back and forth, making dinner, grocery shopping and doing laundry falls to me. I’m the homework task master, the CEO of permission slips and lunch making and the czar of family logistics. It’s a system that works for us and keeps everyone happy. That’s not the say the Hubs doesn’t help out because he does quite a lot, but this is the first time he’d have to wear both hats at the same time for so long.

On our way home from that party, the Hubs remarked that those jokes weren’t funny, they were going to do just fine without me.  So with that ringing in my ears, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country to have a fabulous week in one of my favorite cities.

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I learned a lot, saw some amazing speakers, got to hear Bruno Mars live and ate so much good food that it makes me sick to think about it.

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And when I got home, the house was still standing, the kids and all the pets were still alive and the Hubs had it all under control. I missed them all like mad, but good lord it was so much easier going away now that the kids are older! Taking care of them isn’t a guessing game, we can catch up on the phone every night without someone crying and they can tell us exactly what they are thinking.

Coming home was awesome- and crazy- as we left the next day for a weekend away to see Disney on Ice Present Frozen (more on that later)! Scorch and the Hubs were thrilled to have me back, as was the Bean, although she’s made me pay for leaving at least once a day since I got back. At least my little spitfire is predictable in her unpredictableness.

 

Lucky 13

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Today the Hubs and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. If the Gods are smiling on us, we won’t be spending it eating dinner at Friendly’s. But since we’re going out with the kids, we probably will. That Mac n’ Frank meal is a staple of the Bean’s diet.

This year for our anniversary I resurrected the “10 Things I Love About You” list. It was something the Hubs and I used to do for each other on Valentine’s Day instead of getting each other gifts. But then it fell the wayside. Life got busy and it just wasn’t a priority- it was easier to get a card and some flowers and call it good. But this year, I told Hubs it was all I wanted for our anniversary.

When we got married people always told us to make sure we took time for ourselves as a couple; to tend to our marriage. And we nodded and smiled and thought these people were crazy- of course we were going to take time as a couple. Of course we were always going to put each other first. We were madly in love and only had eyes for each other so that advice seemed a bit redundant.

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13 years later, it makes perfect sense. Kids happened. Life happened. Jobs, friends, volunteering, coaching. All these priorities started competing for our attention and it was easy to take each other for granted. The calendar filled up with a million things taking us both in opposite directions. The kisses goodnight became routine and not passionate and the conversation stopped being deep or funny and ambitious and just started being about what we were doing the next day.

Nothing drastic happened, but we both realized this year that we forgot to put the attention on us. Which is where it should be. Because without us, everything else falls apart. So it was time to pull back the “10 Things I Love About Your” list. These lists are hard – at first it’s hard to think about 10 distinct things. Then it’s hard to narrow it down. And then it’s hard to write it all down and explain it. The lists take time and effort and a lot of thought- which is the most I can ask of any gift.

I love this man like mad and saying “I do” was one of the best decisions of my life. So here’s to 13 more crazy years filled with love, laughter, tears and all the rest of the good things life has to offer!

 

Handy Manny

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Thanks to some of Mother Nature’s fury, we’ve found ourselves with a big old tree stump in our yard. So the Hub did what any red-blooded, American father would do.  He promised the kids he’d build a tree fort on top of this stump for them.

Telling the kids that was a huge rookie mistake because now they think they are getting a tree fort tomorrow. Or maybe by Friday.  Saturday for sure at the latest, right?

Ummm…no. For various reason, it’ll be weeks until it happens, but my kids are completely undeterred by this. So, Scorch came up with his wish list for this fort:

> monkey bars
> rope ladder
> regular ladder
> 2 trap doors
> 1 hidden room
> a table
> 2 benches
> 5 windows
> a slide to be used to leave the fort
> 8 Nerf guns to be used to wage war on anyone who approaches

I can’t help but laugh because my husband is good at a lot of things, but he’s never built anything like this (or even a much simpler version). Are we building from scratch? Getting a kit? Hoping the kids forget he even suggested this? I have no idea what direction this is going to go, but I do promise it’ll produce a lot of stories!

 

 

12 Years Later

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12 years ago today, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning before anyone else in my house did. My stomach was doing flips and there was no point in trying to sleep anymore. At 7, after a shower, I welcomed our hairdresser/makeup artist into my parents house and shared a quiet breakfast with him before everyone else start stirring. It was the last quiet moment I had all day.  By 7:30, my parents and siblings were up, the bridesmaids arrived and the house became this crazy den of excitement and laughter and jitters.  Before I knew it, the limo arrived and we headed to the church. I wasn’t nervous until my girls started to walk up the aisle, so I did what I always do when I get nervous- I started talking. My poor father was just trying to get us up the aisle and I wouldn’t stop running my mouth.  Until I saw the Hubs and all the nerves just went away.  I was getting married to him– there was nothing to be nervous about.

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Before God, our family and our friends we said our vows.  We promised to love, honor and respect each other no matter what. I said them then, and I’d say them again today.

We had two days without the kids this weekend and I’m always delighted in how much I not only love my husband, but how much I like him. He makes me laugh, we always have something to talk about and I just enjoy his company.  It’s not always sunshine and roses around these parts, but the good times far outweigh the bad and I couldn’t be happier living this adventure with the Hubs by my side.

The Pill Pusher

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Guess who has two thumbs and a husband with the flu AND mono?

This girl!

Yeah- it’s been a fun week here at the Heat Household. Monday morning both Scorch and I woke up with a cold. The doctor had told the Hubs when he was diagnosed with the flu last week that if anyone developed flu or cold symptoms, to call the doctor immediately.  So I did what any (lazy, procrastinating) parent would do and waited 24 hours to see if the symptoms would go away or turn out to be allergies. Tuesday came around and I was 1000x worse, Scorch was the same and Beaner was saying her throat hurt. I called both my doctor and the kid’s pediatrician and both said they wanted all of us on Tamiflu immediately.

Hmm…ok. No blood test? Nothing? Nope- just straight to medication. I was a little leery of this, but honestly after seeing how sick the Hubs was/is, I felt it was better to be safe than sorry and risk ruining the rest of our summer.

So now guess who has two thumbs and insurance that has a $250 deductible per person for name brand prescription medication? Yup..this girl! And now guess which $100+ medication doesn’t have a generic counterpart? Yup… Tamiflu!  And guess which medication, in liquid form, is said to be so disgusting that it’s made many friend’s kids puke upon taking it? Yup…Tamiflu again!  So after some discussions with our pediatrician, I got the medication in pill form for both kids.

Now, my fights with the Bean over taking medication is legendary in my family. Or, maybe just in my own head- but either way, getting her to take meds in the past has been a nightmare.  So now not only do I have to get her to take meds, I have to teach her how to swallow a pill. Scorch, bless his heart, already knows how, so last night he and I were talking up how easy it was to swallow pills, how it doesn’t taste like anything, how quick it was and on and on and on. When the magic hour arrived, Scorch showed Bean how to do it, narrating every single step. Then it was time for Bean to give it a shot. And she DID IT!

We all danced around the kitchen like freaking loons celebrating because you guys, my five year old can swallow pills!!!! Do you know how much easier and neater my life just became?!?! I have never once felt so successful as a parent!  The only downside is the Bean wants to take pills all the time now- so trying to convince her she can only take her medication once a day has become my new full time job.