Category Archives: The Hubs

Walking Disasters

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That about sums us up today…

This morning we got up and out a little earlier then usual so we could attend a fundraiser breakfast for the kid’s school. The kids were excited and I was thrilled because there are few things I like better then breakfast out.  But, we didn’t even make it out of the driveway before the drama started. Scorch wanted to bring two lego figures with him to breakfast and asked me to get him a good guy and a bad guy.  All I could find were two bad guys and he was Not Pleased. At all. So he generally threw a fit the entire 10 minute drive over.

When we got to the restaurant, Scorch dropped the hat to one of his lego guys into a crevice of the car and he couldn’t reach it.  This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal, but the Hubs was dropping us off and there was a line of 4 cars behind us waiting to get out while Scorch tried (unsuccessfully) to reach the freaking hat. The Hubs and I finally ended up yelling at him to get him to move out of the car before the folks behind us started honking.  So that’s why I walked into breakfast this morning with a 4 year telling me in a sticky sweet voice how good she’s been and my 6 year old crying. Awesome.

The kids and I got a table, I got Scorch calmed down and we went up the buffet line.  The Hubs wasn’t there, but I decided that we’d be fine. I’d hold the Bean’s plate along with mine and Scorch could hold his.  So I’m ordering my food while constantly muttering “use two hands” under my breath to Scorch. I swear I only took a 2 second break in  my mantra, but that was enough. Scorch got distracted and that big china plate tumbled to the ground, breaking into a million pieces.  Now, if there is anything Scorch hates more then calling attention to himself in a negative way, I don’t know what it is. So suddenly I’m juggling two full plates with a 6 year old burrowing into my side all while trying to help clean up a mess and apologizing left and right.  That was fun.

But the mess got cleaned up and we made it back to the table with our food- just in time for the Hubs to arrive. Finally- man on man defense. So we all dig in and make it 5 whole minutes before disaster strikes again. Just as the Hubs got done warning the Bean to move her cup to the inside of the table, he knocks his OJ to the ground- and, in the process of cleaning that, he dumps the Bean’s water.  As this point, all I can do is laugh. I mean- come on. It’s not even 10:30 in the morning.  I bet the entire wait staff (all 6th graders and parent volunteers) let out a huge sigh of relief when we left.

I wish I could say the day got better, but it really didn’t. The Hubs got a migraine, I was that mom putting her kids in timeout in the aisles of Target and Scorch managed to spill half of my much-loved Starbucks hot chocolate.  But our evening was spent with friends, the Hubs is feeling better and both kids are sound asleep.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is much, much less eventful!

 

Well, That was Awesome!

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And it was. It, of course, being Christmas!  All the shopping, wrapping, stress, anticipation and craziness was more than worth it for all the fun we’ve had in the past 8 days.

To recap, we have:

> Celebrated Christmas 7 times since last Saturday: 1) the Hub’s Dad’s side of the family, 2) the Hub’s Mom’s side of the family, 3) my immediate family (parents, siblings, etc), 4) my Dad’s side of the family, 5) just the 4 of us, 6) Christmas night hodgepodge at my aunt and uncle’s and 7) my Mom’s side of the family. And we still have one more celebration to go!

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> Taken over 300 new pictures.

> Celebrated my brother’s engagement!

> Gone through 3 rolls of wrapping paper and 3 rolls of tape.

> Unwrapped all those hard-wrapped presents in under 20 minutes each time we’ve exchanged gifts.

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> Eaten more food in one week then I have in months- and enjoyed every bite of it.

> Spent 2+ hours sledding.

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> Driven well over 400 miles doing round trips to various family members homes.

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> Gone on one date night, had one breakfast with friends from high school and had one girl’s night out with my sister and mom.

> Watched Scorch put together 7 lego sets and meltdown approximately 100 times when said lego sets fall apart when moving them around.

> Had a billion lightsaber fights since we are now the proud owners of 7 lightsabers (you can never have too many, you know).

> Watched 4 movies with the Hubs- only one of which I’d recommend (Trouble with the Curve).

> Enjoyed each and every day of this vacation as both the Hubs and I have been off since the 24th!

All in all? This has been one amazing holiday!

 

 

Man vs. Tree, Christmas Style

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Last weekend it was time to get our Christmas tree.  Heck, if it was up to Hubs, we’d have our tree in Oct. But since we get a live tree, that just isn’t feasible (thank goodness!).  We didn’t have time to make our annual pilgrimage to the local tree farm- you know that place in the middle of no where you drive to, spend 2 hours walking around and end up selecting the first tree you saw at the bottom of the hill? Yeah- that didn’t fit into our schedule this year, so we went to the picturesque lot right in the Burger King parking lot.

We were looking for a specific type of tree (Concolor Fir) and this lot only had 4 of them. None of them looked that impressive to me- they all looked a little short and not terribly full, but we had to get a tree that day and we didn’t have the time to drive all over God’s green earth to look at another lot. So we picked a tree.

As the Hubs was walking it over to the car, I noticed that the tree towered over him. Given that the Hubs is over 6 feet tall, it started to occur to me that perhaps the tree was larger then I gave it credit for.  The very nice guy who ran the lot offered to trim the trunk for us- so  he, and his awesome chain saw, made quick work out of lopping at least 8 inches off the bottom.  Perfect. On to the car it went and we took our tree home.

The next day it was time to put the tree up.  It became apparent very quickly that all that trimming we did wasn’t nearly enough. Yes, those are branches bending over b/c they have hit my 9 foot high ceiling.

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Never mind- that’s not anything that another quick trim can’t fix. On to decorating we go! This is the first year ever that both kids were super psyched to help us decorated AND were actually helpful.  Having kids is finally paying off!

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Things were going swimmingly until it was time to put the star on the tree. After we had the kids fight it out cage-match style to figure out who got this honor, it was time for Beaner to put  it on (she’s small, but she’s strong*).  That is, until she completely freaked out over being that high up on the Hub’s shoulders and flat out refused to try to put it up.  We gave Scorch a shot and he maned up and got the star on there.  Only there was a small problem:

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Yup..when we gave our tree its haircut, we didn’t take into account the height of the star.  The words that came out of the Hubs mouth when trimming our tree for the 3rd time were neither family friendly or in the holiday spirit.  But we did it!

I give you the Griswold Family Christmas Tree:

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Now, let’s all say a quick prayer that 1) no woodland creatures emerge from it and 2) my cats don’t knock it over. Amen.

 

 

*Name that movie.

30 Days of Thanks: Good Tunes

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I was struggling last summer to come up with birthday gift ideas for myself. I mean, I need new towels and would love a Dyson, but that’s not fun at all. So I told the Hubs that I wanted an experience- a trip, a concert, lessons, something like that. I didn’t need another piece of jewelry or a shirt- I wanted to do something.  And my husband, bless him, delivered in a big way.

Last night we saw the Zac Brown Band play- and it was amazing.

Cell phone pic from the concert.

Now, concerts aren’t the Hub’s thing at all. It’s crowed, parking is a bitch, there are loud people everywhere and half of them are drunk, the beers are at least $7 and when we leave, your ears ring for hours.  But I love concerts- the energy, the vibe, making friends with the people around you, the dancing and the really, really bad sing alongs. Love ’em- and I haven’t been going to nearly enough of them lately. Before the kids were born I hit a bunch of shows- Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen, Blues Travelers, Big & Rich, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel and on and on- but since we had the kids we’ve basically stopped going and last night’s show proved to me that we have to fix that, pronto.

ZBB puts on a hell of show- they play their best songs along with a bunch of cover songs (The Joker by Steve Miller Band was my favorite) and everyone just ate it up.  Zac himself was awesome both on vocals and on guitar, and he was backed by true musicians that were just as much fun to watch and listen to.  I could have watched his fiddle player play for 2 hours by himself he was that good.  Even the opening act was fantastic- I have absolutely no complaints about the show from beginning to end.

So tonight, I’m very thankful for great music that fills my soul and for a husband that sucks it up so I can enjoy an amazing night!

 

Playing Catch Up

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The Good

> Hell week at work is over. My project was out on time and with minimal bumps. Doesn’t mean the work is over (it’s never, ever over) but I’m over the first hurdle.

> We had a fantastic weekend. My parents picked up the kids after school on Friday because the Hubs and I had a wedding to attend 6 hours away on Saturday. We spent Friday night at home (I was coming off a 16 hour work day)- we went out to dinner to celebrate and were in bed by 10. My idea of a perfect evening. We got up and out on Saturday and drove to my favorite city (DC) for a quick 24 hour visit. The wedding was beautiful, we had a great time and the car ride was blissful with no kids to worry about.  It always makes me very, very happy to be reminded of how much I like spending time with my husband.

> We were spared Sandy’s wrath. The forecast was not looking good yesterday during the day- we were told to prepare for 3-5 days without power, but a last minute turn in the storm means we got hit with exactly nothing. Some rain and some wind, but nothing crazy or life threatening. My heart goes out to all those hit hard by the storm.

> Halloween tomorrow! I’m ignoring the ugly weather we’re going to get (40’s and pouring rain) and just focusing on how excited the kids are!

Now, for the bad…I have 7 loads of laundry to fold. Blech.  Back tomorrow with a more coherent post…promise.

Simplification: Part 2

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A year ago, I shared that we made the decision to close our small business.  What I didn’t get into is how very, very hard that decision was.

We bought that business when Scorch was 5 months old. It was a huge leap of faith and one we made convinced that doing so would only improve our lives.  I remember the three of us driving around after we signed all the papers looking at some of the fanciest homes in town wondering how long it would take us to make enough money to afford one. Surely not more then 4 or 5 years until the only job the Hubs had to work was one that he loved, one where he set his own hours, that one that was his true passion.

And for the first 2 years, life was great.  Our business wasn’t making us rich, but it was doing well and we loved running it. Every dime we made, we put back into it upgrading equipment and making cosmetic repairs. We’d spend weekends there cleaning or making improvements with Scorch, and then the Bean, in the pack n play watching us dance around as we painted the walls or steam cleaned the carpets.  It wasn’t fancy- but it was ours and we were determined to make it work.

But then things got hard. The economy crashed and our clientele dried up as most people didn’t have $100+ per week to spend on our services any more. Local businesses who sent their employees to us went bankrupt.  With two little kids at home, I didn’t have the time to devote to the business, so the Hubs was picking up all the slack.  The hours there weren’t fun any more- they were desperate as we tried to keep things going.  We had 2 full time and 3 part time people working there that depended on us- we couldn’t fail.

The stress invaded every single aspect of our lives.  Weekends that used to include family time now included the kids and I at home alone while the Hubs worked his butt off coming up with new ideas, new programs, new anything to keep clients coming in our door so we could make payroll and pay our rent.  We didn’t feel like we could make family trips or even enjoy any time away from home because we were so consumed with how we could make things work.  We were so afraid that if we stepped away for even a moment, that is when disaster would strike. I really thought we were heading for divorce as all we could think about, talk about, surround ourselves with were issues related to the business.

It was a miserable way to live.

Finally a year ago, things came to a head and after trying to make a few last minute desperate changes we came to the realization that our  business wasn’t working any more. After weeks of sleepless night, more tears then I could count and more stress then I ever want to feel again, we closed our doors. I can’t even describe to you the sick feeling in the pits of our stomach when we made that decision. We could barely look at each other- all our hopes and dreams were shattered and all we were left with was the balance of our small business loans and each other.  I didn’t know how we’d pick up the pieces- that time was almost as dark as the hours we spent trying to make it all work.

But here we are- a year later and we’re still standing. I still can’t think of the business without feeling sad and disappointed. But I also feel free.  I feel like our life is ours again. I have a husband who’s home and involved and so very present in our lives- and it’s the biggest blessing.  We’re not walking around on egg shells with each other anymore in fear of setting the other person- a person who’s already on edge- completely off.   There is no feeling of dread and physical sickness when we have to pay our bills wondering how in the hell we’re going to make ends meet.  Yes, we’ve had to tighten our belt over this past year to pay down our loans, but I’ll take that over the way we were living last year any day of the week.

I don’t know why I’m sharing all this now, but I guess with the year anniversary of the closing it’s on my mind a lot. I look around and marvel how much life has changed for the better in this past year and I’m so very, very thankful we decided to simplify.

Exhaustion, Thy Name is Heather

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There were a string of summers about 10 or so years ago where we had a wedding to attend every single weekend.  It wasn’t unheard of to have 8 or 9 weddings a summer- it was fun, crazy and expensive. Now that 95% of our friends are married, those summers are a thing of the past and we only have 1-3 weddings a year. This year we had 3 weddings to go to and, as luck would have it, 2 out of the 3 were this weekend. We had one wedding Friday night 2.5 hours northwest of here and 1 wedding an hour south of us on Saturday.  So, thanks to my mother-in-law and her extraordinary babysitting skill, the Hubs and I were able to party like it was 2002 for 2 days.  Some random thoughts:

1) We are too old and tired to party like it’s 2002 for 2 nights. 1 night, yes. 2 nights, no. We all showered today, but no one got out of their PJs all day.
2) Weddings make me cry- even weddings where I don’t know the bride or groom well like the beautiful wedding we attended Friday night.
3) I love, love, love getting dressed up but I hate wearing heels.  I whimpered when I had to put back on my (gorgeous) heels on Saturday.
4) A day spent with some of my oldest friends is time wonderfully well spent.  It boggles my mind that I have know such wonderful women since I was in 3rd grade.
5) Having friends who date/marry equally great guys makes going to wedding so much more fun since I don’t have to twist the Hubs arms.  He has just as much fun as I do!
6) Some people should not make speeches at weddings. Period.
7) Always eat before you go to a wedding reception- because you may not get fed dinner until hours after the reception starts (see #6 above)

T-minus 29 days until wedding #3 of 2012. I’m going to sleep straight through until then. *yawn*

Daddy Dearest

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Doesn’t seem fair to post about Mother’s Day back in May and not post about Father’s Day, does it?

We got the the Hubs some great gifts for Father’s Day- but the best gift we could have given him was letting him sleep in. So that is what we did- until 9:30. Considering my kids get up at 6 am, that is no small feat! We woke him up with his favorite breakfast (2 doughnuts and a coffee from Tim Hortons- we’re nothing if not healthy!) and gave him his gifts. Scorch made him a beautiful key chain in school- one that’s sitting on our keys right now.  And the Bean? Well, the Bean painted a rock for the Hubs to use as a paper weight. She glued these outrageous long-lashed googly eyes on it and carefully put it in a gift bag for him. But when she took the rock out (because my kids never let anyone open their own presents), one of the eyes fell off. Without missing a beat, she told the Hubs the rock was now a pirate rock that had an eye patch instead of an eye. Perfect.

After going to Mass that morning, we went down to the Hub’s grandparents house for a few hours. Grandpa isn’t doing well- he hasn’t bee doing well for quite some time. He stayed in bed and slept most of the time we were there, but that’s ok. He knew we were there and he knows we love him and sometimes that’s the best gift you can give someone.  The kids spent the time Grandpa was awake telling him stories and keeping up the happy kind of commotion only little kids can bring to a house. And seeing Grandpa is good for them. Unfortunately they won’t really have any memories of him in his prime, but they still know that he’ll listen to them and laugh at their stories. And he’s showing them that illness and dying can be done with grace and that it’s not something to fear- a priceless lesson as far as I’m concerned.

 

After hiking through the property and getting bit by the bugs, it was time to say our goodbyes and head out to my  parents for a BBQ with my Dad. Have I told you all I have the best dad in the world? Because I do (with the exception of the Hubs, of course). My Dad currently plays tennis competitively a few times a week. Do you want to know why he started playing tennis? Because I started playing tennis and he didn’t know how to play- so he figured he’d better learn so we’d have something to talk about. I haven’t picked up a racket in 10+ years, but my old man is crushing it a few times a week.  He also makes me CDs of some of the new (to him) music he’s found- he’s the reason I started listening to Mumford and Sons a few years back. He’s funny and smart and so damn personable it’s impossible to go anywhere with him without either seeing someone he knows or making a new friend.  He’s the Bean’s best buddy- I think she’s rather hang out with her Papa more then just about anyone in the world.  She’s got good taste.

After our time in the pool and eating my parents food, it was time to head back home to put the kiddos to bed. One the way home, the Hubs called his father.  We don’t see my father-in-law as much as I’d like, but he’s an important part of Father’s Day whether he’s here in person or not. After all, he’s the one who taught the Hubs how to be a father. How to raise his kids with love and kindness and fun, but also with respect. He taught the Hubs the importance of being involved- by coaching and being there for dinners and walking his kids into school. The Hubs is one of the best father’s I know, and he learned that all from his Dad.

When I met the Hubs almost 15 years ago now (!!!!), I knew he’s be a good dad. With some guys, you can just tell. But I didn’t know what kind of dad he’d be. Would he be the strong, silent type? The goofball, buddy dad? The involved dad in the dugout or the dad on the sidelines cheering his kids on?  He’s all of those dads- and more. He’s what he needs to be for our kids in any given situation. He’s not perfect (nor am I)- but he’s got the best quality of all. Love- and lots of it.  My kids may not always like us, they may not always agree with us- but they will always, always know they are loved.  And that makes the Hubs the best kind of dad of all.

 

 

 

 

Dating- Old Folks Style

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My parents, bless their hearts, took the kids Saturday afternoon for the weekend. It was like a gift from heaven. I love those buggers more then life, but sometimes it’s nice to not have to be a parent for 26 hours.  So how does a couple who’ve been together 14.5 years spend that much time without their kids? Read on…

After wasting time at home for a few hours doing nothing more taxing then reading my Nook, the Hubs and I went to see Battleship. It was exactly how you’d think it would be- a fun, shoot ’em up alien movie with a hot cast. It didn’t make much sense, but we both really enjoyed it for the mental floss it was.

On our way out of the mall, we walked by the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym to get to get to our car. There were a ton of people coming in and out (odd for 9:30 pm) and lot of noise. After being nosy and peeking through the windows we figured out they were having a MMA tournament. The bouncer saw our interest and asked if wanted to come in. Since the matches were 75% of the way complete, they let us both in for the price of 1 and we figured what the hell.

So that is how I ended up spending the end of our first date night in forever watching grown men beat the snot out of each other instead of over drinks and dinner.

It’s hard to tell, but we were in the Family/ Staff area and on the other side of the ring there were about 200+ people watching the matches. I admit to being fascinated with MMA / UFC since seeing Warrior (if you haven’t seen it, rent it. Now. Hand’s down the best movie we saw in 2011) but I was surprised how into it we got. I mean- it’s brutal. One guy got a compound fracture in his foot- it was gross. And, again, fascinating.

We hung out for about an hour before heading home because we’re old. And because we had to get up at 6:45 the next morning to go work out. The Hubs teaches a bootcamp style class with another trainer and typically I can’t go due to those pesky kids of ours. But there was no way he was letting me sleep in on Sunday while he went to teach, so off to class I went.  Now- the Hubs and I haven’t worked out together since 2001. The Hubs is hardcore into fitness and takes his workouts very seriously. I work out so I don’t gain too much weight and get diabetes.  Last time we worked out together in 2001, the Hubs stormed out of the gym because I rolled my eyes at him and refused to do another rep of something or another. Not our finest hour- so much so its taken us 11 years to try it again. I honestly don’t know who was more nervous heading in!

But, we did fine! The class was great- so great in fact that it currently hurts to laugh, bend over, raise my arms above my head, sneeze, cough and sit down.  After that 1 class, I’m frankly glad the kids force me to stay home and miss out- my muscles can’t handle much more of that!

 

 

How to Give Your Husband a Complex: Part I & II

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Part I

“Heather- come in here. Now, please.”

I’m a little annoyed at the Hub’s request this morning as I’m in the middle of a battle of wills with the Bean over what shirt she can wear to school. Normally I let her pick- but a fleece long sleeved shirt with a hood is a bit much on an 80 degree day.  So I’m a little huffy as I walk into our bedroom- until I get a look at the Hubs.

He’s standing there wearing his work pants and one of the brand new white t-shirts I bought him to wear under his polos.  I just bought the white shirts yesterday- they are freshly washed and ready to go for a new week.  These are the t-shirts I always gets him in the size he always wears- only this shirt is skin tight and about 2 inches to short.

I can’t help it, I started cracking up.  The Hubs is not amused as he asked me if it’s possible the t-shirts shrunk. Sure- they may have shrunk, but not that much. I suggested that perhaps he needs a bigger size and ran out of the room before I could bear the brunt of his string of curses. He texted me later in the day talking about the strict diet he’s going on and how he’s doubling up his workouts.

This afternoon as we’re getting the garbage ready for trash day, the Hubs found the package from the t-shirts I bought him. Turns out I bought him his size in a boys not in mens!  I have never seen him so relieved in my life.

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Part II

Despite what my teasing may suggest, the Hubs is in great shape because he works out 5-6 days a week.  He came home after tonight’s workout telling me about this annoying kid who was cheering him on during his exercises.

Come on, buddy, you can do it! Way to go, man!

When I asked the Hubs how old the kid was, he told me he was 18.  Without thinking, I said “Oh, so he’s exactly half your age. He really is young!”

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hubs doesn’t speak to me the rest of the night.