Friday, May 27, 2011

When Love Gives Everything

I was struck by an article in the news today. The story of a man in Joplin, Missouri, who covered his wife with his body during the tornado. He was able to save her life but he died before she could get him to an ambulance. I know that this is not an isolated incident and I’m always amazed to hear the stories of people who die to save others. My intention here is not to jump on the emotional bandwagon or exploit what must be a devastating loss for this woman and hundreds of others. But I was deeply touched by this story. It was a reminder of the great depths love is capable of.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

- John 15:13 (NIV)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Total Catch: The Story of My Husband and the Hot Bartender

I’ll start this post by saying that I have always known my husband is a total catch. But when you’ve been married to a total catch for just short of five years, you get accustomed to the ‘total catchness’ and it’s easy to forget how wonderful he really is.

Leave it up to a total stranger to remind me.

I’ve been laid up on the couch all weekend, trying to fight off a mean, little cold that appeared out of nowhere, leaving Kyle to his own devices. Yesterday, he stopped at a sports bar to order some hot wings (he may be a total catch, as I’ve said before, but cook he does not).

He arrives home sometime later, managing to look embarrassed, surprised, and flustered all at once. He proceeds to tell me about an attractive waitress who tried repeatedly to buy him a shot of whiskey and give him her phone number. He told her how sorry he was, that he was married (he doesn’t wear his wedding ring to work anymore because he hurt his hand), but that he genuinely appreciated the compliment. Embarrassed, she (who is, apparently, not just a waitress but also a law student) apologized profusely and told him how few good-looking nice guys her age came into the bar.

I would probably be more shocked by this story if it were the first time something like this has happened. But Kyle gets this kind of attention a lot – all of which he finds consistently bewildering and flattering. Because, in true ‘total catch’ form, he seriously has no idea that he is. (Of course, if he decides to read this post, he’ll finally realize the truth and become impossible to live with. I’m envisioning the t-shirt he’ll have made with “KYLE = TOTAL CATCH” emblazoned across it. So let’s just keep this between us, okay, guys?")
May Days 054

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Love is a Habit

Kyle and I spent a much-needed Sunday together being Columbus-y. After a wonderful church service in the morning, we hit up the Spring Flea, a Short North open air-market that mostly sells vintage clothes, jewelry, and music from local businesses. Booth fees for the flea market benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. I found those sweet (or as Kyle would say, “ugly”) glasses frames. Whatever. I’m a product of my generation.

After lunch, we went to one of our bookstores, Half Price Books to find some fun summer reading. As you can see from the pictures, Kyle (the deep one) ended up with The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and I (the guilty-pleasure one) found a biography on Marilyn Monroe.

We spent the rest of the day at Park of Roses. The gardens aren’t really flowering yet but the weather was gorgeous and the sun felt great. Kyle, naturally, used his super-sonic hearing to detect the only ice cream truck in a fifty-mile radius. We crashed on a blanket under a tree and did some reading. This was heavily interrupted by Madigan’s need to loudly inform us when any number of dangers might be happening by. These dangers might or might not have included: other dogs, other people, small children in strollers, joggers, bicycles, squirrels, a leaf….and so on. It was pretty much glorious.

A lot of today was prompted by a conversation Kyle and I had last night. Without getting into the complexities of it all, I will say here that Kyle’s job is on the third-shift which puts him at work from midnight to eight am five nights a week. It’s been this way for almost two years. And while we are again and again struck by the provision of God, it has not been easy to spend the majority of our nights apart. And lately, well…it’s taken its toll on our relationship. We have been short with each other, cranky, moody, impatient…last night we talked about how this pattern had almost become a habit for us, a defense mechanism for the stuff we’re facing in the outside world. And we agreed that loving each other is another kind of habit, responding with love and gentleness takes practice. We cannot spend 29 out of the 30 days of the month on edge with one another and expect for that 30th day to be loving. Kindness is a habit. Love (the verb) is a habit. Hard lesson being learned and I’m thankful for it.

Today was a gift.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thesis Acknowledgements Page: the unauthorized version

I’m still working on the acknowledgement page for my final thesis draft but I realized there were a few important people/things that deserved a slice of gratitude pie that I probably wouldn’t be allowed to mention in an official academic document. So in honor of my (hopefully) impending graduation, I present…

Acknowledgements Page: the unauthorized version
Undying (read: Zombie) love and highly mushy feelings for my poor, neglected husband, who for the last several months, has lived with a shell of the woman he married and tolerated a huge amount of mumbling about footnotes and interview transcripts over dinner (read: peanut butter and jelly) and stress-snoring every weekend.
Original Photo Credit: Night of the Living Dead
Big slobbery kisses and hugs to the many friends and colleagues who let me ponder, whine, cry, complain, worry, rant, rave, brag, process, and/or otherwise emote about all things thesis-related. Among them: Sarah, Beth, Kate, Emily P., Emily D., Francesca, Jill, John, Robin and the Facebook community-at-large.
I’d like to thank Five Hour Energy for helping me defy the need for sleep (also, the laws of space and time). Hallucinating spiders and musical notes after 28 hours up has never been so easy.
Mucho gratitude to Netflix Instant Watch for their generous support of my procrastination. Thanks, especially, for the obscure series runs. Who knew that I would have a deep-seated need to watch all eights seasons of Cheers? Why, Netflix, that’s who.
A special thank-you to my dog, Madigan, for making typing impossible. I’ve been trying to describe to people exactly how she does this. Here’s the best I can come up with:
Me: (typing)
Me: Hi, Maddy.
Me: Uh…hey…
Me: (now trying to type with dog blocking entire laptop screen)
Me: (relax arm)
Me: (lift arms to type again)
Me: What do you want, Madigan?
Me: (give up rest of afternoon to belly rubs and snuggling)
FASHION NOTE: Oh, hey, and here I am shopping for my commencement regalia. I’m thinking of going with black polyester…it just feels right.
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