us II

More on what makes us tick!

  • We love music. Both of us. It is not unusual for Christian worship to be playing in the living room, 80’s rock-and-roll in my office and Christian hard-rock in Adam’s office. All at the same time. Throw in a little bit of Beatles, Bob Marley and IZ and we are happy, happy happy. We usually have spa-like music (think running water from a river-type of music) playing on pandora while reading before bed at night to wind down from the day.
  • Our nieces and nephews have been perhaps the biggest thing in our lives for well-over a decade. Aside from occasionally traveling by ourselves, our time has been spent going to football, basketball, and volleyball games, even a little track and a few plays here and there. Throw in a graduation or five and we have enjoyed watching these little people become big people.
  • There are perhaps two things that we are most proud of. First, how successful my baby brother (AKA Boy) is as we like to think that we played a (teeny) role in helping him become who he is. Secondly, we are very proud of the financial strides we have made in the past five years. This is big for us. Really big. We used to be credit-card people. That is a thing of the past and we are very proud of this.
  • We don’t have TV. Well, we have lots of TVs in the house (exercise room, living room, our bedroom) but do not have cable. This is something we started several years back after we realized that we would just sit and stare at the TV, doing nothing with ourselves. For a few years we would still get cable from August to February so we could watch football but this year we didn’t even do that. I WILL admit….it sucks not being able to watch football right now. We do watch shows or movies on netflix or vudu, though so we are unfortunately not completely disconnected!
  • We love to garden together. We never had a garden until we moved to our current home where we started above-ground square foot gardening and we have loved it! We mostly do it all together, including canning. We’ve canned peaches, stewed tomatoes, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce and pickles. Every year we put up carrots, peas and corn and store our potatoes in the crawl space for the winter.
  • We love to work on our home. Whether it is completely repainting a room a different color together or making projects together. We are a good combo. Adam does the sewing and sawing, I do the putting-together of things.
  • We flirt. Adam more than me. With each other, of course!! Adam is very grabby and teases me relentlessly. I love that guy.
  • We sleep with a box fan. This is something Adam “brought” to the marriage but is a staple now. Whenever we travel (even in Mexico!) we have our taxi take us to a walmart or somewhere similar to get a box fan on the way to our hotel. We finally smartened up and now keep a box fan in our car for when we travel that way. I can’t tell you how many box fans we have bought over the years because we “forgot” to bring one. I think we have at least 5 or 6 of them in storage! Every night when I turn the fan on Adam says it’s “the best sound in the world!”.

 

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something to look forward to

One thing we decided right away after losing Noelle was that we should plan a trip to give ourselves something to look forward to. Something to aimlessly “google” while planning. I most definitely recommend this to anyone in a similar situation. We spent hours in bed on our laptops trying to decide where we should go, what we should do. We’d never been to Mexico and chose an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. It would be perfect. We chose to be placed in the adults-only area of the resort in an ocean-view room and scheduled spa appointments! The first week of April couldn’t come soon enough!

First let me say that in April Mexico is not all it is cracked up to be-ha! People had told us it was like Hawaii, only cheaper (we.love.hawaii). It was not at all like Hawaii. I mean it is near a body of water but that is the only thing similar. It was hot and humid just like at home in Nebraska in August! We quickly learned that the place to be was literally on the beach and then….then, it was awesome!

The arrival at our resort left a lot to be desired. To say we were disappointed does not even get close to what happened. Initially we were dropped off at this beautiful area where they greeted us with fancy drinks. It was quiet and dark with a lovely smell of some sort and beautiful music was in the background.

Stop. This is as far as the beauty went. =)

We were (very) quickly informed that due to an over-booking problem they did not have a room for us and that instead, we needed to go to the “family” side where there was a room waiting for us. I kid you not (ha, no pun intended). When we walked in to our “new” resort there were those little cars that your child can ride in while you push behind them. They all lined up just waiting for people to use. The food area where snacks/beverages were included juice, milk and fruits and veggies all cut into finger-food/bite-sized for kids. There was a “candy” section.

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The mini-bar in our room was not stocked in your typical way. It was full of chocolate milk and bug juice. We went out our balcony and the only thing in view (certainly NO ocean) was a huge kiddie pool with inflatables, slides, etc. They delivered milk and cookies to our room at bedtime. There were potty pads on the beds under the sheets. Are you laughing yet? It is kind of funny……..now. The problem was that we had spent over three months using this trip as our focus to “get through” each day. And it was not AT. ALL. what we had imagined it would be.

The next morning Adam left me in the room and went to the adult’s only side to speak with their manager, trying to explain that being in an “all-child” zone 24 hours per day was not in our best interest-they offered him a drink! Of course, there was simply nothing they could do. I could not (could. not.) stay there for $500 per night. There was simply no way. I was ready to fly home right then. In comes my little brother, aka boy. Being a world-traveler (literally) he had some connections and within two hours we were in a taxi on our way to the Riviera Maya. When we pulled up to this, we knew all was right with the world….

Entrance Day

The picture says it all. Boy was our hero and there was a happy ending!

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on friends/family having babies

Shortly before losing Noelle we got a call. From my baby Brother. I remember him sounding nervous which was unlike him. He and his beautiful bride have been married for four years now. A little background….my brother is 10 years younger than I and when we were young….I did not like him. This is the truth. I was the baby when he came and was the “new” baby! It wasn’t until my late teens that I began to really appreciate having him in my life and in my 20’s became very close to him. Today I can say that other than my Husband, my little brother knows more about me than any other. I have two best friends in this world. My Husband and my brother. There is nothing I wouldn’t share with him. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I have cried over the phone to him these past three years and he has listened with open ears, encouraging from afar (Montana to be exact!).

My brother and his wife became unexpectedly pregnant. They knew for some time before sharing their news with us, simply out of respect for what we were going through. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for them to tell us, knowing that we would do anything to be in their shoes! He called my Husband earlier that day to tell him first and to be sure that was a good day to share the news with me. My initial reaction was envy and jealousy. I cried. Then I laughed as it was a true shock! I didn’t see it coming although I knew they would be great parents someday I didn’t think so soon. In fact, since our older siblings children are essentially “grown-up”, we often would talk about how we were going to raise our kids at the same time, cousins growing up together!

I felt such guilt because of the way I felt. It was so very hard to keep in mind that feeling envious was simply my anger and grief at my own situation in disguise. My feelings were normal. Although I was frustrated and sad, I was genuinely excited and absolutely thrilled for this blessing. The blessing of a beautiful child for them and a new niece/nephew for me to spoil!!!

For the first time in decades (literally) my brother and I found our relationship….strained, I guess is the only way I can put it. This was simply because it was awkward for me to express excitement and to actually ask how my sister-in-law was doing with the pregnancy. It certainly wasn’t because I didn’t want to know because I did. I had so many things I wished I could say to my brother and sister-in-law but simply could not verbalize my thoughts.

I (we, as in my brother and his wife) struggled for months….literally. I have seen a Nurse Practitioner that specializes in mental health once a year since I was diagnosed with depression in 2003. She and I had a phone meeting as Adam and I were on our way to Conceptions in Denver about my situation with my brother. She reinforced that I was normal. She gave me one of the best recommendations I have ever received and I am so thankful for her. She recommended I write a letter to my brother and sister-in-law. You have to remember that although I was hurting and finding the whole “situation” difficult, they were undoubtedly also struggling. I knew that if I didn’t figure out how to cope with my feelings soon that they would be hurt by me….and that was the absolute last thing I wanted to happen. I love them so very much.

Writing them a letter and putting all of my thoughts on paper, good and bad, would help them to not only understand what was happening in my heart but would also help them to know that I was truly excited for this baby. And, to also reinforce that I held no feelings of resentment towards them whatsoever. It helped. I felt such a weight lifted and I hope they did as well. In fact, I know they did. I recommend that in any situation (even if is completely different from this one) that you are struggling with verbalizing, writing a letter is an awesome idea. Even if you never send it, writing it will be therapeutic for yourself.

Shortly after I mailed the letter, things began to return to normal between us. I was able to become more excited for this baby that was soon to come. I literally (they will vouch for me!) bought a onesie referring “I love my auntie” or some similar version for every age from newborn until age two…..IN BOTH GENDERS!!! I was out of control, I tell you! But, oh how fun it was to finally feel that excitement!

I was able to go stay with them for a week shortly after Colt was born. I wept when I held him for the first time. He was absolutely perfect. Beautiful.

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To this day I am so grateful to my brother and sister-in-law for the extreme respect they showed to my Husband and I during their pregnancy. They were very selfless and patient. We love you, both three!

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Wedding fun

A family friend got married a couple of weekends ago in Omaha and baby Brother and his Wife flew in for the event as he was the Best Man. It was the first time we got to see the two of them since their wedding last August so we took a long weekend and got reservations and stayed in Omaha to join in the fun. It was a wonderful time. I sure do wish we lived closer to boy and Linden. I love them both dearly.

The wedding was that of a junior high friend of Jesse’s, Bryson to a beauty named Rachel. We have kept in touch with Bryson and his family through the years. A wonderful family and Rachel is a great match for Bryson.

The Bride's shoes....

My Love and I

Boy trying to outdance sister

 I actually framed this photo and have it on my desk in my office: 

Jesse, Linden, Adam and I....at our best (....and no, I can't touch my nose with my tongue)