Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Fond Farewell


Is there anything more spirit-rousing and heart-warming than the Olympics? Two weeks filled with peaceful competition among warring nations. Countless moments of dreams reaching fulfillment and hearts breaking all at the same time. It's a time when moguls, slalom, lutz, and twizzle become part of our everyday vernacular, at least for the winter variety. And Bob Costas comes out of sports-caster hiding to deliver impeccable announcing sprinkled with hints of sarcasm, condolence, or humor whenever necessary. Not being much of an athelete myself (but being raised by one of the best) I can certainly appreciate the perseverance, endurance, and artistry required by all of the athletes and I'm always in awe of their accomplishments. Michael constantly commented on "those skiers that go uphill", referring of course to the long distance cross country skiing that seemed to never end. But all of the athletes, even the 'curlers' with their brooms amaze me and a small part of me always wishes I had such tenacity. Four years ago, I remember sitting in our tiny living room of our first home just seven months after getting married and watching our first Olympics together and being somewhat disappointed with the events in Torino. The American fleet of athletes was not everything it was cracked up to be (poor Bode), we were uncomfortable with the Italian surroundings, and worst of all, Michelle Kwan was forced to withdraw from the women's figure skating competition due to injury. While I don't know the statistics surrounding the 2006 Winter Olympics, I don't remember being as enthralled with each and every moment as I was this year. I watched EVERYTHING. Snowboarding, freestyle skiing, ice skating, speed skating, ski jumping, long distance skiing - you name it, I watched it when I could. I held my breath when Evan and Apolo skated. I yelled and screamed along with the coaches during the aerials and snowboard half-pipe. I cried every time Joannie Rochette was on the screen. And now it's over. So sad. Even with all of the negative press at the opening of the games, it turned out to be one of the best. I'm so glad that my love for the winter Olympics returned and I will anxiously await 2014. Thank you and goodnight Bob Costas - you may return to hiding now. We'll call you a few weeks before the summer Olympics in 2012.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where Did February Go?

Good grief! I've lost a whole month! I feel a hundred years old saying this, but I do not know where the time has gone - well, I kinda do. Dear blog, it's time to play catch-up.

First, it seems odd that I'm writing to...no one. After my first few posts, I thought 'blogging' would come more naturally as more and more people would 'follow' and I would feel warranted in my need to share my thoughts with the 'world.' (Imagine many physical 'air quotes' if you will.) I would feel obligated to my devoted readers to continue posting, all the while gaining momentum for actually being a 'heard' individual in this world, and well, that hasn't really happened. I have to verbally tell my husband that I've just written a post on my blog so he will diligently go check it (or just walk 5 steps and read what's on my screen) since he doesn't have a blog of his own. And for the other four followers out there - thank you for your time. It means a lot and I hope you faithful few will continue to indulge me. I enjoy it, and whether anyone reads them or not, "I have ideas."

February 2009 changed our lives forever, but Michael and I approached the year mark of those profound changes with pure joy that we had made it through the last year. We renewed our hope for positive growth and looked forward with confidence. As faithful as He promises, God showed up again and we have been blessed with some awesome, good changes this February: On Saturday, February 13th, Michael and I took a trip to Bowling Green so he could take the written exam as the first step toward becoming a Bowling Green Police Officer. He has been studying and preparing for this for some time, but this was the first time taking an exam like this and needless to say, he was nervous. As we pulled into the parking lot at Greenwood High School, nervous became an understatement and I couldn't help but mutter a quiet "oh..." as we scanned the full parking lot with some 30 minutes left until test time. As we approached the door, I playfully asked if he wanted me to go in with him, which made us both laugh and helped ease some of the mounting pressure. I kissed him good-bye and wished him luck and couldn't help but tear-up as he boldy walked in, seemingly unphased by the nerves. Precious. Then it was just time to wait. Luckily, my dear, dear friend Amy was willing to baby-sit me during my down time. After some shopping and visiting, it was time for me to return to Greenwood to await the results. I got there with plenty of time to spare and started to watch people trickle out of the building, slowly. As always, I came prepared and pulled out some reading material, but I couldn't help but look up to see who was coming out next. 30 minutes. An hour. I waited. As a few more people started out of the building, I began to notice that every now and then there would be a happy test-taker exiting the building bearing a pink card and it dawned on me that this must be the sign of a passing score, and thus the ticket to take the psychological exam later in the day. I started very excitedly watching for this American Idol-esque 'golden ticket' just to kill time, and finally after ninety minutes of waiting, I recieved the best text message to date: "I PASSED...SEE YOU SOON!" After another HOUR OF WAITING (for fingerprinting I learned later) I finally saw my sweet smiling husband and his pink card. What a feeling! I have never been more proud to be his wife then I was at that moment! Even though this was just the first of many steps yet to come, it was a milestone and a much-needed boost for Michael's confidence. Hallelujah! The rest has yet to be determined, but I will update as we approach each step!

As a side note, with all of the excitement of the day before Valentine's Day, we decided to play it low-key for the Hallmark Holiday this year. I came across an ad and coupon one day for a beautiful bouquet of stargazer lillies and roses (reminiscent of the bouquet Michael got for me our first Valentine's Day) and posted it on the fridge. I had earlier come across an ad for a Rocky Balboa edition motorcycle, which I also posted on the refrigerator as a joke since Michael does happen to love motorcycles and can reference a Rocky movie for just about any situation. Knowing that I would never, ever waste money on such a ridiculous trinket and flowers would just end up dying (and I never throw them out at an appropriate time), we decided we would just gaze at our lovely ads, tell each other how much we mean to one another, and leave it at that. Best Valentine's Day yet.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Puxsatawney Phil and a Love Story

He's a cute little fella...

I suppose the recipe calls for six more weeks of winter...whatever that means. Doesn't spring usually begin around the middle of March anyway? That's what I keep reminding myself for now, instead of being depressed that the cold temperatures, gloomy days, and slick roads are all we have to look forward to for the next six weeks. I usually don't mind winter - fun coats and scarves, boots and puffy socks - but I'm over it. I've cycled through all of my sweaters more than once. I'm ready to part with my coats and scarves (as nice as they are). I would like to go home while there's still daylight. Michael and I really need to get over these colds. And snow days are not nearly as much fun when you have to get up an hour earlier just to make sure you make it to work on time and worry about your husband getting to and from Louisville safely. It's been pretty, I've enjoyed what I could, and I'm certain our neighbors are definitely ready for our "winter" decorations to be put away. Yes, we're those people. So bring on spring!

Michael has been home a lot more lately thanks to a shifting schedule. It's been wonderful. I have written very little in this blog about what a wonderful husband I have, and it's long overdue. I can't speak highly enough of him. He's a guy's guy and a hopeful romantic all rolled into one. He loves the Lord, loves me, and loves our furbabies as much as I do. Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary of the day we met. We are a Match.com success story, just like in the commercials. I had given up on finding "the one" and had little hope in this "e-match-harmony thing" as dad called it. In fact, I had a couple of bad experiences with it and didn't even respond to Michael when he first emailed me. He persisted. And by mid-January we were talking and decided to meet at Smokey Bones in Bowling Green. (So romantic, right? I'm telling you - I wasn't looking for anything more than a friend. A BBQ joint was the perfect plot.) God had other plans. My roommate and her boyfriend went with me that night to meet him (for safety reasons) and she tells it best: she said I was chattering along, anxiously waiting for Michael and then I stopped dead in my tracks and just smiled. Michael had just walked in - I can honestly say that it was love at first sight. Right there admidst all the BBQ and basketball games. I'll never forget it. He won't either. I can't believe that was 5 years ago! It's been a 'slumber party' ever since.