Love

My Funny Valentine

Me and my Valentine (who really is funny, by the way) . . . don't do anything special to celebrate Valentine's Day.  

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But I thought it might be fun to acknowledge the day -- AND the fact that it falls on a Three on Thursday -- by sharing some things (three, in fact!) that you probably don't already know about my Valentine.

1 -- Tom grew up in Manhattan!

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Here he is back in 1969 (Tom's the skinny blonde kid on the left) in J. Hood Wright Park, which was across the street from his apartment building.  For those of you familiar with Manhattan, he lived at Ft. Washington Ave. and W. 173rd St, and attended PS 173.  It was quite a shock (as in culture shock!)  . . . when his parents moved the family to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he spent his adolescent years.  (And met me.)  (He can still bring back that NY accent when he wants to.)  

2 -- Tom used to be blonde!

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Yep, there we are.  1980.  Tom's college graduation.  Blonde.  He was blonde as a baby, blonde as a kid, blonde when I met him.  Somewhere along the way, though, his hair turned dark brown.  His hair hasn't been blonde in decades -- but I still think of him as having blonde hair.  (Erin's hair was exactly the same -- blonde until she got out of college, when it turned dark brown.)  (And that photo?  That's my natural hair color.  Until it turned gray, of course.)

3 -- Tom is a "Poet Laureate". . . 

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of the Kalamazoo Curling Club, that is!  Tom loves to play with words -- rhymes, funny turns of phrase, puns (and especially BAD puns, I might add).  He's also very good at telling jokes, and has quite a repertoire of memorized stories.  These skills have landed him a gig as the First Curling Poet Laureate.  He has written - and presented - many curling-themed poems and (rather naughty) limericks at curling events all around the region.

And now you know a little bit more about my funny Valentine!
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.
XO

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Be sure to check out all the other Three on Thursday posts over at Carole's today.


Three Tom-isms: A Special Birthday Post

Today is a Big Day.

Yeah.  It is our Winter Solstice Party.  But that's not why it's Big Day.

It's a Big Day . . . because it's Tom's birthday.  His 60th birthday!

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It's hard for me to really grasp that we're celebrating his 60th birthday today.  Not because he's "that old" . . . but because I can remember celebrating his first birthday together-as-a-couple so clearly.  As if it were . . . just yesterday.  

December 20, 1979.  Tom was my boyfriend, then -- a senior in college at Boise State University.  I picked him up at the old Denver Stapleton airport when he flew home for Christmas break.  I gave him a gigantic crocheted afghan that I had lovingly stitched throughout the semester . . . in the parking lot at the airport . . . with irritated drivers who wanted our parking spot as our audience.

That was the first of many birthdays we celebrated together.  
40 birthdays together, actually.
40!  
Pretty much. . . 2/3 of our lives.

Amazing, isn't it?

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So many birthdays.  So many memories.  

As we go about our day today, working together to throw our big Solstice-Not-a-Birthday-Party (although I did get him a birthday crown to wear - and a flashing "60" button to wear), we'll also be kicking off the biggest Birthday Extravaganza in our history together.  (Well.  So far.)  

It's going to be a great year!

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And because today is a Thursday, I thought I'd share three Tom-isms with you - in honor of his birthday.  Three things about Tom and his general approach to life that have made the biggest impact on me and my own general approach to life:

1 - If you're going to commit to something, go all in.  Tom is always much more . . . considered . . . about what he commits to doing than I tend to be.  He doesn't take commitments lightly.  He always does what he says he's going to do.  He doesn't look for excuses.  He doesn't want to be let off the hook.  He also doesn't over-commit.  After 40 years, I'm still trying to follow his example.

2 - Function over form.  Every time.  Tuck your pantlegs into your socks (in public) to keep the ticks out?  No problem!  Create an eyesore in the back of your car by carrying every piece of gear you might ever need at all times?  Why not!  Wear a ratty old pair of shorts (in all seasons) with multiple layers of shirts and vests because you're cold in the winter?  Works for him!  (Stay back, girls!  He's All Mine!!!)  (Just sayin.)  Seriously, though . . . after all these years, some of his function-over-form lifestyle is finally rubbing off on form-over-function me.

3 - When it comes to deciding whether or not you should head to the gym for a workout, the answer is always, ALWAYS YES.  Whenever I feel too [fill-in-the-blank:  tired, sore, sick, busy, unsettled . . . etc.] to go to the gym, Tom always gives me That Look.  Then he says (in a But-It's-YOUR-Decision kind of tone), "I usually find that a workout helps."  And he's right.  It does.  (And I am the fitter because of him.)

So.

Happy Birthday, Tom!

(Let's get this party started!)

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts!

 


Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Thirty-seven years ago today . . . 

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these two kiddos (my god we were young) walked down the aisle and said, "I do."

Today . . . we'll be walking down a different kind of aisle.  This time, we'll be looking for our seats at Hamilton in Chicago.  (Because you can't just see it once.)

Enjoy the rest of your week.  (I'll be back on Monday!)


Call and Response

Surprises. . . 

especially heartfelt surprises . . . 

are so very special!

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And when they're so, so perfect. . .

and when they're from such a special friend. . .

and when they're stitched with love . . .

Well.  Off-the-charts wonderful!

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Thank you, Carole!  I love it.

(Read all about this vey special shawl over at Carole's today.)


About Time: A Birthday Letter

Dear Tom,

So yesterday, I was driving around town . . . running errands . . . and this song came on.  Coldplay's Clocks.  And I got thinking about clocks.  And time.  And your birthday.  And I got to wondering just how many of your birthdays we've celebrated together.

So I counted them up.

Today makes 39.

We started out with your 21st.  It was December 20, 1979, and I picked you up at Stapleton International Airport in Denver.  You were a senior at Boise State; I was a junior at the University of Wyoming.  And we had a whole month together for semester break.

Remember that one?  I gave you a giant afghan I had crocheted!  (And we still have it.) 

Back then, we looked like this . . . 

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Turns out . . . there have been 38 more of your birthdays together, counting today.

We've celebrated your birthday with parties.  We've celebrated quietly at home.  We've had birthday breakfasts and birthday lunches and birthday dinners.  One year, we were getting ready to move and packed a few boxes on your birthday.  And you were only days away from defending your PhD thesis on another birthday.  There was the now-famous "Chocolate Vesuvius Incident" on your birthday in 1995.  We've celebrated your birthday on vacation while skiing in Steamboat Springs.  And we celebrated your birthday in Akumal, Mexico once.  

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That's a lot of celebrating your birthday together! 

Time.

It flies. It marches on.  It waits for no man.

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I couldn't really imagine all these birthdays-to-come unrolling before us back in the airport parking lot in 1979.  Yet . . . here we are.  Thirty-eight birthdays later.

Happy birthday, Tom.  

I love every minute I get to spend with you!

XO,
Me

 

 


Meeting My Goal

My daughter, Erin, has always been . . . her own self.  Unique; imaginative; smart and creative.  And totally out-of-the-box from the get-go.  It's been fun - and always a bit of an adventure - to watch her grow up; to watch her unfold.  

When she went off to college, she met her match in Keith.  The two of them just . . . fit together from the start.  And it's been a delight to watch them grow and unfold  . . . together.

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No one would ever use the word "conventional" to describe either Erin or Keith.  They do things their own way!  Always have; always will.

So when it came time to plan their wedding, I knew we'd have fun with it.  As the mother-of-the-bride, my biggest goal was to make sure Erin and Keith had a wedding day that was perfect . . . for them.  That their wedding turned out be just what they wanted -- even if it was a bit out-of-the-box; a day that would make them happy.

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Sometimes, they embraced tradition.  (Tom walked Erin down the aisle, for example.)

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And sometimes, they did not.  (They had a cake as part of their "dessert buffet" -- but no "wedding cake" and no cake cutting ceremony.)

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The wedding was small and intimate, with a venue only blocks from the beach.

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There were games to play and costumes to try on.  A friend performed a poem (poetry-slam style) that she wrote just for Erin and Keith (so powerful and moving that there was not a dry eye among the women at my table).

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There was jazz and some spontaneous dancing and cornhole match-ups and even an appearance by Party Duck (because friends can surprise and delight).

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But mostly, there was love and joy.

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I feel like I met my goal:  The day was lovely and relaxed and fun . . . just the way Erin and Keith wanted it to be!

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(And - just because I'm sure you're all dying to know - I wore the silver sparkle shoes!)  (Both of them.)

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Dispatch from Wedding Central

Just a quick little check-in to let you know that I'm climbing aboard the Wedding Crazy Train today.  

Houseguests.

Last-minute details and decisions.*

A transportation schedule that looks something like a battle strategy.

(You know.)

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But mostly . . . so much love in my heart.

I'll be back next Tuesday to tell you all about it.

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* I still haven't made a final decision about my shoes.  Maybe I'll wear one of each???


Well, Now. Wasn't That Fun?

The weather forecast here yesterday called for heavy cloud cover.  But, once again, the weather forecast turned out to be . . . WRONG!

We had some clouds, sure.  But all afternoon we had clear eclipse viewing!

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What a spectacle!

My dad nabbed an approved pair of eclipse glasses just days before the eclipse -- and he was more than willing to share.  So we gathered in the backyard for a little eclipse party.

We tried a bit of everything when it came to watching the eclipse (because Science).

The humble colander (complete with requisite dog hair)

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The tricky binoculars (with modification).

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Old-school pinhole box camera (thanks Amazon Prime).

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Everything worked -- but nothing was quite as awesome as watching with the eclipse glasses!

Here is my very favorite photo from yesterday . . . 

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(Makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it!)

It was a great afternoon.  So much fun!

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And . . . speaking of amazing spectacles . . .

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Today is our anniversary.  36 years.  And all of them sunny!