Friday, June 21, 2013

the story of us

I was in 6th grade when I first saw him.  he frightened me because my pesky brother told me he would be very very short, and when he came to the door (it was a middle school church event, and we were knocking on doors) he was HUGE and I ran away.  He wasn't really that huge, but he was up a step from me and he was already tall for an 8th grader.

I was always aware of him, from then on I think, even though I had other boyfriends and a major crush on Michael Greller who knew not of my existence (except, of course, for my pesky brother (again) who told him one time, right in front of me.  traumatic for an 8th grader, Joel.  thanks.). but even while I cheered for #4 (pathetic, I still remember) I was always aware of him.

Eventually I ended up in high school with him and wondered if I'd marry him some day.  we both lived very separate lives for a few months, but eventually, since many of my friends from church were his close friends, we started hanging out in group settings, hanging out at the Huismans', playing sand volleyball at Vet's park, hot tubbing at the DenHartogs', the usual "good kids" high school stuff. :)

There were times I wondered if he might like me, and other times I wondered if he noticed me at all.

At one point, the summer after my freshman year, when I was 15 years old, we had a date set up.  We had not communicated even once about it (hilarious now), but our friend had all the details worked out.  that date attempt failed, however, when his grandpa died and he left for like a month or something, and when he got back I left for a family vacation.  and, um, when I got back from vacation he had a girlfriend.  (give him a break, he was a normal 17 year old boy...)

On my 16th birthday I was with him.  me and him and two other friends, swimming in the pit at Carnes.  he still had 'said girlfriend' so it wasn't like I was flirting.  I was just noticing how good he looked in his swimming suit and wondering if someday I'd marry him, that's all.  100% innocent, I promise.

and then that same weekend we went to have a campout at the lakes.  a whole bunch of us, maybe like 20?  it was so fun except that the girlfriend was there when she was supposed to be at college but whatever.  I didn't notice. ;)  that was also his birthday weekend so his parents threw a little ice cream party for him when we got back, and I gave him the only card i could find at my house which was full of trains and cars and airplanes and had some cheesy little boy message on it.  but I thought maybe he'll keep this forever and some day we can give the same card to our son. :)

soon after that, when he and the college girl had broken up, I thought maybe it was my chance.  I remember being at a high school dance (the band dance maybe?  although I feel like i remember it in the gym, not the lunchroom).  anyway, I was dancing with this guy(who shall remain nameless, to protect his innocence and his feelings for the fact that I did NOT want to be dancing with him), when I spotted him with another girl.  I totally saw their connection and probably left the school in tears and shouting "I HATE YOU STEVE HYDEEN AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU EVER AGAIN!"  ok maybe not because I wasn't THAT dramatic, but I DID decide to be done having a crush on him. i was done. ;)

I went to homecoming and on quite a few other dates with another guy (many of them group dates with steve, not that I was noticing...) and it was good for me to have a break from the drama of a teenage girl's heart.

now, if you want to blame someone for what happened next, you can blame Gail Marincovich.  I will love her forever and always.

see, it was right during the fall high school production of Oliver, and Steve was Faggin and I was on hair and makeup crew.  Gail (the director) gave me the responsibility of "graying" Faggin's beard.  (never mind the fact that she and my mom were good friends and my mom probably paid her to give me that job.....juuuuuust kidding.....)  Gail and Rusty had also planned a trip to DesMoines to see Les Mis for the following weekend and offered to chaperone any high schoolers that wanted to go, and Steve and I and a bunch of our friends signed up.  and, well, steve also happened to break up with his girlfriend that weekend.  I was in the band room after the football game when I heard.  not that I remember or anything, or that it mattered to me at all. ;)

the stars were aligned.

at some point when I was graying his beard for the production that night, knowing that we'd be on a trip together that following weekend (with like 10 other people too), I knew I had to be fair and break up with the guy I was dating.  It was mean horrible and I still feel guilty about it, except for the fact that we're friends now (it took a while) and both happily married to the loves of our lives. :)  and it would have been meaner to NOT do that, since I knew I wanted to marry Steve Hydeen.  the whole world knew I wanted to marry Steve Hydeen.

so anyway, the following weekend we were in a van on the way to DesMoines talking about eye color or something equally gag-worthy, all for an excuse to gaze into each other's eyes.  and the rest is history. :)  actually, it took awhile for us to finally become official.

we had a long talk on the way home from Jantina's where we watched My Best Friend's Wedding, and he whisper-sang in my ear "the way you look tonight" during the scene on the boat (i almost died).  anyway, the talk on the way home was about Brandon's cousin who liked this girl and I thought, hey, maybe this will lead to a conversation about US and WHAT WE ARE.  but no, he went on and on about Brandon's cousin and never once talked about us.  until, of course, we got to my driveway and he explained that brandon's cousin didnt' exist, and it was him, and he liked this girl, and what should he do?  and it was so cute and I was almost past my curfew and so I told him to 'go for it' and hopped out of the car.  I went in the house and downstairs to my mom and dad's room, where I announced (to my dad, who had recently told me that steve should either "shit or get off the pot") that steve did, in fact, shit.  and it felt really weird to say shit to my dad when I was 16 years old.  but I was a giddy mess.

First kiss was valentines day weekend on the night of Winter Ball.  it was the sweetest set up where he made me supper and spilled sparkling duck on his mom's new carpet (sorry Carla!).  it was too foggy for stars outside so he stuck glow in the dark stars on his mom and dad's living room ceiling so he could dance under the stars with me.  and that's where he kissed me.  We argue to this day about who stuck whose tongue in whose mouth, but I guess we felt the connection and went with it. :)  now I think 16 year olds have no business with their tongue in anybody else's mouth, which is a sure sign I'm getting old. :)  but yes, our first kiss was a doozie. :)

soon all our friends began to hate us because we always wanted to be together, but when you wait that long and he's finally yours, nothing else really matters. i'm just glad I actually married him or it would be really sad to make my friends hate me for no good reason.

We had a short little break up after he went to college and I was like THIS SUCKS and he was like PROM SUCKS. just kidding he never said that and was a real trooper going to prom TWICE as a college kid.  but that little two week break confirmed that I never wanted another day of my life without him in it.

our college years were probably the hardest years of our whole life together.  I came into college with a boyfriend so it was kind of assumed that I didn't need girlfriends.  which was sorta true (I've never been a huge girl-friend person because I've been so close to my sisters) except for the fact that my boyfriend was a theater major and had ZERO time to ever do ANYTHING except memorize lines and be on light crew til 4am and other stuff that was very much not a part of my life.  he left in the summers to go on DME tours and it was just really hard.  they say marriage is hard work, but man, I thought college was way harder.

after my sophomore year (like, RIGHT AFTER) I got my wisdom teeth out.  it was his graduation weekend, and he was finally done with college.  He came to my house the day after and found me with my huge puffy cheeks and sweaty workout clothes in front of the tv doing Arms and Abs of Steel.  You can see how well that worked out for me.

He wanted to go on a picnic, so after driving around the WHOLE town of OC, we finally found one park that they were done mowing! (it was Tulip Festival weekend and the whole city was in "clean up" mode.)  we parked over by kinderspeelland, set out a blanket by the shelter house, and had a little picnic while I sucked down food instead of chewing it with my sore mouth.  I noticed a police officer just sitting in the parking lot, and thought to myself, ha!  that guy totally thinks he's going to witness a proposal here. Little does he know that MY man plans picnics on a regular basis and that's probably not what's going to happen here!  He wouldn't do that to me with my PUFFY CHEEKS and sweaty clothes!

soon after that though, steve was playing me a song on his guitar (also not the first time that happened, he's a romantic...) and next thing I knew he was down on one knee (or UP on one knee I guess) asking me to be his wife.

brains are very fast and I thought a lot of things in that one millisecond  "how could you!  my cheeks!" "that cop was right!" "my fingernails look horrible!" "it's my dream come true!" and a bazillion more.  but the only one that came out of my mouth was "yes! of course!"  and then I cried.  it was really perfect because I thought for sure I would know when he was going to do it.  I thought he'd go all out and the whole date I would know and just wait for it to happen.  but he chose to just be US, doing something we often did, and it was perfect.

our wedding day was perfect.  filled with friends and family and the presence of God.  I really felt it.  it rained and thundered during our vows, and then the skies cleared, and we had the best dance party EVER in my parents' back yard.  I crack up now at the decorations, the dresses, the style of it all, but then it was perfect.  there was no pinterest to compare it to, no digital pictures to put on facebook, nothing fancy, just a dream come true.  sometimes I think I should get a do-over and plan a wedding with all the cool stuff people do nowadays. :)  but I wouldn't change a thing about the day I married him.

our wedding night was perfect, after I finally got all the bobby pins out of my hair.  we went home to our teeny little apartment because we just wanted to be HOME, even if it was only for a few hours before we flew out for honeymoon.  it was sweet and romantic and perfect.

but let me just say, to all those 16 year olds who are tempted to do more than put their tongue in someone else mouth, don't bother. :)  out of pure love and respect for my husband, I have to say that if it had not been our wedding night it would not have been worth it.  am I allowed to say that?  here's the thing GIRLS, your bodies are a big huge freaking puzzle that will take YEARS for your husband to figure out.  and if the moment doesn't have the emotion of it being your wedding night and waiting your whole life (however long that is) for this very moment to be one with your husband, then there's a good chance that you'll just find yourself saying "what the heck?  for real?"  it just takes a while to get it all figured out, so don't waste it on some dumb experience in someone's basement or wherever it's happening these days.

because someday it will be something really special.

We honeymooned in Charleston SC where it was approximately 700 degrees every single day but we loved it.  I wanted to rip my fake fingernails off because they are really bad for scratching itchy legs (and if you know me, you know i always have itchy legs) and i also had the worlds WORST bladder infection. I got home and called my mom and said, "um, mom?  do you get bladder infections from having sex?" and she said "Oh honeyyyyyyy, I should have told you. " and I said "YES YOU SHOULD HAVE!" there are a few other things I wish I had known but whatever.  and so now you all know that.  should I delete that whole paragraph????

anyway.....since the day we got married, life has given us so many ups and downs and ridiculous "highs" and a few too many "glad we don't have hidden cameras here" moments.

we've lived in OC, Spain, Council Bluffs, Bellevue, and Omaha.  We've been through births and deaths and everything in between.  We've been the best parents in the whole entire world and the worst parents in the whole entire world.  I don't need to write the rest out, since most of it is on facebook or this blog anyway.  but the last ten years have been a ride.

this man, the same man as the KID I was crushing on, is mine forever.

You all  have no idea what he sees every day.  he sees me at my most selfish.  my crabbiest, whiniest, neediest. He watches as he gets better and better looking, and I get softer and saggier and wrinklier. :)  He knows I'm a lot of work but he keeps on trying.  He knows I need his time, his touch, his presence.  he has a bazillion things on his plate at all times and still finds a way to meet my needs.

There are times when I look back and think about how I didn't  really even know that boy I had a crush on.  and there are other times when I look back and think he's the SAME now has he was then, only he's MINE.

It's hard to talk about the little things that bother you so they don't become big things.  It's hard to know when to say no and protect your family time.  it's hard to watch someone else's dreams come true, sometimes at the cost of your own. lots of things are HARD in marriage.

but one thing is for sure.  it's EASY to spend the whole morning thinking about and writing our story when i should be doing a million other things.

and it's EASY to love him.  for ten years and forever.

Friday, June 14, 2013

is it fall yet????

Summer days are long.  and I just added 3 hours to mine by getting up early to finish a pinkadink order.   Every so often I have "that order" that every possible thing that could go wrong goes wrong, so I end up staying up way too late to finish it (and by way too late I only mean midnight, but I'm getting old and if I stay up til midnight it's usually because I'm sleeping on my husband's lap "watching" a movie). and when I'm up late then weird things start happening like not looking when I'm cutting or not realizing I ran out of bobbin thread 3 seams ago and the like, so it's not worth staying up anymore and I force myself to get up early.

so that's where we are.  up early.

the best part is that Josiah came down to the basement this morning, embroidery hoop in hand (we've started hand sewing, and so far they love it) and in a way that only a 6 year old can appreciate the hours before 8:00 am says, "Mama, can I sew with you???"  and sat himself down right in front of my sewing machine and got to work on a gift he's making. :)

it's a good thing when I have those moments.  and I need to make sure I document them, because otherwise all I'll remember is the long summer days when the kids fight with each other and how I join right in because I have to work really hard at being a GOOD parent, and it just seems like too much work lately. But I have to document the "mama, can I sew with you"s so that some day I'll say OH LOOK!  there's proof that I tried!  I tried to do fun things, to encourage creativity, to enjoy our time together, to have special things to do together!

because seriously, it's just way easier to join the 'fun' and be crabby.  I know I've mentioned my "30-teen reaction" on here before, where I act like a sassy teenager even though I'm a thirty-something woman.  its in full force these days, guys.  full freaking force.

I'm just so good at being a lazy parent!  when Lillian gets back from her friends house, it's like she has this realization that her life is HORRIBLE and her Mom is SO DEMANDING and nobody else's mom makes them unload the dishwasher and her siblings are just SO ANNOYING and her life is OVER because she has a reasonable bedtime, all of which she escaped from for a few hours at her friends house.  In that situation it would be good parenting to sit her down and talk out her feelings and remind her why I have her help around the house, and why it's good that we give her responsibilities, and encourage her to have grace for her siblings.  But it's so easy to just complain REALLY loudly to Steve and say (in a voice that Lillian will definitely hear), "It drives me CRAZY when she goes to her friends' houses and comes back feeling all entitled to whatever she wants!  She better get this figured out if she EVER wants me to say yes to a friend's house again!!!"  Mom, if you're reading this from up there, I apologize for not using "I feel" sentences and talking it out with my daughter.  I know you taught me better than that.

and Brielle is in this phase of scream/crying about everything.  like, for real, everything.  falling and almost breaking a bone? scream/cry. a tiny ant on the ground? scream/cry. wanting a toy that her sister has (after being the one to GIVE it to her sister 30 seconds before)? scream/cry. spilling her snack on the ground? scream/cry. huge ever-growing bugbite on her back? scream/cry. everything.  so when that scream/cry wakes me up at some point in my trying-to-make-the-day-feel-shorter excessive morning sleep, it's much easier to just open the door to my room (which she's right outside of, because she's ALWAYS right outside my door) and yell "DON'T SCREAM LIKE THAT!  JUST DON'T DO IT!  YOU CAN NOT SCREAM LIKE THAT IN THIS HOUSE!!!!!" and slam the door closed and hope that the mom-in-her-undies-with-morning-breath combo will be enough to scare the screams out of her for good.

and I'm not joking when I say she's always outside my door.  you know that picture on facebook of the bathroom door with the little baby fingers sticking out from under it and the caption "they will find you...."  or somehting???  ok, that's my real life, with an almost FIVE year old!  she sits outside the bathroom door while I pee.  every time.  with my other kids I could always say "mommy needs to go to the bathroom a minute!" and since they were (and still are) obsessive about privacy, they got it.  and I could take a breather.  not so with this one.  she's been sticking her fingers under the door for almost five years now.  every. time.  she's the one who wants to be by my side and all up in my space at all times.  and not only that, she thinks that if she's armslength away from me at any given moment, then her stuffed animals want to be all up in my space.  cuddling in my neck and stuff, which they know is my insanity-inducing area.  They are NOT allowed to cuddle in my neck. only daddy is.  but, you know, it must not count for shoving stuffed animals in the forbidden area.  and it's so sweet and cute and she's growing up so fast and it's so cute she's my baby and GET THAT SPARKLY TURTLE OUT OF MY NECK!!!!!

part of what May such a hard month is that I got really selfish.  I'm having a hard time balancing this whole "selfless heart" (which every mother needs to have if she wants to avoid a total meltdown from doing everything for everybody) thing, with the "mommy doesn't have to do EVERYTHING for you" mentality (which every mother needs to have if she wants to avoid a total meltdown from doing everything for everybody).  I do think it's good for kids to learn how to do stuff on their own!  but I also feel like I should find a little more joy in serving my family than I do right now.  and it's only gotten worse in June since we're together all day every day.

When I mention the fact that my kids are making me question my sanity to my friends, I often hear "ALREADY???"   and I say YES!  because we aren't used to being with each other 24/7!  that's a lot of sweaty hair and stinky feet and elbows in the way and toy sharing and snack finding.  it'll be much easier in a month when we have figured out how to not drive each other crazy, right?  and GOD BLESS THE HOMESCHOOLING MOMS who do this year round.  I live in a 'circle' that's heavy in the homeschooling world.  and y'all must be way better people than me.  way better.  because I'm ready for fall.

now listen here.  I love these kids.  sometimes it brings me to tears how much I love them.  if you could see inside my heart you would see this thing you couldn't really describe but it would be blazing with love for them.  we're just in that phase of trying to figure this whole summer thing out (again).  they probably want time away as much as I do. and is it just me or is EVERYBODY going on awesome vacations this year?  is it because I'm mourning the fact that my 10 year anniversary trip to Mexico turned into a new shower so that our whole bathroom didn't cave into the garage?  because I swear, since the day we got that shower, everyone started going on awesome vacations.  or maybe that's just when I started noticing.

but in one month I'll be in Belize (which is a different kind of awesome vacation, but not really a vacation at all with the work we'll be doing) :) with someone else's kids, and I'll probably be a wreck without my own three.  it seems a bit dysfunctional, when I think of it that way.  the whole, can't live with them, can't live without them type of thing.  but I guess that's why it's love.  you put up with the hard stuff because of that thing in you that you can't explain. and if I have to be with three little people all day every day, then THESE are the three that I'd choose!  hands down, face in my neck, absolutely positively.

These are the three I'd choose to try to survive summer with.  just, um...let me pee in peace.  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the debt reduction diaries: May

well gosh, we're almost halfway in to June already, but I suppose when I look back on our debt reduction I'll want to know how it went it May.

It's hard to know what to write and what to skip.

May was really hard on me emotionally, for lots of reason.

it wasn't all bad though...we had a HUGE delivery of tons of fresh fruit and such from Steve's parents, plus we had also been given some gift certificates to Aldi (where we do most of our grocery shopping) at the end of April which we were able to use in May.  so awesome.

It baffles me that somehow we still ended up SCROUNGING around for food at the end when we had so much more to work with throughout the entire month.  but that's just proof that you spend what you have for, no matter what.

but it's a really good thing that we had all that extra because I was just in a really hard place for the month of May and obviously didn't focus very hard on meal planning.  I was feeling really burnt out by the pinkadink, discouraged that I feel like I work so hard for hardly any money.  (I've since raised my prices a bit, if you haven't noticed.  I'm hoping that helps.)  It's frustrating to see my business growing by leaps and bounds (I had a crazy dollar amount of sales last year, which was awesome, but also why I felt like I should have a little more in my pocket than I do, but my supply cost and all that is obviously too high for me to make money...)

and speaking of money in my pocket, we went to tulip festival with ZERO dollars in our pockets.  Grandma bought a couple rides for each of the kids, and also had a house full of food like she does every year, so we didn't eat a single thing downtown.  no schnew wagon, no poffertjes, no cheeseballs. nothin.  and guess what!  it was still fun!

The easy solution is for me to add money would be to daycare kids, but that's hard too.  I don't like the "daycare setting" that i've had before where I run myself ragged all day trying to keep up with all the kids in my care, and then find myself with NO ENERGY at the end of the day for sewing.  Plus, it would have to be the perfect match for a family to choose me to take care of their kids.  I'm not licensed, have to drive kids for drop off and pickup every day at preschool, and don't have a "play area" in my house, since I took it over with sewing equipment. :)  With Maddie here the girls just play in the living room, play outside, or in Brielle's room.  and it's not a big deal bc it's just like I have an extra kid in my family. :)  but if I added more, I would only want ONE kid, so I wouldn't have to get licensed, the parents would have to not care if I drive their kid around every day, and the parents would have to be okay with it being short term, since I am hoping to be done with daycare after Brielle goes to kindergarten.  so, it would likely have to be someone contacting ME to ask, instead of me searching out someone to watch.  so that's just not as easy as it sounds.

but of course I keep thinking that if God provides me with the perfect opportunity, it would be the best way for us to pay down our debt a little faster.  it seems to be crawling right now.  We finally got our snowball built and now it's just hanging out at around $300 a month, which doesn't go very far.  Each month we have to pay out from our snowball anything that we were unable to budget for.  Remember that our budget doesn't consist of anything except grocery, gas, and "other" which never lasts very long.  So for example, when I had a bladder infection and had to go in for a test, we had to pay that bill out of our snowball, since it's nowhere else in the budget.  and when Steve's car had to be fixed, we had to pay that hundred bucks (which was a miracle since we were first told it would be about $1200!!!) out of our snowball too.  so when you chop the snowball in half from paying out other things, it doesn't go very far.

we also were not approved for our refinancing, which was really discouraging to me.  our house had a REALLY low appraisal, and so in order to get the loan, we'd have to come up with almost $3000 in closing costs.  well that doesn't exactly fit into our plan with only a $1000 emergency fund.  so, we lost the 3.375% interest rate we were locked in at, and had a huge pity party that we won't be able to save $140 a month on our house payment after all. that was a sad sad sad day.  and I'm still mad about our appraisal.  I know there was a "drop" in the housing market, but it didn't seem to affect the value of our neighbor's house like it did ours, and I"m still bitter about it.  that whole appraisal system is shady if you ask me. :)

so yeah, there ya have it.  sucky month.

but we're past that.  I'm "back in the saddle" after doing bare minimum for the pinkadink during May, and already having a great month so far.  summer is in full gear which makes things tricky for getting pinkadink stuff done, but we'll just play it by ear for now.

oh, and we joined a sand volleyball team, which was the best way EVER to spend twenty of our "other" dollars last month, because we are finally doing something together that's super fun for both of us. :)

June finances are already getting very tricky, but you'll have to wait til next month's report to see how it all turns out!  we're refusing to pay our "10 year anniversary date money" OR our snowball on the extra bills we got for this month, but now our plans to celebrate are all falling apart too.  it's not looking good, but at least we get to live life together every day! :)  I better go sew so I can pay those darn bills!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

chain reaction

so the other day Brielle told me about a little zit on her back that was hurting.  I said, oh it's not a zit, just a little bugbite or something.  I was actually wondering if it was a spider bite but didn't want to mention that since her 4 year old brain does enough imagining on it's own.

well, today that "little bug bite" is HUGE and red and swollen and itchy and burning and painful.

so I take a picture (what did we DO before picture texting?!?!!?)  and text it to our pediatrician who is awesome and goes to church with us and let's me facebook her and photo text her before having me come in to see her!  she's out of state at a wedding but took the time to get all the info and let me know what to do, which is try to get the probable infection out by soaking the bite in hot water with epsom salt.

easy peasy.  I'll just go grab the epsom salt.
not in the kids bathroom.  not under the kitchen sink.  hm....

I head to our bathroom sink and open it up to find that little pink tub thing they give you from the hospital when you have a baby FULL, like, to the BRIM, with water.  and also a submerged hair straightener and curling iron.  oh, and also a pack of HUGE maxi pads from my postpartum days almost FIVE years ago.  see?  there's a reason I kept those bad boys!  if they had not soaked up a ridiculous amount of water, that little tub would not have been filled to the brim with water, it would have RUINED our whole little vanity thing, costing us who knows how much to replace.

and the best part?  the "good" straightener (CHI) and the curling iron we actually use were propped up on top of something else, not where they belong, which means they were DRY!  woot!  see Steve??? there's a reason I don't put everything away in it's place! ;)

so, now we still have to figure out the leak, and find the epsom salt, but just when I felt VERY inconvenienced (today is my WORK day, Mommy can't help you, you have to wait til Daddy gets home...) I discovered that the one infected bug bite happened to save us from some major spending!!!

(now, let's just pray we can get this infection under control or we'll be visiting urgent care on our date night tonight.  boo....)