Monday, January 30, 2012

Let It Snow!

When Ben and I made the decision to move from California to Ohio, we knew that it would mean not only big changes, but big compromises.  I, for one, had gotten really used to the California climate.  Call me crazy, but getting to wear flip flops 10 months out of the year was not exactly a hardship!

But, we knew that Ohio was where we needed to be, so we made the move, all the while trying to mentally prepare for our first Ohio winter. 

Aaaaand...we're still waiting for it. 

Knowing that things were going to be tight for the first few months, we decided that Ben should buy a snow plow for his truck, in order to make money during the slow winter months that we've come to expect in his business. 

Call me crazy, but I actually thought that there would be snow in Ohio in the winter - maybe I've just been gone too long - but this is not winter in Ohio as I remember it! 

I remember bitter cold, snow drifts that came up to your waist, sledding, skiing, and best of all, SNOW DAYS!

I don't recall a winter in Ohio that included thunder storms, flooding, and 50+ degree weather!

I suppose it's Murphy's Law - if we hadn't bought the plow, we'd probably have had 3 blizzards by now. 

All I know is - we need it to snow! 

We're watching the weather hopefully, expectantly, willing it to snow!  We wake up and check the weather.  Throughout the day, we're checking the weather forecast to see if anything has changed.  Before we go to bed, we're checking the weather yet again, praying that an unexpected squall is headed our way.

If there actually is snow in the forecast, Ben is looking out the window every 10 minutes to see if the illusive flakes have begun to fall.  Then, when it doesn't come, or doesn't stick, he pouts.

I know that most of you Ohioans think that this winter weather is just fine and dandy, and if it weren't for the plow attached to Big Red that cost several thousand dollars, I'd be right there with you. 

But, for now, I need for it to snow!!!  I need for Ben to quit pouting every time the sun comes out or the temperature goes above 40 (which it's done a lot).  I need to stop second guessing the decision to buy the stupid plow in the first place.  I need to not feel guilty because it's raining (as if I had anything to do with it).

Mind you, I'm not asking for sub-zero temperatures, or a blizzard (though I wouldn't mind the blizzard).  I'm just asking for temperatures below freezing so that we get less rain and more snow, and when it does finally snow, the ground (and roads) are cold enough to let it stick.

For Ben's sake, and my own sanity, please - let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just The Two Of Us

On Saturday, I got to spend some time with my dad.  Just the two of us!

I realized afterwards that although Ben and I moved here to spend more time with my parents, and although we do see them once or twice a week, I couldn't remember the last time that JB and I did anything alone.

The great part about Saturday wasn't my was my dad's!

I get my hair cut at the same place my parents go.  The same woman cuts our hair, and over the last few months, my dad and I have been on the same haircut schedule.

Last week was no different.  My dad had been in earlier in the day, so on Wednesday evening when I went in to chop off my hair, I was able to get an update from Cheryl on how he'd been that day (as he tends to get pissy when she cuts his hair "too short").

So, as Cheryl filled me in on her earlier appointment with JB, she told me that he had said something really sweet.  When she mentioned to him that I was coming in later that evening for a hair cut, he said "I wish I'd known.  She and I could have gotten our hair cut at the same time and then gone for a father-daughter dinner together."

Melt my heart, JB!

So, I'd already had it in my head that I was about due for some alone time with JB.  But just imagine my surprise when he called me on Saturday morning to see if I wanted to go to breakfast with him, just the two of us.

It hit me, as we sat in Perkins talking about nothing too important, that this is exactly why we're here.  For moments and memories like those.  We're here to be helpful, to ease the burden, but mostly we're here to spend time.  

It also made me realize that I need to make more of an effort to spend time with my dad alone.  It's great to spend time with both of my parents, great to have Ben with me when we take JB to dinner.  But, it's also important to set aside time for me and JB.  Just the two of us!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


The other night, as Ben and I were going to sleep, we took turns making a list of things that we want to do in 2012 - new things, things we want to do better - we took a few minutes to speak frankly about what we want to change this year.

Here's what we came up with:

Have at least 1 night a week with no tv
Cook 1 new recipe per week
Fold laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer (and put it away)
De-clutter our apartment
Pay bills as soon as they come in
Save $200 per month
Plan and take a trip just the 2 of us
2 date nights per month
See more movies in the theater
Spend more time with Roo and JB
Take more pictures
Improve our relationship with my brother
Make 2 new friends (me)
Lose 50 pounds (me)
Incorporate more fruits and veggies into our diet
Go to bed before 10:00
Shop with coupons
Drink more water
Read more books
Be aggressive with finding work (Ben)
Start a family

Lots of these require little adjustments and changes, while others represent a shift in lifestyle.  We'll see how we do!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Unplugged

Tonight, at our house, we're trying something new. 

A night without tv. 

That's right, folks.  We have unplugged! 

Don't get too excited.  It's not like we threw out the tv.  We are just doing without it this evening. 

I feel like every night is the same.  We make dinner with the tv on.  We eat dinner on our tv trays.  After dinner, we go back and forth about what show we should watch next. 

Instead of connecting, talking, and enjoying the quiet that the evening offers, we are all about what shows are recorded, what sports games are on, and who gets to pick what we watch. 

So, tonight, we sat at the kitchen table, tv off, and talked.  We didn't even talk about anything especially deep or important - but we did talk.  Uninterrupted.

I fear that Ben and I have begun to rely on the tv to help us tune out our own lives.  We're stressed, things are tough right now, but if the tv is on, we can forget about the stress of our world and lose ourselves in the show. 

I don't want to do that.  I want to take time to talk, to think, to decompress, and to figure things out.  

Maybe this will be our new thing: once or twice a week, a night without tv! 

Whether or not it sticks, I'm thankful for the peace and quiet tonight!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Seasons Of Life

I had to think long and hard about this week's "Thankful" post, which is why it's a day late.

Ben and I have been feeling some "baby pressure" lately.  Friends, family, the little off-hand comments that they make.  Some of it is our fault - we readily engage in the "what baby names do you like this week" game, and it seems that not more than a few days goes by without us (or someone else) making a comment that begins with "when we have kids..."

But, we're not there yet.  There are several reasons for this, and while we want to have a family eventually, we need to be smart and wait until the time is right. 

So, today, this week, this month (you get the idea), I'm trying to be thankful for this season of our lives.

I'm thankful that we only have to worry about the 2 of us. 

I'm thankful that we can go to sleep at night and (most nights) not wake up until our alarms start beeping at 7:30.

I'm thankful that we don't have to stress over paying for diapers and formula and bottles and childcare and car seats and more diapers and toys and baby clothes...

I'm thankful that we can go out to dinner without hauling 20 pounds of baby crap with us (and sit to enjoy a pleasant meal without a fussy little one).

I'm thankful that, at least for now, we can make plans without worrying about how it will effect a napping schedule.

I'm thankful that our apartment doesn't smell of spit-up and soiled diapers.

I'm thankful that we have the option to take a vacation without worrying about how a baby would handle the travels.

Don't get me wrong - we do want all of those things - the smelly diapers, the 3 a.m. feedings, the cranky toddler in a restaurant (and of course all the fun stuff that comes with kids)...just not yet.

I know someday we will look back on these days of "just the 2 of us" and smile (or possibly struggle to remember what life was like before little ones).

So, as we wait for the "right time" to present itself - I will be thankful for this time in our lives when all we have to worry about is each other!