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Monday, August 30, 2010

They'll Name a City After Us

     Tonight, I am going to tell you about how I am a terrible person.  That's right.  I have a truckload of school work to do, but tonight- The Blog wins.  When you give your life over to something for 8 hours a day, it is extremely difficult to continue to do so in the evenings.  I hope that doesn't make me bad at my job.  


Last weekend, we went to Nashville.  All in all, we had such a good time.  However, if we were to write it all down on paper, it would look as if it was terrible.  

I was weird.  I was high-maintenence.  I was one of those girls.  

You know the ones.  The ones who pout when no one picks their favorite restaurant or when you forget to compliment their new hair.  

Hard to believe, right?  

(((This is the part where you say, "Yes. It is hard to believe someone as sweet and adorable as you could be one of those girls. Just to let you know))).  


So, back to Nashville.  I was weird and grumpy.  Saturday Night, I had a dream about The Accident.  I haven't had one of those dreams in years and to tell you the truth, it left me feeling a bit glumpy.  (Glumpy?) Grumpy with an "l"?  Sounds good to me.  

I just couldn't shake it.  

So instead of fessing up and talking to Tim about his tone of voice and his tendency to parent me and my hurt feelings and this terrible dream, I just absolutely shut down and then came The Glumps.  

Glump. Glump.  

     We had a long talk in the car.  We always have our good, long talks in the car.  The truth is, Tim gave me the most heartfelt apology. That man gives amazing apologies.  He used my name.  My name.  Not Holls or Baby or Hon.  He used my name, and it almost humbled me to tears.  

What can I say?  "I'm sorry is oh-so-hard."  

Apparently, not for him. 

Do I know how to pick em' or what?  

     So we woke up and something happened that was almost like magic...or Jesus...or both.  We jumped in the shower together (you know you do it, too) and used silly voices and sang Queen songs.  

     I realize that I am a terrible person.  The truth is, marriage is hard.  It is hard.  It is hard because you have to be Not A Jerk.  You have to be humble and selfless and willing to give up control.  

     When you both are acting like Not A Jerk then it's magical.  More often than not, one of you IS being ridiculous and the other one has to spend a lot of time picking up the other one's slack.  

And when you are BOTH misbehaving?  Well, then you might as well just go kick rocks and forget it for the entire rest of the day.  

So, my answer is Jesus.  Always. Always. Jesus.  

There were times this weekend when the only prayer I could muster was God's name over and over and over again.  

A cord of three strands is not easily broken.  

So, I say all this at the risk of breaking my own rules (and did not ask Tim's permission, sorry, My Love) because when you fill your blog with pictures like this

it is easy to believe that we are adorable and perfect and that we wear matching pajamas and never get irritated when the other one runs late.  But the truth is...sometimes we are jerks.  Sometimes I have to say I'm sorry and stop shutting down and actually HELP him for crying out loud.  Sometimes the opposite is true.  

So, today is Monday.  If you feel terrible too, then chin up.  Here's to us trying to NOT be so terrible together.  

Tonight, I took Scarlett out for a bike ride and our neighborhood smelled like an open fire and clean laundry.  It was wonderfully intriguing.  That's gotta be a good sign, right?  

Someone who is sometimes a jerk

Sunday, August 29, 2010


What did I do this weekend?  Oh nothing much.  Just single-handedly refinished our entire driveway. 

Just kidding.  Actually we went to Nashville and had an amazing time.  

We did get the driveway refinished (I had help).  It is funny...the things we get SO EXCITED about as we get older.  When it was all finished, Tim and I stood outside and just stared.  Wish we had a before and after pictured.  After two years of driving on old asphalt/gravel/grass...the new blacktop is a welcome improvement. 

Love and home-ownership, 

P.S. I'll do a 'what we did in Nashville' post later.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Birds on a Wire

Wordless Wednesday...?  

     I usually don't jump on the bandwagon of, "Follow-me-Fridays....Talented Tuesdays...etc."  Not that I don't enjoy reading those kinds of blogs...and who doesn't love some alliteration...?  However, I don't think this blog-writer could really function with that kind of structure...meh. 

     With that being said, I will tell you that today was the first day of school, and I (hands down) have the bestest group of kiddos this side of the Mississippi River.  We have a lot to learn this year, and by golly, I'm up to the task. 

Sorry, I have no idea why that late 1800's, frontier-style lingo came out of nowhere.  

Get a long, little doggies.  

Anyway, I bet by now, you're wishing I WOULD have chosen Wordless Wednesday...

     Did I tell you that I burned dinner?  I burned dinner in the crock pot, no less.  It all started because I used thawed meatballs (I made them from ground turkey) because I didn't want to use the fatteningly delicious FROZEN meatballs from the freezer section (made with greasy ground beef).  I think the lack of frozen meat in the slow cooker meant the temperature didn't regulate (the recipe called for frozen meatballs) needless to say, everything was soggy and burnt.  

"...the temperature didn't regulate...?"  You didn't know I was a scientist, did you?  A late 1800's-frontier-style scientist.  

Yee-haw to the tenth power squared.  Or something like that.  

This is what I would post if I was a normal-girl-who-was-not-exhausted.  Why don't you just pretend I posted something like this instead.  Mkay? 

This photo reminds me so much of August.  I'm not sure why, but I love it.  

I have officially labeled this post, nonsense, in case you were wondering.  Yes. I am aware.  I am very aware...that's gotta count for something.  


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm a new soul, came into this strange world

     I was going to start out this post with the words, "I meant to..."  but the truth is, it's the night before school starts and I MEANT to DO a lot of things...put an extra basket of laundry away...pack up our "Give to Goodwill" my to-do list and link it to Carmen's site.  I didn't even get THAT far...

     Tonight, I will tell you that Ohio has been selected to participate in The Country's  attempt at education reform... Race to the Top.  Basically, with a little bit of finagling...we will get a little bit of money.  

     Basically, this is the equivalent of forecasting rain for someone in the desert.  It makes me feel hopeful.  

     Honestly, school stresses me out...State Testing stresses me out.  Things like Indicators and making AYP and all kinds of other acronyms that we are supposed to make or meet or find or keep track of.  

     I was trying to find a Bible verse that would be fitting for the next upcoming months.  I googled the words "bible verse fear".  Which only seemed fitting, and I came up with this...or, um. God came up with this.    

So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6  

My brain replaced the word "man" with "tests" 

and then I felt better.  

Love and using the word google as a verb, 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One of these things is not like the other.

     These are two of my favorite necklaces.  Tim and I went on a date last night, and I just happened to pair  them together.  The key necklace is from Tiffany's- a present from Tim when I finished my Master's Degree.  The pennant I found at a Thrift Store for 2 dollars and fifty cents.  I think it's a perfect combination.  It reminds me to keep balance in my life.

Work. Play.  Save. Splurge.  Eat. Run.  Clean. Relax.

The list goes on.

Just for the record, I had intended to write about 3 more paragraphs.  Alas, it is a Saturday, and it's raining, no less.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Live a Better Story Seminar

     ....or Stories Part Three

     As you may know, one of my favorite authors answers to the name of Donald Miller.  I recently read his blog and noticed a 'contest' of sorts involving blog entries and an opportunity to attend a Living a Better Story Seminar.  The Seminar just happens to be in Portland over my school's Fair Break (yes, we get the week off for the County Fair...Yee-haw).  So I figured, what the heck?  This is, my entry of sorts. 

     I typed parts One and Two of this specific "blog series" before I even THOUGHT about submitting all this as an entry for Portland.  If you have the time and energy and desire, feel free to scroll back to the past two days. 

If not, that's totally cool.  

If My Dream or my "better story" was a novel, This is the Cliffs Notes. (These ARE the Cliffs Notes)?  

     In an attempt to Live a Great Story, my husband and I dream about using his family's farmland to build a house along with a building that would house dogs in need.  I want to make this very clear.  This "building" would be an extension of our house.  It would NOT be a glorified shelter.

     We'd like to make our property, this building and its canine inhabitants available to people who are suffering.  Some examples would be children with disabilities or diseases, senior citizens, you get the point.One can find great comfort in sunshine, the outdoors and well, some doggie cuddlin.'  

     Another way we'd like to use the space is to host parties for people in need, specifically children.  We are all children of God, and deserve to be celebrated for that fact alone.  No child should miss out on that opportunity, no matter how great the need, how deep the illness or how empty the pocketbook.  The idea would be to use the space we have to host parties for children who are having birthdays, grandmas who have turned 100, Aunts who have finally beat cancer, etc.  at no cost to those attending.

We would like to be in the dog rescuing, party planning business, and if there's any more fantastic dream then we haven't found it.

     In Don's book, he explains that every character in a story encounters a conflict, if not many.  I think the biggest part of our conflict is the lack of connections we have with people who have, so to speak, gone before us.  We need to be connected with people who know how to do THIS.  We need people who have (figuratively) started with 10 acres of empty land and built The Park.  We need our paths to cross.  I think that is the most important part of creating this story.  I think if we can find the people who have the heart, that discovery will lead us to the people who have the know-how.  I think this seminar will do that.

     You know, being a teacher, I am a sucker for following directions.  The directions say, "Be specific."  Sometimes, I am tempted to be all wide-eyed and dreamy and tell you that it will be easy and fun and it will all work out and if you bring up the hard stuff then you are being a jerkface, but the truth is...this will be hard.  I know.  To open a large dog park where sad people and sad dogs can come and play next to a 'farm' where we can host FREE parties for people who really need a party is a big undertaking.  

     We are standing in a playground of conflict.  

     We will need insurance papers and legal-stuff (oh, will we need legal stuff).  We will need money because let's face it, dogs are expensive.  Everyone will need shots (ok, mostly just the dogs will need them) ...behavior training...fencing...extra funding in case one of our dogs ends up having special needs...people who will care for the dogs in case we get sick or take a vacation...a building that is heated and cooled and EASY TO KEEP favors...a driveway that could double as a parking lot...a marketing strategy so people will know where to come if they need a free party or to pet an old dog...did I mention cake?

And we need approximately 2,000 balloons, 100 boxes of birthday cake mix, and 5 gazillion pounds of kibbles -n-bits with a side of flea powder.  Thanks a bunch.  See you in Portland...?

Well, either way, we just may get our Dog Farm.  Or maybe we'll just spring for another dog...or a baby. 

Just kidding.

Love and random contest entries, 

Oh yea, and this is my friend (I wish), Donald Miller.  I am hoping that if I tell you to read his book enough then eventually, he'll find out and really will be my friend.

Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

Holy Cow.

Holy Cow. Holiest of all Holy Cows. I am guest blogging over here at Melissa's blogs are the first blogs I REALLY got "into." So this is kind of the equivalent of the whole Britney Spears/Madonna thing...minus the creepy public kissing. :) So honored to be a part of this site.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stories, Part Two.

     So, you've come back for more, eh?

Thank you.

If you have not read Part One of this series, you might want to.  If not, here's the recap.  You know how I like my recaps.

1.) Tim and I are tossing around the idea of building a house on his family's farmland
2.) I read a book about making your life full of Great Stories that sort of changed my life
3.)  I came to believe that neglected dogs are a microcosm that represents everything that is wrong and evil in the world.

     After I cried in Petsmart, I started thinking about The Devil.  That's right.  The Devil.  I started thinking about how crummy it is that he sets out everyday to ruin the things that God has created (i.e. dogs who love their freedom).  Then all these great Bible Marbles started rolling around in my head (Bible marbles?).  I remembered that basically, The Bible says if we accept grace and love and God's hand in our lives, then we will find lots of peace and comfort and joy.  With God on our side, nothing is ever truly ruined.  

God can take Satan's sucker punch and turn it into a pat on the back.

I hummed one of my favorite J.J. Heller lines, 

"I know you hate to see me cry, but one day you will make all things right."

     So I said to myself, "Self, maybe the fact that someone cared enough to take these dogs in and help them is evidence that there is still a lot right going on in the world.  Maybe it is all about our perspective."  

And then I felt better.

So, with that being said...
My Our to use the land to build a Dog Farm.  That's right.  A DOG FARM.

     My parents' best friends used to live in a an old farmhouse, old barn included.  The husband runs a  business (quite successfully) that specializes in computers.  They remodeled part of their barn so that he could have his own office.  Although they've moved since then, I remember a desk and a television and lots of chairs and couches.  It became a barn/office/makeshift playroom.

And the wheels started turning.

How amazing would it be to build our house and build a 'barn' with tile and 'kennels' and couches and dog beds and air conditioning and lots and lots of windows?

My dream, MY DREAM is to walk into Petsmart on adopt-a-dog-day, take one look at the cages full of 'old' dogs, wave my hand like a fairy dog-mother and boldly declare,

"Clear em' out!"

Then, we would all pile into our old SUV and go home.

We would go home.

     Instead of spending our August Saturdays staring at each other through black metal cages, we would lay on the cool tile in the office/playroom/dog barn, eating ice cubes and watching re runs of property ladder.

     We would use all The Land as a make-shift dog park.  Children with disabilities or tiny backyards or parents with allergies...children who simply can't have dogs could come and play.  "The Park" would also be open to anyone who was generally having a bad day.  I find that dogs tend to help with bad day-ishness. I trust that somewhere, it's been scientifically proven.

Every dog would get bowls of turkey on Thanksgiving and treat bags at Christmas.

     We would also use The Land to have parties for underprivileged children or kids who have finally beat cancer or grandparents who have just turned 100 at no cost to those in need.  There would be a slip and slide or snowman building (depending on the weather) along with pretty table cloths and lots of balloons.

     I would write.  I would write articles and books and stories and anything I could get down on paper.  We would give the dogs names like Ruby and Dodger and Bandit, and people would come to know them because of all the writing.  They would send them cards and ask for photos and come to celebrate their birthdays.  Their story would be come our story and vice versa, and life would be good.  

We would be home.  

Love and everything else, 

photo source, unknown-please comment if you find it 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stories, Part One

     This is a post about a story.  The story is about dogs...kind of.  Sometimes, I like to start out my posts by saying, "This is a post about..."  so that way, you know exactly what you are getting yourselves into.

Still reading?

Thank you.

     One of my favorite authors wrote a book about The Story he wants to write with his life.  His name is Donald Miller and the book is called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.   He is an excellent author.  The book is good.  The book is very good.  I would tell you all about it, but that is another post entirely in itself.  It is THAT good.  You should read it.  Seriously, take a sick day and read it, I won't tell.

     This is a post I have been sitting on for a long time, but now that it is time to start writing, I don't quite know where to start.


     Shortly after Tim and I started dating, I moved into a cozy, ivy-covered town house with one of my best pals.  It was within walking distance of Starbucks.  We had a Graeter's (best ice cream this side of the Mississippi).   There were black eyed susans in the backyard.  We were on the outskirts of a hussling, bussling city, and we liked it.  Life was good.
     When Tim and I started talking, I mean, Really Talking, he informed me that his family owned some land a lot of land in the teeniest tiniest town (where I grew up).  He informed me that (someday) he wanted to build a house.  I thought to myself,
           "There is no way I am moving back to the country and building a house in the woods." 
     Instead, I nodded sweetly and added something generic like,
          "That's cool."
     Cause that's what we do in the beginning of relationships, right?  We nod sweetly and agree to  ridiculous things like building new/old farmhouses in towns with more chickens than people and no Starbucks.
     Then we bought a house in the suburbs.  We bought a house in the suburbs where the neighbors are rude and there is lots of traffic and the coffee is overpriced.  Then I fell in love with Dogs and read Don Miller's book and started thinking about farmhouses and animals in need and writing good stories with my life.

And then I went to Petsmart.  I went to Petsmart on Adopt-a-dog-day.

Still with me?  Good.

     The last time we were at Petsmart on Adopt-a-dog-day, we had to leave because I cried.  I had never seen so many caged-in many caged-in ADULT dogs.  Usually, you see lots of puppies.  The puppies are not sad because they lick you and they are adorable and they get homes easily.

Everyone wants a puppy.

     You will be hard-pressed to find someone who wants a wild, full-grown, smelly, adult dog.  That is like going to an orphanage and asking to adopt a Frat Boy.  What's worse, is that all the dogs were barking.  They were barking because they have known freedom.  They have known freedom and they are smart enough to know that this is not it.  Caged-in puppies aren't sad because they have never known freedom.  A cage is a cage is a field is a park is a cage to them.  They can't tell the difference.

     So then I started thinking about how this is NOT what God intended when he created the world.  I started thinking about how sometimes, it is the little things in the world that signify that something BIG and Important is amiss (like shoplifting and animal neglect and The Jersey Shore).

     I started thinking about all those unwanted, neglected, adult dogs and how wrong that seemed.

And then I cried. so we left.  The end.

     Actually, that is not the end.  That is not even really the beginning.  Maybe it is the beginning of the beginning, but truth be told, I haven't had breakfast yet and I'm hungry and there is laundry just hanging out in the washing machine and I hate it when the laundry spoils (such a waste), so I must go for now.

     There is more to The Story.  If you are good and honest and kind to each other and you finish all your broccoli (try adding cheese, it helps), then I will tell you THE REST of The Story very soon.  And give you extra recess.

So far, you know:
1.) Tim and I are tossing around the idea of building a house on his family's farmland
2.) I read a book about making your life full of Great Stories that sort of changed my life
3.)  I came to believe that neglected dogs are a microcosm that represents everything that is wrong and evil in the world.

Love and S.A.T. words (microcosm?),

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Blogging!

     Hi Friends- I am guest blogging for Dear Ella today, and couldn't be more excited!  It is my first guest post EVER so it's pretty big news.  Check her out, she's a sweet girl.

Love and rolling out the welcome mat, 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

C.P., We're friends

     For those of you who do not know,  I am madly, obsessively in love with my crock pot.  I am not afraid to tell the world.  

I ♥ my crock pot!!!!!

     Last year, I was making copies, and our speech pathologist came in and asked, "Why are you smiling?"  And I blushed and said, "I was just thinking about my crock pot and how happy it makes me to know that dinner is already ready."  She understood.  

I swear, it is like a time machine.  A wonderful, magical time machine.  

     In honor of my creepy desire to frame a photo of dear old, c.p., I will share with you a recipe I tried today.  It was so cheap and so easy.  With the start of a new school year, my goal is to use the crock pot 2 times a week in an attempt to make 'life' less hectic.  We'll see how it goes.  Happy crock potting! 

The Recipe

Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff Recipe

6 boneless chicken breasts
1 (12 ounce) container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix

Place chicken in crockpot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

My own concoction...
     I only used 3 chicken breasts (it's just the two of us...and I had leftovers).  Also, I messed up and bought cream of chicken instead of was still super yummy.  I cut up some fresh mushrooms and layered them on top. I also mixed regular sour cream w/ 1/2 fat free sour cream (shh..don't tell Tim).  I let it cook on low for 7 hours.  We had it with a dollop of mashed potatoes.  

What I would do next time...
     Add some salt and pepper to taste and also a layer of onion.  I'd also spring for fat-free sour cream in the entire mixing half and half.  He'll never know.  

Why I loved it...
Because it was in the crockpot (obviously)
I used a crock pot liner so the clean up was SO EASY
It was super yummy and if you use healthy request cream of chicken (as I did), and fat-free sour cream, it is a generally low cal./fat meal and extremely filling!  

I am thinking about serving this the next time we have company.  
     Also, I wonder how it would freeze?  With that being said, my next venture is to start making some meals ahead of time and pop them in the freezer.  Give me one free Saturday and I'd be all set for a week or two! Sounds like heaven, right?  Do you have any good "I froze this and it still tasted delicious" recipes?  

Love and extra mashed potatoes, 

(I swear, I "Google Imaged" the words "love crock pot" and that picture above is what came up!  Looks like someone else is as addicted as me!)  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lie #4,682

     One lie that the devil tells me is that if I stop worrying about things, that will mean I am not responsible.

Worrying= responsibility.

The falsehood of this statement is a hard concept for me.

Well, either way, his math is wrong.

      “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

     “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)

Well, in that case- hooray.

                                                                                        photo source here and here. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yes, Please.

     Today, I'm saying, "Yes, Please."  to mixed patterns (esp. stripes!), tiny wrist tattoos (not mine...yet), lots of red shoes and that adorable necklace 

Love and lots more where that came from,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Those first 40 seconds

     When we have kids, I will tell them that one of the ways I knew their father was The One was that he changed the way I listen to music.  I'm all lyrics.  He's all about the instruments.  Who knew?  

How much do you love the first 40 seconds of this song? Please say, "a lot."  

     Today, I was thinking about our dog, Noel the Kind.  She is shy-ish and sleeps a lot, so she doesn't get very many shout-outs on here, but she is special nonetheless.  Tim had her even before we met so I kind of don't know how to do all *this* without her.  She is all we've ever known.  
     I was also thinking about my sister and her baby.  It surprises me, how much room we have for more love in our hearts.  

My best to you.  

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How much do you love...

delphiniums!?!?!  I planted some in our backyard, but they aren't doing too well.  I really hope they bounce back.  Maybe someday, they will be photo-worthy. Right now they are just light green with a little bit of brown.  Still daydreaming about these little beauties, though!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A 2 and a 5

P.S. I just noticed that there are 25 followers!?!?!?!  25 Followers.  Boo-yah.  I try not to focus TOO MUCH on "followers" and rather just on blogging for fun and getting to know new people, but still...the idea of 25 is well, fun.  

     Raise your hand if you friggin' rock! At this point, all 25 of you should have a hand in the air.  For that, I'll gladly post a picture.  

P.S.S. Since this is now aptly dubbed "The Night of Nonsense," I should tell you that it is probably a good idea to "Google Image" wet dogs.  You will probably laugh your heads off.  

Shake Shake

I don't know much these days, but I do know a few things.

First of all, I want a record player (vintage or otherwise) so badly that I could just cry right here right now.

     I am a third generation Nazarene.  (It's not weird or 'cultish,' I promise).  In case you didn't know this, technically, we're not "supposed" to dance.  I was well into my 20's before I ever attended a wedding with "dancing."  It was cool, but also kind of awkward.

     I am married to the son of a preacher man which might make me Nazarene twice, nay, three times or something silly like that.  Which is fine by me.

     However...give me a loud beat and some good lyrics and alas, I can't help but shake my groove thing. That's right. My groove thing. This was confirmed in the "Home Audio" section at Best Buy today.  It was not even a little embarrassing.

     I had NO IDEA Jimmy Page was so old.  No offense, dude.  No offense.  You can trash talk me if you really wanna.  I'll even give you a topic, Jim.  No less than 4 hours ago, I could be seen dancing in the middle of Best Buy.  Discuss.  

     Also, if you get poison ivy, it will itch.  It will itch for a very long time.  You will think you are probably going to still be itching on your 89th birthday.  And then it will get better (I think).  

Love and less nonsense,

There are no pictures attached to this post because well, frankly, I'm lazy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

They Made a Statue of Us

photo sources here  here and here  


  My book is so good.  That's right.  It is the kind of book that makes me lose all my social skills- to the point where I am adding those five out-of-the-blue-words to any conversation I can squeeze them into.  

Tim: (cleaning out the DVR)  This episode of How I Met Your it old? Is it a re-run? 

Me:  Yes. Yes it is.  Tim...

Tim:  What, baby?

Me:  My book is so good.

Tim: Good baby.  Good. I'm glad your book is so good.  What about Property Ladder...?  Is this new...?

     I'm not going to give you the summary.  You can go here for that.  Oh yea, and watch the video.  Based on his picture in the "About the Author" section, I expected JSF to be boring and pretentious, but he's not. In the video, he is simply delightful.  

Just read it.  

    It is a sad book, but it is necessary if that makes any sense at all.  Maybe someday, you will know what I mean.  I think I mean it is sad in a way that is necessary because it is honest.  It is true.  


Maybe someday. 

     On the way home in the car, we had A Talk.  There was yelling, but not "I am so mad at you" yelling.  It was DON'T YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?!?  kind of yelling.  

I have come to the conclusion that Tim and I are both very passionate.  Which I like.  

     I told him this car ride was like a marathon.  Some runners need a marathon a year- a race in which they think they are going to throw up or pass out or die or maybe all of the above, but that is what keeps them motivated to run the rest of the year.  

Our talk?  It was kind of like that.  

     At one point, I looked down at my open book and glanced down to find this quote from Oskar, the main character.  

     I tried the key in all all of the doors, even though he said he didn't recognize it.  It's not that I didn't trust him, because I did.  It's that at the end of my search I wanted to be able to say: I don't know how I could have tried harder.    Oskar Schell Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Johnathan Safran Foer 

And a light went on.

     If I were writing a letter to someone else on their wedding day- someone who is asking for advice, I would say to them- marriage is about trying harder.  Marriage is about always trying harder.

     And I thought about Tim and I and the claw marks we had left on our marriage, not out of malice or spite but out of simply trying to hold on- a cat who has almost missed the next window sill.

And then I felt better.

Read the book.  It has nothing and everything to do with marriage.

Love and probably more claw marks,