Category Archives: Marriage

Happy birthday to us

Today is my 40th birthday, and many of my friends and family know I’m pretty excited about it. A lot of people dread this milestone, but not me. I’m excited to join the 40s “club” and put my 30s behind me. They were quite a roller coaster. I had some babies, I went back to school and FINISHED, praise the Lord… but I was also diagnosed with MS and then later lost my hearing and vision. So, lots of ups and downs. I know I can’t count on the next decade being all ups, but I can look each day in the face and hope for the best. And I feel like I’m learning how to do that as I get older. The maturing that happens with aging is such a blessing. And that is why I’m happy to be 40.

But I also came on here to talk about my husband. It is also his birthday today, only he is one year older. It’s a neat little tidbit about us that people find just fascinating. People ask, “man, what are the odds?” Well, the answer to that is 1 in 365. Because days in a year, folks. There are only so many. And while I know mathematically that’s a correct answer, I still want to say the odds that we would fall in love and still be crazy about each other all these years later are much, much higher. It sure shoots holes in those astrology theories, that’s for sure.

Earlier I was thinking back to the day we discovered we shared a birthday. We weren’t dating, we were just out to dinner at Denny’s and were in the “getting to know you” phase. We were asking each other basic questions until he asked me when my birthday was. Here’s about how it went:

Mike: So, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd.
Mike:  No, really, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd. Why would I lie about that?
Mike: Seriously? Let me see your license.

I think he asked to see my ID, that part I’m fuzzy on. I know he didn’t believe me, that’s for sure. He thought I had peeked in his wallet and was playing a joke on him.

That was more than 20 years ago, and here we are, old people lol We joke that 40 is old but it’s just that, a joke. Because you’re only as old as you feel and old is such a subjective term. My prayer is just that we’ll always remember to embrace life, be present with our loved ones, and in everything look to Jesus for guidance.  Happy birthday to us! Today I’m praising God for life.




Valentine’s Surprise

As a family, we’re not very celebratory. With Valentine’s Day being kind of a Hallmark holiday, I just see it as another excuse to buy candy and throw parties at school. This year I totally flaked and didn’t plan anything for my husband or the kids, but thankfully my husband remembered. We woke up this morning to a kitchen table full of candy – he even emptied out my favorite paisley bowl and put my candy and card inside it – and a wonderfully clean kitchen. It took me a minute to catch that the mess I had left the night before was gone, but when I did my heart just melted. Thanks Mike, for being my valentine, always and forever. Wuvver!

In sickness and in health…

You know, I try really hard to be as healthy as I can. I can’t undo the damage MS has already done to my nerves, but I can do the best with what I’ve got left and the body I’ve got now. I stopped eating meat back in November. It’s gone well, so I gave up dairy last week. Right after I cheated a few days eating meat. And then I got sick with some nasty chest congestion. Ugh. The cheating was certainly not worth it.

Then today, I’m having coffee with a friend and BAM! I started having an attack of vertigo. It was so weird, y’all, I mean I have experienced dizziness but this was so much more. I mean, everything around me seemed to be literally turning. And it lasted for a good two minutes before it calmed down. The problem was that the feeling never really went entirely away, even long after my friend had left. I texted another friend to see if what I was experiencing was normal, and if I should go the urgent care or something. I was still feeling super dizzy and I was having some numbness in my left arm. But as I was texting with her I realized that yes, I probably should go. So I called my husband to come get me. My knight in shining armor dropped everything and came as quick as he could. In the meantime my friend came over to check on me and keep an eye on my kids while my husband and I were at the urgent care.

Thankfully, all my vitals and an EKG were normal. The doctor explained that it was most likely inflammation from my recent chest cold that got transferred and consequently trapped in my ear drum, and that it should clear up if I just give it time. In the meantime he gave me an anti-nausea medication to take in case the dizziness is really bothering me or making me feel unsafe. The medicine has helped tremendously.

I was just so ecstatic that I wasn’t having a heart attack and that I didn’t end up in the hospital because I have a family reunion to go to this weekend that I am SUPER STOKED about. Because I have an amazing family full of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins-plus whom I never get to see anymore. I was so afraid that my stupid health issues were going to ruin that, so I’m just happy. Happy, happy, happy.

I did tell my husband – who knows how hard I try to be low maintenance, and loves me despite my utter failure at it – that I’m ready to get back to the “in health” part of our marriage vows. Seriously.

17 Years and counting

Today was my 17th wedding anniversary. I don’t really have much to say about the matter. My brain feels a little fried right now. But we had a really good weekend together. The kids were at Grandma’s for the weekend so it was nice to be able to relax and get some adult conversation in now and then.

I think what’s worth saying right now is that I am more in love with my husband than I was 17 years ago. Well, maybe not more, but different. Richer, fuller, a more complete love. Not so much “in love” but simply “love”. Both the feeling and the choice. A love that’s proved itself over and over. “For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” We meant every word of our wedding vows, and if you need proof, just look at what we have been through over the years, and what we have endured – together – and you’ll see how true that is. I did a lot of reflecting and remembering this weekend, recalling memories of our early years together, and it was nice, but I wouldn’t ever consider going back. What we had 17 years ago was special, but it has evolved into something even better. It really just keeps getting better.

I am especially thankful today for my husband. He makes me laugh like no one else can, he can read my thoughts and moods (he often knows me better than I do), he calls me out on my bullshit, and above all, he has my back. I don’t know where I would be without him. Mike, if you read this far – I love you more!

I don’t mind a little cheese

**Warning: this post contains a lot of cheese.**


My husband was up all night putting this cabinet together for me. I had not even asked him to, but he did it anyway. Because he loves me.

And while the cabinet doesn’t match the hutch next to it, I love it. I love both pieces, because this space is mine, and mine only. This is where I work. Where I write, where I feel like I can function in a way that is not hindered by my disabilities.

I must also mention that my husband sort of hates The Hutch. But knowing how much I love The Hutch, he lets that go. The Hutch stays, and we never speak of it.

So now, at the risk of sounding overly sentimental, these two pieces of furniture represent the sacrifices my dear husband has made for me. Which honestly is still not even accurate, when you take everything into account. We have been married for 16 years, but especially in these past two he has given up so much for me. And if you ask him, he would tell you he would do it again, in a heartbeat. This furniture will always remind me of his love and sacrifice, and with any luck will inspire the same qualities in me.

Mike, I could not live without you, nor would I want to. You are truly my everything. Thank you. I love you more than I can express in words.

Range Date

Grandpa agreed to come and watch the kids (and the puppy) after church so Mike and I could go on a date. Where do we go for fun? The shooting range! Mike shoots competitively (and does quite well for someone who doesn’t get a lot of time to practice), so when he gives me a fist bump after I’ve shot a few rounds, I feel pretty proud of myself. See for yourself in the picture below, that hole right in the middle, dead center? That was my first shot. I thought at the time I should have stopped right there, but I’m glad I didn’t.

I was shooting my Sig Sauer P238 (with new paisley decorated grips… I really ought to have a picture), my Glock .380, and Mike’s Glock .45. We had a blast, and it is such a great way for both of us to relieve stress. We were wrapping things up when Mike started chatting with an acquaintance from a couple lanes over. I think Mike must have shared how much I was enjoying shooting the .45 (cuz I was, you know?), so the man offered to let me shoot his gun: a Desert Eagle .44 magnum. This gun was a monster. Not too heavy to hold, but it was almost too big for my finger to reach the trigger. I had a hard time managing the recoil, so I was pretty surprised when I saw I hit the bullseye. I told the guy after I shot three rounds – with his super expensive and impressive gun – that I didn’t do so bad for having low vision! Maybe I should have mentioned that first? Oh well, I shot well and he seemed mostly humored that I was having so much fun with it. (He even accepted my friend request on Facebook!)

We didn’t get a picture of the target I shot with the magnum, but the one below is from the rounds I shot with the Sig P238.  I think. Maybe it was the Glock. Anyway, not too shabby for someone who only gets to the range a handful of times throughout the year. I can’t drive a car, but I can shoot a gun! 🙂


Counting down to activation day

Well, we still have just a touch under 3 weeks until I can hope to have a normal conversation with my husband. As if communication within a marriage isn’t challenge enough, take away the ability of one spouse to hear the other, and you have a recipe for disaster. That’s the hand we’ve been dealt, and we’ve been making it work for the past 10 months. I won’t say we’ve been raking in the chips, but we’re still in the game, with no plans of folding (I’m not a poker champion, but I played one on tv).

I don’t have a lot of knowledge regarding these cochlear implants (ci’s), but I’m told they are amazing. I have not heard one single negative report. They are truly a miracle. Rush Limbaugh, who experienced the same type of hearing loss I did, and now has two ci’s, makes a very valuable point regarding the ci. He basically puts it into perspective by pointing out that if he had been born even 30 years earlier , and went deaf at the age he did, it would have been the end of his radio hosting career. To think that on the timeline of history of hundreds, or even thousands, of years, that we are here at this point in time. This point in time, where super smart scientists and medical researchers have made this discovery to restore hearing for deaf people. What an amazing thing. I am astounded and beyond excited.

On activation day, I will be joined by my husband, my son and daughter, and my mother-in-law. It will be a long meeting, so Grandma will be helpful in entertaining the kids. That is, unless Natalie wants to learn all about audiology (it’s not surgery, but it’s still pretty interesting). I’m keeping my expectations low, as I’ve been advised, so who knows how the day will go. If it goes anything like my surgery did, it will be just fine. I am really looking forward to hearing everyone’s voices again, but I know they may not sound the same. Heck, they probably won’t even sound natural at first, but that’s ok. This is just the next step on the road back to hearing. We just took a little detour, that’s all.

I have been saved, healed, and delivered; sozo. Praise the Lord!