Thursday, October 20, 2011

First Anniversary

A year ago today, Steinvic and I got married in a tiny chapel in Columbus, and were accompanied by my parents and Steinvic’s Mom, Young Man and Young Man’s Girlfriend. It was windy, but sunny and clear...the leaves just starting to turn. Steinvic looked so handsome in his suit and tie...confident. It was a happy, fantastic, and wonderful day.

Our ceremony was short but meaningful, supported by years of love and long-distance commutes that still keep our union going. Our wedding was a celebration of a committment that was already there.

And the long-distance part and waiting was never difficult. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “I don’t know how you two do it. I could never do that.”

I never felt that way. The love has always been firmly in place, and when you’ve got that as your compass, everything else just falls in line. I miss Steinvic when he’s gone for work, but for once in my life, I’m secure. I know he’ll be back, and when he is, everything is fantastic.

So yes, there really are birds singing and crickets chirping and the sun shines every day and we’re skipping through tulips.

And while all that is happening, Steinvic occasionally secretly wishes that I’d stop telling the same stories over and again, and I marvel at how I’m the only person in the house who seems to remember to replace the toilet paper.

Because that is Life. But it’s LOVE that governs our world and keeps us immensely happy. And it is not hard at all to love each other.

I’ve learned a lot, this first year. I’ve learned that it’s good to give Steinvic his space and instead of pouting at him, encourage him to go watch football with the guys and that this is not just okay, but it’s healthy. (And while he is doing that, I’m doing things that I enjoy doing, like sewing or cooking and watching stuff on television that I know he doesn’t dig.) I think I’ve learned to be less selfish this year. And I have found new recipes beyond the five-dish menu (that served us well when we weren’t in the same house most of the time) and I’ve really gotten into finally beautifying our modest, yet comfortable, home.

And Steinvic has learned lots, too. Like that the little daily things - folding a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash - make me insanely happy. (I’m like that…these are the things that shout, “I love you! You’re the greatest!” to me.) He discovered that he’s a great husband who is tremendously devoted to the point that he will kill giant spiders while I jump up and down, shrieking. He offers to do things that will make my life easier, like going to the grocery or marinating carrots for me. These are HUGE things for me because it means I have less stress, more quality time with him, or even just some me time. And, Steinvic also learned that what seems like a big concession can actually turn out to be a quite a blessing.

How we enjoy Houdini!

While I was living my life up to the point of finding Steinvic, nothing seemed clear to me. All the paths and twists and turns on my journey felt like a trip through a brier-filled, tangled, confused, dark, rainy forest. I had no sense of direction or even any wants any longer. I was just surviving. But after finding Steinvic, things started to come into focus, and I felt like this.

I’m so proud of our marriage. So much joy in just one year! I’m truly the luckiest girl in the world...

Happy Anniversary, Steinvic...and thank you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Slipping Away

Occasionally, we have friends or family over to stay. Whenever this happens, I go into a frenzied panic, trying to make our place better than it’s ever been.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say “friends and family understand that you and Steinvic both work full-time-plus jobs and that he’s gone a chunk of every week and that it’s tidy and sanitary so it doesn’t matter and they won’t mind if your closets are cluttered.”

Thank you. That is kind of you. But it doesn’t help my pride! My senses of pride and hospitality make me deeply desire a wonderful visiting experience for all of our guests. I can coast along with the status quo – clean kitchens and bathrooms, laundry done, floors swept and vacuumed – when it’s just Steinvic and I, but once you throw someone else into the mix, be it friend, family or repair person, I go nuts.

But nuts for me equals productive. It’s how I roll.

I once had the experience of buying new furniture. I left it – with most everything else I ever owned – where I used to stay. (It seemed a fair trade...I got to leave on my own accord, vertical instead of horizontal. To hell with new furniture and other material ties!) So, my sweet folks gave me their couch and loveseat when I set out on my own. I somewhat expertly recovered it with remnants I found at a fabric store. But then I had a kitty who thought this furniture was for claw sharpening. While she passed away several years ago, her artwork remains. I’ve trimmed and tucked the stray bits and strings here and there, the couch and sofa embarrassed me. (And we for some reason didn't think we needed to keep Steinvic's couch and sofa when he moved to Cincinnati. I don't know why! They were pretty! But didn't really match our decor...I guess that was why.)

No one who has visited has ever given our furniture the side-eye, but I do. And I’ve hunted for slipcovers, but since we got Houdini, they didn’t seem like a good option, since many have little ties or strings. These would be dog toys for him…I can envision him pulling on them over and over, yanking away like he does to us with his pull toys. Also, slipcovers can be really hideous and expensive.

But, as I discovered this week, they can also be quite lovely and fit nicely. And when accented by a few cushions, not bad at all. (Pardon the tags…I left them on so Steinvic could give the thumbs up first.)

I found these at Old Time Pottery for about a third of what they cost everywhere else. The pillows were a perfect match, too. Total bill - $100.

What do you think? Thumbs up? The rest of this mini-makeover resumes tonight…stay tuned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy This…

I don’t get it. I could be stupid. If I am, please set me straight. I really do want to understand this...

After seeing the Occupy Wall Street movement in the news for several weeks, I finally decided to look up their website to see what this is all about.

While there are some declarations on the site that I seem to agree with, I’m not really getting the point of the demonstrations. (Technically, I'm a 1%er, too. Which makes me wonder why the celebrities are coming out to they make less than $250,000 per year? I think not...)

What exactly is it that these protesters want Wall Street executives to do?

Whether it's a business or a club, I think every good organization has a mission statement and specific goals. I’m not saying it has to be something carved on a plaque that every member memorizes and can recite at a moment’s notice. But if you’re going to take time off work, leave your home and go protest something, shouldn’t there be a specific, desired end result?

If it’s just to increase awareness, and that is the goal, then it’s a single one time event, right? Not an indefinite stay. You organize the event carefully, raise any necessary funds, communicate about it, have the event, then take the funds you raise to do whatever it was you set out to do in the first place.

I saw a link on the site for monetary donations to be sent because the protesters are running low on food. Wait. You are low on food because you aren’t at your house. There is probably food at your house. You should go there. If you want money to help people who really need food and resources because they have no means to get it, I’ll totally help you out. But if you’ve essentially put your own self into a situation where you have no food or resources, it further makes me doubt the sensibility behind this “movement.”

Plan ahead. Pack some protein bars and fruit and nuts and water and vitamins and toilet paper. Make sure you bring enough to share. But please don’t ask for donations when you don’t have a plan and I don’t know where the money is going, how it’s going to be distributed, who is in charge of the funds and how they’re going to be accounted for later on.

While you gaze up at those pesky (yes, likely overpaid and opulently-living, but also hard-working and enterprising) business executives in their beautiful Wall Street buildings, think about the innovation and careful planning that went into each one of those businesses. And then know...apply some of that planning to your movement.

You’re asking America to “look down and take notice.” I'm looking, but I'm not noticing. Decide what it is that you want Wall Street – and me – to see or do and then get my attention. Please. Thank you.