Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary

When I woke up 12 years ago this morning...from a night of fitful sleep...I could have never dreamed what this day, 12 years ago, would be the beginning of. Yes, I knew I was marrying the man I had been dating for almost three years, but I honestly was too young to understand that it was more than just a cliche' that my life really would "never be the same," as of this day. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not that great with change. This is really a gross understatement, because there are times when change makes me physically ill. Getting married was a huge change, obviously. So my wedding day was not the joyful occasion is usually is for brides. I cried most of the day and pretty much for the next three years straight and intermittently since then. Poor Steve.

We got married, took a limo 45 minutes east to our first hotel, where a U-haul truck waited to take me away from everything that was familiar and easy. Yes, on top of the giant change of getting married, we also moved all the way across the country. Big Change #2. Every night of the honeymoon Steve would get me to stop sobbing by telling me he'd take me back home the next day. I would fall into an exhausted-from-crying-all-day sleep. Then I would wake up the next morning and feel like maybe I could go on toward Boston for one more day. Steve says I either cried or slept the whole 10 days we drove to Boston. Nice honeymoon huh? I will say it again, poor Steve. He should have left me on the side of the road, but what has proven true to his character over and over, he is loyal and stubborn and he doesn't give up on people. (Even people he should give up on).

We made it to Boston. We survived and even enjoyed our time there (thanks to some true friends who visited). We definitely grew up a lot there by navigating around a city we'd never been, braving blizzards, walking a block to do laundry, surviving on $1400 a month, starting jobs at a strange school, just to name a few of our growing up experiences. We returned home to California, two years later, with the idea that life was finally going to be a little easier for us, only to discover I was pregnant with girl-child #1. Three girl-children later, a new house, financial struggle, job changes, car accident, good memories, bad memories, more growing experiences and cliff hanging circumstances we are now celebrating 12 years together. I told him last night, at the end of the day, he really is my perfect match. He said, "what about the beginning of the day?"

This morning when Courtney jumped into bed with me and said, with her little hand on my face, "I love you sooo much mama, I just had to come tell you....can you fix me breakfast," I was overwhelmed with the memory of this morning 12 years ago. I was so sad, so young, so worried, but had I known what was coming, had I know what waited for me because of this decision of marriage, I think I could have done it all better. If some one had set me down and said, "Yes, this will be the most challenging thing, and the most uncomfortable you've ever been, but just wait for the good stuff that is can't even imagine." Maybe I would have enjoyed the steps it took to get here, instead of kicking and screaming through most of it. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. Just maybe....

....maybe I won't have to kick and scream through the next 12 years which I know will include my three girls becoming teenagers, learning to drive, bringing home boys they like, forming opinions that have nothing to do with me, making decisions that I wish they wouldn't make, and slowly leaving the home Steve and I have made for them. I know that there are going to be a lot of tough times in the future, but I am guessing that the good stuff that is coming...I still can't even imagine. Of all the unknowns that the future holds, Steve's love for me and loyalty to me and his girls has proven itself over and over. I have a partner, a steady, confident partner, that won't have to pull me through the next 12 years, but that will walk through these years with me.

There is something very comforting and secure about knowing that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am back

Things have been busy since I last posted. Thanks for those of you who have kept checking faithfully. I appreciate those of you who were concerned for my well being and even checked in. It's hard to get time with my own computer these days. As I talked about before, my kids have turned into video game junkies and we are constantly battling to claim the right to the computer. With three kids, (Four if you count the senior video game junkie), each with an hour of allotted time, I don't see my computer until the evening and then, the garble that is my brain, cannot be deciphered into a coherent blog. My friend Jodie has kept up, everyday, with her blog. But she is amazing and I am...well I'm just Jenn.

The video game phenomenon that has entered my home is surprising. I don't think I was much into such things as a kid. We did have Atari and that was cool. I do remember spending some time in front of my favorite game "KABOOM" that required great skill and speed. This game, for those of you who have never heard of it, consisted of three barrels of water stacked on top of each other. From the top of the screen a bad guy of sorts dropped lit bombs over a wall. The object was to catch the bombs before they fell to the ground. Each level got faster and faster. If you dropped a bomb then you lost a barrel of water until you had only one to catch the fast falling bombs. I really loved this game and if I can be so bold as to claim that I was actually the best at this game in my family. I should probably qualify it with JRS was not yet walking when I mastered this game, but the best is the best...and that was me. I also remember how cool we thought the game "PONG" was, and how, even my parents, were very into "BEZERK" and "SPACE INVADERS." I do remember how cool it was when PAC-MAN came out. It was a game that one could only play in the arcade, so when it became available to play in your home, things began to get interesting for video game fans across the country. My parents even used to play Atari with our neighbors. That was annoying, because, what were we supposed to do when the grown ups were the ones playing with our toys? ASTROIDS was another that provided hours of entertainment. The graphics of this game were so simple compared to what we see today. The wedge shaped gun in the middle that moved in a circle, at your control, to shoot white or purple blobs that may or may not have been shaped like rocks. There were also the white dots in the back ground that gave the illusion of being in outer space. It was simple, but I thought it was cool!!

Then came the day that my dad brought home an IBM PC jr with a dot matrix printer that was the size of the desk by itself. It had the real floppy floppies and was run using DOS. I remember learning how to program just a little. For example, I would program it for each family member's name. As soon as one entered their name I had it set to give a specific message to each. At one point when dad would enter "John," I would have the computer respond with, "Hey John, I heard your head is so oily you can drill an oil well on it." Nice huh? I bet more parents wish they could have had such a charming child. I was about 12-13 so I can blame it on adolescence. I learned how to type on this computer using a game called Mastertype. The words were in all four corners of the screen inside space ships that were coming toward the center. The goal was to type the word before it blew up your mother ship. It was very fun and I am the typist I am today because of it. The coolest game on the IBM was KINGS QUEST I. To this day, I would love the opportunity to play these games again. I think they have gone as high as KINGS QUEST V. These were fun games. You had to find things, solve puzzles and keep the prince alive until the quest had been completed. I had hours of fun on this game.

Did I say I wasn't into video games when I was a kid? How soon we forget!!