Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Husband is Sick

The internet is fairly littered with diatribes, rantings, and whinings by women that begin with those words, my husband is sick, and then go on to complain about how men are such babies when they feel ill and caring for them or even putting up with them is just such a burden. This is not one of those posts. Truth be told, my sweet husband is just as kind, just as patient, just as steady and even-keeled when he is sick as he is when he feels completely normal. Even when he is very sick, no-relief-unless-knocked-out-in-a-dead-sleep-sick, he is still my sweet husband. I know, I got one of the good ones. I understand if this makes you hate me just a little.

But my husband is sick today. And my husband hardly ever gets sick. I get sick frequently. But Keith is practically unbreakable. In fact, in the entire time I've know him (nearly four years) I have only seen him sick one other time. Just once. And it was last year. On the weekend of our first wedding anniversary. On that weekend he was very sick. So sick that he couldn't really enjoy the long-awaited fancy dinner we had reservations for. So sick that when we reached our room at the beautiful B & B where we spent our wedding night (and now revisit to celebrate our anniversary each year), all he wanted to do was sleep. So sick that we had to cancel our massage appointments the next day. Sick. Sweet, but sick.

A year has passed since that first illness. A year with no sniffles, no sneezes, no colds, no aches, no pains. But today my husband is sick. And tomorrow we are supposed to begin the celebration of our second wedding anniversary. We are slated to stay in that same room at that same B & B. We have reservations for a fancy dinner together. We have massage appointments scheduled. And my husband is sick. Twice in four years. Both times on our anniversary weekend. My husband is sick.

My husband is sick, and I am concerned. Could this point to a very unsatisfactory pattern?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Wedding Shower Weekend

I threw a wedding shower for a very special couple over the weekend. When I throw a shower, I generally start with some sort of unifying color scheme and motif which can be carried through the entire shower with little decorative elements here and there. In this case, the color inspiration was simple - we found some really cute black and white paper goods at Hobby Lobby and added a dash of the bride's favorite color, turquoise blue. So I relied on silhouette and monogram motifs to give the event a personal and slightly whimsical touch.

My talented husband created the silhouette using one of the couple's engagement photos. He outlined a path around the couple using Photoshop then copied the shape, transferred it to a new image, and filled it with using the paint bucket tool. I used InDesign to layout the photo and typeset the rest of the invitation which was printed on white card stock, then layered over turquoise blue and pretty black and white patterned paper. The finished product had a lovely texture and dimensionality to it. The invitations were mailed in black envelopes addressed in silver ink and finished with a monogram seal.

The color scheme and motifs made for a really pretty table. We used white, black and white check, and turquoise serving platters and sharped geometric vases filled with tightly-packed mini carnations. An enlarged, framed version of the couple's silhouette makes an endearing focal point.

The menu included fruit, veggies and dip, sausage balls, chips and salsa, sundried tomato pinwheels, mini chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, and chocolate dipped pretzels.

I had so much fun, and got a little carried away, making decorative paper elements for this shower. There were sausage ball picks with the couples initials on them....

...and black and white paper pennants topped with paper poofs waving proudly over the sandwiches. I also made tent tags to identify each item on the serving table.

Unfortunately, every single one of the hostesses forgot to bring a good camera, so these iPhone photos are the best I have, and they hardly do it justice. I don't have any photos of the garlands made of individual letters spelling out things like blessing, best wishes, and the couple's names. I didn't take any of the handmade sign-in and blessing book, where I carried out the color scheme and silhouette motif in a book where shower guests could write a special note the bride and groom. I didn't even capture the couple competing furiously with each other in a cake decorating contest. So you'll just have to use your imagination.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birthday Week

As is usually the case, my silence here on the blog is in no way indicative of the cacophony in my life lately! Let's hit the highlights, shall we?

Last week I turned thirty. Thirty years old. I keep looking in the mirror for signs that I'm older. I find myself in (rare) moments of stillness searching for something, some feeling that I've matured, some deep wisdom that has been granted, or even some heavy weight of pressure and responsibility. Thirty. So adult. But I don't feel any different, I don't see or feel any sudden changes. I'm still me. Just me. One more year or one more day. I'm just always me. I really find that more comforting than you'd expect.

Birthday week (and we really did celebrate all week) was awesome! We kicked it off with a little party on Saturday night. Fifteen or so friends both old and new, some of my favorite people in the world, gathered (I should really say squeezed) around a table with good food, great drinks, live music. The evening progressed to our house, where we were equally squeezed, for cake and margaritas and just so much laughter all night long. I felt incredibly loved, and incredibly blessed. As Keith and I saw our last guests out and closed the door behind them a sweet, slow song came on over the iPod and we ended up slow-dancing, sliding around the living room sleepy and content and with hearts very full. And then we turned on a really loud rap song and did a booty-shake dance that scared the kitties, so we chased them all around the house shaking our bums and laughing so, so hard.

On Sunday we got together with friends for the Super Bowl. More great food, more big laughs. Monday night we had the small group over to our house for breakfast-for-dinner and sharing more of our stories with each other. We have been blessed with this amazing group of new friends and this period of getting to know each other, of really taking our time to share our stories with each other one by one has been so rich. I have a lot more to say about it, but I'll leave it for another time.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, required a work trip to Austin for a meeting that lasted all afternoon.But since we were already in Austin, we spent the evening celebrating some more at The Highball and at Alamo Drafthouse. We saw The King's Speech and let me tell you, there is a tight race between The Social Network and The King's Speech for best picture this year in my book. When we got back to Waco there was a huge box waiting for me, full of birthday treats from Mom and Daddy and Grandmom and Pop. Including money for these pretty babies!

On Wednesday Keith received an invitation from Belmont University to come to Nashville for a formal on-campus interview. This is serious!! And we are so excited. Please be praying, he leaves Thursday morning and comes home Friday night, with a pretty intense interview process scheduled in between. Also on Wednesday I was promoted to Marketing Manager at my job. A real honor for me. If we end up leaving Waco this year it's going to be wonderful, but it's also going to be so bittersweet!

On Thursday I was out of the office all day for another meeting (this time in San Marcos) and when I got back the flower fairy had delivered these.

From dear, dear friends! Thanks Erin and Kelly!
From my first true love, my sweet Daddy, who always sends me a gorgeous Valentine!
Thursday night and on through the weekend we tried to keep things pretty low-key, resting and getting things done around the house. Because this week is going to be another really big week as the cacophony continues.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Good Stuff

It's really been one of those weeks. $200 refrigerator repair, frozen pipes in our kitchen and bathroom, rolling blackouts that crashed our network server at the office limiting productivity, an uncooperative home printer when I'm frantically rushing to get invitations in the mail, delays on the delivery of my birthday boots, and the farm-fresh organic vegetables we ordered. COLD weather. To top it all off, last night the long-awaited boots finally arrived, and they are not cute on me. At all.

As I said to Keith last night, it was like we were getting all of the annoyances and frustrations that come with bitter winter weather, and none of the good stuff. Where was the snow? Where was that peace and stillness that hangs over the earth on a white winter morning? Where was that light, fluffy white stuff that makes all this mess worth it? All I had was frantic-ness and tiny, irritating problems. I wanted a refund on my winter.

But last night the good stuff came. Before we went to bed we could see it sifting gently down and hear it tapping politely at our window panes. And this morning the world was blanketed in white, bringing with a closed office (pending further evaluation as the day progressed) and the gift of a few extra quiet hours. I spent them sitting near the window in pajamas and thick fuzzy socks, my snuggie wrapped around me, and a steaming mug in my hand. I've been watching the kitties, who are as completely mesmerized and delighted in the changes outside as I am. I've pulled back all the blinds and curtains, and their eyes are wide with wonder as they dart from window to window gazing out at this strange and unfamiliar landscape.

The view across the street this morning.
We made a brief attempt at getting through the snow and out to the office that was quickly aborted due to sliding tires and cars stuck at every traffic light and intersection. So now we are back at home, officially snowed in. The rest of the day with probably be spent hunkering down and gazing out windows some more with more snuggie and steaming mug action. I'm sure we'll work in a little book reading and movie watching as well.

The view down our street this morning.
This day, this stall, this pause, brings me an opportunity to sit still and breathe that I've been needing for a long time without even realizing it. It's an opportunity to catch up, not on office work or house work or even email and gossip blogs, but a chance to catch up with myself a little. To check in. To muse and ponder. And to enjoy all this good stuff.

P.S. The invitations, problematic as they were, managed to turn out really well.