Friday, December 31, 2010

Three of My Nine Lives.....GONE

Tuesday - Beat up by the StairClimber-O-Death
Friday - Snowboard helmet to the chest
Sunday - Mountain to the side of the head
Check!  Check!  And, Check!!

My body started falling apart well before I turned 30.  However, it didn't seem to really impact me until the big THREE-OH hit.  Before 30, I could talk about how jacked-up my feet were from that last run.....and then head downstairs to log another 10 miles.  I could show-off the bruises from where my snowboard hit me in the back of the neck (Yes, it's possible for your snowboard to hit you in the back of the neck.  TRUST ME.).....and then jump on the lift for another run down the mountain.  But, NOW?????  Now, I'm lucky if I even have the energy to talk about what hurts.  Not to mention, con my aching body into doing the same shit a second time.

It's always something.  Bloody toes halfway thru a marathon, followed by a few missing toenails a week later.  A "bad" knee that hurts if I look at it wrong, and a "good" knee that swells until my jeans won't let it swell any  more.  A right hamstring that doesn't allow me to lower myself to the toilet seat like a normal person, and a bone spur on my left foot that makes me lace up my running shoes like a 3 year-old.  Two black toenails, with one being so bad that I performed my own surgery on it involving hot water, Epsom salt, a lighter, 2 red-hot needles, and enough blood to make my children queasy. And, we can't forget about the "growth" that has taken up residence in my sinus cavity and the inflamed ligament that connects the Top of Me to the Bottom of Me.  (I would also mention the permanent blister on my right thumb, if it wasn't for the fact that it's caused by me holding the curling iron incorrectly.  That's just plain stupid.)  My feet, my knees, my head........What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right???  Man, I freaking hope so.  Because after the week I've had, I could quite possibly take the podium in a StrongMan Competition.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Place:  APPLE Athletic Club
Potential Killer:  The Stairclimber (o' death)

The StairClimber and I have always had a rocky relationship.  He beckons to me during my runs on the treadmill and entices me with the promise of rock-hard thighs and a model's ass.  I don't usually give in, though, since the thought of leaving my treadmill for another lover is a heavy load to bear.  However, I have, on occasion, done the unthinkable, and taken the leap.  (The grass is always greener....right???)  And afterwards, I don't usually feel too guilty since I hate the StairClimber after a whole 8 minutes....while I could whisper sweet nothings to my treadmill for hours.  After last Tuesday, tho, the StairClimber and I are DONE.  Finished.  Kaput.  He's an ass.

I was flung (yes, flung) from the damn thing...not once...not twice...but THREE times.  I was left bloodied and bruised from the knees down and now know what it feels like to eat shit in front of a whole gym full of people.  Jayson has known that feeling for years.  Remember the year that Lyndsey Jacobellis hot-dogged it on the last jump in the Olympic Boarder Cross...and wound up on her ass?  Well, Jayson did the same thing while watching her on TV.  Unfortunately (for him), he happened to be on the treadmill at the gym when he did it.  I saw the whole thing unfold in front of me, laughed until I peed, and vowed to never EVER let something like that happen to me.  I guess what I meant was that I would never EVER let something like that happen to me on a treadmill.  Damn vow - I should have covered all of my bases.  Cuz my shins are STILL bruised and I will be sporting some killer scars come Spring.

Friday, December 24, 2010
Place:  Grand Targhee
Potential Killer:  A 12 year-old's helmet 

I spent Christmas Eve on the mountain, with 4 kids in tow.  Two of them Mine / Two of them Not Mine.  On our way to lunch, the Older Not Mine and I were "unofficially" racing.  I say "unofficially" because Older Not Mine had no clue what was going on.  He was just riding.  And I was on a mission to beat his ass down the mountain.  (Everything is a competition, remember?)  We both ride the same (left foot forward) and I was on the left.  So, he was facing the trees, and I was looking at the back of his helmet. 

And, then I wasn't looking at the back of his helmet anymore.  I was laying on the ground, eyes squeezed shut, trying like hell to breathe.  But all I could do was grunt.  I vaguely remember hearing someone ask if we needed Ski Patrol....and then Ski Patrol was there.  And I FINALLY got a breath.  It was heaven.  Oxygen.  The best Christmas gift ever.  And then I asked Older Not Mine to kindly remove his helmet from my chest.  (Ok, I didn't really say that.  I was still too focused on breathing.  But, I did think it.)

Ski Patrol didn't want to let us get up and leave.  He kept cocking his head to one side and talking to me like I was a toddler.  I think I giggled a few times (apparently I was happy to be alive), which didn't help our case any.  When trying to convince Ski Patrol that you are FINE after doing several full rotations thru the air while velcroed to Older Not Mine who had just decided to carve left without putting on his turn signal while hauling ass down the hill at the speed of light (Ok, fine!  We weren't going that fast.  But close...), it's probably best that you NOT giggle in between feeble attempts at breathing.  It looks bad.  Like, maybe, just maybe, you broke a few ribs, punctured a lung, and knocked yourself out in the process.

Older Not Mine and I finally just got up and left.  (I will NOT ride in an orange basket.)  Ski Patrol just threw his arms up and reminded us where the First Aid Office was.  

I'm still nursing wounds from that one.  In addition to the itty-bitty "nap" that I took before Ski Patrol arrived, I tore-up my left shoulder and have a partial helmet imprint bruised into my chest.  At least I have a a new-found respect for oxygen.  Older Not Mine wound up with a black eye, a sore right shoulder, and a tweaked ankle.  Maybe, next time, he'll use his damn turn signal.

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Place:  Grand Targhee (I know, I know...You're noticing a trend.)
Potential Killer:  The only spot on the mountain without powder

Last Sunday, my dad and I found a sweet spot up on the mountain.  (I'd tell you where it is, but then I'd have to kill you.)  It was, literally, one jump after another.  And none of them were man-made.  It was amazing.  I was nailing every one of them - catching more air than I ever have before.  Good takeoffs, solid landings, and riding off to the next one.

And then I hit my damn head. 

Sweet takeoff, HUGE air, nailed my landing....and then realized that the next jump was RIGHT THERE.  Cartwheel...somersault...and then I find the one spot in this Powder Wonderland where there isn't any powder.  And, I find it with my damn head.  MOTHER!!!! 

I took it as a good sign that I saw stars.  Because that, I decided, meant that I hadn't knock myself out.  (You can't see stars if you're out cold, right??)  I spent the rest of the day nursing a massive headache, but the best was yet to come.  Whiplash.  Oh, yeah.  Bright and early Monday morning, I learned the true meaning of a sore neck.  I did such a good job of whacking my head that my neck was actually swollen right where it connects to my shoulder.  I'm still working on the concept of turning my head to the right, but am grateful to not be in a full body cast and eating thru a straw.

I will be at the mountain on Sunday (in my sweet spot), but will be riding in the slow lane (that's a total lie) and watching for speed bumps.  And, on Tuesday, I will be at the gym, but you won't find me on the StairClimber.  I will be back with my true love - the treadmill - where I can avoid being flung to my death in front of an audience....and walk away with my pride in-tact.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Things Kids Do When They're Grounded

Jaycob and Sydni are grounded. 
They are grounded for being BAD KIDS.
They are grounded until they learn to respect ME, respect EACH OTHER, and respect MY HOUSE.
In other words, they will probably be grounded until Jayson gets home next fall.

Those of you who have truly grounded your kids before will recognize a lot of this list.
And those of you who think you've grounded your kids before will know that it wasn't really effective because your kids didn't resort to the things on this list.

NO Cell Phone
NO I-Pod
NO Internet
NO Television
NO Wii
NO GameCube
NO Playing with Friends
NO Sleepovers
NO Email

Can all result in......


1.  Find board games that you didn't even know you include one that they would be better off NOT finding since a game of sexual innuendos is probably not a good idea for an 11 and 12 year-old.

2.  Become a character from X Men while unloading the dishwasher (because that's what silverware can do to a person).

3.  Use a steak knife to stab boxes that Mom has collected in the office to use for wrapping Christmas presents.

4.  Close their sister sibling up in a giant box and push the box down the stairs.

5.  Toss a bowl in the air and count how long it takes to hit the ground.

6.  Beg to go for a run in the gym.

7.  Take all of the plastic party cups out of the cupboard and build a pyramid the size of the Empire State Building in the dining room.

8.  Wrap things....even if they don't need to be wrapped.

9.  Bake stuff - SO........MUCH........STUFF.

10.  Talk to themselves.

11.  Teach the dog new tricks (like, how to wash the dishes so that they don't have to).

12.  Tell really, really, really LONG (boring) stories.

13.  Ask to get on the computer to do "homework".

14.  Reorganize the kitchen cupboards the way they think they should be organized.

15.  Use lots of Scotch tape. 

16.  Get along with each other.

17.  Remember to tell you things that they should have told you a week ago ("The dog down the street bit my leg and ripped my jeans while I was riding my bike.")

18.  Put stickers on the front windows.

19.  Talk about moving out (while I give them suggestions on which suitcase to use).

20.  Break Christmas ornaments.

21.  Talk about poop.  Everything can be tied to poop.

22.  Take 54 minutes to complete a 3 minute task.

23.  Do their chores (after you've told them to do them 17 times).

24.  Stand in the front yard and whistle for the dog down the street.....So they can shoot it.

25.  Ask to get online to see if there's a website called

26.  Pretend your DOG is a wild boar and they are the alligator.

27.  Look thru the pictures on your laptop.  (Just like #1.....This is probably NOT a good idea for an 11 and 12 year-old.)

28.  Pretend the other kid is a camel and ride it thru the desert.

Ok.  You know what?  After writing all of this and reading back thru it, I realize this list is total crap.  Aside from #16 and #23, these are ALL things that kids do whether they are grounded or not.

So, I will change the name of the list and just be grateful for Number Sixteen and Number Twenty-Three.

And continue to ground my children.



Sydni's Talent Show

I managed to make it to Sydni's talent show at her school yesterday. And I am so very glad I did!

Sydni has been practicing for WEEKS!! Anyone who has been around her lately has probably been "blessed" with hearing her. She sings ALL THE TIME! She sings so much that I've had to learn how to tune her out. In fact, there have been moments where I may have actually blacked-out...just gone somewhere else...gone to my Happy Place. (Please don't tell Sydni. I promise to be better. Just don't tell on me!)

Then came yesterday. I got there a few minutes early (miracle, I know) and watched as Sydni raced around the music room with her pack of hyenas (other little girls who like to be dramatic, too), frantically trying to make sure everything would be PERFECT. I sat there tapping my foot, wishing that they would speed things up. (That's me. I'm impatient. Can't help it.) I scooted my chair over 4 times, trying to make space between me and all of the germy kids. Thank goodness a friend showed up (THANK YOU, ANDREA!!!!) to sit next to me and save me from the horrid diseases that can leap 20 feet from a kid to an adult.

Sydni was the second kid to take the stage. (I videotaped the whole thing, knowing that I would need to upload it and get it to Jayson.) SHE WAS AMAZING. I was in awe. Thanks to my little black-outs, I felt like I was hearing her for the first time. I had goosebumps and wanted to cry because, all of a sudden, I realized how truly great she was. My not-so-little girl had worked so hard on this. It was at that moment that I understood how IMPORTANT this was to Sydni. And, THAT made it important to me.

After a few more kids showed us their "talents" :-), we took a little intermission. As Andrea and I planned our discreet escape, I checked my phone. DAMN IT!!! I had missed an email from Jayson telling me that he would Skype me while Sydni sang so that he could hear her.  Are you kidding me??!!  What kind of timing is that??  I started to email him back - telling him that he had missed it.  Andrea stopped me...and convinced me to ask if Sydni could sing again.

Then, with the blessing of her teacher and the whole audience, Sydni was introduced again.  But, this time, her teacher said, "We have something very special.  Sydni's dad, who is in Iraq, is on the phone.  This time, she will sing for him."  I followed Sydni to the front of the room, knelt down, and held my phone up.  And she sang (while I pretended to have a cough so that people would think I was choking instead of tearing-up).  She sang just like she had the first time...beautifully and with passion and with more confidence than I will ever have in my life.  And Jayson got to listen.

So, here's to YOU.......Mrs. Zinzer, the Audience, the power of Skype, and, most importantly, Sydni for making it possible for a Dad to hear such an important moment in his Daughter's life.


Monday, November 22, 2010

G-Rated...Can I Do It?

The Standard Journal has asked to publish my Blog posts.  They have two rules...

Rule #1 - Make it G-Rated
Rule #2 - Write about whatever I am feeling

Uhhhhhhhh, really??!! How will I follow both rules at the same time?  (If you've read my Blog, you are probably wondering how I could even pull-off a PG-13 rating.)  Rule #2 will be easy.  However, LIFE is hardly ever like a Disney movie, so Rule #1 is going to require a whole lot of practice and editing.  Is it do-able?  Let's see...

I was born in '79 to an artist and a photographer.  Art and Photos went well together, until I was 5, and then they divorced.  My mom ("Art") stayed in Southern California, and my dad ("Photo") and I moved to Northern California and then onto Oregon.  Some would say, "That's too bad."  I say, "Sweet!  Two Christmases, two birthdays, and summers spent on the beach in San Diego." 

In 1997, I graduated high school early and joined the Army at the age of 17.  School was boring, and Bootcamp sounded like fun.  So, I chopped off my hair - think Demi Moore - and headed to Fort Jackson, SC.  From there, I went to Fort Benning, GA (the smelliest place I've ever been) before ending up at Fort Bragg.  And THAT is where my life got interesting because THAT is where I met my husband.

Jayson (AKA PVT Geisler) lived 2 doors down from me (AKA PVT Dickman) in the barracks.  We met, dated, and married all within a few months time.  By "met", I mean "said hi".  By "dated", I mean "saw each other in the hall".  And, by "married", I mean "picked up some RingPops at the Jiffy Mart and got married at the Police Station".  The best part?  I got a new last name.  Do you have any idea what it's like to go thru Bootcamp with the name Private Dickman??  (If you're trying to come up with a good joke for that one, you can stop wasting your time.  I've heard them all.  Funny-funny-ha-ha.)

Life moved pretty quick from there.  I left the Army, Jaycob was born in January of 1999, and Sydni made her appearance in January of 2000.  Two kids, close in age, older boy, younger girl....we got exactly what we wanted and were done. 

Fast forward a few years.  After a one-year pit stop in New Mexico, we found ourselves here in Eastern Idaho.  I got a job with a title company and Jayson started working for the Madison County Sheriff's Department.  I am still with the title company, and Jayson is back in the Army.  We knew he'd never be able to stay away from the military.  Army is his LIFE, and, ironically, the reason why I started writing.

I've always enjoyed writing.  But, for years, all I did was talk about writing, rather than actually doing it.  Well, this past summer, with Jayson's deployment approaching, I decided to give Blogging a shot.  I knew that I would need something to focus on in order to make this next year go by faster.  Sure, with Jayson in Iraq, I have waaaay more time for running.  But, let's be real....I can only run so many miles before my body starts to break down like an old car with bad breaks and bald tires.  So, writing has become my other form of exercise.

Whether it's my sarcasm, my sense of humor, or my willingness to be more honest in my writing than I am in real life, I've managed to snag the attention of people from all over the globe.  I have readers in Canada, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Russia, Germany, Kuwait, Malta, and Iran.  (Where in the heck is Malta???) And, now, your local paper is putting their trust in me to make YOU a reader, too.  Let's just hope you like sarcasm in big doses, humor that's occasionally naughty, and very blunt honesty about my life, my inner-most thoughts, and the people around me.

I'm impatient, have OCD, think condiments are gross, and don't like to have people in "my bubble". I thrive on the stress that my job creates. I eat way too much ice cream.  Sunsets, snowflakes, and a baby's laughter are three of my favorite things. Red and Blue M&M's, Orange Sixlets, and Red Skittles are 4 of my least favorite things. I don't know how to swim, but I love to run.  I have a thing for buying running shoes and I like for my underwear to match my outfit each day.  You can find me at Targhee, lost in my own version of Heaven, every Sunday from December thru April.  I hate dogs...but I have one.  And, last but not least, I love to make people laugh.

If you can deal with all of the above, and if I can keep things G-Rated, then I think we'll get along just fine.  


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Fork in the Road

You know the saying..... 

"When you come to a fork in the road..." 

Well, I good rule of thumb is, "...Don't run over it." 

Because it will flatten your tire in a heartbeat and have you resting on your rim in no time. 

Been there.  Done that.


Friday, November 12, 2010

In Loving Memory of Our Toilet

Last year, we threw a Halloween Party.  This year..........  Uh, yeah......NO PARTY. 

I've known since the end of last year's party that we wouldn't be having one this year.  And THAT decision had nothing to do with the boys' deployment.  Instead, it had everything to do with toilets, running water, and my sanity.

I should probably just start off by telling you that the whole thing was MY FAULT. 

It was MY FAULT because I let Jayson plan it. 

Enough said, don't ya' think?  In fact, I could probably just stop telling the story right here because just the thought of Jayson being given free reign on party-planning is like a story in itself - no narration needed.  However, in the spirit of killing time on our 2 hour flight to Dallas, I will tell you the story about the night when I was right, Jayson was wrong, and we turned our home into a Local Splash Park.

Technically, the "cause" for all of the middle-of-the-night drama started much earlier in the week.  That was about when I started lining the bar with 20 bottles of liquor and trying to decide which flavors would go best with which kinds of Jell-O.  I mean, come on, if you're gonna make 300 Jell-O shots, you can't screw it have to plan and experiment.  

Welllllllllllll, in the process of experimenting with the Jell-O shots, Miss Emily had a great idea.......(wait for it.....wait for it....)...JUNGLE JUICE!!!!!!  It's healthy and refreshing, so it can't be ALL bad.  Just work with me here.....a little ice, a little Kool-Aid, a little water (ok, I'm lying about the water), a whole lotta fruit (thank you, Produce Department, for letting me clean you out), and...........2, 3, 5, ok, maybe 7 bottles of Vodka.  Presto!!!!!  You've got yourself a Cooking Pot Full O' Goodness.  And, in a effort to not disappoint our "tastetesters" (we're gonna call them "tastetesters" since that sounds better than "drunks"), we made sure that Pot Full O' Goodness was allowed to marinate out in the beer fridge for several days.  You're welcome, Tastetesters.  Anytime....anytime.

Since we're still in the planning stages this week before the Party-that-I-Allowed-Jayson-to-Plan, we're cleaning out the garage, picking up food, filling the swimming pool with ice, and packing insulation (AKA more beer than should be in any fridge) around the Pot Full O' Goodness and the 300 Jell-O shots that now call the beer fridge Home.

After somehow managing to survive Planning Week, we finally make it to Party Night.  I don my Naughty Fairy Costume as Jayson paints on his Wranglers, puts on his vest (sans shirt), and grabs his guns.  Naughty Fairies and Cowboys go great together.  Don't argue.  (Remember from above.....In this story, I was RIGHT and Jayson was WRONG.)
Dressed to take the kids out Candy-Hunting. 
We thought it would be a good idea for Jays to wear a shirt for that.
(Ok...Ok...I thought it would be a good idea.  He would go to work shirtless, if he could.)
The kegs are in place, the spider webs are hung, and the drinks are flowing.  We had Cavemen and Cavewomen molesting our door jams.  We had an Illegal Immigrant make his way to the front yard, where a Cowboy and his men taught the Illegal Immigrant how to throw up.  He had forgotten how.  Yes, it is possible to be THAT drunk.  And, to be honest with you, the Cowboy was the best candidate for that teaching job since he had been out back practicing all night long.  We didn't even have to interview him before sending him off to help his student.  Well-qualified....well-qualified.

We had LDS Missionaries.....with backpacks full of beer, porn, and weed.  Moses was there with his Prom Queen.  And we even got to sign our names on the bare ass of our very own Naked Astronaut.  Talk about THE MAIN SHOW!!!  I mean, half the people only came for THAT.

When you start a party with 300 Jell-O shots, 2 kegs, and a lifetime supply of Jungle Juice (healthy & refreshing, remember?), things can get moving pretty fast.  However, if you start a party with all of the above PLUS a friendly 6-person beer bong named BongZilla, your night will go quite a bit faster.  Trust me.  I watched it unfold.  It wasn't pretty.

After most of the Jailbirds, Gun Slingers, Giant Candy Bars, and Naughty Cops had shuffled home, we (in this story, "we" is a replacement word for "I" or "me") cleaned up food, collected Jell-O shot cups from places in my home that I didn't even know we had, and overflowed the garbage can out front with beer bottles, liquor bottles, and anything else that makes really loud noise in the middle of the night.  Sorry, Neighbor, but I'm headed to bed STAT.

Ahhhhh, bed.  Jayson is passed out (snoring, of course) and dead to the world.  The naked astronaut and his naughty fairy are asleep in the next room.  I am laying there thinking about how disgusting my kitchen floor is and whether or not we are gonna need to powerwash our garage floor.  I'm also contemplating using the lint roller on the walls to get rid of the Caveman hair.  That should work, right?

That's when I hear it.  There's someone the bathroom.  I nudge Jayson twice - no response.  I poke him in the ribs once - no response.  He must be dead.  So, I flick him in the forehead.  Ok, not dead - He's awake.  I send him downstairs to find out why someone has made the trek down there to use a toilet when there's a perfectly good one right here on the main floor.  He doesn't go willingly, but he goes.

And this is his report when he returns:  Naked Astronaut is - for real - 100% without clothes and sitting IN the toilet.  In. The. Toilet.  No seat...just bowl and astronaut ass.  But, it's ok.  He says he's fine. 

Oooooooooookay.  Whatever.

Jayson is back to snoring in 2 seconds flat.  I am still laying there trying to figure out who poured tequila in the beer bong and, better yet, who LET someone pour tequila in the beer bong. 

Ten minutes later, I hear someone in the main floor bathroom.  MY GOSH!  Someone has a serious bladder issue.

WHAM!!!!!  Whoever was just in the bathroom has either exploded....or fallen down.  Nudge Jayson - nothing.  Poke Jayson - nothing.  Flick him in the nipple.  He's alive.  I send him on another recon mission to yet another bathroom.

And this is his report when he returns:  Naked Astronaut is still 100% without clothing.  This time, however, he is not IN the toilet - he is ON the toilet.  Seat down, lid down, naked astronaut ass sitting on top.  But he says he's good-to-go.

Oooooooooooooooooooookay.  Whatever.
(I feel like we've done this before.  Have we???)

Jayson is back to snoring, and I'm back to wondering how to get Jungle Juice off of my tile and beer off of my carpet.  And I'm trying to figure out what that loud WHAM was.

Then, finally, I realize that I hear running water.  In fact, I've been hearing it for a while now.  I guess I just thought it was the toilet running after being flushed.  But, wait....I never heard the toilet flush.  Hmmmm.  It sounds different, muffled somehow. 

Nudge, poke, flick.  He's alive.  And I send PVT Dickman on another mission.  This time, though, he veers off-course and heads towards our bathroom, where he proceeds to pee for, oh-I-dunno-TEN MINUTES.  Then, before I can stop him, he's back in bed.  Wait!  I said Recon Mission, Soldier!  Get your ass out of bed and go to the other bathroom.  NOW!!!  He argues.  He cries.  He balls his fists up, pounds his pillow, and kicks his feet.  I think he even says he hates me and will never share his candy with me again.  But I finally win.  He's up and headed to check on Naked Astronaut for the THIRD time.

I hear him open the door.  I hear him ask Naked Astronaut if everything is "cool".  I hear Naked Astronaut mumble a response.  And I get the sense that my Recon Mission is heading south.  Damn it!!!  I jump out of bed in my not-for-public-viewing outfit and come up behind Jayson.  He is standing in the bathroom doorway shootin' the breeze with Naked Astronaut.  No biggie.  Just chillin'.

What......the......FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK (sorry, I can't come up with another word).  It's like a tsunami!  There are WAVES of water coming out of the bathroom.  I'm being serious right here.  Stop laughing.  There are little miniature waves lapping at my ankles.  I'm looking at a shark fin and a school of fish heading for my dining room.  WHAT............THE...............FUCK.

JAYSON!!!!!!  The fucking toilet is broken!  Ok, not broken....more like shattered.  Kind of like my life at this very second in time.  Shattered.

Let's back-up a few minutes...back to the last nudge-poke-flick when I thought Jayson was awake.  I was wrong.  He was just pretending to be awake.  But NOW....NOW that I am talking about buying Koi Fish for our hallway and lily pads for our guest room and cool light features for our staircase waterfall....He is REALLY awake.  Thanks for joining the real world, Jays.  Now WHAT THE FUCK do we do??!!!!

Jayson dives for the space between the toilet and the wall where we have a 1 inch pipe sticking out creating a water feature that we did not ask for.  (For the record, Naked Astronaut is still sitting on the toilet.  The seat is in tact - it's just the tank that isn't standing.)  I head downstairs for towels.  My ears are ringing and my legs aren't working the way they usually do.  This is what the "professionals" would call the early stages of an anxiety attack.  Whatever.  I need towels.  I turn on the light in the gym and head toward the towel closet.....and get smacked in the face with water.

Oh My God. 

Get towels, back away slowly, keep breathing.  That was my imagination. 
Turn on the lights in the downstairs bathroom, grab a few towels, hear something funny.  Look up.
Oh My God.

There is an ocean in the light fixture.  It's only a matter of time before a coral reef forms.  Probably shouldn't have that light ON, should I?

Jayson finds me at the top of the stairs, curled into the fetal position, where I am rambling incoherently about rivers and streams and toilets and sheetrock and light bulbs.  I point to the downstairs bathroom.  He gets it and rushes for the breaker box.  That's when Naked Astronaut wraps a towel around his waist, walks down the hall, and says, "There ain't much more we can do tonight.  Let's just head to bed."

Are you kidding me??!!  My house is flooding and you want to go back to bed??!!!!  Not only NO, but hell NO!  And give me the freaking towel that you've got tied around your waist.  I NEED IT!!!!

I don't know what happened to Naked Astronaut after that.  I spent the next hour going back and forth between hugging myself and rocking back and forth on the top step.....or sitting curled in the fetal position on the couch.  Somewhere, during all of this, Naked Astronaut lets us know how relieved he was that we came in when we did because he didn't know how high the water would get.  Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhh.  You're welcome????  I cried myself to sleep that night.  I may have even stopped breathing a few times.  (Ok....more than a few times...)

I'll spare you the details of the clean-up.  The world was right again in about a week.  We had a new toilet the very next morning.  We had enough fans going to create an indoor parachuting facility.  And the carpets were dry in a few days.  We didn't even have water damage on the walls.  Our furnace wasn't very accepting of the water it got thru the bathroom vent, but it eventually recovered, too.

We've had a solid year of good toilet jokes.  Jayson has received several toilets in the bed of his truck.  And Naked Astronaut has a designated bush on the west side of our property.  He's not allowed to use our indoor plumbing without a battle buddy, and he's ok with that.  Will he ever live this one down?  Nah.  Never.

To all of the husbands out there who are forced out of bed to go "check" on things....just do it.  And, do it right the 1st time.  Otherwise, you may find yourself spending the next week sucking water out of your carpet...........with a straw!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

For the Man Who Has Everything

Meet Wookie
(AKA John Kapron) 

Jayson and Wookie met at the start of their Army careers.  They were inseparable and maybe should have married each other.  (But then I swooped in and stole the whole marriage thing - see 10-10-10 post.)

Wookie was.....Well, Wookie was Wookie.  He was THE MOST original, carefree, childlike, independent, creative, loyal, crazy person I've EVER met.  And, all of that was what made him who he was.  In the Dictionary, if you look up "inner child", you'll find the definition to be "Wookie".  (And, if YOUR Dictionary doesn't say that, then you have an incomplete Dictionary.  Go get a new one.)

Remember how Jayson and I decided to get married?  While sitting around drinking with another couple....we thought it would be fun....Well, the other couple was Wookie and his "girl".  I actually think the whole let's-get-married-for-the-money-I-mean-FUN-idea was HIS.  So, we did.  The four of us got married at the police station, promptly got kicked out of the barracks, and rented a house together in Fayetteville, NC.  Jayson and I had the master bedroom, Angie (Wookie's "girl") had the last room on the right, and Wookie had the 1st room on the right.  Yes, separate rooms.  It's kind of awkward to hook-up with a girl, take her back to "your place", and find your wife asleep in your bed. 

So, life was pretty normal at our place. 

The boys played with chainsaws in the garage, our ferret played with the cat in the living room, and the two mystery dogs in the backyard played with each other.  (I have no idea where the dogs came from.)  We had a TV with a plug that wasn't compatible with the outlet, so the boys took turns electrocuting themselves....many times over.  Our house was like an orphanage for all of the guys still stuck in the barracks.  They'd come to our house to drink....and fall asleep on the couch with a teddy bear and a kitten.  (I'm serious.  There are pictures.)

Ok....back to Wookie.  This story really does have a point.  I promise.

Wookie drove a minivan - because the sliding door on a minivan made for quick getaways.  Like...when you were stealing firewood from the people around the corner, or holiday decorations from the neighbors, or patio furniture from the store.  Whatever he needed, he could toss it in the minivan, dive in after it, slide the door closed, and be gone in a flash. 

Wookie and Jayson would go for nightly joyrides in the Minivan (I think the vehicle deserves to be capitalized at this point.)  In between recon missions for free furniture and decorations, they would spray people with windshield washer fluid.  Pretty simple concept, really.  You just turn the little squirty things on the hood of your vehicle until they are no longer pointed at YOU.  Then, with enough practice, you can squirt people thru their open car windows, tag kids at the bus stop, and clean the guy in the crosswalk.  Solid entertainment.

New Year's Eve 1997...A keg and a couple of cases of beer later, this is the conversation that Jayson and I hear from down the hall:
Some Guy:  "Hey!  Boxing gloves!"
Wookie:  "Sweet!  I bet you can't break my jaw with them."
Some Guy:  "Ok."
Boxing Glove:  "SMACK!"
Wookie:  "Owwwwwww.  Hahahahahaha.  OwwwwwwwHahahahahahahaOwwwwwwww.  Hahahahaha."

We found Wookie in the bathroom, checking out his mouth in the mirror.  I was no doctor, but I decided I should probably take him to the ER.  I just didn't think you should be able to stick your tongue thru your two different places.  Wookie, however, thought it was pretty damn cool.  Needless to say, Wookie spent the next month or so with a jaw that was wired shut.  Funny, he thought THAT was cool, too.  Cuz that meant pizza, chips, Hamburger Helper, burritos, eggs, cereal, tacos, and cookies...all blended together in the blender.  How fun.  (Wookie had a thing for blenders, anyway.  The first time I met him, he was standing in his kitchen...blending up a rat.)

What's my point, you ask?  Well, it was nearly impossible to impress Wookie.  Nothing you could think of was something that he hadn't already done (or convinced someone else to do).  The guy didn't like the "conventional".  And, that made him a pain in the ass at Christmas time.  What in the hell do you get a guy like Wookie for Christmas??!!

Well, after driving past it for a few weeks, Jayson and I finally made up our mind.  We knew just what to get Wookie for Christmas. 

A cat.

A dead, frozen cat.

I held the giant black trash bag while Jayson pried the poor thing off of the frosty ground with a shovel.  I don't remember if I gagged.  I don't remember if Jayson gagged.  But we certainly both should have.  Especially when we tossed the shovel and the cat-filled trash bag into the back seat of my Ford Escort....and drove home.

The look on Wookie's face was priceless as he untied the bag....and pulled the cat out with his bare hands.  It was love at first sight.  He played with that cat for hours (as we watched in horror).  He was attached, and this was all our fault.  He was keeping the cat.  Wookie was keeping the dead, frozen cat. 

Dead-Frozen-Cat now had a new home - right on our front steps.

Wookie left the cat on our steps all thru the holidays.  The mailman told us that our cat looked sick.  The FedEx lady refused to come to our door - she knocked on our bedroom window, told us we had a package, and said our cat creeped her out.  The UPS guy asked us if our cat was dead.  We told him yes.  He handed us our package and walked away.  Most of the guys who came over just thought it was cool that we could get our cat to drink out of a McDonald's cup.

After a few weeks, we finally convinced Wookie that it was time for Dead-Frozen-Cat to move on.  Maybe bury him?  Throw him in the trash?  Put him back where we found him?  Nah.  Wookie just flung him across the street and left him where he landed...on the neighbors front porch. 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jaycob and His Locker

Yes, THAT is Jaycob's new backpack.  And, yes, THAT is Scotch Tape holding the bottom closed.  This may look like a bad thing, but it's really not.  In fact, coming home to this was actually a good sign......

Jaycob started Middle School this year.  Funny, when I think back to starting Middle School, I remember worrying about what to wear (Should I go with the blue MC Hammer pants or the neon pink ones?), how to find my 6 different classes, whether or not my teachers would like me, and if the older kids would think I was cool.  (Wow!  I had some serious self-confidence issues, huh??  Maybe I should address that...Later.) 

Ummmm, yeah.....NONE of the above even crossed Jaycob's mind.  He had one concern, and one concern only.....

"Mom, how will I remember my locker combination??!!!!"

And, as it turned out, this was a REAL issue.  I wish you could have heard our daily conversation after school....

WEEKS 1 & 2
Me:  "Jaycob, did you get in your locker today?"
Jaycob:  "No."
Me:  "Dude, you have got to get that figured out!"
Jaycob:  "I know.  I know.  I will try again tomorrow."
**I should probably mention here that I was of no help whatsoever.  Jaycob called Jayson and told him about it.  In turn, Jayson told me to help Jaycob practice on one of our locks.  Uhhhhhhhhh....I didn't know how.  Now you know where Jaycob gets it from.**

WEEKS 3 & 4
Me:  "Jaycob, how did things turn out with your locker today?
Jaycob:  "Not bad.  Every time I went to the bathroom, I also went to my locker and practiced my combination.  I actually got it open a few times!"

In case you haven't been doing the math on this......
My son spent the first FOUR weeks of Middle School NOT being able to open his locker. 

At the end of Week 5, I came home to an upside down backpack that had been taped and stapled.

Me:  "Jaycob, what the fuck heck happened to your backpack??!!"
Jaycob:  "I shut my locker on it."

That could only mean one thing.......SUCCESS!!!!!!!  Yes!!!!  FINALLY!  I mean, you can't shut your locker on your backpack without having opened your locker in the first place, right??


Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Shop of Horrors

INTRODUCING.............. VEENY [pronounced Vee-Knee]


He/she/it is the newest addition to our family.  (Not the fly - the plant.) 

Jaycob has been asking me for a Venus Fly Trap for as long as I can remember (literally, years).  I'm not sure why I've said no in the past, but last weekend I finally said yes.  And, boy, was it worth it!!!

That thing really does eat bugs!!!  The only other experience I've ever had with a Carnivorous Plant was when I was a kid and watched Little Shop of Horrors over and over again.  At the age of 10, I soooo wanted to believe that the movie had some truth to it, but I just couldn't get to that point of total belief.  I mean, seriously, a plant that has a mouth and eats animals???!!!  Nooooo.  Not possible.  Venus Fly Traps were right up there with unicorns and leprechauns on my list of NOT REAL ITEMS.

Well, my list has changed. 

You should have seen Jaycob and I yesterday...sprawled out on the floor by the front door, thanking the fly for his service while we cheered on Veeny.  It was AMAZING.  If I would have known I could be that entertained by a plant, I would have paid waaaaay more than five bucks for it at Lowe's.  Hell, I might have even forked over a whole ten dollars for this kind of show.

Mouth open.  (I know it's not called a "mouth".  Back off.)
Fly in.
Mouth closed - SNAP.
And we were hooked!

For at least 30 minutes, Jaycob and I watched in awe as the fly twitched, it's eyeball popped out, and maggots squirmed out of it's butt.  (Did that just ruin it for you? I don't care.  Think what you want.  It was AWESOME!!!) 


Eventually, the action died down.  Veeny had had his fill and spit the fly out (minus one leg and an eyeball).  So, we kept ourselves occupied for another 15 minutes by tickling the other mouths with sticks until they all snapped closed.  I'll admit, I was tempted to stick my pinky finger in....just to see what would happen.  But then I'd have to let Jaycob do it, too, and I wasn't willing to share.  I'll just wait until one day when he's not here.  Please don't tell him.

The only real letdown to the whole event was that Veeny wasn't saying "Feed Me!  Feed Me!  Feed Me!", like in the movie.  That kinda sucked.  Cuz now that I know that plants really do eat animals, I thought for sure that they could talk, too.  Apparently not.  Whatever.  At least I know that Little Shop of Horrors wasn't a complete lie.

On a side note, I should probably mention how the fly made it to Veeny's mouth in the first place....

Jaycob paralyzed it with our glow-in-the-dark electric fly swatter (another one of our AWESOME five dollar purchases) and dropped it into Veeny's mouth.  Does that make it cheating?  I think not.  If the fly had been outside my house, rather than inside, it wouldn't have met such a fun awful death.  It's not like we were traipsing around the backyard with the glow-in-the-dark electric fly swatter hunting down anything that moved.  (THAT was last week, and it was a moth that we were trying to catch.)  Actually, I think this should be a good lesson for any other fly who might be considering my home as a pitstop.....


If your kid asks you to buy him a Venus Fly Trap, DO IT. 
Don't think about it.  Don't question it. 
Just DO IT. 
Trust me on this. 

Who knew maggots and bulging eyeballs could be THIS friggin' cool??!!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The World of Jayson






and a plethora of other
(and I quote) 
"cool gear that makes everyday life easier...This stuff is just so nice and FUN."
(Yes, that's what he said.)

The above shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us.  We knew before Jayson even left that there was a "really friggin' cool Tactical Store" at Camp Shelby.  I expected the occasional an extra ammo pouch, maybe some goggles, or, hell, even a new knife (I think that would give him a total of 9).  What I didn't expect, however, was for $500 to be sucked out of his account at the speed of light, while I sat at home wondering what in the hell he needed suspenders for.  (I am currently awaiting a hand-written Thank You card from the "really friggin' cool Tactical Store".....)
Let me give you a recap......

Week 1: 

"Hey, Babe.  I went and got some comfort items today."

That was not a joke.  He really said "comfort items".  What the fuck heck are comfort items??!!  Do those two words even go together??  I'll give you a moment to laugh.
"No, really, Babe.  Just a few things to make life easier.  Like a rug - so my little footsies don't have to touch the cold, hard, cement floor when I'm getting ready for bed.  And a fan.  Oh, and a little pink teddy bear with the cutest little button nose to help me sleep at night."

Ok.  Fine.  He didn't say "footsies".

And he didn't buy a little pink teddy bear.  At least, not that he told me about, anyway.

Week 2:

(This is an actual email from Jayson.)

I know you told me not to, but I have been doing it anyway. There is just so much cool gear that makes everyday life easier, and yes I have been buying the hell out of it. I hope that I am close to being done. This stuff is just so nice and FUN.

- Jayson Geisler

(By the way......The subject line of the above email said "Ha".  As in, "Hahahahahaha, I'm buying shit that I don't really need.  Neener Neener Ha Ha".)

Now for the list of stuff he has bought.....

-  Suspenders.  Yes, suspenders.  Think Santa camo.  He swears they keep his pants up when he's wearing body armor.  But, I bet he just thinks they look cool.

-  Helmet Flashlight.  Because owning 12 flashlights just isn't enough.  I don't get why he can't just Duct Tape one of his other 12 flashlights to his freaking head.

-  ShamWow Bath Towel.  Yes.  You heard me.  My husband now owns a ShamWow Towel that's the size of him.  "Babe!  It is so cool!  It's like a chamois for my body!  I can dry myself like a car.  Plus, I'll be spot-free!"

-  A new chin strap for his helmet.  Because, apparently, it's hard to kick in doors and punch babies (not my saying - his) when your Kevlar helmet is covering your eyes.  Go figure.

-  A weapons sling mount.  I have no clue what that is, so I can't even make fun of it.  Unless, of course, he could have just used one of my old bras instead.  Would that work??

-  A butt stock case.  Again, I have no clue what that is, but my mind is already going in a very bad direction.  He said "butt".  I can't help myself.  Sorry.  Please forgive me.

-  A fan.  I'm going to guess he means, like, a box fan to keep his sweat to a slow drizzle rather than a steady rain????

-  A poncho liner.  He thinks this is pretty fucking special.  Not sure why, tho, since we've owned like 2 million of them in our 13 years of military life.  I mean, come on......Even our kids have one.  He could have just asked one of them to loan it to him for a year.

-  A little, blue blankie to keep him warm and snugly at night.

-  A CamelBak..............OH MY FUCKING GOD..............are you kidding me??????  In just ONE closet here at our house, we currently have FOUR OF THOSE!!!!!!  What in the FUCK hell world did he need another one for???  Are CamelBaks like guns now?  One on your hip, one on your chest, and one strapped to your ankle??  That "really friggin' cool Tactical Store" owes me a lot more than a stupid Thank You card.

-  A rug.  Probably a nice, plush one like I've been wanting for our bathroom for years now.  God forbid his precious little dainty feet have to touch the cold, hard concrete.  His feet are beautiful....we wouldn't want them messed up.  I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Sydni should send him some of her nail polish.  Which color goes best with camo?  Grey, green, hot pink, maybe??

-  A whole lotta junk.  48 bottles of Gatorade, 72 bottles of water (I guess those are to fill his ankle strap CamelBak), 9 pizzas, 8 buffalo chicken sandwiches, and 3 large bags of Reeses Pieces.  You know, the healthy necessities...."comfort items", remember??  I wonder if this was a one day supply or two.

-  And, most recently, a beautiful bouquet of flowers for our anniversary, complete with a card that said "Happy 12th Anniversary". 
Jayson got a big kick out of calling that order in. 
The Flower Lady asked him what he wanted on the card. 
He said, "Well, it's our 13th anniversary, so let's put Happy 12th."
Flower Lady:  "You mean, 13th?"
Jayson:  "No, put 12th.  She wouldn't expect anything different."

So, while the 3 of us sit here in the dark (to save money) with the heater off (to save money) and eat our $0.39 Top Ramen (to save money), our thoughts go out to poor, poor Jayson who is probably, at this very moment, trying to choose which of the 400+ movies to watch on his laptop.  Or, maybe, he's struggling to beat that final level on his newest Ipod Touch game.  Or, even worse, what if it's Lights-Out and he is frantically searching for his blankie and teddy bear and, in the mass hysteria, has tripped on his new plush rug??!!  Oh my!  The poor, poor guy!  I need to get a Care Package sent to him STAT!

P.S.  Dear "Really Friggin' Cool Tactical Store" Owner,
Jayson is no longer allowed in your store.  Nor are you allowed to provide him with website info for "really friggin' cool tactical gear" that you don't currently have in-stock.  He doesn't need anything else.  His wall locker is only so big, and our bank account is only so small.


Some Chick in Idaho who is Contemplating a Personal Visit to Your "really friggin' cool tactical store"


13 Years Ago.....

Thirteen years ago today, I married a complete stranger.

Gotcha, didn't I? 

YOU thought I was gonna say, "Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend."  Ha!  That would have been a load of crap.  I can't say that - it would make me a liar.  And lying is wrong, unless, of course, it's necessary.

So, yes, thirteen years ago, I married a complete stranger.  Wanna hear the story??  Of course you do. 

PVT Geisler (I think it's fun to call him Private. Plus, I'm pretty sure that I outranked him at this point in our lives.  Actually, I still outrank him.  I'm the Chief of Staff/Colonel/Command Sergeant Major/Boss of the World.) and I met in the barracks at Fort Bragg, N.C. in the summer of 1997. (He says we met on the steps outside, but I say he's wrong.) We had both arrived there over the 4th of July weekend and were eventually assigned to the same unit and the same barracks.

The Barracks...Picture a really old hotel...or a jail...whichever.  My room was at the very end on the right. PVT Geisler's room was two doors before mine, on the right. His room was painted all kinds of girly colors - mine was not. His room had bunkbeds - mine did not. (Apparently, PVT Geisler and his roommate, PVT Finney, preferred to sleep one on top of the other.) My room had a fridge full of water and coffee and fruit and yogurt. His room had a fridge full of beer and beer and beer. My room had a lava lamp - his room had a 40 oz Mickey's beer bottle full of pee. (God forbid they walk down the hall in the middle of the night to use a TOILET.) My room smelled like soap and flowers and incense - his room, ummmmmmm, did not.

But, for some reason, I was drawn to his room. Every a magnet. So amazing and just plain meant-to-be. Like there was this special aura between us.


It wasn't magic. It was Jayson PVT Geisler. In his baggy jeans and no shirt, he would stand in his doorway and wait for me to pass. He'd say HI to me as I headed out for a run in my boxers and sports bra (What in the hell was I thinking??). On my way back, he'd offer a ginormous beer, that I would kindly take....and leave in my fridge until he ran out and needed one. Needless to say, he was hitting on me, and I was clueless. I had a boyfriend - why would someone be hitting on a girl who already has a boyfriend?? THAT made no sense to me. (I was just barely 18, had never dated, and had Demi Moore-short hair, so give me a break for not knowing he wanted me.)
Every day, this shirt-less guy would try to lure me into his room with a 40 oz bottle of beer. (I hated beer at that point in my life.)  The only actual words I can remember him ever saying were in reference to my boyfriend - "Don't say Boyfriend."  Apparently, guys who hit on girls don't like for the girl to talk about her boyfriend.  Go figure.  The guy, however, is allowed to talk about the boyfriend.  As in, "He's cheating on you." and "What a douche." and "What could you possibly see in that idiot?!" 

Fast forward a few weeks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Boyfriend was cheating on me...With his ex-girlfriend. 

He showed up at my room one night, drunk beyond living, told me all about it, and proceeded to pass out on my bed.  I left.  And went down the hall to find Jayson PVT Geisler.

I found him.  We watched a movie and talked about our feelings.

Just kidding - I don't talk about feelings.  We just watched a movie.

Jayson's PVT Geisler's version of this story is just a tad bit different.  If you ask him, he says we did it like rabbits.  He's wrong.  I'm right.  We watched a movie.

This is where it gets super duper romantic.....

About a week later, Jayson PVT Geisler rode a bus home to New Mexico and slept with his ex-girlfriend - repeatedly.  (I hope he suffered severely on his million-hour bus ride.)  Actually, now that I write this, I wonder if he confused this experience with the one mentioned above (where I say we watched a movie).  Duh.  The whole "did-it-like-rabbits" experience was with Ex-Girlfriend.  Now that makes a whole lot more sense.  Moving on.....

Jayson PVT Geisler came back to Fort Bragg two weeks later, and life carried on.  Just the usual dating scene.  Hanging out with friends, playing pool, watching TV, and, a week later, coming up with the great idea of getting married.

No, you didn't skip a part of the story.  And, no, I didn't leave anything out. 

Let's re-cap:

Jayson PVT Geisler spends a few weeks trying to lure me with beer.
-  My boyfriend cheats on me, and Jayson PVT Geisler and I watch a movie.
One week later, Jayson PVT Geisler heads to New Mexico and spends a few weeks with his ex-girlfriend, doing it like rabbits.
A week after he returns to Bragg, we decide that getting married would be "FUN!"

So, what is that.....? 
A Few Weeks (of me w/ Boyfriend)
One Week (of me w/ Jayson PVT Geisler)
A Few Weeks (of Jayson PVT Geisler w/ Ex-Girlfriend)
A Week (of me w/ Jayson PVT Geisler)
Six Weeks of dating???? 
Can we even call it that?
I don't think so.

So, here we are, 6 weeks into our blissful life together.  We're sitting around, drinking beer (gross) with friends, and contemplating marriage.  Well, actually, it was our friends' idea.  We were just along for the ride.  How FUN!  The four of us getting married.  It would be like a double date.  Except for the date part.

The next day night....Our Wedding Day Night...

We piled into the car - sober girls in the front, drunk boys in the back - and headed to the police station.  (Yes, the police station.  Where else would one get married at the spur of the moment??)  Stopped at the gas station first, though, to pick up our rings.  (Again, it's night time....You really don't have many options for jewelry, other than purple and red RingPops.)

The police station was interesting.  We had to wait in line.  In front of us, we had some really classy people.  One was paying fines.  The other was bailing his buddy out of jail.  Next came US, in all of our fancy wedding glory.....jeans, tennis shoes, really ugly shirts, and RingPops.  And, while the Clerk watched baseball, we got married.  Simple as that.

Time to celebrate! 

Ever heard of Faces of Death?  Well, we went to the midnight showing of Faces of Death IV for our "reception".  I can vividly remember the clip of the man trapped beneath the car that he had been working on.  I'm pretty sure his legs were completely detached from the rest of his body.  Please don't be jealous because my wedding reception was better than yours.  You can always renew your vows and copy us.

Here's another twist to the story......None of our parents knew about any of this.  I was 18 and had just married a complete stranger.  Jayson PVT Geisler was 20 and had just married an 18 year old girl from Oregon.  No biggie.  I'm sure the parents wouldn't care, so why even bother them with the info??  They're busy people.

My dad learned the news of his daughter's marriage from a friend at the track.  As in, "Hey, Tom.  Congrats on Emily's marriage!"  It's amazing how fast news can travel from one side of the country to the other.

Jayson's PVT Geisler's mom got a call a few months later.  After spending October and November telling Valerie about his "friend" Emily, someone finally grew some balls and spilled the beans.  Let's just say that it took many, many years for Miss Valerie to like Miss Emily.  (I'm pretty sure the moment came in 2002 while we were chasing each other around the yard, calling each other names, and trying to rip the other's hair out.  Somehow, that helped us see eye-to-eye.)

My mom and Jayson's PVT Geisler's dad received calls from us with a whole lot of throat clearing and ummmmms and ahhhhs.  I mean, how in the hell are you supposed to start that conversation??  "Hey, Mom!  How's the weather??  It's hot & humid here.  I'm married.  There's a hurricane off the coast of Florida.  Might hit us tomorrow."

Of course, nobody thought we'd last more than a year.  We were in the Army, didn't know each other, and still liked to play Candyland.  Our idea of a fun night out involved stealing things from peoples' yards, gift-wrapping dead, frozen cats, and getting our drunk ferret to play with our kitten.

Funny thing....We made it past the first year.  And then 12 more.  And it's been one hell of an incredible journey.  The complete stranger that I married 13 years ago today is now my best friend, my hero, my rock, and the one person who truly understands me.

So, yes, unbeknownst to me.....Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend. 

Who knew that RingPops had such amazing powers?


See?  No shirt, big beer, girly walls, & bunkbeds.

The boy I married.  (Ask him what the towel was for.)

The girl he married.

The Super Romantic Ceremony
(Give me a call if you need help planning yours.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Few Gentle Reminders

Dear Jayson (or YOU, if the cap fits...),

The following list is designed to help you remember the Rules of the Real World during the next year.  Just like children, us adults have a tendency to conveniently forget the rules when we are away from the ones we love.  But, with this handy-dandy list, you shouldn't have any problems. 

If you need me to print the list and send you a laminated, wallet-sized  hard copy, please let me know.  (Now that its complete, I realize that the list is way too long to fit in your wallet.)


  1. Grocery shopping at the Gas Station is not practical.  If you need groceries, go to the Grocery Store.
  2. The shoe basket in the entryway is not a hamper for your dirty clothes.
  3. The clothes that you throw into the shoe basket in the entryway are now DIRTY.  No, you cannot tell me that they are clean and you are planning on wearing them later.
  4. Info-mercials (I have nooooo idea how that is supposed to be spelled, and neither does SpellChecker.) are not television shows, and no, your wife does not want to watch them with you.
  5. The holes in the crotch of your jeans are not from working hard. 
  6. Robin Meade on CNN Headline News is married and does not know that you even exist.
  7. A mixing bowl is for baking - not for your cereal.
  8. There is a towel hanging right next to your sink in the bathroom.  When you flood the counter while shaving....USE THE TOWEL.
  9. When adding milk to your Cream of Wheat, pour it from a glass.  Taking a drink from your glass and then spitting the milk into your bowl is not appropriate.
  10. When in public places, put your cell phone on silent.  Ringtones from "The Hangover", "Old School", "Full Metal Jacket", and "Talladega Nights" aren't exactly good for the library, the checkout stand, or your kids' Back-to-School night.
  11. When your wife says, "I'm tired.  I'm going to bed."........Do not assume that is code for something else.  She really is tired and is planning on going to sleep.
  12. If you want to test out your new AirSoft Gun, please do so on an inanimate object....NOT on your daughter's thigh.
  13. Those ads that pop up on your computer (that the kids know not to click on) are a scam.  It is not possible to get a LIFETIME SUPPLY of anything for free.  Your bank account will be charged,   and you will never see the money again.
  14. The only reason that your Honey-Do List gets longer is because you didn't do it in the first place.
  15. Mooning people is not acceptable for grown-ups.  Nobody wants to see your bare ass.
  16. When you feel the urge to go running while drinking, that's usually a sign that you've had too much to drink.  You should probably go get some water.
  17. In the case of using gasoline to light a fire, less is more.  Melted eyelashes that stick together when you blink are not cool.
  18. If you have a mole that you think should be removed, DO NOT USE a can of Air Duster to freeze it off.
  19. Partially nude pictures of random strangers is not a good screensaver for your laptop that sits on the dining room table.  When your kids walk by and say, "DAD!!!!!!!", that's usually a good indicator that the material is inappropriate for small humans.
  20. You and liquor do not get along.  Stick to beer.
  21. No matter what anyone tells you, a mustache does not look good on you.  You look old and grumpy.  Shave it off NOW.
  22. Just because your Washer says "high capacity" on the front does not mean that you can wash 5 loads of laundry at one time.
  23. Your wife may have an addiction to buying flip-flops, but YOU have an addiction to buying boots.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know which ones cost more.  Stop buying boots.  You are good.  You don't need anymore.  (And don't con your mom into buying more for you, either.)
  24. When your underwear get holes in them, you should throw them away.
  25. Before you buy a $700 uniform, please verify that you NEED it.
  26. Nobody wants to smell your dirty socks.  In other words, when you take them off, do not throw them at somebody's face.
  27. Sitting down to pee will not kill you.  Trust me.  I do it everyday, and I haven't died yet.
  28. When you go to Sam's Club with a LIST of things to buy......USE THE LIST.  We do not need a 10 pound bag of suckers or another flat screen TV.
  29. When your wife is in the bathroom, naked, and getting ready to go somewhere, do not take that as in "invitation".  It's not one.
  30. Do not sing out loud.
  31. When your wife thinks it might be a good idea to buy 300 flower bulbs, tell her NO, take her hand, and lead her away from the flower bulbs.  She does not have the time nor the patience to plant 300 more flower bulbs.
  32. When you are driving and you notice your passengers clutching the door handles, you either need to slow down, brake sooner, or quit tailgating.
  33. The comedy channels on XM Radio are not kid-friendly.
  34. No, you don't need a dirtbike.  Nobody needs a dirtbike.
  35. When putting together newly purchased items (bookshelves, entertainment centers, kid toys, etc.), it is perfectly normal for your wife to be pissed when you break them.  And, when you have leftover parts at the end, it's only natural for your wife to ask you if you followed the instruction manual. Don't take offense.
  36. The neighbors don't need to hear your TV.  You can turn it down.  Nobody will yell at you for doing so.
  37. Farting is not funny.
  38. It is normal for your wife to not know how to operate the theater room.  Just make her an instruction manual and stop making fun of her.
  39. Giving your wife the silent treatment until she agrees to purchase a dog will not work a second time.
  40. A Value Meal is not a value
  41. Your daughter's boyfriend is already afraid of you.  There's no need to stare him down at the football game.
  42. If your wife wants the furniture to be a certain way, just make it happen.  It's gonna end up her way anyway.
  43. If the only container big enough to hold the beer at a party is a plastic kids' swimming pool, that means that you bought too much beer.
  44. Do not pull out other people's body hair.  It hurts, and they don't like it.
  45. If there is rain in the forecast, do not spend $9.00 at the carwash.
  46. Brussel spouts smell like vomit.  Do not cook them indoors.
  47. Your poop is not impressive.  No matter how big or long it may be, nobody wants to go into the bathroom with you and look at it.
  48. If you plan on going drift-busting thru the neighborhood, please remember where the mailboxes were before it snowed.  They will be in the same place after it snows, too.  Just because you can't see them doesn't mean that they aren't there.
  49. You don't need power tools.  You are not a contractor.
  50. When you spin your tires in a parking lot, your wife knows it's not an accident.  Don't try to tell her it was.
  51. If you need to get on the roof, use a ladder.  Do not climb out of the upstairs window, hang from the gutter, and pull yourself up.  It's dangerous.  And stupid.
  52. When killing wasps with fireworks, please tell your children to go inside.  They can watch from the window, where they won't get stung and be traumatized.
  53. When removing training wheels from your daughter's bicycle, don't get frustrated and throw the bike down the driveway.  Doing so will result in a permanently bent frame and your daughter's inability to ride in a straight line.
  54. If you tell your wife that you are going to the lumber store to buy a 2x4, do not come home with enough wood, screws, and nails to build a house.
  55. When your son tells your wife that her new haircut makes her look like an old lady, don't laugh while she is still standing there.
  56. Do not bite your friends on the neck.  In fact, don't bite them at all.
  57. Your wife does not want to look at the gross picture texts that you receive from your friends.
  58. The I-Tunes app called "Atomic Fart" (and other just like it) do not beg to be downloaded.
  59. You don't need to buy another hat.  You don't wear them.
  60. When we go out for the evening, you don't need to wear boots "just in case someone needs their face stomped".  Nobody needs their face stomped.  You can wear normal people shoes.
  61. Even when your wife is mad at you for doing something stupid, she still loves you.  She just might not like you very much.
  62. Most importantly.............When your wife provides you with a list (grocery list, to-do list, packing list, ingredient list, etc.), FOLLOW IT.  And, yes, that includes THIS list.