onedayclosertohome

One day closer to my hero being home…

12 Years Ago Today…

The man of my dreams asked me to marry him. Not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at the fact that I am his bride.

It was a Sunday afternoon that started like any other. We went to church that morning, then went to his dorm room so he could study. He had told me he wanted to knock it out quickly so we could go on the famous 17 Mile Drive. I just knew he planned on proposing. I was very impatient.

Then, the phone call came. It was about our good friend who had just broken up with his fiancé. Apparently he really needed somebody to talk to, and My Hero was the only person that would do. This is what I was told, anyway. The part of the conversation I heard was this:

“Hello? Really? That bad, huh? Okay, I’ll be over in a few minutes.”

I have been told the part I didn’t hear went like this:

“I’m supposed to call you. I don’t really know why… Huh? Okay. I’m hanging up now…”

Feeling rather generous, I “allowed” My Hero to go, knowing that soon enough, we would go on our date.

Then he called me. He told me our friend was really struggling, and felt the need to go to the beach and stew for a while.

At this point I was no longer feeling generous. Pouting, I reminded him that we had our own plans. He quickly reassured me that he had not forgotten, and implored me to come pick him up from the beach in about half an hour, and we would be on our way. I asked him how I would find him, and he gave me a general location, flippantly telling me to “just look for our friend’s car.”

I was not feeling very charitable or Christlike at that moment. So the half hour stretched closer to 45 minutes before I went on the hunt for our friend’s car. I was feeling fairly hopeless about ever finding it during daylight hours when I saw it. There was our friend’s car with a huge bouquet of daisies on the windshield, and a sign with my name.

I drove past and looped back around, parking behind the car. As I pulled up, I saw My Hero sitting in a gazebo that overlooked the water. I began to walk toward him excitedly, but he motioned for me to go back. That’s when I saw the rest of the sign. It said, “Kay, pick up all your presents, you messy little thing.” laughing, I grabbed the bouquet off of the windshield and turned to the path.

The whole path was strewn with daisies! Giggling and feeling a bit conspicuous, I scooped up the flowers as I hurried toward My Hero. A couple walking their dog passed by, and the man pointed out a flower I missed. By the time I reached My Hero, I am not sure I could have held one more flower.

I set the flowers down on a bench in the gazebo and ran up to give My Hero a kiss. That’s when I saw a single red rose lying next to a ring box.

“You have one more present,” My Hero told me with that charming grin of his.

I picked up the box and turned it over. It was empty. “It’s a box,” I said,very astutely.

“I know,” he answered tenderly. “And the thing that goes in the box is right here.”. He pulled the delicate ring out of his pocket. Then he spoke the words that I have cherished for the last twelve years.

“I’ve prayed for you and about you, and I’ve prayed that you would be mine. And I’d really like it if you would be my wife.”

I know that he still prays for me and about me. And I am so thankful that I am his. I will, until the day I die, be the wife of my Airman, My Hero.

I received these today. He hasn’t forgotten that day either.

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Feeling the Effects

Tonight will be an early night.  I am feeling the effects of the car accident even more today.  My neck and head hurt. Unfortunately, I think The Ballerina is also feeling it.  Yesterday, she came up to me saying her hip hurt when she walked.  Today, her shoulder hurt as well.  We’re used to her hurting, but usually it’s her ankles.  She’s never complained about her hip hurting.

Dear Lord, I just don’t know how to handle this one.  I can handle me hurting.  I’ve been doing it for years.  But navigating my daughter’s pain?  This is new.  And uncomfortable.  I’m not enjoying it.  I KNOW what it’s like to hurt all the time.  I know what it’s like to have trouble walking because of hip pain.  She’s 10.  She’s not supposed to hurt.  So how do I make this better?

 

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Traditions!!!

(imagine me singing this in my best Fiddler on the Roof voice)

Usually when you think of a traditions, you think of fun things, like how your family sets up the Christmas Tree, or how you always watch the Fourth of July parade at your grandparents, or other warm-fuzzy stuff.  We have those.  We have our Daddy Bear tradition, where My Hero makes a Build-a -Bear with a recorded message from him inside so the kids can listen to it.  We have our (new) hiding Cuzi tradition.  We have our Hershey Kiss tradition (my personal favorite).  Then we have one tradition I would really like to discontinue.

I call it the Car-Accident-While-Daddy’s-Gone-in-the-Fall tradition.  Not my favorite. And, for the record, none of them have been my fault.  Really.

The first of three accidents took place right before My Hero left for OTS.  My wonderful father-in-law was driving (see? I told you it wasn’t my fault), and we were stopped at a red light.  The driver of the minivan two cars back didn’t notice the red light, and they slammed into the SUV behind us, which slammed into our piddly little sedan, which slammed into the SUV (or van… I don’t remember) in front of us.  It hurt.  After My Hero left for training, I ended up in the hospital because my leg kept getting a tingling sensation, and they couldn’t get the pain under control.

Accident #2 happened while My Hero was in Alabama again!! We were on our way to see the man of my dreams, when the cars on the highway slowed down suddenly in front of me, so I slowed down as well.  The van behind me didn’t.  My little Mazda 3 had over $8000 of damage.  I had more.  One of my vertebrae was broken off at the tip.  I still have pain from that, but it is (was?) better.

Accident #3 took place yesterday.  We were stopped at a busy intersection waiting for a break in traffic, and a teenage boy slammed into us.

Thankfully, this one was not quite as detrimental as the other two.  I don’t think it will take much to repair the car.  I don’t ache all over, although I have been conscious of a dull pain in both my neck and head steadily getting stronger all day.  Neither of the kids was really hurt, although The Ballerina did have a headache.  I will be going to the on Monday, unless the pain gets too bad tonight.  Fortunately, because I deal with chronic pain, I have some medicine that will help a little.

So, that’s my tradition I no longer want.  What should I replace it with???

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Foodie Friday!

I’ve decided that Friday will be recipe day.

Stop laughing.  I can do this.  Really.  I do have some recipes written down.

Stop laughing.

Earlier this week, after a really long day of homeschooling, followed by four hours of coaching, I was hungry.  Really hungry.  And I was craving Panera’s broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl.  So even though it was after nine and we had an early morning ahead of us, I headed toward that delectable diner with the thought of their scrumptious soup filling my mouth.

It was closed.  Panera, apparently, closes at NINE.  The nerve! Nobody asked me if they could close that early.  I needed them to be open until 9:30!!! So I went home, terribly disappointed and still hungry.  I vowed to never be forced to rely on Panera for good, crusty soup bowls and broccoli soup again.  I would make my OWN.

Yesterday, being my day off, I decided to try my hand at making my own bread bowls.  I used this recipe as a guide, then went off from there.

Bread Bowls

I have yet to master the art of making a sourdough starter, so my bread bowls are just a simple bread recipe with a few things that I’ve changed here and there.

  • 1 1/4 cups of hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of butter or olive oil, or a mix of the two
  • 2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients.  Let them rest for a couple of minutes while you scramble around for the rest of the ingredients.

  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • about 7 cups of freshly ground flour (that’s what I use)

Now, most recipes will tell you to combine your dry ingredients before adding them.  I find that I’m too lazy to do that.  So I add a cup of flour, then a teaspoon of salt, then another cup of flour, then the nutmeg (Nutmeg.  I can’t think of a spice I love more), then another cup of flour, then the salt.  Continue to add the flour cup by cup until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and is sticking together.  It should feel slightly tacky, but should not stick to your finger as you pull it away.  Once all the flour is added, mix for 8-10 minutes.  This amount of time is different for me every time I make bread, because I always forget to set a timer, and I get busy doing other things, so I come back to it when I remember.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover.  Let it rise for at least thirty minutes, but no longer than an hour.  Punch dough down, and divide into eight.  Shape each clump of dough into a ball.  The the balls on a greased cookie sheet and cover.  Let rise another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400*.

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Mix the egg white and water together, brush about half the mixture on the bread bowls.  Bake the bowls for 15 minutes (ish).  Brush the egg white mixture on again, continue baking for another 15 minutes.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

It is a known fact that my children do not like broccoli.  For this, I blame their father.  My Hero is not a vegetable lover.  Thankfully, however, he realizes the importance of eating them, and will typically choke down what I serve with a smile. Most of the time, he loves my cooking, but if I serve veggies as a side and not in something like Chicken Pot Pie, he doesn’t really care for the taste.  The one veggie he refuses to eat is broccoli.  The children, being incredibly fast learners, picked this up from an early age, and also refuse to eat broccoli.  However, as I’ve mentioned, I LOVE broccoli cheese soup.  So I decided to force my children to eat it for dinner last night.  They both ate the whole bowl.

  • 4 cups of chicken broth (I make my own, but a box from the store should work just fine)
  • 4 summer squash (or a mix of zucchini and summer squash)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 butter
  • 1/2 cup of freshly ground flour

Cut up the summer squash and zucchini, and place in a pot with the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then let it simmer.  While the broth is simmering, finely chop your onion.  Heat a skillet, then add the butter.  Once the butter is melted, saute’ the onion for 7-10 minutes.  Remove the onion with a slotted spoon.  Add flour to the remaining butter.  If needed, add a little olive oil to make a thick paste.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking constantly.

Place the squash and 1 cup of the chicken broth in a blender.  Puree.  Return to broth with onions and flour mixture.

  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 1/2 cups of finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt (to your taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cream or whole milk
  • 1 block of cheddar or marbled cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Puree half of the soup.  Add more salt or nutmeg as needed to bring the flavor to your liking.

There you have it folks.  I really can write down a recipe.  Hopefully I didn’t leave out anything important!

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I am His Beauty

We received notes from My Hero. It made our day around here. You’d think we’d won the lottery! Even better, we received three beautiful, wonderful cards from My Hero (God bless the people who made and sent them! What a great idea).

My Hero told The Gymnast and The Ballerina how proud he is of them, how much he misses them, and how much he’s looking forward to seeing them again. Very sweet.

Mine, however, was better. He called me His Beauty.

My Hero explained that every man dreams of adventure, every man still has that little boy in him that wants to fight the dragon. Boys like fairytales just as much as girls, I guess. Then he told me that in every man’s Fairytale, there is a beauty to be won. A woman so captivating and lovely, she is worth dying for. A woman that makes a man abandon his fears and inhibitions to pursue the fight for His Beauty.

I am His Beauty.

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The Ballerina

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One Day Closer Science in the Dark With Dad

I love night time.  For many reasons.  There is so much to learn about the world in the evening.  Not that there isn’t a ton to learn about during the day, but it just seems that the night is so much more intriguing.  Perhaps the simple absence of constant stimulation makes us pay closer attention to the world that comes alive after dark, I don’t know.  I do know that science after dark takes on a magical feel.

We (we meaning my children, not me personally) found this little guy in the doorway of our friend’s house.  He provided a full 10 minutes of squeals of delight and fascination, especially for The Gymnast (duh). I couldn’t believe how incredibly tiny he was!!

And, because The Gymnast asked, we made a video of him jumping.

We’re such geeks.  I know My Hero misses nights like this.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Love Letters from a Hero!

 

 

 

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Be Still….

Be still, and KNOW that I am God.

On this day, it is good to remember that this world isn’t forever.  It is good to remember that the God who created the Heavens and the Earth is still God.  He has been here since the beginning of the earth, He is here with us now, and He was here 10 years ago. He will be here with us until the end of the world, whenever that may be.

When the towers fell, our nation was struck with fear.  I saw that fear reawaken this week.  It seemed like the entire area tensed up in remembering that terrible day ten years ago. It’s easy to be fearful.

But we’re not commanded to be fearful.  We are given a spirit of peace.  This peace surpasses all understanding.  It is a peace that lives within those who believe, and the more we dwell on that peace, the more we allow it to overtake us, the easier it is to trust that it will remain, even when we don’t understand what is happening around us.

It is hard to be a military family sometimes.  I still have not watched one 9/11 video today.  I haven’t talked about it with my kids.  It’s hard not to think about the fact that our area has recently lost people Over There.  But even with how heavy my heart has been for the last few days, there are two verses that have penetrated the clouds of sadness and doubt.  One is Psalm 46, which in context is even more amazing.  the other is Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

To have that promise that HE upholds me with His righteous right hand makes all the difference.  Yes, it is tough that My Hero is gone.  It is tough that my body is falling apart.  It is terrifying to think about The Worst Case Scenario.  But HE, the Lord of Lords, holds me up.  He promises to guide me.  He eases my dismay by the mere fact that He is GOD.  Peace doesn’t come because He promises to take away the pain.  Peace doesn’t come because He promises to take away sadness.  His promise is much better than that.  He promises to guide us through the pain and sadness.  He promises to never leave or forsake us. No matter how many things fall apart around us, He will not abandon us.  We don’t have to rely on our own strength.  We can rely on His.

 

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America

This seems like an appropriate day to post these.  The Gymnast and The Ballerina had an assignment for their Classical Conversations group to write a poem, following a certain model and structure.  As we remember what happened ten years ago today, let us take a minute and remember what it is we’re still fighting for.

 

America

Land of…

Shimmering, shining seashores

That sparkle in the sun.

The familiar fragrance of trees

From the exquisite, Hurculean forests.

The mysterious, misty mountains

That loom over the land.

Rushing, roaring rivers

Water cold and refreshing.

Perfectly peaceful plains

With prairie dogs popping up here and there.

 

America, Land of…

Proud and praiseworthy men

Who fought for our freedom.

Amazing admirable women

So resourceful and wise.

America my home.

The Ballerina, 2011-2012

America

Land of…

The windy wavy seashores with sand

as white as snow.

The tall towering forest

Majestic magnificent mountains

The fast fun rivers that have very fishy water

The perfect peaceful plains.

America, land of…

The lively loving people who fight for freedom.

Amazing awesome people who love our country.

“The Free and the Brave.”

“God Bless America,

My Home Sweet Home.”

The Gymnast, 2011-2012

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Just Put Me in a Bubble

Please.  It might just be better for everyone.

This is my wrist brace.  I’ve had it for a while now.  Months.  I don’t remember exactly when I got it.  Without it, sometimes my wrist will hurt so bad that I can’t pick up a pot or pan.

Apparently, my ankle got jealous.

More specifically, my Achilles tendon.

What happened?  Good question.  I really don’t know.  Truly.  Off and on for the last couple years, I get severe, sharp pain in my right ankle.  It gets so bad that it is very painful to walk.  Well, of course it started again this week, and wasn’t going away, so I made an appointment.

Apparently, my Achilles tendon is messed up.  The doc said that she didn’t even have to try to feel the difference.  It was just obvious.  So…. I get to wear this charming, knee-high boot for the next week.  If it’s not any better by Friday, then I get to see Ortho.  No worries, though.  My sweet Ballerina has promised to bedazzle my boot.  I promise I’ll post pictures.

Brace Buddies. Don’t they look great together?

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