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Posts Tagged ‘Will’

Be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

~1~

My sister got married! She is a beautiful, wonderful woman and she married a pretty great guy. They are adorable together and that makes me very happy. Her wedding was beautiful.  We danced a lot. People held my baby so I could party. Philomena was an unstoppable force, getting down with particular zest during Gangam Style.  I love weddings.

~2~

I’ve lived in the deep South for a while now, and it has thinned my blood. The aforementioned wedding was during the weekend following the March for Life. Cold. Cold. Cold.  It snowed a lot.  I don’t own nearly enough sweaters. Also, standing outside in nineteen degree weather in a strapless dress is not fun.

~3~

Don’t get the norovirus, or, as it is known by the fraternity of those who have had it, the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague. Especially when you are traveling with small children. It makes you violently ill, forcing you to stay the night at a North Carolinian motel and makes an eleven hour road trip last thirty six hours.

~4~

If you foolishly succumb to the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague, you will lose the equivalent of a pug dog in weight. There are better ways to do this. You will also not be able to eat anything harder to digest than chicken broth for days, have a bizarre craving for cornbread and no matter how much Gatorade or water you drink, you will always be thirsty.

~5~

Also, if you succumb, make sure your spouse does not get the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague at the same time. This will result in untold misery your whole family can enjoy.

~6~

The high fevers induced by the plague will make you have bizarre dreams and your least favorite song stuck on a loop in your brain. I had something by Kings of Leon on repeat for twenty four hours. Think about that. Twenty four hours. Kings of Leon. Also, I had been reading my dear friend Colleen Swaim’s new book, Radiate: More Stories of Daring Teen Saints shortly before I became ill and was certain that St. Gabriel Possenti was in the motel room with me. Maybe he was. I definitely needed the prayers.

~7~

Colleen got the plague, too.  She was a great comfort to us when she called to let us know that she had lived, and we, in all probability, would to likewise. Many thanks to her and her family for their hospitality in Maryland.

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In the last two weeks I have had a number of  exquisitely irritating things happen to me.  By irritating, I mean maddening, frustrating, hurtful, and downright nasty. Here’s the thing. We are poor. Very, very poor. We have people in our lives who do not like “the poor.”  We have Catholics around here who take their spirituality straight out of Fox News Channel. We have people in our lives who think that my husband is “lazy”, not understanding that it’s really hard for a guy with a J.D. to get a cruddy job at Walmart. Overqualified people don’t get hired as waiters, because the managers rightly think that when a better job comes along, that guy with the J.D. will take that better job. That doesn’t stop my husband from trying for those jobs, though.  Try explaining that to invincibly ignorant people who want to “have a word” with my husband. I tried. It didn’t go well. It’s hard to explain to someone that they are being offensive when they won’t stop talking long enough to give you a fair hearing. It’s harder when they say that “they’re praying for you,” when you know that means “they’re talking about you behind your back in order to criticize and belittle you.” It’s really hard when you live in an oversized small town and you know they know all the people you’ve gotten to know over the last year.

I’ve had it with people. I like people, really. I just don’t like people who know they’re right about the intimate details of my life. I have two options before me.  Either I take this anger and frustration to the cross and nail it down, praying that He will use it somehow for my good, or, I can stew in my juices for another week, getting more and more bitter and distrustful of God’s plan for my life and my marriage because of the idiocy of some people. The latter is more appealing at the moment. Isn’t it funny how what we know is bad for us is so often the most attractive

My little heart is tied up in knots right now. I want an end to this hardship. I want an end to the criticism of my poor husband, who is trying so hard. I want stability.

I think that a novena may be in order, but it’s hard to feel hopeful at this point.

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Rant concluded. Thank you for your patience.

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How I Got Engaged

My sixth anniversary was just a couple of weeks ago, and in my 7 Quick Takes I mentioned briefly how Will and I got engaged. But, since the ever charming Betty Beguiles is doing an engagement story link up, here, gentle readers, is the long form.

First, a little background. Will and I have  known each other for ten years. We’ve been married for six of them.  Will and I met at the Catholic University of America when he was a twenty four year old law student and I a measly nineteen year old sophomore English major. We were friends with a bunch of people from the college radio station and  one day we sat at the same lunch table in what we old-school kids called old South.  He was extremely polite, and, apparently, instantly smitten with the “beautiful, perky, least-amount of hipster angst having” girl that was me. We were both dating other (not so nice) people at the time, but became friends. A couple of years passed, and I had relieved myself of a bad relationship that had resulted in a pretty serious depression. Will was often the only person I could stand running into on campus. He was uniformly kind, went out of his way to cheer me up without getting too personal, and, while I loved my other friends, I never felt like I had to explain myself to him. He was restful. I’d tell you my whole courtship story, but it would take too long. Now we will skip ahead.

We began seeing each other officially when I was twenty-two. Four months later, he asked if I wanted to go on a camping vacation to his parent’s property in South Carolina. I said “Sure!” He said “Bring you sister-we need a chaperone.” My poor sister. She’s amazing, and puts up with a lot. So down we drove to rural South Carolina. Nothing could have prepared me for the wilderness of the lowcountry. It was pouring rain as we drove along a windy road further and further into middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Suddenly, the pavement ended and we were driving along a dirt road into what looked like the jungle. Will turned off into what actually WAS the jungle and there, looming up before us, was a Quonset hut type garage. His parents were there, too. No pressure, right? We unloaded our stuff and my sister and I got our tent arranged.

So there we were, two Yankee girls, in a tent, in the PITCH BLACK, listening to the monkeys on a distant island (seriously), two hundred feet away from the garage where Will and his parents were conked out. At one point, Rachel and  I looked at each other and had but one thought: “Get Will!” So I ran through the rain into the barn, woke him up and mentioned our plight, namely, being utterly freaked out. You know that scene in the rain in The Notebook? This wasn’t it. I was soaked and bedraggled, and must have looked terrible, but Will didn’t mind. He very sweetly said “Okay-want me to come in with you guys?” and I said “Yes, please.” He gathered up his own stuff and arranged a little room for himself in the entry way of the tent, and zipped us girls chastely in the main section of the tent. Thus began our vacation.

The next morning Will awoke to hundreds of mosquito bites, floating on his air mattress in the small pond of the tent. Truly, he is heroic.

A few days went by and we swam, boated, saw the sights, and ate lots of barbecue. There was even a barbershop quartet practicing while we sat in a porch swing overlooking the river. For real! At this point, we had never kissed. He had never told me he loved me. I knew he did, and would say something eventually. I admit I was a little impatient. I wanted him to say SOMETHING, but knew that I shouldn’t force the situation. It took a lot of self-restraint not to jump the gun in my imagination. Anyway, there were lots of super sweet romantic moments that week, but I certainly was not expecting a marriage proposal. I was biding my time, because I knew I’d say yes when he asked. At any rate, one evening, my sister was sitting by a bonfire, and Will suggested we take a walk. I agreed, and we took a little stroll around the dark property and looked at the stars. He stopped underneath an enormous live oak tree and told me he loved me. Then he took my hands and asked me to marry him.

I was surprised. And then I stammered out something that amounted to”yes.” And then we kissed for the first time. There were stars overhead, and it was exactly what I had always hoped for in a proposal. I always wanted it to be at night, under the stars somewhere. I never told Will that; he came up with it on his own. Also, we had no ring at that time. Will, being a lawyer and taking things like contracts very seriously, gave me a silver dollar to keep until we picked out a ring. It sounds weird, I know, but it was very sweet. That coin is still in my jewelry box. The ring is on my finger.

Shortly afterwards, we were both hit with a case of giggles. It was kind of ridiculous, but we were very, very happy. My sister was happy, too, and put up with the newly engaged couple admirably. (By the way, she is beautiful, and single, and brilliant, and single and funny and single, and any single, virtuous young men between the ages of 25 and 35 should contact me to contact her).

And so, dear readers, I married him. I’m glad I did. He’s my buddy, and I love him.

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Our sixth wedding anniversary was this past Saturday. I really can’t believe it’s been that long. Six years of bliss and other stuff. I’m happy to report that we are happier now than we’ve ever been in spite of our  best efforts at being right rather than happy, genuine material hardship and the ever-present lack of sleep.  Be sure to toddle over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

~1~

We got engaged in South Carolina underneath an enormous live oak tree. We got our  picture taken under that tree the day after the proposal.  A few weeks ago, a friend of ours took another picture of the us under the same tree. There’s another person in this on now.

~2~

On May 21, 2005, in a solemn high mass that started late and ended with the schola singing Ubi Caritas because our organist had another wedding to play at another church, I married Will. It was a beautiful mass, celebrated by Msgr. Charles Pope, who gave the best wedding homily I’ve ever heard. His theme was “Trust God.”  Trust that He knew we were going to be married before human beings were created. That He knew every single one of our struggles and heartaches, and every one of our joys. I still remember it, and go back to it frequently when I need a vocational boost. So, cheers to Msgr. Pope, the most Baptist Catholic preacher I’ve ever known.

~3~

We had no dancing at our reception because our location was, shall we say, last minute. Our original venue was outdoors with plenty of room for dancing, but they withdrew their acceptance. Two months before the wedding. During Wedding Season. In DC. No, I’m not bitter. Instead, we had a dinner reception at  a lovely French restaurant in the country. Excellent food, excellent drinks (at least, that’s what I hear-I didn’t really get to imbibe as much as I should have) and beautiful decor. It was great, but I would have liked to have bust out some sweet moves.

~4~

We’ve had our share of nasty arguments and imbecilic behavior. We’ve also asked for help when we needed it and came away humbler for the help. God is good, and peeling our layers of selfishness back fast enough for it to be deeply uncomfortable, but always with an anasthaetic of consolation.

~5~

I married a man who is absolutely determined to make sure I get to be fully myself. When I second guess myself, he’s the one to tell me to trust my instincts. Last year, I went on retreat for the first time in years to the Sisters of Life. This meant i had to grab a chna town bus for New York at nasty o’clock in themorning and spend the afternoon in New York on my own until I could get myself to Connecticut. It was a life-changing retreat during Valentine’s Day weekend. The Sisters kept saying I married a St. Joseph, because they knew so many women whose husbands would not have let their wives go away for a weekend, let alone THAT weekend. My guy is not yet st. Joseph, but he’s working on it! If I need time away from family life to recharge, he’s the one to make sure I don’t  feel guilty. He encourages me to do what I need to do to be happy in our life together. That, my friends, is pure gold.

~6~

When you’re engaged to a guy and you suggest sweetly that he sits down and watches the six hour Pride and Prejudice, and he squirms only a little, and later on says he liked it and you realize he was sincere but not sappy, you know you’re on to something good. When you’re engaged to a guy and he sweetly suggests that you have a bad movie marathon and he introduces you to the horror that is Battlefield Earth and you actually enjoy yourself while watching Scientology and codpieces on parade, you know you could end up having a lot of fun over the course of a lifetime.

~7~

Each anniversary is different. Our first we bit off more than we could chew-without going into detail, it was not the fun we hoped it would be. The best anniversaries seem to be the ones that involve Mexican food and margaritas. This year was the best so far. Tex-mex, margaritas, compline with the most beautiful Anglican choir and a little sermon that brought us both to tears, topped off with beer at the “most haunted pub” in town. And the Red Sox were playing.  Clearly, God was smiling.

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It’s All a Blur

Apologies, gentle readers, for my long absence. Perhaps you’d like to know what has been keeping me from coming up with insightful, witty, urbane essays? I have three words for you:

The Kentucky Derby

You see, my in-laws own a horse who ran beautifully and came in fourth. The preparation time for two minutes of actual racing was completely insane. There were clothes to buy, hats to try and shoes to find. There was babysitting to hunt down. There were all the attendant difficulties of visiting in-laws. There was the car to rent. There was a husband to dress up in the finest WASP clothes. Manicures, pedicures, makeup, hair, you name it. It was a week and a half long marathon of superficiality. But, boy, did we look GOOD! The horse did, too.

For my  husband, a Kentucky boy, this was a dream come true. He got to walk the horse out over the track.  I think he may have teared up a little. There isn’t a ton to tell, really, except that the rented bus taking us from the farm to Churchill Downs broke down in the intersection, and we were forced to break into the wine and cheese for sustenance as we waited for our other transportation. We also got off at the wrong gate.  For a little while we were among the hoy polloy of infield attendees, struggling to get to the clubhouse level. Truly, the life of an aristocrat is fraught with hardship.

I spent  Mother’s Day recovering while my husband ran around after Philomena. My birthday was the day after that, and we spent it on the road. It actually wasn’t bad at all. Will took me off the beaten path into the mountains of Tenessee, which was jawdroppingly beautiful. there were copious amounts of ice cream, too, which was a nice little touch. Best of all, we arrived home safe and sound with a full two weeks before the next race.

And that, dear readers, is where I’ve been. Back to regularly scheduled blogging.

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Philomena is getting to be a big girl.

Will and I have been watching last summer’s videos of Philomena. She was so tiny! Her voice was so squeaky! And now she can write five different letters.  She knows her numbers up to fifteen. She can pour a cup of water, brush her teeth, wash her hands and go up and down stairs without the handrails. We’re feeling nostalgic for the good old days of two. You know, because three is so old.

Not knowing whether we’ll be able to have any more children, or at least knowing it probably won’t be for a while, makes the normal “my baby’s growing up” thing  a little more achy than it would be otherwise. If I took fertility for granted, or was one of those amazing women who are pregnant every year or two, maybe the conversations at the park about where to send the baby to school wouldn’t make me as blue. There would  be at least an expectation of another soft, pink baby in the future.

I’ve entered a peaceful place with my infertility.  The tears don’t come regularly, and I’m happy to pick up this cross every day. God is bringing forth a lot of good through the pain and difficulty. I’m learning to say yes to God. It’s just that sometimes watching Philomena as an even littler girl makes me wonder if that was our only chance to see a first step, or hear a first song. This is our openness to life: that we look at our suffering and embrace it, trusting that it will flower and bear fruit in our lives.

God’s will be done.

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I should be cleaning out the bedroom that just got filled up with stuff from cleaning out the future laundry room, but Betty Beguiles is asking for ten facts about you and your better half, and I simply had to oblige.

~1~

We met in the cafeteria at Catholic University. He was 24 and I was 19. He ate the pizza, and I believe I had taco salad.

~2~

We were both dating other people at the time.

~3~

He began pursuing me at the National Shrine, where we both worked in the bookstore. I’d be studying Bronte on my break and he’d come up and begin to read Jane Eyre at me in a funny accent.

~4~

We love watching goofy movies together, as well as BBC/Masterpiece costumey things.  That, some wine, olives and cheese and we are happy, happy people.

~5~

Our courtship took place over Friday night poker games with his roommates. I never got good at poker, but I got some great stories and a husband out of it!

~6~

Our first date was at a gun range.

~7~

Our first argument was over Irish nationalism.

~8~

Our first kiss was when we got engaged.

~9~

Our song is, depending on our mood when  you ask, either Be My Life’s Companion by Rosemary Clooney or the Mills Brothers, or I Will by the Beatles.

~10~

My husband once blurted out to me early in our dating relationship that he loved me. We were in the car and chatting about, of all things,  organic foods. I said “Just because I like bean sprouts doesn’t mean I don’t love a burger with grease running down my arms.” He said “I love you!” and turned purple. I just smiled and stayed quiet.

 

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