Tag Archives: wife

Nose Strips

Have you ever used nose strips?  They’re cushioned pieces of thin plastic that are encased in a band-aid-like adhesive strip.  You open them just like a band-aid and place them across the bridge of your nose just above the nostrils.  They look like this:

My wife and I use them off and on and they seem to work pretty good.  They certainly open the nasal passages and help to keep snoring at a minimum.

Not too long ago, we woke up one morning and were talking about them.  We were both laying on our sides, looking at each other and talking about how we had slept the night before.  Things were said like, “It’s wonderful after fifteen years of being married to each other that we are more in love now than we were then!”  “How did you sleep last night?”  “These strips work pretty good!”  It was then that we both noticed how mine had started to come off on one end. That started a conversation about how good the adhesive is.  And then about what the best way to take them off is.

I was still talking about how the edge of my nose strip had worked loose when she said, “I usually take mine off fast.  Like this.”  And she immediately reached over and peeled mine off my nose so fast that I hardly knew what had just happened.  Until the burning pain set in like fire across my nose and tears flooded my eyes like torrents of rain and I screamed out in agony….

Ok, it wasn’t that bad.  But it did burn like fire.  Probably almost as bad as child birth, but I won’t bring that up.  At least I wasn’t laughing hysterically when she was giving birth to our children.  Unlike the outcome of her brutal actions that morning.

It’s a good thing I love her like I do.

A Fond Memory (Bethisms)

I have many a fond memory of my wife and my Dad together.  With that being the case, I thought I would share an earlier story called “Bethisms”.   I know you’ll enjoy it!

My Dad and my wife always had a very special relationship. He knew that I had prayed for the “right one” for a long time, and when he met her for the first time, he knew I had found her. The two of them just clicked. It was awesome to see! What was also evident to me was the fact that he had a lot of respect for her.  I believe he did both for simply who she was and also for her profession.  She does Daycare out of the home now, but back then she was a Social Worker.   She had seen and experienced a lot of things which produced insight and wisdom. I could tell he admired

My wife has much more of a forthright personality than I do (probably another reason my Dad was fond of her). But she can also be…well, no other way to say it….she can also be rather “blonde” (after all, it is her natural hair color). She’s never been “ditsy blonde” like the stereo-type we’re all familiar with (you know, like the On Star call many have heard where a woman has apparently locked herself inside her car and has to be talked through how to pull “the shiny thing” [door handle], only to discover that the keys were in the ignition the whole time). Nope. Nothing like that. Just “blonde” to the point that it has produced a few events we like to call “Bethisms”.

She has had quite a few over the years, and most of them seem to jump back and forth between doing her nails and baking in the kitchen. It’s kind of like watching a tennis match. I’ll be the first to tell you that she is great at both of these things. But not only do these Bethisms occur mostly in these two areas of her life, they occur with the same incident happening–every time.

She has done her own nails for years and is very good at it.  So, it naturally follows that a Bethism has occurred with this hobby of hers.  It happened here in our home one night as she was doing her nails in front of the T.V.  As we are watching a show, I and our boys suddenly hear, “Oh, crap!!”. I look over at her and she’s leaning back on the couch, holding her fingers together above her head. An odd sight, to be sure, but I thought I would wait for an explanation. She’s laughing, but there’s something different about it–something uneasy. She then proceeds to tell me that she has glued the thumb of one hand to the finger of the other.  And in case you aren’t aware of it, fingernail glue sticks like superglue. So she’s laughing (also because she’s leaned back so far into the couch that she can’t get herself back up with her fingers glued together like that) and repeating, in no particular order, “Dang it” and “This is really gonna hurt” and “Oh crapcrapcrapcrapcrap”.

Now I, sensitive husband that I am and knowing how much my Dad would love to know about this, promptly pulled my phone out and started recording video of this amazing and unusual event unfolding before me. Ben, our younger son, started to tear up and wanted to help his Mommy in any way he could.  So he volunteered to go get the scissors to cut her fingers apart.  This, of course, was definitely not how she was going to fix this. She eventually sucked it up, took the plunge and pulled her fingers apart. We were all amazed at how little skin was actually missing compared to what we thought we would see. If I remember right, it took a couple of weeks for that to heal up. This has happened more than once–and just as funny every time!

The Spider Incident Of 2015

I hate spiders.  Always have.  And the problem I have is this:  So does everyone else in my family.  But even so, who ends up being the spider-killer whenever one has infiltrated our ranks and has been found trespassing within the borders of our domain?

Me.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I love being my family’s protector–even for such a small yet grotesque enemy as these eight-legged creatures that are the spawn of Satan if ever there was any–but is there a line to be drawn at any point that says even I can’t go that far when it comes to doing so?

Nope.

So as a result, getting rid of spiders by any means necessary has always fallen upon my shoulders.  Rightfully so and I embrace that responsibility.  My insides might be all aquiver, but I will gladly face off and go toe-to-toe with that worthy foe than have my family (namely my wife) be faced with that daunting task.  My boys are getting old enough now, though, that they are already crossing that line from boyhood to manhood by being forced to kill their own spiders.  (Nothing beats that rush once the task is done!  Knowing that you conquered that fear and beat down the enemy in the process–for those boys, that’s another step in the right direction of being the protector of their own households someday.)  So with this groundwork laid, let’s talk about something that happened early last summer.

We live in southwestern Ohio, so we don’t deal with gigantic spiders that are as big as Buicks like folks in the southwestern U.S. do.  However, we have always had periodic issues with wolf spiders in our house from time to time.  And for some reason, it’s usually in the bathtub that we find one.  (By the way, there’s something very gratifying about turning on the hot scalding water and washing one down the drain!)  But sometimes one can be seen skipping across the living room floor, all cocky and conceited, thinking it owns the joint and has carte blanche to go wherever it wants to.  Well, we were sitting in our living room one evening watching TV when we all saw a wolf spider beatin’ feet from the floor under the entertainment center to the floor under the couch we were sitting on.  You’ve never seen a whole room scramble to their feet faster than we did  in that suspended moment of time!  After our feet eventually found the floor again, I told one of our boys to get me the flyswatter from the laundry room as my wife and I pulled the couch out from the wall and attempted to locate the vile creature that had just attempted a vehement attack upon us innocent folk.

The couch was against our picture window that has curtains that hang to the floor (a perfect hiding place for this eight-legged personification of evil).  As my youngest son came back with the flyswatter, I began moving the bottoms of the curtains aside to see where it might be, flyswatter at the ready.  What I saw took my breath away and made me instantly lose all focus on any wolf spider that might be back there.  (In fact, as I recall, I believe I blurted out, “HOLY CRAP!!”).  As I moved one of the curtains, there before me at the base of the wall and the floor was a spider whose body and legs were a good 2.5 inches in diameter, the abdomen itself being the size of a nickel!  I could even see the jaws this thing had from my standing position!  I was freaking out on the inside!!  I knew I had to “up the ante”, so I told our son who got the flyswatter to go get one of my shoes (I had to have more than a measly flyswatter for a behemoth like this one!).  He flew out to the laundry room, grabbed one and came rushing back into the living room.  This huge gargantuan hadn’t moved (something I was very thankful for since I wasn’t properly armed until that moment), so I, with flyswatter in one hand and shoe in the other, moved in for the kill.  As I got closer to it, it still hadn’t moved and I noticed that it looked kind of old (my thoughts:  Maybe it’s already dead?  Has been for quite some time?).  So I swallowed hard and decided to poke it with the flyswatter to see what it would do–fully prepared for an evasive move on my part should it suddenly turn on me and attack.

Yup, it was dead.  Hold on.  No, it wasn’t dead–because it was plastic!!!  It was a stupid plastic spider that one of the babysitting kids had lost behind the couch way back when.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or just collapse on the floor then and there in the fetal position for awhile and suck my thumb, mumbling incoherent gibberish while doing so.

I decided to laugh about it.  It’s better than crying.  But I’m still mumbling incoherent gibberish.

A Goal Becomes A Milestone

It took my wife and I longer than most usually do to find each other (shared in “How We Met”).  As a result, we are at ages 46 and 44 (respectively–no reason to let you know which one of us is the older one since carrying on about it and really even mentioning it at all would mean that the chances are highly likely that the woman is the older one so since it is my responsibility to keep that type of sensitive information unknown I won’t say anything about it either way so that you can’t possibly tell which one of us is older and the true identity of all parties is kept hidden as it very well should be in a situation like this) with two boys, the older one being 12 1/2 and the younger one being a little over 11.

Our older son, William, is built like his Uncle Brad:  stocky, tall and ruggedly handsome (as awkward as it is to describe my Brother-In-Law that way).  We could tell even at the ages of 2-3 that William was going to be on the tall side.  So much so that all through his childhood, he’s been a head taller than any of the other kids around him.  As a result, it has been his focus–nay, his quest, his life’s mission, his God-given purpose at age 12–to surpass the height of his Dad.  Now, growing up, it was my brother who ended up being taller than my Dad.  As we both got into high school, it was evident to all of us who the taller son was going to be.  (And, as a side story, we wrestled all the time as kids [remember the story about Max?].  But when he got to being taller than I was and I could no longer pin him to the ground for Max to play with, I became uninterested in such suddenly childish things to do.)  So I never experienced the heady sensation that a son being taller than his father can bring.

William asks for hugs all the time.  So, last night being no exception, he asked and I gave.  Only this time, something was different.  It felt like I was hugging someone taller than me.  Now, it must be noted here that for the last month or so, he’s been hovering at a 1/2 inch shorter than me–my height being 5’8″–and this fact noted a mere 3 weeks ago at Uncle Brad’s house of all places.  So I bring him out to where his mother is in the living room and have her check us out.  She begins to laugh and gasp and generally make a scene as she tells us that not only is William taller than I am, but he’s taller by a good inch and a half!  Here’s what she saw:

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Which means that he grew two inches in three weeks.  To say he was ecstatic is an understatement.  Whooping, hollering, smack talk (something about being the tallest man in the house now…I don’t know, I forget…) and other indecent behavior emanated from this 12 year-old that I now literally have to look up to.   If you find this hard to believe, coming from such a sweet-demeanored boy, here’s some hard-core proof of the preposterously out-of-place and distasteful behavior that I was subjected to last night:

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See what I mean?  You know, you think you raise them right–respect for their elders and all that–and this is how you are rewarded.  What’s a guy to do??  How do I live this down?  Thankfully, I don’t want to.  I couldn’t be more proud of our two boys and the mighty men of God that they are growing up to become.  I must say, it does feel oddly milestoneish having one of my sons taller than me, especially knowing that the height difference and the heckling that will come with it is now only going to get worse.  I say “oddly” in an effort to describe that sad feeling that comes with the significant events of a child’s life that remind you the little boy isn’t a little boy anymore.  But I wouldn’t change that for anything.  I love our family!  The God of the Bible is the center of it.  And everyone sees that.  I love that about us.  We’re not perfect.  Just genuinely seeking to walk with God as close as possible every day of our lives.  My boys see that example and the benefits that it brings, and they are far more likely to set that example for their own families one day.

Yup–choosing to walk out this life hand-in-hand with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit certainly has its advantages!

Hanging The Lights

It was somewhere around my middle-school years that I came up with what I thought was an astounding idea for a holiday project.  I mused over it for a few days and then proposed the idea to my parents.  I offered my labor in putting up Christmas lights on the house, garage and front bushes if Mom and Dad would foot the bill for the lights and other stuff I would have to buy if this was to happen.

I was given free reign!  I had a blast buying everything “we” needed for the project:  new lights for the roof and garage, plenty of extension cords and then, for the six to seven bushes at the front of the house, plenty of lights to cover them with little twinkling  sparkles of colored goodness–all in the hopes that they would be seen through an inch or two of fresh snow some time that season (there’s nothing like seeing the subtle glow of Christmas lights through a fresh blanket of snow!).

But then my inexperience kicked in.  Me being the virgin Christmas-lights-putter-upper, I had all of the lights on the bushes plugged together with a single outdoor extension cord supplying the power.  That resulted in the constant blowing out of single lights here and there, with the occasional blowing of a whole strand.  I would come home from school and plug the lights in at dusk only to find another strand of lights wasn’t working (usually due to one nefarious blown-out bulb that refused to identify itself).  And back then, you didn’t have the “one-light-out-and-the -strand-stays-lit” light sets that are out there today.  No sir.  It was either throwing the whole stinkin’ light strand away just so I wouldn’t have to mess with it or going through each light to see if it worked or not.  So inevitably I would be found outside with a flashlight in one hand and a new bulb in the other, following the circles of darkened lights draped upon any one of the many bushes out front.  With snotcicles forming under my nose, I would try to pry with my cold numb fingers (because–of course–you can’t perform that task with gloves on) each tiny bulb from its peaceful nest within the strand without breaking it–only to find that as soon as I did find the nasty culprit and replace it, a totally different strand would blow shortly afterwards.

Well, many years have come and gone since then–with every Christmas season seeing me outside and up on the roof getting the lights situated on the house and surrounding landscape.  It went from the lights at my parents’ house up through my mid-twenties to my own house for a few years to the house my wife and I have been in since we got married fourteen years ago.  The concern of having too many strands of lights plugged in together and blowing bulbs or fuses is no longer an issue.  Now, instead of having four or five strands plugged in together and blowing lightbulbs, I have LED lights that actually tell you not to plug more than thirty strands of lights together at one time.

And now I find myself instilling the same tradition in my boys.  We just finished getting the lights up for this Christmas season on Thanksgiving morning.  My boys are soon-to-be 11 and just-over 12 and they both already have plenty of memories of helping me up on the roof with Christmas lights.  (Granted, the first few years of them being old enough saw them only coming up on the roof for a picture or to “help me” by just sitting in one spot and not moving.  But now they can actually help!)

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Their help this time cut what has taken 7 to 8 hours of time in past attempts at hanging the lights down to 3 1/2 hours.  I was very happy!  And they look wonderful.  I don’t have a recent picture, but here’s one that is very similar to what we just did:

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They’ve been bugging my wife all week about “getting the lights up”.  And all morning while we were up on the roof, I heard both of them talk about how much they love putting up the Christmas lights and that they can’t wait to be doing this with their kids.

And so it lives on!

Anniversaries

In a few days, my wife and I are going to be celebrating our 14th year of marriage together.  Some people look at their time with their spouses as something less than ideal–some even view it as a jail sentence of sorts, something to be endured.  Jeff Dunham’s “Walter” is a perfect example.  When asked about his marriage to his wife of forty-six years, Walter’s happiest time of life was forty-seven years ago.  According to him, “til death do us part” is a goal to be reached.

As for me and my wife, though, I can honestly say that these have been the best fourteen years of my life.  That can easily sound corny to some, but when something is true, it should be simply stated as such.  She is my best friend; my confidante; my “sounding board”; my one and only lover; my “secret weapon”; my support system that puts all others to shame.  (Since you’ve been walking with me for a while, you probably remember an earlier story about how we found each other; if not, look under “The Journey” and see what you find.)

I fully believe that there are a few very big reasons for our relationship and our marriage being what they are today (follow me on this….the direction is very specific and you’ll see why):  First, we kept ourselves for each other, which is pretty remarkable for not having found each other for the first thirty years of my life and the first thirty-two of hers.  I so wish the young people of today could see the value of saving themselves for their future mates.  They are well worth waiting for!  It also keeps a whole lot of unnecessary baggage out of your lives and your marriage.

Secondly,  we both chose to become better people long before we met each other.  We were both reading marriage and relationship books as well as other self-help type books as early as thirteen years of age, preparing ourselves for each other and the people we would encounter as we live out our lives on this planet.  So much of life is about the choices that we make and those choices lead in very specific directions.  Our relationship and our marriage have both taken a lot of work to make them what they are today.  But that started years ago with us choosing individually to change…and change for the better.

Third–and most importantly–our lives individually and together, our marriage and our family all have one thing in common:  Jesus Christ is the foundation.  (No worries, I’m not going to preach at you if you don’t believe the way I believe.  Walking in each other’s snowshoes, remember?)  But with that said, you cannot argue with facts.  God gives us human beings–made in His image–guidance through His Word (the Bible).  If we do what it says, we’re going to benefit; if we choose not to, we won’t.  Plain and simple.  My wife and I have chosen to make Him the cornerstone of this marriage and He has honored that choice by helping us get to where we are today in every area of our lives.  It’s not been easy–things worth having and doing never are–but it’s certainly been the best choice we ever made.  You can tell a tree by its fruit:  if the fruit is bad (or non-existent) you’ve got a bad tree; if it’s good, you’ve got a keeper and you do what you can to help that tree get even bigger which will produce even more fruit.  Jesus made it pretty simple and we have the tendency to complicate things.

Kids get it….why don’t we?

Bethism #2

So the other Bethism that my wife likes to periodically repeat occurs in the kitchen and usually involves the use of her KitchenAid mixer.

Long ago, we not only bought one of these fine machines but also purchased the “splash guards” that fit the top of its mixing bowl.  They’re apparently handy for preventing ingredients from flying up out of the bowl and attaching themselves to your face, hair, clothing and any objects in the immediate vicinity.  We wouldn’t know, though, because all they have done in our family is sit around and collect dust.  Whenever either one of us grabs the mixer, we always set the guards aside, figuring we really aren’t going to need them.  After all, what could possibly happen?

Enter my wife, stage right.

She is very good at what she does in the kitchen!  She had a great teacher in her mother as my wife grew up, and she has learned many tricks of the trade over the years that we’ve been married.  But whenever I know she is going to do something that involves the mixer, my antennae is up, alert to any peculiar sounds emanating from either her or her equipment as she works her mojo in her kitchen.

The most recent event occurred about a year and a half ago, probably involving Christmas cookies.  I was in the other room and heard a whoop from the kitchen.  I had a feeling that I knew what had just happened as I made my way to her domain with phone camera in hand.  Sure enough, I entered the kitchen to see her standing in front of the mixer with flour and miscellaneous ingredients all over her front.  I found out from her that she dropped one of the attachments in the bowl as it was running (I later realized that I never thought to find out why or how this happend).  I looked down on the floor and there’s dough and flour splayed out in a perfect “V”, an arm of it spread out on either side of where she was standing.  Then I looked up.  The same V-shaped splay of dough and flour was cast acrossed the ceiling, the dough hanging in suspended strings of floury goodness as it spread out from the location of the mixer.  It was a masterful display of Bethism finesse and prowess if ever I saw it!  So I promptly took pictures and video to record this, her most daring and artistic Bethism to date.

(I still have the pictures and videos of these events for promotional purposes.  They are not for public use as of this juncture, but for a fee, I could let you “borrow” them….)

“Bethisms”

My Dad and my wife always had a very special relationship.  He knew that I had prayed for the “right one” for a long time, and when he met her for the first time, he knew I had found her.  The two of them just clicked.  It was awesome to see!  What was also evident to me was the fact that he had a lot of respect for her (both for simply who she was and also for her profession–she does Daycare out of the home now, but back then she was a Social Worker and had seen and experienced a lot of things which produced insight and wisdom that I could tell he admired).

My wife has much more of a forthright personality than I do (probably another reason my Dad was fond of her).  But she can also be…well, no other way to say it….she can also be rather “blonde” (after all, it is her natural hair color).  She’s never been “ditzy blonde” like the stereo-type we’re all familiar with (you know, like the On Star call many have heard where a woman has apparently locked herself inside her car and has to be talked through how to pull “the shiny thing” [door handle], only to discover that the keys were in the ignition the whole time).  Nope.  Nothing like that.  Just “blonde” to the point that it has produced a few events we like to call “Bethisms”.

She has had quite a few over the years, and most of them seem to jump back and forth between doing her nails and baking in the kitchen.  It’s kind of like watching a tennis match.  I’ll be the first to tell you that she is great at both of these things.  But not only do these Bethisms occur mostly in these two areas of her life, they occur with the same incident happening–every time.

She has done her own nails for years and is very good at it (putting fake nails on and then painting them).  The first Bethism happened right here in our home one night as she was doing her nails in front of the T.V.  As we were watching a show, I and our boys suddenly hear, “Oh, crap!!”.  I look over at her and she’s leaning back on the couch, holding her fingers together above her head.  An odd sight, to be sure, but I thought I would wait for an explanation.   She’s laughing, but there’s something different about it–something uneasy.  She then proceeds to tell me that she has glued the thumb of one hand to the finger of the other–and in case you aren’t aware of it, fingernail glue sticks like superglue.  So she’s laughing–also because she’s leaned back so far into the couch that she can’t get herself back up with her fingers glued together like that–and repeating, in no particular order, “Dang it” and “This is really gonna hurt” and “Oh crapcrapcrapcrapcrap”.

Now I, sensitive husband that I am and knowing how much my Dad would love to know about this, promptly pulled my phone out and started recording video of this amazing and unusual event unfolding before me.  Ben, our younger son, started tearing up and wanted to help his Mommy in any way he could.  Which included volunteering to go get the scissors to cut her fingers apart (this was definitely not how she was going to fix this).  She eventually sucked it up, took the plunge and pulled her fingers apart.  We were all amazed at how little skin was actually missing compared to what we thought we would see.  If I remember right, it took a couple of weeks for that to heal up.  This has happened more than once–and just as funny every time!

I’ll tell you about the other Bethism next time….