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Tag Archives: Marriage

Yard work

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  • Josh wrote some sweet posts over on his blog about me and the kids.
  • A friend posted a link to this blog post, and I found it so wise and encouraging for our season of life.

Today was yard-mowing day. Happily it wasn’t too hot! But I’m always thankful for our large backyard–until I have to mow it, that is. I remember very distinctly a conversation I had with Josh before we bought this house.

“Josh, how will you have time to do house repairs and yard work when you’re so busy with school and work?”

“Oh, don’t worry, Sweetie, because I love doing yard work and fixing things! I enjoy them so much, they’re like hobbies to me, and I can’t wait to have a house of my own to work on!”

(Conversation exaggerated slightly but not much.)

Obviously, those were famous last words.

I can’t help Josh with house repairs–I’m a bit of a disaster when it comes to anything involving tools or a paint brush. But mowing eventually becamemy jurisdiction. It was an unspoken agreement. One day I was tired of the grass being so long, and I knew Josh wouldn’t have a chance to mow it, so I did it myself. Ever since then it’s unofficially been my job. I don’t mind–much–because the sunshine and the exercise are good sources of vitamin D and endorphins, so once I get inside and get a shower, put a skirt on (so I can feel feminine again instead of gross and sweaty), I’m usually in a fairly good mood for the rest of the afternoon. And it’s a way that I can do Josh good, and he’s always so thankful he doesn’t have to do it all himself. It’s so exhausting though when you’re in the middle of mowing (especially if, like me, you have to wait until naptime, which is the hottest part of the day) that my attitude is generally far from gracious until I’m actually through.

And I actually only mowed half of the backyard today because the mower shut off and I don’t know if it’s out of gas or something got caught or what, but it was lunchtime and I decided it wasn’t too much to ask Josh to finish up the easy half of the yard.

Oh, and my favorite accessory for mowing the lawn? My Crocs rain boots. They are completely indestructible and a force of nature in their own right, so I don’t have to worry about thorns, pine cones, or whatever little creatures might be lurking in our (probably ridiculously long) grass.

Speaking of little creatures, I found several spiders and spider webs today while mowing and I did. not. freak. out. Thanks in part to my impenetrablerain boots. I think some of them were probably poisonous, bloodthirsty spiders who could have VICIOUSLY ATTACKED AND KILLED ME, but I calmly sprayed them with my hose/kicked them with my boot and went about my business.

This involves so much personal growth…you just have no idea. But Josh does. And he’s glad that when I see (probably poisonous and bloodthirsty) spiders that I no longer call him screaming something along the lines of, “Josh! You are trying to murder me by moving me to this horrible house in this horrible city full of spiders and mice, and if you don’t kill them all TONIGHT then I’m going to sleep at a hotel until I can feel safe again in my own home! There are horrible creatures living in our walls, and they’re going to kill me, and I AM GOING TO DIE!”

(Again, conversation slightly exaggerated but not much.)

See what I mean? Personal growth. Also, Josh is a saint for loving me. I guess the least I can do is mow the yard for him every other week. And I know you’re supposed to mow more than once every two weeks. Give me a break, people. I have two small children, and I’m using a push mower, forgoodness’ sake. (I don’t hate the push mower. It’s helped me get really toned upper arms.) Also, he still hasn’t bought me a weed eater, although it’s not for lack of nagging on my part. And if you had told me 7 years ago that I would be asking someone to buy me a weed eater, I would have told you to get your head examined. Marriage changes you, people.



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Josh has always been good to me in that he’s always wanted to make sure I had a hobby–something just for me that doesn’t involve housework or diapers. Unfortunately the “doesn’t involve housework” part also rules out organizing. This would be my favorite hobby except for the price tag. What? You mean “spending loads of money at the Container Store” doesn’t count as a hobby? Bummer.

But every now and then he gives me some spending money and it’s hard to know what to spend it on when there are so. many. options. So I start narrowing down.

Item 1. A new bag. Always the first to go because you either save it “just for me when the kids aren’t with me” and then never use it, or you use it all the time and it ends up with kool-aid stains and goldfish crumbs.

Item 2. New pillows, curtain rods, window shades. Except technically these are house items, and should be coming out of the house budget, not the Katie budget. There’s so much crossover between the two categories though! My life is one big Venn diagram.

Item 3. Container Store. I can’t resist its siren song. Neither can I afford its siren song. Like I said, why can’t organizing my closets (and buying new Elfa accessories and pretty new matching basket sets) be a hobby?

Item 4. Books. Except I have shelves full of books I’ve bought and not read, so if I just committed to reading all of those first it would take me a year. But there is one book I really want. Make that two books.

Item 5. Crafty things. This is Josh’s favorite. He’s a firm believer that it’s good for people to know how to do something with their hands. I’ve tried to pick up crafty hobbies and they’ve come in the following stages:

A) The scrapbooking stage. This phase lasted the longest. And created a huge paper trail resulting in a lot of scrapbooks no one wants to read. But they are good memories. Mostly. Someone should have told my 15 year old self it’s not a good idea to document in scrapbook form your hatred for a boy who had a crush on you.

B) The knitting stage. I tried to like knitting. I was sort-of-but-not-really good at it. As long as I was making something that didn’t have to be a uniform size, then my stuff turned out nice. I made lots of scarves.

C) The bread-making stage. Making bread is an art, and it’s one I enjoy, but it’s also one that takes. a. lot. of. time. And it’s really the most fun when your kitchen is sparkly clean, which for me is almost never.

D) The sewing stage. I don’t know that I can really call this a “stage” yet because I haven’t taken a lot of time to learn, and I would love to be good at sewing, but that’s more out of necessity than sheer enjoyment of bending over a sewing machine. Have you seen how much the Disney store charges for princess dresses these days??? Also, our machine is a cheap one and doesn’t work very well. But I don’t want to get a nicer machine until I know how to use it and appreciate it. But it’s hard to learn on a cheap machine that doesn’t work very well. It’s a catch 22.

E) The furniture refinishing stage. OK. This one is fun. And it involves going to garage sales and thrift stores to find treasures, which is also fun. But it also involves sharing Josh’s tools, which would require him to put them away consistently in the same place. Hey, he always knows where they are. But he’s not always home to find them. We really need separate sets of tools. Also, when you’re going to refinish furniture, there comes a point when having a fear of power tools gets to be inconvenient. I really need to get over my issues and learn how to use a drill. Someday.

And that’s my first world problem of the day. My husband loves me and wants to buy me nice things and make me happy, and I just don’t know what to get! I think it’s time to stop over thinking this and go shopping. Who’s with me?

Just another day in paradise.

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Yesterday Emmeline woke up before we left for work, so I took Gareth down with me to get her out of bed and say good morning to his sissy. When Emmeline saw Gareth, she said, “Come here Sissy. Big hug.” Then when we got upstairs, she refused to kiss her daddy good morning until he had kissed Gareth.

Emmeline ate beef the other night! Gives me hope that one day her palate will expand to include more than just peanut butter and jelly and pretzels. I’d like to thank my mother for roasting the beef, Josh for toasting the bread that I snuck it in on, and Yo Gabba Gabba for teaching Emmeline to sing, “I tried it, and now I like it!”

Josh and I have been pretty stressed lately. So much so that we’ve barely even spoken–even just to have a calendar conversation. So yesterday I drafted a text to send to Josh asking if he thought his family might just keep Emmeline overnight Friday, how I thought a semi-kid free evening would be good for us. Except I accidentally sent it to Heather instead. Long story short, now Heather and David are keeping both kids overnight. Good friends are such a blessing. And sometimes it pays to be an airhead. But now you know why I have a “no dirty texts” policy. Who knows who I’d end up propositioning.

I think tomorrow for our date, we’ll go grocery shopping at Sams. Before kids, going to the grocery store would never count as a date, now it’s very exciting when both of us get to go grocery shopping at the same time without having to wrangle little ones. Don’t think we’re too boring though–we have opera tickets for next Saturday! I love that I married someone who appreciates the finer things. He’s just as excited about seeing his first opera as I am about seeing mine. And guess who’s keeping the kids? You guessed it. We love that David and Heather love borrowing our kids.